10 August 2010


Klaatu barada nikto.
-Patricia Neal, The Day the Earth Stood Still


  1. I only found out this evening that the wonderful Patricia Neal passed away on Sunday. Hope my mini-tribute doesn't strike anyone as disrespectful.

  2. Blair's 'A Journey' to be publisjed in a de-luxe red and gold version. Yours for only £150.

    He got a £4.5 million advance for the book!

    I think I'm going to be sick!

    Still I suppose those who ruke us were bound to reward him handsomely for destroying the Labour Party.

    Prefer to spend my money and time on building a new LP out of the ashes.

  3. publisjed????? published!!!!

  4. morning all.

    annetan - was reading recently that a famous cricketer's autobiog has a special edition which uses ink that includes some of his blood.

    now, firstly, bleah. but...

    if blair could be convinced to do the same thing, maybe they could 'make a mistake' in the extraction process, and thus leave him a dessicated husk, bloodless and pale, thus making his physical state representative of his moral state.

    just an idea.

  5. Philippa,

    Or maybe we just up the demand to the point where the publishers have to bleed him dry, a fitting end, no?

  6. "He got a £4.5 million advance for the book!"

    While it’s true generally that political memoirs (even from such colossi who have bestridden, er, bestrodden, er, bestrode, err, the stage as The People’s PM and Prezza) don’t usually fly off the shelves, it remains a fact that Obama’s tome shifted over 700,000 or so, Clinton’s book hit around 385,000 and Mandy’s got off to a flying start, so Random House may even make some money on the £4.6m deal (additionally from the international market, translations, etc). But fundamentally they’re buying publicity and the cachet of having him on the roster, so any money they turn on sales will be a bonus, and not their primary motive.

  7. Bonjour fuckwits !

    Did Deano find the sketch of his dad at the coalface, purported to be there ?

    I re-posted this from BB yesterday at WADDYA --

    9 Aug 2010, 8:09PM
    Contributor PalookavillePlayboy

    I second your call for a decent investigation.

    I really want to know how it can possibly be a legal loophole to go from being an employee of one company to deciding you are a "contractor" on a day rate, then getting another company in the Isle of Man to employ you on the minimum wage, provide you with payslips reflecting this, collect all your contract earnings, skim 10% or 12% off the top as operating costs, then "loan" you the balance of what you have billed each month - with a loan agreement that has no repayment schedule, no interest, and no indication of how they are going to collect on the loan. In fact, the loan is never collected-on. They simply write it off when you die.

    Thing is, you don't have to pay HMRC income tax and national insurance on a loan...

    It's called an Employee Benefits Trust, and as far as I can tell it is illegal to operate in this fashion in the UK. So how is it that people domiciled in the UK can wriggle out of their tax liabilities by operating through the Isle of Man instead?

    Seriously big loophole that needs to be closed pronto. I would love to see Her Majesty's loyal tax inspectors doing their best to close it.

    Nicely specific.

  8. You just know if you opened Blair's book at any page, a black nihilist void will stare back at you.

    anne, from last night.

    I haven't done the coast to coast either- I hadn't realised how long it was. We have all of Wainwrights Lakes books on the shelves and done a lot of the walks. It really is quite uncanny even today how useful the books are.

    A real labour of love, hand drawn, really quite fantastic. And as my father in law tells me, Wainwright was the founder of the Blackburn Rover supporters club, which makes him a legend apparently.

  9. @13thDuke:

    I did the Coast to Coast twice, once "backwards" (from Robin Hood’s Bay to St. Bees), both times under canvas. I’ve done the Pennine Way as well. Both are thoroughly recommended if you ever get the chance, particularly the Coast to Coast.

    I’ve also done my fair share of outdoor yomping round the Brecon Beacons (courtesy of HM Queen), Snowdonia etc. I like a bit of hill walking, don’t really get much chance to do it these days unfortunately. Maybe when my daughter’s older we’ll do the Wainwright book together, I think she’d enjoy it, she’s quite “outdoors-y” even now at her tender age.

  10. 'The Day the Earth stood still.'

