02 January 2011

02/01/11


If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. 
-Desmond Tutu 

170 comments:

  1. Morning all

    All very quiet in here this morning!

    Woke up thinking today was Monday, and for that horrible 30 seconds, thought I was supposed to be going to work today and couldn't remember where I was going or what I was doing...

    What a relief to be able to slob about the place doing nothing for the day. :o)

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  2. From Dribbly today:

    GemSpice
    1 January 2011 9:57PM
    Leopold1904

    everyone is welcome at Sikh temples - best veggie food in Britain!


    Yes! The dahl that one always gets in the langar at Gurdwaras is simply the best ever. It never tastes the same when made at home.

    Gurdwaras around my way have increasingly become the only source of a daily, hot meal for many of the new migrants from Eastern Europe as well as the Indians, Africans, Afghanis trying to make ends meet.

    There are so many single men I pass whilst driving to work, who are standing every day, whatever the weather, along a road near one of these Gurdwaras, waiting to be chosen by a builder, fruit / veg pickers etc, for some casual work that pays a pittance. I would welcome something here on CiF from people such as these men, waiting, just waiting for either someone to come by so they can work for a few quid to survive on for another day or for the Immigration & Border Police to turn up with a Sky camera crew in tow. There used to be about a handful of such men waiting along this street; over the past couple of months, the numbers have been steadily increasing to 40 and upwards. My sense is that there will be a lot more relying on places like Gurdwaras to survive on and many more looking for work literally on the street. Let's hear their voices and stories on here.

    ..............

    When I used to post on CiF, I often said that we could not see a re-run of the Great Depression when living in the Internet Age.

    I am always happy to be proved wrong.

    Actually, what I said was that people would not just bleakly and meekly queue for a day's work to - what? - keep a roof over their heads, when that roof is probably the rattly metal one of their car.

    To depend upon charity in order not to starve?

    Just trying to link Montana's quote and Hank's comments, we do need to see, in my opinion, that the conditions which are unfolding and the charade of caring and competent banking, big business and government which is unravelling should actually be a dream scenario for bringing about change.

    As I have said, there is no point in waiting for the likes of David Cameron or Philip Green or Rupert Murdoch or Fred Goodwin to slap their foreheads and declare: "How could we have been so wrong? Where was our humanity? We should be spending our lives helping others, not making the world a cesspit for everyone else and a palace for us and our mates."

    We are not living through a real-life Truman Show version of It's a Wonderful Life.

    Yes, there are people here who do things in real life to make a difference for good and no you cannot realistically abandon everything else in life.

    However, the UK Uncut

    http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/

    campaign started, as far as I know, with a few people talking in a pub and then using their mobiles and emails to start things off.

    The Guardian will never save the world or rescue you. In fact, it will sell you down the river and throw broken bottles at you as the leaky boat passes by their lovely garden party.

    Governments and business make things up as they go along.

    They run on a mixture of guesswork and daydreams.

    They do not have a masterplan beyond: "Everything in the world is mine, even the bits I don't want."

    They just make it up as they go along.

    Perhaps we need to do the same.

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  3. Morning BB

    Looks like I've been sin-binned early, if you feel like heaving me out.

    thanks

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  4. Ace post AB. Seen the drivel from Peter Preston today? Also I'm a bit shook up from yesterday's thread, some seriously bad vibes in there.

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  5. Good post, AB.

    As Anne would remind us, the three most important words in the English language right now have to be: Educate, Agitate, Organise. The first of those is, I think, the most important because until people understand why it is they need to act - not just on an intellectual level, but deep down inside, like a kind of epiphany, an enlightenment - they will be reluctant to do anything that might put their own comfortable, safe little life in question. People are frightened of change.

    So as well as the above, there is also the concept that I adhere to, which is that changing your behaviour yourself, as an individual, having compassion for others that doesn't just translate as pity or a "there there" and a pat on the head, but resolving to do things differently wherever you can to make life better for other people, can ripple out into society and, as well as benefitting others in terms of the help you give, can also act as an example to people who are deluded into thinking that they are not affected by what is going on.

    If they see someone who, by rights, should be kicking up their heels and enjoying the fruits of their labours struggling instead to help the community and help others, there will always be the sociopathic arseholes who will just see it as a sign of lefty weakness. But there will be some who will be inspired by it to do their own part to bring about change.

    So, to summarise: Educate, agitate, organise, inspire and lead by example.

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  6. morning all

    Seems a literal corpocracy is almost upon us. According to the news the gov is going to dole out vouchers to people that will give them access to 'healthy' food and exercise. The vouchers will be paid for by various food corporations.

    The time is fast approaching when political parties and corporate brands will be indistinguisable.

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  7. IanG

    "Some seriously bad vibes in there..."

    Nah. A seriously drunk person with a lot on his plate who has elected me Pariah of the Month.

    Don't worry about it, mate. I don't. :o)

    The problem is, putting his personal abuse to one side, he actually has a decent point to make sometimes. But lately that has been drowned out by his perceptions of who people are and his need to lash out at people.

    All the "prolier than thou" is pretty suffocating, and ultimately useless in the scheme of things. Who you are, or how you were born in life, makes not a jot of difference. It is what you do with your life that counts.

    And abusively ranting at someone on the intarwebz based on what you perceive them to be is kind of counter-productive, especially when they are on the same side you are.

    Ah well. Onwards and upwards. I'm not going to fight with him. Life's too short.

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  8. Sheff

    I saw that on the Beeb website. My immediate worry was that it was food stamps for all through the back door. I am glad to see it isn't that... yet...but the complete bollocks about having to fill in a questionnaire on a website in order to get money-off coupons is really insidious.

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  9. Quite, Ian. I thought I'd left such charming phrases as 'coconut' (seriously, people? Jesus Christ!) back in the good old South Africa of the 80s.

    Atomboy, I really wish that I thought you were wrong about how truly shite this year is likely to be, but you seem depressingly close to Truth (yes, even the big T version). Time to dust off my copy of Paulo Freire. I do think people are starting to organise. I'm struggling a bit with the spectacular apathy I find around me though. But then I live in a small place in the middle of Toryville.

    Feeling somewhat fragile this morning. I'm not sure who thought absinthe was a good idea. It so very rarely is. And it wasn't even good absinthe.

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  10. BB

    Had a quick glance at last nights thread. Seems of the people he met I'm not one he has any time for either - so am joining you in the bourgeoise arseholes corner...hey ho, guess we'll just have to live with it...

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  11. I think I can cope, Sheff. I've got more pressing things to worry about right now. :o)

    Meerkatjie - I missed the "coconut" reference. Not sure I want to go back and take another look though. If it was directed to either Habib or Paul it is bloody despicable, though. :(

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  12. Detroit is looking like a post armageddon city - a taste of things to come?

    Detroit in ruins

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  13. And my fucking train ticket has just gone up from £23.10 to £24.90 for a 35 minute journey and tube/bus travel inside London...

    I make that nearly an 8% increase. Bastards.

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  14. AllyF posted about Detroit a coupla weeks ago on Waddya. Apparently you can buy a house for $100 and the City are thinking of cutting utilities to some areas now.

    Amazing how wonderful a system free-market capitalism really is, eh? :p

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  15. @Sheff, BB

    Those Detroit pictures are incredible - they remind me of these miniature artworks by Lori Nix, who links her work to growing up in Detroit-style natural extremes.

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  16. Those Lori Nix pictures are terrific Peter - there's something particularly heartbreaking about a destroyed library...all that knowledge rotting away.

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  17. Photos and those Lori Nix pieces are both fascinating and horrifying at the same time. So full of despair.

    I wonder if the Nix pieces were what inspired the CSI writers to do that whole "miniature" serial killer story line?

    Linky here

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  18. "Also I'm a bit shook up from yesterday's thread, some seriously bad vibes in there." Oops, sorry IanG, I should know better.

    Happy song, dedicated to you.

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  19. It looks like I am going to be on a merry-go-round of being kidnapped and returned throughout the day, so just a quick link to this:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/a-new-year-message-from-the-people-of-britain-2174149.html

    which in some ways tends to show that we all want personal freedoms and the liberty to sidestep our responsibilities more than we want to have to be bothered with all the silly people scattered and broken on the pavement of life because they were too slow or unambitious to keep up.

