07 December 2010


The Triangulum Galaxy

We are here to add what we can to life, not to get what we can from life.
-William Osler


  1. BTH

    "So how do you interpret monkey, in a way that suits the agenda of someone else?"

    I go for meaning bitey...I try and decide exactly what a poster meant to convey through their words...not what it suits me to decide they might have meant as part of my agenda in a long and twisted campaign of weirdness.

    Incidentally...though it may surprise you...that's how the rest of the world 'interprets' as well...they try to interpret posts with a view to understanding what a poster meant to communicate.

    "And I thought about the person who was flattered at being accused of rendering "mere rhetoric", given that not one of his very intelligent accusers could produce an example."

    That's another thing BTH...most people in the world just read the fuckin thing...they don't do the whole logging/indexing/ updating their enormous database routine..that's just you...so I have no ready access to your posts...and let's face it, they're hardly fuckin memorable

    ...and you still haven't explained what that passage you pasted was meant to represent...so what the fuck was it?

  2. deano,

    re: The 1947 winter. I had a quick look at that, very interesting.

    It cost a struggling post war Britain £4.5 billion (in todays money). It was a direct cause of Labour's loss in 1950 as people lost faith in Attlee's Government to provide food and power.

    Britain already spending 15% of GDP on the armed forces and post war reconstruction had to slash the Bretton Woods official exchange rate from $4.03 to $2.80, a major loss of face and symbol of declining power and persuaded the USA to speed up implementation of the Marshall Plan.

    The damage caused to ageing factory plants and machine tools not already destroyed by the war also further retarded Britain's post war manufacturing base, soon to be overtaken by France and West Germany.

    Fascinating stuff.

  3. morning all

    Thanks for all the good wishes re my bro. Major relief all round.

    I don't know why you bother with bitey MF - he's only interested in marking out some territory here, a bit like an old badger past his prime. He likes taking up space, trying to score the odd point, in the forlorn hope that someone, anyone, will notice. You won't ever get a straightforward dialogue going on.

    Another glorious morning after a freezing night - knee has stiffened up and can can just about hobble if I turn my foot out and walk on my heel and there's no way I'm going to risk the icy wastes by going to work. So stuck indoors going stir crazy.

  4. Further research,

    root vegetables had to be drilled out the ground using pneumatic drills and imported beef, frozen solid was replaced by whale meat, 15,000 tons of it being landed in North Shields.

    “It looks exactly like British beef, tastes somewhat like it and is cooked in the same way”

    was the official Govt spin. John Mortimer, the novelist recalled that it was nicknamed "Moby dick and chips" and "wasn't pleasurable".

    Electricity was rationed, being swtiched off between 9am-noon and 2pm to 4pm,there was severe coal shortages and all radio stations were taken off air except for the light programme and TV was suspended.

    The backlog of football fixtures being cancelled meant the season did not finish until June 14th, making it the longest football season on record.

  5. blimey, yr grace.
    (recall that whalemeat was a wartime special - several references to it, not wholly complimentary, in Enigma for example, and Spike Milligan's memoirs...)

  6. Yr Grace

    I remember the big freeze of 1963. Here's a footie perspective on it from Brian McNally

    The Big Freeze of 1963

  7. Christmas Dinner With The Untrusted

    Baked young iguana, no garnish,no fuss,
    Snow leopard cutlets au jus;
    Goat udders braised in rancid old pus,
    Chopped and sautéed mongoose.

    Cinnamon seasoned poodle brochette
    Siamese cat on a skewer;
    Simmered sea-otter and stuffed marmoset;
    Fried baby rats fresh from the sewer.

    Panda rissoles with garlic-fried snake;
    Siberian tiger en croute;
    Dolphin pâté with a fresh sea-horse bake,
    Gorilla paws with bamboo shoots.

    We'll tickle the palate with delicate things
    (a lot of them found in the zoo);
    And if we should stumble upon the three kings?
    Well, by God, we'll eat those bastards too.

  8. am listening to 'taking a stand', would recommend it on listen again. it features one of those people who give you a good understanding of the word 'grace'.

  9. "a bit like an old badger past his prime"

    We all feel like that sometimes Sheff. ;-)

    I was thinking a good a description as any would be "wind-up merchant".

  10. PhilippaB
    Heard the bit up until where he confronted his old "foster mother" with his degree. That was some story.

  11. Sheff,

    interesting read.

    Clough's career ending injury during that freeze is the event that fires and obsesses his inner demons in 'The Damned United'- the book, not the crap film adaptation that is.

  12. Roasted chestnuts.

    What's all that about, eh?


  13. bitterweed - indeed. immensely moving.

    have just switched radio back on and it seems that ryanair have dropped another bollock. or created great art. depending on your POV...

  14. "at very best, that's a deeply fatuous image..."

    possibly my favourite putdown on the nudie calendar issue.

  15. The UT "Eat the Rich" Christmas Dinner

    Untaxed fillet of Philip Green
    Ashcroft shanks steeped in greed
    Two-brains Willetts Thai monkey style
    Ken Clarke enriched with a generous helping of third-world lung tumours
    Stuffed banker
    Roast manifestos basted in cat fat
    Heavily reduced benefit sauce
    LibDem upside-down pudding

    Thatcher crackers
    Tasteless Chateau Widdecombe Blue Nun

    Low spirits and hard cheese

  16. @ the Duke. I found (the book) The Damned United very good (bit repetitive in places, but assume that was part of the design,to echo Cloughie's thoughts...and his drinking). Johnny Giles sued over it and some quibbled about it, but hey, it was in the fiction section. Interesting author, Peace. Red Riding books outstanding, his more recent Japan-based stuff interesting, rather experimental in style

  17. Hi Alisdair,

    hope the wee yin's on good form and that Fatherhood's treating you well as I'm sure it is.

    I loved the book, I thought it had a hint of Macbeth about it- Revie as Banquo's ghost constantly haunting Clough. Easily the most original book on football I'd read in a long time. Also notable that the only flesh and blood character in the book Clough is scared of is Dave Mackay- not only the hardest man ever to play football, but the hardest man ever.

    I haven't read any other Peace books but I have meant to get round to 'GB84' about the miners strike.

  18. well here's a turn up from the Indie..

    HSBC took kickbacks to keep Madoff in business

    Bernie Madoff was able to con thousands of extra investors by using a British bank which "looked the other way" and ignored repeated warnings that he was engaged in a sophisticated fraud, according to the man charged with recovering their losses.

    HSBC and its staff were accused of receiving "kickbacks for looking the otherway while legitimising BLMIS (Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities) through their name and brand, making it attractive to investors".

    Madoff's victims are suing for $9bn damages from the bank. I expect the UK tax payer will have to stump up for that as well!

  19. @Sheff

    A tiny piece of good news; HSBC was one of the few banks that didn't get any bailout cash thanks to its huge Chinese operations. Like Barclays, only there it had to beg a bailout from some Emir or other.

    Still, I hope HSBC gets taken to the cleaners. Couldn't happen to a nastier or more rapacious organisation.

  20. You guys are so downbeat...for fuck's sake, dudes...embrace The Big Society. I mean...if a bunch of tax-dodging, public-school millionaires are all for it, what can possibly go wrong? It's not as if they're capable of lying...Bootsy Collins - The Pinocchio Theory .

  21. jack cade

    ...if a bunch of tax-dodging, public-school millionaires are all for it, what can possibly go wrong?


    Let's turn those nasty, miserable, glum frowns upside down, put on a cheery smile and adopt a cheeky whistle and lor' lummie an' luvaduck we'll 'ave this silly old Broken Britain knocked back to shape in no time.

    After all, there is a war on, you know!

    A precious thing to pass around as we all face the music and dance.