    An interesting film in the context of the 'red scare'. Whereas every other Sci Fi film of the time was warning of the communist menace,'The day the earth stood still' was an appeal to all humanity.

    And I did read an interesting analysis of 'Invasion of the bodysnatchers'.

    Rather than an allegory of communist takeover (the pods making everyone into unthinking drones, just like communism does), it is in fact a satire on McCarthyite/HUAC hysteria and the pressure to conform to American society.

    In saying that, I much prefer Them! with communists starring as enormous, deadly irradiated ants. It also helps that they have a red, ready brek glow.

    Although they kill the nest at the end, the professor warns us that the 'genie is out the bottle' and all mankind is in danger.

    Wasn't life so much simpler then?

  11. Swifty,

    yeah, I do fancy the coast to coast. Being bordered by two such beautiful countries as Scotland and Wales, the English countryside can be easily passed over ;)

  12. @13thDuke:

    Just remember your map and compass if you do the walk mate. I got caught out one evening near Gunnerside Gill by some very nasty weather and spent a damp and uncomfortable night with my bivvy pitched up against the wall of an old lead mine, having “pushed on” when maybe I should’ve laid up in Keld. In the morning I spotted another tent up the valley wall, turned out it was some French tourist who’d got completely lost in the low cloud (sans boussole!), got lucky and found shelter, like me, in the lee of some old mine workings. We walked down to Reeth together.

    One of my favourite parts of the walk.

  13. I did the west highland way in 2002, was good fun. My work is on the StCuthberts way route, so I have to stamp walkers certificates as they trudge thru.

    Watched gentle comedy last night, 'Mid August lunch' Italian film, v. nicely done.

    Klatau Barada Niktau gets recycled thru lots of other movies, Evil Dead2 & 3 for a start, any more film fans?

  14. @turminder:

    I quite fancy doing the St Cuthbert’s Way, we get up to Northumberland once a year, I may do it from Craster one day.

  15. Headline on front of todays D Telegraph sums things up rather well
    Bounty hunters to cut benefit fraud by 1bn

  16. Pixie -- and of course they had to slide this one in too --
    The tough approach is similar to that now taken with incapacity benefit claimants who are being forced to submit to “fit to work” medical tests. Three out of four have been turned down or dropped their claim since the system was introduced in 2008

  17. the pols seems sure that they can use experian et al to 'check' on the expenditure of benefits claimants, but i'd be interested to see what a lawyer thinks of that.

    experian does credit checks, surely - so if you have a credit card it will show up - but that doesn't necessarily show 'expenditure', it just shows debt. if someone's relying on benefits then the fact that they are getting into debt might not necessarily show that they have undisclosed income, just that they are in debt, which doesn't seem to be much help, to me.

    unless of course they are just interested in snooping, rather than achieving what is purportedly the aim of this 'partnership'. excuse me for being cynical...

  18. Be sure to pop in to Harestanes and say hi Swifty! You can crash at my place in Yetholm too should you wish. If I can still afford it.

    Going for another job, temp cover for someone on sabatical, but would be work over the winter. Fingers crossed...

  19. @turminder:

    Much obliged mate, if I do it next year I certainly will pop in, bearing the standard gift of a pie and a pint. I actually once planned to walk the length of Dere Street, from York up to the Antonine Wall, which would have taken in Harestanes, I think. It never happened, but I still think it’d be an interesting walk (if possibly a bit dull in the early stages), doubtless improving as it tracks out of the northern end of the Vale of York past Catterick of ill-omen, and onwards across the Tees to the Wear, Bishop Auckland and beyond.

    Good luck with the job hunting as well.

  20. You can get my e-mail from MW swifty, mi casa, su casa.

    Here's the template for a new housing policy. Two families in the space of one!

  21. @turminder:

    Tha mi fada nad chomain, old son. Wouldn’t impose on you at home but will certainly let you know if I’m up in your neck of the woods next Easter time.

  22. Sheff - sent you an email but in case you don't receive good luck.

    Some very interesting stuff on here (when the mud slinging takes a break) re what to do. Been thinking about this and it is really tough. But it seems we are all disillusioned with politics so we can either look at ways outside of the system to make a difference or join the system and try and change it.

