18 July 2010



Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.
-Hanlon's Razor


  1. A quick mornin' all!

    Conked out early am afraid.... but had a quicke skim.

    Hank - didn't realise you were an officiando of Ibiza ;0)

    Last time I went was '98 - had a marvellous time - Cafe de Mar and Space....8 days of barely any sleep and lolling around Las Salinas in the recovery position next to the sparkling sea - magic place.

    BB - sorry you didn't get a ticket.... how mad that you we were in the same room at one point!

  2. All I can hear from the UT is zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz's lol

  3. morning all!

    to continue a bit with the 'insolvency' debate last night, my (admittedly limited) understanding is that insolvency is a bit different from bankruptcy...it can apply to businesses that are 'asset-rich, cash-poor' in that they don't have the cashflow to continue with the business, so the business gets shut down.

    then the IPs turn up to ensure the best possible liquidation value of the assets.

    and HMRC, which used to have crown preference status, doesn't any more, which is why they may only get 20p in the £, Hank, think.

    now, preference goes to staff, salaries have to be paid. which seems to include IPs, as providing 'ongoing services', so they are safe. and also explains why redundancies often happen early doors. (and which screwed Portsmouth a bit, as the players - who to be fair could probably have coped with losing a month's pay - were 'staff')

    then everything gets hocked off and this gives the lump of money to be shared around between the creditors.

    so - 'going bust' doesn't necessarily mean 'having nothing', it means 'not having the cash to continue'. there's value in the assets, which can be sold off to generate cash, but then of course the business cannot continue, as it doesn't then have the assets it needs to operate...

    think that's right...

    bats-attic article from emma soames up.

  4. Hank

    Following on from something you said yesterday about firms on public contracts offshoring their profits and paying little or no tax - i think its actually just got a whole lot worse:

    The new changes to the NHS place a legal responsibility on GPs to commission the best value services regardless of who the firm is. In practice, this means firms across the entire EU will be bidding for, and providing, many NHS services (this is already happening on a small scale i believe but the new changes will massively expand it).

    So in a time of recession when we need job creations and ideally profits to be both onshore and taxed, lots of profits will in fact be leaking back to EU firms paying tax in other EU nations.

    This is what they're doing to the NHS without a word in the manifesto.

  5. "Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity."


  6. @Philippa

    Ta for that - looks like my insolvency knowledge was out of date. Though I'm glad I don't have to have anything to do with it any more. Amazed that the Revenue isn't a preferred creditor too. How the F did that get through?

  7. bats-attic article from emma soames up.

    Isn't it just? What on earth was the point of that? She seemed to be condoning the state of affairs (if you'll pardon the expression).

  8. peterj - crown preference was abolished in 2003 and there was a lot of yelling from HMRC (understandably so)...not sure how it happened, frankly. one estimate of what they gave up was £70m a year.

    jay - eu procurement rules, bless 'em. as far as i am aware, any state entity putting a contract out for tender (above a certain value) has to allow bids from throughout the eu - this has been in place for a while, so am not sure what the extension is based on? possibly changes to exemptions from them?

  9. montana - the standfirst did make it look like 'women marry for money and aren't capable of doing things themselves'. which aggravated me. but given that she's focussing on 'aristos', in a sort of cross between jilly cooper's 'class' and the novels of nancy mitford, decided to ignore it...

  10. Hello all. Beautiful weather here in the Eastern Pyrenees. Unfortunately I still have some work to do, not helped by my having drunk most of a bottle of Armagnac last night. Some of us never learn. Sunday lunch shortly. Roast pork, crackling, apple sauce and all the trimmings. That should sort out my hangover.

  11. Montana

    Emma soames is as thick as four shorts. wheatfromchaff linked to an essay by Theodore Dalrymple All sex, all the time, which, whether you agree with it or not, is well worth a read if only to rediscover what proper writing is about.

  12. I am so jealous spike, I am having cereal for dinner (again) I will have to get off my backside soon and do some shopping.

    Cif is a bit boring today apart from Emma 'my grandfather, Winston Churchill' Soames.

  13. @Jenn

    Oh, I dunno. The Lewis Pugh piece on 'how my incredibly brave lone swimming in cold water against climate change taught me humility' bears examination...

  14. Digital discrimination- those who have credit cards, internet acess, and are technologically savvy can get cheaper deals on many goods and services. The most vulenrable in society do not.

    I believe that in society every public service has to measure up to the 'old granny principle'- namely that the most vulnerbale members of society should expect the same level and price when accessing public serices. It disproportionately affects the poor, who have to pay so much.

    Not everyone has internet access. But I suppose they are just collateratel damage in the neoliberal dystopia.-- 'Everyone has to look out for themselves'- If the poor old woman is not savvy enough to work a computer or a person on beneifts can't afford a credit card, then it is their own problem.

    I too, would prefer not to use my credit card and give details away, registering my personal details on a companies website that is all too suspectible to be hacked/exploited.

    But realistically, I have no choice. I can get my train ticket for £7.50 which cost nearly 3 times as much if I buy them on the day.

