23 June 2010


Sunset from the International Space Station
NASA photo of the day

The sudden disappointment of a hope leaves a scar which 
the ultimate fulfillment of that hope never entirely removes.
-Thomas Hardy


  1. Morning Campers!

    Hank - from yesterday.

    Atomboy - are you serious? Have you ever doubted me when I've said we should get angry?

    If ever there was a time...

    I was using it - clumsily, obviously - as a rhetorical device.

    When we see Peter Finch in Network shouting: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this any more!" we clench our fists and through gritted teeth hiss, "Yeah!" (Obviously, Americans just shout, "Fuck, yeah! USA! USA!").

    However, when we are asked to do this in real life, we wonder whether anger is really good for us. Won't it dent our karma? Won't it scare the meerkats or curdle the Jaffa Cakes?

    We think too much and do too little. The new government, which people probably still think has come to rescue us, will never pause for thought. It will never wonder about fairness or social justice. It will simply act and do, with ferocious efficiency, like Alien.

    So, yes, we should ceertainly get angry.

    Then we need to do something.


    Thanks for that initial draft. Look forward to the final copy.

    Perhaps we need simply to borrow and copy methods used in France. After all, we are all in Europe now and we are all in this together.

    Seriously, though, are there any groups or activists in France which have some credibility for asserting people's rights or political groups which operate as overseers of government?

    We may as well admit that we need help from people who have made the leap from talking to doing.

    As the link to aSmallWorld yesterday showed, the rich have got their networks and channels.

    Yeah, I know we have WADDYA but...

  2. Oh, just to clarify matters slightly.

    Banks and lovely global big business will probably push things too far because they can see at the moment, facilitated by their kapos in governments across the world, that they are on a roll and will imagine that they can get away with whatever they choose.

    They will be the ones who push people into rioting but this will lead to the inevitable backlash from which things are made worse.

    They will become contrite and apologetic, just like we saw with the MPs' expenses scandal, and they will then entrench their positions even more under the ruse of making amends.

    The one thing which governments fear is people getting together and acting for each other and the common good.

    Why did Thatcher feel the need to crush working-class solidarity and hobble the unions with such bitter, grim determination?

    Because when people only act for themselves and lose any sense of community, they rapidly cease to act at all and become the playthings of the imposed consensus, devised and propagated by those who see them as a resource to be exploited.

    You may find it hard to get people to stand together to be punched and have their legs smashed by the police, so it might be better to start people thinking of others as humans rather than alien enemies by things like neighbourhood food groups.

    Polly Toynbee once organised a political get-together featuring happy-clappy singalongs and a tombola and, possibly, a tableau of the political landscape presented through the medium of interpretive dance.

    Obviously, that would mean asking the Morris Men to dust off their jangly bells, wash their hankies and whittle their sticks.


  3. Just had a look at that asmallworld.net website.

    Wow. A more effective recruitment campaign for al Qaeda I have yet to find.

  4. Morning all,


    Re: the Civil List, I've lost where I've read this and so cannot provide a link, but I have read in the last few days that Osbourne has been in private consultations with the Royal Household about changing the way the Civil List is paid, which would effectively double it. I will try to track down where I read this.

    However, yes, important to not throw around unsubstanitated info.

  5. There was a survey in one of the Sunday papers, probably about thirty years ago, which asked the various classes how they saw and defined friendship.

    The middle-classes thought friends were people who could be useful to them. They would see them at the squash court or at the pub or invite them for dinner, but the aim was always to exploit what they had or what they knew.

    The working-classes saw friends as people to whom you could take your troubles or people who would help you out - and you would do the same - and as people you actually, you know, liked.

    The middle-classes are exploiting the internet for the same aims and ends.

    The rest use FaceBook to get their tits out or show pictures of the places they have trashed and communicate in illiterate text-speak gibberish to the hundreds of virtual "friends" who abandon them as soon as they stop detailing how they got pissed last night.

    We have swapped reality for fantasy and have become scared of the real world.

    We go from home to work and back again, huddled in sequestered jittery isolation.

    The rich rob the poor through the government and the poor rob each other through the back window.

  6. @frog2

    I'm near Dieppe.

    BBC News telling us that a single mother with two kids on £20k is going to be better off. They seem to have forgotten about the VAT increase and cuts in services. All Tory spin doctors now...

  7. sorry for the crap link folks.... this is what I was thinking of... from all sources, the Torygraph....

    This paper can reveal that the government will make an announcement on the Civil List on June 23, the day after George Osborne, the Chancellor, delivers his emergency budget in which he is likely to reveal more details of public spending cuts and possibly tax rises.

    Some would see an announcement in the Civil List of well over £6 million a year as insensitive – especially as it would come so soon after the £6 billion cuts in public spending announced by the government last week and when ministers have agreed a five per cent pay cut.

    "Economic times are certainly tough and that's an important factor to the talks," said one senior source.

    It is understood that a number of options are being considered including a short term freeze, or small increase, to the Civil List, but with a public acknowledgement that it will have to rise significantly in the near future"

    It would appear that their Royal Highnesses are so poor, their palaces are falling to bits.... bloody shame...

    " but a number of royal palaces are now in a state of disrepair and need millions of pounds spent on them"

    Mark my words, they will get their increase.

  8. If Her Queenship is going to get a pay rise from my tax dollars, I want her to do some work for me.

    She can start with the washing and hoovering and I am even prepared to train her up for a spot of polishing.

    Fucking feckless dole-cheat scum.

  9. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/theroyalfamily/7783100/Buckingham-Palace-in-talks-with-Coalition-to-increase-Civil-List.html

  10. Morning all

    Osborne on the Today programme. Just asked us 'citizens' to help them with ideas about how to provide public services on tuppence a week - or words to that effect. So get your thinking caps on chaps and help the bastards out as they clearly don't have a clue.

    Right - time to trudge off to the treadmill whilst I still can. I know I should be grateful, and I am, but morale is so low it feels like working in a morgue.

  11. BBC News telling us that a single mother with two kids on £20k is going to be better off. They seem to have forgotten...

    They also seem to have forgotten that £20 000 is not the wage of most single mothers. Halve it to get closer to reality.

  12. Atomby:

    Osbourne has been all over the telly and radio this morning... just walked in the kitchen as he was saying...."as a country, we've got to live within our means" well, presumably that doesn't apply to those born of noble birth who have been living beyond their means to the tune of 7 million a year.

    Time to start flogging off that staggering property portfolio they're sitting on...

    Oh, yeah, and the Queen can come and do me ironing, that's assuming she knows what an iron actually is!

  13. Atomboy
    "are there any groups or activists in France which have some credibility for asserting people's rights or political groups which operate as overseers of government?"
    Am not sure which way round this happened, but the group that set up the 'guerilla picnics' in France that have been going for 2/3 years are linked to the NPA - whether they started out annoying supermarkets and then joined up, or whether they were already NPA and then started the picnics, I'm not sure...

    Plus Jose Bove is in the Greens (Europe Ecologie).

    So there is activism within the party system, seems to me.

  14. Morning Sheff,

    Sorry you have to work in such depressing circumstances :(

    Just a quick thing for everyone if they haven't seen it, it's the petition to maintain the International Whaling ban. Please sign if you haven't already done so...


  15. "That money could have been far better spent investing in industry, in jobs. Even if those industries weren't making a profit, the money would have been far better spent because the workers would have had a purpose in life."

    Interesting point, Hank, i started writing an article on this subject bout a year ago and then didnt finish it. When judging the profitability of nationalised or even subsidised industries, it seems to be forgotten that if that job no longer exists the state then has to pay dole, housing benefit etc, and furthermore there are social costs to unemployment which manifest themselves in tangible costs, particularly to the NHS and prison service.

    If a firm of 1000 is losing £3million a year, how much would it actually cost to close it down, in the short term at least? In dole and housing, each employee probably costs £10,000 a year, almost certainly much more all considered. Thats £10million.Thats before any derived costs of unemployment on society.

  16. Oh, my God! Bit of trivia and silliness to lighten the mood...

    Triiny and Susanna are on BBC breakfast.... looks like Trinny has beeen to the collagen lip doctor one too many times - she looks like she's been repeatedly stung in the mouth by a giant bee.

  17. @La Ritournelle:

    Heh, the perils of breakfast telly - rare I say this, but thank God I'm out of the house by 6.30.

    Trinny 'n' Susanna are truly grotesque.

  18. Swiftyboy:

    They are like a pardoy of themselves...truly vile. What a shame these types of women are trotted out as something to 'aspire' to.

    And as for the patroinising coma-inducing presenters on Breakfast, it's like watching Play School.... thank god for Frasier!

  19. Hank

    Sorry, thauma. I'm not gonna give you free tax advice. I'm not sure how cutting tax for a self-employed person who employs nobody helps business or the economy to grow.

    That was kinda my point....

  20. MAM has really gone to a new low on the editorial thread. Quite simply, is is bollocks beyond all reason.

    Sayeth he....
    "Yes. Low paying jobs teach skills. Basic life skills. Which many serious academic qualifications do not. They clearly need the skills associated with toilet cleaning because they don't have a job. They need something anyway. Jobs teach you responsibility, realiability, to get up and get to work on time. All useful things that doctoral degrees in sociology do not teach."

    bollocks bollocks bollocks

  21. @La Ritournelle:

    "thank god for Frasier!"

