17 July 2010


The Temptation of St. Anthony - Hieronymus Bosch

Here's a rule I recommend:  Never practise two vices at once.
-Tallulah Bankhead


  1. Chekhov - never around late at night - usually too tired! Actually v tired last night in bed by 7:00!

    Was this what you wanted me to comment on?

    @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

    Teachers like that existed in comps as well - and I was expected to socialise with them?

    Some of us wanted to get the kids interested in learning, For a while it was possible (60's and 70's). Then came the national curriculum and that went out of the window.

    I wanted to show kids that learning was FUN not tick F*cking boxes!

    So I escaped to adult basic skills but they have a national curriculum now :(

  2. Out for rest of morning - Wales LP meeting - might be interesting.

  3. ooh, Bosch - mad as a box of frogs...

  4. Hieronymus Bosch, perchance Phillipa?

    Zac Goldsmith acted like a twat on channel 4 news apparently, accordng to the Graun's front page.

  5. Bloody wisdom teeth, whose stupid idea was it to give us wisdom teeth?

    If I believed in god I would be shaking my fist at him about now.

  6. Ah, good old Hieronymus Bosch. Street Wars for the Sixteenth Century.

  7. Morning all

    Jen - when my scottish auntie-in-law was 21 her birthday present was to have all her teeth out and a set of false teeth instead.

    When I asked her why, she said that a lot of people did it in those days if they could afford to, so that they wouldn't have trouble with them in later life.

    At the time I found this a repugnant thing to do, but in retrospect, as I run my tongue over a cracked molar that I still haven't got round to getting fixed because I BLOODY HATE DENTISTS!!!!, I wonder if she had a point...

    Hieronymous Bosch. I wonder what mushrooms he used to eat...

  8. Also, they finally seem to have got around to reporting about the mass privatisations of public secotr positions. I can't be bothered doing links, but that too is on the front page.

    "Private health firms scent big opportunity in NHS outsourcing plans"

    another headline....

    "Austerity drive will hand billions to private sector

    Outsourcing firms are preparing for bonanza of contracts to provide everything from binmen to back office bureaucrats"

    This also talks about Capita 'the UK's largest outsourcing firm', Tony Blair's favourite company who he awarded all the private outsourcing contracts to.

    Both of htese articles also have reference to US 'healthcare companies' already operating in Britain.
    We cannot look to Europe instead? The isolation of Britain is killing us (perhaps quite literally) as a nation. We are still under hte delusion that we have a 'special relationship'. This is affecting national sovereignty.

    Anoteher headline
    Senior civil servants to help community groups

    • Minister to send Whitehall top brass into regions
    • Civil servants must make community projects work"

    Hmmm, I don't think they are going to volunteering on community vegetable growing schemes. This is just a gimmick.

    Another headline-
    "Civil servants find lucrative roles in private sector

    Predicted explosion in public services market will see stream of managers being offered lucrative packages"

    This is more like them- quelle surpise.

    "Schools outsourcing: companies see chance to help teachers prepare lessons

    Private sector hopes councils will pull out of many services to schools, leaving profitable opportunities"

    FFS- we're all doomed. Mass emigration maybe, fellow UTers?

  9. Oh, yes it is old Heronymius. I didn't actually look properly at the picture.

    One of his works is hanging at the national gallery, I saw it two days ago.

    Still the grotesque and fantastic world Bosch portrays is pretty relevant for the emerging dystopia we are now facing up to.

  10. Has anyone tried the 'I write like' site talked about on Cif culture it is funny.

    You paste in a bit of something you have written and it tells you which famous author you write like.

    There is also a spoof site that is a bit more realistic.

    On that one I write like 'something rolling about on the keyboard, possibly in pain'.

    Spot on. ;)

  11. Why is the Guardian obsesssed with 'boutique'. Today we have a travel piece on boutique caravaning, which is just the same as caravanning but with postmodern irony, (and an excuse to charge a fortune) just as glam camping, or camping in those tipi contraption (£200 for a weekend!)is camping with postmodern irony. Or the companies that hire out VW camper vans (with mod cons) for up to £1000 a week.

    Its all just a middle class con, and the Guardian helps propagate this bullshit.

    Anyway, that is enough of my 'review' of the papers.

  12. Please - decamp to the Johnson thread about his granny on Cif Belief - its the funniest thing i've read for a very long time, this is truly Gogarty's heir.

  13. Jay, Leopold just flagged that up on Waddya, I read it the other day and it is fabulous and what is nice is that we are all going to hell too.

  14. i cant stop laughing about it, Jen, im still laughing now, i need a fag to calm down.

  15. It is actually nice to hear from a religious person who actually believes in scripture, less of the wouldn't it be nice if everyone was nice brigade we are supposed to believe are the majority.

    Basic religion is more 'believe properly or go to hell you heathen'.

  16. Good morning everyone - at least it was good until I read your posts Nap, now I'm plunged into gloom.


    Cracking pictures you're putting up these days. Oh, and I can do at least two vices at once - drinking and smoking - even three if you count swearing.


    I read that Johnson thing - where does the groan find them? Is that laughter hysterical? Mine is.

  17. "Is that laughter hysterical?"

    Yes, and its still extant ;) I cant stop laughing at that thread.

  18. Jen;

    Jesus was one of the "wouldn't it be nice brigade". Philippa might argue with me, but as well as I can recall he never told anyone they were going to hell -- as a Jew, he wouldn't have had a concept of "hell" -- that's a Christian thing. I blame Paul for hell, myself (the apostle, not the Untrustie).

  19. Oh, dear, Sheff! What would Tallulah say?

  20. "I blame Paul for hell, myself (the apostle, not the Untrustie)."

    I was going to say, I know he loses his temper sometimes but thats a bit strong.

  21. I got really fucking angry with that Johnson bloke.

    Arrogant fucker.


  22. Watched great film last night District 9 about some unfortunate aliens who have made the mistake of appearing over Johannesburg and end up living in a slum and being persecuted in all the ways with which we are so familiar.

  23. Perhaps I am odd, but I did not find the Johnson Islam thread especially funny.

    I suppose I had always imagined that Christianity adopted the same proselytising processes, with the same threats and promises of heaven and hell.

    They are all pretty much cults and ponzi schemes to inveigle the credulous and desperate, aren't they?

    Isn't it the way we all tend to view the world? I am right and you are wrong?

    Have not found the "you write like..." thread.

    Has anyone had the answer come up: "Cunt"?

    I can think of someone who should try it.

  24. Sheff - another friend has recommended that film to me. I will check it out.

    I watched Mystic River, which I had somehow managed to miss before. Really enjoyed it, although quite harrowing.

    Superb performance from Sean Penn, and the actress who plays Celeste (whose name escapes me and I can't be arsed to look it up) as the overly-anxious wife.

    I couldn't work out from the film whether she actually knew of her husband's childhood trauma or not, and whether her anxiety (early in the film David says to his son "let's get home before your mother starts to worry", so it is not just brought on by Katy's murder) is supposed to be a reflection of David's overall angst or not.

    Beautifully played though, and a gripping film.

    Has anyone seen Gran Turino, also directed by Eastwood? I thought that film was brilliant too. Who'd have thought that Dirty Harry would become such a compelling director? :o)

  25. Ooh, the 'damnyoutohell' thread. A lot there...

    Montana - re Jesus, I think someone on the htread has already referred to 'there are many rooms in my father's house', which is the basis on which the 'nicies' consider that all nicies will get in to heaven...

    Now, there is an argument, of course, that this is a mere accommodation to be polite - bit difficult to have an interfaith lunch (or even an ecumenical gathering) when everyone thinks everyone else is going to hell. And that it is perhaps more admirable to stick to your guns, however looney they may appear, and say 'I'm right, you're wrong, bye bye' - after all, isn't that the point?

    Jen calls that 'basic religion', and I'd agree with that, but for slightly different reasons (natch - heheheh) - it's a basic, binary, consider no other views, approach. X is just wrong. I'm right, you disagree, ergo you're wrong.

