11 January 2011


I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.
-Isaac Newton


  1. That's a beautiful picture. Nature's pretty f-ing impressive, really...

    (reminds me of chocolate and marble cake, but that's par for the course)

  2. Morning PB! Agree about that picture :p

    Interesting article on women's mental health which rang many bells for me.

    Full of the usual nonsense such articles attract of course but some good contributions from PCC.

  3. I'm leaving that thread apparently I'm pathetic, idiotic and 'wallowing in victimhood'.

    This society is shit! - Well tbh I didn't have to read that thread to know that.

  4. Morning all,

    Can I just drop a shameless link to a friend (of a friend, of a friend etc.)'s blog. She's anti-palm oil, something gradually creeping onto the radar in ecological circles, wanted to know what you lot made of it.

    No to palm oil

  5. .
    There's an amazing article in The Wall Street Journal, by Amy Chua, a professor at Yale Law School here about the way Chinese mothers bring up their children.

    In my experience a lot of it rings true.

  6. Do you think they're all off critically examining our links BTH? ;-)

  7. Jeez , Philippa, you're like totally obsessed with cake....

    Honestly, get a grip!!


    Morning all....


    Is that palm oil the same stuff what you use for cooking and whatnot?

  8. I see that student who lobbed the fire extinguisher off the roof of Tory HQ in Millbank’s got 32 months.


  9. JD

    Not pure cooking oil as far as I know, but quite often the ingredient labelled "vegetable oil" in cakes, biscuits, cereal, chocolate, washing liquid, soap etc. etc....

  10. Also, I wonder if somebody of a legalish persuasion could explain the following to me:

    David 'Rejected Chuckle Brother' Chaytor - Convicted of Fraud, theft etc, etc - 18 months in prison!!

    Edward Woollard - Convicted of throwing a fire extinguisher off a roof - 32 months in prison!!

    How's that work, then??

  11. @James:


  12. Ahhh, snap swifty....

    Dott- Right, I'll look into that a bit more then. They use palm cooking oil quite a lot here....

  13. Hello All

    Dott - Speaking generally there seems very little awareness of the palm oil controversy. Many (most ?) do not realise that habitats are being destroyed and biodiversity threatened.

    Much more publicity around the consequences of monoculture needed I think. Even here - after years of concentrated sitka spruce planting many people think a 'tree is a tree' and do not understand what happens when we lose broadleaf trees. The oak here is threatened again - a few ancient oaks remain, remnants of the old Coed Morganwg - we recently lost a battle with Sky who cut some down as they blocked satellite signal. The Council obligingly declared them 'unsafe' although none had reached stag oak stage so were still comparatively young. We lost treecreepers and wrens to name but two birds which had been here for ever.

  14. Cheers swifty,

    I appreciate there are 'guidelines' for sentencing and that, but it does seem a bit of a joke to me!

    Now, if the same people who were sticking their hands in our back pocket, were in any way connected to law making, sentencing, etc, there'd be quite a lot, erm, wronger, about that!!

    Oh, hang on a minute.....

  15. Leni,

    Quite, how to take one step forward (natural/mixed forests are better than tree plantations) without taking one back instead (well if planting new trees is as bad as no trees what's the point?!)?

  16. @James:

    Young master Woollard chucked a fire extinguisher off a high building into a crowd of people. No difference in my mind from if he’d lobbed it off, say, a motorway bridge into oncoming traffic, or onto a crowd of, say, opposing football fans. Pleading “heat of the moment” or whatever doesn’t make a jot of difference. He’s very lucky not to have killed someone with it.

    He has to do time for that.

  17. Swifty,

    Yeah, and I'm not saying he shouldn't. Not at all.

    (Although, I'm always a little bit sceptical of the 'could've' argument in law, but that's probably a different conversation...)

    But, 18 months for stealing £20k, as an elected official, that's taking the piss a bit, isn't it!!??

  18. It's a bit difficult to compare Woollard's actions with a similar offence - I suppose, as Swifty says, the nearest you're going to come to it is the periodic throwing of rocks/bricks/wood off motorway bridges.

    The cases that come up on a web search are invariably those where someone has been killed or injured, so once again the comparisons aren't direct. Those I found ranged from 2 years in a Young Offenders institution for injuring someone to a case in Germany where a lump of wood thrown off a bridge killed a woman, earning a life sentence.

    Point is, a fire extinguisher lobbed from a hundred feet up is potentially lethal. Incredibly fucking stupid, incredibly fucking dangerous.

  19. Is the webbything moving at slug pace everywhere or just here in the hills?

    How can Assange face 'death penalty' in US as is being reported. He is not a citizen so cannot commit 'treason' - he is not an 'enemy combatant' . Montana - where does US law stand on all this ?

  20. Eddie,

    Again, yes it was. But as I understand it, and I did spend the vast majority of my A-level law classes asleep (so could very well be wrong), unless you do actually injure someone etc, you can only be charged with the crime you did commit. With the exception of attempted murder, where your intention to kill is the important factor!!

    So, anyway, let's say Woollard did deserve 32 months, either because that's what his specific, committed crimes get, or because he 'could have' killed someone, 18 months for knowingly, deceitfully defrauding the tax-payer, as an elected representative, that's a bit on the low side, is it not!?

  21. @James:

    He got done for violent disorder, apparently. And I don’t know whether the “could’ve” stuff was relevant – saying he was lucky not to have killed someone was just my personal opinion (he was), I’ve no idea whether that figures in the sentencing guidelines or not.

