22 February 2011


We work to eat to get the strength to work to eat to get the strength to work.
-John Dos Passos


  1. Elizabeth Murdoch joins her brother on the News Corp board.

    A victory for gender equality????????

    It sure demonstrates it - women can be grasping rich b*st*rds too. Some of us already know this.

    The only justification for breaking the glass ceiling is to bring everyone above it crashing down.

    meanwhile nothing about public sector cuts except for another NHS article from Pol. (not on front page anyway)

    But hey The Monkees are re-uniting.

    Situation normal...

  2. I think you'll find that's 'But hey hey hey the Monkees are re-uniting.'

    On a positive note, you might speculate that the Dirty Digger's off-spring are likely to be so shit at empire maintenance that the whole thing goes pear-shaped sooner rather than later.

    I'm guessing Rupe is covering the family's bases. Stick as many fruits of your loins as possible onto News International boards, and just hope that one of them doesn't turn out to be completely useless.

  3. On Google.co.uk home page:

    Prime Minister David Cameron is taking questions on YouTube. Submit yours now.

    Presumably -

    a. How are the Middle East armaments sales going?

    b. Did you remember to build in Tony Blair's and Mark Thatcher's cuts?

    c. You are Sacha Kant and I claim my £5

    will not be allowed.

  4. Why is he taking questions on YouTube? Should he not be taking questions on, say, his coup-like attempt to privatise everything that's not nailed down, then jemmying up that which is nailed down and flogging that to his pals too?

  5. Alisdair

    I would imagine YouTube provides something in the way of distance and security.

    He probably fears proximity with the filthy rabble.

    However, he seems to be questioning his own policies, through the lens of the Middle East.


    The Prime Minister said that popular uprisings now flaring across the Middle East showed the West had been wrong to support dictators and oppressive regimes.
    Speaking to the Kuwaiti Parliament, Mr Cameron said Britain would back democracy campaigners seeking greater rights across the Middle East.
    "History is sweeping through your neighbourhood," he said. "Not as a result of force and violence, but by people seeking their rights, and in the vast majority of cases doing so peacefully and bravely."
    Britain and other Western countries supported Hosni Mubarak, ousted by protests in Egypt. They have also backed authoritarian regimes in the Gulf region, making few efforts to push allies towards democratic reform.
    That approach was wrong and counter-productive, Mr Cameron said.
    "For decades, some have argued that stability required highly controlling regimes, and that reform and openness would put that stability at risk. So, the argument went, countries like Britain faced a choice between our interests and our values.
    "And to be honest, we should acknowledge that sometimes we have made such calculations in the past. But I say that is a false choice.
    "As recent events have confirmed, denying people their basic rights does not preserve stability, rather the reverse."
    He said that Britain's economic and security interests would ultimately be advanced by a more democratic Middle East.
    "Our interests lie in upholding our values – in insisting on the right to peaceful protest, in freedom of speech and the internet, in freedom of assembly and the rule of law."


    Now, Mr Dictator, if you just sign here, here and, oh, yes, here as well. Thank you.

    OK, we'll have a shipload of weapons delivered on, er, Tuesday before noon.

    If there's anything else you need, just give us a ring.

    Special two for one offer next month on teargas and rubber-bullets and the chance to win your own helicopter gun-ship.

    Well, cheerio, then. Bye.

  6. "Our interests lie in upholding our values – in insisting on the right to peaceful protest, in freedom of speech and the internet, in freedom of assembly and the rule of law."

    Shouldn't he let the Territorial Support Group know?

  7. AB, was just attempting a (bad) joke/pun. he'll be answering Q's on YouTube, giving his considered opinion on the merits of an online video repository fuelled by user content. Won't touch owt tricky.

  8. Alisdair

    Sorry, my fault for not thinking.

    I am trying to get to that zen place - like in the film Hero where he closes his eyes to fight - while fiddling with software.

    In my case, all I manage is a staring vacancy and then the snoring starts and wakes me up again.

  9. Has anyone read Polly's article? Terrifying.

  10. I reckon Cameron's just picked one of the new-fangled yoof gadgety things at random, without actually thinking it through properly.

    Because, in actual fact, youtube's pretty brutal. I'd say nine out of ten comment streams eventually end in some variation of:

    :fuck off and die you cunt!

    :Yeah? yer Mam!!

    :Oh, really clever. YOUR (sic) A BIG FUCKING FUCKER who ain't got no mates, so why don't you just STFU!!

    :I'm gonna eat your hole (sic) family in front of you, and then I'm going to vom 'em up in your face!!

    So, to be fair, it could end up being quite entertaining!!

  11. Wow, tough crowd!!

    Anyway, I'm off 'afk', so you can have your thread back!!

    Once the tumbleweeds have cleared, obviously...

  12. Well I've known a time when Brussels had at least one CIA observer in many an American company. Some were virtually run by the CIA and were regular targets for investigative journalists.

    The secretive one bravely reveals yet more high jinks in the upper echelons of power! It's a pity that she can't tell us more. Because of 'legal reasons', no doubt.
    Or perhaps because she has a small thermonuclear device implanted in her brain which is programmed to detonate if the Queen gets assassinated or if she lets the tea for a top-level, high-powered meeting go cold.