    This stream of consciousness rant is from murdochlies

    This all just a diversion from a dishonest government. We want freedom from dishonest governments and Tory controlled media.
    Governments throughout the western world are now tapping the collective wallets and savings of their own people, chiefly to rescue just those private capitalists who were a major, if not the only contributors to the world financial collapse and whose wealth insulates them from the crisis worst effects. Since Thatcher Reagan western governments have been more in the pockets of their rich corporate sponsors and some rich individuals than ever before. The various western economies are run for their benefit only. The corporate world demands austerity on those who have bailed them out and more relaxed laws on their deadly criminal profligacy. For example Goldman Sachs selling investments they knew would fail and telling their rich friends to bet on them failing. No one has gone to jail in the UK and very few in the States. Since Thatcher/Reagan deregulation this has long been accepted as honest and decent business practice. These people we are told are the wealth creators? More lies. Their epitaph should be 'Now I am become debt the destroyer of western economies' The main stream media have the public looking the other way while their livelihoods are pilfered and squandered and their respective countries are asset stripped. Since the early eighties the ordinary people have seen their jobs become less secure and scarce, their benefits taken form them, their pension pots raided by the rich, all on the back of a promise of this would allow more investment and make us all better off. The reverse has proved to be the truth, the nations wealth has been stolen. Thatcher promised to get Britain back to work when we only had just under a million unemployed. The great lie had begun. Unemployment was massively increased to 6 million. Our utilities sold off and our oil and gas given away within a few years of us being held to ransom by the oil producing countries. Banks deregulated. Credit controls abolished, pensions raided. Massive tax cuts for the rich and massive tax rises for the rest of us. The perpetrators now have statues and airports names after them as a token of their betrayal, meanwhile the public are conditioned with a twisted history to accept them as heroes.
    Now we have another Tory government and the lies continue, from no plans to increase VAT, no cuts will hurt the poor, the NHS is ring fenced, all just cynical blatant lies carried by a Tory controlled media that is little more than a disinformation service. The people of this country need to wake up and get wise, pretty dam quick. Dump the Tories, dump the media and dump propping up and subsidizing failed capitalism. I want the freedom to take our broken democracy back from the parasites who are crippling it.

    ............

    PS If anyone is looking for a news comment site which is less repugnant than CiF, The Independent is worth a spin.

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  20. @heyhabib, thanks. Thanks also to @BB for putting that in perspective. I did read the coconut post but it was a bit lost on me - just me being naive I guess ;-)

    One point about the Detroit shots is that appears in the 'Arty' section. Should it not be in the Finance/Business section? Don't get me wrong, those shots are great but the reason behind them is what should worry us all.

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  21. Great rant that AB...has almost cheered me up.

    There are places where it's even worse. The youth of Gaza are also stirring and have issued a manifesto...

    Gazan youth issue manifesto to vent their anger with all sides in the conflict

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  22. Ian

    One point about the Detroit shots is that appears in the 'Arty' section

    I agree but thats the groan for you. There is an issue about making arty capital out of other peoples misery - but images can be very arresting and draw attention to things that might otherwise go unnoticed.

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  23. Happy news, obviously, that David Cameron inherited £300000 from his father's estate. It's nice to have a bit of spare change in January, after the season's excesses. And how very clever of Cameron senior to peg his inheritance just under the level where he'd have to pay tax.
    How clever, too, of him to have gifted his £1.2 million house to his daughters in the last year of his life.

    It's so good to know We're All in this Together.

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  24. BB - peak time travel into London - a journey of 50 minutes from here - costs £110 return from next month here. It's ridiculous, and I don't see how they can justify it.

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  25. Meekatje

    How clever, too, of him to have gifted his £1.2 million house to his daughters in the last year of his life.

    I thought you were only spared inheritance tax if the gift was seven years before you died. Has that been changed?

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  26. I'm not sure, sheffpixie. I remember they were tweaking with inheritance tax in 2009, but since I'll never ever be in a position where it will remotely matter to me, I'll confess to being a bit light on the detail.

    Here's the mirror article, which says the house was handed over in 2006.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/2010/12/31/david-cameron-gets-300-000-tax-free-from-dad-s-will-115875-22816625/

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  27. Morning all.....

    here's your justification from Michael Robertschief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies Meerkatjie

    "At the moment, (the cost of travel) is paid for half-and-half between the taxpayer and passenger. The government policy is that the taxpayer ought to pay a smaller share of that in the future, which is why fares are going up."

    you bloody commuting scroungers!!!! ;)

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  28. @Sheff

    Good stuff from the young Gazans. I hope the movement grows.

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  29. Hurray for rail privatisation, eh? That way the tax payer doesn't have to subsidise travel any more. Not to mention paying huge wages to useless management. Oh. Wait.

    I wonder how they manage to bear it in other countries where they still have integrated transport policies that manage to keep the costs both to user and taxpayer down?

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  30. To follow from the conversation between Monatana and Gandolfo yesterday about the school that had to close because the kids weren't be dressed properly, and the assertation that the state needs to throw more money to solve this.

    I grew up during the last Tory government years. During that time we lived in extreme poverty, barely being able to afford clothes, etc, although there were (and always will be) charity shops available. A socialist would look at this detachedly and say that is was a failure of the state that we were in such poverty, and use this to castigate the Major government. Or, we could look at the actual reason, my parents got divorced, mother off to a council house unable to work as raising a child alone, then met another man who was incredibly violent and abusive, life was disrupted, we had to flee to the women's refuge.

    The fact is that there are some times when no amount of state intervention can do anything- and I find it incredibly insulting that the state is seen as performing the duty of having to tell parents to dress their children- it is up to the individual and individual responsibility. Parents who cannot meet the responsibilities of parenthood should either not have kids or they should give them up to social services.

    Coming home for Christmas has also displayed to me the complete gulf now between me and my relatives. I have an extremely toxic family situation, I have to do everything for myself, and also becuase of all the dysfunctional stuff that happened in my childhood, I have a somewhat conservative outlook. That might make me a baby eater in some of you lot's eyes, but that's where I stand.

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  31. I don't have to commute often, thank goodness. I couldn't afford to on an academic salary, even with the annual rail pass etc.

    If the ticket only pays 50%, they're claiming then that a 50 minute trip costs £200. How is that possible?

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  32. "that's where I stand."
    Well, step out of it and wipe your feet, Charles.

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  33. I'm not even going to begin to address that nonsense, Nap.

    All i will say is: you'll learn.

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  34. Don't bother BB, I've seen so many examples of the deluded left on here just today that I'm not going to address the ideological nonsense either.

    I have learnt anyway. I'm not making a value judgement on which political ideology is right or wrong, but my worldview is no more wrong or right than yours.

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  35. Nice little soundbites you're picking up there, Nap. "The Deluded Left". Lovely.

    You will be in Tory Central Office before you can say "Knife the poor". :o)

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  36. "I find it incredibly insulting that the state is seen as performing the duty of having to tell parents to dress their children- it is up to the individual and individual responsibility. Parents who cannot meet the responsibilities of parenthood should either not have kids or they should give them up to social services."

    great logic there Nap....what is your argument that the state has no role in the welfare of children? because that's how i read it.

    quite often you do not actually follow any logic nap, read your post again and see how many times you contradict yourself.
    How many times did/has "the state" intervened in your life to make it more bearable for you and your mother?

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  37. If all there is is personal agency and nothing else, Nap, why haven't you got a job yet? You're intelligent, articulate, speak more than one language, have a reasonably good education, and have been scouring the sits vac columns, haven't you? You've been doing all the right things.

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  38. nap
    you don't have a world view.......so it can't be right

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  39. AB

    Yes, there are people here who do things in real life to make a difference for good and no you cannot realistically abandon everything else in life.

    Yes If I can't dance i don't want to be part of your revolution.

    Why do we need a revolution? Just watch that Pilger thing(the war you don't see) on ITV player. Is it possible? YES!!!.

    But what we need is people who will patiently explain how and why its possible to those who for whatever reason are not yet convinced.

