09 September 2010


Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.
-Mark Twain


  1. Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset today. A day for forgiving ourselves and others.

    In that spirit, I would like to ask forgiveness of anyone here that I've hurt. I don't actually enjoy being angry or feeling animosity towards anyone. And, although I often claim otherwise, it does hurt to know that many people see me as some sort out-of-control virago.

    Likewise, I will try to wipe the emotional slate clean and engage with everyone that I feel has hurt me without nursing old grudges or dredging up old arguments. It isn't going to be easy, I'm afraid. I got top marks in grudge nursing.

    L'shanah tovah, everyone!

  2. Greetings for Rosh Hashanah Montana - and Eid Mubarak too...
    A little story here appropriate for the day.

  3. Good morning. ¡Feliz Rosh Hashanah!

    President Obama: Greeting for Rosh Hashanah

    Shaná Tová!
    ! שנה טובה

  4. Happy Hanukkah everyone! Mazeltoft!

    ♫♪If I was a rich man… diddle diddle diddle diddle diddle diddle diddle dee… ♫♪

    I had that Jackie Mason in the back of my cab once, proper gent he was.

  5. Who is Rosh Hashanah ? And do they take it up the arshe ?

    - Sean Connery

  6. @BW:

    LOL, well, I thought it was funny mate.

  7. Work beckons. Probably a good thing...

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Jackie Mason ? How about this ?

    A guy starts his new job, it's his first day in the abbatoir, he goes to the foreman and says "Boss, how do I prepare the chickens"

    He says, "It's easy, tell 'em straight - you're gonna die."

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. From WADDYA....

    ifitsasix posted

    >> 9 September 2010 10:14AM

    >>>> MIE: I will try and post a reply
    >>>> sometime during today, or if not, tomorrow.

    >> ifitsasix: And an expectant world huddles
    >> around the mountain, awaiting His Descent.

    Au contraire. I respect AllyF, for his articles and for his comments, and for being an all round decent bloke on CiF. So, I don't mind spending more time coming up with a reasonable (IMHO) reply to his points and his question.

  12. Trolling CiF from the UT base-camp again? That's not very constructive, is it.

  13. Montana

    I was genuinely quite moved by your comment. Obviously, it is the way we should all behave all the time.

    However, I know my own faults and frailties too well.

    You say, "Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset today."

    If I go along with this, do you know when it ends, so I can get back to normal?

    If I can just sleep through it, I think I can manage it.

  14. Nice news to wake up to this morning, according to 'research' carried out by the BBC Middlesbrough is the place that will be least able to deal with the government cuts.

    I'm not sure how they came to this conclusion (or even if it is possible to work something like that out) but it puts a downer on your day.

  15. Montana Wildhack:

    Agree with the spirit of your 09 September, 2010 05:54

    I hope that spirit prevails.

  16. jen

    I would imagine you just need to think of Middlesbrough as the epicentre, the place where the economic bomb is dropped like a turd.

    We are all going to get splattered in the end.

    Oh, apart from the rich, of course.

    When George Osborne and David Cameron say, "We are all in this together" the "except the rich" bit is implied.

    Still, we know where they live, don't we?

  17. Morning all,

    Dr Duke here. As you know it's your annual gag reflex checkup.

    Open wide and read the following snippet from Tony Blair's autobiography:

    "On that night I needed that love Cherie gave me, selfishly. I devoured it to give me strength. I was an animal following my instinct."

    And wipe up your own vomit please.

  18. Duke

    Please, its not even lunch time. That is one of the most repulsive collections of words ever committed to print. It really is a black mark against humanity that this man is not just still at large, but a multimillionaire.

  19. "Trolling CiF from the UT base-camp again?"

    Who's doing that?

  20. As opposed to Bill Clinton:

    "I banged her. I banged her like a cheap gong"

  21. I do like Bill Clinton's better. His prose sits perfectly within the 'Bidisha pyramid' of mysogony.

  22. Ahh the 'Bidisha pyramid'.

    How about Phibbsian Analysis - or is that too "last year" now ? Christ he was a berk.

  23. Morning Duke - are you then reading all of it for us ? I'd like to know if he recounts the pre-Invasion meeting with Chirac, where he's supposed to have said "old Jacques just doesn't get it " .

    The lack of self-awareness is awesome . I wonder whether the editors/proof-readers were also laughing as he continued to expose himself as being so deeply shallow .

  24. "On that night I needed that love Cherie gave me, selfishly. I devoured it to give me strength. I was an animal following my instinct."

    My lit culture doesn't extend to Barbara Cartland & Co, but that appears to be the level of this tripe .

  25. The Bidisha Pyramid, in her own words:

    Much as I like and applaud it, I want to see the three-dimensional foldout version of the Pyramid of Egregiousness. I want a 3D glow-in-the-dark dodecahedron, a planet-sized Matrix of Misogyny, a Trillion-Faceted Dynamo of Jet Black Turbo Hate. Then I'd heave it aloft and hurl it into the sun, where it would set off a massive chain reaction and shoot out sky-scraping beams of feminist rage which kill anyone, male or female, who's ever used those words, wiping out (I'd say) 90% of human society, but leaving the non-woman-haters behind. Then we could all relax and be happy.

  26. @ Thaum

    Beautiful, for posterity. "I believe" that the final sentence from that majestic 'Bidisha pyramid' article, should be preserved on here until the end of time.

  27. Let it be a lesson unto you, that you end up not as one of the 90%.

  28. Jay,

    apologies. It's just that I refuse to suffer alone and if I've read it everyone here will have to read it to.

    dave from france,

    God no, I haven't read it. I got the quote from Will Davies excellent deconstruction of it.

  29. Duke

    "On that night I needed that love Cherie gave me, selfishly. I devoured it to give me strength. I was an animal following my instinct."

    Too much info there my man.Has put me right off the jacket potato with chilli con carne i was hoping to DEVOUR at lunchtime.Think i need some hypnotherapy instead just to permanently remove that image from my mind.

  30. jenni

    More about the Experion study


    Apparently the home counties will suffer the least! Something to do with the resilience of the people - you are a wishy-washy lot up north it seems .

    Where does all this tripe come from ? The people upnorth have shown they have survival skills par excellence.

