21 January 2011

21/01/11


The man who leaves money to charity in his will is only giving away what no longer belongs to him.
-Voltaire

177 comments:

  1. Its nearly 8 o clock, not a single post. Lazy workshy bastards growing fat at the taxpayers expense no doubt.... I'm reporting this blog to the Mail.

    Got a very understanding response back from the editor in the end. Which gave me just the tiniest feeling that i had over reacted slightly. Possibly. Unlikely, obviously, but i wont rule it out.

    PeterJ - I hope your punctuality improves for paying clients ;)

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  2. Welfare Minister Lord Freud has apologised for misleading claims regarding benefit fraud and error.

    Lord Freud claimed that the £5 billion lost in fraud and error annually was simply the cost of benefit fraud.

    More significantly, George Osborne the Chancellor used a similar argument in his comprehensive spending review.

    As Chancellor, one would have expected Osborne to have an iron, accurate grip on state spending statistics and figures and to state them without prejudice or error.

    If this was not a deliberate misrepresentation of figures to push an ideological agenda (which I suspect it was) then at the very least, Osborne's credentials as Chancellor should be seriously questioned if he cannot outline what is fraud (£1.5billion) and error (£3.5 billion) from his own departments statistics.

    Osborne has since refused to apologise or to acknowledge letters sent to him to clarify his position. And although the treasury records have been amended, Hansard has not.

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  3. @Jay:

    Workshy my arse. I've been in the office since 07h40 as per bloody usual. Cricket's on, as well. Strauss waiting on an LBW review - but I reckon he's gone.

    Laters.

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  4. PS... it's Johnson's missus who's strayed, apparently, she's rumoured to have been having Ugandan discussions with his ex-bodyguard.

    Allegedly.

    And Pietersen's just gone for a golden duck. 36-3. Oh dear.

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  5. "Lord Freud claimed that the £5 billion lost in fraud and error annually was simply the cost of benefit fraud.

    More significantly, George Osborne the Chancellor used a similar argument in his comprehensive spending review."

    No surprise there. Still, even were £5bn correct, its dwarfed, to say the least, by the estimated £120bn a year of lost taxes (evaded, avoided, unpaid). Could wipe the deficit out in a flash... What do the Tories do, like NewLab before them? Cut HMRC headcount.

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  6. Chekhov - from yesterday evening

    Apparently, it was pronounced as "measurer" - whether that was its Anglicised form, I don't know. Maybe just another Featherstonehaugh.

    Wybourne and Jay

    I have been pointing out the 1.5-3.5 billion business (although deliberate cheating is probably lower even than 1.5) since Cameron used £5.2 billion as the sum which the feckless, workshy scum were filching in his "We are all in this together - but remember it was the poor who caused it in the first place" meme.

    So, why did the main news media not pounce on this immediately, when it was out there simply hiding in plain sight?

    On another note, does anyone allow themselves to remember (in some hidden corner of their brain) the sudden, catastrophic split of The Bay City Rollers? Or have they expunged those disastrous days completely from their memories?

    At the time, people said they were going to set up helplines and counselling services to assist the poor, distressed fans, who were at their wits' end and probably would never be able to gather their lives together and put the tragic episode behind them.

    Obviously, within - oh, anywhere from three minutes to a day - a short time, the fans had forgotten the tartan band and were on to something new.

    Was this the beginning of everyone being the victims and wreckage of small events, from which they had to be forever protected?

    I think it was either The Teletubbies or The Tweenies which yesterday carried a helpline message for anyone who had been affected by what they had seen.

    [Are you sure about that last bit? - Ed]

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  7. Jay

    More significantly, George Osborne the Chancellor used a similar argument in his comprehensive spending review.

    Yes, but some people are credible and have to be believed and some are, er, not.

    I actually got banned under one name for saying that the drain on the public purse (figures at the time - £670 million) was miniscule compared with tax-fiddling (figures at the time - £25 billion).

    The reasoning was that sums from HM Gov propaganda = good but anything from Brendan Barber and TUC = concoctions by thickies who couldn't count.

    OK - that's me done.

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  8. Morning all!
    @Duke re article about the Labour party(yesterday) yes its true all that, of the parliamentary party anyway.

    But there are still good people amongst the rank and file, including many who now finally see that 'keeping their heads down' in the 90's was a huge error.

    The point aboutLabour that it is still the party that many working class people see as their own. Its never really been a socialist party although the existence of the old clause 4 gave it a socialist 'bent'.

    At the risk of being boring I can only once again quote the Communist Manefesto
    The Communists do not form a separate party opposed to the other working-class parties.

    They have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole.

    They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own, by which to shape and mould the proletarian movement.

    The immediate aim of the Communists is the same as that of all other proletarian parties: formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat.

    The theoretical conclusions of the Communists are in no way based on ideas or principles that have been invented, or discovered, by this or that would-be universal reformer.

    They merely express, in general terms, actual relations springing from an existing class struggle, from a historical movement going on under our very eyes. The abolition of existing property relations is not at all a distinctive feature of communism.

    So at Labour Party meetings I would put forward motions, for example, demanding greater democracy in the party to break the stranglehold of the parliamentary party and the party to its membership. Such motions get support, the rank and file membership is frustrated by the existing situation.

