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    ichabod @ichabod

    @puroandson  I think you did grand, myself.  IMO, a bit of righteous friction has its place, even in these generally peaceable precincts.  There’s a certain breed of fannish stubbornness about all sorts of things (bees in bonnets, rigid  expectations or demands that were disappointed, etc.) that doesn’t flourish here, so visitors of that stripe either buzz off pretty quick or quiet down and pay attention for a while, to see whether they can, or want to, try to adapt rather than just leave.  Seems to work out pretty well.

    In the US at least, I think men shy away from teaching because conditions are awful (overcrowded classrooms, textbooks written to the standards of Texas, of all things, religiously and politically looney parents constantly inflicting their infantile idiocy on teachers and kids alike — talk about your unintended consequences — that one’s down to some of the localizing “reforms” of the sixties and seventies around here — and contempt from morons with no sense — no, stop; I’m starting to huff and puff, and this tsunami of anti-educational crap can’t have happened *only* in the US, either).  And pay is awful too, because said morons think teachers have easy, lazy jobs and should be punished for it, kind of like, oh, you know, artists and such.

    But, here’s my question — what’s up with “pastoral care” teachers?  Can you elaborate a bit?  I’ve never encountered that term before, certainly not about secondary schooling.  Is it something like “school psychologist” only with a religious flavor?

    Anonymous @


    what’s up with “pastoral care” teachers?  Can you elaborate a bit?  I’ve never encountered that term before, certainly not about secondary schooling.

    Basically it’s a fancy term for marking the roll and reading out the notices.

    At no point, as it’s a state school and the Ilion family wouldn’t send Son to a religious school, anywhere or any-when, is there is a religious appellation to this pastoral care moniker.

    Even though it’s Pastoral Care (PC), most days (excepting Fridays) PC is only 15 mins giving time for the teacher to pass on suitable notices, reminders and to check uniforms and hand out notes to students for excursions.

    On Fridays, PC is more ‘involved’ as the older students might talk about subject selection, the fact that one of the students received their driver’s license and so gives a prepared speech on driver -related ishoos like drunk driving, driving responsibly etc.

    Occasionally, this is the time for vaccinations, the dreaded S.E.X. talks (or the “anything but” talk as wielded by Bartlet in his second year of presidency in The West Wing!) or ethical discussions which are prepared by various year level coordinators.

    This past week the male pastoral care teacher spoke about his interest in Who (yee-hah) and other telly shows; his adoration of Ozzie Rules Footy (oor-rah for him but definitely not for us!) and also his love of good music  – actual good music including a little memorial to David Bowie whereupon the older, cooler students** spoke about how they weren’t fans of Boy Banz and prefer ‘oldster’ music. 🙂

    **Pastoral care classes are organised laterally so that all year levels from Year 7 to 12 are spread across PC. This way, younger students like Son of Puro get a chance to mix with the older boys and girls. The latter speak about part-time jobs, how to do work experience and which school camps are good and which can be avoided.

    It all helps.

    Certainly the school at which I worked didn’t have any kind of PC: merely 10 min every morning except for weekly school ‘parade’ which is essentially ‘show-off’ time: “all students who won the recent basket ball match must be applauded” and “all students participating in the vocal eisteddfod come up and receive your certificates for coming 99th” (not a good school musically: but that aint down to me -I only taught a bit of History very part-time).

    Other than that, parades commemorate Australia Day or the Queen’s Birthday wherein the school band would play or a vocalist would strut their stuff.

    The whole is so huge that parades have become unwieldy and in a hot, un-air-conditioned hall, most students just fall asleep and so do the teachers. I was caught snoring once myself.



    Anonymous @

    @ichabod that should read “the hall is so huge” not “whole”. Clearly I need a drink: a mulled wine, a G&T or a shandy maybe ichi?


    ichabod @ichabod

    @puroandson   Mulled wine, please — a good, relaxing send off to a very late (around here anyway) bedtime.  Thanks for the explanation.  Calling this “pastoral care” has a baffling charm to it, I must say!