  31. @Leni

    By a bizarre happenstance, the areas singled out for their exceptional resilience to economic shocks are the ones where you can't throw a cobblestone without hitting someone unfeasibly rich. Richmond-on-Thames, Surrey Heath, and Mole Valley FFS!. Thank goodness for those resourceful pioneers and their back-to-the-land skills!

  32. @Atomboy:

    Sundown tomorrow.

    General comment:

    I wonder if Bidi has ever considered anger management therapy?

    Have a nice afternoon, folks. I'm off to work now.

  33. PeterJ,

    And where all the Tories have their seats!

    Paul, that image is enough to warrant electing for a frontal lobotomy with the promise that it will be extracted from the brain. Or the memory wiping procedure from Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind

  34. Thanks for that link Leni, should have known it was all down to the people that live here rather than any external circumstances, was the study authored by Ayn Rand by any chance?

  35. Astonishing thaumaturge. She does like her scifi doesn't she ?

    Can you remind me what "those words" actually were ?

  36. BW - any word she doesn't like applied to women, including 'humourless', 'girl' and even 'fun'.

  37. @BW, thauma

    And the worst of all, apparently - 'she'.

    Gosh, I've missed Bidisha since her relegation to the Beazer Homes league of Life and Style.

  38. Jenni

    the Northern Echo has short report (similar to G - there is tv debate tonight.

    Spending Review: The Look North Debate will be shown tonight on BBC One (North-East and Cumbria) at 10.35pm.

  39. Leni I think, from what they were saying on Breakfast News that each area has their own version at the same time, they had a comment on from our mayor Ray Mallon and he wasn't a happy bunny at all but he is a bit of an odd man, I am never quite sure what to make of him.

  40. Jenni

    I imagine you feel much as we do here - we need action not just debate.

    We need our politicians to totally refute the slurs being cast at the people. We need them to come forward with hard evidence in support of their people and for local gvt. to refuse to act within the directives been issued from central gvt.

    LAs should all work together to oppose the strangulation of the country outside the SE.

    Trouble is they are busy protecting highly paid chief execs and their side kicks.

  41. I think we're due the annual Bidisha article about celebrity cheating husbads though, thank goodness Rooney has so selflessly offered up the peg for this one....

  42. Leni/Jen, I used to work for Experian. Thoroughly vile organisation. Some of the directors were so evil, I swear I could hear the Funeral March when they walked into the room.

    We used to do background checks on people attending Tory conferences, back in the mid 90s. Experian never charged the tories a penny for this service. I'm fairly sure that broke some rules.

  43. Important message on waddya from brusselsexpats!!!!!

    Don't worry about CiF - I'm always coming and going and will be off myself for some days at the end of next week when Brussels grabs me by the collar. No hiding place here.

    ........message ends.

    Try to be strong.

  44. Did you see her last piece, Vari?

    Apparently "MILF" isnt a crude term for an attractive older woman, its a "hate word" and, obviously, "misogynistic".

  45. Leni I don't expect our local MP to do, or even say anything, I can't remember him ever expressing an opinion on anything.

    When I checked his records (only briefly) he mainly seemed to be interested in making sure MPs expenses were not looked into and voting against anything to do with stem cell research.

  46. heyhabib -- background checks ... can't have evil people like the Yes Men getting in , can we :-)

  47. Blimey
    Am I allowed to say she's off her tits ??

  48. dot -- celebrity culture on TV and CiF has passed me by, so I've never read anything by bidisha, read one half-interesting thing by Charlie Booker, and had to google Paris Hilton to see who she was . Bliss !

  49. BW

    Am I allowed to say she's off her tits ??

    I have it on good authority that BAZOOKERS is actually less offensive.

  50. You lucky b&gger!

    My idea of celebrity is a little different from most peoples.....

    (have stood back out of the way when various friends and relies were seeing/meeting the Queen and A-list movie stars, but am reduced to a blibbering mess by the presence of some top-of-their-field scientists that you lot won't have heard of)

  51. Did you see her last piece, Vari?

    Apparently "MILF" isnt a crude term for an attractive older woman, its a "hate word" and, obviously, "misogynistic".

    That member of the female sex is clearly in desperate need of a really good shag. That is my feminist interpretation of the subtext of each one.


    Excellent - thanks for the advice.

    "That member of the female sex is clearly in desperate need of a really good shag. That is my feminist interpretation of the subtext of each one."

    Good Lord !

    Actually I do fancy her a bit. MF outed me about this on a thread a few months ago.

    Her and Sybill Fawlty.

  53. I suspect that you might not be her type BW. Just a hunch you understand.

  54. Fuck that bollocks Vari, opposites attract and all that.

    She's a boy, I'm a girl, and we're not getting any younger.

  55. Does anyone by any chance have the ttf files for the MerssITC and P22 Cezanne Regular fonts?

  56. She was very rudely described as an "asexual pixie" not long ago. It *wasnt* funny. Not in the slightest.

  57. @Spike:

    Why don’t you buy them?

  58. Fuck that bollocks Vari, opposites attract and all that.

    Presumably that means you look like an attractive older lady? A MILF!

  59. You've been batting your eyelashes and dropping lace silk panties up and down the Champs Elysee again, haven't you bru....

    What is waddya coming too?

  60. BW, Bidisha can be put down to eccentricity, but Sybil Fawlty added to that marks you out as having extremely bizarre tastes.

  61. Spike


    This site offers 'free' downloads - haven't tried it so not a recommend.

  62. Original story on Fundamentalist nutters in Haaretz, found at Al Arabiyah .

    Masked "leering" ?

  63. dave

    i read that a couple of days ago - rather odd. wonder what a psych would answer if they said'we are covering our eyes to ensure that no part of external reality impinges on my inner reality' ?

    I assume they will uncover themselves when they arrie at the tomb ? - How otherwise will they know they have been ?

    I see a business opportunity - based in a large wharehouse in J'Salem.

    To be fair - I feel the same about extreme isolationists in every religion- these people are not alone.

  64. Leni - I had wrongly (?) assumed they had eye slits in them, but endless possibilities there ! Blindfolds, white sticks, dogs ...

  65. Now I don't normally give two seconds thought to what bru says but with her latest 'whisked to the front of the queue by a waiter who liked her floaty outfit' I think she has outed herself as a bullshit artist.

