20 August 2010


Chimqs Tull - Moy Sutherland

I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.
-Publius Syrus


  1. Haimona, from last night:

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

    There's a country I'd like to live in! If my memory serves me (and there's no good reason to think that it does), he used to come across as a right-wing crank. When did he get to be so funny?

  2. Morning all. Happy birthday yesterday to Anne.

    I did my first afternoons work yesterday. Very nervous after a year and a half off but it was a great feeling. Voluntary of course but it's a start. Although still suffering with this never ending infection so straight back to bed as soon as had done feeling exhausted.

    Marina Hyde's article about Jeremy Bile is great. Gluesticks - who is always moaning about 'chavs and scroungers' and telling stories of people he knows who 'got their dads new girlfriend pregnant whilst drinking ten cans of Stella in one go and pretending to have a limp' - turns out he is an avid Kyle watcher. Who'd ever would have thunk it.

  3. Montana - Arec Balrin is great. I love his suggestion to build giant robots for the coalition!

  4. ".....Haimona said...

    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....."

    (A belated hello and welcome Hamiona)

    POSH was explained to me in terms of the position of the ship and cabins in relation to the daily passage of the searing sun across the sky when heading East to India.

    Port Out on the way out and Starboard on the Home, meant that you had a cabin on the shaded (cooler) side of the ship - a luxury when ships weren't air conditioned and you could fry an egg on the deck plates...

    Nap - there are good historical reasons, based on shameful breaches of common courtesy/confidence codes, why Bru is regarded by some of us as a cow...It's all in the UT archive.

    Back to the building site at me son's new place.....

  5. @deano:

    ”…there are good historical reasons, based on shameful breaches of common courtesy/confidence codes, why Bru is regarded by some of us as a cow...”

    She’s not the only one. Hank has some form in that regard as well, I believe?

  6. Happy birthday to A42. A day late is good for me, I sometimes forget my own and my kids altogether ...

    Good on you too PCC!

  7. @Haimona and deano

    Sadly, the 'port out, starboard home' explanation for 'posh' is a backronym, where the phrase was invented to suit an existing word. There's a piece on it here, based on another at Merriam-Webster, but with nicer pictures.

  8. Swifty - True. A matter of UT record that I raised an objection when I saw/read Hank do something similar with regard to an Xmas present...

    Hope you and yours had a good holiday - you never know one day we might get a London pint together...I'll keep your invitation in mind for my next visit.

  9. I'd heard that PeterJ but it seemed too early in the day to deal with yet another post hoc rationalisation!

    Did you see that LaRit believes that these days anyone can join any library?

    Westminster Council had signed up to the Illustrated London News archive and their readers can access it via their library tickets.

    When I'm not so busy I'll have to give it a try - the idea that I could get a service from Lady Porters old Council appeals.

    Must be away now....

  10. @deano

    I've worked the library thing using my old ticket from Richmond, but using my old council site as a gateway. Must give Westminster a try with it.

  11. @deano:

    Hols was great thanks - and the pie/pint combo offer stands the next time you willingly subject yourself to the horrors of the 'Great Wen'...

    Anyway, FWIW, can't stand most Southern beer myself, but Fuller's Honeydew is OK.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. @BW:

    "This post has been removed by the author."

    LOL, something I said?

  14. Nope, got me beers mixed up and looked a plum as a result. (Was going to big up Timothy Taylors as proper "southern" beer. What a twat, lol)

    You still playing that bluegrass Swifty ?

  15. @BW:


    Anyway, yep, I was pickin’ last night as it goes, “You Don’t Know My Mind” by Harlan Howard (“born to lose, a drifter that’s me”). Great little number.

    This’ll make you laugh though – I’m working up a fingerpicked version of Venus in Furs. Sounds mighty odd, of course, but sort of works… I may premiere it for a bit of light relief Sunday when I’m playing out next. The folkies’ll either love it or (most likely) hate it…

  16. Hell… re. fingerpicked Venus in Furs idea… if it gets the kind of reception that last post of mine got, I’ll definitely be giving it a miss on Sunday. Talk about tumbleweed…

    Anyway, don't worry, I’m off now folks and I’m taking the guitar with me, so you can all come out again now LOL.

    Laters all.

  17. Sheff

    As a Jazz lover i wonder whether you like these guys who i'm afraid to say i'd never heard of until recently-philistine that i am.

  18. Lovely Seth Freedman article up about how taxing drugs won't help wealthy addicts, he says he is clean now but I reckon he must have been on something to think writing it was a good idea.

  19. hello


    SF - Seem to remember it was crack - when he was a money man in the City.

  20. Leni

    That and coke I think but the article is downright odd.