    One of the reasons I like the Greens is because they are small enough for views to count and be heard and at local level they are very democratic. Yes they can lean towards middle class types who obssess over re-cycling bins but if enough people join the party while it is small they can be changed. And in fact they are the only party to talk about social justice, workers rights and welfare - the only party who wrote repeated letters about the welfare reform were the Greens and they also clearly understand the difference between internationalism and globalisation.

    Or people could do as Annetan says and join the Labour party under the new recruitment drive and try to turn it leftwards.

    For anyone in work they can get involved with their union and those out of work can try to find unemployed workers unions etc. Other than that what can be done?

    Will people fight back? Who knows maybe they will or maybe they are too downtrodden to do more than try to keep their own lives on track.

    I think it depends on how bad things get. There was an interesting article recently on some economics site stating that either way we are facing a very tough time - death through either fire or ice. fire would be a quick crash - currency collapses, hyper-inflation, debt defaults that sort of thing. ice is what we will probably get, 5-10 years of ''jobless recovery'' and slowly worsening conditions for most. The author of the article states that governments prefer the latter because they think they can control it whereas history shows that the former causes revolutions, social collapse or a swing to extremism.

    So maybe right now the powers that be are betting that they can 'manage' a five to ten year descent for the ordinary man/woman whilst keeping the system functioning well enough for their mates to still cream their profits off the top.

    I saw that article on the front of The Telegraph Sheff. Fucking madness. The bastards are really, really out for anyone on welfare aren't they?

  23. Here's an astonishing story (in the current poor and unfortunate hating environment) from the Netherlands about a pioneering alcohol dependency unit, the report is in English.

    It's been set up to help homeless alcholics and weans them off alcohol by allowing the patients up to 5 litres of beer a day!

    By giving structure in the beer they are allowed, the thinking is, is that it will wean alcoholics off binge drinking plus it keeps them off the streets where they are abused.

    As the centre psychologists Pieter Puijk and Eugene Schouten say:

    "These will never be model citizens or hardworking taxpayers," Schouten said of his charges.

    "But in this way they have more pleasure in life, they are less of a public nuisance, and they are healthier."

    "We try to give them a dignified existence," added Puijk. "They are just people, after all."

    Fuck me, could you imagine the reception that would get on CiF or the right wing press? Especially the 'trying to give a dignified existence' and acceptance that depsite the fact many may fall back into old ways, it's only human to help?

  24. Is it safe to come back now?

    There's something else I missed here about the failures of private contractors in getting unemployed people into jobs.

    Lots more interesting stuff at that site too.

  25. frog2 - given my current laypersons understanding (non existant) of Henry Moore's modus operandi and system of cross referencing/cataloguing his sketches to worked up drawings........(which for me is very much in the early stages of development) ....I could never be sure if the drawings I saw at the Tate might have been based on me dad. (My researches continue). I'm thinking a kinda of composite of many miners is a possibility.

    They were nonetheless great drawings and well worth a 400 mile drive to see. I want to see more and am researching where they might be...

    I'll do a further note on "The Henry Moore in the draw" (my photo of dad and Henry) in due course and post the actual undisputed photo of dad and Henry at the coalface in 1942 and some of the sketches and drawings that came from the Wheldale pit at that time.

    There is a fine feeling that it really don't matter if the individual drawings were based on me dad or one of his mates. Me dad was, like so many of his generation and background, a modest man and indifferent to the notion of celebrity or fame.

    He would have just been delighted that one of the lads or the collective of which he was a part had been remembered and had been shown at the Tate. Because the works were commissioned as part of the War Artist's recordings some pages of the sketch pad used (with the sketches done)when me dad was there, are now in the British Museum. Some of the finished drawings are in the Imperial War Museum.

    Dad would be smiling - his natural language form was collective "us/we" when talking about work down the pit rather than the presumptuous "I". He saw work as a collective activity so I viewed the wonderful art as depiction/reflection of a kinda "us/we" thing too. A kinda collective pride if you know what I mean...

    I think my father would have preferred the work to be seen as a a composite of the many miners working at Wheldale pit in January 1942 even if a particular 'finished' drawing had been largely based on or inspired by him.

