02 February 2011


Bowl, Joseon dynasty (1392–1910) 

Every increased possession loads us with new weariness. 
-John Ruskin


  1. morning Thauma!

    Surprise surprise! You couldn't make it up really.

    This govt is beginning to look really silly.

  2. As you say, thauma, - utterly hilarious.

    Much of Wei's work has focused on how to free ordinary people from the daily grind to give them more time to do voluntary work and involve themselves in their communities under the big society plans. Since taking the post, Wei has had a relatively low profile and there have been suggestions that he has not made enough impact on the public understanding of 'big society'. The scheme is reported to be facing Whitehall resistance and the stretched capacities of local authorities.

    Obviously, from the perspective of those who cooked this little concoction up, it would be something the little woman could dabble in in order to fill some of her time and distract her from spending more time on fripperies.

    Meanwhile, your mates could set up charities and you could help them fill in the forms to siphon money out of the state.

    Win-win and trebles all round.

    Obviously, if you have never met a person who actually has to earn a living, that missing piece from the splendid jigsaw will have gone unnoticed.

    Arseholes and cunts are nice enough in the right places at the right time.

    You don't want to be governed by them, though.

  3. You bloody lazy public sector types make me sick. Me and my mate Dave are setting up a cardiovascular unit at the local hospital next week, 2 evenings a week, bought all the books to read up on and stuff, will get the equipment off ebay. If we can do it, why cant you?

  4. Has Dave considered that if all this were actually made to work and people volunteered to run the elderly around, do a bit of DIY and small building and maintenance for local people, do the gardening and window-cleaning, repair the old banger for free, serve in the local book-coffee-internet-gossip-shop-cafe for nothing...

    ...that it would actually damage the economy by taking away the jobs of people who do those things for a living, thereby reducing the tax take and increasing the welfare budget?

    OK - scrap the last bit.

    There is no welfare budget, is there?

    Just whatever Dave hands over to Atos and A4E to back-pocket for doing sweet fuck-all.

    The traditional charity sector has always underpinned the economy.

    People working for nothing have always subsidised the commercial enterprise of the nation and made up the shortfall from those who refuse to pay taxes or contribute to the economy from which they so readily filch.

    The problem is, you cannot have an economy based on:

    1. Vast, global banking and business interests who do not pay tax properly, if at all.

    2. People working for nothing.

    3. Er, that's it.

    It might be an idea to start telling small local businesses that Dave and the Gang are out to get them - in the bankruptcy courts.

    After all, it's the shopkeepers and plumbers and garages who are Dave's most staunch voter base.

  5. @Jay:

    That’s pretty impressive, puts my efforts in the shade a bit. Me and a couple of mates have been recruiting an elite band of mercenaries over the past week and a half, we’ve been putting them through the punishing training regime we devised (Call of Duty 4 every night from 20h00 – 01h00, no sleep till you take the last bad guy down, soldier!) Only one fatality to report from the training, a heart attack, but to be honest you can’t expect too much from a 55 year old bloke who weighs 22 stone... Anyway, just got the call from the MOD yesterday, plane tickets are in the post and we’re off to Sangin next week!

    “D00kOfEarl55” says it’s the Victoria Cross or bust – or maybe the Xbox “Victoria Cross” achievement, if he can’t get the real thing!

  6. Jay/Swifty,

    That’s nothing.

    I fly back KLM business class every weekend just to wipe the tears of Glasgow orphans with a flannel I bought myself. The beatific looks on their faces as they realize one of their social betters cares is just heart-rendingly beautiful.

    I’m not part of the big society, I’m part of the International big society.

  7. Don't do yourself down, Swift, thats noble BS stuff right there. And Duke - that made me cry. Gideon would weep too if he could hear you.

    Its not a competition or anything, we're all in this together and that, but please note I am also volunteering for diplomatic duties, probably only a few hours a week, Tuesdays after work perhaps. I am meeting Mr Obama next week to discuss trade tariffs.

  8. Did someone mention Gidiot?

    It seems that after just a few months in the job, people are already wondering whether he should have just been left to snort coke, for the safety of the economy.


    The obvious question, then, is does the Chancellor know what he's doing? A while ago, I asked a supremely well connected Tory commentator if George is as clever as he ostentatiously thinks he is. "He isn't as clever as I think he is," was the reply, "and I don't think he's clever at all."

    Not so long ago, the worst that was being said of Mr Osborne (and thank heavens he still has some political capital left from his canny championing of Andy Coulson) was that he is a cocky, smirking, neo-Regency fop of a little horror with half the charm of genital herpes.

  9. Top quote, Atom. What are you doing for big society, out of interest?

  10. I have set up a food recycling operation.

    Obviously, a lot of this is commercially sensitive, so I can only give a brief outline.

    Essentially, certain excretions and expectorations from, mainly, human donors - such as nose-mess, phlegm, ear-wax, vomit and slightly more unmentionable substances - are harvested on a semi-automated basis, both here and overseas. (After all, if you are not a global operation these days, you are nothing).

    These materials are then blended and chemical effluent of various types are added and the resulting paste is formed into patties, which are sold back to the schools and old-people's homes and hospitals and other institutions and prisons from where they were originally collected.

    They make a - Mmm-Mmm - delicious and nutritious meal occasion ingredient, suitable for lunches or dinners or light snacks.

    Turdy-Swizzlers is the name and Turdy Swizzlers is the game.

    That's our slogan.

    Dave thinks it says everything about his big ideas and plans.

  11. My republicdaughter's getting the keys to her first apartment tomorrow, so I'm driving her to Ikea for the afternoon today.

    I don't know if it counts as the Big Society, but it's very much a sacrifice. I shall probably even be conned into buying myself something totally pointless called Norke or Arswijp because it's ever so cheap and stylish.