    Such discussions can raise aspirations and confidence.

    Working class people don't need to be told what's wrong with society, that's not the problem, the problem is people don't know what to do about it and worse don't believe they can do anything about it.

    The question is not one about the party as it is now but the party as it could and should bebe. By joining the party in numbers people who believe that we must end capitalism can and will change it.

    So yes we need a party that is socialist, this cannot be a party consisting only of the convinced to make a true revolution it must be a party of 'the proletariat as a whole'.

    Only the proletariat as a whole can make the revolution.

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  9. Siggy would be so disappointed in that twat.

    Morning all.

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  10. "Working class people don't need to be told what's wrong with society, that's not the problem, the problem is people don't know what to do about it and worse don't believe they can do anything about it."

    Beautifully put.

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  11. Well it's official, my weekly leave has been cancelled for the LibDem conference 11-13 March. Apparently I'm on 'driving duties' - Sheffpixie, let me know if you need a lift to Devonshire Green ;)

    I don't think this is an overreaction - it's going to be carnage. They're going ahead with Sheffield City Hall - which has been booked for over a year - so they're obviously affecting a 'keep calm and carry on' attitude to the events that have overtaken them. Good to see they've booked out the Mercure St Paul, the flashest and most expensive flophouse in South Yorkshire. I wonder how many delegates have paid for their own room? I also wonder who thought it would be a good idea to select a hotel almost entirely made of glass?

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  12. There will be no socialist revolution in Great Britain. Whether we like it or not, capitalism has got its hooks into all of us.

    Best we can do at the moment is mitigate its worst excesses.

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  13. Morning all.... just a swing by... (Hi Kermit, very funny post!) Take care and make sure to take photos of any undercover errr.... officers inciting riots ;)

    PS Wear a helmet!

    I'm sure people must have come across this website before....
    Uncyclopedia

    the page on Cameron is worth a look as it had me in stitches this morning.... oh and check out the pic of Clegg and Cameron (rh side)

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  14. Morning all

    speedkermit

    I also wonder who thought it would be a good idea to select a hotel almost entirely made of glass?

    Tsk, tut, tut. Are you enticing people to give a bit of extra work to glaziers?

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  15. Anne:

    You might like this from uncyclopedia....(great post btw... but am I the only one who thinks Balls as Shadow CoftheE is a good thing?)

    "Sixth Lord Margaret Thatcher, Baroness Harkonnen, Glorious Lady Protector of the Falkland Islands, Patron Saint of Scotland and Voice of the GILF's (born: 1925, died: 1991, cybernetically rebuilt: 1994)"

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  16. K - I've got to get a move on.... as got to go to werk and off to Brighton this evening.

    Will see you all anon.

    (hi Katjie, Medeve, Chekhov, Duke, JayR)
    \0/ x

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  17. Shiloh - sorry but its posts like that that help them to carry on doing it.

    Thats what I meant when I said
    the problem is people don't know what to do about it and worse don't believe they can do anything about it."

    The thing is if enough of us gain confidence in our economic power (capitalism is nothing without the workers) -

    We CAN do something about it

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  18. medve:

    Tsk, tut, tut. Are you enticing people to give a bit of extra work to glaziers?

    I'm sure they won't need my encouragement

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  19. Anne

    Fair enough, but it’s a pipe dream you’re clinging to.

    You’re never going to convince the majority that it’s in their economic, selfish interests to give up the 21st century trappings of so-called “luxury” for the benefit of the minority, or to make the great leap forward into the fairer, non-capitalist society you're yearning for. The world’s changed, and we're all complicit in that change.

    And incidentally, you’re going to have to come up with a new word for whatever it is you’re punting because “communism” is, for better or worse, irredeemably tarnished in the minds of most.

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  20. You’re never going to convince the majority that it’s in their economic, selfish interests to give up the 21st century trappings of so-called “luxury” for the benefit of the minority, or to make the great leap forward into the fairer, non-capitalist society you're yearning for.

    I think you've got your majorities and minorities the wrong way round. We're almost all in this together, remember?

    The world’s changed, and we're all complicit in that change.

    Ah yes, that would be the 'Guardian We' would it? As in 'WE are all responsible for Baby P' or 'WE didn't do enough to prevent the Haitian earthquake' or whatever it is that white liberals are supposed to be responsible for today?

    And incidentally, you’re going to have to come up with a new word for whatever it is you’re punting because “communism” is, for better or worse, irredeemably tarnished in the minds of most.

    Well that's true at least. You could get Gerald Ratner to do the rebrand and it wouldn't be any worse.

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  21. @Speedkermit:

    No, I think I’ve got it the right way round. I’d say there were still more “haves” than “have nots” in the UK.

    And no, not the “Graun we”, or the “royal we”, or indeed, any other subset. Capitalism endures because we’re all complicit in its enduring. How could we not be? We live in a capitalist society, after all, where everything flows from it. Every time you put petrol in your car, or move house, or do your weekly shop at Tescos, or buy a new pair of jeans, or jet off on your hols, or anxiously read your pension statement, you’re perpetuating capitalism here.

