14 December 2010


Christine de Pizan Presenting a Copy of her Works to Isabeau of Bavaria, by the Master of the Cité des Dames
It is inexcusable for scientists to torture animals; let them make their experiments on journalists and politicians.
-Henrik Ibsen


  1. "and don't forget this nice little middle class girl is the Guardian's authentic voice of the recession for years to come..."

    Not just the recession sadly, MF, i think Penny will become one of the Graun's new Pollys, spouting gibberish on any topic she fancies (only difference being some of Toynbees stuff is actually good - Penny's is uniformly atrocious). She is just too perfect for the Graun to let go i think - a totally outspoken, radical, feisty little feminist who also went to Oxbridge and uses words like "bourgeois" and "commodification". How fucking cool is that?

  2. .

    I mentioned above my hyper-sensitive antennae re arrant bullshitters...so..taking a leaf from BTH...I give you Charliepolecat...spotting the bullshit a mere 16 minutes into her first CIF outing.

    Never realised until yesterday that you were Charliepolecat. But thanks for the reminder of that article and thread.

    I just read the rest of that 'first' Laurie Penny thread...interesting reading BTH if you're looking in...notable for the surreal turn it took once you joined in and had a go at Charliepolecat...accusing him of 'stalking' FFS...after Ms P had the fuckin nerve to accuse him of stalking her by..erm..writing a comment...one comment

    I think if you read her response to you Laurie Penny is equating your ad-hominem comments with stalking, rather than suggesting you're literally following her around.

    As for "notable for the surreal turn it took once you joined in and had a go at Charliepolecat....." you made your first post on 7 August 2009 at 1:26PM, JayReilly his on - 7 August 2009 at 1:47PM, including the classic - "the venal subhumans we call our MPs"; LordSummerisle his on 7 August 2009 at 2:01PM - with "Are you saying Harman isn't really nutty, illogical and clunkily misandrist?"; and annetan42 on 7 August 2009 at 6:25PM.

    I on the other hand didn't join the thread until 8 August 2009 at 2:34AM, by which time the tone of the debate had been established.

    And do you still hold these male chauvinist views, or are you like Jay, a reformed character?

  3. Jay,

    don't be too harsh, that article is responsible for CiF ATL sentence of the year, if not ever:

    "There is nothing ironic about an erection, however-"

  4. I love the knots (metaphorical, of course!) these ladies tie themselves in, trying to justify “burlesque” as some kind of highbrow art form, and not just softcore stripping for posh girls.

  5. Some coalition twerp* on the Today program, explaining how they're going to manage to squeeze out £18 billion of 'efficiency cuts' in the next 4 years:

    "We will concentrate on quality outcomes..."

    Are those the ones where you don't die? Or does he mean you do die but you don't expensively hang about taking forever to do it?

    For some reason, I keep thinking of dairy cows, milked until they can't give another drop, then turned into dog food.

    *Paul Burstow, LibDem MP, Sutton & Cheam

  6. I should have said '£18 billion of efficiency cuts in the NHS'...

  7. I think some of the people who frequent this place need to take up a hobby. Try philately, needlepoint, learn a new language. Something, for the love of god, please, to stop the endless cycle of 'he said' and 'she said', and 'he said while pretending to be she said, while in fact being person x' posting....

  8. "You fucking muggers".

    Student protests video allegedly shows police pulling man out of wheelchair
    Jody McIntyre claims he was twice removed from his wheelchair by officers during Thursday's student fees demonstration

    "This time I was in the middle of the street and I saw an officer from the earlier incident coming running over and tip the chair over and drag me from the middle of the road to the side of the road before he was restrained by colleagues," he said

    "Following the G20 protests last year, during which Ian Tomlinson died after being pushed to the ground by a police officer not wearing ID, Stephenson said it was "absolutely unacceptable" for officers to cover or remove their shoulder tags bearing identification numbers. However, a video taken by one of the protesters at Thursday's London demonstration clearly shows an officer not displaying her ID"

  9. morning all. just clocked the Penny thread - former burlesque dancer? was this before, after or during being a former sufferer of anorexia and depression? because the two do seem somwhate contra-indicatory.


    Shiloh (Swifty?)
    "I love the knots (metaphorical, of course!) these ladies tie themselves in, trying to justify “burlesque” as some kind of highbrow art form, and not just softcore stripping for posh girls."
    I managed a Marxist defence of it once, but to be fair, I was kind of kidding...

  10. ...they got all the kids out of the nursery school in besancon ok, btw - looks like the hostage taker was attempting 'suicide by cop' but the GIPN managed not to kill him. taser used but otherwise peaceful.

  11. @PhilippaB:

    ”…a Marxist defence…

    I think I remember that from chess club… Knight to Queen’s pawn, checkmate in 4 moves?

    Anyway, for the record, I don’t really care if Guardian-reading ladies want to take their clothes off for money. What makes me laugh is when they try to ease their guilt by dressing it up (or not...) as something it isn’t…

  12. I haven't read the Penny piece yet: my gag reflex can only stand so much this early in the day, but I gather she's making the distinction between the sort of thing Georgia Southern (sp?), Gypsy Rose Lee et al became famous for, and the mere seedy contortions of Fifi Le Fanny at the KitKat Club. Well, fine...

    But to suggest that only a brute beast would read anything erotic into a shapely woman stripping down to her scanties seems fantastically obtuse, even for Penny.

    This definition of a politician from Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary never fails to raise a sardonic smile of recognition:

    Politician, n. An eel in the fundamental mud upon which the superstructure of organised society is reared. When he wriggles he mistakes the agitation of his tail for the trembling of the edifice. As compared with the statesman, he suffers the disadvantage of being alive.

    Bierce was an interesting man. Some of you may have read his short story An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (Kurt Vonnegut once stated that he considered Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge the greatest American short story, and a work of flawless American genius) and some of you may be old enough to remember the Canadian Film Board production of the story, one of the CFB's many terrific films.

    Even Bierce's end was interesting:

    In October 1913 Bierce, then in his seventies, departed Washington, D.C., for a tour of his old Civil War battlefields. By December he had proceeded through Louisiana and Texas, crossing by way of El Paso into Mexico, which was in the throes of revolution. In Ciudad Juárez he joined Pancho Villa's army as an observer, and in that role he witnessed the Battle of Tierra Blanca.

    Bierce is known to have accompanied Villa's army as far as the city of Chihuahua. His last known communication with the world was a letter he wrote there to Blanche Partington, a close friend, dated December 26, 1913. After closing this letter by saying, "As to me, I leave here tomorrow for an unknown destination," he vanished without a trace, becoming one of the most famous disappearances in American literary history.

  13. jack - ha! that's a funny one - am a fan of Hunter Thompson, who was a fan of Bierce (a bit of his devil's dictionary was used in a couple of obits for HST - madness being "affected by a high degree of intellectual indepence") - now suspect that An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge could explain the name of HST's home - Owl Farm, Woody Creek...

    Shiloh - just seemed a good time to roll out 'ownership of the means of production'...

  14. @jack cade:

    Ambrose Bierce, is it? “What I Saw Of Shiloh” – I read that in a Civil War compendium when I was younger.

    He wasn't hugely impressed, as I recall.

  15. Meerkatjie

    Yes, up to a point, Lord Copper.

    It has to be kept in mind, though, that this site was set up partly because MontanaWildhack is in America and the time difference from the UK knocked her ability to post on CiF off balance and partly because a lot of posters here, then and now, were being banned from CiF for no reasons connected with the stated usage policies of The Guardian.

    It seems inevitable that this remains a (perhaps slightly bleary) focus for people here and often acts as a prompt for what then become tangential discussions.

    Oddly, posting on CiF has always been recognised as slightly addictive, so this is, perhaps, in some ways a type of rehab and self-help group, weaning people away from the crack-pipes if CiF.

    Both Monkeyfish and I have operated under more names on CiF than, I imagine, either of us can remember - but we both seem to be clean at the moment. I have found the delights of The Independent and The Telegraph allow me to dabble occasionally without getting hooked again.

    As the "off" button or "channel select" are to the television, the "scroller" is to the internet forum.

    It is often just a method of getting the ball rolling anyway.

    A bit like saying "Hello" to someone before you assail them with the woes of the world.

  16. Ambrose Bierce,eh? Fantastic and a fascinating character.
    Just parking this post from DavidCruise (someone here?) from waddya, as it made me grin:
    "Could we have an article please by Laurie Penny on the Formula One, on the grounds that she once played Scalextric at a pal's house as a youth (sorry, she's still a youth,isn't she?). It'd go with writing about being a burlesque performer on the basis of having briefly done a student show at the Edinburgh Fringe, writing about poverty and homelessness on the grounds of being a couple of quid short while trying post Oxford to schmooze into media circles, opining about the NHS and mental health when she herself went private, and being a seditious,revolutionary street-fighting grrrl with a comfortable Home Counties safety-net?"