    This digital divide is a serious issue and someone ought to write for it on Cif

  15. Besides I don't want to spend a nice Sunday searching around for the cheapest deal, then poring over filling out my payment details, etc. Why couldn't I just turn up ont he day at the station and expect the same service for the same price?

  16. It is a good subject Nap, pitch it on Waddya or do something on UT2.

    I checked out the swimming man Peter, I don't think humble is a word I would use for him. ;)

  17. Nap did you go to London on National Express or another company ?

    I am looking for tickets for next month.

  18. Megabus is cheaper I think Jen.

  19. Just read article on 'advice to staff re - youth prison service guide' God I'm ashamed of this country! For the last 30 years we have been going backwards! Link here

    Hank - excellent posts last night any links for more info? I can think of quite a few people who'd like to know more about this!

  20. thanks for pointer to the humble swimmer thread.

    my word.

  21. Amazing Anne isn't it that it takes three members of staff to 'restrain' a 15 year old during which process he chokes to death on his own vomit.

    It is just too horrific, someone is already over on Waddya comparing the headline to a Daily Mail one, oh and calling the Guardian left wing.

  22. Morning all...

    Philippa, you about still??

    If so, do you

    a) know offhand, how much The Guardian made from advertising Pub Sec jobs for the last lot of snake-oil salesmen, or

    b) do you think your financially literate brain may be able to see it hidden within the Graun's annual report??

    Leni and I looked, but maybe there's like a secret code word that's largely invisible to anyone who's not in the 'money game'...?!

  23. Props to your efforts all, regular hive of industry here. Kinda frightning me off a bit. The stuff I want to talk about (wither now?) seems to just generate questions, never answers.

    @James, just take two weeks worth of Grauniad, count all the recruitment ad inches, determine % public sector, All rec rev/your%, apply arithmetic. Should give you a ball park fig?

  24. Thanks for that Turm.

    Have I ever mentioned that I'm not the sharpest pencil in the deck of cards though, because, to be honest, I feel you may have over-estimated me!!


    I'll give it a crack though. (After I've had some coffee...)

  25. James

    Ring up whoever manages the ad side at the groan and ask them how much the ads cost - if you then work out how many ads there are over say, a 3 month period, you can at least get a ball park figure for what they're worth.

  26. Snap Turm - great minds and all that!!

  27. Cheers Sheff.

    The problem I seem to be having though, is that, a) it seems like some people really don't want them to be found, and that b) the website's reasonably easy to guestimate from, but certain days in the Guardian have loads of pub sec ads, and I'm not sure how many of those they were etc, so would find it hard to extrapolate to any degree of accuracy from just the 'rolling' website....

  28. James even if you can't come up with accurate figures you could probably do a decent article about how figures that should be the public sphere are hidden away where they are almost impossible to find.

  29. Lol Jen!!

    (What started as a more general critique of The Guardian has already revealed quite a few significant sub-topics worthy of investigation. That's certainly one of them...)

  30. Radio 4 classic serial fans - The Beeb are dramatising Hesse's Glass Bead Game at 3pm.

  31. Hello


    Wither now ? That is the question - answer have I none.

    It feels like watching a disaster movie and discussing the plot as the story unfolds.

    The NHS 'reforms' are likely to take millions out of the economy as profits and tax go abroad - there are suggestions now that 1.5 million MH patients will be left untreated as GPs are not adequately trained to help them.

    Treasury are questioniny IDS figures .

    This lot appear to be both completely inhuman and economically illiterate.

  32. my 14:45 post

    *how many of those there were...

    (wish me luck with this writing lark folks....)

  33. I always said that Cameron was an empty shell - or hiding something - now we know.

    He is like a cruel parent who starves their children to pay for their own holiday in the sun.

  34. Leni

    There was a Halloween episode of The Simpsons where the two aliens disguised themselves as both candidates in the US presidential race, thus ensuring that they ended up winning, and then subsequently enslaved the population.

    If that metaphor hasn't already been realised, it will be when Miliband gets elected as the 'opposition' leader...

  35. James

    One thing that is becoming clearer - the amount of public spending that is hidden - commercially sensitive being one of the excuses.

    This makes it difficult to really assess impact on quoted figures and how much they will actually save - and who will be affected by loss of income.

    Goes back to what we all originally said - looking at cuts in isolation only tells half the story - the overall impact will be disastrous for millions.

    Just knock on job losses not yet calculated. Local multiplier and effect on communities we don't yet understand.

    Two Japanese firms were willing to come to - manfacture wind turbines - gvt won/t commit funds to upgrade ports. The list goes on - it's all about not spending and no investment.

    Plughole economics.

  36. Hi Leni : )

    This lot appear to be both completely inhuman and economically illiterate..

    Well they treat us as subhuman for sure. But i think they are quite £ savvy. I mean, Maggie and her disciple TB sold off nearly everything, but if we priviatise health and welfare, via the backdoor natch, surplus profit can be squeezed from the poor, ill & disabled, whom we have cast as scroungers and cheats, so no sympathy there. Then wether its in 5 or 10 years we can have our backs scratched by all the US firms we've sold the contracts to. Non exec directorships all round, cheers oiks! Crack another bottle of Belle Epoque Samantha!

