The Other News From England.

4 February 2001.

For organisational reasons The Other News is out early this week, but you can still access last week's edition (which is much more interesting) by clicking below.

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.

Sorry about Saturday just gone. There was a surprise last-minute change. THIS Saturday Phil again. 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.

Religion (or not).

(Held over from last week.)

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 3.

Field of battle near Sandal Castle.

Alarms. Enter Rutland and his tutor.


How the hell are we going to escape this lot? Ah, tutor, look at bloody Clifford coming!

(Enter clifford and soldiers.)


Chaplain, go! Your priesthood saves your life. As for the brat of this accursed duke whose father killed mine, he shall die.


And I, sir, will accompany him.


Soldiers, away with him!


Ah Clifford. Don't murder this innocent child in case both god and man should hate you for it.

(exits, forced off by soldiers).


What's this? Is he dead already? Or is it fear that makes him close his eyes? I'll open them.


So looks the penned up lion over the wretch that trembles under his devouring paws. And so he walks scornfully over his prey. He comes to tear his limbs asunder! Gentle Clifford, kill me with your sword and not with such a cruel threatening look. Sweet Clifford, hear me speak before I die.! I am not important enough for your wrath. Reveng yourself on men, and let me live.


You speak in vain, poor boy. My father's blood has blocked my ears to you.


Then let your father's blood open it again. He is a man, and Clifford, cope with him.


If I had your brothers here, their lives and yours would not be sufficient revenge for me. If I dug up your forefathers' graves and hung their coffins up in chains it would not slake my anger or ease my heart. The site of anybody from the House of York is as a fury to torment my soul, and till I root out that accursed line and leave not a single one alive I live in hell. And therefore -

(lifting his hand)


Oh let me pray before I die! To you I pray, sweet Clifford, please pity me!


Such pity as my rapier's point affords you shall have.


I never did you any harm. Why do you want to kill me?


Your father has.


But that was before I was born! You have one son. For his sake, pity me, in case God - who is always just - should take revenge, and him be slain as miserably as I. Ah, let me live in prison all my days, and when I do give offense, then kill me, because at present you have no cause.


No cause! Your father killed my father, therefore die.

(stabs him)


Di faciant, laudis summa sit ista tuae! (dies)

(Sorry - can't find the latin dictionary and do not know quite what it means - ed)


Plantagenet! I am coming Plantagenet! And this, your son's blood, clinging to my blade will rust upon my weapon until your blood congealed with his will make me wipe it off.


More next week.


An email came from Hillingdon this week about a project that I have not before heard of, but suggesting that something special might be happening there. I reproduce it below:

Here's the latest on Com.Café

The café is taking off and we have now been open for a couple of weeks. The Internet side is taking longer than planned because the original plan for computer work surfaces was not sufficient and we will have to get a carpenter in to redo all of the work before we can purchase the computers.

We have a great mix of customers with some retired people coming in for a cup of tea and bacon buttie; some younger people coming in to get out of the cold; one little lad who, probably correctly, told us he was "expended" from school; and a group of 9 - 11 year olds who come in to play games on the "make do" computer's we've got on site until we are wired up.

Our first community courses begin next week with "Keeping up with the kids" - a guide to SATs, "Literacy Hour," "Numeracy Hour" and all of the other innovations currently being used in primary schools. We are also running a "Self awareness course but by the take up (or lack of it) it looks like everyone is very self aware already. The third is a book study group which will read a book every month and discuss it and then, in between times, look at creative writing including poetry and short story writing.

Future courses will include "Computers for the Terrified" and First Aid.

We are running a membership scheme for the people on the estate. They pay £2 for the year and then get half an hour per day free on the computers and 50p off their café bill. We are charging everyone else £1.50 for half an hour and not giving them anything off their café bill, so the locals are seeing this as a good deal. We have had over 40 people sign up in the first fortnight!

The HiLETS (Hillingdon LETS) will be based in the café and we (Com.Café) will be selling recycled computers to people on the estate for LETS points. We have a keen technician volunteering his time to mend the computers and act as a technical adviser. He works freelance for several universities, the MOD and AMD (the big American computer chip manufacturer) and is keen to share his knowledge with others - which is great. We will be spending our LETS income on getting people to advise others on the computer, clean the café, serve behind the cafe bar, deliver leaflets on the estate and a variety of other things.

We are looking at how we will be accepting LETS for food or drinks and still break even. We will be accepting it for computer time, though, and that may be enough.

If you don't want to hear any more about the café let me know and I'll take you off my list.

David Williams

Com.Café is a joint venture and the partners include Groundwork Thames Valley, LB Hillingdon, NHS Hillingdon PCT, Hayes West Drayton Partnership and Healthy Hillingdon.

End of email

If you want to hear more about this, try emailing David williams thus:

Southwark Social Investment Forum.

(held over from last week)

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