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The Other News From England

Week beginning 6 April 1998.

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

Click here for Blackspot on rural matters

(last week`s article till the new one gets through).





Gabriele Gad





Unions and work


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Stop Press

Last week`s edition. Click here.

Index of earlier issues. Click here.

For conditions see end of document.

Hacker gets into GreenNet!

GreenNet (the server that carries The Other News) were hacked into during the past couple of weeks by a hacker who interfrered with the Othernews site and disabled the server. I don`t know if there was any other damage.

Blackspot - we can`t put your current article up because the email is not yet re-established.

It is pleasing to know that someone actually reads this stuff and takes it seriously enough to think it is worth interfering with. I had no idea we were so important.

The question now is who`s stuff is a threat? I think it was the stuff about freemasons, but I`ll bet Blackspot, who goes in for deflating sales lines and propaganda, thinks it`s his stuff. I rather doubt about the others, like Gabriele, who as far as I can see are a threat to nobody.

Not even sombody pathetic enough to want to hack into GreenNet.

Well, of course, it could be Thames Water........or the people who might or might not have got 500 million pounds out of the National Lottery to do nothing with Battersea Power station ...........Railtrak ..........


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 consists of a selection of articles on whatever subjects find their way to the top of the pile on the week in which it is written. 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 some of the assumptions of life.

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.

Blackspot does his own thing, and the editor does not edit or censor, and is not necessarily in agreement - but might be. The same applies to Gabriele Gad.


Thames Water - still waiting to see what happens next. Are they really on the fiddle, or will they suddenly realise they have made a mistake and back down?

I was told at a Liberal meeting last night that the water companies are leading people to believe that if they sell their house the new owner will have to have a water meter installed because they will no longer legally have the choice of no meter or meter.

I wonder if that is true, and if it is how did they manage to twist the last government`s arm? Or was it a self-interest thing? Presumably most of the last government and their families bought large quantities of water shares.


WATER IS always a subject of great interest to me. We cannot survive without it - in fact, as far as I know there is no life-form that can exist without it (typical of human arrogance to make that assumption). So it is constantly a subject of interest for me how we could make the best use of our water resources - not just for the various thief-like persons who run water companies to increase their profits, but for the general survival of all living things.

The more obvious things like being modest in one`s use of water (no more obsessively bathing every day, for instance, but perhaps keeping it down to a level that allows one to remain socially acceptable) and minimising pollution, but there are a whole lot of things that we can all do that would make a significant difference (Unfortunatley they will also help the profits of the thief-like persons aforementioned, but perhaps we should tolerate that for a while).

My house has a roof area of about 70 square metres, on which rain falls and is carefully piped away to the public drainage system and very shortly finds it`s way into the Thames and then into the sea, where it mereges with salt water. There is absolutely no reason (other than the difficulty of finding or making the right bits and pieces of tube and gadgets, most of which are available ready-made) why this water could not be caught and used for a variety of domestic uses like cleaning, and if processed properly could be used for bathing and even drinking (processing properly might be a problem, but we can all learn) before finding it`s way to the sea. According to my rough calculations this source will give about 4,000 gallons of water a year (to get an idea of scale, a normal bathful is about 20 gallons) - and if we were in crisis this would certainly help us to survive. Water going down wastepipes from sinks and baths is perfectly OK for flushing toilets and (usually) watering flowers.

That, of course, assumes that the rainfall will continue to be the same as it has been in recent years, but that is not something we can absolutely rely on.

That`s not the end, though, by any means. Plants attract and retain water, so that systems of permaculture can provide souces of water, and it is also possible to make devices that collect water by condensation overnight (those who have been in some parts of the armed forces will know the techniques, I suspect). Essentially (particularly in a desert situation) a piece of canvas hung loosely across three sticks pushed into the sand overnight will drip water into a cup placed underneath and probably get you enough water to allow you to survive. Expand this idea and combine it with permaculture (which amongst other things uses the same phenomenum) and you already have the possibility of developing ways to cultivate deserts.

(My father told me about camping overnight in a desert, and his water bottle was leaking. In the morning he found a plant had come up! But that`s a subject for another day.)


Lifelong education is something the government have alleged themselves to be committed to, so I was wondering when they would start making it available to all instead of some.

It is commendable that education is free to the unemployed in certain areas - even if only in certain subjects. Perhaps one of the problems with this idea lies in the reason that it is only in some areas, which I have been told is because these areas need a shot in the arm economically and are therefore being funded by the government to provide certain courses (no doubt courses that are `vocational` to satisfy the neurosis about unemployment).

The difficulty arising from this is that in areas where there is not so much unemployment and therefore there is no subsidy, classes are being forced to close down owing to such fierce price competition - it is cheaper to go on the bus to another area or borough than it is to pay the fees in your own area, and anyway students don`t think of the fares part of the transaction.

This creates unemployment amongst college staff in the unfunded areas where it did not exist before. Perhaps when there is enough unemployment in those areas they, too, will be able to offer cheap courses if they still have the staff - and the unemployed staff will be able to go to them.

If they don`t, the colleges can always be closed down, thereby creating further unemployment and a temporary period of asset-stripping for the local worthies.

It`s all quite clever stuff.

Flatfoot Spin

Flatfoot Spin alternative disco are back. Smoke-free, alcohol-free, and a wide range of musical styles - inc. classical! There are also two others.

Unfortunately they haven`t yet given us the details. Hopefully we will have them by next issue.


WELL WELL. How extraoedinary. Someone hacked their way into the server and disabled everything, thus presumably making it impossible for you to read The Other News, and certainly impossible for us to post it. We didn`t even have email.