    Anyway, deny it if you want – no skin off my nose.

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  22. Far be it for me to repeat the political gossip - ah fuck it, I'm going to anyway. According to Guido (yeah, yeah, I know...), Johnson is 'widely rumoured' to having indulged in long-term discussions on Uganda with a civil servant for some years now. The civil servant isn't named. Now the Mail's reporting that Johnson's wife has more recently been pondering the Ugandan issue with a Detective Constable called Paul Rice, who was part of Johnson's Home Secretary security detail.

    Meanwhile Coulson gave up the ghost because the News of the Screws News Editor, Ian Edmondson, is about to grass him up, presumably to the rozzers.

    In a parallel universe, Tony Blair is telling the Iraq Enquiry "Legality of the war? What the fuck do Attorney Generals know about the legality of things?"

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  23. Capitalism endures because we’re all complicit in its enduring. How could we not be? We live in a capitalist society, after all, where everything flows from it. Every time you put petrol in your car, or move house, or do your weekly shop at Tescos, or buy a new pair of jeans, or jet off on your hols, or anxiously read your pension statement, you’re perpetuating capitalism here.

    I think you're getting Capitalism mixed up with consumerism

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  24. Shiloh:

    I'm not so sure about a large scale revolt happening in this country. It's happened before but I share your scepticism - to a certain extent.

    I think we are 'complicit' not because we subscribe to Capitalism through choice or free will, but because we are bludgeoned by it every single day. The onslaught from the Tories since seizing power has been dramatic, swift and nothing has been spared. They are attacking the people of this country on ALL fronts in an attempt to splinter efforts to counteract their policies. It is I feel, overwhelming and nothing to do with the good intentions of those across the land who believe in an equitable system.

    "you’re going to have to come up with a new word for whatever it is you’re punting because “communism” is, for better or worse, irredeemably tarnished in the minds of most."

    I think you're wrong here, the word 'Communism' needs to be reclaimed. People shouldn't fear it, they should embrace it!

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  25. Eddie:

    "Meanwhile Coulson gave up the ghost because the News of the Screws News Editor, Ian Edmondson, is about to grass him up, presumably to the rozzers."

    You mean Coulson is about to be arrested? Has resigned?

    Fucking brilliant news! ;)

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  26. LaRit:

    "They are attacking the people of this country on ALL fronts in an attempt to splinter efforts to counteract their policies."

    Looks like it having entirely the opposite effect to me. What could be more unifying among working- and middle-class populations than tuition fees for example?

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  27. ...and unemployment is a great social leveller.

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  28. Ha!

    Just read the news!

    Fucking brill :0)

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  29. @Speedkermit:

    The one (consumerism) is a manifestation of the other (capitalism) in this country. By consuming the above goods, you’re contributing to profits at e.g. BP, HBOS, Tescos, M&S, TUI, Standard Life and all the rest of them.

    Anyway, please explain carefully to me how that isn't perpetuating capitalism, I'm a bit hard of understanding today, clearly.

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  30. Yep, LaRit, Coulson has retired to spend more time with his wiretaps. If Ian Edmondson grasses him up to the Select Committee, then it will immediately be of interest to Knacker of The Yard and the other gentlefolk of the Constabulary. Remember that Royal Correspondent hack did 6 months or so for a similar transgression. Coulson could conceivably do time for it.

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  31. A top political analyst's take on Kreisky and Austrian socialism:

    The Vienna that I recall from the Eighties was a hot-bed of political intrigue and a spooks' stomping ground.

    Straight talk from a knowledgeable insider (ie. someone who has read some Le Carre novels) - further comments on the article are now unnecessary.

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  32. Ah, yes, how wonderful to see the memories of the cognoscenti displayed cross the internet for all to wonder at and covet and admire.

    I, too, remember the Vienattas of the Seventies, which were a cold concoction of intriguing swirls and looping strata, which I stomped through with a spoon.

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  33. Shiloh

    No, I think I’ve got it the right way round. I’d say there were still more “haves” than “have nots” in the UK.

    Well there certainly is unequal distribution the top 1% own 23% of the wealth (ONS)

    In Evgland 23% of the population is below the poverty line (defined below).

    Household type Poverty line: Household income,
    £ a week
    Single person £119
    Couple £206
    Lone parentwith
    two children £247
    (aged 5 and 14)

    Couple with two
    children £333
    (aged 5 and 14)
    http://www.cpag.org.uk/povertyfacts/

    So nearly a quarter of the population can be considered poor.This is supposed to be a rich nation.

    But of course as a socialist I think internationally - There are 1.7 billion people who are destitute on this planet.That is NEARLY ONE THIRD of the current human population.

    This map is also instructive: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Percentage_population_living_on_less_than_1_dollar_day_2007-2008.png


    I'm sure you are not happy with that but it would appear that you think preventing it is impossible.

    My grandmother had a saying - 'can't never could'. Its a good saying.

    At the base of my politics is an ambition - to raise the poor of this world out of poverty. WE have had capitalism as we understand it for 200 years (longer if you count from the overthrow of feudalism in the UK in the 17th C)

    But tbh there should not be ANY have nots and we should strive to get as close to that ideal as possible.

