18 June 2010


Microbe vs. Mineral - A Life and Death Struggle in the Desert
Credit: Michael P. Zach, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.


  1. "We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office."

    "Then, I remember, I maintain in my article that all... well, legislators and leaders of men, such as Lycurgus, Solon, Mahomet, Napoleon, and so on, were all without exception criminals, from the very fact that, making a new law, they transgressed the ancient one, handed down from their ancestors and held sacred by the people, and they did not stop short at bloodshed either, if that bloodshed—often of innocent persons fighting bravely in defence of ancient law—were of use to their cause. It's remarkable, in fact, that the majority, indeed, of these benefactors and leaders of humanity were guilty of terrible carnage. In short, I maintain that all great men or even men a little out of the common, that is to say capable of giving some new word, must from their very nature be criminals—more or less, of course."

    Crime and Punishment, part 3 chapter 5
    So influential was this passage on me that that is where the 'Napoleon' in my online prescence comes from! (Of course I have no tendecy to go around murdering old ladies becuase I a believe I am the reincarnation of Napoleon)

  2. Jenn

    Don't worry about yesterday - most of us have posted when we've been rather well oiled and quite a few of us have regretted it later. It makes you a fully fledged UTer!

    I hear that Utah has just executed someone by firing squad after he had been on death row for donkeys years. What a system!

  3. "Four of the rifles were loaded with a single live bullet. The fifth contained an "ineffective" round – which unlike a blank gives the same recoil as a live round; that way none of the five executioners can know whether they delivered the fatal shot, thus lessening their psychological burden."


    the government wants to put people to death, but for them not to bear "psychological burden" from doing so.

    I will never understand capital punishment.

  4. Morning all,

    reading your comments yesterday on the Forgemasters in Sheffield. Firstly I was astonished to hear that Sheffield still had a heavy steel industry in some form. I hope to God that it can be saved.

    Last month, Cabinet papers were released revealing the pleas by then Scottish Secretary Ian Lang to stop the planned closure of the Ravenscraig steelworks in Motherwell. To John Major, Lang wrote:

    "It's hard to overestimate the economic, political and social impact of what now seems certain to be the withdrawal of the whole of Scotland's remaining steel industry from its heartland."

    Lang warned the Toried would be wiped out in Scotland as a result and urged that a deal be implemented for a private takeover. The VP of one interested party, Nucor, commended the Ravenscraig workforce, cabinet documents stating:

    "Mr Busse spoke particularly highly of the commitment and hard work which had been demonstrated by the Ravenscraig workforce in the face of a total lack of necessary investment by British Steel."

    This from the VP of a US steel firm, hardly known for their socialist commitments.

    It's still not revealed why this deal or any other deal fell through, Ravenscraig closed in 1992, the last 1200 jobs of an original 13,000 lost with another 6000 jobs relying on the steel plant also estimated to be lost.

    Of course, these workers will be the first to be condemned as workshy, lazy and feckless by the right wing warriors on CiF for not having a job.

    The Tories were wiped out north of the border (however Labour have done nothing) but it is indicative of Conservative and Lib Dem attitudes to hard workers who happen not to work in parasitic industries such as banking.

    I pray forgemasters can be saved but if past Tory attitudes to the steel industry are indicative, I fear the worst.

    And the cancelled loan amount to the forgemasters- £80m, is 0.4% of the £20b given to the Royal Bank of Scotland alone in the great banking bailout. And last year, 100 RBS bankers received £1 million pound each or more in bonuses.

    You do the math.

  5. "I will never understand capital punishment."

    The only rational rather than emotional justification seems to be financial - it costs a lot to imprison for life. So the state should kill them to save a few bob.

  6. Well, I don't know about anyone else, but I have to admit that, even though I knew that Transocean and Halliburton were also connected to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, the roles of the three companies were unclear to me. So, I've been trying to find out. It's not actually an easy task (at least I didn't find it to be easy).

    I've ploughed through so many websites that I'm not going to provide links, but this as far as I can tell, this is how it goes:

    Transocean, which has "headquarters" in Switzerland but is actually a Houston-based company, owns the rig. BP leased the rig. BP then contracted Transocean and Halliburton to assemble the rig (which is apparently movable).

    BP had ultimate control over the crucial decisions, such as the number of devices used to centre on pipe within another, as 3p4 mentioned yesterday. Therefore, even though Halliburton advised using 21 such devices, they were contractually obligated to use the six that BP told them to use.

    Offshore oil rigs are treated as ships for registry purposes. As owner of the structure, it was Transocean's decision to register Deepwater Horizon in the Marshall Islands. This was because inspections required by US regulations take about 3 weeks to complete. The Marshall Islands inspection requirements take a few hours to complete.

    However, the US government is hardly blameless. The Minerals Management Service, part of the US Department of the Interior, accepted gifts from the companies that they were meant to be overseeing and, as a matter of course, allowed industry officials to fill in their own safety inspection reports in pencil, then MMS employees would trace over the reports in ink.

    They also made exceptions to safety regulations and accepted a spill contingency plan that was identical to the contingency plans of Shell, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Chevron -- right down to plans to protect those famous Gulf of Mexico walruses.

    Plenty of blame to go around.

  7. Your Grace

    The bonuses and wage rises of a handful of b(w)ankers would soon raise 80m. If Forgemasters go down we will lose a lot of jobs and skills, not to mention all the ancilliary businesses.

    Sheffield has been dumped and the Dep PM, who's city it is, has presumably agreed to it's sacrifice.

  8. @Duke

    That's the final question that puzzles me - it's such a trivial amount of money in the great scheme of things, it's a loan in any case with no risk of default, and the consequences will be dire. What the fuck is the point of cutting it, apart from some stupid retaliation because Mandelson was in favour?

  9. @Sheff:

    If Forgemasters go down we will lose a lot of jobs and skills...

    I read somewhere the Forgemasters loan was not to underwrite their existing business/preserve existing jobs, but to provide capital for expansion into specialist machining for noo-ku-ler power stations?

    Will defer to your superior local knowledge, though!

  10. Actually, Jay, here in the US the death penalty is more expensive than life inprisonment because of the cost of exhausting the appeals process. So there is no rational justification.

    Just a crude desire for vengeance.

  11. Morning all,

    Re: Forgemasters, it's a despicable act of vandalism to withdraw that loan. Despicable.

    I heard slimeball Clugg actually saying, unchallenged on the Radio yesterday afternoon, that Labour had 'promised the loan to buy votes for Labour' WHAT?????? What a bare-faced liar.

    I was close to gagging with rage.

    Are they to completely destroy EVERY LAST BIT OF REMAINING industry in this country, for the sake of scoring a cheap political point??

    It actually beggars belief.

    No money in this country? What absolute bullshit.

    Going through the square mile of robbers, shysters and thieves yesterday evening, doesn't look like the banking is 'Struggling' to me....

    The City is swilling in money.

  12. Montana:

    Good detective work re: the oil spill.... I heard Halliburton were involved too.

    It all boils down to the same old, same old..... profit and greed over safety.

  13. Another thing, if BP are able to set aside $20 billion.... how much are they actually worth?

  14. @La Rit:

    The first tranche of payments is $5bn (payable this calendar year) - followed by quarterly payments of $1.5bn until the balance of the $20bn is reached.

    They're an enormous multi-national oil company - with correspondingly enormous multi-national cash reserves and assets. Even so, they're selling about $10bn of assets to boost their short-term cash reserves.

    What's worrying the head bods at BP isn't the compensation fund, it's the increase in the credit default swap premium, if you can believe what you read. That's why they didn't pay out the dividend this year, apparently.

  15. La Rit

    Sheffield is a traditional Labour area. My part of town has been Labour since 1935.

    The general election results show that there is little inclination to vote for any other party in most of the city. The exceptions are Clegg's consituency which was traditionally Tory until he was elected and Sheffield Central, where the odious Paul Scriven, Lib Dem leader of Sheff Council and wearere of fine suits & footwear, stood - the latter is the only area where the Labour majority is small.

  16. I heard on the beeb yesterday that BP have cash reserves to about £15 mil, assets that can transfer to cash of £5 mil, but not the full lump of cash to just hand over.

    Having said that their dividends must make a big chunk and their still making huge profits with the rise in oil prices etc.

  17. I just had a look at the budget for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills for 2009-10, to see how much of a dent Forgemasters' £80m would make in it. The budget was £19.9 billion.

  18. @Numbed:

    Those figures sound very very low to me, are you sure it was "millions", rather than "billions"?

  19. Montana,

    However, the US government is hardly blameless. The Minerals Management Service, part of the US Department of the Interior, accepted gifts from the companies that they were meant to be overseeing and, as a matter of course, allowed industry officials to fill in their own safety inspection reports in pencil, then MMS employees would trace over the reports in ink.



