11 February 2011


All the citizens of a state cannot be equally powerful, but they may be equally free.


  1. Sorry no image today -- won't load in Opera and it's too late to bother switching to Chrome right now.


    Nice bit of selective quoting of Hermione yesterday. Let's look at the full quote:


    it's a well worn path.

    he's got the "messiah complex" bad and he's a very naughty boy.

    decades of total rule leads to reality brainrot.

    madonna is going through the same process in the pop world but sadly egypt has no lady gaga in the wings.

    Not groundbreaking political commentary, no. But not quite the insensitive and vacuous comment that you made it out to be by not quoting the entire comment. If someone had pulled that on you, you'd be screaming blue murder about the gross injustice to your ever-so-precious self.

    Neither Spike, Hermione, Paul, nor I need to justify ourselves to you, but if you regret having defended Spike in the past, just imagine what an abject tool I feel like for ever having thought you were anything other than a bitter, arrogant, self-righteous fuckwad?

    Fuck off. Seriously, scherfig. Just fuck off.

  2. Meerkatjie you said of hermionegingold:

    I think you'll find it's the 'performance' of superficiality, but perhaps that distinction is too subtle for some.

    Yes it might be, but she does a great job in disguising her erudition.

    Perhaps you would post one or two of what you consider to be her better posts, assuming that her entire repertoire isn't the performance of superficiality.

    And reading her entire quote about the situation in Egypt, which Montana has posted above, it must leave even those who have only a passing sympathy with the brave people who are risking their lives to oust Mubarak and his regime, if not speechless, then sobbing with despair at such a crass comment.

    As if the entire future of Egypt depends on the quality of plastic surgery. And if you're wondering what this refers to, it's this:

    well. now he has drawn my wrath i feel no hesitation in pointing out all that botox has left hosni looking like an old chinese lesbian, yes an asian pat butcher.

    Nice bit of racist and sexist stereotyping there as well as her performance superficiality.

  3. JayReilly, you made a number of posts of the thread following Jonathan Dean's article Radical feminism: what it is and why we're afraid of it, incuding the following:

    Since I have posted here, serious criticisms of the political ideology of modern feminism have been left exclusively to BTL posters, many of whom were banned or regularly deleted for their efforts.

    Could you link a single CiF piece that is a robust and broad critique of modern feminism by someone who isnt a feminist*, as you have published about every other political doctrine under the sun?

    Like all ideologies and beliefs, they need challenge and criticism for their own good, to purge their fallacies and sharpen their arguments. If you value your beliefs then you should welcome robust criticism, not censor it.

    Following these posts several posters suggested you might pen an article ATL and were reminded by others that your past indiscretions rather ruled out this possibility, which is a real shame as I was rather looking forward to reading the result. Of course you could always write it and post it here, or get one of your many fans to submit it for you.

    Also, just in case you thought you might be getting off too easily, I did after of few minutes searching come up with eleven articles, each of which contained or were totally critiques of aspects of modern feminism. Naturally each one of the writers, including the Morman considered themself to be a feminist, but the spectrum was so wide as to lead one to conclude that any wider and it would of necessity have included anti-feminists, rather than the non-feminist you were seeking.

  4. Thanks, montana. Perhaps the other amusing posts from hermione which I quoted in their entirety aren't insensitive or vacuous either. And we all know that if it was brussels or kizbot who had made those comments you would be calling them braindead bitches and trite fuckers etc etc in your usual charming way.

    One last word for spike -" If you could simply post me the times of all the other posts where you attacked Hermione, I'll look at them tomorrow and apologise if any of them are justified."

    Perhaps you missed the bit where I said that I had never attacked hermione here. Which I don't recall I ever did - she's just not that important to me. So if you would like to find 'all the posts' you refer to, then please post them here and I will apologize if any of them are not justified. Or alternatively, you could apologize for talking complete bollocks.

  5. Why do i get the impression i missed a row here...


    "Naturally each one of the writers, including the Morman considered themself to be a feminist, but the spectrum was so wide as to lead one to conclude that any wider and it would of necessity have included anti-feminists, rather than the non-feminist you were seeking."

    Non-anti is the same to me, well no thats not true actually - anti some specific but central elements. But if they were anti some other elements (equal rights in the genuine sense) then they'd likely be a bit mental and unpleasant, so a happy medium needs finding.

    I cant write at the Graun and even if i could i find writing articles surprisingly hard work compared to commenting, takes me bloody hours of grief and at the minute i've been concentrating on what the Coalition are doing on public services, taxes, business lobbying, etc, as they're more urgent - the place is being destroyed.

    But AllyF or Eddie could do it, to name but two.

    *Mubarak staying seems quite worrying to me, he obviously thinks his position is much stronger than it appears. Wondering whats given him that idea.

  6. Am watching something someone linked on that thread on youtube, "Lefties: Angry Wimmin" - interviews with loads of separatists, talking about the 70s. Just staggering. They just seem totally and utterly mad, "build a wall around the equator, men and women must live on either side of the earth".

    "My brother came to see me, but as a man i didnt let him in our house because its a separatists house. He loved me so much he said thats fine and sat in the car, and i took him tea out".

    Not letting your brother in the house cos he's a man?

    This is totally batshit crazy, and very funny in places. Strikes me as quite similar to some religious cults: sacred texts, holy figures, patently mad, shutting themselves off from unbelievers... And the Guardian still publishes one of these separatists regularly.

    Gotta love the place. Funny vid tho, recommended viewing, just cant believe this stuff actually went on...

  7. Jay I can remember separatsts from the 70's, they wouldn't stay in the same room as women who were 'sleeping with the enemy'.

    Now these people really are misusing Marxist analysis - gender and class are not the same thing are they?

  8. Jay, have you never heard of the power of boycott?

    Of course you have.

    Does it work?

    Yes sometimes.

    Did it work in the 70s?

    Well a lot of left wing male chauvinists soon realised that if they wanted sex, they had to change. And many did.

  9. ”...Well a lot of left wing male chauvinists soon realised that if they wanted sex, they had to change. And many did...”

    Enter the estimable Tommy Sheridan, stage (far) left... right on, brother. Right on.

  10. "gender and class are not the same thing are they?"

    I dont think so. This is what annoys me about "oppression", at least when used in 2010. To compare it to either historic class oppression or racial oppression is just false - off the top of my head, i cant think of *any* advantages held by the people oppressed in those dynamics, whereas in the male-female its a much more mixed picture, they have shared interests in a totally different way, a completely different relationship.

    Bitey - I'm not saying things weren't achieved or improved (equal pay legislation, outlawing marital rape, abortion rights, etc), I am saying a lot of the things in this video are, quite plainly, completely mad.

    Anyways, whats the general news today, anythign else been sold off, any more tax cuts for Georgey boys mates? Read a good piece by Dan HInd yesterday, about a 2011 election -


  11. Jay,

    have your read Hind's book "The return of the public"? I've meant to get round to it as it is supposed to be excellent.

  12. al jazeera reporting that egyptian army endorses transfer of power to suleiman, and will endorse free and fair elections, and is ready to lift state of emergency.........when egypt returns to "normality" whatever that is....and warns against threat to "national security"........

    doesn't sound so good does it.........

  13. @13thDuke:

    Obviously, I keep my intellectual light hidden ‘neath a whole field of bushels... but I’ve read that. And it wasn’t at all the book I was expecting to read.

