10 March 2011


On the Birth of a Son

Families when a child is born
Hope it will turn out intelligent.
I, through intelligence
Having wrecked my whole life,
Only hope that the baby will prove
Ignorant and stupid.
Then he'll be happy all his days
And grow into a cabinet minister.

-Su Tung-Po
Translated by Arthur Waley


  1. moonwave is shut out from posting here again, so he's just put this over on UT2. I'm pasting here so that more people read it.

    Securing Our World

    We do in fact have a growing industry in this country – a reflection of a worldwide trend - which is one of controlling and managing ‘the poor’ – around which a whole new economy is being developed.


    … leading charities boasting a turnover of £688 million [have] banded together to try to do deals with private sector companies such as A4E, Atos and security company G4S who are on the DWP shortlist to win contracts for compulsory back-to-work schemes for claimants.

    We contacted Mind, one of the charities in the ‘Disability Works UK’ consortium who have also been actively campaigning against many aspects of employment and support allowance and asked them

    Will Mind be willing to subcontract to primes like Unum and G4S if they get contracts?

    Will Mind be willing to assist in the sanctioning of claimant’s benefits?

    … “Many local Mind associations provide services to help people prepare for and enter employment. The Work Programme represents an opportunity to build on this foundation and secure additional funding to expand and improve these services…

    We know about the involvement of A4E and Atos, but a security company?!

    So let’s have a look at G4S Secure Systems, so named in 2010 - British company G4S Wackenhut from 2004, merged with Danish corporation Group 4 Flack and Securicor, who purchased it for $570 million in 2002 – when Wackenhut divided into GEO Group, mostly running prisons, and Wackenhut Transportation, more on the security side, but still also some prison involvements.

    Wackenhurt was a U.S. security firm formed in 1954 by George Wackenhurt, a right-winger nutjob who collected files on so-called American dissidents; along with three partners – all former FBI agents. That is, he made a lot of money out of the misery of others.


    Wackenhut Transportation, owned by G4S, has been involved with the transport of detained and arrested migrants in buses at the Arizona border.

    ….many of those arrested by the US Border Patrol, and dying in the Sonoran Desert, are Indigenous Peoples from southern Mexico and Central America. They are desperate for food and jobs after being forced off their lands by multi-national corporations. An increasing number of the dead are Mayan women, walking with their children.

    So – they are forced off of their land by the corporations, for profits; and then, homeless and hungry and desperate, are arrested by another corporation - for profits…

  2. Securing Our World


    According to Wackenhut/G4S's own Web site, it employs more than 600 "officers" operating more than 100 buses and vans along the U.S.-Mexico Border. The current CBP-Wackenhut contract is worth about $76 million a year.

    "It's a job stimulus," says Judge Velasco. "It's tremendous for employment for law enforcement, lawyers, marshals, private citizens running private prisons. These policies generate a lot of money. There's a lot of people living well on the war on drugs and aliens."

    "Operation Streamline… may well be one of the least successful, but most costly and time consuming ways of discouraging [illegal] entries and re-entries."

    …[pointing] out that hunger and life-or-death necessity trump any deterrent effect caused by a possible criminal sanction.

    Under its Responsible Contractor Policy, the City of Los Angeles did not select G4S for future city work, whereas it had previously had the largest piece of the city’s account.

    In March 2007, U.S. Congresswoman Diane Watson co-chaired a public hearing where she heard current and former Wackenhut employees testify to the company's long record of workplace discrimination, labor violations, and management incompetence. In response to charges of racial discrimination by Wackenhut within the Department of Energy's elite anti-terrorist Protective Force, Congresswoman Watson declared, "I'm appalled that we have contractors here with Federal government contracts being paid by taxpayers' dollars ... practicing the behavior of the 1950's and the 1960's."…

    As for current investigations of false claim(s) and material misrepresentation(s), Wackenhut neglected to tell the City of Los Angeles about a fraud suit for services allegedly not performed on the Miami-Dade County Transit contract and the County's Juvenile Assessment Center. An ongoing investigation by the NBC affiliate in Miami on parts of a preliminary Miami-Dade county audit revealed that "Wackenhut owes taxpayers up to US$12.1 million for what it calls 'questioned hours' and 'questioned billings'" in addition to various other contract violations. The company also omitted an ongoing investigation by the Department of Energy's Inspector General of falsification of training records.

    This is the G4S who have now lost their contract with the Home Office for removing failed asylum seekers from our shore, in particular following the death, from the use of a banned restraining technique known as ‘carpet karoake’, of Jimmy Mubenga on a forced air flight return to Angola.


    The whistle-blowers also allege that staff were not trained properly, criticised for showing compassion to refused asylum seekers, particularly children, and ostracised if they ever voiced concerns. They state that some guards went years without receiving official Home Office accreditation.


    The Danish company Group 4 Security [has been running] several detention centres in the UK and on the day that its staff were suffocating Jimmy, it was lobbying for greater involvement in custodial security in UK Police stations. They have a history of abusive and racist behaviour towards people being deported.

  3. Securing Our World


    [A year ago], a report by Baroness Nuala O’Loan into allegations of abuse by G4S and other contractors found, ‘inadequate management of the use of force by the private sector companies’, and made 22 recommendations for change…

    Worries about the culture at G4S, a gigantic security company that pays its chief executive £1,656,251a year are nothing new…

    The UK’s first run-for-profit prison and a G4S flagship is HMP Wolds, near Hull. Inspector of Prisons Dame Anne Owers reported in July that: ‘violence reduction arrangements were weak, suicide prevention work was variable . . . adjudications were poorly conducted’, and there were ‘concerns about methadone dispensing’.

