19 December 2010

19/12/10

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.
-Friedrich Nietzsche

179 comments:

  1. Sorry there's no image right now. Won't load one for some reason.

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  2. Morning everyone; fuck knows what I'm doing up at this time in the morning. I'd forgotten this time of day existed.
    Anyway had to help an old mate drown his sorrows last night here in Sheffield after the "Owls" got turned over at Exeter yesterday. (Exeter 5 Sheffield Wednesday 1); now that's not a scoreline I thought I'd ever see let alone the fixture!

    Weather permitting I should be back in Newcastle in a few hours and opening a bottle of "fizzy pop" to celebrate.

    BTW; Sheff thanks for putting me up on Friday night.

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  3. Morning. Jay that was funny last night, top marks !

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  4. morning all!

    suggestion:
    (yes, i know this isn't waddya, but this is more in the housekeeping vein)
    now xenium has joined us (waves at xenium), i am even more in need of a list of cif v UT handles so i can keep track of who everyone is...

    because i do keep getting my daves mixed up.

    spencer = tybo
    afowlis = xenium
    spike = bttp
    etc

    obviously am not asking those of a more mutable / moderatable characterisation o'er there to out themselves, but for the not-yet-banned, could we have some form of form guide?

    i am hopeless, i know...

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  5. Philippa

    Yes, that's a good idea, as it can get confusing.

    I'm SpecialBrut.

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  6. thought so.

    [goes to list - tick]

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  7. Atoms

    In that case, who is Hai Karate?

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  8. Just realised that we were joined by Xenium last night - great to see him here.

    (The auto text thingy on here keeps converting 'Xenium' to 'denim' as I type, much like it likes to change 'thauma' to 'thumb' ... )

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  9. Bonjour PhiippaB
    Housekeeping -- frog2 was pre-modded yesterday , will that do for club-membership?

    For those on the financial/economic threads particularly I'll park this --

    Whistleblower IRL said...
    Finally, a publisher with guts has printed an account the circumstances of my resignation from my position as Risk Manager at UniCredit Ireland in 2007:

    Village magazine's December-January cover-story:

    'Still waiting for the truth from the regulator'

    http://www.villagemagazine.ie/

    Regards from Dublin,
    http://whistleblowerirl.blogspot.com/

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  11. Just read Waddaya...didn't have the energy to read this place for the last couple of days. I woke up thinking I might seriously be dead yesterday...if you're interested, it feels OK as long as you don't try and move or think about anything too hard...was gonna look back at my life but I'd seen it all before and knew the ending.

    Notice English's hermit's narrow minded bigotry managed to nibble through the chicken wire mesh and run free for a while..

    "The whole point of being English is that I (it?) cannot be defined."

    hard to say at this point whether this is a claim for English exceptionalism or whether this applies to any nationality..membership of any group, even...but he clears that mystery up with the wonderfully gnomic sentence

    "If you don't know then you are not English."

    so "being English" is a wholly subjective experience available only to the 'English'..who know instinctively know that they are, indeed, English

    Well then, I'm not English then...for 2 reasons

    1) I don't instinctively feel English

    2) Despite having been born, raised, educated and resident in England for almost my entire life, I'd move to Papua New Guinea or fuckin Alpha Centuri before I'd claim the remotest association or kinship with a muppet like him

    ...who. incidentally is another misty-eyed old fraud rewriting history and contemporary social attitudes in an attempt to boost his flagging sense of worth with a short trip down Memory Boulevard to a Tupperware party in Nostalgia Crescent...on early eighties PC 'pioneers'

    "Yet there was the excitement of being a pioneer, boldly going where nobody had been before and making the machine do things that nobody had ever seen before.

    Glory days."


    Now, as I recall...in the early eighties...rather than 'thrilling' and 'ground breaking'; the sort of terms which generally came to the fore when computers were mentioned were 'geek' or 'anorak'...even train-spotters used to take the piss out of puter geeks

    I'm sure there was an incident once where a bunch of IT nerds got picked on and beaten up by a bunch of brass-rubbers in a pub in Chepstow...so nice try Muppet boy..but when you're trying your hand at social history..stick to the truth eh? That kinda shit is pure fuckin mince...anyone can do it..

    I spent a lot of the eighties, hod-carrying and labouring...it's hard to believe, looking back, the prestige and glamour which went with the territory..the women, the drink, the drugs, the parties the celebrities whoring themselves just to try and get close to me and bask in the reflected glory...we were the rock-stars of the...blah..fuckin blah..


    Hope Kermit's not too upset by this post..not sure I could stand another of his devastating attacks...quack fuckin quack, you sad old gobshite

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  12. Morning all!!

    Philippa, are you still attempting to get back to the UK (today?) by train?

    Erm, good luck with that!!

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  13. "spencer = tybo
    afowlis = xenium
    spike = bttp
    etc"

    monkeyfish = anyone who dares to suggest the regulars on waddaya are less than sparkling wits and analytical polymaths...basically a sick and malicious little stirrer who's just jealous of their talent and status as internet 'institutions'...even when he hasn't been posting there in fuckin ages...he's the man of a thousand twisted and bitter little faces with emerald eyes.

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  14. During the recent fight over extending unemployment benefits, conservatives trotted out the shibboleth that says the program fosters sloth.

    The thesis undergirding all the rhetoric was summed up by conservative commentator Ben Stein, who insisted that “the people who have been laid off and cannot find work are generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities.”

    First, there’s what psychologists call the Just-World Fallacy—the tendency to believe the world is inherently fair. This delusion is embedded in our pervasive up-by-the-bootstraps, everyone-can-be-a-millionaire catechism. The myth of the lazy unemployed can seem to make sense because it connects those ancient fables to current news, effectively alleging that today’s jobless deserve their plight.

    Narcissism is also a factor. In a nation that typically dehumanizes the destitute Other with epithets like “welfare queen” and “white trash,” our self-centered culture leads the slightly less destitute to ascribe their own relative success exclusively to superhuman greatness. You remain in a job, says the myth, because you are better than the jobless.

    Finally, there’s raw fear—arguably more powerful than even arrogance. With the labor-market news downright frightening, the still-employed are understandably pining for a defense mechanism to cope with persistent layoff anxieties. If, as the myth suggests, the jobless are really out of work because they “are generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities,” then it stands to reason that the employed can avoid catastrophe by simply choosing better behavior.

    The trouble, though, is that the whole narrative averts our focus from the job-killing trade, tax-cut and budget policies that are really responsible for destroying the economy.--David Sirota@truthdig

    Warren Zevon - My Shit's Fucked Up

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  15. I woke up thinking I might seriously be dead yesterday...

    Don't think waddya's likely to convince you life exists MF. Whereas reading this, which I was reminded of at your mention of the quackmeister might amuse you, mildly.

    The Squeaky Wheel

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  16. This is interesting..

    http://www.jeremystangroom.com/atheism-on-the-rise/341/

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  18. Hank'll join me in a big fat 'I told you so' now we have 'incontrovertible proof ' for the damage inflicted to traditional socialism by identity politics


    http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/graph?content=socialism%2Cidentity&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=0&smoothing=3

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  19. Morning all. Still practicing for the Olympic Sneezing and Snot-Producing Biathlon team here. Lurvely. P-Brax would do worse than to buy shares in Lemsip and Kleenex...

