25 August 2010

25/08/10

Ammonite

Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
-Juvenal

108 comments:

  1. I did the Political Compass thingie again (forgot what I'd gotten the 1st time). I got:

    Economic Left/Right: -9.88
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.26

    I'm a bit puzzled by Charles's claim that there was a strong American bias to the test, though -- the quiz and its developpers are based in the UK. The British spelling should have been one big clue.

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  2. Morning all

    The Institute for Fiscal Studies has a report out today showing that the poorest will be hit hardest by the cuts, according to an interview on the news this morning. Should be worth a read.

    Can't find it on their site yet - but that may be because I'm being a bit dozy this morning.

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  3. Well, ok Montana, but I still feel it was blunt, arbitrary and divisive.

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  4. Morning all

    A night of insomnia for me.... SheffP: just been reading the response to the IFS report on the Guardian.

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  5. I was suprised to see that the Cif Editorial didn't try to play down the IFS report, it is pretty damning.

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  6. Action stations! Cherie Blair article up....

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  7. Don't mind if I park this thought here.

    'We'll know when we have abolished the class system in Britain when children of middle class parents (who went to uni)have no problem becoming a bricklayer or plumber.'

    As I said on a thread before my resignation many times, university is just a rite of passage/finishing school and has actually eroded mobility. Why- becuase it has raised the bar. There is now a special category of jobs called 'graduate jobs'- the university thread yesterday was a revelation, previously jobs like these required 4 O levels, ie basic administrative, desk work. All it means is that workers like me who could easily do any job, by learning and training on the job can't- we are fucked over.

    RIP, social mobility in the UK, done unwittingly by Blairs 50% into higher education fantasy as much as Thatch.

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  8. There's some very sloppy language in the Political Compass test. The "my race is better than others", for instance. If they mean the human race, I'd go along with that one. But I suspect they don't.

    And children learning to "accept discipline". Didn't really know what to make of that one. I think it's incredibly important that they learn self-discipline. Again, I don't think that was what they meant, but isn't that "accepting discipline" too?

    * * *

    A rare and startling fit of self-awareness from Bracken on Whaddya yesterday.

    I mean, who'd among among you would call me a cunt to my face? Not more than 99%, I'd venture.

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  9. And another thing...

    I suspect that Bru is consciously parodying her/himself. Some of his/her posts are looking suspiciously like humour.

    Exhibit A, m'lud...

    By the way on September 19th I've been invited to a party in Antwerp with Nepalese food and drink. Is 19th a day of celebration in Nepal? I didn't like to ask but was just wondering.

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  10. Thauma:

    Just seen the Cherie article. Honestly, the hypocrisy.....

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  11. @Spike (& Charles):

    If you look at the FAQ on the Political Compass site, they say that the wording on many questions is deliberately vague/provocative. In fact, the race question is specifically mentioned. I think the whole point is to get emotional, even knee-jerk responses.

    And, no, Spike. She's not. She's just that stupid.

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  12. Montana

    And, no, Spike. She's not. She's just that stupid.

    Stupid is as stupid does, according to Tom Hanks in the film to which I cannot remember the title.

    Here is a demonstration of how to speak in a succession of cliches:

    I was once due to fly to an exotic location and three weeks before there was a terrible plane crash with total loss of life. When I eventually took my flight everyone looked tense and the sense of relief on landing was palpable. It was a real white knuckle journey.

    I was of the opinion that lightning never strikes twice but I could have been wrong of course.

    Here is a demonstration of the profound thoughts of an international political analyst:


    Interesting question but if you look at dictatorships, they are usually more unsuccessful than democratic systems in feeding the hungry.

    Think of the history of dirt-poor Latin American countries or certain African nations. This may be so because under a dictatorship corruption is often so rife. The President can have ten mansions while his people live in shanty towns.

    ............

    S/he/it is nothing but a human cliche, a cartoon caricature, the parody of a real person.

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  13. Spike- msg from Jess on La Fete de l'Huma

    She asked if you were going, told her Oui.

    JessicaReed 25 Aug 2010, 11:58AM

    frog2 - am not (sadly, I do like merguez sandwiches), but wouldn't mind a piece about it.

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  14. That was gratuitous and childish. Sorry.

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  15. Afternoon all

    I have just been moderated for leaving a post on waddya comparing Matt Seaton's spontaneous reaction to the ill treatment of a cat to what appears to be a half-hearted response by him and Guardian Towers to the way the sick are being treated by ATOS.Have e-mailed the mods asking why my post has been zapped?

    So far i,ve had 3 posts reinstated on appeal but these inconsistancies in moderation are getting beyond a joke.But then everyone here knew that anyway.

