31 August 2010

31/08/2010



Know thyself - any one of three Greek philosophers, according to Wiki

364 comments:

  1. My connection is just fine, Montana, so just for the sake of continuity...

    Sorry to offer an aphorism rather than a quote, but I've always loved it. At first I thought it was a biblical message to atheists, then I started to think of it as a challenge. Now I'm wondering if it's a trap which makes you prisoner in your own head...

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  2. morning all........

    blimey martillo thought it was mother teresa there.....bit of a shock this time in the morning!!

    La Rit

    you wanted photos........well you got a video of the berber horses in action last night........

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  3. Sorry Gandolfo! It surprised me too since I was looking in Google images for a Picasso. It leapt out at me.

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  4. As we have two threads today, perhaps people could decide which one they want to post on and which type of persona they want to adopt for each.

    Good guy, bad guy?

    Angel or demon?

    Right or left?

    Right or wrong?

    Play nicely, it could get confusing.

    Those with multiple personalities, though, could be in for a ball.

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  5. "As we have two threads today, perhaps people could decide which one they want to post on and which type of persona they want to adopt for each"

    What a stupid fucking idea you cretin.

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  6. A little bit of history I didn't know about. I realise it's not the same thing but given our anxieties in the UK about the effects the cuts are likely to have on public libraries around the country, I found this resonant.

    The Great Book robbery

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  7. Habib

    Your posts at the end of the last thread were a bit cryptic.Hope everything's OK:-)

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  8. What a stupid fucking idea you cretin.

    It all seems to be pretty peachy so far.

    Thanks and a million kisses.

    Mwah!

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  9. Can't spend to long today, work beckons :( at least rian is not on the horizon.

    Lots of people looking in today I notice..... wonder why there is always '17 United Kingdom'.... some folk are dedicated followers it seems ;)

    Gandolfo

    Thanks for the horse videos..... beautiful creatures.... shame we had to see Berlusconi's face.... I notice it has made a full recovery from the 'ornament incident' - maybe an excuse for more plastic surgery???

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  10. Must admit i agree with gandolfo. My first thought when i saw that picture was WTF is Mother Theresa doing here.Right duty calls!

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  11. Sheff

    Thanks for the videos last night re: the financial crisis - I felt an impending sense of doom as I watched them in my insomniac moments around 4 this morning.

    No doubt the 3 economic commentors who were 'laughed at' before the previous crisis are still being 'laughed at' now... scary stuff.

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  12. "Who am I this time?"

    I don't know and I don't care, quite frankly and I can't sit here swapping inanities all day. African children don't finance themselves, you know.

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  13. African children don't finance themselves, you know.

    Just shows how much you know about running a slaving operation, doesn't it, Dumbo?

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  14. Atomboy

    As I foolishly tend to post as myself, the multiple persona thing is maybe something I should experimanet with!

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  15. Here's a warning of the danger of the interwebz. As I'm not sure if I can afford to keep my home web conexion I have been looking at stuff I've meant to catch up on, on the 27/b site I found a link to a free web game, 'Tower Defense' wee strategy game, tanks and planes attack, you have to plan defences.

    9! hours later, 1.20AM stagger off to bed, didn't have tea, woke up at 6am by the cat, feeling like a wet dishrag at work... Beware the flash games...

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  16. La Rit

    As I foolishly tend to post as myself, the multiple persona thing is maybe something I should experimanet with!

    Fill yer boots!

    Today is going to get messy.

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  17. "Just shows how much you know about running a slaving operation, doesn't it, Dumbo?"

    You obviously haven't read my book on peak oil.

    Buy black gold.

    You've never had another online personality, LaRit? Not once.

    Anyway, it's day two of this year's operation get-into-shape-you-lazy-bastard so I'm off to the gym. Have a good day.

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  18. Anyway, it's day two of this year's operation get-into-shape-you-lazy-bastard so I'm off to the gym. Have a good day.

    Piss up a rope, fuckstick.

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  19. There's going to be a car crash isn't there!

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  20. Hah, I knew you couldn't do it! You've got two personalities and they're both foul-mouthed gobshites.

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  21. Jessica Reed on waddaya

    "Sorry - Henry Porter on Liberty Central, Christina.He campaigned for 2 years on Cif on civil liberties issues."

    campaigned?? In a non-campaigning newspaper...bollocks...the Guardian doesn't get involved in campaigns..is she mad?


    and then I noticed....this little gem

    "Labour is not just the party of the working class"
    "Peter Kellner: Labour ideologies appeal to voters from all walks of life. The new leader must forget outdated ideas of a working-class party."

    Yeah let's face it Blair, Brown and their socialist hangers-on more or less wrecked the image of the party...time to try and appeal to the middle-classes...apparently...or so CIF informs us.

    You couldn't make this shit up. Luckily, you don't have to.

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  22. Martillo

    "You've never had another online personality, LaRit? Not once"

    Only one and she'll have to be resurrected from the graveyard in Second Life ;0)

    Hmmmm.... thinks.....

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  23. "Anyway, it's day two of this year's operation get-into-shape-you-lazy-bastard so I'm off to the gym. Have a good day."

    Always had you down as a sedentary type martillo...now I know you're a little lycra gym-monkey, I'm gonna have to have a rethink.

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  24. But the Labour Party isn't the party of the working class. As a government, it governs in the interest of a nation, not a segment of it.

    Why the fuck do people elevate the working class to the status of a totem, to be homaged, indulged, and revered?

    If you want worship, go and live in some theocratic scum-bag state.

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  25. PeterB:

    Nice to see you in your usual good spirits this morning.....

    "Why the fuck do people elevate the working class to the status of a totem, to be homaged, indulged, and revered?"

    Indulged? Is that what you think it is?

    You could ask yourself 'why' the party of the 'working class' has been dominated by self-interested upper middle class fuckers of late like Tony Blair, who depsise the working class as much as Oikbourne.

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  26. Why indulge and revere.....

    The Royal family?
    Bankers?
    People who speak with ludicrous accents?
    Gentlemen farmers?

    I could go on, but ...

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  27. La Rit --Carmen Reinhart Beware those who think worst is past My monthly allowance of 17 free articles at the FT has run out, so I'm afraid I can't share a few paragraphs as usual, but the title does say it all . I'll add on sheffpixie's link to
    Another Bubble Is About To Burst
    because everyone can see it . Three 15min youtube videos and very well done. Some of the clips on the US "stimulus programmes" are particularly memorable, such as George W Bush arguing for the "American Dream" Home Ownership Bill. ( my paraphrase. )

    That's the backdrop to all our other discussions.

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  28. "Why the fuck do people elevate the working class to the status of a totem, to be homaged, indulged, and revered?"

    Who does that? I think most people would settle for some genuine political representation for the working class, employment rights which offer some degree of dignity and security and a living wage for everyone. I can think of very few on the left who get misty-eyed and sentimental about the working class...most people would recognise them as an economic category...the group most open to exploitation...I can't think of anyone who thinks of 'working class' as an aspect or attribute of personality...as a type...that's a stereotypical trap which middle-class politicos fall into when trying to establish some credibility or populist support...it's a question of fairness and entitlement to basic rights, not a nostalgia trip centred around clogs and Hovis adverts.

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  29. PeterB
    "As a government, it governs in the interest of a nation, not a segment of it."

    bollocks it governs in the interest of the business segment....keep up bracken

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  30. Did I say gym?..sorry I meant I'm off to do some shopping...then I'm going to the library...see if they've got any books left.

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  31. As a government, it governs in the interest of a nation, not a segment of it.

    This is what governments should do, but demonstrably do not.

    However, it is not the same thing at all as why people vote for a party.