  22. Careless talk closes loopholes.

    Boycott the tax-fiddlers.

    Shop a tax-fiddler today.

  23. monkeyfish you quote me:

    "So once more monkeyfish you fail to come up with a single quote of mine that backs up your accusations, which really do sink to a low that I doubted even you could reach. And I'll save you the trouble looking as you won't find one."

    You write some coherent prose,and you struggle to produce anything, but come up with this:

    Oldish guy (or so you say)...who has defended or at least called for leniency for adults who've had sexual relationships with minors...travels to the Far East a lot...QED...paedo

    Rather like the judge in the case who unlike you managed to display a little humanity:

    From The Times after the trial:

    A music teacher who had a lesbian affair with a 15-year-old pupil will be allowed to continue to see the girl after she is released from jail.
    Despite the parents fears that Helen Goddard, 26, will try to rekindle her relationship with their daughter, a judge rejected a prosecution request to ban the teacher from seeing the girl for five years.
    As Goddard sat crying in the dock, Judge Anthony Pitt said that it would be draconian on the girl, who turns 16 next week, to impose a sexual prevention order banning the teacher from seeing her. The court was told that the pair were still in love.

    I would not dispute that what this young woman did was wrong in the context of her position as a teacher. However, I would question the severity of the sentence. A sentence serves several functions. It is a punishment for the crime and a deterrent to others. It also offers the possibility of rehabilitation. Finally, it can provide society protection in terms of keeping the criminal away from society at large.

    At a time when our prisons are bulging at the seams I question whether a custodial sentence was necessary? Should the teacher be punished? Yes – but being labelled a sex offender and losing any chance of continuing her teaching career seems to be a pretty severe punishment. Anyone else who might contemplate such a crime would be deterred. Incarceration seems unnecessary.

    Could she be rehabilitated? Being a lesbian is not a ‘failure that can be remedied in a prison. She suffered a serious lapse in judgement that has cost her her reputation and career. That seems sufficient.
    Does society need protection? Well she will not teach again so the wider risk is removed. Does the girl in question need protecting? She will shortly turn 16 and will be free to make up her own mind. By all accounts she has not been traumatised or ‘hurt by the experience and may well seek to continue the relationship – which she is entitled to do. So in my view sending this woman to prison is unnecessary, costly and unduly punitive.


    What a wonderful country - muggers, burglars and people who bite policemen remain free (no room in the prisons!) but a woman who has an affair with another woman gets jailed.

    The Law seems to be digitilised now - speed camaras are set for 33 in a 30 zone - so do 33 and you are a potential child murderer - do 32 and you are a law abiding citizen, salt of the earth. No arguements.
    A young woman of 15 years 11 months 30 days is a babe in arms - anyone who looks at her is labled a paedophile by the tabloids. A day later, when she is 16 and those same tabloids are showing her half naked on page three, complete with salacious innuendo.
    It's a nonsense to say an immutable line must exist and you are either one side or the other - that is why we have courts and judges - to look at the context and take other considerations into account. In some case speeding is justified - to avoid an accident for example. And in this case the judge should have avoided a custodial sentence as there appears to have been no harm done to either party.

  24. The quote Monkeyfish is from William Boyd's Any Human Heart, currently being serialised on Channel 4. No reason for posting it other than to indicate some similarlity with my own situation at the moment. Not the France bit but the general satisfaction with my situation, travelling north on the train though countryside free of snow but looking as if someone's dusted all the trees with icing sugar. Never seen anything like it before.

  25. @Bite The Bum, are you familiar with the concept of 'protesting too much'? If you're not a paedophile, congratulations: have a biscuit.

    If you are: well, speaking as the father of young children, I hope you're caught and sent to prison.

    As things stand, you come across as deeply creepy and Clintonesque ("I did not have sexual relations with that woman...erm...it depends on what you mean by 'did', 'sexual' and 'relations' but I am definitely innocent of whatever it is that I wasn't caught doing etc etc").

    Get a life or something vaguely resembling one, but for Christ's sake, give your wounded self-regard a breather. So far, you've given a breath of fresh dullness to the term 'tedious'.

  26. Oh for god's sake

    She wasn't sent to prison for being a lesbian

    She was sent to prison for having a sexual relationship with a minor while in a position of authority and influence over her.

    Judges have to consult the sentencing guidelines. The sentencing guidelines can be found here.

    There is a handy table at page 53 in relation to sexual offences against children (and I don't care that she was 15, in the eyes of the law she is still a child).

    The maximum sentence is 14 years (or 5 years if the offender is under 18 themselves)

    Abuse of trust is an aggravating factor.

    Whatever you might believe, the Judge has to sentence within the stated range - if he sentences manifestly too harshly the defence will appeal the sentence, if he sentences manifestly too leniently the Crown will appeal it.

    Whatever dewy-eyed fantasies you might have about lesbian relationships is neither here nor there in the eyes of the law, Bitey. And continuing to insist that she should not have been given a custodial sentence flies in the face not only of the law and common sense, but also in the face of basic morality.

    An adult, in a position of power or authority over a minor, should not abuse their relationship with that minor by having a sexual relationship with them.

  27. Afternoon all,

    Arrggh! Never agree to organise a secret Santa, it's like herding blinking cats!


    Presumably you'd feel the same about the teacher's case had it been a gay male relationship, or either permutation of heterosexual?

  28. Something I said?

  29. It's all gone quiet, Dot...

    Maybe it was the mention of Secret Santa that had everyone rushing round worrying about the christmas pressies they haven't bought yet... :O

    One year in a secret santa someone gave me a video entitled The Erotic Witch Project - a lesbian version of the Blair Witch Project.

    They obviously thought it was a good laugh...

  30. Ah, haven't even got to that stage BB, I'm still on the:

    "Can I have a name please?"

    "But all the names have gone: someone must've forgotten to tell me they were playing, then taken a name anyway"


  31. Oh god. I am so glad I am in quite a small office now, and we don't do secret santas there.

    The only people we buy for are the clerks - the usual bottles of perfume, bottles of JD kinda thing - and the only people they buy for are our kids, so it works out quite well really.

  32. Hi folks. I've been reading Michael Howard and Ken Clarke's comments on 'prison reform' today and I had a little bout of deja vu.

    Prisons will also be made places of hard work as part of efforts to prepare offenders more effectively for the outside world.

    It took me right back to Michael Heseltine's speeches at Tory party conferences in the 80's. Same old Tories.

    garden of england (Tarzan's platitudes are at the end of the song at about 3.20.)

  33. hi scherf

    I too have been thinking about this. Does this mean we will have private companies setting up manufacturing bases in our prisons? Some supervision of prisoners would be supplied by their employees further cutting prison service costs.

    this happens in US with prisoners earning pennies a hour. The profits would go to private companies, prisoners would be exploited while the manufacturing base would not be established in communities needing extra jobs.

    The teaching of skills could be seen as a 'good thing' but if manufacturing is confined to prisons there will be no similar jobs around on the outside when prisoners are released.

    The advantage would be to gvt. and the private sector only - yet again.

    Can people here be sentenced to prison plus so many hours of poorly paid work a week ? Can a judge sentence someone to 5 years imprisonment plus 5 years of financial exploitation - to run concurrently ?

  34. Evening all.

    Made it back from the Christmas shopping expedition remarkably unscathed. Predictably, did I say predictably, no, inevitably, there was plenty of space because of no shows, both clients and volunteers.

    So I was chewing my fingernails all weekend for nothing. Fucking typical!

    Oh well, only one more expedition to organise before Christmas.

    Mind you, last year that was a terror in itself. Roads out because of snow, trying to get to a country pub in Hertfordshire...

    I even did a proper risk assessment, it was that bad!

    Still, there wouldn't be any bad weather this year, would there?