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  16. #I was once due to fly to an exotic location and three weeks before there was a terrible plane crash with total loss of life. When I eventually took my flight everyone looked tense and the sense of relief on landing was palpable. It was a real white knuckle journey.#

    How to spot a bullshitter #2376

    Nobody ever says "I was once due to fly to an exotic location"..they say "I was once due to fly to X, Y or Z"...or "I was due to catch a flight..."

    The "exotic location" raises two possibilities

    a) She didn't go anywhere but still she was driven to reinforce her imaginary glamorous jettsetting lifestyle. However, if she had said "I was once due to fly to Z" where Z is a suitably exotic and exclusive location, she might have then been caught out had someone responded "Oh isn't Z wonderful" and preceded to wax lyrical about Z whereupon she would be found out..once she had googled Z and posted a comment which pertained to facts in the first 3 lines of the Wikipedia entry and then went into some vague universally applicable waffle about handbags and indigenous culture.

    b) It was actually a coachtrip to Margate..but it's the same really if you shut your eyes...and haven't you ever heard of poetic licence?

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  17. Brusselsexpats has apparently just finished writing a romantic novel. With her dreary command of the English language I expect it will make Dan Brown read like Anthony Burgess. Perhaps she shoud draft PeterBracken in as an editor to polish up her deathly prose a bit, and double the word-count into the bargain, (and Montana Wildhack could be her 'bad language consultant').

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  18. So Martyn in Europe responds to my now zapped post saying that those of us who are fighting to get the Guardian more involved in the campaign against ATOS should remember the Guardian are not our parents and that we should set up our own blog about it. His post has now vanished.But the PA from Brussels-(who most certainly is not a trannie from Scunthorpe) has waded in with her suggestion that we shouldn't be bothering with the Guardian but should be taking our battle to the Mail/Sun etc.Which some of us are already but like MinE The PA from Brussels ( who most certainly isn't a trannie from Scunthorpe)has missed the point.The Guardian should have put it's full weight behind the campaign against ATOS months ago.

    btw Ben Canute(?) was also zapped for making a post about the terminally ill being forced to sign on for ESA.

    This is obviously a really touchy subject for the Guardian.

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  19. OH FUCK..Paul beats me to it..anyway..just parking this here

    A certain resident of Scunthorpe wrote...

    #MartyninEurope
    ______________

    My sentiments exactly - or even better as I have already pointed out. Go to the enemy camp i.e. the Sun/Mail/Express newspapers and blog on there. And be prepared to fight it out.#

    Indeed..poor people..on benefit..outta work..hardly a topic for the worlds-leading-liberal-voice

    ...save it for the tabloids..

    mind you, I couldn't even find the post that was being agreed with..so I clicked on MartyninEurope's profile to search for the comment...and I found this little gem..

    "Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto"

    So either benefit claimants are sub-human and therefore beneath MartyninEurope's humanitarian radar...or he needs to change his motto.

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  20. are you suggesting it might be dangerous?...

    Hahaha - hours of entertainment!

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  21. I love online translations; that comes out as

    "Homo to be, kindness nothing a me somebody else's to clear"

    Sweet.

    http://www.translation-guide.com/free_online_translators.php?from=Latin&to=English

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  22. #Hahaha - hours of entertainment!#

    Well...I'll give him/her his/her due..seems she had a point..LordMetroland took a chance and the fucking thing said "Go to premod, go directly to premod, do not ask awkward questions do not have a go at the valued spam"

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  23. BW

    "I am a man, I consider nothing that is human alien to me"

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  24. Oh great.

    The sad part is that I think she genuinely believes that posting something on the Mail's site is daring.

    Just like she 'takes no prisoners'.

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  25. ..unless they're claiming benefits..in which case they can go bother the Sun or Mirror...and leave the world's leading liberal voice to deal with the handbags and the jaffa cakes (that your poor old Grandad had to sweat to buy you.)...fuckin hate that song as it goes

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  26. Oh, and now Jessica has weighed in to ask everyone to please go back to talking about Jaffa cakes or something.

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  27. Oh no..my thoughts are "Utter nonsense" as the magisterial voice has just informed me..I'm sure he's glad I've been sidelined...delighted..like a dick with two dogs

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  28. OK...I've had the explanation...it's taboo because "...the cif bods have proclaimed it an investigative thing, so not suitable for cif."

    Now I get it...it's an "investigative thing"..how convenient...and how convenient that there isn't a single conceivable issue or concept which the "cif bods" couldn't likewise deem an "investigative thing".

    How the fuck can anyone swallow a pile of crap like that?...so an "investigative thing" is the kinda blogging equivalent of being sub judice then? What a pathetic, hand-wringing little cop out..I've known fuckin 6 year olds who could come up with better excuses...and exactly what is a "cif bod"?

