13 October 2010


Neurotics build castles in the air, psychotics live in them.  My mother cleans them.
-Rita Rudner


  1. Hmm. Visitors from Cyprus and Italy when I got here a few minutes ago to put the thread up. Gandolfo back and Oroklini lurking, perhaps?

    Monkeyfish, from yesterday:

    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.

    You're not thinking of this Clement Atlee quote that I used not too long ago, are you?

    Charity is a cold grey loveless thing. If a rich man wants to help the poor, he should pay his taxes gladly, not dole out money at a whim'…………..………
    'In a civilised community, although it may be composed of self-reliant individuals, there will be some persons who will be unable at some period of their lives to look after themselves, and the question of what is to happen to them may be solved in three ways - they may be neglected, they may be cared for by the organised community as of right, or they may be left to the goodwill of individuals in the community. The first way is intolerable, and as for the third: Charity is only possible without loss of dignity between equals. A right established by law, such as that to an old age pension, is less galling than an allowance made by a rich man to a poor one, dependent on his view of the recipient’s character, and terminable at his caprice'”

  2. UK government resists calls for deep water drilling moratorium
    "" Ottinger hopes the commission proposals could become law by early next year, although there will be bruising battles ahead. The commission said it was aiming to close "loopholes" in the current regulations which make companies liable for clean-up costs of an accident up to 12 miles offshore. The new regime would extend that to 200 miles. ""
    The long term environmental effects of the dangerous dispersant Corexit used for Deepwater Horizon are completely unknown, according to the US govt's own report . Yet another subject to keep an eye on , I'm afraid .

    A great quote, Montana, a reminder of the basics . I read somewhere today that the current Basic State Pension , adjusted for inflation, is the same as the original 1908 one of five shillings a week ...

  3. monkeyfish,

    the quote montana provides above was the quote I talked about a few weeks ago. It was from Clement Attlee.

    William Beveridge however did write a lesser known report on charity (the third in his series on post war welfare) entitled Voluntary Action.

    In this report he argued that voluntary work should not be forgotten as a valuable aid in the fight against social problems.

    However, he believed that voluntary action should be an additional tool in the fight against the '5 giants'. The state should have the central role in defeating the '5 giants'.

    Today's voluntary organisations deal with new problems ie drug abuse but it's clear from his reports that he would have been disappointed that voluntary organisations are still addressing the old problems of the '5 giants' such as poverty.

    Voluntary action also argued against any contractual agreement between Govt and charity emphasising that this could lead to today's problem of Govt over-reliance on charities to alleviate the 'old problems' of the 5 giants.

    A pertinent quote from the Voluntary Action in light of today's relationship between social model and market:

    "the business motive is a good servant, but a bad master, and a society which gives itself up to the dominance of the business motive is a bad society."

  4. Montana/Duke?/avefromFrance:

    Good morning.

    Yes, the point about charity.... the over-reliance upon which is, imho, a disgrace in the 21st century. Furthermore, when Charity becomes Big Business in all but name, one has to wonder, what is the point of charity?

    Daveff - shocking, but not surprising about today's state pension being the same as 1908.

  5. For anyone who has given up on CiF as a credible news platform, just a reminder that both The Telegraph and The Independent now have perfectly acceptable commenting systems in place.

    [This has been a public service broadcast in the interests of free speech and intelligent sharing of opinions and information]

  6. Duke --ace quotes of wisdom there, we were warned . Could well be used for leaflets which Atomboy mentioned yesterday, and various have discussed here.

    La Rit-- Yes charity, or NGO's in all fields do slide into being very similar to Big Business, as apart from no Dividends going to shareholders, the interests of Senior Management can be the same everywhere .

    sun again here, running !

  7. Atomboy:

    Many thanks for the Public Broadcast in the interests of free speech ;)


    I missed the bit about leaflets - good quotes to use for sure.

    Every charity/ngo I've ever worked for as a temp has left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

  8. Grey and dull here..... still recovering from gallivanting around N. Europe (as Boudican put it!) no more gallivanting for a while, I'm knackered ;)

  9. Have been watching the Chilean mine rescue this morning. It is a bit of a media circus and Pinera will no doubt milk it for all he's worth - but all my many hats off to them for doing such a fantastic job. Extraordinary watching them appear out of the earth.

  10. Sheff:

    It was like watching a reverse lunar landing..... bizarre... I wouldn't like to have travelled up that tube though..... panic would have set in after about 2 mins.

