The Other News From England.

26th. 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.

Bonnington Cafe.

This Saturday - Probably Gabriele Gad pno and Hugh Harris sax (there may be a bass or some other guests). Melodic old-fashioned jazz both old and new. There are still music-writers like you got in the 1930s.

Bonnington cafe is a communally owned cafe in Vauxhall. 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 overall result is relaxed and pleasing.

The cafe gets very full - although these last few weeks owing to holidays it has been quite quiet.

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 4.

ACT 4.


Other plains in Gascony.

Enter somerset with army and an officer from Talbot's army.


It's too late to rescue Talbot with this army. York has set him up for a big fall so that he can take over.


Here is Sir william Lucy who set forth with me to help out.

(Enter Sir William Lucy).


How are you, Sir William? Where have they sent you?


You ask me? Who the hell do you think you are, then, standing about here when you should be rescuing Talbot, who is ringed about with Frenchmen (same applies to York). He will perish if you don't do something urgently.


York sent him there, so York should have provided backup.


And York says you are witholding the support put together specifically for this purpose.


York's a liar. He could have had the horse. I don't owe him anything, and would scorn helping him.


Talbot is about to die as a result of your power struggle with York. You have betrayed him.


Come, go(sic). I will send the horsemen straight away. They'll be with him in six hours.


I think you'll be too late. They will probably have killed him by now. He would never have run away.


If he is dead, then goodbye brave Talbot.


If he's dead, then you're the cause.


The English camp near Bordeaux.

Enter Talbot and his son John.


Sorry lad. I intended to teach you the strategies of war, but instead I seem to have brought you to a feast of death. I'll tell you how to escape.........


I'm not going anywhere. What kind of coward do you think I am?


Please go now so that you can revenge my death if I am killed.


He that runs away never returns.


If we both stay, we both die.


Right. You go, I'll stay. I have to prove myself, whilst you have already done that, and if you retreat they will say it was just part of a great strategy. Furthermore, if the French catch or kill me, there is little gain in catching or killing someone unknown. I cannot afford to be labelled a coward who ran away the first time he came upon a battle.


Shall all your mother's hopes lie in a tomb?

J. T.:

I'd rather do that than shame her.


I command you to go!

J. T.:

I will go to battle, but will not run away.


Part of your father may be saved in you.

J. T.:

But I want no part of my father shamed in me.


You were never famous, and therefore cannot lose it.(!)

J. T. :

What about your name, then? If I run that will reflect on you.


Your father's charge will clear you of that.

J. T. :

You can't be my witness if you are dead. If death is so certain, why don't we both do a runner?


What? And leave my followers here to die? My age was never tainted with such shame.

J. T. :

It's no good, Dad. I'm not willing to be blamed for deserting an army under attack. Wherever you go, I shall too, and if you die then so do I. I don't want to live without a father.


Right. So it be, then. We fight side by side until dead, and our souls go to heaven.

More next week.


WHEN THE PRESENT TORY-LABOUR government came into power part of their ticket was (like the many overtly Tory governments before them) the intention to provide government that was answerable for it's actions, accessible, just, inclusive, listening, and considered the needs of the poor as much as it considered the needs of the rich - a government of the people for the people. I didn't believe them, but I wanted to, and have continued to want to ever since, despite all evidence to the contrary.

When, for the third year running, the firm who administer the housing benefit scheme failed me without any explanation or justification at all, with simple but extensive evasion, and apparently with the collusion of the London Borough of Southwark (who pay for their existence), I decided the time had come to go my Member of Parliament (who turns out to be Harriet Harman).

This government still calls itself a Labour government, and so it seemed appropriate to me that I should start by telephoning the Labour Party head office, which happens to be in Southwark (opposite Newington Library, in fact, and no more than a few yards from my great grandfather's shop, which, as a matter of interest to me, is still in existence). The lady who answered the phone asked me what ward I was in so that she could tell me who the MP was (for I did not know at that stage that it was Harriet Harman) and then told me that she could not tell me when Harriet Harman's surgeries were, but that if I telephoned the Houses of Parliament I would be able to contact her office, who would help me.