    I read somewhere the Forgemasters loan was not to underwrite their existing business/preserve existing jobs, but to provide capital for expansion into specialist machining for noo-ku-ler power stations?

    Which I daresay would be spent on job creation and skills training as they are expanding. I thought Governments would be into that sort of thing.

  20. Tow more programmes for young people also got chopped yesterday and yet, didn't make the news bulletins: £0.1 mil for A Night Less Ordinary which gives young people free tickets to arts and culture events and Find Your Talent @ £2 mil which gives young people the chance to get more involved in all types of creative industries.

    the BFI film centre is also up for the chop, though not yet confirmed.


  21. "....BP had ultimate control over the crucial decisions, such as the number of devices used to centre on pipe within another, as 3p4 mentioned yesterday. Therefore, even though Halliburton advised using 21 such devices, they were contractually obligated to use the six that BP told them to use..."

    Montana - I take the view that if we had proper Corporate Manslaughter laws in place the absurdity of the Halliburton position would be obvious.

    If Halliburton's professional engineering judgement was that for the safety of the men on the rig that the well needed 21 devices, then it should for the safety of those working there have fitted 21 devices (if necessary at its own expense) or declared the contract void, removed its own staff and warned the others of the danger and then walked away.

    "Contractual obligation" is no real defence to a charge of corporate manslaughter, we should remember that a number of workers on the rig were killed and sadly quite probably by a failure of professional judgement

    Truth is that an absence of Halliburton's expertise in the cementing process would have brought the job to a halt. It's failure to have a Corporate "Strike" thus makes it culpable and jointly responsible in my eyes.

    Perhaps one day the disaster will be seen for what it was, not simply a failure in technical expertise nor even a contractual/legal ambiguity but really an exposure of the moral bankruptcy implicit in contemporary corrupt corporate capitalism. God bless America.

    Always a pleasure to see you here but recently you seem to be posting at times when I would have expected you to be confined at work. School out early??

    Hope things are improving.

  22. @Swifty, yes I've got my bils and mils mixed up!

    I did mean billions.

  23. That is what I can't understand about the Forgemasters loan, in the greater scheme of the UK budget it is such a paltry amount, this has to have been done for idealogical reasons because it makes no financial sense.

  24. Swifty:

    Thanks for that info.

    "What's worrying the head bods at BP isn't the compensation fund, it's the increase in the credit default swap premium, if you can believe what you read. That's why they didn't pay out the dividend this year, apparently"

    So stating they weren't paying the dividend out of respect to the environmental disaster they've caused - it's because they're worried about cash flow? These folk are completely without any morality.

  25. Sorry - double negative ....completely without any...whoops!

  26. @13thDuke:

    Yeah, I understand that, I just didn't understand what Sheff meant by "losing Forgemasters", given they are clearly a going concern with ambitious plans.

    It's an indictment of the state of the banking system at the moment if they couldn't raise the money through their usual lines of credit, that's for sure.

  27. Duke/Jen/Numbed

    It all reminds me of when the Blonde Bimbo prick took over the role of London Mayor - irrespective of the merits of things in the pipeline - for the good of ALL Londoners, dickhead Johnson cancelled stuff, just because they were implemented by Ken and successful to boot.

    The first things he cancelled were the extension to the West London congestion Charging zone (completely irresponsible) - which would have raised vital funds for continuing transport investment in the Capital - increasing self-sufficiency and avoiding dependency on funding from Central Govt.

    Then he withdrew the bendy Buses (god knows how much that vanity exercise costed) he also cancelled the reciprocal arrangement with the Venezuelan's (oil for skills) which funded subsideised travel for the unemployed amongst other things.

    These people are vandals and have no place anywhere near the reins of power.

    It makes me want to weep it's so anti-human and anti-common sense.

  28. Montana

    Good work - the information on the oil is indeed hard to assemble.

    Whenever terrible things happen the enquiry generally concludes that "Changes will be made to ensure that this can never happen again ..."In fact it usually makes very little difference if money and corporate responsibility and honesty is involved.

    The registration of oilrigs and ships with less demanding and safety conscious nations is an old trick - has caused the deaths of many a merchant seaman.

    The priority now is the clean up but heads must roll . The more effective method of control of renegade companies would be the seizure of every last penny and asset from each and every person in the chain who bears any responsibility at all - this includes safety inspectors.

    The threat to that they love the most might start to concentrate minds on the really important things of life.

  29. @Numbed:

    What I meant was, that the CDS premium had rocketed on notionally insuring BP's debts if they crashed into administration. It seemed that at one point, the "markets" were assessing that possibility as being 50/50!

    The situation has apparently eased a bit now, much to the Board's relief no doubt.

    It'll soon be back to trebles all round!

  30. "It's an indictment of the state of the banking system at the moment if they couldn't raise the money through their usual lines of credit, that's for sure."

    The banks are barely lending anything, just rebuilding their balance sheets after gorging at the public trough.

  31. Blonde Bimbo?

    Let's get it right LaRit - Blonde Bullingdon Bimbo

  32. LaRit

    I can see no reason behind the Forgemaster cancellation other than concentrated malice.

    The loan was for retooling - orders were already on the books.

    Britain will lose expertise, a skilled workforce and training facilities for the future with the closure of this plant.

    The development of this plant would have been a stepping stone towards our future prosperity, an expanded skills base as well as helped to preserve local jobs there and across the supply chain.
    What happened to the promise of investment and development?

  33. Ah, there is a bit of good news - I've now got 3 pupils - 2 singing, 1 piano....

  34. PCC's efforts are to lead to a CIF piece on the Sheffield cuts this afternoon......watch the space.

  35. That is what I can't understand about the Forgemasters loan, in the greater scheme of the UK budget it is such a paltry amount, this has to have been done for idealogical reasons because it makes no financial sense.
    Well said Jen! Same LaRit/13th/Numbed.

    When you fit new taps these days, and for the last 20 years, there's a handy gizmo that fit's just under the sink, it's like a mint tap on the pipe called a valve, why in the name of Allah can't these muppets turn the oil off?

  36. Leni

    'Concentrated Malice'

    Brilliant Leni, that's exactly what it is. I remember only too well what Fatcher did to Liverpool in the 80's - it was beyond cruelty. My Gran was so devastated watching the City she loved fall to bits, she banned that Woman's name from ever being uttered in her house.

    Promises? Hearing Clugg talking yesterday, I had the feeling he's always wanted to be a Tory... if it looks like a Duck, walks like a Duck, quacks like a Duck.......


    Bloonde Bullingdon Bimbo! LOL!

    He's just re-instated the idiot who was his Deputy Mayor (forgotten his name) and resigned because of some scandal - they think we're thick or something.

  37. Deano:

    That's excellent. Look forward to it.

    Hats off to PCC ;)

  38. deano

    Yes, looking forward to reading the piece when it goes up.

    Also found this, which gives some insight into the Forgemasters' loan.

  39. TurminderX;

    "it's like a mint tap on the pipe called a valve, why in the name of Allah can't these muppets turn the oil off?"

    Because they were to greedy and tight to pay the $1 million or whatever it would have cost.

    I have to shut my mind to that oil spill, it just defies comprehension.

    Like the tyre dump in the Simpson's that's been burning for years, I have a horrible feeling that they can't shut it off.

  40. MsChin;

    Thanks very much for the link.

  41. Even the Torygraph seemed to favour the govt loan.

  42. La Rit

    Trying to emulate Montana's world famous sleuthing skills here - gathering ammo for when the Forgemasters thread goes up!

  43. Thanks Ms Chin that link adds more WTF to the mix.

    It is just unbelievable.

  44. Funny you mentioned the Simpsons LaRit. I had an idea this morning, i can't be bothered with the Labour leadership candidates cherry picking Qs. And I thought the Leaders TV debates a bit stage managed.

    What I would love to see is a debate where the candidates were wired to, mild(ish), electric shock systems. The audience would vote as they did for the "wurm" but the effects on the participants would be tangible.

    In fact ideally the system would be accessible from your mobile phone and would be wired into every seat in Parliament!

  45. Montana/3p4/et al

    The absurdity of the Halliburton position is there in the numbers.

    6&21. FFs the difference between BP's 6 and Haliburton's 21 is a factor of 3.5 what sort of margin is that??

    It's enormous that's what it is. That ain't no marginal/slight difference of opinion. These guys ain't standing in different Counties they are in different Countries.

    If I'd have been the shop steward on the rig my advice would have been clear - fuck that for a game of soldiers. We are out.

