24 February 2011


my youth i shall never forget
but there s nothing i really regret
wotthehell wotthehell
there s a dance in the old dame yet
toujours gai toujours gai

  -from Mehitabel's Song by Don Marquis


  1. "I was listening to the melodious, early Can't Buy a Thrill.....I was humming along to Brooklyn (Owes The Charmer Under Me) when I noticed with a jolt that I must have always misheard the lyrics. For a decade or more I'd had it as A race of angels / Bound with one another / A dish of dollars / Laid out for all to see / A tower room at Eden Rock / His golf at noon for three / Brooklyn owes the charmer Under me.

    "Now this had always bothered me because in my limited experience of golf, a three-ball is always frowned upon......

    "Then, as I lay there in the steaming water, it struck me that the words were in fact "His golf at noon for free" and it all made sense...."

    Engleby by Sebastian Faulks, an excellent read which has accompanied me on long term loan from the local library. It must be the most travelled book in the collection and will have done over 14k miles by the time it's returned to its place on the shelf.

    Steely Dan - Brooklyn Owes The Charmer Under Me

  2. It is right that the citizens of this nation should enjoy benefit bashing, and this should be fully encouraged.

    The benefit scroungers and fraudsters of all of the private corporations fleecing large sums of public monies for their own benefit, whilst practising tax evasion with the personal profits they make from it, should be held up to the ridicule and derision and exposure of the populace at every opportunity.

    All of the boasts of big privateers about their hard work and independence, while they lap up large amounts of public funds under some pretence, while fleecing the public more directly with some other pretence – their names should be proclaimed and shamed day-in and day-out.

    As for those making their wealth out of the misfortunes of the weak and poor – such as atos and A4e – along with an increasing number of others… What a dispicable cowardism.

    Let all of the nation proclaim it – bash the benefit leeches – the banksters and the wanksters – those making millions from the success of removing the few pounds of the defenceless for the benefit of the powerful.

    just a thought

  3. Well… it's better that The Groan write something pertinent about Atos than nothing at all, while noting that it’s being written yet again by that lady married to the Tory MP of THE Johnson clan, which does seem… strange.

    (Now there's a good scam - make money from being a contributor to those creating the situation, and then have your wife make more money from writing about it. They really are very good at double-dealing, aren't they?)

    Considering how many people were putting much effort into pointing out what a bunch of crooks Atos were way back in ’09 (and getting their even really polite comments erased from existence – where in the mods thingy does it say – thou shalt not say anything too critical about James Purnell?), they are extraordinarily slow on the uptake.

    Is not The Groan a superior and intelligent publication? After all, if the Daily Hell can churn out articles about benefit issues on-and-on-and-on… it can’t be that difficult – it only requires a more balanced perspective.

    Even if the writers of the Groan couldn't figure it out themselves, there’s been no lack of examples from commentators, and some of them most expansively discerning.

    Yet all it was able to manage was articles telling us what wonderful things the NuLab government were doing for the Incapacitated - nobody left behind – or something to do with that area. Now that really was an example of BS.

    Yes, I do, of course, realise that it's because they aren't really that interested - being fed by their government cronies, while feeling the need to look the part here and there.

    Next Atos are, moreover, also going to be involved with the new Work Programme. First they get lots of public money – benefits - for finding people ineligible for an income whatever: and then they get even more public money – benefits – for bullying them into poor-wage, or no-wage, dead-end workfare; or... removing their income. So, even more benefits for Atos and co. - even huger amounts of taxpayers money - for... ??

    Imagine, for a delirious moment, what could be achieved if all of that money was instead invested in people and job creation… But there’s not a hint of a mention of developing the job market; only of steadily reducing it, while increasing the persecution of those who can’t find their way back into it.

    Has some decency chip been left out of this country’s programming?

  4. An example of the benefits of the expanding BS we can expect:

    Atos Origin named on 7 lots for the Framework for the Provision of Employment Related Support Services (ERSS)
    To provide tailored support to help jobseekers into sustainable jobs

    Atos Origin will work with its partners, Pinnacle People and Shaw Trust, as well as specialist providers across the public and voluntary sectors to tender for contracts on this framework, which will deliver back to work support from next summer. Atos Origin, Pinnacle People and Shaw Trust have been successful on seven framework lots: South East, London, West Midlands, North West, East of England, Scotland and Yorkshire & Humber.

    Chris Bingham, vice president for Public Sector at Atos Origin said:

    “We are motivated to continue to deliver high quality services to the UK Government and are delighted to be named on this framework together with our partners, Pinnacle People and Shaw Trust. We will work together to ensure that people get the support they need to get back to work.”

    Katrina Whittaker Managing Director at Pinnacle People said:

    “The Work Programme demands a fresh look at how best to engage people and secure long-term employment progression. This partnership is rising to the challenge using our combined experience and commitment to innovation. We look forward to continuing to develop highly effective solutions for Work Programme customers.”

    Sally Burton, CEO at Shaw Trust said:

    “Shaw Trust is delighted the consortium has qualified to bid for the opportunity to supply seven Lots of the Government’s Work Programme. As the UK’s largest third sector provider of employment services, our partnership with Atos Origin and Pinnacle People can ensure the charity sector remains at the heart of welfare-to-work. We offer our partners, the Government and the long-term unemployed deep expertise and experience from working with nearly 80,000 disabled and disadvantaged people a year to prepare them for work, find jobs and live more independently.”

    The Work Programme will be delivered by private and voluntary sector providers who will have the freedom to design a support system that works, ending the culture of one size fits all.


    That is, let's develop even more ways of causing misery while telling them how good it is for them - and it will be good for... those increasing number of providers making more profits out of it - and those getting free or very cheap labour - and those government ministers eyeing up that cosy position for when they get booted out, and... it's wonderous really - when you realise all the good that it's going to do.

  5. Engleby - I'll check it out. This is nice: The Waifs - SunDirtWater - touch of Fever, don't you think?

  6. Annetan42

    The situation in China is harder to judge. I imagine just saying you are fearful would land you behind bars no?

    I don't think so, as the Machievelli quote posted yesterday put it:

    ..it is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with... Nevertheless a prince ought to inspire fear in such a way that, if he does not win love, he avoids hatred; because he can endure very well being feared whilst he is not hated, which will always be as long as he abstains from the property of his citizens and subjects and from their women.

    Interestingly one of the areas where there does seem to be a lot of conflict

    between citizens and the authorities is about the seizure of property and land for redevelopment.

    As it happens in addition to my regular visits to the police station to register my presence in the country I've been involved with the police on three occasions, each of which has been highly civilised and more thorough, at least in investigation, than I might have expected in any other country I've visited.The following is from my diary early last year after a colleague and I were trying to get the taxi driver who'd driven us the 25 km from town that morning, and who we'd paid to pick us up from the mountain park where we'd been walking all day:

    We phoned the driver who despite all kinds of threats refused to return to pick us up. Back at the gate the young woman who'd sold us tickets earlier found us another taxi driver who for 60RMB drove up from Xinping to pick us up. Back at the hotel we phoned the local police and within a few minutes we were summond to reception to be met by a senior and his four juniors who listened briefly to our story, before phoning the taxi driver to demand his presence. He claimed he was then in Jiasa – some four hours drive away, so the chief then summond the manager of the taxi firm who arrived, along with his team leader, the young woman who owned the taxi and her husband. While the senior policeman wandered around the lobby and out into the car park and from time to time joined the conversation, each of his juniors collected information from the reception staff and the people from the taxi firm. Eventually after we’d explained that our main concern was that millions that were being spent on developing what is effectlvely a new city and major tourist destination, would be wasted if people were abused by behaviour like that of our taxi driver, which it turned out was not uncommon. Our photos of the taxi, along with the driver’s mobile phone number gave the police for the first time, a way of dealing with the problem. Eventually after much drinking of tea and humiliating loss of face on the part of the manager, the police chief asked us if the return of our 100RMB would be sufficient, and which we insisted should be only 80 and promptly handed the taxi owner a 20RMB note. We’d explained at sometime during the ninety minutes or so that it took to resolve the matter that we had bus tickets for Jiasa, the next town over the mountains, for 8.15 the following morning at which the manager insisted we call him when we arrived so he could upgrade us to one of his air conditioned buses at his expense. And with that everyone departed and we went for a late dinner.

    Next morning just after 7.45, we’d packed and taken the lift to reception, to be met in the lobby by the taxi owner and her husband who’d been waiting in the lobby for an hour, so as to drive us to the bus station, where we were again joined by the manager and his team leader until our bus to Jiasa left at just after nine.

  7. moonwave : my post above is in no way dismissive of your posts. I'm following your (RedMinor and Arec)'s concerns very closely - it's a learning curve for me - understanding how the system works (or rather doesn't work).

  8. Therein lies the problem with the "anywhere but Westminster" strategy, MW. If the coalition is committed to carving lumps of the pleb's scraggy arses and New New Labour is tacitly supporting them - and by God they are - then there is no way to affect government policy.

    You can demonstrate, remonstrate and hyperventilate, but if there is no alternative political solution on offer (like, I dunno, telling Atos and A4e to fuck off) then ultimately, when the pressure has built up, it meets a brick wall in Parliament of nice people who live in Primrose Hill and Notting Hill that are quietly but unanimously against policy change.

    A more sensible approach would have been to wait until manufacturing and blue collar jobs - with decent pay, full workers' rights and benefits - were starting to grow again and long-term IB and ESA recipients could move into steady, productive jobs.

    But that's not what Dave, Nick and Ed want. That wants British people to clean British bogs for thruppence and all the shit you can eat. Meanwhile, there's no one within a country mile of New New Labour High Command at the Guardian who's willing to step up and say "This is wrong." Hypocritical cunts.

  9. Nice to see you back, moonwave, and good points.

    This is partly what I was hinting at yesterday. The need to highlight in simple, stark propaganda terms what is happening:

    The rich suckling the state's teat and fiddling taxes. The poor being cut off without a penny.