  12. Afternoon all

    Read THIS STORY in tonight's Standards about a bloke suing John Lewis for sex discrimination after a woman slapped him on the arse but it wasn't taken seriously when he complained.May seem petty in the overall scheme of things but it made me recall a situation at work a few years ago when a woman slapped a guy on the arse,he gave her a slap on her arse in retaliation and she then had the audacity to complain.And whilst no disciplinary action was taken against him he was told to be more of a gentleman in future.Of course if he had slapped her arse first and she'd complained i'm sure he would have been given a formal warning at least.

    In the real world there is still,imo, a lot of resistance from men and women alike to accepting that gender equality cuts both ways.And that in society at large we still have too many double standards that can favour either sex.

  13. @13thDuke:

    That’s a touching story. You put the Grate into “Grate Britian” and I salute thee for your internationalist indefatigability!

    PS Just had a bit of a setback on the Sangin thing. Since “PorkPieNChips” bit the dust in training, “MuttsNutts08” now reckons he can’t go – his missus is having a bunion off next week. So it’s just me, “WaveyDavey”, “L33tRangerSeven” (if his passport comes through in time), “SpackHawkDown”, “ROFLCopter” (once he turns 17) and “CharlieUniformNovemberTangoNiner”.

  14. Wonderfully noble contributions my brothers.

    I had thought that I might initiate a scheme to relieve/soothe the trauma of soon to be made redundant librarians.........but then I realised that my known predilection/desire for wishing to relieve the distress of lady librarians would probably result in objections from the Unions, the Femz and Scherf.

    Not so much selfless as pure indulgence..... ah well back to the drawing board for me.

    Spike I have found that there is a short/fast way out the endless winding route through an IKEA store - I approach a member of staff and tell them that I have a bladder/bowel problem and if they don't help me get out quickly then I'll have to use a wardrobe....... there are numerous secret curtains/passageways that can be revealed .....

  15. pennydreadful has written a whole NS article about her calling some bloke a cunt at a public meeting. Apparently, Horrified silence fell in this roomful of hardened activists, followed a few seconds later by nervously appreciative laughter. The incident later exploded on the internet

    In real life, most people present were appalled, it generated literally dozens of comments on obscure blogs and some bloke took the piss out of her in the Telegraph.)

    It must be wonderful to be so self-obsessed while remaining so steadfastly un-self-aware. All publicity is good publicity..... etc etc

  16. Atom, really uplifting stuff mate.

  17. Back in the 70s when I worked on the night shift in a factory, we started at 9 pm, replacing a "housewives' shift" that ran from 5 to 9 pm. Every night I, at 18, and other young lads ran the gamut of 40-year-old women phwoaring, commenting on our physical attributes and asking if we fancied a quick shag behind the wrapping machine.

    Par for the course in those days and we'd have been generally ridiculed if we'd ever complained. Embarrassing, but not particularly traumatic for me.

  18. @Jay:

    "...I am meeting Mr Obama next week to discuss trade tariffs..."

    Oh I say, well done that man!

    It’s odd this BS thing, it's not all plain sailing. Before I got into this mercenary recruiting lark (have to offer some thanks to my mate "Codename Scratcher” for showing me the ropes – nice one, Mark), I offered my services to the local girls’ school as a gardener/handyman type fella, but the Head wasn’t keen. She reckoned I wasn’t prepared to pay them enough to do it.

    What a tragic waste of my talents.

  19. @Deano

    Very tempting, but I can't leave the poor girl to fend for herself.

  20. "I have found that there is a short/fast way out the endless winding route through an IKEA store - I approach a member of staff and tell them that I have a bladder/bowel problem and if they don't help me get out quickly then I'll have to use a wardrobe....... there are numerous secret curtains/passageways that can be revealed ..... "

    I had my first Ikea experience at the weekend. I was so distraught and lost i was tempted to just abandon my purchase and flee. Awful place.

    Swift - sorry to hear of your setbacks. If “L33tRangerSeven” requires passport services though, my next door neighbour is launching a passport issuing service as his contribution to the BS. £40 and its all taken care of. The L33tranger must be unleashed.

  21. On second thoughts the Victorians, and certainly my hero Frederick Furnival, would never have retreated in the face of mere ridicule and minor vocal opposition....

    .....the deanohome for the relief and humour of inadequately pensioned lady librarians nonetheless has a worthwhile ring about it......I'll get on with the design of the flags for sale on flag day

  22. Cunt

    Yes, I had thought that you had made up the bit in italics, but, no, Splenda Penny actually said it.


    She also said:

    These, for context, are people who are currently cheerleading calls for a general strike and/or the overthrow of the government, but they still consider a young woman saying 'cunt' in public a little too, too much.

    She, for context, probably used the word for no reason other than to exploit it as a "news hook" (as JezzaBella might say) for yet another yawningly tedious article.

    Poor little inconsequential Penny Ante.

    Watch her career shoot like a dull and dusty meteor aiming for the moon, until it plops without a ripple into the Sea of Obscurity.

  23. Left on the shelf? A little pampering overdue? Come to Deano's, no need to book.

  24. @Jay:

    It’s a real drag, to be honest, doing your bit for the Big Society. When PorkPieNChips was getting his gastric band fitted (shame they didn’t give him a new heart as well, fucking NHS), he was a key member of the team, absolutely brilliant at the organisation side despite being in intensive care, could get 4 or 5 blokes together on the same server, no worries. I’m a bit lost without him now. “WaveyDavey” is 2 i/c just at the minute, but between you and me, he’s been doing his “other” bit for the BS on the side, and I think he’s got himself into a spot of bother with some nasty Turkish bloke doing *his* bit for the Duke’s International Big Society, whose patch it seems he’s inadvertently started operating out of. His mind’s not 110% focused on the job as a result, and when the shit’s flying out there, I’m worried he might let us down, especially when he’s surrounded by 600 hectares of poppy fields.

