05 September 2010


If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.
  - Moslih Eddin Saadi


  1. Today's quote/poem was inspired by comments JohnYardDog made on the Chancellor thread about Montpellier statues that Philippa linked to yesterday. This is the first piece of poetry that I ever memorised.

  2. Morning Montana.
    Vari - I shouldn't tell you this but your description of your "acccident" last night has still got me chuckling. Hope you're feeling better.

  3. morning all - nice poem, Montana

    thing is, of course, I agree with JYD on public art specifically and the need to feed the soul more generally - it's just that the statue thing isn't public art, or particularly soulful, for me - just another crazed power-trip by monsieur 'steam clean the arabs' freche...

    hangover. bleah.

  4. Who mentioned this yesterday?

    Outcry over expulsions of Gypsies

    By Jamey Keaten
    Sunday, September 5, 2010
    PARIS - Thousands of people marched here Saturday, blowing whistles and beating drums to protest expulsions of Roma, or Gypsies, and other new security measures adopted by President Nicolas Sarkozy's government.

    The demonstration in the capital was the largest on a day of protests in at least 135 cities and towns across France and elsewhere in Europe. Human-rights and anti-racism groups, labor unions and leftist political parties took part in the protests.

    They accuse Sarkozy of stigmatizing minority groups such as the Roma and seeking political gain with a security crackdown. They also say he is violating the French tradition of welcoming the oppressed, noting that the country is one of the world's leading providers of political asylum.

    The protests mark the first show of public discontent since Sarkozy announced new measures to fight crime in late July.

    Sarkozy said Gypsy camps would be "systematically evacuated." His interior minister and other officials said last week that about 1,000 Roma have been given small stipends and repatriated to Romania since then.


    The French demonstrate and suddenly, the world is talking.

    Meanwhile, back in Broken Britain...

  5. 2000 people at the MTP march - led by young Roma - v positive write-up in the local paper:


    hope bttp got back in one piece.

  6. making a bit of a point with their T-shirt slogans, too

    "Non à la discrimination de Sarkozy de Nagy Bocsa"

  7. Thanks, Philippa.

    Yes, it was Spike, but I am useless at remembering names.

    La Rit

    Which makes me wonder whether the story about the musicians on the coach was related to the right person.

    Perhaps it was Felicity Palmer.

    So, it should read:

    A group of people/animals/vegetables/minerals were on a coach/train/aeroplane/other form of transport/other random object when on tour/not on tour in Europe/America/Asia/somewhere on earth/another planet when someone/something/nothing got on. They then cheered/jeered/remained silent/carried on as they were and it all ended happily/sadly/indifferently ever after/for a short time/in various ways at various times.

  8. liberation's coverage

    round about 65,000 on the streets, adding up the counts - up to 50,000 in Paris (or 12,000 if you believe the polis)

    A Londres, une vingtaine de personnes ont brandi des pancartes à l'effigie de Sarkozy barrées du commentaire: «Derrière le sourire, la culpabilité»
    'une vingtaine', vocab fans, means 'twenty'.

  9. The French interior minister dismisses it as just a few tens of thousands of people.

    So, what scale of demonstration is going to be needed?

    Perhaps a few more than London's twenty - although reports are now claiming that this figure was grossly exaggerated.

    Apparently, it could have been no more than ten or a dozen, with shoppers and passers-by caught up in the melee and unable to break free, swelling the numbers.

    Little Nick Clegg, apparently, had the tanks ready to strike terror into the nation by circling Lydd Airport.

  10. leni/Jen/Chekhov - I'm getting by and still reading here everyday.

    I'm keeping busy to fill the void but sometimes find myself running minus one cylinder.... I'll get there though. Mungo drags me along when necessary. Thanks for your enquiry.

    Good to see you back PhilB I was just thinking about your whereabouts yesterday when up you popped!

    A pleasure to see Vari again after a long absence. That was some hamster inflicted injury!
    What happened - did you try to eat it? Hope the honorary grand-kids are well.

  11. Atomboy - hehehehe, way to downplay it. Hortefeux possibly a bit miffed that he's been adopted in the wordplay placards.

    «Hortefeux, tu nous les Brice»
    (you're breaking us, think - French do love a good bit of wordplay - «Tous les chemins mènent aux Roms» was another one I liked)

  12. hello deano! was similarly thinking of you when looking at the photo gallery yesterday - am going to have a crack at painting that field with poppies you put up, a lovely photy...

  13. BW - if that had you chuckling you seriously want to hear the full story - my husband informs me that even the paramedics and Drs were laughing. I wasn't of course, but then I was unconscious for 3 days....

    HS - don't know what you deleted, but you can wear your Forest shirt and if you desire, I can also make sure you have your picture taken alongside the worst statue ever, that would be the new one DCFC have erected of Brian Clough - looks absolutely nothing like the man but makes us laugh....

  14. vari - a statue of brian clough? wouldn't bet against one of those joining mao and lenin in the montpellier pantheon!

    hope you're feeling better - dare I ask how the furry little accident-machine is?

  15. @Phil

    Hortefeux, tu nous les Brice

    is a play on words. "Tu me les brises" is "You break them" (my balls).
    So basically, "Hortefeux, you're a pain in the arse."

    Was it you who suggested I put photos up? I forgot my camera, but took some with my phone. How can I put them up?

    * * *

    Apologies for double posting. I put this on Whaddya.

    In Paris alone, the organisers give a figure of 50,000 (while Hortefeux's police say 12,000).

    I don't think Hortefeux would have liked his employees to give a higher figure, since the whole demo was to challenge his, Sarkozy's and Besson's racism.

    Anyway, having been on the demo, I can confirm that there were a hell of a lot more than 12,000 people. Even the Lutte Ouvrière Trotskyist sect were there and they usually hate demonstrating with other organisations, especially the PCF.

    I'm a bit stiff today, since I was on security on the left-hand side of the square of Front de Gauche personalities (including Buffet and Melenchon), which involved facing at leastly partly to the left, so I was mainly walking like a crab for four hours. Good exercise, but a little tough on the joints at my age.

    Other demos and a national strike call on Tuesday over pensions.

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. vari - only if it isn't too painful...
    the david bowie bit is the killer...

