01 August 2010

01/08/10

Bacchanalia - Nicolas Poussin

There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge.

-Bertrand Russell

193 comments:

  1. I see the ATOS thread is still running, 460 comments.

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  2. Peter – The primary focus of my comments has been to question the lazy comparisons people have made between colonial rule and the totalitarian regimes of the 20th Century

    The comparison is worth making because we are looking here at the causes of the deaths. The famine caused shortage of food, but the deaths were not inevitable

    Many people yesterday gave examples of the attitudes of 'imperial masters' to the peoples of the empire. At best it was paternalistic at worst they were barely seen as human. The resources of the empire were largely used to benefit the home country and only really the upper classes of that country.

    In a sane world rulers ensure that a defnce is made against famine. Food that can be stored (eg grain) is stored to ensure survival. This does not appear to have been done either in India or in Ireland.

    Why was this, judging from the quotes (from Churchill and others) a mixture of lack of respect, idifference and incompetance. Although when faced with unrest we were not averse to taking very draconian measures.

    The subject people of the empire were simply not prioritised in the minds of the people ruling them. They blamed them for the situation and felt no immediate obligation to solve the problem. In both Ireland and India food was exported while people starved to death. In both Ireland and India the needs of the home country were put first. Lack of precautionary storing of emergency food supplies and continued exporting of food is what caused these deaths, NOT the famine. A mixture of indifference, greed and incompetance.

    The link is not as obvious as it is with the holocaust, the gulags or the killing fields of Cambodia. Butit still resulted in the deaths of millions.

    The general confession in the book of common prayer says 'we have done those things that we ought not to have done and not done those things that we ought to have done'. Both sins that the church considered we should confess too.

    Neglect is a crime, when neglect causes the death of millions it is a grave crime, especially as they were aware of the situation.

    In both cases millions of people died, the difference is moral nit picking.

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  3. You can add the mass rape and enslavement of women from eastern Europe since the 1990s to the crimes of capitalism, Anne. I've been doing some research, I had always known it was a high number, but the figures are quite literally in the millions. One country, Moldova, has had up to 10%, 200,000- 400,000 of it's female population trafficked at some point, and that is just ome small country.

    All to feed the lust of 'family friendly' Western Europe. For example the Observer today has a report on Sweden's top anti rape and sex trafficking policeman who was convicted of raping a 14 year old girl. 2 of the most popular palces also included Kosovo and Bosnia, for UN and NATO troops and funnily enough Israel- Orthodox Jewish men were the most common clients.

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  4. "In both cases millions of people died, the difference is moral nit picking."

    But it's not, is it Anne? Or at least, I cannot understand your reasons for conflating the two historical phenomena. Bottom line, I feel you degrade historical meaning when you airily ascribe moral equivalence to totalitarian, politically motivated mass executions and the famines that disfigured colonial rule.

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  5. Cheerful lot this morning, so here's some more !


    Power moves Eastwards

    He's right, of course. Sub-prime, and the related bank bail-outs and money-printing will weigh down the West's performance for years to come. The big emerging economies, in contrast, have massive reserves, low debts and no need to "de-lever".

    That's why highly-respected players like Tan increasingly view the "advanced" nations – with their vast deficits and lack of reserves – as weaker, and more prone to systemic risk than their Eastern counterparts. "For investors, the strength of the emerging markets means that a larger proportion of their investments will be in these markets," argues Tan – who, remember, holds sways over tens of billions of dollars of capital. "Far from being a risky and perhaps optional part of their portfolios, emerging markets will become a core and unavoidable asset class in global portfolios", he said.


    Here's another cheery bit --
    During the next few decades, UK incomes are bound to fall relative to much of the rest of the world. The question is, can we avoid a far more painful decline in our absolute levels of income.

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  6. Oh come now Charles; next you'll be suggesting that pedophilia is a capitalist scourge. Or indeed any crime that advantages the perpetrator. The profit motive is not intrinsically immoral. Trafficking in young women and the like is.

    Your apologia for both the providers and users of sex slaves is lamentable.

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  7. An admirable post A42.

    The sin of omission is plain to folk like us. Unfortunately turning a blind eye appeals to military types where it is sometimes regarded as heroic.... Our friend Peter is apt to turn both his eyes blind and plug his ears when necessary.

    To have been in the same room as uber creep Mandy must of have been discomforting but it's really no excuse.

    "..In a sane world rulers ensure that a defence is made against famine..."

    How often is that we hear that defence of the citizen/realm is the first duty of civilised and democratic governments? It will surely be number one argument for maintaining Trident.

    In a sane world government would also give intelligent thought to the security of the supply of essentials like fuel and heating.

    It's a reasonable bet that time will suggest that the rapid selling of our North sea oil and the closing of our pits and the sale of our electricity/gas supply systems to overseas interests was........................ very very questionable.

    Perhaps people should recognise that accountancy is really just another black art, akin to measuring the miles to the moon with an old and much stretched piece of knicker elastic.

    A lot of the alleged losses of the old nationalised industries were questionable because of quite fanciful interest charges on (inflated compensation debts) finding their way into the profit and loss accounts....An elusive thing profit - now you see it now you don't.

    As for variables in decsion making and the volatility of exchange rates and world prices on national security - Brown's selling of the UK's gold reserves at rock bottom prices is a delightful piece of economics in the hands of lunatics advised by elastic handed bookkeepers.

    God save us from accountants and bankers and nulabour apologists and Bullingdon diners and pseudo aristocratic Liberals.

    The obsession with short termism/ 12 month profit cycles could well be our undoing.

    Obvious to a blind deaf man that exporting the jobs and productive capacity of a nation overseas on the advice of accountants and alleged economists is a rational basis for sound defence of the national interest.

    Bring on the Romanov solution.

    The sanity of dog walking calls. Enjoy the day everbody.

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  8. "The profit motive is not intrinsically immoral."

    Peter proper work that produces things of real value is essentially a collective activity. It invariably involves a little sweat from those involved.

    Profit is little more than one guy/gal creaming off more than his fair share of the sweat. Some people still think profit taking ought to be a capital offence.

    I

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  9. "Bottom line, I feel you degrade historical meaning when you airily ascribe moral equivalence to totalitarian, politically motivated mass executions and the famines that disfigured colonial rule."

    but Peter you seem to miss the point that they are two sides of the same coin, what makes you believe that colonialism is any thing less than a barbaric form of totalitarianism? India and other colonies of the Empire were not democracies were they? the people were ruled by an authoritarian class who's objective was to gleen off as much as possible for their own benefit without a thought for the people that produced their wealth.
    Famines such as the one in bengal in 1943, as Sen stated was caused by the poor being unable to pay for food due to its high price. Why were the prices high? urban economic boom, price fixing of rice, and the fall of Burma which at the time provided 15% of rice to India, confiscation of the means of transporting crops to market and continued exportation of food to Sri Lanka and the middle east. Crop failure was not the cause of this famine. It was man made by the authorities.

    The colonial authorities didn't care about the starving millions why should they waste they money on them rather than putting it it their pockets, they didn't need the voting approval of these people in a state that wasn't a democracy.Their concern was focussed on war and the threat of the japanese in asia.
    The actions of the colonial powers were intentional they knew millions were going to die and they did nothing, this to me is genocide...mass murder on the same level as regimes such as Stalin or Pol pot.

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  10. Good stuff Deanno & Gandolfo. But I don't see the point of feeding the troll..

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  11. gandolfo 12.52 The actions of the colonial powers were intentional they knew millions were going to die and they did nothing,

    It was more complicated than that , if you read my links yesterday on that famine ? Lord Wavell and others did care, and made a difference.Gotta go, and anyway no interest in a pointless wrangle :)

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  12. The Forgotten Holocaust Bengal 1943/44 - Gideon Polya

    There's one. I posted the links to the 1943/44 Famines because everyone else was talking about ancient history, and they're little known ...

    stuff to do !

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  13. The 'great famine' of 1876-1878 in Southern India killed an estimated 8-10 million Indians. The British empire's response to this disaster was to raise taxes and vigorously discourage 'famine relief', while they exported millions of tons of 'surplus' grain to the West. The 'Famines Commissioner' also cut back on rations that he characterized as "dangerously high" and stiffened relief eligibility by reinstating the 'Temple tests'.

    During the later famine of 1899-1890 (6-9 million dead), Lord Curzon said
    'Any government which imperiled the financial position of India in the interests of prodigal philanthropy would be open to serious criticism; but any government which by indiscriminate alms-giving weakened the fiber and demoralized the self-reliance of the population, would be guilty of a public crime.'

