26 July 2010

26/07/10

The Temple of the Tooth, Kandy, Sri Lanka (uncredited)

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.
-Søren Kierkegaard

176 comments:

  1. Freedom of speech is CiF, where you can say pretty much what you want, and it doesn't change power-relations in the real world one jot.

    Sarko recently had fired two of the most vicious anti-Sarko satyrists on our public radio, which was perhaps even a mistake ! Large numbers of us listened, and laughed, but we did NOT then go out and DO anything at all. So maybe they did perform a useful function. For him.

    Freedom of thought is when you don't go down the prepared paths of thought so cleverly provided. We only have so much energy and time so have to think better about where to use it ? Agreed with scherfig yesterday on CiF-posting. I used to do a considered post on CiF, and then felt impelled to go back and engage in any discussion --- which takes time ... energy ...

    GolemXIV "came out' the other day and some of you might even know some of his documentaries. He is a good example of that freedom of thought thing, concentrating on the essential.

    His blog

    Happy to see tha Deano has been around again, and hope the camping goes well . Good day to all, Going out for a couple of hours paid-work soon .

    PS re-read Philippa's translation of Frédéric Lordon on the Stock Market at UT Too, it's worth a re-read !

    X !

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  2. The trouble with confected scorn, artfarmer, is that its reach exceeds its grasp.

    And that's what you are: a puff pillow of confected scorn. The flailing and the huffing and puffing are not reactions to my 'insignificance' (how could they be?) They are the bleating of a pipsqueak in denial of his own.

    And this site won't find a better strap line than the one I've bequeathed it. As the fawning cheerleading of Sheffpixie and BB make plain, to say nothing of the tryst between those unlikely lovebirds, speedkermit and Hank, whose kiss and make up tested even the gag-relflex of this Bower of Bliss. That I could motivate Laurel and Hardy to find common cause is some achievement.

    Needless to say, they are welcome to each other.

    Oh, and Speedkermit: you try too hard. Take a leaf out of Scherfig's book and accelerate through the gears; right now your voice is screaming because you're stuck in first.

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  3. Peter you forgot to apologise for your claims that artfarmer aka mishari was too cowardly to use his own name, you seemed to think it was a big deal yesterday.

    You do know how to admit you were wrong don't you?

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  4. Alias aka alias, jeniferra, inferred that aliases were venting from his arse. Read his post on the matter. I can hardly be criticised for believing him.

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  5. Fabulous weekend, SwiftBoy, the shrill sniping form the cheap seats notwithstanding. Met up with 40 odd former school friends (bog standard comp), some I'd not seen for thirty years or so.

    BTW, have we met?

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  6. Peter

    So you don't know how to admit you were wrong then, fair enough as long as we all know that up front. ;)

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  7. morning all

    cheers frog! haven't yet got round to finishing it (tried google translate for the next section to speed things up, and then sat there bewildered at the seemingly unconnected stream of words that resulted). may not get around to it, to be honest...

    am considering something else on french v britis media coverage on a couple of points so may be tinkering with that at present...

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  8. I was misled, jennifera. I can't put it any more politely than that. So what blame attaches to me? It's a measure of the man that alias aka alias should make his deceit a virtue.

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  9. "where are all the lesbians?" up on CIF.

    for some reason, keep thinking of "whither Neasden?", which I don't think is what the write was after.

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  10. @PB:

    "...BTW, have we met?"

    I don't remember ever having done so, but then I didn't have much to do with the RAEC/AGC day-to-day – might have sent the odd aspirant OR-8 your way though?

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  11. Philippa

    That is the daftest article I have read for a while (well a couple of days, we are talking about Cif here), shorter version 'where are all the lesbians, well they are on TV but we can't tell they are lesbians so they should be a bit butcher but don't you dare stereotype us'.

    Where do they get these people?

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  12. jen - was aggravated when first read it. now having woken up properly, am spitting feathers.

    subtext - lesbians are different, we're different, we are we are we are we are, damn all these collaborators having jobs and being non-dykey and stuff, they take away my reason to make a living writing about dykey stuff!

    ffs. peh.

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  13. OH CHRIST BIDISHA IS DOING WOMANS' HOUR!!!!!!!

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  14. whattodowhattodowhattodowhattodowhattodowhattodowhattodowhattodowhattodo....?

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  15. The Guardian has just done a massive expose on NATO in Afghanistan. So vast, it is fragmented onto at least a dozen webpages- there is so much information. It is at times like this that a print edition is preferable. Of course I can't really afford it but I can read it for free in the library, which I will.

    After yesterday's Observer report on FGM and now this, it seems they might be getting their act together.

    And Wikileaks has crashed too.

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  16. Hello Charles - are you Napoleon?
    Bit confused, need more coffee..

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  17. @Philippa:

    Jane Czyz…erm, Cszyz …errr, Czyszy …ahem, anyway, Jane C will always be professionally offended on behalf of her sistren. You can’t win with her sort.

    @Nap:

    I've started wading through it. To be honest, I don't think I've got to the good bits yet - because so far all I've read is all the stuff anyone with a passing interest in the subject would've known anyway...

    Covert ops targetting senior Talibs without "due process"? You don't say! Coalition forces using Reapers and other UAVs to bomb out-of-the-way targets? Well who knew! Taliban have killed thousands of civvies using IEDs? Good Lord! Coalition forces have killed hundreds of civvies by mistake? Fancy that! etc etc.

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  18. Yes, this is my real name. No reason for changing it, just fiddling about with my bloger profile.

    Ayway, I won't be on the internet much, bogged down with studying. Although well done the Guardian, this is explosive.This is one of the times when I would prefer to read a print edition.

    Does anyone else get that feeling? Good as hell journalism.

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  19. Enjoy trawling through it Swifty. Like you, I was almost certain stuff like this happened anyway, certainly not the tame bollockery we get on the TV news. But now we have concrete evidence.

    The good thing that might come of this is the anti war movement may now reach a critical mass.

    Wikileaks has crashed, or perhaps deliberatly hacked?

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  20. @Philippa, Jen and Swifty

    Jane C is a professional, full-time lesbian. That's her job. So she seems to find it difficult to understand how women with other jobs might not place as much emphasis on their sexuality as she does.

    Though I have to say, it would be entertaining to watch Claire Balding bringing political lesbianism into the weighing room at the Ascot meeting. Or the Royal Enclosure, for that matter.

