16 January 2011


Don't take life too seriously.  You'll never get out of it alive.
-Elbert Hubbard


  1. Reposting this, from last night:

    Bitterweed said...

    "I was going to post in detail, in the next few days what my county is about to suffer, in terms of spending cuts, and why I will be doing less of this and more out there. But fuck it.

    There is no getting away from this matter.

    We are talking about slashing a third of everything.

    From a billion; 136,000,000 is gone. So far so what. Except 60% of that budget is, legally, uncomutable. Ergo; from 400,000,000, take 136,000,000. That’s a third.
    Libraries. So what?
    Police outreach and communities work - So what ?
    Social Services. At all levels and on all fronts. So what ?
    Support for the frail, the exposed to crime, the people already living in grime and confusion, the disenfranchised. So fucking what ?
    The kids. The park managers; the playgrounds, the allotments, the sports pitches, the cheap and cheerful park cafes where people get together and moan about the state of the above... the rivers, the back alleys, the wide expanses of countryside now sold off to the highest bidder... the tatty streets with no more litter cleaning...
    The invisible jewels of our society, so carefully designed by our - OUR - committees are about to be cut in ways that we – NONE OF US - have ever imagined, nor signed up to.

    So... we'll accept smog and confusion and illiteracy and chaotic commuting. No change there. But further to that, we'll long for unwarranted precincts like religion to fill the gap that once was the easy going common weald - and the Tories can't wait, like any fundamentalist movement, to fill impoverished minds with yet more outworn and failing ideas. Except their own exponential , slavering and unequivocal pursuit of outright greed.

    No. In their world – the on they broadcast to us - the poor will continue to blame the poorer. That's how that trick works.

    We'll run rivers dry and ask people to invest in unattainable dreams... more white goods... more consequence-free sensualism... fewer pot-holes and more Regional BBC Radio Phone-Ins..

    I don't have kids. But I'll fight like a bastard to mitigate this shit that's coming their way.

    Here's to great people, great friends and a fairer life. This is just the beginning of a truly fucking horrible era.
    I do religion as much as I do relativism, i.e. not a lot – but these people are evil, and so is their agenda.
    I know that most of you have the stomach for it. Let's fight the fucking lot of them".

  2. Thanks for that and good morning MsChin... although Bitterweed may have thought he was talking to himself last night, I did just read the end of yesterday's thread.... twas a good rant!

  3. Morning MsC

    Good rant from bitters..

    Re libraries - from the indie this morning

    The fight to save our libraries begins

    Charles Dickens described libraries as a "source of pleasure and improvements in the cottages, the garrets and the ghettos of the poorest of our people", at the opening of Manchester's first public library in 1852. This came two years after the Public Library Act was introduced to "raise educational standards throughout society".

    At first, Tory sceptics argued that Britain's wealthier classes should not pay for a service that would predominantly benefit the working class. But donations from wealthy entrepreneurs such as Andrew Carnegie helped to finance hundreds of public libraries. They became a gateway out of social exclusion and a treasured aspect of cultural life.

  4. An excellent rant, LaRit, and worth repeating.

    And that's just the effects of the cuts in one county. There are 39 in England and 13 in Wales - that's 52 counties so you can begin to visualise the magnitutude of the change the ConDems are inflicting on us.

    With no mandate.

  5. Top of the morning to all the ladies with social conscience: hear hear.

    Regarding another matter this caught my eye:

    If Kennedy wants sympathy he can find it in the dictionary, between shit and syphilis. Likewise "Officer" A, Lyn Watson and "Officer" B, Mark Jacobs, operating out of Leeds and Cardiff respectively. Whilst the Green movement and anarchists may not be one's cup of tea last I heard they legal organisations. New Scotland Yard delenda est.

    (comment linky)

  6. medve

    If Kennedy wants sympathy he can find it in the dictionary, between shit and syphilis

    I read somewhere he'd been on to Max Clifford - so perhaps he's eyeing up the potential for making a few quid.

  7. "With no mandate."

    Yes. No-one voted for this.

    I have it on very good authority Eric Pickles was dismayed these cuts didn't go further, deeper and happen quicker.

    Whitehall held him back...

    Time to stop the wittering and get organised.

  8. Hello, all. Just to keep Astrid "interested" (not really), here's a look around a few of the world's newspapers...

    From The Egyptian Gazette:

    Gaddafi said the turmoil would only be justified if Tunisia adopts his model of rule - known as the Third Universal Theory - which replaces representative democracy with direct rule by the people through institutions called popular committees.
    He said this model "marks the final destination for the peoples' quest for democracy. If this is what the events (in Tunisia) are for, then it has to be made clear".

  9. From Haaretz: (a former Israeli President - Moshe Katsav - has been convicted of rape)

    "We do not ignore the mental anguish the defendant suffered as a result of the infinite flux of harsh publications released against him through the media and which had declared him a sex offender prior to his trial," judges George Kara, Miriam Sokolov and Yehudit Shevah wrote in their verdict.

    While this predicament, the verdict continues, will not result in the annulment of Katsav's verdict, it may result in its "reevaluation in the future."

  10. From The Times of India:

    Released from prison after a little over a month, the minor backward community girl allegedly raped by a BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party) Member of the Legislative Assembly and later framed in a fake theft case on Sunday said she wanted her tormentor to be hanged and accused the police of beating her while the legislator's brother watched.

