03 February 2011


Allegory of Worldly and Otherworldly Drunkenness, ca. 1526–27
Sultan Muhammad

The secret of eternal youth is arrested development. 
-Alice Roosevelt Longworth


  1. Pay packets ?- look at these:

    "Hedge fund rich list 2009
    Hedge fund manager Hedge fund group Earnings
    David Tepper
    Appaloosa Management
    $4bn (£2.5bn)
    George Soros
    Soros Fund Management
    James Simons
    Renaissance Technologies
    John Paulson
    Paulson & Co
    Steve Cohen
    SAC Capital Advisers
    Carl Icahn
    Icahn Capital
    Edward Lampert
    ESL Investments
    Ken Griffin
    Citadel Investment Group
    John Arnold
    Centaurus Advisors
    Philip Falcone
    Harbinger Capital Partners

    Small returns for 365 days sweat.

  2. Not a wild imagine

    Why don't our neighbours read the BBC?

    Night all.

  3. Morning deano, or are you having a late one?

  4. So, this is a true revolution. The barricades are up and being manned in Tahrir square, perhaps to be defended to the death. Call it perverse, buut perhaps events like this will awaken the media from solipsist ipad style twattery, and to think that the Beeb has made large cuts to the World service. The focus is in favour of empty air headed 'lifestyle' issues, as has many of the media like the Graun. Identity politics is one of these. Perhaps a shifting of priorities in favour of important issues will be one of the outcomes of this movement.

  5. Eddie,

    From yesterday- Doug Rougvie’s a cunt.

    He was, but he was also a granite hard, intimidating bampot of a cunt. I think only Dave Mackay could have taken Rougvie in a square go. But then as everyone knows, Mackay wasn’t just the hardest man ever to play football, he’s the hardest man who’s ever lived.

    Rougvie was an integral part of Fergie’s all conquering Aberdeen side. Rougvie was in the squad essentially to intimidate the opposition.

    I remember as a kid, when Aberdeen played Celtic at Parkhead, Rougvie used to make a point of warming up right in front of the Jungle end, within spitting distance to wind the most mental Celtic fans (who were always found in the Jungle) up. He actually enjoyed the hail of missiles being thrown at him, bouncing off him like peas off a brick wall. I think it was all part of Fergie’s siege mentality “look boys this lot fucking hate us”, “The referees are all Glaswegian”, "The press are all based in Glasgow" etc, etc. It worked brilliantly.

    He played alongside Miller and McLeish, as silky and accomplished a central defence you could want and they normally mopped up Rougvie’s clangers so when he went to a poor Chelsea side he was found out immediately. Still, he did headbutt John Fashanu, to the eternal gratitude of most other Chelsea and First Division fans.

    And speaking of old Chelsea legends, I was at a Durutti Column gig a few years back in Glasgow and standing in front of me absolutely blootered was Pat Nevin. Nevin is the only footballer in history with an excellent taste in music. Apparently he did a DJ set at the Belle and Sebastian Bowlie weekender during the summer, laying out obscure 80’s indie classics for a couple of hours. And he was absolutely the last of the waif like, jinky Scottish wingers.

  6. We may need to form slightly disorderly queues for this one.

    Feel feel to knock up some placards with marker-pens and harangue or mingle with people in the other lines.

    Soft missiles only, please.


    Clegg pledges to repeal law disqualifying mentally ill MPs

    MPs who are sectioned for more than six months will no longer be automatically disqualified from Parliament, Nick Clegg has promised as part of a plan to end the stigma attached to mental illness.

    Speaking on ITV’s Daybreak programme, he said: “Today we are announcing that we are repealing an old-fashioned outdated law which means that MPs at the moment are disqualified from being MPs if they have a mental health problem which goes on for more than six months.

    “We are scrapping that - it is a relatively symbolic thing because it has never been used - but it nonetheless shows that we are determined to root out that stigma.”

    Parliament passed the Lunacy (Vacating of Seats) Act in 1886 after John Bell, the Liberal MP for Thirsk, was declared insane but could not be removed from his seat.


    Obviously, Mrs Thatcher and Tony Blair may be looming large in people's minds for this one.

    Along with "barking mad" Gaddafi, Pol Pot, Mubarak...

    Actually, isn't the possession of a severe mental health problem one of the main defining factors and common threads running through the political class?

  7. PS The soft missile injunction only applies to this thread.

    If you ever catch a real live politician, just grab whatever comes to hand.

    Nick Clegg, apparently, has a lot of experience with dog-shit, so you could combine softness with effectiveness and make a special case for him.

  8. @13thDuke:

    I’ve always had a soft spot for the wilder end of 70s and 80s football. I remember one time, just back on leave, walking towards Boar Lane in Leeds to get a bus to see my mate before heading back to my folks (the priorities of youth, eh?), when out of a pub comes none other than Frank Worthington, on his own and clearly a bit the worse for wear.

    “Alright son” he says, looking a bit wild.
    “Alright Frank” says I.
    “Killed any Argies, son, eh, good lad” he offered, then tottered off towards the taxi rank. I thought I’d leave him to it, to be fair.

    That was in 1991, by the way.

  9. Guten Morgen...

    Watching events unfold in Egypt is like being tossed around in a boat in the middle of the sea.... wild oscillations between hope, excitement and fear... truly remarkable.

    Meanwhile, back in the horror that will shortly to be Austerity Britain (what is this WW fucking 2?) heard this morning that 'loss-making' rural bus routes will have their central funding cut and may disappear altogether.

    With each day that passes, I become more and more incensed.

  10. This did make me laugh this morning though.... from the new cyber counter-kettling group...

    It would certainly make sense for the Metropolitan police to pay close attention to Sukey: communication is not the police's strongpoint. On a day when students were keeping in touch by Twitter and mobile phone, the police were handing out little slips of paper. As Bance says: "The police don't understand Twitter. They might as well be shouting at the screen with a megaphone."

    I'm also wondering if a gas mask is going to be de-rigeur for the demo on 26 March???

  11. My only claim to meeting a footie player was meeting Ian Rush in Cardiff, I was gobsmacked! I went "hey, you're Ian Rush!!" (pissed student as I was with my friend Stacey after a night in the Dog and Duck)

  12. @La Rit:

    My mate used to live in Churwell and was often to be found in the New Inn chatting to landlord Byron Stevenson (ex-LUFC and Wales). So far, so good.

    But that pub’s got a greater claim to fame. It was previously owned by one of the greatest footballers who ever lived – the mighty, wonderful John Charles, the Gentle Giant himself.

    I’d have paid good money to have sat down with him for a couple of hours.

  13. The only footballer I knew well was Steve Camp, who played very briefly for Fulham in the Bobby Moore/George Best/Rodney Marsh era. We used to have marathon sessions in the Lamb or the Sun in Lamb's Conduit Street, where he'd tell us his only claim to fame; heading down a Best cross for Marsh to score (or possibly a Marsh cross for Best to score, he was never particularly coherent on this point). Ended up at Peterborough, I think, after which I lost track of him.

  14. Gigante sorry grrr...


    That Steve Bell cartoon speaks a thousand words.

  15. Swifty,

    if I'm not mistaken, was Worthington's autobiography not called "One hump or two?" in reference to his energetic bedroom romps through the 1970's?

    Would love to see Bidisha review that.

  16. OK Folks... off to werk we go!

    Back later I hope ;)

  17. @La Rit:

    Yep, that’s the fella.

    Ended up with failing memories in a 2 up 2 down on one of Leeds’ western housing estates.

    He never had much luck in business. But what a footballer.

  18. @13thDuke:

    It was indeed. I’ve got it at home, and what an entertaining read it is. The front cover shows Frank in a horrific dogtooth check jacket, doing one of the best impressions I’ve ever seen of Viz’s resident pisshead 8 Ace. With a cup of tea.

