21 September 2010


Whatever you are, be a good one.
-Abraham Lincoln


  1. From last night:

    anon said...

    An olive branch from brussels?

    I would be glad if it stopped - just tell the women-hating mob and their bunch of Stepford Wives the same thing.

    I'm guessing that the women-haters must be all the men on here, and the Stepford Wives are all the women.

    Yeah, you see, it was a common theme of hers back when she used to breeze in here once in awhile that she thought the women needed a private blog, where we could talk shopping, shoes and new outfits without the testosterone-soaked comments of the brutish men. She never seemed to notice that she was the only woman who wanted it. Hell, even her side-kick didn't want that.

    I think she's afraid of men, myself.

  2. Outstanding article here by Krugman in the New York Times.

    Is it just me that thinks he looks a bit like George Clooney?

  3. morning all - have continued to be crap recently, know. have just re-immersed self in cif via the medium of the waddya thread, am now losing the will to live. anyway. while builders demolish kitchen, impossible to either nap or listen to the radio, so it's a perfect opportunity to read some news or summat.

  4. @PhilippaB:

    ”…have just re-immersed self in cif via the medium of the waddya thread, am now losing the will to live…”

    I salute your indefatigability.

  5. swifty - thought it would be a good pointer towards interesting articles as have been out of loop for a bit.


    anyway - how you?

  6. Nice piece by Krugman, Duke - did you look at the circa 1200 comments? Not entirely encouraging.

    Hi Philippa - good to see you. My next-door neighbour is doing some form of building work - again - that involves high-pitched screaming machines kicking off at 8:30am. Last time I got an apologetic note through the door after a month of it.

    Anyway, here is something potentially calming - a live fisheye webcam view of the northern lights, broadcast from Yellowknife courtesy of the Canadian Space Agency. Might have to wait until it's dark out over there...

  7. @PhilippaB:

    ”…thought it would be a good pointer towards interesting articles as have been out of loop for a bit…”


    ”…anyway - how you?”

    Pas mal, chérie, busy going nowhere fast, as usual. You been OK?

  8. aye, fortunately demolition is mostly over, now there is drilling and plastering. may be able to obtain some plaster mix for trying new painting methods.

    am loving the conversations with the builders - not come across a proper southern accent to this extent before...

    ouais, quattre-vingggg ici, un metre la, c'trop loingggg - t'as escab? merd-eh. eh, mada - vous a'n escab?

    sounds like an elastic band being twanged at the end of a sentence.

    have been planning to use my account with work to make cool graphics of recent election results but got sidetracked by footy stats.

    for example

  9. hey, link not working.

    should be here

    if not, just C&P:

  10. Peter,

    I haven't looked at the comments. But I'm hazarding a guess that most of them will look like (or be variations of):

    a. "Krugman you godammed pinko NE seaboard liberal."

    b. "Get out of your Manhattan Ivory tower".

    c. "What the F**k does the NYT know about real life?"

    d. "Apt name Krugman, considering you probably drink Krug all day on the balcony of your apartment overlooking central park. And you're a man. You goddam crackerass."

    e. "Comrade Krugman, why don't you piss off back to Moscow with all the other Leninists?"

    f. "Krugman you traitor. Don't you know it's treason and against the US constitution not to believe everything rich people tell us? Bloomberg, arrest this man now and transport him immediately to Guantanamo whre he'll be more at home with the Islamic fundamentalists he works for."

    continues in a frothing tsunami.....

  11. Morning all

    @good to see you again philippa. Hope you're OK.Sympathise with both you and Swifty over DIY noise.Seems to be a constant theme in the block of flats i live in.The power drill is the worst!Do i hate the power drill or what!


  12. Paul - have just had a mild power-out, which i am reassured was "prevu, mada', prevu", which is clearly a big fib...

  13. @Duke

    Ha! There is some of that, but less than I thought there might be. Some of the comments show a growing realisation that the political divide in the US is between the rich and the rest, and that the Democrats are not actually Brooks Brothers versions of Trotsky.

  14. PS - Deano - having just found out that the oisette's favourite flowers are poppies, have added impetus to have a crack at painting that lovely photo you put up on the photy gallery - once have half-inched some plaster to add to the paint...

  15. Hey Philippa, nice to see you again!

  16. Actually it was Philippa and Peter J i was sympathising with over DIY noise.But obviously you as well Swifty if you're being plagued by it too.

  17. ha! all done. sadly no plastering or painting - clearly another set of people will turn up to do that...

  18. If anyone's interested autumn officially begins today.Not that we had much of a summer mind!

  19. Paul - makes a difference here - had to get out the duvet for the first time last night. brrrrrrrr.

  20. It's a lovely day here, I love early autumn, well all of it really, it's a nice time to get out of the house.

    Does that mean the clocks go back soon?

    Hi Philippa, nice to see you again.