  17. alisdair - hehehehe. saw that too. hope all well with you...

  18. more or less on iplayer is doing the oxbridge admissions stats.

  19. Strewth, Bruseelsexpats is no shrinking violet today:
    "In fact I usually always get it right. I was right about Obama's election, about Wilders becoming a force to be reckoned with in Dutch politics and about Berlusconi's unpopularity - all this despite the doubts of other posters. I was also correct is assessing the possibility of a LibDem coalition with the Tories, a few weeks before the election had even taken place.

    But then I only work with some of the finest political brains in Europe - can't compete really with the bar-room philosophers on here."
    Can't honestly recall such prescience, but if she says so...
    Point of grammar and also logic. Is it possible to usually always get something right?

  20. Alisdair, no it's not. It is, however, possible to always make oneself an object of derisive laughter, as Brusselsexpest so ably demonstrates.

    More good news from The Big Society:

    Samantha Jones, chief executive of the Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust, said in a staff bulletin that employees could play their part in helping to save the money in the current financial year.

    She wrote: "A number of you have said that you would be willing to sacrifice some of your annual leave allowance and come to work instead. It might seem obvious, but each and every single day off in the organisation costs the Trust money. This is particularly true if a member of bank or agency staff has to be hired to cover for your post.

    "I fully support this idea, and in fact I have decided to work on one of my annual leave days. If everybody agreed to work just one annual leave day, it would make a significant contribution in helping to achieve our goal."
    --Press Association

    Fixing Broken Britain, the coalition way: you get to work even more for even less money, while Philip Greed, Vodafone et al get to work even less and pay even less tax.

    And the good news just keeps on coming...

  21. "...some of the finest political brains in Europe..."

    Does she mean the shower of liggers, parasites, has-beens and deadwood that infest Brussels? I rather think she does. She has an unexpected gift for comedy, I find...

  22. I must say, @BenCaute nailed her beautifully:

    But then I only work with some of the finest political brains in Europe...

    Oh I get it, you work at the Herta sausage factory.

  23. I am so sick of their shite, I really am.

    "We will concentrate on really trying to convince you that what we say is right, even though every single ounce of common sense you have in your body screams out that we are talking bollocks"

  24. "But then I only work with some of the finest political brains in Europe..."

    There is an old japanese buddhist saying: you cannot become rich by counting your neighbour's wealth.

  25. Fascinating article here on the “£100,000 a year housing benefits” and collusion between Government and the press to forward agendas.

    When the website repeatedly asked for figures on how many receive £100,000 per year housing benefits, the Govt dept referred them to the Sun and Daily Mail!:

    “(Full Fact can, incidentally, confirm from our own experience his tale that the Departmental press office referred callers to the archives of the Sun and Daily Mail for examples of families receiving so much in benefits).”

    It subsequently turns out that there are less than 5 families getting this benefit. Of course the distortion and magnification of this is the main front in the housing benefits cuts agenda- instill the belief that thousands are at it.

    “Repeatedly quoting the £100,000 figure in such prominent contexts without pointing out that “the overall average Housing Benefit award is £84.36 per week, and for Council Tax Benefit recipients, the overall average award was £15.93 per week” is apt to give the wrong impression.”

    The Sun subsequently ran a campaign proclaiming more than a 1000 get £800 per week, twenty £1500 per week etc. The Sun claimed to have got this from the DWP but when full fact asked for the same information:

    “the Department has not been able to trace the requested information… it has not been possible to identify the specific request on which the article you mention was based.”

    So either the Sun has made it up with the acceptance of the Government to push their agenda or the Sun is privy to freedom of information material no-one else is. They then go on to say that this:

    “debate evokes Peter (now Lord) Hennessey’s comment that: “Much of the raw material of informed political discussion is locked inside Whitehall departments or specialist pressure groups. It is released selectively to further political agendas.”

    Not that anyone here needs to be told about the relationship between the right wing press and this Government, but it is always important that it is revealed in action.

  26. Hi everyone.

    Stop talking about Bru it is what she wants.

    If in doubt (about your reasons for existing) then stir up a fuss on UT and reassure yourself.

    Those baddies hate me so I must be doing something right. *fuss fidget and balls on about opera*

  27. Alisdair and jack

    Yes, the continental franchise of Mystic Meg does seem to have had a run of luck on the old prediction stakes, according to her claims.

    A pity they were all of the "obvious to anyone" variety and not really indicative of being embedded at the epicentre of European political intrigue, though.

    Apparently, when Bill Gates still went into work at Microsoft HQ, there was a burger van down the road, where he occasionally went to have his lunch and shoot the breeze for ten minutes, before, apparently, tipping badly and ambling back to the office.

    SpecialBrut is a bit like the van's resident burger-flipper declaring: "Huh! Bill Gates and Microsoft! Dey wouldna bin nuddin widout me! I made dem!"

    (I'm not sure of that works as an American accent. Does he have a speech impediment? - Ed).

    As for employees volunteering to become unpaid help - or what we used to call slaves in the old days - it does make you wonder why our silly forefathers bothered to fight for employment rights, doesn't it?

    Apparently, the successor to the nil time contract will be the employee paying the employer for the privilege of willingly being publicly humiliated and taken for a complete and utter fool.

  28. ...and right on cue, SpecialBrut's only (albeit imaginary) friend comes out to make matters worse by fighting her corner.

    It's like watching the antics of a kindergarten for special needs children.

    Hello, Jen. Hope all is well.

  29. Hi jen
    how ya doin'?

    right off to try and work.......what's the probability that i get there today? confidence vote half of rome blocked off and i work just near to parliament....I reckon it's unlikely....

  30. Atomboy

    bless 'em it's comedy gold.....like canon and ball but worse........

  31. Uh, guys, that's not jenn.......

  32. It is Dott, honestly.

    Shall I throw a few brackets and smilies in?

    I deleted my google account, disgusted by myself but I just couldn't keep away, be gentle with me.

  33. jack

    Actually, JimPress might have bettered that - certainly in succinctaliciousness:



    I really hope, for your sake, that the Brusselsexpats persona is a finely honed parody. If not...

    MakeshiftInEthiopia seems to have retired from Dribbly due to terminal embarrassment.

    Maybe it's time for the Internet Laughing Stock (Failed to make Runner Up) candidate to do the same.

  34. Hey Jenn. Good to see you back! xx

  35. Sorry Jenn, we've had a lot of messing around pretending to be other people (I've even participated, errm, quack).

    I'll believe you for now though (scientist's scepticism, you understand!)

  36. gandolfo

    Yeah, it seems it really is worth going over there sometimes to restore one's faith in idiocy.

    Dotterel and Jennifera30

    I have sent the servants to get the ducking-stool from the barn.

    Prepare to be tested, witch!

  37. And she's back with:

    '...I get it right almost all the time in my political assessments...'

    Nobody could accuse her of not being dogged; thick as bottled pig-shit? Yes. Not being dogged? No.

  38. Being dogged?? As in, in a car park...??


  39. Jack I did once compare her political assessments to me reckoning Subo wouldn't win Britains got talent.

    Came back, there was no answer. (She did call me despicable though).

  40. James

    I'm as happy as anyone with the idea of the odd spot of dogging in between blogging, but not with Brusselsexacts.

    Apparently, she is in her eighties.

    Actually, is she the grandmother of Katie Waissel from the X-Factor?

    It seems she is still actively pursuing the career of a prostitute into her eighties.

  41. Atoms,

    *scrubbing my mind's eye with a rusty spoon*

  42. NB - It's not actually a rusty spoon. They were all commandeered by this lots financial brains for use on the economy. So when I say 'rusty spoon', what I actually mean, obviously, is an egg cup sellotaped to a ruler!!

  43. @atomboy, well, to be honest, neither you nor monkeyfish have ever posted anything so obscure in the he said she said range that I've not been able to follow. It's more the incessant dragging up of minor detail with a long speculative pedigree for all possible posters that I find really very odd and disorienting. But you're probably right. Like Pen, I should just scroll on by...

    MsExpats appears close to implosion on the cif threads today.

  44. (Tim now tells me that it appeared that I was a grumpy cow having a go at everyone. Apologies, that was not my intention.)

  45. Meerkatjie

    Yes, I see what you mean.

    I suppose I was just trying to be fair, in a way, and suggest that we all talk bollocks to a greater or lesser degree for more or less of the time.

    The problem is that there is always too much for any of us to actually give a lot of thought to anything other than a small selection of what passes before our eyes, here or elsewhere.

    I tend not to click the music links and know that in not doing so, I miss things which I would appreciate and value. However, we have to apply some filtering methods, whether we like it or not.

