19 August 2010


Penblwydd Hapus, Annetan!

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.
Henry Ford


  1. Morning Habib

    To say i'm taken aback by the tone of your last two posts to me on yesterday's thread is an understatement.Can only assume you haven,t actually read the whole of the discussion that took place on both the 17 and 18 Aug threads.

    Two points-

    1)After skimmimg through the info in the two links provided by PeterJ i accepted that the link between first cousin marriages and genetic disorder was the same as it was for women over 40 giving birth -which by my understanding was double the national average.Therefore i suggested that maybe ALL first cousin couples should be offerred screening the same way as expectant mothers over 40 are offerred screening for genetic disorder.I also said that solely seeking to ban Pakistani first cousin marriages was both racist and islamaphobic.

    2) As you yourself acknowlege i said in my final post 'IF it turns out that 33% of children in Britain with genetic disorder are of Pakistani parentage etc etc.Doesn't the IF tell you something?I,ve also said on a number of occasions that i will be contacting C4 to ask them to tell me of the sources they are using to underpin their Dispatches programme on this subject next week.

    Accusing me of having an agenda and using 'hate filled speech' etc is both unhelpful and offensive.This issue has been bubbling under the surface for some time now and what motivated me to raise it both here and on CIF was when i learned of the C4 Dispatches programme about it next week.

  2. Habib

    ''However if we were to ban first cousin marriages but not women over 40 giving birth then that could be seen as being both racist and islamaphobic.Which is unacceptable.''

    The above is a clip of what i said in my post at 10.18am on yesterday's thread.

  3. For anyone remotely interested, I have not been banned from CiF. I asked them to close my account, and quit, after a pretty innocuous post criticising an ATL writer's naivety was deleted.

    The usual stuff: call Cameron every swear word under the sun and you'll get away with it. Say anything remotely critical of today's editorial line and you get censored. Comment is not free - it's edited in a deeply Orwellian fashion. Fuck 'em.

  4. Hi s.hill6.

    "a pretty innocuous post criticising an ATL writer's naivety was deleted."

    The mods have a paramount duty to protect feelings of the writers, but go easy - some of them also only finishsed prep school in the Cotswolds last summer, and are mightily frightened and offended by strongly argued or complex points of view.

    You'll not get modded here. You might get a chair over your head in a late night bar-room punch up, but whatever you say stands for ever


  5. Hi Steve.

    Montana from last night:

    The 55% of British Pakistanis are married to a cousin figure comes from one "study" in which 100 women giving birth in a hospital in Bradford were asked if they were married to a cousin. 55 said yes.

    I remember Teacup saying once that there isn't actually a word for 'cousin' in sub-continental languages (or perhaps just Hindi), and that relatives - and I think also close family friends - are mostly called 'brother' or 'sister'. Therefore the word 'cousin' when used in English may not actually mean a cousin.

  6. Morning, Steve. I did think it might be something like that. There should be a new Ursula Le Guin story, Those Who Walk Away From Cif.

  7. Steve Hill

    There is certainly bizarre, inexplicable and ideological moderation and a great deal of it simply does not follow the community guidelines.

    This has been established beyond the point where anyone is under any delusions otherwise.

    However, there is also the potential for malicious reporting of people who are simply saying things which an individual user may not like.

    I have established this to my own satisfaction twice, by simply choosing a thread and pressing report abuse a few times on random comments and seeing what happens.

    The last time, the comments I had picked at random disappeared as soon as I refreshed the page.

    Sorry to those innocent posters who were mown down for no reason.

    However, Matt Seaton has declared from his pinnacle of idiocy that there is nothing wrong with moderation.

    Move along there, nothing to see here.

    As mentioned before, The Independent seems to be coming along quite nicely as a comment site.

    There are also other sites on the internet, according to legend, beyond the increasingly gated community of CiF.

  8. @Thaumaturge

    That's exactly what I was thinking. When I visit the carnival in a small Andalusian town where I have friends, my co-host, whose family is from the town, stops every two seconds to talk to a "cousin". If you ask about the relationship, it almost always turns out that her great-uncle's wife was their great-aunt or somesuch. So "cousin" covers the most tenuous of relationships.

    The same goes for North Africans in France. They all have hundreds of "cousins".

    So if they were simply asking a sample of Pakistanis who they were married to and not investigating what they actually meant by "cousin", it's piss-poor, worthless research.

  9. Spike - indeed, if cousin=kinsman, people might have answered yes on the basis that a husband or wife is a relation!

  10. morning all, welcome steve!

