12 October 2010


A camel never sees his own hump.
-African proverb


  1. Jeez Montana this lonely monkey nut don't often get the chance to be first on the thread.Anyways whilst i get over the shock here's a track from Frances Ashman from the excellent film Nil By Mouth starring the brilliant Ray Winstone and Kathy Burke.

    Nite all x

  2. OK maybe not the first on the thread.Montana hope all,s well with you and Joe.

  3. @ Bitterweed

    Condolenses on your loss - sorry for late entry, am away in Germany, and not much time to brouse.

  4. Oh lovely start to the day Montana your dad had my kind of silly humour. My favourite joke is the lobster joke. I only have to think about telling it and I need to go get fresh underwear.

  5. My favourite crap joke.

    Bloke walks into an Army & Navy stores and says to the guy behind the counter:

    "Do you sell camouflage jackets?"

    "Aye, but we cannae find them."

  6. morning all!

    loving the jokes...

  7. Worse joke:

    Bloke walks into a sweet shop, asks:

    "Do you have any helicopter flavour crisps?"

    "No, only plane."

  8. What's orange and sounds like a parrot?

    A carrot.

  9. What cheese is made backwards?


    Anyone got any more cheese ones?

  10. This is like sitting at the dinner table with the 6 year old… she having recently discovered the joy of daft jokes. Doesn’t always get it spot on and the punchlines are often entirely unrelated to the set up, but it’s the daftness which appeals, clearly.

    E.g. what's a crocodile's favourite drink? "Snapple" juice. Ha ha ha ha etc.

  11. Did you hear about the fly on the toilet seat?
    He got pissed off.

  12. Both BeautifulBurnout and I - and possibly others - have mentioned in the past the idea of becoming internet and real world "pamphleteers".

    There is no real way ordinary people can challenge the lazy mimicry of the propaganda press, where everything is either government and big business press-releases or the brain-vomit of a derelict journo or the twitterings of a bright young thing, each offering their opinions as if they were the word of god brought to us through the medium of interpretive hogwashing.

    However, we could, both collectively and individually, co-operate, advise and assist on producing brief documents - one side A4 - which could be printed and distributed or sent as email attachments or [insert your suggestion here].

    The problem often seems to be that there is too much to do, but we should be able to produce one side of A4 on a subject - shouldn't we?

    That would be about the same as a brief-ish CiF pile of bollards and has to be better than waiting for JezzaBella to give the approving nod to an article about...well, whatever the articles used as enticements and punishments are actually about.

    The essential point is that it is something which is easy for anyone with access to a printer or photocopier to copy and distribute and can also be made available on the internet.

    Each issue is one page, freely available to be copied, no copyright, as many issues a day/week/month as anyone wants, no name, no logo or whatever name and logo you fancy - however it can be an antidote to corporate media.

    Anarchically composed and distributed counter-propaganda.

    So, any ideas and reactions welcome, along with offers of technical advice and resources - eg Google Docs allows collaborative editing and free public storage of various document types.

    Anyway, that is the outline, so whatever anyone thinks.

  13. PS Have not seen AlisdairCameron lately.

    Hope all well with you, wife and baby.

  14. atomboy - good idea. from my pov, it would be interesting / helpful if the base stats of news stories were openly available - i remember asking time and time again if the G could put up the base stats under the British Attitudes Survey rather than just the exec sum (as you have to pay for the base stats - i had assumed that the G would have paid for the full thing and done analysis, but the silence greeting my request did make me wonder if they had indeed just taken the free 'headline' stuff and not bothered to look at the figures).

    google have some datasets for public data, oecd has some stuff (although their special viewing software doesn't work so you have to C&P from numerous spreadsheets (the ones that actually open) to do anything with them). so googlespreads could be a good resource for datasets backing up the pieces.

    things that could be interesting would be, for example, the sort of election results analysis from the likes of medve / his grace, even meself to a small degree, to go deeper into non-uk election results than the english language media normally goes.

    and now i am armed with data visualisation capabilities, the possibilities are endless! or, in fact, purple.

  15. Oh, sorry, almost forgot.


    Hump-backed meerkat!

  16. Thanks, Philippa.

    Back to real life for a bit then back later.

  17. right, off to work - today, oecd stats at the ready to try to impress a research inststituion. this should be fun.


    and a final good luck and hug to jen in case she pops in before exam tomorrow. [good vibes in your direction]

  18. ...Stop Press...Stop Press...Stop Press...