    A more nuanced approach of 'many rooms', 'many paths to the Lord' etc etc etc, may come across as a bit wimpy - it may be a bit wimpy - but it is, I believe, the prevailing view.

    After all, if one considers God to be omnipotent, omniscient, omnivorous, whatever - and that humanity can never be perfect - then one has to consider, however strong ones own faith in a particular direction, that the strength of someone else's faith may call into question your own certainty. If it is a simple 'I'm right, you're wrong' then you can't both be right. But if the 'many rooms' thing holds, then you can both be right.

    And that (Methodism speaking) what is more important is doing good things.

    And that there is a difference between 'right' and 'right for me'.

    I do wonder about this issue - and am actually rather pleased that they have found someone willing to be so bloody dogmatic - but always come back to the wonderful summation of talented theologian, one Snoopy T Dog, whose opus on this was entitled "has it ever occurred to you that you might be wrong?"

    It occurs to me frequently. So I just work with what I've got, and try to extend tthat flexibility to others. Still think that bloke's a nutter, but I could be wrong...

  26. Atom, i think its the mix of high spiritedness, zeal, blindness and idiocy that amuses on that article. I found it hilarious.

  27. BB

    I watched Mystic River last night too, after District 9. Was babysitting for No1 son and he usually sets me up with something decent to watch. Have seen it before but its definitely worth a second viewing. Great performances all round and very atmospheric.

  28. morning all

    roasting nicely in rome 37° today.......feels like 45° though blimey!


    what would tallulah say?

    apparently her last words were "Codeine... bourbon." also she had been investigated by MI5 in the 20s for allegedly corrupting boys at eton.....sounds like a pretty quiet life...:0)

  29. Agree with Jay - it was excruciating which ade it funny - think it's something to do with the enthusiasm of the recently converted - they're usually the worst for proseletysing.

  30. The book Mystic River is well worth reading too, it is by one of my favourite authors Dennis Lehane, he also wrote Shutter Island which isn't so good.

    He has a series of dectective novels featuring Kenzie and Gennaro which are fantastic, one of them was filmed by Ben Affleck (Gone Baby Gone which is a really good film ) and he has a new one out in the autumn which I am really looking forward to.

  31. Yes, I see what people are getting at - I just found it mildly amusing rather than uproariously funny.

    I suppose I see most religious people as varieties of points on a spectrum populated by Graham Norton and Dougal in Father Ted or Tony Blair in the real world.

    So, simpletons, mentalists, delusionists or rabid fecking liars.

    Dougal to Father Ted: "We weren't supposed to believe all that stuff they taught us at the seminary, were we?"

    Tony Blair (an ardent Catholic, who apparently does not know that the Pope is the voice of God on earth): "Well, quite frankly, I think the Pope is wrong on this." [About homosexuality]

    I suppose I am simply saying I did not find any of it surprising. I would imagine it to be utterly commonplace.

  32. sheff
    "think it's something to do with the enthusiasm of the recently converted - they're usually the worst for proseletysing"
    Oh God (sorry) yes...

    Atomboy - agreed, I found it rather sad, rather than at all funny.

  33. That is why I found it so amusing Atomboy, the fact that someone boldly stating the crux of their religious beliefs and everyone going WTF made me laugh.

    A lot of religious people believe that non believers are going to hell, be they Christians, Muslims or whatever.

    They can wrap it up however they want but a lot of them believe we are damned, they should say it out loud more often and then we could laugh at them some more.

    Philippa I totally respect your right to believe in the kind of God you find acceptable but the fact is you are cherry picking the nice bits and ignoring the rest.

    Jesus, whilst not being as homicidal as his dad was not nice, he expected his followers to abandon their families and follow only him (if the NT is to be believed) he was a bit of a sociopath to be honest.

  34. oh, on the cherry picking, quite right...

    thing is, pretty much every one of faith cherry picks - so i fondly think that picking bits that are nice is slightly better than picking the bits that end up with people going to hell.

    but yes - keep putting questions to a believer and there are a lot of people who go with the in / out thing.

  35. Just read the article and about 2/3 of the thread. My paternal grandparents became Catholic when my father was 17. They had, prior to that, been "unchurched". Now, my grandfather was a gentle soul and just went about his life, but my grandmother would, whenever an opportunity arose (our parents weren't around) tell us variations on the sentiment, "It just tears my heart to pieces to know that my own grandchildren are going to burn in hell." Yeah. She was every bit as much fun as that makes her sound.

    Atomboy, the concept of papal infallibility is widely misunderstood. The pope* is only considered infallible on matters of church doctrine and morals. I don't claim to understand it, myself (frankly, I'm guessing few Catholics understand it, either), but essentially -- the pope saying that homosexuality is a sin isn't considered church doctrine or morals. An explanation of papal infallibility. So, when Tone says the pope is wrong about homosexuality, he isn't actually denying papal infallibility.

    I think.

    Of course, it could just be that Tone's a crappy Catholic (as are most American Catholics, by that measure).

  36. I have seen that before Montana and it's a hoot.

    Off topic I have ordered every Vonnegut book my areas has (five books it is a fecking shame) and after re reading Slaughterhouse 5 I know were your name comes from. ;)

    I wonder if Richard Dawkins is going to heaven, as far as I know he has lead a blameless life but he refutes god with every fibre of his being.

    Is his heresy enough to get him sent to hell?

  37. jen - I imagine that if he does end up in heaven, he'd be bloody annoyed...

  38. Really Philippa it may be worth listening to just to add to my I hate aa gill scrapbook.

    Now he will defo go to hell.

  39. even his delivery annoys the crap out of me.

  40. defo, jen. on the list.

    mwah ha ha...

  41. Montana

    Thanks for picking me up on my slapdash, slipshod reference to Papal Infallibility.

    However, I don't think we need to let it hinder a chance to poke fun at His Holiness the Blair, which I know you were not doing.

    It's all basically propaganda and if Blair thought that pretending to believe in The Flying Pizza Monster would enhance his status on earth, he would have done so just as sedulously and just as unconvincingly.

    Any religion which allows that prize cunt to join can count me out.

    Julian Manyon, the Middle East reporter for ITN, said: "For these people (Iraqis[?]) religion is not something you just do on Sunday, it is their very way of life."

    For people like Blair, it is nothing more than joining a golf club.

  42. Kurt Vonnegut was a humanist and so was Arthur C Clarke.

    When Clarke died, Vonnegut said: "He's up in heaven now."

    It had them rolling in the aisles at the funeral.

  43. helena kennedy's on the other list, though...

  44. Hello everyone, had to bail out a bit early last night/this morning.
    Anne:thanks for replying.
    Bitterweed: I didn't insist that only Anne should comment and I wasn't asking a question so feel free to lob in your two penneth if you want.

    At the risk of stealing your thunder, I'm thinking it might be along the lines of ex teachers spending their retirement in perpetual anxiety with the thought that they might have the plod knocking on their door!

  45. hey, andrew wakefield! good Q...

  46. Sheff

    missed your post earlier District 9 is a great film...I stumbled across it on TV a great parody of apartheid in SA

    ......prawns are off the menu for me.....

  47. MrsB, was it you or AllyF that sought the deletion of this comment from the CiF record? Or was it a piece of joint censorship.

    "Amandla de Thomas Johnson might take Buddhist BeautifulBurnout's advice to heart if she didn't drink alcohol in sufficient quantities to float the proverbial battleship.

    "At least when my grandfather converted he didn't drink another drop of the stuff for the rest of his life and passed the abstention onto his son. It was another generation before I took up the delightful habit."

  48. Hi chekhov

    You missed the music last night.

    Boarding schools.

    Some parents choose to send their kids away to expensive places - for lots of reasons. Some cos to them it is just the thing to do - they went so their kids go too. This requires money and helps to perpetuate social difference and advantage/disadvantage.

    Other kids are sent there by the authorities. Severely physically disabled children for example. The age of 7 is typicaly when this starts to be considered - a simple reason being that the child is becoming too heavy for the mother to lift safely; unless father gives up work this makes life difficult. Of course neither parent working creates other serious problems.

