The Other News From England.

17 April 2000.


Index of earlier issues - click here.

(Those who like digging about will find that there are hundreds of articles on many subjects to be found on this site.)

Old issues.

There are some much earlier Other News on this site. Click below.

early Othernews - 1992, 93, 94.

Bank victims press release. (just come in, and unedited)


Crucified bank customers to challenge "unethical" shareholders.

VENUE : St Paul's Cathedral. TIME : 12 noon. DATE : 20th April 2000

This Maundy Thursday a full scale crucifix will be erected outside St. Paul's Cathedral and victims of banking malpractice from the various British high street banks will get up on the cross to graphically protest about the way they treat their customers. The Church of England owns more than 1/3 billion pounds of high street bank shares. Furious customers of the high street banks will launch a campaign to persuade the Church and other shareholders to either take responsibility for the actions of the banks they own or disinvest from them completely - just as Jesus kicked the money-lenders out of the temple. The protest is not against religion, but the protesters believe that the Church by its very nature has a moral and social responsibility for what it invests in and should be appalled by the way the banks exploit their customers in order to pay out huge dividends for shareholders.

Background information

The recent closure of rural community branches by Barclays Bank coupled with a huge 30 million bonus for its Chief Executive and a 20million advertising campaign about how big and powerful it is has highlighted our high street banks' breathtaking arrogance and complacency and shows a total disregard for the fact that their "big" banks are made up out of many small individuals and business customers. These days banks show equal disregard for the well being of their staff, wrongly insisting that personal service can be replaced by robots when it comes to something as important as our money. Since they became public companies they are not customer-driven businesses like Tesco or Sainsburys where customers can change allegiance at any time and whose shareholders' prosperity is entirely linked to customer satisfaction (see Marks and Spencer). On the contrary, banks have a captive customer base that they milk in myriad ways. As limited companies their private shareholders used to be satisfied with the profits made by investing our entrusted money. But these days as public companies they have a conflict of interest between their customers and their fickle shareholders who are only interested in returns on their investments. The high street banks are effectively charging us twice. They still make money by investing our money but now charge us again for the privilege of handling it. Twice the profit for less service ! Deadly sins include charging customers like students for taking a tenner out of cash machines; penalising pensioners and small businesses by levying huge charges on small transactions; overcharging customers by 5 billion according to the recent Cruickshank Report - two and a half times the money needed to inject some life into our Health Service - mis-selling pensions, mortgages and other financial services; overcharging interest 83% of overdraft and loan accounts; underpayment of interest on depositors accounts, as well as sharp practice and fraud that condemns many customers to years of High Court litigation and penury. Many of these will be present at the demonstration.

MAFIA Ltd, a unique new company which is organising this protest on behalf of victims of bank malpractice, works both commercially and sometimes pro bono to lawfully and creatively publicise and resolve disputes of all kinds. This demonstration will be repeated for the benefit of other shareholders outside the Barclays Annual General Meeting at 10.30am at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Westminster, London SW1 on 26 April 2000. Customers, staff and other interested parties are welcome to join in this peaceful and lawful protest.

CONTACT : BOB GAUGHT on 0778 8922808 or KEITH WHINCUP on 0181 855 2006

(not the only one who was caught - ed.)

The Bonnington Cafe.

Struggle now at least temporarily resolved .

Phil playing the guitar and singing this Saturday.

Bonnington Cafe, Vauxhall Grove, London SW8 UK. Near Vauxhall underground and mainline station, and many buses. Booking is difficult.

Joe Punter's Shakespeare.

King Henry the Sixth (part 1) continued.

Act 1 continued.


Still at Orleans. Another alarm. Talbot is chasing the Dauphin about. Enter Joan la Pucelle chasing a bunch of Englishmen, and exit other side of stage (this is symbolic).

Talbot enters.


What's happened to my troops? She's driving them all away.

(Enter Joan La Pucelle)

I challenge you to a duel. My intention is to kill you.


You may regret it, as I am invincible.


Presumptuous little tart! I'll chastise her.


Sorry I'm not yet ready. I have to go and feed Orleans.

(A short alarm sounds, then she enters the town with soldiers). She continues:

Catch me if you can, but you'd do better to talk to your men and help Salisbury write his will.


