16 July 2010


Young Ocelot - uncredited

Do not remove a fly from your friend's forehead with a hatchet.
-Chinese Proverb


  1. That snow leopard - that's an ocelot !

  2. Good morning campers..... ran out of steam last night.... like Ivor the Engine grinding to a halt on a hill....

    I'd like the Ocelot as a pet please!

    And had to laff at the proverb - that would describe most of the trolls on CiF ;0)

  3. AlisdairC
    "BW did you see or get sent that fecking letter from david Nicholson the other day, defending the "Liberating the NHS" white(ish) paper."

    I did see it Alisdair; ibnteresting that according to the Eye, Nicholson closed the NHS Confederation conference with a speech that doubted that the reforms would be "any where near ready for full implementation by 2012."

    If GP consortia are the only way forward, do they employ, piecemeal, former pct specialists in e.g. contracting etc - or do they buy in that tranche of skills from a third party ? Say a private consultancy ?

    Troble is, I firmly believe there are a hell of a lot of middle management jobs in pcts on 30-40k a year producing fuck all value to anyone, and pcts are generally run by cost accountants with no fucking idea about innovation, and they are overweeining, stifling environments.

    Much more to say; back later.

  4. "Do not remove a fly from your friend's forehead with a hatchet. Use a tazer !"

  5. @BW:

    "Do not remove a fly from your friend's forehead with a hatchet. Use two tazers, one H&K USP and four Steyr AUGs!"

    There, fixed it for you.

  6. morning all!
    proverb also nicely sums up the current public spending policy...

  7. I really must try to stay up later! Missed more fun last night I see!

    (Scherf) But can you not see how ludicrous it is that the British tax-payer should pay for women's shelters etc to protect vulnerable women who are abused by Muslim patriarchs who have a medieval world-view that has no place in a 21st century 'Western' society?

    In my version of socialism (and I thought yours) there is social justice, this involves protecting the vulnerable. It is the capitalist who washes his hands of the needs of the poor the sick and the elderly and the abused. So no I cannot see that my taxes going to help that minority of Muslim women abused by such men is ludicrous. I think my taxes going to bail out bankers is ludicrous, as is paying for a new generation of nuclear weapons.

    (Nap) I know longer spout the left wing canard that people are eternal victims,..

    I realise that some self defined ‘lefts’ (e.g. many who write for the Guardian!) do define the oppressed as ‘victims’. The fact is you are a victim of oppression until you are helped to fight it.

    The kids who attacked me were not 'victims of society', they were conscious human beings who chose by their own conscience to sadistically brutalise me and other people

    The children who bullied you did so for numerous complex reasons, I doubt very much that these included a conscious choice. I do know that many of the classroom bullies I encountered as a teacher turned out to be victims of physical child abuse at home. It is also interesting to note that my daughter, who was bullied at school, actually bullied me at home! Her psychiatrist told me that she was expressing her anger where she felt safest. Wasn’t much comfort at the time (she had serious exogenous depression and it was very difficult to deal with). It makes sense now. Some of your ‘oppressors’ were probably doing the same, the others may have gone along with it out of fear of being in your situation if they didn’t.

    Humans are very complex creatures, our motivations are rarely as simple as you describe, but we can be both victim and abuser. In a society so full of injustice and where life can sometimes be impossibly hard and where people can be subjected to impossible pressures, its no wonder so many end up behaving very badly to others.

    The road to admission of guilt can be a hard one and we need help. Yes forgiveness requires remorse but understanding is needed to help people come to remorse I think.

    (Scherf) Ooops! Chekhov has deleted his own post because it made him look like a total prat. Not to worry, I'm sure he'll be back soon to demonstrate his mediocrity. I just hope BeautifulBurnout doesn't zap a load of posts without trace beause she doesn't like what they have to say. That would be suppression of freedom of speech, and as we all know we don't do that sort of thing on the Untrusted. That's the sort of thing they do on Cif, and we don't approve of that. Right

    Wonderful paranoid rant mate but all it does is sow division and misunderstanding when what we all need now is unity and understanding, or to use that lovely socialist word - Solidarity

    If we are going wrong please explain why in a comradely manner. If we wait until we are all perfect before we can make the revolution we’ll wait forever. As I’ve said before – Anger is fine but let it be directed like a bullet not chaotic and indiscriminate like a bomb. Oh and make sure you’re aiming at the right target!

  8. interesting piece up from lynsey hanley.
    (interesting in a good way)

  9. @ BW, bit of both, mainly the latter re:
    do they employ, piecemeal, former pct specialists in e.g. contracting etc - or do they buy in that tranche of skills from a third party ? Say a private consultancy ? The private consultants have been inside the upper echelons of the DH for over a decade now via secondments etc. Some current middle-managers and commissioners will survive, but not that many I reckon, yet all the ones I know or have contact with are droneish going along with all this, not realising that odds are they are putting themselves out of a job, or else they are grossly mistaken as to the survival rate of their type.

    Had a good chat with a mate in London, and he and I reckoned that the Tories have a weird twisted vision of how things work and are trying to meld two things they believe hold true: one is a very Home Counties, village doctor pillar of the community, knows everybody and their auntie (and gubbins about upstanding citizens on LINks holding wrongdoers to account: the truth is LINks don't function well, are underfunded and on their boards a lots of well-meaning, but ignorant older busybodies, sometimes prejudiced...).Might have had some truth 60 years ago, but not in the modern UK, with transient populations,inner-cities etc.GPs have neither the time nor any great desire to do all commissioning . Lake Coyctus is very good on this. The other model is the uber-Thatcherite one of the private sector always doing anything better, (thoroughly disproved, but still an article of faith) and an adoration of consumerism and huge (usually US) corporates and their poisonous ways.

    Oh, and WTF is that about public health going to LAs?Local authorities, with limited experience in the field are to be tasked with public health. Those would be the same local authorities currently being asked to implement the most swingeing cuts for 40+ years…either the money for public health is ring-fenced, in which case you’ll see the bizarre situation of LAs with money to perform a function with which they are unfamiliar and lack expertise while lacking the money to fulfil the (traditional and still very necessary) functions in which they do have experience, or the money isn’t ring-fenced in which case public health simply wont be performed to anything like the level needed, if indeed anything more than the most perfunctory, token activity is undertaken.

    Shedloads more to say on this but also shedloads of work to do (inc. all weekend, with no pay and no lieu time back).Might try and look back later.

  10. That is an interesting article Philippa.

    People like Scherfig are the reason I have never joined the Labour party (I went to a meeting once and man there were a lot of guys like him).

    His like are the reason I have never even thought of becoming active in left wing politics, I can be called a fucking idiot online and brush it off, in real life it is different.

    Thank god for people like annetan and leni who show that politics isn't just for the testosterone brigade.

  11. jen - am impressed that I have already been told I am not a 'real woman', a mere seven comments in.

    (must be doing something right, hehehehehehehehe)

  12. Pah Philippa who wants to be a real woman, it is a very restricted role.

    Lets just be one of those freaky women it is more fun. ;)

  13. jen - heheh - now have missy elliott playing in my head...

  14. @jennifera30:

    ”…I can be called a fucking idiot online and brush it off, in real life it is different…”

    Funny, I’m the exact opposite. If someone calls me a fucking idiot online (and many have), I seethe for days in furious impotence. If someone does it in real life (some have), and they’re smaller than me, I can sort it out there and then. If they’re bigger than me and could clearly kick my arse, well, I just chalk it up to experience.

  15. Philippa someone told me once that I reminded them of Missy Elliot.

    Apparently fat overcomes the colour barrier, it was a weird way of saying that I was fat but cool.

    People are mental.

  16. Swifty

    I used to seethe over online insults but now I just ignore them.

    Scherfig/Melissa take a hint.

  17. Alisdair, thanks for the link. Will try and rustle something up for a proper discussion in a few days

  18. Swifty
    Thanks for the Chinese proverb/ordnance update.

  19. @BW:

    My pleasure mate.