    When there are other children in family they can miss out on parental attention - most of course love disabled brother/sister and can help with care as they grow older.

    Behaviourally disordred kids can be statemented by local authority. A child cannot , under this system, be snt away from home without parental consent. Youngsters in this psition can cling to the belief that they were 'sent away'against their parents' wishes. Difficult to accept parent's agreed as this is interpretes as 'My mum didn't want me' - a thought too difficult to entertain. Accepting it is their behavour at fault is ignored. Some kids - naturally - cannot help being 'difficult.

    I used to go once a week to a Cheshire Homes community for severely disabled men. Most had been to school for physically disabled boys. Their commonest complaint was that as kids they were provided with page turners allowing them to read - many possum operated. These facilities now lacking - shortage of money.

    One guy - who could only lie down - was destroying himself with hatred of his brothers - not disabled who had stayed at home. He blamed them for his banishment. Others accepted the situation and understood - in some cases said it had been a good thing for them as cildren.

    Another very difficult area. Many disabled children now go to local schools and comps - along with everybody else.

    Sorry for long post folks.

    Another subject which really needs airing.

  49. How interesting, Bitey, that you automatically think I had something to do with you being deleted.

    Since my last post I have: cooked and eaten breakfast, had a bath, cleaned the bathroom and toilet, gone to a carpet shop to sort out someone coming out to do some measuring-up next week and choose what carpeting we need for three rooms, taken two bin-bags full of old clothes to the British Heart Foundation shop and picked up some bits and bobs from Waitrose.

    I logged into my puter again about 20 mins ago, read and responded to a legal opinion sent to me by a friend, and have only just gone back onto CiF about 5 mins ago.

    Still, I am sure moderators would never have deleted your personal, vindictive and libellous post about me of their own accord, would they?

    God you really are as thick as shit.

    And not only that you have outed yourself so marvellously that I have no doubt they will manage to put two and two together and you will have to find another log-in name.

    Now, under your current nick I have virtually ignored you, even when you have made the odd side-swipe at me, because in general I have no problem with your right to post whatever you want on CiF, same as the rest of us. And your current nick has lasted quite some time as a result, because the mods had no idea who you were.

    So what is it about you that has to rack it up until you cannot help but resort to vicious attack and personal insult just to get noticed?

    Oh. Wait. I think I have just answered my own question. You are a sad, narcissistic little weasel who, probably due to your strict godbothering upbringing, has developed believing that the only way you will get any attention at all is by behaving like an utter schmuck. Because negative attention is still attention, right? I suggest you seek the help of a therapist. Your life will be happier.

    (And that is not libel, that is fair comment.)

  50. Further to boarding schools.

    Abuse of children - these places can attract staff who enjoy their power over the helpless. Physical and emotional abuse as well as deliberate neglect can happen in any of them - they operate as sperate communities . Parents can of course visit but children will stay silent.

    It is easy for nasties to get away with some forms of abuse without being called to account.
    Ignoring the needs of a helpless chil for example - even when suspected is difficult to prove. There has to be a pattern of cruelty - observed and recorded. Things like pretending to not hear when child needs help or pinching them.
    The subtle cruelties.

    I think you will find that many confused lefties, such as myself, arrived at our current state of thinking through working with disadvantaged children and adults- rather than from reading political theory.

    This is why we are confused ! These cruelties exist under all regimes - the Romanian orphanages and the treatment of the Roma are exampes here.

    There just HAS to be a better way - finding it is the bugge.

  51. Afternoon all

    Feel like death warmed up.Is it me or is there a religious feel to both UT and CIF today.Is someone,something trying to tell me something?They say catholicism casts a long shadow over your life even when you,ve long since left it behind.

    Me other half thinks i spend too much of what little free time we have blogging.Too zonked out at present to know whether that,s fair or not.Although i readily admit this blogging malarkey can be addictive.

    Anyways have a good day everyone.I,m off to develop a deep and meaningful relationship with my coffee maker.Sad but true!

  52. Leni

    "I think you will find that many confused lefties, such as myself, arrived at our current state of thinking through working with disadvantaged children and adults- rather than from reading political theory. "

    Yep. The experiences came first and the book-learnin' bit came afterward, spurred by the overwhelming feeling that life was shite and there had to be a better way of doing things.

    I can confess to not having read a great deal of political theory at all, really - as is no doubt obvious from the way I comment on these things - but much of what has developed into my belief pattern comes from trying to think things through myself, then being delighted that someone else has written about it and expressed it far better than I ever could have done.

    And I would say that that goes for the majority of the people who post on here - I am always in awe of the way you all manage to put my random, unorganised "raw" thoughts into clear, compelling prose.

  53. Paul

    Half a pint of orange juice topped up with half a pint of mineral water.

    Scrambled egg, bacon and toast

    Cup of tea or coffee

    You'll be right as rain in half an hour. xx

  54. Hello Leni, I wasn't referring to boarding schools where behaviourally difficult children are sent by the authorities and I don't know any thing about them. In fact I didn't even know they existed.

    As far as "normal" boarding schools go, I'm not against them in principle but they are not suitable for some children.

    I hated mine, along with plenty of the other inmates but a lot of the kids really thought it was all a bit of a wheeze.

    My twin sister having seen where I was being packed off to, felt she was missing out and actually asked my Mum and Dad if they could find a similar place for girls where she could go!

    She loved it and did spectaculary well, passing everything with flying colours and achieving the rank of Deputy Head Girl.

    It's horses for courses, is what I think I'm trying to say.

    When they handed out brains I thought they said "trains" so I asked for a slow one to China!

  55. @Paul: Going back to bed works for me!

  56. BB/Leni

    I'm not big on theory either - although I have/and do read some. My politics, such as they are, have come from experience and observation of how the way things are actually affect people.

    I'm not really an intellectual - more of a rock thrower I think, metaphorically speaking (of course). I still haven't grown out of that childhood insubordination and bloody mindedness that always got me into trouble as a kid - just try to target it a bit more usefully these days.

  57. Sheff

    Beautifully put! :o)

    Especially the metaphorical rock-thrower bit.

  58. BB + Sheff

    The are two interlocking problems - systems and the diversityof human nature.

    Taking ATOSas an example.

    The system allows - designs - the circumstances in which the assessor oerates.

    If the assessor has his'her eye on the bonus for geting someone off benefits then if he is a bastard he will ignore the needs of a cancer sufferer for example. If they can walk and lift one arm above head then the bonus wins. He is acting within the system guidelines.

    An anaysis of successful appeals would certainly point to certain assessers who made a majority of wrong decisions - start to focus attention.

    Economics plays huge part - how we divide and share national wealth - and indeed how we create it.

    For politicos and their supporters- particularly in a democracy - to look the results of the policies in the eye, to see the human cost would create cognitive dissonnance on a huge scale. Easier to demonise and scapegoat.

    Rock throwing as a reponse is quite normal Sheff - comes from frustration , anger and that huge question - 'Why?'

  59. Paul
    A sachet of "resolve" in a half pint of water (better still, pint) Coffee (fresh). Bacon sarnie with brown sauce. Two litres of coke. and a packet of McVities Digestives (dark chocolate). Two oranges. One banana.

    After all that and an episode of Columbo lying on the sofa I'm usually ready for action again.

  60. BB / Bitterweed - so I shouldn't just have started on the bottle of wine left over from yesterday?

    Ah well.

    Too late now...

  61. Afternoon all,


    "I,m off to develop a deep and meaningful relationship with my coffee maker.Sad but true!"

    Haha - welcome to my world!!

    (and mine's not even drink related...)

    Everyone else...

    Against my better judgement, I've decided to at least have a crack at picking up the gauntlet thrown down by Brussels yesterday, so I may be asking for the odd bit of help/wisdom/nudge in the right direction on here, if that's ok with everyone....

    So, Anne

    Was it you that mentioned something about the origin of the Manchester Guardian the other day?

    If so, do you know of any sources/websites that cover it in any detail?


  62. ol' college bud Soweto Kinch on R4 (Jazz in the open air) right now. worth a listen!
    (unless you really hate jazz)
    (i'm not fond, but it's v interesting)

  63. james - what you up to? writing an article? history of the G?