    Sky Sports News for this sinner... When my missus gave up work to be at home with Junior, she used to watch all that Lorraine Kelly/GMTV stuff, and she seemingly really used to care about it, but now she's back down the salt mine she's lost interest, thank Christ, so I don't have to hear about it any more.

  22. NapK:

    Ah, MAM and his crusade against education. His stupidity knows no bounds.

    YOu shoud see some of the comments on the Maggie o kane thread.... it's a shittily written article, but the comments beggar belief.

  23. Swifty:

    Ah, the short sharp shock of the return to the salt mine awoke her from the anesthesia of GMTV - thank god for that!

  24. La Rit 8.50

    The whales petition is going viral in the frog2 network.


    On Facebook. I lost my password so off that now. Probably go carefully back to it, but want to show how useful it can be .From Ist april last year I spent months in hospitals after strokes. Text message told one daughter I was there and morale fine.

    What impressed me was the speed at which the extended family was informed , by the 30year old nephews nieces cousins all over the world who told their parents who only live in the next Departement. Even closer, one lot 10 miles away were told from Guadeloupe.

    It's a tool, like the mobile and digital camera for snapping even videoing coppers being evil. You can record meetings with the bureaucracy too.

    The Surveillance Society can work both ways.

  25. Napoleon
    I nearly always scroll past MAM , not worth the ammunition.
    When it is relevant I'll post my favourite MAM-squashing on a short thread.The creature slunk away.

  26. frog2 - interesting on facebook - have to admit it's very helpful for me, being a country away from many of my friends. Close friends email, but it's nice to be able to keep in touch, even in a very small way, with other people. Plus there's scrabble.

  27. That Maggie O'Kane article is a Grade A, bottom-of-the-pan stinker. Up itself, smug, complacent, reeking of "of course Bunny and I are so-o-o lucky", wistful regret, faux concern, just awful, awful stuff...

    Hellfire, I think I'm channelling PB this morning.

    Anyway, need to crack on, ta ta for now.

  28. La Rit

    The comments on the swimming article are indeed disgraceful, although I agree it is a very poor article, some people are just incredibly mean.

    First day waking up headache free. :-)

    It feels fantastic, the last few days have been like a horrible fever dream, I want to hold onto this feeling of relief but I am sure I will be back to my moany old self soon.

  29. @Swifty

    I remember a quote from years ago that went something like: "No humanitarian crisis in the world can be said to properly exist until Fergal Keane and Maggie O'Kane arrive to smear fake sentiment over it".

  30. frog2

    Yes, my comment about Facebook was intentionally facetious and you are quite right to point out that tools can be used positively or otherwise.

    I have signed up under various minor characters from fiction and then promptly forgottn who I am.

    There was a case where students were suddenly going to be charged extra interest or something by one of the banks, so they all got together on Facebook and said they would change banks en masse.

    Perhaps we should start a campaign to just form queues outside the branches of one bank on a particular day and see if we can create another run.

  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. Yeah the article really was poor.

    Waht I said BTL was about where I used to live, the council and the health board had teamed up to offers subsidised swimming because the health board recognised that the smallish cost to them would be offset by a much healthier populace- over 50% of people have signed up for the scheme, it is so pathetically cheap £20 a month per family for unlimited sports centre acess, or only £15 for those benefit concessions.

    Those were the halycon days for me. I could go swimming five times a week, it was a brand new sports centre as well.

    In Glasgow....well I've used a swimming pool once, and never again.

  33. Had a look at that thread. Par for the CiF course.

    Have to laugh at 'wyrdtimes' who posts solely on one subject regardless of thread or article- Why England is getting shafted by Scotland.

    He's relentless, be it I/P, bad science or Jaffa cakes, up pops old Wyrd squeezing in the 'England screwed by Scotland paradigm' regardless of irrelevancy.

    I like him.

  34. And also read Vince Cable's article.

    What a wanker.

  35. He is funny isn't he Duke, imagine having coffee with him, well he would probably make you drink acorn tea or mead or something and imagine his anger if you wanted shortbread.

    Although he probably thinks that shortbread was invented in a forest in Suffolk and stolen by those evil Scots.

    I have often thought it would be nice to have an overriding passion for a single subject (makes life a lot simpler when you are obsessive) but looking at his output has changed my mind.

  36. @PeterJ:

    Excellent. Makes me think of the cuddly toy Damien Day carried with him to disasters/wars etc in Drop The Dead Donkey, to be placed carefully in shot on a mound of rubble...

    Really must get on now.

  37. frog2:

    "The whales petition is going viral in the frog2 network"

    That's brilliant. Thanks you most kindly ;0)

  38. Jen:

    So glad you've come out of the headache zone. I saw that you were trying to give up salt - a very bad idea, although excessive salt is bad, we need it to survive. My family are prone to heart disease and I am wary of salt - try using low sodium salt and reducing but not eliminating from your diet. I went on a restricted diet a couple of years back to help with my arthritis, after a couple of months I had to buy a ready meal from Sainsbury's one lunchtime - I nearly gagged on the amount of salt and sugar - it tasted vile.

  39. Unrefined sea salt has good minerals still in as opposed to the pure white and deadly stuff.

  40. Swifty;

    "That Maggie O'Kane article is a Grade A, bottom-of-the-pan stinker"

    And dangerously close to unconscious racism and stereotyping....

    "Four black teenagers were boisterously playing with a water gun, fighting and grunting in the water, punching the air and taking up too much space. Where will they spend their Sunday afternoon at the end of July?"

    No doubt in a gang, shooting up strangers for fun.

    ...black teenagers, gun, fighting, grunting (grunting ffs?) punching, taking up too much room.....

  41. correction,

    not dangerously close to racism, it smacks of racism.

  42. Sexist too -- they were obviously boys :)

  43. Hank -
    "What good did it do this country to shut down the coalfields and shipyards, the steelmakers, the car factories, just because the work could have been done cheaper elsewhere?"

    It defeated the working class - and in the case of the miners it was vengeance for the defaet of the Heath government. Remember the 3 day week? - I do was in Hospital - went into Labour(as in childbirth) the night Heath went to the country! Saw his speech on TV and my waters broke!

    Much of the blame for the defeat must be laid at the door of Kinnock's labour party - he paved the way for NuLabour and completely failed to defend the class.

    Was tidying drawers today and found my old Labour Party badge. Used until 1983 it has a spade and a quill pen on it to represent the workers by hand and by brain.
    The work of the The Labour Representation Committee (the original one that founded the party)has been betrayed along with all the class fighters that have been in the party over the years.

    We are reduced to starting another Labour Representation Committee and have, effectively to start all over again. The only rationale for doing this from within the present deformed Labour Party is that other socialist parties have not gained any support from the electorate and we have to start somewhere.

    In a very real,sense our task is to rebuild the Labour Movement from scratch in ethe existing LP and in the TU's.

    We have no choice.

    BTW Amgry? too right I'm angry!!! but I can't afford the luxury of just being angry I have to use that anger (agitation) to educate myself and others in order to organise.

    The abject failure of the party to defend the class it was founded to represent is one of the greatest betrayals in history. I hated Thatcher but that's mild dislike compared to my feelings about Tony Blair and NULabour.

    Ropes, Lamposts anyone?

  44. CIF bingo time, courtesy of poster 1586 on the Jackie Ashley thread.

    "My older cousin has not done a day's work in years because of a 'back complaint'.

    She is on benefits.............she also owns her own house and has inherited a lot of money, and stands to inherit an awful lot more soon.

    She is clever but idle..........she is a chardonnay socialist who used to work for 'big charity'.............and if she keeps on giving my mother a hard time whilst grasping everything she can get her hands on I'm going to dob her in.

    There must 1000s and 1000s of lazy, manipulating, leeching bastards liker her in the country."

    Score points for- chardonnay socialists, 'big' charity, and leeching bastards, owns her own house and claiming benefits (gasp), reference to 'not having done a day's work'.

  45. Jennifer

    did you know that I get more internet bandwidth to post here than you purely on the fact that I'm Scottish and you're English?

    Now some news from the Netherlands.

    The Hoerenbond (Prostitutes Trades Union) in Amsterdam are taking Rabobank to court over Rabobank's refusal to open bank accounts for prostitutes.

    Every other bank in the Netherlands allows prostitutes to open accounts with prostitution as 'main trade and source of income' but not Rabobank. As Metje Blaak, secretary of the Hoerenbond makes clear, 'prostitution is legalised and prostitutes pay tax.'

    However, it appears that Rabobank are going to back down as it is an 'unfair barrier to trade' under Dutch law.

    The old Scottish trade union striking cry "oot brothers oot!" takes on a whole new context here...

  46. Northred beat me to it.

    "A post from the cartoon end of the swivelled eyed spectrum

    Tick all the right boxes - champagne socialist, back pain, owns a house, wealthy idle socialite on benefits. Make them a relative for added authenticity.

