15 September 2010


Happy Family - Walter Angu

Le secret des grandes fortunes sans cause apparente est un crime oublié, parce qu' il a été proprement fait.


  1. In case you missed it last night...



    Pub and accommodation details to follow later...

  2. @ Paul from last night. Thanks for the kind thought. Due date 30th Nov/1st Dec, ticking along okay at the mo.

  3. Pop quiz .. Markets and Gambling ...

    1 3 4 6 7 n1 n2 n3

    What are n1, n2 and n3?

  4. Martyn,




    Maybe? Or 9/11 or a hurricane happens and they're 15, 121 and 17.3.........

  5. Part III of the Radio 4 tax series was stimulating..............overall the series was well worth a listen but some interesting omissions.

    Not even on the agenda or part of the vocabulary or even enquiry..............tax on wealth anybody?

    Thought we might hear something on the current background mutterings about land value tax (be interesting to read Hank on LVT)

    am away for the day so laters everyone

    BTW Dott - you hear the news? - The homing instincts of snails, up to a distance of 30 meters, is confirmed by new research (Radio 4 8.55am.) If you throw them into next doors garden ......they just come back.

    Silly me I thought they carried their homes on their backs.

    Been a good year for field mushrooms here.

  6. @deano

    Does that apply to slugs too? I seem to have some homers here, although I'd surmised they were following their previous trails. Found one in my kettle the other day, with no idea how long it had been there, which was disconcerting.

  7. PeterJ,

    Off the top of my head...

    Based on my knowledge of their biology I'd have thought so, but my money's on the study having been done on snails not slugs because you can paint tippex numbers on snail shells much more easily than you can individually mark slugs....

  8. @Dott

    You're probably right. Although some of the specimens here would be big enough to put numberplates on.

  9. OBTW - PeterJ - there was a magazine called "The Illustrated".

    I have circulated the vintage Mag specialists for a copy dated January 24 1942 but so far no luck.

    Copies from the week before and the week after are available but not the one I want so far.

    LOL - the numberplates!

    Late must dash.

  10. @deano:

    This from the Henry Moore Foundation website:


    Or is it photos you're after?

  11. Radio 4 (you and yours)-- a few minutes ago, maybe watch it again on Iplayer, about 40 mins in.

    about ATOS.=
    MP ANNE BEGG (ABERDEEN) questioning about it.

    She is probably the one to email about this, she is disabled, in a wheelchair herself. It is in her constituency that they are going to trial the new health assessment (I think?)She is very critical of ATOS and the switch over from IB to ESA. So get your stories over to her.

    I don't post on here anymore, but I think there are some of you who would like to know.

  12. Dont be such a cynic, Thaum, the private sector is going to burst into life any minute now and conjure up a million new jobs from thin air and a dire world market. Gideon said so!

  13. Hello all

    Thanks for that Charles. Hope all is well with you.

    Snails come home - indeed they do. I painted blobs on their shells and placed snails in field. Back they came.

    One super large black slug with orange frill certainly returned. These slugs are rather attractive - they look a bit furry but obviuosly are not.

    Peter - I don't want to know if you boiled your visitor.

  14. Good to hear that, Jay. So, only another 4 million to be found after that miracle occurs.

  15. Thauma

    i think the 'unexpected' rise in unemployment might have something to do with people losing their jobs.

    I realise this is not a full economic or political analysis and no doubt some will try to prove me wrong !

    How are the figures for people removed from Incap to other benefits recorded - what will happen when people start losing DLA in droves ?

  16. @Leni

    Re: Slug-boiling. The thing that tortures me night and day is that I just don't know.

  17. No idea how the figures are recorded, Leni. But despite not being a sophisticated political analyst either, I predict large rises in unemployment over the next year as the lovely cuts kick in. This is just a small anticipation of things to come.

  18. Cheers Swifty I had come across the book via my research. The lass who put it together was if i remember right his niece.

    My local library has offered to get me a copy on inter library loan - seems sensible since the work itself is £75!. If it's as good as I think it might be I'll put on my wish list and me kids will probably club together and get me a copy....