  13. matahari

    Just be grateful that Brusselsexpantomimedame so willingly and without an iota of condescension provides the likes of mere you and I with a window into the world of beautiful people: a realm where ordinariness and simple folk are prohibited because - well, they are just so scummy, aren't they?

    You can feast on the crumbs of her tales of how it would be if you only knew important, dynamic and powerful people.

    Obviously, if you tried to stuff your filthy, ill-mannered face with items from the feast at which she so decorously sits, you would choke and vomit and show your true colours as a mere underling, a parvenue, a crushed and crumpled little paper-plane at the table of the international jet-set.

    Just be glad for the morsels which are thrown your way.

    Your poor lumbering wrecked and ravaged body, crippled from working at the blast-furnaces of industry, with your heavy, clumping and calloused hands and your stained cloth-cap, your whippets and your half of mild at the working men's club can never compete.

    Just rejoice that there are people like Brusselsexdolomalo who are prepared to soil themselves by speaking to the common people without a thought of what diseases they may pick up in the process.

    She's a proper lady, make no mistake, mixin' wiv us 'umble folk.

    Nah, back to work wiv ya!

    'Alf a pahnd o' tuppeny rice!


    Boy for sale!

  14. Belatedly caught up yesterday with Bidi's Drivel For The Day and today with Dea Birkett's hyperbolic wail. Good grief. If you gave Hunter S. Thompson a bucket of acid tabs and locked him in the Jack Daniels distillery, he still wouldn't have green-lighted such tosh when he came out.

    Is there anyone left at all at the wheel of the good ship Victimhood these days?

  15. @RapidEddie
    I just read those pieces; can only surmise that Bidisha's bantam-weight fucktardery is part of Dea Birkett's campaign to make CiF more toddler friendly. On the basis of Biddy, Lolz Penis, and the activity over on the Dibbly Mail, this crusade seems to be going just fine.

  16. Rapid
    This is what CiF is all about. Apardheit ? FFS.

    A cursory visit to Tate Modern website shows me that "there are 5 spaces for disabled visitors to park at Tate Modern. These are at the Eastern End of the building, on Park Street. These spaces must be booked by calling the gallery on: 020 7887 8888.

    "Once you have parked, please come in to the Staff Entrance for a short escorted route into the Galleries via our Turbine Hall."

    "This temporary parking facility will be replaced in 2012 with our new car park at the new South Entrance to the building, which will have eleven designated parking spaces for disabled visitors with transfer space and convenient proximity to the gallery entrance."

    "Email: ticketing@tate.org.uk

    "Call +44 (0)20 7887 8888 (Monday–Friday, 10.00–17.00)

    "Textphone: 020 7887 8687

    ...Drop off points are helpfully linked to on the web site:

    "A drop off/pick up point is situated on Holland Street, near the Main entrance.

    "More information about visiting Tate Modern »

    What a lying victim-disordered cunt; this is exactly the kind of duplicitous, dishonest bullshit, wingeing wankfest that sank CiF from decent journalism years back. I got booted off for pointing out this happens to often. Fucking muppets..

  17. "Is there anyone left at all at the wheel of the good ship Victimhood these days?"

    Dont you worry about that, Eddie, i learnt today that the 40 or so staff at Eaves (working for the *victims*) have an average salary of....

    £78,000 per annum. Trebles all round!

  18. Deary me, but "WilliamFlake" has caused lots of mewing and frothing chez les Dribblies.

  19. why are people on this thread not overly concerned about the events in Libya(which have far more deadly consequences than any other revolt in the Arab world) with Egypt there were many posters here and on Cif coming out with their slogans and well wishes. it seems with Libya...its all gone scarily quite scarily quite

  20. @habib I shall get back to you later this afternoon about the comments you posted last night

  21. Paul - just watched your 'mystery fat guy' clip - do you know, I think you might be on to something there!

  22. smtx

    What is happening in Libya is horrifying. Gadaffi threatening to kill his own people.

    News is sketchy but it is reported that a Libyan naval ship is 'stalled' off Malta.

    Gadaffi has declared himself willing to die and doesn't care how many people he takes with him.

    What can we either say or do ? We can only watch in horror - this does not mean our hopes are not with the people.

  23. brian whitaker from the Libya live blog re Gaddafi's 'speech'. Although 'Gaddafi's video looks weird,he's just making the point that he is in Tripoli, the building behind is his family home-the one that was bombed by the Us(under Reagan)-it's in the middle of an army compound and is now kept as a museum, I have been there, I have a photo'.

    Thats Whitakers summary of Gaddafis blood curdling call to execute protestors.. to hand these 'drug addled' 'drunk' 17/18 year olds over to the security forces.
    Gaddafi gushing over the killings of the protestors in Tinnamen Sq... sick sick sick.

  24. @leni, I have many Libyan family friends(most In Benghazi) Unfortunately I lost contact some years ago, all my thoughts are with them, I have friends here, who are Libyian, who have actively work and been involved in the anti gaddafi movement for decades(all covertly, as it always had to be, they would send Gaddafi spies round to check on everyone, one friends family members were hung, others flung in jail, i truly fear for the situation now in Libya, it really is unlike elsewhere in N.Africa, or anywhere really

  25. smtx - what Leni said. There isn't a lot of news getting out, and what is getting out, is horrifying.

    We can only hope that Ghadaffi loses what little support he still has - it's encouraging that some of the army and swathes of Libyan diplomats are defecting/resigning.