They're bloody scared of her! How pathetic. I don't know what to do.

A short alarm sounds. He continues:

What the hell's the matter with you lot? You're behaving like a bunch of sheep confronted with a wolf. If you let this woman have her way, England will be over-run with Frenchmen.

Another alarm, followed by a short skirmish. He continues:

In effect you have all allowed Salisbury to die, and now Pucelle has entered Orleans. I think I would rather die than carry this shame.


The same place. Enter on the walls La Pucelle, Charles, Reignier, Alencon and nameless soldiers.


OK. We've rescued Orleans. Now let's hoist the flag.


You really keep your promises, don't you? I love you! Anything I can do for you?


Let's declare today a feast and ring some bells.


All France will celebrate with much laughter.


Actually, it was Joan what did it. I will make her queen. Anyone feeling a bit peckish? There must be plenty to eat about.

All exit in a flourish.

To be continued.


Al Lamb's musical version (and Christoph Greatorex's stage version) of The Wind In The Willows finished on Friday, but I imagine there will be other musicals and pantos in Stroud from now onwards, in the light of the Stroud Common Wealth having aquired a large hall which they have turned into a performing arts centre. Acoustics are good, and performances enthusiastic. Try to go and see something. I don't think you will regret it.


ADOLF HITLER's administration in Germany knew a thing or two about getting rid of people and plundering their assets. I believe it is well known how this was done, so I will not go into it in any detail. But the following should suffice to show what I mean.

One of the strategies adopted by this administration was to try to make everything seem legal and honest and logical, putting on trials in which Jews were tried for being Jewish, mentally ill people were found to be dangerous criminals who should be imprisoned, or mentally ill who should be protected by being sent to a concentration camp, gipsies were found to be thieves against all evidence and locked up or executed, intellectuals of any kind, always being a threat to any regime were fitted up with crimes and locked away.........

But when I started on this tack I was thinking about Margaret Thatcher's administration and wondering whether they learnt all of their tricks from the Hitler experience, or whether they had any thoughts of their own apart from how to get your hands on the funds.

One could take as an example almost anything publicly owned that is of interest to the majority (welfare state, education, public transport....), but I will for the purpose of this article take the health service.

The health service was the owner of vast public wealth in the form of land, buildings, equipment, and trained and talented staff with world-leading skills. It therefore was of interest to those who like a fast buck - particularly the land part of it, but also many other aspects. It was also something of a handicap for the private sector, who could not possibly compete with it.

The problem was how to get your hands on the public's wealth (so that you can divert it to your own freemasonry) without appearing to be spitting in the eye of the voters, and as most English people will know, this was done by a process of first declaring the whole thing to be hopelessly inefficient, then undermining it whilst telling the public that your current actions were being done to improve the service, then declaring it to be against the interests of patients to be kept in hospital when they could be out 'in the community' (sometimes the only opportunity to commit murder for certain patients) - particularly as the hospitals were too ill equipped and run down to look after them (because....yes.).

The final stage of the process was to turn the hospitals into trusts who could take care of their own finances and then not notice when they flog off everything worth having to a collection of cronies, leaving only sufficient resources to keep those who could not be forced into the support of their unequipped families to live in bungalows and rely on charity to keep them going.

As I said, roughly the same thing has happened in education, where classes of 70 children are not uncommon and teachers seem to spend their lives on the edge of being ill or actually being ill; in social security where private firms who have contracted to service the needs of claimants but whose only real interest is profits for the directors (and maybe a few crumbs for shareholders) are not infrequently behind by months on people's payments, making them homeless from time to time in the process and invalidating their claim because they no longer have an address; in transport, where such things as a no 185 London bus often not appearing along it's route for two hours (oh yes. I know because I and another person I know both live by the route and try to use the 185 from time to time); in..........etc.

(Does anyone know if that above is how you use semicolons?)

In addition to that, we have a government which is funded by borrowed money (on which it pays interest), has no control over the issue of money, and banks who are licensed by the government to lend money that does not exist (because they can easily do that with computers) and immediately start charging interest on it, a fast-growing wealth running to billions for a fast-diminishing number of people who take it for granted (and all because the government thinks that big business will move away to other countries if we do not tolerate their behaviour, when in fact it is possible we could be better off without them if we had intelligent government) whilst the great majority spend their lives dodging bankruptcy, and some don't even manage that.

