The Other News From England.

1st May 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.


Click here for an email that arrived in January concerning a proposed reasoned approach to this tricky subject

The Bonnington Cafe.

The Bonnington cafe is a communally owned cafe in Vauxhall where a great many interesting things happen. The atmosphere is somewhat Bohemian, often with quiet live jazz and a noisy audience of diners, and much wine (bought from the corner shop across the road) drunk. Good fun for a cheap night out with a lot of middle-class dropouts.

The cafe gets very full.

The catering is done by different people on different nights, and a list is on the front door of who to contact if you want to book - or walk in and take pot luck.

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

A fiddle to look for.

(from a recent email)

"By watching the property market I have found a rather interesting fiddle that might interest you:

"A person dies, and in their estate there is some real estate property which is put with an agent to clear. The agent prints particluars and puts boards up outside the building. Usually it is billed as a 'sale by private treaty'. Potential buyers start to appear. The agent sends out particulars, but for certain buyers it is never quite possible to actually see the building. People say "OK I'll phone you back when I have arranged things" and then never phone back, or "I'm afraid you've just missed him again. Sorry this keeps happening. I'll tell him you rang and ask him to ring you back" but he never does.

"Buyers do get bored with trying, and it is anyway embarrassing to have to keep on pestering these poor overworked property agents. Eventually, the executor is told that the only buyer available is buyer X who will only pay Y. As this is a will, everyone's in a hurry to get their hands on their share, the beneficiaries usually do not know the true 'value', and it is also possible that they are too bereaved to be willing to argue. They accept. The network (assumed by this writer to be members of the local lodge) fork out their pittance and everyone goes home satisfied, including the beneficiaries, who believe this to have been the best price.

"A variant on this technique is to put the for sale board up but never to send out the particulars when people enquire. This achieves the same result, but is more risky for the agent in that although it can be similarly put down to incompetence it is not so easy to believe.

"This can also be done with buildings like church halls, which belong to church commissioners, or Church of this or that, or other organisations, and in which usually no specific person in the organisation is interested, so that whether the best buyer was found or not will never be investigated.



"HOW ARE YOU DOING ANYWAY," said the mechanic as he filled in forms instead of getting on with the job in hand.

"Not too bad," I said, "What about you?"

"Not too bad considering it's a police state," he said.

"I thought it was masonic," I said.

"Same thing really. It's still a trouserleg job. Pathetic," he said. "I mean, I've got friends who are freemasons, but they do rather lack nouse. All that bloody prancing about in aprons with one trouser leg rolled up and stuff, and looking up to somebody else who is just as much a prat as they are themselves....."

A few days later, in a sparsely populated rural area where one would expect no such folly to exist (on account of there being very little financial gain to be made in the district) I spoke to a forester.

"Oh god, the forestry firms are rife with them," he said. "We call them the mafia. They even try to get the others to join. When I was working far from home and staying in bed and breakfast there were always one or two of them. They used to look at me and say 'are you one of us?' - they have specific ways of saying things which give them away, you know, even though they are a secret society (society with secrets - ed). It's terrible for lawyers. You can't get any work if you don't join. A man I know set up in business as a solicitor in (a small country town) and found himself with no customers. He asked a friend how this could be, and his friend immediately asked if he was a freemason, to which of course he replied he wasn't and his friend said well there you are, so he joined, and lo and behold! It's an absolute disgrace, a seething pit of corruption and fiddling........."

I related how I had talked to my solicitor about a case in which there was strong evidence of masonic involvement and have never heard from her since, and about another case in which a man went into a solicitor's office with a letter proving another solicitor to be dishonest, and the solicitor had grabbed the letter, ripped it up and thrown it in the wastepaper basket, saying "Rubbish! I have a drink with him every Tuesday night. He wouldn't do a thing like that."

"Ah," said my forester, "Tuesdays is the usual night for freemasons."

I went on to point out that the lord chief justice must be a freemason or he wouldn't know the exact number of judges who are freemasons, and that one or two people have suggested that Blair is a freemason, and Prescott......

And so a picture begun to emerge of a society where the non-elected few, driven by psychologically highly questionable ritual, are steering from the back seat whilst some of us believe we have democracy, and with little chance of things getting better unless people are willing to stick their necks out and do something about it.

And finally, a message on a wall in Central London said:-



London Mayoral elections.

