03 March 2011

03/03/11

The Stalin Epigram
by Osip Mandelstam
translated by W. S. Merwin



Our lives no longer feel ground under them.
At ten paces you can’t hear our words.

But whenever there’s a snatch of talk
it turns to the Kremlin mountaineer,

the ten thick worms his fingers,
his words like measures of weight,

the huge laughing cockroaches on his top lip,
the glitter of his boot-rims.

Ringed with a scum of chicken-necked bosses
he toys with the tributes of half-men.

One whistles, another meows, a third snivels.
He pokes out his finger and he alone goes boom.

He forges decrees in a line like horseshoes,
One for the groin, one the forehead, temple, eye.

He rolls the executions on his tongue like berries.
He wishes he could hug them like big friends from home.

114 comments:

  1. Posthumous Happy birthday to Dr Seuss!

    He would have been 104.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Morning parallax:

    I’m not an anarchist. I like the status quo, me.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh for fucks sake; Jeremy Cunt has waved the Murdoch deal/scam through.
    Signing petitions by e-mail ain't going to cut the mustard it seems!

    ReplyDelete
  4. @smt10 Re; interview at JC.
    Tell your friend not to worry. They got nothing, if they did have anything at all they could use believe me they would not be sending her letters about it. The ‘under caution’ and ‘taped’ shit is just to scare her, they are hoping to unnerve her in to giving information that can be used against her. Tell her to ONLY answer questions and DO NOT give any other information or even chat generally , even if there are awkward silences. Someone she knows has told them she is working basicly, BUT it is very important to keep in mind the information they have been given, for whatever reason, is not strong enough to launch an investigation, this means they do not have any details and suspect the information may not be reliable. They are hoping she will be nervous enough to give stuff they can grill her on away in the interview. All she has to do is relax, give no information she is not asked for and when asked if she is working/ living with a partner/ why someone would give this information to them look blank and deny everything. If they had any evidence against her they would try to arrested her at work. Remember this, they got nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Chekhov:

    It’s really simple. All you need to do is convince 10 million people to stop subscribing to Sky, stop 3.5 million of them reading the Sun, the Times, The Screws and The Sunday Times, stop 5 million of them regularly accessing www.skysports.com, or Mumsnet, or football365 etc.

    He’d have no interest in taking a controlling interest in Sky at all if it was generating tuppence ha’penny a year in revenues.

    So crack on, young man – and the best of British good luck to you in that endeavour.

    ReplyDelete
  6. @Shiloh; yep, the stitch up is almost complete. Excuse me whilst I go and bang my head against the nearest wall!

    ReplyDelete
  7. @fariha. Thanks for your reply- I was looking on the net about these 'interviews', and read somewhere that they can access a persons bank statements, and also that the 'interviews' can sometimes be conducted jointly with the local authority(when housing benefit/ and or council tax benefit is paid, and that there would be 2 'officers',one from the job centre and one from the local authority.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Murdoch already owns 39.1% of Sky, as we all know. And Sky has 10 million subscribers paying £541 ARPU for the privilege of getting top telly like America’s Next Top Model and Road Warriors beamed into the shit pump.

    So... is Sky giving them something they want? I mean, they can’t *all* be idiots, surely?

    ReplyDelete
  9. @Chekhov:

    Average Revenue Per User (or Unit). It’s the average amount each subscribing household pays annually for (in this case) Sky’s products and services. Some pay more, some pay less, but the annual average for 2010 was £541 a year. Multiply that up by 10+ million households, and it gives you some idea of the money-making machine that Sky is today.

    And that’s in a recession, remember.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @smtx10
    The first question they will most likely ask is do you know why you are here. The answer is NO, anything other than this will be used to drag information out of her. Even if they ask ‘are you sure you don’t know why you are here’ the answer is always no. She will also be asked questions like what she does in the day and so on, the answer to questions like these are, looking for work if she is on JSA or staying at home if she is on another kind of benefit. If they press her and she WANTS to say more she could include activities like, activities which improve her health condition (tho don’t go too far with this one) or there is always phoning her mum or going for walks in the park. Remember they are not your friends even if they act friendly and you do not need to make yourself seem interesting/ normal. Remember don’t give any information you don’t have to, they can not make you, they only know what you tell them, so tell them nothing.
    They may even possibly try to make out they have information on your friend that incriminates her somehow, keep in mind that this is almost certainly not the case, if they did they would be round at her house/ place of work, tell her to remember that when she goes in.
    As for bank statements, if they have gone to that much trouble they would have undertaken other investigations as well and I really doubt, if this was the case, that they would be calling her in to the JC by letter. If they had any evidence of criminal activity warning her by letter they were on to her would give her time to tamper with/ change evidence, so they obviously don’t have any real evidence that she is doing anything wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  11. @smtx10
    There may well be more than one person at the interview, she does not need to worry about this, it is just to intimidate her and means nothing. She is also allowed to take someone in for support if she feels it is necessary, probably a good idea.