    These policies are perhaps what Peter Bracken would merely call 'callous and inadequate'. I would describe them somewhat differently.

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  14. Peter I'm not 'conflating' them. One is a sin of commision the other a sin of ommision.

    Thats's thed ifference but when both cause the death of millions its not a very important one. Both are sins in the religious sense both can and do have terrible consequences.

    The equivalence isn't a moral one its a real one both have the same consequences and it really makes no difference if you are dying of starvation and disease in a Bengali village or a concentration camp.

    The difference is literally in the 'point of view' Peter. Our vantage points are different you are concentrating on the perpetrators (or from your pov non perpetrators), I am concentrating on the victims, the effect on them is the same.

    I repeat Stalin et al could have chosen not to exterminate the Jews and the Romanies thye didn't and millions died. The people who ran the empire could have decided to put contingency plans in place and at least reduced the food exports they didn't and millions died.

    From the point of view of the dead and dying the difference is not actually that great I'm afraid. Its the difference between 'they are out to kill us' and 'they don't care if we live or die'.

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  16. Scherfig,

    Look. It's all about decency old man. Stalin wasn't decent, Mao wasn't decent but the British Raj and its presence in India and Ireland was fundamentally decent in their bourgeois morals and their unflinching respect for the free market and Malthusian thought. And fine upstanding civilising Christian men they were too.

    That's the difference, I thought it would be self evident.

    Peter,

    no one is 'conflating' Stalinism with British policy in India and Ireland. They are both crimes undertaken in different circumstances at different times. If we hold Stalin responsible for the deaths of millions as a result of his agricultural policies, then we hold the British Empire responsible for the deaths of millions.

    Both are crimes against humanity yet you appear to deem the deaths of tens of millions under British rule as an unfortunate by product of weather.

    But to get to my original point yesterday. There are no apologists for Stalin anymore but there are apologists for Empire everywhere.

    Two of the biggest apologists are in charge of the Schools History curriculum under an apologist of an Education secretary.

    Gove as I quoted yesterday said:

    British guilt is misplaced. Your damn right it's misplaced- there's no guilt at all and this outrageous curriculum appointment will ensure that a generation of children will be fed ahistorical bullshit to the agenda that Gove has already set.

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  17. 1899-1900, of course.

    PS. PeterB - on the question of moral equivalence between colonial rule's many 'alleged' crimes and the crimes of totalitarian states, where do you stand on Belgian colonial rule in the Congo? Was Leopold II just callous and misguided or did he really have the best interests of his Congolese 'subjects' at heart (much like the bountiful Queen Victoria, Empress of India?) How about the Germans in Namibia or the French in IndoChina and the Middle East? The Dutch? The Portugese? etc

    In fact, the more I think about it, the more I see that all the other European colonial powers were absolute rotters, and only the British were bascically good decent chaps. Perhaps the likes of Ferguson and Roberts are right after all!

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  18. Gandolfo lots of people 'care', the point is that the people with enough power to actually DO something diddn't.

    Empires are like that they are as you say, not democracies and the rulers of the empire have absolute power over the ruled - usually justifying it by notions of their own superiority. Some are dictatorial and overtly cruel others just indifferent to the needs of those they rule. There will always be individuals who can see that this as wrong but too often they are just ignored.

    As with capitalism its the relations inherent in imperialism that are at fault.

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  21. Sounds like a good sesh on Friday.

    Never heard of this girl before... it's probably a bit space cadet for some tastes but I think it's sublime...

    French band

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxg0L65zYxQ&feature=player_embedded

    Lazy afternoon music

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  22. btw - Paul - that dance hall rumble video had me laughing my arse off.

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  23. Afternoon all

    Flying visit - lunch cooked and eaten and off back to the Mela later to see a rai band called Takalid.

    Sounds good.

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  24. 'ello campers!

    Nursing a hangover and a reggae overdose - I live too near to a music venue - not good ;(

    Thanks to Duke (I think) for the link to the odious FII. Bunch of facist nutjobs being lauded and applauded on ShiteWatch....

    Some really interesting discussions peeps thanks ;0)

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  25. Gandolfo lots of people 'care', the point is that the people with enough power to actually DO something diddn't.

    well I think that's obvious anne isn't it? and why I said it was the colonial authorities that didn't care ;)Wavell protests were only "noted" in 1944 by the authorities in britain...between 1943-46, an estimated 3.5 to 3.8 million people died as a result of the famine and the epidemic diseases that accompanied it. Apparently Churchill "seemed to regard famine relief as ‘appeasement’ of the Congress”...no surprises there and that “the starvation of anyhow underfed Bengalis is less serious than sturdy Greeks”

    frog
    thanks i'll read your links...

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  26. According to todays Sunday Times scientists in California believe they are on the brink of producing a vaccine for stress.It will be administered in just one injection and apparently will help us relax without slowing us down.Will probably cost an exhorbitant amount and will only be affordable for the cosmetically enhanced wealthy.The rest of us will just have to stick with our booze,pills and spliffs.

    @PeterB-am genuinely interested in how much the young in France are taught about French colonial history.Although bearing in mind the length of time it took for the French to face up to their role in deporting 75,000 Jews from France during WW2(another issue i know)i doubt French kids are taught that much about the atrocities committed against the peoples the French colonised.

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  27. PeterB

    Perhaps i should have explained in my first post to you why i singled out French behavior in Algeria between 1830 -1962.As well as the massacre of up to 200 Agerians by French police in Paris in 1961.

    As you know France has a large ethnic Algerian population and i wondered whether representatives from that community have had any success in getting the highly centralized French educational system to incorporate any unpalatable truths in the way French colonial history is taught.

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  28. Afternoon all

    House is a tip...grandchildren have been making dens and raising cain and have just found a corner out of the whirlwind to have a fag and a brew.

    Anne, scherf, Yr Grace et al - great stuff last night and today - you're all so erudite and without strangling the language too!!

    I really don't get these empire apologists. I suppose we focus on the horrors perpetrated by Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Amin, Battista, Franco et al - all the big and little despots of the 20th C because they're recent - all in living memory. But all those bastards were only at it for relatively short periods.

    European colonisation and empire building went on for centuries - a huge price was paid by successive generations of indigenous populations, many of which were effectively wiped out and it should be properly acknowledged.

    The bizarre carving up of Africa for example, has led to massive problems between peoples on that continent. Just look at the state of the Congo, Rwanda, Nigeria, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Namibia, Angola to name just a few.

    I'm not saying we should all be beating our breasts and wailing but we should not be afraid to look at the truth of it. Perhaps if we had we might have thought twice about our current Afghan adventure - I don't recall our history there being very edifying. so now we've got these empire apologists/revisionists in charge of our history curriculum is very bad news.

    Personally i agree with Anne - To refuse to see the truth of it all is moral nit picking, not 'conflating' with more contemporary monstrosities, as PeterB would have it. Its incredibly sad that we seem to have learnt so little from our history. Well it's more than sad, it condemns us to repeat our mistakes as in Afghanistan and the 'war on terror.'

    Oh god...fights breaking out. laters...

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  29. Duke:

    Stalin's forced policy of collectivisation was a disaster in the way that the enclosure system or 19th Century industrialisation were not. Show me a serious historian who questions the ultimate benefits of the latter and I'll eat my hat.

    Sure, the legacy of colonialism is disputed. But therein lies my point. I know you're alive to the benefits of British rule, just as I can concede the costs of it.

    But I insist on bringing this discussion back to to the point of its fractious departure: my claim that Hitler and Stalin honoured and bequeathed a murderous undiluted tyranny; your claim that colonialism amounted to the same.

    Adam Hochschild - the implied reference in scherfig's post - is irresponsibly cavalier on this point, too. For that reason, an otherwise important contribution to the baleful effects of empire has been roundly and rightly trashed.

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  30. "There are no apologists for Stalin anymore..."

    Speak for yourself, mate. At least he got the trains to run on time.

    Not to mention the fact that if it wasn't for him and Voroshilov, we'd all be speaking German now.

    And Peter von Bracken would be running the Ministry of Truth.

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  31. Fuck me, who'd have guessed it; Hank's waving the red flag in defence of Stalin.

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  32. "Don't tell him your name, Pike."

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  33. The Dutch have announced they are pulling out of Afghanistan.

    Raise a glass of a Dutch based alcoholic beverage (Duke, know any?) to them for having some spine.

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  34. Charlie

    I think the Dutch are known for their gin!

