The Other News From England.

27th. November 2000.

(Other News is a little restricted this week owing to technical problems.)

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 guitar and singing. One of these days he will be pursuaded to sing his own songs! He normally plays a series of songs from the more unusual other songwriters of the last 40 years. 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.

Joe Punter's Shakespeare.

King Henry the 6th. part 2.

ACT 4 .

Scene 5.

London. The Tower.

Enter Lord Scales upon the Tower, walking. Then enter two or three citizens below.


How now (How's it going?)! Is Jack Cade dead yet?


No my lord, and it doesn't look much like he will be. They have already taken the bridge, killing anyone who stood in their way. The lord mayor is asking for the help of some of your men to defend the city from the rebels.


I'll give what help I can, but they are a problem to me here too. They've tried to take the tower. Go to Smithfield and gather some men, and I will send you there Matthew Gough. Fight for your king, your country, and your lives. And so farewell, for I must return.

(All exit).

Scene 6.

London again. Cannon Street.

Enter Jack Cade and the rest. He bangs his staff on London stone (I think this is a stone in Cannon St. - ed).


Mortimer is now lord of this city, and here, sitting upon London-stone, I command that the pissing-conduit (yes, that's what he says) will have nothing but claret wine running in it for the first year of my reign. It will also be treason for anybody to call me anything other than Lord Mortimer.

Enter a soldier, running.


Jacl Cade! Jack Cade!


Knock him down there.

(They kill him)


I think this guy has now had fair warning not to call you Jack Cade any more.


My lord, there's an army gathered in Smithfield.


OK. Let's go and fight with them.....but first, set the bridge on fire, and if you can burn down the tower too. Let's go.

(All exit).

Scene 7. London. Smithfield.

Alarms. Matthew Gough and his whole company are slain. Then enter Jack Cade with his company.


Right lads. Now some of you go and pull down the Savoy and others to the inns of court and down with them all.


I have a request of your lordship.


For calling me that, you shall have your wish.


I only wanted to request that you should be the maker of the laws of England.


My god it will be sore law then. He was thrust in the mouth with a spear and it is not whole yet.

SMITH (aside):

I think it will be stinking law because his breath stinks with eating toasted cheese.


I have given it some thought, and it shall be so. The first thing to do is to burn all records of the realm, after which my mouth shall be the parliament of England.


Then we will have some biting statutes unless his teeth are pulled.


And from then on, all things shall be in common (belong to everybody? - ed)

(Enter a messenger.)


My lord, look what I have here - the lord Say, who sold the towns in France, and who taxed us so much in the last subsidy.

(enter George Bevis with Lord Say).


Well, for doing that he will be beheaded ten times over. You bloody jerk. What do you say now you are face to face with our royal justice? Are you going to answer for giving Normandy to the French dauphin? You should be made to know that I am the besom (broom) that will sweep England clear of scum like you. You've corrupted the youth of the realm in erecting a grammar school, and whereas our forefathers had no other books than the score and the tally (don't know - ed) you have caused printing to come into use - and you've built a paper-mill! I will prove that you keep about you men who who talk of nouns and verbs, and other words which no proper Christian ear can tolerate to hear. You have appointed justices of the peace to bring charges against poor men which they cannot answer and then put them in prison, and because they couldn't read you then hanged them, when by all rights they should be considered to be most worthy to live. You ride in a footcloth (don't know - ed), don't you?


So what?


You ought not to let your horse wear a blanket when men who are more honest than you go about in hose and doublets. (?? - ed)


And they work in their shirt too, as for instance myself. I'm a butcher.


You men of Kent, -


What have you to say about Kent?


Nothing but this - 'tis bona terra, mala gens. (it is good land, lousy men).


Away with him! He speaks Latin.


Hear me first, and then take me wherever you wish. Kent was called by Caesar the civilest place in this isle, a sweet and beautiful country full of riches, with a liberal, valiant, active, wealthy people., which makes me hope you are not devoid of pity. I didn't sell Maine and I didn't lose Normandy, yet I would willingly lose my life to recover them. When have I demanded anything from you except to maintain the king, the realm and you? (I think this is about tax collection - ed). I've made large gifts to learned clerks, because my book preferred me to the king (?? ed), and perceiving ignorance as the curse of god and knowledge the route to heaven I think unless you are possessed with the devil you cannot murder me. I have spoken to foreign kings on your behalf -


tsk, tsk. When have you struck a single blow in the field of battle?


Great men can reach those they never see. I've often struck people dead whom I've never seen.


Stinking coward! Come up behind folks........?