    Financial meerkats collapse around the globe and world leaders call for emergency summit as...

    Actually it wasn't going anywhere as far as I'm concerned. I didn't come on this thread till very late - I scarcely posted on here till the beginning of this year, preferring to stay on specific threads. Something I might consider doing again.

    ...international media queen and political analyst threatens to leave heavyweight debating thread.

    Fuck me, as if double-dip recession wasn't bad enough, now we have to face this!

    David Cameron and Barack Obama to make joint speech this lunchtime.

  19. Very interesting economics blog on the myth of the current 'unsustainable' UK debt.

    For nearly 200 years between 1700 and 1900, the debt was far higher than 2010. This is before we analyse the debts incurred by the two World Wars and the depression.

    Interestingly, in this time period (1900-1950), the Government were mostly Liberal, Conservative or an erm, Conservative-Liberal coalition.

    Whilst the Public debt is at £772 billion, private debt totals £1.4 trillion so what are the coalition doing about this? Why has this not been addressed?

    Could it be because the average UK family pays more in interest payments to the banks and credit card companies than it does on food and clothing? Institutions with the Coalition firmly in their pocket?

  20. Something new every day:

    I just learned me Grandad was serving at the relief of Ladysmith, in the Boar War, and then went on to serve throughout some of the nasty bits on the Somme and Ypres battlefields and ended WWI as a Sergeant Major with the York and Lancaster Regiment. He was awarded a Military Medal.

    Sounds as though it may have been nasty:

    "The regiment raised 22 battalions for service in the First World War,[1] of which eight saw action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. During the war it suffered 48,650 casualties out of 57,000 men serving, with 8,814 killed or died of wounds (72 out of every 100 men being either wounded or killed). The regiment won four Victoria Crosses and 59 battle honours, the largest number for any English regiment during the war."

    I was a little sad at the idea of the old bastard (according to me dad he was one hard old sod) having a hard time whilst also having to serve with traditional enemy the Lancashire lads. Happily in the event it wasn't that bad:

    "The title of the regiment was derived not from the cities of York and Lancaster, or from the counties. Instead, the name came from the fact that it recruited from, amongst other places, landed properties owned by the Duchy of York and the Duchy of Lancaster. The regiment's recruiting area was in fact wholly within South Yorkshire (an area known as Hallamshire). Indeed, the regiment's Territorial Army battalion dropped its number and was known simply as The Hallamshire Battalion from 1924"

    Plainly if there is a God herm moves in considerate ways. 72% 'dead or wounded' but at least they didn't have to serve with the Lancs.

    Grandad may have been a hard bastard but his wife, me Grandma, had a delightful soft and warm name - Lucy Delilah. A Warwickshire lass according to the records.

  21. All that public service by Grandad (sadly dead before I was born) and then he had to earn a living down the pit.

    But the Dukes who owned the land then are still doing rather well now.

    I don't think Gerald Grosvenor (AKA Duke of Westminster) took a commission in the Territorial Army to learn to shoot grouse, (although he has some of the best game moorland in the UK in his ownership as well as the little matter of some very valuable slabs of London) I think it was to shoot the likes of me.

    We really do need a serious discussion about inherited wealth in the UK!

    Interesting link Duke and pertinent points.

    The general level of economic awareness amongst folk is problem. Debt slaves and yet so many don't even know it.

  22. Never let it be said that Britain's richest man (Gerald Grosvenor 6th Duke of Westminster) was hampered by educational achievement:

    "After leaving Harrow School with a single O-level, the Duke failed the entrance examination to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. He joined the Territorial Army in 1970 as a trooper.

    The Duke behind his desk in 1988Later in 1973 the Duke attended Sandhurst and subsequently commanded the North Irish Horse, The Cheshire Yeomanry Squadron, founded by his ancestors, and The Queen's Own Yeomanry. He was also appointed the Honorary Colonel of several Regiments, including the 7th Regt. Army Air Corps, the Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry, the Queen's Own Yeomanry, Northumbria Universities Officer Training Corps, Colonel in Chief of the Canadian Royal Westminster Regiment, the North Irish Horse and Colonel Commandant Yeomanry.

    The Duke of Westminster was Grand Prior of the Priory of England of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem between 1995 and 2001.

    In 2004 the Duke was appointed to the new post of Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Reserves and Cadets) with promotion to the rank of Major General.

