08 November 2010


If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal.
-Emma Goldman


  1. Another post from Moonwave that got saved from the spam bin too late for anyone to see it yesterday (reproducing MW's formatting for clarity):
    moonwave said...

    I've made it onto the blog! - see what happens with this one...


    “They meet people. They follow a work routine. They dispense with the tedium of day time soaps (or whatever captures their usual daytime attention). They do something productive. they might even enjoy the structure it affords.”

    We’re talking about bankers, right?

    We're back to concepts of usefulness - good rejoinder.

    I get so very bored with this myth that if you’re not in employment you’re sitting around watching t.v. all day and doing nothing of use. While that must happen here and there, it’s my experience that people kind of develop their own alternative usefulnesses and involvements and structures – do meet people – knew people already anyway - do help one another – and often fill the gaps of society; but have to do it very quietly, because of the rubbish regulations about how you mustn’t be seen to be doing anything – will remove benefits – then must be forced to be doing something to be seen to be doing something – that is, for them to be seen to be doing something – or will remove benefits – and then still not ending up with an actual job whatever.

    It doesn’t help the mood – doesn't help confidence - doesn’t help a darn thing.

    Mixing up all of the people who have worked and want to work with those minority who have never worked at all – and then maybe not from choice – with all that could cope perfectly well with a job is a part of the propaganda machine.

    It is true that most of those who I know in unemployment are older workers – not layabouts – who are used to structures and being a part of their society – so don’t need to be taught anything about it – being as they know far more about it than the some-twat or battery-run-out-girl talking down to them. They just want a job!

    I mean – sending men (or women) in their fifties (or even sixties) – a growing percentage of the unemployed - to do ‘work experience’ – come off it.

    PeterJ - The proposal might even kill off those that work and claim benefits - no bad thing, eh?

    It would be a very good thing indeed - for employers to pay people properly and not to hold out their hand to the taxpayer to make up the wages of their full-time workers on such a low wage that they remain on benefits whatever – sometimes even with working more than a 40-hour week.

    Bring it on.


    Of course the poor have often worked longer and harder and done grottier things, with little opportunity for anything else – bad enough, but, yes, they did indeed still have their social dignity – so taking away their dignity was even worse – Wickedness, when it’s done on purpose, and that’s the process Thatcher started – with intent.

    IDS doesn’t know a thing – his department couldn't put together a daisy chain. I’ll say it again, as there are a lot of points here today – being made to work for benefits is already happening – is already undermining the job market steadily – it’s happened and is happening within my family and community – before my eyes.

    Many waged jobs are ceasing to exist – but not the jobs – because now they can get ‘volunteers’ to do them.

    The problem with many of those they send to the charity shops is that they have ‘learning difficulties’. I use charity shops a lot, and some of the ‘staff’, along with the old ladies, are basicly mentally handicapped or obviously socially inadequate. They must need a lot of supervision – it’s not their fault – it’s having them piled in with everyone else. They need proper support – not a pretend that this is going to get them a job.

    Real jobs - not pretend jobs, or people whose job is pretending to get people jobs - that's what this country needs.
    07 November, 2010 19:14

  2. Morning all, have a bit of poetry for a stormy Monday, I stumbled across this from a Cornish writer over the weekend:

    I don't know whether to cry or scream.
    Weird thing is, in a while things will be fine
    It'll be hours before this happens again.
    And the lights on the modem are always lit up
    the way they should be.
    I don't get it.
    Yep. Now that you've given up on me,
    things are going to be fine.

  3. @hevers, that book I referred to is:

    Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets, Nassim Nicholas Taleb. He also did the Black Swan book which is frequently referenced.

    This point of chance and success was convincingly demonstrated by the magician/illusionist Derren Brown on TV a while back. He had several people bet on the horses and basically said he had a 'scheme' that would guarantee a win at all times. He was upfront about how the whole thing relied on chance and some individuals will win every time...until they don't of course but is nothing to do with the person, pure chance. This is what gets me about those guys who claim to 'make their own luck' yes right...

  4. morning

    Interesting discussion on Start the Week about economics, anthropology and the gold standard - worth catching on iplayer if you missed it.

    For Bob Dylan fans

    Bob Dylan After the Fall

  5. Beautiful poem Habib, did you find it on the page, or from the screen? Not that it should mater but the madem ref made me wonder?

    Here's one from school, we didn't study it, but it was in the set text book.

    The Lesson

    A tree enters and says with a bow:
    I am a tree.
    A black tear falls from the sky and says:
    I am a bird.

    Down a spiders web
    something like love
    comes near
    and says:
    I am silence.

    But by the blackboard sprawls
    A national democratic
    horse in his waistcoat
    and repeats,
    pricking his ears on every side,
    repeats and repeats
    I am the engine of history
    we all
    the fighters' wrath.

    Under the classroom door
    a thin stream of blood.

    For here begins
    the massacre
    of the innocents.

    (Trans. I. Milner & G. Theiner)

  6. Thanks very much for that, Ian. Yes, I've seen the Black Swan come up in a few debates but have yet to read it.

    I recall PB talking about his work o here a little while ago, and the management of risk. And I think yeah, he had a point.

    You can do a lot, in the world of finance, and business, to cover against bad outcomes. In finance, with lots of repeatable transactions, you can have a stab at estimating risk, and you can hedge, and use a portfolio strategy so that if you take a hit in one area, you still have the others.

    And yeah, that's sensible stuff, but of course, it does rather depend on two things.

    Firstly, he's dealing more directly with money, which because flexible, you can deploy in lots of different ways, buy lots of different assets, stocks, currencies, whatever.

    Many people, however, do not deal directly with money, but produce a paricular thing, whether it's a business producing widgets, or providing a particular service, whether it's being a teacher, or a catering company.

    Now sure, even those people, over time, may manage through their specialism, to build up assets and cash to deploy in a diversified fashion.

    But more early on, you are much more vulnerable. Take the case of Lord Alan Sugar. It's pretty obvious he has a shrewd head for business. But even he took a big hit on the computers thing, when the hard drives started packing up, and it effectively wrecked the brand in computers.