  21. Hi Jen

    The clocks go back at 2.00am on the 31 October 2010.;-)

  22. John Keats - To Autumn


    Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
    Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
    Conspiring with him how to load and bless
    With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
    To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
    And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
    To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
    With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
    And still more, later flowers for the bees,
    Until they think warm days will never cease,
    For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.


    Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
    Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
    Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
    Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
    Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
    Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
    Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
    And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
    Steady thy laden head across a brook;
    Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
    Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.


    Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
    Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, -
    While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
    And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue;
    Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
    Among the river sallows, borne aloft
    Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
    And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
    Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
    The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
    And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

  23. 'Cept all the swallows have gone, Africa bound, at least from the Borders...

  24. hey jen! do love autumn too - leaves changing colour and all that.

    right - work calls, see you later

  25. How depressing yet completely unsurprising.

    Today in the Netherlands is Prinsjesdag or the Queens's Speech in which the Govt presents its budget.

    As it is still a caretaker Govt, they have only implemented limited economic reforms. However, those "reforms" include cutting social spending including child daycare subsidies and benefits.

    The thinking of the CDA and VVD is that a woman should be at home to look after their children.

    As the caretaker Govt pushes through these measures today, what dominates the print media and debate?

    An appeal by members of the CDA party to crack down on the Roma and send them back......

  26. Hello All


    Europe is becoming uniformly depressing.


    Have mailed you.

  27. Hello Leni, thanks for the mail. I'll get back to you later with the preferred requirements given to aspiring scriptwriters.

  28. If you can have a rash of one Julian G is cif's. He is all over the pages .

  29. Too true Leni, and every article or comment saying exactly the same thing in the same way, the man really does only have one string to his bow.

  30. Julian Glover, the one-man rash. Love it.

  31. I think Cif is attempting a sort of online subliminal experiment with Cleggy, we will only know it has worked when we immediately think 'brave and intellectually sound' every time we see him.

    It hasn't worked with Glover though because everytime I see his photo I immediately think needs a good slap.

  32. Certainly hasn't worked. When I see Clegg, I think 'traitorous twat', and yes, Glover looks in need of a good slap.

  33. thauma + Jenni

    Are people born with 'slap me' faces and grow into them or is the face formed through 'slap me' antics ?

    I am always amazed by how often the two go hand in hand - or physog to being so ta speak.

  34. Leni

    Very good question.

  35. I think it develops in the facial muscles from a lifetime of sneering, looking down at, and generally showing contempt for, others.

    There's definitely a correlation there...

    (Exhibit A through Z = Current Tory/Dem Cabinet, and Guardian Journos, esp Glover, Jenkins, and Kettle....!)

  36. Delegates also backed an amendment to a policy motion to ensure child benefit would not be means-tested or taxed. The vote in Liverpool came after Clegg said he would be happy to give up his family's £2,450-a-year child benefit payments.

    Lemme get this straight. The man's a millionaire and is actually claiming child benefit?

    Turd of a turd.

  37. It's amazing isn't it Thauma, I remember reading in a Deborah Orr article that the take up of child benefit is 97% which means that before they started paying it straight into bank accounts there were a hell of a lot of rich people queuing up at the post office of a Monday morning to claim money they couldn't possibly need.

  38. Probably the first to moan about benefits scroungers too.

  39. lightacandle
    21 September 2010 4:10PM

    The latest from the Lib Dem conference.....

    "I would encourage people to ... stop reading the Guardian, because the Guardian is a spreader of misinformation and lies ".
    Paul Berstow MP

    Posted on waddya - makes the G look a bit silly.

  40. It's like when Cameron claimed the cost of cutting his trees down, no doubt by the letter of the law he was fully entitled to but you really have to wonder at the mindset of a multi millionaire who wouldn't feel a bit too ashamed to scrabble about for what in his case must seem like pennies.

    Greedy amoral weirdos the lot of them.

  41. I bet that is Paul Berstow off the Glover christmas card list, how ungrateful. ;)

  42. @Jennifer/thauma:

    "...there were a hell of a lot of rich people queuing up at the post office of a Monday morning to claim money they couldn't possibly need..."

    ...but that they were entitled to, on behalf of their kids. For the benefit(!) of doubt and in a spirit of disclosure, we get it (£81.20 of it every 4 weeks), and I don't have any qualms about taking it, either. Nor should anyone who's entitled to a benefit, of whatever value, for whatever reason.

    Now then, we can get into whether it should be a universal benefit (it almost certainly shouldn't, or should at least be means-tested), but still, I've always said "if you're entitled to it, claim it".

  43. Like I said Swifty, they are fully entitled to claim it, as is David Cameron and the Queen could have picked it up when her kids were little.

    Just because you can have something doesn't mean you should.