    As to the fraud – I don’t think you can compare an elected official dipping a grubby mitt in the public till and what Woollard did. If you’re saying that 18 months is on the light side, well maybe, but 18 months doing porridge for “white collar” is still a significant sentence.

  22. PS James - sorry, the above was badly phrased, I know *you're* not comparing fire extinguishers and fraud.

  23. This has not been codified properly yet, so really just works on the basis of anecdote, apocrypha, observation and normal practice.

    Property trumps life and important people trump unimportant people and there is a mix of factors.


    Tramp kills another tramp - nothing.
    Tramp kills important person - shot, hanged etc.
    Important person kills tramp - nothing

    Tramp steals from tramp - nothing
    Tramp steals from important person - shot, hanged etc.
    Important person steals from tramp - nothing

    On this basis, you get Lord Cuntface of Scumbag mowing down 20 people and demolishing a church and he gets a small fine to the approximate value of lunch in his favourite restaurant.

    However, if mere Mr Hopeless of Sink Estate, Gorblimey simply accidentally treads on the toe of Lady Froggobbler, he can expect a lengthy sentence.

    In between, there is a lumpy, soupy, grey area in which relative levels of damage to relatively unimportant people or cheap, flat-pack houses and other property are assigned various grades of punishment, from the terrifyingly draconian to the tickly-gigglyish, cream-puffery of punishment disguised as drunken knees-up.

    Basically, hard-labour in the salt mines for those who have failed to climb the lovely, ivy-clad and tinselled ladder of success and trebles all round for those who were born into, married, inherited, bought or otherwise inveigled their way into material and social wellbeing.

    Politics is now basically the acceptable face of the criminal classes.

  24. AB

    "Politics is now basically the acceptable face of the criminal classes."

    When wasn't it?

  25. Caveat

    My above post in no way condones, encourages, trivialises or leads with a hearty, resounding cheer the practice of throwing fire brigades from tall buildings, alight or otherwise, nor does it seek to imply that politicians should not seek to empty the public purse in whatever lavish pursuits for personal gain, corruption or glorification they may choose or exercise on their own behalf or that of their mistresses or homosexual lovers or their asylum-bound relatives or their strangely bashful but alluring pet porcupines with odd and sudden limps.

  26. Dotterel

    When it was just the public relations arm of big business?

    Or was that the same thing under another name?

  27. Atomboy - and which sink estate was Woollard from?

  28. Beneluk

    Haven't a clue. For all I know, his family owns Hamshire.

    However, you also have to factor in another trump here, which is the need for the state to be seen to be strong and manly in a rufty-tufty type of way when faced with civil unrest.

    The sentence was precisely mid-way between being sent out for a slap-up meal and being torn limb from limb by drugged worms with little soft hooky things for tearing.

  29. @Atomboy:

    You can get out of all sorts of shit if you’ve got serious money, and always could. During the American Civil War, a wealthy Northerner (you had to be wealthy to be able to afford it) could pay a $300 commutation fee on being drafted which exempted him from the current draft (but not future ones), or could hire a “substitute”, at great cost, to fight in his stead for the duration of the war (a practice which led to the war being called “a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight”).

    It’s how John D. Rockefeller avoided getting his head blown off at, say, Antietam or, indeed, Shiloh.

  30. Shiloh

    Yes, I think that was still going when George W Bush spent his time in the military driving around drunk and drugged and going serially bankrupt in the oil business.

  31. That article makes for interesting reading Bitey. Indeed one could say that a whole generation of Chinese parents are psychologically and emotionally asbusing their children.

    Now, and I'm sorry to say so, this why I can see that East Asian people students to be like mindless drones. There are a lot of Chinese studying in the univerisites in Glasgow, as everywhere in Britain, and it is if they completely ignore all the vernacular, ie the nuances and peculiarities of the place they live in. They don't give a fuck about their surroudings. The Europeans and American internationals generally all try and learn a bit about local culture, customs and traditions. I don't know if you remember but a few months I posted on here a link from the university of Sheffield which was a guide to western social conventions for Chinese students- at least they're trying to get them to integrate, but 95% of the time they don't.

    You can harp on about how you give them new opportunities (which they never use) from living the life in the free west, with free press and freedom of speech, of political assembly, individual conscioussness etc, but they might as well just go to a technical college in Shenzen province, for them everything is just a utilitarian means to an end.

  32. AB

    "Or was that the same thing under another name? "

    Since you mention it.....

  33. @Atomboy:

    ”…George W Bush spent his time in the military driving around drunk and drugged…”

    To be fair, he could have done that in Viet Nam as well. Plenty did, if what you read is true…

    But yeah, in general, it’s a rich man’s world alright.

  34. Swifty,

    Sort of what Atomboy said, in that everything seems to be arse backwards.

    Actual Benefit 'fraud', for example, seems to consistently amount to a very small percentage of 'cost', yet, it seems that the many (as in most) have to suffer for the actions of the few, amidst a massive 'moral campaign' to rid our country of dirty, stealing scum, and a culture of dependency.

    An elected official steals £20k (not far off the average UK salary), and it's a white collar crime, and 18 months is a harsh sentence, and we're already going back to a system of 'honour' and 'principle' for MP's, now that the few bad apples have been, or are being, brought to, *ahem*, justice!!

    Woollard could have killed someone, or done serious injury during the student protests, and gets 32 months, but some copper who did twat Alfie Meadows, causing severe head trauma, gets what....?

