The Other News From England.

9 July 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.

LETSwing went down really well Saturday just gone, with a great deal of harmonised singing and the audience joining in. A small girl played the piano for a couple of numbers, much to the delight of all. This Saturday the entertainment should be Phil again, doing his Bert-Jansch-style act. Went down very well last time he was here. 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.

Ecology, population, sex, and war.

The relationship between these four different subjects has for many years been of great interest to me (for, of course, there is always a link between all things).

The number of humans on the earth has a strong effect on the numbers of every other species on it, in that wherever we go we tend either (a) to push them out, or (b) to farm them, or (c) to exterminate them, so that wherever humans are, an imbalance either exists or will in due course exist between the species (one must bear in mind that 'species' does not just mean animals, it means every living thing, and that 'imbalance' really means a change of balance.) This is not just one species moving aside for another, it is more complicated than that. It may partly be our ridiculous assumption that the whole thing ios made

Of course, one might argue that the the balance is natural, and that the same thing applies in some way to every living thing, but the extent in most instances will be far less. (Lions, for example, might account for a shortage of gazelles in the territory they occupy, but even lions, I am told, have the sense not to kill anything they do not want to eat immediately, and the gazelles may comfortably graze within range of the lions, possibly relying on the existence of the lions for protection from other predators).

Nature (who designed us) no doubt intended us to behave the way we do, but we have the interesting questions of whether, given nature's design, there can ever be too many of us, and whether nature can or does care one way or the other. If there get to be too many of us, we cull ourselves, probably by the methods we have always unconsciously used. We fight to the death in our various ways - the most noteable way being war - or some of us commit suicide.

When war occurs, it has been traditional that the men go out and fight and get killed whilst the women stay at home so that they may breed another bunch of males 'to defend the tribe/state/nation'. This has been a way of keeping our numbers down until relatively recent years (say the last 200 years), when suddenly there has been a growth not only in peace but in population - a dangerous situation, which has led to many small wars and two huge ones, the total destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and their whole populations by atom bombs, and the constant threat of further hostilities - particularly from any nation whose population can be persuaded that when they 'die for their country' they will go straight to a place called Paradise!

During the Middle Ages the crusades, it is said, were the means by which the huge birth rate in England was kept from overpopulating us - the lads went off and got killed, thus culling us a bit, and the few who came home no doubt bred further large families - for disregarding homosexuality (which may anyway have not been particularly common at the time), if you think about it, there must have been an awful lot of women and not many men to go round them, thus leaving the men with excessive freedom of choice and the women with virtually none (this situation may account for the way women have been treated as second-class citizens for so long). Presumably, in these circumstances the men would go from one woman to another breeding as they went, and the population would grow even faster than had monogamy been the norm.

Generally speaking, nature tries to get us to breed approximately the same number of each gender. But if the males keep going off to be culled, then the balance will be steadily eroded, leaving ever more females. If the females continue to breed and the males keep going off to war, the balance goes on getting more and more lopsided, and the choice for the females ever less. A female can only have one birth at a time, whilst a male could (at least theoretically) be a father a hundred times over at a time.

As to the ecological aspect of this question - the more of us there are, the more we alter the environment, and the more we interfere with the balance of all the different species nature has created. For humans to survive a few thousand years more (if we continue in this way) it seems inevitable that we will end up eating each other because there will be no other species left which is practical to eat - owing to lack of space! - and that therefore we must yet come to a great many more wars and holocausts to avoid this happening if we do not find a better way of keeping our numbers down. It is, perhaps, something we should all be thinking about as a matter of urgency.

I want to remind you of all the terrible happenings that accompanied the making of the Soviet Union, and the the ghastly things that have happened in Eastern Europe following the collapse of it, Stalin, the Nazis, Milosevic, Vietnam, the things that are happening in Palestine and surrounds this day, Iraq, various states in Africa, India, Indonesia..............most of these things are current, but a few within the last 100 years. We could do something better, but will we? Not very likely.

We are probably not clever enough to realise how stupid we are.

Foot and Mouth Disease (and maybe BSE?).

(held over from last week)

IT MAY ALL BE becoming clear what is going on at last.