    Mods

    "Finally, there’s raw fear—arguably more powerful than even arrogance. With the labor-market news downright frightening, the still-employed are understandably pining for a defense mechanism to cope with persistent layoff anxieties. If, as the myth suggests, the jobless are really out of work because they “are generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities,” then it stands to reason that the employed can avoid catastrophe by simply choosing better behavior."

    Yep - been saying that for a while mesself. You can smell the fear in some of the more desperate right-wing posters as they trash the "feckless poor" on CiF. I said the other day, it is like a mantra, or a magic spell - they believe if they repeat it often enough it will make it true and protect them from being laid off, having their house repossessed and having the missus and kids leave them as a result...

    MF - my dad always says you can tell you are alive if you stretch out with your elbows in the morning and don't feel them banging against the coffin-sides... :p

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  20. fastest growing religion?...warp factor 8 Scottie

    http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/graph?content=jesus%2Callah%2CKirk&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=0&smoothing=3

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  21. Feeling a bit christmassy. Sherry has been opened!

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  22. “the people who have been laid off and cannot find work are generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities.”

    Thats a very American perspective Mods - and depressingly, its spreading across the pond.

    Something for sunday morning

    Thunder on the Mountain

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  23. Astonishing, MF. I wouldn't have put the origin of Star Trek as early as 1840.

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  24. Sheff, it is an US-based article but, honestly, how different are the views of US mouth-breathers from the views of the millionaire cabal that governs us? Is there a fag-paper's width between them? I don't fucking think so...

    MF, I seem to remember that the last census (whenever that was--10 years ago?) showed that a significant percentage of people described their religious affiliation as 'Jedi'...pity it's not true...the country might be in better fucking shape...

    Peggy Lee - Easy Living

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  25. james - don't scare me like that. am travelling tomorrow (hopefully) - latest from eurostar:

    Service Update - (11.30 GMT)

    Due to severe weather conditions, there is currently a speed restriction on Eurostar services which is adding up to 60 minutes to journey times. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.

    so, no chance at all of making the drinks then. peh. but may (cross wood / touch fingers / etc etc) actually get to London...

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  26. MF

    but if you put in socialism, identity politics you get this:

    hmmm...


    Mods

    how different are the views of US mouth-breathers from the views of the millionaire cabal that governs us? Is there a fag-paper's width between them? I don't fucking think so...

    No difference between the them I agree but I think there is still a big difference between what ordinary folk think (o the whole) here and in the US which is still marked, although being eroded in a frightening way. I can't think of a town anywhere in Europe where mentioning socialism would get you run out (literally) which happened to me in the US once.

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  27. blimey - have been so (selfishly) concerned with transport news that missed this:

    DADT goes

    hoo-rah, as I believe it is pronounced in such circles.

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  28. Philippa,

    Sorry - Didn't mean to scare you.

    I think I may have gotten a bit over excited by the 'Britain has stopped. You're all going to die exactly where you are right now. Chaos causes chaos and disruption and chaos and it's all chaos (and disruption)' type headlines!!

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  29. Phillipa

    Have you got your eye on a career in the American military? Or do you just fancy the uniforms?

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  30. True, Sheff, but the UK's catching up, God help us. The mood music from this government and its tame media is seeing to that.

    ...and as if any more inducements to the rope, the razor or the revolver were needed:

    His army of detractors may accuse him of many things, but most concede Simon Cowell is made to look a fool only once. After his embarrassment last year, when his attempts to dominate the Christmas No 1 spot were thwarted, the X Factor producer and his protege, Matt Cardle, look set to top the singles chart today.--The Indy, today

    Sing it, Hank...I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive

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  31. sheff - ha! no chance. but am just relieved that such a ridiculous SBE rule looks likely to be gone by Christmas.

    james - aye, am thinking of taking a second book and additional blanket to make sure i last the journey...

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  32. "Astonishing, MF. I wouldn't have put the origin of Star Trek as early as 1840."

    But you haven't factored in the possibility of time travel...there is a persistent but unsubstantiated rumour that Spock and Scottie perfected a negative warp drive some time in the mid 60s...at the insistence of J. Edgar Hoover, returned, with Kirk and Uhura to 1839...subtly amended the neural physiology of Karl Marx then returned to the present, wiping all traces of their actual existence on route by ingeniously re-casting themselves as characters in a television sci-fi series.

    Unfortunately for them, the vageries of time travel meant they couldn't find a way of masking their arrival in 1839 when they beamed down into a busy East-End Victorian street market and were witnessed by all manner of cameo street-urchins and Cockney coster-monger types who preserved the arrival as a sort of urban myth which eventually found its way into contemporary folk-lore...hence the rhyming slang

    'Lieutenant Uhura' = bucket of water

    'Mr Spock' = party frock

    'Captain Kirk' = day off work

    ..the truth is out there Peter J...don't close your mind

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  33. "MF

    but if you put in socialism, identity politics you get this:"

    OK...so maybe 'incontrovertible proof' was a slight exaggeration...it's also case sensitive...'little j' jesus comes out a fairly miserable second to basically anything you can think of.

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  34. I'll be out of the country, weather permitting, so won't have to endure Xmas music thank christ. If you intend that revolver for hastening the demise of Cowell Mods, I'd be more than happy to oblige.

    Have been meaning to re-read Jack London's Assassination Bureau - and although it didn't end well, think he might have been on to something.

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  35. Is it just me or is anyone else unable to access the links posted by Monkeyfish?

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  36. "Stats are slippery things MF"

    ..so are pavements Sheff...without them we'd be running the risk of being flattened by buses and juggernauts

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  37. Interesting theory, monkeyfish. What is not in dispute is that Lieutenant Chekhov was actually Jack the Rippper. that has been proved on numerous websites.T

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  38. Dammit, you're right MF! The proof is out here.

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  39. Phil - trains seem to be running here today. Don't know what your area will be like though, but it seems the West got more of the snow this time round.

    Sheff - where you off to for Crimbo?

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  40. Is that an allusion to me going arse over tit on an icy pavement last week MF? Am still hobbling - slightly.

    Chekhov was actually Jack the Rippper.

    Christ - I had him staying overnight on Friday!

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  41. BB

    Am off to Morocco - Essaouira - my daughter in law's cousin lives out there. The sea before me the desert behind...and a pretty little fishing town to womble about in and forget about this shitty little country for a while.

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  42. Consider that a lucky escape, sheff. You're not a C19 East End prostitute by any chance, are you? If not, then theory proved.

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  43. You're not a C19 East End prostitute by any chance, are you? If not, then theory proved.

    I'll have to ask BB about previous incarnations uhuruisswah..etc, she's the Buddhist, but not beyond the realms of possibility - have always had an affinity for the gutter, in my middle class way an' that.

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  44. Right, have put off Normandy departure until tomorrow since it was snowing heavily when I got up. Boat to Newhaven Wednesday evening barring tsumamis or new ice age. If trains/buses are running from Seaford, can still make a drink in Brighton on Thursday evening if anyone's interested.

    Anyway, to cheer everyone up, a singalong Lord Kitchener calypso from 1963, about to collapse into a singularity under the huge mass of its own innunendo: Dr. Kitch

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  45. Wow, people are smarter than I thought.

    http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/graph?content=shit%2C+shinola&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=0&smoothing=3

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  46. Some great commentsd there MF & Mods. Thanks for the Kitchener link Spike. He was great.

