03 December 2010


Just Living in a 2D World - Yoshitomo Nara
 Minute attention to propriety stops the growth of virtue.
-Mary Wollstonecraft


  1. morning all.

    another bad night - and this time couldn't face getting up, it was so cold, so just lay there getting more and more stressed. dropped off around 6, woke at 9. thank God not working today. would be dangerous.

  2. I read an interesting telegram last night from "Post" in Tel Aviv to State, DoJ, etc on Organised Crime in Israel . wikileaks is down now it seems but i don't know if there are mirror sites out there . Or "torrent" sites ?

    Actually I had seen most of it already, coverage in Haaretz of the increasing militarisation of OC and links to a number of israeli politicians .

    I do regret not saving the last para which said that visa applications to the USA were systematically refused to those with OC connections in many countries, but NOT in Israel.

    Wikileaks front pages only --

    Snowed in for the second day, but they're forecasting rain for tomorrow !

  3. Philippa -- not read the Austerity Hotwaterbottle section here ? Plastic 2 lit Coke bottle, hot tap, woolly sock. As many as you want ...

  4. A devastating indictment of East European economics and the capitalist system from one of our finest Cif political analysts -

    Some (Eastern Europeans I meet in Brussels) do find the free market a problem, especially when it makes accommodation much more expensive

  5. dave - being in bed is fine (waterbottle not needed when oisette present), it's getting up into the arctic environment of an uninsulated flat with tiled floors that causes the problem!

    and spoke to soon on the work front - damn being able to log into work email from home...thank heavens can't access the CRM database or i'd be working all day...

  6. Ah well, it's a good tip for the "Oisette-less" , like me ! Kitchen is warmish but bedroom/salon now around 9.

    Luckily the snow IS going away, as I need to make a Mark2 snowscraper, Top of Polytunnel, for the use of.

  7. "Likewise those I knew before the collapse of the Wall, were desperate to get out from under the Communist yoke."

    Remarkably fresh and imaginative use of language. I wonder if the 'Communist yoke' is any relation to the 'Fascist jackboot' of hallowed memory? And does the 'Capitalist running dog' lick the 'Fascist jackboot'?

    Much food for thought from the Brussels-based knitting sensation.

  8. Philippa

    I like the idea of having an oisette instead of a hot water bottle (cheaper), can you clone her and send her out to the single among us. :)

  9. jen - and hotwaterbottles can't peel potatoes, which I'm doing alone right now. Still, more useful than bru-baiting.

  10. Hello all.
    There's a very strange, eery feeling in the Manchester air this morning. -4 and a half light from the sun. Something bad is coming and it's coming this way.

    Paul and Spike, that was a really good play-off for music last night. Good health to both of you.

  11. Just had to dig myself out of the front door, in Kent! bloody ridiculous.

  12. Colin, I blame the tories. :-)

  13. hh,
    Yep, and all those people who voted lib to keep 'em out.

  14. True habib, it was never this cold before they got in. ;)

  15. "WikiBrussels" - non-profit online resource that publishes submissions of otherwise untenable bullshit from anonymous yet very well groomed and beautiful, sources. It was launched in 2006, and is run 9-5, 5 days a a week by The Arsewit Press.

  16. Thought everyone would be interested in this UNICEF report being published today- The Children left behind measuring material, education and health ineqaulities in OECD countries.

    The UK is lamentable in material well being, but France and Belgium are shocking in terms of educational inequalities.

    The Netherlands along with Denmark and Finland are the best performing countries across the spectrum.

    I'va asked for an article about it on CiF. If its published brace yourself for the right wing backlash BTL

  17. Don't talk to me about digging snow. I am going to have to dig my car and drive out today - hopefully with help of husband, although he is working from home and might be too busy - as I have to get my dad and his partner to heathrow tomorrow somehow (assuming her plane home is actually going to be on schedule).

    Grrr. That will be all of Saturday gone then, driving very slowly down to him, then very slowly up the M23 and round the M25...

    Can we have some global warming now, please? Please?!

    Ah well. Time for a leftover sausage sandwich for brekky. Back in a bit


  18. Colin, aye, liberals have always just been tories who had accidentally come across the concept of compassion.

    Good stuff, Wybourne,
    Organization for Economic and Co-operative Development ha ha ha.

  19. Turminderjie
    "He had this tiny, cloven-footed hairy-looking creature with him which I just assumed was a Scottish person."
    That is a fucking horrible, racist thing to have to read and I'm trying my best not to chuckle.

  20. Seconded on the OECD report, Your Grace.

    No surprise for the UK, although I am surprised at the French and Beligian figures re educational inequality.

  21. turm

    Thanks for that, a large allegorical predator, priceless. :D

  22. Seconding Jen on that too, Turm.

    I love the Daily Mash - their take on Wikileaks was bloody brilliant too.

    Unmanned Wikileaks Drone Destroys Afghan Village

  23. Wikileaks, popular with paedophiles and smokers, genius.

  24. right - have been organised. 20 cards to post, 2 to deliver in person. job done. all last year's extra cards used up, tidy space now on shelf.

    next job - Christmas market for present buying.

    unfortunately cannot buy 'newbury fruits' for mother as oisette has walked out on Christmas job at the posh chocolate shop...

  25. Philippa I used to get my mam Newbury Fruits every year (along with Anais Anais) I found out just before she died that she couldn't stand them, that knowledge left me strangely upset.

  26. But sources at the Ministry of Defence confirmed that Professor Cook's comments had already put lives at risk in Belgium and Ecuador, adding: "And of course, he's also a rapist."


  27. Anais Nin, there's a writer to shock you.

  28. Agree habib, and how is she remembered? By having a nasty perfume named after her.

    Shame. ;)

  29. A social worker visits a little old lady, there's a bowl of almonds on the table.

    - Do you like almonds then?

    - Not any more love, they get stuck in me dentures, but you help your self.

    She does and they chat some more, with the old lady encouraging the SW to snack on the nuts. Just as the SW is getting ready to leave...

    -If you can't eat the almonds, why do you have so many in the bowl?

    - Eh, love? Oh, I just like to suck the chocolate off them...