    Fair enough, Woollard was incredibly stupid, and his actions incredibly dangerous, and a 32 month sentence may be appropriate, and maybe it's not directly comparable to Fuckface Chaytor, but there is an argument to be made that the system's rotten though, right!?

  35. My response to Bitey's Chinese mothers article was spamfucked. The funny thing is after posting it I could see it on here. I left the computer for a while, came back and pressed f5 and it had gone.

  36. Regarding Edward Woollard's sentence...

    Speaking from personal experience, I'm afraid I've known a few people who have beaten others to within an inch of their lives. Most of them got 2 years and were out in six months, some didn't even get a custodial sentence.

    Today's sentence is clearly political, but it's almost impossible to defend the actions of a prick.

  37. .

    Charles, your observation is correct.

    I've found that if I start a comment with a full stop, as I have here, most of the time except with longer posts, it gets posted ok.

  38. There is a follow up to that debate in the indy today which has it from a British perspective.


  39. JD

    Arse biscuits! That's just about as plausible as our theory!

  40. Indeed, Dott, that's a whole afternoon of remembering/writing down my 'fuck you' list that I'll never get back...

  41. That God bloke's a right Tony Blair isn't he?

  42. I was reading the wall st Journal articles related to the article and one of them linked this in.

    This is a statistic that shows the results from international student tests. Someone mentioned that Finland generally did well overall, the highest scoring non Asian country. But the figures were distroted as Finland has a very strong vocational educational sector which starts at 15 which runs in parallel to their gymnasium style academic education which is a preparation for university . Which means obviously there is a selection bias.

    Is it possible that there are any other kinds of biases within the Chinese and other Asian education systems?

  43. BTW Annetan, congratulations on spotting the error in the formula for speech length that's been plaguing the Nobel committee for years: you'd think they of all people would remember to stick the right brackets in ;-)

  44. SNOW DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-) Even staff like snow days.


    If fundies can find a way of blaming earthquakes in other countries on gay marriage in America (as some did with the Haitian earthquake), then it stands to reason that birds dying right here in God's Favorite Nation™ is all down to the repeal of DADT.

  45. Interesting link to the article about Chinese parenting methods Bitey plus follow up stats from Charlie. My understanding however was that Chinese children were usually cherished and indulged until the age of around 7 and it was only then that the much tougher form of parenting kicked in.Plus i don't know what relevance the high number of one child families in China has in driving Chinese parents to get the absolute best out of their child.

    Incidentally ethnic Chinese pupils along with ethnic Indian pupils are the most successful in the British state education system.I think most teachers agree that parental attitudes are crucial but to my knowledge i don't think the British Teaching Profession along with the British media has ever commented on the specifics of Chinese parenting methods.

  46. I haven't seen the sentences handed out to the police who ordered mounted charges into crowds of students, recklessly endangering lives like the bloke throwing the fire extinguisher.

    At least 32 months, I imagine.

  47. How can Assange face 'death penalty' in US as is being reported. He is not a citizen so cannot commit 'treason' - he is not an 'enemy combatant' . Montana - where does US law stand on all this ?

    Well, I'm not a lawyer but, to be honest (and it's not often you're going to catch me saying something like this), it strikes me as a case of European "Think the worst of America" itis. The thought process seems to be that, we have the death penalty for federal crimes, ergo we execute everyone who commits one. We aren't actually quite that bloodthirsty.

    They haven't even managed to figure out anything to charge him with -- you are right that he cannot be charged with treason and I'm guessing that they figured out that they can't even charge him with espionage or anything like that. If there were anything they could charge him with, they'd probably have done so by now.

    My best guess is that the Swedish & British authorities are simply helping the American government make Assange's life as difficult as possible for as long as possible and that, eventually, the Swedish prosecutors will drop the extradition request and he'll be allowed to get on with his life.

  48. Montana

    Well, when you put it like that, it seems obvious!!

    (I keep forgetting youse lot have got that special-protection-as-long-as-you-follow-the-(sometimes contradictory, sometimes non-existent)-"rules"-in-a-book-that-(may or may not be)-the-word-of-God thing going on!!)

    My bad.....


  49. (my above in reply to the fundies thing)!!

  50. OK then...seems that liberal conspiracy itself is now coming around to my way of thinking...


    "For too long young people, pensioners, people with disabilities, those on benefits, have felt ignored and shut out from mainstream politics and from the public conversation. Starting the day with a panel of big-name ‘experts’ rather than the people who are getting out there and making change happen was not inspiring, but disempowering."

    "The plenary sessions: a panel on the stage with audience members looking up to them with minimum participation, as I have said, is disempowering."

    "However, in order for this movement not to become London-centric and alienating, the next conference should be held elsewhere."

    "Lisa Ansell, made the point that the cuts will disproportionately affect women, the disabled, black people and ethnic minorities, and people in the North, so rather than making these niche issues, they should be at the core of what the movement is doing."

    "Speeches from on high are bad. Contributary sessions, including Q&As, can be good, if done right.

    "Letting Toynbee drone on for ages was, from what I could see online, Very bad. Of course, to me, inviting her in the first place was bad, but I’ve never been a fan."

    So what are the chances Toynbee and Hundal will bother to turn up in Sunderland...especially now they realise the 'awed' silence was wishful thinking...actually...it was misheard...bored silence was nearer the mark...'bored shitless' even closer...these people are a turn-off...they need telling.