  26. Evening all

    Back to something approaching normality, for a while at least.

    Thaum, I nearly phoned you at about 12.30 to see if you were home as I whizzed home from Brum today, but figured you were prolly at work.

    The situation in Libya is appalling - did anyone here the hospital doctor on the radio at lunch time, as she reported what she saw as a massacre of protesters in Tripoli? Dead and wounded left in the streets, with services unable to reach them, and hospital staff being warned that they have to deal with army and Gaddhafi-loyalists first before anyone else.

    A fucking bloodbath. Also, there was some reporter talking about how between 20- and 50,000 Libyans were killed the last time they tried something like this.

    The only thing that is encouraging is the numbers of diplomats and military who are siding with the protesters.

    Brave brave people.

  27. BB - yes, unfortunately I was in the Evil Place. Give us a bit of notice next time and I could sneak out for lunch! Glad to hear things are getting back to normal.

    That is a horrifying report. The best thing would be for some of Ghaddafi's inner circle to do an et tu Brute. Vicious bastard.

  28. @BB andthamaturge, i wouldnt take any comfort with the embassy/diplomats or the military suddenly siding with the protestors, these people are snakes, covering there own back, they have been a part of the brutality for decades, i wouldnt trust them with a frigen barge pole

  29. smtx - no doubt you are right, but at least Ghaddafi is visibly losing support. Seems to be a sign that even his fellow snakes are deserting him as a lost cause.

  30. smtx

    the diplomats deserting Gad in safe foreign territory feel safe to do so. That they have supported him and taken the traitors penny from him will not be forgotten by the people.

    Desertions from the AirForce - and possibly from the Navy - are more significant.

    News suggests the foreign mercenaries are responsible for the murderous activity on the streets so.

    France has had a plane turned back - it was attempted to airlift French citizens from Libya. It is not clear who refused landing permission or who is in charge of different areas of the country.

    There is a report that thousands of people are trying to cross into Egypt.

    There is a rule of terror operating there - nobody from outside is likely to intervene - the people of Libya are alone. Would foreign intervention improve things or just result in more deaths ?

  31. @leni if you google 'mapping violence against the pro-democracy protests in Libya', you;l find a pretty good map of conditions on the ground as they happen

  32. As the subject's been raised, an excellent 1993 piece on Reagan's bombing of Tripoli by Howard Zinn.


  34. Sorry, I hit "post" too early...

    Seventeen years later, Zinn's final lines have a very bitter taste.

  35. They are talking on C4 news about a massacre in Benghazi and in Tripoloi.

    I'm not commenting too much smtx01 - not out of any lack of concern just horror at what is going on, just because I can't bear it and because David fucking Cameron is in Egypt making frigging arms deals.....

    Have just read Polly Toynbee's article..... it feels like the end of the world as we know it ;(

  36. On Whaddya, they seem to be adopting the blunderbuss technique to identifying WilliamFlake.

    He's apparently obviously Hank... or Monkeyfish or Bitterweed or Atom or Scherfig.

    Rather different styles I would have thought, but there you are. ;-) It seems that the UT "all look the same to them".

  37. LaRit - know what you mean; fucking Cameron and fucking Tony Blair the Quartet Peace Envoy - what a joke.

    And the NHS being forcefully sold out to private concerns (mates of all three major parties). And the sick and disabled being thrown on the scrapheap. And the fucking bankers hoovering up our money and laughing it up with their bonuses and tax evasion/avoidance.

    And ... and ... and.

  38. Spike - I know. Actually I needed a bit of a relief from unmitigated grimness, so perhaps wtfyta serves some purpose.

  39. Thauma, La Rit - I've read Polly's article too. Yhe privatisation of the NHS really scares me. My live depends on a monthly 8 item prescription, which as a pensioner (and as a resident of Wales) I currently get free.

    Having to pay for these would stretch my budget beyond its limit.

    And I have about twice the retirement pension to live on. God help those who only have benefits.

    People will die here in the UK because they csnnot afford medical treatment, because they cannot afford to pay their heating bills...

    Thousands of people, decent hard working people will be chucked on the rubbish heap. AS Jimmy Reid said in his inaugural speech as chancellor of Glasgow University:
    To appreciate fully the inhumanity of this situation, you have to see the hurt and despair in the eyes of a man suddenly told he is redundant, without provision made for suitable alternative employment, with the prospect... if he is in his late forties or fifties, of spending the rest of his life in the Labour Exchange. Someone, somewhere has decided he is unwanted, unneeded, and is to be thrown on the industrial scrap heap. From the very depth of my being, I challenge the right of any man or any group of men, in business or in government, to tell a fellow human being that he or she is expendable.

    This is obviously not as appallingly visible as what is happening in Libya but the people who are affected will be just as dead and the lives of others just as damaged. They will die because they are poor and society is being encouraged not to care because they are obviously feckless and lazy or they would not be poor would they? Lives wil be blighted because they have chosen to work in the public services and the present government is hell bent on destroying the public sector.

    Is Cameron really any better than Ghadaffi?

    This is the final clawing back of all the gains made in the twentieth century and we as a nation are still asleep.

    Time to wake up!

  40. Really good article by Zinn, that, Spike

    I can remember when that happened - I was still in my "Oh my god we are all going to die in a nuclear holocaust" panic years of my youth and didn't sleep for two nights as a result.