    ReplyDelete
  12. @smtx:

    Yeah, sounds like someone’s grassed her up. It’s a grubby system, to be fair.

    Someone grassed a mate of mine up once. Mind you, he was guilty as all get out...

    ReplyDelete
  13. arf swifty - still searching for for the fourth chord?

    ReplyDelete
  14. @parallax:

    Hell, can’t believe I’m leaping to the defence of the Quo... but I honestly believe “Down Down” to be a mighty fine pop song.

    Thing is, with the Quo, you know what you’re getting when you open the tin. No frills, head down, bar room boogie. And possibly Graham Norton’s hair if you’re a hotel concierge unlucky enough to be stood underneath their hotel balcony when the tour’s in town.

    Allegedly.

    ReplyDelete
  15. @fariha; are you quoting summat from a Kafka novel? WTF is going on in this country!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Morning all .

    Smtx-- a 'prisoners friend' probably a good idee ...

    Maybe some more clue here why the G going easy on the likes of A4e --

    "DavidCruise 3 March 2011 9:58AM

    Graun... I don't think they can manage just on autotrader

    kiz, the G doesn't have the cleanest of hands: there's the whole tax avoidance thing which Mr Rusbridger tried to gloss over the other week, but read to me like "well, all the others are getting away with it, so we'll duck tax too". His take was a little convoluted,self-exculpatory and not terribly convincing.

    Then there's the partnership with the private equity firm Apax.
    This week's Private Eye happens to mention that Apax owns the UK's largest private hospital firm, one which is licking its lips at Lansley's demolition of the NHS.

    Some funny practices and bedfellows for the corporate Guardian, which to my eyes don't chime well with the paper's projection of itself as principled."

    -------------------------------------

    APAX lead worth following, but i've got some wood-cutting to do while it's not raining in Normandie ...

    ReplyDelete
  17. smtx and fariha - voices in the same head? Talking about talking heads - here you go

    ReplyDelete
  18. Morning all!!

    re Sky:

    From a purely 'TV on offer/subscription' point of view, Sky is very much the Manchester United of service providers (apologies to Spike, Boudican and Scherfig). They frequently allow other, 'competing' channels/broadcasters to take the financia/reputationall risks of importing/'blooding' programmes, and then, if they prove successful, bid the shit out of the original channel when the syndication rights are up again (X-Files, Friends, 24, Lost etc, etc).
    They then have all the 'best' programmes, which further increases the number of subscribers, which then increases their revenue (including from advertising), which further increases their ability to outbid for the most popular shows.
    Throw into the mix the same formula for Sporting events (cricket springs to mind, snooker'll probably be next), on top of the existing football monopoly, and it all gets a bit daft!!

    Granted, there are more powerful and legitimate reasons to hate Murdoch, but as someone who had no money, friends, or life, and watched a lot of TV, that one, right there, was enough to really piss me off!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. smtx/fariha

    100% seconded on the take somebody with them. Preferrably someone wearing a suit. (It might also be worth taking your own recording device, to put on the table next to theirs).

    ReplyDelete
  20. Heheh!

    I've been posting on yesterday's thread since 8 o'clock this morning and wondering why it was so quiet. Doh!

    ReplyDelete
  21. @Swift

    I though Quo were a good pop group back in the days of Pictures of Matchstick Men and Down the Dustpipe, before they forgot how to play all those chords.

    ReplyDelete
  22. @Peter:

    Still prefer the Quo, to be fair, although my strange mate Vince was a fan of Alberto y etc... in fact we may well have got pissed to one of their mad albums once about a hundred years ago, if it wasn’t Zappa (Vinny was the fan, not me), Country Joe, The MC5, The Fuggs (“Ramesses The Second Is Dead” was always a good one) or his particular fave, of course, The Band That Shall Forever Simply Be Known As “The Dead”.

    Rural Yorkshire c. 1983 – what a bizarre place. Royston Vasey had nothing on it, honestly.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Can handle the rest SB, but MC5 were stunningly awful.

    ReplyDelete
  24. smtx/fariha

    "100% seconded on the take somebody with them. Preferrably someone wearing a suit. (It might also be worth taking your own recording device, to put on the table next to theirs)".

    Thirded ...and in addition to a suited recorder person/friend/witness .... add a notepad and pen.......slowly writing the questions down before answering helps things by:

    i) giving a little more time to think before answering

    ii) makes the interrogation team think twice before getting into blatant bullying/intimidation

    ReplyDelete
  25. @BW:

    Funny, I’d always “hated” the idea of the Grateful Dead for being a bunch of fucking stoned hippies, until I actually listened to them. Then I found I quite liked them.