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  21. Lol Peter

    I can just imagine her commenting about Nina Carberrys backside and how well that would go down with the viewers.

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  22. hey then nap! may take a while to get used to changing to real handle...word on t'web is that wikileaks has crashed due to demand. agree that's class work, will have a look now have recovered from the Jane Crazyelska article.

    swifty - i'm just offended (yes, offended) by her idea that, while wanting more lesbians on TV, the ones that have actually got there aren't good enough for her. what the fuck does she want? i bet you that clare balding being clare balding has done, and will do, more for the acceptance of being gay in the wider society precisely because she does her sodding job, and doesn't wade around yelling "i'm a lezzer!" at every available opportunity, than the writer of that article ever will.

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  23. peterj - hehehehe.

    am reminded of one of my friends who, after spending a particularly aggravating week at lezzer surf camp with a lot of similar types, speculated that the collective nouns for lesbians was "a noying".

    this strikes me a bit like misfiring 'feminist issues' on the G - the problem is that the first step is to identify if the issue you are looking at is actually a feminist / gay issue (i.e. 1) has a specific effect on women / gay people, and 2) by virtue of their gender / orientation). alternatively (in the case of there being more disparate effects and/or for more disparate / indirect reasons) whether there is a credible case for a feminist / gay response or critique (in which case at least a passing nod to other issues - for example in this case the lack of visibility of disabled people on TV - is only polite, and helps to reduce whataboutery, either reasoned or not).

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  24. @Swifty, @Nap

    Yes, the reactions to the Wikileaks stuff seem a little naive. None of it seems surprising at all, except possibly to those who haven't read much about the subject, or about wars in general.

    There may be more to it than the headline stuff the Guardian's pushing, but it will take some digging around I expect.

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  25. @Nap:

    I love the "glossary of terms", littered as it is with inaccuracies, misrenderings and misspellings.

    Quite takes me back.

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  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  27. SwiftBoy - meant to say:

    Regiment, rank, Sandhurst (class of), JCSC, ditto?

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  28. Mornin all, The Gypsy coronation was a bit of a damp squib, more like a family bbq. But we did see some vintage caravans.. The photos from 1860 show at least 500 poeple crowding on to the green, a shame it wasn't more like that yesterday..

    Yo P - to the - B - to the 'raken! What about the £15k for short selling? Since you seem to be fessing up, is that you? Ideal creds for your aspiring political career, 'see lads I'm at least as crooked as you lot, where's the expenses form?'

    Did you look at Fowler? Would do you the fundament of benefit...

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  29. LOL, you’re not getting me to squeal that easily Maj PDB. And it was JSDC in my day, I believe.

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  30. Well that's the silly season taken care of....we'll all now be poring over military logs and allied info for the duration.

    Personally I think Fred on everything has it pretty much covered but I'll no doubt be joining everyone else for the foreseeable. That bloody glossary is miles long - worse than the civil service

    Turm - I got my hand slapped sometime ago for drawing attention to PB's alleged connection to that short selling business when he was waffling on about annonymity and what cowardly bastards we all are, whereas he is a fine example of upstanding chapness - it was considered unsporting I believe.

    A bit like the Taliban shooting down a Chinook with a Stinger - they're not supposed to do that.

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  31. Ah, SwiftBoy. Or should I call you Sir? Email me - love to know.

    peterbracken8@hotmail.com

    There are too few of us on CiF.

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  32. Sheff

    Belated apology for that !

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  33. Bracken:

    "And this site won't find a better strap line than the one I've bequeathed it. As the fawning cheerleading of Sheffpixie and BB make plain, to say nothing of the tryst between those unlikely lovebirds, speedkermit and Hank, whose kiss and make up tested even the gag-relflex of this Bower of Bliss."

    When did that happen?

    "That I could motivate Laurel and Hardy to find common cause is some achievement."

    Listen to Kofi Annan. I think the fact that Hank and I could find common cause speaks volumes about the odious nature of the subject. You ever heard of the Yalta Conference?

    "Oh, and Speedkermit: you try too hard. Take a leaf out of Scherfig's book and accelerate through the gears; right now your voice is screaming because you're stuck in first."

    I think you'll find that sherfig's advice was to fucking ignore you. The fact that you seem to imagine otherwise is a testament to supernatural ability to miss the point entirely (Zizek springs to mind, as do cows' arses and banjos).

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  34. What about the £15k for short selling? ... is that you? Ooh, keeping us in suspense? Answer, came there none...

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  35. I never slapped you down, sheffpixie: others did for the outrageous presumption that, whilst your privacy was sacrosanct, mine was subject to the torch light rummaging of a gossip.

    I mean, fuck me; you graft on here like some Lady of the Lamp, save she nailed her name to the mast.

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  36. Paul

    Nothing to forgive old bean - it was unsporting and I apologised, eventually.

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  37. Just give me the parking ticket and fuck off, speedkermit. I'm busy.

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  38. C'mon Peter, Cowboy up, and tell us, are you the sneaky inside trader? I've disclosed some of my misdemeanors, you fear your prospective carrer as Public Servant#stifles giggle# would be endangered by a modicum of veracity? Or are you just as flawed, opportunistic, and human as the rest of us?

    I wish you could spend a week in my shoes, or better Jen30's. See what you made of real hardship.

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  39. PB -

    I never slapped you down, sheffpixie: others did for the outrageous presumption that, whilst your privacy was sacrosanct, mine was subject to the torch light rummaging of a gossip.

    You really do keep making the wrong assumptions. I didn't say it was you.

    In fact it was Paul as he has acknowledged above.

    I mean, fuck me; you graft on here like some Lady of the Lamp, save she nailed her name to the mast.

    Lady of the Lamp? I am a trained first aider - will that do?

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  40. Gandolfo ( re:your post on the maternity clinic yesterday)- see where you are coming from but from my perspective I cannot forget that the standard of care available to the middle classes before the NHS would have seemed just as remote and unattainable to my grandmother.

    It would be instructive to know how much my treatment for dilated cardiomyopathy costs the NHS. Thousands a year I would guess.

    Its easy to mock aromatherapy candles but my own experience of childbirth taught me the importance of being able to relax during labour, anything that helps frankly! The candles don't cost much midwives, obstetricians and suitable pain relief are expensive.

    I couldn't afford £15000 either but how much does an NHS delivery cost? We don't know do we.

