The Other News From England.

22nd. 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 27th. October should be Hugh Harris saxophone and Gabriele Gad piano - quiet old-fashioned melodic jazz with a few numbers of their own thrown in, from these two popular players off the European jazz circuit. Sometimes there is a guest performer as well. 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 for this Saturday through Margarita (this week's caterer) on 0207 582 3339.


REPORTAGE and propaganda on this subject have diminished considerably over the week, even though it still appears in every news bulletin on the radio.

One thing that has interested me throughout this affair is the relationship between the enthusiasm with which those who oppose military action are willing to state their opposition and their lack of suggestions for an alternative course of action, with very few seeming to be aware of the possibility that attacking Afghanistan may have either no effect or a negative effect. They all know what they don't want to happen, whilst none appear to know what they do want to happen. Is the answer perhaps nothing? Should there perhaps be no response to the murder of 7,000 people?

Propaganda has been based largely on how many people have died, with most of the propaganda consisting of criticisms of NATO for killing people whilst trying to bomb out the Taliban. We are starved of reliable information, so that it is difficult to make a fair comment, but it is worth noting that the Taliban have told the world that 400 people were killed in a raid on a town outside Kabul, and hundreds more were killed during a further raid - with neither being confirmed by any other party - whilst the UN confirmed that 4 UN mine clearance officers had been killed by mistake quite early on in the conflict, and two US airmen were killed in a helicopter crash on Friday (the Taliban claimed to have shot the helicopter down, but the US denied this).

If we were measuring this conflict in terms of number of dead (as they probably would have done in the Middle Ages in Europe), we would probably get a score thus:

NATO (estimate based on propaganda and reportage) killed 804

Bin Laden team (estimate based on propaganda and reportage) killed 7,000

Accidental deaths 2.

It begins to make the suggestion that this is a war against Islam look a bit ridiculous, and if it were a struggle in the Middle Ages it is quite possible that NATO would not yet be satisfied.

These figures can then be compared with such figures as the million or so Muslims killed in the Iran-Iraq war and Saddam's alleged killing of about a million Kurds, both of which actions consisted, I am told, of Islamic people killing Islamic people.

Luckily, it is not the Middle Ages in Europe, and it seems quite likely that if NATO can topple the Taliban and create a climate in which free elections can take place that will be enough to satisfy them even if there are no more dead - although it is quite possible it will not have any effect on the number of people willing to throw away their lives to take a pot-shot at a world that is not exactly how they want it. Such people are to be found in all parts of the world. But that is another matter.

Joe Punter's Shakespeare.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, by william shakespeare.

ACT 2.

Scene 1.

A wood near Athens.

Enter a fairy at one door and a fairy at the other.


Hello spirit. Where are you going?


Over hill, over dale, through bush, through brier, over park, over pale, through flood, through fire, I do wander everywhere, swifter than the moon's sphere, and I serve the fairy queen, and damp her orbs upon the green. The tall cowslips her pensioners be, in their gold coats spots you see. Those be rubies, fairy favours, in those freckles live their savours.

I must go seek some dewdrops here, and hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear. Farewell thou lob of spirits; I'll be gone: Our queen and all her elves come here anon.


The king keeps his revels here tonight. Be careful the queen does not come within his sight, for Oberon is passing full of wrath because she has as her attendant a lovely boy stolen from an Indian king. She never had so sweet a changeling, and jealous Oberon wants the child as knight of his train, to trace the wild forests. But she holds the loved boy by force, crowns him with flowers and makes him all her joy: And now they never meet in grove or green by fountain-clear or starlight spangled sheen (light) without all elves out of fear creeping into acorn-cups and hiding themselves there.


Either I completely mistake you or you are that shrewd and knavish sprite called Robin Goodfellow. Are you not him who frightens the maidens of the villagery, skims milk, and sometimes labour in the hand-mill, and bootless make the breathless housewife churn, and sometimes make the drink to have no barm, and mislead night wanderers, laughing at their harm? Those that call you Hobgoblin, and sweet Puck, you do their work and they have good luck. Are you him?


You're right. I am that merry wanderer of the night. I jest to Oberon and make him smile when a fat bean-fed horse I beguile by neighing in likeness to a filly foal, and sometimes I lurk in a gossip's bowl in the likeness of a roasted crab, and when she drinks against her lips I bob and pour the ale down her neck. The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale, sometimes mistakes me for a three-footed stool, and when I slip away from below her bum down topples she, and cries 'tailor' and falls into a cough, and then the whole choir hold their hips and laugh, and waxen in their mirth and declared that merrier time had never been wasted there. But, room, fairy! Here comes Oberon.