    Otherwise, we would only ever need one, wouldn't we, and it would always act in the best interests of everyone and we would never need elections.

    Having a thick day today - or is that just your default setting?

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  32. Well I can agree with your second post to a point, MF. W/C interests should be an aspect of any political consideration, but only insofar as they contribute to the public good.

    The problem with tribal politics (and I'm not saying this is your position) is that it seeks to serve interests (of any persuasion) period.

    That's not responsible government. That was the basis for my unexceptionable observation.

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  33. 'However, it is not the same thing at all as why people vote for a party.'

    And you call me thick.

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  34. Hello Davefromfrance:

    Thank you.... it looks like respective Govts. in Germany, the US the UK in particular we're all singing from the same hymsheet - all using the same language.

    I'm surprised the US jumped on the 'homeownership for poor people who can't afford it' so late in the day - my god, they certainly managed to virtually destroy the economy in record time.

    What made me particularly angry was the 'bailout' money which was given to the Automobile industry, alone - bloated fuckers and their begging bowls.

    Incredible there was no referendum either there or in the UK - that money was literally stolen from the public purse and handed over.

    Personally, if every last person in the UK had been given the approx. amount of money that was given to the banks (£81,00 each) we would have been set up and the banks would have been forced to go begging elsewhere....

    Incidentally, watched

    thisdocumentary on BBC4 last night. Really heartwarming - and Jack Rebney's ire these days is directed at none other than Dick Cheney. Great if you have an hour to spare.

    ;)

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  35. MonkeyFish

    "it's a question of fairness and entitlement to basic rights, not a nostalgia trip centred around clogs and Hovis adverts"

    Exactly. I mean, who would would have nostalgia for outside toilets, not enough to eat, no money for a doctor/medecine, no shoes, being treated like shit whilst living in a slum?

    The fact that anyone survived that kind of start is enough to revere the sheer bloody will to live.

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  36. "W/C interests should be an aspect of any political consideration, but only insofar as they contribute to the public good."

    First.. since the working class constitute a large proportion of that 'public' whose good you're seeking to maximise, improving working class conditions and employment practices must necessarily contribute to the public good.

    Second...and I'm not trying to second guess you here but, lately, when hearing mention of a 'public good' and how various politicians would aim to maximise it, it often seems to me that the way most of them conceptualise the term is tantamount to a substitution of "corporate" for "public".

    Right..I'm really off now.

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  37. PeterB

    "Why the fuck do people elevate the working class to the status of a totem, to be homaged, indulged, and revered?"

    I do worry about you - So much spleen cannot be good for your blood pressure.

    Who's elevating the working class? I think they would just like to be included in the story, rather than being seen as expendable units of production. They are, as MF has already said, an economic category...the group most open to exploitation.. But this appears to be something about which you are 'intensely relaxed'.

    How you have the nerve to say you are "of the left" and then utter the bollocks above is beyond my, obviously limited, (I'll save you the bother of telling me yourself), comprehension.

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  38. Hi La Rit 11.54 -- you replied to the post with sheffpixie link that I can't see ! Googlegroups playing up, time-consuming shit !
    frog2

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  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  40. Jessica Reed on 25 Aug responding to requests for ATOS articles : I'm also not sure what we mean by "campaign" - Cif doesn't really do "campaigns".
    Jessica Reed on 31 Aug: Sorry - Henry Porter on Liberty Central, Christina.He campaigned for 2 years on Cif on civil liberties issues.

    It would seem that Cif does not wish to waste time on something that radically affects the poor and unemployed, but can spend years whining about all manner of inconveniences that might have a negative impact on comfortable, middle-class life-styles.

    Henry Porter on 21 May: With the new government promising to respect our civil liberties, I think now is a good time for me to bow out.
    Job done, Henry! See ya around. Cif in a fucking nutshell.

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  41. anon -- Jessica did some good troll-squashing on friday's Jayne Austin ME thread .

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  42. @LaRit Oh I don't know. Outside toilets were all right (obviously not if you are a soft southern jessie, though).

    OK, we never had one by my Uncle Johnny and Auntie Marge did. I found it quite exciting when I stayed with them. Bit bracing in January though, I suppose.

    Just a quick visit. Just had a great volunteer interview and a no show. The great one was an Ethiopian woman who already has a CRB! Whahey!

    The CRB system is currently fucked because of the introduction and then suspension of the vetting and barring scheme. So now no one knows what is going on.

    The no show I suspect was an A4E victim so no loss to us though might not be so good for him that he didn't make it.

    Anyway, I had better go and phone the people who are going to do our CRB's to see if I can start doing disclosure forms again. Mutter, mutter, moan, groan...

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  43. "The emancipation of the working class is the act of the working class."

    Innit!

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  44. You have enough trouble keeping one thought in your head, let alone several and wondering about the implications and interactions between them, so I am not expecting you to ever have a moment of epiphany and actually see yourself for what you are or understand the stupidities of what you say.

    Were you the only one who marched in step during your wonderful military career?

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  45. @Martillo

    Tell me, do you wear a ludricously colossal pair of trousers with the crotch between the knees and periodically cry, "¡Es el tiempo Martillo!"?

    Just wonderin' an' that.

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  46. Sheffpixie - cultural destruction by conspiracy is one thing, but can happen by cock-up / neglect / 'regressive evolution' too ... just back from talking to my retired (german) secondary teacher friend. He told me how in the last very few years he changed his informal classroom tests from questions needing a few sentences to answer to multiple-choice ones . He just couldn't bear to read the illliterate garbage any more. He took each class all the way through for six years over a 30 year career, and each time there was a 'generational ' shift ' -- a decline . " They don't read books any more ; and ask a question , and you get "Yes", "No", or "Uhh" ? "
    I think it was Jeb Bush who made the put-down comment on some eye-opening book -- " Who cares, only a million Americans will read it ".

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  47. MF, you'll catch this later, if at all, but we're clearly singing from the same proverbial; no interest should be favoured unless it serves the public good.

    atomboy: you're like an itch in the crack; all smell when you scratch it.

    Sheff: no venting of spleen, just an observation. Working class interests are an aspect of government deliberation not the sine qua non of it.

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  48. @Sheff

    I've just been reading the background to that Great Book Robbery thing, including the original article that inspired it (a translation of that article is here, found via a link in the Great Book Robbery blog).

    What's particularly interesting is the framing of the article and of the project based on it. From the authors' point of view, as demonstrated by their use of language like 'robbery', 'looting', 'cleansing' and 'atrocity', what happened in 1948 was a planned and systematic appropriation of Palestinian culture via its books in an attempt to destroy it.

    But reading the original article, another possibility seeps through. There was war in Jerusalem, with Palestinians abandoning property in the west of the city, and Jews doing likewise in the east. There was looting and destruction in all parts, and in the middle of that the Jewish authorities thought to rescue valuable books from destruction and preserve them. That is why the books still survive in the Israeli National Museum, rather than being burnt or discarded.

    Something of a contrast there to what happened to Jewish libraries under Jordanian rule in the east of the city at the same time.

    In my view the books should be returned to their original owners or their descendants; it seems from the article that records were kept of where they came from. If that's being obstructed by typical museum curators' reluctance to let things go when they've got them, then it needs changing.

    It's a fascinating bit of history in any case, so thanks for pointing it out.