    "I want that he should be hanged," the 17-year-old said, a day after she walked free yesterday from Banda district jail, about 220 km from Lucknow, where the rape accused Purshottam Naresh Dwiwedi, 48, was also lodged.

  11. From the Sydney Morning Herald:

    Gay rights campaigner Gary Burns, HIV lobbyist Shayne Chester and journalist Peter Hackney have demanded the state government "demolish" ACON, formerly known as the AIDS Council of NSW.

    The trio alleged the service, which specialises in HIV prevention, care and support, received $12.6 million in government funding last year but spent only $800,000 on programs and services. In a scathing attack, the group dubbed the organisation a "gravy train" and called on Premier Kristina Keneally to hand back ACON's work to NSW Health.

  12. From the New York Times: (oh the full article is worth a read, if you're interested in MIddle Eastern affairs.)

    The Dimona complex in the Negev desert is famous as the heavily guarded heart of Israel’s never-acknowledged nuclear arms program, where neat rows of factories make atomic fuel for the arsenal.

    Over the past two years, according to intelligence and military experts familiar with its operations, Dimona has taken on a new, equally secret role — as a critical testing ground in a joint American and Israeli effort to undermine Iran’s efforts to make a bomb of its own.

  13. From El Pais:

    The crushing of the opposition makes for a transitional time now in Tunisia. The absence of a consolidated democratic power can encourage a collaborator of the ousted president to seize power or to leave the way open to the Islamists. Tunisia now have little weight, but in Egypt (Muslim Brotherhood) and Morocco (Justice and Charity), the bulk of the opposition finds itself.

    Over the 23 years of the regime of Ben Ali, Europe has not supported real stability, but has underpinned a dictatorship that bequeaths a political wasteland in which weeds can grow. Europe should review its relations with other North African countries to avoid the same thing happening elsewhere.

  14. And finally,

    Der Spiegel, today quoting an article from earlier this week by Die Tageszeitung:

    "Normally newspapers in Tunisia are about as informative as papers in the former East Germany. But yesterday the daily Le Temps led with a photo of burning houses in the city of Sfax, with the headline: 'General strike in Sfax: Violent clashes and fires, one dead, several wounded by gunfire.' On page five there was a detailed list of events in the style of a weather report: 'Looting on stores and private houses; all stores closed and the entire city has once again been shut down.'"

    "Other Tunisian papers also give the weeks of violence a generous amount of space. But don't be fooled. The media is still strictly controlled by the government, and the primary message still amounts to: President Ben Ali has everything under control."

    "For real liveliness, Tunisians need to turn to papers in neighboring Algeria, where social unrest has also become a daily fact of life … (One Algerian paper) compares Tunisia's Ben Ali clan with the Somoza and Pinochet families. Like those South American regimes, the Ben Ali government has roused its own middle class to rebellion. Such an analysis, of course, is a way of making statements about Algerian leaders that would otherwise not be condoned."

  15. Morning people.

    Nice to see you again, medve. The 'between shit & syphilis' comment made me and the other half larf. But yes, no sympathy from us for the state infiltrators. 'Traitor' should be etched on their foreheads and their tombstones.

    Whereas the issues habib highlights made my heart sink.

  16. Damn, NYT article about Israeli-American collaboration spammed.

  17. MsChin
    Can't wait for urban fuckwads of the ilk of Matt Seaton to find it in themselves to celebrate the fuel price increases too... despite the inevitable savaging of rural bus routes following these cuts; I'll give you ten to one that fuck-faced little nonce will be beating his scrawny chest over fewer people being able to afford to drive cars.

    10-1. That's my tenner right there.

    Off out for a long walk now. See ya.

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. Don't let your heart sink, MsChin - the world just spins that way.

  20. MontanaWildhack on the Chinese mother thread:
    16 January 2011 4:37AM

    "Some people really shouldn't have children. I think Amy Chua is one of them".

    Ithink many mothers agree.

  21. It was indeed, Sheff; you get to have the pick of the roasties at dinner, today :-)

  22. Bitters

    My money is with yours.



  23. Just spotted this which made me reflect:

    16 January 2011 9:53AM

    "Amy Chua claims that soft western parenting fails because it stops children from fulfilling their potential, whereas her hardline Chinese approach gets results".

    "I listened to Amy Chua being interviewed on NPR last week, and that's not what she said at all on NPR.

    Indeed she was saying that her book is about how her hardline Chinese parenting backfired spectacularly on her when her daughter rebelled, and she had to do some serious thinking about how hard she was pushing her children.

    She also made the point that although she is successful and her parents pushed her hard, her husband is also successful, and he had typical relaxed liberal parents.

    Please don't distort what people say and only give us half of the story. It diminishes Amy Chua, it diminishes you (because you are making a straw man argument), and it diminishes us as readers".

    Now that makes more sense.

  24. Sheff:

    I read somewhere he'd been on to Max Clifford - so perhaps he's eyeing up the potential for making a few quid.

    Quite. Plus an interview in the Mail on Sunday. Would be about my last priority if i were thinking of doing myself in, which is where he claims he is at.

  25. ****BB****

    Piece on the upside of living with Asperger's just gone up on CiF:


    Please read it.