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  47. Interesting convergence here Monkeyfish.

    http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/graph?content=hermit%2C+cunt&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=0&smoothing=3

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  48. More useful data

    http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/graph?content=everton%2Cliverpool%2C+scunthorpe&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=0&smoothing=3

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  50. has the snow done 'chaosed and disrupted' the internet too?

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  51. Think everyone's having lunch James - or is in the pub.

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  52. Hi Phillipa

    My name's Paul-both here and on cif- and my lifes ambition is to single -handedly achieve world peace!

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  53. this is an interesting site. Newssniffer It "monitors news websites and detects when articles change. The versions are viewable and the changes are highlighted." - mainly the BBC.

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  54. Sorry - should probably specify that it's merely an allusion to the whole 'World Peace' vibe of beauty pageantry....and which reminded me of that clip!!

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  55. James-

    Lol! And that was me on a good day!

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  56. I have shirts with higher IQ. Is she in the Tea Party ? Just curious.

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  57. I'm pretty sure she's going to be Palin's running mate.....

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  58. Thanks, James. Coffee all over the laptop.

    BW - my thought was if she had 3 more IQ points, she'd be a sprout.

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  59. For all it's vastness and divesity America can be a scarily-ahem- insular place.God Bless America!

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  60. Paul + James

    I am a very fed up body.

    Locked out of Cif yesterday; realised I had lost debit card. Rang supermarket, last place l remember having it. Yes - they had found it. Sigh of relief. Asked them could I pick it up today in daylight. Rcd. long lecture on 'custmer/bank security' blah, blah. It had to be claimed by 7.00 pm otherwise it would be returned to bank - leaving me without access to money.

    So had to drive 30 mile round trip on frozen mountain roads in dark.

    Today - trying to create google mail ac. - has to be confirmed by message to mobile - they don't work here.

    This assumption of access to banks - mobile networks etc is just so wrong for many of us.

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  61. Leni, what a bugger - you'd think they could have given you some leeway, considering weather conditions and all.
    What happened with CiF?

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  62. Afternoon, folks.

    BBC Long range weather forecast is looking disasterous. Met-Check is much better. Who to trust?

    I have to make the decision tomorrow of whether to cancel Christmas dinner for about 30 elderly people so my fingernails are getting bitten.

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  63. Shaz

    Re Cif - my post was declared 'invalid'. They are apparently running both old and new registration systems alongside each other at the moment. I got 2 rather different registration forms - both only allowing me to use my user name as password. Got back in eventually but haven't yet tried to post.

    Spencer

    Difficult time for planning anything. Have you paid upfront for food and celebratory bits and bobs?

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  64. You have to have Googlemail messages confirmed by mobile now?

    When did that happen?

    You are right, it is scary. I was a late developer as far as a lot of that stuff goes. Had a basic savings account for years in the building society but no plastic. And as my attitude to debt and poll tax demands was basically "run away!" "run away!" in days of yore. I only got a credit card on my ex-wife's account to start with and did not dare check out my credit rating until I had to, when I discovered to my surprise that my old debts had vanished. Phew.

    Nowadays my credit is fine and I am fully plasticked up and buy lots of things, especially tickets online.

    But it was a close run thing. It was just getting difficult to live without plastic and credit when I got lucky. Nowadays I don't know how people manage without.

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  65. Leni, the Christmas dinner is in a country pub. I went through the exact same thing last year, but thought, "well, there is no way it will snow in the South of England right before Christmas twice in succession."

    We made it last time but there is more snow around now. If it stays like this we can probably manage but the BBC had potential more snow tomorrow and Tuesday, and in that case we will be fucked.

    Have paid a deposit to the pub which I guess we would lose. Plus we would get charged for the minibuses as it is too late to cancel without charge.

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  66. Shaz

    What, you think that was a joke??

    ;0)

    Leni

    That is a bit rubbish.

    (Given the amount of spam I receive after using Tesco direct once, I'm pretty sure that supermarkets don't really give a stuff about privacy or security, 'cept when it means they can mess up your day!)

    I'm not sure what google's playing at either, I'm sure I never needed to give a mobile number when I signed up - although I did when I signed up for internet banking (had to be UK based number)- Which was a bit daft considering I needed the service because I was in Brazil.

    Technology, eh!?

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  67. Leni

    Chin up:-)

    Spencer

    Difficult to know what to do for the best.Do all 30 people live in a care home?In which case if you cancel the country pub can you do something else at the Home itself.

    Your other option would be to call up local churches etc explain what's happened and see if they can do something at short notice.You never know something could turn up.

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  68. Shaz

    What happened with your son? I'm guessing his flight was cancelled!?

    (I have a friend who was due to go Heathrow - NY today, but has been re-scheduled to....25th December!!)

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  69. Paul, nope, they all live in their own flats and houses scattered around.

    Normally, the majority get picked up from home but some come to a pick up point. But last year because it was icy on the pavements we picked up everyone.

    Which we could do again on Tuesday so long as the A1 is clear to Welwyn and the minor roads out to the village are. I can check that by ringing the pub.

    But if it starts to snow again, it is a different matter. The BBC seem to think it likely whilst the normally reliable Met Check are saying it will just be clear and cold for the next few days.

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  70. James

    One of the descriptors of social deprivation is not having a bank account - so pensions and benfits were paid thru banks - forcing the issue.

    Nobody took account of the lack of actual banks in some areas - leaving many people adrift - particularly the elderly. This type of manipulation scews the real figures for 'poverty indices' and social and services isolation.

    Spencer,

    I hope all goes well for the Christmas dinner - we do tend to take on a personal responsibility in these situations , even when circumstances are beyond our control.

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  71. Leni

    "so pensions and benfits were paid thru banks - forcing the issue".

    Indeed. And it also opened up a whole new market for "consolidation loans" and a steady stream of income from "accidental" bank charges!!

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  72. Leni, I was so pleased with myself for not cancelling last year. The chair of the Management Committee at the community centre bailed out because she was freaked by reports of motorways being closed.

    But it was fine, because the route to the pub was clear. This year it is much colder and the snow is thicker though, and if we get fresh falls and icy roads that will be that.

    Which might serve me right for being so smug about keeping it going last year.

    And then on Wednesday I have to try and get to Stornoway. Again, the BBC forecast was worrying, suggesting snow around Edinburgh where I am flying from, assuming the train gets me to Edinburgh. But MetCheck seems to think it is fine.

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  73. James - he's stuck @ JFK atm - earliest poss flight 21st. He's wondering about trying to get to Charles de Gaulle instead, then train + ferry. Just topped his phone up so he can stay in touch - BA paid for hotel last night, which he reckons cost more than his hostels for the last month :o)

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  74. I just put 'monkeyfish' into that graph thingy..and guess what?

    http://ngrams.googlelabs.com/graph?content=monkeyfish&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=0&smoothing=3


    ..exactly...the mainstream media and major publishing houses are still too shit-scared to reveal my 'truth'

    But I won't let it stop me...and to prove my status as political and cultural analyst par excellence..I give you some predictions for the year ahead

    1) MondoBongoInEritrea named CIF poster of the year and elected Director General of the UN in recognition of his unique ability to mind-meld with any other sentient creature, living, dead or fictional

    2) At least one article will appear on CIF before 31st December 2011 written (with a straight face) by some self-deluded banker claiming the continuing flat-ling of the Irish economy is a consequence of their slashing of banking bonuses..thereby depriving the Irish financial sector of enough sufficiently incentivised 'whizz-kids' to engineer a recovery.