See freemasons above.

Joe Punter's Shakespeare.

King Henry the Sixth (part 1) continued.

Act 2.


Auvergne. The Court of the castle (courtyard?)

Enter the countess and her porter.

(maybe they've just missed a train)


Remember what I told you to do. When you have done that bring me the keys.

Nameless Porter:


Porter exits and she continues:

The plot is laid. This knight being a very tough one with something of a reputation, I shall be famous if I pull this thing off. I don't really like it, but it is the best I can do under the circumstances.

Enter a messenger with Talbot.


Dear Madam, Talbot has come.

Countess of Auvergne.

He is welcome. What! Is that him??



Countess of Auvergne:

Bollocks. I don't believe it. This man is just a little weed of a thing, a mere boy......and a silly one at that. I cannot believe our populace are scared of such a silly little prat.


I didn't come here to waste time. I will be going. Starts to leave.

C. Auvergne:

Ask him what he's doing now. Ask him where he is going.


Dear Sir, The countess wants to know why you are leaving so soon.


She has misunderstood the situation. I am just going to make sure everybody knows I am here.

Enter porter with keys.

Countess of Auvergne:

If you are Talbot you are my prisoner.


(sung) Who Do You Think You're kidding Mr. Hitler........(spoken) Whose prisoner am I?

Countess of Auvergne:

Mine. I intend to torture you in revenge for beating us at war.



C. Auvergne:

Laugh, will you? We shall see.


I'm laughing because all you have is my shadow. Be as severe as you like.

C. Auvergene:

Wy? Aren't you Talbot? Talbot:

Oh yes - I am.

C. Auvergne:

Then I do have you here.

Talbot (being metaphysical):

I am only a tiny part of the whole. You couldn't fit the whole thing in here.

C. Auvergne:

Blimey what a riddle!


I'll show you what I mean.

Blows his horn, martial sounds outside and nameless soldiers enter. Continues:

Now d'you see what I mean? We can do a fair amount of damage.

C. Auvergne:

I apologise. I submit. You are perfect. How may I serve you?


Doesn't matter that you have been a prat as long as you feed us and give us wine.

C. Auvergne:

Certainly. I am honoured.

Everybody exits.


In London, in the Temple Garden (not a cafe).

Enter Earls of Somerset, Suffolk, Warwick, Richard Plantagenet, Vernon, and a nameless Lawyer. (don't know who Richard Plantagenet is. Perhaps we shall find out as we go along).


Why's it so quiet here? Are you afraid of the truth?


We seemed very noisy in there. Here is better.


Then tell me if I was truthful. Or was it Somerset who was wrong?


I don't know anything about the law, and so the law has to bend to my needs.


Warwick, you decide.


I haven't the vaguest.


Well, ain't it obvious?


Any old fool can see it.

R. P.:

If you think I've been truthful, then pick a white rose with me, as you aren't willing to talk.


If you agree with me, pick a red rose.


I'll pick the white, I think.


I think Somerset is in the right. I'll have a red rose.


Stop for a mo. What we can do is this: Each person concerned in this matter picks a rose, choosing the colour to suit the one he supports, and the one whose people pick the most roses is the winner.


Tell you what. If I have the fewest picked for me, I'll shut up and let the others get on with it.

R. P.:

Me too.


OK. Agreed. I'll have this white one.


Don't prick your finger in case you should bleed onto the rose, making it red and putting yourself on my side by mistake.


Not much chance of that.


Is nobody else interested?

A NAMELESS LAWYER (to Somerset):

According to my perception of the law, and particularly looking at the Hot Air (elimination) Act, 9004, schedule 34, subsection 1a, wherein it is stated that heretoinbeforeandafter and notwithstanding those persons named in section 43 of the Camp Fires (first order) 8097, it is ..... (twenty minutes more of tripe) are wrong - I choose the white, which is to say I might or might not agree, but...


What about you Somerset?

SOMERSET (fingering his sword):

If I stab you with this it will make your rose red.

R. P.:

Even so, you're scared. I can see by the whiteness of your cheeks. Therefore I conclude that we are in the right.


Bollocks! Your cheeks are red because they feel shame that you are in the wrong and pretending to be in the right.


Your rose seems a little ill, Som.


Is your rose without a thorn, P?

