04 October 2010


Multi-stacked diatoms G. balticum, P. angulatum -- Michael J. Stringer
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
-Abraham Lincoln


  1. Morning all,

    let's get ready to:

    Projectile Vomit
    Toss (one's cookies)
    Blow Chunks
    The Technicolour Yawn
    Shout Europe at the sink
    Reversal of Fortune
    Pray to the Porcelain God
    Kohler Cough
    Drive the white porcelain bus
    Cantar Oaxaca

    Yes, it's the Conservative Party Conference!!

  2. So you're really looking forward to it then, Yr Grace!

    The loony tunes are out on the Zizek thread...

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Sheff,

    looking forward to it in the way that one looks forward to a particularly nasty dose of genital warts.

    I had a look at the Zizek thread. I posted yesterday on the Dutch immigration thread. I never, ever post on immigration threads, I have neither BB's will or strength to debate with racists.

    Anyway, I wanted to clear up a few points about Wilders "defence of Dutch and western values" by highlighting (with evidence) the illiberal nature of his party, his neocon foreign funding and his choice of an active duty Israeli spy as a PVV candidate at the last election.

    I was not in the slightest bit suprised at the defence of Wilders actions in subsequent posts. To defend Western values you have to be prepared to support, erm anti Western values of illiberalism as practiced by Wilders.

    The veneer of "defending Western values" disappears quickly. It is ok for Wilders to hold illiberal political views and party structure. It is ok for Wilders to choose a foreign spy acting against the Dutch state because he is white and Dutch. It is ok for Wilders to promote a foreign neo-con world view through overseas funding.

    Could you imagine the shitstorm if a Muslim born in the Netherlands started up a politcal party choosing spies as candidates and being funded by shadowy Islamic sources?

    Anyway, I am convinced the whole Wilders roadshow is a useful deflection for the new administration as it implements a hard right policy agenda.

    Everyone's focused on the brown person and the bleach blonde nob as the administration deconstructs the pillars of the post WWII settlement under

    Wilders used to be a member of the senior coalition party, the VVD.....

  5. This article from the Fourth International is quite interesting Your Grace

    Islam, sexuality, and the politics of belonging in the Netherlands

    Slavoj Zizek argues that tolerance constitutes a mystifying discourse veiling what is really at the heart of political and social struggle. There is good reason, Zizek argues, that someone like Martin Luther King didn’t make use of the concept.

    The struggle against racism is not a struggle for tolerance, but for social, economic, political, and cultural rights, and for changing unjust and undemocratic power relations. Zizek makes a parallel with feminism, asking if feminists struggle to be ‘tolerated’ by men. Of course not – from this perspective the concept of tolerance even becomes rather ridiculous.

  6. Thanks for that Sheff, I'll read it later.

  7. This place is quiet this morning. Has there been a crackdown on posting from work?

  8. Not a lot to say Sheff, glad to hear a good time was had by all, will check the photies when I get home. Breaking news; tax office answer phone in <15 mins! 'Yes Mr.Xuss, your tax rebate that you applied for in April was processed on the 1st of Oct. You will recive an rebate, it is in the system, we reccomend waiting a further 10-14 days. No I'm sorry I can't tell you how much it is, until you have recived the cheque.'

    Have applied for temp job over the winter in the finance section at the council, fingers crossed as it would cover the off season, and finishes just as this job would restart..

    Good views on 'tollerance' the feminism POV splits that argument right open...

  9. Hello turm

    V good luck with the job. At least the tax office answers the phone...I had to leap through numberless automated flaming hoops to find a real human being when I tried and failed to get through to BT the other day - eventually the line just cut off.

  10. Re abolition of child benefits to high tax bracket earners:


    My partner earns £45k and I am on £35k. We are finally in the process of buying our first house (very modest £200k ex-council in a not very nice part of London so as not to over-extend ourselves) and are both early 30s. I don't want to have to put my child in daycare to rush back to work and pay taxes for those who can't be bothered to work but find all the time in the world to push out 8 or even 15 kids that they expect the taxpayer to pay for. I'd love to spend a few years raising my own child (I consider it my responsibility).

    £44k, even £50k in London for a mortgage, insurance, travel to work and food for a family of three is nothing.

    Besides, we probably have to start saving now for their university fees.

    Diddums. I'm quite liking this policy so far.

  11. Hi Sheff and all.

    Yes, I'm having a crackdown on posting at work. I've given myself a formal warning and have been keeping my head down ever since because I have my eye on me.


    Except when they cancel the benefits for people on 44k, they'll be giving the money to people on 440k.

    Now you didn't think it was for the benefit of the poor, did you?

  12. Bloody hell Thauma - 80 grand a year and they still can't manage....'fraid people like that just bring out the Madame Defarge in me.

  13. Ha ha, How can they possibly manage on a mere 80k! Yet this'll be the same lot up on their hind legs braying that £65 a week is a lifestyle choice!

