19 June 2010


Lightning, South Africa
Mitchell Krog

For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
-Nelson Mandela 


  1. Not planning on doing too many "theme" days, but thought I'd do a South Africa thing today.

  2. Why not? Nothing sums up Guardianistas like an aphorism from plaster saints.

  3. Hi All

    Uninspired performance from England, but the ref in US-Slovenia game has kept them in it. We'll see how Capello handles this dodgy situation. US or England going home early it seems.

    Baseball in Boston is going very well, won 4 in a row for me. Lovely crabcakes for lunch today. Splendid array of seafood in this city.
    Glad I'm not driving here, it's a nightmare. Taxis, buses and subway very efficient modes of transport here. Lots to see.

    Bye for now.

  4. All these years on, and South Africa is still a basket case, but not quite as bad as it used to be, good old Nelson is still a poster boy for the liberal centrists.

    Given the hundreds of millions spunked on new stadia for the World Cup, while the poor walk by, would anyone care to explain exactly how South Africa has become more equal and more free.

    Data-free platitudes about liberty and drive-in burgers don't count.

  5. Loved this post by hermionegingold/swiftyboy on polly's blog last night about those who might suffer in the forthcoming "kill the poor" budget:

    "hopefully people like you polly. those on an above average wage. what with unearned riches thanks to the housing boom it really must be payback time."

    If only I'd known that I'd wipe out the rentier class by voting for Nice Nick. Nice Nick will of course be making good on Swifty's promises by pushing through the CGT rate of 40% on second homes, regardless of what the Mail says.

    Nick's got values and principles. Just like hermione and the rest of the Cif choir.

  6. Not engaging with your public then, montana? Heh, never mind. Just toss off the occasional Mandela quote and we'll all be convinced that you understand the difference between neo-liberalism and social democracy.

  7. Morning Hank

    Is the footie getting you down, you seem grumpy this morning? I gather it's all proving to be a bit of a shambles.. Perhaps the players should get a pay cut until their productivity improves.

    I'm spending the day with a lot of old miners and their mates in a beautiful place out in the sticks so am hoping for a good time. Laters.

  8. OK..sticking to the World Cup theme..here's a coupla little quotes from a noted Algerian goalkeeper

    "Integrity has no need of rules."

    "Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear."

    I think there's something to the ball scandal. I know there are complaints every time about the new ball but I've never seen a ball bounce off Rooney like that one did last night. It's the really skilful players who are affected disproportionately by a shit ball or pitch. They are often operating within a smaller margin of error than other players..a slightly erratic ball can always be controlled and trapped but if your game is all first touch, artful flicks and the like, you're gonna suffer.

    Kaka, Robhino, Messi haven't looked too clever just yet either

    I haven't been that impressed with anyone yet..except the Mexican Salcido

  9. @mf

    I'm glad someone else noticed Salcido. Apart from him, Oezil has been the only one able to spot a decent pass.

  10. Peter/monkeyfish,

    Holland's turn again today to try and turn on the style. Elia turned the game against Denmark so I wonder if he'll be on from the start.

    I think Robben is going to be rested until at least the second round.

    Another factor to take into consideration regarding the generally poor standard of play is that the players are knackered post domestic season. As well as the domestic, most of the players will have played Champions League/COpa America etc.

    As for the ball, Adidas should get rid of the jubbblywubbly and replace it with this legend. Now that's a football.

  11. Hank, to be contrarian. Many places in Britain have streets, squares etc named after Nelson Mandela. Glasgow has one.

    Now these are often located in areas where left wing councils were in power. Mandela was a former communist after all.

  12. "It`s not surprising that England couldn`t defeat Algeria. The Algerians had a cunning strategy: they passed the ball to someone in a green shirt. England`s tactic of doing the same was less successful"

  13. Just to forget about poor old England's problems for a moment, why not spare a thought for poor old USA? They came back from 2 goals down against Slovenia and had a perfectly good winning goal ruled out at the end. What price Slovenia and USA to qualify?

  14. And on a lighter football note, a PizzaHut in Dublin has just given away 700 free pizzas after promising 350 per goal scored against cheating bastards France who shouldn't been at the World Cup anyway.

  15. scherf - according to the podcast, a swiss supermarket promised huge discounts for a day if switzerland beat spain, and it has ended up costing them over 4 million quid...

  16. Nelson Mandela - peace be upon him - made some pretty poor compromises during the handover of administrative power in SA. Somehow the white kept all the assets in return for 'enhanced civil rights' ie. the chance to vote for whichever person they wanted to administer the sod all that was left (rather like the last General Election here in fact, without all the empowerment).

  17. Napoleon,

    the apartheid era South African consulate was in St George's place, Glasgow. The Council renamed St George's Place 'Nelson Mandela Place' in 1986 to wind the South Africans up.

    It meant that all official mail/documentation and published address of the South African Consulate in Scotland was 'South Afrcian Consulate, Nelson Mandela Place, Glasgow'.

    As sixth form politics as it was, it was still a clever wind up, you must admit.

  18. speedkermit

    Hello there. Haven't noticed you here before. How's the World Cup progressing chez Kermit?

    Are you watching or just scanning the crowd for potential sex traffickers and vuvuzelists who haven't been CRB checked? I suppose Mai Ling's following North Korea..or is there only one glorious leader permitted in her life?

  19. your grace - i like that, it's sneaky..

  20. Morning all,

    Firstly to Scherfig, I really don't want to fall out with someone I respect and admire so I hope we can improve relations? You just touched a few raw nerves yesterday and I thought the post from PrincessCC summed it up beautifully. You see, women in general suffer the same crippling insecurities and sometimes it's hard to hold your own, 'specially when the blokes are doing their blokey-tings ;)

    I would be very interested in an article on the ingrained anti-Irish racism. The Jews think they were the only ones depicted and cruelly charicatured as troglodytes and neanderthals but it was us too, some of the 19thC cartoons I've seen defy

    I'm 3rd generation with an Irish (catholic) name although we were brought up as atheists as my Dad loathed the Catholic church. At secondary school in the early 80's, we were frequently referred to as less than human/murderers/scum/had no right to be there and I have often suspected that in the rarified world of classical music, I have been discrimminated against by those in the Establishment simply on the basis of my name. There has been, as far as I can gather, no other reason except underlying racism, to be denied some opportunites or financial assistance.

