The Other News From England.

1 January 2001.

The Christmas day edition never quite made it owing to travel and logistical difficulties.

Hope you enjoy the year in the Christian calendar 2001.

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.

Saturday - Unknown musical act - enquire if you can. No charge, but the hat goes round.

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.


The world of computers is still a growth area, and for this reason there are quite a few magazines available in this country that concern themselves exclusively with computers, and not a few of those are just magazines to sell rather than informative, understandable and useful. One popular sales gimmick amongst the publishers of these magazines is to attach a 'free CD' to the cover, thus persuading people to buy the magazine to get the CD - in fact some even offer two CD's, and as far as I remember one is usually something boring and obvious which can be obtained free from any number of sources - free 4 day trial of the internet, etc. - whilst the other tries to convince you that it has a full program on it that could be of some use.

In November, I was impressed to find on the front of one of the less readable magazines a free 'UK Information Disk' for 44 million people. This is just the sort of thing I could use from time to time - in fact it would be invaluable, this 'unlimited usage worth 29.95' disk and an inviation on the cover to 'lift flap for more programs', which could not be done without buying the magazine first.

I forked out my 4.99 for the magazine and took it home, knowing that I had at least bought something I could use. I even tried reading the magazine, but found it useless to someone like me with only NVQ3 in information technology.

Now to the CDs.

Upon opening the cover of the UK-info disk I found that 'lift flap for more programs' meant that there was a message telling you to log into their website, where they keep demos for you to download. I decided against this.

The next thing to try was the UK-info disk, which I put into my CD drive, and which told me that it had to load up a program that I don't want or it could not install itself, and then installed itself and offered to dial up immediately! This was a disk with a website address, which logged you onto a web site which would allow you to do up to 25 searches before it started to demand money!

Always taking exception to being conned, I emailed support at the magazine, saying I either wanted my money back or a disk that did what it said it would do, and they auto-replied an email inviting me to log onto their website(!), and in due course I emailed again:

"Please answer my email before I start legal action. Below is a copy of the text (I should have also pointed out that many readers might not use the internet at all):



I will not print here the email they auto-replied with, because it is even more boring than the magazine.

The problem now was that despite my best efforts I had got nowhere, and so I decided that as the only email they would ever be likely to read would be a reader's letter, I wote a reader's letter to the editor:

"Dear editor

"You may not wish to publish this letter, but I think you need to take note of it's contents.

"I am preparing the paperwork to sue your company. This has come about through your unwillingness to answer mail, your automated email response to enquiries about disk problems and your non-observance of the Trade Descriptions Acts, Sale of Goods Acts and possible other Acts.

"If you wish to avoid action you should send me a full refund of the money I spent on your November 2000 edition of PCFormat plus enough money to cover the packing and posting of the returned magazine and disk. I will then post them back to you in exchange for the money.

"My postal address is ******.


To which the reply was:


Reply-To: "Ian Harris"


"I have forwarded your e-mail to our disc editor Alan Seviour, who should be able to help.


"Ian Harris

"Technical Editor - PC Format

That was the 7th. December, there has been no further work from PC Format, and as it seems to me that nobody is likely to buy such a magazine more than twice the only possible motivation I can see for their ever bothering to reply would be the fear that I might actually follow through with legal action.

I would recommend you not to buy PC Format, not only because the disk was just a con, but also because the content (unless you like the pretty girl on the cover) does not seem likely to be of any use or interest to anybody.


As I sit here getting The Other News ready for publication in a couple of hours, people all around me are polluting the air with both noise and fumes, by letting off fireworks. I am myself polluting the air by enjoying an unnecessary open fire - but even if it were necessary I would still be polluting the air and possibly wasting materials, even though the materials I am burning happen to be rotten, naily timber from a building site.

Somewhere else in the world, somebody will be releasing into the air a great mass of helium-filled balloons with messages about goodwill to all men and the need to look after the environment, and probably they will not see the hypocrisy of their actions! They will then go home, chuck some rare metals in the bin, do a bit more polluting, and waste something else just because it is New Year's Eve.