    There was a whole page in the NotW yesterday (no I didn't buy it) that had a proud 22 year old single mum, had the child to maximise benefits, boasted of free house and £160 a week spending money, had just bought a £150 hand bag and claimed 'I plan to never get a job, why should I?' I can't belive that the whole thig is not just made up BS, it's pouring petrol on the right wing troll's bonfire...

  14. Turminder

    Good luck with the job interview.Will keep everything crossed for you.


    Interesting posts from you the other day about the Dutch situation.Regarding proposed cuts in welfare however isn't it the case that Dutch recipients will still be significantly better off than their British counterpats.This country after all already has the distinction of having the lowest benefit levels in Northern Europe.Also the Dutch seem to have managed to create a labour market where the Dutch working week is the shortest in Europe whereas productivity and pay is relatively good.I,m not for a minute playing down the clear negatives you outlined in your posts just suggesting some things are relative.

  15. Ooh Spike, you are so cynical. And, of course, correct.

  16. Paul,
    I don’t quite follow your argument. Does this mean that the average Dutch worker /poor person should shrug their shoulders in the face of impending cuts saying “Oh well, it could be worse, we could be in the UK?” By following this logic, one can fall into the reasoning beloved of right wing posters on CiF:

    “Poverty is comparitive, it could be worse, you could be poor in Zimbabwe/Sudan/sub-Saharan Africa- delete where applicable.”

    I want to see the comprehensive welfare system of the Netherlands applied to the UK, I do not want to see the Netherlands welfare system being dismantled to UK levels, which the comparitive argument (and forgive me if I’m misreading you) follows.

    God help us if the Anglo saxon social and economic model becomes the benchmark for the rest of Europe to descend to.

  17. Phew! - just said goodbye to a pair of under fours who have successfully wrecked the joint - weapons of mass destruction are pish in comparison - all you need is a kindergarden and you're minted in the devastation stakes.

    I should have taken them to the tory party conference, they'd have had everyone begging for release in 5 mins flat!

  18. "He (Osbo) said the alternative – to delay the measures – would hit the poor and consign the country to a decade of debt as he told delegates that the nation was spending £120m a day on debt interest "thanks to the Labour government".

    Why the fuck don't he tell the Bank of England to pay the £120m pittance out of the £200bn of money that it has conjured up from thin air through quantitative easing.

    £200bn = 200,000,000,000

    200,000/ 120 = 1666.66 or 4.56 years @ £120m a day! ( and there is talk of more QE to come)

    Why are we not calling for the arrest and imprisonment of the BankoEng Governor and the Chancellor on the grounds of rank incompetence and plain dishonesty......

    Answers on a postcard please with a copy to your MP and Clegg

  19. ...or better still why don't he just QE the debt away

    don't tell me PeterB - the markets wouldn't like it...FFS they have already seen us collectively impoverished because our currency/ national wealth has been effectively devalued by £200bn and they speak of more to come.

    Oh give me a wall to bang my head against my intelligence is insulted and hurting me again...

    It ought to be a certifiable cause of death - Insult to the brain...

    Fingers crossed turm

  20. Just in case anyone uses, ahem, multiple personalities over on CiF-land, I have just discovered that I have been banned under several user names this morning.

    Obviously, the Hanman woman and her crack team are having a purge, probably egged on by some of the stalwarts of freedom on WADDYA.

    It might be an idea to use throwaway email accounts and proxy servers, but I am too busy to be bothered for now.

  21. Atomboy,

    check out the latest CiF article:

    Help us to improve the debate on CiF.

  22. Duke

    Sorry my post to you was a bit rushed and could have been worded better.What i was saying in effect is that there are still enough checks and balances in the Dutch social,economic and political model to ensure they don't slide inexorably towards the Anglo-Saxon model despite any political shift to the Right.That any proposed cuts in the Netherlans don't have the same potential for harsh consequences that the Anglo Sazxon model generates.Wasn't suggesting the Dutch should simply shrug their shoulders and console themselves that things are worse in Zimbabwe.What i was suggesting was that relative to say the British the Dutch won't have it quite so bad.That the Dutch model for instance whilst proposing cuts wouldn't tolerate a scenario where someone who is sick is faced with the choice of having no income at all or having to make themselves available for a 40 hour working week.

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. It really gets my goat up that the graun constantly describes the VVD as "liberal". We can hope that that stinking coalition won't last long.

  25. Wybourne

    Yes, isn't it strange that it seems to have generated another deluge of responses all about - oh, what was it? you know, er, thingy - ah, yes, that's it: moderation!

    Quelle surprise!

    Oh, that and the usual parade of sad arse-lickers trying to ingratiate themselves with Miss Puddingbowl Champion 1972.

    As Philippa says, bleah!

    And meh!

  26. Atoms

    If you're who I think you are on that thread (both of 'em?) you made me laugh!!

  27. I do try and stay out of the 'ongoings' here, not having been around at the beginning, but have a guess who said this*:

    "The first year I posted the recommend buttons didn't work and I found the debate to be far fresher and livelier.