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  15. It's true. You can dig out 10 - maybe even 20 or 30 - articles critiquing one iteration of feminism or another. You can also pull out hundreds upon hundreds of articles that toe the Graun line. Somehow, that's not my idea of balance.

    I can't speak for Jay, but what I'd like to read is a critique not on Feminism Strand A or B, but an overview of where feminism is now. I'm particularly thinking of how it's largely become a middle-class pursuit. Many feminists fight for all women - Bindel, for all her occasional batshit craziness, works with those at the very margins of society - but the Graun version concentrates on glass ceilings, representation in the professions, how many female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.

    But somewhere between the female middle manager and the woman with a drug problem selling herself on the street is a huge tranche of working class women. And frankly, no one gives a shit. They have a home and a job. They also have fuck all money - women are over-represented in minimum wage jobs, part-time jobs and poverty.

    The problem is that unless it's either a horror story or a success story, the Graun doesn't give a fuck. The only writer I can think who would address their issues is Cath Elliott. And for every Cath article, there are ten from Bidi, Bea, Barbara Ellen etc complaining about not enough female Oxbridge graduates on the 'Today' programme. Oh the suffering.

    The problem I'm guessing is that working-class families aren't the divisible units that middle class families can be. No one strikes out on their own on a career path progression. Paul's wages and Deb's wages are unchanging and pooled. Separatism is for those who can afford to be separate. It's difficult to overthrow the state when you're relying on Tesco's minimum wage to pay for the kids' books for school.

    If you wanted to be cynical, you could suggest that for all their horror of not enough Bidis and Lauries on Radio 4, the Islington feminist doesn't want to see mass improvement in the lower paid. That would mean higher food prices at Sainsburys, a bigger wage bill for cleaners and they might even make to Tuscany for a holiday occasionally. Ew.

    I know what to expect from Guardian feminism and I get it. For all Hanman and Jezzabella's talk of multiple feminisms, they're variations on the same self-regarding, middle-class riff. Throw in the occasional story of a woman living under a bridge eating her shoes to show that it's not completely a wine bar wankathon and you have the perfect alliance of self-interest and righteousness. Yay.

  16. Duke

    Its on my shelf, got it for Xmas, working my way towards it, reading HUtton's latest at the minute, not bad so far, some interesting bits. I read Hind's Enemies of Reason, which is a good book, looks at all the non-typical attacks on Enlightenment ideas, like corporate attempts to mislead and control data etc.

    But i think the central failing is Hind at times sets it up as an false *either/or* - religion and homeopathy arent a problem, astroturf is!

    He makes some excellent points, worth reading, but i think that aspect of it takes a bit off the shine.

  17. @13thDuke:

    ”Positive or negative?”

    If I’m being brutally honest, overall I was underwhelmed. It’s well enough written, his arguments are well laid out, and he scores a few “hits”... but for me, not enough: I felt there was a paucity of revelation (most of the “hits” are well enough understood these days – the failings of the meeja to give alternative views in the run-up to the Iraq War, for instance) and he doesn’t really offer enough detail on how he sees effecting the rebalancing of power away from the big bad media barons and corporations who seek to bend the state to their will, and towards the ‘umble citizen slumped in front of the shit pump in the front room of an evening.

    Blimey... that reads like a 6th former reviewing the school's production of Troilus and Cressida. Ah well, let it stand.

    B- from this correspondent.

  18. Shocked face, you have to be carefull with that Twitter thing, do I really want EE36sperm following me?

  19. Jay/Swifty, thanks for that.

    Swifty, I assumed you ex military types gorged on Chris Ryan, Sun Tzu, von Clausewitz and Commando comics?

    Jennifer, what could possibly go wrong with 36 spermatazoa following you?

  20. Morning all,

    36 sperm following you, Jen?

    Does that, erm, come, complete with a Benny Hill style soundtrack?!

  21. @13thDuke:

    Maybe, but if you were to take a peek in the locker of yer average infantryman, in amongst the occasional item of ladies’ underwear, porn mags, socks, more porn mags, dog-eared copies of “Ooh aah The Daily Star” and possibly some more porn mags, you may occasionally find that rarest of jewels, a “book”.

    Personally, I’ve always enjoyed reading, though. Mostly non-fiction these days, bar the Americans like Faulkner and McCarthy who I seem to be re-reading a lot these days, and Dickens. I can also honestly state that I’ve never read a book by Chris Ryan or his many imitators.

    I have read v. Clausewitz and Sun Tzu, of course, along with Guderian/Manstein/Liddell Hart etc. But far and away the best book about the fighting infantry I’ve ever read is J C Dunn’s “The War The Infanty Knew”, about 2nd Bn, Royal Welch Fusiliers’ experiences in WW1.


    He was a contemporary of, and served with, Siegfried Sassoon, who was a boyhood hero of mine, oddly.

  22. @Swifty

    I'm glad you've verified that the Dunn book is accurate - I found it easily one of the best Great War sources for how day-to-day life actually was. It had been out of print for ages when I got mine around 1990.

  23. Just reading Bidi's article on pubic hair removal which, shockingly, is not available for comment on CiF, but can be found here.

    Bidi does indeed give a nod to male porn stars lack of bodily hair but suggests it's not a wider cultural phenomenon. Has she never heard the term 'back, sack and crack'? Probably not.

    She does say that "men in the non-porn world are not dedicating themselves to full deforestation, writing about it in major publications as though it's a serious consideration".

    This is true. And who is it that's writing about women's full deforestation in major publications as though it's a serious consideration?

    Women like, er, Bidi and Lol Penz.

  24. RapidEddie

    I can't speak for Jay, but what I'd like to read is a critique not on Feminism Strand A or B, but an overview of where feminism is now.

    So would I, but limited to 600 words - bit a task that

    I'm particularly thinking of how it's largely become a middle-class pursuit.

    I think it probably always was - like most movements for social change, they've been dominated by middle class leadership, haven't they?

    Anyway a quick search of the Guardian database, and it is a middle class newspaper, not the Socialist Worker or Miltant, reveals 3,322 results for "feminism", 1,264 results for "equal pay" and 227 results "for working class women".

    And anyone wanting to produce the critique in terms of Guardian content, which I think was Jay's point, will have their work cut out. It's the size of a major thesis.

  25. @Peter:

    I don’t think there’s any doubt that it’s an accurate reflection of the lives (and deaths) of the fighting soldiery (h’officers and ORs) during the First World War.

    One of the criticisms sometimes levelled at the book is that it’s an “officer’s” view of the war, but that does Dunn a disservice - he was clearly utterly devoted to the battalion, and reserved most of his scorn for the gilded beauties parading around “the Base” whose detached-from-reality, ham-fisted efforts at prosecuting the war caused (in his view) so much harm.

    For the contemporary OR view of things in the same battalion, I’d recommend a dose of Frank Richards (you may already have read him). Much simpler in construction, and a good deal more “Boy’s Own” than Dunn’s work, but still a good read.

  26. Ed

    apparently in victorian britain...middle class men snipped off tufts of their lovers pubic hair and wore it in their hats as a trophy to their virility......

    all this rubbish about being ashamed of pubic hair is a bit beyond me.....

  27. @Swifty

    Yes, the Richards is good too. I don't have all my WW1 books in one place, but I should try and do a proper catalogue sometime. There are some more obscure first-hand accounts you might like, but I can't recall the names right now.