    BP Man say 6 and Halliburton man disagrees and says 21. Man 6 & 21 ain't even close, (we aint talking 6 or 7 or 8 here, there is 15 between them ffs) they are so obviously so far apart.

    Disagreeing on safety by a factor of 3.5 and then carrying on is plain crazy to the point of criminal negligence.

  46. Oh and thanks Sheff, I am glad drunken gibberish is accepted here. ;)

  47. Morning all

    Somebody either here or in the other place said they didn,t like the term deskilling.Well i can,t think of a better term to describe what has been happening to the British working classes for the last thirty years.And what is happeing with Forgemasters is yet another example of this.A skilled workforce deprived of their ability to use their skills and earn a skilled working mans wage.The stark choice for many of them will be either low paid work in the service sector or benefits.With the added possibility of Workfare for those who can,t find jobs.And the human cost could well be a breakdown in mental and physical health,
    breakdown in their relationships-a domino effect in fact.

    Britain has become the European 'Capital' of the short term investor seeking short term profit.And if it was the inevitable consequence of capitalism then why does Britain seem to stand out against so many other European nations? With more relative poverty,
    inequality,lower skills base etc etc.

    Britain seems inexorably drawn to an American style laissez faire style of Capitalism.Where the working classes in effect become a serf class.And their life choices consist of minimum wage jobs,workfare and incarceration.In real terms America does after all incarcerate 6 times more people than we currently do here in Britian.

    This country is turning into one almighty fucking shithole.And when the culling in the public sector starts it is the deskilled working classes who-as we all know-will bear the brunt of it.

    Sorry for being depressing but i feel like shite and my powers of possitivity are on the wane at present.

  48. You really don't have to know anything about oil field engineering to understand the nonsense.

    Out of the mouths of babes innocents and nutters 6 and 21 ??

    lets just run that past me again shall we......

    Why not...7...or...8...or....9...10......11.....12.....13.....14....15........16.........17.......18....19 or perhaps 20 if we cant agree on 21.

    My god you could make a career out of lecturing on the absurdity of contemporary management skills. I bet the transcript sells well when it finally gets to court.

  49. I don't blame you for feeling the way you do Paul, unfortunatly I think you are right.

    Did anyone see the photo that is going around this morning of the wave contaminated with oil?

    That is enough to make anyone depressed, it is an awesome image but so sad.

  50. JayReilly 10.33am

    The banks are barely lending anything, just rebuilding their balance sheets after gorging at the public trough. (ref to Forgemasters)

    It's even worse than that. Some clearers have cut credit lines so that UK companies in the commercial property business will be forced to flog assets. The similar situation in the States is leading to hundreds of regional bank failures this year . The FDIC will shortly be broke again.

    Quote from GolemXIV --

    Now, lest, we on this side of the water are tempted to think 'Comercial real estate collapse is their war', lets note that Lloyds is forcing £500 Million of commercial properties owned by a single developer, Targetfollow to be sold. HBOS owns the loans and Lloyds has obviously 'declined' to extend, roll-over, renew or whatever it is that Targetfollow needs to stay afloat.

    The owner of Targetfollow expressed the situation as having 'had discussions with the lender' (Lloyds) for some time and now 'reviewing their funding situation'. Translation - We begged. They said fat chance, where's our cash. We need it. Get it.

    Targetfollow will loose 200 million perhaps. Green shoots there by gum!


    I did the HTML at CiF, but my linkies don't work there, has anybody got a friendly site I can freeload on ?

  51. I think you're bang on Paul.

    As well as the deskilling, there's also the lack of training, support and growth for young people coming in to the workplace. Programmes to support them, education to skill them are being cut. For the existing generation of 20-30 year olds, they are saddled with debt, unable to get on the housing ladder and now have limited options to educate themselves or find employment.

    And then to add on insult and poverty, the public services they use, as well as many others on lower incomes, are being cut.

    And did I read right that VAT is going up to 20% on budget day?

  52. It's accross the board Paul. Kids at uni today have handwriting that should shame a 6 year old. They can't string a sentence together, they don't have to. All assignments are achived with ctrl-c & ctrl-v!

    This country is turning into one almighty fucking shithole. Is being turned... Thru action and inaction it seems to be a deliberate policy... : (

  53. I don't understand how university students can be so uneducated.

    My sisters little girls school is red hot on punctuation and grammar, they really do a lot of work on it.

    It may be because she is a bright kid but her peers get the same amount of hard work.

    Is it in secondary school when it all goes down hill?

  54. My school on the other hand didn't give a toss. (you can probably tell ;) )

  55. Paul & numbed

    Another example, from the US . Computer guys trained up Indians, got shown the door a year later. Hundreds of thousands of professionals .

    France. A whole industrial valley, dozens of companies specialised in precision metal-bashing developed over a century, taken over by US 'Funds'. First the simple bits went, then the Chinese insisted on the whole process being done there within five years. ( Last bit anecdotal, but I saw one manager say it on film.)

    Hollowing out .

  56. Oi Jen

    Told you before.Stop putting yourself down.You,re as good as anyone else here.One more comment like that and i,ll force you to be Bru,s new best gal pal.

  57. Now that would be cruel and unusual punishment Paul. ;)

  58. jenni

    I challenge you to post as you imagine Bru would - for a whole week. Be brash, be confident and utterly self assured of your own opinion. x

  59. Jen

    It would be a fate worse than death.Although if Atomboy,s theory is right you,d only have to travel to Pinner to meet 'her'.:-)

  60. jenni

    With or without the alcohol oiled brain.

  61. Jen,

    you can add the cutting of the new primary school curriculum, which would have developed the way children are educated.

    At secondary school, teachers become so saddled with bureacracy and paperwork they have less time to teach.

    And then at university, the focus is more upon turning out business people, than it is on rounded education.

    If you do a degree in business, enineering or science, (actually most non-humanities based subjects), there is only a tiny allocaiton of marks for grammar, spelling and construction of your argument in essays or exams.

    Therefore, there is a reduction of students exiting education with good and useful skills in communication.

    People talk of the uselessness of humanities subjects, especially media based degrees, but some of the science and engineering degrees aren't fit for purpose either.

    Anecdotally, I know and have spoken to several employers across science and engineering who argue that thestudents don't have strong enough understanding of how to apply theory in practice. I don't mean how to transfer education skills into business, but more the link between knowledge and application.

  62. Leni

    What do you reckon Bru would get pissed on?I mean if our Jen is to be Bru for a week it,s got to be all or nothing.

  63. Will you all stop your banter you are stopping me enjoying the street people singing La Boheme (they do that in Brussels).

    Another bottle of red? Why certainly servant.

  64. This is my favourite lawyer story of today:

    lawyer makes unarguable case for cremation

    It is known to some UT's that I find lawyers discomforting animals, but that takes the biscuit.

    Truth is you can't even be dead and buried before some fucking lawyer is looking to have you dug up and DNA tested. All for a few bob.

    BB excepted (and I worry about the company she keeps) they are fucking blood sucking low life shits, the very stuff of Dickens.

    Is it any wonder our political system is in such a mess with so many of the bastards in Parliament...

    I#m off to walk the dogs.

  65. God that is depressing Numbed. :(

  66. Beat a hasty retreat home from work to put more clothes on - Ive been freezing all morning! Yesterday was scorchio on my balcony.


    You’re right – the 80m was for developing foregemasters capacity to make parts for the nuclear power industry, mainly a massive new press. It would also have meant a lot more jobs directly and indirectly.

    I’m not a big fan of nuclear power (there is the low carbon argument but that's for another day) but if we are going to have it I’d rather the compnents were built in Sheffield and Forgemasters is one of only two companies in the world with the capacity to do it. The other is in Japan.

    There are knock on effects and a lot of small suppliers that depend upon the steel industry and could go under without further investment. Unemployment is getting pretty bad here and set to get much worse once the cuts really start to bite.

    It’s a very mealy mouthed way to go about things – 80m is pennies in the wider scheme of things. Labour had planned to halve the deficit over 4 years, which would have made things tough enough but the ConDems want to eliminate it in one year – you can’t do that without wreaking havoc, which they obviously care not a jot about. Bastards.

    And as for that turd Clegg - words fail me - at least ones I can use here.

  67. Sheff/Numbed

    Hank really does have a point when he asks why people aren,t getting angry.I think for some people 'switching off' from reality is a coping strategy.But the lack of anger that can be positively channelled is both worrying and depressing.For it means those with power yet again ride roughshod over the people.

  68. A little early for the Pinot Noir I think JenniBru. A lovely Blanc de Noir before elevenses it think, we're meeting the German Ambassador for amuse bouche and a performance of bach preludes, de riguer on period instruments.