  18. that is one fucking horrible statue

  19. @Phil

    Heheh. As usual, in their diaporama, the awful Libération seems to have totally missed any sign of the PCF or CGT. What a surprise!

    Here are L'Humanité's photos.

    13th photo from the end, where you can see elected officials carrying a banner marked "Front de Gauche", the photographer must have been standing right next to me.

  20. Nice handwritten poster on Spike's link, which seems to have been made from an old cardboard box.

    It reads:

    Sarkozy No You Cunt.

    I am loosely translating - from English.

  21. "Sarkozy No You Cunt."

    I'm keeping that. Cheers.

  22. I was going to visit CIF...but I thought I'd 'do a Narodnik' and slum it down here for a bit...only kidding...I figured I'd see if those trolls had remembered to go through Martyn's pockets before they ate him...I was hoping I might find a few Euros and a packet of Fisherman's Friends.


    I believe you were looking for work recently. Saw this in a newsagents window:

    Young ambitious 'brainy-type' philosopher required for birthdays/ dinner parties/ bar mitzvahs and funerals

    The successful candidate must provide evidence of having read lots of big thick books about Russia and stuff which sounds difficult to understand.

    persecution complex, Dostoevsky obsession and a disdain for the bulk of humanity a distinct advantage.

    PO Box 342 Scunthorpe

    hope it goes well for ya Charlie boy

  23. OK BW, for you because I think we share a birthday.....

    there's a back story, some idiot bought my son a hamster cage as a christmas present....it had got loads of parts and shit so him and my daughter played with it quite happily...of course, they are toddlers...

    so it came to his birthday, he wanted a giraffe, eventually, through horses, monkeys and meerkats, we negotiated him down to a hamster.

    I went onto the website, fortuitously, our 'pets at home' had hamsters in stock for £8 a pop. Packed husband and son off to buy one.

    That's when you get the call isn't it.....'don't be angry but.....'

    £300 later, we have two guinea pigs, Iggy Pop and David Bowie - and no, children adore the names so they can't be changed (Iggy Pop is sooooo cute - just iamgine trying to explain that one away)

    So, after promising on his life he would have full responsibility for the bastards, turns out he can't actually catch the little furry fuckers, so idiot here now has 2 toddlers, 2 cats, a useless husband and now a couple of ridiculously named rodents. Anyway, he had the amazingly, astonishingly bright idea of letting them out in our son's bedroom. Problem being of course that David Bowie made a run for it. Literally hysteria in the house, and being the Dr fucking Doolittle that I am, I tried to catch him, and that's how I ended up smashed onto a stairgate, headfirst. With David Bowie in my hand.

  24. nice one spike! good photos - another good sign in there:

    "Sarko, Hortefeux, Besson - tous les chauvins menent aux Roms"

    my favourite bit of grafitti in MTP just says "fuck off sarko", which impresses with its efficiency.

  25. FFS give him a break MF - its becoming tedious and so is the bloody scunthorpe joke. It's too easy for you - lazy and pointlessly cruel.

    At least come up with something new.

  26. @Vari

    Excellent story (although not for you). Might form the basis of a sitcom: "Bowie Ate My Hamster" (metaphorically speaking).

  27. This one should set the cat among the pigeons on UT.

    From IZingari on Whaddya:

    You, hermione, KT, kiz, Bru, unexceptional et al have a bigger following than you realise. Use it. I hope this next comment doesn't get me deleted but I have a cousin who assures me CIF accounts for 54% of Guardian Unlimited hits and this thread alone attracts 18.4 % of all hits. You lot do have an audience. Don't waste it.

  28. oh, vari, that's a hell of a story...

    am particularly impressed your lad started out wanting a giraffe. shows imagination.

  29. You, hermione, KT, kiz, Bru, unexceptional et al have a bigger following than you realise. Use it. I hope this next comment doesn't get me deleted but I have a cousin who assures me CIF accounts for 54% of Guardian Unlimited hits and this thread alone attracts 18.4 % of all hits. You lot do have an audience. Don't waste it.

    Puts me in mind of that anchorman thing, 60% of the time it works every time.....

  30. Morning Spike

    This one should set the cat among the pigeons on UT. From IZingari on Whaddya:

    Hehehe... You're one evil fucker....

  31. Good to see you back in one piece, Spike.

    "And gentlemen in England now a-bed
    Shall think themselves accursed they were not here"

  32. Spike

    well done to everybody demonstrating in support of the Roma.

    perhaps with the support of others a political leadership among the Roma will develop. Their political resistance to discrimination is disorganised and fragmentary. They need support both within individual countries and across Europe. Lacking a national home base they have so many battles to fight on numerous fronts.

    We are half way through the decade of the Roma already - gains for them have been minimal so far.

  33. "FFS give him a break MF - its becoming tedious and so is the bloody scunthorpe joke. It's too easy for you - lazy and pointlessly cruel."

    I know, but you've got to look at the alternative..he sticks around, pretends nothing ever happened and eventually starts playing the victim. Sorry Sheff..I've got no time for someone that fuckin conceited who cares to label me a troll and tells me to go and fuck my mother..and as for the "pointlessly cruel"..it may well be cruel but it isn't pointless. He's not the sort who's gonna get the message without 15 ft flashing neon signposts and he's hardly going to go in for a spot of contrition...and if it is too 'easy', that's cos he makes it too easy...and if he didn't make it too easy, there wouldn't be a problem.

    He's thick, full of himself and lashes out at the first sign of a suggestion that he isn't some highly respected internet savant..that's what makes it so easy...and that isn't going to change in a hurry.

    You watch Monday as he's back on Waddaya being commiserated with by other 'victims'...they can tell him how much they respect and admire him blah blah..and how thoroughly disgusted they were at his treatment etc etc. Maybe Jess'll feel sorry for him and ask for another in-depth report on some pointless piece of shit...and he can feel well-respected again..all he's getting from me is ridicule..unless he'd like to apologise of course..and maybe explain a few things he's said...although he has told me once or twice there's no way he has to justify anything to me (he doesn't respond to misanthropic trolls apparently)..so..not much hope there.

  34. @exiled

    No, it was purely in the spirit of objective information. ;-)


    Cheers. I've been on loads of demos and only been slightly battered once, when we had a pitched battle with the CRS at SKF Ivry.

    In my younger days, I got in more fights around Châtelet and Saint Michel on a Saturday night (I should add that I never struck the first blow).