    Despite its patchy record, G4S roars ahead with taking over even more core public services. In August they landed a three-year contract to provide forensic medical services to five police forces, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire: ‘Under the contract G4S will deploy around 200 medics and office support staff,’ said the company. ‘These highly trained employees will operate within 40 custody suites which process around 150,000 detainees per year.’ G4S provides similar services to seven other police authorities.

    The Home Office response to Baroness O’Loan’s findings of ‘inadequate management of the use of force’ was to criticise the people who had brought the company’s abuses to light. Lin Homer, chief executive of the UK Border Agency, accused doctors and lawyers of, ‘seeking to damage the reputation of our contractors’.


    In Australia, Mr Ward, an aborigine, died in the back of a G4S transport van in 2008, where the temperature was over 4O degrees C; leading to the Ward Campaign for Justice, part of an ongoing campaign to halt the higher death rate of aborigines in prison. His crime? – drink driving.


    The West Australian Coroner… described the treatment of Mr Ward as “ inhumane” and “ wholly unnecessary and avoidable.”

    G4S Australia runs the Port Phillip Prison in Victoria, along with other prison contracts.

    Information is supressed through “ commercial confidence.” But on public record is the cost of imprisoning a single prisoner — $98,185 per inmate each year. Imagine if this money was spent on welfare, health, housing, education, training and jobs!


    Ward, whose talents included hunting, land care and art, was a highly respected elder within his community at Warburton, located south of the Gibson Desert in Western Australia.

    He was also a leader and activist, having battled for his people’s rights within the Gibson Desert Nature Reserve for years and representing the Ngaanyatjarra cultural group’s lands in Australia and overseas, including as part of a delegation to China.


    [Protesters said] “It is not right that in Australia – a country which is a signatory to the UN Declaration on Human Rights and UN Convention Against Torture – an organisation with a history of human rights abuses is allowed to continue to profit from the neglect and mistreatment of some of the most vulnerable people in our communities”…

    Despite a history of systemic failures and human rights abuses that have put lives at risk, the Western Australian government has chosen to extend the G4S contract until July 2011. They will soon commence Court and Custodial Services for the Central and High Courts in Perth.

  4. Well done to moonwave for finding inventive ways of getting the message out there and thanks to Montana for copying it over here.

    Will read it properly later.

    Bloody interweb, eh?

    It's a wonder the establishment allows the filthy people on it.

  5. There is a 4th section from moonwave on UT2 now. I don't know if there's more to come, but I'd encourage everyone to look at his comments there (in the Disqus experiment thread) -- the links will work and the formatting's better.

    Also, please comment there, if you haven't already (or even if you have). I must say that I'm liking it quite a lot and am at that stage where, unless someone gives me a good reason not to, I'm inclined to install it here.

    I think that the wider range of html formatting available and the image & video preview/popout feature are worth it, alone. And nothing has gone into the spam folder yet.

  6. @MW:

    That's a buggerance, my user name is already taken.

    Features look good though, I'd say just do it – if you keep consulting on opinion, you’ll still be stuck with Blogger in 2019. I’ll be back when I’ve worked out who’s got my user name and I’ve killed them.

  7. Do you mean 'Shiloh' or your CiF name? Both taken?

    I'm not sure if Disqus is like WordPress, where you have to have a unique log-in/account name, but you can be one of a 100 Shilohs or RapidEddies for commenting and change your comment name at whim.

  8. Shiloh

    Get dahn wid da kidz, man!





  9. ShilohDaShiznit.


    ShilohInDaSilo (WerdUpSendinLoveToAllMahUTBeeyotches).

  10. Thanks chaps. I’ll be very disappointed if I can’t get involved in a spot of slaying, though – it’s been a while since I got “Big Olga” out of the gun cabinet.

  11. Just been over to UT2, struggled a bit but I can now post comments.

    Can't see where to access inserting pictures links formatting etc.

    Hints anyone

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Pensionable age for other public sector staff who ordinarily retire at 60 to rise to 65 'in due course' (whatever that means... now? ten years time?)

  14. You have to wonder about the legality of these moves, if indeed they are going to require people who were expecting to retire at a particular age to work longer. It's like getting a fixed rate bank loan, and then halfway through the term of it being told you need to continue to make payments for x number of years. Or paying for the delivery of a new washing machine only to be told you'll only receive it in 2015. If it would be totally unacceptable in every other sphere of life, why should it be acceptable in relation to a pension scheme? Is that how private pension schemes work?

  15. Anne, I don't think it's vastly different to what we currently have. Short codes in Disqus.

    Links don't need the cut-and-paste code at the top of the page here.

    For both YouTube and images, you just slap in the URL and it automatically creates thumbnails. Give it a spin, I find it's quicker and easier. (And no spam bin to eat links).

  16. Speedy

    It's interesting primarily because if (when) the police refuse to come to work, they'll presumably want the army to step in to maintain order. It's all getting a bit scary now.

    Yes, isn't it?

    Load up, load up, load up with ru-u-u-bber bullets.

    And tear gas. And pepper spray. And get dem Tazers charged up to da max.