R. P. :

It has, and damned sharp it is too, whilst your rose is ill on account of it's dishonesty.

(Boring, eh? No wonder people doze off in the theatre.)


Well, I'll find friends to wear my bleeding roses (sic). They will confirm that I am honest and you are a liar.

R. P.:



Don't look at me, P.


Proud Pole, I will. You are both prats.

(I don't know how Poles come into it).


I'll turn my part into my throat.

(another of those obscure references).


Come on william de la Pole. No point in talking to yeomen.


You do him wrong. He has ancestors who were once as much hooligans as we are ourselves now.

R. P.: He is tolerated because he is on Temple gound, even though he is a prat.

E. SOMERSET (suddenly feeling poetic):

By him that made me, I'll maintain my words on any plot of ground in Christendom. Was not thy father, Richard Earl of Cambridge, for treason executed in our late king's days? And, by his treason, standst not thou attainted, corrupted, and exempt from ancient gentry? His trespass yet lives guilty in thy blood; And, till thou be restored, thou art a yeoman.


My father was no traitor, and you bunch of prats will learn to accept that in due course. Stand by to be attacked.


We're ready.

R.P.: I'll always wear this rose until the matter is settled, or until I die (whichever happens first).


Go and choke.



Goodbye Pole, Goodbye Richard.


R. P.: Threatening!


Never mind. I'm still on your side, and we will see if parliament will find in your favour. I think they will. In the meantime I will wear this rose (sticking rose in buttonhole)....

(Editor's note: this must have been a time when parliament had real as opposed to imaginary power, otherwise he would never have said such a thing.)


and I prophesy that as a result of this dispute today a thousand people will die during the forthcoming Wars of the Roses.


Thank you. Would you mind picking a flower on my behalf, Vernon?

VERNON: I will wear it always.


to whomsoever it may concern, I, *** *** ***, without prejudice and notwithstanding all clauses stating the contrary, will do the same, that is, wear a rose for you but not on your behalf, 'on your behalf' in this clause being interpreted as........whilst for you means.......... hereinafter.....

(this means yes)

R. P.:

Thanks. Let's the four of us go in the caff for a noshup (I'll pay). We can fight another day.

(VOICE OFF: you're a poet and don't know it!)

All exit.

to be continued.


I DON'T BELIEVE IN MYSELF. That is, I am pretty certain I exist - at least for all my own practical purposes - but I don't believe I have sufficient worth to justify my standing up in front of an audience and telling them what I think or playing them some music, and so have to put a certain amount of pressure on myself to do it. When I do, the result is normally affirmative, and so my self-belief is minutely increased for the next occasion - and so we go on.

But what I was concerned with was how we (for it seems to apply to all people) arrive at this state of mind, and I think it starts with hopeless parenting (they can't help it, of course - it was not done maliciously - they were just incompetent like all parents) and goes on to escalate as one comes in contact with particularly teachers, but also with people generally, each one of whom has their own problem, and each one of whom has something to say or do that makes us feel a bit more worthless than we did before - not mormally with any particular malice in mind so much as a desire to compensate for their own feelings of inadequacy, or a complete lack of awareness of what they are doing.

It seems pretty certain we have been doing this since the birth of the human race, and it struck me that whilst there have been a few bright moments when people have suggested we might do certain things to improve the situation (see Jesus Christ, Mohammed, Neill, Lang, Omar, Bernard Shaw, and countless others - all of whom would have had their bad days as well!), by and large our educations and upbringings are not designed (if they are designed at all) to improve self-image when they in fact could be.

Of course, I cannot really talk too much myself, because The Other News spends quite a lot of energy trying to point out the inadequacies of certain groups of people in the hopes that they might reform their ways, when in fact the current line of thought (in this article) is suggesting that what those people really need is something positive said about them, and/or a good listening to.

Unfortunately, they weren't brought up properly, because if you say something positive about them they seem to take it as a signal that their totally unacceptable behaviour is in fact alright and their offending behaviour gets worse.

That's how badly damaged we all are.


SOUTHWARK HAVE NOW reached the point where they confidently and without any shame whatever just don't pay your council tax benefit if they don't like you, and without any explanation whatever - not even the obvious one that it is quite possible that the money thereby saved will disappear into certain private bank accounts.

After all, as long as there is a claimant somewhere to fill in the application form the firm can still lay hands on the money.


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