17th. 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.
Bonnington Cafe and Bonnington Square.
This Saturday - believed to be Steve Barbe and Hugh Harris - an unusual and unpredictable combination. These two are part of LETSwing, but do not normally do anything as a duo owiing to various limitations in the combinations of instruments they can come up with between them. Hugh Plays the piano tolerably well, but is then not playing the saxophone (which he can play well), steve can only play limited guitar, which is difficult to play a saxophone with, and flute. Steve sings really well, but possibly not without either Hanna Heissenbuttel (guitar) or Gabriele Gad (piano), and Hugh sometimes sings, but needs a good accompanist or can't sing at all. Could be a lot of fun if you like watching people struggle to make the most of their combined talents to perform material they already know from other angles.
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 to 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.
THE FORUM FOR STABLE CURRENCIES, the Christian Council for Monetary Justice and others in the same field of interest spend enormous amounts of time trying to work out what to do about the banks, which are regularly accused of making the great majority of us poorer and the tiny minority vastly richer by the day, not just by false accounting and obtaining bankruptcy orders by dubious if not totally dishonest and illegal means, but also by the way the banking system is designed - it has inflation built in.
Recently, several MPs have raised the very serious issue (as they see it) of banks withdrawing their services from rural communities, presumably believing that those communities will fall into extreme poverty as a result. I actually helped their effort, but am now having misgivings. Why encourage banks when most of the time they do not seem to be serving the people at all?
The campaigning MPs, in the main, will be people who do not remember what happened in Britain between 1939 and 1945, and therefore possibly have not considered or experienced the fact that if you leave people without one way of doing a thing they will frequently adopt another way. I am only just old enough to have a dim recollection of those years, but I have seen the photographs of myself and my sister taken during those years (where the film came from I don't know), and what I see is two very healthy children in a clean landscape with a very healthy-looking young mother - all despite, or even possibly because of, rationing. Not only that, but I remember that, being in a country district there was no need to go looking for food or any other domestic necessity because everybody helped everybody else. What we didn't have was a car, a fridge, gas, electricity, hot water - but we had all we needed for a healthy life. And when the plumbing gave trouble there was always someone in the neighbourhood who knew how to fix it. I suspect that most of this was done without money, because we didn't have any and neither did anybody else. I remember haymaking with a horse and cart, the hay being cut with a scythe, and each farm being helped by all the surrounding farmers when it came to haymaking time - and this I cannot believe was done for money. Charges seem very unlikely, as there were few banks and what little cash people had they probably kept in the kitchen cupboard with the door unlocked.
(An endearing story my mother tells me of this time was that there was a shopping day in which a small amount of actual money was spent and to which all the ladies in the neighbourhood went by bus, the bus leaving early and coming back late, and so to make the most of the outing the ladies had formed a choir which practiced on the bus!)
The point I am getting to here is that the banks, by withdrawing from rural areas, will be forcing the populace to get to know each other once again and do things for each other without recourse to banks, probably through LETS', or if not through LETS' then without bothering with any formal system at all and just getting on with the job in hand (this is already happening to an extent in my part of London). The banks may well be forcing a renewal of community spirit, which hopefully will show them they need to have a little respect for people, but perhaps more importantly might eventually make the use of money fairly pointless. (Historians will know of many instances in the past of people using other means of exchange, like barrels of tobacco in the New World, but this thing is local.)
HOWEVER, what is currently bothering many monetary justice campaigners is the way the banks have arranged things in such a way that whatever we all do they will own everything in the end - unless we and our politicians change the way things are done.
This is something we might well be able to do. Since money is created from nowhere by the banks, it would be much more sensible from the point of view of the populace if the government owned the banks - after all, the money, as long as we take it seriously, has to come from somewhere. I am not saying the banks should be nationalised, as this defeats quite a few dearly-held (if possibly ridiculous) beliefs that are common in the population, but that the government should indulge in one or both of these activities: (a) running it's own perfectly ordinary financially rapacious banks that create money from nowhere in the same manner as any other bank and compete with the private enterprise banks, giving the profits on this activity back to the nation, (b) buying shares in private enterprise banks until they own them (this activity would be an expensive one, in that as soon as you bid for a large number of shares the price goes up, so it should only be indulged in after activity (a) has brought the share prices down). Both these activities would be completely in keeping with the principles of capitalism that our current politicians hold so dear, but would instead be feeding the 'wealth' gained straight back into the nation, which just could be an improvement if the wealth is not then hijacked by the parasitical classes.