    What we do NOT need is people who are not yet convinced being subjected to the sort of 'prolier than thou' bitter crap that Hank dishes out.

    Sorry Hank, but its self indulgent and what we are facing is too terrible and too serious for self indulgence. Yes people are confused, misled and (sometimes) too comfortable but if they care enough they can be persuaded of the vital necessity of serious organisation. I can't afford the luxury of caring about someone's w/c credentials frankly.

    When this fucking system goes to war 90% of the casualties are civilians.
    Whwn their system is in trouble 100% of the people who pay for it are ordinary working people!

    By all means be angry but lets use that anger as a weapon against the people who are doing this damage.

    Hank the result of your posts is to convince the waverers that its all hopeless. The ordinary people of this world cannot afford that. Please stop fighting against yourself comrade!
    :)
    Going make meself a coffee shaking with rage here - not good for me ticker!:)

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  40. Too many cheap jokes to be made about Nappy Boy. (damn!)

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  41. Anne - spot on, as always. As I said earlier: Educate, Agitate, Organise but also Inspire and lead by example to encourage others to do the same.

    Anger has always been my dominant life-state (from a buddhist perspective - won't go into all that here). But if properly channelled, anger becomes desire for justice, for righting wrongs and a fuel for militating for positive change in society. Different people channel their anger in different ways. And smart people know you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.

    Habib - Nappy Boy. Reminded me of some excellent choonage, though.

    Lookin' back on when I was a little nappy-headed boy...

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  42. Made me fancy a smoke, BB. Damn good Stevie Wonder tune, though.

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  43. anne

    the pilger film is chilling...everyone should watch it....there is also an interview with assange on ITV player..

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  44. I've got the streamed version bookmarked, Anne and Gandolfo, but I still haven't got round to watching it yet.

    Saw Pilger being interviewed on Breakfast TV about it before Christmas. The presenters just didn't get it at all... but then working for the Beeb they wouldn't would they? Sigh.

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  45. Afternoon all.

    "By all means be angry but lets use that anger as a weapon against the people who are doing this damage".

    Hank knows this, he is angry because in his opinion, we are not yet angry enough. He confronts those who have the most on a daily basis in his work and never forgets why he does the job he does - to stop the wealthy from avoiding paying their due. I cannot condone his outbursts of righteous indignation but I will defend him for his principles.

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  46. You'll forgive me, MsChin, for not being entirely 100% in agreement, but I shall leave it at that. :o)

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  47. he also wrote an article about it in the graun reading the comments of michael white assistant editor explains a lot about the guardian....
    a snippet.....
    "Those who used the presence of WMD to justify the invasion were not lying, so far as i was aware then - and now . They believed Saddam Hussein had WMD at his disposal, as he had long wanted them and his domestic enemies to believe it because it propped up his regime, That is why coalition forces entered Iraq wearing cumbersome equipment to protect them from such attacks."

    what a prat.......

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  48. I cannot believe they can still spout bollocks like that, gandolfo.

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  49. AB I want the freedom to take our broken democracy back from the parasites who are crippling it.

    Well said!

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  50. Jesus, Hank, you don't half do a first-class impersonation of a twat sometimes. I know you aren't, for the reasons MsChin gives and others.

    But coconut, FFS?!

    Also, BB spends a good amount of her time IRL defending people who are getting fucked over by the system.

    Signed, a rugby-loving Bryan Ferry fan. x

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  51. Jesus, Hank, you don't half do a first-class impersonation of a twat sometimes. I know you aren't, for the reasons MsChin gives and others.

    Seconded Thauma - and what Anne said...

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  52. On a totally different note....

    I've been pondering anarcho-syndicalism recently.

    Having been a bit too close to the bloody revolution stuff (dressing the wounds isn't pleasant) I find the idea of it difficult to stomach. I also have always had some gutteral resistance to the notion of nation states, probably a reaction to the particular form of nationalism within which I was educated. The idea of building revolution within the shell of the system has always had more instinctive appeal to me - and I've been wondering lately about finding ways to organise along syndicalist lines in my local community and work context.

    But on the other hand, I recognise that attempts to 'change the system from within' often seem to end in cooption.


    Had a conversation recently with a friend who suggested AS was doomed ultimately to collapse into small state capitalism. I can't see it myself. I wondered what you lot thought?

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  53. thauma - spot on.

    sheff - must catch up with you soon.

    Family invasion now imminent .. will back later.

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  54. Nap -I have learnt anyway. I'm not making a value judgement on which political ideology is right or wrong, but my worldview is no more wrong or right than yours.

    Just take some time to view the Pilger prog (the war you don't see) and tell me if those who favour such things are right to do so.

    Honestly can you really say there is no moral difference between a society that cares for those who fall on hard times and those who allow them to starve and in a time of increasing unemployment forces them to jump through oncreasingly irksome hoops to get any help at all.

    Its as simple as this, do we believe that human beings should be supportive of each other or do we believe that the strongth, the wealthy and the powerful should inherit the earth while the poor go to the wall.

    I don't need to tell you which of those two scenarios is current do I? Can't you see the difference?

    have a look at today's quote from Desmond Tutu some things you can't be neutral on.

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  55. Meerkatjie - it's an attractive idea. Work outside the multi-nationals, make the fuckers fail, and therefore also bring down their whores in the government.

    The practicalities are a little more difficult, but ironically the fuck-the-poor attitude of our overlords make it all the more likely.

    Some of it is already occurring in Detroit: local groups are banding together, tilling the plots of the abandoned houses to grow food, bartering services and so on.

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  56. msChin I amire Hank for his principles too but by venting his anger at those he feels (perhaps sometimes rightly?) have not yet fully 'got it' he may well be preventing them from coming to the conclusions he feels they should.

    I don't quarrel with his anger, just with his chosen targets. Being a revolutionary is a serious business and none of us can allow our personal frustrations, however justified, to get in the way of our goal. If you knew how often i scream at the radio or even punch a pillow or just plain cry!!!

    But abuse an ordinary blogger because his views seem to be less 'left' than mine? Never

    I just go on 'patiently explaining'. On the web its even more important on the web because you may not be just alienating your target but loads of unknown lurkers.

    I want a juster, fairer world, I want people to be free of poverty and to be able to live in peace.

    Its very important.

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  57. Just another quickie before I have to dash out again, hair and cloak flying and flapping in the wind, musketeer thigh-boots creaking like the caulked seams and rigging of an old galleon and me wheezing and clutching at crumbling walls for support as passing strangers cross the road and shield their children's eyes from the spectacle of a derelict hero in a costume salvaged from the skip behind the fancy-dress shop.

    annetan42

    Thanks, but it was a quote from someone called "murdochlies" over on The Independent.

    As for Hank, I still think he is one of the good guys, who makes mistakes, like all of us. If we cannot willingly forgive, how can we expect to be forgiven?

    I don't know whether it is part of the government cutbacks and austerity measures or just me, but the quality of working-class intellectuals seems to have taken a nosedive recently.

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  58. Hank, for what it's worth, if you're reading this, I think you got the wrong end of the stick last night mate.

    As I said before, I'll be going March 26th, would be good to meet anyone else who'se planning on attending. And if anyone wants to break the journey by stopping here the night before/after, more than welcome. That goes for you too. Ok.

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  59. Anne
    "Honestly can you really say there is no moral difference between a society that cares for those who fall on hard times and those who allow them to starve and in a time of increasing unemployment forces them to jump through oncreasingly irksome hoops to get any help at all."

    No one is letting anybody starve. I despise the Tories, but that is crazy.

    And BB, refusing even to answer me is no diffferent from doing a Brackenism and declaring victory half way through an arguement.
    The reason I have a job is down to, on the one hand living in a neoliberal society, on the other becuase I don't have any personal/family contacts because I come from an underclass background.

    Meerkat- that type of middle class masturbation you talk about will be more damaging to the working class than the Tories. It's incredibly easy for academics in secure positions to make grand hypothesis, but the poor and the vulnerable will be fucked. Nation states evolved over time for a reason- if any anarchist is true to their word then they should live in a cave and wear bear skins- they don't have the right to 6000 years of knowledge and technology developed and nourished by organised states.