    (don't speak welsh - is it anne's birthday, moving day, or has she bought a dog?)

    anyway - borderline creationist article has just gone up, here. Get in early, kids, this could go very very badly...

  11. Erfana Bora is a science teacher at a Muslim faith school in Leicester

    Yet another excellent reason to ban faith schools.

  12. @Philippa

    It's more blatant click-bait, like the Brown, Jenkins and Williams ones. Oh, and the 'mancession' one.

  13. Happy birthday Anne, a special message for you in your country's native language:


    Which I am led to believe means:

    "Happy Birthday Anne. I tried to get you a card but the Clinton's cards by the whirlpool at St. Mary's church in the white hazel woods was shut. The bastards. Anyway, here's an electronic greeting with best wishesgogogogoch."

  14. Actually Llanfairpwyll......is a losers long name compared to the name of this New Zealand mountain:


    Not made up, that's actually its name.

  15. Meaning "this is a useless piece of rock in the middle of nowhere but we turned it into a tourist trap by saying bits of Lord of the Rings were filmed here"?

  16. morning all

    Is that stevehill up thread? Would never have guessed you'd be a lurker over here Steve. Still, please feel free to join the fray, although as Bitters pointed out the chairs do tend to fly about round here.

    It's more blatant click-bait

    How right you are...have just fallen for it!

  17. Happy Birthday Anne !

    You got that off Tiswas from 1980 didn't you ? Come on. Admit it ! Didn't you ?


    Right. Work beckons...

    PS had a quick look in at that "science taught in my faith school" bollocks on CiF. As if those kids have a level intellectual playing field to begin with. As if.

  18. Forgot to say - Happy Birthday Anne!

  19. apparently the fact that 40% of A-leve students haven't got the grades needed for their chosen course is the coalition's fault. according to ed balls. hmmm...

    bit confused how results have gone up but so many will miss their target grades. does this mean that the universities are setting offers way above 'inflation'?

  20. Anne - forgot! Happy birthday auld luv!! Hope the move goes well.

  21. Ah yes, happy birthday Anne! (Now I know what it means.)

  22. Happy birthday Anne, I hope you are treating yourself to something nice today. x

  23. Bitterweed,

    the NZ Mountain is absolutely true.

    Apparently this name is in itself a shoretened version of the full name which is:


    Which as James Joyce experts will confirm is also Book II of Finnegan's wake

  24. philip pullman talking about book signings.

    "Tony Blair, who I think a lot of people would like to assassinate..."

    good man.

  25. Prynhawn da (good afternoon) Annetan, and Penblwydd Hapus.

    My Welsh not good enough to have a full blown conversation Annetan, easier to learn Japanese. Although Welsh does share some common ground with Hungarian.

    Montana - where did you get a picture of my Tascia from ? She's since departed this world, but thought of, and fondly remembered all the time and every day - she looked just like your piccie when she was a pup ! sorely missed.

  26. Excellent Swifty.

    It's...Coypu Dawn...

  27. Hi Leni

    I have e-mailed the C4 Dispatches programme directly and asked them if they can provide me with their sources that support the claim that there is an especially strong link between First Cousin Marriages and Genetic Disorder in this country's ethnic Pakistani population.Have explained to them that the only source we've seen hitherto is based on a very small sample of ethnic Pakistani women.Yet the claims that have been made are commonplace.Will let you know if/what they come back with.:-)

    @Welcome Steve Hill

    @Happy Birthday Anne

  28. Bull 1
    Gravity 0


  29. Leni

    Thought you might be interested inTHIS LINK which gives us a taster of the content of next monday,s Dispatches programme.

  30. I really must give up the groan! Yesterday, they led on the front page withhow most people are happy with the 'austerity' measures - today tucked away on page 8 is a short and seemingly reluctant little piece showing that voters think coalition is doing a bad job on schools.

    Schools policy has emerged as a potential weakness for the coalition, ffs!

  31. Sheff - it's also interesting that Simon Hughes doesn't seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet as Clegg. Suspect there will be a LibDem revolt before too long.

  32. Anne

    if you're about - the Welsh child poverty thread on cif needs someone to offset all the 'chav bashing' that's going on.


    Suspect there will be a LibDem revolt before too long.

    I bloody well hope so - it can't come soon enough!

  33. Sheff - could just be wishful thinking on my part, of course! But Hughes is quoted as saying that a coalition with Labour could not be ruled out.

    Can't see how that could happen without another election - one in which the LDs will be lucky to return 9 MPs.

  34. Does anyone know where i can buy some decent shoes?

  35. Happy b'day Anne.

    Right, onto the Guardian.

    Now it is the annual A level day when thousands of middle class darlings scramble around.