    I'm guessing Laurie Penny's little tantrum wasn't so much about being corralled into bourgeois conformity as not being asked onto the platform..

    Sunny Hundal?..yet to join the thread

    me?...banned...largely for predicting what participants at his conference are now telling him: which might be reasonably paraphrased..."You're an irrelevant boring self-serving cunt"

  51. This comment has been removed by the author.

  52. I'll try that again:

    Liberal Conspiracy - More toys on the floor than Mothercare!


  53. monkeyfish,

    I enjoyed this article on netroots, particularly

    "There is a huge irony that the “new social media” activist movement has found itself today in Congress House having an old-fashioned face-to-face discussion, with face-to-face networking at the Netroots UK event. The fact that you had to already be connected with these people on twitter, or if you’re lucky facebook, or be a reader of quite specific blogs, to know about this event adds to the irony of a movement that is claiming to be horizontal in a manner that avoids elites."

  54. monkeyfish

    Also, you're a toffee aren't you? (Apologies if you're not).

    If you are, I watched this last night on youtube- The Golden Vision. Bloody brilliant 1968 Ken Loach part kitchen sink/part documentary on a group of Everton fans on match day.

    It's centred around Alex Young, the magnificent midfielder from the days when Scotland used to produce them from a turbo charged conveyor belt. Wonderful stuff.

  55. Ah, Dukes back.

    Can someone who still has CiF posting rights do us a favour? Have just seen the following comment on the open thread on the "dearth of women commmentators":

    "I very nearly got JayReilly (I think) to admit that there was absolutely no possible standard of evidence he would accept to test whether there was a gap between the occurence of rape and the number of rapists convicted. His attitude that there was only proof that a rape had been committed if someone was convicted of rape."

    This is 100% nonsense from start to finish, as well as being quite plainly ridiculous: a legal conviction, for any crime, is not "proof" that an event took place, nor is an acquittal proof that it did not. I have said this in black and white a number of times.

    As for the first part - again this is quite insane: for any crime there will always be guilty people who are not convicted, there is always a gap between convictions and crimes. But she has muddied the waters with the term "proof" - if someone has *legal* proof that a given crime has been committed but the perpetrator let free, they should submit it to the police.

    Failing that they can rest assured that all, bar the mentally insane, know full well that for every crime under the sun convictions never come close to the number of crimes committed.

    Someone do us a favour and ask if flaneuse could offer some quotes to back this up?

  56. evening all

    jay where is the thread can you link it I can't find it.......

    re netrootsuk.......another hundal "one minute, sort of plausible idea screwed up my sixth form ego" is going to disappear....shame he won't...

  57. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/10/dearth-comments-women-print-online?showallcomments=true#start-of-comments

    The astonishing level of misquoting on these types of threads is bad enough, but when you cant even post to point them out. Blockquote is there for a reason, yet some posters seem strangely unwilling to use it, preferring instead to respond to what they *feel* someone is saying, or just making things up entirely from scratch.

  58. re the netroots conference - didn't think grass roots activists would be taken in by a bunch of groan journos and their fellow travellers. I understand Toynbee droned on at length...but will she put her money where her mouth is when the shit truly hits the proverbial? I doubt it very much - and anyone with half a brain knows that and thats what counts in the end.

  59. Cheers Sheff/Gandolfo.

    I see employment law is to be changed to allow firing full time staff much easier for the first 2 years of their employment (i think). That wonderful "flexible" labour market that has improved people's lives so much.

    If the coalition has done a single thing that conflicts with business interests to date I must have missed it - but in their favour it has been a busy little bee. Cutting corporation tax, reducing employee protection, doing nothing about the banks or bonuses, privatising anything that moves for some parasite to bleed dry, cutting staff at HMRC, nothing done on tax evasion...

  60. Sheff - i read a pretty dismal report of Toynbee at netroots, all waffle and preaching to the choir with no actual substance, apparently.

  61. 'puter froze and crashed looking at that thread....an omen......seems sheff has done the business.......

  62. I'm breaking cover.

    Normally post as Ca1eb over at CiF, but that thread where JayReilly's been misquoted has beaten me and I'm walking away. Can't argue with flaneuse partly because I don't know what I'm supposed to be arguing against anymore.

    Have I been out of order to her, because I thought I was being pretty polite and civil?

    Oh and hello to everyone. I haven't been on here since I lost my account details.

  63. Hello NeonSamurai - welcome to the UT. Can't guarantee the conversation here will be any more coherent and they're often quite heated - but no one gets banned.

  64. jay

    I see employment law is to be changed to allow firing full time staff much easier for the first 2 years of their employment (i think). That wonderful "flexible" labour market that has improved people's lives so much.

    Now there's a surprise! Wonder what else they've got in mind?

  65. jay

    i thought that was already in place, i.e if you were in short term contracts nd had been employed for less than 2 years basically you had no rights...

    in italy in the first berlusconi government they introduced a reform on work contracts, previously workers here were some of the most protected in europe....now they are some of the most vulnerable....

    the guy that devised the reforms, a senior civil servant, university professor, Biagi was shot dead by the New Red Brigade.....

  66. Hey SheffPixie, I'm a returning former participant in this blog, but form a year or two ago.

    So why did JayReilly get banned (again)? I wondered why he hadn't got involved after his name was mentioned in the thread.

  67. i read a pretty dismal report of Toynbee at netroots, all waffle and preaching to the choir with no actual substance, apparently.

