12 December 2010

12/12/10

Happy Birthday Hank & Scherfig

First you forget names, then you forget faces, then you forget to pull your zipper up, then you forget to pull your zipper down.
-Branch Rickey

286 comments:

  1. Pretty much a picture of me and the essential details of my life captured in about twenty words.

    Hardly worth adding anything to that, other than the deterioration and disintegration of parallel parking.

    Thanks. Nice.

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  2. Whoops!

    Sorry! Happy Birthday Hank and Scherfig!

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  3. Fucking hell what was in that last drink ???
    Happy birthday chaps.

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  4. Happy Boozeday to Hank and Scherfig.....may you both have many more.......

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  5. Morning all

    Happy Birthday Hank and Scherf.

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  6. Happy birthday auld yins, hope you both have a good one.

    I was just sent this, it is very, very funny- Foster Brooks- the 12 drunken days of Christmas

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  7. Nice link Duke. He didn't say anything about distilled Benylin though.

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  8. Mornin' Yer Grace.

    *curtsies*

    Distilled Benylin BW? Christ, we were never clever enough to do that when we were teenagers...

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  9. Great article here:

    The Nomadic Hive Manifesto

    Their dream is of an education system in which education means obtaining skills to sell in the marketplace, to produce research to make the country competitive in the global market. This vandalism of arts and humanities in this country is produces a new definition of knowledge, defined as that which an individual can bring to the economy. Where is the space given over by the architects of this extreme-make-over for those who have ideas and habits different to those favoured by the holy alliance? Where is the space given over to those who believe universities have a role in thinking and reflecting upon life, and what life can be?

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  10. Woohoo, Bitterweed's 48hr Birthday Party !

    Well done mate.

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  11. Cheers Buddy ! Now, here's Cecil Airline's Jazz Reproduction Orchestra

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAJU8MfhhI4

    Ace.

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  12. Happy day Hank & Scherf.

    Glad to see you finally found/recovered your more familiar HankScorpio log in ...would have been careless to have lost such a valued artifact Hank.....

    Good to read your kid was involved in the recent protests. Young people need to learn to piss in bottles and to shit in plastic bags ..... then they can help the police understand at first hand what it feels like to be kettled and covered in shit and piss. The middle classes were always too polite.

    It ought to be mandatory advice to student protesters - when taking to the streets take a weeks shit with you .... that's seven days supply, individually wrapped.....50,000 x7 = 350,000 bags of shit to throw at the bastards if kettled.

    BB - interesting link above. Sounds as though your correspondent had been reading Bertie Russell.......

    .......speaking of which......Meerkat you ever come across Bertrand Russell's Ten(ish) Principles Of a Sound Education ? (the one that advised not to be persuaded by so called experts or argument by credential etc...)

    'twas the sort of thing that academics used to post on the common/staff room wall in the 1960's .....and could still occasionally be seen as late as the 1980's. ( I ask 'cos I've been trying, without success, to track a copy down for the last 18 months

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  13. These ones, Deano? (I have this up on my door...)

    Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.

    Do not think it worthwhile to produce belief by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.

    Never try to discourage thinking, for you are sure to succeed.

    When you meet with opposition, even if it is from your family, endeavour to overcome it with argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.

    Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.

    Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do, the opinions will suppress you.

    Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

    Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.

    Be scrupulously truthful even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.

    Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool's paradise, for only a fool will think that is happiness.

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  14. That's a great article, BB, thanks for the link.

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  15. Good on you BW - still on your feet our kid. You is an UT legend my friend.

    I agree with your advice to BB - hurtful and nasty as the Bitey's comment was.... BB wins more support by leaving the vile shit out there for the creep to slip over onto, or to tread in.......only cruds shit in their own nest.

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  16. More birthdays? I'm losing track here, but happy birthday all the same.

    BW that link was sublime, cap doffed:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOY2t1PnjiY&feature=grec_index

    That one. I have a bad feeling i emailed the mods a nice message last night, checking sent box for damage...

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  17. That's the one my dear young miss Meerkat

    Thank you. I have long wished to refresh my eye with some sound sense.

    xx.

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  18. Got to love the Observer.

    Page 1
    Shock ! Horror ! BNP invite nasty US tossbag idiot over to talk about burning the koran ! No ! Wrongness ! Theresa May must stop this ! Sign a petition.

    Page 17 (bottom of page, fifty words)
    Al-quaeda bomb kills one, maims several others in centre of Stokholm. Nothing to see here. Move on.

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  19. That's made my day Meerkat. I always thought it pure poetry.

    I/we intend to incorporate it into a complaint to the Ombudsman and then a Tribunal about a slack thinking half baked twat of a civil servant who ...................I have taken an exception to...... in his/her dealings with my friends Incapacity Benefeit claim.... I may yet get Bertie into the law references if we have to go to The Social Security Commissioners........

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  20. "Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do, the opinions will suppress you."

    A few on here might better remember that injunction.

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  21. Who has been supressing opinions, Peter?

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  22. Victoria Cohen, gambling lobbyist and smug God-botherer. Fits right in.

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  23. Morning birthday bitters

    Here's a bit of Fats for you.

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  24. P-Brax

    I am going to take out an injunction to get that comment of yours removed...

    .
    .
    .
    What?!

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  25. when did failure to agree become 'suppressing opinions' Peter. Bit ironic coming over here to say that - seems to be more the province of cif.

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  26. More of an attitudinal thing, Jay - though I read earlier that BB was about to exercise her power of editorship.

    I take more shit than most round these parts yet am probably the most sanguine about the hurled crap than any of you.

    BTW, I was crestfallen when I read the other day that Jay Reilly's not your real name. Felt kinda robbed or mugged.

    Still can't fathom why you anonymous fuckers can't nail your name to an opinion. You're less than precious about everything else.

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  27. Oh Bracken you are a star.

    Only you could pick one .....and daily ignore the nine other pearls of wisdom.

    If I ever become a totally impoverished tramp may I become your agent? I'm sure we could tour you.

    I would pay several shillings to see you perform your music hall act and I'm sure others would too.

    laters all.

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  28. BW - she met The Arch Bish of Cant a week or two ago. Since then she has been all gaga over him, it seems.

    Shame. I like a lot of what she writes, and I liked her dad, but she seems to be going a bit doo-lally lately.

    Jay - I think P-Brax might be referring to my fit of pique last night when I zapped the Bitey/Bitey clone's comment about my mum. Which was as futile as it was ill-thought-out because, of course, being Bitey he copied it before posting it here, so he just posted it again anyway.

    In the cold light of day, it makes no fucking difference what the arse-wipe posts.

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  29. p-brax

    Not everyone can afford the luxury of posting under their real moniker. Especially with scum like bitey about.

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  30. "Still can't fathom why you anonymous fuckers can't nail your name to an opinion."

    I do Peter, i write under my actual name. You might have even stumbled across me on your travels through the interwebz...

    For those who aren't self employed, a long history of thousands of posts between 9-5 under your real name isnt particularly smart.

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  31. Sheff/BW Fats is the man so have one from me......BluberryHill

    Hope you enjoy it too BB....FOB

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  32. "JayReilly" is from Confederacy of Dunces, Peter, the main protagonist, Ignatius J Reilly.

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  33. Meerkatjie

    Nice one. Russell was a giant amongst men.

    I liked the Hive Manifesto, and the Bees. :o)

    Only found that blog yesterday thanks to BenCaute who posted a link to it.

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  34. Metaphor, BB. You know - "I ignored my mum's injunction not to smoke." - as in authoritative warning.

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  35. Happy birthday to Hank and Scherfig.

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  36. Apparently Anna Ardin, one of Assange's accusers has bailed out of Sweden, may no longer wish to cooperate with the Swedish authorities and is now residing in the village of Yanoun in the West Bank

    the plot thickens

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  37. BB
    She's a professional gambler, and the Guardian pay her hansomely to write up her exploits as a tournament poker player. Her god-bothering "arguments" are pretty feeble though. Her dad was very funny. I guess her options must feel a bit limited.

    Peter
    What exactly the fuck are you talking about ?

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  38. Jay Looking forward to hearing of your success at the OU.