    In March 2007, having served in the Ministry of Defence for four years he handed over the responsibility of 50,000 Reservists and 138,000 Cadets to Major General Simon Lalor. Grosvenor is now engaged in the Reserve Review in the same Rank. He was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) for his military service in the 2008 Birthday Honours. He is also an Honorary Vice President of the Royal United Services Institute."

    Ah ....Nulabours meritocracy in operation Braken gets a commission and tooper Gerald gets one too.

    At least I'll might go down to one between the eyes from a Major General. Oh suffer me not dear lord that I should have to be shot by a Braken.

  23. Meanwhile, in other news...

    MaM banned, thank you, er, ma'am

    ...or so they say.

  24. Where you pick that up AB? - a God after all?

  25. ...and...he is reinstated or perhaps he was never banned in the first place...

    Wonder whether they have also, neglectfully, unbanned me under the last - oh, what? - thirty or so names.

    Sorry, Deano.

    Like Amelia, it was just a false alarm.

  26. You got a problem with me deano? If you don't like your lot do something about it; and if you won't, do the decent thing and look at your own shortcomings before you blame mine.

    In short, your whinging is getting shrill.

  27. However, CiF seems to have issued a consolation prize.

    Brusselsexparts seems to be showing no posting history after JezzeBella deleted some of her (no doubt insightful and incisive) comments.

    Does that indicate being in pre-mod, does anyone know?

    Oh, well, got to get on.

  28. @deano:

    Bizarrely, if Grosvenor had gone in through LEOC these days as a Lord, as well as being exposed to lots of exciting things like jointery, he’d also have got a day out at the Houses of Parliament as part of his project on DIA, where he could have met himself sitting on the benches in the Lords. Or maybe picked up his attendance allowance for the day, or something.

  29. PeterB - your a star Peter and stars can always help illuminate the dark corners and illustrate the folly or point as the case may be..

    True your not as famous as MaM but I am trying to help remedy that. All of the appreciative comments with your name attached get added to your google score. You deserve the fame and you have plainly worked hard for it but sadly if MaM's back you'll have to wait a little longer for the crown.

    Never occured to me that a chap of your finely tuned sensibilities would find a shrill note in a backwater like UT

  30. Stay of the meths, deano - take that dog for a walk instead. You're losin' it.

  31. Difficult to loose what you never had in the first place Peter.

    Good advice though - dog walking calls.

  32. Free at last! free at last! thank god almighty..etc etc

    Am off on some jollies in Berlin tomorrow, only a few days but can't wait. Daughter & partner going to a Grinderman gig whilst I amble about and observe how things have changed since the wall came down - haven't been there since long before.

    I see MAM was both dead and alive at the same time on cif for a brief moment. Hey ho, no doubt the little gauleiter will continue trotting out his horrible views for the foreseeable.

    How Ally can describe him as calm and dispassionate I don't know. Cold and totally lacking in empathy which he seems to think is an inappropriate emotion more like.

  33. @Sheff

    Berlin is brilliant and, unfortunately, not too expensive because of the high unemployment. I'll be there in December, pity we don't coincide.

  34. Great pity Spike. We're staying in Kreuzberg and am dying to see how things have changed. I only know places like Berlin, Prague etc from the old cold war days when they were very edgy places.

    Still, I'm trying to drum up support for a UT trip to the Fete Huma and if we can get it together hope to see you then.

  35. Not my favourite German city, Berlin, I’ve got to say. Obviously, the German nation holds its collective breath as I bestow that honour on… drum roll… Munich!!!

    I love good ol’ München.

    PS Wo ist der gute Herr Elementär Watson? Ich vermisse ihn.

  36. You'll enjoy all the shops selling East German memorabilia. Quite ironic, really. I got myself a mug with the famous picture of Brezhnev and Honecker snogging. :-) Around Checkpoint Charlie especially, it's pure tourist kitsch.

    I'm pleased that the Soviet War monument near the Brandenburg Gate has been beautifully maintained, though. Very impressive.

    The DDR museum is interesting and disappointing in equal measures. The sometimes poorly-translated texts can be quite amusing. For instance, the one where they get all indignant about selection for a university education in the East. You think, "Oh yes, did everyone get a chance to go to university in the West, then?"

  37. Just had a look at 'Grinderman' on UTube !!!!

    Sheff - Best option - explore Berlin. !

  38. I believe the most poisonous poster on CIF has finally been banned...well, they've always got political analysis to fall back on...btw..when did "round tea bags or square ?" first assume a political dimension?

    AS it happens..seems it's MAM...and the spam are out in force celebrating..

    kizbot...channelling Madame Defarge yet again chips in with..."But that's what happens when you're consistently vile and obnoxious."..now where have I heard that line before...and before that..and..