    I would do away with the recommend system altogether (and I often do rather well out of it so it's nothing personal)"

    *A beige XXL M&S cardigan to the winner.

  28. Also Sheff, if you pop in, you may find this interesting.....

  29. James

    Sorry i need a clue.Is the person male,female or half and half?

  30. Paul

    Well, I couldn't possibly comment on that, to be fair.

    What I would say however, is that they're so far beyond parody, that they can't see parody.
    It's not even on the horizon.
    It's in a different fucking time-zone.

    (For all stattos out there, doing 'rather well' out of recommends is apparently just over a 2 recommends per post average, using the first page of comment history as a sample! - so there you go!!)

  31. James

    OK although i'm still none the wiser.Does this person have a pet chihuahua that barks a lot?

  32. James

    Just read that - thanks. Have left a post - now I've worked out how to do it. Things are shaping up to be brutal in Sheffield but other places will have it worse.

  33. Paul

    Hehe - is that a euphemism??


    Just saw your response.
    Have to pop out for a bit, but will get back to you.

    (Spoke to my mum last week, she's in a very similar position in Hull)!!

  34. James + Sheff

    At what level is this happening - are we talking HoDs and chief execs or just the more lowly ?

    Councils aresupposedly run by the elected councillors - are we to see reducutions in their allowances.

    his down grading of pay and conditions will excellerate and spread across many sectors.

    Quite how this fits into the 'making work pay' mantra is worrying. If benefits are to be reduced in line with overall reductions in pay across the workforce it suggests that the value of benefits will crash to below subsistence level.

  35. James

    Well this is a toughie and that's a fact.Was this person once a member of a duo that has recently become a trio with the addition of this little beauty ?

  36. Leni

    We've been told by chief exec at my place of work that there's some culling going on at the top - but I think its more natural wastage - ie retirement on fat pensions whilst their terms and conditions are still good.

    The cull via the redeployment process has hit the middle managers over the past few months. In my view there have always been too many chiefs and not enough indians but thats another argument.

    At the moment the indians seem (relatively, very relatively in this climate) safe - with more work being moved up from down south, which of course, is worrying people down there.

    I'm not sure who is going to be hit worst at the city council but you can bet your bottom dollar the execs etc are covering their backs one way or another.

  37. A big welcome to the visitor from Montserrat.You're welcome to join in the chat here at any time.It's a public blog.:-)

  38. I think I'm transferring my allegiance to the Indie. It's much more fun and has a bizarre real life story series. The following is an example

    A police officer managed to arrest a criminal on Friday 13 despite getting his own pepper spray in his eyes, dislocating his jaw and being shot by a Taser.

    Pc Jason Mepham was answering reports of a disturbance in Redruth, Cornwall and got into a situation with Jason King where he felt it necessary to use his pepper spray. But a blast of gas was blown into his own face by the wind, and during his temporary incapacity he was punched by another man, dislocating his jaw.

    A back-up officer rushed to intervene, shooting a Taser gun which unfortunately hit Pc Mepham. King took the opportunity to kick Pc Mepham in the face, helpfully popping his jaw back into place.

  39. Paul

    montserrat is a place which interests me - beyond the volcano.

    a small community - would be interesting to talk to the people there.

  40. James

    Thanks. At least one of them was not me, but I did not use any trickery with my new name and the post is still there, so expect the last set of bannings were the result of some malicious reporting from one or more of the [insert your preferred expletive here].


    Yes, I popped something on the Independent, as you saw, and was heartened to see that someone has already claimed it to be the most stupid thing he has ever seen there.

    I fear I might have peaked too soon.

  41. AB

    Serious lack of a sense of humour I think....

  42. PS There are few things in life to bring a quiet smirk of satisfaction more readily than a rozzer-pepper-spray-punch-Tazer-kick story with a happy ending.

    Even Speedkermit would go along with that, I think.

  43. Just before I go for a bit, anyone who knows something about betting want to start a book on the outcome of the Natalie Hanman thread?

    Last time, moderation was converted to reporting from Europe in multiple languages and who would do the translating.

    This time, moderation could be converted to...what?

    How transgendered Jakartan rickshaw-pullers hoping to set up a tofu marinading co-operative using organic sweat collected from mixed-species butterflies are being denied funding because of the collapse of the ear-wax futures market?

  44. Talking of speedy - where is he? He hasn't been around for ages.

  45. Evening all

    BB in disguise here.

    Drive-by posting as still bleedin' working. Grrr...

    Weird way they are stopping the child benefit to couples where one is paying the higher tax rate, but those in families where there are two earning just under the higher rate will still get to keep theirs...

    As it is being done on kind of honesty box basis i.e. a box you will have to tick on your tax return, surely there could be another question i.e. does your household income exceed £45k? Would make more sense.

    But then, when did anything anyone in government did ever really make sense...

  46. AB

    The importance of feminist Japanese watersnail production to the Albanian economy?