    Talking of armed coppers… me and a mate were talking about them the other day (carrying on from something me and Jay were chatting about), he knows of a firearms officer up at Gatwick, who apparently has a laughably small penis. We were idly wondering, like you do, whether the two facts were related?

    I said I’d ask around… so, in the spirit of scientific enquiry, does anyone know of any firearms officers who are packing a horse’s handbrake? Or are they drawn to toting a sub-machine gun around to compensate for being hung like a mouse?

  20. There's an insidious prejudice that trumps many others, and as it rarely gets examined we often indulge in pandering to our own preferences. It's a big chip on a lot of peoples shoulders and I'd say many of us on the UT are far from 'without sin'


    Employed Tax payer -- Benefits scrounger
    Witty, informed, erudite -- Ignorant Troll
    Young -- Old
    White -- Not White
    Not White -- Not my 'not white'
    Socialist -- Capitalist
    Noob -- Founder member/cif legend

    When you don't have a lot, and can feel 'looked down on', it doesn't prevent inverted snobbery and the elevation of our own status. 'These MC wankers, with their 5k sallaries, mortgages and BMW's what do yhey know about life?' is as bad as, 'Doley chavs, getting pregnant for council houses...'

    Even the UT splits along these lines, how can we transcend these petty divisions and reach understanding, compassion, harmaony?

  21. @Turminder:

    ”…how can we transcend these petty divisions and reach understanding, compassion, harmaony?”

    Drink a Coke and teach the world to sing?

  22. Sorry to harp on about yesterday but I would like to explain why I still hate Thatcher as much as I do.

    Specifically I am a coal miner's granddaughter. My ggrandparents were not victims they led a life of struggle against grindily hard work and extreme poverty. Despite this they brought up three boys in a loving home. Two of them (one of these was my father) went to University and the youngest ended up in the higher eschelons of the civil service. That was their triumph, their victory. I remember them with pride.

    Coal miners fuel the British Empire, especially here in South Wales where the coal is largely high calorie low sulphur anthracite used in steamships. Such coal tends to be in narrow seams, making a difficult job even harder.

    In the 80's the Tories, led by Mrs Thatcher waged a vicious class war on these people who had mostly been in mining for generations. They were defeated and thrown on the scrapheap.

    People still suffer from this damage a friend of mine has just recently been made redundant from the third low paid job he has had since the 80's. His story can be re-told by thousands in every former mining community in the country.

    The same is true of steel, the motor car industry and many others. The once proud and skilled working class of this country after two centuries of exploitation and poverty have been defeated and their pride taken from them.

    I cannot forgive this this expresses how I feel
    I'll be right behind him

    But to be honest my feelings about Tony Blair are stronger . He stole the Labour Party from the working class and in 13 years of New Labour rule not one anti trade union law was repealed and the working class was not re skilled. They sold us out, ultimately, to the banks.

    And still they refuse to admit what they have done. David Milliband wrote to me this week, in the letter he said:

    WE are now the last hope for millions of people. If Labour does not stand up for them, no-one will. (the bold is in the original!

    Pity your lot didn't start doing that 13 years ago!

    Unprincipled F*ck*rs!! At least Thatcher was fighting for her class! or is it just that they changed sides and hoped no-one noticed?

  23. From yesterday's thread:


    The very fact that the law is an attempt to criminalise Muslim Women who are, in many aspects of their lives, already in a vlunerable position, for a 'tradition' which is imposed by a masculine clergy is entirely misplaced and circumvents how masculine ideology is foisted upon women so they are left in a lose-lose situation.
    15 July, 2010 09:02

    LaRit again:

    They need to be tackling the fundamentals of why these women are marginalised - not criminalise them for their mode of religious dress. That's why it is in my opinion the wrong way to go about it, however odious it might be that Women are either willingly wearing the full veil, or being coerced it's not right to outlaw it in a draconian fashion.

    But we're not going to agree. ;(
    15 July, 2010 09:21

    from PhilippaB:

    i find it difficult to understand how any woman would freely choose to wear a niqab, but in the absence of direct pressure (from the law in other countries, from family in france) then the indirect cultural pressures don't seem to me to warrant entirely dismissing a woman's choice, however strange it may seem....
    15 July, 2010 10:21

    from Bitterweed:

    It's a bullshit law if ever I've seen one; it'll just hurt the already silenced and bewildered, while getting a self congratulatory big pat on the back from the centrists and rightists who think they're actually doing something. As if.
    15 July, 2010 16:07

    So, scherfig, when you said:

    It was extremely amusing to hear all sorts of twisted logic about women not being allowed out of their houses as if the mooted legislation was responsible for this rather than the husbands/brothers beating the crap out of the women if they don't toe the line.

    you were spouting bollocks. There isn't a single opponent of the ban here who doesn't realise that it isn't the legislation that would ultimately be responsible for further marginalising of vulnerable Muslim women and only an idiot or someone who was willfully misreading yesterday's discussion would assert that any of us do think that way.

    BTW, I spent several hours today (with a fellow socialist) trying to convince some working class Danes that their views on immigrants and Muslims should not be exactly how they were portrayed in the tabloids. I think we made some progress.

    Well, somebody needs to give you a fucking medal, then, eh?

    You came in, guns ablaze, accusing everyone who argued against a ban of being wankers and moral relativists, engaging in feel-good posturing, leaving a clear impression that you support a ban. There isn't a doubt in my mind that it was unintended. You deliberately worded your comment so that you could do this when someone responded to you:

    jennifer, I don't actually support a ban (for various reasons, which I haven't yet mentioned or discussed), but you're just doing your usual thing and ranting about something I haven't actually said, and arguing against some viewpoint that I haven't expressed. You are the proof of what I said in my last comment - a knee-jerk liberal reaction to a 'hot' issue which requires no independent thought, just a brain-dead reaction. Nothing personal, but you're a fucking idiot.

    That's dishonest and despicable, scherfig.

  24. Re the proposed burqua legislation, I can't get my head round feminist women arguing against legislation that might give women more freedom because if it became law their men could stop them going out of the house!

    Well, it's like this, scherfig: those of us who care about how the legislation would affect the women it targets see two problems with it:

    1) The most vulnerable women could become prisoners in their own homes. You're talking about women who may not speak the language of the country they're living in very well, or possibly not at all. Expecting these women to have the strength to just tell their husband, brothers, father, whomever to fuck off is unreasonable, unrealistic, ignorant and just plain cruel. You're talking about women who have quite possibly been forced into an arranged marriage and may be living in a violent relationship already. Standing up to an abusive husband could separate them forever from family -- including their own children.

    2) Some women who wear the veil could very well be acting on free choice. Legislation banning the veil would be restricting their right to free expression of their religion. One woman's increased freedom could possibly be another's freedom lost.

    Good point, chekhov - I should give up the blog that I was a founder member of and try and find another place where I'll be more appreciated. You really are extremely thick, aren't you chekhov?

    Well, if chekhov is thick, then so am I, because I really don't understand what the fuck you think you're accomplishing. Explain just how the hell you think insulting everyone in sight is contributing anything positive to a blog you claim to care about? Plenty of other people who were here at the beginning have walked away for one reason or another with ease, so I fail to see what being a "founder member" has to do with anything.

    This place used to be fun and sometimes also serious, and I haven't quite given up on it yet, but it probably won't be very long before I jack it in completely. Which will be super for the likes of you and then many other anodyne posters who infest this site now.

    Is there anything we can do to hasten your departure? Seriously, scherfig, I'm fed up with you.

  25. Turm:
    The only one of those I will hold my hand up to is Socialist/capitalist!

    And I do not apologise for that because it represents the only real division in modern society the interests of the bourgeoisie (capitalist) and the interests of the proletariat (socialist).

  26. Swifty
    Don't know any armed coppers, but I do however have a mate who is ex-SAS, and reliably informs me he's hung 'like a bee'.

    Who am I to argue ?