    Basically, whatever you think of MAM..and let's face it; for most people, even Paul Daniels, that could be summarised as: not a lot; he could be majestic in swatting away half-wits such as the waddaya crowd like flies...the way things are going, that place is becoming an intellectual hothouse. Ban anyone with half a fuckin clue and the likes of Martyn shit-for-brains or the guy from Scunthorpe emerge as the fuckin cognoscenti...strange days indeed.

    Saw the Andrew Marr comment last night...think that might have been largely inspired by the drubbings his missus has taken over the years...even called her few choice things myself.

    13th Duke

    I may have imagined this, but did you post a quote from Beveridge on here a while back on the demeaning nature of living on charity? I don't mean the piece you did on untrusted too...it's just I'm sure I saw one ...not even sure if it was you..and it may have been Nye Bevan, not Beveridge.

  39. Tascia

    Grinderman!! I know. Whilst I like the Bad Seeds - Gman is more than I can manage. Daughter and her partner are big fans however (they're a bit eccentric). This trip is a birthday pressie from daughter to her fella and I've been invited to tag along (ie pay for everything!)

  40. Action alert

    Israeli human rights group Breaking the Silence has been nominated for a prestigious peace prize from the European Parliament. Breaking the Silence is run by a group of former Israeli soldiers who work to expose human rights abuses by the Israeli army in the period since 2000.

    Right wing Israeli groups are now attempting to coerce Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) not to let Breaking the Silence win the Andrei Sakharov prize for Freedom of Thought.

    Please consider writing to your MEP to encourage them to vote for the prize to be awarded to Breaking the Silence.

    Nomination info here

    Short film about Breaking the Silence here

    Info on MEPs here

  41. @deano

    Interesting stuff about your granddad. Clearly not to be trifled with! Minor point; those casualty figures look a bit odd, but perhaps it's just how they're presented. I might check them out later


    My daughter's still living in Kreuzberg at the moment - although she's coming back to London for the weekend on Friday...

  42. Evening all.


    My Barry the Bismark has joined your Miss Daisy today :(

    I shall be glad when this year is over - it's not been one of the better ones in my life, as some of you know, but losing him after 15 years is pretty hard.

  43. Apologies, deano - I mean Miss Diesel of course.

  44. Ach MsChin, sorry to hear that. :-(

  45. Tough one MsC...commiserations and hugs xxx Meet for a drink next week?

  46. Thanks, thauma and sheff.

    sheff - will email you.

  47. MsChin - so sorry to hear that. it's not been a nice year, for so many people and so many reasons. hope things look up soon.

  48. (PS - Sheff, Hackescher Markt is still as boho and laidback as ever, Postdamer Platz will weird you out in a big way - and that was 5 years back. god knows what it's like now)

  49. @Phil

    Early this year, Potsdamer had the most insanely colossal advertising poster I've ever seen in my life. Agree with you on Hackeschermarkt.

    If I can recommend a bar, the Gainsbourg at Savignyplatz 5 is fun. Pictures of the French reprobate and packs of Gitanes stacked behind the bar.

  50. MsChin
    Really sorry about that.

  51. Hello all,

    Back from the mad weekend in the north of Sweden - about 200 km from Oslo..... ahhhhhhhh...... clean air and stars ;-)


    So Sorry sbout the loss of your Barry ;( x

  52. PS:

    Glad to see that CiFWatch smear-tactic-tosser "gaylurker" pissed off and that we have some new faces about ;-)

  53. PPS - has MaM been banned for real?

  54. Sorry to hear about your beast, MsChin, sad news.

  55. Bad news, MsChin; sorry to hear it.

  56. No, Jessica Reed announced almost immediately that MAM hadn't been banned.

  57. The rumour was based on his profile being unavailable.

  58. spike - aye, went to potsdamer platz when it was a building site, just desolate. two/three years later went back and thought i'd copme out of the wrong u-bahn exit, it was just glass-fronted skyscrapers everywhere. in the middle of lots of desolate. bloody bizarre,,,

  59. MsChin

    So sorry about Barry. Hugs. x

  60. Cheers, everyone, for your kind thoughts - much appreciated by me & the other half.

  61. Chin - Very sorry to read your news about Barry the Bismark (fine name for a dog), I hope that it was a quick and easy exit. All my very best our lass, I'm sure he'll be in your memory for ever.