    It took 15 years, and what “a long strange trip” it was, but the counter-culture finally made it from San Fran to me in them thar Hambleton Hills, some time in 1983.

    Mind you, I think I got Leary’s message wrong – it wasn’t “Tune In, Turn On, Join Up”, was it?

    ReplyDelete
  26. @SB
    Funnily enough the guy who got me into them was ex Royal Anglian, and he's seen them loads of times. He also saw the Doors but can't remember it...

    ReplyDelete
  27. @BW:

    Well done that man. Although I don’t like The Doors at all, never could get into them, so “not remembering” seeing them would be a plus in my book.

    ReplyDelete
  28. lets see how this works. Have bought an e reader and am crrently playing with it instead of working. It has its own wifi which is rather nifty. Skiving possibilities are limitless now although the keyboard is minute.

    ReplyDelete
  29. ”... Have bought an e reader...”

    *grim faced* Et tu, Sheff-e?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Apax is an internationally recognized global private equity group and venture capital. Founded in the United Kingdom over 30 years ago by Ronald Cohen, the firm now also operates in Hong Kong, China, India, United States, Europe and Israel. Funds advised by Apax total $20 billion and provides long-term equity financing to build and strengthen companies.

    Since 1995 over 65 companies owned by Apax Partners¿ Funds have gone public on stock markets worldwide. Apax invests in large companies across five global growth sectors. This includes media, retail & consumer, healthcare, financial & business Services. Apax invests in a series of business sectors such as telecommunications, IT, retail and consumer goods, media, healthcare and financial/business services. The group also raises money through investors such as pension funds, university and college endowments.

    ---

    As part of the Velvet Acquisitions consortium Apax is involved in the purchase of Somerfield. Somerfield is the UK's fifth largest supermarket chain with an approximate of 700 stores.

    ----

    APAX Fingers in pies.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  31. @Leni:

    And don’t forget – APAX is the Graun’s “Autotrader” partner in crime. And led the EMAP buyout as well when the Graun and APAX formed Eden Bidco and GMG Hazel Acquisition 1 Ltd in the Cayman Islands as part of a group trading from, of all places, Luxembourg.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Bernard Bourigeaud - founder and former chairman of ATOS is Special advisor to Apax.

    Swifty

    Don't think I'll look any further for the mo - there seems little point in trying to get the G to do any investigative journalism on anything.

    Wheels within wheels. The faster they spin the more of us will thrown out to the edges.

    ReplyDelete
  33. swifty

    *grim faced* Et tu, Sheff-e?

    I know, I know but I'm getting old and toting books around has become such a chore especially when travelling. I usually take two or three (fattish ones) when I go away and my shoulders have been screaming at me recently, so I caved in.

    Will still read a proper book for preference though.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hooray - just seen first daffodils open up today.

    No lambs yet though.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Evening all

    I want an e-reader for me birfday, for much the same reason as Sheff.

    Swifty, you're just being a luddite! :p

    ReplyDelete
  36. A small laugh at a time when we really need it:

    The President's Speech

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi BB

    I do sympathise with swifty and have resisted getting one. But have now caved in. It was my ex old man who eventually sold the idea to me. He took one to Egypt - he downloaded loads of books which kept him occupied for the three months he was there.

    I like to travel really light - no hold luggage when flying etc and lugging books about takes up space and is wrecking my shoulders.

    Still love proper books and still buy them though.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hello everyone; this is worth a read:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/andreas-whittam-smith/andreas-whittam-smith-wholesale-privatisation-is-not-what-people-voted-for-2230520.html

    ReplyDelete
  39. Had an article by sent via email -" Why the world needs virtuous autocrats" by Robert Kaplan. Can't link to it as its in the Financial Times, so have stuck it up on Untrusted, Too.

    Great piece for generating argument!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I think I've been spammed; could someone do the honours? Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Workers from former Eastern Bloc nations will become eligible to claim hundreds of pounds in jobseeker’s allowance, council tax help and housing benefits.

    Migrants will be able to receive the benefits because restrictions on eligibility – introduced through a scheme introduced by the European Union seven years ago - are due to be abolished in May.

    Under EU law all restrictions on citizens of new member states must end after a seven-year “transitional” period.

    Ministers conceded last night they are powerless to prevent the changes because Britain needed to maintain “our national and international obligations”. The three benefits combined could be worth up to £250 a week, per person, The Times reported. ( Telegraph )

    ----

    This will cause a firestorm.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Liberated Chekhov's post and one from frog2 yesterday....

