The Other News From England.

30th. October 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, guitar and vocals. No charge for the entertainment, but the hat goes round, and as seating is limited it is only fair that you should order something to eat.

Bonnington cafe is a communally owned cafe in Vauxhall, Central London. The atmosphere is somewhat Bohemian, international, friendly, educated, and much wine (bought from the corner shop across the road) gets 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, and engage in discussion with those on other tables, the caterer, the band, passers through......

Bonnington Cafe, Vauxhall Grove, London SW8 UK. Near Vauxhall underground and mainline station, buses 185, 36, 2, 88, 322 and others. Booking is difficult.

Economics.

Going to the cash till the other evening I found the road blocked off, an ambulance just leaving, policemen all over the place, a security van and it's crew looking shocked, and traffic diverted. I happened to be going by car, so it was not too difficult to go the the next branch of the bank, but it would have been inconvenient if I had been on foot.

It appeared that the security van crew had been attacked by a gang who wished to relieve them of their charge - presumably the day's cash takings - and I thought about the folly of all this. People get hurt, or even killed, for cash. They commit crimes for it. And then it dawned upon me (as it has done before, although I have never written about it) that crime is a necessary part of our economy. The economy would begin to lose credibility if money was not so valued (why?) that people tried to steal it, fiddled books for it, worked themselves to death for it, adjusted Auntie's will for it, and all the other countless criminal possibilities. If you could leave money lying about on the street and nobody bothered to pick it up it would be 'worthless'. The theft of it increases it's value!

It keeps us all making fools of ourselves for as long as we take any notice of it.

Freemasons.

Overheard in a cafe:

"Dad, what are freemasons?"

"A collection of pompous, self-important little men who pretend to be religious so that they can get together, roll up one trouser leg and hatch plots to swindle the public."

"But this says that most of the important people in Britain are freemasons."

"See what I mean?"

Human Rights Act.

This new act has now come into force in this country amidst a blaze of publicity about it's being as important as Magna Carta or as useless as a lead balloon - depending on who you read. The purpose of the act is to give everybody equal right to fair treatment, and amongst many other things equal access to law, which certainly has not been the case so far in this country. The only people in recent years who have had any real access to the processes of British law seem to have been the very rich or those persons who could easily be seen by a judge to be so far down the social scale that he (for it will almost certainly be he) can patronise them by bending the law in their favour, thereby gaining a heaven point for when he dies. Neither situation is of course equal access so much as privilege, and I think if I were to be either group (instead of an unwilling landlord, who as a matter of tradition will get no justice in any quarter) I would choose to be the very rich.

All this is supposed to be changed now, as even people like me are supposed to be able to claim that they are not getting equal access because they cannot afford to engage lawyers and will not get Legal Aid. (Mind you, in the case of landlords it is not very likely that engaging lawyers would get one anywhere because lawyers tend to follow through tradition and consider the landlord to be fair game - a wicked person whose financial resources they may justly squander.)

The problem for most litigants will come from the close-knit freemasonry of the legal profession itself, of course, who have always been resistant to change, who expect and like a bit of privilege and who I suspect will close ranks even more under the pressure of this little number, as it might require some of them to think carefully about what the just outcome should be of a case. Even if they take a bribe to come to a certain conclusion (a possibility, although I doubt that it happens very much) it can be overturned by Human Rights legislation and the judge possibly asked to justify his decision.

Here's where the closing of ranks comes in. When the matter comes up as a human rights case it has to be heard by another judge, but it is probably not difficult for a judge to manipulate things in such a way that the right judge is asked to hear the matter.

We shall see.

Joe Punter's Shakespeare.

King Henry the 6th. part 2.

ACT 4 .

Scene 1.

The coast of Kent.

Alarm. Fight at sea. Ordnance goes off. Enter a captain, a master, a master's mate, Walter Whitmore and others, and with them Suffolk and others who are prisoners.

CAPTAIN:

It's getting to the hour to see to our prize. Bring forth the prisoners, because whilst we are here they might as well make their ransoms on the sand - or stain the shore with their blood. Master and Master's mate, I'm giving you this prisoner,and Master's Mate this one, and this (pointing to Suffolk) you can have, Walter Whitmore.

FIRST GENTLEMAN:

What's the ransom, then?

MASTER:

A thousand crowns or I'll decapitate you.

MASTER'S MATE:

Hear hear. I demand the same.

CAPTAIN:

What? You don't think you can pay that and yet call yourselves gentlemen? Cut their throats, for the lives of the men we have lost in fight would not be compensated by two thousand crowns anyway.

FIRST GENTLEMAN:

I'll give it, if it spares my life.

SECOND GENTLEMAN:

So will I. I'll write home for it straight away.

WALTER WHITMORE:

I lost my eye in catching you lot, (to Suffolk) and so to revenge it you shall die. And so will the other if I have my way.

CAPTAIN:

Pretty rash, aren't you? Take a ransom and let him live.

SUFFOLK:

Just contact my servant George. I am a gentleman. Whatever the ransom it shall be paid.