  64. James

    Was it you that mentioned something about the origin of the Manchester Guardian the other day?

    I mentioned it - it was in a piece about Peterloo I posted. The Manchester Guardian was started as a response to that massacre. If you google Peterloo and/or Man. Guard. you should find something

  65. Philippa - To be honest, I'm not sure. Just looking into the possibilities at the moment...

    (although I've already been distracted....)

    Sheff - cheers for that. I'll get googling....

    (Wiki's got quite a long piece on it. I'm usually quite reluctant to use it, but, hey, when in Rome....)

  66. Leni

    Re the ATOS situation - I have been mulling over the possibility of setting up some kind of online Legal Advice Centre for people who are refused IB on the basis of an ATOS assessment, don't have the means to pursue it in law, and can't get legal aid. I have just been looking at the requirements of my code of conduct for doing it, and it would need to be a "centre" that "employed" at least one solicitor and/or was exempted by the Bar Council.

    I might look into it further, though - although I have a funny feeling that I would be swamped with the demand. Would have to find other similar-minded people with some spare time and lots of committment.

  67. BB - you beauty. get onto the CAB, they have, I believe, 'association' agreements (like referrals) with some other organisations.

    am sure that there was a pro bono bar set-up for something similar, some years ago - met one of their peeps at a presentation...will mull, the hard set-up work might already have been done....

  68. to be fair, as i was typing 'bar pro bono set-up', it came to me...

    quick, philippa. v quick.

  69. i'll paralegal for you (if you aren't fussed about people having, you know, law degrees and stuff. can find me way around)

  70. I have had a similar comversation to Pauls' with Mrs Bitterweed a couple of months ago, so if you'll excuse me I'm back off out to the garden for more dossing/pottering/reading the paper. Bottle of very cheap fizz chilling in the fridge...


  71. BB, loving that idea if you can pull it off...

  72. Aye - BB

    I'd be more than willing to be a paralegal if it helps, and especially if it, in any way, means my life may start to resemble an episode of 'this life'.....

    (In the interests of full disclosure and whatnot though, probably only fair to tell you that I got me a big fat 'D' in A-level law...)

  73. James and BeautifulBurnout

    Good ideas, both of them, so count me in.

    You might be able to rustle up a retired solicitor who would fulfil the employment requirement for a very notional sum.

    You may also find a lot of ex-public sector staff from various government agencies willing to lend expertise.

    The last I read, the amount of unclaimed benefit was about £12 billion, but this was not an official source.

    It might be worth trying something where, rather than the government's line - aided and abetted by the media - that everyone is filching and exploiting the system, you highlight the fact that people do not get their full entitlement because the system is deliberately made byzantine and arduous in order to prevent it.

    At the same time as pointing out the the people who do milk the system for every last penny are the middle-classes and the rich.

    If you want to topple something, you have to keep it moving. You have to keep bashing into it and creating a momentum. If you leave it to settle back into rigid equipoise, it is much harder to start the rocking all over again.

    Soon, you will have people ready to join in.

    Soon after that, people will just be accepting their fate.

  74. Cool beans!

    I am aware of the Bar Pro Bono Unit, although they tend to do the sorting out and farming out of cases. Have done some bits for them from time to time.

    The other thing I was thinking of was the College of Law Legal Advice Centre - I know the manager really well. Perhaps it is something we could do in conjunction with her, and also a different kind of learning opportunity for students.

    I think I will email her and float the idea past her. Would be brilliant because then we would have access to all kinds of online legal resources which normally have annual subscriptions too.

  75. BB

    Brilliant idea - count me in if there is anything I can usefully do.

  76. BB

    There are groups setting up as community enterprises doing this sort of thing - in this area challenging CAB. Some towing gvt. line and undermining CAB.

  77. At this stage I think it would have to be just a front line advice service, a bit similar to CAB, in that there is no way people could cope with actually taking on thousands and thousands of cases.

    But something that at least provided people with information of how to appeal, a background to the procedures, how to prepare for it, how to contact a specialist - we have a friend who is an ergonomist who speacialises in fitness to work amongst other things, so he might be able to point us in the right direction at least - and how much it is likely to cost them. We could provide standard letters that people could download etc.

    Then maybe try and set up a network of solicitors who would be able to take on this kind of work for a relatively small fixed fee for those who need more help. I don't think even the College of Law and its various branches would have enough students doing pro bono who would be able to take on all the potential cases that this is likely to create.

    But some good sound advice is better than no advice, even if you then have to go along and represent yourself.

  78. BB

    Great idea!! I have no legal background but if there's anything useful I could do, count me in.

  79. BB - plus, combined cases on points of law / rules?
    each case obviously judged on its own merits, but if you had a dozen who'd not even had the case considered due to x,y or z 'technicality' then would that be something that could be 'classed' together?

  80. Absolutely BB.

    And like with a lot of things, even just knowing what your rights/options are is a massive help, and would go along way towards helping a lot of people.

    Even just a few resources (letters, etc), a FAQ/my experience/Bullshit alert section would be almost invaluable, esp if it's free!!

  81. I'm getting quite excited about this idea now. :o)

    I think I will give the Bar Council a ring on Monday and find out if there are restrictions on setting up this kind of thing online. I know there are very strict rules about giving out legal advice on actual cases, but it might be fine if it is just general commentary and resources, as it were.

  82. BeautifulBurnout

    "Since my last post I have: cooked and eaten breakfast, had a bath, cleaned the bathroom and toilet, gone to a carpet shop to sort out someone coming out to do some measuring-up next week and choose what carpeting we need for three rooms, taken two bin-bags full of old clothes to the British Heart Foundation shop and picked up some bits and bobs from Waitrose."

    Thank you but I really didn't need your life story for today, but as you've been so good to provide it I take it that the moderator's friend is Ally Fogg - and not you - this time.

    But what I really want to know is how you reconcile Buddhism with the kind of excess alcohol consumption that your record on this site is available for all to see.

  83. BB - the ol' 'this information provided for information only, not to be relied upon, yadda, yadda' rider is about to get rolled out, heheheh.

    piss off bitey. really.

    right - DB at a gig, am going to spend the evening watching shit tv. huzzah!

  84. Bitethehand

    Show me where it says in the Lotus Sutra that I shouldn't drink alcohol...

  85. Does anybody know - When Big money is fined - as in GS case in US - and others over here - Where does the money go ?

    Will some go to people cheated by GS into buying dangerous mortgages get compensation / Do they now have a legal case ?

  86. And if you were any kind of decent human being at all, you would apologise for making a false accusation too.

    You clearly weren't very well brought up, were you?

  87. Oh do try to grow up Bitey - there are far more important things than your idle curiosity to attend to.

    The reconciliation of a soul is as everyone, save your remote self, knows, a private matter between the made and the maker.

  88. Nuvver question

    How much of religiou enlightenment was provided by altered states of conscuosness - induced ?

    Thorn Apples - witches
    Burning Bush - Moses
    Various mixes - just about anybody
    List is endless

    talking to guy last week - vicar no less - told me he met God while tripping on LSD - about 30 years ago. God sort of stuck long after trip ended.

  89. Deano!

    How are you faring? Been missing you. x

  90. Hi Deano

    Hope you and Mungo are well.

    we missed you xx

  91. A little sunshine for me today. It was only a short time ago that my old laptop failed and I had to get another.

    I was in despair since it had most of my photos of Miss Diesel dog on the hard disc and I couldn't get access to them since the screen had failed completely - the magic of cable to a TV screen and then copying to an an external hard disc means that I have been able to download them to me new machine.

    Right I'm away for a long evening walk.

    BB the first bit of advice this infamous LIP'y can offer for your new service is - NEVER ATTEND A HEARING WITHOUT AT LEAST ONE FRIEND, AND PREFERABLY SEVERAL AND FEW, IN TOW.

    Nothing like an audience taking (or pretending to take) notes to focus the minds of the bastards.

    I'm looking forward to the developments with your excellent idea.