    “Shaw Trust is delighted the consortium has qualified to bid for the opportunity to supply seven Lots of the Government’s Work Programme. As the UK’s largest third sector provider of employment services, our partnership with Atos Origin and Pinnacle People can ensure the charity sector remains at the heart of welfare-to-work. We offer our partners, the Government and the long-term unemployed deep expertise and experience from working with nearly 80,000 disabled and disadvantaged people a year to prepare them for work, find jobs and live more independently.”

    Is it just me or does that paragraph have the feel of a nineteenth century moralising novel, combined with the modern mania for marketisation and commodification?

    The poor are a resource for the middle-classes, the fervently religious and the commercial operators t exploit.

    The poor are being handed over as a gift to any entity which claims to know what is good for them.

    The poor are now orphans, to be put out to work or smuggled or trafficked according to the whims of their new masters.

    In developing countries, an orphan who falls into the clutches of a similar operation can have his arms or legs cut off to create a more appealing beggar, someone to whom even the hardest hearts are prone to give.

    There is a bounty, it seems, on the head of every poor or sick or unfortunate person. You just have to know how to manacle the unfortunate and where to go to collect the loot.

    As I have said before - especially as there is a new meme out there that we are only allowed to use the electoral process to bring about change: we'll have no rioting here - "A thousand and one acts of minor daily sabotage."

    So, what are you going to do in the war today, Daddy-O?

  10. RapidEddie

    A more sensible approach would have been to wait until manufacturing and blue collar jobs - with decent pay, full workers' rights and benefits - were starting to grow again and long-term IB and ESA recipients could move into steady, productive jobs.

    But that's not what Dave, Nick and Ed want.

    Yes, but don't you feel a sense of breathless urgency - or panic?

    A feeling that time is running out and everything has to be done before anyone notices what is going on?

    There are not going to be three-term, 13-18 year governments, it may seem. You have to get it all done in one go.

    Or are we all just being nudged into thinking that war may not be such a bad idea after all?

  11. Or maybe it's just like running from a house on fire, stumbling and tripping as you check -

    ...wallet, cash, jewellery, there goes the cat, whew, certificates, car-keys, OK, we made it...

    ...oh, hang on, your mother's waving to us from the granny-annexe and did you bring the kids?


    US economics: One big Ponzi scheme

    While Bernie Madoff languishes in jail, bankers continue to profit as the poor lose their homes and hope.

    So who will do anything about it?

    The political right prefers to change the subject, while the left does not seem to have the time or energy to make economic justice its principal concern - even as polls show the economy is the number one problem for most in the US.

    Progressives should hang their heads in shame at the minimal amount of activism taking place against the banks and the escalating numbers of foreclosures. Homes and hope are being stolen from people for whom the term "depression" now has a personal, as well as economic, meaning.

    The other day, economist Jeff Sachs - who has a lot of atoning to do for his own misguided, destructive economic advice to Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union - warned that little is being done about economic inequity and the growing ranks of the poor in the US. He asks if people who run things in the US want "another Egypt". He is a policy wonk, not an activist - and likely fears the idea.

    Many activists say they want to emulate the Egyptians, but who will organise anything as effective - even in a land that used to be known for people's movements - to raise hell? In Egypt, young people used the internet to organise and mobilise for change. In the US, the internet seems to function more as an escape valve, consuming hours of our time and giving us another way to talk to each other - and ventilate against the government. Social media here seems to be more for socialising.

    The government supports internet freedom abroad - but restricts it and spies on it at home. Obama has already supported a law allowing him to shut it down here in a national emergency.

  12. AB, it's degenerated into something of a game for the Westminster boy's club. Each plays their role, fulfilling the expectations of their core support into the bargain.

    Labour made a start on welfare reform, but weren't as successful as they'd have liked (half a billion to Atos and with pretty much zero lowering of the numbers of IB recipients). They were perhaps worried about going too much with boots up against the chavs, as this could further erode their crumbling base support and outrage their liberal middle-class constituency.

    Enter the Tories. Their voters love this shit. So they can - and are - starting to slap around the loafers with minimal electoral backlash. New New Labour meanwhile look the other way and take Polly out for lunch.

    It's 50:50 as to whether the job of work (forcing a work-or-starve choice to people thrown off IB/ESA) will mean it's a one-term government. If the economy's back on an upswing, it can be framed a necessary part of the economic revival (think Maggie and her closing down of heavy industries and union-bashing). The Tories are playing a shit-or-bust strategy with reforms and fiscal policy.

    But certainly it's something that Miliband would rather have cleaned up by the time he gets the keys and the Number Ten cat. He then gets to do the more pleb-friendly stuff that better suits his party's narrative.

    Take a step back though. Labour and the Tories agree on welfare reform. They agree on not breaking up or regulating the banks. They agree on Trident. They now agree broadly on immigration.

    It's an illusion of choice, in which each party plays its role and gives the punters what they want and expect. On most policies, it's increasingly irrelevant who the government is. Miliband's not speaking out because he doesn't find much with which to disagree.

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Touching story Bitey, human beings being nice one person's view a person who is free to leave the country.

    At the risk of sounding 'deterministic' China is a country ruled by 'the dictatorship of the communist party' the rule of law appears to take second place when there is a suspicion of organising against the authorities.
    See http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d4fcf4e6-3f6d-11e0-a1ba-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1ErR7Mndg

    As to disputes over land, these appear to be rooted in the huge disparity between urban and rural China. It appears that officially all rural land is owned 'collectively' whereas urban land is owned by the state. There seems to be more flexibility with urban land. Chinese peasants seem to have great difficulty achieving justice when this collective land is commandeered by the state.
    See http://www.economist.com/node/12437707?story_id=12437707http://www.economist.com/node/12437707?story_id=12437707

    In the FT article two paragraphs seem of interest:

    In the first Yu Jianrong, warns of anupsurge in “venting incidents”, usually about land reform..


    In the second the article claims that .Mr Yu’s warning is contradicted by the Chinese authorities when they say the risk is not unrest but ‘rigid stability’

    This interesting, not sure if the official position and that of Mr Yu are really opposed. It could be a tacit admission that they recognise the dangers of too much "rigid stability".

    Is a gradual change to something like western democracy in the offing long term? (or a Chimese version of it)

    Or have social tensions already built up enough to cause open unrest if, as it were the cork is removed from the bottle?

    Interested in your comments.

  15. Sorry first comment deleted to avoid the vagueries of the FT's paywall!

    Had to paraphrase the quote - they seem to let you read the article once without registering.

  16. RapidEddie

    It's an illusion of choice, in which each party plays its role and gives the punters what they want and expect. On most policies, it's increasingly irrelevant who the government is. Miliband's not speaking out because he doesn't find much with which to disagree.

    I agree completely.

    We are told, though, to wait until the next election and then we will have the chance to change the political make-up of the country.

    Do that a few times and suddenly, a whole generation has lived through an homogenised monoculture of political unibrand soup.

    The question keeps coming back, though:

    What should we do?

    If we assume that most people do not want to go down the route of riot and rebellion and that there is actually no difference between one box and another on the ballot slip, perhaps all we are left with is perpetual disruption and propaganda.

    Obviously, we cannot trust the political classes or the media or the bankers or big business or the Flying Pizza Monster.

    So, what's left?

  17. AB, it's difficult to know where or who to turn to for effective change. Take the Atos/IB problem. Unemployment leads to deterioration in physical and mental health.

    The average Dail Mailer will take a look at the breakdown of those on IB - available here from poverty.org - and notice that two-fifths are physically okay, but suffering from mental or behaviourial disorders. They'll snort and say "Not a bloody thing wrong with them! Send 'em out to work."

    But break it down a little. If you suffer from mental illness - which is widespread and severe - you're a lot less likely to find or keep employment. And the longer you're unemployed, the more likely you are to fall into depression and behavioural problems.

    One in 5 school leavers are functionally illiterate and innumerate. Want to bet a good wedge of these people are to be found to have behavioural problems?

    But there's no mileage in it for politicians to tease out these distinctions. It's wildly popular if the Shameless family down the road lose their reputed £10,000 a week flat-screen TV allowance.

    No one's going to stand up for them in either politics or the media. There's an unspoken belief that for every decent chap who gets wrongly thrown off IB, there are 100 scroungers who'll be forced to shape up and get off the taxpayer's back.

    The simplest and most obvious amendment to Atos - bearing in mind that they already have a watertight 7 year contract for half a billion - would be to change their evaluation procedures, which are ludicrous. Interestingly, no one on any side of the House seems interested in doing even that much.

  18. RapidEddie

    No one's going to stand up for them in either politics or the media.

    Again, I agree.

    The problem is, I also tend to wonder whether anyone who is actually closer to them in terms of prospects and fortunes will do this, either.

    If you went out canvassing for reactions and put the case to people who may be on nil-time contracts with a company set to slither into bankruptcy, so facing the same "Fuck off and get a job!" government policies and media savagery, what would they say?

    "Yeah, whatever! I haven't got time to think about other people's problems, I've got enough of my own to deal with."

    Because, basically, unless it is happening to me, here and now, it is either not happening at all or it's not worth thinking about.

  19. Annetan42

    The Economist article which is over 2 years old says:

    "At the moment, rural land is “collectively” owned but may be leased to peasants on 30-year contracts. It cannot be mortgaged and selling usage rights or buildings can be legally problematic. Urban land, in contrast, though state-owned, is readily traded, with far longer leases."

    The first thing to realise is that provincial governments, of which there are 22 and City governments of which there are far more are in a perpetual struggle with central government which they often ignore. So it's all but impossible to draw any country wide conclusions on policy matters, other than that party membership seems very important. But if you travel through rural China as I do quite a lot, everywhere there are new houses being built, new towns and cities being created, road and rail building on a massive scale and clearly many former peasants have sold their land and are now running highly successful businesses.