    It just pips Mike and Bernie Winters’ effort “Shake a Pagoda Tree”, which is a similar catalogue of shaggery-pokery, as I recall. Mostly by Bernie, though – Mike was too busy selling parachute silk knickers in the war to bother with any of that sort of thing.

  19. Morning

    The Egyptian president had been, "immensely courageous and a force for good"

    T Blair.

    God, give me strength - am now forced to use the word I never use (being middle class and all that)

    cunt..cunt..cunt...fucking cunt!!

  20. It was indeed. I’ve got it at home, and what an entertaining read it is. The front cover shows Frank in a horrific dogtooth check jacket, doing one of the best impressions I’ve ever seen of Viz’s resident pisshead 8 Ace. With a cup of tea.

    Swifty, that’s uncanny:

    8 Ace

    Frank Worthington

  21. If Olchings about, interesting piece here on things we were talking about after Guillams piece:


  22. "Ultimately, it is impossible to reconcile conservatism and economic liberalism."

    The flip side of this was what i was arguing, thats its impossible to reconcile high tax, big state economic collectivism with unrestrained social liberalism.

  23. Your Grace, there were some Rougvie clangers that no one could mop up. Chelsea fans of a certain age will remember leading 4-3 against Sheffield Wednesday with a couple of minutes to go. Wednesday managed to get into the box and Rougvie appeared to have shepherded the attacker to the byline, just to the right of the goal. No real danger. And then Dougie just scythed the guys legs out from under him. For no apparent reason. Penalty. 4-4 draw.

    For some reason, there were useless players we took to, and others we didn't. Petar Barota (who died last year) was a goalkeeper who was loved and loathed in equal measure. I remember a game against Watford at the Bridge, where the Watford goalie made a speculative punt upfield. Borata charged out of his area - presumable to boot it back where it came from - and misjudged the bounce. It went over his head and John Barnes just ran around him and walked the ball (it felt like in slow-motion from where we were standing in the Shed) into the net.

    But then Borata did things like diving at the feet of a QPR forward for a 50:50 ball and getting an unintentional boot in the face for his trouble. Borata dropped the ball and chased the QPR player up the pitch. It was only an American football style tackle by 6' 5" Mickey Droy that stopped him. That kind of thing made fans warm to him.

    Dougie was as hard as nails. Unfortunately, he was also as thick as shit. And God knows we had enough of them already.

  24. Did anyone else know that nearly £2m of the overseas aid budget was devoted to the Pope's visit to the UK?


  25. That cant be true, Spike, surely. You got a link? Thats really, really repugnant.

  26. Here you go, Jay, in case Spike's not around...


  27. @Jay & Peter

    They announced it very briefly on the Today programme on Radio 4 this morning.

  28. Wasn't that one of those little surprises of the ConDem regime - that the overseas aid budget was left intact, when all around was the littered wreckage of savage austerity?

    From the BBC link above:

    Ministers should explain what the money was spent on "and how it tallies with our commitments on overseas aid".

    Obviously, overseas aid money has become the petty-cash tin, to be pilfered for back-pocket, folding money as the need arises or for unpopular vanity projects.

    After all, who would bother to check whether or not Johnny Foreigner is being thrown a handful of change, once they have all been demonised into public hate-figures?

    Meanwhile, all those happy promises unfulfilled regarding MPs expenses look to be jettisoned now that the public has forgotten just how slimy and debased our legislators actually are, as we all shiver and shudder at the prospect of cuts which will rip only poor us to shreds.


    Sir George Young says the new expenses system for MPs "is failing" to help them do their job and must be changed.

    The Commons Leader's criticism came in his submission to the consultation being carried out by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.

    He said their system, brought in last year after the expenses scandal, was "at best distracting, and at worst impeding, MPs from doing their job".

    Labour have said the new system needs "fundamental reform".


    In other words, the last one to get their nose back in the trough is a cissy.

  29. Morning medve ......it's a late one.

    Holy Shit - I've just read that the thermometer in Montana's Cowpat Junction fell to -21 last night. I hope that she and Joe have thermals on.

  30. "Tony Benn
    The Guardian, Thursday 3 February 2011
    Article history
    Robert Tressell's book The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is a major socialist novel that has influenced thousands of its readers since it was published in 1914, three years after Tressell's death, 100 years ago today....."


    I seem to recall the manuscript of the novel is in the possession of the TUC.

  31. "....But that pub’s got a greater claim to fame. It was previously owned by one of the greatest footballers who ever lived – the mighty, wonderful John Charles, the Gentle Giant himself....."

    Swifty .....I saw the Giant play and had his autograph. But in the hall of U2 footy fame Chekhov wins 'cos his dad actually played alongside the Sainted Welshman at Leeds!

    .....and I've had the pleasure of buying Chekhov a pint.

  32. Oh this is a good, very good, day to wake up to.

    Sunny in Yorkshire, and Robert Tressell and John Charles in successive posts in UT.....and I have another bottle of fine wine in van to go at.

    I is easily pleased.

  33. oh more joy by the minute

    I resisted

    ....and when I next fall asleep I shall have been totally uninfluenced by the plainly spurious claim that" HJ Hall, (is) a leading name in men’s socks....."

  34. and yet more.......

    "The European Union's highest court was today advised to rule that EU law does not prohibit pubs showing live Premier League matches from foreign broadcasters, potentially sparking a revolution in the way media sports rights are sold across the continent."

    Fuck the dirty digger!

  35. "....2.15pm: Pro-Mubarak forces are being pushed further and further back, Peter Beaumont reports from Cairo. He says forces loyal to the president haven't come out in the numbers that they did yesterday. Some of the groups are only a few hundred strong:...."

    ...better news all around.

    laters must get Mungo out for a walk.

  36. It seems that, despite only being a few months into the job, MPs are starting to worry that selling off the NHS to commercial interests - or, to be more accurate, handing it over with a suitcase full of taxpayers' money - may end up costing them their lovely, expenses-fiddling careers.


    Will we be able to fit a million anti-government protesters into Trafalgar Square?

    [Shooting by military and police optional - indoors of wet]

  37. Vacuous American comment/question for the day:

    Why are the people Keltic, but the team is Seltic?

    It is currently -16° in Cowpat Junction. Off to school/work in a few minutes (late start because the roads/streets are still in bad shape).

  38. Montana,

    it's a good question. Philologically, both Seltic and Keltic are correct. The 's' pronunciation still applies in French, Breton and Galician. It's only English that uses 'Keltic'.

    Celtic FC were given the Seltic name reputedly because that's the way Brother Walfrid (the club's founder) pronounced it but this also is disputed. I think the real reason is forever lost in the mists of time.

    No idea about Boston Seltics though.

  39. LIVERPOOL council has today sensationally pulled out of the Prime Minister’s Big Society project in the city.

    In the summer the city was selected as one of four so-called vanguard areas. It is the biggest city taking part and the only Labour controlled area in the project.

    In a two page letter council leader Joe Anderson tells David Cameron that the government’s cuts have seriously undermined the ability of community organisations to improve the quality of life of residents.

    His letter concludes: "How can the City Council support the Big Society and its aim to help communities do more for themselves when we will have to cut the lifeline to hundreds of these vital and worthwhile groups?

    "I have therefore come to the conclusion that Liverpool City Council can no longer support the "Big Society" initiative, as a direct consequence of your funding decisions."

    Last week the council announced that 1,500 workers will be made redundant as a result of it having to cut £91m from its budget.

    The council also calculates that between 300 and 500 jobs will also be lost in the voluntary sector over the next two years as the council axes funding to charities.

    Above from Liverpool Echo.

    Good for them. Taking from established charities operating locally to give money to gvt. sponsored orgs, is sinister - another step towards total control - another tentacle of a rotten state.

  40. Quite a long list of slebs we should realise we despise in this article.

  41. Leni

    Brilliant news!

    It is hard to think of another new government which has managed to unravel so quickly and so publicly, with such little sign of ability to quell and dispel growing public unrest and anger by force of argument or ideology.