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  29. Right..I'm off to Morrisons and think up a new name.

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  30. Sweet. He's a real liberal

    Here's that post in full

    _________________________
    What do you want to talk about?
    martynineurope's comment 25 Aug 10, 4:43pm (19 minutes ago)

    PaulBJ
    25 Aug 2010, 4:17PM
    Brusselsexpats and Martyn in Europe

    You both seem to have completely missed the point i was making in my now zapped post.




    No, Paul, I think I did understand your points. I simply did not address the specifics.

    If there is a strong enough campaign the media will back it, but, and this is from a personal perspective, I have never relied on the media to fight a campaign, it just isn't their role. The media can support a campaign, but for that to happen, it needs to be cohesive, coherent and strong enough for the media to pick it up and run with it. IMHO. It needs to be able to tell a story, and to keep telling it.

    What has been done to ensure people are accompanied by advisers who will advise them how to answer the questions posed by people from ATOS etcetera?

    What has been done to educate people as to how to answer certain questions, even to lie, if necessary?

    Who is running the campaign? Where is the organisation? What is the organisation? What are it's aims? How is it fighting for its aims? What are its plane?

    Come on, there must be more to it than "leave it to the Graun".

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  31. monkeyfish, Paul

    CiF doesn't do "evidence"-based anything... it's just a day-centre really.

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  32. Yeah, BW, that's a real 'Big Society' post, innit?

    As for the 'investigative' excuse: who the fuck runs Cif again? Oh yeah, it's on the guardian.co.uk domain. Would it be totally impossible to, you know, walk down the hall and suggest to the fucking investigative unit that maybe they should take a look at this?

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  33. Thauma - it's been long established that they don't want analysis or 'investigative' work on CiF.

    It's the worst feature of CiF and always has been.

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  34. I know it's the silly season but cif seems to have gone totally bonkers. whilst I agree bunging cats in wheelie bins is out of order that thread has had over 1300 posts. For fucks sake what are people's priorities? the world's in shreds but its cruelty to a cat cat that gets everyone exercised...

    As for waddya....jesus wept....what a bloody fiasco that has become.

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  35. That cat thing is weird Sheff, not just on Cif, I seriously can't understand why it has become such a big deal.

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  36. "the world's in shreds but its cruelty to a cat cat that gets everyone exercised..."

    The sensiblest thing you've written here to my knowledge, Sheff.

    Except the world's not in shreds. That's my only caveat.

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  37. Well, I suppose it's heartening that people are displaying some humanity. And I'm quite sure that there would have been an even bigger outcry if it had been a child - I think it's the fact that you can see it on video.

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  38. Hi All

    Back in exile after three weeks in London - rained every day.... Anyway, it's 36 C here, so I've cheered up.

    Spike

    A rare and startling fit of self-awareness from Bracken on Whaddya yesterday.

    mean, who'd among among you would call me a cunt to my face? Not more than 99%, I'd venture."

    Not self-awareness - wishful thinking.

    If 99% of people cared enough to call him names, he'd be well on his way to achieving his ambition of becoming a Christopher Hitchins replica.

    I don't think most people think Peter Bracken's a cunt - he's a bit of a prat at times, but he's nowhere near offensive enough to deserve the C-word.

    Paul

    So far i,ve had 3 posts reinstated on appeal but these inconsistancies in moderation are getting beyond a joke.But then everyone here knew that anyway.

    I'm still in pre-mod after 4 weeks.

    My offence? I called someone who repeatedly posted racist crap a "fucking idiot".... It seems that the delicate flowers in CIF moderation had such a fit of apoplexy over my industrial language, they were quite unable to remove the racist posts that inspired it....

    But then again, I can't imagine that anyone has used such offensive language as me before - perhaps I should have restricted myself to calling him a cunt?

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  39. thaumaturge,

    I think it's the fact that you can see it on video.

    I was rather more concerned that someone had installed a CCTV camera covering their wheelie bin. What's the world coming too.

    Things like who put the cat in the wheelie bin should remain a mystery. If you can't chuck pussy in the rubbish without appearing on youtube, what can you do?

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  40. Exiled, apparently their car had been vandalised several times and that was the reason for the CCTV, not the wheelie bin. ;-)

    Paul - meant to say thanks for your response last night - I went to bed shortly after my last post. (As it were.)

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  41. I have to admit to going on said cat thread. Got really incenced with someone called Joe arguing its a 'mere' cat. However - as I said on thread it is blown out of all proportion and the said cat napper lady is also now facing death threats - which is mad.

    Peter - trust you to make a compliment and then make damned sure its a really backhanded one. The lady writes a lot of sense. You on the other hand.....

