20 February 2011

20/02/11

It is not these well-fed, long-haired men that I fear, but the pale and the hungry-looking.
-Julius Caesar

149 comments:

  1. Morning!

    How are the heads?

    Homecoming queen has got a gun - hehehe, I'd forgotten about that!

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  2. My head's fine! Off to Vicky Park with the dogs soon.

    Julie Brown was my favourite back in the early 80's. I got to do a play with her in L.A. and she was really sweet as well. Homecoming Queen is the well, queen of her songs, but Cause I'm a Blonde is almost as great.

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  3. Meanwhile, in "We Are All Americans Now" news - in the We Are All In This Together" section, it seems that we are in need of a new slogan for Austerity Britain (formerly known as Broekn Britain).

    Perhaps something like:

    We Want Our Money Back - NOW!

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/feb/19/us-taxation-taxavoidance

    Nothing better shows corporate control over the government than Washington's basic response to the current economic crisis. First, we had "the rescue", then "the recovery". Trillions in public money flowed to the biggest US banks, insurance companies, etc. That "bailed" them out (is it just me or is there a suggestion of criminality in that phrase?), while we waited for benefits to "trickle down" to the rest of us.

    As usual, the "trickle-down" part has not happened. Large corporations and their investors kept the government's money for themselves; their profits and stock market "recovered" nicely. We get unemployment, home-foreclosures, job benefit cuts and growing job insecurity. As the crisis hits states and cities, politicians avoid raising corporate taxes in favour of cutting government services and jobs – witness Wisconsin, etc.

    Might government bias favouring corporations be deserved, a reward for taxes they pay? No: corporations – especially the larger ones – have avoided taxes as effectively as they have controlled government expenditures to benefit them.

    ...........

    Perhaps our splendid ConDem regime need to look at the old "You can fool some of the people...." catchphrase.

    At the moment, they will get to the end of their first year in office having fooled none of the people for none of the time.

    Get out the nails!

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  4. My total inability to address the concept of measure and thus to take alcohol in moderation meant that I fell asleep before the party was over.....but hey ho some interesting/unknown tunes to visit later in the day is the upside. I must stop quaffing wine by the bottle.

    AB - we are getting more and more articles on the rampant avoidance of tax.......people can I hope be made to see that it's not smart, it's a variant of sloping off to the lavatory (bog) when the glasses are empty so as to avoid paying your round at the bar.

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  5. Pertinent piece from Nick Cohen

    ".....Tens of thousands in banking knew the deals they were closing made no sense and suspected that flattery and egomania had turned their and their masters' heads. One manager at RBS told me about the 9.30am "prayer meetings" Fred Goodwin forced his senior managers to attend. Control through public humiliation was Goodwin's purpose. "Executives would sit round the table," my contact said, "eyes down, chin on chest, thinking, 'I hope he does not pick on me this time.'" Do not pretend that the staff at RBS needed outsiders to tell them that they were working for a megalomaniac and sociopath, who could destroy their company, or that the bankers at Goldman Sachs Ferguson highlights did not know they were fleecing their clients when they recommended they buy securities Goldman privately labelled as "crap"....."

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  6. Watch all! Trip around the world on a quick Sunday paper review, if nobody minds.


    From "The Guardian" of Nigeria, it looks like the US are up to their old tricks (installing the Shah in Iran, deposing Allende in Chile)

    "United States military command in Africa, AFRICOM, may support Nigeria and ECOWAS (Economic Community Of West African States) in its proposed plan to apply military force to remove defeated President of Cote d’Ivoire, Laurent Gbagbo and install the winner of that nation’s presidential polls, Alassane Quattara.

    Answering questions from foreign correspondents from Washington DC at the weekend, the Commander of AFRICOM, General William Ward, said,'it would certainly be looked at through our overall foreign policy lens, and then given a foreign policy decision that says the United States of America would support ECOWAS in some particular activity or event, and that activity had some military equities, some security equities, U.S AFRICOM would, in fact, be ready to follow through on that support.' "

    Equity, nice idea. Gets lost in it's modern meaning.

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  7. The Times in Johannesburg provides the quote of the day (last sentence)

    "A small group of Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) members caused a stir in Johannesburg yesterday when they set up a roadside camp as part of a recruitment drive. Residents of the western suburb of Montgomery Park said they were not happy with the right-wing movement's presence in the suburb yesterday.

    "Why are these people here? It poses a threat to us as residents," said one resident.

    But Pieter Hanekom, who described himself as a leader of the AWB, said they were not doing anything illegal.

    "All we are doing is to recruit our people to join the movement," he said. "We want to involve the public to be proud of being AWB members, and our aim is to grow the number of members in our movement."

    Hanekom said the AWB was not racist, but when asked if a black person would be allowed to sign up, he replied: "On that one, I will need to consult with the head office."

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  8. Very interesting article in the Hindustan Times about Chinese tweeting, here's a snippet:

    "we’re in Beijing, the political nerve centre of China where you can no longer search for ‘Egypt’ and ‘Cairo’ on a Chinese Twitter-like microblog. Michael’s Chinese name is Zhao Jing and he is among the estimated 200,000 mainland users who outsmart the Great Firewall to talk on Twitter — a website banned in China since June 2009.
    'We’re so proud of Egyptians. They’re braver than us. They deserve democracy,' said Michael, a political commentator who tweeted that Chinese ‘totalitarianism’ will be ‘toppled’ some day.