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  49. @ PeterB "no interest should be favoured unless it serves the public good". Quite, but that's the role of Government. In the system that's evolved, parties compete with visions/narratives (lies?) of what the public good is and how it might be best served.Party =/= government, which is something New labour and before them Thatcher and Major's tories had a tendency to lose sight of.More pointedly,the ossified apparatuses of the major parties' structures inhibits alternative framings of what constitutes the common good: just witness the flailing around by them all, seeking 'innovation','engagement' etc, because they have an inkling that their vision isn't 20/20, but they shut down or discouraged mechanisms by which alternative perspectives might be entertained.If you insist from on high that everyone has to be on-message, then you're snookered if you later ask those people for a new message, as the genuinely fresh thinkers will have bridled at the initial restrictiveness.

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  50. Interesting debate to be had historically on who actually ever has represented the working class. Is Labour really the party of the working class or was it ever thus?

    As George Orwell notes in “The Lion and the Unicorn” in 1940:

    ”It was and is primarily a party of the trade unions, devoted to raising wages and improving working conditions. This meant that all through the critical years it was directly interested in the prosperity of British capitalism.”

    In effect the Labour Party has been a representative of sectional interests just as much as the Conservative Party. In the aborted talks for Britain’s membership of the ECSC (forerunner to EU) in the late 1940’s, the Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin gave his main reason for Britain’s refusal of membership:

    ”The Durham Miners would never wear it.”

    Symbolically stating the relationship between Labour Party policy and its support. Therefore, as Trade Union membership historically declined from post WWII onwards, can we truly say that the Labour Party ever has been the party of the working class, more the party of a shrinking sectional interest? All through its history it has proven to be happy to work inside ‘the system’.

    It balked at the 1926 General Strike, worked with a Tory majority during the National Government of 1931- decades when working class ‘consciousness’ is supposed to have been at its peak.

    Even in 1945, with the admirable reforms of Attlee’s administration. Could one not argue that even the Conservatives would have been forced implement such measures such would be the demands of a nation emerging from a horrific total war? Remember all through Churchill’s second cabinet, he constantly backed down to the Trade Unions in their wage demands and along with the Labour Party created the Butskellist post war consensus.

    The turn to the right in the 1980’s (the ‘New Realism’) under Kinnock and its sidelining of the NUM in the miners strike yet again showed a party working within what it itself deemed the prevailing consensus (Thatcherism) and naively trying o improve conditions within the system rather than objecting and setting an alternative political narrative. This eventually emerged chrysalis-like as New Labour in the mid 1990s.

    It works now to a political agenda designed to attract middle class hinge voters in marginals. It even refuses to contemplate voting reform.
    I’ve never considered the Labour Party as the party of the ‘working class’.

    There’s never been a mass working class party in the UK. At the most the Labour Party was an indirect representative via Union membership and has always sought to work within what is the prevailing political consensus of the time. It's never dictated the political narrative, to me it has always reacted to the political narrative from within its narrow sectional interest and thus has never been 'the party of the working class'.

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  51. At one time, the communist party was very strong in south Wales.

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  52. AlisdairC

    Parties do campaign dishonestly; but they tend to govern rather differently. Such is the power of the civil service, of (yes) the markets, of the claims of, say, European law on governance.

    This is why I detest national politics. It's as parochial and irrelevant as the tribalism that seeks to define it. Fortunately, it rarely ever does.

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  53. "There’s never been a mass working class party in the UK. At the most the Labour Party was an indirect representative via Union membership and has always sought to work within what is the prevailing political consensus of the time. It's never dictated the political narrative, to me it has always reacted to the political narrative from within its narrow sectional interest and thus has never been 'the party of the working class'."

    True. And that's because the working class would never ally with the pricks that purported to represent it.

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  54. Oh, and BTW, that includes everyone on this site.

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  55. Peter,

    Oh, and BTW, that includes everyone on this site.

    FFS.

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  56. Duke

    The unions who supported the L party have campaigned to improve working conditions for those in work, they campaign to save jobs but not to create them.

    The loss of work meant/means loss of union membership. This has always been a weakness - a major mistake under Thatcher's assault on the mining and manufacturing areas.


    The gaps between the working and the nonworking are evident now- again a weakness. The ststem of top up benefits for the poorly paid has not been addressed by the unions anymore than the current attack on various benefits and support for the nonworking.

    This is a very serious - and shortsighted - failure as it divides wc communities.

    The unions have also created their own small pyramids - highly paid officials with the usual perks.

    Martyn

    The S Wales communists also acted, for the most part, from within the Unions. I am not a fan of party politics - they rely upon divided communities and partisanship to climb to power or retain it.

    They tend to perpetuate divisions .

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  57. PeterJ

    Thanks for the link to Amit's article, it's a good read. There will be competing narratives - there always are. In fairness the article is entitled, "The Looting of Palestinian Books" and in the text Amit does say things like "loot a culture and a spiritual heritage", and he asks questions like, "are we, the National Library people, looting the books, or are we perhaps taking care of them temporarily?." He also talks about the efforts that were made to stop the looting, but that the looting was "undeniable."

    He also says "The point here is the way, in which the above text purges the sin, purifying it until no trace of the violence and misdoing involved remains. Not only the occupation, the expulsion of the Arabs and the taking over of their libraries fades away as though they never happened; the pangs of conscience, if there were any (and I believe there were), utterly vanish from the picture."

    How would that be read by a resident of Gaza do you think? Erased from history possibly?

    Anyway, I will follow the project with interest. I'm on their mailing list so will keep you posted if you like.

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  58. Peter

    How would you address the glaring inequalities and unfair distribution of wealth, services and opportunities for self fulfillment across Britain and elsewhere - or do you really think it doesn't matter ?

    are you really a supporter of the Devil take the hindmost philosophy ?

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  59. Alcoholism has never been a lasting, cohesive or coherent political philosophy.

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  60. The 400 wealthiest Americans have a net worth of about 1.5 trillion dollars. The net worth of the bottom 50% ! of all the rest of America is 1.6 trillion dollars.

    I haven't checked GolemXIV's figures there, but they look plausible. The billionaires look more like a Ruling Caste to me, with underneath them the Political and Top Managerial Class with a few tens of million each . Below them are more well-paid but not seriously rich facilitators and collaborators , and then we have the 60% or so of the rest of us , increasingly being shat on from a great height.

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  61. Martyn

    Alcoholism has always been a cross party issue.

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  62. My father was a great fan of empty bottles. That sounds so much better than alchololic.
    Stewart Francis : D

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  63. frog

    It is that 60% who have to come up with an alternative - there is going to be no handing down from the top or the middle. We are reliant on them and so have become deferential - we accept the status quo even while we rail against it.

    Many will disagree with me on this but I see no other explanation for the situation continuing.

    The how and when is the pressing problem - somehow we have to learn to shift for ourselves - no point in going on expecting improvement - it won't happen.

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  64. @Sheff

    Yes, I'd like to keep in touch with the project. It does seem to have a very one-eyed view of what happened, though. What became of the books left behind by the Jews in Cairo, say, or in Baghdad, let alone the ones in East Jerusalem?

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  65. You see, Duke, I'm privy to the culture of the working class, probably more than anyone on this thread. To an extent that even you would find hard to fathom.

    You have to belong to the working class to understand it. I don't mean that you have to empathise with it, or brush with some of its hardships: I mean you have to grow up with it, be raised in penury, appreciate the effort of character it requires to stay equable.

    The working class that I know didn't seek benign incapacity assessments or featherbedded social payouts, which is the agenda of too many here: it simply seeks a fair chance or an opportunity.

    The difference in emphasis is huge.

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  66. Blimey. At times like this, the phrase "lost the plot" seems like a gross understatement.

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  67. PeterJ

    What became of the books left behind by the Jews in Cairo, say, or in Baghdad, let alone the ones in East Jerusalem?

    Good question or whataboutery? Maybe this project will lead to a wider examination of what went on - who knows? But it's not a bad place to start.