    Thaum - I'm probably off to Cannock at the weekend, all being well, and will be making my way back down the M40 sometime on Sunday afternoon if you are around, and have got a spare tea-bag going? :o)

  41. So, there we have it. Gaddafi has commited himself to his own destruction. If he had gone quitely he could have had a settlement like Ben Ali and Mubarak and spent the rest of his days in relatively comfortable retirement. But now he will end up like Ceacescu. What a speech ( reminds one of Macbeth, hitler etc), it shows the total and final collapse of any semblence of fear and authority for the dear lesder. Total psychosis, referring to himself in the THIRD PERSON!. And I only saw the first 20 minutes of his rant.

  42. Spike

    He's apparently obviously Hank... or Monkeyfish or Bitterweed or Atom or Scherfig.

    I thought the collective mind of Dribbly had managed to throw a damp tea-towel over the shapeshifting wildfire of insurgents who get through without signing the visitors' book or passing the social-acceptability test.

    I thought anyone who was not marked with the sign of the blessed had the curse of "GIYUS!" forever spat at them.

  43. Thauma & Anne

    I know, I'm just beyond words..... the awful thing is, I'm not sure there's anything that can be done to stop it.

    BB - good to see you chuck - hope everything's OK?

    and you too Spike :)

  44. anne

    Is Cameron really any better than Ghadaffi?

    Or Blair? Or Bush? Or Berlusconi? Or Thatcher?

    Let's just say that the people who end up in power resemble each other far more than they do us.

  45. BB

    Sunday, 27 February 2011
    RBS Six Nations
    Scotland v Ireland, 15:00

    Will probably be having an early Sunday lunch beforehand which you are more than welcome to join!

    Or if you're a bit later, match should be over around 4.30 or so....

    Of course you are welcome to watch the match too but I don't believe you are a huge fan. ;-)

  46. I will be cheering for Scotland of course, Thaum :p As long as they put up at least a bit of a fight.

    In other BB rugby news, my cousin's wee boy lead the team out at Murrayfield last weekend, but I missed it, which is a shame. Hopefully cousins and aunty will have a vid of it though.

    Likely to be towards the end of the match, I would think, as I will prolly be having lunch with my sis.

    Hi LaRit - doing fine and dandy here, if still dog tired as usual. Been to Brum and back today which is a drag, but it has to be done.

    My Dad is back from hospital today, so that's good news - he was on good form when I saw him yesterday, but he is sounding a bit down in the dumps again today, which is a shame. I'll go an annoy him after work tomorrow. :o)

  47. AB

    I thought we had agreed that everybody who posted on CiF was, in fact, Monkeyfish? :o)

  48. Spike
    Actually hadn't looked at that spineless gang of window-lickers for a while, more than a few months actually - so I just checked it out. And... WilliamFlake doesn't read like any of the above does he... Jesus. Kiz and Helmet really are quite thick aren't they. All I see are lazy, sex-starved and unemployable tossers giving it their usual, legion, ennui-laden facebook posts. As for KT, that response is in keeping with the ethos of liberating the inner infant and stifling debate... perhaps Amis was right about "authors" of Childrens books - some sort of brain injury going on.

    I fancy a movie. Diner de Cons anyone ?


  49. BeautifulBurnout

    You are quite right.

    I said the other day that nobody could make up Musselsickpups and will now happily admit to being wrong.

    Three cheers to Monkeyfish!


    Which actually means that Katie Braxton doesn't really exist, whether s/he uses his/her "real" name or not.

    Might be useful when the creditors come knocking.

  50. @annentan42 'is Cameron really any better than Gaddafi-time to wake up'

    for goodness sake...yea annentan they'le be a few lib/dems security goons round to arrest you in a bit,(just before eastenders) they'l shove you in jail and string up your family,... 'time to wake up indeed

  51. Dear god ... I have the bad habit of sometimes reading the Guardian opinion pieces with my dinner.

    Next to an impassioned article by a self-exiled Libyan man there is an article all about how a million quid really isn't that much these days.

    Jebus fucking christ.

  52. @thaumaturge what is the article name re self exiled libyan?

  53. Charles
    Surprised you put up with 20 minutes. The man has tertiary syphilis and makes even less sense than a Joseph Harker article.

  54. SMTx
    "is Cameron really any better than Gaddafi-time to wake up"

    Did she really say that. Look, I hate our current political set up as much as any well informed person, but really. May I remind you that 10 million people turned out and voted the Tories in, many of them working class (they think they're middle class cos they read teh Daily fail) people who vote agianst there own interest. I've got working class friends who do not spout left wing/socialist rhetoric, rather more like the editorial content of the Sun. It's a pity, on a political and a personal level, but hey that's Democracy and free speech. (And no, I don't choose friends by their political allegience,especially if I have known them from pre politicised childhood).

    A lot of what I read on Cif and on here seem to imply that an Egypt/Libyan style uprising is nessesary here, some would even sugggest that rallying cry of a 'revolution'. The conditions in the UK and Western Europe are much different, although there is no doubt that the UK often falls short of Western European standards. Things like the rule of law and political accountability are much more established here than in Egypt.

    In a Democracry like ours, the best vehicles for change and justice are the rule of law and the electoral processes. Marches and, like the one coming up next month, are good for raising awareness and showing that there is a politically motivated populace (and don't let our leaders forget that) but does anyone seriously expect next months march against the cuts, a lot invovle community groups, pensioners etc, to inovleve the scaling of the Downing Street and Buck house fences?

