Our own little corner of Stewart
@Duke and Deano:Thanks for the windmill photos. I concede defeat. But the Elk Horn windmill isn't a fake Danish windmill -- it is a real one that was reassembled piece-by-piece here. A bit like the London Bridge.When I was a little girl, CBS used to end their Saturday morning children's programming with an international children's film. I distinctly remember one about a little boy who lived with his grandfather in a windmill that made me think that living in a windmill would be just about the coolest thing in the world. Kind of remarkable now to think that an American tv network used to trust kids' intelligence enough to show subtitled movies once a week. Subtitled! Not only were they furrin, they weren't even dubbed into English.
Oh, and Deano:According to the stats that Blogger gives me, we apparently get a visitor from Iran from time to time.
Montana - one of my first living spaces away from home was camping out in one of these. I spent 5 months living in one whilst working in Kent as a farm labourer in the 1960's.It gave me a life long passion for the smell of 'hoppy' bitter.The Oast house was a great improvement on my very first place of my own... which was a pig ark. (sans pig) That gave me a lifelong passion for the sound of rain on metal roofs at night.Regards.I was impressed that the folk down at Elk Horn actually toiled together and rebuilt the windmill themselves!
We ought to run a book on the date/time of when UT attracts the 250,000th visitor?
April 23rd 10am.
"Poverty is the parent of revolution..."Some good may yet come from the coalition......laters all I'm away for the day.
I think I'll go for Boudican's birthday..30th March 8.32am
July 15th 2011, 15h45 (+ or - 5 minutes).
"(+ or - 5 minutes)"Oi, we'll have none of that! You get one time, to the minute. Cheating bloody northerners...
Well, I'm factoring in the possibility that the 250,000th visitor might be a woman, and completely unusually obviously and entirely atypically, might be running slightly late...
9 Germinal, CCXIX
Montana,there's no doubting that there's something inherently peaceful and civilised about windmills. I think it's the mix of quiet industry, producing life's basics and it's dependence on nature to work.I've always liked lighthouses as well. IN case anyone missed it, here's 'LifeisElsewhere' (who I think is RedNorth) on the Cl**g/IDS welfare thread:That's the biggest understatement of the new century so far. They actually found that despite the millions pumped into these private companies, they were actually doing a worse job than the Job Centres they replaced! I guess sitting in a shed all day practising writing your CV isn't the panacea it's cracked up to be, huh?Still the founder of A4e has amassed a personal fortune of 35 million. And Blunkett's on the gravy train. So it's worth it....There are no jobs. What is it about this simple fact that politicians, newspapers, and supposedly educated people writing articles like this don't understand? The treasury won't take IDS's claims about getting people into work seriously because, being the realist number crunchers that they are and not born again fantasists who think 8 hrs on a Glasgow estate makes them an expert on poverty, they know full well there is NO employment for these people to move into.As always, we have a million ways to make life tougher for those on benefits, and not a single one about where the jobs are going to come from. This is a jobless recovery, and you can lower benefits to nothing and it will still not conjure up enough vacancies to provide the 5 or 6 million vacancies required.Geddit. Do try please, I'm getting fucking tired of having to repeat this for you educated idiots out there. I'm as daft as cartload of monkeys and even I can appreciate that 6 million will not fit into 400,000. About a 5.6 million shortfall if my maths are up to it. Are you people really as stupid as you sound?THERE ARE NO JOBS. And there are especially no jobs in those northern areas that haven't seen any employment in the private sector since the demise of the heavy industry in the 80s. Hence the reliance on the public sector, hence the unimaginable sorrow that will strike into the hearts of these communities yet again, while cosseted southern ciffers recite their hate speech about 'scroungers', entirely oblivious to the realities in the north.The 80s never ended for us. It's just been one long neoliberal nightmare, and now they blame us for it, talking about 'lifestyle choices' for poverty.Let me put it plainly: we didn't want your wretched neoliberal dystopia in the first place -you made it, you pay for it.
Fine post Duke point well made.(am. or pm.??)Swifty - nice try but it don't explain the -5! You can't possibly be suggesting.......early!Oh fuck late again I'd best be off... it's just as well I is a retired person.
