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The Other News From England

Week beginning 21 June 1998.

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

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.

Chaos edition.

Welcome to this special Chaos Edition of the Other News, written with hardly enough time to write one article whilst the mind is overloaded with material picked up on holiday. Presumably we will decline to the same old dreary stuff again once we are fully back.

foreword

One line of this item has changed this week (last line).

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.

Biwater

This item has not changed this week. If you want to know about Biwater, visit the following site:

http://wwwlabournet.org.uk/biwater/index.html

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

http://www.leeds.ac.uk/law/pgs/yaman/yaman.htm

http://www2.echo.lu/bonn/final.html

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 playing at the Bonnington cafe this week - there on Sat the 27th from about 9.15pm. 50`s Beatnik atmosphere, cheap vegetarian food, and sometimes a fire in the hearth.

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

Consumers

Nothing this week.

ecology.

I HEARD someone say the other day that if you left your garden alone and didn`t spray it, in four years time it would begin to balance itself out and you would get some decent veg out of it - and quite possibly a more abundant crop of those things you grew. Most people who really know their stuff would have it that the only time plants get attacked is when they are already so unhealthy that they wouldn`t be much good to eat if you did save them, so there`s probably some truth in that idea.

That, of course, presupposes that the farmer next door isn`t throwing everything for five miles in all directions completely out of balance by spraying poisons over hundreds of acres to get a `good` crop of something (and sod everyone else).

Perhaps I should enlarge on that idea, because most people are still under the impression that spraying plants with poison does no harm to anything other than the bug being targeted. It doesn`t stop anywhere near there, and because people tend to be a bit blase about these things I will tell you that one of the places that poison will go is into you (actually you, and not just your neighbour).

But even that is only a small detail. If we have a field of crop that last year was attacked by bug (a) and we spray accordingly there is no telling what other things we are killing at the same time, but for the moment we will make the assumption that we have managed to kill only bug A and nothing else, and that the poison does no harm at all to humans. That, then, your average farmer would consider to be safe, and there would be a good sound yield.

Bug (a), however, is a predator to bug (b), and bug (b)likes eating bug (c) so bug (b) eats every bug (c) for miles.

As bug (c) is a necessary part of the fertilisation of crop (x) (this was something nobody knew until they tried it), 300 acres of which we have sown, the whole 300 acres fail.

Does it end there?

No. The failed 300 acres are now left to rot, but they can`t rot very fast because one of those other bugs was needed to really get the process going, so the following sowing time we have 300 acres that are not really fit to sow anything in.

However, that land is an expense to us if we don`t grow anything in it, so we try another crop, which might or might not work in such circumstances....

And so on.

What I am saying is that we do not and cannot know what damage we are doing when we spray crops because there are millions of species involved not just in the growing process of those crops but also in the growing process of all things, and all species are interdependant. There is probably no way round this, and many people of fairly serious mind are beginning to predict that within the next ten or twenty years we shall have a grand famine simply because the biological balance will have been so badly thrown out that it is very difficult to grow anything at all.

There may be ways round this. If, in Europe, we chose an area of a few hundred square miles at a time in which all chemical farming was banned and farmers subsidised for not using them (as we have done in the past for first pulling out hedge rows and then putting them back in when the snags were discovered) at least part of those areas would gradually clean up and start to produce clean organic food.

We could then go on to another area and do the same thing, knowing that there would be food for the next lot of farmers to get this task, and eventyually we would have covered the whole of Europe. Europe would be a world leader in `organically grown` food.

That would certainly be a fine start. Unfortunately (or fortunately) this is not the end of the story, because we cannot survive without good water in plenty and clean air, neither of which we can any longer rely on.

A good start would be for all of us to plant at least one tree per annum (I would say any tree, but the greater the range of types the better), even if it`s just done by growing an acorn in a pot and then pushing the tiny tree into the ground in some corner of the park when the parky`s not looking, and to deliberately allow areas of our garden to become well overgrown and teaming with wildlife of every sort that feels like living there.

Personally, I`d like to have a pond with frogs and things, but I can dream.

Environment

I CAME ACROSS the bicycle version of the `boy racer with a Capri` this afternoon.

The Thames Path is a fine place to potter about on your bike, and I was going along there with a friend. From the rear I heard a faint electronic `bell` and started to pull over to the nearside to allow the person to pass, whilst my friend, who hadn`t heard the feeble bell continued to wobble about in the middle of the path.

As everybody knows, boy racers, having all the latest equipment, and a silver bike, designer cycling gear and a serious aspect to their cycling are the most important people in the world, and so they should not be expected to slow down.

Naturally, in the light of his great importance and urgency, this man decided to pass on the nearside. As I was moving steadily to the nearside he started to swear, so pulled in a bit sharper (you can`t see them when they`re behind you) and he scraped his hand, arm, leg and bicycle along the wall without colliding with me.

Good.

I asked him what the hell he thought he was doing and he shot off into the distance.

I expect he will have another accident before the week is out, hopefully by riding into a tree without having first damaged somebody else, but I think probably it is more likely he will meet with the kind of accident that occurs when a heavy-duty pedestrian in a bad mood takes exception to what you are doing.