    ReplyDelete
  43. Leni - no shit; that is going to cause complete Daily Mail conniptions.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Spike
    http://www.petitiononline.com/manning1/petition.html

    From last night - this is only petition I can find. No date so don't know if it is current.

    Will do wider search later.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Sorry Spike

    Petition is closed. Went to sign it - too late.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Chekhov - no probs!

    Leni - poor sod. He has not actually been convicted of the leaks yet so it is possible that he didn't do it. He seems to have been tried and convicted by the media.

    I saw some comment today or yesterday that said, in a nutshell, "the US wouldn't dare execute him with the world looking on". That is far too optimistic. The US (excepting Montana, etc.) really doesn't give a shit for the world's opinion, most especially on matters that are considered internal.

    Apparently Manning is a dual US/British citizen by dint of having a Welsh mother, but can we trust this government to intervene on his behalf? Can we fuck.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Thauma

    US currently insisting CIA agent who shot 2 people in Pakistan has 'diplomatic immunity'.

    Little wonder the world at large has little faith in US justice. (Sorry Montana )

    Thauma- US public has about as much say in these matters as we do.

    ReplyDelete
  48. http://www.couragetoresist.org/x/content/view/858/1/

    Found this appeal for money to pay defense fees for Bradley Manning.

    Anyone know anything about this organisation ?

    ReplyDelete
  49. chekhov

    Interesting piece.

    That there is no mandate for wholesale privatisation is called into doubt now that it has been made clear that election manifestos do not have to bear any resemblence to the actual programme gvts. follow post election.

    This is something else which requires greater scrutiny - and an informed legal opinion.

    As it stands now parties can promise what they like to gain votes without apparently any legal obligation to fulfill those promises.

    We need an expert on contract law to clarify this.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Leni

    Thauma- US public has about as much say in these matters as we do.

    True - but from my experience the vast majority of Americans support the idea of American exceptionalism.

    Americans are quite simply better than everyone else, and should be judged by different standards - in fact, no foreigner should judge at all. The idea is simply preposterous.

    Much as the English, especially at the Empire's height, would have been outraged by the idea of a mere colonial judging a British person.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Leni

    Restrictions will remain on Bulgarians and Romanians until at the latest end 2013. There is a loophole however.

    If for example a B or R national does a six month stint on the Seasonal Agricultural workers Scheme (SAWS) - that is picking fruit say or grading spuds - when thats finished they can register as a student. This can be for a day course - say in first aid or a much longer course. Having been a student qualifies them for a four month stint of work. When thats up they can re-apply for a SAWS job which would take them over the one year they need to work to qualify for status - ie any job and/or access to benefits.

    So you can add that to the chaos!

    ReplyDelete
  52. smtx10

    Fariha is right.Tell your friend s/he mustn't volunteer any info and should take a friend to the interview for support.These people are trained to trip people up no matter how friendly they might appear!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Fricken hell, from all the advice being given this sounds like an interrogation by the stasi!

    ReplyDelete
  54. chekhov

    I know a woman (a widow) who was able to work a given number of hours a week without losing benefit.

    She jobshared - cleaning in a pub. They averaged out the correct number os hours over a month which sometimes meant they did 'too many' one week and fewer the next.

    She was called for interview - explained in her innocence how it worked - had benefit reduced and was put on community service. Someone had reported her.

    They accused her of exceeding the hours allowed.
    Seems to be that 'they' can manipulate system but 'we' can't

    ReplyDelete
  55. I don't have a linky for it but according to "Redminer" on either the Bill Nighy or Deborrah Ore threads The Sun in running Iain Duncan Shit's propaganda about feckless benefit scroungers being a significant cause of the financial crisis.

    The trouble is, by the time you've worked what the term "ignorance is bliss" refers to, it's too late!

    ReplyDelete
  56. @Leni

    Yes, that's an old petition. I'll have a look around myself tomorrow.

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  57. outstanding reply from aspandana to thauma at 8.o6pm

    ReplyDelete
  58. "outstanding reply from aspandana to thauma at 8.o6pm "

    Which thread please smtx01?

    ReplyDelete
  59. I'm afraid Thauma is right -- most of my compatriots (even many who think they're 'liberal', in the American sense of 'liberal') are quite happy to think that the rules don't apply to America.

    Glenn Greenwald on Manning.

    ReplyDelete
  60. For crying out loud, how can our politians be so thick? They are jumping up and down in Scotland about the apalling behaviour of the respective managers of Celtic and Rangers when all they are doing is continueing the sectarian divide the politcos invented in the first place!

    ReplyDelete
  61. smtx - plenty of good advice here on the interview under caution.

    Leni, that story about your friend the pub cleaner is shocking but not surprising. I have heard a lot of stories like that. Such utter jobsworths.