    By all means criticise me, call me a hard rightist, a fascist even, as you are free to do.

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  60. Finally Anne, although I don't want to bring it up, given the circumstances I think I might as well. We were talking about definition of socialism a few weeks ago.

    Stalin called himself a Socialist. Stalin died. 60 years later Anne says he wasn't a socialist. She calls herself a socialist. Suppose 60 years after your death someone claiming to be a socialist declares that you weren't a socialist. Don't you see the logical flaw in your arguement?

    Socialists have a unique ability to disown their comrades. It allows them to totally ignore the mistakes and disasters carried out in it's name, and so the 'brand' of socialism is untarnished, and can be portrayed throughout history as the good humble people versus the forces of evil, and nothing else considered.

    Anyone who labels themselves as a socialist is a socialist. No ifs or buts.

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  61. He confronts those who have the most on a daily basis in his work and never forgets why he does the job he does - to stop the wealthy from avoiding paying their due. I cannot condone his outbursts of righteous indignation but I will defend him for his principles.

    Can't agree. Leaving aside the fact that the primary reason for anyone to do the job they do is to earn a living, I think the idea that an HMRC employee's role is to stop the wealthy avoiding paying their due is optimistic. Their role is to ensure that no-one avoids paying their due - and they don't seem too concerned as to whether they do this to the best of their ability or not. I would suggest that
    HMRC cause more hardship to those who can least afford it simply by being incompetent.

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  62. '"No one is letting anybody starve. I despise the Tories, but that is crazy."

    are we talking nutritional starvation? if so then..........
    eating shit food because you can't afford to eat decently does,doesn't it nap just a quick e.g from: http://www.european-nutrition.org/

    "Undernutrition (also known as malnutrition)

    Undernutrition is a deficiency of one or more nutrients resulting from a poor diet (especially a lack of fruit and vegetables)
    It is estimated it affects 2 million people in the UK at any one time
    Typically around 10-40% of patients admitted to hospital are undernourished.
    It is estimated that 10% of people over 65 living in the community are malnourished"


    and if you're not how about....
    ...starving people of opportunities and hope....

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  63. Gandolfo, there is abosultely zero reason for children in this country to suffer malnutrition, yes it happens because individuals may not be able to cook, have poor skills in that field, vulnerable, etc.

    Besides the 'eating shit food because you can't afford it' is absoulte bollocks. For the price of one takeaway I could afford to buy healthy and nutritious food for five evening meals. Where I agree the issue is is with things like cooking and domestic skills, and if nessesary for the state to intervene to teach domestic skills then that would be money well spent.

    What do you (and most of you on here) know about poverty anyway, all living your nice middle class lives swanning around. You spout paternalistic middle class twattery, You are very offensive against poor people assuming they can't take care of themselves, that they need the enlightened middle class to look after them.

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  64. Napoleon

    It's incredibly easy for academics in secure positions to make grand hypothesis, but the poor and the vulnerable will be fucked.

    You haven't been paying attention to the Detroit story. It's precisely because the poor and vulnerable have been fucked that they've developed anarcho-syndicalist communes.

    They literally get nothing at all from the great neoliberal state that is the US. No JSA (it runs out after 26 weeks), no housing benefit, fucking nothing at all.

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  65. Nap

    The reason I don't want to argue with you - the same reason I don't want to argue with some others as well - is because you are like the little boy who stands up in a room full of grown-ups and says "fuck" to try and get a rise out of them. I can't be arsed with it, to be honest. When you have got something to say that shows the remotest inkling that you are here to debate rather than to try and shock on the one hand and disparage people on the other, I will do my best to respond politely.

    But, as I said earlier, life's too short.

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  66. nap
    fuck off I know more about poverty than you both here and abroad, and don't come the middle class bollocks with me...if anyone is middle class it's you and your perceptions of people and frankly your perception of the world evolves around one thing....yourself

    me offensive about people? It's you that has been imposing the working class ignorance idea on this blog nobody else....let me remember isn't it you that called the working class ignorant chavs that needed intellectualism...
    fuck off and double fuck off

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  67. Charles:

    "Stalin called himself a Socialist. Stalin died. 60 years later Anne says he wasn't a socialist. She calls herself a socialist. Suppose 60 years after your death someone claiming to be a socialist declares that you weren't a socialist. Don't you see the logical flaw in your arguement?

    Socialists have a unique ability to disown their comrades. It allows them to totally ignore the mistakes and disasters carried out in it's name, and so the 'brand' of socialism is untarnished, and can be portrayed throughout history as the good humble people versus the forces of evil, and nothing else considered. "

    Sorry, but this is just silly. I might call myself a six foot tall black man, but it doesn't make me one. Similarly, Stalin was, in real sense, a socialist. He did not live by socialist political principles. There is a clear, identifiable value system, and a clear system of politics that can be identified as 'socialist' and Stalin simply did not abide by it in anyway.

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  68. FFS Nap, we've been through this before.

    Last time you went with the 'It's a piece of pish to cook delicious healthy meals for a fiver' argument it was demolished, and thoroughly so!

    You can't just say 'there's absolutely zero reason for people to suffer malnutrition' and hope it's going to stick this time. Where's your evidence? Have you really considered all possible scenarios? Do you really think you're in a position to make such a definitive, absolute statement!?

    (If you are, forget your teaching English gig, and get yourself over to somewhere like UNICEF, or Oxfam, because their research departments seem to have missed your 'smoking gun')!

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  69. Or, we could look at the actual reason, my parents got divorced, mother off to a council house unable to work as raising a child alone, then met another man who was incredibly violent and abusive, life was disrupted, we had to flee to the women's refuge.

    Ah. So it was your mother's fault you were poor because her first marriage didn't work out and she subsequently had a relationship with someone who turned out to be violent. Nice.

    and I find it incredibly insulting that the state is seen as performing the duty of having to tell parents to dress their children- it is up to the individual and individual responsibility. Parents who cannot meet the responsibilities of parenthood should either not have kids or they should give them up to social services.

    Well, we'll leave aside the fact that what others are saying is that the state's role should be to assure that all parents are able to provide adequate food and clothing for their children, we'll just note that you apparently believe that your mother should have given you up to social services, since she didn't provide for you adequately when you were growing up.

    The reason I have a job is down to, on the one hand living in a neoliberal society, on the other becuase I don't have any personal/family contacts because I come from an underclass background.

    Ah -- of course! All those parents who have to send their children to school in inadequate clothing have no one but themselves to blame for their situations -- it couldn't possibly be that they, too, are unemployed because they live in a neoliberal society and have no personal/family contacts because they come from an underclass background.

    But the great Napoleon Karamazov -- he's an unappreciated genius who simply can't be blamed for the fact that he's still unemployed after all this time. He just doesn't have the right connections!

    BB is entirely correct, Charles. If you claim that others must take full responsibility for their poverty and unemployment, then you have no right to turn around and make excuses for yourself. You don't know their circumstances and you've no more right to judge them than you think I have a right to judge you. It makes you the worst sort of hypocrite.

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  70. Hank

    I've left you a post at the end of yesterday's thread.

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  71. Interesting comment from Scipio1 on the 'calling time on capitalism' thread:

    Why is the 'what's the alternative' argument considered to be an unanswerable repudiation of possible alternatives to the capitalist system. Strange how the Fukuyama thesis of the historical inevitability of liberal capitalism seems to have takien such deep roots. Please note the deliberate irony of my wording. We have no real idea of what the alternative might be, just as the Kings and Emperors of Antiquity had no idea of what a post slav e/feudalist society might be.

    The present situation is one where globalized capitalism is clearly out of control, particularly the financial sphere. Governments are to all intents and pruposes playthings of transnational corporations and international market and financial flows. The salient fact is the ongoing malfunctioning to the system - a process which will get worse until it reaches unresolvable dimensions. This is a recurrent historical phenomenon whether the ardent defenders of the faith like it or not. Whilst all the nonsensical, featherbrained articles of faith - this is as good as it gets and it is forever - are trotted out the Iceland ice-sheet melts. The stupidity of the human species is such that they often move in the direction of self-destruction rather than embrace disconcerting fundamental change. The future could go any way. History is a matter of human volition in the long run, and nothing - not even the unquestionable love-object of liberal capitalism - lasts forever.