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  34. Biddy on twitter, such humility:

    "My now legendary piece On Despair is on Notes on Culture. http://notes-on-culture.blogspot.com/2011/01/on-women-art-justice-and-despair.html"

    Legendary eh? In the corridors of Bournemouth Uni's gender studies department, all 4 of them, including the students, I'm sure it has indeed achieved legendary status...

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  35. Shiloh - as La Rit said we live in a capita;ist system we are forced to obtain the necessities of life through it because it is the means of production.

    Its not being complicit its surviving (or trying to).

    Dying of starvation and or hypothermia is not going to change the world. We can change the world, capitalism wasn't forever there was feudalism and classical civilisation before that and go back far enough and there are no classes and no class struggle.

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  36. Excellent VIZ Top-Tip:

    "SHOW your support for Andy Coulson by leaving a message on your answer machine"

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  37. Anne

    So my statement about there being more “haves” than “have nots” stands, then? Three-quarters of the UK population not classed as being “poor”, am I reading that right? I’m amazed it’s that high, to be honest.

    Anyway, my point about “consumption” was to Speedkermit, who seems to think that consumerism and capitalism are such different concepts that they shouldn’t be discussed together as being part of the same system.

    ”...Its not being complicit its surviving (or trying to)...” Nope, sorry, not buying that at all. It is being complicit, harsh as that sounds. For example, who supplies your internet? A not-for-profit co-op? Whose network do they use? What about the computer you’re accessing this site through? Who manufactured it?

    ”...go back far enough and there are no classes and no class struggle..”. Really? When was this Golden Age?

    I’m not having a go at you personally Anne, I’m just baffled by your position on this. It just seems obvious to me that we're all doing our bit for big bad capitalism, unwilling as we may be while we do it.

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  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  39. Think i'm more or less back! Delete function etc seems to be ok.And of course the all important LINKS function! Seemed to have done a MsChin and cleared the thread though!

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  40. Hi Paul,

    Have you seen the articles by Leah Wild and Stacie Lewis - and yesterday's front-page (print edition) article on Riven Vincent?

    Guardian/Cif seem to be paying attention to the effect of the cuts on the disabled, to give credit where it is due. Better late than never.

    Makes Cameron so much more despicable as he of all people ought to sympathise. Mind you, he apparently claimed his child benefit, DLA benefit, free nappies (four a day!) and so on, despite being a fucking multi-millionaire.

    What a cunt.

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  41. Hi Thauma

    Haven't had a chance to look at CIF today but i agree with you about Cameron.Total lack of empathy with ordinary disabled people and their families despite his owm experiences.Somehow calling him a cunt doesn't quite highlight what a cunt he is if you get my meaning.

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  42. Evening.

    I linked this on Waddya earlier and will do it again here. Camden New Journal has a good piece on the demo I went on on Tuesday. The whole front page of the paper edition.

    I'm glad to see it mentions The Good Neighbour Schemes, as that is what I do, amongst the coming casualties.

    {a href=http://www.camdennewjournal.com/news/2011/jan/pensioners-demonstrate-outside-camden-council-against-cuts-%E2%80%98lifeline%E2%80%99-services}CNJ{/a}

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  43. Crap. I can't seem to post links on this blog.

    Here is the URL anyway.

    http://www.camdennewjournal.com/news/2011/jan/pensioners-demonstrate-outside-camden-council-against-cuts-%E2%80%98lifeline%E2%80%99-services

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  44. Spencer, you're doing what I always do. Swap your { and } for < and >

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  45. Paul - they are all well worth reading. The two Cif articles are written by mothers of severely disabled children.

    There is a concerted effort by the trolls (I don't normally use that term, but it is absolutely justified) and by Cameron himself to blame the local authorities for cutting help with care. This is completely despicable as obviously the councils' budgets have been cut by the central government and, as BW has pointed out, so much of the budget is already ringfenced that the discretionary cuts are enormous.

    The completely bone-headed part is that, if these children go into care instead of the parents getting help at home, it will cost loads more, not to mention the severe deleterious effects on the *human beings* in question.

    And since the mobility part of DLA has also been cut for people in residential care, that will doom the children to what is essentially incarceration in a foreign environment.

    And the bankers who fucked the economy get their enormous bonuses.

    We are all in this together.

    You are right - we need a much stronger word than 'cunt'.

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  46. Thauma "This is completely despicable as obviously the councils' budgets have been cut by the central government and, as BW has pointed out, so much of the budget is already ringfenced that the discretionary cuts are enormous.£

    Absolutely. There are shit councillers out for themselves and we all know that Labour is a hotbed of careerists. But there are also a lot of local councillers who have been working away for years.

    In Camden some of the people who helped build one of the best support systems for the elderly in the country are now having to hack it to pieces. And I don't doubt that they are absolutely sick.

    I have plenty of complaints but on this they have my sympathy. Cameron and Clegg are trying to offload the blame onto the councils and it is essential that they do not get away with it.

    I even thought twice about going on the demo because it was aimed at the council rather than the Government, but in the end I decided that those councillors would probably be not to unhappy that the consequences of the cuts were being publicised.