    Last week, the Chinese who circumvented the firewalls through proxy servers or virtual private network compared Tiananmen Square 22 years ago with Tahrir Square today. They joked about Mu Xiaoping, a pun on ex-Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and Deng Xiaoping for his crackdown on pro-democracy protests in 1989. When Mubarak stepped down, the Internet was instantly awash with Chinese posting comments to ‘wake up’."

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  9. From the Singapore newspaper "Today", an opinion piece that shows how similar life can be in different cultures:

    "WHILE Singapore boasts of being advanced on many fronts, much more is needed to be done to make her gracious, especially when as a greying society, more people may be moving about in wheelchairs... If you are to wheel along the pedestrian pavement beside the factories, you will experience three things.

    First, you will find your hands coated with oil from the car tyre factory.

    Before you can clean up the mess, your way will be blocked at a pharma-medical factory, which opens its gates outwards, across the pavement.

    You navigate around this, out onto the main road and back onto the pavement, only to meet the last hurdle.

    A man outside a building will give you a free coating of dust with his leaf-blower. There is nothing wrong with using this efficient machine to clear the floor of leaves - but what is selfish about this act is that, instead of gathering the leaves to one spot, he simply blows them all out of his factory onto the public pavement … along with a coating of dust for anyone happening to pass by.

    Can Singapore be a gracious society? Yes, only if the people spare a little thought for others."

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  10. From Japan's "Kyodo News"

    "China's 'Jasmine Revolution' draws small crowds

    Hundreds of people gathered despite heavy police surveillance in Beijing and other major Chinese cities Sunday, apparently in response to a mysterious pro-democracy call posted on the Internet, Hong Kong media reported.

    TVB television said several hundreds of people gathered at around 2 p.m. in Beijing's busy Wangfujing district, and one man was briefly taken away by police after he picked up some white flowers discarded by others.

    Uniformed police officers were seen trying to disperse the crowd."

    Hmm...

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  11. And finally, from the Sydney Morning Herald, I'd like to perpetuate several stereotypes:

    "A queer beer? Not here

    As big-name Australian beers struggle, a Mexican brewery has unveiled the world’s first beer specifically targeted at gay drinkers.

    Neil McLucas, long-standing gay bar proprietor and outspoken member of Brisbane’s LGBT community: 'Having a beer that was specifically "gay" would be like dictating to gays what they should do. I think it’s a bit silly, really. And if you made a beer a "gay" beer, well, I can’t imagine many men would be caught dead drinking it.'

    Marketing director of Carlton and United Breweries Paul Donaldson: 'Most beers that have ever targeted females have failed because females think, "hang on, I want a legitimate beer just as much as any guy does".' "

    End.

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  12. deano

    Yes, I was wondering whether anyone who is a member of the shrinking group of "unbanned" on Dribbly might like to ask for an article on good and bad tax-fiddling.

    The debate normally comes down to people thinking they are the cleverest little things on earth when they tell everyone that tax avoidance is legal - and almost a moral imperative - and tax evasion is very naughty and could result in a spell on the corporate naughty step.

    Perhaps someone could ask for an article about how the government has shot itself in the foot by trying to manage public opinion by blaming the poor and how this has simple created a campaign to "out" tax-fiddlers which probably will never go away.

    Tax-fiddling will become as much an activity of shame as kiddie-fiddling.

    So, perhaps The Guardian could do an article about its own tax affairs and how it cannot afford to pay tax because of its perilous financial situation - but it's OK for poor people to be hounded and mugged to make up the shortfall created by corporate and trustafarian tax-fiddlers.

    Obviously, if anyone wants to take up the challenge, they should not mind being summarily tossed into the wilderness by Little Ms Handjob.

    Something like this might even flush out Brackish - or Katie Braxton as he is known on the drag circuit for failed pantomime dames - in his new party frock.

    Actually, here is a song just for little true blue Peter.

    Do you know who I am?!

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  13. Habib

    I am playing at being the chauffeur for the day, so will catch up on your roundup later.

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  14. Fuck - I got spammed .....for citing a Nick Cohen piece

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  15. Thanks for the international roundup Habib. Could you do this every Sunday? The Chinese have sat on a solidarity attempt in Beijing.

    Chinese police snuff out planned Arab-inspired protests

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  16. Morning all. I too meant to pop back in last night but I went round to a friends for a cuppa and she had some upsetting news. She is ill - possibly seriously - has to await results of a biopsy to know for sure. Her mum - who she lives with, has just lost her job. With no insurance policy's against sickness or unemployment my friend has to continue working despite being very sick. Ah the Big Society at work.

    The Telegraph is reporting the lack of blood supplys in Libya Sheff. They also say that people are being fired upon with helicopter missiles!

    The report on their front page says also: ''A Libyan journalist said of the African mercenaries: "The soldiers are vicious killers. People are so terrified of them that they've been doing everything possible to get away.

    "Women and children were seen jumping off Giuliana Bridge in Benghazi to escape. Many of them were killed by the impact of hitting the water, while others were drowned."

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  17. Princess

    They were calling for blood donors last night. The situation is horrific. Hospitals overwhelmed. The CEO of an African airline thats been ferrying in Gaddafis mercenaries has resigned. Tweets pouring in from Libya and Yemen.

    They're very short of everything - medical supplies and food. Theres an email address just been set up for sending donations - libyanaid@gmail.com if anyone wants to help out.

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  18. Thanks for that email address Sheff. It is a truly horrifying situation.