    When I was posting on Cif under my profile, I was often on education/university threads.
    I also wrote that universities are essentially rites of passage for middle class offspring and that any offspring of a university educated person was expected to go themselves. I also wrote about this on my blog.

    This is why I am disillusioned with the Guardian. It does not speak for me or the likes of me, essentially it is a little less elitist than the Telegraph. The Guardian is the organ that perpetuates the bollocks of 'graduate jobs' ie someone needs to graduate to be able to flog second hand cars, or even forbid work in Lidl, etc, on their 'graduate entry' schemes.

    What this means is people are going to university to study neuroscience or microbiology, or philosophy or classics for that matter, not for the love of the subject but merely as a way of delaying entering the 'real world', and also because it is a social event, rite of passage/finishing school.

    There was an excellent programme on this on R4 recently by Sanfranz Mansoor following young graduates who wne
    One was happy to waste thousands of pounds of funding on doing a neuroscience degree (£3000 a year does not fund a whole degree in a sci/tech heavy subject) and essentially wanted to work in marketing/sales. This is the middle class Guaridanesque wankery that pissed me off with Cif.

    My generation... bloody hell.. let me just say my generation is probably the most fragmented in British history for generations. I have friends who are solidly working class and known those who are soldily middle class and the differences are amazing.

    As I have said, my main hypothesis is that universities are merely rites of passages for middle class offspring, as I have argued coherently and in depth on most cif university/education threads before I got pissed off with the whole thing. And that the bar has been raised there is now an incredibly low glass ceiling before you require a degree- it is utter lunacy and why we have hardly any trade and industry in this country.
    This Guardianista and logically thus Nulab worlview has been as damaging to the working class as Thatcher.

  36. Stop it, Paul, I have only just managed to extract my eyeballs from the ceiling.

  37. Paul

    all info for Despatches prog is here

  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. Cannae watch vids here, Paul, will try to have a look later. Don't think Ms Reed likes me much either, mind.

  40. Paul, sorry, I got a bit wound up last night after having read all of your posts. You really like to do a "shock! horror!" headline, don't you? Fair play to you.

    Leni, I read that link - again no sources quoted by someone with tragic personal experience. I hope Paul gets "Dispatches" to quote their researched material. They seldom do, at least until they get the publicity of a court case.

    That said, they are the only team doing the work that "World in Action" used to.

  41. Thauma

    Sorry I hit that bloody brush by mistake again.
    Here's The Link Again.

    Was only joking when i asked you to ask MsReed etc.Should have put a 'smiley'.The bit about her not liking me is true enough though.The few times she responds to me my screen freezes over.Yet other than having the odd run-in with Brussels Sprouts and CO ain,t sure what i,ve done to upset her.But i'm sure i'll learn to live with it.:-)

  42. Just had a look at the medical references used for that Dispatches programme. They used the same study I referred to last night for the 55% married to cousins figure.

    First: I did get one thing wrong -- the study was done at two hospitals in Bradford. But they still only spoke to 100 women. In looking at it a bit more, they do seem to have determined that these were first cousins by asking about the relationship (mother's brother's son, etc.).

    One thing that didn't really register with me last night, but that struck me this morning is that these 100 women were most likely Pakistani-born women who had emigrated in adolescence or later, as the interviews were conducted in either Urdu or Punjabi. I can't imagine that there are too many British-born women of Pakistani ancestry who would need to speak to the interviewer in Urdu or Punjabi. That would mean that the 55% number is even more meaningless when you're talking about the overall population of Britons with Pakistani heritage.


    Coincidence, I guess. Unless maybe all dogs in Wales look like that?

  43. Hello All

    Catching up now. Have been on the "Lazy feckless Welsh "thread .

    HB Anne - and good luck with move.


    My info on Punjab came from Indian group - they too have intemarriage based on Caste. In isolated places tis can reduce the pool of people from which partnrs are drawn.
    I haven't had time to read all the refs on Dispatches site.

    The slightly increased risk carried by all intermarrying communities is spread across the world. It is a common practice. Evidence suggests that After 20+ generations of this recessives tend to disappear - largely because those children born with double recessives tend not to reach adulthood. Inheritance is generally Mendelian so healthy sibs survive.

    If there is a problem it has to be addressed - resources and support needed.

    My main fury comes from the fact that instead of concentrating on all communities it is yet again the Pakistani community which is named - a community already under attack.

    We have a variety of Dogs in Wales - most of them beautiful though a bit on the mongrel side of things. Welsh collies are lovely - can be difficult if under occupied - natural herding instinct.