    Now, this happened after about TWO DECADES of business experience. And the error, as he put it himself, was that they didn't do much qualification. Testing parts from suppliers to be sure they were reliable.

    Now, as it happens, by the time he took this hit, he'd made a lot from computing, but also had other strong product lines, such as consumer audio. And he could leverage his business experience to secure the contract to make set top boxes for Sky.

    So the disaster with the hard drives did not take him down. Because he had already had some success he could rely on as back-up, and had some diversification.

    But had this kind of mistake happened earlier in the life of the business, when he was just making turntable covers and trying to branch out into hifi...

    And that's kinda the point. For a lot of people, earlier in their careers, before they have had the time/opportunity/resources to be in a position to sufficiently manage risk, if the bad luck falls earier, then it can be pretty crippling.

  7. And as in business, so in life hevers. Sam Clemment's autobiography on r4 now, a good post storm morn. Off to be a char. L8rs all : )

  8. morning all.

    oddd email received this morning. apparently, one of my ATL offerings (the sandwich one) has been syndicated - I am to expect money! (imagining - in the region of £2,50, but hell, every little counts).

    thing is, given the confusion on the original thread, and the editing cock-up for the reprint in Weekly, am a bit worried that they don't realise it was supposed to be funny.

    because if not this could seriously confuse German speakers taking their C2...

    anyway. given new job, am learning a lot about business sectors that I never knew existed (or at least, not to such an extent). there's thousands of 'business development consultants', and 'social media strategists', and 'web analytics agencies' out there. Now, I realise that having 'another set of eyes' going over your plans or your figures is a good thingg, avoids 'received wisdom' etc etc, but (at least in my experience of seeing what happened when my old firm brought in some of this sort of thing) if the advice comes from an outsider, they can miss the basic point of the business. you need a balance. and i would hazard a guess that this is all stuff that could be done in-house.

    'management speak' rightly takes a kicking for being an abomination of language, but i think it's more than 'being different'. it's an attempt to exclude. an attempt to make something actually quite simple look really really difficult, so people think they need an 'expert' and can't do it themselves.

    i mean, google analytics is free, and anyone can use it. all this talk of 'synergistic cross-platform ideation' is just meant to scare people away from doing it themselves.

    this is making work for no point, in a lot of cases...

    that's the part of the service industry that narks me most...

  9. A belated welcome hevers - very interesting posts.

    Sugar, if I understood it correctly, now makes a lot of his money from from property development/speculation.....

    Always worth noting that one of Britain's richest, Gerald Grosvenor (aka Westminster Duke) always does well out of ...................property and land. Oh and accountants and tax lawyers.

    I'm told you cant go wrong with land - they ain't making any more!


  10. Congrats Philippa! Is that a German newspaper picked up your piece?

    Don't get me started on Business Bullshit.

    Quotes from real life managers

    As of tomorrow, employees will only be able to access the building using individual security cards. Pictures will be taken next Wednesday and employees will receive their cards iin two weeks. (Fred Dales at Microsoft in Redmond, WA.)

    What I need is a list of specific unknown problems we will encounter. (Lykes Lines Shipping)

    E-mail is not to be used to pass on information or data. It should be used only for company business (Accounting manager, Electric Boat Company)

    This project is so important, we can't let things that are more important interfere with it. (Advertising/Marketing manager, United Parcel Service)

    Doing it right is no excuse for not meeting the schedule. No one will believe you solved this problem in one day! We've been working on it for months. Now, go act busy for a few weeks and I'll let you know when it's time to tell them. (R&D supervisor, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing/3M Corp.)

    Quote from the Boss: "Teamwork is a lot of people doing what I say." (Marketing executive, Citrix Corporation)

    We recently received a memo from senior management saying:
    "This is to inform you that a memo will be issued today regarding the subject mentioned above." (Microsoft, Legal Affairs Division)

    One day my Boss asked for a status report concerning a project I was working on. I asked him if tomorrow would be soon enough. He said "If I wanted it tomorrow, I would have waited until tomorrow to ask for it!" (New business manager, Hallmark Greeting Cards.)
    "The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?" --David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urging for investment in the radio in the 1920s

    Tom Shelley

    This material is protected by Findlay Media copyright 2010.
    See Terms and Conditions.
    One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not.
    For multiple copies contact the sales team.

  11. very interesting video piece up from Helene Cixous about the problems in France, here.

    she starts with gender issues but at 2.45 goes onto the broader problems - Sarko "cutting the budget on the poorer classes who have worked for the wealthy". worth a look.

  12. turm - a language textbook for Germans learning English, scarily. level C2! (that's the highest *polishes fingernails* so hopefully they wont' take it seriously! but the G-woman is checking...)

  13. Harsh copyright warning kinda makes it less funny...

  14. Well done PhilB!

    Your spot on about management speak too!

  15. You VILL have them rolling in the aisles! : )

  16. turm - and the fact that whenevr you refresh page to see the ocmments, the 'bing bong' noise kicks in and the vid starts all over again!

    automatic loading is not always a good thing...

    deano - hello! pictures now dry, am going to hide them ina cupboard until Christmas...

  17. ........and at the bar, the sandwich bar

  18. stupid extrapolations hit sports reporting check and check

    Owen Hargreaves may have had anxiety attack, says United manager

    actual quote from manager:
    "It is possibly because of a lack of match fitness," said Ferguson ... "Maybe a bit of anxiety at playing his first game had a bit to do with it, too."

    now, I've had a fair few anxiety attacks in my life, they didn't normally involve me starting to limp.

  19. @hevers

    Actually, Sugar's fall in the computer business had other roots than technical failures. His original success came from the idea of bundling low-technology adequate machines for a price others didn't want to match, a price managed by doing things that other computer makers considered suicidal. For example, the original Amstrad WP machine used 3in Hitachi-Maxell floppy drives that nobody else used, and came from a single factory that was on the brink of closing down but for Amstrad's orders. Likewise, the original PC was not an IBM clone in its first incarnation, something considered essential by everyone else.