  44. Disagree with you there, Swifty. On that basis, I should be out hunting for every possible tax deduction I can take.

    As for whether the benefits should be universal or means-tested, I am not sure. If they weren't, the govt would almost certainly fuck up the threshold, and it's entirely possible that it would cost more to administer than you'd save.

    But a millionaire, ffs, claiming universal benefits is wrong.

  45. The simple fact is that everyone who is rich ensures that they squeeze every last penny of benefits to which they are entitled out of the system.

    The fallacy is to imagine that they have moral scruples about doing so.

    They do, however, then adopt a sniffy attitude to the low-lifes claiming their due, even though the benefits pot seems to have about £12 billion going begging which has not been claimed.

    Read Wybourne's link above to the Paul Krugman article in the New York Times.

    For the rich, all the money in the world has their name on it, in consequence of which, when the poor get their filthy hands on any, they are simply stealing the birthright of the naturally entitled class.

    Which is why, when they are asked to pay tax, they scream so loudly. Money is only ever for them. That is what it is for, purely and simply.

    Toddlers who have never learnt to share.

  46. @thaum:

    I don't think you can conflate those two scenarios, frankly. One removes through sharp accountancy cash from the Exchequer it might otherwise expect to receive, the other is freely given by the Exchequer to anyone with one or more kids.


    Interesting, any other benefits you think should be subject to the "just because you can take it, doesn't mean you should" rule?


    LOL, sadly my circle is much less exalted, I don't know any "real" rich people to know whether that's true or not...

  47. Frog/Spike

    CBN News has produced this rather inflammatory news clip. Have you got any background to these alleged 'regular' street activities?

    Islam in France

  48. PS Off home now, I'll be back later if I get chance (unlikely, once the recipient of our child benefit is in bed, it's normally wind down time for her parents), if not have a good evening all...

  49. Swifty, I don't think it is conflating two separate issues; it's two sides of the same coin. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need, if you like.

    As for other universal benefits, I equally think it's wrong for people who can well afford to pay to take the free bus pass or winter fuel allowance. It just reduces the pot of money available to those who are truly in need.

  50. As for whether the benefits should be universal or means-tested, I am not sure. If they weren't, the govt would almost certainly fuck up the threshold, and it's entirely possible that it would cost more to administer than you'd save.

    That's the thing, I haven't seen anything to say whether means-testing all benefits would actually be cheaper, but if it is then I'm all for it. It's self-evidently wasteful to pay out £80 child benefit per month to someone on a £100k salary, there's just no need for it.

  51. Interestingly, that clip I posted above elicited the following response from another Muslim:

    This reminds me of an Armenian guy who had a delicatessen/café
    in Tehran before the revolution. His café was right in front of where
    I had an appartment in Central Tehran near Tehran University, where
    the Friday prayers are held since the revolution. His shop was
    attacked and destroyed and all the bottles of wine and spirits were

    The poor man was left with only the possibility of selling
    halal sandwiches which had no takers, while before you would be lucky
    to get a table in his cafe. One day he told me that he didn't
    understand the Muslims. He said before the revolution people would
    pray at home and drink outside, while now they drink at home and pray
    on the streets. He was 100% correct in his assessment. The moral of
    this story is that there is quite a bit of hypocricy involved in
    staging prayers on the streets and it is nothing but political
    provocation. I am therefore not at all surprised that there should be
    a backlash which translates itself into Islamophobia and as you put it
    judeo-christian fascism.

    Quite frankly one thing leads to another and
    if I were a Parisian, even a Muslim one, I would take a very dim view
    of this provocative demonstration of the faith in the streets of the
    city. I would fully understand such reactions of why the hell don't
    these people go back to where they came from and do their prayers in
    the streets of their country of origin.

  52. Ivo - well, we can probably all agree that someone pulling down 100K doesn't need any benefits.

    But where would you draw the line? 30K? That might be quite low in London, but entirely reasonable in the north. Would you take into account factors such as mortgage/rent costs and number of children, or decide that those are lifestyle choices?

    It's problematic.

    Think I'd rather see the Mail etc. launch a nasty-campaign against rich benefits scroungers and make it shameful. *laughs hollowly at the chances of that happening*

  53. Swifty, you said '
    LOL, sadly my circle is much less exalted, I don't know any "real" rich people to know whether that's true or not... '

    I also wondered about this point why the rich claim every last brass farthing but as someone pointed out the rich got rich by stepping on other people from the start. They were always like this. It was not money that ruined them (I suppose you could say it was they that have ruined money :D ).

  54. "I also wondered about this point why the rich claim every last brass farthing but as someone pointed out the rich got rich by stepping on other people from the start."

    I got an early lesson in this strange fact of life from doing my paper round (virtually slave labour, 7 mornings a week for about £8, and this was mid-90s, so £8 was £8). Come Xmas time, virtually all the tips i got were from the smallest, cheapest properties i delivered too. I remember even at that age thinking how odd it was.