    I was and still am in a tetchy mood PMT amongst other things and got royally pissed last night. England were utter shite (no surprises there then and I don't support them anyway)those men are being paid £100,000 a week to play like a bunch of Sunday afternoon amateurs. What a fucking joke and an insult when deprived kids in this country are having free swimming lessons denied to them.

    This country makes me want to puke.

    (PS hello Hank)

  21. whoops....missed off the end of my sentence about the cartoons - they defy belief. I was extremely upset the first time I came across them.

  22. Duke:

    That's hilarious about Nelson Mandela place....

  23. MonkeyFish;

    They're blaming the ball??? ;0)

  24. monkeyfish

    Mai Ling spent most of the evening mocking the England Team's decadence, unsurprisingly. She isn't a great fan of His Dearness ("he doesn't go far enough"), but she did rather agree with Jong Tae-se's observations on Western ways (as reported by Marina Hyde):

    "Writing on his blog earlier this year, Jong described a stopover on a team trip from Switzerland to Austria, during which his team‑mates were stunned to discover you had to pay to use the gents in a station. "They turned to me," recalled Jong, "and said, 'This is truly what capitalist society is like.'" It's a reasonable point."

  25. Philippa:

    Can't see Tesco's doing anything as generous as that here....everyone's fuming because Boris fucked off to South africa and refused to instal public screens in London so everyone could watch the footie. What a tight arse.

  26. Oh, is that why it is then Duke. Yeah, I admit that is quite funny.

    However, I also believe I heard somewhere that in Britain it is generally not allowed to name a street after someone while they are still alive, in case that person goes on to make an embarrassing statement, or espouse racist viewpoints or something.

    For example, there was a story a few years ago about some town that wanted to name one of their streets after a second world war veteran who was still alive. They couldn't though, as it was only the done thing to name them after they had died.

  27. La Rit

    Sainsbury are offering 2 for 1 on runner beans and cauliflower the the event of 6-2 win against Slovenia.

  28. The roads round me are named after some interesting characters - Luther, Milton, Pankhurst, Cobden, Bentham, Carlyle, Arnold, Hampden... Must look up who the builders were.

  29. She's got a point; they were looking terminally decadent last night: flabby, inefficient, uncompetitive, self-serving and protectionist...I think they're about to collapse under the weight of their internal contradictions.

    We need a team of socialists as you say...or rather, as a trained syndicalist socio-anthropologist might forensically construct the implicit corollary of your post...a team that hasn't got a pot to piss in but can do so where ever it wants.

    Like I say above, though, I think there's something up with the ball. I know "the ball's too round" might come across as scraping the barrel which you used to store all the barrel scrapings from all the other barrels that were scraped..but you never know...

  30. hi Speedkermit,

    Are they throwing in a tin of discount brand baked beans if Wayne Rooney actually manages to score one of the goals?

  31. And, looking further at the map, Washington, Lincoln, Grant and Jackson. A bit of post US Civil War solidarity there.

  32. No worries, LaRit. We never really fall out here, we just slag each other off (or some of us do). A robust exchange of viewpoints, so to speak :0)
    I'll see if I can put something together for UT2, but it amazes me that there is so little self-awareness among many (white) English people, and the age-old bigotry really comes to the surface when something like Bloody Sunday raises its inconvenient head. Anyway.

    btw, chekhov - 'You are obviously of the opinion that all English people are shits.' Well, no. I don't feel like that at all, why should I, and where have I ever given that impression? (I'm a very specific and equal opportunities hater. No blunderbuss bigotry for me!) Anyway, some of my best friends are English...etc. Chill out chekhov, and don't make a fool of yourself by drawing ridiculous conclusions from reasonable comment, no matter how distasteful it is to for you to hear some home truths.

  33. Mf:

    Thank you for raising a smile on my face this morning. The barrel scrapings....hehehe... berry fuddy.... but I do agree a dodgy ball can be a handicap, but they really should try playing football African style, crappy old balls, hard dust and no boots... they need toughening up.


    Thanks ;0) No hard feelings. I'll look forward to the article.

  34. Ooooh! Here's a cracker...kinda poll thing: this should expose some fundamental fissures around here.


    Press A or B on your remote control

    A) Well-intentioned, sensitive and thoughtful young guy

    B) Vacuous, posturing media luvvie who's happy to appropriate working class culture when it enhances his faux-laddish image but when push comes to shove reverts to self-righteous metropolitan liberal clone(and wouldn't know irony if it bit his fuckin moob)

    I say....erm....B

  35. @mf

    Who's the vote on, Corden or Hume?

  36. Monkeyfish:

    Corden's a tosser. Believes his own PR.

    Shame all that cocaine he snorts hasn't had an impact on his waistline.

  37. @HankScorpio

    If you want a thoroughly depressing take on the new South Africa, I recommend Pilger's Freedom Next Time. A brilliant read that leaves you feeling utterly dejected.

    * * *

    For Capello...

    You're McClaren
    You're McClaren
    You're McClaren in disguise
    You're McClaren in disguise

    Ten bloody individuals running round the pitch in white shirts with no other perceptible connection between them.

    Heskey back again pointlessly. Has Joe Cole been abducted by saucer aliens? What is a Lampard for? And if you're going to prevent Rooney from doing what he excels at, why not give him a more useful job, like cutting up oranges for half-time?

    Loads of Algerians where I live. They were out in their cars after the match, honking away to celebrate their point.