    I'm intending to visit the Moore Foundation in the Spring (it's already closed for the winter) 'cos they've got a few of the 11 worked up drawings that came out the 1942 visit to the pit.

    The three I saw at the Tate exhibition were quite something and I'm intending to a track down the rest in due course. The final drawings being best described as composites of me dad and his mates

    Talking of tax - the Henry Moore Foundation came about 'cos old Henry got fucked off with paying about £1m p.a in income tax! Not that many expenses an artist could legitimately offset.... hammers and chisels and pencils and paper and brushes and things didn't amount to much compared with his income.

    Interesting that the new Anthony Gormley in Holland (Shitting Man) is pose which is very very similar to some of Henry's squatting mining sketches..........anywhere near you Duke?


    PeterJ - I finally learned that there definitely had been an "Illustrated" magazine from me bro in law who remembered delivering it as a paper boy in the late 40's and 50's!

  19. "..Snails come home - indeed they do. I painted blobs on their shells and placed snails in field. Back they came..."

    leni my dear, you sound just like the lady (Mrs ??) whose research on the subject has just won her UK amateur researcher of the year!

    I'm not suprised to find that you got there first!

  20. @Leni

    I have been brushing up my slug identification skills with the aid of this. Your homing visitor was apparently a Large Black, while my kettle infestor was a Great Grey with a rather fetching tiger-striped look.

    For me, this subject is now shudderingly closed.

  21. Any Old Mags Anyone? - It's the one from the week before this: Front Page Illustrated Magazine Jan 31 1942 that I'm looking for

  22. I've lost a post to Swifty et al?

    Is it in the spam box/bin thauma??

  23. Thanks thauma - does that mean it's dead and I have to try again or can it be resurrected?

  24. @Deano

    Good news about the mags, in one way. At least you definitely know what you're looking for now! Good luck with it.

  25. Ah I see you've pulled it back for me.


  26. Yes, it puts it back where it originally appeared.

    Sodding filter.

  27. If 10 people are removed from Incap - losing the small premium this carries - and 10 people lose their jobs we have an increase of 20 job seekers.

    Overall benefits paid increase by how much ?

    I eagerly await the explanations and justifications when the benefits bills rise along with homelessness and the decline of services.
    just how will they explain this ?

  28. Hi all! Just popped in to say well said BB on the Frances O'Grady thread.

    TUC conference is interesting but successful action depends on a sustained campaign to counter 30 years of lies. Primarily we must keep reminding people who is responsible for the crisis and certainly is not public service workers or any other section of the working class.

    We must oppose any attempt to make us pay for it again - the bailout has already taken our taxes!

    Time we demanded them back!

  29. Peter

    i think you kettle squatter may well have been a carnivorous leopard slug. They grow to around 4 inches - enter houses and steal cat food.

    Subject closed.

  30. Seen the contributions of HypatiaLee on that thread - here's a taster:

    Without the Trades Unions we might still have a car and coal industry

    This is the kind of attitude we have to counter!

  31. Before the crisis, steady growth with low inflation and high employment was in our grasp. We let it slip - we, that is, in the financial sector and as policy-makers - not your members, nor the many businesses and organisations around the country which employ them.

    "And although the causes of the crisis may have been rooted in the financial sector, the consequences are affecting everyone, and will continue to do so for years to come."

    Click to play
    Click to play

    Bob Crow on boycotting Mervyn King's speech: "I've got other things to do"
    Mr King added: "An unprecedented degree of policy stimulus, here and abroad, prevented another world slump. Even so, around a million more people in Britain are out of work than before the crisis. Many, especially the young unemployed, have had their futures blighted.

    "So we cannot just carry on as we are."

    He also said: "Your members, and indeed the businesses which employ them, are entitled to be angry.

    "But however legitimate, anger will not produce change unless its energy is harnessed to a cool analysis of what happened and why."


    Mervyn King to TUC

  32. What fucked the British car industry was British management. They were in charge of quality control, R&D, design etc., etc. They failed on every single count.

    Notice that when foreign car manufacturers locate here, they seem to have very little problem in getting both productivity and quality.