    (Daisy was Miss D's Sunday name so no problem there)



  62. have just checked out the gallery and barry looked a fine figure of a dog.

    [more commiserations]

    am off to the pu to watc the footy - continuing good vibes also to jen if she is around.


  63. The MAM incident does show how quickly a wrong assumption can lead to even more wrong assumptions by many more.

    Never forgiven MAM for calling me "rude" once! Really naffed me off at the time.

  64. Small world Chin just found out me grandad was from Wombwell!

    Have fun Sheff.

    PeterJ - don't know about the accuracy of the stats, I was just quoting the info from Wiki so I suppose the usual reservations apply.

    Me cousin who was named after Granddad and inherited his medals (which he gave to the local museum) is going to send me a photo of the gongs for our family archive. If I get some time I'll try make some enquires at Imp War Museum I don't really know much about theses things. I know I'm glad I wasn't there though.

  65. "Glad to see that CiFWatch smear-tactic-tosser "gaylurker" pissed off"

    Not really laritournelle, although I don't regard myself as a smear-tactic-tosser I'm still lurking about sometimes and waiting for your next 'funny as fuck' offensive joke about gay people - when Cif deletes it you can trot over here and post it again and get a laugh out it. (And actually, as I think I've already said, I have no connection with Cifwatch - you seem to be a bit of an egoist in that respect. I doubt that you're at all important to either Zionists or gay activists.)

    btw, why would you describe Northern Sweden as 200km from Oslo? That's in Norway, isn't it? Are you just really thick? Or do you think that people here don't know the names of any towns/cities in Sweden?

  66. deano

    Small world indeed.

    I've been looking back through my ancestry & my paternal granddad was also at some horrendous battles in WW1. We had quite a lot of memorabilia until recently, I am very sorry that it's now lost to the family. He had been sent to Canada as a Barnardo boy, worked on farms & enlisted in 1914. He was injured in France in WW1 & sent to England to recover, which is how he met my grandma, then went back to the trenches until the end of the war. He died from TB soon after - the family were living in a cellar kitchen in Lower Walkley at the time. My cousin got some photos of him & his 2 brothers, plus some other information, from Barnardos records recently.

  67. MsChin,

    Have just gone and looked at the photo of Barry on the gallery.

    He looks like a dog who understood the importance of enjoying a fine sunny day.

    ((( hugs )))


  68. gaylurker

    LOL! You astound me! Do you really hang about here waiting and hoping one of us will say something offensive so you can pounce? Thats incredibly sad. Don't you have a life?

    'course, you could always get off your high horse and join in.

  69. Yeah good picture of Barry - a dog plainly zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzing in the sure and certain knowledge that he'd fallen on his feet with Chin.

  70. Hi All-Not been here much lately. Just reading through the last few days.

    MsChin--So sorry for your loss. Memories hopefully will help.

    Bitterweed--Condolences to you and your friend.

    Interesting stuff on ancestral soldiers. I also had a granddad in WW1. He made it through, but unfortunately I never met him, passed a few years before my birth.

  71. "I doubt that you're at all important to either Zionists or gay activists."

    How very dare you!

  72. I was only 200 km from Oslowwwww-ah!

    although I don't regard myself as a smear-tactic-tosser I'm still lurking about sometimes and waiting for your next 'funny as fuck' offensive joke about gay people

    Well baby boy, you got here quickly, at least you've adressed me directly this time. But seriously, if that ain't stalking, what is? Waiting to catch me out and report me to the CIFWatch Zio-Police or something with evidence of my 'homophobia' and 'anti-semitism' when I 'drop my guard'?

    when Cif deletes it you can trot over here and post it again and get a laugh out it

    You really are a little bit sad - maybe Andrew Marr has a point in your case.

    (And actually, as I think I've already said, I have no connection with Cifwatch

    Hmmmmm..... I only have your word for it and as for ScheisseWatch, well, you're using the same kind of MO and what a bunch of losers those people are - who gives a toss what they think?.

    btw, why would you describe Northern Sweden as 200km from Oslo? That's in Norway, isn't it?

    No, stupid, it's northern Sweden. Did you have to look at a map?

    How are you anyway? Did you have a nice weekend sticking pins in a wax dolly called 'La Ritournelle'

  73. Apols folks for the banter in amongst the seriousness and sadness. I missed Bitterweed's bad news too. Will go back before posting tomorrow as I didn't have the energy to read all the threads from the last few days....