  35. @BB

    What did your deleted post on Whaddya at 3.52 say? Anything interesting?

  36. Hey Scherf and Leni

    "Can people here be sentenced to prison plus so many hours of poorly paid work a week ? Can a judge sentence someone to 5 years imprisonment plus 5 years of financial exploitation - to run concurrently ? "

    Not yet...

  37. scherfig and Leni

    Looks like a nice little earner for someone like the tax-fiddler extraordinaire and government adviser, Philip Green.

    It would save him from having to operate secret sweat-shops both in the UK and abroad.

    Straight from HMP Wormwood Scrubs to Top Shop Tunbridge Wells.

    Vodafone could also use prisoners to assemble their mobile phones to help offset the costs of any taxes they have not been able to avoid paying.

    Obviously, if the prisoners use the phones for drug-dealing or planning a heist, Vodafone could also take a cut.

    Maybe share it with the rozzers.

  38. It's been deleted? Aha. Should have kept a copy of it cos it took me a long time to write it. It was basically, bottom line, pointing out that Meerkatjie was picked on by Pen, not the other way around, and mobbed when she turned up on Waddya, and it was bloody rich him now saying that he was being bullied by her.

    Not surprised it has been deleted, although there was nothing rude about it and very carefully worded. Nobody can point out that Pen is disingenuous and spiteful to people by demonstrating it using his own words, can they? Duh. Sheesh. Play nice. And stop bullying me Spike. :p

  39. From the Graun:

    "MasterCard and Visa have cut off support for WikiLeaks. They claimed WikiLeaks breaches its rules, but you can still use those cards to support overtly racist organisations supported by the Ku Klux Klan."

  40. Spencer

    Glad the shopping trip went well! You obviously put a lot of time and effort into it. Well done x

  41. @BB

    Woteva. I don't even read what you write, I just scroll past it.

  42. Dear Sir Philip Green, I'm fat, arrogant, greedy, shifty and hideous. Why am I still broke? Yours, etc etc...Ten Years After - Sugar The Road

    There's only one way that you stay alive
    Keep workin' for your pension 'til your sixty-five
    No, no...don't dig it at all...

  43. Bencaute has just posted a reference to this on waddya:

    U.S. to Host World Press Freedom Day in 2011

    you have to larf....

  44. Spike

    "Woteva. I don't even read what you write, I just scroll past it. "

    ...clicking on the "report abuse" button on your way past? :p

  45. BB turned out I more or less had the afternoon off. Two of the people who needed wheelchair support cancel, and another one reminded me en route that she had asked me to book a mobility trike.

    Argh! I had forgotten, and phoning shopmobility was no good as the unbooked trikes were all out.

    Only when we got there two had returned, so she and her sister both whizzed off on their electric scooters and I had no one in need of support.

    That was not the great thing though. I feel like I earned the break because getting everyone back on the buses is always a problem with Christmas shopping. But today everyone turned up before time. Nobody got lost. And the electric scooter people somehow managed to return their scooters and get themselves to the bus pick up with no help from me.

    That is not so much amazing as unprecedented. In 10 years I have never, ever, had everyone ready to go, on the dot, after Christmas Shopping.

    Once lost an elderly lady in Bluewater about a week before Christmas, which was beyond horrific. Though I think you would have to have been in Bluewater in the run up to Christmas to realise quite how bad.

    We don't go there any more.

  46. Sheff

    Surely world Press reedom day will be an event celebrating the suppression of Press Freedom ? Drinks all round.

  47. Spencer

    Organising trips out can be a nightmare - particularly the gathering up at the end of it.

    I once took a bunch of 'delinquent' boys to Butlins in Bognor. Very hot summers day.

    When gathering was complete it was evident that some had been upto no good. Tightly zipped up jackets on apparently pregnant boys.

    The great unzipping revealed a small mountain of stolen goods - adding another hour to the trip as they were returned.

    I once knew a headmaster of a special school who had a locked cupboard full of stolen property - he didn't know what to do with it all on retirement after 20 years of hoarding.

    Glad your day went well after all the worries.

  48. "MasterCard and Visa have cut off support for WikiLeaks.

    There's certainly some very serious arm twisting going on. Interesting to see the lengths they'll go to played out on the world stage. Still too late though and the having a major tantrum, whilst fun to watch, won't prevent the rest of the material coming out.

  49. Leni, rather you than me. At least our lot can't run very fast! Mind you when they get on those electric trikes they are away in a flash.

  50. Have you read The Sopranos by Alan Warner, Leni?

  51. Spencer

    No - haven't read it. You suggest I should ?

  52. Bloody hell Sheff, have the US State Department recruited Chris Morris to write for them?

    "The Newseum will host the first two days of events"


  53. Spencer

    recently a local organisation did a risk assessment on a family day. The person doing it used a tick box rather than common sense approach.

    At one point they had a fire juggler - they measured distance from performer to seated children - they failed however to notice that juggler was at top of steep incline with children at bottom. Fire torches roll when dropped.

    Luckily I arrived in time to change it round - particularly as juggler was fumble fingered and dropped most of his torches.

    we had a scheme here funding people to learn circus skills to enable them to become self employed children's entertainers as opposed to on the dole.

    this guy was a very bad choice.

  54. Leni, definitely. It's great. There is some silly punctuation stuff at the start but don't let that put you off.

    The Sopranos are four Catholic schoolgirls, the oldest of a choir going to Edinburgh to take part in a BBC schools choir competition.

    But a submarine has come into "The Port" (Oban really) so they are determined to go out in the first round because they think there will be submariners in "The Mantrap" The Port's sole nightclub and they want to get back in time to pull some sailors.

    That is the start, them just getting on the coach to go to Edinburgh, and it all goes downhill from there, with these distracted nuns desperately trying to control an ever escalating spiral of drink, drugs, shoplifting, uniform losing...

    One of my favourite books. And it is, despite all of the above, a serious and moving story too.

  55. Ha ha, Leni! That's brilliant.

    When I sign up a new client these days, just to get with the programme, I put in a couple of lines of risk assessment. Usually something like: Flat a bit cluttered. Take care not to fall over stuff. Who is at risk? Client and workers. It is just a formal thing in case anyone gives me a hard time for not doing them.

    But last year I interviewed this guy and wrote the risk assesment. OK, I will admit I did not quite dare to put it in the paperwork but anyway, here it is:

    Risks: Flat very cluttered. Has sword and shotgun. Client barking mad.

    Who is at risk? Everyone!

  56. I'm amazed that yet another threat of 'taking action' from Pen goes unmodded, while BB's reasonable post stays. That place is incredible.

  57. Spencer

    guns are rather common.

    i once visited a woman said to be delusional but 'able to cope'. She was about 60 and basically hated her husband and life in general.

    She finally led me to a garden shed where she had hidden a gun. She explained that this was her escape rote which kept her sane.

    Social Services are sometimes truth averse - I was once told any Psych assessment of a child in care had to show positive results and improvement covering the in care period.

  58. Sorry Spencer

    should have added I found the woman's assessment of her husband - a cruel bastard - quite correct.

  59. BB - legal query if you don't mind!

    As I understand it, contractors are generally issued contracts for a year or less because that amount of time doesn't qualify them for having employee-like rights.

    Do you know what the cut-off period is for that perchance?


  60. Just to clarify the query, I *think* there is a period of contracting after which, legally, a contractor basically acquires the same rights as an employee. Wondering a) if this is true, and b) what the period of time is.

    Meerkatjie - I saw Pen's first threat of legal action, which was obviously laughable. I reckon the G e-mailed him and told him to cool it because he was rather quiet for a while after that.

  61. Meerkatjie

    I was in a bit of a grumpy mood when I read Pen's post and I couldn't let it stand without addressing it. Maybe some people really do have "protected" status? Sigh.

