The Other News From England.

1st. Oct. 2001.

It is intended to renew The Other News weekly, but there are occasions when this is not possible. We apologise in advance for when this occurs.

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 6 October might be Hugh Harris's birthday gig, but no final arrangements have yet been made for any band at time of going to press.

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.


As in Afghanistan (although possibly to a far lesser degree), we will be receiving a slightly or greatly distorted picture of events surrounding the World Trade Centre attack and it's aftermath. The perception we seem to be being offered is one in which the Taliban are a collection of religious fanatics comparable to the various torturers and killers who controlled religion in Europe for a long period in the Middle Ages, who have decided that all women will completely cover their bodies and faces and will be publicly flogged or stoned to death for not complying, a group who have managed to persaude many gullible men to believe that if they make a 'martyr' of themselves by killing a great many other people (which may be contrary to the teachings of the Koran) they will go to Paradise and be served by seventy virgins for eternity, and who have brought their excellent and beautiful country to starvation and social destruction - and that these people either directly or indirectly organised the gullible men already mentioned into flying airliners into the World Trade Centre for purely selfish criminal reasons - namely to make, by a selection of processes, huge sums of money - mainly US Dollars, which is a bit of a contradiction.

We have not, as far as I know, had any hint of the fact that the charging of interest on money is considered wrong by Muslims, and the alleged fanatics could, at the very least, have associated the World Trade Centre with such activities and have used this as a reason for carrying out the raid but did not do so - which I find quite interesting.

We have also been told that the Taliban have declared it illegal to teach a religion other than theirs in that country, and that they have required Hindus to wear yellow badges to differentiate them from Muslims, leading many Westerners to believe that they are about to establish extermination camps for anybody who does not declare themselves to be a devout Muslim. It is implied that they have created as much division as possible between races and religions, and of course it is implied by the fact that they make the teaching of Christianity illegal, that they are not very sure that what they are insisting on in the way of religion will be easily accepted by the populace and may have to be forced upon them. This, if it is true, is sad, because no doubt Islam is just as good as any other religion, as has been seen in many countries where large numbers of religions exist side by side, and even work together to promote peace and goodwill.

The raid was carried out, and obviously there is much more evidence surrounding it than I could know, but today's interest is more the part women have failed to play and possibly will play in the future in this potential war of astronomical proportions. If, as has been suggested by large numbers of email circulars, newspaper articles and other media over the past few years, the women do not like the requirement to be invisible (certainly Western women would not), then there may be some anger amongst them about it. Being all but invisible in their own country, probably feeling disempowered, being forced by the nature of things to only seek female company, and being banned from working, not only are they ideally equipped to be the first Guerillas against the regime from within, they are possibly the ones most likely to gain from overthrowing it. In the middle ages in Europe women were always thought of as being passive, and one must assume this is what the Taliban believe to be the case now in Afghanistan. I will not fill in any details, but it is not difficult to imagine a possible result of this state of affairs.

The World Trade Centre attackers found a weakness in the Western system that allowed them one devastating attack but which may not allow them another of the same type. It is possible the women (who might possibly be the as yet unnoticed Achilles heal of the Taliban) of Afghanistan will realise one weakness in the Taliban and use it to devastating effect against them.

But then, that is only a Western perception of the matter. We will see what happens in the coming months.

Joe Punter's Shakespeare.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, by william shakespeare.

ACT 1.

Scene 2.

Same place. A room in Quince's house.

Enter Quince, the carpenter, Snug the joiner, Bottom the weaver, Flute the bellowsmender, Snout the tinker, and Starveling the tailor.


Is all our company here?


You would do best to call them all man by man, according to the script.


Here is the list of every man's name in Athens who is thought fit to play in our interlude bfore the duke and duchess on his wedding-day at night.


First, good Peter quince, tell us what the play is about, then read the names of the actors off the scroll, and so come to the point.


Our play is called 'The most lamentable comedy and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisby'.


A very good piece of work, I assure you, and a merry one. - Now, good Peter Peter quince, call forth your actors by the scroll. - Masters, spread yourselves.


Answer as I call your name. - Nick Bottom the weaver.


Ready. Name what part I am, and proceed.


You, Nick Bottom, are Pyramus.


What is Pyramus? A lover or a tyrant?


A lover that kills himself for love.


That will need some tears in the true performing of it. If I do it, let the audience look to their eyes. I will move storms in them, I will condole in some measure. To the rest. Yet my chief interest was to be a tyrant. I could play Ercles really well, or a part to tear a cat in, to make everybody split.