  69. What's the difference between running over a lawyer and running over a rattlesnake ?

    With the lawyer you go back to make sure !

    I'm sure BB knows many better than that, the only one I know :)

  70. Jenn - you can do it.

    Fix the mental image. All the words then flow from that...

    Try this... It's from a 1930's film (title I forget)

    Bru wakes in the morning refreshed in her silk sheets. The morning is beautiful, sunny and sharp Her faithful black lady servant in crisp and starched maids gear brings her breakfast on a tray. Just as her servant is leaving the bedroom Bru calls her back with an urgent cry...

    "Beulah peel me a grape"

    You see Jenn they do thing different in Pinner. I'm sure a lass of your class could get the hang of it.

  71. Jen

    Yes my dear and after lunh at one of the most exclusive restaurants on the Avenue Louise i may well try playing the German Ambassadors instrument myself.Bliss!!

  72. This comment has been removed by the author.

  73. But Jen! Turminder! There's a catwalk show and kaffeeklatsch at Diamondland this very afternoon!

    Then the tea dance to show off the new gown from Berlin, before rescuing the Euro!

    It never ends!

  74. Turminder how small of you.

    I will be watching the football (whilst I have a foot massage) those Serbians are so hard working.

    I hope they beat those beastly Germans.

  75. frog2, for lawyer jokes see Angel (Buffy spin off). Their nemesis was an evil law firm (is there any other kind?) there were lawyer jokes most episodes.

  76. Paul

    I agree. It's also very easy for people to switch off from the reality around them - there are so many distractions to keep us amused and not noticing or thinking about what's being done in our name.

    It won't be until people are directly affected that they'll get off their arses, and probably not even then - the concept of solidarity as a communal good is dead as is a proactive attitude.

    All incredibly depressing. But there's always the footie - although even that is turning out to be a pretty dreary event so I hear.

  77. I'm sure your conections with Italian royalty will ensure a world cup victory for your favoured team my dear, just of to shoot some peasants(sic) with the Duke of Buccleuch, £86 a brace this year, very reasonable.

  78. Paul my deah

    i took my own excellent advice. Feeling a mite depressed ac emma , after a bewildering night with an aristocrat I dare not name, i took myself to the beauty salon. Now, head shaved and my body well massaged I can laugh at my troubles and look forward to the ambassador's soiree.

  79. Sheff/Swifty - in metal bashing in the West these days you are either an expanding world leader in a niche market or you are in terminal decline.

    The £80m could have built on Forgemasters excellent reputation for quality in forging steel. It would have given the opportunity to move into forging the very large scale stuff in special exotic steels which are required by the Nuclear industry.

    It's a criminal blunder by some spiteful public schoolboys.

    I'm hard pressed this morning to decide who I loath most, public schoolboys or lawyers.

  80. Deano

    "I'm hard pressed this morning to decide who I loath most, public schoolboys or lawyers."

    Surely, public schoolboys who become lawyers ;-)

  81. Jenn - your almost a natural at this..."...those Serbians are so hard working..."

    A small enhancing suggestion for your developing ear..."those Sebians are so svelt and hardworking" ...it kinda sound more interesting

    Nobody but nobody is really just hardworking in Brussels my dear.

  82. @LaRit

    Ah, there is a bit of good news - I've now got 3 pupils - 2 singing, 1 piano...

    What are you teaching the piano?

  83. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  84. Dott - fine mind. I thought just that when I saw me write posted!!

    The perfect criteria for compulsory sterilisation. Your a lawyer and a public schoolboy?

    Come this way....

    Mungo senses me angst so must go now...

  85. Forgemasters piece gone up

  86. @deano:

    LOL, though surely it would be fairer to hate the parents of public schoolkids for sending them there in the first place, wouldn't it?

  87. I only find Bru to be ever a minor irritation. The one who really gets up my nose is Pretzelburg. As bad as Bracken in his way.

  88. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jun/18/sheffield-forgemasters-political-folly

    it's up!

  89. La Rit I had no idea that you worked with people who couldn't sing.

    I have a very low voice (singing wise) and I have been asked to join a couple of groups but I have always been too self conscious.

    I think I will accept the next invitation.

  90. uuwwwuuwwaaaahhhhhgaaarrgle.AAAHHwuwuwuwuwuwuw, wiyyy ssiiyyubgg ssqquiewwwtt..nnnnnooojkuil. YYYEERERERdddeeee.........

    In other words that's me saying I'm just back from a double root canal surgery and that's what I sound like. Better news is, I've been given the afternoon off. Hope this bloody anaesthetic wears off before darts tonight.


    what you said rings true about deskilling. To add to this and to bring in the forgemasters- This is a Sheffield steel success story. Sheffied steel.

    It's criminal neglect on a grand scale for a Goverment which farts on about putting the 'Great' back in 'Great Britain'. Well why not aid a great British manufacturing success story?


  91. @Swift

    Too right. My parents gave me no choice in the matter when they sent me off to prep school at 4 (as a boarder from age 7). At prep school, they taught me that state school was oik hell, so I couldn't imagine going there. Until I managed to get myself expelled after the first year of public school and found out how much better my local comprehensive was (it especially had these alien creatures called "girls"!).

  92. FFS Leni - what happened to the pedicure, manicure and Brazilain.

    The ladette from Pinner has standards!

    We shouldn't confuse Jenn.

  93. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/10345302.stm

    Jesus wept. Go to school in a shop. because for the elite of the class of 2022 that'll be the best job you can hope for!It is beyond satire!

  94. My two pence worth on CiF

    18 Jun 2010, 1:08PM
    Excellent informative article.

    But then what would public schoolboys know about the economics of hard work and world class engineering.

    Truly a Cabinet of economic tossers who will lead the Country, and what is left of its manufacturing base, into the wilderness.

    The good people of Sheffield should ask themselves who brought that dreadful part time puppet Clegg into their City. That person and Clegg should be introduced to a forged steel lamp post. They are strangers to reason, and a disgrace.

    Clegg is an MP who will now be looking for a safe Tory seat in return for his treachery. His political agent would be advised to do likewise.

    It will likely cost more than £80m in extra security for the pair if Clegg carries on with the charade of visiting his so called constituency.

    Liberals there is such a thing as collective reponsibility - you would be well advised to distance yoursellves from your public schoolboy leader."

    I doubt that it will stand for long so a copy here.

  95. deano

    Well said.

    After waiting all morning for the thread to go up, and now I have to go out for a bit :(

  96. @deano

    Not quite sure about the "public schoolboy" bit.
    Tony Benn went to Westminster then Oxford, so you don't automatically turn out to be a right-wing bastard.

  97. Just reading through the Forgemasters thread now.

    Does anoyne know if Rednorth was banned? I just saw a comment by a 'Northred' that bears all the hallmarks of Rednorth.

  98. Spike I know and then he spent many years redeeming himself by drinking tea on the picket lines with the lads.

    His later performance in life ensured that come the revolution most of us would have shot above his head rather than through his eyes. He earned our respect. He had a great wife (Caroline - a Yank) who did a lot to advance comprehensive education in the UK too.

    I suspect that the only comrade who could have got Tony Benn (late Viscount.****) shot dead would have been the Beast of Bolsover.

    But then we live in troubled times and I may have it wrong.


  99. Ps - Tony's new habit of being seduced into accepting fine wolly jumpers, from Natasha Kaplinsky, for his birthday is worrying though...

    Fine looking lass and he's old and perhaps lonely since Casroline went so I'll take a raincheck on it.

  100. Duke - rednoths profile sztill open his last post was:

    "rednorth's comment 10 Jun 10, 2:25am

    Lazy fuckers, feckless workshy scum, Jeremy Kyle, lager, wide screen TV blah blah blah...

    There ye go. I've just saved all the Tories from having to post to this thread.

    Recommended (81)

    I was thinking I hadn't seen him for a while too!

  101. @deano

    I was a very middle-class lad, and in my 20s, as a communist and trade-union activist, I found it very easy to gain acceptance in working-class circles in Paris, which I might not have done in my native England.

    As I've said, you don't choose how you're brought up and educated, so "public schoolboys" should always be given the benefit of the doubt until you've made sure they're class enemies.

  102. @Spike:

    "...after the first year of public school and found out how much better my local comprehensive was (it especially had these alien creatures called "girls"!)."

    Are you Will off The Inbetweeners, mate?

    Don't worry about deano, I'm sure he will reflect and realise that, actually, it's a considerably better course in life to judge a person by their actions, rather than by where their parents sent them to school.

  103. Bru on waddya at 2.40, funnier by far than any of our efforts...

    OU article is up, Be nice to my pal.. : )

  104. "..Don't worry about deano, I'm sure he will reflect and realise that, actually, it's a considerably better course in life to judge a person by their actions, rather than by where their parents sent them to school..."