  92. Bitey

    Just having a glass of port with ice as an aperitif while my dinner is cooking - hope that's OK with you.


  93. Good luck BB, especially what with those headlines I took off the Guardian today, about increased privatisation of public services

  94. BTW, it appears we no longer have Cif profiles. When did this happen? I have noticed it the past few days. I sometimes click on a persons profile and recently there has been none of the information they filled in about themselves.

    Why is this?

  95. I got a note telling me I had to install another version of Java to see mine, Nap, so it might be that
    (I didn't bother installing it...they can Pluck off!)

  96. BeautifulBurnout:

    "Still, I am sure moderators would never have deleted your personal, vindictive and libellous post about me of their own accord, would they?"

    So what exactly was it that the boozing Buddhist considered to be libellous?

    That she doesn't drink or that Buddha was wrong?

  97. Bitey

    I think the phrase "enough alcohol to sink a battleship" might have led their fingers to twitch over the delete button. Not to mention that your attack on me was utterly uncalled for, as usual.

    As I said, I have been studiously avoiding your snidey, cowardly little digs - even those that amounted to insinuating I was an apologist for rapists - in the vain hope that you were adult enough to bury the hatchet and get on with your own life, instead of spending your time obsessed by mine.

    I can see that, once again, I misjudged you. My bad.

    Lord knows how many times I have tried to let bygones be bygones, but you seem to be incapable of doing so.

    You will, however, make yourself ill if you keep on bearing grudges the way you do.

    Now do piss off, there's a dear. This is getting boring now.

  98. Oh for god's sake bitey - give it a rest. You never have anything of the remotestinterest to say; all you seem capable of is droning endlessly on about this and that thing you don't like about BB. So what? Who cares? Only you, you pathetic waste of space.

    Sounds to me as though a glass or two of a decent wine would do you the world of good; you might see other people from a different and more benign aspect then.

  99. BeautifulBurnout

    "God you really are as thick as shit."

    Au contraire MrsB and without my input along with those of a few others, the past UK governments would never have invested so much in the open and flexible learning that has enabled you to take your son out of the school where he was bullied and uneducated, and in turn provide the materials and qualified tutorial support, to educate him successfully at home.

    When he gest a place at university I'l chalk it up as yet another of me successes.

  100. Atomboy (or anybody else)

    Do you know anywhere where I can get figures/information about the Guardian's relationship with the last Government vis a vis (payment for) advertising jobs and whatnot....??

  101. that was written terribly, but you know what I mean...

  102. Msc

    Evening chuck. Princess wants a get together soon. Do you fancy it?

  103. Hey Ms Chin! Long time no see. How you doing?

  104. What on earth are you talking about, Bitey?

    The government is providing jack shit - I have to pay for the services I am getting for my son.

    I thought your job was to travel to China to entice chinese parents to send their kids over here. Or are you now saying that you write home learning course materials as well?

  105. Mainstream recommendation for the UT book blog - if you haven't yet read The Shock Doctrine, it's never been more topical.

    Reading the comments from the right-wingers on Cif recently, it would appear that the sky is falling in on us and that, as a result, we need a scorched earth approach.

    The media have successfully spun us this lie, and the coalition are exploiting the lie for ideological reasons.

    The truth is that the deficit is not historically large, nor is it unmanageable, and it can best be tackled by stimulating the economy, not by slashing jobs and benefits.

    What seems to have been forgotten is that when Darling rescued the banks, his approach was a Keynesian one, injecting money into the economy to boost lending, and thereby stimulate demands and growth. The big mistake he made was not imposing conditions on the banks on how the QE money was used. As it was, they all used our money to shore up their lending reserves and stuck two fingers up to the government when it asked how their approach benefitted those of us who'd stumped up the cash.

    The even bigger lie is that this recession is the result of the profligacy of the public sector, and that only by privatising the public realm can the country be saved.

    The Graun's front page story today is very good, and the sort of journalism they should have been practising both before and after the election.

    This country is being handed over to corporations in the biggest redistribution of wealth ever seen in the UK. It's all been done before, starting with Chile post-1973, and so it's all the more fucking amazing that the drift has not been better identified and criticised by the Graun and the rest of the "liberal" media.

    The spokesman from one of the privatising bunch of gangsters wanking himself about the imminent "bonanza" should be stuck in front of the cameras on every news bulletin so that the public might wake up to what's about to happen.

    If public spending is to be cut, and the corporations are about to get richer, then it will only happen because unions will be sidelined, wages will be slashed, and profits will be offshored.

    I'd love to know how any Guardian reader/ciffer justifies continued support for this gang of vindictive, greedy and amoral class warriors.

  106. BeautifulBurnout

    "Now, under your current nick I have virtually ignored you, even when you have made the odd side-swipe at me, because in general I have no problem with your right to post whatever you want on CiF, same as the rest of us. And your current nick has lasted quite some time as a result, because the mods had no idea who you were."

    "In general"

    "In general .... your right"?

    Well how condescending of you MrsB or is that yet another hark back to your Stalinist past?

    In general you agree with freedom of speech - but you're quite prepared to make an exception when you need to boost your ego, yes?

  107. Evenin' me hearties!

    Been at wk all day, pizzas in the oven and pooped after seeing Punk bands last night in Penge ;0)

    Scrotum Clamp topped the bill - bloody fantastic!

    Anywyay, was listening to R4 this morning and turns out the editor of the revolting MumsNet lives in Islington and is married to someone who works on the Guardian....

  108. Leni:

    God sort of stuck long after trip ended

    Good job he didn't do Mushrooms, he'd have most certainly been stuck with the Beelzebub for life (hehehehe!)

  109. Double amen to that Hank.

    La Rit - i heard her this morning too...she was on Saturday Live I think. Who else would she be married too?!?

  110. In other Janie news...

    Getting all excited.

    Much amounts of car-alarm rattle-snakes will be on the ITV2 website at 9pm, for anyone interested in the best dance music in the world evah. Underworld live at the Roundhouse.

    (Don't listen to what Bitterweed says - he hasn't got a clue about music :p )

    Linky here for anyone else who might be interested.

    Failed in my desperate eBay bids to buy tix - even for tix registered in other people's names, to try my luck on the door. Sigh.

    Still - will be going to the launch gig for their new album in September, so I have that to look forward to.

  111. Hey Hank - hope you're well.

    Read fromt page of the Groin today..... it's going to be a godamn masscre in the Public sector.

    Met a woman today who has worked for the NHS for years taking blood - so good at her job, people would rather wait and see her they trust her and her expertise - she's highly skilled and experienced (if anyone's ever had blood taken by someone who really knows what they're doing, they'll know what I'm talking about)

    She has just been made redundant.

  112. Sheff:

    They were being very coy about it - I'd be very interested to know, might ask my friend who's a bit of a mole ;)

    Got really fed up of the tales of 'Nannies'....

  113. La Rit

    the cuts are alarming - we will soon be asked to cut ourselves and bleed into a bucket.

  114. BB:

    Sorry to hear of the frustration. Saw them at the Underworld about 3 years ago - it was well worth it (my friend got me the ticket as she lives just up the road)

    Good luck with the touts!

  115. Whoops - saw Underworld at the Roundhouse!

  116. BeautifulBurnout

    "So what is it about you that has to rack it up until you cannot help but resort to vicious attack and personal insult just to get noticed?"

    I'm sorry MrsB but you post a heartfelt statement, the longest on the thread, about your religious belief to all and sundry on CiF, without mentioning the fact that as far as Buddhism is concerned you're a rank alcoholic.

    And you offer advice to a muslim who, if he is, really is alcohol free.

  117. Leni:

    Alarming is bloody it - I cannot believe they are going to attempt this. The NHS will become completely dysfunctional with private companies focussing on where they can get the most money and fuck everyone else.

    And these apolgists moaning about Labour are in for a very nasty shock.

    I cannot understand how anyone with half a brain can think it's acceptable for public money to be siphoned off by greedy private companies motivated only by profit. They need their heads examining.

  118. In addition to the "Shock Doctrine", "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" by John Perkins, tells the tale of how the Chicago School of economics "ideology" was administered.

