22 November 2010


Some days it just doesn't seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps.
-Emo Phillips


  1. monleyfish,

    thanks for the reply last night.

    So in a nutshell, all teachings of the Pope are infallible and absolute truth unless the Pope decides what was infallible, absolute truth is no longer infallible, absolute truth.

    Therefore the amendment to the previous infallible statement is irrevocable evidence that the Pope and Cathoilicism are infallible. Or something.

    Perfect logic...I now realise that I'm going straight to hell as I didn't realise that despite going to a catholic school.

  2. Sureley if the Pope's infallible he doesn't have a choice about things ?


    "I used to have a large gay following. But I ducked into an alley and lost him".

    - Emo Phillips

  3. The pope's obviously only infallible when he speaks ex cathedra - it's actually a statement of the infallibility of the college of cardinals. A bunch of (supposedly celibate) mostly old white blokes, telling us all how to live our lives... What could possibly go wrong with that?

  4. @Dave from France (from yesterday)...

    Yep, you're right, there have been some more articles on the ATOS stuff etc. since the time when Jess threw a bit of cold water on the campaigning thing. People have patiently plugged away, and come at it from different angles, and have seen a return on that effort. Meanwhile one gets the impression that at Graun Towers the penny is gradually dropping that maybe the NuLab approach had more flaws than they realised, and one is kinda seeing that more in the articles, which are beginning to reflect more BTL sentiment.

    But it's not exactly what you would call a campaign, and there are other campaigning issues that haven't seen much action. Still, could be worse. They could put Glover in charge of Waddya...

  5. Morning All,

    Just trying to catch up on the last couple of days ... after the humiliation of defeat on Saturday work went to hell ... yesterday's nice easy 6 hours turned into another 12+-hour marathon of misery.

    At least Ulster won against Cardiff yesterday! (Some I know are not so happy about this.)

  6. Woohoo!

    Meerkat attack..ack...ack...ack!

  7. Atomboy:

    Isn't that a Prairie Dog? :{

    Thauma - Hoping you get to be a lady of leisure today!

  8. Meerkatjie:

    As Joan Smith once said re: the Church.... "a male God, a male Holy Ghost and a male Saviour..... that's paranoia!!"

  9. Oh what a lovely start to the day.

    The comments above from you all made me smile and pleased to be a UT reader.

    But I'm even more pleased not to have had me head messed with by a bloke in long dress, or a sister of mercy with a stern and tortured face.

    To be honest it was the word 'infallable' that always kind put off the left footer view of our being. The idea that my life should be guided by a bloke who heard voices in his head and then issued instruction to celibates didn't seem infallible at all - it seemed incredible to me as kid when I first heard the story, and it still does all these years later!

    (thank god my parents weren't taken in by the nonsense)

    Fuck off you papal nutters - I'm not going to be made to feel sinful, guilty or dirty about my innocent pleasure of admiring lady libararians.

    It gets me through the day. - Talking of which some nice sun in which to walk me dog so I'm away.


  10. The interesting thing about being raised catholic is that, while I am incredibly critical of the church, I also get really defensive if I perceive it to be attacked. I guess that's the intensity of the brainwashing? But also perhaps it's a cultural identity issue. I have a friend who's also an atheist, but was also raised a Catholic. She describes herself as culturally Catholic, which I kind of like. Every now and again, I catch myself missing the church, but I don't think it's the church itself that I miss, so much as the cultural practices and community that are such a big part of it.

  11. "As Joan Smith once said re: the Church.... "a male God, a male Holy Ghost and a male Saviour..... that's paranoia!!"

    as deano said no fucking imagination either - surely to god there's room for a lady librarian somewhere in the yarn of our creation and being

  12. Shaz - et al discussing dolores umbridge - 'order of the phoenix' was on the TV last nightt (VOST, thank heavens) and agree that blears is the closest. although oisette did observe when all the 'inquisitor' stuff happened "mais, c'est Thatcher, ouais?"

    which i thought impressive.

    am inexplicably excited about seeing part 7 part 1...

  13. i promise it's nothing personal young miss meeerkat.

    I think you have have survived and flowered and even flourished, despite my misgivings on your unpromising start in life.

  14. Oh, no, I know that deano, I didn't think it was personal. :-) No, it was more just an observation. I always note with interest how my hackles rise. Then I think 'don't be so bloody stupid, you've said precisely the same thing yourself'... But Catholic identity is deeply entrenched I think, and perhaps extra-rational?

  15. interesting point from armando ianucci on start the week - the UK doesn't have a strong tradition of protest because it has a strong tradition of satire - throwing insults rather than bricks.

    anything in that?

    france seems to manage to have both...

  16. Phew that's an idea for a novel

    As I walked out one day..... - I came across a fallen Catholic lady .......who had become a librarian and I said to her....................

    right that's me away to work on the first chapter ( I think it almost certain that it will include a priest on bike as the story unfolds........

  17. Sorry Meerkatjie, didn't mean to cause offence....

    This might make everyone smile.....Citizens are Doin' it for themselves!!!

    Citizens United at it again!

    Protesters occupy Glasgow Bank

  18. Seriously, no... No-one caused offence. I was musing and stuff... :-)

    The Church is a completely reasonable target of political criticism. The pope is a dangerous man, and the college of cardinals is a hideous institution. I despair of the grip this very conservative institution is taking on Africa and already has on South America. It's depressing.

    I'm just interested in the way that catholic identity is so entrenched, and pondering how that's achieved. But I absolutely wasn't offended. (Seriously, have you seen some of the stuff I say about the Catholic Church??)

  19. PhilippaB said...

    interesting point from armando ianucci on start the week - the UK doesn't have a strong tradition of protest because it has a strong tradition of satire - throwing insults rather than bricks.

    anything in that?

    Well, there are a range of potential reasons, which may operate together. Including...

    - getting bought off by just "enough" whenever ferment threatens

    - being unaware of what's really going on, aided and abetted by the right-wing press

    - having so much on their plate, and insecurity, and being invested in mortgages and stuff, that reaction is stunted

    - a three-party system that sometimes splits the vote of the left

    - seeing protests like the ones against the war achieve very little


    It's a package of things, that blunts action, some not entirely accidental

  20. Meerkat - you didn't actually come across to me as offended or upset.

    I just took a precautionary position because I would not wish to be a cause of discouraging you posting here on UT - I, and I'm sure others, enjoy your contributions.

  21. LaRit - no, unfortunately I have to work all week. Still, I have taken it upon myself to work from home today.

    Meerkatjie - am reminded of Brideshead Revisited.

  22. Meerkatjie

    Every now and again, I catch myself missing the church, but I don't think it's the church itself that I miss, so much as the cultural practices and community that are such a big part of it. [...]

    I'm just interested in the way that catholic identity is so entrenched, and pondering how that's achieved.

    I would suggest it is simply the enticing qualities and easy enthralments which come with rituals; easy solutions being dispensed by an authority figure; the lovely feeling of security which comes from belonging to a cult and the jargon and gobbledegook and impressive frocks.

    It's a return to childhood, where you do not understand what is going on but your parents protect you and make sense of the world on your behalf.

    Once Tesco and Asbo crack all this, the world will be lovely beyond belief.

  23. I remember talking about atheism with a friend who was still very much a Catholic, and he said to me that I was a lapsed Catholic, who had forgotten my faith. It's an odd word lapsed - not sure it is used by many other religions. Most religions have atheists, but it seems only the Catholics have lapsed ones.

    What happened to Bru, did she have an awful weekend and decide to bring it up all over WADYYA?

  24. meerkat et al - whatever our different pasts we might all accept that the church folk have some great tunes and bands: Missa Luba

  25. Atomboy said...

    I would suggest it is simply the enticing qualities and easy enthralments which come with rituals; easy solutions being dispensed by an authority figure; the lovely feeling of security which comes from belonging to a cult and the jargon and gobbledegook and impressive frocks.

    Not to mention, perhaps a bit more cynically, the opportunity to network, and to judge others and feel holier-than-thou. Though not necessarily limited to Churches, of course...

  26. Then there's the confession thing, which is quite handy if you're in the habit of sinning...

  27. hevers

    Not to mention, perhaps a bit more cynically, the opportunity to network, and to judge others and feel holier-than-thou.


    Of course, all religions tend to have the people who love to make their way up through the hierarchy and get to peer down at the funny, clumsy little insects getting tangled up so far below them that they can hardly be seen.

    Capitalizm for one.

    Someone said to me a long time ago regarding a particular industry: "Of course, if you want to get a chance at the juicy contracts, you have to be a Catholic."

    We all have this desperate need to belong and to be stunned by the brilliance of shamans and witch-doctors.

    We all love a good cargo-cult.