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  42. Exiled - the modding policy is wholly inconsistent. Don't know if wholly is spelt right there.

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  43. PeterB

    You're a fine one to pull me up on a metaphor!! You are Mr Never Miss A Metaphor If One Can Be Squeezed In, personified. If you can "unzip a landscape" I can "shred the world."

    Ken Capstick's piece on mining and the plight of the Chilean miners had about 70 posts last time I looked and quite a few of those are twatty atheists making pissy little points about the value of prayer. (I'm a non believer myself) And as for LtSchlick....

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  44. thauma

    apparently their car had been vandalised several times and that was the reason for the CCTV, not the wheelie bin. ;-)

    Am I the only one who finds the idea of Mr and Mrs Bloggs setting up private camera surviellence of a public area a bit worrying?

    What right does someone have to secretly monitor the comings and goings of their neighbours?

    PCC

    Exiled - the modding policy is wholly inconsistent. Don't know if wholly is spelt right there.

    You don't think a CIF contributor would be put in pre-mod for a month in the same circumstances?

    It is "wholly" I think, even though it looks wrong. The question is whether it is pronounced with a single "L" (like 'holy') or with two distinct "L's" (like "hole-lee")?

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  45. Sheff - indeed, Bracken squeezes in lurid metaphors like Aretha Franklin pouring herself into a size 8 stage dress. Except she can sing.

    The miners piece was lovely and I too was disappointed with my fellow rabid atheists. I partly blame the subs: the prayer bit was just a throwaway line at the end of the article, but they had to highlight it....

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  46. Exiled - I'm not a big fan of CCTVs either and that did occur to me. However, the evil cat-abuser (and I'm a dog person) deserved to be named and shamed, although not quite so widely, especially as the cat wasn't actually hurt.

    Death threats are obviously beyond the pale.

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  47. Sheff you are right about that mining piece, I'm an atheist as well and I might mention it when it is relavent but you have to be some kind of obsessive to bring it into every conversation.

    There is one poster, LucyQ I think her name is, that really pisses me off, she has two topics (atheism and alcohol abuse) and she brings them onto every thread.

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  48. thauma

    However, the evil cat-abuser (and I'm a dog person) deserved to be named and shamed, although not quite so widely, especially as the cat wasn't actually hurt.

    Evil? Named and shamed?

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  49. Tongue in cheek, Exiled, but I do think it was a sick thing to do. The appropriate response would have been an investigation by the RSPCA and a small paragraph in the local paper.

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  50. The Graun’s radical traditions and defence of the common man part II.

    The Manchester Guardian first published in May 1821 came with a prospectus with the Paper’s clarion call:

    "It will zealously enforce the principles of civil and religious Liberty, it will warmly advocate the cause of Reform; it will endeavour to assist in the diffusion of just principles of Political Economy."

    In other words, the civil liberties and reforms beloved by the middle class/bourgeois textile owners who started the Guardian. From its very beginnings “Civil liberties and just political economy” did not include the interests of expanding working classes who motored the textile factories and Industrial expansion.

    The Manchester Guardian was priced at 7d under its first editor, John Edward Taylor, putting its cost out of reach of the ordinary worker.

    John Edward taylor had fine upstanding bourgeois moral, values and politics. The Manchester Guardian opposed the campaign to end child labour in mills led by his old radical colleagues John Hobhouse and Michael Sadler. Taylor said ”Though child labour is evil, it is better than starvation”. What he failed to highlight is that child labour followed ‘just principles of political economy’ by increasing bourgeois textile industry owners profits.

    The Manchester Guardian also refused to support Richard Oastler’s 10 hours act, a campaign to reduce hours and raise wages for mill workers. The Manchester Guardian stated that the act if implemented would lead to ”the gradual destruction of the cotton industry”

    On voting reform, the Manchester Guardian again displayed both its impeccable bourgeois liberal pedigree whilst showing suspicion and utter disdain of the lower orders.

    "the qualification to vote ought to be low enough to put it fairly within the power of members of the labouring classes by careful, steady and preserving industry to possess themselves of it, yet not so low as to give anything like a preponderating influence to the mere populace. The right of representation is not an inherent or abstract right, but the mere creation of an advanced condition of society."

    Or in other words, fuck the poor. They can’t be trusted with the vote. Voting is not a universal right, only those in ‘the advance condition of society’ should be represented.

    I admire and fully support your campaigns to get the Graun to investigate ATOS etc but never do it under the illusion that the Graun has the poor or working class interests at heart. Porter’s civil liberties blogs focused almost entirely on the middle class agenda, warmly congratulating the coalition’s agenda without once addressing the civil liberties issue of economic bondage undertaken by the new administration.

