The Other News From England.

29 January 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.

This Saturday, Gabriele Gad piano, and Hugh Harris saxophone. Quiet, old-fashioned jazz both old and new - mostly in the manner of the 1920's - 1940's. 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.


A LOT HAS come to mind this week about education, but I shall confine myself to one aspect because to me it appears to be a matter of very great concern to all of us (that is not to say that the rest is insignificant so much as to say that this matter I perceive to be in need of urgent attention).

The matter of which I am thinking is the way we (as a nation) treat our children both in and out of school. We adults do very little to demonstrate to our children that we respect them. Indeed, having had a British education it is possible that an ever-growing number of us do not respect them. This, you might think, does not matter to you as you are an adult, which for the present may well be the case, but I think it would be wise to consider that if these children have not felt respected they will find it very difficult to respect you when they are your paid carer during your twilight years.

We have all from time to time read the few stories that escape from old folks' homes about carers who steal the belongings and pocket money of those in their care, force them to bath in baths that are too hot ('force', I said, and I can remember one case coming to court because the lady concerned had scalds which were seen by her children), and the myriad other possible forms of abuse that you and I might be subjected to at the end of our lives. These forms of abuse are unlikely to be mistakes, and they are also quite likely to be thought of as fairly normal punishments for not complying with some arbitrarily made rule of the house by persons who have never experienced anything better themselves and therefore cannot imagine any other way of doing things. These people will mainly be products of the British education system, alienated from adults by those who run the system (this does not exclude politicians and the civil service, you know), put through 'grades' when they should be out playing, looked after in huge numbers by demoralised teachers who have no hope of offering them anything much - and coming from British homes.

Our current administration might do well to consider that when it is their turn to be 'looked after', it may well be by persons who have never themselves been looked after partially if not completely because of the indifference of their administration.

These children are not just children, they are your fellow citizens, who can only possibly respect us if we also respect them. This does not mean allowing them to push us around, but it does not mean pushing them around either, or hitting them, or being unrealistically and maliciously critical of them.

Not many years ago, a mother said to me: 'I said to Hector "now be good, won't you?", to which Hector replied "What is being good, Mummy?"' One must presume Hector was being sincere. Is there any reason why a six-year-old or a fifteen-year-old, or in fact an any-year-old should know the answer? And can we justify punishing them for not knowing it?

Do you know what being good is?

Religion (or not).

There are times in my life when I almost understand what I am doing.

Many years ago now I started attending Quaker meetings because I had discovered that despite being a religious group they did all the sort of things in their real lives that I could approve of. They, above all other groups political, religious, recreational, or other, were the most approved of in my eyes, and furthermore on a Sunday they sat for an hour in silence with no minister and no up and down social structure,waiting for inspiration to say something that might improve the world, some of them (possibly most) believing that god would cause them to speak. So I attended.

When I had attended for some long time a couple of people from the meeting house became rather evangelical and would not leave me alone over the question of why I did not join the Religious Society of Friends (that's a more official title for Quakers), and so I stopped attending.

Some years later, I was told in a chance conversation that the offending people had stopped coming to meetings, and so I started to attend again. I befriended a great many people who I had not known before, and was greeted upon my return by those who had known me before. Amongst these people is a young woman whom I particularly like, and who innocently asked me why, in the light of my own enthusiasm for Quakers and my own behaviour, I was not a member, thereby obliging me to have a long think about the subject. The answer is simple: If the Quakers were called the Society of Friends or the Irreligious Society of friends, or just Quakers, I could join, but cannot for ethical reasons (I do not consider myself religious) join a society that calls itself religious.

"But what's in a word?" she charmingly says, thereby obliging me to think further on the matter, and probably bringing me to the answer I have been searching for over several years. Here it is:

Religion, for someone like me, is associated with the following: oppression, manipulation, burning women thought (with no sensible evidence whatever) to be witches, stoning, guilt, mutilation of female and male genitalia, holy wars, imprisonment, clerical arrogance, pompous behaviour, some of the most unjust legal results, prejudice against those of other religions, The Inquisition.............I would also point out that to be a freemason you have to be religious.

Is that enough? Or would you like some more?

Joe Punter's Shakespeare.

King Henry the 6th. part 3.

ACT 1 .

Scene 2.

Sandal Castle, near Wakefield.

Enter Richard, Edward and Montague.


Brother, though I'm youngest, please allow me.


No, I'm better at public speaking.


But I have strong and forcible reasons.

(Enter the Duke of York.)


Hello sons and brother. Arguing, are you? What is your quarrel? How did it first begin?


No quarrel. Just a slight contention.


About what?


About that which concerns us all - the crown of England, Father, which is yours.


Mine, boy? Not til King Henry is dead.


Your right depends upon his life or death.


You are heir, therefore enjoy it now. By giving the House of Lancaster time, you will allow it to outrun you in the end.


I took an oath that he should reign in peace.


But for a kingdom any oath may be broken. I would break a thousand oaths to reign for a year.


God forbid that you should break your word.


I will be breaking it if I claim the crown by open war.


I'll show you otherwise if you will listen to me.


You cannot, son. It is impossible.


An oath is not legally binding if not sworn before a true and lawful magistrate. Henry had none but usurped you. Seeing it was he that caused you to depose, your oath is not legal and is frivolous. Therefore, to arms! And father, just remember how sweet a thing it is to wear a crown. What are we hanging about for? I cannot rest until the white rose that I wear is died slightly pink with Henry's blood.


Richard, that's enough. I shall be king or die.Brother, you go to London shortly, and tell Warwick of this enterprise. You, Richard, to the Duke of Norfolk and tell him secretly of our intent (I think the royal we - ed.). You, Edward, go to my Lord Cobham, whom the Kentish men will happily follow. I trust them, for they are good soldiers, whitty, courteous, full of spirit. - while you are doing that I will try to work out how we can rise without the king or anybody in the House of Lancaster being aware.

(enter a messenger.)

But wait a moment. What news? Why do you hurry so?


The queen with all her northern earls and lords intends to besiege you in your castle. She is nearby with twenty thousand men. Therefore fortify your hold my lord.


Yep. With my sword. Do you think that we fear them? Edward and Richard, you stay with me. Brother Montague will go straight to London. Let Warwick, Cobham and the rest, whom we left as protectors to the king, strengthen themselves with powerful policy, and don't trust simple Henry or his oaths.


Brother, I go. I'll win them, fear not. And thus I humbly take my leave.


Enter Sir John and Sir Hugh Mortimer.


Sir John and Sir Hugh Mortimer, my uncles! You've come to Sandal at a happy hour. The queen's army mean to besiege us.


She won't need to do that. We'll meet her in the field.


What? With five thousand men?


Yes, father, with five hundred if necessary. A woman is general. What should we fear?

(Shakespeare says: 'a march far off' here.)


I hear their drums. Let's set our men in order and go out there and bid them battle straight.


Five men to twenty! Though the odds are great, I don't doubt our victory. I've won many a battle in France when the enemy has been ten to one. Why shouldn't I now have the same success?

(Alarm - All exit)

More next week.

Southwark Social Investment Forum.

Southwark Social Investment Forum (NOT a 'council initiative') are holding a large function for all manner of community groups, LETS, hourbanks, self-help groups, green, etc on the 7th. April 2001 at Clubland, Walworth Rd. London SE17 (almost where it changes to Camberwell Rd). YOUR GROUP COULD JOIN FREE.

More about this in othernews of 15th or 22nd. Jan 2001. For link through see above, or:

Email Peter Challen ( if you would like to participate.


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: Goforth's site

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 (this may now have been provided, but please email if you might like to join in in some way - ed.)

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