  28. One important aspect of Catholicism (especially Irish Catholicism) is the political dimension. In NI until the 70's not every Catholic even had the right to vote. Irrespective of religious belief, the oppression of half a population on purely religious reasons is bound to unify an otherwise diverse group and create a sort of siege mentality. I personally feel that my Catholicism is still an important factor in my identity, but that is for political reasons and not religious ones, since I'm not a believer . Like meerkat, I am still somewhat defensive about attacks on the church, but that may be because such attacks are often just an ill thought-out kneejerk expression of the bigotry that has existed since the Reformation, and has been prevalent in the UK for centuries, and which I have experienced many times on a very personal level. It is also the primitive mindset that finds racial epithets unacceptable but can comfortably refer to eg. 'papists' (a word that originated in C16th and is unashamedly pejorative.)

    btw, deano, I find your casual use of 'left footer' offensive (to me it conjures up pictures of work-place discrimation, a casual sense of Protestant superiority and entitlement, and often vicious beatings when some innocent is caught in the 'wrong' place at the wrong time.) But hey, that's just me! Professional victim! Although, instead of wittering on about lady librarians you might want to take a few minutes to examine what this term actually means and its connotations, and how using it might affect other people. Although that might require a bit too much intellligent introspection for a repetitive bore like yourself who also thinks 'paddy' and 'mick' are terms of affection.

  29. Love that Deano - Les Troubadours ;) wonderful, wonderful music....

  30. @Atomboy

    Well, the people obsessed with power, tend to avoid having to deal with those lower down at all. One hike of interest rates and VAT, devastation visited upon millions, big parth of the job done, unions broken, and you didn't have to meet them or anything.

    The networking-in-industry thing isn't limited to Catholicism, of course. Nor to industry. Seen it in the Public Sector, too. And it goes beyond religion, to the masons and all that jazz. OLd School Tie, at times, Oxbridge etc.

    Dunno about everyone needing to be stunned by brilliance. There is a fair amount of cynicism about it and rightly so enough of the time...


  31. I think perhaps it's important to remember that Catholicism has been right wing and oppressive. But it's also been clearly oppressed in a range of contexts, and it's also been a strong left wing organisation. Part of my affection for catholicism is that the church was the site of my own politicisation. Most of the priests I grew up with in SA were liberation theologists, socialist, and very politically active. I was horrified on returning to the UK how politically naive and unthinkingly right wing most of the priests were here.

  32. scherfig

    Even when we detach and remove ourselves from something which may have been abusive, we may still feel protective towards it.

    We have to believe in something in order to know where and to whom we belong in the world and who is not in our lovely group and therefore not entitled to double club-card points.

    The Catholic Church is probably as good as any other entity in this respect.

    And as bad, of course.


    The stunned by brilliance bit was flippancy.

    We tend to like to think that someone, somewhere is in control and knows the answers.

    Because nobody ever sees the flying pizza monster, we search for proxies.

    These can be individuals, like His Holiness the Blair or the trinity of The Three Daves.

    It could also be an industrial unit stuck on a bit of wet and windswept tarmac a few miles out of town, made to look like a squat and makeshift cathedral with a neon sign flickering to attract the believers to the church of Tesco.

  33. @Atomboy

    Well, it does depend on what you mean by "we". Is it a royal "we"? Do you really include yourself? Because I think for many of us, the idea that someone is in control and knows the answers is one of the illusions that gets shattered somewhere along the way, and I'm sure you are aware of that.

    Or at least, half of it gets shattered, because one may become acutely aware that some are in control, even if they don't know the answers. Or if they DO know some answers, then they tend to be answers that suit themselves rather than the rest of us.

    Some do place their faith in politicians unwisely, but at the same time, those politicians may serve the perceived interests of many, if not those they lied to.

    I've always wondered about the Cathedral of Shopping thing. Is it worship, or just a distraction from various unpalatable things. But then again, church can be the same.

  34. Thauma - thought I had a day off today, but have to go to work.... at least it's local!

  35. Atomboy, I think you might be missing my point. There was no abuse, I'm not protective of the 'church' as such, and I have chosen myself what I now believe in.

    However I didn't choose to be born Catholic - I was automatically in the club but left it voluntarily. Unfortunately, from others' point of view I can never leave that club. And I was treated unfairly by 'society' simply for being an unwitting member of that club. Being born Catholic in NI helped shape my political identity, and that's got fuck all to do with the pope, but apparently I'm still a papist as if that's all that matters.

    meerkatjie - liberation theolgy was once a force for good. Of course the church eventually crushed it.

  36. The "we" is, as always, a simple shorthand to avoid the annoyance of "one" and to show that I am not speaking at a purely personal level, but trying to indicate that I am making a generalisation.

    As I have said before, think of it like: "We found that after dissecting the frog, he hopped away leaving a trail of, er, entrails" when you wrote up an experiment at school.

    You could have done the experiment alone and you are not saying that every group of four in the class saw the same slightly disturbing results.

    As for belief, of course it gets undermined and twisted and broken and mutates as we go along.

    Life is a pick-n-mix and we can take our brand loyalty from one product to the next.

    As someone said on X-Factor-Apprentice-Cube-Stars-In-Their-Eyes:

    Tonight, Lord Matthew Sralan, I am going to be the global brand of me.

  37. scherfig

    Yes, you are right and I apologise.

    I was going to add to the bit I had written after I had finished the bit for hevers, but ended up clicking send too soon.

  38. Sorry, I was a bit unclear, Atomboy. I suppose my point is that I can choose my own self-defined 'identity', but can never run away from an identity (sometimes overly simplistic) that others bestow on me - after all I can't stop them. And it's not always easy (and can feel uncomfortable) to deny a 'fictional' identity that nevertheless contains a grain of truth.

  39. @Atomboy

    So, when you say "we"? Do you really mean everyone? And do you include yourself? Because it seems a bit too general, especially here in the UK, with a lot of cynicism about religion and cults and stuff.

    Though not, about networking. There is a rather pragmatic element to belonging to clubs of various kinds on that score. Sometimes it's self-preservation, or a common goal, sometimes an attempt to gain advantage. The latter, of course, can have issues. As can the common goal.

    Brand loyalty is an interesting way of looking at it. Because brands try and ascribe values to products. And hence dangerous, because you buy into something on the basis of what's claimed, of values espoused, rather than what happens in practice.

    Which is what irritates when politicians keep going on about values. Pleading concern, but in reality... maybe not.

  40. scherfig

    Yes, we are not always prisoners of our own device, are we?


    My "we" is about as inclusive as the ConDem's "we" as in "We are all in this together."

    I never really include myself on the usual Groucho Marx basis.

    It's basically more than just one but a lot less then everyone.

    Networking is what go-getters do in order to engage in mutual exploitation with filtered groups, which will have endlessly mutating and looping loyalties and values according to whatever gets the baby washed.

    Chatting at the bus queue is a type of elastic, distracted networking for the rest of us (another "we" although I have not been on a bus for years) which never seems to result in anything profitable or useful but passes the time.

    Politicians will say anything, of course - and usually do.

  41. As always friend Scherfig I am always happy to offer you a sincere and personal apology when my use of the language causes you personal offence. As I indeed I was and did when I used the terms paddy and mick in your presence.

    I am however, still not prepared to give you or anyone else monopoly or censorial rights over my my use of my language.

    I will continue to use mick, paddy and left footer in the affectionate way that I do with my comrade Irish and catholic brothers and sisters (and as I do in real life with members of my family) - those that see these descriptors as personal and offensive in some highly abstract and obtuse PC way can go fuck themselves with their own bigoted misguided and precious sense of over inflated identity.

    I've long thought that the various strands the vociferous "politically correct message"! so absurd that the spouters of it invariably alienate and finish up their own arse.

    You don't build collective consciousness by being precious and controlling the use of language of others. It's a cunts game.

    My identity is with my brothers and sisters in the traditional comradely way. What they each have between their legs and in thier theology and in the pigmentation of their skin is of no concern to me. And which foot the gravediggers use for their final resting place is less important to me than how they conduct themselves in life.

    But each to their own - you and bitethehand have something in common, he too thinks me an offensive and unamusing pathetic racist.

    The old advice still remains - scroll on by if you don't like my ramblings, lots of others on UT do it with ease. It's not difficult, even my Catholic friends don't feel forced to read what I write. That's the joy of UT nothing is compulsory here.

    ps - As I said recently I look forward to the day you get your head out of your arse and come back to commenting sense on UT. You have made some fine contributions here.

  42. @Atomboy

    Ah, so when you said "we all", you really meant "Some other people".

    Sure, I think we're on the same page about the networking thing. Some is benign, some constructive, some about advantage and so on.

    And on the same page about politicians.