    "For those who aren't self employed, a long history of thousands of posts between 9-5 under your real name isnt particularly smart.

    Unarguable evidence of intelligent thinking !

    regards.

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  39. Happy day to the birthday boyz!

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  40. You don't think it's understandable that people might want a 'private', social weblife that is to some degree a break from their professional one, Peter? Some of us are actually quite searchable, quite easy to locate. My real name would take you straight to my university homepage as the top hit. If I search for 'Peter Bracken' it takes me to a guardian listing and a listing about some rugby prop. I'm not sure that we're talking an equivalent experience of identity and anonymity.

    Unfortunately, I've had some very bad experiences of the crossover between professional and social weblife, with a real charmer from the men's movement sending threats to my workplace, for instance.

    There are plenty of good reasons not to post under a 'real name'. I have a facebook page, which is in my real name, but I only add people there once I've known them a little while and am reasonably confident they're not going to arrange to have nasty things stapled to my office door....

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  41. P-Brax

    " Metaphor, BB. You know - "I ignored my mum's injunction not to smoke." - as in authoritative warning."


    Can I second BW's sentiments on that please? I've had at least three cups of tea, I am not hung over, I like to think I am vaguely well educated, but I haven't got a scooby what you mean here.

    Spit it out, boy. Directly and to the point, please.

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  42. "Apparently Anna Ardin, one of Assange's accusers has bailed out of Sweden, may no longer wish to cooperate with the Swedish authorities and is now residing in the village of Yanoun in the West Bank"

    I've avoided commenting on the rape allegations, because I find it really hard to find what i'd regard as the right way to do it. I do feel for this woman though. I can't see any happy way through this mess for her.

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  43. I was thinking just yesterday that I could do with an extra anonymous online identity to go with the real one I normally use. If I wanted to post something about my illness, say, I'd hesitate to do it under my real name because I wouldn't want people who don't know about it to find out that way rather than personally.

    Then there are things I might want to post about that I don't want my daughter to read, for similar reasons. I think under those circumstances, anonymity is easily defensible; others, as Jay has said, have their own valid concerns.

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  44. Happy birthday to Hank and Scherf!

    PeterB - have uploaded example children's book illustration from someone I know on the gallery - that's actually from a wedding invitation, but to give you an idea of style...

    have bought sisters tickets! woohoo. oisette narked, turns out she was planning on getting me them for Christmas. oops.

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  45. Meerkatjie

    It is a difficult one, isn't it? Their allegations have been pulled to bits all over the intarwebz and it must be quite stressful for them.

    Wotcha Philibee. Good news, then. Is oisette going with you?

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  46. Confused me there PhilB ...I had to read you twice to find out that the oisette wasn't naked but narked....

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  47. What, BB, you don't understand the use of injunction as a metaphor?

    Besides, I think BW was nonplussed not at my use of injunction but my criticism of anonymous posting.

    Which stands, despite meerkat's miserable justification: fame or fortune affords no cover. If you can't say it in your name, you shouldn't say it. And if you say it regardless, the lie resides regardless.

    PeterJ: sure there will be exceptions. But the truth is that most don't labour beneath them. Anonymity is, in the main, a coward's charter.

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  48. deano - heheheheh. we have now established that buying train tickets is not quite as romantic...

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  49. Yes I do understand your use of "injunction" as a metaphor, silly. Which is why I used it as a play on words... oh forget it.

    I didn't understand your post because it really didn't occur to me that you thought I hadn't understood your original one. I thought it was just some cryptic reference to something else.

    More tea, anyone?

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  50. PB
    Oh, so you never modify your language and behaviour to your environment. Have you asked your environment how it feels about this ?

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  51. It is difficult for the ladies in Sweden.

    Personally I would never get into bed with, or fuck, the Duchess of Cornwall ... I do not make light but my creditability and reputation matter to me


    Who the fuck would the Trading Standards Officer believe if I said I wanted me money back 'cos she wasn't up to scratch or was overpriced?

    I have to accept the reality - a tramp from Yorkshire has problems in the credibility department.(but not as Scherf would suggest)

    I have always said to my kids that it ain't that clever to casually shag famous folks.....bound to end in tears, public reputation and private performance rarely/may not coincide.

    There really are simpler remedies to a broken condom than a legal action.....

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  52. "Which stands, despite meerkat's miserable justification: fame or fortune affords no cover. If you can't say it in your name, you shouldn't say it."

    I *can* say it in my name. I just don't especially want to be stalked to my office door - and as I already mentioned (perhaps you missed that bit) I have been already.

    Just have a quick look over recent threads on the guardian, where threats have been made to 'report me to my professional body'... While such threats are risible, they nonetheless would, if acted out, represent a hassle I could do without, and scrutiny at work that I know I could stand up to without trouble, but which realistically, I could just do without. I'm too busy to have to explain about silly online interactions.

    I don't believe you don't really understand why I wouldn't want to be getting crazy letters at work, or dealing with this kind of threat. Or perhaps, simply because a search for your name doesn't really reveal much all, you just don't know what it feels like to be that easy to find.

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  53. BW:

    Sure I modify my language and behaviour to suit the occasion. So? It's still me - in whatever linguistic or behavioural style.

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  54. And I disagree with you entirely, P-Brax.

    Meerkatjie's explanation is a bloody good one (especially considering both she and I have both been threatened by possible complaints to our respective professional bodies without any justification from people with a malicious axe to grind purely on the basis of a disagreement on a fucking newspaper comments website)

    LaRit has been tracked down under her real name and threatened and bullied by internet as well as vicious comments on youtubes of her performances as a singer by people from CiFWatch because she disagrees with them on the I/P question.

    There are vicious and malicious people on the intarwebz who would not think twice about causing as much trouble as they feasibly could for someone just because they are sad fuckers with a serious inability to take a step back and realise that being disagreed-with on a forum is not a fatal attack on their physical integrity.

    No way I am putting out my real name on there. Ever.

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  55. lets try ........credibility.... that slag, the Duchess of Cornwall, is plainly beyond the scope of my credit card or paypal

    anyway I would feel unclean so it is quite out of the question. I give my assurance that I could not be induced/bribed/threatened/tortured into shagging the Duchess of Cornwall

    No way.

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  56. peterb

    what a load of trite...coward's charter my arse, plus the fact anyone can use "a real name" and it may not actually be their own, for example, how do we actually "know" that you are peter bracken of army, new labour fame and not some saddo living in cheam?

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  57. Look meerkat, you can play the I'm-more-famous-than-you-card till the cows come home but it still won't wash.

    I've an email address on the Guardian and I get crank messages every other day. So fuckin' what?

    It's so transparently brittle of you to bang on trenchantly about stuff anonymously but dive into your shell when it might get personal.

    It really is 24 carat craven.

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  58. ".... Or perhaps, simply because a search for your name doesn't really reveal much all, you just don't know what it feels like to be that easy to find...

    Not quite true in Braken's case - it reveals that he could well be an unrepentant disgraced insider dealer.

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  59. Happy Birthday Hank

    Happy Birthday Scherf

    peter,

    my name is Leni and Afancdogge (intended as my pass word on cif) will identify me to anyone who knows me.

    There are good reasons for anonymity for some people - it is a matter of choice and judgement.

    Have you noticed how many cranks and whackoes there are in the world ? There are also reasons of professional and personal security or privacy.

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  60. I'm not saying I'm more famous. I'm saying I'm very easy to find.
    I 'bang on' for a living. I'm quite confident in committing my views to writing, with my name on it. But oddly enough, not in an arena that results in death threats.

    Getting email to your hotmail account isn't quite the same as someone getting your office location off the university internet.

    I know you're not a stupid man, Peter, so I'm quite sure that this isn't that hard to understand. People search for you - they find an email address. Search for me, they find my phone number, place of work, and a nice map of the university with a big 'x marks the spot' where my office is. They find ME, not some relatively anonymous hotmail address. From there, it's really a short hop to knowing where I live too.

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  61. Braken's Demise?

    Nothing new - it's been posted before and is all water of Braken's back.

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  62. "Not quite true in Braken's case - it reveals that he could well be an unrepentant disgraced insider dealer."