    Hard to see that they will make it through a full term, unless they are just allowed to stay on for comedy value.


    I don't think anyone thinks you are vacuous.

    I know I bash America and maybe Americans en masse sometimes, but it is not aimed at you.

    I apologise if it comes across that way.

    To square things up, I am quite happy with people bashing the British and Broekn Britain generally - or me in particular.

    I don't think it would be undeserved.

  42. Leni

    i heard on the news this morning that Birminham city council will be axing all funding to voluntary groups in the city, including groups like the CAB that are so vital to so many people. At the same time, the gov is also failing to clamp down on the more egregious and despicable practices of loan sharks. You can just imagine what the future holds for millions of desperate people.

    Anyway - was talking to some people today and with luck the LibDems will seriously regret deciding to have their conference in Sheffield in March. Plans are already being laid for a show of resistance and disgust.

    Buried my old mate today - a huge turnout and a brilliant event that really did him justice.

  43. Sheff

    Glad your mate was honoured appropriately.

    I like "Resistance and Disgust" - about sums it up.

    I see that Yorks is to axe some rural bus services as they do not justify running costs. This has to end soon before millions of lives are toitally wrecked.

  44. the gov is also failing to clamp down on the more egregious and despicable practices of loan sharks

    I was reading a Cif thread about this today and came across this comment by Tim Worstall - he seems to think that the profit margins of the high APR lenders are the same as those of any high street bank, and that the high APR reflects the operating cost of making small, unsecured, high-risk loans. In other words there's no way to make these kind of loans on a lower rate of interest and still remain in business.

    So it follows that if APR caps were introduced, as Stella Creasy argues for, Provident and their ilk would immediately fold but the demand for these sort of loans would remain at the same level. That business would then go to illegal loan sharks, with defaults being dealt with via GBH rather than courts.

  45. LaRit from earlier:

    'loss-making' rural bus routes will have their central funding cut and may disappear altogether

    What great news for my village! No doubt all those who do not drive can easily afford to have their groceries delivered - people like pensioners and workers who will no longer be able to get to their minimum wage jobs.

  46. Aha! I see the cunning plan.

    Nor will any unemployed person be able to get to the Jobcentre.

    Thanks Dave.

  47. Loan sharks operate with an APR of around 1500 percent.

    Yes, that's one thousand five hundred percent.

    That is in the case of the ones which are public, listed companies or who feel professional enough to advertise on television.

    The thug operations may charge more.

    Tim Worstall operates at an intellectual sub-cunt level.

  48. Ivo

    there is a case for increasing the funds and widening the powers of Credit Unions. If credit unions could be funded to 'buy the debts' of people in the jaws of provident people could repay debt with only admin costs on top while being encouraged to save a few pounds a week.

    So many of these problems are being presented in either/or, black/white terms.

    Opportunities and solutions lie within the grey, never discussed areas.

  49. No doubt all those who do not drive can easily afford to have their groceries delivered...

    Isn't that plan that they will all employ a chauffeur (thus easing unemployment) and order a new Bentley GT Speed from H R Owen as a runabout (thus boosting the economy)?

  50. Thauma

    Our bus service is useless - signing on days always result in a car packed with mendicants thumbing their way along 12 miles of mountain roads.

  51. Should perhaps have noted that return bus ticket into town costs around £5.

  52. vizzo

    If you and Tim worstall are right and am not agreeing that you are (I'm more inclined to fall in with AB above), all the more reason for making sure there are properly funded community organisations that are able to assist people who get into trouble. But whats actually happening? Their funding is being axed - so opening up even more room for the debt advisors who charge fees.

  53. Also look up the Grameen Bank set up by Nobel Peace Prize winner and Professor of Economics, Muhammad Yunus.

    It makes small loans to high-risk enterprises with no credit history or worthiness and charges a couple of percent over base rate.

    Admittedly, they are made to groups of women in order to set up small businesses, not to people who lose their jobs and cannot afford to maintain hire-purchase and credit card payments.

    Loan sharks and their business practices and ethics are like drug-dealers and Tim Worstall probably wanks himself to sleep thinking about how he would like to have the guts to get into their lines of business.

  54. Leni - yes, ours is something similar. It costs £2.05 (I think) to get to the pub, which is less than half-way to town - about a mile and a half.

    It's cheaper to get a taxi if there are 3 of you. And much more reliable!

    Buses come about once an hour from the morning to about 7 at night (there is a two-hour-ish break or two in there though) and there is no service at all on Sundays. If the bus is running late, which it frequently is, sometimes it skips the village altogether.

  55. Atomboy

    Tim Worstall operates at an intellectual sub-cunt level.

    Careful now. Don't forget that 'cunt' has been reclaimed by Penny Foolish for teh womynz.

  56. I am shamed I should have joined years since ....it's now on my urgent to do list.My tiny savings can assist others.

    From its website:

    "Hull and East Yorkshire Credit Union (HEYCU)

    Formed by a dedicated group of volunteers in 1999, HEYCU’s mission is to give everyone who lives or works in East Yorkshire (including the City of Hull) access to a range of affordable, excellent value financial services.

    We will achieve this by creating a sustainable co-operative business which:

    is locally run by and for its members;
    shares out its surplus with its members;
    aims to keep money within the local economy; and
    works for local people and helps to build the capacity of their communities.
    HEYCU is one of 450 Credit Unions in the United Kingdom, and is affiliated to the Association of British Credit Unions (ABCUL). We are registered under the Data Protection Act and a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and the Financial Ombudsman Service. You can check our registration with the Financial Services Authority at www.fsa.gov.uk/register

    If you live or work in any part of East Yorkshire, including the following towns, you can join us and we will help you to manage your money wisely:

    Kingston upon Hull
    Market Weighton
    Anlaby / Willerby / Kirk Ella
    If you work for one of these employers you can make your savings and loan payments by direct deduction from your pay - a simple and painless way to benefit from Credit Union membership:

    Hull City Council
    East Riding of Yorkshire Council
    Humber Bridge Board
    Hull College
    Bishop Burton College
    East Riding College
    TENYAS (Ambulance Service)
    Goodwin Development Trust
    Humberside Probation Service
    Hull CityVision
    Sanctuary Housing Association
    Pickering & Ferens Homes
    In December 2010 we had 7,519 active adult members, 618 First Savers and were looking after members’ savings of over £4.7 million. Since we began in 1999, we have helped our members by paying out more than 19,000 low-cost loans to the value of over £14 million. And we reckon we’ve saved them over £5 million in interest charges they would otherwise have paid to doorstep firms and other high cost lenders."

    Check out your local CU.

  57. I really am to deal with my procrastination.

    I start by pledging my attendance at the Sheffield response to the LibTwats Conference.

  58. just watching the news thauma - very gloomy outlook for bus services across the country - rural services to be decimated by the looks of it. We're under siege every which way you look.

  59. Good Oh Deano - will keep you posted with developments. You might bring a piss pot so if we're kettled we can bare our aged arses and relieve ourselves.

  60. Evening all

    thauma, Sheff

    Having failed to send a dinner into your inbox, i have tried again, this time just with a boring old letter.

  61. "..I start by pledging my attendance at the Sheffield response to the LibTwats Conference..."

    and follow with....

    i) a declaration to ensure that if my two sons don't open ( and maintain) a Hull CU account by me birthday in 2011 they is writ out of me will.

    (I know it smacks of bullying - but the bastards are phoning me to let it be known that they don't intend to let me forget that I have had me dick attached to a plastic bag for the purposes of a piss.)

    ii) I additionally pledge myself to attend Sheff's "after LibTwat Conference party". The Lass is a very fine hostess and I urge you all attend.

  62. How does the BBC report the demonstrations in Egypt?

    Here is Voice of America:


    By midmorning Thursday, Egypt's army appeared to be stopping all demonstrators from entering the square. Among those leaving the area was a 20-year-old software engineer.