  47. The Hanman thread is a(nother) joke.

    BB - someone on one of the many threads about the CB cut pointed that two earners are much more likely to have to pay for childcare than a single-earner household. This of course pre-supposes that a) it's a two-parent household, and b) that the Tories have actually thought it through that far, which seems seriously unlikely.

  48. Fuck me, speaking of the Hanman thread, I've just agreed with Peitha for the first time ever.

  49. Evening all

    Went to Thorpe park today with the TV breaker, good fun actually. Had a very amusing incident on one of the rides, this one:


    which is actually pretty hardcore once it gets up to full speed. Next to me and the lady was a chinese couple. After about 30 seconds i noticed the most appalling wailing coming from the chinese bloke next to us. It sounded at first like a cross between laughing and crying - then after a while it was clear it was definitely of the crying variety - he was pretty much crying/screaming/wailing for the rest of the ride, with his girlfriend sitting right next to him in silence. Really awful sound, blubbering screams of genuine terror...

    After a while i couldnt help but laugh hysterically, which then made the kiwi start laughing. So ended up spinning round on this obnoxious ride with the pair of us laughing uncontrollably and this chinese bloke screaming for his life. His poor girlfriend just sat in silence - i dont know whether it was shame or whether she was just an old pro on the rollercoaster circuit and was completely unmoved by the whole thing.

    I see they published prime charlatan Blond again. You'd think the Tories could at least produce an "intellectual" with even a modicum of intelligence. Apparently not.

  50. Leni/Sheff

    RE Councils

    My mum has worked for Hull City Council for 25ish years, and has now achieved the dizzying heights of middle-management (which, to be fair, she hates).

    After talking to her last week, as far as I can tell, everyone was sent some form of letter/notice, which said something like (and I'm paraphrasing a bit here, obviously):

    "Right, as you all know, it's all gone a bit Pete Tong of late, financially speaking, so, we hereby notify you that some of you will be 'taking one for the team'.
    In reality, probably quite a lot of you.

    Now, we would like to reduce the number of people we have to forcibly remove from the premises, so we would really appreciate some of you taking 'voluntary' redundancy, and will reward those who do so with slightly more generous packages.

    However, we won't tell you how much more generous until you apply. Obviously.

    And, if this sounds like the sort of information you'd probably like to know before 'volunteering' for something so drastic, please bear in mind that, in the coming months/years, we're likely to see significant changes to the rules regarding redundancy, and not for the better. Obviously.

    So really, think 'a bird in the hand' and all that...

    (although, given that the size of the bird in hand, those in the bush, and indeed the bush itself are unknown, we realise that this is not the best maxim to be using, but hey, our jobs are safe, so what the f@ck do we care...??)

    So anyway, we look forward to your co-operation in these difficult times,

    Yours etc, etc.

    PS - Oh, by the way, it's probably also worth noting that the whole pension thing's a bit messed up at the minute too.
    Those of you who could have taken early retirement, say last week, probably can't now, although, again, we'll let you know when you apply for it.

    Peace out!"

  51. (Cont)

    So really, given that my mum and her partner both work for the council, it's fair to say that they're not really loving their options at the minute!!

  52. Wotcha Jay

    The Samurai is evil - I have never had the balls to go on it, given that it spins you on three planes at once. My mate loves it though - she is mad as a box of frogs, it has to be said.

    James - grim times ahead. And not only in the public sector. I am currently trying to get my head round employment law (not having done any for years and years) on behalf of an extended-family member whose company is trying to stitch him and some of his colleagues up with "disciplinary - gross misconduct" proceedings rather than make them redundant, it seems. How the hell they think they will get away with it is another matter. I assume they are hoping that people will jump before they are pushed, so as not to have the shame of it on their CV - whether they win at the Tribunal or not, it is still there, glaring, for all to see and alarm bells will ring for future employers when they see it.



  53. Hello peeps...

    Duke, god the Tory Boy Tea Party - Oikbourne on the radio this morning and then his hideous mug on the telly this afternoon (thank fuck the sound was off) everytime I see the doughboy faces - I have nightmares.

    Anyone see the Simon Head articule in Sat Groin review? Can Cameron and Clegg really be called Middle Class?

    Frightening stuff.

  54. Its a good'n, BB, you should have gone on it. Though the Stealth is really top dog i thought: 0-80mph in 1.7 seconds, 3 Gs, feels unlike any rollercoaster i've been on purely for the shocking G force. I presume its the same sort of hydraulic catapult they use to shoot planes off carriers. Quite intense.

    Samurai is very good though, looked across my shoulder at one point and the kiwi had a bit of dribble streaming across her face. Always a nice touch.

  55. From the Natalie Hanman thread and pretty much sums up the whole drab escapade.

    4 October 2010 8:22PM

    Well, this is an old idea and it isn't yours.

    It was recommended to you many moons ago and CiF rejected it. I am sorry, but CiF is behind the wave. It will never catch the wave and one of the reasons it won't is because it has a distinct agenda.

