The Other News From England.

4th September 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 and Bonnington Square.

This Saturday, Phil playing his Bert Jansch/others style songs with guitar or piano. Hugh Harris might visit and play a few tunes on sax, depending on availability.

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.

Economics.

A FRIEND has recently come back from Moscow, and was telling us how much of an economic struggle is going on there. There are people trying to sell postcards on Red Square, beggars in the Streets, queues in the shops for goods which run out just as you get to the counter (like it was before Gorbachev as well). The whole thing. I thought 'what those people really need is LETS'.

LETS would not do everything for them, but it would enable many types of goods to change hands without people first having to find roubles to pay for them. In an ideal world, it would make an incentive for farmers to grow crops if there is something they can do with the currency thus gained, and after all a LETS currency is just another currency.

Perhaps better than that would be the Berlin 'passbook' idea. This can be done by one or many people. You carry around a 'passbook' in which your activities are recorded, valued and verified by those for whom you carry them out, and after each activity the new balance is entered. Anybody who wishes to check can ask your customers. Each member carries such a book, and thus each member is able to serve the other members by doing those tasks for which he/she is suited whilst asking other members if they will do certain things. It is not essential to do direct swapping if you have enough members, and there is always use for people who believe they have nothing to offer, simply because those things which we can do for ourselves we can also do for other people.

It is all a question of having enough faith in others to actually believe it will happen - then it probably does.

It certainly does in Southwark.

Joe Punter's Shakespeare.

King Henry the 6th. part 2.

ACT 2.

SCENE 1.

Saint Albans.

Enter king, queen, Gloster, Cardinal, Suffolk, with falconers 'hallooing'.

MARGARET:

Splendid sport today, despite the strong wind.

KING:

My! What a show your falcon put on, my lord. Birds as well as men like to climb high.

SUFFOLK:

It was no marvel, if you please your majesty. The lord protector's birds like to imitate their master.

GLOSTER:

It's a pretty feeble intellect that can rise no higher than a bird, I'd say.

CARDINAL:

Just as I thought. He'd like to be above the clouds.

GLOSTER:

What makes you say that? Would it not be a good thing if you could fly to heaven?

KING:

The treasury of everlasting joy!

CARDINAL:

You smarmy git, Lord Protector. All you're interested in is getting your hands on the crown.

GLOSTER:

Why, cardinal, are you being so forceful? Being such a religious man, could you not at least hide your malice a little?

SUFFOLK:

No malice. Just the normal behaviour you would expect from such a person.

GLOSTER:

Who, my lord?

SUFFOLK:

Why, you. Was that not an appropriate thing to say?

GLOSTER:

All England knows your insolence.

MARGARET:

And your ambition, Gloster.

KING:

Please, calm down. Margaret, please stop stirring things up between these two. Blessed are the peacemakers on earth.

CARDINAL:

Let me be blessed for the peace I make against this proud protector with my sword!

GLOSTER (aside to Cardinal):

I wish to hell you'd give that a try!

CARDINAL (aside to Gloster):

Right. Whenever you dare.

GLOSTER (aside to cardinal):

Bring no others to assist you. Come yourself to answer the challenge.

CARDINAL (aside to Gloster):

If you dare, this evening on the east side of the grove.

KING:

How's it going?

CARDINAL:

You know, Gloster, if your man hadn't put up the fowl so suddenly, the sport would have been greater. - (aside to Gloster) Come with your two-handed sword.

GLOSTER:

True, uncle.

CARDINAL (aside to Gloster):

Did you get that? The east side of the grove?

GLOSTER (aside to Cardinal):

I will be there.

KING:

What's this, uncle Gloster?

GLOSTER:

Talking of hawking, sire, nothing more. (aside to Cardinal): I intend to give you a right drubbing or perish in my efforts.

CARDINAL:

Be careful. Protect yourself.

KING:

FOR GOD'S SAKE, YOU TWO, CAN'T YOU STOP THIS BICKERING? What hope have we of any harmony with you two going on like this? Please, let me settle this matter for you.

Enter a townsman of St. Albans shouting 'a miracle!'

GLOSTER:

What's the big noise then? What are you shouting about?

TOWNSMAN:

A miracle! A miracle!

SUFFOLK:

Come and tell the king about it.

TOWNSMAN:

This blind man at St. Albans shrine suddenly gained his sight. He had never seen anything before.

KING:

God - he who works miracles for believers and comforts the meek - be praised. Halelujah!

Enter the Mayor of St. Albans and his brethren carrying Simpcox in a chair between two of them, his wife, and a multitude of persons following them.

CARDINAL:

Here come the townspeople to show you the man.

KING:

My! His life is greatly improved, even though of course the gift of sight brings with it certain sins.

GLOSTER:

Please bring the man nearer to the king, so that he may talk to him.