  37. Montana

    I have to congratulate you on the aptness - the relevance - of your quotations.

  38. 'ight, James - no idea, onhand or off, but if you have a link to the report, i'll have a look. thing is, that i'd imagine it has a line for 'ads' but no breakdown - given the ownership structure, while the trust is probably up on ChCom (will have a look) the real stuff won't be required to break down so much.

    and re sheff's idea, remember that there are different rates for different advertisers (including for bulk)...

  39. aye, bugger all in the Scott Trust accounts...

  40. found it - and no turnover breakdown.

    hadn't realised just how screwed they are, though. boy.

  41. Philippa,

    Leni linked to it last night. (can't remember exactly, but somewhere around comment 170 ish, and apex something or other)!

    It's a large PDF file, with a few pages of 'financials'.
    I think you're right about it being general tho, so don't feel you have to!!


    One day, I'd be more than happy to share my 'admission' with people.
    Trust me, when it happens, I'll be telling everyone.....


  42. Philippa,

    ahh, no probs. Thanks for trying though!!

    (and yeah, they've been quite spectacular in their decline, right!!??)

    I was quite shocked at that purple line suddenly shooting off to the left!!

  43. James

    Have asked Jess on waddya how much G makes from public service advertising and anticipated outcome should they lose it.

  44. Just read Waddya.

    God bless ya Leni!!

    Thanks for both of those posts...!!

  45. -cross post-

    So thanks again!!

  46. nah - no chance of getting it out of there. it's been a while, so i'm a bit rusty (and confused - if GMGplc has NA of 915 but the group has only 586, what part of the group is in the hole by 319? - peh), but the level of detail you need would only be in their internals. not even a figure for advertising so you could make a stab at it.

  47. ownership structure and associated parties makes a diagram that looks like a drunk spider playing twister. i love structuring. if you see anything other than a straightline set-up, you know it's going to be a nightmare and can just give up before getting involved...

  48. Yeah, Pip, it's all a bit wrong isn't it?!?!

    Again though, thanks for trying!

    Right, off for some coffee.

    When I return, I may have some good news for BB!!

    In a bit peeps!!

  49. Afternoon all

    NO this isn't me just getting out of bed - been up since 8.30 but really busy with stuff, plus cooking lunch for my Dad, plus working on a legal argument for tomorrow, so I have only just this minute sat down with some time to myself! w00t!

    LaRit - I was almost in tears watching the gig on the ITV2 player last night. Still, I am off to their next one at The Forum in September, and a couple of friend are coming over from Belgium for it, so that would be fab. If you are interested(or anyone else in the Londiniun area) we could meet up - the tix are on the HMV website here

    Just gonna tootle on over to CiF and see what's cooking...

  50. Once again Ally Fogg, the 'darling' of CiF has donned the censor's cap and joined the moderators.

    Amandla de Thomas Johnson wrote an article "Saving Granny", a tongue in cheek slightly amusing piece about trying to convert his largely Christian family to Islam.

    AllyF contributed the following post containing a bit of racist 'humour' about Jews and bacon.

    "AllyF 17 Jul 2010, 12:23PM

    "Someone could write a fantastic sitcom about Amandla's family.

    One's a Muslim, one's Seventh-Day Adventist, one's a Spiritual Baptist, one's Roman Catholic, one is Moravian, one's Methodist and one's a Bahá'í. If it were me, I might have to write in a Jew and an atheist for good measure.

    "Every mornng the breakfast table must be a hoot.

    "Do the dishes, love"
    "I did them yesterday."
    "But I cooked the eggs!"
    "Well I cooked the bacon."
    "BACON??? M'Shallah, you're going to hell!"
    "Nonsense, my conscience is clear, you're the one going to hell."
    "Oy vey, my brother's right you know, you are going to hell, but so is he."
    "No, infidel, you are damned to hell."
    "Says you."
    "Says you"
    "Says you"
    "Children! Children! Stop squabbling! Please behave! I love you all. But you're all going to hell except me, I tell you, me me me!!"

    It wasn't one of Ally's best but it's good to see him put his racist humour up front.

    I posted a comment in response to an earlier one of stevejones123 who wrote:

    "And let's be fair. Islam is ecologically more sound now with this global warming thing. You get a much smaller carbon footprint from stoning people than burning them at the stake."

    To which I responded:

    "Not sure that's scientifically correct. With the former you simply get the carbon released much quicker.

    "The real problem with Amandla de Thomas Johnson is that he hasn't got the courage of his own convictions.

    "Had he been a true believer he'd have buried his grandmother to her neck in the garden, shackled the rest of the infidels who make up his family and forced them to watch him stoning her to death before asking if any of them wanted to reconsider.

    "All this namby pamby leaving translations of the Koran lying around is just a cowardly excuse for not doing the right thing in the first place."