    I can see where some of you are getting at, over a million marched against the Iraq war peacefully and it went ahead. What if on the 15th February 2003 riots caused £5 billion of damages and then they threatened to do the same next Saturday. Then, in mere economic terms the gov might have reconsided. But it was the democratic process that brought the powers that be into power- and it's a pity. The majority of our elected representatives chose to vote for the war and that sadly trumps some kind of anarchistic 'right' to overthrow the state.

    Finally, to you, Anne et al. Suppose the hypothetical British revolution does happen? Socialists are commited to Democracy these days. Given the track records of the British electorat, it would be likely that they would vote for parties that bear similarities to the current Lib/Lab/cons and all meaningful gains in the 'revolution' would be destroyed in the subsequent election? Would you stand idly by and let this happen? Are not 'revolutions' and 'Democracy' inherently incompatiable when the revolution is happening in a (at least nominally) Democracy.

  55. Indeed I would argue what we need is a counter revolution. We are under the thumb of a despotic ideology. People say that we've never had a revolution- what about the rapid social change resulting from what is termed the 'Thatcher Revolution' and all the 30 years of shit baggage that has accompanied it. We need to return to consensus based politics, like the post war consensus, but obviously a bit more updated.

    ....Or did some misty eyed ideologues believe that revolutions can only come from the left?

  56. I thought they only came from North London myself.

  57. @ charles,re 'is cameron any worse than gaddafi' i was quoting anna 42

  58. @thaumautage thanks for the link

  59. @charles i think i misread your comment, so apologies, will be back on in a few hours if you are here.

  60. I see MAM's still winning beauty contests over there.

  61. No probs Smtx@21.41. I suppose I was responding to Anne, but also to anyone in general, particularly the faddish thought around here that revolutions are always a good thing. As I said, we have been dragged to our knees as a result of a revolution. Time to consign neoliberalism to the dustbin of history.

  62. This comment has been removed by the author.

  63. Charles, a little experiment here. If we postulate for a moment that: all three main UK political parties support largely the same economic and social ideology, yet that: the mainstream press seem happy in attempting to pursuade us that they are right, centre and left wing parties, and at the same time that aformentioned (largely) shared ideology is in fact a "natural order of things" that we must accept unquestioningly, is any scepticism towards this state of affairs automatically presumed to be 1) backward looking, philosophically degenerate and socialist, 2) the deranged wingnuttery of some anarchist lesbians, or 3) a fair cop ?

    Answers on a postcard.

  64. smtx01

    If the policies of a political party directly causeshe death of people in large numbers (and privatising the NHS is likely to do this - people will die for lack of treatment that they can't afford).

    Of course this is less direct than Ghadaffi, 'politer' 'less violent'. As a result it is in fact less likely to eventually produce the effect that Ghadaffi has. Namely bringing people onto to the streets in large numbers.

    It still means unnecessary death though and the motive is the protection of the wealth and power of those who actually rule us -the owners of corporate capitalism.

    Brutality as practised by Ghadaffi is crude power and its easier to persuade people to oppose it.

    Charles all socialists believe in democracy, If we ever manage to achieve real socialism in which the people (demos) actually do rule and if the human race can learn to recognise and guard against sociopaths (like Ghadaffi, like many of the leaders of corporate capitalism, like every so called socialist leader from Stalin to Pol Pot and beyond all of whom care little for those they have power over and everything for the power that they have) then the improvements in people's lives would make it unlikely that people would vote for a return to a system that is frankly based on direct or indirect bullying. In true socialism there should be no actual suppression of people who have such ideas, just as there is no need to suppress people who would like a return to feudalism withe the horrors of serfdom etc.

    The problem is increasing our ability to spot such people and have mechanisms in place to prevent their ascendancy.

    Incidentally it is the ascendancy of such people in the many socialist sects that creates the problem known as 'peoples front of Judea syndrome cf 'The Life of Brian'

  65. Anne

    The problem is with the type of people attracted to power.

    Their supporters see the 'strength' of this type as offering security and in many cases relieving them of the responsibilty for making their own moral decisions.

    We see this the religious types - particularly in all 3 Abrahamics - who accept ancient texts as guidance for behaviour today, in very different societies. All tribal Gods were seen as granting and protecting the land of their adherents for example. Most of us have grown beyond this, we no longer accept the Divine right to rule of kings or any other leader.

    To blindly accept a political ideology which grants power to the few, or religious texts which condemn some categories of people as worthy of death or enslavement relieves people from the neccesity of thought.

    Once we accept that a higher being - god or dictaor - can tell us what to, how to think or behave we have surrendered not only our personal autonomy and moral agency but also our humanity.

    You are right - our gvt. is behaving as though it has the right to tell us how to think, how to behave and which of our neighbours to accept or reject. They are also in effect saying those to poor to pay for treatment will be left to suffer and possibly die.

    Sadly all too many are accepting this. They have surrendered their humanity.

  66. This comment has been removed by the author.

  67. "Intellectual arguments often carry more weight."
    OK, genuine question, what have you got Scherfig, vis a recent postulate that had Bush Jr not "brought democracy to Iraq", then the Middle East and the Maghreb would continue languishing under varied fiefdoms and regional tyrants ?