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  35. Hello All

    I see the ashes of empire are still smouldering.

    Peter

    Totalitarians, despots , imperialists do not create their systems for the benefit of the majority or the conquered. That some may get a benefit from the system is more by accident than design - usually stemming from the drive to increase economic activity to fund the power base and supporters and to extend transport links to guarantee easier access to trouble spots and the movement of goods and troops.

    Knowing your nations history is not about breast beating or sack cloth and ashes . It is about being aware of present day dangers - and the signs thereof.

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  36. Peter,

    Sure, the legacy of colonialism is disputed. But therein lies my point. I know you're alive to the benefits of British rule, just as I can concede the costs of it

    if you have the time watch this video.

    Hans Rosling explains with the use of statistics the way that Indian and Chinese health stagnated during Imperialist occupation in the first half of the twentieth century yet when the Imperial power was ejected both populations quality of life improved dramatically.

    Now India was under British rule and China mostly Japanese. We know the brutality of the Japanese occupation yet the quality of life in India under "benevolent" British rule was horrendous also.

    What this tells us is that "Imperialism with the best intentions" is a bogus philosophy, a philosophy still used in the 21st Century to start illegal wars.

    Colonialism and Imperialism starts from the concept of chauvinistic moral superiority. In my opinion, no matter how superior you feel your society or idelogy to be, as soon as you enforce it on other countries you are an agressor, as simple as that.

    I'll take you back to the definition of Imperialism again from 'The Dictionary of Human Geography':

    "the creation and maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural and territorial relationship, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination."

    Imperialism is no different from Stalinism or any other totalitarianism you wish to mention. Totalitarianism is the wholesale enforcement of your own ideology and morality on a people, be it your own country or peoples of another country. And that is wrong no matter what way you colour it.

    There's no dispute about devastating effects colonialism and Imperialism on the colonised countries. The statistics show it and the Histories show it.

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  37. Charlie/Paul,

    the Dutch pullout today actually led to the downfall of the last Govt and the subsequent General Election the result of which there is still no Govt.

    The Dutch had originally agreed to do one tour of duty.When that was up they were supposed to come home. NATO asked the Dutch to commit to a second tour of duty which the biggest coalition party, the CDA agreed to.

    The junior coalition party the PvDA (Labour Party) refused the extension and as a result pulled out of thw Govt, leading to its collapse.

    Yes, a Labour Party sticking to its principles regarding a foreign military occupation. Wonders will never cease.....

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  38. Of course the people who were colonised were deemed and are often still deemed as being inferior.Which perhaps explains why some people even today have problems recognizing that the human carnage inflicted by the colonial powers on those they colonized was as bad as that inflicted by the likes of Stalin within his own country.

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  39. I'm coming over all Irish-arsey reading this thread ... fucking English colonial oppressors!

    Except most English I know aren't any such thing; it's the ruling classes.

    However the gutter media do a good job of caricaturing the ruling classes' targets: some years ago it was the Irish, or Sikhs; today it's Muslims.

    No Irish, blacks or dogs doesn't make itself up.

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  40. Paul

    Your point is certainly valid for some. The legacy of empire is still around.

    An old chap made a remark to me recently about a Brit arrested in Thailand - drugs charge.

    Oldguy was outraged that a Brit should be arrested by anybody other than Brits - he asked me !Does a British passport count for nothing now?"

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  41. Good post, Duke, but I really don't know why you bother with Bracken. He's deaf to reason, a New Labour robot.

    This is a guy who makes his money as an equities trader, who's non-resident for tax purposes no doubt, and who traded on family connections to get set up as the New Labour PPC as successor to his father-in-law.

    It's tiresome and inevitable that wankers like him dismiss their critics as left-wingers.

    Tiresome, inevitable and really fucking sad, given that the Labour Party was founded by working class people for working class people.

    Not for middle class wankers with a sense of entitlement and no fucking clue how to stand and fall by their own abilities.

    From each according to their accountants, to each according to their contacts. The new Labour motto as endorsed by Bracken.

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  42. Just to clarify a paragraph from above.

    Imperialism is no different from Stalinism or any other totalitarianism you wish to mention. Totalitarianism is the wholesale enforcement of your own ideology and morality on a people, be it your own country or peoples of another country. And that is wrong no matter what way you colour it.

    should read

    Imperialism is no different from Stalinism or any other totalitarianism you wish to mention in this crucial sense.

    I didn't mean that Stalinism and British Imperialism are the same thing as the original paragraph made it look like.

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  43. Adam Hochschild - the implied reference in scherfig's post

    Sorry, Peter. That was neither an overt or implied reference in my post. I know fuck all about him. His name rang a vague bell but I had to google him to find out who he was. I guess the fact that he occasionally lectures at Harvard makes him some sort of 'intellectual' in your eyes. I'll reserve judgment on him for a bit, if you don't mind.

    PB, my question still stands. The moral equivalence you talk about - if we can't usefully compare eg. C20 Stalin and Pol Pot (and perhaps we can't) with C19 Bismarck and King Leopold and Queen Victoria, then where is the 'absolute' truth and morality and justice that you talked about eg. in your bizarre 24 article? I'm not a post-modernist or a cultural relativist or an absolutist, but your views are frankly bizarre. It damages your case that you can't actually support these views, but merely assert them loudly and frquently offensively. Are you not smarter than that? Perhaps not.

    PS. if you've got another Cif piece coming up, I'd advise you to ditch the tortured, twisted prose and the thesaurus, and take George Orwell's advice on board. I know that the likes of Jessica and Bella are so thick that they think that your pieces are 'intellectual', but they're impenetrable to the average reader. It has amused me greatly that so many extreme right-wingers think that you write 'well'. Damned with very faint praise, my friend. And exposed as a hack and a shill. Ouch!

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  44. Cheers Hank,

    what's evident is that as Victorian economic liberalism- laissez faire, free trade, diminution of workers rights is again the dominant philosophy of the political and ruling class domestically, the apologists for Victorian foreign policy are now to the fore.

    Ferguson is a neo-liberal par excellence-he's moved into economic analysis and is championed by the right as a guru. He's also had his arse handed back to him on a plate by the likes of Paul Krugman regularly.

    As can be seen here he blows with the wind changing his views when he's about to be embarassed by his economic analysis and I highlighted a couple of weeks ago the ways in which his Historical research is flawed.

    He's an apologist for Victorian foreign policy along with his championing of Victorian economic policy. He and Gove are good friends from their links with the American Enterprise Institute and other neo-con outfits.

    Paul/thauma,

    what's amazing is the pejorative terms used then are the same now-lazy, morally wanting, undeserving etc

    The History of then is the History of now.

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  45. Exactly, Duke.

    The lack of action taken to succour the Irish during the famine is a direct result of the repeal of the corn laws and the liberal mindset behind it. Probably the Indian famine stems from the same thinking, but as I said I know fuck-all about that.

    It's exactly the same as today's "free-market" theory.

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  46. The 'Deserving Poor' - the old the young and the sick who should receive help

    These poor people were provided with 'Outdoor Relief' in the form of clothes, food or money

    The 'Deserving Unemployed' - those willing and able to work but unable to find employment

    These poor people were provided with 'Indoor Relief' in the form of being cared for in almshouses, orphanages and workhouses

    The sick were cared for in hospitals

    Apprenticeships were arranged for the young

    The 'Undeserving Poor' - those who turned to a life of crime or became beggars

    The dishonest men in these categories were criminals who turned to various forms of theft

    The beggars in these categories were referred to as 'Idle Beggars' but many have since been referred to as 'Poor Beggars'. These are still common terms in the modern English language

    The punishments for these categories were extremely harsh.

    ----

    Elizabethan (the 1st that is ) Poor Laws.

    Tie this in with the Big Society thinking - particularly with suggestions of religious orgs being part of it - ans we are pre Victorian.

    Before the Poor Law most charity and support for the poor was provided by the monasteries.

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  47. as george orwell said in "Burmese Days" the British Empire was:

    "a despotism with theft as its final object"

    and to add to scherfig's point about "tortured, twisted prose and the thesaurus" Leonardo da Vinci summed it up:

    "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

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  48. These Eliz. attitudes prevailed of course until 1948 - they have been lying dormant waiting to spring since then.

    It is also worth noting that E made what I think is the first order for the deportation of 'Saracens' (Africans ) - also because she didn't want them taking English jobs.

    Previously of course Jews had been expelled.

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  49. Hi all.

