13th. November 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.
Sorry about Gabriele Gad not turning up this Saturday just gone. Neither did Hanna Heissenbuttel. Somehow both German women have managed to be away at the same time, leaving entirely English men! Not anywhere near as entertaining.
This Saturday, Phil is back, possibly with other people. 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.
This country has run approximately the same economic system since the middle ages (at least) with only minor variations. It consists of a few people owning most of everything and everybody else doing what they are told in order to be allowed to share in whatever wealth may exist in that everything. In the middle ages the vast majority were serfs who did as their masters (who were probably much the same as today's football yobs, having attained their position by force or stealth) bade, and a few people were 'freemen', who were able to use actual money (if they could get any) and to own real estate property 'freehold' (meaning, I am told, that it is held on license from the crown!) like some of us can today. The rest of the population would rent, and the term 'wage-slave' in some ways is entirely appropriate as it very much reflects the position of the serfs of the middle ages, the only significant difference being that they are allowed to use money - even if only a very small amount - and that they probably don't work quite as hard.
Things moved forward a small amount from time to time (and backwards on more than one occasion), with the serfs being allowed to play at 'democracy' and generally being converted (but only just) into free-men and -women (women were considered chattels right up until the twentieth century), which is what they are today.
The various bits and pieces of legislation over the years have sought to turn the economy - which cannot in my opinion justly be described as anything other than ill-considered even if it is a fairly natural way of doing things - into an economy which works properly. Human nature being what it is, this has so far proved an impossible goal, because your average punter is obsessed with trying to find ways of getting round the rules.
However, from time to time a government has devised an economy which has served their supporters (and sometimes themselves even more so, as in the Thatcher years), and has for a short span of time seemed to serve the general populace as well.
But no economic design to date has yet served the populace generally for a sustained period of time. This may be due to the fact that politicians keep making adjustments to suit the needs of their particular interests.
During the Thatcher years and the years which followed, politicians have gone blindly on pursuing the same goals as The Thatcherites (cutting back, getting ever more out of employees, paying less than a living wage, not being responsible for anything, etc) even when they have seen that they are not working, and probably the reason for politicians continuing in this way will lie in the fact that (a) most politicians know nothing about economics, and (b) nobody dares stick their neck out with a new idea (if such a thing is possible). The banks and shareholders like it that way because they make large economic gains from it, and the wageslaves probably don't know if they like it or not, but usually do not benefit from it.
The years which followed Thatcher continued to make a boom for the few who managed to stay on the raft, and such things as long-term maintenance were ignored (part of the same idea, really) until such things as major rail disasters (which had been predicted anything up to 15 years beforehand) were the result. They hadn't been inspecting the lines because inspections are expensive, and they hadn't used all safety measures they could because they too were expensive. The money thus saved went to directors and shareholders, who are among the few who know how to handle Thatcher economics and who also knew when to start buying shares.
Now, the penalty the public must pay for their foolhardiness in allowing such government activity to happen is trains that cost far too much to travel in and which for the foreseeable future are not allowed to excede 20 miles per hour when they are designed to be able to travel at speeds up to 125 miles per hour.
Now that I call really efficient. Thatcher economics at their best.
Being The Other News From England, this report should not be here, but it might be something we English - who know even less about American politics than our own - can understand.
From: Kim or Ray Goforth (firstname.lastname@example.org)
George Bush must concede this election.
The Bush campaign acknowledges that Gore won the popular vote. As of tonight, the margin of victory for Bush in Florida stands at only 250 votes. No reasonable observer can argue that the flawed ballot in Palm Beach County Florida did not throw at least a couple thousand votes away that were intended for Gore (Buchanon vote at 6 times the rate he got anywhere else in Florida and 19,000 ballots voided because they included votes for both Gore AND Buchanon). If we're absurdly conservative and assume that only 300 of these votes are rightly Gore votes, then Gore also wins the Electoral College.
So, where does this leave us?
If Florida is awarded to Bush, and he takes the presidency, we will have a President who did not win the majority of votes cast. This alone will throw a tremendous cloud over his entire term. Moreover, the sense that this election was "stolen" will poison the nation into the foreseeable future. For the first time since the Civil War, half the nation will not acknowledge the President as the legitimate executive authority in the United States. When people do not recognize authority as legitimate, they very often defy that authority. This divide will give rise to all sorts of mischief in the ensuing years. Our Constitutional Republic will be sorely challenged and at the risk of being overly dramatic, might not survive. A house divided against itself cannot stand.
I did NOT vote for Gore, but he is the legitimate successor to President Clinton.