  44. Montana -

    Definitely coincidence then. She was a beautiful Welsh Border Collie, and brighter and smarter than you're average Con politician. But boy did she need her exercise - got me out the house though. Could cross a field of sheep without a lead on her, tascia drooling at the mouth, ready to herd, but never moving because she knew she'd get called back ! she always pushed the boundaries though, that's what made her so adorable. Mind of her own !

  45. Leni, I agree completely. It's just interesting that, according to that study from Pakistan, Punjabis are least likely to marry cousins.

  46. Montana

    reading around further there is a suggestion that P families in Britain. are marrying within own families (and wider clan ) than is traditional in Pakistan. This for social and cultural reasons.

    IF this is the case it coukld explain sligt increase as hitherto recessives which traditionally would not come together are now doing so. The repors say that the double recessive condition are not known in the families back in Pakistan.

    We have to be careful of these reports - many have a political agenda.

    I read recently of an Israel theatre group - for people suffering from Ushers syndrome - deaf blind.

    Some analysis tied this to intermarriage with the Ashkenazi community but further reading led me to the fact that Ushers exists in Palestinian community too.

    In Israel there are about 800 people registered as deaf blind.

    The sites which seem politically impartial conclude that although this is a recessive condition not enough is understood about it to draw definite conclusions.

    I know from personal experience that the Kuwaiti royal family has several multiply handicapped people in their midst. Again - a small population.

    As genetic research developes I hope these devestating conditions can be elminated - or pssibly cured. Right now the most we can do is try to alleviate suffering and pain - treat disabled people and their families with respect.

    Back to ATOS again.

  47. Hi folks.


    The Disability Hate Crime Network have a Facebook site where they have been discussing the bile appearing on the Spending Review website. Just looked at the SR site myself - some wonderful people there, not. One is suggesting that the motability scheme could be scrapped as disabled people can obviously catch the bus, and they already get free bus passes! I despair sometimes, I really do.

  48. Paul - hehe, Ms MacColl needs some new shoes imho. (Wrong tense perhaps, but you know what I mean....)

    MsChin, I refuse to look at the SR site. I do not want my head to explode. You've just got to have no fucking empathy at all to suggest something like that.

  49. There's a Radio 4 documentary on Ian Tomlinson at 20:00 UK time; should be worth a listen.

  50. Giyus is on fire in Bracken-mocking mode. He's come up with a few other very good puns in the past few days too:

    19 Aug 2010, 7:03PM
    The Deluded left by Motorcycle

    'I was just about to complete the last adult scene'

    said Lusty Fortissimo

    'but after reading that article on the toilet ....and looking at the size of that man's Chopper.... well it was just too much....'

    He has also reposted Steve Hill's and Atomboy's comments from upthread.

    * waves at Giyus *

  51. Leni -

    "I know from personal experience that the Kuwaiti royal family has several multiply handicapped people in their midst. Again - a small population."

    More than a few skeletons in the cupboards of the House of Windsor too!

  52. Steve - indeed, a little problem with haemophilia for one?

  53. If you're about, Duke, check your mail.

  54. Hi Steve

    Yes indeed. We have to start looking at these problems in a more universal way. Pointing fingers at particular groups gives false impressions and allows for the demonisation of and hatred towards certain people. This helps , of course, the cause of those wishing to retain wealth and resources within certain sections of communities while excluding the 'unworthy other'

    Identity politics is two way traffic.

  55. Darlings, I simply must inform you that I shall be travelling to Brussels tomorrow. I shall have to arise at an absolutely unholy hour that only peasants generally see, but I do hope it will be worth it, if only to add to gaiety of Brussels with more good breeding and attractiveness.

    Should any Brussels-based correspondents spot a couple of scruffy oiks loitering about the place - ha ha! - of course that would not be my travelling companion and myself.

  56. thauma

    BrusselsSprouts is on holiday in GREECE at the moment.So the fashion police won't be in action on the Avenue Louise tomorrow.You and your travelling companion will be fine.

  57. Gracious me, Paul, I do not know where you find these things. Not being perfectly fluent in Greek, I am afraid I did not quite understand the gist of the argument.

    However, I seem to recall that Her Sproutliness is due back at work on Monday - the demands of tea-making being omnipresent - so therefore I have some fear of being shown up.

  58. thauma

    It would be a hoot if you bumped into La Sproutlette...

  59. thauma

    I think the moral of the story is that even if you fall out with your best friend on holiday everything will forgiven and forgotten by monday morning when you're both back at work.

  60. PeterG on waddya - priceless.

  61. Jay

    Yeah i saw that.He has a classy way with words does PeterG.I'll wager that PeterB will be back with a reply before dawn.