  21. Jenni

    I have now read the SF article - it is odd but so is Seth. I never can work out what is real position is on anything. I tend now to avoid him.

    He often takes a strange 'moralising' stance on various subjects while at the same time giving impression that he has no substance behind what he claims to believe or stand for.

    I get the impression that he is looking for acareer in politics.

  22. Has anyone seen that rant that Clegg had at that disappointed Lib Dem voter? You can read the transcript on The Mail (remember to shower afterwards). All his pretence at being nice is disappearing fast. He is more and more aggressive in his stance I find. God I detest the man.

    Great quote from Daitha re him on the Guardian.
    ''I find it's a testament to Cleggs' courage and determination that he is able to stand on two feet without a spine.''

  23. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/workhouse.asp

    Very interesting archive - takes some time to learn how to navigate it for info.

  24. Hello Folks..hope you don't mind if I drop in for a chat...


    That prick Clegg is reacting on a personal level to the dynamic of this so called "coalition" - he like most fuck wit elitists is extremely aware of the fluctuations in his personal status stock within the micro-environment in which they fester - and I reckon the internal atmosphere of the Tory/Lib Govt is like a massive game of chicken at the oncoming juggernaut of opportunism and exploitation they are so gleefully facing...

    ...no one dare blink first...How far can they go?..How daring can they be?..Cleggs attack on that LibDem voter was just him showing the Tories that he wants to cement his own personal place in the power structure by waving his cojones around like a fucking meathead...

    Anyway the thing is that the Liberals have always been a Right wing party so I'm not sure why anyone was expecting anything other than this...Cleggs pathetic "reality" stance during the election should have been ringing alarms all round...just look at the kind of narratives he and the Tories used during the election...

  25. Hllo Lester

    The political games would be fascinating were the stakes for so many not so high.

  26. Hi Lester

    Quiet on here today, is everyone off having a life?

  27. Hi Lester,

    Yeah I think you are right - his reaction to that voter was so arrogant.

    I know the Liberals are right wing - especially economically but I thought (foolishly) that the social democrat wing would keep them more to the left. Their manifesto was pretty to the left of New Lab in many ways and they spoke out a fair bit in the commons about fairer taxation and also the welfare reform of New Lab (which they were dead against - hilariously).

    Thankfully Cleggy himself set off a fair few warning bells the days before the election so on the day of it I put a peg on my nose and voted New Lab.

    I am actually a member of the Greens but it was so close in my ward between Labour and the Lib candidate that I wanted to keep the Lib candidate out. I think the Labour candidate only won on a couple of hundred votes so I am glad I did vote for him.

    A lot of my friends who voted Lib Dem are as sick as pigs - I am from Sheffield so somehow with the whole Forgemasters thing it seems even worse.

  28. Jen30- is everyone off having a life?

    Spot on for me . Plums cascading off trees and making jam & freezing, polytunnel ratatouille harvesting, digging up spuds, doing other gardens for $, plus seabathing for my physio exercises. Totally knackered ! That's all with the princess on R&R but she's gone back to the city for a 'busy' weekend and week with the disabled.

    So not much energy left for the CiF pot-boilers...

  29. Hey everbody!

    Mmmmmm. Plum jam sounds yummy.

    Crap day here. :-(

  30. Oh -- and Lester, you are always welcome here!

  31. Sounds like good times frog, I am trying to get back into some kind of physical shape myself, it is amazing how out of shape spending all your time indoors doing nothing for a while can make you.

    It's slow going but at least I can go for a decent length walk now without feeling like I am going to die, the state I was in a couple of months ago really frightened me.

  32. frog

    Now I feel a bit daft for whinging about my health to someone who has fought his way back from a stroke, sorry about that.

  33. Hullo all

    Thanks Montana


    I think this medium always gives the impression that I'm telling you (or anyone) what they should be thinking and I'm a bit sorry about that because I'm not presuming to suggest you didn't realise that Clegg was just another career elitist politician...

    Anyhow...I suppose (although for me the Libs are just too naturally Rightist market ideologues at the best of times)...but I suppose had they not formed this mish-mash non-winner government then possibly what they call the Social Democratic wing might have had a better chance to influence overall policy...

    ...but the Libs were making a power pact with the Tories and even the Liberals themselves knew it wasn't them giving the Tories power but the Tories offering the Libs a place at the table...the Lib Dems were always going to be the little brother no matter how hard they shout at unsuspecting supporters of their own!!!

    Had they chosen to sleep with New Labour they would have possibly been able to hold back the desperate Rightist lurch a bit...but it's very revealing that Clegg and Co preferred the role of little brother Judas...they are naturally Tories really...which is a desperate problem (as you know) because finding a serious politician in Britain that isn't a petit-bourgeois shop keeper instead of a person with even a modicum of values is (insert your own phrase of unlikeness here)...