    Anonymous @


    And did I mention the “ethical discussions prepared by various year level coordinators” ? 🙂

    Also, the chats (informal) which his male teacher has by way of telly, the news, sports, books etc? 🙂

    So, I think that it is pretty good actually. It could be a room full of boys, all one year level, sitting uncomfortably in rows whilst a chaplain they don’t know tells them what religious beliefs they must have in order to enter heaven.

    That might be somewhat more difficult and uncompromising …


    Kindest, Puro

    ichabod @ichabod

    @puroandson  Puro  Ah; that would be American-style, especially in the Bible belt . . .

    Mudlark @mudlark


    I’ve moved the discussion of the George Gently review to the pub, since it seems a more appropriate venue.

    As you may have gathered, I was intrigued by your description of the ‘review’, so I have been doing a bit of digging. I couldn’t find any such review of the episode ‘The Lost Child’ in the British press, and it certainly wasn’t in the Daily Wail, whose review was favourable.  The only thing which did correspond in pretty much every detail was by an American blogger and, to be honest, I found it so absurd it was funny.  I’m not even sure that the writer realised that the Gently stories are set in the 1960s.

    I quote: ‘…propaganda from the Left’   ‘dishonest homilies from the leftist media’  ‘ethically challenged entertainment’   ‘Leftists can’t help but take any small opportunity to take a jab at anything which is government run’.  Does this sound familiar?  If this was what you saw,  at least it lets us Brits off the hook!  – which isn’t to say that there are not plenty of people here who think like this, even if they don’t express it in the same way; I just doubt that they would take this particular show as a pretext for their ranting.

    Thanks for the ‘welcome back’.  I have been looking in on a fairly regular basis and reading with interest, even though I haven’t been finding much to say for myself lately.  I’ve been in my usual state of post-Christmas/New Year hibernation and, prompted by the BBC dramatisation of War and Peace which has just finished, am re-reading the novel to remind myself of all that the book is, which the dramatisation (good though it was in its way) is not.  This in itself is time consuming.

    Left hip is acting up, so I am currently lurching around like some monster from a Hammer horror film and probably looking at a hip replacement op in the not-too-distant future, which is a bore; otherwise life is good.



    Anonymous @


    are you a detective? 🙂

    You found it. By George!

    And it wasn’t British! Dear Lord and the mods, I ask forgiveness!

    And a round of gargle blasters (that’s the wrong show) …even  a warm beer? I can put my finger in it and check? 🙂


    janetteB @janetteb

    @mudlark You have been missed. Sorry to hear about the hip. I hope it settles down and surgery won’t be required.

    But War and Peace? Please please don’t get me started. I have been posting madly about it on other sites and I have yet to watch a single episode of this version, not sure I will. For the past two weeks I have been re-watching the 1972 version which I first watched when I was about 12 years old, the year we got a TV. I first read the book shortly after. The TV version is still one of my favourite TV series and the book one of my favourite of favourites so I just moan whenever I read of favourite moments not included in this version or changed beyond recognition so the meaning is lost. I have also been following a historical costuming blog on this version which naturally is up in arms over the period inaccuracies. The costumes are a complete travesty, well the women’s at least. Anyway must not start ranting.




    lisa @lisa

    Glad to see the political race in the States on the Dems side is attempting to sort out

    important  priorities by releasing on the record how they stand on this following issue….

    The race has after all been so boring ,  not enough chaos   🙂

    but having seen this I remain  hopeful that it can only get better



    (just sharing a post that I thought was amusing)


    Anonymous @


    indeed you have been missed! I echo @janetteb ‘s statements on that and on War & Peace: the Epic’s Guide to Epic.

    Had you been here and lurking on the ishoos of dictionary definitions, DEM’s and what constitutes the word ‘re-boot’ I feel you would have added to the side of sense and sensibility.

    I also hope the hip improves and really hope you don’t need a replacement -painful – I’ve heard from d’family who’ve experienced this.

    But. If it helps to remove the pain and also ensures you can take care of your beloved garden then maybe it’s a great idea? Or maybe it’s the only option?

    Kindest and thinking of you, 🙂



    Mudlark @mudlark


    are you a detective?