    Some interesting discussions here today and yesterday. Great posts by many. Duke - you are spot on about Ferguson. And Hank - 'From each according to their accountants, to each according to their contacts.' Yep!

    Does anyone know anything about some charity called Common Purpose? One of the links on the Atos thread to LoanRangers campaign contained another link to a forum where people think this is some sort of NWO type organisation. Just wondered if anyone knew of it and if it is dodgy or if they are just conspiracy theories?

    Anyway off back to me sick bed for now so will say g'night. Spent most of yesterday in the bloody hospital as had an elevated heart rate due to this virus. But got let home last night after it came down. Been told bed rest until feeling much better with as little moving about as possible. Feel like death warmed up.

    Paul - hope you feeling better soon too.

    Deano - would love to meet up when we are in your neck of the woods. I will get your email at some point before the trip.

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  50. Niall Ferguson is a right-wing twat, Duke. He goes to the same dinner parties as Bracken.

    As do Jessica Reed, Isabella Rusbridger and the rest of the right-wing PC crowd.

    There's not a single one of them who've ever got their hands dirty for a living. And every single one of them can claim to have a liberal conscience at the same time as they offshore their money.

    Like all middle class liberals, they love the poor as long as the poor are kept well out of sight. Preferably a continent away.

    The fucking hypocrites wring their hands, but they wouldn't live in the same postcode as them.

    The Left will never be revived until it remembers that its roots lie in class and economics.

    I don't give a shit about workplace nurseries for Zoe Williams, or whether Julian Glover should get a tax break for being fucked up the arse by Matthew Parris.

    I want to see a fairer society for ordinary working class people.

    The Guardian's not been interested in that since around the time that Bracken met Bell, Blair and the rest of the bourgeois bullshitters.

    I fucking despise them all.

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  51. Sublime stuff..

    http://www.otherother.org/2010/07/i-am-paul-gascoigne-and-i-was-once-a-footballer/

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  52. The Left will never be revived until it remembers that its roots lie in class and economics.

    Yay, yay and thrice yay.

    I don't give a shit about workplace nurseries for Zoe Williams, or whether Julian Glover should get a tax break for being fucked up the arse by Matthew Parris.

    LOL.


    monkeyfish,

    it says "Poems by Shiona Tregaskis. Words by Paul Gascoigne."

    Has she just used words used by Gascoigne or has Gazza "really gaan aal Woardswurth like"??

    My favourite Gazza story was the one when England played a friendly in New Zealand. At the hotel breakfast table Gazza asksfor a bacon roll. When told they had run out of bacon he replied "Are you telling me I'm in a nation of 50 million sheep and I can't get a bacon roll?"

    ReplyDelete
  53. Evening, Hank. For once, I can't argue with you (much). Your views are 'extreme' - but they're not that popular round here. This is LibDem country. What you need to do here is to constantly abuse Peter Bracken viciously and personally. It gets you brownie points and requires little intellectual effort. Everybody needs a scapegoat, and if you're really inadequate and ineffectual, then somebody to kick is a great thing. I except duke and a few others from this criticism, but perhaps if others chose to engage with Bracken, then there could be a decent dialogue and an interesting informative disussion. To give Peter his due, he does keep coming back to get abuse. I just wish he'd engage and respond a bit more sensibly.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Has she just used words used by Gascoigne or has Gazza "really gaan aal Woardswurth like"??

    Yeah..who knew? The words are selected excerpts from the thoughts of Paul Gasgoine over the years.

    Did you play the second video?

    ReplyDelete
  55. My favourite Gazza story was that time when he got drunk and beat the shit out of his wife. (Although that happened more than once.) What a guy, eh?

    (Good footballer, though.)

    ReplyDelete
  56. Evening all!

    Very interesting stuff this past couple of days.

    Anyone with half a brain will know that while natural disasters may well cause shortages, politics cause famines, at least over the last century and a half or so.

    But it has already been said so well by virtually everyone today.

    Re: Engaging with PB. I will engage with him when his responses to criticism of his polemic amount to considerably more than "well you're just a twat if you don't agree".

    He posts a position statement, we challenge it, he say "yeah well you are all thick commies" or words to that effect, and signally fails to develop any argument in response.

    What's the fucking point?

    Still, Scherf - you keep on telling us how we abuse him viciously and personally - I am sure if you type it enough times it will make it true... :o)

    While we are on the subject of Indians, saw this bunch of extremely talented weirdos and misfits this afternoon.

    Sunday Drivers

    I like their mottos on their MySpace page:

    At awkward moments, carefully timed flatulence will diffuse band tension.

    Knitting is a great way of filling in empty time during gigs and practices. However, it can interfere with playing an instrument.

    A wet heel (saliva will do) provides a non-slip surface on which to play the sitar .

    Female band members look better in corsets than male.

    Hunger is never sated by a single samosa, no matter how well intended

    ReplyDelete
  57. @Princess: I'm not sure if it still exists but there was an "initiative" known as "Common Purpose" within the Civil Service a few years back (about 2000)
    I only know because my partner at the time was a Civil Servant and she talked about it quite a lot.
    I assumed it was a perfectly innocent little scheme thought up my some policy wonk in Whitehall.
    However I've heard some people think it had a more sinister agenda.
    (and, yes it was mentioned in the same sentence as "NWO")

    ReplyDelete
  58. I've been taking a look at the Common Purpose website.

    All that is missing for it to be a real cult is L.Ron and Thetans...

    ReplyDelete
  59. While we are on the subject of Indians

    9 million dead, 8 million dead, various famines in India and Ireland (4 million dead), whatever. Empire, colonialism, genocide.

    You're a laugh a minute, BB. Hunger is never sated by a single samosa, no matter how well intended Ha ha! That cheered me up no end, you fucking idiot. :0)

    ReplyDelete
  60. Evening scherfig - not sure why you should kick off with "For once, I can't argue with you (much)".

    Damn stupid thing to say, tbh. We agree on most things. The only thing we disagree about is who's more left-wing and more intelligent.

    And, to be frank, there's not even an argument to be had there.

    ReplyDelete
  61. God I'm so sorry. I should really have not gone out and enjoyed myself at all today with the world in such a parlous state.

    I should have stayed at home with my hair shirt on beating myself with a sharpened birch twig instead.

    Silly me. How vacuous of me to post links to some music I heard and liked.

    FFS.

    ReplyDelete
  62. The only thing we disagree about is who's more left-wing and more intelligent.

    And, to be frank, there's not even an argument to be had there.


    Well said, Hank. No argument there - it's obvious, innit?

    ReplyDelete
  63. BB, you can do whatever you like here. I didn't even click on your music link (I rarely do). And please don't conflate your 'hair shirt and birch twig' bollocks with the fact that there has been a serious discussion here about colonialism and famine, as if we are at fault for not appreciating your 'humourous' contribution and your vacuous music. Perhaps you should consider reading the thread and not posting when you're pissed. Just a thought.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Perhaps you should consider, dear Scherfig, that nobody died and made you President of CiF and I will post what I fucking like.

    And I am not pissed, I have been driving this evening. Not that that is any of your business.

    Scroll on by if you don't like what I type. You know it makes sense. If you had bothered to read what I typed, I did throw my two penn'orth in on the subject and acknowledged that others have already said what I wanted to say.

    So why not just ignore me?

    I'll return the favour.

    ReplyDelete
  65. "He posts a position statement, we challenge it, he say "yeah well you are all thick commies" or words to that effect, and signally fails to develop any argument in response."

    With that, I'll take my leave ladies and gents - not because the lady of the court is right, though she might be, but because my five year old needs me more. Now. This minute.

    It's been my pleasure. It really, truly, madly has. Kisses and fond farewells. xx

    ReplyDelete
  66. Oh and you say "we" when you know fucking well that I meant you, personally, scherf, not anyone else. Because you are a miserable fucker who, despite despising me as much as you do, cannot help but comment on anything I type.

    Get over it.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Fuck me! Rancorous romantic triangles, the more left wing than you game... I love this place!

    You're a cool looking geezer, Hank. I had a feeling you'd look something like that. Great link to the musical yesterday: made me feel nostalgic, as did the photo of you all in the pub.

    ReplyDelete
  68. scherfig

    It has been alleged that with the aid of both the Eire government and Irish Catholic church up to 200 nazis were given shelter after WW2 in Eire.Most of them were there only temporarily before going off to destinations in Latin America.Yet between 1933-1945 neutral Eire granted asylum to just 60 Jews.And this has been put down to the rabid anti-semitism in the upper echelons of Eire society including DeValera himself.