    There's actually one of those day-by-day diary and letter blogs running at the moment, with the experiences of an Australian artilleryman in France from 1915-18. You might like to take a look; it's here.

  28. Last thing about the RWF, I promise – it was the regiment that gave us not just the (these days) relatively obscure Dunn and Richards, but also the much better known Sassoon and Graves as well... remarkable outfit.

    Anyway... as you were, gentlemen (and ladies).

  29. Bitethehand, don't really have time to elaborate, but read a bit of Judith Butler. You'll feel so much better for it.

  30. EnglishKermit

    Human blight has struck.

    My cave is set back from the road and there is an area of grass between the cave and the road which is cut regularly (not very well) by the council. So many of the residents do the job themselves, myself included. It's not entirely altruistic community spirit, it provides fuel for the compost bins. That's why I cut the neighbour's grass too and it's an arrangement that works very well on all sides.

    This morning I went out to find that someone has dug two great big holes and dumped a load of debris including stone slaps and carpet tiles right in the middle of the grass outside my cave.

    There is no way this could be accidental. This is targeted vandalism and I believe it may be targeted at me. So, I've reported it to the police. I want to know who it is and why. I don't have much hope they'll find out but you never know. There's CCTV at the end of the road and the width and depth of the type marks indicate a pickup of some variety.

    Damn! He's rumbled us.

  31. You beat me to it Thauma :-)

  32. You did take out the CCTV as instructed, didn't you?

  33. Poor sod. That must actually be quite an upsetting thing to wake up to.

  34. James you have gifted me the mental image of me being chased by a bespermed bosomy woman who keeps patting me on the head.

    Thanks for that.

  35. You did take out the CCTV as instructed, didn't you?

    I simply replaced the tape with one from 'Gardeners World'.Starring Percy Thrower i do believe!

  36. Excellent, Paul.

    The pick-up shouldn't be a problem as I nicked it from the neighbouring farm and wiped it clean of prints afterwards.

  37. @thauma

    Well i just hope that if we do make Crimewatch they'll get a couple of halfway decent actors to play our parts when they do the reconstruction.

  38. Paul - I'm hoping Imogen Black gets my part.

  39. thauma

    thier you go i've emailed her for you........you witch!!!

  40. Thauma-well if i get another Phil Lynott lookalike i'll be well pissed off.It would be nice to have someone who's not dead for a change.

  41. Peter/Swifty,

    interesting books, I'll have to have a look. Military History isn't my 'bag' as such but a cracking piece of revisionist military History is Ernest May's "Strange Victory: Hitler's conquest of France".

    He rejects all arguments that the Wehrmacht were better trained and better equipped. He argues that the French General staff were competent and efficient and that the French Army was superior in all areas and only matched by the Germans in air power.

    His entire thesis is that it was an abject failure in intelligence that led to defeat, there was nothing inevitable about it. The failure to pick up on 'fall gelb' signed the death warrant.

    It's a fairly convincing piece of historical revisionism but he then goes on to make spurious comparisons between the French failure of intelligence 1940 and US intelligence before 9/11 at the end of the book.

  42. Next step is I send over my Irish traveller cousins to offer to tarmac the road up to the cave, thereby disguising the offensive landfill. I love it when a plan comes together.

  43. Ta for that, Gandolfo! Thier can be no excusses now.

    Paul - how about someone undead?

  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

  45. I will be played by Ruth Jones, a bit part but integral to the story.

  46. Actually i should have said IB's been in rehab allegedly since her TV debut.-for IBS allegedly!

  47. Jen - I didn't want to mention your secret but crucial part in the plot.

    Who's Ruth Jones?

    Hm, if IB is 'resting' then I need to think of someone else. Err. Johnny Depp?

  48. i'd like to play one of the altruistic big society community members who uses the compost to grow mediterranean tomatoes and asparagus preferably dressed entirely in indian organic cotton and waring vegan sandals please.......

  49. waring? a possibility suppose given the circumstances....

    a s'imogen moment..

  50. I've got it! Penny Auntie clearly needs to make a screen début.

    Gandolfo - ssh! We are trying to keep the Italian connection quiet. No-one needs to know about the post-raid bunga-bunga party.

  51. Bitey, the space on a web page is, for practical purposes, unlimited. If an article demands 3,000 words instead of 600, they can accommodated.

    You could perhaps characterize Guardian feminism(s) as where feminism meets the mainstream. It may not even mainstream feminism itself, but it's the most visible soapbox for feminist and gender issues.

    What the Guardian is, and the broader views it subscribes to, shape the Guardian feminist narrative. For example, the Guardian bought wholesale the New Labour notion of an end to class in Britain. And if there is no working class anymore, they can't be being oppressed. So who is? Step forward identity politics. Identity politics replaces class politics in Graunland. The inference is that if someone is at the bottom of the social pile, it's happened within the context of a meritocracy. If they had the gumption, cojones or intelligence, they would have ascended to loftier heights by now.

    So what informs Gruaniad debate on the subject is this wider belief in a post-class society. There is of course, Polly's 'the poor' (passive, docile and a bit shit, needing middle class spokespeople), but not a group of people systemically excluded from opportunity, based on their origins, accents and upbringing.

    Never champion someone who you wouldn't be comfortable going on a skiing holiday with.

  52. I suppose Joseph Harker could play me.Although i've got a full head of hair so he'd have to wear a wig.Plus of course we'd need to get a people carrier for his five kids who'll be sitting in the back seat whilst the evil deed is been committed.For they can't be left home alone as his missus does flower arranging on the night of the 'crime'.The kids of course will be played by 5 child actors who're currently starring in an AmDram production of the Sound of Music.

  53. thauma

    it's ok we can blag it just like silvio....can say we were listening to traditional napolitan music and watching videos of political opponents (i don't jest...)

  54. Joseph Harker! *snort*

    From the Graun's liveblog:

    Iraq has offered food, financial aid and free flights home to its citizens who had moved to Egypt to escape civil strife at home, but may now feel threatened by unrest in their host country, officials said.

    Interesting. Think I would feel safer in Egypt although it's impossible to know from here.

    It also says that they will NOT be offered free flights back to Egypt if they want them later on.

  55. Might this page from the Manchester Critical Disabilities study group be of interest to anyone? (I particularly like Dan Goodman's stuff)


  56. @13thDuke:

    I’ve read that, too (not doing too well here as the resident lightweight, am I?) and to be honest I was surprised that it was (possibly) controversial. It’s been known for years that the French disastrously misjudged German plans for the conquest of France and the Low Countries. By which I mean, the Maginot Line has become a symbol of faulty military thinking since the 40s, hasn’t it? Great big fortified line bristling with guns and troops, running half the length of France... and the Germans go round the top end of it across the Meuse Line. Who’d have thought?

    Thing is, the Germans knew they couldn’t win a big, drawn-out European war in 1940 (their Army was still recovering from the Polish campaign, was hugely dependent on horse-drawn transport and was certainly not the mighty machine lovingly portrayed by Goebbels)... but equally, they weren’t trying to – they were trying to avoid a major set piece, and were instead applying the rapier thrust beloved of Guderian (and gradually adopted into Halder’s “shit or bust” plan) to the heart of France (and the Channel), which would chop up the French and British forces, destroy their communications and supplies, and knock that country out of the war (and take the British with them) before France could react militarily. They hoped.