    The Graun couldn’t give a shit about the common man. Scratch the ‘lefty liberal’ surface and the weeping pus of bourgeois reaction seeps out.

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  51. thauma

    It was a pretty sick thing to do, but unless she makes a habit of it I'd be inclined to put it down to being one of those stupid things people do from time to time.

    A police caution and a chat with her GP would seem appropriate. Isolated moments of madness (if that's what it was?) can strike most of us - but most of us are normally fortunate enough to get to feel guilty or stupid secretly.

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  52. Hush, Duke, I'm working on the assumption that the current crowd don't know all that and will fall for the "Guardian values encapsulated in the Scott Trust" argument. ;-)

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  53. Exiled - well, according to the Daily Mail (yes, I know) her reaction was: "What's all the fuss about? It's only a cat." So not much guilt there. Also she said she thought it would be 'funny'.

    Broadly I agree with you, but I'd be surprised if this was a one-off incident.

    Anyway, we're probably wasting more time on this topic than it deserves!

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  54. exiled

    Isolated moments of madness (if that's what it was?) can strike most of us - but most of us are normally fortunate enough to get to feel guilty or stupid secretly.

    Yes...and thank christ for that I say.

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  55. exiled - welcome back and well said on the isolated moments of madness.

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  56. "not fit for purpose"&"named and shamed"

    remind me too powerfully of John Reid (ughh)and Tony Blair ( super- ghhhh )

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  57. Sheffpixie

    Yes...and thank christ for that I say.

    Anything you'd like to share with us?

    thauma

    So not much guilt there. Also she said she thought it would be 'funny'.

    Yes, but that sounds like bravado in the face of her world-wide notoriety to me - I'm not so sure she would say the same if she had just had a visit from the local beat PC?

    Anyway, we're probably wasting more time on this topic than it deserves!

    Along with everyone else...

    My first reaction to the video was that it reminded me of a scene from a TV series, where Stratford Johns pushes a child off a bridge for no apparent reason, other than that nobody is looking... but that isn't going to help her defence much...

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  58. I think what concerned me about the cat thing was the fact that the owner posted the vid on Facebook 'to find out who it was'. This is surely disingenuous in the extreme - for sure the woman needs catching up with and speaking to/charging with animal cruelty or whatever - but they must have known that broadcasting her picture wholesale across the interweb would be exposing her to the kinds of retaliation/abuse that we've already seen on Matt Seaton's thread. And this is the Graun...

    Anyway. Glad the feline's okay.

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  59. Exiled

    Yes, but that sounds like bravado in the face of her world-wide notoriety to me - I'm not so sure she would say the same if she had just had a visit from the local beat PC?

    Quite likely, but in which case would she display more honesty?

    Shaz - I don't expect the owners thought it would go viral like it did - probably only thought their friends and neighbours would see it.

    I know I'd be furious if someone did anything similar to my dog and I would sure as hell want to know who did it. I would very probably have a disproportionate reaction to the severity of the crime - although not to the extent of a lynch mob. (Not if they hadn't actually harmed her, that is!)

    To me, the strangest part is how she fussed over the cat before dumping it in the bin. Your common-or-garden cat-hater would just have ignored it, and your average psychopath would have picked it up and dumped it in the bin without the preliminary stroking.

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  60. thauma - really good posts on waddya, although I get the feeling Jess has her fingers in her ears and is singing 'Lalalalala' very loudly...

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  61. Duke

    That stuff's fantastic..was, is and seemingly ever shall be

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  62. Thanks Shaz. It's incredible to me that we keep getting the "that's not my department" answer; for fuck's sake, I work for a large multi-national firm and I could quite easily find out who needs talking to for a major issue.

    The only answer that makes sense to me is that the Guardian is threatened with losing its lucrative public sector job postings if they make waves about it. Not that there are many public sector job postings at the mo, but perhaps it's a fixed contract.

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  63. Duke

    Given what you're finding, which is quite stunning stuff, i agree....I wonder what on earth gave any of us the idea that the groan gave a shit about the common man??

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  64. Had your chance, duke: the Guardian was yours to trumpet as you saw fit. You fuckin' blew it.

    Nil respect for that act of supine retreat. Don't have the requisite knowledge, my arse. The lay of the green's yours in any column.

    Sheff: the metaphor was fine; it's the sense of it that grates.

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  65. Sheff/Duke - to be fair, was this not a fairly radical opinion at the time? The 1832 reform bill expanded the franchise from what it had been, so I see the position to be in support of that without frightening the horses.

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  66. PeterB

    it's the sense of it that grates

    I suppose it depends on your perspective. You seem pretty sanguine - I'm much less so.

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  67. Helloee

    Have shot my last bolt on waddya - probably another massive fail !