    We do need them to start leading demonstrations on Whitehall though.

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  47. Evening wonderful Untrusties

    Friday evening - best time of the week. So bleedin tired that I won't be able to keep my eyes open though...

    Read the stuff on Waddya from last night/this morning. Excellent efforts from Leni, Paul, RedMinder, Arec, DavidCruse and many others. Superb.

    Off to browse CiF and check out if there is any news on Bliar's little day out at Chilcot...

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  48. The big Irony is that Camden were controlled by a fairly short lived Conservative LibDem coalition until the last election when Labour regained it.

    I really wish that they had not and the fucking Tories and LibDems were faced with the consequences.

    The even greater irony is that that LibDem/Tory coalition had a big review of spending and looked at the Good Neighbour Schemes as part of it, and came to the conclusion that we were very good value for money and highly valued by our clients.

    And then Labour gets in and is forced to pull the plug because the ConDems take over the government and turn out to be maniacs.

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  49. Thauma

    two very moving articles.

    I haven't commented - the trolls or whatever we call them are beyond nasty - they are inhuman.

    these measures which are ruining lives and condemning adults and children to miserable lives will be almost impossible to roll back.

    We are going back to the horrors of the ols 'mental subnormaily' hospitals when disabledpeople were tied together when 'taken out for walks' in hospital grounds.

    Time to read and publicise Scallagrig again - remind everyone what it was like - in the not too distant past. I am sick at heart.

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  50. Evening.

    Andrew Landsley on PM now - absolutley slaughtered by members of the public posing the questions.

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  51. Evening everyone

    Just broken my ace! - my one, solitary new year resolution and commented on a cif piece!! How pathetic am I?

    I don't know who Andrew Southam is but his piece on our extradition treaty with the US (still unratified by them btw) has taken a wondrous beating. Although you have to give one brownie point to RogerintheUSA for his stamina, for fighting the redneck cause.

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  52. Sheff, strange that one wasn't it? I could find no trace of Andrew Southam through googling unless he really was the guy who co wrote an article on Katie Price for Life Magazine in 1998.

    Very odd for someone who is supposed to be a writer on such a controversial topic.

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  53. I saw that comment of yours Spencer, when I should have been working, earlier today (I can't post from work). The whole piece is such a risible apologia for something that is so completely out of order - I wonder who's paying him to write it.

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  54. Sheff, I would have run him down eventually, if not for those bloody Playboy Bunnies.

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  55. Hmm.

    So the sum of Blair's evidence seems to be

    "Did you and your pal George punch that boy on the nose even though your friends had told you you weren't allowed to?"

    "Yeah, but, see, there is another boy over there, and he is really causing trouble right now!"

    "But your friends say they warned you that it wouldn't be right to hit that boy Saddam on the nose"

    "But they are all in it together, look! That boy over there, he was involved with Saddam, and look at what he is doing now! Look!"

    "What about the hurt you've caused?"

    "Well, I suppose I regret it, yeah. Although I think it is time my friends stopped saying sorry about it all because, look, that boy over there! He is going to do really really bad stuff unless we punch him..."

    [cont. page 93]

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  56. Spencer - the work you do sounds absolutely fantastic. I am going to carry on smoking and drinking until it kills me because I never want to end up in a care home for the elderly. Not only do I value my privacy very highly, but the sheer tedium would drive me insane. So your programmes - not fucking patronising like so many you see - sound brilliant.

    Leni - I really can't remember having seen anything quite so nasty before. I'm almost in favour of the moderation: FFS, these articles were written by mothers, not a Polly or Penny hypothesising on how the other half live. And people are saying they should have basically had their children put down or put away. The same people who generally bang on about personal responsibility: how much more personal responsibility can you have than looking after a severely disabled child?

    MsChin - good!

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  57. Blair's such a slippery fish BB - will anything ever stick to him do you think?

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  58. Those two articles really are very upsetting, Thaum. But what is even more upsetting is some of the comments under them. WTF?! Nice to see Mona Dorries getting her vicious posts deleted, though.

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  59. Thauma, I am nothing to do with the day centres in the article. Just the good neigbhour schemes.

    We support people by providing befriending volunteers and our scheme (unusually) also has practical workers to do things like gardening and window cleaning, we can even do a bit of decorating, and we also do lots of trips and socials.

    One about every fortnight, which is the main reason I am a sad burnt out case who needs to do something different. My predecessor had a complete nervous breakdown!

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  60. Spencer - I was referring to previous posts of yours describing the schemes you work on, not the article. So my praise still stands!

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  61. I've got about 20 comments in on the Libby Brooks thread and I already want to punch something.

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  62. shaz

    I've read 3 on that thread and blown a gasket already..

    Also the 2 disbility threads ..

    Are people so lacking in humanity?

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  63. Haven't read the Brooks but am on to the homelessness panel. Dreadful stories ATL, but a bit more sympathy below. So far.

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  64. Well thanks. I was very lucky - the more so because I fell into the job more or less accidentally.

    I was the gardener for a block of posh private flats in Highgate and got pissed off with them and wanted to work part time and I saw the practical worker job. Mostly gardening and window cleaning.