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  68. You see, Duke, I'm privy to the culture of the working class, probably more than anyone on this thread. To an extent that even you would find hard to fathom.

    Are those wc credentials you're invoking PeterB? You'll give Hank a heart attack!!

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  69. @Sheff

    It was partly a genuine question - I don't know what happened to books that Jews might have left behind in Arab cities after 1948 - and partly a comment that we do know what happened to them in East Jerusalem (they were destroyed).

    That's not whataboutery.

    As you say, let's see where the project leads.

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  70. >>I'm privy to the culture of the
    >>working class, probably more than
    >>anyone on this thread.

    Piss up a rope! I fondly remember sexing ferret pups with my dear Pater, we used to keep them in the outside lav, don'cha know? Later we'd jump on the tandem in our freshly starched boiler suits and unzip the landscape from the cut to the scrapyard and all the way home to a tin bath before the open fire. Simpler, happier times! Twunt.

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  71. Leni,

    The system of top up benefits for the poorly paid has not been addressed by the unions anymore than the current attack on various benefits and support for the nonworking.

    It'll be a cold day in hell before the Unions will ever stand up and counted.

    The TUC has already stated that it will not oppose any austerity measures with action, they have invited the pro-Austerity Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King to address the TUC conference in autumn and have held secret talks with the Conservatives.

    The TUC even invited David Cameron to address the conference which he declined and according to the Independent- Francis Maude, Oliver Letwin and and Philip Hammond have met Union leaders or addressed TUC events.

    We have a politic0-business-union consensus which exist only for their own ends.

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  72. Peter

    The ways out of penury have been severely reduced - that is the problem. For many there is nowhere to go.

    Millions of lives are 'on hold' - like an idling engine. There are millions seeking the road - many feel they no longer have a place, they are unable to contribute because nobody wants them .

    When a major employer shuts down not only the employees suffer - the supporting infrastructure, small businesses. supply chains and one man self employed initiatives go too. A vacuum is created. The infrastructure built arounf the single employer model is unsuitable for other initiatives. towns and villags are left in isolation - unconnected.

    If you read history at all you will see towns across Britain once important trading or manufacturing centres now mere backwaters.

    The difference today is that gvts , having this knowledge, should have invested in new jobs and infrastructure. Everything has been sucked into the centre - the periphery is suffering. How do we reconnect the peripheral communities to the centre and spread participation and prosperity ?

    The economic structures have no place for these areas or the people- they have been declared 'surplus' - are they simply to starve ?

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  73. Peter,

    The working class that I know didn't seek benign incapacity assessments or featherbedded social payouts, which is the agenda of too many here: it simply seeks a fair chance or an opportunity.

    You've totally bought the Govt/Media anti-benefit campaign haven't you?

    Do you genuinely believe that either anyone here or the vast majority on benefits don't want a fair opportunity? Do you honestly and truly believe that?

    If you do, you've totally lost touch with the roots that you claim to come from.

    Tell me one person on here who wants featherbedded social payouts or benign incapacity assessments?

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  74. Morning all...

    Duke (and others)

    Some good points.

    For me, however, one of the most insidious (/genius, depending on your point of view, I suppose) aspects of Tony Blair and the whole New Labour project, was it's shift to being a paternal working class party, as opposed to a fraternal one.

    Too much of the agenda became a 'throwing a bone' to the working class, rather than a cohesive, comprehensive and consistent programme of gain and support through solidarity and common goals.

    And then, once the middle-classes were woooed and co-opted into the cause, the core of the party was shifted upwards to meet them, rather than the other way around.

    And, thusly, the 'aspirational aspect' of the party became internal and competitive, rather than external and co-operative.

    And, bizarrely, many within the party fell for it, and it became about individual upward mobility, striving to meet the middle-classes, every man for himself, with those failing to make it, merely offered some form of nominal safety net, but largely abandoned for having failed to take the opportunity that New Labour had presented them.

    Therefore, in many ways, I think that the most new-Thatcherist aspects of New Labour were, in fact, directed inwards towards those who had already suffered 17 years of it from the other lot, and had traditionally supported Labour to protect them from it.

    (In my opinion) that was, and always shall be, unforgivable.

    ReplyDelete
  75. I'm privy to the culture of the working class...

    Yes, the working class has looked up to see the half-smiling face of Peter Bracken looking down on it and it has stood on tiptoe to whisper its secrets into his tilted ear.

    Then he has ascended back into the clouds of heaven and the working class has gone back to its toil to await his pronouncement.

    You have lived in a disused warehouse and prostituted yourself for crack, eh, Bracken?

    Cleaned factory floors for a living over a lifetime?

    It doesn't matter what small portion of working class life you have seen or experienced, it does not make you viceroy of the whole experience.

    It is not an adventure park you visit for a day and take back as a souvenir.

    Here is a tip: When, every time you post here or on CiF, everyone tells you how wrong you are, it is not heroic or a process of mental fortitude to keep pretending you are right.

    It is a sign of stupidity.

    You are a complete and utter clown.

    Turminder - Nice one.

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  76. Leni 13.46 - " somehow we have to learn to shift for ourselves "
    Yes, the common expectation appears to be that the official ' political class ' ( including of course the Unions -- the Duke 14.00 post ) should have all the answers because we have delegated that biz to them, but when they fail we the people just whinge, and play along in our different ways. As sheffpixie said a week or two ago " I'm off to plot with some real people ! "
    Plotting later this week, soon off down the garden and get winter firewood in ... but this is too interesting !

    ReplyDelete
  77. Peter

    The working class that I know didn't seek benign incapacity assessments or featherbedded social payouts, which is the agenda of too many here: it simply seeks a fair chance or an opportunity.

    There is a certain type of working class person who has 'made good' who embraces some of negatives attitudes many middle class people seem to have about the working classes.And likewise their are middle class 'champagne socialist'who have little or no grasp of the realities of living in a working class community.

    A number of factors have contributed to the gradual breakdown of the traditional self-reliant working class extended family unit.But the above quote from you suggests to me that somehow you are scapefgoating those people who have in effect become cast adrift from mainstream society as a result of political failure over the last 30 years.

    Yes of course most working class people want a fair chance to get on in life.But what do you expect them to do when that simply isn,t on offer.Get on their bikes and make their own opportunities?

    ReplyDelete
  78. @ Spike. Why does Rupert the Bear wear yellow trews?
    Because he's a cunt.

    I never saw the Cinderella punchline...

    ReplyDelete
  79. What did Cinderella do when she got to the ball?

    She gagged.

    Sorry about that one. And hello, by the way. I shall intrude no further.

    ReplyDelete
  80. @unexceptional

    Excellent. Welcome to UT, where no-one is banned, censored or pre-modded, although they may get the odd verbal bottle broken over their head.

    Cheers, Turm!

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  81. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  82. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  83. Unexceptional - stick around do, if you're good at ducking the verbal exocets that fly around here aren't too hard to miss.

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  84. I'd like to take the opportunity to highlight what is fast becoming my biggest 'turn-off' re. the internet: certain posters' (one in particular) 'shotgun' approach to humour. Trying to say something funny by continually posting half-arsed, half-baked 'superior' one-liners in the desperate hope that one of them eventually hits the mark is NOT the mark of a comedic writer. Humour should involve a sniper's rifle; not a fuckin blunderbuss with dodgy sights.

    Given that this particular poster's other MO is the condescending, world-weary, 'seen-it-all-before' slap-down...which never actually achieves anything of the sort...other than attracting admiring comments from a well-known cross-dressing fantasist from Scunthorpe...it does rather make one wonder why he bothers. I'd like to point out to this poster (he knows who he is) that since he has a long-standing posting history consisting mainly of interminable pap, non-sequiturs, lame jokes and marked failures to pick up on irony which might as well be sign-posted, he is hardly in a position to condescend to anybody.