    Having said that fate and luck play a far bigger part in business start-up strategy than planning, so lots go under very rapidly. But people do seem to believe there's a direct correlation between hard work and success, much like you were saying yesterday about the US.

    And while I'm more ready than most to be confounded, I don't get the impression that there's actually a cork in the bottle. Many people I've met are sceptical in the extreme about politics but none has ever suggested it would make an iota of difference to them if they had a parliamentary democracy.

  20. Incidentally, if you want to know why the rest of Europe is so keen for us Micks to scratch together the money to pay back the bank guarantee, read the papers today.

    RBS's recovery is "ahead of schedule" with losses down from £3.6bn in 2009 to £1.1bn in 2010. In the last 3 months of 2010, they even managed to turn a small profit.

    Meanwhile, UK banks' exposure to Irish banks bad debt is approximately £100bn. No wonder Gideon's happy to loan us a few billion quid to tide us over. The alternative isn't pretty.

  21. @spike yesterday a poster was replying to my comment/s about the horrific situation in Libya(you know that country in North Africa where a madman is using foreign mercaneries who dont speak Arabic as a private army to protect his corrupt regime and to open fire on protestors,men in brand new Mitsubishi cars with no licence plates are driving around town randomly opening fire on civilians. My post was expressing my anger that the events happening in Libya, do not seemed to have captured posters angst and outrage as much as the protests in Egypt and Tunisia did. You then suddenly rock up and in a completly unrelated way start banging on about Israel, you write 'from her past form, smtx would like you to say 'oh arn't those Arab regimes barbaric and terrible and isn't Israel a beacon of enlightenment and light'. I mean what are you talking about,? I understand that you,like many others suffer from some kind of anti-Israel tourette syndrome, where you see Israel in almost everything and that kind of shapes much of what you say and who you are, but if you are maintaining that my interest in the protests happening across the Arab world(something I have hoped would happen for a long time) is in some way false/or I have some weird ulterior motive, then do please explain.Also explain why the horrific human rights violations and abuses that have been occuring for decades across the Muslim and Arab world, have barely raised an eyebrow amongst left/liberal political groups in the west,or amongst Arab/Muslim political groups in the Diaspora.

  22. Bitey Think of it like this - in the UK many people genuinely don't know any unemployed people in such circumstances its easy to assume that they are indeed all lazy.

    If people have had no really pressing problems of the 'where is my next meal coming from' category its hard for them to understand the damage that is done by long term unemployment.

    Its invisuble to them.

    You haven't met any dissidents or people who express dissident views so you assume they don't exist, I'm sure you'll agree that China is a big country (and to be sure there must be regional differences after all even in the comparatively tiny UK there are regional differences) and that your sample is not statistically valid.

    The thing about corked bottles is that the contents look quite still until the cork is removed. No-one would have predicted what is happening in North Africa and the ME a few months ago would they?

    China is assuredly NOT the ME there is a great deal of prosperity isnt there? The question is how rural(or even urban) poverty still remains. Some sources (no time to link - sorry) indicate that Beijing is nervous about the ME phenomenon.

    The question is how will they react to this. I suspect they are more canny than any ME dictator and especially more than Ghadaffi who appears insane tbh.

  23. As a small observation regarding how things work (or don't), perhaps people broadly fall into groups which are questioners and those who want answers and doers and those who react.

    Those who see questions and riddles and injustices and try to make sense of the mess may see new problems and entanglements sprouting wherever they look and will seek to forever wonder without necessarily expecting a solution.

    Those who want answers will tend to use the first one which comes to hand which seems to fit and then move on to the next, satisfied that the first problem has been solved. Think of Tony Blair - "I've done Britain, now it's time for the world."

    Doers will want the same type of wish to finalise, put everything away and wash their hands.

    Those who react will be questioning whether what was done was right, but they will be talking to the back of the doer, who has already forgotten the last action and is on to the next.

    These may be clumsy categories, but perhaps we need to think whether we are really likely to change our own nature before we expect others to change theirs.

    PS This is directed at nobody, anyone or everybody, according to taste.

    The point being, those whom we think are behaving appallingly or wrongly or whatever are, according to their own rules, behaving just as well as we would wish them to, if our rules were theirs.

  24. smtx01

    Meanwhile in Libya the killings continue,but as it's not Egypt or Tunisia no one seems to give a shit. Did anyone read Brian Whitakers pathetic piece on Cif?, whitakers take is that,well, yes gaddafi's speech might have been a bit quirky, a tad eccentic, but 'There was a method in that madness',no mention in his fawning adulation of the 42 years of horrific human rights abuses,no mention of the arrests of political opponents,of the dissapearances and killings,why, not even a word about the thousands of Palestinians gaddafi expelled. Meanwhile tonight Libya continues to bury its dead and Gaddafi threatens to bomb protestors, any word from Galloway on the protests? Chavez is remaining fairly mute too.

    Not to worry smtx01, the concensus here seems to be that he's no better or worse than David Cameron, whose heinous war criminal activity boils down to him possibly adding a financial penalty on some of his citizens, as yet undefined, who might need medication they previously obtained at a lower price under our NHS.

    Also for some here Gadaffi will always be a hero for supplying weapons and explosives and safe houses to the IRA and other terrorist organisations around the world.

  25. BTH, two good starters for the day. I really need to see Keith Jarrett some time.

  26. Perhaps arms dealers are becoming like rats - you are never more than a few feet away from one.


    Arms dealer's wife donated £300,000 to Conservative Party

    The Conservatives received a £300,000 gift from the wife of a billionaire former arms dealer caught up in the furore that forced a Cabinet minister's resignation.

    Details of the donation emerged as David Cameron neared the end of a tour of the Gulf in which he was forced to defend weapons sales to authoritarian regimes in the Middle East.

    The money was handed over by May Makhzoumi, whose Lebanese husband, Fouad, is a businessman, politician and philanthropist. It was among the largest gifts to the party, which received more than £3m in the last three months of 2010, new figures from the Electoral Commission disclosed yesterday.

    Mr Makhzoumi forged business links in the 1980s with the Conservative MP Jonathan Aitken, who went on to become Defence Minister. In 1992 the two men negotiated an Anglo-Lebanese arms deal, including the sale of 3,000 second-hand rifles. Mr Aitken quit the Government in 1995 to fight a series of allegations about his business interests – including the accusation that he failed to declare his ties to Mr Makhzoumi – and was jailed for perjury four years later.

  27. @BTH 'For some here Gaddafi will always be a hero for supplying weapons and explosoves and safe houses to the IRA and other terrorist organizations around the world'.

    To be fair BTH, Gaddafi was never overly fussy about his financial recepients. Both sides during the conflict in northern Ireland courted Gaddafi, so did Nick Griffin, who led his antisemitic NF 'up a revolutionary garden path in admiration for the Colonel.Griffin and his side kick Patrick Harrington were huge admirers,even going all the way to Triploi in an attempt to convince him to give them 'petro dollers'.

  28. @smtx

    I understand that you,like many others suffer from some kind of anti-Israel tourette syndrome

    Israel steals the Palestinians' land and money, ethnically cleanses, massacres, tortures, launches wars of aggression against its neighbours and burns children alive, and those who object to these things are, you claim, suffering from "anti-Israel tourette syndrome".

    Yep, that's exactly what I meant by your past (and present) form.

  29. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/tv-radio/elton-goes-forth-but-jokes-fall-flat-down-under-2223932.html

    Elton goes forth but jokes fall flat down under

    When Ben Elton relocated to Australia in 2009, he hoped to rekindle the critical success that had deserted him in Britain.

    Now the London-born scriptwriter and stand-up has discovered that he cannot escape bad reviews even on the other side of the world. His new sketch show, the heavily hyped but critically condemned Ben Elton: Live From Planet Earth, has been scrapped by its antipodean broadcaster after just three episodes.

    Once celebrated as a king of alternative comedy, Elton's reputation began dwindling in the late 1990s amid accusations that he had "sold out" and took himself too seriously.


    It couldn't happen to a bigger cunt.

    This is the same Ben Elton, who, when asked by a member of a studio audience whether fame had changed him, said something like:

    "Well, let's put it this way. I've got more money than you'll ever have, sunshine."


  30. @spike, listen mate, I was talking about Libya,I was trying to answer a posters comment about the appaling situation on the ground. Why suddenly change the discussion mid flow and bring up Israel?.If you want to talk about Israel sometime, well that's fine by me, but my previous comment/s were about Libya, a subject you consitently refuse to debate.

  31. @spike, again you refuse to address any of the issues I raised in my post about Libya and the appaling human rights violations that have been occuring for decades throughout North Africa and the Middle East. Why has it taken so long to catch the attention of western audiances?. If You want to do 'whataboutery', I can do whataboutery, where shall we start.?

  32. Annetan42

    ..in the UK many people genuinely don't know any unemployed people in such circumstances its easy to assume that they are indeed all lazy.

    Currently there are 1 in 90 of the population who are long term unemployed so there are bound to be quite a few people who have no direct personal knowledge, whether they think they're lazy, are victims of circumstance or spending 12 hours a day looking for work.

    You say:

    You haven't met any dissidents or people who express dissident views so you assume they don't exist, I'm sure you'll agree that China is a big country

    Apart from the fact that you know nothing about who I meet and I certainly wouldn't broadcast it here, as it happens I consider myself to be a dissident here and have posted reams on CiF opposing both Stalinst and fascist dictatorships and those who support them. One of the reasons I do the work I do is to ensure that some young people at least have the opportunity to experience at first hand what it's like to live in a western democracy and in a few cases, to make this a permanent move, and I happen to be rather proud that.

  33. @smtx

    I have always loathed the Sadats, Mubaraks, Gaddafis, Ben Alis, Bourguibas, etc. and have always said so quite clearly.

    If their crimes have only just been discovered by much of the general public in the West (with the exception of Gaddafi, who was a villain of choice for the Western media for so many years until his oil was rehabilitated), it's because their peoples have had enough after decades of oppression at the hands of these puppets maintained by the Western powers, powers that fund and support Israel, another murderous tyranny that serves their purpose.