Saw the LifeisElsewhere post, was a good'n, not sure its Rednorth though.QT was typically dire - D Miliband was particularly odious, he seemed quite desperate too - news from the polls has obviously troubled him.
Noon, May 1st 2011.n'sh Allah.But I won't know, the counter has never worked on the Mac at home, and has stopped working on the work PC of late..
@deano:Nope, the - 5 mins was based on a prediction that the 250,000th visitor was supposed to arrive not at 15h45 but instead at 15h15, and was thus running approx. 25 mins late – hedging my bets, you see…
Can I place my bet that the 250,000th visitor will be Swifty at 1545 on July 15th? And that this is an elaborate and somewhat sexist attempt to throw the contest?
@Vari:"Somewhat" sexist? Doesn't sound like me, to be honest...
Sorry, 'entirely'....my heartfelt apologies....
There's an article that's just come up on CIF entitled something along the lines of 'Don't knock masturbation'.I wonder what MAM will have to say on the matter?Or Bru?
@Vari:”…Sorry, 'entirely'....my heartfelt apologies....”Don’t worry your pretty little head about it, you adorably silly little thing. What’s for dinner?
There are private sector jobs in Glasgow, I can assure you duke, but they are all low level, unskilled (or rather they do have 'skills' but no one will give you the required 'training' on the job anymore) and often by recruitment agencies/subcontractors, so that if you were say a cleaner or a healthcare asistant you would be shifted around different workplaces.I was in my hometown last week and talking to a friend I heard that the local fish facotry were hiring workers, but what they were doing was hiring workers from Latvia, Lithuania etc, RECRUITING THEM IN THEIR HOME COUNTRIES BEFORE THEY HAD EVEN BEEN HERE BEFORE. They would then travel here, with the certainty of the job, and the local job market with very high unemployment is ignored.Frankly what I have learned in this neoliberal dystopia is that the best thing to rely on is friends and family, these structures, more personal and humane, allow us to stand against neolib/neocon idiocy. The problem though of course is those who do not have family structures to soften the oppressiveness of of our dystopia,- especially compared to countries like India where family structure really helps poor people keep together and ultimately survive.The problem of course is that many of us, myself included, come from dysfunctional family structures. Unemploymnt has really pissed me off and drained me. Was not Glasgow supposed to be the most left wing city in Britain, and probably western Europe? Although to be fair, they swallowed the middle class creed of multiculturalism and diversity, and that is why there are ethnic ghettos, immigration driving down wages, etc.
charliesorry you are feeling low again. had the minimum wage not been set so low - leaving people needing top up benefits - the situation would not be so bad. the minimum wage encouraged employers to reduce pay. in traditional industries with wages already set at a given level the employers would have problems downgrading them for local people. Immigrants would be less resistant and would lack the support of the community. Local people are being by passed as a policy. do Latvians , for example , qualify for top up benefits or do they have to sutvive on low wages ?
Latvians, Poles etc survive by sleeping 6 to a room Leni. There is not really a problem with sick or disabled becuase generally only the fit amongst them come here to work.When they are working for shit wages and shit conditions, they are not doing it because they want to be in Britain for the long term- they are looking at returning home and realising how much further their money will go when they get back- which goes a hell of a long way.I bear no grudge against these people, but the simple fact is that there is a limited pool of resources in this country.
Hi CharlieImmigration has certainly been used to depress working class wages in this country.But some of these immigrants are only able to survive here as well as sending money home to their families by living in the most squalid,overcrowded dickensian conditions where they are exploited by private sector landlords.It always used to piss me off when the media talked about immigrants-often highly skilled- earning more on miminmum wage jobss in the UK than they could ever earn in their own countries.For they almost always omitted to mention that the cost of living was so much higher here.And never thought to question how immigrants were actually surviving here on such low wages as well as sending money home.btw good to see you posting here again.:-)
"do Latvians , for example , qualify for top up benefits or do they have to sutvive on low wages ?"I think the point is that for Latvians - they arent low wages. Thats really the bedrock of global labour fluidity, you have access to the cheapest labour on the planet (in theory, not quite in practice for various reasons).When globalisation has pushed unskilled wages down low enough, it becomes only slightly profitable to go to work rather than live on benefits, and for some its actually less profitable to work. Instead of this suggesting high benefits its actually low wages. This is the raison d'etre of EU freedom of movement and the open door migration policy of New Labour. Lower wages, more flexible labour, higher profits. Predictably, wealth inequality widened.I dont see how this can be resolved - if minimum wage were to rise and be strictly enforced, there would be no point with the labour fluidity anyway. Politicians would suffer the fallout from the social consequences without the benefits of lowering wages for business. So that seems a non starter.Either you have open borders, low wages, and a few million on the benefit scrapheap, or much lower, skilled migration only. It seems a bit of a liberal fantasy at the minute that you can combine open borders, a welfare state and any semblance of fair wages for those at the bottom. 2+2 cant make 5.