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  19. Without wanting to be cynical as I do not know the details, where does the email address come from for aid donations?

    Whenever there are disasters of this type, there are people making a fast buck.

    Be careful out there - there's a war on, you know.

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  20. Sounds really grim Sheff - Indy reporting possibility of 200 dead.

    PCC - finished Golem's book yet?

    My copy of "Treasure Islands" (a yarn of tax havens) has just arrived I'll let you know what I think when it's read. It's had interesting reviews.

    Soz about your friend. There really is a hell of a lot of shit out there.

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  21. A quick scan of the index of me new book ......reveals numerous mentions of the Vestey mob...could be an inteesting read.

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  22. Afternoon everyone

    I fell asleep before the party got going last night. Looks like everyone was having fun and sharing good music.

    PCC - that is really shit about your friend, although even if she did have insurance, chances are the insurance company would have found some bizarre way to determine that hers was a pre-existing condition based on a visit to the doctor ten years previously, same as they did with husband and his heart disease, and not pay out anyway.

    Insurance is just a licence to steal money off people.

    I hope she is ok and the biopsy is negative.

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  23. AB

    I agree need to be careful - have had a holding response to my query about donating - said they'd send details. Can also contact someone to check veracity, I hope.

    Please send your rage to Libyan embassy wherever you are - contact details here:

    Links to Libyan embassies around the world

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  24. even Kissinger is tweeting on this - he says:

    Sources tell me of a bitter debate at the White House between saying "mildly regret" and "somewhat mildly regret" Libyan violence.

    Unbelievable hypocrisy and shamelessness of the man. Stunned!!

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  25. BeautifulBurnout

    Insurance is just a licence to steal money off people.

    Interestingly, I once asked someone on CiF [Janissaries?] to provide a definition and example of "wealth creation" because it always seems to just involve stealing or a con trick.

    Insurance was the example given.

    It seems that insurance is basically lots of people giving relatively small amounts to a few entities who try very hard to keep hold of it thereafter.

    A type of "trickle up."

    Your definition seems to more accurately provide a common sense definition.

    Sheff

    If Jeffrey Archer's name comes up anywhere, run like the wind and keep checking your pockets and purse.

    He was very good at raising money for charities of all sorts.

    Not much cop at handing it over when the time came, though.

    Of course, he is one of the Lords of the criminal classes, though. A first among equals.

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  26. BB -- " chances are the insurance company would have found some bizarre way to determine that hers was a pre-existing condition" -- SNAP!

    I'm thinking of not insuring my house, when I think of all those decades of payments for nothing.

    In NZ you don't even have to have car insurance, which did surprise me, but I spose most people Do? Of course there IS the Accident Compensation scheme, where the gov pays your disability needs, whatever the cause. I think that is one thing the new RW govt is trying to abolish .

    Interesting articles on WaterShortage and Africa at the G.

    Hope montana's OK ? No time to read all recent posts here.

    More thanks to her for this 'refuge'! XX

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  27. Must admit I have the same suspicions as Atomboy. Sickening that people will try to make money off something like this.

    If we donate blood to the Red Cross or NHS, are they helping out? Found out fairly recently I have universal donor blood type so feel guilty about not doing so, although I'm not sure they'll let me, having lived abroad.

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  28. Remember the stories your parents told you that if you swallowed apple pips, an apple tree would grow in your stomach?

    Perhaps the ConDems are planting the seeds of their own destruction.

    Or maybe we won't do anything until it is too late, as they no doubt calculate.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/conservative/8334236/Ed-Miliband-protests-over-NHS-cuts-will-dwarf-outrage-over-forests.html

    In a speech to Labour’s Welsh conference, Mr Miliband predicted that the forthcoming NHS reorganisation, which will see most of the health budget handed to individual GPs, would be greeted with an even greater response from voters.

    He said: “I warn David Cameron and the Government: the ill-feeling he created over the forests will be as nothing compared to the real anger that will build about his dangerous plans for the NHS.

    “Just like they wanted to sell off the forests to highest bidder, now they want health care sold to the lowest bidder.

    “Forests are just one example of what happens when a Government and a Prime Minister that don’t understand what matters to people, don’t listen to them and so carelessly destroy the institutions that people value.

    “And let me tell you the institution Britain values perhaps more than any other and where the stakes are highest: the National Health Service.

    “The Government’s proposals bear all the hallmarks of what people dislike most about this government: ideas developed without consultation, ideas that nobody wants, that nobody voted for and that put ideology before the institutions people care about.

    “Some things are just too precious to be left to the market.

    “The NHS is too precious for ill-judged reforms. It is too precious for experiments in right-wing ideology.

    “Will these Tories never understand – health care is not a commodity to be bought and sold.”

    ................

    Remember the Neo Nasty election campaign billboard?

    It did say: "We can't go on like this. I'll cut the deficit, not the NHS" didn't it?

    Surely, it didn't say: "I am a lying two-faced cunt, so don't trust me further than you could spit me."

    The un-airbrished original.

    Still, it's only the NHS, innit?

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  29. Hm, that almost sounds like an Ed I could vote for.

    Catching up with some other news:

    PCC - hope your friend is fine.

    Montana - what did you do to your knee? Hope it's feeling better.

    Deano - brave drive; how is the new girl, and have you made a final decision on her name yet?

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  30. Apparently Lockheed Martin - American arms manufacturers/dealers of unspeakable reputation, have been given the contract for collecting the UK census data.