    That was the best job I ever had. Not money wise, it was only 15 hours a week, though I got more for going on the trips and helping out with wheelchairs etc. I loved it.

    Then my boss left and I got her job running the scheme full time. Much more money but much more responsibility too and now I spend most of my time in the office and a lot of it starting at a computer screen doing pointless beaurocratic stuff like the endless monitoring.

    But it is still rewarding. I took a new volunteer befriender to meet a client this afternoon right before coming home. This lady is from Guyana and I have known her for years.

    She had a terrible fall and cracked her skull, leaving a clot on her brain which they could not operate on because she had a weak heart and she has been having headaches and worrying about it ever since, though she has been better lately.

    But as soon as I went in today she told me she just had a scan this week and the clot had gone!

    Such great news and I left her with this young woman volunteer to get acquainted.

    Things like that make the rest worthwhile.

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  65. That's great, Spencer!

    Both my grannies ended up in care homes towards the end of their lives. Some homes were a lot better than others.

    In one or two, the highlight of their month was supposed to be getting their hair or nails done.

    That is so fucking insulting that I can't even fathom it. Neither of them was a vain woman. What they wanted was intellectual stimulation, but (in some places, not others) they were treated like children.

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  66. Right...off to watch Zen on iplayer....laters

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  67. Thauma, yes it varies a lot what people want. Why wouldn't it? Younger people are so different. But some individuals and institutions seem to think that older people become some undifferentiated mass who are interested in bingo and sing songs.

    We have a member who is a distinguished writer on modern British poets, and a blind lady who is very well read and has trouble finding RNIB and other book tapes of the things she wants because they tend to be standard fare.

    But we have got her a volunteer to read for her so that is something.

    And then we have lots of members who are more interested in East Enders.

    I try to match befrienders with people who will either have similar interests or at least be sympathetic to those interests when I can.

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  68. Spencer - exactly. So many places seem to think that older people are all exactly the same; it's a dehumanising effect.

    And also the fact that they might have gone a little deaf or a little blind causes them to be treated like children.

    Dementia is another issue: a person with dementia is also not a child, but an adult with a problem. As one of my grannies proved by singing, er, sexually explicit songs at inappropriate moments (and her a minister's daughter!). :-)

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  69. Eric Pickles *spit* on radio 4's any questions now.

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  70. thauma, ha, sounds like my grandmother. She was the most buttoned up victorian values type most of her life but when she got dementia she started talking about men's bottoms and all sorts.

    It was as if the censorious bit of her mind went first.

    It makes you realise that it must have been there all along under a grim, corseted exterior (mind you there were clues, she was a big fan of all in wrestling!)

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  71. MsChin, really, why? He seems like such a nice fellow!

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  72. Shiloh - of course I 'do my bit for capita;ism' - can't avoid it! Don't have the time or the money to go for ISP's etc that are more 'politically correct'.

    Even if I would rather spend my time arguing for a change in the system then nobody will have to be 'complicit with capitalism'.

    Again I say why, when all the other economic systems in history passed away and in the case of capitalism there were revolutions - viz France, England (The civil war) to overthrow feudalism. I expect there were lots of people like you saying but you can't overthrow the king he's king by divine right. They chopped his head off!

    I'd prefer not to be that violent but sadly it might be necessary.

    I probably wont see it happen of course - but then I am 68!

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  73. Spencer

    Dunno, it's pathological I suppose .. he's such a twat.

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  74. Spencer: she pretended the buttoned-up demeanour in front of the churchies, but could always do an excellent line in cursing when required.

    I got my dirty mind from her, although I confess I didn't realise quite how much until the dementia set in.

    After she died, we discovered that the only possessions she'd been carrying with her were the love letters my grandfather had written to her during the war, prior to and during their engagement; he proposed whilst on leave at some point.

    My grandfather had never seemed to any of us to be the slightest bit demonstrative, but these letters were smoking hot!

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  75. Thauma. Well that sounds different to my grandfather (I never met him or my father's parents which is a great pity as my other grandmother managed to get herself married whilst already pregnant *twice*, and I suspect would have been much more fun!)

    But as to my mum's parents. My mum says the only thing that her mother ever said to her concerning sex was: "Your father never troubled me much in that regard!"

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  76. Ah, Spencer, my granny would refer to them "sleeping cosy", and my grandpa would just grin.

    Miss them both immensely.

    The other grandparents, however: don't believe they ever had sex, except that they produced 6 children. Must have been 6 of god's little miracles.

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  77. Shiloh

    And no, not the “Graun we”, or the “royal we”, or indeed, any other subset. Capitalism endures because we’re all complicit in its enduring. How could we not be? We live in a capitalist society, after all, where everything flows from it. Every time you put petrol in your car, or move house, or do your weekly shop at Tescos, or buy a new pair of jeans, or jet off on your hols, or anxiously read your pension statement, you’re perpetuating capitalism here.

    Yet we are told that capitalism contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction and as such each time you buy a new pair of jeans, you hasten its demise.

    Or maybe he meant each time you didn't buy those jeans. He wasn't exactly clear about that.

