08 December 2010


Emancipation from the bondage of the soil is no freedom for the tree.
-Rabindranath Tagore


  1. John Winston Lennon. 9th October 1940 – 8th December 1980.

    An incorrigibly awkward twat who made some great, great music. And the odd bit of shit music, too.

  2. I recently listened to his first solo LP after a long hiatus. I'd forgotten just how good it is, with great songs like 'I Found Out', 'Mother' and 'Working Class Hero'. McCartney's first solo LP seems especially insipid by comparison.

    One of the 20th century's great songwriters but a flawed man. Mind you, most of us are only granted the 'flawed man' bit...

  3. Yankee or Confederate Swifty ?

  4. Just playing with Chrome, much faster .

  5. @jack cade:

    I’ve always liked Lennon. Mostly because he pissed so many people off during his regrettably short tenure on this earth. McCartney I’m less bothered about. Harrison was another awkward sod, but like Lennon made some great, great music. And Ringo has an “edge” that’s rarely seen publicly.

  6. @dave:

    Yankee. Those little blue forage caps were so-o-o-o cute. And Abraham Lincoln. Ulysses S Grant. William Tecumseh Sherman. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. All that

    You know me – I heart country music but can take or leave the CSA bullshit.

  7. jack cade,

    not a fan of Lennon's solo stuff at all. I do quite like "How do you sleep" purely because of the sheer venom but apart from that, naah.

    Same goes for Sir Thumbsaloft's solo output, however I do prefer more of Macca's early solo stuff than Lennon's. If there was ever a case of two songwriters who balanced each other out and needed each other, it was Lennon and McCartney.

    As for today's wikileaks Megrahi revelations, well, well, well.

    I hate to sound like a prophet, but I argued on CiF at the time of Megrahi's release that it worked out well for both the UK Govt and Scottish Executive.

    The Scottish Executive got to look like one of the big boy Government's by taking an "independent" decision to release Megrahi whilst Westminster gets to keep its juicy Libyan deals and gets to deflect the blame on Edinburgh.

    And so it came to pass.....

    I think the most notable aspect of the wikileaks is the way that all it does is confirm what most people expected.

    However, I do think there is enormous revelations on the way, either on geo-politics or the banking industry/credit crunch. How it will be disseminated and when I do not know, but there's a definite rumble in the jungle.

  8. "When the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) allowed Chevron to drill the Lagavulin prospect on 30 September, it said that the secretary of state, Chris Huhne, was "satisfied that the project is not likely to have a significant effect on the environment". Decc told the US company that the application did not need to be accompanied by an environmental statement and did not order a separate assessment.

    "In earlier correspondence with Decc, Chevron also said it was "likely" that the impact of a spill on whales and dolphins in the area would be limited because "given their good swimming abilities, relative intelligence and nomadic behaviour, some avoidance behaviour could be expected"

    Gdn business page today

    Bastard politicians so clueless, or just crim ?

    Swifty -- found Bruce Catton in a 2nd hand bookshop in Caen, just dipped so far, but well-written.

  9. Didn't Assange say there were some corporate/banking revelations waiting in the wings Yr Grace?

    An incorrigibly awkward twat who made some great, great music. And the odd bit of shit music, too.

    Agree with the incorrigibly awkward bit but would reverse the 'great' and the 'shit'. Still, he didn't go unnoticed.

  10. Duke--- the Iranian non Korean-missile story is one of the big ones so far , but not made wide rippples as far as I see ...

  11. @dave:

    Catton's good, but Shelby Foote's three volume history of the war (The Civil War: A Narrative) is as good a piece of military history as you'll read (if you've got time - it's nearly 3,000 pages long).

    And if you ever get chance, watch Ken Burns' The Civil War - a wonderful piece of TV. Foote features in that, too.

  12. Latest missive from the redneck front

    Ignorance and courage in the age of Lady Gaga

    The WikiLeaks affair is surely seismic to those whose asses ride on the elite diplomatic intrigues. But in the big picture it will not change the way the top lizards in global politics, money and war have done business since the feudal age -- which is to say with arrogant disregard for the rest of us. Theirs is an ancient system of human dominance that only shifts names and methodologies over the centuries. Two years from now, little will have changed in the old, old story of the powerful few over the powerless many. In this overarching drama, Obama, Hillary and Julian Assange are passing players. Watching the sweaty, fetid machinations of our overlords with such passionate involvement only keeps us from seeing the big picture -- that they are the players and we are the pawns.

    Still, I for one am in favor of giving Assange the Médaille militaire, the Noble Prize, 15 virgins in paradise and a billion in cash as a reward for his courage in doing damned well the only significant thing that can be done at this time -- momentarily fucking up government control of information. But "potentially stimulating a new age of U.S. government transparency," (BBC) it ain't."

  13. Filing that Swifty . thanks.

    Did you see the "Non-Missile story" ?

    Well covered in Counterpunch, gareth porter 1st Dec.

    Basically NYT and WaPo big shockhorror war? stories on the IranianDanger with pix of missles in Korean parade....

    BUT the intel community worldwide reckons that they were either mock-ups or at most were assembled but had never been actually tested...and no proof that any (IF they existed hehe) had been delivered to Iran

    and so on ...

    The NYT cherry-picked the WIkileak cable to read the opposite of the verity, which fitted in nicely with Washington's war-propaganda line all along .

  14. Oh, I agree, Your Grace...they complemented one another so very well.

    It's funny, though...I was discussing this with a friend recently and we both used to think that Lennon was the cynical, pragmatic, hard-nosed bastard and McCartney was the sappy, sentimental romantic.

    But we agreed that it now looks like the reverse was true.

    What could be more cynical than some of the twee, saccharine rubbish that McCartney has released over the years; his refusal to ever stand up and be counted in any really worthy cause; his attempt to have all the old songs re-credited as being by 'McCartney/Lennon' etc etc.

    Shiloh, the Ken Burns series is marvellous. I must say, I bitterly regret the fact that G.M. Fraser died before he could set down Flashman's Civil War experiences (long hinted at but never really expounded on).

  15. Good article that Sheff.

    Dave, it's really intriguing. Assange and wikileaks will have gone into this knowing the forces of hell would be after them so you do wonder what they have up their sleeves in the event of subsequent arrests etc.

    It's easily a watershed moment in the History of the internet. Apart from the security issues of freedom of information and the dissemination of material, it's about to become a battle royale between the finest computer minds of Government and security agencies versus the legions of expert hackers across the 'interverse'.

    Additionally, the legacy- what will (or can) security agencies do to prohibit this happening again and is the internet really outside of true governmental and security control and thus a revolutionary agency?

    Fascinating to see how it pans out.

  16. @jack cade:

    And of course, it had this in it:

    Ashokan Farewell

  17. 11 hours and $99.99 at ama*** !

    I guessed that would be a Despatch from Sheff's mate Joe. Read later ...

    Yeah ... interesting to see if we can really scare the top lizards but some way from critical mass now.

    As Jeb Bush said " huh only a million Americans read books ...add serious netsites to that ?.


    PS thought last night , a parallel to V for Vendetta there ... strange how many of us re-watched that vid in the past few months ...

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. Yr Grace

    It's easily a watershed moment in the History of the internet

    In my (limited) experience of government they are way behind the curve when it comes to the interverse, which is why they go into panic mode when presented with people like McKinnon and now wikileaks.