  11. @La Rit:

    Talking about confined spaces… my mate used to be a submariner – now, I don’t mind confined spaces, but anyone who volunteers to do that for a living is obviously a nutter…

  12. Further to the above... looking on the RN website:

    Warfare Specialist Sensors (Submariner)

    Starting salary £13,377 rising to £16,681pa
    + Holiday six weeks paid leave every year, plus public holidays.
    + Pension one of the most generous packages offered by any UK employer, requiring no contributions from your salary.
    + Training the Royal Navy is one of the UK's largest training organisations.
    + Qualifications whatever your job or rank, you can study for extra qualifications. And most of our qualifications are recognised outside the Royal Navy.
    + Job security a level of stability that is rarely found in civilian life.
    + Sport free access to high-quality sports facilities and the opportunity to play at representative level.
    + Health Care all Medical and Dental care is provided free of charge.
    + Accommodation your accommodation at sea is free. We also offer heavily subsidised accommodation when you are working and living ashore

    Not exactly selling it to me, to be honest...

  13. Sheff
    "but all my many hats off to them for doing such a fantastic job"

  14. swifty - one of my former clients had been a sub captain. me being not good with the confined space thing, his 'funny stories' of trying to jerry-rig a ventilation system using bits of a transistor radio and a lot of gaffer tape nearly made me throw up, but he insists that the scariest thing he'd ever done in his life was go through a charity commission investigation...

    everyone has their thing, i suppose!

  15. @PhilippaB:

    My mate has a ton of similar tales, most of them no doubt utter bullshit and drawn from a large stock of “submariners’ tales”, but occasionally (normally when he’s had a few jars), he’ll return to the same two or three. The one where the power went down while at the bottom of the South Atlantic… the one where the pressure hull was damaged during sea trials… and the one where they had a “serious” fire on board.

    There aren’t that many submariners (or indeed, submarines) around, either – good chance he’ll have served with your bloke at some point, I’d imagine, if he was on Swiftsures in the 90s.

  16. I like to fill my tub up with water, then turn the shower on and act like I'm in a submarine that's been hit.

    - Steven Wright

    I was in the first submarine. Instead of a periscope, they had a kaleidoscope. "We're surrounded."

    - Steven Wright

  17. Submarines give me the heebs. I think it was ever since I read the story of HMS Thetis which was lost on her sea trials in Liverpool bay in 193? as a boy.

    Few specks of paint in the wrong place and a lot of men died in the way our Chilean friends are thankfully escaping from.

    Sad story of HMS Thetis

    The story also illustates why I so dislike lawyers (BB excepted) - fucking crass animals is what they is......

  18. On a lighter note, the recently departed Claire Rayner's "last words" prompted a piece in the Guard which contained these examples of departing shots:

    Voltaire (1694-1778) "This is no time for making new enemies." On being asked to renounce the devil, on his deathbed. (Attributed)

    Isadora Duncan (1878-1927) "Farewell, my friends. I go to glory."

    Gertrude Steiner (1874-1946) Just before she died she asked, "What is the answer?" On getting no reply she laughed and asked, "In that case, what is the question?"

    George V (1865-1936) "Bugger Bognor." On being told by a courtier that he would soon be in the seaside town.

    Horatio Nelson (1758-1805) "Thank God, I have done my duty. Kiss me, Hardy." (According to Life of Nelson, Robert Southey.)

    Robert Burns (1759-1796) "Don't let the awkward squad fire over me."

    Nancy Astor (1879-1964)

    "Jakie, is it my birthday or am I dying?" To her son on her deathbed.

    John Le Mesurier (1912-1983) "It's all been rather lovely."

    Henry James 1843-1916: "Tell the boys to follow, to be faithful, to take me seriously."

    John Sedgwick (1813-1864) "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." Seconds later he was shot dead by sharpshooters at the battle of Spotsylvania in the American civil war.

    Kenneth Williams (1926-1988) "Oh what's the bloody point." His last diary entry.

  19. IMO - of the above Volitaire wins by a mile. I'm away for the rest of the day.

  20. SwiftyBoy;

    Not exactly selling it to me, to be honest...

    Ooooohhhh... I dunno, free health and dental care, generous pension..... and a watery grave...!