    What is certain is that whatever anyone might desire, capitalism has proved to be mightily adaptable to just about every challenge thrown at it, and that the majority, those proletarian saviours of the human race, have been mightily reluctant to acknowledge the leadership of the Anne Tans, Lord Prescotts and Derek Hattons of this world. And small wonder.

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  78. Makes you wonder what we did for all those millenia before capitalism though, dunnit?

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  79. A few random cut'n'pastes about the millennia before capitalism:

    'By the time of Hammurabi's Code (Babylon), dating to ca. 1760 BCE, banking was well enough developed to justify laws governing banking operations.'

    'c. 350 BC Normal rate of interest in Greece is 10% except for risky business. According to Demosthenes 10% is the normal rate of interest for run-of-the-mill business. For risky business such as lending for shipping rates of between 20% and 30% are normal.'

    'Money lending was an important business in Ancient Rome, though it was not thought appropriate as a business for higher borne Roman Citizens. Money lenders would set up stall in the Forum, the main business centre and tout for business.'

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  80. Not much evidence of banking 50000-10000 years ago, at Creswell Crags in Derbyshire though.

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  81. badpenny - not necessarily disagreeing (or agreeing) with your point, but the poor spelling and punctuation in your third quotation leads me to believe that it might not be from the most reliable of sources.

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  82. Astounding. The PM sends Sarah Teather to take the flack over the Vincent tragedy?

    BBC interview with Teather re Vincent Family's request for respite care

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  83. Meerkatjie

    We have a solution - a green paper or folk to wipe their arses on.

    Heartless, evasive bitch. Words fail ...

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  84. but the poor spelling and punctuation in your third quotation leads me to believe that it might not be from the most reliable of sources.

    source

    I don't think a single typo discredits the whole (random) citation, but I suppose if the message is unwelcome then a focus on spelling is easier than a rational argument. Although Tacitus would probably not agree.

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  85. Meerkatjie - that's the second thing I've read tonight that made me want to punch something.

    we’ve actually put more money into respite care so that local authorities have more money to spend on families such as the Vincent family

    Bloody hell. Yeah, right.

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  86. Back to pre-capitalism ... a 160 million year old egg from China
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12242596

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  87. I used to like Sarah Teather. She seemed to have some integrity. She's really disappointed me.

    But even more cynical than her is this clear use of the libdems to take the flack for tory betrayals. I know the libdems are proving themselves just as bad, really, enabling the tories. But it's incredible the way they become more prominent, more visible, every time things get dirty and difficult for the conservative overlords.

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  88. shaz

    It's a wonder we've any walls left standing in our homes, isn't?

    But don't worry, the government is preparing a green paper as well. Perfect.

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  89. Meerkatjie

    'Like' isn't the same as 'respect', and I'll warrant that many of us have not a sliver of respect remaining for the Tory fall guys formerly known as the Lib Dems.

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  90. Great, MsChin. Looking forward to that.

    I'd like Sarah Teather to meet the mother of the boy in my class with spinal muscular atrophy, who spent half an hour crying on my shoulder this week because she's so tired - waking night care every night, but no respite care. Funny really, when they've allocated more money to respite care...

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  91. shaz

    My heart just goes out to those people who just go on coping with the emotional and physical exhaustion of care. My friend is currently at that point as she cares for her elderly mother despite her own ill health & disabilities.

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  92. My last comment has disappeared.

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  93. MssChin - and gets £53.90 p/w Carer's Allowance for 35 hrs p/w care? Which at minimum wage rates should work out at £5.93 p/hr, which according to my maths should mean approx £210 p/w.

    It's a complete fucking disgrace.

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  94. Meerkatjie. That is amazing though. Whether anyone has any liking, respect or whatever for the LibDems it is hard to understand why they would be willing to turn themselves into Tory flak catchers en masse.

    That is just plain stupid.

    Perhaps there is a bit in the coalition agreement that says "we hereby collectively consign our souls to Satan."

    I would really like to ask my ex-wife's stepfather about it. He is a nice guy and a life long Liberal, now Lib Dem. He was the Lib Dem mayor of Saffron Walden.

    I used to have plenty of political arguments with him but he is definitely a decent man, and not a stupid one. He was very proud of the drop in place they had got for teenagers to hang out in, for example, exactly the sort of thing that is now being scythed away.

    Because of the divorce and all I don't have any contact with him now. But I really would like to talk to him about it to see what he thinks about it. I honestly cannot imagine what he is making of it.

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  95. badpenny

    Released your comment @ 21.47 from the spam bin for you.

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  96. badpenny

    You're free to post as you please here - your message is fine. As for spelling, I messed up 'millennia' and you didn't.

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  97. Thank you Mschin. I'm reel gude at speling - I never mess up.

    Re carers - they've always been taken for granted by all past governments and have always been fucked over. It would be nice to think that this time criticism and outrage have reached a critical mass and things will change. A more likely scenario is that this current story will disappear from the media within a few days and within a week most people won't even recognize Riven Vincent's name.

    It might be time to get Laurie Penny on the case. That'll sort the fuckers out.

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  98. Re: social care or rather lack of it. The really dishonest thing about the 'funding' is that its not ring fenced. So councils strapped for cash spend it on other things.

    Things that get will get them elected again next time perhaps.