    Boycott the UK census over links to Lockheed Martin, protesters say

    What the hell is a foreign arms dealer with surgically attached links to the US gov doing running our national census? The NOS say they won't have access to the data - really?

    "The really worrying thing is the fact that the information being collected in the next census – including new questions on sources of income and place of birth [to help monitor immigration] – would be ideal fodder for the kind of anti-terror analyses being carried out by Lockheed, and could lead to a faraway database identifying thousands of us as potential 'threats'."

    Well, they can get stuffed as far as I'm concerned - I'll not be at home.

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  31. Deano - That book sounds very interesting stuff. I finished Golems book last week. It is brilliant - can't recommend it enough. It's basically a collection of his blog posts - in order - so you get a brilliant picture of how the crisis moved week to week.

    His main (I think completely correct) premise is that the banks sold us a lie helped by our cowardly politicians. They said they had a liquidity problem whereas he argues they are insolvent. So no bailout can work.

    He was saying back in 2008 that if we 'save' the banks it will be at the cost of our pensions, public services, etc. It is an angry book - you can feel his rage at times (anger that I think is very much needed) - and it brilliantly captures what happened.

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  32. Sheff - What?!!

    Fuck Lockheed Martin.

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  33. Sheff

    The problem is that it was known ages ago that Lockheed Martin was running the census and there was not a huge outcry, so there is likely to be little done now that it is too late.

    The more fundamental problem is that legislation is quite simply bought by companies through the lobbying process and our wonderful political class are also either puppets or in the pockets of big business at every stage of their career.

    Rather than thinking of UK Plc as a thrusting, dynamic enterprise, perhaps we should think of Parliament Plc as the company which operates its subsidiary, UK Slavery Corporation, which basically "employs" all of us.

    Both Dave "Blue" Cameron and Dave "Yellow" Clegg promised that they were going to usher in a "new politics."

    Strangely, the thing which prompted them to think this was needed was the public outrage over MPs expenses fiddling. The very thing which Cameron now acts as the chief hobbler and emasculator to ensure cannot be allowed to hinder greedy little snouts being given unfettered access to the shiny new troughs.

    The problem is there are just too many things about which to feel outraged, so our governments can be sure they can get away with almost anything whilst our backs are turned.

    Berlusconi is, in many ways, the perfect template of a modern politician. Utterly corrupt and criminal, a strutting paedophile thrusting two fingers in the face of the world.

    He was able to afford to do it for so long because he could count on nobody seriously doing anything to stop him.

    Does anyone think he will not get away with it in the end? Does anyone think he will serve time?

    Even if he is forced from office, he will still hold influence and conduct affairs of state in some form or another from his Lolita-littered bed.

    Money is power.

    America and its little UK Handmaiden LLC are not interested in exporting democracy.

    It is only ever Corporatocracy and Kleptocracy tarted up and pimped to do the punters over.

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  34. Cheers PCC - with a reccomend like that I'll buy a copy.

    I liked this:

    "...Tens of thousands in banking knew the deals they were closing made no sense and suspected that flattery and egomania had turned their and their masters' heads. One manager at RBS told me about the 9.30am "prayer meetings" Fred Goodwin forced his senior managers to attend. Control through public humiliation was Goodwin's purpose. "Executives would sit round the table," my contact said, "eyes down, chin on chest, thinking, 'I hope he does not pick on me this time.'" Do not pretend that the staff at RBS needed outsiders to tell them that they were working for a megalomaniac and sociopath, who could destroy their company, or that the bankers at Goldman Sachs Ferguson highlights did not know they were fleecing their clients when they recommended they buy securities Goldman privately labelled as "crap"..."

    From Cohen on today's Observer

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  35. AB

    The problem is that it was known ages ago that Lockheed Martin was running the census and there was not a huge outcry, so there is likely to be little done now that it is too late.

    Well I knew fuck all about it and if I had i would have done my best to raise a stink! They're definitely not getting any of my info - fuck 'em! I shall arrange to be out of the country.

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  36. Lockheed Martin were apparently more or less involved with the 2001 Census, too.

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  37. photos from Benghazi - some a bit grim

    Benghazi pics

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  38. The problem is there are just too many things about which to feel outraged, so our governments can be sure they can get away with almost anything whilst our backs are turned.

    So true.

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  39. thauma - Miss Tess of Whitby is an absolute delight. She comes on in leaps and bounds.

    One of life's joys is to watch something scared of her own shadow slowly emerge from the dark and into the sunshine.

    We've still some way to go and she is still easily startled but she's walking 'off the lead' and hurtling about after Mungo but comes back at a whistle.

    As I'm sure you know Border Collie's are very agile dogs and classy movers almost balletic in motion. She very much reminds me of Cheetah, when she is in full flight chasing old Mungo, graceful and elegant is how you might describe it.

    She delights in stalking him, laying low (behind a single blade of grass) and then pouncing on him as he comes into range.

    The only possible problem is, that she can hurtle around for ages running the length of fields etc...but she don't even get out of breath. But then I knew that you can't tire a Border out especially a 17 month old one.

    She can never replace Miss Diesel but she will surely find her own corner in my affections. I is well pleased.

    The sadness is that we can't mend damaged children and people quite so easily.

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  40. Sheff

    Fair comment.

    The problem is that we are assailed by too much information and we have too little time to do very much about it, other than be buffeted senseless.

    The only way that some things get done to some degree is when people join together to fight just one cause and concentrate all their energies into doing that.