    The legions of hackers (black and white hats) will be wetting themselves with glee at the fun they are about to have. The potential for chaos is huge but as you say fascinating too.

  20. Senator Explains That The Internet '...Is A Series Of Tubes'

    Compare and contrast: The treatment (by a Labour Home Secretary, the vile Jack Straw, who described the 10s of thousands of Iraqi civilian deaths 'regrettable collateral damage') of thug, murderer and terrorist Gen. Pinochet (Straw refused to extradite Pinochet to Spain where he was facing murder charges).

    The treatment of Elric of Melbourne, who has revealed a lot of embarrassing tittle-tattle and is accused of sexual misbehaviour in Sweden (I'll not use the word 'rape' until I know what the evidence is).

    Instructive, no?

    There are some intriguing tweaks to the feature set of the devices (that will run Google's Chrome OS): notebooks won't include Caps Lock keys.

    "We expect this will improve the quality of comments across the web".
    --The Graun, today

    Oh, yeah...I'm sure. I hereby award this remark the coveted Matt Seaton Tin Dung Beetle Award for fatuity above and beyond the call of media waffle.

  21. Does anyone have any idea what "deliberately molesting someone in a way designed to violate her sexual integrity" means?

    Interesting interview on Newsnight last night. Re a possible American request for extradition, a judge appointed by GWB was talking about how it's usual to bring a lesser charge that's already been prepared in order to have time to prepare a "greater" charge.

    Was this an indication by someone well-placed that the Swedish charges of "rape" are simply a holding charge on behalf of the USA while the Americans prepare their extradition application?

    Why didn't Wark ask him? Should I be presenting Newsnight? They never seem to ask the obvious questions and she's one of the better presenters.

    * * *

    For anything written after about 1965, why not just credit it to Lennon or McCartney?

    They'd stopped writing anything together and you can always tell who wrote any particular song because, apart from the style, the writer is the lead singer.

    For a song such as Day in the Life, you could provide details.

    Weird interesting bits about tripping off your head: Lennon
    Bouncy light-relief old-joanna middle section about getting up: McCartney.

  22. Latest:
    Supreme court upholds ruling that government had no power to recover overpaid social security benefit from claimants
    Those who were overpaid as a result of bureaucratic fuck-ups rather than misrepresentation cannot be pursued for the money. A lot of sighs of relief, imagine.

  23. The problem with WikiLeaks is obviously what it will provoke and propel our idiot politicians into doing as a response.

    Ordinary people have known for generations how infinitely, irredeemably corrupt and incompetent the political and business classes are once they clamber to a certain level.

    Somehow, unbelievably, they seem to have thought we hadn't noticed. They seemed to have been operating under the delusion that the curtain had not been pulled and they were still convincingly operating the contrived contraption of the Great Oz and we were all still suckered.

    Who believes that anything now happening to Assange and WikiLeaks, from the sexual assault or rape allegations to the removal of Amazon's hosting to the withdrawal of credit-card processing is not contrived by governments and their dubious and shadowy agencies?

    Who thinks that governments will not now be planning to hobble the internet and punish its users?

    This is the start if the Internet Wars.

    To draw a Winterval-related analogy, governments have been pretending to be the jovial, chummy Father Winterval, dressed in soft red felt with a bit of innocent and proper black leather thrown in.

    He is the epitome of benevolent paternalism, dispensing a cornucopia of precious things with a cheery and basso profundo "Ho! Ho! Ho!"

    All goes well until some of the parents notice the stink of drink on his breath. Others find that the gifts dispensed are actually dangerous and have lopped off the limbs of their children or poisoned them. Some children have returned from sitting on his knee with reports of straying fingers.

    When confronted, Father Winterval pulls a gun and mows down everyone in the mall, shouting: "I'm fucking Father Winterval, you scheming, ungrateful, low-life fuckers. Without me, you're nothing! If I'm going down, I'm taking you all with me."

    Meanwhile, in Big Broken Society Britain, another government has squeezed itself into the comical poodle-crossed-with-toady fancy-dress so beloved of Arselicker in Chief, Tony Blair and is licking the genitals of America, sniffing its backside and wagging its own little tail and piddling on the carpet.

    For Britain’s politicians, the documents offer a long-needed slap in the face. Successive governments, of all parties, support these destructive US policies because they believe we have influence with the Americans. But these cables show the Americans literally laugh at them and their sycophancy, describing their servility in mocking tones in cables back home, saying "it would be humorous if it were not so corrosive."

    Not so much counting the years from AF (After Ford) as AA (After Assange) and wondering whether people generally will ever seize the chance to hold their governments to account before the test-drive on the internetty-spaghetti superhighway finally comes to an end and we have to be put back in the toy-box by our frozen-in-toddlerdom masters with a final, spiteful breaking of an arm and twisting of the neck.

  24. Some good news - HMG has just lost their legal fight in the supreme court to make benefit claimants return over payments. 65,000 people affected and now won't have to take responsibility for DWP fuckups. Good.

  25. Spike

    Was this an indication by someone well-placed that the Swedish charges of "rape" are simply a holding charge on behalf of the USA while the Americans prepare their extradition application?


    I mean, nope.

    Er, yup!


  26. a little bit of light there, sheff!

  27. Sheff

    HMG has just lost their legal fight in the supreme court to make benefit claimants return over payments.

    So, the government will be taking that little setback out on the poor, no doubt.

    When Dave1 bandied about the £5.2 billion benefits cheating claim nonsense, it turned out that deliberate cheating cost less than £1 billion. The rest was bureaucratic incompetence and overpayment.

    Obviously, The Three Daves and the ConDems are committed never to ask the rich to pay their fair share of taxes (anywhere between £25 billion and £100 billion magically goes missing from the slippery fingers of the rich each year before HMRC can trap it and lock it in the petty-cash box) so that leaves...er...erm...oh, yes, the stupid, filthy, feckless poor to foot the bill.


  28. Admins

    Either you have spam or anyone who mentions Assange or WikiLeaks on the interverse is reported straight to GovThug.gov.uk and put on a rendition flight to one of America's secret prisons.

    All part of the American Dream, no doubt.

    Or Broken Britain's cut-price, shop-soiled, fire-sale, bankrupt stock discount deal with double club-card points version of it.

  29. Post restored, Atomboy, along with one of Shiloh's from earlier.

  30. AB

    Deliberate benefit cheating is small beer in comparison with bureaucratic fuckups and tax evasion/avoidance, call it what you like, the venal rich simply don't believe they have to put in fair dibs. But HMG and their cronies will never let the actualite get in the way of bashing the feckless poor - so yes, I'm sure they'll find a way to make the most vulnerable pay up.

    My thoughts turn more and more to insurrection!

  31. Thanks Thauma. Sorry to be a pest.

    I thinks its the links wot duz it.

    Google also hates me, of course. It says things behind my back and steals things when I'm not looking.


    I think we should start a campaign for the next election which has one simple message:

    Vote out anyone who is holding office and do not vote back in anyone who has held office.

    Tar each and every one of them with the same brush and simply tell them that those who have already soiled themselves through the political process cannot be trusted with power - ever again.

  32. AB,

    Playing devil's advocate though would we have enough people to vote in?

    I'm with the late great Douglas Adams on this one, man at the end of the universe in a shed all the way!

    "He does not want to rule the universe and tries not to whenever possible, and therefore is by far the ideal candidate for the job."