  26. Indeed she was saying that her book is about how her hardline Chinese parenting backfired spectacularly on her when her daughter rebelled, and she had to do some serious thinking about how hard she was pushing her children.

    MsChin, you can read the full interview transcript here. I can't seem to find the bit where she says what althebald claims she said.

  27. Medve

    just read that Mail on Sunday article. This bit is interesting:

    ‘I started slowly and made friends. Then I went to my first gathering of the Earth First group where I met an activist called Mark Barnsley.
    'Our friendship blossomed and he treated me like a brother. He is a cantankerous figure but was well respected for his anarchist and vegan principles and the fact that he had fought with the PLO.

    I knew Mark Barnsley back in the 80s. Its stretching credulity into insanity to imagine that the PLO would have let him anywhere near them. Barnsley is a fantasist, which says a lot about MK's judgement if he actually believed that walter mitty bullshit.

  28. BW re: your wonderful rant that Montana has reposted

    Agree with every last word and reflects my feelings exactly!!!!

    Re the cuts my lovely lib dem council has recently spent £300,000 + on consultants to 'improve efficiency' in social care.

    When questioned they said that the efficiencies will more than pay for itso council tax payers will not pay any more.

    So thats all right then never mind the vulnerable disabled and elderly people that could have had their desperate needs met...

    I don't know what the 'efficiencies' will consist of but I fear I know.

    How many disabled and elderly infirm people will not get the care they need? How many serious bed sores, how many hours sitting in their own shit!!!

    Social 'care' is bad enough now - and they are going to CUT it???

    AS you say we need to get out there and START FIGHTING BACK!!!

  29. Thanks, scherfig.

    Will take a gander later .. awaiting the usual Sunday family invasion.

  30. Morning all.

    I too fear the impact of cuts into social care and care in the community (such as it is). Just look at the example of domiciliary care - it's appallingly underfunded as it is. Now it seems this government will cut services even further, with some naive presumption that if the state isn't providing the care, someone in 'the community' will do so. They seem to forget how badly their previous incarnation ripped through and undermined notions of community and connectedness.

  31. That's absolutley right M.

    And what do we get on the news ?

    Milliband Condemns Transport Union for Ever Considering A Strike.

    I am so tempted to take a leaf out of the Tea Party stratagem right here...

  32. They seem to forget how badly their previous incarnation ripped through and undermined notions of community and connectedness.

    Ah well Meerkatje - If Anne's post is anything to go by, there could be a future in becoming a consultant and running training courses in 'community and connectedness'.

  33. Sheff, I was skim reading last night, but did I hear that their was an extra place in the car going to London from Sheffield in March? I promise I'll misbehave.

  34. Lots to chew over this morning. I hope for Tunisia's people's sake they get the Government they have long waited for.

    Apparently 1 police officer to every 40 citizens.. secret police had infiltrated every aspect of life and people were terrified of speaking their minds, but then dissent reaches a critical mass and it cannot be contained. It will be worth remembering in the coming months as those horrific cuts begin to reveal themselves, that we are many and they are few.

  35. Funnily, enough, La Rit, I think the Met are going to be outnumbered 10 to 1.

  36. medve

    Sending me over to the sunday mail has been a revelation. Take this masterclass in greasing the fundaments of the most wealthy and powerful:

    We reveal Britain’s 50 most powerful posh people under 30

    That clack clack noise you can hear in the background is me loading my kalashnikov (metaphorically of course).

    Let’s face it, they’re posh and they’re proud of it. Very proud of it. No longer embarrassed by being called chinless wonders, Sloane Rangers or Hooray Henrys, the posh have crawled out from under their four-poster beds and reclaimed what they consider to be their rightful place at the head of things.

  37. clack clack

    With you all the way, Sheff (metaphorically of course).

  38. Habib

    I think we've got two cars going now - Princess is taking one and so is MsC. I'm sure there'll be a place for you.

  39. Sheff, keep the place for me, I will be there. I think it's going to be a momentous day... if only there was a bastille.

  40. Afternoon all

    Thanks for the signpost to the aspie thread, MsChin, but I already found it just before lunch. Good article.

    Superb repost from BW there. It absolutely is time to for everyone to walk the walk.

    Will take a look at the Chua thread.

  41. "there could be a future in becoming a consultant and running training courses in 'community and connectedness'"

    I think a few others have already beaten me to that one.... Lots of people jumping on the Big Society Bandwagon.

    It's bothersome though. What do we do in this situation? There's a degree to which organising locally, strengthening the base, 'coping' with the cuts and helping local people do the same plays right into Tory hands, and almost ratifies their policies.

  42. Sheff:


    Sending me over to the sunday mail has been a revelation.

    I wash my hands of any responsibility for "Sending" you there.

    A sad note: two former classmates of my son were crushed to death at a disco last night.

  43. medve

    What dreadful news. I'm so sorry to here it. Do you know what happened?

  44. LaRit, Sheff:

    Budapest. They were smallish girls. The place was packed (licensed for 300 -- there were more than 3000 people in). Someone shouted that somebody had been knifed. Panic broke out and three young women were trampled to death.

  45. They were at primary school together. They had just had a bit of a class reunion not far from here, which my son also attended, so he was one of the last people to see them alive.