  68. @charles i did read your post again, but i dont think it apllies to what i was saying, my initial response was to anna42, i guess it might as well have been to red miner and rapid eddie and to anyone else who considers the situation in Britain is an any way similar to that of the people of Libya and many other countries. I detest the cuts, but there is no similarity in any shape or form to brute repressive authoratiarian regimes, i have also read analogies to WW2 and the cuts, i mean it disgusts me that people cant make a seperation between things, im waiting for the next 'work makes us free ' sign

  69. @scherf

    Quick comment to spike - I'm not williamflake

    I didn't think you were, scherf. Even KillingTime who suggested the other names didn't think you were. If I remember, it was Kizbot who felt you should be added to the list.

    Actually, I don't really give a fuck who williamflake is, I just found the Whaddya buzz of speculation mildly amusing.

  70. Quick answer, bitterweed, (to a large question). I have lots of things to say about that and lots of ideas (eg. see my recent comments on Al Jazeera) but this is no longer a serious forum to discuss them. It's just a repetetive parade of soundbites (and decent music). It bores me. Sorry.

  71. Thauma I read maleks piece, it was good I only wish I could comment, but cif banned me just as all the uprisings began,

  72. annetan42

    Is Cameron really any better than Ghadaffi?

    You've made some very crass remarks based on your cod marxist world view but this one, posted just 90 minutes or so after MrsBootstraps posted about Ghadaffi slaughtering 20,000 - 50,000 of his own population, is about the most appalling.

    You'll find nothing on any of my posts here or on CiF to give support to Conservative governments, but this kind of pathetic character assassination really does belong in the very worst of tabloid publications, and certainly not on a site that claims some kind of left wing political sophistication.

    Provide us with one example of Cameron's actions, or that of any previous Tory Prime Minister, that might conceivably be compared with Ghadaffi's mass slaughter of his own people.

  73. to people on UT (out of interest) what is the obsession with the 'what do you want to talk about' thread? i dont understand it, why the charachter assinations and petty infighting, i could understand if it was against the guardian and Cif in general, against their moderation.premod/deletion/banning and about the fact that comment 'is free' is not free, but waddya? a lot of you sound like kids in a frigen playground,and you certainly do a lot of bitching, is a thing going back a while? it's quite weird

  74. @Scherfig, well count me guilty, all I have had time for over the last half-year on any website is the odd drive-by, plus of course the (very) after-hours music and the "chat" that those small hours affords. And long will it remain that way. Did you look at Ophelia Benson's blog by the way ? Most excellent stuff on there, I know MF is a fan. Cheers.

  75. The Tory PM Lord North, who totally mishandled the Gordon revolt. Finally, the army was sent in and killed hundreds of civilians.

  76. Bitters
    Answer, I would skepticism is "3) a fair cop"

    But at the end of the day at the ballot box millions of people vote for these three mainstream parties. It is sad and one would wonder why, as millions vote against there own interests, but it is true.

    I'm in the Tory heartlands at the moment, and while it is certainly not Jam and Jerusalem, there is that slow sluggish 'not for the likes of us' approach to political issues and government running of the country, all twee and polite. These are the people who vote Tory without thinking about it.

    Please explain the Marxist concept of 'the people/demos', that you and Leni use. A conference room of 100 bankers and tax evaders is full of 'the people'. Or can only poor people be of 'the people'.

  77. Smtx,
    "and to anyone else who considers the situation in Britain is an any way similar to that of the people of Libya and many other countries."

    I agree.
    you should have heard the hero of Scottish socialism, Tommy Sheridan, in his maiden dispatch from the Barlinnie Hilton- comparing his fight against the NOTW to the battles facing the protestors in Egypt and Tunisia.

    And as to the work sets you free phrase by IDS, in some respects I agree with the sentiment, as long as the pay and conditions of the labour are decent. I live in the East End of Glasgow, unemployed, and I think it really drives me and others down. I can understand that IDS's comments were ill advised, but it was certainly hysterical to somehow link it with the brownshirts.

  78. "A conference room of 100 bankers and tax evaders is full of 'the people'"
    Nappie boy, do you read what you write?

    You must be very west of Greenwich if it's still afternoon.

  79. @sherfig, smtx' you appear to be total fucking idiot,but that aside where did you get you user name from'. well 'sherfig'..when i first signed up to Cif and posted a username, i didnt realise it would be displayed as that name,(what can i say i was new to the game)smtx was a nickname i was given years ago, i got it for being wrongfully arrested and beaten up under the PTA by the anti terrorist squad for possesion of semtex, I was also arrested for a bombing(which i didnt do) but hey the name stuck, these days i always' carry gelignite,dynamite isnt safe,'by the way where did you get your username from?, and UT reminds me of a Brendan Behan quote 'critics are like eunochs in a harem,they know how it's done,theyve seen it done everyday,but theyre unable to do it to themselves'.

  80. Atomboy

    Let's just say that the people who end up in power resemble each other far more than they do us.

    And what makes you think that you, I or anyone else posting here would be exempt from the 'power corrupts' syndrome?