    Evening to everyone else too x

    ReplyDelete
  62. Sorry, to rephrase that, I didn't mean that the advice everyone else has given was any less good, but there are a whole bunch of links on that page to every aspect of the interview, which your friend might find useful

    D'oh.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Hi all!

    Sheff I'm thinking about getting an e-book - my eyesjght is getting dreadful, especialy in poor light the back lught from a computer screen is a lot easuer.

    WEght is a real issue for me, especially now I am getting arthritis in my shoulders :(

    I don't feel we need to apologise, e-books are the same as TV was in the one buys one for ones servants or in this case for granny :))

    As you can enlarge the test its very good news for people who relied on large print books.

    It wont look as nice on a bookcase though.

    ReplyDelete
  64. @Montana; I was under the impression the term "liberal" was a perjorative slur in the USA.
    Could you clarify?

    ReplyDelete
  65. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr

    same as TV was in the 50's

    ReplyDelete
  66. Oh fuck; Iain Duncan Shit is on Question Time....good job I can't find the key to the garden shed and access to a sledgehammer!

    ReplyDelete
  67. chekhov

    My bloke is watching some film on the sci-fi channel about US soldiers in Afghanistan being attacked by giant man-eating worm thingies.

    a) it is far more realistic than any of IDS's policies and

    b) the man-eating worm thingies are far more endearing than he will ever be

    ReplyDelete
  68. @checkov@what do you want to talk about'.

    ReplyDelete
  69. @smtx01; thanks, I'll check that out.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Quick question - is beautifulburnout determined to parody herself on the Cif threads or is she just desperate to raise her profile and get some recommends for her tired, lazy comments?

    Maybe it's time to give up BB, and finally recognize that people on Cif aren't that interested in your very personal ego-trip and that your opinions/arguments aren't terribly original, intelligent, well-thought out, well-expressed or incisive.

    Meerjatje could maybe also learn something from this scenario. Because they're like two peas in a pod, and meerkatje is just the new kid on the block. Middle-class 'feminists' and 'socialists' not worthy of the name who voted LibDem and who live in expensive houses, have 'academic' jobs, eschew state education because they can afford to (and their children are worth it!), and who are outraged about ATOS and closing libraries.

    Give me a fucking break - you people are part of the problem.

    ReplyDelete
  71. @ bb good intentions, but mate cant get a legal representative(as she owns home(interest only mortgage/ and in debt and arrears)so no legal beagle in a suit to accompnay her, ive looked up a few things and they(dwp/local authority have the authority to obtain bank statements/access facebook/twitter/social networking site in general, they can get info from savings/credit agreements/observations(whether malicious or not)/info about partners/friends stayen over etc etc. and I have read that failure to answer any questions will result in it being brought up in a criminal court, and if she doesnt attend they will pursue through the courts, so with the best of respect, i wouldnt take what anyone says with a pinch of salt, especially with no legal reresentation, these people ae fuckers, and over a third of people in prison are women, in there for 'fraud', I also read that they can threaten to take your home away and threaten custodial sentance, so forgive me if im worried for her.to be honest i have a feeling she wont go, she in an awful state, the kids are worried and end of the day all probably over nothing.(well very minor stuff)but the aggresivness of the letter and the threats was really awful

    ReplyDelete
  72. I see that my off-the-cuff stirring-comment at waddya 11.50AM did work !

    "Gegen -- that one will run!

    On a quick glance, yes I agree that "antisemitism is a light sleeper", but I must add that AIPAC and similar never sleep, and like the Anti-Terrist activities of USUK actually creating more terrists, antisemites can be 'created' too ?"

    Still going at 22.45, page-hits to my account!

    ReplyDelete
  73. I had that rarest of experiences today, reading a CiF article where I agreed with pretty much every word.

    Deborah Orr laid out with clarity the sort of thing we've been discussing here over the last week. That the bigging-up of the financial sector and the ignoring of manufacturing and industry wasn't a natural process, but a strategic decision - to which there were options.

    Germany found a way to move up the manufacturing food chain. Japan did too. But British industry had long since moved into an inter-class pissing contest between management and unions. Rather than fix a dysfunctional relationship, politicians opted to go for a route where the sweaty brethren were surplus to requirements.

    There are so many things that flow from that strategic decision. The constant 2.5m out of work, even in a boom. The creation of the underclass. The avalanche of social control laws that followed as family units broke down.

    Even if you buy 100% into the notion that the shambolic state of British industry by the '70s was down to bolshy trade unionism, the strategic decision to bloat financial services and close down much of heavy industry was 100% the choice of the political classes.

    Orr's point seems to be that the financial services sector is now so big - and industry so relatively puny - that all the finest political minds of our generation minds can think to do is wait for global demand to pick up, so UK banks can again become major lenders. And we're back onto the same runaway train as before. All aboard and wait for it to slam into another wall in a decade.