I contacted the Houses of Parliament, but having gone through the switchboard got an answering machine which invited me to leave a message outlining my business (actually taking them seriously and stating my business may have been a mistake, because nobody phoned back), and promising to contact me in some way.

Having failed to get through by that avenue, I emailed Labour headquarters and asked my question all over again. But of course, this is a politically sensitive area (the failure of the social security system), so I was being unreasonable to expect to get a reply. I didn't. So I telephoned again from a different number two days later, stating my business and making it sound more urgent than it did last time - but nobody responded. Four days later, I tried again and that was about five days ago. Neither Miss Harman nor any person either of the Labour party or otherwise has contacted me in connection with this matter.

So now I will send them a copy of this article - but I will probably send a copy to the opposition too.

So that's how inclusive government works! I always wondered.......

Scam Department.

I expect you have will have seen the letter that comes to tell you that you have won a prize in a competition, and asks you to send 12.87p for the cost of processing your claim, and no doubt one or two of you will have received your 50p ballpen. Here is something a little more exciting.

A certain lady I know told me she had won a big prize in a competition. It was a scratchcard competition, and she had received two cards joined together with a perforated line between them, allowing you to separate them, but strangely there were no broken off perforations at either end, so that although one might believe they were torn off a roll of cards, the reality was that there were just the two cards joined together and then the next house would get two cards joined together - and so on all down the street.

Well, so what? you might ask. Well, I'll tell you what. Both cards looked the same: they were called 'Beach Life', and had on them three badly drawn men in bathing trunks and sunglasses bending an arm, a couple of boxes with drawings of 'big prizes' and 'little prizes', and an area to be scratched off, some details of the competition and a very small line at the bottom which says 'calls cost 1 per min. Maximum call 4 minutes. You must be 18 or over. For how to claim and rules see overleaf'. Overleaf there is some very small print and a phone number. You fill in the form, enter your 'security code' obtainable by phoning the 1-a-minute number, and enter the prize you are claiming (a process taking as exactly as possible the 4 minutes maximum because the phone is answered by a carefully programmed machine), and then send the card and a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Claims Dept., etc (the persons who do this call themselves Isomatrix, but I won't tell you any more, in case you might waste some time and/or money on them).

Now I'll tell you about the prizes in the event of a win. The 'big prizes' are 500 cash, multimedia computers, 500 Next vouchers, digital camcorders, 1000 cash and 'trips to France', and the little prizes are calculators, diaries, digital watches, pen sets.

My friend won a big prize on the second card, but none on the first, and so was obliged to telephone. She had won trips to France. She only had to get to the channel port, pay her own accomodation and food, and would be able to benefit from a free channel crossing as a foot passenger - something which many readers will be aware can only otherwise be done by forking out a 1, so this is obviously a bargain!. We speculated about what other benefits this magnificent prize might carry - and had to conclude that it carried the benefit of being able to spend a great deal more money on hotels and meals as this was a three day trip - furthermore if the French destination just happens to be an isolated but very expensive hotel it could also carry the benefit of being far more expensive than it needed to be.

You see the idea, I am sure.

Having another look at the card, it is not difficult to come to the conclusion that every house had exactly the same two cards (one mustn't make anyone feel left out), that every house had a 'big prize' on the second card (because they were all identical), and that big prize was a 1 trip to France and back - and of course that the real purpose of the excercise is the 1 per minute phone calls they all made. 4 in for every 1 out - if people bother to take up the offer, which would indeed be a very foolish thing to do - so perhaps much more like 20 in for every 1 out. I expect it's all entirely legal, too!

Wonderful the lengths people will go to for a few bob. Still, with a government which encourages enterprise.......


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

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