The Other News From England.

5th. June 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.

A week in which too much happened.

The trouble is most of it was stuff I couldn't write about, and some of it very boring. This is all I have found time to write.

Bonnington Cafe.

This Saturday - Phil playing a guitar and singing. I've never heard it, so cannot tell you what it's like.

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.

Green Southwark.

SOUTHWARK HAVE A PASSION FOR greenness - probably more because it wins votes than because they know what it means - and engage in a selection of green activities like 'renovating' their listed buildings with the wrong materials so that in any future repairs any bricks taken out of walls cannot be recycled because they have all been concreted together, and smashing up the York stones so that they can replace them with nice simple concrete slabs (which they will smash up for landfill later), replacing lead with zinc so that it doesn't last so inconveniently long, ...and so on.

One of the things governments have done in the past ten or twenty years has been to impose a tax on councils for dumping, so that the councils have been forced to start trying to find ways of not dumping. This tax has largely been for green reasons, but it may also be for practical reasons, because man pollutes so much that in due course we may well not have a single place where we can exist that is not polluted. In fact, it is possible that politicians can see no other reason for being 'green' - I think it highly unlikely that the majority of them could value another species for being something in it's own right as opposed to something that humans find useful, entertaining to hunt, or visually attractive (and therefore describe as 'beneficial', the fools).

Southwark as part of their greenness last Christmas made sure that everybody in the borough knew that they could get their christmas tree recycled into woodchip, which the residents could then collect (free) from a central point to use on their gardens. How very green of them! And how economical! A friend of mine does a certain amount of contract gardening, and had borne this is mind. He had in fact used southwark woodchips on gardens once or twice since Christmas. The other day he needed some, so he went up to (Brenchley Gardens?) to get a load and found the pile had gone.

"What happened to the woodchip?" he said.

"Oh That? It's gone."

"We got fed up with it. It's very untidy you know. I think they took it up the dump."

Heroic stuff!

Joe Punter's Shakespeare.

King Henry the 6th.part 1 Act 3.

ACT 3.


Paris. The palace.

Enter king, Gloster, Winchester, York, Somerset, Warwick, Exeter, Vernon, Basset, etc., and Talbot with his nameless soldiers.


I've stopped fighting for a couple of days to come and see the king. We have taken many towns and 500 or so named prisoners. (I think we may assume the other vanquished French who could not be ransomned have been killed for reasons of economy).

He kneels.(!)

I ascribe this to the glory of god, and next to yourself, king.

King Henry asks his uncle if this Talbot is the one who has been so long in France.




You've done splendidly. Accept the title Earl of Shrewsbury.

(Blast on trumpet, followed by a flourish). Everyone exits except Vernon and Basset.


Do you still dare to say what you said about the duke of York?


I do. Roughly to the same degree that you say the same type of things about Somerset.

(schoolboys arguing about their football heros?)


Sir, I honour your lord as he is.


Why? Is he not as good a man as York?

VERNON (punching Basset):

That is not so. How dare you! Take that!


You know it is illegal for me to draw my sword against you, or I would. I intend to ask the king if I may have permission to duel with you, and then you will regret it.


I'll do the same, and as fast as possible.

All exit.

More next week.


I HAVE AN OLD FRIEND OF 76 who somehow still manages to believe that which she believes politicians are telling her. This she does despite all evidence to show (a) that what they get you to think they mean is not what they said, and (b) on those rare occasions where they are clear and straightforward in what they say, they almost never actually do that which they are telling you they intend to do.

I say 'they intend to do' because this might (or might not) give a slightly clearer picture of what is going on than if we called the same thing a promise. Politicians of all parties are famous for 'breaking their promises', which would probably largely account for why they they virtually never make any. Conceivably in many cases they do actually intend to do the thing but find themselves shackled by the design of the system of government, and discover the just and necessary to be impossible to do (probably because it doesn't suit the whims of the banks or some sovereign or other).

My friend doggedly remains optimistic through all this, and telephones me on a regular basis to tell me that at last the government are starting to do something for the people - but they never do. The other day, a circular was sent out to all small educational establishments (probably large ones too) to say that those which had funding for a certain activity last year would be offered funding again (like the 'Third World', certain branches of British education - perhaps all British education - have to cadge around for what they perceive as charitable donations from the state). My friend, being the optimist she is, immediately started asking me to help fill in forms to apply because the government was at last going to start helping. I have to admit I was cynical about this, and suggested there might be a better use for the application form that didn't cost anything in postage and arrived at a relatively satisfactory result, but she insisted on at least finding out whether we really were eligible.

I don't have to tell you we weren't eligible - and probaly neither was anybody else, because the main object of the excercise was almost certainly to create the illusion in the run-up to an election of a government committed to helping the people - something they have done no better than such wreckers as the Tories. It is quite likely most applicants will wait some time before applying, and will still not know what the outcome will be on election day, but as most of them will be like my friend they will be thinking on election day that they will succeed, and this will influence their voting decision. One must also bear in mind that once people get such ideas in their heads they go around telling other people, which also wins votes.

The idea that it is all about to happen only needs to be maintained until election day, after which, the majority can (as they always seem to) whistle, as they say in the vernacular.


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


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.

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

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From The Other News From England.

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That`s all this week folks