    If we did we could judge the situation better. Since I gave birth the standard of care available to all women has improved (certainly its more humanised - they don't routinely shave mothers any more for instance) and I believe birthing pools are available in some NHS maternity units - should be all of them of course.

    In the NHS one to one midwife care used to be available for mothers who need it, its not always necessary, wasn't in my case.

    The last paragraph of the article needs quoting.

    Yehudi Gordon's pariah practices are now almost mainstream: some NHS hospitals today offer birthing pools, and even acupuncture. But it's patchy and delivered on a first come, first served basis. Wouldn't it be great if all women got continuity of care, and real choice, as David Cameron, while in opposition, proposed? And how sad that the model of a women-centred approach to childbirth has just closed its doors

    I agree - until we can create a situation where such innovative approaches are encouraged by the NHS we need clinics like this. I don't like private medicine, but Yehudi Gordon was not allowed to innovate in the NHS if he had been the clinic would not have needed to exist.

    Same with education - until we have the political will to make all state education and state medicine as good as the best private education and healthcare then private schools and clinics will exist.

    But woman centred childbirth services are important and this man pioneered it. His work has eventually made childbirth a better experience for women in NHS hospitals. Sadly not in all of them. In the context of the present economic situation and the policies of the Condem govt, that final paragraph justifies the article.

    Could have done without the celeb stuff though more about Yehudi would have been more to the point.

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  41. PB

    Just give me the parking ticket and fuck off, speedkermit. I'm busy.

    So being busy for you is spending your morning on the UT. Are the markets slow today?

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  42. speedkermit

    Something you wrote a while back implied or suggested you'd read Francis Wheen's book on the seventies. I was particularly intrigued by the weird meetings involving high-ranking military types and their protestations that "enough is enough" and "something must be done" etc etc

    I was put in mind of this by a recent post from Peter Bracken.."There are too few of us on CiF."..which kinda hints that everything would be set to rights, the world become a much 'better' place if only everybody had been through officer training..well..not everybody..obviously we'd need a body of well-trained, loyal and disciplined men to follow 'our' instructions.

    2 points:
    1) Many of these sorts of conversations go on in your canteen?

    2) Why the fuck (in the face of the mountains of contrary evidence) do the military think they've anything to offer the governance of a 'liberal' democracy?

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  43. "I never slapped you down, sheffpixie: others did for the outrageous presumption that, whilst your privacy was sacrosanct, mine was subject to the torch light rummaging of a gossip."

    You've given away every bit of privacy you had and then want to make people feel guilty for taking a peek? Or hypocritical for not following you into the breach? You sound like some topless sunbather who gets her tits out and then grumbles because people keep getting an eyeful.

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  44. # Just give me the parking ticket and fuck off, speedkermit. I'm busy#

    That comment sums you up so well you pompous arsehole.

    I know you like to think you are loathed on here for your views and steadfast holding on to them but in truth you are just not a very nice person and you really are not important enough to be loathed, if you didn't comment here again I doubt you would be mentioned again except in passing.

    Yes before you say it I know I wouldn't be missed either but the difference is that I am self aware enough to know it, whilst you seem to see yourself as some kind of colossus bestriding the stage, catcalls from the cheap seats ffs.

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  45. Oh, and this is good: 'Zizek springs to mind.'

    You'd never heard of the er - scholar - 'till I'd chiselled the name in your plodding frontal lobes.

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  46. Peter B/Sheff

    It was me that had a go at Sheff for that soon after i joined UT.And yes Sheff it was unsporting.But with hindsight i should have perhaps held fire until i knew the lay of the land.

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  47. It's a literal observation, monkeyfish. Not a call for a coup d'etat.

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  48. "Just give me the parking ticket and fuck off, speedkermit. I'm busy."

    Hur hur. Got out of the wrong side of the bed did we sir? "Busy" my arse. Like you work for a living.

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  49. plodding frontal lobes.

    To quote Mr. Brooker, "It's like reading a play written by a dog!"

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  50. What lay of the land, Paul? You were right to upbraid the pixie. This tendency to close ranks is the epitome of cowardice.

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  51. @monkeyfish

    I remember those military chaps - David Stirling and Walter Walker were the main two, I think - who were ready to step in when the balloon went up.

    I think I may have posted this comment on the topic before.

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  52. PeterB

    If nothing else you should know that i,m someone who doesn,t run with the herd.I say what i think.

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  53. jennifera; I'm not going to spar with you: you're too loveable. Really. And I mean really, truly and madly. If only you knew me....

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  54. You'd never heard of the er - scholar - 'till I'd chiselled the name in your plodding frontal lobes.

    The remark above is a cat call from the cheap seats Jen. Intellectual snobbery is never attractive and usually demonstrates a severely limited imagination.

    Right - am off for lunch with my beautiful daughter. Laters.

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  55. Whatever Peter, just do try to remember that this isn't a film or a play and you are not the hero who will always win the day with his trusty truth antenna by his side.

    Jesus this has been an arsey little day for everyone hasn't it?

    Both on here and Waddya people seem to be really pissed off, I was in a good mood this morning and now I feel like kicking a puppy, what's going on?

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  56. "It's a literal observation, monkeyfish. Not a call for a coup d'etat."

    Fair enough..so what would it add? Would ideas be clarified if put forward by military types? No doubt you'd be able to cut through all the politician's waffling/dissembling and cut straight to the heart of the issue? Would everything stand out clearly in black and white?

    Seriously..what would it bring? and if your answer is simply something along the lines of "a military perspective", then again fair enough but that isn't really saying much unless you're claiming (as I certainly sensed) that this military perspectives offers something beneficial and qualitatively enhanced when compared to that of say a postman or social worker..so what is the secret ingredient you'd be sprinkling into the pot.

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  57. You, too, sheffpixie: I'm done with the game shooting, because it'll get nasty. I kinda like you and Paul and jennifera and BB (and others not here today) whose bark is worse than their bite.

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  58. monkeyfish:

    "Something you wrote a while back implied or suggested you'd read Francis Wheen's book on the seventies. I was particularly intrigued by the weird meetings involving high-ranking military types and their protestations that "enough is enough" and "something must be done" etc etc"

    Actually, when I think of that book and Bracken I'm more reminded of Wheen's account of the fashion for overthrowing African dictatorships - don't know why. Maybe it the tendency of those who fail to make something of themselves in a liberal democracy to have to try to impose themselves in other, more lawless spheres, the internet for example. Whereas CiF is a quite a stretch for him - equivalent to an imperfect, free speech democracy like Denmark - he perceives the UT to be more like Sierra Leone. 'A few shouty voices, but nothing insurmountable'. You're right, and so is Wheen: it is the entitlement-by-birthright inherent in a significant subset of ex-commissioned officers.