    Absolutely. People have to be reminded that the Holocaust was aimed at the Roma too. They've suffered immensely as a people, only no-one's rushed to give them someone else's country.

    Perhaps the greatest scandal is in Kosovo, where they've been confined to toxic land by the NATO-blessed ethnic Albanian authorities and their children are stillborn or born with ghastly birth defects. Very few seem to care, including the media.

    You can imagine the furore if this were being done to Jewish people, but apparently some Holocaust victims aren't worthy of memory.

  35. Spike

    I wrote a bit about the Roma on UT a couple of nights ago.

    Post ww2 the chance to recognise their centuries long persecution and loss was thrown away by the Allies.
    When Europe was divided during cold war the Roma were reabsorbed , to a greater or lesser degree, under different regimes.

    Many lived and worked on collective farms under Communism - most lost out when this land was redistributed after the break up of the USSR.

    The Kosovan Roma are in a dreadful plight - again being ignored.

    EU charters will achieve very little unless there is a strong political impetus for change accompanied by investment to raise their living standards and provide for educational and health care needs.

  36. "You, hermione, KT, kiz, Bru, unexceptional et al have a bigger following than you realise. Use it. I hope this next comment doesn't get me deleted but I have a cousin who assures me CIF accounts for 54% of Guardian Unlimited hits and this thread alone attracts 18.4 % of all hits. You lot do have an audience. Don't waste it."

    this is a joke..right?

  37. Good one vari.
    Although not for you obviously.

    MF - I'm hopefully organising a piss-up in early Oct for the comrades. You about ? Northants.

  38. BW

    It's a possibility...anyone well bred and attractive on the 'guest list'?

  39. Sorry...shoulda been

    anyone..else.. well bred and attractive on the 'guest list'?

  40. chekhov

    have mailed you - your attachment did not arrive. Can you resend please?

  41. MF, lol, no, just us lot. Hopefully. Details to follow soon...

  42. All fine now though BW, and I guess it's a perk of the job...if the job is in purgatory.....yes, lots of imagination PB, one day it might be channelled into something slightly more helpful that drawing 'faginas' onto the kitchen walls, still, that's a step up from the 'peanut' on the living room carpet in a marker pen. And when I say 'peanut' I am paraphrasing, what 'they' actually mean is, of course, a penis.

  43. Vari, I want so much to ask for photographic evidence...

  44. BW, it actually does exist. Might come to Northants and show you. Quite a funny picture, followed by one of 2 toddlers sat on a sofa with exprssions of what can only be described as pure terror, slightly infused with glee.

    They really are little bastards.

  45. Hi Folks!

    Just dropping in to say i am still waiting for a moving in date and seem doomed to a nomadic existence :(

    var - that guinea pig story was priceless! The image of you with David Boie 'in your hand' as it were was priceless - had to keep reminding myself it was a guinea pig LOL!!

    Should be back to normal and on my new laptop by october. Life is not normal at the moment!

  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

  47. Hello

    I was wondering how you were getting on. Living out of boxes still I see. Hope you labelled them all - know what's in them.

    it can takes weeks - months - to unpack everything once you finally arrive.

    Keep smiling x

  48. "They really are little bastards."

    They sound like my kind of kids. Cheers.

  49. Hi there.

    Good to hear from several people who've not been around so much recently!

  50. Say the word BW - I can arrange for them to be all yours....

    I'd keep the indelible writing parapanalia out of reach though. When I write my eagerly awaited parenting book, that will be in the first chapter.

  51. paraphanalia that should read, or perhaps I should just stick to 'pens'

  52. Vari

    Even if you hide the pens, they'll find something else - at least that's my experience. The real damage to your home comes later when they get older & start drinking .. got up one fine morning to find the bathroom sink had parted company from the wall.

  53. My post just vanished into a service unavailable message, so I'll try again.

    "Labour's leadership contenders have all described themselves as socialists as they took part in a live televised hustings in Norwich.

    The five candidates all agreed with the label, which arguably would have been seen as a damaging admission to make under New Labour".

  54. MsChin

    Must be a new definition of Socialist then - I'll have to cal myself something else now.

    I am a peoplist.

    If LucyQ suggests again that the poor stop having children ---

  55. This comment has been removed by the author.

  56. A cat amongst the chicken hawks, indeed.

    LOL :-) FWIW Hahahahahaha!

  57. Bonjour Leni - did saunter by, saw the Farmall rowcropper story :)
    No ists, no isms ?

  58. Just been reading an interesting bit in The spirit Level

    Apparently we share a strand of DNA with Bonobos

    "It is perhaps comforting to know that, at least in this section of DNA, humans have the bonobo rather than the chimp pattern [heirarchical and aggressive], suggesting that our common ancestor may have had a preference for making love rather than war"

    Bonobos use "sex as the glue of... society". It eases conflict, signals friendliness, and calms stressful situations.

    Feeding time is apparently the peak of sexual activity. Even before food is thrown into their enclosure, male bonobos get erections and males and females invite both opposite and same sex partners for sex. Possible conflict over non-food resources is dealt with in the same way."

    Sounds fun. Perhaps there is hope after all...

  59. Leni

    LucyQ is baiting you? I've spent half my day arguing against myths spouted by some men's rights guy on the male domestic violence thread. I should add that I'm not denying his experience of abuse at the hands of a female former partner, but he definitely has 'an agenda'.

  60. Martyn, why do you keep erasing posts? Trust me, they don't make look worse than you are.

  61. Afternoon all

    @Hi Vari

    Just read on the Daily Sturmer website that true socialist and working class heroine Cherie Blair is in litigation mode again.This time she's demanding the return of a letter she wrote to Lord 'Mandy' and which he had the 'audacity' to quote from in his memoirs.And in addition to the reurn of the letter she wants £800 in costs.

    Justice British style really pisses me off sometimes.The rich and powerful like Blair can use it for petty little cases whilst ordinary people like fathers trying to get access to their kids are not only let down by it time and time again but often nearly bankrupt themselves in the process.

    @Daisy Goodwin wrote an interesting piece in the Sunday Times about male victims of DV.She quoted Home Office research from 2006 that stated that in 2000 there were 867,000 victims of DV of whom 39% were male.Around 49% of these assaults were classified as serious and of these 43% of the victims were male.