    Will catch up later.

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  68. Quote from Ambrose' article last night in the Torygraph -

    "This has been one of the most interesting days in finance ever," said Andrew Roberts, head of credit at RBS. "We are right at the tipping point. Yields are about to collapse even further, equities are about to turn over. The end game approaches, probably in next few weeks."

    Shreds ?

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  69. That's an interesting take, frog. Trouble is, Ambrose has been bellachying about collapse for at least a year, and the feeling is he's cried wolf once too many times. Still, the spectre is real enough.

    Buy gold.

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  70. @ sheffpixie "I suppose it depends on your perspective. You seem pretty sanguine - I'm much less so"
    It depends on what you're looking at and where you're looking from.You and I are in major northern English cities. PeterB is in France, and less apt to be able to gauge the carnage looming for great swathes of the UK.The effects haven't kicked in yet, redundancies are only being announced/taken now (and that's just the first wave), but the sheer scale and speed of the cuts is astonishing and unprecedented: the bullshit the coalition are spinning about the private sector taking up the slack is risible: not in anywhere near sufficient numbers, and there's not a snowflake's chance in hell that any such projected jobs will be materialising soon. I don't buy into the Tory line of the private sector saving the day, but even if one did, the timings don't match up.Could contribute more on this: like the local police predictions of crime rising and generalised unrest going through the roof...hospital wards being allegedly 'mothballed' but actually closed,never to reopen (say it's temporary, then it doesn't have to go to scrutiny, even when it's been rendered physically unrescuable)...major private sector service firms going bust...local authorities cancelling contracts in-year,thus not paying for work done, and just hoping like hell they can get away with it and not sued to hell...Sadly,time and other pressures mean I can't be here or on CiF much at the moment.

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  71. Posting here in in Resources:

    Info on legal challenges to the govt's emergency budget.

    Women's Budget Group response to the emergency budget
    Fawcett Society's legal challenge to the government budget

    The Equality and Human Rights Commission's action to ensure the government meets its legal obligations to consider the effect of budget cuts on vulnerable groups.

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  72. PeterB,

    I know you're now here as the self confessed cuckoo but what exactly 'did I blow'?

    If you're referring to the article I declined to write as I said I didn't know enough about it and I didn't have time to research it, it's hardly 'blowing it' is it now? It was a request for an article that may have had an interesting debate BTL.

    thauma,

    my point is, is that the Graun loves to blow its 'radical tradition' trumpet even though historically it's a load of cobblers.

    From what I said above to the support of the southern confederacy in the US civil war to criticising the peterloo protesters to campaigning against women's suffrage (which I will write about tomorrow if I get the chance) to turning its back on Attlee's Govt in 1951 to criticising the UCS work in in 1972, etc etc, the Graun historically is as much part of the Bourgeois establishment as it has claimed to challenge.

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  73. thaum

    #Sheff/Duke - to be fair, was this not a fairly radical opinion at the time?#

    I believe that's the Guardian's line too...it would even seem plausible if it weren't for the fact that it wasn't even the most radical paper at the time..it was outflanked on the Left by the Manchester Gazette and the Manchester Observer.

    # The 1832 reform bill expanded the franchise from what it had been, so I see the position to be in support of that without frightening the horses.#

    It was viewed as "The Great Betrayal" by the Chartists...they'd also opposed the Corn Laws another Guardian favourite.

    I think you've fallen into a trap where you've overlooked a huge working class radical tradition which was unrepresented, lacked political agency and an effective medium to voice its position...it was there none the less and widely supported...the notion that the Guardian was radical for the time doesn't stand examination

    ...it wasn't even at the radical end of the middle-class reformist spectrum...even in Manchester...it later gained that reputation mainly through the demise of its left wing competitors (whose readership unfortunately afford to read them as millworkers' wages were slashed through the early 1800's)

    ...of course all that's had a revisionist airbrushing...and we're left with the world's leading liberal voice..with its long and noble radical tradition...didn't happen

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  74. Duke: you blew the opportunity. If this site bangs on about anything, it's about its collective message not being heard. Well, you had a chance to make yourself heard, on a subject you brought to the paper's attention.

    You declined it. Sure, you had your reasons. But time, and knowledge? Fuck me, Duke: it doesn't take much to derail your campaigning effort it, does it?

    You'll come to regret it, if you don't already. You let yourself down. And others here.

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  75. It depends on what you're looking at and where you're looking from.You and I are in major northern English cities. PeterB is in France, and less apt to be able to gauge the carnage looming for great swathes of the UK

    Aw, c'mon, Alisdair. Don't you realise that, just because you're actually in Britain and the Braxter is in France, it doesn't mean he doesn't know more about it? After all, geography doesn't privilege knowledge or whatever the hell the idiotic sputtering was.