    She has just taken it that little bit too far, I am starting to believe she is some weird fantasist who posts from a grotty flat while drinking Lambrini.

    Ah well whatever gets you through the day.

  66. A mate of mine just got in touch, said he's been shagging twins, I said how do you tell them apart ? He said, easy: Zoe's got great tits and Bidisha's got a cock.

  67. dave

    according to the Haaretz article they are to keep faces covered in flight - to avoud contamination from on board films - having previously been advised to always travel with screen sized cardboard to cover offensive item.

    Their faces are covered by a scarf tuckedbeneath their hats - there is a recommended size and weight of scarf - to be folded in such a way that the wind may not disturb it - thus allowing for sly peeks.

    There are no eye holes - that is the objective. Where gaze cannot be averted it must be denied. They can only see the ground around their feet - presumably they have sighted peopled leading them - if not the road kill rate will increase exponentially in Israel.

  68. jennifera30 - runnaway winner of this week's No Shit Sherlock ?! award.


  69. LOL BW, did he mention how big it is? I'm thinking that this could be the key to understanding the bitterness and bile....

  70. BW

    I would like to think it is because I like to give people the benefit of the doubt but really I am just a bit slow. ;)

  71. I think MF may well be spot on with his theory about Bru.Her latest offerings are even more camp and OTT than usual.I reckon she could be the Deputy Senior Cloakroom Attendant at Madame Jo Jo's here in London.

  72. Paul
    I'll ask next week when I'm down ;-)

  73. Dave/Leni,

    I'm opening a book on how long it'll be before the CiF article pointing out that men covering their eyes is vastly preferable to forcibly covering up women....

  74. Leni : UTCentral's replacement for google, from carnivorous slugs to vintage tractors .

  75. @Vari - Hung like a police horse. It can't be that.

  76. @ jennifera30 nah, just patient I reckon ;-)

  77. Dott

    Can see the idea catching on - men completely covered - blindfolded and wearing ear defenders while women prance around naked uttering radfem slogans and gesturing rudely at teh menz.

  78. Around 9,000 Jews left Monday from Tel Aviv airport heading towards Ukraine. More than 50 planes were full to the brim with passengers covering their faces. The total number of Israeli pilgrims this year is expected to reach 18,000.

  79. Stupid bloody w*rk. I'm going on teh winez.

  80. frog

    i am very interested in religious extremism and its connection to politics.

    There are an estimated 100,000 Indian Christians driven out of their homes in Orissa - living in the jungle as refugees.

    ome branches of Hinduism do not allow a 'holy man' to touch woen - they are advised to travel in twos to prevent their eing tempted by alluring females.

    hen such a holy man visits a temple the women have to sit at the back - lest he becomes aoused.

    the connection between religion and sex is fascinating - very ancient with many religions - then and now - allowing for religious female prostitutes.

    Quite why the world is currently going backwards in this respect is something of a mystery. It is certainly true that isolationist religious types are influening politics disproportionately.

    I tend to think of 'men in hats' as leaders but the amount of female support for these ideas is odd. Perhaps one of the men here could write something on the link between hats and penises ? There has to be one I think.

  81. And beards, Leni. And rods of office. This is the kind of thing...

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  83. Afternoon all

    PeterB - if you're about...

    Glad to see from waddya that you've taken up an interest in honour killings and the plight of the victims, mostly women. I tried to leave a reply on waddya with lots of links to campaigning groups around the world that you might be interested in but they closed the thread.

    On a personal note: The good news is - it seems I get to keep my job after all - successfully leapt through all the flaming hoops apparently as did the others on my team.

    The bad (very bad) news is - I'm having to give up drinking, at least for a while, as it seems that gin, whisky and red wine (my fave tipples) are the trigger for my gut probs. Anyone know anything alcoholic that I could drink?

  84. This comment has been removed by the author.

  85. Exactly Peter

    Hats , jewellry, beards and the good old rod . Rods/snakes - all very Freudian.

    which of the major reigions is most infected with this disease is hard to judge.

    Saw a guy interviewed in J'Salem - converted to Islam from Judaism/

    Shaved head topped by fancy hat with beard pendling benaeth.

    Very angry, scornful and all round unpleasant.

  86. "The bad (very bad) news is - I'm having to give up drinking, at least for a while, as it seems that gin, whisky and red wine (my fave tipples) are the trigger for my gut probs. Anyone know anything alcoholic that I could drink?"

    Smoke weed, Sheff. Or get on heavier meds. I've not had a drink since March and I've got to tell you I really, really miss it.

  87. This comment has been removed by the author.

  88. Hi Leni

    Without sounding flippant i think maybe some men just like to dress up.And religion perhaps gives them an opportunity to do so without facing censure in the societies they live in.Of course some do have a genuine vocation but if they all genuinely believed all the BS they spout off i doubt some of them would do half the stuff they do themselves cos they'd be scared shitless of the 'Day of Judgement'.

  89. Sheff, its amazing isn't it how some people become so very concerned about how women are treated when the maltreatment comes from those they are already predisposed to hate.

    I am not talking about Peter here, I have no idea what campaigns he takes an intrest in in real life.

    It is amazing how many people you wouldn't assume would give a shit turn out to be passionate about womens rights when muslims are involved.

  90. Leni

    Oh and of course they like the power and the 'perks' of the job as well.

  91. Sheff - glad to hear about the job but horrible news about drinking. :-( Vodka maybe?

  92. Paul

    It's about more than all that.

    the symbolism of the trappings of power - be they antlers during the wild hunt, triple crown , large ungainly turban or a mitre. The rod comes in all forms - as do ancient beliefs about beards and hair - Samson for example.

    remember that Julius Caesar was head of the state religion - suitably behatted - before he set out to conquer the world.

    Samson was perhaps the first self immolating terrorist when he killed himself and everyone else by toppling the walls - most manage to kill other people while living to tell the tale and wear more outlandish costumes.

  93. Sheff

    Happy to hear about jobs for you and the team.

    Can't advise on the alcohol thing - sorry.

    Perhaps you can gain inner joy by espousing religion .

  94. "Perhaps one of the men here could write something on the link between hats and penises ?"

    "Is that a ten gallon hat or are you just enjoying the show?"

    I doff my cap to any who could find a better quote about dicks and hats.

    It's from "Blazing Saddles".