    Bracken:

    "Oh, and this is good: 'Zizek springs to mind.' You'd never heard of the er - scholar - 'till I'd chiselled the name in your plodding frontal lobes."

    Keep these coming Peter. There's still a few people round these parts who almost feel sorry for you and this is the perfect antidote.

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  59. '...unless you're claiming (as I certainly sensed) that this military perspective offers something beneficial and qualitatively enhanced when compared to that of say a postman or social worker..so what is the secret ingredient you'd be sprinkling into the pot.'

    None of these these things, monkeyfish: it was a flippant - and wholly irreverent and irrelevant - call for solidarity.

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  60. ...the epitome of cowardice.
    surely cowardice's nadir is ignoring repeated requests to deny or confirm your criminal record? You ignore the hard questions, blowhard and fire off the ad homs, snug in your own self approval, you like jennifer? Try a week in her estate, living on IB. You are an arrogant windbag and troll, and if you are indeed the FSA fiddler of shares a swindler and cheat. I'm surprised you haven't been parachuted into a safe NuLab seat already, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath mebbe?

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  61. @jennifera30:

    "...and now I feel like kicking a puppy..."

    LOL, welcome to my world.

    @PB:

    ”Ah, SwiftBoy. Or should I call you Sir?”

    No need to curtsey Mr Bracken, rate of promotion was glacial “between the wars”. Thanks for the email address though – I might drop you a line when I get back from my hols (taking the family to your neck of the woods Wednesday, can’t wait).

    @Speedkermit:

    ”…it is the entitlement-by-birthright inherent in a significant subset of ex-commissioned officers…”

    I think you and PB aren’t as far apart on that particular topic as you might imagine.

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  62. "None of these these things, monkeyfish: it was a flippant - and wholly irreverent and irrelevant - call for solidarity."

    See? The belief that you have common cause with people merely on the basis of a shared uniform or profession is a classic symptom of a deluded sense of self-worth. "He/She understands. They're a good egg."

    You'd have made a great MP.

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  63. Change gear, speedkermit: you need to acknowledge the parenthetic humility.

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  64. SwiftyBoy:

    "I think you and PB aren’t as far apart on that particular topic as you might imagine."

    You're going to have to explain that one for my plodding frontal lobes Swifty.

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  65. Plod's frontal lobes, surely SK.. ; ) I'm cut to the quick BTW, PBrax is deffing me out, my wee bottom lip is all a-tremble...

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  66. I don't need to acknowledge it at all Peter, because I recognise it as a self-serving means of avoiding monkeyfish's question.

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  67. anne

    my point was the fact that rather than looking at the services that exist and looking at ways to improve them, the article was focussed on an elite clinic.
    For sure an article questioning the way in which maternity care is medicalised in some hospitals would have been more interesting and how the ideas of progressive practioners such as Yehudi Gordon, Wendy Savage and independent midwives would have been more interesting and thought provoking. And instead of complaining about services surely it would have been better to look at why services aren't woman centered and why they are all up to standard and involve women in creating better services.

    I think you'll find the oppostion to alternative maternity care has and still comes from inside the medical fraternity, often they don't want to give power to midwives, and they are shit scared of being sued.

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  68. @speedkermit:

    PB is avowedly (and published, I believe PB?) no fan of the “good egg” ex-public schoolboys who waft through RMA Sandhurst and go on to languidly adorn the regiments who surround our dear Queen.

    There are many less of them now than there used to be, but still…

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  69. PeterB

    ''You, too, sheffpixie: I'm done with the game shooting, because it'll get nasty. I kinda like you and Paul and jennifera and BB (and others not here today) whose bark is worse than their bite.''

    Yes Peter and that bark that,s worse than his bite has defended you on numerous occasions both here and on Cif.Not that you asked for it and i don,t expect any gratitude for doing so.But the fact you clearly view myself,sheff,jen,bb and others as being somewhat lacking says a damn sight more about your character flaws than it does about ours.

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  70. There are no unions in the military, speedkermit. We can't call the shop steward and whinge about a boss's bridling about fag breaks, or the like. Too right, too. That's why the police - caught between a canteen culture that wears the swastika and the rights brigade that calls time on duty - will never be liked.

    You signed up to it, not me.

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  71. Didn't say you were lacking in anything, Paul.

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  72. Quite right, SwiftBoy. The rebels are turning on the real deal!

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  73. Quite apart from the fact that your last comment is apropos of nothing whatsoever, what makes you think the police have a Union Peter? Or employment rights? Or that they can even talk about striking without attracting criminal liability? The only tangible difference in rights between a soldier and a police officer is that when the former falls out of line they get a good shoeing.

    Anyway, back to the subject of your sense of self-entitlement...

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  74. vince cable - the coalition is not a marriage but a "civil partnership". reaction article up in 3...2....1....

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  75. Well my point was this.

    The military necessarily and successfully take confident and reasonably self-reliant people and then fill them with even more self-confidence and leadership skills to the point where they are able to perform often remarkable feats. So far..no problem.

    However, this training should carry a six-foot bright red warning sign reading.."None of what you have learned or accomplished entitles you to start thinking about reordering society". I feel I have history on my side on this one.

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  76. "None of what you have learned or accomplished entitles you to start thinking about reordering society".

    Well, no Monkeyfish. They can think about it as much as your average postman, to use your example.

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  77. Tory MP for Cumbria making an arse out of himself on R4 after saying his constituents were primitive, people 'tying their trousers up with string'. Fawning and cringing apology. lols.

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  78. I havent seen you this perky for a long time, Bracken, good weekend?

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  79. Hey Charlie

    You sure it wouldn,t be better sticking with being Nap.Keep with an alias until you,re at least more sorted.Your choice i know but there are some weird people stalking the net.

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  80. "The military necessarily and successfully take confident and reasonably self-reliant people and then..." brain wash the men in to unquestioningly obeying the orders of the officers, who are equally brainwashed to kill, maim and torture at whim. Fixed that for you MF..

    I get what PB's kick is, spout off you own opinion and call any and all naysayers idiots.