  30. "and how is she remembered? By having a nasty perfume named after her."
    Ah, she's worth so much more, Jenni. When I go ain't nobody gonna give a fig. I don't think I will, either. This world seems like a very silly place to be in.

  31. Liked the Narnia. Do Scottish people really have hooves?

    Exactly two weeks without the cigs and I'm pretty much OK now, with just the occasional, short-lived "I could murder a Gauloise" feeling.

    Working at home on your own is ideal for giving up. The only sticky moment was when smoker friends came round on Sunday. It was bloody cold on the balcony so I finally relented and let them smoke indoors, which was both unpleasant and slightly tempting.

    Anyway, that was the only occasion when I've let anyone visit. But I now have hopes that my social life will be resumed shortly.

    Now for a quick look at His Grace's OECD report with my second mug of PG Tips...

  32. People used to think I was mid-Atlantic - yeah, funny one that. In California they just assume I'm from the east coast, whereas in Cork they always assumed I was from Dublin. Of course, up north they simply assumed I was from "that there London". One frequent comment I get here on mainland Europe is, "you speak English very well, have you spent much time in England?"

    Yeah, It's That Man Again. martyninthmiddleoftheatlantic shamelessly tries to big himself up again, completely unaware of what a total tit he sounds. He is a cosmopolitan extraordinaire, a citizen of the world, a multicultural chameleon that fits in everywhere but calls nowhere home.

    That Cairo taxi-driver you met on holiday - Martyn. That Somalian goat-herder you sponsor - Martyn. Your neighbour's Lithuanian nanny - Martyn. Your local Welsh rabbi - Martyn. The man taking the Clapham omnibus to the corner shop via Pluto and the planet Klingon - Martyn. Martyn is a phenomenon. I hope he never stops posting.

    you're everywhere and nowhere baby!

  33. habib

    That is a slightly worrying thing to say, are you alright?

  34. Useless Wikileaks whack-a-mole continues; its DNS provider has now pulled the plug, citing damage to its service from repeated DDOS attacks.

    And it now seems that the DNS provider, EveryDNS, could itself be under attack, as its home server is currently permanently 'busy'.

    As frog2 pointed out, you can still get to Wikileaks through its IP address.

  35. The world is a better place with you in it Habib. Should you go anywhere you will be lamented, eulogised and sorely missed. But, don't you bloody dare!

  36. Oh good habib.

    I don't disagree with what you said but it set my alarms right off.

  37. Tomorrow is either another day or a promise to no one, I'm chilled out about that. :-)

  38. Yep, stick around Habib!

    I on the other hand have no snow, my heating works and I voted liberal, so I'm going to nip off and shoot myself....


  39. Hmmm...

    I'm rather surprised at France's comparatively low educational equality. Yes, of course there's inequality, but worse than the UK? Odd.

    Then France behind the UK in children's health? WTF? I want to see the criteria and methodology there! Not so long ago, France's health system was judged the best in the world and, re children, while obesity for instance is on the rise (especially among children of North/Subsaharan African origin), it's in no way at UK levels. Antenatal and postnatal care are, IMO, better than in the UK.

    So comparing the two countries I know best, I'm a little dubious.

  40. You voted Liberal Dott?

    The horror.

    Just kidding, I know a lot of people did (I thought about it myself) and some of those people were not even dickheads. ;)

  41. Spike,

    the actual report istelf is being published today and I can;t get access to it, so until we get the reports methodology, sample size, criteria etc it's impossible to come to conclusions just yet.

    I daresay the French educational inequality will stem from the Banlieue's of the major cities to a large extent, but yeah I was surprised by that as I was about Belgium being bottom.

  42. I won't ask whether I'm one of the some Jenn ;-)

    In my defence:

    That was (of course) pre them climbing up the Tory fundament.

    In my constituency Labour got back in anyway!

  43. Of course you are one of the some Dott.

  44. Cheers Jenn!

    Oh and should've said earlier hi Musty, long time no see!

  45. hello.

    Anyone else noticed vehicles getting beached on those speed bumps in the roads in the snow & ice conditions?

    It was bad enough trying to drive over them unseen as they were in the snow, but in Sheffield, there's a bus still stranded over one near my friend's house and where I live, today an ambulance has been dug out of a similar situation by passers by.

    We got the car out on the road this morning but couldn't get anywhere because the compacted ice is so deep that the chassis is scraping on it. Gave up & came home again after getting stuck several times. So it's back to Shanks' pony if we want to go anywhere.

    Stir-crazy in snowbound Sheffield.

  46. chater's plead guilty.

    (plead / pled?)


  47. That Cairo taxi-driver you met on holiday - Martyn. That Somalian goat-herder you sponsor - Martyn. Your neighbour's Lithuanian nanny - Martyn. Your local Welsh rabbi - Martyn. The man taking the Clapham omnibus to the corner shop via Pluto and the planet Klingon - Martyn. Martyn is a phenomenon. I hope he never stops posting.

    When he goes back to the valleys they still just call him Cuntface.

  48. Yo pigeon.
    When I first came here in the sixties I had a South African accent. Very unfashionable in those anti apartheid days
    I had to pass myself off as an Australian, most of the poms bought it as it was before Barry Humphries.

  49. I voted for the bloody lib dems as well. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought they would be such bloody turncoats.

    I feel ashamed of myself.

  50. Phil

    No doubt Chater took very sensible advice from his Counsel as he is clearly bang to rights (although I doubt he will get much credit for his guilty plea, given that it is on the eve of the trial).

    Will be interesting to see whether he gets a custodial sentence or not. He can join the annals of the great and the good like Aitkens and Archer at one of Her Madge's hotels for a while...

  51. BB - was wondering if he'll face any time...

    should we start betting on whether he'll be born again or just write a shit novel?

  52. BB,

    Now I may just be a bit GIYUS, but Julian Assange had a live online q and a on the Graun at one pm.

    At 1pm, the online Graun appears to have died.....

  53. Yep, the whole Guardian site seems to be down.

  54. blimmin' 'eck.

    i thought gary mckinnon said the US government had shit IT?

  55. Mmm, Comment is (still) Cream Crackered.


    One of Madge's hotels, hopefully. No doubt I'd get locked up if I was so dishonest.

  56. it seems to be working for me, although the Q&A has

    "Update: Thank you for all your questions. We are temporarily switching off comments and will post Julian Assange's answers as soon as we can."

