The Other News From England.

29th. 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 3rd. November should be Phil, who sings a selection of Bert Jansch/Joni Mitchell/Dylan/his own songs, sometimes with guest artist/s, and on rare occasions Hugh Harris on a few numbers. 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.


IT IS IRRESISTABLE. Nobody can yet stop writing about it, even though most of us have very little knowledge of what is actually happening. We feel a need either to report what people have said they think about the matter or to express ideas that may not yet have been expressed in case they might be useful for anybody - or even just of interest.

On Saturday, I didn't buy a paper, but noticed headlines saying things like 'Taliban Execute King's Envoy'. I was shocked, because , coming from an allegedly civilised society I thought this would be completely against all rules of love and war - even if only on the grounds that if an envoy can be executed then there is no way the two sides in a war can communicate any offers to each other. But they have done this (if the headlines were true), and will have thereby alienated themselves to virtually everybody who is the least bit untrusting of them. This means, in effect, that the Taliban may well no longer be in a position to negotiate any further support from anybody because countries are not willing to risk their envoys to negotiate the matter, and might by some be described as a fairly major strategic mistake.

Here and in America, large numbers of people continue to object to NATO, representing some of the richest countries in the world, attacking one of the poorest, which may not be quite what is going on in that NATO say they are trying not to attack Afghanistan - they are trying to attack the Taliban regime to release Afghanistan from their grip.

The protesters acknowledge that this is what is happening in the main, but do not like the civilian casualties that result - and they are not alone in that (As a percentage, though, Afghan war accident deaths are currently a very small proportion of the deaths in the World Trade Centre, which was not an accident).

The consolation for some may lie in the fact that in any country at peace there is a percentage of the population who die in accidents of all kinds (in the Western world the leader in this field is probably road deaths, or deaths in accidents in the construction and engineering industries) and that in Afghanistan it might be that the number of casualties who have died in military accidents and other accidents in recent weeks may be roughly the same as they might be in time of peace (if anyone in Afghanistan can remember peace). Here one might also consider the possibility that there may have been a reduction of violence between civilian and paramilitary Afghans as a result of the NATO bombings.

I am not saying this is an excuse, but I am saying that military activity is very similar to engineering activity and that in the present case NATO are trying to do no damage to civilians but are having accidents just like engineers building roads would have accidents, and that it is possible that the amount of accidents per day from all causes is much the same as in times of peace. We do not, because nobody who tells us things can be relied upon to tell ther truth - or even know it - know. I am, however, confident that NATO does not intend to damage any Afghan civilian.

Of all those people who object to what is going on I would like to ask if they have a solution to the problem - this is, after all, what is needed. None of them have suggested one. They have only objected to the madness of politicians without suggesting any alternative, which is something even I could do. We do actually need a proper solution - one that takes into account the amount that power corrupts individuals and justice, and which might be expected to achieve an acceptable result.

Joe Punter's Shakespeare.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, by william shakespeare.

ACT 2.

Scene 2. (instalment one)

Another part of the wood.

Enter Titania, with her train.


Come, now a roundel and a fairy song. then, for a third of a minute this:

Sing me now to sleep, then to your offices and let me rest.



Hence, away! All is well: One aloof stand sentinel.

Exit fairies. Titania sleeps.

Enter Oberon.


What thous see'st when thou dost wake (squeezes the flower on Titania's eyelids) do it for thy true-love take. Love and languish for his sake, be it ounce, , or cat, or bear, Pard, or boar with bristled hair, In thy eye that shall appear when thou wakest, it is thy dear: Wake when some vile thing is near.


(enter Lysander and Hermia)

More next week.


I HAD THE GREAT FORTUNE TO BE afflicted with a mighty cold this week, which forced me to resort to my bed, where I slept fitfully for 48 hours under (more amongst, really) far too many bedclothes generating the kind of temperatures that make one wonder why there has not been a fire, consuming 200 tissues and almost no food. This was followed by a long period of boredom, which, once I had read the out-of-date newspapers I could find, resulted in my resorting to the only novel I could find within easy reach of the bed - Anne Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall - out of sheer desperation.

I have not yet finished it, but I must comment on what a revelation it has been to me to read such a book (I normally only have reference books).

The style of writing I can only describe as craftswomanly - beyond that I have not the power. The story is of a very proper, passionate and bright young Victorian woman who makes the sort of mistake that huge numbers of us have made by marrying the wrong person, and she describes in some detail all the infractions, sleights, social incompetences, delusions, psychological derangements (at a time when the word 'psychology' may not have existed, or was not commonly used), personal inadequacies, pomposity, stupidity, presumption, lack of respect for others etc etc etc........that you might find in almost any modern group of British adults who had been to any of the 'great' schools (that might include my own).

It was wonderful. It showed me all the mistakes I might have chosen to avoid in my relationships had I read it before I was a teenager, and a great many mistakes my friends made as well, plus mistakes I saw made all around me, and you and I can still see being made to this day in groups we might meet in the street.

What really surprises me if I try to look at the world through Miss Bronte's eyes is that either I or any of my friends are still able to enjoy each other's company.

She was a stunningly good writer, and as she was only in her thirties when she died it is very difficult to see how she could have observed so much. Because she was a person who wanted to show life as it was, she really is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand things about British literature and British life in the 18th. century.


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