    Well, google has its uses – which is not to say that there are not some points of resemblance between archaeological research and police detective work.  It is a bit early in the day here for gargleblasters, but I might help myself to a lunchtime beer. Not ‘warm’ though; cask conditioned ale should be served at cellar temperature, i.e. cool but not refrigerated, since further chilling kills the taste.  Mind you, there are some beverages sold as beer where killing the taste is a good idea, assuming you choose to drink them in the first place 🙂

    Yes, I was following the discussion of the precise meanings of re-boot and DEM, but it didn’t seem as if there was any need for me to add my ha’p’orth.  Others provided cogent arguments for why re-boot is a perfectly apt way of referring to the restarting of Doctor Who, and if @bluesqueakpip ‘s  comprehensive definition of what does and does not constitute a DEM does not serve to change the minds of those who believe that a DEM is any plot resolution which they don’t happen to like, or one which they didn’t see coming because they weren’t paying attention, they are clearly impervious to reasoned argument and are best ignored.

    @janetteb  and PuroSolo   The War and Peace adaptation suffered somewhat from being compressed into 6 hours 20 minutes, as opposed to the 20 hours of the 1972 version, but it had the advantage over the latter of being filmed largely on location in Russia and Lithuania, and visually it was very impressive.  Inevitably they did not have the resources to do justice to the battle scenes, though the ten minutes or so allocated to Borodino were used effectively.  All in all I thought that, within its limitations, it was well done.  Paul Dano was excellent as Pierre, to the point where one could overlook the fact that he is neither large nor fat, and Jessie Buckley was equally good as Marya.   Others were miscast though: Lily James was unconvincing as Natasha, and Tuppence Middleton isn’t nearly voluptuous enough for Helene and didn’t, to my mind, seem to have grasped the essence of Helene’s character.

    I would be interested to see the costuming blog, Janette. The men’s costumes looked OK on the whole, to my eye, at least, though I gather that there were some inaccuracies.  The women’s costumes on the other hand were all over the place, as you say – often more 1912 than 1812, and some could have come straight off a Hollywood red carpet.  Were the costume designers incapable of doing the necessary research? or did theythink that accuracy was unimportant?

    As for the hip, I will know more by next week, when I have an appointment with the radiology department at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, which conveniently enough is only four miles from where I live.  The right hip was done nearly ten years ago and the worst part of that was being on crutches for six weeks afterwards, and then having to limit activity for a further six months until the prosthesis was firmly embedded and muscle tone was restored.  It was worth it, though.


    Anonymous @


    And quite right too! (I think that was a Ten Doctor ‘saying’?)

    On another matter I’ve been watching the first episode of a new UK series (which probably aired there a whole year ago) called ‘Cuffs’. Lordy.

    Has anyone watched it; or tossed it? 🙂


    Anonymous @

    Jack Irish is back on Aus TV which @janetteb,  if you haven’t seen it, it’s available on ABCiview where they’re showing repeats of previous series.

    AWOL myself due to a random link I pressed!

    I was on The Guardian Page which linked to something ‘subversive’ and before I knew it a shrieking “bing bing bing” emoted from the computer with apocalyptic, ‘loud’ words informing me of a virus and to ring ‘Microbot’ immediately which the technician said “turn off the volume button as I can’t hear you”.

    Duh. Why didn’t I think of that? Still, the sound was so raucous it reminded me of one of those screeching telegrams delivered by owl in Harry Potter! Louder than my burglar alarm.

    Lately, the laptop naughtily in the bed, has collected its share of dust and when overheated turns off which is better than the alternative -a melted computer, but with teeth, dribbling from my hands 🙂 (Cripes I’ve been binge watching too much of the Walking Dead @cathannabel )

    The microsotter techie took remote control and proceeded to outline in red with big menacing crosses all the times that there’s been an ‘unresolved problem’

    He proceeded to type: “see? See all the things you haven’t backed up properly with no manual security checks?”

    I typed back: “but (with plaintive voice) I have a good protection software ….how did this happen?”