    But the fall came when Sugar believed that he controlled the PC business in the UK, and that a large market share of low-powered machines was better than a smaller share of the new market for high-powered machines running 32-bit Windows 3.0. So he launched a new line of 16-bit machines just as the market shifted, and his sales disappeared. Sugar never did believe he'd got it wrong, although many of us told him often enough.

    There are other examples of that kind of hubris in the computer business wherever you look, particularly in the great Internet boom of the late 1990s. Everybody involved in the industry itself, apart from those raking in the speculative venture money, told the City people that it was madness valuing rubbish companies like WebVan higher than British Airways on the stock market. But it was us in the industry who got the sack when the bubble inevitably burst.

  20. Exhibition in London in response to the murders of hundreds of women in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.

    400 women

    Theories as to why these murders continue range from serial killers to organ fielding, the use of women as prizes for the drug cartels, and the escalating problem of domestic violence. Most sinister of all is the possibility of so-called sexual violence tourism.

    Sexual violence tourism? Jesus wept.


    Will gird my loins and watch that Cisoux video...

  21. Reading Jackie Ashley's ambiguous piece about workfare, I was wondering whether she'd been a promoter of Workhouse Purnell at the time of the Brown leadership crisis a couple of years back, as some Guardian hacks were. It turns out that she wasn't, particularly. But I did find this:

    "In welfare, equally, it seems clear enough that for all his image as a Blairite boot boy, James Purnell recognises that the current climate means he cannot clobber people on benefits, or force them into inappropriate jobs. He is tightening up the system, and rightly offering more training, but has stayed well clear of the time-limited benefits urged on him by the rightwing press. He has big questions to answer this week, and I don't like all I hear about young mothers, or people with disabilities; but this is hardly neo-Thatcherism."

    She doesn't seem quite so certain about this in her piece today.

  22. In case anyone missed this,

    here is the recently published UN 2010 Human Development Index, a multiple component index which measures the development of the Sovereign nations of the world.

    The UK lies in 26th place, only Portugal lies lower from the Western European countries. If you click on the link, it gives you some of the headline figures but each country is measured with nearly 200 different development indicators.

    The UN were asked the underlying reasons why the UK lay so low on the table. They weren't sure so they contacted the UK Govt who told them

    "it was the workshy, lazy people and disabled people wot dun it."

  23. A fine piece from Redminer on the Ashley thread (575+ deserved recommends):-

    7 November 2010 9:11PM

    So this is what we have come to?

    The dreams of the last century, that increased mechanisation and automation would lead to increased leisure time for the masses, relieved of the drudgery and sheer mindlessness of much unskilled work. Instead, compounded by the outsourcing of jobs and the influx of cheap immigrant workers, the best the 21st century can come up is forced labour at slave wage levels, extended working hours, and the age of retirement heading for 70. So with the stroke of IDS's pen, we go from an economic strategy that deliberately creates mass unemployment to one that deliberately creates cheap labour. Brilliant. There's an honour in this for you, Ian, rehabilitation, glory, a statue.

    My God, my ancestors will be turning in their graves. The Tories are finally realising what they have long dreamed of - throughout the years of the post-war settlement, they moodily incubated a determination to reverse the social and economic gains fought for and won by people of unparalleled toughness and determination, people who took on the might of privilege and wealth and defeated it. This is the New Tory moment; this when they come out from behind their cosmetic masks of reasonableness and fairness and social concern and display their true dark hearts before the world.

    But I reserve my greatest contempt for those of us on the left; this is all happening on our watch. We betray those people I mentioned above, who vanquished the landowners and the factory and coal owners. And what are WE up against? a couple of Bullingdon hooray-henries and a leadership reject with the political acumen of petrified bird droppings . But the neoliberal apologists and careerist politicians that have infested the Labour Movement see only the votes of bigoted Middle Englanders and the ignorant Sun reading dross that posts here waiting to be harvested. The latter busy calling for their own enslavement, too ignorant or misinformed to notice the turkey staring back at them in the mirror of a Christmas Morning. And in the new Dark Age heralded in by IDS, every morning will be Christmas Morning for the beneficiaries, the businesses who will exploit this measure to access free labour, the talk of charities being a transparent smoke screen to hide the fundamental dismantling of the human right for a fair day's pay for a fair day's work.

    Make no mistake, this is just the beginning. Anyone who thinks that once the principle of unpaid labour has breached the social repugnance it generates that it will stop at a month's work for 'idlers' is the kind of fool the Tories are relying on get this through. These are the descendants of people who built vast fortunes and empires on the sweat and death of their factories and workhouses; they are past masters at dressing up inequality and evil in Protestant work ethics and biblical rhetoric denouncing the peril of idleness - except where it's practised in its purest forms of course, by digital fortune shufflers and land owning parasites drawing their subsidies while they indulge Mediterranean waves with their oversized cock-yachts.

    Shame, shame on us all. Tolstoy said everyone was innocent. I say everyone is guilty. And our children will never forgive us for allowing this to happen. The Tories talk of not saddling future generations with our debt; I think only of future generations facing the return of evils greater than any debt, that we had long thought banished from the lexicon of social intercourse and post war economics, all presented as some kind of economic panacea. Who is really 'taking the piss' here?

    No doublethink, no prevarication, no quarter.

    Either fight now or fuck off."

  24. Hail to Redminer! - thanks for posting it here Deano, I would have missed it otherwise.

  25. @deano

    I'm told you cant go wrong with land - they ain't making any more!

    With no real will to reduce short-term profit to deal with global warming, they're getting ready to destroy a lot of the limited quantity there is.

    A fabulous post from Redminer, thanks for that.

  26. explained the latest 'workfare' arse-flummery to the oisette last night. she had a think, and then said, "erm, mais ca c'est l'escalavage, non?"

    the situation is obvious even in a foreign language.

  27. work beckons - have a good day, all.

  28. ArecBalrin's comment on waddya at 5:06PM yesterday is hilarious and worth a trek over.

  29. Philippa, congratulations on the syndication!

    BB - hope you made it home all right yesterday - brilliant to see you again.

    Looks like the G is actually taking the cuts seriously now.