    The agenda of CiF is clearly that of a specific layer of British society.

    I can tell you what the assumptions of the Guardian and CiF are. They are clearly and have been for the last 13 years, Blairite.

    The Guardian and CiF:

    a. Clearly supports capitalism - naturally, many of its writers are Oxbridge and establishment.

    b. Clearly justifies its 'liberal' agenda (in no way is it left wing) on the basis of a facile identity politics without any deep analysis that leads the paper to ridiculous reactionary stances: for example, it is a good thing and a symbol of progress in society when a black lesbian women gets the right to join the army and kill Iraqis or rise to the top of the banking ladder and screw over whole communities. That is progress in the strange world of liberalism and identity politics.

    c. The Guardian merely markets itself as a free speech discussion come public spaces for the masses newspaper when this is not the case. Like the Times it should come clean and say that these public spaces are now closed to anything outside the Guardian's own agenda. The Guardian should come clean and admit that in reality CiF is nothing but a extended marketing exercise. Or that is my observation and the observation of many other bloggers.

    d. Of course you can log in under a different name and post and one must do this because although the public spaces close, while they are still marginally open we must take advantage of them.

    e. If you want the truth then here goes. There is a constant cultivation of the most insipid and middle of the road posters the ones that never manage to offend anyone. Not because they are good people or because they understand the principles of debate but simply because they see CiF as a way into a low level form of journalism and are willing to sacrifice their principles in order to engage constantly and market themselves. And not even they have been rewarded with enough blog posts.

    f. Anyone who has never been banned on CiF is someone who is onside or self censoring. This truth is self evident.

    g. For some reason the only commenters who are not culled from the Guardian site seem to be those on the soft right with bland nothings and platitudes to say. They are kept as pets to make the Guardian look left and progressive when in fact most of the left progressive voices are long gone because they have been censored or moved away.

    h. The right wing pro-coalition bias, for anyone who has ever read Chomsky on the manufacture of consent, is clearly evident in the Guardian and the posters have been moderated down into quite a ridiculous crowd of hobbyists, which is why a lot of quality people don't bother with you any more, or just come back at odd times.

    g. The site was best under Georgina and then it went downhill. As you pretend to want to discuss raising your game then that's the truth. At the moment the site has dumbed down into a lifestyle discussion page, as it was always threatening to do.

    What else? Well that's it really. You want an honest opinion? You got it.

  56. BB

    Grim times indeed.

    And the thing that really, really gets me, is that I've lost count of the number of 'bloody unions and their undemocratic marxist leaders are ruining everything for the poor 'iccle government/benign businesses that are only trying to make life better for everyone' arguments that seem to bouncing about everywhere.

    When are people going to f@cking wake up??

  57. Oh dear, oh dear. I really don't think Joseph Harker should have written a piece ordering Osborne to change his mind so that Harker can carry on getting child benefit for his five children. Adding that it mirrors the excesses of Communist China, and that he'll have to pay for the kids' swimming lessons himself.

    He might just have well have put up a Kick Me sign.

  58. Just got back on here..tried to post earlier and it wasn't havin it.

    Hello and cheers to everyone from and for the other night and thanks for havin us to BW..it was a good night

    Drive back was a bastard, mind..couldn't see a fuckin thing.

  59. Jesus, just skimmed Harker's piece. What a total fool that man is. This will be an absolute treat for Tories the country over, a well off Guardian writer complaining about losing CB for his 5 kids.

    "You are embarrassing yourself Harker. Seriously."

  60. @Jay

    Great comment from DrRoz:

    "Perhaps charities who run these 'sponsor a child' schemes in Africa could help here. I can see the advert now 'just £5 a week will help keep a family in Malawi in clean drinking water, or if we all pool our fivers four grand a year will keep a London journalist's kids in violin lessons for the term'. I'm fighting back the tears as I write...sob..sob..."

  61. That is a gem, Peter, it looks like its going to be a long thread...

  62. Wasn't it Harker that wrote a piece a while back about how he took his sprogs to some posh Islington restaurant for Sunday lunch and moaning about the facilities or something?


    Right - can sign is as me now, cos all my work emails have stopped at last (allegedly.) Back as the real me in a min. x

  63. BB -

    Some of my worst troubles of the last 3 years really kicked into play when I was sacked for going on Jury Service in a temping job in Feb 2008. This came on the back of nearly 4 months of Mr La Rit being out of work and not a fucking benefit payment in sight (it was another 3 months living with an eviction order on our heads and all manner of terrifying situations for us to get even a modicum of security)

    Dismissal for going on Jury Service is generally Automatic Unfair Dismissal - even if you're a Temporary worker and compensation is most definitely due. Daft idiot that I was, I'd lapsed in my union subs and so was cast adrift. My sister's friend is a really experienced Employment Law solicitor and was helping me free of charge.