What I was coming to before I got carried away is the suggestion that since Thatcher (whose 'ideas' have done nothing to enhance the prospects of the ordinary population of Britain, and have often acted against them) no politician has had a single idea (that I know of) that is of any use to the great majority of the people who elected them, and no government has significantly changed the way we do things.

Why? Is it because we actually no longer have any real choice at all about who the government is, it being only one or another version of the same hopeless thing, and because there is certainly no chance of anybody poor being able to afford to stand for election without first joining one of the three main parties?

Whilst the internet still remains in the hands of the public and before it finds its way into the hands of banks and other self-interest groups, we should use this temporarily-available public free speech facility to discuss this matter in some depth.


Because I am broke (which is because Southwark are not doing their job regarding housing benefit) I shall shortly be forced to evict my very acceptable lodger. She will then become homeless, and so eligible for council accomodation, whilst I will be without a lodger and therefore (on account of reduced income) able to claim benefit until a new one comes along.

There must be something wrong here, surely.


The stuff that doesn`t often get changed now follows:

This website is about the destruction of countryside and agriculture. Worth a visit if you want to find out about how it is thought the British countryside will fair under the ongoing creep of the multinationals.

This website is one to do with monetary reform.The British Association for Monetary Reform. If you are interested in economics it is worth a look.

This is a website about alternative currencies.Might be worth a look to those who have realised that you don't necessarily have to have money as such to be prosperous.

This is a website for something called The Green Guide. I know nothing about it, but am hoping it is something worthy. Please let me know if it is questionable.

This is a site concerned with one of the most unpopular planning decisions ever made in Greater London, the Crystal Palace Complex. It is so stunningly awful that only a handful of people who do not live near it appear to approve, whilst the rest are not entirely uninclined to mention such things as payola, name it! The site belongs to the London Borough of Bromley, but the aggro generated by it and the destruction of amenity caused by it will be almost entirely suffered by residents of adjoining boroughs and not the people of Bromley themselves.

This is a recycling site based in London, and offering materials to anybody. The organisation is a charity seeking to link suppliers of surplus materials with users. Especially good for the more ingenious designers amongst us.

The email of the people who run the above site is They are called Creative Supplies. Look them up for more info.

Here's an interesting education site - particularly for those who have young children and are not quite sure what to do to avoid the worst of what`s on offer in the mainstream of education.They are called

early Othernews - 1992, 93, 94.

Early Other News essays.

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.

The Soup Designer`s Handbook.

London Journey - a trip from Docklands through Beckenham and back to Docklands.

Friday Woodworkers.

(Friday Woodworkers are suffering a temporary break due to some of the episodes not having been fully edited at the time of writing. It may take some timne to fix this problem.

Episode 17.

(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).

Index of earlier issues.

Gabriele Gad on alternative therapy.

A READER COMPLAINED that it was not possible to go back more than 6 articles in Gabriele`s area. Regrettably this is because there is no index, and I have not the time to organise one yet. However, for those determined enough to find the early ones, they should be accessible by going to an early Other News and clicking through from it. This will not be fast, but I think will do the job. They started about November 1997 I think.

Cartoons and graphics.

drawings click here.

sheet music click here.



In an earlier issue I told you about my feelings regarding Tempo retailers and the Lexmark 3200 printer I bought from them.

The Lexmark 3200 printer I got from Tempo must surely be the most uneconomical printer I could possibly have bought. The black cartridge only does about 250 pages of ordinary type - for 28! That makes each sheet cost 11.2 pence plus the cost of the paper and probably another 11.2 pence more if any colour is used! - ABOUT 22.4 PENCE A SHEET! Nearly a pound for every four sheets!

I wouldn`t recommend you to buy it - but also look at my earlier article for an idea of Tempo`s service.


A person to help make up a subject index for the growing numbers of articles on The Other News From England. Email

8- or more-track tape recorder. email

All material on this site is copyright. Contact me if you want to use it. I am quite flexible. Educational non-profit use is free - but ask for permission and print an acknowledgement. If you can`t think what to print, put:

From The Other News From England.

Even better if you print the date of the article.

That`s all this week folks