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The Other News From England

Week beginning 20 July 1998.

The Other News is made up as a single document, so that you can scroll your way through it.

List of subjects

Because a subject is listed does not necessarily mean there is an article. It has been listed because there probably is an article that week, and because the list is a good prompt for writing purposes.

Biwater Consumers crystal Palace Ecology Education Freemasons Lawyers LETSSwing Miscellaneous Music Planning Politics Science and Invention Unions and work Woodworking Small ads Stop Press

Last week`s edition.

Index of earlier issues.

Click here for Blackspot`s twenty articles on assorted subjects - mostly to do with transport, safety, engineering, etc

Gabriele Gad on alternative therapy.

For conditions see end of document.

2nd. Irresponsible edition

Still enjoying the balmy weather, but have got together a couple of things. I am posting early to get time for more warm-weather raving.


I have moved all the items that don`t change significantly to the end of the document. They do still exist.

If you haven`t looked at the other News From England before, read this in case it may save you some time.

The Other News has grown somewhat over the past months, and Josephine is gradually building a subject index for us. When it is completed, you will be able to log straight into the current edition and then look for the subjects that interest you in the subject index - these will often be in earlier editions. We are hoping this will help you find articles in your particular area of interest more easily than at present.

The Other News consists of a selection of articles written when we have the occasional `write-in` - on whatever subjects find their way to the top of the mental pile that week. Whilst some of it is intended to be serious, quite a lot is just a bit of light reading (or heavy, if you are a certain type of person), and intended to keep you amused, and cause people to question things.

Most of the material here is written by the editor, but no single article necessarily reflects the views of the editor or anyone else who writes here. They only might, except inasfaras the heretofore mentioned article in the first part affects those items covered by the Hot Air (Elimination) Acts as referred to in earlier editions (schedule 14, a, c, d et al but including those items not mentioned under) where they may be so far applicable as to deem them to be of interest to parties whose financial and other circumstances are such that they might need to make use of them, but who will nevertheless be bound by the terms and conditions contained herein and heretofore mentioned under certain headings that shall be chosen as and when required either by law or otherwise to be used as reference..........etc.

Is that clear?

Various articles about lawyers in most editions.


IN ADDITION TO putting the management of education very nearly entirely into the hands of the uneducated, the Tories when they were in power introduced one of their other obsessions - competition with an unlevel playing field.

The idea was that the competitive spirit would take over from education, and the fastest, most exam-passing, neurotic and least happy schools would get the greatest funding to encourage them to continue so, whilst there would be a sliding scale of `achievements` leaving the least exam-passing schools threatened with closure and sackings.

That was in the state sector, but the private sector had the option of accepting state children who were thought to be `extra bright` , their fees being paid by the local authority that sent them. Not a few of these children, I believe, have either become school refusers or been thrown out for not matching the standards. Out of the two, I think I`d prefer to be the refuser. Fortunately for a few, the councils are no longer funding this type of education.

Part of the excercise was to show that private schools are better than state ones, and to prove the point exam results and reading abilities are measured, and the results published.

The average private school with `academic` ambitions (some have human ambitions too) would throw out any kid who couldn`t read after a certain age, whilst a state school is obliged to accept such kids whether they can offer them something or not, so that it is very easy to predict the results.


I went to the West country this week. As it was impossible to stop anywhere with a car (and Weymouth council gave me a 55 pound parking ticket on a Sunday evening, so I won`t be going there any more) I spent most of my time driving about and polluting the atmosphere even more than I did on the journey down.

I concluded that it might have been better to have gone on the train, but as the trains are not reliable I realised that in addition to the very high price of rail fares I would have the inconvenience of being delivered by the train at the nearest big station, which might be 20 miles from my destination, thus obliging me to spend lots more money on taking a taxi, and causing the taxi to pollute more than I would have done with my own car, on account of the extra mileage generated by the driver having to drive back to his own town before being able to pick up another fare.

This is all because during the 50`s a man called Beeching got control of the railways and, under the banner of `rationalisation`, closed most branch lines, thereby forcing people to either stay at home or buy a car, whilst industry was forced to start using road transport when rail transport would have been better and cheaper. I expect he then bought many automotive and motor fuel shares and retired.

The rest of that story we all know, even though we may not have thought of it in the manner I did just now.

Interestingly, the last government sold various monopolies (renamed `utilities`) of rail transport to a selection of business people, who are now in the process of letting them run down because it is expensive to maintain them and it would appear the only real purpose of the excercise is to get a profit. So it is unlikely that the service will get any better.