    I liked some words attributed to Henry which were posted in the exhibition near the mining drawings ....something to the effect......."When folk wonder what hell is like I tell them it's like this..."

    Fucking bastards wouldn't let me take photo's so I am not 100% on the exact words and the fuckers had sold out of the catalogues.

    I did steal one of a drawing (before the bastards jumped on me - digital non flash cameras do not damage art works which are publicly owned) which I'll post later.

    I might even follow my own advice and initiate a public information request to the Minister for Culture on damage to Public Art allegedly caused by non flash photography.....

    PCC - glad to read that you are back to posting hope that means that you are having a not too bad day today.

    Sheff - hoping to hear good news from you later.

  26. Afternoon all

    @Duke-a little clip from C4,s Benefit Busters which dealt with the A4E approach to 'helping' the long term unemployed-including the sick and lone parents-back to work.You may need to double click the triangle in the bottom left hand corner to activate the clip.

  27. It's about the right to use the image Deanno, I've had to look at this and the money galleries ask for using their images is a small fortune... Glad you had a good trip. : )

  28. Nice one Duke - FFS beer is only water sugar and flavour mixed with art and the excrement of the yeasts. Alcohol as I understand it (from my home brewing) is a by product of the yeasts life-cycle.

    I despise the UK taxing it let alone withholding it from people in need.

    I would give folk (on benefits/in a hard place) a voucher to attend free Master classes in how to make your own.

    One day I really will finish my brewhouse here at Camp Deano and then resume my artistic endeavors - to find/taste the perfect nectar. It's out there somewhere....

    (I'm not drinking at the minute and am saving my thirst as a kinda of incentive to stimulate/hasten the construction work)

  29. PeterJ - an enquiry my friend? A lapse in my memory leads me to ask if you are the third UT Lancaster alma mater?

    I recall a late night chat sometime ago in which three UT's all found themselves ex Lancaster Uni - I seem to think one of them was a Peter associated with journalism if I'm not mixing memories (certainly not Bracken).

    The other two were habib and me.

  30. deano
    Looking forward to seeing those photos and drawings, have you already put something in the UT2 archive ?

    PeterJ 12.47
    Good to see that "WatchingA4E" blog, well into its second year. When I first came here I suggested "ATOSWatch" to Atoms, but he believed it would be swiftly ' lawyered'.

    An example of Craigmurray torture documents going viral here at Blairwatch Think I came across spikeparis there for the first time. .

  31. "Feminist Mormon Housewives."




  32. I have exchanged contracts on the sale of my house!!! Doing the purchase separately as I'm staying at daughter's until they complete on that. But progress on that also.

    Its taken me 14 months but I have got the asking price!

  33. Thauma - LOL! 'feminist doesn't go with either 'morman' or 'housewife' does it.

    My mother was once heard to remark on being asked (by a salesman) 'Am I speaking to the housewife?'

    'I married a man not a house'

    Didn't call herself one but was a bit of feminist my mum. Not many working class women got to University in the 1930's. Come to think of it not many working class men did!

    My Mum did though 2:1 honours in Welsh History.

    She would have been 99 this September had she lived.

    I still miss her.

  34. ... and brilliant retort from your mum.

  35. All the best with the moves Anne, must be a weight off the mind..

    Reminds me of fave joke..

    Salesman rings bell, child of 3-4 answers, child has brandy in large baloon glass & lit cigar, wearing silk dressing gown.

    Salesman; is your mommy or daddy at home?

    Child; Does it fucking look like it?

    ; )

  36. Turminder

    LOL!Trouble is that the problem of toddlers effing and blinding is becoming more and more common.Down the road from me lives an angelic toddler who calls all and sundry a c-nt.And when people complain to the mum she just laughs and tells people to chill cos the kid don,t know what c-nt means .Worrying!