  38. @Phil

    A cultural pointer: Mademoiselle and Madame have bugger all to do with whether you're married, they're purely based on perceived age.

    My third wife used to get called Mademoiselle everywhere. But I did draw the line when we went to a restaurant and the waiter asked me where my daughter wanted to sit. Bastard!

  39. The thing with offense and racism is you can try to ignore or rise above it, but people have different experience and what is a bit of fun for one person is hurtful to another. Indians were tied to the front of cannons, a horrific form of execution, during the 19th C. As good a reason to hate the English as any. My family suffer racist abuse to this day, but it is not as visceral and ubiquitous as it was in the 70s.

    Living in Scotland for 20+ years I've only been called an English bastard nastily twice, in jest it's said once or twice a month... I've never had racist abuse for my Indian heritage here. But wonder if my "funny name" has perhaps scuppered job prospects?


    Outside Edinburgh there's a strip of tarmac called Costkea Way. It's between Costco & Ikea.

  40. In Brittany many years ago, they had to change the name of the street where they built public offices of the Sous-Prefecture - sort of county council offices.

    It was called Impasse Cascouil, which, when you pronounce it, means Pain in the Arse Dead End. :-)

  41. "Outside Edinburgh there's a strip of tarmac called Costkea Way. It's between Costco & Ikea."

    The South Yorks Police Ops Complex is on Letsby Avenue

  42. @speedkermit

    Wow! Thought it might be a joke, so I googled it. Brilliant!

  43. I've got an article up on CiF in anyone fancies giving it a good-natured lambasting...


  44. La Rit- I too am suffering the monthly madness (and it does send me proper bonkers, crying at drop of a hat, patience of a gnat and i break everything I touch) and have to go to a barbie in a moment. Don't feel up to it as don't know a lot of the people going, but its a good mate and she's had a bad, bad year so needs must.

    But just want to say a big thank you to the boys and girls of the UT for providing me with something to talk about. I am referring to your analysis of the football - a game I have never been able to remotely grasp even though I do sometimes watch it. But now this afternoon I can say things like 'the ball looked strange' and not appear such an ignoramous. So cheers.

    Hope all and sundry have a good day.

    Sheff be very interested in a report of the days events in Barnsley. Hope its as interesting as it looks.

  45. @speedkermit

    I've commented. my frustration is the outcome of the report leading to a reduction without considering what other measures the government can apply to help reduce people's preference to driving after having drunk more than is sensible for driving.

    Then again, to invest more money in public transport means spending, so it's easier to ban and raise money from fining people than it is to invest in services that will support people to not "need" to drinka nd drive.

    I also think that those who regularly drink way too much and drive won't be affected. They'll still continue. Whereas the people you refer to with varying reactions to alcohol may well get caught out.

  46. Speedy:

    Ill check out your thread later for some light-hearted ribbing.

    Congrats for the ATL status. :)


    "my 3rd wife"????

    Are you Zsa-Zsa Gabor in disguise? ;)


    Have a lovely bbq - and yes, the monthly madness... with all those lovely things that go with it. I often have accidents and have been very tearful, to cap it all, alcohol becomes doubly potent and yet, still I drink - insanity.

  47. @La Rit

    The worst thing is that I've never ever wanted to get married.

    First time was just to give a mate British nationality, so that was OK (in those days it was automatic, you didn't have to live together).

    Second time, I was with a Muslim and we couldn't live together openly unless we were married, because of her family.

    Third wife was non-EU and couldn't come and live in France unless I married her.

    Still, the lawyers have made a good thing out of my three divorces.

    Re the footie, I just called my Scottish mate in Spain to allow him to take the piss. That was a long call. He's a very happy man today.

  48. Good article, speedkermit. I would actually support a zero alcohol limit for driving, even though you made some valid points against this BTL. But why should it someone not be penalised if s/he has ten pints or two bottles of wine up to 11pm, and then drives to work at 7am (over the limit). S/he's a danger to the public, and why should s/he not be prosecuted? Why do you think that this would be 'unfair' or unacceptable to the general public?

    btw, one comment amused me (plj20) - Do we want Britain to be an Islamic state where all alcohol is banned? , so I looked up the guy's profile and he's a management consultant and a member of UKIP.

  49. Good old CiF!

    I was just preparing to post on speedkermit's thread and all the bloody comments have disappeared. Wonder if they'll be back.

  50. @Spike - Hit refresh.

    CiF has cooties today. it's broken on and off with repeated line 500 errors.

  51. What's a 500 servlet exception?

  52. Thanks, Numbed. I was already doing that and managed to get the comments back after six refreshes!

  53. Good article SpeedKermit, can't say much for most of the comments.

    Why do people shout Puritan at anyone who talks about this subject?

    It isn't about stopping people drinking it is about stopping them driving when they have been drinking.

    Are that many people really so selfish as to put their desire for a couple of pints above road safety?

  54. it's now died completely. oh dear.

    i know CiF wanted to stop trolling, but i didn't realise they meant to close down the site.

  55. @Jennifer,

    I don't think it's as simple as that.

    round my way, the chances of meeting another car, bike user, walker on the roads late at night are very tiny.

    if someone goes to the pub has a pint or possibly two, they will drive home because the price of a taxi is very expensive and the availability is really poor as well.

    you can't get to the pubs without driving either, unless you want to walk 3 miles.

    In the summer, no one is bothered about that, but come the winter, no one wants to walk home in the dark on the lanes.

    my argument is increase public transport, regulate taxi prices and encourage local community lifestyles, and then if people really feel the need to drink and drive they have no excuse and should be penalised.

    Yes, people are responsible for their individual decisions and should feel responsibility towards others as well, but the government policy of banning, fining and legislating against activities without giving positive encouragements to do otherwise is part of the cause of irresponsible and anti social behaviours.

    I think you can see it in most aspects of social/public behaviour. Another alcohol related example would be addressing why young people hang around in parks drinking all night.