The government also sold a company called Railtrak, which owns all the railway land. Once the directors had sold off all the land they could for a fast buck, they stopped bothering to do anything else, and if you look at Denmark Hill station you will see trees beginning to grow out out of the brickwork supporting the platforms.

But have you yet seen the general labourers with no apparent knowledge of the necessary technology who repair the tracks? I was told by a driver the other day that such people exist.

So if I want to go to the West Country again (probably not - there are far too many cars about) I shall almost certainly take my car despite wanting to do it by rail.

Gabriele Gad on alternative therapy.

Lawyers and law.


LETSSwing and others.

Chelsea Arts Club Sat the 11th July was a good gig. Steve Barbe, Gabriele Gad and Hugh Harris put together a band for the club`s Summer Ball (using `the pool` of freelance players). Jazz, rock n roll, rhythm n blues, country, pop - all mixed together, and probably all sounding like jazz players playing outside their normal field of activity.

I enjoyed it. We even worked out a couple of gags.

Click here for sheet music.

If you are in a LETS somewhere and would like LETSSwing to play to you, please contact

LETSSwing and others here also do gigs for world currencies - a variety of types of music.

Long term articles

(These are articles that either don`t change at all or as good as don`t change from one week to the next).


This item has not changed this week.

If you want to know about Biwater, visit the following site:

And here are a couple more sites of interest in this field:

Barefoot Boogie and Others.

(no change to this article)

Barefoot Boogie are at The International Students` House next to Great Portland St. Tube on the corner of Great Portland St. and Marylebone Road London UK on the following dates at 8.15 to 11.15 pm.

June 12, 19, 26, July 17, 24, 31, August 14, 21, September 11, 18, 25, October 2, 9 23, November 13, 20, December 4, 11, 18. Alcohol- and smoke-free disco playing a wide range of music inc. classical! Biodanza says `vibrant Latin/African Rhythms; ambient, trance, classical and rock...... in London every Wednesday 7.30-9.30 No 7 Wakefield St WC1 (5 minutes Russell Square tube 9 pounds or 6 pounds, students half price, advance and block booking discounts` phone enquiries (0044 for UK from most other countries) 0181 295 1588`

Another - a bit vague - hand-written on a postcard: `Mary`s Wednesday Biodanza class continues at St Lukes Church Hillmartin Rd N7 - Caledonian Rd tube.

Bonnington Cafe.

Gabriele Gad and Hugh Harris sometimes play at the Bonnington cafe.

Bonnington Cafe is: 50`s Beatnik atmosphere, cheap but good vegetarian food, and sometimes a fire in the hearth.

Bonnington Square, London SE8 UK (Vauxhall BR and Underground stn nearby, plus buses).


No change this week.

To see earlier articles about freemasons look in the last twelve or thirteen issues. To find them just click below:

Index of earlier issues.

To see stuff about Biwater, go to

Gabriele Gad on alternative therapy.

Small ads


(no new ads)

I want some stuff for getting data off Amstrad PCW`s onto ordinary PC`s.

Cheap laptop for writing the Other News when away from base. Contact

For sale or barter

(Will take LETS currencies): Industrial quality roofrack about 7 feet X 3.5 feet, made to measure for ford Sierra estate. I used it for woodwork contracting. It is the best I`ve ever seen. Contact

Same again, about 48" by 96", but lesser quality, for Ford Granada estate or Volvo 7 series - free owing to poor condition - but it works.


LETSSwing (the London all-LETS-members band) need a percussionist. Suit someone who thinks of playing and writing music as a creative, co-operative, gentle activity, who likes out-of-date pop and jazz, and who doesn`t like making a noise. We play so quiet you could have it in your livingroom without bothering the neighbours most of the time, and are looking at the possibilities for involvement in `the community` (playing in hospitals and so on). Contact

stop press

What, no stop press?

notes re publication.

Publication for non-profit and most educational purposes free, but must carry the sentence:

Copyright The Other News From England -

In a significant position.

All other uses are chargeable.

Editing must not be done in such a way as to misrepresent.

If you decide to print any of this copyright material in your periodical for profit, please (a)acknowledge by writing "" in a noticeable position(b) send some money to Editor, othernews co, 25 SE5 8BN, UK, and tell me what and where it is published.

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I sincerely hope no such event will occur.