  62. Thaum

    I am utter shite at employment law, never having done any since bar school, but I can research it for you. I must still have an employment handbook knocking about somewhere. xx

  63. Thauma, probably no help as it it does not relate to contractors, but I have never had a contract (that is, the bit of paper).

    When I first got (my old, part time job) I was a bit miffed about this. But then my boss told me that her boss had said she should remind me that I was only on annual contracts.

    A very disputatious friend who ended up working for a solicitor as a sort of para-legal, told me that I should stop hassling for a contract because if they did not give me a contract with in the year stating explicitly that it was only for a year, then I would have a permanent contract by default.

    Don't suppose it is relevant. But from what he said the annual bit was significant in that case.

  64. @BB, I've emailed them now.
    If I ever need a lawyer, you're it. It was an impressive post.

    Anyhoo, bigger things to worry about. In a grump with the world. University education about to grind to a halt, Assange arrested and not even let out on bail. I feel increasingly like the walls of fascism are closing in round this little island. It's horrible.

  65. Reluctant to get involved but...

    Surely Pen has a protected status because he is seriously unstable and the Gaga are aware of it?

    I am not saying that it is reasonable. In fact I think it is fairly typical Guardian wannabee PC foolishness.

    But I don't think it is (as it would appear to be in other cases) so much a preference thing as simply a fear that he might go completely crackers again if not treated with kid gloves.

    I think it is the wrong response, but I can see why they do it. And as you pointed out Meerkatjie, they have modded quite a lot of his posts.

  66. BTH

    I'm tempted to stick with the "Bite the Hand Patented Approach to Exegesis" and reply...

    'That's just the sort of thing a paedophile would say.'

    But that would be dishonest and disingenuous...so I won't...so why don't you stop it and stop making outlandish claims about other people?

    I dare say we have little in common Bitey...other than possibly our vying for the second place spot in the most banned CIF contributor stakes...and the fact that we can both probably get along just fine in a hostile blog environment...but surely you must be getting sick of it by now? I really would advise you to stop making wild accusations on here...you described it as a 'semi-quality blog' the other day...far as I can see, it's mainly you that's causing the 'semi' (Oo-er missus etc)...I'm not gonna tell you to fuck off because I'm not a huge fan of censorship either...but at least stop making ridiculous assumptions about people based on no more than twisted logic and wishful thinking.

  67. BB, Thauma, I don't know what it is now, but it used to be two years continual employment and your temps were to get full employee benefits.

    I was told by senior management at Experian to dismiss seven of my temps, because they were coming up to that time. Two weeks before Christmas.

    I was told to rehire them in the New Year, because it would take too long to train new staff up. Fucking wankers. I'd rather be poor than work for shitheads like that again.

  68. Spence

    But surely even someone who has "problems" should not be immune to having a post zapped if it is ad hom and threatening in tone?

    He is now saying that people want him banned - so presumably he is reading here. If he is, I would just like to say that of course nobody wants him banned, but he needs to get a bloody grip and stop saying stupid shit about Meerkatjie, because he is making himself look spiteful.

  69. Been reading Waddaya...been reading James Ellroy...bad mix

    They sent him to Scunthorpe to find a rogue poster named Expat. He wasn't sure he could do it.
    The CIFBI flew him in. They supplied first-class fare. They tapped their slush fund. They greased him. They fed him six cold.

    Nobody said it:

    Fix the transvestite trucker. Do it good. Take our hit fee.
    The flight ran smooth. A stew served drinks. She saw his gun. She played up. She asked dumb questions.

    He said he worked Vegas PD. He ran the intel squad. He built files and logged information. Had the skinny on every rogue trucker in Linconshire. The hopheads. The shakedown artists. The johns. Fucked-up nickle and dime stuff.

    What he wanted;what the feds wanted; what Howard Hughes wanted: The "Tea Lady".

    She loved it. She swooned.

    "Hon, what you doin' in Scunny?"

    He told her. The bar went quiet.

  70. heyhabib

    That is really shitty. But it doesn't surprise me in the least.

  71. BB, Spencer, Habib, thanks!

    Don't bother researching it, BB - it was just an idle question really.


    it used to be two years continual employment and your temps were to get full employee benefits.

    Interesting. I usually get a 52-week contract, although it's sometimes less depending on the financial state of the company. But I have been working there for over 5 years continuously. Some contractors there are going on 15 years!

  72. BB I wasn't saying that I agreed with it, if that is the policy, just that it looks to me like it might be.

    Actually, I don't suppose it is a "policy" at all, just a liberal cringe reaction.

    BTW. I looked at the Lammy thread and comments there and here. Too late to be worth getting involved. Will just say that a) the Oxbridge record is clearly just as appalling as ever when it comes to inclusion. And b) I agree with the comments that it is a real pity that it was Lammy writing the piece as it was so muddled and poorly set out.

    Whatever you say about Oxbridge there is no doubt a lot of very clever people went there and many of them feel defensive about it, so any article pointing out what a bastion of privilege it remains needs to be at least competently written if it is not going to get shredded in short order.

  73. thauma, if it gets more than academic ask me again.

    I just realised that my sister is bound to know about it. She works for BECTA and is in the process of laying off their workforce, mostly consultants working as contractors and I am sure that some of them must have worked there for more than a year.

  74. MF - loving the ellroy there!

  75. It's 3 consecutive years in academia - I'm pretty sure that's not limited to that context. I'd imagine you have a very solid case, if you want to be permanent, Thaum.

    This practice of employing contractors to minimise risk, while essentially treating them as paid staff seems to be a very regular feature of the labour market these days - more common I suspect for semi-skilled labour than it has been in decades?

  76. Midnight.Cab driver jivin off shitbird X Factor gossip. Tuned out. Pull over.

    Primark. Neon Fuzz from kebab shop. Made guys snafing donna with the local tail.

    Footsteps. White stilettos. Deep baritone humming Aida. Six-four. Two-sixty. Fake leopardskin knocked out in Taiwan. Handbag de-luxe. Veil.

    "Who sent ya?" Strange accent.
    Feature: Bernard Manning "Tonight Matthew I'm Edith Piaf".

    "Can't say"

    "Don't bother. I know it's the Fish."

  77. Meerkatjie read your post BB and told me about it, I was at the time, doing the taxi service and banking my ill gotten loot! They paid me for teaching IT to kids, how cool is that eh? Anyways back on plot Meerkatjie told me about your post, she said "If we ever need a Barrister, we need to get BB, she's bloody forensically good!" I hope someone kept it, it sounds like a good post.

    I fail to see how Pen can get away with the viciousness of his posts, yet anything innocuous to refute his deluded rubbish is deleted. His mate Bru is not helping him, she is making things worse for him by feeding into his delusions. Both of them have had massive Irony bypasses, and really, but really need to look in their own fucking mirrors!

    As for the Lammy post I was so bitterly disappointed, it took me all of 5 minutes to find the stuff he said we'd not find, yet his bloody argument held water, and was let down by some rather shoddy initial writing and some flippancy with concrete numbers, his bravado cost the whole debate, which was an easy win.... wassock.

  78. thauma - have just checked "essential law for the tax advisor" and there is (unsurprisingly) no help from that department, although it did refer to statutory periods (notice etc) accruing on the basis of completed years of 'employment' - and what normally counts is 'continuing employment', so if they are running FTCs back-to-back (or even with a two-week lay-off, like the twats habib used to work for) then I'm pretty sure rights would result...

    but that's a lot of surmisin' on my part...

  79. Lammy was seriously not the best person to write that article. I can think of a dozen posters btl - PeterGuillam is the one that springs to mind immediately - who would have made a far better case.