    "Barely raised an eyebrow"? What a deeply stupid and dishonest thing to say. Plenty of us have been denouncing these regimes for years and not just as an alibi for the criminal state of Israel, so forgive me if I don't indulge your hypocrisy.

  34. BTH - LOL you always miss the point. Minority groups be they dissidents or unemployed are always minorities all I was saying was that its easy to demonise minorities for precisely that reason.

    On the subject of Stalinist and Fascist regimes I am with you all the way! As are most of the posters here I imagine.

    Being a Marxist(cod or otherwise) does not imply a support for Stalinism. I think you know I'm a trot - and I think you probably know that Stalin had Trotsky murdered and even if that was not so, I have always maintained that the Soviet Union (and its many clones) was a deformed workers' state. The workers were not actually in power the communist party was.

    This is my final word on the matter it has been fascinating disussing this with you, your ability to oppose what I say by spectacularly missing the central point of what I am saying is almost admirable ;)

  35. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/24/libya-rebels-control-gaddafi-oilfields

    Libya rebels isolate Gaddafi, seizing cities and oilfields

    Dictator hemmed in by popular protests and unable to extend his rule beyond Tripoli as local committees take charge

    Opposition activists are increasing the pressure on Muammar Gaddafi's ailing regime, shutting down oil exports and mobilising rebel groups in the west of the country as the revolution rapidly spreads.

    Gaddafi's hold on power appears confined to parts of Tripoli and perhaps several regions in the centre of the country. Towns to the west of the capital have fallen and all of eastern Libya is firmly in opposition hands.

    In Benghazi, the country's second city, basic order is returning to the streets after days of fierce fighting that resulted in the military defecting en masse. Virtually all government buildings were looted and wrecked.

    There are long lines outside closed banks as people try to resume normal life. Cars have returned to city streets but almost all shops remain closed and the internet is blocked.

    Benghazi is now being run by a makeshift organising committee of judges, lawyers and other professionals who have sent out young people to direct traffic and restore basic order.

    One high court lawyer, Amal Bagaigis, said: "We started just as lawyers looking for our rights and now we are revolutionaries, and we don't know how to manage. We want to have our own face. For 42 years we lived with this kind of barbarianism. We now want to live by ourselves."

  36. I've always found the "You never cared about them before" argument to be a huge load of pure, unadulterated horseshit. It's a cheap and easy way of trying to discredit someone else and, in my mind, it always discredits the person using it rather than the one against whom it it being used.

    There are too many despotic regimes around the world, unafraid to murder their own people, for anyone to know and actively voice concern about all of them all of the time. Most of us are just trying to survive under our own regime and there is nothing "uncaring" or insular about the fact that our concern for people in, say, Burma, Chile or Zimbabwe, is largely unvoiced.

    Did I know a few months ago that Mubarak was a shit and that life in Egypt was harsh for most of its citizens? Yes, of course. Did I know a year ago that Gaddafi was a criminally insane thug? Yes, of course. Do I feel guilty about not making comments on Cif about either place for the last two years? Not a bit.

    But the fact that I didn't doesn't mean that I didn't care. What it does mean is that I'm mostly just trying to keep life and limb together here and I realise that there is very little that I can do from my living room in Cowpat Junction to bring about freedom for someone halfway around the globe.

    Look, I'll admit that I don't have the first fucking clue who runs Burkina Faso or who's running Turkmenistan now that Turkmenbashi's dead, but I'm fairly certain that whoever is running them is vile, corrupt and ought to be sitting in a prison rather than running a country. I think most countries are probably being run by vile, corrupt people who ought to be in prison -- including my own.

    So I'll just go on record here as believing that everyone, eveywhere in the world, deserves to live in a free country that is run fairly for all of its citizens. But there's really fuck all that I can do to make that happen, so if the good people of Burkina Faso rise up against whatever shitbag is currently running their country right now -- good on them. I'll be happy for them and I'll watch the news with great interest and hope. But I'll be damned if I'm going to feel that I have to justify myself to some bawbag like smtx01 for not having said so every day for the past two years.

  37. Hola companeros!

    I am now your mexican correspondent for the next couple of months.......due to crap internet connection...it may be sporadic....

    hope all are well haven't been able to read back over the threads and the only news i have had is via CNN so no news really......shall now attempt a read of the papers.........

    hasta la vitoria....!.I maybe some time.....

  38. Montana

    Did I know a few months ago that Mubarak was a shit and that life in Egypt was harsh for most of its citizens? Yes, of course. Did I know a year ago that Gaddafi was a criminally insane thug? Yes, of course. Do I feel guilty about not making comments on Cif about either place for the last two years? Not a bit.

    But the fact that I didn't doesn't mean that I didn't care.

    I'll go along with all that. I'll even add the considerable weight of Homer Simpson behind it:

    "Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand."

    Seriously, though, the same "You have never bothered before" argument could be applied to any news item which arises at any time.

    The reason it always applies is simply because we do not cover everything which is happening throughout the world at all times.

    I would find it more worrying if people did the usual CiF dance and claimed to be preparing to leave their house to start a demonstration, only to be found moments later on the next hot thread claiming that as soon as they finished posting they would be leaving the house...

  39. gandolfo

    Viva Zapata - and all that jazz!

  40. Annetan42

    I think you know I'm a trot

    No I thought you were in the Labour Party and Kinnock kicked out the RSL trots in the 1980s.

    As for your attempt to claim equal status for dissident and unemployed minorities, that really is some distortion of reality. Most people in the UK are unemployed on a temporary short term basis, unlike dissidents who tend to be life long members - 42 years in Libya, to cite the most recent example. Even among those classed as long term unemployed, few retain that status permanently and even fewer by choice.

    I believe that work gives most people purpose and dignity and that if they are unemployed they should be given all the encouragement possible to achieve that end. But to promote them as a dissident minority does them no favours whatsoever.

  41. @spike if you cant talk about Libya specifically, or the Arab and Muslim world in general,without banging on about Israel being a 'murderous' 'criminal' 'tyranny'; whats the point in having a discusion?, I mean do you even know what a tyranny is? what a tyrant is?,for all it's faults, Israel has a free and open press and judiciary with all of its citizens free to criticise their government and criticise they do, it is not a 'tryanny', I mean do you wake up in the morning and see murderous, imperialist,hasbara,cabal,colonizing, zionist entities in your khazar cornflakes or sumit.

  42. @spike you write you've always hated the 'Sadats', what about the 'Saddams'?

  43. Did you see the remarks made by Ghaddafi's eldest son ? (FT so I can't copy).

    In brief - What is happening in Libya is "positive" , people should be allowed to criticise their leaders. He believes "we" are in charge of more than 80% of the country - my father will stay on as "Father of the nation to advise the next gvt ".

    Some kind of collective insanity operating across the family.

  44. smtx

    The cruelty and repression, the casual killing , theft of the peoples future and hope, their land and resources are the crimes, not the ethnicity of the perpetrator.

    We could equally as about Burma as Libya. I doubt if anyone on this site supports either the dictators or the cosying up to them by EU or USA.

    There seems now to be an attempt to rewrite the support for these regimes - no longer was it for oil but part of the global fight against terror - we needed Ghaddafi on our side so we ignored the human rights abuses.

    There is going to be a lot of squirming and self justification by politicals - meanwhile the Cameron arms sales road show rolls on .

  45. @montana 'I've always found the 'you never cared about them before' arguement to be pure unadultarated horeshit','There are many despotic regimes around the world,unafraid to murder their own people for anyone to know and actively voice concern about all of them all of the time,most of us are just trying to survive under our own regime, there is nothing 'uncaring' or insular about the fact that our concern for people in say Burma,Chile or Zimbabwe is largely unvoiced'.

    fair enough for people who are not actively involved montana, I dont have a massive problem with that, I do have a problem with people who claim to involved, yet in reality are obssessd with the plight of the palestinians to the exclusion of the suffering of everyone else,(including the persecution of palestianians in arab lands,) who seems to care about the stalanist show trials of political opponents in iran? who cares about the persecution of the bahai,of the christians, of gay men and women, of womans rights activists,of journalists and union leaders, of protestors and all of the ethnic minorities so bitterly oppressed in many arab and muslim lands.I mean decades of Baathist brutality did'nt move the left did it?, The tens of thousands killed in the Hama massacre in Syria didnt concern too many, when jordan killed 2000 palestinians, barely a raised eyebrow, when up to a million people took to the street in london to protest against the Iraq war, as they waved their flags, and wore their ' NO War ' t.shirts, were none of them aware that hussein had been waging a war against the iraqi people for 3 decades, all those anti capatilists/global protestors/university lecturers/dotty academics/pacifist christians/anarchists/students/palestinian grous/social workers/social commentators/ actors/comedians/musicians/stop the war coalition/old ladies from middle england/z list celebrities.. were all of them really unaware of Halabja and Sadam husseins genocidal campaigns of social extermination?, had they heard of Najaf and Karbala? just what were all those who claimed to politically involved(like stop the war coalition) doing throughout 35 years of baathist butchery, as sadam and his henchmen was merily massacring hundreds of thousands of innocents,'gourging out the eyes of victims,cutting of the noses,ears,breasts and penises,'(amnesty international) and using horrific electric shock tortue and rape against political dissidents, opponents and even children, why did no one do anything?, as hussein gassed the Kurds and persecuted the Shiaa, where were the voices of outrage from the left> where was the million man march when hussein gassed 5 thousand Kurds.?

  46. @leni, but Libya is hugely differnt to any of the other countries protesting across the Arab world, Gaddafi is no Mubarak, I believe he would slash his own oil pipelines if there was no way out, he has hired mercanaries who dont even speak arabic to open fire on protestors, he is extremly dangerous

  47. Hola Gandolfo, qué tal?

    Montana, how's the knee?