  43. hevers

    Oh, did I say "we all"?

    Now I see the confusion.

    Sorry, I never really edit or check what I have written, but the intrusive "all" did throw a spanner in the works on that one.

    Otherwise, as stated, I tend to use "we" to mean "some people, perhaps including me depending on how I feel, but certainly not everyone and not you (by which I would mean whoever is reading) as it is up to you to make your own judgements and decisions."

    We all make mistakes, after all.

  44. Hi all!

    Interesting discussion re: Catholicism. Its easy to deny the effect religion has on one's sense of identity.

    As a former (lapsed?) Anglican I still find church music very soothing. Even an establishment (nay established) religion can attract abuse though. At least I find being accused of once being pat of 'the Tory party at prayer' abusive, especially as I know several people who who are anything but.
    However the prejudice against Catholicism in this country is considerable and in NI it goes very deep. Too easy to use terms that are loaded with prejudice Scherf's right on this we shouldn't use them.

    But Deano isn't boring at least I don't find him so he is of course no more perfect than the rest of us.

    On another topic altogether anyone seen the anarchy thread this morning? A wonderful collection of politically illiterate comments like:-
    longlazydaysgoneby Anarchists are violent prats who would like to emulate Stalin


    But the article itself is preety priceless too -
    But anarchists do not believe that state socialism is the only alternative to the undemocratic inequalities produced by neoliberalism. Socialising property does not have to mean nationalising it – that would simply be substituting one set of bosses for another.

    Um... anyone who knows anything about the Marxist Theory of the State knows that the under true socialism, the state, whose function is to police the exploited and support the exploiters, would no longer have any function and would wither into a body to 'organise thongs not people'.

    What about genuine collective worker ownership of industry and services; what about universities democratically run by academics, students and support staff, instead of largely unaccountable and overpaid managers and technocrats?

    That's what I call Socialism!

    The issue is how we get there! Civil disobedience, and violence will not do it without some degree of organisation.But its bottom up organisation thats needed not top down.

  45. Fair enough, deano, you are a man of integrity and strong principles. You will not be censored! I look forward to your 'affectionate' use of paki, nigger, etc when you address certain comrades on this blog. If they take offence, you can always tell them to get their obtusely politically correct heads out of their collectively unconconscious arses. You fucking fool.

  46. ".....few minutes to examine what this term actually means and its connotations, and how using it might affect other people...."

    It's all about time place and context scherf.

    meerkat put it well above when speaking of her own experience in SA.

    I wouldn't have dreamed of using inflammatory terms in NI which might have been seen as supportive of one side or the other. But then I wouldn't have supported the right wing on either side of the divide either.

    But the whole point of UT is that it is nobody's back yard (not mine not yours) and all can speak here in any damned way they choose. Others can draw what conclusions of their characters in consequence as they then wish.

    There are no gatekeepers on UT and drawing hasty conclusions from casual language forms is just kids stuff.

  47. There are no gatekeepers on UT

    Indeed, deano. We censor ourselves, which is very revealing. When fuckwits like hermit and martyn came here, they were not the anodyne sycophants we see on Cif. They allowed themselves to say what they wanted to say, and were exposed as the wankers that they are.

    What you allow yourself to say here and, by extension, what you dare not say tells me a lot about you. I might call you a fuckwit or a fool, but I would never call you a 'Brit' fuckwit or fool or an English or Proddie fuckwit or fool. (Not even affectionately.)

    And that's one difference between us, although you can't even see it.

  48. Deano30

    But each to their own - you and bitethehand have something in common, he too thinks me an offensive and unamusing pathetic racist.

    No I don't and I hope I'm right, but I do think some of the time you post before thinking and say things that promote your own persona but which some find hurtful and / or offensive and others find bewildering in 2011. Bit like coming across a time traveller from the 1950s.

  49. @Atomboy, it's OK, we already cleared it up, and yep, we do all make mistakes. Some in the banking profession get paid to make them, and that rather galls.

  50. annetan42 said...

    What about genuine collective worker ownership of industry and services; what about universities democratically run by academics, students and support staff, instead of largely unaccountable and overpaid managers and technocrats?

    That's what I call Socialism!

    The issue is how we get there! Civil disobedience, and violence will not do it without some degree of organisation.But its bottom up organisation thats needed not top down.

    Yep, for me, a lot hinges on all that. In fact, issues of state ownership are not simply a case of substituting one set of bosses for another, but the problem that... another government can get in and trash it all.

    I know English Hermit has his detractors, but he's been a bit of a lonely voice trying to raise this issue on Waddya.

    There is a potential irony, in that one way to protect public services from both the ravages of Tories AND to make them more accountable and responsive, is to make them mutuals and stuff.

    The irony being, that this is something the Tories are now seemingly talking about.

    Of course, the Tory version, is more along the lines of having rich benefactors fund things, piecemeal.

    Another way of doing it, would be to set up independent trusts by the state, which are then self-financing and run along mutual lines and not so dependent on government funding. Then the Tories can't so easily trash the services.

    The problem, of course, is what happened with the Building Societies. If there is enough money in it, at some point, people can elect to sell such things off themselves.

    At which point you start thinking about the need for a proper constitution and stuff. It usually comes back to democracy.

  51. As it happens I am not happy with the attempted monopoly use of the word nigger by those black guys who feel it ok to call each the other niggers but complain when others use the term in an affectionate way.

    A man with a finely tuned ear would know that when I say my nigger comrade or my nigger friend/bother I signal that I will cross the awful divisive line, that colour is, and stand with him as my equal brother and we are as comrades. I shade his skin the lighter and he shades mine the darker when we stand together as comrades.

    Likewise should I address him as a nigger Tory he should know we are on different sides and no amount of misguided divisive empty equal opportunity rhetoric will change it.

    Although I can understand Montana's views (t'other night) and feelings about the word nigger. (context again) It was never the same in the world I lived in and the use the word doesn't have the same import for me.

    For me what made MIE's recent use of the word nigger offensive here on UT was more the attached word "house"and the implications thereof.

    The black community can seek the banning of the word nigger if they wish. I think they would do better by reminding a few folk here in the UK that quite a few of our grand country houses and family fortunes were built on the profits of nigger sweat.

    The point is that it is the context the words are used in. I wouldn't wish to use nigger or paki to belittle or hurt any of my UT comrades so I don't see the situation arising.

    I couldn't use Paki about habib because as far as I know he is as British as I am. I would have no difficulty in addressing him as Pakistani or paki friend/comrade if that is what he was.

    Just as "house nigger" was deeply offensive when Martyn used it I would hope that comrade/friend when attached to the word nigger make the meaning and context sufficiently different that the meaning would be plain.

    Anyway I didn't know that we had any nigger UT friends - I understood that friend Paul was of mixed parentage both Irish and Caribbean if I recall. If Paul is Catholic to boot he might be struggling to decide which of my language is most offensive to him or he might just recognise that my addressing him as friend/comrade is actually the descriptor which matters most to me.

    When I thought that there may have been an outside possibility that I might have offended meerkat by my casual anti catholic language I did of course offer an apology but that was because I also saw her as a comradely sort of person who I would tend to identify with.

    If I had thought her likely Tory she could have gone and fucked herself

    If you read here more regularly Scherf you would know that I no longer use 'young miss' when addressing Jen - because she asked me not to and I respect her it was no difficulty.

    I no longer address you directly as 'me mick friend' for the same reason.

    That said I have no difficulty with you continuing to address me as foolish, Yorkist or old farter or lunatic or thick get or perv or whatever you wish.

  52. @Meerkatjie:

    My relationship to being American is much like yours to the Catholic Church -- except that I haven't managed to escape yet, so that I can be a 'lapsed' American! I can say whatever I want about the place and -- most of the time -- it doesn't bother me to read things that are extremely critical of the US. But, every now and again, I find myself getting offended by odd little criticisms. Mostly, it's the sort of knee-jerk anti-Americanism that comes from as ignorant and provincial a mentality as anything that can be found here in the US.

    Off to work now. Enjoy your afternoon, everyone!

  53. "...that promote your own persona but which some find hurtful and / or offensive and others find bewildering in 2011...."

    Not much of a persona to promote actually but I would hope and wish that if UT posters find my contributions bewildering they would stop and think if they are puzzled - (IMO) too many who post see the writing of posts as being the important bit.

    A few see that the reading and struggling with the meaning is important too. There is happily nothing in the rules which stops anybody from asking for a further explanation if they wish or neeed one

    Anybody who finds me offensive is welcome to draw the offence to my attention and they will receive an apology if appropriate.

  54. Deano

    "It's all about time place and context scherf."