    Swifty has to me to tee, but then I did give him a clue by suggesting that in the case of Wedgwood Benn (sometime Viscount Stansfield) I would shoot above his head.

    Had I not considered him a decent chap it would have been through the eyes.

    Spike - a guy who chooses a red star as his cyber signature makes a wise choice.

    Truth is I am always open to forgiving a man or women his/her parents, for one of the fundamental questions that all who start to be curious about life have to answer is that old chestnut.................do you believer the sins of the father should be visited on the son... if yes pass to the right.... if neigh to the left. And thus we start to seperate the wheat from the chaff (as we, each the other, see it)

    I was trying to explain it to young Nap only recently there are about half dozen key questions that colour fundamentally a persons perceptions on life. They tend to influence what you then think about a whole host of political and economic questions.

    Another is tell me what you think about the deserving and the undeserving poor.

    Important questions in my book that every man should ask of a woman before they get down to shagging. Don't want to finish up breeding with the enemy now do we?

  105. "Important questions in my book that every man should ask of a woman before they get down to shagging" and vice versa.

    If my daughter had married a Tory I would have shot her too!

  106. @deano:

    Good man. I can see why Spike might have taken exception at your inital unqualified statement, though.

    Although... killing ex-public schoolboys who aren't called Wedgy Benn won't solve anything. Changing their minds might.

  107. Bought the Groin today and report that one of NapelonK's comments made it to the print version of G2 today - as well as something uncharacteristically funny by Kizbot.

    Will read down in a mo and catch up soon ;)

  108. Jeez Spike

    Sent off to boarding school at 7? No disrespect to your parents but i don,t see the point of having kids if you don,t get to see them for most of the time they,re growing up.

    I try not to judge people by the background.But i do believe that the public school system encourages elitism.And if i had my way all public achools would be scrapped.What we should have are secular community high schools where kids are streamed according to their abilities.Where some kids have an academic based education whilst others one that is vocationally based.And no fucking boarding schools!!

  109. Apologies for the typos.

  110. It's great that CIF have put up a piece on Forgemasters..evil bastard Tories etc.

    Maybe they'd like to think about why they were so quiet about Corus in Redcar..in fact, as I recall, every single fuckin post I wrote informing Vera Baird what a two faced, lowlife corporate lackey she was got removed...must've been something that transgressed the talk policy...couldn't possibly have been politically motivated.

    Forgemasters = short-sighted political grandstanding which demonstrates contempt for working classes

    CIF = opportunist bandwagon jumping bunch of gobshites who care nothing for ordinary people or general principles and who will back a cause only when it suits them to do so (which demonstrates contempt for working classes).

    CIF is very much part of the problem...indulging self-regarding, middle-class freaks and allowing them a forum to demonstrate their 'scintillating' wit and intellect is not the same as being an open liberal forum...not remotely.

    This will get worse as the Tories become more hated and there is a general antipathy towards the coalition. The worst possible scenario would be a new tranche of "young, politically motivated" standups (please fuckin God..not again...the last thing we need is a new Ben Elton), but the most serious threat is that CIF becomes a kinda online focus for the discontent..as I said, CIF is part of the problem, in fact, if you regard CIF as emblematic of the lazy, complicit and compromised liberal media..CIF IS the fuckin problem.

  111. What private schools do more than anything is groom an expectation of sucess in their scions. Check Micky Flanagan for the humor of the obverse, "..this school has never produced someone who drives a van, you dreamer! We produce the people who carry the stuff to the van!"

    Anyhoo, anybody got anything more depressing han this


    Indian Nazis. FFS.

  112. Vera Baird

    What would one expect MF - she's another bastard lawyer. Parachuted in???

    Would have hoped the lads and lasses of Redcar would left to their own devices had a good local candidate in mind?

  113. Monkeyfish

    I have been wondering why all the news about Forgemasters when Corus went down without a fuss.

  114. Not that I think we shouldn't fight for the Sheffield works but were was everyone last year when they took the last manufacturing jobs from us in the North East.

  115. Jenni

    we tolerate too much here - the Forgemasters debacle may well be the tipping point. It clearly points in the direction of travel - not a journey we should continue.

  116. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2010/jun/18/refugees-perspectives-britishness-peoples-panel

    Worth a read, and worth fighting Auld Plucky to comment too!

  117. Been out all afternoon - at village school fair.

    Bought a second hand copy of "Hauff's Fairy tales" - beautifully illustrated by Grabianski.

    The only story I am familiar with is Longnose. Is anyone familiar with these stories ?

  118. jenn

    Simple..when it's the Tories the Graun can weigh in and they can all relive their glorious anti-Thatcher adolescence (as though they ever left it); it was so much simpler then..and of course we had that golden generation of 'angry','alternative' (remember that?) comedians who all went on to become comfortable boring prime-time fixtures...Vicar of Dibley etc.

    Then it all got a bit messy under Blair.."naturally I'm a Labour supporter..but..". Now, it's all become easy again (well it would have been if the infamous Guardian staff meeting hadn't come out in favour of Clegg, but they'll work their way around that one...they managed to keep faith with a Thatcherite war criminal for 13 years when all's said and done)...the rest of the country faces rack, ruin and the dole queue but it's Christmas for the Guardian editorial team..like being 21 again...the Tories are back. Just think of all the principled and worthy op-ed pieces they can trot out knowing full well the 'progressive' middle-classes are full square behind them. They can make hay while the sun shines.

    But as I said above..they are just as much part of the problem as the Tories...they'll be there when the Tories finally depart, knives sharpened and ready to stab the working class in the back.

    I can't wait for some piece of shit adulatory review about Jemima Bunting's, Tristram Rushbridger's..or Lucinda Toynbee's one man/woman Edinburgh show..."hilarious but incisive political stand-up from one of today's brightest young left-wing comics"..you wait

    That's what the media is..a Petri dish for the affluent metroplitan set to reproduce and keep dissent 'proportionate' and controlled.

  119. Paul

    "if i had my way all public achools would be scrapped.What we should have are secular community high schools where kids are streamed according to their abilities.Where some kids have an academic based education whilst others one that is vocationally based."

    Errm, when would you stream them? When would you decide who was academic and who was vocational? How easy would it be to switch?

    Only arguing in the discussion sense you understand...

  120. @Dott:

    Stream them at 11, maybe? Then those academically gifted kids could go to one sort of school, while those with less aptitude could perhaps go to another sort of school.

    I know, we could call the first sort "grammar schools", maybe, and the other sort "secondary moderns"...

  121. Swifty

    And if at 11 you are not counted as gifted you will be condemned as stupid or not quite good enough for the rest of your life.

    And all our MPs will come from grammar schools because being good at algebra means you are a good person.

    Get a fucking grip man.

  122. Damn my irony meter really is broken. ;)

    Sorry Swifty.

  123. I read it as a joke too Jenn, I think you, I and Swifty are more or less in agreement on this one..

    ("streaming" needs to be done carefully, and if possible, reversibly)

  124. @Paul

    Well, my father hated kids and my mother wasn't really very interested, but having children was the done thing.

    But i do believe that the public school system encourages elitism.

    That's its primary purpose. Renewing the membership of a masonic-style privileged elite with mutual recognition by ties rather than handshakes.

    George Orwell's Such such were the joys still strikes a chord. Some things didn't seemed to have changed much by the 60s. The headmaster was a bit of a religious nutter, and although he never mentioned masturbation sending you mental, he did cane me until I bled for being caught with a page of Playboy (breasts and bums only in those days) that I'd found in the woods on a cross-country run.

  125. So, Slovenia/USA... A result for Engerland! Now we need a convincing win against Algeria. I've got mates coming round tonight (pizzas and eight litres of wine ready) and I think I'll be the only England supporter. I've just hung my England flag from the balcony. :-)

  126. "....The headmaster was a bit of a religious nutter, and although he never mentioned masturbation sending you mental, he did cane me until I bled for being caught with a page of Playboy..."

    The questions here Spike are:

    a) was the bastard a public schoolboy himself? and:
    b) did the bastard ask which hand you wanked with or did he thrash both equally on the assumption that you were ambidextrous.
    c) over the head or through the eyes?

  127. No worries jenn, a lot of people don't get my strange sense of humour. I should probably use emoticons but I fucking hate them.

    For what it's worth re. streaming, as it unofficially appears to manifest itself at my daughter's school, the bright kids get less teacher time than those who struggle. Curse those crazy SATs targets!

    PS I'm not really putting a curse on those pesky SATs targets...