  74. Hello Boudican - nice to see you ;)

  75. SheffPixie@gaylurker

    'course, you could always get off your high horse and join in


    Come on GLurker - it's all to play for ;)

  76. MF;

    Do you think Gaylurker is pissed off because I'm not a Waddaya regular?

    Maybe my bowel movements are just a little unpredictable ;)

  77. Thanks for your kind thoughts & words, people.

  78. About MaM, have any of you folk considered that this entity is simply an Agent provocateur conjured up by JR? This business of never getting banned, do any of their posts get modded? I can't be arsed to read through most of the threads these days, simply far too long. I seem to recall in the early days of ciF some funny characters who could not be real. Just wondering anyway.

    MsChin, sorry about the loss.

    Berlin! Great place we went there early June this year, first time and it was fab. Did not get to see all the sights, I wanted to go to the Stassi museum for a start. Not much of the original wall left either. Will definitely go again soon.

  79. Hi Boudican - as ever good to see you. Always a sadness not to have met a grandparent.

    Both maternal and paternal gdads had passed but I did get to meet both grandmas albeit only for a few years as a small child.

    Price of being youngest of 4 (which I was) I suppose.

    Me dad was one of 7 so when we had a family get together of all those descended from dads parents a few years back...there were getting on 150 in the room and a few more in Australia etc that couldn't be there.

    Staggering that so many realtives all came from just the two common ancestors.

  80. Hi Larit-Likewise. Are you now done gallivanting around N Europe?

    Hi also to gaylurker. Indeed, as others have asked, why not join in the talk?

  81. deano, yes, sad not to meet either granddad. Did know grannies quite well, even though my parents emigrated to Canada in 57. Have sadly lost touch with many of the extended family but am working on reconnecting, thus the trips back to Scotland every few years.

    Hi IanG.

  82. MsChin

    sorry to hear your sad news - a big loss.

    Hi All,

    Waddya was chewing over the Mam thing before I went out hours ago - still at it. Has waddya discussed anything else?

    I gather Mam is not in fact banned?


    Interesting stuff about your grandad. I had elderly relatives who lived through this period - various family stories of loss , suffering and survival.

  83. MsChin
    Sorry to hear about your hound - sad day.

    Re Mercy - my friend said (among other things)

    Life at Mercy was very restrictive, I was not able to leave the grounds unless it was timetabled. The space was very restricted and part of the way I cope is to get outdoors and go for walks, (something we were allowed only once a week). I was not able to do anything without permission and the rules are very strict. For example if you leave anything out, like your toothbrush in the bathroom or a jumper on a chair it is confiscate.

    Didn't like the sound of the place before she went, but as I said on Waddya, she viewed it vry much as a last resort, and she was in no state to have another ray of hope extinguished.

  84. Gaylurker - if you put the point of a compass in Oslo on the map and then drew a scaled circle of 200km and worked the maths...............methinks you'd find that more land was in Sweden than Norway when you did the sums...

    But what the hell - come on down and join the rest of us careless users of the queens language.

  85. Shaz + mschin

    ust found your posts on waddya.

    This Mercy org. sounds dangerous - I see they claim 1 in 15 young people have self destructive urges and problems. Their regime sounds very restricive - aimed I suspect at breaking the will of their victims.

    They certainly should be investigated.

  86. My grandfather was also in The Trenches - too poorly to return after Le Somme – but he was the lucky one – nobody else he knew there made it back home.

    He was my best mate when I was a child, although by then a housebound invalid, as the effects of the gas had gradually undermined health - I'm so glad I knew him. I don’t know what he thought about The War, as he never mentioned it ever. That’s how some dealt with it.

    All of the sensible ex-soldiers I’ve met, would never go near old-soldier anythings. They became very cynical about it all. After all, the First War was really a big family squabble between the Royal Houses of Europe – all very related to one another – and for what died millions?

    So when Cameron says ‘your country needs you’, he’s really saying something like - we should all become fodder to be fed to his economic machine, no matter how many the casualties – a stance as cowardly as those generals who kept sending the troops over the top to get slaughtered for – for the frontline to go backwards and forwards over a few yards of mud. It's a similar general disregard for the fate of the ordinary person.

    My response to Cameron being – but our country definitely doesn’t need you.

  87. Leni - just been looking at the different tests associated with IB and ESA.

    Believe it or not me mate got zero points on his Personal Capability (IB) test for his vision but would have got 15 points on the supposedly tougher Work Test associated with ESA.