  27. Anne Tan.

    Actually I do beleive people are victims of society- in certain economic sense. For example, 19th century Russian peasants as Leni said, or even the modern long term poor. A 19th century Russian peasant didn't have a choice of whether he was randomly born in to his peasant family, while another child was randomly born into the local aristocrats family.

    Where I meant to say that in the field of free will and 'consciousness', yes I believe people are responsible for there actions. However you talk of the bullies who often have dysfunctional childhoods, and I can vouch for that. But surely there parents are conscious human beings and ahould instill some loving values in their kids, rather than neglecting them physically/emotionally. Of course then you could argue that these poor parents themselves were brpught up in a dysfunctional childhood.

    So, yeah I have just defeated my own arguement. But I still want to believe that people are rational human beings who are conscious of themselves and others, their actions have conscioussness.

    So in the words of Chernyshevsky, Tolstoy, Lenin.- What is to be done? ('что делать?') How will this cycle ever be broken. I cannot see a way.

  28. BW

    Hung like a 'Bee' what? ;)

  29. Anne, I have no problem with helping the vulnerable, whether they be Muslim women or the unemployed or whatever. I would rather my taxes were spent on that than eg Trident. What I do have a problem with is the ridiculous attitude that we should accept the oppression of women because it's 'culturally sensitive', and then pick up the tab while exonerating the oppressors. Where is the logic in opposing a burkha ban because 'some women won't be able to leave the house', and at the same time saying nothing about the fuckwits who forbid 'their' chattels a basic human right? It's moral cowardice dressed up as concern for victims, and just lets the real villains get off scot-free because we don't want to rock the boat. Sheer hypocrisy.

    And jennifer, your totally irrelevant wittering about the 'Labour party' and 'testosterone' is just another example of why I called you a fucking idiot. You repeatedly 'misunderstand' people's comments and attack them on very dubious grounds, and then apologize for it later and claim you were drunk. The old 'victim' schtick you use so often is getting really tired. You're a lot smarter than you pretend to be, so I'll not be pulling any punches with you no matter how much you wail and moan about how shit your life is. And 'people like scherfig' is just a bollocks meaningless phrase - you don't know me, and you're too self-obsessed to be even interested in me. If you want to make a rational point about something, then do so, and I'll gladly engage. If you just want to wallow in self-pity and complain about the rest of the world, then there are others here on this forum who will gladly pat your back and stroke your fevered brow.

    Hi, montana. The feeling's mutual. Bye.

  30. @swifty, sniff, some coke, then we'll have a sing song... ; )

  31. turminderxuss
    Look if a man can't have his prejudices, where's the goddamn fun in life ?

    I did a 180 degree turn on tazers a couple of years ago. There is much evidence weighing against the use of tazers. They're (at least historically) unreliable, there have been 400 deaths associated with their use reported worldwide, and evidence from a study in Eastern USA (for get which state) a couple of years ago demonstrated that police systematically use them when other less harmful means would do.

  32. George Galloway on Sky News talking aobut Raoul Moat and facebook. Honestly, I thought he vowed never to appear on Rupert Murdoch's news again.

  33. @BW:

    Ah, but he’s one of “Them”, they’re a different kettle of fish altogether…

  34. Nap it can be done but it does involve the sort of input this society is unlikely to allow.

    It involves placing the kids in a specialised boarding school where they can be learn self esteem.

    Meanwhile the problems of the parents need to sorted out too. the aim should be to create people who can relate to each other in a healthy way as parents and children.

    It's not easy and doesn't happen overnight. But it can be turned around in a generation

    My daughter and I are fine now we get on great! but it took over 20 years!

    I suspect that we shall need a lot of these 'therapeutic communities' after the revolution.

    All love starts with self love, some versions of Christianity teach self hatred (miserable sinners) yet Jesus taught that we should 'Love your neighbour as yourself' so you have to love yourself first right?

    Only then can you treat others decently

    I'm an atheist but I think there is wisdom in most religious teaching - the problem is separating it from the damaging cr*p.

    We have to learn to live with each other some people don't get those lessons

  35. Different kettle of mental.

  36. Geogeous George ? Reminds me of Groucho

    "These are my principles ! And if you don't like 'em, I have others."

  37. ~~~IRONY WARNING~~~

    Look if a man can't have his prejudices, where's the goddamn fun in life?

    See, the misogyny inherrent in the system! And anne42 wants to take peoples kids away! It's never easy is it?

  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. turminderxuss
    You want to be called Loretta ?!!

  40. Scherf, the whole question of DV is frought with difficulty. Yes we should go forbastards who abuse these women as we should go for people (male & female) who inflict abuse on others.

    But even native British women find it difficult to escape from abuse, imagine how hard it is for a woman who:
    has no or lttle English
    is not allowed out because the law forbids face covering
    has absolutely no idea where to get help

    In theory, yes ban face covering and put draconian measures in place to deal with the abusers.

    In practice its nigh on impossible. You can throw as much legislation as you like at this problem but in the end you have to change hearts and minds.

    So arrest Mullers who are shown to justify face covering and punishment for those who don't comply.

    Also arrest people in the wider community who think a 'lippy' woman should be given a 'slap'.

    The legislation is there its called 'incitement to violence'.

    But the moral relativists won't do that because 'its theie culture'.

    TBH I don't think anyone here is saying that. Just banning face covering will not solve anything its just guesture politics that does not address the real problem. Namely the attitudes of some muslim men (and actually the women too).

    THis is a society that believes in easy short cuts and avoids the really difficult tasks - same as curing abuse in families (as discussed above).

  41. This comment has been removed by the author.

  42. TX: It's my right as a drone.
    BW: Well, why do you want to be Loretta, Xuss?
    TX: I want to have batteries.
    BW: You want to have batteries?!
    TX: It's every drone's right to have batteries if he wants them.

  43. arrrgh! formating problems. What I was trying to say was:

    What I do have a problem with is the ridiculous attitude that we should accept the oppression of women because it's 'culturally sensitive', and then pick up the tab while exonerating the oppressors.

    Come on scherf - nobody was exonerating oppressors. It seemed to me that whilst people were saying how much they disliked the niqab and what it symbolised for them - on balance, they opposed a ban because they felt it wasn't the right way to tackle the problem. That it would have the effect of throwing the women even further back into the hands of their 'oppressors' than they already were; by virtue of curtailing what small freedom they already have.

    My view is that focusing solely on the iniquities of the niqab that actually only affects a relatively small number of Muslim women in Europe, drowns out other more important problems like alienation from the wider society they live in, racism, poverty, access to education and work, forced or coerced marriages, domestic violence and social isolation for example that affect not only niqab wearers but many, many more.

  44. Turm if you are 'being ironic' why say it at all?

    No I obviously don't want to take people's kids away but are seriously suggesting that a(for example) a child whose father regularly took a broom handle to them when they did 'something wrong' should 'stay with the family?

    The social worker did! Thats OK is it? When they came to my classes they used to shrink away from me when they got a sum wrong.

    That's what I am talking about OK is it? Its not something to 'be ironic about frankly.

  45. Anne, my partner works with kids like that. Dirty clothes, mystery bruises, multiple generations of jobless families. They 'love' their kids, the kids don't want to be seperated from the families. All I'm saying is when are these decisions made, who by, with what authority? Social services are understaffed, pressured, bound by rules and regs... Society needs a radial uplift, with all levels being offered empowerment, opportunity to engage and prosper.

    In your example the father should be prosecuted. Or better educated to see that the harm he suffered should not be replicated and damage his own children.

    Why say it? Cos I have a black sense of humor, apollogies if I offend.

  46. @BW:

    Oh, I wasn't supporting tasers -- I totally agree with you about them. There have been at least two deaths from tasers here in the US in the past year or so (details are sketchy in my mind about them).


    He knows damn well that no one was exonerating oppressors. It's just an excuse to hurl insults. It seems to make him feel superior.