  55. Seems to me that those who have *made their own money* are the cheapest of all. Probably something to do with having to be utterly ruthless to get rich, as opposed to just maintaining wealth.

  56. evening all!

    man, work sucks.

    particularly when your colleague mistakes a marketing mail-out for a genuine email, sets up a 'virtual meeting' and sends it to them, doesn't actually confirm with them that they have a) any bloody interest in us or b) any intention of showing up, and then tells me I should do it, so I'm twiddling me thumbs in the office at 8pm when every other fecker has long gone home, waiting for someone who is clearly utterly oblivious to these arrangements to show up.

    [and relax]

    anyway, in brighter news, spurs v arse is on bet365 so i don't have to break the law to watch the footy.

  57. A challenge for the Untrusted:

    Perhaps that's so in the long term and the WTO needs to pull its socks up, but in the short term with people dropping like flies, it's the only game in town.

    A 31 word sentence of which 20 words are 4 totally meaningless cliches ('in the long term', 'needs to pull its socks up', 'people dropping like flies', and 'it's the only game in town'.). Can any other top 'political analyst' here beat this fantastic attempt at banality? LibDems are excluded from this contest for obvious reasons (sorry folks.)

    PS no cheating by looking up Orwell's famous essay.

  58. Friend,

    It's been a while - hi. Hope you had a sunny, rabble-rousing summer.

    I'm writing to talk to you about the next phase of our campaign for change.

    We've accomplished something huge together: securing a referendum on electoral reform.

    Now, I'd like to invite you to join an organisation - the Electoral Reform Society - that's leading the next phase of our work to fix our broken politics.

    By joining them today, you can unite with a movement of people working to make sure we get the result we need - yes to reform - in the referendum we worked so hard to bring about.

    Join the Electoral Reform Society today:


    did anybody here forward this to me ? From a Willie Sullivan.

  59. t the end of the day the poor man at the gate waiting for the crumbs from the rich man's table will have to gather him maybuds while he may.

  60. ... and tighten his belt against the coming winter of our discontent.

  61. Whores aren't interested in the long term - the Liberal Party needs to pull it's socks up - we all know that they want people dropping like flies, it's the only game in town.

  62. not me, Leni - am far too busy earning bucketloads through the home selling kit recommended to me by imogen black...

  63. Philippa - marketing people are to be avoided at all costs. Sorry for your pain.

    Anon - some people are experts at spouting meaningless clichés. While I work in the private sector and am therefore less than immune (it's insidious), I couldn't quite compete at that level.

  64. am far too busy earning bucketloads through the home selling kit recommended to me by imogen black...

    Whaa? Where was that? :-D

  65. got an email from her about this home-working thingy. wasn't initially sure whether it was genuinely her recommending it (v much a scam) so responded warning her off, she's been hacked...

  66. she apologised for't inconvenience and warned everyone off it on the last waddya - bloody scary it's so easy to do that...

  67. Excellent efforts, people! Keep 'em coming! At this moment in time however, you're not really pushing the envelope and I'm not feeling that I'm getting 110%. The tipping point will only be reached when, all things being equal, you against all odds can step up to the plate and on a regular and consistent basis post quasi-intellectaully incisive and thought-provoking blue-sky inanities on Cif twenty times a day (preferably from work).

    Group huddle, high five, go team! You can take waddya!

  68. oh, and thauma - I am marketing people...


  69. ah, christ - meaning, I am in marketing, not that we're, y'know, selling people, or anything.

  70. Philippa - you've got to visit some dodgy website to get that sort of address spamming.

    I don't at all mean (necessarily) pornographic sites, but "sites for the gullible where you sign up with your real e-mail address". You've also got to have some pretty shitty anti-threat software - or none at all - if they're able to hack your e-mail address book.

    Anon - oh, you go on then. Lead the way. We will all follow.

  71. Philippa

    oh, and thauma - I am marketing people...

    You ... you are a PIMP! *gasp*

  72. Swifty, from earlier, I hope you didn't think I was having a go at you for claiming Child Benefit, I wasn't.

    Everyone who I know who has kids claims it because they genuinely need it, although I did go to college with someone whose parents had put it all in an account for her to use at Uni (she bought a lot of nice clothes and partied hard).

    I have no real idea how much it costs to raise kids so I don't know where I personally would draw the line but I hope that if I didn't need it I would draw that line.

    I don't even know what other universal benefits there are but I would say the same for them.

    There has got to be a better system because like you say rich folk don't stay rich by turning down free money.

  73. You whiteslaver Phil , nice to hear you're OK ...

    Anon -- no inspiration " at this moment in time". w

  74. no inspiration " at this moment in time"

    but if we can progress that, going forwards, then...

    [i hate myself]

  75. Anon

    Where did the original quote come from, did someone actually post it?