  57. Philippa,

    "Update: Thank you for all your questions. We are temporarily switching off comments and will post Julian Assange's answers as soon as we can."

    Yeah, followed by a photo of the American bald eagle appearing with the strains of "The Star Spangled banner" playing. Then Julian Assange screaming

    "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, Wikileaks is all lies!! Blurrbbbsscsshjusjjsj ssssc ssopll please no more waterboarding...hybbvdjvfvvddfguchguchguch...I;m sorry, I'm sorry, Im sorry......."

  58. Maybe it is only being blocked in the UK then, Phil :p

    I dunno - all sounds a bit NWO-ish to me.

    ...posed the alumilliner

    I've watched Spooks, you know! I know they can do it if they want to! :p

  59. ...except that the fact that it is blocked in NL, which is of course where His Grace lives, blows my conspiracy theory out of the icy water.

    Unless they have done that deliberately because that is what they want us to think....


  60. Did you read the New Yorker article about Assange that Chekhov linked to the other day?

    A long read, but a bloody fascinating one.


  61. I think we're entitled to be a bit Giyus. Comment closed on the Assange thread and still no Assange for the q&a.

    Whaddya currently seems to be on an endless refresh cycle: the page refreshes partially, then again, then again...

  62. ah, ok - have just seen that while you can read articles, all comment functions seemed to have been switched off, not just the assange thread.

    switched off as in 'uterly invisible' BTL...

  63. Poor old Graun, what a bunch of wankers.

  64. I can't post on the Whaddya thread.

    Only Kizbot seems to have been able to since 1:08.

    Draw your own conclusions.

  65. Hello all. Jen, are you there? You can point and laugh at me because, after ll our conversation about school closures the other day, Our School Is Closed! Was in at 7 to take phone calls, but only 2 children so we sent them home and were out of there by 10. Still mind-buggeringly cold here, but no more snow since this morning.

    I was wondering what had happened to comments on the Graun site... perhaps the duck has struck CiF too?

  66. I can't even see waddya comments atm, spike me ole mate.

    *hums twilight zone theme*

  67. shaz! was just thinking, when i saw a thread about 'schools being too risk averse', that i should post that you would have something to say about that, but would be busy at work.

    and then there you were!

    and there the comments weren't...

  68. right - present-buiying calls.

    i love winter market...

  69. Ah - seems to be back now.

    I knew humming the twilight zone theme would fix it.

  70. Philippa - yeah, that was how I knew the comments were buggered - tried to post on it...
    Hope you're feeling better than you were this morning...

  71. Shaz I would never point and laugh at you, I totally believe that you are doing your best in a terrible situation (one that hasn't happened since last winter).

    Two elderly women have died in Cumbria, one found in her garden after using the outside loo.

    Too upsetting. :(

  72. Afternoon all

    Sky's looking dangerously low today.Think it's about to dump a whole load more of the frozen stuff.


    None of that talk if yer don't mind.Should you go before yer time we'll be holding UT seances every night to make contact with you so yer won't be getting a minutes peace :-)


    Nice one !

  73. Don't we usualy get a few waifs and strays when waddya goes awol? Ally, Jay, anyone?

  74. Hey ! Look !! Tell me this doesn't have summer UT Piss-up potential ???

    Friday, 29 July 2011
    Second Test Match
    England v India, Trent Bridge, 11:00

  75. "Poor old Graun, what a bunch of wankers."

    Nailed it Stoaty!

  76. Jen - you absolutely can point and laugh. It's just typical though... :o)

  77. Ah, my third comment on Whaddya (an answer to kizbot) went up. The two previous ones (about the weird happenings on the Graun website) were lost in cyberspace.

    Where's the foil? And how do you make a proper helmet?

  78. BB 13.44 - Chekhov link -- read it too. When i look at the bods trying to shut him up, know who I prefer . The Swedish "rape" stuff looks like rubbish...

    PeterJ-- that was just the WL homepages, not the "files".

    Duke-- Finland at No1 on Education and No16 (!) on Health made me suspect rather a lot of GIGO on the whole enterprise !

    Frog4 called this am on another matter, but told me how angry she was that she could not get help for the 11 year-olds coming into her collège with huge literacy problems. She's not a specialist in Dyslexia etc and so is searching around for solutions. An angry frog4 is quite something .

    By chance I met another friend on Monday. Director of a large Kindergarten ( Maternelle) . I asked him if he was seeing "trends" . " They can hear OK but don't LISTEN ." Supplementary Q's next time...

  79. Comments are now closed on the Assange thread.

    And is it me, or are there a lot of newly signed up monikers on there?

  80. A woman round here phoned 999 to report her snowman being stolen. Apparently it had pound coins for eyes and teaspoons for arms. Makes me proud.

  81. @frog

    You can still get to the cables through, which redirects - I was just reading some stuff from Brasilia.

  82. Yo Musty,

    Heard about that, I was particularly impressed that they took the whole snowman and not just the eyes and arms!

  83. It's extemely interesting how hard the US is trying to shut down WikiLeaks. What has not been published yet that must be hidden at all costs?

    Assange mentioned something about UFOs - could that be it? ;-)

  84. Here,s a FEEGOOD SONG for any UT members who're under the weather,pissed off with the weather or woteva!

  85. FEELGOOD even.I should also warn those of a sensitive nature that some of the words of the song are a bit vomit inducing but IMO it's a really catchy tune.

  86. thauma -- " Julian Assange:

    Many weirdos email us about UFOs or how they discovered that they were the anti-christ whilst talking with their ex-wife at a garden party over a pot-plant. However, as yet they have not satisfied two of our publishing rules.

    1) that the documents not be self-authored;

    2) that they be original.

    However, it is worth noting that in yet-to-be-published parts of the cablegate archive there are indeed references to UFOs."

    A pot-plant! Now who does that remind me of ...

  87. Thauma, I think the US companies are just protecting themselves from the vengeance of their own Government (whether that vengeance would ever actually happen or not). But as someone said, you can't shut Wikileaks down; taking something off the Internet is like trying to take piss out of a swimming pool.

  88. Trying to take piss out of a swimming pool.

    Just brilliant.