    Governments and large companies and the banks know that they can always deploy more resources, more time and more money.

    They can bring in PR operations and manipulate the media to the extent that people fighting a decent cause can be demonised as freaks and weirdos and troublemakers and fifth columnists.

    Mainly, they can be assured that as long as they can tread water and bide their time, the "conversation" and the "narrative" - as Tony and Gordon and Polly liked to call the process - will have moved on and the protesters will be left out on a limb.

    Mainly, though, they just have so much more audacity, so much more chutzpah, so much more criminality and so much more power than us.

    And such little in the way of principles that they do not lose sleep or worry about the outcomes for anyone other than themselves and their networks of mates.

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  41. Lockheed Martin !

    "....But a spokesman for the ONS dismissed the fears. "No personal census data will be handled or seen by any American-owned company. No Lockheed Martin employees will see or handle any personal census data. The public can be reassured that their personal details from the census will be kept confidential and will remain so for 100 years," he said...."


    ...kinda begs the question what the fuck will they be doing for their £150m ???

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  42. "I is now da chauffeur!" - that's how I started out AB I is now the preferred option for getting to all UK airports as and when required...

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  43. PCC - hope your friend gets good news.

    Re: Golem's book I know its been mentioned before but I forgot to make a note of it.

    Could you post the title?

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  44. Deano Miss Tess sounds like an absolute delight! I know what you mean when you say she will never replace Miss Diesel - I still miss my first dog to this day. She was very special but these two we have now are wonderful and I love them just as much. They're all so different.

    BB - I am sorry about your insurance experience - not good at all. Was it a critical illness policy?

    I am involved in an insurance claim at the moment on my contents policy. Have paid contents insurance for around sixteen years and never claimed - they tried to wriggle out of paying it at one point but I went mad and they backed down. But I only think they backed down because the claim isn't that big - it would have cost them more to fight me, I presume, in staff hours etc, than to settle. But its only just getting sorted and I claimed in June!

    I have to say though our pet insurance has been a godsend. Our insurance has paid all vets fees and drugs fees for us without any problems at all.

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  45. Hi Annetan42 - hope you are well? Golems book is called The Debt Generation by David Malone.

    It is available on Amazon but there is a glitch when you buy it sometimes and it says that its out of stock at the moment - it isn't you have to click on something to make the sale go through. There are instructions on Golems blog here: http://golemxiv-credo.blogspot.com/

    You just need to kick on book on the subjects along the top and it tells you how to get it - it is a blog well worth reading too - I was given the heads up by some kindly people on here a while ago and it is top notch stuff.

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  46. Anne - Just seen that Deano has done it all proper like with a link and everything!

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  47. "Anne - Just seen that Deano has done it all proper like with a link and everything!"


    When my kids observe me doing something all proper like....they usually respond with "smart arse".

    Ah the joys of UT and civilised folk...

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  48. Deano - Tess of the d'Urbervilles sounds lovely. She will have her own spot in your heart, not the same one that Miss Diesel had.

    Here's some Northern Irish soul for everyone.

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  49. thauma - enjoyed that.

    As the punters said:

    "Highest Rated Comments
    This is simply as perfect as music gets. The songwriting, the melody, the peacefulness it creates in your soul: it's all perfection.

    FradiFradiFradiFradi 3 weeks ago 47
    My absolute favorite Van Morrison tune.

    kelollman 1 week ago 9...."

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  50. Deano - I live in awe of those who can do things like proper links (and yes I have read the instructions at the top of the page but I am tecnically challenged).

    That is why I never post songs etc (well that and my taste in music is crap!)

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  51. Glad you liked that, Deano.

    Here's some Canadian soul for pudding.

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  52. I've posted this one a couple of times before, but it is really fantastic (although the audio quality's not the best on the clip): Me'Shell N'degéocello Who is he and what is he to you?

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  53. You is a star in your own right young miss PCC

    ......you had me confused with this one of yours (@11:56 above) though.. "...With no insurance policy's against..."

    It's confused me all day - is that an example , or this that not, of a greengrocer's apostrophe??

    I'm fucked if I know ...best ask your mam ( wasn't she an English learner)


    xx.


    always good to see you around here.

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  54. thauma

    Thanks for the Van Morrison.

    Astral Weeks is distilled brilliance and since I shoved up Madame George (Are you sure you want to word it that way? - Ed) some weeks ago (which is probably my favourite) I will just nod people down Cyprus Avenue.

    I went to see Van Morrison some years a go with a friend. He crashed the car on the way back. (No small furry animals or lumbering lumpy people hurt).

    In the days of Them, Mr Morrison always seemed churlish and uncomfortable in interviews. Years later, he explained that he just had so much music swimming and sliding around in his head, he found it hard to just...talk.

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  55. Atomboy - the very name 'Cyrus Avenue' conjures up childhood memories.

    Van the Man has never been known for his fondness for the press or, indeed, real-life humans in general.

    But he is a genius.

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  56. Van the Man has never been known for his fondness for the press or, indeed, real-life humans in general.

    Yeah, when you put it like that, I see why I like him.

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  57. Evening all

    I'm assuming everyone has seen the reports of a crackdown in China after an online call for protests in 13 Chinese cities.We really are seeing a ripple effect form the events started in Egypt and Tunisia.

    @Sheff

    Sadly you were right last night.At least 200 now estimated dead in Libya.Things still haven't kicked off big style in Tripoli from what i can gather.Also protests in Libya seem to have more support amongst the Shia than the Sunni-the latter as in Iraq holding the reins of power and therefore potentially have more to lose.