    Actually, Dave, shall we put Mummies' Little Soldiers in those lovely shiny black boots? You know, to symbolise the new age and new politics?



    Oh, Dave, actually the bankers have just said that rather than pay any of the money back, they would prefer to have another war. A big one.

    Is that OK? Shall I say yes to that?

  17. Atomboy, are you actually Jello Biafra?

  18. Montana

    I say yes to Disqus.

  19. Speedy

    No, I am his younger brother, Araldite Botswana.

  20. I like that. I've been fishing around for a new username for some time, for when I want to discuss stuff without the debate being tainted by the knowledge that I'm actually a fascist.

  21. *Amended post having realised that today isn't in fact Wednesday after all, and the full report was there to be read and commented on more informedly...

    The army, fire service and police, who all have pensionable ages below sixty will now not be able to draw their pensions until then. It's not clear yet whether this will apply to all those recruited from this point or whether it also applies to all those who have been paying in for decades on the understanding that the end was in sight, but it's hard to imagine there being any immediate cost benefit unless it was the latter. Hutton has recommended that accrued rights be protected, but also that all those on current defined benefits packages be transferred across to new, more rubbish, schemes.

    It's interesting primarily because if (when) the police refuse to come to work, they'll presumably want the army to step in to maintain order. It's all getting a bit scary now. If they're prepared to fuck about with the armed forces, where will it all end?

  22. Historically the law (House of Lords on more than one occasion) took the view that a pension was, in fact and in law, a form of deferred pay due under contract....... ( or that was the position when I last looked in the 90's)

    Begs some interesting questions/twists about the new possible legitimacy being given to 'retrospective law" in contractual matters( traditionally a no no).......the matter of reasonable expectations also seems destined or the bin...

    Seems likely that henceforth the "rule of law" will be a more honest and open idea though...... there will be a more honest acknowledgement of the old truth that for the rich there shall be one rule.. and or the poor another altogether different rule

    I guess they will buy off the Judiciary by making special arrangements for their pensions (they were always a special case ....entitled to stay in employment until age 75 when everyone else had to go at age 65...)

    The assault on most everybody but the bankers and tax avoiders/evaders and the special other few continues apace....

    Anybody seen a plan to reform the MP's pension provisions - the best, by a mile, public sector pension o all

  23. Dunno what coppers’ pensions are like, but Forces pensions are a nightmare. I’m not innumerate by any means, and I struggled with it all, particularly the age old dilemma of commuting the pension contributions already paid in.

    Long and short of it is, under AFPS75 I did 12 years' reckonable service so qualified for the preserved pension which I’ll need to claim (it’s not automatic) at 59 for it to pay out at 60. Took the commutation option because of the supposed tax implications of not doing it – most of my cohort did similar as I recall.

  24. "....where will it all end?"

    ......With the grandmasters and policy wonks advocating that if "Arbeit Macht Frei" don't actually work then the crematoriums at the end of the line will.

    It's all a question of supply and demand don't you know...and one solution to an imbalance is to reduce the supply .......... of human beings.

    They will try anything and everything before a more equitable distribution of the available resources

  25. Here's something about MPs pensions deano, although I haven't come across anything about them in the Hutton Report yet. Maybe they've been quietly binned?


  26. The plans, not the pensions, obviously...

  27. As for the judges, I think the reason that they were allowed to retire at 75 was because it took so bastard long to get to the top of the tree, that you would only have had a shelf-life as a senior Law Lord of about five years. And it's not as if they were being asked to bed-bath hospital patients or carry anyone out of a burning building in their 70s, just... er... make incredibly important decisions about the direction of millions of people's lives based on their unique insights into contemporary... oh...

  28. Shiloh (Swifty?), I thought Army personnel could retire at 40 or after 22 years on a full pension? I take it that it isn't granted pro rata if you leave before then?

  29. Cheers Speedy

    "An MP who has served 20 years on the job receives a £65,000 salary under current legislation and half of that figure forms their annual pension income.

    That is indeed generous by any standard - only 20 years service to get half pay for the rest of life!!

    To get half final salary in the local government pension scheme requires 15% of salary contributions ( 6% from worker 9% from employer) for 40 years.

    One problem in talking of public sector pensions in general is that there are a lot of differences in the funding of different sectors. Some like the local government ones are funded (a pot of money invested in the stock market) actually exists and for others in central government no pot exists and pensions are effectively paid from future taxes.

  30. @speedkermit:

    Depends on length of service. You get an IP on retirement if you’ve done 16 years’ reckonable as a hofficer, or 22 reckonable as an OR. Otherwise it’s “preserved” and pays out at 60 if you served before 2006 (?I think - cut off might be 2005, doesn't affect me as I was out before that).

  31. Well, this is a little disturbing.

  32. PS reckonable service calculations start at age 21 for "Sir" and age 18 for the soldiery. So a substantive major doing 16 years would be 39 and eligible for IP, a sergeant doing 22 would be 40 and likewise eligible for IP.

    Otherwise, it's preserved till age 60.

  33. .......only a matter of time before someone convincingly demonstrates that the growth of the super rich hedge fund wonks and bankers has been achieved by ...........the theft/manipulation of the pension funds of millions of ordinary folks....

    Thanks for the heads up on Thursday Speedy I too thought it was still Wednesday. That's two weeks in a row when I've lost a day or is this weeks loss merely a continuance of my failure to find last weeks lost one?

    did deano loose

    (i) one day twice

    (ii) two days once

    Answers on a £20 note to impoverished pensioner E Yorks...

    dog walking calls.