  48. @leni my anger is mainly because I can not see the same level of outrage about what is happening in Libya now, when compared to the uprisings in egypt and tunisia, not only on the UT, but on the Guardian and in the world in general, so one aspect must be there is a part of the left that still see;s gaddafi as some kind of warped hero, did you read the piece in the morning star?, i will post it here later, the other far more important bit, is the internationals communities response(or lack of response to libya), which has been shocking to my mind.perhaps if more pressure had been brought to bear aggainst gaddafi, libyan citizens would not be getting shot in the streets

  49. Libyas importance as an oil producer perhaps explains the different reaction to it's upheaval compared to that of it's egyptian neighbour,though the cost in human casualties was no where near as horrific in egypt,'world leaders quickly and explicitly called for hosni mubarak to step down,condemnation of the libyan bloodletting notwithstanding,there hasn't been similar pressure for gaddafi's removal

  50. smtx

    I know - I know.

    Ghaddafi is capable of anything.

    Would it have been any better for the Libyan people if we had invaded the country ? Look how many died in Iraq. Perhaps different people would have died under Saddam - Saddam may himself had died naturally or the Iraqis too may have risen up against him. We don't know.

    The march against the Iraq war was *not* in support of Saddam - it was against our gvt. sending troups to kill Iraqi people.

    We - the majority of the people across the world - are fairly helpless against gvts. We could not stop Blair, the Israelis can't stop the occupation nor the Burmese people the Generals.

    Unless millions stand against their gvts, - as in Libya now - aware thet they might be killed the murder and repression carries on.

    I don't want to get into the I/P thing here - I am totally opposed to the occupation and the seige of gaza - but nobody has suggested we invade Israel have they ?

    This is not about religion or ethnicity, it is not about supporting or condemning Arabs or outer Mongolians is it ? It is about unjust systems and the bastards who control them - and billions of people across the world.

    As to the pipelines - because resources are unevenly distributed around the world their supply or otherwise can be used as weapons. Oil, water, natural gas - look around. All are economic weapons. That we need to share them globally with the local people in the producing countries having the benefit of the revenue they produce hardly needs saying.

  51. smtx, I can't speak for anyone else but I certainly do not regard the evil bastard Ghaddafi as being any sort of hero, and even if I had done in the past (which I never did), my mind would certainly have been changed by his recent actions.

    I would like to hear people like Blair and, yes, Chávez - his old mates - speak out against the murdering lunatic. Blair's been keeping an unusually low profile over the past few weeks, the mercenary dirtbag.

    Meanwhile Cameron's over there selling arms, and other equipment ideal for putting down any attempts at revolution, to the other despots in the region.

    What a world.

  52. hi thaums

    i'm fine...bit sweaty and full of bites...can't complain......oh i just have....

    how's you?

  53. @habib from previous thread, I wrote 'the media began an orchestrated camapaign of demonisation against the entire serbian people'.
    you replied 'I think the actions of many serbs might have something to do with that'.
    what do you think of the attrocities of the croats and bosnian muslims against the serbs and against each other? or do you just go for that contrived image of the 'good muslims and croats' against the 'evil serbs' kind of thing?

  54. Not to worry, Gandolfo, it's only going to get hottier and buggier over the next 2 months.... You'll look back on this and think it was bliss. ;-)

    I am fine, ta!

  55. @thaumaturge what a world indeed, im suprised nick griffin isn't flying out to offer support for the colonel, after all he knows his way around tripoli quite well

  56. re gadaffi and basically any world leader.........

    can anyone name me one world leader who is sane please......or do they all have narcissistic personality disorder or some other sociopathic-psychopathic disorder...

    personally i'm struggling...

  57. thanks for that thauma.....really needed the half empty half full thang.......apparently there is a deluge of ticks in june but i'll be out of here by then don't fancy being sucked to death by a lower life form.........

    wonder if berlusco has offered asylum to the mad dog they are extremely good mates just like mubarak....and we know how that one sort of finished.......

  58. gandolfo

    i am hard pressed to think of one I would trust.

    It is a fallacy that we get the leaders we deserve. They are thrust upon us and we all suffer the consequences of their rule.

    Cameron is fairly typical - somewhat restrained as he has to kow-tow, verbally at least , to the idea of democracy. Democracy does not lead to just societies - it perhaps at best stops us being killed on the streets - but even that is not guaranteed.

    The arrogance of power disasociates them from reality and any understanding of how ' ordinary people live , their needs, hopes or even their rights.

    Power they believe gives them the right to behave as they please, be it to murder, plunder the country or leave the sick and disabled without any means of support.

    Outcomes may be different across the world - attitudes and personalities of leaders are pretty standard.

  59. A week or two ago, I to the Vizzo said that someone on CiF had claimed that loan sharks have to charge higher rates than banks because of the higher risks involved in lending to people who are not strictly creditworthy in conventional terms.

    I said that these loan sharks charged about 1500 percent (one thousand five hundred percent) and suggested that this was usury and not a commercial imperative based on risk.

    Having just seen an advert for Wonga.com (crazy name, crazy rates), I would like to make a correction.

    They claim their "usual" rate is 4214 percent.

    Yes, that's four thousand two hundred and fourteen percent.

    They are advertising all over the internet and now on television.

    Could it be that their market is booming, now that banks are not lending and people are either in or hurtling towards financial hardship?

    The government must be so proud to see enterprising operators so suddenly and successfully exploiting the new markets of their creation.

    If anyone thought that Broken Britain had lost its ability to get rich by leeching on the misery of the poor, you can dry your eyes and shout for three resounding Hurrahs!

    Debt slavery is coming home!

  60. Just been reading the article of parliamentary corruption via bribery.

    Democracy my arse.

    Am coming around to the idea that the government should be randomly selected out of the populace, for one term only, because the system we have isn't working.

  61. gandolfo

    can anyone name me one world leader who is sane please......or do they all have narcissistic personality disorder or some other sociopathic-psychopathic disorder...

    The bloke at the local-ish Co-op (formerly Alldays) seems quite decent.

    I think his name is Geoff. The one with glasses and lank hair and a tweed jacket. Always looks harassed.

    Strictly, of course, he is not actually a world leader.

    Well, not during opening hours anyway.

  62. thauma

    Did not read the article, but you can be assured that Cameron will stamp out corrupt lobbyists who buy legislation.



    David Cameron warns lobbying is next political scandal

    David Cameron will introduce measures to curb the lobbying industry to ensure that attempts by business to seek influence on Government policy does not become the next big political scandal.

    He promised a Conservative government would stop the lobbying industry’s attempts through former ministers to access and influence policy.

    His attack on “crony capitalism” came in a speech in which he attempted to tackle Britain’s “broken politics.”

    He said: “Now we all know that expenses has dominated politics for the last year. But if anyone thinks that cleaning up politics means dealing with this alone and then forgetting about it, they are wrong. Because there is another big issue that we can no longer ignore.

    “It is the next big scandal waiting to happen. It’s an issue that crosses party lines and has tainted our politics for too long, an issue that exposes the far-too-cosy relationship between politics, government, business and money.”
    The Conservative leader said that the “£2 billion industry” has a big presence at Westminster and take in some cases MPs are approached more than 100 times a week by lobbyists.”

    He said he wanted to shine “the light of transparency” on lobbying so that politics “comes clean about who is buying power and influence.”

    Mr Cameron also said a Tory government would “empower” Parliament. He vowed to

    “take the power away from the political elite and hand it to the man and woman on the street.”
    He added: “It’s absurd that a tiny percentage of the population craft legislation that will apply to one hundred per cent of the population. Instead of locking people out of this process, we need to invite them in. So we’ll create a right of initiative nationally, where any petition that collects one hundred thousand signatures will be eligible to be formally debated in the House of Commons. Any petition with a million signatures will allow members of the public to table a Bill that could end up being debated and voted on by MPs.

    “And we will also introduce a new Public Reading Stage for Bills to give the public an opportunity to comment on new legislation.”


    This was before the election, so there is a small danger that it has been forgotten or, in the crazy old, topsy-turvy world of Westminster, it will magically change into the very opposite and we will have legislation imposed on us by the highest bidder.

    Anyone for McParliament?

  63. Atomboy - that seriously nearly made me vomit.

  64. (The Cameron bit, not Geoff at Co-op.)

  65. thauma

    Yeah, could you just wipe it off a bit and fish it out of the lost-property bin, please?


  66. There is to be an "international, coordinated effort " to rescue the workers - of many nationalities - trapped in the Libyan desert oil fields.

    Whatever that may mean.

  67. Bloody spam filter.

    I don't do cleaning, so it is still in its former, vomit-flecked glory.

  68. Leni - I'd guess that means, "we must try to secure the oil for ourselves, no matter what it takes".

    Apparently the SAS and similar are on standby.

  69. Atoms

    With the revelation that the Tories hadtens of thousands from a Lebanese arms dealer Cameron will not be too keen to crack down on lobbyists.

    Party funding would collapse.

  70. @smtx

    spike you write you've always hated the 'Sadats', what about the 'Saddams'?

    What a fucking moronic question, even for you.

  71. I'm going to go all John Lennon for a sec. (Don't worry, it won't last long. A man with his own demons and certainly not one I whole-heartedly admire.)

    Imagine that the popular uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya succeed. Imagine that real people's governments ensue. Imagine that this spreads to many other North African and Middle Eastern nations, including Saudi.

    Imagine that they control the oil for the people's benefit! Nationalisation of oil fields and distribution of profits.

    What would our esteemed Western leaders do?

  72. War criminal Tzipi Livni talking about democracy and why Arabs can't possibly understand it on the Newsnight special. Nauseating.

  73. Evening all

    Not been keeping up with much, too much work, too tired, too little time.

    Libya - Gaddhafi is a real comedian "There are other rules, like Elizabeth II in the UK, who have been in power longer than me, you drug-addled Al Qaida terrorists. Get a grip!" :o)


    Apparantly the revolutionaries are moving in from the West now too, as well as having taken control of a lot of the East. It is going to be a horrible blood bath, though. He will not go quiet into the dark night, the bastard. :(

    Re Wonga.com - you would get better loan rates from the mafia. Disgusting, and yes it is usury, without a doubt.