  76. Philippa

    You're a people smuggler? Great! How much would it cost to render someone unconscious in Brussels,smuggle them out to the Gobi Desert and then sell them off to a tribe of nomads for a life of painful servitude.

  77. Ah Leni thanks.

    I went on there yesterday for the first time in a few days and had a little spat with Bru, it left me feeling a bit ashamed of myself but you don't half get a lot of recommends out of it. ;)

  78. Philippa

    Oh and will you offer a friends and family discount?

  79. Jen

    I have no real idea how much it costs to raise kids so I don't know where I personally would draw the line but I hope that if I didn't need it I would draw that line.

    Exactly, Jen.

    And I admit to a tendency to believe that people shouldn't have more children than they can afford. Being one of those radicals who thinks that overpopulation is the greatest threat to the planet, and all.

    Still, I don't see what you *can* do to people who have surplus children to requirements. Letting them starve is hardly a viable option.

    Sounds like the best option is to educate women, as this seems to have a strong correlation with a lower birthrate.

    Oh, and finding an alternative to the pyramid scheme that is the current bestest form of capitalist society.

    And with that ... I'm off for the night.

  80. *shouldn't have more children than they can afford*

    That is not quite right. Should have fewer children than the replacement rate is closer to what I mean.

  81. jen -- i saw you launch your not particularly justified 'despicable' attack, looking for recs you wicked mobbing creature.
    You had too many so I gave some to bru and sometimes kiz ;)

  82. dave

    I did actually think what she said was out of order, I didn't have a go at her persona I took her up on what she had actually said but she assumed I was acting on behalf of my 'cronies'.

    Still I should just learn to resist the SIWOTI rage that overcomes me now and again, confrontation never makes me feel good.

  83. Paul - well, there's direct trains down from Brussels so if we shipped out from Marseille - would the Negev do you? Gobi's a way off, Negev's got good nomads - then, with the backy for the chemist, that'd be about...

    [damnit. busted]

  84. SIWOTI?

    is he playing for arsenal?

  85. I worked out what IRL was, but .... ?

  86. 'Someone is wrong on the internet' Philippa.

    For me it refers to that feeling you get when someone says something you really disagree with online and you just have to chip in, even when it isn't really any skin off your nose.

  87. jen - if you look at brookly's posts he is out of order most times , snide, dishonest, pompous ... he tries it on , let em stew !

  88. jen - heheheheh, nice. i think there's a cartoon of that...

  89. dave

    I stopped reading his a while ago, even before someone said it was bitey, to use another acronym TL:DR (too long, didn't read).

  90. siwoti siwoti siwoti siwoti , no i think I'll have to write it on the wall.

    SIWOTI ALERTS would be sounding all the time

    we'd never get any sleep

    the race would die off.

  91. Aye Philippa I think that is where it comes from, XKCD or something like that, they are a bit American but pretty good most of the time.

  92. that's the fellers, yes.

    wish i could draw.

  93. @Philippa and jen

    Yes, it's XKCD (aka Randall Munroe). The SIWOTI drawing is here...

  94. woah, is that what frog5 does? coooooooool.

    (bear with me - are you frog5? i get very confused and forget things a lot)

  95. Hey Philippa

    What's the SIWOTI for?Hope it wasn't related to my post.Have just read Jens interpretation!!!

  96. Phil I'm frog2 since 2006 (Cif at least) and frog5 is Ed .

    En effet he, just now, sent me his e-mail to be a faceboook friend !

    The doubleclick on the six builders is one happy photo ?

  97. No it was me who brought it up Paul in reference to Brus bring on the pay wall to get rid of the paupers post yesterday.

  98. I lke the renovation a lot, 'tis nice to save things, but also the new stuff. great to be able to do both...

  99. I realised long ago that if you're in problems, the person to approach of those you know is the one who has the least (maybe because they understand better the difficulties of living on the economic margins of life)- I knew one chap who'd hardly anything, and would give you his last penny if you needed it more.

    ('The poor', where they've been able to stay within their own extended social groups, have always had their own mutual support mechanisms, as well as they could. The continual dissolving of those social fabrics has been leaving an increasing number of persons and families far more vulnerable.)

    Of those who have plenty and could assist you without hardly even noticing - don't bother - they'll always have a good, respectable reason not to get involved. That's how they come to have plenty of course - self interest first and last - or only giving in a to-charity way that can be proclaimed - adding to (imagined) self worth.

    I've not really known any actually wealthy persons, but observation indicates that they take it further and believe that they have the right to everyone else's money as well, and what happens to those persons is irrelevant.

    With child benefit, it's always been that if someone is on a means-tested benefit already, it is taken out of that benefit, so that they're not any better off. So many of those who really need it, effectively haven't received it.

    So now anyone dependent on benefits can be insulted as 'scrounging scum', while they haven't even had the value of their child benefit (where that applies); by those who get its full benefit, without need.