  21. Deano
    Remember Kursk ? (the sub, not battle) Putin came out truly smothered in shit over that disaster.

  22. Stunning photo, Montana.

    On charity, excellent quote. I remember M. Hyde did a brilliant piece on philanthropy and charity about a year ago. But to listen to a lot of Tory rhetoric on charity, community action and the big society you could be forgiven for thinking that most of human history had employed the welfare state model. And that, you know, lets give society a chance for once and they'll probably deliver. They are somehow trying to make Victorian values sound radical and progressive.

    The historical reality is that it is precisely the failure of charity and society to adequately protect people and give them a decent life that brought about the welfare state in the first place. So this excruciating nonsense about the BS is actually saying "lets go back to the pre welfare days and see if things turn out differently this time."

    Submarines terrify me, i cant think of a worse way to die than a sinking sub.

  23. @La Rit:

    And all for thirteen grand a year! The MOD's sure getting its money's worth…

  24. "We're surrounded."



  25. Probably apocryphal, but Oscar Wilde in a cheap Paris hotel room:

    "This wallpaper is killing me. One of us has to go."

  26. The submarine thing made me think of an old Woody Allen.

    My ex-wife was very immature. When I took a bath, she'd just walk into the bathroom and sink my boats.

  27. "Capital punishment: them without the capital get the punishment".

    - John Spenkelink- executed in Florida, May 1979.

  28. “I’ve got to say, these Segway things my company manufactures are absolutely terrific fu…”

    Jimi Heselden, HescoBastion.

  29. work calls again. bleah.

    big 'woot woot' in jen's direction for when she finishes her exam! party later?

  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. SwiftyBoy;

    Where do I sign-up? ;)


    The shower and bath thing could that be described as "auto-eroticism"?

  32. Deano/BW;

    Remember the film Das Boot (German original version)?

  33. PhilippaB:

    Big "WOOT WOOT" in Jen's direction!!

  34. Oh apologies, didn’t see deano had already done the Sedgwick one. Consider it gone. It is a favourite of mine, though.

    @La Rit:

    Volunteering to live in a big metal tube a mile under the ocean surface for months on end with a bunch of ruff tuff Navy blokes? People will be getting ideas about you if you’re not careful…

  35. And lo! There is now a Cif piece by a submariner commenting on the Chilean miners' rescue...

  36. SwiftyBoy:

    People will be getting ideas about you if you’re not careful… some people have got some very weird ideas about me already, I'm sure this will only add to the confusion!

  37. "Remember the film Das Boot (German original version)?"

    Got it on DVD, great film. I remember watching it as a kid on tv when it was broken up into a series.

  38. PeterJ,

    I'm expecting a CiF radfem perspective at some point.

    The whole circus symbolising patriarchal subjugation of feminist meta-narrative. For instance, have you seen a female miner yet.....?

    Women merely play the submissive secondary partners shown as nervous, emotional onlookers.....

    As for the rescue process itself. The overt phallic symbolism of the tube erupting in an explosion of joy when the miner shoots up to the surface conveys at once the male sexual climax at the expense.....continues......

  39. @Jay:

    Yep, great film. Watched it on VHS in German A-level lessons, funny enough, to give us an idea of the variety of German regional accents/dialects.

    “Jawohl, Herr Kaleu!”

  40. Duke

    I suspect some radfems would view the drilling for coal as tantamount to the violation of Mother Earth.

  41. Just a brief report from the pages of CiF in order to maintain the connection between this site and its, er, roots.

    1. Someone testing the pages on the new, soft and smooth, pastel-coloured and user-friendly version of WADDYA (as claimed by one of the regulars, amongst the victory whoops):

    13 October 2010 12:30PM

    So it's official - not that there was ever any doubt since NL instituted the reforms the first place - His Majesty's Opposition officially endorse the current reforms to sickness and disability benefits.

    So the whole of the political establishment, 99% of the media, and every ignorant bigot in Christendom are now united to face down those evil scroungers and make them pay for causing this global recession and ruining the British Economy. While these terminally ill and severely disabled spongers live it up on their 90 quid a week, poor bankers and poor politicians and poor overseas media magnets are having to do without their child benefit.

    If I'm ever called up to fight for this wretched country, remind me to die first before lifting a finger to support the squalid bastards who run it, and the mindless bigoted sheep who constitute its population.