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  81. "Tory MP for Cumbria making an arse out of himself on R4 after saying his constituents were primitive, people 'tying their trousers up with string'. Fawning and cringing apology. lols."

    Two words: "pencil museum".

    Actually, it's strange to hear of an MP who's clearly met his constituents.

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  82. Hi Jay,

    'I havent seen you this perky for a long time, Bracken, good weekend?'

    Wasn't fucked by 72 virgins, if that's what you're alluding to. Just by the (extravagantly siren-like) one.

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  83. Siren like virgin!?! Memories of the Angolan Mission? What Japes, she said she was 16...

    That's enough for me. I'm Out!

    ReplyDelete
  84. @turm:

    "...brain wash the men in to unquestioningly obeying the orders of the officers, who are equally brainwashed to kill, maim and torture at whim..."

    LOL.

    Adopts zombie-like stance: Must kill babies... must kill babies...

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  85. monkeyfish,

    I think you're alluding to the plot against Harold Wilson by a number of the military establishment/MI5 and hard right Tories such as Airey Neave to overthrow the Labour Govt and place a military Govt in it's place.

    It was first revealed in Peter Wright's 'Spycatcher'. Wilson was the victim of a sustained MI5/MI6 dirty tricks assault including placing stories that Wilson had a Russian lover, taken bribes and passed secrets to the Soviets. Apparently a Soviet mole 'confirmed' there was a communist cell in Downing Street.

    It was all utter tosh but the pressure put on Wilson by the 'Establishment' is believed to have led to his abrupt resignation.

    The military planners led by General Sir Walter Walker even had a speech planned for the Queen in the event of the takeover with Lord Mountbatten put in place as leader.

    If you want to know more, Stephen Dorril's Smear! Wilson and the Secret State is very interesting.

    Two interesting footnotes- Neave was instrumental in bringing Thatcher to power in the Conservative Party in 1975, leading her campaign.

    And both Neave and Mountbatten were killed by Irish Republicans.

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  86. She must be quite the siren indeed, dont think i've ever seen such a barrage... Remarkable enery for a man of such mature years ;)

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  87. Paul, it is not a problem. Besides what's the worst that could happen. Scherfig knowing my real name. Oh, I am so pissing myself. :)

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  88. Gandolfo

    Thanks for the reply I agree less celeb worship and more issues tackled critcally is what the article needed. The medical establishment does have a stranglehold on maternity services in the NHS and will probably do so until there is more nurse/midwife and patient input. Its our NHS and we should be listened to

    Might go back and say so -

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  89. anne

    I think we "snapped" on that thread!!

    How's the packing? rather you than me!!

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  90. speedkermit

    Don't knock it matey..been to that museum..twice..rains a lot in Keswick and you can walk out with a fuckin fortune in pencils.

    Peter Bracken

    Was gonna say you're missing my point but to be fair, I haven't actually really made it but I don't think you're gonna like it involving as it does that little bete noire of yours (and mine) post-modern relativist bollocks.
    You see, I think it's just that strain of thinking and it's intrusion into the corporate sphere which accounts for present day attitudes towards ex-military. It's a fairly circuitous route, I'll grant, and it would take a while to explain in full but I'll give you the highlights.

    Ex military personnel, especially ex-officers have always been eminently employable. However, whereas they might once have had this reputation for a "steady hand on the tiller", "the right stuff" and all-round staunch chaps which might have seen them as a golf-club secretary or public school bursar, these days it's completely changed. You see they leave the military with a complete head start in the 'proactive, initiative,leadership, go-getting, can-do stakes' so prized by corporations..they're the total package..highly desirable. Thing is..plenty of them are just fuckin hopeless as it turns out.

    Now this is not surprising as leading a bunch of fit, highly-trained and compliant young men around the place is not really comparable to much else. Certainly not comparable with politics. Unfortunately, the high levels of self-confidence and self-reliance tell them otherwise..if you've had it drummed into you that you can achieve virtually anything, it takes a lot to dislodge the notion.

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  91. monkeyfish

    ''Ex military personnel, especially ex-officers have always been eminently employable.''

    Good point!Too many former squaddies however end up either in prison,living on the street,addicted to alcohol,drugs and violence or crippled with MH problems.

    ''Thing is..plenty of them are just fuckin hopeless as it turns out.''

    Shouldn,t be surprising given that many are used to unquestioningy following orders and expect people to unquestioningly accept orders.Not necessarily the right mindset for civvie street.

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  92. @monkeyfish:

    ”…they leave the military with a complete head start in the 'proactive, initiative,leadership, go-getting, can-do stakes' so prized by corporations…”

    LOL, thank God for the British Army, the blue chip recruitment companies would be out of business in 3 weeks if it wasn't for the steady drip drip of ex-Ruperts marching up to the plate waving blood-stained CVs, eh?

    Anyway, most soldiers looking to leave the service these days are pointed in the direction of the CTP who help with re-skilling, resettlement advice, etc. Some courses and “workshops” are more useful than others, frankly, but the general thrust of their work is that while you may well have learnt many skills in the Forces, if you don’t have a trade or easily-turned specialisation, you’re going to struggle to apply what you know in the wonderful world of “the civilian”.

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  93. Swifty:

    "LOL, thank God for the British Army, the blue chip recruitment companies would be out of business in 3 weeks if it wasn't for the steady drip drip of ex-Ruperts marching up to the plate waving blood-stained CVs, eh?"

    Well ask PB about that, he worked for Whitehead Mann.

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  94. SwiftyBoy

    ''Anyway, most soldiers looking to leave the service these days are pointed in the direction of the CTP who help with re-skilling, resettlement advice, etc. Some courses and “workshops” are more useful than others, frankly, but the general thrust of their work is that while you may well have learnt many skills in the Forces, if you don’t have a trade or easily-turned specialisation, you’re going to struggle to apply what you know in the wonderful world of “the civilian”. ''

    And the screwed up killing machines who can,t hack it on civvie street end up in prison,on the street or fuck knows where else.

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  95. 'Shouldn't be surprising given that many are used to unquestioningy following orders and expect people to unquestioningly accept orders. Not necessarily the right mindset for civvie street.'

    That's a tedious take on a complex profession, Paul, regardless of the limitations of it.

    Meanwhile, this interpretation of Rachmaninov's B minor Prelude should not be missed.

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  96. @speedkermit:

    ”…he worked for Whitehead Mann…”

    I imagine he’d be well enough qualified to…

    @Paul:

    Quite right mate, where’s the safety net for those who, as you say, end up on the streets or worse? It’s a fucking scandal that some ex-service people should be failed so badly after they leave the forces.