    3)It turns out, after a high-level internal enquiry that there's fuck all wrong with their moderation policy.

    4) Far more fatuous CIF articles by fresh-faced but rather dilatory young writers, who on closer inspection turn out to be sons and daughters of Guardian staffer's mates, covering all manner of pointless shit in a vain bid to get themselves a foot on the first rungs of the meeja ladder.

    5) Laurie Penny goes on hunger strike out Primark in Woking to demand an end to the Patriarchy's interference with popular fashion and give women the right to wear sensible shoes and boiler suits at work...soon most modern office environments will look like MoonBase Alpha with identi-clones mouthing PC platitudes and contact between the sexes will be at the discretion of local panels of trained female counsellors working from Laurie's 25 point guidelines which she wrote in collaboration with Bidi-Sha-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed...BiteTheHand is so thrilled at the news he is overcome, resulting in an embolism which renders him incapable of rational thought or meaningful dialogue...at least that's what the doctor assumed must have happened...only his friends and family deny there's been any discernible change.

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  75. I want to raise the subject of capacity building in the BS.

    Spencer and others will know the intricies of arranging even a trip ot. Insurance is one thing - if somebody slips on icey pavement who bears responsibilty ?

    Accompanying vols. have to be police checked and insured. Taking children out means you have to check for dietary needs - diabetes for example - to say nothing of accounting for money and who carries responsibility if org. gets into debt.

    More than enthusiasm and goodwill required.

    I have seen no suggestion of money for traning people .

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  76. Shaz

    That sucks. Hope it works out for him!!

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  77. Leni, a trips out is a nightmare. I don't need all the volunteers to be CRB's so long as they are working supervised, but they do need to have reference checks. That is not legal though.

    And we are covered by the CC's insurance.

    But drivers are another matter. The legislation covering drivers of minibuses is mind boggling and bizarre. I don't pretend to understand it but our drivers have to have a MIDAS certificate to be able to get minibuses from Community Transport. If they got their licesnse before (say, because I cannot remember the exact date) 1997 then they can drive a 17 seater but if it was after that they can only drive a 14 seater.

    We cannot charge, because if we do we set off a whole new bunch of regulations which would effectively make it impossible.

    I am quite convinced that these idiots have no idea at all of how complicated it has all become. In the ten years I have been working here the legislation has mushroomed.

    And I presume that the ISA is going to rear its ugly head again soon as Theresa May has only suspended it's implementation pending further review.

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  78. I mean, that the reference checks are not a legal requirement but one that I always do.

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  79. Leni

    For many years now the loan sharks have made a killing in the poorest neighbourhoods.They used to hold peoples benefit books as collateral to ensure repayments weere kept up to date.Don't know what they use now that benefits are paid through bank accounts.Interest rates are usually exorbitant and people who don't pay up are likely to get their doors kicked in and worse.

    Spencer

    Good luck!

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  80. Leni

    Should have added that as the banks refuse to grant loans to the poor the loan sharks are often their only alternative.

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  81. Paul

    My original ac was with a small building society - this was absorbed - this successor was also absobed and then finally eaten by Woolwhich.

    When I came here W had a counter in small shop - this closed so I had to go into town. This branch closed and I was moved again to town even further away. Finally W was eaten up by my current bank.

    Company here - Provident - preys quite legally on people - massive interest rates.

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  82. Got the most despicable hangover.... Misplaced a day somewhere too, got up and its dark...

    MF, that tickled me tho.

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  83. Leni

    Googlemail accounts having to be confirmed by a mobile number?! That sounds waaaay too big brother for my liking...

    Spencer - hope you manage to get your old dears sorted for their Crimbo lunch. Would be a shame to have to cancel it. From what I can see, though, there is no snow predicted for the next few days down here.

    Shaz - hope your lad gets home in time. Lucky he got BA to pay for the hotel, though. The only time I got stranded in the States due to snow, all I got was a discount voucher for a travel-lodge type place...

    Jay - you're a legend in your own lunchtime, mate. :o)

    ReplyDelete
  84. One last point for now. From my own experience I have noticed that as banks and petrol stations close and people are forced to travel elsewhere for these basic amenities shopping habits change - so one town or village loses customers because shoppers are forced elsewhere.

    Has anybody seen any figures for this - removing basic services controls local economies and therefore jobs.

    The local job centre here also closed recently forcing people into second nearest town - they often have to walk. Signing on day always fills the car with hitchhikers .

    ReplyDelete
  85. BB, not on the websites but there was on the TV long range one this morning. It is a bit contradictory, but I guess it means there are some snow showers around but they are not sure where they will be. That or the BBC have not updated the website.

    I will have to catch the Country File one later, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Leni

    I can't provide you with the data you want.But i think it's safe to say that many peoples shopping habits have changed as they have had to go further afield for goods and services.And in the poorer comunities especially alternative local economies have evolved as the mainstream providers of goods and services have moved out.

    ReplyDelete
  87. The sort of exclusion I was talking about for people without plastic and access to the internet is the same geographically. Though there may be buses and even provided buses, major supermarkets where the best prices are available are increasingly situated in places which are inconvenient if you don't have a car.

    And prices are higher in the little shops that survive in poorer areas. It even goes for ATMs. For many years there was no free ATM in Queens Crescent although there is a market there and a lot of cheap shops. It is probably the poorest bit of Kentish Town. Half a mile away in KT proper there are not just banks with holes in the wall but Sainsbury and Tescos with their own ATMs.

    But if you wanted to withdraw money in QC, you had to pay.

    Obviously that inconvenience is nothing to the situation that Leni is describing where you have to go to a different town, but if you are elderly with poor mobility...

    ReplyDelete
  88. Paul

    These gaps in the structure of communities provides opportunities for 'informal' enterprise lacking oversight by taxman.

    They could also provide opportunities for workers cooperatives if start up funding was available. Gaps provide opportunities - what happens next depends upon who first captures the market.

    There is a lot of serious and detailed research needed in this area.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Paul and Leni

    Although you've moved on from the subject, this article in the Indy is worth a read, re debts and whatnot......

    ReplyDelete
  90. Leni

    As i'm sure you know these alternative economies also include the exchange of knocked off goods etc.Some people in some communities are known for their 'shopping' habits.You approach them and ask for whatever it is you want.You agree a price and they go off and nick for you.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Leni - we had exactly the same situation re JobCentre closure - nearest DWP office also in same town 9 miles away. Considering neither agency is noted for its telephone answering abilities, it caused serious access difficulties. Many claimants came to the CAB just to have phone calls made because they couldn't afford to keep pouring money into the call box while they were kept on hold for 20 minutes.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Well it took 'em long enough (the original claim was made in Feb 2008) but snake oil selling charlatans at Lloyds TSB have finally caved in and coughed up the £774.48 they stole from me by miss-selling their "payment protection insurance".

    With the other two claims which I also won, that's the thick end of three thousand quid I've managed to re-claim from the thieving bastards.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Oh fuck.

    Due to infrastructure issues on the French network caused by severe weather conditions, Eurostar is now operating a contingency timetable which may result in some last minute cancellations.

    Eurostar 9030, 9039, 9148, 9153, 9045 and 9046 have been cancelled for today Sunday 19 December. Customers will be able to travel on the first available train.


    meaning, the trains tomorrow?

    one of which I'm supposed to be catching?

    which will no doubt be cancelled as i can't see this sorting itself out quickly.

    arse.

    do i get the train to paris and then pray, or what?

    shaz - keeping things crossed for the offspring

    ReplyDelete
  94. Chekhov - congratulations. That's fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Leni

    I should add that i think it's understandable that people stuck on very low incomes seek 'alternative' ways of getting what they want/need.