    Also..since he currently seems set upon 'clearing-up' various threads, I'd like to point out that strewing the whole thread with his own brand of wholly predictable middle-brow 'ballast' while attacking other posters who, for all that they might occasionally lapse into personalised comments, at least don't commit his cardinal sin of being one-big-boring-bastard is only going to ever win you admirers of the 'nice, well-behaved, political analyst' variety. Sort yourself out eh?

    Ooops..I just said...

    "Given that this particular poster's other MO is the condescending, world-weary, 'seen-it-all-before' slap-down...which never actually achieves anything of the sort...other than attracting admiring comments from a well-known cross-dressing fantasist from Scunthorpe"

    and I was remiss to do so...it does achieve one more thing of course..or rather, did achieve one more thing..it earned you a 'C'. Well done.

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  85. Bloody spam filter. 2 posts restored.

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  86. Unexceptional - stick around do...

    You may also freely feel under no obligation to do so.

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  87. Atoms -- but it's lovely when he deletes his "jokes" .

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  88. This one came and went, so i'll stick up the video link once more --
    ---------------------------------------------

    La Rit --Carmen Reinhart Beware those who think worst is past My monthly allowance of 17 free articles at the FT has run out, so I'm afraid I can't share a few paragraphs as usual, but the title does say it all . I'll add on sheffpixie's link to
    Another Bubble Is About To Burst
    because everyone can see it . Three 15min youtube videos and very well done. Some of the clips on the US "stimulus programmes" are particularly memorable, such as George W Bush arguing for the "American Dream" Home Ownership Bill. ( my paraphrase. )

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  89. peter bracken

    But the Labour Party isn't the party of the working class. As a government, it governs in the interest of a nation, not a segment of it.

    Hmm.. would you say that's true of the Tory Party, the Nazi Party or the Ba'ath Party?

    In an ideal world, political would indeed be offering competing visions of what amounted to the interest of the nation... Back on planet earth, they offer policies to favour vested interests.

    Why the fuck do people elevate the working class to the status of a totem, to be homaged, indulged, and revered?

    Do they? I'm not sure that the working class, as we traditionally think of it, really exists - what does exist is a startlingly wide, and growing, divide between rich and poor.

    The Labour Party decided some time ago that dancing to the tune of the rich was more lucrative than dancing to the tune of the poor. That isn't governing in the interests of the country - it's changing which vested interests you're serving.

    If you want worship, go and live in some theocratic scum-bag state.

    Why theocratic? The poor do worse in theocracies than they do in secular states...

    The issue with the Labour Party is that it was founded by working people to fight for a fairer, and more equal society. Now it is controlled by a load of spivs, chancers and greedy tossers, who in 13 years only suceeded in making Britain a more unequal place than it was following 18 years of Thatcherite rule.

    I would call it betrayal, except that I've got no reason to suppose that they ever intended to do anything else. Blair, Brown and the other entryist midwitch cuckoos slipped under the radar while everyone was worrying about militant, and turned the Labour Party into the other party of wealth and privilege.

    It's not about the working class, it's about progressive politics. New Labour is not a progressive party. Those who think that progressive politics are in the national interests no longer have anyone toi vote for.

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  90. On a broader note..but similar theme..I wonder just what it is Jessica Reed thinks she has achieved re. waddaya. It's all very well cleaning up Dodge City, but once the smoke has cleared and you find yourself left with 57 evangelical churches, a cattle museum and the Cowboy Boot 'Hall of Fame'..you might start to wonder why you bothered. Give it a few months and we'll find the cultural tone set by failed humourists and the self-righteous twisted sisters...is that the plan?

    Better by far to accept that the odd frank exchange of views and occasional barbed comment is simply the grit in the oyster. Far be it for me to defend Peter Bracken..but whatever you think of him..right, wrong, deluded, infuriating, up, down, black or white...he's never boring; reminds me in certain respects of PikeBishop..whatever you think of him..he's good value. What happened to PikeBishop btw?

    I fear we're fast headed for a tyranny of the 'insipid but safe'...and it's unbearable. Imagine you're trapped, holed up in a top floor flat...SWAT teams and SAS snatch squads everywhere..."You'll never take me alive you fuckers"...they try the smoke, the nerve gas, the appeals from loved ones...fat chance...then a week later..after 4 days of continuous piped Coldplay's Greatest Hits..you've had enough..it's more than flesh and blood can take.

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  91. What happened to PikeBishop btw?

    I wish I knew - he was consistently hilarious...and outrageous but very good company.

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  92. I understand PB removed himself from Cif as contributor and poster.

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  93. froggy

    Atoms -- but it's lovely when he deletes his "jokes" .

    Yeah, but it's easier to just cut out the middle-man altogether.

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  94. Spiked hits a few high notes with an incisive take on the 'contest'

    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/printable/9475/

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  95. i read the Kelner piece as a belated oar in on behalf of Team David. There's been a Graun circle jerk over Team Ed, what with him promising to keep the 50% top rate with its hints of a future possible higher-taxation-funded Scandi-style social democracy. Polly must have been flicking her pea like a wild thing at that prospect.

    But I think it's belatedly occurred to some of the Guardian Tower inhabitants that nobody will vote (or at least not enough of them) for Ed's socially democratic future and concentration on the traditional core vote.

    Hence Kelner being wheeled out to give the statistician's gloss to "we are so fucked if we lurch left" message.

    To be honest, I don't think it matters that much, as I think that the two brothers are just staking out different voting constituencies in the leadership campaign and if ever in power would be both singing off exactly the same hymn sheet as Cameron, Clegg and all the rest of them.

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  96. Leni

    I understand PB removed himself from Cif as contributor and poster.

    Really?

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  97. MrPikeBishop, I think, asked to be deleted after being moderated for the usual "no earthly reason".

    You can Google him and find his blog.

    Someone said he posted on another news site, but cannot remember which.

    The Independent and The Telegraph seem to look more and more like, er, CiF refugee reunions.

    He could be on one of those.

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  98. What a bunch of miserable Presbyterian bastards some of you are.

    I like one-liners.

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  99. Atomboy:

    re. MrPikeBishop

    I think he became more and more frustrated that CiF was not moulded in his image that he eventually crashed, burned and left (to put it simply). That seems to be a perennial issue for a number of people. This "how dare they not listen to me" mindset, bordering on delusions of grandeur. I mean, what do people expect The Guardian to be? Mundo Obrero?

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  100. Anyone else having problems signing in to CiF?

    Whatever problems we have here, Pluck makes it look like the quintessence of efficiency.

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  101. Martyn

    Sorry - lots of PBs ! I meant PikeBishop not Peter.

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  102. MartynRichardJones


    I think he became more and more frustrated that CiF was not moulded in his image that he eventually crashed, burned and left (to put it simply).

    And you know that for a fact do you?

    That seems to be a perennial issue for a number of people. This "how dare they not listen to me" mindset, bordering on delusions of grandeur. I mean, what do people expect The Guardian to be? Mundo Obrero?

    You just don't get it do you?

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  103. Leni: Oops, my bad. Yes, he seemed to be growing increasingly irate and frustrated as time passed (but judging people's moods from just text posted on an interweb forum is pretty hit and miss, as most people will probably appreciate).

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  104. Martyn

    I cannot answer for PB or anyone else, but I do not see it the way you describe, either.

    PB had his set views. He actually said once, something like "I have about six strong viewpoints and everything is about those." He also would argue and be rude at a time when this was part of the process.