    On the right, it never occurs to them that well-paid jobs for workers pays dividends in terms of falling crime rates and stronger families. On the left, it never occurs to them that people are more likely to subscribe to social democracy if every one has a stake in a society, instead of fighting each other for scarce resources.

    Orr's right, but it's just too big a project for the current Three Political Stooges to get their heads around. They all instinctively look to the US for their social and political models, all the way back to Friedman, deregulation, the Third Way and workfare.

    The serried ranks of the Oxford PPE-ers seem to have had the same thoughts for generations. We can't compete with low-cost economies, oiks are feckless and if we want to make some serious wonga, we'll jolly well have to do it ourselves.

    Armed with little more than an instinctive disgust of the lower orders and a VHS copy of Wall Street under one arm, 30 years of industrial policy was made.

    It can be changed. It would mean completely retooling British society. It would mean ploughing billions into education, R&D and into industrial SMEs, in the sure and certain knowledge that much of it won't take.

    The basic problem is that the New Consensus politicians - Cameron, Clegg and Miliband - see themselves as sophisticated minds that understand historical global politics with a breadth of understanding not given to ordinary folk. What they're actually talking about is an Anglo-American grasp of progress, based on finance, class and bi-lateral reinforcement between a handful of British and US universities. This is the way things are, says Oxford. Got that right, says Harvard.

    What passes for a sophisticated grasp of geopolitics and how societies are ordered, it seems to me, is little more than a parroting of Anglophone conceits, bouncing around the same hallowed echo chambers, unchanged for 30 years.

    It's just too difficult for our current political hacks to start afresh in industrial relations, the significance and respect accorded to non-white collar jobs and how the whole education and industrial policies are geared to producing lasting manufacturing success and employment. As Orr says, all they're doing now is waiting for the City to get back into business. Meanwhile, if Atos lobs enough chavs off IB, there should be plenty of people to unblock the bogs in the investment banks.

    ReplyDelete
  74. What was that big farting noise over in the corner there?

    Oh, it was badpenny speaking "her" branes again.

    smtx - I was just trying to be helpful as there are a lot of links on that page to how the interview is likely to be conducted, what will happen afterwards etc.

    ReplyDelete
  75. @smtx10; oh right it's the old identity crap is it. Sorry don't buy into that shit. I have a brother-in -law who is a Turkish moslem and another who is German. I have a couple of long standing friends who are Jewish. My daughter goes to a primary school which is filled with kids from all over the planet and they are all welcome to play with Amelie if they choose to do so.
    We are all just people for fucks sake!

    ReplyDelete
  76. smtx -- WHAT actually does your friend have to worry about ?

    ReplyDelete
  77. @cheKcov, did you read apandana points and if so, what did you disagree with?

    ReplyDelete
  78. @dave from france, 'what does my friend have to worry about?'what do you want a statemnt or sumit....;nothing much dave 'in france', just has worked her self up into an awful state, her partner stays over quite a bit. other than that i can see its the... wrong thread for this kind of discussion..anyway enjoy france pal.

    ReplyDelete
  79. @checkov i dont understand what the comment you have just made has to with the point aspandana raised? your brother in law is a Turkish Muslim and you have a friend who is German and a few long standing friends who are Jewish.... and?

    ReplyDelete
  80. @checkov maybe your reading a different thread from the one i pointed out(aspandana 8.06? waddya)

    ReplyDelete
  81. 'they are all welcome to play with amelie' whose amelie? what has this got to do with wili leaks and assange and the point being made?

    ReplyDelete
  82. RapidEddie 23.18 -- good serious stuff as far as you go, but you're missing out the whole criminal aspect.

    Maybe check out my two links 2nd March -- HERE.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Sorry, beautifulburnout. Perhaps some of my contentions were untrue?

    You didn't vote LibDem?
    You send your son to a state school, or not?
    You don't work as a barrister?
    You don't own two houses (one in London, one in France) and gush about/post pictures of steak frites when you're on holiday?

    etc etc etc

    I know all this stuff because you have been banging on about it for years hoping for affirmation and admiration. Perhaps you should restrain yourself a little more when you feel the need to 'speekyerbranes' in order to get a little positive feedback from idiots who are easily impressed and who can boost your low self esteem. Perhaps you could talk less about yourself.

    (meerkatje could also learn something about this.)

    ReplyDelete
  84. @cheKcov, did you read apandana points and if so, what did you disagree with?

    What "apandana" had to say is irrelevant in my experience. Most of us just get on and rub along together and make the best of it regardless of our history or religion.
    Of course the extremists spoil it for the rest of us moderates but there's nowt new about that!

