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The Other News From England

Week beginning 15 June 1998.

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

Gabriele Gad on alternative therapy.

For conditions see end of document.

2nd Emergency edition

The editor is on holiday, so there is not a lot here this week - only a couple of new things. We have tried to lose as much old stuff as possible, as it can be accessed by clicking to earlier issues (see `index of earlier issues` above).


This item has changed this week.

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?


If you want to kmow 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 not playing at the Bonnington cafe this week - there on the 27th from about 9.15pm. There is still the 50`s Beatnik atmosphere, cheap vegetarian food, and sometimes a fire in the hearth - plus a fair measure of silence from time to time.

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


Council Tax.

SOUTHWARK have been conning their worst-off council-tax payers once again. They have been doing it for years, and nobody has worked out quite how to confront them given that they get the co-operation of the local magistrates - and one gets the impression they have the co-operation of central government too.

Justice slid steadily out of the window during the whole of the last bout of toryism, and this is just another example of where it happened - an area that has not been tidied up in any way by the current allegedly left-wing government.

The con goes like this:

The victim is unable to pay their council tax, or does not believe they owe any council tax. They write to the council tax dept., who don`t answer letters, so they write again, but as the council tax dept don`t answer letters they get no reply and they write again.........

They give up in due course and stop bothering to try to resolve the matter. The council, not having collected the tax from them and having shredded their letters or otherwise disposed of them, issue a summons (I think they issue their own, but make them look like magistrates` court ones, but I am not sure about that), for which they add a charge of about 30 pounds to be paid in the event of failure to settle.

The `summons` has the option of appearing in front of the magistrates instead of settling and thereby resolving one`s problem (it has been known for magistrates to have the nous for this job), so the victim decides to appear in front of the magistrates.

On the day of the `hearing`, the victim is directed to an area of the court where there is a table of about eight clerks writing forms and collecting money where appropriate, but no court and no magistrates.

When the victim says he/she is opting for being heard by the magistrates the clerks offer to hear their matter for them.

They are then found to have failed to make a case and a summons is issued for the money. this will be followed later by a bailiff - who is just as likely as the council tax dept to ignore the rules.

I believe thhe victim now has a criminal record.

Whether there would be any improvement if the matters were heard by real magistrates is anybody`s guess. The last two I knowingly talked to where complete fools who were only interested in the bit of power it gave them to be a magistrate.


THE Ecological Technology Society was an intended charity, but I have run out of energy for the paperwork to get it off the ground.

The plan was to put together a group of people whose intentions were to help ordinary people (not usually `the experts`, who frequently have little imagination) develop their ecologically better ideas, and to experiment, with a view to publishing the results for use by all. We also intended to do research into ecologically interesting matters.

We intended additionally to encourage schoolchildren to think along these lines and to provide workshop space, technological help where it was requested and we could provide it, for all age groups (for instance, I have lifetime of experience of designing and making things, whilst someone else will have equivalent laboratory experience) but at the same time without `taking over` - thus allowing the person the maximum scope to develop their own skills and ideas and to get the credit for them on completion.

Part of the purpose would be to promote the idea that it is not necessary to be an`expert` to have a good idea - that any of us could have an idea and it could be of world-wide significance.

I, personally, am interested in ecologically better fuels, sensible and sustainable water technologies, water recycling, energy conservation, energy recycling, canal transort, rail transport, ecological manufacturing.........and making things and experimenting generally. These and other things.

So now I want to find someone else who will take over this idea and see it through - preferably giving me a job as a person whose job it is to help people to their goal, but who will be allowed to develop their own ideas along the way.

The Charity Commission forms are here all ready to go. All that`s needed is three trustees and a funding application, plus a search for premises and a feeler or two put out for suitable inventors.


Nothing this week.

I had a journal covering a year of adult education classes to serialise, but the disk crashed my computer when I tried to run it, so in due course I`ll try again.


Nothing this week.

To see earlier articles about freemasons look in the last twelve or thirteen issues. To find them just click below:

Index of earlier issues.

To see stuff about Biwater, go to

Gabriele Gad on alternative therapy.

Lawyers and law.

SEVERAL self-representing litigants were interviewed on radio this week. There were two who interested me.

The first was a man who was not looking forward to representing himself but was also determined not to let the person against whom he was litigating get away scot free. His matter was a complaint against a barrister, and he had been unable to get anybody to represent him, or to get legal aid (gosh how amazing!).