  80. Thauma

    I you need advice about your Employment Rights you can try the Acas Helpline.Sorry i couldn't provide a link but for some reason i can get the sodding thing to work .Nevertheless if you cut'n'paste -


    -this will get you to the website and give you the telephone number and opening times.

  81. ...and congrats to spence for not mislaying any members of the festive raiding party. well done!

  82. 'If' instead of 'i' and 'can't' instead of 'can.'

    Fuck it!

  83. Continuing thanks....


    I'd imagine you have a very solid case, if you want to be permanent, Thaum.

    Aha, but the thing is, I'm not sure I could afford the pay cut. ;-)

    This practice of employing contractors to minimise risk, while essentially treating them as paid staff seems to be a very regular feature of the labour market these days - more common I suspect for semi-skilled labour than it has been in decades?

    This is very true, but in IT and Engineering the contracting jobs do pay more than the permanent ones, although obviously without any employment security, retirement, paid time off, etc. It used to be a *lot* more, but not these days.

    It's a lot worse for unskilled and semi-skilled jobs; I shouldn't complain at all.

    20 years ago, the mister's old man was in the same predicament that Habib described - every time he came up to two years he was sacked. It's disgraceful. And immoral.

  84. thauma - having gone back and read your original query a bit more carefully...there are manifold tax considerations about when-is-a-contractor-really-an-employee, which are of interest to hmrc, natch, because of paye, ni etc. but if those ran over to employent law, that could be a factor.

    basically, if you work full-time at theirs with their stuff and don't do much on your own account, you're an employee. which may not seem surprising to most of us, but apparently it took years to work that out.

    if you think that could be relevant, let me know...

  85. BB -- it was very good! In future write in Wordpad or summink?

    Timboktutut-- I thanked for the CC, now for another problem .

    Occasionally I get a voice, from some ad I think, repeating the same silly phrase at intervals, wotcha recommend ?

    (I don't think there's a page open with an ad on it)

  86. Cheers Paul!

    I'm not really worried, I was just curious.

    I was informed recently that job is being considered for outsourcing, but my management thinks it's a terrible idea and are doing all they can to prevent it. And I have just been offered another year's contract.

    Even if it did get outsourced, I suspect I would be employed by the designated company as my particular skill set is somewhat unique. Although I could be horribly wrong.

    What piqued my curiosity was that a colleague has been offered a fifteen-month contract, which I thought might go over the line.

  87. Phillipa, thanks. I am to be congratulated because I worked extremely hard. Having found myself with nobody to assist and having lost the lady I thought next most likely to need assistance, I wandered off to look for TK Maxx which in Watford, it would seem, is in St Albans.

    Anyway it took me ages to find it. And nothing to buy so I went back and had a cappuccino in Costa.

    It is hard work but someone has to do it.

    I did take a sneaky photo of one of our old ladies who was sitting on a bench in the Harlequin centre being chatted up by an old bloke, so that I can take the micky at some future point though.

    So it wasn't all leisure and pleasure.

  88. Do you think Jessica would do me an article on how flow diagrams are the invention of the devil, and that there's nothing essentially good about converting complex ideas into little bubbles and arrows and stuff.

    Gah, I hate drawing these things!

  89. "This is very true, but in IT and Engineering the contracting jobs do pay more than the permanent ones, although obviously without any employment security, retirement, paid time off, etc. It used to be a *lot* more, but not these days."

    That's the thing though, isn't it? You lose so much in terms of the kinds of oncosts companies carry for you, that don't translate into pay packets.

    I know what you mean though. I switched my pension off for a year, in the interests of making ends meet. I know I've lost a huge amount of money to gain the extra bit that lands in my bank account. But god, I need the extra bit!

  90. i think you can congratulate yourself on a job well done, there, spence! hope you recover from the exertions soon, heheh.

    "my particular skill set is somewhat unique"
    sounds nasty - lot of it going around at the moment.

    i continue to be a trial for all it-related people and things - they've 'released the beta' of the work thingy, in preparation for proper launch at the weekend, so they can fix "a few last small things' that pop up as me and fred-the-other-sales-wonk use it.

    problem is, they aren't a few, they aren't the last, and they certainly aren't small.

    bug-fixing colleague suggested that it would be easier if he just popped in every time he fixed something to pick up his next assignment, instead of me having to keep going to him...

    nothing quite as bad as when i apparently broke the laws of physics, but i keep hearing mutterings of "mais c'est pas possible", that suggest I am not losing my touch.

  91. "nothing quite as bad as when i apparently broke the laws of physics"
    How'd you do it, Scotty?

  92. Monkeyfish

    Great earlier post.I needed a good laugh.Tip hat to you sir!Funny thing about Sprouts though is that she's totally oblivious to the role she herself is playing in promoting the idea that she may be a cross-dressing trucker from Scunthorpe!Cos the more the 'lady doth protest' the more suspicion people are gonna have that it's actually true.

  93. Dunno about flowcharts, Meerkatjie. Policies are the work of the devil though.

    When I started at my project over ten years ago I think we probably had two. An Equal opportunities policy and a volunteer policy. But I took over running it nearly six years ago, and since then we have had to have more and more every year.

    A complaints proceedure. OK. A data protection and confidentiality policy. A CRB policy... I can't remember them all but we have about 12 now, but every now and then I have a meeting with the monitoring officer and she leans forward and asks, and have you got a **** policy?

    And the thing is that most of these are perfectly reasonable and sensible. There is nothing wrong with having a confidentiality policy. The problem is that our project has a grand total of one full time member of staff, and the two part timers are practical i.e. not office workers.

    The idea that every eventuality needs to have a policy ready to deal with it assumes organisations of a certain size, with HR departments.

    I have seriously had people say when I have complained about it. But can't your HR department deal with it?

    Anyway, at the last monitoring meeting when asked if we had a policy (we did have it but I had forgotten) I said no, but I was working on our zombie attack policy.

    After all there would be all sorts of issues that need to be considered in the case of zombie attack. Can you bash their brain stems in and put them out of action without fear of legal consequences down the line, for example? Could you be accused of murdering the undead?

    I am serious. It is my intention to produce a decent zombie attack policy and bury it in all the others before I leave.

  94. This comment has been removed by the author.

  95. Hey folks, haven't had chance to read back the threads, was a struggle to get to work on Monday, involving 7am start, late buses, missed buses, snow, ice and a £20 taxi, but I GOT THERE! Enjoying the new job, went live today and is a lot to learn, but interesting and rewarding when you can help someone.

    Full time wk and the snow struggles are robbing me of my blogging time, but I hope you are all well, the glance I've had up thread suggests that much remains the same; erudite informed debate, intriguing questions, good humour and the old bridge dwellers.

    Miss youse guys, if any one wants to, Montana has my wk and personal e-mails.

    afk fer a bit so atb

    yer pal

    TX : )

  96. Philippa - breaking the laws of physics is a regular occurence when dealing with CAD software.

    Must apologise, am engaged in a very competitive game of rummy and it's my turn...

  97. Phillipa "nothing quite as bad as when i apparently broke the laws of physics"

    You're not related to my boss are you? I swear that woman only has to get within three feet of the photocopier and it stops working.

    And she should be banned from any contact with computers at all.

  98. Good post (among many) on the wiki news blog:

    "what is gained by letting terrorists know how to target our ifnrasturcture?"

    In fact it was strategic resources, many of which are not actually your infrastructure. Not yet, anyway. The terrorists seem to know pretty much where they are already and so does anyone else with half a brain. I can get more than that from Scientific American and a bunch of commodities futures reports.

    Someone asked why the US wasn't expending this much effort on finding Osama BinLaden. I think that's the problem - BinLaden is a reminder of failure. Like the French revolutionaries who could never track down the Scarlet Pimpernel, BinLaden symbolizes the impotence of the world's most heavily armed and aggressive state when confronted with one man. With Asange they have a chance to defame, persecute, lie and intimidate in order to stamp out not the man who stole and leaked, but the head of the organization which releases the information.