Over the Christmas holiday I drove the better part of a thousand miles in my well-maintained and reasonably economical car - all of which I could have avoided doing if I had decided not to see my children and grandchildren. I ate cooked food which had been heated using North Sea gas and which was farmed by farmers using petroleum and electrically powered machinery of many types and delivered by road vehicles which used further fuel into supermarkets lit and powered by electricity which had not all been produced by nuclear power stations, but which where it had not been was anyway almost entirely produced by power stations using fossil fuels.

Of course, the shopping was collected by cars.

All over the world people will be doing similarly wasteful and destructive things to celebrate the new year, and I rather doubt that many of them realise that their combined effort must come to a significant amount of damage, or that (if it is to do with fumes from burning things) they are significantly contributing to the dreaded global warming.

By gum it's cold. I think I'll go and check the oven, and then put another log on the fire - it looks so pretty, you see.

Joe Punter's Shakespeare.

King Henry the 6th. part 2.

ACT 5 .

Scene 1.

Fields between Dartford and Blackheath (yes, there were once!).

Enter York with his Irish army.


I've come from Ireland to claim my right to the English throne. I'll just pluck the crown from feeble Henry's head. Let's hear a celebration to welcome me to my throne. Let people who don't know how to rule do as they are told. I intend to chuck out this Frenchman.

Enter Buckingham (aside):

Whom have we here? Buckingham - to disturb me? I'll bet the king has sent him. I must dissemble.


York, if you mean well, I greet you well.


Humphrey of Buckingham, I accept your greeting. Have you come as a messenger, or for pleasure?


I'm a messenger from Henry, sent to find out what the hell you are doing with so many troops in times of peace. Why you, being as much a subject as I am, should raise so great a power without permission, or dare to bring them so near the court.

YORK (aside):

I can hardly speak my anger is so great. It makes me so bloody angry I could attack almost anything. I am far better descended from the original yobs than is the king. I am more like a king, more like a king in my thoughts - but I must back down for a while until Henry is a bit weaker and I am a bit stronger. -

(to Buckingham):

Buckingham, pray pardon me that I didn't answer straight away. I am suffering from deep melancholy. The reason for this army is to remove proud and seditious Somerset from the king - and from the state.


A bit presumptuous, aren't you? But if that is all then I must tell you that the king has already done something about that. Somerset is in the Tower.


Really!? Upon your honour, is he a prisoner?


Upon my honour, yes he is.


Then Buckingham, I dismiss my forces. Soldiers, thank you all. Disperse yourselves and meet me again tomorrow on St. George's Field, where you shall be paid and have everything you wish. And as for Henry, he may command my son - no, all my sons - as pledges of my loyalty. I will send everything he needs - horse, men, provisions, arms - as long as Somerset will die.


Well done old York! That is kind! We will go into his tent.

(Enter king Henry and attendants).


Buckingham, you and York march arm in arm like that. Does he intend to harm me?


In all submission and humility York is presenting himself to you.


then what are the forces for?


To capture the traitor Somerset, and to fight against the monstrous rebel Cade, whom I have since heard has been defeated.

(Enter Iden with Cade's head.)


If one so lowly may come into the presence of a king, may I present you with the head of a traitor, Cade, whom I slew in combat?


Great god - Cade! Let's have a look at the head of the man who was such a problem to me when he was alive. Tell me, my friend, was it you who slew him?


It was indeed sir.


What's your name, and what is your class?


My name is Iden, and I am a squire of very modest means from Kent, who loves his king.


It seems to me, sir, that it would be entirely appropriate if he were created a knight for his good service.


Iden, kneel down. (He kneels). Rise up a knight. I give you as a reward a thousand marks (!) and I also allow you to attend upon me. (simple sort of con, don't you think? ed.)


May I live to merit such a bounty and always remain true to my king.


sst. Buckingham! Somerset is coming with the queen. Hide him quickly from York.

(enter queen Margaret and Somerset.)


Not even for a thousand Yorks would he hide his head! He intends to meet York head on.


What's this? Somerset is not in the Tower at all! Right. I intend to let my thoughts out in the open. False king! You've broken faith with me. How can I call you a king? You're not fit to govern multitudes if you can't even rule a traitor. Your head is not a fitting place to put a crown. Your hand is made to grasp a pilgrim's staff not a princely sceptre. It needs someone fit for the job - like me. You shall not rule over me, who am intended to be your ruler, any more.