  33. Dotterel

    Probably not and, obviously, there are a lot of people who would still insist on voting for either their favourite neo-nasty party or the one we had before, whose former atrocities have conveniently been forgotten.

    It's more an exercise in upsetting the expectations and sense of entitlement of those who think that politics must inevitably be a game of musical-chairs between two players, with the village idiot occasionally dragged along to be squashed and provide some padding.

    We should never forget mockery and fun as political weapons.

  34. We should never forget mockery and fun as political weapons.

    They're the best ones!

  35. AB - no worries, I don't consider you a pest!

  36. Good post Duke, the Wikileaks thing is getting enormous now and raises so many issues.

    "MasterCard hacked in WikiLeaks protest"

    This is superb, the state and corporate power of the world's hyperpower on one side, the worlds web citizens on the other with; considering the amount of collective resources people have between them this could be fascinating. And it wont just be hackers - there will be all sorts of web organised protests, boycotts, financial collections for Assange's legal battles, offers of all sorts of expertise and resources. This is going to get extremely interesting i think, and certainly a historic moment for the net, as you say.

    Jack, i'm still listening to that Union Station instrumental, virtually on loop. Superb.

  37. "We should never forget mockery and fun as political weapons."

    "They're the best ones!"


  38. @Jay:

    Plug yourself into a bit of the Kentucky Colonels if you can find them. The late, great Clarence White tearing it up on the geetar. Brilliant.

  39. I knew I should have gone for a walk at once when I got up. There's a blizzard now.

  40. A pretty good overview of the background details of the Assange sexual assault cases to be found here.

  41. And here's Naomi Wolf on Assange's arrest.

    Amount of cables being leaked- 250,000

    Amount of times Politician have backpedalled, backtracked and given excuses- 1 million plus

    Mastercard being brought down by hackers- priceless

  42. From RapidEddie's link:

    The first and second woman, who did not know each other, contacted each other and some days later the two went to a Stockholm police station where they said they requested advice on making a complaint against Assange.

    How do you contact someone you don't know in a way which seems to be contrived, like this, rather than random?

    The whole thing would appear to be a contrived and pre-arranged fabrication, with the deliberate intention of "having something" on Assange

  43. Craig Murray is interesting on this -

    craig Murray

    Apparently one of the women sent two tweets after the alleged rape which said

    'Julian wants to go to a crayfish party, anyone have a couple of available seats tonight or tomorrow? #fb'

    'Sitting outdoors at 02:00 and hardly freezing with the world's coolest smartest people, it's amazing! #fb'

    Am trying to keep an open mind about these allegations but this seems a slightly strange response to being raped.

  44. Rapid Eddie- I think that this one by his Australian lawyer is better !

    And this one about trying to cover your TWEETING-TRACKS...

    And failing ?

  45. You only have to watch Let it Be to see McCartney's bullish, busines-like swagger compared to Lennon's stoned, apparent vacuuity.

    But has anyone read the wonderful Revolution in the Head by Ian MacDonald ? Nice overview here


    It's one of the best music books I've read.

    The wiki article, which I wouldn't dispute, concludes that:

    "MacDonald demonstrates that, among the Beatles’ members, it was John Lennon who was most strongly associated with both the New Left and with psychedelic pacifism, while at the same time acknowledging Lennon's complex and contradictory attitudes towards these subjects. Paul McCartney, despite his dabblings with the artistic avant garde, is most representative of mainstream thought and behaviour. George Harrison, through his faith in Indian religion, is proposed as the only Beatle to offer a coherent belief system that would offer an alternative to the cultural quandaries thrown up by the 1960s."

    He was a fine writer McDonald.

    Last word - although his first solo album is probably "better" I have enjoyed Rock and Roll far more than his other solo stuff over the years.

  46. Sheff-snap ! seems we have several 'friends' in common -- I have FCO Secret "cables" from the time Craig put them on the Net.

    This chrome is fast Tim Spencer et al .Thanks for recommends.

  47. On another note - a small message of hope from Palestine's PM

    Why I'm Building Palestine

  48. frog

    I've been playing with Chrome as well. I usually use Safari but Chrome is just as fast - except possibly on a very long cif thread. I like the tabs particularly

  49. Bitterweed,

    "Revolution in the Head" is a fantastic book, easily one of the best music books I've ever read. The way each Beatles song is set in context and his explanations are revealing and McDonald doesn't pull his punches.

    Has anyone ever seen the film 'Let it Be?' Throughout the film it's the visceral hatred between McCartney and Harrison that is most evident as Lennon is bonged oot his box for most of it. Harrison broods throughout over his guitar looking as if he's waiting for the perfect opportunity to punch McCartney's lights out.

    It's too easy today to diss Lennon's political stances as being 'fashionable', 'naive' etc etc but how many artists out there today are seen as dangers to states with CIA/FBI records as long as their arms? How many today are genuinely awkward, abrasive, speak their minds and have the totemic qualities of Lennon? Answer came there none.

    Pity his solo stuff was gash mind.....

  50. Should have said has anyone else seen Let it Be, Bitterweed already has, d'oh.

  51. Wybourne

    It's too easy today to diss Lennon's political stances as being 'fashionable', 'naive' etc etc but how many artists out there today are seen as dangers to states with CIA/FBI records as long as their arms? How many today are genuinely awkward, abrasive, speak their minds and have the totemic qualities of Lennon?

    I think I might know this one.

    Is it Justin Bieber?

  52. I think Macca peaked with "Someone's Knocking at the Door."

    Dum de dum de
    Sister Suzie, Dim and Don
    Something something
    La la la
    Let them in


  53. Duke
    Yeah, it's a pretty sad movie really, if you like them at all. Almost like watching a family fall apart.

    Also brilliant is Ian McDonald's "The People's Music" - I would recommend that to anyone interested in pusic as a social/cultural mirror, rather than just entertainment

    Good review here from Charles Shaar Murray


  54. BW,

    thanks for the book tip, it's now on the xmas books list being winged to my good lady.

    I've just finished The Intellectual life of the British working classes which was a lucid, enlightening read. As much a paean to what we've lost as well as gained in terms of intellectual curiosity.

  55. noon all

    i shall have a look at "let it be" it's on you tube....never liked mccartney seemed to be the odd one out, he came and still comes across as an arrogant arse know it all and anyone that contributes to the proliferation of plastic veggie sausages and plastic veggie food just hasn't quite got "it" just looking for profit.......apparently he hates the film let it be....wonder why........

    thank gawd for The Madonna....day off today.....

  56. Duke, that's a fine book. The last chapter Down and Out in Bloomsbury is as apt now as ever eh ? (The Guardian / CiF in a nutshell0

  57. Afternoon all

    The ConDems have announced that the estimated 400,000 people with alcohol and drug problems will have their benefits docked if they don't agree to a treatment programme to make them more employable.We do after all know that this government believes that 'Work Sets You Free'.

    From what i understand the most socially deprived communities have the worst problems with alcohol and drug addition with all the crime that goes with it.Yet this government is looking to 'cure' people-possibly using questionable methods-without addressing some of the root causes that caused the addiction in the first place.So let's say some people do come out of these treatment programmes 'clean' what have they got to look forward too in Austerity Britain? A low paid job or more likely workfare?A room in a hostel or short term accomodation? Surely these scenarios could increase the likelihood of recovering addicts relapsing.These deep-rooted problems after allcannot be sorted out either quickly or cheaply.

    @And just to cheer people up further more snow is forecast for next week.