    Unfortunately too often the poor rob from the poor.The highest burglary rates for instance are in the poorest neighbourhoods.And sometimes this is fuelled by the need to fund a drug habit.Different IMO from the poor 'acquiring' goods from the big companies.Shitting on your own doorstep is unacceptable.

    ReplyDelete
  96. Checkov, cool. I got a result last week too, though I have to admit it was through no effort of my own.


    And I have not got the refund yet, just been told by the energy provider that they owe me over a grand! Good way to kick off Christmas, eh?

    Philippa, best of luck.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Well done Chekhov.

    You're now part of a very select group of people, who could probably be counted on one hand. (Hell, they could probably be counted on one of abu Hamza's hands!!)

    Philippa

    Ouch. Do you have any way of checking fo shizzle??

    ReplyDelete
  98. james - am currently on hold with eurostar's 'customer care' line.

    if they really cared about their customers they wouldn't be playing me banging house music, but that's just a minor detail at this point...

    ReplyDelete
  99. Philippa - I think I'd turn up anyway. They closed ticket sales for today & tomorrow some time ago, so with a bit of luck there should be room on a train tomorrow? Best of luck, whatever you decide

    ReplyDelete
  100. banging house music is never a minor detail, Philippa....


    ;0P

    And good luck!!

    ReplyDelete
  101. shaz et al

    There is an interconnectiveness (word?) between all these problems. I talk of villages and small rural towns but things work the same way in cities.

    Close any amenity or service and people are forced to travel. Poor phone communications, bus services always impact more on the poor. Elderly, infirm people are put at increased risk.

    I am trying to build a network diagram - so many things to consider I am finding it difficult. Trying to map knockon effects and consequences - some are further excluded whilst others see opportunities - the poor can exploit the poor as well as come together in mutual support.

    Paul - yes - the villains are ever with us.

    ReplyDelete
  102. James

    Thanks for that - time someone got a grip of legalised theft thru loans to the most needy.

    What chance of success I wonder?

    ReplyDelete
  103. Well done chekhov - you are obviously more than a pretty face.

    ReplyDelete
  104. shaz - aye, am just worried that if they are accommodating people from the cancellations today on the trains tomorrow, then could get 'bumped overnight'.

    but as they are inclusive ticket prices, suppose i have to risk it!

    do we know anyone who lives in Lille?

    (James - indeedy. have given up after 25 minutes on hold and emailed them instead...)

    ReplyDelete
  105. Phillipa

    Hope it doesn't come down to stout walking boots and a well greased cross channel swim. x

    ReplyDelete
  106. Yeah, Leni, I'm not too optimistic either.

    (If it is passed, it'll probably have loop-holes big enough to pass several aircraft carries through in a great big whopping line!!)

    RE network theory - it's all quite complicated, but one of the things that really pisses me off about all the buffoons cheering and guffawing over redundancies and public service cuts, is that they completely fail to see or understand the secondary and tertiary effects.

    It doesn't take a genius to figure out that when you take a big chunk of employment out of a given area, it's likely to have huge consequences!

    ReplyDelete
  107. That was of course to Philippa - she of the 1 L and the 2Ps.

    ReplyDelete
  108. leni - trust me, i'm anxious to get home for Christmas but my alternatives are better than that!

    what worries me is that i will end up schlepping to lille and get stuck, not knowing what the fuck is going on, when if they said at the outset, 'don't bother', i could be cheerfully toasting chestnuts with the oisette et famille.

    because i know i have a couple of days to make it, but frankly would rather not spend three of them sleeping in a bin at lille international...

    i did the DofE Bronze award, you know. that was more than enough hardship for one lifetime.

    ReplyDelete
  109. "With the other two claims which I also won, that's the thick end of three thousand quid I've managed to re-claim from the thieving bastards."

    Sweet..dunno if you've thought about what you're gonna do with your windfall but I've just heard about this erm..'pension fund' which has taken some very innovative steps towards opening up the hitherto untapped subprime unemployment insurance market...for a nominal fee...about £3000 as it happens...they'll guarantee you a priority personalised 'job-finding package' should you fall victim to the recession.

    An experienced operative with literally days of training and experience behind them will assess which exciting new career path will best suit your shelf-packing, fruit-picking or burger-flipping skills and will seek to continuously reincentivise you by judicious trimming of your income and reminders that you're basically a worthless piece of scum until you secure that dead-end minimum-wage mind-numbing job.

    Best of all..should you fall ill or become in any other way incapacitated they'll be on hand to ensure your complete rehabilitation and availability for employment with a rubber-stamp marked "fit for work; don't believe a word the scrounging bastard tells you".

    ReplyDelete
  110. "i did the DofE Bronze award, you know. that was more than enough hardship for one lifetime".


    Brilliant!!

    ReplyDelete
  111. James "one of the things that really pisses me off about all the buffoons cheering and guffawing over redundancies and public service cuts, is that they completely fail to see or understand the secondary and tertiary effects."

    The stupidity is boundless. If as many of them claim they really are small business men and women then they ought to realise that subtracting all those wages from the local economy means less money for them to grab a share of, even if they are not actually providing services to Local Authorities, Health Trusts etc, directly.

    And if they are wedded ideologically to the the idea of a smaller state, something which I could understand at least, they should surely see that the economy would need to be carefully weaned of a dependence on public spending, particularly when it is as fragile as now.

    Whereas what the coalition is doing is more akin to taking a six week old baby, giving it a bag of uncooked rice, and saying, there you go, sort yourself out you feckless little bugger.

    ReplyDelete
  112. james - in relation to that, must just mention that peacocks are absolute bastards.

    ReplyDelete
  113. Spencer

    "Whereas what the coalition is doing is more akin to taking a six week old baby, giving it a bag of uncooked rice, and saying, there you go, sort yourself out you feckless little bugger".


    Haha - indeed!!

    ReplyDelete
  114. BTW cannot remember if I mentioned this already (due to seasonally drinking more than usual this last week or so) but on Thursday my sister came for dinner.

    She works for BECTA the first quango to be cut by the government and is fairly senior so she hobnobs with senior civil servants.

    And some of them have told her that the senior civil servants are going out of their minds with the coalition. The ministers are just not listening when the downsides of their policies are being pointed out.

    What she was told was that, on the whole, the Blairites and Brownites listened to their Civil Servants, as did the Major ministers.

    The last time that they had to work with a government so idealogically driven that it stuck its fingers in its ears and went wee wee wee, when potential disasters were being pointed out to them was the high tide of Thatcherism, around the time when the Poll Tax was introduced over all objections...

    ReplyDelete
  115. It was always Geese with me!!

    (I still can't go to the Lake District without breaking out in a cold sweat!)

    ReplyDelete
  116. philippa

    did the DofE Bronze award, you know. that was more than enough hardship for one lifetime".

    Can't imagine it was worse than the DofE Bronze award for the three-legged race,sack race and egg'n'spoon race combined.Now that was a real bastard!

    Good luck with your trip back to blighty!

    ReplyDelete
  117. Spencer

    I wonder if any of the oh so self congratulatory small business owners will come bleating to ciffers if they lose all - or will they maintain the fiction ?