    ReplyDelete
  85. Keep off the booze, "badpenny", there's a love. You just make yourself look like a bit of a knob-end.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Eddie

    Recently read analysis of KSA as the 'Rentier State' and the intractable problems it has created. (By a Suadi national )

    He identifies the same problems - the elite in the Saudi case being the Saud clan.

    The control of oil through foreign investment - elite creaming off the top - a mono economy reliant upon foreign investment and manipulated markets.

    Young Saudis denied education - unskilled and unemployed. Dependent upon cheap imported labour . In built underclass living in poverty.

    Now the Saudis are expelling refugees , trying to build mixed economy but are having to import more food as diminishing water supplies makes grain farming too difficult.

    The prevailing ideolgy is destroying not just people but real economies on which futures can be built.

    The financial sector has only itself to feed off. Too much income from ownership rather than work. Not just land and propert rents fuelling lifestyles of the rich but also rents from intellectual property rights and basic national resources.

    The so called trickle down has resulted only in this idea of rental income dripping down to buy to let landlords - mortgage interest gets tax relief so banks get their loan repaid and buyer relies on rising prices to make his profit.

    MPs of course have their second home bought by us - keep it when they lose seat to pay for their old age.

    I hear Cameron is trying to sell or rent out the port of Dover.

    ReplyDelete
  87. 'they are all welcome to play with amelie' whose amelie? what has this got to do with wili leaks and assange and the point being made?

    Dunno really; I thought you made the link but I'm quite prepared to admit if I'm wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  88. "Keep off the booze, "badpenny", there's a love. You just make yourself look like a bit of a knob-end."

    No response? Just an insult, an allegation and a patronising attitude? Oh dear - where's the fire in the belly that we're used to when you 'bash the fash' and do good work on the BNP threads?

    Are facts a bit too hard to handle?

    ReplyDelete
  89. No, badpenny, I just can't be arsed with you anymore. Which is sad really because I used to have a great deal of respect, even admiration, for you once.

    And on that sour note, time for bed for me. I have my profligately luxurious lifestyle to support, which means getting my arse out of bed at the crack of sparrow-fart again in the morning.

    NN all x

    ReplyDelete
  90. @dave from france ' a prisoners friend is probably a good idea', yey will jot that one down in me note book,ta mate

    ReplyDelete
  91. @smtx10; It's not inconcievable that our wires got crossed over different threads. If you want a philsophical debate I'll have a bash but I make no pretence to being a philosopher!

    ReplyDelete
  92. smtx " , just has worked her self up into an awful state, her partner stays over quite a bit. "

    I SEE ! I assume the partner has a lodging, paid for, but those bastards want to pretend they're living together in the sense that both share the rent.

    ONE counter-attaque could be the supposed living-in partners rentbook ?

    ReplyDelete
  93. meanwhile in Libya(ah you hadn;t forgotten had you's) from associated press; 'Bodies of people who have vanished are being dumped on the streets,gunmen in SUVS have descended on homes in the night to drag away suspected protestors,footage of protestors that militia men have pored through to spot faces,other militias have searched hospitals for wounded to take away residents say they are under the watchful eyes of a variety of Gaddafi militias; under numerous names 'Internal Security' 'The Central Support Force','The People's Force', 'The people's Guards' and 'The Bridge of Mohammed al Magarif, the head of Gaddafi;s personal guard, all searching for suspected protestors.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Leni, the sad hilarity of the situation is that the Three Stooges have impenetrable hides of self-belief. Call it the fallacy of meritocracy. You can see it at work in the Guardian as well.

    I struggled for a long time to see what - if anything - other than wholesale swallowing of neoliberalism had replaced socialism on the left as a means of understanding society.

    They wouldn't put such a name to it, but you could broadly call it a Free Market In People. Shit name, but bear with me. If we have, generally speaking, a free market in people's talents and intellects, then each will find its market value. Smart people get smart jobs and are remunerated accordingly. Thick people, well you can guess what happens to them.

    But in the same way that a free financial market is only in perfect equilibrium if there are no cartels, artificial constrictions of supply, free flow of information and no movements based on irrational sentiment, the Free Market of People only holds true if everyone has the same education, opportunity and access. And it doesn't.

    The Graun is horribly annoyed by people pointing out their Oxbridge bias, but ultimately they are unmoved. You get to Oxford or Cambridge on merit. Don't you? Not really. You get there because middling intellects are educated within an inch of their lives, tutored, trammeled and crammed towards it. They may even get the finest education when they get there, but often they're polishing some well-connected turds.

    The problem is the turds are the sons and daughters of existing establishment turds - offspring of famous historians, political theorists and Director Generals of the BBC. So it's self-fulfilling. My son/daughter got into Oxford/Cambridge on 'merit'. Oxford and Cambridge are the best. Therefore my son or daughter is the best. Presumably those UK universities jostling for position with Oxford & Cambridge in worldwide league tables, such as Imperial and UCL, are stuffed with people who chew chair legs, point at things and say "Pretty."