    It might be, to you, my ancient, but it really fucking isn't to some. As far as I am can concerned anyone can use any language they like - they are just words, after all. Just don't be surprised if you get the piss taken out of you, if you do.

    (and no apology necessary)

  55. "I can choose my own self-defined 'identity', but can never run away from an identity (sometimes overly simplistic) that others bestow on me - after all I can't stop them. And it's not always easy (and can feel uncomfortable) to deny a 'fictional' identity that nevertheless contains a grain of truth."

    Scherfig, I think that was brilliantly written and showed a deep understanding. It certainly resonated with me, anyway.

  56. "... Just don't be surprised if you get the piss taken out of you, if you do....."

    That's more than fair my friend I have no problems with that.

  57. Afternoon H, all,

    I'm not getting into the "verboten words" debate, other than to quote, on one side;

    Offense is taken not given. You can not be offended against your will.

    & your good self Habib;

    If you play with loaded words people can get hurt.

    Question for any Legal Eagles amongst us...

    A pal in Edinburgh left his tap running in a top floor flat. The water penetrated through 4 floors, and flats, to the ground. There is damage to the plaster, and to contents.

    My friend has no personal insurance. The flat is rented. The stair is administered by a housing assoc.

    Will my pal be bankrupted? Is he liable?

  58. Turminder, I don't know about the legal side, but I have some familiarity with the situation. Tell him to move, pronto. (If this is a morality test, I clearly have none)

  59. Hello, another "lapsed" Catholic here, and I have to say I largely share Meerkatje's defensiveness, especially when so much as what passes for "criticism" relies on the recycling the same one-dimensional crude stereotypes.

    One of the most enduring of these is the notion that Catholics are somehow "right wing". I saw a statistic somewhere which stated than even now, Catholics are more likely to vote Labour than the country at large, and this corresponds pretty much with my own fairly typical experience of being brought up in a Labour voting working class Catholic household. It tends to be forgotten that there are, or were, plenty of folk out there who might be left-leaning when to comes to economics and the redistribution of wealth, but who tend to be conservative on social issues such as religion, private morality, the family etc, and these people are continuing to vote Labour (out of a sense of tribal loyalty, no doubt) even while the Labour party has come more and more to represent the interests of middle-class "liberals", in both social and economic matters.

    Indeed the Catholics church's claim to a compassionate but paternalistic universalism isn't so far removed from "traditional" socialism which I think at least partly explains why Communist parties in western Europe had more success in catholic countries such as France and Italy, where the requisite notions were embedded in the culture already, than they did in the more individualistic "Protestant" north.

  60. Actually habib I am aware that careless use of language can get more than the piss taken out.

    wrong time, wrong place, wrong context can get a man a hard kick between the legs or worse. I should be so lucky to live long enough to be an ancient.

    There are some mean streets out there.

    I wish that those with an additional burden to carry would see that the identity/unity with fellow sweaty burden carriers is more important than the uniform you happen to be wearing.

  61. Scherfig's point, Deano, is that it risks stigmatising on spurious grounds. Notably, on the grounds of background that they may not have had much control over.

    So, someone who may happen to have been born a catholic, is considered to be under especial suspicion; someone who may have been to private school needs vetting because they "breathed the same air" as some Tories.

    Similarly, it's potentially stigmatising to associate them with eugenics when they said nothing to justify that.

    Similarly, if I were to call my girlfriend, quite a few years younger than me, "young miss" I might get a slap because it can be considered patronising. Why bring their age into it? Why be concerned with their background all the time? In negative ways...

    Still, on the more amusing side, it does have a parallel with Bru grilling Meerkat on her background over on Waddya...

  62. Hello and welcome/welcome back Pat Davers

    turm what happened to the drainage - blocked? plug fell in?

    defence of design fault in drainage system

    Landlord should foresee the inevitability in a multiple occupation building of a blocked sink leaking tap scenario and ensure that all overflows are capable of coping with the volume of water likely too flow into the sink/bath etc

    I'm no lawyer.

  63. turminderxuss

    Whoever owns the building (or the housing association) should have insurance which should cover the fabric/structure of the property, which does not mean they will not be looking to your friend instead of or as well as the insurers.

    Other residents, perhaps, should have their own insurance.

    Is there anything in the lease agreement which stipulates that each resident should take out their own policy.

    This will not necessarily mean that the insurers will not look to your friend.

    I would think heyhabib's advice is about as good as you will get.

    Tell your friend to run, run for his life and never look back.

    Or kill everyone else involved.

    Or damage a joint in the plumbing somewhere and blame it on poor property maintenance by the landlord.

    Perhaps advise us on where on a scale from honesty to total wholesale destruction within a ten mile radius of the building your friend wants to go with this.

  64. Turminder

    Tell your friend to blame it on benefit cheats, seems to be working for the government....

    (with apologies for not being particularly helpful!)

  65. Or Gordon Brown's old standy:

    Some big boys did it and then they ran away.

  66. Could be my brother and my third sibling "not me" who, strangely, we haven't heard from since we all left home...

  67. the "eugenic solution" was associated/ tacked on to the extreme wing of an argument/continuum that was not if I recall it correctly attributed to you personally hevers. I never had you down for other than how you have turned out to be.

    A decent interesting poster.

    Always interesting to 'see' if the word eugenics attracts or repels or indeed leaves folk cold or indifferent.

    UT has an open and fine record of welcoming people and anybody who was a regular reader of UT and then saw me as a some sort of gatekeeper or someone who sought to exclude others or insist on observance of norms would surprise me. I have no such desire or role.

    Perhaps I don't come across as friendly and welcoming as I feel - if not then I'm sorry for the site is indeed more important than me.

    It is true that I do like a little of the theatre of the absurd - the idea that anybody gives a flying fuck what a tramp in a field in Yorkshire thinks or says does make laugh.

    Of course I am also writing and jotting in UT as a public place but also in truth with an eye to history and the possibility that me kids or yet to be born grand kids will one day come across what I was actually saying some time down the road......I would want them to see who I choose to engage with and what I/we said to each other about the issues of our days.

    UT is of course a soap opera, as well as a fine and sophisticated pub and blog. And I hope it will continue long after I am gone.

    I think it will make a fine historical record of a contemporary take on the lives and times of those who choose to post here.

    My future decedents are going to have to do a lot of research work to put "left footer" into a context as will many current overseas readers of UT - but what the hell, who said communication between the nations and the generations and ages was easy

    The way I see it is that if UT readers and contributors choose to stop and read and engage with me I consider it a privilege if they don't it's no sweat or hurt to me. I dont need or want to post on Waddya and its not that important if folk ignore me here.

    I like it here and there are no 'recommend' scores or other silly distractions. The ego's here are less fragile and the honesty and integrity of many of the regulars is high and getting better all the time.

  68. hevers - a fine and fair post.

    Had I not simply dangled the eugenics word on the end of a continuum of arguments and indicated that I thought you a eugenics fan I would I have given you an apology.

    The word eugenics attracts or repels or leaves you indifferent its just an idle but useful bait word.

    Anybody who reads here regularly would see that I am no gatekeeper - it ain't my place and I have no special status so all are welcome in my book and if I don't read as welcoming and friendly ( unless you are a fucking Tory) then please to take an apology.

    We might all recognise that as well as being a fine pub and interesting blog which attracts sophisticated posters UT is, like it or not, a soap opera.

    I do have a liking for the theatre of the absurd and the idea that anybody gives a flying fuck what a tramp in a field in Yorkshire thinks about anything makes me laugh. Who gives a fig what I say.

    As well as making sometime inane comments here I am of course writing with an eye to future readers (i.e me not yet born grand kids) and I hope to interest them with thinking about who I choose to engage with and who I didn't.

    Likewise in who chose to engage with me and who ignored me.

    I've been to the pubs my antecedents drank in - but the walls couldn't talk and tell the yarn.

    UT has its archive and the UT walls will make for a future interesting reading of the voices of the many who post here.

  69. You can of course offend......

    all of the people all of the time
    all of the people some of the time
    some of the people all of the time
    some of the people some of the time

    or you can say nothing much of interest and certainly nothing that's going to change anything at all.

    If I was ever to be serious about having real change and fairness in modern Britain I really would have to address the uncomfortable question of the Romanov solution.

    I very much hope that other generations will find a way of negotiating a better future for their kids and neighbours but I am not over optimistic.

    My sometime careless and sometime mischievous use of language pales into insignificance compared to shooting children in cellars.

    That's more than enough rambling from for the day - I leave the UT board for others to enjoy

  70. Yes Deano, I am well aware that you didn't come right out and accuse me of being a fan of eugenics. Nor of rank inequality.

    You just kinda associated me with them, and happily get to leave your prints off the gun. Not that I'm saying you would do that deliberately, haha. It's just a "bait word"!!