    Scarey stuff indeed!

  119. LaRit

    This public mney is not being openly and transparently declared. How much is going where is unknown.

    Portions of it are not publicly declared as they are 'commercially sensitive'. How can this be ?

  120. "...by buddhism's standards a rank alcoholic".

    Like I said, Bitey, show me where it says in the Lotus Sutra that I can't enjoy alcohol...

    Go on - you are the archivist. You should be able to track it down in no time. Hell, you might even learn something by checking it out.

    Now sod off.

  121. Alas, I took the decision not to try the touts, and am stuck here watching it any minute now....

    I was at all those Roundhouse gigs, La Rit, so we must have met in spirit at least. :o)

  122. BeautifulBurnout

    "Oh. Wait. I think I have just answered my own question. You are a sad, narcissistic little weasel who, probably due to your strict godbothering upbringing, has developed believing that the only way you will get any attention at all is by behaving like an utter schmuck. Because negative attention is still attention, right? I suggest you seek the help of a therapist. Your life will be happier."

    And who MrsB is the one who rushes home from her occasional appearances on very worthy legal aid cases to log on to CiF and The Untrusted so as to reaffirm your popularity with your inferiors - Montana, Sheff, Thurm, X'puss, Deano?

    Unlike me whose absence from CiF and here is more to do with me trotting the globe, and in the past three weeks accompanying a blind man, with three other friends, the length of the Pennine Way.

    But don't let's fact get in the way of prejudice - you, monkeyfish and hankscorpio make a wonderful trio.

  123. Hi LaRit - yeah, I'm fine thanks. And you?

    The Graun ran a little piece on p6 today about some of the gangsters who are hugging themselves tight about the "bonanza".

    If they had any gumption, they'd be running a campaign identifying Capita, serco and all the rest, setting out the terms and conditions of their staff compared to workers in comparable non-contracted out jobs in the public sector, before going on to calculate the profits made by the contractors, the salaries earned by the board members and the amount of corporation tax paid by the companies and the amount of income tax paid by those directors.

    The truth is that we've had 20 years of PFI and of privatisation of public services, and the delivery hasn't improved noticeably. The quality of food or the standards of hygiene in the NHS, for instance, have got worse. The protection of taxpayer confidentiality has definitely decreased since the service was handed over to the private sector.

    Almost every failing associated with the public sector has been a failing of the privatised "partners" who cut corners in pursuit of profit, and yet the public sector is blamed every time.

    HMRC use TNT to transport files and other data between sites. TNT is a subsidiary of Murdoch's NewsCorp. When discs containing taxpayer data went missing a couple of years ago, Murdoch's papers slated HMRC and, by association, the public sector.

    The big lie was accepted.

    A company not mentioned in the Graun's report has made its CEO a fortune in the last ten years by providing services to the public sector. That CEO is a non-dom, and his company offshores their profits.

    This country isn't in trouble because of benefit cheats or asylum seekers. It's in trouble because the state has been hijacked by gangsters who don't give a shit about UK plc. They've taken our money and they've given nothing back.

    And it's about to get worse.

  124. Leni:

    That's a very scary thing and I didn't know that the mcConJobs had made this kind of decision - who the bloody hell determines what portions and in what amounts are 'commercially sensitive'? Either it's public money or it's not - there's no bloody half way stage.

    People do not realise the gravity of the situation.

  125. How dare you bloody suggest that any of the people on this website - apart from yourself that is - is in any way, shape or form inferior to me?

    Piss off, Bitey. You are really scraping the barrel now.

    Go and find some flies you can pull the wings off.

    Hank - wotcha! Hope all is good wid ju. xx

    I'm gonna be glued to the iTunes fest so I will bbl. xx

  126. "...the past three weeks accompanying a blind man...the length of the Pennine Way."

    Jeez, Bitey, I can only assume he didn't see you coming.

    If you had an ounce of compassion, you'd have bought the guy a bus ticket.

  127. Hank

    I'm good thanks - been through a bit of a dark days patch, but definitely more positive at the moment.

    Almost every failing associated with the public sector has been a failing of the privatised "partners" who cut corners in pursuit of profit, and yet the public sector is blamed every time

    This is what makes me so angry and upset - so many people have swallowed the mantra - is there any hope left?

  128. Just wanted to say, I'll be back a bit later.... I've been stuck with sitting on the floor as our Wireless router is buggered and I've got back n neck ache - I've been on me feet all day and need to get horizontal....

    Will do my best to get back.

  129. Hank

    There's some interesting stuff on The Shock Doctrine website.

  130. Evening Hank

    Read Shcok Doctrihe few years ago, superb book, better than No Logo in my opinion. Have been thinking about Shock Doctrine lately and how well this fits that mould - cant remember whose quote it was, some parasite in government or business,

    "Never let a crisis go to waste".

    That seems to be exactly what we have. Long running Tory dreams of ever greater pillaging are now being played out without barely a mention in their manifesto and only muted criticism from the papers. Labour are incapable of making a credible attack because its the same path they went down for 13 years, albeit much less savagely.

    The NHS is the most worrying, imo, that is well and truly being dismantled and carved up. BBC will be done shortly. We wont have a single national institution left.

    Anyways, back later.

  131. BB
    Your alcoholism is increasingly disturbing. I for one am becoming increasingly worried about your early nights, demanding job, solid relationship with your husband despite the trials of bringing up a son who society doesn't always want to come to terms with; the fact that you are trying to make the world a little better and always have a good demeanour. Cursed alcoholism. Cursed it is.

    Speaking of the cursed; how is that fleeting but sad Timothy Spall type character getting on in this narrative? - the figure behind the net curtain with his outgrown floppy fringe and stained pants and vest, furtively scribbling down his neighbours' activities on endless piles of pointless note pads, his utterly dysfunctional, symbiotic relationship with his mother spiralling out of control; she screams for more Baileys while he dreams of rescuing all the children who he adores from afar - from their corrupt and imperfect homes - to his own deserted, perfect island ?

    Thanks for the heads up !

    Great words my man. Need to get that book.

  132. The fight back in Argentina needs to be emulated here - off bums - do something. It worked for Tower Colliery.

  133. That's about the size of it, Jay.

    The sad thing is that the Graun shot itself in the foot with its initial support for the coalition and hasn't yet understood the need to extricate itself from the shitstorm it has been complicit in.

    Polly still does her bit. And her blog today was very good. Cohen gets better the longer his tiff with the anti-war protesters recedes into the distance. Milne, Monbiot and Maddy are always worth reading.

    But Simon Jenkins is a stain on the Graun's heritage. Rawnsley has dug himself a big hole. Michael White is a pusillanimous waste of space.

    And Will Hutton has got himself a focus group job with the coalition.

    And Rusbridger is King Wanker. How the fuck does that guy get to keep a job as editor of a paper which notionally believes in progressive values when his talentless daughter gets to write for Cif?

  134. Incidentally, I just noticed the new standfirst on here.

    That's really fucking sad, Montana. If you don't want me to post on here anymore, you've got my email address and my phone number.

    Or just tell me when I'm on here. You might have said it to me when I've not been around, but I don't check on past threads when I'm not posting.

    @mschin - thanks for the link. Not seen that site before. Looks interesting.

    @ourfriendsinthenorth - monkeyfish and me are meeting up for a drink in Sheffield a week on Friday. Venue not decided yet. All welcome. Even speedkermit.

  135. Hank

    Standfirst? Do you mean the 'where prize fuckwits ...' etc?

    If so, it's a quote from Mr Bracken.

  136. Is it, mschin? Hmm, maybe I'm getting paranoid. Or maybe not.

  137. Yep, it is. Several of us thought it a tad amusing at the time - well, me & Bitters did, IIRC.

    Re: your Sheffield trip - I dare say me & sheff might trundle down to meet you 2 renegades for a drink. Hopefully the princess will be able to join us.

  138. Hi Hank/MsChin

    Great earlier post from you Hank-tip hat.MsChin is right about the standfirst.It is a quote from PeterB as was the previous one.Nowt to do with you,honestly.Don,t worry about getting paranoid.Methinks it happens to everyone on cyber at some stage.