  47. Copy that Monatana, was just checking you hadn't mistook unqualified support on my behalf !

  48. He should be prosecuted and educated. Until then kids need to be protected from him until he learns notto damage his kids. Boarding schools such of the type I mentioned did exist briefly - they worked in most cases, very disturbed kids turned around and became good members of society who raised happy families. Its not 100% of course so the failures were emphasised and these 'mamby pa,by wastes of money were closed in the 80's.

    When/if the parents are healed more and more contact can be allowed.

    The child I spoke of (I met them as an adult of 21) is still unemployed finds relationships difficult and lives in sheltered accomodation.

    But she stayed with her family. We cannot in all conscience allow abuse to continue just because the kids don't want to be removed from home. This person's parents were ill, what if the problem was physical instead of mental/emotional? In the absence of other relatives they would be in care wouldn't they?

    Yes he was almost certainly a victim too. thats why I said in my post to nap that people are often victims and perpetrators

  49. Afternoon all

    @Anne-i think you,re absolutely right.In fact i would wager that the majority of the perpetrators of abuse have also been abused themselves.

    Some years ago i watched a documentary about a man confronting his father about the physical and emotional abuse he had subjected him too as a kid.The father needless to say was in total denial about what he had done.However this man was now a father himself and his son got on like a house on fire with his grandfather-something the man was clearly jealous of.But more importantly he showed signs of subjecting his own son to at very least the same emotional abuse he himself had been subjected too.And like his own father was in complete denial about what he was doing.

    Abuse in families so often gets passed down the generations .And at present there isn,t the political will to invest in the type of quality childrens services needed to efffectively combat it.

  50. Hi Montana

    Yes he does like to chuck grenades about. I've lived amongst and worked with a whole range of different Muslim 'communities' Yemeni, Somali, Pakistani, Indonesian etc). I set up and then ran an IT project in a local community centre largely used by them. I met the issues face to face on a daily basis for years.

    These communities face masses of problems, within and without and they're certainly not a cohesive group of 'Muslims,' even given the value placed on the concept of the Ummah by some of them; and right now, I think banning the niqab will not help any of us, quite the reverse.

  51. Googled about the taser deaths, 'cos it was bugging me. One of the ones that had been in my mind was a 16 year-old learning-disabled boy in Detroit and there was a 45 year-old patient in a mental hospital in Ohio who was killed only about a month ago.

    There were others, but I think those were the two of which I had vague recollection earlier.

  52. I just about exhausted my rowing energies on this topic, bullied as i was by a vast mob of you (joke) -

    But im not sure how correct this is:

    "Just banning face covering will not solve anything its just guesture politics that does not address the real problem. Namely the attitudes of some muslim men (and actually the women too)."

    I'm not entirely decided to would welcome comments on this specific problem:

    How is the above different from saying "there's no point making it illegal to refuse a job to someone on the basis that they're black/female/disabled, you must get to the underlying cause which is the prejudiced thinking behind it. The law would be unworkable - people will just make up other reasons as cover for their prejudice"

    The line between criminalising an act and "getting at the root cause" is actually very complex and there are plenty of laws that lend weight to both sides of the divide.

    If social services find a woman being kept at home by a man because she wont cover her face - then he should be imprisoned for quite a long time for holding someone against their will. A few years detention would give them plenty of time to mull over their views.

    *not to single out your comments Annetan (which I've enjoyed reading today), it was just the clearest example of something that has been said quite a few time.


  53. Yes, I agree, Sheff. And, as I said a couple of days ago, I firmly believe that the numbers of women wearing the niqab or burqa would decline more rapidly if non-Muslims would just drop the issue entirely.

  54. "And, as I said a couple of days ago, I firmly believe that the numbers of women wearing the niqab or burqa would decline more rapidly if non-Muslims would just drop the issue entirely. "

    Not sure about that, veiling isnt declining at the minute full stop, its *increasing* and has been for around 5-8 years (going from various sources, none of which concrete for obvious reasons).

  55. Montana
    I went and researched taser use a couple of years ago - August 2008 - and posted a lengthy post in CiF about it, with evidence and reference from articles all over the US, Canada and the UK. The post got deleted ! Not a profanity or copywright issue in sight, and I wasn't even in pre-mod... it helped usher in my lengthy and unseemly war with the mods over there. ;-<

  56. There was never any spit on the ceiling, until we put up the sign saying, 'DO NOT spit on the ceiling'

    I think we must be tolerant, 'if we do not hang together...'

  57. "I think we must be tolerant, 'if we do not hang together...'"

    Should we be tolerant of the things which drive us apart though?

  58. Not sure about that, veiling isnt declining at the minute full stop, its *increasing* and has been for around 5-8 years (going from various sources, none of which concrete for obvious reasons).

    Okay, maybe I didn't word that as clearly as I could have. I didn't mean that I think that the number of women wearing the veil is currently decreasing. I meant that I believe that, if the goal is to decrease the numbers of women wearing the veil, it would be more effective for non-Muslims to drop the issue entirely than to try to get rid of it via a ban.

    It's Prohibition mentality at work, for some who choose to wear it. When they outlawed alcohol in the US, little old ladies who'd never touched a drop all of the sudden felt the need to stash some hooch in the cupboard.

    Tell women they can't wear the veil, a lot of woman who wouldn't otherwise want to will all of a sudden feel that they must wear one to be devout. Treat it like it's no big deal -- there's no political statement to be made in wearing one, so they won't bother.

  59. Utah Phillips, on California.

    "ya gotta be open, open to new ideas, experience.. If yer not open, they pry ya open"

    Same again quoting an old miner looking at the 21st C from the coffee shop windows,

    "Don' matter how New Age ya get. Old age gonna kick yo ass."

  60. Ah, Turminder said in one sentence what it just took me 3 paragraphs to explain.

  61. On the veil...
    Given the references to 'culturally sensitive'...
    Was thinking in the shower and maybe a parallel can be drawn (in terms of the debate and potential bans) with that surrounding prostitution.

    It is a subject on which there are many views, such as:
    feminist - con - degrading to women
    feminist - pro - empowering / undermines myth of sex as 'special'
    religious moralist - con - sex outside marriage wrong
    capitalist - pro - free exchange of goods services
    libertarian - pro - whose business is it anyway
    wood/trees - con - shores up crime, wider negative impact
    etc etc etc.

    There are also many reasons why people get into prostitution, a spectrum that runs from the horrific (sexual slavery) through the profoundly troubling (drug addiction) to the depressing (lack of options) to the greedy (high-end highly paid 'happy hookers') etc. And which can be criticised as involving 'oppression' at every point, from the obvious violence, to the drugs trade, to social problems, to lack of self-esteem, etc.

    And there are similarly many views on the niqab:
    feminist - con - male oppression, just wrong
    feminist - pro - ban just another example of male oppression
    atheist - con - all religion is bunk
    liberal - con - on balance, after considering all the factors
    liberal - pro - on balance, after considering all the factors
    statist - con - we're right, assimilate
    racist - con - just another excuse to bash the Muslims
    libertarian - pro - whose busines is it anyway
    etc etc etc.

    And there are many reasons why women wear the niqab, from the deeply problematic (family mandate), to the worrying (cultural pressure) to the possibility that some of them may have decided, baseed on their study of the Koran and understand of their religion,, that this is something that they feel is appropriate for them So banning the niqab is not just saying 'don't dress like that' but 'you're interpreting your religion wrongly', which is a bit different.

    I think there should be specific legislation against the worst end of prostitution - people trafficking / sexual slavery - safe (non-judgmental) places to go for the addicted or disadvantaged - and education to deal with the wider issues of self-image / self-respect etc.

    The same sort of approach seems to me best re the veil - legislation against DV, safe places / services (like SBS) for those seeking information / escape / non-judgment, and education more widely.

    Both issues involve many factors relating to the protagonists, giving rise to a spectrum, many views by those commenting, giving rise to odd bedfellows (and some misunderstandings re motive).