  89. shazz - you bet !!!

    Oh - nice tune Paul. Keep em comin'

  90. H'm, cricket... have a friend in Nottingham... I'm sure she has a sofa, or a bit of floor I could borrow... wonder when the end of term is...

  91. Someone's suggested on the thead that it's a pre-emptive strike against the future banking leaks. That sounds plausible.

  92. Definitely plausible, thauma.

  93. It wouldn't matter in any case, Thauma. It really can't be stopped now.

  94. Phil Woolas has had his booting-out upheld. Shame. Couldn't happen to a nicer bloke. :o)

  95. Hope you are right, Peter.

    Am interested in this insurance password thingy. Must find out more.

  96. ternoon all....have decided there is a god........joy...... home in daylight! don't you love people that cancel on fridays despite this i still get paid...........oh and the sun's shining..........good end to a shitty week

  97. There's an interesting piece here on the Swedish hosting service that's now carrying Wikileaks' data. Judging by the photos, it was apparently set up by a Bond villain.

    I hope they've got their own power supply - perhaps a hydroelectric underground waterfall, or a Dr No reactor?

  98. Ha! I recommend watching the video on that link, too.

  99. Quite a place, that bunker!

  100. Thaumaturge,
    Perhaps David Icke was right.

  101. peter i think your dr no idea fits well....

    "Dr. No aka julian assange: "The Americans are fools. I offered my services, they refused. So did the East. Now they can both pay for their mistake."

    any ol' deluded politico fits: "World domination. The same old dream. Our asylums are full of people who think they're Naploeon. Or God."

  102. Julian Assange:

    Since 2007 we have been deliberately placing some of our servers in jurisdictions that we suspected suffered a free speech deficit inorder to separate rhetoric from reality. Amazon was one of these cases.


  103. Gandolfo

    Hope next week is a better one for you, hon.

    shaz - I think I might have to crack open a bottle of wine later to celebrate the demise of Woolas.

    I feel a bit sorry for his family, though. I knew his wife, although not very well - she was in the year above me at school, and I met him once as a result, waaaay back in the 80s, at a party. Even then if you had cut him in half he would have "political toady" written through him like a stick of Brighton rock...

  104. Oooh - haven't looked at the Assange q & a thread yet. Off I trot...

  105. Squeaks of delight coming from the (virtual) bunker ..

  106. afternoon all

    Not much melting round here yet...but has been a fab sunny day. Shame I was stuck in the bloody office. Managed to get pic of the river on a fag break and stuck it up in the gallery.


    Just had some info about a lockout at the Roquette plant in Keokuk, Iowa. Do you know anything about it?

    Lockout at Roquette America enters month 3

    All - They're now requesting international support - letters of support can be sent from the link above. They've got a pro forma which makes it easy.

  107. Nice little insurance policy he has got going there:

    "The Cable Gate archive has been spread, along with significant material from the US and other countries to over 100,000 people in encrypted form. If something happens to us, the key parts will be released automatically. Further, the Cable Gate archives is in the hands of multiple news organisations. History will win. The world will be elevated to a better place. Will we survive? That depends on you."

    This is like something out of the Bourne Supremacy... hehehehehe.

  108. Even then if you had cut him in half he would have "political toady" written through him like a stick of Brighton rock...

    Like your style, BB... :o)

    and we've bowled the Aussies out for 245 on day 1 at Adelaide - Ponting out for a golden duck. Oh happy day ♯♫♪♫

  109. my word, that bunker looks amazing.

    i love the guy in charge - "i wanted to put a lift in, like Batman..."

  110. "...we will have a rope bridge..."

  111. "...and these a german submarine engines..."

  112. "...this is our klaxon..."

    geeks rule...

  113. Ms Chin... you asked:


    Can you just hold your fire a bit & give me your opinion on this equality strategy business - on the Govt Equalities Office website.

    From the Strategy:

    The Government has published its Equality Strategy. The Strategy sets out our vision for a strong, modern and fair Britain. It is built on two principles of equality – equal treatment and equal opportunity. This means building a society where no one is held back because of who they are, or where they come from.

    Our Strategy sets out a new approach, not built on bureaucracy but aimed at changing culture and attitudes, tackling the causes of inequality and building a stronger, fairer and more cohesive society where equality is for everyone and is everyone’s responsibility. Government cannot and will not do this by dictating from the centre. Instead, our Strategy sets out how we will work with business, local communities and citizens to promote good practice, transparency and accountability.

    The Strategy sets out a new approach to delivering equality, moving away from the identity politics of the past and to an approach that recognises people’s individuality. It sets out a new role for Government, promoting equality through transparency and behaviour change and working with businesses, the voluntary sector and wider civil society to create equal opportunities for everyone.

    The analysis to page 8 is excellent and an accurate account of Labour's record of failure.

    Principles for change on pages 8 & 9 are fine.

    Section 1: Early years, education and social mobility - fine although I think Milburn's appointment is a mistake. Frank Field was interesting on Today this morning.

    Section 2: A fair and flexible labour market - seems reasonable and there are some good ideas there. Incapacity benefit was used by Labour to hide the true scale of unemployment and its enormity needed to be tackled whoever won the election.

    Section 3: Opening up public services and empowering individuals and communities - can't say I'm particularly keen about this but if others want to get involved that's fine by me.

    Section 4: Changing culture and attitudes - I'm quite happy with this section., although it's weak on tackling discrimination within religious communities, particularly among muslims.

    Section 5: Making it happen -bit early to tell - but I couldn't see anything here about an independent evaluation of whether any of the aims and objectives in the strategy have actually been achieved.

    Aim: the public sector will lead by example and empower citizens and communities with the information they need to hold services to account.

    I hope the UK Border Agency is required to adopt this; it's the part of government I have most problems with.