  30. Morning all,


    Well, if I was cynical, I'd maybe point out that the G is now taking them seriously, only after seeing that there's a 'market' for doing so.

    (I thought it was funny that they went with the whole 'we don't do campaigning, and people don't want it/let's wait and see' approach, while an article in the Indy seems to have helped inspire the backlash against vodafone.)

    Once again, Bravo Guardian....

  31. Afternoon me darlins

    Cold, damp and grumpy here. Southern Rail a total cock-up today - the wrong kind of rain, perhaps? Then G4S couldn't be bothered to produce my client for an immigration bail hearing due to "resources". Presumably they are all off killing deportees somewhere instead, due to the bad weather... And as it is privately-paid by the family, and as there are no costs awarded in the Immigration Tribunal, they will now have to stump up more money for another application. God I'm angry.

    Thaum - got home about 8.30 or so but then had even more work to do than anticipated. Thanks for a great day and for making me so welcome.

    BW - yesterday's gig was fab. Hope today goes as well as it can in the circs.

    Everyone else - I am going to look for a thread full of right wing trolls to vent my spleen on... biab.

  32. turminderxuss said...
    And as in business, so in life hevers. Sam Clemment's autobiography on r4 now, a good post storm morn. Off to be a char. L8rs all : )
    08 November, 2010 09:53

    I tried to catch hold of that on the live stream when I saw your heads up, but missed it and got Woman's Hour instead.

    So now I know that Pam Stevenson likes trying on all the frocks, and has come to appreciate the virtues of regular tanning and using blusher on a cleavage.

    However, later on there was a piece on the rise of women's bankruptcies, while mens' appear to be falling.

    This was partly put down to more women starting businesses, but also the rise of divorce in their forties, with more and more women winding up looking after the kids, running a home, and with managing debt burdens alone.

    Which goes to show that for a lot of people things can seem to be going fine, but just a divorce can screw things up. A divorce alongside illness and/or loss of job, even worse.

  33. deano30 said...

    A belated welcome hevers - very interesting posts.

    Sugar, if I understood it correctly, now makes a lot of his money from from property development/speculation.....

    Haha, yeah. He can now avoid the vagueries of fashion and cut-throat competition in the consumer electronics market and watch his assets grow in value.

    Which is nice...

  34. PeterJ said...

    Actually, Sugar's fall in the computer business had other roots than technical failures. His original success came from the idea of bundling low-technology adequate machines for a price others didn't want to match, a price managed by doing things that other computer makers considered suicidal. For example, the original Amstrad WP machine used 3in Hitachi-Maxell floppy drives that nobody else used, and came from a single factory that was on the brink of closing down but for Amstrad's orders. Likewise, the original PC was not an IBM clone in its first incarnation, something considered essential by everyone else.

    Well the original machines were rivals to the Acorn and Spectum and Commodore and so forth, the stuff for gamers and so on.

    Then he did the machine you are talking about, with the three inch drive, which yes, was not a PC clone, but was quite smart as it offered some business functionality in an all-in-one unit, using Locoscript which was relatively easy to use, and all at a good price with bundled printer.

    Point being, he made basic business functionality and word processing available to the consumer for a few hundred quid, when proper PCs cost a couple of grand.

    Proper PCs, had been aimed at the business world, with robust construction and metal cases. Having done his Locoscript machine, Sugar could apply the same cost-cutting to the PC-clone, slashing the price.

    So the truth is that the key to Sugar's strategy, where he had his big successes, was to identify areas where costs could be slashed.

    He did this early on, with the turntable covers, adopting a new process that could produce them cheaper and undercut others.

    Then with hifi, he realised that people tended to buy separate boxes for amplifier, tuner and cassette, with their own cases and power supplies etc., whereas you could build a unit with all functions more cheaply in one box with one power supply.

    Then he styled to look like a rack of separate components and stuck a glass door on the front. Of course, single power supplies compromise sound quality, but many didn't care...

    But the fall came when Sugar believed that he controlled the PC business in the UK, and that a large market share of low-powered machines was better than a smaller share of the new market for high-powered machines running 32-bit Windows 3.0. So he launched a new line of 16-bit machines just as the market shifted, and his sales disappeared. Sugar never did believe he'd got it wrong, although many of us told him often enough.

    Actually, Sugar continued in the PC business for many years, but the brand was trashed so he bought another computer company with a differet name: Viglen. The boss of which used to be one of the interviewers on the Apprentice.

    Of course, because of prior success, he was able to buy another company to continue, where others would not have had that option.

  35. The Mark Twain prog will be on later, it's the book of the week. Worth a listen. : )

  36. Turm

    The Mark Twain prog will be on later

    I heard it this morning - its going to be good....

  37. Turm

    Well, if I was cynical, I'd maybe point out that the G is now taking them seriously, only after seeing that there's a 'market' for doing so.

    No doubt you are right, but better late than never.

    BB - glad you got home all right and sorry for the crap day.


    So now I know that Pam Stevenson likes trying on all the frocks, and has come to appreciate the virtues of regular tanning and using blusher on a cleavage.

    Well, now I know why I don't listen to Women's Hour. What tripe.

  38. @hevers & @Peter J, interesting stuff about the Sugar history. I remember that stuff well but was lucky enough not to actually use them. I was the first person in my company to have a 386 AT PC - so that dates me a bit.

    @hevers, I forgot to mention the Taleb aspects leaked into that evil bod Rumsfield when he talked about unknown unknowns and known unknowns. Taleb said in an interview he didn't want to be associated with the likes of him. Not surprising is it.

    Can only post at home or very rarely at work, hence the lateness.

  39. kizbot claims on waddya I don't read any other blogs and I don't care what's said on them

    Can this really be true? Who is that Greek flag that pops up on the visitors monitor so regularly? And what about the regular Belgian visitor? Who could that be?

  40. Woman's Hour often has a good piece or two. But just as often it is a menace to women! :o)

  41. James - no me - Thaum, but top comment...

  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

  43. @hevers

    Yes, I think we're just filling in gaps in the same story... In the end, Sugar managed to poison the Viglen brand as well as his own, having already killed off Sinclair.