Every nation has it's parasites - in fact it is often difficult to work out who is and who is not a parasite. It seems to me that the position of these parasites (some of whom a section of the population claim to love dearly) would remain near enough unaltered in such a situation, because they would claim that as they had been able to be parasites for generations they should be allowed to continue in that vein. It's a common enough perception, that we probably all suffer from in one way or another.
consider this matter.
There are one or two websites concerned with this area listed below.
King Henry the 6th. part 1 Act 5.
In front of Angiers.
Alarm and excursions. Enter Pucelle.
The regent is winning. Help!
this speedy appearance suggests you earth spirits really are on my side. Help me this moment.
(They walk, but don't speak.)
Please don't stay silent too long. If you want blood, then I'll cut off my arm for you - as long as you condescend to help me now.
(They hang their heads)
Please! Is there no chance even if I give recompense with my body?
(they shake their heads)
Is there nothing you will do for me? If you won't help, then please take my life before the English do.
Then we cannot beat those hellish hooligans and we must submit. Our glory once more falls in the dust.
Excursions. Pucelle and York fight hand to hand. Pucelle is taken. The French run away.
Now I've got you! See what the spirits can do now. How do I shape up now?
I would say you're about the worst shape you could possibly be.
Charles the Dauphin is the one I suppose for you? No shape but his can please you.
A plague on both of you. And may you die in your beds.
YORK (obviously not liking to be rejected in matters of romance):
Shut up hag!
Surely I can curse a bit, can't I?
Curse when you come to be burned at the stake.
Alarm. Enter Suffolk with Margaret in his hand.
Whatever else you are, you're my prisoner.
(he gazes on her).
Oh beautiful woman, I won't harm you. Just stroke you thus, and kiss your fingers for eternal peace (confusing, eh?)
(he kisses her hand)
Who are you, so that I may honour you?
Daughter of the King of Naples. Who are you?
The Earl of Suffolk. Don't panic. I won't harm you. Just trying to look after you. But if you wish to go, you are free as my friend.
(she starts to leave)
Oh stay! (aside) I have no power to let her go. I want to, but my heart says no. I am in love with her and this is most frustrating. She seems to have bewitched me.
Say, Suffolk (if that's who you are), what ransom you want before I can go. I do perceive that I am your prisoner despite what you said.
How can I tell what she thinks of me without stating my position?
Why are you so silent? What ransom must I pay?
She is beautiful, and therefore to be wooed, and she is a woman, so I must have her.
Will you take a ransom? Yes or no?
I should bear in mind that I already have a wife. How can Margaret be my mistress?
I'd better go. He can't hear me.
That's a bit of a snag.
He talks at random. Must be mad.
And yet there may be something.......
And yet will you answer me?
Who will I win her for? The king? That's a wooden thing to do.
Talking of wood now. Must be a chippy.
Yet I might be able to persaude her. It would help make peace between my country and France. But there is still a snag. Her father, though he is King of Naples, Duke of Anjou and Maine, is very poor. Our nobility would scorn the match.
Can you hear me captain? Are you not free?
I'll do it anyway, regardless of what they think. Henry is young, and will quickly succumb to this one's charms. Madam, I have a secret to tell.
Intriguing. He seems to be a knight, and therefore will not dishonour me(!).
Perhaps the French will rescue me. Then I won't need his courtesy.
Sweet madam, I want to tell you something...
Well, I'm not the first woman to have been captured...
Pray, madam, why are you talking so?
Please be merciful. Fair play.
Would you think things better if you were made a queen?
To be a queen in captivity would be worse than being a slave. Princes should be free.
You would be, too, if England's king would be free.
Why? What has his freedom go to do with me?
I'll make you queen of england if you'll be my ....
I am unworthy to be Henry's wife.
No madam, it is me who is unworthy for asking you to be so. I have no choice in the matter myself. What do you think? Are you content?
If my father consents, then yes.
Then let's get the troops together, and go to the castle walls and ask to speak to him.
(gets troops together, A parley sounded, Reignier appears on walls)
See, Reignier, I have your daughter prisoner.
Prisoner to whom?
What do you expect me to do about it?
Consent to her marrying the king of England. We've been looking after her, and will continue to do so.
Are you speaking as you think?
Margaret knows I am not a flatterer or liar.
I'm coming down to answer your just demand.
And here I will wait.
(he disappears from the walls, trumpets sound, and he reappears at the town gate below.)
Welcome to our territories. In Anjou, just ask for whatever you want.
Thanks. I want the girl for our king. What do you say?
On condition that I may enjoy the counties of Maine and Anjou free from oppression or war, your Henry may have my daughter.
That's a deal, then. I will deliver her. And I will arrange that we English shall leave those two counties alone.