    Big Society now means some getting even bigger incomes by the expoitation of the woes of those getting even smaller incomes, then condemning them for being poorer, and deciding that even what they have should be removed from them.

    Then giving us lectures about caring and sharing.

  100. @jen

    Her Highness' response to you was particularly despicable, I thought. But by then it had become a free for all.

  101. But Peter she has always been sympathetic to my situation, what more could someone like me hope for (or expect). ;)

    Hi Moonwave nice post.

  102. moonwave
    The rich can isolate themselves from the community around them for many reasons. The poor are interdependent and rely on community for many things.

    I suspect this is where the idea of the Big Society (BS) has come from - force the poor back on their own resources while the rich get on living the good life.

  103. Phil -- the renovation of the half-timbered building doesn't show at all, but it was a rebuild.

    They can pick their work, and now do all High Environmental Quality (HQE) or Low-Energy ( Batiment Basse Consommation) .

    He prefers it to using his degree and programminging video games or whatever like some of his uni mates do for vast salaries . Can always go into design, with math & tech background he has.

  104. Jen/PeterJ

    Sprouts was out of order using Jens health problems which bore no relevance to the point she was making.But she has form there because i remember her doing the same once to a woman called 'Disordered'who used to post there.And although she regularly makes sexist comments about male posters as well as accusations of misogyny i wouldn't be at all surprised if the worst of her bile is actually reserved for other women.

  105. yes, good from moonwave (my maternal grandparents very much an example of that - had nothing, would gladly share it) - but didn't know that about child benefit / other benefit interaction. immensely shitty, that.

    to be fair, some of the better of do have a sense of responsibility - found have family experience of wonderful, utterly no-strings generosity from some people.

    but society cannot depend on a few people being good people. and that's what this 'big society' gubbins seems predicated upon - charities have always stepped in and filled the gaps, first fundd by benefactors, now, to a certain extent, gov funding (at cut rates, subbed by those benefactors). when cameron says he likes 3rd sector involvement, i just think, well, course you do - it costs little or nothing. you're depending on people with a moral compass to step in and help. so you reckon, push it far enough and they'll do everything that the state, in a civilised society, should be doing.


  106. Moonwave

    EXACTLY what I wrote to the princess last night . When I was handicapped a broke young friend helped me for a week cutting timber, refused pay .

    I have rich "friends" with cords of wood rotting on their estates ...

    hope the pbs open, i'm off to try XXXXXXXXXXXX

  107. Paul - have to say, "I've stood up for people with mental health issues" made me go roooooowwwwwwrrrrrrr. just unbelievable.

    (almost as good as 'everyone should have a gay friend, they like shopping'. tonkatsu all over that one, thank god, would have been binned for sure. jesus.)

  108. Jenni

    I went in search of articles on Physiognomy. I found this site - invaluable for the single woman - always examine a man's navel before agreeing to a date.

    Big - Wealthy
    Small - Poor

    When the navel is big and round, the man is generous and wealthy. If it is deep and fleshy, he attains good rank and position in life. If it is small and uneven, he is of morals and poor..


  109. Ha Leni

    Doesn't having a big round navel just mean you are a fatty?

    If not I am really, really rich. ;)

  110. Hang on, in what world can you ask to see a mans navel before you even have a date!!

  111. Oh my word, Leni, that is brilliant.

    Hairless thighs show ill luck.


  112. Work that one out Jenn and you can everything you want in life - 'cept perhaps a decent guy.

  113. jen - good point, well made...

    (sneak a peek at his thighs if you manage it though)

  114. Maybe you have to hang around swimming baths trying not to look shifty.

  115. Jen

    Hang on, in what world can you ask to see a mans navel before you even have a date!!

    That's easy.'Accidentally' spill some white wine over his shirt and sneek a peek whilst you're apologetically sponging it down.

  116. Paul

    so hairy thighs or not ? Fess up.

  117. When the waist is of sandwich type, the man will lead a miserable life. If he has long, broad and fleshy waist, he will be wealthy, lucky and will have many children.

    What is a 'waist of the sandwich type'? Edible ?

  118. Leni

    Sorry to disaappoint you but i have very little body hair other than on my head.But before i settled down i was extremely accomodating and used to wear strap-on rugs in all the right places should the lady require it.

  119. Leni - could lettuce be involved?

  120. My rules for going on dates are simple.

    Have you just asked me out? Are you actually carrying an axe? A yes and a no will do for me. ;)

    I really need to get out more.

  121. Don't let them objectify you, Paul!

  122. Philippa

    Can't have a pc sandwich without lettuce.
    I am now considering physiognomy in my career development plan

  123. @ Leni

    What have you done ???? you've got all the blokes looking nervously at their navels !!!!!!

    BTW is it ok to have a little hair around the navel ?