  34. Jen -- not daft at all ! I have been very lucky indeed to have my own roof and garden, and enough savings to tide me over . I'm waiting for the first very meagre early pension to come through the buraucracy, and also going to look very hard at outgoings . I think it was sheffpixie who saved £35 pm by concentrating on that sort of thing ...

    Remember I had very little physical pain compared to so many others too . I was close to the edge mentally for a few months, but that's over I'm sure. But I haven't forgotten what it was like so identify very closely with those having a far worse time than me.

    On the Daily Mail yesterday's article , some of the most recommended comments were on the banksters AND the fact that HB goes to Landlords ! I'd have loved to see a question on the WCA -work capability assessment - on the huge abuse and cruelty there ...

    Rain coming, now go to mow the garden of a german neighbour who helped me so much on his hols. He is a Sikh busdriver there .

  35. Evening all

    @Hi Lester

    @Frog-sorry to hear you,ve had health problems as well.Hope you're well into recovery mode.

    @Montana-i think you should consider renaming this place 'The ER' as there are quite a few people here dealing with some pretty serious health issues.Also are there any posters who are qualified medics just in case someone is taken ill during one of the bar-room brawls here.Catholic guilt ain,t easy to live with at the best of times.

  36. Paul:

    In my believing days I was Anglican. We don't do guilt.

  37. Paul

    I still remember my first confession and how it made me feel, it should be illegal to force small children to go into a box with an adult and admit to sins.

    At the time I couldn't think of any actual sins so I told the priest I had had bad thoughts, when he asked me what kind of bad thoughts I very nearly ran, to quote Paul Calf it is all a 'bag of wank'. ;)

  38. Madeleine fucking Bunting complaining about how unrelaxing holidays are. Over-paid pampered fucking bitch.

  39. Montana

    I don't think I could bring myself to read a Madeleine Bunting article if my life depended it, only Simon Jenkins, Julian Glover and Andrew Brown annoy me more.

  40. Actually Montana that might be a bit of a fib (off to confession with me) but I try to completely ignore her (and the others mentioned) unless someone tells me they are especially bad articles.

    It happens pretty often.

  41. Evening UT...

    No. 2 child has been accepted onto a 3-week school-building programme in Madagascar - he leaves on Oct 1st. Going to be very quiet chez Shaz, as no 1 child will have gone back to Ancient History & Archaeology by then...

    He got BCCC in his A' levels - off to Aberystwyth next yr to do International Politics...

  42. You must be very proud of both of 'em, shaz.

  43. Hi MsChin.

    Shaz congratulations to child no 2, that is brilliant news, I am very jealous as Madagascar is one of those places I would love to visit, I have a weird fetish for islands.

  44. Yeah - I'm glad things seem to be working out for them !

  45. @Jenn:

    Yeah, I usually avoid Maddie myself, but I saw the title and just couldn't not read it.




    Hey there!

  46. I weighed in on the holiday whinge. Sod it, I felt like a whinge...

  47. Shaz I think it depends on what you are doing an where you are going.

    I went on holiday last week to my sisters and I thought it was to get me away from the boro and to have a break, my sister thought it was for her to have a break from the kids (whilst I looked after them).

    We clashed in a big way and neither of us got what we wanted.

    I did get it through to her that my holiday was not her chance to dump her kids on me.

    I won't be visiting again. :(

  48. Jen - yep. Going away & having a less-than-good time is worse than not ging away. Trouble is, working at school gives me 5 weeks off in the summer - all those opportunities which I can't afford to take advantage of, bah! Last went away in '05 - had a lovely time. Shouldn't complain!

  49. 'ging' away? You know what I mean...

  50. You should complain Shaz, I have discovered that since I stopped being massively passive and just taking the shit my sisters give me that I have become 'difficult'.

    Being described as difficult actually upset me a bit but at least it means I don't get stuck being the babysitter all the time.

  51. What's a life let alone a holiday when you have to work so many hours?

    Oh well there's always blogging i suppose!

    Whinge over!

  52. Jen, it doesn't sound as though you were being difficult...

  53. I probably was in my sisters eyes shaz.

    What do you think about Hilary Clintons actions?

    It seems to me that she is doing better than her government.

  54. Jen

    In some families one family member can become the scapegoat for deeper-rooted problems within their family.It then becomes easier for the family to focus on that family member as being the problem rather than dealing with the tougher issues.And more often than not the tougher issues are not the 'fault' of that one family member who's been scapegoated.