  128. When I was at school they didn't quite know what to so with me, I was bright but a trouble maker.

    They sent me to an educational psychologist and when he decided I was just chippy rather than actually clever they told me about it.

    I believed him and never really tried at school work after that, it really did make a huge difference to my life.

    I am so against labelling children at a young age and can you blame me?

  129. a man who assumes all boys are ambidextrous for the purposes of wanking is pure evil and deserves to have to visit an optician to remedy his shot out vision.

    We ought to get Jay to post another of his puzzles..............the headmaster approaches the boy and asks which hand do you wank with..........the boy replies..........and then the headmaster proceeds to thrash the......

    Dear Ms Marilyn vos Savant,

    Which hand should the boy tell the headmaster he wanks with to maximise his chances of orgasm?

    Any special advice for the fortunate ambidextrous few?

    Yours etc.....

    ps Don't tell me it doesn't matter 'cos public schoolboys always get another boy to do their wanking for them.

    (spike I jest while I idle the time to the match) I really don't think all public schoolboys are little wankers and sodomists. Only 99.9985% of those from the major public schools.

  130. "...For what it's worth re. streaming, as it unofficially appears to manifest itself at my daughter's school, the bright kids get less teacher time than those who struggle. Curse those crazy SATs targets!...

    As you will know from your dad Swifty in the not too distant past the bright kids were turned into pupil teachers and expected to teach the less able. We may be heading that way again soon.

    Actually there is nothing like a spot of teaching to consolidate learning....

    I still think that if the redundancy thing doesn't sort itself to your satisfaction you would make a fine teacher!


  131. Hi all. MsChin - read yesterdays thread (was mums birthday so logged off early eve) and loved those videos you posted - cheers for that.

    Jen - re forgemasters - I myself have mentioned a fair few times on the Guard re what happened with COrus - it made me fume. A fucking disgrace of a decision and again astonishingly and disgustingly short sighted and driven - I fear - by the same neo liberal ideology that all three parties share.

    Only Canada has as little government investment in industry as us - every other developed country has much more. Tried to explain that just now to some numpty on a thread - its fine espousing all these free market ideals but if every other country (like Denmark has re the steel corus could have made here) has government investment into vital industries and we don't then all that happens is the UK gets left behind.

    I am still fuming about it all. In fact thinking what can do re the fuckpig and as to whether or not - not being in his constituency - there is anyway we can protest this. Deano had the idea of finding out if he has an agent etc and to write to them - bomabard them with stuff.

    I fear that the country is going to be even more divided if that were possible with a prosperous south and areas like the North East and South Yorks left to die. As Jon Snow pointed out on Channel 4 news - South Yorks is still one of the poorest areas in the whole EU and now on top of losing EU finding it is losing over one hundred million of government funding (thauma couldn't believe the other stuff that was cancelled) so as he says - it will be difficult for Sheffield to really recover from this.

    Leni - re Longnose - is that the story sometimes called Dwarf Longnose - about the boy who cheeks the old witch and gets turned into a dwarf with huge hands and a huge nose and has to work in her kitchen - then ends up working for the king cooking? Wonderful and dark story that if it is the same.

  132. @deano

    a) Naturally
    b) & c) No, they wouldn't risk damaging your hand and preventing you from being able to do prep (homework for boarders). They used to beat you on the arse. Bent you over a chair and took a run-up. Left raised welts seeping a bit of blood.

    Oh and no offence taken on the other point. In an all-boys environment, there was plenty of rumpy-pumpy going on in the dorms at prep school. At public school, we were actually allowed out to make a play for the girls from the convent school (by far the hottest). :-)

    At prep school, we also had two teachers leave mid-term for "personal reasons" (caught interfering with the little boys). No question of getting the police involved, of course.

  133. Spike - my Secondary Modern headmaster (a man with stature of John Cleese) used to thrash me with a cane for all sorts of real and imagined misdemeanors.

    Ours was a Co-Ed school with lots of rules, but thank god little girls were allowed to interfere with little boys so no rules about masturbation or exploration or whatever the label was in those days.

    In my third year I was sent to the head for my third flogging of the day for the third time in a week when the head suddenly said to me.....

    "dean this is ridiculous we cant go on meeting like this, no matter how hard I flog you it makes no difference. Here go away and read this"...

    ...and he loaned me his copy of Darwin's Origin of the Species. Thereafter when the prefects and staff sent me for a flogging he never again did. I just spent 10 minutes in his office choosing books from his personal library and left rubbing my hands in pretence.

    There really are some odd and funny fuckers who finish up in teaching.

  134. One of my favourite stories is an Enid Blyton. It's about a very lazy boy whose mother decides to replace him with a hard-working boy from the orphanage (don't you already love the child psychology?). Tough, upstanding Jack, the new son, beats him up when he badmouths mummy, so he goes off crying into the forest. There, he meets a witch, who gives him some little yellow pills (no, really!) that make him unable to stop doing things - he can't stop dashing around. He goes back to the witch, who gives him some more pills (don't remember the colour - choose your own downer) that stop him being so manic, but she warns him that if he's ever lazy again, the yellow pills will kick in permanently.
    Now he's industrious, his mother deigns to love him again and he and Jack become friends.

    Now that's what I call appropriate reading for children!

  135. Enid always was a bit weird, when I was a kid I veered from wanting to be one of the Famous Five and wondering what kind of parent let their kids take a gypsy caravan to the country for a holiday.

    She would so fail a CRB check today.

  136. PCC - some other 'bad' ideas came to my attention in a dream. Of course I rejected them immediately with the words ..."Get thee behind me.."

    In my dream I saw people going around Sheffield with plastic template into which was stencilled a cut out word, it looked like "CLEGGITE?".

    and every time they across a newish Range Rover or BMW or Merc they placed the template on the bonnet and gave it a quick spray with paint stripper.

    It was only when I saw some lads with the old twisted pairs of six inch nails which they were edging out of sight under the tyres that I saw that it was unemployed folk just out to make a few bob. I did wonder how much the local puncture repair guys were paying them though.

    I was impressed with the local intelligence all these new Sheffield business promoters. They seemed to have sussed out the exact location of all the CCTV's and seemed to be opening and closing umberellas at the point of sale.

    Perhaps we should write and ask Mr Clegg if these new venture Capitalists live in his Consituency? Perhaps he could arrange some funds for their training.

    Personally I put it down to misguided capitalist behaviour ..some local paint/tye repair shops just out making business for themselves. Still it must be what Clegg believes in - needs must and all that.

    Wicked things dreams - it must have been Montana's painting of yesterday that set it off...


  137. "...mother decides to replace him...."

    Fucking brill double LOL!

    I've always enjoyed torturing my sons. When we used to go camping in France when they were little I used to whisper in their ears...

    "Now you just lie down here .......and have a little sleep............and I'll come back.... and collect you.......................next week"...

    Always good for racking up the angst in in 4-7 year old boys.

    Another favourite was to roll them into an old carpet and then dump them in the boot of the car and start the engine.

    Of course as young 30+ year old men they are now starting the revenge......."Dad I have enrolled in a night school course so we can properly plan your social care from next year."

    "Dad the home have phoned and asked us what colour you want your new room painting" etc.....

  138. In my third year I was sent to the head for my third flogging of the day for the third time in a week when the head suddenly said to me.....

    "dean this is ridiculous we cant go on meeting like this, no matter how hard I flog you it makes no difference. Here go away and read this"...

    ...and he loaned me his copy of Darwin's Origin of the Species. Thereafter when the prefects and staff sent me for a flogging he never again did. I just spent 10 minutes in his office choosing books from his personal library and left rubbing my hands in pretence.

    Are we supposed to believe this bullshit, deano? I don't. Does anybody else?

  139. Very good posts, MF.
    The Guardian is still in denial about just how fucking dismal New labour were, how Thatcherite,how treacherous to the working class, the poor the marginalised. In denial because they were comfortable and complicit, loving to mouth platitudes and sound ever-so concerned,while living it large in their cosy cliques and enclaves. In a way the Tories are more honest (while still remaining lying bastards) by barely trying even to pretend that they have any concern,let alone respect for those 'beneath' them.The trouble, as you rightly say, is that the Tories become the pantomime villains: they are villains, but not the only ones, and the charade of the Newlabbers/Guardian staffers lining up to knock 'em, when their own outlook (corporatist,neo-liberal,managerialist,market-obsessed, plus an added veneer of PR bullshittery and diversionary and divisive obsession with identity politics) will become ever-more nauseating.

  140. "The owner of Targetfollow expressed the situation as having 'had discussions with the lender' (Lloyds) for some time and now 'reviewing their funding situation'. Translation - We begged. They said fat chance, where's our cash. We need it. Get it"

    This reminds me of Al Capone....