    They do it, because there is a lack of positive social activities to engage with, and out of boredom.

    the government response - ban drinking in parks for everyone.

    it should have been to build more youth centres, skateparks, provide public transport so YPs can go into the towns and use their services etc.

    But, they won't do that... because it costs money.

    You can make money from fines, but you have to spend money in the first instance to get real rewards and change in social behaviours.

  56. Afternoon all

    @speedkermit-interesting article on CIF.Was wondering who are the worst offenders in your experience.Contrary to popular mythology it used to be the older generation rather than the 'boy racers'.Dunno whether that,s changed and also whether significantly more women are being found to be driving under the influence.

    @sheff-have a good day with the miners.Would be great if clean coal technology could make it economically viable to re-open some of the mines.

    @LaRit-hope you,re feeling better today.Didn,t seem to be yourself yesterday.As someone guilty of being hot-headed at times i hope i have never inhibited you from posting when you,ve wanted too.

    @Boudican-good to hear from you.Don,t see too many posts from you these days.Hope all,s well.

    @Ditto Hank.

  57. Numbed I know there are a lot of factors involved I was more having a go at the attitude that even talking about lowering the limits means you are some kind of po faced puritan who just wants everyone to stop having fun.

    I suppose I am lucky living in a big town with fairly decent public transport and pubs all over the place and should take rural lifestyles into account.

    At the moment I wish I was somewhere that was miles from the nearest pub or offy, I am drinking far too much lately, I can empathise with those kids drinking to kill the boredom. ;)

  58. "At the moment I wish I was somewhere that was miles from the nearest pub or offy, I am drinking far too much lately, I can empathise with those kids drinking to kill the boredom. ;)"

    I'd be really interested to know what the stats are for the increase in home drinking versus pub drinking since the recession and smoking ban.

    I think you're right, with depleted resources and negative social climate I wonder how much people's drinking habits have become more frequent or higher consumption.

    It's not as easy to regulate drinking at home - a bottle of wine costs far less than the five glasses or bottle that you'd buy in a pub.

    and apart from the cost, I don't think people notice as much how much they drink when consuming at home, versus when you go to a pub and the measures are clear and each drink costs money.

  59. Morning/Afternoon all.

    Am on my way out, but just wanted to say:

    Interesting article about drinking and driving.
    It's one of the things I get quite pissed off about, and here it's quite common for people to get quite wasted and drive home.

    As far as I'm concerned, it's dangerous and selfish beyond belief.
    But then, I don't drive, and very rarely drink, so perhaps it's easy for me to say that.

    Also, boudican,

    Hope you're enjoying Fenway. Given that my only consolation for not being there was getting to watch the football, I'm that bit more jealous now!!

    Right, have a good afternoon folks....

  60. COME ON GHANA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  61. I'll second that, La Rit.

    Apparently the Australians were labouring under the misapprehension that handball starts below the elbow.

  62. Afternoon all

    re drinking and driving I was under the impression that the problems are the habitual drinker and driver the ones that really don't give a toss about limits and never will and young people. I guess these would be the ones that actually wouldn't take advantage of more public transport because of social image and peer pressure etc.
    Certainly there is more of a culture of not drinking and driving in the UK than in Italy, here no-one questions whether you've been drinking and then go to drive. Jesus they only introduced a points system about 3 years ago and then if you like you can pay to get rid of them....

  63. Hey Spike!

    I was only messin' abaaht ;)

    But interesting about not wanting to get married. I've been with my fella for nearly 14 years and the only reason we are finally tying the knot (on a very low budget) is to protect each other in the event of hardship or ill health.

    This was purely because when he became very ill 4 years ago, wrt his care and well being I was tricked by some members of his family who abused the meaningless 'next of kin' argument to remove him from the local NHS hospital and stick him in a private hospital miles away, without my knowledge or consent - not before cutting off all communication with me. I had no idea where he was for over 24 hours and as we didn't have a joint bank account,no access to his sick pay to help pay the rent or bills - I could have been evicted from our home. It was a such a terrifying and distressing experience, I never want to be left that vulnerable ever again.


    Thanks for your kind words - no, I don't think you have ever given me cause to feel inhibited here! (and I really wasn't feeling myself yesterday) lots of stuff swilling about in my brain that wasn't conducive to clear thoughts ;(

  64. Spike;

    I just caught it about half way through - I'd really like to see them win and beat the Aussies....

    Some of the commentating is really sneering at the Ghanaians though which is pissing me off a bit.

  65. Jen:

    "At the moment I wish I was somewhere that was miles from the nearest pub or offy, I am drinking far too much lately, I can empathise with those kids drinking to kill the boredom. ;)"

    I know, I need to find somewhere like that as well... desert island perhaps???? ;)

  66. Nah, I live in a village 7 miles from town, the cider here is £4.15 = 2L, over twice the price if you buy in town. So you lay in supplies, or you pay the premium price. My local pub has changed from Strongbow = : ) to Bulmers = : ( {&£3 a pint!}

    But still, if I miss the shop, chances are I'll end up in the pub... Have to knock it on the head, I can manage that. Just seem incapable of moderation...

    Anyone else noticed the tumble weed on waddya? Summer, world cup, or darker reasons?

  67. Whaddya's open? I thought they'd closed it again for the weekend.

  68. OK, it was just Jessica opening a new thread.

  69. "Anyone else noticed the tumble weed on waddya? Summer, world cup, or darker reasons?"

    Turminder..... is there an mysterious unknown prescence lurking????

  70. Afternoon all.

    Spike: in the village I used to live in there is a Rue du Coin Foireu - meaning literally the road of the shitty corner (has the same root as enfoire). They have to keep replacing the road sign because people keep nicking it.

    Good joke from one of my mates:

    "The England team went to visit an orphanage is South Africa this morning.
    "Its good to put a smile on the faces of people with no hope, constantly struggling and facing the impossible"

    ... said one of the orphans."