    What is my alternative? What's the alternative to jumping into a lake. In any event it is not for me to decide, but a matter for future generations who are able to think and reason unlike the present lobotomised humanoids who have been programmed not to think.

    Happy New Year

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  72. What do you (and most of you on here) know about poverty anyway, all living your nice middle class lives swanning around. You spout paternalistic middle class twattery, You are very offensive against poor people assuming they can't take care of themselves, that they need the enlightened middle class to look after them.

    Go fuck yourself.

    You don't have the first fucking clue what anyone else here has lived or is living through.

    I'm raising a child on less than £600/month. That puts me well below the poverty line in the US. My son is well-clothed and well-fed -- his needs come before anything else for me. Hell -- his wants come before my needs most of the time. The only clothes I have that didn't come from the clearance racks at Wal-Mart are hand-me-downs from friends.

    I can't tell you how many nights I've cried myself to sleep wondering how I'm going to pay this bill or that. How often I've had to go into overdraught to pay my rent. I drive a 17 year old car (cars are a necessity here -- there is no public transportation) and how the hell I'm ever going to afford another one if/when this one finally craps out, I don't know.

    Apart from trips to the doctor (in a town 23 miles from here) and chaperoning two school trips, I have not been outside my town in about four years. I have never been able to afford to take a holiday with my son -- not even for a weekend.

    So, you take your "What do you (and most of you on here) know about poverty anyway, all living your nice middle class lives swanning around." and you shove it so far up your pompous, judgemental arse that you regurgitate it out your arrogant, hypocritical gob, you odious little fuckwad.

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  73. Charlie

    I'm sorry mate but you deserve the battering you're getting.You need to try and stand back a bit and think about how your thoughts fit in with real life.As Montana has demonstrated there are plenty of people who are doing everything and anything they can to keep their heads above water and do the best for their children.Yet largely through no fault of their own lives are at best precarious.So it's understandable that it's red rag to a bull for them when somebody comes along who has no idea about their individual circumstances but who nevertheless feels justified in making value judgements about them.

    At some point in your life you are going to have to stop intellectualizing and theorising about stuff and get a reality check.

    ps one final point.When he was a Tory MP in 80,s the jounalist Matthew Parris stated that it was possible to live healthily on benefits and for two weeks he tried to do so to prove his point.Needless to say he failed and after just two weeks he was in debt.A single childless young(ish) healthy middle class man couldn't survive for just two weeks on the sort of low income many working class people have to live on for most of their lives.Think about it!

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  74. "and after just two weeks he was in debt"

    Yeah, and instead of breaking his knees, they just gave him Julian Glover....

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  75. @James

    Lol! Although allegedly he was on his knees when he first met Glover!

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  76. Do yourself a favour, Charlie: go away and live for a while before you start running your mouth about things you really, really don't understand. Twerp.

    That aside, Happy New Year and all that stuff to all. If your feeling a bit lethargic, this should perk you up.

    The Raconteurs - Salute Your Solution.

    The last 59 seconds or so of screaming, mondo gonzo distorted guitar work (by Jack White or Brendan Benson, I don't know which) will put a big smile on the face of any guitar fan...

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  77. Bitterweed

    I may take you up on your kind offer. I'll see if other members of my union branch are doing owt first, but I will be taking part in the demo.

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  78. MsC

    Am still out of touch with the whats going on - what demo is this? The only one I know about locally is the anti cuts one on 29th Jan starting in Weston Park.

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  79. Here's a track for all those who love their MUMS

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  80. sheff

    26 March in London. BW mentioned it on yesterday's thread - I just assumed that you would be joining in, my friend!

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  81. sheff

    http://action.unison.org.uk/page/content/march/

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  82. Ooh and it's on a Saturday too... I should be able to make that!

    I should be able to put a couple of people up - maybe three if no-one minds the sofa - if they want to stay down here.

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  83. I hope to go to the March one. I'm trying to sort out to go to the Jan one, but it depends whether I can afford the squillions of pounds it'll cost to get there by train....

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  84. Definitely up for that one MsC. I'll book it in now. There'll be coaches going from Sheffield no doubt.

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  85. Be great to have a UT contingent...

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  86. Actually Montana I do have sympathy for you, so I can only apologise for lumping you into the middle classes.

    As to blaming my mother- no. I am trying to say there are some things beyond the control of all, nobodies fault and to try and fix a political solution to that is futile.

    It is precisely becuase I have lived my life and have experience that I say what I say. A lot of people here have the ideological blinkers on- not me.
    How do you answer for acts of abuse I see mothers doing to their kids, be it physical or psychological? Whose fault is that, the individuals's? the state's?

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  87. Nap, When I say I am a socialistI mean:

    1) I believe that the problems we face today are caused because:

    Society is divided into 2 classes, namely
    Those who own the means of production and run the financial system - the bourgeois.

    Those who have to work in order to survive with even minimal decency - the proletariat.

    The bourgeois want to purchase the labour of the proletariat for the lowest price possible.

    The proletariat want sell their labour for the highest price possible.

    This creates a conflict in society called class war.

    The state is essentially an armed body of men (the forces, the police) that has the role of controlling this conflict in the favour of the bourgeois.

    By removing class society by placing the ownership of the means of production in everyone's hands (real public ownership under democratic control) the role of the state would wither to simply organising things - ensuring that roads are repaired, houses built and that people can find work in their chosen field etc.

    Freedom of speech real democracy, no poverty no fear of hunger no fear of repression.

    Any system that does not 'tick all those boxes' at leastdoes NOT fulfil the true definition of socialism as understood by Marx and Engels.

    The only socialist thing about the Soviet Union was public ownership, but this ownership was controlled NOT by the Russian people but by the Communist Party and (as i said before) essentially by Stalin as leader of the Communist party. There was no democracy no freedom there was a degree of financial security though.

    But Socialism it wasn't. not by the understanding of any socialist I know. Just as Cameron doesn't mean 'we are all in this together' however many times he says it.

    People lie, people like Stalin (and Cameron) love POWER over others, they will lie to get it.

    We have to learn to recognise these people and put structuresin place to protect ourselves from them.

    Do go on ITV player and watch 'the war you don't see' A more horrific example of lying governments compounded by a refusal of the media to 'speak truth to power' does not exist in this century.

    BTW the Labour party isn't Socialist either, never was and never will be. It was however founded to 'give a voice in parliament to the working man' (quote fro original constitution).

    But it has always had socialists in it - why? because (and I've said this to you before), as the Communist Manifesto says Socialists do not form their own parties they join the parties where working people can be found. Why? because they have to talk to working people and explain their world view.

    The present leadership of the LP is no more Socialist than Stalin the fact that some of them may use the S word is just part of the smoke and mirrors of politics.

    Its good to question people's views and not blindly accept them.

    To sort out what socialism is try reading the communist manefesto and then judge Stalin (and me or any other self defined socialist for that matter).

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  88. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  89. Anne- hopefully the 21st century will see a return to humanity living within it's means. As we will be running out of natural resources and with an increased population, we will hopefully banish the excesses of the past. Of course, of what few resources we will have left I would hope they are shared more equally and the body politic of nations (and nations working together) would ensure a decent standard for all.

    I don't agree with the capital and labour division though. Many people in capital started out as labour. Many people with capital will depend upon labour. I have no faith in Marxism though, I'm sorry but the crimes committed in the name of the ideology are too great to ignore. I certainly don't believe that 'anyone can get anywhere if they work hard enough' but how do you explain the fair number of people from working class backgrounds who go on to be doctors, lawyers etc and swell the ranks of the bourgies? Do you consider them traitors? This is where I find class identity pointless.

    As to the state being all about the police in favour of the Bourgeois, sorry that is nonesense. The state exists becuase it is merely a continuum of the tribe, and because we have complex societies rather than mud huts there are divisions of labour into specialists and their are hierarchies. The best result is a harmonious balance for all in the tribe. How that is to be acheived remains to be seen.

