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The Other News From England

Week beginning 10 August 1998.

Yet another irresponsible edition

Having run out of ways of sying that we are still there but making an erratic output, welcome once again to this not-so-very-irresponsible edition of The Other News, this time only three days early.

The Other News is made up as a single document, so that you can scroll your way through it.

List of subjects

Because a subject is listed does not necessarily mean there is an article. It has been listed because there probably is an article that week, and because the list is a good prompt for writing purposes.

Biwater Consumers crystal Palace Ecology Education Freemasons Lawyers LETSSwing Miscellaneous Music Planning Politics Science and Invention Unions and work Woodworking Small ads Stop Press

Last week`s edition.

Index of earlier issues.

Click here for Blackspot`s twenty articles on assorted subjects - mostly to do with transport, safety, engineering, etc. (It is up to you whether you take them seriously, but he intended them to prod you into thinking about the subjects concerned instead of just taking what you are told for granted).

Gabriele Gad on alternative therapy.

Gabriele is currently on holiday (gosh), but will be back soon.

For conditions see end of document.


I have moved all the items that don`t change significantly to the end of the document. They do still exist.

If you haven`t looked at the other News From England before, read this in case it may save you some time.

The Other News has grown somewhat over the past months, and Josephine is gradually building a subject index for us. When it is completed, you will be able to log straight into the current edition and then look for the subjects that interest you in the subject index - these will often be in earlier editions. We are hoping this will help you find articles in your particular area of interest more easily than at present.

The Other News consists of a selection of articles written when we have the occasional `write-in` - on whatever subjects find their way to the top of the mental pile that week. Whilst some of it is intended to be serious, quite a lot is just a bit of light reading (or heavy, if you are a certain type of person), and intended to keep you amused, and cause people to question things.

Most of the material here is written by the editor, but no single article necessarily reflects the views of the editor or anyone else who writes here. They only might, except inasfaras the heretofore mentioned article in the first part affects those items covered by the Hot Air (Elimination) Acts as referred to in earlier editions (schedule 14, a, c, d et al but including those items not mentioned under) where they may be so far applicable as to deem them to be of interest to parties whose financial and other circumstances are such that they might need to make use of them, but who will nevertheless be bound by the terms and conditions contained herein and heretofore mentioned under certain headings that shall be chosen as and when required either by law or otherwise to be used as reference..........etc.

Is that clear?

Various articles about lawyers in most editions.


THE WATER MONOPOLIES seem to be using every strategy they possibly can to persaude people to have water meters installed, and one of the strategies I suspect will be that when a house changes owners they will try to persuade the new owners that they have an obligation in law to accept the change from water charges as they were to the new metered water.

A friend of mine - a lawyer (oh yes, I do have lawyers with whom I am friendly) is about to move house, and when I talked about this she said she was going to oppose them. After a brief discussion we came up with a simple plan. The water co. will come along saying they must fit a meter, and the response will be `you may not at any time fit any kind of meter on any property belonging permanently or temporarily to me`. It is to be expected that they will quote bits and pieces of imaginary or genuine legislation that says they may, and one should put one`s foot down, because the next move should be for the water monopoly to state that they have a statutory obligation to supply clean water to every dwelling, to which the answer must surely be that they may continue to supply it as they have done, or cut it off and risk litigation.

This should lead to the continuation of the old system of water rating that the previous owner had, and if it doesn`t it may lead to the water being cut off. This may well result in litigation from some other side and my friend making some serious attempts to do without mains water by using various recycling and rainwater cleaning processes.

It should also have the very desirable effect of relieving my friend of the reliance on this parsimonious and unreliable monopoly and a better knowledge of how to survive in a no-mains situation.

I hope to be able to tell you the outcome of this struggle soon.


Nothing this week.


THE TIMBER TRADE would like us to believe that we need them to go on selling mahogony and other tropical hardwoods in order to facilitate the survival of the few tiny bits of remaining rain forests.

They argue that the countries who have these forests in their territory treat them as a resource just as we treat our oilfields as our resources, and that if they are able to sell the timber that comes from them they will take more care not to clear the land to make space for burger farms and other unnecessary but very profitable activities.

The argument may or may not hold some water.

One of the problems with it is that if they sell timber they will sell it at whatever speed they can, not necessarily considering whether it is replacing itself naturally, so that this could mean faster depletion instead of slower, when the ideal is anyway no depletion and possibly the opposite of depletion - proliferation.