    So I've heard Jay. a couple of people I know who went weren't impressed either.

  68. Evening all

    Interesting stuff MF re the netroots thingy.

    I will go and take a look at that thread Jay/ca1eb - sounds like fun stuff... :o)

    I have a mate who sits as a fee-paid (i.e. part time and irregular) judge on Social Security tribunals. Gonna have a chat with him about his take on it all (and whether it would be worth me taking a step in that direction next time they are recruiting...). He is very socially aware and I can imagine him making really good decisions in favour of appellants.

  69. Sheff/Jay

    Re the employment tribunal stuff - knew it was coming because the Beeb's lickspittle "expose" of "abuse" of the tribunal last week, alleging that it was just a means of employees extorting money out of their bosses. Fuckers. They really are the mouthpiece of the government of they day with no shame whatsoever.

  70. oops sorry NS - didn't realise you were an old hand....

  71. Pretty much anybody who went on that thread, other than to say, 'hurrah, well said. Agree completely" was pretty much on a hiding to nothing, I reckon.

    I did read it, and then ran, in the opposite direction, as fast as my fat little legs could carry me.

    Funnily enough though, Jay, after reading it, I was trying to locate a post you made a while back, with the number of articles etc on 'Women's issues', versus 'Men's issues', and some other stuff, but couldn't find it!!

  72. It was on a waddya thread i think James, Jess was assuring me they cover the issues in reasonable depth - needless to say, there were around 3 out of the 60 or so articles i sampled i think, 1 was a joke, 1 was by Pikey, and 1 was by a (admittedly endearing) radfem - Cath Elliott.

    On employment - i was short of time and didnt read in full, but i think the time span in which you have basically no rights has been doubled, from 1 year to 2 or something. What else would you expect from the cabinet of millionaires.

    Hi Caleb - i met flaneuse recently as it goes, nice woman, though no impressed with this misquoting malarkey. I wouldnt mind as much if the alleged positions weren't so absurd.

    I got banned for a Biddy thread, well premodded, then they banned me for a month for making intentionally banal, lengthy posts on waddya. Not missing out on much luckily...

  73. An Italian man has astonished doctors by sneezing a bullet out through his nose after being shot in the head.

    "Darco Sangermano, 28, had been taken to hospital in Naples for emergency treatment after being hit by a stray bullet during New Year's Eve celebrations.

    The bullet passed behind his right eye and lodged in his nostril, but miraculously did no serious damage."


  74. @Jay, gandolfo, Sheff

    The proposed changes would stop employees taking employers to a tribunal for unfair dismissal if the dismissal is within two years. At present it's one year.

    There are some details and FAQs here.

  75. A Biddy thread eh Jay? For me she moved beyond parody when she started reviewing films which hadn't been made yet. I'll have to to take your word for it on Flaneuse. I'm sure in the light of day she's nice, but I'm becoming needlessly angry on that thread for similar reasons to your objections to it. I see that BB has stepped into the fray, so we'll see what happens.

    No probs SheffPixie, my username is different here, but on the Graun it's Ca1eb.

  76. "A Biddy thread eh Jay? For me she moved beyond parody when she started reviewing films which hadn't been made yet."

    Yeah... that was the thread.

  77. "they can rest assured that all, bar the mentally insane, know full well that for every crime under the sun convictions never come close to the number of crimes committed."

    Of course you do realise, Jay, that for a conviction to be made, a crime has to actually come to court. In rape assaults, the overwhelming evidence has to be there, unlike in robberies, where a bit of grainy cctv footage will do.

    I really haven't ever understood why you use statistics to back up your stance against bringing more people to trial for rape.

  78. Hey BB

    Did you hear the UKBA has lost over 60,000 asylum seekers? Don't know where they are apparently, they may be here, they may be there...who knows! Anyway, they're not all staying with me!

  79. Sheff

    Aww. You've disappointed me now. I had visions of you running a kind of "Secret Army" type network with them all living in underground shelters round your flat... :o)

    Yeah I heard that this morning and it made me chuckle. But let's face it, if they send letters out to people saying "We are dealing with your application - please do not contact us in the meantime as we are up to our fucking ears in paper here already, ta," then don't actually get back to them for five or six years or more, some are bound to have fallen by the wayside.

  80. This comment has been removed by the author.

  81. Even I'd have trouble fitting 60,000 into this place BB - even if I did use the cellar!

  82. Seriously, though, Sheff. The whole bloody thing is a shambles. Ever since it was decided to deal with whatever percent it was of new applications within 60 days and shelve the rest, I think at one stage the guesstimate was that there were half a million cases sitting in a warehouse somewhere in Croydon.

    I can quite believe there are still cases from 95 and 96 that haven't been dealt with yet - the oldest I have ever had was 11 years.


  83. Someone remind me never to look at Waddya again, please?

    And, welcome back Ca1eb! You know you can change your display name on your Blogger profile so that you post as Ca1eb here, regardless of what e-mail account you used to create the new blogger account, if you want.

  84. Mightily pissed off. Triggered by Redminer's post on wtfyta re more disabled people being driven to contemplate suicide by being declared fit to work. Exacerbated by the employment law changes (and the fact that Blogger ate a fairly lengthy post about it).

    Also I burnt the first attempt at dinner.

  85. How can one burn Pringles??


  86. Aargh. Serious comment from Thauma will make this seem inappropriate. Fuck it. Since when have I ever worried about being appropriate?

    I should be Diana Dors right now.