    2. Compare and contrast with one of the old troupers from WADDYA, who seems to have had a hissy-fit and some kind of nervous breakdown, which has led to wanderings amongst the forlorn in the wasteland beyond the gates, where she is heard to whisper or quietly wail: "Do you know who I am? Have you come far?

    13 October 2010 10:55AM

    Middle class does not necessarily mean wealthy. For example in Europe if you have a university education and work in a profession, such as teaching, you are considered middle-class even if you don't earn that much.

    If you're a plumber and earning a six-figure salary because you run your own small business, you would probably still be thought of as working-class, or a blue-collar worker.

    I disagree that in the US class is not an issue. I've met too many - and worked with too many - Ivy Leaguers in my time to accept that statement. They are if anything, even more class-riddled than the British. One American woman from Washington I worked with in Brussels, whose husband was president of a medium-sized company, said that she could never in Washington or New York have accessed the type of high-society lifestyle she had in Brussels.

  42. Swifty - I used to work with an ex submariner. He was some sort of officer on one for a long time - I worked with him in insurance. One of the best guys I have ever worked with. We were partners on a specialist team that looked after important national accounts so we travelled together a lot and had to go to lots of do's and stuff and take out finance types - often in the city.

    Once I was doing a presentation on investments to a roomful of men - all in their fifties and most of them very priveliged - and theres me in my mid twenties, female and Yorkshire accent.

    Anyway half of them were ignoring me and two were talking quite loudly amongst themselves. I wasn't sure what to do because I didn't want to antagonise them and get a complaint to the company about me. No such worries for him - he walked over and stood behind them. He was way over 6ft - built like the proverbial brick... and had crew cut hair - he just said really loudly ''If you are going to behave like bad mannered schoolboys I will have to treat you in the same way, now am I going to have to knock your heads together and then separate you or are you going to listen to the lady, we have come a long way today to talk to you.'' Or words to that effect.

    I couldn't believe it. He took absolutely no crap - but that is probably what happens when you have had to live in a tin box in the deep ocean - and one carrying nukes! He also had a serious fire - wonder if it was same boat?

  43. Re that brilliant comment from RedMiner - I was utterly dismayed but not surprised to hear 'Red Ed' (ha fucking ha) stand up at PMQ's and say they supported the government in cutting welfare to the disabled and sick but were horrified at the loss of child benefit to a few well off families.

    Now of course there is an argument to be had about universal benefits etc - but that is somewhat shot down anyway if you are taking benefits away from the most vulnerable. Absolute bunch of total and utter bastards.

    Anyone wanting to go along - there's a demo on the 20th to Osbournes cuts. I am gonna try and find out if any local events are happening - often smaller demos are organised e.g. in Sheff there is often one outside the town hall on the same day for those who cant travel to London.

    Details of the London demo can be found on Counterfire: http://www.counterfire.org/

  44. @princess

    Yeah, I noticed that aside about supporting cuts to disability and unemployment benefits while complaining about cuts for high earners - I put a comment about it on John Harris's piece. But Labour can't complain about them too much, after introducing the bloody idea in the first place.

    There now isn't anyone in mainstream politics standing up for the poor.

  45. @princesschipshops:

    Good standard from the big matelot, there, and as you say, no doubt stems from the fact there’s very little room for acting the twat on a sub. It’s a tricky one, though – if you’re used to giving orders and having them acted on promptly, acting in a similar way in the “real world” will often lead to accusations of being “domineering”, “overly demanding” and (heaven forbid!) “aggressive” LOL…

  46. Atomboy

    Thanks for that from RedMiner -

    So it's official - not that there was ever any doubt since NL instituted the reforms the first place - His Majesty's Opposition officially endorse the current reforms to sickness and disability benefits

    What a complete shower of fucking bastards.....

  47. Thanks for that PCC - why are they chosing 6pm Wednesday though ?? Impossible from Midlands.

  48. Its wednesday bitterweed because that is the day Gideon swings his axe I think. Why six am not sure. Think there is a student march at 4 and then another march at five - and then at six they all meet up with the coalition of resistance.

    I cant go as not brill at the moment but I am going to find out if there is anything at Sheffield going on, there used to be with the anti war marches - often on the day of the big marches there would be smaller ones in Sheffield and Manchester etc, etc.

    Also wrote to my MP for what good it will do demanding he fight these reforms.