  58. Chrjst mi typinggs shitte tday

  59. Paul
    Ever watch The Wire ?

    That life's coming to a UK City near you any time soon.

  60. Bitterweed,

    yeah, very much so. The book complements as well as challenges John Carey's The Intellectuals and the Masses. Pride and Prejudice amongst the Literary Intelligentsia which was a pretty bleak thesis on the snobbery and negativity of the elite authors in their views of 'the great unwashed'.

    The last chapter on the Bloomsbury set's prejudices was wholly predictable.

    Rose's explanation of British working class autodidactic culture blows apart the elite prejudices displayed through the years.

    Should maybe send a copy down Farringdon Road.

  61. As the great Elvis Costello sang...

    Was it a millionaire
    Who said, 'Imagine no possessions'?

    Contradictions indeed.

    I've got back from my minimum half-hour daily walk feeling damp and chilly (it's still blizzarding out there) and I'm now listening to a great choon from XTC. Fuck me, they look young in the vid! Sorry about the synchro, but you can always click on the studio version.

  62. Glad you like that as much as I do, Jay. Check this out--the acoustic slide-guitar work in this is just glorious, as is the mandolin, banjo etc...but Jerry Douglas' slide almost makes me believe in God. Jerry Douglas, Russ Barenberg, Edgar Meyer - Big Sciota.

    Revolution In The Head is a terrific book. I'm sorry you think Lennon's post-Fabs work was gash, Duke. Some certainly was but some was erm...fab.

    McCartney, on the other hand, always struck me, post-Fabs, as a rather bland popster. Don't get me wrong: nothing wrong with pop. But I can't imagine Lennon doing 'Ebony and Ivory' with the world's first stone-washed human.

    Hell, Mozart was pop; Gershwin was pop...but McC. never took any chances, musically, politically, etc. Lennon did. Got to love the guy for trying.

  63. The moves by international banking, big business and political groups to fan the flames of publicity in WikiLeaks' direction and set alight their own hair and clothes in the process and ensure nobody in the world is left in any doubt about their grouped and entrenched corruption should run and run.

    BBC News:

    The company that enables Wikileaks to accept credit and debit card donations says it will take legal action against Visa Europe and Mastercard.

    IT firm Datacell said it would move immediately to try to force the two companies to resume allowing payments to the whistle-blowing website.

    Iceland-based Datacell had earlier said the move by Visa and Mastercard could harm its own business.

    Visa Europe and Mastercard have yet to comment on the legal threat.

    If all these sectors had simply made a collective gallic shrug and said something like: "Phhttt! You all knew we were as corrupt as shit, didn't you? What's all the fuss about?" the WikiLeaks, er, leaks would probably have fallen reasonably flat and been forgotten after about a week.

    As it is, the clever governments and their even clevererer henchmen should mean that there will be a Hollywood blockbuster showing at a multiplex near you before the dust has settled.

    Who will play Assange? Draco Malfoy or his dad?

  64. Afternoon all

    Sounds like a good book, Your Grace. His Nibs got me the Spirit Level last year, so I should drop a hint to him about it and I might get it in my stocking if I play my cards right.

    At 7am on 9th December 1980, the radio alarm went off - it was Mike Smith on Capital Radio breakfast show - and he was playing "I Believe in Father Christmas" by Greg Lake, which I thought was bloody odd because in those days Christmas didn't begin weeks in advance. And let's face it, it is not the most cheerful of Crimbo choonez either.

    When he announced, after the final strains of "...the christmas you get you deserve!" and a sample of Troika, that John Lennon had been shot dead, it took me a good half an hour to stop crying.

    It is easy to look in retrospect at musicians from the 60s and 70s and say they were shite, or whatever, but at the end of the day the Beatles changed the music scene in this country for ever. And John Lennon was intelligent, funny and talented.

    I had tears in me eyes this morning when I was drinking my tea as they had a bit about him on Breakfast on the Beeb.


  65. Re the Falling on a Bruise article, I'm now trying to work out how you can get a woman to perform oral sex on you in a cinema without her consent. Is she claiming she and Assange were totally and he used threats or physical force? Or given her Rohypnol? But surely any of those things would involve further charges. I'm getting more and more confused.

  66. jack cade
    Like your posts ! Jerry Douglas is so gifted, first saw him on the triumphal BBC TransAtlantic Sessions. BTW, saw the Drive By Truckers in Shepherds Bush a few weeks back, they were truly great.

  67. On a completely different note, I have been worrying about Jenn because I haven't seen her posting for a while. Has anyone heard from her?

  68. "totally alone" is what I meant to write.

  69. @jack cade:

    Try these on for size:


    Bryan Sutton playing Texas Gales. And he does a duet of “Napoleon’s Retreat” with Jerry Douglas on his “Not Too Far From The Tree” album, which is well worth a listen.


    Dan Tyminski and Ron Block in a little bluegrass masterclass. Starts in earnest at 2.21, then Ron does his bit around 2.40. Love how the lead “comes home” at the end. Quality stuff. I’ve got the issue of the magazine that came with, learnt more in 4 minutes watching that than from anything else (Steve Kaufmann/Happy Traum possibly excepted).

    Funny thing, though – shows that top-class guitarists can often struggle to articulate precisely why what they’re doing sounds so good.

  70. Apparently, the two women accusing Assange met at a seminar, got chatting and "realised to their horror and anger that they had both been victims of his charm." Like you do.

  71. Spike -- that RapidEddie link was a dud indeed. My two later links good'uns. I think i may actually have found the first around at craigmurray...

    Another book to go on what was my Ama$on list, now Foyles or bookdepository.

  72. Re 'Penile' last night. Not me..but hard to fault what he said. I don't think CIF are doing themselves or him (the 'real' one) any favours by allowing him to keep posting what he does...the more freedom he gets, the more he allows himself to unravel.

    I think his major problem is that he's a bit dumb. Anyone with access to Google (ie anyone) and a familiarity with the 'truisms' of crypto-liberal, all-embracing, colour-supplement pop psychology could pass themselves off as a far more convincing defrocked academic psychologist. Other than his interminable 'reading lists' and his highly predictable 'interventions', WTF does he bring to the table? Insight? New perspectives?...nah...fuck all; that's what.

    He may well have his problems but I hardly think unfettered access to hurl abuse at fellow posters on a public thread is the answer. And, whatever the true 'back-story', I think it's a fair assumption that he's not a particularly gracious or even pleasant character nor especially bright...and, despite his frequent exhortations that we should "do the Maths", any posts of his which touch on statistical calculation reveal him to be barely functional in this area...fuck knows what his 'research' revealed...anything he fancied, probably...given his gift for analysis.

  73. Jack, "But I can't imagine Lennon doing 'Ebony and Ivory' with the world's first stone-washed human." Pedantic, but don't you mean "Say, Say, Say"?

    (I like Stevie)

    Jenni, yeah, what BB said, please have a look in.

  74. Hi Rapid-- that"s better !

  75. Was that actually a mix-up between "Ebony and Ivory" with Stevie W and "Say Say Say", which actually was a duet with arguable th world's first stonewashed human, Wacko Jacko.

  76. Note to self: Must read what you've typed before you post "arguable th" instead of "arguably the".

  77. does anyone have Jenn's email address...could drop her a line? Montana will have it but she won't be around right now.