    (Why I chose to be her, I don't know. Her name just came to me.)

  87. peterj

    glad to hear it's bearable......

    shame that we couldn't all meet up in brighton before xmas...really hope we can next time....


    just a reminder never look at Waddya again ya hearing me.!!!!

    the whole employment tribunals stuff what is really pathetic is the rationale they use to reintroduce it....“regulatory and bureaucratic burdens which increase costs and hassle” to small business yeah by helping a feckless employers harass, exploit and torment their employees for 23 months before sacking them for no reason...

  88. james

    you is wicked....


    that bloggers post was tragic poor person...they really are a fucking bastard government....

  89. Duke

    I'm biased, but I'm surprised The Golden Vision isn't better known...Young was a couple of years before my time, but my Grandad and his mates thought he was the fuckin messiah...(my dad hates football...went to precisely 1 match in his entire life...he makes up for it though...only talks politics and religion) I've got it on DVD...watch it two or three times every year...generally when I come in legless and know I'm gonna get a mouthful if I stumble upstairs and wake up the missus.

    Thing is...if you go to Goodison..even now, nothing's changed...people moan it's old and decrepit...but it's like a trip back to the 50s...ground, pubs, chippies, "mind yer car mister?"...the lot...it'll kill me if they move. I saw a poll a couple of years back(in the Observer, I think) where people voted on the best away match..based on atmosphere etc...Everton came top..or maybe second as I recall...still feels like a 'proper' match...nothing antiseptic or artificial. Mind you..I still miss the terraces...and I'm not even being an inverted snob or nostalgia freak..1) I don't like sitting down that long ever 2) If you're stuck next to someone you don't like, you're either having a row or get pissed off...ie. you're having a row 3) You can jump up and down on a cold day 4) Sitting down just doesn't feel right..doesn't feel like a football match...more like being back at school.

    Re, Netroots

    I sincerely hope it takes off...doubt it will...but I'm sure the presence of all the 'usual suspects' is a bit disincentive...you know what they're gonna say..they've chopped, changed, and talked so much shite over the years you can't take them seriously anyway..and how can they get pragmatic and specific when all they're there for is the kudos, the limelight and the 'glory'?

    If Toynbee or Hundal want to trek around Warrington, Spennymoor or East Kilbride on the knock I'll take it all back...long as it isn't a 20 minute stroll which becomes the basis for a heart rending, 'heart of darkness', heart to heart with their 'constituency'...well...unless "73 year old, wheelchair-bound Gladwys with the steely glint in her eye and the fire in her soul" etc. gets an invite to Tuscany for a month..with her flight paid.

  90. The mythical 'small business' shit's getting beyond a joke now.

    At least 'Joe the Plumber' had a nice ring to it, and had the advantage of the fact that there wasn't thousands of him shouting, 'help us? you're fucking killing us here...' in the background while they were using him as an example!!

  91. And now I'm me again.

    Thanks, Gandolfo. I'll try to remember that. Just doesn't do me any good. That fuckwit Pairubu has pushed me over the edge. But could someone who still does read/post on it try to convince Redminer to join us? And Clunie. I'd love to see Clunie over here. (Although, I don't believe I've ever seen her on Waddya.)

    How the hell does keeping a worker for more than two years create "regulatory and bureaucratic burdens which increase costs and hassle" for any employer? Surely any increased cost in per hour wages is made up for in efficiency savings of having a workforce that actually knows what the fuck they're doing??

    God, I despise these people.

  92. "shame that we couldn't all meet up in brighton before xmas...really hope we can next time.... "

    Yeah was a good night, would've been good if you could have made it but we can always arrange another either in Brighton again or London.

    (MF, Peter, I did say goodbye when i left, didnt i? Went out with friends after and got completely smashed and then woke up with a nagging feeling that I'd just upped and left you two without saying goodbye)

  93. Jay
    definitely up for it the next time i'm back....b'ton london frankly anywhere......
    that's unless polly pays for all of UT to come to italy to plan for the unified global overthrow and purge of the Graun......

  94. Surely any increased cost in per hour wages is made up for in efficiency savings of having a workforce that actually knows what the fuck they're doing??

    FFS, Montana, don't you know yet that businesses are run by accountants who don't grasp the concept of competence?

    James - my not-so-mythical small business will probably do quite nicely, thank you, out of the Tories' changes. The thing is, I don't need the fucking tax cut. Other people DO need the tax money.

    I am NOT going to contribute to the magical jobs tree as my employees consist of, well, me. This type of arrangement has been set up by the neoliberal idiots trashing employment law so that businesses see it as an asinine move to actually hire anyone directly (with rights and all that), so they go through agencies. Who also prefer to deal with limited companies rather than employees.

  95. "I am NOT going to contribute to the magical jobs tree as my employees consist of, well, me."

    Dont worry about it, Thaum, the private sectors got 2 million jobs tucked up its sleeves. Any minute now.... Just need the feckless bastards to get out and look for them!

  96. Thaum

    "FFS, Montana, don't you know yet that businesses are run by accountants who don't grasp the concept of competence?"

    Time was when the MDs of companies were engineers and production managers. Since the 80s they have been accountants.

    Not a fucking clue except the bottom line.

  97. Exactly, BB. Accountants do have a part - see failure of many British engineering firms - but should not be in the main decision-making role.

  98. Sorry Thaum, I probably should have made my post clearer!

    In my opinion, the small business thing is very much a convenient, yet disingenuous soundbite, in the same vein as 'hardworking families', specifically used because people either class themselves as such, or have respect/sympathy for them.