    It was absolutely right that DeValera kept Eire out of WW2.But his record of turning his back on the Jews whilst later sheltering Nazis is pretty shameful to put it mildly.

    ReplyDelete
  69. And bollocks to you too scherfig for giving peter bracken tips on his style, weel you did actually demolish everything now I think back !

    No, I treasure peter's style just as it is, a source of delight.

    So lay off the good works !

    ReplyDelete
  70. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  71. ....Perhaps you should consider reading the thread and not posting when you're pissed. Just a thought.

    Bloody hell scherf - pompous or what? Yes, there's a serious discussion which has been interesting to follow but it doesn't mean everyone has to stand to attention and be sneered at for posting about other things.

    ReplyDelete
  72. LOL frog!

    If it's any consolation, I don't consider myself to be a LibDemmer since the Coalition. Thing is, unless New Labour do something sensible when they elect a new leader - which is unlikely - I am stuck again not knowing who to vote for.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Don't flatter yourself, BB. It's true that I don't like your online persona, but I very rarely comment on your 'typing' here (where I can) and never on Cif (where I cannot). You attribute an importance to yourself which I don't share. I do think that you are an egotist who needs affirmation from anonymous people on the internet. I do think that you spend an inordinate amount of time on the internet seeking both adoration and hatred. I think you define yourself by the attention you get. I think you should spend more time with your family and less with your netbook.

    I allow myself to say these things to you only because you called me a 'miserable fucker', and this could not be further from the truth. I'm OK in the real world, and this stuff is just a bit of a hobby for me. If you take it too seriously, then it can be a problem. Maybe you should think about that. If being queenbee on UT and being a big name on Cif is what you aspire to, then I feel sorry for you.

    ReplyDelete
  74. GIYUS on fuckin fire.

    scherfig

    you fuckin feminazi..

    what about this little diamond?

    #PAUL GASCOIGNE BEATS ALCOHOL ADDICTION WITH BISCUITS#

    http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/view/145538/Paul-Gascoigne-beats-alcohol-addiction-with-biscuits/

    can't have been Jaffacakes..coc they're fuckin cakes etc

    ReplyDelete
  75. Hey Sheff - sounds like you have a good night on Friday. That Hank Scorpio is a handsome-looking fella too. :o)

    ReplyDelete
  76. Gawd knows what I'd a done too, but been disenfranchised for decades. Taht OrangeBook told me the libs were the wrong way, shame, they could have become different to the other two parties. I'm a bit anar for the Greenies but they're my nearest possibility.

    Anyway I have cabin fever, so to the pub ! XX

    ReplyDelete
  77. God, Sherfig, you sound like Bitey. Get over yourself.

    Not going to give you the pleasure of responding further than that.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Is P-Brax having his titfer boiled, fried, or like his arguments, half baked?

    ReplyDelete
  79. That's enough fulsome derision from you young turm :)

    ReplyDelete
  80. Scherf Perhaps you should consider reading the thread and not posting when you're pissed. Just a thought

    LOL! doesn't everyone do that on here? Well I don't but nearly everyone else does - and very entertaining it is too ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  81. BB

    Yeah our Mr Scorpio ain,t a bad looking bloke.Trouble is on that picture it looks like he has let off an extremely smelly fart.And just as the picture was taken everyone else at the table was protecting themselves from the fallout.

    ReplyDelete
  82. monkeyfish,

    that second Gazza video is car crash stuff- "Ah swear on me life, ah had the white house on the phone to me."

    Was this a documentary or something? Painful.

    As for GIYUS, it's the GIYUS 12" Megamix Stars on 45 limited edition tonight.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Paul, I'm a bit confused about your post on DeValera. Does it something to do with my posts on the Indian famine of 1878? Please advise.

    Sheffpixie, you're quite right - I was a bit pompous and shouldn't have sneered at people making jokes about samosas while other people were discussing famines in India where tens of millions of people died. It reminds me a bit of the joke about the nigger and the bullock. Perhaps I'll throw that one in when we have a serious discussion about colonialism in Africa. And nobody will take offence.

    ReplyDelete
  84. I'M NOT PISSED !" ..... yet ..... ;)

    bifn !

    ReplyDelete
  85. Fuck the lot of you - I will not be objectified.

    Monkeyfish is a bit of a catch though. He needed my help to beat the girls off him at the hotel.

    ReplyDelete
  86. "I was a bit pompous and shouldn't have sneered at people making jokes about samosas while other people were discussing famines in India where tens of millions of people died. It reminds me a bit of the joke about the nigger and the bullock. Perhaps I'll throw that one in when we have a serious discussion about colonialism in Africa. And nobody will take offence. "


    Scherfig (c)

    Taking disproportionate offence on the internet since 1997.

    ZOMG!! SHE MENTIONED AN INDIAN BAND'S JOKE ABOUT SAMOSAS WHEN WE WERE BEING SO SERIOUS! PEOPLE DIED! THEY DIED!

    HOW COULD SHE BE SO CRUEL AND HEARTLESS AND INCONSIDERATE!!!!!!!!111111ONES!!

    Is that what you meant to say, Scherf? Certainly sounded like it to me...

    You big girl's blouse.

    ReplyDelete
  87. God, Sherfig, you sound like Bitey. Get over yourself.

    Well, no, BB. That's a terrible thing to say! I'm offended. I only dislike your dishonesty and your hypocrisy, I don't hate you as a person (I don't even know you). Bitey is a fruitcake, and as you know, I have defended you against him many times (sometimes practically).

    ReplyDelete
  88. scherfig

    ''Paul, I'm a bit confused about your post on DeValera. Does it something to do with my posts on the Indian famine of 1878? Please advise.''

    Nah-you were in the middle of a spat with BB at the time.And as you had previously mentioned you were going to write something about IRELAND for UT2 i thought i,d mention it.Especially as i,m also interested in Irish history meself.And given the fact that it,s only relatively recently that i learned of the role the Eire government allegedly played in sheltering Nazis after 1945.

    So to summarize my post to you had absolutely nothing to do with your post on the Indian famine.But then i,m not sure your spat with BB did either.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Oh ffs scherf...wring your tortured soul out will you and have another drink. You're not the only person on the UT who gives a shit...

    ReplyDelete
  90. Hi Hank

    Objectified ? Hmm- Just as I was about to say how cute you are.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Bracken and all the other neo-liberal revisionists, with their laughably transparent, self-serving drivel about 'benign' colonialism and 'moral' government irresistibly remind me of this:

    "To be governed is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so.

    To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished.

    It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed, and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonoured. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality."


    -- P-J. Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century, translated by John Beverly Robinson (London: Freedom Press, 1923), pp. 293-294.



    ...and that is the agenda of the Brackens and Fergusons and their ilk, which is why they should be villified, mocked, scorned, abused, insulted, slapped-down and treated with contempt.

    Engage with them? Fuck that. When a fox raids your hen-house, you don't 'engage' with it: you shoot the bastard. The neo-liberal fox intends to not only raid your hen-house: it intends to make you pay for the privilege.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Hi leni - "cute"? Bambi was cute. Cute? What's the chances of me leading the fucking revolution being cute? Lenin wasn't cute.

    I'm not cute. I bear the marks of capitalist oppression. And I don't even follow the "bracken moisturising programme".

    I'm not worth it.

    @scherfig - ha ha. Step away from the bottle, mate.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Men have not, at bottom, been contending about forms of government. Writers and orators have; but the mass of nations do not enter into theories; they look to the practical effects. They have been seeking such a change as will render their lives more happy and less humiliating, with very little regard as to names and forms." (Cobbett)

    ReplyDelete
  94. OK, BB. Let's call a truce. I'm often angry, but sometimes nice. Here's a song for you (and everybody else) -
    coney island baby

    ReplyDelete
  95. Sheff

    In response to your question yesterday yes i have heard of the Everyone Group...i think it was you that posted a link....;)
    I see the Italian govt has deported a woman to Nigeria where she faces the death penalty.....this is against EU law of course....they have appealed to Frattini but the man's a smarmy jerk with little interest in human rights.......

    ReplyDelete
  96. paul, it was indeed my intention to do a UT2 piece some time ago, but I reconsidered due to the fact that UT2 attracts very little traffic or comments. It didn't seem worth the effort and the research it would involve. It's easier to whinge daily on UT about the state of the world and how shit Cif is. So why bother?

    ReplyDelete
  97. "I'm often angry, but sometimes nice."

    Oh for fuck's sake, scherfig, the world's not short of nice people.