The last issue of The Other News suggested that Lord Bingham must be a freemason to know which of certain judges were freemasons.

The articles about freemasons were in the last five or six editions. To see them you only have to go to the index of earlier issues:

Index of earlier issues. Click here.

Gabriele Gad.

Gabriele Gad is a German psychologist who is interested in holistic medicine. She has been writing articles on The Other News for the past few months.

Gabriele Gad on alternative therapy. Click here.


I found out why the solicitor got cracking. I noticed in The Times an article telling us that from this summer lawyers will be required to do `no-win-no-fee` work in all new civil cases.

LETSSwing and others.

Gabriele Gad and Hugh Harris play at the Bonnington Cafe most Wednesday evenings - old-fashioned jazz and some poppish modern compositions with classical or jazz influences - you have to hear it to know what I mean. 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). Some of the LETSSwing material and some other stuff written for other bands and orchestras is now available on this site in `fakebook` form. Only two numbers at present, but we are partitioning off an area to carry sheet music, and that will have a regular input. Next week there will be a copy of the popular Sinclair Rag - you`ll know it when you hear it. The files are in graphic format, so you might need a graphics program to see them or print them.

for Pavanne tune and chords click here.

for Peckham Calypso tune and chords click here.

If you are in a LETS somewhere and would like LETSSwing to play to you for your local currency, please contact in case we can come to an arrangement.

LETSSwing and others also do gigs for money - a variety of types of music.


Chords continued.

We have at last come to the point where I can tell you how to perform some compositions from their chord sequences and dots, and I am going to start with Pavanne, which because it goes so slow allows you enough time to think about what you are doing between one chord and the next. That is not to say that it is without problems, because the rhythm of it is something some persons have a great deal of trouble feeling and doing. However, once one in the group gets the rhythm the others should be able to pick up on it.

In earlier instructions about reading music, I may not have mentioned the `key signature`. This, in the case of Pavanne, is the two flats at the beginning of the piece, which tell you that all B`s and all E`s are actually B flats and E flats unless instructed otherwise. Every key has it`s signature, and careful observation will show you that they fit into mathematical patterns like everything else in music. Each key has it`s own set of flats or sharps, according to need.

Pavanne, although it is played as rock, started life as a funeral march of much pomp and drama, and it is this that should be reflected in it`s performance. I have written it on the fake sheet (see end of lesson for location) in 4/4 - that is, there are four crochets to the bar - but it could equally well be written in 8/8. The reason this is so is that as it is played it becomes more and more apparent that it should be played with a secondary rhythm of 8 to the bar. When you first play it you might experience this by getting someone to play a rhtythm of eight quavers to the bar whilst everyone else plays the normal 4/4 (that is, the one person will play double time).

The most pleasing version I have heard so far has been played by faintly amplified acoustic guitar, flute, piano, saxophone, bass, and a faintly amplified electric guitar. It was played very very quietly - at a level you could easily have in your living room. Here is what they did:

Pavanne can never be played fast. The crochet = 60 bit on the sheet is to tell you that the intended speed is about 60 beats (pulses) per minute.

Reading the chord sequence, the acoustic guitar played `continuo` through the first eight bars all on it`s own.

The bass came in for the next eight bars, playing very softly, and only one root note per bar at the beginning of each bar, but allowing it to sustain (it was an electric bass). IN BAR 5 THE BASS DID NOT PLAY THE SEVENTH until the second half of the bar.

At the end of the second eight bars, the F7 chord was not played, because this first sixteen was an introduction, and the intention was to go back to the start.

From bar one second time through the flute came in playing the tune (again very gently) and the piano came in playing the tune as chords (not too difficult if you work it out - and keep the chords simple).

At the key change the saxophone (which must play just as softly as the flute) played the B flat section.

The saxophone and flute then played as a duo to the end of the last eight bars.

Now the two guitars played a duet with one playing the continuo and the other a rockish solo over it (but quietly) whilst the piano continued to play chords.

At the B flat section the flute and sax took over, and on the change back into the G minor all instruments played ensemble doing their own thing but CAREFULLY LISTENING to what was going on around them, and came to a crescendo to finish.

The whole came to about 5.5 minutes, and could be extended by having another 32 bars with a saxophone or piano solo (or a mixture of soloists) either following this bit thus allowing the 32 bars to be played yet again for an end and giving 144 bars in all (about 9.6 minutes) or in the middle, giving 112 bars and 7.5 minutes.

Soloists should keep it simple. The basic tune with different emphases and slight variations usually works best.

Pianists should try all the simple right hand chords that have the correct notes for the tune at the top of them - that is, invert them to get the note of the tune at the top, and therefore dominant. Do not worry if there are notes missing from the chord if it sounds OK, and don`t be seduced by the idea of showing how many notes you can get into a chord - the more they have (after a certain point) the worse they`ll sound.

And finally, if you use substitute chords without first hearing what the piece is like with the right chords you`ll never know what it really sounds like, and may well never appreciate it. The chords are simple, and are intended to be.

for Pavanne tune and chords click here.


Nothing this week.

Unions and work

Nothing this week.


Nothing this week.

Small ads


I want some Locolink stuff. This is the program and disks for getting data off Amstrad PCW`s onto ordinary PC`s.

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

Wanted pc/Acorn monitor, London area.

Who knows where on the Internet I can get a good freeware or shareware score-writing program that will run on my p100 or Acorn 5000? Please 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

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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.

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I sincerely hope no such event will occur.