I hope he survives.

Education.

SO BRIGHT KIDS are going to be punished yet more for being bright by being required to attend extra lessons at last.

Serves `em right, I say, being so bloody clever. Makes the staff and the politicians who make these decisions seem so damned inferior, and as we can`t legally kill them like Hitler might have done (you don`t want too much brightness in a master race) the next best thing to do is to control them so that they can`t belong to themselves.

That way they would not be able to get up to any mischief, for, as we all know a child is originally sinful and has to be civilised.

What bloody idiots politicians can be.

Freemasons.

Nothing 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 http://wwwlabournet.org.uk/biwater/index.html

Gabriele Gad on alternative therapy.

Lawyers and law.

Nothing this week.

LETS

Nothing this week.

LETSSwing and others.

(no change to this item this week - except to say that because Steve Barbe is not about I have been unable to get those words).

People keep asking Steve Barbe what the words are for Sangria Samba. They are intrigued by the reference to `The New Millenium Dome` and wonder how he gets it into a song essentially about poverty.

I will be asking him to write them out for me during the week with the intention of printing them here.

Click here for sheet music.

If you are in a LETS somewhere and would like LETSSwing to play to you, please contact editor@othernews.co.uk.

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

Music

I haven`t played any music this week, and I`m beginning to miss it.

Click here for sheet music.

Politics

`HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE SOLD SOMETHING you already own?` was a popular saying during the eighties, when the Thatcher government started selling off all our communally owned enterprises - and not a few of us objected.

The alleged object of the excercise was to lower prices for consumers of those things that these communally owned enterprises provided, and to some extent and temporarily the strategy seems to have succeeded.

However, there must have been some other motives, and these were probably never mentioned. Some of them would have been obvious, like owning a share of a monopoly (they call them `utilities`) that can hold the country to ransome every time it`s shareholders or board of directors feel like filling their pockets a bit more - water, for instance, without which no known form of life can survive.

So I should think there are a great many good and faithful tories who own water shares, but actually I was more interested in another aspect that has not been discussed very much, and that is what happens to the huge wealth attached to these companies when they are privatised? Aside from wanting to know who got most of the money from the sales of my shares (the ones I could not afford to buy a second time), I would like to know what happened to the huge amounts of surplus equipment, land and buildings that must necessarily have changed hands in a selection of ways from the board selling land to stuff their own pockets down to the caretaker selling a few old lawnmowers that have become surplus to requirements and spending it on beer.

Who actually got this money? I don`t think it was me, and I certainly haven`t got cheaper water or other utilities.

Most of them are a lot more expensive now.

Science and invention.

It would be nice to give you a really good science story, but instead I have one that might amuse you but is possibly of no significance at all except in ecological terms.

A certain man I know decided he was being a little irresponsible in his behaviour with women and that in order to be quite safe he should have a vasectomy.

We still had National Health Service at that stage, but the Tories had given it a few deadly blows in the guts and weakened it as much as they dared for the time being, and he went along to the doctor and requested a vasectomy.

The doctor sent him for counselling, and three months later when someone a bit more fertile could have sired half a dozen children he got to the counselling.

The hospital doctor who had been given the job of counselling him (why?) laughed at the fact that he was already in his mid-fifties and therefore probably only did it about once a year, and was careful to point out that although vasectomy was once thought to improve sexual drive it now was known not to (`and anyway, what are you, at your age.....?).

He argued his case, pointing out that not all of us find ourselves without sexuality at fifty five or any other age, and finally persuaded the doctor to allow him this operation. He would get an appointment in the post.

After three months the appointment had not arrived and so he went back to the doctor, who pointed out that it was possible that at his age he might be sterile. He conceded this point, and was pleased to think that he might get away without the vasectomy and still not get into difficulties.

"I can`t arrange an appointment for them just to test if you are sterile, so I will have to ask you and your (35-ish) girlfriend to sign a request for you to be tested for ferility, telling them that you have been trying to conceive but failed(!)"

Three months later he was tested, and in another month or so the result came back:

"Grave risk of failed fertilisation"!

You can`t win `em all.

Unions and work

No change here this week.

Having told the college I cannot work greater hours with no materials and reduced equipment in worse conditions whilst being paid for the same hours as last year, I am now waiting to see what they will do. Constructive dismissal it is, but how will I prove it against a Flash Alf lawyer?

Woodworking

(no change to this item)

If anybody has any questions on this subject, just email editor@othernews.co.uk and it might inspire us to do something.

Small ads

Wanted

(no new ads)

I want some stuff for getting data off Amstrad PCW`s onto ordinary PC`s. editor@othernews.co.uk

Cheap laptop for writing the Other News when away from base. Contact editor@othernews.co.uk

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 editor@othernews.co.uk

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. editor@othernews.co.uk

musical

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 editor@othernews.co.uk

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 - http://www.othernews.co.uk

In a significant position.

All other uses are chargeable.

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

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I sincerely hope no such event will occur.

editor@othernews.co.uk