11 January 1999.
the Other News From England used to be sent by ordinary post to a selection of editors in other parts of the world in the early 1990`s. Some of these early issues are quite a good read.
I am beginning to process them for publication here.
There were a few essays that went out with the early Other News as a freestanding item. You can read these by clicking below.
The Soup Designer`s Handbook.
London Journey - a trip from Docklands through Beckenham and back to Docklands.
(These articles were written in 1988, and were my first attempt at writing. Some people when shown these fell about laughing, some smiled faintly - and some yawned. I thought I was going to write a technical book, but it soon became apparent that I was much more interested in the people than the technology - and that is the main reason there are no drawings - although it might be rather good to do a couple of caricatures sometime.)
Index of Friday Woodorker articles (and a means of access).
We are still redesigning The Other News From England.
There is at least one new article this week, and articles on many subjects in earlier issues (which can be seen by clicking below).
Index of earlier issues.
There was a time within my lifespan when it was uncommon for people to steal things.
It seems a little remarkable now to be saying that, but it was sufficiently rare for people to steal things that often the theft of a bicycle would make it`s way at least into the local papers, and sometimes into the nationals.
Things continued roughly in that manner throughout the sixties and most of the way through the seventies, although towards the end of the seventies there does seem to have been a bit of an increase in theft, but not a great deal of one.
Then we had a government who preached that people should look after themselves, and if they could get away with something then you should just let them. This led to a brief lowerin of the crime rate, until people began to realise what was meant by this idea. They saw businesses swindling their customers, politicians being elected and becoming millionaires almost overnight without any explanation, employers sacking their staff without taking any notice of the employment laws or contracts and being helped to get away with it, and very soon people began to realise what was meant.
The crime rate soared, the rapid increase in the use of private cars was blamed, because now it was possible to commit a crime away from home and thus it was easier to get away with it, and because if you did get caught your neighbours probably wouldn`t know. Any ideas about such old-fashioned things as honour and honesty were forgotten. We had, after all, a government that believed in people getting away with whatever they could.
We had a government that consisted of people who got away with what they could, and over the course of the eighties and the first half of the nineties the populace grew tired of their servants` and their own general corruption and started looking for politicians who would somehow offer the prospect of an honest society whilst at the same time allowing capitalism to boom.
They wanted space for enterprise, freedom, a proper welfare state (it had been largely wrecked by a selection of persons helping themselves during the previous twenty years or so - my god what fortunes were made), and an end to the criminal approach to life.
This was something the Labour party appeared to offer, and they were, as we all know, swept into power by the biggest majority for years.
But when are we going to get the honest society?
We took the trouble to hire these people mainly because we expected them not to be a collection of thieves, so it is now up to us to tell them what we want. I believe the great majority of us really don`t want them to be thieves any more than we want to be thieves ourselves.
I am sure that most of us would want them to set an example at the very least, but they may not be able to do that.
They are, after all, only politicians - and we know what they get up to.