  114. (although, am hoping bosses haven't seen that video, i'll get in on monday and there'll be bits of citroens and potplants all over the sodding place)

  115. Viewing cable 10PARIS58,

    10PARIS58 2010-01-19 09:09 2010-12-01 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Paris

    " ¶8. (C/NF) Fourth, we will encourage moderate voices of
    tolerance to express themselves with courage and conviction.
    Building on our work with two prominent websites geared
    toward young French-speaking Muslims -- oumma.fr and
    saphirnews.com -- we will support, train, and engage media

    and political activists *"who share our values"*. As we continue
    to meet with moderate leaders of minority groups, we will
    also expand our efforts to facilitate grass roots inter-faith
    exchanges. We will share in France, with faith communities
    and with the Ministry of the Interior, the most effective
    techniques for teaching tolerance currently employed in
    American mosques, synagogues, churches, and other religious
    institutions. We will engage directly with the Ministry of
    Interior to compare U.S. and French approaches to supporting
    minority leaders who seek moderation and mutual
    understanding, while also comparing our responses to those
    who seek to sow hatred and discord.
    " LINK

    The US ambassador analyses weaknesses in Fr Soc due to its failure to engage minorities: then outlines actions and tactics by State Dept to promote US ties, further "tolerance in France",in the stated national interest of the US .

    Nothing revolutionary, tho the 'social engineering', and particularly the Media side reminded me of the Cold War CIA investment in anti-Commie Foundations, thinktanks, and very generous student exchange programs and conferences for journalists et al, mini-Bilderbergs for short !

    Venturing up to the road to see if passable, haven't heard any traffic or seen a soul since 8PM wednesday ...

    spammed, then says link too long to process...

    freezing, but will take the car up to the road to make some tracks ... and maybe continue to ... ?

  116. Wikileaks can now be found at a domain name registered to the Pirate Party (arrrggghhhh) of Switzerland:


    ...which was earlier working fine and is now not available. (Swivels eyes, wraps kitchen foil around head and waits in his bunker.)

  117. Videos obtained by wikileaks of the indiscriminate killing of Reuters news staff amongst others:

    collateral murder

  118. This comment has been removed by the author.

  119. Bitey

    "A fair and flexible labour market"

    If this is about equalities- yes equalities, then the definintion is thus: reducing everyone to penury as open borders mean there will be people willing to work in jobs with horrendous pay and working conditions, if people complain as they get further eroded, ship a another group of uncomplaining workers in. Equality! Brought to you by the 'right on' left.

    That is what has destroyed Britian's working class communities. British workers don't have the advantage of favourable exchange rates that means the pittance they might earn and save by sleeping ten to a house can be sent back home where it will go much furhter. I suppose one could perversely argue that is what British workers should do, sleep in dorms while working twelve hours a day in their home communises for a couple of years, then fuck off to rural Poland or Lithuania, perhaps coming back for the harvest season. Complete erosion of communities.... if you so like it.

  120. Our French compadres might be interested in this


    A cable from the US embassy in Paris

  121. sorry I screwed that link to wikileaks - its here


  122. Other than that, don't mean to sound angry, but that is what I have seen in Glasgow. It is certainly no an issue of the origins of the migrant labour. The worst people in this country are the British employers who have been happy to fuck people over- includings some the migrant workers themselves, I know one who is working 7 days a week, probably minimum wage, he does not complain about it.

  123. Charley

    I would like to beleve that we could all be free to move and live wherever we want to.

    Current migration paterns are showing that the majority of immigrants are moving to find work. This is allowing millions to be exploited by unscrupulous employers. Wages for unskilled and agri workers are being flattened everywhere. Many factory workers in India , for example , earn the equivalent of 20p. an hour.

    The richer, better educated people have more choice and a better chance of being treated well - no guarantee that this will continue as economies collapse.

    It is difficult to discuss this - many call you racist if you raise the subject but in fact my concern is for all workers - ethnicity has nothing to do with it. The root problem is the exploitation of people.

  124. Tragedy of the commons Leni. If you want to live a first world lifestyle then we have to be a realist. You're right about specialists and education though, highly skilled workers differ. The issue is countries with high birthrate and low education rates, poor economies, low income or religious/backward dogma preventing them from investing in education.

    In a Jared Diamond sense, some countries are signing their own death certificates. As his subtitle to his book 'Collapse' says... 'How societies choose to fail or suceed'... that's right, choice. While it is sad for the people in those countires, the fact is that some societies by their own leadership's idiocy and ineptitude sow the seeds of their own fate.

    BTW, although I am not angry or anything, please please don't call me Charley.... reminds me of a certain twat on CIF.

  125. Or as Arnold Toynbee said....
    "civilizations die from suicide, not by murder"

    It's Friday night and I'm going out, so I suppose there is no point getting into a tiff, but the 21st ( and beyond) is going to be a hard as hell a time for human civilisation and socirty, as a greater and greater population competes over dwindling resources, as the flower of the enlightenment actually wither in the face of re-emerging fundamentalism and domatism. It is not going to be a nice time.

  126. Charles

    It is very much connected to governance etc - of course at some point is slip over into the debate about asylum as opposed to economic migration.

    As economies worsen and repressive regimes further marginalise sections of their population - to say nothing of climate change - migration will increase.

    we are certainly creating more marginalised people here - increasing unemployment and rationing education though a pricing policy.

  127. Yes, but do you want to end up with a tragedy of the commons situation. It is true that yes, we could feasibly accomadate 120 or 150 million people in Britain, but we are talking about a bowl of rice a day level of quality of life.

    Japan does it ok, but they are a largely monoethnic and monocultural society, which is the great unacknowledged issue.... cohesiveness and unity of purpose.

    Should we take in refugges because they come from areas that are going to have a hellish time from climate change? I'd like to think so, but we would have to prioritise in favour of highly skilled workers.

  128. What is it about beautifulburnout that drives her to try to be 'better' than everybody else on UT? When montana talked about child-abuse, suddenly bb had been abused by her piano teacher. When autism is 'trendy', then her son is autistic. When montana's's son is the spitting image of a famous person, then bb's son is the spitting image of someone else etc etc. There are countless examples and it's so predictable.

    There is nothing that anybody has ever experienced that bb has not experienced more intensely. And sometimes in French! (sigh) I really miss my steak and chips in my local restaurant in the village where I have my second home in France while I ponificate on Cif about the poor people of the world. btw, I'm a buddhist and even though I've got lots of money I'm not a hypocrite(not really).