    (Sorry for the deleted posts, I kept ballsing up.)

  95. Sheff, glad to hear about the job even though it sounds like you are totally fed up with it, if clear and dark spirits set you off then you might be stuck with white wine.

    Do you drink beer or cider ?

  96. Jen

    its amazing isn't it how some people become so very concerned about how women are treated when the maltreatment comes from those they are already predisposed to hate..

    The thought had crossed my mind...

  97. My Dr suggested that I start smoking weed instead of drinking a while ago (he was kidding I think) but since he couldn't give me a prescription for it I couldn't give it a go.

  98. Leni

    Agree with you.I did add a further post about the isssue of power etc.


    Good news on the job front.Might be wrong but i think stress often goes to the gut and the fear of losing your job may well have been aggravating your condition more than the stress of the job itself.So now your job's secure that may well help speed up the recovery process-as well as knocking the booze on the head for a while.Look upon the next few weeks as a renewal period for your liver and hopefully 'normal service' will have resumed before the festive season gets under way.

  99. Sheff - just read your classic parting shot on the recently closed Waddya. Brilliant! Bet she doesn't understand it though.

  100. Nice one Habib.
    Does that mean the bigger the hat ----?

    Hat symbolism exists in popular culture too.

  101. Jen

    Cider's a good thought - I might give that a whirl as a spoonful of cider vinegar in water seems to work a treat. Thought I'd try Guinness too as my local serves a good pint.

  102. Habib

    If I took up smoking weed I'd spend my life nailed to the floor - it always laid me out.

  103. Sheff

    Just a suggestion, but how about trying fortified wines?

    George Osborne is now cutting another £40 billion in order to prevent people from milking the system.

    In a variation of his "We are all in this together" theme, he said:

    "What I am saying is that we are going to reform the out of work benefit system so there is a very strong incentive for people who can work to get work," Osborne said in an interview clip broadcast by the BBC.

    "People who think that it is just a lifestyle choice to just sit on out-of-work benefit ... that lifestyle choice is going to come to an end."

    Strangely, though, there was no mention of the £25 billion lost to the country by the rich avoiding tax, nor the £70 billion likewise made unavailable by the rich evading tax.

    Obviously, they are not going to be asked to be quite as "together" on this as everyone else.

  104. Atoms

    togetherness is for the huddled masses only.

  105. Spencer, if you're about - still working my way down the Mormon thread from the other day - thanks for the quotations from the book of M - fucking hilarious!

  106. Aw fuck just caught the first bit of the BBC news before I managed to turn over and not only did I see George Osbourne talk about those whose chose benefits as a lifestyle but they had a lovely long shot of a street, which I think was in the boro, with all the houses boarded up basically looking like a war zone.

    Except if it was the area I think it was then the whole area has been boarded up for a year or so in preparation for demolition.

    It is slated to become a spiffy new retail area (like we need another one) but it probably won't happen now.

    The point is that nobody lives there and no one has for a while, everyone was rehoused.

    They don't have to make the place look worse than it actually is it is pretty bad anyway, fucking scumbag journalists.

  107. Leni

    Yes, as I said elsewhere, soon to be huddled under plastic sheeting stretched across the ditches at the sides of roads eating grass.

    Did you see the Channel 4 Unreported World thing about the American jobless and homeless living under the freeways, ashamed to be seen by those still living the American Dream?

    Got to go away and come back again now.

  108. "Just a suggestion, but how about trying fortified wines?"

    "Thought I'd try Guinness too"

    Many years ago, an Irish friend introduced me to port and guinness when I was feeling particularly rough after a bender. 1/3 pint Guiness with one shot of Port. Worked for me.

  109. Sheffpixie 17.27
    " successfully leapt through all the flaming hoops apparently as did the others on my team.

    Sounds like you had ' to re-apply for your jobs ' ? When my sis mentioned it years ago , LA employee, she took it so much for granted and I forgot to ask WHY ! A friend working for the NHS purchasing mob had to do the same a few years back too. It took her a few evenings filling in forms, and she said about 15% just left, and it cost some vast sum to 'consultants' too.
    I can understand it in a company taken over, where unions and employment protection legislation is weak, but it appears now to be an unquestioned part of british life . It reminds me of that US management technique* where you fire 10% of staff annually to keep everyone on their toes . I assume it is done under the 'cover' of some faux reorganisation ?
    Thinking back a few days to the Duke's Dutch example of due process in takeovers, I rather doubt that they have that generalised 're-applying' system there .
    * may be an urban myth ...

  110. Atoms

    I saw it.

    Social attitudes force people to huddle out of sight - shamed by something beyond ther ability to put right - hurdled like sheep, beyond the pale etc. All the imagery is in place - just raring to go.

    I wish the dispossessed had the courage to be in your face out on the streets supported by millions - shame the perpetrators not the victims.

  111. Leni but would they be supported by millions, I remember reading about how rough sleepers in London were having their sleeping places hosed down and thinking that surely people wouldn't put up with that and all you hear now is how isn't it good that you don't see them anymore.

  112. frog

    Standard PR thinking on this is that as it is very difficult to sack 'troublesome' employees - long drawn out process of warning, appeals etc possibly followed by expensive tribunal- a 'reapply for your job' system is cheaper and more efficient.

  113. Jenni

    Yes - you're right. The majority prefer them hidden away. Out of sight , out of mind; problem solved, no nasty guilt to disturb their sleep.

  114. Hi Leni

    Standard PR thinking on this is that as it is very difficult to sack 'troublesome' employees - long drawn out process of warning, appeals etc possibly followed by expensive tribunal- a 'reapply for your job' system is cheaper and more efficient.

    Actually it's pretty easy - just offer me enough dosh and you won't see me for dust....

    Didn't work with the last skinflint though - bloody self employed...

  115. @Shef
    Glad about your job. Beer ok ??

    For anyone interested - Kay Burley getting her ass kicked.


  116. @Leni

    My dad's favourite cowboy, Tom Mix, always had a big hat.

    Hearing Osborne and Clegg on the news was jaw-dropping. One saying that the poor weren't going to suffer enough before, so another smack of firm government is coming their way; the other saying that it might take a while to 'rebalance the economy' and turn Middlesbrough into a 21st century Hong Kong.

    Welcome to fantasy island, fellow travellers.