KING:

Tell me, good fellow, how this all came about, so that we may Praise the Lord on your behalf. Have you been blind long?

SAUNDER SIMPCOX:

I was born blind, if you please sir.

WIFE:

Indeed he was.

SUFFOLK:

Who is this woman?

WIFE:

I'm his wife, if you please, sir.

GLOSTER:

If you were his mother you would have had a better chance of telling us the truth.

KING:

Where were you born?

SIMPCOCK:

At Berwick, in the worth, if you please, sir.

KING:

God has indeed been kind to you. Never let a day go by without thanking him.

MARGARET:

Did you come by chance or by faith to this holy shrine?

SIMPCOCK:

I was called at least a hundred times in my sleep. The voice said to me 'Come and offer at my shrine, and I will help you'.

WIFE:

Absolutely true. I've heard the voice myself. Often.

CARDINAL:

Are you lame?

SIMPCOCK:

Yes, god please help me.

SUFFOLK:

How did that happen?

SIMPCOCK:

I fell from a tree.

WIFE:

A plum tree.

GLOSTER:

How long have you been blind?

SIMPCOCK:

I was born so.

GLOSTER:

You climbed a tree even though you were blind?

SIMPCOCK:

I did. When I was a youth.

WIFE:

True. It was a very costly excercise.

GLOSTER:

You must be pretty keen on plums to do such a thing.

SIMPCOX:

Aah. My wife desired some damsons, and made me climb it, despite the danger to my life.

GLOSTER:

I think you may be having us on a bit. Show me your eyes. Now wink - and now open them. In my opinion you cannot see too well.

SIMPCOX:

Oh yes I can. Clear as day, thanks to God and St Alban.

GLOSTER:

Is that right? What colour is this cloak?

SIMPCOX:

Red as blood.

GLOSTER:

Well done. What clour is my gown?

SIMPCOX:

Black as jet.

KING:

So you kow what colour jet is?

SUFFOLK:

And yet as far as I can make out he can never have seen jet.

GLOSTER:

But before this day, he will have seen many cloaks and gowns.

WIFE:

Never before in his life.

GLOSTER:

Tell me sir, what is my name?

SIMPCOX:

I'm afraid I don't know.

GLOSTER:

What's his name?

SIMPCOX:

I don't know.

GLOSTER:

Nor his?

SIMPCOX:

Indeed I don't.

GLOSTER:

What is your own name?

SIMPCOX:

Saunder Simpcox, if it please you sir.

GLOSTER:

You're a liar, Saunder Simpcox. If you had been born blind, you would have known our names just as easily as you knew the colours you were shown. Sight would have revealed colours to you, but you would not have known their names. My lords, St. Alban having done such a miracle, would you not be impressed with anyone who could restore his legs?

SIMPCOX:

I wish that someone could.

GLOSTER:

Masters of St. Albans, does your town have beadles, and whips?

MAYOR OF ST. A.:

We do.

GLOSTER:

Then send for one.

MAYOR (to an attendant):

Sir, go and fetch a beadle please, with whip.

(Attendant leaves).

GLOSTER:

Now we need a stool. (a stool is brought out). Now, sir, if you do not want to be whipped, leap over this stool and run away.

SIMPCOX:

Alas I am unable to move about on my own. You will be torturing me for nothing.

Enter a beadle with whips.

GLOSTER:

Well, sir, we must help you find your legs. Beadle, whip him til he leaps over that stool.

BEADLE:

Righto, sir. Come on, let's be 'avin' you.....

SIMPCOX:

Alas, what shall I do? I am unable to stand.

(beadle hits him once, and he leaps over stool and runs away, they all follow and cry 'a miracle!'. etc.)

KING:

God, you see all this, and bear it for so long?

MARGARET:

It made me laugh to see the villain run.

GLOSTER:

Follow him, and take this whore away.

WIFE:

Alas, sir, we did it for pure need.

GLOSTER:

Let them be whipped through every market town till they come to Berwick from whence they came.

(exit mayor, beadle, wife, etc.)

CARDINAL:

Duke Humphrey has done a miracle today.

SUFFOLK:

True. Made the lame leap and run away.

GLOSTER:

But you have done greater miracle than I have. You have made whole towns fly.

Enter Buckingham.

KING:

What news do you bring, cousin?

BUCKINGHAM:

I hardly dare tell you. We have caught Lady Eleanor, the Lord Protector's wife, and some others, practising whitchcraft, raising wicked spirits up from underground, and demanding the life of yourself and members of your privy council. I will tell you more.

CARDINAL:

And so, my Lord Protector, this is what has been going on in London. (aside to Gloster): I rather think your weapon's edge is turned. It seems unlikely you will be turning up this evening.