    Thus banning the niqabs seems as dumb to me as banning brothels. While some of us may wish that prostitution / niqabs didn't exist, as they do, maybe best to consider that ours might not be the be-all-and-end-all view on the matter, and best to address that issue in a practical way that might actually change something (including ideas) than just bringing down the (v judgmental) hand of the state...


  62. thank christ, thought that had beenn 404'd.

    anyway - work beckons. have a good afternoon, all...

  63. @BW:

    I'm guessing it was fear of litigation wot done it. As I recall, the company that makes tasers has tried suing media outlets that have covered the safety issue to suppress the information.

  64. As to why many Muslim males feel the need to bring in a spouse from Pakistan- this seems to be the major problem. This is why we have the hypothetical woman who is forced to wear the niqab or burka but cannot speak English and is slave to her husband, rahter than the more erudite and self confident second and third generation Muslims.

    Second generation British Muslim females are (I am assuming) confident about their rights and their individuality, many will go off to pursue careers in medicine or law or something.

    Surely there is an equal number of British muslim men and British muslim women- is there such a partner shortage that they feel they need to get a bride from the old country? Of course not, I am guessing British Muslim men are too chauvinistic to marry woman who are successful in life, as a threat to their authority.
    (that is only assuming they will 'marry their own' when many in the British muslim community will marry outside the faith/ethnic group)

    Ultimately, my question is why do second generation British Muslim men shun second generation British Muslim women? My theory, as I said above, is that they do not like the liberated women.

  65. Jay

    I know it's only anecdotal but my experience living and working in Muslim communities is that they feel beleaguered by a wider society that despises them and their beliefs and sees them all as potential terrorists.

    For example - I've often heard women who wear the full black coverings (not always with niqabs) referred to as 'those bin bag women' and 'stealth bombers quite routinely and in their hearing. The effect is not to have them whipping off the bloody things but further entrenching them in their laagers.

    The current mood of fear and contempt is making them more inward looking, more disengaged with the rest of us and thrusts some of them, willingly and unwillingly back into the arms of their mullahs and the more extreme tenets of their faith.

    My feeling is that banning the niqab will just make all this worse and make it more difficult for us to talk to each other and deal with all the other problems that the girls and women, in particular, face.

    Having said that, i know plenty of young Muslim women who do all they can to resist being forced into conformity but it can be very dangerous for them and they have their own ways of doing it.

    My old next door neighbour, a young, well educated Muslim woman married off to an uneducated man she doesn't like, never mind love and who together with his mother, (the dominant force in the family) denies her access to further education or work, makes her remain in the home at all times, except when visiting family, did not dare let her own small children play with my grandchildren incase they were 'polluted' (her M in law's words) by our culture. Her family are in the States so she has no support or personal friends beyond her husbands family/clan.

    We used to have long chats over the garden fence and the occasional brew together. When I asked her how she could stand it she said she couldn't and it was driving her mad but that she had to be very careful as she stood to loose everything (including her children, which were the only thing keeping her sane), if she rebelled too obviously. Her plan was slowly, slowly catchee monkee and the hope that her M in law would die and she could then, possibly, have more influence over her husband.

    There are many, many women in her position and we should listen to them, what they want from us and do nothing that undermines their attempts to free themselves.

  66. It's not the kids Nap. It's the parents. My sister has had an arranged marriage, lasted 6 weeks. That didn't stop my folks pushing her towards a second arranged marriage, which IMO led her to a nervous breakdown.

    This is a very 'liberal' anglo indian family! Allah help the children of the real hardcore ones.

  67. @Sheff:

    That’s an excellent post.

  68. @Pip.

    you forgot;

    religious moralist - pro- temple prostitution, places the transaction within the faith, and now we all know what it feels like.

    : )

  69. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2006/jun/02/comment.charliebrooker

    Damntheral posted this link. Seems appropriate.. ; )

  70. Jay -
    I said
    "Just banning face covering will not solve anything its just guesture politics that does not address the real problem. Namely the attitudes of some muslim men (and actually the women too)."

    You said
    How is the above different from saying "there's no point making it illegal to refuse a job to someone on the basis that they're black/female/disabled, you must get to the underlying cause which is the prejudiced thinking behind it. The law would be unworkable - people will just make up other reasons as cover for their prejudice"

    There is all the difference in the world between "Just" doing something and "there is no point in" doing something.

    Also your example is not comparable. It is much easier to enforce change in the public sphere (e.g. employment) than it is in the private (women not be allowed out without a face covering).

    People (children, men, women) even in the host community still sadly find it difficult to report DV and are sometimes not believed by the police. In the Fred West case a neighbour reported abberabt behaviour by West to the police and she was ignored (daft old bat?). I am learning by experience that being old and female can be a bit of a double whammy! (they get an unpleasant surprise with me though!)

    Violence in the privacy of the home is VERY difficult to pin down and I do feel that those muslim women who are being forced to wear the niquab will be in an even worse situation.

    I don't see how we can prevent this without invading the privacy of every family in the land.

    I am single as you know, in winter I often don't go out much. Suppose I was married or living with someone and a neighbour reported I had not been seen recently. Would my partner be investigated? Is this right?

    The right wing 'librty central' lot and the 'identity politics' lot will have a field day and the women who are being forced to stay at home will still suffer.

    It'd be a train wreck!

    Legislation in the social area is frought with unintended consequences.

  71. Turm LOL

    But then Brooker always makes me giggle :)

  72. @Anne,,you mentioned therapeutic communities,, i was at Finchden Manor for 5yrs and am willing to discuss the experience with you here

    until the next community round of mindless formulaic insult directed at Jes/bella/georgina/matt or Bru /kiz etc which
    are IN MY OPINION totally SELF destructive and behaviour which i dont wish to be associated with

    for ME an insult speaks about myself not the target,,might be a legacy from Finchden,,

  73. Jen:

    People are mental

    You can say that again!

  74. Please tell us more 3p4. Were you sent by your family, removed, forced, happy to go. Was it a positive experience?

  75. Morning all!

    Following are being placed here for safe keeping:

    "Jessica Reed

    jamescisv - I think you missed the point. I'm not saying Cif should turn into a massive let's-ignore-everything-that's-wrong fest. I'm saying a simple series underlining what works for communities, with a highlight on the hyper-local, might prove to be inspiring and, for a change, might also point out what the people in this country do well

    Missed the point? Oh, ok, my bad. Apologies and whatnot!

    It's just that when you said:

    What do you think? Thoughts welcome.

    I thought that I could, you know, share my thoughts, however intellectually challenged I may be.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with the odd 'puff' piece, I mean, we could all do with a bit of a laugh from time to time, couldn't we!?

    The thing is though, and again, I could be wrong here, it seems that some people here have been asking The Guardian to do some real, serious, investigative journalism around some very important and serious topics, yet the overall impression I get is that you are, at best, reluctant to oblige (and before you say it, Laurie Penny is not my idea of real, serious, investigative journalism per se)!!

    And while, I'm all for giving the people what they want, I think it's a bit disingenuous to go with the 'some people have asked'* thing as a green light for more light hearted stuff, while others on this very thread, have had to come back time and time again with reasons/evidence why you should be looking into x, y or z, that could (and probably will) profoundly impact upon the lives of millions of people!

    And yes, you are making some effort, but, I'd argue, you need to be making more, not less, to cover this sort of thing, regardless of how 'doom and gloom' it may be.
    I mean, call me old fashioned, but isn't that what The Guardian used to be for!?

    *Also, just as an aside, I was following that thread for a while, and if you're using it as a litmus test for 'what people want', guess what the most mentioned 'issue' was at the time I left!?(*)"

  76. and:

    "(*)Continued on another post, because I really don't want the last one to be deleted solely on the basis of the following paragraph:

    On that note, I wonder if anybody could tell me why, on a thread asking what happens when political reporting turns out to be bogus, my comment;

    Dunno, but maybe it's best not to ask Martin - 'Cameron's a gent, and such a lovely, lovely fella' - Kettle though....

    got zapped!!??"