    Anyway, thanks for the offer of help with L33tRangerSeven’s paperwork issues. There’s a Chinese bloke down our way can do them for £60, but it’s all coming out of my bloody pocket, so I might take you up on that.

  25. "...She reckoned I wasn’t prepared to pay them enough to do it...."

    Swifty - You obviously have fast track experience of marketing - you could be just the chap I'm looking for. Combined with Jay's diplomacy I could yet be on to a winner.

    laters dog walk calls.

    Montana hope the severe weather predicted for your patch is not quite as bad as forecast.

  26. S
    "..Left on the shelf? A little pampering overdue? Come to Deano's, no need to book..."

    Spike - Comrade that is stylish, I see a promising new career for you as a publicist.

  27. @deano:

    800.4.12 seeks 566.5 for 300.2, 890.12 and 278.4

    Should have ‘em swooning in the aisles.

  28. "Back in the 70s when I worked on the night shift in a factory, we started at 9 pm, replacing a "housewives' shift" that ran from 5 to 9 pm. Every night I, at 18, and other young lads ran the gamut of 40-year-old women phwoaring, commenting on our physical attributes and asking if we fancied a quick shag behind the wrapping machine"

    I had much the same experience in the Tootal Tie factory in a Mill in Oldham. I was there on a work experience programme from a College.

    Some of the few men working there said that they had literally been 'taken' (unasked) by organised gangs of the women when they were young. apprentices.

  29. Oh, shit, er, licious.

    Looks like it's going to be war, then.

    I have been mentioning the fact that this is the traditional outcome when similar circumstances beset us for some months now.

    However, don't blame me, please, even if I seek to profit from it all with our new line:

    "Win the War Pie!"


    IMF raises spectre of civil wars as global inequalities worsen

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that "dangerous" imbalances have emerged that threaten to derail global recovery and stoke tensions that may ultimately set off civil wars in deeply unequal countries.

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the IMF's chief, said the economic rebound across the world is built on unstable foundations, with many rich nations still strapped in job slumps while the rising powers of China, India and Brazil already facing the threat of overheating. "It is not the recovery we wanted. It is a recovery beset by tensions and strain, which could even sow the seeds of the next crisis," he said.

    "Global unemployment remains at record highs, with widening income inequality adding to social strains," he said, citing turmoil in North Africa as a prelude to what may happen as 400m youths join the workforce over the next decade. "We could see rising social and political instability within nations – even war," he said.


    Pack up your troubles in your old ethically sourced Guatamalan recycled hessian bag made by monopedal ninja lesbian Arctic krill fisherwimminz and smile, smile, smile....

  30. "800.4.12 seeks 566.5 for 300.2, 890.12 and 278.4"

    Pure class Swifty!

    I've come over all dewey

    really must get out now.

  31. areyoucallingmeacunt?

    Like Atomboy, I thought it was a joke. Sweet jesus, no wonder the left in the UK is looked upon as a total joke if this is the standard of debate.

    I saw the spat as linked by PeterJ last week and thoroughly enjoyed both Montana's and Bitterweed's interjections.

  32. AT, not forgetting of course the Telegraph blog article on Cuntgate (oh yes it is).

    Despite itself, the story seems to have these rather touching little vignettes into life on the radical cutting-edge. There's Jacob, an relatively unknown activist who toils on the blogging front line, assailing the forces of conservatism with impenetrable jargon. This is a man who responds to accusations of a sexist joke not with "I was being ironic" but with “I think you are making too strong an appeal for what’s quite an old-fashioned structuralist conception of culture that ends up with what are basically transcendental value-judgments (which I can only imagine are built around an equally transcendental notion of hegemony.)” If nothing else, a boring cunt.

    But that's the thing about bloggers. You have a potential audience of millions, and it becomes incomprehensible that your fluent jargonese doesn't shake the world to its roots. Jacob is the kind of guy who attends activist meetings in a viking helmet, so you can assume that he's an attention whore. In that context, Penny Dreadful seems to have raised his ire, with her flashy glibness and success. Maybe he's got a crush on her, who knows. Anyway, he seems to have decided to pull the popular girl's pigtails.

    Then you find out why nobody's heard of Jacob and everybody's heard of Laurie. She uses a public meeting to elevate the minor pissing contest into something more newsworthy and to (excuse the language of patriarchal violence, comrades) bitchslap Jacob back into place. She then goes to call him a cunt a few more times before apologizing first, thus making Jacob look like an even bigger cunt than before. She's a bulliying cunt, he's a slow-witted cunt. She makes a media opportunity out of a playground spat, he blusters and splutters.

    The only other thing to note is that Jacob is currently finishing off his Masters at Cambridge. Typical. You can't even be called a cunt these days without an Oxbridge connection. Discrimination is what it is. The cunts.

  33. @Eddie:

    I’m now an enormous fan of (I guess 19 year old) Gabriel Balfe, who posted this in the comments below (“modern” spelling, grammar and punctuation preserved):

    ”...Im quite aware how many leading intellects on the left were such due to the priviliges of money. Ive had the fortune myself of having parents who could pay for and wanted me to be privately educated (que insults of 'spoilt teenager without a real job living off parents wealth...'. There's no winning with you people)...”

    He goes on to develop his argument thus:

    ”...Instead of taking in the actual, coherent (and in my opinion very correct) arguments of the left, the established media boil the whole complex down to a view images of a smashed window and some twat pissing on Winston Churchill (I actually dont think hes a twat for pissing on Winston Churchill... I just know people who know him and apparently hes a twat)...”