GLOSTER:

Ambitious churchman, please leave me alone to lick my wounds. Sorrow and grief have rendered me incapable of fight. I yield to you - or for that matter to the least impressive of men.

KING:

God, what mischiefs they can get up to, and doesn't it confuse things!

MARGARET:

Gloster, look how poisoned your nest is. You would do well to be faultless yourself.

GLOSTER:

Madam, I have been entirely faithful to my king, but I do not know what my wife has done. I hope it is nothing, but what I have heard suggests that this is not so. If she has misbehaved then I banish her from my bed and my life, and she must face the full force of the law. I have my honest name to consider.

KING:

Well, we'd better spend the night here, and tomorrow return to London, to look thoroughly into this business. We will ask them to account for themselves, and do that which is just and legal.

Flourish.

(All exit.)

More next week.

Politics.

I WAS TOLD TODAY (Sunday) of a person in Israel called Mordechai something (will be investigating to get fuller details) who has been held in solitary confinement for the past fourteen years. The 14th anniversary of the commencement of this sentence is Saturday 30th September.

The reason I was given for this man's imprisonment was that he had claimed (allegedly for no political or financial gain, although clearly he has, like Nelson Mandela, made a political gain by his sacrifice) that Israel has nuclear arms.

He may have been mistaken, or he may not, and I have no way of knowing, but whichever way one looks at it, this surely must be a somewhat excessive sentence for what at the worst can only have been a bit of speculation, and at best could be a piece of information the world needs to know about.

Protesters are planning a demonstration in London for the 30th, but for the moment I am unable to tell you where they will meet, what they are calling themselves, or what they intend to do.

More information will follow if I can find it. However, those of you who like researching might like to look at a few newspapers for September 1984 (British Library, etc) to fill in the details, and someone might like to broadcast them via the internet. That way, we might get a better picture of what Mordechai really did (if anything), and interested parties might also find out about the demo.

Politics 2.

AS I DROVE ACROSS the common to my underpaid and not very useful part-time job I noticed a person who could not have been anything other than a mental patient sitting on a bench, and found myself longing for the job I once had as a mental hospital teacher. The work was interesting, felt useful, intellectually challenging, creative, and in concord with my need to feel I was doing more than just earning a living.

I worked with mental patients for about 11 years in all, coming in at the beginning of the Thatcher years, when the provision was almost of a standard you could reasonably expect of a civilised country, and worked through the steady undermining until the late eighties, when the chopper style management teams came in and drove everybody who was left devoted to the work out, and replaced them with large and ever more incompetent management teams (allegedly in the interest of efficiency, the justice of which claim is, of course, demonstrated by the phenomenal efficiency of the present service!).

As I continued my journey, I was thinking to myself that all I had to do was to give up my rather ordinary job which was not helping a great many people and I could go back into that work. We would all live happily ever after. All I have to do is find a job, and Bob's yer uncle.

But it would not be as simple as that. The rate of pay for such work (as it is considered to be 'not important') is too low to live on when once it was possible not to live particularly well but to survive, and to pay the council tax and all the other bills that are now considered normal, on ordinary mental horpital teachers' wages. I thought about all the other people whose main motivation for this work was a love of the work rather than pursuit of wealth, and I realised that what is actually happening is that those who organise these things are taking advantage of those people's natural compassion and using it against them, knowing that the great majority would never dream of doing anything other than serving, and that therefore they will accept pauper's wages - and even possibly no wages - to be able to do it.

Great though the temptation is, for their sake as well as my own I am not going to do that type of work until someone decides it's worth paying people properly to do it. I am not rich enough to be charitable.

Politics 3.

YOU MAY RECALL that I went to see Harriet Harman MP some months ago about certain goings on in the Borough of Southwark only to discover that I had been misled by the Labour Party office and that she was not my MP at all.

Undaunted, I wrote to my MP, Tessa Jowell, on the same matter, whose secretary replied quite promptly with a card saying she would be in contact over this matter within a period of time that one would never expect to be complied with. I then waited for so long that I had forgotten that any such business was in hand, and then last week a letter came from Tessa Jowell (dated 25th. August), saying:

Well, we really must be in for a snap election.

But there is a problem. My first letter to Tessa Jowell, which offered to attempt to investigate the activities of CSL, has never had an answer - and I rather think it won't ever have one.

.......................................................................................................

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

Biotechnology

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 cs@london-recycling.demon.co.uk. 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.

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.

Essays.

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.

editor@othernews.co.uk

Cartoons and graphics.

drawings click here.

sheet music click here.

Consumers.

LEXMARK 3200 PRINTER.

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.

Wanted

A person to help make up a subject index for the growing numbers of articles on The Other News From England. Email editor@othernews.co.uk

8- or more-track tape recorder. email pcj@gn.apc.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.

editor@othernews.co.uk

That`s all this week folks