    But it doesn't stop there, because you did mention your suspicion of us public school peeps. But anyway, I wasn't seeking an apology, it's just that you didn't seem to be getting the essence of Scherf's post.

    The problem with the "Bait" thing, of course, is that if one leaves it unaddressed, then it can seem as though you don't have a problem with it, it might be a fair assessment. Worse when one is in a position of having to deal with a succession of such baits.

    Which is why I seeded our chat with the incentives thing, figuring you might have quite a bit to say about that, and it would take the heat off the speculative "baiting" and onto something more substantive. And boy did you have a lot to say about it!

    Maybe quite a lot of us like the theatre of the absurd... personally I'm a fan of the counter-intuitive.

  71. heversI'm no purist - I'll accept anybody who can fire a gun on our side of the barricades public schoolboy or not.

    I have no problems with Scherf's point of view -he thinks me a romancer/liar etc so we are old friends.


  72. deano30 said...

    My sometime careless and sometime mischievous use of language pales into insignificance compared to shooting children in cellars.

    Sure Deano, you may be keen to characterise it as mischief. But if the "mischief" frequently carries associations of stigma with it, then it may seem a bit more than just mischief.

    We should find out if Bru's got any Librarian connections. You seem to have stuff in common!!

  73. deano,

    Might I suggest that sometimes others add more weight to ones words than one gives them oneself?

    I've had this problem in the past: I thought my opinions carried no weight (the equivalent of being those of "a tramp from Yorkshire"), and so I didn't think they could offend: I was wrong.

    At the moment, IRL I'm on the other end of this, and I'm trying to work out how to tell the person concerned without crushing an already fragile ego.

    Just my two pen'orth, which you can heed or not, but let me add in case it's not clear that I respect and like you as a poster, so please don't take this the wrong way!

  74. Is this "lay into deano" day? I was just having a smile with you, mate, sorry if it contributed to anyone having a pop.

  75. You'll really enjoy it when the fan and shit collide on some Friday nights around here. I'm just the apprentice warm up act.

    You find the stigmata in the folds of your hands the day after.

    I'm quite partial to a bit of ballet and opera so we do have something in common but there it ends ......mind you ..... we both get the piss taken out.

    Not my kinda lady .....and certainly no librarian in our Bru.

  76. I wasn't trying to "have a pop"!

  77. Dott, I posted a second after your post, I hate it when that kind of angry dolphins thing happens.

  78. Afternoon all

    The London Evening Standard has reported that this wednesday has been named 'Day X' by pupils from schools and colleges all over London who will be joing university students for a mass protest at LibDem HQ and Downing Street.You can read about it HERE

  79. Nowt wrong with you deano.

  80. no worries Habib, angry dolphins?

  81. Cross porpoises. (sorry) :-)

  82. LOL There was me imagining some sort of biological metaphor I wasn't previously aware of ;-)

  83. @deano

    I've seen what happens, Deano. Bru does talk a lot about the books she's read... you never know.

  84. No problems Dott/habib - always good to get others take on things.

    It would be plain silly for me to take things too personally I have been known to be outrageous and invite comment. And sometimes so drunk that I know not of what I speak.

    If you can't it take probably best not be in the rough boys playground. That said it certainly is not my intention to gratiously offend anybody.

  85. Evening all

    Deano/scherf et all. Some of my family are catholics, some protestants, Some practicing, some not.. The protestants often refer to the catholics as the 'left footers' and the catholics call the protestants 'proddies'. This is ok within the family but I can see how it might offend beyond. I also have a nephew married to a Thai woman called Poo - much mirth amongst the children of course. Words are tricky things.

    Interesting interview with Chalmers Johnson who has just died.

    The distinguished scholar and best-selling author Chalmers Johnson has died. He passed away in California on Saturday afternoon at the age of 79. During the Cold War, he served as a consultant to the Central Intelligence Agency and was a supporter of the Vietnam War, however, later became a leading critic of U.S. militarism and imperialism. He wrote the book, "Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire"

  86. Hi Paul,( and all,) interesting stuff in that link, headmasters V pupils , who's responsible if they get hurt etc. . One of the blokes automatically assumed they would be "violent demonstrations. " Bloody wimp.

    There must be some standard way for heads to get out of that 'trap', anybody know ?

    EH is veering off to another self-congratulatory Paranoid Planet on waddya, PB is in the mood, and I heard whirring sounds of posts being concocted on the theme of self-narrative/PB/EH.

    Off to shop... something to go with my last pound of garden aubergines just picked .Mmmmm!

    PS Hevers --saw you this am,, we were agreeing, was doing a tiny bit of balance-redressing ..frog

  87. We were being rather civil. Even having a little bit of a larf. I could have mentioned I went to a Catholic school, haha...

  88. @Dave

    Fair enough. You were right, and it's worth noting that persistence can pay off at least a bit on Waddya, I guess.

    I suppose I should also to avoid false attribution etc. that when I said earlier that Hermit was posting stuff on Waddya about Mutuals, he was just on about Mutuals for services, not the bit about Tory-wrecking, which is more my concern.

  89. To all Cohen fans:

    Don't know if any of you have seen this:

    Bird on a Wire

    It's on BBC i-Player, but don't know how long it will last for !

  90. I think I might love you, Tascia. :-)

  91. My dear young friends,

    I had the distressing feeling that my ears were burning this afternoon and at the time put it down to Mrs Selfmade’s swarfega-encrusted fingers having just recently given me a short back and sides (my regular barber having been given the heave-ho this morning after he misinterpreted the Pope’s recent announcement and suggested services which, even having had the experience of national service, made me blush. Someone needs to explain that male prostitution is not now compulsory for the devout Catholic).

    But not a bit of it. I now see that my friends at the Manchester Guardian have been discussing the ins and the outs and the wherefores and whatabouts of your humble correspondent. What a rich array of talent is on display! Mr E. Hermit has a rare sixth sense for discerning that which is quite hidden from others – I shouldn’t fancy playing poker with him! - whilst Mme Expats affects a lofty disdain. Then again, if I had that dear lady’s glittering social life I too would find it pointless to write letters to the Manchester Guardian and, as can be seen, she rarely has time to do so racketing around the cities of Europe as she does. I am worried about young Martyn, though. Some years ago, having made my pile and thinking to give the fruit of my overactive loins the advantages I had missed out on, I sent young master Selfmade to a character-building prepper. It did not go as planned – he was expelled for having an impermissible number of hockey sticks up his backside, although, frankly, that was the kind of character building I sent him to experience in the first place. But I digress. Whilst at St. Botolph’s it seemed that he attracted the disdain of his fellows by, so to say, sucking up to teacher. One can imagine the sort of thing - ‘you make the rules, sir, and if Frenum Minor doesn’t like it he can jolly well be put in detention’ – and needless to say it did not make him popular. The lad ‘Martyn’ seems to be going down the same path and one can’t help thinking that if he carries on like this he will become a laughing stock. As for Professor Penile, I can only wish that I had his skills of clear expression and incisive intellect but, alas, ill-educated as I am I cannot hope to match his erudition. Whether he would have fared so well in the import-export game I would not want to express and opinion upon for fear of blowing my own trumpet.

    Speaking of which, I was truly hurt by the letter from Miss Meerkat who appears to believe that I am not who I say I am, as if she, too, had the sixth sense of a hermit. Yet, following our encounter last Thursday morning, she, if anyone, should realise the essential (and not constructed!) truth of my inner core. Indeed, without wishing to be ungentlemanly, did she not coax precisely its expression? As Major Bracken says ‘I firmly believe that who we are comes out in the wash’. At least, I hope so as, if not, Mrs Selfmade is going to have some questions about the sheets.

    As if this were not enough, Mrs Selfmade nicked my earlobe with her kitchen scissors and as a result I am hors de combat.

    Yours bemusedly


  92. Thank you, habib. I think you understand the esssentials. I couldn't really be bothered wasting time on dinosaurs like deano, but I also don't want to let this casual and idiotic racism to go unremarked. As an 'Irish Catholic' I probably have much more in common with you than I have with deano.

  93. Hi All--Fully lapsed and recovered Anglican here. (-:

    Sheff--That's a shame to see Chalmers Johnson pass. He exposed a lot of the dubious US foreign policy and was a voice of reason.

    Meerkatjie--Watched a bit last night on CBC news about Leonard Cohen. Some film from 1972 tour has been found and re-edited, including a piece where he walked off the stage mid concert in Jerusalem, saying he " just didn't have it that night". As a devotee of his, you might find it interesting. Go to CBC.ca.