    People who have 'inherited a lot of money' aren't entitled to means tested benefits."

  47. Duke-- tksvm for the laugh .

    NapoleonK -- shill-hunting does take a lot of time tho ! There was a "possible" on the Cable thread.
    Budget 2010: United in austerity
    dna2012's comment 22 Jun 10, 11:51pm (about 12 hours ago)

    I work in the NHS, our dept has since april lost 4 post out of 16, most of us earn in the low pay bracket to get the pay-rise + benefit from the rise in income tax allowance.

    Yes we will have to work harder as a team and are doing so, but are fortunate to be in a job and realise that.

    Last week an announcement was made for a 1/3 of all managers in our pct are to be out of a job within 2 years.

    Nice one Vince, rather you an ex-Shell economist than the current bunch of new/next/whatever labour ex labour pps/ apparathicks (sic) in charge of the economy .

    If we don't take the medicine now, when?

    Recommended (4)

    I wouldn't put my hand in the fire for that suspicion, but all his other Comments were VERY Pro Gove and Academies.

  48. How do I go about getting paid for posting shit on the internet?

    I am sick of doing it for free and I am not a very ethical person, I could pretend to be a tory for a bit.

  49. Home for lunch, and boy do i need a break. Have been in a meeting for most of the morning. My team have been informed our budget has been cut - by half! But expectations from the brass are that we will continue to deliver on our service level agreements and contractual obligations as per.

    Feel like downing a very large scotch rather than having a sensible lunch.

  50. Can't be arsed with CiF today, especially not that Jackie Ashley thread. She gives little indication of understanding how DLA works,but far,far worse are the likes of MaM, who patently doesn't know.
    a) It's hard to get DLA, and very very hard if the claimant has fluctuating needs (eg MH, but also things like MS).
    b) It is not and never has been the same as IB or latterly ESA.
    c) It actually operates for many as an indirect benefit to employers and businesses. You can get DLA when in work and it helps to meet mobility and care needs to keep people in work.

  51. Some astonishing posts on Toynbee. Plenty of them are literally thrilled to bits about other peoples misery, they cant contain their excitement. Such pitiful, worthless human beings.

  52. Alisdair
    Could you do a few hundred words, well not too much more, summarising it all in one for reference ?
    Propose it ATL perhaps ?

    One good thing about CiF is you can see all someones output in their Comments.

    At most blogs it all gets lost in the Archives.

  53. "How do I go about getting paid for posting shit on the internet?"

    Writing to jessica.reed@guardian.co.uk seems to do the trick for many, Jennifer.

  54. Alisdair

    I know cif is soul destroying - but at least you know what you're talking about. If anyone can put the ignorant in their place re the DLA you can. Especially that arsehole mam. I was not surprised to hear he is a retired civil servant - obviously of the kapo variety.

  55. It is a good read Sheff but that site is hell on the eyes, they really need to sort it out.

  56. This from economic historian Glen O'Hara:

    George Osborne's emergency Budget is the most important statement of a new governing ideology since James Callaghan's famous renunciation of Keynesian economics at the 1976 Labour Party Conference. In particular, the scale of the public sector cuts ahead are staggering - even to historians used to analyzing the roller-coaster of twentieth century economic growth.

    The next four years will see public sector spending fall by 25 per cent in real terms, outside of the NHS and the international aid budget. It may be that this proves impossible to achieve: and four incidents in the twentieth century demonstrate the scale of the challenge ahead.

    Three periods of public spending restraint - the 'Geddes Axe' of 1922-23, the years following the IMF loan of 1976, and the Conservatives' deficit reduction in the early 1990s - are all relevant here. But in none of those cases was the spending reduction more than nine per cent (the 'Geddes Axe', which aimed to achieve 20 per cent); the other two periods saw public spending fall by around five per cent. The Swedish and Canadian experiments of the 1990s have been closely studied in the Treasury, but it is also clear, fourth and last, that those planned spending reductions were nowhere near as draconian as the UK's new strategy, and took place over two parliaments, not one.

    The British fiscal experiment of 2010-14 is much, much tougher than any of these examples.

    The full article can be read here.

    And another excellent article from the same author here

  57. Afternoon all

    In her latest waddya offering Bru informs her many readers that she is fascinated ,amongst other things, by the dykes in Holland.

    Why oh why do i instinctively regress whenever i read anything from our dyke loving Bru.I really do need to get a grip!

  58. Afternoon Paul,


    Home for lunch, and boy do i need a break. Have been in a meeting for most of the morning. My team have been informed our budget has been cut - by half! But expectations from the brass are that we will continue to deliver on our service level agreements and contractual obligations as per.

    I am really sorry to hear that. And the other thing is, is that I know you and your colleagues will continue to work as hard as possible to achieve your targets despite the cuts.

    Completely contrary to the free marketeers bullshit that the Public sector is an easy ride so therefore slash n burn it.

  59. Jennifera30 said..How do I go about getting paid for posting shit on the internet?

    I'm sure Lord Ashcroft could find you something.

    After all we all now realise "the importance of full-spectrum dominance of the informational battlespace".

    Don't we ?
    Exactly what FISK was talking about . Thanks Pixie for that most excellent one . Jen-- surely you can zoom for the small print.

    Information overload again, now for some work in the fresh air !

  60. Afternoon Duke

    @sheff-for what it,s worth i have some understanding of what you,re going through -although i,ve never worked in the public sector.

    A company i was working for was taken over and people were informed the 'axe'would fall although no-one knew where or when.It led to an almost darwinian survival of the fittest mentality envelopping all the staff which made the atmosphere ugly.Being private sector we had no unions to negotiate the transitional stage so it was very much dog-eat-dog---which i suspect the new people wanted.Can,t your union help soften the blows so to speak?

  61. @sheff:

    It is a fucking miserable situation, and I wish you the very best in negotiating a way through it.

    I'm just out of the other side of it as well, as it goes, our once mighty team now reduced to 2 - in our pomp, we were 16.

    Workload hasn't diminished, sadly, and wages haven't risen commensurately either, of course.

  62. Hi all. Sheff - I am so sorry to hear about your work situation - that is awful. And as Duke says you will all be working so hard to try and still acheive your targets.

    Re last nights very interesting discussion and anger or not anger etc etc.

    I agree with Hank on this - always have - we definitely need anger - but it needs to be directed anger.

    At the minute I am so angry but not sure what the hell to do with and that simply boils down to doing nothing more than harming me. If you take that and apply it in wider terms, then if whole communities become angry but it is directionless then that anger is just harmful to that community. And that is something Paul has talked about on here before.

    So the anger needs a direction - it needs to be harnassed and organised.

    I think it will take time for the anger to spread because many individuals will not feel changes to their pockets immediately from this budget (the poorest will but its not as if they haven't been shit on from a great height by New Lab either - Hank I disagree that New Lab didn't kick the poorest in the goolies - their welfare reform was vile) but the cuts will be felt by anyone that uses public services over time as the reality of unprecedent cuts in spending take hold.

    But where I think Hank is bang on the money is the fact that the whole neo liberal project has been to hollow out our economy and let jobs go to enrich global capital and it continues apace.

    My stepdad who I love discussing all this with - is of a view of the economist discussed in last nights thread - that this is a complete failure of the system and the rich will take all they can to feather their own nests for the coming collapse. He really believes it is socialism or barbarism but he is no pacifist socialist, he believes the only way is to get out on the streets and fight. But how and when and where that fight back is organised who knows?

    As for Lib Dem voters - well plenty voted for them - lots of my mates did and they are now gutted. It is those still willing to vote for them that I think should really stop and think.

    new Lab were bloody awful but this is a concerted attack on the state like nothing ever tried before in the history of the developed world - a 25% cut in the public sector -therefore I think we can safely say the Lib Dems have blown it - or certainly should have - they deserve no further ongoing support. Plus the dastardly shit Cable spouting ''oooh we did all the nice bits and the evil bits are the Tories'' is pure playground politics - pathetic. They are so dishonest they even stab their coalition partners in the back.

    Re Saint Cable - a poster called MarkHH has had a post removed that everyone said was absolutely brilliant - not abusive and spot on re the reality of the coalition. If anyone read it can they post a synopsis of its main points here if they can remember it because it is gone and I would really have liked to have read it. Partly to see why the hell Cif deleted it.

  63. @princesschipchops:

    But how and when and where that fight back is organised who knows?

    Well, that's the key issue - until you work that one out, the revolution is rather screwed, IMHO.

    Mass civil disobedience and crimes against commercial property would be a start, I reckon, if I was fomenting revolution - COBRA planners have nightmares about large-scale outbreaks of such things in ten or twelve cities at once, there isn't the manpower available to handle it... but most of us are far too compromised by wages, mortgages and our standard of living to have the stomach for the consequences of taking on the state, head on. It wouldn't be pretty, and it certainly wouldn't be bloodless. And once you open that particular box, there's little chance of going back.

    And then there's the question of what comes after?

    I mean, worst case, would you take ten years of scavenging for your own food and defending your patch against all-comers while Humpty Dumpty is slowly put back together again, against what we've got now?