    Gonna nip over to speedkermit's thread and see what's doing.

  71. Turminder

    can you thank you friend for the OU piece. When I suggested it I asked for "peoples panel" - I think that might have had more relevance.
    I can't actually post on the thread- but there have been enough positive responses to encourage me to do a short course , for interest rather than career enhancement.


    I would be interested in something on the history of Anti - Irish.
    As a child I had elderly relative who had known survivoprs of the 1840s famines - he could name those who died- or emigrated - from the family.

    These things resonate across the generations. Some realises that racism and a disregard for others must not be allowed to take hold of their own minds whilst others have a need to continue the fight. Difficult one to discuss without raising passions.

    Ireland - England's first colony.

  72. Will do Leni, : ) I thought this would be the perfect subject for a panel, and it would have been good to hear from some of the disaffected BTLrs ATL. Still, good that Jules got the gig. What course you thinking of?

  73. Aw poor Plucky, it's guts are hanging out like a pavement diver from a block of flats...

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    at com.caucho.server.port.TcpConnection.run(TcpConnection.java:389)
    at com.caucho.util.ThreadPool.runTasks(ThreadPool.java:507)
    at com.caucho.util.ThreadPool.run(ThreadPool.java:433)
    at java.lang.Thread.run(Thread.java:619)
    Resin Professional 3.0.19 (built Mon, 15 May 2006 05:00:32 PDT)

  74. On amusing name places, I did read once that Otis, the American lift manufacturer's UK HQ is in Reading.

  75. Evening all

    Just back from a great day - lots of old mates and plenty of reflection. Also, considering how bloody old most of us are now, a surprising amount of energy and will to fight what we're facing at the moment.

    Wanted to post a short piece on UT2 but seem to have lost access to the dashboard so can't. Have posted up a photo of Tyrone O'Sullivan, working class hero and all round good bloke who was instrumental in the Tower Colliery workers buyout, in the gallery with short description.

  76. Calling scherfig

    I need your expert world cup opinion on this.

    Nicholas Anelka to Raymond Domenech's:

    "Go fuck yourself you son of a whore.",

    succinct, to the point, probably done with a Gallic shrug.

    Or Roy Keane to Mick McCarthy in 2002:

    "Who the fuck do you think you are, having meetings about me? Mick, you're a liar...you're a fucking wanker. I didn't rate you as a player, I don't rate you as a manager, and I don't rate you as a person. You're a fucking wanker and you can stick your World Cup up your arse. The only reason I have any dealings with you is that somehow you are the manager of my country! You can stick it up your bollocks"

    Industrial, to the point and using his backstreet Cork vocablulary to full effect.

    Which one do you rate higher?

  77. Duke, reminds me of Schindler's Lift (yes, I know they make escalators...)

    La Rit, that's a bloody frightening story about your bloke's illness. Are they invited to the wedding?

    Numbed, totally sympathise about the lack of public transport thing. I suppose I'm spoilt being able to get a bus from my regular drinking holes and get off 100m from my house. Would it be worth the while of small rural pubs to run their regulars home in a minibus for a small fee I wonder - don't know how that would work in practice...

  78. What exactly are the logistics of sticking something up one's bollocks?

  79. Cameroon one up

  80. Would it be worth the while of small rural pubs to run their regulars home in a minibus for a small fee I wonder - don't know how that would work in practice...

    It wouldn't, we're still loosing 5 pubs a week...

  81. speedkermit hi

    I know that years ago King and Barnes in Sussex tried the minibus thing...I believe it failed dismally maybe too many rural pubs and too expensive to run...

  82. speedkermit

    Good article.

    Are you a Henderson's Relish fan? I love the way the old factory is still there, surrounded by all those gleaming new university buildings. I was in Jessops hospital a couple of times and used to appreciate the aroma.

  83. MsC

    I've got a pic of the Henderson's building - I'll post it up in the gallery - just for you.

  84. sheff

    Glad you had a good day, mine was much less inspiring.

  85. You would have enjoyed it chin. The beast was on good form and there were lots of stories from all over the coal fields.

  86. Sheff

    it would be great if you could right something up on your day and what was said...I for one would be v.interested. Glad you enjoyed it...

  87. gandolpho

    I seem to have lost admin rights on UT2 - so i can't post things up now. I think it may have happened after Montana changed the template.

    Basically it was a bunch of old dinosaurs - ie ex miners, TU people, a couple of lefty MPs and a bunch of us from various women against pit closures groups.

    Lots of reminiscing, lessons learnt, how can we use what we learnt for what we need to do now etc - and a very decent lunch in a beautiful old building with stupendous views over rolling countryside. altogether a good way to spend a day.

  88. Evening all,

    The Tan Hill Inn's got a snowmobile to ferry people home if it's been snowing, which, in pub transportation 'top trumps', beats the shit out of a minibus!!

    Anyway, as you were....

  89. Well I hope you can post something sheff...would be interested in what were the thoughts about what to do now....certainly Forgemasters is the tip of the iceberg re industry....

    Here FIAT are basically blackmailing workers, in their Naples assembly plant, getting them to basically vote against the constitution to save their jobs....increased hours, less meal break, less sick pay and limiting strike action either vote for that or they close the factory and they lose their jobs. FIAT is one of the most important industries in Italy.

  90. Gandolpho,

    (If you need it, I know the address of one of the Fiat bigwigs Milan apartment).

  91. james hi

    keep it quiet....may come in useful for the comrades down south ;)

  92. Speaking of Forgemasters, can I shoot that odious steve hill, on McMillan's thread?

  93. MsChin

    be my guest.....need some spare ammo....?

  94. Will do

    *taps nose

    (I also appear to have given you a code name. Apologies for that. Still, the 'ph' in the place of an 'f' will keep the bastards off your scent for a while...)

  95. gandolfo

    Needs to be heavy duty firearm, to have any impact on that vastly inflated ego of his.