  62. Sheff - good news on a bit of action!

    It would indeed be entertaining ... we are actually staying deep in the Eurozone! Perhumps we may run into each other unknowingly as she is on her way to work on Monday morning.

    A laptop is in the luggage so if such a fortuitous event should occur, no doubt you will all be the first to know.

  63. Jay - aye, that was a cracker, all right.

  64. Sheff

    the conference season will - hopefully - give some indication of how we can fight back.

    The NuLab one will be very revealing.

  65. Thauma/Sheff

    ''It would be a hoot if you bumped into La Sproutlette.''

    I hadn,t realized you both knew Bru.Oops!

    Not that it matters but is she really a she?

  66. Paul - I shall just be looking out for a middle-aged tea-lady with a garish pendant.

  67. Thauma

    Someone like this perhaps?

    Seriously though have a good time in BruLand.

  68. We have to be careful of these reports - many have a political agenda.

    Exactly. That's part of why I find it really upsetting that mainstream media outlets are so quick to throw around statements like "55% of British Pakistanis marry cousins" without referring to a source. Then, when you find out that the "source" is interviews with 100 women in Bradford (13 years ago) -- well...

  69. Paul - I take it you've seen the classic Lust in the Dust?

    Seriously though, I dunno why some people seem to think that Bru is a man. For all her faults, that doesn't seem to be one of them to me. ;-)

    Montana - well said.

  70. No doubt Peter G will be accused of peddling ruinously misguided preposterous hyperbole and regurgitated shite,contumelious with nuggets of drivel betraying his prissy principles which expose his discredited agenda thereby proving he is a crank seeking solace and redemption among tyrants and thugs.

  71. Wahey - Giyus reads the UT!!

    That's made me strangely proud!!

  72. Oh FFS.

    The UT policy has been to officially style yourselves as nice guys, as angels who jump onto threads to vanquish what you perceive to be the haters and heartless bastards.

    Yet here you go, laughing and insulting another poster, as you have done for months on end. You might not like Brussels' priveliged existence, and that is fair enough, but ultiamtely it is hypocrisy that on one level you complain that haters have taken over cif when you have become haters on the UT.

    Simiallry SteveHill if you are here, I hope you weren't reading a few days ago when people like Hank made some pretty unpleasant remarks about your personal life

    Grow up the lot of you, told to you by me, less than half the age of most posters here!.

  73. thaumaturge

    I think it's nothing more than a gentle wind up.I really don,t think people care either way.I've had the odd run-in with Bru and Kiz and from what i,ve seen they give as good as they get so it's not like they're being victimised.Although give 'em the chance i.m sure they might try and convince certain people that they are being picked on.

    Anyways i,ve heard the food and beer is great in BruLand.And if you do meet La Sprout it could be the start of the perfect friendship.You never know :-)

  74. Charles - you are probably unaware of some particularly nasty things that Bru has done. It ain't all about her privileged existence: it is a demon of her own making.

  75. Charlie

    Regarding Bru it was only a bit of light hearted nonsense.And i,ve seen her-and Kiz- make some pretty barbed comments about not only UT but also individual posters here.

    Lighten up a bit yeah :-)

  76. Somehow I doubt it Paul! Anyway, over and out .... Night all.

  77. @Charles:

    As thauma has already said -- Bru has more than earned the scorn she receives. UTers aren't the only people who despise her, by the way. A fair amount of the shit that is flung her way on the Waddaya thread comes from people who've never posted here.

  78. How can Henry Ford be so right (quote)?

    I know he had an appauling record for labour relations, but 'FORD' as a company in today's world/climate portrays an example of race relations/diversity that has been heaped on them from various court cases that they have lost ! But they have come out of this with a good degree of learning.

    I applaude Henry Ford for his quote, as it is true, but not for his labour relations !

  79. I should have said ''portrays a good example'

  80. heh..heh..heh...Bracken has responded on waddya, predictably, but his metaphors are getting a bit soggy. Aspadana, PeterG and Giyus are having a ball.

    Great to have some light relief amidst the gloom.

    Charles - you sound grumpy. Bru can defend herself - and does.

  81. hello peeps.....

    trying in vain to catch up with the last couple of days posts, some really fascinating comments and info... just finishing off an application form (fingers crossed it will bloody work this time and I get something halfway decent) I've smoked two fags after not smoking for two days straight and am highly pissed off.

    @Steve Hill courtesy of Bitterweed (thanks)

    You might get a chair over your head in a late night bar-room punch up, but whatever you say stands for ever

    Mr Hill is perfectly at liberty to say what he wants here, but he may well get a metaphorical chair on the 'ead from me!!!