  81. This comment has been removed by the author.

  82. @smtx01
    Check out some of the old threads; some of it's been quite amusing at times. It's largely about people getting banned from there, rocking up over here, and then getting shouted at by stalwart upholders supporters of the editorial/moderation "standards" over on CiF. Except that not that many of the waddya personaes doing the shouting ever venture much out into the wider CiF arena and actually, do any, er real "debating". Many of them left here with their asses in tatters after trying to go head on with some genuine quality minds - scherfig being one of them, the absentee sod.
    But yeah, I'm sure most of it's pretty peurile, but as per above, I'm a very occasional visitor to the web, full stop these days, haven't been anywhere near CiF for months and months, and and only wish I could offer more insight ;-)
    Hope this helps.

  83. Evening all

    Latest reports from Libya suggest that the eastern provinces are now all under the control of the opposition .And that even the police and the military in those provinces have turned against the government.

    Gadaffi has promised to wreak his vengeance rather than quit but i'm hoping that's just the rantings of a madman who's a spent force.Hopefully i won't be proved wrong on that one.

    Hope all's well with everyone.

  84. thanks bitterweed, it was an insight at least

  85. We're all homo sapiens my dear habib, even bankers, tax evaders. Which reminds me, surely any discussion of Marxism must take in post Marxist advances, in the fields of Psychology, evolutionary Psychology etc.

    Leni- what you are saying about 3 abrahamics and a higher being can eaily be used to account for the surrending or moral agency and autonomy could be repeated verbatim for various ideologies, including those based on Marxist thought. Reminds me of things I've read in the works of Solzhenitsyn. The best hope we can have is that men/women retain their conscience at all cost.

    Anyway, NN.

  86. Charles 'the people' means everyone in a community working together for the common good and sharing the good things of this life according to need not according to greed. What now seems normal competition which allows the weak to go under, allows people to starve while others have much more than they need, would I imagine seem criminal.

    Bitey re Cameron and Ghadaffi you are comparing means Ghadaffi uses brute force which is certainly more obviously vile, Cameron is using political means to benefit the rich and cause disaster to the poorest including potentially denying them healtht care free at point of use,which could cause the death of many. The wholesale job losses threatened in the public sector will devastate lives.

    With the possible exception of the 1945 Labour Govt, ALL governments in history have, to a greater or lesser extent oppressed the poor and supported the rich.

    If you want to call this 'cod' Marxism please do - I really couldn't care what you call it. I'm sorry its not complicated enough or intellectual enough for you but the fact remains the present economic system has always supported the freedom of the rich to shaft the poor and the resulting poverty has been responsible over the years for the unnecessary death of millions.

    The tolerance of poverty IS an act of violence. Its easier to get away with than the obvious Ghadaffi kind but its just as lethal. Those it does not kill it destroys in other ways by denying the opportunity to live a fulfilling dignified life.

    The advantage of this method to the wealthy is precisely that it can elicit ftom many precisely the response that you and others have demonstrated here.

    The damage is ultimately as appalling, possibly worse If I had to choose between being shot and starving to death or possibly drowning in my own bodily fluids (which is what i would do if I did not get my medication). I'd take shooting every time frankly it would be kinder.

  87. Nap

    I did in fact mention political ideologies.

    How is the visa thing going ? Will you get to Russia this year ?

  88. @ habib, Im sorry i didnt reply earlier, im not being ignorant, but will reply tomorrow,

  89. spike

    The Tory PM Lord North, who totally mishandled the Gordon revolt. Finally, the army was sent in and killed hundreds of civilians.

    Assuming you're referring to the Mahdist War in what is now Sudan, this was an expedition, commanded by Kitchener, organised in Egypt and composed of 8,200 British soldiers and 17,600 Egyptian and Sudanese soldiers commanded by British officers.

    I was asking for something that could be compared with Ghadaffi's slaughter of his own people, in his own country, by his own armed forces and specifically commissioned mercenaries.

    And to save you the trouble of citing Peterloo, 15 killed and Tonypandy, 1 killed by a policeman's baton, bear no comparison.

  90. oh and sherfig , u didnt mention what i appear to be a 'total idiot about', is it disagreeing with you and the rest on here? having a different viewpoint, next time you bring my name up, put it in context, with a quote ok,
    the echo on here is deafening.....

  91. Charles

    Bit late now but have you heard of "integrative power" or "nutrative power " ?

    In short the first involves the ideas of one or more helping others to think or move towards solutions. Shared ideas, group questioning moving all towards really thinking through problems and working towards answers.

    Nutrative power when one or more help at first to support the weaker whilst encouraging them towards self empowerment. Sometimes it is necessary to support people one or two steps beyond where they need support so that if they are alone again they can safely fall back a bit.

    Individual power is often to do with imposing your will on others. Power is about bringing about change or preventing it happening.

    Integrative power offers constraints on the individual. The person desiring personal power is more likely to be corrupted by it than a group who seek change for the many - although without vigilance one or a small group can work towards a position of control.

    This is not to deny the tyranny of crowds - or the suppression of one class/caste by another. The fewer inequalities there are in a society the less the chance of exploitation. Even then some may attempt to over throw the status quo.

    In an unequal status quo those benefit from it will struggle to maintain it - using force when necessary. The disadvantaged will seek to overturn it - also sometimes with violence.

    Any discussion about the equivalence of state violence and the violence of terrorists/freedom fighters' have been almost silenced. It is a discussion we need to have.