    To this Ally Fogg leaped on his high horse, blustered on about how disgraceful my post was and said he'd be reporting it to the moderators. Within minutes my post was "removed by the moderator".

    Anyone looking through the 200 plus post on the thread will find lots of similar sentiments expressed, about which Mr Fogg took no objection.

    What is more interesting is that AllyF's post saying that he would get mine moderated has disappeared without trace.

    So ashamed AllyF must have been with embracing censorship so easily that with the help of the mods he's deleted the historical record.


  51. AllyF then responded with this non sequitur:

    "Licentialiquendi (that's me)

    "Suggesting that "good" Muslims and Jews think that eating bacon is a sin is hardly controversial.

    "Suggesting that "good" Muslims would want to bury non-Muslims up to their necks and stone them to death is bigoted hate-speech.

    "The fact that you cannot tell the difference is rather telling."

    So now not only is Mr Fogg appointing himself censor in chief, but he's also deciding who is a "good muslim" and a "good Jew".

    My response - also removed by the moderator was:


    "Eating pork for some muslims is a mortal sin whereas stoning female adulterers is a religious requirement.

    "Amandla doesn't tell us whether he agrees with either.

    "The fact that you choose to ignore this however is even more telling.

    "Enjoy your lunch whatever it is but please don't choke on it."

    At this stage that other self-confessed censor BeautifulBurnout weighed in with:

    "And burning little girls because they are witches is a religious requirement for some Christians."

    MrsB has a bee in her bonnet about this, having trotted it out on CiF on a number of occasions in her defence of muslim barbaric practices like stoning and female genital mutilation. She is of
    course talking absolute nonsense and I responded:

    "No it isn't and you won't find a single reference anywhere for that grotesque statement.

    "Whereas just last week we had the Iranian government backing down from international pressure to stop a stoning it had authorised.

    "And what happend to Buddhism, the religion of peace?"

    MrsB is a Buddhist and earlier in the thread had lectured Amandla de Thomas Johnson thus:

    "I never, for one moment, would have the sheer bloody arrogance to assume that, just because I have found a spiritual path that is right for me, that they are fundamentally wrong in their beliefs and will go to hell for it."

    Notwithstanding the fact that the Buddhist concept of hell is quite different to the Muslim / Christian versions, MrsB's response is rather indictative of someone who thinks she can boast about her alcohol consumption and still adhere to a code of conduct that forbids it.

    So in conclusion, and sorry about the convoluted post, we have once again AllyF joining MrsB in censoring posts to which they object.

  52. Hey Bitey, how you doing?

    Did you read any of the Lotus Sutra translation I posted for you last night?

    A lot of it is very obscure - well, the first chapter is largely about all the people who were said to have attended that particular meeting.

    I think you are mischaracterising (is that a word? If it isn't, it ought to be) what I said, though. I was simply pointing out that in the same way that all Christians do not condone burning little girls as witches in the name of Jesus, so all Muslims do not condone stoning in the name of Mohammed.

    I'm sorry if you didn't understand that from my post - I thought I had made it pretty clear when I said "If trees are green, does that mean everything that is green is a tree?" or something similar.

    Anyhoo - hope you are enjoying the lovely weather back home in Blighty.

  53. Oh, and I thought I had explained the "code of conduct" bit in mahayana buddhism.

    There is no "code of conduct" in the school of Buddhism I follow, save that everyone takes responsibility for their actions. In other words, if you drink then end up with a hangover, you can't blame anyone but your self.

    In fact that is the one thing that attracted me most to the Nichiren school - its non-proscription. I can still eat meat, still drink, still smoke if I wanted to. But I have to be aware of the harm I am causing to myself and others, and take responsibility for the effects of the causes I make.

    Simples! Tchk Tchk.

  54. Oh and finally, yes the concept of Hell in Buddhism is quite different from the Abrahamic religions.

    As well as being the lowest life state, there is also the Hell of Incessant Suffering, which is reserved for those who diss the Buddha and his followers - which means that you will be reborn for "endless Kalpas" into suffering.

  55. Posted on WDYWTTA

    I'd like you to invite Ally Fogg to write ATL about the way he can get the mods to censor posts and then get his own posts asking them to do this removed completely from CiF's records. He might also be asked to write a defence of his racist comments about Jews he posted on the Amandla de Thomas Johnson article.

    Anyone with nothing else to do can read the posts on CiFModeration Watch here or The Untrusted here.

  56. Is there any particular reason why it is racist to comment on Jews not eating bacon, but not racist in the same post to comment on Muslims not eating bacon?

    Or why it is racist to comment on Jews (and Muslims) not eating bacon, but not racist to refer to "good Muslims" as being those who would stone their grannies to death?

    Just wondering...

  57. I just asked you the same question on Waddya too, Bitey, as I would like to know.

    I am ignoring CiFWatch though. The majority of the posters on their are quite bonkers.

  58. Bitey

    I am confused by your post.

    Stoning adulteress to death is from te OT - Jeus spoke against it.
    You don't have to be a Jew, Christian or Muslim - good, bad or indifferent ,- to realise the inhernt wrongness and cruelty in the practice.