    Funny how that works.

  33. Sorry

    The bit about Bob Crow was caption to video - badly copied.

    From BBC website

  34. Via Don Paskini, a devastating report from the Public Accounts committee on the performance of private providers in helping the disabled find employment through the Pathways to Work programme.

    So, clearly, their role must be expanded.

  35. Peter

    have just posted this on waddya - where I see Davebloke has already posted the Mervyn King speech.

    e are beginning to get some meat on the criticism of current policies based on faulty analysis.

    Perhaps the G will move on this now ?

  36. Article on Cif about M King speech.

  37. 0.1 brownie point to MK for addressing the conference. I'd give him a couple more if he'd acknowledged the whole miserable system is a crisis ridden disaster both in the short and long term for most people and then sat down with them to thrash out some ideas for something fairer and more just.

    Peterj - The bad news is coming thick and fast for our masters....good!

    Princess/MsC - have emailed you re Bitters's knees up.

    Oh dear, watching th news...I see Cardinal Kaspar has put his gouty size ten in his mouth....this papal visit could be quite entertaining...expensive though.

  38. PeterJ,

    thanks for that. I mean the targets weren't just not met, they were not met spectacularly.

    Of course the argument will be that the reason they missed their targets was because of the stalinist scrutiny of the state. If there was no scrutiny, targets would be exceeded, not just met.


    good points re: the car industry.

    Another factor to add in would be the intactness of the industry after WWII. Compared with the year zero faced in France and Germany,British manufacturing (including cars) stayed intact.

    The massive investment in the rebuilding of industry in France and Germany saw the French and Germans equipped with the latest machine tools and technology compared to the British car industry. Thus the reliability of French and German mass market cars were superior to British made.

    And as we know, nothing devastates a car market more than a reputation for unreliability.

    Another classic post war management cock up which we still feel the effects of today was the 1955 British Rail remodernisation plan.

    Rather than invest in electrification, reliable train stock, station investment and learning the lessons of the continents railways post WWII (which had to rebuild from scratch), enormous investment was put in marshalling yards (which were becoming obsolete due to road haulage) and diesels which were already obsolete and unreliable.

    The results were economically catastrophic- no improvement in the rail network and burdened with enormous debt. The direct result was the Beeching cuts which decimated the rail network and implemented a culture of rail travel being subsiduary to road. Railway management was seen as suspect by central govt and the next massive investment went into roads.

    A legacy the transport network of the country still lives with today.

  39. I've been suckling at the Guardian commissioning teats again if anyone's interested - it's about cuts to the police budgets.

    And is it just me or has CiF recently been inundated with fatuous one-liner-merchants?
    oh, how is everyone btw?

  40. "And is it just me or has CiF recently been inundated with fatuous one-liner-merchants?"

    I think the Graun likes it that way to be honest, more hits isnt it, higher comment figures...

  41. Hiya Speedy! Read that today and wondered if it was you. Some stupid comments below the line, I agree, but I must admit that a couple of the anti-Met ones resonated.

    Auto manufacturing ... yes, I blame management for a lot of the industry's woes, although a lack of government support hasn't helped either.

    Management is ridiculously top-heavy with the result that workers are constantly having to do stupid box-ticking exercises to justify management's existence.

  42. Hi All--Flying visit from Seattle on hotel computer.

    PCC--Sorry to hear about your dog, a very difficult thing. Best to you.

    Good points about auto industry Duke. US car manufacturers were plagued by unreliability for years, giving rise to foreign car sales. Mainly Japanese, but others as well.

    Wifey is dagging me away for my 1st pedicure. Shall see what the fuss is about! Home manana. Later.

  43. Speedy -- certainly an amazing number of vacuous comments there .

    My impression is that at the bottom end there is a lack of boots on the ground for real urgent stuff while too many are office-bound unwillingly filling in vast quantities of paperwork , but many others are enjoying an easy life in ' probationer training' , collating stats on 'performance' etc.

    I see that there is a Superintendants Conference going on . I have a feeling that you you think they are a load of unproductive drones ? That would confirm the general point on the abysmal quality of management that seems to be the hallmark of UK today.