    Goodwin also quoted research conducted in 2006 amongst 6500 female students over 36 universities.Of these 4800 approved of the idea of assaulting their boyfriends and 2000 actually admitted doing so.There was however no mention of how these young women would feel if their boyfriends hit them back.Nor any recognition that by assaulting their boyfriends they could be triggering off a culture of violence in their relationships which could well end up with them coming off worse.

  62. Sheff
    I just had a terrifying vision of a Michelin 3-Star night out with Michael Winner and friends...

  63. Welcome back Vari! Your guinea pig story, i must say, is one of the funniest things I've heard in a long time, not wanting to play down the seriousness of the injuries of course...

    "Well, had an unfortunate spell in hospital, can you believe cracked skull, dislocated shoulder and broken ankle all down to one fucking guinea pig"

    Cracked me up.

  64. Jay... it's up there with your hot-date/new-tv one.

  65. Duke

    Would Ouch! be an appropriated response to the last line of your latest post on waddya?:-)

  66. Bitters

    Michael Winner....ugh! I hope in those circs a little discrimination would be allowed. It is comforting to know though that there might after all, be a chance for us to redeem ourselves as a species and have some fun doing it.

    Looking forward to the knees up at yours...get organising!

  67. This post has not been removed by the author.

  68. Thank you Jay, delighted to be of service, anyway, real life calls, I believe I am about to step into the first room in history to be demolished by lego.....*deep breath, starts counting to ten...*

  69. @Paul:

    Re: your comment at 16:04

    No one has been discussing DV today. Can you honestly not see why, when you post something like you did above, completely apropos of nothing that is being discussed, people like LaRit and I develop the opinion that you are a misogynist motherfucker?

    No one here has ever claimed that men aren't victims of DV, but your continual need to spout off about how men are victimised just as much as women can only serve to confirm the view that you've got an ugly little axe to grind.

    You know that hatchet that I told you the other day was buried? You just dug it up again and it's going to stay unburied this time, so don't bother ever trying to wave an olive branch.

    Fuck off.

  70. "it's up there with your hot-date/new-tv one."

    The icing on the cake was the payment, i had literally paid it off less than 24 hours previously, a grand...

  71. Yeah - it was a thread about porn. I remeber pissing myself and then gradually thinking, hang on, this Jay bloke isn't kidding.

    Top marks mush.

  72. MF

    I missed your post earlier. OK - not pointlessly cruel. I'd forgotten his remarks about your Ma. My bad.

    He is a very callow yoof for all his (alleged) heavy duty reading it's true and I don't know why he seems so obstinately unselfaware but it is shooting fish in the proverbial for you.

    Perhaps he'll go away if we ignore him.

  73. This comment has been removed by the author.

  74. Interesting post over on TechCrunch which seems to touch on some of the things which happen here and elsewhere.

    This appealed to me: "Mostly because it’s become pretty clear to me that any blogger worth her salt could start, say, an extremely successful militant religious cult."

    Can teh menz do this, too? I want one!

    "It would be so much better if we could stop a lot of the bullshit that we see in blogging. To do that we need a smarter audience – one that sees through it because they’ve been trained to, and demands a little more meat on the bone from the sites they frequent. I’m telling you flat out that any decent blogger can manipulate the hell out of their audience. Don’t let yourself be one of the manipulated." [...]

    "Remember this, though. When you’re reading something here that’s getting you really riled up, stop. It may be that you really should be thinking the exact opposite of what you are. And if you find yourself floating through a post agreeing with all the subtle pandering, wake up! And call us on it immediately."


    Perhaps he'll go away if we ignore him.

    I'm glad you amended your earlier comment. I replied and scrapped what I had written several times, which reveals that we do hold back for certain people.

    The problem is that silence can be, mistakenly, taken to connote assent or approval or a lack of counter-argument, so it is not necessarily the same as simply ignoring something and assuming there is no consequence.

    There is a dynamic within these events and exchanges, whether we like it or not and simply remaining silent is not the same as not participating at all.

    Bring on the clowns, as they say.

    Equally, telling them to fuck off is also part of the process.

  75. @Atomboy:

    I agree. There have been times when there have been some very hurtful silences here.

  76. Montana

    I am having to go out for a bit now so this in haste, but I think there is sometimes a too ready idea that anyone and everyone should be welcomed. I think some people should be made to feel slightly uncomfortable, like going into a strange pub full of locals, and then see what they make of themselves.

    There is probably also some holding back because no one person is in a position to speak for everyone, but there are not such vast numbers here that everyone is effectively anonymous. There is a general tenor to the place.

    Anyway, we do not simply cosset and lick everyone we meet in real life, so why should we here?

    Best wishes to all who properly deserve it.

    A stab in the eye with a pointy stick for those who don't.

    PS Those wanting to join my cult, start forming an orderly queue...

  77. AtomB

    We just end up with so many 'fuck off you twat' type posts....it gets depressing, especially when the contest is so uneven. I don't enjoy seeing people who are just a bit dim or unaware being publicly humiliated I suppose, even when they're being twats. I'd rather reserve that for people who have really earnt it.

  78. Montana

    I agree. There have been times when there have been some very hurtful silences here.

    I didn't realise you felt that way and I'm sorry you do. AtomB may well be right but if coming on here regularly meant I was constantly having to get into fights with people I really wouldn't bother. I've only got so much energy and I need that IRL.

  79. This comment has been removed by the author.

  80. Atomboy

    I think some people should be made to feel slightly uncomfortable, like going into a strange pub full of locals, and then see what they make of themselves.

    The Slaughtered Lamb it is then.

    Best wishes to all who properly deserve it.


    A stab in the eye with a pointy stick for those who don't.


    PS Those wanting to join my cult, start forming an orderly queue...

    Fucking typos... Don't you just hate it when that happens?


    I don't enjoy seeing people who are just a bit dim or unaware being publicly humiliated I suppose, even when they're being twats.

    The really dim ones don't really notice... Well, I don't anyway...

  81. Montana

    Ive posted a response to your 17.21pm post on two occasions now and neither have appeared.If you,ve banned me from your site then please have the guts to say so.

  82. Paul

    I don't think anyone has been banned - I suspect it's the mysterious spam folder swallowing posts.

  83. Calm down Paul, your posts are back. They were swallowed by the new Spam trap.

    Afternoon all.

