The Other News From England.

8th 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.

Biotechnology

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

The Bonnington Cafe.

THIS SATURDAY: Gabriele Gad piano and Hugh Harris sax - quiet old-fashioned jazz. The hat will go round.

Bonnington cafe is a communally owned cafe in Vauxhall where a great many interesting things happen. The atmosphere is somewhat Bohemian, and much wine (bought from the corner shop across the road) seems to get drunk. Vegetarian.

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, but it gets very full - especially when there is some jazz going on.

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

Lawyers.

A SIKH has made headlines by becoming England's youngest QC this week. He thought he would be a good role model for the Sikh community generally. He was called to the bar in 1989 and now specialises in human rights issues.

This is something of a surprise, as I have been led to believe that there are no Sikh freemasons, but it might be accounted for by the fact that there is little financial gain to be made from Human rights.

London Mayoral elections.

WE HAVE A GOVERNMENT COMMITTED TO DEMOCRACY, and, as you will all know, they decided to re-establish the London County Council under another name in order to increase the possibilities for those they support to be democratically elected. This is why the government are already working on measures to curb the power of Ken Livingstone as Mayor. The Independent for Thursday 4 May sums up the situation quite well:

"Ken Livingston will be prevented from having control of the Metropolitan Police under government moves to shackle him if he wins today's election for mayor of London........

"Jack Straw would have a veto over Livingstone appointments to the capital's new police authority. It is part of a wider attempt to impose limits on the former Greater London Council leader should he be chosen..."

But presumably this would not have been so if somebody else had got in? They really are committed to democracy, aren't they?

London Assembly Elections

DURING the mayoral elections there was also a fairly democratic local council election at which, it is reported, that ghastly gang of graspers the Tories won many seats off Labour. This no doubt came as a surprise to the Labour party, but it seems unlikely it would be much of a surprise to your average voter. When they voted the Labour Party into office a couple of years or so back, the main concern of the electorate must surely have been to get rid of the Tories first, and to have a new, better type of government second. Since the current Labour government has been almost a carbon copy of the Tory government before it (the only noticeable difference for most voters being the reduced number of scandals coming to light) there was little point in voting for them when you could have the full-blooded, fully avaricious version for the same amount of effort.

Joe Punter's Shakespeare.

King Henry the 6th.part 1 Act 2 continued.

SCENE 5.

The Tower of London.

Enter Mortimer in a chair (this is probably a sedan chair) and jailers.

EDMOND MORTIMER (I don't know who he is either yet):

Having been imprisoned in the tower for so long I feel bloody awful. Do you think I could die?

FIRST JAILER:

Richard Plantagenet is coming.

E. MORTIMER:

He's had just as bad a time as I have, but I'll be glad to see him. They have been most unjust with him. Luckily for me, I will die shortly and then it is all over. I wish I could offer him the same solution.

Enter R. P.

FIRST JAILER:

Your nephew my lord.

MORTIMER:

He's arrived?

R P :

Hello uncle. I feel just as ill-used as you do.

MORTIMER:

Hello. Because I have no children of my own you are my heir. Be careful what you do with it. I won't take long to die.

R. P.:

I know I need to be cautious, but I think my father was executed unjustly.

MORTIMER:

Be careful and silent, but bear in mind that the House of Lancaster has been there a long time - and hold your ground. I'm scarpering to some place where I feel more comfortable.

R. P. :

I wish I could give you some of my youth.

MORTIMER:

Don't worry about me. I've ad enough of this caper. Just look after yourself, try to be rich, and enjoy a good bundle from time to time.

R. P.:

Rest peacefully Uncle. I will give you an excellent funeral (might even use the co-op) far better than your life has been.

MORTIMER:

I'm dying on account of some very stingy actions on the part of Somerset. I am going to Parliament to clarify the point and make good my name/turn disadvantage to advantage.

Act 3 starts next week.

London Riots.

A LARGE COLLECTION OF people took to the streets of London at the weekend to demonstrate about capitalism. They don't like it, and as it excludes the majority of them, and capitalism as practiced in England today appears to be making them poorer by the minute and doing phenomenal amounts of ecological damage, it is understandable that they shouldn't.

They started off by symbolically doing a bit of gardening, but of course all these groups of peaceful protesters get infiltrated by other groups who would wish to discredit them, and yet others who like a bit of violence, so soon the peaceful action was turned into a riot in which (some would say appropriately), branches of Macdonald's were smashed, a statue in Parliament Square was improved by the addition of a bit of grass, spray paint was added to various things, and the prime minister declared the demonstrators all to be mindless vandals, apparently without the slightest consideration of the possibility that our current politicians (including him) might equally bear the same label when viewed from another direction. Here is what one paper quoted him as saying:

"The people responsible for the damage in London today are an absolute disgrace. Their actions have got nothing to do with convictions or beliefs and everything to do with mindless thuggery."

(see what I mean?)

The same might have been said of the Luftwaffe or the RAF during World War Two, but nobody mentioned that. Most of these people will have been products of the British education system, and many of them will have been unable to express their exasperation with the system any other way.

As far as I know, nobody was killed, but probably many people were injured.