    "There was big violence," he said. "All that area I was in was full of Mubarak's guy's, Mubarak's people."

    Journalists targeted

    Mubarak supporters targeted foreign journalists, mobbing and cursing reporters. They accuse the foreign media of instigating the protests.

    With police off the streets at least for a few days earlier in the week, demonstrators had unprecedented freedom to express their anger toward Mr. Mubarak. By Thursday, with plainclothes agents on the streets and threatening those who talked to reporters, signs of the old police had returned.


    So, Mubarak's henchmen and the police seem to be attacking and shooting the demonstrators and manipulating the news media.

    They want the impression to be propagated that the demonstrations are not popular.

    If Mubarak can hold on and the demonstrations can be quashed by the police and army, it would be possible to manipulate the news and opinion to come to the conclusion that there was no real movement for change but just a minority of troublemakers making a lot of fuss.

    Mubarak would again be able to claim that he serves his country and deserves to reign forever.

    So, what is the main thrust of BBC's coverage.

    Keep in mind that all news has to be reduced to how it might affect the viewer personally.

    So, the main reason why we should be interested in Egypt is because these filthy demonstrators are spoiling our chances of a nice holiday by the pyramids and camel-rides in the sand dunes.

    Some lovely British people who have small businesses in Cairo are even having to fly home to dreary Austerity Britain until it's all over.

    How could they!

  63. Medve - great, lots of things to look forward to this year - UT meet-ups and with any luck some insurrection!

    PS:You're very welcome to cook at my place any time you like!

  64. Sheff - I'm glad your friend had a fine send off.

  65. Oh look: bus thread on Cif.

    Oh dear, I've just read it. There are many very good arguments to be made for the preservation and expansion of public transport, rural buses in particular.

    But what does the Guardian do? It prints a piece from a ME sufferer who name-checks Friends of the Earth and how local bus-drivers are really 'counsellors' who do old people's shopping in their spare time. (Admittedly the writer does almost touch on some pertinent issues, but fails to make any telling points.)

    Talk about giving the right-wingers an easy target to shoot at (see the vicious comments already).

    Is the Guardian ever going to get its head out of its Islington bourgeois arse and seriously engage with some version of reality that most people would recognize?

    Of course, old people in rural areas are not really their preferred demographic so why should they really give a fuck? Much better to prtend they do and commission a touchy-feely piece from the 'coordinator of South Bedfordshire Friends of the Earth'.

    After all, she is 'one of us'.

  66. Medve - have answered.

    Could you try the dinner again, though, cos I'm feeling rather lazy about cooking this evening?

  67. AB

    As Rashid Khalidi says in an interview with the economist - it looks like the regime is digging in. And using all the despicable, brutal tricks they're so famous for. Suleiman is a snake.

    It will simply prolong the agony and lead to more and more deaths and injuries - not that they give a shit about that. One good thing is that its all still being broadcast across the world which they won't like and although they've been attacking and arresting foreign journalists (according to state news Israeli agents are infiltrating disguised as journalists!), the media are doing a pretty good job at getting stuff out.

  68. I should have added what we're not hearing about is what, if anything is going on in the hinterland.

  69. badpenny - yeah, I've found the truth is somewhere in between on the drivers. Most of them are nice and friendly but there are a few real twats who refuse to give out change.

    There is a blind person who rides our bus frequently (much more frequently than I do, I'd guess), and I must say that the drivers always seem to look out for her - even the twattish ones will let her know when her stop is up.

    The article is a bit Utopian but the right-wingers btl are just cunts [(c) L.P.].

  70. A quick scan down the bus thread for two seconds and this leapt out:

    On bus routes such as this the key figure is often the bus driver...

    Even for someone as unaccustomed as I am to travelling on buses, the driver would seem to be a key ingredient to any bus-based travel situation.

    I didn't read any more.

    I now regard reading anything on CiF as a pernicious waste of life.

  71. this is an interesting snippet from the Jerusalem Post

    The tunnels under the Philadelphi Corridor between Gaza and Egypt, used in the past to smuggle arms and supplies from Sinai into Gaza, are now an important lifeline of supplies for Sinai residents facing acute shortages because of the turmoil in Egypt, the Lebanese daily Al Akhbar reported Thursday. According to the paper, which supports Hizbullah, traders in control of the tunnels have "been working for days" smuggling bread and food in the "opposite direction" - from Gaza into Egypt – because of "supply disruptions" from Cairo to the Sinai.

  72. Evening. Christ I am pissed off. Went for a walk with a friend on Hampstead Heath at lunchtime and then discovered I had lost my wallet with all credit cards, debit card, cash, reciepts that I need to get cash I have paid out for work things, etc, etc.

    Charged back to the Heath but it was too late, so had to come home and spend an hour on the phone cancelling all the cards.

    Bollocks, bollocks, bollocks!

    Duke "Pat Nevin. Nevin is the only footballer in history with an excellent taste in music."

    Not to mention sound politics. Nevin and Brian McClair tried to set up a programme to coach Nicaraguan kids. I don't think it ever came off but I knew about it because the only time I have ever been involved in anything footbally was in the late 80s when I helped get a team of kids from a town in Nicaragua to come to take part in Norwich City's youth team tournament, The Canary Cup.

    I was involved because I had helped set up the (sub) town twinning thing we had between Norwich and El Viejo but the impetus and all the money was raised by Kit Carson who was the unlikelily named youth team coach at Norwich City at the time.

    Kit was going to contact Nevin and McClair to ask for help but I don't think he needed to in the end because the amount of money needed to bring a dozen kids over from Nicaragua was raised by first team players like Raul Fox signing shirts and stuff (I don't think Fox was particularly politically aware, just a nice guy).

  73. Spencer - that's a pisser. Commiserations.

  74. Oh tough luck Spencer - I've done it myself so know what a sodding inconvenience it is. You have my sympathies.

  75. The worst thing, now I have cancelled the cards. Is the bloody reciepts.

    We had a social on Tuesday and as usual I bought all the food on my debit card, put the receipts in my wallet to tot up later and claim back.

    I even did some financial sorting out yesterday afternoon but did not remember to do that.

    So I had about £80.00 of receipts for food and sherry etc in it. But I don't know exactly how much. My boss will probably refund me but I will have to make a list and trudge round the supermarkets working out how much everything I bought actually cost.


  76. I really wish that the article could have seriously addressed a major problem which affects pensioners, unemployed, disabled etc but, no. (It affects my aged mother, for example.) It had to have a Guardianista metropolitan twist. As the author says,

    I had lived in London and now, for the first time, I discovered what a community really is. Coronation Street was humdrum compared with the stories I heard on the bus.

    What the fuck? At the risk of seeming unkind, I'll guess that Ms Harvey used to work in the meeja in london and had never ever been on a bus before she moved out to the sticks and met some 'really, really, real people'. And now she really, really cares.

    The term 'patronising cunt' springs to mind. (Apologies to Ms Penny for plagiarizing her copyrighted swear-word.)

  77. Spencer - tough/irritating call friend.

    You have my sympathies too.

  78. Evening all, been reading but not contributing these past few days as the quality was so good - what could I add?!

    Anyway, the bus thread. When it was mentioned South Beds, then FoE I just knew who it was. So, two people I know in person who have done a ATL piece in the paper. Am I boring or what? Hardly ever bother reading CiF these days. The Telegraph has some much more readable discussions, the FT also has some perceptive comments.

    Just catching the news on CH4, dire is the word.

    Catch you later, cheers!

  79. BTW. I don't like to foment middle class baiting but that Canary Cup thing really did drive me nuts. The Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign did absolutely nothing about publicising it though I think it is probably the only time a Nicaraguan team has ever played a competitive (or any other sort of) football game in England.

    I went to their office in Highbury really excited. They just shrugged. Football? Nah, not interested. Kids football? Why would anyone want to write an article about that?