And here my mistress. I wish he were gone!

(enter Oberon at one door with his train, and Titania at another, with hers.)


Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania.


What, jealous Oberon! Fairies, skip away. I have foresworn his bed and company.


Wait, rash wanton. Am I not thy lord?


Then I must be thy lady. But I know when thou hast stolen away from fairy-land and sat all day in the shape of Corin playing on pipes of corn and singing love to amorous Phyllida. Why art thou here, come from the furthest hills of India other than for the booted Amazon, your mistress and your warrior love, to be married to Theseus? And you come to give their bed joy and prosperity.


How can you question my credit with Hyppolita, Titania, knowing I know thy love for Theseus? Didst though not lead him through the glimmering night away from Perigenia, whom he ravished, and make him break his faith with Ariadne and Antiopa?


These are words of jealousy. And never, since the middle of spring did we meet on hill, in dale, forest, mead, by paved fountain or rushy brook, or on the beached margins of the sea to dance our ringlets to the whistling wind, did we meet without your brawls disturbing our sport. And then, the winds, calling to us in vain, have, in revenge, sucked up from the sea contagious fogs, which, falling on the land, have made every pelting river so proud that they have overflowed. The ox has therefore stretched his yoke in vain, and the ploughman wasted his sweat, and the green corn rotted before his youth had even attained a beard. The fold stands empty in the drowned field and crows are made fat with the dead flock, the nine-men's morris is filled up with mud, and the quaint paths, green for lack of tread, are undistinguishable. the human mortals want their winter cheer, no night is blest with hymn or carol.- Therefore, the moon, the governess of floods, pale with anger, washes all the air so that rheumatic diseases do abound, and through this distemperature we see the seasons alter: Hairy hoar-frosts fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose, and on old Hiem's chin and icy crown an odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds is, as in mockery, set: The spring, the summer, the chiding autumn, andgry winter, all change their wonted liveries. And the amazed world, by their increase, now does not know which is which. And this same progeny of evils comes from our debate, from our dissension. We are the parents of that.


Amend it, then. It lies with you. Why should Titania cross (annoy) her Oberon? I am only begging a little changeling boy to be my henchman.


Set your heart at rest. The fairy-land does not buy the child off me. His mother was a devotee of my order, and in the spiced Indian air, by night, often she has gossiped by my side, and sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands watching the departed ships on the flood, when we have laughed to see the sails conceive and grow big-bellied with the wanton wind, which she copied - her womb then rich with my young squire - would imitate, and sail upon the land to fetch me trifles and return again as from a voyage, rich with merchandise. But she, being mortal, did die of that boy. And for her sake I will not part with him.


How long do you intend to stay in this wood?


Perchance til after Theseus' wedding day. If you want to dance in our round and see our moonlight revels, go with us. If not, shun me and I will leave you alone.


Give me that boy, and I will go with thee.


Not for thy fairy kingdom. - Fairies, away! We shall be fighting if I longer stay.

(exit Titania with her train)


Well, go thy way. You shall not go from this grove til I torment thee for this injury. - My gentle Puck, come here. Thou remember'st that once I sat on a promontory and heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back uttering such dulcet and harmonious sounds that the sea grew civil at her song, and certain stars shot madly from their spheres, to hear the sea-maid's music.


I remember.


That time I saw - but thou couldst not - flying between the cold moon and the earth, cupid all armed. A certain aim he took at a fair virgin throned by the west, and loosed his love-shaft smartly from his bow as though it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts. But I might see young cupid's fiery shaft quenched in the chaste beams of the fiery moon and the imperial vot'ress (don't know - ed) passed on in maiden meditation, fancy-free, yet I marked where Cupid's bolt fell: It fell upon a little western flower, before milk-white, now purple with love's wound, and maidens call it love-in-idleness. Fetch me that flower - the herb I showed thee once. The juice of it, laid upon sleeping eyelids, will make the man or woman madly dote upon the next live creature that it sees. Fetch me this herb, and be here again before a leviathan can swim a league.


I'll put a girdle around the earth in forty minutes.



Once I have this juice, I'll watch Titania when she is asleep, and drop the liquor of it in her eyes. The next thing then she looks upon - be it lion, bear, wolf, or bull, or meddling monkey or busy ape - she shall pursue it with the soul of love: And before I take this charm from her sight (as I can with another herb), I'll make her render up her page to me. But who comes here? I am invisible, and I will listen to their conference.