  96. james

    double winks and does dodgy handshake in true italian style.......

    (Still, the 'ph' in the place of an 'f' will keep the bastards off your scent for a while..)

    plus the fact that my avatar is nothing like me that'll keep 'em guessing!

  97. MsChin,

    I know what you mean. On one post he says:

    What is simply unacceptable, in 2010, is to continue to throw public money at a private sector business which, seemingly, cannot survive without it.

    And then goes on to say on the same thread:

    P.S. I also remember in fairly recent times a lot of the left saying we should not put in a penny more of taxpayers' money and let the bastards all go to the wall.

    Only in that case we were talking about Britain's largest and most successful industry: financial services.

    erm, the successful industry that has cost the UK taxpayer £850 billion.

  98. MsChin

    I'm sure James can put you in touch with some of his "Milan friends" ;0)

  99. Oi,

    what are you implying?

    I don't know anybody dodgy, just a couple of Italian businessmen!!

    Oh, hang on a minute...


  100. gandolfo & James

    Cheers, but I have (extended) family in Milano ...


    Drives me mad, he does. princessc has taken him to task before over his inconsistencies.

    I think I might have to quote you again!

  101. no wonder you're in brazil james........;0)

  102. Haha

    (Yup, I'm all about the non-extradition whatsit.
    Bloody godsend I tells ya!!)

  103. James

    mind your back....and sleep with the light on...


    "I have (extended) family in Milano"
    ...not you as well.....!!

  104. Sheff - glad you had a good day. Look forward to your post when you get UT2 sorted, meanwhile you can always email it to Montana

    Just back from me granddaughters 21st so I had great family day.

  105. MsChin:

    "Are you a Henderson's Relish fan? I love the way the old factory is still there, surrounded by all those gleaming new university buildings. I was in Jessops hospital a couple of times and used to appreciate the aroma."

    Alas no. I like my condiments altogether more viscous, but I do like the way you can get them in team colours. Certain shops will only stock one or the other, and damn the business.

    Know what you mean about the building though, sitting there like the scruffy relative at a posh wedding do. I'm a big fan of the Information Commons and the new Jessops building, and that one round the corner with all the studs in it (actually that makes it sound like a gay sauna doesn't it...?)

  106. Here's the one I mean, for the avoidance of confusion...


  107. speedkermit

    A studded sauna, eh - casts it all in a new light. Also, it's difficult to appreciate the new buildings as I'm usually driving past & that bloody roundabout is a right nightmare.

  108. Just picked this up from one of the football blogs:

    The English team visited a township orphanage today.
    'It is great to put a smile on the faces of people under huge pressure with little hope' said Joseph Mbolo, aged 6.

  109. It's a sign of getting old when the ATL posters start looking younger.

    Spike - thanks for that. Interesting stuff. If you want to distinguish between left-wing guardianistas and the liberal ones, Mandela's always a useful reference point.

  110. But he has got a lovely smile...

  111. This comment has been removed by the author.

  112. For sure mandela did nothing to change economic apartheid in South Africa and by re-enforcing neo-liberal economics changed relatively nothing for the majority of black south africans and maintained their low economic status. This compromise was justified by the ANC for having stopped an actual bloodbath but bloodbaths have many forms and exclusion of the majority of black south africans from fair distribution of wealth and entitlements to health care, jobs and education is more than apparent....

    indeed mandela is the darling of the liberals and convinience lefties who use him as their "success story", jesus it doesn't take much to see that he made one of the biggest sell outs in history.

  113. He's smiling because he isn't public sector

  114. Update for those who have been keeping an eye on these things - - HenryTheThird is no longer on life support. He's dead. Not sure how he went from pre-mod to being banned without posting in between the two states, but no doubt there's some lurkers here who'll have an idea.

    Shame really, I'd put together a response to Ed Holmes's craven neo-liberal shite about the gilded lives of public sector workers.

    What Ed knows and needs to be told is that public sector pay has always lagged behind the pay of guys in the private sector doing comparable jobs until recent years. And that the only reason public sector pay has caught up or overtaken private sector pay is that we still have unions to defend our rights and interests.

    And that the poor fuckers in the private sector aren't losing out to us. They're losing out to their bosses. Profits, dividends and executive pay have risen exponentially since Thatcher's "reform" of unions and employment law.

    Ed Holmes is a corporate fucking lackey pushing the same tired old lie about freedom and enterprise, ignoring the fact that we are, once again, fucked, thanks to the idiocy of the Masters of the Universe.

    Like other PR men in the pay of the corporations, Ed's job is to spin a lie, to deflect our attention from the man behind the curtain, and he's doing so by driving a wedge between public and private sector workers.

    Divide and rule. Same old shit.

    And Clegg's shafted Sheffield.

    There must be a lot of sheepish LibDems in King's Cross and Cif Central at the moment.

  115. @gandolfo - thanks. Heartening to know I'm not the only one.

  116. "Would it be worth the while of small rural pubs to run their regulars home in a minibus for a small fee I wonder - don't know how that would work in practice... "

    do you know, as i've been researching and writing about this today, I was wondering whether, (in the event that the tories totally screw my job) whether to offer this myself.

    some sums would need to be done, but i bet there's a great business model there. minibus service that does round robins from the towns to the villages.

  117. @mschin - yeh, steve hill is odious. He's taken early retirement after making lots of money as an insolvency specialist. I've had professional dealings with a guy in his field recently and now understand that their role is basically asset stripping, blackmailing workers to accept reduced pay and conditions in return for keeping their jobs and taking a big fat fee for themselves.

    Insolvency specialists are scum. Selfish mean-spirited amoral fuckers who believe in the power of the market even more than City brokers.

    Steve Hill has a "C" on Cif. Haven't read the article(s) he wrote, but the fact he has done so says a lot about the Guardian and about liberalism.