    Waves to gandolfo in Mexico - lucky person!

    And a wave to everyone else too.

    Off to check out CiF now... I may be some time... :p

  74. "What would our esteemed Western leaders do? "


  75. BB


    Well, that is precisely what I thought. We can't have government for the people.

    I really must stop reading the inside pages of the paper over dinner. It is not good for my blood pressure.

    First, on page 14, an article on churnalism, criticising the press for regurgitating press releases.

    Funny that today I read two articles: one on the BBC website and one on the Guardian's that had passages that were practically identical. Granted, it's only about sport but I expect the same prevails.

    BBC: O'Gara will win his 106th cap as he makes his first start since facing Samoa in November.
    The 33-year-old Munster fly-half made an impact from the bench against Italy, when he landed the match-winning drop-goal, and France.
    While Sexton may feel he has done little wrong, Ireland will be hoping O'Gara's return inspires confidence in a side that has been error-prone so far during the Six Nations.

    Guardian: Ireland have recalled Ronan O'Gara for Sunday's Six Nations meeting with Scotland at Murrayfield. O'Gara will win his 106th cap after being selected ahead of Jonathan Sexton, who drops to the bench, for his first start since facing Samoa in November.

    The 33-year-old Munster fly-half has already made an impact from the bench against Italy, against whom he landed the match-winning drop-goal, and France. While Sexton has done little wrong, Ireland will be hoping O'Gara's return inspires confidence in a side that has been error-prone so far during the Six Nations.

    Then on page 18 there is a woo-hoo for Cameron bypassing the UN and EU to link up with the US and France to impose sanctions on Iran. Scarily reminiscent of the build-up to the Iraq War.

    And also an article on how the PM of Qatar doesn't understand the offside rule. Has anyone asked Call-Me-Dave to explain it?

  76. I was trying to remember the last time I felt this anxious about the way things were going, and I think it must have been at the start of the first Gulf War.

    I am so pissed off with the muscle-flexing that is going on about Iran, yet until a fortnight ago we were happy to schmooze with the likes of Mubarak and Gaddhafi as if it was the most natural thing in the world to do.

    Yes, Iran currently has a religious nutter at the helm, but that is largely thanks to our continued interference and belligerance. I still maintain - and I will be called an apologist no doubt - that if we had taken the opportunity that was offered after 9/11 to forge a more sustainable, respectful relationship with Iran instead of declaring them part of the Axis of Evil, Ahmedinadjad would never have come to power.

    We had a golden opportunity to create something good and we fucked it up. As usual.

  77. @thauma 'im going to go all john lennon for a second, imagine that the popular uprisings in tunisia egypt and libya succeed,imagine that real peoples governments ensure,imagine that this spreads to many other north african and mid east nations,including saudi,imagine that they could control the oil for the peoples benefit,nationalisation of oil fields and distribution of profits, what would our western leaders do?'

    I think you mean what would both western and arab leaders do? they both play a game, history is a game, always has been, just with different players, dictators of regions with a greed and lust for power manipulate eachother, take an arab dictator, the west manipulates them for the wests needs for oil,gas and it's safe passage, they equally play the game through fear and implied threat. I think the more fundamental change that has to happen within arab and muslim states and lands is a change,not only in the political elites,but in society as whole, the arab world has been fighting in wars and civil wars for so long and with such destructive force, that the ideals of freedom and democracy have absolutely no overriding meaning, hundreds of thousands have died in wars and in tortue chambers, the arab world needs to take a long hard look at itself, there need to be change from nepotisim and dynasticism,political attitides need urgent reform,including within families and local elites, an end to authoritarian regimes,more accountable governance, some kind of free and tolerant system has to emerge, otherwise the protests are for nothing.one bastard just replaces another

  78. BB - as I understand it (and this is probably not very deeply at all), Ahmedinejad is a mere figurehead for the real religious nutters that rule Iran.

    May the green revolution prosper without bloodshed.

  79. smtx - well, yes. But I give you back Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton.

    Seem to remember something during the previous government about the Saudi royals being welcomed here as "one of us", too.

    And the West has been horribly complicit in the torture chambers in order to keep the oil flowing.

  80. @thauma, also never underestimate the reason the international community has not voiced it's outrage in the same way it did regarding egypt and tunisia, although far more deaths have occured in libya than in egypt, no leader in the west is calling for gaddafi to step down,as they did with mubarak, now why might that be?, i was reading how the libyan protests have upset stockmarkets worldwide like no other regional mayhem, 'in a mere 2 days early this week oil prices spiked by 12 percent and they keep climbing,in absolute terms,libyan oil is hardly indispensable,it accounts for some 2% of the over all world supply, an amount which OPEC countries can easily make up,the libyan output is some 1.6 million barrels daily,saudi arabia alone can up it's production by 3 million barrels if required,but libya is far more important in the european perspective and it's european customers are wary,while analyists watched egypts drama with relative equanimity and half ignored bahrain's internal strife,despite the potential impact on it's saudi neighbour-libya finally shattered global composure,gloomy predictions forecast a spiral that would take us to $140 a barrel.
    A decade ago,excessive oil prices were tolerated,but todays economies are barely hobbling out of the recent recession,game changing price hacks might well throw the entire international financial system back into a state of frantic flux, thauma john lennon dont come near

  81. Hosni Mubarak's cronies face corruption charges in Cairo court

    Good article from an Egyptian at Al Jazeera -- a few quotes , but the whole is worth a read --

    "Ultimately the intense speculation about how much money the Mubarak regime stole, and how much the people can expect to pump back into the nation, is a red herring. If the figure turns out to be $50 billion or $500 billion, it will not matter, if Egypt remains a neoliberal state dedicated (nominally) to free-market fundamentalism for the poor, while creating new privatised assets that can be recycled to political insiders for the rich. "

    ( That sounds just like home ? )

    " Officers were also rewarded with private-sector perks; civilian political/business empires mixed public and private roles to the point that what was government and what was private were indistinguishable; both the military and civilians raked in rents from foreign aid. The generals may well prefer a new round of neoliberal witchcraft. More privatization will simply free up assets and rents that only the politically connected (including the generals) can acquire. Fixing a failed neoliberal state by more stringent applications of neoliberalism could be the surest way for them to preserve their privileges.

    A neoliberal fix would, however, be a tragedy for the pro-democracy movement. The demands of the protesters were clear and largely political: remove the regime; end the emergency law; stop state torture; hold free and fair elections. But implicit in these demands from the beginning (and decisive by the end) was an expectation of greater social and economic justice. Social media may have helped organise the kernel of a movement that eventually overthrew Mubarak, but a large element of what got enough people into the streets to finally overwhelm the state security forces was economic grievances that are intrinsic to neoliberalism. These grievances cannot be reduced to grinding poverty, for revolutions are never carried out by the poorest of the poor. It was rather the erosion of a sense that some human spheres should be outside the logic of markets. Mubarak’s Egypt degraded schools and hospitals, and guaranteed grossly inadequate wages, particularly in the ever-expanding private sector. This was what turned hundreds of dedicated activists into millions of determined protestors"

  82. Spam-binned, thauma would you be so kind ?

  83. smtx - well, the oil issue was kinda my point.

    Dave - rescued.

  84. smtx01

    "what do you think of the attrocities of the croats and bosnian muslims against the serbs and against each other? or do you just go for that contrived image of the 'good muslims and croats' against the 'evil serbs' kind of thing?"

    Really? After three days that's the best you can come up with?

    I think that all good muslims and croats should hunt down every last serb and burn them in their homes. You really are a fucking moron.

    I've read the rest of your posts on this thread, spouting bullshit without any facts to back you up. Little tip for you, it might be a good idea to listen to what people are saying instead of telling them what they believe.

    But then you'd have to stop being a moron.

  85. @habib,'I think that all good Muslims and Croats should hunt down every last Serb and burn them in their homes, you really are a fucking moron'.

    habib you are the moron mate,and a nasty little fuck at that, you want to talk about the balkans, well bring it on, you know fuck all about the Balkans and you know fuck all about anywhere else.by the way i did write a full reply to your points 3 days ago, but after your sarcastic comments, i gave up, i mean whats the point? i dont mind taunts, i just dont like wasting my time on fuckwits like you,

  86. by the way habib, where you in Libya on 'business or pleasure?'

  87. I was organising a bombing campaign against Israel.

    I must have missed your response three days ago. Perhaps you just imagined it?

  88. @habib you say im spouting bullshit without facts? like what? you wouldnt know a fact if it hit you in the face,what do you disagree with and let me take you apart piece by piece, u can start in the balkans if u like, maybe go via the mid east, around north africa and im sure we'l land in israel at some point, bring in ue wee side kick, the ex pat in france

  89. Oh for fuck's sake, don't make me read your posts twice, they were boring the first time around.

  90. ha ha, ur a card mate, i thought u might have been there working(u know like all the british do)

  91. no dont worry, i didnt post it habib

  92. "and let me take you apart piece by piece"

    with 3 days in between each piece...? asking a bit much there, I'm afraid... I have grass to watch grow.

  93. (About 45 mins) (not 3 days !!!)

  94. is that all you can say 'boring' to all the points and issues i have raised regarding libya and the mid east? if you could manage to respond to a single point about anything i have said and about anything you disagree with, bring it on, alternativly u could just stick your fingers in your ears and go la la la we cant hear you,

  95. "ha ha, ur a card mate, i thought u might have been there working(u know like all the british do) "

    Red card there, smtx.

    You can rant as much as you like, but Habib is as British as me and prolly more British than you are. Dork.