    Psssst - i'd like you to do a CiF on the whole idea of 'Police Discretion' , an argument I had 40 years ago with coppers at uni ...

  44. Interesting that there is no Bracken today. Since being challenged again on his insider trading record he has gone, as usual, silent.

    Some of you objected to the horrid things I said to him but perhaps you can now see (from his comment to Montana) how vicious and nasty he is. It may offend liberal sensibilities but the only way to deal with people like him is to up the ante and be even nastier. You will notice that, unpleasant as it may have been, my rudeness at least shut him up for a while.

    Some of you try to discuss things with him intellectually (nature of markets, nature of Evolutionary Psychology) but that is a mistake. He's too stupid to understand, but too bumptious to know that he doesn't understand.

    Stupid, nasty - and self-righteous in his stupidity and nastiness - Peter Bracken exemplifies the downsides of the internet's ability to give everyone a voice.

    He isn't, as some have said, a shit. He is just - shit. Worse than that, he is so predictable as to be a boring shit. Yes, that is Bracken's ultimate sin. Not stupidity,immorality, nastiness, pretentiousness, self-importance, self-satisfaction - all his obvious failures. He's just - in all senses of the word - dull.

  45. Evening me darlins

    Dog tired so won't be posting much.

    Going to bed early too. Got to keep my strength up for my first Underworld concert in nearly two years tomorrow night. w00t!


    (me dancing)

    A little taster - don't click BW, or if you do, don't complain about rattlesnakes and car alarms. Actually, this is a bit pop-disco-ish compared to the usual stuff. Love it though. Massive anthem, this will be.

    Always Loved A Film

    And thanks for the props Anne, btw.

    Good article, Speedy, although I haven't got round to commenting yet.

  46. BB - that's up there with country music for me.


  47. Here's a prescient response to Mervyn King from last year's Daily Mash.

  48. Awww... soz, thaum.

    I think I might copyright those dancing icons and do some t-shirts with them on. :o)

    The Daily Mash always rocks, PJ.

  49. BB - no need to apologise for my lack of interest in e-fuelled rave music! To each her own.

    We watched a film recently ... you'd like the soundtrack, I think ... struggling to remember the name of it! Indie film set in Cardiff...

    Oh, and we've found it! By googling "cardiff film drugs" ... Human Traffic...

    Got any jungle, man?

  50. BB/thaumaturge - come up Oct 2nd - it's one of the many debates we can have !

    Pub-wise - I would settle for the Malt Shovel, centre of Northampton - great pub but the landlord keeps changing his mind about staying open Sat afternoons (!).

    Bookmark it anyway


    I'm away for ten days in Orkney, gigging/walking/drinking, will see you all later, and post final details when home weekend 25th September. Pass the message on to anyone interested...

    Cheers bananas !


  51. We've got a Malt Shovel not far from here! Not bad either.

    Will most likely attend the Oct celebrations, but am definitely on for the Leam gig in Nov - have already booked the following day off work.

  52. Haven't seen that, Thaum.

    From the trailer, looks like I should do, though. :o)

    Have you seen "24 hour Party People", loosely based on Tony Wilson's antics?

    The irony is, here I am watching Underworld vids while my lad is watching Hendrix on Sky Arts or some such....

  53. I will try and make it to Northampton. My ovver arf is off on a Buddhist course next week, so I ought to be allowed a weekend away too, surely? :p

  54. dave from france:

    "My impression is that at the bottom end there is a lack of boots on the ground for real urgent stuff while too many are office-bound unwillingly filling in vast quantities of paperwork , but many others are enjoying an easy life in ' probationer training'..."

    LOL, cheeky bastard! Probationer training is precisely where I am currently languishing! But as I say to all the naysayers who mutter "training flogger" under their breaths, "you fucking have a go if it's that easy". You've never met such a clueless set of gibbons as the bunch I've been teaching today - they wouldn't know a 'notice of intended prosecution' from a hole in the arse...