    I used to have half an ear, in pubs and restaurants, on the conversations from other groups and other tables, but only occasionally bothered to intrude into them.

    The internet will probably become too much of a good thing, too much of a Tower of Babel, and we will all, eventually, be happy to return to chatting around a fire.

    PS When I said half an ear above, I did not mean that I cut off some of my ear and placed it in the middle of another group of people. It was a figure of speech. I don't want Brackish to get confused. His mind must have been reeling over the arses and roses the other day. He finds it hard to cope with anything other than very literal declamations.

  46. PS Neither you nor Tim should worry.

    It's all grist to the mill.

    Whatever "grist" is.

  47. Grist is what you mill, are you daft?

    (Some kind of grain I assume). :)

  48. @meerkatjie:

    I shouldn’t over-analyse if I were you. It’s just pointing and laughing.

    Makes a body feel better. Everyone does it.

  49. "Burlesque was once a truly radical form of working-class theatre, with 19th-century spit-and-sawdust shows that were as much about gender-bending and poking fun at the rich as they were about striptease."

    so what do we make of Primark and their padded bras for 8 year olds Penny?...unacceptable sexualisation..like you told us last time... or the "underclass's" satirical subversion of sexual norms aimed at the overthrow of degenerate capitalism...once you get this started with talking relativist bollocks, you can pretty much strip away meaning and rationalisty at will. Bring back Ruth Fowler...at least you could have a laugh with her...and she was a proper stipper.

    I'm not necessarily taking credit for Bru's forthcoming meltdown...but if you look back at my post yesterday, you may get an idea of the motivation of: "But then I only work with some of the finest political brains in Europe..."

    ...seriously...she takes all her instructions from over here...I work her by string...watch this..

    My mate Dave, one of the finest contemporary political analyts in the whole of the...erm..the pub...swears on his nana's gravy that at the end of the last war the children of serving SS officers were taken into hiding, trained in the art of tea and coffee making and sent out to find work in the political institutions of Europe...one day they will rise up, using knowledge and information gleaned from Europe's finest political thinkers and overthrow the established order to set up a 1000 year Reich. He says this is definitely true and no amount of bourgeois liberal denials will cahnge his mind...can we have an article on this please Montana?

    Now..watch this space...right..as kizbot would say "back to the grindstone"

  50. Jesus, back for 10 minutes and already being a dick.

    No booze involved just a blabbermouth with blabber to spread around.

    Ignore me and I will go away (and come back).

  51. I think Kiz is a teacher, English as a second language possibly.

    Her students will all be able to say neoplasm but not hello.

    I wish she was my teacher.

  52. Jennifera30

    Stop bobbing up and down, witch!

    I wouldn't worry about it.

    Contrary to some of the inhabitants of Dribbly, there is no exam to be passed in order to post on the internet and no interview panel who are going to make you squirm with awkward questions, like: "What's your favourite colour?"

    Publish and be damned.

  53. PS

    No booze involved...

    Yeah...er...you're not on drugs, are you?

  54. AB of course I am on drugs.

    Green by the way.

  55. Jen

    Good to see you.Don't think Kiz is a teacher cos where would she get the time to post non stop on Cif.No i reckon she does something that involves starring at a screen all day.Can't be in the Greek Stock Exchange cos that's crashed already.Can't see her as an Air Traffic Controller cos there would be mayhem in the skies above Athens.Possibly a CCTV operator????

  56. Paul

    I am pretty sure she has talked about being a teacher.

    She must be great at it.

  57. Duke - It's depressing that so many seem to be swallowing the lies - if the social attitudes survey is anything to go by! So many people just swallow what the Mail says as truth. SteveHill used to drive me bonkers by referring to The Mail as if it was full of well researched facts.

    JackCade- fucking hell - that just takes the biscuit. ask people who are in fear for their jobs, worked to the bone and attacked in the bloody right wing press every other day - to work a day for free. Genius!

    Jen how are you?

  58. Jen

    Was only jesting.I have no idea what Kiz does and neither do i care.Hope you're keeping well:-)

  59. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/columnists/article-1338336/Stockholm-suicide-bomber-Why-Luton-training-ground.html

    Scroll down to "I want to go to the demo".

    In a paper that specialises in offensive rightwing claptrap, I suspect this is a bit of a peak for them.

  60. Utrecht interactive thingummy on retronaut today, Duke.

  61. Meerkatjie

    That is bloody disgusting. I hope he makes a complaint.

  62. From the Assange liveblog:

    1.14pm: Salon's Glenn Greenwald gives us the heads up on a troubling-sounding story.

    A major story brewing is the cruel, inhumane treatment - torture - to which Bradley Manning is being subjected: more to come shortly.

  63. Ah feck

    Berlusconi won the confidence vote by a margin of 3 - two from the oppositions benches.

    Apparantly there were "scuffles" in the Lower House after one of the opposition MPs voted for him. I bet there bloody were. I wonder if she will be getting any sudden and surprisingly expensive pressies from Santa this year?

  64. That's incredible. I can't believe he survived this.

  65. Non-clickety-links as they get spam-binned.


    'Prepare for all-out cyber war'

    Whitehall is preparing for a crippling attack on government websites as evidence mounts that the backlash against the arrest of the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is rapidly growing into a mass movement that aims to cause widespread disruption on the internet.

    Extra security measures have been added to a host of government web services, in particular those used to claim benefits or provide tax information, after Sir Peter Ricketts, the national security adviser, warned permanent secretaries across all departments that "hacktivists" who last week targeted the sites of companies such as MasterCard and PayPal could switch their focus to Britain.

    So, anyone in receipt of benefits can soon expect to find their entitlement magically lost, at the same time that tax-fiddlers like Philip Green can expect to find any liabilities they have not managed to lose, magically, er, lost as well.

    Luckily, Theresa "Little Miss Kitten Heels" May saw it all coming:


    Cyber crime is now considered to be one of the biggest security threats facing the UK.

    On Monday, Home Secretary Theresa May called it a "new and growing" danger and committed £500m to tackling it. Meanwhile the government's newly-published National Security Strategy categorised it as a Tier 1 threat, putting it on a par with international terrorism and major accidents. [...]

    Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the recently-appointed chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, said cyber-terrorism was a very real concern.

    "What we're talking about is terrorists being able to actually use cyber-methods, for example to interrupt the national grid, to prevent proper instructions going to power stations.

    "I was in the United States a few months ago and a very senior intelligence figure said to me that cyber attacks, he feared, were going to be the United States' next Pearl Harbour."

    Obviously, if an American says it, it must be true. [Sorry, Montana - not you]

    So, use up whatever internet loyalty points you may have and convert them into Green Shield Stamps.

    Does anyone remember those halcyon days when the ConDem Alliance was still green and tender and promising to roll back and bludgeon to death all those horrible and silly New Labour intrusions and surveillance scams?

    Actually, they have been polishing and buffing them into a blinding shine and they are going to dazzle us all with them very soon.

    You stupidly let something slip along the lines that Dave 1 is not the cleverest, sexiest, politicalist, monetarist, Eton messiest chap on earth?


  66. Swedish prosecutors plan to launch an appeal against the decision to grant Assange bail......

  67. Fucking hell - have you read this:

    Poorest councils will face biggest cuts

    Could anything be more blatant? and we effect to despise Berlus-fucking-coni for his outrageous ostentation and egregious self seeking!

    Dorset - home to people aged between Moses and Methuselah - ConDem voters to a man/woman, is actually getting an increase (0.25%), whilst the 36 poorest councils face cuts of up to 8.9%. The Tolpuddle martyrs must be whirling in their graves. And we'll all sit on our arses and let them get away with it, as usual. I despair, I really do. what a fucked up, pathetic, little country we've become.

  68. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/14/riots-rome-silvio-berlusconi-confidence-votes

    Rioting swept Rome today after Silvio Berlusconi's rightwing government narrowly survived a censure motion in parliament amid claims he had bought his way out of trouble.

    Hooded protesters set up flaming barricades as police baton-charged demonstrators in several parts of the capital's historic centre. Cars and council vehicles were set alight, and officers fired teargas at protesters.

    Some demonstrators wielded iron bars and threw paving stones during the most violent disturbances seen in Rome for many years. The normally sedate city rang to the sound of exploding firecrackers hurled by protesters.

  69. Ab

    Good for the Romans! Now someone needs to get hold of that fat fuck Pickles and shove a few fire crackers up his fundament.

  70. Sheff

    Have not read about that yet, but as someone here or over there said, The Telegraph is claiming the poor rich will suffer most and The Guardian says the filthy poor will clouted round the ear with the jagged cuts.

    Can they both be true?

    Or is it just that everyone now thinks they are poor because the state is not funding their child's llama-riding lessons with jazz-tofu making on Wednesdays?