    It is the poitics of fear which employs these ancient, barbaric practices - nowt to do with religion.

  59. Because you MrsB can't tell us what race muslims are but Jews know which race they are.

    Might be a bit inconvenient for you idolisers of Hamas but that's the world we live in.

  60. Bitey

    I don't intend you get into long argument on these issues - just replying to say I do not support terrorists or religious extremists of any kind.

    As far as I know - reading posters from UT here and elsewhere - nobody here does.

  61. Afternoon again everyone..

    If I may interrupt for a second.


    (First of all, I think you may be getting confused between Cifwatch, and CifModerationWatch - two very, very different whatsits....)


    Secondly, and more importantly...

    wrt to what you were talking about yesterday...

    Having just spoken to the relevant IT nerds and/or designers, should you decide, and be able, to pursue the website you were talking about, I have found people who are willing to design, programme, maintain and update it for free.

    (Obviously, no obligation, but the offer's there, if and when....)

    Anyway, as you were.....

  62. Bitey

    With the greatest of respect, which "race" are Jews? It is the same thing. There are Jews of all kinds of ethnic background. There are those who have converted - or their parents or grandparents have converted - decades or centuries ago.

    What you really mean is anti-semitism - which is the accepted term for attacks on Jewish people because of being Jews - not racism. I was merely reflecting the language you used as you seemed to understand it. Clearly you don't.

    In any event, I challenge you to find, in your archive, a single post of mine that says I support Hamas. Or even Hizbollah. Or the Taliban. Or any terrorist organisation.

    Find one if you can. Then we will discuss it. Who knows? I may be wrong and you can find one?

  63. James

    Yes, you're right - I am confusing the two. Sorry.

    And that is fantastic news for the website! Brilliant!

    I was thinking I might have to count on my lad doing it for me which would have been a long and painful process with many tantrums, no doubt! :o)


    You are absolutely right that it is the politics of fear, and nothing to do with religion. Same for the witch-burnings. It is about keeping the populace in its place and adopting a mantle of religion in order to be able to do so.

  64. Everybody

    Thoughts on Hell - looking at medieval paintings and literatur Hell has engaged the imagination of mankind far more than Heaven has. So much of the imagery is of sexual torment. Odd isn't it?

    We have stories of nuns engaging in some very doubtful proctices with devils and succubi.

    Hell was long established when Mohammed came along - a useful concept to adopt and use to terrify. How many people now really believe in it ?

  65. Bitey

    Thinking about that position further, I ask the question in a different way.

    Why is bigotry to mention that Jews don't eat bacon when it is not bigotry to mention in the same post that Muslims don't eat bacon? Both are statements of fact, and both stem from the religious belief that it is wrong to eat bacon.

    Secondly, why is it bigotry to mention that Jews don't eat bacon, when it is not bigotry to suggest that a "good" Muslim would stone his grandmother to death?

    Can you answer that one? Or is there a level of pedantry of which I am not an initiate which means that my question is still wrong, thus permitting you to avoid answering...

  66. Sheff – interesting article and there is something in what he says…

    . In the film was a scene in which the outraged working-class father of a pregnant teenage daughter demanded that the middle-class boy who had made love to her must now marry her. The present-day audience giggled helplessly at this absurdly old-fashioned demand, which only 45 years previously would still have seemed perfectly normal, indeed unarguable

    But who, one might ask, had the deeper and subtler moral understanding of human relations: the audience of the mid-1950s or that of today? To the 1950s audience it would have been unnecessary to point out that, once a child had been conceived, the father owed a duty not only to the child, but to the mother; that his own wishes in the matter were not paramount

    And yet at the same time—in the same audience—there are many young people yearning for precisely the certainties that they feel obliged to mock: young women who hope to find a man who will woo her, love her, respect her, stand by her, and be a father to her children, while there are many men with the reciprocal wish

    This is my argument against the article:

    The problem as I see it this: in the 60’s we threw the baby out with the bathwater( as it were!) There were a lot of things wrong with the system before that – what about the girls whose boyfriend did not stand by her? Magdalene Sisters anyone? (they existed in the UK too btw) Then there was the ignominy often poured on the child who was kept by his unmarried mother and so identified as ‘a bastard’. Today that word seems to just mean a nasty person but I still feel uncomfortable using it. The girl, possibly after one ‘mistake’ (and remember sexual ignorance was rife then) was labelled a whore and was deemed to be ‘anybody’s.

    In other words some people paid a terrible price for the status quo ante and that of course included people tied together for life because they made one mistake lets not think it was all hearts and flowers – lots of unhappy marriages then.

    Another problem - the ‘sexual revolution’ happened while a lot of the traditional attitudes about men and women were still around. The youth led changes in the sixties were that we were young inexperienced and idealistic the old repressive ways were ripped off by my generation without any thought for the consequences. I am glad that we lost those awful attitudes to illegitimacy and that the term ‘unmarried mother’ with all its false implications was banished for ever.