    Having said that, we've just heard that we probably aren't recruiting any sprogs for up to 4 YEARS, so no doubt I'll be back to throwing ethnics down the station steps before the month is out :(

    Have we met btw?

    BB - I'm sure one could never get tired of hearing Cowgirl segue seamlessly into Rez

  55. BB - I didn't think it was a particularly brilliant film, but then again I didn't like the music(!) and it's apparently quite a hit in a cult film way.

    Never heard of '24 Hour Party People'! I'd be with your lad watching the Hendrix.

  56. Interesting video (with real instruments an' all).

    Analyse from a feminist perspective.

  57. Ahhhh Speedy! A lad after me own heart there. :o)

    I like Hendrix too, thaum. My taste is nothing if not eclectic. I just love the vibe at dance gigs though. I s'pose it's the eccys (not that I've had me chops round one for donkeys years now) but the atmosphere is usually just so joyful and happy.

    I took one of my non-dance fan friends to an Orbital gig a few years back and she was stunned at how polite and friendly and nice people were compared to the rock gigs she had been to. Complete strangers talking to her and being friendly.

    And she was stunned by what she called the extraordinary reverence for beer - if someone was coming through with 4 pints in their hands, the crowd just cleaved like the red sea to let them through! :o)

    The only time I have ever had a dodge experience at a UW gig was at a very posh club in Hamburg where some eejit drunk out of his head kept falling into people and managed to head-butt me on the back of my head, giving me whiplash. But within nano seconds he was surrounded by well-meaning onlookers who shepherded him off the floor while other complete strangers were round me to make sure I was ok.

    You just don't get that at other types of gig, in my experience. Like I say, must be the type of drugs people tend to take, I guess. Your average drum n bass or hip hop audience would more likely be on crack or cocaine, therefore more "hyped" and agressive. Your average rock gig people would be smoking weed and probably out of it.

    And people should be banned from getting drunk at gigs, cos that is when the fights start...

    Anyway, enough of my cod-philosophising.

    Speedy - have you heard Scribble yet? Bloody brilliant.

    I love this video

    Karl looks so happy, like he always does. He is like a little kid on stage - he dances about like a nutter, then every now and then he looks out into the audience and starts to laugh with glee. :o)

  58. Speedy -- that bit about probationer training was shamelessly lifted from inspectorgadget who did hasten to add that "real coppers" like yourself shouldn't be offended. He was talking about some wankers who he obviously had firmly in his sights -- rather like your little black book of 'em. I did add on the quantities of bods involved in monitoring targets, collecting data for same, and probably doing Diversity Training or summink .

    As to the clueless set of gibbons, you have my deepest sympathy. In my day , hehe, middle-ranking coppers had quite often been in the army, and were a commonsensical crowd, tho we did disagree on discretion ... Some of the 'Red Essex' inspectors drank in the same Southend after-hours clubs as the villains, which didn't stop them putting them away from time to time . But they weren't the rank and file .

    Recruiting school-leavers does seem a mistake . They are conveniently malleable, in many ways useful ... but just haven't lived anything else . A few years back some journo went underground and recorded some of your racist probationer students . Remember that ? The initial official reaction was to attack the journo, instead of looking seriously at what he uncovered .

    A local retired PC did his time around Newcastle . Managed to clean up an area with preventive policing and got the kids into youth clubs etc, but was then redeployed to busting drug-houses, at 55. Without that small presence the area reverted . Fucking Target culture . He was happy to leave .

    Due to googlepasswordconfusion I'm back to a previous long-ago name there, frog2.

  59. You guys missed the best part of 'Human Traffic'

    Got any jungle in guy

  60. That's brilliant, tasica.

    Really must see that film. :o)

  61. Speedy - gone are the days of the village cop.

    Long ago, when I were a mere lad, an encounter with the bobby was filled with dread and fear. He generally knew what was going on, and dealt with it with a firm hand, putting us firmly in our place. I guess as yoofs we respected that informal but polite 'tickin orf'. He knew where we lived and would have no fear in going round to our parents to discuss any situation !!

    Just recently I was pulled over for a driving offence - I wrongly and knowingly crossed a double white, and unknowing to me at the time was seen.... I was duly 'pulled over'.