    Could it be that a very insecure fat person who drinks too much and spends way too much time on the internet feels the need to get some sort of validation from similar damaged individuals who feel inferior? She is so self-evidently superior to all you 'morons' - she constantly says so while pretending that you are her equals. As long as you clap all your little hands and say 'go BB', instead of standing up for yourselves and thinking for yourselves, then you will remain submissive and ignorant. Think about it.

    BB is not your friend. She is a very comfortably-off middle-class wanker who owns two homes and has taken her son out of state education because she can afford to. She doesn't really give a shit about you if it affects her lifestyle.

    turminder good luck with the new minimum wage job if you can find a bus, jennifer hope you can find a decent job, habib you probably have much more to offer if you ever got a real chance, etc etc

    Some people are part of the problem. Vote LibDem!!!

  129. Charles

    We need to work towards feeding everybody - ensuring their security. Making each place desirable to live and work in.

    Question is - how ? That is the dilemma.

    Already boats full of desperate people are being pushed out back to sea in parts of Asia. Large containment camps are pro;iferating across the world - in both rich and poor countries.

    There are 48 million displaced people across the world according to the UN - most not classified as refugees.

    There is an increasing trend to reject unskilled workers in some places with other countries welcoming 'guest workers' on short term contracts at miserable and below local wages. The last things this exploitative host countries want is for these importees to settle or apply for citizenship.

    we live in an increasingly dog eat dog world.

    Japan does not treat its native Ainu people well at all.

  130. Raising a glass of wine to toast Lord Thomas, Mr Justice Tuhendhat and Mrs Justice Davies for having the good sense to rid us of Woolas as a political figure for a few years.

    Let's hope it is a lesson to anyone else who thinks that stirring up hatred against Muslims is a viable option to further their ambitions.


  131. I know, it's all going to get awful, Charles and Leni, but with all this snow and ice things in London are already seriously grim.

    And yet Cameron continues to blithely ignore the crisis like Bush after Hurricane Katrina.

    One of my volunteers told me this morning that she had tried to buy some aerosol whipped cream in a can yesterday and the supermarket had run out!

  132. Evening all

    Here's a beautiful song from JUDIE TZUKEto warm the cockles of yer hearts on this bitter evening.


  133. charles and leni

    [rant]When we stop propping up puppet despots in developing countries for our own economic and political ends

    When we stop waging unwinnable and illegal wars

    When we stop our trans-national corporations leeching resources and destroying local markets and economies for the benefit of western shareholders and consumers

    When we start to encourage proper, sustainable development in those countries, targetting aid to where it is needed, rather that tying countries in to structural adjustment policies that benefit the development of international trade and infrastructure that supplements and facilitates international trade, but bleeds their domestic social provision dry as a trade off

    That is when we can start getting all prissy about how many refugees there are, how many economic migrants there are knocking at our doors

    And not a moment sooner.


  134. Paul!

    Beautiful song that has taken me waaay back to being a teenager and being madly in love with a boyfriend - whose name was Paul, funnily enough - and singing this to him.

    That has really made me smile.

    (My sister saw him a little while ago and he is bald and flabby now, so I made the right decision when I dumped him... :p )

  135. Is bald and flabby not a good look, then??


  136. Many happy returns to the great Jean-Luc Godard, 80 today!

  137. Awww james. I didn't mean to be rude to any one.

    Although I loved Paul G dearly for more than a year, he was never the most good-looking of blokes to begin with (although he was an absolute sweetheart at a time when I was more interested bad boys. Sigh)

    So adding the bald and flabby really didn't assist.

  138. sheffpixie 18.07 -- was it this same one ?


  139. I just never could get into Godard's films.

    Well, apart from that one in which Isabelle Huppert gets spanked, obviously.

  140. Don't worry BB, it's not like I was under any illusions anyway!!

    I tells you what though, as soon as that look comes into fashion, I'll be rocking the shit out of it...


  141. Trying to think what my fave Godard film would be.

    Prolly "Pierrot le Fou" with the beau gosse Belmondo

  142. I've got a mate who works in French film as a "regisseur" - which is a bit like a combination between unit manager, location manager and post-production - Spencer, and I was very disappointed to find out that Isabelle Huppert is, according to him, a selfish, self-interested tight-wad.

    Which is a shame because I think she is a brilliant actress.

    And Depardieu is a complete arsehole too, apparently - for all his humble beginnings, he behaves like the Harry Enfield "considerably richer than yow" character and treats perceived "underlings" with utter contempt.

  143. Frog2

    Did you manage to get out of the end of your lane?

  144. "habib you probably have much more to offer if you ever got a real chance"

    Luke, the opportunity to stick a size 11 steel toe-capped boot right up your arse would suit me just fine.

  145. "Luke, the opportunity to stick a size 11 steel toe-capped boot right up your arse would suit me just fine."


    Feel the force, Luke!

  146. Ha - Some visiting mountain bikers needed digging out. The irony being that they have a Range Rover - chunky and powerful but came here with road tyres. Idiots. I would have expected 'mountain biking' might have suggested mountains and steep mountain roads with snow in current conditions.

  147. Sounds like Depadieu needs spanking too. Though I'm not volunteering.

    I really do fail to get Godard. Probably because I have not seen enough. But I like French film in general so it seems strange to me that he is so highly rated and yet what I have seen of his work did not do it for me at all.

    Maybe the only one I have seen through is the Huppert one (whatever it is called). I did go and see that in the Cinema. But it frankly seemed to me to be a load of pretentious bollocks apart from that one obvious good bit.

  148. French films? Pretentious bollocks?

    That's a bit harsh.

    Even if it is often true...

    French directors do tend to explore bizarre themes in bizarre ways far more than Hollywood does. But I guess they have a different remit, and given their incredibly low productions budgets at times, aren't as worried about box office takings as others.

    But the French* do, on the whole, tend to be more into that kind of thing.

    *sweeping generalisation alert!

  149. Leni - that was funny.

    What is the point of having a Range Rover - or any other Chelsea tractor for that matter - if it doesn't do the biz in extreme conditions?!

    I'll stick with my little Daewoo that cost me £1500, ta. When it breaks for good, I'll get another one that costs the same. :o)

  150. There's a very naughty Depardieu film where he doesn't get spanked so much as getting involved in the spanking, called Maitresse, where he becomes the side-kick to a dominatrix working girl.