    In the end, despite the fact that the HR Manager in the NHS division where I was working and my Line Manager were compulsive liars who were using NHS Lawyers to fabricate 'evidence' against me of Gross Misconduct as an excuse to get away with breaking the law, I had to bail out at the last minute because the possibility of losing my case and having to pay the bastards' costs was too great a risk to take and I was left with nothing.

    If you're helping your friends out, I think they stand a better chance, but I tell you, this crisis has paved the way for the nuances and fairness of hard fought for Employment Law and protection to be washed away in the sluice.

    IMHO - the hard fought for Laws of the Land which, over the last 30/40 years which have been helping folk to fight back against indiscrimminate Management shits are literally.... meaningless. They've found another way - ignore the Law and find some tiny loophole to give those in power all their power back.

    Even the Unions (I hasten to add) are behaving like toothless co-conspirators.

    Times have changed in the last 10 years and no-one is safe or can guarantee a fair hearing/recompense.

  64. Very amusing piece on Cif. Good old Joseph Harker - what a fucking idiot. No matter what he writes about, he gets righteously slaughtered BTL. He's complaining now that the state doesn't want to pay him loads of dosh for his five kids. I wonder what his old, penniless, white, Irish mum would make of all this? (Her that he never ever found on a Mothers Day card because of racism.)

    Gotta love the Guardian!

  65. In the end, despite the fact that the HR Manager in the NHS division where I was working and my Line Manager were compulsive liars who were using NHS Lawyers to fabricate 'evidence' against me of Gross Misconduct as an excuse to get away with breaking the law, I had to bail out at the last minute because the possibility of losing my case and having to pay the bastards' costs was too great a risk to take and I was left with nothing.

    That's fucking outrageous, LaRit.

  66. I lurves roller coasters. For some reason, my fear of heights doesn't kick in - I think it's the big padded harness that does it. Must try these you mention.

    Harker's article sounds a fucking hoot. Must give him a kicking tomorrow as I'm away off soon.

    MF - was a pleasure to meet you and a great evening. 'Jane' got confused on the way out of N'hampton in the morning as they had the road closed off for some fuckin marathon or something, and then there was a massive cyclist attack nearer to home apart from all the rain and dangerously deep puddles on the road ... not quite sure how I survived the trip, really, not being actually awake for it.

    Still, here I am. I think.

  67. LaRit - that's a fucking travesty.

  68. X: I'd like to read something about the despicable way that the sick and disabled are treated by rackets like ATOS etc, please!?

    Graun: Yeah, thing is see, we don't do campaigning!

    Y: I've just noticed that the government are trying to make a million people unemployed, without really thinking through the consequences of such action, can we have someone write about that, please??

    Graun:We did something on the glass ceiling a little while back, so there's no point repeating ourselves so soon!!

    Z: Any chance we can have something about the media led attack on the unemployed and those with no option but to claim benefits, please!?

    Graun: Well, it's a bit of a niche issue, am not sure there's a market for it!

    A: Anyone notice that child benefit for those on over £44k's a gonner....??

    Graun: Fuck me, they've gone to far now.
    Get someone on it NOW............

  69. "(Her that he never ever found on a Mothers Day card because of racism)"

    If there was a contest for all time most fatuous Graun article i think that one really would be a serious contender. And considering the eye watering strength of the competition that is saying something.

  70. LaRit

    That is a bloody disgrace.

    Fortunately, in the case I am dealing with, the boss has provided some emails as "evidence" while failing to provide the responses, which show that there was nothing untoward at all. They are even really inefficient at stitching someone up, so I hope he will be ok.

    James - brilliant. And so bloody true!

  71. Seriously is a new low for the Guardian.

    Absolutely fucking ridiculous!!

  72. "Ha ha", said a workmate when he saw me reading the Guardian, it's gone really right wing these days.

    No, said I, It's got Julian Glover and Max Haxtings and Mr Harker.

  73. Fuck me, they're going for some kind of award. Now there's a piece by Nicholas 'Tate. Not the Tate, just Tate' Serota complaining about cuts in arts subsidies leading to the revival of gang warfare in Salford (I think).

    It's self-parody gold.

  74. Christ!!

    It's all got too much for me, so I'm off.

    Suddenly the whole 21/12/2012 whatsit, if anything, is starting to look a bit over fucking optimistic!!

    Night all.

  75. I'm off up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire as well, guys. Gotta be out of the house by 6.30 tomorrow. Blech.

    Nighty night x

  76. I see Harker's been given the UT 'duffing up' he so richly deserves.The guy's a fucking plank.I mean what reaction was he expecting coming up with a piece of dross like that.And if anyone has now got a taste for blood Oliver Letwin has also written a piece which is just as dire.Suspect the 'crapometer' will be in overgear at CIF in the coming months.I wonder what will be next.Polly moaning about the 'servant ' problem in Tuscany.