WALTER WHITMORE:

So am I. My name is Walter Whitmore. What's the matter now? Does death frighten you?

SUFFOLK:

Your name frightens me. I was once told I would die by water. Yet this would not make you bloody-minded. Rightly sounded, your name would be Gualtier.

WALTER WHITMORE:

Which of those two I don't care. Base dishonour has never blurred our name without our retaliating with swords and wiping the slate clean again. As a matter of pride I would rather kill you than take your ransom. Anything else would be dishonorable.

(Lays hold of Suffolk.)

SUFFOLK:

Hang on a mo, I'm a prince, the duke of Suffolk, William de la Pole.

WALTER W:

The Duke of suffolk wrapped up in rags!

SUFFOLK:

Aye. Like Jove I'm travelling incognito.

CAPTAIN:

On the other hand, Jove was never slain, as you shall be.

SUFFOLK:

But you are just a lowly and obscure git, whilst I am of the same blood as the king, and therefore automatically far superior to you. Have you no respect for your betters? How often have you sought my help in important matters of state? When I have dined with the queen.......etc., etc....I've spoken on your behalf, and so now I expect you to take notice of what I say.

WALTER WHITMORE:

Speak, Captain, shall I stab the poor sod now?

CAPTAIN:

First let me stab him with my words, as he has done to me.

SUFFOLK:

Base slave, your words are just as blunt as you are.

CAPTAIN:

Carry him down and strike off his head on the side of the long-boat.

SUFFOLK:

You daren't, for the sake of your own head.

CAPTAIN:

Yes, Pole.

SUFFOLK:

Pole!

CAPTAIN:

Yes! Pole, whose corrupt and seedy behaviour pollutes the spring where England drinks. Now I will dam up your yawning mouth that swallows the treasure of the realm, your lips that kissed the queen shall kiss the ground, and you, who smiled at good duke Humphrey's death, shall plead in vain. You shall then rot in hell for daring to marry our mighty lord (he means the king) to a daughter of a useless king having no wealth, no land, no nothing. By your seedy goings on you have become great, overgorged like Sylla with gobbets of your mother's bleeding heart. Through you Anjou and Maine have been given to France, the Normans refuse to respect us, Picardy has slain her governors, taken our forts and sent our soldiers home wounded. Warwick and the Nevils are rising in arms against you and now the house of York - thrust from the crown by the murder of a guiltless king and by a certain tyrrany - are seeking revenge. The commoners here in Kent are up in arms, poverty has crept into the palace of our king. And all because of you! Take him away.

SUFFOLK:

Where I god I would send forth thunder and lightning, you paltry and servile little men. This villain here, being the captain of a pinnacle, threatens more than Bargulus the strong Illyrian pirate. Drones don't suck eagles' blood. They raid bee-hives. It is impossible that I should at the hands of such lowly vassals. Your words move rage not remorse in me. I have been given safe passage to France by the queen. I am telling you to take me safely across.

CAPTAIN:

Walter -

WALTER W.:

Come, Suffolk, I must take you safely to your death.

SUFFOLK:

Gelidus timor occupat artus (translation anybody? 'Freezing and timorous death'? ed.) I fear it is you.

WALTER W.:

You will have cause to fear before I leave you. What? Are you daunted already? Will you not stoop?

FIRST GENTLEMAN:

My gracious lord, entreat him, speak to him fairly.

SUFFOLK:

My tongue is stern and rough, used to commanding, unused to pleading for favours. I would sooner die than honour such lowly persons with pleadings. I will only plead to god and to my king. True nobility is exempt from fear. I can brave more than you can do.

CAPTAIN:

Drag him away, so that we don't have to listen to any more of his drivel.

SUFFOLK:

Come on soldiers, show me what you can do, so that my death is never forgotten. Most great men die at the hands of nitwits, thieves, and the like.

(exit Whitmore and others with Suffolk).

CAPTAIN:

And as for these who will pay their ransom, it is our pleasure to let one go. So come along now and let's release him.

(Exit all except the first gentleman.)

Enter Whitmore with Suffolk's body.

WALTER W.:

Let him lie there till his mistress the queen buries him.

(exit).

FIRST GENTLEMAN:

Barbarous and bloody spectacle! I'll take his body to the king, and if he doesn't revenge it his friends will. So will the queen, who loved him so much.

(Exits with body.)

More next week.

Politics.

There will be an election in this country within the next year or so. The three parties are preparing for it already, the pathetic schoolboy behaviour has come even more than usual to the surface, CJD has been brought into the field of battle in the light of there being little else to campaign about (cannabis was a boring flop on all sides that led to a further decrease in the popularity of the Tory party), and the populace continue to yawn.

Yet there are serious things to be discussed. Why is it not happening?

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

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

Alternet News.

Alternet News might appeal to some readers as a regular list of goings-on in the human rights/green areas of life. You can receive it by email. I have put one copy on this site so that you get an idea of what it is about and how to subscribe.

For sample Alternet email click here.

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