    The leaked information is worthless to anyone except the public. State spy organizations already have it. But the real sin is losing face. As with Gary McKinnon there is no limit to the vicious and unprincipled persecution which those in politics think loss of face justifies. The twisting as government lawyers try to explain why Wikileaks is different from press and media publishing the same content reminds one of maggots on a hook.

    The US should be aware that it is judged internationally by its behaviour. The conclusion is that the US is no longer the 'good guy'. We condemned the USSR for its gulags. Now the US runs gulags. We condemned vicious dictatorships for torture and the killing of civilians. The US tortures and kills civilians. We condemned China for denying free internet access and free speech. Now the US finds it convenient to behave like China, but with less tact and more hypocrisy.

    "Who will rid me of this troublesome priest", said Henry II. Lieberman should remember what happens when state sanctioned intimidation gets out of hand. Thomas a Beckett was canonized. Henry II had to do public penance at his tomb.

  99. Turminder 21.34 -- great news that you're enjoying the job!

  100. That sounds (ha) like a pop up, I tend to make all my browsers block pop ups, dependant on your browser you can make them disappear. Which one are you using?

  101. Turm

    Missing your posts. Glad to hear that work is good even if tha sna isnae.

    Hugs x

  102. That's damn good news in these times Turm, good for you!

  103. penileplethysmograph is a fucking idiot, duh. Not that you guys care :0) I'm the smartest guy on the planet and you're all morons. Why are you all bullying me and picking on me? It's all just fluid dynamics and game theory, just read Mead or whatever. You just don't get me! I'm way too smart. I've taught everything to all the top people in the world but I'm very humble (or not, wotevs, duh).They told my kids they weren't British, duh. I've only ever said that 3,000 times - doncha ever listen, sigh? Love is really great and so is beauty but if anybody ever says anything bad about me I just go shopping. Nite all! I'll post again in five minutes.

    My mum's cooking my dinner now so I just have to go out and walk around a bit so that people can admire my beauty and sexuality. And some will insult me. I like that - it makes me feel superior. Which I am. But I'm not really, duh, I just want you to think that :o)

    Bru and kiz think I'm wonderful and they stick up for me when that meerkat bitch insults me. She's really stinky and so dishonest :o( I bet she hasn't read half as many books as I have. Loads of people recommend my comments, not that I care, or that you care, or anybody cares, duh. They all pretend that they know what I'm talking about, sigh, but how could they when I don't even know myself? They're all morons anyway, so I don't care. And the ones that defend me are the most hypocritical and stupid posters on waddya! ha ha! Mind and Self. It's obvious, duh.

    My most favourite thing (apart from lunch and shopping) is making hateful remarks on Cif about people I don't know. And bullying them. And insulting them. But that's only because I'm so clever and everybody else is a moron, ha ha. And I like to pretend to be a victim. Duh, who doesn't? In Monopoly (game theory again, as if you would understand, duh!) it's a get out of jail free card. Anyone can be a small-minded spiteful, vicious little prick as long as they can get some sympathy from airheads, duh.

    I love it! Duh, whatever, sigh, nite all!


  104. ok, whoever that is, stop it, please, you're not helping.

    turm - nice one! glad you're enjoying it (whatever it is, have the memory of a goldfish at the moment - reminding?) and hope travel gets easier...

    meerkatjie - right, like i know what happened. something about an inverse axis and a compatibility-trunk-summat.

    i would point out in my defence that i am only appearing to be a typhoid mary for data-mapping because i use the thing to do things i think our clients would use it for - i.e. looking at financial results, activity trends, etc - so it looks familiar and useful to them, rather than throwing things into it because the result looks cool...

    so i seem to be inadvertently discovering things that the tech testing didn't look at.

    basically i don't understand what they do and they don't understand how a finance team works...so every now and then i break something and then yannick pokes me with a biro.

  105. ~giggles insanely ~


  106. penile

    So, just to precis that a tad, it's basically:

    Yeah but no but yeah but no but...


  107. This comment has been removed by the author.

  108. heard from the other room...

    "TIM, that wasn't you was it?"

    No Meerkatjie,I wish it were cos it is so funny!

  109. IE 7? Chrome has given me the least problems, and had a small footprint. Non IT bods swear by it to. Firefox is nice, but a bit nurdish.

    IE 7 is old! if you are driven to stay with IE then upgrade?

  110. tim -- googled to wiki, my pop-ups " fenetre intempestives" are already switched off .

    Its only occasional once a week or two weeks, but weird !

    Old stuff on the retrospective rape case ...

  111. tim -- had the chance to take chrome at the CC site, but declined, it was something I wanted yto ask your advice actually.

  112. Congrats, Turm.
    Very good, penile...duh!

  113. penile (MF, is that you?), it's not often one sees a prolific and fantastically verbose posting career summed up in it's entirety in one short post. Brilliant. duh..woteva. maybe later..

    The proper way to make a withdrawal Miles Davis & John Lee Hooker - Bank Robbery

  114. Dave, Chrome is free. Easy to download. I am a complete IT idiot and use it.

    Not really sure if I prefer firefox to chrome, but thinking about it, I cannot remember if I am using firefox or chrome at the moment (it is true I have had some wine, the shopping trip being over) so neither can be hard to install or use.

    It's chrome, I just realised that the icon tells me.

  115. Chrome is free, and I have to say I love it - I used to like IE and Firefox cos I was a perverted little nurd, Meer introduced me to Chrome, and it's a great browser. Crashes a bit though due to shockwave not working, but it's a doddle to configure and get running again.

  116. I'm being medicated with cointreau to get me through the flow chart trauma. Seriously, who comes up with such stupid ideas? No, I can't summarise this ridiculously complex, conceptually drive project with a gazillion conditions involving a squillion collaborating partners into a one page pithy picture.

    Spencer, I feel your pain. But I'm not sure the plethora of policies make that big a difference in big organisations either. Ours tend to be cunningly hidden anyway, on a website that is rather, shall we politely say 'unintuitive' (is that a word), with a search that doesn't work.

    "meerkatjie - right, like i know what happened. something about an inverse axis and a compatibility-trunk-summat."
    Philippa, I sense that you too are a technical wizard, who deftly weilds a spanner with a rakish air...

  117. Wanting to explode.

    ssembly leader just admitting what many of us here have been saying - that education here stinks.

    Several problems - one being shortage of cash. Ed money goes, not directly to schools - but to local authorities who top slice before redistributing it thereby decreasing per capita funding.

    I also suspect - but cannot prove - that the system is geared towards low paid work dependent upon unquestioning workers.

  118. Leni, at least it's out in the open now? It's been a known but unspoken problem for so long.

    I worry that this justifies the tory suggestion that local authority power should be removed entirely, and everything handed over to parents (preferably free of any and all regulation) as a solution to this kind of problem, though.

  119. Whoever is pretending to be penile is, as Phil said, not helping.

    Yes it's funny, but it isn't very clever.

  120. Sorry to be a killjoy, but I tend to agree with BB and Philippa on this one.

  121. Anyway, I'm still reeling from the Three Cunts thread on Cif.

    Have they no bloody shame?!

  122. Tim/Spencer-- tks fro help : So i just find it wherever and ZING!

    Itleaves the Outlook Express e-mail thingy alone ?

    Tendency to crash, and need reconfig, worries me a bit :! I'm more at ease with diesels than computers :)

    Spencer -- following your story ... girl started teaching temp in a lycée here, codewords to get into sites that told her the POLICY on everything ...which could most of it have been on a sheet of A4 on the wall.