    Don't fecking apologise for what you are. We need angry people. And we need people to get angry.

    If you're motivated enough to log on and express an opinion, then surely to fucking Christ you're ready to get angry about things.

    I've got more time for Mail readers than the twats who buy the Guardian and support the coalition.

    At least the Mail readers have got some fucking principles and backbone.

    ReplyDelete
  98. scherf

    Truce it is. :o)

    I was a tad harsh with my last post, I admit. I have not been around since Thurs and wasn't deliberately changing the subject, just sharing what I thought were good choonez from a bonkers band (who are Indian/English Folk fusion)

    Certainly didn't mean to offend anyone.

    (And Frog2, j'suis bourree, bourree, bourree de bons intentions... I am not boozing! )

    ReplyDelete
  99. An attempt at a powerful and emotive comment, mishari. But totally meaningless and over the top - you mix your metaphors. You can't shoot an argument and you can't engage with a fox. You sound like Bracken at his most pretentious and obscure. But I take your point. Try again. Please.

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  100. gandolpho

    "I see the Italian govt has deported a woman to Nigeria where she faces the death penalty.....this is against EU law of course..."

    :o(

    Trouble is - and you only have to look on any chosen immigration/asylum thread on CiF for confirmation - the majority of people really couldn't give a shit about what will happen to her when she is deported. And governments rely on this when the economic cycle means that there are two many home-grown unemployed for the system to remain sustainable.

    You can't treat people like commodities to use and abuse. But that is what the Neo Lib system does - they need a flexible work-force to keep wages down. They will import immigrants when the economy is growing. And then discard people like used kleenex when the market is struggling, while simultaneously allowing right-wing groups to stir up hatred against them so no-one will complain.

    I wasn't joking the other day when I said that I would like to see the EDL getting the same treatment from police that the Climate Campers do. Thing is, the former is useful to the government at the moment, so it won't happen. They will be allowed to rampage throughout the country, stirring up hatred against, essentially, people from the indian sub-continent, because they represent the biggest non-EU migrant workforce we have right now. So when they start deporting them by the boatload because domestic unemployment is so high that it is unsustainable to pay that much dole money, nobody will bat a bloody eyelid because they are all "dangerous muslims" who are "a threat to our way of life".

    Makes me spit, as my Mum used to say.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Hank

    "At least Mail readers have some principles and backbone".

    Shame they don't have brains, but you're right...

    ReplyDelete
  102. Hank, I can't help it! I'm a nice guy (but tough) and everybody loves me in real life! But not here! Because everybody here has to be in agreement with everybody else more or less all the time. That doesn't really work for me. It's a bit boring.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Evening Martyn

    Know anything about the Salamon Paradigm ?

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  104. Yeh, I fucking hate it when people mix their metaphors. It really matters.

    You know what, scherf, after all this time, I really don't know what you think about anything. I know that you're a flat track bully. Other than that....

    You're a critic and a cynic. But as for what you believe in - who knows? I don't, and I'm pretty astute. Not Wall Street trader astute, but pretty astute by any other standard.

    In all the time you've posted on Cif or on here, you've never actually explained what it is you stand for, what you believe in, what you care about.

    I've got a bit of a soft spot for you, scherf, but even allowing for that, I think you're a bit of an egotistic vacuous twat.

    ReplyDelete
  105. BB

    ''It reminds me a bit of the joke about the nigger and the bullock. Perhaps I'll throw that one in when we have a serious discussion about colonialism in Africa. And nobody will take offence. "

    Fair enough and there,s also the joke about the fat bird who looks like Vanessa Feltz.We can throw that one in as well when we,re having a serious discussion about morbid obesity.I,m sure no one will take offence at that either!

    ReplyDelete
  106. Buenas, Martyn.

    That, "caffe con leche" and "dos elados por favor" is about the sum total of my spanish.

    ReplyDelete
  107. IMHO Anger, sentimentalism and other emotions in battle, make people much more vulnerable to the "enemy".

    A lesson I learned from Denis Healey, many years ago.

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  108. BB

    take a look at this for the situation on let's say indentured labour in Italy.........

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  109. Paul

    Do you think for a minute - nay, a nano second - that it was me who said that about the n..... and the bullock?

    I was quoting scherf.

    You should bloody know me by now, hon. SRSLY. Grrrrrrr....

    ReplyDelete
  110. Hi Leni!

    Hi BB .. muy buenas .. I used to work for a guy from Chicago, whose knowledge of Spanish was limited to "mas booze por favor".

    ReplyDelete
  111. What is more important? A Nigerian woman being deported from Italy or millions of people unemployed in the UK? Give reasons for your answer and justify why you should spend more time on the internet discussing one thing over the other. Marks will be awarded for how 'caring' you are perceived to be. Marks will be deducted for prioritising practical solutions to domestic problems.

    ReplyDelete
  112. >> Leni said...

    >> Know anything about the Salamon Paradigm ?

    No. This wouldn't be the "we'll go half on the kid" paradigm, would it?

    ReplyDelete
  113. BB, I loved that Sunday Driver website, they seem like my kind of people, not taking themselves too seriously. The quote about the samosa was very funny and almost akin to something an old friend once said to me.

    ReplyDelete
  114. I thought my comment was pretty straight-forward, scherf. Orwell used pigs, I used a fox. It wasn't meant to be 'powerful' or 'emotive', so spare me your critique of imagined qualities that don't meet with your approval.

    Comparing it with Bracken's tortured prose was a low-blow, but I gather that's what you specialise in. Fine. Better a dirty fighter than some nit-wit telling Bracken that he 'writes well'.

    You seem to be in a very ugly mood this evening. Not good, clean anger: just carping and petty, like an old man with intractable back-pain. If you find this comment equally irritating, buy some smack, have a drink, a wank, a fistfight...whatever.


    The real problem was lucidly set out by Rudolf Rocker almost 70 years ago:

    "Political rights do not originate in parliaments; they are, rather, forced upon parliaments from without. And even their enactment into law has for a long time been no guarantee of their security.

    Just as the employers always try to nullify every concession they had made to labour as soon as opportunity offered, as soon as any signs of weakness were observable in the workers' organizations, so governments also are always inclined to restrict or to abrogate completely rights and freedoms that have been achieved if they imagine that the people will put up no resistance.

    Even in those countries where such things as freedom of the press, right of assembly, right of combination, and the like have long existed, governments are constantly trying to restrict those rights or to reinterpret them by juridical hair-splitting.

    Political rights do not exist because they have been legally set down on a piece of paper, but only when they have become the ingrown habit of a people, and when any attempt to impair them will meet with the violent resistance of the populace . Where this is not the case, there is no help in any parliamentary Opposition or any Platonic appeals to the constitution."


    - Rudolf Rocker, Anarcho-Syndicalism: Theory & Practice, 1947

    Personally, I believe that the general populace--'doped with religion and sex and TV' in John Lennon's words--have lost Rocker's 'in-grown habit' of liberty. Witness the ease with which the New Labour chipped away at civil liberties with hardly a peep out of the general populace.

    Goebbel's 'big lie' is as effective today as it ever was: tell the people they're under some terrible threat, frighten them enough and watch how fast they knuckle under to a suspension of habeus corpus, how quickly they turn informer and spy, how rapidly they come to hate the 'other', the 'stranger' in their midst. As Charles Mackay put it in his indispensible Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds:

    "Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."

    Of course, in the age of nuclear weapons, people might not have the luxury of 'recovering their senses slowly, one by one.'
    That's why the charlatans and shills like Bracken and Ferguson are a menace, as mediocre as they are: they peddle a lie, a lie that seeks to lull people into ovine acquiescence, dull-eyed and ready for the slaughter. Benign governments and ethical corporations, the toxic neo-liberal fantasy: fuck that for a lark.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Hi habib, webcamming tonight?

    ReplyDelete
  116. >> scherfig said...
    >> What is more important? A Nigerian woman
    >> being deported from Italy or millions of
    >> people unemployed in the UK?

    Probably depends on who you are.

    I was CND for years, then I heard Lynton Kwesi Johnson reciting Di Eagle An' Di Bear, and thinking "Jeezuz, that just destroyed a few of my long held preconceptions in 5 minutes".