  44. Yeah me too.

    Nobody's playing out today, so....

    That Tony Blair, he's fucking ace, inni.
    Best PM ever, and best thing to happen to labour since, well, also ever.

    The Guardian's the fucking nuts too...

    And The Gua

  45. Above in response to monkeyfish.

    As far as I know, I had nothing to do with killing of Sinclair....

  46. Although I did once get really mad at my spectrum when it wouldn't load that egg game properly!!

  47. I knew the guy who developed and published Magic, the Gathering. It's a collectible card game, the precursor to Pokemon. He was a passionate fantasy role player, dice and lead soldiers kinda thing.

    Anyway, Magic was directly responsible for the demise of TSR (the company who published Dungeons & Dragons), Wizards of the Coast {the Magic publishers, do keep up} bought the remains of TSR, but it was never the same.

    You always kill the thing you love...

  48. (I've also no idea what the extra 'The Gua' is about either. Apologies)

  49. Turm,

    My best friend was a big 'Magic' player.

    (I, on the other hand, had a girlfriend!)

  50. @Thauma and BB
    To be fair, they did do the bankrupt thing on Women's Hour, and the plight of the women in Mexico. On the other hand, I switched off the stream after that....

    I'm more of a Mac man myself. I didn't get to use the 386/Windows 3.0 combo until a few years after it was released, and all I can say about it is "Urgh" and "Eh??"

    Yeah, Lord Alan had his best success when finding a way to slash costs... when it was more normal competing on features and stuff, a bit less edifying.

    And then... there's the emailer...

  51. @hevers

    I'm afraid I was at the Windows 1.0 launch in Las Vegas - you can spot me somewhere in the video at the Microsoft museum. Come to think of it, the 25th anniversary of that is coming up in ten days or so. But I've also been a Mac user since 1984, with an original autographed 128k machine somewhere in the loft..

  52. The idiot from Brussels enters the fray! To deny on waddya an accusation made on UT (while there was a Belgian flag).

    It's not as though we run over to UT to give them an earful - well I certainly don't. I haven't been on it since I left - not even to lurk. My info I get second hand and it comes from a number of sources. Frankly I can't be bothered unless the usual suspects come on here.

    Does anybody think that her 'sources' are the CIA lawyers that she used to work for in Brussels? You know, those guys who fought the cold war (sigh, I do miss it) and who spoke 15 languages and went to the opera every night and killed people in their sleep? (btw, some Russian spies are leaving messages on my answerphone - scream!)

    I'm not saying that brusselsexpats is a transvestite from Scunthorpe, because she is not, but she is a malicious, spiteful liar who does not have a life or friends, and should be pitied were she not so obnoxious and vicious.

    I assume that bru wil read this, or if she doesn't, then her hypocritical sidekick kizbot will and send her an Email.

    And I know that this might cause offence, but is anybody else fascinated by the on-line lesbian love affair between bru and kiz? It seems a bit one-sided to me, and a bit '5th form girls school', but it's gripping stuff when you read bru's waddya posts. I'm imaging bru as Joyce Grenfell and kiz as Scarlet Johannson in her late 40's.

  53. I seem to have become the UT PR agent on Whaddya for the day. Anyone got any good hooklines or slogans?

    Better a UT hug than a Glasgow kiss.

    Or is that too negative? :-)

  54. @Anon

    notsorabid has outed himself as a UT lurker from Belgium. So unless you think he's a bru alter ego (which doesn't even bear thinking about)...

  55. Penile taking a pasting on Whaddya from Meerkatjie. Fun.

  56. Hi Chekhov, how's it going?

    l/ a. Now chiefly formal. M17. [f. L veridicus, f. verum truth + dic- stem of dicere speak: see -AL1.] 1 Speaking or telling the truth, truthful; true or faithful to an original. M17. 2 Psychol. Of a perception, hallucination, etc.: coincident with, corresponding to, or representing real events or people. Now rare. L19.

    Take your pick!

  57. oh for fuck sake anon get a life, kissass

  58. Spike

    Better a UT hug than a Glasgow kiss.

    Ha ha, like it!

    Is it kicking off on Waddya again? Just trying to catch up with the weekend. Selfmademan's posts amusing, and then I can see where people got annoyed with penile. But, hey, whatevs *sigh*.

  59. No parodies, please, thauma - that's bullying.

  60. Just went on to CiF to have a look at Waddya, but saw that MartyninEurope's been awarded numero uno on the 1, 2, 3 whatsit, so took that as a sign to back. the. fuck. off.

  61. just came across this and thought thauma might enjoy it,,

    NZ rugby 1890

  62. Thanks, fariha, I was just trying to make a point, sorry if it bugged you.
    btw, I do have a life, and a pretty good one, actually. How about you?

  63. Hi Thaum. How's tricks? Hello to Tascia.

  64. mello all.....!

    sheff sorry to hear about your brother I really hope all turns out well...

    great stuff on U2...bloody soul destroying.. god the world is friggin desperate...I could tell some stories from here about the job market as well, it's enough to make you reach for a kalashnikov

    glad you all seem to have happily gigged out this weekend....one day........

    when I saw that number one on the 1,2,3 I very nearly lost the will too live.....symbolic of the graun.....

  65. 3p4 - thanks for that! Coverage looked a little bit more in-depth in those times. :-)

    Hiya Spike, all well here thanks! Took the day off to recover from BW's (fantastic) gig so it's been a Sunday-on-a-Monday; nice.

    Tascia is well and says hello - bastard is off tomorrow for 4 days in Spain.

    He is still harbouring some resentment against LaRit (prime suspect) for infecting him with the horrible lurgy. However he is resigned to calling it man-flu and getting on with it.

  66. Gandolfo,


    On the plus side though, it saved me from actually having to read some comments before I remembered why I don't really bother anymore.

    Every cloud and all that...

  67. cant complain, well except about the obvious, obviously

  68. Thanks Spike: err...so "truthful" then eh?
    I need a drink!!!!!!

  69. james

    I think I am becoming increasingly intolerant of bloody banal, laboured and facile posts on CiF to the extent that i really can't be arsed......but then again on the odd day when I have had to deal with public transport in rome I find it almost cathartic to be a sarcy bastard.........