    Complete and utter disinterest, though as I say it was probably the only time a Nicaraguan team has played on English soil (Nicaraguans, unlike Salvadorians, Hondurans and even Costa Ricans, are not very interested in football, baseball being the big thing there).

  80. Thanks Deano (and Sheff and Thauma). It is one of the curses of the modern world.

    One of the worst things is that my building society is clinically insane when it comes to issuing new cards. So they insist on trying to deliver it to my home address.

    I live alone and I have a job. And they won't post it because of the post code being too dodgy. So they send an expensive motorcycle courier to attempt to deliver it.

    Once they have done that I can ring the courier firm and get them to deliver the card somewhere else, usually the nearest branch.

    But though I explain this every time they will not send it directly *to their own branch*, for "security reasons."

    Security reasons that apparently insist on them attempting to deliver the card to someone who has told them that he is not going to be there!

  81. Perhaps I could just leave this with the collective mind of UT.

    Does anyone remember hollow plastic tubes, which I think were corrugated or ribbed and you span them round in the air and they made a sort of wheezy, ululating noise?

    I am too young to remember them myself, obviously, but I am asking on behalf of an elderly and befuddled relative.

    Thanks in advance.

    Back later to check and mark the answers.

  82. Shit Spence, my sympathy, it's a real bastard to lose all your cards and papers. Your disaster far overshadows mine, but I'll have a moan anyway.

    Having been to Ikea with the republicdaughter yesterday and got her a wardrobe among other things, we opened the packs today and discovered that several parts were damaged. So back to Ikea on Saturday. Arrrrggggghhh!

    * * *

    I'm always amazed that there's no maximum interest rate in the UK. In France, we have a whole range of illegal usury rates for the public. The highest one is for personal loans of under 1,5OO euros which is 23% if I remember correctly. It's a criminal offence to charge over the usury rate.

    Crazy George, which I believe is a UK company, opened up in France selling HP goods and promptly got prosecuted and closed down for usury.

    * * *


    An idea for 26.3: why don't you bring gown and wig? Then we could really wind up the filth (present company excepted if Speedkermit's around) if we get kettled.

    Certainly, officer. But counsel here advises me...

  83. Piece on C4 about financial speculation in the food market - driving prices up - Ben Bernanke and the US policy of printing money (which is being used to speculate with) - leading the greed. All this added to weather events that have affected production (Russia, Australia etc) causing shortages of staples. Looks like we're all spiralling into catastrophe at increasing speed.

  84. @AB

    That sounds like a form of bullroarer - an old Australian aboriginal instrument. The original was a flat length of wood like a ruler, attached to a cord and swung round, but a length of plastic tubing works as well. The sound can be varied by the length of the tube and the nature of its surface.

    Don't remember any commercial ones, though.

  85. "Does anyone remember hollow plastic tubes, which I think were corrugated or ribbed and you span them round in the air and they made a sort of wheezy, ululating noise?"

    AB You taking the piss our kid?

    I have an assortment attached to me dick as I write. If your relative can wait till they are removed on Saturday I'll sterilise them and send them on.

    If we are nothing else, we are a collective/cooperative, here at UT - You only have to ask and an answer is usually forthcoming

  86. "....All this added to weather events that have affected production (Russia, Australia etc) causing shortages of staples. Looks like we're all spiralling into catastrophe at increasing speed....

    Which makes the idea of putting 60+ million souls on an island that can only grow the food to feed a fraction of that number a good idea......especially when you shut down the indigenous power sources 'cos it's cheaper to have Colombian kids down the pit......

    .....my confusion is heady tonight.

  87. The plastic corrugated tube thing was called (yeah, I cheated and googled it) a Hummer. It wouldn't have been my favourite though, as Clackers were great until they exploded and gave you a free lobotomy.

    I also miss Space Dust, Cola Spangles and Flying Saucers.


  88. I'm still on the wagon too so I can't have a consolatory drink! Pah.

    I have £50 hidden in this flat somewhere but I cannot remember where I put it. That will fool the burglers! I thought.

    Unfortunately I have also fooled me. But as I have a fiver in change and no cards I think I had better launch a sustained hunt.

  89. Radio Times:

    9.00 BBC

    Louis Theroux: The Ultra Zionists

    Louis Theroux visiting the West Bank almost sounds like a joke. But shelve any scepticism as this works superbly. Meeting extremist Jewish settlers in areas that are Israeli-occupied but (according to international law) Palestinian by rights, he reveals the bizarre details of life in towns where day-to-day scuffles, stone throwing and name-calling between Arabs and Jews are such a fact of life, they're almost ritualised into a sinister game. If that sounds like trivialising the issue, he really doesn't: Theroux's observational style reveals more about the intractable human reality than a dozen po-faced news reports.

    Oh right. A game. Heheheh. Those Arabs and Jews, what are they like, eh? Six of one and half a dozen of the other!

    No. Really no to that. I'll put my boot straight through the TV screen.

  90. Spencer - troubles coming all together. They often do.

    Sit down, take breath and forget about £50.

    You will then probably remember where it is . x

  91. RapidEddie "I also miss Space Dust, Cola Spangles and Flying Saucers."

    Oh me too. The flying saucers anyway. That "Operation Julie" acid was awesome.

  92. "The plastic corrugated tube thing was called (yeah, I cheated and googled it) a Hummer".

    Cheers Rapid I feel better already.

    Being attached by one's intimates to Hummer is so reassuring.......the engineer in me tells me it's to resist a kink......the *artist in me tells me it's a joke.

  93. Thanks Leni but I lost that £50 weeks ago. My main fear is that I put it in a book (there are quite a few of them here) and I might decide to give it to a charity shop in a fit of clutter clearing.

    I got it out to pay someone for a job but he refused to take any money. And then I couldn't remember where it was.

    I was just thinking about it as it would get me through the next few cardless days if I could remember where I bloody put it!

  94. Would it be untoward Deano to enquire as to what ailment has you trussed up by the Hummers?

  95. Spencer......shoes, socks in sock draw, bottom of mucky/dirty linen/washing bag/receptacle.......fridge freezer.........box of teabags............in tube of spare bog roll.....

  96. The only acid I can remember is Microdot. I also remember a local dealer who used to trade bags of home-grown grass for pork chops with the local butcher's apprentice. The guy at the butchers didn't know how much grass went for and wasn't much interested so he used to sell them to me for £2 a sizable bag. You'd be off your tits for a month.

  97. Fridge! I haven't looked in the fridge!

    Thanks, Deano (if it is there).

  98. @Rapid

    Grey elephant, strawberry fields, yellow sunshine... Sigh...

  99. Plain silliness Rapid

    Last weekend me son told me and the family his wife was pregnant......they very much want a family....and I very much want to be granddad again

    I'd been on the wagon for seven months but on hearing the news I threw a swift half dozen (or so) delicious pints of bitter down me neck followed by a bottle or so of nice red wine....... then a visit to A&E with the old man's ailment............acute urinary retention .....( a painful and bursting bladder and a cock that won't let piss out)

    I was taking tablets which warned of the danger but hey ho my delight got the better of me.

    I'm sorry to go on about it. Anybody who has to resort to catheter devices has my sympathy, but it is one of life's odd experiences to wander about with a tube up your dick.

    Still as the old saying goes - it's better than the alternative.

  100. Not in the fridge.

    The flying saucers were small but a big bigger than proper microdots. They were around in about 74 to 76 or whenever it was when Operation Julie took the people who made them out of circulation.

  101. Evenin' All!

    Leni & Thauma - re: withdrawal of central funding for rural bus routes... I heard it on the Radio this morning as I was waking up, I couldn't believe my ears.. especially as the statement was qualified with the old chesnut.... funding supporting "loss-making" rural bus routes.... what about the billions of public money thrown at "loss-making" private train operators like fucking Branson?