  71. I don't know anything about Pickles, but he looks like someone who inherited a cake-shop and went bankrupt after eating all the stock before the customers could buy anything.

    He then went into the local council and found that the planning department opened up an unlimited scope for corruption and money-making and never looked back.

    Corruption and stupidity seem to ooze from him in equal, sweaty measure.

  72. sheff

    The poor have always been shafted as well as being scapegoated for society's ills.We really shouldn't be surprised at what's unravelling.But as the cuts really start biting next year,unemployment starts rocketing and Emma Harrison and Co start rubbing their hands with glee at all the big bucks that are to be made on the backs of the misery and suffering of the poor there will be a backlash.How effective it will be will be another matter but it's only a matter of time before working class frustration hopefully explodes as opposed to implodes..

  73. How effective it will be is another matter.... duh!

  74. Paul

    Yes, the odd 2-2.5 million newly unemployed who suddenly find that it is not quite a fleet of Harrods vans delivering plasma-screen televisions and other lovely consumer-durables in between jetting off to holiday hot-spots for clubbing and networking may rapidly become a very useful army.

    Obviously, Dave 1 would like to see them sweeping the roads and mopping the spittle from Eric Pickles's wobbling jowls or wiping Emma Harrison's backside for a voucher to be redeemed at Asbo for an out-of-date packet of Nut Clusters.

    Somehow, with that many suddenly experiencing the delights of poverty, things may not work out quite like the ConDem vision in the PR PowerPoint display.

  75. Thaum - have they lodged the appeal? Nothing on the Beeb website yet...

    Sheff - Pickles is making me increasingly sick.

  76. Sorry, that was addressed to Timboktutu, not thaum.

    Where did you see the news that the swedes are appealing?

  77. Just looked at the live blog. They have until 5.25 to make their application to appeal bail... tick tock...tick tock...

  78. BB - apparently the Swedish prosecutors have 2 hours to lodge an appeal - so he'll be in jail until that process is over.

    "But Julian Assange will remain in custody as prosecutors have two hours to lodge an appeal against bail."

  79. Thanks, Sheff! I was just wondering if they had done it or not.

    I think he also needs to stay in overnight in any event because the security of 240k or however much it is has to be paid into court before he will be released.

  80. Leni

    Thought you might be interested to read the latest from Disability Now. Neatly outlines where things stand with regard to the ATOS medicals and it's impact on the sick and disabled.


    Nice one! Just hope people don't turn their frustrations on their own communities.As you probably know that's too often what happened in the 80's riots.Am hoping people will be more selective this time around when picking their targets.However when people's anger explodes it's almost impossible to predict how things will pan out.

  81. Atomboy

    That didn't read right.What i meant to say was that in the 80's riots people started mashing up their own communities ,burning and looting local shops and community centres etc and in many cases it took years for these communities to recover.I hope this time around people's anger will be better targetted.

  82. Swedish Govt. has decided not to appeal against Assange's bail.

  83. Thanks Paul - will look.

    thread on EMA is attracting usual ill informed kill 'em , stamp on 'em and then grind 'em into the dust types.

    Is it something in the water ?

  84. Pickles reminds me of the character, Mr Creosote from The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, who explodes at the dinner table from over eating.

    Here's the Monty Python version

    Better Get a Bucket

    Scroll down for a truly disgusting experience

  85. I saw that thread Leni - am staying well away; in my current mood it would be unwise to engage.

  86. Just watching the riots in Rome. I can understand their frustration - being led by a buffoon Silvio who owns the media and gets immunity laws passed.

    *admission -watched on Freeview Sky News!*

  87. the swedes are appealing

    And the turnips are attractive, the parsnips are heavenly, and the beets are out of this world! I do love vegetable threads!

    Incidentally, my old high-flying American boss in a top law-firm in Bru*****s (who used to do a bit of hush-hush work for the CIA in Yroop, don't tell anyone!) often said that Brassica oleracea was the 'queen of vegetables'. He was such a tease. I couldn't help blushing when he once bent me backwards over the secret secure-line coded fax-machine and offered me his family's cotton plantation in Alabama if I would only make him a white truffle omelette. I refused, of course. He's now a top-secret special adviser to Sarah Palin, and my political analytical gossip-informed guess is that the wonderful Ms Palin might run for president in 2012! Or maybe not. Remember, you heard it here first!

    Right, must dash off to the soup-kitchen, oops!, opera. Toodle-pip, plebs.

  88. brusselsprout

    Whoever you are thankyou.That's the first good laugh i've had all day.Tip hat:-)

  89. IanG -

    They don't take prisoners in italy - on either side. Britsh plods should count themselves lucky, even our wilder elements don't tend to wield iron bars and hurl paving stones with such enthusiasm. Sounds like the doings in the Italian parliament were almost as ferocious.

  90. The coalition this, the coalition that...ah, quit yer whining and do what I'm doing: learning to Quantum Jump. Yeah, that's right.

    See, there are all these parallel universes and I'm in every one of the fuckers...except in those other universes, I'm rich. So, once I've mastered QJ, I just grab a hold of me Mk II (or III or IV) and he gives me his PIN number and the keys to his Bentley...or something. But don't take my word for it. Here's what one satified customer had to say:

    “Hi Burt, I just wanted to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed the quantum jumping course. I have met several of my twin selves and have received from them what I have asked for in very unique ways. One in particular time I was purchasing a home and wanted to insure the close of the sale. I went into a quantum jumping meditation and met the Alicia that already lived in that home. She was in the kitchen cooking, (I love to cook) and she took off her apron and gave it to me. She then said “here it’s yours now, you will be the one cooking in this kitchen” I then took the apron put it on and she turned around and walked away. Thank you for opening up this concept to me and making it available.” ~ Alicia

    Evidently, Alicia's last name quantum jumped into another universe in one of those 'very unique ways' she mentions...but, no matter. If you can't trust some anonymous person on the internet, who can you trust? So get cracking, guys. You have nothing to lose except those cheap fake-gold chains.

  91. Leni

    "thread on EMA is attracting usual ill informed kill 'em , stamp on 'em and then grind 'em into the dust types.

    Is it something in the water ? "

    No, they are on a bloody mission.

    "Kill the poor" seems to be a common theme these days...

  92. Sheff

    The first time I saw Mr Creosote I was in the middle of eating a ghoulash with yoghurt dressing round at a mate's flat.

    I have never eaten ghoulash again...

    I saw on iwantoneofthose.com that you can get Mr Creosote Waffer Thin Mints... :o)

  93. BB

    Read what I have said on that thread and take note. It was merely a result of labour's target of getting 50% into university.

    Anyway, tonight I'm going to watch Notre Dame De Paris, from 1956 and then maybe start reading Germinal by Zola (the back cover tells me it's about the struggle between capital and labour- all you socialists will approve)

  94. ning all

    just got in and am reading up on the events........
    well i was in the center about 3ish and all seemed relatively quiet because the police had blocked off all the roads......i got through feigning a bad accent.....however round the back streets there were loads of police many in plain clothes with huge batons....all looking cheery before the onslaught.....bastartds.......there are videos on "La Repubblica.it" if anyones interested.........

    can't believe that fucker survived......maybe that in itself will bring the revolution....god sound like the RCP of the 80s and 90s but at this point seems to be the only realistic option.......

  95. Dammit, the crappy old version of IE that we are saddled with at work keeps disappearing my comment box on Blogger.

    Sounds like the prosecutors decided not to appeal, and then, er, changed their minds at the last minute. Completely uninfluenced by outside sources, I'm sure.

    Also JA has to remain in prison until his solicitors can cough up 200K in cash. If he does get bailed, then the address at which he will be staying has already been published. Great.

    Nap - Germinal is superb. If not very uplifting.

  96. BTH

    Sorry matey...missed this earlier

    "And do you still hold these male chauvinist views, or are you like Jay, a reformed character?"

    You'd be referring there to the misogynism latent in calling well-to-do Oxbridge graduates, just desperate to make their mark in the media by playing at poverty stricken Bolsheviks, dilettante bullshitters...oh...as long as they're female of course. Well BTH, if that's misogyny, sign me up. I feel pretty much the same about Dave Gilmour's lad...so I suppose..since he's got a mother..that's misogyny too, no?

    And I suppose when I have a go at you...after all, I'm guessing you punch like a girl..so mark it down to misogyny.

    Just had my tea...nearly twice as much on my plate as my 13 year old girl...what a fuckin exploitative patriarch I am!...misogyny, pure and simple...worst of all..I piss standing up...when will I fuckin learn?

    But seriously BTH...what exactly do you think of Laurie Penny? You seem to have quite a bit of time for her..why is that? What do you think she brings to any debate other than shrill posturing nonsense?...a kinda upper middle-class Rosa Luxemburg for the MePod generation.