    He then appears to offer to take his bat home and indulge in a spot of direct action:

    ”...In any case, arguing on the internet is something of a pointless exercise, so if the next point isn't one of actual engagement, I'm off to go piss on Nelson's Column...”

    FINALLY! Someone prepared to actually stand up and be counted.

  34. Eddie,

    Brilliant. You're on fire at the moment.

  35. Fantastic, Eddie. And full credit for spotting CuntSpatGate in the first place.

  36. RapidEddie

    Thanks for the link but I almost burst my eyeball in a speed-reading accident.

    It says this:

    Absolutely priceless; and it shows why revolutionaries will never take over the country – they’re too busy arguing with each other about political philosophy, semantics and who said what to who.

    "Who said what to whom", surely?

    After all, how can up-and-coming thrusting young journalist turks and fuddy-duddy old political activists hope to change the world if Telegraph bloggers cannot even write properly?

    So, we need:

    1. Political activists who can get dahn wid da kidz and go out without wearing Viking helmets.

    2. Journalists who do not belong to the global cult of me and look like plastic figures from a cornflake packet.

    3. Mainstream bloggers who write nicely.

    4. An end to world hunger and all the children - because I believe they are our future - taught to sing in perfect harmony.

    5. My new gruelicious "Souperrhoea" in everyone's shopping-basket, made from [That's enough advertising - Ed]

  37. Eddie, you are trivializing this very important spat between Laurie and Jacob. It's not sexism, it's not blog envy, it's not even that they're both cunts.

    I'm surprised that you didn't know that Jacob is an ex-Cambridge guy (Robinson College) who's doing an MA in advanced bullshit at Birkbeck, while Laurie is an ex-Oxford gel (Wadham College). She was unfortunately too thick to do an MA so she had to go and live in a squat with some other wadicals (where she pwactically starved!). Hence the animosity.

    And don't you know that those Oxford and Cambridge colleges still hate each other? Back in the 13th century the students used to brawl in taverns and stab each other to death. Now they just beccome 'progressives' and set up their own blogs and call each other cunts.

    Some might call that a step in the wrong direction.

  38. Some very lol-worthy tales of the Big Society in action here folks. As to real volunteering, notihng as exciting, a receptionist at a counselling centre and as an admin/odds and ends at a community centre.

    Frankly it's just about the only thing that keeps me sane, gives me a reason to get out of the house, interact with people, not to lie in til midday. I'm getting pretty depressed at the moment, with my own individual circumstances and the state of the country/world in general.

    I'm stil having problems getting my documentation- waiting for our foreign office to stamp some docs. Maybe I will just sneak across the Russian border. Swifty's crack team of mercenaries can teach me infiltration techniques.

    Interesting link/post of the IMF report.

  39. Could one of you Big Society surgeons stitch my sides back together. Your dissection of the cuntyfucktardery was clinical, so I feel sure I'm in safe hands.

  40. Alisdair

    Could one of you Big Society surgeons stitch my sides back together.

    Sorry, I thought you said "sturgeons."

    It's nice to be a big fish in a small pond, but I won't try to perform any surgery with my fish-fingers.

  41. fuckyerfunny - 'you are on fire' - all that effort sleeve knitting so you laugh up them at the expense of who (m so -) ever you nominate as not up to your standard - brilliant lost-craft skills - creating crocheted elitism

    Good on'ya fuckwits derrr

  42. Cunt (if I make so informal), I would never downplay the significance of these two radical leviathans wrestling each other for the very soul of the spotlight - sorry, I mean 'very soul of the future of radical politics'.

    But both regard it as a distraction to the more important work at hand, changing the world one first-person-pronoun-heavy blog at a time.

    Jacob does this by tirelessly traipsing around the blogosphere, responding to each and every blog that comes up on a Jacob+Cunt google search. Laurie, being a shade smarter, milks another few freelance cheques out of it. Makes a change from the Joan of Wadham stuff I suppose.

    Meanwhile can someone tell Laurie that the protestors on her last march weren't singing "Barry Roberts is our friend, he kills coppers." Harry. The bloke's name was Harry Roberts and it's an old footie song that used to go up every time the rozzers piled into a terrace to make an arrest. God, you really can't get the staff these days.

    PS. Ho Chi Minh Quad, Wadham College? Really? I assume that's ironic or something. Perhaps Jacob could right a few thousand words on it. God knows, he needs the work.

  43. @Nap:

    ”...Swifty's crack team of mercenaries can teach me infiltration techniques...”

    Glad to help Nap. In fairness, I should maybe tell you that “infiltration” isn’t necessarily our strongest suit – last time we tried it, PorkPieNChips got stuck under a fence (God rest his lardy-arse soul, obviously) and The L33tRanger’s not that keen on heights, so the HALO drop is out, unfortunately... we’ve got a camouflaged Nova though which might get you over the border, if only I can convince DeathToTheKuffur8 to take that big exhaust off it, it sounds like a bloody APC coming up the A23 at the minute. Though now I come to think of it, between you and me, I’ve got my doubts about that lad – I’m not 100% convinced he entirely understands whose side we’re supposed to be on once we get over there. Still, beggars can’t be choosers – and he is proper handy with an RPG.

  44. Some funny posts here today.Tip hat gents!

  45. pro Mubarak supporters trying to get into Tahir sq.

    Peaceful demo for a week then govt supporters wade in and there is violence many injured no ambulance and where is the army? (who said they would protect the anti Mubarak side?


    Govt claims pro Mubarak side are 'ordinary Egyptians' and not secret police or undercover police. According to govt no shots being fired I've heard them.