    ReplyDelete
  118. Spencer

    There is a definite air of 'quick let's get everything through before we're booted out - who gives a fuck if it's going to work' to this lot!!

    ReplyDelete
  119. James

    My friend M the farmer rescues allsorts and everything - has motley flock of birds - hens, ducks, goose and stray peacock.

    They all behave like the single goose who is clearly dominant. Goosey leads the attack on visiting cars with her assorted subjects following with necks outstretched. They have yet to master the 'honking' bit so the ensuing racket is bedlam.

    ReplyDelete
  120. Leni, I personally suspect that half of them at least are embittered doleites and thier successful small businesses only exist in their heads.

    My ex-downstairs neighbour was like that. Not computer literate, thank god. But he was long term unemployed. Completely unemployable due to a toxic combination of him having mental health problems, being an alcoholic and also being a complete cunt.

    He used to put Tory posters up at elections and I could hear him regularly going on about immigrants coming over here and living on benefits and never doing a stroke of work, when he spent all day watching TV and then got abusively drunk at night.

    He was, in fact, a drunken, unemployed, schizophrenic version of Alf Garnet.

    I kind of think of him when I read those posts.

    ReplyDelete
  121. Leni

    "I wonder if any of the oh so self congratulatory small business owners will come bleating to ciffers if they lose all - or will they maintain the fiction ? "

    I wouldn't actually wish it on anyone, but I would have to struggle to keep the schadenfreude in check if it did happen.

    ReplyDelete
  122. Leni

    They all behave like the single goose who is clearly dominant. Goosey leads the attack on visiting cars with her assorted subjects following with necks outstretched. They have yet to master the 'honking' bit so the ensuing racket is bedlam.

    Sounds like you could have the makings there of a Welsh remake of 'The Birds'.

    ReplyDelete
  123. "so "being English" is a wholly subjective experience available only to the 'English'..who know instinctively know that they are, indeed, English"
    This is one of my pet peeves. The way that whiteness, Englishness etc become a kind of presumed norm that requires no articulation.

    ReplyDelete
  124. evening all

    flying by as has a dinner at my 20m sq flat with some friends...have cooked indian style..at least with a few extra bodies in here the temperature might go up....

    philippa

    here's one for you and for all travellers
    going home or wherever.......

    ReplyDelete
  125. Leni

    Joking apart i recently heard of a growing problem in Cornwall where birds are launching attacks on people and causing some quite nasty injuries.

    ReplyDelete
  126. paul

    the last time I was in worthing (yes worthing..equivalent to the DOE experience of phil) seagulls were dive bombing people for their sarnies......not a pretty sight......

    ReplyDelete
  127. Meerkatjie

    being English is apparently the only state worthy of humankind. If you cannot feel your Englishness in your bones you are a poor thing indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  128. gandolfo

    The Worthing gulls have nothing on those in Tenby. There is clearly a move towards world domination in the seagull fraternity.

    ReplyDelete
  129. gandolfo

    I've never been to Worthing but isn't there a saying that 'Dover is for the Continent whilst Worthing is for the Incontinent'?

    ReplyDelete
  130. Paul
    LOL...somat like that!!!

    honestly you don't need ever go to worthing...ever.........ya hear me!!!

    Leni

    at least we know and are prepared imagine those that don't realise...they say ignorance is bliss but i'm not so convinced...I wanna know

    ReplyDelete
  131. @phil

    This is probably absolutely no use to you, but I'm leaving Paris tomorrow lunchtime for Dieppe, two nights in Dieppe then I'm on the boat to Newhaven on Wednesday afternoon. If ever the Eurostar was going seriously wrong, I could drop you at the Dieppe terminal tomorrow to take the 17.30 ferry to Newhaven as a foot passenger depending on what time you're arriving in Paris.

    ReplyDelete
  132. Meerkatjie "Englishness etc become a kind of presumed norm that requires no articulation."

    I didn't get involved in that spat as I did not really understand what Hermit meant.

    Though it was certainly amusing to see the old "No True Scotsman" argument being used to define an Englishman.

    ReplyDelete
  133. BB:

    "my dad always says you can tell you are alive if you stretch out with your elbows in the morning and don't feel them banging against the coffin-sides..."

    ROTFLMHO ;0)

    PS.... were we twins seperated at birth? I've had a streaming cold for the last 2 days.... on a more positive note - the new windows were put into our flat this morning (3 blokes from Essex in a military-precision operation that took 4.5 hours)

    No more dribbling condensation on the inside of the windows - clean and lightness abounds - so fucking great!!! what a difference!!

    Suffice to say, despite the disturbance in the Force of late getting back to myself a bit

    ReplyDelete
  134. spike - bless you, but my train doesn't go until midday, and we are currently trying to establish contact with the soon-to-be-ex-wife of my mate's brother-in-law (keeping up?) in case i get stuck in Lille.

    good luck with your journey!

    ReplyDelete
  135. Hi LaRit

    Glad you're feeling more youself - we live in a time of very wobbly force fields at the moment. x

    ReplyDelete
  136. THIS IS PROPER HOUSE MUSIC

    Hope you got good speakers? This is Frankie Knuckles working his magic ;0) proper lassoo tune.... magic.

    ReplyDelete
  137. Sorry,above post/tune for Miss Philippa B!

    Leni - yes..... it's been a-wobblin' all over the shop these past couple of weeks ;) x

    ReplyDelete
  138. @phil

    Thanks and good luck to you too. I'll check here before I go. If you were facing disaster, I could always leave Paris later. I'm off early afternoon to drive in daylight, but I'm not really bothered. Shaz and BB have my mobile number if needed.

    ReplyDelete
  139. So what is this about - Brendan Barber apparently invited for pre Christmas drinkies at no. 10?

    According to Mirror at least.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/12/19/strike-fears-force-tuc-into-no-10-115875-22794581/

    ReplyDelete
  140. A longer version of my above post which I e-mailed to my sisters who are convinced I'm a conspiracy nutter!

    Just for the record; I don't believe in conspiracy "theories" only conspiracy facts!


    Well it took 'em long enough (the original claim was made in Feb 2008) but the snake oil selling charlatans at Lloyds TSB have finally caved in and coughed up the £774.48 they stole from me by miss-selling their "payment protection insurance".

    With the other two claims which I also won, that's the thick end of three thousand quid I've managed to re-claim from the thieving bastards!

    Don't suppose anyone will get locked up for such a massive blatant fraud, however if I tried it on with a similar rip-off I'd get took to the cleaners.

    First God created the bankers and then the more morally aware and astute form of human life; the amoeba.

    The final insult was this sentence at the end of all the legal jargon:

    "You will receive a redress amount of £774.48 as we have also added a payment of £200.00 for Distress and Inconvenience"


    Two hundred quid for the "distress and inconvenience" of robbing me out of nearly £3000.00!

    What worries me is that some one typed that with a straight face!

    Anyway far be it from me to get all cynical about the banking system. I love the banks, they write the scripts I could never dream of writing; you couldn't make this shit up!



    Love to all of you,

    Cheers;
    Tricky.

    ReplyDelete
  141. Hey LaRit - twins separated at birth? I can't sing as well as you, but I would swap you for my brother any day of the week, love :o)

    Hope you feel better soon. I was kind of hoping that the lurg we had a couple of months ago would have made us immune to anything else, but clearly not. That's London public transport for you, I s'pose - people coughing and sneezing over you day after day..