    The care system is a shambles already the nightmare stories will increase.

    This and the mess they are making of the NHS has got to bring people onto the streets surely?

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  99. badpenny - The only solution is to contact our MP's every time we hear of a case like it.

    There are going to be enough of them I'm afraid!

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  100. Carers are put on by all governments because caring is done out of love. Money doesn't need to be ring-fenced by public bodies, caring should be prioritised regardless.

    But public bodies / govts know that carers haven't the time or inclination to make a fuss, they are just too busy caring. Or they don't want to humiliate those for whom they care so much.

    When the last Tory govt was in power, people with continence problems in Sheffield were issued with maternity pads as an alternative to proper continence pads because the money ran out. Trouble was, no-one (including me) wanted to put their incontinent relative on the front page of the local paper as part of a campaign for better treatment.

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  101. Deary me, just seen this:

    Tucson teachers fight to overturn ban on Mexican American classes

    'Tom Horne has declared classes in Mexican-American history and social studies in the city of Tucson illegal on the grounds that they are "propagandising and brainwashing" students into overthrowing the constitutional government and hating white people'.

    What a tw*t. More power to the teachers who are fighting back.

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  102. it's Friday night .. and no friends to shoot the breeze with round here, no choons ...

    Sod ya, then!
    NN.

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  103. From Monkeyfish a couple of days ago, made me laugh and nod at scouse kids' humour. (Is it the same everywhere?) :

    two coppers standing at the back sharing a fag who'd obviously decided we were all past redemption...it's where I learned about cannabis, head-butting and that half the teenage lads in Liverpool were fuckin my mam...or so they said...then again, their mams were queuing up to give me a blowjob, so in the great scheme of things, it worked out pretty well...except I had the edge...cos they're dads were all Danny La Rue's boyfriend.

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  104. If the night shift is signing on, I'll need to order some more red wine!

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  105. Yey Chekhov! -
    drink wine in this world and not next
    for none has returned to say which is best,

    Song for no reason, other than I like it. "runaround Sue"

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  106. @Heyhabib: here's a fave of mine.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prlt_3v5G84

    Sorry, still haven't worked out how to do the proper linkeys;-)

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  107. chekhov, that's one of my favourites, could listen to Roxy/Bryan all night.

    Virginia Plain would be two in a row, so I'll go for a Stones track, instead.

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  108. Just catching up with the news - Andy Coulson sacked!

    I can just imagine the conversation:

    PM: "Andy, old friend, you have to fall on your sword"
    Andy: "Do you mind if I take up a well paid corporate job, to avoid prosecution, instead?"
    PM: "Of course not."

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  109. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEalg62F8Zg&feature=related

    Any taste of mint you like!

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  110. Well, quite: two cunts caught in the headlights together. Fuckin wankers the pair of them.

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  111. 'Well, quite: two cunts caught in the headlights together. Fuckin wankers the pair of them.'

    That's verging on the poetic chekov.

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  112. Why do we keep voting in total shits to run our country?

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  113. 'Tis the time's plague, chekhov, when madmen lead the blind.

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  114. There's no real choice..surprisingly.

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  115. Thanks "Navro" I never knew I was a poet!

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  116. We had no cameras to shoot the landscape,
    We passed the hash pipe and played the Doors tape...

    Sounds a bit like the UT without the war.

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  117. Well you've got a heart,and that's the start...ergh!!

    Music thannnn-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYkVtz6ozJE

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  118. That's got to be on a Simon Bate's 'Golden Hour- Greatest Hits'album. If there ever was, is or will be such a thing.

    This should, would or could be on the thing-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddDGj1Xko_c

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  119. Now Andy Murray - Australian Open....

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  120. Never had much time for the singer or the song till I heard this-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqbH-bOTa38

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  121. Has he won Wimbledon already?

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  122. Yeah, but it's not like actually being there.

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  123. Thank fuck!I'm fulfilled!!!

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  124. Murray wins first game second set

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  125. I'm going to listen to someone playing golf. This tennis malarkey so trad.

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  126. Bitterweed! Cancel the golf weird thing.Check.

    BTH Long may you run is a great song. Love this-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxsOh3V3bq4

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  127. Cheers navstar, Love Neil Young, much - MUCH - to Monkeyfish's disapointment a couple of years ago.

    Here's something for everyone.

    Chet Atkins showing people who's the toast.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIKt_WQHia8

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  128. Formula Stun: Murray Wanker !!!

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  129. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  130. Oh god is it ELO confession time-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00kG7uTbFUk&feature=fvst

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  131. Nice one navro - one of your favourites?

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  132. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PdKpR9qNtg

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  133. BTH
    Probably not available where you are - ELO, Summer and Lightning.

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  134. Navro
    Mate, great band, no embarassment required.

    Check this from last year

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONLtmcFLvYI

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  135. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  136. Night - with the best band ever
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE6aCm41aPU
    Yes.

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  137. Here's Cabaret Voltaire - 'Do The Mussolini (Headkick)'

    Ace.

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  138. Mmm

    ...





    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXUpKmYwnEE

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  139. Nite then fuckos. Fucking lighweights. Yada yada.

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