    Now there's an example. Deano - or whoever the fuck he is - posts anonymously and no doubt has good reasons of his own for so doing, yet argues his case against me by repeatedly posting information he's searched about peterbracken.

    But this is the crucial point. I don't give a fuck about his grubby work as a would-be sleuth. What shines brilliant is his flat out hypocrisy.

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  63. The collected works of George Eliot, George Orwell, George Sand, Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell (Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte), Lewis Carroll, Guillaime Appolinaire, Anthony Burgess, Anatole France, Pablo Neruda, Stendahl, Mark Twain, Voltaire, all the writers for the Economist and all the writer for Private Eye.

    Throw them all in the bin, they’re worthless, they were all written under psuedonyms and are therefore of no value.

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  64. Meerkat - your position is sensible and well advised.

    We live in a silly world with some nasty fuckers and you natural honesty may make it all too easy to track you. The only comment I would make is a gentle one, and it applies to BB too, - do be more careful.

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  65. Oh and I might as well reveal my true identity then.

    I'm Spartacus.

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  66. You're paranoid, meerkat. There'd be no politicians or journalists or famous footballers left if they had an ounce of your preciousness.

    And please, please drop the parenthetic winks to my intelligence or otherwise. It adds nothing besides conveying a sense of your superiority.

    And that doesn't need amplification.

    Deano: what a grovelling turd you can be.

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  67. "..Now there's an example. Deano - or whoever the fuck he is - posts anonymously and no doubt has good reasons of his own for so doing, yet argues his case against me by repeatedly posting information he's searched about peterbracken."

    Not true Peter 'twas A N Other who posted the link about you/your namesake you only have to google Peter Braken and FSA ....and up it pops no detective work necessary.

    I have said many times before you learn a lot at the University of the UT - I just read it here in the past.. I think it was friend turm who first posted the link here on UT but I'm not 100%.

    Always up to you to deny it but you never did/do - Bertie Russell never said folk can't draw their own conclusions.

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  68. "Now there's an example. Deano - or whoever the fuck he is - posts anonymously and no doubt has good reasons of his own for so doing, yet argues his case against me by repeatedly posting information he's searched about peterbracken."

    In fairness, I found that too when searching your name to illustrate my point, but didn't see fit to post it - it's very easy to find. However, it doesn't really counter my point, but rather reinforces it. It doesn't give any truly personal information - the closest is a solicitor's address, a past employer. You can't find *him* from this information.

    The internet makes *people*, particularly some types of people, very locatable. I don't want some of the odder audience who might be listening into conversations on CIF to be able to come knock on my door. Realistically, would you?

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  69. Duke: you highlight, inadvertently, my case, at least in respect of Elliot, the Brontes and - you might have added - Austen.

    The remaining examples are simply batty.

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  70. Grovelling turd Pater .... careful sir you may tread me into your shoe.

    It is you that trades on, and attempts to take stature from, your status as a financial trader that provided the link.

    It was Bertie Russell (not Deano) that warned that we should not be persuaded by those who argue by credentials.

    Not the work of an officer and a gent to attack the messenger Peter. But I won't hold me breath for an apology.

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  71. Was just about to make a point but i see Duke has got there first - people have written under psuedonyms for centuries, Peter.

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  72. Happy birthday, H & S!

    Great night last night. Now I have a revolting hangover and work to do.

    @Meerkatje

    I actually hope that Ardin and Wilen are CIA stooges, because then they'd pretty much deserve their new status as international hate figures.

    * * *

    Adding to the arguments for anonymity already given, even if you are self-employed, you may well be working for customers who wouldn't appreciate your politics and general views. Losing your living would be quite a heavy price to pay for the "principled" exposure of your real-life identity.

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  73. Its just posturing on Brakkers part - this anonymity thing - something to argue about when he's short of anything else to say. There are lots of perfectly obvious reasons for remaining anonymous on the net - some outlined above. The constant presence of our resident archivist troll not the least of them.

    But then swaggering about on small stages reciting from crappy scripts seems to be your thing Peter, doesn't it?

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  74. I choose my own stage, sheff. Your script seems more bereft than mine of late, though. And of late's being generous.

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  75. Peter,

    The remaining examples are simply batty.

    Why? People write under psuedonyms for different reasons. Could Voltaire have sustained his assault on ancien regime and religion in France under his real identity?

    Can the "In the City" section in Private Eye be written under the authors real name? No, otherwise he/she could not do his/her investigative reporting.

    There's a myriad of reasons why people write under a psuedonym, especially in the internet age and its been repeated to you time and time again Peter. Just because you choose not to have a psuedonym does not make your views any more valid than mine.

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  76. ps I wasn't grovelling when I said I might like to be your agent Bracken ......

    The only reason I continue to read you is because UT people, (who I have met at a UT get together and whose opinions I value), that have met you IRL gave you some small endorsement in the humanity stakes.

    Am for away now.

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  77. Reading Bracken's relentless hymn of egotism and self-love ('I am Bracken...Hear Me, er...Whine') transmuted into a 'commitment' to 'openness' and 'evidence' of 'courage' is droll enough, but @meekatje's "I know you're not a stupid man, Peter..." is pure comedy gold.

    So, let's see...Bracken plagiarises a Harvard academic word for fucking word but doesn't expect to get found out in the age of Google, because...he's not stupid.

    Bracken writes a cringe-inducing puff-piece for the Groan, portraying himself as some kind of linen-clad, rebel bon vivant, sort of James Dean-meets-Orlov-from-the-meekats-advert, and is astonished, astonished, to discover that it's made him a figure of endless ridicule...because he's not stupid.

    In his hearing before the Financial Services Authority, Bracken defended his insider dealing by saying that he was unaware of company policy on insider dealing.

    This is known as 'The Costanza Defence', after an episode of Sienfeld in which George Constanza is hauled up before his boss for shagging the cleaning lady across his office desk. Costanza, looking faux puzzled says 'Was that wrong?'.

    This defence is generally employed by people who aren't stupid, like Bracken.

    In fact, Bracken has a protective hide of stupidity so thick that it would deflect a depleted-uranium armour-piercing shell.

    But on to more tasteful subjects...

    Would-Be Fannie, Freddie Reformer Faces Uphill Climb--Huff Post headline, today

    I don't know what Freddie Reformer's game is, but I'm not sure I like it. I dunno, Freddie...perhaps Delbert McClinton's right...Better Of With The Blues

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  78. " Just because you choose not to have a psuedonym does not make your views any more valid than mine."

    Valid, maybe not, duke. But accountable, certainly. And without the latter you may as well piss in the wind. As most of you choose to do.

    The dangers of the internet, my arse.

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  79. No ...I'm Spartacus

    and if not can I be a spear carrier

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  80. Anonymity is, in the main, a coward's charter.

    Nah, but posting under your own name is a luxury only affordable by the truly insignificant.

    Don't worry about being held accountable for your views, Brackish.

    The consensus of the internet seems to be that yours are worthless and forgotten as soon as they have been read.

    Now, if you want to give us tips on how to launder the splattered insects from a stone-washed lined suit after a little motorbicycling adventure, we promise to be all ears for...well, moments, at least.

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  81. Your script seems more bereft than mine of late, though. And of late's being generous.

    That may well be true - but much the same could be said of you. How long is it since you did anything other than engage in a bit of light banter on waddya and post the odd remark on here?

    Of course I may have missed your erudition elsewhere as I don't have the time or inclination to trawl through the interstices of cif searching for your pearls. There are to many things to actually do.

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  82. "I'm Spartacus."

    I knew it! Something in the tone that just had a smell of chainmail and thongs about it.
    I'm a huge fan.

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  83. "Nah, but posting under your own name is a luxury only affordable by the truly insignificant."

    Jesus, fuckin tomboy elects to position anonymity as the necessary preserve of the significant.

    Could you, could you really, make it up?

    And keep those cliches comin', jack. You wear 'em well.

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  84. Afternoon folks. Blimey, Peter B, you are a grumpy wee sausage today.

    Be that as it may it is incomprehensible to me that you cannot see why some people would want to post anonymously when there is the evidence of Bitey's creepy and disturbing obsession with BB almost every day here.

    But maybe as an ex-soldier you are so confident in your physical abilities that you would not be frightened of a stalker.

