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The Other News From England

Week beginning 1 June 1998.

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

It has become necessary to redesign the Other News Layout a little owing to the time it takes to organise, so from now on the list of subjects is just a list.

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 - who seems to have disappeared, but who I hope will be back,

Gabriele Gad on alternative therapy.

For conditions see end of document.


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 on whatever subjects find their way to the top of the pile on the week in which it is written. 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 some of the assumptions of life.

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.

Hacker got into GreenNet!

If someone hacks into GreenNet and disables the whole thing as soon as we start talking about freemasons, it is almost inevitable that they (as `a society with secrets` that studies politics, and in the light of all available evidence) will be one of the suspects.

Would you feel happy to know that your country was governed from behind by a secret society? There is a little bit more about freemasons below.

Freedom of speech.

Last week`s article on this subject is as important now as it was last week. It talks about Biwater requiring labournet to remove an article from their web-page. Last week`s article can be accessed by clicking:

Last week`s edition.

If you want to kmow more 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.


BIWATER ARE the company who prevailed upon GreenNet to require Labournet to erase an article about them from their web site. I don`t know what that article was, but if they wanted it removed it cannot have been complimentary, and might have contained some elements of truth.

Would they not have done better to ask labournet to publish their answer, thereby keeping a low profile instead of bringing themselves to the attention of the whole GreenNet readership by objecting?

What exactly have they done, or what did labournet say? must be the next question, which I am not going to bother to ask myself, but which a great many people will ask, and if they do not get the answer by a straight route I expect they will find it by a back route.

Room here for some `investigative journalism`. More about this company in `Freedom of Speech` above.

Bonnington Cafe.

Gabriele Gad and Hugh Harris not playing at the Bonnington cafe for two or three weeks, but there is still the 50`s Beatnik atmosphere, cheap vegetarian food, and sometimes a fire in the hearth.

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


See `Politics` below, because if you are a Crystal Palace park consumer you might be about to get something you hadn`t bargained for.


(Aslo see `Politics` below).

A SCIENTIST THIS week was quoted as saying that we have seen it all before - volcanoes, carbon dioxide, etc. so why worry about emissions?

Indeed, why? Given that we are just a species that will make virtually no difference to the true history of the universe (or even the world we live in) one could certainly take that view. I often do. We are an ecological disaster, but that is a characteristic of humans and so we might as well live with it.

We only even consider stopping anything we do when it begins to threaten us in some way, and most of us are too dim to realise we are being threatened when it happens.

I could go on, but I will not, because some of us really do feel threatened, and would not find it difficult to understand what I am saying.

But we still go on buying tickets on aeroplanes because they are cheap and quick, and the aeroplanes go on pumping millions of tons of CO, CO2 and other junk out at 28,000 feet - just where it will have the most effect on the ozone layer - to get our money, so that they can afford to use their cars and central heating, which do the same thing at ground level.


A MEMBER OF THE Church of England Synod (what`s that?) was heard on the radio this week to say that the morning assembly should be abandonned in school because there was nothing quite like compulsion to put people off something for life, and then went on to talk about the enemies of mother church, etc.....

I daresay he was right. Compulsion does indeed make something a great deal less attractive than it might otherwise be, and although I would be at odds with this man over religion itself because I am at best (or worst) an agnostic, I am totally in agreement with him, my opinion being backed up by experience.

I spent several years trying to teach kids who wanted to find out how to make something of life the `basics` whilst they spent most of their energy in trying to oppose me doing this, and I can only say I am glad they had the spirit to resist my imposition upon them - the only difficulty being that they learned far less than the kids who I also `worked with` (I was called a teacher) who never had to learn anything at all.

Well, of course, the ones who didn`t have to learn anything at all did rather concentrate on the things that interested them and so might be excessively good in some areas and perhaps only mediocre in others, but at least they had a positive attitude to the idea of learning. As they didn`t grow to resent me I am still friends with some, and can tell you that a surprising number of them went on to university, and not a few became teachers - and I believe not a few of them are in the same hellholes I was in before I discovered their school.

Perhaps more important is the fact that these children followed their own noses and therefore developed some things of their own. They weren`t just `trained`, they were originals - perhaps not the best thing for the likes of Henry Ford to employ, but maybe something a little more creative, and in the long term more useful.

Why, then, are the dozen or so subjects taught in schools compulsory?


IT IS SAID THAT A great many architects are freemasons. Looking at the way architects behave and the things they do it is not difficult to believe.

How else could someone get planning permission for some of the crap that goes up, unless it be by greaasing palms?

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.

A lawyer recently wrote to The Times pointing out that whatever we think of them we all go using them when we need them (given the way they behave in court and on paper there is little choice) and related a story that was intended to show us that it was not always the lawyers who make cases last and last - and last.

The story was that a case of great magnitude with many `professional` witnesses was scheduled to come to court on a certain day, everybody altered their diaries to suit and on the day before the hearing it was adjourned to another day, and on that day it was cancelled and had to be relisted. Everybody had wasted large amounts of time.

So it`s not always the lawyers, he said, even though the case could not have been treated in this way without the consent of the judge.

The judge is a lawyer.


Nothing this week.

LETSSwing and others.

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.



I`ve covered this subject before, but it is so fundamental that I will do it again.