    Four derbyshire claimants are staging an occupation outside the DWp on the 14th October. All four were medically retired by Atos from their employers - three were retired from the royal mail and one was told by Atos that 'he will in all probability never be able to work again'. A few weeks later Atos claimed he was fit for work under the ESA test. This is really serious stuff. I mean this company seems to be committing out and out fraud.

    Chucking people off the books for companies who want sick employees gone and then declaring them fit for work for the DWP. It is breathtaking in its bare faced cheek.

    Gonna put something up on Waddya about it.

    Atomboy - re your note about The Indy and The Telegraph - yep disus is good to use - just on The Telegraph you have to rub shoulders with people who make Thatcher look like a communist!

  49. Watched PMQ for about a minute. Who's got the most slapable face? Dave or Ed?
    Too close to tell, for me; Dave only clinches it because he is a tory. Although Ed deserves it because it looks like a seagull has dropped one on his hair.

    Disraeli and Gladstone were fairly ugly, but at least they had some ideas about what to do. These two might as well not exist.

  50. Furthermore, now the plan to sell off Royal Mail..... good on yer Vince, you're looking more and more like a Tory fucker with each passing day.


    THanks for the heads up re: demos, not that it will do any good, expect Terrosim legislation to be enacted to keep all us little people compliant not to mention not a whisper of protests will be heard on the mainstream media..... yes, we're all happy little bunnies here in good old Blighty.

  51. This is really unfair and I quite hate myself for doing it, but it has to be said: I hope Ed doesn't have to ask for the release of Samson the Sadducee Strangler, or Silus the Assyrian Assassin.

  52. Yep La Rit we are. And even if there was a big demo it would be hardly reported - the media never bothered to report on the many sick and disabled people who made the huge effort to travel to Birmingham and demonstrate at the Tory pary conference.

    I feel like I need to move to France pronto. I fucking hate this country!

  53. princesschipchops

    Re: Telegraph and Independent

    I'm not sure what you say about the "Torygraph" is altogether true any more.

    Sometimes, it is far more broadminded and showing a social conscience than CiF and The Guardian.

    The last thing I posted on there - whether Hewlett Packard is using cheaper imported labour in the UK to suppress wages - did not have many comments but they were all sympathetic to the workers and their plight.

    Some articles get hundreds of comments.

    This is worth looking at. America's new poor: the end of the middle-class dream

    Again, almost universally good comments, apart from the odd bizarre barker.

    I think people are finally getting terrified.

  54. Princess:

    There has been a consistent news blackout going on in this country for years. No wonder no-one knows where to turn, I don't know if I want to stick around and see this country turn in to a full Mini-Me USA with mass ghettos and devastated cities.... it's going to get very ugly indeed.

    After being up Sweden for the weekend, it's not necessarily a country I'd necessarily choose to live in, but my god, anywhere looks appealing at this moment in time. I'm not sure what to do in the future, because I love this country but I am very fearful.

    Sorry to hear you're not 100% at the moment ;(

  55. Atomboy - Yeah I think you are right re the Torygraph when it comes to news articles and the finance section - some really good comments to be found there but I often find if you venture below the line of any of the big comments politics pieces you often feel rather dirty. Lots of 'dole scum' comments abounding - bit like the Mail. I think it depends where on the Torygraph you go.

    LaRit - I love the country but bloody hate the political landscape and the media etc. I was watching France 24 yesterday and just thinking I would fit in so much better there politically - something like 67% of the population support the strikes and the demos. Can you imagine that here! This country is a nasty little, right wing ghetto.

    However I do love many other things about the UK. I love how there is not the same religious and family pressures as in so many European countries. I like the sense of humour and the individual freedom that you don't seem to get as much in some other places. I love the landscape too.

    But I think that the UK is starting to look very nasty indeed. I would probably settle for Scotland if I could get a job there they seem a bit better.

  56. I agree with AB that the other papers can be a sea of calm compared to the bile I see a lot of on CiF. I also look in the for financial stuff at the commentary on the FT. There are some thoughtful comments there from people all over the world.

    But as PCC says 'Red Ed' - what a joke if it were not so desperate.

    Can I bring the submarines in again? I recall a really good documentary some years back about a Soviet vessel that had a problem with the nuclear reactor. the surviving officer wept when he described how he had to ask a crew member to do a job welding pipes that was certain to be fatal. Riveting stuff.

  57. princesschipchops

    Please do not think I am trying to pick apart everything you say - I'm not - but "Lots of 'dole scum' comments abounding - bit like the Mail" seems to apply just as much to CiF.