    Since then, we have seen that anyone can get anyone else deleted if they simply do not like what is being said and the consequence of this is to hobble discussion and create an endless stream of idiotic one-liners, the posters of which think are gnomic and epigrammatic, but are actually yawningly tedious, appallingly non sequitur and completely unmemorable.

    The distinction seems to be between those who think they have a platform and a following about which they care and which they want to preserve without change and those who are laughing at them and see them as making fools of themselves.

    The ones who say it is just a blog, a forum, a message board are right.

    They are often the ones who also stare po-faced and incandescent with rage when anyone says anything which upsets their creaking, wobbling apple-cart and threatens to make the whole enterprise look anything other than incredibly important and at the centre of world opinion.

    Having said that, I rarely read CiF any more.

    Once you have kicked the habit, you hardly even bother to dabble any more.

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  105. @Atomboy

    No but posting is hit and miss again.

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  106. "Tell me, do you wear a ludricously colossal pair of trousers with the crotch between the knees and periodically cry, "¡Es el tiempo Martillo!"?

    Just wonderin' an' that.

    I have no idea what that means, spike. Sounds great though. Is it from an ad or something?

    "lycra gym monkey"

    Not really, monkeyfish. Baggy white shorts and a selection of old Fred Perry's. Those black gloves look pretty damn cool though...

    The doctor gave me three goals in order to avoid medication. Since I'd be embarrassed to take drugs for what is, after all, a self-inflicted condition, I've chosen the gym. Again.

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  107. @martillo

    MC Hammer? It's Hammer time?

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  108. "Baggy white shorts and a selection of old Fred Perry's."

    What's Spanish for chav?

    it's Bermuda shorts and old Ben Sherman's when I'm looking to raise a sweat

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  109. "What's Spanish for chav?"

    'Garrulo'. My Shermans are for best.

    MC Hammer?

    I'm embarrassed to say I've never knowingly seen or heard him. I know the name though.

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  110. I thought Shermans were those fucking criminally awful tanks the Allies used around here .

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  111. Spencer

    I logged in and the text editor functions did not work. It often happens, but I logged out and tried to log in again. No go.

    This is (in my case and experience - nobody else should necessarily start to panic) sometimes a prelude to being told you are in pre-mod or simply banned.

    Just to make another couple of quick comments regarding CiF, the slide into inanity started when Matt Seaton felt he had an obligation to strut onto any thread like a pound-shop policeman and blow his little whistle until his red cheeks almost burst.

    He thought he needed to both protect the poor little ATL author and tell the assembled gawking halfwits what they should be thinking.

    When JessicaReed turned WADDYA into a post-scool-run-in-the-4x4-coffee-morning set and the delusionists and fantasists who congregated around her table thought that they had to pet her in order to bribe her into giving them a blue C sticker, poor skewered and trampled CiF gave up the ghost.

    If you watch WADDYA, you can see what it has become.

    Some people will go on there and will either actually or pretend to play the game - all gushing and breathless and little stick people made out of letters and punctuation marks, waving at the assembled crowds.

    They will be welcomed all the time that they stick to this rule of engagement, this acceptable pattern of behaviour.

    If they dissent or question, they are attacked.

    WADDYA exists to preserve WADDYA exactly as it is and the problem is that this has leaked into all other areas.

    Most of the countless millions of people who are supposed to watch in wonder from the invisible sidelines of CiF have probably never seen or heard of WADDYA.

    The problem is, it was the channel, the filter through which the staff determined their audience, their key demographic.

    Pump air-heads in, get squealing air-heads squeezed out.

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  112. Apart from a swift gander at Kelner, the only CiF I read was Aditiya Chakrabortti, where I did read a fewscore comments, and some were very good too. But I didn't learn anything new . De-skilling, micro-managing , hollowing-out, outsourcing, incredibly poor management, it's all old shit .

    I did get the last of the spuds and garlic in, clear up and made a bonfire too . Much better than the routine CiF. I think I'm cured !

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  113. Some advice

    Do not,dear friends, steam clean your parrot's cage in your bare feet.

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  114. frog
    Harvest - good time of the year. I can understand why societies everywhere celebrate it. That's another thing that no longer really happens here - why is that ?

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  115. @Atomboy Well, I never spent a lot of time on Waddya.

    I am fairly tolerant of the moderation (even though I have been put in pre-mod for no fucking discernible reason) mostly because, however awful it might be it is better than the moderation on the site that I spent my formative internet time on.

    That was so bad that CIF seems tolerable by comparison.

    There is something else, though, which is that I am a Guardian reader of 35 years or so and like, many if not most Guardian readers I have spent the last 35+ years being infuriated by it. I *expect* to be infuriated by the Guardian.

    But also I spend most of my time on CIF Belief where the really furious and tedious arguments are between militant atheists and mad Catholics and I just try to ignore both as much as possible.

    I suppose that is the same on the political threads too though, a whole bunch of people with entrenched positions throwing insults, dubious statistics and references from Wikipedia at each other with little prospect of anyone changing their mind about anything

    That is OK. What I find frustrating is that when there is a chance to talk about something more interesting then any more nuanced discussion gets drowned out by the: There is no God/God is great! Israel is evil incarnate!/Israel is the saviour of civilization... type battles. Over and over and over again.

    So I am getting very fed up with that, myself. It does become very Groundhog Day.

    As for modding abuse, I don't object to it. Why they can't explain themselves and engage in a discussion about it, that is something else.

    And why they put me in pre-mod is as big a mystery to me as to why I don't seem to rate one of those blue C's. Just mystifying.

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  116. frog

    I did get the last of the spuds and garlic in, clear up and made a bonfire too .

    Sounds wonderful.

    When you say "spuds and garlic in" what does that mean, exactly?

    You went to the supermarket and put them in the cupboard, right?

    You almost made it sound as if "spuds" (snort - whatever they are!) and garlic were just lying around in that bit between the garage and the road.

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  117. Leni -- urbanisation , and mechanisation means that even here fewer and fewer people are involved on the farm-scale. But here a great number of people have veg gardens and I'd better get out there again . Hard work too when you have a glut of stuff to pick and preserve, and lots of cabbages to plant , but I'd rather do that than go to a gym :)

    Do they have allotments or gardens in your ex-mining village ? Used to be a necessary part of life ?

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  118. Atoms -- just codewords mate . Warmed up an informer. All in the day's work. I'm a dealer.

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  119. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  120. Spencer

    Pretty much agree with all that. I would say that there is no point in having a moderation policy if the moderators do not stick to it, though.

    You may as well simply make the policy brief and to the point:

    We will moderate according to our changing whims and never explain why we do anything.

    That would cover it.

    I think I also find the faux society thing a bit of a joke.

    They all went wild to have Summerisle re-instated after a banning but had not actually noticed that he is no longer there until I mentioned it a week or two ago.

    They are blind bandwagon-jumpers who seem to forever get smeared along the tracks and then miraculously reassemble like Ray Harryhausen figures to leap to their deaths again.

    For all the millions of CiFerati, they seem to have had only one or two meetings in the big world, one of which VanessaBlack apparently thought was an audition.

    The UTs, on the other hand, have football teams and drinking clubs and sea voyages and communal farms and cults and colonies...

    (I might have to get some of those details verified if you want to quote me).

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  121. peter bracken

    I could write better than you, drunk out of my head with my hands tied behind my back and blindfolded, typing with my nose.

    Sorry, the position of critic and quality control operative is not available and you would not be qualified to fill it anyway.

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  122. Very funny, Leni - you are persistently the voice of considered opinion on this site, and it's a sanity of sorts.

    Atomboy: you can write, but you can't write. That last post of yours is premium quality cack.