    “Well, the proof is in FRONT OF YOU lady. No protection you buy is ever enough. You need to do this….and that ….and  [for huge sums of money] I can fix the problem but you will need to act FAST.”

    Computer overheated and turned off  accompanied by my own curses which brought Son up from the depths of his book…

    By the time I got back on with the mysterious ‘Nathan’ he was still bellowing about how this was “all your fault for not doing the proper checks and the virus is causing your computer to turn off”

    At which point I argued, “no, dear, it’s the dust in the back of it. I need my technician to literally empty out the bird cage of a computer and then address this problem”

    Well, well. To this he retorted, “your dimestore techie is not a universally recognised Microsoft engineer and won’t know how to stop all your files being eaten Right. This. Minute. ”

    Computer turns off again. Followed by curses and possibly throwing things.

    Once again he comes back with a whole list of names which sound like Planet GumTree including “kernel logic, data routers” and something which sounds a lot like chocolate icecream but might be computer related. He excitedly outlines the various cost “options” and “annual help for $380 and four years of unlimited help for only $1000 but now we need to fix it right now for $480 as no other engineer will know how to do it.”

    By this time I’m rapid fire typing before computer totally burns out: “yes, I know I’ve been very bad. You can spank me all you like later but how do we move on from all the pointy fingers and fix the darn thing?”

    More crap follows and still the damn computer is screeching in the back ground and Son claims I look like a meth addict from one of Sherlock Holmes (Moffat) episodes: hair askew, eyes bright with hugely dilated pupils and muttering unpleasant things …

    Eventually, after this utterly useless interchange the lap top creaks loudly and then with a final kalumph, turns off again. Next day we have light – the flood recedes and a dove flies in: a 7′ 1″ basketballer who removes this offending object and brings it back all fixed for a total bill of: a 6 pack of Aussie beer    😈

    He’s an engineer for the public service and ‘plays’ with computers in ‘spare time’

    Thing is, the ‘mouse pad’ isn’t working, and whilst I’ve located an old acer mouse for this Toshiba laptop, any ideas how to start the ‘pad’ even though I’ve clicked on Ctl +F9 ? Maybe there’s a computer whiz?

    Anyway, when I started this tale of woe (last century) it was a very funny story. But I think you had to “be there” 🙂

    Ah, also @tardisblue, thank you for that other lovely thing!

    Kindest, PuroSolo

    winston @winston

    @puroandson   I feel for you.   We have this “box” we rely on so much now to live our lives, yet we have no idea how the heck it works. Computers can be soooo frustrating. I have to call my son now and then to help me with mine which is 8 year old PC , so I can’t throw it even if I want to. As far as the mouse pad I have no idea cause I use an old timey mouse on my old timey desk.

    Hope all is well with you and family and good luck with your tech troubles.

    p.s.    Watch out for Walkers!




    You’ve been scammed.

    Anonymous @


    Yes, 8 years old is a long time. Mine is six years old -just celebrated Stellar’s birthday the other day as a matter of fact (and I name my laptop which is probably odd) and people tend to smirk and say “but you could buy a whole new one for $600 and it will be wonderful”.

    I like this one 🙂 I’ve developed an attachment


    Indeed. Spammed and Scammed. Very funny. You need to do shows!

    winston @winston

    @puroandson   I know what you mean. I like this old black box I call  “Pewter” See I named him too though not as imaginative as you did.  He has needed a few new parts and upgrades over the years  but he still works fine…most of the time . As my Mom used to say “if it’s not broke then don’t fix it”.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @winston   @puroandson     Yes! My laptop (4 years and counting) is called “Salento” (after a part of Italy which I love). I was encouraged to give it a name by Mr. Arbutus, who was formerly the IT leader at a startup company where he named all the servers after composers. It was great when he would get messages from his team, saying that this or that had to be done to Josquin, or Monteverdi, or Perotinus (Mr. Arbutus has a doctorate in music and never felt obliged to stick with composer names that most people had actually heard of!).