    Of course, they had the great advantage that the attacker always has – being able to attack in locally-superior numbers at a point and time of their choosing (in this case, Sedan), while feinting to draw the enemy into committing troops where they aren't needed. And as it turned out, this extraordinary throw of the dice actually came off - once they’d punched through the French and British forces screening the Ardennes and Picardy and were free to let the Panzers of Army Group A exploit into the hinterland, the battle for France was effectively over.

  57. Ta for that, Gandolfo! Thier can be no excusses now.

    I thought she was going to play you. So why are you channeling her spelling abilities?

  58. Meerkatjie

    Bitethehand, don't really have time to elaborate, but read a bit of Judith Butler. You'll feel so much better for it.

    Does this "performance" relate in someway to hermione?

    This iterability implies that 'performance' is not a singular 'act' or event, but a ritualized production, a ritual reiterated under and through constraint, under and through the force of prohibition and taboo, with the threat of ostracism and even death controlling and compelling the shape of the production, but not, I will insist, determining it fully in advance

  59. englishhermit is furious - they've despoiled his bit of grass just like Saruman destroyed and defiled the Shire!

    I want to know who it is and why.

    I reckon that it was these guys gone rogue - link and they did it because he's a racist, little Englander lauriepenny and the wombles are all secret moooslims.

  60. Montana, because there will have to be a beautiful synchronicity between us in order for her to play the part properly.

    In fairness, she is learning to appreciate rugby and wondering why Deccie has made such a crap selection for this weekend's match.

    In other news, Qaddafi has made a show of support for Mubarak. Can't imagine that doing either of them many favours.

  61. Afternoon all

    Beautiful spring like day here - have sloped off early from work and am pottering about, keeping an eye on the revolution, pruning plants on the balcony and sitting in the sun outside for the first time in months. Heaven.


    Think I'd choose Egypt over Iraq any day! My ex old man said last night all still relatively calm where he is although people are absolutely fuming. That may change as reports are saying Mubarak and family have de-camped to their villa at Sharm which is only about 60K away.

    Anyone else going to the solidarity demo in London tomorrow? 12 noon, Trafalgar Sq.

    Poor old Englishgnome - so someone has found out where his gaff is...tough!

  62. englishwanker - genius!

    And at the same time - lauriepenny! (Because I'm going to have that bloody song stuck in my head for days now.)

  63. Sheff - have also decamped early due to splitting headache and stomachache. Stopped at chemist's on way home to buy powerful painkillers. (This may be blamed for somewhat eccentric posting.)

    Reports seem to have Mubarak all over the globe.

  64. Hey thauma sorry your crook - it might amuse you to know that my SQL skills are currently living evidence that Leonardo da Vinci wasn't the only one who could invent shit that doesn't work.

  65. Hiya BW, the painkillers have done their job (washed down with a bit of red, naturally) and am feeling quite floaty now!

    My SQL skills are not particularly brilliant but if you need a second pair of eyes (and are not pressed for time) shoot me an e-mail and I'll see if I can spot it.

  66. I hope you feel better quickly Thaum - it's le weekend tomorrow and you don't want to waste it feeling poorly.

  67. What are SQL skills? Not knowing this probably means I haven't got any...

  68. Ah. Synchronicity. Like leeway, a word I should have thought of this morning to explain things which shouldn't have been mysterious to me.

    Home again today. Joe's running a low-grade fever for the umpteenth time this school year. Just high enough that he's supposed to stay home. Dr. Gandhi told me that taking his tonsils out was going to end all of this. And it did for a few years, but now he seems to be back to his pre-tonsillectomy patterns. What do we take out now, Dr. Gandhi?

  69. Sheff - Structured Query Language. Used for interrogating and updating databases.

    Montana - sorry to hear that Joe is poorly again; are you feeling better yourself?

  70. Beautiful spring like day here - have sloped off early from work and am pottering about, keeping an eye on the revolution, pruning plants on the balcony and sitting in the sun outside for the first time in months. Heaven.

    Sadistic bitch. It's -11° here.

  71. Montana - daffodils are coming up here! :-P

  72. Oh Montana! So sorry....it'll be pissing down, blowing a gale and cold enough to bring on the chill blains tomorrow. You know what British weather's like!

  73. Thauma -- yeah. I have one or two migraines per year. They never last more than 24 hours, then I'm good to go again for awhile. Asthma's been a bitch for about a week now, though. Not enough for a trip to the doctor, but enough that my inhaler's been my best friend for a few days.

  74. Btw, Meerkatjie, not ignoring your post, but it all looks a bit academic for my feeble brain at the mo.

  75. That's a bugger, Montana. Take care of yourself.

  76. Thauma -- OPDFO :-P

    Sheff -- yeah, but it still won't be 11 below.

  77. Lovely video:

    Sout Al Horeya صوت الحريه Amir Eid


    'All barriers have been broken down, our weapon was our dream, and the future is crystal clear to us, we have been waiting for a long time, we are still searching for our place, we keep searching for a place we belong too, in every corner in our country.'

    'The sound of freedom is calling, in every street corner in our country, the sound of freedom is calling. We will rewrite history, if you are one of us, join us and don't stop us from fulfilling our dream. The sound of freedom is calling.'

  78. Hourly tweet limit? The bastards. You get to talking shit and then you're cut off in your prime. I'll bet Shakespeare didn't have this problem.

  79. Deciphered, Montana! :-)

    (Shouldn't that be decyphered?)

    Hm, friends at pub. Might as well have a quick visit.

  80. By talking about his driveway vandalism in terms of 'human blight', is EnglishHelmet drawing equivalence between his minor inconvenience and the potato blight, which killed 300 million (possibly more) of my fellow Irishmen?

    The price for tarmac-ing the cave has just doubled.

  81. Well, I still think it’d be a shit thing to have to wake up to.

    I'd go fucking mental if someone dumped a load of builder's waste outside our house.

  82. Eddie - Kermit appears to be an English supremacist, so obviously the feckless Irish deserved it.

    There was some discussion a few days ago about Cecil Woodham-Smith. Have you read The Great Hunger?

    Kudos to that woman.

  83. Swifty - normally, yes. But sometimes you just think "karma".

    Right, off to pub to meet two Welsh bastards. At least they haven't oppressed us for 800 years.

  84. thauma, thanks, no I usually get there in the end, it's been a couple of years since I used it is all. Glad the painkillers are working. Probvably best leave the lid on the vodka though ;-)

    Sheff... it's compooter talk... I'm automating a load of tasks using queries and reports...

  85. @thaum:

    Poor old sod. Behind the usual bluster he’s probably shitting himself now... and I bet he’ll not have an easy night’s sleep tonight if he’s managed to convince himself he’s being “targeted”. He’ll be up all night curtain-twitching if he thinks “they” might be back.

    It happened to my old man a couple of years ago, you see. A mindless prank, and he worried about it for bloody months. He was convinced it was personal and that someone had a grudge against him. Turns out it was a couple of lads from the village who'd been arseing around one night on the way home from the pub.

    At one point, I was all set to go up to Yorkshire and kick their stupid thoughtless heads in.

  86. Thaum, read a few books about the famine as a youth looking to be oppressed. Can't remember reading The Great Hunger. Depends on who you read as to what get from it. Either the Catholic church was a mainstay in the fight against famine or the priests all weighed 18st and lived on venison. Either the Proddies were the only ones who cared or they'd let you starve if you didn't convert (i.e. the Soupers.)