So he was not expecting to get a fair hearing but was more interested in making sure `the honourable profession` were confronted, in the hope that eventually they would begin to clean up their act. I have to say this is an admirable thing to be doing, but one must be aware that other people have tried it before, and the world in which these people live and operate is so full of corruption and venality that the judge probably won`t even be able to see what he is complaining about - and even if the judge did, it would be of much more interest to save the skin of a member of the same freemasonry than to dispense justice.

The second was a personal injury case who had been unable to get legal aid because he couldn`t find a solicitor who understood what he was talking about and had been forced to learn to be a lawyer before the judge would take him seriously. At this point the other side decided to offer something in the region of half a million pounds - but not before this point. The other side were, of course, represented by lawyers, and one must bear in mind that all the time our man was learning to be a lawyer the defendants were saving half a million pouinds and the intereest thereon.

He was heard to say that if the profession don`t clean up their act `it will be too late, and the public won`t believe in them any more`. Many of us have already reached that point some years ago, but there are new people being born every moment, and they don`t know till they find out what they are dealing with.

Is the system working?

You try complaining to the Bar Association or the Law Society next time you come across a bent or incompetent lawyer and see for yourself.

I doubt that it has changed, so I can reasonably confidently tell you that any complaint against a member is heard in secret in front of `independant lay witnesses` employed by the `professional association` concerned. I have no statistics on the matter, and it stands to reason they have to sacrifice someone from time to time in order to maintain the little credibility they have, but nevertheless I am sure you will find something verging on zero per annum is the number of compalaints found to be justified.

You could reasonably ask why they do this (if they do), and whether what I say is true, and I can only say try them. I once asked for statistics on the subject and the question was evaded, whilst the question whether the Bar Association existed to get barristers off the hook if they have been caught out of order or (alternatively) to investigate complaints against barristers with a view to finding out if the complaint was justified met with the response that I was being a cynic (which I am) but no statement that answered the query.

They`re lawyers, you see.


Nothing this week.

LETSSwing and others.

(no change to this item this week - except to say that because Steve Barbe is not about I have been unable to get those words).

People keep asking Steve Barbe what the words are for Sangria Samba. They are intrigued by the reference to `The New Millenium Dome` and wonder how he gets it into a song essentially about poverty.

I will be asking him to write them out for me during the week with the intention of printing them here.

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.


selling oneself.

It is a bit premature for this subject, but it came up this week, and it may be just the thing you needed to know to further your career.

A flautist I met was talking about what it was like trying to get work. This flautist was thoroughly competent - of whatever standard one might aspire to.

`This agent said to me "fine - send us photos and we`ll go on from there", so I asked him why, in addition to the recordings he wanted photos. "It doesn`t matter how well or badly you play, if you don`t look good I can`t sell you"!`

Blimey what a prat.

But I thought about this a bit more, and from the point of view of someone who is trying to sell to kids this may be a genuine consideration. However, this person is a serious adult musician with a real contribution to make (or so I am led to believe - for I haven`t heard him), and surely the only pertinent question must be whether it will be possible to sell (a) concerts, where the issue of looks just might come into it, or recordings, where it presumably doesn`t, except in so far as one need s a phot for the sleeve (and even then only maybe).

I cannot tell you how it will come out in the end, but I can tell you that about 15 years ago there was such a demand for a band I had on the go that I decided to look for a recording contract, and was asked by one of the companies "can you guarantee us that you will sell at least 2,000 records a week?"(not cd`s then).

I imagine they`ve gone under by now, but you never know. They might have had someone a bit brighter than that working for them as well.

Click here for sheet music.


THE TORIES have been making big publicity by running about like headless chickens (appropriate, eh?) over whether a certain Mr Archer is or isn`t fit to stand as a candidate for Mayor of London.

It seems that there are certain doubts about his integrity (only slight) and so they want to make sure that he is entirely above board before backing him, and are looking into as many things as possible about him and his life.

They should be careful. It is possible that if they do that every time a potential candidate shows they won`t have any candidates.

Science and invention.

Nothing this week.

Unions and work

Having told the college I cannot work greater hours with no materials and reduced equipment in worse conditions whilst being paid for the same hours as last year, I am now waiting to see what they will do. Constructive dismissal it is, but how will I prove it against a Flash Alf lawyer?


(no change to this item)

If anybody has any questions on this subject, just email and it might inspire us to do something.

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): Industrial quality roofrack about 7 feet X 3.5 feet, made to measure for ford Sierra estate. I used it for woodwork contracting. It is the best I`ve ever seen. Contact

Same again, about 48" by 96", but lesser quality, for Ford Granada estate or Volvo 7 series - free owing to poor condition - but it works.


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:

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