My cheeks are pale from trying to look after you.


Give him a box around the ears, that'll make 'em red again.


Having to sit for hours to determine the outcome of poor men's pleas has made me quite ill....


You shall have hemp gruel, then, and the help of a hatchet.


What the hell are you quivering about?


It's the palsy rather than fear that causes that.


Come on. He's nodding at us like someone who is saying 'I'll be even with you'. Perhaps his head will stand a bit firmer on a pole. Take him away and behead him.


Tel me - in what way have I offended you most? Have I challenged your wealth or honour? Have I large sums of gold? Is my clothing too good? Who have I injured to cause you to want my death? My hands are clean, my head clear of un-cosher thoughts. Oh let me live!

CADE (aside):

He's making so good a case I am beginning to feel remorse, but I shall bridle it. He'll die, even if only for pleading so well. --

Away with him! He's being over-familiar, and doesn't speak of god at all. Take him away and take off his head in due course, and then break into his son-in-law's house - Sir James Cramer - take off his head, and bring both heads here stuck on poles.


It shall be done.


My countrymen! If when you say your prayers god would be as rigid and unrelenting as you are here now, how would your departed souls do? Relent, and save my life.


Take him away! Do as I command.

(exit many with Lord Say.)

(Cade continues): There will not be a peer in the realm with a head on his shoulders unless they pay tribute to me, and there shall not be a maid in the realm who shall be married without first giving me her maidenhood. Men will deem me to be in charge - and I command that their wives will be as free as heart can wish or tongue tell.


My lord, when shall we go to Cheapside and take in provisions against our bills of exchange?


In due course.


Wow! Brave!

(enter one with heads.)


But is this not braver? Let them kiss each other, for they loved each other well when they were alive. Now part them again in case they start to consult about giving up some more French towns. Soldiers, wait until nightfall before looting the city. Meantime we will ride through the streets with these held up before us instead of maces. And at every corner they shall kiss. Come on!

(exit all.)

More next week.


A senior cicil servant who had not been involved in the privatisation of the land and track section of British Railways (to make the company Railtrack) has been quoted by the Independent newspaper as saying that (although he was not directly involved in the original sale) he did not think that the potential negative effects of the sale to the private sector were fully appreciated at the time (these negative effects have been talked about a few times recently, and largely involve accidents attributed to pennypinching and a hopeless but very expensive rail service)

This seems remarkable in the light of the fact that a great many railway people at the time forecast these outcomes and the government ignored them. Of course, one cannot run a railway in exactly the same manner forever, because that would not allow any improvements, but these privatisations were sold to the public by a government who justified the sale by telling the public that privatisation was going to make the railways safer, more efficient, faster, more punctual, and better in every way. Many people countered this at the time by saying that the real motivation was private greed (there was a huge amount of profit amassed by the private sector - presumably including not a few MPs - as a result of these privatisations).

The prophets of doom - who had used both logic and their knowledge of the railways to make their case - have turned out not to have been false.

The problem for a government that has been elected by promising to change as little as possible of what the Tories did before them is that in order to fix this railway system it seems likely that they would have to re-nationalise it, and this would take serious financial input and be exactly the opposite of what they said they would do. The companies, having ransacked the finances of their various monopolies, have actually started asking the government for huge sums to repair the system they should have been maintaining all along, and being monopolies will probably get it, for if they don't get it they could with little difficulty allow themselves to go into liquidation or bankrupt and leave the public to whistle.

It may be that the only solution will be one that as far as I know has not yet been suggested - waiting until the share value is peanuts and then the government surrepticiously buying a majority holding, so that they can put in someone who knows what they are doing (like a railway person instead of an accountant) to run the show. That would not even be in conflict with their declared intentions at the time of their election, and if it were carefully timed could make quite a bargain for the common wealth (which would make a change), whilst the shareholders, having already had a fair amount out of the deal, would get a portion of their money back. It might also, despite being of much more use to the general public than the private sector, be entirely appropriate in terms of Thatcherist economics (you take a risk, and if the shares go down, hard luck it was your risk.)

I can almost hear them squealing already! They're saying "It's not fair. We made good money out of this, and now the shares have gone down. The government should compensate us because we were persuaded by the previous government that it was a good idea to buy these shares". The government, on the other hand, might retaliate that this is the kind of thing that happens if you buy shares.


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.


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.

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, 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 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

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.


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.

Cartoons and graphics.

drawings click here.

sheet music click here.



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

8- or more-track tape recorder. email

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.

Even better if you print the date of the article.

That`s all this week folks