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  90. "How do you answer for acts of abuse I see mothers doing to their kids, be it physical or psychological? Whose fault is that, the individuals's? the state's?"

    Does anyone really think the world is this straightforward? Perhaps instead of looking for ideological blinkers it would be useful to try to understand the complexity of a socialist understanding of the world. it certainly doesn't boil down to 'whose to blame' in this kind of simpleminded way.

    I'm not sure anyone has or would suggest there's no agency whatsoever. That would be dim. But similarly dim - or perhaps more so - is the insistence that everyone is somehow miraculously free to choose the life they desire, that hard work always pays, that the good and willing succeed. Our choices are always constrained by our context. To imagine it is otherwise seems to me to be spectacularly wrong-minded.

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  91. I have never said that people are entirely free to control their lives Meerkat, merely that sometimes people make decisions against their interests, and the state cannot always step in. I gave a personal article (trashed so eloqunelty by Montana) where the state had no interference. Of course I don't blame my mother for it. Nor am I trying to 'blame' anyone. Merely pointing out these things happen. That was why I brought up the issue of the kids- what can we do, who can we blame? No-one. And that includes the state/government. Just becuase I had that shit situation under a Tory government doesn't mean that it is by default the Tories fault. Just as when those children at Gandolfo's school turn up innapropriately dressed, how can you absolutely define that as being a political fault and exploiting such a situation for such purposes? Especially when you don't know for certain.

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  92. MsChin
    Will see you there then, one way or another.

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  93. Well actually the state can step in, (it did after all give my mother a council house) what I meant to say is that it cannot be held responsible for the root cause of the problem

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  94. re, the Pilger film.
    Have you ever read anything my Medialens Anne? They do a good job.

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  95. Charlie

    Upward social mobility is on the decline in this country.So as time goes on i think we'll see fewer and fewer working class people becoming doctors,lawyers,politicians etc unless things radically change.And as far as the police are concerned they are the agents of the State and do the State's bidding for them.Also i can tell you that policing in middle class areas is polls apart from that in working class and especially Black and Asian working class areas.Although i will concede that in the latter things ain't as bad as they were in the 80's.

    FWIW i like you but i think you still have a lot of living to do.And hopefully in ten years time your lifes experiences will have tempered some of the views you have now.For instance simply making negative generalisations about the poor is unacceptable IMO and adds to the scapegoating of them that is becoming increasingly endemic in this country and elsewhere.And i suspect the cyber battering you took earlier was because you unthinkingly hit a nerve with some people here.

    I accept that some people here maybe don't try and see the world through your eyes.For from what you've said about yourself you haven't had the easiest of lives.But do you try and see the world through their eyes?

    Anyways i really hope your time in Russia will be a positive experience for you.But FFS don't view the experience through rose tinted glasses.Be street wise and look after yourself.In every society there are people of both sexes and from every social,cultural and ethnic backgound who are total shits.

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  96. Oh and btw Nap, we both live on a planet where one sixth of the population (about 1 billion) go to bed hungry every night.

    Are you comfortable with that? What is your solution?

    Read the Communist Manefesto here

    This is the document that essentially founded modern Labour movement, founded on the marxist theories of historical materialism.

    Thats where I'm coming from, if you want to sound as though you know what you are talking about do some reading and then make up your mind. As I said you are right to be confused all sorts of arseholes call themselves socialists, Ed Milliband has been known to do so ffs!

    I would much rather argue with you when you have actually found out what it is you are talking about, at the moment you don't. Please take this as kindly advice from a 68 year old with nearly 40 years experience in the Labour movement.,

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  97. Nap
    the root cause is caused by governments...are the people starving to death in sub saharan africa complicit in their own starvation, are the people of afghanistan complicit in being carpet bombed, are the kids that go to school in flip flops in surrey complicit in this? No it's governments that, essentially organise society, are to blame because they organise society in a way that benefits themselves and the economic interests they protect


    yes and i guess the state can step in and pay your housing benefit and your benefits, your education and health care and fund safe houses for abused women because you and your mother are a worthy cause, obviously those chavs are less worthy.......and only have themselves to blame

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  98. Meerkat & sheff

    I could drive us down - would be much cheaper than the alternatives & we wouldn't be tied to someone else's timetable for the return journey.

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  99. paul
    hi!

    i think you'll find most people haven't had easy lives for diverse reasons, it's just they don't go round using it as an excuse to spew bile on others

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  100. Nap in feudal times you were mostly stuck in the same class class all your life and so were your children.

    Under capitalism people can and do move between classes. This was an advance over feudalism. But just because an individual can move from one class to another doesn't prove that class doesn't exist. Economic systems change and capitalism is no longer a revolutionary force, it is in a very real sense blocking the progress of mankind. In a way its getting senile, the cause of the present crisis shows that the economy is in the hands of madmen who believe that money can make money. It can't only human labour can create wealth and its time for the labourers to take over the machine and create a better world.

    You give up on a project after the first failure or even after many failures. If we had done that in the medical field we would never have cured any diseases.

    No, study the mistakes of the past and learn to correct them. We have to move forward to a better system, I honestly don't think the planet can much more of capitalism's greed frankly.

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  101. Thanks Paul. Yes I am partly to blame, too combative.

    Gandolfo-- I did not say no-one was less worthy. Please stop straw manning me. Just because something is not caused by governments, it does not mean that therefore the individual is to blame. To argue the complex causes on a blogsite would be a waste of everyone's time. For example, the sub Saharan famine is caused by climate change, not governments or individuals

    Afghanistan is a criminal war and I have consistently spoken out against it.

    "yes and i guess the state can step in and pay your housing benefit and your benefits, your education and health care and fund safe houses for abused women because you and your mother are a worthy cause, obviously those chavs are less worthy.......and only have themselves to blame "

    Total bollcokry, total straw manning. Is that the best level of debate you can muster? I never ever said anyone was more worthy or deserving than anyone else.

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  102. It is precisely becuase I have lived my life and have experience that I say what I say. A lot of people here have the ideological blinkers on- not me.

    I don't know as that I've ever encountered someone in possession of so much smugness with so little justification for it. You really do need to take Mishari's advice and go the fuck away until you've grown up enough to have a clue what you're talking about.

    How do you answer for acts of abuse I see mothers doing to their kids, be it physical or psychological? Whose fault is that, the individuals's? the state's?

    Nice little bit of goalpost moving there, Charlie. The discussion was about children who have to go to school in clothing that is not appropriate for the weather -- not children who are abused. There is a rather a large difference. If you can't defend your original statements, either shut the fuck up or admit you were wrong -- but don't try to claim you were talking about abuse. You most certainly weren't.

    Abuse, by the way, is not limited to the "underclass" as you so arrogantly call them. There are rich people who beat their kids, too. The fact that you've read a few Russian novels doesn't make you an intellectual and it sure as hell doesn't make you better than them. Get over yourself.

    And, by the way, I neither need nor want your pity, so you can shove that right up your smug arse, too.

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  103. OK Anne. I'm certainly not an adovcate of the free market capitalist world view, but I can't see a return to 19th and 20th century socialist theory. I'd be more interested in a meritocratic technocracy. Especially when the 21st century is going to have serious issue with climate change and resource depletion. Anyway I'm watching that Pilger film. About half and hour in, very similar to this book..here

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  104. "I don't know as that I've ever encountered someone in possession of so much smugness with so little justification for it. You really do need to take Mishari's advice and go the fuck away until you've grown up enough to have a clue what you're talking about."

    Look in the mirror. Ignoring the issue and simply resorting to personal abuse is pretty smug in my book.

    "Nice little bit of goalpost moving there, Charlie. The discussion was about children who have to go to school in clothing that is not appropriate for the weather -- not children who are abused. There is a rather a large difference. If you can't defend your original statements, either shut the fuck up or admit you were wrong -- but don't try to claim you were talking about abuse. You most certainly weren't."

    The discussion can be applied to many subjects, abuse, family breakdowns, children not being clothed, countless others. Sometimes there are situations where it is not the state's fault, not the individual's, just a combination of events. To use such situations to make political points is IMHO childish.