    Your step-dad is right though, it's rapidly getting to "shit or get off the pot" time for the wannabe revolutionaries out there. Because otherwise all the talk is just hot air and posturing.

  64. Then again, of course, thinking about it a bit further, it might all work out rather well, civil society might not collapse, and we might see a re-run of the fall of the Soviet Union and its satellites.

    Anyway, footie beckons.

  65. Swiftyboy - well thats the thing isn't it - would people - me included - want to put up with the period in-between the bringing down of one system and the establishing of another.

    I suppose it depends how bad things get. I think this system is collapsing anyway, whether it is actually aggressively brought down or not. The only difference is - long term - either we are made to live in a different way that is of THEIR choosing or we fight. I cannot see how things can not get markedly worse over the coming decades. I have said as such on Cif and am often laughed at as being a doom monger - and I hope I am wrong I really do - I don't want it all to collapse my life is okay, but I think it is - I get a sick feeling when I think of all the real economic problems facing the world I don't see how this thing can be easily resolved. Sometimes I read comments by people who think this is an ordinary recession and think I am obviously mad because I don't see it like that at all.

    I am also firmly of the opinion that Roosevelt and his new deal etc didn't solve the crisis of the thirties - the war did. And that actually the crisis of the thirties wasn't isolated - ever since the end of the 1800's there had been a series of increasingly severe economic crises. Leading in the twenties to social unrest in many European countries and things like the general strike and of course hyper inflation in Germany. So I tend to think the 29 crash in the US was just part of a long trend of a period of extreme economic instability.

    I think that is what is happening now. And if the only thing that finally pulled us out of it last time was flattening Europe in order to allow for a boom as it was rebuilt, what the hell is going to work this time?

    Maybe there is a window - a time when things are bad enough for people to realise the shit is hitting the fan - but not so bad that it is every man/woman for themselves and that is when people need to act? Don't think we are there yet but if these cuts of 25% really do occur then it will be the biggest socio-economic experiment ever undertaken on a developed country. Who knows what will happen?

  66. PCC - cannot see how they can really cut 25%. Surely when it comes to working out the 'details', they'll see it just isn't possible?

    One can live in hope.

  67. Well Thauma - they are starting - 30 courts to be closed 157 magistrates to go. What is worrying me is Osbourne is now playing ''let the public decide'' telling them ''well we wont have to cut that much from your schools and stuff if we can cut welfare budgets more.'' So wait for the majority of people to decide that the unemployed and the sick can live on fifty quid a week or even food stamps and heating tokens as long as their schools and hospitals run ok.

  68. That is a depressing thought, Princess. Much like what Sheff and others have described during layoffs - a snake pit.

  69. The judge who overturned deepwater drilling bans allowing BP to resume oil extraction in the Gulf of Mexico, had shares in Transocean and other firms in the industry, it was revealed today.


  70. Hello all

    can't add much to what has already been said. A revolution has to be a bridge towards something better - what is the something ? Violent demos - even peaceful ones - will create broken heads and harsher methods of control.

    The Condems divide and rule strategy is designed to create wolf packs who will turn on the poor and disabled. The weaker wolves are yet to realise that the pack will turn on them when the going gets harder.

    The cuts will be so far ranging that we will all become vulnerable - all but the richest that is, they will still be able to buy the services denied to the rest of us. Real justice has already been lost by default - not enough people cared.

  71. thauma

    You are surely not suggesting the judge acted from self interest ?

    Transocean are involved in the BP disaster - so far managing to keep heads below the parapet.

  72. Well I've capitulated and have the match on...albeit with the sound turned down - rather hoping England would give me something to cheer about. Why does a fifa logo keep flashing up on the screen - it's very annoying.


    Good to know we're not alone...although I wouldn't wish what's happening at my place of work on anyone - at least knowing you've gone through it and survived gives me some hope.

    We also have to re-apply for our jobs - so on the one hand we're pulling together to get the work done and on the other we're set against each other in competition for the jobs and not ending up in the redeployment pool.

    Oh...looks like we've got through...so there is some cheer after all.

  73. Congrats to England, but they really are crap.

    Landon Donovan! USA! I'm so pleased about that USA-Algeria result that I might just invade a small country.

  74. England can breathe a sigh of relief.And in around 9 months time there will be a mini bebe boom in this country.With many of the boys named either Jermain or Defoe.

    @sheff-if you are redeployed will that mean you will still have a job-albeit elsewhere?

  75. I am sorry to sound hyperbolic, but today is the blackest day in Cif's history. Since last night the site has been invaded by Tory trolls, or the regulars like MAM have increased their misery on us, psotin g much more often for the special event.

    Things have reached a critical mass BTL. How does the Guardian respond- an article about why the Lib Dems don't have enough minority members, and a solipsist article by Sunny Hundal about his decision to call himself English- all this while the Tory trolls gloat and preen themselves.

    No wonder the Graun is a piss take of itself.

  76. Afternoon all

    Sorry to hear about your work situation, Sheff. I am wondering what is going on down here because after a year of hardly seeing a HOPO about the place, all of a sudden they seem to be training them up left right and centre.

    If the budget is being slashed by 25% are they a) bringing in untrained youngsters to do the presenting and leaving the old hands to do the case work or b) moving everyone back to the Tribunals because they are fed up of losing so many cases when they are absent?

    There have been a couple of cases that have stuck it to the UKBA in the past week or two - a corker out today that has buggered up the Points Based System Guidance good and proper. Maybe it is all back to the barricades...

    Just been watching the end of the footy. At least people will be cheerful tomorrow...

    Hank - anger can be a very positive emotion and is not to be sneered at. Without anger, you wouldn't have had any of the civil rights movements of the 60s and 70s for a start. As long as it is channelled into a fight for justice, it is very good karma indeed.

    But, as the old saying goes:

    Two frogs sitting on a log in a river. One decides to jump off. How many frogs left on the log?

    Two. He only decided....

  77. scherf - if you're thinking about invading a small country, you might consider this one....we could do with a new regime - and run by an Irishman too - be a turn up!

  78. BB

    Not sure whats happening in Croydon - we've only got info about our region. 25% is quite a facer. Up here we have too many chiefs and not enough indians so some have got to go.

    What was the PBS case you mentioned? I haven't heard about that either.

  79. @scherf:

    Yep, we were ordinary. But I'm sticking with the excuse that the ball is crap and makes good players look pedestrian. "It's my truth..." etc.

    Anyway, off out now for a couple of jars with young Mr Reilly of this parish.


  80. Sheff, I was thinking more about Lichenstein or the Duchy of Grand Fenwick (minimal 'collateral damage'). The Mouse That Roared


  81. Hi Swifty. Buy Reilly a small Irish for me. I'll send you cash via Paypal (not).

  82. Urgent request for support:

    Since forming a union at Coca-Cola's bottling plant in the southern Pakistan city of Multan in June 2009, members have met with death threats, abduction, firings, extortion, forgery and fraud. Management's vicious response to the workers' fight for a union is a story drenched with violence, corruption, sleaze and escalating criminality.

    The Multan workers need your support. Despite all these illegal acts the
    union officers and their supporters remain steadfast in their determination
    to win union recognition and become the IUF’s newest members in the
    Coca-Cola system.

    Coca-Cola Pakistan Greets New Union with Death Threats,
    Abduction, Extortion and Dismissals


    The redeployment pool is the first step. There aren't the jobs for people to go to - so the next step is bound to be redundancies.

  83. Afternoon all

    (football - thank Christ for that!!)

    Other stuff:

    Interesting posts from many today.

    PCC/Swifty/Leni etc

    I think what we're seeing today is the logical/natural extension of what has been happening since the second world war, 'cept this time it's a bit closer to home.

    The physical re-building of Europe after WWII was very much accompanied by an unprecedented growth in Finance, the Multinational, and Neo-liberal thought, which used the cover of reconstruction and 'development' to hide the extent and scope of their takeover.

    At first, we practiced the game on the losers of the war, but then, gaining in confidence, we moved on to the developing world, using the Cold War to justify a righteous erosion of democracy and the nation state, using covert action to install proxy dictatorships, who then stood back as the MNC/Global finance took all that they could, backed up, as they so often were, by the IMF doctrine/Washington consensus.

    At some point, mostly when places such as Latin America decided enough was enough, or when there wasn't much left to take anyway, the gameplan was turned inwards.

    Instead of the communist, the enemy became the feckless poor, or the unionist, or even the big state itself.

    The big bad company/Bank/Hedge fund, having developed into a very powerful force on the back of the above practices, used this power to then exploit the population of the 'developed world'.

    Pressure was brought on Government to favour them over the population, profit over the rights of their citizens, and ultimately, the pursuit of profit over the pursuit of, well, anything else really.

    Like others have already said, this was completed a while ago, and the revolving door/mutual relationships that exist between politics and business merely highlights how politics is, in actual fact, a one stop shop for business/finance looking to find the next sympathetic politician/eventual boardroom 'consultant'.


  84. scherf

    I've got a large bottle of Paddy's here...so here's to the revolution!

  85. Scherf - not sending a bottle of champers then? :p

    Sheff - SSHD v Pankina - out today. I knew it was in the pipeline though, cos I know one of the counsel.