  97. Sheff, gandolfo, Not been to any demos myself recently and in fact I was in London today but was too worn out to look at the damage down Whitehall.

    thaumaturge, same issue with me at work. Totally unable to contribute as the browser is locked down, no scripts can run etc. And 200k in cash! Should they ask the banks? They have tons do they not?

  98. PeterJ (from last night):

    I still doubt that there are large numbers of Cif commenters taking the Big Oil shilling to have a go at Monbiot. There might be a few arriving from posts on anti-AGW blogs, but as you say that's no different from us on here. The CACC thing is more organised than that, although George might not have done much more there than lend his name.

    Yes, but Monbiot was specifically contrasting genuine grass-roots movements with astroturfers, who are PAID by political/corporate (what's the diff these days?) interests to spread disinformation. I don't think he was saying that all the right-wingers on his and others' blogs are astroturfers.

  99. Anyway...I've decided to do my bit for the Big Society...I'm gonna rekindle some old style trust and community cohesiveness next time I'm on holiday by smashing up every CCTV camera and "Alcohol Exclusion Zone sign within a 1 mile radius of my house...don't worry I'll wear a hoodie and I'm developing a kinda loping gait so they think it's John Cleese...or 50 Cent

    Last summer, one of those B&Q day-glo green neon Safety-Wardens came up to me while I was reading a book in my deckchair outside the front of the house with a couple of cans; told me I was eligible for a £500 fine. Talk about a fuckin police state...wanted me to go and sit in the yard which gets fuck-all sunshine or sit indoors...now what kinda community cohesion and Dunkirk Spirit is that going to nurture?

  100. Ian, they've got the assurance of that amount from various donors, but a cheque is no good as it takes 7 days to clear. Hence the cash.

    Suppose it can be done by wire transfers, which I think are guaranteed by the issuing bank.

  101. It gets weirder.

    [Assange's brief] said Assange was under 24-hour video surveillance and had complained that a tooth that broke off while he was eating had later been stolen from his cell.

  102. "the back cover tells me it's about the struggle between capital and labour- all you socialists will approve"

    Only the strikers get fuckin battered and forced back to work as I recall...what's to approve? I'm guessing you'll like it...all the chavs cleared off the streets and forced back into servitude leaving the streets and bars clear for fresh faced young 'intellectuals' to strut their stuff and pretend they know a thing or three.

  103. .

    You'd be referring there to the misogynism latent in calling well-to-do Oxbridge graduates, just desperate to make their mark in the media by playing at poverty stricken Bolsheviks, dilettante bullshitters...oh...as long as they're female of course.

    Well no I think there's a big difference between a male chauvinist, many of whom do love women, and a misogynist. I would hope even you if pushed could find an Oxbridge educated socialist with whose politics you agreed, maybe even a women. But it was your claim about what you refer to as the democratic socialism of the Labour Party I was contesting:

    It might also have failed to appraise you of the old standards and principles of the Labour Party. It really didn't used to get itself tied in knots over gender and identity.

    You mean the knots like the founding of Labour Women's Network in 1988 by women members of the Labour Party to address the fact that, in the 40 years since 1945 there had been no increase in the number of Labour women MPs?

    Women's liberation seemed to have more impact on the Tory Party which at least managed to elect a woman as leader and Prime Minister in the same period.

  104. Sheff "I saw that thread Leni - am staying well away; in my current mood it would be unwise to engage."

    Jesus, I took a look and see what you mean. They seem to have crawled out of every rock in CIFland.

  105. Having followed the signposts here to SpecialBrut's - what shall we call it? episode? - on Dribbly, I was led to this:


    But recently and especially since Day X3, the tone of the protest movement has entered a new, darker and much more serious phase. With philosophy student Alfie Meadows – allegedly struck by a police baton – still in hospital after emergency brain surgery, dozens more protesters having been similarly injured and now thousands having experienced kettling, reality has thrown down some brutal and traumatic challenges.

    The students' creativity must now turn to finding new ways to communicate these realities independently of the mainstream media they feel is routinely misrepresenting them. These approaches should complement the more carnivalesque elements in the movement rather than sideline them as being flippant, however. It's not just their pain and anger that have made these protests so remarkable, but their joy too.

    The comment I would make is that part of this refers to my observation the other day that a good weapon against bad government is humour and ridicule, along with the fact that the more people who get kettled or abused by the benefits system or lose their jobs, the more people will see that the government is not their mate and the state has abandoned them to their fate.

    The rich people in the media who are supposed to give us our opinions will find that their perspective is only shared by other media luvvies and wannabes and is utterly alien to ordinary people.

    The government and their publicity machine will effectively be creating the dissent which will end up throwing bricks through their windows, just as Dave 3 is currently clearing up a daily pile of dog poo posted through his letterbox.

    And they could have avoided all this simply by getting the Philip Greens and Vodafones of this proudly thrusting and successful land of ours to pay their taxes.

    PS Nice to see the massed ranks of supporters come out to back SpecialBrut. I counted Pen and Kiz.

    It was only a quick glance, but there were others, weren't there?

    At least one more, surely?

  106. spencer

    "Bloody right it should be cut.

    Why should we pay these teenagers money to study when they could perfectly well be dealing crack and mugging smug Tory fuckers instead?"

    Superb! xx

  107. Ace post Atoms. I think (what do I think???), the way the media reporters are paid extremely well like in the hundreds of K for example that 'face' Fi Bruce who does the Antiques Show and it must be much the same for the print journalists. They have no idea of what it is like to live on a household income in the mid 20s (which I do and I count myself lucky). I know a lot of responsible jobs pay a lot less, jobs that these media Johnnies could not do in 1000 years. And they must privately think 'well, I'm not that bright and I'm paid all this so those on less must be really dim!'. I can see it now as everything is now measured by your monetary worth, no more no less.

  108. "It might also have failed to appraise you of the old standards and principles of the Labour Party. It really didn't used to get itself tied in knots over gender and identity."

    ..so it was this passage that marked me out as a misogynist?...you fail to state why you think it does that...why do you think it does?

    It is clearly a lament for the Labour party's abandoning of even a notional commitment to economic and class justice which it replaced with a kind of piecemeal and haphazard support for identity politics...now you may argue it was right to do so...I'd suggest such an approach fractures any possibility of solidarity and unity...we could debate the whole thing for hours...that's beside the point I'm not asking what you think about the merits of socialism.

    ...but the point here is why would my regret at this change of policy mark me out as a misogynist? Really, tell me..I want to know..and while you're at it, why wouldn't my stance against the politics of identity similarly mark me out as a racist, islamophobe, homophobe...and any other fuckin 'phobe' you wish to coin?

    BTW...don't try and argue Labour never stood for economic justice, even if that were true, the question remains why would I...who genuinely believe that they once did...become a misogynist by regretting the passing of such a stance? (even if I'm mistaken in my assessment)

    I'd even venture that your claim would mark out all would be socialists as misogynists, racists, homophobes etc...even, say, black lesbian socialists if they truly believed that their primary goal were economic justice for all and aspired to a universalist set of ethics.

    You may think I'm stretching a point here but the logic is sound. If by supporting universalist principles, rejecting relativism and considering the primary aim of social justice to be economic which eclipses all other injustice, you're saying I'm a misogynist. And not just you...I'd hazard a guess that 90% of Guardian staffers feel the same..only they, nor you, have ever made even a half-arsed case. They just ban people for asking 'why?' and no doubt in a minute, you'll just either fuck off and pretend you've missed my post, try and answer a completely different question, move the goal posts or trawl your vast database for a diversionary quote presenting me as a supporter of seal pup culls or virgin sacrifice..go on Bite the Hand...answer the question.

  109. BB thanks. Wonder if the last one will get modded?

  110. I could be wrong - but I was under the impression that media jobs are generally not paid all that well, unless you're one of the lucky few 'stars'.

    Anyone know?

  111. "Women's liberation seemed to have more impact on the Tory Party which at least managed to elect a woman as leader and Prime Minister in the same period".

    Really, BTH? I beg to differ - I think the facts speak for themselves.

  112. apologies if anyone has posted this before but

    the government deems in its "Big Society" that the 21,000 people with severe disabilities don't need their special fund. The independent living fund which has £359m pays about £300 a week to people to enable them to live at home and not in care homes.......
    obviously they are another a bunch of scroungers that need eliminating........

  113. Thauma, that is undoubtedly true. I have a couple of journalist friends who make a decent living. No more than that mind, and they are in constant work for national papers and magazines (consumer stuff).

    Mind you, they didn't go to Oxbridge.

    It is like book publishing, though not quite so stark, where thousands of people get books published and make a few quid but barely a living and are very lucky if they manage that, and a few Martin Amis's scoop up most of the cash.