  46. In half an hour it is Chinese New Year - the year of the rabbit - and for the past three days I have been assaulted by fireworks that might have signaled the end of the world.

    So as it's the year of the rabbit, here's something slightly relevant:

    Yaron Herman Trio - Follow the White Rabbit

  47. Sorry for not providing the link but fighting with the censors is cat and mouse.


  48. Happy New Year Bitey. Year of the rabbit stew.

  49. From tomorrow interviews will be held for the 100,000 vacancies generated by the Olympics.Vacancies include 'car marshalling' and 'carry athletes luggage'.And for these mind boggling jobs applicants will be thoroughly grilled to ensure they have the right skills base.Now i do like to be helpful so if any UT ers are interested they can read all about it HERE.

    Good luck and be careful out there!

  50. @Charlie

    If Russia doesn't work out you can get a job as a car marshall and smuggle all your UT mates in to the various venues(plus of course the all important hospitality tents)


  51. Might have helped if i'd posted the CORRECT LINK.


  52. Let's Bomb Iran!

    Perhaps we should all start singing this. It goes with the Beach Boys' song Barbara Ann - "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran..."

    Yeah, it looks a bit boring written down like that, but it's a lot of fun.

    Anyway, quite a funny thing over at The Guardian, of all places:


    It shows that Fox News and the right wing fundamentalist zealots are not sure what to make of Egypt.

    "Mubarak is our boy, right? Yeah, so he's a good guy, then. So, the demonstrators are the bad guys, obviously. Oh, they're the good guys! But America is good - OK - so we cannot have been funding a bad guy, right. Otherwise that would make us the bad guys, too.

    "Oh, now the whole of North Africa and the Middle East and - what's that bit there, Bob? - oh, yeah, Yoorp. That's all up in flames now. The whole region has just gone phut!"

    Cunningly, though, as AllyF points out, Fox News supplies a doctored map:


    With Egypt sidling and nestling like spoons with Iran, there can no longer be any doubt.

    Egypt is the bad guy!

    And Iran!

    Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb....the fuck out of everything.

    Wars make money, after all.

  53. Evening

    Did Fox actually use that map AB? They really are completely bananas. Not that the yanks would know the difference - most of them can barely find their own states on a map. (sorry Montana, didn't mean you)

    I see Mubaraks thugs are finally out doing what they do best.

  54. Atomboy - IIRC, the 'bomb-bomb-bomb, bomb bomb Iran' ditty was invented by John McCain during his hugely successful campaign for the presidency.

  55. "Berlin police swoop on squat
    2,500 officers sent to clear 25 residentsof Liebig 14 tenement block amid city-wide protests"

    I think by any standard 100:1 is called overkill!

  56. Sheff

    I don't know, as I just followed AllyF's link, but let's just say that it does not seem highly improbable.

    I think we all automatically and genuinely exclude Montana from this, but I don't imagine that many Americans regard people from other countries as properly human.

    If David Cameron and Rupert Murdoch and Paul Dacre keep telling everyone that people who are sick or on benefits - eventually, any outsider, anyone who is different - are nothing like the people they want everyone to identify themselves as being, eventually it sticks with a lot of people.

    A stage arrives when people do not regard the separated group as properly human, as entitled to the same rights or considerations.

    When you then say, this evil filth is going to attack you and steal everything you have worked for and destroy your whole life, it is not so much of a jump to persuade people to attack.

    After all, if a complete and utter thick-as-pigshit little arsehole like Tony Blair could lead us into war without being stopped, anyone can do it.

  57. thauma

    It wouldn't surprise me one jot.

  58. Well there you have, just as in Britain a large chunk of the Tory vote comes from the working class, as in America where it is often the poor that are anti government, many poor people of Egypt love their dear omnipresent leader. Quite sad really.

  59. Here it is, Atomboy. What a colossal wanker.

    You are also right about the dehumanisation of foreigners; I don't know how many times I heard outraged red-blooded Americans decrying the fact that non-Americans were thought to have human rights - such as the right to a trial - by pinko lefty commie Nazis.

  60. thauma

    America actually has no concept of universal human rights.

    Americans have constitutional rights and legal rights by virtue of being American.

    None of that applies to anyone else on earth, however genuinely human they may appear to the untrained eye.

    Along with this, America also strenuously resists any attempt to bring it under any global legal obligations which may be enforced by any outside entity.


    Could you clarify that line of thought, please? I'm not quite sure what you mean.

  61. That reminds me - today we find out that Bradley Manning, the accused leaker to WikiLeaks, has British citizenship by dint of having a Welsh mother.

    Does this mean that the reportedly horrendous treatment he has suffered can be made even worse as he isn't - like Obama - a proper American?

  62. People acting against there interest. Think of the large Tory support among lower middle classes/upper working classes. Think of the poor people in America who back the tea party-

    People discussed this here or on cif a few weeks ago- why do people go against their own interests? I think the answer for the tea baggers and also the Tory trolls on cif is that there was some kind of psychological effect- these trolls were fairly vulnerable themselves so they need some ideology/belief to comfort them, ie that they got where they are entirely on their own merit and that poor people are in their situation becuase of their own failings. That's why people go against their interests, as the pro Mubarak thugs are doing. I think.

    Or, it could just be self interest. I've heard on the BBC that the Camel cavalry charge in Tahrir square is composed of the tour guides/camel hire guys from the Pyramids who were angry at their loss of income. So, if you ever go to Egypt on holiday, don't give the bastards your custom.

  63. Let's just say that he would probably be sensible not to have David Miliband anywhere near his legal team.

  64. I thought all 'baddies' in the states were actually British thaum? They usually are in the fillums.

  65. Evening all

    Re the BS BS. My comment:

    The ConDem Coalition - Powered By Fairy Dust (TM)

    Hope everyone is well. I am still snowed under with stuff and not really up to much in the way of militating on t'intarwebz at the moment as my brain isn't working by the time I get in at night... am reading and trying to keep up though.