  117. Exiled

    That should have been HR of course.

    The aim is not to give away the profits - to quietly get rid of with, at most, 2 years salary as redunancy. You know it makes sense.

    Skinflint is a jolly good word by the way.

  118. Leni

    'In your face street' people get quickly labelled as 'aggressive' and can be arrested at the drop of a hat.And the public are generally either indifferent or hostile to them.Here in London there have also been numerous reports of unprovoked attacks on street people especially in entertainment districts like the West End where drunken revellers of both sexes have been known to turn on them with a spontaneous ferocity which defies any understanding.

    Many of the street people also have serious mental health as well as alcohol and drug problems and the police are supposed to have a duty of care to those who are clearly at risk.Yet too often that doesn't happen and the police simply move them on like some piece of garbage rather than taking the time to take them into custody for their own safety and then refer them to the relevant agencies.Probably too much paperwork involved.

    I don't know if you've ever seen pictures from the ghettos where the Nazis concentrated Jews in WW2 before murdering them.Because in some of those picture you see people walking along streets littered with the dead and dying without so much as batting an eyelid.Now i,m not suggesting that British society has in anyway been broken down like the Nazis succeeded in doing in those ghettos but there are elements of it in places like London.People walking about doing their business whilst street people who are tired,depressed and broken down lie aimlessly on the streets and in parks etc reduced to living an extremely basic day to day existance and likely to be dead before they are 40.

  119. Peter J

    The weird thing about the Boro/Hong kong comparison is that I seriously think that our Mayor believes that he can turn this place into something it never was and never will be.

    I wasn't kidding about the spiffy new retail area he wants to build, and he wants the area down by the Riverside to be a showcase for 'new architecture', there was a whole piece in the paper showing the layout, it was complete with a toaster building (looking like a toaster not a place where toasters are made) one that looks like a giant kerplunk game and a Marge Simpson one.

    He might have forgotten to take into account that the place he has decided to build this stuff is the port of a river that services many chemical plants and at low tide stinks worse than you can imagine.

  120. Peter

    What exactly do they think people are going to do ? Have they given any thought to this at all ? We already have charities distributing food parcels - we wil finish up in some areas with those lucky enough to hav a job being expected to house and feed their neighbours.

    Many of us would contribute but most won't.

    When some areas have become totally derelict what will it take to rebuild them? Can they be rebuilt?

    Can communities be refashioned towards hatred of each other so that the dispossessed wll be driven out - leaving only the 'worthy'? This looks to be the end game for the coalition. They will create ghettoes - the old fashioned 'stews'

  121. @Leni

    Thanks for the link. Don't know why it is, but I've installed four different Cezanne ttf files (including the one from your link) and Quark won't recognise that font. Ah well.

  122. Paul

    just seen your post - will reply later

  123. Sheff and jennifera,

    It is amazing how many people you wouldn't assume would give a shit turn out to be passionate about womens rights when muslims are involved.

    But, you know, what's more amazing is how many more don't 'give a shit' because Muslims are involved.

  124. Hi Leni

    Skinflint is a jolly good word by the way.

    Oi! That was me I was talking about. I was the self-employed skinflint who didn't pay me off....

    On the other hand, I was very tolerent of my wasting company time playing here....

  125. Peter Bracken

    But, you know, what's more amazing is how many more don't 'give a shit' because Muslims are involved.

    Is one worse than the other?

  126. Not sure what you mean Peter, unless you are talking about religious or cultural relativism which I will have no truck with.

    I specifically said I was not talking about you but since you are here I would like you to tell me how women are treated in Saudia Arabia and what you think we should do about it.

  127. exiled

    i recognised the skinflint - I was hoping your profits were not negatively effected.

    i see you sitting Srooge like at a high desk plotting your own downfall.

  128. Just googled womens rights in Saudia Arabia and the first story to come up was that of a woman sentenced to 300 lashes for filing a harrasment claim without having a man present when she did so, this is an outrage (I am not kidding here it really is fucking outrageous) do you think we should invade and put this kind of shit to an end Peter?

  129. Jenni

    you know what we do about it. Invite Saudi royalty on state visits and pocket fat contracts.

    bugger the women and the Burmese refugees they are currently expelling - having used them as slave labour for many years.

  130. Now here's an interesting piece on the economic ignorance of the deluded right:

    As the Tories slash the state for the 'common good' and save us all from the "feather bedded, teat sucking civil servant bastards" (Osborne caught off mic), This report shows that the private sector will be affected adversely by the cuts.

    Whilst 25p in the taxpayer pound is spent on public sector staff, 38p in the pound is spent by the Govt on the private sector procuring services and products. Or in other words £236 billion spent on the private sector by Govt.

    And when this is cut...well, you do the math. The Tories can't.

  131. Leni

    you know what we do about it. Invite Saudi royalty on state visits and pocket fat contracts.

    Worse than that, out Prime Minister makes a speach lauding our "shared values"....

    Which value do we share with the House of Saud? They seem to have escaped me....

  132. Peter there was also a story about a man sentenced to death for sorcery, I know as an atheist you will be up in arms about this, shall we start up a campaign?

  133. duke

    i was looking at possibilities for Ec Dev here in the village.

    In the 70s there were obviously the mines, there were about 10 shops selling food, ironmongery, a drapers, hairdresser/barber etc. There were 2 working farms, a blacksmith/farrier and a petrol station The good old fashioned local multiplier kept the community afloat - created jobs and supported a vibrant and mixed community economy.

    I do not understand the economic thinking of the coalition - starving communitie and private businesses of cash will simply create a downward spiral.

    Blinded by a vicious ideology they are not even applying the basic economic rules.

  134. Bitterweed 18.50 - Being at the end of the line I had to buffer that Sky News video , but it was worth it !

  135. That is what gets to me too Leni (apart from the whole vicious unfairness of it all) what they are planning to do will eventually affect everyone, from the benefit claimant to the small business owner to eventually the multinationals.

    It is madness.

  136. Leni-For HR bods " a 'reapply for your job' system is cheaper and more efficient." than going through sacking procedures...

    Well it's 'perceived' as being so, but surely the agenda is really to make people shit-scared of losing their jobs ?

    That's why I was asking for the Duke's Dutch angle.