  34. PeterJ

    Just a few hot meals from rioting in the streets, eh?

    Well, not in Kensington and Knightsbridge, obviously. On the sink estates where they shovel the scum.

    From your link:

    The cost of basic foodstuffs has been caused by increasing demand and extreme weather destroying crops and has been partly to blame for the unrest sweeping the arabic world.

    Phew! What luck!

    So, the price rises in food have not been in any way caused by speculation.


  35. "That is indeed generous by any standard - only 20 years service to get half pay for the rest of life!!"

    I suppose you've got to keep your seat for that to happen - easier for some than others I should think...

    Talking of which, I see poor old failed Barnsley LibDem candidate Dominic Carmen is getting a bit of a shafting on CiF. He seems to be saying that the LibDems ought to be standing up more to the Tories, whilst failing to recognise the incontravertible truth that the fuckers wouldn't even be in if they hadn't fagged their arses to their Eton superiors. They could still bring it all to an end at any time, though. Clegg just needs to say the word and withdraw. Maybe he'll see the depth of feeling this weekend and decide that a Deputy PMs life of compromised principles under constant armed police escort isn't quite for him.

  36. Right. Apparently UT2 now won't let me log in with either Disqus or Yahoo. I'm giving up for now, I'll try again later perhaps.

  37. @Spike

    Your last comment on UT2 (the what's going on here one) apparently posted OK.


    The OpenID thing works with Google accounts - my explanation on UT2 was messed up by Disqus interpreting the link when I didn't want it to.

    What you do is choose the OpenID sign-on option, and enter profiles.google.com/YourGmailName as the login (where it says http://). Then pick a screen name, and off you go. Here, YourGmailName means the bit of your Gmail address before the '@' sign.

    It will have a generic OpenID avatar, but you can't have everything it seems...

  38. PPS last thing about Forces’ pensions while I’m thinking about it:

    ”...I thought Army personnel could retire at 40 or after 22 years on a full pension?”

    Not so. You used to have to do the full stint (i.e. retire at age 55 having been “in” from age 18 as an OR or 21 for commissioned) to qualify for the full (career) pension, which is about half of your rank’s representative salary per annum.

    I don’t personally know anyone who’s made it that far, or plans to.

  39. @deano 30 'where will it all end'; 'With the grandmasters and policy wonks advocating that if 'Arbeit Macht frei' don't actually work then the crematoriums at the end of the line will,it's all a question of supply and demand dont you know,and one solution to an imbalance is to reduce the supply.....of human beings-they will try anything and everything before a more equitable distribution of the avilable resources'.

    How bloody offensive can you get...? comparing cuts to benefits and civil service pensions to the Final Solution implemented at Auschwitz where 2.5 Million people,90 percent of whom were Jews, and Tens of Thousands of Roma,Sinti and people of different nationalities were burnt in the crematoria of the hell that was Auschwitz, 20,000 a day were gassed, those that were not killed on arrival,were worked to death, died from starvation,disease,individual executions and horrific medical experiments, including the expermentation on children.Dont dare compare the darkest period of mans inhumanity to man to Britains welfare cuts.

  40. Sarah Ismail on Twitter (samedifference1) asked Jessica Reed (commentisfree) "Would you take a piece on the unfairness of regular assessments for disability benefits?"

    The response: "We've had quite a lot on the topic, so I'll pass."

    So there you have it. It's official. Welfare Reform and people being thrown off Incapacity Benefit has 'been done'.

    Back to bigger issues. Internships, women in boardrooms and anything else that gnaws at the soul of the middle-class.

  41. How bloody offensive can you get...? comparing cuts to benefits and civil service pensions to the Final Solution

    You do know what the word 'compare' means don't you?

  42. @PeterJ

    Thanks. I seem to be properly logged in on UT2 now. I don't know what the problem was.

  43. @PeterJ:

    Good knowledge there, although oddly the Google -> OpenID process fails repeatedly for me.

    "...Unfortunately, we could not initiate OpenID process. Please, close this window and try again..."

    I'll shall persevere. Wouldn't want to get left behind...

  44. You do know what the word 'compare' means don't you?

    Most doubtful to plainly not ...

  45. I read the arbeit macht frei thing as acomment on a situation where capitalism can no longer afford to employ all the people available.

    To use SS terminology the umem[loyed are 'useless mouths'.

    And yes it is offensive but its the possibility that many people who are in charge of the international corporations actually think like this.

    Some of these bastards already makes thousand out of the death of their employees by insuring their lives. They actually refer to them as dead peasants apparently. (the employees families don't get a penny btw) = Thats offensive too.

    Whats not offensive is comparing many of the people who rule this world to the nazis. It getting to be frighteningly horribly close to the truth.

    We need to be aware of this.

  46. @Swifty

    Yes, I'd persevere - the Disqus blog has some comments on its OpenID thing being a bit gltchy at times. The Google/OpenID provider stuff seems to work pretty reliably at its end, though.

  47. @Peter:

    Thanks for that, I’ll do a spot of research, it’s definitely not working for me at the moment.

  48. Very much my thoughts when I made the comment A42

  49. OK, last thoughts, having scouted around... there is a problem with Google IDs and Disqus seem a tad coy about discussing it... I still say crack on with it, though, if you’re dissatisfied enough with Blogger. Give a bit of notice then make the change... people will follow as the technology/connectivity catches up. Or when they kill the people squatting on their user names.