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  97. swifty

    Bit different for 'other ranks'. Sometimes it looks more like demob leads straight to the nick. Our prisons seem to be stuffed to the gunnels with ex military personnel, who have been unable to adjust to civilian status.

    If you google 'ex soldiers - prison' you'll get page after page on google, this piece being a pretty typical exampleFrom hero to zero

    Whilst there's plenty of info on the CTP site about jobs, I couldn't find a single link to anything that might help with re-integration into civilian life for anyone who might have MH issues.

    Are there official organisations that provide this, or is it all down to charities and services set up by people who have got through their problems (often by the skin of their teeth), and want to help others like themselves?

    Since we seem to have been at war for years now you'd think programmes like these would be a key service, but apparently not.

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  98. PeterB

    That's a tedious take on a complex profession, Paul, regardless of the limitations of it.

    I don,t consider it to be tedious at all.A group of men are trained up to do a variety of functions in what is ultimately a killing machine(which of course is also expected to perform peace-keeping functions as well)Where orders are given and taken unquestioningly in what can be life and death situations.I don,t think that produces a mindset that will easily flourish on civvie street.

    btw Personally i,m a jazz and soul man.Rachmaninov doesn,t do it for me!!

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  99. Ah - Rachmaninov - PB reveals his romantic heart.....you might like this too Beethoven's Concerto No3

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  100. @sheff:

    The QARANC has specialist mental health RNs both here in the UK, and on active service elsewhere including the ‘Stan, and it’s something that the MOD is apparently taking much more seriously these days.

    However, it still seems to be charities like Combat Stress which are doing most of the “heavy lifting”. And that should definitely not be the case.

    Incidentally, I’d be careful of making this out to be purely an OR vs Commissioned debate. I’m unsure of the precise percentages, but I’ve heard that rates of mental health disorder run mostly equally between the two groups – if there are “more” ORs struggling (in strictly numerical terms), that’s pretty much what you'd expect, given that there are always more ex-ORs in the general population than there are ex-officers.

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  101. Paul

    Perhaps if our young soldiers, as well as getting their 'killing' training were also given comprehensive 'peace keeping' skills - ie non-violent conflict resolution, negotiation, mediation, etc...we might not see so many demob casualties. Don't the Swedes do that with their troops?

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  102. A lovely bit of Ludwig, there sheff. Have you ever heard of Acoustic Cafe? Good music for a rainy Monday afternoon.

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  103. PeterJ, I'm still researching the after effects of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I'll finish in the next couple of days. (Just so you don't think I'm dodging the question you put in my head).

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  104. Can't play that - yet, sheffpixie. Though my - get this - eleven year old son was teaching me the fourth by the same composer last week.

    Language acquisition, musicology, computer games: kids are just fuckin' geniuses. I'm all for 'wasting' childhood on children, but the skills within their grasp can sometimes make us big people feel and seem, well, obsolescent.

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  105. Right that's me off on hols for two weeks. Out of office is on, phone is diverted and the smoking light is on.

    Enjoy yourselves.

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  106. swifty

    Bonnes vacances, levez votre verre de vin rouge pour l'UT

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  107. Habib

    That Acoustic Cafe was lovely and new to me - will have a rootle about on itunes and see what they've got.

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  108. article up on the fast-track deportation ruling.

    eep.

    already. eep.

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  109. Sheff, for the sake of being contrarian, I would argue that many soldiers have existing social/mental health problems before they join the army and so it is somehwat unsurprising that many will end up in prison/on the streets. The army may make their situation worse, in a few cases it might even improve them.

    On personal evidence, I know many who joined the army at school, and quite a few were hard nuts and borderline psychopaths, probably to mask some sense of insecurity.

    Of course sending them to a battlefield isn't going to help though.

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  110. @habib

    No problem - I'm behind schedule on the (vaguely related) Fallujah cancer report. As and when for both, eh?

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  111. Christ, the Guardian has changed it's front page image (www) many many times today. They really are proud of their scoop.

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  112. Completely deranged Yank on the Tisdall thread. Quite entertaining.

    Enjoy your holiday, Swifty!

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  113. Nap/Charles

    I don't think you're being contrarian. The military and the police being services that bestow power of one sort or another on their members attract people for all sorts of reasons - some good, some indifferent and a few bad; and I agree the effects can take people differently.

    My feeling is with soldiers - if we are asking them to go to war and put their lives on the line (whether we agree or not with the conflict), then we are obliged to include in their training, skills that will help them, not only with fighting but also with 'peace keeping/conflict resolution' (which, arguably might also help with MH issues) and possibly avoid at least some of the military cock ups and disasters we're constantly reading about.

    And we should look after them properly when they come back damaged from the experience. It's a disgrace that after demob MH care isn't a key service.

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  114. @thauma

    Which particular loon do you mean? That thread's full of them, from 9/11 Truthers to antisemites via the pipeliners and the Great Game crowd...

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  115. Thauma

    Are you coming up on Friday?

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  116. For the sake of being contrarian, I would argue that lawyers, doctors, nurses, and teachers have existing social and mental health problems before they join their chosen service. I've met a few, and too many for comfort were borderline psychos, yet to be reconciled with their understandably painful inferiority complexes.

    Live with that can you, Charles? Hope so. Cos that's the case you're making.

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  117. @Thauma:

    I haven't been anywhere near the Tisdall thread.

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  118. montana

    Worth a look - constitutionforever is giving you all a bad name. It seems you are a nation of whakos.

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  119. Sorry, I forgot the 'Wikileaks false flag' crew. It's like weirdo day-release day over there.

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  120. Just looked at the Pencil Museum website. I can't tell you how much I want to go there.

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  121. @leni

    I feel sorry for @constitutionforever. H/she started out asking straightforward questions and got hit by a battery of crazed whataboutism. Must be new to Cif.

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  122. I'm not sure whether constitutionforever is a sophisticated Poe or s/he is suffering some kind of breakdown live on Cif, I had to stop reading.

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  123. Bracken.

    From my own experience, yes I can live with it.

    At school the ones who joined the army were the ones who got into fights and disrupted lessons, I can honestly say. I once had the chance to have a look at one of these 'gentlemen's' myspace page, by this time in the army, and he was talking about his deployment, 'going to Afghanistan to kill some ragheads'- the same kid who was a terror in school- so much so he snuck into my science classroom during lunchtime and ripped up a years worth of schoolwork.

