3rd. July 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.)
There are some much earlier Other News on this site. Click below.
early Othernews - 1992, 93, 94.
This Saturday - Unknown.
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.People tend tyo spend the whole evening over their meal.
The cafe gets very full, but sometimes there is a list of telephone numbers of the people who cater there in case you should wish to try to make a booking. Most Saturdays are catered by Marguerite - but not all.
Bonnington Cafe, Vauxhall Grove, London SW8 UK. Near Vauxhall underground and mainline station, and many buses. Booking is difficult.
When I am trying to lock doors silently so that a certain person will not know whether I am in or out (there is good reason) I am in the habit of chewing nuts. This comforting habit leads to the sound of crunching in my head, so that I get the illusion that I am being completely silent (the sound in my head being greater than the sound of the key turning). This is not the case, although it has only recently dawned on me that it is not so. I have been doing the same thing an ostriche does when it buries it's head in the sand (a practice wqhich may actually have more sense to it than humans would like to think), and it does not actually help me to reach my goal.
The populace (you and I) do the same thing when presented with the subject of economics. We think it so mysterious that we close our minds to it, when in fact it may well not be the least bit mysterious, but just unfamiliar. It is often said that no two economists agree on anything, and it may be that the reason is that they are not willing to recognise the simplicity of the subject. They talk, for instance, as though those sheets of paper, metal discs and electronic records that we call money are in some way valueable, when in fact all they are is pieces of printed paper, metal disks and electronic transfers which you cannot eat, wear of live in, and which can only be exchanged for something useful because we choose to believe that they have value.
A simple fact like the fact that money does not exist at all (aside from the 1% or so of all money in circulation printed by the mint) until a bank 'creates' it out of thin air (almost invariably electronically) to lend to somebody so that they can charge interest on it is far too simple for most people to accept as a reality, yet that is what is happening. There is no other substance there.
Having got that far, we should now try to consider what people do with that illusion - they spend it, and the recipients of their respective parts of that illusion feed them into their bank accounts (the banks charging them for 'looking after' the illusion), and later write cheques to pass parts of the illusion on to other people who have supplied them with something very real, like food or gas. They also input data into a machine in a wall which gives them some printed paper, and withdraw metal discs and printed paper over the bank counter in exchange for signing a piece of paper, which they give to the likes of newsagents for goods. The newsagents and people collect them all together and give them back to the banks in exchange for an electronic record.
In fact, nothing much happens with money but things get done and people get the goods they want or need.
But there is an area where nothing at all gets done but where the people who do all this nothing systematically manipulate all the potential buying power they can into their account without having any possible hope of spending it (because it is too much for anyone but a fool to spend) and without having any useful product. I refer, of course, to those persons who buy and sell shares for no other reason than that they expect them to go up in 'value' (because people like them will want to buy them), and who try to sell them when they are about to fall in 'value'.
That's about it, except that one should know the implications of banks being able to create money out of thin air - particularly because they immediately start charging interest on it - interest that the borrower does not have the ability to pay without first borrowing the money - and will never have the ability to pay in full except by getting it from somebody else who has borrowed some. This, on reflection, means that it is impossible on average for borrowers to pay back their loans because the original loans all together plus the interest due on them necessarily come to more than has been created, and thus everything finally belongs to the banks, and will continue to do so unless we change our way of doing things - the simple solution possibly being that national governments should issue their own money, and thereby get the interest to feed back into the state, and should perhaps limit the amount private banking companies can issue.
But politicians tend to eat nuts too, so it probably won't happen.
King Henry the 6th.part 1 Act 4.
A field of battle.
Talbot's son is surrounded (I think he probably means the whole gang headed by Talbot's son), and Talbot rescues him (ditto).
The regent has let us down and left us with all France at our throats. Where is John. Not only did I father you, I also saved you from death.
You certainly did. I thought I was a gonner.
I went about slashing at everybody French and cut the Dauphin, telling him he was a complete arsehole to go slashing at my son with his sword. I intended to destroy him, but instead rescued you. Are you tired? Will you now that you have been wounded leave the field? You have proven yourself and it would not be dishonorable. You would then be able to revenge me at a later date. And if I don't die in battle today, I will still eventually die of old age. Whereas you carry the honour of my family and my family name. You are the son to my woman. You could lose our honour by staying if you are killed.
Orleans did not hurt me with his sword, but these words of yours do. I wouldn't dream of going. Too much pride for that.