  50. @anna 'I read the Arbeit Macht Frei thing as a comment on a situation where capitalisim can no longer afford to employ all the people available'.

    I read the Arbeit Macht Frei 'thing' as the sign that hung over the Nazi death camp Auschwitz where Millions of people were exterminated. But hey, maybe thats just me.

    @anna 'Whats not offensive is comparing many of the people who rule this world to the Nazis,it's getting to be frightenly horribly close to the truth,we need to be aware of this'.

    Yes it is offensive anna, what current rulers of the world are similar to the Nazi's, Hitler, The Third Reich and the final solution?. 12 million people were killed by the Nazis,Six Million of whom were Jews, people were dragged from their homes,thrown into cattle wagons and trains and transported from one end of Europe to the other, they were then taken to factories of death, where they were experimented on, worked to death,gassed and burnt.

  51. Imeant not offensive in the sense you mean, it actually not offensive its a ghastly truth we should be aware of.

    I am only too aware of the dreadful events of the holocaust and as you say its the darkest period of man's inhumanity to man' so far

    I would be very surprised if mahy right wing idealogues would be perfectly at ease with carrying out something similar but on a global scale.

    Bein offensive means giving offence - no offence was intended but of course tou chose to be offended.

    The only people that could be offended are the people who might want to solve the unemployment problem that way. But I doubt if they care enough to be offended.

  52. @smtx:

    Yeah, for what it’s worth, I agree. Using such heavily-laden phrases as “Arbeit Macht Frei” isn’t really appropriate, or necessary. Wouldn’t use it myself in this context.

    That being said, deano is undoubtedly aware of the connotations, and if he feels the strength of his feelings justify the use of the words, that’s for him to judge, not me.

  53. I don't think Deano was talking about job losses and cuts, He was talking about the consequent high unemployment problems.

    A situation could arise when capitalism only required a fraction of the population as a labour force. We are in fact pretty much facing this situation now.

    A nightmare scenario could follow. After all we are already seeing a campaign of vilification against the unemployed.

    I'm afraid I do not underestimate the depths of depravity that human beings with power over others can sink to (sorry horrible sentence).

  54. @Anne:

    "...After all we are already seeing a campaign of vilification against the unemployed..."

    It’s an unbridgeable gulf. There are many among those who’ve been gainfully (or otherwise-ly) employed for the whole of their natural who simply cannot understand how it is that a person can never have worked a day in their lives.

    It’s a gulf that’s going to get even wider as employment prospects diminish, and we get to the point where, if you’ve never worked, that’s just tough titty, sunshine, because you never will.

  55. afternoon everyone

    Phew - made it! Just back from a very windy drive up from the west country. I'd stay off the MI north of Northants if I were you - one or two trucks blowing from lane to lane.

    £1.5m to police the lib dems conference speedy - bloody hell! and there's a match at Hillsborough too - going to be a busy and expensive weekend.

    The Arbeit Mach Frei thing - wouldn't use it myself as a comaparator in a UK context - seems a tad over the top, even given our present circs.

    Yr Grace

    Just been catching up on yesterdays thread. Excellent news and many felicitations! A new and noble sproglet to add to our collection. Hope you're all doing well. Kiss goodbye to sleep for a while though....

  56. Paul (from yesterday)

    Glad your comment (and the 500 (500?) recs!!) got restored - just to mention - I didn't think it should have been moderated, despite me thinking it was a bit savage!

    AB and Eddie ....

    Yes, the terminally deluded "I wandered lonely as an Ex-Bruxelles Sprout....." d'ya reckon the McConjob's'll give her a job? Certainly seems qualified enough to me, after all OInkBourn's a mere humble shelf-stacker who apparently only took a job in the Tory Party because 'He had nothing else to do'....

  57. And Nadine Dorries seems to spend way to much Public time and money on CiF...

  58. PeterJ:

    Thanks very much for the heads-up about google and the openID.... I am useless at those sort of things ;)

  59. Frankly, I would argue that work does set you free, (as long as the pay and conditions are acceptable).

    Do you know what it is like for a young physically fit man, eager to meet and enjoy all the blossoms of life, to be stuck inside all day. You can go out, as I about to do, but you can't do much on a limtied budget.

    Sod it all, wo ist mein geist... er yeah, practicing the Deutshce. My experiences have motivated me a bit more- if my German is good enough then maybe I can emigrate and get a job.

  60. Deutsche, rather. ..Ich spreche schlecht.

  61. PeterJ:

    and Shiloh.... same thing for me for OPenID.... this rings bells and I can't for the life of me remember how to resolve it... but, shall keep trying!

  62. It's been quiet for an hour now... just sayin', like.

  63. Leni/Alisdair/Princess

    Thought you might be interested in what's set out in THIS LINK. It's basically a precis of Government responses to different aspects of the WCA process.You'll probably have heard most of them already but it may provide a useful point of reference.The box in the bottom right hand corner comes up with different questions that are likely to be asked and you click on the question to get the response.

  64. Could someone release my post from the spam bin please.Ta!

  65. If nobody minds, I'll spend happy hour trying to play completely opposite music, from track to track. Anyone join in, if you can be arsed.

    Starting with The Streets.