Monstrous traitor! I arrest you, York, on grounds of capital treason against the king and crown. Obey! Kneel this moment!


Would you have me kneel? First let me ask these if they think I will kneel to any man. Call my sons to be my bail.

(exit an attendant.)

I know they'll do the right thing.


Clifford, find out if the bastard sons of York will be their traitor father's surety.

(exit Buckingham.)


Bloody Neapolitan outcast! My sons, your betters by birth, shall be their father's bail, and god help anybody who refuses them. They'll make it good.

(enter Edward and Richard.)


And here comes Clifford to deny their bail.

(Enter Old Clifford and his son.)


Health and happiness to the king!

(he kneels.)


I thank you Clifford. What news have you? No. don't frighten me with an angry look. I am sovereign, Clifford. Kneel again. I pardon you for your mistake.


I am not mistaken, York. This is my king. But you do make me wonder if I have made a mistake. To Bedlam with him! Has the king gone mad?


Yes, Clifford, a certain madness makes him oppose his sovereign.


He is a traitor. Send him to the Tower and have his head off.


He is arrested, but will not take any notice. He says his sons will speak for him.


Won't you lads?


Yes Dad, if our words will serve the purpose.


And if words won't, then weapons will.


My, what a brood of traitors we have here!


You should be saying that about yourself. I am your king and you are a false-hearted traitor - call here to the stake my two brave bears, the very shaking of whose chains may astonish these wankers. Tell Salisbury and Warwick to come to me.

(Enter the earls of Warwick and Salisbury.)


Are these your bears?We'll bate 'em to death if you dare bring them within range.


I have often seen an overambitious cur run back and bite because he was witheld only to run off howling having been clapped by the bear's claw. That is roughly what I suspect you will do if you oppose yourselves to Warwick.


Shove off you great indigested lump, as crooked in your manners as you are in your shape.


Never mind. We'll heat you thoroughly in due course.


Be careful you don't end up burning yourselves by mistake.


Warwick, you seem to have forgotten to bow, and Salisbury a shame on your silvery hair, madly misleading your brain-sick son. Are you going to play the ruffian on your death-bed, and seek for sorrow with your spectacles? Where's yer faith? Where's yer loyalty? Are you planning to dig your own grave? Have you learnt nothing with age? for chrissake, bend your knee whilst you may.

SALISBURY: I'm sorry sir, but I do believe on the face of the evidence that this man is rightful heir to the throne.


Haven't you sworn allegiance to me, though?


I have.


Can you ignore the will of god over this matter?


It is a great sin to swear unto a sin, but it is a greater sin to keep a sinful oath. Would it be just to deprive someone of their rights just because of an oath?


A subtle traitor needs no teaching.


Call Buckingham and ask him to arm himself.


Call everyone you can. I am resolved on settling this matter with death or dignity.


The first, I suspect, if dreams come true.


You'd do well to go back to bed and dream again. It would be safer than the field.


I am resolved to withstand whatever you can throw at me today, and I'll write upon your burgonet (helmet with visor - ed) if I know you by your household badge.


Have no fear, old man. My father's badge - old Neville's crest - is a rampant bear chained to the ragged staff. But this day I'll wear my burgonet aloft like some old cedar that stands atop a mountain and defies all weather - just to frighten you with the view of me.


And from your burgonet I'll remove the bear and tread it underfoot with the contempt it deserves, despite the fool protecting it.


And so to arms, father, to quell these rebels and their accomplices.


Shame! Shame! Don't speak in spite for you will be dining with Jesus Christ tonight.


Don't be too sure.


If not in heaven, you'll surely dine in hell.

(All exit)

More next week.


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

Goforth's social justice e-zine.

This interesting email magazine comes at fairly regular intervals and is of interest to almost anybody who is interested in human rights and green issues. In November 2000 it was going out to about 10,000 addresses. Try it. It won't cost you anything, and you can reproduce the contents without paying. You can subscribe by writing to them at:, or visit . Unsubscribe the same way.

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