Doune The Rabbit Hole

by craig on July 4, 2014 12:56 pm in Uncategorized

I shall again be running the bar – the Whistleblower’s Arms – at the Doune the Rabbit Hole Festival from 22 to 24 August at Cardross, Port of Menteith.

I find this festival, which is very much a lifestyle event and features mostly new talent, an extremely life-affirming experience. Last year it brought me back from a very dark place. Some of this blogs most active commenters and helpers have been among the volunteers over the last couple of years, keeping the event going. Personally for me the festival is necessarily centred around Williams Bros and Thistly Cross, but there is a tremendous variety of music:


The event is very family friendly, and also an amazing place to meet new friends. It does not have any specific political orientation, but I might fairly say that the vibe is very much in line with the kind of unconstrained intellectual space promoted on this blog. On top of which Cardross is an extraordinarily beautiful place. The variety of local food on site, ranging from vegan to game, is one of the things I really enjoyed. It is a not for profit event and nobody gets a salary.

Tickets are not expensive by festival standards, and certainly cheaper than a weekend break in a hotel. But there is also the alternative of working your passage – the festival still needs plenty of volunteers.

I am genuinely looking forward to it enormously. Hope to see you there.

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  1. Doune the Rabbit Hole is a family-friendly festival with plenty of space to camp, separate areas for tents and camper-vans.

    Fans of Iain Banks may be interested that the festival site is just half a mile down the Forth river from Easter Offerance, the setting of the religious community in his 1996 novel Whit.

  2. ------------·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node

    4 Jul, 2014 - 1:38 pm

    Don’t forget your dancing boots, you’ll need them for the Peatbog Fairies.

    In an unrelated development, I have it on good authority that there have been some blue pills going around the Scottish dance scene with the word “yes” stamped on them  :)

  3. Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin)

    4 Jul, 2014 - 1:54 pm

    The event is very family friendly

    I’m not. That’s Manx TT weekend….phew.

  4. ------------·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node

    4 Jul, 2014 - 2:12 pm

    Ba’al (re something you said elsewhere)
    You must’ve missed Afrend politely requesting that people avoid possible confusion by refraining from associating trademark and copyright symbols with Habbabreak. He’s a strong supporter of open source and free distribution.
    Also, you should be careful not to reveal a simple method of circumventing Habbabreak.

  5. Craig,

    Your festival sounds great. My wife and I have been to well over 100 Festivals in 32 years. I assume you are flying and staying in a hotel. I can’t criticize you for that because we have already done the same this year to a festival in Spain. But in my view camping is essential to really appreciate what a festival is all about. You don’t have to live like a refugee, but if you do for a few days, you really discover how wonderful the human race can be. People are just naturally friendly and help each other and freely share what they have got. There can be no real security at a festival. You cannot lock up a tent. Yet in over 100 festivals, we have only been robbed once…and that was in the middle of the night…when we were in the tent, fast asleep, with two very young children…Even then…the thief took only the cash in my wallet…left the wallet and all the credit cards…and did the same to almost every tent around us…How did he do it? Well he said to the only guy who woke up…sorry mate wrong tent…and went on to the next. Even so one robbery in over 100 events with no security is a pretty good record. Your only security is to try and make friends with all your neighbours as soon as you arrive..offer to help to put up their tent…and offer them a beer. The very worst weather…if the mud really is that bad…brings out the best in people…rather than the worse. The problem with Festivals now, is that many have grown too big, and been taken over by large corporate companies…attempting to maximise profit..and employing if you are unlucky…some rather unpleasant people. Small festivals of just a few thousand are far more fun…and there are absolutely loads of them…Some even now, are virtually or totally free. For example…a pub or even a small town will put on a festival. You simply pay for the camping (if you camp). The beer, food and other trade pays for the event.

    Get on your dancing shoes.


  6. Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin)

    4 Jul, 2014 - 2:51 pm

    I thought it would be clearly understood that the ™ was facetious. However, I bow to Afrend’s wishes. And yours.

    As to the rest, (a) it’s quite obvious to anyone with Party A blocked when “Party A..//£$%” appears, what’s going on. And (b) you have now publicised it further.

    I would imagine Afrend might be considering a simple alteration to the script. ” *Party A* ” would perhaps be part of it.

  7. Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin)

    4 Jul, 2014 - 2:55 pm

    Or *Ba’al Zevul*. Though I may stick with (Chimp Assassin), rendering the precaution unnecessary.

  8. ------------·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node

    4 Jul, 2014 - 2:57 pm

    (a) but maybe not obvious to party A
    (b) that’s why I switched threads

  9. Tony,

    No, I shall stay in a tent. I did last year too – and to my real surprise I enjoyed the experience. It’s indeed a small festival. The finances are a real struggle.

    Ba’al The Isle of Man TT always saddens me as my good friend Roy Anderson died there. Number 160 on this list.

    I don’t think the 750cc Yamaha sounds right. He had a 1000cc Honda in my recollection.