  137. It's estimated that 20,000 honour killings are committed each year. In plain terms, that means some religiously warped father or son (or other male relative) brutally murders a daughter or sister (or whatever). Fisk is right to call it 'a crime against humanity'.

    Meanwhile, make light of it as you wish, Jennifera.

  138. Yes Peter I was making light of it (where the fuck did you get that from?) but in the meantime once your naming of specific victims of specific (horrific) crimes didn't make everyone go 'oh that Peter he is only worried about women and children' you bring out numbers.

    Me, I don't know the numbers of women and children who suffer and die in Saudia Arabia, I could probably find out but using their deaths as a point in a stupid internet argument is beneath me.

    Answer this question (for once in your life) is an honour killing in Iran worse than one in Saudia or one in England?

    Is it only a horrific event when you can use it to back up your political ideals.

    In fact don't bother, just fuck off.

  139. Peter Bracken

    She's not making light of it. She's pointing out that crimes agaist humanity are committed by our friends and allies as well.

    It's a perfectly reasonable question to ask you what you think should be done about brutal regimes who receive aid and arms from us. Why don't you just answer the question? I don't duck the stuff you throw at me, do I?

  140. Where'd my post go?

    Peter B

    So-called honour crimes are nothing to do with religion, it's a cultural practice in about 30 countries around the world. And women often play an important role in upholding the practice.

  141. Thank you Exile you put it better than I could.

    It just gets me so angry when people like Peter use real life stories of people who have and are suffering through things we couldn't imagine to hide their (painfully obvious to anyone over the age of 6) agendas, while ignoring equivalent stories that do not benefit their aims.

  142. And men can be victims of so-called honour crimes too.

  143. dave,

    it was Burley who said on the day of the twin towers attack:

    "You join us just as the entire eastern seaboard of the United States has been decimated by a terrorist attack"


    I sometimes wonder if the Tories are economically illiterate or is there something more to it. When you see the likes of Blunkett and Milburn helping the Tories, Blair hailing the cuts and the Lib Dems completely on message, it's hard not to come to the conclusion that it is a systemic and supra-national fiscal policy which transcends whatever stands for party politics in Westminster. They're all in it together- the trough.

    In the Netherlands, once the bickering is sorted out and the Government is put in place, the first thing they are planning is €18 billion of cuts mostly from social and health spending. If we observe the Sarkozy scandals and pension 'reforms', the Socialists in Spain accepting neo-liberal medicine in the form of diminishing employee rights etc and it is clear to see that international capital is dictating the rules after the bailout. national Govts are doing what they are told.

    The post war social democratic settlement is unraveling. Who would have thought 50 years ago that in the year 2010 in the 21st century,my generation and future generations are resigned to the fact that they will be working until their 70s or until they drop?

    We're regressing socially and economically and things will have to get worse before they get better.

  144. One of the worst places for honour killings is Kurdistan.

    That's right - those noble honourable Kurds (copyright a tearful Ann Clwyd and Johann Hari), standard bearers against the evil Saddam....

    I wonder if there are more or less honour killings in the new Iraq? Progress isn't always linear Peter - in fact sometimes it doesn't seem like progress at all.

  145. I didn't make any geographical distinction in my comment. I merely referenced an account (Fisk's - no supporter of my outlook, generally) of a despicable practice. All this crap about using 'an event to back up my ideology' is just that: crap.

    Actually, it's worse. It detracts from the atrocity.

    Which is precisely the curse of apologia. And it renders apologists complicit.

  146. Evening fellow fuckwits

    Bracken justifying bombing people again by any chance? Thought so.

    "It is appalling that so many women die of honour killings, so let's bomb and kill them to save them from that terrible fate..."


    Re the continued degeneration of former industrial areas - I really don't know what the fuck the government thinks is going to happen. Is everyone going to get on their bike and relocate to the M4 corridor, leaving vast areas of wilderness behind them?

    God it makes me vomit. Almost as much as that quote from Blair's fantasy novel.

    BTW did you all catch the bit in Marc Lavallee's piece yesterday about the Facebook page encouraging people to go into bookshops and put Blair's book in the Crime section? Made I larf.

    MsChin - long time no speak. Hope all is good.

    I have just managed to download a few holiday pics from my phone, so I might stick one or two up on our photo page.

  147. P-Brax

    You really should try and get away from your Busharian thalamic thinking.

    "If you don't agree with invading countries that do x, then you are an apologist and supporter of x happening" is hind-brain idiocy if ever I saw it.

  148. So what are you suggesting Peter?

    We invade every country that has 'honour' killings?

    Or will sanctions be enough.

    I don't even know why I am arguing with you, I honestly don't think there is anying anyone could say to you that would make you give a straight answer.

  149. Hi Peter

    It's estimated that 20,000 honour killings are committed each year. In plain terms, that means some religiously warped father or son (or other male relative) brutally murders a daughter or sister (or whatever). Fisk is right to call it 'a crime against humanity'.

    Without being either pedantic or provocative i think it is important to recognize that women can also be actively involved in the events that lead to young women-and men-becoming the victims of honour killings.In this country a woman was sent to prison for her role in the honour killing of her daughter -in -law which you can read about here.Additionally there have been other cases in this country where women have been prosecuted for their role in honour killings even when they didn,t commit the murder themselves.It is therefore wrong to suggest that this is a crime that is committed exclusively by men.

  150. Paul, I don't think that anyone other than Peter was.

    The reality and complexity of the nightmare that is 'honour killings' would not play well with his audience.

  151. Paul

    You are being neither pedantic nor provocative, but are spot on the point there.

    It is not a religious thing but a cultural thing - not that I am excusing it - and neither is it specifically limited to women as victims and men as perps.

  152. PeterB

    Of course its a crime against humanity and Jen wasn't making light of it.

    As it happens 'honour' killings and other crimes perpetrated in the name of 'honour' is something I know a bit about. There are numerous campaigning organisations, a lot of them in the countries where it is rife. As I said before I'd be happy to give you details if you're interested.

    One example, although not amongst the most extreme: I had a young Iraqi Kurd asylum seeker staying with me for a while who'd had his ears clipped and had then been shot because of something he'd done that was deemed an 'offence' against family honour (nothing that would have been an offence here btw). He escaped to the UK but needless to say HMG didn't consider his life to be in danger and sent him back. Haven't heard a word since.