    Sorry if that's a bit heavy for this time of night but hope it made sense.:-)

  55. Not at all heavy Paul and I know what you mean, my elder sister is the one who gets all the blame.

    She suffers in her own way, I am the one who is generally ignored unless she is in crisis.

    Long story but I don't even get to be the black sheep, I am the invisible sheep. ;)

  56. Back again - first time this week that I get the computer to myself & people keep dragging me away.

    As for a holiday away somewhere .. some hopes! Though I'd settle for a long weekend alone in a padded cell right now.

  57. I looked at the "Panel on Retirement", some good comments there, but the basic problem was summed up by a comment from a previous article in the sidebar --

    "One or two of the usual third-hand cliches above, but scipio sees the situation clearly. The fundamental problem is the extreme inequality that has grown up in this country in recent years. Private sector pensions have been wrecked through low wages and incompetent pension managers (recall the contribution "holidays" in the good times)

    So what do the CBI want to do about it? Screw the beneficiaries of the remaining adequate pension schemes in the public sector. No mention of the immense retirement funds of the private sector bosses. Either the CBI are in the unshamed business of further enriching the privileged at the expense of the nation, or they are fools. I'll say they're both..
    Millions of private-sector workers face Poverty in retirement - HERE

    The Panel is maybe worth a look, mikebach has a couple of comments , but I was too discouraged to get involved. Those people who thought a well-heeled retirement was a nice base for going on working to get even more money, and the others who were looking forward to " Travel" , just pissed me off too much.

  58. Jen - goodness knows about Clinton, particularly on the basis of her reason for inviting Blair -

    "in view of his important work to help Palestinians build the institutions of their future state".

    But I suppose it's a step in the right direction.

    MsChin - I've just been interrupted by no. 2 son who has decided to combine Madagascar with the Ashes & wanted to 'borrow' my Paypal a/c to buy a 5 day pass for Brisbane. A padded cell sounds great!

  59. Jen -- maybe that sister was dying to get away from the kids for a bit ? Depends on ages that one !

    My teacher daughter ( 'difficult' school ) spent a week with her ma, and was pissed off that granny didn't do any babysitting ( 8 months and dynamic 3 year-old ) to free her up . So she couldn't traipse off to see old friends at all. Next time she'll organise the 'terms of engagement' !

    All comes back to communication. Or lack of it .

    Paul 22.24 - I'd go further and say that the deep-seated problems more often than not have nothing to do with the scapegoated one ?

  60. Hello All
    Peace talks - Abbas' term of office expired about 18 months a go he remains president by default. Is he empowered to make binding decisions ?

    Congrats to you and son. Madagasgar - home of th Ai.

  61. In some families one family member can become the scapegoat for deeper-rooted problems within their family.

    Yeah -- the 'official' term for that is the 'identified patient'.

  62. Oh, and I know that because I am my family's.

  63. Jen

    Having come from an extremely dysfunctional background myself i know how that can leave a long shadow in your life.But there's no 'one size fits all' way of dealing with the lasting effects.I think people have to find the way that suits them.Really get pissed off when i hear people who've come through bad experiences preaching to others about what they should do to get through bad experiences themselves.I mean take the 'talking therapies' for instance.Great in theory but likely to do more harm than good if you end up with a therapist who's either bonkers or got their own agenda.And sadly there seem to be too many so-called therapists who fall into those two categories.

    Anyway here's a tune

  64. Montana

    Seems like you and me do have something in common after all :-)

  65. Shaz

    That's the chap. Sloths are wonderful animals.

  66. Paul 23.12 I think people have to find the way that suits them.

    And one way is the Writing Therapy advocated ( iirc) by Jung . Once you've written it down, and can refer to it, not an operation for comments on a blog where memory-holeing takes over, you are confronted with yesterday's effort on your own computer or writen page, so can't go on everlastingly repeating yourself , going around in a circle .

    And I find that once you start writing new ideas force their way in, of course. A private effort, with results, and owing no help to outsiders.

  67. frog2

    Agreed.I,m sure that would work for some people whilst a good therapist would work for others.Possibly even a combination of the two.I think the point i was making maybe none too well is when people develop an almost evangelical belief in one way of dealing with stuff and try and impose that on people who are often vulnerable then that isn,t good.And there do seem to be a lot of people about who have this evangelical belief in something that may have worked for them but may not work for others.

    Take CBT which seems to be the 'must have' therapy on offer at the moment.Even the last government was talking about training up thousands of CBT therapists to get the sick back to work.Trouble is CBT doesn,t work for an awful lot of people.Yet there's a danger that people who this therapy doesn,t work for will nevertheless be made to feel that this 'failure' is somehow a reflection on them.