  10. Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin)

    4 Jul, 2014 - 3:28 pm

    If I needed any further discouragement from racing – and I’ve never even wanted to -, that would be it, Craig. But it has to be said that racers go into it with a full consciousness of the risk, and not a few with bits of titanium holding them together already. It’s a high-risk sport…and that attracts the riders as well as the public. Sorry to know you lost a friend there.

  11. Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin)

    4 Jul, 2014 - 3:34 pm

    Party A never reads my posts anyway, A.Node. It said so.

  12. Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin)

    4 Jul, 2014 - 4:07 pm

    Found a photo of Roy Anderson – on a Honda:

    Sans helmet – have no further details on the pic.

  13. O/T Hurrah for the bees.

    From 38 Degrees

    Wonderful news, we’ve protected our bees! Yesterday Syngenta withdrew their controversial application to allow their banned bee-killer pesticides back on UK fields. [1]

    Owen Paterson, the environment minister, sided with Syngenta. But the decision was deemed so toxic that it was brought all the way up to the Prime Minister and his cabinet to discuss.

    The day before the big meeting, the huge people-powered petition signed by over 219,000 of us was delivered to the PM’s desk. [2] And on the morning of the meeting, hundreds of us swarmed on Downing St to confront the ministers as they arrived. [3]


    Also beautiful today are the honey bees on the lavender here in the sun. Have not seen any for ages.

    I also watched a masonry bee going in and out of a hole on the front wall of the house. It was a hole I drilled in the wrong place when I was putting up a handle grip on the wall by some steps! I am a real botcher at drilling holes but glad that one came in useful.

    I have also had cutter bees in the past. They cut pieces off rose leaves and insert them into a hole to make a nest for their eggs. In my case it was the end of the hose leading from a pump in a half water barrel which circulates water via a small fountain. I have some goldfish and there is also a miniature water lily there which is just flowering. Chicken wire over to deter the herons which fly overhead. They have been before and took all the fish.

    This morning I walked up on the downs along one of the old drove roads. There were thousands of butterflies fluttering in the long grasses. Marble whites, commas, skippers and others I cannot name. However did they survive the winter floods in their pupal state?


    4 Jul, 2014 - 4:20 pm

    “However did they survive the winter floods in their pupal state?”

    ‘Life’ finds a way, Mary. :) Great news !

  15. Happy holiday Ben. Is American Independence Day celebrated very much these days?

    We have Hillary Clinton over here flogging her book ‘Hard Choices’! The media especially the BBC are falling over themselves with propaganda for her as the next president.

  16. ------------·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node

    4 Jul, 2014 - 5:49 pm

    Half time and 1 – 0 to Germany, but the French WILL score in the 2nd half. Germany will need to score again to win.

  17. Thanks Ba’al. Really did bring a tear. He was my dad’s right hand man, and his mum knitted the woolly hat that got me through the Dundee winters! Can’t imagine him on anything except Honda.

    A Node – no chance. 2 – 0.

  18. A Node – no chance. 2 – 0.

    Thank god you’re not a betting man!

  19. ------------·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node

    4 Jul, 2014 - 7:03 pm

    Hmmm, Craig, I overestimated your blog. I was assuming that the French team would be checking this thread in the dressing room at half time and my pep talk would make the difference.

    Ah well, I KNOW that the Brazilians will be reading this …… 2 -1 to Brazil.

  20. Clark did Jamie call you? If not can you call him?

  21. @Tony_Opmoc

    You’re right about small festivals. First time I went to Glastonbury I think there about 10,000 people there at most. Security consisted of five young CND members sat around a table in a farm gateway. No cops on site, and no need for them. And no trouble- other than Roy Harper being dragged offstage by Ginger Baker’s roadies, to which one of Roy’s fans retaliated by slinging a brick at Ginger Baker (he carried on playing though). One hippie had stood up and cried, “Ginger Baker represents war!” I think GB was said to have signed a deal with an American company who also made weapons. And now 35 years later they have had torture apologists Metallica headlining on the Pyramid Stage! In those days you didn’t even need a tent- you were allowed to sleep in the big marquees and they also put up some big communal teepees for anyone to sleep in.


    4 Jul, 2014 - 9:10 pm

    I wish I could attend, even as a vendor. It’s much more reasonable in cost than Burning Man, and family friendly as well, not that I would drag ‘chirren into it.

  23. ------------·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node

    4 Jul, 2014 - 9:56 pm

    Half time, 1 – 0 to Brazil.
    Good game. Both sides going for it. Neymar and Rodriguez are giving it everything, good to see the star players grafting instead of prima donna-ing. Surely more goals to come. I’d like to see James Rodriguez get an equaliser, then I’ll support whichever team deserves it most. I couldn’t grudge Neymar a goal either, mind you.

  24. Craig, yes, Jamie called and we had a nice chat.

  25. 2-1 was a good shout. Well done Node.

  26. ------------·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node

    4 Jul, 2014 - 11:10 pm

    Cheers, Anon.
    I was hoping for a late Columbia goal to take it into extra time – didn’t want it to end.
    Did you see the size of the grass-hopper on James’ shoulder when he scored that penalty?