  46. medve

    3000 in a club licensed for 300? I hope heads will roll for that monumental irresponsibility - it's practically begging for something to go wrong.

  47. Medve - that's terrible. How is he?

  48. Sheff: It's a large place, former department store, so a lot of people will fit in. The stairwell is the problem and that is where the tragedy took place. They have the odd practice of putting extra loose chairs into theatres as well. One day a lot of people will be killed if there is a fire in a theatre with these so-called extra seats.

  49. shazz: He's fine. His parents and the former teacher are close to tears.

  50. Medve:

    I'm so sorry. That is just heartbreaking not to mention reckless irresponsibility on the part of the organisers.

  51. Were the stairs the only way out medve? In places like clubs that get very crowded you do need plenty of well signed emergency exits. Are the rules about these things lax in Hungary?

  52. Sheff: Some rules are not lax, but not really enforced. Other rules are indeed too lax. I'm pretty sure a UK or Dutch fire brigade would take a dim view of these extra seats i mentioned earlier.

  53. medve

    that's so tragic...

    ...tragedies are so often foreseeable and preventable...rules are futile if they aren't enforced...

  54. MsChin

    MontanaWildhack on the Chinese mother thread:

    "Some people really shouldn't have children. I think Amy Chua is one of them".

    I think many mothers agree.

    Despite Amy Chua's daughters, Sophia and Lulu saying what a wonderful mother they have.

    But then whoever took notice of what children wanted MsChin?

  55. I think we should rip up all the research, burn all the books on raising children and set up a movement called Bitey Knows Best.

    He is, after all, the ne plus ultra of modern parenting knowledge.

  56. Interesting piece here...

    But the cracks beneath the surface begin to show. Toothmarks are found on the piano (the culprit is Sophia, who gnaws on it during practice), and Lulu becomes rebellious, openly defying her teacher and her mother and bitterly complaining in public about her home life. By the age of 13, writes Chua, "[Lulu] wore a constant apathetic look on her face, and every other word out of her mouth was 'no' or 'I don't care'."

    What brings the situation to an end is two horrifying incidents. First, Lulu hacks off her hair with a pair of scissors; then, on a family holiday to Moscow, she and Chua get into a public argument that culminates in Lulu smashing a glass in a cafe, screaming, "I'm not what you want – I'm not Chinese! I don't want to be Chinese. Why can't you get that through your head? I hate the violin. I hate my life. I hate you, and I hate this family!" Her relationship with Lulu in crisis, Chua, finally, thankfully, raises the white flag.

    Such happy little girls, though, eh?

  57. Hello everyone; this is worth read:


  58. MsChin

    Piece on the upside of living with Asperger's BTH Please read it.

    So I've read it and Yusuf Nur is trying to portray himself as something different to millions of people, including me, who don't seek comfort in having a "medical condition" to explain why they aren't like others they might have liked to be, rather than the person they are. He's a fraud and those who believe he's any different to "ordinary people", are merely gullible. Just how is he different from anyone else? He even likes Morrisey and Buckley - but he'll grow out of that obsession I expect.

    "But I was also at a crossroads. Should I accept my condition, though relatively untreatable and incurable? Or should I spend the rest of my teens and most of my adult life locked away in isolation listening ad nauseam to The Smiths' Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now? Well, I did a little of both ... OK, maybe most of the latter."

    Accept what condition? He describes exactly what millions of teenagers are like, and even says so:

    "Of course, most teenagers go through a stage like that, but for me it was abnormally intense."

    I ask, how does he know how intense other teenagers feel?

    He gets upset because a girl doesn't like his face but provides us with a picture of Morrissey? So how can we judge? Is he serious?

    At what age were you Ms Chin when the "love of your life" didn't share your admiration? And did you rush off to claim Aspergers as your alibi?

    "..as far as love goes, many of those diagnosed can go on to have happy and sustainable relationships."

    So just like the rest of us who have relationship problems and haven't been diagnosed.

    As for this piece of blantant homophobia - portraying homosexuality as as medical condition -

    "Homosexuality is widely accepted tacitly and people are much more accepting of it than Asperger's, because they have so little experience or knowledge of the latter."

    Especially because, unlike homosexuality its relatively untreatable and incurable?

    Accepted tacitly - well thank you very much Mr Nur and does he think they'll find a cure for homosexuality before or after they find one for Aspergers?

    "Many temp jobs that I've had in the recent past have been terminated in a short space of time owing to my looking as though I'd rather be elsewhere than at my desk."

    Elsewhere, - like on Facebook or CiF?

    And right on cue here's MrsB, telling everyone else to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, just as she did, but somehow finding a pseudo medical condition to explain away her parenting inadequacies. Maybe MrsB if you spent a great deal more time with your son, just as Amy Chua did with her daughters, and somewhat less time being abusive to the rest of us online, he'd be able, even at this stage, to achieve the kind of giddy heights that you have.

  59. Nevertheless, fact, and her own telling of it, shows that the way she brought up her children nearly wrecked her relationship with Lulu, and in some ways Battle Hymn can been seen as her atonement for that. "I think I stopped just in time," she says. "Right now it seems OK, but I have many regrets … I have a head full of regrets. I worry that by losing my temper so much and being so harsh and yelling so much that, by example, I will have taught my daughters to be that way, and I'm now constantly telling them not to do that."