  68. Leni - and no. 2 child informs me that Madagascar is home to 5% of the world's plant and animal species: 90% of its plants are found nowhere else in the world.

  69. Hello everyone, I'm just navigating my way around my new laptop which my sister gave to me and came across this which she bookmarked.
    (Don't worry, I'm not spying and she said that any link she left on was open season)

    Anyway I was going through her favourites and deleting all the irrelevant ones; (like luxurious skiing holidays)when I came across this one:

    Some interesting stuff about about writing and how to comment on blogs to the best effect.

    I haven't read it all yet but it might be worth
    5 minutes to have a look.

    BTW: does anyone know the easiest way to transfer documents from one computer to another?

    All I want to do is transfer "My documents" and "My favourites", however my old computer doesn't have a USB and besides most of my documents are stored on floppy discs.

    Remember them?

    I haven't worked out how to use the mouse yet either.

    What's that thing underneath it? Is is a "dongle" or a "USB" or are they both the same thing?

    I'm using an HP/compaq nc4010, if that's any help.

    This package arrived with a cd but I've yet to find out which orifice to insert it into!

    Any advice would be welcome.

  70. Shaz
    The flora and fauna of M are quite unique. it is one of the places I would love to visit.

  71. This comment has been removed by the author.

  72. Paul 23.51 -- sure, the writing therapy will work better for those already used to expressing themselves , and with their own 'drive' to evolution . Completely agreed on the different 'schools' of therapy . Lots of anecdotal around on dinner-parties where the idiots argue about whose 'therapy' is best .

    The Wiki on CBT is very good . Covers what you said about one mob cornering the government spondoolicks. The piece on Computerised CBT must be very tempting -- There are cognitive behavioral therapy sessions in which the user interacts with computer software (either on a PC, or sometimes via a voice-activated phone service), instead of face to face with a therapist. This can provide an option for patients, especially in light of the fact that there are not always therapists available, or the cost can be prohibitive. For people who are feeling depressed and withdrawn, the prospect of having to speak to someone about their innermost problems can be off-putting. In this respect, computerized CBT can be a good option

    Of course once the computer program has been written, and why not Open Source freeby, there is no subsequent income stream. CCBT would surely help some people, compared to the alternative of no help at all.

    I can just imagine A4e training up hundreds of CBT trainers and getting the govt to pay £ zillions 's a week for their 'services' in getting people into work !

    NN -- it's late here .

  73. Paul

    you've done it again. Several mins ago you had link to G piece - now tis gone.

    The generally agreed figure for cousin marriages seems to be it increases risk of double recessives from 2% in general population to 4%.

    There sre several variants of Ushers syndrome. ( The deaf blind theatre group I linked to yesterday is for people with US).

    It is present in all populations.

  74. Frog

    Unum -Cardiff Uni did research which inspired gvt. CBT craze as part of the A4E drive and ATOS.

    In brief they deduced that it was attitude to illness - personal and family pressures - rather than illness and disability themselves which stopped the sick and disabled from working.

    This has evolved into an almost total denial of organic causes for disease or disability. Dr. now advised not to sign people offf sick.

    CBT - like all behavioural models is designed to change behavioural response - it can work in much the same way as Scientology if patient buys into it. It can also make people very guilty if they are convinced they can work but find themselves unable to. It can also add pressure if no jobs are available - create a sense of failure.

  75. Leni

    Really sorry about that.Was trying to link to another article from the Observer which showed some inconsistancies in the way this same issue was reported.Managed to screw it up hence the deletion.

    There does seem to be a consensus that the risk of genetic disorder in first cousin marriages is double the risk for non cousin relationships where the woman is under 40.But as you say we're talking about 4% instead of 2%.

    Anyway i,m gonna leave this until i,ve seen the monday programme.Haven,t had a response to my e-mail yet.Will be really interested in seeing the 2008 report that was referred to in the trailer.

    Am signing off now so NN x

  76. Leni
    Signed off and then remembered I'd forgotten to eat ! So a rabbit fricassed later ...

    I thought the wiki on CBT semed quite fair, as one approach amongst many, and particularly seeing how many get notthing at all in the way of help.

    The particular therapeutic techniques vary within the different approaches of CBT according to the particular kind of problem issues, but commonly may include keeping a diary of significant events and associated feelings, thoughts and behaviors; questioning and testing cognitions, assumptions, evaluations and beliefs that might be unhelpful and unrealistic; gradually facing activities which may have been avoided; and trying out new ways of behaving and reacting. Relaxation, mindfulness and distraction techniques are also commonly included. Cognitive behavioral therapy is often also used in conjunction with mood stabilizing medications to treat conditions like bipolar disorder. Its application in treating schizophrenia along with medication and family therapy is recognized by the NICE guidelines (see below) within the British NHS.