    But we have yet to balance our notions of individual freedom with the responsibility we all must shoulder for the next generation. I have to say that radical feminism with its constant blaming of men for everything (sisters it takes two and both parties were usually willing if not eager yeah?) hasn’t helped. It is significant in my view that we have organisations for father’s not children’s rights when it comes to access.

    The emphasis is in the wrong place, we all need to grow up, contraception can go wrong pregnancy can happen however well prepared we think we are and not everyone can cope with the idea of abortion. Both parties need to accept that we cannot control everything and that things we don’t want to happen will happen in life. It takes two, how individuals cope with the situation should be up to them, provided the interests of the child are considered and met. But please no return to shot gun marriages!

  67. I hasten to add that as I am no longer in the baby making game you are all perfectly entitled to say 'its easy for you to talk' ;)

  68. Crikey, Bitey

    As an aside, you seem to be having a little bit of a melt-down, don't you?

    Nine out of your last nineteen posts deleted...

  69. Annetan, good post.

    There is a reason why I like Thomas HArdy novels. He shines a light on the idiotic moral standards which makes a womans lot harder, and in some cases a man's too.

  70. There's also a reason I like Thomas Hardy novels (or at least the TV adaptations of them)!

    Although, admittedly, it's a little less noble....


  71. Crime scene alert! ITV 1 now.
    Some bright spark decided it would be a good idea to spend an hour crucifying The Carpenters' back catalogue.

  72. James
    And there I was - thinking you an upright gent and free from such masculine preoccupations.

  73. chekhov

    YUK- had quick look and turned off.

  74. Leni,


    I mostly am, although, if I'm honest, it's probably mostly through a lack of opportunity, rather than reasons of honour, valor, or integrity per se....


  75. Chekhov

    Is it one of those awful karaoke style whatsits hosted by Denise van Outen and/or Vernon Kay?

  76. Anne

    Interesting post!I don,t know if you saw the film 'Magdalene Laundries' which the RC church got it,s knickers in a knot over because it probably was a bit too close to the truth for comfort.Which dealt with Catholic Institutions where 'fallen women'-ie often unmarried mums-were exploited and abused and their babies forcibly taken away from them for adoption.Dunno when the last one in mainland Britain closed but in the Republic of Ireland the last one closed down in 1996.Scary eh?

  77. @James: no, it's much worse than that!

  78. Chekov

    I know! The Carpenters is my secret vice because my parents were really big fans and had all the albums, so I know every one by heart.

    I watched 2 minutes of it and cringed and changed channels. Ugh.

  79. Paul

    I could never bring myself to watch the Magdalen Sisters. Too horrible.

    Someone did a play on R4 a while back that I listened to on the way home from somewhere, which was set in the 60s in the UK, based on a home for single mums whose babies were going to be adopted. Really well done, and so painful.

  80. Anne

    Oops BB is right the film was 'Magadalene Sisters'

    @BB -will be great if you can pull off the idea you had yesterday.

    btw-Evening all!

  81. @BB:why is an appreciation of The Carpenters a vice?

  82. If anyone missed it the first time around,BBC2 are giving "The Damned United" a run out at 9.00pm..
    A well observed chronicle of Brian Clough's ill-starred 44 days at Elland Road back in 1974.
    You don't have to be a footie fan, it's worth watching just see Michael Sheen's performance as Cloughie.

    Be warned though, it could bring back some painful memories of the "things I wish I'd never worn" variety;)

  83. lol, Thomas Hardy. I am reading Jude the Obscure right now. Cracking book.

    Hardy divided many of his books into 'novels of character of environment'- Tess, Mayor of Casterbridge and Jude are I believe the three that fit into this category.

    I am busy anyway. My essay on Romeo and Juliet is due next week, I am pretty sure of the basics, just have to pad it out

    Tomorrow I go back and I have 13 hours of travelling. Woohoo!

  84. Right, that's me giving up for the day.

    Nap - have a safe trip.

    Goodnight all...

  85. Yes BB OU, although I am mostly doing science courses, I did a short Shakespeare course 'just for fun'- Seriously, it is intersting, particulalry in Romeo and Juliet, there are many patriarchy/gender identity issues, and I am not even a fan of Cif's house feminists. :)

    I also like my science courses though. Obviously these 'two cultures' are very different, different learning styles, but I prefer the practical knowledge, as it can have applications.

    For example, a couple of days ago on Cif, I was argueing with Torieboy (yes, him) who made a standard rant about MRSA increasing under new labour. I pointed out to him that MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) is as the name implies, resistant to the antibiotic methicillin, becuase of natural selection and overuse of antibiotics in the early days. So it is inevitable that MRSA outbreaks will increase over time as we cannot fight the damn things.

    -did you know, 25% of us have staphylococcus aureus bacteria in our noses- some of us will have strains that are the methicillin resistant ones- but it doesn't really harm us. Only when it get in an open wound (I think).

    Anyway, yeah. What I am saying is that although the sciences are not as creative as the humanities, the applied knowledge can still be used in debates.

  86. Brilliant!

    I expect my lad will be going down that road as I really can't see him going off to uni somehow...