    So I suggest you have nice big cup up shut the fuck up, Bitey. You don't have a clue what you are talking about*

    *No change there then.

  60. And you can fuck off about Aspergers as well you ignorant piece of detritus.

  61. That's right. Asperger's syndrome is just a great big lie invented by parents to cover up their own inadequacies. Hundreds of specialists are wrong and a stalking creep who sells expensive British education to wealthy Chinese families is right.

    Go Bitey! You really are Master of the Universe after all.

  62. bitey

    i think you should offer your pedagogical services to mommie dearest aka ms chau........sounds like you'd get on like a house on fire.....


    chau's kids could well end up in the headlines for wiping their parents off the face of the earth......and frankly who could blame them....

  63. Bloody hell, BB, those Chua quotes are scary. I should think everyone who's lived with a teenager has experienced - at the very least - melodrama and arguments - but for a child to tell its parent 'I'm not what you want', I'd guess you need to be doing something very wrong.

  64. MsChin

    And before anyone protests, kindly ask MrsBootstraps why it was that she felt we needed to know about her boy's ginger mop. before his Aspergers.

    Strange priorities some people have.

  65. Gandolfo and Shaz

    Thankfully she appears to have realised and given up on her crazy ideas. I am pretty sure that the youngest one - who we don't seem to have any "I love my mummy really" quotes from - will be doing a Jake Myerson-type rebuttal before long.

    What on earth was her husband thinking, though? Seriously?

  66. Fuck off Bitey. You are seriously warped. Seriously.

  67. bitey

    really you've got quite a few screws lose....seriously i recommend a retreat in the himalayas for a bit of self reflection... failing that you could always self section yourself....best do it in uk don't think the chinese are too hot on mental health stuff

  68. BeautifulBurnout said...

    I think we should rip up all the research, burn all the books on raising children and set up a movement called Bitey Knows Best.

    He is, after all, the ne plus ultra of modern parenting knowledge.

    No he isn't but I do recognise inadequate parenting when it shouts at me.

    And your voice MrsBootstraps is very loud - and it says - 'look at me I've made it on my own - so what's the problem with the rest of you inadequates?'

    And we all doff our caps to you and your success.

  69. gandolfo.


    really you've got quite a few screws lose....seriously i recommend a retreat in the himalayas for a bit of self reflection... failing that you could always self section yourself....best do it in uk don't think the chinese are too hot on mental health stuff

    Bit sad this gandolfo - especially as you know nothing about me other than what I've posted here and on CiF and what others have blustered on about me.

    And now you've joined them, rather than try to understand that just because you're a virtual friend of someone doesn't mean that absolves them of all their faults.

    MrsB is about the most foul mouthed person I've ever come across, on the web, and that's quite an achievement, and her a Buddhist, and far more so than AllyF and JayReilly, with both of whom I've had far more serious disagreements.

    But they don't portray themselves as being something precious, superior and beyond criticism.

    And why is it that the Untrusted cabal always resort to ascribing mental health problems to those with whom they disagree?

    Bit ironic that given MrsB finding refuge in her boy's imaginary Aspergers as a way of promoting her own popularity.

  70. Oh hang on. I am beginning to recognise a change in writing style. Hahahahaha. Very funny. Loser.

  71. Well, I've now read way more than I ever wanted to about Amy Chua (and to think that, a week ago, I'd never heard of her) trying to find the two quotes I read the other day from her daughters about her book -- one (the 'good' daughter, I think) saying essentially that she was sure the book was all about Chua, so what difference did it make what she, the daughter, thought about it. And the other, from the rebellious daughter, saying that her mother left out so much and would never tell the truth.

    Even without finding those quotes, Chua still strikes me as a self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing and largely unrepentent bitch who never should have had children.

  72. Couldn't agree with that last post more, Montana. I felt quite nauseous when I read about her 4 yr old's birthday card.

  73. MrsB

    So I suggest you have nice big cup up shut the fuck up, Bitey. You don't have a clue what you are talking about

    BeautifulBurnout, scherfig and anyone else who thinks they know more about Amy Chua's children than they do...

    Here's daughter Sophia:

    "When we were younger, I thought my mum favoured Lulu, but as I've got older, we've become so close. It's not really the focus of the book, but my mum and I are incredibly similar. She understands me and always knows what I'm thinking. We crack up at each other's jokes and ask each other for advice. Most importantly, I can tell she wants me to be happy. The other day, I messed up a math test. I texted my mom that I got an A- and she replied, 'Who cares! Mummy loves u!'

    "It made my day.".

    On the other hand you can allow your children to grow up as teenage delinquents and spend most of your waking hours on the internet seeking popularity, rather than spending time with them and their futures.

  74. Hey ho...I see the old bitey is back with a vengeance - that short brush with his humanity a little while ago merely a blip in his weird, unsympathetic path through life. What a sad man you are.

  75. FOB

    Wotcha, sheff. A leopard rarely changes its spots. Not without a lobotomy, anyway... :p

  76. Medve

    What a very sad story - horrendous to lose youngsters in this way.

    Bitters' account of the cuts to come in his county are horrifying. I fear Meerkat is right on this one. Many of us will rally to help out giving Cameron et al the opportunity to say 'Case proven'

    I fear that large orgs - such as Council for Voluntary Services - generally run as not for profits hand in hand with local councils - will take charge and be used as funding conduits. They will not fight the cuts.