  77. Sorry, 3p4, I posted those before I read your post.

    Hope that's not considered an insult to Jess.

    (it wasn't intended as one, just a more general rant about The Guardian in general....)

  78. Hello everyone: more for the Cif moderation "Rap Sheet."

    (weRallinthistogether)on wadya thread.

    So, was my comment deleted:

    Because we now all have to adopt a certain posture with regard to the poor, which never mentions how the old Nasty Party used to treat anyone stupid enough to fall outside the rich zone?

    Because it mentioned something (a chemical) once used during a period of history which has been discussed freely on this thread?

    Because one of CiF's glitterati commentators pressed the abuse button and the moderator just deleted without thinking?

    Because, now CiF wants to adopt a happy-clappy line, a type of "Dig for Victory" sloganeering in which people are portrayed as forever smiling, even in the face of adversity, like the old Chinese propaganda films, we can never mention the War, or anything else which is not simply lovely?

    When CiF put out the begging-bowl to get new people to post free content, you did remember to mention the random censorship, didn't you?

  79. Were you sent by your family,


    no objective answer possible

    happy to go.

    Was it a positive experience?
    overall yes,, nothing is perfect


    (dudes,,please remember typing is a bit of a challenge for me and i usually go for brevity which leads to "?gnomic?" puzzlement for the reader,,)

    i often think i am from a different planet than the rest of you because my mind seems to work completely differently,, the suspicions you all harbour about each other are utterly alien to me,,the ubiguitous adoption of rude hostility
    constantly surprises me,,

    i have tried to go down this road on the UT before
    but i cant write good enough,, this bit took me 30 mins,,

  80. Thanx, 3p4. I always enjoy your posts. Let us have more as and when you can. : )

  81. actually Anne/ Turm i dont think i am going to continue,, i will always read the UT but i cant risk posting here,,as much as i would like to,,

    its too much 'against the current'

  82. Authorization Required
    Couldn't access the link tho...

    This server could not verify that you are authorized to access the document requested. Either you supplied the wrong credentials (e.g., bad password), or your browser doesn't understand how to supply the credentials required.

  83. Afternoon all

    Watching Passport to Pimlico - haven't seen it for years. Fab film.

    Friday - feet up, cup of tea. Hellish social services/child case today and now my brain has stopped working for the rest of the day.

    Are we still discussing the niqab/burkha?

    Hasn't Sarkozy's plan worked marvellously. Nobody is talking about Bettancourt any more... :p

  84. so just to make it obvious

    i messed up the first link,, forgot to put the label in,,

  85. 3p4

    I echo turminder - good to see you posting again. Hope all is well with you. I agree, it can be rather adversarial on the UT at times, sometimes generating more heat than light and we do attract the odd troll or two.

    But I have learnt quite a lot from different people here. In spite of/because of the way it is? Not really sure.

  86. Hello All


    Good to have you here again.

  87. hi sheff "But I have learnt quite a lot from different people here"

    thats partly why i keep reading,,i share your love for the cutlery/fine steel workers by the way
    made a lot of knives myself,,

    hi Leni,,you are a poster i completely trust,, having read hundreds of your posts,,and i was surprised and disappointed you joined in the "bru is a truchdrivin etc etc" yesterday,,i address you
    only because i "know" you and respect and trust you,,and i think you will take time to reflect
    rather than automatically defend yourself,,
    there are deep roots to this Bruhaha (and its reflective of the problems that english society is currently experiencing ) i now see people who are far removed from the original squabble becoming part of the conflict,, you ,,skermit,,paul,,james,, etc etc,,
    as i said ,,reflective of bigger issues,,

  88. Interestingly, I got an e-mail from a Brazilian friend at my gym today, which said something along the lines of:

    'What the f@ck is going on in the UK with benefits, education and the NHS, and why are Cameron and Clegg etc being such c@nts*....'

    *I'm sort of regretting teaching him that word to be honest, because he's quite liberal with it now, although, in this case, it seems fairly justified!!

  89. 3p4

    I take your point, but to be fair, I don't think I've ever really said anything about Bru/Kiz on here!

    I could be wrong though....

  90. Sorry 3p4, still need passwords to look at that site..

  91. Glad to see you - good to hear from you - I know I spoke of 'therapeutic communities but my knowlege is only through reading about them. I guess it rather depends on the therapy though, lots of quite scary ideas have knocked about in the last 50 years!

    One thing I am certain of all children would be scared if taken away from home however damaging bevause its all the child has ever known - the unknown is always scary.

    Glad your experience was largely positive at least.

    Take care keep reading and don't worry about the arguments some people just get that way I try not to (too exhausting!)

  92. no james i dont specifically recall you doing so,,sorry i conflated your jess reference from a few minutes earlier with the overall "slagging people" concept,,

    Turm,, the address works for me when i cut and paste and the link works ,, the colored word "text"

  93. You're probably logged in to the site 3p4.

    i get

    To view this page, you need to log in to area “password clue go to the main page” on finchden.co.uk:80.

    Off out for a bit, l8rs peeps.

  94. Interesting new book out:

    Last words of the executed

    One example:

    “Don’t worry about me. I’m okay. They are not shooting me for deserting the United States Army—thousands of guys have done that. They’re shooting me for bread I stole when I was 12 years old.” (Edward Donald “Eddie” Slovik,” convicted of desertion in northeastern France and executed on January 31, 1945.)


    i love the UT

    long may it rock

    but i must be a reader not a writer,, you talk i listen,,(very carefully)

    i must be quiet or risk mania,,ciao

  96. No problem, 3p4, and now, perhaps somewhat ironically, I may have actually gone and got myself into a bit of a spat with one of the aforementioned anyway....


  97. well, good to see you, 3p4, and I too always interested in your comments ('gnomic' or otherwise! - ps - took a while to work out that was nothing to do with gnomes) - try to avoid rude hostility, but am not always successful, sigh.

    on the 'therapeutic communities' thing, don't know if this is the same, but my dad was a social worker in the 70s (which he refers to as 'when I had a proper job', which makes mum cross in case somebody hears him and gets offended....). Think they came back from honeymoon to be 'parents' to half a dozen waifs of varying degrees of vulnerability / mischief / hurt / etc. which my mother refers to as 'hitting the ground stumbling'.

    presume that fostering is better as it seeks to create a 'normal' family unit, but are there any of those kind of places left, half a dozen reasonably same-aged kids, in the charge of a couple + team?

    even after changing careers, dad always had a real focus on children in trouble - remember at our first posting, there was a borstal (any of them around any more?) and he used to take me with him when he visited sometimes, got some of them along on church trips etc...

    am not even sure that would be allowed today. mind, if 'borstals' don't really exist...

    (which, incidentally, is how i know how to pick a lock and jimmy cars, old ones, at least - life is a learning experience, an' all that...)

  98. Sheff - looks like an interesting book, if a tad depressing.

    Philippa - we have Youth Detention Centres now - the most famous (infamous) round these 'ere parts being Feltham Young Offenders Institute. I have only been in there once, but the stories you hear about it are quite appalling. The gang rivalry, the overly rough "compliance techniques" used by the warders etc.

    Good you learned something useful from it though! :o)

  99. BB - thing with borstals was, they seemed to bridge a gap between YDC, secure unit, and children's home. some of the lads there had got 'beaked', some expelled, some sent from children's homes...

    which meant that whatever you thought they were for, there were a lot of lads there who shouldn't have been there...

    weird system.

  100. There was a really interesting bit on Today this morning at some ungodly hour about levels of crime overall in NI being much lower than in the rest of the country.

    They put it down to the way in which they deal with youth offenders by way of Youth Conferences. If an offender pleads guilty, they set up a youth panel and look at ways of dealing with them other than through custody. This can and does happen in England and Wales too, of course (and I presume Scotland), but the success rate in NI seems to be down to the use of reparation as a remedy - sitting the little bugger down face to face with the victim and having to listen to what their crime has done to them.