    And there are not enough qualified scientists in the UK, so while it might not be as creative in some senses, it is probably a bloody sight more useful in the long run.

    Jen and Jay are both OU-ers too. I'm all for it.

  87. Yeah and also one of the downsides is that I've sort of missed this summer, even on this, my 'summer holiday' I have spent a fair bit of time at the books.

    But anyway, time for bed.

  88. Anyone else having trouble with Cif?

    i have just spent halfhour rplying on Younge thread only to have Cif fold up on me - text reduced to tiny spots on screen.

    will try again later.

  89. Where's all the night shifters?
    BTW: for what it's worth, I couldn't understand how Richard Carpenter agreed to get involved with that "car crash" ITV 1 screened earlier this evening and from the few clips of his input, his body language screamed that he wished he'd not bothered.

    I'm not a big fan of "over produced" music but every one of the Carpenters songs were polished gems and no one of whatever talent came close to imitating Karen with the possible exception of Shirley Bassey whose live act I have seen four times.
    Different styles but both pure class.

  90. Help

    Although my comment box appears for other threads on the Younge thread I am told I need to register a user name. No comment box.

  91. @Leni

    I've been having that problem at intervals over the last several days. The thing signs me out at random, and I have to go through the sign-on merry-go-round several times.

    Apparently the tech team is 'working on it'.

    But I shouldn't talk. After my hard disk failed on Thursday, I put the new one in upside down yesterday and had to disassemble the whole laptop to get it out again when it jammed. Took bloody hours to get things back to normal.

  92. Hi chekhov

    I am here - fulminating in the background. Look towards the SE and you should see a pillar of smoke.
    The Carpenters - Don't really remember them - just a few of their hits. Had quick look at prog you suggested but it looked lke a celeb fest so turned it off.

  93. chekhov

    I am actually to the SW of you.

  94. Ok: I'm just going to ramble on until someone tells me to "STFU"

    I'm just interested in trivial stuff that annoys people.

    For instance I get really annoyed by DJs who don't back announce the tracks they have just played.

    Futhermore, if you'll excuse my going back to the Carpenters theme, my fave is "I'll Say Goodbye To Love" and the best bit (in spite of Karen's sublime voice) is the guitar solo at the end which the DJs always fade out too early!

  95. Peter

    Thanks for that - I don't uderstand though how I can post on waddya but not on Younge.

    I suppose an upside down hard disc is a bit lie trying to walk while standing on your head and waggling your ears.

  96. Hello Leni: I know where you are. Did I mention geography? Not sure what you were referring to!

  97. chekhov

    Ramble away - packaging annoys me as do DJs full stop - too much talk not enuff music.

    Sanctimonious people, TV adverts - specially for sofas - junk mail, unsolicited phone calls pretending to be from my bank and people who assume my brain is as inefficient as my legs and call me dear while speaking slowly. Daily irritations all.

  98. @chekhov

    That DJ thing really annoys me too. As does the way that radio interviewers don't tell you who they were just speaking to, when you only tuned in to what they were saying through the cocktail party effect and missed the initial introduction. I've had to go to iPlayer to find out before now.


    I think their Javascript implementation is up the spout. It's only their site that has the trouble, and I can reproduce it across multiple machines, operating systems and browsers. The login Javascript here has been OK mostly, apart from that one big SNAFU a while ago.

  99. Leni: was it Shirley Bassey? She comes from your neck of the woods.
    Port Talbot I think but as usual I could be wrong!

  100. chekhov

    I mentioned geography - not you.
    Sorry - feeling fustrated, generally makes me facetious.

    Any way - suggest subject for conversation - you that is not me.

  101. chekhov

    Shirley B comes fom Caerdyth - Tiger Bay as was. Now known as Cardiff Bay - very posh , people decanted out for the most part to enhance image of Cpital City. T'was ever thus.

  102. I don't know bugger all about music but it was interesting from one clip of Richard Carpenter when he said the record company to which he signed up (don't know which one) didn't want the Carpenters to do "Rock and Roll" which referred to the guitar solo at the end of "I'll Say Goodbye To Love".

    Even if a DJ lets it run for the duration the guitar solo is faded out pretty quick!

    Sorry for getting a bit "nerdy"!

  103. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/jul/18/ben-goldacre-gillian-mckeith-twitter

  104. Leni: ah yes Tiger Bay. Have you seen Shirley Bassey perform live?

  105. chekhov

    I am not a fan of Shirley - not my kind of music. So no I have never seen her live.

  106. @leni: I don't mind facetious I plead guilty to using it myself plenty of times, however it doesn't translate too well on the "blogging" medium if you get my drift!

    "Nudge nudge,wink ,wink say no more, nods as good as a wink to a blind bat...Know what I mean...your wife's a goer is she?....know what I mean eh?

    Well she does go..

    I'll bet she does. I'll bet she does

    Eric Idle and Terry Jones on top form!

  107. So, Checkov. "What's it like?" I'm asking for James ; )

    Kids playing tunes on their phones on the bus. I often have to take 1 or 2 hour bus rides and have often asked them to turn the phone off. I wish I had a big ghetto blaster with with this or similar on at volume 11+! "You like that!? You like that eh?"