    In which case the fact that you cannot emphasise with other people who may not have that advantage just makes you look like a macho bully.

    Spencer Woodcock

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  85. Um... epathise, not emphasise, obviously

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  86. Or even empathise

    I'm going back to bed

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  87. "You're paranoid, meerkat. There'd be no politicians or journalists or famous footballers left if they had an ounce of your preciousness."

    Most of them have rather better security than my little university offers, Peter.

    And of course

    "And please, please drop the parenthetic winks to my intelligence or otherwise. It adds nothing besides conveying a sense of your superiority."

    I've noticed that your more overt and unpleasant personalising remarks tend to come when you're significantly wrongfooted in an argument. However, in this case, I think your basic premise is wrong. Suggesting 'you're not stupid, so stop acting stupid' really isn't quite the same as making a wink in the direction of your apparent brilliance. And of course the statement 'you're not stupid' does not, in fact, necessarily imply genius, simply the absence of complete idiocy....

    ReplyDelete
  88. Seff

    Thanks for link re. Anna, why the WB ? I can't make head nor tail of this story at all. Just who is pulling the strings ?

    PeterB

    Erudition - interesting word. We usually apply erudite to one we consider learned in a bookish way. Adepts in theory and the recorded thoughts or perhaps research done by others. This ,of course, sometime signifies someone well versed in an accepted body of opinion. Erudition has value only when we question the narrative for ourselves.

    In terms of economics or politics most people speak from an understanding gained from experience - their own or perhaps from understanding the experiences of others.

    Arguing only from theory, while ignoring the conditions created by the application of that theory seems shortsighted, particularly when the evidence all round indicates failure.

    Raging rampaging capitalism has failed to deliver for billions of people across the world; it favours the few and depends upon the misery and poverty of the many to sustain it.

    How can you justify this system - how can you even try ?

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  89. Meerkat, I've no problem with you. But you do post with a notional pole up you arse. It's from whence the noble parentheses emanate.

    Afternoon, spencer.

    Now there's someone I do like. A lot.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Leni

    "Arguing only from theory, while ignoring the conditions created by the application of that theory seems shortsighted, particularly when the evidence all round indicates failure.

    Raging rampaging capitalism has failed to deliver for billions of people across the world; it favours the few and depends upon the misery and poverty of the many to sustain it."

    Beautifully put.

    And awesomely erudite. :o)

    ReplyDelete
  91. P-Brax

    "Meerkat, I've no problem with you. But you do post with a notional pole up you arse"

    I wish you wouldn't post things like this when I am drinking tea...

    ReplyDelete
  92. Peter, lovely, I have no issue with you. But do you *own* a mirror?

    ReplyDelete
  93. Sorry - to explain. I don't agree with you at all, P-Brax, but I just think it is hilarious that you should be accusing someone else of posting with a pole up their arse. :o)

    ReplyDelete
  94. Austen first wrote as 'a Lady', surely, rather than going the full psuedonym route like the Bells / Brontes?

    minor point.

    have to say, though, that "I am Bracken!" did make me think mainly of the riff on Football ramble "I am Zlatan!" (you can even get a T-shirt).

    just putting that out there.

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  95. '...And keep those cliches comin'...'

    Yeah? Wow...such rapier wit...and from a man who is a walking, talking cliche--I'm humbled. Closely related to Oscar Wilde, are you, Bracken?

    Oh, well, tant pis... you've now officially used-up the daily 5 minutes of my attention that I can justify (barely) wasting on a cretinous blowhard like you.


    Here's something much more worthwhile...
    Deacon Tom Jones, Rev CH Savage & Group - If I Had My Way, I'd Tear The Building Down (1941)

    ReplyDelete
  96. Thanks for link re. Anna, why the WB ? I can't make head nor tail of this story at all. Just who is pulling the strings ?

    Why the WB and who is string pulling? You may well ask. This story gets murkier by the minute. I don't have a clue either. Got that from someone in the ME.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Meerkatjie

    As one of the early sponsors of Mr Bracken on CiF - suggesting to the editors that he should be allowed to display his talents in an article above the line - I have to apologise for not having followed his career with anything like the assiduousness which should, perhaps, have applied.

    Actually, I have not followed his efforts at all, but get the impression that Mr Bracken is only really happy when talking about:

    1. Why people should post in forums with their real names - against the established and prevailing trend which has applied since the internet started.

    2. Something about Johnnie Foreigners and Islam, which I have forgotten.

    3. Riding motorbicycles and concocting purple prose on tedious journies.

    4. Something about open and closed societies on which he has never expanded.

    5. Er, that's it.

    At the end of each of his forays into the various regions of the internet, he declares victory and strides back home with a swagger and his impeccable suit rippling in the breeze created by his manly strutting motions and the sound of sniggering behind his back.

    He probably then sends a note to his father-in-law, the man in the white suit, asking him whether he witnessed the actions of a real journalist in a real war-zone.

    Peter Bracken's real name, though, as we all know, is Swiss Tony.

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  98. Oh fuck it. I suppose I had better go to Shopping City to look for a present for my nephew.

    Got nearly all my presents weeks ago but just can't seem to find the right thing for him.

    It is going to be horrible though.

    ReplyDelete
  99. That was a bit left field, leni. But happy to set you right.

    Regulated capitalism is the best the poor can expect. Look what it's done for the West. Everything that competing ideologies claimed they could deliver but never did. And never will.

    You can argue the toss about this and that, but capitalism has furnished the wealth that underscores everything you hold dear: welfare provision, free healthcare, cheap utilities, education free at the point of delivery, inexpensive leisure, choice beyond the imagining.

    You've never had it so good - which is why it's never good enough.

    Tomboy - wise of you to back your instincts as a sponsor. Not my fault you've been eclipsed.

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  100. Leni makes a good point, Peter. You really need to move on from your textbook model of economics as highly rational and efficient markets - its a busted joke of a model. I read some fascinating stats the other day about the crisis (i was doing the margin calls at my place throughout all that actually, Major, some of the losses i saw really would make you weep).

    Anyway, the risk models used were all based on the sort of rational actor economics which you indulge in. There is a brilliant quote from a bigwig at some bank, saying they had had something like "four 25 sigma events within a few days". One sigma being within one SD of the centre on a distribution.

    It was calculated that just one 25 sigma event was so statistically unlikely that you would, on average, have to wait longer than the age of the universe itself to see one. They had a handful in a few days.

    These are models which are off by the most mindblowing orders of magnitude. Why? Because they try to make human behaviour and interaction into something as measurable and predictable as a ball rolling down a hill.

    The economics of pure rational agents is a complete joke, maintained only because it serves the right interests. Intellectually, its completely laughable.

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  101. "That was a bit left field, leni. But happy to set you right."

    Remind me about the location of that pole?

    ReplyDelete
  102. And as an aside, could someone explain to me the obsession with above the line and below the line, and why I should give a stuff about it? I just don't get it.

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  103. Spencer

    I was sent out to do something in the way of Winterval shopping yesterday, which actually went quite well since, overall, the crowds were quiet, well-mannered and pleasant and the staff in the shops helpful and cheerful.

    Today, however, I have to get petrol and think it sensible to get milk, butter and bread at the grotesque "mini-mart" and coffee-shop newly attached to the garage.

    Small tub of butter about £3.50 and milk about £4.00 for a couple of pints or so.

    I blame Big Society.

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  104. Brakish, you couldn't eclipse a ping-pong ball even when your head is fit to burst.

    One day, though, the sap may return to your little wooden brain and you may become a real boy.

    In the meantime, you are a bit like the person my brother kept on, despite being absolutely useless at his job.

    It was worth paying the wages for the comedy value.

    Spill yer brainz, Brackers. I'm off out.

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  105. peter

    People like Jay and Frog can make the point better than I . I will say that 'Regulated Capitalism is the best the poor can expect' rather makes my point. The poor canexpect only as little as is offered them.

    The model is predicated upon poverty as a mainstay of the model itself and therefore mass poverty is both a desired and anticipated outcome.

    i am asking you to defend the model, the theory and practice. You fail to grasp the basic essentials - a failed model dtermines a crap outcome.