  66. speedy

    Just back from town - your colleagues are everywhere and there seem to be a few of those metal box police cordon thingies. Will they be having road blocks too? They seem to be expecting trouble judging by the fencing they're erecting, even round the old NUM HQ. I''ll stick a snap up in the gallery.

    See you on the barricades tomorrow (after work in my case).

  67. Shefff agree it doesn't app;y at present but if we imagine it could never happen again then we haven't been watching events over the last 60 years.

    There is an agenda which encourages anegative as opposed to a humane view regaeding the least fortunate in society

  68. We are now forbidden to csll Fred Goodwin a b*nker.

    Can we still call him a merchant banker and claim its rhyming slang?


  69. Nap/Charles, "as long as the pay and conditions are acceptable"
    Yes, that's rather a bif "If", though isn't it. One that the majority of those in work don't see being met.

  70. Just a couple more opposites inbetween the more serious posts... I wonder were the Communards a bit too needy? (The Blue Notes, before them, of course.)

  71. Paul - fishing expedition successful.

  72. Catch up time for me too....congrats Duke! (I take the blood is blue? ;-) )

    Libya, what happens when (maybe not an if), Gadaffy survives and crushes the rebels? In some strange way I have some sympathy about no-fly zones and general meddling. How would we feel if Libya decided to stick a wooden spoon in our affaires?

    Anne..agree with your 1:30(ish) post. There are plenty of folk who have never been downsized/rightsized/BPR'd (business process re-engineered or more likely be prepared for redundancies). A lot of work is now temp/marginal insecure poorly paid as we all know. The middle is hollowed out and an awful lot of people reside at the bell-end so to speak.

    All for n ow.

  73. Or did the writer of this song get it right?

    As you were, I'll shut up, now.

  74. Anne - that is barking! Good for that MP.

  75. Hello

    catching up - again.

    Great news Duke - hope you're getting lots of sleep !


    What will happen should Gad win ? Something I have been asking myself for the last couple of days. He seems to have the upper hand now - that's what modern weaponry does for you.

    Gad will certainly take his revenge if he can.

  76. We'll just have to call him an ex-b(w)anker then Anne! A close family member has met him. It is alleged (bearing injunctions, writs, libel laws and all that in mind), that he is a very unpleasant individual who treated his staff appallingly and didn't listen to advice. No surprises there really. He has bought a new house on the outskirts of Edinburgh, from a footballer whose name escapes me - is there a footie guy called Souness?

  77. Paul

    Several of us were saying way back last summer that the attacks would not stop with the sick and disabled. How right we were.

    I keep repeating - this is not party poltical. It is about the kind of society we are building.

    Unity in opposition is what we need - not one sector against another.

  78. is there a footie guy called Souness?

    There is - Graeme.

  79. Leni

    Things looking very grim in Libya and I can hardly bear to think about the form Gadaffi's 'revenge' might take if he is successful. Am conflicted about military intervention as its likely to be totally fucked up as per. On the other hand can we just sit on our hands and watch the bastard murder his own people by the thousands?

  80. @Leni, what you say is true, no doubt about it. But also I was wondering how our political 'leaders' are going to look pretty stupid having burnt their boats with Gadaffi. If there is old in the picture you can guess which way the cookie crumbles...

  81. Ian

    Let us suppose Gad wins. (Horror)

    Yes our wonderful 'leaders' have alienated him - this will allow Gad to play hard with them - he can demand more concessions in exchange to access to the oil. The oill companies who have already heavily invested will expect gvt. support.

    Oil will always come before the safety of people.

    Expect some verbal wriggling from Politicians while behind the scenes negotiations take place.

    Currently Libya supplies only 2% of global consumption - I don;t know by how much this is expected to increase over time.

    My own view is that we should do without Libyan oil should Gad triumph.

  82. Many thousands of immigrant workers have left Libya Leni - a lot of them probably worked in the oil industry. So who will actually be taking their places? Will the industry actually be able to function properly? I've not seen much in the way of news/info about what's happening in the oil fields at the moment. Have you?

  83. Sheff

    No - info from the oil fields is not coming through.

    there seem to bo so many people leaving - only mercenaries going in.

    Some coastal installations have been bombed by Gad - what happens medium to long term re. oil production I don't know.

    I assume that whoever rules Libya they will want oil revenue.

    The idea of a nofly zone has its attractions to stop the bombing and helicopter attacks - unfortunately western interference doesn't ever seem to stop at initial support. It tends to develop into control and can become equally repressive.

    If we recognised the interim rebel gvt. perhaps we could give assistance as an ally - to be honest it is difficult to know what is best. Far too many incautious and ill informed statements made at the beginning.

  84. If Gaddafi does survive this I don't imagine he'll be too eager to publicly hold a grudge against Dave, Sarkozy and Obama. His domestic position will be too precarious to worry about antagonizing anyone overseas, and secondly he'll need that oil revenue more than ever.

    I'm not sure why the African Union doesn't weigh in - I know they have firepower specifically for this sort of thing, but I don't know much about their politics etc...

  85. I quite like the Disqus thingy. Especially the link preview, which could potentially save severe trauma caused by people posting country songs.

  86. Grrr; that fucken Disqus site is doing my head in.

    Thanks Thauma, I was just waiting for someone to turn up and state the bleeding obvious!

    WTF do you think I've been trying to do for over an hour?

  87. Something weird.... I've not been pre-modded....

    and in other news...