    My overall impression is that most everyone dived in to help once the scale of the tragedy became known - from the UK people and government, the Vatican, the US etc., etc. - but with one gigantic fuck up that precipitated the mass starvation, where a Liberal government stopped importation of corn because it was 'corrupting' the free market and distorting prices.

    It's one of those things that sticks with you. Whenever I read about the 'efficiency' of the free market, I remember that free markets don't create maximum benefits for the maximum amount of people; capital and goods simply flow to where they make maximum profit. Markets are amoral and short-termist.

  87. Afternoon


    You and Joe have had a long winter - hope it all gets better soon.

    I have hopes of early Spring - species crocus already in flower.

    Waiting for next statement from Mubarak - all quiet so far.

    N Korean people now have new problem - foot and mouth raging. Food supplies threatened as farm oxen fall ill.

    Hermit is obviously worrying about vandals . I wonder why he thinks he has been targetted specifically . I can understand his anxiety if he fears mores incidents.

  88. So - the great Forest sell off is now in doubt.

    Birmingham CC sacks 1500 workers .

  89. I must say, if I were Egyptian, I don't think I'd be content to let Mubarak, et al, leave the country to live in cushy exile. I'd want heads on pikes. Guess I can give up all pretense of being a pacifist.

    RE: EnglishHalfwit

    If his offline persona is anything like his online one, it's little wonder he might have reason to believe that he was being targetted. I'd imagine he's pissed a fair few neighbours off.

  90. Eddie - from what I can remember (it's been close to 20 years since I read it), she targets exactly what you're talking about: the Corn Laws and the government's inability to rid themselves of liberal philosophy and to send food where it was needed.

    When they finally did send food, it was Indian corn, which had two problems: the lack of infrastructure to deliver it where it was most needed, and the lack of utensils/knowledge on what to do with it on part of the people who did get it.

    I may be conflating this with some other books I've read. Also it seems that not all of her data was perfectly correct, but it seems to be generally agreed amongst historians that the thrust of her argument was correct.

  91. Sorry, that was a little incoherent.

    Some of her stats would appear to be a bit off-kilter, but most historians agree that the main thrust of her argument was correct.

    It's a very moving book.

  92. Massive eruptions of joy!!! The old bastard has gone!!

  93. And the Army is now apparently "in charge".


  94. Klub Radio in Hungary just announced that Mubarak is leaving office.

  95. Really? Wa-hey!

    Let's hope that a peaceful transition follows....

  96. Let them have their moment of pure happiness swifty, its quite an achievement....the road ahead will be hard.

  97. Shiloh

    Yes - that is the next question.

    An 'Army Council@ . I don;t know who are the leading lights in the army elite or if they will honour the promises to the people.

    The crowds in Egypt are jubilant.

  98. @Sheff:

    It’s an enormous achievement. But what comes next?

    The Army has apparently promised “free and fair” elections in due course. Given their non-engagement earlier, when a group of protesters marched on the Presidential Palace and no attempt was made to stop them, it’d be reasonable to be optimistic, I guess.

  99. what great news.....what about suleiman?

  100. Yes it is truly enormous swifty - I was just being English and understating.

    You're right what comes next is very concerning - especially with that evil snake Suleiman heading things up. Judging from the tweets people are already thinking about next steps.

    Al Jazeera streaming the ecstasy which is incredibly moving. A peoples victory - its indescribable for them.

  101. Sheff

    ... that evil snake Suleiman ...

    An injustice to snakes.

  102. al jazeera has brilliant coverage....this restores my faith that things can change....just hope that the egyptian people maintain the pressure to really change their country to what they want...

  103. tweet

    rmedhat Ramy Medhat
    by Reem_Ahmed
    Let's start building now. We have no excuse. #Egypt #Jan25 #BuildEgypt

  104. The 41 year-old had been in a relationship with a man whom he lived with and told officials “it would make me feel happy” for it to continue.

    But his local council decided his “vigorous sex drive” was inappropriate and that with an IQ of 48 and a “moderate” learning disability, he did not understand what he was doing.

    A psychiatrist involved in the case even tried to prevent the man being given sex education, on the grounds that it would leave him “confused”.

    Mr Justice Mostyn said the case was “legally, intellectually and morally” complex as sex is “one of the most basic human functions” and the court must “tread especially carefully” when the state tries to curtail it.

    But he agreed that the man, known only as Alan, should not be allowed to have sex with anyone on the grounds that he did not have the mental capacity to understand the health risks associated with his actions.


    Does a judge have this right in law ?

  105. Must admit i'm inclined to agree with Leni and Shiloh.Time will tell but will this Army Council yield to the will of the people?I really hope the Egyptian people aren't being set up for a military dicatership.

  106. Potentially brilliant news, although it will be quite some time before anyone knows whether ordinary Egyptians will really feel that they have moved very far along the road to freedom.

    Will Mubarak be able to keep the £45 billion odd he has filched from the economy of the country he has been so keen to say he served?

    Probably, given that nobody seems to think they should knock on Emma Harrison's door and ask her to put her £35 million back into the public purse.

    Jim Devine, of course, only managed to pilfer the slightly ludicrous amount of about eight grand.

    When Tony Blair said he wanted to serve his country, perhaps it was the scope for theft he had in mind.

    Before he done got that religion thang, naturally. Obviously, he now gives all his money away, so he never makes Baby Jesus cry.

    So, the tip for parents who are truly ambitious on behalf of their children is not to get them into films or football or celebrity chef-dom.

    You really need to groom them early and often to become dictators.

  107. My pal in Cairo is euphoric. Let's hope...
    Have a good evening.

  108. @Paul:

    Read again. I said I think there are reasonable grounds for optimism given the recent behaviour of the Army.

    But time, as always, will tell.

  109. Lets have some hope people - Do you think they'll all just dust themselves down now and go home? I don't think so - they've had a taste of what they can do and I think they'll keep going.

  110. sheff

    i agree they'll get rid of suleiman otherwise only the face has changed...the dictatorship remains......

    "Ibrahim Sharqieh, of Doha Brookings Institute, tell us a lot needs to happen "before we can really call this a revolution"

    For the revolution to be successful, the regime needs to be completely changed - with Mubarak no longer in power - and probabaly not in the country either. Also, the ruling NDP leaders cannot be in power.

    The army can play an important role in making this revolution successful by working to establish a transitional government to take over from Omar Suleiman."

  111. HerMaeness Mae
    by CaireneGirl
    The Egyptian people changed history without guns and with honor, peace and integrity. Take note, world.

  112. Leni, I'm going to run this past a friend who's an advocate for adults with learning disabilities. Based on what I understand of the law relating to capacity, no, not if it's a consenting relationship, but I'm no expert. That's a horrible thing to do, to deprive someone of a happy relationship.

  113. ”...That's a horrible thing to do, to deprive someone of a happy relationship...”

    I know, I’m bloody furious with my missus.

    Right, wish you all a good weekend, and good luck with the Intense Debate thing, MW, hope it works well for you.

  114. @Shiloh

    I was referring to your 16.10 post where you seemed to be expressing caution as indeed Leni was.Didn't notice your 16.15 post.And you can cut the 'read again' command.We're not in the fuckin' army here.

  115. leni

    it's all about ability to consent...if an adult is not considered to be able to make an informed choice then they are made a ward of court and the court decides for them. This is usually used for consenting for operations.

