08 January 2011


Aargh!  My internet connection and/or both of the browsers that I use are conspiring to raise my blood pressure to dangerous levels.  It has taken me way too long just to get to the post editor to type this.  No way I'm trying to do image searches & all that right now, so you're just going to have to pretend they're here.


  1. BTH

    Clause 4 was harmless. It lay at the back of a cupboard somewhere; in practice, it committed them to nothing. The repeal of clause 4 was a signal, a line in the sand, it announced that Thatcher's 'reforms' were here to say. It was an invitation to all those who'd done well under Thatcher that they'd nothing to fear from a Labour government.

    With the clarity born of 16? years hindsight, you seem to share the unshakeable conviction of those at the time who thought it just had to go...those who'd decided that there was no turning back and no alternative.

    Couple of things...hindsight is one thing; let's test your foresight...after all, Thatcher's latest bunch of disciples have brought about some decidedly momentous changes.

    1) Any unshakeable convictions about anything we've seen just lately?...d'you think that in 16 years you'll be asserting that X or Y was blindingly obvious and absolutely necessary at the time?

    2) Do you really think common ownership has gone forever? Will we continue to insist there's no alternative the 25th time we have to bail out capitalism...will we still insist the market self-corrects...will we assure ourselves that it was simply another set of extraordinary circumstances, another sigma event...will there still be any feckless poor around to blame...bringing down global finance yet again through their avarice and desire for a living wage or heating in the winter or a day off at Christmas? What about the 26th time?...27th?

    I'm not so certain we've seen the last of common ownership...OK there'll be a 'dynamic' new name involved..Integrated Stakeholding Consolidation or some such...and there'll be some arsehole around insisting we waste half our time and money instituting ersatz internal markets and targets...but it'll come.

  2. OH Jesus...I've just seen the future of the 'new left' and Laurie Penny and Sunny Hundal are at the helm...the Shipping forecast just sent a warning to icebergs everywhere to watch their backs for a lumbering great lopsided tramp-steamer heading their way...

    I wonder if Laurie's calls for greater equality will mean a pony for every little girl...and whether Sunny can stop bullshitting long enough to slip in the odd piece of bullshit...he really is the most appalling thing on the net...fuckin arrogant, deluded power-craving shithouse...at my count, this is at least the third radical new progressive alliance he's tried to front...you think someone might start to wonder whether 'radical new progressive alliances' are safe in his hands.

  3. MF - maybe he's a fifth columnist for the establishment - any new movement looks like it might go somewhere, they send him over, a sort of typhoid mary for the new left...

  4. MF: I heard Hundal talking about this on the radio yesterday, with a couple of other acolytes including some American 'netroots' fraud. Fortunately, the panel also included Ian Bone, who spent the whole segment shouting 'careerist' at them all and advocating the destruction of property. As I was doing the same, it was quite entertaining.

    Hundal - moving from 'why brown people should vote Tory', via 'the Guardian endorses the LibDems and I'm with them', to Ed Miliband-backing Labour stalwart - is the pseudo-left careerist of Bray.

  5. And you can find Ian Bone's description of the event here with a link to the audio.

  6. morning all

    some beautiful writing that actually means something......

    "To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service."

    RIP ClauseIV bloody poetry.....

  7. PeterJ

    just listened......sunny hundal comes across as a real prat....well he is a real prat and actually says nothing, as do the others...Ian Bone is great though wipes the floor with 'em......hundal is a patronising git...."make people aware...of tax evasion" blurb as if people don't realise what's happening......jesus

    "careerists making a living off the backs of others..."
    sums them and the whole new labour crowd up nicely.......

  8. We were promised a piece on CiF on Catherine Hakim's lousy publication, 'Feminist Myths and Magic Medicine'. There was some suggestion that CiF might even approach Hakim herself. What did we get?

    Tanya Gold.

  9. MF

    Between the 'new left' and the 'new feminism', I'm beginning to wonder if I've been sleepwalking for the last few years.

  10. From nuisverige on Tanya's thread:

    "In my household, I earn all the brass and my missus cleans the house, washes my shirts and cooks my supper. I'm happy with that arrangement and so is she".

    I sincerely hope she spits in his supper.

  11. just read that on that thread MsChin........I reckon nuisverige is a troll.....that or some tory front bencher....

    I reckon the old cat-dog poo number is better than saliva though.....

  12. It's OK Montana.... the lovely pic from yesterday will suffice.

    Morning ;)

    3rd day of luke warm water in our flats after the boiler broke down.... I smell and will just have to get washed the old fashioned way - with a flannel in the sink!! I can't imagine what it must have been like in N.Ireland.....

  13. La Rit

    Sorry to hear that. There seem to be a lot of knackered boilers this winter, particularly those which have recently been installed under the 'Decent Homes' stuff.

  14. Gandolfo:

    A beautiful quote.

    MsChin: She probably scrubs the toilet bowl with his toothbrush hehehehehe....

  15. Morning all

    Haven't even looked at CiF yet today but by the sounds of it I better not bother - Tanya Gold commenting on the Hakim report? Fab.

    It just shows how serious the Graun think the issue is, doesn't it? Pah.

  16. MsChin:

    Seems to happen every winter in these flats... old boilers and pipework.

    Luckily, they at least replaced all our windows with new double-glazed ones - a huge difference.... but not a hot, hot tap at the moment.....

  17. Morning BB - how's you this morning? I am feeling good that I didn't have a drink last night, but I must say, I still feel like I've had a 6 day hangover this morning.... ahhhhh... the joys of withdrawal!!!!!

  18. OK - off to have my stand-up bath and wash my hair in the sink......

  19. Morning all, just had a quick peak at the Guard awful news and did this.

    Song for La Rit :-)

  20. Hi habib

    in fact....jack friggin shaw has just validated that he is a complete fuckin' tosser....amongst other things.....

  21. Watcha gandolfo!

    Yeah, this is the prick who wanted to ban the wearing of burkas, not because they suppress women, but because it's important to see someone's face when you're talking to them.

    I guess he doesn't use the phone much.

  22. Jack Straw - words fail etc.

  23. "in any event, they act like any other young men, they're fizzing and popping with testosterone, they want some outlet for that"

    Biological determinism as well as racial stereotyping. Would someone please scrape me off the ceiling ...

  24. also was a protagonist in the quashing of clause IV.....rest my case m'lud.........
    i despise straw as much as blair and all the rest of them.......

    how ya doin' habib?

  25. Max Maclean, formerly of West Yorks Police, is one of my heroes, btw.

  26. mschin

    i'd give you a hand but find myself in the same predicament.......

  27. Only once, in my professional life, have I 'lost it', and that was over sexual exploitation of young people. Someone told me it "wasn't a priority for the area". I swore at them, reminded them that it was their stautory duty to safeguard children & young people, and walked out. And no, it wasn't a police officer.