  78. My mistake, Habib, Spike...I meant 'Say, Say, Say'. Apologies.

    Thanks for the links, Shiloh. I think you and bitterweed (and Jay) will like this as well...Bela Fleck - Slipstream.

    I have a lot of Bela Fleck on my music channel (unsurprisingly). Bitterweed, The DBTs are a gas, aren't they?

  79. @habib

    Ah, didn't read your post fully. You'd already made that point.

  80. Soundtrack for The Big Society...Richard Thompson - Al Bowlly's In Heaven

    Hard times, hard hard times
    Hostels and missions and dosser's soup lines
    Can't close me eyes on a bench or a bed
    For the sound of some battle raging in my head

    Old friends, you lose so many
    You get run around, all over town
    The wear and the tear, oh it just drives you down
    St Mungo's with its dirty old sheets
    Beats standing all day down on Scarborough Street
    Al Bowlly's in heaven and I'm in limbo now

    Can't stay here, you got to foot-slog
    Once in a blue moon you might find a job
    Sleep in the rain, you sleep in the snow
    When the beds are all taken you've got nowhere to go

  81. @jack cade - the DBTs went off stage after about an hour and ten, to rapturous applause, which the stage crew whooped right up. The band then finally shambled back on stage after what I reckon was enough time for a medium sized spliff. They then played either a second set or encore (it was difficult to tell) of about six numbers which got wilder and wilder. They passed around a bottle of JD and were just great fun to watch because none of it seemed stage managed at all, yet they still knocked the crap out of everyone in the auditorium. they can play alright too. The cliche "old school" is, for once, pretty apt. Like somewhere in between the music of pre Southern Accents Tom Petty and the attitude of an old southern boogie band like Skynerd. They were great fun indeed. I had to get the t-shirt !

  82. Here's a decent timeline of the facts of the Assange cases. Google Translate should kick in automatically. Here's the abbreviated version:

    Wednesday, 11th August: Assange arrives in Stockholm to speak at a Brotherhood Movement event on Saturday 14th August, at the invitation of Anna Ardin (Woman A). The Brotherhood Movement is an adjunct of the Swedish Social Democrat Party. Ardin's out of town, so Assange stays at Ardin's flat.

    Sofia Wilén (woman B) wangles an invitation to the Saturday event.

    Friday 13th August: Ardin returns to Stockholm and her flat. She and Assange go out for dinner, return to the flat and have sex. Afterwards, they find that the condom has broken.

    Saturday 14th August: Assange gives his speech to the Brotherhood Movement with Ardin helping to organize it and Wilén in the front row.

    Wilén introduces herself to Assange and they go to the cinema together.

    That evening there's a party in Assange's honour, with Ardin in attendance.

    Monday 16th August: Wilén calls Assange on his mobile. Assange and Wilén meet up in the evening in the Hornsgatan district of Stockholm. They take a train to Enköping, where Wilén lives, a town about 78 km west of Stockholm. Wilén and Assange have sex that evening with a condom and sex the following morning without a condom.

    Wednesday 18th August: Wilén calls Ardin and tells her she's had unprotected sex with Assange. Ardin admits she too had had sex with Assange. (That bit contradicts the Mail claim that they discussed this at an event).

    Thursday 19th August: Ardin tells Assange to get his things out of her Stockholm flat.

    Friday 20th August: Ardin and Wilén go to the police station for Wilén to file rape charges. She claims that after consensual sex on the night of Monday 16th, Assange raped her on the morning of Tuesday 17th at her home in Enköping. At this stage, Ardin is there to lend support.

    Ardin, who only came along to help Wilén, tells the policewoman she also had sex with Ardin. She tells the policewoman the condom broke during sex and now accuses Assange of deliberately breaking it. The police conduct their interrogation of Ardin the following day [Satuday 21st August] on the phone.

    Saturday 21st August: Arrest warrant - shortly thereafter rescinded - goes out for Assange for two counts of 'molestation'.

  83. "Well I can see me now, I'm back there on the dance floor
    Oh with a blonde on me arm, red-head to spare"

    Great stuff, Jack!

    You know how it all becomes quiet here between five and six? Do any of you fancy posting a few songs to keep the rest of us happy? Longer the better.

    Here's my offering. Made to the gods of Tory.

  84. Habib

    You know how it all becomes quiet here between five and six?

    That pisses me off cos I'm stuck at work until 5.30 and usually bored! Can't do choonz at work though.

    (Well, I could today as I'm working from home, but actually have stuff to do!)

  85. @thaumaturge
    I'll have a beer for you at 5.15

  86. Thauma, you could tell me what to find. I used to do it for Colin all the time, even though he was probably laughing at me... :-)

  87. Bitterweed - you bastard, are you out of your brain on a train?

    Habib - good idea, if my brain were unfried enough to think!

  88. It has been a horrible, brooding sort of day here suggesting something nasty is about to happen.

    Car radiator blew up yesterday despite much antifreeze and loving care. New one ordered so hoping all is soon fixed otherwise I am on a diet as food is hardly available in village.

    I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the big society and the mad rush of politicians to doorsteps all over the land. They will be here soon, bearing gifts of food and booze, numerous packs of cigarettes to lift us from the gloom.

    The weather will improve, all heating bills will be paid and we will all revel in the joys of plentitude and excess.

    that at least is how I understand it.

  89. Habib

    Perhaps a celebratory anthem is in order?

  90. Nice one Paul, very chilled.
    I mentioned Stevie earlier.

  91. habib

    thanks for Lucy.

    It reminded me of a summer in the Steiner school. Everyone else had gone - just me, my children and the gardner, a lovely man who was bi polar. His friend came to stay. J under the influence saw Lucy in the sky and jumped from a moving train. He survived but was mentally and physically battered.

    J played a mean guitar. We sat one afternoon in the sunshine, J playing.

    I remember wondering just what my very staid and correct mother would have thought about myself and my children being alone in a large remote house with the gardener and J.

    Happy days. Certainly gave both my sons a very broad view of 'normal'

  92. Hi Paul

    not a Stevie fan - the Moody Blues - forgotten about them too. Can't believe Knights was recorded way back in the 60s.

  93. Hi Leni

    Don't see so much of you these days.Hope you're well:-)

  94. Paul

    i am well thanks. Have been busy in various ways.

    Posted on the BS thread yesterday - was so infuriated by it . We are being taken for mugs - bout time we showed them that the collective intelligence of MPs falls very short of that of the general population.

    We are ruled by greedy fools.

  95. Leni, Paul, don't it feel like it should be the early hours of the morning?

    Something a little newer, by the Zutons - Valerie.

  96. Habib

    yes early morning music and ruminations. We need Jenn to join us.

    Since you and Paul gave up the night shift I talk to myself and Dogge.

  97. Leni, where's Boudican? I know Medve vanished. Oh well, absent friends, here's to them.

    Just gonna sneak another tune in before the six o'clock deadline that I imagined.

  98. habib

    i miss boudi too - perhaps he's off on his travels again. Medve sadly hasn't been avisiting for ages.

    Raising my coffee to all absent friends.

  99. your grace - am trying (after yesterday) to keep away form the assange 'details', but everything seems to be a total stitch-up, and that Wolf piece is very good.