    I was involved in a case some years ago when a woman with a learning disability had been raped, the court considered that it could not be considered as rape because rape involves consent and if you cannot consent one way or the other then the crime cannot take place, the crime was "sexual intercourse with a woman who is defective" under the 1956 sexual offences act, which carries a maximum sentence of two years."

    here's a link on the case http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2000/jan/24/claredyer

  116. leni
    oh i believe the law was to be reviewed but i don't know whether it was...as it so obviously doesn't consider rape as a crime if the people that are victims have learning disabilities...bloody disgrace....

  117. Two things must happen fairly quickly

    1. Suleiman and the top NPD politicians should be side-lined as soon as possible and opposition spokesmen should negotiate with the Army Council to find a way forward.
    2. As I referred to yesterday, Mubarak's $70 billion personal fortune should be recovered immediately and pumped into the economy in some way - preferably initially in a payout to all citizens according to need.

  118. But the capacity act isn't normally applied to this kind of thing, Gandolfo. All this prurient 'observation' that will be involved... ? I don't quite see how it will stop what clearly was a problem - obscene gesturing at children?

  119. (I think the mental capacity act has been reviewed twice since 2000, but I'd have to check on the detail relating to rape)

  120. Scherf

    \they're already talking about it - sa council to look at the constitution with elections in 6 months - facilitated by the military

    they're also talking about indicting Mubarak and his fortune being taken back for the people

  121. gandolfo

    I understand that people can come under the rulings of the Court of Protection.

    In this case it seems that Alan consented and was happy. Concerns about his ability to understand possible health risks seem to be at root of this.

    The onus should therefore be on his partner to ensure safe sex.

    How can this be enforced - short of removing all contact between the two ?

    Who actually knows how much Alan understands - very often other people act on assumption and deprive others of their natural rights and self determination.

  122. Thank fuck Mubarak has gone! That's a first step, now we'll see what happens next.

    Congratulations to the people of Egypt!

  123. Reassuring news, sheff. Let's hope that works out, although I'm a bit sceptical about the army's motives and ambitions.

    And why not elections in 2 months rather than 6? The apparatus is already in place - they've had elections in Egypt for decades, just not free and fair ones.

  124. benwedeman
    If #Egypt could overthrow a 30-year old dictatorship in just 17 days...(I don't have enough characters to ponder the rest...)

    Point worth pondering on.

  125. Scared Joe. He emerged from his bedroom just in time to see me staring at the AlJazeera coverage with tears streaming down my cheeks. Had to explain tears of joy to him.

    @Leni & Gandolfo:

    Situation is opposite in US. All sex with someone not judged competent to grant consent is rape.

  126. jonsnowC4 Jon Snow
    Army managed to pressure Mubarak to go and VP to hand over to them..its aclean sweep..New Minister of Defence lead transitional junta..

    suleiman lasted 14 days as VP.

  127. gazamom Laila El-Haddad
    LOL RT @Antonvowl Blair on Mubarak: "He was the People's Dictator... I will miss those stolen moments snorkelling in Sharm with him."

  128. SultanAlQassemi Sultan Al Qassemi
    BREAKING: Al Jazeera: Switzerland foreign ministry spokesperson announces that all Mubarak's assets have been frozen

    Good - its a start....

  129. WHOOOT! Big up to the people of Egypt!

  130. Encouraging news, sheff. But let's wait and see what the practical consequences are. A statement from the Egyptian army is apparently imminent according to AlJazeera. Wonder what they'll say.

  131. Does anyone have any idea as to the likely political allegiances of the individuals making up this Army Council?

  132. Scherf

    Am hearing that army will lift state of emergency as soon as "present crisis is over"

  133. meerkatjie

    i didn't read the article just leni quote having read it now... in my experience the capacity act is often applied to cases like this for valid and invalid reasons..... if the person is considered at risk and considered unable to make informed consent then it's often used,

    the observation no doubt means that the man will have to be accompanied when out and about...curtails his personal freedom on one level for sure but stops him being beaten up or locked up in a hospital...hopefully work will be done with him to understand what is social acceptable and what isn't

  134. Does this thing work? 'Have you seen the opening of 'Kosher Face' on you tube, the bit with Borat? well thats me

  135. bet berluscos pissed off no doubt he's benefited personally from mubarak getting deals for his magreb tv network and cheap oil and gas.....that and a line in young 17 year old women who he can say are mubarak's nieces........

  136. From the G's newsfeed (quote from some NYT writer:

    But the game isn't over, and now a word of caution. I worry that senior generals may want to keep (with some changes) a Mubarak-style government without Mubarak. In essence the regime may have decided that Mubarak had become a liability and thrown him overboard — without any intention of instituting the kind of broad, meaningful democracy that the public wants.

    Senior generals have enriched themselves and have a stake in a political and economic structure that is profoundly unfair and oppressive. And remember that the military running things directly really isn't that different from what has been happening: Mubarak's government was a largely military regime (in civilian clothes) even before this. Mubarak, Vice President Suleiman and so many others — including nearly all the governors — are career military men. So if the military now takes over, how different is it?

  137. ...but then Tariq Ali's got a Cif piece up, apparently writing from Cairo, where he says that the rank-and-file army are sympathetic to the demonstrators cause, which would suggest that the senior generals would find it difficult to establish their own dictatorship even if they wanted to...

  138. revolutionary tents coming up for sale at knock down prices on twitter but only for people in countries that are not free yet!

  139. leni

    totally agree with your sentiments, consent is not so straight forward though, it is quite complex so when someone says that they are consenting are they really consenting on informed choice? often there are complex ways of assessing people choice making abilities rather than basing it on assumption.
    of course it also needs to be considered whether alan's partner also has a learning disability or not as this could be a factor in power relationships etc...
    i'm not saying that people with LD shouldn't be allowed and encouraged in having sexual loving relationships but often they are vulnerable they should also be pro-actively protected

  140. I've been crying too Montana and jumping up and down!

    But as others have said its not over yet. Rather depends on the behaviour of a) the military high command and b) the lower ranks of the army.

    Without the the lower ranks the high command are irrelevant.

    But what a day!

  141. "revolutionary tents coming up for sale at knock down prices on twitter but only for people in countries that are not free yet!"

    sheff mark me down for half a dozen will ya....

  142. You're on gandolfo - but I'm keeping one - the climate here is horrible and Trafalgar Sq is windy!

  143. Have to post this here - please feel free to nip over to Polly's thread & give this a recommend.

    11 February 2011 6:18PM
    Liverpool City Council is facing huge financial problems caused by the biggest cutbacks in our spending imposed in living memory. They are far worse than even Margaret Thatcher attempted in the 1980s.

    The Conservative-Liberal Democrat Government has slashed our funding to such an extent that we face having to axe almost a quarter of our services over the next two years - £151 million over the next two years. The scale of the cuts is frightening and will be extremely painful. Councillors and officers have been reduced to tears as they battle with the almost impossible task of trying to protect the most vulnerable from the worst affects of the cutbacks.

    The Prime Minister has accused Labour Councils of politically motivated cuts. Nothing could be further from the truth, especially here in Liverpool. Such are the huge problems we face, all the major parties on the council (Labour, Greens, Lib Dems and Liberals) have put aside our political differences to work together to set a budget. Our priority is to protect, as far as possible, the essential services to children, the disabled and vulnerable who need the life-line of the services the council provides.