    ReplyDelete
  117. DI EAGLE AND DI BEAR

    Di Eagle and di Bear a keep a living in fear
    Of the impending nuclear warfare
    But as a matter of fact believe it or not
    Plenty people don't care whether it imminent or not
    Or who di first one to attack or if the human race
    [aba] survive or not
    For those whom is aware
    Them life already coming like a nightmare

    And you can see it everywhere
    The famine and the fear
    The doubt and the drought
    Desperation and despair
    And you can see it all around
    The massacres abound
    Dead bodies all around
    The atrocities abound
    Missing persons can't be found
    Dictators get dethroned
    New clowns are quickly found

    ReplyDelete
  118. Martyn

    No - to do with 3rd sector . Blurring of boundaries between state and 3rd sector. Not to worry.

    ReplyDelete
  119. Misha

    Your last para reminded me of this by Pink Floyd

    Habib - they are fab, don't take themselves seriously at all, wear silly costumes, have a sitar and a harp, ffs, and played a song about a pet rat that made me smile! :o)

    scherf - ok, I'll bite.

    In the scheme of things, one Nigerian woman is not more important than millions on the dole here, even if she is being deported to her death, as Gandolpho said.

    But don't you think that, just by asking that question, you are buying into the whole neo-lib schtick?

    Ideally, we would have a world where people didn't need to up sticks, uproot themselves from everything they know and love, leave their families and friends behind and go and work or seek refuge in a country hundreds of miles away. But Capital demands that they do - if there are not enough indigenous people to ensure that wages are kept as low as possible to ensure the highest yield for the owners of Capital.

    This invariably leads to indigenous people being on the scrap-heap - and while the good times roll, that is sustainable through benefits.

    The problem is one of global movement of Capital and finance, which demands that either the people move to do the jobs more cheaply, or the jobs move to where the people are cheap.

    Vilifying immigrants is buying into the whole disgusting process.

    But just because someone cares about what happens to immigrants once they are past their sell-by date, doesn't mean that they have used up all their available compassion for the indigenous population who are on the scrap-heap in the first place.

    Like I say - is it really a zero sum game?

    ReplyDelete
  120. If you've got a credit card, Hank.

    ReplyDelete
  121. scherfig

    "What is more important? A Nigerian woman being deported from Italy or millions of people unemployed in the UK?"

    Or we could ask what's more important? the life of MP Özlem Cekic or millions of people unemployed in britain?

    How many marks did you get for that? nothing to do with practical solutions for "domestic problems" there.......

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  122. Ha ha, that was a pretty good post, mishari.

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  123. Hi Leni, I've located some material but it's all in Spanish.

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  124. @BB-Fair enough but how was i supposed to know it was Scherf,s joke .And actually we don,t really know each other hon!

    @scherfig-if you,re gonna make jokes about niggers and bullocks there ain,t too much i can,t do about it.As with BB i don,t know you so i,ll either ignore it or respond in kind.But please no more dropping in here lecturing everyone about what you perceive to be our faults.Especially when it comes to lecturing people about sexism etc.Cos that makes you a fucking hypocrite given your suspect taste in jokes.

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  125. "If you've got a credit card, Hank."

    You bore me, habib. You haven't got an opinion worth a price.

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  126. leni

    would this be any help on Salamon Paradigm... it's a pdf doc

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  127. Hank

    You've got to admit Habib's riposte was funny, though. :o)

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  128. Hank

    Fuckin hell man..too much anger..dunno what's got you lot so riled..this place is becomin' internecineblog.org..shame on you all

    thing's aint so bad...the coalition aren't as evil as you're makin out..come the autumn, we'll find the 40% figure was just a PR stunt..yeah so fuck?

    ..there'll be cuts..but last minute reprieves for that fuckin incoherent, indefinable quango that Rushbridger's missus spends an afternoon a month on..and the subsidised call-centre poet-in-residence scheme which Toynbee's daughter runs..and they'll probably chuck a few more quid the Art's way which'll bring the 'Left Liberal' media back into the cheerleading team..and we'll all be happy again

    ...cept them sicko work-shy scroungers who deserve everything they've got comin...bastards bankrupted the world remember?.. with their decadent nutritional requirements and their reckless abandon down Netto

    ..PAYBACK!!!

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  129. Paul

    Nobody knows anyone unless they have met IRL. But reading people's posts tend to give a fair idea about what their views are. Which is what I meant by "you know me well enough by now".

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  130. Martyn

    it is interesting stuff - alarming.

    First came across it at a conference in W Wales about 5 years ago. Rep from one of the vol umbrella orgs was talking about it.

    Some of the bigger vol orgs saw opportunities for enhanced funding and roles. This is hapening - but parts of traditional vol networks will lose out to private companies.

    The 3rd. sector is no longer all about not for profits - much of it is about control, money and developing their own political and economic cultures. They know how to protect themselves.

    Did you know there is a suggestion to take Scottish water out of public ownership - transfer it to a so caled not for profit - at a huge fee ?

    The vol. orgs are not going to fight this gvt. - the bigger ones will survive - they will let smaller ones go to the wall to protect themselves.

    orry - rant over. Just something I'm interested in and have given a lot of time to.

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  131. OK guys - time I wasn't here. School tomorrow.

    Night night x

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  132. "You haven't got an opinion worth a price."

    that's a very capitalist thing to say Hank, I guess Scherfig wins "the Most Socialist on UT 2010" award, after all...

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  133. Hank

    ..oh yeah..re. anonymity in the photo

    ..you sayin I shouldn't have hidden the face?

    ..you really want this site overrun with groupies?

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  134. mishari

    Lovely bit of Proudhon! reminded me of Shelley's "pelting wretches":

    They have supplied us with two aristocracies. The one, consisting of great land proprietors and merchants... The other is an aristocracy of attornies and excisemen and directors and government pensioners, usurers, stock jobbers, country bankers, with their dependents and descendents. These are a set of pelting wretches...

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  135. Well, Hank, what can I say? I'm a socialist, but not really a Marxist. I don't really believe in any 'isms because none of them have the complete solution, but I believe in parts of various 'isms. I'm sceptical of anyone who slavishly follows any party line. I have lost faith in all political parties whether they are Irish, British or Danish. I believe that the only way that I can change the world for the better is to live a 'good' life according to my own values, and try to influence other people to think about what they do. I mentioned here a week or so ago that I had spent some time trying to convince some working-class Danes that immigrants weren't just 'perkere' and 'nigere' and so on. I think I changed some minds (being an immigrant myself here). Montana's reaction - 'do you want a fucking medal?' Well no, I don't, but you do what you can.

    I'm under no illusions as to what I can acheive in this life, and I'm quite aware that ranting on the internet will acheive nothing. What I try to accomplish is to make my children understand how the world really works. I have taught them respect for others, no matter who they are. My son is 16, my daughter 12, and they are good people. Not selfish, not spoiled, not unaware of how lucky they are in this society. Not unaware of how tough it is for other people in this world. And this is the best I can do - on a personal level I try to make the world better by teaching my children how to make the the world better. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. So I've taken a few steps already. There won't be a utopia or a perfect world in my lifetime, and probably not my childrens', but we'll hopefully be a few steps closer.

    And that's my politics, Hank, The personal is political (to twist a feminist axiom a bit). I do what I can on a very small scale.

    (And that's also why I despise most of the very upfront boring sound-bite merchants who parade their acceptable credentials for the approbation of their brain-dead peers who have never had an original thought in their lives. And unfortunately, there are quite a few of that type on this particular thread. They should drop the bullshit and the easy option and just try to think.)

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  136. You seem to be in a very ugly mood this evening. Not good, clean anger: just carping and petty,

    Mishari, I'll give you that, but that's more or less me all the time now (not quite sure why). I know it's pissed everybody off here, so I don't post much any more, and when I do nearly everybody ignores me. I wonder what's going on? I do have respect for you as a poster, btw. I love your prose as well - nearly always an absolute pleasure to read.

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  137. Mishari -- I liked ' When a fox raids your hen-house, you don't 'engage' with it: you shoot the bastard. " So I don't give free advice to Bracken to imake him appear less nutty and dishonest and don't debate at length either. Well don't debate at all, same as MAM . Liked your 23.26 too. Dispiriting but true. No point in pretending the 'masses' are going to rise . Society too complex and atomised.

    scherfig 00.09 agreed on selecting from the 'isms and the anti-tribalism. My kids are pretty awake non-consumers, and most of my real friends are more their age too, and we work co-operatively building their houses etc. They helped me when I was more disabled, wouldn't take money, I now help back. They are very politically aware but see little outlet so mostly we get on with our small scale activities.

    I keep a close eye on finance and economics , where i can explain some things to them, but for the mom we're all watching to see how bad it all gets ...

    nn all !