    Going through cognitive behavioral therapy generally is not an overnight process for clients. Even after clients have learned to recognize when and where their mental processes go awry, it can in some cases take considerable time or effort to replace a dysfunctional cognitive-affective-behavioral process or habit with a more reasonable and adaptive one.

    Well, remember the 'cognitive' bit, it is isn't all oldhat behaviourism , and as the last para above says, takes time ... not something the atos mob are interested in !

    BUT anythng that Cardiff and Unum and ATOS get behind has got to be wrong !

  77. @stevehill - I won't join in with the shower of welcomes. I don't like neo-liberal cunts and make no apologies for saying so.

    You're happy enough to have made your money by shafting the poor as an insolvency practitioner. No doubt the size of your wedge was dictated by how much you could beat down the claims of the workforce you were maing redundant.

    You spend your time now on Cif posturing as a liberal dream - the house husband who's looking after the spoilt little middle class brats while your wife goes out to work.

    And in your free time, as someone who took early retirement thanks to your expertise at cost-cutting and sacking people worse off than you, you get to spout off about how the coalition is right to cut benefits for the poor and taxers for the rich, because that's all going to grow the economy.

    Liberal fucking hero.

    How do you sleep at night?

    It amazes me that you get welcomed on here.

    @swiftyboy, having a little dig, yet again, when he know's Hank's not around - were you really in the RAF? Wasn't there some sort of bravery test?

  78. Leni -- to re-phrase my last sentence ; CBT is obviously useful to some people, and is relatively cheap to offer, BUT that is all. I don't think it is like Scientology, but "some' are pretending it will solve all problems, and that is dishonest .

    Eaten now, NN !

  79. Happy with the way things are going on here, Montana?

    You really think that hermione is more of a socialist than me, MF and scherfig? Hermione, who supported the LibDems before and after the election, and has yet to understand, let alone apologise for, the enormity of her decision?

    You think that hermione's any sort of socialist at all, complicit as she is in the election of the most benefit-slashing, tax-cutting govt the UK has ever seen?

    I appreciate that, as a Yank, you don't really understand what socialism is, but, even so, are you prepared to stand by that judgement?

    If so, spell it out, Montana. I could do with a fucking laugh.

    Do you really think that socialism is all about being nice to people, speaking in platitudes, tolerating the class enemy, like stevehill, bru and swifty, just because they aren't quite as angry as people who have something to get angry about?

    You're really no better than Jessica Reed, and the rest of the poncy middle class liberals, who love to talk about injustice around the dinner table but look down on people who offend your middle class etiquette by getting angry about things.

    Hermione?? You make me fucking laugh.

  80. @Hank: I don't think that Steve Hill was welcomed on here because we agree with him.On the contrary, I would suspect that most of us don't but at least he won't get "modded" on this site and we can pick holes in his philosophy should he choose to remain a contributer to the UT Website.

  81. hi Frog

    y criticism is not cos it's from ATOS but from the way it is presented and the assumption that it will 'cure' thousands of people in a couple of months.

    Can't find ref. at the moment but about 5 years ago there was a gvt. expectation that out of 900,000 referals of depressed or anxiety patients over half would be found to be fit for work.

    Where things have gone so seriously wrong is that assumptions - untested and unproven - have been accepted as truth. Policy has been built around this and many people have been removed from incap.

    The extension of this is now that the physically disabled can work if they overcome maladaptive behaviours and thoughts around their physical condition.

    Many disabled people can and do work. When there are no jobs - or employers are unwilling/unable to provide the right facilities the disabled don't stand a chance of a job even if capable of doing it.

    This is the factor being ignored. If declared fit for work - then work you must irrespective of your chance/lack of chance of getting a job.

    The acceptance that not working when ill or disabled is 'maladaptive behaviour' is wrong. The system needs to be adapted to serve the needs of the people - first of course the jobs have to be there.

    Massive sums were invested into the CBT programme - there is no equivalent investment for job creation.

    It's all cart before horse thinking

  82. Frog

    It is like scientology in that it builds a false belief system.

    CBT does work for a few people. Using it as a mechanism for taking people of benefits is a misuse of it. It is serving the system not the patient.

  83. Alright Hank

    Imsomniacs Anonymous here.

    You know i was thinking the other night that other than this vendetta you have against Hermione which i'll never understand i actually think you come across as a sound bloke most of the time.That's not arselicking on my part it's what i genuinely think.

    I,m sorry for gobbing off at you like i did but Hermione really isn't the enemy here.I personally think she's a floating voter of which there are many in this country.But she's a floating voter who doesn,t pose a threat to anyone,least of all to you and like most floating voters needs to be convinced that the Left can offer an alternative.