  70. sold book!

    (tax book, not novel)

    (haven't finished novel)

    anyway. that, plus the £2.50 from the syndication, i'll be rich, I tell you, rich...


  71. Gandolfo,

    Yeah, finding the good posts in among all the crap has become increasingly difficult and time-consuming of late.

    I've even had to cut back on the sarky, 'what a shit article' comments now too, otherwise I'd never get anything done....

  72. Double congratulations, Phil - have a glass on me!

  73. Is there such a word as "veridiculous"?
    If not, there should be.

  74. Three cheers for Phlippa! Can't promise to be adding the title to my library list, mind.

  75. peterj - i wrote (bits of) it, and don't ever intend reading it. really. but that has paid for trip back to see family and friends at Christmas, which was otherwise going to be a bit of a stretch, so, hip hip for the lawyer clearly intending to claim for the full list price on his expenses and/or tax return.

    gor bless 'im.

  76. phillipa

    congrats.....alas I'm with peterj on the library list thang i'll wait for the novel......;)

    hi peterj how are things with you??

  77. oh and I forgot to mention "veridacity" which some one on Cif used as in; "not sure of the veridacity of your arguement" or summat like that.
    Is there such a word as "veridacity"?

  78. Evening all

    Well done Phil! And I am sure you will get more than £2.50 for the syndication. Sweet.

    Thaum - tell Tascia he's a lucky bugger. I am pissed off with the winter already after only one proper day of it.

    Wotcha Chekhov - thought we would see you yesterday in Leamington.

    MF - bored too. Playing minesweeper and watching Police Academy II. It really is that bad...

    Spike - I can't think of a suitable slogan either, but you were doing a fine job.

    Entente cordiale for all. With ice and a slice in mine, please...

  79. Ooh, and Turm, how ya doin', big yin?

    I haven't really been keeping up much and still haven't read your UT2 article yet, so I will tootle on over there right now!

  80. @gandolfo

    I am roughly OK, after a brief holiday round Galway Bay during which it rained. However, peat fires and the occasional large Powers did me good, I feel.

    Hope you are bearing up under Berlusconi.

  81. Go PB, Go PB, Go PB! ; )

    veridiculous, - the words of a politician. I don't believe it and neither do you...

  82. @chekhov

    'Veracity' is more common. 'Veridacity' sounds like something green.

  83. dunno about 'veridacity', but 'viridacity' could well mean 'green-ness'. emerald-y, if you will.

    reminds me of a cv received at old job, which mate (interviewing partner) showed me.

    some poor twonk had stressed their ability to ensure the "verity of statements".

    which i know is right, technically (if one was auditing in the 16th century, possibly in a shakespeare play), but did look bloody peculiar...

  84. Chekov
    veracity is the word.......means accuracy or precision or correctness comes from the latin vērus which means truth.....!

    wow feel like a dicktionary today........spend all day translating stuff,,,,,snore......turning into pen......duh

  85. peterj - snap!

    turminder - or someone slurring their words after enjoying the green room hospitality pre QT - that's just veridiculous...

  86. Comrade Redminer's classic post on the Ashley thread is approaching the well deserved 1000 recommends:

    Redminer almost 1000 not out

    If you ain't cast a vote yet you've still time...

  87. No bad, BB, have suspect ear infection, weird pressure, occasional pain, want to stick (iron) nail in lug. Quack at 8.30am so early night. Cheers for readin, Gandolfo also : )

  88. "Hope you are bearing up under Berlusconi."

    good to hear you're roughly ok peter... :)

    no longer being a nubile 17 year old I don't run the risk of literally being under berlusconi....oh life has given me this gift........however life ain't a bed of roses here but am awaiting the election.......if the bugger resigns which he won't.....

  89. OI!

    When I just posted a comment on UT2, it asked to copy the anti-spam word (can't remember the techie term for it) which was....


    Is someone trying to tell me something?

  90. Kim Stanley Robinson in Red/Green/Blue Mars books has a 'greenness' term, hang on, i'll wiki it; hmm no joy. I'll get back to youse. NN

  91. And hi to everyone else I have inadvertantly ignored today. Soz x

  92. RedMIner should replace Jackie Ashley ATL if you ask me.

    Amazing skills.

  93. The UT is like this place but they all curse a lot over there. Its like an old house where the embarrassing relatives are hidden away from prying eyes.

    But watch out. When they come for you, you need to be on top of your game.

    Ah, I'm fond of embarrassing relatives. I have so many.

    looks like we've pulled!

    If she plays her cards right, she could have me for a bag of Mintoes!

  94. you talkin' to me BB?!!!

  95. Gandolfo

    You and James and Ian and Peter and Deano and Sheff and whoever else is/was around.

    How ya doing?

  96. Who is cuntybawsmuthafukinjizfeltchincocksuckinarsebanitrysoapytitwankgodsknobtitinthemangle swearin?

  97. @gandolfo

    Roughly OK, yes... That's the thing with chronic diseases - they tend to go on and on and on.

    Like Berlusconi, really. :)

  98. PeterJ said...

    I'm afraid I was at the Windows 1.0 launch in Las Vegas - you can spot me somewhere in the video at the Microsoft museum. Come to think of it, the 25th anniversary of that is coming up in ten days or so.

    My sympathies on the Windows 1.0 thing (let's face it, it should have been called Windows 0.00002) but on the other hand, at least it was in Vegas.

    But I've also been a Mac user since 1984, with an original autographed 128k machine somewhere in the loft..

    OK, I'm trying not to be jealous. I didn't properly get to use a Mac till near the end of the decade. Before that it was the budget wannabe Mac, the Atari, and the wonders of GEM.

    And none of that was in Vegas, either.

  99. BB ;)
    fine thanks, half the country's underwater, mudslides,pompei falling down,rubbish piling up in naples, think there'll be an expulsion law coming thru soon like the french one, government existing only due to the arrogance of berlusco and only now have the left decided that something needs to be done........so nowt new.....

  100. peter
    lol....berlusconi is also contagious......the only way one can rationalise why people ever vote for him....