  27. You learn a lot on this blog- eg that there is such a drink as Scottish Cider !

    Pete- your recollection of Ginger Baker at Glasto 40 years ago confirms the aptness of the biopic made recently-

  28. “Did you see the size of the grass-hopper on James’ shoulder when he scored that penalty?”

    I’d have been traumatised for about a month :)

  29. ------------·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node

    5 Jul, 2014 - 12:01 am


    I used to do Stonehenge free festival instead of Glastonbury. Only missed 2 or 3. Us ‘Stoners’ kinda looked down on the Glastonbury bunch as weekend hippies. Weekenders maybe, but I guess I have to concede now that you outlasted us! Hawkwind often played, in fact it probably wouldn’t have kept happening without Nik Turner. We always reckoned Glastonbury stole the pyramid stage idea from Stonehenge.

    Stonehenge was like the gathering of the clans every year, a great coming together and a starting point for the summer’s Peace Convoy. Anything up to 120 vehicles would straggle back and fore across southern England, a week here, a couple of weeks there, dig your own shitpit and erect your own stage free festivals, drug fuelled, and if I’m honest, mostly drug-funded. Eventually, come September, a few dozen stragglers would make their way over to Wales to end the summer at the Mushroom festival, originally near Aberystwyth but hounded through different locations year after year, until finally settling in Hay Bluff above Hay-on-Wye. I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t still a few never left!

  30. A Node, I was at the last, er, three(?) Stonehenge festivals. I briefly glimpsed the Battle of the Beanfield, before riding off to avoid the police. Got arrested at a “routine stop” the next day, held overnight, bailed, and ended up at Bratton Camp(?), above a white horse cut into the hillside chalk. Hawkwind turned up and played, of course.

    Maggie had to stop it. It was proving that anarchy could work. You could get anything on-site; get your clutch changed, get your TV fixed…

  31. No, arrested later that day, I think.

    The police had some Portacabins near the roadblock where they “processed” us before bussing us to Salisbury. We had to queue to go through a door. When I went through, there was a copper with his back to me on my left. A big copper on my right put his hands on my right shoulder and shoved me hard into the copper on my left, who whirled ’round looking daggers at me. “Sorry, that officer pushed me” I said. He turned his back to me and the other ushered me on. Looking behind me, I saw them repeat the performance on the next one in the queue.

  32. ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸A.Node

    5 Jul, 2014 - 1:40 am


    I missed the Battle of the Beanfield. Not sure if I was unlucky or lucky to do so.

    After Stonehenge the previous year, I didn’t go with the Convoy, I went to Kent to make some money cherry-picking. Convoy had gone up to a festival in York-shire called Nostell Priory, then they were moving to a peace camp at RAF Molesworth. I’d lost my trusty old bicycle and was getting about in a Morris Traveller with a bicycle inner tube tied to the handbrake which stopped it from jumping out of top gear. After the cherries, I drove straight to Rainbow Fields at Molesworth where, with the advice of a guy who knew what he was doing, and a scrapyard a few miles away, I managed to put in a ‘new’ gear box – just 4 bolts, as I remember, and my mechanic guru climbed into the bonnet of the car (which was balanced on 4 stacks of breeze blocks) and jumped on something till the gearbox popped into place. Anyway, by this time Convoy was due to have arrived from up north, but instead, just a few stragglers limped in. Turned out that there were thousands of police around Wakefield for the miners strike (yes, Maggie again) and they took the opportunity to even some old scores and trash Convoy, well and truly and brutally, everybody lost the lot, cars, buses, benders, many jailed. Until then, Convoy had been too big to touch, police cars used to escort it from county to county, but maybe Nostell Priory made them realise that all it needed was enough cops.

    After a few weeks more in Rainbow Fields, I took a carload of people to a protest at Barrow-in-Furness in the Lake district. Can’t remember what it was all about, but when it was over, since I was near the border, I decided to check out Scotland again since I hadn’t been home in a decade. Next Spring, I was preparing to head south in time for Stonehenge when someone offered me a great job travelling about the country checking electricity poles. I took it, and in my first week, I opened a newspaper to read about the Battle of the Beanfield. The free festival scene never really recovered, Criminal Justice act (yes, Maggie again) and all that although a few years later I did manage to track down a few old faces still keeping it going.

    Lost touch with everybody now, but the spirit’s still alive. We nurse the flame up here. Now we call it a party instead of a festival, and DJs and decks are easier to get together than bands and stages, but it’s still a few hundred people in a field in buses and vans with music and lights … and it’s still free …. and we still dig our own shitpits.

  33. Bot much has changed it would seem Clark in the attitudes within Wiltshire police.


    There have been other similar examples.

  34. I was sure Peacewisher I had put up that piece about the Algerian team donating their fees to Gaza but perhaps I didn’t!

    A fine gesture anyway and hope the money is put to good use.

    The author of the Stop War piece, Matt Carr has severed his connections with Huffington Post because of their support for Israel and censorship . A man with principles.
    Well reasoned and rational.