    Since you appear to have an interest in offences against humanity you might like to start advocating for those girls and women, from various communities, who are routinely circumcised by doctors in this country without a whimper of protest from HMG.

  153. Martyn

    You seem to have missed Jay Reilly's question again...

    ("Trolling CiF from the UT base-camp again?"

    Who's doing that?)

    I do hope you're not implying ifitsasix is a troll...I rather like him/her

    What's ifitsasix done to upset you? Was it being substantially funnier than you?..just plain writing much better than you?..or was it the usual...regarding you as flabby boring piece of shit?..hang on...is this another famous "Martyn treble bluff"?..that's it isn't it...come on Martyn..what are you up to this time, you old hound?

    still..who cares?..at least you're well thought of at CIF...just saw this

    Just posted on waddaya by Natalie whatever her name is..

    As part of CIF;s new campaign to bring views and opinions from off the beaten track, we've asked Martyn in La La land to continue his informative series on the culture and history of Spain; a little known and rarely visited independent state nestled between France and Portugal.

    Following on from his successful "Fuck me there's Nazi's everywhere", tomorrow Martyn delves deeper into the fertile cultural hinterland with "They do some weird shit with bulls around here". I've read his initial draft and there's some real eye-opening stuff. Then on Monday, Martyn reveals his previously unknown sporting expertise with a revelatory piece in which he speculates on a soon to be realised golden era for the national football team who are known prosaically enough as...erm 'Spain'.

    As if that weren't enough, Monday sees Martyn revelling in the joys of Spanish food with his much anticipated "Has that got garlic in?". Not that you should think for a minute that anthropology, sport and haute cuisine are this renaissance chap's only accomplishments...so impressed with his constant toadying, calls for stronger moderation and attention seeking have the new look editorial team been that we have commissioned him as a sort of roving international political analyst.

    Martyn has agreed to submit a piece called "the future of trying to sound vaguely progressive and egalitarian when you're really a vindictive little reactionary twat who longs for the continual immiseration of anyone who isn't ..well..erm..like me really"

    ...and how could we let an old interweb warhorse like "Martyn 18000" get away without reaping the benefit of his long hours of posting interminable shite?..and so coming next Thursday he'll be posting a sort of combined manifesto for the future of the web along with his internet reminiscences with "Why's everyone ignoring me?"

  154. Hi BB & cheers - not so bad as it was. You?


    That's the thing you see, actually knowing people who have witnessed / fled from so-called honour crime, rather than just reading about it.

    As for FGM - another cultural practice which defies belief in my world.

  155. Duke

    "I sometimes wonder if the Tories are economically illiterate or is there something more to it"

    Something more to it - its shaping up to be a classic "shock", as Hank suggested a while back. I cant see any other rational explanation. It is econonomically illiterate, it will shrink the economy and bugger the private sector too. They know this. The markets know this. So why else would they do this?

    Because its a once in a generation chance to smash the state to pieces, knock employment rights, lower corporation tax, privatise those few tiny things that havent already been flogged and realise the Thatcher dream in its entirety. There is no other plausible explanation for the speed and size of the cuts, which are frankly deranged.

    Honour killings - definitely more cultural than religious, they are part of an ultra-conservative social attitude that emphasises female obedience and family "honour" to absurd degrees. The combination of the two is the grotesque murders and lynchings Peter quoted.

    I dont often spend my time arguing against the oppression of Western women because i dont think they are "oppressed", but i do see a very large distinction between mothers buying "pink clothes" for their daughters, or lads mags being sold in newsagents, and women being stoned to death or buried alive. I dont think its particularly duplicitous to by disgusted by one but not the other.

  156. @jen, exiled, BB

    I think you're actually being unfair to PeterB here. Who mentioned invading or bombing anywhere, apart from you? All Peter did was bring up a piece by Robert Fisk which, by Fisk's standards, was remarkable in taking a universal moral position against an undoubtedly evil practice. Peter didn't say it was OK if the Saudis did it, or the Kurds did it, but bad if the Iranians did. Where did you all get that idea from?

  157. Sorry Peter J, you might be right but having followed the argument (on Cif) from the beginning Peter Bs agenda is obvious.

  158. PeterJ

    Sorry - was jumping the gun I s'pose, based on previous performance.

    "Don't agree with invasion of Iraq = supporter of despotic tyrants and murderers"

    "Don't agree with NATO bombing of Belgrade = supporter of despotic tyrants and murderers."

    "Don't agree with potential bombing of Iran = supporter of despotic tyrants and murderers."

    The chorus wears a bit thin sometimes, so I was just pre-empting.

    Sheff - it must be terrible not knowing what happened to him. :( The Red Cross operate a service where they will try and locate someone who has been "displaced" - I wonder if the Red Crescent would do the same? Might be worth a thought.

    MsC - I am fine and dandy after my hols - a couple of pix up on the UT gallery. But I have only been back to work for less than a week and I can feel the pressure building up steam again already. Meh.

  159. There is no complexity about killings. The only complexity that arises is borne of the twisted arguments that seek to deflect from it. As if circumcision provided a context, for example. It doesn't. It's just another another - if much lesser - form of atrocity.

    As for the complacency that supports others on this thread - "we only highlight honour killings because we want to bomb the perpetrators of them" - they need to question their human rights credentials. Because they have none.

    And Paul, you're not being pedantic, you're being outrageous.

  160. So, again Peter, what do you think we should do about the 30 countries that have honour killings and FGM (remembering that we are one of those countries).

  161. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  162. Peter

    And Paul, you're not being pedantic, you're being outrageous.

    How so?

  163. No, P-Brax.

    I am not saying "we" or "one" only highlights honour killings because one wants to bomb them.

    I am saying you do. You. Personally.

  164. I wish hank would give us some of his wisdom on the cuts fiasco - he did an excellent piece on tax havens etc a while back.


    Seems that FGM and honour crime are pretty low on the agenda for western fems and almost everyone else in the west for that matter. They've been a big issue for fems (and others) in the middle east and Africa for donkeys years.

    I first came across what people were trying to do about it in the Horn when I spent some time out there back in the 80s. In Eritrea for example, the EPLF were training bare foot doctors to educate people in the health implications (which are huge) in their efforts to stamp it out. The EPLF were doing some brilliant stuff back then - shame it's all gone so horribly to pot since.