  84. Evening all

    Back from France. Meh.

    Dog tired though - Spike, was in your region at about 2 this morning on my way to Dieppe for the five o'clock boat.

    Glad the demo went well yesterday. Very depressed watching French news and reading Le Canard Enchaine to see that Sarko is still on a mission to make the country as much like the 52nd State of the USA as possible (the UK being the 51st of course...)

    Le Canard had a report last week about the tactics being used to deny people dole money which sound awfully familiar - late for Pole Emploi interview because of snow? Removed from the roll. Missed the interview because you were actually at a job interview or on a forced training-course? Removed from the roll. Missed the interview because you were attending another interview in the same bloody organisation in the same building? I'll give you three guesses...

    It is almost like all the leaders of the developed west have got together to agree on how to screw the working class... oh... wait...

    Followed a bit of the blah blah at La Rochelle, but, just like the UK, there is still no galvanised Left really, is there? Pah.

    Hugs to everyone. Not hanging around much tonight as really finding it hard to keep both eyes open at the same time for any length of time, but don't want to go to bed yet then wake up at 4am!

  85. Montana

    I see my responses to you have just reappeared.And you know what i,ve deleted them.I can't be arsed with you so the feelings mutual.

    None of your accusations stand up to scrutiny but then have they ever?

    Thing is Montana you're a hothead like me.And you and me probably have more in common than you're prepared to admit.

    Think on LadyM.

  86. @Paul:

    I have never & will never ban anyone from UT. Even if I wanted to, it simply isn't an option on Blogger.

    One poster, long before your time, made life miserable for everyone in the early days of the UT. He said that, if I told him to fuck off, he would -- permanently. I resisted for awhile, because I had really hoped that this place could operate without any sort of moderation. Once it became obvious to me that this particular person, in such early days, had the potential to destroy the place, I gave in and told him that I, yes, I would like him to fuck off forever. To his credit, he did.

    When I asked scherfig why he didn't just fuck off for good, I wasn't trying to "ban" him. I knew he'd be back again -- as indeed he was just the other day. But I was/am sick to death of his sniping about how shallow and phony everyone here is. That was my little way of telling him I was sick of him.

    My experience with meeting people IRL (and I have done so twice -- attending two large gatherings of people from a Usenet group that I used to be a regular on) after having become acquainted online, is that people are almost always more or less what they present themselves to be online. From that vantage point, I can tell you that I have no doubt that I don't care to meet Charles. Ever.

    I'm not a particularly nice person. I've never claimed to be. I wish I were and I have tried to cultivate patience and tolerance, but I ultimately fail. The problem is, sooner or later I lose patience with people like Charles, who are sanctimonious and snobbish. Who feel perfectly qualified to judge people that they don't know based on how they look or what pub they go to and then cry foul when people judge them by their own words. And with people like you, who post bigotted comments and then cry foul when you're called on it.

    You're perfectly free to post here. Whether you can wrap your brain around this or not, I do have enough integrity to stand by my word when I say that I don't delete comments because I don't like the person making them. All I'm saying to you when I tell you to fuck off is that I will never again bother trying to give you the benefit of the doubt. You've given me ample evidence of your bigotry and misogyny. No need to try to convince me otherwise.

  87. @Sheff:

    I don't expect everyone to get involved in every disagreement that occurs here. I don't even do that myself. Also, my comment wasn't directed at you in particular. But there have been times when silence sure did feel like spineless placating and even assent.

    There's a difference between not getting involved in an argument and ignoring unfair & hurtful comments.

  88. None of your accusations stand up to scrutiny but then have they ever?

    If that were true, I would be the only person here who thinks you're a misogynist & a bigot. But since I'm not, there must be some truth in it.

  89. Flying visit.
    1.Hello, BB.
    2.hello, vari.
    3.Waddya and CiF.There's something about IZingari's sentence structure that's rather reminiscent of someone else (and I have a suspicion who):the use of the declamatory/rhetorical/grandiloquent treble* or quadruple perhaps?
    (i.e. instead of saying "X has never had a good idea",you say "X has never been troubled,worried or occupied by the hint, suggestion or trace of an idea,notion,or thought with any merit,worth or value")

  90. You're not the only one who's suspicious, Alisdair.

  91. Oh god. Lady Bea on sexism in football. This ought to be good.

  92. When I asked scherfig why he didn't just fuck off for good, I wasn't trying to "ban" him. I knew he'd be back again -- as indeed he was just the other day.

    Thanks for that, Montana. I won't make the same mistake again (sorry I just popped in to say hello to people and not just you and your blog, and I certainly didn't mean to make you bitter and pissed off again or to inadvertently 'prove' a point that you hadn't actually made). When I used to post here it was because sometimes there were interesting discussions and interesting posters and quite often a lot of fun. Now it just seems as though you'll enthusiastically welcome any wackjob or bore or Cif reject and try to be nice about them, however difficult that can sometimes be. It goes without saying that some people here are shallow and phony - why should it be a problem to point it out? Or maybe you don't agree, and everybody here is the salt of the earth and an intellectual giant? (although I note that you reserve the right to heap abuse and vitriol on the likes of paul and nap, which I can only applaud, btw). Anyway, good luck with the new philosophy - when the boredom meter goes critical and nobody bothers any more, you can look back on the halcyon days of yore.

  93. Montana

    ''All I'm saying to you when I tell you to fuck off is that I will never again bother trying to give you the benefit of the doubt. You've given me ample evidence of your bigotry and misogyny. No need to try to convince me otherwise.''

    If that were true, I would be the only person here who thinks you're a misogynist & a bigot. But since I'm not, there must be some truth in it.

    See this is your problem Montana you try and goad people with your false accusations but after your outburst at 17.21pm you ain't going be able to do that with me anymore.I think you're quite laughable.And i say that as one hothead to another.

    Now let's deal with your accusations that i,m a misogynist and a bigot.What's your evidence.?

    Habib has made it clear he doesn't agree with some of my views regarding Britains Muslim communities but he has stressed that he doesn't think i,m either racist or islamaphobic.And no doubt there are other people who may agree with him.But other than you no one here has actually accused me of being a bigot on that front.