    There is a protest in Kensington today.
    London: Emergency protest at Israeli Embassy demanding an end to collective punishment and the occupation

    London Palestine Action 05 July 2014.

    Palestinian demo

    End Israel’s War Against Palestinians
    Saturday 5 July 2pm to 4pm
    Israeli Embassy
    Kensington High Street
    London W8 4QB

  35. I heard this brave widow in the night speaking on the World Service. A kind of justice has been delivered for her and her murdered husband. You have to admire the tenacity of such a woman persisting all these years on.

    July 1, 2014,

    Court: U.S. military spies had role leading to 1973 deaths of Americans in Chile

  36. Foolish grin

    5 Jul, 2014 - 8:08 am

    Down the rabbit hole sounds wonderful. I hadn’t realised that there was a real connection people who post on here or that they might do something organize a festival like this. I have made a critical comment in the past about people posting too much: I retract.

  37. Nevermind

    Are you around? If you are interested to come up again I think I might be able to organise you a lift up and back?

  38. I caught the tail end of free entry Glastonbury and spent a few years going as it transitioned into the monster it is now. I did have some fantastic times there.

    However, Stonehenge was something else. We were young clash city rockers, not integrated with any groups there, and had never seen anything like it. At first we were nervous, scared of some bikers if I recall, but once you embraced it, got over the shock, phew, it was a beautiful mad time. Wish I’d gone more now. I do remember at the time thinking all festivals must be like Stonehenge and Glastonbury.

    I didn’t know similar free festivals still go on today ANode. I am glad to hear that. I struggle to be nostalgic about shitpits though. I trust DTRH has decent loos.

  39. Sofia (Cosmic Explorer)

    5 Jul, 2014 - 10:11 am

    “Spirit of Gordon” Log: 14 07 05 09 19

    The ship feels earily silent, apart that argument about Afriends software. The crew continues the search for Dad, with the extreme caution that such a dangerous undertaking requires. Our instruments indicate that he has taken up residence somewhere in the recycling complex. This is confirmed by the sudden exodus of thousands of traumatised rats. Too bad they took the only functioning Deep Space Survival Pod.

    The inquiry into the unfortunate incident with the Qztolon emissary proceeds and I understand that Anon and Jemand are taking their task so seriously that it leaves them little time for much else.

    Their task is hindered by Ba’al’s prodigeous ability to concoct ridiculous fantasy excuses for his actions. My two favourites so far….

    “… Qztolnonis highly inflammable – spark from unsecured glipper electrode initiated catastrophe – remains proved addictively tasty…”


    “You know what the speakers on those KXW 1048347 translators are like.”

    Well, yes, they could be better, but I lestened to the recording half a dozen times and it seems pretty clear to me that it said “I want your people to meet me.”

    Ben and A Node are working on repairs to the improbability drive (when they haven’t got more important stuff to do) and we expect to be well underway by Sunday evening when the Vogon Galactic Guard finally take their attention off the telly and resume their patrols. I understand they have paid the referees 100,000,000,000,000 Fomalhautian Sgnaangs and expect a Brazilian triumph.

    Crew moral is so crucial to an undertaking like this and all they all want to be on planet earth in time for Doune. I expect the organisers will leave a couple of acres clear for the ship this time so we don’t have a repeat of last year’s fiasco.

    So, it’s almost time to move on and stop pointing accusing fingers (or tentacles) at each other.

    We’ll be passing quite close to the Electromagnetic filaments in IC 5146 so this may be thel last communication for some time.

  40. @Mary: Perhaps you posted it somewhere else. This good news needs posting everywhere, because for sure the mm aren’t going to publicise it. Even that Independent article I referred to was more interested in saying this was a political act, and putting the question that FIFA might investigate…

  41. You forgot to mention the dog Sofia. Snoopy asks the question on this girl’s blog.

    Where’s your mama gone? Where’s yours papa gone? I ask. Some cheese from the 70s.

    PS That girl should not be in that shiny blue trouser suit with the flares!

  42. doug scorgie

    5 Jul, 2014 - 11:20 am

    News just in

    Palestinian Mohammad Abu Khdair ‘was burned alive’

  43. Terrible and most cruel Doug. I did not know he was alive.

    I put this post up from Dr Abuelaish on the Dead children in Palestine thread.

    He has experienced his own tragedy. I remember seeing him get the news live about his family. It was on a video. At the time he was in Israel working in their medical system. No irony that they killed his daughters.

    They lived right up in the North of Gaza near the Erez crossing which is like the entrance to Hades.

    This is a very good description of it. Disembodied voices bark instructions out of speakers and you know that guns are trained on you.