    "Abuse, by the way, is not limited to the "underclass" as you so arrogantly call them. There are rich people who beat their kids, too. The fact that you've read a few Russian novels doesn't make you an intellectual and it sure as hell doesn't make you better than them. Get over yourself."

    I have never once said I was better than anyone else. I've never claimed that reading a few Russian novels make me an intellectual. I never even claimed myself that I'm an intellectual. Other people called me it, ripped the piss out of me for it, bullied me at school for it. As to calling people 'underclass', I don't arrogantly call them that, I call them that based on our national statistics classification, the ABC1.

    Anyway, y'all can breathe a sigh of relief and stick two fingers up at me, I'm watching the Pilger film. Goodnight.

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  105. "I gave a personal article (trashed so eloqunelty by Montana) where the state had no interference."

    Yes, but I think the problem with the way you're framing this example is in the rather over simplified notion of 'the state' that you're using. Realistically, we're not talking about 'that state' are we? Social organisation is rather larger (and smaller) than the state. Your mother's experience is a consequence of numerous factors - some may seem more 'personal' than others. But can you really not see how contextual factors framed and constrained your mother's agency? Gender and class, intersecting within a global socioeconomic system that privileges some categories of human over others.

    And then of course, in the case of domestic violence, there's also the clever trick capital plays in the construction of 'public' and 'private' spaces. The idea that the home is a haven in a heartless world, that a man's home is his castle.

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  106. "I could drive us down - would be much cheaper than the alternatives & we wouldn't be tied to someone else's timetable for the return journey."

    That might work well, if it's not an inconvenience to you. I imagine it would be me and Tim though - would that be ok?

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  107. Just unspammed one of Anne's posts from earlier.

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  108. climate change causes famine...mmmmmm quite simplistic there nap
    starter for 10 and here's a clue.....government corruption and misuse of government resources.....

    the rest i think montana has adequately answered

    i adapted my level of debate nap to yours...banal i know but hey........

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  109. Meerkat

    No problem to me or sheff either, I imagine! As sheff says, a UT contingent would be good. We'll sort summat more definite out nearer the time.

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  110. I accept that some people here maybe don't try and see the world through your eyes.For from what you've said about yourself you haven't had the easiest of lives.But do you try and see the world through their eyes?

    The thing is, Paul, Charles is full of excuses for himself -- he's made plenty of them today -- but he has nothing but judgement and scorn for people whose life stories are probably not all that much different from his own.

    If he'd ever shown a modicum of compassion for others who are in difficult situations, if he'd ever displayed a hint of humility or deference to the experience and wisdom of others here -- I'd be happy to cut him some slack.

    But there are people here (and, no, I'm not including myself in this) who are vastly more intelligent, well-read and experienced than he who have tried -- calmly and politely -- to engage with him and show him where his arguments fall flat, and he responds with arrogance and insolence.

    That's why I have no time or patience for him.


    This springs to mind, for some reason.

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  111. It's the arrogance that gets to me, Montana, and that is the reason why I scroll on by these days.

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  112. It's the arrogance that gets to me, Montana, and that is the reason why I scroll on by these days.

    Which is why I no longer read Hank's posts. No compassion, just hatred and scorn for those he considers less worthy than him. God help us in the aftermath of Hank's revolution.

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  113. Happy New Year to everyone here.

    this came to mind, reading tonight. Not directed at anyone much.

    I am seriously thinking about going to the March demo in Londres.

    Original/Scientology/Helen

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  114. Apologies, that does sound a bit provocative... I like them though :-)

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  115. Look in the mirror. Ignoring the issue and simply resorting to personal abuse is pretty smug in my book.

    What issue have I ignored? Anything you've said today that I haven't addressed directly has been thoroughly pulled apart by others -- no need for me to cover it, too.

    You use personal abuse all the time -- just because there are no sweary words in it, doesn't mean it isn't ad hominem insults. Fuckwad.

    I never even claimed myself that I'm an intellectual.

    This is a joke, right? If I could be bothered to look, I'm pretty sure I could find at least a half-dozen examples of you referring to yourself as an intellectual, probably twice that. That would be you referring to yourself as such -- not saying that others have called you that and bullied you for it.

    I'm not saying you deserve it but, if when you go "amongst the people in the narodnik style" as you are wont to do, you speak to people the way that you address people here, it is little wonder that you've found yourself receiving some unpleasant attention. Seriously -- a little humility goes a long way.

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  116. (((until you get to the end of the song))

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  117. Hi and Happy new Year to you, Hel!

    Come and join us in London, be good to protest together in a sort of UT united kinda way.

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  118. MsC

    Count me in for the drive down, if you're up for it, that would be great! We could arrange to meet up with Bitters, BB (if she can make it), and anyone else from the UT whose planning to go.

    At least we'll all be kettled together - we could make it a party - we're good at those!

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  119. Hey, Hel. Thought much the same re turning up for the 26th March demo.

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  120. sheff

    Yes, I was including BW & Mrs BW. Plus I'm sure my dad-in-law would feel it a privilege to bail us out if need be ...

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  121. Hello everyone; just watched that "The War You Don't See" by Jon Pilger.

    That should be compulsory viewing on the national curriculum for anyone above the age of 16.

    I wish I could say it was shocking but to my great shame I had an inkling about this sort of shit all along.

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  122. Yeah, MsChin, I probably ought to just scroll past -- I don't really have much problem ignoring Bracken's cuntishness any more. And god knows, if he's too arrogant to listen to Annetan, he's never going to take to heart anything I ever say to him -- but the hypocrisy of all of the excuses for himself and none for anyone else -- that's why I find him so much more offensive than Bracken.

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  123. Hehehe - if we get kettled, we should at least take along a primus stove and some sausages... :o)

    At least we can thank the students for being in the vanguard, as it were. Padded woolly hats to act as truncheon buffers, bottles of water, hi-energy bars, heavy duty Tena Lady in case we need to pee and padding to all our extremities. :o)

    Hi Hel and Happy NY to you too!

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  124. Montana

    It's the teacher in you, you just refuse to give up ... which is greatly to your credit.

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  125. I really want to... I am disgusted and angry and upset in equal measure by what I see happening all around and shocked that most of my friends just shrug and say, well what do you expect, other countries are worse off, what can you do... etc. It leaves me struggling to reply in a coherent manner... Why do all my friends seem to appreciate it is shit but seem just resigned to it... With no fight... I am however, actually quite shy and anxious around new people (with a face that just looks cross all the time apparently), however I do have one mate, my brothers ex, who is very politically engaged and may be up to it...

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  126. On another note, I have just, for the second time in my life, reported abuse directly to the mods. The Nick Cohen thread has been over-run by Hungarian fash, and some of the anti-jewish comments are fucking disgusting. Not to mention screeds and screeds of posts in Hungarian, and the personal attacks on Cohen for being a Jewish puppet journalist, etc.

    Outrageous.

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  127. shaz & BB

    The more the merrier.

    chekhov

    I take it you're up for the demo as well?

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  128. :-), MsChin.

    Last time he wound me up as much as he has today, someone else told me that it's appalling that I'm allowed to work with children!

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  129. BB

    I saw smtx's comments on Waddya about the Cohen thread and took a quick peek. This is what we are up against.

    Made me think about Medve, wish we knew that he is OK.

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  130. Montana

    Someone else clearly has no idea what they are talking about!

    Where is dear Bitey, btw? Thought he would have popped inky now to wish us a happy new year.

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  131. inky? I type 'in by' and the Mac changes it to inky?!

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  132. Not to mention screeds and screeds of posts in Hungarian,

    Whatever happened to the bit in the "community standards" policy about no foreign languages in comments? I've been seeing more and more all the time & it doesn't get deleted. My first-ever deletion on Cif was a comment in Cornish on a Tatchell thread about Cornish. Harrumph!

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  133. MsChin

    Bitey's gone all quiet. Either he is back behind the Great Firewall of China, or he has given up trying to vilify us and learnt that we are actually rather nice people for the most part and he is wasting his time. :o)

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  134. The only thing I can think in relation to that thread is that all the mods have either gone home, fallen asleep or are still drunk from NYE...

    Some of the comments are really vile.

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  135. the cat does not like ska at all apparently.. oh dear, have I also cleared the online room?