  141. btw, deano I think you'd be doing everyone a favour if you stopped all the 'young miss', 'fine lass' etc crap. I simply can't understand why self-professed feminists here don't get annoyed about it. If you want to praise a comment or a viewpoint, perhaps you might want to consider that you are applauding a 'person' rather than a sex/gender. You don't do this shit with comments from males, why do you do it with comments from females?

  142. Oh, God, the telly's interviewing the gruesome-twosome about the England game tonight... Will's and Harry - William looks more and more like the groomed Kingy-in-Waiting, as soon as 'bastard' son and all-around embarrassment Harry interjected, dear old Wills started to look very uncomfortable and annoyed....oh to be the 2nd son and a bastard one at that.

    The Prince of Wales (PoW) is fucked over the Chelsea Barracks/Qatari fiasco - they got the deleted e-mails off a server in London - HA!!!

    Now, where's me guillotine????? Sure I saw it around here somewhere.....

  143. The answer Scherfig is that you pick your battles.

    Having said that I am no ones fucking miss, pack it in Deano.

  144. Evening all


    Now, where's me guillotine????? Sure I saw it around here somewhere.....

    Here it is you lent it to me last week alas haven't used it yet.....

    Forgemasters I don't want to believe it but I knew it would be the first kick in the groin that the northern working classes get from the Tory bastards....no doubt they see it as the first of their lessons entitled "make sure you know your place"

    friggin short sighted arses......

  145. Gandolfo:

    Has Thauma got a guillotine too? ;)

  146. Scherf - tis of no great concern whether you believe or don't believe what I have to say nor indeed be it be bull or cow shit.

    An affectionate form of address to ladies/girls has been part of my, and many other Yorkshire males, form of communicating with females since I was a kid. In the old days we used to say 'love' rather a lot but it's passe these days.

    We never address males, especially non Yorkshire ones, with any reverance at all.

    I see no necessity to change it 'cos it gets up the tits of a vexed, sometimes sour, exiled Irishman who just can't for the life of him learn to scroll on by.

    Now then my fine friend whose going to win the match the tonight?

  147. LaRit
    errrrrrrrr you KNOW i'm dyslexic about you two!!

    But rumour says that Thauma has.....but she's keeping it quiet until the sh*t really hits the fan..........unlike ourselves who go for preemptive strikes....!

  148. Jenn - your wish shall be observed. I have other things to do with life rather than cause you any offence.

  149. God I hate ITVs coverage of the game, how ever much you hate the Beeb at least they don't go to an advert after the national anthems.

  150. I never want to offend you Deano but it is offensive to me.

    I would still like to meet you and talk history.

  151. Scherfig - I have to go and make the tea (yep fine feminist eh) but I just wanted to say that I have met Deano and a finer gent I could not wish to meet.

  152. Spike

    I sympathise with your school experienc. I endured something similar from the age of 7 too. I did manage to distinguish myself by getting expelled in disgrace from at least three schools and my parents were politely requested to remove me from another.

    I particularly remember a sadistic mistress who beat us with a split cane, and a who nun appeared get pleasure from cracking us on the side of the head with the hard edge of a board rubber, or her knuckles.

    Being dragged in front of Reverend Mother, who was so old she looked like an Egyptian mummy was also terrifying, like being railed at by a corpse. Rebelling was essential if you wanted to stay reasonably sane.

  153. evening all - am on me own watching the footy so may decend into a total funk at some point. anyway.

    nice detective work montana - the 'movable rigs = ships' thing is just daft - they'll all be registered in Belize (just as an example) like the real boats...

    on streaming in schools, i may have said this before, but - if there is a wholly selective system then you do get kids being characterised / condemned which I just don't thnk is helpful (at 11, for crying out loud, just when hormones kick in and all that...)

    Thing is, that however much people say, well vocational qualifications are just as good as academic, very few people (at least in power) actually believe that. Much different in Germany, where the vocational / tech colleges were very highly thought of.

    A-levels are just a dumb system - far too narrow. An IB allowing you to combine many subjects, academic, vocational, whatever, would give a better starting point for those who don't want to go on post-18, and a broader base for those who do.

    I'd support a system of single schools with a set catchment area - no choice in it. That throws everyone in together. There is streaming, but it's subject by subject - no 'remove' or anything - because this would reflect that some are good at some things, other at others. And the streams aren't 'locked' - you could move between them as appropriate every term.

    now - i realise that could cause problems with class sizes but there wouldn't necessarily have to be just one class per level. and timetabling hell, perhaps, but heck, just get top set maths on it.


    right - how do i apply to run one of these 'free schools', then?

  154. Well that's all right then, princess love. If a little lass like you thinks it's OK, then obviously nobody should find it patronising or offensive. Apart from jennifer maybe, but maybe she doesn't count.

  155. Deano - in a village near me in Derbyshire - bordering Yorks - there was uproar because the council tried to ban shop keepers calling people love.

    The other day I was in blockbusters and the assistant called the other half sir. I cant stand that (I nearly lost a job because I refused to address people as such)- a bit later new films in hand - I went to the counter and wondered what the heck he would call me - madam? But no, I got a nice Yorkshire 'lovey' and glad of it I was too.

    Jen - I am sure you haven't offended Deano and it is good if people say if something bothers them.

    For me being called 'young miss' just makes me wish I were - young that is - I am not wishing away princechipchops!

    And being called lovey, ducky, chick, sweetie, petal etc etc - all of which seem fairly common round these part - is nice - it feels friendly. But places are quite different - down in reading where my mate lives people don't seem to use these terms of endearment. In fact not only that but they don't seem to talk to strangers much as I found out when trying to engage a shopkeeper in a bit of friendly banter. She looked at me as if I were bonkers. As the great John Shuttleworth sings ''Shopkeepers in the North are very friendly.''

    Right really off to do tea. Spag bol with added Chorizo and olives and some red wine for good measure if anyone is remotely interested.

  156. lovely piece of journalism on TF1 news just before the match - Sarko visited Chelsea hospital this morning for a memorial, also in attendance was "le premier minstre, James Cameron"

    Well, suppose we are heading for the Abyss...

  157. Apart from jennifer maybe, but maybe she doesn't count.

    Hang on a minute scherf - you're being a bit spikey there - or am I missing something.

  158. Sherfig:

    The moment has passed a little, but I'm not offended. I took it as a way of Deano finding a way of expressing his respect in a kind of old-fashioned shyness around women. I have no idea how old Deano is, but me Ma has a cousin, in his 80's (apols Deano, I'm sure you're not quite that old!) who, when given the option, has always preferred the company of women and never misses an opportunity to say so.

    Incidentally, like LLCool J - all the girls love Georgie ;)

    We can't all be hard-nosed gits, all the time :(

  159. Ah Scherf - stopping me from doing me tea. Just explained quite clearly in a post above that different people find different things okay/not okay etc and that Jen is perfectly entitled to he views.

    I think in Yorkshire people use terms of endearment a lot of the time and they don't ''mean'' anything by it. I dont give a shit if a bus driver calls me love when I pay. I don't mind Deano calling me young miss. Tis all I said. I don't speak for Jen and I never said I did. And I stand by the assertion that if you met Deano you would find him a fine gent.

    Right Scherfig really am off now to make tea. Peace.

  160. Deano

    It may be passe where you are but everyone still uses 'love' round here. Blokes will call other blokes 'love' too. I don't mind it at all - it levels the playing field.

    'Hen' is Glaswegian but I don't know what its roots are.

  161. M'andsome, m'duck, bach, la, girl, hen etc- is this a working class thing ? Do the aristocracy employ such terms - befitting their station in life of course ?

  162. Sheff and PCC I don't mind pet or petal or hun, I do mind miss.

    I do not want to be defined by my married state.

  163. Hi all

    Will only be able to post sporadically, if at all over the next (and the past) few days.

    Looking into the abiogenic theory of the origin of (at least some) petroleum. In a nut shell this says that oil is formed, not out the cadavers of trillions of marine animals, but could be a "volcanic" phenomenon. It was fashionable only in the USSR in its dog days and in our current modern times no geologist will touch it apparently.

    Nevertheless, if the theory could be right after all, the gulf disaster becomes one of having drilled into an oil volcano. will report later if i find anything of interest.

  164. i seem to end up calling everyone 'pet', which must be the residual mancunian, but 'dear' gets rolled out a bit as well.i know that it's supposed to be that every woman turns into her mother, i am clearly turning into my grandma.