    Anyhoo, it essentially says that the aspects of the PBS that are in the Rules - including the appendices - are law, and the guidance isn't and therefore can't be enforced. This was a Tier 1 PSW case, so the requirement in the guidance to have £800 for three whole months - which isn't expressed that way either in the Rules or Appendix C - is illegal.

    I think I am going to be doing a lot of reconsideration hearings over the next few months, unless the UKBA do the decent thing and grant leave. Which of course they won't...

  86. Mark HH
    Budget 2010: United in austerity
    markhh's comment 23 Jun 10, 5:26pm (12 minutes ago)

    23 Jun 2010, 4:51PM
    MarkHH was never moderated under nuLabour ... Be afraid of the Tories

    Excellent point, I've probably posted far more incendiary comments in the past that have gone uncensored. But then it depends on your perspective. I've heard far worse on PMQ's than I have read in many of the posts deleted here.
    Politics is supposed to be incendiary and very often can be.

    Personally, I found Nick Cable's condescending attitude towards anyone not towing the line with the coalition's 'austerity' package incendiary but I wouldn't deny his right to make such claims no matter how repellent I find his political views. As cmnimo rightly points out, Nick Cable's disparaging allusions were extremely offensive. I'd go as far as to say they were a steaming pile of manure, but for fear of sanction I'll refrain from making such X rated remarks. This is the Guardian, not PMQ's after all.

    Recommended (2)

  87. BB, I sent a couple of cases of champagne to Swifty's suburban middle class bijou 'semi' a few months ago (by taxi). Dreadful kerfuffle on the phone about my platinum American Express being rejected by a delightful young miss in Mumbai (whose English unfortunately left something to desired! I think that she might have been 'foreign'.)

    But I don't want to boast about my splendid generosity, so keep this little titbit about ME! to yourself.


  88. sheff

    So the term redeployment pool is actually quite misleading.Because those in it may well lose their jobs.Bastards!

    Sounds like it,s very much one of those situations where the worst thing is the waiting.Methinks it,s always best to know where you stand.Probably best to take things one day at a time and think about a 'Plan B' just in case.From what you,ve said about yourself it sounds like you,ve got lots of transferable skills so that,s definitely a positive.

    We talk a lot about solidarity on this thread but the bottom line is that sometimes you have to look after number 1.Such is the society we live in.Anyway good luck and keep that bottle of scotch for celebrating when you,ve been told your job,s safe.:-)

  89. cont....

    And now, like I've mentioned before, I think we're seeing an artificially created lull in the meltdown, intended as nothing more than a final opportunity to nick the copper pipes and roof tiles from the otherwise empty building of our 'system'.

    (It reminds me of when they're renovating a cathedral or whatnot, and they put one of those massive tarps up with a picture/artists impression of the cathedral printed on it, in the hopes that
    a) people don't get too upset about what's going on behind it, and
    b) it might, perhaps, look a bit like the original in the odd photograph, or withstand the scrutiny of a passing glance from a train or pedestrian.)

    Yesterday, I said the rich were making preparations to fuck off to an island (which, for the most part, I meant metaphorically, (although I do think islands will be utilised)), and although this may seem a bit alarmist, or even far-fetched, I'd argue that it's already happening.

    The gated communities/condominiums/self-contained suburbs have been functioning as smaller scale versions of these already, for years, and it's only going to take a bit of addition to the private security/bit of extra fencing/a kick-ass logo, to turn these into full on compounds in judge dredd/Mad Max stylee, while the rest of us are left to fight it out in the surrounding wasteland.

    And yes, what we can do about it is a difficult question, and I don't necessarily have the answers.

    For what it's worth though, I think, as others have suggested, that it's now a choice between looking at the photograph/artists impression, and convincing ourselves that, you know, it looks a bit like the cathedral, if you squint enough, and that it's better than nothing, or, we can collectively decide that, by whatever means, we're going to rip it down, and expose the dodgy contractor/bank/politician circle-jerk going on behind it, and, more importantly, accepting that, in doing so, we're going to have to help re-build it ourselves, and that we're also going to have to put up with looking at a bit of an eye-sore for a while instead of the nicer, prettier looking tarpaulin.

    We know that it's shit behind there, afterall, and it's time we opened schrodinger's box, properly, instead of just taking a little peek, screaming, and then closing the box before we find out for definite.

    At least if the cat is dead, we can get a new one, and this time, one that doesn't scratch at our eyeballs everytime we try to ask it to be a little bit more loving.

    (Rant over - as you were...)

  90. Paul

    its even crapper for others than it is for me. There's a couple who've both got jobs here - they have kids and a mortgage and they're both having to re-apply for their jobs. Imagine what that's like for them - they must be shitting bricks right now.

  91. (Apologies for the giant tarpaulin/schrodinger's cat mixed metaphor).


    I really hope it works out for you.

    (My mum's in a similar position. Works in the public sector, where she already has to periodically re-apply for a job, and her partner works in the same place.
    Throw in the fact that she suffers from ongoing, relaxing/remitting type ill-health, and it's certainly not looking good).

    Bunch of bastards, the fucking lot of them.

  92. James

    I feel for your mum - I haven't worked in the public sector for that long and my working career before was very erratic financially so I'm more used to living on the edge. For people who've grafted away loyally all their working lives believing they were relatively secure it must be very tough now.

    Good rant by the way - don't worry about mixing metaphors - I do it all the time!

  93. @thauma - "that was kinda my point" - sorry, irony shield had been activated. Always kicks in after watching Newsnight.

    @BB - yeh but...I'm not gonna criticise anyone for voting LibDem. I couldn't bring myself to do it but I could understand why people did. What I will criticise people for is that, having voted LibDem on the basis that they were either the least worst option or the most radical/socially liberal/progressive, those voters and posters are still defending the LibDems after they have proven to be cynical opportunists who have sold their souls.

    "England really are crap."

    They were good today. Played at a premiership tempo, and should have won by 4 or 5. Couldn't keep possession but hell, what do you expect for 100k a week?

    Unfortunately, the Yanks' late goal means the best the Ingerland fans amongst us can hope for now is damage limitation against Argentina in the quarters.

    FWIW, I was happy to see England win not least because it would have got right up the noses of the sanctimonious liberal snobs posting on the GU Sportsblog today.

  94. Sheff + James

    All those facing redundancy will be worried and anxious. They have my sympathy - the prospects for many are looking bleak.

    I have read the DLA thread - I am now wondering how many of these 'I'm alright Jack' haters there are in Britain. The screw you go to the wall cos I hate you attitude is increasing. Why can't they see we need a determined solidarity here?

  95. @Jay - in answer to your response, I don't know. Not sure it's ever been studied seriously, and not sure how it could be costed given that some values are priceless.

    I'd be interested in your aborted essay.

    I think that socialism, if it means anything, means that life is not wholly reducible to figures on a balance sheet. Which is why I'm not a proper Marxist and which might be the reason why socialist governments always end in bankruptcy, but still, it's worth trying!

    And better than basing a social vision on the premise that the vast majority must live in misery for the sake of the gilded few.

  96. And as if by magic, BBC London leaves 'reactions to the Budget' to 5th item on the News after Bowith's announcement to run as London Mayor- with or without the excerable Evening Standard - that twat won't get re-elected after the cuts have been eating away at people's lives.

    Now Vince Cable is lying about some people getting £100,000 on Housing Benefits??? Where the fuck has that lie come from?

    Cutting HB in this City WITHOUT regulating the rents - especially private landlords is utter fucking madness.

    I'm sick already of the focus on cutting HB when there is absolutely no talk of controlling the people who are charging extortionate money to rent their 2nd homes and Buy-to-let portfolios.

    Oh, and now, we're back to the bloody football and the tragedy of a power cut in Richmond which meant some poor, deprived individuals missed 'the goal'.....

  97. SheffPixie:

    Just had a confirm - re: the Coca-Cola campaign.... on the case and e-mailing it on.......

  98. Hank

    I think that Socialism needs the willing cooperation of the people - this among other things means a caring social responsibility and a willingness to support the elderly and disabled within our communities.

    It is not all balance sheets - at its simplest it is about how we put humanity into politics.

    Redistribution of wealth is only a beginning.

  99. Scherf - ;o)

    james - good rant indeed. I dread to think what is going to become of public sector employees. How the hell they think they can make 25% cuts simply by "smarter working"; how the hell they think that it won't end up in jobs lost, people being made redundant, people being signed off work for stress and depression is beyond me. And how the hell they think that any of the latter is going to be cheaper than keeping people in work in the first place is also beyond me.

    Someone was rattling on about Housing Benefit at lunchtime. £21 billion apparently. Wittering on about how they would cap it, make savings, dodgy landlords, blah blah. Not a peep out of anyone about how, if the last Tory government (and, to an extent, the last Labour one too) hadn't sold all the council houses to make "responsible home owners" of everyone* and stopped building affordable public housing, privatising most of what was left of it by putting it into the hands of Housing Associations and other ALMOs, perhaps we wouldn't have to be giving so much money in housing benefit to scum-bag leech property barons to keep them in yachts and oysters.