    Saw it first in a Courage brewery 1976, huge 'manuals' to be written up so we could get ISO 9001 or something. Bloody disease, and I wonder whether it has improved things, or contrarily worsened some ?

  123. "Yes it's funny, but it isn't very clever."

    Well... It might not be fair, or a good idea, but technically I think you have to say it is actually very clever indeed. Even brilliant.

  124. meerkatjie - oh yes, i rule the server-room, ahem. in fact, came across a system that allows for 'dynamic' and 'organic' flow-chart preparation the other week - hang on a minute, have the details in the other email account...

  125. I've never liked flow charts. Quite like Venn diagrams, though.

  126. Just wagging a finger, Spencer. I'm a mum - I'm good at that. :O)

  127. I've been bollocked once for doing something I had nowt to do with, but wish I did, as it is very funny, so nowt to lose!

    I take the opposite view, it is incredibly funny, and I really hope Pen and/or his acolytes are reading and take note! The mannerisms are spot on, the sighs are without doubt ... timed.

    Pen is a twat.

    The Grun makes up for him, lets not repeat their mistakes. I don't care if he has any issues, if he does he should not be posting on an international site. I have posted on all sorts of sites, and he'd get eaten alive for breakfast on many, he is given too much leeway, and it ill behoves the Grun to give him more. So what if he is mad (a PC illustration) he is ruining the threads with his "madness". He needs to grow up.

  128. Dave. It is self defeating stupidity.

    For example. Equal opportunities policies. Now I think that they are a good idea. If some racist fucktard starts behaving badly you can say, look sunshine here is a policy it says you are being bad and we can sack your stupid arse if you don't behave.

    It is not a substituted for common sense or for fair treatment of everyone. But it is a codified form that potentially makes it easier to get everyone on board and deal with prejudice.

    When I had to do a new one I looked about. I asked our ***** scheme development officer who was an employee of Age Concern if we could use theirs. Nope. They would not like that.
    Eh? Well, can I just have a wee look at it (whistling innocently) Nope. It's a secret, apparantly.

    I mean, what the fuck is that about? What is the point of having it if you are going to keep it a secret.

    So I looked on the internet. Plenty there. Most of them about 30 pages long. Not just a policy but a "permanent revolution" system for continually upgrading and amending it. Like I have time for that.

    But more importantly, how do I get our volunteers and a bunch of elderly people to feel part of a policy 30 pages long? How do I get them to read it?

    Part of all these vast policies is that the polilcy is to engage the people it concerns. And they are documents designed to the opposite.

    Luckily a friend of a friend had just designed a sensible one for a women's aid organisation so I nicked that (with permission).

  129. yup, found it - creately

    it says you can try it for free - for 'collaborative diagramming' or some such horlicks. but it might be helpful as you can move stuff round and copy format and things.

  130. Yups, A browser should leave your email - Outlook Express alone.

    It's a doddle, download Chrome, and try it, try configuring it and see what it can do for you, if you don't like it, try one of the others - I have IE, OPERA, Firefox and Chrome loaded, Chrome for day to day use, some things insist on IE, and the others to play with, having said that, I've not played with them for over 6 months!

  131. Habib -- I'd forgotten what they were called .. the Venn diagrams...but they were among the more useful things I left school with, the headmaster did us a course on "Logic".

  132. I see that the Francis Maude, Jeremy Cunt and David 'Two-Brains/No Ideas' Willets piece suggesting that we need to be 'giving just that bit more' is going down a treat. Well, I'm convinced (with a little help from Richard Thompson); I Ain't Gonna Drag My Feet No More.

  133. spence - agree completely that policies can be helpful (and can also be something positive, bringing people together under the banner of 'this is us, this is how we work') but 30 f-ing pages is ridiculous...

    many of my old charity clients struggled a bit with increasing demands for a this policy and a that policy...some of them went off on the cold legalistic footnoted route, which were mainly ignored. the best could be put on one sheet of paper (with generous spacing and an accessible font size) and made various common sense statements that you'd be a dick to disagree with.

    whereas the former type, you needed to have the lcc to understand them.

    think my favourite was the one suggested that didn't actually get OK'd -

    ______ Trust Equality Policy. Everyone is entitled to be treated with respect, regardless of any personal circumstance, unless and until they prove to be a tosser.

    It was a close vote.

  134. Blimey

    The Canadian government has come in for quite a hammering about the way they policed the Toronto G20

    G20 Arrests Mass Violation of Human Rights

    They have a bloody civil rights ombudsman? Lucky bastards!

  135. Right. Time I was in my pit. Early school tomorrow.

    NN erryone xx

  136. Chrome - All the time.

    Each tab is a stand alone. That means that if one of your tabs were to crash, none of the others are affected.

    When it first came out - they gave it to hackers to see how long they took to get into a pc. IE7/8 about 10 seconds, Firefox a bit longer, Chrome - they couldn't do it. Probably not relevant now it's been out there a while, but still safer IMHO.

    Penile - I understand peoples reluctance to applaud, but I for one can not understand why such a fragile mind should be allowed to post the continuous shit he proffers, and that all should accept without question. You summed him up graciously !!

  137. Philippa -- agreed on the short and sweet.

    Frog2 Policy on Lobbyists.

    Submissions on maximum two sides of A4. Double-spaced. No more than one per week.

    Personal contact of Civil Servants and why-not-fuckit Ministers outside minuted and recorded meetings attended by observers is punishable by dismissal and removal of Pension Entitlements.


  138. Dave, "insanity" is universal, but "perceived sanity" and "belief in anything" are subsets that can lead to a particularly dangerous intersection.

  139. I'm confused. I thought that this was a blog where you could freely say that you wanted to kick the shit out of all Americans, or call people niggers or paedophiles, or accuse snobbish Brussels idiots of being transvestites and truckers, or call people cunts and criminals. These things seem to provoke an endless round of mutual backslapping and much mirth among the enlightened liberals here.

    It would seem however that making fun of a vindictive, paranoid, poisonous little shit is somehow beyond the pale. How does that work?

    stop it, please, you're not helping

    Helping what? It's not supposed to help. Bitey might say that it's simply holding a mirror up to your own hypocrisy. Which it is. These squeals of indignation ring terribly hollow - this blog is predicated on over the top rhetoric and interminable character assassination which is invariably followed by guilt, recriminations and apologies. It's car-crash TV, and if you're a willing participant and contributor to all this, then you're part of the problem. It's a typical faux liberal stance - people should be allowed to say whatever they want but if it's something I don't like then they should be stopped. Think of the children!

  140. Thanks all ! I shall migrate to Chrome !

  141. he is right, who ever he is!

  142. Habib -- you're being wicked... fatigue kicking in , but not 'emotional' ...

    faux-liberally yours

  143. Oh heck Dave! do say NO to any google BAR updates, they are buggers at getting you!


  144. Spencer 22.52 -- That whole thing about rules-based systems comes in there. I do think the reactions of the others not “sharing” their bits of paper is one of the most pathetic things I’ve heard, well ….. today!

    My sis did some temping in the NHS a while back, PA Sec. Her job was to accompany one on £50K + , do its diary, meetings, minutes, and then literally train up the successor, also on £50K+. She was in on a lot of meetings and very very very little came out of them. . In fact it was so easy, and pointless, that she gave it away ( being a house-owner and near retirement), so went to be a ‘carer in the community’ for Alzheimers/stroke etc.

    The idea that you can program people to be like machines goes back to “Taylorism”, and is in the end unworkable .

    WIP – work in progress …

  145. Tim whats a Google BAR update ?

  146. is there a strange irony that edition 2 has been spammed? ah well.

  147. ken clarke coming out swinging at some of the mail-esque queries about his proposed policy.

    pritti patel not covering herself in glory.