    And, despite the rhetoric from government ministers, we are cutting back on bureaucracy and eliminating waste, reducing the pay and bonuses of senior staff, halving the number of top managers and sacking expensive consultants. These savings already amount to £30million, but the sheer scale of the cutbacks means every service will be affected in some way - from libraries and leisure centres and parks to looking after the elderly and children.

    But the cuts have been more painful in Liverpool because, despite the city being ranked as the most deprived authority in the country (on the government’s own figures), we have suffered the biggest cuts of any council. That is downright unfair and unjust.

    If Liverpool was clobbered by the average cuts imposed across all councils – rather than the highest - we would be a massive £26million better off: money that could be spent on saving front-line services.

    What we are seeing is a politically motivated and ideological assault on public services, far bigger and much more vicious than levied by any Tory Government since the war. They simply do not believe in the value of high quality and well funded social services to eliviate poverty and deprivation among our poorest communities. But I have to ask, where are the Liberal Democrats in all this? Why on earth are they letting their cold-blooded coalition partners get away with it?

    Joe Anderson
    Leader, Liverpool City Council

  144. Third army statement - formal salute to the fallen of the 25th January revolution. Army council now studying ways forward and considering legitimate demands of the people.

  145. Hello everyone; here's a couple of good articles from todays Indy:

    Plus Alisdair Cameron has a recommend on an article by Matthew Norman.

    Can't find it right now but I'll post a link later if I do.



  146. 4:34pm Obama's intelligence chief, James Clapper, calls the Muslim Brotherhood movement "largely secular", Fox News reports.

    The term 'Muslim Brotherhood'...is an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried Al Qaeda as a perversion of Islam.

    They have pursued social ends, a betterment of the political order in Egypt, et cetera.....In other countries, there are also chapters or franchises of the Muslim Brotherhood, but there is no overarching agenda, particularly in pursuit of violence, at least internationally.

    Thats Fox News ffs.

  147. Evening. Wow, emotional viewing watching Al Jazeera tonight. I hope the people get what they want and are not stitched up. But still just seeing that he's gone is a great moment.

    Thauma - I am sharing the splitting headache and stomach ache - am laid up in bed. Think it is a virus though and not my usual rubbishness due to the ME - as feeling very shivery and oddly faint. We are a right crook lot. Montana I hope you start to feel better soon too.

    Sheff - won't be there tomorrow obv due to crookness. But I hope it is a good day and you have some company. There is a fair few things coming up in Sheff in the next few weeks will email you and MsC.

    MsC that post is utterly horrifying and will nip over and reccomend.

  148. Just woken up from kip - news from Egypt (as summarised here!) better and better.

    Suspicious of the statement that the MB are 'largely secular', though.

    Leni - your case could equally be applied to a man in my village. He is learning disabled but is a very talented topiarist with a highly successful business.

    His rather older male partner manages the business for him, and has apparently devised a calendar of symbols (one client is a lamb, another a chicken, etc.) as our topiarist cannot read or write in the normally-accepted sense.

    I think that any disapprobation comes from homophobia; there is no reason to believe that any exploitation is taking place. (And tbh there isn't much disapprobation even in this conservative rural village.)

  149. MsChin's quote above:

    What we are seeing is a politically motivated and ideological assault on public services, far bigger and much more vicious than levied by any Tory Government since the war.

    Of course it is politically motivated and ideological, just as Thatcher's assault on the miners and the unions and the working classes generally was politically motivated and ideological.

    During the heyday of her wonderful regime, television adverts in relatively affluent areas told people how to apply for benefits if things were getting too tough.

    By some clumsy but fortuitous miracle, those adverts never managed to get aired in poor areas.

    Tories like Thatcher and Cameron simply hate and despise poor people.

    You know, the ones who have to keep paying for their mistakes and fuck-ups.

    Thatcher became viscerally hated. She created an undercurrent of rage and people eventually took to the streets.

    In this regard, at least, the ConDem regime is already miles and years ahead of its prototype.

    Dave and the Yellowbellies should not assume they have the luxury of eighteen years, which, of course, they won't.

    They know they need to race ahead if they are to break the country and stuff the bits into their mould and turn out something crippled and deformed in their image.

    That desperation is likely to be their undoing.

  150. I don't think there's really much to support a judgement that someone with moderate learning disability should be denied the right to have sex. I don't mind if they feel he needs to be guided out in public, but the prurient observation of him at home, to prevent him from having sex with another individual in the residential setting - well, I can't think of another case in recent years that is similar. It sounds like they are blurring the question of capacity to consent with inappropriate public behaviour. The two shouldn't be conflated that way, surely?
    For what it's worth, my friend is surprised that this went to court, much less that a judge actually ruled on it. The failure to provide sex education is the big issue here. On the say so of ONE psychiatrist?

  151. What an amazing day for the Egyptian people.

    Can't stop smiling! :o)

  152. Hiya Princess - I am feeling OK now after drugs and kip - hope you are feeling better too. Recommend Solpadeine Max - great stuff.

    Actually wish I had a telly today so I could see what's going on in Egypt.

  153. Meh. BB, Meerkatjie was just asking if you were ok, as she has not seen you for ages! But as she's gone out she can't ask you herself. I thought you were in the same boat as her - bloody busy - !

    I'm well pleased about the Egyptians doing it for themselves, and long may it continue. I have a bit of a worry over the army taking control - but that might be down to growing up in SA (the Army were not nice at all), I feel a little let down by the ANC at present so I am worried things go wrong for them in Egypt.

    However my optimistic side is jumping up and down and laughing.

    Apropos nothing at all - as a pair of pissheads she did notice that there was not a single bottle in evidence in the Egyptian celebrations, we both agreed that it was weird and wonderful!

  154. thauma

    You can watch Al Jazeera on-line.

  155. Just out of interest, since I no longer read CiF articles or comments, how is the Egypt situation playing out with the mouth-frothing brigade?

    Logically, they should be saying that the Egyptian people should bloody well knuckle down and embrace their oppression.

    They must be arguing in favour of Mubarak, saying that he exemplifies the epitome of streamlined, go-faster capitalism, where there is no need for a product or service, just take the money at source and...enjoy it.

    Or do they want the ordinary people to have more money so that they can spend it and make the economy thrive in some new-fangled trickle-up?

    Because, surely, if you are poor in Cairo or Alexandria or Cambridge or Aberdeen, it is because you have not tried hard enough and failed to grasp the opportunities which are always there for the thrusting, aspiring entrepreneur or employee on the up-and-up?

  156. meerkat

    for sure the whole thing smacks of denial of human rights and homophobia, being devil's advocate but do you think what has been reported in the telegraph is the whole story?

  157. A BBC correspondent I read notes that, when the President/government resigns, constitutionally the power should go to the Speaker of the People's Assembly, Fathi Sorour. Some commentators are already calling it a 'military coup'.

    However, there may be practical reasons for not having a 78 year old man standing over a time of major upheaval, saying "Steady on now" and hoping for the best.

    The popular assumption is that the army will be in charge only until elections can be organized in the near future and I believe the army leadership has said as much. Don't be too surprised if the 60 day constitutional timetable slips a bit though.

    Over the next week, people will go home and get on with their lives. It's then up to the army - I assume - to control and effect the election process. I don't suppose anyone has sufficient knowledge of Egyptian politics to know if the Egyptian constitution requires the participation of the People's Assembly in organizing/calling for elections?