    I now feel like I did when I chucked in my New Lab card. Utterly disenfranchised. I have no idea who to vote for. Again.


    There is the infamous refugee woman and her five kids living in a five bedroomed house in Chelsea or Kensington or some such, for which HB was paying well over £8k a month. She was the darling of the Daily Heil for a while. But you can't make policy on the basis of daft exceptions.


    The "I'm all right Jack" haters are most probably in their early 30s, having been brought up on neo-con dogma their entire lives. Either that or it's my fuckhead of a brother with a dozen different nicks. He is the epitome of the working-class-made-good-and-fuck-the-rest-of-you mind set. Thank god he lives as far away from me as is physically possible, otherwise I would have throttled him by now.

    When he does venture to these shores, he takes great delight in trying to wind me up about the poor and the immigrants over sunday lunch at my dad's. I am glad I am old enough and wise enough now not to just lamp him one.

    *which I always thought was just another one of Thatcher's bright ideas to stop workers going on strike. If they own their own home, and have to pay the mortgage, they can't withdraw their labour for long without losing their home...

  100. Just a thought, the more you dig, the more you find.... ex-pat Pensioners living in Spain and elsewhere have been claiming - wait for it - Winter Fuel payments!!

  101. BB:

    God, all of it makes me want to weep.


    You're not a Marxist? Rubbish ;0)

  102. Sheff

    Colin Yeo has reported on the PBS case on his Free Movement blog.

  103. And in other immigration news, Refugee and Migrant Justice (formerly the Refugee Legal Centre) have not been able to raise enough money, and have just announced they are in administration from today.

    The Legal Services Commission, in its infinite wisdom, decided that it would not pay legal aid due on a step-by-step basis any more, but would only pay at the end of each case. This was the death toll for RMJ as many cases will go on for years and year and, as a charitable organisation, they depended on being paid for their casework in good time.

    Other solicitors can always take privately-paid work - there is enough of it about - but RMJ existed for people who had no money, and would do as many cases for free as they did for those who were entitled to legal aid.

    Can't really blame Ken Clarke for this one - all part of the big squeeze to make it impossible for people to fight the State, be they refugees or accused of a crime.


  104. LaRit

    Apparently there are ex-pats living in France and Spain claiming incapacity benefit too. All they need to do is supply a doctor's note. How the hell can the government even check that they are not working and earning a mint while claiming here, ffs? It's all gone Pete Tong...

  105. Leni - there should never have been a better time to persuade "the people" of the worth of "willing cooperation".

    The Tories have coopted the language of the Left, the idea that "we're all in this together", but the Tories didn't mean it and they never have done.

    @BB - I feel your pain!

    I'm off anyway in the hope of some schadenfreude.

    C'mon Ghana (-:

  106. BB

    "*which I always thought was just another one of Thatcher's bright ideas to stop workers going on strike. If they own their own home, and have to pay the mortgage, they can't withdraw their labour for long without losing their home..."

    Absolutely, credit where it's due, that was a stroke of evil genius by the Gorgon. On many levels.

  107. Lord fucking save us from another "Why don't Scots support England?" article in the fucking Graun.

    They're obsessed, absolutely obsessed with the fact Scots don't support the England team. I've said it before and I'll say it again:

    Supporters of one national football team in 'we won't support our oldest rivals' shocker. WOW.

    All day today in work, my Dutch colleagues were laughing and joking about how much they would love to see Germany getting knocked out tonight.

    "Fucking small minded chip on the shoulder bigots," I shouted at them.

    "Don't you know the World Cup is an international celebration of footballing brotherhood in which we all win, not just the winner of the tournament?"

    "Football now is the preserve of the middle classes where all tribal loyalties and rivalries have been erased with the emasculation of the working man. Not to support Germany tonight means you're all bigoted racist xenophobic Wilders supporting fucks."

    To paraphrase Berchmans:

    No to unfounded allegations of bigotry because you don't support your oldest rivals football team

    Off to watch the football.

  108. Your Grace

    Wish I could find the pic now, but when the last world cup was on in Germany, one of my Dutch friends sent me a pic of a bunch of Dutch supporters with teeshirts saying

    "Grandad, we've come out here to get your bike back".


  109. I can't see it on the telly here, what with all the football and that, but apparently at Wimbledon there's a fifth set that's just gone 46 games all!!

  110. Bloody hell!

    I will zap over to beeb 2 and take a look.

  111. Fifty all now.


    Can't they just toss a coin? :p

  112. Someone's got to pass out or drop dead though, soon, surely!?

  113. *Tiptoes in for respite from the disability thread*

    It's really enlightening to see how many muppets out there don't know their DLA from their ESA, or anything much about disability.

    And of interest to La Rit - young Isobel Black got her wrist slapped today (see aforementioned thread).

  114. James

    Interesting posts.

    I agree with you that there is a real sense that the middle classes in Britain are increasingly pulling up their drawbridges and battening down their hatches.And that the factionalised proles will basically be left to slug it out with each other.

    Realted to this of course is the issue of ANGER which HANK and others were talking about.There is an awful lot of anger aboutBut in those working class communities which are factionalised along the lines of race,religion or working poor versus non working poor the anger is in effect contained within those communities.There are no mechanisms to really get to grips with the differences and bring about a senses of unity and solidarity.So when the shit hit,s the fan communities may simply turn on each other.

    @Heyhabib-the other night you in effect accused me of being a nazi when i was talking about growing faultlines in some working class communites between muslim and non muslim.And no doubt you felt the same when i,ve criticized some of the cultural values in some muslim communities which are preventing greater levels of integration.And that i,m afraid is an example of one of the obstacles that is preventing greater understanding and greater unity in the factionalised working class communities.The ease with which we attack each other rather than seriously and honestly address the more contentious issues that currently divide us.

  115. I've been real impressed with spiked lately...

    #What passes for social policy today, by contrast, takes the existence of inequalities as a given, immutable fact, and focuses increasingly upon the individual’s capacity for survival. The question has become, not how to eradicate poverty or how to ameliorate its effects on people’s lives, but rather how to encourage individuals to manage their poverty in such a way that they don’t cause trouble or make themselves ill.#



    Is there a more ridiculous conceit through history, life and literature than the middle-class desire to reform and civilise the working class..."the less fortunate"? The pecksniffian, Lady Bountiful trope which finds its apotheosis in the collected thoughts of Polly Toynbee is alive, well and thriving in SureStart. Despite its abject failure, it manages to dodge the scythe because it appeals to that deluded reforming ideal in every liberal that once the underclass sense the fragrance of middle-class 'reasonableness' and civility, they'll ditch the wide-screen, microwave meals and Superlager and get themselves down the local college, skill-up and join the information-age, service sector opportunity-fest.

    No wonder it never works..never has..ever. Historically, 'rewards' have included such delights as religious redemption, temperance, 'respectability'; now they're offering call centres for the especially well conformed or a precarious existence in our highly flexible, ultra competitive service sector..."you're good son, but you're not the only one out there who can flip a burger"...everything else is spoken for..sorry.

    I saw around a Sure Start once. A number of youngish, middle-class graduates; none of whom had a kid or experience of living on benefits in the kinda place your average East German road sweeper would have turned his nose up at in the Seventies..instead they had some daft degree in Child Centred something or other, a vocabulary that seemed to centre on the standard English lexicon with an exponential increase in the use of the word'appropriate'...behaviour, language, relationships, 'contact', viewing, internet usage..you fuckin name it...it doesn't work.

    People want jobs..stable jobs, a reliable income which lets you plan, think long-term and actually start to give a fuck...they don't want the clueless 'daughters' of Polly Toynbee teaching them how to 'manage' being poor and trying to persuade them to better themselves into dead end, casual work which leaves them worse off...

    and one of them asked me if I'd been drinking...which I wouldn't have minded except I hadn't...I was stone cold sober and under instructions to be on my best behaviour..cheeky cow.

  116. MF

    I havebeen thinking about this 'How to manage your poverty for beginners' approachwhch seems to be invading us.

    It is now, it seems, accepted that a large percentage of people will be disadvantaged - the poor are always with us thing. Some Cif commenters are already painting a picture of feral masses lurking on the fringes - they must be controlled at all costs. How quickly people buy into a self serving agenda irespective of the damage it does to society overall.

    Seperation compounds will soon be proposed - About 80% of ciffers will like the idea.

  117. #What passes for social policy today, by contrast, takes the existence of inequalities as a given, immutable fact, and focuses increasingly upon the individual’s capacity for survival. The question has become, not how to eradicate poverty or how to ameliorate its effects on people’s lives, but rather how to encourage individuals to manage their poverty in such a way that they don’t cause trouble or make themselves ill.#

    Just wanted to repeat that, except in bold.


    that is a good one. What these articles sniping at Scots (or Welsh or Irish) not supporting England fail to take into consideration is the unceasing England, England, England coverage that gets beamed on Scottish/Welsh/N. Irish TV's.

    It's just a fact of life when you have broadcasters who broadcast across the UK the same uniform programming but it does drive the other UK nations to distraction.

    I get BBC and ITV here. I watched 3 minutes of James Corden interviewing 'Big' John Terryfuckwit.