  139. HankScorpio:

    "@ourfriendsinthenorth - monkeyfish and me are meeting up for a drink in Sheffield a week on Friday. Venue not decided yet. All welcome. Even speedkermit"

    Is this a trap?

  140. Cheers, paul.

    Not a trap, speedkermit. You are most cordially invited.

  141. @Jay: "Never let a crisis go to waste"
    Yep, that's about the size of it.
    A lot of vultures are circling right now who are wetting their knickers about how much dosh they are going to plunder from the mess we are in.

    Makes you wonder if the whole bloody debacle wasn't deliberately orchestrated in the first place!

  142. BeautifulBurnout

    "Like I said, Bitey, show me where it says in the Lotus Sutra that I can't enjoy alcohol..."

    Oh you and everyone else can enjoy alcohol - that of course is the whole point of it. It even makes men in pyjama tops attractive. Well not that I've any personal experience of that.

    But the Compassionate Lotus Sutra says:

    "For those who enjoy killing, I will make them stop killing; for those who commit crimes due to their greed, I will make them not to steal; for those who commit sexual misconducts, I will make them keep away from such immoral behaviors; for those who deliberately slander each others, I will make them not to slander; for those who enjoy inebriation, I will make them not to drink alcohol. -- For the living beings with such five illnesses, I will make them keep the five precepts of Upasaka."

    Mind you my Buddhist friend who got me up some pretty high peaks in the Himalayas, does enjoy the odd bottle or fifteen.

  143. Cheers Hank, would love to come.

  144. C. P. Scott, letter to Henry Nevinson (7th September, 1927)

    Will you kindly write us a signed review of this book about Northcliffe. He would be important if only because his rise is the rise of the vast popular press. The tragedy of his life seems to me to lie in the fact that though he knew how to create the instruments not only of profit but of power he had not the least idea what to do with his power when he got it.


    interesting bit about power and the powerful in last sentence.

    In view of Cifs support for LDs in election - now in power - does Cif know what to about it ?

  145. "Makes you wonder if the whole bloody debacle wasn't orchestrated in the first place!"

    Klein's view, chekhov, is that some crises are indeed orchestrated, eg the coup in Chile, the second Gulf War, and some are merely taken advantage of, eg the Louisiana delta disaster.

    It's a moot point whether the recent financial crash was contrived.

    @speedkermit - details will be posted on here idc. There's a few Sheffield natives on here so suggestions for a good venue are welcome. As would be a convenient B+B/Holiday Inn.

  146. Cheers Leni

    Quite a lot of what was said by former Guardian editors, contributors etc has seemingly been, not so much forgotten, but savagely ripped from the record, driven over a few times, and then thrown down the nearest (now) abandoned mine-shaft!!

  147. The bit before the linguistic 'money-shot' of 'comment is free...but facts are sacred', is:

    Its primary office is the gathering of news. At the peril of its soul it must see that the supply is not tainted. Neither in what it gives, nor in what it does not give, nor in the mode of presentation, must the unclouded face of truth suffer wrong.

    Not sure that one's working out so well....

  148. @Leni - CP Scott is a plaster saint and that quote proves it. Northcliffe knew very well how to wield power and its purpose. He founded the Daily Mail as well as the Daily Mirror, and he used his papers to defend and promote his interests and those of imperialist capitalism.

    His brother, Lord Rothermere, succeeded him as the owner of the Northcliffe media group, and he was directly responsible for the "Zinoviev Letter" lie which brought down MacDonald's minority Labour govt of 1924. The Mail under Rothermere also supported Churchill's decision to use troops to break the General Strike. And Rothermere was a good friend of Mosley, and used the Mail to support the Blackshirts.

    If CP Scott had half the courage of his convictions that the Harmsworth family had, this country might not be the basket case it is now.

  149. Hank -

    Do you know where I can find any figures, amounts or whatever to do with The Guardian's deal with the last government for advertising jobs and whatnot....?

  150. James + Hank

    Once read article about Scott's opposition to WW1 - how he then refused to write against it once begun as country faced grave danger and therefore criticism of it was wrong.

    Can't remember author - can't find.


    I read that last line about Northcliffe as 'didn't know how to use it --' therefore abused it.

  151. James

    Cheers for the link info you supplied in the early hours.

    Am signing off now.

    Have a good night everyone !

  152. No probs Paul.

    Have a good night!

  153. Polly and Milne have been good, yes, Kettle and Jenkins have been disgraceful.

    The quote top of page was from a Bracken rant here few weeks back, had a nice ring to it so we made it the subheading. Catchy i think.

  154. Not off the top off my head, James.

    "Harry's Place" might be able to help. It's a libertarian blog of some repute. Or Ian Dale's Diary.

    Or just google "Guardian + public sector ads + revenue".

  155. Make that google "Guardian" + "public sector" + "revenue", James. Advanced google is your friend.

    Kettle's a wanker, Jay. Always has been though, and at least he's not got a book to sell. Rawnsley's worse. I despise Rawnsley.

  156. BeautifulBurnout

    "What on earth are you talking about, Bitey?

    "The government is providing jack shit - I have to pay for the services I am getting for my son.

    "I thought your job was to travel to China to entice chinese parents to send their kids over here. Or are you now saying that you write home learning course materials as well?"

    Well over the course of thirty years - yes, to both.

    But more importantly when governments spend money on anything as outlandish as open and flexible learning, they need to be convinced with some pretty powerful arguments. And twenty years ago MrsB you would have been one of them, when we persuaded ministers to invest millions. But today, as you know, thankfully, home learning wise, you're quite common place. But of course you're never common. Well apart from the foul language.

  157. Hank

    The last UT meet was at the Rutland Arms, on Brown Street (very close to the railway station).

    Some of the gang stayed at the Ibis Hotel, but IIRC, it doesn't have a car park of its own.

  158. Was the financial crisis orchestrated so that the Tories could take the opportunity to dismantle the public sector and welfare state? I think you are crediting them with too much influence and foresightedness. It's just a cyclical thing, and if this wave of shafting is any more severe than those following previous Tory ascensions, that's just a measure of the unprecedented economic fuckwittery of last administration. I agree with Hank though when he questions the scale of the crisis and whether the proposed cutbacks are warranted. Is the country seriously as shafted as it was in 1979? I don't think so. You can bet Cameron et al are just as avid fans of Klein as those on the left - they just conceive of it more as a blueprint than a warning. It's all coming to pass in a Nostradamus-stylee. The woman's a prophet.

  159. Awww... sniff... shoulda been at the Roundhouse.

    Just been cursing all the foetuses in the audience that must have been 2 years old when Cowgirl was released. (Also Ally F's fave club choon, as it goes).

    Ah well. September it is. :o)


    You are confusing the White Lotus Tripitaka Sutra with the Lotus Sutra.

    The tripitaka sutras were given very early on to a narrow audience, largely monastic, and the translations are almost invariably tending to be theravadan in outlook. They could be compared to the 10 commandments in Christianity which were later replaced by what Jesus had to say.

    The Buddha was always very anxious to expound his teachings at the right time and to the right audience. But gradually as the years - decades even - went on, he was able to distill what was important into the last remaining sutras he expounded.

    From the point of view of the practice I follow, the Lotus Sutra is the supreme teaching, largely because the Buddha himselm, when he was expounding it, said it was the culmination of all his years of teaching.

    The earlier tripitakas tend to be followed by the hinayana (or to be more polite, theravada) schools - the shaved head, orange robes, sit on a mountain lot - but have no real relevance to those in the laity. They have countless numbers of precepts to be followed by monks and nuns, but they are not relevant teachings to me, and those who follow my kind of mahayanan practice.

    So the short answer is, if you are a Buddhist monk or nun, best not to get drunk. I am neither.

    If you are genuinely interested in the Lotus Sutra, rather than just googling "alcohol" and "Lotus Sutra" as you appear to have done, you would do far worse than to read the Burton Watson translations, which are considered to be the most authoritative:


    Now sod off and read something that might make you into a better person. It certainly couldn't make you into a worse one anyway...