>>the simple fact is that there is a>>limited pool of resources in this country. But you must see that it is an artificialy limited state. Structural unemployment is the padlock on our chains Charles. There is plenty of land, food, housing. But it's controlled by a greedy money grubbing minority.For all the fine words at the TUC I don't see any rushing to the barricades...
"But some of these immigrants are only able to survive here as well as sending money home to their families by living in the most squalid,overcrowded dickensian conditions where they are exploited by private sector landlords."Very true, its no life of luxury. Stories abound in London of Poles shacked up 20 to a room in bunk beds. Admittedly i think most only look to do this for a year or two before going home but still, not a lifestyle to be envied.
paulit is now estimated that the remittance money sent home to families across the world by migrant workers exceeds the amount paid in international aid. The exploitation of working people from across the world is a scandal as great as that of slavery - some may argue it is qualitively different but in fact many migrant workers are little more than slaves. So many people are trapped - living in awful conditions and totally dependent. They are still 'owned' by the employer. i can undertsand the anger of local people when they see jobs being taken from them , as Charlie says, it is not the fault of the immigrants. They take the opportunities open to them. It is a sad admission that the minimum wage here is too low to support a family - 'cept that despite the necessity for benefits to enhance low wages the people receiving the help are still castigated as 'scroungers'.this is one of the biggest fallacies at the centre of the welfare row. Two of the most divisive benefits are HB which subsidise the landlord and working tax credits which subsidise the employer.As for the conditions in which many migrant workers live they are a disgrace and a shame on this country - and across the world.
>>Two of the most divisive benefits are>>HB which subsidise the landlord and>>working tax credits which subsidise the >>employer.>>As for the conditions in which many>>migrant workers live they are a disgrace>>and a shame on this country - and across>>the world.Hear hear!
Charlie,Firstly, I think you'll be very interested in this report in this months le monde diplomatique (it's free to view): Glasgow's two nationsWas not Glasgow supposed to be the most left wing city in Britain, and probably western Europe?To be honest, this has always been a bit of a fallacy. Left wing politics in the city has always been synonymous with 'Red Clydeside' and the Indpendent Labour Party of Maxton from the years 1918-1924. The City's historic heavy industrial base always led outsiders to believe it was a hotbed of radicalism but it is more complicated than that.Up until the 1960's the Conservatives enjoyed large support in the city, due in large part to the sectarian divide- Working class Protestants supporting the Conservatives and Unionist party, Catholics Labour. The rise of Scottish Nationalism has also complicated matters from the 1970's onwards.The Labour Party in Glasgow is classic Tammany hall politics- indulging in patronage, corruption, nepotism and criminality (see the last leader of Glasgow council Stephen Purcell). Glasgow Labour MP's have always been the keenest supporters of the New Labour project. I am thinking hard who actually stood up against the Iraq war amongst Glasgow's 'left wing' MP's but I am struggling. No opposition to the "project" has ever come from Glasgow and its surrounding area's MP's-John Reid, Michael Martin, Jim Murphy and Douglas Alexander were amongst New Labour's most committed supporters.So it depends on your definition of left wing. If you consider Labour left wing then yes Glasgow is a left wing city, but Glasgow Labour isn't left wing and hasn't been for a very long time if indeed it ever was.
I notice that CiF today has had articles on masturbation and now erotic dreams.I can only assume the next article will be on Freud's theory of penis envy. By Bindel. On why they should all be chopped off. Or something.