    In effect they are saying that his eyesight is good enough to be thrown off IB but not good to be refused ESA!! (He has a severed optic nerve and is thus totally bind in one eye)

  88. Leni -

    These people are scary too. If you scoop up people who have nothing - and sometimes less than nothing - you can argue that all you're doing is working for their good. Never mind that you're trying to erode their choices.

  89. MsChin,,condolences on your loss,,
    my own recent experience gives me all too clear a picture of your likely feelings,,

  90. deano

    I had a look at some of the criteria for partially sighted people. There seems to be some wriggle room for assessors around how well the person has adapted to loss of stereo vision - a bit like the tests allowing people with monocular vision to drive or not.

    The issues around 'employability' is also subjective and depends upon type of work. Realistically - in competition with lots of applicants what chance would he stand ?

    As we keep on saying these measures discriminate against the disabled in terms of life quality whist being billed as 'helping' them .

  91. Will have to double check me reading before we finalise our appeal - it's nuts and speaks volumes for the ethics of the Atos person who must have kown that he was failing a person on an allegedly easier test who would have passed and continued to enjoy a benefit on a harder one.

    Vision was in the event only part of his health problems.

  92. Shaz

    As I said on waddya the thinking behind Mercy sits well with the Unum model - if you don't get better , get a good job and bloody well succeed it is your fault resulting from faulty thinking - in the case of Mercy because you don't love Jesus enough.

    Dangerous, scary and downright punitive and cruel.

  93. Deano

    Check the rules for the partially sighted being able to drive.

    If your friend has other disabilities you have to try to undertsand how the assessor balanced one against the other - it's like trying to look inside an alien's brain - just how does this alien race see the world.

  94. Yea spot on Leni but the ESA test is more favourably structured in terms of a slightly more objective assessment of field of vision.

    DDAct Guides indicate that monocularity needs to be considered and there should be a distinction between visual problems that can be corrected with specs and those that cannot.

    You don't remedy a severed optic nerve with spectacles and a substantial part of the field of vision remains cut off from the brain ...but I don't yet know the technical criteria beyond the generality of 50% and 25% loss of field of vision scoring points...

    As I said on the disability thread t'other night Blind and partially sighted folk would all say the same - see Blunkett - give us blind folk that level of support and we would all prefer to work for obvious reasons of dignity and independance....

    Stastics are that 96% of registered blind still retain some 'useful' sight but you wouldn't want them flying your plane

  95. evening all
    blimey, england can be atrocious at times

    "I doubt that you're at all important to either Zionists or gay activists."
    gaylurker - i don't know how long you've been lurking but I've been here a fair time - zionists do kick in, from t2t. this gay activist doesn't see much to kick off about here. really. if there;s a poor choice of words, its just that (and i din't see what's pissing you off but i've seen a lot else from larit - no probs there). kind of important to distinguish between oiir choice of words and hate, think.

    but that's maybe just me.

  96. Hello everyone: did I miss something or has Krishan Guru Murthy's article on blogging (CIF) been conveniently lobbed into the re-cycle bin?

    BTW: MsC, may I add my condolences for your sad loss.

  97. Yes Atos seem to use driving licence as a proxy test but that is not how the Regualtions describe the test.

    Daft as it seems Monocularity is allowed for car drivers if you can read the number plate at the standard distance and have 'adjusted' to the loss of the eye. Monoc is however totally prohibted for HGV/PSV.

    Monocular car drivers often say yea can drive safely for shortish distances but wouldn't feel safe about driving eight hour shifts everyday too much visual strain....It's all about proportions and relatives etc....eg Can stand for 30 minutes but not one hour etc Can sit for x but not for y.... can reach to a but not b

    As I say If all blind folk were given Blunketts level of support..

    Yopu might say that given Stephen Hawkins level of disability anybody could work.

  98. ....Stephen Hawking's lecvel of disability....!!

  99. @MsChin and to 3p4 (to whom I fear I may not have said this before now:

    My sympathies to you & your family.


    I've had essentially monocular vision for all my life. Been driving since I was 16. Apart from the one about a month after I got my driver's licence, I've never had an accident.

    Mind you, I absolutely hate to drive and would love to live somewhere where I didn't have to own a car.

  100. Some interesting thoughts in this article about the future of the EU and how attitudes have changed since the Eastern bloc joined.


    It looks like the appetite for a federal Europe of United States has run into the sand.

    I don't know if that is good or bad. I'm just sharing the information.

    BTW: Howard Jacobson won the Booker prize. I've never read any of his novels but always make a point of reading his stuff in the Indy.