  101. Turm

    Mind your fucking language, you!

    Gandolfo - no change there then...

    We should make a list - a bit like a Chuck Norris list - of things that Berlusconi thinks liking girls is better than.

    I'll start it -

    "Liking girls is better than democracy"

  102. Liking girls is better than ordering assassination,
    or buying off one's own assassination.

  103. Without comment (currently on waddya):

    8 November 2010 9:54PM

    Sorry, Pen, but you don't seem to have addressed any of the points I've made. I've been polite and measured. I've asked about your phrasing because I find much of it obscure and confusing. I don't see anything wrong with asking whether you're trying to make a point by using terms like variance and degrees of freedom inappropriately. As a psychologist, I assume you're familiar with the proper use of them, and when you misuse them, I'm guessing you're trying to make a point of some kind, but the point is flying past me. I'm not sure why you're now becoming defensive, simply because I'm asking you questions.

    Perhaps you'd like to explore what constitutes a 'valid' theory, to go along with our discussion on the nature of truth. In the case of attribution theory, its failure to engage adequately with the complexity of group and intergroup dynamics, and sociopolitical contexts render it, I believe, not a particularly useful or helpful theoretical concept. Perhaps you could explain what you find 'valid' about it?"

  104. Liking girls is better than liking boys/dogs/toads and Manchester United.

  105. I'd best not get involved on the "liking girls" thing.


  106. Liking Girls is better than liking Cheri Booth or her husband .

  107. deano

    he actually said: Liking young girls is better than liking gays.......
    'nough said......

  108. Of course you can, Phil! :o)

    (Comment va l'oisette? Embrasse-la de ma part xx)

  109. I thought it was "Liking girls is better than being gay." ?!

  110. liking girls is better than having to take viagra (even though he said that he was a habitual user of both)

  111. Oooh Phlippa, you are awful!

  112. PhilB liking girls and poppies is something you and I have in common (fine taste you have if I may say so) how are you on lady librarians?

  113. Liking girls is better than being a binman in Naples.

    Oh, hang on, that's true.

  114. Deano

    Spot on with teh ManU

    Oh, I forgot to say


  115. "Meglio essere appassionati di belle ragazze che gay"

    yep sort of BB

    better to be passionate about beautiful girls than gay or to be gay

  116. Peter

    Are you chanelling Dick Emery?!

    Yes! I forgot all about him and his characters. He was brilliant.

  117. Evening folks.

    Over on the Open Door thread, which is about journalists using appropriate pronouns when reporting about trans people, we have the utterings of MAM & those who subscribe to the Bindel school of thought on transgender ie: 'they' are not 'real' women/men; and 'all men are rapists' anyway [and trans women are capable of rape as well, because they are really men and all men are rapists anyway].


    More than a 1000 recommends for rednorth/redminer?

    That's one 'eck of a post, from one 'eck of a (South) Yorkshire lad.

  118. BB liking Manchetser United is being gay

  119. "Liking girls is better than being gay."

    sheltered life, there.

    sheltered life.


  120. Chin a very fine post well worthy of the accolade.

  121. "the chief interests of man? air and light, the joy of
    having a body, the voluptuousness of looking."

    {Mario Rossi in the epigraph to the poem, Evening Without Angels.}

    I had this quote in 72pt on my wall a flat mate wrote an addition underneath, so it read;

    "the chief interests of man? air and light, the joy of
    having a body, the voluptuousness of looking At young boys arses" Bastard ruined it... up the wooden hill. nn

  122. NN Turm.

    MsChin - I will get over there.

    God, people can be vile, can't they? :(

  123. oh, christ, hae just seen the open door thread but have lready have had quite a lot of wine.

    how difficult is it to recognise how someone identifies, and go "Ok"


    Another reader wrote: "If a person is presenting as female, it is both polite and correct to call her she. I would hope we were beyond this 'really a man' nonsense by now, particularly in a newspaper with a reputation for progressive thought."


    may explode later on said thread....

  124. Hi BB and all, Just looking in again. Hevers, the PC was pre Windoze and used with various CAD packages I think and CL stuff. Have you guys looked in on the Affordable Housing thread by the lovely Caroline Lucas? Talk about pot-kettle-black or brass neck. The cheek of her after 13 long years of doing sweet FA on housing. She is getting a well deserved kicking but there are the usual right wing loons out as well.

    Agree RedMiners post was a classic. ATL you ask? no way Jose, too lefty by far.

    Nigh all.

  125. great response to a somewhat vacuous article of which I read the 1st paragraph: "dressed to disappoint" the shock horror globilisation of..........fashion
    1st comment:

    8 November 2010 10:03PM

    Never mind that bollocks, read this:

    RedMiner 7 November 2010 9:11PM So this is what we have come to?

  126. @BB

    Oi, watch it you! For once I supported your team yesterday (even though that Stevie G nicked my car stereo on his day off).

    And you, deano, are you being complimentary or homophobic?

    Park, Park wherever he may be,
    He eats dog in his own country,
    It could be worse, he could be Scouse
    Eating rat in a council house

    There you are, you've got me started...

  127. Is MAM a professional flamer, do you think?

    I have often wondered if s/he was paid by the Graun to be deliberately provocative on threads. I can't imagine anyone who is seemingly so intelligent, given their command of language, can really, in essence, be as thick as two short planks about so much stuff.

  128. @IanG

    The first 386 AT was a Compaq; lovely machine, 16 MHz, with the 82385 cache memory controller. Ran MS-DOS, and was sold for AutoCad and big Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheets. Ah, nostalgia.

    IBM didn't have a 386 box till the PS/2-A20 in 1987. I had a review one of those, the first in the UK, and broke it.

  129. MAM
    My opinion is the ultimate victimless crime

    crime = tiny
    victims = many


  130. (to the tune of Que Sera)
    Steve Gerrard Gerrard
    He's better than Frank Lampard
    He scores from 100 yards
    Steve Gerrard Gerrard!

  131. @spike

    He's fat
    He's red
    He'll take your gran to bed
    Wayne Rooney, Wayne Rooney.