  37. well done anne!
    (will continue to keep things crossed)
    plus, like the sound of your mum...

    once had the jehovah's witnesses round.
    "hello, little girl, are your Mummy or Daddy in, we'd like to talk to them about Jesus"
    cue dad, in full cassock and bands, belting down the stairs yelling "Kath! Kath! Where are my bloody keys?" and disappearing off towards the kitchen, swearing loudly. Mum comes out of lounge and tells them we're fine for Jesus here, thank you...

    they left fairly sharpish.

  38. That's fucking funny turminder...

  39. Hi Deano - not too bad thanks. Glad the exhibit was well worth the trip. I too have wondered why you cannot take pictures if not using flash in an art gallery?

    These plans to spy on benefits cheats really are the pits - the absolute pits. Its making my blood boil. All that money spent on tracking down the small one percent or so who cheat the system but nothing - absolutely nothing being done about tax avoiders. Stinks!

  40. Anne - that's really goodnews ! Englishwoman on hol at the end of my lane works in an agency, and is totally inundated with offers for sale, and not a buyer in sight. Two people I know here got caught on the market-turn, and ended up with two houses and a bridging-loan, but one has just escaped.

    My dad would have been 90 this year, but actually I don't miss him now. He was a very concentrated and rigorous activist ( on Community Broacasting in Australia ) and of course an almost impossible act to follow. Above all, he was effective, which is easier in a small country too. He worked out which civil servants to concentrate on, and which politicians, and squeezed them. So legislation prepared under the left was passed by the next rightwing gov.

    In our present brit and frog context we have those forebears looking over our shoulders, but only in a way, because we have our own new situation which they didn't have. In a recent post at CiF GreatGrandDad asked whether a skilled artisan was working class or lower middle class, a good question. I suggest that now "working class" as a useful category is a thing of the past .

    Improving the LP from within is useless unless you have some very clear transformational ideas as to where you want to go and why . If I lived in UK and could overcome a lifelong inhibition against joining orgs, I'd go for the Greenies !

  41. PrincessCC -- good to see you. " I too have wondered why you cannot take pictures if not using flash in an art gallery" .

    Well, it's like the thing with the cops forbidding photographing bloody anything you can see on google earth , because it just might conceivably be a terrist target. Silly sods like exercising some tiny Power. I notice that ACPO did a circular against it which was rather encouraging.

  42. @Deano

    Yes, I was at Lancaster in 72-75. Lived for two years in Regent Street by the canal, behind the Infirmary, after a year in Lonsdale.

  43. Cheers PeterJ - you may be able to use your Journalistic skill/knowledge to help me...

    I'm doing some research on a photograph of my father being sketched by Henry Moore in 1942.

    Archive material at the Imp War Museum indicates the photo (taken by a Robert Saidman) was published in a "Illustrated" Magazine on January 24 1942........problem is I can't find any reference to said magazine on Google.

    Is there an archive of now defunct magazines that you know off??

  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

  45. I wondered about ILN frog unfortunately I can't yet find an accessible digital copy dated 24/1/42 to check. Your site is locked down to Organisations and N/A to individuals.

    Am hoping Peter may have an NUJ link....way in

  46. Evening all

    Flying visit - too tired to do anything much. Had a run-in with immigration at Heathrow who were questioning whether my Dad's Phillipino other half should be allowed into the country for the umpteenth time because she put "length of visit 4 weeks" instead of "4 months" on her landing card, which didn't tally with her ticket (which is for 4 months). Instead of accepting that a late-middle-aged woman who has been travelling for 24 hours and for whom English is her second language might have made a mistake, they hauled her off for an "interview" for two hours, and got quite snotty when they spoke to me on the phone and I told them I could vouch for her bona fides because I was a barrister and she was effectively my step-mum.

    Sheff - hope things were ok today. xx

    Turm and Philippa - great stories.

    Everyone else - hi! Too tired to think, need beer swiftly followed by an early night.

  47. For Sheff

    Hope all went well for you today.

  48. @Deano

    That reference doesn't sound quite right; there were a number of illustrated magazines around at the time, but not one just called Illustrated as far as I know. I've checked out Lilliput and the piece isn't there, and it doesn't look like the ILN either. Possibly Picture Post; will keep looking.

    The photographer seems to be Reuben (rather than Robert) Saidman, who has a number of pictures in the National Portrait Gallery and contributed to the Daily Herald as well as other papers.

