14th August 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 should be Hanna Heissenbuttel guitar and vocals and Hugh Harris sax. About 8pm onwards.
Bonnington cafe is a communally owned cafe in Vauxhall, Central London. 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.
(This article held over from last week to make sure everybody sees it).
FREEDOM OF SPEECH on the internet is about to disappear in this country.
A bill is on it's way through parliament which will allow the government to require any of us who have something to say that they do not like us saying to remove it from the internet. Although they say they do not intend to use it except in certain circumstances, I have it from reliable sources that the powers it gives them are pretty sweeping, and one must assume it will therefore allow any government in the future to stop their opponents having their say. This may mean that we are doomed to a government as hopeless as the current one and the one before it forever - or even something worse. If you don't want that, do something now before it is too late.
GreenNet say this:
"The Right to Communicate has to be an essential feature of Civil Society dialogue if it is to have any real meaning or influence - and this right must be available to those working on, or offline. GreenNet is fully committed to ensuring that the Internet remains a safe and secure environment for use by Civil Society and is about to launch it's own Internet Rights Project - as part of the larger APC European Internet Rights Project - which will provide tools, policy primers and briefings, accompanied by training and capacity building to support all of our users in their work.
"Thanks to those of you that have registered to vote in the ICANN elections, Civil Society representation on the Internet's governing bodies is essential as we stake our claim to the use of cyberspace for people and not for profit. We will be announcing more news on our progress via our e-mail lists."
"In addition, we will be introducing a GreenNet 'User Charter' that will outline our policy on Internet Rights and detail what we will do to protect and defend your websites and online material in the face of complaints and legal threats. Unlike many Internet service providers who will remove content immediately on receipt of a complaint, GreenNet will do all it can to defend the content you trust us to host."
King Henry the 6th. part 2 Act 1.
London. the Duke of Gloster's house.
Enter Humphrey (duke of Gloster) and his wife Eleanor.
You seem a bit down, my dear. No need for that. We'll just have to ignore things together until we feel alright.
Help me not to covet the crown. My nephew is perfectly alright having it.
What have you been dreaming about? Perhaps we will find that my dream is the same.
DUKE G.: I dreamt I had lost my office, and that probably it was that cardinal who caused it to happen, and that my head and that of William de la Pole, Duke of suffolk, were impaled on the broken pieces of my wand of office. God alone knows what that will mean.
Ptah! Just a dream. I dreamt I sat in that seat in Westminster cathedral where one sits to be crowned, and Henry and Margaret kneeled to me, and sat the diadem on my head.
Treacherous bitch! You'll bring us both down if you go on like that.
Huh. If you chide me like that for telling you my dreams I won't tell you next time.
Don't be angry. I'm alright again.
Enter a messenger.
Sir, the king and queen wish you to go hawking with them in St. Albans. Please prepare.
I will prepare. Will you ride with us Nell?
I'll follow shortly.
exit Glos. and Messenger. She continues:-
I must follw, but where I a man and next in line for the throne I wouldn't allow my principles to get in my way. Still, even as a woman I will get where I intend by one means or another. I would remove those tedious stumbling blocks and smooth my way to office on their blood. Are you there, Sir John? Don't worry. We are alone.
Jesus preserve your royal majesty.
What are you talking about? I'm not queen.
It's only a question of time. I intend to change things.
Have you been talking to Margery Jourdain, the cunning witch and Roger Bolingbroke the conjurer? Have they agreed to do me good?
They have promised to show your highness a spirit raised from underground which will answer certain questions you may ask.
That's enough. I'll think what the questions are and when I return from St. Albans I'll ask them. Here, take this reward and have a good time with your confederates in this weighty cause.
Have a good time I will, but I must keep quiet about this thing. Very profitable, this double agent business. The cardinal, Suffolk and the duchess are all giving me gold to do various things, and all that is likely to happen is that the duchess will be caught in her treachery and this will in turn bring down Gloster too. However it comes out, I will have gold from them all.