    Now centuries ago, that would have been deemed an outright declaration of war, so nauseatingly offensive that it was. I actually pulled out six of my fingernails with rusty pliers in the 3 minutes I watched it, trying desperately to take my mind off it.

    Next time I'll check before Corden is on again and stick on a snuff video instead. It'll be nice to watch something a bit less abhorrent and distasteful.

  118. MF "People want jobs..stable jobs, a reliable income which lets you plan, think long-term and actually start to give a fuck...they don't want the clueless 'daughters' of Polly Toynbee teaching them how to 'manage' being poor and trying to persuade them to better themselves into dead end, casual work which leaves them worse off..."
    Spot on, but the former scenario means an end to 'pets' and deprives the Pollys of their 'feel-good' factor and we can't be having that,can we. Couldn't allow for people to have sufficient stability to be allowed to think and possibly end up making the kind of choices which are simply appalling, and potentially inappropriate or lacking in gentility or servility.

    BTW, did anyone catch the Anne Wollenberg CiF thread on DLA? There is a quite remarkable slapdown on there from the author...

  119. Alisdair

    I've been following the DLA thread on & off all evening and rather enjoyed her slapdowns.

  120. Ms Chin

    You had to point the disability thread out to me didn't you. ;)

    Great work by you and Piggsy among others on there but I had to stop reading since I don't want to have to start claiming DLA myself after clawing my own eyes out in a fit of frustrated anger.

  121. Leni

    "Seperation compounds will soon be proposed - About 80% of ciffers will like the idea. "

    Christ I hope you're wrong...

    Haven't dared to look at the DLA thread yet. I don't think I can bear any more Tory assholes for one evening.

    MF - don't you realise that a degree in baby's pimples is so much more important that any mother's experience with babies and their pimples? I thought you would have worked that one out by now...

  122. jen

    Well yes, it's bad ... but as Alisdair says, Anne W has been bloody marvellous. As have the disabled people fighting back on the thread.

    And it's not often you see Prof Plums slunk off, tail between legs, now is it?

  123. Te DLA threadis indicative of things to come. Most posters ar willing to sacrifice anyone to preserve their own little bit of England. It is shocking - the hatred and lack of undrstanding it demonstrates.

    Lots on knee jerk reactions from people who know nothing and care even less about disbled people and the difficulties they face.

    Oh to be fit, young and beautiful like Imogen.

  124. "Seperation compounds will soon be proposed - About 80% of ciffers will like the idea. "

    Chilling, but I fear that Leni's not wrong, BB.

  125. Anyhow, rejoice everyone. Sunny Hundal has decided that he's English, so he can show the English just what they should be...

  126. Oh a lot of the comments (including Alisdair and Lenis') have been both brilliant and deeply worrying, some people have so much to cope with and the idea that some of their money can be taken away or extra stress added to their lives and some people are cheering the idea made me so angry.

    Plus you know the next disabled = skivers = bad backs comment is only minutes away.

    Can I toss the name Happhazzard into the ring as a pretender to Prof Plums total bastard title?

  127. Leni

    You'd think that people would have some shred of humanity wouldn't you, but no. Presumably those bastards think that disabled people should be out of sight, out of mind. In a separation compound perhaps. Maybe with a gas chamber,

  128. jen

    re: HappHazzard, you certainly can. Total heartless tw*t.

  129. The Milne Article went up at 8.42 and the first troll responded at 8.47 is there an alarm somewhere?

  130. An oldie but a goodie, Duke -

    Scottish weather

    People in Southern England turn on the central heating
    People in Edinburgh plant out bedding plants

    Southerners shiver uncontrollably
    Glaswegians sunbathe on the beach at Largs

    Cars in the South of England refuse to start
    People in Falkirk drive with their windows down

    Southerners wear overcoats, gloves and woolly hats
    Aberdonian men throw on a t-shirt; girls start wearing mini-skirts

    Southerners begin to evacuate to the continent
    People from Dundee swim in the River Tay at Broughty Ferry

    Life in the South grinds to a halt
    Inverness folk have the last BBQ before it gets cold

    Life in the South ceases to exist
    People in Dunfermline throw on a light jacket

    Polar bears wonder if it's worth carrying on
    Boy Scouts in Oban start wearing their long trousers

    Santa Claus abandons North Pole
    People in Stirling put on their 'long johns'

    Alcohol freezes
    Glaswegians get upset because all the pubs are shut

    Microbial life starts to disappear
    The cows in Dumfriesshire complain about farmers with cold hands

    All atomic motion stops
    Shetlanders stamp their feet and blow on their hands

    Hell freezes over
    Scotland will support England in the World Cup

  131. MsChin

    Eugenics - the thougt that dare not pass my mind. Some of the comments suggest the ideological base of their writers has ancient roots.

  132. Jen

    Happhazard is not jst heartless - there is a difference betwen being indiferent to the neds of others and having malevoent intent towards them.

  133. God there are some real eejits on that DLA thread.


  134. Gave up on the world for an hour or two to watch Le père de mes enfants (director Mia Hansen-Løve). Lovely, but sad little film. Have you seen it BB?

    Eugenics MsC? Are they talking about that on cif already. I wondered how long it be before someone suggested the eradication of the underclass as a way of solving the benefits trap.

    If i ever go near cif again - you have my permission to kill me.

  135. Wow, I just read that thread on Cif.

    I hadn't realised things had got that bad over there.
    I might have to consider going back, just to increase the number of actual human beings posting....

    (Some really good work by Leni, MsChin and Alisdair et al though...!!)

  136. That is the problem Sheff I think a lot of people are being driven away by the constant grind of challenging these idiots, I know I am.

    Give the constant ATL trolling from Cif itself though you have to wonder if it is worth the bother.

    Bloody Germany again. ;(

  137. jen

    Some days I am more up to having a go at the right-wing trolls than other days. There are times when I think "what's the bloody point", then I remember that actually if everyone just let them get on with it, none of their selfish, self-serving bile would be challenged.

    Sheff - haven't seen that one. Who's in it?

  138. sheff

    No one's actually mentioned the E word, but when folk are claiming that disabled people are better off or are feckless idlers faking sickness, you can sense the sub-text.

  139. Atomboy

    Just read Sunny. Surely that's the final fuckin nail in identity's coffin; CIF have just become their own gravediggers..to paraphrase a once fashionable German. Anything so flimsy as to suddenly flip on account of a fuckin football match is hardly worth basing an editorial policy around.

  140. Did WyrdTimes pop up on the Sunny Hundal thread, I could read it but I value my sanity (a bit anyway).

  141. Alisdair..that last one was at..not Atomboy..although you're welcome to tread it too

    ..both begin with A etc.

  142. I think some action - however small is required. Years ago when trying to draw public attention to an issue we used to print up little tracts and stick them in places where people could read them.

    A good place for this is in libraries and bookshops or as posters pasted on bus shelters etc. You can choose your group. For example, we found the historical romance and Mills and Boone sections were a good place to stick stuff for women. DIY, sport, science etc for the blokes. Fiction, autobiography, politics, history etc for all. Sorry if that sounds like equal opps subversion but it did work quite well.

    Anyway people - throw your ideas at me and I'll print them and get started. They can be as surreal as you like - anything to get people thinking.

  143. From the film Hombre:

    Audra Favor: I can't imagine eating a dog and not thinking anything of it.
    John Russell: You even been hungry, lady? Not just ready for supper. Hungry enough so that your belly swells?
    Audra Favor: I wouldn't care how hungry I got. I know I wouldn't eat one of those camp dogs.
    John Russell: You'd eat it. You'd fight for the bones, too.
    Audra Favor: Have you ever eaten a dog, Mr. Russell?
    John Russell: Eaten one and lived like one.
    Audra Favor: Dear me.

    If animals are deprived of food, naturally or artificially, they do not form committees to arrange how to manage and fairly distribute and share their resources. They simply fight to the death over whatever there is.

    Children who are abused by their parents normally end up blaming themselves.

    This is partly because they have an inbuilt need to see their parents as essentially good - like the chick in Tom and Jerry who is willing to be eaten by Tom simply because he assumes Tom is his mother - and partly because they have nowhere else to go and no other hope.

    Unlike parents, though, who are always seen as good, step-parents are always the villains.

    Everyone agrees that money is good. Money comes, like mothers' milk, from the banks and business and without it, we will all be destitute and eating slugs in a ditch on the edge of the local motorway.

    So, money=banks=business=good.

    You cannot abuse me because you are good and you look after me.

    The state, though, always seems a bit wicked. It spies on you, it takes your money and it disciplines you. It's obviously the bad step-parent, the abusive uncle, the wolf in Grandma's clothing.

    So, if anything goes wrong, we know which way to run, screaming "Stranger Danger!" right into the arms of those cuddly money-men.

    So, if they promise they will pay back the money they have borrowed from our piggy-bank, we will believe them. We will crane our necks to look, toothlessly smiling into their eyes and giving them a hug and damp kiss somewhere around the region of their thighs and lisp: "I know you will, Daddy. I trust you!"

    The problem is, when the bankers unleashed the global economic meltdown and the politicians rushed to the lavatory, who did the politicians ask to tell them how to kiss and make it all better again?