A friend recently asked me to show him how I get the kind of syncopation I get. I hadn`t really thought about it before, but although I was just playing an old ballad, the rhythm was aided and abetted by my many years playing rock`n`roll - even in baroque pieces.

I pondered further on the subject, tried a few phrases, and conluded that although it was done without great consciousness, it was done with a high degree of rhythmic accuracy - not inaccuracy as the odd academic might suppose.

Most of my playing is done as though a bar of four beats has eight beats in it (it has eight half-beats in fact), and any `anticipated` notes (plenty of those in rock) are played an exact half-beat too soon. Likewise, other notes `inaccurately` placed are an exact half-beat `out` one way or another.

Or alternatively (in some ballads) as though a bar of four has 12 beats in it (4 triplets), and thus that which might be written as a dotted quaver followed by a semiquaver would be played as the first two beats of a triplet played together followed by the last. The overall four beats per bar would be quite slow, and this is often to be heard in `Chicago` blues music.

There are some other types of rhythm to be found by this route, but in all cases it is necessary in your mind to subdivide the beats in the bar further than they are divided by the written time signature.

It just takes a lot of practice, which can be greatly accelerated by drumming excercises. Join a Samba group or an African drumming group, and you may find that within hours you are halfway there.

It will then be possible for those who play music with you to show their brilliance because there will be no doubt about where to place the notes.

Click here for sheet music.


THE THIEF-LIKE PEOPLE (some of whom actually turn out to be thieves, but nevertheless that would not apply to all) who involve themselves in the world of business never give up for long. You fight them on one front and they will show up on another. So while they are putting up a smokescreen for you in one place they are sneaking something through in another.

The thief-like people who run councils (also not to say that they are all thus) are equally in need of watching, but you can`t watch them all at the same time.

When the two get together there is no telling what it will come to. Not infrequently it will be something you don`t like.

In the past I have noticed (for instance Lambeth in the early seventies) councils who kept a pool of empty land that they changed the proposed use of according to the political needs of the day, whilst not developing any of it, and councils who compulsorily purchased land for one use and then at a later date sold it cheap to some local worthy because they couldn`t actually afford to do anything with it, and the worthy would probably do something else with it..........I expect you`ve heard it all before - public parks and the like.

The Borough of Bromley have given planning permission for a company to build a 20 screen cinema, parking for 900 cars, nightclubs, and god knows what else on CRYSTAL PALACE PARK! I put it in capitals because it is almost impossible to believe that anyone could be so utterly stupid ecologically or environmentally just to make a few bob.

(But one must say that because of the location of the site most of those who will suffer from this scheme are not Bromley voters).

This plan, proposed by London and Regional Properties, and to be carried out on grade 2 listed (special historic interest) land belonging to the people of Bromley, ignores almost every planning guideline and commonsense principle available even to the most dim amongst us, and would make Crystal Palace Parade into a nightmare along the lines of Oxford St before the traffic restrictions, with all the attendant crime both in the complex itself and the surrounding houses (a large proportion of which are not in the Borough of Bromley), at the same time as (even worse) destroying a really worthwhile wildlife site within this grade 2 listed site.

There couldn`t be many more good reasons to refuse permission, but surely these are enough, aren`t they?

Did someone grease someone`s palm? I am not saying they did, but aside from something like freemasonry I cannot see how any such thing could possibly have even been considered by Bromley planning committee.

One of the potential scandals surrounding this matter is the fact that some people think that John Prescott gave permission for the scheme without any public consultation. I find it hard to believe, but anything is possible in politics.

You may not live in South London, but please object because the principle could be adapted to suit your borough if it is allowed to go through (Remember the awful Arndale Centres, which are by comparison almost miniature?).

(There are `eco-warriors` up there doing their thing, but being passive and sensible they are not a match for armies of people willing to use physical force if necessary).

Write to John Prescott, Department of the Environment, or House of Commons, and/or to Planning Department, London Borough of Bromley, BR1, Kent, UK, and anyone else who might help.

Science and invention.


Unions and work

THATCHERISM IN IT`S GLORY is the term. The great principle of everybody looking after themselves (except where it might go against the interests of people like Thatcher) like used car dealers and politicians was applied to much effect in the two years when Bromley Adult College managed to lose about half it`s staff without paying them any redundancy.

The plan was simple. The unions and employees had grown to trust the college, so nobody would ask any questions. Things had gone smoothly for years, and so the staff felt unions were no longer needed, and if the odd class didn`t run, well, then it was made up next year, and so we all relaxed and trusted each other to be honourable.

In 1994 and 1995 some new legislation came in making it expedient to lose a few staff. No problem. Just tell the students trying to enrol that the classes were full at the same time as telling the staff that their classes were unlikely to run because of lack of enrolments, and then the following year redesign the prospectus in such a way that several classes don`t run because the students, being creatures of habit, cannot find them and assume they have closed down.

That substantially cleared the decks. The only thing left to do was to not re-offer classes.

And the final coup de grace takes the form of not bothering to put into force the employment agreement because the bit that would have enabled the staff to be paid redundancy money is not mandatory but only a recommendation (`silver book` p.38, or probably some other stuff in Bromley`s own employment documents).

So now they want the new Joint Negotiating Committee to behave like people who trust Bromley Adult College, Bromley Education Department, and everybody involved in the process.

We have every reason, I am sure.


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

Small 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:

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).

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