  28. Not so good, gandolfo, but stuff like this makes me smile.... fucking stupid laws. Of course, you wouldn't know what they are in Italy, right? ;-)

  29. Not so good, habib? Sorry to hear that.

    Stuff like that also makes me smile in the face of fucking stupid laws too.

  30. Biological determinism as well as racial stereotyping

    Bloody Jack Straw - laying minefields...again! Someone should sew his sodding mouth up.

  31. Hi sheff - plus superglue.

  32. Sorry to hear you're not doing so well, Habib. Hugs.

    Niquabitch are superb, btw. Saw that a few months ago. :o)

    Jack Straw is as weasely and mendacious a little bloke as ever there was. He wouldn't know integrity if it jumped up and bit him on his scrawny arse.

  33. habib.....sorry to hear that hope it's transient...

    mschin, sheff......think permanent tongue removal is the only real safeguard gives a long term guarantee...

  34. Some days, I do feel that all the twats and shits have won. Today (after little sleep) is one of 'em. Bankers bonuses go ahead,the self-appointed netroots crapola,Tanya Gold as a columnist, Straw and Blinkett still weaselling around, ManUtd top of the table...

  35. Haven't looked at Cif in nearly 3 weeks. No withdrawal symptoms noticeable.

    BB - good news on your mister!

  36. Are you still in the sleepless zone Alisdair? My sympathies. It will pass, eventually, although thats no consolation when you're nodding over your breakfast having resisted for the nth time throwing the baby out of an upstairs window. Not saying you would consider it - but I did!

  37. Cheers, for the concern peeps x

    It's just switching from one medication to another, spins you round, up, down, sideways. Not important, wish I hadn't said anything. Embarrassed.

  38. thauma

    Congrats on the self-exile - may follow your example there, as it just leads to the 'all the twats & shits have won' feeling as Alisdair says.


    Wait til the little un's a teenager & comes falling in drunk ...

  39. Jarvis Cocker had it right, Alisdair...

    Well did you hear, there’s a natural order.
    Those most deserving will end up with the most.
    That the cream cannot help but always rise up to the top,
    Well I say: Shit floats.
    If you thought things had changed,
    Friend you’d better think again,
    Bluntly put in the fewest of words,
    Cunts are still running the world,
    Cunts are still running the world.

    Now the working classes are obsolete,
    They are surplus to societies needs,
    So let ‘em all kill each other,
    And get it made overseas.
    That’s the word don’t you know,
    From the guys thats running the show,
    Lets be perfectly clear boys and girls,
    Cunts are still running the world,
    Cunts are still running the world.

    Oh feed your children on Cray fish and Lobster tails,
    Find a school near the top of the league,
    In theory I respect your right to exist,
    I will kill ya if you move in next to me,
    Ah it stinks, it sucks, it’s anthropologically unjust,
    But the takings are up by a third, Oh So
    Cunts are still running the world,
    Cunts are still running the world.

    Your free market is perfectly natural,
    Or do you think that I’m some kind of dummy,
    It’s the ideal way to order the world,
    Fuck the morals, does it make any money?
    And if you don’t like it? Then leave.
    Or use your right to protest on the street,
    Yeah, use your rights but don’t imagine that it’s heard, Oh no no,
    Cunts are still running the world,
    Cunts are still running the world.

  40. habib

    Embarrassed? No need!

  41. Have a heart MsC - the poor man's only just started...! He's got the terrible twos to get through first.

  42. Cheers, MsChin. Reminded myself of a song, though.

  43. A fusion of Alisdair's and Habib's current experiences here, perhaps?

  44. Ha ha ha ha! You are a wicked woman, BB!

  45. Alisdair



  46. monkeyfishes will play.......

    brilliant mf....hate that shite hundal.......that should wipe the smirk off his face

  47. Good stuff! :o)

    And Habib - I try my best... :p

  48. Oh nice work, monkeyfish!

    "let a thousand flowers bloom."
    Says Sunny.

    He really is a fifth columnist. Anybody fancy any cake?

  49. @BB

    Glad to hear the old man doesn't need surgery. All the best!


    Oi! United being top of the table is one of the few consolations in my life at the moment. Now if only the Glazer filth would sell us to some Qatari scum who might at least stop leeching all the money out of the club...

  50. Now, the whole Eastenders thing, which I stayed out of because I'd recorded all the episodes during my absence and was catching up. Can someone shocked by the SIDS/baby theft storyline briefly tell me what they see the problem as being?

  51. Spike, a United fan and you like Eastenders...
    It's so difficult to keep respecting you!

    Just kidding, pal, good luck tomorrow, from a red scouser.

  52. Spike

    Timing - NYE, FFS; inaccuracy - I know of no-one who has ever tried to snatch another's baby after SIDS (and after almost 20 years of involvement in support networks, I know a lot of cot death mums & dads); prog directors sought expert advice & then changed the plot to suit sensationalist agenda.

    Will that do for starters?

  53. And Spike

    There is always a surge of people seeking support & advice after a prog airs a difficult subject like SIDS - in the charity sector, we don't have enough funds or volunteers to fulfil the demand on services. The cot death helpline used to run 24/7, but keeping that up was impossible. I know: in the past, I've been one of those volunteers answereing the calls and one of those volunteers supporting someone over a longer period as a peer befriender. It's a big ask, that level of sustained commitment, but you do it because you also needed that help and support once.

  54. @MsChin

    Right. The storyline is pretty ridiculous, but that's nothing new for Eastenders.

    I can't help feeling though that a lot of the complaints are coming from people who don't watch Enders. Ronnie Mitchell hasn't stolen a baby simply because her own died, she has a huge back story of being sexually and psychologically abused by her father, forced to give up a first baby when he made her pregnant in her early teens, later being tricked by him into rejecting that baby when she came back as a young woman, then when she finally realised the truth, her daughter being knocked down and dying in her arms, and when Ronnie got pregnant again, her father attacking her, resulting in a miscarriage, etc. etc.

    So I don't think the storyline is saying women facing cot deaths in general are likely to go out and steal a baby. Just that the character Ronnie Mitchell who's been about as traumatised as it's possible to be has lost it completely.

    But on the other point, if there were insufficient resources to answer the calls resulting from the storyline, that's certainly something the BBC should have anticipated and taken into account.

  55. @habib

    If you think that's bad, I watch Casualty and Holby City too. ;-)

    Cheers and good luck to you too!

  56. Spike

    I am familiar with the Ronnie character, but still feel that the BBC have trivialised SIDS and perpetuated an unjust image of us cot death mums as deranged. We're not. But we do experience a great deal of self-blame and unfounded guilt, which is unique to SIDS.

  57. Regards and respect to you, MsChin.

  58. @MsChin

    I'm so sorry. SIDS is a terrible thing and I can't imagine the pain of losing a child - infant or older - but as a father, I can easily imagine that any parent who does will be endlessly thinking "What if I'd..." and wrongly blaming themselves.