  165. LaRit, my love, I think you're missing the point, young desirable lady. If every positive reference to a comment is predicated on and qualified by a unnecessary reference to the (invariably) female sex of the commenter, then it's sexist and patronising. This is what deano does all the time. It's not 'gentlemanly', it's just sexist. (And boring and irritating.) One thing about this place is that we don't give a fuck whether a commenter is male or female (unlike most Cif threads). Deano singlehandedly drags us back to the dark ages. He should stop with his outdated 'polite' crap. If he can't make a sensible comment about what someone has said without referring to how lovely and erudite this particular admired young lady is, then he should shut the fuck up or restrict himself to posting when he's sober.

  166. Sherfig:

    Why do you assume that other women here assume that Jennifer 'doesn't count'? That's a bit bloody patronising for starters.

    Come on, you raised a valid point but you could say that you are being a bit offensive by remarking that 'self-proclaimed feminists' should be automatically offended and should waste no time in condemning Deano. Sorry, but do you speak on my behalf? understand my life as a woman? You don't have a clue.

    Are you accusing some women on here of not being vigilant enough? Sorry if we didn't step up to the bloody mark, but I wasn't measuring myself.

    I had my arse slapped when I was on my bike yesterday, the one and only time this has ever happened as opposed to the countless times over the last 15 years, when some friggin moron (generally white and male) in a four-wheeled vehicle hasn't been trying to fucking run me over and kill me, because I happen to be a female (without blonde hair) riding a bike.

    I was a bit shocked, but realised it was a bunch of teenagers (average age 17 and it was a dare - it wasn't a precursor to violence) and I had a laff when I caught up with them at the lights and they were pissing themselves and trying to slide under the seats - hoodies firmly over their faces.

    You can't get offended on someone else's behalf - it ain't your perogative.

  167. jen - with you on that, but trying to explain 'ms' as a concept over here has not gone well. so i have to put up being Mlle on all official things, but introducing myself always as Madame, and.... it's just very confusing.

  168. Great I have just realised I don't matter.


  169. LaRit, I'm not offended on 'someone else's' behalf. I'm offended on my own behalf.

  170. jen - that's entirely not what was meant, am sure - if you don't like a term being used to, then you're right to say so - and am sure deano will not take that badly.

    (although he may not necessarily remember)


  171. "Bought the Groin today and report that one of NapelonK's comments made it to the print version of G2 today - as well as something uncharacteristically funny by Kizbot"

    Holy mother, pray tell, what was it about. Scan it and put it up on the flickr page. Or at least type it out on here- I don't know if G2 has it's own webpage.

    Other than that interesting day on the Cif threads and in real life. Been out most of the day. Apart from my quotation from Crime and Punishment this morning- I should have added the context, it really is an excellent book.

    We had the open thread on the OU, good. Also there was one about the 'cowardly' IEDs the taliban use- I got the most recommends on that thread (not that I am a glory hunter) pointing out the hypocrisy of using cowardly unmanned drones and precision missiles. MAM was on trolling form, calling me an armchair general, even though he is someone who wants the British occupation to continue, I do not.
    The article was basically talking about how many millions it cost to defeat IEDs, when there was one simple way of making it cost nothing, in money and human terms, withdraw all troops immediatly.

    80 million for this steelworks in Sheffield. That is what, perhaps 2 days of the cost of the British occupation in Afghanistan.

    Other than that, been too busy. I wish I could look into the Kyrghyz situation more, and also what Duke was saying yesterday about De Gaulle.
    I am still thinking about Gaullism, which is essnetially national self determination, and that is definately something Britain needs, of course respecting the EU and UN.
    People might say 'all nationalism is bad', but if we had a moderate centrist nationalism, they would apply the national interest and withdraw from Afghanistan and put money into places like Forgemasters.

  172. OK Sherfig:

    My last post went up before I'd seen yours to me.

    And don't just piss off and never to return as you did the other wrt to Ray Parlour.

    I've no pretences to knowing the intimate details of recent footballer's lives (other than the obvious - you know - wife-beaters Collymore etc...) but I'm glad you enlightened me.

    Re; Deano - yes, I get it,thank you and yes, outside of here, I'd take him to task, but you've now made me feel like a fucking idiot for not raising it earlier. Isn't that just as recidivist, not to mention unfair?

  173. Hen is most definately Glaswegian, I hear it 20 times a day.

    Similar theme (damn what's that word from AS level English- ah yes 'semantic field') I suppose to the other chicken related analogy 'get laid'.

  174. Scherfig:

    "I'm offended on my own behalf"

    K :(

    Now I just feel a bit sad (as in 'sad' not 'saddo')

  175. I hope Capello is asking WTF.

    That was the most boring match I have ever watched.

  176. Napoleon

    before you go into ecstasy this is what was quoted (it's online in the G2 section today)

    "Many of you wanted to know what charities you could give to; a few even offered to open up your homes.

    "I would gladly put some people like this up for the night, or at least give them a hot meal and let them use my bathroom for a shave," said NapoleonKaramazov."

    not sure about your semantics though!

  177. jen - all at work were v depressed today after the france game (only cheered by germany losing) but all kept saying to me, 'why are you worried about tonight? algeria are dreadful! of course you're going to win...'

    tried to explain that this is just not how it works with england...

    the pigeon roosting on the algerian goal clearly picked a safe spot...

  178. Jen getting the Italian analysis on the match: capello great england team shit...not biased at all really......;)

  179. expect he'll change ends at half time...

  180. Philipp they really should have brought Adam Johnson.

  181. gandolfo - ha! cheek...

    french commentators mainly obsessed with rooney, and struggling to pronounce 'carragher' without sounding like they're getting up a hairball.

  182. http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2010/jun/17/readers-room-what-you-thought

    Here it is, sorry I do not know how to link it in.

    Yes, I said that.

  183. Jenn

    Is the footie over? How did we do?

  184. Aha, so they have been hiding Tanya Gold in the G2/lifestyle section, I wonder why.

  185. jen - YES!!!

    I mean, like tigger (Sean W-P) as much as the next city fan, but Johnson's just better... the patience to pick the right ball in, not just any ball near, the box...

    mind, when Euro 2012 rolls round, we can all go and stay with his grace for the games in the netherlands and, ooh, for the ones in belgium, who do we know there...?

  186. sheff - no chance, another 45 minutes of pigeon-unbothering play still to come...

    more wine. that's what i need...

  187. LaRit, deano can say what he likes here (everyone can), and with that freedom comes the possibility that everyone else can say what they think about your comments. That's what we do here. If one is not robust enough to accept criticism, then don't bother posting an opinion. I don't think anyone should be protected here on grounds of being old-fashioned (eg. deano) or being young (eg, nap) or just being beige, banal and nice. You put your opinion out there, and people will agree or disagree and we take it from there. That's the whole point, otherwise why bother?

    jenn, I think you misunderstood my reference to you not mattering. Please read it again. (Of course you matter.)

    PS. LaRit, since you bring it up, I didn't 'piss off never to return' on the Ray Parlour thing, I just went to bed. And it was not a discussion, I just posted some facts which anyone could google if they could be bothered.

  188. Sheff it is never going to be over. ;)

    We are doing crap.

  189. Anyway, enough procrastination- I have algebra to do :-(

  190. soooo..... do i open my biscuits now or save them for when things get really bad?


    [rustle rustle]

  191. When I was working in Embra pubs, over the last two or three years women would come to the bar and occasionally say, "A G&T n a pint o cider, Doll". I thought this was quite charming. I am a big lad wi a beard FYI.

  192. Another thing Scherfig:

    Like it or not and despite the fact that this site is run by Montana, men frequently dominate. I find that (some) men on here feel at liberty to have a slanging match with total disregard to the discomfiture of others (women and men included)- I have no truck with Peter Bracken and despite my fury at him on numerous occaisions on CiF, I cannot cope with highly personalised attacks on here (the other day being an example)

    Argumentative and opinionated git though I am (for a girl) I sometimes find myself wondering if I have any sense at all and am frequently bemused or fearful of posting/saying anything.

    I am sometimes not strong enough to reinforce my beliefs, my sex, my way of being, but maybe that's a childish and basic need to be liked. Surely, that is what it is to be human?

    We all learn to tread a very intricate paths and sometimes, yes, we choose to ignore or tune out because we are scared of being rejected by even an anonymous 'cyber' group of people.

    It's madness really, but in a way - it's an existential theatre, where, like it or not, we take the same roles as we do in real life, or perhaps we take lesser roles for fear of invoking the vitriol we see doled out at regular intervals.

    I've not done an opera blindfold, but after blogging for so long, I'm willing to give it a try (without a safety net!)

  193. I did read it again Scherf but don't use me as an example again.

    I am a person not an example for you to use.

  194. Oh, is it that bad jenn...? Another defeat ripped from the jaws of victory I expect. Have they let that Green chap back into goal? He does need to redeem himself, poor boy.