DukeI can only assume the next article will be on Freud's theory of penis envy. By Bindel. On why they should all be chopped off. Or something.And i think such an article would be entitled-''Bindel Bites Off More Than She Can Chew''
It's not a city, but let me suggest Fernan Nunez in Cordoba province, Spain, as the most left-wing town in the 80s, when it was a Communist municipality (now sadly IMO PSOE Socialist).In the referendum on whether Spain should join NATO in 1986, in this town of 10,000, two people voted in favour. I was impressed.
Good LMD article 13th, the last paragraph should be shouted from the rooftops "according to the Sunday Times the austerity cabinet, of 23 contains 18 millionaires" Explains a lot, eh?
turminder,it is a very good article. I would say it is depressing but it's nothing I don't know already. Glasgow always has had an exceptionally large divide between haves and have nots.For anyone interested in the shock doctrine and the nature of the relationship between supranational institutions and national politicians, the Netherlands could be an interesting one to watch.The de volkskrant and NRC Handelsblad newspapers report today on the IMF's findings on the Dutch economy. According to the IMF, the Dutch economy is in excellent shape having negotiated the recession by and large admirably. It's economy has one of the market's highest confidences and its recovery has been more robust than most OECD economies.The incoming right wing Govt (once it is finally formed) is still insisting on carrying out €18 billion austerity cuts (mostly on social spending). Notably, the Politicians have changed their tune on why the cuts are needed. Before the IMF report it was because of the recession. Now it is to "safeguard future spending because the population is aging. An alternative to the cuts in the light of the rosy economic news is simply not up for discussion.Pure deceit. The goalposts are simply moved to accomodate these ideological cuts.The saving grace is that the incoming Govt is in for a torrid time here, the Unions wont stick it(and they have real power), the "Social Model" won't stick it and the people won't stick it as the "anti-cuts" movement gets into gear. This really is one to watch in the next few months in terms of the ideology behind the cuts and real opposition to them. Expect a Government sponsored debate on the Burqa round about the same time.....
Thank you for that aritcle Duke, very interesting and definately reflective of what I've noticed, the wealth and poverty side by side.
Talking about structural unemployment - concerns about it in the US which isn't yet as bad as it is here according to the article.How to Escape a European MalaiseFinally, there is the recognition that some of the shifts in the composition of activities within the economy are likely to be permanent. Just one example: at the peak of the housing boom, homes were built at an annual rate of 2.2 million units; construction activity is now below 600,000 units, and it will take years to go back to the sustainable level of 1.5-1.6 million homes per year. Bottom line: millions of jobs in construction, real estate, mortgage banking and mortgage securitization will never come back.
Pixie -- I don't trust that bloke, he's a flexible labor market enthusiast :)Anyway using U3 is always dodgy . Pretty table on U6 here . Scroll down for nice colours ...The hollowing-out and offshoring of the US labour market has been intensive for decades.
Dave FF - Well he certainly looks a bit mad Adolpho Laurenti. Interesting reading stuff from that perspective though.
While on the topic of employment (not) I see Vince Cable has this to say from the Graun:'Vince Cable: Migrant cap is hurting economyBusiness secretary says cap is stopping firms hiring key staff and calls for more flexibility'No opportunity to comment, strangely. Knowing what it is really like in the engineering sector I can vouch that there are many unemployed engineers and in fact the unemployment rate amongst graduates with CompSci degrees for example is the worst of the lot. And this is the sector that uses the most of that type of Visa. You get the chance to train your replacement who believe it or not is an expert before they are arrived. No gripe against the individuals, many of whom I've worked with and are fine, it is the relentless one sided picture taken at face value by the press that gets my goat.Every time the employers bleat about lack of skilled candidates it really means lack of cheap. In fact as the post above says you are short circuited as the jobs are recruited before you get a look-in.
IanGVince Cable has plunged to the bottom in my estimation. Another who'd rather have a few crumbs from the tory table than stick to what I thought were his principles prior to the election.
MsC/PrincessSome moderately good news, or rather, less bad news - a Lib Dem councillor on Sheffield city council has defected to Labour - should mean the Lib Dems lose overall control.
NOW HEAR THIS .... Spike article on Fete de l'huma and frogcommunism is up early , NOW,
My article on the Fête de l'Huma is up on CiF if anyone wants to take a look.It's here.