    It was always going to be a minefield dealing with the issue in a soap and they should certainly have avoided combining it with child abduction. We'll see how they resolve the subplot and if they manage to make the outcome more satisfactory.

  59. It's more fundamental even than that, Spike, it's a recognised psychological affect of loss from SIDS. It's because you are searching for an answer to the 'why?' question and there is no answer. If someone dies from a disease or accident then you have a reason for that death, however unjust it may seem: I never will have an answer.

  60. Helen Dunmore re-reads Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada a great book for anyone who's not read it yet

  61. @MsChin

    Yes, I can understand that.

  62. On a more cheery note - Arec has just got me over on Waddya for failing in my idea of what a giant stompy robot is!

  63. Excellent paragraph in that Alone In Berlin article, Sheff:

    "It's we who must do it . . . These words are the core of the book. The "we" here is the Quangels, but it cannot avoid implicating everyone who reads the sentence. The "we" to which Anna and Otto belong is the "we" to which we, reading, at least aspire to belong. Or if we don't, we belong to some other "we" which is all too vividly characterised in the novel: among the criminals who denounce for loot or plot for advantage, among the deliberately blind, the form-fillers, time-servers of the regime or dutiful fulfillers of quotas, whether these are quotas of armaments or heads in baskets. And then, "must", when everything in the Quangels' society tells them that, on the contrary, they must not. All the imperatives are on the other side, but they continue to act on the certainty that the "we" to which they belong cannot do otherwise. This is not to say that they don't doubt themselves; they do, reasonably often, but their certainty, like faith, is capable of admitting doubt without collapse."

  64. MsChin - I read that too! His tongue is very firmly in his cheek, though, I reckon. :o)

  65. Mschin - really sorry you had to go through all that, and more power to you for helping others through it.

  66. BB - Its a good piece about a great book - I really recommend it

    A piece on Mary Coughlan in the paper reminded of this song of hers

    Blue light boogie

  67. Re SIDS, A woman on any answers this afternoon said that after she lost her baby, a neighbour wouldn't let her see her baby as she was afraid her baby would be snatched. Simply appalling! Especially as this very rarely happens.

    It is I think a sad reflection on the commercial fight for audience figures that infects almost all our media that this important subject had to be sensationalised so much.

    I don't watch Eastenders, so thanks Spike for explaining the story line to me. A bad case of conflating too many issues - each one would have made a good story line on its own.

    Mschin, I do feel for your loss, as you say its not having a reason that makes it worse. My daughter lost her baby a few months back (died in the womb at 3 months) but at least she knows why and has been told its unlikely to happen again.

  68. Anne

    A bad case of conflating too many issues - each one would have made a good story line on its own.

    I agree. I don't watch EE either but i should have thought, knowing a couple of people who lost babies through SIDS that that alone would be quite harrowing enough. But seems to me TV companies vy with each other to create more and more implausible storylines for their soaps. Guess its about ratings.

    The class warriors on here will be pleased to know that the Archers scriptwriters recently presented fans with the demise of the only aristo they had, an amiable if rather wet greenie - who fell off the roof of his very own stately home, whilst the soaps most annoying character, a whiney female with an eating disorder has been allowed to live after a bout of pre-eclampsia. More overwriting in my view and all very underwhelming in the event.

  69. Monkeyfish has been a busy boy over at Lib Conspiracy today:

    " isn’t the idea of trying to organise the grass roots a good idea?"

    yes..couldn't agree more

    …but you seem to have assumed that grass roots organisation being a good thing and Netroots being a good thing are one and the same. I don't think Netroots is the way to go…I think Netroots is just a fuckin big talking shop for all the usual ambitious suspects to big themselves up and further their credentials as the voices of radical dissent…a judgement I've formed based on the nature of the participants and their past records.

  70. Did anyone catch this Cif piece about the Greece / Turkey border wall? It's niche interest, I know, but the wall is such a laughable idea that it's just begging for someone to tear into it, and this guy does it with aplomb.

  71. evening all

    mschin two things

    one i really admire women like you...

    two MF has been a blast on liberal cons....the fact that the majority of responses to his posts weren't responses but attacks and calling him a troll......there we have the level of debate in a nutshell...pretty much zero and the poster that thinks that penny and hundal are "highly persuasive writers..." sums it up really....

    also good to see that the US government is upholding the constitution right of freedom of expression, information and opinion and is trawling the twitter and google accounts of wikileaks and their contacts....God Bless America......smacks of a new-age freedom of information mccartyism...i.e you can only have the info if we want you to have it

  72. Just spotted this - I feel a UT oop north gathering is required ...

    "Organisers are already talking about the next Netroots event – Netrootsnorth – so it will be interesting to see how others in the wider labour movement, and particularly those in the parliamentary Labour party, react as this movement develops".

  73. gandolfo

    My other half, who is not known for following the news (unless it's about cricket) has just blown a fuse about the US demanding personal information about anyone and everyone on the planet.

  74. Vizzo

    Totally daft idea, the wall. Then again, it worked for Hadrian ...

  75. Now this bloke on the Ronson thread has to be in the running for ludicrous Little Englander git of the week.

  76. mschin

    shame that the US has spoilt his euphoria over the ashes i suppose...!!

  77. gandolfo

    Don't mention THE ASHES!


    WTF? Some people are utter prats.

    Right - I believe my parental taxi-driving / chauffeur servcies are required shortly. I may squeeze for a petrol contribution though! Back later.

  78. Since MF's liberal conspiracy tirade is getting some love over here, I'll cross-post what I just said to him over there:

    42. Ivo Petkovski

    I’m not really following your drift here – Sunny seems to have gone out of his way to stress that this is NOT about networking and debate, even if these are activities that him and Laurie would otherwise be found doing. I think your problem is more with what Sunny and Laurie represent to you – aspiration, self-promotion – rather than what they’re trying to do with this conference. And your definition of ‘the left’ doesn’t include these things, so you appoint yourself the righteous voice of the ‘true’ left, and cast them as ‘fakers’.

    Surely this is just the sort of sectarian division – old left, new left, authentic left, whatever – that tends to paralyse most attempts to rally the left?

  79. Evening all. This weekend I have mostly been founding an orchestra.
    Just back from our first rehearsal, and I have to say I am rather pleased with our efforts!

  80. ...I mean really, what's the point of trying to tear down people who share the same goals as you - opposing the cuts - because they look like skinny latte drinkers?

  81. @Meerkatjie

    I don't know if I'm allowed to talk to you. ;-)

  82. smae goals izzo......well it's not just cuts and there lies the problem with the likes of hundal and penny....

  83. No-one's allowed to talk to me, I'm persona non grata. I feel notorious.

  84. I don't know gandolfo, it just seems that MF and others are online day and night complaining that people are passively walking into tory armageddon, but when someone tries to organise some real-world opposition, suddenly the main issue is who went to Oxford or who's more authentically working class.