    Phil - hope you manage to get home for Crimbo. I remember that feeling of longing to get home at this time of year. xxx

    ReplyDelete
  142. SMELLTHECOFFEE OPINES...

    "Oh, the mods cherry pick who they pre-mod.

    I was recently pre-modded for giving as good as I got. The resident house trolls can insult and cajole with impunity. Why the special status?"

    Why?

    Not so much 'why' as 'how'...ie. how do they know who deserves special status...cos let's face it, the moderators are basically the semi-literate teenage offspring of Guardian employees, earning some pocket money for skinny jeans or Coldplay tickets...they're hardly gonna know who or what to moderate without guidance.

    Simple...anyone who cross references with a Waitrose loyalty card, is on Boden's mailing list or has clocked up sufficient points on the 'CIF automated fawnometer'...once you've amassed 100 points you become a 'platinum club member' and can dis any non-members at will.

    If you're looking to join, I can advise that 'Thanks Jess' earns 2 points, 'Brilliant article' gets you 5 (or 10 on a Toybee, Andrew Brown or Bidisha offering) while anything critical of the UT is 15 minimum. You think I'm kidding?...take a look at EXpat's, Penile's, LittleEnglandKermit's or ManiteeInExtremis's archives and see for yourselves.

    On another note..cos I don't look much any more...what are all those "That's 13 years of socialism for you" types saying nowadays...now it's become clear that the Coalition is simply an accelerated continuation of NuLab style 'socialism'?

    In fact since 'NuLab socialism' was simply a continuation of the 'socialism' instituted by Comrade Thatcher..that makes 31 years of socialism in total...we need a change..how about some socialism?

    ReplyDelete
  143. BB:

    That's what I was hoping too! Think my bad luck getting another bug has been largely down to too much trying to blot out the Tory-Shock Doctrine by going out all night.

    Chekhov - really sorry didn't get the chance to meet up... was on a trajectory......

    Did I see right the other day, is there a CiF/UT meet up on Monday? Is it in London or Sheffield? Though with temperatures in London dropping to -7 and heavy snow predicted - is anyone going anywhere this Chrimbo?

    ReplyDelete
  144. Hey, "La Rit", no worries; I might be back down your neck of the woods in the new year.

    @Leni:(in answer to your post last night) excuse me but I am back home on Tyneside and I prefer the term "itinerant" to "vagrant" or even "peripatetic" but that doesn't have "rant"in it!

    ReplyDelete
  145. LaRit

    "Think my bad luck getting another bug has been largely down to too much trying to blot out the Tory-Shock Doctrine by going out all night."

    ...and in a nutshell...that's the Chapter which covers the eighties in my autobiography, "Monkeyfish..the untold story"

    mind you I'll say this for the Tories..or Thatcher...

    1) at least they were open about it back then..."Yep..we hate you..tough shit matey"
    2) the E's still had MDMA in em back then
    3) there was still stuff worth watching on the telly

    Thatcher..Brideshead, Jewel in the Crown
    Blair...Big Brother...Danny Dyer's Deadliets Men

    ReplyDelete
  146. LaRit

    There is a CiF meet in the Bunch of Grapes near London Bridge on Monday evening. I won't be going - I was originally meant to be in deepest Kent tomorrow but I am having a day off instead in the warm.

    Gandolfo and I and anyone else interested are plannng a meet-up either in Brighton or - if it's just the two of us - Horsham-ish on 27th. I like Horsham. It has around 40 pubs in a small radius. :o)

    ReplyDelete
  147. MF-- about a hundred people on the Catherine Bennet thread would have been pre-modded today, if the same standard applied as to me on Andrew Brown.

    Aw fuckem, I'll go down the pub rather than do a missive to the muds tonite.

    chekhov-- great result!

    BB -- a law thing which will interest you here by Max Scharnberg. Link from pelleneroth at the various Assange threads .

    ReplyDelete
  148. I'm still on for the 23rd or 27th in Brighton..if I get there...snowing here again now...

    dave

    tell me about it

    ReplyDelete
  149. Monkey:

    "...and in a nutshell...that's the Chapter which covers the eighties in my autobiography, "Monkeyfish..the untold story""

    hehehehe.... ;0) I'd like to read the full story sometime.

    Been a bit lucky with the Ebeneezers 3 times this year...... but mostly just bloody damn lucky with the music..... 2 doses of mind-blowing Idujt Boys nights, Lil' Louis (I cried on the dance floor) and Derek Carter being mental with the Disco.

    As for the fucking Neo-liberal Coup that happened in May, I cannot shake the sense of fear that extreme violence is coming.... Thatcher saved her energy and hatred for the Miners and the Print Unions, but this lot? Their violence and hatred is set against everyone less fortunate than themselves. No holds barred. The gloves are off.

    The thing that sticks in my mind at the moment and that really says it all .... the horses worth thousands and thousands and thousands of pounds which have been abandoned in Ireland. Not because people are worth less, but because Horses are a totem. They were the ultimate 'luxury item' purchased by the new little bourgeois fuckers, a symbol of wealth and status.... which, when the whole shitty ediface crumbled, were just too expensive to feed.

    Sorry, not being very articulate tonight... but hope you get my drift.

    ReplyDelete
  150. Thanks for that linky, Dave. Christ, I wouldn't want to be charged with an offence in Sweden. Their defence counsel seem worse than the worst public defenders in the States! :o

    MF - 27th in Brighton then!

    ReplyDelete
  151. spike - again, bless you - will be checking the eurostar 'status updates' tomorrow morning. am not even sure train from MTP goes through paris...

    grrrrrrr.

    right - need sleep. need to be up early to fight with house-music-playing call centres (thank you for maintaining standards, larit!)

    ReplyDelete
  152. MF -- got so furious on a re-read of Andrew Brown's propaganda smear-job on Assange/Israel Shamir/his son that I let loose carelessly, thats all. A new experience for an old CiFfer!

    I just called the BestPub in the world. They thought it was me, o the fan-heater is de-icing the inside of my van ...

    ReplyDelete
  153. @LaRit

    It's fascinating to watch. Here is a partial list of the people and organisations that the current government is not afraid of attacking and pissing off:

    Students.
    University staff.
    The police.
    GPs.
    Hospital doctors.
    Nurses.
    The armed forces.
    Local councils.
    All public sector employees.
    The disabled.
    The unemployed.
    Higher-earning parents.
    Lower-earning people in general.
    Environmentalists.
    Anti-environmentalists.
    The Post Office.
    Drivers.
    Train passengers.
    Nimbys in the green belt.
    The BBC.
    Liberal Democrat voters.
    Hang 'em and flog 'em Tories.
    Lawyers.

    And a partial list of those being left alone:

    Bankers.
    Tax evaders.
    Pensioners on higher pensions.
    Big companies.
    Buy-to-let landlords.
    Murdoch's empire.

    Looks a bit skewed to me, not to mention socially dangerous.

    ReplyDelete
  154. Peter J.

    Good list. Though higher earning parents are probably not too deeply pissed off and the BBC executives seem to lap up abuse like a senior policeman in a dominatrix's dungeon.

    But the point is right, I think. They are not so much zealots as idiots.

    Or rather they are a mixture of zealots and idiots, with a sprinkling of idiot zealots.

    ReplyDelete
  155. Andrew Brown mentioned (unfavourably of course) a quote from Joe Sobran. Here is one of his last published pieces tho he only died in september.


