The Other News From England.

22nd 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

A quiet week.

Again nothing much has come to light this week worth talking about. Sorry.

Bonnington Cafe.

This Saturday, the music should be Phil, singing songs and playing a guitar. I don't know what this act is like, but I do know he likes old-fashioned jazz - 'stuff I find too complicated to be able to play'.

Bonnington cafe is a communally owned cafe in Vauxhall where a great many interesting things happen. The atmosphere is somewhat Bohemian, friendly, educated, and much wine (bought from the corner shop across the road) seems to get drunk. Good quality vegetarian. Cheap. The only lighting is usually candles stuck in wine bottles, and the furniture is a collection of odds and sods that people have thrown out.

The cafe gets very full.

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 6th.part 1 Act 3 continued.

ACT 3.

SCENE 2.

France. In front of Rouen.

Enter La Pucelle disguised, with four unnamed soldiers, with sacks upon their backs.

JOAN LA PUCELLE:

These are the gates of Rouen. If you pretend to be marketeers come to sell your goods in the city, there should be no troble getting in. If we once get in and find the the security arrangements weak, I will then sign to our friends that Charles the Dauphin may contact them.

FIRST NAMELESS SOLDIER:

We will be able to take control of the city this way, so I'll knock. (dim, eh?)

WATCHMAN WITHIN:

qui va la? (who goes there?)

JOAN LA PUCELLE:

(in French) Peasants and poor people of France, come to sell our goods.

WATCHMAN:

(opening gates) The market's already started. come in.

La Pucelle and friends enter the town.

Enter Charles, the Bastard of Orleans, Alencon, Reignier and forces (naieve, aren't they?)

CHARLES:

Well, well, fancy that. We will sleep securely in Rouen once again.

BAST. ORLEANS (evidently still outside the city):

Now Purcell is in, how will she tell people what is the best and safest way in?

REIGNIER:

By thrusting a torch out from the tower over there. (Shakespeare wrote this confusing sentece from here on: 'is - which, once discerned, shows that her meaning No way to that, for weakness, which she entered.' If you can translate that, you are more competent than I am, but I think the idea was that she would signal the best entrance by some sort of semaphore.)

Enter La Pucelle, on the top of the tower thrusting out a burning torch.

LA PUCELLE:

Look. This is the torch that will once again unite the French with rouen, and smash the Talbotites.

BAST. ORL.:

There she blows, Charlie.

CHARLES:

Like a beacon of revenge, forecasting the failure of our enemies.

REIGNIER:

Don't hang about. Enter the city and shout 'The Dauphin' and then execute the watch(!)

Alarm. They enter.

Alarm. Enter Talbot on an excursion.

TALBOT:

You French will regret this if I can survive long enough.

Exits.

Alarm. More people on excursions. Bedford ill in a sedan chair.

Enter Talbot and Burgundy, outside the city walls, with La Pucell, charles, B of O, Alencon and Reignier within.

PUCELLE:

Hello you lot. We won't let you back in in a hurry.

BURGUNDY:

Scoff on, fiend. It won't be long before we kick you out again.

CHARLES:

Perhaps you'll starve before that time.

BEDFORD:

Let's revenge this with action not words.

PUCELLE:

What can you do in that state of health?

(Talbot and friends whisper together)

Pucell continues: God speed the Parliament. Who will be speaker?

TALBOT:

Dare you come and meet us in the field?

(Once again, the kind of thing kids get into over things like who's treehut it is, etc.)

PUCELLE:

Would we be fool enough to enter into a trial of strength to test whether that which we already own is ours or not?

TALBOT:

I'm not speaking to that fool of a woman but you chaps up there. Come and fight with us.

(gets more foolish by the moment, doesn't it?)

ALENCON:

No.

TALBOT:

Pathetic peasants. Can you not fight like gentlemen?

PUCELLE:

Let's go. Talbot looks like he wishes to indulge in the usual vandalism. God be with you. We only came to tell you we were here.

Exit Pucell and friends from walls.

TALBOT:

And there we will be, too, before long. We will fight to the death to regain the town for Henry.

BURGUNDY:

Hear, hear. Me too.

TALBOT:

But before we do that, find a better place for Bedford to be whilst he is ill and dying, and better for the madness of old age.

BEDFORD:

Cheeky buggar! Just get on with the fight. I'll sit here in front of the town and die with you if necessary.

BURGUNDY:

There's courage. We must persuade you.

BEDFORD:

I want to stay, because I think my presence will give our soldiers confidence - like Pendragon. (who's Pendragon? ed.)

TALBOT:

OK, tough one, stay with us while we do it. Lets gather our forces together, and give 'em a really hard time.

Exit everybody except Bedford and nameless attendants.

Alarm. Excursions (again!). Enter Sir John Fastolfe and an unnamed captain.

CAPTAIN:

Where are you going in such a hurry?

SIR J. FASTOLFE:

I'm running to safety. We are likely to be overthrown again.