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  58. last para--the latter as was the case in Iraq holding the reins of power.....

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  59. Deano - my mum was only picking me up on this the other day!! Seriously - she was reading something I'd bashed out and she said my "'s" and "ies" etc were all messed up.

    She is ashamed of me I think. You can't blame me though I went to school in the Thatcher era:)

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  60. She couldn't possibly be ashamed of you PCC - we all think you is a class act around here!

    xx.

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  61. AHH stop it! We all know Thatch was a grocer's daughter and the Princess is light years ahead!

    In fact, she is ahead by a century (at a minimum).

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  62. thauma you've started an interest for me in van man

    Van M - Ballerina

    some of these punters seem well informed.....
    "...Highest Rated Comments
    Writer Brian Hinton says of the recording: "If anyone ever argues that Morrison cannot sing — an unlikely scenario anyway — then simply play them this. All human emotion is crystallised here, and subtly vocalised: desire, joy, hope, world weariness, consolation, awe and anticipation..."

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  63. @traum

    Tess of the d'Urbervilles sounds lovely

    Isn't Tess of the Baskervilles a better name for a dog?

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  64. Spike - hehe, my hound has more than once been called the hound of the Baskervilles. She has the howl on her.

    Deano - about to listen to Ballerina when current track ends.

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  65. Evening, MsChin!

    Deano - Astral Weeks is sublime.

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  66. Hi Chin - grand to see thee young miss.

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  67. I will make no apologies for putting this up - as when I tried before, it was either the Wu-Tang Clan version or just a short extract.

    Wendy Rene

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  68. On a more cheerful note, this reminds us that we've made at least some progress in some areas over the last 30 years.

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  69. Atomboy - that was great. What a shame that the recording couldn't handle the range of her voice.

    I give you this.

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  70. 'twas never my style to be confused by fads

    ....but I think I like this Van M man thauma....I think I'll buy the album.

    You ought to reread Kerouac......if only you had been a lady librarian.....

    Looking forward to our next UT get together.
    xx.

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  71. Right all have a good evening. I am off to have some grub and watch bad sunday tv. xx

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  72. LOL Spike!


    I kinda thought things had moved on too .... but then when I got me new book today and found the fucking Vesteys (them foul scouse Victorian butchers and purveyors of Fray Bentos corned beef) still figure in newly published work on tax evasion (Treasure Islands).....I had to stop and shed a tear.


    It's about thirty years since I read about the tax evasion of the Vestey mob....

    Regards our kid.

    I'm working on the assumption that no news is fine news.

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  73. Deano - you know fine well I've read Kerouac and disliked it intensely. >:-S

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  74. Atoms - an oldie but a greatie.

    Deano - meant to say: also looking forward to next piss-up!

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  75. thauma I know you have read him........I just live in hope that one day you will re read him.....and thus ..


    ..

    .

    ;-)


    ....come to understand it's all to do with the angle of the light and time of year at which the reading took place......

    I'm saving up to put a down payment on your lady librarian studies......there is so much that is undiscovered about you.

    xx. I always enjoy your warm banter.

    ....not only must I stop quaffing wine by the bottle I must stop buying it by the bakers dozen

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  76. Deano, on my part I am hoping that you will also re-read Kerouac and realise what a sexist prat he was. ;-)

    Nuffink wrong with quaffing wine by the bottle - although I've gone on the whiskey now.....

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  77. Atomboy - Etta! Lovely. Have been making a trip through Ben E King and the Righteous Bros, with a little Elvis too.

    The mister has fucked off to bed, but I think it's cos he's not feeling very well rather than the musical selection.

    I think.

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  78. Slightly more recent version of an old jewel.

    Don't look, just listen.

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  79. thauma....as with so many of frog/canada extraction he was language challenged when it came to 'object d'art' and lasses and things like that.. ........................but he told a fair yarn of the story of On The Road

    be good to see you (and yours) at the next thrash.

    What was it that Jack would have said.... "enchante our lass"

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  80. Deano - I think Jack would have said something more like, "Put out or fuck off; we don't want any women around here", being the lovely man that he was, but we can leave that argument until another time.

    Seems high time to organise another Yorkshire/Midlands get-together, although obviously not over a 6 Nations weekend.

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  81. Is it my imagination, or in the acres of space - rightly - being expended on how cuts and welfare reform will hit the very poorest hardest, is The Guardian completely failing to address the role of Atos Origin in a dedicated article?

    Why would that be then?

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  82. thauma

    It is indeed time we got together again.

    I'm hoping that we might call in on Mr Bitterweed after the march on 26 March, though it depends on what my fellow travellers think about that of course!

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  83. Rapid - my dear comrade and brother ...could the fucking vile touriste libel laws of Her Madge's UK have owt to do with it?

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  84. Erm, whoops!!

    My above was in reply to Eddie, and in no way a reflection upon the decisions or decision making processes of anybody who travels with MsChin.

    For the record, like!!

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  85. Eddie - it almost makes you wonder if the Graun has its own arrangement with ATOS/A4e/the other cunts.

    To be fair, Cif has been publishing a few things - mostly via contributors like Arec Balrin - but it hasn't made it to the dead tree version as far as I know.

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  86. James

    LOL!

    Rapid

    We had whole posts vaporised before our very eyes on this site once, when we were discussing ATOS- the work of a netcrawler, I'm told. It freaked us out quite a bit at the time.