  124. Habib

    'bout time we objectified men - expect close scrutiny. I am placing this research firmly at the centre of the feminist agenda.

  125. It's about time we are 'objectified'

  126. We're going to be burning our underpants soon. That'll smell nice...

  127. habib

    Sadly my team has been thrashed 4-1 by the Gunners and yours truly is quite prepared to be subjected to a little online objectification for purely 'medicinal' purposes.

  128. Tascia

    a photo is necessary for a firm prognosis
    Very hairy body spells misery, scant is lucky but thin denotes suffering.

    would you describe your navel as scantily or thinly hirsuit?

  129. The only time I have been tempted to venture onto a Julie Bindel thread was when she included never wearing a bra as one of her feminist credentials, the other things she listed were equally as stupid but I honestly wanted to shout at her for it.

    Until suffering chronic back ache is part of the feminist manifesto then my bra stays on.

  130. So Hips - Dancing
    Body - in opposition to hips
    Arms - movement

    I'm sure we had a lesson here on UT some time ago !, or it may have been an item on the some website about 'What makes a good male dancer' no link sorry.

    Bring on the dance choons !!!!!

  131. remember that from somewhere Tascia - I remember the physical attributes of the men were disguised so the response was based solely on movement.

  132. Leni

    I'm a lucky sufferer !!

  133. ah, Paul, had forgotten you were TH - not a fabulous match, scoreline definitely flattered the arse...

    (avergae ages of team, incidentally - as they didn't put this up on the MBM - Spurs 24, Arse 22.9 - and while I had to drop to the reserve team to find that Lansbury chap, everyone else was 1st team)

  134. Dance tune?

    I feel for ya, Paul, my team are fifth from bottom and we lost against our bitter rivals, too. Chin up, eh?

  135. that's teams at kickoff, btw.

    and Gibbs turns 21 on Sunday (same day as me nominal nephew) so MHR to him, an' all...

  136. 'What makes a good male dancer'

    Being Black helps ain't that right Habib.Sorry to all you White guys but we are generally better dancers.-you must concede on that.Less inclined to suffer from 'de wooden peg disease':-)

  137. Yea and the avitar vid had some good moves !! bastards learned it all from me.

  138. SO no way Paul, fuckin out dance u any day ! well for one anyway, then I have to sit down and have a breather, maybe even sit out two nowadays.

  139. could be worse, habib, having just clocked the everton result....and table position....

  140. I can only speak from experience, Paul and I can shake ma thang, but being gay makes you an infinitely better male dancer. No offence meant to anyone, sorry if I'm wrong, just saying what I've seen.

  141. So gay black men are the best male dancers?

    What colour and sexuality are the best female dancers?

  142. Jen
    The only time I have been tempted to venture onto a Julie Bindel thread was when she included never wearing a bra as one of her feminist credentials
    She really said that?


  143. We should have in mind that not all gay black men are the best male dancers although I have seen some that would outstrip me on a dance floor.

    Some of the best black guys i've seen dance have come from the carib's. Boy can they move ! incidently so can the ladies !!

  144. Concisely but accurately put, moonwave.
    By the way, have people seen the Blond thread on CiF? Now Mr Blond is a curious fellow indeed, some would say a charlatan, who basically likes juxtaposing contrary terms/creating oxymorons and proclaiming them to be a new philosophy. On closer inspection, the inherent internal contradictions are still there, and he's neither reconciled them nor synthesised anything new,but simply tried to cover up his 'new philosophy''s shortcomings by woolly obscurantism or plain hogwash.
    Anyhow, the thread's less interesting for what he says (sod all of substance or meaning) but for the amusing tangle "rightwingtroll" gets him/herself into.

  145. She did Philippa, it was the facial hair thread.

    She felt the need to establish her fem credentials by talking about how she never wore make up (except for that one time that the Guardian paid her to do it) and never wore a bra before telling everyone how she liked a nicely shaped eyebrow and hated hairy moles.

    What with the Snoop thread I am starting too think she isn't a PROPER feminist at all. ;)

  146. jen - that snoop thread made me wonder if i was having an acid flashback. ffs.

    facial hair thread? my bloody word.

  147. Ah it must have been on your sabbatical Philippa, I can guess how it played out but I can't say for sure because I didn't read it all. Life really is too short.

  148. sad i missed that one. anyway - night all!

  149. Habib

    Dunno if you're still working nights but if you are here's a feelgood track for you.I may well be rejoining you on the 'nightshift' soon.Take it easy.

    Nite all

  150. Not working anymore, Paul, just still living the hours. Good track, brought back memories.

    G'night, sir.

  151. Seeing as I am not well received on this site I will be brief:

    ProffessorPlums was banned on the 21st of July (from my checking of the UT page from that date- Jennifera noticed he had been banned.)

    CharleySays started posting on the 22 July.

    Someone ought to out him on Waddya.