    The copper was great ! He gave a good 'tickin orf' and reminded me of the instances where I can legitimately cross double whites.

    There are still some good coppers out there !

  62. There are some good coppers out there.

    There was one I saw who intervened during the sentencing of a youngish French lad who had lost his job and his home and was nicked for the umpteenth time for dossing at Gatwick airport to say that he had made some enquiries for him and had found him another chef's job with accommodation above the restaurant.

    How many coppers are going to do that for someone, frankly?

  63. tascia -- I got done for no-seatbelt just outside my minute market town, cost me 90E but he could reasonably have done me for 180 ( commercial vehicle MOT comes faster )and stretching a point ( no little comm vehicle "tare" plaque on the door ) for 270.

    Luckily, maybe, the senior gendarme was a mature 35-40 . Two kids, it might have been far worse .

  64. Night all. Early start and late night tomorrow.


  65. I dunno know, but I figure that your average cop is more willing to participate with a polite respondent, than to one who is aggressive from the outset ! Realise you've dun wrong and own up - unless you've < Really /b> done wrong - then fuckin leggit

  66. Leni -- noticed on waddya that you were already aware of the BP Deepwater Horizon forthcoming scandal on the use of the COREXIT 'dispersant' . Poisoning all marine life and people who live near the coast.

  67. frog

    Scientific American ran a couple of reports on the use of dispersants.

    many felt that sinking the oil - which would protect coastal wetlands - was the better option.

    The sudden 'disappearance' of the huge slick certainly raised furthe questions.

    Phytoplanktons as well as larger beings are susceptible to the toxins.

    One of the problems - according to some - that the choice of dispersants is a bit random as there are few comparative studies on them.

    I think expanding deep water drilling while we are unsure of the science as well as technology in deep water is crazy.

    But - money will probably triumph over common sense yet again.

  68. Leni --
    "" However, not long after they began working in BP’s response effort in June, what they saw disturbed them. “It didn’t take long for us to understand that something was very, very wrong about this whole thing,” Shirley told Truthout. “So that’s when I started keeping a diary of what we experienced and began taking a lot of pictures. We had to speak up about what we know is being done to our Gulf ".”


  69. frog

    frightening read.

    there were many days when the clean up boats were kept in harbour too.

    the long term impact is yet to be seen. The destruction of the food chain will leave vacuums. Other places have seen the arrival of new invasive species which make recovery harder.

    Long term health concerns for people and animals along the coast are other worries.

    We do not have the right to kill wildlife in this way. Some of the pelicans which were cleaned were released off the California coast. If recovery in the Gulf is likely or possible why were they not kept locally to be released later?

    Official denials no longer satisfy.

  70. Oh well, the Pope is coming tomrrow, so that should make everything all right
    I thought the "Pythons" were in retirement.
    You couldn't make this stuff up!

  71. Leni -- Dahr Jamail is one of those people who spring up, just can't keep them down .

    georgewashington2 keeps coming back to 911 too . You don't have to be a 100% Truther to see stacks of very weird stuff being concealed by the Kean Comission.

  72. chekhov

    I intend to avoid all things papal on Cif.

    My view is that if he wishes to come as leader of religious org - fine.The Church should fund it.

    As head of state - no.

  73. If the Pope comes anywhere near me (which is highly unlikely)I will drop my strides and show him my bare arse. The attempt by the Catholic Church to distance its self from the cruelties inflicted on its children is an abomination of its self.
    The Pope is a fucking hypocrite and he should not be afforded a "A State Visit" in the UK

  74. chekhov

    i'm not sure why it is a State visit. He is coming primarily to sanctify a long dead cardinal - strictly church business.

    the child abuse will not go away - he and others should be called to account but it won't happen.

    The latest is that some at least of the priests who went to jail here are still priests - they were not 'defrocked'. they are living in parish houses and being maintained by the church. Whether the people in the parish know this I'm not sure.

  75. Hi Leni,chekhov,habib,boudican and any other night shifters.

    Got absolutely bugger all to say so
    here's a tune instead