  151. But I am not suggesting French film is bollocks in general. I absolutely love Pagnol's Marseilles trilogy, Jean de Florette and Manon Les Sources, not to mention Tati. And there are Truffaut and Malle films I really enjoyed. Plenty of others too.

    It is Godard that seems to just fly by me. But as I said above, I probably have not seen enough of his work.

  152. Oh you are right, I had forgotten that one. Saw it years ago.

  153. How did I forget The Umbrellas of Cherbourg?

  154. I knew Depardieu was a bit of an arsehole but didn't know about Huppert. Please don't tell me Daniel Auteuil is a creep too - that would be the pits!

    Scroll past if you're not a hopeless romantic......

    Just watched great doc on Puccini.

    For any other fans it should be on iplayer soon so check here:

    the triumph of Puccini

  155. Oh and Luke - trying to start a bit of a friday night fracas are you? Well just bugger off unless you've got something a bit more useful to contribute.

    And anyway none of us are drunk enough yet so your timing is shot to boot!

  156. Leni:

    "Ha - Some visiting mountain bikers needed digging out. The irony being that they have a Range Rover - chunky and powerful but came here with road tyres. Idiots. I would have expected 'mountain biking' might have suggested mountains and steep mountain roads with snow in current conditions"

    Those sorts of dick-heads are to be found all over Snowdonia (currently living up to its name) now, not like the olden days :( no respect for the mountains, the terrain, how dangerous it can be, how deadly in extreme cold weather.... my Da' used to do a bit of mountain rescue years and years ago. The stories he told... once, he found one guy sitting, arms around knees and head down like he was trying to keep warm... frozen solid.

  157. Apols for the depressing story.... am feeling strangely blue :( I think it might be the Wikileaks thing, has just made me think that maybe we are on the edge of some kind of terrible doom....

  158. Ach ignore him, Sheff.

    Like I said the other day, it has all been said before by Bitey - Luke is just jumping on the bandwagon because he is bored.

    *blows a kiss to Luke*

  159. Blimey, LaRit - hope you're ok.

    Things are going to change, but I am not quite sure what the change is going to be. And change is always scary.

    Flash mob at TopShop in Oxford Street tomorrow apparently, in protest against Green and his tax avoidance. Haven't seen so much social unrest since - well - the last time the Tories were in. But it will all pan out in the end, and hopefully for the better. xx

  160. BeautifulBurnout said...
    Did you manage to get out of the end of your lane?

    Hehe, and went (skidding a little) to the Best Pub in The World for a couple of hot rum grogs!

    Strangely enough, but not that much for the BPITW, the conversation turned to Globalisation and the Consumer Culture & planned obsolescence, Peak Oil,transport costs,and restoring jobs 'chez nous'.

    The core clientele are the marginal-thinking pretty highly-skilled who might be called 'working class', but really they defy categorisation. Just people who think, and in fact from a variety of class backgrounds in that narrow British sense.

  161. Sounds like it was worth the trek, Frog2 :o)

  162. I'm so pissed off at them moment. I was just winding up after a good day at work, finishing a few things off and feeling self satisfied because a couple of volunteers had done all the Christmas Cards in the morning...

    and at 4.30 the phone rang. It was a guy who is supposed to be driving a minibus for us on Tuesday. He had just got out of hospital where he had gone for a vasectomy. He thought he would be OK but they had told him not to drive for a week.

    So I rang around a few places to try and get a replacement driver no go.

    Now there is nothing I can do but bloody worry about it. I was all set to finish off and relax for the weekend and now I am going to be chewing my fingernails until I sort this out, because we currently have two minibuses and three mini bus loads of old people who want to go Christmas shopping.

    What fucking brilliant timing!

  163. BB.... dunno, just a bit on a downer. Interviewed a disabled guy today, a fueler for the buses, retired on sick leave, spine op that had gone wrong, permanently fucked up and walked like he had had a stroke or cerebral palsy.... just feel that there are all these people living an very tiny existence on benefits who could feasibly be on the streets shortly.... anger gives way to despair :(

    I'll be OK.... just thinking too much, s'all....

  164. need to face freezing kitchen, put the gas rings on and cook something tasty ;)

  165. frog

    Watched one of those go faster boys in his fancy car fuck up spectacularly on my road this afternoon -he was waltzing all over the place - obviously hadn't a clue how to drive on icy snow and kept hitting the brakes. Gave us a filthy look when we laughed.

  166. Spencer - that's a bummer. No mates who could do you a favour for the day? I suppose insurance might be an issue, but most companies will give you a few day's insurance for a named driver for no extra charge on the policy.

  167. LaRit

    i had a too much thinking thing last night.

    I was wondering if I want more for the people here than they want. Is security through sufficient income and assured housing enough - my view is that life should offer so much more.

    It is becoming very depressing and confusing.
    Your disabled man could well be a long term caualty of the cuts.

    Politics is at base level about individual people and the impact on their life.

    Kids slleping rough in parks, old people going cold and worrying about bills.

    Spencer worrying about Christmas shopping trips - he's got me wondering about his old folk now.

  168. "What is it about beautifulburnout that drives her to try to be 'better' than everybody else on UT? When montana talked about child-abuse, suddenly bb had been abused by her piano teacher. When autism is 'trendy', then her son is autistic. When montana's's son is the spitting image of a famous person, then bb's son is the spitting image of someone else etc etc. There are countless examples and it's so predictable."

    It's hell when people on t'interwebby demonstrate the paucity of your own life, isn't it Luke? Perhaps, just perhaps, she's had a full and fruitful life? Perhaps she's seen the world a little. She has some experiences to talk about. That her life is more colourful than your own doesn't make her competitive. It just makes you kind of small....

    Identifying with the things people say, giving examples from your own life that are similar - that's called having a conversation. You should try it some time. It might make you less inclined to snipe at other people from the sidelines.

  169. BB, they need to have a MIDAS certificate to drive the minibus as it is a Community Transport bus.

    If the worst comes to the worst then I might be able to get a private hire which will cost more, and get a non Midased driver. But I don't know who.

    There are a couple of possibilities but I can't really chase them up until Monday and that is cutting things horribly fine.

    There is a driver, but she is a demented Evangelical Christian and I swore I would never use her again (not so much because of the Christian stuff but because was being such a pain).