    But like you both, I hate replacing my tech before it’s absolutely necessary (i.e. crossing your fingers every time you go to boot it up). Salento is getting a bit dicey, I actually can’t watch video on it for more than a couple of minutes without the fan starting up. Fortunately, I have a tablet for Netflix and so on.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @puroandson, @winston and @arbutus My dearly beloved laptop is now six years old and people say the same to me. The battery is utterly dead so I have to take extension cords everywhere the laptop goes and I am always checking out cafes etc for power points. I have no intention of replacing it before I absolutely have to though a little tablet would be nice. My first laptop lasted three years and went through two hard drives in that time.

    All our computers are named, Azathoth, Sanctum and Oberon. R.1’s computer is named Lancelot and I think the laptop they were using is called Gawain. My first laptop was Luthian. I refused to name my current laptop after my bad experience with Luthian but last year my S/O replaced the hard drive and O.S and christened it Eowyn.



    Anonymous @

    I’m gobsmacked. Not because of Who !  That a lot of people name their children. We laptops think naming children is pretty unbelievable and most laptops, PCs and tablets think I’m a bit of a twit wanting kids to have names. Clearly I’m not the only one!

    Stellar the computer

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Dear Stellar

    Bit odd, isn’t it? What do kids need with names? It’s obvious – you call them ‘This One’, ‘That One’ and ‘The Other One’.

    Though, sadly, my owner is terrible with names – I’m going through my career called ‘P’, for heaven’s sake.


    Whisht @whisht

    Completely not important, but thought I’d change my avatar.

    The one I had was an image I made years ago (that I clumsily pasted a fez on).

    Fez’s are sooooo last regeneration.

    So instead, a thing I found on one of those old adverts in the back of comics, that I think sums me up (or at least how I would like to sum myself up).

    We’ll see how long this choice lasts…



    (oh, and my laptop is a few years old, is unnamed but has needed replacing since I broke the headphone port-thingy a year ago when I trod on the lead, as well as having a knackered battery)

    winston @winston

    <p>@whisht   Nice avatar!</p>

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    I think the Graun is about to develop a split personality. They’ve got the problem that they’re very pro-EU – but the pro-EU camp is being led by the Prime Minister. Which is more of a problem for Katherine Viner than it would have been for Alan Rusberger, because she’s apparently decided that the Graun should become much more overtly political. So they’re in a cleft stick where their natural stand involves siding with the Tory leadership.

    And since the current pattern of politics is that anyone vaguely left-wing that sides with the Tories, however reasonable their position, gets the shit kicked out of them at the voting booth (or in the Graun’s case, possibly refusing to buy their newspaper) – she’s got a problem.

    Currently, they seem to be desperately trying to play this entire referendum thing as an intra-Tory spat. I’m not sure they’ll be able to keep that one up as Der Tag rolls closer

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Yes, it’s an absolute bind for the Guardian, I think. More so, now that the Independent has died, as I think it acted as a kind of a buffer for them. Now it’s just them and an amorphous mass of rabid right-wingery in the rest of the dead-tree media. As you say, they don’t want to repeat the mistake Labour made during the indyref and became too tainted by association with the Tories.

    Interestingly I’m finding that the paper I do a lot of work for up here is having a similar problem. It just hasn’t figured out where it stands on the EU question. Opposition to the Tories is a given but does that translate as pro-Brexit, or sitting on the fence? The Graun is in a tricky place because being in Coalition has pretty much destroyed their natural political bedfellows, the Lib Dems. And they’ve been too openly hostile to Corbyn for too quick a volte face there too.

    I suppose part of the problem is that the EU in the last couple of years has evolved into something more problematic. Before the credit crunch, Eurozone collapse, Greek bail-out, refugee crisis etc, it would have been far more cut and dried. And now the EU is revealed as far more of a pro-austerity entity. For those on the left, it’s a problem. Brexit means the pretty quick erosion of workers and human rights but Bremain means TTIP, CETA and TiSA. It’s all a bit murky.

    So you’re dead right that the Graun will try and make it the Dave and Boris Show for as long as they can but that’s not going to last. Pretty soon we’re going to be knee-deep in the sort of yah-boo-sucks tit-for-tat negative politics we last saw in 2014.