    I have absolutely no doubt that you will have a great time if you meet up with the guys and gals. I keep meaning to get my arse into gear and get up there for a night out meself, but it never seems to work out.

  160. www.apax.com/GMG_Annual_Report_2009.pdf

    James - try above. Looks quite detailed but I haven't yet read it.

  161. What about the Devonshire Cat or Kelham Island?

  162. This is a quote from "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man"

    "Claudine told me that there were two primary objectives of my work. First, I was to justify huge international loans that would funnel money back to MAIN
    (Chas.T.Main,Inc. an international consulting firm that kept a very low profile and that was in charge of of studies to determine whether the World Bank should lend Ecuador and it's neighbouring countries billions of dollars to build hydro-electric dams and other infrasructure projects),
    and other U.S. companies (such as Bechtel, Haliburton, Stone&Webster and Brown&Root)through massive engineering and construction projects.

    Second, I would work to bankrupt the countries that received those loans (after thay had paid MAIN and the other U.S. contractors, of course)so that they would be forever beholden to their creditors, and so they would present easy targets when we needed favours, including military bases,UN votes, or access to oil and other natural resources.

    This is just one paragraph.
    The book is "whistle blowing" stuff of the highest order in exposing the neo-cons "economic policy" for the scam that it really was.(Or still is for that matter!)

  163. Jesus, Rusbridger takes home a nice little packet!!

  164. Thanks, mschin. I might get the train anyway, bound to be a cheap bnb near the station.

    @speedkermit - I didn't say that the financial crisis was orchestrated by the Tories. I said that Klein identified two different types of "shock", one manufactured and one dropped into the lap. The key to the success of the doctrine is to recognise the opportunity when it arises, and to exploit it for all it's worth.

  165. BB:

    Awww... sniff... shoulda been at the Roundhouse.

    Just been cursing all the foetuses in the audience that must have been 2 years old when Cowgirl was released. (Also Ally F's fave club choon, as it goes).

    I'm going to commit heresy and say that Underworld have been providing diminishing returns since Dubnobasswithmyheadman, and also that Cowgirl was nothing unless it was mixed with Rez (which, thankfully, it always is). Do have a soft spot for 'Bruce Lee' though.

    Many of the phenomenally dance acts of the mid-nineties now seem a little dated now sadly, Orbital and Leftfield being notable examples. The only one still pushing the envelope is Autechre, but try dancing to those fuckers now.

  166. Hank

    Good oh...A meet up in Sheffield!. The Rutland Arms that Msc linked to up thread is a good place to meet as it's less than five minutes from the bus/train stations and there's a big car park across the road. Has a nice courtyard garden and excellent beer.

    There are also Premier Inns, Ibis, etc hotels close by that are cheap and cheerful.

  167. speedy

    I thought the Rutland would be easy to find for people who were new to the city coming by bus/train or off the motorway. We could always move on to the Kelham Island Tavern, Fat cat, Riverside etc later.

    Am happy to defer to other preferences though.

  168. BB

    Cheers for the good vibes. If you can't make it to Sheffield, BW mentioned that he was thinking of organising something in September. Not quite your neck of the woods, but at least he lives a bit further south than Yorkshire!


    Speedy's pub suggestions are good - sheff will have some ideas too, no doubt.

    Off to bed now, it's been a long hard week. Goodnight all.

  169. HankScorpio...

    "...the past three weeks accompanying a blind man...the length of the Pennine Way.

    "Jeez, Bitey, I can only assume he didn't see you coming.

    "If you had an ounce of compassion, you'd have bought the guy a bus ticket."

    And if you had an ounce of sense Mr Scorpio you'd know how much those among us who are visually impaired long to participate in activities the rest of us take as normal - like walking in mountains. And of course as registered blind, he doesn't need a bus ticket, but then as an up front revolutionary, you don't need to know incidentals like that. All you need is to storm barricades and throw bombs.

  170. BB, if you feed it, it will cum.

  171. Speedy

    Are you currently in the execution of your duty?

    Just wondering what I was looking at if I punched you up the bracket.... :p

    While Second Toughest in the Infants is still probably my fave album, they still put out some fab stuff. My homonym being a case in point.

    They went through a blip when Darren Emerson buggered off, but since they have had Darren Price (do you have to be called Darren, I wonder?) backing them up, they have been going from strength to strength imo.

    They did go through a phase where they got all minimal and chillout and were doing film soundtracks - Breaking and Entering and Sunshine - but the new album has got some bloody good stuff on it, by all accounts.

  172. All you need is to storm barricades and throw bombs?

    If only!

    It's definitely goodnight from me this time.

  173. The essence of comedy is timing, Bitey. The joke's not funny anymore.

    Your biggest problem, Bitey, is that you take yourself far too seriously. That's why you post sanctimonious shite on Cif, and why you pursue vendetti with the zeal of a Sicilian elephant.

    Have you ever read Middlemarch? You remind me of Casaubon, a desiccated, humourless man who believes in humanity only in the abstract.

  174. Just had my first ever look at mumsnet...


  175. @speedkermit - I didn't say that the financial crisis was orchestrated by the Tories. I said that Klein identified two different types of "shock", one manufactured and one dropped into the lap. The key to the success of the doctrine is to recognise the opportunity when it arises, and to exploit it for all it's worth.

    Fair dos, but I was kind of heading off Chekhov's conspiracy theory more than anything. This is certainly a case of exploitation, and amazingly they seem to have the entire of the press behind them, even the Guardian, who despite some half-hearted attempts to defend the public sector (see the defence of the indefensible £200K+ headmaster's salary this week on CiF) aren't nearly going on the attack as much as they could. The Express/Mail axis seem content to take potshots at gay asylum seekers (who seem to be the new disabled, black lesbians) as if this might save us some money somewhere along the line. Where are the counter-arguments? Who is quoting Klein? Who's even quoting any credible figures?

  176. speedy

    Just caught the Autechre ref.

    Well, now we are talking Intelligent Dance Music (IDM)as opposed to the festi/club stuff for sure. Not a huge fan meself, but I think some of the more minimal DJs like Ricardo Villalobos and Michael Meyer manage to get a nice middle-way between the two styles.

    Adrenalin is my drug of choice, though, and the kick-drum is my dealer. It's all about the beats...

  177. This comment has been removed by the author.

  178. Bloody Hell, a few posters on here whinge on about how we all trivialize this blog by having a chat about everyday banalities.
    So I make an effort to lob a grenade of substance into the debate and everyone ignores it!

  179. According to some stuff I've found today, Cameron and Osborne had already promised that all government jobs would be advertised on one shiny centralised website, so why are The Guardian still waving their asses seductively at them?

    Now they're just going to look cheap, dirty, and stupid!?

    Especially that MFing C-bomb Kettle!

  180. Anyway, I'm just babbling now, so I'm off.

    Have a good night folks....!!

  181. @speedkermit - gay asylum seekers have slipped off the agenda. As a copper, it can't have escaped your notice that the agenda has moved on to public sector pensions, redundancy pay etc.

    The interesting question, and one we've danced around the last few weeks, is the role of your mates in policing the inevitable industrial disputes.

    Thatcher was astute enough to get the police onside by buying off your right to strike with above inflation pay rises.

    The coalition are making noises about cutting police numbers in line with the rest of the public sector.

    It will be interesting to see which way the police jump when they realise that, this time, they've got more in common with the workers than the bosses.

  182. Sorry chekhov - am in frivolous mode tonight so you'll get no serious change out of me. Am good for a tune though;

    In my fathers house

  183. James - don't forget that the public sector jobs the Graun makes its money from extends beyond "government" jobs, ie those in the civil service.

    There's local councils, education authorities, charities, voluntary sector etc, all of whom stump up a lot of cash to the Graun.

    Not to mention all those jobs advertised for Cif staffers with the invisible tagline - "Those not related to a member of the Guardian editorial staff need not apply."

  184. This comment has been removed by the author.

  185. Wow - never heard of Eric Bibb before.

    That was awesome. Thanks.