    It's a broad church which can accommodate free market guys who believe in individual freedom and a small state to the detriment of those who need the support of the state and society.

    Coming full circle on the debate here today, mandela and steve hill would probably have lots in common, trading banalities about individual freedom in expensive hotels while the poor starved outside.

  118. "Paul Scriven, the Liberal Democrat leader of Sheffield City Council, told Channel 4 News: "While it's difficult and while it's painful in Sheffield, I think as long as we can see in the long run this will actually work for the benefit of the country and that people can and do move forward and there is a sense of fairness, people over a couple of years will have to judge rather than on the first difficult announcements that have been made.""

    I actually voted for this pillock, which pretty much makes me a pillock by association. The irony is, if he hadn't lost by a margin of 150 votes in Sheffield Central, he would have been able to hide behind Clegg coattails and let him take the fall for it. Instead he stays in local government and has to give poorly worded apologias on behalf of the city, imagining that the threat of imminent job losses will somehow be assuaged by the rallying call that it's 'all for the good of the country'. He clearly wasn't up to the task. Didn't want to grow a pair and risk being de-selected next time round I should imagine.

    And it's naive to suppose that Clegg ever gave a shit about Sheffield, Hank. He was bussed in. The rest of the city is resolutely red. It's a punishment beating. You won't find any steel cutlery in Dore Country Club.

  119. Happy Fathers Day to all the UT Dads.

    Today of all days is one to remember that dads are every bit as important as mums.And that the marginalisation and exclusion of too many British dads from their childrens lives cannot be put down primarily to male fecklessness.Men who are prevented by mothers from playing a full part in their childrens lives are currently powerless to do anything about it.The Childrens Act of 1990 which is supposed to do what,s best for the child is invariably interpreted in such a way that the main priority seems to be the needs of the mother.

    Equality between men and women has got to be seen to cut both ways.The reality however is that male victims of gender discrimination are not taken as seriously as female victims.And these male victims include the growing number of dads who are either marginalised or excluded from their childrens lives.

  120. Hank

    Interesting. Shame we can't really shoot the bastard.

    btw, I've avoided the public sector thread so far. For health reasons - the fight is on IRL.

  121. Numbed:

    "do you know, as i've been researching and writing about this today, I was wondering whether, (in the event that the tories totally screw my job) whether to offer this myself. some sums would need to be done, but i bet there's a great business model there. minibus service that does round robins from the towns to the villages."

    Entrepreneurial spirit. That's what this country needs. You'll need a bank loan though. Get in the queue behind Forgemasters ;)

  122. hank

    hill wrote on one of those great democratic people's panels about being a father....vom i nearly did

  123. "And it's naive to suppose that Clegg ever gave a shit about Sheffield, Hank."

    Huh? I never suggested that Clegg gave a shit about Sheffield. Why would I?

    The only people suffering from naivety, speedkermit, are the fucking twonks like you and the editorial staff at the Guardian who got their pom-poms and ra-ra skirts out for Clegg and the LibDems.

  124. @gandolfo - oh right. What's the odds his kid looks half-Thai?

  125. speedy

    Can't stand Paul Scriven and am chuffed that the council is now 'no overall control' because no-one else will work with them.

    The Lib Dems say they have bright ideas for business investment though. Not a mention of Forgemasters or the other spiteful punishments we're taking.

    Clegg seems to be saying that the retail quarter hasn't been axed though, just being re-considered or some such. I assume that John Lewis are less than amused as this affects their development of a new flagship store, and have therefore exerted some pressure. Their Waitrose store down the road is massively profitable, or so I'm lead to believe - perhaps they threatened Clegg with being barred from the store.

  126. Is there an echo in here? I've already stuck my hand up to that Hank, but the ballot paper was hardly bristling with viable alternatives. I wouldn't go as far as to say I would have voted for just anyone in order to get the New Labour incumbent out, but it was Scriven or nothing. There wasn't a fucking pom-pom in sight and I've certainly never done anything because an editorial told me to.

  127. You genuinely puzzle me, speedkermit.

    What is it you really believe in?

  128. Paul: my daughter came home from Brownies on Thursday with a pair of socks on which she had loveingly painted "Number one Dad" and adorned with all sorts of other decorations. She then informed me that I had to wear these socks in public on Father's Day tomorrow.(so that everyone can have a laugh at my expense)
    Now, I'm all for a bit of a laugh but what sort of fuckwit Brownie leader comes up with such nonsense that doesn't celebrate fatherhood but ridicules it?
    If the Cubs or Scouts tried a similar wheeze the feminists would be spitting blood!

  129. How does what your daughter did ridicule fatherhood, chekhov? Seems like a nice thing to do.

  130. Well hope the fathers here have a happy fathers day and don't have to wear insane socks for longer than need be (ie as long as it takes for kids to get snap of dad wearing said socks posted on their Facebook page & bluetoothed to friends everywhere).

    Night all.

  131. Sorry I confuse you Hank. It must be harrowing for an unreconstructed Leninist to be unable to readily classify someone from their Observer Book of Enemies of the People. I must be a nihilist.

  132. Hank: I wasn't suggesting my daughter was ridiculing fatherhood. I just thought the Brownie leader was and it was a stupid idea.

  133. Child C chose me a pink and white striped Ted Baker polo shirt last Father's Day and then spent the rest of the day telling anyone who'd listen that "Daddy looks like a girl". I had to agree with her. It's dusters now.

  134. It was a genuine question, speedkermit. I actually think you're a provocative poster in the best sense. You make me think, and question things. But I don't know what you really believe because your posts are usually oppositional. You criticise but you never offer constructive opinions.

    You're a copper and you obviously believe that you do a worthwhile job. So you post a lot of interesting stuff justifying the increasing incursion of the state on individual liberties. I've often enjoyed the debates you engaged in with PikeBishop on those issues.

    But, as a copper, you're also inherently supportive of the status quo, right or wrong.