  102. Just found this buried on page 10.

    Jack Straw claims to have advised Tony that the invasion of Iraq was illegal.

    'Scuse me, wasn't Straw one of the great cheerleaders?

  103. ...under the cutlery tray in the draw......behind a picture/poster on the wall.........in a stack of pans/plates/dishes.........behind the clock on the mantelpiece....

  104. The joys of google and wikipedia!


    (doesn't mention flying saucers though. Off to have another look).

  105. 'Scuse me, wasn't Straw one of the great cheerleaders?

    One would be barrister advising another....that the rule of law thingy don't apply to them

  106. If we're talking sweets, Snowball, MacDonald and Mitsubishi all spring to mind..... ooooooh.... some well smiley, glittery nights on those babies!

  107. Couldn't find flying saucer acid. Unfortunately, if you put "acid" or "LSD" and "flying saucers" into Google you just get loads of nonsense about aliens people who were tripping thought they saw.

    Oh well, back to the money hunt. Nope, Deano. None of them.

    I think it is probably in a book. I am pretty sure I had some brilliant code to enable me to remember which book I put it in.

    And then I forgot the code.

  108. "The joys of google and wikipedia!"

    You had me for a minute Spencer....I thought for a sec you'd googled where's me £50?.... and it had told you.....

    I think it's getting near to my bedtime.

  109. You lot are spoilt; I only ever got blotter acid and mushrooms.

    Not bad, mind you.

  110. It's in the book you just returned to the library.....

  111. Spencer

    I am pretty sure I had some brilliant code to enable me to remember which book I put it in.

    And then I forgot the code.

    er, *cough*

    The Da Vinci Code?

  112. double *cough*...

    The Highway Code?

  113. Sheff, Deano, re staples.
    And it is also one of the reasons the Egyotians are so poor and angry today (although the corrupt gov is just as great a factor). Food shortages and price rises. Her population has grown from 27 million in 1961 to 80 million today.

    As I said on the TGA thread, if they want a quality of life equivalent to a bowl of rice a day, toil in the fields or live in cities with 90% of youth unempoyed, then yes that's possible. But if they aspire to a Western lifestyle with all the trappings, as well as things like hi tech economies and scientific research then forget it. The rapid population rise has not coincided with massive economic growth.

    Even in Britain we are seeing this. (even after taking account all our 'lost money' from tax evasion)there is not enough money/resources to go round, we have things like 20% youth unemplopyment, deprived and economically stagnant regions. Britain could easily occupy 120 million if you are talking about Egyptian levels but I and most others want a first world Scandinavian lifestyle.

    Again, sorry to bang on about Germany, but I heard a report about it on the today programme about how she is at her most powerful on the world stage in it's post war history. It has a tiger economy based on hi tech manfucaturing and research. The 'west' can still manufcature, but it won't be toasters and tellys anymore. The government(s) abandoning of this, currently and over the past 3 decades has set us on a precarious path and the only thing to save us is massive investment in our sci/tech and manufacturing base- which I doutbt given the craven and shortsighted nature of our dear leaders.

  114. Heavy Gale blowing in SY Spencer. Even down in Glasgow right now it must be a good 40-50mph.

  115. Crime and Punishment
    The Communist Manifesto
    Atlas Shrugged
    Far From the Madding Crowd
    The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club
    Money and Cigarettes (cd)
    Harry Potter and the Great Lost Cache

  116. Credit unions seem like a good alternative, perhaps Worstall's version of events is faulty. I don't really know enough about this sort of thing to judge, so won't attempt it.

  117. Deano "You had me for a minute Spencer....I thought for a sec you'd googled where's me £50?.... and it had told you....."

    Great idea. Well, I have tried everything else.

  118. You think I have a copy of Atlas Shrugged, Thauma?

    I do have an (unread) copy of Money by Martin Amis. I am not a fan but only read London Fields and as many people seem to think it is his best book I thought I should give him another go.

    But it is not in there, I have already looked.

  119. oh dear

    BBC 2 - ultra religious Jew in J'Salem making big fool of himself.

  120. Leni- yes- You could say that about the pro Mubarak thugs who believe all western newspaper reporters are Mossad spies, but I digress.

    Anyway, will watch the programme.

  121. a lot in what you say Nap but "....... I and most others want a first world Scandinavian lifestyle.........."

    therein lies the problems not least of which are unresolved questions/ambiguities about what you/we mean by quality of life .....and why for example so many of our resources ( as ordinary men and women) are taken to put a basic roof over our heads. There are cheaper/simpler ways of keeping the rain out and they don't involve rent to idle landlords.

    .....and is your life really that much richer for having a choice of umptynine motor cars most of which you would never be able to afford........or even want.

    You, like so many of your (and my) generation, have to address some uncomfortable questions - do you really want your own bookshelves lined with personal copies or a better/fuller stocked library down the road.

    Choices choices choices........tedious fucking choices.

    I'd rather have a life.

  122. @Vizzo:

    Credit unions seem like a good alternative

    Used to be a good alternative, now, sadly, after my faith in the one I've belonged to for nigh on 12 years has been shattered twice in 12 months, I'm frankly disgusted. Corporatised and taken over by Nu-Labour, Middle-Class, opportunist fuckers.

    Read an article yesterday about micro-loans in India started as a way of lifting rural women and children out of poverty and which rapidly became a free-for-all for loan-sharks.

    My credit union is a shadow of it's former self, has forgotten the reasons for why it was set up in the first place and is rapidly pursuing a corporatised identity which no doubt will culminate in a 'floatation' on the stock exchange and big bucks for the Board (all white, all male)

    When I joined, I was promised an annual 8% dividend on shares (savings and the basis of collateral for loans) it's never happened and yet, apart from one year (in 12 as a member) the first couple of years in the CU, it was re-invested into making the CU better and stronger, subsequently, dividends have been diverted into pumping up children's accounts - which I have nothing against in principle, but it appears to have become a very convenient tool for attracting outside 'investment' in the CU.

    I have a lot of anger about all this.

  123. Well, progress of a sort. I have found a terse reminder from the El Salvador Committee for Human Rights dated 13th March 1984 demanding payment for some "literature or material," that is/was apparently outstanding.

    An a letter to my friend Carole (from some people I have never heard of), post-marked May 97. Most mysterious but I guess she must have borrowed the book in question and used it as a bookmark.

    No sign of any money though. Still, at least the bookshelf looks tidier.

  124. ............Something to look forward to....

    The UT 2nd birthday party:

    19 February 2011

    All day long

  125. LaRit

    If CU members do not attend annual meetings they can it all taken from them. People have to aware and take responsibility for their org. There is move to have LAs control CUs. This has to be resisted.

  126. Leni:

    Half an eye on the Louis Theroux prog. the ultra Zios remind me of the Amish - but armed with machine guns and deep hatred and backed up by an army at their personal disposal. As for the US Christians 'volunteering' well.... the warped 'spirit of the pioneers' bullshit...

    More wine needed ;(

  127. and not errmm.. 'Kosher' either :)

  128. Spencer

    You think I have a copy of Atlas Shrugged, Thauma?

    As a possibility, just on the basis of 'know thine enemy'!

    Haven't read it myself.

  129. When it comes to banking, if you can forgive their adverts, there is a lot to be said for the Nationwide.

    I have banked with them for decades and it is sheer chance that they are the last big mutual standing. But I have voted against de-mutualisation twice and both times the vote was won.

    Now the carpetbaggers seem to have given up.

    Of course they have their faults and their over-paid executives. And they can be as bad as banks if you are overdrawn or bounce cheques on them.

    But I have mostly stayed in credit and had free banking off them for decades, and no money goes to shareholders. They have lots of branches covering most of the country.

    And they are as safe as anyone with so much money invested in houses in an inflated housing market can be.

    Which I reckon is a lot safer than almost any other bank in the UK as they have more assets to loans - even if those "assets" could go pop at any time.