    More to come. For now, here's a picture of Henry Moore at Wheldale.

  49. Hmm. Picture Post didn't have a feature on Henry Moore until July 1945. Let's keep digging...

  50. Maybe The War Illustrated? The issue dates don't quite match, and the index entries aren't very informative, but it's a possible.

  51. @Deano

    Another find. If you go here and do a search for Reuben Saidman you'll find a great collection of his pictures. Don't think it includes the ones you want, though.

  52. Cheers Peter

    Here is a cut and paste from the Imp War Museum source mentioned:

    "...In August 1941 Moore was commissioned by the War Artists’ Advisory Committee to draw a series of coalmining scenes in Wheldale Colliery, Yorkshire, where his father had worked at the beginning of the century. Moore did not begin his observations in the mine until December of that year. In a letter to Herbert Read dated 29 December 1941, he wrote: ‘I now know more or less what in particular I’d like to look at over again.’ Moore is known to have made more than one visit, spending seven days down the pit in January 1942. (Five photographs by Robert Saidman of Moore sketching in Wheldale Colliery were published in Illustrated magazine on 24 January 1942.)..."

    I've seen and got the pit pony picture from Wakefield and a direct similar photograph from the Henry Moore Foundation (I think there is an outside chance that the pit lad is a family member (he has a strong family resemblance to my youngest son)) might just be dads youngest brother but not sure. Could just be dad posing out of context....something about the face when seen from a clearer angle.

    I suspect that the pit pony may be one of the five Saidman pictures in question but not certain.

    I couldn't find any other reference to Robert Saidman either!

    Many thanks for your efforts

  53. deanothere's a 24 jan 1942 Illustrated London News summary here but no mention of miners .

    Didn't know your date so scanned all through it and found a July 11 1942 reference to a photo 'Desert Warfare: Maori Troops Seated in a captured Axis Gun Pit , who knows maybe my Ma's uncle Sam was one of them . Interesting archive, even without the actual photos .

  54. @frog

    Reading your link more closely, there's an entry in that issue captioned: "Their Breakfast Consists of Slices of Bread; Vegetables and one Bowl of Soup Among Six. They Sit at Tables Sunk in the Ground". A possibility?

    The only other matching issue date I've found is Picture Post, but the index doesn't have anything that looks right.

  55. Interesting photo's by Saidman - I think I picked up today that Reuben worked for the Daily Herald.

    Eternal shame on the TUC for selling it's interests in the Herald thus and paving the way for it's presses to be used to launch the fucking SUN!!

  56. A photocopy of the back of the photo of my father sent to me by the Henry Moore Foundation has two red rubber stamps which read:


    2. reads See 24 JAN 1942 ILLUSTRATED

    Frog I came across that site this afternoon and reached the same blank!!!

    As a last resort I'll email my contact at the Foundation.....I'm also waiting for a reply to an email to Imp War Museum which I hope will give me a contact that can help trace the matter

  57. Frog - the ILN archive sounds great -----Any UT's got a library ticket from Westminster Council?? - it get access to the the ILN archive you lucky souls

    LaRit - any mates in Westminster Council's patch??

  58. Well friends thank you for your efforts I'll call by in the morning on the off chance someone found a lead.

    Must go to bed - spent most of day on net and me eyes are crossing.

    I've even finished up bidding on ebay for a brass lamp tally from pre nationalised Wheldale pit - who knows me dad or even Henry might have used it. I have a photo of Henry in the lamp room during his 1942 visit to the pit!

  59. PeterJ 23.47 -- that ref must be to the chinese cadets ... but if I need archival help you will be first stop.

    Deano having started me off, got more eyestrain googling family history, Wakefield too as it happens. 9oct1917,1/4th KOYLI, my grandma's uncle and his son killed within minutes of each other. The boy was shot in the head, and dying, but the dad still tried to go and find the doc. No known graves, just the Tyne Cot Memorial.

  60. Hey, did I do a linky?
    I think this may have been flagged up before but as an analysis of the banking crisis for dummies like me this is top notch.
    The prognosis is pretty grim though:(