  148. I'll say goodnight with some lost puppy music...Syd Barret - Here I Go

    Contains the immortal lines:

    "I strolled around to her pad;
    Her light was off and that's ba-a-a-ad..."

  149. listening to "today in westminster" - lady (?) patel came out with a "can he assure the house that paedophiles will be kept away from our children?" and you could almost hear clarke's teeth grinding...

  150. now midnight news

    they are referring to the swedish lawyer acting for the women allegedly assaulted by assange.

    now, from a ref on waddya, it would appear that there are 4 (sets of?) charges relating to 4 women

    isn't it a bit odd that they all have the same lawyer?

    i mean - i know under uk law that tthe victim doesn't geta lawyer at all, so, well done sweden on that one. but it just seems a bit weird that one lawyer can act for (think) four victims.

    i sort of get that there could be a common thread, and so it makes things more efficient, and that there ddoesn't prima facie seem to be a conflict of interest, but...

    odd. unless someone knows more about the swedish legal system.

    to be fair, pretty much anybody would know more than me about the swedish legal system, my knowledge being mainly based on reading the millenium trilogy.

  151. "Habib -- you're being wicked..."

    I'm not. Just trying to understand why Americans keep killing brown people and brown people keep killing Americans.

    Seems pretty stupid to me, unless you get the venn diagram explanation.

  152. Philippa, I might get shot down for this, but I think we have a duty to stand by the women raising the charges. Most would if Assange was just another guy.

  153. Do a restore point, and then try it, you might like it (do I sound like a 70's porno star, yet?)

    ~still has the hump about not being the best man in the world~

  154. Without knowing all the facts, there's no 'duty' involved, habib.

    Assange is in a British prison tonight – and it is certainly not for the “sexual misconduct” charges that were filed against him in August, which then became the basis of an unprecedented worldwide arrest order of the type ordinarily reserved for war criminals – for those, in fact, accused of aggressive war, torture, elite rapine and authoritarian rule.

    The judge refused to grant bail, saying that Assange had “access to financial means” and could flee the country – perhaps a bitter joke on milord’s part, aimed at a man whose means of financial support are being systematically shut down by the most powerful government and corporate forces in the world. Journalist John Pilger and filmmaker Ken Loach were among those who appeared in court ready to stand surety for Assange, but to no avail.

  155. habib - definitely my default position - it takes a lot to change that, but it can sometimes happen...in this case, i am a bit bewildered - at first there were rumours that this was 'rape by deception', then a condom coming off, then 'having sex with a woman while she was asleep' - the charges (or at least the coverage of them, which could again be down to the Swedes doing a good job, and not giving the details) seem to be getting more serious.

    Kiz posted this on waddya, for example (citing the prosecutor):

    She said the first complainant, Miss A, said she was victim of "unlawful coercion" on the night of 14 August in Stockholm.

    The court heard Assange is accused of using his body weight to hold her down in a sexual manner.

    OK - that sounds very bad.

    The second charge alleged Assange "sexually molested" Miss A by having sex with her without a condom when it was her "express wish" one should be used.

    Again - sounds very bad.

    The third charge claimed Assange "deliberately molested" Miss A on 18 August "in a way designed to violate her sexual integrity".

    Again - getting the picture?

    The fourth charge accused Assange of having sex with a second woman, Miss W, on 17 August without a condom while she was asleep at her Stockholm home.

    "while she was asleep"?

    OK - so these are a very different set of charges that the original - as i remember, it was spun as two women who were reported to be pissed off that he wasn't being faithful.

    Whereas all four of those charges look like 'serious case to answer'.

    The thing is, how has this change come about?

    I am, hope, capable of separating the clear political motive for doing him on the part of some parties with the basic requirements of justice (and that these women have been caught up in the former is particularly troubling, on top of everything else they have - allegedly - gone through)...

    (feels copoutish saying 'allegedly' - but there you go)

    ...but given the changes in reporting, this is a very confusing situation. and the single lawyer, to me, makes that even more so.

    at base, i suppose, i hope to god it isn't true, mainly because if it is true, four women have been raped and are also going to get taken apart in the press. which i wouldn't wish on anybody.

    if it is true, he needs to do time.

    but that needs to be determined by a court in sweden. whatever the US thinks, the rape charges are the immediate issue, the one provably criminal if true, and, morally, the more important thing.

  156. Habib-- they don't necessarily have to be brown. The few thousand dead in the industrial bombing of Yugoslavia 1999 weren't 'brown'.

    On rape check my link upstream on "Retrospective Rape".

    "Standing by the women" looks like the CIA position to me :)

  157. Phil-- they weren't mutually consentingly in bed together to discuss the finer points of the next day's New York Times Editorial, or the bloody football.

    As for faith in the "court in Sweden" , their Law on this looks like a hopelessly bordelique pigs' breakfast. The false-starts so far on the case do lend force to that interpretation.

  158. ah - ok, firstly, missed that the four charges relate to two women, so that hasn't changed from the original reports.

    article interesting - no, saddening. because this is where i really start to struggle - i want to believe the women involved, because I know a little bit about how difficult it is to face up to going through something as alleged. and i just don't want to believe that people would lie about it, knowing that every lie just gives more ammunition to the hate-baskets and makes it more difficult for victims to come forward.

    so - the people on one side of this farrago think nothing of ruining other people's lives - those on the other side, and more generally - i just can't for the life of me work out which one...

  159. dave - aye, this is just a very diffcult issue and...stuff in past, clouds the judgment, f-s up the equilibrium, all that.

    sailing by has finished, now on the shipping report. that's me done for the night.

  160. so, night all. tomorrow is another one.

  161. Jack, Philippa, Dave: you are all quite right, of course.

    Jack, the duty I feel is a distinctly personal one and not one to be expected of others.

    Philippa, Assange will get through, if he is innocent. The women probably will never recover if he is not.

    Dave, yes, the USA kills white people too. You have to love their democracy.

  162. Phil--- No emotions, just facts, I suspect there was nothing like what we would consider rape so your susceptibilities are working overtime.

    Nearly TWO AM here, I'm off !


  163. Habib-- " The women probably will never recover if he is not."

    You'd be surprised .

    It's a discussion for another day, but not everyone who's been thru a rough time gets PTSD and needs 'help' for the rest of their days.

    Really NN now.

  164. Dave, aye, many just ignore what's happened and get on as best they can. Understandable, but not healthy.

  165. Sorry that I was aggressive tonight. I seem to have spent too much time listening to this.

  166. Deleted? Or accident? Let's just do it again and see.

    I'm confused. I thought that this was a blog where you could freely say that you wanted to kick the shit out of Americans, or call people niggers or paedophiles, or accuse snobbish Brussels idiots of being transvestites and truckers, or call people cunts and criminals. These things seem to provoke an endless round of mutual backslapping and much mirth among the enlightened liberals.

    It would seem however that making fun of a vindictive, paranoid, poisonous little shit is somehow beyond the pale. How does that work?

    stop it, please, you're not helping

    Help what? It's not supposed to help. Bitey might say that it's simply holding a mirror up to your own hypocrisy. Which it is. The squeals of indignation ring terribly hollow - this blog is predicated on over the top rhetoric and character assassination which is invariably followed by guilt, recriminations and apologies. It's car-crash TV, and if you're a willing participant and contributor to all this, then you're part of the problem. It's a typical faux liberal stance - people should be allowed to say whatever they want but if it's something I don't like then they should be stopped.

  167. penile, you really make it difficult not to be angry.

  168. Fuck, it's not the Hermit is it? Did he accidentally find eloquence and a sense of humour from somewhere?

  169. "It's car-crash TV, and if you're a willing participant and contributor to all this, then you're part of the problem. It's a typical faux liberal stance"

    Oh it's that twat.