  165. Nicely said BB.

  166. @jen

    I have followed it from the beginning. PeterB suggested that people read the Fisk piece, and indicated two Cif pieces by Fergusson and Gopal that contained some pretty dubious relativist stuff (I've just read them again). That was all.

  167. You're just unhinged, BB. What the fuck happened to you?

  168. Peter J

    I am talking about the reasons Peter B was giving for bombing Iran and such, he wasn't making any headway with his theocratic, hair triggered fingered suicide bombers so he turned his mind to other things he could get hugely emotional reactions from.

    He never actually said the words 'Iran also stones women' but that was the subtext.

    You may think that saying that makes me a paranoid loon but I stand by it.

  169. LOL! :o)

    That's the nicest thing anyone has said about me all day, P-Brax.

    Mind you, I have been in the Crim courts today... that must explain it.

    Seriously, though, that is the image you project. I know you have bought into the New Labour/Bushian "With us or agin us" security mantra hook line and sinker. I suppose you pretty much have to if you want to stand for them in parliament. But there are times when you, frankly, come across as a General Turgidson-esque caricature that I really find very, very hard to take seriously at all.

    OK, that's a bit harsh - you are certainly more eloquent than Buck was, but that doesn't detract from what seems to be your message de base - we will impose western democratic values on non-aligned nations by force for the greater good, and hang the casualties (and even, dare I say, bugger the consequences if it doesn't pan out).

    And yet I am the one who is unhinged...

  170. So you were just keen on making a point PB - but not that interested in getting stuck into actually doing something about it? At least that's what I'm assuming since I've had no response from you to my offer of further info.

  171. BB

    "It is not a religious thing but a cultural thing"

    like there's a difference? I can see there's an argument to be had over which is the determining factor and which the subordinate..perhaps a fairly interesting discussion if you like that kinda thing...but either way asserting that there is a meaningful cleavage between the two is silly. Especially when religions have an uncanny ability to conform to and provide authority and 'divine' justification to existing social mores...or..if you like the way cultural norms seem unfailingly to draw justification from the 'will of the divine'.

    Chicken fuckin egg...

  172. BB

    actually..ignore that last one...I can see you're busy

  173. Actually, Peter didn't post the Fisk article on waddya in support of bombing anyone (or if he did, he hid it pretty well)....

    You're all picking the wrong Bracken obsession.

    He posted it so he could have a pop at "the left.

    After quoting from the Fisk article, Peter wrote...

    "These are the kind of cultural traditions that James Fergusson and Priyamvada Gopal were imploring us to 'understand' on CiF a few weeks back."

    So his point wasn't that we should bomb anyone, but it also wasn't anything about honour killings per se - his point was that he found an article about honour killings that gave him the opportunity to return to one of his favourite subjects...

    Peter's all heart, eh? So good of all those people to suffer so he can make his point...

    Cada loco tiene su tema (Octavio Paz)

  174. Thank you, magic monkey. Glad you like my tribute site.

  175. Ok Exiled so Peter doesn't think we should free the victims of honour killings etc by invading.

    Nice to know.

    So what do you think we should do Peter?

  176. Sorry exiled I think I misunderstood your last post.

  177. lol,

    "In the worlds before Monkey, primal chaos reined."

    Quite a compliment, MF...

  178. Peter

    And Paul, you're not being pedantic, you're being outrageous

    I'll ask you again what was outrageous about my post?

  179. MF

    The only reason I pointed it out is that honour killing is frequently cited by some people as a reason to attack Muslims when it's not specifically or uniquely a Muslim thing, but spans a lot of asian (and north african) cultures. I wasn't suggesting it makes it any more or less abhorent for all that. If that makes any sense.

  180. Jen

    Ok Exiled so Peter doesn't think we should free the victims of honour killings etc by invading.

    He didn't say he did....

    I think he's saying that we should blame honour killings on the left.

  181. exiled and jen

    I have given up wondering what he was on about - especially as I haven't even read Waddya yet.

    This made me laugh very loudly though:

    "I think he's saying that we should blame honour killings on the left. "

  182. We used to play Monkey Magic on the field near where I lived as a kid.

    I watched it again recently and couldn't imagine why it was so popular, the bit where he pissed on the five pillars of wisdom made me laugh but otherwise it was a bit tame.

    I think I am going to get rid of my TV and see if I still find piss jokes so funny.

  183. "Thank you, magic monkey. Glad you like my tribute site"

    tribute?...I thought you were takin the piss...mind you..same thing really I suppose

    No..I did like it..thought it was well put together..and...very funny..which is rare enough these days

    Only thing that disappointed was that everyone else had a sorta satirical pastiche and I got a quote...that cos you reckon I kinda self parody enough as it is or weren't you up to it?

    Go on..give it a go..please..I'm fuckin serious..I'd be honoured

    "Oh wad some power the giftie gie us. To see oursel's as others see us!" etc

    obviously I get the odd pointer from the likes of Martyn the Martian but tbh I even if he wasn't a fuckin little tosspot I'd still have no time for useless twat's critical faculties.

  184. This is getting bizarre now. We have several people analysing the thought processes and beliefs of someone who is actually present, and interpreting them as an attack on whichever subject is uppermost in their own minds.

    Of course, I have my own analysis. But I'll wait to see what the other Peter actually says first.

  185. Yes, I was making point sheff. Is that OK?

    BB - I just don't buy the things that you buy. I mean, come on, you're credulous of claims that 7/7 was a government-sponsored hit, and that Kelly was murdered. You couch the credulity in time-honoured sceptic's garb, but truth is it makes you a gnat's dick from certifiable. So yes, unhinged is the best I can offer. Glad you're appreciative of it.

    Anyway, honour killings aren't going to go away whatever you think my motives are for referring to Fisk's piece. Suggest you focus you ire on the killings, not my temerity for commenting on them.

  186. But Peter J that would be no fun. ;)

  187. "We used to play Monkey Magic on the field near where I lived as a kid."


    I saw some kids in Southbank doing just that about 3 weeks ago...their dad had the whole thing on VHS..said they'd been up til half three the night before watching it.

  188. "In the worlds before Monkey, primal chaos reined."

    just told my missus about that one..she's still on the floor

  189. Monkeyfish are we talking about the same Monkey Magic?