    I'm not one to talk, I don't really do anything to improve society. But if someone else does, then fair play to them as fair as I'm concerned.

  85. ...plus what Sunny and Laurie are doing seems a little more considered than throwing a fire extinguisher at a Millbank receptionist or poking Camilla in the ribs with a SWP placard, which is pretty much the depressing roll-call of leftist 'direct action' so far.

  86. Spike, I think the repeat victimisation of the woman in Eastenders somehow makes it all worse - she's that "broken victim woman", who is represented as somehow not "managing motherhood". The whole thing is kind of icky, distasteful and insensitive.

  87. “Why the left cannot, and should not, oppose all government cuts"
    an little extract of the man's infinite wisdom:

    "Tactically, we need to be for something, not against something; positive messages always work better than negative messages. We should be seen as being for well-run frontline services than being against all Coalition policy."

    how can you validate this bollocks izzo....my bloody dog can do better than this

  88. OK, Labour really need to tackle this man and his anti-islamic sentiment. This is getting beyond a joke.

    {a href=http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE7071E620110108}Jack Straw: "some young Pakistani men regard white girls as easy targets for sexual abuse"{/a}


  89. And I still can't make my linkies work! Sorry.

  90. As it happens I agree with the sentiment that it's better to be 'for' something than against.

    But that's not really it - I don't think Sunny Hundal is an exemplar of what the left should be, and neither's some SW selling ex-miner.

    If everyone agrees that the government's agenda needs vocal opposition, then how does it help to focus attention on who's more or less 'authentically' left? Who cares?

  91. Back from the taxi drop @Centertainment or whatever it's called. Took the old fella's car (same model as mine) & almost came a cropper flinging it around a corner too fast ... oops.

    Jack Straw - habib summed that up perfectly, upthread today:

    "Yeah, this is the prick who wanted to ban the wearing of burkas, not because they suppress women, but because it's important to see someone's face when you're talking to them.

    I guess he doesn't use the phone much".

  92. Sunny Hundal was the founder and editor of the now defunct Asians in Media website. He also set up the now defunct Barfi Culture community website. Both of these websites were instrumental in establishing Hundal's credentials as a commentator on British Asian identity politics. In 2006 he was one of the founder members of the now defunct New Generation Network, a short-lived group and manifesto that attempted to challenge the current discourse on race relations in the UK.

    Hundal is just a serial failed chancer. Penny is a no-talent hypocrite. Both are pathologically ambitious careerists who are determined to haul themselves up the media ladder by any self-promoting means available to them. What on earth do either of them have to do with the 'left', and what can they actually offer the 'left'? They don't give a fuck - they're both just posers.

    It's amazing how many people actually take them seriously. Step forward, vizzo!

  93. Vizzo

    The day we all agree on politics is the day we'll all be dead ; )

  94. Scherfig, the question I'm trying to ask (long-windedly) is: how does it help 'the left' to obsess over people's authenticity?

    Even if they are posers, they're doing something that could - in theory - help further an agenda that everyone here agrees with.

  95. Seems my post has just vanished. Fuck it anyway.

  96. I'm sorry, catching up on threads and on news, and just saw that straw story and went 'arggggh!' - didn't realise it had already been discussed. Must read properly before posting!

  97. scherfig

    You gone in the spam bin? Do you still have admin rights? If so, you can dig it out.

  98. Vizzo

    I enjoy MFs rants mostly but I didn't find his contributions on the Lib Con thread very useful but then they weren't designed to be useful - but useful is what we need right now.

    Although I'm not a particular fan of SH or LP putting together an effective campaign means lots of people who agree over the generalities but who may disagree over some of the particulars and not like some of the people involved, finding a way to work together. At least thats my experience of campaigning. Its not easy.

    I've seen so many potentially fruitful efforts fall apart over the years through factionalism and endless carping from the sidelines which is so exhausting and dispiriting to deal with that good people eventually walk away and all you're left with are the rows and nothing achieved.

    My experience of campaigning is on a much smaller scale and those were hard enough - what we're facing at the moment is so huge and so profound fuck knows whether we'll be able to get anything together. I'm not optimistic, I have to say.

  99. Viz, they're not doing anything of practical value except jumping on the nearest bandwagon in order to promote themselves. I imagine that they will alienate more people than they will attract, and those they attract will no doubt be 'kindred spirits', or chocolate fucking teapots, as I like to call them.

    Anyway, I'm off - spammed into oblivion. :0(

    Night all.

  100. Unspammed Scherf - if you go into the blogger dashboard then click on "comments" there is a "spam" folder.

  101. Just read the Ronson article, Spike.

    So profoundly sad for their kid, who seemed to be the only one with an ounce of brains.

    What a horrible story.

    And yes, if you took the word "English" and stuck "Punjabi" into that comment instead, can you imagine the bloody uproar?

  102. scherf

    Hundal is just a serial failed chancer. Penny is a no-talent hypocrite.

    You are probably right about both of them. I'm not sufficiently interested in either of them to know, or care. What I do know is that the campaign(s) to fight the cuts and everything else we're facing at the moment is not 'their' campaign, it's a hell of a lot bigger than either of them, however much they push themselves forward - there are huge numbers of other people involved.

    I'd say - step up to the plate and get stuck in - the campaign will be what we make it - or fuck off the pitch. But then you're happily ensconced in Denmark and probably don't give a shit whether or not blighty goes down the swanney, which is your prerogative.

  103. Thanks folks, but my admin rights were removed a long time ago, so I can't do it myself.
    I'm off now anyway, so have fun folks.

  104. But then you're happily ensconced in Denmark and probably don't give a shit whether or not blighty goes down the swanney, which is your prerogative

    Too true, sheff. All my (large) family are still in the UK though. Luckily I don't give a shit about them either, which of course is my prerogative.

  105. Scherf

    I've offended you - Sorry! it was a stupid remark. But I really don't give a toss about Sunny Hundal and the Penny person - they're just two people who are involved in a much bigger and wider set of campaigns who have had something to say in one newspaper and a couple of blogs. So fucking what?

    There are things that need doing and I haven't the energy or the interest to waste moaning on about a pair of groan hackettes who don't represent very much at all.

  106. Habib:

    Thanks for the laugh upthread! That is actually me in that clip!

    I missed your bad news.... I didn't quite understand so apols in advance...


    Didn't realise you had lost a child to SIDS. I cannot imagine the anguish.

  107. i think that's a bit unfair sheff...i live in italy and care a lot about what happens in the uk and not only for my family, it makes me bloody angry what's happening there but also here. The hundal's and penny's of this world are not just confined to the shores of the UK and cuts are not just happening in the Uk they are all over...the emergence of careerist self appointed leaders has mesmerised a lot of the left just look at how blair sucked people in and spat them out at the first opportunity....IMO that is why people like hundal and penny should not be looked at as being the ones to organise anything nor should they be left unchallenged

  108. i think that's a bit unfair sheff..