And I, as Henry's deputy, give you her hand.
Thank you. (aside) And yet, I think I could do well to use my own judgment in this matter. - I'll go over to England and arrange for this marriage to be solemnised. Farewell, Reignier. Hide this diamond somewhere safe.
I embrace you, as I would Henry if he were here.
Goodbye Suffolk, I feel very positive towards you.
Goodbye beautiful lady. But please no commendations to my king.
Such commendations as become a maid, a virgin and his servant say to him.
But madam - no token of love?
Why yes. A good pure heart that has never been tainted by love I send.
(He kisses her)
That's for you. I wouldn't send such peevish tokens to a king.
(Exit Reignier and Margaret)
By gum I wish that was for me! But I'd better be careful. That is dangerous territory indeed. I should be telling Henry how wonderful she is. Rehearse all those wonderful descriptions I can think up, and then rob Henry of his wits when I tell him of her.
More next week.
There may well have been some politics this week, but I've had a cold.
THERE HAS PROBABLY ALWAYS BEEN and probably always will be (as long as the population continues to grow, and possibly much longer, at least) a great deal of strife between the owners of buildings and those, when they are not the owners, who live in them. The former, being landlords, according to music-hall tradition, are wicked, and indeed the tradition does not stop at the music hall but is in your average lawyer's mind and that of tenants, too, who see him (or her) as a parasite who does nothing, and whose mortgage they are paying, whilst the latter are perceived by many landlords as being dishonest parasites and thieves who have no morals, who expect the slightest thing to be done for them, who will sell your furniture to pay for groceries, cut pieces out of the fitted carpets to carpet their car, and who, on account of their general degeneracy, deserve no respect. I have been both tenant and landlord, and held both attitudes, and it is possible that in both cases there may have been an element of justice to it.
Governments for the last one or two hundred years have tried to legislate to avoid the worst excesses in this area, but have yet to see legislation that does not lend itself to abuse on both sides. The current set of rules in some areas has created an underclass of people who are referred to as 'regulated tenants'. These tenants (I would be a relatively rich man if I were one) are people who have had a cheap rent for so long that the law has given them security of tenure for life, and tries to make it possible for their next of kin to inherit their parasitical position.
Very good for tenants you might think, but I would ask you to think again. First of all, they pay so little rent that their landlord usually cannot afford to do any but the most rudimentary maintenance. Not only that, but there is an incentive on the tenant to keep the building in as run-down a state as possible in order to make sure that the rent does not go up to a market rent, which under recent modifications to the rules it would otherwise do. Most of these tenants are on social security (having learnt dependancy, they are there for life), and as their rents are below those they would have to pay if they were in accommodation in good order but otherwise of the same nature, they tend to think it unlikely they would get their rent paid if they moved to something better. So, one or two things happen here:
2. If by some remarkable chance the landlord manages to have the funds to bring the building into good condition there is an incentive on the tenant to undo the work as it goes ahead. This is not by any means unknown. The courts, for their part, knowing that all landlords are wicked, will not allow the landlord to succeed in any action against such a tenant, so they know they can do this with impunity.
3. The landlord has a temptation to try to make the house untenable by doing ridiculously long-winded building work, whilst the tenant has the temptation to try to make some money out of suing the landlord for harrassment at the slightest hint of maintenance work starting.
4. Tenants have the temptation to make up stories about landlords in the hope of making a few pounds in damages.
5. Landlords decide they will never let a property again, and a rented housing shortage occurs, with the odd person who is foolhardy enough to take a chance on a tenant finding themselves in effect robbed by the local county court...........
The alternative to this - the current set of rules without the regulated tenants - has led to a situation where there is a great deal to be rented if you are not too specific about where you wish to live (even in London), but where the rents are 'market rents' - those which a landlord would accept in preference to keeping the house empty - but where often it is difficult for a person to afford them, resulting in there being a great shortage of some very important professions and a multitude of parasitic professions in places like Central London, where it is now often quite difficult to find anyone to do anything useful like mend a tap, but quite easy to find someone who will sell or buy some shares for you. I daresay the economic argument for this system is that in due course the wages for the useful professions (plumbers, chippies, teachers, professors, etc) will rise because of demand to a point where they can once again live where they are needed.
If we were now rid of the 'regulated tenant' situation we would be one step nearer that moment, and furthermore tenants would all have to learn to behave themselves or they would find themselves homeless whilst landlords would have to learn to behave themselves (most, like most tenants, do anyway) or they would find themselves tenantless.
Given that the whole area is an area of great discomfort, I think on balance this would be a good thing.
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.