Heheh. Cheers, Dave.
I enjoyed your piece Spike - sounds great!. Do you want a volunteer for next year?
@SheffThanks for your comment.Yeah, we'd love to see you there next year. Perhaps you should organise an "All That's Left" stand and sell proper English beer.
SpikeI have a mini brewery across the road Kelham island Brewery), from me that makes full mash pure beer. they might b interested. Perhaps Bitters and his band could play too. It'd make an excellent UT outing.
Spike Nice article you made it sound like a really good time.
"I have a mini brewery across the road"Sheff, will you marry me? Is the brewery yours? Answer the second question, first. :-)Spike, just like Turminder, PhilippaB and Montana, you write ATL brilliantly, just "telling it like it is", as opposed to some who try to show how clever they are. Cap doffed in admiration.
Is the brewery yours? 'Fraid not Habib, I'm only adjacent to it as it were. So I guess that's me stood up.
Sheesh Sheff, these men are so flighty.
Just back from troll-teasing , how are you Jenni?
hi frog (or do you prefer dave?).I am fine (big grin), how are you?
Thanks Jenn & Habib.It's tailing off a bit at this time. Perhaps I should say something controversial.
jenni -- very glad to hear it ! A bit lazy at the mom, in suspense I think waiting to see if my pension comes thru, and I can then be a busy retired person like deano :)Just goin to call the pub, and then maybe take around an amazon book present which I collected at the postoffice for her .
Quite happy with frog, like spikeparis or now spike works there for me ...
Thauma (from yesterday) I understand how you feel but sadly if all of those who are left wing stay out of the party it won't change.I have been going to LP meetings and holding my nose (figuratively) for years. At times I think I knew how John the Baptist felt! To make things change we sometimes have to get our hands dirty.And remember the Labour party is only part of the solution. If we are to finally see a world happily bereft of the kind of bastards in the current government then we have to get rid of capitalism.Haven't quite worked out the details on that one yet! But here in Britain there is a desperate need for a left wing voice in the Labour Party.If all lefts were in the Labour party the Millipedes et al would disappear. Then perhaps we could begin to convince people another better world is possible.Half the battle is getting people to believe it.
Thought you may all be interested in this.This is an extract from the 1935 Labour Party manifesto, the last time Labour were in opposition to a Conservative-Liberal coalition:At the end of four years the country faces the grim spectacle of two million workless with an army of well over a million and a half people on the Poor law, and with the deepening tragedy of the distressed areas.The Government has robbed the unemployed of benefit and subjected them to a harsh and cruel household means test. It withdrew, under a storm of public indignation, its new Unemployment Regulations, and after nine months of reconsideration of this burning question it has ignominiously failed to produce any policy for the proper care of the unemployed. * It has retarded the building of houses to let, curtailed schemes on food and other necessaries of life and by deliberately organising restriction of supplies.Labour in power will attack the problem of the distressed areas by special steps designed to deal with the root causes of their troubles, as part of a vigorous policy of national planning. Labour will sweep away the humiliating means test imposed by the ‘National’ Government and will provide adequately for the unemployed, but will seek above all to reabsorb idle workers into productive employment by far-reaching schemes of national development.Two points.Firstly, the 1930's coalition policies vis a vis the poor and unemployed highlighted by the manifesto is uncannily reminiscent of Coalition 2010.Secondly, the Labour approach of the 1930's is Keynesian. The Labour approach in 2010 is erm, the same as the Coalition except over a longer period.A fascinating contrast to a time when parliamentary politics was an arena of deeply held, keenly fought divergent political beliefs.
Can someone with admin rights please free the post I have just tried posting twice? It's been thrown in posting Guantanamo without any kind of fair trial.Thanks.
"Sheesh Sheff, these men are so flighty. "Ha ha, have a very silly song.
Ha ha! Jessica Reed gets all gastro-nonpolitical about Spike's piece. Kinda sums up Cif. Well I really enjoyed that piece. I'm not a card carrier French communist, but I do like merguez, saucisson, wine, and Prodigy. See you there next year.Although to be fair, the piece was as non-political as it could possibly be without mentioning politics at all. Seems that everybody just gets on with everybody else, everybody loves good food, and nobody is angry about anything. btw, annetan42, 32,000 new labour party members is fuck all considering there were 8.6 million Labour voters at the last election. Perhaps you could attract a few more 'jessicas' if you offered them wine and sausages in a convivial atmosphere with a bit of music thrown in.