  94. Sheff, cheers for that, made me semi-smirk/get "a bit" angry. Regarding Boris' suggestion that Dubbya might want to stay away from our oh so leftie laws about torture:

    "We have called the publishers and they have no European book dates planned"
    Answer: "He might want to avoid Spain and Italy, they have people there who take human rights seriously"

  95. Paul + Anon

    Re last night's conversation.

    I have no idea why the woman mentioned did not learn to speak English. If she has been here several years the opportunity - and the incentive - to do so for social reasons are there. I don't know anything about her but it seems , from what Paul said, that she is of an independent mind and knows how to insist on her rights.

    my point was simply that PC and multiculturalism has allowed this to happen - she has just slotted in- 'taken advantage of' if you will - of the prevailing situation.

    Which , yet again, raises the same question. What do we do about it ? Do we withdraw all mother tongue services from all but new immigrants/asylum seekers ? As I understand it there is a fairly new citizenship ceremony which requires English to be spoken.

    What do we do about the unknown number of citizens - mainly women - who can live here for decades and not learn English ?

    Do we set up compulsary English classes ?

    This problem is not confined to Britain - there are many Brits living in enclaves in Spain for instance who learn nothing of the Spanish language or culture.

    Should language learning become compulsary for all immigrants?

  96. Tascia, Boudican, I watched that through rather rose tinted glasses.

  97. Hey Mr Selfmade

    Good to see you. I have copied your letter over to waddya as there are so many people there who miss you. Lets see how long it lasts...

  98. That is a fantastic film of LC Tascia - thanks for posting it!!

  99. Meerkatjie - you seem to be awfully free with your affections.

    Sheff - naughty!

  100. scherfig, if I have anything in common with you I am honoured. Perhaps for that reason you will forgive me I say you often polarise deano. I think that insults both of you, but I do not seek favour by compliment.

  101. Bollocks, Paul. I just arranged to take Thursday off and come home and see your post.

  102. I have no problems with Scherf's point of view -he thinks me a romancer/liar etc so we are old friends.

    I'd just like to be clear abbut this. I have never been an 'old friend' of deano, I think that he is an idiot. I cringe whenever he drools about his ladies and tals out Furnival and children's nether regions and paying threepence to see somebody's fanny. I have no time for him. He's a fucking moron who has nothing to offer, and if you n't see that, then wht's the fucking point?

  103. I guess that's the end of that, then. How's the middle east doing without me?

  104. How's the middle east doing without me?

    Judging by the emails I've been getting - not at all well Habib.

  105. Self Made

    When they banned you, did they ban your other identity as well?...I'm thinking if they did, they've actually committed rather more of a travesty than people currently realise...I doubt I'd be going out on too much of a limb in thinking you'd be in most people's top 3 or 4 posters period.

    Whether they have or not, I'd be reluctant to reveal your real identity...it's gonna be such a laugh watching the various Clouseaus, Gadgets and Deputy Dawgs on Waddaya putting their considerable powers of deduction to work on arriving at a suspect..

    I fuckin love it...

  106. Habib

    Had this little song from a Palestinian friend - it might amuse you.

  107. Shit

    DS. Martyn has found me out already..it seems..how does he do it?

  108. I doubt I'd be going out on too much of a limb in thinking you'd be in most people's top 3 or 4 posters period.

    MF - True, and their total confusion is very enjoyable I have to say.

  109. My dear Pixie (if I may)

    It was very kind of you to pass a carbon copy of my letter to the Manchester Guardian. My only fear is that you may be 'tarred with my brush' and yourself suffer reprisals. Unlike me, you will be too young to remember the second Great War but in that conflict it was alas all too common for reprisals to be made against those who associated with resistance quite as much as against the resisters themselves. In the sam way, at Master Selfmade's prepper, typically all those who 'were in on the joke' were sent for a cross-country run at the weekend. The last thing I would want would be for you to become unpixied.

    I see that the boy 'Martyn' has written a lacerating letter in the following terms: "Thou shalt be known for thy works of Homeric tedium and grand verboseness" Ridiculous XXI, verse II.

    However, in his defence, I am bound to say that Major Bracken's tedium and grand verbosity (one imagines that that was the word that 'Martyn' was reaching for) are hardly Homeric in character.

    I remain, madam, yours etc


  110. UC on in an hour. So the idea is just to count the number of correct answers? No points?

  111. My Dear Mr Selfmade

    I am honoured to be associated with the resistance and if I get 'tarred with your brush' then so be it. In the vulgar parlance, "they can get tae fuck!"

    Your very good friend and ally,


  112. Right ... I have a theory on SMM's real identity; but I am not sure. We will have to have another Sheffield get-together so someone can whisper it in my shell-like.

    Perhaps the good sir could even drag himself away from Weston-super-Mare and join us.

  113. @Sheff

    I think you can safely pass on the Thoughts of Chairman Selfmade. After all, you have only one identity and aren't pretending to be anyone you're not, so I can't see any breach of Community Standards.

  114. PS: Tedium of heroic dimensions is something that MIE is famous for - I think he is projecting. I have a little more time for Brakkers as I have actually met him and his twatishness is less evident IRL.

  115. Sheff

    He isn't actually a twat, talk about damning with faint praise. ;)

  116. Evening all

    Work finished - looks like I am Out Of Court (whoopeee!) tomorrow so some serious skiving and a bit of work on the cards. Lurvely.

    I've just read back and can I please say two things:

    Deano - you are a daft old duffer at times, but I have enormous affection and respect for you. xx

    Scherf: you are a miserable bugger at times but I have enormous affection and respect for you xx

    We can all of us say/type things at times without thinking of how they will be perceived. And the written word is sooooo much worse than face to face, because nobody sees the expressions, the smiles, the glints in the eye.

    Can I also add that I, too, wish Scherf would come back permanently rather than sitting in the sixpenny seats at the back?

    Hugs to all - off to look at CiF and see what there is to have a rant about.

  117. (Steps out of SMM voice)


    No, indeed, I have no intention of revealing my other identity, this is much more fun. And, no, they did not ban that ID. Indeed I was told (very kindly) that I am a long-standing and valued poster and no action would be taken against me in that guise.

    But the interesting thing is this. I emailed the mods as SMM to complain about his being placed in pre-moderation. After a couple of emails they said to me: 'our records show that you post under a different username, what is it?'. I ignored that and went on debating the merits of SMM and then they said that they would not reply to me until I confessed my regular username. Perhaps foolishly I did, and they then said that SMM would be banned, but not my regular ID, because multiple IDs are not allowed. Well, that is quite generous in a way in that they could have said that, having violated the rule on multiple names, my regular ID was banned as well. But the real point is this: if 'their records' really showed that I was using 2 names (eg from my IP address) then they would have known the exact nature of my regular ID without needing to ask me. So I infer that either they read the UT and saw that I had said there that I posted regularly under another CiF name or, alternatively and I would think more likely, that someone on CiF who also reads (or even posts) here told them about the fact of my having another CiF ID. Interesting, eh?

  118. "Meerkatjie - you seem to be awfully free with your affections."

    That's me, the babylon of the internet.

  119. That sounds like amateur hour on internet moderation, UMM. Clearly no IP matching, no profiling a la English Hermit's suggestion. Just a bit of a fishing expedition.

  120. Well your letter Mr Selfmade, has had 80 recommends in the short time it's been up so you are obviously much missed. This may be the way we can get round your banning.

  121. @Meerkatjie

    Well, I suppose being charitable they might have been checking in case there was someone else with another account sharing the same computer/IP...

  122. Hello there.

    Make that 81 recommends for SMM, sheff.

  123. "Interesting, eh?"

    Indeed...I had been more or less convinced they'd contrived some system of IP tracking...last time I posted it was gone within 2 minutes and, though I say it myself, for a completely innocuous statement.

    Mind you there is no shortage of possible 'stoolies' who may have grassed you up...eh Martyn?

  124. Question for any techies who've got a minute:

    I've got a little Acer Aspire netbook which uses Microsoft operating system. I'd like to run a Linux operating system on it. Can I just download an open source onto it? Or is it all a lot more complicated, which is what I suspect it might be?

  125. @mf

    Stoolies? EnglishHermit. He's practically signed a confession.

  126. BB

    Deano - you are a daft old duffer at times, but I have enormous affection and respect for you. xx

    Scherf: you are a miserable bugger at times but I have enormous affection and respect for you xx


    Meerkatjie - *tut*. First you get up to all sorts of shenanigans with SMM, then you throw yourself at Tascia (although I can understand the LC incitement being also a huge fan), and all the while stringing this poor Tim bloke along. You should be ashamed of yourself, you hussy.

    SMM - yes, I suspect someone grassed you up. Although the mods certainly used to read over here; don't know if they still do.

  127. 108, 109, 110, 111...