  82. Wales thread - complete waste of time. Has this Helen Wilkinson ever been here ?

    "Helen Wilkinson is a writer, consultant and commentator"

    What does this mean ? This is her profile. Off to Google to see if I can discovers just what I can consult her about - with even a reasonable chance of a coherent reply.

  83. Charles -

    "Simiallry SteveHill if you are here, I hope you weren't reading a few days ago when people like Hank made some pretty unpleasant remarks about your personal life"

    No, and I can't be arsed to go looking for it either. I made that mistake once checking out what CiFWatch thought about me. It seems extremely improbable that Hank knows the first thing about my personal life.

    Happy to debate anything and everything on the merits of the argument, and not some fantasised view of the personalities involved though. And to dodge any flying chairs (or not).

    Well said, you callow youth.

  84. Hope it's not too late to respond to the Duke's posts re: treatment and help for Heroin addicts and Jen's response from yesterday?

    I believe that there have been govt. funded schemes running in Germany for years with a great deal of success - a similar one was piloted by a GP in Liverpool about 20 years ago - also with a great deal of success, getting people off heroin without resorting to methadone (which kills more addicts per year than heroin incidentally) or expensive, futile detox programmes..... naturally, because it was so successful - the funding was withdrawn and the addicts went back to their robbing ways and untimely deaths, just as before. What made me livid was the effing 'Tax Payers Alliance' attitude - immature, short-sighted and deadly. If something really works, they get all self-righteous about the tax-payer 'funding drug addiction' but are quite happy for the tax payer to pick up the pieces for treatments that have been proven to have limited success and the ordinary person in the street to suffer the consequences of the desperation of addicts having to resort to street dealers and thieving to feed their habit. I find this deeply shameful and anti-human to be honest.

    In Brixton, it's predominantly Crack Cocaine - in terms of Human Rights not to mention being the measure of a caring, mature Society, Crack as well as Heroin should be legalised and properly controlled and addicts fully supported. Instead, it remains illegal, the addicts are reduced to dribbling beggars or prostitution. The effects on human beings of this illicit drug trade are to be frank - tantamount to state-sponsored degradation, suicide and murder.

  85. Hi Leni

    Personally i don't take that much notice of titles.A lot of them are pretty meaningless. Sounds also like she'd be better off consulting you rather than vice versa.

    Haven,t spent much time today on the issues coming up on Dispatches.The reporter Tazeen Ahmad said something in the trailer about a major study conducted in the UK in 2008 to back up these claims that are being bandied about as gospel.Will try and track that one down.Anyway got an early start tomorrow.

    Nite x

  86. Just killed my first spider in about a million years - one of those very strange ones with very, very long spindly legs and a narrow body that do a sort of upside-down judder (presume shaking their invisible webs to attract 'customers') it was crawling all over me in a very sinister way and trailing webby stuff on me.... I am ashamed of myself.....

  87. Hi Paul

    Googled the Helen - found one who is consultant for women - can't tell if that is her.

    Vacuous is best word for her article and responses.

    she obviously reads one report and uses that to expound on the whole society and its underlying structures.

    NN x

  88. NapK:

    it is hypocrisy that on one level you complain that haters have taken over cif when you have become haters on the UT

    I don't think it's called 'hate' Charles, it's called being infuriated. Big, big difference.

  89. La Rit

    Killed a spider ? This is the end of a beautiful friendship.


    Before we part go and give Helen the what for !!

  90. But please tell Hank my wife is not a Thai bride. She is one of four kids brought up in a council house in Coventry by two leftie working class public sector workers whose idea of a fun holiday, pre-1989, was a trip to that model socialist paradise Bulgaria. And they are all very nice people.

    Even her brother the banker...

  91. BTW:

    RIP TWO TONE 67lb 40-sh year old Mirror Carp... Anglers mourn...

    Dont think it was 'old age' or the cold winter that killed the poor bugger, more like the stress of being bloody stalked by hundreds of fishermen over the years ;(

  92. Hi La Ritournelle

    I'd agree that opiates ought to be supplied and regulated by the state. Opiates do not have to interfere with a persons ability to function as a regular member of society.

    Crack and cocaine though are somewhat different. Once you have the taste and the psychological addiction normal functionality declines at an alarming rate, and as it is so incredibly moreish (to use a particularily horrible word)and the withdrawal is so harsh on the psyche people have no great incentive to stop it.It is my opinion that the state should do all it can to prevent cocaine getting into to the country. Crack addicts do need help but state control of the cocaine market strikes me as something that is impractible.