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  76. Alisdair, and/or whoever !
    Peter agrees that the spectre is real enough,on the potential Financial Crisis,and the effect of that on economies would be hell.
    Markets & Co are great at the suspension of disbelief,but the Central Banks can only go on for so long propping up the system.
    Timing is the hardest to judge, because we're not in a linear situation.The smallest thing can start an avalanche, nobody knows when, so I wouldn't give the doomsters such as Ambrose, Peston at BBC, Golem etc, a hard time on that !

    Good luck with the 'time and other pressures'.

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  77. Duke and MF - fair enough, I stand corrected.

    But isn't it fair to say that they stood somewhat to the left of the prevailing opinion?

    Anyway ... am entering into zzz zone ... so I think I shall disappear. Brain (such as it is) no longer engaging properly.

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  78. Buy gold! heh..heh..heh. we'll be having a hard enough time buying bread soon...

    But PeterB...we'll know where to come for a loan...

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  79. PeterBracken:

    Buy gold

    Thanks for the tip at around £800 an ounce, I'm sure I could find a bit of disposable out of my 160 quid a week pay packet (less £100 for my rent) to set aside to invest.

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  80. Buy gold because we should all use a potential worldwide financial collapse to increase our own worth, isn't that right Peter?

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  81. Nick Clegg interviewed for BBC news states, without challenge:

    "we are trying to get people off benefits and into work - that's progressive"

    Errmm.... where are these magical jobs I wonder????

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  82. PeterBracken is right, Duke. When idiots like MartyninEurope can write totally irrelevant and tedious articles about Nazis in Spain, neo-cons like OZ can write about the labourship leadership contest and who he supports (why? who cares? and who the fuck is he anyway?) and even Peter gets a gig about motor-bikes, why not take the oppotunity to write about something important, Duke? It's not as if you couldn't write a better piece than the previously named Cif pets. Perhaps you should reconsider and you could give the nominal fee to the worthy cause of your choice?

    Incidentally, this 'mutualization' thingy and Cif's increasing tendency to recruit from BTL and then give the 'chosen' repeated gigs - is this a cost-cutting measure to provide almost free content for GMG, and what does the NUJ think about it? I mean, why bother paying professional journalist rates for pieces when you can get the world and his brother, sister or mother-in-law to bang out 800 words of shite for a pittance? I suppose the next thing will be hard-hitting weekly columns from hermione, unexceptional, brusselsexpats, damntheral and killingtime.

    Looks like the once optimistic concept of 'citizen journalism' has been dumbed down and appropriated by the corporate beast. The Guardian will happily accept fluff from talentless nonenties but baulks at writing about serious topical issues (Jess fuckin' bubblehead Reed - we can't do this, we can't do that - they really should try to curb her embarassing BTL interventions.) Still, she gave you a chance, Duke. Why not take a crack at it, and write something worthwhile?

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  83. Duke:

    "Still, she gave you a chance, Duke. Why not take a crack at it, and write something worthwhile?"

    I'd like to second that request from Johndoe. What's to lose.... ?

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  84. #But isn't it fair to say that they stood somewhat to the left of the prevailing opinion?#


    Dunno...the best way it was explained to me..Marx aside..natch...but without the historicist strand... was that Manchester was the cradle of industrial capitalism which in purely societal terms and contrary to Marx was rather a return to a quasi-feudal structure albeit an urban and depersonalised one; traditional geographic and family obligations and loyalties having been swapped for those based on economic necessity...virtual coercion..work for peanuts..eat, just about..or starve. It was dehumanised medieval feudalism.

    The best way to view the Guardian is as a would-be medieval priest...even the 'good' clergy didn't go hungry..generally took the side of the lord of the manner or millowner..and in place of Rome, we can substitute fashionable philanthropy and the prevailing bourgeois sensibilities.

    If you want real radical opinion,emancipatory and empowering, look to the great majority in the turnip field or the mill. The fat little god botherer always had and always will have other masters..and has a bit too much invested in just keeping things ticking along pretty much as they are.

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  85. I have steadfastly avoided Big Brother, but am having quite a laff watching the Slebs and Commoners mixing in the BB special.... quite sweet in a weird sort of way, only Ulrika is none to happy having to talk to the 'common people'.... and 'er with 'er scrawny neck n all that money n all....I hope she watches this afterwards and puts some weight on ;)

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  86. MF:

    Spot on. The frustration with CiF, felt by so many, is that no really radical ideas/decent thinkers are permitted to flourish.. The great Questionnaire had so many fantastic posts deleted everytime he got to the nub of the matter - they shat themselves at CiF Towers - what? a Working class, educated, thinking intellectual being more clever than wot we are?