    ReplyDelete
  106. "Oh, well, tant pis... you've now officially used-up the daily 5 minutes of my attention that I can justify (barely) wasting on a cretinous blowhard like you."

    As if. Let's just deconstruct that 'Oh well' for fun, shall we?

    It means 'I'm jaded with you'? Clearly not, because you're overtly exercised by me. It means 'I'm above it all'? Clearly not, for you regularly swim in my swamp. It means 'I might - if I chose - have better things to do'. Clearly not. You're here.' It means 'I'm a fatuous cunt.'

    Well, that we can agree on.

    Tomboy: crap post. I mean - "Brakish, you couldn't eclipse a ping-pong ball even when your head is fit to burst" - come on....

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  107. Regulated capitalism is the best the poor can expect

    How very patrician of you Peter. Regulated by the likes of you and for the benefit of yourselves whilst the rest of us trudge our treadmills keeping the lights on. I think you'll find 'the poor' and the legions of not exactly poor but mightily pissed off have other ideas.

    Leni's right - you cannot ignore the conditions created by the theory and most people on the planet don't benefit.

    ReplyDelete
  108. And as an aside, could someone explain to me the obsession with above the line and below the line, and why I should give a stuff about it? I just don't get it.

    You shouldn't.

    There are those, however, who think that sticking their tongue between their lips for an hour and scribbling their thought and then having them published on CiF at the top of the page and allowing people to applaud from below is about the same as being flown through the sky with a megaphone, telling the little people below what to do and how to behave.

    For some, it is a platform which implies that the world has listened in a way which does not happen to the mere groundlings.

    For some, it is an apotheosis.

    Now really going.

    ReplyDelete
  109. I go out to celebrate with friends who are leaving their home for the past ten years, to move to within 10 minutes walk of the North Sea, so as to be close to her ageing parents, and all hell breaks out here. So it'll take some time to plough through your posts and respond.

    I notice already that Mr Scorpio has had just deserts from all and sundry leaving me with the question; how can such an intelligent man post such rubbish about the Labour Party?

    I only wish he was being contrary, but I'm afraid he's serious. Here he is in February 2009 gushing praise on Lord Europe, Neil Kinnock and despite the experience of Blair and Brown, he doesn't seem to have changed

    @Bitethehand -which election are you talking about? If it's any election after c.1983, the unions were pretty much sidelined so your point is moot, at best.

    And, as I'm being a bit picky here, when you say that Labour politicians "have always been a bunch of duplicious opportunists" (not that I disagree, in recent years) could you qualify your comment with a date? Bevin, Bevan and Shinwell certainly weren't worthy of your slur, nor were Foot, Benn or Shore...

    Or in fact Kinnock, who was a genuinely principled guy, as was Robin Cook....

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  110. OK, that was shorter than expected but have to go out again.

    Has anyone seen the German film The White Ribbon (Das weisse Band) about events in a remote village in Germany just before the outbreak of the First World War?

    ReplyDelete
  111. Nope - not seen it, AB. Is it good?

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  112. Phew! I thought I had broken the internet.

    Yes, I think so. It is mesmerising to watch with incredible photography (black and white - but made 2009) and some stunning acting.

    Oddly, nothing much happens in many ways, but everything is disturbing - not horror/blood/gore - and you cannot get it out of your mind afterwards.

    Don't want to give anything away and wonder if others have seen it but the best film I have seen in a while.

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  113. I'll have to try and get hold of it, AB - thanks for the tip. Sounds like my kind of movie.

    Don't really do horror/blood/gore too well...

    I think I mentioned the other day - and albeit that it is Polanski's latest film which left me in two minds as to whether to watch it - I really enjoyed The Ghost. Nice political thriller based around a ghost-writing writing the memoirs of the former prime-minister just at the time that he is indicted for war crimes.

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  114. Meerkatjie quoted...

    "Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do, the opinions will suppress you."

    There was a time, before you graced this place when the strap line read something similar. I think it deleted itself.

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  115. BB

    I know we should never admit to stuffing filthy lucre into the bulging pockets of the media antichrist, Rupert Murdoch, but we watched it last night on Sky.

    You do not have to admit to being in possession of Sky, as it may harm your defence, but from a purely academic standpoint, you could find it listed there - somewhere.

    Don't ask me how to find it, though, as on the few occasions when the remote-control lands in my hand, all I can do is meekly press channels 1, 2, 3 and 4 and hope that someone will rescue me before Alan Titchmarsh appears.

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  116. Actually, I could be lying there, as Atomgirl also records things and I think it actually was recorded.

    I will look for your The Ghost.

    Something about the plot seems vaguely familiar...

    The man who would be Pope - or God - keeps springing to mind.

    Now my hectic lifestyle dictates that I must go out and - not as you probably imagined, hobnob and chat with minor royalty and attend the ballet, er, attended by the glitterati and the Ferrero Rocher set - but go and collect Atomgirl and Atomboy Minor.

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  117. Minister for Rhyming Slang Jeremy Hunt has now announced that he knows who BBC staff vote for.

    I imagine the police will be launching an investigation into how he obtained that information. After all, voting is supposed to be anonymous and confidential.

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  118. Atoms

    titchmarsh and his idiot garden makeoverers did great damage to habitats and increased rain run off in suburbia with patios, fancy sheds and so called sculpture. Calls himself a gardener - fool.

    ReplyDelete
  119. AB - I have Virgin cable so I am just as evil in my own way. Don't have any of the paid-for film channels though apart from the usual TCM/Film4/Movies(syrup)24 etc that come with the package.

    LOL Spike. All because Naughtie called him a Hunt, eh?

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  120. You can get Das Weisse Band on DVD for a fiver...

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  121. Funnily enough, I remember that time, Bitey: I think the strap read: UT - "where prize fuckwits are cuddled and stroked out of some misguided sense of solidarity."

    Never been bettered in my humble, but then it was me that transposed Berty's 20th Century - erm - injunction.

    ReplyDelete
  122. AB, I know of the film you mention, and am looking forward to seeing it sometime but not having SKY well what can I do?...

    While on the topic of good stuff to watch I was impressed by this: My Father, the Bomb and Me - Lisa Jardine explores the implications of her father Jacob Bronowski's secret wartime bombing research .... etc. Was on last Thursday BBC 4 which is the new BBC2). Also, again BBC4 I had recorded most of the Swedish Wallandar series. Fantastic acting and stories. The last one had him involved with a lady head shrinker who was more batty than her patients. But it was so believable. It is sad though about the actress who plays his on-screen daughter - Johanna Sällström.

    Off to buy a paper to get the TV guide (terrestrial only AB)

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  123. Atomboy, actually it wasn't too bad at all. Likewise all fairly good mannered and relaxed. No doubt the real feeding frenzy will be next weekend.

    I did spend far too much money on something stupid though. I went to get my nephew a shirt but ended up getting him a smart jacket that I am not sure will fit him and I have no idea if he will like or detest stylistically, him being 19 and me being, well, a year or so older than that.

    Never mind. My cunning plan is to not wrap it up until I get to Stornoway so I can get a second opinion off my sister, and buy him some car washing stuff from Englebrets ever-open garage if she thinks he won't like it!

    He doesn't have a car at the moment though, unfortunately.

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  124. BB "AB - I have Virgin cable so I am just as evil in my own way"

    Argh don't. Virgin fiction used to publish my books so were effectively my employer. One day I was stuck on a Virgin train that had ground to a halt somewhere south of Glasgow and someone nearby was audibly listening to Virgin Radio.

    And I looked out of the window and saw a big red hot air balloon go by, with Virgin written on the side.

    I just thought, ah fuck it, I might as well just sign over my life to Richard Branson completely.

    ReplyDelete
  125. There seems to have been yet another spate of impersonation here, although it follows a long tradition which started here

    Having said that I have no sympathy whatever for MrsBootstraps and her hurt feelings as she has done nothing to discourage those who have branded me as a paedophile and a child molester, and if I were her mother I'd be mortified that a daughter of mine who makes her living from upholding the law of the land should behave in such a way. She is a disgrace to her profession.

    And to clear up another matter, it was my mother who decided that my father should have a woodland burial, not me. I merely did the research and suggested it as the most ecologically sound way of disposing of a body. And of course within hours she's found a way of justifying from her religious perspective.