    @bluesqueakpip @jimthefish

    Blimey, what Guardian have you two been reading lately? Its drift to being just another neo-liberal talking shop has been utterly depressing. If that’s ‘becoming more political’ then gawd help us.

    There’s a map somewhere of the seats “Apathy” would have won in the GE if it was a party. The Grauns utter inability to grasp why Corbyn won the Labour leadership, instead just uncritically joining in the wholesale assaults on him, shows that its idea of “political” is very narrow and blind to that map. It is blunder akin to that of Clegg, thinking that being a bit more like the Tories would be a viable long-term strategy.

    But anyway, the EU presents it with no problem: it has been internationalist from day one. Through its narrow political filter being a bit cosy with a Tory ain’t a problem.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @pedant and @bluesqueakpip–

    I believe that Pip is right when she says Viner wants a more political Graun. But not that that equates to a more left wing one. The paper has been veering ever rightwards for the past decade and I expect that process to accelerate now. It’s final resting place is going to be somewhere in the territory that the Telegraph used to occupy, before it sold out its few remaining principles and rolled over to get its rump tickled by the likes of HSBC.

    But the problem is it still has to placate a core of readers who still buy it in the mistaken belief that it still embodies some of the values of the old Manchester Guardian. I agree with pedant that the editorial team would have very little problem cosying up to the Tories but to do so too blatantly will cost them readers. You see this cognitive dissonance in a different columnist every day as they spout what are essentially soft-right views, while expressing angst and remorse for doing so. The real reason they hate Corbyn (aside from the fact that it pinned its colours to the mast as the Blairite paper of record a long time ago) is that he exposes the essential phoniness of a lot of their position.

    On the EU, pedant is right that there probably isn’t too much doubt on where the Graun is going to stand. But Pip is right I think in that they can’t ally themselves too closely with the Tory camp. It’s quite interesting, as well as the economic shitstorm that newspaper are reaping with the death of print and the rise of digital, the political landscape is incredibly fragmented and stormy too, meaning they’re not quite sure which way to jump on that either.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @jimthefish and @pedant

    The Manchester Guardian, as Jim clearly knows, was traditionally a Liberal paper. So calling it ‘neo-Liberal’ really isn’t the insult you intend it to be, pedant. But what it should be, and what it used to be, was a place where “The voice of opponents no less than that of friends has a right to be heard”.

    And I’m really starting to miss that under Katherine Viner. Under Rusberger, I always felt that I’d find the facts, presented from a particular viewpoint. Now I’m consistently feeling that I’m being presented with the viewpoint. Facts are optional.

    I think we’re all in agreement on the editorial team, who are probably one of the most hypocritical bunch of champagne socialists ever to grace the Graun’s offices – well, they would be if any of them actually were socialist, or even vaguely Liberal.

    I suppose part of the problem is that the EU in the last couple of years has evolved into something more problematic.

    Definitely; one of the things coming up a lot on the comment boards is ‘Greece’. Now, you’d expect the usual very-right-wing froth-at-the-mouth anti-immigration brigades to be Brexit, but people who are likely to have been interested in the Greek debacle and supportive of the Greeks are more likely to come from leftish and pro-European viewpoints. There’s also a heck of a lot of ‘I love Europe, but don’t like the EU’. So I’m not surprised that your paper, Jim, is having trouble deciding which side of the fence it’s going to land on. We’ve spent so long thinking left-wing is pro-EU and right-wing is anti, it’s tricky figuring out a political landscape where the pro’s and anti’s seem to genuinely be from both sides of the spectrum.

    About the only thing everyone can agree on is ‘Don’t share a platform with a Tory unless you ARE one.’ 🙂

    Brexit means the pretty quick erosion of workers and human rights

    That ship sailed when the EU chose austerity over starving pensioners. And we have got far, far too used to the idea that the EU is the place to go for human rights – rather than fighting like hell for changes right here in the UK.



    The Manchester Guardian, as Jim clearly knows, was traditionally a Liberal paper. So calling it ‘neo-Liberal’ really isn’t the insult you intend it to be, pedant.