    Anyways i'm not looking for a cyber ruck with you.I just wanted to say me piece and then fuck off and hopefully get some kip.Hope all's well with you.


  84. @chekhov - I counted five "hi steve"'s or similar before 10.00 on yesterday's thread. It was like royalty had descended on Wigan Pier and we were all so humble in his presence.

    Not a single poster on here objected to his obnoxious worldview.

    It was pitiful.

    @Paul - you really don't get it. Hermione is stevehill with a makeover and a comedy scriptwriter.

    I'm not gonna apologise for pissing you all off.

    There seems to be a mindset on here in which we all gang up on the most obvious right-wing loon, and clap each other on the back for being good socialists for doing so.

    The obvious right-wing loons are easy targets, and there's no glory to be had.

    Too many of you can't see the real enemy parading in front of you.

    Too many of you are more concerned with swapping banalities with hermione and the rest of the waddya gang than you are risking unpopularity by recognising that most of the waddya gang are liberal hypocrites.

    Maybe most of you are too.

    Who knows?

  85. @Hank. What is a liberal hypocrite? And don't just say people who post on waddya. Genuine question.

  86. Hank

    No you're right i don't get where you're coming from as far as Hermione is concerned.Hitherto i,ve never seen any evidence that she,s some closet Tory who's pulled the wool over my eyes.She has her niche on CIF and she's harmless.But the idea that Hermione is somehow the 'real enemy' is one i just can't accept.For as i said before i see her as a floating voter who needs to be convinced that the Left offers a real alternative.She certainly doen,t strike me as someone who is guilty of betraying the working class people of this country.From what she's revealed about herself she strikes me as someone who like most of us is getting by as best she can.And is as unhappy about the way things are unravelling in this country as many other people.I dunno maybe there are things me and Hermione don't agree on but as you know there are different levels of disagreement.And so far i'm not persuaded that Hermione is the enemy.

  87. @navro - people who post on Waddya is a pretty handy definition.

    People who buy the Guardian but send their kids to private schools would be another.

    People who think that they've done their bit by recycling their wine bottles.

    People who spend half their working day discussing whether a jaffa cake is a cake or a biscuit.

    People who spend half their working day discussing whether a jaffa cake is a cake or a biscuit, and the other half of the working day spewing their bile on forums about the workshy working classes.

    People who think that going to the opera amounts to redistribution of wealth if a tiny fraction of the box office is passed to orchestras for underprivileged clarinettists.

    People who vote Labour or Liberal but use accountants to avoid paying the taxes they would otherwise pay.

    People who believe in equality but claim to have never heard of nepotism.

    People who believe that there's nothing wrong in giving Isabella Mackie a job at the Guardian purely on merit, and believe it, because Alan Rusbridger sanctioned it.

    People who believe in equality as long as it doesn't cost them anything in monetary terms.

    People who believe in racial equality as long as a black family doesn't move in next door.

    People who have family trust funds and wave their hands in the air at U2 concerts.

    People who go to Glastonbury, and get hospitality tickets.

    People who believe in comprehensive education for the masses and send their own precious little darlings to private schools.

    People who believe in sexual equality and fairtrade coffee but employ a Nicaragaun nanny because she's cheap.

    People, in short, who have ridden on the backs of the Labour Movement to enjoy their gilded positions in the sanctimonious households of Islington, Hampstead and Notting Hill.

  88. @Paul - she was pretty happy when the coalition took power.

    She's been backtracking ever since.

    Got to be honest, Paul, I really don't know why you're so hung up on the hermione thing. She's a vacuous attention-seeker, and she's almost certainly a gay bloke. I don't fancy your chances to be honest, despite all the kisses.


  89. Hank

    Well who gives a fuck whether she's a she or a he.How on the one hand can you support equal rights for gay people and then use every opportunity you can to try and humiliate Hermione cos you think she may be a gay man.Doesn't make sense to me.You see the thing is Hank i,m secure enough in my own sexuality not to be bothered whether Hermione is either male /female or gay/straight.I like her online personnnae and i'll defend her.

    Must admit though a kiss from you is a different kettle of fish.Sends me all a quiver.

  90. @paul

    I support equality. Full stop.

    I don't believe in positive discrimination. Full stop.

    I think that the Left lost its way back in the 60s because it forgot that the most important battle was the class war and that, having secured equal rights for women, blacks and gays, it gave too much prominence to those minority groups at the expense of the working class.

    In effect, it became a vehicle for middle class minorities who cared more about their own sectional interests than it did about the economic interests of the working class people that formed the movement.