CAPTAIN:

What? You'd run off and leave Talbot?

SIR J. FSTFE:

I'd desert anybody to save my life.

Exits.

CAPTAIN:

Coward! May you have bad luck.

Exit.

Retreat: excursions. Pucelle, Alencon and Charles run away (that was quick, wasn't it?)

BEDFORD:

Now I can die happily. They are pretty pathetic, those lot.

He dies, and is carried in by two in his chair.

Alarm. Enter Talbot, Burgundy and the rest.

TALBOT:

Lost and recovered in a day again. This is indeed an honour, Burgundy. Thank heavens.

BURGUNDY:

I honour you.

TALBOT:

Thanks. Where is Pucelle now. We shall put some proper management into the town and head to Paris to see the king.

BURGUNDY:

Whatever pleases you pleases me.

TALBOT:

But before we go we should deal with Bedford's body in Rouen. He was a very brave soldier, but even such as he must die in the end.

Both exit.

More next week.

Politics.

LAST WEEK I wrote about a bill on it's way through parliament called the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill (I am given to understand). It seeks to severely curb the ability of groups of people to organise themselves 'in pursuit of a common purpose'. Although I said last week that it immediately made the government officially a criminal group (many would say justly), there must in fact be a clause enabling political parties to exist without being officially criminal, and presumably another allowing certain religious groups, trade associations, clubs, companies, freemasonries...........etc likewise. In fact, anybody the government finds acceptable. As to new groups, one imagines they will not be able to exist without first getting official permission - just the thing for your local singles club and football team. I am currently trying to contact a group who are interested in promoting the rights of pensioners in Britain to get the state pension they paid for during their working lives. These people will presumably be declared criminal under this new legislation.

It's proper banana republic stuff.

Politics 2.

FOR YEARS politicians and civil servants have been looking at the subject of who fiddles the welfare state and how they do it. It has only been recently that they have caught up with the general public in the belief that some - and possibly a lot - of fraud in this field is committed by those who run the service. Currently, the suspicion is on the lower ranks - people who come in contact with the claimants directly, and who are able to connive with their friends - but it would be easy to assume there are people higher up who are involved. It would anyway be much more efficient for all concerned if they all colluded with each other. They are, after all, private companies given the task of distributing government money. With a bit of complicated accounting, millions could be made to disappear into the bank accounts of the directors, employees and shareholders with very little risk of detection - and the claimants could be made to account for it.

How you get to work for one of these companies would be an interesting thing to investigate, because for them to be most effective at fiddling, they would need to be run by a team all in collusion. Is anybody who has introduced themselves in response to a jobs advert and who does not know anybody in the firm ever employed?

I can only think of one fiddle that would be easy - but that is without applying my mind to the subject. In reality, there must be thousands - probably a great many of them involving either fictitious claimants or real claimants who do not get paid whilst the money changes hands to a private account that is not theirs. This latter area of dishonesty is particularly elegant, as it enables a real signature and a real National Insurance number to be used, and it may account for why many people who appear to be eligible cannot get any Social Security benefit.

As for dishonest claimants - there probably are a few.

Pilosophy.

SHARING HAS always been a difficult area for me. In a perfect world everything I have would be available for everybody else, and everybody would be 'paid' the same. In a real world this is not the case. I don't like other people wearing my clothes, taking my books, stealing my possessions, trespassing on my property, even though all they are doing is trying to share my things. The word 'my' seems highly significant here, in that it implies that these things which I have come by either accidentally or deliberately are intended to be under my control - even if I have more than somebody else (for however little I have, there will always be somebody with less). Aside from this view, there is the problem that most people who take other people's possessions would not stop taking them once they had enough - for they would not know any better than I do what was enough. That is, they would go on taking things and selling, wasting, using well or whatever until it was no longer possible for them to take any more - and even then such people would move on to the next host and start the process over again.

At a recent meeting the subject of how much a caretaker, gardener or cleaner should be paid - as though they are in some way 'worth' more or less than some other person - arose, and, aside from such complications as the fact that a caretaker gets accomodation thrown in and a gardener might do some extra time not accounted for, or take produce home, there were many reasons put forward why they should get more or less than the legal minimum wage. Finally, a member of the meeting put forward the notion that we, as modern people, have badly lost track of the idea of sharing. That is, that we are brought up to try to get more than the next person, to 'compete', to believe that it is better to have more, that it is justly the case that somebody manipulating figures can have a thousand times the income of somebody who works in the fields, and that the most important people are those who 'make' a lot of money, when what we should be talking about here is how to share what we all have. It was a fine sentiment - one which most of us would find impossible to interpret, even if our feelings tell us it is right - and left nobody with any better answer to the problem of sharing. We all wanted to but couldn't.

Perhaps you have the answer? How much, and what, of the things I possess should I give away in order to be sharing properly? What comparisons should I make? With whom, and where in the world? Would they want some of the stuff I have? Would they consider my offering a nuisance?

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

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