  128. Sheff 17.20 - rather more than an 'interesting interview' just to quibble a very little bit :) Chalmers Johnson was one of those straight thinkers and talkers who had an incisive working brain, and showed the good side of the USA.

    In the interview he refered to the number of pretty senior people in the CIA, Armed Forces, who've resigned rather than condone bad (even evil) policies . In the UK there is Elisabeth Wilmshurst and another handful not above the rank of major. A few generals interject words of sense,far too late, but no more.

    What he had to say about Iran was spot on, sensible, but as the moral imbecile Sarkozy spouted about the shining new NATO Anti-Ballistic-Missile Shield Project, it is purportedly just about them. Eurasia ,Eastasia, a load of cobblers.

    Leni 18.10 -- I lurked on your discussion yesterday with Paul and agreed with him. You said "Do we set up compulsary English classes ?"

    Nope! Do like the Aussies have done for very many decades -- provide language courses free -- so that if you want to pass your driving licence, or get help in stopping smoking, you do it in the local language . Anything else is barmy.

  129. Sheff that tune did make me giggle and a bit disturbed.

  130. Are we playing UC live at 8? Better sneak a quick smoke in.

  131. Bloody hell Selfmade - you've got fans...112 recommends and counting!

  132. @Sheff

    I think you need PeterJ, since I know bugger all about Linux. If you want to be able to choose between Windows and Linux, you'll have to install Linux in a different boot partition (on a bootable USB HDD, for instance) and choose which OS to boot when you start the computer.
    If you don't want Windows any more, you just save anything you need on the Windows partition (normally C:), reformat it (deleting all information) and install Linux on it.

  133. @Sheff

    It should be easy to put Linux on your notebook. Just download the distribution you want to use, put it on a CD (there will be instructions for doing this), then boot from the CD and follow the instructions from there.

  134. One point per correct answer, Spike.

    (SMM is popular, but I suspect the recommends might be to show that Hermit has figured out how to do them)

  135. @habib

    Live? Better brief me on how we go about it. 22 minutes to go...

  136. If you just want to use Linux occasionally or just try it out, there are some distros you can run from a CD without having to overwrite the existing Windows OS

    If you just want to run some Open Source software, you can just install Cygwin...

    as some other options, in case they happen to suit.

  137. My housemate'll let me play UC!

    (you'll all stuff me unless there's a round on the scientific names of woodlice though ;-))

  138. Live? Better brief me on how we go about it. 22 minutes to go...

    Well, erm....

  139. Do you have to get the correct answer before anyone buzzes?

  140. You watch it and keep a score of how many question you get right (sorry it's not more complicated, like...)

  141. Spencer, before anyone gives the answer.

  142. Ah, OK. Not live then. Based on the honour system, in fact. That's fine by me. :-)

  143. Spike

    Stoolies? EnglishHermit. He's practically signed a confession.

    Then I suggest he's your apprentice.

    Given that you've bragged about your own past history on CiF Shallcross, the conclusion must be that you've traded something for your freedom to continue posting there.

    So how about some confession from you?

  144. Dot

    108, 109, 110, 111...

    I know this one!

    112, 113, 114, 115...

    Do I win something?

  145. Who's for university challenge this evening?

    Spencer, I'm off to SY tomorrow. Gotta go home and have my medical up there because I didn't bother to register with a GP down here.

  146. Frog

    Hello. I was not disagreeing totally with Paul.

    This is a huge problem here. In many areas there are in fact free English lessons avaiable with vol teachers.

    The problem is people - particularly women - don't go !

    I have visted women at home - some of them Turkish speaking Cypriots - to give introductory English lessons in the hope that they would then enroll in classes. Those women who habitually stay at home or mix only within their own community are not encouraged by their families and in some cases are forbidden to attend.

    This is - yet another - long running frustration for me.

    Most of these women never visit their children's schools, the children attend only parties and social activities within what is regarded as their 'own communities' - women and children become more isolated and communities seperated.

    Laws, rules and services on which we all depend rely upon individuals either respecting the rules or using the services. The woman - rightly or wrongly - availed herself of the service available.

    It's somewhat like Tybo's elderly man and his Somali neighbour. My point about the Red tops is this could be presented as "Pensioner made miserable by immigrants" - whereas the problem is about poor soundproofing. The argument around building standards is ignored and it becomes another case of othering.

    After all - noisy neighbours come in all shapes and sizes.

  147. Thauma,

    Yep, at todays prices, A-Level maths


  148. sorry, Spike, It's live on http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/tv/bbc_two/20101122
    Sorry if you're blocked, being in France.

  149. Leni

    Those women who habitually stay at home or mix only within their own community are not encouraged by their families and in some cases are forbidden to attend.

    Do you think the situation would be improved if profiency in English were required? Obviously with free English lessons available.

  150. My dear friends

    My demise may perhaps have done me a favour. I am now a cause celebre attracting far more attention than ever I did before when, frankly, I don't think my letter received the attention they deserved.

    It puts me in mind of my spell in HMP Pentonville in the '50s following my conviction, resulting purely from a misunderstanding of my business affairs by an unworldly Judge and the mendaciousness of an associate whom I too readily trusted. Crowds flocked outside, rallying to the slogan 'free selfmade, prisoner of his own good nature and guilty only of being too trusting' (placards were bigger in those days). The parallel if a perfect one, you will agree.

    Yet, unfair as it was, I never regretted my time 'doing potage' (at that time, Pentonville had a chef (worryingly to we inmates, the 'Peckham Poisoner') with ideas above the station in which he found himself). It taught me much about life, and about myself, and has equipped me well for my current predicament.

    I'm sure no one acquainted with the facts will consider it overblown in this context to invoke Julian of Norwich:

    "Whatever we inherit from the fortunate
    We have taken from the defeated
    What they had to leave us—a symbol:
    A symbol perfected in death.
    And all shall be well and
    All manner of thing shall be well
    By the purification of the motive
    In the ground of our beseeching."

    Whilst I won't pretend I could not have put it better myself, I think all will agree that 'Julian' (strange name for a girl) hit the nail on the head as regards my present situation, even if she did hail from the sticks.

    Yours ever

    PS Miss Meerkat - I have a nasty feeling you walked off with my 'Prince Albert'. If so, please return to me post restante at Weston-super-Mare. It wouldn't matter in the normal course of events but Mrs Selfmade is showing every sign of feeling amorous tonight (she has been rubbing the hoover attachment languorously over one cheek, and that is usually a sign) and if she discovers it is gone there will be hell to pay.

  151. UMM - it does look as if the GMG have deleted all the old posts when deleting the User Profile - I had a quick look a few days ago and they were there, now they are not. Have you by any chance kept an archive?

  152. I've got freesat, so I can watch it live and keep count. Is there a scoring system on iplayer?


    Fuck off, you slimy little cockroach.

  153. OK, I'm in on the UC challenge.

    No laughing at me, though...

  154. I'm terribly sorry, Mr SelfMade, but I'm afraid there's simply no question of my returning aforementioned item. My dear partner discovered the item in question in my bag when searching for a hanky, and I'm afraid he jumped to the conclusion that it was an early Christmas gift. I do hope that the nice lady at the piercing parlour sterilised it first...

  155. Leni

    'In many areas there are in fact free English lessons available with vol teachers'.

    Not sure about that but hope there are. There are few adult ed English classes and too few can afford what classes exist. I agree with you re: cultural reasons plus there's lack of financial independence as well. You can't open a bank account without a lot of ID these days, and if your other half holds your passport and earns/manages the family finances, then your options are diminished.

  156. I see that my prediction at 17.24 PB is in the mood, and I heard whirring sounds of posts being concocted on the theme of self-narrative/PB/EH. has largely come to pass .

    Well, it's all PB versus the world so far ...

    On the identity of Selfmademan I'm 99% sure .

  157. A final thought for tonight.

    When EnglishHermit can write of support for SMM that:

    "As someone who suffers from a disability, I regard such behaviour as beyond contempt."

    then there is no further need for, or indeed possibility of, parody.

    A bientot mes amis, as they say in Bruxelles.

  158. I have no idea who SMM is, am I being extra dense today?

    I will have to do UC on iplayer, which gives me the bonus of keeping quiet about my score if everyone else is miles ahead of me.

  159. EH is fulminating wildly over on waddya -

    SMM alter ego broke the rules and was caught. The quality of his/her contributions is irrelevant. It shouldn't even be an issue.

    The reason this has become a major issue is because it has been raised and constantly promoted by some of the UT gang. He/she is just another one of the 'victims' exploited by the UTs because they have nothing else of value to contribute, just a febrile froth of fake indignation. We have witnessed a procession of such 'victims' recently, the tortured, the raped, the disabled, the bereaved - the list goes on.