    And finally don't presume everyone has the same feeling for their parents as you claim to have for yours. For some of us the poet had it spot on about 'your mum and dad'.

    ReplyDelete
  126. "Nani is the player Ronaldo could have been."

    Genius ambiguity.

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  127. My dear Bracken

    I must admit to my disappointment that you never replied to my invitation to become my writing coach, and that you disappeared in the middle of our interesting conversation the other night. Never mind! It is clear that you are a busy fellow, whose full and rewarding life never gives him a chance to write letters to his chums on the interweb.

    But as a self made man I have never been deterred by adversity and despite the cold-shoulder you have shown me I wonder whether I could approach you for help on a different matter? For some time now I have been aware that, unlike you, I lack the qualifications of a true sophisticate. I am man enough to admit that I need help and you strike me as the chap to give it. I’ve had my people check you out – since you are brave enough to use your real name – and I’m pleased to say that you came up smelling of arses. Well done!

    Well, you’re a busy man and so to business. First of all, on matters sartorial. I gather you favour the linen suit and I wonder if that is something I should consider adding to my wardrobe? At the moment my alpha outfit, so to speak, is a cerise velveteen ensemble picked out for me by Mrs Selfmade at C&A some years ago. To be absolutely frank I suspect it is not a garment that would find favour with you but could it (with appropriate needlework) cut the mustard? Or is it, in your view, linen or nothing? If so, I will opt for the linen as I think that ‘nothing’ would produce adverse comment at the golf club, whilst wreaking havoc with Mrs Selfmade’s digestion.

    Secondly, it is clear that a man is nothing without appropriate ‘wheels’. Would it in your view wise for the older gentleman to purchase a motorcycle? At the moment my transport of choice is a Vauxhall Viva (I keep the Bentley for running over those who deny the virtues of liberal capitalism, you’ll be pleased to know). Yet is this sufficiently a la mode? If so, please advise. Funds are tight these days but I could certainly run to a Yamaha 125 if that was necessary.

    But enough of pure externals. What of the inner man? I have heard that the key to life is self-knowledge and you seem like the right person to advise on this. I read so many letters calling you various names – and it is big of you never to respond in similar terms – but what is your own ‘sense of self’ as the psychiatrists might say? Do you look in the mirror and think, as one might imagine, “I am Peter Bracken, a figure of fun, ludicrously pompous, verbose, shallow in intelligence, cliched in opinion and filled with a wholly unjustified rectitude”? Or do you rather think, as I suspect may be the case, “I am an extraordinarily accomplished fellow, beset by those who can only envy me”? Your response on this point would, I am sure, be most enlightening, and not just to me.

    I do hope that you will have time to answer my questions this time. I appreciate that one of your gifts has many calls on his time, but think of the little folk. As an officer, gentleman and financier of good repute the words Noblesse Oblige will surely not be lost on you!

    Your humble pupil

    Selfmade.

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  128. Sorry, the word ‘arses’ in my last letter should of course have read ‘roses’

    SMM

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  129. Foreign Office memo shows 2002 plan to sell Iraq invasion to UK media

    We suspected this anyway but how can the perpetrators wander round as free men?..and sleep at night!

    ReplyDelete
  130. BeautifulBurnout said...

    p-brax

    Not everyone can afford the luxury of posting under their real moniker. Especially with scum like bitey about.
    12 December, 2010 11:48


    MrsB you don't need me as an alibi for your anonymity, as I've pointed out before, your posts alone would put you at risk of serious misconduct charges from the Bar Council, so I suggest it would be best to maintain your current status.

    ReplyDelete
  131. "Sorry, the word ‘arses’ in my last letter should of course have read ‘roses’"

    LOL: Don't know to which post you're referring, but it's a reminder that the best gags are always least intended.

    ReplyDelete
  132. I mean, who the fuck confuses arses with roses?

    ReplyDelete
  133. BeautifulBurnout said...

    Meerkatjie

    It is a difficult one, isn't it? Their allegations have been pulled to bits all over the intarwebz and it must be quite stressful for them.



    Strange that MrsB I thought you said it was all a "pile of steaming crap".

    Now was that a legal opinion of just a piece of anonymous prejudice?

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  134. "And as an aside, could someone explain to me the obsession with above the line and below the line, and why I should give a stuff about it? I just don't get it."

    It's like Burke's three estates of Parliament..Guardian staffers are the Lords Temporal, ATLers are the Lords Spiritual and BTLers are the Commons...there is of course a fourth estate; arguably more important and influential..definitely way cooler... than the rest: the 'banned'

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  135. Fuck off Bitey - real or not.

    Spencer - sold your soul to Richard Branson, eh? I hope he gives you airmiles at least.

    SMM - I must apologise that I don't have the time to respond to you letter in full but it is, as always, a pleasure to find you gracing our pages.

    P-Brax - re confusing arses and roses: you don't appear to be able to tell your arse from a hole in the ground at times, so I think your mirth is misplaced. :p

    ReplyDelete
  136. Sorry, the word ‘arses’ in my last letter should of course have read ‘roses’

    SMM

    ReplyDelete
  137. She's not here in her capacity as a barrister is she? Professionals are permitted private lives, you know.... They're also permitted the same luxuries as everyone else of changing their minds, revising their opinions, being swayed by evidence. They'd be a funny kind of professional if they weren't open to evidence and reasoned argument, wouldn't they?

    ReplyDelete
  138. In fact, bite the arse, I shall reply to you as I did at the time you first threatened to report me to the Bar Council.

    - Final word for BTH

    Now I'm not sure how your professional body interprets the requirement that Lawyers must therefore avoid any impairment of their independence and be careful not to compromise professional standards in order to please a client, the court or third parties.. But calling someone a repeated liar and an apologist for the "lesbian sexual abuse of minors" in order to please third parties on a national newspaper website and a publicly accessible blog, hardly seems to me to represent the epitome of integity.

    When you are either:
    1. My client
    2. A judge I am appearing in front of
    3. A defendant I am prosecuting or
    4. My opponent in court or in a tribunal

    I shall naturally abide by the requirements of the Bar Code of Conduct as regards my dealings with you.

    But while all you are is an annoying little bugger on an internet forum, I shall deal with you as BeautifulBurnout the commentator in her spare time, not Ms Burnout of Counsel. Believe it or not barristers are allowed to have opinions about all kinds of shit in private. Even more astounding is we are allowed to express them, too! It is only in the realms of their professional lives that they have to adhere to codes of conduct. Were the contrary the case, George Carman QC would have been disbarred decades ago.

    So... jog on.

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  139. MF

    "It's like Burke's three estates of Parliament..Guardian staffers are the Lords Temporal, ATLers are the Lords Spiritual and BTLers are the Commons...there is of course a fourth estate; arguably more important and influential..definitely way cooler... than the rest: the 'banned' "

    Bloody brilliant.

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  140. BB Oh, I forgot I think I my phone and internet connection was Virgin at the time too.

    I didn't exactly sell my soul to him, I just suddenly realised that I had rented so many bits of it to Branson that I might just as well have.

    Fortunately now, except when I get the West Coast train line, all those ties are severed. Virgin Fiction is nothing to do with Virgin any more, weird though that sounds. Belongs to Random House. And Nexus (its rude imprint) doesn't exist at all any more, having been closed down last year.

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  141. Hi All

    Montana--Good quote from Branch Rickey, one of many he proffered. A good man whose accomplishments of note are somewhat lost to posterity.

    Happy Birthday to Hank and Scherf. I'll raise one to you later.

    Paul, James--Good game with your boys today. Fast and open, enjoyable to watch. Also exposed, once again, what a prick Ashley Cole is.

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  142. My dear Bracken

    I can only apologise for the technical glitches which seem to have made a fool of you. My original comment about 'arses' and 'roses' referred to my letter which preceded it, or the one after that, unless you are reading the second correction in which case it refers to the letters which preceded it, except of course for the original correction which required no correction. I trust this is clear.

    In case there is any confusion, be assured that you came up smelling of arses.