  44. I would love to go.

  45. ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸A.Node

    5 Jul, 2014 - 12:09 pm


    Yeah, we’ve got quite a good scene up here. We have a couple of friends with land – means we have landowners permission, makes everything easier. We usually do a couple a year, typically 3 days of music in 2 marquees, 2 quality PAs and lighting, 30 DJs, kitchen & chillout, and lots of cool people. Everybody gives everything for free, nobody gets paid. If anybody ever made a profit, the whole thing would fall apart. Instead, people look for ways to contribute. We got people with professional outdoor projectors and lasers, usually someone sets out hundreds of paper bags with night lights in them, log candles dotted about – at night it looks like space city. We pass round a hat on the Saturday afternoon but we don’t need much, maybe £500 to £1000 for generators, fuel, water bowser, van-hire, stuff. Regards the toilets, years ago someone gave us an old trailer and we built loos on it. Now we just have to tow it over a hole in the ground, saves us hours every party :)

    The trick is to keep the numbers under control. No Facebook, no open invites, once you’ve been a few times you can invite friends and take responsibility for them being cool. Up to about 400 is do-able, everyone just gets the vibe. Any more and you need people on the gate and stewards and stuff, and no-one wants to have to do that at a party.

    There are a few old-style free festivals about too. There’s one in the West Highlands called ‘Midge Death’ been happening for about 20 years now, usually around the autumn equinox. It was always held at Cluanie Dam, Invermoriston but there was an accident a few years ago and now it’s moving about. For those with Facebook …..
    …. otherwise Google ‘Midge Death’

  46. ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸A.Node

    5 Jul, 2014 - 12:12 pm

    #!#! Warning !#!#

    It is called “midge death” for a reason.

  47. I have considered your recommendation Baal and have decided against implemention. An example: “*anon*” would also discreetly hide “Anonymous” and “Benny Shanon”. Better to occassionaly have unwanted friends pop up than miss people we didn’t intend to.

    Thank you for the suggestion and of course you can always edit your own Habbabreak script to include wildcards. Give it a go and let me know if you need assistance.

    Fred, am I on your Habbabreak list or are you just ignoring me the old fashioned way? You’ve said nothing about my gift especially for you. A simple curt rejection is all I ask.

    Wonderful new name ————·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node. Habbabreak is for love and unity.

    Bon voyage Sophia. How I wish I was with you all. Habbabreak is for freedom.

    Mary, Habbabreak doesn’t isolate. People do. Habbabreak simply cuts out the interference that distracts putting you back in the moment. I so wish you of all people would try it.

    Escape your demons! There’s an app for that!

    The House Of Afrend – a permissive software, peace promoting, free loving, all in, egalitarian house

  48. ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    5 Jul, 2014 - 12:51 pm

    Afrend : “Wonderful new name ————·´`·.¸¸¸A.Node.”

    Thanks, Afrend, and I’ll use that as an opportunity to drop the “A” and complete my metamorphosis from A.Node to ————·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node
    There, it’s done. I feel much lighter now.

    BTW, though not a user myself (scrolling – I need the exercise), I love the concept of Habbabreak and your style in distributing it. See a need – fill it. If everyone did that, the world would soon be sorted.

  49. Fool

    We would love to see you.

  50. Ba'al Zevul ( -(h2/2m)d2Ψ/dx2 + 1/2kx2 = EΨ )

    5 Jul, 2014 - 2:23 pm

    Thanks for your response Afrend. If it becomes a problem, I will take your advice, but very grateful for the script as it stands.


    5 Jul, 2014 - 2:25 pm

    “Palestinian Authority [PA] and Israeli security sources are convinced that followers of ISIS in the Gaza Strip are responsible for some of the recent rocket attacks on Israel.

    Hamas, they say, seems to be losing control over the dozens of terror cells belonging to ISIS and other jihadi groups.”

    Maybe even the kidnap/killings?

  52. Ba'al Zevul ( -(h2/2m)d2Ψ/dx2 + 1/2kx2 = EΨ )

    5 Jul, 2014 - 2:25 pm

    Bugger. Superscript doesn’t transfer from Open Office to Craig Murray. So much for the smartypants sig…

  53. Ba'al Zevul (Chimp )

    5 Jul, 2014 - 2:37 pm

    Hamas, they say, seems to be losing control over the dozens of terror cells belonging to ISIS and other jihadi groups.”

    This would be the direct result of Israel’s refusal to deal with Hamas as the legitimately elected representatives of Gaza’s interests. What the fuck did they expect?

    Answer: exactly that. Delegitimise and divide; enables the presentation of the victims as aggressors. It’s not inconceivable that Israel’s found a way of supplying the militants’ crap missiles – which usually land in fields, or even in Gaza…


    5 Jul, 2014 - 2:46 pm

    Howdy Ba’al. Working overtime? :)

    I can’t imagine ISIS bleeding off former Hamas supporters, but it could be many are dissatisfied with not just PLA performance, but Hamas as well.

    Hezbollah, next?


    5 Jul, 2014 - 3:02 pm

  56. Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin )

    5 Jul, 2014 - 3:05 pm

    Flexi-time, Ben.

    Hizb’ullah are Shi’a, so I doubt that will work! One of the aims in bringing Assad down was of course to end Syrian support for them and destabilise Lebanon – again – in Israel’s favour. They have very good reason to remain supportive of Assad, and none whatever to collaborate in the Sunni Caliphate that ISIS have in mind.