    Now let's look at your charge of misogyny.-

    I,ve always said both here and on cif that i think the majority of men and women are basically decent.And that gender equality should cut both ways.Only you and LaRit have accused mo of misogyny after the spat we had over DV.And contrary to what you said in your 17.21pm post i don't continually spout off about DV.That's all in your head.It is however a fact that a few people here felt the language i use sometimes could be offensive to women.I have apologized for that and have tried to be more careful.However in my community men and women alike use language that could be deemed offensive to the opposite sex when they're having an argument.It sort of goes with the territory.But i accept that those of a middle class disposition may well view it differently.And as i sense most UTers are middle class then it's down to me to fit in with the majority.

    One final point.I think misogyny and miscandry are the opposite sides of the same coin.However misandrists have the luxury of hiding behind rad fem dogma to legitimize their misandry.And part of the problem with rad fems/miscandrists is the ease with which they accuse men of having a problem with ALL women.So what i,m saying Montana is i think you're as likely or otherwise to be a miscandrist as i am a misogynist.

  94. Just been watching the first two parts of Spike Lee's documentary about Katrina - When the levees broke

    Excellently done and although its a quite harrowing in places and you want to strangle the politicos etc who fucked up so spectacularly, its really good to hear from some of the people who actually went through it all.

    Girding my loins for for the second half.


    There's a difference between not getting involved in an argument and ignoring unfair & hurtful comments.

    I take your point.

  95. I think this post was lost in cyberspace (service unavailable), so again:

    Does anyone else think brooklynowes on Whaddya is Bracken providing himself with support and compliments?

  96. Tonto to the Lone Ranger, rather than a sockpuppet . Peter after all isn't quite the only one with those ideas.

    OTOH maybe the strain of bottling his anger is starting to tell ... feeling alone ... in Sniper Alley . I wouldn't ask for 'enfilading fire' though , that was just a nice military- technical sounding word.

  97. ""placate the theocrats with juvenile humour?"" does sound brackenish tho ...

  98. @Paul:

    If you'd ever paid the least bit of attention to my views on the subject, you'd know that I'm not a rad-fem. But again, as LaRit told you awhile back -- it is the typical tactic of a misogynist to label any woman who dares disagree with him a "rad-fem". It's a cheap way of trying to deflect criticism.

    And no, Paul, misogyny and misandry are not opposite sides of the same coin. Pointing out that you're a sexist asshole doesn't mean I hate all men. It merely means that I hate you. I rarely call any man a misogynist.

    Just because other people here haven't told you to your "face", as it were, that they think you're a bigot, doesn't mean that they don't think it. FWIW, I've seen plenty of comments directed at you that made that point, albeit indirectly, but you're too stupid to pick up on it.

    Now, I'm really tired of this. I'll let you have the last word, if you like, but as of now, I'm done. Your comments will be scroll-on-past for me.

  99. @Dave

    I think so. So does calling me an "unreconstructed Stalinist". :-)

  100. @scherfig:

    Amazing how quickly you pop up when your name is mentioned. But I'm sure you're not still reading every day -- I mean -- we're all far too boring and middle class for you.

    What you don't seem to understand is that I'm not nearly as much of a hypocrite as you. Do I like Charles? No. Do I like Paul? No. Would it bother me if neither of them ever posted here again? No.

    But the thing is, it isn't my blog -- it's a community. There are others here -- people that I like, admire and respect -- who do find Paul and Charles worth engaging with. It is not my place to decide who can and can not comment here. I, unlike you, am not nearly egotistical enought to think that I should have the final word on who is welcome and who is not.

    You keep making this "threat" that the place will get boring and no one will post here any more and, yet, that shows no sign of happening. New people keep coming and interesting discussions still take place.

    The boredom, for you, is that you're not a UT "star" any more. And that is no one's fault but your own. You are the one who became boring with your constant harping about how beneath you everyone was. But you keep coming back because you can't stand the thought that the place isn't dying because you're not here.

    As I've told you many times in all sincerity, if everyone were to stop posting here tomorrow, I couldn't have any regrets. Yes, I'd feel sad about it coming to an end. I'd probably even feel hurt. But the place has so far surpassed any expectations for it that I ever had that I could never regret what it has been.

    But this brings up another difference between you and me, scherfig. I realise that I'm expendable here and that doesn't bother me in the least. This place truly isn't mine and I'm quite sure that it would carry on without me. And, not only am I okay with that, I'm damn proud of it.

  101. FWIW paul i don't think anyone on here is a rad-fem. One of the things most regular posters here have in common is that they absolutely abhor the rad-fem agenda of the guardian.

    The whole subject of DV is a touchy one, some people on here have suffered domestic violence. I suffered prolonged psychological abuse, obviously not as physically damaging as actual physical violence, but bad enough believe me.

    I have also suffered physical and verbal violence from my daughter who has the symptoms of PMD. i know of men who have suffered similarly from their wives. its an issue that needs to be addressed seriously. Its not an excuse for female violence I am sure some women without it can be violent.

    We need to differentiate these two forms of violence because women with PMD are suffereing from a hormonal imbalance which requires medical intervention.

    This may be true of some male violence of course but the cause would not appear to be so obvious.

    I believe that the issue of inter personal violence should be dealt with on an individual basis and its individual causes discovered. However surely you must see that male on female violence has a long history and is based on patriarchal attitudes. No-one here would suggest that all men are violent towards women that would be just silly. But some men are and such individuals are often guilty of multiple attacks.

    Quoting statistics to 'prove' that women are just as violent isn't the point, the historical/traditional domination of society by men is.

    BTW I am not denying that such domination is beginning to break down, but in some cultures and in some individual families it still exists and sadly it is often still,backed up by violence.

    This isn't misandry its facing facts.

  102. 'This isn't misandry its facing facts'.


  103. oh god no one cares about montanas spat with whats his name, two sad people ect.

    where is monkeyman, i miss that guy.

  104. Sherfig haigh ann, bhfostú fós i rut seo, go háirithe, fiú má páirtaimseartha amháin?

  105. "But this brings up another difference between you and me, scherfig. I realise that I'm expendable here and that doesn't bother me in the least. This place truly isn't mine and I'm quite sure that it would carry on without me. And, not only am I okay with that, I'm damn proud of it."

    Well said Montana. I'm very grateful to you for setting up this site and I think you were superbly brave for doing it without a moderation policy.