    Your friend

    SMM

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  143. Dear Mr. Selfmademan:

    I regret that your first letter to Mr. Bracken was inexplicably put into the "Spam" folder, from which I have rescued it. I realise that this action on my part now makes it appear that you have posted it twice, but I hope that you will forgive me for this.

    I did so, not to make you look eccentric or hubristic, but because I find your epistles to be of such rare quality that they more than bear up to multiple readings.

    Begging your forebearance, I am

    Yours most sincerely,

    M. Wildhack

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  144. Sorry, the word ‘arses’ in the last sentence of my last letter should of course have read ‘roses’

    SMM

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  145. Hey Montana!

    How's things? Nice to see you. x

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  146. Nice choonage, Thaum.

    Apparently Jim Morrisson has been given a posthumous pardon for his conviction of lewd behaviour or whatever it was in Florida 41 years ago...

    That was nice of em. :o)

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  147. All right.

    Musical theme for the night.

    Canadian women.

    Set of which does NOT include Joni Mitchell.

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  148. Saw that, BB. Do I recollect corrently that said offence involved a ewe?

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  149. "Sorry, the word ‘arses’ in the last sentence of my last letter should of course have read ‘roses’"

    Exquisite. :o)

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  150. I though it was that he was supposed to have been....erm... giving himself relief on stage during a concert? I don't think sheep were involved...

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  151. Peter - so capitalism is the best of all possible worlds? Not very ambitious are you?

    And as for this 'alternative systems don't deliver' crud well they haven't yet, I'll give you that much.

    But we haven't found cures for Alzheimers and AIDS yet either - should we give up on that as well?

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  152. Corrently? Correctly, I meant, of course!

    ReplyDelete
  153. My dear Missy Wildhack (if I may)

    I was thrilled to receive your letter which made sense of all that had hitherto been mysterious. I must admit that I am not au fait with the ways of the 'interweb' but to be placed in the 'spam' and then to be taken from it brings back many happy wartime memories when your own countrymen supplied us with so many tins of same.

    You may be interested to know that Mrs Selfmade and I frequently hold soirees in which those dark days are re-enacted. She has her hair set in a permanent wave whilst I wear my uniform as a former Private in the 1st Foot and Mouth. We eat spam fritters (delicious as an entree), Lord Woolton Pie and parsnip pudding whilst singing 'A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square' and recalling simpler times. To see Mrs Selfmade's face glistening with joy in the candlelight is a sight which none who have seen it easily forget. True, the gravy dripping down her chin might offend aesthetes but her simple, unaffected pleasures would shame the ipod generation.

    In those far off time we had a joke that bears repeating. We all knew there was no point worrying because if it had your name on it, it had your name on it. Which was a comforting thought for most people, but worrying for our next door neighbours Mr and Mrs Doodlebug. Replace 'doodlebug' with 'spam' and we have a hilarious take on the events of which your write.

    In any case, be assured of my forbearance at all times and in all things.

    Your friend

    Selfmade
    PS darling MsBB, it is my delight to pleasure you. Same time next week at the usual place? Selfie xxx

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  154. BB - seem to recall it had something to do with 'exposing himself' - the sheep might have been a different incident.

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  155. Erm ... dunno why I limited the musical selection to women (sans Mitchell): but here's another.

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  156. Thaum

    What have you got against Joni Mitchell? She is one of few folk activists from that era that I can actually put up with listening to, along with Woody Guthrie.

    Dear Mr Selfmade

    I implore you to please keep our planned assignations confidential!

    Careless talk costs lives!

    Yours

    BB x

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  157. Thaum

    Just saw an ad on telly for a new film, The Way Back, and one of the actresses is called Saoirse Ronan! Made me think of your wonderful doggie. :o)

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  158. BB - I don't particularly have anything against her; I don't like her music much whilst still appreciating that it was good, if you know what I mean. (Actually I much prefer her more recent re-renderings of her older stuff.)

    Also I used to know someone who was a friend of hers (and Gordon Lightfoot's) before she became famous, and who was dropped like a hot brick once fame was achieved, which reinforced my already extant impression that she is a bit of a hypocrite.

    Take a load off Fanny.

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  159. BB - ooh, a combi of the dog and the fabulous Ronan O'Gara! A winner! :-)

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  160. Spencer - not often I watch tv but I tuned into BBC4 that night....Bronwoski's daughter was good a stimulating watch well worth the time to dig it out on iplayer.

    Something else that night was good too ....... Bitey's (FOB) talking of the poet seems to make me think it may have been Larkin's secret third muse. That was an interesting programme too, a couple of new poems surfaced from her 'draws'

    As they say locally.... its never dull in Hull

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  161. My darling BB

    I apologize profusely. I was too busy thinking of digging for victory to be discreet. Mum's the word from now on (if that's not tempting fate).

    Yours adoringly

    Selfie xxx
    PS Don't let this peculiar 'Bitey' fellow rattle you. He's clearly what we used to call in my national service days 'utterly bonkers' (this is a technical military term - I suppose the nearest civilian equivalent would be 'completely bonkers'). If he continues to bother you I shall of course make him run the gauntlet. Harsh, I know, but, frankly, it is the only language his type understand.

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  162. Ahh. Fair enough, then, if she is a hypocrite.

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  163. BB yesterday's suggestion for xmas present for your men not to your taste? ;-)

    You could use it as a Bitey balls crusher when they stopped playing with it. If the winter is really harsh they are quite good in snow too...

    I think you would find the Judges impressed if you turned up to Court in one.

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  164. Evening all!

    Happy Birthday Hank and Scherfig!!

    Boudi

    They're not my boys anymore!
    I officially resigned*. On health grounds.
    It's been quite liberating actually.....

    *For the 9th time this season.

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  165. I know it's the Daily Fail, but it's in a good cause. Just say yes.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/polls/index.html

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  166. Deano

    I would love one of those but can you imagine the clamping costs if I parked it on the road?!

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  167. Dear Mr Selfmade

    Thank you for your kind words. Although I am inclined to believe that running the gauntlet is too good for him.

    Yours etc

    Meerkatjie - I have already voted on that one. I think it is brilliant that on a Daily Heil poll there is still 66% support for the students! \o/

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  168. Fantastic! Been searching for a decent version of this for ages.

    The Maker.

    Check out the two harmonising basses.

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  169. Eric Pickles really is a lying, repugnant little toerag. Not a month ago he was on Radio 4 being bolshy with some woman about how she was exaggerating about the poor being "cleansed" from London. Now this:

    Housing Benefits Cap: Councils move people from London

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  170. These capitalism debates always seem to be missing the point to me. Capitalism is. No developed society has existed without capitalism as a main economic driver unless you think state capitalism is not a form of capitalism.

    The Brackens of this world think capitalism is a wonderful thing, the anti-capitalists (too many here to single anyone out) seem to think it is evil.

    But I cannot see it being either. It is like gravity, or more accurately like saying that the law of supply and demand is a bad law and should be repealed.

    Successful socialist economies achieved certain things, full employment, health care etc. Not little things whatever Peter might think. But they were achieved at enormous cost in personal freedom because in order to stop capitalism operating (or rather to try to stop because there is always a black market) a huge state effort to suppress it is required.

    But the utopia of the right is just as bad. Half the time the "freedom" that is vaunted so much turns out to be illusionary, but the more obvious fault is the inequality and poverty of the people who lose out. Even if "equality of opportunity" was achievable it would be an unfair system with the concept of winners and losers built into it. And why should someone be a loser because they were born with less abilities than someone else? I never did see why meritocracy was any fairer than aristocracy.

    So it seems to me that you cannot get rid of capitalism without ending up with a totalitarian society in which the cure is worse than the ailment. But unleashing capitalism doesn't magically solve the ills of society, it breeds them.

    Nothing new or original there I know. I just think we have to accept capitalism but work out how to control it.

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  171. Here’s an interesting contrast between Dutch and UK business leaders vis a vis job creation and the economy that would cause multiple coronaries at the CBI conference.

    On friday, 40 prominent Dutch businessmen urged the Government in a letter to various newspapers to invest at least €1bn in creating 300,000 plus “high value jobs”. In order to do this, they say the money should be spent on reducing school drop out rates, high speed broadband across the country and investment in hi-tech industry, farming, IT and medicine.