    The Queen has 'words' with Andrew.
    "The newspaper reported that the Queen was concerned that scrutiny of the duke was overshadowing preparations for the wedding next month of Prince William and Kate Middleton, which the royal family had hoped to use to generate a boost in public support"

    So, he takes 4 million quid off the tax payer, whilst enjoying tax-free status in this country and a life of extreme privilege at our expense, he hob-nobs with murderous dictators with appalling human rights records and billionaire paedophiles and what is the fucking Queen worried about?

    The 'Duke' Looking bad on the coming Royal Wedding!! Heaven forbid the public might look too closely on the recent 'gift' after 250 years from Cammers and co. of the Crown Estate, or how much is that wedding going to cost the public purse..... a fuck of a lot more than 4 million you can bet.

  88. Sorry Chekhov - in the middle of cooking dinner, back in a bit.....

  89. Evening all!

    Good luck at the demo for those who are going tomoz.

    Lovely pome from Montana to start the day. I sincerly hope the Duke's babbie doesn't grow up to be a cabinet minister, though -he'd have to have at least half his brain removed, bless him. :o)

  90. Little Miss Thickie here

    Where do I find Disqus please ? Cannot find a link.

  91. Leni, go to untrusted too at the top right of this page, then click on the top article - "Yet another comments experiment"

    I had to register for disqus to comment, by clicking on their icon, you might find a better way.

  92. Hello Leni; it's on UT TOO. and the best of British with it!

  93. OK, Chekhov, Dr. Thauma is here to solve your Disqus problems. Maybe.

    How (or have) you logged in?

  94. Plus I'm parking this here cos I reckon it'll get deleted:


    I am now going to watch a long documentary called Requiem for Detroit about the decline of the car industry.

    Oh, do please give us the benefit of your wisdom after watching said documentary.

    As someone who has spent her entire adult working life in said industry, and most of it in Detroit, I will be breathlessly awaiting your expert analysis.

  95. Hi Thauma; I keep trying to log in by clicking on the disqus option (I've had an email from them confirming my registration and my user name) but no matter what I try I can't post without typing in my e-mail address and user name with each comment.

  96. This comment has been removed by the author.

  97. Chekhov, I haven't had any such problems.

    Just checked the e-mail account associated with the username and indeed there was an e-mail confirming.

    It said, in part:

    In order to claim the comments associated with this email address, you must verify your email address by clicking the link below

    Did you do that?

    I didn't have to, but you never know.

    Also, have you edited your profile and saved it? Click on your username.

  98. Chekhov, also: when you look at the comment box, does the 'Post' button say 'Post as Chekhov', or something else? If it doesn't, I don't think you are signed in properly.

  99. chekhov

    I had some teething problems when I first signed up to Disqus to post on the Inde, wouldn't let me upload my avatar for example, but it seems ok now.

  100. Thanks Habib

    tried that. Tells me my user name is already in use.

    Any suggestions ? How do you register for open ID ?

  101. Leni - that suggests that someone else has already nabbed 'Leni'. Try afancdogge instead?

  102. See if this makes it - as there tends to be a lack of logic to this.

    I didn't realise my 'article' had become quite so long...

    The Blogger format is fine - would be good if it wasn't so erratic for some, and the presence of the ever prowling Spam Monster. It could be that it's decided that I'm a suspicious person... that can happen (anywhere). It was just that the Disqus allowed me to post on this occasion - I'm not wanting to be the cause of uncomfortable changes.

    I've just stayed as Guest so far - not wanting to push my luck.

    Had a glance at CIF and read some of the comments about ESA and DLH. It's difficult to cope with the venomous hatred that comes over - against anyone less fortunate. I genuinely don't understand it - if you're not in that position, surely just be grateful?

    Now The Groan are writing more about it, the right-wing trolls are rushing in to disparage it - all of these articles about give me-me-me, they say. There's no money - everyone should support themselves - they are taking our money...

    Yes, there are those who are taking our money - huge amounts of it - lots of give-it-to-me - so there's obviously no shortage at all.

    There was a time when I was looking at certain issues in the U.S., and I found that the right-wing blogs (yes, it is a strain, but it's the only way to find out), would be all giving out exactly the same vitiolic rubbish at the same time, in response to whatever events that were displeasing them at the time - tending to revolve around any suggestions about treating the less fortunate in a better way or any sort of gun control. It was obviously centrally orchestrated. I believe that's what we're getting here.

    Redminer was on really good form - I made a copy of that section.

    We have now an emerging pattern - cuts - job losses - privateer given contract to replace those jobs - that is, given lots of public money to do that - to hire staff with less rights and pay - and then some of those privateers - an increasing number of them - are taking even more public money to exercise power and control over those who've had those jobs removed, or lost their health - to bully them into working for little or nothing extra.

    Then they make a big thing about how they are private and so not answerable to the public.

  103. Leni (28 Dec)
    Even a broad based opposition to the gvt. is not the answer - we are up against a global economy and very powerful and intertwined vested interests.

    PCC (17 Dec)
    We are not a democracy we are a corporatocracy… as a whole industry evolves around welfare to further line the pockets of the private sector.

    Atomboy (recently)
    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!

  104. Tried again as afanc - only to be told the email address is registered !

    when I try to post it asks me who I am and then hangs up.

    Will try again later

  105. Feb 2011

    TWO Scottish police forces are considering privatising cells in an effort to save money in the face of budget cuts, The Scotsman can reveal.