    I am merely trying to say that why should we be surprised when many ex servicemen end up on the streets and in jail- the army just delayed that for a few years.
    Of course I can accept that the actual military experiences may also be a factor, but both choices have to be considered

    I do not know anyone who is a (recent) ex servicement. However I knew at school many pre-servicemen, and yes they were largely dysfunctional.

    And these are not the officer class I'm talking about Bracken, but squaddies. As you no doubt know, the army deliberately goes around poor areas because they can get a better response.

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  124. I imagine these leaks have brought every loon and conspiracy theorist on the planet out from under their stones, so am staying away from cif today....I value what's left of my mental health.

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  125. Peter - yes, I meant constitutionforever. Not quite your run-of-the-mill right-wing wacko, but has swallowed enough of the "truth" serum. And by his/her responses, I don't think herm is new to Cif. Apparently I was supposed to have read and disgested herm's back catalogue.

    Still, I don't bother engaging with the usual right-wingers, so s/he has something going for herm.

    Sheff - I would love to, but I have to bastard work this weekend. Gutted. Someone mentioned the other day that BW is organising something for September - hope everyone makes that (and that I can because there is more fucking work scheduled), including all those I have met before and Monkeyfish who I have not yet met.

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  126. Aw shucks! Thauma, I shall miss you!

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  127. Likewise, Sheff, and I expect some drunken ramblings on here to maintain the tradition.

    You back down this way any time soon?

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  128. Thauma

    I'm over in Norfolk on a field trip from Tues - Thurs this week, back in time for the knees up on Friday though. Not sure when I'm next down your way - but will you know when I am.

    BB - if you're about

    More good news on asylum

    Fast track deportations illegal

    The UKBA are being so disingenuous about it...

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  129. I think there should have been a 'let' in there somewhere....

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  130. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  131. Sheff

    I know - good one. I think they stopped that policy after the elections though.

    Just been to look on the thread and have decided to leave it. I just made one post on it but I am really not going to waste my breath arguing with the likes of right-wing scum like thfc123

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  132. Think I'll take a look at the Tisdall thread instead - sounds like a good laff! :o)

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  133. Sheff - you always have a place to stay here if you are en route and feel like stopping off.

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  134. NN all, eyelids are drooping....

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  135. Hah

    Someotherbloke on the Tisdall thread, in response to the "WOLVERINES!!!" nutter

    " I want my family safe, I want to live under the Bill of Rights. I want my country's borders and govt respected by the world... What do I have to do to have all of this

    Move to Canada."

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  136. Have just watched the first in a new C4 series called 'The Hospital' dealing with the relationship between teenagers and the NHS.

    Tonights episode dealt with sexual health.And for me highlighted just how impenetrable the world of many teenagers has become to the adult world.Neither parents nor teachers have seemingly had the slightest effect on the sexual education of youngsters who despite their bravdo probably have rock bottom self-confidence and self worth.And the result is not only unwanted pregnancies but a whole range of STD,s.With growing numbers of teenagers coming back to the clinics time and time again to be treated before the penny drops that prevention is better than cure.Most tragic of all were those who had viruses that couldn,t be cured.Viral herpes being one and sadly HIV being another.And whilst every case of HIV is obviously sad it is especially so when the patient is a teenager.And HIV infection amongst both gay and straight teenagers is now on the increase in this country.

    At present the NHS spends about £1billion a year on treating STD,S-a depressingly high % of whom are in their teens and early 20,s.All of which could be preventable if young people had not only effective sex education at home and at school but also access to youth friendly services where they could get confidential advice.And also if the adult world could penetrate this 'coudn,t give a fuck attitude' towards sexual health that a chunk of the young have embraced.

    Next weeks episode will be about the NHS treating the effects of knife crime amongst the young.Methinks all in all this is going to be a seriously depressing series.

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  137. chekov

    just emailed you. Sorry mate. The missus 'needs' the car Friday so I'm going to be forced to utilise our glorious nation's dysfunctional unsubsidised catastrophe of a transport network myself come Friday...it's just like they said it would be..thanks to the power of an unfettered competitive free market...I click my fingers and a dozen or so liveried high speed chauffeurs vie to wisk me to the closest high speed bullet train stop where I'm wined and dined on my 13 minute journey to Sheffield with complimentary ear plugs when we reach mach 1.

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  138. Hello everyone, I have been reading this for a few days (Iwas probably one of the Spain blips on the sidebar thingy), and just found out I can comment without having to register yet again.

    Nice web site Montana Wildhack, lovely photos (and quotes), a well smart and tidy blog and some lively discussions - good luck to everyone (some quite admirable people here) in this blogging enterprise.

    I'm not surprised people like it, it's good.

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  139. Sounds like an interesting programme Paul. I will watch.

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  140. Welcome to the House of Fun, M.I.E - I'm assuming it's you :o)

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  141. Hi All

    Hello Martyn

    Good to see you here.

    Anyone see Dispatches - witch children in UK. Child abuse, child cruelty in The name of - I won't say God - power .

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  142. Hello Monkeyfish, thanks for replying.
    I researched some alternative options myself.
    National Express..err...£41....I might as well drive...so much for encouraging people to use public transport...God knows how much the train fare would be!
    Although of course both the coach and the train network are privately run aren't they?
    Anyway, it's not looking good and I'd love to make it for the "bunfight" in Sheffield but I've got a serious "cash flow" situation which suggests I won't be able to be there.
    However, there is always hope, perhaps one of my creditors might come up with the dosh I'm owed.
    Don't hold your breath!

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  143. Paul

    Many teenagers are leaving school ill equipped to deal withnmany aspects of life. The illiteracy/semiliteracy figures are shocking. Beneath the brash exterior there often lies a very confused child.

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  144. "Martin Richard Jones": are you "MIE" from Cif?
    If so you are most welcome.
    Just speaking for myself of course, I don't pretend to represent the wishes of the whole UT website.

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  145. Yes, sorry I'm MIE. I haven't worked out how to add a pic to my google mail ID yet. :-) Thanks all. Sorry for the smiley, I picked the habit up from friends across the ocean.

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  146. Hey up MartynIE - welcome to the nest of vipers. Gird your loins, grit your teeth and prepare for take off.