    Now, MF can write. I think I know his style from CiF but, though I lose track of handles, I suspect he's largely absent. Pity, 'cos I'm apt to bang on over there more than over here.

    Spencer - you're in premod? No fuckin' loss, then.

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  123. atomboy: if if had an ounce of your style I'd consider it a corruption.

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  124. I'm not in pre-mod. I was in pre-mod.

    They let me out after a few days.

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  125. Let's be blunt. There are only a few on here who can write. MF, BW, HS - that's it.

    Besides me, of course. (Oh, and that dilettante artfarmer).

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  126. peter bracken

    Yes, you do remember what happened after you wrote about your little motorbicycling adventure, don't you?

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  127. Oh, yes, artfarmer or Mishari al Adwani.

    Do you remember his comment about Yale or Harvard or wherever it was?

    You were so keen to use a big word that you just had to come out with "corroborate" and promptly fell flat on your face.

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  128. Besides me, of course.

    Deluded to the very end.

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  129. I remember, Tomboy: a few irredeemably stupid fuckers like you had to consult their dictionaries.

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  130. PeterB

    Is your computer situated in the middle of a homemade, plywood 'Octagon' per chance?

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  131. I did see something about a competition for a UK Pub Bore Championship, though, if you are interested, Petey Boy.

    You are OK to come back to the UK without fear of being arrested, I take it.

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  132. Ha ha! James Dixon. I was just wondering the same thing.

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  133. Pity you didn't, with your tongue sticking between your lips, withdrawn only to mouth the words as you ran your fingers down the wrong page yet again and gave up.

    Tip: It's arranged alphabetically, not biggest words first.

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  134. Look, Tomboy, you can have test me on my ideas, on my logic, on my ideology: but the minute you tiptoe on rhetorical turf you're dead.

    Can't be bothered to explain why, but 'tis as clear as day.

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  135. Oh dear is Peter drunk again?

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  136. Don't drink jennifera - just type in haste, on occasion.

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  137. Leni

    Do not,dear friends, steam clean your parrot's cage in your bare feet.

    I nearly spat wine all over the laptop.

    Spencer ... yeah, Cif Belief. Stalin, fairies, PolPot, yawn. Occasionally it does pull one in, but that's usually when AB writes something particularly bone-headed and gets a huff on when people laugh at him.

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  138. @Jen, we think he might have had his bollocks shot off in the war. So he drinks to forget and dull the pain.

    "Jake has found a perverse kind of sainthood in the conviction that he is unique (a trait common among unrecovered alcoholics). His suffering has qualified him for a rather peculiar dementia which is likely to be manifested in bleak moods of social hatred and self-pity."

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_6754/is_n2_v14/ai_n28680738/pg_2/?tag=content;col1

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  139. That Mary Midgely one the other was extremely annoying, has she ever written anything sensible?

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  140. This explains a lot.

    you can have test me

    All your bases are belong to us

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  141. Explains the whole sit. AB, P-brax has a crossword solvers dictionary and has started two thirds of the way in, on 9 letter words. Anyway, dint he used to have a wee piccy? And capitals? Methinks it's a case of cloaked identity... The writing is ropey but not at the grandiloquent levels of adumbrating verbosity beloved by the former teacher/soldier/merchant prince/biker/poet that we all know, and point and laugh at.


    How can I stop playing Tower Defense? I've been home an hour 45 mins 'just doing a quick level' Help!

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  142. OK, Peewee.

    Keep clinging to those delusions all the time they buoy you up and stop you drowning.

    I have to say that I now agree with the idea that you should be kept around as a type of pet or incompetent jester.

    It also keeps you safe. It cannot be right to let you out into the real world. We cannot be that callous.

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  143. Right. Time to open a bottle of wine and soothe my acheing brain with an hour and a half of Enders and Holby.

    Laters, bloods.

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  144. Spencer

    Jen, we think he might have had his bollocks shot off in the war. So he drinks to forget and dull the pain.

    You may find that P-Brax gets his war stories from his father-in-law, the man in the white suit, Martin Bell.

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  145. Things I hate:

    - Cleaning
    - Paperwork
    - Shopping
    - Having to restrain my responses to fuckwits at work

    Ah well, at least I haven't had to go shopping today.

    Bloody company year-end accounts. Bad mood rising.

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  146. @Jen The Mary Midgely thread was a perfect example. Yes it was a surprisingly poorly (considering that she is a renowned philosopher) argued piece. But the question of whether science can explain everything is an interesting one, at least to me.

    But some mad Christian came on with a bunch of asinine questions and almost everyone charged off to refute him/her point by point.

    Thank God for Sarka is all I can say.

    But pluck swallowing posts also did for it for me.

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  147. thauma

    sounds bad. I share your dislike of all those things - open the wine or have a good rant x

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  148. Anyway, I am not going to use the Bracken "get out of jail free" card employed against Hank Scorpio and suddenly remember that I have a very important flight to catch, but I am going to get cleaned up and have something to eat.

    Stick around Pete. This is the closest you are ever going to get to being amongst friends.

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  149. Hi All--Been away lately, helping daughter move house, an onerous task. To Whistler of all places.

    PeterJ and others--Good stuff on WW1 the other day, enjoyed it as I like to read different accounts of the Great War.

    peter bracken--" Oh, and BTW, that includes everyone on this site." --Good to see your self inclusion here. Introspection can be troubling at times, no? One can only guess that the fairing on your bike must be broken, because it seems that swallowing all those bugs has embittered you more than usual.

    Bitterweed-- That was some seriously good piano the other night. Keep those coming.

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  150. Thanks Leni - wine just opened a wee while ago, and things are looking up!

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  151. Boudican! We've been wondering where you were. Sit back, relax, and open a bottle of wine. Even if it is still the morning with you.

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  152. Spike...

    Right. Time to open a bottle of wine

    What an excellent idea. ¡Salud!

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  153. With you on the cleaning thauma, but I like shopping. It tickles my most atavistic urges; man the hunter, stalking down the bargains in the supermarket jungle...

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  154. Spencer all her stuff reads like gibberish to me, it might well be my lack of general understanding but I wish Cif Belief would cast their nets a bit wider sometimes and get some different writers.

    I can't remember much of the article but I remember it started with 'Some people say' with no further qualification, I can't get away with that in my OU essays so I don't think a renowned philosopher should be able to either.

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  155. Hi thauma--Bit early for wine, but I may just crack open a Stella. BTW, I trust you're enjoying the rugby from the southern hemisphere? All Blacks looking too powerful for the others to handle.

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  156. Leni:
    "Do not,dear friends, steam clean your parrot's cage in your bare feet."
    Ha ha. I can add do not EVER try to catch a falling steam iron.

    Yo, Boudican! :-) I agree, Bitterweeded music is always worth listening to, though he is clogging up my favourites folder. Not sure which are his, to be honest, but damn good stuff.

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  157. Peter Bracken

    Look, Tomboy, you can have test me on my ideas, on my logic, on my ideology: but the minute you tiptoe on rhetorical turf you're dead.

    Self parody - very good. I didn't think you had it in you...

    It was self parody, wasn't it?

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  158. Boudi

    Good to see you here again.

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  159. @Jeni, as I said, I was surprised how poorly she made her argument. She was vague and gave the impression that there might be room for religious experience as knowledge. She didn't say that but it was woolly enough that it looked like she might be implying it. So all the militant atheists piled into that.

    Whereas to me the interesting question is about the sort of knowledge you get from literature or art, which by its nature is not provable but is communicable. And Sarka brought up the differences between historical and sociological knowledge and scientific knowledge.