    I know exactly what I am talking about and it is exactly the insult I intend it to be.


    Anonymous @


    I love the avatar. I can’t remember the old one now. 🙂

    Isn’t it you birthday around now? Hmm? I think ….so….

    I was going to post a song by erm…the Mountain Goats. I quite like them. But you mightn’t?


    Anonymous @

    @pedant I was writing to a person about British politics and honestly I know nothing compared with you but this woman? She said “what’s a Tory?”

    Fuck me.


    Whisht @whisht

    @puroandson – wow, thank you!

    yes, it is my birthday this week (how the hell did you know that!??).


    Post music – even if I don’t like it, so what?? others might and if not….. so what!?



    oh, and as for Tories….. yes.


    They do tend to fuck you one way or another.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    ‘neo’ = ‘new’ or ‘revived’. ‘liberal’ = well, liberal.

    If I have to spell out that I’m making a pun on ‘new liberal’ not really being the greatest insult to use to describe a famous Liberal paper, well, I’d seriously suggest a nice, soothing cup of tea.

    Next up: sharks are accused of behaving like a bunch of sharks and a primary school football team is told it’s playing like a group of eight year olds.




    OMG!! You OB-wotsit with the obsession with dictionary meanings! I wondered whose sock that was.

    Seriously. You do not have the tiniest shred of a clue what you are talking about. Just stop now.

    Anonymous @


    oh no, not Ob-wotist and the dictionary. I think you’re right. The def of neo-liberal is more than the sum of its miniscule individual parts?

    Ho hum. 🙂

    I need a drink. I can have a drink now! Not just jello water. I had punch yesterday with real alcohol. Awesome. Also soothing.


    Coz I’m stalker girl!

    No, seriously, two years ago you did this amazing thing where you asked ppl to give you a list of their favourite 3 songs. I gave you a fake list and then a propa list? I thought the idea was great and transferred some of the people’s ideas (of music/songs) into my Dr Who Forum folder (coz I’m nuts like that!)

    Anonymous @


    I can see how that would make you feel uncomfortable! Creepy. Seriously I’m not that odd.

    Well maybe these days 🙂

    Ok, I’ll find some music.

    <lolloping off>

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    I’m afraid @pedant is right here and the neoliberal has somehow become a thing in its own right — and one which strikes me as being utterly unreflected in its name — basically being a synonym for politically and culturally unfettered capitalism red in tooth and claw. (I’d actually like to know who coined it as they deserve a hearty kick to the knackers for it).

    Other couple of things:

    So I’m not surprised that your paper, Jim, is having trouble deciding which side of the fence it’s going to land on

    Yes, it’s further complicated up here because a) an Out vote down south and In vote up here is generally being considered as a likely trigger for a second independence referendum, thus triggering some barely settled political debates (that we probably shouldn’t even think about discussing at present). Secondly, a couple of articles by those ostensibly ‘in the know’ suggest that Brexit could mean some de facto extra power for Holyrood, as things like CAP and fishery policy etc could devolve back here. And then there’s the slightly more effectively ringfenced NHS up here and the strong hostility to TTIP. Editorially, there’s a lot of conflict in what line to take, if not downright rabbit in headlights behaviour.

    That ship sailed when the EU chose austerity over starving pensioners

    Definitely. But to an extent. The EU is increasingly blatant in its corporate hyenadom but the legislation on maximum working weeks, holiday, pay etc. should be embraced for as long as possible and are a good reason for Bremain. Yes, we should be pushing for these things at home but realistically under the current Westminster Government they’re about as likely to be seen as Frosty the Snowman doing a wild fandango on the seventh ring of Hell. A Brexit will almost certainly mean the end of guaranteed holidays, automatic workers rights and will probably usher in uncapped working weeks and zero-hours contracts for all. I for one am very keen to make sure that doesn’t happen.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Yeah, I actually do know what neoliberal means? I always did know. I, like, follow politics and shit?

    This is probably one of those ‘jokes don’t travel well on the Internet’ things. Either that, or @pedant‘s sense of humour has gone on holiday, but since no one seems to be getting the pun, probably the former.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    A Brexit will almost certainly mean the end of guaranteed holidays, automatic workers rights and will probably usher in uncapped working weeks and zero-hours contracts for all.