    Good to see you over here btw

    Just been watching Ronin on C5 - the car chases are excellent - specially the one going round the Paris peripherique in the wrong direction - but it ends up with maverick CIA bloke saving the day which results in the Irish peace process and star female IRA wench giving up a lifetime of revolutionary politics because she fancies a bloke, which kind of took the polish off for me. Must the yanks win everything?

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  147. Hi Leni, didn't see anything on witch kids, is it a UK thing? and .. Many thanks for the welcome.

    Hi chekhov, Charles, BB ... many thanks too. I lurked a while, it must be said, but this seems like a very good forum for discussion and simply a great idea that seems to be working.

    MartynInEurope

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  148. Do make the effort for Friday chekhov - happy to buy you a pint etc if you're a bit skint at the moment.

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  149. Martyn

    We argue and fall out from time to time - and have one or two trolls who put in periodic appearances but generally it's a good place to hang out.

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  150. Many thanks Sheffpixie. If I remember right, the C5 chase is amazingly predictable I suppose, will check it out now. Although .. I have never mixed my entertainment with my politics .. it would make me too negative ... i.e. bad boys was sorta funny, the anti-Castro stuff was a hard one to swallow, not because Fidel was always great, but that his detractors were frequently far worse.

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  151. Sheffpixie:

    I don't want to sound condescending (I do, but it isn't intentional, it's just me), but with you, Leni and BB here, and with Montana driving the initiative, it looks good. So, well done to all!

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  152. Hi Martyn

    Re Ronin - At least they had a woman driving the car instead of screaming in the back seat. But Jonathan Pryce as an IRA loon (Seamus) didn't quite cut it for me, he's so quintessentially English.

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  153. Martyn

    We have quite a few stroppy, opinionated, funny and intelligent chaps too, although Peter Bracken thinks we've all had frontal lobotomies, except for scherfig and swifty..

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  154. So Martyn

    When are you coming back to Wales ? It's still wet but beautiful. When were you last here ?

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  155. Did anyone see "Sherlock" last night?
    Bloody brilliant in my humble opinion.
    And the critique in the "Indy" by Tom Sutcliffe was spot on.

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  156. chekhov

    Yes, I watched that - enjoyed it. Benedict Cumberbatch will be really good I think - he does potty sociopath really well.

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  157. Sheffpixie: I thought PB was a bit of a bloody minded polemicist - and some comments and articles seem to point that way, but I think PB also just wants a little bit of empathy - not necessarily agreement, his views are somewhat polemic, irritatingly so at times - but, been there and one that, and at the end of the day, I'm sure there is a decent and concerned person there.

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  158. Leni:

    I don't know. I sometimes would like to. Wet and green (and coal black, grey to black, softly grey sky) was my childhood. So much to be done here, so much to be done there.

    Maybe I should come back, and try and make a difference, but I am Welsh, and always have doubts about being right or wrong, it's an ethnic thing I suppose. Maybe one day I will get over it, maybe that day will be sooner than I imagine.

    Maybe I will just state the obvious .. for a free and socialist Wales .. the nasty UK nationalist parties (CONDEMLAB) are killing us. To echo the thoughts of a communist leader here, I would like my day in Parliament, just to ask all those present "And now what, you sons of whores?" .. of course this was meant as an insult, but not against actual prostitutes, but against the actual parliamentarians.

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  159. Martyn

    Re PB: I expect he'll be back - so we'll see. He does seem to like coming here but whether its just to talk down to us plebs or something more is an open question.

    Must be off and get some sleep. I have an early start in the morning. Nite all.

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  160. The quote came from:

    "me gustaría volver a ser diputado por un solo día y decir desde el estrado, ¿y ahora qué, hijos de puta?"

    Julio Anguita was a former leader of the Communists and of the United Left, and a personal acquaintance - not a name drop, just a fact.

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  161. I'm NapoleonKaramazov, just in case your wondering Martyn. I decided to change to my real name only last night. God knows why but it it too late now.

    There is actually quite an interesting story as to how I chose my Cif moniker, but that is for another day.

    Enjoy the andaclucian sunshine.. or moonlight more like. I once went to Granada for the day (to get away from the costa del sol.) Beautiful islamic moorish architecture.

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  162. Also, I don't meant to go on, but yet again the Guardian has changed their front page. I know they have a serious scoop, but changing to a different stock photo of a gun ho soldier or platoon every couple of hours is a bit childish.

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  163. Hi Charles, it's fine by me .. made the name to avatar connection anyway - one of the advantages of me being a borderline autistic I'd imagine.

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  164. "Even the humblest Party member is expected to be competent, industrious and even intelligent within narrow limits. but it's also necessary that he should be a credulous and ignorant fanatic whose prevailing moods are fear, hatred, adulation and orgiastic triumph."
    (George Orwell 1984)
    Remind you of anyone?
    Step forward Peter Bracken!

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  165. Martyn

    There is much to be done here. Too lttle investment in infrastructure over decades makes development - and therefore jobs - away from the M4 corridor here in the south. The north of course ties in with te NW in England. Parts of the west - most - still very rural.

    Difficult to see where new investment will come from - Wales lost so much over a long time - coal profits never came here. The loss of public sector jobs will hit us very hard.

    Our small valley has lost both bank and garage since Christmas.

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  166. Charle

    The G is perhaps relieved to have some real news at last - it is in troubled waters with its support of the Libdems - it is looking for a new direction. Perhaps when the cuts start to bite they will oppose them.

    Too late then of course - they should be using these few months to lead the movement against them. I am waiting for the ATOS article - who will write it ? Will it be an apologist ?

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  167. Yes, we'll see Leni.

    Just watched The Hospital. Good and somewhat sad viewing.

    Goodnight.

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  168. I really do not mean to repeat myself, but they changed the photo yet again.

    Excellent journalism though.

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  169. Poor Tony Hayward - lost his job. He will have to scrape along on a mere $900,000 pa and have to dig into his capital sum pay off of 1.5 million to maintain his lifestyle.

    In the meantime people in the Gulf states are relying on benefit support to feed their families.

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  170. Must ask Speedy about this tomorrow.

    Theresa May announces to increase specials to 67,000 - bobbies for free to replace actual police about to be lost.

    No details of recruitment costs as yet - if ever. How much I wonder does it cost to fit out 1 man in full police uniform? o details of the training they will receive.

    I'm waiting my chance to beome a volunteer brain surgeon - I expect I'll have to read a few books before I get my first patient.

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