  114. "I could be wrong - but I was under the impression that media jobs are generally not paid all that well, unless you're one of the lucky few 'stars'.

    Anyone know?"

    Murdoch only pays me 50p a word for fucking up CIF for him...Atomboy once told me he was on 55p with a productivity bonus but I think he was exaggerating. Hank was on a flat fee before he chucked it in and signed up with the Scientologits.

    What are you on thaum?

  115. And in terms of the proportion of current women MPs compared to men, again the facts speak for themselves.

  116. My friends' experience will, I suspect, surprise no one here. They are really good at what they do, though they agonise about it a bit because what they do is mostly reviewing gadgets and computer games, and they have the odd spasm of guilt about it, especially when they do it for the Mail.

    But they worked and worked to get into the position that they are in, of having sufficient reasonably paid work as freelancers to make a decent living.

    And though there is no reason that anyone should find it easy and reviewing video games for a living is something that a lot of people would like to do, they found it particularly tough because they did not go to Oxbridge and, more importantly because of the area that they are in (i.e. not BBC or Guardian where it is more or less compulsory to have Oxbridge contacts) they did not have any relations who were editors or close friends of editors.

    I was a bit sceptical when they first told me about how nepotistic it is, but over time I have come to see that they were not exagerating.

    Laurie Penny said when I hassled her about being an Oxford gal, that yes she was and it was a precondition but not a sufficient one and as she had no contacts and could not afford to do the MA in journalism at City University it was tough for her too.

    And you may mock, but I believe her. I am not saying that selling her soul and writing crap like that stuff about burlesque is excusable. But you can see she has dedicated herself to hack her way into good money and a media profile.

    But she did go to Oxford.

    I find it incredibly depressing. You won't be able to get a novel published if you didn't go to Oxford soon.

    Well unless you are Katie Price and have your tits blown up to the size of hot air balloons.

  117. Hello to all,
    gandolfo, the New York Times seem to be doing a good job covering Rome's protests.

  118. Oh Monkeyfish! I don't know where you get your ideas from. I love popping into this site and being portrayed in such a fashion, especially as in real life people have a go at me for being too left wing. I guess either way I can't win.

  119. MF

    "Murdoch only pays me 50p a word for fucking up CIF for him.."

    Made I larf.

    Spence - it's still there for the moment...

  120. Evening, Habib.

    It being deep December I bought a bottle of Cognac today.

    But it is only Tuesday...

  121. BB do you think if those Tory fucktards had stayed in education a bit longer they might have learned how to construct an argument?

    Nah, don't answer that.

  122. habib

    thanks will give it a look....ploughing my way through some stuff here......
    here as you can imagine the protesters are all just thugs....and they have no reason to destroy the place........my POV however is slightly different

    now the minister of the interior has....surprise surprise said more money to the cops.....guess they're scared their arses will et burnt haven't given a shit about the fact that police can't get to emergency calls (you know proper ones like murder) because they don't have petrol for their cars,,,,,,,,,,,

    this is a great photo wonder who's twiddling their fingers while rome burns............

  123. Spencer, is your bottle of Cognac going to make it to Christmas day? I fear for it's sanctity.

  124. "...especially as in real life people have a go at me for being too left wing."

    no one forces you to live in Alabama Napoleon

  125. especially as in real life people have a go at me for being too left wing


    depends who your these people are really... it's kind of relative......innit

  126. "wonder who's twiddling their fingers while rome burns............"

    Well, Berlo certainly does know how to play the liar.

  127. MF
    that's why you get 50p and I get 5p........

  128. Seriously but, it is depressing. My parents were both Tories until Thatcher.

    It was constant political argument after I got to form my own political views around 15 or so. I thought my dad was a right wing idiot.

    But as I said on that thread, he had to leave school at 14 and hated that he had no chance to go to university, and that working class people like him did not have those life chances. He was a Tory but he would have thought that the EMA was a brilliant idea.

    He was a Tory most of his life but he was well to the left of Tony Blair and Peter Bracken.

    I used to disagree with the (moderate) right, vehemently. But I could understand where people like my parents were coming from and respect them as decent people who cared about others, even if I thought their solutions were wrong.

    Those Tories on CIF and in the government too, don't just sound vicious, they sound fucking insane.

  129. liar????
    nawh it's a friggin' fiddle

    blimey habib did you go to university.......!!!!!;)

  130. Charles, I'll introduce you to some real life people in Stornoway and you can get shit there as well for being too right wing if you like.

  131. Certainly not the BNP. But as I have maintained before, it is the working class in this country who have been consistently been the most right wing and coming from a working class background, this was highly evident to me. Also, speaking to people round the world, the issue of left and right are simply of no concern to many.

  132. Habib, Oh as to that I am going to try to get to Stornoway next Wednesday and I am not taking it with me unless my sources tell me that there is a storm based shortage of quality brandy on the Island.

    So it doesn't have to last me beyond the weekend really.

  133. gandolfo, I certainly believe he's on the fiddle, but Nero couldn't have, been - not musically, anyway.

  134. Re Journo/Media pay cheques:

    I seem to remember reading that Rushbridger got paid something like 460K, even after The Guardian had begun haemorrhaging money faster than a haemophiliac at a 'pointy things' convention.

    Nice work if you can get it!!

  135. Charles. "it is the working class in this country who have been consistently been the most right wing and coming from a working class background, this was highly evident to me"

    Sorry, Charles, but you must be able to see that that is a false syllogism.

    I just said my dad was a Tory. Before he went to night school and became an election agent he was a plumber.

    My dad was a Tory and a plumber. Therefore plumbers are Tories.

    Do you see the problem with the logic?

    Heinz the Rasta Plasterer, was a guy I used to know who was a Rasta and a plasterer and a martial arts expert.

    Therefore plasterers are martial arts experts.

  136. MF - unfortunately I'm not on anything more exotic than wine. Perhaps some Lemsip in a bit.

    My understanding is that most journos are on average wages or less - quite often significantly less as it's supposed to be a glamour job.

    The 'stars' like Toynbee or their equivalents on the telly are on a lot more - a good lot more - but your average reporter is probably struggling.

    ps I get 55p from Murdoch cos I is a woman.

  137. Personally I don't work for Murdoch but for Richard Desmond. 60p a word but I do have to put up with my flat being bugged.

  138. James

    haemorrhaging money faster than a haemophiliac at a 'pointy things' convention

    Made I larf - lots.

  139. .

    ..so it was this passage that marked me out as a misogynist?...you fail to state why you think it does that...why do you think it does?

    In neither my posts on the Laurie Penny thread or here have I called you a misogynist. I used the word twice and both times quoting others.

    I think on the thread you displayed the attitudes of many men on the left when they were first confronted with women who wanted to play as big and as important a role in the struggle as the men, rather than being consigned to minor organisational and support roles. That's while I called you a chauvinist and for what it's worth I think being one is incompatible with being a socialist.

  140. I'm not getting into an argument because on such a politically biased site like this I know I can't win and also becuase I've got no time for it, but in short, I am not making up my opinions out of the sky.

    Besides I've never really believed in class anyway (yes, I'm moving the goalposts). I only use class becuase otehr people do and it would take too long to explain it every time I had a debate with someone. Plus, this country has a surprising amount of equality of opportunity,so class does not really apply.

  141. Average wage for a journalist is about £25000 - so pretty much on or below the national average.

  142. Have been reading some of the correspondence between Georges Sand and Flaubert. What a glorious woman she was - I worship at her feet.

    The only depressing part is that the political battles we're fighting now are barely distinguishable (essentially), from the ones they were fighting back in the 19th century.

    Here's a great bit from a letter she wrote in 1871, in which she is castigating Flaubert for his utopian elitism.

    What! You want me to stop loving? You want me to say I have been wrong all my life and that humanity is contemptible and despicable, always has been and always will be?...

    ...There is no doubt, that along with the peasant, the aristocracy has been the class most resistant to progress and the least civilsed in consequence. Any thinking person is proud not to belong to it. If we are from the bourgeoisie, if we are the descendants of the serf and the forced labourer, how could we bring ourselves to bow, in respect and love, to the sons of or fathers' oppressors? those who deny the people vilify themselves... Boutgeoisie! If we want to lift our heads and become a class again, there is only one thing to do - we must proclaim ourselves to be the people and fight to the death against those who maintain superiority over us by divine right. We have not lived up to the dignity of the revolution. Because we aped the nobility, borrowed it's titles and its trappings, and because we have been cowardly, we no longer count. We are nothing now and the people, with whom we should have been as one, denies us and seeks our destruction


    Have a decent nip, you deserve it - I have a glass of Jamesons waiting at my elbow.

  143. Thaum,

    Cheers, although it's actually a fairly apt analogy. (it also makes the token Guardian editorials about 'bankers being rewarded for failure' a wee bit hypocritical considering!)