  152. Charlie

    How are you ? Any luck with a job yet - or your volunteering ?

    Is Charleysays Plums ? He seems to lack Plum's acerbity.

  153. Habib

    didn't realise you were still not working. Hope you are better soon. x

  154. No jobs Leni. Still trying and failing. See how it goes up til maybe Christmas, if not then I may as well go back and live with my dear old mother to save money. Sigh .

    Anyway, g'night.

  155. Thank you for 'hellos'.

    Of course those few paragraphs could only be a generalisation - there are always exceptions - but generally, that's how I've found it.

    It isn't right, of course, that it should be plotted that those who care be so much taken advantage of by those who don't care.

    Of course all the BS talk is indeed only in reality for 'the poor' - let the feckless poor fend for themselves (no votes/homes/anything for the jobless has been suggested), even though it's the government policies since Thatcher which have caused this situation.

    There was pre-Thatcher a time when just about anyone could find a job - an infrastructure intentionally destroyed over and over since, so it's not reasonable to blame the victims.

    Then the wealth didn't trickle down much after all - it sort of ran even further uphill from the valleys instead, which requires real intent from those at the top.

    Yet when people talk about being independent, what do they mean? You'd have to be providing everything for yourself from the raw materials around you to be really independent.

    Of course what they mean is that they earn all of their own money and don't claim state aid (besides universal benefits); but then from whence comes that income? Often from the public purse, one way or another, or straight from the public, where those on benefits (many of those being workers on low wages and pensioners) also keep money circulating around the community for the benefit of all.

    Nobody is remotely independent; but, of course, some can cocoon themselves and better imagine they're being independent.

  156. Attempting to push provision for the needy further onto charities at the same time as cutting the income streams of many of the most relevant charities is perverse. As is making increasing cuts to jobs whilst steadily increasing the penalties for being unemployed - or more like it's straightforward wickedness.

    The government can afford the benefits, if they were not providing increasingly large state benefits to those enriching themselves hugely from useless job-scheme scams and the invention of medical reports finding people fit when they are obviously not fit.

    (I can't do this as well as the Duke.)

    So one part of society is on charges and their name in the local paper to be shamed for 'overlooking' the declaration of a few pounds - another part can invent paperwork as blatantly and disappear tax monies as much as they like, and they are rewarded by the government providing them with even larger amounts of benefit (taxpayers') money; so they can crow how they make their own money, as should all of those 'social scum' from whom they've just made profits by making them even poorer and more jobless.

    Meanwhile huger benefit monies are going from the taxpayers' money to government inside-cronies to sell off the nhs, education, and anything else they can grab - always ending up costing the country (taxpayer) much more.

    Generally, were they to stop paying big benefit monies to the well-off to become more well-off from removing small monies from those who've the least, we'd have a much better off Big Society.

    But, as the Krugan article from the NYT illustrates - the rich are in rebellion, as they see some of their 'benefits' slipping away. No benefits should ever be removed from the wealthy - according to the wealthy - who tend to be those preaching removing all of them from the desperate.

    While this emphasis on the imagined 'small' benefit fraudsters is in order to keep the public focus away from the very big benefit fraudsters manipulating it all from behind the government scenes - keeping the 'working class' divided against each other through the enactment of a really vile propoganda machine (especially the Murdoch press).

    The Big Society we need is the bigger part of society sending a Big Message to such as the banksters and public-money-profiteers - the really big benefit fraudsters amongst us - as to where they can get off.

  157. "Seeing as I am not well received on this site I will be brief:"

    Who told you that?

    I can only speak for myself but I welcome your posts from the "coalface"

    Keep your chin up Nap...you strike me as someone determined to succeed. Don't give up mate but at the risk of sounding pretentious don't let your intellect trip you up!
    No doubt there is some complex philosophical stuff but the real issues are very simple....ie the universe is a squillion years old and our presense on it is the mere blink of an eye!

    I'm not sure if that is reassuring or terrifying but unless you subscribe to the "God Botherers" version it's the only one that makes sense to me. I could be wrong of course!

  158. Chekhov - Hi
    i'm just off to bed. Are you working this week ?


    All you say is right. Will reply tomorrow.

    Night both xx

  159. Would someone kindly remove the second two of my same posts before there are too many witnesses.

    I've never blogged before - took me ages to figure out what to do, as I've no intention of ever having a google account (I've removed all google 'spyware' from my computer and don't want it back) - yes, it's always easy when you know how.

    Splitting it up - the second time it didn't link and then I was told blogger couldn't do my request, and then again... and then I lost the connection all together, and tried again... and getting back found all three were there!

    Tried looking up how to delete - but it looks like I have to do it from a google account?

    Am suitably very embarrassed and will now retire.

  160. @moonwave:

    Welcome and don't feel embarrassed -- multiple posts due to gremlins is not uncommon. I did delete the spares, though.