    Makes sense to me. One lad who had been done for a variety of burglaries and TWOCs, said that it really changed his life as an old lady whose car he had nicked sat in the room with him, crying and telling him how she didn't feel safe in her own home anymore.

    If you can get them young enough, and make them face up to the real, human consequences of their actions, (instead of having to listen to lawyers, judges and youth offending teams blethering about it), it is bound to have a far deeper, more lasting effect on them.

  101. Phillipa

    Back in the 50's and 60's we had borstals and approved schools. Kids that were deemed in need of detention by the courts first went into what were called classifying schools - where their general demeanour/behaviour was monitored for a few weeks and their IQ measured.

    They were then allocated to a place in a borstal or an approved school. The approved schools were segregated by IQ levels - ie high IQs went to school A - low IQs to school B. Many of them were very grim places indeed. Psychiatrists seemed to be obssessed by IQ levels in those days.

    Girls were also examined physically (and quite brutally), to establish whether or not they were virgins and/or had any STDs etc.

    One day i will tell you how I know about all this.

  102. @Anne: the worst part of being packed off to boarding school is being expected to be so bloody grateful for the privilege.
    On top of having to deal with a load of loud, annoying,cretinous and vindictive bullies; and that's just the teachers!

  103. christ, sheff.

    that does explain a couple of things...

  104. Annoying but true things said by teenagers, No.45:

    Me: "I know, why don't we have a movie night tomorrow night, where we download two or three films we want to watch, get popcorn, and have a nice evening in...?"
    Son: "Nah...."
    Me: "Why not?"
    Son: "Because that's better in your head than it will be in reality."


  105. heheheheheh.

    am just off to the 'estivale' (i.e. wine-"tasting" and fair with bands put on by the long-suffering agglo). this, also, will be 'better in my head than it will be in reality'...

    might be back later if not too hammered. scratch that. won't be back later...

  106. BB

    Because that's better in your head than it will be in reality.

    Aren't most thing?. Didn't take him long to discover that one!

  107. peh. DB is delayed by personal grooming issues.

    great piece up from silverwhistle on film adaptations, for those that haven't seen...

  108. sheff

    Yep - he's such a bloody realist.

    Philippa - enjoy your summer fair. Am extremely jealous, even of the accordian bands and the open-air dancing to corny music.

  109. @BB:

    Too funny. Thankfully, mine is still young enough to think that hanging out with mum once in awhile is fun. I'll cherish the moments, knowing that they'll be ending soon.

    (Comes back from Texas in 2 days! Yeah!)

  110. Montana

    Treasure those moments for sure. It disappears so quickly. It only seems five minutes ago he was the cuddly 10 yr old snuggled up on the sofa with me. And it changed in a matter of a week or two, as soon as he changed to senior school and got the idea that he was a big boy now.

    I bet you are looking forward to him coming home! :o)

  111. Very much so -- it's been 6 weeks without him!

  112. Hey folks!

    Just parking again:


    I appreciate that you're busy at the moment, but the above post is very much the tail end of an ongoing debate, mostly around a more general theme, and perhaps you're right, although I have made more specific points along the way, which I feel, are worthy of consideration by the Cif team.

    And I'm not arguing against commentary, 'analysis', opinion, or even light-hearted journalism per se, but don't we have a right to expect even this to be of a certain standard!?

    Shouldn't we, as Guardian readers, expect a bit more consistency, passion, expertise, or factual accuracy here on cif, even if we concede that it isn't necessarily the place for 'proper journalism'!?

    Like you say, when there's the square root of f@ck all out there in the way of left-wing (or even, arguably, non-partisan) journalism, isn't it better that Cif adopt a more 'macro' approach to 'fair and balanced' than a 'micro' one?

    I mean, would it be such a bad thing if cif set it's own particular opinion, analysis etc apart from the all the other, Littlejohnesque stuff, with a bit more 'journalism' and a bit less 'commentary'?

    Maybe I'm wrong, I don't know!?"

  113. and....:


    Yeah, fair enough. Money's probably an issue.

    We can all just read about why Simon Jenkins thinks that paying upfront for university will help poor people, or why Kettle values P's and Q's over the fact that eleventy-six percent of people currently on any form of benefit will eventually have to eat their own toes to survive, or 'why David-bloody-Miliband is the future face of socialism', instead.

    And then, more worryingly, we can just accept that more people will end up agreeing with them because, for the most part, with the exception of a few, dedicated and honourable posters, who have stuck around (or haven't yet been moderated into a banning), the 'toryboy' types are the only ones left BTL here to comment one way or the other.


    Cif could stop paying for the same 'I don't like this representation of women' article from Bidisha every week (Once every couple of months would be more than enough for me), get rid of the likes of Jenkins, Kettle and Andrew Brown, who are, I'm sure, kept on a Salary/retainer that is inversely proportional to their actual talent/and or worth, and start making a concerted and much needed effort to stop us all descending into a full-lenth, real-life, live-action version of 'The Road'.

    Again though, I'm probably wrong. I'm just throwing ideas around and that......"

  114. Sorry Montana, I realise that's a bit rude, but, by my calculations, WADDYA's coming up on the 10PM Friday night moderation purge.....

  115. LOL James - are they on a shift-change or something?

    I have visions of a dozen Mary Whitehouses turning up with their knitting and their fluffy cardies and their cups of cocoa to "babysit" CiF at night, getting outraged by all the posts. :o)

  116. Yeah BB, from experience, I've noticed that around this time on a Friday night, things get a wee bit manic over there.

    It's probably a shift change, though, if I was cynical, I'd maybe think it was a ploy to get everyone back on a Saturday to re-word and re-type their zapped arguments, thus keeping the 'average of seventy-twelve bazillion unique users a day' stat up....!!

  117. hello James: good posts on wadya.
    One possible conclusion is that the "mods" on CiF are on comission.
    I'm not very good with numbers but here goes:
    8 hour shift- ten quid per zap, ergo... 5 zaps an hour=£400.

    Bloody hell, I wrote that in jest and I'm now not convinced it might actually be nearer the truth than I want to know!

  118. Cheers BW/Chekhov.

    To be honest Chekhov, I think there's truth to the idea, my only doubt is with the amount!!

    It emerged on WADDYA that The Guardian (allegedly) may have some decidedly dodgy practices wrt their 'less important' employees, so it wouldn't surprise me if the mods, amongst others, were paid based on some form of commission....

  119. Evenin' all... I'm in no fighting mood. Anyone want to offer up a song? Or do I have to annoy you with mine?

  120. It was you James!!!
    I fucking love Kate Rusby! All thanks to you!!!!

  121. Heyhabib

    ''I'm in no fighting mood.''

    Well tough cos i am you little oik!!

  122. Hahah - I didn't realise that!

    (If you've got your eye on her in a more 'romantic' way though, you can take a ticket and bloody well get in line, matey....)


  123. Sorry, James, but last night there was a rat tat tat on my window, I looked out and it was Kate bloody Rusby. "Go away!" I said, but she wouldn't. "Rusby, I need my sleep", I said, but she wouldn't have any of it...

  124. She fucking told me she had a gig....!!

  125. BTW: two good articles in today's "Indy".
    Johann Hari on BP (Now Cameron jilts the environment) and "Return to Easington" by Robert Chesshyre.
    One day I will learn how to do links!

  126. There you go Chekhov:

    Johann Hari in the Indy

    (I got e-mailed it earlier today....)

  127. http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-now-cameron-jilts-the-environment-2027550.html

  128. @James: smart arse! ;-) I know fine well you know how to do "linkys". Would you care to share your wisdom with me and teach me how to do them?
    I sometimes feel I turn up on the UT website with a bottle of Blue Nun and everyone else has a Jeraboam of Dom Perignon!

  129. Chekhov, I'll try.

    (I use the Guardian to cheat, but appreciate that you may not be able to, so..)

    Go to the top right of this page, and copy and past the thing in the corner into the comment box, giving you this:

    {a href="URL"}Text{/a}

    Now, replace all the { with a <, and all the } with a >

    Then go to the page you want to link to, and then copy the address (after the http://)

    and then delete the word URL from the above, and copy the address in between the ""

    then, finally

    delete the word text, and write what you want the link to say....