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  136. "chekhov

    I take it you're up for the demo as well?"

    Hi MsChin, I've never been on a "demo" in my life before but if it means meeting up with comrades from "UT" I'll move hell and high water to be there!

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  137. It wasn't Bitey!

    I'll e-mail Medve -- right now, so that I don't forget. No clue what's happened to him.

    On the subject of what you're/we're up against these days:

    Yesterday I noticed a comment underneath a video I watched on YouTube (no, I don't remember what video it was I saw this on). Someone wrote (this isn't quite verbatim, I don't think. And it wasn't asterisked as I'm about to do):

    Two dislikes?? Must be two P**i cunts -- they can fuck off back where they came from.

    The thing that really got me (apart from the sheer ignorance and hatred) was that there was nothing about the video that would have given anyone any reason to make such an assumption -- it was a music video. Some people just seem to be so full of hate that they'll use the flimsiest of pretenses to express it.

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  138. Hel

    Then the cat has no taste, imho. And please come & join us, we're quite friendly IRL honest.

    And I am off to bed, need to readjust the old body clock ready for work on Tuesday morning ...

    Night all.

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  139. Montana

    I know it wasn't Bitey on that occasion, it was just that he sprang to mind for some reason to do with uncalled for remarks!

    I think Boudican has tried emailing Medve recently. Medve has made the occasional post on CiF so we know he's out there on the interweb somewhere.

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  140. damn mschin, the only thing the cat really likes is me! nn ;-)

    I will keep any eye out and see what you guys arrange... always lurking... i have a while yet to get over myself!

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  141. NN MsChin!

    I am setting my alarm for 7.30 tomorrow irrespective of what time I go to bed, just to make sure I am tired enough to sleep tomorrow night. Argh. Masochism.

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  142. BB excellent! He is not reacting at all whereas the ska made him pointedly turn his back on me. it's the best I'm going to get out of him I think :-)

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  144. Hel - you can't go far wrong with a cat who likes Trentemoller! :o)

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  145. Hank

    Dunno if you're reading this but I just scanned through last night's stuff and tbh you're turning into something of a fundamentalist..don't get me wrong...I like you, I like you're politics..know precisely where you're coming from...and think you're a righteous guy...and you're correct; there's a distinct cleavage on here between...basically...those who think liberals are part of the problem ie. half-arsed, self-serving posturing useful idiots..and those who think liberals are most of the way there.

    From what I read last night, it seems you're either pissing people for the sake of it or you've totally lost it and thrown in the towel...you know fuckin well you're not persuading anybody with outright abuse...which incidentally, you used to be good at..although, inherent to being 'good at' abuse is choosing a deserving target...since on here, we're devoid of the sort of instinctual right-wing gobshites who populate CIF you're lashing out at any slight deviation from your own 'manifesto'...fuck knows I'm the last person to bring Freud into any rational argument but I reckon you ought to look into his 'Narcissism of the Small Difference'..stopped clock etc.

    You used to write some fuckin brilliant stuff..you know that...turning up to slag off Paul...who writes some exemplary stuff and probably shares 95% of your beliefs is daft, counter-productive and beneath you...and you're laying into BW for no fuckin reason...and Habib...it's fuckin pointless and crass.

    ...hard to express this next bit without lapsing into full-on Guardianese 'therapy-lite' euphemisms..but you seem to either be in a 'bad place', a very 'good place', on a booze-fuelled elated plateau or you're just very fuckin angry...hopefully the latter...but whatever it is...and I wouldn't dream of telling you what to write..or who to address it to, but maybe put a bit more thought into choosing your target and who your targets ought to be...and get yourself out for a drink next time around.

    btw..by all means tell me to fuck off and mind my own business etc, just remember...I couldn't give a fuck...but there are people on here who used to rightly respect you and are losing it fast.

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  147. I don't know! I am too old for the camping festies now! I can imagine he may have done both, but you don't hear of him so much these days. Would have been about 4-5 years ago if he did.

    I saw him in the Ocean Rooms in Brighton a few years back, which was brilliant because it is only a small venue.

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  148. well, the last one I went to was 2006.. also getting old, or at least starting to feel it! and i have dodgy knees and hips.

    (my deleted post by the way just said... duck. as in get out of the way, not a ref to the mad hermit guy).

    i have no desire to get caught in the cross fire of someone else's row... which is why i may well delete this post too, then run away and not check back in a month. insecurity, peh, mugs game.

    How do you feel about house?

    My kitty is a Mylo :-)

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  149. Hel

    Re house, I love tech-house, but not so keen on funky house, although I will dance to it. Mylo, of course, r0xx0rz.

    I hope you don't disappear! Rows break out from time to time, but you don't have to pay any attention to them if you don't feel like it.

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  150. BB, might disappear for a bit and then be back again, it's a stupid thing really, I used to be very confident but then had a really bad patch of depression (never had it before, hope to fook I never do again, but my mum has had many such ooh" episodes"...) I was prescribed some anti-ds that made it so much worse, I am totally fine now, in fact feeling pretty damn fine but I have a lot more respect,compassion and understanding than before and a lingering anxt it might come back!

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  151. Love Lauren Laverne, not her band, but she is a cool gal :-)

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  152. No worries, Hel. You have to do what you have to do. Been there, done that etc. a few years ago. Would have gone completely doo-lally without music to lift me up. :o)

    I need to get to bed too though, cos I will feel like shite in the morning otherwise. Day one of the non-alcohol non-rich food detox has gone well so far, even if it's left me a bit crotchety and craving chocolate!

    NN all xx

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  153. and anyone else that is still around

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  154. Alright Montana, Gandolfo, BB et al, I'll try and be toned and measured and open to various opinions. Goodnight. Belated happy new year.

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  155. Hank

    I'm going to pretty much echo what monkeyfish has said, I'm afraid.

    I think you are a clever bloke who can be brilliantly inspiring and funny and perspicacious and challenging. You can be tender and protective of the things you value and you can ruthlessly eviscerate stupidity and hypocrisy.

    They are all things we need and, sadly, you no longer seem to be providing them.

    I have always hoped that you are cutting people to ribbons somewhere else and throwing in the few valued words of encouragement and solidarity as well.

    For my part, I simply miss having the old Hank around to bump into and exchange ideas and see what you are thinking and feel better and enlivened for the experience.

    I miss things like you offering that video clip I still treasure as an experience I would have missed had you not thought to offer it at that time, when it just made me feel elated and glad to be alive and convinced that we can make things happen.

    I hope things are not too bad for you, Hank.

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  156. Hi Montana

    I wasn't either preaching or sniping in my earlier post.I genuinely don't know whether Charlie is more likely to respond to your approach,my approach,anne's approach or anyone else's approach here when he's challenged about his views.Hopefully it will provide a learning curve for him and teach him that in the adult world people don't take any prisoners if you cross certain boundaries with them.

    I've been more or less taking care of myself since i was 15 so i sort of understand where you're coming from when you say that at 22 he's an adult etc.But in my job i sometimes have to deal with young adults in their late teens/early 20,s who think they know it all .And some of them are young for their ages.And i've learned that whenever i slap them down it's always best to pick them up again.And in most cases it seems to work.They do seem to learn something from it.

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  158. Didn't think you were preaching or sniping, Paul. Just explaining my viewpoint.

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  159. Paul, I guess I've given up on trying to influence foolish people, which in no way means you should.

    I feel a bit like this, but nowhere near as cool.

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  160. Hi Habib

    To be honest with you i get confused at the politics of this place at times.Whilst i accept that identity politics have proven to be flawed insofar as they can create as many problems as they address i try not to be too judgemental of those who dismiss them out of hand.Sometimes the problem has simply been one of how policies have been implemented .And how they've alienated other groups of people in the process.

    I guess it's this whole thing of people viewing the same world but from very different perspectives.Perhaps these issues are easier to address when you actually meet people in the flesh.Respect of course has to be two-way!

    Thanks for your link.Enjoyed that.And in return here's one from The Blackbyrds

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  161. Can't be arsed with all that bollox so deleted my 2.09am post.Don't wanna know!Instead here's a classy tune from STEVIE

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