  130. I'm with the Nationwide too.

    I've been with them donkeys I seem to remember that I joined because I thought that it had links to the Co-Op movement.

    The wiki take seems to leave that question unresolved....

  131. Leni:

    They used to advertise their annual meetings and send every member an invitation... not had one for at least 5 years and recently found out that they had "voted to not inform ever member" for the last couple of years "to save money"....

    They have, by degrees, worked it so that the majority of members do not have access to their say and make decisions on their behalf. Not a good situation and when you are living through rough times, the last thing on your mind is the AGM!

  132. Silly me - can't read:

    The Co-operative Permanent Building Society changes its name to Nationwide Building Society.

  133. LaRit - some (me included) would say the Labour Party was stolen in exactly the same way.

    Regards to you young miss and I hope the new employment is living up to hopes.

  134. oh and if anyone thinks the Co-op bank is 'ethical'.. they aint, they're complete bastards like every other bank.

    Deano - am thinking of opening a Nationwide a/c they're the only ones not to succomb to the big bad market bollocks...

  135. too much wine.......for "exactly the same way" ...read similar shitty techniques.

  136. Hey Deano!

    Sorry to hear about the alcool-induced problems but happy to hear about the new pooch Miss Heidi!

    Yup re: the creditio unionio.... gutted by them tbh :( another time, when I'm less excised about it, I'll fill in all the details....

  137. Bollocks. Thought I had it in my Hiztegia Euskara - Castllano/Castellano - Euskera.

    But it turned out to be just some pages from my attempt to make a basic English/Basque dictionary.

    An attempt slightly hampered by the fact that I don't speak Basque.

    God I have some daft stuff here. There is an English Chinese dictionary which is no use at all as the Chinese words are in Chinese characters and I haven't a clue how to pronounce them!

    Whatever possessed me to buy that, I wonder?

  138. LaRit

    LT - Stupidity or cupidity withe Zionist extremists ?

    There is no reasoning with religious fanatics of any colour. The Christian Zionists are acting against their own US legal stance on the WB - as are are US citizens who invest there. Why are they not held to account in US?

    Many of the orgs. collecting money to extend settlements are US registered and are allowed to support illegal actions in WB. No sense to the whole situation.

    As to CU - it is generally constitutionally impossible for vol. org with share holders to change constitution with out consent of majority of shareholders.

  139. I didn't know that about the Nationwide, Deano. I remember when it was the Nationwide Anglia. In fact I am trying to remember if it was the Anglia bit I originally joined in Norwich before the Nationwide ate it.

  140. Deano:

    I'd say there is a great correlation between what I've seen happen to the CU since I joined as a devoted member in 1999 when my Halifax bank account was closed down (due to me not being a 'valued customer' shortly after they voted to de-mutualise, and then by the Abbey, because I was a 'poor' customer... was left without a bank account and so joined the CU and it saved my life, boosted my credit-rating and gave me small loans to get out of financial misery when I was in desperate need. Now, I have to go cap in hand and treated with contempt. Fucking livid about it.

    Just watched how it's gradually been 'Nu-Labourised' .....

  141. "...am thinking of opening a Nationwide a/c they're the only ones not to succomb to the big bad market bollocks.."

    As Spencer says 'we' ( the society members) have resisted the attempts to have the society demutualise/privatised ( for short term gains) twice...eg

    Society members seeking a windfall, branded as carpetbaggers by the UK media, meant Nationwide members go to vote on whether to demutualise the society and float on the London Stock Exchange. The attempt fails, despite media reports of possible pay-outs to members of around £1,000 to £1,500 each, as Nationwide members vote by a narrow margin of 33,700 against converting the building society into a bank

    .....new members don't get full voting rights automatically.....

  142. God almighty, Lynn Barber ("Jonathan King is not a paedo and he's my best friend") Barber is a monstrosity.

  143. Christ! The buggers are everwhere.

    I just took a look in my HM Prison Services "Information Booklet for Prisoners" (I found it in the street, honest, guvnor).

    It is a mine of interesting information/lies but I never noticed this bit before:

    Learning and Skills

    Whilst you are in custody you will have the opportunity to develop new skills and improve your education by taking part in a course delivered by.... A4E!

  144. Well, it was just as I've known, the ultra zionists are twats. I've never supported their actions, so maybe Olching would like to explain why I am a neocon.

    Right, goodnight. Tomorrow may well be the day Mubarak falls. X

  145. Re Ragged Trousered philanthropists article -

    We do it ourselves or it will never be done.

    Right on Tony!

  146. Spencer An early casualty of the privatiastion mania - education/training in HMPs used to be a LEA duty under the 1944 Education Act.

    Can't quite recall which came first - the privatisation of our Prisons or the inadequate Education in them.

    I imagine Lenni/Annetan will know.

    Try the recall mumbo .....visualise the £50 what did it look like .......1X50......2X20+10......1x20+2x10+2X5 ...etc what then did you do

    roll it or fold it.....?

  147. Deano

    A4E is having problems providing ed in prisons and make profit. They forced teachers pay down . LAs paid at national scales.

    A4E packed up in Kent around 2007-8.

    This is one of the problems in the private sector - if they employ people with national pay scales agreements they are left with no move to jiggle profits - they tend to employ too few people and so provide low quality service.

  148. Folded. Definately folded.

    Oh well. I have a tidy bottom shelf and have discovered two memory cards of a total of 10 gigabites.

    No sign of any cash though and I had an idea that that was the self. Oh and my desk is covered in detritus that should not have been on the shelf but I cannot decide where to put now.

    I think I am off to bed now.

    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I am not sure if I am incredibly stupid for putting the money somewhere that I almost instantly forgot or incredibly clever because in trying to outwit possible burglars I thought of somewhere so fiendishly well hidden that instantly lost it myself.

  149. A42 I always liked Tony Benn .............but then I liked Michael Foot and then he went and sponsored Blair.

    I live in hope that Benn will do a a final service to the comrades and publicly declare that it's time for a new Party for working people and the Labour Party is now so infiltrated that it's fucked.............perhaps one dedicated to prop representation.....if there about 7% of the public educated in Private Schools..... then it seems reasonable we should reserve 7% of the seats in Parliament for the Pub Schools boys/girls and ......that's yer fucking lot.....

    If millionaires are X% of the population then I suppose that at a push we can have X% of the MP's as millionaires etc....albeit that may only result in a millionaire MP every XYZ years

  150. Just quite shocked at the Difference between C4 news reportage on Egpyt and Newsnight this evening.

    Newsnight asking John McCain of all people!!!

    The drip, drip, drip of the diversionary tactic of the 'possibility' of an Islamic take-over of Egypt and all that bollocks and no mention whatsoever of US protectionism of Israel and Mubarak.

  151. LaRit

    BBC isr restoring the 'balance' - mad Mel is on about "Blah, blah Muslim Brotherhood, Iran blah blah.

  152. Spencer - Don't want to appear smug our kid - but I always know what I did with a missing £50 ......I either spent it on booze ...gave it away ...or it got shagged in the washing machine or it fell down the sofa.

    Perhaps it will come to you in your dreams. Good luck.

  153. Hello and welcome to visitor from Turks and Cacios Islands

  154. Hello everyone; does anyone on here use Virgin for their Broadband/TV/phone connections?
    I've just got my monthly invoice and the basic "service charges" have gone up from £44.99 to nearly £95.00!

    WTF is that all about?

    Unless it's a mistake I'm going to have to think about switching. I don't want Sky; could anyone recommend an alternative?

    I'm not bothered about something with a squillion TV channels (most of them in the Virgin package were crap anyway) just a broadband connection and reasonable phone tariff.

    Actually I'm wondering if this "package" malarkey is all it's cracked up to be.

    It might make more sense to just get an ISP and scrap the landline phone and just use my mobile.

    And maybes scrap the TV cable hook up and buy one of those boxes instead.