    Anyway, thanks for the post on WADDYA re Atos. Any more details or links on that one about fit/unfit?

    La Rit

    "I don't know if I want to stick around and see this country turn in to a full Mini-Me USA with mass ghettos and devastated cities...."

    Look at the link I posted above and you will notice that a lot of the Americans there seem to be waking up from the dream to find that they have been beaten up and robbed, then thrown from their homes and into the gutter and then, in order to salvage something from their broken lives, have discovered that they are living, Trumann Show-like, through a bizarre re-run of those jerky black and white films where men queued up at docks and factories to beg for one day's work to feed their families.

    Then we have the Three Daves and the Neo Nasties telling us "We are all in this together."

    Those words should be carved on a gravestone and it should be smashed with a sledgehammer into pieces about the size of peas and they should be fed to Cameron, Clegg and Osborne.

  58. @Princess

    As Call-me-Dave said, "The Britain we all want is just over the horizon."

    That'd be France, then. :-)

  59. Evening all

    Red Ed my arse.

    When you have got all three parties embracing TINA so lasciviously, there is no fucking hope for any of us.


  60. AtomBoy

    It's a very good article - have just been reading through the comments.

    It follows on from the programme I saw a few weeks ago about this very thing, not only are 6 million Americans now living below the poverty line, but around a third of the total population are dependant on food handouts - every time I've mentioned it on CiF, some posters have been saying I'm nuts/lying/imagining things - point blank refusing to see the connection!! The fucking fools.

    Even when it's staring them in the face, they cannot face the facts of what is happening here.....

    Paul Mason could be describing the UK here:

    The credit system, having created the crisis, compounds the agony: the "payday loan" stores – shameless and neon amid the closed-down high streets – do brisk business

    and surely this describes the current policies of the bunch of thugs in power:

    Meanwhile, some states have begun a race to the bottom: slashing welfare, labour regulations and local taxes to attract investment

    Only in the case of part-nationalised bank Lloyds, 'attracting investment' means spending millions on advertising since the blip of the 'credit crisis' telling us it's "for the journey" - peddling the unrealisable dream that the cosy, white middle class lifestyle where no 'dark-skinned immigrants' sully the beauty of the quiet village life in the Lloyds La-La Land.

    The fantasy where 'the lads' play football on a Sunday afternoon, where little darling, very talented Amber gets to go to Ballet School and fulfill her dream and where the little Wifey (ever the spendthrift) wants a £1,000 baby buggy for sprog no. 2 and where your local Bank Manager is 'there to help' as he waves a cheery 'hello' from his pushbike on his way to work just for you.

    The reality is, having been bailed out by us, they're now laying off thousands of workers and relocating to India where labour is cheap as chips and the jolly Bank Manager would have a hard job cycling to work to service Mr and Mrs Middle Class Fantasy Land.

  61. PS - Just heard Jon Snow get REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THE RESCUES FROM THE MINE on Channel4 News!!!!! ;-)

  62. On Sunday night a Tony Parsons show was broadcast, and one of the audience – a young, strong and healthy chap – was asked what made him angry, and he declared – people who abuse benefits – and T.P. announces – people on benefits – LOUD cheers from the audience – immediately followed by a mention that we have 2.5 million on Incapacity Benefit in this country. Why is this the group singled out?

    First it’s those who abuse the system – in reality a small point-something percentage – which then becomes all people on benefits are abusing the system – which then gets focused on the Incapacity claimants as abusers of the system.

    A powerful and well orchestrated propaganda machine (run by the usual set of millionaires and billionaires) have made the sick and disabled objects of acceptable social hate and abuse. That is, those who are in the weakest position to fight back – those the very furthest away from having any influence or involvement in the economic crash. To take the focus away from the real fraudsters?

    When what needs advertising are the BIG benefit thieves - milking huge amounts of the taxpayers’ money in various dubious ways, and then avoiding paying tax on it. Why can’t the U.K. wake up?

    Many on Incapacity now live in fear – the public are being encouraged to report them to the DWP if they are seen doing – anything. If they are able to write a defence, they are fit to work. If they are able to walk into a medical assessment centre – they are fit for work. If they are able to watch tv or use a computer, even if lying down painfully, they are fit to work... and so on.