    I know that may not be so cogent so please pick holes in what I say, but having been addicted at various points to most of the most commonly available drugs at various times for various lengths of time my experience suggests that crack is the nastiest and most difficult to deal with in any sensible fashion.

  93. Yeah, I did not mean to sound angry or spiteful in my outburst, just a little quick off the mark.

    Frankly I don't think it is possible to hate a 2d entity of ourselves or other people that we create on the internet and is very often not a reflection of our true self, but anyway no time to think of the philosophies of cyber entities, I'm off to bed.

  94. Hello Haimona

    Hiya and thanks for your reply ;)

    I won't pick holes either - check out my 'cogent' post the other morning! Your post is perfectly rational and reasonable to me ;)

    I shouldn't really have conflated Crack, Cocaine and Heroin really - I agree - entirely different species of addiction/drug. tbh - seeing the effects of crack on people locally, it just breaks my heart. Some stay alive for an inordinantely long period of time (the desire to survive is awe-inspiring (for want of a better description) - some who were 'regular faces' but clearly in the last desperate stages (a young woman who I used to see begging frequently I've not seen for about a year - I presume now dead) We regularly hear the arguments as one crack head tries to rob another down our street and the demonic screaming at night is pitiful.

    I used to regularly wait for night buses at Centre point at 3 in the morning (from a restaurant job I used to do) and I guess the reason I would like to see control/legalisation of ALL illegal substances was seeing the shits who were exploiting street addicts in the West End in the early hours - taking their (begging) money and then just fucking off laughing without giving them their ten quid hit.

    I've heard the word 'moreish' used in relation to Crack many times - once by a former member of a famous punk band who I met in a bar in town one night by pure accident and I've seen Suits from the City scoring all over the place - and I've heard the same description from an elderly woman at an alcohol suppport place I used to attend a few years ago.

    Crack was the beautiful gift from Ronald Raygun to control and undo the American (read predominantly Black) Underclass in the early 80's and is, not surprisingly, as you rightly say, the nastiest and most difficult to deal with.

    In my time, I've experienced really good, clean coke 3 times in the last 20 years - fantastic stuff that, had that been my 'thing' it would have most certainly led me to ruin. Most of the stuff being passed off as Cocaine in London now is roughly (I understand) about 10% - 90% amphetamine and paracetamol - shit in other words - but my god, is it big business. Cocaine, guns and pharmaceuticals run the world - legalising it would expose the whole sham - the risk for Govts and warmongers is just too great.

  95. Leni - the last time I did that was in about 1976... I'm sorry, I will redeem myself and give this Helen a pasting ;)

  96. My take on the UT has not been that it sets itself up as anything, simply that it doesn't moderate the shit out of everything.

    The modding issue was raised, dismissed by Seaton, and moderation on CiF continues to be, ahem, capricious.

    If anything, precisely because you're not going to be modded on a whim (unless MW is pissed - where's Bitey these days....) the UT is the perfect place to vent. About anything and occasionally anyone.

    Waddya is a good spot to shoot the shit, but unless your suggestion for a topic is within the bounds of what might crop up at a Toynbee dinner party, you're shouting at the selective deaf. I don't think my class warrior suggestions are viewed too positively.

    And thanks to those who (very kindly) said they'd like to see me ATL over there, but in all sincerity, if I have something I really want to get out of my system, I'll slap it up on the RapidFire blogspot. I can't see the attraction - other than a wider readership and your friends knowing you were (kinda) writing for the Guardian - of having your opus sliced and diced, when you could say what you want, how you want on your own little patch of cyberspace.

  97. Posted on Waddya - anyone know anything about this ? I don't watch B Brother.

    20 Aug 2010, 12:34AM
    Its time for the Guardian to asked the question why CH4 and the makers of Big Brother allow their contestant John James to psychology abuse women.

    This man is a abuser, he should be removed from the program to secure the safety of female contestants.

    Hold channel 4 accountable for not taking action for abused women everywhere.

  98. Don't mind me. Just test driving a new lap top and checking lines of communication!

  99. Hello Chekhov

    new laptop ? There's posh.

  100. Hello Leni, is the night shift clocking on?
    I'm in the process of switching computers so don't expect much sense from this end,no that you would anyway!

  101. Chekhov

    the night shift as was seems defunct now.

    you make sense to me - but then I am one of the permanently confused.

  102. @Leni: it's only new to me. It's a second hand me down from my twin sister but it's like being given a Ferrari compared to the jalopy I've been driving for the last few years!