    FWITW: I think the site "self moderates" quite well. Obviously some "bun fights" kick of now and again. So what?

    As far as the "hurtful silences" are concerned, I prefer to mind my own business rather than get involved in personal spats between other posters.

    However I'm prepared to stick my neck out and say that Paul never came across to me as a bigot or a misogynist.

    He's admitted himself that he's a bit of a "hot head"

    I trust this observation won't tar me with being a bigot and a misogynist by association!
    05 September, 2010 21:57

  106. Thank you for clarifying your position Montana.

  107. Sherfig, tá súil agam go mbainfidh tú maithfidh mé má deir mé, scair mé do distaste do dhaoine Montana's taitneamhach turas ego ach, cé go bhfuil a fhios agam go mbainfidh tú dissagree liom, caithfidh mé a admhail, i gcomparáid leis an% 99.9 na n-úsáideoirí eile den láithreán seo , níl sí roinnt integrety.

    Call me Seanfháinne ach an duine eile a deir 'Ní Paul fuaime mar a misogynist dom' Ba chóir go mbeadh a n-aineolas arselicking leisciúil cowardly shoved ceart i mbun a gcuid arese.

  108. BTW: I like feisty women who are prepared to fight their corner, so it's no surprize that I ended up with one. So we have to buy some new crockery now and again. It's no big deal and I don't cry foul and I certainly don't claim "victim hood". I made my bed and I have to lie in it. I don't blame anyone else for my decisions.

  109. "Sherfig, tá súil agam go mbainfidh tú maithfidh mé má deir mé, scair mé do etcetera wank blah blah"

    Sorry, most of us don't speak clever clogs.

  110. yeah, I'v know that for ages Luke

  111. I like a bit of clarity so further to my previous post I think Paul might have a grievance.
    If that is the case then maybe it would make sense to spell it out!

  112. @chekhov:

    No. No guilt by association. As I said above, just because I don't like someone, doesn't make me incapable of understanding that people that I respect and admire can't have a different opinion of that same person.

  113. Enjoying yourself, fariha?

    soso so far, my bed time I must confess, curious about your concern tho montana.

  114. @fariha:

    Just wondering, that's all.

    And speaking of wondering --


    What grievance do you think that Paul might have?

  115. Ah. You think 'clever clogs' is a compliment. Maybe it is somewhere.

  116. ní féidir cabhrú le mothú go bhfuil muid araon i bhfad deas ag caint le linn féin, Luke sin mo chara go gciallaíonn sé a chuid mo bedtime. oíche nighty

  117. @Montana: point taken and well put. Long live your blog and for all the right reasons!

  118. What grievance do you think that Paul might have?
    I don't know but I sense some underlying "sub text"!

  119. re luke, fariha, anon et al - sniping just for the sake of it is trolling pure and simple. If you've got a point to make, spit it out, guys.

  120. chekhov

    Have mailedyou.

    Evening all.

  121. taking a guess here but i dont think luke has much of a point to make right now, me neither if truth be known (i'm gona resist 'point is your a dick scorpio!', however true and tempting).

  122. "No. No guilt by association. As I said above, just because I don't like someone, doesn't make me incapable of understanding that people that I respect and admire can't have a different opinion of that same person."

    05 September, 2010 23:25
    That's a very generous statement, Montana and all kudos for you for making it.

  123. @fariha - stick around, fella. We're desperately trying to attract the Bebo demographic.

  124. Hi chekhov-Pretty much agree with you. I won't normally get involved in others personal battles. I don't think Paul is guilty of all charges here either. He will argue and explain his position and will apologise when he's been shown wrong.

    There is no fucking way that we will be some utopian, all is love cyber site. Well done Montana. Brave, yes, and wise, for shitcanning the moderation. More stark and real than most sites would permit.

    Also must say I strongly agree with Annetan42 that this is no radfem platform. The ladies say what they feel, rightly so. Opinions are opinions.

    chekhov--still working on the shopping centre refit? Or onto something else? Had a small construction business for almost 10 years. Always found I had far more clients in summer than winter. Decks, patios, pergolas are big here.

  125. chillax hank, im mellowing in my old age

  126. My only point is "who understands that crap?" "Why would we?" "If you want to talk out of your Erse, don't you have your own b(l)ogs?

  127. "My only point is..."

    You're flattering yourself, luke.

  128. 'Brave, yes, and wise, for shitcanning the moderation'
    Ill take it as a complement then, being deleted on here, btw did you delete the original comment or just my reiterating of it?

  129. fariha--Don't know me do you? I delete/moderate nothing. Free speech is important to me.

  130. 'dont you have your own b'l'ogs'
    lucey luckey luke, racism, its not big and its not clever.

  131. Hank

    i thought 'talk out of your Erse ' was quite funny.

  132. Er, I'm bored an I have a few minutes so: how am I "flattering myself"??

  133. @Boudican:

    Not trying to pick a fight with you or anything, but could you please provide me with one example of where Paul has apologise for having been shown he was wrong about something?

  134. "ucey luckey luke, racism, its not big and its not clever."

    Nor is it. Then again, you're not a race, are ye? (If such a concept can be said to exist)

  135. @fariha:

    Nothing's been deleted here tonight, mate. Except by the authors of the comments.

  136. erm luke, flattering yourself by imagining you have a point to make. if you think it through its obvious.
    and i dont know you but quick guess, i'd bet real money you have more than a few idle minutes.

  137. Don't encourage them, Leni...

    I suppose it's a tribute to Montana and the site she's created that we get the occasional visit from drive-by trolls, but their contributions aren't worth a wank really.

  138. "i thought 'talk out of your Erse ' was quite funny. "

    Ta Leni. At least someone's got some taste around her.

  139. hank,
    ew, although i am acutly aware of how much of a wanker you are thats realy not an image i need before bed thanks.

  140. "I suppose it's a tribute to Montana and the site she's created that we get the occasional visit from drive-by trolls, but their contributions aren't worth a wank really."

    Say that again with a straight face, Hanky Panky.

    Now faster.

    I am, as they say, lovin' it.

  141. Hi Leni--Reading earlier about the Roma. Some of the policies being implemented are, in effect, ethnic cleansing. How do we treat people this way? Is it ' others ' syndrome? Rightist, conservative governments won't even consider the plight of their own poor, never mind poverty stricken folk ' not from here '. Shameful. Any thoughts?