    5 Jul, 2014 - 3:09 pm

    Palestinians are Sunni, so it may be a better fit, and Shia are considered apostate by that sect. But conversion, although culturally unusual, is possible. What other explanation for ISIS operating in Gaza with apparent approval from someone?


    5 Jul, 2014 - 3:12 pm

    Ignore that last post. Totally bolloxed with no recovery possible.

  59. I can’t get the thought out of my mind of Mohammad being burnt alive.

    Here he is being kidnapped.


    What a good kind man here in spite of everything.

  60. Ba’al Zevul, what’s that equation?

  61. Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin )

    5 Jul, 2014 - 3:27 pm

    Schrödinger – particle translational motion, Clark. All 2’s should be superscript (squares) except ‘2m’
    ‘Ψ’ is the wavefunction.

    And that’s as far as I go without making more of a fool of myself.

  62. Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin )

    5 Jul, 2014 - 3:41 pm

    Roy Anderson – traces exist of him on the internet (bikers remember their own), and was evidently a talented rider with a good track record (literally). One at least of the bikes he owned was a CBX 1000 – iconic bike: Honda shovelled six cylinders- inline, like a car engine – into a useable frame, and achieved high levels of user satisfaction…worship even. It was built like a Swiss watch and sounded like a choir of CB 125’s. It may be the one you are thinking of, and the photo could be one.

  63. ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    5 Jul, 2014 - 3:47 pm

    Can someone please explain to me the scam involving academy schools. 

    The Academies Act 2010  was the first thing the Coalition did when it was elected in 2010, a sure-fire sign that it is important to the Tory backers. Since then, thousands of schools have been converted from state to academy schools, which means the taxpayer still pays for the but private individuals get to decide the curriculum.

     But who is making money out of this and how? Today’s Guardian has a front page story titled: “Wealthy Tory donor David Ross in line for top Ofsted job

     “A multimillionaire Tory party donor and friend of David Cameron and Boris Johnson, is in the frame to become chair of Ofsted, a move that would plunge the schools regulator into a further row over its politicisation.

    David Ross, the playboy co-founder of Carphone Warehouse whose charitable foundation supports more than 20 academy schools, is understood to be in serious contention to take over the Ofsted role from Labour peer Sally Morgan, who is waiting for the education secretary, Michael Gove, to make a fresh appointment.”

    Don’t tell me this guy has diverted his energies into schooling for philanthropic reasons. I don’t get it. What’s the scam? What am I missing?

  64. I thought it might be Schrödinger. “d2Ψ/dx2” will be the second differential of the wavefunction wrt x, which is presumably distance. Are H Planck’s constant, m mass and E energy? And what is k?

  65. Node, it’s not just about selling mobile ‘phone contracts to kids is it? Carphone Warehouse became TalkTalk.

  66. Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin )

    5 Jul, 2014 - 4:00 pm

    That should be h-bar (h/2π), actually, but life was too short to find the symbol…k is the force constant, and yes, E is energy as usual.

  67. ‘Baroness Morgan, whose expulsion from her Ofsted role was revealed this year by The Independent, was widely considered to have proved an impartial executive despite having run Tony Blair’s office when he was Prime Minister.

    “Sally Morgan has been able to rise above party politics and command cross-party support – it’s crucial the next person is able to do the same,” a Liberal Democrat source said.

    Mr Laws indicated that he believed the decision not to re-appoint Baroness Morgan was a sign that the Ofsted inspectorate, which is officially independent of government control, was being damaged by political interference.’

    Ross sounds most unsuitable! Read on.

    He won’t be in the job long though will he? That is, is he gets it.

  68. ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    5 Jul, 2014 - 4:20 pm

    I think it must go deeper than selling phones, Clark, but maybe not. Maybe it is all about marketing opportunities, gaining the power to choose school suppliers, gaining control of the schools’ budgets. But I suspect there are deeper motives. Political? Brainwashing? I think I’m missing something.

  69. Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin )

    5 Jul, 2014 - 4:25 pm

    Amid the instant calls now for him to be removed from his position at Locog, many are concerned in Tory central command about the links between Mr Ross and the party and the potential for further embarrassment.

    Would you buy a used academy from this man? Yes? Then have a look at his Wiki entry too.

  70. ————·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node
    “What’s the scam?”

    This is just my guess born from a believe that state schooling is all about the difficult job of shaping a compliant work force from a whole load of rebellious individuals.

    They are playing the long game. The current academies are set up to:

    -get corporate advertising into schools
    -employ staff sympathetic to the corporate mind set
    -normalise excessive pay for a few
    -attack the unions
    -prepare for a profit making education system

  71. Crikey. Net worth!

    Mark Bolland is a co director of his foundation plus two others.

    There is also the David Ross Education Trust under which the academies are presumably
    held. State money being handed out by the bucketful.

    This is Mark Bolland, ex Prince of Wales staff.

  72. ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    5 Jul, 2014 - 4:49 pm

    My suspicions run along the similar lines to yours, but if that’s the game, then what’s in it for the likes of Ross? He doesn’t seem a Soros/Koch brother type mover shaker. There doesn’t seem to be any immediate financial gain. Is he someone’s lackey, fronting part of a long term operation? Helping out the big boys for a few favours?
    They’re up to something.