    I know, I know gandolfo - it was, and I've apologised. I just get a bit tired of the droning on about groan hacks as if we're all going to hell because that particular newspaper and its contributors have failed to live up to our expectations. Its really hard staying positive these days - things feel so grim and there's so much to do.

    Think I'll just sign off for the night before i put my foot in it again.

  109. If it makes you feel better Sheff, at least we're not quite at the US level yet - Congress woman shot in the head point blank, unknown motive as yet but may be linked to her support for health care reform.

  110. gandolfo

    re hundal and penny - they're just a couple of groan hacks - they're not the entire campaign. There's grass roots stuff springing up all over the country, and my guess would be be that lots of people involved have never heard of either of them. focusing on them as if they're somehow leading things is giving them far to much credit.

  111. sheff

    i know how you feel believe me but it's also important not to validate people like sundal's self assertion that they are the spokesperson of the right way for the left......
    i hadn't refreshed the page so i didn't see your comment....

  112. You didn't put your foot in it sheff, you're spot on.

  113. Just heard that on the news Jay. Shooting someone over their views on healthcare reform? Insane! Aye, I know things could be worse - is it just a matter of time?

  114. monkeyfish

    Clause 4 was harmless. It lay at the back of a cupboard somewhere; in practice, it committed them to nothing.

    Agree with you but why did those who believed it was an objective rather than an item of faith, remain in the party for so long after that reality became apparent? Why are so many / few of them still there when they know the parliamentary road to socialism is a lost cause?
    Was it ever anything other than that when the alternative for genuine socialist always lay outside the Labour Party.

    As for the future, those who predict it are invariably wrong about both events and timescales and I don't intend to join them. Who in 1979 predicted the events in Eastern Europe just ten years later? Anyone who thinks they can predict five years ahead yet alone ten or fifteen merely displays their ignorance.

    So again I agree with you that we won't have seen the last of common ownership and demands for it, but if it comes about, almost certainly it'll be a surprise to most on the left. And as in the past, many of those who've been talking for years about the need for revolution, will miss the action, and some like Shallcross and his PCF brethen in '68 will openly work against it and afterwards promote betrayal as the moral high ground.

  115. Gandolfo:

    I can't address Scherfig directly 'cos he'll bite my head off and I can't say it on CiF, suffice to say I agree with you 100% (and please everyone, don't take this the wrong way) Laurie Penny and Sunny Hundal are the 'lefty' Uncle Tom's for want of a better expression.

  116. Re fighting the cuts - with shef on this, haven't read either article but these idiots are not the point.

    If genuine lefts walk away justbecause a few posers are joining in then we are truly f*cked.

    WE should get stuck in, whilst having absolutely no illusions about such people. they will always be there the way to deal with them is to offer a genuine left alternative. make use of them but challenge them and expose them for what they are.

    That is politics.

    I have just listened a prog on R4 about the history of the SDP.

    Made me angry - was very active in the LP in the 80's and my memory is of endless rows relating to identity politics when the class should have been moving into action. The influence of Militant is always exaggerated and class war politics was actually being waged by Thatcher sadly the Labour Party did not wage it back. The road to New Labour had its foundations then and it was the left not the right that kept its head down.

    You can listen to it here

    Have a cushion handy to punch though!

  117. I see your point Sheff, and ordinarily I'd tend to agree with you that something is better than nothing, etc etc.

    That said though, like Gandolfo mentioned, we've a fairly illustrative, and recent, example of what happens when people get to 'lead' a cause because it happens to also provide the best vehicle for their own ambitions!

    The whole, 'Guardian media type' thing is, in this context quite important too, in my opinion. Not least because it's always such a short step from 'we speak for..', to 'we speak for...only better and more eloquent, like', before finally reaching, 'We speak for... and, even though they actually say x, they're really just a bit simple, and we know better, so, on their behalf, but still in their best interests, obviously, we're actually going to say y'!!

    (Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes, and all that...)

    And, finally, as scherf pointed out, Sunny Hundal's got a less than brilliant track record, and everything he touches tends to turn to shit. The guy's like King fucking Midas in reverse....

  118. anne

    i don't think anyone here is discussing that the cuts shouldn't be fought against, infact it was sundal,toynbee, penny et al who have been wishy washy over fighting them. They are a significant point in the fact that actually hundal,penny as well as toynbee and their ilk get far more media coverage than any of us do, and frankly anyone from the grassroots doesn't have a chance of having the media voice that they do. They are all part of one big clique and represent a small minority but enjoy revelling in their own self importance...makes me sick...

  119. You're spot on, vizzo! What do you think of these proposed simple rules for UT:

    1. Posters born in the UK who no longer live in the UK should not be permitted to express opinions on the UK. (eg. spike, philippa, gandolfo, james, duke etc etc)

    2. Posters who were not born in the UK but who nevertheless live in the UK now should be tolerated but not encouraged (eg. er.... vizzo?)

    3. Posters who were neither born in the UK nor live in the UK now should be deleted on the grounds that they know fuck all about it and don't care anyway.

    That should work!

    LaRit, why would I bite your head off? Anyway, you're totally right about the likes of Hundal and Penny. Their self-serving meddling should be actively resisted. I remember the influx of such idiot careerists into the Labour party in the 80's (as does Anne) and we all know how that turned out. They should be shown the door asap, so they can tout their shabby wares elsewhere, somewhere where perhaps they won't be able to do as much damage.

  120. Speaking of cuts, I am just doing a discussion paper on the Violence Against Women & Girls paper that Theresa May *spit* published recently with a fanfare of big commitment rhetoric. Jeez, it's bloody horrifying and I don't even have all the actual figures to hand ...

  121. Anne

    these idiots are not the point.

    If genuine lefts walk away just because a few posers are joining in then we are truly f*cked.

    Well said - I agree!

  122. Anne:

    I've just posted this on CiF in response to a post which started with....

    "What those on the left need to realise that in a democracy....."


    "A post with about as much thought and consciousness as a boiled egg.

    You and many others on here, (the left this, the left that...blah, blah, blah, blah) you really don't have the faintest idea of what 'the Left' as you so coyly put it, are. You think it's all 'anti-this' and 'anti-that' and oooh..... "look at them, they must be Commies because they read 'Socialist Worker'" and think "Black people should be treated preferentially".... da-di-da and on and on ad infinitum.

    You're just puffing out hot air full of all the usual, right-sounding sound-bites, without ever actually having a clue what you're talking about. Somewhat like the authors of this piece and their crummy little 'NetRoots' - (let's not forget the UK bit) and their 'let's talk' nonsense. We are going to hell in a handcart and they don't want to upset the apple-cart of the Establishment (which might jeopardise their cosy little careers) because, they don't want real change, they don't care about the poor and downtrodden (only in pleasing sounding sound-bites, naturally) they don't want the dirt and blood and distress of real challenge and change, they just want to stultify us with fucking endless talk.