    You're obviously a bright bloke and occasionally betray the fact that you might have both a heart and a conscience, so, as I said, I'm genuinely puzzled, and would really like to know what it is you believe in.

    Maybe you could write a piece for UT2 on the role of the police in a neo-liberal state. Are you all fascist bully boys in the pay of the corporations or do some of you occasionally wonder whether you're entitled to a conscience?

  135. Incidentally, the fathers were asked to participate in a project with the Brownies and we all turned up to do our duty, only to be patronized with "I have no doubt you are shit scared and don't know what to do"
    Well fuck that for a game of soldiers, non of were shit scared at all and we all went on to prove that she was so desperately wide of the mark in her prejudiced assessment of the male species.
    I'm sick of this "men don't know how to relate to children crap".
    We are lucky, our daughter goes to good school and it has a good mix of male/female teachers and we get involved with our daughters education through "family learning" and "PTA".
    Anyway the Brownie thing just pissed me off.
    As I always say...I could be wrong!

  136. @chekhov - you send your girl to the Brownies and "a good school" and you get involved in the PTA.

    And you moan about being patronised.

    You really haven't got the hang of this bourgeois shit, have you?

  137. BTW; my daughter regularly takes the piss out of me and there's nowt wrong with that. We know where we stand with each other but I'm buggered if I'm going to stand for her taking the piss by proxy from some fuckwit Brownie leader with a feminist agenda to serve.

  138. Hank: I'm all too well aware of the bourgeois shit. It's convincing "er indoors" that's the problem!

  139. Fair do's, chekhov.

    @speedkermit - even unreconstructed Leninists deserve a considered response.

  140. Hi Hank

    Can i add to your question to speedkermit?

    neoliberalism - the blight of transnational capitalism leading to unemployment, the withdrawal os state assistance , corruption and the use of local resources to service national debt coupled with the primacy of 'security' has changed the role of the police - particularly the policing and control of strikers and demonstrators - the majority of whom are not criminals or engaging in any illegal actions.

    Do the police see their role as protecting the people within the state or protecting the state from the people?

  141. If you're gonna stick around on here, speedkermit, (and I hope you do), you're gonna have to get used to being challenged, and that those who challenge you won't get bought off with jaffa cakes, nor will they be banned for being confrontational and asking awkward questions which upset the cosy liberal consensus.

  142. Hi Leni - good question. Let's boil it down a little further - who do the police serve?

  143. chekhov

    like the sound of the socks - can you post pics ?

    reminds me of the silly christmas jumpers so many men get - and manage to lose very quickly.

  144. Hello everybody, hope you're all well.

    Do I have to read back on many days, having been away for so long, or should I just take it as read that Hank still shouts at people and hates them?

  145. Hank

    The huge problem we face is that international capital does not have to confront in a political sense - it has effectively negated politics - party politics as we knew it. The multinats do not confront or oppress the unemployed for example - they don't need to as they simply move their operations elsewhere if their employees become more demanding. There is always somewhere cheaper with a more compliant (desperate) workforce. As there is no direct confrontation from capital it makes resistance difficult - you can't resist when there is nothing pushing back at you ! **

    This leaves national gvts. to face the civil unrest which comes from the disaffected and rejected. This is where the police enter the arena. So yes - the question is "Who do they serve?"

    ** Different matter in the public sector.

  146. Evening all

    The police are the agents of the state.And it is their job to enforce the laws that are drawn up by the state.Without the police we will have anarchy.And it is perhaps that fear of anarchy that makes most people instinctively turn a blind eye to police abuses of power.Especially when the media plays such a key role in fuelling public fears.

    An example of this is the role the media once played in fuelling public fears about the'Black Mugger'.And the consequence of this was extremely heavy-handed policing in many Black communities which alienated the decent law-abiding majority of Black people.Another example is the appalling abuses of police power that occurred during the Miners Strike.Again the police did the states bidding whilst the media demonised the miners in the eyes of many British people-especially middle class British people.

    As i,ve got older my views towards the police have shifted.I don,t think they are all bastards.And i accept they have a bloody awful job to do.They do after all have to deal with a side to British society that most people are not exposed too.And things ain,t as bad as they were in the 70,s and 80,s.I know people then who were savagely beaten up in the police cells.Stoke Newington Police Station especially had a bad reputation.I know people who were stitched up by the police,taken to court,found not guilty and then fuck all action was taken against the police officers who were clearly lying.I myself have lost count of the number of times i was stopped and searched when i was younger.When all i was doing was going about my business.So i know there was something rotten at the core of the police which i like to think is not so much a problem now.But then the terrorist threat is now leading to police abuses of power so there is clearly still a problem.But as i say things could be a lot worse.And i,ve witnessed police also being wrongly accused as well by members of the public.And that needs to be recognized too.

  147. Hi Leni, if you want pics of my socks I will move hell and high water to get them to you.
    I haven't got a clue how to do it myself but I think I might know someone who can!
    BTW; I know you are interested in drama so you might have caught yesterdays afternoon play on Radio 4. (Whoopie Goldberg's Country Life)
    I missed it myself but have just spent two days working with one of the actors who performed on it. She is called Nicola Gardner and comes from Ghana and she now lives in Manchester.
    What a delightful woman who knows how to tell a good story.
    You can catch it on i player as I intend to do tomorrow.

  148. Paul

    I am not questioning individual policemen nor suggesting they are all thugs.

    Yes their role is to enforce laws enacted by the politicos. But - and it is a big but - we also have to ask who do some of the more recent laws serve and how have they changed the role and nature of policing ?

    Why for example was it necessary to outlaw secondary picketing ? How many innocent people have been negatively affected by the anti-terrorist laws and how much have our basic freedoms been eroded by them - by how much have they strengthened police powers ? This is an area which really needs examining.

  149. Hi Chekhov

    thankyou. Will try to catch it on Iplayer . Look forward to sox pics.