Back from the pub "anon"?
And hermionegingold's comment: a beautifully crafted essay.as a non communist myself even i'm tempted to book for next year (if madness are playing again)...and as long as the finest wines are still available to humanity....obviously!xWas the sort of reaction you expected, spike? Missed opportunity there, I'm afraid.
I hate the fucking spam folder.
Is there really no way we can get rid of it Montana? It really buggers things up. Would it be any use talking to Blogger techie people?
Dukequality..put it on CIF..I'd make you poster of the year on that one alone..says it all..everything
Thanks Montana.I don't know if anyone here ever reads Spiked online (I know Alisdair and monkeyfish have made passing reference). There's a great pisstake here spiked in the 18th Century nailing the professional contrary merchants and former 'Living Marxism' writers.
Montana,I've had another one eaten that I've just posted. Is it cos I is Scotch?monkeyfish,I chucked it on WADDYA. It highlights so many things on so many levels.
Props 13th, horrible really. Wk tmra NN all. p x
@DaDukeExcellent, but depressing. Is this really 1935? We'll have to go and fight in Spain next year. Mind you, it does make me younger (-22 years old).@AnonCheers, great to have some critical feedback!
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-suffocating-the-poor-a-modern-parable-2081411.htmlSorry if it's a bit of a long link but it's the best I could do.And then the Yanks shrug their shoulders and wonder why some people hate them!Haiti is just the latest in a long list of interventions backed by the CIA to overthrow democratically elected governments in South America.I can't name all of them but Chile and Nicaragua and Argentina are but three who had to succumb to the "shock doctrine" of the "Chigago School of Economics" whose mastermind was Milton Friedman.I could be wrong but it seems to me that the same principles of the "shock doctrine" are now being applied right here and right now.I make no apologies for yet again recommending this book: "The Economic Hit Man" by John Perkins.
105 not out !
@Spike: good article on Cif. I like the idea of the "untrusted" setting their stall out next year!Anyway you have given me a goal to aim for, I intend to be in France for the 2011 "Fete D'humanite"
Don't forget Louisiana after Katrina, chekhov.
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Blackwater doing the policing too Hank.
Cheers, Chekhov.Thanks for all your support, Dave.Think I'll turn in now. Goodnight all!
Yeah nearly one o clock, I will too .( I was hoping to get more rednecks though , obviously the title wasn't "Communist" enough to catch them )
@Hank: Yes, point taken!
NN chekhov hank , and leni when she comes in to do her Night Owl .
BTW: what happened to Peter Bracken?
Is the night shift taking over or shall I just crash into my pit?
Evening NightShiftersHave just heard THIS TRACK for the first time.It actually came out in the 90,s but passed me by then.It's not bad.
"BTW: what happened to Peter Bracken?"He got banned from Cif when he was exposed as Martin Bell's son-in-law. Cif is a democracy, and Bella M was shocked to discover that media folk allow democracy to be subverted by nepotists.
@Hank: Peter Bracken might be banned on Cif but he ain't banned on this site, nor should he be.
No indeed, chekhov. BTW, I'm pretty sure Bracken's not been banned over at Cif.
Hi Hank/chekhovNo Peter's still firing on all cylinders over at CIF.Good for him.Don't often agree with him but i kind of like the geezer.
Wouldn't trust him further than i could fling him mind(no offence Peter)
Here's some feelgood musicNite
"Wouldn't trust him further than I could fling him...."Yeh, I know that feeling.
Hello AllAs you've all gone - Night night x
Nite leni x
Good night Leni
Nick Clegg has declared that there is "no future" for the Liberal Democrats as a left-wing alternative to Labour as he appealed to his party to show "patience" and maintain a united front with the Conservatives. In an interview with The Independent on the eve of Liberal Democrat conference starting today, he promised his party it would reap the electoral rewards if it held its nerve about its slump in the opinion polls. (Independent saturday)Oppotunism writ large. x
What an execrable bag of pus he turned out to be, eh?