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  87. James - haha, worked that out!

    MsChin is, as always, right though. Don't suppose you'll be able to make a flying visit over?

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  88. MsChin - to be honest, I think that was around the same time that the spam folder started having its nefarious way with us, and that it may be responsible. It doesn't like links.

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  89. What, for the March thing??

    Yeah, not so much, unfortunately. Although I would if I could.

    If I may be so bold, I'd quite like to pencil a potential do in July/August into the UT social calandar though!!

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  90. James - if you are going to be here in July/August, we will make something happen!

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  91. If that's when your next home our young kid (James)- it's as good as

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  92. Cheers Deano.

    I still owe you dinner from last time!!

    (Hopefully snow won't be so problematic in July!?)

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  93. James - I think Medve is going to be about in roughly the same timeframe; I expect your different travel requirements will be difficult to reconcile, but either we are synchronicitous or we have to have two piss-ups!

    Are you likely to be in midland/northern parts? Feel free to ask Montana for my e-mail addy.

    And now I wish you all Goodnight Irene.

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  94. NN, thauma. And NN to the hound :)

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  95. Night Thaum

    (I'll be oop north, but more than happy to travel anywhere. After the first 6000 miles are done, the rest's a doddle!

    I could be there for most of July and August (touchwood) so am fairly flexible with others' travel plans!)

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  96. Leni

    These cuts maps give an indication of how hard the cuts are hitting: here's one for the voluntary sector and one for services for people with learning disabilities.

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  97. James, Thaum, MsC and Deano, teddible thing to say, but I think it's to do with the fact that Polly, Seumas, Miliband and all agree with the feckless oiks meme.

    In Polly's stunning exposé of coalition lies where she proved that there were in fact only 3 people on long-term unemployment benefit under New Labour, she also nailed the lie that the number of people that were in receipt of incapacity benefit had risen when her mates were running the gaff.

    What she neglected to mention is the actual number of people who claim IB. Pretty much constant under New Labour from what they inherited from the Tories - about 2m.

    About two-fifths of those on IB receive it not because of physical handicap or ailments, but because they have mental or behavioural problems. If you wanted to get all Daily Mail on their asses, you'd say they're physically fit and all the rotters need is a good boot up the jacksie. That's not a view I subscribe to, but this is where it gets interesting.

    As we all know, Labour brought in Atos Origin and A4e. But that in itself wouldn't preclude Miliband from giving Atos (or A4e) a good kicking. After all, if you position yourself as the very antithesis of New Labour, who better to give a good slapdown to than the one organization that makes a living out of screwing over the poorest people in the country?

    But listen to what Ed actually says about welfare reform. "We didn't go far enough." In other words - and this is where the champions of the marginalized like Toynbee suddenly develop an enormous blind spot - he subscribes, as do all the major political parties, to the notion of millions of workshy IB claimants.

    Thatcher pretty much killed heavy industry in Britain. The legions of people these jobs required were now surplus to requirements. So she dumped them onto IB. New Labour agreed with the analysis and paid them off out of the loose change from bigging up the financial services industry.

    Somewhere in the mid-2000s, the consensus changes. Why import Johnny Foreigners to clean bogs when Sid in Bermondsey with his phantom bad back and panic attacks can do it just as well? Anyway, it'll be good for him. Character building.

    So New Labour bring in the 2007 Welfare Reform Act with Purnell leading the charge. In comes Atos and A4e. When the coalition comes in, Ed keeps schtum. Polly keeps schtum. In fact, pretty much the entire liberal establishment issues not a peep. Kicking terminally ill people off IB? No comment. Selling a forest? A damn outrage.

    When Labour was people by people who, well, laboured, they knew that unemployment ad poverty breeds ill-health and depression. Now it's run by people who lunch in expensive restaurants, all they can see is chavs who don't want to do an honest day's work. And the Guardian, quietly, agrees with them. Just remember that the next time Polly screams with outrage. Because she ain't screaming on behalf of the people right at the very bottom of the pile. She's quiet as a fucking mouse on the subject.

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  98. Rapid

    The mere thought of a screaming Polly is f*cking scary.

    On the plus side of what is a very depressing outlook, the feckless oiks may be ones who revolt.

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  99. Eddie,

    So it is because they're cunts, then! ;0P

    I actually agree with all of that though.

    New Labour were a bunch of cunts, who forgot about the working class as soon as the middle classes let them into their hearts, minds and fuck dungeons.

    Tony fucking Blair, like Thatcher, decided it was better to have former 'blue collar' workers on bennies, rather than bothering to put an effort into creating/protecting or encouraging an economy that, you know, made stuff and that!!

    Obviously the less fick ones could upgrade to the fast paced, jet-set call-centre lifestyle, but, for all intents and purposes, they got brushed under the carpet so we could get all PFI/Financial whizzbangy/Property bubblicious instead, without anybody with dirty fingernails/wot talks regional getting in the way!

    And, like you say, The Guardian was fully onboard (toot, toot)!! Hell, what does it even matter if someone who you actually know falls on hard times when there's a few alpaca farmers having a tough time dealing with the glass ceiling in the cameloid industry!! It's all about priorities, innit!?

    Well, Fuck 'em, fuck 'em all!!

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  100. Anyways, after that poorly expressed cunt-fest, I'm off!!

    Night all!!

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  101. evening all. just wafting through online space. hope you're all well.