    And maybe that would often be so, if it were flexible and they had the right support, but that all costs, so it’s cheaper to pretend they’re fine really – just putting it on; and then blame them for not getting a job (not available to them).

    As for Steven Hawkins, his work is unique and entirely cerebral. How many people on benefit are capable of very advanced theoretical physics? How many severely disabled persons are able to have his high level of support around the clock? His case is quoted as if he does his 'work' all by himself. All misrepresentation, as usual.

    Yes, occasionally an individual will manage to defy all of the odds, but that doesn’t mean that the odds have lessened.

    So here we are with all three main parties and most of the press (with only weak socialist posturising stuff from the Guarn), making sure the general public aren’t hearing about what’s really happening, or how huge are the amounts of their tax going to filling the coffers of those overseeing all of these programmes to remove everything from those who have the least.

    Not that there’s any evidence that the general population have any interest in thinking for themselves or care about it much. The consensus is - we agree totally with removing other people’s benefits, and in no way with any of our benefits being removed.

    This really is becoming a frightening society, and the CameronCleggMiliband clones are not what I want to see on my horizon.

  63. The amount HMRC has demanded from UK taxpayers due to mistakes in the PAYE system - £2 billion.

    The further amount George Osbourne wants to cut from the UK's welfare bill - £4 billion

    The amount of tax Vodafone now doesn't have to pay: - £6 billion.

    Andy Halford, Vodaphone’s financial director, has been advising George Osbourne on corporate tax.

  64. Montana

    Thanks. as it happens, that isn't it. I may have read it somewhere else..but as a matter of fact, yours is much better so much obliged.

  65. evening all


    I lurk a little but not at 6am...are you mad!!???!!

    Hope all are well....I've been busy planning the downfall of berlusconi...not that there needs to be much of a plan......

    nice piece by ariel dorfman in the graun on the miners, not gushy.....

  66. Gandolfo:

    Hello (big wave!)

    Will Look up the Ariel Dorfman piece ;)

    Was interested to hear that one of the rescued miners had been conducting a campaign about the lack of safety in Chilean Gold and Copper mines.....

  67. Gandolfo:

    I have also recently read (out of curiosity, I admit) Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne.... this would have fitted....

  68. moonwave,

    good posts.

    Apropos of nothing, here's the London tube map renamed with a football theme

    Night all.

  69. LaRit

    I think the families have united to sue the company and the chilean government has frozen the company's assets so there will be less trouble for them claiming compensation....good move
    I wonder whether oprah will give 'em a spot...and where is max clifford????

  70. LaRit
    well I did think I should stop moaning about the sweaty, dark and seedy roman underground this afternoon..... imagine being trapped down there? they've been building the 3rd metro line for about 10 years and are still building....stop every few months to do an archeological survey.....imagine if they had to rescue someone take bloody years......

  71. Hey gandolfo

    Long time no see.Hope yer well!

  72. hey paul!

    yer I'm good.....i'm working full out so I shouldn't complain......how are things?

  73. Gandolfo

    *adopts stern parental voice*

    Was getting really worried about you.
    Had to search The Guardian to check you'd posted there recently, otherwise, I'd have had to send my 'associates' out to look for you.

    Now, don't you do that again, d'you hear me....

  74. Hiya Gandolfo!

    *braindead, off to bed...*

  75. james....
    I told ya "mates" to tell you I was ok......bloody unreliable those milan types......
    what did you think..... I was wearing a pair of cement boots somewhere or waking up with a horses head on me pillow....???!!

    hows things?

  76. ...are you mad!!???!!

    Yes, I probably am. Still, I got you to de-lurk, so at least it's useful madness.

  77. Hi montana......doesn't take much to lure me out!!madness has its uses...;) night all..

  78. Gandolfo,


    Well, I did wonder if maybe you'd made one too many jokes about the 'great one', and been dealt with accordingly.

    (But more because you said just before you disappeared that you'd been unwell, so was thinking that perhaps it'd got worse!!)

    I'm obviously a bit of a worrier with too much time on his hands, with associates that are rubbish at passing on messages.....


  79. Moonwave

    Hello (and waves)

    Second the Duke's comment - good posts.

    Sorry, didnae mean to ignore you.... wanted to respond but had spent so long wringing my brain dry posting whilst in a kind of mad frenzy of thought and frustration of pre-mod, I had to retire for a wee while ;(


    well I did think I should stop moaning about the sweaty, dark and seedy roman underground this afternoon..... imagine being trapped down there?