  91. @Hank Well that's fifthteen(16) things I've never done or want to do. Good list BTW. Still not so sure about the ' liberal hypocrite' though. I know I am both. Still voted Labour,useless twats.

  92. @Paul - please do tell though why you like hermione's persona so much.

    It baffles me. I genuinely find her vacuous.

    She comes out with bland, crowd-pleasing one-liners which add nothing to the sum of human understanding. She doesn't advance the debate, deepen it or challenge any of the views expressed in the blogs she's so quick to comment on.

    And she never joins in the debate, unless she's personally attacked, at which point she turns nasty and shrill.

    She really is quite fucking dense.

    And she's a fan of the coalition.

    She should get poster of the year this year, and then get retired.

    The joke really isn't funny anymore.

  93. @navro - that's it?!

    I don't know why I bother sometimes.

    Off to bed before I get hauled up before the PC Standards Commissariat again.

  94. Hey UT

    It's been a hectic week hence my lack of participation here. I've been talking to people at work about the idea of making complaints to the GMC about ATOS medical professionals who have a high number of their Work Capability Assessments overturned on appeal. Everyone I've talked to about it thinks it is a great idea, but I think it will only be effective if we make it a nation wide practice so I need to talk to the right people to see how this can be implemented. I'll keep you updated on how this idea pans out.

    I've spent a lot of this week getting fucking angry at the way in which the Tories have won the battle to frame the terms of the debate. It's no longer a question of whether we should have such deep cuts but what should be cut. Every gorram idea these cunts put forth seems to be about isolating easy targets and relying on the fucktarded to support them out of ignorance. Just look at how the welfare benefits cuts are being framed. The language used to justify the cuts are the familiar terms; scroungers, cheats, fraudsters, etc. But anyone familiar with the nuts and bolts of benefit work can see pretty damn clear who will really suffer from this ideology. Got a terminal illness? Well you can work for the next 6 months you scrounger! So you claim to have ME? Pah, are you sure you're not just lazy?! Severe depression you say? That's not even a real illness, all you need is a monotonous 9 til 5 job you fraudster!
    I find it even more disgusting that it was a party that dared to have the word Labour in it's name that started this trend. It's looking to get even worse come the Autumn.

    Given my current anger towards what's going on I've retreated to my safe ground of conquering medieval Europe and reading Rudolf Rocker, which has led to something of a realisation about the true fight we have on our hands. In a nutshell national politics is irrelevant, it doesn't matter who sits in parliament. The real war is one of economics and it transcends such outdated notions as borders and nationality. I'm sure this is no surprise to many of you, but the real question is how do we fight it? The real problem with the 'left' is that, in the main, we are still using 19th century tactics. The protest, the picket, the petition, the idea that putting enough pressure on parliament will mean a damn. I don't think the problem is insurmountable, but we do need a new way of thinking.

    Anyway that's enough of my rant for the night. I'll try and be more productive tomorrow. I'll leave you with the wonderful Julie Fowlis

  95. Hank

    Race,sexuality and gender became issues in the Labour movement for the simple fact that the Labour movement was once-and still is- dominated by straight white men who felt they had a god given right to run things.But yes i agree with you that postive discrimination has proven to be a regressive step.I was unimpressed with the 'Blairs Babes' and i feel that if Black Sections had been allowed to take root in the Labour movement it would have proved to be as ineffectual for Black people as the Blairs Babes were for women.But it is also a fact that those of us who are not straight White men have had to fight to get our voices heard.And without meaning to be snide i think you might feel differently if you weren't a straight white male yourself.

  96. @Hank

    Jim Callaghan talking about the party as a broad church signalled the end of the Labour Party as a group with class struggle as it's focus.

  97. @ Hank

    Having read the latest posts I think you are too generous in some respects. The left lost its way in 1872. I'm not one for violence as a rule but I think some marxist bastards should have been shanked 'pour encourager les autres.'

    No idea about the Hermione points tbh. I guess I never noticed her posts.

  98. Hank

    Gotta go.Will catch up with you with this 'conversation' another time.


  99. Hank - I really can't be arsed. I co-wrote a JUSTICE report in 1994 which led to a transformation of our bankruptcy laws and made life easier for millions of people in debt. I helped make rescuing the business the primary objective (by law) wherever possible, and maybe helped save 100,000 jobs or so, based on a Times editorial 20 years ago that I pretty much dictated to the leader writer word for word. I've been carpeted, with my managing partner, by directors of major banks for writing pieces (accurately) accusing them of "bayoneting the wounded" - and then they changed their behaviour (a bit). I've been thanked by debtors in the street years after the event for the help I gave them. I've been honoured by the global insolvency trade body as one of only eight people to get free membership for life. I sleep at nights.