    Now these seem like interesting things to discuss. But it just was became a battle of the theists against the atheists again, with every point (good or bad) being made being points that have been made several thousand times before on other threads.

    And I know that many of the atheists there are intelligent people with something to say about it, but they nearly all got sidetracked off to attack this poor idiot religious person or got polarised, so that the idea that there might be other knowledge than scientific knowledge becomes read as an attack on science and an apologia for mysticism.

    And to be honest, I am not sure myself if Mary Midgely was trying to leave room for mysticism because her argument was so vague and poorly put.

    Maybe we could get them to commission Sarka to make the case for non-scientific *academic* knowledge.

    It would probably end up being the same sort of bun fight but at least the ATL argument would be worth a read.

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  160. Hi Leni--Good to be back here, and happy to be home to my normal life.

    Habib--Yes, Bitterweed slings us some good tunes, the man has tastes fairly close to mine. Speedy more eclectic but damn good too.

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  161. I am sure they will revisit the subject Spencer, Andrew Brown does like it, but considering the nature of the man I have no doubt it will be someone with a very similiar argument.

    Is omnicompetent even a real word by the way or are philosophers allergic to saying exactly what they mean. ;)

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  162. Oh, and hi to Spencer too. We've conversed on Friar WTf's (tm-turminderxuss) thread in the past.

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  163. Boudican - haven't been able to watch much due to time difference, but yes, have enjoyed the ABs trouncing Oz and the hated Springboks. (Bakkies Botha got a 5-week (?) ban!)

    The autumn internationals over here should be, erm, interesting.

    Spencer - shopping - ugh - worse than the rest, except for paperwork. Can just manage food shopping as I like to eat, but anything else is a nightmare.

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  164. Tower Defence eh turm? Never heard of it. May as well play it though. I have a godawful cold which has given me the IQ level of a hamster. No chemistry and physics for me tonite! Very violent sneezing as well.

    Oh, and hello everyone. Been a while since I've been on here. Not been following anything. Enjoy your conversations. I am busy at the moment with lots of things.

    Tomorrow we have a Cif meetup in Glasgow, me Silverwhistle and Leopold1904. Looking forward to it!

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  165. Hi Boudican

    Long time no 'see'.Hope all's well with you.

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  166. Hi Boudican.

    @Thauma I pretty much like it all bar Christmas present shopping. There are just too many people I have to get things for.

    No that is not quite right. There are times when I sort of feel a gagging on consumerism. The last time I went to the John Lewis's in Oxford Street, for example.

    They have some beautiful stuff there but there was something about the uneccessaryness of it all and all the well groomed women wandering around fingering it... I just had to walk out and go home.

    But charity shops, whahey! Don't need the bollocks I have bought. Never mind, the money goes to charity. And I can give it back to another charity shop...

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  167. Evening Paul + Charlie.

    Charles have you heard anymore about your volunteering ?

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  168. Hi Charles. Any luck on the job front?

    Say hello to Silverwhistle and Leopold from me. Two of my favorite posters.

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  169. @Jeni "Is omnicompetent even a real word by the way or are philosophers allergic to saying exactly what they mean. ;)"

    At least you can work out what it means easily enough. Have you ever got into an argument with Zdenekv?

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  170. Evenin' Paul, thanks for your concern earlier - don't worry about me - "I have been known to howl at the moon".

    I was trying to be funny and failed, but as Monkeyfish says: "Humour should involve a sniper's rifle; not a fuckin blunderbuss with dodgy sights."

    I just loved Bracken's changing of "Atomboy" to "Tomboy" - he must have been up every night for a week thinking of that one.

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  171. I used to love rummaging in charity shops but nowadays they are just slightly cheaper (and not even always cheaper) versions of normal shops.

    The ones round here have mostly had makeovers, tasteful lighting and colour co-ordination which means they feel they can charge 7.99 for a pair of second hand sandals, bloody rip off mostly, they are pricing themselves out of the market.

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  172. Spencer, must confess I've never been in a John Lewis. Have heard about them on Cif (!) - seems they have a pretty decent policy toward employees, in a sort of Co-op way? Still not sure what sort of shop it is though: clothes, department store, or whatever.

    Christmas shopping is the fucking worst, especially as I always leave it until the last minute as I can't bear to think of it, so it's all crowded and I'm not the only one whose temper is frayed....

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  173. thauma- Get the games on Setanta at 5:30 pm. ( my time) so easy to follow. That was a vicious head butt by Botha, and from the back. He is no novice at that sort of thing so lucky the suspension wasn't more severe. They have to get rid of that behaviour.

    Must be off with the hound, back later.

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  174. Hi Paul--I'm well thanks. Good to see you too. Have noticed your presence on CiF.

    Now, must be off, later.

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  175. Charles - Tomorrow we have a Cif meetup in Glasgow, me Silverwhistle and Leopold1904. Looking forward to it!

    Have you read her book ? It's on my Christmas list, for ME ! Another period of history which has interested me for a long time .

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  176. Hello to Silverwhistle and Leopold from me too....

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  177. @dave

    What's Silverwhistle's book again? I didn't make a note at the time it came up.

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  178. Naturally from me too ! Leopold put me wise to the book, one of the few really useful things to come out of waddya.

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  179. PeterJ --just google silverwhistle, comes straight up.

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  180. Cracking thread.

    Keep it up, bracken. Don't ever slow down on the typing or the drinking. You're a national treasure.

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  181. Leni
    Another to always remember: Before steam cleaning parrot cage - REMOVE PARROT !

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  182. Silverwhistle has a book published? Lets have the details!

    Thauma, where do you live? St Kilda?

    John Lewis is a department store. They do most things but it tends to be well designed and made with a certain understated style.

    I have a bit of a wine glass jones so I mostly go to ogle the Riedels

    And yes, they do treat their staff better than most and it is a form of cooperative. Plus they have stylish stuff. But that doesn't stop it being full of wealthy people buying stuff that they really do not need. So I just had this wave of nausea last time.

    I don't buy Riedel glasses there for £50 a time btw in case you are wondering, but I once nearly lost a gardening job because I spotted a couple in a junk shop from the bus when I was on my way to the interview.

    Got em for £1 each!

    See, man the hunter! Growl...

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  183. Let's be blunt. There are only a few on here who can write.

    Oh, I didn't realise the UT was an arena for people who write to compete with each other's deathless prose. I thought it was a place for more or less like minded people (and one or two honourable exceptions), to debate, share info, gasbag about the absurd state of the world and the horrors of cif.

    True, there's always been a bit of a competitive edge between the more testoterone fueled on here (some have spoken of their 'carefully crafted' posts). Am I the only one who just bashes out the first thing that comes into their head?



    Has to be said though, PeterB should take the trophy for willy waving.

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  184. Tower Defense. You have been warned, it is the thief of time! Shame I can't make the Glesga meet! Big 'Hiya' from the Borders.

    Right, just one more level!

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  185. Sheffpixie ...

    Am I the only one who just bashes out the first thing that comes into their head?

    No, I do it all the time. The interweb is one of the very few places that I can (almost) get away with it.

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  186. @Turm Hmmm if you are in the borders it might explain the addictive qualities of Tower Defense. But we aren't all genetic border reivers.

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  187. Spencer - I live in a village in the desolate West Midlands. ;-)

    There are a couple of large towns nearby but as far as I know (and I'd be exactly the person to miss it) there aren't any John Lewis shops.

    I also don't know what a Riedel glass is. !!

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  188. That's my fucking trophy, sheff.

    From my cold dead hands...

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  189. I used to live in Portsmouth thauma and they had a John Lewis, it is basically a posh department store, we have a similar shop here called Binns, they have a great wig department which used to amuse us no end when we were kids.

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