    As a longtime feminist activist, I have been overjoyed to discover your new commitment to engaging in global manhunts to arrest and prosecute men who behave like narcissistic jerks to women they are dating.

    heheheh. probably shound't, but hehehehehe.

    reminds me a bit of the news items re my favourite band, when interpol were apparently looking for andrew eldritch on an international arrest warrant for aggravated assault, which search was apparently not helped by the sisters playing a series of gigs at festivals that summer and helpfully posting details of all their concert appearances in a variety of media.

    it's gone from the site now, but i notice they are gigging next year, playing paris on 5 march! missed last tour (first time in fifteen years) so feel must buy tickets...

    €40 though? crivens. but have to do it...

  100. ...and no, haven't seen jen for a couple of days. having trouble using the G search function (natch) but according to that she hasn't posted 'over there' for at least a week...

  101. How cool is this?

    "The British government conducted a study two years ago of workfare schemes across the world. ‘There is little evidence that workfare increases the likelihood of finding work’, it concluded. Workfare, it found ‘is least effective in getting people into jobs in weak labour markets where unemployment is high.’ In other words, in the conditions that most Western nations face now. The report also found that ‘Subsidized job schemes that pay a wage can be more effective in raising employment levels than “work for benefit” programmes.’


  102. I have mailed Jenni to say we are missing her.

  103. "What workfare truly seeks to change are not people’s values but their expectations. It is a policy that makes low paid, non-unionised jobs socially acceptable and declares those who refuse to take such jobs to be ‘immoral’. Its real impact is not in creating jobs or changing the lives of the poor, but in shifting the blame for poverty and unemployment on to the poor and the unemployed themselves.

    The real problem we face is not the existence of a mass of ‘workshy’ people bereft of moral values, nor the creation of a culture of dependency. It is failure of the political imagination to build a society with proper jobs and wages, and the disillusionment with the possibilities of real social transformation. We used to think we could change the structures of society for the better. Now we just want to change the behaviour of the poor."


  104. Good piece up from Sharon Brennan - don't know enough about this to weigh in, but this is what I wanted to say:
    Good article

    But this rankles a bit:
    The government's targeting of the disability living allowance reveals a lack of compassion
    Is it really a lack of compassion they are demonstrating here? (That's par for the course, frankly) Or is it lack of justice? Or, to put it in more appealing terms for those looking at the money, lack of seeing-the-big-picture, lack of further-than-short-term-planning?

    Because as I understand it, DLA supports (inter alia) people in work - it is not IB (that's another farrago) - if DLA is cut, isn't there a risk that many people in work will not be able to sustain that (transport costs, for example) and so not be able to continue in work? Which seems barking. People currently receiving DLA on top of their wage, versus saving on the DLA but then having to pay out in IB / JSA etc if those people cannot continue in employment.

    have i got that right or missed something huge?

  105. Monkey

    there is a determination to squeeze people into prevailing socieconomic conditions even when this means denying the basic humanity of millions.

    Like saying we are short of food so hunger no longer exists.

    the idea of building society around people has long been abandoned.

  106. Thanks for that, monkeyfish.

    Yes, it is actually pretty cool, although I have no time now to follow the link.

    Anyone with posting privileges over at Dribbly want to prod JezzeBella into declaring that they don't really want to do articles on anything which might make the ConDems pull a little crushed and crumpled face full of clenched anger and disappointment?

    Workfare, it found 'is least effective in getting people into jobs in weak labour markets where unemployment is high.'

    As Harry Hill might say: "Not a lot of cop, then, is it?"

  107. That Malik piece is chilling. That the govt could have commissioned a study and then ignore the fucking thing completely - ok, I know we have a new govt now - is bloody criminal.

    And on a slightly different note, is anyone else sick to the back teeth of hearing Americans on Today and other R4 programmes telling us how much better off we are than the US? I was screaming at the radio in the bath this morning when they were talking about how cutting the Education Maintenance Allowance was going to be a devastating blow for households already barely surviving on the breadline, and some twat was mouthing off about how his daughter had paid her way through the U. of Middlesex (or somewhere) by working at the same time and had £6000 pa more than she needed, and why should anyone else be paid for continuing their education etc. etc.

    God it makes me vomit.

  108. Monkeyfish/Atomboy

    I'll give it a bash! Hope MF doesn't mind me basically plagiarising his post as I am brain-dead!

  109. Oh, that actually reminds me.

    Has anyone who still sometimes sees the world through CiFerama-Vision noticed whether:

    1. The Hanman woman has ever got round to addressing the one thing about which the entire readership is concerned - moderation, banning, censorship etc?

    2. Are they going to hold another election for poster, er, poster-boy or girl for the year?

    My votes go to:

    a. Redminer
    b. SelfMadeMan
    c. SpecialBrut

    The last one on the basis that the resulting article would probably be the most squirmingly embarrassing since...since...oh, what shall we say...

    Anyone seen Brackish lately?

  110. Thanks, Thauma.

    As you seem to be doing a "your wish is my command" routine today, should I try to be more imaginative for my third request?



  111. BB "some twat was mouthing off about how his daughter had paid her way through the U. of Middlesex (or somewhere) by working at the same time and had £6000 pa more than she needed,"

    Hey, that sounds like me! Well, not the daughter bit. I did pay my way through an MA at Middlesex though.

    My plan was to go part time and jobshare but my boss reneged on the deal I thought I had. Which was OK because the MA was so easy that doing it and working full time was fine.

    Anyway, I do know what you mean, BB, but really you could have almost been describing me.

    Fucking dump Middlesex, by the way, in the unlikely event that anyone had any illusions.

  112. When I answered a Hasbara clone about Hezbollah, Bracken popped up on Whaddya like a jack-in-the-box at 4.26 to say... well, I'm not entirely sure.

    Does anyone have any idea what, "You see, it's impossible for closet apologists not to defile the meaning of dissent," might translate into English as?

  113. Just got into the flickr gallery, finally. That snow and gate photo (Turminder's?) is stunning.

  114. Philippa

    DLA is a non-means tested benefit that is paid to disabled people who are both in and out of work.It has two components basesd on care and mobility .And within those two components there are different rates of benefit dependant on the levels of assistance that are needed for both care and mobility.From what i undersrand there is very little fraud in DLA and most claimants are either unemployed or in low paid jobs.So to lose it would be yet another body blow!

  115. BB

    is anyone else sick to the back teeth of hearing Americans on Today and other R4 programmes telling us how much better off we are than the US?

    Well, actually, we are better off than the Americans. We have an NHS, we have IS, we have housing benefit/council housing, we have a higher minimum wage and better employment rights, and our unemployment benefits aren't cut off after 26 weeks. All of this may of course be a temporary state of affairs if the Tories get their way.

    Atomboy - I reckon they are going to skip the Ciffies this year but your option (c) is indeed a highly entertaining prospect.

    As for fulfilling your every whim, can we do it in Sweden? I hear it's lovely this time of year.

  116. Spike, I'll have a go. I think it means:

    "my textual analysis, heuristic skill and erudition are nonpareil, behold my eloquence, ye mighty, and despair!"

  117. Nice links people.

  118. thauma, you want to take your own condoms though. Theirs are rubbish, apparently.

  119. Spike

    Does anyone have any idea what, "You see, it's impossible for closet apologists not to defile the meaning of dissent," might translate into English as?

    I think it translates as, "Anyone who disagrees with my world view is wrong."

  120. damnit, gallery link not on at the mo. want to see pretty pictures.

  121. "Does anyone have any idea what, 'You see, it's impossible for closet apologists not to defile the meaning of dissent'"

    Erm, my closets are in a hell of a state and I say "fuck you, even though I know I should tidy up".