    Religious orgs will certainly get in on the act - part I think of Blond's intention. He is a self proclaimed Christian.

    When these cuts were first mooted , being aware of the Cardiff/Unum model and ATOS my reaction against them was , I suppose, instinctive. The more I see of published plans and actual figures the more I realise opposition has to be systematic, fact based and determined.

    I do have concerns for some people in communities who may (will) be left without help.

    So good a job has been done to marginalise 'scroungers' that people with an invisible disability could well be rejected not only by official agencies but also by vols who fail to recognise genuine need.

    The fight is, if you like, ideological but it is becoming more and more about the practicalities of survival.

  77. Are you so bereft of original thought that you have to resort to copying and pasting old comments, Bitey? I realise that someone with a diminished intellectual capacity like you must find it really hard keeping up with all the rest of us, but you should at least try and make an effort instead of regurgitating your boring, inaccurate slights.

    Tsk tsk.

  78. Evening leni

    That is the nature of the Catch-22. And I have no doubt whatsoever that the Tories are relying on the fact that no decent left-voting human being would prefer to see people suffer physically and emotionally in order to make their political point.

    It really is a callous, cynical hijacking of the goodwill of the altruist to the benefit of the greedy, self-interested misanthropes in the higher echelons of society, who will have their tax cuts and their bonuses come what may.

    God, I've just depressed myself typing that...


  79. If anyone's interested tomorrow night's Panorama (BBC1 8.30pm) is asking why some fathers lose contact with their kids and what can be done to help them keep in touch.

    It will be interesting to see whether the programme tackles this emotive subject head on and addresses the need for the law to grant fathers shared/equal custody rights.The programme itself is only 30 minutes long but i suppose thst's better than nothing.

    I've made a number of requests on waddya for cif to either run an article or a peoples panel dealing with this subject but so far no joy.

  80. Paul

    There has been a shift more in favour of fathers in the family courts over recent years - one that I have noticed anyway. The starting point, particularly where separated parents live close to one another, is usually shared residence with each side then having to come up with a bloody good reason why there shouldn't be.

    What is really unfortunate, though, is that some people still use the residence issue as a means of getting more child support out of the other parent - if there is shared residence there is usually little or no need for either party to be paying child support to the other.

    Then you get the people who are so totally bloody angry with their ex-partner that they just cannot understand how it is their children don't hate them as well....

    I hate contact cases. Avoid them like the plague. Largely because I end up feeling like slapping both parents...

  81. Paul

    I will watch Panorama.

    This is a subject that many do not want to face upto. There are many sad stories in this area - children deprived of their father from birth. It is still possible for single women to refuse to name the father for instance.

    Often the assumption is that the father is in some way 'unfit' to care for ,or have contact with, the child. This is a myth in most cases and we have seen evidence enough of women who have abused their children or have exposed the child to the cruelty and violence of step-fathers, 'uncles' and partners.

    These discussions become very emotional and confused - not always helped by the actions of orgs such as Fathers4 Justice.

    The law needs clarifying - fathers have rights too.

  82. Sheffpixie

    Hey ho...I see the old bitey is back with a vengeance - that short brush with his humanity a little while ago merely a blip in his weird, unsympathetic path through life. What a sad man you are.

    Sheff, sadly I don't have that ability to exemplify humanity in the way you find so easy, but in my defence I did spend this afternoon in the company of Toni Kofi, brilliant tenor saxist you can enjoy here

    Toni Kofi ,

    with a beautiful rendition and arrangement of 'Smoke gets in your eyes', although as he rightly pointed out, it no longer does. :0)

    And now I'm enjoying prime scottish beef with butternut squash stuffed with prawns and roquefort.

    Not a bad day for a sad man in need of therapy.

  83. I think I understand why CiF are giving the subject a wide berth, though, because it would be a blood bath BTL - all the MRA-ers vs all the Rad Fems, and a battle of dodgy statistics and name calling. Some of the MRA blokes are really vicious. But so are some of the women.

    There was a comment from a woman a while ago that I found so despicable that I clipped it.

    Linked to this article here..

    You know, maybe if you wanted 'daily tenderness' with your son, you shouldn't bloody well have broken up with your wife. Why should your child be shuttled back and forth mid-week just because of what YOU want? You carefully gloss over the reasons for the divorce here, acting as though divorce is a reasonable outcome for marriage, but it was a choice, and it is pretty much certain that at some point (apologies if your wife was genuinely abusive, but if so you and your son should be in a refuge rather than writing self-pitying rants for the Guardian) that you contributed to the relationship breakdown. You had the choice not to do this if you wanted a normal relationship with your son.

    As it is, your wife did the massive and life-threatening labour of biologically producing your son (which I suppose you've conveniently forgotten), has probably done more than half of the household labour (unless you're in the tiny minority of men who do equal housework when both partners are in paid work too, but let's face it, you were probably mouthing off in freelance articles rather than cleaning the loo), and has probably done more than half of the social labour required to bring up your son (who arranged parents evening times; who organised birthday parties; who kept in contact with grandparents?). So what you're asking for is effectively to get the 'rights' without doing any of the 'responsibilities'. And what a great role-model for your boy that makes you, eh?

    God, you idiotic 'masculinists' make me so angry.