  73. ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    5 Jul, 2014 - 4:53 pm

    Ah, I’ve figured it out, it’s all so obvious. The simple explanation is …. oh, sorry, the football’s starting, gotta go.

  74. ————·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    Sorry I missed the specific question entirely. OK how about this:

    He’s establishing a foothold. Sometime in the future, perhaps even as soon as one week after our next neo-liberal government in April 2015, schools making profits are deemed a good idea. Bingo!

    It’s a punt on a wink and a nod. He donates somewhere along the line. No need to put everything in the manifesto.

    i.e. Business as usual.

  75. For control and power. That’s what they are after.

  76. Ba'al Zevul (Chimp Assassin )

    5 Jul, 2014 - 6:24 pm

    PLease read my Indie link above. All the clues are there. He greases up everyone who might be in a position to put a margin his way. Including, not only Cameron and Johnson, but, almost without needing to say this, Blair.

    He can sometimes portray himself as a self-made man – a Northerner who has succeeded in the business world of London.

    But in fact Mr Ross’s father, John, ran Cosalt*, a safety services firm which is Grimsby’s only quoted public limited company, and on whose board Mr Ross Jnr still sits. Indeed, the family is part of the Ross frozen food dynasty..

    ..he has frequented parties attended by, among others, Mick Jagger, the publisher William Cash, merchant banker Mark Cecil, and Prince William and Kate Middleton….

    …Barely a year older than David Cameron the pair have become friends.

    In October, Mr Cameron flew from London to West Yorkshire and back on Mr Ross’ private helicopter. Two summers ago, Mr Ross paid for Mr Cameron’s return flight from Germany for a World Cup match. Since 2001, Mr Ross has donated £117,560 to the Tories, either to Conservative Central Office or to local branches of the Conservatives near his home in Northamptonshire.

    And his involvement in politics has given in him entrée into his other passion – sport. He is a member of the Sports Council, on the board of Wembley Stadium and was recently appointed by Boris Johnson – to whom he bears a passing resemblance – as his representative on the board of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (Locog).

    *which he ran into the ground, and put into administration under Price Waterhouse Cooper in 2013. PWC subsequently sold him back a chunk of it for a knockdown price.

    Detailed examination of his company structure would probably reveal something set up (like Serco etc) exclusively to subcontract publicly-funded work. That’s how privatisation works. The public no longer has to pay for the operation of a service. Instead the public pays for the operation of the service (badly), substantial profits for the contracting company, any sweeteners and discounts going, and in the case of PFI, renting its own property.

    You people really aren’t cynical enough…:-)

  77. Nice one Baal. Not sure if I fully grasp the penultimate par (“how privatisation works”) if you fancy spelling it out for an idiot.

  78. Presumably the millions of Eqypt’s poor will not have access to electricity for cooking and light.

    Morsi couldn’t or wouldn’t do it but al Sisi does the business. No problem.

    ‘Ousted President Mohammed Morsi failed to implement a $4.8bn (£2.8bn) loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which would have unlocked another $12bn in bilateral loans. His reluctance to sign the deal was partly down to the austerity measures tied to it. These would have included reducing energy subsidies, cutting the public sector workforce and introducing a sales tax.’

    Egypt raises fuel and electricity costs
    Egypt has introduced electricity and fuel price increases in a move to cut state subsidies and reduce the budget deficit.
    Some fuel tariffs are reported to be increasing by 78% while electricity prices are expected to almost double within five years.


    Egypt’s poverty rate has increased, reaching 26.3 per cent for the year 2012/13 compared with 25.2 percent in 2010/11, the state-run statistics agency CAPMAS reported on Wednesday.

    A CAPMAS report stated that the domestic poverty line stands at an annual LE3,920 ($569) per person

    However, the country’s extreme poverty rate shed 0.4 percent from 2010/11 to record 4.4 percent in 2012/13. The extreme poverty line stands at an annual LE3,570 ($518) per person.

    Poverty remains predominant in rural areas compared to urban areas. The highest rates in the country are in two southern Egyptian governorates, Assiut and Qena, at 60 and 58 percent respectively.

    The average expenditure of Egyptian households stand at some LE26,161 ($3,798).

    Expenditures of around 5.6 percent of the Egyptian families –currently 19 million nationwide – are less than LE10,000 ($1,452) per year, while 6.2 percent of total families spend more than LE50,000 ($7,259) annually.–in–CAPMAS.aspx

  79. Peacewisher

    5 Jul, 2014 - 8:11 pm

    Just watched GG programme with Chris Fear. Very, very, depressing about Palestine. Good turnout at demonstrations outside Middle East. however…

    Then watched RT news about continuing bombing of Donbass people. Arguably even worse, as is mmedia coverage.

  80. Peacewisher

    5 Jul, 2014 - 8:14 pm

    Apologies… Harry, not Chris.