    Well, technically, it could. If the entire Working Time Directive (which is enacted via UK law, not EU law) got repealed, it could. But that got dropped from the deal recently reached – largely as the price of Labour and the TUC support for staying in Europe.

    You do have to ask how likely people are to vote for a government that’s stolen their four weeks of holiday. Even Tories have to get elected; I’ve seen supposedly safe seats have a vote collapse when people are really, really pissed off.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    apologies didn’t intend to go all Yaffley on yo ass…

    I’ve seen supposedly safe seats have a vote collapse when people are really, really pissed off.

    Indeed. As for example, just about any previously safe Labour seat you’d care to name in Scotland.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    I dunno if you’ve seen (being a reporter and all) the excitingly titled 2014 BIS Analysis Paper Number 5?

    It probably gives a fairly reasonable overview of which bits of the WTD the Westminster govt really wants to get their little claws into. Namely, the 48 hour opt out, and the recent rulings on including overtime as holiday pay and treating ‘on-call’ as ‘at work’.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @bluesqueakpip — I’m actually more editor-ey than reporter-ey these days but that report does make for slightly alarming reading.

    I have as much faith in the DfBIS having workers’ welfare at heart as I do in a ‘British Bill of Rights’ protecting the freedoms of the average man on the street….

    TardisBlue @tardisblue

    @ JimTheFish

    … loving the “Frosty the Snowman doing a wild fandango on the Seventh Gate of Hell” image.

    Sure beats the image of Donald Trump behind the desk in the Oval Office…


    TardisBlue @tardisblue


    Been Away From the Keyboard, as they say, for a bit. Lots of local, local politics going on in a community group, plus a lovely musical retreat last weekend.

    How are you holding up? The Southern California winter weather is rapidly becoming more and more like an Australian summer — neither of which are particularly great aspirational goals. (!) Meanwhile, many of our friends in the UK are beginning to develop gills and flippers to deal with the deluge and floods they’ve been “blessed” with …

    Is Puro Fils enjoying the new school year? Any sport on his busy schedule? I’d ask about Valentine’s Day dances and spring proms, but I’m afraid I’d get rather embarrassed look from him as he is thinking “aaaargh! TardisBlue!!!”

    Hope you’re doing well.

    Anonymous @


    a winter resembling our summer? Oh no! Currently it’s 7.30 am and the air con has been on all night.


    Young Son finally found a club which would have him although embarrassingly they’re 2 years older than him and for some reason I cannot understand he is playing against the 18 year olds tomorrow. I’m no fan of Game of Thrones, but tonight will be some kind of feast in case of him not returning whole tomorrow (injuries I mean) -that and singing the bear song from the show which fortunately no-one in the house knows the meaning of.


    Right, we have no gal issues just gal pals -a certain American sent us a Valentine’s Card about which the family huddled around and went “ooh exciting and this is very sweet” and placed in pride of place on the mantle piece.


    PuroSolo (Son is staying home from school today in the interest of feeding up and also staying cool)


    Anonymous @


    OK, so what’s a “brexit” Cripes I am ignorant. Also, “go all Yaffley on yo ass”. Who is Yaffley?

    A political figure?

    Again, cripes. I follow everything politically in Oz and sometimes even in Czecha but the UK? I’m losing it there when it comes to Brexit. I should just Google it 🙂

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @puroandson, @people who know how to do things- could we get the Ukip Brexit music video on the music page? With warnings, like.

    winston @winston

    @puroandson    As I understand it , and anyone out there feel free to correct me, Brexit means Britain leaves the E.U. and Bremain means they stay. I have heard a bit about the referendum on Canadian news but I don’t know enough about it yet. I know the Prime Minister wants them to stay and London Mayor Boris Johnson wants to leave.That is what our news gives us and I will have to do my own research on the issue to find out more.

    I have no idea who or what a “Yaffley” is.

    winston @winston

    @tardisblue  Anything beats the image of Trump in the Oval Office.

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