    It got 16 recommends...

  84. BeautifulBurnout

    Are you so bereft of original thought that you have to resort to copying and pasting old comments, Bitey? I realise that someone with a diminished intellectual capacity like you must find it really hard keeping up with all the rest of us, but you should at least try and make an effort instead of regurgitating your boring, inaccurate slights.

    Sadly MrsB you've got me bang to rights there. Do you think I might be suffering with late onset Aspergers, you being an expert on that condition?

    Or could it be that I'm just another thicko whose mother gave up on me once she realised there were far more interesting things to do in life rather than rely on a son with diminished intellectual capacity to bring home the bacon?

    I'll ask MrsBTH next time I see her and report back.

  85. I feel so sorry for people brought up by evangelicals. They grow up to be so warped, bitter and twisted.

  86. It got 16 recommends...

    It should have got 16 million.

    So why is it so despicable MrsBootstraps, just so we can all benefit from your erudition?

  87. That it is full of sexist presumptions, Dobby.

    The presumption that it was the husband's fault that the marriage broke down.

    The presumption that, despite saying in the article that they had shared the care of their child, that he had nothing to do with the rearing of it.

    The presumption that it is only a small minority of men who do any housework at all.

    The presumption that the husband was in any way able to insist that they remained married instead of getting a divorce.

    The presumption that it was the wife, not the husband, that dealt with birthday parties, contact with grandparents etc.

    And the spiteful, vicious tone that was taken to voice all these presumptions.

    Not that you would notice spiteful and vicious anyway, as that appears to be your default setting...

  88. Peace at last.

    At least at home if not here.

  89. medve

    So sorry to read your news.

  90. I feel so sorry for people brought up by evangelicals. They grow up to be so warped, bitter and twisted.

    I think you'll find MrsB if you cared to do some research rather than spout yet more prejudice that most children of evangelicals adopt their parent's beliefs.

    As an atheist, I'm quite unusual among my parent's circle of evangelical friends.

  91. MsChin

    I know the feeling. Feet up, beer poured, husband pottering about in his workshop, Dad and Lad watching telly.

    All is at peace with the world for five minutes. 'Cept in 'ere o' course...

  92. Pete Postlethwaite film on BBC4

  93. MrsBootstraps

    The presumption that...

    So unless you're on intimate terms with the couple, your presumptions are nothing but that.

    And from what we know about the allocation of child care and domestic tasks between men and women, I think I'd give the benefit of the doubt to the poster.

  94. Methinks a bit of philosophy might help!


  95. Hi Deano, hows it going? You've not been around much lately.

  96. Hey Deano

    How did your hunt for a pal for Mungo go?

  97. deano & chekhov

    Fab views of Sheffield city from the top of the gasometer, now changed a lot - some of the tower blocks have gone.

  98. And the cooling towers at Tinsley ...

  99. Bitey

    English Comprehension wasn't your best subject, was it? It wasn't me doing the presuming...

  100. Just when you thought the fuckwits who are running this country couldn't plumb the depths any further, they come up with "Alarm Clock Britain"

    Just another shitty and vacuous soundbite which is totally meaningless and furthermore insulting in it's contempt for the electorate.

    No bloody wonder most people (over half) didn't bother to turn out at the recent by-election.

  101. chekhov

    Look on the bright side, I just found this, from JoeDeM on the Jackie Ashley thread - genius. UTers, I give you the ....

    Limp Democraps

  102. Synopsis - for those who missed the film

    I am now well Bro Chekhov - had a dose of the flu that lingered.

    The search is in the early stages BB - have given myself six months but the final choice will be down to Mungo himself. Miss D choose him so this time he gets to choose.

  103. deano

    The flu has laid many low this past few weeks.

    Mungo will choose well, as did Miss D before him. And the newcomer will choose the pair of you, man & dog, as best suiting his or her needs & temperament. You can always rely on animals.

  104. Hadn't reaalised that we have flooding in Yorkshire & the NE, deano, I trust all is ok over there in East Yorks?

  105. Deano

    That's lovely, letting Mungo choose. :o)

    Is he still pining for fine jackets?

  106. BB

    Shhhhh ... Mungo can read.

  107. Hi Deano; did you get the sad news about Nat Lofthouse?

    The real gentlemen of association football are dropping like flies!

  108. BTW: my Dad once took me to watch a football match at Coventry City's ground. My memory is a bit vague but I think it was a European cup tie.

    Can't even remember which teams were invloved (I'm going back to the 1970's)but I do remember being introduced to Joe Mercer in the after match drinks session and he was delightful!

  109. BB Don't get the sod started about walking out jackets again - Mungo was not over pleased when we got caught out in the rain today an hour and half walk away from the van. We were all very wet when we got back.........happily he's zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzing at the moment after a 13 mile hike so he missed your the note.

    Chekov - as a kid I got Nat's autograph when he visited Elland Road. Pleased to read that he got to 85.

    Well that's me away to my bed after the long hike today......

    Good night all.

  110. @Chekhov

    Joe Mercer was manager of Coventry in 1972-74, after he left City. Don't think they were in Europe then, though.

    Wish I'd met him.

  111. @Petekj; nowt to dispute about your logic but I did actually meet him and he was a lovevly bloke!