    Looking forward to a little day trip to the Smoke on the 26th March, though, to stretch my vocal chords a bit. Please keep me in the loop for meeting points, etc.

  66. Sheff - ah yes, now they aren't Russkies any more!

  67. Now I have to go.

    Quickly, though, I think people will vote or pursue courses which are against their current interests because they think they are somehow ensuring that the position they hope to occupy in the future will be enhanced by doing so.

    Obviously, propaganda and peer-pressure also influences people.

    As for the pro-Mubarak demonstrators, they could have been paid for by the regime.

    Apart from that, obviously you do not have a regime where absolutely everyone suffers and is at the bottom. There will always be groups who do well out of the poverty and oppression of others.

    May be back later.

    Play nicely - no gouging, spitting or Chinese burns.

  68. Sheff - haha, nice try, Telegraph!

    But they forgot to excise this part:

    UC Professor James Fowler said: "It is the crucial interaction of two factors - the genetic predisposition and the environmental condition of having many friends in adolescence - that is associated with being more liberal.

    So people who are incapable of making friends are conservatives, it would seem.

    No surprise there.

  69. For lonely introverts Thaum, they don't half make a lot of fucking noise.

  70. Evening all


    Liberal gene discovered by scientists

    Perhaps we are related.

  71. For lonely introverts Thaum, they don't half make a lot of fucking noise.

    Made I larf.

  72. Meanwhile, Ed sends out word don't upset Rupert.

    Why ever not? Bullies have power because you relinquish control to them. Murdoch is always going to be nudging British politics along the lines he wants if pretty much all the political leaders pay obeisance to him. Surely there can't be that much shit tucked away on major politicians, can there?

  73. medve

    Could be... in fact that would be good - a rellie to visit in Hungary.

  74. Or indeed one to visit in sunny Sheffield.

  75. You'd be more than welcome here medve, we're a pretty hospitable bunch too.

  76. we're a pretty hospitable bunch too

    I can testify to that!

  77. I'll be in the UK later in the year, so i shall plan in a visit to my long-lost relative(s).

  78. Programme on BBC2 about class and social mobility. If you miss it/abroad you can watch it on Iplayer later. It's called 'who gets the best jobs'

  79. Sheff - 'we're a pretty hospitable bunch too'

    I can testify to that too!

    Just been to see 'The king's Speech' Actually enjoyed it! Showed up the ludicrousness of royal etiquette but Colin Firth brilliant as a stammerer struggling with his problem.

    Showed up what abusive inhuman parents the royal family were/are, rather spoilt it by making Liz Bowes Lyon look almost human.

    The speech therapist was excellent - wonderfully lacking in deference!

    It wasn't history of course.

  80. Medve - let us know when; we can has piss-up!

  81. @BB: are you familiar with this?


    I know it's not your branch of the law but just wondered if you had any thoughts.

  82. thauma

    Will ask Montana to pass email so i can let you know.

  83. Re-cuntgate.

    I used to say cunt all the time. After all I grew up in Barking just up the road from Dagenham,where Dudley Moore was from.

    But then in the early eighties, feminists I knew got pissed off about it and told me that I shouldn't say it as it was misogynistic to make the worst swear word female genitalia whilst prick was so much milder.

    And I could, after sufficient re-education sessions, see their point.

    I never actually eradicated it but I did cut it down massively, so that I only ever said it when in great pain or anguish. Sort of dropping an anvil on your foot or seeing Eric Pickles on TV type situations.

    But now, bright young feminist Laurie Penny is saying that it is *men* that get upset by it and that we shouldn't be freaked out by the word.

    I'm thoroughly confused now. Girls, sorry, ladies, sorry women, sorry womyn, sorry girls again, sorry ladies again, sorry...

    Are we supposed to say cunt or not, nowadays?

  84. Medve - excellent!

    Off to bed now...

  85. And another thing. Did any one see Andrew Neil's programme last week about politicians all being Oxbridge clones?

    I didn't catch it all but what I did see was remarkably good (tr, close to what I have been banging on about).

    What the fuck has happened to the world if we have to rely on Andrew Neil to publicise the issue?

  86. @Spencer; I believe it's de rigueur to pronounce it "cant".

    Either that or you might get away with the "see you next Thursday" option!

  87. Had to look that up so as not to look ignorant, Chekhov.

    Oh shit now I have let it out....

  88. So, "Newsnight" invited some bankers on tonights show to defend the indefensible. Needless to say, none of them pitched up.

  89. I have to admit I was confused by Penny Dreadful's twatter: "Cunt! Why are men so frightened of that word? It's a powerful word."

    I have yet to meet the legions of men who fall to the floor with an attack of the vapours when they heard the word, from either a man or a woman. I first became aware of the word's versatility and ubiquity on the terraces at Stamford Bridge as a young fella. The referee was a cunt. The linesmen were cunts. Liverpool were cunts (and by extension, scousers were cunts). Obviously West Ham were cunts. Doug Rougvie, defensive accident waiting to happen, was a useless cunt. Clive Walker, tubby short-legged striker, was a fat, lazy useless cunt who wouldn't run 5 yards to collect a pass but would run 5 miles in a minute if the chipper had just opened.

    Not that its usage was completely class-based. The most inventive use of the term I heard was in a pub after work, by a pissed-up ad agency New Business Director who responded to being called a cunt by saying "I may be a cunt, but I'm the cuntiest cunt in all Cuntingdom." Poetry, in its own way.