More next week.
(retained from last week)
DURING THE past couple of weeks the nation has been horrified and divided by the abduction and murder of a small girl. A paper that I could only feel happy as describing as our most unsavoury newspaper decided on a campaign of 'naming and shaming' those persons who have been labelled 'paedophiles' in the interests of protecting children. This was done by starting to publish photographs of people who had been convicted by our wobbly legal system for abuse of children. On the face of it, this seems like a fair enough thing to have done, but as it turned out the campaign misfired because several people who looked like certain 'paedophiles' but who were not those 'paedophiles' were attacked by 'vigilante' groups who were intent upon revenge and ignoring the laws of the land. Furthermore, the 'naming and shaming' has probably driven a lot of 'paedophiles' underground, thereby making them more of a danger, not less.
I do not want to go deeply into the psycological aspects of this matter, but it seems to me that it is quite likely that many of the 'vigilantes' will be people who feel a 'paedophile' element in themselves and are so scared of it that they attack it when they believe they see it in other people, and I think it might be compared with the sick sport of bullfighters attacking a bull - symbol of masculinity - in guilt about their own very ordinary sexual drives.
However, I am more interested in other aspects of the matter.
What happened to this small girl is the worst thing that could happen to any small person, and it is also the worst thing that could happen in any parent's life. I cannot think of anything worse, however hard I try, for either the parents or the child. We owe it to ourselves (I am now about to be a grandparent too) and our children to devise the greatest possible defence against such things, and I rather think that this will not happen by the route proposed by the offending newspaper. Given that people are in various ways faulty (all of us), the best we can do is to be fully aware of the potential of all people both for good and for evil. This does not mean treating everybody you don't know as a danger, thereby making them feel unwelcome and alienated and much more likely to offend, as is commonly done in Britain, so much as understanding the potential in all of us to offend, and possibly learning something about psychology and 'normal' human behaviour. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that in present circumstances it will never be possible to absolutely guarantee that no such incident ever takes place again, and our acceptance of that fact might help us to reduce the number of incidents that do occur.
Here is a letter I sent to one of our papers trying to state my thoughts on the subject. It is desperately difficult to say these things without bringing the extreme right wing (who are just as likely to be 'paedophiles' as anyone else, and not necessartily particularly bright) into full cry against 'wooly-minded intellectuals', but we must try:
(written in response to an article expressing shock that the government had advertised on TV for people to work with children)
Most people are of sound mind, treat children with reasonable respect, and are not 'paedophiles', even if not certified to be safe, and the great majority of people who work with children behave perfectly normally with them.
"It would be reasonable to assume that all jobs involving children, whether the job is 'professional' or otherwise, and however those employed to do it are engaged or vetted, are going to be attractive to that ill-named group ('paedophile' presumably means 'lover of children'). In other words, if there is a job going that has to do with children there is the risk that 'paedophiles' will sniff it out, and if it is necessary to train for the work or lie to get it, then in some cases they will do so.
"It therefore falls upon those who oversee this work to assess the likelihood of those they engage being unsuitable. Aside from consulting existing police records, that is about all that is ever likely to happen. Those same people (those who are engaged to oversee the work) are likely in the main to be people who have been attracted to the work because there are children involved, and there is therefore no particular reason to suppose that they themselves are not 'paedophiles', and it is presumably only from experience and observation that people currently believe that most of them are not.
"Parents might use their own judgment and intuition, but we know that parents are capable of being 'paedophiles' and worse - look at Fred and Rose West and others like them if you have doubts. Come to think of it, what is your own state of mind, dear reader?
"It is a bleak picture if viewed from this angle, but if everyone does their best most unacceptable incidents will be avoided.
"As to publishing photographs of convicted paedophiles - what if someone who is not a paedophile looks just like one of them? Will our already incompetent and inadequate system of justice be ignored? Will they end up being lynched? In this aspect of human behaviour we have barely come out of our caves.
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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
8- or more-track tape recorder. email email@example.com
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.