  112. So away with revolution, pack up the barricades, hose down the heat of insurrection, it's zebra crossings that will provide the answer to neo-liberalism's rampant march over our human rights and deliver us from capitalist exploitation:

    "The only way we rebuild the case for politics is from the ground up. The campaign for the local library, the local zebra crossing, the improvement of a school, must be our campaign."

    Mr Ed - 15/1/11

  113. Here's careenage on the Aspergers thread:

    16 January 2011 2:08PM

    I have mild Asperger's and it has not prevented me from being successful in life although I will admit that school was a misery and I had zero luck with women until I met my wonderful wife.

    I am also aware that a number of the bosses I've had over the course of my career have considered me "odd" but as I'm extremely good at what I do they've generally been polite enough not to comment and just let me get on with it.

    One thing I would say is that while people with Asperger's can be obsessive about their pet interests (also music in my case, just like Yousif) their problems tend to stem not from this but their general inability to appear interested in the obsessions of most other people (Eastenders, Big Brother, WAGs etc).

    So after all these years I've realised I must be an Aspie, well apart from the 'zero luck with women', with whom, as you can imagine I've engaged with in rapturous delight.

  114. Bitey

    I am not a woman of violence but I might just change a habit of a lifetime .

    Ed's 'priorities' - all things we have been fighting to save here for last 15 years.

    Library - now opens once a week.

    Village scool - failing.

    Zebra crossing - we as community group raised money for police to buy flashing speed indicator to stick at side of road to stop traffic speeding by crossing for school children.

    These small campaigns for the retention or improvement of dozens of local services ans amenities have been going on for decades across Britain.

    I shall write to Ed and point out the obvious - namely that he seems to inhabit a completely different country.

    Grr !

  115. @Leni: "Grrr" indeed! All we need is enough people to shout "Grrr"

  116. chekhov

    is that really the best the leader of the LP can come up with? We need more than Grr ! We need all of us to bare out teeth and point out to Ed and co that we expect them to lead the fight back in defence of the welfare state. Enough of this impotent mouthing of meaningless phrases and gesture politics. Does Ed realise how serious matters are for so many individuals and communities?

  117. Hello Leni. I don't think Ed gives a flying fuck about you or any one else who holds onto the principles of the genuine "left".

  118. Leni

    We need all of us to bare out teeth and point out to Ed and co that we expect them to lead the fight back in defence of the welfare state

    You're right about that and it's amazing when the NHS is threatened and youth unemployment is reaching critical that Mr Ed is worried about zebra crossings.

    Sadly a talking horse would come up with more sense.

  119. Morning Leni/chekhov/bitey

    Have reversed into the thread so hello to anyone else i've missed out.

    I'm not disillusioned with Ed Miliband for the simple fact i was never enthusiastic about him or any of the other contenders for the LP leadership in the first place.I've consistantly argued that the shit is probably going to have to hit the fan big time in this country before there's a chance of something better taking root.I hope i'm proved wrong but at present i think that's the way things are going to pan out.

  120. chekhov

    i am beginning to see a way forward - for me at least.

    I might just rejoin the party and start stirring the complacent and time serving lot who belong to it here.

    They need to be reminded that there are still a lot of us on the left who can mount opposition to their self serving and self protective mealy mouthed kow towing to their financial paymasters. We have a supposedly Labour council - a lab/Plaid coalition in the Assembly. The gap between wages and general prosperity between Wales and England has widened in the past 10 years.

    Millions spent in Cardiff on prestige projects. Forst act of then Labour Assembly when it was first set up was to increase their own salaries.

    This alienated a lot of us on the left - most of our activism has been channelled into trying to improve our local communities. We now have to 'go national' ,get organised. While we will still try to fill gaps locally we have to reactivate people before all is lost.

    You will gather I am spitting feathers right now. So far the NHS will be unchanged in structure here but this is actually hiding cuts - Assembly trying to maintain an illusory image of left wing politics but in fact they might as well admit they're in it upto their necks with the rightists.

  121. Hi Paul

    There is noone in the LP it seems with any backbone.

  122. Very true that Leni!

    The depressing thing is that there is no sign of anyone who vaguely resembles the great conviction politicians and political orators of old.Everything is style and spin over substance but they do say 'you get the politcians you deserve'.And there do seem to be an awful lot of unthinking people about who 'swallow' the bollox that's fed to them by the all important media.

    Trying to be optimistic i think that political reform is absolutely crucial if we are to have a more representative form of politics and achive something better for this country.And imo that has to be PR.Additionally more power needs to be devolved back to local communities-although some communities are so fragmented that could quite easily create a new set of problems.

    It took the Great Depression and WW2 to generate the post 1945 settlement in this country which lasted until the early 70,s.Fcuk knows what's going to have to happen before we get a new settlement based on what i hope will social democratic principles.

  123. @Leni; I wish you well with with your efforts but it seems to me that whatever flavour your politics might be the general consensus in Westminster is to get the "neo-liberal" train wreck back on the rails at whatever cost 'coz that is the only game in town!

    It's first rate insanity but maybe we should just let them get on with being completely stupid! and let them reap what they sow!

  124. There's a programme on BBC3 about a young women investigating the possibility of a bum implant, to make it "more perky", at a cost of £7,200.00.

    A mortgage is being considered to pay for it.

    Is this cuts obsession?