Then fight by my side and die in pride.
Another part of the battlefield. Alarm. Excursions (no, I don't know either). Enter old Talbot led by an unnamed servant.
My god he was brave. He felled all before him before being struck down himself, and dying - like Icarus foolishly flying into the sun and burning up.
O my dear lord, lo, where your son is borne (sic).
Here I hold my dead son wishing that this dead man should be a Frenchman.
(He then dies.) Enter charles, Alencon, Burgundy, Bastard, La Pucelle and forces.
Had York and somerset brought rescue in, we would have had a very hard time of it.
That John Talbot was bit pathetic, but he did a fair amount of damage.
I tried to tackle him, but he disdained to fight a woman. Otherwise it would have been me who killed him.
He would have been as much a yob as any of us. Look at the way he lies in his father's arms.
B. O. :
Hack them to pieces. they won't do us any further harm.
No. We should honour them now they are dead.
Enter Sir William Lucy with an attendant, and a French herald leading them.
Please show me to the Dauphin's tent. He knows who has prevailed today.
On what submissive message are you sent?
We English do not know the meaning of that word. I've come to find out what prisoners you have, and to see the dead.
Our prision is hell. But who are you looking for?
Talbot, who has managed to be know by fifteen or so different names, each one having something to do with his duffing up of foreigners.
Here is the stinking and fly-blown corpse bearing that list of pompous and ridiculous titles at our feet.
You've killed him? I wish I had the means to kill you. Give me their bodies so that I may give them a proper burial.
He speaks like Talbot's ghost - with a pompous and commanding spirit. For god's sake let him have the bodies before they start to stink.
I'll take them, but from their ashes will come a pheonix that will frighten all France.
We'll be rid of them, whatever you do. Now we must be off to Paris whilst we still have the confidence to see this job through, and before another yob of the same type comes in Talbot's place.
More next week.
YOU MAY RECALL that I tried to find a way of contacting my MP (Harriet Harman) but made the mistake of stating my concerns to her answering machine and thus ended up with no response. This week, having not phoned for a while so that the secreatary (or Harriet Harman herself) would not remember what my business was, I rang again, again got the answering machine, but this time used my name but did not not state my business. Within an hour, a secretary telephoned me back asking for my address and offering to send me details of her 'surgeries'. I told the secretary I had done this four times before without actually being sent anything, and asked her what the trick was to get things sent. She told me she didn't understand, so I explained that if giving my address four times didn't actually bring any information, I needed to know what rick was to be employed if I was to get any information.
'Don't worry,' she said, 'I'm going to do it right now.'
The really strange thing is that she did, and I now have the times and addresses of Harriet Harman's 'surgeries'. The idea is to discuss the failure of the social security system (but I daresay she'll avoid that by some means), and to suggest that it might be a good idea for at least one or two MP's to develop an in-depth understanding of economics before we become a third world state.
The newspapers this Sunday 2 July 2000 were talking about how there had been massive investment in Britain. What they didn't talk about is whether this would be of any benefit to anyone but the very rich, and whether the money would flow out just as quick as it had flowed in once the workforce has been sucked dry - a question that should be of interest to virtually every English person, even though they would all like to believe they know nothing about economics.
THEY'RE FAST, THESE PEOPLE. One pair of scales (which was not at the time attended by a shop assistant) is open for all to see. You know how much it weighs, the price per kilo, and the total price to pay. The other scale is hidden by some counter display so that you can see the final price but you cannot see the price per kilo or weight of the goods.
Knowing this shop to be of questionable honesty I decided to put my shopping on the scales you could see properly, but the man behind the counter refused to serve me on that scale. So I changed to his scales but before putting my goods on them I moved them so that you could see all the readouts. This unplugged them, and caused some anger on the part of the questionable shop assistant, but after he had got them going I was able to read them. Scowling, he weighed each item carefully and recorded the right sum on the till. He then gave me a receipt for my money. At least I had avoided being overcharged.
He then put the scales back behind the counter display and was able to charge whatever he felt he could get away with when the next customer came along.
Wishing to be absolutely certain, when I got home checked the bill through.
There was one more item on the bill than was in the bag!
These are desperate times.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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.
London Journey - a trip from Docklands through Beckenham and back to Docklands.
(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.
(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.
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.
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 email@example.com
8- or more-track tape recorder. email firstname.lastname@example.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.