  144. Sheff, that sounds really interesting.

    I am ashamed to admit I have never read any Sand.

  145. in the 40 years since 1945 there had been no increase in the number of Labour women MPs

    Bitethehand, you're such a transparently obvious little thicko. Quote some statistics, why don't you?

    Labour women MP's 1945 - 21
    Conservative women MP's 1945 - 1

    Labour women MP's 2005 - 98
    Conservative women MP's 2005 - 17

    Oh, sorry, you said 40 years, not 60, right? Why did you say 40 years? Because.......

    Labour women MP's 1987 - 21 (BINGO! - we have a match! Same as 1945!)
    But.....Conservative women MP's in 1987 - 13

    Boooo!, but still jolly good! Especially since 1987 was Maggie Thatcher's third election victory and she took 376 seats. Still no place for women, though. A whopping 3.5% of Conservative women MP's after a decade in power.

    But those Labour people are such misygonists, right? Because they sacked brain-dead careerists like Caroline Flint and Hazel Blears. You fucking deluded, dissembling, hypocritical idiot. You're a cut'n'paste joke.

  146. Any average salary figure for journalists is a bit misleading; the distribution is very skewed, from poverty pay at local papers (see the current strike at the Brighton Argus) to pretty decent on the nationals and name magazines.

    For freelancers, it used to be possible to make a decent living - I did it for some years, and doubled my previous income at the cost of my sanity - but that's changed over recent years thanks to the number of people trying to do it and the tendency of many outlets to expect people to do it for free.

    I doubt that Ms Penny's making a living out of the occasional Cif piece, as the rate there is about a quarter of what you'd expect from a national paper. It's content on the cheap.

    Ah, the good old days! I got 300 quid for 800 words from the Telegraph every month for an old-rope column, and that was nigh-on 20 years ago.

  147. My beloved bought me a bottle of Chimay, which I am drinking v e r y . s l o w l y

    A nice treat. Best beer in the world.

  148. charlie

    I think working class communities have historically often been underpinned by a set of values which could loosley be described as being conservative with a small c .But that most definitely doesn't translate into right wing political allegiances.Yes some working class people' made good' sadly too often become Thatcherite in their political beliefs whist some disaffected working class people may look to the extreme right.But these IMO are very much a minority amongst working class people.

  149. Also, speaking to people round the world, the issue of left and right are simply of no concern to many.

    Hold on a minute! Has nap been exchanging Emails with brusselsexpats? Be careful, Charles. That sort of thinking will rot your brain and make you blind.

    Although I do realise that the concept of left and right is totally meaningless in eg. Venezuela, Chile, Nicuaragua, France, Spain, Cuba, Angola, Romania etc etc.

    btw could you ask 'consistently one of the best posters on cif' martyninpatagonia what the spanish for 'chav' is?

  150. James, a few years ago (when I still used to post on CiF, or Recipes 'R' Us as it's now become), I posted a comment asking if it weren't just a wee bit hypocritical for The Groan to be pissing and moaning about 'rewards for failure' and 'tax dodgers' when they were paying people like Caroline McCall (then CEO of GMG) and Rusbridger 100s of grand apiece while the paper lost something like £100 grand a day and had its own little off-shore tax fiddles going.

    My comment lasted less time than a LibDem pledge.

  151. Spencer

    A good introduction to George Sand is Sian Miles translation of Marianne (published by Methuen 1987. Pbk isbn 0-413-60380-6). It comes with a long introduction to her life and ideas and includes a few of her letters. She was a massive letter writer, as well as a novelist, dramatist and political activist through some very turbulent times. Also had an extremely enviable number of very interesting lovers too.

  152. "I'm not getting into an argument because on such a politically biased site like this I know I can't win and also becuase I've got no time for it"

    Charles, if you could win an argument in a room with only you in it, I'd be surprised.

  153. "But as I have maintained before, it is the working class in this country who have been consistently been the most right wing.."

    except they are the people who are most likely to form a mixed-race partnership, the people who are most affected by competition for resources caused by immigration...and yet this country has a long and proud history of rejecting fascism...the BNP and EDL remain minority 'interest groups' and...although I haven't seen the analysis of the EDL 'shoppers' I'm guessing that in common with the BNP membership list, it will manifest a middle-class bias.

    You might argue that many members of the working class seem to demonstrate a degree of social conservatism (I think you'd be wrong btw and labouring under a clichéd and outdated 'loadsamoney' fantasy image of the working class)...loud mouthed gobshites down the pub or chanting in the street may stand out and have a 'higher profile' but that's very different from constituting a majority...but, anyway, I think you're confusing social conservatism with 'honesty'.

    The fact that, for instance, higher education clues up many of the middle-classes to the social and professional expediency of political correctness doesn't negate the extent of petty-minded bigotry across the whole social spectrum. I was in a pub about six months ago and was fuckin appalled by the comment of a guy who works for the council; he called a fella collecting for the 'Help the Heroes' a 'knuckle-dragging jingoistic numbskull'...not to his face, obviously. I stuck a fiver in the tin just to make a point and he looked appalled.

    If the working class look jingoistic I'd suggest it's because they make up the majority of the armed forces, and especially that cohort most likely to get killed..and, for many, in many areas it's becoming the only possible means of achieving secure employment...not that they have any say in where they go or what they do...that's left to the political classes ie. well-off middle-class university-educated shite mongers...and that's not going to change any time soon.

    And maybe you'd like to remind me just how many of the working class favour benefit cuts, education cuts, health cuts and public sector job losses in order to further their neo-liberal economic agenda and bail out their mates in the banking sector?

  154. Paul, to go back to extrapolating from personal experience, as Charles was doing, some working class people had right wing alliegences sure, but in my parent's case it made them rebels, extremely peculiar in the environment they grew up in.

    The prevailing orthodoxy in the Nottinghamshire coal field was Labour/NUM.

    And yet the Nottinghamshire miners as a whole were less left wing than their Yorkshire counterparts, or their South Wales counterparts or their North Eastern counterparts...

    Even so, NUM/Labour was the air you breathed in the middle of the 20th century in Mansfield.

    You are right that that could be socially small c conservative. But the idea that Charles is suggesting that the working class as a whole were right wing politically is ahistorical nonsense.

    The fact that this individual or that one, did not fit the profile is hardly an argument.

  155. Sheff, thanks. I will look out for it.

  156. BTH

    answer the fuckin question

  157. OK, I take the point about pay for the majority but the opinion formers, the Pollys of this world are on mega-bucks. I saw a Money program that had a 'typical' family who were earning in excess of 80k! They cut back to live on 50k or something. Another face on TV Sophie who is on over 100k I believe.

    Just saying the unevenness of pay makes the view from the select few distorted.

  158. "Plus, this country has a surprising amount of equality of opportunity,so class does not really apply."

    Oh jesus

  159. charles

    Besides I've never really believed in class anyway

    I'd invite you to Sheffield to show you exactly how 'class' works but if you can't grasp the concept living in Glasgow as you do, then you must be utterly blind.

  160. BTH

    btw way..don't think I've forgotten the 'chauvinist' claim..we'll have to have that one out sometime...it'll come back to haunt you..be warned

    ...and for someone so given to quoting chapter and verse and demanding evidence from others to back-up the price of fish..

    "I think on the thread you displayed..."

    ...you THINK I DISPLAYED..? tells me-point blank, you know you're on a loser.

  161. Furthermore, I do not know anyone of my generation (early twenties) who defines themselves as belonging to a class, including myself (I define my background as working class, as do perhaps some of my peers, but realistically almost nobody in our generation thinks of themselves as belonging to a class). Perhaps then we will finally get over this mad fixation with it.

  162. Jack,

    Throw into the mix the, *ahem*, allegations about zero hour type contracts, firing and re-hiring 'temps', and making the work experience kid do things that a 16th century feudal lord would consider 'a bit harsh and that', and things all start to make a bit more sense.


  163. Who's CountessMarkiewicz? Good post.

    Faux bitey, are you claiming Thatcher was a woman, you misogynistic worm?

  164. Sheff, I would like to invite you to Glasgow and I'd proove once and for all that class and left/right will be consigened to history.

    Guess what as well, next year for the Scottish elections we are gonna have 3 socialist parties competing in Glasgow, the incompetent SSP, Tommy Sheridan who broke away from it and currently undergoing Scotland's longest perjury trial for lying about going to swingers clubs, and the Islamic fundamentalist loving George Galloway

    And in Glasgow, traditionally on of the most left wing places in the UK, these people's fronts of Judea may collectively get 5% of the vote.

    Socialism is history.

  165. @IanG

    No argument about the 'opinion formers'. Their view seems to revolve around the hard-pressed couples on a joint £100,000 a year.