    Like Spencer, I had to learn via electro-shock therapy (usually a cattle prod) and the odd clip round the back of head to curb the wilder excesses of working class vocabulary. I distinctly remember being shouted at to "go back to the building sites" by a female office administrator, after engaging in banter with a male colleague that included a sentence from me along the lines of "Fuck off or I'll rip off your head and shit down your throat." Couldn't see the problem then, can't see the problem now. It's a colourful, vivid use of language. And Chekhov is right, usually the pronunciation of cunt in softy southern areas is 'cahnt'.

    But now apparently, we're scared of the word. Can't say I've ever flinched at its usage, but I'll take Laurie's word on it. She seems pretty sure on the point.

  90. Spencer, you can watch all of Posh & Posher here:


    You might have to dodge pop-ups and wait for buffering occasionally, but I think the link works.

  91. A few years ago Germaine Greer set out to reclaim the word cunt, sort of like the n-bomb for feminists. So Laurie Penny could be using it in that context, which would also explain the odd notion that men are afraid of it - contrary to all anecdotal evidence, which would suggest that men love to call each other cunts.

    Also having read that 3rd Estate blog by that Rosenberg guy I can't agree with Laurie, he comes across much more like a twat than a cunt.

  92. @RapidEddie: I'm not being pedantic about the pronunciation 'coz each person has their own conception of what they hear depending on where they come from and where they are.
    However since I don't venture south of Watford Gap very often my perception when I do is phonetically "Kant" as in Immanuel!

    This makes sense if you make the link with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore doing their Derek and Clive shctick.

    Mind you that doesn't mean the "Jesmond Glitterati" in Newcastle Upon Tyne don't use the "Kant" version. In fact I've heard them do it!

  93. This comment has been removed by the author.

  94. Ivo, I thought the intent might have been to reclaim the word, as with black Americans reclaiming 'nigger', but it still doesn't make any sense to suggest men are afraid of hearing women using it. Certainly men use it with a gleeful abandon and a lot of working class women aren't shy about the term around their menfolk.

    The only way it makes even the slightest glimmer of sense is that middle-class men might be taken aback by its usage by middle-class women. This I would encourage.

    When Alan Rusbridger walks into an editorial meeting, Polly Toynbee should pipe up with "Alan, you old cunt." Bidisha should open her appraisal on Newsnight Review of the next Coldplay album by saying "What a bunch of cunts." (And she wouldn't be wrong).

    The alternative explanation is that Laurie's squeezing as much publicity out of it as possible. The nonsensical tweet sets up the New Statesman article and another freelance cheque wends its way to the hallway mat in North London.

    Jacob just looks like a fifty-year-old Morris Dancer who wandered into a street riot. On the plus side, the police won't have to electronically tag him as they can follow his movements via the bells on the top of his stockings.

  95. "Jacob just looks like a fifty-year-old Morris Dancer who wandered into a street riot. On the plus side, the police won't have to electronically tag him as they can follow his movements via the bells on the top of his stockings. "


  96. Chekhov
    It's ok, they had that reknowned "left winger" Zoe from the Guardian on... flapping like a tit in a cold draft. That minnie mouse Reuters woman managed to make her look even less effectual. And she didn't give a shit about the poor.

    As for Grayling "I don't mind if someone's rich, it's how they got rich"... Jesus.

    As I said recently: Newsnight, as a "show", seems to be becoming more and more at home with the way things are...

    Oh well. Toodle kanting pip.

  97. "Had to look that up so as not to look ignorant, Chekhov"]
    What, you had to look up how to spell "pronounce"?...it's no wonder we are in the shit we are in with idiots like you who can't even spell!I don't know why I bother with you cretins any more....;-).

    BTW: Montana, put this post through the "irony filter"!

  98. chekhov, chekhov, give us a tune, chekhov, give us a tune!

  99. Paul, me likes that very much.

  100. Habib

    the lovely Mr McFerrin with another favourite of mine Yoyo Ma


  101. Hi Heyhabib. There are no doubt better covers of this classic with music by Kurt Veil and lyrics by Bertholt Brecht but I just pulled one from the archive. I'll try and retrieve Lotty Lenya's!


  102. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QXJ3OXWaOY&feature=related


  103. Leni, that was happy stuff.
    chekhov that was amazing, never heard that before. Spooky, scarey, unsettling... good.

  104. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slUW5IBVo_8&NR=1

  105. habib

    i can't watch McFerrin without smiling.


    Very scarey - and no Brecht couldn't sing but he could convey menace.

  106. Some good tunes there Leni and chekhov.Seems like we may have some competition here Habib.

  107. Paul, Bitterweed relegated me to the conference league a long time ago. It's good to listen, instead of play. Your turn, pal.

  108. Have to say that Bach/Mcferrin is getting saved for when I next get stoned, Leni x

  109. It seems ever since i had to change my email address a lot of my posts seem to be ending up in the spam folder.Obviously don't like what i have to say or play.No fuckin' taste!

    I'll try again with this link.This is one of my all time favourite tracks from George Benson. Hope you enjoy it as much as i do-that's of course if the the bastard post doesn't get swallowed up again.

    @Leni-the ripple effect from Tunisia and Egypt seems to have reached Jordan just about the time we were talking about it a couple of days ago.

  110. Paul

    Yup - bounced to Yemen now.

    Syria could be next.


    McFerrin does Vivaldi, Mozart as well as Bach. Worth an explore.

    For the more 'modern' amongst us he does Beatbox too Paul.

  111. @Heyabib; well you asked for a choon and I gave you one!

  112. Just the choon would have done...
    But thanks for the after sales service x

  113. Gotta tell you Paul, that George Benson track is great for rolling a large one.

    Leni, I'll look out for the other tracks.