    Wow, look at that, he can make sense.

  122. Philipa, I just googled untrusted photostream flickr and it came up at the top of the page.

  123. Hmm. One of the things about not watching telly or listening to radio is that one doesn't know how to pronounce things. Like 'Assange'.

    So I've just gone on YouTube and listened to three different news reports and heard three different pronunciations, all of which were different from my own guess.


  124. Thaum

    Well yeah, we know that we have better social provision than the US, but I think what they are trying to do is to sweeten the cuts by saying "well, America is a wonderful country isn't it? You've all seen Dallas and Fresh Prince of Belair haven't you? What are you complaining about?"

  125. the news here has a huge banner, "special neige!"

    ah yes, says flatmate, not like all that other regular snow....

    paris has apparently ground to a halt.

  126. Hi All

    Leni, Habib--Not been online much lately due to work. Yes, work. Renovating inside of legion, Ladies Auxiliary hall, and seniors centre. All in the same building approx 6000 square feet. Several other tradesmen and some other semi-retired people have volunteered to supply expertise and labour. Yours truly has been designated to supervise the whole project, so as you can imagine it will take up much of my time in the next 3-4 months.

    As for medve, I haven't seen anything of him lately. I hope he's keeping well.

    Will continue to pop in at night to catch up with things and check out tunes offered up by some of our very knowledgable DJs here.

    Must be away, bye for now.

  127. Evening all. Just catching up after a tedious day reconstructing complex tables of data nicked from crappily-formatted PDFs.

    @Duke, BW

    Thanks for the recommendations on the Rose book; it's gone on my Christmas wishlist (which I usually end up buying myself). I recently re-read Richard Hoggart's The Uses of Literacy, which has a great description of working class life in northern England just as it was coming to an end in my own childhood.


    I think the report that Malik's talking about is the one that was flagged up here a while back... Yeah, it's this one I think.

    @everyone else

    Nice tunes today. I've had this running round my head for some reason.

  128. Salaam and à bientôt, Boudican.

  129. first comment on OM v chelsea from flatmate (OM fan) - what the fuck are chelsea wearing? the snow's not that bad...


  130. Paul

    e need you to come and stomp about on the DLA thread.

    Apparently every wheel chair user and child with cerebral palsy is having a laugh at the expense of the tax payer.

  131. @Thaum

    Assange looks French so I pronouce it as in French, which they seem to do on the Beeb too (the nearest I can get to it in English is ass-onge).


    Spécial neige = Special snow edition
    Can't confirm Paris having ground to a halt since I haven't left my immediate locality today.

    Thanks to the Bracken-English interpreters!

    Evening, Boudican! CL group 1st place good, getting knocked out of Worthless Cup by West Ham bad; going top of Premiership good, going second because Blackpool can't heat their pitch properly bad.

  132. leni - your post about 'tom' just made me well up in a big way. hope he 'marches' against this shit. maybe pokes a polis in the back with a 'cunningly placed mirror'...

  133. Does anyone know how to trawl the past of UT? When was SteveHill here after leaving CiF?

  134. World Service on Corruption in Chicago ...now.


  135. @Spike

    A Google search with site:cifthreadrefugee.blogspot.com in it turns things up.

    SteveHill was first on here on 19 August; his initial post is here.

  136. Pity batteries aren't included, spike: then one or two might buy your exhausted claptrap - the dialogue of the deaf, still raging at a school near you.

  137. Peter J

    D'you know...I thought I felt the odd waft of deja vu (again) reading it...nearly didn't post it. Decided it must have been because the conclusions were so fuckin obvious it just felt I must have read it before...the sort of feeling you'd get if you heard that Nick Clegg wet the bed well into his teens...you'd decide it was so self-evident you must have known already.

    What's even more worrying (memory slippage aside), is that, as Leni suggests, this smacks more of social engineering...a farcical attempt at changing social attitudes through coercion...a sort of ".....and stick" approach. Working for peanuts in dead-end, soul-sapping drudgery is not exactly a carrot.

    They seem to be looking around at their TINAesque dominion and have decided the only people who aren't having a ball are the ones who weren't invited to the party...so to stop them moping around they've gotta dance too...only no music, no booze, no food...just fuckin smile..or else.

  138. Stone the crows, guess who's lined up to replace Chris Hughton at St James' Park......(drum roll)errr......Alan Pardew...err.....eh?

    I don't think I can take much more of this insanity!

  139. Bracken interpreters! What's he going on about now?



  140. dunno, spike, beyond me...

    (am actually hoping we get snow here - it's so rare that everyone starts acting like kids, actually quite sweet)

  141. Spike - Assange looks French? With that colouring?

    Ah OK, the mister has just clued me into the fact that you meant his name looks French!

    Have decided it's pronounced like an anglicised version of the French, ie Ass-an-gj. (If that makes sense.)

    Peter - bit of a mixed metaphor, that, what?

  142. @MF

    It bears repeating, that's for sure. I expect the DWP commissioned the report hoping it would say what a damned good idea workfare was, and then hid it away on the website when it failed to deliver the goods. Wasn't Workhouse Purnell in charge at the time? He pushed on with the plan regardless, of course.

    (Checking, I see that Purnell took over at DWP in Jan 2008, so it's possible that the report was commissioned by his predecessor, Deadbeat Hain. But it was Purnell who chose to ignore it.)

  143. I quite liked "dialogue of the deaf," Peter. Conjures up a fine image of people with deftly dancing hands.

  144. Dialogue des sourds is a french-ism, Spencer. P Brax is speaking franglais.

  145. Hi all, in the resources page I have put a couple of interesting linky things for the DLA replacement AKA PIP!

    There is now a DWP call for comments on this new scheme of things. Not looked at this DLA thread yet. I also read on the BBC site a survey that showed almost 50% of folk think disabled do not take up jobs when they are actually fit to do so. here , And what is worse in my mind is that the younger section of the population are more prone to this view. Also, the fraud is around 0.6% so that is not a route to savings.

  146. Would you believe it, Allied Irish banks are still paying out £40million in bonuses. They must be laughing their heads off.

  147. Hah!

    Loving the Daily Mash on Assange's arrest:

    Assange to escape from police at the top of some stairs

    Stevens said Mr Assange would be held for questioning at a central London police station but due to a problem with the central heating they would have to keep moving him between floors.

    He added: "Unfortunately the lifts are going to be broken the entire time he is custody."

    He said: "I wish Mr Assange was not going to break his neck later this afternoon, but there is nothing my officers can do to stop him.

    "They will shout something like 'hey you' or 'stop escaping' but he will be too quick for them.

    "Also he will have forgotten to tie his shoelaces."

  148. Do you know something, Jay? I think I have run out of vomit. I have been sickened to the stomach by the sheer fucking gall of these bastards so often over recent months that I ought rightly to be as thin as a bloody anorexic by now.

    BTW - when do you get your OU results? Must be round about now-ish, isn't it?

  149. http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/sport/sport-headlines/newcastle-replace-hughton-with-1972-magpie-annual-201012073325/

  150. Spike, I believe it's a reference to a sex toy?

  151. The bonuses - 40m euros, not sterling - were award in 2008, Jay. I suspect they are legally binding. BTW, AIB employs 22,000 - it equates to £1,500 a head.

  152. "only no music, no booze, no food...just fuckin smile..or else."