    I'm sick to death of it.

    I'm not Left Wing because it's a 'trendy' little bandwagon to jump on, I'm a lefty because it informs my soul and my very consciousness, I'm wide awake and see what is going on and I am not only angry, I'm incandescent with rage, because I see 60 years of progress and tenuous rights fought for whilst those who hold the real power has never

    You, my poor love, are still fast asleep in la-la land. And me? I've not read a copy of SW since 1984 because it's utter fucking shite."

    I'm sure it'll get wiped, but the point is, these people are the self-appointed 'leaders of a movement" conveniently and vaguely called 'the left'. They are the same secret Establishment loving shysters as all those folk who emerged in successive evolutions of grass-roots political movements. Self-interest is at the heart of it and the desire for a nice clean conscience whilst spouting nice, humane-sounding platitudes.

  123. @Scherfig, good effort, but I'm not rising to it

  124. It's not just a few posers 'joining in' though, is it? It's a lot more than that. It's the usual media cliques making a bid for power and control and promoting this by their access to the media that employs them. So they can tell the oh-so-worthy but terribly thick ordinary punters how to think and what to do. And if these people are 'leftists' and have any connection at all to the 'grassroots', then I'm a fucking teapot. Oh wait........

    The future of protest - Cif article - Sunny, Penny, some Yank and Left Foot Forward

  125. Re the netroots thing:

    I do agree withe following though
    We have to make MPs' lives difficult in their own back yard.
    Sure this won't work but its a stage people have to go through people are already primed to learn how futile our democracy is. A local based campaign giving an alternative view of the crisis is an essentail part of this. We need to tell truth to power.

    We need to painstakingly inform the wider public and speak to them on their own terms about their concerns.

    Can't argue with that I'm always saying it aren't I? :)

    Laurie Penny


    Nothing else to say really!

    Organising people into action is important, people learn by being in action and believe me they learn fast.

    But as the R4 broadcast reminded me this government is waging a vicious class war against us. This time we must be sure wage it back.

    'Rise like Lions after slumber
    In unvanquishable number -
    Shake your chains to earth like dew
    Which in sleep had fallen on you -
    Ye are many - they are few.'

    he Mask of Anarchy Percy Bysshe Shelley -
    Written on the occasion of the massacre carried out by the British Government at Peterloo, Manchester 1819

  126. @La Rit, in the immortal words of Kevin Spacey:

    Look, it's like they say, if you're not a rebel by the age of 20, you got no heart, but if you haven't turned establishment by 30, you've got no brains.

  127. Then I at the age of 68 have no brains!!!! and I'm not sure if Kevin Spacey said that first.

    I am not a rebel I am a revolutionary and Iwhile we have a world where some live in luxury and people go to bed hungry every night I will remain proudly fucking brainless!!!!

  128. The point is letting these people organise events (time consuming and possibly expensive) is fine.

    Just make sure they don't run things when we get there right?

  129. Vizzo

    while we're playing Kevin Spacey quotes:

    "You'll pardon me if I ask you to kiss my pucker. The same fuckers that rounded us up and sank us into this mess are gonna bail [us] out??
    Fuck you!"

    I think that one's more apt for this situation, is it not!?

  130. La Rit

    but the point is, these people are the self-appointed 'leaders of a movement" conveniently and vaguely called 'the left'

    Hundal et al may have appointed themselves leaders of the Islington cohort of faux lefties but they've got fuck all to do with the grass roots around the country. We make the campaigns that we want.

    Why is everyone banging on about them all the time and awarding them all this 'power'? So they have a voice on one national newspaper and a couple of blogs, so what? Most people have never heard of them and don't read the paper or the blogs. We're all so soaked in the bloody groan we seem to think everyone else is too but they're not.

    As Anne said if genuine lefties like you walk away from the fight because we don't like some of the people jumping on the bandwagon, we're truly fucked.

  131. Actually, my last post probably reads a bit harshly.

    Just for clarification, I meant it in a 'Forgive me if I'm not optimistic about the likes of Hundal getting us out of this mess, esp given they're a big part of the reason we're in it in the first place' kind of way. Rather than an outright 'fuck you' kind of one!!

  132. james

    yes.... you got it just right me thinks!!!

  133. Hehe, cheers Gandolfo!!

    that almost never happens...


  134. make me larf james...quite a lot actually......!!

  135. Is that a statement, or a request/order??

    If it's the former, cheers, and I'm here all week!

    If it's the latter, why did the chicken cross the road....


  136. @JamesDixon, no problem, I was antagonising anyway. With P-Brax gone, someone has to...

  137. oh just read it...forgot to put "you" so the former!!!

    chicken joke......does flatmate come into it per chance.......?

    but whilst i'm ere MAKE ME LARF !!

  138. James

    Forgive me if I'm not optimistic about the likes of Hundal getting us out of this mess, esp given they're a big part of the reason we're in it in the first place' kind of way. Rather than an outright 'fuck you'

    I rather liked the outright 'fuck you' and of course Hundal et al won't get us out of this mess, certainly not with one pissy conference in London...which is all it is. Absolutely zilch came of Henry Porters similar efforts on civil liberties if you recall.

    Anyway, Hundal won't last five minutes in the real in your face campaigning thats going to be necessary and neither will any of his fellow travellers - true colours will out when the shit really hits..

  139. Hi All

    In fighting the cuts we are simply trying to hang on to the remains of the Welfare State and thereby protect not only this and future generations from the wordt ravages of Capitalism but also to protect the hard earned legacy of a long fought and hard won struggle.

    If we cannot stop the implementation of at least the harshest of these cuts we are moved back by at least a century.

    We are all aware that opposition to the cuts is a small and immediate reaction to a much deeper fight. Only the threatened loss of NHS and other services along with the threat to the protection offered to the unemployed, the sick and disabled through the benefits system has galvanised the opposition - for too long dormant.

    The greater battle - against international monetary systems and corporate control of both resources and production and therefore of distributions of both goods and profits will need to be a global movement.

    The rearguard action to protect what was once gained is a precurser of a renewed battle for greater gains. Many will be satisfied if we can retain the essence of the Welfare State - will count it as a victory. This shows us how far behind the traditional left has fallen and how lacking in ambition for real change the left has become.

    We are trapped in a system - global with tentacles controlling all aspects of life - which is suffocating people and ideas ; this threat is not a UK alone problem and the answers will not be found here.We need newly defined and very clear aims which go beyond opposing the immediate danger . The cuts are a sympton not the disease.

    The economy itself may well scupper some of the proposed changes as will the sheer impracticality of some of them. The private sector can and will if it suits them, walk away from gvt. contracts if jobs cannot be found for the increasing numbers of unemployed and their business models come under too much scrutiny - they can take their profits and run.