  142. thats gona rete put me off me horlicks

  143. Hi Montana-Paul apologised to Habib and myself after his 'car crash moment ' here several months ago. He was rather contrite and repentant, as well as friendly. It worked for me. I don't have the date, and certainly didn't think you were starting anything. Due diligence is important.

  144. Leni, Hank--Have you noticed the interest in Labour day celebrations declining in the UK? That is certainly the case here. The different unions (forestry, fishing, mining) would put on events and dinners to commemorate that hard fought day. I remember 30-40 even 50 (yes) years ago going to cookouts ,field days, fishing derbies, music fests. The company managers would show up too, sometimes bearing booty and candy. Was pretty inclusive, hard to see that occurring now.

  145. Hi Boudi

    Attempts at ethnicly cleansing the Roma hve gone on for ever it seems. They dis travel fairly freely during the Middle Ages - people mistaking them for Christian pilgrims. Then , as now , there were side shoot Christian groups - happy clappy types.

    my thoughts on it are somewhat gloomy I fear. Be it the Roma or, say, Asian immigrants their problems are trans EU but also nation specific.they are also being used to seperate the poor from each other - the usual scapegoating techniques.

    Many cannot see tat by demonising the Roma they , the indigenous poor - are doing themselves down too. It is poverty and discrimination we have to oppose - together.

    There is a clear determination by the right to control the 'underclas' they have created - supported and enabled by both ordinary citizens and various agencies.

    Thee are glimmerings within the Roma community of younger people looking for a political solution. The problem is that many Roma do not want to abandon their traditions or their culture - why should they ? - but conformity is demanded of them as the price of 'advancement' Those in settled communities are dirt poor - often granted contaminated or nonproductive land.

    The majority duck out of school at or before 14 - in several E European countries they are placed in schools for slow learners - being classed as 'mentally handicapped' . In Bulgaria for instance you may not hold a driving licence unless you remain in school till 16 - this debarrs many Roma - they drive anyway and so are ciminalised.

    For as long as assumptions of 2nd classness exists it is difficult to see a short term solution. the Roma, curiously in a way, have never really mooted a self governing territory - there are semi autonomous villages in some places but these tend to translate as God forsaken waste lands lacking services. They lack genuine political organisation - some are trying to encourage this.

  146. Boudi

    We haven't ever really had a Labour day here - although time was Mayday was adopted by the workers. Nothing much happens now. Not much to celebrate I suppose. The Miners no longer march , no more picnics etc.

  147. Would be pleased to see Roma youth engaged in politics. As with most other ethnicities/nationalities ( wasn't sure how to put that ) the young, with a few exceptions, are like most of us and will not get involved until they have some cognisance of the political situation. This needs to change. The current economic plight of many may facilitate this, but I remain a bit sceptical.

    The poor. Who was it that said ' Poverty is incumbent on the morally weak.'? FFS--This idea is still alive.

  148. And "Labor Day" in the US was always a bit of a fucking lie anyway.

    364 days to deny the rights of workers to organise and one day to celebrate their efforts.

  149. Leni--The Labour day sunday feast is about to begin. Talk later if you're up. If not, manana. Bye for now.

  150. @Boudican:

    Yeah, see, that's the only time I can ever remember it happening. And that seems to be the only time he thinks he's ever been wrong here. I've seen him slink off quietly after someone he respects has told him, more politely than I'm capable of mustering, that he's wrong. But that isn't really an apology. And then he comes back with the same old point, dressed up in different language or pointing to a different article.

    See, the thing is, he's the only person here who ever brings up this "women are as violent as men" theme. And it's pretty much always out of the blue -- never makes that point as part of an ongoing discussion. Same with the xenophobic/Islamophobic stuff about Pakistani cousin marriage or any of that -- it's always him who brings it up. Always out of the blue. Only one who ever seems to think it's a huge problem.

    Sorry, but it has the distinct flavour of axe-grinding in my book. Xenophobic, Islamophobic, misogynist axe-grinding.

  151. Whoa! Just saw that Hank. There is some truth in what you say, although I live in Canada and there was a strong union presence. Nothing like that these days. Companies still had it over us then too, if that's what you're saying.

  152. When I was little, my father's union (United Auto Workers) used to sponsor a big picnic at the city park for all the UAW members & their families.

    I don't even think the RWU (Railroad Workers United) or BLE (Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers) -- which should still be the two biggest unions in my town, do anything.

    But then, as Hank said, it's always been a lie here. Even when there were picnics.

  153. Okay--Last one ( I'm told by Mrs B )

    Montana, we'll just have to disagree. I think Paul does not explain his views well, at times. ( I'm no wordsmith either ) Majority opinion does not make the minority wrong. Back later, but the plug is out of the jug, so may not be compos mentis.

  154. Hi All--Anybody? Sorry, no intent to shut out the masses from here. It's all gone quiet. Church must be in.

  155. Bonjour boudi up very early ,sleep patterns disrupted, but not by the internetz !

    MayDay a public holiday and still going strong; rEGULAR MARCHES Keeep people in the habit of getting out there ... if nothing else .

  156. HankScorpio

    364 days to deny the rights of workers to organise and one day to celebrate their efforts.

    Not the first time I have seen it, but still a great one.

  157. Montana

    Sorry, but it has the distinct flavour of axe-grinding in my book. Xenophobic, Islamophobic, misogynist axe-grinding

    Oh dear Montana you really aren't gonna let this drop are you.And clearly you have difficulty grasping the fact that some people here may not view me the way you do.

    Now let me explain this to you gently.Your accusations that i,m a misogynist and bigot would never stand up in a Court of Law.And do you know why?Because you have never had and will never have a shred of evidence to support your allegations.For it has always been and will always be your own subjective opinion.

    I know i,m neither a misogynist nor bigot and that at the end of the day is all that matters.Although i am genuinely touched and grateful for the fact that Chekhov and Boudican have made it clear they don't agree with you.

    One final thing.It seems to me you spend a lot of time lurking and observing here which is your perogative.But may i suggest you quit using you amateur psychology on building inaccurate profiles of people here and use some of it on yourself.For although you have the self awareness to recognize you're not a very nice person you clearly don't have it to also recognize that you're nowhere near as smart as you think you are.