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  102. Is fine young miss Meer


    I will always love the (fairly) quick response to me Bertie ( sometime confused and sometime blindingly obvious) enquiry.

    I'll one day fall asleep to the ten (or so) points,


    regards to you young miss,

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  103. Can't remember if I've done this one before...

    ...but will anyway...

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  104. I find mesen ....agreeing:

    "James Dixon said...
    Eddie,

    So it is because they're cunts, then! ;0P

    I actually agree with all of that though.

    New Labour were a bunch of cunts, who forgot about the working class as soon as the middle classes let them into their hearts, minds and fuck dungeons.

    Tony fucking Blair, like Thatcher, decided it was better to have former 'blue collar' workers on bennies, rather than bothering to put an effort into creating/protecting or encouraging an economy that, you know, made stuff and that!!

    Obviously the less fick ones could upgrade to the fast paced, jet-set call-centre lifestyle, but, for all intents and purposes, they got brushed under the carpet so we could get all PFI/Financial whizzbangy/Property bubblicious instead, without anybody with dirty fingernails/wot talks regional getting in the way!

    And, like you say, The Guardian was fully onboard (toot, toot)!! Hell, what does it even matter if someone who you actually know falls on hard times when there's a few alpaca farmers having a tough time dealing with the glass ceiling in the cameloid industry!! It's all about priorities, innit!?..."



    thus fuck em once

    twice

    thrice

    nay fucking forget it

    let's dangle 'em from a rope and watch 'em dance

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  105. Contrary to what i thought in my earlier post there do now seem to be mass demonstrations going on in Tripoli.And there are reports that some members of the Libyan armed forces have defected and joined the opposition in Benghazi.Nevertheless it's very difficult to know exactly what's going on.

    @I know people were asking after Philippa.I said hi to her yesterday on waddya and she said she was fine but had a lot going on at the moment.Real life had intervened.Will be good to see her back here at some stage mind!

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  106. - cheers Bro.

    I am often confused about guys/gals posting behaviour.....

    but then I'm a well known tosser.


    I'll be fucked from last thursday to next wednesday
    to know why various folk abandoned UT having been active here


    sometimes seems like a fashion

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  107. Trying again - again
    Hi All if I reach you.

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  108. Love you young miss Leni - you is loud and clear.

    xx.

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  109. Ah ha.

    Missed party - could read but couldn't get in. Who locked the door?

    Did you see Ghaddifi the younger ?

    Chilling speech threatening everything from civil water, British invasion but worst of all said Army will ensure peace.

    I suspect regime is under pressure and responding with threats.

    He blamed drug fuelled people - including children - for attacking army and stealing guns. Apparently ilegal immigrants shot all the people.

    He was rambling - out of touch with reality and therefore very dangerous.

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  110. Hi Deano

    New doggie sounds lovely - collies have that quivering love of life about them. They do love exercise and challenges. x

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  111. Leni- - you will like her.


    I will, before this thing is over, ....make the effort to hug you, and kiss, young miss.

    I like you.

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  112. Hi Leni and any other nightshifters

    Came across this quaint old film on youtube about a car journey from London to Bath.Was made before i was born but it's interesting in its portrayal of a bygone britain.

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  113. Hi Paul

    so few cars on the road in that vid.

    Now the Marrocan people take to the streets. Big changes on the way.

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  114. Leni

    The list of countries with social unrest is growing by the day.Volatile and potentially dangerous times we're living in.And as we've both said before we may see an upsurge in social unrest here in the UK as well as the cuts start biting.No way of knowing how things will pan out.

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  115. Hello old friends.

    Leni, a very belated happy birthday. x

    Be careful about matching the situation in Libya with what happened in Tunisia and Egypt. You see, Libya has oil. Makes greedy bastards do greedy things.

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  116. habib

    Libya is a place all on its own. I don't know much about it but I think it is almost totally reliant upon oil for revenue - the people do seem to be making headway there although news is sketchy and some of it may be rumour.

    All these uprisings are extraordinary - like a sleeping giant waking up and shaking the world as he stumbles on his great feet towards the kettle.
    We - in the developed world - might have to learn to live with less so that more can have some.

    The self protecting greedy will all be watching and planning how to take control of the emerging situation.

    Thanks for the happies - I had a lovely day.

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  117. Leni, I've been to Libya and Tunisia, although it was a long time ago. Libyans seemed to have more money than sense, Tunisians more sense than money.

    Libya has a population about two thirds that of Paris and is about five times bigger in area than Tunisia.

    The basic standard of living really isn't bad. Freedom to express what you want to is curtailed, especially if you're a woman. This fight isn't about rights for ordinary people, or women, it's all about the oil money.

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  118. Habib

    That explains part of Ghaddafi's speech - he said country would split in 2 and fight over control of oil and revenue. There is a suggestion that the eastern region is now beyond control of govt.

    The difficulty I find is that unless you know the country the picture is unclear.

    We are fed on propaganda reports about places like Libya - which I ignore - so following these stories and rumours can be difficult.

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  119. Aye, Leni, I speak with bias, too.

    Facts are that Gaddafi has ruled for 40 years, the people have grown wealthy, he survived an American assassination attempt in 1986, he suppresses his nation's media and any anti-government parties.

    Life really isn't black and white.

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  120. When everybody is asleep, I should post my nonsense.

    A couple of days ago, an idea about theme songs was announced. I couldn't help myself, I looked at the first few posters on yesterday's thread and came up with a few. (sorry)

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  121. Last one for now, Sheff. (meant with respect)

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