Another is that if you once make a road into a forest (to get out timber) it is much easier for everyone to go in there and populate it, build hotels, ransack every other resource they can offer, and then move on leaving `scorched earth`, a phenomenom which we have seen in various parts of the world quite often in the past.

If you harvest as the English and Americans have done, and probably still do, then you just clear fell massive areas, leaving insufficient ground cover for the new growth to get under way with any ease, and you take a risk of creating desert by not having enough vegetation to attract any moisture to the ground.

If, on the other hand, you harvest like the eco-foresters do, then this has the advantage of being labour-intensive (creates jobs) and considerably less dangerous ecologically, but it is also vulnerable to acts of greed (it is not always a good idea to take out only the biggest trees as these are both seed providers for the biggest and strongest trees and shelter for their offspring).

Eco-forestry is not very `economic`. This would mean that the price of the timber would have to go up - not a bad thing from the forest`s point of view, because people would buy less and try to recycle more, whilst for the forest operator there would be less input of non-human resources for a larger take of money - probably a noteworthy advantage.

(Eco-foresters gernerally apply the principal of not cutting any tree unless it is in the last year or so of it`s life. This can be judged quite accurately with practice. They leavce fallen trees that cannot be used, to create habitat for forest creatures, and avoid clear felling. They try to remove felled trees by dragging them out with horses. This does some damage, but not as much as other methods, and leaves the forest ready for a quick and easy recovery.)

(Wish I had a URL for you covering this subject).


Nothing this week.

Gabriele Gad on alternative therapy.

Lawyers and law.

Nothing this week, except to say that I am still finding the current solicitor excellent. He has done something already that the previous one could have done a few years ago.

This is hopelessly compromising my earlier stance.


LETSSwing and others.

Gabriele Gad and Hugh Harris not at the Bonnington Cafe this week.

Click here for sheet music.

If you are in a LETS somewhere and would like LETSSwing to play to you, please contact

LETSSwing and others here also do gigs for world currencies - a variety of types of music.


BEFORE THE LAST ELECTION I wrote an article for someone explaining why I thought that despite obvious public despair with the tory government of the day it was very likely that they would be re-elected.

The reason I gave for this was that John Major (the leader of the tories at that time) presented the public image of the quiet gentle mild middle-of-the-road boring mediocre harmless ineffective bod, who would do nothing much, by comparision to the labour and liberal people, who were behaving like school playground bullies trying to score a point. The fact that the rest of the tories made the decisions, and they were not at all sensible from most people`s point of view, was somehow obscured by the John Major image.

I turned out to be wrong, because by presenting an equally mediocre and boring picture the labour party got elected, thus showing how stupid we, the electorate, can be.

The difficulty now is that the nature of the British constitution is such that even if they did want to make any changes for the better (they don`t seem to) they wouldn`t be able to without taking a risk of being voted out of parliament.

Well, as we got closer to the election I started to change my predictions. By the time we had got to the election, I was predicting that Labour would get in with a landslide, but that they would misbehave themselves even more than the tories did (if that is possible) and there would be a vote of no confidence over something within a year or so and the tories would get back in, with an increased vote for the Liberals, who, being far more left than the Labour party (but nevertheless having a public image just as obnoxiously aggressive as the rest of them) would find themselves being the opposition. (This could be a problem for them. They might have to show their true colours).

Wouldn`t it be better if these people just stepped aside and left some room for people fit to govern to stand for election?


(No change this week)

I have aquired an electric bass, and to my surprise I am actually quite good at playing it because forty years ago I used to strum a guitar. In fact, when I played some bass with LETSSwing they were heavily impressed with my rhythmic understanding and judicial choice of notes.

When I was a guitar strummer, I didn`t really know anything much about what I was doing - only that a certain shape was a given chord, and that if you played that same shape elsewhere on the fingerboard you could rename it appropriately, and thus by knowing a few shapes you could play any chord a person could name.

You would think this would be enough, but it isn`t, for several reasons. First of all, the guitar has six strings, and so some chords cannot be found by this process, because even if you use the thumb you still only have five available digits, and they won`t all necessarily go to the right place for you.