    The business leaders estimated that the future return would be at least €30bn with the knock on effect that even more jobs would be created.

    But here’s the Trotskyite-Gramscist-Stalinist-Bolshevik-Baader Meinhof-Red Brigade-Shining Path science bit. They say if necessary, taxes should be increased to pay for this.

    Yes, businessmen in the country that according to the IMF and World Bank negotiated the recession strongest are arguing for Government investment in training, job creation and long term future planning for the Dutch economy. With tax increases if necessary.

    The Dutch equivalent of the CBI are clearly a Maoist sleeper cell hellbent on enslaving Western Society under a murderous communist yoke.

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  172. BTH

    I've just discovered something about your posts. If I read them in a sort of "Peter Cushing/ Tales from the Crypt" voice, it all becomes clear.

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  173. Bitey

    i was once stalked - started with phone calls and then escalated. I won't bore you with the details.

    I held and still hold the man in contempt. Stalkers who operate from the safety of anonymity are held in contempt by the vast majority of human kind - stalkers tend to be a small, self congratulatory bunch - delicacy forbids a more accurate description. .

    Can you please stop? You have been grinding on for months now. If you ever had a point I imagine you have made it by now. Leave BB alone - you silly man.

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  174. Spncer

    i don't neccesarily think capitalism is evil per se. It has been with us since the Romans invaded. My gripe with it is that it has always supported and been supported by a small elite.

    Power contained within a few hands allows wealth to be grasped and denied to the many.


    The power structures are the problem - whatever the system power controls wealth and therefore the producers of wealth at the base level.

    The dfficulty is that the debaha for too long been polarised - this of course plays into the hands who want the status quo to continue. Status quo is great if you hold the power and wealth, for others it can be hell.

    The preservation of the status quo is misrepresented as the preservation of law and order or the continuance of public safety - too many people buy into this to their own detriment.

    Just who and what is actually been protected ?

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  175. Putting up taxes?!

    No. They .... they can't actually do that, can they? I mean, wouldn't the whole of Holland move to Belgium or something?

    Heheheh - nice one Yer Grace.

    I was having a bit of a to-do with someone on the Cohen thread with a neo-lib earlier who was saying something like "they will only have to pay back £5.50 a week to begin with - £5.50 a week is not much". So I pointed out to him that seeing he didn't think it was all that much, if he and everyone else earning more than £30k a year paid it in extra taxes, that would go a long way to sorting out some of the cuts...

    Didn't go down very well. He probably pisses that against the wall with two pints (if he lives in the South he does, anyway.) But invest in the future well-being of our country? I should bloody cocoa...

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  176. Spencer

    The only thing I would add is that it is a myth that the "law of supply and demand" is a natural law, like the law of gravity. It simply doesn't work like that as soon as there is even a single person involved with an interest. Whereas, whether you believe in gravity or not, if you step off a cliff, you will be killed or horribly injured no matter what.

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  177. .

    Spencer said...

    Be that as it may it is incomprehensible to me that you cannot see why some people would want to post anonymously when there is the evidence of Bitey's creepy and disturbing obsession with BB almost every day here.

    Spencer you really should check the history of the UT and CiF. The vast majority of my posts here are in response to my name being defamed, as you have just done.

    MrsBootstraps volunteered to post ATL, and after those in love with her virtual persona had posted their paeans, those with slightly more critical faculties posted our objections.

    This is what stalking is Spencer and you need to read up to improve your education. Using serious criminal activity to bolster your own argument does nothing other than diminish the seriousness of the crimes.

    Look at the way the opportunist MrsB and backtothepoint have denigrated the women who reported being raped to the Swedish police.

    Two women went to the police to report that they'd been raped, the Swedish court issued a European Arrest Warrant and MrsBootstraps refers to them and their complaint as "a pile of steaming crap" and joins the rapist's friend Shallcross who gloats over their plight as "international hate figures".

    Is it any wonder that so few women report sexual assault when CiF's leading barrister condemns them out of hand?

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  178. Ahem ... probably last Canadian song as no-one seems to be listening (BB, your hubby?): Courage ... it couldn't come at a worse time.

    Would argue that it's mercantilism, not capitalism, that has been around since Roman times. Perhaps not quite the same thing.

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  179. "MrsBootstraps volunteered to post ATL, and after those in love with her virtual persona had posted their paeans, those with slightly more critical faculties posted our objections. "

    Ahhhhhhh!! The little shite is jealous!

    Which is why, since my first of only two articles he has hounded me left right and centre. Now I get it.

    Hahahahahahahahah! Fucking hilarious! :o)

    You sad git, Bitey. Really.

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  180. Leni

    "Arguing only from theory, while ignoring the conditions created by the application of that theory seems shortsighted, particularly when the evidence all round indicates failure.

    Raging rampaging capitalism has failed to deliver for billions of people across the world; it favours the few and depends upon the misery and poverty of the many to sustain it."


    Try saying that to the 1.3 billion Chinese people who since being allowed to adopt and practice a capitalist work ethic have seen none of them starve to death for want of food. Anyone in China over the age of 35 can remember being hungry because there was insufficient food to eat and millions of them died because of it.

    That is no longer the case and it wasn't delivered by a Stalinist command economy.

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  181. Leni, I agree completely. Money is just a form of power in the end.

    Nothing I said above should be taken to suggest I agree with the stripped down neo-liberal Americanised idea of the state. Although I consider myself a libertarian that is really social and perhaps a misnomer as I think there are lots of things best done by the state. Any major infrastructural service where there is a natural monopoly, for example. And a place for the purely private business. I would hate to live in a country where market stall holders were criminalised, to take the opposite extreme.

    When I was in Nicragua (1986) the post revolutionary Sandinista economy was (such as it was, because the US trade embargo was destroying it) was roughly thirds, one third state owned and controlled, one third private and one third cooperatives.

    Now, I don't know about thirds. What the ideal proportions are would be a foolish thing to guess. But I think that there will always be things best done by the state, by mutuals and coops and by private enterprise.

    And I think it is abundantly clear that after three decades of tipping towards the private there is a major need to rebalance things.

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  182. "Is it any wonder that so few women report sexual assault when CiF's leading barrister condemns them out of hand?"

    Let me try this again: She's not posting here as a barrister, she's posting in her private capacity. I'm not sure why you're finding this hard to grasp?

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  183. BB

    Ahhhhhhh!! The little shite is jealous!

    Well, precisely! Why else so obsessed?

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  184. BB,

    I know. The letter doesn't make it clear just what form of taxation should be increased- corporation, income etc but the fact that businessmen are extolling this really is quite remarkable in contrast to prevailing thought in similar circles in the UK.

    Long term planning and investment in high quality jobs for future returns. Honestly, what kind of marxist shithole am I living in?

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  185. Yer Grace

    "Long term planning and investment in high quality jobs for future returns. Honestly, what kind of marxist shithole am I living in? "

    I blame it on the weed they smoke...

    Hehehehe - I was telling one of my friends, who is a teacher over here, about the habit they have in some schools over there of allowing the kids to pile all the classroom furniture in the middle of the room on the last day of school before the summer hols.

    She looked quite shocked for a moment, then started laughing and said "I suppose all the teachers smoke anyway so they won't give a shit..." :o)

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  186. erm, BitetheHand,

    when Mao came to power the average Chinese life expectancy was 35 and literacy rate was 20%.

    When he died, life expectancy was 55 and literacy rate was 93%.

    Between the Opium wars and the end of the Chinese Civil war the Chinese population remained static at 400 million. By Mao's death the population had nearly doubled to 700 million.

    And before you start, I'm no apologist for the crimes of Mao, however if you are reducing it to starvation and life exepectancy, you'll find the command economy was rather efficient in improving the average chinese life after centuries of Imperial exploitation, domestic Warlordism, Japanese brutality and civil war.

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  187. Thaum

    TBH it had never occurred to me that it was such a simple explanation. I genuinely thought I had aggrieved him and actually spent a lot of time searching my soul trying to think what it could have been. As you know, on a couple of occasions I have extended the olive branch and tried to patch things up.

    But now I realise that it is just sheer bitchy spite because he is jealous, it really does cut it down to size. Makes me LOL.

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