  114. Leni

    I noticed an article on cif with the headline that Israel actually fears greater democracy in the Arab world.Haven't got round to reading it so not sure of the angle but can't get me head round the idea that Israel fears greater democracy from it's neighbours.Regarding Syria i know some think that greater Syrian influence in Lebanon might calm things down a bit there but of course that doesn't take account of the will of the peoples of both Lebanon and Syria.

    You have greater knowledge than me of the Middle East but from where i'm standing it's impossible to tell at the moment just how seismic the events will be in the region.

  115. Fears greater democracy from it's neighbours???

    WTF did that mean? Meant to say ...fears its neighbours enjoying greater democracy.

  116. Sorry for sales pitch Habib.

    Was trying to be helpful.

    Goes off miffed.

  117. "can't get me head round the idea that Israel fears greater democracy"

    It's quite simple, Paul, "everyone who hates Israel, put your hands up."

  118. Sorry Leni, it was a bad joke about the lovely Chekhov giving me one.

  119. it was a bad joke about the lovely Chekhov giving me one.

    Oi Habib you're my bitch not chekhov's!!!!

  120. It appears that my now ginormous water snails have been behaving in an unseemly fashion - I discovered a large, bright pink cluster of about 100 eggs this morning.

    Can't bring myself to get rid of them so will have to set up another tank and hope I can find good adoptive families for them all when they hatch.

  121. Habib

    It is almost impossible to miff me - I have been the butt of ridicule all my life. I'm used to it. x

    Now, now Paul, no jealous tantrums here please. Naughty step for you.

    This is the first time the night shift has operated for ages.

  122. Paul

    The cold peace has operated between Israel and Egypt for 30 years - Mubarak couldbe 'relied on'. The Israelis fear change - look at it from the Israeli pov.

    They are already moving troops to the south as they fear Bedou - persecuted in Egypt, unwanted in Israel - may try to cross border.

    Israel will have to rethink policy - most of their troops are in the north or busy stopping Palestinian children going to school.

  123. Paul!!!!

    Leni, "I have been the butt of ridicule all my life."
    I knew we had a lot in common.

  124. I wish the BBC didn't only employ folk from the same partly baked class.

    Two cunt's currently on BCC4 dealing with the story of ocean waves....

    FFS the message of the relentless wave is not all science it's ... a rhythm, a tune. a hymn. "I don't suppose..... I don't..........suppose".

    I always found lovemaking by crashing waves an optimistic experience.

    Cunts on BBC$ pissed me off - I is away for a kip.

    Leni - looking 4ward to UT birthday, I see you was an early bird.

    luv to U.

  125. improper use of the ' in "two cunt's" above - these things happen

  126. Music for all - lady librarians for Deano


  127. Perhaps I was unfair - them was just a bit slow to get the art & philosophical bits.

  128. @deano

    That film about waves was made by our friend Golem XIV.

  129. Deano

    I signed up at beginning - then couldn't back in.

    Twas Valentines day thread on cif- 2009- that I had my first conversation with Montana and where she said was going to set up her own site.

  130. Leni - thank you.

    You is a star and more.


  131. Hello Peter

    I'm hoping things go well in ME for everybody including Israel - hope it persuades them to unblock Gaza and free the WB.

  132. Leni and Habib

    Leni, "I have been the butt of ridicule all my life."
    I knew we had a lot in common.

    I hope that's not true.I think you're both lovely people.

  133. Peter ....thank me God I didn't end on a slagging of the lad.

    I like his writes but his films have a slow start.

  134. I just wanted a wave theory that was more related to the urgency of the couple on the shore........what the fuck we don't get all that we wish for.

  135. Peter - meant to enquire. Was that photo Eccles Grammar School?

  136. @deano

    Indeed it was.


    Let's hope so.

  137. Thank you Peter _ I stuck with the film enough to know I want to watch it again.

    A note for my night UT comrades - when I fall awake at unusual hours you reassure me to know that I am not alone.

  138. Good night, good people, may your god or solipsism go with you. x

  139. Algerian Trades unionists and other groups have protest planned for Feb 12 - Gvt. has declared it illegal under their emergency powers - these powers are one of the causes of unrest - they are justified there as elsewhere as necessary to combat terrorism. In fact they weigh very heavily on all the people.

  140. Night and bless everyone. x

  141. I see the night shift is winding down now so i'll sign off too.But before i go i'll leave you with this track from Bill Withers. And i dedicate it to all the grandma's who try and make life better for their grandkids.I was lucky to have one such grandma and yeah i'm a big softie at heart.What of it?

  142. I'll try Paul

    I'm a simplest - inclined to the collectivist, commonwealth, understanding of the world.

    But then so too sometimes are my UT mates, aka alma mater's, Peter & habib ....(habib & Peter) .....shit contemporary syntax is a sweat.


    You're a fine young Miss Leni,


  144. I hope the cold storms over Cowpat are not too severe young miss Montana

  145. I think I can make it to 5 and then the awful truth for friend Boudican

  146. Come on in Kiwi?- notsorabid?

  147. Well it's looking like there are only two UK UT's awake

    I'm guessing me Lancaster Uni brother and me?

  148. Bouidican - the news from East Yorkshire starts with my warm regards for the loss of your civilised neighbour. Bless the fine sister.

    And you too A42 at the loss of your cousin.

    I'm in touch with an 79/80 year old cousin in W Aussie who he/we all know has only weeks/months to live. He's a lefty who strongly advocates the living of the day. He a right decent bloke.

    Well Bouidican, it's after 5 so I can now relate the disturbing news - as imagined, ..........walking around with a plastic tube hanging out of your dick end and with a plastic bag over your shoulder ain't much fun.....

    Regards Bro