The government has on it's side vast resources to fund the searching out of the offending parties, and has video footage, whilst the protestors probably have no resources to protect themselves against the coming onslaught. The question now is what are considered to be the main offences? I would hazard a guess that the most important things in the minds of our politicians are (in order of importance): Damage to Macdonald's, damage to bank premises, damage to businesses, damage to other property, spray painting a statue in Parliament Square, adding grass to same, expressing disapproval of the gods of mammon, expressing disapproval of our politicians, expressing disapproval generally.........hundreds more items, ending a long way down the list with damage to ordinary punters, who may well be considered expendable in this scenario unless they happen to be rich.

It is only a very small step from what has happened so far in London to the sort of thing Pinochet is alleged to have presided over in Chile. We should keep an eye on this situation.

Psychology.

I discovered that during the past year I had such a complete memory loss over a certain matter that I was unable to reconstruct the event even when it was described to me. At the time, I had said I was ageing and did tend to forget things from time to time, but what is interesting is that months after the conversation in which it was described to me I suddenly remembered both the event and the conversation, when the conversation as well as the event had gone completely from my memory up until that day. Having remembered this event (with much remorse, may I say, for it was a very beautiful occasion I had been reminded of, and to deny it's existence can only have been taken as an insult by the lady in question), I then went on to remember an occasion in the mid seventies when my mother telephoned me and I did not recognise her voice, was unable to orient myself until, after several tries at telling me who she was, she told me she was my mother! The penny dropped, and off we went.

Whilst I have never tried discussing this kind of phenomenom with anybody else, it seems to me highly likely that from time to time it happens in everybody's life without actually being the onset of Altzheimer's condition, and I can only account for it in terms of the fact that every day the odd cell or two of brain tissue dies off, and of course if it is a critical piece it would leave one with a 'programming fault' - a lack of path of logic to give the memory form and meaning. My experience working with mental patients showed me that a person with a piece physically missing from their brain can over a span of time regain most or all of their functions by somehow using another section of the brain - and even these people (for I have befriended one or two) are able to find memories that were completely missing at an earlier stage in their condition.

There is the popular belief that memory gets worse as one gets older (which is why in my late middle age I can rehearse three or four numbers one evening and perform them without fault ten days later without further rehearsal!) which I think might be unrealistic. Largely, it will be for statistical reasons that this is believed - if you take everybody over fifty then you get some people of extremely great age, and the older they are it may be the less seriously they will take you - but it may also be believed because the (largely young) people who say these things forget things so thoroughly that they never remember them again and never realise they have forgotten them! They thus come to the conclusion that they have perfect recall.

Southwark.

SOUTHWARK HAVE MADE AN outstandingly generous offer to the poor and isolated of the borough.

For farming out the process of paying Council Tax benefit to a firm incapable of dealing with it and possibly riddled with corruption, leaving people in danger of losing their homes, being threatened by bailiffs, and no doubt in some cases evicting them, giving them heart attacks, or in other ways shortening their lives, they are offering a full apology - if you can prove that what has happened has happened. Isn't that wonderful? The things one might do with a full apology! Why, the possibilities are endless.

They might even take steps to remedy the situation!

And finally, if they decide not to do anything at all they will not (allegedly), as is their custom, fail to inform you, but will tell you that they will not do anything and why. They've even printed an expensive multi-coloured form with questions on it specifically for Housing/Council Tax complainants (many of whom may not be able to understand it, only being teachers and things like that) to fill in. The rest of Southwark's activities perhaps don't warrant a complaint form, being perfect.

Blimey! A revolution in Southwark. I must take advantage of this outstanding offer immediately. I'm going to try it. After all, it cannot take more than a couple more years and another 100 to get the much valued apology. In fact, probably the only problem left is how do you prove that someone has not done something when they haven't done anything? It's the same problem as the question directed at somebody with no income by the offending firm, CSL: PLEASE PROVIDE PROOF OF INCOME, which, the response automatically being no proof, enables CSL to stop the benefit because the question has not been answered.

(and does the benefit thereby saved go in bonuses to the directors at the end of the year? I'm inclined to believe it does).

The right man for the job.

I knew exactly the man (for it was a man) for the job - the person who would do it far better than any other - but it was obvious that such a person would never bother to read such a tedious paper, and if he did he would not even understand the wording of the computer-generated execubabble of the advert. The end result of this would be (as in many, many similar ads) mediocrity - a person who is no threat to the management, who will not rock the boat or try to innovate (unless allowing management to think it is their innovation), would be thoroughly compliant, boring and competent. But no more. He would be qualified and labelled as an expert, and his appointment would be declared as a management initiative, an achievement! And soon he would get to managing director, followed by early retirement on a a few million pounds golden handshake.

.......................................................................................................

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

Biotechnology

Click here for an email that arrived in January 2000 concerning a proposed reasoned approach to this tricky subject

This website is about accounting investigations and fiddles. If you like to look at financial scandals (both hidden and public) this might be worth a look. I have not been there myself, but the books produced by these people, although difficult to follow, cover a lot of mysterious ground.

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. http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~bamr1

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, freemasons....you 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 cs@london-recycling.demon.co.uk. 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 www.edrev.org.

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.

Essays.

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.

editor@othernews.co.uk

Cartoons and graphics.

drawings click here.

sheet music click here.

Consumers.

LEXMARK 3200 PRINTER.

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.

Wanted

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

8- or more-track tape recorder. email pcj@gn.apc.org

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. http://www.othernews.co.uk

Even better if you print the date of the article.

editor@othernews.co.uk

That`s all this week folks