    Now is an easy time for high profile types to sieze the initiative and ride the tide of popularity of opposition to proposals which threaten the well being of millions. Their substance will be measured by any proposals they may or may not have for taking us beyond the next 12 months towards a future od sustainable common ownership and shared power.

    There is very little agreement from the left on what the future should be. is their a shared future vision- who is articulating it ? Who is even discussing the great 'what next' and the how to get there ?

    Can we work towards incremental change ? Can cooperatives and other alternatives work successfully alongside private sector and how do we break the stranglehold on resources. Just a fraction of the questions waiting to be answered.

  140. Dunno, Gandolfo, I'd not thought that far ahead yet, to be honest!!

    How about,

    Because Tony Blair's a cunt!!

    it doesn't necessarily make sense, obviously, but, when you think about it, it's a pretty good punch line for every joke ever written.

    Go on, try it....


  141. Sheff

    I agree, to some extent, but my worry is this:

    Let's say Hundal's exposed to be what MF, Scherf etc fear/expect him to be, and he is rejected by the 'true, grass roots resistance' who are genuinely fighting the good fight, for the right reasons, who do you think we're going to see given the column inches, air time, book deals etc and therefore become the de facto 'official voice of the opposition', so to speak??

    I fear, it's, as always, a damned if we do, damned if we don't situation....

  142. Leni

    (Hope you're feeling better!!)

    There are indeed many questions that need to be asked, but, at the moment it's multiple choice, and there's no 'none of the above' option, and that's a big, big problem!!

  143. handy joke hint from james tested.......

    bloody hell man you're a genius........

  144. James Dixon!!!


    while we're playing Kevin Spacey quotes:

    "You'll pardon me if I ask you to kiss my pucker. The same fuckers that rounded us up and sank us into this mess are gonna bail [us] out??
    Fuck you!"

    I think that one's more apt for this situation, is it not!?

    Take a bow, son, take a bow!

  145. hi James

    Feeling almost human again today thanks.

  146. Viz

    didn't know it was you..response on Liberal Conspiracy...but rest assured I want no part of a left that has room for Sunny fuckin Hundal or Laurie Penny...tbh I kinda stumbled across it..sort of suspected they'd all be busy today and thought I'd leave him a little message...was gonna leave it at that but since I was accused of trolling, thought I'd take the opportunity to fill the thread with anti-Hundal shtick...I've a big personal issue with the cunt...mainly to do with his selective late night deletions during some previous 'debates', giving the impression he'd slapped me down...easy to do when you doctor the thread...he's a self-serving twat.

    I take your general point but as far as I'm concerned Hundal, Penny and Toynbee are as much of the problem as any number of Tories...complicit to the eyeballs...that and a bit of 'payback'.

  147. the funny thing is..I'm banned from Liberal Conspiracy

  148. This comment has been removed by the author.

  149. hi habs..

    from earlier...stay with it man, twill pass!

    here's one of my fav bob marley songs

  150. Scherf:

    Funny old shit going on inside my own head......


    A reverse King Midas? I like that.

  151. Eye to thee Vizzo.... Mr Bracken ain't gone anywhere.... he'll be back (like Arnie) he needs us and weirdo-ly, we need him too ;)

  152. Gandolfo,

    my personal favourite (so far) is:

    What do you call a one-eyed dinosaur?

    (Because) Tony Blair's a cunt!!


    It's about time my 'failing A-levels (twice) because I was monged out watching films' finally paid off!!


    Good to hear. Take it easy still though. From what I've heard, this years flu seems to have a nasty habit of coming back if you don't completely shake it!!

  153. Meerkatjie:

    An orchestra? Seriously?

  154. Leni:

    I've missed too much these past few weeks.... you OK? x

  155. La Rit

    I reckon I probably nicked it (from either Oz or The Sopranos, maybe??)!!


    (if you're still about) Do you mean you were banned before today, but posted anyway, or that you've now been banned after today??

  156. LaRit

    This flu thing makes you feel as though you're locked up in a box - only vaguely aware of life going on elsewhere. Hope you're ok now.

    We need the spring sunshine and that rushing feel of life reawakening .

  157. "Do you mean you were banned before today, but posted anyway, or that you've now been banned after today??"

    about 18 months ago I think

  158. Flu.... it's what I had 2 months ago... seems I (and BB) and others caught the early version. The fucker morphed.

  159. Monkeyfish

    Is ther no blog you're not barred from? Apart from here, obviously ...

  160. Ahh, right! Fair enough!!

    (Obviously they've not got English-'you've gots to track their IP's-Kermit working Security there then!)

  161. annetan42 said..

    I am not a rebel I am a revolutionary........

    In the Labour Party?

    And which of your comrades will be leading this revolution?

    And on what basis will he or she persuade the leaderless to follow?

    And how will we know he or she won't lead anything more than another betrayal?

  162. Bitey

    Been meaning to ask ... what's the new avatar? Looks a bit lethal but pretty stunning too.

  163. Leni:

    To be honest, been struggling a bit, but you know me :)

    I had the same thing though, like a permanent out of body experience. Vile. Oh, and to cap it all, as soon as I get my mojo back the Trolls are after me on the SunnyCloudy thread....twats.

  164. *And when I say 'working', I mean in a voluntary, in exchange for a favourable judgement in The Shire giant marrow competition, and as long as he can wear a tie-dyed 'security' tabbard kind of way, obviously!!

  165. Anyways, that's me off for the night!!

    Be careful out there folks.....

  166. Leni said..

    If we cannot stop the implementation of at least the harshest of these cuts we are moved back by at least a century. ..

    So back to 1911?

    It's hyperbole like this that makes the keyboard revolutionaries of 2011 such a laughing stock among everyone with just the faintest knowledge of what life was like for the majority of people one hundred years ago.

  167. Why is bitey like a NuLabour ex-prime minister?

  168. Ms Chin, - the avatar?

    In the Ethnology Museum Hong Kong, September 2007, from Columbia, in gold and copper, "a pectoral made using the lost-wax method, having a distinctive crescent form beneath the feet that represent the fan of tail feathers typical of powerful raptorial birds. Two hybrid creatures clinging to his upper arms are flanked by four small avian attendants. Together these allude to the notion of shamanic flight - the visionary soul quests undertaken by learned priests and leaders in search of hidden spirit knowledge."

    So rather apt for the UT I suggest.

  169. Bitey

    this is not hyperbole at all. One hundred years ago implementation of the first gvt. measures to address some of the problems highlighted in the Rowntree Report of some 20 years previosly were starting to bring some improvement into the lives of the poor.

    Loss of work could still mean disaster for a family and the permanently disabled were totally dependent upon families for support..

    Housing conditions were poor and overcrowded with most having minimal services - a cold water tap and an outside loo - often shared.

    Malnutrition and restricted growth among the poor was finally highlighted during recruitment for WW1 etc. etc.

