The Other News From England.

28 May 2001.

It was impossible to put last week's Other News on the server for techinical reasons. This week's is being posted early for organisational reasons. Sorry to mess you about.

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 should have been Gabriele Gad piano and Hugh Harris saxophone, but Hugh has got a brief provincial tour working for Council for usic in Hospitals, so it may end up being GG plus somebody else, GG accompany8ing a friend singing, Nick playing calrinet, or etc etc - you never know til they turn up - or even GG on her own. No charge, but the hat goes round. During the warm weather this place takes on a special atmosphere you can't find elsewhere - especially as often there are a few holidaymakers mixed in with the general crowd. I wonder if they are Other News readers?

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.

Have you ever been had?

THERE IS ONE BORN every minute.

Friend Claire gave me a piece of paper advertising a way of saving money on the phone bill which would not cost anything to set up, required no application form, and no deposit.

The deal was that you dial this special number first and then the number you are trying to get to, and they connect you and bill you for the call at a lower rate - apparently quarterly.

The only way to deal with this kind of thing is to suck it and see or to read the small print and search for the catch. I made a call using this method to a local phone, which should have come to 1 penny less than the local call dialled direct and then (instead of doing it the right way round) read the small print (the bit with tiny writing and an asterisk). There it was:

"* subject to a minimum of 10p*.

Dialled direct, I would have to spend an average of about 7 minutes on each call before I reached the point where I would save anything at all. I made approximately 300 local and national calls during the last quarter, nearly all of which were less than 5 minutes and most of which were less than 3 minutes long.

There were 13 calls which exceded 7 minutes, and on which I would have saved a total of about 4, whilst had I used this special number on the other 280-something calls it would have cost about 14 more!

I make that a cost of an extra 10 a quarter, but of course if you are one of these people who always make long phone calls (exceeding 7 minutes) then you might save a few pence over a year.

the international rates, though, really do look cheaper, so I must now dig about for the small print.....

Joe Punter's Shakespeare.

King Henry the 6th. part 3.

ACT 4 .

Scene 4.

London. The palace.

Enter Queen Elizabeth and Rivers.


Madam, why the sudden change?


Brother Rivers, have you not yet heard what happened to King Edward?


What, loss of some pitched battle against Warwick?


No, but the loss of his own royal person.


Then is my sovereign slain?


Ay, almost slain, for he is taken prisoner, either betrayed by the falsehood of his guard or surprised by his foe. And, as I further understand he has been committed to the Bishop of York, who is Warwick's brother and therefore our foe.


This news I must confess gives me grief, yet, gracious madam, bear it the best you can. Warwick, who won today, may yet lose.


Till then I must hope. I must avoid despair for the love of Edward's offspring in my womb. This makes me able to bear my anger with mildness. Ay, ay, for this I stop many a sigh or tear, lest my sighs and tears should drown King Edward's fruit, heir to the crown of England.


But Madam, where is Warwick?


I am informed that he comes towards London to put the crown back on Henry's head. You can guess the rest. King Edward's friends must step down. But to prevent the tyrant's violence (for one cannot trust one who has once broken faith) I will go straight to the sanctuary, to save at least the heir of Edward's right. There I will rest secure from force and fraud. Come, therefore, let us fly whilst we may. If Warwick takes us, we are sure to die.


More next week.


A non-lead newspaper article on Wednesday carried the headline:

"Hindus must wear badge, says Taleban",

and went on to describe a requirement that all Hindus in Afghanistan must wear identification.

Those of us who are old enough (and many others) will know that this was one of Hitler's earlier strategies for making it easier to round up Jews (it wasn't only Jews, either, but anybody a bit intellectual, mentally ill, clever, Gipsies, or anyone who might oppose what that administration were trying to do - but it was only Jews who were required to wear a label), and nearly everybody will know that once they were rounded up they were stripped of their assets and then used as slave labour until they died of it, or were straight away sent to the gas chambers.

Maulawi Mohammed Wali, chief of the Afghanistan religious police (!!1984?) said that the decision had been made in the light of a fatwa - a religious decree - given by Islamic scholars.

In this country we try to be tolerant of all religious things..........

Readers may remember an article in Other News recently arguing that religions equal stoning to death, chopping off heads, torture, the inquisition, genital mutilation, unwarranted guilt, political manipulation, pompous behaviour, and a string of other injustices, dishonesties and hypocricies.

Does that article now make more sense?


digging around amongst the emails that have left this computer during the past year, I found the following. It was sent to The Big Issue, a paper concerning itself with all matters to do with homelessness.

The background is that Glenda Jackson had been politically compaigning, and suggesting that in some way officials might be made to feel responsible for their own actions seemed to be a good campaigning strategy. Perhaps it might also be applied to politicians:

"Dear Editor etc

"Glenda Jackson has a good point, but it may be vey difficult to put into practice.

"My own attempts to get officials to be responsible in any way for their incompetence or dishonesty in Southwark over several years have proved completely fruitless. They cover their backs by losing records of communications they don't like, and have a long and complicated complaints procedure that only the most persistent amongst us could possibly follow through, taking possibly years, and which (if it is followed through at all) ends up with a person called Mearns, whose sole job appears to be to defuse complaints. He behaves as though he knows every trick in the book. Most people don't even try to keep copies of all paperwork, which is one thing Mearns will probably demand, so they lose.

"I think you will find that virtually no complaints, however grave, succeed, so that statistically Southwark, who may well be one of the worst offenders, can say they have a good record despite everything. This may well be the same in all boroughs.

"One must also consider that any person trying to pursue their complaint against an army of officials all covering each other's backs may only have (a) limited ability, (b) limited time available to them, and (c) no funds, to pursue the matter. The officials, for their part, have huge resources and are paid to do whatever they do for however long it takes to do it. They can always find a way to cover themselves, and their records will back them up because most people believe officialdom to be honest. Any fool can throw paper in a bin and adjust records.

"A great many people in Southwark must have been made homeless by the incompetence and lack of concern of the firm CSL, who have the job of administering Southwark's housing and council tax benefit system, and who can take anything up to a year to process a claim.

"During which time, I am sure you will be aware, a landlord cannot afford to keep the tenant housed for zero rent.

Yours in exasperation, but still not giving up,


But of course, why should Southwark be singled out when every other borough is likely to be just bad?


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