  96. well habib, it seems your friends arnt here, if you want me to answer your 4 sentances from 3 days ago i can(i know the answers are gonna be sooooooo boring and sooooooo formulative)but if ur up for it and still awake i'll bring it on, you just said 'laters',presumbly to imaginary friends, so im guessing your muckers aint about, but i can do this and i can do this now

  97. @BB i thought he was british, that was my point, whats yours?

  98. @bb 'habib is probably more british than me'?? what the fuk are u on about>? doing a norman tebit test or sumit, i dont care where anyone is from, i thought he'habib' was from the UK, is he from fuken katmandu or sumwhere, anyway dont worry urself luv, watch QT or sumit, keep on keeping on

  99. @bb working in libya as in taking the 'petro doller', you know like all the crying brits trying to get out of libya now, like they cry to get out out of every other despotic regime they work in, but dont mind taking the doller from, ya get me..Zzzzz

  100. Oi Heyhabib; where's my "theme choon"? Can I choose my own?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfrvlFQStkg

  101. id like a tune to rememeber Gaddafi,and i hope is downfall. Jimmy Cliff 'The Harder they come'

  102. Hey Chekhov!

    I didn't get a theme tune either, not that I am sulking or crying much really for being overlooked.


  103. and i hope his downfall(cant do links) but you know the tune init

  104. smtex 20.39-- you wrote --

    I think the more fundamental change that has to happen within arab and muslim states and lands is a change,not only in the political elites,but in society as whole, the arab world has been fighting in wars and civil wars for so long and with such destructive force, that the ideals of freedom and democracy have absolutely no overriding meaning, hundreds of thousands have died in wars and in tortue chambers, the arab world needs to take a long hard look at itself, there need to be change from nepotisim and dynasticism,political attitides need urgent reform,including within families and local elites, an end to authoritarian regimes,more accountable governance, some kind of free and tolerant system has to emerge, otherwise the protests are for nothing.one bastard just replaces another "

    The approach reminded me so strongly of "The Arab Mind" that I wiki-ed it , and one comment applies well to your approach too --

    "According to a 2004 Boston Globe article by Emram Qureshi, the book's methodology is

    "based on a fatally flawed set of assumptions -- most importantly, that there is one entirely homogenous Arab culture, derived from nomadic Bedouin culture. This ignores both the diversity and history of a people and civilization that extends across dozens of countries, from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic, and the deeply rooted Arab culture of cities and agricultural communities."

    It's midnight here , so NN to all NightOwls !

  105. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Arab_Mind

  106. Frooggie

    are you referring to the Rafael Patel "Arab Mind".

    Orientalism on wheels - but many people read it as objective research. It has been used by the Pentagon as well as Israel gvt.

  107. smtx01
    "is that all you can say 'boring' to all the points and issues i have raised regarding libya and the mid east? if you could manage to respond to a single point about anything i have said and about anything you disagree with, bring it on"

    Again? okay will do, if it shuts you up from talking to me for another three days. (three days!!! piss poor!)

  108. Here's a choon for you BB!:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Pu0Fn1oRN4
    Rock on you, more power to your elbow!

  109. @dave from france, i know better than you that there is not one homogenous arab culture', yet no arab or muslim country is free, has a free press,allows political opposition, allows gay men and women to stroll down the road(well except from bazhai bachai pimps in afghanistam who tie wee trinkets on to wee dancing boys ankles and then anally rape them) rawa details many such horrific stories. i dont understand what you are saying

  110. BB, Chekhov, I've had a look back at the song list I made, based on who commented first on the Birthday thread, you're both there.

    BB, this song may seem a bit weird for your theme, but the lyrics reminded me of you:

    On top of the world,
    Looking over the edge,
    You could see them coming.
    You looked too small
    In their big, black car,
    To be a threat to the men in power.

    I hid my yo-yo
    In the garden.
    I can't hide you
    From the government.

  111. Evening nightshift

    Have reversed into the thread and i'm a bit bemused by what's going on.Probably best to start from the top!

  112. Oh and Habib if my designated 'theme tune' is on the thread i'm well prepared to be fully stitched up:-)

  113. chekhov, I was fairly high at the time, you reminded of a mate I used to dance with in silly ways to silly songs. So you get this. (sorry)

  114. @Heyhabib; how did you do that? If there was one song that made me reminisce about my three years studying drama that is the one that comes to mind!

  115. semtex -- you forgot the "human- shredding machines" in your post on Iraq! Very careless.

    Just had a look at the G hit-peace on Assange, and now really off .NN

  116. @habib ok , spike writes ' Like Israel, Gaddafi has had lots of unarmed protestors slaughterd,but he still didnt sink as low as the 'Tel Aviv Regime', I asked you, if you were comparing gaddafi and Saddam Hussin and his Baathist henchmen to Israel, you reply 'tom hurndal, tristan anderson rachel corrie', the people you mention wernt slaughtered, look up slaughter= great numbers of people indiscriminatly killed, i.e check saddam hussein for indiscriminate slaughter, when i mentioned that suicide bombers have only ever targetted Israeli civilians , habib you reply 'I think you will find more iraqi,pakastani and afghans have been killed', what does that mean habib,? that suicide bombs against israeli civilians dont count? 80% of people killed in these attacks have been women and children(all non combatants) and by the way palestinian terror group have attempted to kill far more civilians than they have succeded in doing, do you also think unguided missile are a bit of a prank? u know unguided outdated missiles falling God knows where and upon God knows who, do you think thaT somehow minimises the murderous intent?. habib, there have been maybe 100 stories about rachel corrie, what about the other rachels in Israel that were killed in the same year? i know all ignored by the western media rachel thaler (16) blown up in a pizza restaraunt,rachel levy(17) blown up in a grocery shop, rachel levy(19) blown up waiting for a bus, rachel guish, killed with her family(including her children) at home celebrating passover,rachel charhi blown up on a bus, israeli victims are like shadowy stick people, no obituaries, no nothing..

  117. @Heyhabib; dont' be sorry, I love that choon!

  118. the point habib is too many deaths on boths sides, time for some kind of peace, maybe not the 'dancing in the streets' kind of peace, but some kind of peace, remember the majority of palestianians and the majority of israelis wish for a 2 state solution, you people who just seem to be anti everrything and not pro anything are no help, in the end israeli and palestianian moderates,ordinary people will win the fight for peace, the ultimate fight.

  119. "you people who just seem to be anti everrything and not pro anything are no help"

    The construction 'you people' of course, being the timeworn manner in which peace is achieved in all conflicts...

  120. Smtx01,

    You make some important points. The thing you have to remember with this lot is that no matter the facts, no matter the evidence, no matter the morals, no matter the season and no matter what you ate for dinner, America is always to blame.


  121. Ah, 'this lot' too. Deep. Really.

  122. @meerkat, you people meaning day in and day out , year in and year out anti everything.

  123. @Habib-oh mate what can i say .Really nice tune that.Cheers :-)

    @Bitey-nice Steely Dan track at the top of the thread.

    @Moonwave-good to see you back.Enjoyed your posts as always.Hope you're well.

    @Atomboy-i,m not surprised at the loan shark's interest rate you quoted.And you're spot on about the fortune that such loan sharks are making on the backs of the misery of the poor.That's what happens when the banks and building societies steer clear of socially deprived areas-the loan sharks and the drug dealers move in and underpin a whole new local economy .Which in turn fuels a crime wave too often involving the poor robbing the poor to feed their habits and/or make their payments.

    @smtx01-It might be an idea to stand back a bit and get to know people here before making negative assumptions about them.The blog archives are on the right hand of the screen and you can easily access them by clicking on each month/year.

    @Hi to everyone else i haven't mentioned.

  124. "@meerkat, you people meaning day in and day out , year in and year out anti everything."
    Sounds like you, love. (Yeah, I'm at the mature, late night debating stage. But seriously, the idea that you, of all the people in the fucking world, have the teensiest grasp on what might make us 'peaceful' is the biggest joke I've heard to day....)(

  125. "you people who just seem to be anti everrything and not pro anything are no help"

    You're doing it again smtx01. Telling us what we believe. I actually re-read your posts and I feel like a right pob for having done so, now.

  126. I could be wrong but I think most of us are just hacked of with the bullshit propaganda which we know is full of shit! You don't need a Phd in economics to work out when you are being shafted!

  127. Dan


    You make some important points. The thing you have to remember with this lot is that no matter the facts, no matter the evidence, no matter the morals, no matter the season and no matter what you ate for dinner, America is always to blame.


    I think you'll find that the views of the regulars here are seldom as clearcut as that.Although i would say that most if not all of us who are British get exasperated by the tendancy of British governments to willingly become the lap dogs of the USA.

  128. smtx01, I'd point out how you offer no facts, but it will just appear like spam, so I'll wait until it's quiet.

  129. Dan
    You make some important points too. Not here, but I'm sure you've made them. At some point.

  130. 'meerkat i dont understand what your saying

  131. In general I have kept away from the intractable Israel / Palestinian question, precisely because it is intractable, despite having been an active supporter of self-determination for Palestinians since the late 60s.

    However I will suggest that one of the causes of the current uprisings in Arab countries is because the use of the Palestinians as an alternative to struggling against their own corrupt leaders has been recognised for what it is, and that if Palestinians are to be truly supported, that cannot happen from a position of living under the thumb of cruel, corrupt and violent dictatorships. Maybe the election of a cruel, violent and corrupt Hamas regime has finally opened the eyes of sufficient numbers of Arabic people to tip the balance towards a more realistic way of dealing with their own age old problems.

    One other thing which is that a foreign intervention in Libya would be just about the worst thing to happen. There's nothing that would galvanise support for the corrupt regimes of the Arab world than to be able to raise the spectre of foreign invasion.

  132. Paul, eight left in the theme tunes thing. You, BB and Chekhov sneaked in early. Should I leave it for another day?

  133. '@habib do you mean ur gonna post a reply later, im really getten a little confused here what with Bb and the norman tebit test and my reply to meerkat, and and ,.... i might just break out into rachid taha in aminute

  134. Maybe I have Bitterweed.

    Why don't you link me a youtube song and tell me how much you hate people?