    Tell Truth, and Shame the Neocons

    (Reprinted from the issue of March 8, 2007)

    I haven’t received the latest issue of The New Yorker, but it’s already making news with an article by the invaluable Seymour Hersh reporting that the Pentagon is preparing intensively — and illegally — for a military strike on Iran.

    Hersh says the Department of Defense, not the CIA, is smuggling agents into Iran disguised as Iranian civilians.

    Not only is this illegal under U.S. law; under the Geneva Conventions, only those captured in uniform are entitled to the protections due to prisoners of war. It’s hardly necessary to spell out where this may lead.

    Hersh really keeps his ear to the ground, has great sources, and collects well-earned enemies in every administration. I wonder how many high-level conspiracies he has aborted over the last four decades by getting wind of them in time.

    Meanwhile, with respect to Iran, the politicians have a new mantra, repeated so obsessively as to remind one of the brainwashed soldiers in The Manchurian Candidate: “All options are on the table.” This is a transparent euphemism for “We’re not ruling out nuking Iran.”

    When John Edwards said it to an Israeli audience recently, he added, just so nobody would miss the point, “I repeat: all options.” That’s how you raise campaign money nowadays: by threatening mass murder.

    Incidentally, though it might be overstating the case to say President Bush is enjoying a comeback, we are now hearing less-frequent reports of his sinking poll numbers.

    But that could change in a flash if he attacks Iran. As Conan O’Brien has quipped, his recent warnings about the Iranian threat sound as if he has just taken his old Iraq speeches and changed all the Qs to Ns.

    -------------------------
    Hell, only seems like yesterday I read that Seymour Hersh article, and I do remember that the amero-israeli propaganda drumbeat for war was 'speeding up ' fast then.

    Maybe if they do it hard enough and often enough we'll just be used to the idea of war?

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  156. BB - thought you'd be linky- interested !

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  157. Off to close the pub on the black-iced lanes! Inshaa'ala

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  158. PhilippaB:

    Awww.... you know me ;) If you ever come round our place, we'll play you the full version through some top speakers ;) Safe journey and all that. x

    BB: 27th in Brighton? Looks like we might be there anyway if the weather vane doesn't point to 'Fair' - can schlepp along tomorrow night though - 20 mins on the bus for me to the Grapes.... a CiF Groin-in... I shall be there methinks!

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  159. This is for everyone on the UT..... listeners, lovely people, lurkers and yes... the englishfuckwits...... (but if you play it through shite speakers, it's not my problem)

    I wanna be with you when the disco night is over

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  160. More wisdom from the Irish, courtesy of Cellarman on Waddya. Worth it for the last second alone.

    Celtic Tiger

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  161. Shit...Anthony Howard's dead...not always on the monkeyfish wavelength but a true gent and an independent mind for all that...not exactly the case when one considers

    "Why did multiculturalism become a dirty word? It made me who I am"

    Which was delivered without a hint of irony or self-awareness by a "Me Me Me...look at me...I'm lovely and cool and progressive" member of the media inner-circle with less idea of the everyday reality of your recent Bangladeshi immigrant on the Clapham omnibus than I have..as a middle-aged white Northern male of the old-school socialist persuasion..

    that is one fuckin train wreck of an article and thread

    don't get me wrong..I'm not a huge fan of multiculturalism (at least not the Guardianista variety)..but I'm certainly willing to concede that its philosophical inception arose from worthy and well intentioned aims...just that the needle got fuckin stuck...and played on well past the point where the deleterious results of unintended consequences had become so stark-staringly obvious to all but those either buoyed up by wishful thinking and living in Islington (actually..I live in Hackney...fuck you Madeline) and benefiting from the cheap au pairs...not to mention those with an ulterior profit motive and possessed of a vested interest in any measure that puts a downward pressure on wages and a means of bypassing basic standards of common decency and dignity in employment.

    Surely by now it's fuckin clear...keep any cultural preferences out of the public sphere...realistically, we're all in this together...lets just be discriminatory about who 'we' are...we're not well off...we're not members of a political/media bubble ..we're ordinary people of every hue and back-story who are shortly gonna suffer...praying every night that you're one of the lucky ones...and demeaning yourself in a bid to stave off the fateful day when you might be is not the answer...there are bad guys out there and as many of them are writing 'progressive' drivel for the Guardian as are self-serving bankers, little England crypto-fascists or Tory ideologues.

    ...that's why I detest anybody who wants to try and defend the 'integrity' of the likes of the Guardian...useful fuckin idiots...lookin for the approval of people who couldn't give a flying fuck about them.

    Some sterling input from Paul btw..and even though it pains me to say it, from Napoleon Solo who, in attacking liberal icon and Graun stalwart Michael Rosen, might well have secured himself a paragraph in the pages of the CIF 'bad book'.

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  162. ...useful idiots, indeed, MF. A few of us, less impressed with Rosen than the Groan, used to fuck with his head (and his preening, right-on self-regard) over on the poetry threads. His 'how dare you, don't you know who I am' Michael Winner impersonation was always a hoot.

    Sorry, La Rit...I detested disco the first time around...listening to stuff like Sharpshooters - Analyze makes me like it even less (if that's possible).

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  163. Another vanished post. I wish you'd recalibrate your fucking spam filter. I never have this problem on my (wordpress) blog...

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  164. "I wish you'd recalibrate your fucking spam filter."

    ...that takes me back...decades actually...to when a similar line aimed at a dinner-lady...who would've given Mike Tyson a run for his money...earned me a sideswipe me with a friggin big fish slice you could've used to flip a barracuda

    ...only it related to spam fritters

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  165. @Mods:

    Rescued it. I'm afraid the only control I have over the spam filter is to look at what's in the folder & either click "not spam" or delete it. Believe me, I hate the fucking spam folder.

    Maybe it really is time to reconsider moving to WordPress.

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  166. MF hehe for Nap and PaulBJ and lots of other interesting comments too. Reading ... I liked the refs to Amartya Sen and Kenan Malik's work .

    Plural divisive monocultures now competing as a result of multiculturalist ideology sums it up for me, going to bed halfway through the thread.

    Jack fucking Straw's postal votes for 'family block-voting', Faith Schools, multilingual everything, the Diversity Training bureaucracy, I won't go on. PC run mad, as they say...

    A divided society is easier to rule. An Aussie and one other pointed out that the new culture is corporate values, and I'd add consumerist, which is individualist. That definitely works against any common action against exploitation of the working class(Annetan's definition) or the middle class- US definition.

    Enough rabbiting, another cuppa and I'm off!

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  167. 4 very good reasons to migrate, Montana (and you needn't really bother 'migrating' the archive--just leave this blog up, with a link to the new one: quick, simple and nothing's lost):

    1. No more annoying fucking message from Google telling you your comment is too 'big' (wordpress allows comments of...well...I dunno: I've never tested it..but very damn long indeed)

    2. No more having to link to youtube vids--the vids embed in the comments and can be viewed without going anywhere.

    3. Highly configurable spam filter.

    4. Nobody needs to sign up for anything to comment (less data for Google to warehouse and profit by), but you can if you like (if, for example, you want your present blogspot avatar to follow you; but there are other, less intrusive services that sync your avatar with your email address, like Gravatar).

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  168. Mods:

    Do you find that Wordpress has fewer technical glitches? People have had trouble here with not being able to comment because the comment box simply didn't appear for them, people have had logging in probs, etc.

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  169. In the days of bloggingnewhorizons on wordpress, you had to be invited on. I take it that was a chosen option of the blog and not a default.

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