    I'm not pissing on anyone's chips, I'm just a bit sceptical about how keen the army will be to relinquish control. That doesn't diminish the unalloyed joy of the Egyptian people today.

    I'd also note in passing that the BBC is reporting that "The military high command is headed by Defence Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi. US diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks described Mr Tantawi as "aged and change-resistant", but committed to avoiding another war with Israel."

    I sense that the US government might feel that they'd be comfortable doing business with Mr. Tantawi.

    Mohamed Hussein Tantawi

  158. gandolfo

    I have just scanned through the thread quickly and I am too dog tired to go back through it again, but is there a linky to the Torygraph story? If it is a reported case as in officially reported I might be able to find it on the BAILII website and look at the judgment itself to find more about the background.

  159. RapidEddie

    Without wanting to seem ageist - god knows I am no spring chicken mesself - but I think they said that all the ruling elite were in their 70s or 80s when the average age of the country is 25. So having some other elderly chap clinging on to power way past his sell-by date to run things is probably not a better solution right now.

  160. Changing the subject totally, sorry to hear that so many people are stricken with health problems right now - big virtual Janie hugs are winging their way to you all on the ether. And chicken soup. And cups of tea. xxx

  161. Leni and Princess

    The first provisional figures from Aberdeen and Burnley where existing IB claimants have been tested for ESA since last october have been released.-

    1)Fit for work-29.6%

    2)Work Related Activity Group-39.1%

    3)Support Group-31.3%

    No info as of yet on how many people are appealing .And i must stress again these are provisional figures.

  162. hi BB how you???

    here's the link

  163. I've been [laying Sout Al Horeya all afternoon! As you say Shef it has been peaceful and dignified.

    What revolutions should be - This one was televised too!!

    I don't think the role of the media, face book twitter Aljazeera can be discounted. Ordinary people all over the world saw it happening - saw it was peaceful. Did this have an effect on govts here in Europe and America they have not been able to control public opinion as much as they usually can on this on this one.

  164. Paul

    thanks for info - I wonder how many people 29.6 adds upto joining the ranks looking for work in areas where it is thin on the ground.

  165. Paul - those figures are dire.

    gandolfo - cheers, me dear. Will check it out.

  166. MsChin - ta, might give it a go if the old girl cooperates.

    Dunno what to think of the Egyptian army, not knowing enough about the situation. Some countries have very powerful armies that don't seem to be particularly accountable to the regime. Others, like ours, are completely in thrall to the government masters.

    Can you picture a military coup here? I can't.

    I could just picture one in the US though; partly because their army is so huge. But that is obviously highly unlikely.

  167. Gandolfo - have you read today's Simon Jenkins piece on Berlusco? Apart from his blatant anti-Europeanism, what do you think?

  168. Re Liverpool - what is happening there is what is happening all over the country the poor the sick the elderly and the young are being targeted.

    How bad has it got to get before before we take to the streets?

    I suspect that, sadly it will have to get a lot worse, but I could be wrong has anyone any info on the economic profiles of the protesters in Egypt? It seems to have been very mixed but I'm not certain.

    But the age profile of Egypt is very different it is a predominantly young country this could be a key difference.

  169. First tests of long-term incapacity claimants show two-thirds could work
    Results indicate as many as 1.8m out of 2.6m are fit for a job
    Up to two million people who have been living on sickness benefits for years may be perfectly fit to work, official test results show.

    The first reassessments of those on long-term incapacity benefit found that more than two-thirds of those checked could return to work if they received help.

    Trial re-tests of claimants in Burnley and Aberdeen found 68.6 per cent did not have a valid claim and were unable to prove they were too ill to take a job.

    Reassessments of those on long-term incapacity benefit found that more than two-thirds of those checked could return to work if they received help
    Some 2.6million people are on incapacity benefit or its replacement, employment and support allowance. Most long-term recipients will be reassessed over the next few years.

    More...We could soften child benefit blow for worst hit says David Cameron
    'Single mother' benefits cheat who claimed £22,500 while living with £130,000-a-year husband

    If the total proportion of invalid claims matches the results from the two trial reassessments, it would mean almost 1.8million people were receiving benefits despite being able to work.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1355790/Incapacity-benefits-Nearly-2-MILLION-sickness-claimants-fit-work.html#ixzz1DgcOxFoP


    The Mail already screaming and screeching.

  170. Right - read the judgment now. What the court has done is to continue an order that was already in place as an interim order from the lower courts.

    It is still an interim order, with a provision that the local authority has to provide him with sex education so that he can more fully understand what sex is - particularly as he appeared to have no idea at all about what heterosexual sex was, nor what its reproductive purpose was (the psychiatrist said he believed Alan probably thought that babies were brought by the stork or born under a bush).

    It is set down for review in 9 months to see whether or not his capacity to understand and consent to sex is there once he has had proper sex education work done.

    As an aside, the psychiatrist was opposed to this - he felt that it would be too confusing for him to have sex education, and would lead to anxiety and upset for Alan.

    Really bizarre case.

  171. BB - so you are saying that the interim order's goal was to pressurise him into hetero thinking?


  172. Off to bed. Husband arriving back from the Snowy North tomorrow morning at the crack of sparrow fart. Woo and, indeed, hoo! \o/

  173. Evening all,

    Been out all day and just got back in.

    Did I miss anything?

  174. Jen

    Apologies for that mental image. If it's any consolation, I had the music bouncing around in my head all day!!


    I had my tonsils out, but the fuckers sort of grew back. Might be worth checking it out!!

  175. Didn't know they could do that, James.

    It's an inconvenience from a missing-too-much-school/work thing, but I'm not actually all that worried about it from a health standpoint. My sister was like this when she was little -- ran a fever for 14-24 hours about once or twice a month. It just sort of stopped about the time she hit puberty. I'm fairly certain Joe will follow suit.

    There's never any vomitting or anything -- just fever & a bit of listlessness -- and it never lasts very long. He's already perking up.

  176. For anyone confused about the big suit reference....

  177. thauma
    and you may ask yourself why the deep south baptist revival dancin

    do like it though....

  178. bb

    indeed a bizarre and very disturbing court order can it be challenged? andwas it really defined re hetero sex?

  179. Well let's hope the Egyptians don't adopt the "neo-con" "neo-liberal" consensus of a pathetic apology for a democracy which is the best template the West has come up with.

    What's the difference between being shafted by a military dictator and being took to the cleaners by a bunch of craven politicos in thrall to the money grubbing charlatans and shysters in "financial services"?

    I'm not attempting to equate the plight of the Egyptians with the concerns of people in the West about how they might be better served by their leaders but the principle is the same, isn't it!

  180. Montana

    It is possible that it was just another example of my body refusing to obey the commonly accepted rules of medicine and science, so you probably shouldn't worry about it.


    I also grew out of all of my ear, nose and throat issues by the age of 12ish too, and it does seem to be quite common for that to happen.

  181. This comment has been removed by the author.

  182. Hel - I don't quite know either! ;-)

  183. (Dammit, am dancing around room now.)

  184. Haha - sorry my chronic lack of self confidence made me remove the post. Nothing more or less sinister.

    I enjoy reading your site Montana. Thanks.

  185. This comment has been removed by the author.

  186. Hel - was getting a complex. Replied to yours, and it disappeared. Replied to Paul's and it got spam-binned. Luckily I was able to restore his so it doesn't completely look like I'm talking to myself!