  135. @checkov what did u get a phd in again shit? all you say is shit, this libyan shit, this tunisian shit,

  136. smtx01
    I have read your posts with some interests of late. Cut the crap; some of them are impenetrable, breathless rants. Slow down.

    You accuse 'people' 'here' of taking a particular world view based on sympathies regarding Palestine.

    Seems to me you just want a fight about that. OK.

    But you accuse 'people' 'here' of being single issue nutters around Palestine.

    Yet that's all you want to discuss.

    So which is it ?

  137. @Habib

    I reckon this tune will do for you.

  138. Bitterweed doesn't hate people. He loves them!
    Where did you get notion from?

  139. Anyway I read a quote a while back, i think it might have been pope john paul ha, but it's quite good'There are two possible solutions to the Arab Israeli conflict, the realistic and the miraculous,the realistic solution involves divine intervention,the miraculous solution- a voluntary agreement between the parties themselves

  140. Indeed I love them, especially trolls like Dan
    Here's their theme tune

  141. @bitterweed, i reply to posters in the manner they post to me, (well after a 2 days on UT i did) i tried being polite in the beginning , but that didnt work, if people get their kicks off from taunting and being sarcastic, i.e spike and habib, il reply in the same manner, i started off well intentioned, but fuk here i am,

  142. I dunno Bitterweed i was thinking more along the lines of THIS

  143. Hey "Bitters" hows it going mate? Look forward to seeing you again soon.

  144. @bitterweed by the way i didnt want to discuss israel/palestine, i was posting about libya, but spike and habib, kept going about israel,refused to discuss any of the points i raised about gaddafi, north africa or the mid east in general, i didnt bring it up, so dont fuken blame me for replying after 3 days of taunting ok

  145. Aw smtx, don't be like that. Taking the assumption that EVERYONE here assumes the arguments of the one or two you've had a pop at is a bit, well, presumptuous.
    Far as I'm concerned the vast majority of regulars here are united in their loathing of despotism, in all its colours and forms. A few, for some reason like Justin Beiber, but hey, you know it's a big society.

  146. and bitterweed if you had bothered to read any of the posts i have written here in the past 3 days, none were about israel, untill other people brought it up, OK????,

  147. Well, Paul the accuracy of that has just depressed the hell out of me.

  148. @bitterweed i just take offence that you say i brought the whole I/P thing up, when for 2 days i refused to answer any points regarding it, i was talking about libya,not israel, but being jewish, it seems to some,like here,like cif i have some kind of ulterior motive and to be honest im getting frigen pissed off with it,

  149. "i tried being polite in the beginning , but that didnt work,"

    no you fucking didn't, you revisionist twat.

    "if people get their kicks off from taunting and being sarcastic, i.e spike and habib, il reply in the same manner"


  150. It might have been more diplomatic of Assange to have kept quieter, following a devastating finding in the judgment that one of Assange's fleet of lawyers, the Swedish advocate Björn Hurtig, made "a deliberate attempt to mislead the court". It was a striking reminder of the dangers over-enthusiastic solicitors face when they cross the line and engage in media grandstanding.

    Mr Assange could do with some serious advice from people who are rather more worldly wise than his team of legal experts.

  151. Sorry - forgot the link:


  152. "chekhov
    See you on the 26th "
    Come Hell or high water I'll be there!

  153. on UT? fuk off habib your a liar. you called me a vile huamn being amongst other tings, (de do dough dont dey dough) you know yourself i have been polite on here, i called you and montanan revisionist anti semitic twats on cif, and i got banned for it, aint that enuff for ya

  154. smtx01
    For fuck's sake, learn to fucking write, it's like having a fucking ostrich stuck in my ear. Until then, we have no dialogue. Jesus. You just come accross as a shouty wowty ner ner ner child. Grow up.

  155. @Habib

    Ah man i'm sorry about that.Was the last thing i wanted to do.Hope you're feelin' alright.

  156. ah bitterweed its late, chill out,

  157. @smtx
    seriously, are you on the electric soup right now ? I could do with a few scoops. Let me know, perhaps we could meet up. Pigeon square's pretty dead this time of night. I'll be by the bus stop.

  158. @smtx01

    It's not unknown for people who've been banned from cif to be allowed back.You'll have to contact the mods ,swallow your pride and apologize and agree to live by the community rules.If getting banned is pissing you off that much there is a way back if you want it.

  159. just out of interest, has anyone heard birds singing between 1-2 in the morning? the first time i heard them do that was yesterday, is there some kind of change in the magnetic field... it's really really weird

  160. Save the Children defines severe child poverty where a child is living in a house with an income below the 50% median of the UK.

    This covers a single parent family with a child aged under 14 with an income of less than £7,000 a year or a couple with two children under 14 on less than £12,500.

    It also takes into account what it calls "material deprivation" such as youngsters living in poorly heated homes with little money for food, wearing outsized clothes, having poor footwear or who cannot afford money for leisure activities with their friends.

    It says over half of the 22 local authorities in Wales have a severe child poverty rate of 15% or above.

    ______90,000 children in Wales in poverty - multiply that by 3 to include their parents. Many of these children are from families with at least one working parent.

    Enough misery for one day. Need a diversion.

  161. Paul, I'm okay with reality. It's what it is.

    However, smtx01

    "i called you and montanan revisionist anti semitic twats on cif, and i got banned for it, aint that enuff for ya"

    Again, are you sure you didn't dream that?

  162. @paul yea getting banned for fuck all is pissing me off a bit, ive been premoderated 5 times in the past year,(one month at a time) all for fuk all, but ce la vie...but banning, yea i take exception to that yea

  163. smtx01
    No... actually I heard that last night too. And as it happens, off out for a fag now too, so will report back...

    As for magnetic field changes, I'll leave that to people like (Senior) Bob Dylan.

  164. no i didnt dream it habib, ive got the email that cif sent me, oh and i was rude to BB too, said she was a shit lawyer or sumit, but fuks sake banning?...... still that 'report abuse' button was getten hot i guess

  165. @Habib

    tbh that track has the opposite effect on me.Kinda spurs me on rather than knocks me back.

  166. smtx01, the birds do seem to be singing earlier. (I'm not being funny). They wake me up, earlier, too.

  167. smtx

    Several birds sing at night - Robins for example. It is more noticeable at some times of the year, here at least.

  168. Jesus Fucking Christ!

    Please oh please can some who knows him get PB back, cos this absolute shite from SMETEX01 is doing my head in! Please can we have intelligent right wing diatribe and not this dribble from dibble? Please?

    I was (insert thingy) but I was ok, SMTX01 makes me look nice!

    I am close to inserting sense up my rectum, ala, kizbot and her pencil (she done this before ? or is she confusing very small dicks with pencils?) anything, to make the pain go away!

    For (insert deity) sakes be a rational being with a salient argument, please!

  169. whats that timboktu?, im not right wing, what gave you that idea? what da fuck are you talking about?

  170. well habib/leni, last night at 1 in the morning all the birds were singing there heads off, it was really really weird, ive never heard it before, i mean loads of them...very strange

  171. and timukktoo i aint from dribbly, although i think you may be, i posted on cif, and sometimes on waddya, the majority of times on political threds, ok luv,

  172. @Leni

    Hope this track from JONI gives you a few minutes peace.

  173. timbukto 'pencil'? what da fuk are ya talking about about???

  174. There's often reason to be still and hear the birds sing. Whatever the time of the day, don't you think, Timboktutu?

  175. ok i see , meerkat, u might need to rescue your partner, do you operate on alternative laptops sitting accross from eachother?

  176. Habib

    Birds sing at night - it is thought - if in areas of high traffic levels. as they sing to mark territory or attract a mate day time singing may not be heard above traffic noise.

    why they sing at night here i'm not sure - v. quiet all day and silent at night.

  177. smxt01
    You are allowed to contsruct complete paragraphs.

  178. You know, if you ever feel like it.

  179. The bird who used to live in the flat above us used to make the most noise at night if memory serves me correctly.

    @Leni-i posted you a Joni track,Court and Spark in fact,but it went straight into the bin.

  180. @bitterweed, whats a paragraph? ha, @ leni, i know they sometimes sing at night in built up areas etc, but not like this, ive lived here for a long time, theres no big lights or loads of traffic, i know the birds here, as i feed most of them, yesterday was quite weird, tweeting their heads off, i thought four horsemen were gonna come riding in next.. just very odd

  181. smtx

    i am going to risk your ire hear by suggesting that pwehaps if you stopped antagonising people they would find you easier to talk to.

    By the way you didn't answer my question.

    were you carrying semtex when arrested or were you arrested on suspician of ?

  182. It's not unknown for people who've been banned from cif to be allowed back.You'll have to contact the mods ,swallow your pride and apologize and agree to live by the community rules.

    Not if your name's Bitethehand.

    Not that I grovel to anyone.

  183. I do think Kiz and her sexual preference for pencils be explored (well by some one else) But the crap that SMTX comes out with is OK if there is a reasoned argument. But the Dorries style of statement as fact has to stop, and soon, please!

  184. smtx

    Earthquake - tsunami - fox or owl in area? Perhaps just a late night party?

  185. tim

    i think the pencil ref. started here - Kiz picked it up.


    Hi. Our paths don't seem to cross much at the moment. Trust all is well in your world.

  186. Come on Bitey i don't think a mere banning will ever stop you posting on cif if/when you feel like it.I might be wrong but i don't think smtx01 is considering reincarnation at this stage.

  187. timboktutu, "I do think Kiz and her sexual preference for pencils be explored"

    I'm afraid I might have started that (sorry).

    It's not my business to say so, but I'd give smtx01 a little space to consider things. (Smtx01, meant in the best way.)

  188. smtx dngr8ts yr msg and makes it wrth skpping esp if in a flamewar, lolz, i no thts wht sum ppl lik bt thr fkng laz cnts, lolz, lolz, lolz, lolz. How old are you ? Two ?