    As someone who suffers from a disability, I regard such behaviour as beyond contempt.

    Hmmm...so we are persecutors of the "the tortured, the raped, the disabled, the bereaved " News to me.

  160. Thauma

    this discussion has been voiced again and again - there is resistance to this from several quarters as it may be seen as overiding the cultural inheritance and preference of many families.

    My view is simply stated - but not implemented. If you move abroad and take citizenship you need to learn the language and customs - this for many reasons. Firstly cos you have chosen to live within a new culture, secondly you cannot participate in civil society without the language and understanding of that society and, very importantly, we all benefit from new experiences and being part of the social and cultural life around you.

    None of this precludes your retaining your own language or of passing it on to your children - any more than it stops you retaining and enjoying your own cultural and religious practices.

    Others disagree.

  161. Miss Meerkat - worry not, I doused it in TCP before our tryst. It stung a bit, but at my age one needs some sort of stimulus. As regards Mrs Selfmade, I will simply tell her the truth and hang the consequences. It should not be a problem since, since studying Baudrillard, she has become a relativist in all senses of the world.

    But now I must really make my Horlicks and retire.

  162. Jen

    SMM is Selfmademan (aka Unmade over here). Selfmade is a fave poster on CiF, now permanently demised by the moderators.

  163. This was just posted by Dr Feelgood on Waddaya

    "The study was by Daryl Bem (neo behaviorist and self perception theory, he has credibility) and I understand he also considered a more Bayesian rather than classical stats approach. I only read the editorial in the New Scientist of course and they implied that it was actually the use of Bayes that was more interesting. (Don't confuse him with Sondra Bem, that is on sex role types duh)"

    Bayes...fuckin Schmayes

    He seems obsessed by Bayesian statistics...they appear to have had a huge influence upon him and to have opened a portal to his dimension of ultimate reality...the rest of us are 'muggles' or Platonic troglodytes in comparison (duh).

    He also seems to believe there is some cleavage between Bayesian and what he calls 'Classical Statistics. However, Bayes' Theorem and all Bayesian statistics are contained in 'classical' statistics (the theorem's nearly 250 years old FFS) and derivable from the same. There is certainly a stark divide between Bayesian inference and 'simple' probability (kinda GCSE level statistics)..but the conditional probability on modules of A..even AS level Maths ('Maths', note..not even Statistics) could be classified as Bayesian if one wished to be pedantic...and one feels the good doctor just loves to be pedantic.

    It's not especially complex..and I think we can infer that his belief that Bayesian statistics represent some kind of Social Science 'magic bullet' rather than a widely used, understood and..tbh...rather banal set of methods says rather more about the statistical aptitude of Psychology lecturers than he might have intended...I'd nip over and put him straight on this..only he'd accuse me of a 'hate crime' or something.

  164. schin

    Here the 'unwaged' can attend evening classes for free - there does have to be a percentage of paying customers now as budgets are cut.

    This again is part of the great priorities debate.

  165. Sorry Ms Chin I meant I don't know what his alter ego on Cif is, not a very clear post from me there.

  166. Damn! You'll have to trust me on UC once the iPlayer version goes live. No spoilers, please.

  167. "As someone who suffers from a disability, I regard such behaviour as beyond contempt."

    Being monumentally slow on the uptake is a 'disability' these days? It's political correctness gone mad.

  168. Whew! It's quite hectic when you're competing virtually. Precisely 30.

  169. 14, shamefully low considering how many biology questions there were!

  170. (sorry, that's the best I've ever done.)

  171. Hang on.

    As far as I am aware SMM got support from "across the floor" as far as I can tell. How the hell is he a UT victim?

    And what the fuck is that rant about raped, disabled etc about?

    Oh and I got 22 so not quite as shabby as I thought I would be. The only section I got all the answers on was mushrooms though...

  172. 19 habib :)
    It was hard as hell this week, although they always give a few obvious ones. Remember we can't really discuss the questions becuase the iplayer wathchers will get an advantage.

    Remember also iplayer people, You are NOT allowed to pause it.

  173. BB

    Sorry about the arguement we had on that thread yesterday. I suppose my comments were out of order and I apoligsed for it.

  174. Phew that was tougher than I expected. Can't believe I didn't get Borges, my brain just froze!

    29 (though I knew Sandwich was the Tern that they did not actually give the answer for as it was too late, if that counts it would be 30)

  175. Ah yes, MF, someone assumes that a) none of us over here suffer from a disability and b) collectively, we are all guilty of the persecution allegation without so much as a brief hearing never mind a fair trial.

    And as for that Bayesian stats stuff, well, yawn. Each to his / her own, but I much prefer qualitative inquiry.

  176. I was particularly pleased with Henri III as that was a complete guess. Or rather, I think it was, but it seems so unlikely that I would shout out the right Henri or Louis or Charles (are there any other French Kings?) completely at random maybe the knowledge was buried somewhere in a corner of my brain not accessible to consciousness.

  177. We have a lawyer with a specialism in ... mushrooms?!! LOL

  178. Charles "Remember we can't really discuss the questions becuase the iplayer wathchers will get an advantage."

    Oops, sorry!

  179. Thanks Spencer that is 3 questions I will get right at least. ;)

  180. The mushrooms ones were so easy! Wish they had had more like that.

  181. Jenni, well if you are counting Sandwich Tern then I get it too and my count is 30!

  182. Leni - completely agree with your take.

    there is resistance to this from several quarters as it may be seen as overiding the cultural inheritance and preference of many families.

    Yes, and when this revered 'cultural inheritance' includes subjugation of women, homophobia and the rest, I won't be crying if it gets watered down by women (or men) taking some courses in English.

  183. Just kidding Spencer, I don't think I can be bothered with it tonight and I will have forgotten by tomorrow.

  184. evening all

    found this and thought i should drop of a copy,,there is already one on waddya,, for obituarial reference if any one should be so inclined,,
    Arnold Futtock-Prout
    Location: Weston Super Mare
    Age: 110
    Gender: male
    About me: A self made man, who left Turnip Street School (now Turnip University) at 15, I made my pile in import-export. Due to an unfortunate misunderstanding and an unworldly judge I was obliged to rest up for a short period in the early 60s but otherwise have stood on my own two feet. I served with the 3rd Foot in Mouth Brigade (old soldiers will understand my jest) rising to the rank of Private. With the, admittedly reluctant, help of Mrs Futtock-Prout (nee Wound), I produced two children - a daughter who was a professional stripper but has aspirations to be a writer, and a son (now somewhat out of favour, I'm sorry to say) who is a former county-level ice skater now running a booking agency for ice-based acts of all kinds. Of Mrs Futtock-Prout, I will say no more than that she is a constant source of problems, but I wouldn't be without her (I say this as she is sniffing around, ostensibly doing the hoovering, as I write). Clubs: I failed to join the PC Brigade, Bleeding Heart Liberals and Human Rights' Brigade because I could not find the address for these organizations. My membership of the Weston Super Mare Rotary Club is under review (it all depends on my newsagent, the late Mr Frank Fisher), but I am a member of the local Golf Club.
    Interests: social advancement (but always in a tasteful way), sharing my wisdom with others, business projects of a confidential nature that need not concern you; modern art (I am studying with a view to joining the Philistines Club in due course)

  185. Dotteral "shamefully low considering how many biology questions there were!"

    Not to mention how many bird questions. Mind you I got one of them wrong that I should have known.

    I have seen a pair of Dotterals btw. On the top of Cairngorm. Really good view because they were nesting and did that pretending to be injured thing to draw me away.

    Great day that was.

  186. Dave
    "Well, it's all PB versus the world so far ..."

    This brought something to my mind, I am often seeing young well dressed women going around with those big handbag type thingies, saying "I *heart* PB".

    The Brackenator would approve of such a fanbase.

  187. @Spencer

    I do the "subconscious correct answer" thing all the time, which enrages people I play Trivs with. I did it tonight with T.S. Elliot. I don't remember what the question was.


    I got just one fungal question right, because I answered "cèpe" until it turned up. ;-)

  188. Oh shit, are we supposed to not talk about the questions?

  189. Spike there was never a T S Elliot answer, was there, how about Ezra Pound and Robert Frost?

  190. Leni, I did some volunteer English teaching (teaching assistance, really) a few years ago. And there were plenty of women in the class though mostly Eastern Europeans. There was an Afghan woman though.

    The classes were being cut which seemed to me to be madness and that was back before the recession, let alone before the Coalition.

  191. Can't say the question becuase I know some people still intend to watch, but I loved the question about five minutes in that involved a certain legal case regarding the Guardian (don't say it!).

  192. Yep, no prizes for guessing where I did get my points!

    I would however, have got "spell Dotterel?" right ;-)