  77. Just read Harker and Serota

    both should spark a Gogarty...that they don't is a mark of just how far moderation and disillusionment have changed the place.Harker, in particular should rightfully be dogged for the rest of his career by that fuckin thing..he should be all over the tabloids...people should shout at him across the street and ask if he can spare a few quid for their kid's clarinet lessons..what a fuckin tool...and...I can finally say I have concrete evidence for my long held and oft quoted views on the true face of Guardian style 'equality and fairness'...worst thing is, he was just bright enough not to mention the au pair...that would have been the glitter on the cherry on the icing..what a cunt..Private Eye ought to do a pull-out souvenir centre spread...or a Calendar of memorable quotes

    Serota's made 'luvvies' for certain.

  78. Just read the Harker piece - what a total tool!!

    Leni - Good post btw.

    Will now have a shufti at Serota

  79. Monkeyfish - " Drive back was a bastard, mind..couldn't see a fuckin thing."

    I always know I'm really drunk ( rather than just technically so ) when there are two white lines in the middle of the road , and I have to close one eye ... but there's nobody else about round here at that time of the morning, so I'm not a public danger ! I hope Peter will call in ?

    La Rit, James Dixon's mum plus partner, and others with similar cases ... -- my thoughts are with you all. The real evil bastards, or some of 'em, are the senior management and their Personnel stooges who carry out these policies.

    Over the past thirty or so years we have seen a decline in the ethical quality of so many who reach the top in a number of professions and jobs . There always were of course some real shits, but now they seem to be a majority ? Wacobloke round at CiF, a senior legal adviser and all-round good bloke, noticed this in one context of the top people at Arthur Andersen over his career. My sister's last temping job in the NHS ( efficient PA/Sec, I guess £18k ) was to take minutes of Steering Groups, arrange 'diaries" for an almost-completely incompetent on £50k+, and train up its successor! Not the first time she's worked under wankers , the worst was a totally incompetent weasel of a Director of a big Sixth Form College on £100k, and that was well over ten years ago . God knows what the pay, AND fucking pension, is now . She could afford to resign from the NHS non-job. And did.

    On a brighter note I saw my first really brilliantly coloured
    salamanders today. We were moving a woodpile, and found two. The smaller was about 10cms and scuttled off, but we thought the biggie at 20cms+ was dead . No photo unfortunately because too involved in lifting it to safety, when it did crawl away, but it had elongated yellow blobs, as much colour as the black rest of it .

    I hope we hadn't injured it moving the logs .

  80. I see we finally got Cif's definitive article on the deprivation and poverty the cuts will cause - Harker speaks for the nation.

  81. "Help us improve the debate on Cif We're encouraging more writers to respond to comments and trying out a new open thread format. What do you think?"

    Cue an avalanche of comments calling for the moderation to be sorted.

    How long will it take for these fuckwits to work out what is wrong with CIF?

  82. Thauma/Shaz:

    It was shit.

    Can't tell you how much I wanted to wipe the floor with those lying, overpaid shits in the NHS and got them disciplined or sacked for lying and bring the NHS into disrepute - but it would have been far worse if I'd pursued to Tribunal and lost my case on a technicality. I'd have been humiliated and landed with a bill for 10 grand when we were facing eviction and god knows what else.

    And some people wonder why I'm angry!!!!!!

  83. Dve

    Salamanders ! What joy, I love them.

    They are believed in some parts of France to drink cow troughs dry - due to the fact that during times of draught they move in looking for water. So many legends about them .

    So many different types - axalotls too.

  84. Btw: some plank suggested charging a pound a post!
    err.."comment is free"

    "We are all in this together"= "We are all millionaires and we only got our wealth by screwing poor people so we will continue to do so."

  85. Just watching Osborne - for my sins.

    Has this generation of politicos been cloned from a fauly rubber mould ? I have never seen such a collection of featureless faces - lacking definition and any trace of personality.

    It is rather frightening.

  86. chekhov

    Can't be bothered to read it - perhaps they could pay us for each post

  87. Leni

    They all remind me of the clumsy shapes we used to make with left over raw pastry when we were kids.

  88. Chekhov

    A certain man/woman/transexual, whose name i won't reveal but who hails from Scunthorpe' also suggested once that erecting a paywall at CIF might be the only way of preventing from posting those s/he considered to be 'undesirables'.-Which i suspect would include everyone who posts on the UT.


    Great post from you on the Harker thread.Tip hat.

  89. La Rit -- my deepest, and most angry, sympathies too . That awful feeling of being completely powerless when you've been screwed , and knowing full well that the weasels will never be punished is a tough one .

    What to do?

    The extreme is " V For Vendetta" , but that is curiously rare in real life .

    Maybe it"s because people are too busy just surviving or rebuilding their lives, OR because they privately don't believe that much in Capital Punishment ? I know of someone who had the guns lined up, but couldn't in the end bring themselves to commit 'tyrannicide' on the Shah of Iran .

    Between doing nothing and taking the fuckers out, there is a Third Way !

  90. DavefromFrance:

    Do you know, I'd buried it until recently. It was so distressing, I'm sure the experience aged me.