    Fuck me, it's almost a muslim wedding! They do nice food, though.

  153. Your partner away somewhere, meerkat?

  154. I mean, what we hold springs to mind...first?

  155. Oh well that's OK then, P-Brax. Phew. I thought for a moment that we had just pledged to lend them £7 billion to bail out their banking system at a time when we are desperate for money ourselves, only for them to be paying themselves nearly six times that amount.

    As for the Irish people - qu'ils mangent de la brioche... or maybe the could just make soup from the bankers' potato peelings like they did in the good old days of the famine.


  156. Just read the DLA thread - sickening stuff from some. Thanks to Leni for fighting GermanicusRex an odious individual who looks more like a (paid) troll by the minute.

  157. I'm not following Peter. Are you suggesting I read your posts and immediately think 'dildo'?

  158. Duracell. Won't go far wrong.

    40 million euros, BB, I say again million. That's less than 0.5% of the money the UK will loan - at nearly 6% interest.

  159. I dunno, meerkat. You raised the subject of sex toys, not me.

  160. @Meerkatjie

    Sex toys and schools? Not a good combination... I hope Bitey isn't having a sinister influence on his little chum Bracken.

    Still, it would explain the deafness. In English, you go blind; in French, deaf.

  161. "Pity batteries aren't included, spike: then one or two might buy your exhausted claptrap - the dialogue of the deaf, still raging at a school near you."

    Bloody hell that takes some work, Spike. I think he's saying your views are old fashioned. This from a man who values his current financial worth more than himself. Remember to feel sorry for him.

  162. Just watching the news. Wow, I'm curiously very disappointed in Sarah Teather. She won't even answer questions about her intention to vote in support of the fees proposal. I thought she had a bit more integrity than this.

  163. It makes you deaf you know, Habib.

  164. Your partner away somewhere, meerkat?


    If you want to instruct BB to apply for a restraining order, I can let you have an affidavit.

  165. You wearing the dunce's cap, BB? Still doing the sums? Sweet.

  166. "It makes you deaf you know, Habib."


  167. Come on guys, make it worthwhile. I could be in bed.

  168. "I could be in bed."
    What a repulsive thought.

  169. OK... so he's wondering if my partner's away.... he has images of me holding a sex toy.... and now he's planning to retire for the evening.

    You're right Spike. I'm drawing my curtains now.

  170. Bracks, I'd be happy to have a fight with you about who has the bigger coffee mug in the morning, but the thing is, you do a bitey and just make things up.

    Incidentally, mine is the bigger one.

  171. You're too literal meerkat. As with your sarcasm, you don't know when to apply the brake.

    You've lost me, heyhabib.

  172. Come on BB. You done the math yet?

  173. "You've lost me, heyhabib."

    Hallelujah! Should anyone else require advice on how to lose a Bracken, please call 555 8604.

  174. A calculator's no shame, BB. 34 million divided by 7000 million x 100 = 0.5% (give or take).

    Not as you suggested 600%.

    That's more than a detail, wouldn't you say?

  175. Bracken

    I know its EUR, i dont have a £ sign for EUR tho, though not an awful lot of difference in value.

    £1.5k a head - yes, i'm certain thats just how that £40m breaks down, no one would be getting any obscene bonuses out of that, all nicely divided between the cashiers i suspect.

    Awarded in 2008 ,would break the law to hold it back: i'm going to let you in on a secret here, Peter - governments can change laws. They do it all the time in fact. So if, in some distant, crazy world, the executive decided that this £40m would really not be appropriate (considering the banks have destroyed the country) they could probably bring in a law allowing retrospective confiscations, or else they could bring in a new targeted tax at 100%. Nothing stops them doing this. We had this same row over Goodwins pension. The "nothing can be done" line was bollocks then and it is now.

    A government can do virtually what it wishes, and this is all the more true if it has public support. Look at what they manage to push through *without* public support.

  176. "AIB employs 22,000 - it equates to £1,500 a head."

    ...they get equal shares?...the guy cleaning the toilets and the CEO are joint 'stakeholders'?...sweet..a lesson in banking from the Irish?...you sure about that?

    Otherwise that looks like the most purposeless long division ever undertaken. Here's the sum the majority of AIB are doing...fuck all dived by 20,000.

  177. I have no brakes. It's a personality flaw.

  178. Oh ffs P-Brax. I made a mistake. I misread 40 million for 40 billion (although in fairness, the sums of money thrown about in the banking world are so ridiculous, people could have told me it was a gzillion and I would have believed them).

    I was wrong. C'est ma faute, c'est ma faute, c'est ma plus grande faute.

    Happy now?


    It still stinks, by the way. Million or billion, it is a disgrace and an insult to all the people who will be laid off, have their benefits cut, etc. as a result of the latest asset-stripping of a nation by the banksters.

  179. pipped to the post...and...seems I was wrong...

    "fuck all dived by 20,000."

    fuck all shared by 19,600


    "As many as 2,400 bankers in its Dublin capital markets division are to receive the payments on 17 December under agreements struck with the bank in 2008."

  180. BB's maths mistake is one thing Peter, your suggestion that it equates to £1,500 per head is quite another.

    Because of course it doesn't do anything of the sort, and as you have presumably not made a schoolboy error of confusing an average figure with what most people are actually getting, you were simply trying to mislead and make the unspeakable sound reasonable.

    In other words being deliberately misleading.

    Because the court case that forced AIB to pay out the bonuses was brought by an individual who claimed that he was owed €161,000.

    A bit of a difference from £1,500 I am sure you will agree. And, of course, if this guy and his master of the universe mates are getting bonuses in the hundreds of thousands of euros, there is going to be precious little for the people at the bottom who are going to be getting a fuck of a lot less than £1,500. My guess would be about €000,000 give or take a few euros.

    Aren't they?

  181. I'm surprised Bitey hasn't been around this evening, actually. Another woman teacher was jailed today for having a sexual relationship with her 15 yr old pupil. Must be something about this time of year...

  182. The Guardian's playing on the word banker, MF. The rest are just plain old staff. But they still qualify for bonuses.

    And, BB, you didn't just make a mistake; you punctured the hot air ballon you so mistakenly set aloft.

  183. HI BB, result on 17th i think, largely forgotten about it in all honesty. On the vomit front - i think fatigue is setting in, there has been so much appalling news in the last few weeks its all been a bit much to keep track of.

  184. I've no idea about the individual bonus arrangements with AIB, spencer. Do you?

  185. "The Guardian's playing on the word banker, MF. The rest are just plain old staff. But they still qualify for bonuses."

    Peter, you know as well as i do the split on that lump will be extremely lopsided and there will be people taking home obscene bonuses as the country disintegrates around them. If you enjoy the pedantry of correcting £ to EUR or m to bn, fair enough, but are you seriously saying the payment of these bonuses is not in any way inappropriate, or that the government would be wrong to step in?

    What exactly is your stance, pedantry aside?

  186. Yes, Pete. Yes I did.

    I said I was wrong.

    Are you going to smirk all evening? Hang on, no need to answer that because I know you will. Because that is the kind of person you are.

    That is the difference between you and I though, eh? If I make a mistake, I admit it. If you make a mistake you duck and weave for hours - days even - and attempt to blindly bumble and bluster your way out of it, avoiding any taking any personal responsibility whatsoever, much less any self-reflection.

    I am glad I am me and not you though. I wouldn't be able to sleep at nights if I was so intellectually dishonest.