    On a newspaper groaning with substandard hacks and a declining circulation, such onanism isn't too important. But apply it to government and Hampstead, we have a problem.

    Gideon doesn't know what he's doing, but he's absolutely sure about doing it. Dead Ed doesn't know any smelly people, so he's not too fussed if they lose their benefits or not. Clegg is just happy that people are now listening to him.

    It's a big wank circle, peopled by a very small sliver of British society. The dirt-under-the-fingernails industry and manufacturing approach to creating wealth from one end of a society to another doesn't appeal to them. After all, if people value technical knowledge above PPE tripe, then we are not being led by the finest minds, but by irrelevant, self-regarding professional bullshitters. And we are. Unfortunately.

    ReplyDelete
  95. leni|.

    "....We need an expert on contract law to clarify this...

    You called?

    I know a little about contract law:

    (i) it is based on the notion/morality of an open and freely entered into agreement between decent 'chaps' who at law are thus perceived, and thereafter considered, as equal partners in the deal....;

    (ii) thus sid the unemployed snot entering into a contract of employment with Rothschild/Barclay the Banker/Blair the Bambino Kid enters into an agreement with an equal.......................my arse;

    (iii) there are next to no known examples of a contract between a weakling and a giant not being upheld, at law, in favour of the giant;

    (iv) fair and just contract law is ....by and large, a myth up there along with Jesus.


    but then then you knew that wise owl

    xx.

    ReplyDelete
  96. What AB noted recently about poor folk and money lenders entering into legally enforceable contacts with interest charged at APR=4000+% is........... sadly fucking true


    ..............I've often thought that folk need to think a little more about the alleged virtues of the "rule of law"

    ReplyDelete
  97. Good night all - as ever I've enjoyed the daily read of our UT.

    ReplyDelete
  98. I was gonna say watcha Deano, what are you doing up at this time of night? Sleep well, sir.

    ReplyDelete
  99. BNP beat Nick Clegg in Barnsley ! but so too did UKIP et al

    ReplyDelete
  100. Cheers Bro habib ..............zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    ReplyDelete
  101. I try to, but I really can't keep out of fights.

    From badpenny to BB:
    "Just an insult, an allegation and a patronising attitude"

    Fucking hell, that's said by someone who has absolutely no idea about self-awareness. What a tosser!

    ReplyDelete
  102. Deano

    Hi. Yes - still thinking about Eddie's post. The weak of course always lose. Challenging the failure to honour manifest promises has never worked. Once power is grasped it's anything goes.

    Eddie's points about the free market in people is salient . Assumptions are made - one being that deprived for the most part of contributing to the nations wealth through manufacturing we all become willing to serve - at low wages - the financial sector and the institutions it spawns.

    As companies - funded by the money men - buy into health care for example - the possibility of genuine collective action becomes impossible. The more independent schools there are - with different pay scales - the less powerful the teaching unions become. Any attempts at pushing from below are weakened.

    Once a caste system is established with the higher castes having privileged access the talents of the dalits at the bottom are not required - not even aknowledged - and they very quickly become disempowered.

    The higher castes do not have to be particularly bright or talented to maintain control for as long as enough of them have the ability to build wealth and increase ownership of resources , land etc. The Osbournes just have to keep the groundlings under and ensure that the elite are not seriously challenged. The guard dogs do not need to be very bright - just well trained enough not to bite their owners and to recognise who puts the biscuits in their bowls.

    We have to attack and immobilise the infrastructure which supports the market. Where to start is the problem.

    The disintegration of our society has allowed for gvts. to pacify with concessions groups they fear might be disruptive while ignoring those they have so disempowered they no longer constitute a threat.

    By giving ground - bribes - to small sections while vilifying others they cause further splits and so avoid, or minimise, the possibility of a general uprising.

    Most recent example - private sector wages rising while those in public sector are falling. This will become mor of a division as NHS for example falls into private hands and institutions can individually buy off employees with small concessions.

    The artificially and deliberately constructed underclass will be powerless - hoping for the crumbs - and getting fewer and fewer of those.

    ReplyDelete
  103. For God's sake - how did we arrive back in the feudal age - this is a cry of anguish and fury.

    We can be bought and sold.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Leni, this government is butt fucking us all and all that the media are doing is asking what the best kind of lubricant is.

    ReplyDelete
  105. its a long way from clare to here

    ReplyDelete
  106. @ habib 'its time for crime' you can be the driver

    ReplyDelete
  107. @ leni most people ' newsflash arnt socialists'

    ReplyDelete