    In what could be the first move towards a part-privatised police service in Scotland, they will hold talks with international security firm G4S tomorrow over the creation and management of new custody suites…

    Forces have been looking to save money and the Scottish Government is running a consultation on merging the current eight into either three or four, or into a single Scottish force.

    The transferring of cells to G4S could be the first stage of privatisation of sections of Scotland policing…

    Peter Velden, lead negotiator for police staff at Unison, said: "Privatising custody suite officers would concern us greatly. They are valuable public servants and they should be kept in public service.

    "If this saves money, it will be through cutting the guys' wages and cutting their allowances.”…

    One would have expected the idea of privatising the operation of police cells would stand little chance in Scotland, but it seems budget cuts are concentrating minds.

  106. @Thauma; yeah well I'd gathered I wasn't getting logged in properly but there is only one option which involves, 1) Username, 2)password. Now if I entered either of these incorrectly then I would assume I would get an "error" response but I didn't so how come I don't get logged in?

    Anyway if I'm looking at going 15 rounds with the damn thing every night I reckon I could be looney bin material within a few days!

  107. Leni - then it sounds as though you have already registered your e-mail with them. Look for a 'I've forgotten my log-in details' link and they should e-mail your password to the address you've registered.

    Moonwave - bang on. The People's Front of Judea problem is all too real on the left, whereas rightwingers are good at staying on message and keeping organised.

  108. @Leni; I also got the "e-mail address already registered". Not quite sure how that works but I don't think it's connected to anyone nabbing your username.

    @Thauma; do you have to create a profile in order for the process to work?

  109. @chekhov

    I had that problem. Did you check your mail and click on the confirmation link?

  110. @ sheff never mind what leni the welsh woman says, the Libyans ( the protestors that i know WANT a no fly zone) they dont want military intervention further than that) the thing people have to understand is gaddafi aint no mubarak, he is crazy and he will open fire he will do whatever it takes, libyans have lived under his rule for 42 yrs, and libya aint no egypt or tunisia

  111. "Moonwave - bang on".


  112. Oh and deano, you never got back to me.. apart from sarcasim(aint suprised to be honest)that all u got?

  113. @Spike; yep did that.
    Quite frankly I'm just a little bit disqusted with the way things are panning out right now!
    Maybe one of the "techies"can post a one step at a time guide for idiots like me who are beginning to lose the will to live!

  114. Chekhov/Leni - I didn't have that problem, but it sounds as though you both might have inadvertently registered before. It's just a question of finding out what your password is.

    If you have a good guess at the password, try logging in as a registered user and using your guess.

    Chekhov, if that doesn't work and you are on a Windows box, then I might be able to log in remotely and have a look. I think you have my e-mail address - I think you'd have to go to Start - Help and Support and enter my e-mail, but I can't tell as I have disabled the function! ;-)

    Anyway, not tonight as I'm off, but possibly around 3.00 tomorrow afternoon.

    Leni - same applies to you, but I don't have your e-mail address. Montana has it if you'd like to apply though.

    Must add the caveat that I have a guest coming this weekend and won't have a lot of free time.

  115. anyway whats the point in registering on a differnt site /function/(when the voices all remain the same?)

  116. 'Caveat'?? umm... whats the next word 'hyperbole'

  117. smtx

    anyway whats the point in registering on a differnt site /function/(when the voices all remain the same?)

    I don't know, smtx, I wouldn't bother if I were you.

  118. 'Caveat'?? umm... whats the next word 'hyperbole'


    Think hyperbole is strictly your department, mate ... anyway, I'm off for the evening; do hope you enjoy yourself.

  119. Have arrived in t'other place - with some difficulty.

    Now I seem to be locked out of here.

    3rd try ----

  120. I am retiring from the fray for a while - posting here now takes me to thread alert - have to go back and start again.

    It's probably all about different configurations but it's very frustrating.

  121. thauma - you there?


    for competition. Left it on UT2 too... good luck!

  122. I am now getting email updates from disqus - can't find disable button. Off to slit my wrists.

  123. Sorry Leni, that was just me replying to you in a very silly way. Spike pointed out how to switch that function off.

    "Edit profile/Notifications, you can disable email notification."

  124. pathetic thauma just pathetic... enjoy the cut and thrust of dialogue on here, i shall pop in and out (as is ones want) people in constant agreement doesnt add much to debate, as evidenced here, no worry i shall be back. enjoy QT

  125. thauma by the way i dont do hyperbole(whatever hyperbole means) bit too berchamns for me, i just speak as i find, what do you think i have exagerated on? anyway Zzz Again

  126. @sheff as you are off to Egypt for hols in the near future, what was your take on International womans day in Cairo? women hoping to extend their rights in post revolutionary Egypt met a harsh reality. What has been your experiance in Egypt and what way forward do you envisage?

  127. @ smtx10; if you deliberately take any comment as an affront to your being Jewish as a personal insult then you are just being silly. Playing the victim card wont wash on this site.
    What happened to the Jews in the Holocaust was despicaple but I don't think Deano was wrong to make an analogy. The ideology of the fuckwits in Westminster isnt't a million miles away from the the dreams of the 3rd Reich!

  128. Only just clocked your good news, Duke.Many congratulations!

  129. Hello Alisdair; how's the bairn? Are you planning on joining in the protest on the 26th?