    In reality though, small businesses are screaming that, apart from a few, token measures, this government's policies are killing them. Access to/Cost of credit and increased VAT being the most oft-used examples.

    Furthermore, this, I'd wager, is deliberate, because the Medium to Big companies not only have the ability to ride this out, but stand to gain significantly in the longer term, when most of the smaller businesses have disappeared!

    I'd also wager that it's the smaller, community based businesses that are more willing to pay fairer/provide better conditions etc, and who will now, if they choose to continue to do so, find it another disadvantage against the bigger, less scrupulous ones!!

    As usual, though, I could be very wrong....

  99. "MF, Peter, I did say goodbye when i left, didnt i? Went out with friends after and got completely smashed and then woke up with a nagging feeling that I'd just upped and left you two without saying goodbye"

    I think so...seem to recall you did...although, I was a bit pissed, stoned, had been up since about half four and had been driving for 10 hours..but I seem to recall you saying goodbye...after you left, all the pubs had to shut cos the water got cut off or something...it was a bit weird.

  100. Good stuff, had only had a few by that point so would have had no excuse other than rank brain failure. Water being cut off sounds weird tho.

  101. Hello everyone and welcome back to the asylum
    Neon Samurai.

    In case anyone missed it first time around this is top notch:


    Bloody great script and the acting spot on.

    Best line from Eric's mum (played by Victoria Wood): "The only thing you are any good at is fooling around......you might as well get paid for it"

    Cut to Eric's Dad (played by Vic Reeves) muttering to himself something along the lines of "yep..nowt much to disagree with that logic"!

  102. Oooh yeah, MF, I remember that now. That was weird.

  103. Montana

    I have invited RedMiner over here recently, and tried to persuade him to attend one of our future Sheffield UT get-togethers but he said he wasn't feeling very sociable at the time I was talking about this only a couple of days ago via email with princesschipchops - hell, I'd drive to fetch him from where ever he is in South Yorkshire, just to get to meet the man.

    Next time I see Clunie, I'll remember to ask her to join us. We've mentioned asking her over before, haven't we?

  104. Hello to all the fine people of UT Land.

    I am inviting you all to my little place in Tuscany in order that we can discuss the overthrow of the, oh, you know, thingy - sorry, I'm a little squiffy - kapitalizm or whatever.

    We can also plan to destabilise and undermine Guardian Towers and watch them all fall from the battlements and those little slitty window things.

    So, do come and bring along your partners and any necessary butlers or ladies' maids, although everything is pretty relaxed out here.

    I'll charter an aeroplane when we know the numbers and dates.




    [Will that do?]

  105. FFS, another post eaten by Blogger.


    In my opinion, the small business thing is very much a convenient, yet disingenuous soundbite, in the same vein as 'hardworking families', specifically used because people either class themselves as such, or have respect/sympathy for them.

    Completely agree. The Tories are aiming for white-collar small businesses - consultants etc. - who don't need loans for materials and other short-term needs to keep them afloat.

    Apparently we are more hard-working than brickies, plumbers, sparkies, etc. And the bankers who refuse to lend to these businesses fully deserve their multi-million-pound bonuses despite having been bailed out by the same people's taxes.

  106. well "polz" where's the "we" coming from?

    you weren't actually on the list...being one of those to be purged........solz polz

  107. Chekhov

    Watched that Eric and Ernie drama over the hols. Victoria Wood and Vic Reeves were bloody brilliant in it. I really enjoyed it.

  108. Hey Gandolfo - may be in Rome the weekend either of the 4th or 25th Feb. Drinkies perhaps?

    Off to bed now but will check back tomorrow!

  109. @MsChin:

    Remind the man that he has winter palaces to storm, but that they will only be storm-able from here, henceforth.

    And, yes, we've discussed Clunie before. I even tried to lure her over here a few times, but I think the comments were always deleted before she saw them.

  110. Thaums

    for sure!! if I'm here defo on the fourth....not sure about 25th if you need a nice B&B I know one alas have a studio flat otherwise the offer would be here......

  111. Eughh what the fuck ***&^%$£"£"... who invited Polly over here?

    Where's the sick bucket monitor?

  112. gandolfo

    you weren't actually on the list...being one of those to be purged........solz polz

    Oh, flip!

    I try to paddle in the murky waters inhabited by the little peeople and this is what happens.

    I put my foot in it!

    Yet earlier on you said:

    that's unless polly pays for all of UT to come to italy to plan for the unified global overthrow and purge of the Graun......

    I just thought it was a chance to step down from the podium of privilege and hold out a gloved and scented hand of - well, obviously not friendship - conspiratorial cameraderie, though.

    You know, in the spirit of net-rootin' tootin' shootin' or whatever the latest bandwagon onto which I have jumped is called.


    Yes, "Mwah" indeed!

    (With a little snotty snivel of disappointment).

    Hip-hip Huzzah-ish, I suppose.

  113. Polly

    Am I supposed to curtsey now?

    Only I'd just like to point out that genuflection is anathema to a Yorkshire woman such as myself.

  114. life shit "polz".....paying doesn't automatically entitle you to participation.....I know it's the norm in your world...

    but given your dedication i'm sure your donation to the cause will be publicised by your fans and obviously through your extensive media contacts (not sychophantic at all...), as will your self sacrificing act of resignation from the graun in the name of progress...

    are you a believer polz? have contacts with the vatican could get you on the road going towards santification that would be a new line for ya......what d'ya reckz polz?