The only honorable course of action for Bush is to concede the election predicated upon the popular vote count and the acknowledged vote irregularities in Florida. If he does this, Bush would be well positioned to win the next Presidential Election as he will have demonstrated a maturity, integrity and obedience to the principles of our republic that we deserve in a President.
King Henry the 6th. part 2.
ACT 4 .
Scene 2 continued from last week.
(John Cade has just been contronted by Michael, who has told him that Humphrey Stafford and his brother are coming, and John Cade ought to make himself scarce. John Cade has called his bluff, and asked him if Stafford is a knight. Michael has said he is not.)
In order to be his equal, I will knight myself. (kneels) Rise Sir John Mortimer. Now let's go and see to him.
(Enter Sir Humphrey Stafford and brother with soldiers.)
SIR H. STAFFORD:
Right, you rebellious bunch of gits. You're for the gallows if you follow this wally. Surrender your arms and go home and the king will forgive you for your error in following him.
If you don't do as you're told, we will attack you.
To these pompous and overdressed fools, I have nothing to say. It is to you, good people, that I am talking, because in due course I shall be your king, for I am the rightful heir to the throne.
Villain, your dad was a plasterer, wasn't he, and you are a shearer yourself, aren't you?
And Adam was a gardener.
(strange mixture of intelligence and foolishness about this man! This cannot be what he was really like, can it? Ed)
And what about it?
I'll tell you. Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March married the Duke of Clarence's daughter.....
and by her he had twins.
But I say it is true, and the elder of the two, being looked after by a nurse was one day stolen away by a beggar woman, and being ignorant of his background became a bricklayer when he was old enough. He had a son, and that son is me.
It's true. Therefore he shall be king.
He made a chimney in my house, and it is till there to prove the fact, so don't deny it.
And do you believe the word of a prat who hasn't a clue what he is talking about?
Yes we do. Therefore shove off and leave us alone.
The duke of York has told you this.
Actually, he's lying. I invented it myself.
Go and tell the king that for his father king Henry the 5th's sake I am content for him to reign. But I wish to be protector over him.
And furthermore, we'll have the Lord Say's head for selling the Dukedom of Maine.
Hear Hear. He has castrated England. Anyway, he can speak French, so he must be a traitor.
God! There appears to be no limit to the ignorance of these people.
Right. Answer if you can. The French are our enemies. Can someone who speaks French be anything other than our enemy? am I right or am I not?
(sounds like the logic of a certain judge I remember in our local county court! Ed.)
No, no! therefore we'll have his head.
Right. Well, they won't listen to reason. Send in the army.
Herald, announce to the nation that these people and Cade's followers generally are enemies of the king, and warn them not to follow Cade. Any soldier who deserts now will be hung in front of their own families. Prepare for battle!
(exit both Staffords and soldiers).
You that love the common folk follow me, for we will not leave one pompous, self-serving aristocrat or gentleman alive if I have my way. Spare none except those persons who wear clouted shoes, for they are honest men who would join us if they dared, and they support us.
They are all in order, and marching towards us.
Are we not at our best when we are out of order? Come on! Forward march!
More next week.
"I know you are concerned about poverty in southwark because of the listed emails you send out, but I am not sure whether you work with and for Southwark, entirely independently, or have influence within Southwark. The following may be of interest if you have some influence in Southwark:
"Southwark has a regular flow of insolvent people partly as a result of it's policies and actions. Many people every year are made into insolvent criminals (as I understand it, it is a criminal offence not to pay your council tax) by the firm CSL, who have the contract to look after Southwark council tax matters.
"The process is simple. CSL take six months or a year to process a Council Tax Benefit claim, during which time the tax is due and is not paid because the applicant does not have that kind of money. The result is that CSL send the matter to the magistrates, thereby relieving themselves of the obligation to process the claim at all, because the tax is then due whether it has been claimed or not. This destroys any creditworthiness the claimant may have had, and of course also deprives them of any council tax benefit that may be due.
"CSL's argument is that a person should be paying their council tax until the claim is processed, but of course if they were able to do that they wouldn't need to claim in the first place.
"The solution would be to process the claims within a month, which any properly staffed organisation could do. It is obvious CSL are not properly staffed, and if they wanted to be they would have to pay people properly to get them, thereby reducing their profits - something the directors would not like. Profit comes, as with Railtrack, before the welfare of the users.
"On the other hand, CSL is so chaotic that it is quite likely there are a great many fiddles going on which are unnoticed and erode the profits even more than paying people would. For instance, I know a man who was offered Housing Benefit by someone in an estate agent's office who asked for a £50 fee to arrange it!
"Southwark have told me they have checked CSL for fraud, but I suspect whoever did the check doesn't understand the subtlties of the criminal mind.
I will ask the sender if I can publish them next week.
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.
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.