  155. Leni:

    "BBC isr restoring the 'balance' - mad Mel is on about "Blah, blah Muslim Brotherhood, Iran blah blah."

    I have a hideous feeling that the people of Egpyt will shortly be on the receiving end of high-tech weaponry from the US and SOI.

  156. Turks and Caicos visitor?

    Thought that was the home of dodgy diplomats, spooks and off-shore hedge funds...... is the UT a threat? mmmmmmm

  157. Chekhov mobile internet all depends on your reception/area

    My three mobile dongle gives me 15Gb a month on internet for £15 with download speeds around 2.5 megabytes a second ( enuf to run iplayer) - speed all depends on your local area/ mast .

    my mobile phone from same three gives 500 minutes voice/text per month for £17

    and a freeview box gives me BBBC1/2/3/4 and as many other channels as I want for free.

    three are shit on customer service but cheap

    watch the small print with the mobiles you usually only have a short time to try the service out before you must cancel if you not satisfied......

  158. Thought that was the home of dodgy diplomats, spooks and off-shore hedge funds...... is the UT a threat? mmmmmmm

    We have had several visits/visitors from Switzerland today including a few minutes ago.....

    I started the days thread with a link to the pay of the Hedge Funds Mafia......?

  159. Hi Deano -- horrible story there on your catheter thing.

    I spent 6 weeks in stroke rehab hospital sharing a room with a young bloke (23) paralysed from the waist down. He did it himself six times every 24 hours.

    That's the future! DIY could save the NHS millions, and incidentally make life easier, no more queueing in A&E, just get the kit, the DVD , and instant relief!

    Spike - " I'm always amazed that there's no maximum interest rate in the UK. In France, we have a whole range of illegal usury rates for the public."

    Yes, it's pretty amazing that different countries a few miles apart still find it impossible to 'borrow' common sense stuff like that.

  160. Hi Deano, my mobile phone contract is with O2 on a pay as you go basis which usually doesn't cost more than ten quid a month on average. Obviously that would increase to accommodate the landline calls but they make up quite a relatively small proportion of my Virgin bill.

  161. Re Liverpool and the big society.

    Time to take the Poplar Option

    Great thread today just caught up! Still sleeping too much - consultant is going to change my medication - hope it works!

  162. Chekov - thought occurs ......have you checked that your not being penalised because you've exceeded your monthly download allowance.....daughter downloading films/music etc?

    frog2 - cheers, all part of life's rich tapestry.

    Since I have no intention of stopping drinking I'd probably be well advised to check out the DIY or face up to have me prostate reamed out....

  163. Deano -- if I ever have that prob, I'll get in touch with me old room-mate, he always has a week's worth in advance ( costs a fortune...) and take some lessons. hehe ! :-)

  164. BTW: here' the link I couldn't find last night.

    Lotte Lenya sounds much better than Bertholt Brecht.

    OK it's still in German and I'm sure you all have your own favourite covers of what is after all a genuine classic song but if you listen to the lyrics you will come across two names which are positively Dickensian in their descriptive qualities: "Jenny Diver" and "Suky Tawdry" ....bet you can't guess what they did for a living!

    Brilliant, just fucking awesomely brilliant!

  165. Chekhov O 2 have a dongle but I think it's a lot more expensive than three..

    Good night all.

  166. Ah... er... yes, the Swiss thing.

    Sorry, that's me.

  167. Anyone want a sad tune ?

    Check this... Transatlantic Sessions.



  168. checkhov

    Fuck Virgin. Do the freeview box thing. You can get the basic reciver pack for £20, but need a "wideband" arial if you don't already - cost about 100 quids to get & fit; but that'll last donkeys.

    You can get a decent freeview recorder box ( 300-500 hrs) for circa 150quid.

    As for mobiles, they're all total bastards, but if you're already with a pay as you go, stick with it, as when you buy a new handset (like with my previous two forty-fifty quid jobs) o2 give massive upgrade "rewards". Last 2 times I did that I got 170quid credit both times.... basically got a phone for free and £120 credit. Do it.

  169. @Deano
    Congrats on familly news; comisserations that celebrations were curtailed like that.

  170. Here's Leo Kottke


  171. Oh, before I collapse into a heap....

    Cheers to Liverpool for saying FUCK YOU DAVE AND YOUR BIG SOCIETY BOLLOCKS.... :)

    Can we kick it? Yes we can!

  172. yes you can!

    Two fingers to Mubarak, Blair and Netenyahoo....

  173. Hey Bitters, how goes it? I reckon I'm being took for a ride with Virgin so thanks for the alternatives.

  174. No probs chekhov, all good here by the way. Much on ?

    And La Rit's got anger. Anger is good.

  175. chekhov

    Virgin are now on my shit list because I tried to ring them last week about the fact my phone line wasn't working, they would not let me speak to a real person until I had entered the first three letters of my password.

    I have never had a password and of course that means that I will never be able to cancel my account with them because they literally will not let me talk to a human being, I have tried different combos of numbers, I even tried waiting them out and no matter what I did they want that password.

    The online service is no better, they distract you down a blind alley and show you clips of Jason Statham films until you give up the will to live.

    As far as I can tell they are uncontactable, damn them and there tricks I do not know where to go from here.

    I think I may have to with hold my cash until they actually ring me.

    I had some good news today, I have been taken on by a local company as a training mediator (ha ha ha)all voluntary of course but I swear I have got paying jobs easier.

    This is what it has come to, you have to do a CV, get references and market yourself to get a bit of voluntary work, I am pleased I got it but god it was hard work.

    Viva the big society.

  176. @LaRit; totally agree with the Liverpool councils making a statement to de-bunk this crap about the "Big Society"
    Hope more will follow.
    It's nothing more than a stitch up and should be exposed as such.
    It's time we stopped being held to ransom by the corporate twats who are taking us to the cleaners.

  177. Glad to hear you got it Jen.

    chekhov: "It's nothing more than a stitch up and should be exposed as such."


    Anyone see that C4 news pastiche thing tonight ? They kind of got it until Laurenne Laverne exposed her deep ignorance...

    The wheels are falling off the waggon all over the place.

  178. Oops. Fuck a doodle doo. bed time.

  179. However the big spanner in the works is a simple fact; the best selling newspaper in the UK is the "Sun".
    It's full of shit and sexist dogma combined with faintly diluted propaganda and some tits on page 3!
    If people keep on buying this crap in such numbers I can't really see a way forward.
    On this site I am allowed to say what I think without censorship and thank Montana for that but if I wrote or e-mailed a letter to the Sun to suggest that it's readership were a bunch of knuckle scruffing morons who wouldn't know what a real democracy looked like if it smacked them in the face. I'd most certainly be consigned to the bin with the other paranoid conspiracy theorists!

  180. chekhov
    99% of all newspaper readers are trapped in this endless cycle of escapism and denial; why focus on the Sun because it sells the most? All of the nationals are guilty of perpetrating mythology, depending on their niches; all of them are guilty of not standing up for truth; none of them really any better than another - they are just tailored to demographic markets...

    The ransom held against the poor in this country is their basic freedoms and services - which generations have suffered and even died to build and maintain.
    The rich are using this denial of service to browbeat the big stupid middle classes into inaction. The mantra ? It's unavoidable - it's inevitable - we're all in this togeth-

    In plain language:

    "You're next. Shut up. Or else."

    Thus the mantra in the Sun; but also, disgustingly, latterly, even Newsnight...

    They've won the press and the parliament but not the arguments.

  181. @Bitters. I take your point but surely the readers of the likes of the Guardian and other more erstwhile broad sheet newspapers are more likely to "Surf the net" and find out what is happenning at the "New York Times" for example than your average Sun reader might want to do when their prejudices are confirmed on a daily basis1

  182. @Chekhov Who goes, defiantly, where their prejudices aren't confirmed?

    If you've got a few hours-


  183. Thanks for the link "Navro" I'll check it out tommorrow.