That was lofty! Now, name the rest of the players. - This is Ercles' vein, a tyrant's vein - a lover is more condoling.


Francis Flute the bellows-mender.


Here, Peter Quince.


You must take Thisby on you.


What is Thisby? A wandering knight?


It is the lady that Pyramus must love.


Nay, please, don't let me play a woman. I have a beard coming.


Makes no difference. You shall play it in a mask, and speak as little as you can.


I could hide my face. Let me play thisby too. I'll speak in a monstrously small voice - 'Thisne, Thisne,' - 'Ah, Pyramus, my lover dear! thys Thisby dear, and lady dear!'


No, no. You must play Pyramus. - and Flute, you Thisby.


Well, proceed.


Robin Starveling the tailor.


Here, Peter Quince.


Robin Starveling, you must play Thisby's mother. - Tom Snout the tinker.


Here, Peter Quince.


You, Pyramus' father. Myself, thisby's father - Snug the joiner, you the lion's part: - and, I hope, here is a play fitted to the occasion.


Have you a lion's part written? Pray, if you have written one, give it to me, for I am slow to learn.


You may extemporise, for it is nothing but roaring.


Let me play the lion too; I will roar so fiercely that the duke will say 'let him roar again. Let him roar again.'


If you should do it too terribly you would frighten the duchess and the ladies so that they would shriek. That would be enough to hang us all.


That would hang us. Every mother's son.


I accept that if we should firghten the ladies out of their wits they would hang us, but I will aggravate my voice so that I will roar as gently as any sucking dove. I will roar like a nightingale.


You can play no part but Pyramus. For Pyramus is a sweet-faced man; a proper man like you'd see on a summer's day; a most lovely, gentleman-like man. Therefore you must play Pyramus.


Well, I will undertake it.What sort of beard should I have?


Whatever you like.


I will do it in either your straw-colour beard, your orange-tawny beard, your purple-in-grain beard, or your French-crown-colour beard, your perfect yellow.


Some of your crowns have no hair at all, and then you will play barefaced. - But masters, here are your parts, and I entreat you, request you, and desire you, to know them by tomorrow night: And meet in the palace-wood, a mile outside the town, by moonlight: there we will rehearse, for if we meet in the city we shall be dogged with company, and our play will be known. In the meantime I will draw a list of properties that our play needs. I pray you, do not fail me.


We will meet, and there we will rehearse most obscenely and courageously.


Take pains to be perfect. Adieu. We meet at the duke's oak.


Enough. Hold, or cut bow-strings.

All exit.

More next week.


A GANG OF FRUIT-FLIES established themselves in my kitchen dustbin at the beginning of the summer, and I, not being willing either to punish them or to pollute the air with poisons, decided to let them stay until I emptied the bin at the end of the week. At the end of the week (or sometime, anyway, for I don't have many routines), I emptied the bin , brought it in and washed it out, thinking that by so doing I was depriving them of a reason for being there and so would be rid of them.

I was - until I brought in some fruit, at which point they all appeared out of the woodwork (or somewhere) and immediately moved back into the bin, swarming all over the place (they are quite tickly if they get around your face) whenever there was anything fresh out and causing me to put all the fruit and veg in the fridge, which is often not the best thing to do. However, even when I had done this they still had the various applecores and veg offcuts to feed off within the bin, and would come out in a great cloud every time I was forced by necessity to open the lid - and sometimes they risked the fridge. They would hang around in quite a friendly way and then gradually all go back in after I closed it.

I gave the bin a second cleaning out and hid new batches of fruit and veg in the sittingroom in the hope that they would give up, and this did work for a while, but of course they send out searchparties looking for food, and although I tried closing the door on them, they are very small and can get through the gap between the door and it's frame, and in due course they spread the news amongst themselves so that when I came home with fruit a gang of them would be waiting for me in the sitting room and would raid the fruit almost as I began to eat it. Same thing with the bedroom and the bathroom.

Then I went away for a long weekend, cleaning the bin before I left. When I returned, they were desperately hungry, and swarmed at me like a thousand neglected children demanding supper. I retaliated by hiding everything edible and ignoring them, keeping them short for almost a week, and they began to disappear.

Then the weather got cooler, I left food on the windowsill and the window open, thinking they would go out into the world and complete their lifecycle either by being eaten by birds or dying, and at last I was rid of them, and yesterday I bought fruit and when I dumped pips and cores in the bin there was no sign of them.

Today, I put the heating on for an hour and a swarm of fruit-flies came out of the bin, and now, whilst I am writing this, one is hovering right by me looking for a meal.

The little sod!


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