  132. Homophobic Spike me? - what those consenting genteleman get up to in their own time is no concern of mine. If they don't want to do it with consenting lady librarians that's their business.

    It's calling it football and playing Murdoch's game that I complain about.

    Still we can all take pleasure at the Chelski result

  133. He's fat
    He's Scouse
    He's prob'ly robbed your house
    Wayne Rooney, Wayne Rooney

    And that's a United chant.

  134. Just applied for JSA online, Q2

    The following two fields are for an email acknowledgement. Unfortunately this function is not yet available. Please leave these fields blank.

    it make i larf.

  135. @Spike

    I always liked the one at Maine Road when Uwe Rosler was playing for us:

    Uwe's Grandad bombed our house
    Doo dah, doo dah.

  136. turm - ah, the kafka section of the form.


  137. @PeterJ


    To the tune of Volare...

    Nemanja, oh-oh
    Nemanja, oh-oh-oh-oh
    He comes from Serbia
    He's gonna murder ya

    Although I thoroughly disapprove of the sentiment!

  138. Night james - sorry about that.

  139. Evening all


    Congratulations on the book and good luck with the sales.(i'm assuming you get something for each one sold)

    @Wonder if Redminer's brilliant post on the Ashley thread will make the Guardians 123.Should do.Apparently todays No 1 is from an expat who scraped together all of 10 recs!

    @Seems to be a little gang of ex UT ers on waddya now badmouthing us at every opportunity they get.And then of course complaining when they lurk over here and get a taste of their own medicine.Double-standards methinks.Comes under D in the dictionary before duh!

    Hope all's well with everyone.

  140. Soz James

    But L'pool have been so shite all season so far that I have barely dared admit I'm a supporter.

    I needed a bit of a lift, and Chelski was it.

    You can't help supporting the wrong team, mate.... :p

  141. Wotcha Paul

    It's getting a bit snitty, isn't it?

  142. The post at 11:04 made it a little less snitty BB

  143. @BB

    Yes. Yes, it is. The simple and trusting naivete of the questing meerkat has further ruffled the penile feathers.

  144. I shall be sorry if we at UT have lost Leni 'cos of the weekend nonsense.

  145. The meerkat is brilliant. Is it someone from here? Respec' if so.

  146. I've tried to copy and paste Red Miners' post to an e-mail address but my poota isn't having any of it. I wonder why!

  147. That's pretty much thrown down the gauntlet, hasn't it? Put up or shut up time for the poor man.


    I know. It is such a shame.

  148. It's a conspiracy of the yellow-bellied capitalist running dogs, Chekhov.

    Either that or you didn't press ctrl + v properly...

  149. Leni was on Whaddya earlier. Hopefully she'll come and see us.

  150. I've seen her about the place elsewhere and she seems genuine, Spike. A play on words on the Dutch name Katjie.

  151. @BB

    From what she said at 9:30, she'd be South African. Or, in the Afrikaans, Sith Ifriken. Anyway, I'm a fan.

  152. Yeah, me too, Spike. She is clever and has a great sense of humour. :o)

  153. OK - school tomorrow, although at least I don't have to get up til 7 for a change

    NN all xx

  154. OK; if we are into crude lyrics from the football terraces, this takes some beating:
    from the Newcastle United fans at a derby match with Sunderland:
    To the tune of "Daydream Believer" by the Monkees:

    "Cheer up Peter Reid, oh what can it mean for a, fat mackem bastard and a shit football team"

    Well I thought it was funny anyway!

  155. Right, well, I have loads of work and, instead of doing it, I've spent the evening:

    - watching University Challenge where the posh kids won as usual,
    - watching Only Connect with the delectable Vicky Coren
    - watching Spooks, which was excellent, and which AllyF has summed up pithily on Whaddya
    - watching two episodes of How Not to Live Your Life, which I feel guilty about enjoying hugely (no, fuck it, I don't feel guilty)
    - drinking
    - blogging here and in the other place

    Which means I should get up at about 5 in the morning to finish some work before washing up, sorting stuff, measuring how far back I want the garden fence moved, packing and driving back to Paris.

    Ah well. I'll just go to bed and feel guilty in the morning. What I always do, in fact.

  156. My old man
    Said be a City fan
    I said "Fuck off,
    bollocks, you're a cunt"

    is cruder, Chekhov.

  157. Btw: another classic from way back when my Dad took me to Bramall Lane to support The "Blades" in the 70's.
    He used to park his car next to St Mary's church which one day had the slogan "Jesus Saves" under which some wit had written "yeah but Currie nets the rebound!"

    For those of you who are not aware or even remotely interested, Tony Currie was the equivalent of Pele in Sheffield at that time!

  158. This comment has been removed by the author.

  159. My old man
    Said be a City fan
    I said "Fuck off,
    bollocks, you're a cunt"

    is cruder, Chekhov.

    That is very funny. Thanks for sharing it!

  160. Deano: I'm not sure why Leni has thrown in the towel on here but I'm sure you are right that we should make an effort to entice her back.If we don't we might as well give up and admit defeat!

  161. This comment has been removed by the author.

  162. deano/chekhov

    I can't believe Leni would turn her back on us solely on account of being publicly guilt tripped by Pen on waddya.There has to have been more to it than that.Does feel a bit like a slap in the face bearing in mind the high esteem she is held here.But at the end of the day it's her decision and we have to respect it.And if she does change her mind i'm sure she'll be welcomed back with open arms.

  163. Paul

    I have just realised that you may be thinking I walked off in a huff - I didn't. It has everything to do with me - not UT.

    I wasn't guilt tripped by Pen.

    As it happens I am missing you all.

  164. Hi Leni - that's good to know. Hope you're well.

  165. IanG said...
    Hi BB and all, Just looking in again. Hevers, the PC was pre Windoze and used with various CAD packages I think and CL stuff.

    Oh yeah, I know that. I had a used Amstrad PC as it happens, running DOS... that's the machine I tried out GEM on.

    It had a colour screen!!! And I fitted an extra floppy disc. And a hard drive!! Halcyon days...

  166. This comment has been removed by the author.