    NN all. p xx

  108. @Leni: forgive me if I am wrong but I'm trying to "read between the lines" here but from your previous post I'm getting a hint that Shirley Bassy betrayed her working class roots from your point of view.
    I prefer clarity in whatever medium and I'm well aware that "blogging" is not conducive to achieving that aim.
    Anyway, the question is; was I right in my assumption or was I well wide of the mark?

  109. Heyhabib

    I would like you to log into the Muslim Council of Britain website which is-


    Once there i would like you to click STATISTICS on the toolbar.

    I would then like you to absorb the info which highlights the levels of disadvantage that exist in Britains Muslims communities.

    And then i would like you to come back to me and explain why you think such deep-rooted levels of disadvantage exist.And more importantly what you think should be done to address them.

  110. chekhov

    Nothing to do with class - I judge music completely outside my political views. I imagine Shirley was wc - don't really know anything about her.

    My politics are people based .

  111. Paul

    did you say you are working from home now?

    The night shift no longer exists - I have to talk to Dogge. At least he never disagrees with me - not verbally at least. He just rearranges his wrinkle and his ears.

  112. @Leni: Shirley Bassey comes from a long stream of Welsh identity along with the likes of Dylan Thomas and Richard Burton. Long
    may it continue. The Welsh have as much to offer as everyone else and I value their input.
    I like Scottish and Irish people too!

  113. In a speech to community leaders in Liverpool on Monday, the prime minister will announce that the bank will begin business next year “using every penny of dormant bank and building society account money allocated to England”.


    (Financial Times )

    Worth reading and thinking about. This propsed bank is to fund charities - to cover services about to disappear.

    These people have more going nowhere ideas than there are stalks in a haystack.

  114. Hi Leni

    No i,m officially working days for a while but what i thought was the hangover from hell has blossomed into a nasty case of sinusitus.So i,m not going in tomorrow.Can,.t sleep and as me other half has to get up at 6.00.am i,ve let her be and i,m basically doing a couple of things whilst feeling sorry for meself.

    Hope all.s good with you.

  115. The Welsh, Scots and Irish are very creative - I love so many Irish writers.

    It's not Shirley's Welshness I dislike (obviously) - it's her music.

  116. Hi chekhov

    I think Dame Shirley has basically morphed into a drag queen.Her music is too OTT for me as is her style.But respect to the lady for the longevity of her career.

  117. Hi Paul

    I'm fine - apart from weather - none stop rain here for days.

    Sinusitis - very painful. Only had it once , everytime I leant forward sharp pains stabbed my face to keep the headache company. Hope it's better soon.

    The condems are coming up with ever wilder ideas - what do they actually have between their ears ? So many plans without any costings or even guarantees of having the money. The money is there - they are just determined to channl it all their way.

    We really don't need these desperate cuts at all - ideolgical attempt to destroy welfare state and leave the poor to founder.

  118. Leni

    tbh i wish it was raining non stop here.It,s hot,n,humid here in London and likely to get worse over the next couple of days.Plus there seem to be sirens going off all over the place and police helicopters hovering above us.The joys of living in the big city in the summer!

    Just heard on the news that the government has announced that British troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan by 2014.How many more will die in the meantime though? Wish this god foresaken country of ours could drop its delusions of grandeur and accept it,s just a small country in north west europe.And not get involved in anything that happens outside of europe.

  119. Paul

    Yup - Time for mother Britain to sit by her fireside with her knitting. Trouble is she thinks she is still Britannia. Troubles enough in EU - I would like to see a real effort put towards helping the Roma and improving education and opportunity for all children across the EU. This would have to include improving incomes and support fr their parents too.

    Talking about reducing child poverty is meaningless until you recognise they actually live in families - who are by definition - poor.

    I suspect we will pull out leaving a huge mess behind us as we did in Iraq.

    When - if ever - will we stop using war as a political instrument ?

  120. I'll go even futher; I like people from Portugal or France or Spain or Italy or South or North Americans or Turkish people or Scandinavians or Russians or Chinese or Japanese or Australian or Germans or Dutch or Indians or Arabs...well I think you get my drift...pretty much anyone really.
    There's much more to unite us all than to divide us!

  121. chekhov

    People are the most interesting thing in life. The things that unite us are te simple things - the things we all value - irrespective of culture or anything else.

    Isms tend to get in the way and actively seek to divide us.

  122. @Paul: I'm well aware that Shirley Bassey might not be eveyone's "cup of tea" but I'm a big fan of her.
    I remenber my Dad telling the story of when he went to play football at Blackpool and after the match he and my Mum went to see Shirley Bassey when she was fifteen years old and he said then that she would become a world superstar!

  123. nightnight guys - sleep well xx

  124. @Leni: don't you just hate "isms"?
    Ism you is or ism you isn't?

    "Are you the Judean People's Front?"

    "Nah piss off, we are The People's Front of Judea. The Judean People's Front! pffh ..spltters!