    Oh, yes. The bankers.

    So, despite the fact that the cheerleaders of commerce keep telling us that we are all going to make a tidy windfall profit on the banking bailout, it is, of course, nonsense.

    When it comes time to pay up, the bankers will simply say that their dog ate the money.

    Our heroic politicians will say: "Oh, don't worry. We'll send you some more! The little people are always happy to pay."

    We are getting towards the time when we find out whether all the struttings and posturings of the captains of industry were really true, when they said it is a dog-eat-dog world.

    Bite the hand that feeds you - or savage a neighbour?

    [PS - Sorry, that might be gibberish. Mind wandering and drunk]

  144. Atomboy

    I wish I could be that eloquent when I am drunk, I normally just misunderstand and swear at people. ;)

  145. Buggeration, Atomboy. You have mentioned He Who Must Not Be Named.

    There is a red light and a siren just gone off in the foothills of Western China...

  146. BB

    Louis-Do de Lencquesaing and Chiara Caselli play the leads with Alice de Lencquesaing, Alice Gautier and Manelle Driss as the children.

  147. BB

    Fuckeroonie, as I think we used to say.

  148. jennifer30

    What chicken? Fuck off!

  149. Atomboy

    Ah it's not just me then. ;)

  150. Happy drunks are starting to amble by. I get a great view of them pissing up against the wall of the building opposite.

  151. "and one of them asked me if I'd been drinking...which I wouldn't have minded except I hadn't...I was stone cold sober and under instructions to be on my best behaviour..cheeky cow."

    You werent best impressed with the SureStarts staff then MF, a bit "difficult" were you? I know the feeling - Yvonne Roberts quickly sized me up, i was simply "blinded by anger", but others are obviously blinded by alcohol, drugs, etc.

    Its one of my favourite phrases in 21st century *progressive* thought - people who stray off message dont simply "see things differently", they dont actually see at all - they are "blinded" by X, Y and Z, or rather Xism, Yism or Zism.

  152. OK I'm off to find a small, inconspicuous area of carpet where I can deposit a small puddle of dribble during the course of the night without having to get out my Daler Rowney Junior Paint Kit to disguise it in the morning.

    Could we start the revolution half an hour later tomorrow, please.

    I'll bring a sick-note.

  153. PS James - thanks for signing up. Will do sometghing. Prmosei.

  154. James! Ew!!

    Actually, that brings to mind a really weird article I have just been reading on the Beeb website.

    CCTV appeal over "animal semen" attacks...

  155. BB

    'thought to be animal semen' and, 'although lab tests proved inconclusive'

    Why would that be the first guess, and then also the second guess, even after inconclusive lab tests?

    (Perhaps best not to ask!!??)

  156. Haha -

    (If I have to get my coat, Paul has to too Miss....)

  157. What kind of a nutter goes around Manchester chucking jizz at girls, though?


    Perhaps his mum and dad didn't explain it to him properly...

  158. Atomboy

    (If you're still awake, sorry, just noticed your post).

    No problem.

    (I also might have signed up twice though. By accident mind!)

  159. Hank

    I agree many things cant be priced (though economists beg to differ), but there are elements that can be priced, dole, benefits, NHS treatment, cost of social help, etc etc, so though the data is necessarily quite tricky they do have ways of costing quite a lot of things which are intuitively unpricable.

    A persons sense of self respect and value is not pricable, though i suspect economics would define it as 'the minumum wage person X would work for'.

    But even only costing those tangible elements, the whole notion of the globalised economy changes, and "comparative advantage" crumbles to the ground - one of the bedrocks of globalist economics. Everyone doesnt instantly become suitable to work in finance or services overnight, or over any length of time - you then have to factor in the external costs to society (tangible and intangible) - often broken communities, long term unemployed, lack of employment choice, and the people left behind - that is the people unsuited to the industries their country enjoys "comparative advantage" in.

    I binned the essay about a thousand words in, silly really, but wasnt really coming together and somethin pissed me off mightily, so did article on that instead.

  160. James

    Euch! The police have to ask but I'd really rather not know. Weird indeed.

  161. OK me darlins

    Time for bed

    Night night x

  162. Well when times get harder, as they will, you'all can rediscover home-brewing and cider-making.

    So with a glass of frog2 scrumpy

    Cheers !

    ( down to me last 400 litres...)

  163. From the DLA thread:
    lizzieD @10.46

    "Sometimes, when I despair of Society's uncaring attitude to the disabled I comfort myself with the idea that, as we live longer, those smug and ignorant disapporvers may well find out one day what the realities are".

  164. I wonder if immers ever goes back to a thread to see if there were comments on her comment ?

    30 Recommends was very impressive I thought.

    Anne Wollenberg at 5.29 even better !

  165. frog2

    Anne W has made absolute class responses btl. Hers & others responses made the thread worthwhile & showed that disabled people aren't passive victims of their affliction, begging for crumbs.

    The carers piece is coming up soon, IIRC. Gawd help me.

  166. Yes, it's such a change having someone ATL who knows what they are going to say, and expresses it clearly.

    And then with the confidence to come BTL and put people straight.

    I hate to think what percentage of CiF articles are as good as that.

    The fact that the govt obviously does not know what it is talking about on this is .....( fill in ).

  167. BB Trotsky considered himself to be a Marxist so Trots are Marxists - This one is anyway! :)

    Paul - good point about divided communities - thats what the old 'divide and rule' tactic is designed to do and its been working too well lately.

    We have to keep pegging away at thsi - the secret is to expose the REAL enemy the owners of capital and the current government.

    BB - there is no party that represents the interests of the vast majority in this country - bourgeois democracy has been exposed as the sham it really is (and always has been).

    The old liberal party always posed as the 'friend of freedom'(as a statue of a 19th century Liberal politician in Cardiff has it) but they are as dedicated to the interests of capital as the Tories - always have been.

    The point is that bourgeois democracy will always support the 'freedom' of the ruling class to shaft the rest of us.

    The post war Labour Government was able to do what it did because capital needed the help of the state to repair war damage etc.( many parallels with the bank bailout - except that then there was proper public ownership but without workers' control). What that government did not do was address the question of who REALLY holds the power in society.

    You can't control what you don't own!

  168. frog2

    What took me by surprise was the utter disregard for her, as a disabled person with the same rights as every bugger else. I don't think some of those trolling eejits expected her to respond btl.

  169. Anne

    You're up late again, you naughty stop-out.

  170. They were like immers --"Next time, read the article ."

  171. frog2

    Sadly, the total lack of 'reading of article skills' does not stop 'em from making inane comments in their rush to get on the thread. And when pulled on said inanities, holding you hand up & admitting it might well be a good idea.

  172. Anne
    The only thing to come out of the TGA thread this evening was -this comment --

    KenBarlow 23 Jun 2010, 8:58PM

    "Understand - especially those of you on the right - that mass unemployment is never going to end. Ever. If we can admit this, we can think of systems to replace the 9 to 5 pre-21st century paradigm."

    I would tie that in to a Basic Income.

  173. Past my bedtime here, so goodnight all.

  174. Ms

    Yes, too many post just anything, a compulsion.

    If they are not witty, I'd moderate the idiots -- " you did not read the article,try again" or whatever.

  175. Paul: it's difficult to keep track of all the threads and information and who posts what and where it comes from.
    My point being that I am responding to something you said a couple of days ago and you might well have forgotten about it!
    Anyway, if I remember correctly the "divide and rule" principle was involved.

    Obviously It wasn't clear about what I wanted to say, so I'll have another go:
    Whilst the Internet has provided us with more knowledge than we could ever imagine, it has also spawned more "splinter factions".
    Surely there are thousands, if not millions of forums like this one in which people squabble amongst themselves rather than collectively challenge the status quo.
    It's the "wet dream" for the dominant ruling elite, since it separates all sorts of people who actually have much in common.
    Maybe, the internet, far from setting us free, has actually enslaved us even more!

  176. Hi Chekhov

    Am really busy right now so will try and respond to your post later.

  177. Jay - good point about comparative advantage and g;obalisation.

    The application of technology has a similar effect - e.g. road sweepers now have to be able to operate machinery. In the past many of the people I used to teach (learning disabled) could do these jobs - a broom is easy to operate.

    Now they can't, jobs like this are no longer available and a significant proportion of the population is excluded from the workforce.

    Road sweeping may be the lowest of low jobs (we used to be threatened with it as kids - if you don't work hard at school you'll end up sweeping the streets etc!), but its WORK and as such confers a certain amount of dignity that the unemployed can only dream of.

    frog2 - I would tie that in to a basic income

    Yes and also sharing available work and perhaps not using automation for some tasks. Work should be seen not just as economic activity but as a means of ensuring social inclusion. Sharing available work should result in more free time to be with children educate yourself and just plaining hanging around and being HUMAN.

    To each according to their need from each according to their ability

  178. Chekov - that is a very good point. The point of course is that there has to be life 'outside the net'.

    The internet is useful for disemination of ideas and for telling people about activities.

    The internet is a tool, like all tools it can be used to create or destroy.

    Its up to us how we use it.

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