    Power is a very problematic concept - we have never managed to actually create a society in which power - in terms of being a leader/decision maker - has not also meant having possession of the greater part of the wealth which rightly belongs to the whole group and controlling the less powerful group members.

  92. "We're all homo sapiens my dear habib, even bankers, tax evaders."

    Just that some are more equal than others, hey Charles?

    "habib, Im sorry i didnt reply earlier, im not being ignorant, but will reply tomorrow"

    Oh the anticipation of a formulated rebuttal is just killing me, smtx01.

  93. smtx

    Your explanation of your screen name is a bit ambiguous. Were you arrested when you were not carrying semtex or did you have it about your person at the time ?

  94. The Chinese Government is clearly worried that events in the ME could act as a spur for the pro democracy movenment in China.And has ordered a clampdown on Chinese media reporting of events in the ME as they unfold.Don't think anyone here will be surprised by that.Nightshifters can read about it HERE

  95. Hi Leni/Habib

    Can't post much tonight.So much is unfolding in the world it's almost tempting to switch off from it all.Real life here in the UK can be demanding enough as it is.Hope you're both well.

  96. Evening Habib

    I sometimes wonder if we do all belong to the same species.

    Evolution is usually described in terms of physical characteristics with the differences often being very small. Slight differences can dictate behaviour patterns.

    What about differing thinking patterns and behaviour ?

  97. Hi Paul

    too true.

    the need for the trivial as relief can be quite overwhelming.

    Hate to think where Britain will be in 6 months when all these changes kick in.

  98. I suppose it had to happen. People leave CiF mumbling "it's a parody of what it once was" and decamp to places like the UT. Give it a while and they mumble "The UT is a parody of what it once was" and move on again.

    That's not a criticism - 9 times out of 10 they're right. Pretty much every forum I've ever been on reaches a perfect peak of knowledge, debate and conflict. The conflict is actually the usual catalyst for the glory of the threads. Keen, informed minds with differing views spurring each other on.

    Then one of two things happen. Sometimes one side of the argument will prevail. A handful of the best posters carry the day and all disputes are settled in their favour. Either people become too imtimidated to go against the flow or people generally feel the debates have been settled.

    The other tendency is that the loudest voices predominate, people leave because of it and the mods bring the hammer down before the whole thing shakes itself apart.

    I left CiF not because it banned a number of its finest leg-biters - that happened largely just before I started posting - but because the articles themselves had degenerated into lazy self-reinforcement and the modding (pre-mod in particular) began to be used to shape debate into mild musings that wouldn't intimidate the newbies.

    I like the UT. I like the people and most of all I like the fact that I can read CiF and respond to stuff there on the UT, safe in the knowledge that I am 100% sure that every word will go uncensored. Unlike Sherf, who I'd be sorry to see go, I don't expect sharp debate all the time. Unlike Hank, I'm too placid to remain in a state of constant anger. Sorry, but I just can't do it.

    The UT is never going to have the kindle of incendiary articles that's necessary for the BTL tussles. But within its format, it provides interest and argument. Want more contention and debate? Pull up a chair and start writing. Personally I think that Miliband's an even bigger cunt [lolpenz 2011] than Cameron or Clegg and given the chance, he'd prove it.

    On a completely unrelated note, the preliminary report into the civil unrest in Bangkok last year came out just after Christmas. It was the Thai army's contention that they were not responsible for the death of red-shirt civilians. One of things that the report - not yet finalized - concluded was that a deployment of Thai soldiers had been stationed on a flyover that enabled them to look down into a Buddhist monastery compound where the red shirt protestors had taken refuge. They then opened fire at the people in the monastery, killing 6 people.

    I mention this because the Thai government is led by the Democrat Party's Abhisit Vejjajiva. Abhisit - Eton & Oxford - is frightfully popular with Western governments, despite the fact he's only Prime Minister because the Thai palace, army and judiciary keep getting rid of the elected governments. So he's never won an election and he shoots his own people? He's one of us. Whoever 'we' are.

  99. RapidEddie, I'd say well said, but I don't want to just pat you on the back.

    "What about differing thinking patterns and behaviour ?"

    hmm, perhaps it is perfectly natural for some people to be dickheads.

  100. I see that Scherfig has been around to tell us for the 387th time, without the slightest hint of irony or self-awareness, that we are repititious.

    Dammit, people! You keep forgetting that we are all here for the sole purpose of entertaining Scherfig.

  101. @bitey

    Nothing to do with Sudan.

    I was referring to the Gordon Riots, an ostensibly anti-Catholic (but more than that) uprising in London in 1780.

    Tory PM Lord North and his government handled the situation badly. Ultimately, as Wiki says:

    After the first march to parliament, the further riots did not involve many of the Protestants who had taken part then, instead involving groups whose grievances were nationalistic, economic and political rather than religious. Aside from the issue of Catholic emancipation, it has also been suggested that the driving force of the riots was the poor economic situation Britain found itself in: the loss of trade during the war had led to falling wages, rising prices and periodic unemployment. Because voting in parliamentary elections was restricted by a property threshold, most Londoners were unable to vote and many hoped for reforms to make parliament more representative of the people.

    On the 7th June, the Army was sent in to fire on any crowds that refused to disperse (but those crowds were mainly not given the chance to do so). Hundreds of Londoners died.

  102. Hi Montana! How are you? Better now, I hope.

    I seem to have been spamkettled. If you wouldn't mind fishing me out...