    The thing that is really frustrating is that the chances are, especially with weather like this, that I will get so many cancellations on the morning that I only need two buses anyway.

    But of course, I cannot bank on that, not being an airline.

  170. La Rit, it is depressing. I feel increasingly like I can't see a positive way through this political moment. The world feels very dark, very constraining, very hostile.

  171. Leni, for fuck's sake don't you start worrying about my old ladies! I was just having a rant because it is gnawing away at the back of my mind a bit. Such bloody horrible timing, just before packing up for the weekend.

    But it is something I have had to worry about a hundred times. In fact the main reason (apart from monitoring) why I think it is time to do something else.

    No need for anyone in Wales to worry about it though!

  172. Spencer

    If there is nothing you can to til Monday, why not set yourself the task of relaxing til Sunday evening? Easy for me to say cos I am a born worrier too ... xx

    Meerkatjie - thanks! I am really not bothered by it, though. Like I said, I have had it for more than a year now bother here and on CiF from Bitey in his various guises that it is water off a duck's back these days. Thank you for your support though. x

  173. Sheffpixie -- as the landlady of the BPITW said (again) on monday night,the power- and money-elite (and those bods in fancy cars)just can't enjoy life as much as we do!

    The real rich/powerful ones operate in an environment of "nothing for nothing" a permanent battle for self-advancement and/or enrichment,and self-protection and suspicion, where all around are trying to use you; whereas the pretty poor just give and help, and it usually comes back....

    much less stressful.

    Hehe to that!

  174. Until that point it was a very good day. My practical worker S who is alright despite being from Yorkshire and having tendency towards the Continental when it comes to philosophy (he is on a warning for bringing Derrida into the workplace, I kid you not) took an Eritrean volunteer with him to run various errands, picking up prescriptions, a hot meal for someone else, bread and milk etc, so no one needed to venture out on the ice.

    They got on really well which is great too because she is rather fragile. While I worked with another two volunteers who were doing the Christmas cards. They got on well and had a good time, which was great as one of them is... well a bit of a challenge and has mental health problems, and the other one is an asylum seeker fleeing a truly grim situation.

    I was doing a CRB form for a Syrian guy which provoked a discussion about whether Syrian guys were all bastards - I of course maintained that they were not.

    Then this afternoon I interviewed a Brazilian woman who wants to volunteer, and got emails from two more prospective volunteers...

    So all in all it was going really well and then... brrring, brrring...

  175. La Rit

    Sorry to hear the glooms have got you - easy enough to fall into them these days things being what they are.

    I bought a bottle of cheap wine tonight and have made a small vat of mulled wine to keep me mellow over the weekend.

    Spencer - I hope you find your driver....

  176. Depardieu is also a big fan of Sarko, like most of the fucking high-earning film stars in France these days.

    For an introduction to Godard, I'd suggest the wonderful "A Bout de Souffle" (I think it's "Breathless" in English), also starring a young and promising Belmondo before he started making rubbish, MOR crowd-pullers.

  177. Thanks Spike, I was going to ask for a suggestion as to which one I should try to give him another go.

    Once upon a time, when there were four or five tv channels available for free, I got my foriegn language film education from the tv, BBC 2 and Channel 4 mostly.

    Nowadays I have a big flat screen tv and 20 or more free view channels and there are never any decent foreign films on. Or if there are they are on at 2.00 in the morning.

    So I guess I will have to make the effort and get a DVD. Maybe from the library before they close it.

  178. Spike

    Gotta love Belmondo in The Professional though.. Blimey.

  179. Thanks Sheff. I have a horrible feeling that it will be the born again Christian woman. She would not be so bad for a one off, but I will either have to lie to her or potentially have a big row because I have not been giving her any work (as she is such a pain) and if we have a row then God might tell her to huff off, so I suppose I will have to lie to her.

    So I would really rather not go down that road.

  180. @BB

    I don't think I have the right hormones.


    Hope you enjoy it.

  181. Frog

    Your landlady is dead right. At least we know whether some likes us or not - must be hell never knowing whether a person likes you or your money.

    My son has a chum from school who is now very rich, but has miraculously remained a good bloke, although he does drive a fancy car. My son is the only one of his old mates who's never asked him for anything. Lots of people hit on him - and he gets quite depressed about it. Not that he's mean or anything but he can never be sure about people - except us, who've known him since he was in nappies.

  182. Spencer - If you get the mad Xtian, stick some gaffer tape on her mouth...!

  183. Just been on surprise trip to Margate to pick up post-op friend/colleague following broken-thumb-pinning at the QEQM hospital. Bloody cold but roads not too bad. Time for dinner and wine now...

    Paul - thanks for Judie Tzuke. Beautiful song.

  184. Sheffpixie -- I've got an example like that too, slowly getting the message that there's a difference between "acquaintances' who maybe at some other time,perhaps, were friends, and real friends. The next step is to imply that they could hmm give some loot away, but wisely.

    For years now we have been wondering how city people would survive when life gets harder, even before '2008', but it is good to hear from Spencer that there is some community spirit there, even a lot. We'll see. Nothing to be gained by getting depressed about it .

  185. Hah! Margate! Haven't been there for years!

    My first husband came from Ramsgate.

    I bet you are all really excited to know that. Especially you, Luke. :o)

    Bon appetit, Shaz x

  186. Frog2

    Maybe it's just me, but I do get the impression that the "broken Britain" meme is deliberately overplayed, because there are pockets of solidarity everywhere - even in cities like London.

    All we need to do is to encourage all the little pockets to join up and fill the spaces in between.

    (Then we need to get pitchforks and torches...)


  187. Thanks! Ramsgate, huh... never been there... Margate's a nightmare. None of the roads go the right way (the right way in this case being the way I needed to go!)

  188. Just been out on my balcony - it's been snowing again, there's hardly any traffic and the city is so quiet, it seems to be in a kind of serene slumber. Friday nights are usually alive with people out and about - barely a soul to be seen. Could get used to this.

  189. BB - and they (maybe, hopefully) won't like the solidarity that still exists, or that is just developing with new mixes of people --see Spencer on that.

    But there are some millions who have never had it so good, and the economy will have to have a big down turn for them to be affected .