Foot and mouth has been all over the place in Britain this year. There has been a panic in New Zealand, there has been a panic in Europe, and no doubt there has even been a panic in the rest of the world. The British government have decided that the only possible solution is to kill every infected animal and require all persons entering or leaving the area to dip their boots in disinfectant, and seem to have carefully avoided addressing the fact that foxes, badgers, birds, squirrels, rabbits and in fact every other species do not dip their boots. Even some humans don't. The logic of the situation is, of course, that in order to eradicate foot and mouth every single living creature would have to be destroyed, leading to certain problems with the food chain (to say the least).

Alternatives to slaughter have been suggested which have been rejected out of hand, despite historic evidence showing that some of the suggested solutions work, and the slaughter seems to be continuing, bankrupting farmers and wasting what tiny little bit of life farm animals get to no purpose whatever and without any compassion whatever for the animals and very little for the farmers being expressed.

There may be more to this than meets the eye.

If you are a multinational and wish to go in for agrobusiness, what you need is a lot of very cheap and fertile land. What easier way to get it than to make every farmer bankrupt? All you have to do is either (a)bribe a few officials and politicians or (b) convince them with spin that the only way forward is to kill everything that breathes - and hey presto! you have multitudes of bankrupt farmers selling their farms in a buyer's market. It would not be difficult to put the disease in place deliberately, either.

In fact, I might even buy myself a few hundred acres to build a theme park, with plastic effigies of Tony Blair and friends to welcome the visitors, and plastic cows and sheep, a plastic Fordson Major, some plastic geese, plastic barns and a certain plastic Ronald (representing the multinationals) urinating over the whole. The theme would be British Agriculture in the 21st century.

Freemasons.

(Held over from last week).

FREEMASONS, understandably, wish to be accepted as ordinary honest upright and honorable citizens.

We have written about them on several occasions (about 8). On all occasions except one, the writing has been of a negative nature, and on one occasion it was positive and quoted various things that a masonic spokesman had said in their favour.

Following the publication of the positive writings there was no difficulty connecting to the server to send and receive email during the following week, whilst on all the other occasions email was cut off for several days and only restored after phone calls to the server and further enquiries.

Are they honest? Is this not the kind of thing the public believe Freemasons do with their time and energies?

Joe Punter's Shakespeare.

King Henry the 6th. part 3.

ACT 5 .

Scene 2.

A field of battle near Barnet.

Alarms and excursions. Enter King Edward, bringing forth Warwick, wounded.

KING E.:

So - lie there and die, and with you dies our fear - for Warwick was a bug who frightened us all - Now, Montague, just wait, I am coming for you, so that Warwick's bones may keep you company.

WARWICK:

Ah - who is near? Come to me whoever you are and tell me who is victor, York or Warwick? Why do I ask that?..... (long speech about being a dying hero whom everybody feared, and who set up and brought down autocrats, etc etc etc).

(Enter Oxford and Somerset).

SOMERSET:

Ah, Warwick! If only you were as we are we might yet recover all our losses. The queen has brought from France a mighty force, and only now have we heard the news. Ah! I wish you could fly.

WARWICK:

Even then I would not. Ah, Montague, if you are here, sweet brother, take my hand, and with your lips keep my soul in me for a while more. You don't love me, for if you did your tears would wash this cold congealed blood which glues my lips together and will not let me speak from them. Come quickly, Montague, or I am dead.

SOMERSET:

Ah, Warwick! Montague has breathed his last breath, and to the last gasp cried out for Warwick, and said 'commend me to my valiant brother', and he would have said more, and did speak more, but it sounded like a clamour in a vault which was not possible to understand. But at last I think I heard (delivered with a groan): 'Oh farewell, Warwick!'

WARWICK:

God rest his soul! Fly, lords, and save yourselves, for I bid you farewell, to meet in heaven.

(dies).

OXFORD:

Away, away, to meet the queen's great power!

(they carry away his body.)

(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.

Biotechnology

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: sjzine@netscape.net, 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. http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~bamr1

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, freemasons....you 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 cs@london-recycling.demon.co.uk. 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 www.edrev.org.

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.

Essays.

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.

editor@othernews.co.uk

Cartoons and graphics.

drawings click here.

sheet music click here.

Consumers.

LEXMARK 3200 PRINTER.

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.

Wanted

A person to help make up a subject index for the growing numbers of articles on The Other News From England. Email editor@othernews.co.uk (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. http://www.othernews.co.uk

Even better if you print the date of the article.

editor@othernews.co.uk

That`s all this week folks