    I have been - most of the clubs I used to go to had curved dancefloors from which there was no escape from the beat ... even by tube ;-)

    Hiya James btw ;)

  80. Hello everyone: the stitch up is more or less complete. Simon Hughes is on Newsnight tying himself in knots in an effort to defend the Lib Dem U-turn on tuition fees so we are effectivley in a de-facto one party State which all three parties are complicit in.

    I've no doubt Peter Bracken will accuse me of "preposterous hyperbole" but "totalitarianism" isn't sold as a package. It creeps in through the back door whilst no one is looking. Incremental steps like shredding the writ of "habeous corpus" and installing cctv cameras are sold under the platitude that "if you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide"

    I could be wrong but I think that is a slogan borrowed from the Gestapo!

    I always knew there was a lot of shit going on and i primed myself to deal with it, confident that I wouldn't be turned over and even if I was it would be my fault and I would take responsibilty for it.

    However that was before I became a father and my responsibilty for me transferred to a responsibilty for my daughter.

    The transition from knowing "shit happens" and working out how to deal with it to working out why "shit happens" and how to tackle the causes is a big leap and a huge challenge but my daughter deserves nothing less.

    I don't know all the answers but I'm very grate ful for posters on this site who have given me food for thought and furthermore cut me some slack for posting some crap now and again!

  81. Hi Gandopho, James, LaRit, Moonwave, Montana, and everyone else I have not said hi to.

    Thanks to the Graun giving away a film download last Sunday, I have discovered a website called blinkbox.com. Dunno if it would work overseas, but if you look in the TV section and click on the Free button at the top, there are heaps of series you can watch on the intarwebz for nowt.

    I have so far devoured about three different series in the last two days and having been paying much attention here, so I do apologise.

    Also been arguing about feminism with Angie124 on waddya, whose "voice" sounds familiar, although I can't quite place her...

    Paul, if you are still around, Martyn has just made the nicest apology to you on waddya, which took a lot of guts imo.

  82. Chekov

    Parenthood changes everything, doesn't it?

    And I too worry what sort of dystopia is lying in wait for my son in ten or twenty years' time.

    You are right that it sneaks up on us. I can't remember who it was that said - or maybe I am just making it up - that it is not so much the stomp of the jackboot we need to fear as the swoosh of the fountain pain in Whitehall.

  83. Fountain pain?

    Freudian slips R us?

  84. "Fountain pain"

    Try google image...



    @Chekhov. yep, saw that - Hughes looked genuinely disturbed didn't he ?!!

    The first chink in the Lib Dem armour ... I'll give them two to five years.

  85. BW

    What date is your gig in Leam? I am hoping to come up for it, and might try and persuade the lad to come as well.

  86. Martyn

    I've just picked up your post on waddya.It was a long time coming but i appreciate and accept it.It takes guts to make a public apology so kudos to you for doing so.I'm now happy to draw a line under what happened.Hope your dental problems sort themselves out.Take care.

    psNone of my business but it might help clear the air with MF if you apologize for crossing the line with him.Obviously that's your decision to make.

  87. So here I am, all alone, trying to anaesthetise myself with hot toddies so I can get something resembling a full night's sleep for the first time since Friday, and all you buggers have disappeared.

    I have no choice but to inflict some Underworld on you.

    Although I am feeling generous and will make it something soft and jazzy and nice.

    Best Mamgu Ever

    With fond wishes to Annetan - Mamgu is Grandma in Welsh, if my memory serves...

  88. You're all so much nicer than I am. When I saw Martyn's apology, my reaction was to point out to him that Paul's race is somewhat irrelevant -- he used an ugly, hate-filled word for which there is never an acceptable occasion in 2010.

    So, while it's lovely that he apologised, I'm still finding it hard not to think of him as an ugly* little hypocrite.

    *that is not a reference to his physical appearance, it's his character that I find ugly.

  89. Montana Wildhack said...

    You're all so much nicer than I am. When I saw Martyn's apology, my reaction was to point out to him that Paul's race is somewhat irrelevant -- he used an ugly, hate-filled word for which there is never an acceptable occasion in 2010.

    So, while it's lovely that he apologised, I'm still finding it hard not to think of him as an ugly* little hypocrite.

    *that is not a reference to his physical appearance, it's his character that I find ugly.
    14 October, 2010 03:07