    Can't 'ave that m'lud - wipe his words from the pages of time - NOW.

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  87. La Rit -- one of the advantages of not having TV, I can't be tempted .
    NN all !

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  88. Just watched Agora - Alejandro Amenábar's film about Hypatia, 4th century philosopher and scientist in Alexandria. Great if you like swords and sandals with 'brains' as Bradshaw puts it.

    Some horrible and depressing resonance with things going on today....

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  89. La Rit 22:35

    if we had a recommend button i'd press it !

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  90. frog2:

    Have ejected the TV once before only for Mr LaRit to find a perfectly usable one on the street. Grrr... 99% of it is shite and hideous adverts (check this out - Curry's advertising goods over a grand in terms of p's! fooking Capitalism can't help itself but sell, sell, sell).

    Tascia ;0) mebbe Montana would like to introduce a 'recommend' button? There's been many a post I'd have loved to recommend on this site ;)

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  91. Sheff

    Am going to get me fella to try and download that... I go crazy with the amount of really great films I miss in the cinema and in those tiny windows of opportunity that semi-obscure ones are on. I've also got out of the habit of going - the Ritzy went from being 6 quid to get in to 11 quid in a matter of months.

    Thanks for the heads up.

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  92. I wonder if the Questionnaire scenario is why they've never asked rednorth to write anything, despite repeated requests from others to do so?

    And -- I did propose changing the commenting function to one that would allow for recommends, but most people seemed to be against it.

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  93. Tascia

    It makes me wonder at times, but seems like the Duke's research into the Groin and it's 'keep the smelly masses in their place' philosophy holds true.

    e.g. Peter Bracken's morbid, inconsequential, faux intellectual musings are, it seems, the only acceptable fodder in the mouldering CiF stable. Gives you stomach trouble that stuff ;(

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  94. Larit

    i am currently researching material for a cif piece on the cunning and economical use of wool from unpicked jumpers to create original itsy bitsy cuddly toys for budgies. Think it might go down well.

    Citizens journalism at its best.

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  95. Duke
    Write it. Why not.

    As for the state of CiF ATL comment, there's a beauty on there right now - Anne Karpf (columnist on guardian Family) taking a stand: "That's why we need a campaign for spatial equality."

    Aparently modern Londerners are rude and bump into each-other a lot. "We", apparently, "need re-educating".

    Stunning.

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  96. @La Rit re the Duke

    The Graun's position is something I've struggled to reconcile.

    Since I was a paperboy in the 70's delivering papers to into a rather wealthy part of our city, and noticing then that the majority of papers were either the G, the Tim, and less so the Tel.

    How has the G been, or is being asked to be as of now, a wholly Socialist Exposé ? It never was in my day !

    Can't understand the obsession with the Graun !!

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  97. Tascia

    my mistake was in thinking that as we were asked for ideas for articles they just might be genuinely interested in the ideas and concerns of their readers.

    Foolish of me I know.

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  98. Have met Questionnaire a couple of times. Can't divulge who he is but he is a very bright guy, pretty eminent in his domain, and he knows his stuff.Knows it from lived experience and field-work too.

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  99. Re: The Graun
    Saying that I am liking 'tybo and silverwhistle's repost over on WADDYA.

    The Website does have a diverse and sometime (Not very often) interesting perspective.

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  100. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  101. The Graun won't jump on the ATOS benefits denial factory because it was New Labour's baby.

    It occurs to me that if the Graun hacks really wanted to have just cause to slobber over Ed Mil's bell-end, get him to commit to ending the ATOS and A4e contracts.

    After all, if he's as wadical and non-NuLab as they say he is, isn't that just the kind of thing he'd do?

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  102. >> Bitterweed said...

    >> Sweet. He's a real liberal

    Liberal? You must be joking - and I'm being kind.

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  103. >> johndoe said...

    >> PeterBracken is right, Duke. When idiots >> like MartyninEurope can write totally
    >> irrelevant and tedious articles about Nazis >> in Spain,

    I usually skip over articles that I think might be irrelevant, tedious or a waste of time. However, it seems that some people have a problem establishing their own criteria and any rational actions that might otherwise follow from that.

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  104. >> 13thDukeofWybourne said...
    >> the Graun historically is as much part of the Bourgeois establishment as it has claimed to challenge.

    That's exactly it, and wanting it to be something that it isn't is both a waste of time and effort IMHO

    The most one can expect is to get a piece put up on CiF, if people aren't even going to take that opportunity - which is a real possibility and not a fairies at the bottom of the garden fantasy - then why not?

    If you get enough pieces up on CiF maybe they could open a separate index of the articles. This is hardly rocket surgery, is it.

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