A bass is different. It only has four strings, tuned the same as the lower four strings of the ordinary guitar, but one or two octaves down (I forget which- probably two), and as the purpose of a bass is primarily to give a solid foundation upon which to build one`s music it is necessary not to know so much the shapes of chords as to know the position of individual notes.

Having got far enough to know where to find the root notes (root notes alone would be enough for a bass line, but with ingenuity one can can use many others) for simple pieces in the keys of C, G, and E, I then went on to start calculating where to find Bflat notes, and before an hour or two were out I realised that like all instruments it has it`s patterns, the most useful one being that on any given fret a note on either of the middle two strings has the root of the chord on the fourth of that key on the string next to it one side and the root of the chord on the fifth the other side (as in play a C on the third string and the F is on the same fret second string, whilst the G is on the same fret 4th string). This, then, can be developed so that whilst it may be necessary to work out one movement from time to time, the root of the following chord is normally to be found on the adjacent string (the one that is higher in pitch, rather than the one that is physically higher when you hold the instrument).

I found other patterns, but it would be presumptuous for me to tell you how to play the bass - I`ve only been at it 24 hours.

I hope what I have told you already will give you plenty of fun and a spur to find out more.

Click here for sheet music.

(the sheet music usually has chords with it, thus enabling bass practice from new chord sequences).

Long term articles

(These are articles that either don`t change at all or as good as don`t change from one week to the next).


This item has not changed this week.

If you want to know about Biwater, visit the following site:

And here are a couple more sites of interest in this field:

Barefoot Boogie and Others.

(no change to this article)

Barefoot Boogie are at The International Students` House next to Great Portland St. Tube on the corner of Great Portland St. and Marylebone Road London UK on the following dates at 8.15 to 11.15 pm.

June 12, 19, 26, July 17, 24, 31, August 14, 21, September 11, 18, 25, October 2, 9 23, November 13, 20, December 4, 11, 18. Alcohol- and smoke-free disco playing a wide range of music inc. classical! Biodanza says `vibrant Latin/African Rhythms; ambient, trance, classical and rock...... in London every Wednesday 7.30-9.30 No 7 Wakefield St WC1 (5 minutes Russell Square tube 9 pounds or 6 pounds, students half price, advance and block booking discounts` phone enquiries (0044 for UK from most other countries) 0181 295 1588`

Another - a bit vague - hand-written on a postcard: `Mary`s Wednesday Biodanza class continues at St Lukes Church Hillmartin Rd N7 - Caledonian Rd tube.

Bonnington Cafe.

Gabriele Gad and Hugh Harris sometimes play at the Bonnington cafe.

Bonnington Cafe is: 50`s Beatnik atmosphere, cheap but good vegetarian food, and sometimes a fire in the hearth.

Bonnington Square, London SE8 UK (Vauxhall BR and Underground stn nearby, plus buses).


No change this week.

To see earlier articles about freemasons look in issues round about May 98. To find them just click below:

Index of earlier issues.

To see stuff about Biwater, go to

Gabriele Gad on alternative therapy.

Small ads


(no new ads)

I want some stuff for getting data off Amstrad PCW`s onto ordinary PC`s.

Cheap laptop for writing the Other News when away from base. Contact

For sale or barter

(Will take LETS currencies): Weril Master tenor sax. Selmer lookalike, plays perfectly with fine tone, but is only a cheap quality instrument 350 pounds. Contact


LETSSwing (the London all-LETS-members band) need a percussionist. Suit someone who thinks of playing and writing music as a creative, co-operative, gentle activity, who likes out-of-date pop and jazz, and who doesn`t like making a noise. We play so quiet you could have it in your livingroom without bothering the neighbours most of the time, and are looking at the possibilities for involvement in `the community` (playing in hospitals and so on). Contact

stop press

What, no stop press?

notes re publication.

Publication for non-profit and most educational purposes free, but must carry the sentence:

Copyright The Other News From England -

In a significant position.

All other uses are chargeable.

Editing must not be done in such a way as to misrepresent.

If you decide to print any of this copyright material in your periodical for profit, please (a)acknowledge by writing "" in a noticeable position(b) send some money to Editor, othernews co, 25 SE5 8BN, UK, and tell me what and where it is published.

Readers are invited to help prosecute illegal use of this material in exchange for receiving 70% of any financial gain resulting (after all overheads).

I sincerely hope no such event will occur.