  166. Ian - I suspect that someone like Polly a) earns most of her money from television and book deals and b) doesn't need it anyway due to inherited wealth and family connections.

    Oh yes, she'll be earning a very comfortable salary from the Graun that skews the average of print journalists, but it won't be anywhere near the pay of television luvvie.

    At a guess.

    And the investigative reporters who do the real work will be on a pittance compared to her pontification pay. Investigative reporters may also be exposing themselves to real danger, unlike a Polly who might possibly suffer the risk of a dodgy mussel at a political soirée.

  167. @thauma

    Polly's on £140,000. Or at least, she was when she came clean about it sometime in the last year.

  168. Separated at birth?

    "but realistically almost nobody in our generation thinks of themselves as belonging to a class"

    Napoleon-voice of a generation

    "On the contrary: the millennial generation is replacing the cultural and spiritual orthodoxy of its parents and grandparents with orthodoxies of its own."

    Laurie Penny-voice of a generation


    ...interesting article...kinda totally contrasts her recent 'angry protest' output..."My generation's ambitions, like our pop stars, are ambitious, bland and bourgeois. But with the world falling down around our ears, can anyone blame us?"..."With a few notable exceptions, my peers are driven not to create, nor to rebel, but to stabilise."...hmmm..feisty stuff

    So Napoleon...which one of you was the 'evil twin'...which one of you was locked in the cellar and fed on scraps?

  169. Didn't that Harker fella say he 'only' got about 80K, and that was why, in conjunction with, I assume, a pre-existing latex allergy, he was now going to struggle without child benefit!?

  170. monkeyfish:

    answer the fuckin question

    That's about as likely as Brusselsexpat answering a fucking question...

  171. Ha ha, I just looked up Marianne, Sian Miles translation on Amazon.

    The first four "similar searches" which is the whole of the first page are Banks's Surface Detail.

    The next page shows more Sci Fi, William Gibson etc.

    Looks like the hacker attack is ongoing. I am goint to try Austen.

  172. PeterJ - bloody hell, that's about twice what I'd guessed! Is that solely her Guardian salary, or does it include other sources of income too?

  173. Aw, depressingly sensible suggestions.

  174. @thauma

    That's Guardian only.

  175. To be fair, if you pay peanuts, you get Bella.

  176. Polly Toynbee was one of the very few (only?) journalists who publicly revealed her salary in May 2009 when giving evidence to the public administration committee as part of its inquiry into top public sector pay. She said that the Guardian paid her £106,000 pa.

    Whether you like her or loathe her (I loathe her), she stood up and was honest when nobody else did or was. Can anybody go on Google and then tell me what Jan Moir, Julian Glover, Seumas Milne, Laurie Penny, Daniel FInkelstein, or anybody else for that matter earns from the Mail, Guardian, New Statesman or Times?

    The little respect I have for Polly is grudgingly given, but I do try to be fair.

  177. pre-existing latex allergy


    You is on fire tonight!

    Peter - am off to bed - but what does she write: two, three columns a week? Generally saying exactly the same thing?

    It's all because of *who she knows*.

    /thaumaturge stomps off to bed in disgust.

  178. so here's a bit of berlusconi's boot boys in action you need to go to around 4.15

  179. must say when italians get angry they really go for it.........big time......

  180. @CountessMarkievicz

    Yes, I remember that now. I just found the Early Day Motion praising her for the evidence to the committee while I was looking for confirmation of the figure I had in my memory.

  181. Nadine Dorries/Mona4 talking shite on the EMA thread.

    Her contribution?

    "Tamara go away. You're irrelevant. If you can't buy your school books go and deliver newspapers."

    Yeah, cos just like Sarah Palin and her Tea Party sociopaths, shouting "Get a job!" at people will make it all better.

    Stupid bitch.

  182. PeterJ, you should check your facts before you present them as gospel and have others blindly accept them. Scepticism is more a virtue today than it ever was. And given your apparent propensity to meticulously query every narrative that appears to be anti-Israel by asiduously searching the web, I would have thought that it would be relatively easy for you to find this If you could be bothered.

  183. .

    As I understand it this was your question:

    .so it was this passage that marked me out as a misogynist?...you fail to state why you think it does that...why do you think it does?

    And as I didn't call you a misogynist you'll have to ask those who did.

    What I will do is quote sarka from the same thread, although I feel that her conclusion isn't one I'd come to myself:

    It's interesting how many commenters distinguish between misogyny and sexism.

    mysoginy: "hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women"

    sexism: "attitudes or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of sexual roles/discrimination or devaluation based on a person's sex"

    These are of course different definitions (although "mysoginy" is broader than the mere hatred many attribute it) but are people really so immune to the link between the two? something mysoginistic is symptomatic of mysoginy; sexism is also symptomatic of mysoginy. you could therefore actually argue the two are more synonymous than you might think. in any case (and semantic diversion aside) i think quibbling over the precise definitions is rather specious in the context, especially when you admit these pageants are sexist, because neither misogyny nor sexism are acceptable.

  184. Glover, Bella, and Toynbee all have considerable 'safety nets' don't they!?

    (Not that I'd need a fucking safety net, even if I only got 25K).

    Which means that, in addition to churning out pap, they do it smugly, like they're doing us all a fucking favour, because they only get paid an 'average' salary!!

    That's pure fucking altruism, that is!!

    Who said this big society thing's not going to work!?

    Night Thaum!!

  185. Cross-post, Peter :0) But my point about scepticism stands - why check some 'facts' and blithely accept others? If it fits the narrative..........

    (see above in the thread - BTH's 'facts' about women Labour MP's)

  186. @CountessMarkievicz

    Well, thank you very much. As I said, I had my original figure firmly fixed in my memory, and went to check it as soon as I'd posted the memory. And then you helpfully stepped in, having repeated the same search I'd just done.

    I like to check the references to everything I'm told, particularly when it looks like propaganda. I tend to trust my own memory more, but even then I tend to look for confirmation.

  187. @CountessMarkievicz

    Cross-post yourself. :)

    I hope mine answered your question.

  188. Spencer

    I agree with you.The point i was making is that most working class communities are underpinned by a set of rules as to what is and isn't acceptable.These rules change over time and vary between communities.But certainly until Thatcher destroyed the economic bases of these working class communities they were generally Labour Party/Trade Union strongholds which were nevertheless underpinned by values which could be described as being conservative with a small c.And although economic changes has IMO accelerated changes in these rules/values they are still there in varying degrees.For instance i believe that most working class couples would like to get married at some stage but either cohabit or live apart for financial reasons.It's middle class people who have all this fantasy bollox about diversity in family structures etc.

  189. Hey, Bitey! Not sure that cut'n'paste of somebody else's views is actually answering monkeyfish's question.

    However, have you any comment on the statistics I posted as a response to your statement about Labour women MP's? Perhaps you'd like to query the facts? I'll assume that you can't/won't. In which case, I'd be very interested in your response. Think of it as a sort of litmus test of credibility - a last chance to be taken seriously.

  190. Gandolfo,

    Can't see links at the moment, but I'll check those tomorrow!

    (are you one of the people 'going for it', per chance...)


  191. Paul, well up to a point. But it is a mistake to think of middle class as a homogeneous whole. There is a section of it that is into diversity of family structures, which I would not agree is fantasy bollox, btw.

    But there are also whole swathes of the middle class that are also small c conservative.

    And it grows inexorably so it seems to me that it is now probably the majority of the population, depending on how broadly you define it. And the more it grows the more complex and diverse it becomes.

    I think if you want to find a class that is truly polymorphously perverse, though, you probably have to go for the aristocracy.

    And that is probably because the structure of the institution is historically at leat underpinned by property/dynastic considerations, and so what people do shagging wise is OK so long as it is moderately discrete and does not frighten the horses.

  192. Spencer

    I would even go so far as saying that the high rates of divorce and subseqently high levels of lone parenthood,cohabitation (sometimes clandestine)and living-apart-together in many working class communities has been bought about at least in part by the finacial trauma of deindustrialisation followed by high structural unemployment and lack of stable wellpaid jobs for most working class people.

  193. james

    i was dressed entirely in black for the occasion....alas leaving the place where i was working this morning which was right next to parliament i couldn't get near....big bastard carabinieri...you know the types half man half gorilla....shame had me Colosseum and molotov in me bag....hey ho sure there will be another occasion coming up soon.....

    how's things in SP?

  194. .
    CountessMarkievicz said...

    .see above in the thread - BTH's 'facts' about women Labour MP's)

    Not my facts Countess, those of The Labour Women's Network.


    But why take the word of Labour Party activists if it doesn't suit your agenda?

  195. My post to bitey has disappeared! That fucking ubiquitous patriarchy again! I'm fucking offski, you goddamned commie anti-intellectuals.

    How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live?