    Apparently it's a comic novel so I'll have to give it whirl. I'll also be checking out Peter Carey's latest since I'm a big fan of his.

  101. chekhov - just heard him intervierwed on the radio, and warmed to him rather! may pick that up when in blighty....

    night all!

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  103. Deano

    The support level for disabled people drops to almost zero once school days finish.

    I used to go as volunteer to a L Cheshire home - all men, all disabled since birth.

    Many said at school that had page turners etc - some were so disabled they used possum switches - in adulthood these aids were not readily available unless supplied throgh charitable donations.

    Access to literatyre was limited to 'talking books' - although none of the guys was blind.

    Less severely disabled people - although technically catered for in working situations - find that in reality the minimum demanded by law is provided.

    Inflexible working hoursalso big problem.

    This is such a huge issue with many problems - possible solutions - intertwined and interdependant. Short sighted and uncaring policies will not solve any of them.

    Assessors must avoid , at all costs, the applicant having enoug 'points' to qualify for benefit. They can shuffle the points around !

  104. This comment has been removed by the author.

  105. chekhov

    I saw Jacobson briefly in tv interview - I too will read book.

    Are you working at the moment?

  106. This comment has been removed by the author.

  107. chekhov

    I'm not sure the idea of a federal europe ever really took of.

    Welsh politicians support a 'Europe of the regions' - this gives us seperate status while leaving us as part of UK.

    We have received a lot of money here from the European Regional Development fund . These structural funds expire in 2013 and we possibly will lose this support - new entrant countries such as Bulgaria are in desperate need of such funding and there is just not enough money to go round.

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  109. "I'm not sure the idea of a federal europe ever really took of."
    Hello Leni, I'm not sure if it did either but that doesn't mean it wasn't a plan!

    You might want to add this to your library: "The Organisation For The Preservation Of Individuality And Sovereignty" by Vernon Coleman.

    It doesn't really matter what you believe anymore there's always summat afoot!

  110. I have tried sending a pdf copy to the above not sure if it will work but at the minute I'm having problems decoding me password!

    Me machine now saves all me passwords in encrypted locker and not yet worked out how to decode them

    Silly me we'll crack it in due course so worry not

  111. Great - the email with attcahed pdf is on its way let me know if it works cos its a big file for an attachement

  112. Actually, Leni, if you read the article I linked to, the author is saying much the same as you. The Germans and the French weren't convinced of the idea and the Iberians didn't even bother to get involved in the debate.
    Then along came the "newbies" and the whole thing got kicked into the long grass.

    Anyway that's my sixth form assessment of the sate of affairs so far, feel free to rip it to shreds with a more nuanced and intellectual analysis!

  113. `Deano

    Thanks - it has arrived. Will read and print for close scrutiny - I will feel like a neuropsych unravelling the mysteries of an extraterrestrial brain.


  114. Will read it chekhov - info overload danger I think.

    I have a pretty good filing system in my cranium - usually can store info and pop stack as required but just at moment my brain is a bit ike the cubby hole under the stairs - i know what i'm looking for is there - somewhere.

  115. Good glad that worked Leni - will send youi copies of other stuff in due course.

    Got to say goodnight comrades Leni &Chekhov.

  116. Leni - might be good to delete yours at 23:59 above I've deleted my side of our chat we get all sort of lurkers here!!

    Night All.

  117. Are you working at the moment?
    I'm self-employed. I'm always working. Whether I'm earning any money is a different matter!

  118. chekhov

    i knew you were self employed - I was wondering how much work there is up there.

    Things dropping off here. Two years ago houses in the village sold alost before 'for sale' boards went up - this made work for small building firms - very slow now with houses not selling.

  119. Leni: I've been self-employed in this malarkey for over twenty five years and I've never had a problem finding work....until now...it's like someone has turned the tap off.

    This year has been absolutely dire. If something does turn up you get screwed to the bone to work for the lowest possible rate and have to cheerfully accept that it is better than nothing.

    Meanwhile is business as usual in the City and Wall St where the snake oil selling charlatans who have taken us all for a ride continue to take the piss.
    Quite frankly; it makes me want to puke.

  120. chekhov

    Latest predictions suggest around half a million private sector jobs will go as companies lose public sector contracts and work.

    A half built housing estate a few miles from here is not being finished as houses are not selling - men being laid off. This I fear is only the beginning.

    Anger and frustration is mounting everwhere among the ordinary people.

    Millions will have to find new ways of caring for their families.

    Night x