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  138. @monkeyfish - yeh, but that Spanish bird was fit. (-;

    @habib - who fucking cares? You've never said anything on here or over there worth responding to. You're a waste a cyberspace.

    If it wasn't for half-arsed politically correct twats who were too polite to tell a Paki that you were talking shite you'd been gone long since.

    Seeya wanker!

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  139. @scherfig - I don't care, mate. I'm not interested. I'm too old.

    It fucking amazes me that people like you and Habib care about my opinion.

    I don't toss and turn in bed at night wondering what scherfig or habib think of me. I do n't fucking care.

    You should care less.

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  140. You can't win a battle of wits, so you resort to the nasty little shit you are Hank?

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  141. I guess you'll remove that comment, because you want people to think you are basically a good man. I thought so, too, till then.

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  142. Blimey, does it usually get like this?

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  143. I don't care what you think of me, habib. You'll never "win a battle of wits" with me without playing the race card.

    You never have done.

    And every time you've been exposed as a hypocrite, you've played the victim.

    You really are a fucking joke, Habib.

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  144. No Martyn, It doesn't, people are okay here. When some get shown to be complete pricks, they get angry.

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  145. whatever you say, Hank. Let's see if you leave your post up?

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  146. Hank

    Sorry for butting in but do you think i,m tolerated here for the same reason you think Habib is.I,ve got my reasons for asking and i know you,ll give me a straight answer.

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  147. Which post, Habib? I'm not taking any of my posts down.

    I'm guessing that you're pissing your pants that I've used the word "paki" in a victim mentality context.

    Well, fuck me, it turns out that outside of Guardianistaland, there's a hell of a lot of people who think that there's a hell of a lot of people of Pakistani origin who are earning money without paying the taxes which are due on thaty money, or not earning money at all but claiming massive amounts of housing benefit which they're not entitled to.

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  148. "Blimey, does it usually get like this?"

    Sometimes it does Martyn but I don't interfere in personal spats.
    Non of my business.

    I usually wait for the dust to settle and ask when it is ok to peep above the parapet!

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  149. @paul - hey, look, I'm really not interested in the ongoing argument that you and habib are having.

    You lot are part of the problem, not the solution.

    If you haven't got that yet, then don't fucking bother responding to my posts.

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  150. "Which post, Habib? I'm not taking any of my posts down."
    Good for you, stand your ground, Hank.

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  151. @habib - so when are you and montana getting married?

    Or are you full of shit?

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  152. Hank

    Me and habib have sorted our differences.And why you thought i would have wanted to involve you in that is beyond me.But thanks for your honesty.At least you,ve shown yourself in your true colours so i know what i,m dealing with here.

    Nite

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  153. Hank, you are off on one tonight, but I'm sure people will still love you, because they will see what I once saw in you. But what I've seen in you just now means that I will never ever admire you again. No loss to you.

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  154. Hank

    Oh and for the record if you ever come back to waddya under whatever guise you choose and start picking on the likes of Hermione and KT again i swear to god i,ll eat you alive cyber style.You might think i,m part of the 'lot' that is the problem but you don,t phase me,never have done and never will do.

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  155. Habib

    You look after yourself man!

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  156. That of course should have read FAZE and not PHASE but there you go.None of us are perfect.

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  157. Does it bother you, habib, that people still love me even when I go off on one?

    Turns out that you'll never admire me again because I don't do the PC thing. I never did do the PC thing. I'm a socialist, not a fucking equal opps Guardian-reading lovey.

    Your problem, habib, is that you identify yourself by your race or religion.

    Paul does the same.

    That's why the pair of you fall out with each other. You're a pair of fucking idiots.

    You both need to read Kenan Malik.

    As for the rest, habib whimpering about the fact that I called him a bad name...Get over it. Wise up and stop playing a fucking victim.

    It really fucking amazes me how stupid you two are. Don't you want to learn about anything?

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  158. Not about your world, Hank. Too much bigotry and hate there for me.

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  159. Paul and I will argue again, I'm sure, but I have the feeling we will always be able to laugh about it afterwards.

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  160. "You lot are part of the problem, not the solution."

    Could you explain what you mean by that remark Hank?

    Imagine you are telling a story to a twelve year old 'cos I'm a bit thick when it comes to economics and politics!

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  161. Hank

    You,re a joke Hank.I accept there,s no point confronting you head on here because this is your patch so to speak.But whilst you seem to slag off CIF ad nauseam you do seem to like spending time over there under different guises.Now i,m not gonna grass you up cos that,s not my style.But if i,m ever on-line there whilst you,re laying into harmless people like Hermione and KT i,ll face you down.And let,s see what happens then eh.Wanker!

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  162. Anyway i,m off now.

    Nite all

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  163. @Habib -get over yourself, you precious little prick.

    Have you spent your whole life being defined as a victim?

    You and Paul really need to get together.

    Ideally with Montana.

    All the fucking liberal victims in one place.The poor put-upon minorities who never read Marx and never understood that politics was always about economics.

    I am sick and fucking tired, Habib, Paul and Montana, of hearing your grievances, your petty little whinges. I don't care.

    The feminists, the gay activists and the ethnic minorities have won their battles, but they would never have won those battles without the Labour movement.

    It would be fucking great if, having won those battles, the feminists, the poofs and the black activists would piss off and give the Labour Party a fighting chance of representing the intertests of working class people, as opposed to middle class minorities.

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  164. @Paul: I'm only posting this because I can't sleep and I value your input but do us all a favour and work out the difference between a comma and an apostrophe!
    I hate to be pedantic about grammar and punctuation and spelling, not least because I could be held to account for my own shortcomings!
    Anyway "Pedants Corner" over for tonight!
    As you were!

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  165. Hello my pedantic friend

    Dropped by for a chat but too many bullets flying.

    So I'll just say night x

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  166. @chekhov - no, sorry. I can't explain what I mean.

    @Paul - I've not posted on Cif for three months. As for "facing me down", as I said, bless ya. You really can't decide whether you want to suck my dick or take me on.

    Fact is, Paul, I've got better offers on both fronts.

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  167. I'll say good night as well Leni x

    And goodbye for a while. Too many fucking idiots on here.

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  168. @chekhov - no, sorry. I can't explain what I mean.

    Don't believe that for a minute.

    However I could believe; "I don't want to explain" which would make more sense.

    Come off it Hank: "I can't explain what I mean" isn't going to "cut the mustard" with your record.

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  169. Hello Leni....Goodnight Leni...always a pleasure to make your acquaintance as our ships pass in the night!

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  170. "Too many fucking idiots on here."
    And one less if you leave... again.

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  171. Habib

    Seems like you and me are on the same side after all despite any differences we,ve had.Next time they have a piss up in Sheffield i think i might just go up there to see whether 'Miss Scorpio'has got the bottle to match that cyber gob of hers.Anyway in the meantimehere,s an uplifting tune to finish the night off.

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  172. I love that song, Paul. I think you and I will always call each other names, but we'll never be just plain shitty.

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  173. Oh, you two are a marriage made in heaven xx

    "Seems like you and me are on the same side after all mwah mwah..."

    Pitiful.

    Laughable.

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  174. Hank

    You,ll keep!Now be a good girl and go to bed.You,ve got a nice cushy middle-class job to go to in the morning.

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  175. Habib

    I,m defintely off now.My advice is 'don,t feed the troll'.

    Talk to you soon.

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  176. Good night, Paul, but something has to be said.

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  177. Hi Pabib

    Two minds are better than one, eh?


    Ha ha ha.

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  178. For it would be mean to destroy you any more than you have destroyed yourself.

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  179. I'm sure there will be people who still love your passionate hatred...

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  180. "Hank, find a life."

    Oh fuck off.

    How many times have I come on here and said "hey, HeyHabib, that was a great post"?

    I'm guessing never.

    You're a bland little fucker. You'd like to be a player, but it won't ever happen, and, just like Paul, you kid yourself on that your opinions matter because, every now and then, you give a bit of lip to the big lads.

    There's a lot of whiny little wankers on this site, Habib.

    You don't even stand out from the wanky crowd.

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  181. I guess you never would commend me, what with me being a Paki and all.

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  182. I wanted to meet you, once, I'd feel my life was better if I never did, now.

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  183. And there it is again. The race card. And the victim mentality.

    The only surprise is that Montana hasn't weighed in to support you with a pile of unsubstainable crap.

    Anyway, that's it for me, Habib.

    I am fed up to the back teeth with debating with idiots like you.

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  184. There is race hatred and there are victims of it, Hank. I never thought you would cause it.

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