  81. Peacewisher

    5 Jul, 2014 - 8:21 pm

    Flicked back to BBC1 and ITV1, and both channels full on with variations on “worship money!” A long week-end in the country in Bonny Scotland looking increasingly attractive…

  82. Peacewisher

    5 Jul, 2014 - 8:48 pm

    My increasing pre-football depression was finally lifted through an appearance on RT by this rather remarkable young lady:

    (video filmed at the demonstration which did not happen…)

  83. Brianfujisan

    5 Jul, 2014 - 10:52 pm

    Jeeeeezo Costa….Geeeeza Goal.. Argentan – Wise up

    Craig, Clark I’m up for Volunteering ….Heavy Diary for August Two weddings..Best man at One.. But would love to be there n help oot…

    Slight communication problem with Hearing Aids..but Still Game


    6 Jul, 2014 - 12:30 am

    Children are always the first victims of war.

    “The Palestinian youth who was caught on video earlier this week being beaten by members of the Israeli Border Police is a United States citizen from Florida, the U.S. State Department confirmed on Saturday.

    State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki named the youth as Tariq Khdeir, 15. He was a cousin of Muhammed Abu Khdeir, a 16-year-old Palestinian whose burned body was found Wednesday in the Jerusalem Forest. Khdeir was visited by a U.S. consulate official, the statement said.

    “We are profoundly troubled by reports that he was severely beaten while in police custody and strongly condemn any excessive use of force,” Psaki said. “We are calling for a speedy, transparent and credible investigation and full accountability for any excessive use of force.””

    Ah, yes. The sanctity of US citizenship.

  85. Brianfujisan, brilliant. They like you to register, I think:

    or e-mail rachel at that domain.


    6 Jul, 2014 - 1:32 am

    As it relates to discussion with Ba’al ……

    I think Libertarianism is a doggerel of confused and ambivalent politics. It’s easy to hide conservatism within that moniker. I have been observing it for some time and find it disingenuous. There is such a thing as left libertarianism, but it is squashed by the din of untoward comments. Just as liberals used to hide behind ‘independent’ when lynch mobs united to hand them by the neck until dead, so too conservatives seek shelter. It’s time to define the demarcation between Rand Paul conservatism and libertarians who don’t believe that highways and infrastructure should not be Federal but local. Where I agree with them is that Posse comitatus proscribes the militarization of local police with MRAPS and ordnance beyond their utility for law enforcement. The Vets returning from war and the PTSD demon afflict their families and the public when they are incorporated in a cop mentality. Taxpayer dollars


    6 Jul, 2014 - 1:35 am

    good Christ. ” Taxpayer dollars funded the very suppression they were supposed to prevent.”

  88. Chapter and verse here. Because the abuse is historic, that does not detract from its horror.

    See ceemac666’s contributions ref
    Clegg, Brittan, Vaz

  89. The child being beaten by the IDF. His jaw is broken. The sadistic cruelty displayed in the videos is unbearable to watch.

  90. PEACEWISHER I think that anti austerity YT might have been got at. When I clicked on I got the most awful screeching sound. Could not get out of it and had to switch off my computer. Thankfully it was OK when I rebooted.

  91. Are we regressing back to our ape ancestry?

    ‘Paedophilia is natural and normal for males’
    How some university academics make the case for paedophiles at summer conferences

    Even Andrew Gilligan’s title gives the practice some credence and acceptability on first sight.

  92. Peacewisher

    6 Jul, 2014 - 8:39 am

    @Mary: Sound like your computer crashed. This has happened to me with youtube videoes. Don’t worry about it. Anyway, what did you make of Franscesca?

  93. BrianFujisan

    Great – fill out the volunteer form on the festival website if you don’t mind.

  94. nevermind, viva beautiful football

    6 Jul, 2014 - 9:37 am

    Thanks for the great offer Craig, would have loved to jump doune the rabbit hole. I’m working at present finding some Saxon sunken feature buildings in Norfolk and I have my son come down from Edinburgh.

    Would have loved to shake my booty to the peatbog fairies and have a jar with you. There will always be another tim e and my September date in Lochgoilhead is soon upon us.

    Maybe by then the clear up on site has finished and Jamie has time for a jar/coffee in Glasgow.
    Love to see the residential painting team again.

  95. nevermind, viva beautiful football

    6 Jul, 2014 - 9:41 am

    Who knows, everything might change by August…..;) I would love to come up and do a stint of stewarding with Brian, tell a tale, we both could beef up the bar/security crew or help with potato peeling….

    and some gentle ale tasting, whats the ale on offer this year?

  96. @Peacewisher, thank you for the Francesca Martinez clip; a remarkable lady, and her “”You know what, F**k Profit !” could be the best slogan I’ve heard in ages 😀

  97. Having been handcuffed to a bed with his ankles also handcuffed to it, the injured boy is now under house arrest. And America’s Psaki makes a feeble protest to the Israelis.

    This treatment of a child by the Israelis is an outrage.

  98. Mary; “This treatment of a child by the Israelis is an outrage”

    It’s yet another abomination from an abomination that calls itself a State.

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