  130. James, not only apt but a damn good piece of music!

    "everyone else has a Jeraboam of Dom Perignon!"

    Chekhov, at best we have a crate of Theakstons Old Peculier, for the most part I think it's moonshine.

  131. Nice one dudes.

    Like Kate Rusby ? Real folk.

    Check this this out. (Sorry if I've bored you with it before)

  132. @James: thanks for the advice. It's a bit late now but I'll have a bash at it tomorrow!

  133. James, I saw Bruce, here in Manchester, Old Trafford footie ground, tow years ago - best concert I've ever seen.

  134. James

    The Promise.



    Johnny works in a factory and Billy works downtown
    Terry works in a rock and roll band
    Lookin' for that million-dollar sound
    I got a little job down in Darlington
    But some nights I don't go
    Some nights I go to the drive-in, or some nights I stay home
    I followed that dream just like those guys do up on the screen
    And I drive a Challenger down Route 9 through the dead ends and all the bad scenes
    And when the promise was broken, I cashed in a few of my dream

    Well now I built that Challenger by myself
    But I needed money and so I sold it
    I lived a secret I should'a kept to myself
    But I got drunk one night and I told it
    All my life I fought this fight
    The fight that no man can never win
    Every day it just gets harder to live
    This dream I'm believing in
    Thunder Road, oh baby you were so right
    Thunder Road there's something dyin' on the highway tonight

    I won big once and I hit the coast
    But somehow I paid the big cost
    Inside I felt like I was carryin' the broken spirits
    Of all the other ones who lost
    When the promise is broken you go on living
    But it steals something from down in your soul
    Like when the truth is spoken and it don't make no difference
    Something in your heart goes cold
    I followed that dream through the southwestern flats
    That dead ends in two-bit bars
    And when the promise was broken I was far away from home
    Sleepin' in the back seat of a borrowed car
    Thunder Road, for the lost lovers and all the fixed games
    Thunder Road, for the tires rushing by in the rain
    Thunder Road, Billy and me we'd always say
    Thunder Road, we were gonna take it all and throw it all away

  135. Habib - lol.

    Chekhov - no problem.

    Bitterweed - I like that, cheers!!

  136. Bitterweed - I really liked that one too. Alot.

    (Bruce is fucking awesome....)

  137. "When the promise is broken you go on living
    But it steals something from down in your soul
    Like when the truth is spoken and it don't make no difference
    Something in your heart goes cold"

  138. Nice one - Damien Rice ! Cheers James !

  139. Meant that for your prior post.

    Hell yes to that last one too !

  140. James

    Like Chekhov i,m a complete technophobe.I,m also bombed out of my brains tonight.I followed your instructions and got told if couldn,t be accepted because the tag is open.Que????No idea what that means.Any easy way of explaining to someone who by rights should be comatose right now.Cheers.

  141. How about some ska though ?


    Fuck linking. Like it or die.

  142. Paul

    See that thing I did up there ?

    Starting with http

    copy it.

    paste it into the url


    Go !!!

  143. @James: thanks for trying and I will persevere but instructions like that bring me out in a cold sweat!
    Anything other than straight forward English language makes me break out in a rash!
    However I did follow "Turminders" instructions and managed to post a link but no one could access it.
    Anyway, thanks for all your support, I'm sure I will get there eventually.

  144. To all my cyber mates apart from Heyhababy

    A classy tune from a religious nutjob.



    I,m actually really to off my head at present but would appreciate your help with links when i,m sober.Cheers!

  145. Paul
    Fuck that sloppy soul nonsense

    Check this !!!!

    East River ....


    Mmm-hmmm !

  146. Paul - you use the Guardian, right?

    Because, the easiest was is to go the Guardian comment box:

    type what you want the link to say

    Go to the page you want to link to, then copy the address from it (starting after http://)

    Go back to the guardian box

    Highlight the words you wrote before

    click on the link button at the top of the comment box

    then paste the address into that!!

    If it worked the words you wrote should turn into a form of gibberish...

    then highlight everything, cut it, then paste it into the comment box here...

    then press preview, and, if it's worked, the link should appear in the preview box, and you can then press post!!

    Hope it works...!!!

  147. James

    That is a MENTAL solution.

  148. Just paste the fucking in like this


    Sugar bum bum !!!

  149. Or possibly this


    Mighty Sparrow !!!

  150. Bitterweed

    You,re a nice bloke with crap taste in music.Much more of that and i,ll lose the will to live.

    Try something more mellow on me until i can rustle up something more to your taste.


  151. Getting teary now...Checkov:

    Abide with me - from Crystal Palace 1932



  152. Paul

    That was pure gash. Sorry. Any more of that and I'll start self-harming.

  153. Bitterweed


    For Bitterweed and all the other UT headbangers!

    My mood requires something much more mellow right now!

  154. Apologies Chekhov. I have to admit that I tended to use the Guardian cheat, even when I was supposed to be boycotting them

    Right, that's me out for the night.

    Before I go, a bit of Kate for Habib!!

    Bruce for Bitterweed

    and, Marvin for Paul

    Have a good night folks!!

  155. Paul
    I'm gonna crawl...


  156. James

    Much more to my taste.Cheers for that.

    Nite all

  157. Who's up for a piss up then ?

  158. Sorry Bitterweed

    I,m totally fucked.Gotta go


  159. Great music, Bitterweed kicks ass!

  160. @Bitterweed: I'm up for a late night "piss up"!

  161. Yey james, my Kate sounds better every time.

  162. "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDYdmMAgI-c

    Fuck linking. Like it or die."

    I took the effort to copy paste that just because you asked nice - good tune.

    You might like this BW, its the Nextmen mix of Mike, Aaraon and Eddie (ridiculous name for a tune, but its quality) - skip to a minute in (overly long intro):


  163. What happened to the late night piss up?

  164. JayReilly in the house and opening up with a kickin' tune!

  165. Sorry, just been out on my front door watching a woefully lengthy and inept arrest of a complete cunt. Not normal on my street. The cunt (and mates) had clearly just assaulted (and attempted to rob) a couple of other blokes (of mediteranean appearence). The plod seemed to be doing everything ridiculously by the book... they ended up unable to get said cunt in their patrol car due to said cunt kicking like little Timmy Tantrum and an enormously thick mate and a trappy trouble making bitch trying to obfuscate his/their crime.

    Fucking wankers.

    Rodger Stranger Cole Jay !

  166. Nice one Jay

    New name for the UT - by night:

    "Blunted in the Backroom"

  167. This comment has been removed by the author.

  168. Paul wanted mellow


    Here's mellow...

  169. Evenin Habib, only a quick visit from me, gotta go bed in a sec.

    The whole album's pretty good, Blunted in the Back Room, similar sort of mixes. And their other mix CD, Personal Golf Instructions, more drum n bass and hip hop, is sublime.

    Anyways, gotta go, so i'll leave you with one of the best tunes from Personal Golf Instructions -


    (Saw the Roots at Glastonbury in 03, i think, amazing live act)

  170. Where's "Antetan" when you need her?

  171. going out for a fag

    Meanwhile, here's my old mate Gerry Rafferty, attempting to meet some aquatic bint down by the water.



  172. Dunno, really. I posted something up thread that I thought would get a response from "Annetan"

  173. So what. Get with the programme. Here's Merle Haggard. He's listening to the wind


    Sweet !

  174. Morning Guys

    very quiet here.

  175. Yet... not here:


  176. Hi chekhov

    Been looking for some music - not feeling inspired.
    How's your drama thingy going ?

    Hello Bitters

  177. http://www.musicvideos.the-real-africa.com/senegal/mansour_seck_maal_laare.html

  178. Leni
    That is perfect. Thank you.

  179. http://www.musicvideos.the-real-africa.com/senegal/manel_diop_xamxam.html