  103. I'm always up for a chat with you Leni and I can't sleep so fire away!

  104. Chekhov

    interesting snippet from the world of ancient Rome.

    estimates say that the average Roman artisan earned 1 silver drachma for a full days work. The great war lord Pompey brought back from his plundering around 75 million drachma as well as slaves, golden thrones, bejewelled crowns and other luxuries. This remained his private property.

    Not much changes then - mind he did meet a sticky end in Egypt.

  105. BTW: Leni, if your were to visit our household there is no way you could depart with the impression that we are "posh"!

  106. Chekhov

    ou might be interested in this - a bit about the deaf blind actors. i would love to see them. They were apparently in London earlier this year.


  107. I'm never sure just what posh means - I know I'm not.

    How is the golf course coming on ?

    We've had so much rain here this summer the grass is permanently wet - and growing very fast.

    my garden slopes up the mountain . My son's house is built into the slope - his back door is upstairs !. Gardening here is intereting - a golf course would be impossible.

  108. Hi Leni and Chekov

    You two do stay up later then most.

    Have to say you have been doing sterling work in your desire to expose the Atos debacle and it's a shame the G doesn't take it further. The way they operate was the subject of a couple of Radio 4 programmes in the past ten days or so. I don't know whether you caught them but they would have been grist to your mill.

  109. Makes you wonder when this shower of shits is going to come to a sticky end!

  110. Liberals and Torys are not natural bedfellows and with the sniping Clegg will ahve going on behind his back the further he cosies up to Cameron the more intense that will become. Might be a couple of months or a couple of years but the love affair between them will end in tears and a fractious divorce...

  111. Hi Haimona

    The battle is on for our sick and disabled fellows.

    The G is ploughing the middle ground - afraid to offend those in power.

    There is a wealth of material out there if they wanted to use it.

    Your comments about drug addiction are interesting . I'm not sure of the answer. I have a friend in the last stages of alcoholism. 25% of liver packed up, unable to walk and her brain deteriorating rapidly.

    She and I were involved in some great work with kids and cooperatives. Heartbreaking.


    Sticky ends can be aranged ! Says she ominously - 'cept I rescue stranded worms and drowning flies so probably would be pretty useless in a revolution.

  112. Haimona

    Post divorce - which will certainly happen - who will get custody of the state ?

  113. Leni

    Posh originates from days of Empire.

    Port Out, Starboard Home.

    The better cabins on the boat when colonial administrators headed off to do their duty were on the respective sides on the journeys.

    To me it suggests people with ideas above their station.

  114. Himona

    I don't believe in "stations" - I would probably be called impertinent. Why do some people think they are superior on the grounds of parentage or inheritance ?

    Very ancient belief of course. I can never understand why billion kowtow to the few. It is as though certain ideas are inbred rather than imposed upon us.

    I wish people would start thinking for themselves - there is no inherent reason for the discrepencies of "station"

  115. Well I'd like to see ArecBalrin lead a socialist party to power.

    But I guess that a Labour Party Hain was talking about t'other day - not old Labour and not New Labour but some unfathomable Labour that has pretty well nothing to do with social democracy but plenty to do with keeping the City sweet, will be elected.

    Mind you, they're heading toward bankruptcy financially as well as politically at present.

  116. Isn't Presser promising to fix the finances ?

    I'm hoping the old order is crumbling - not unusual for regimes and social orders to bring about their own destruction.

    Peter Hain lost the plot a long time since. He never quite reached the position of power he thinks his prowess and talents entitle him too. A bitter and rather stupid man.

  117. We are many, they are few.


    You will probably recognise the poem. It;s a good 'un.

  118. Well Bob Crow seems the most vociferous and determined left winger on the political stage at present. He's a good leader and not in the least intimidated by the press or courts. And he's called for a unity amongst the smaller left wing parties. Now were that to happen prospects of a fightback might improve

  119. Well good night Leni and I'll throw in a good morning Montana as it's getting on toward that time for you.

  120. The problem there will be getting the smaller parties to agree on anything.

    The current situation and the threat it holds over us might concentrate minds - get them to focus on the important issues.

    we are fighting the Coalition but must confront Nulab if there is to be any hope of change.

    People are hoping to fight Nulab from within - I can't see this working . Too many vested interests at many levels.

  121. Goodnight Haimona and Chekhov - if you are still around. x

  122. What's with the Google blogger link?
    Does anyone else have to keep re-setting their password?

  123. Oh bollocks, I'm still trying to navigate my way around this new laptop.
    Mind you, come to think of it, I had the same problem with the Google blogger links on the last one!
    Nite all.

  124. BTW: Leni, thanks for link. Fascinating stuff. I'll have a futher look into that.