    Only the foolish would make inflated claims to boost their arguement - I feel the threat to many ,many families in UK is too serious to exaggerate the situation.

    I said 'moved back by at least a century' - if we are pushed back to conditions for the working poor and the unemployed in the 1890s then we are looking at areas of Britain in which more than 50% 0f the working population lived in absolute poverty lacking sufficient money to even feed themselves and their families adequately.

    The situation between the 2 great wars was little better for many - men returned from WW1 to poverty, unemployment and homelessness and to a despair and anger which finally paved the way for the post WW2 Welfare state.

  170. spike / Shallcross

    Why is bitey like a NuLabour ex-prime minister?

    And your answer?

    And why is Shallcross like a Norwegian President?

    Because like Vidkun Quisling he collaborates with those who would suppress and deny freedom of speech, as part of a warped ideological belief.

  171. Bitey, babes... stfu.... you sound a bit..... bonkers.....

    Are you Lux Interior (RIP)

    The Cramps

    I reckon I'm right...

  172. Leni

    The situation between the 2 great wars was little better for many - men returned from WW1 to poverty, unemployment and homelessness and to a despair and anger which finally paved the way for the post WW2 Welfare state.

    You couldn't be further from reality if you tried.

    We got the massive Labour victory in 1945 and the reforms that followed as a result of the demands of the victorious of the Second World War. Our parents and grand parents fought and defeated the menace of fascism over the course of five sacrificial years and, to claim their reward, they kicked out the Conservative Churchill and those who would have returned us to the deference of the thirties, and swept a reforming Labour government to power.

    And the people's decision paved the way for the greatest and longest period of social and economic advance that humanity has ever experienced.

  173. Hi LaRit

    Actually Bitey's been OK last couple of nights.Or maybe it's me goin' bonkers! Hope you're well.Dunno whether you like Curtis Mayfield but HERE's a track from him anyway.


  174. LaRit

    Don't be so abusive, it really demeans you and you'll live to regret it next time you need to be taken seriously.

    And please don't 'babe' me; it's a term of affection and I'm sure that's not something you'd want to express.

  175. LaRit

    Are you Lux Interior?

    "It's a little bit like asking a junkie how he's been able to keep on dope all these years, It's just so much fun. You pull in to one town and people scream, 'I love you, I love you, I love you.' And you go to a bar and have a great rock 'n' roll show and go to the next town and people scream, 'I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.' It's hard to walk away from all that."

    So a bit like me each time I visit here.

  176. Bitey

    Not going to give you a history lesson but perhaps a couple of examples. Post WW1 many of the returning men - retirning to a land 'fit for heroes' were so desperate they were easily recruited into the shameful Black and Tans - the depredations of which were so great that public outrage led to their removal when their ectivities were exposed in the press. Exploitation of the people was rife.

    The General Strike, the hunger marches and the growing anger and fear of an uprising - held in obeyance by ww2 - led to the formation of the army education corps - this was in fact a 2 way communication tool. The gvt. was made very aware that failure to improve the lot of the working people post war would lead to serious consequences. The Welfare State was introduced fnally post war but it had been a very long time coming.

    The Beveridge report was written in 1942 and recognised, among other things that poor education , unemployment and squalor (resulting from impoverishment) were 3 of the main factors which stopped social progress and development. You speak as though it happened overnight in a semi miraculous fashion. The Welfare State came about as a result of changed expectations among the people and the fear of the consequences of a failure to respond to those expectations by the gvt. This is a lesson this gvt coalition is yet to learn. We cannot as a society afford to lose the welfare state and the support it gives to us all when we most need it.

    Perhaps your family lived in comfort and prosperity 100 years ago but mine certainly didn't - times were hard for millions.

  177. Bitey;

    You're ok ;) Just lay of BB, OK?


    The Curtis was lovely - thanks.

  178. Evening Paul

    Not sure where exactly your Dad's family came from but I doubt if 100 years ago his family lived in luxury.

  179. Think I just rumbled a Tory MP on CiF. Don't know which one yet... don't really care, but, they think we is fick or summat....

    pompous little taxpayer-funded shits.

  180. Bitey;

    Cheers for the Little Feat.

    1976... a damn good year.

  181. Night Leni... sweet dreams... xx

  182. Leni


    Not going to give you a history lesson but perhaps a couple of examples.

    And then you try to do precisely that, but not in a way that would attract agreement from any historian.

    You jibe:

    Perhaps your family lived in comfort and prosperity 100 years ago but mine certainly didn't - times were hard for millions.

    Well my grandfather left home midday in 1914 and didn't return until 1918. My mother, now 87, the first born after his return, has a French first name. He worked as a docker, (not a stevedore) until he was 70. Prior to the First World War, each morning he would wait in a pen to see if he and his gang would be picked by ship owners to work that day.

    My mother and father (a conscientious objector) worked as nurse and fire fighter in London throughout WW2 and I owe my life to the NHS doctor who drilled a hole in my head, shortly after I and my stillborn twin arrived on this earth. I owe my life to the NHS.

    I have a file of my father's job application letters, the first for the post of messenger boy at 7/6d (£0.35) a week. In 1960 he earned £40 a month. In relative terms my mother gets more today by way of State pension and social help from her local authority, than she and my father had for the first thirty years of their marriage.

    So of course times were hard, and some died along the way, but I belong to the healthiest generation we'll probably see for another hundred years. And each morning I smile at having had a deprived childhood with the NHS, orange juice and cod liver oil, school milk, vaccinations and until I was old enough to go to school, no sweets.

  183. Hi Bitey

    You dismiss me andthen proceed to agree with me - admitting you owe your life to the NHS and welfare state. Yet you still seem to think that its loss and that of other family benefits would not take us back to the days of poverty and uncertainty for millions.

    Take care Bitey. Goodnight x

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  185. Paul

    Sorry if mention of your father confused - I was thinking about our collective family histories - I know the gains made by my family are all based on improved access to education, health care and gradually improving working and living conditions. These are social gains which can be very easily wiped out in less than a generation.

    Off to bed. NN xx

  186. Leni, I don't agree with you.

    You say:

    The situation between the 2 great wars was little better for many - men returned from WW1 to poverty, unemployment and homelessness and to a despair and anger...

    But for more, even those who did return from the horrors of WWI, and most didn't, there was work, a strengthened trade union movement, votes for women and so on.

    At the height of the depression in the UK, by the end of 1930, unemployment was 2.5 million (20% of the insured workforce) and in Glasgow it was 30%.

    So even in the worst areas, two thirds of people were working, and desperate to continue working - not a recipe for social insurrection, yet alone revolution.

    Today in our 'devil take the hindmost' world, you need to describe how you are going to attract the majority to support you, or at worst a sufficiently large minority to coerce the rest to accept what's good for them. And so far I've seen nothing here to persuade me that you've even thought about that conundrum, yet alone how to resolve it.