  115. MsChin

    No, of course you don't have to curtsey! What a silly little thing you are!

    Unless you are staff, of course, but I don't remember any Chins in my service.

    I have, of course, heard of Yorkshire, although I have never been there.

    Have you come far this evening?


    I reckz that sounds absolutely spiffing.

    So, you can make me Pope, yes?

    Won't that be one in the eye for Tonez!

  116. "The Liberal Democrats plan to air future disagreements with their Conservative partners in public as Nick Clegg attempts to assert a more distinctive identity for his party in a new phase for the coalition".

    Poor Cleggie.

    "Clegg's decision to assert the Lib Dems' distinctive identity marks the end of speculation – mainly from ultra-modernising Tories – that the two parties could reach a deal or even merge ahead of the 2015 general election. Conservative cabinet ministers have been speculating that the Tories could stand down in Clegg's Sheffield Hallam constituency to give him a clear run in 2015".

    Don't be daft - Sheffield Hallam was Tory from 1885 - 1997 except for a liitle blip in WW1 when it went Liberal for a couple of years. They will be offering him a safe Tory seat when he crosses the floor to join the Conservatives.

  117. saint polz of bandwagonz....certain resonance to that.........

  118. Will the real Polly Toynbee please stand up (apologies to Slim Shady).

    Or just go 'Quack'?

  119. saint polz of bandwagonz....certain resonance to that.........

    Indeed, gandolfo - made I larf anyway!

  120. I see that there's a piece on conductors over on Groan view ... silly me, I thought they meant bus conductors, not those people who wave sticks in front of musicians.

    (apols to Meerkatjie).

  121. Haven't been around much for some days.

    What's the business with this Netroots stuff?

    How many people have jumped or been pushed from Dribbly, apart from MyxomatosisInEntrails and Braxton Hiccups?

  122. This comment has been removed by the author.

  123. Atoms

    Netroots UK website isn't up & running yet, but you can read all about it here:

  124. mschin

    the conductors.........thought the same......!

  125. MsChin

    Thanks. I'll have to knuckle down and get up-to-date with things.

    I got the impression it was some online commune for pampered and idle media luvvies to chide politicians for being remote and dictatorial, which then lectured a meeting of the hobbledehoy in a remote and dictatorial fashion.

    You know, just another incest orgy, really.

  126. Atoms

    I think we all did but I'm encouraged by the fact that on the day, some participants took things in a different direction. The women in particular erm, got a bit miffed.

    I'm going to drag Monkeyfish (aka the velociraptor on steroids) to the Netrootsnorth one though ...

  127. NN from me - my hot water bottle awaits.

  128. I just went to find out about "hobbledehoy" because I used it above and thought afterwards that I did not actually know what it meant.

    It sprang to mind as I was typing and I simply thought that it was probably a corruption of "hoi polloi".

    "clumsy or awkward youth," 1540, first element is probably hob in its sense of "clown, prankster" (see hobgoblin), the second element seems to be M.Fr. de haye "worthless, untamed, wild," lit. "of the hedge."

    It's nice to be wrong when you learn something from it, however small and useless.

  129. Yes, goodnight MsChin and all.

    I must also go to bed, although without a hot water bottle.

    I'll just keep my socks on.

  130. "Only I'd just like to point out that genuflection is anathema to a Yorkshire woman such as myself."

    Well said MsChin, keep up the good work, we need more people like you!

  131. Wow, CiF is sinking under a rising tide of witless shit. There isn't even anything there worth getting angry about. Just wow.

  132. @RapidEddie: I thought you were smart enough to know that the CIF ship was sunk a few years ago!

  133. Well, Chekov I only joined a couple of years ago.

    Damn. You don't think the two things are related, do you?

    In other news... Netroots. Hmmm. Held in central London and peopled by every liberal media whore you can think of. What could possibly go wrong? I'm tending towards MF's view on this. It's not just useless, it's harmful.

    If your chosen brand of activism relies on a BlackBerry and a Twitter feed, then it's already formed the circle and has its dicks out. That well-known car manufacturer, Sunny Hyundai (I knew him when he was Sunny Datsun) says that this won't be people just standing up and wailing grievances, but a look at the next steps. Then Toynbee stands up and does exactly what Hyundai says they won't. Never mind, she's old. Someone can explain it to her later.

    One of the invitees was Hope Not Hate, which owes its success to the cutting-edge ploy of arguing on doorsteps and talking to voters. That didn't require a Twitter feed or an iPhone, even it used them. It's like ascribing the success of Martin Luther King's 'I have a dream' speech to the sound system. Yeah, sure his words would have been the same but no one would have been able to hear him. It was the sound system wot won it.

    The other thing I noticed today is that calls for the Graun to stick the boot into Atos Origin continue to go unanswered. Would that be (a) because it was a New Labour who introduced it in the first place and the Graun is loath to take aim at the coalition and wing the opposition or (b) there's an Islington (Guardian/New Labour) consensus that - unpalatable though it might be - there are many loafers and shirkers on the dole/IB and they need a boot up the arse, in a caring socially democratic way of course.

    I'm tending towards (b).

  134. Hey, Eddie I'm not jumping all over your case. On the contrary, I agree with you but I'm too pissed to right now to get involved in the "pedantics"!

    Catch up with you tommorrow, when I'm sober if that is OK!