    Ironically, 10 years ago I fairly won an Unfair Dismissal case - was in the Unison at the time and I was bloody lucky that I had the Regional Union rep on the case as the local rep was on long term sick leave)
    He was so dedicated and brilliant, I can only liken it to being the equivalent to being a 'sleb and having the money to pay for a top lawyer - all for about 5 quid a month!!

    I have friends who have been fucked over recently and who never joined a union. They are pretty much out on their ear without the safety net of a permanent contract. One friend who's worked at Birkbeck for about 15 years in the same job is now on a non-permanent contract after failing to get his own job after being forced to re-apply, only to see it given to someone from a completely unrelated work background who has no knowledge of what the job entails.... hmmmmm....

  91. La Rit -- That re-applying for your own job shit is something i have raised here in the 3 months or so since I found this place . Nobody reacted , maybe becos they thought it was " normal" . Like yellow stars .

    It was obvious to me 2yrs ago when my lung-cancer dying friend at the NHS Purchasing Central had to do it that it was a totally evil idea .

    Takes time for things to sink in !

  92. Dave:

    It's very true. It makes me wonder as this was being put in place 2 years before the Economic crisis.... it's very subtle and very obvious at the same time and before you know it.... all gone. I believe more and more that this was an engineered collapse between Govts and Banks....

    Anyway am going to say Bonsoiree ;)


    Talk more about this tomorrow?


  93. Leni

    You obviously know about the excellent Benefits and Work website.Well even they are now recommending that people turned down for ESA should demand an oral hearing on appeal rather than a paper one as i discovered on this link. So what happens to all those sick and disabled people who either can't physically can't attend a hearing themselves and/or get someone to represent them?

  94. One too many can't there !

  95. Paul

    the hearing of appeals in this area is in Swansea - in a 2nd floor room. Twice I have accompanied people to an appeal, on neither day was the lift working.

    being alert to the machinations I made it clear that the person I was with could not climb stairs easily. In one case the appeal committee came out to watch - on the second they agreed to change rooms.

    In both these cases the people had physical ailments - those with MH problems would find it harder.

    Travelling to the appeal venue will present problems for many - they may need help. It is inadvisable to drive yourself for instance.

    The stats do suggest that appearing in person has better results than simply writing.

  96. Leni -- great serious work there . More ahead . X !

  97. Paul

    help me out here please.

    on the threads about CB cuts lots of posters claim that k44 salary is inadequate if you live in london.

    Can this be true ? How then do folk on minimum wage or just above manage ?

  98. The average mortgage repayment for a first-time buyer in London who can find a 25 per cent deposit is £1,240 a month — more than half the average wage, research reveals today.

    Realpricecomparison.com found that the lowest average repayments are in Barking and Dagenham, at £760 a month, followed by Newham, Bexley and Waltham Forest where monthly mortgage payments are £821, £851 and £860.

    The most expensive borough, Kensington and Chelsea, has an average monthly mortgage repayment of £3,062.

    Paul I found these figures from Feb. this year.

  99. Leni:


    Your question about whether £44K is inadequate to live on in London is an interesting one. If you have kids/need childcare and run a car and want all the latest gadgets in your house, I think it probably works out as not very much when all is said and done, but neither me or Mr La Rit have ever earned anything like that sum.

    The most I've ever earned in a paper-pushing job was £26,500 (and that was only for 3 months) most of the time, I've been on criminally low wages or in work for Opera companies and singing freelance which was/is lucrative, but seasonal and very short term.

    When I first moved to London 20 years ago, waitressing in the trendy restaurants in the West End earned you around £600 per week or approx. £29K p/a(including tips) - but I worked extremely long hours for that - generally 5 p.m to 03.30 a.m. and you can only do that for so long.

    Mr La Rit has always had more earning power than me and to make a comparison, since finally getting back into work freelance, has earned enough to pay off our rent arrears, to pay the rent and bills - and he's earning £11K less than £44K and after he's paid his tax bill, his income will work out at £30,000 p/a. (after 10 years study and 11 years in work!) IF we were on £44,000 net as a wage for a couple without children, we'd be laughing all the way to the bank, even in London!!!

    Buying a flat in the current climate remains an impossibility though. 10/12 years ago you could by a large 2-bed ex-local authority flat in a lowrise block in Bethnal Green/Hackney for around £90,000. Now you're looking at approx. £275,000 for a ONE bed flat of the same type and in the same area!!!!

    Private renting is astronomical and we pay £800 per month for a small 2-bed in Brixton (it's approx. 475 sq. ft) Our rent is not average for the area (many flats in slightly nicer blocks/Victorian houses are significantly higher) and if rents were controlled, I would say that £400-500 a month would be a fair rent for this place. Unless we moved right out or went for part-rent, part-buy, we could probably just about afford to buy a flat, but my employment/earning power certainly hasn't been stable enough to deal with the stress of us both being unemployed again - especially as my average wage for the last year and a half has worked out at about £100 per week.

  100. Think Montana is unwell. :-( Will sneakily try to start new thread.