(Enter Demetrius, Helena following him.)


I love thee not, therefore pursue me not. Where is Lysander and fair Hermia? The one I will slay, the other slayeth me. Thou told me they had come to this wood. And here am I, and wood within this wood, because I cannot meet my Hermia. Go. Follow me no more.


You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant. But do not draw iron, for my heart is true as steel. Drop your power to draw, and I shall have no power to follow you.


Do I entice you? Do I speak to you fair? Or rather, do I not in plainest truth tell you I do not nor I cannot love you?


And even for that I love thee more. I am your spaniel, and, Demetrius, the more you beat me the more I will fawn upon you. Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me, neglect me, lose me, only give me leave, unworthy as I am, to follow you. What worser place can I beg in your love, - and yet a place of high respect with me, - than to be used as you use your dog?


Do not tempt the hatred of my spirit too much, for I am sick when I look upon thee.


And I am sick when I do not look upon you.


You do impeach your modesty too much to leave the city and commit yourself into the hands of one who does not love you. To trust the opportunity of night and the ill counsel of a deserted place with the rich worth of your virginity.


Your virtue is my privilege, for it is not night when I do see your face. Therefore I think I am not in the night. Nor does this wood lack worlds of company, for you in my eyes are all the world. Then how can it be said I am alone when all the world is here to look upon me?


I'll run from thee and hide me in the breaks, and leave thee to the mercy of the wild beasts.


The wildest hath no such heart as you. Run when you will, the story shall be changed, - Apollo flies, and Daphne holds the chase; The dove pursues the griffin. the mild hind makes speed to catch the tiger, - bloodless speed, when cowardice pursues and valour flies!


I will not stay for this. Let me go. Or, if thou follow me, do not believe that I will not do thee mischief in the wood.


Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field, you do me mischief. Fie, Demetrius! Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex: We cannot fight for love, as men may do. We should be wooed, and were not made to woo. I'll follow thee, and make heaven of hell, to die upon the hand I love so well.

(exit Demetrius and Helena)


Fare thee well, nymph. Before he do leave this grove, thou shalt fly him, and he shall seek thy love.

(Enter Puck)

Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wanderer.


Ay, there it is.


I pray thee, give it to me. I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, where oxlips and the nodding violet grows, quite over-canopied with lush woodbine, with sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine: There sleeps Titania sometimes of a night, lulled in these flowers with dances and delight; and there the snake throws her enamelled skin, weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in. And with the juice of this I'll streak her eyes and make her full of hateful fantasies. Take thou some of it and seek through this grove: a sweet Athenian lady is in love with a disdainful youth. Anoint his eyes: But do it when the next thing he espies may be the lady. Thou shalt know the man by the Athenian garments he hath on. Effect it with some care, so that he may prove more fond upon her than she upon him. And meet me ere the first cock-crow.


Fear not, my lord. Your servant shall do so.

(both exit.)

More next week.


THE GANG OF FRUIT-FLIES persist. During the recent short spell of warm weather they were all about the place, causing me to decide on some other strategies. I opened the kitchen widow fully, and every time they settled I attacked them with the bristle end of a broom, causing them to fly out into the room, and in many cases to fly out of the window - hopefully never to be seen again. Their numbers are now down to about 40.

But I am told they have a very short life cycle and therefore breed at a furious rate. So - we shall see.


HYPOCRISY and talking bollocks have, ever since I can remember, been an excessively large part of politics, so it was no great surprise to hear the new leader of the Conservative Party talk about that party's dedication to improving public and social services and particularly the health service, fire service, police and ambulance. Not that he said anything in particular. He has that same knack that Thatcher has for seeming to say something with great conviction whilst actually saying nothing whatever of any significance. What he seemed to be trying to get the listener to believe was that his party (should they ever again have any credibility at all) would, if elected, improve public services.

But then, perhaps that is the strategy: First, you wreck the whole infrastructure, and then when the nation finally gets fed up with your incompetence, destructive behaviour, corruption, and general dishonesty and elects another party almost as bad (although there has been very little corruption so far in the new government), you can criticise them for not having immediately sorted out the mess, and even blame them for making it - which is something no reasonable person could argue in the light of the fact that the current government party were not in power from 1979 to 1997 (but of course they try).

It took almost ten years to destroy the greater part of the welfare state and the services, and even now some parts of them still hang on. It seems to me it may take twenty to fix them again, and it's hardly likely to be something the Tories will do. They're far too interested in personal gain for that.


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