22 September 2009

Welcome to Untrusted, too

Unsure yet what is going to end up here.  Mostly trying to figure out the logistics at the moment.


  1. Well - we'll just keep calling by untill we find out what's going to be posted here.

    Watching with interest - sure it will be worth a look in.

  2. An Untrusted tribute band perhaps?

  3. Perhaps Untrusted with more laidbackness, more jollity?: the Untrussed?

  4. Like it Montana, the icy blue at the top does indeed set the tone for more weighty discourse. Good work.

  5. Interesting developmennt. Let's see eh?


    11 September 2009
    Labour – the Party of the working class?
    I have supported Labour all my adult life and have been a party member for over 30 years. Although my parents were graduates, my family is rooted in working class South Wales, mainly in mining. I was brought up to be proud of those roots.

    I am very conscious of what Labour has done for workers, the NHS in particular is still a source of pride to me. The difference its foundation made to the lives of working people was phenomenal, we too easily forget this.

    For many years the Party structure gave workers a chance to contribute to politics by putting forward motions for Conference. This allowed working class concerns to reach the highest levels. Our MPs mostly came from working class backgrounds and understood the people they represented.

    But today there are few working class MPs and the only role left for the ordinary member is to deliver leaflets. More important, Labour’s claim to be a Socialist party has been compromised by the removal of the old Clause IV All this resulted in a party that is now completely out of touch with its core voters. The policies that have been pursued have not addressed the problems they face, particularly in the present economic crisis.

    Why did this happen? This article explains the events since the 70’s, that has brought the party to where it is today. The Labour Party, always an uneasy alliance between left and right, has always attempted to manage capitalism and in these circumstances can only go as far as capital will allow. This has never been more true than it is today.

    The present government reflects this in its slavish support for US foreign policy and the absence of any attempt to make real improvements in the lives of working people. Instead they pursue policies based on identity politics. . As a Marxist I support all oppressed groups. What I cannot do is see Women, Muslims, Blacks or Gays as classes. Policies that single out any of those groups for special treatment result in dividing the working class and become another example of that old ruler’s standby ‘divide and rule’. They also tend to benefit middle class members of those groups. Such policies can never improve working class lives. Genuine social change can only begin when all working class people are united. Identity politics has divided the class just when it needs to be strong.

    Many of the feminist articles on Cif make this mistake. An article found here shows how in the end men and women need to unite to create “the social conditions… for the establishment of real human relations between men and women. But unless and until the proletariat overthrows capitalism and lays the conditions for the achievement of a classless society, no genuine emancipation of women is possible.”

    This does not mean that women should ‘wait until after the revolution’ before they can struggle for equality. We should all challenge the corrosive attitudes of misogyny and sexism. The same is true for challenging racism, homophobia Islamophobia etc. After all we don’t ‘wait for the revolution’ before taking action to defend jobs do we?’

    When policies discriminate against or ignore men, the government divides men and women from each other. This causes a backlash and prevents progress.

    Its not ‘men’ or ‘women’ its class society that corrupts our relationships. When you consider how consumer society makes so many of us succumb to the rat race its no wonder.

    So what do we do? Many have suggested that Labour is ‘finished’, that we should all leave it and create a ‘New workers party’. I would disagree with this. Anger at the nature of the present crisis is building and workers are moving into action.

    Today(11 Sept) Union leaders will meet Brown at chequers –it seems it wont be a cosy chat!

    100 years ago the Unions formed the labour party to speak for them in Parliament. It is time once again to make Labour the voice of working people.
    Posted by annetan42

  7. The above test post result was of course not posted by annetan42 but by me - I will remove it in due course so it doesn't clutter this new thread up.

    It was posted as a kind of thinking out loud experiment.

    As well as thinking a new linked thread with a serious/light hearted divide I guess I'm also thinking a library facility in which copies of posts like anne's above that individuals liked could be deposited - and thus more easily located 6 months down the road.

    It's no more than thinking out loud folks !!!!!

    If I had a more assured internet connection I might even volunteer to help Montana/UT by undertaking a kind librarian function if it were felt to be useful. Sadly I do not and there is little worse than an unreliable librarian. - It is not my intention to think of ideas that would involve Montana in even more work.

  8. If I had a library/file of useful facts and observations that might be useful to UT's to slap in the face of the right wing I would place a copy of the following in said library/file:

    Vince Cable - Guard 23/9/09

    "Tax avoidance and evasion is unacceptable at the best of times but in current recession is utterly offensive. Every pound lost in revenue through avoidance and evasion has to be made up through higher taxes paid by others. It is now estimated by the government themselves that the extent of avoidance and evasion is around £22bn annually."

  9. It would be most agreeable to have a site where one would not have to declare one's socialist credentials with every post in an attempt to stave off attacks by the inebriated.
    Perhaps a place where the flamers of innoffensive posters are ostracised rather than encouraged?
    Worth a try surely.

  10. As Deano suggests, a little vault for precious comments might be useful for posterity. A long term banking of the good, the bad and the ugly.

    Rex - it might not always seem like it but most of us do genuinely want more 'diverse' views here, mainly because it gives the best debate. When Frank pops along there is usually good debate, and there have been countless times where we have discussed getting some good posters over from CIF from much further right of the spectrum. Even within those who already post here there is a fair bit of disagreement.

  11. Jay,
    Not quite what I was getting at but thanks for the reply.
    I get the feeling that I have somehow become a conservative.

    I tried to find myself on cif but was unable to do so by typing in my name. My comments come up if one clicks on rexmundi though. I've just praised Porter's article.

  12. Montana et al

    Perhaps the clue to the direction I find my thinking going in is in Montana's use the construction......"Untrusted blog(s)" - with my emphasis on the plural

    There is no obvious constraint which limits the linkage to only two UT blogs - thus Jays notion of a "vault for posterity" could easily be accommodated as a third UT blog.

    Common sense would seem to suggest that not too many separate blogs are opened to start with.

    The notion of "rooms within a house (hopefully of learning and not correction)" could all too easily end up with us all sitting in our individual rooms talking cheerfully to ourselves!

    Some of us are quite made mad by the sound of our own voices already - we post here on the odd chance of finding a little sanity. So to move too far or too quickly from the organically derived position in which we find ourselves could be a danger !

    Certainly space for at least two joined threads though Montana - good luck with thinking it through.

    This fan, and I am sure many others, will always give you the benefit of the doubt should a mistake be made.

    Remember this vehicle has reverse gear if you/we find ourselves somewhere you/we don't want to be.

    Dog walking calls.

    4 Montana - As ever my very best wishes - that well known would be arse licker of a poster deano x.

    Rex - there are lots of people who read here who read what you said and identified with it - but it's a difficult call to resolve because the one thing that links most here is our passion for speech that is just as open and free as we can possibly make it.

    I suspect that if it were possible and thought desirable Montana would even give serious thought/debate to the possibility of opening an Annon room!

    But that's her call not one I would wish to make.

    I think I'm on record with a welcome to you and if not have a - "regards"

  13. Hi rexmundi

    Try going to to http://www.guardian.co.uk/users/rexmundi. Should have the same effect as clicking on your name.

  14. HankScorpio/Monkeyfish - I'd always seen myself as more of a piss taker than an arse licker but there you go.

    I'm looking forward to reading what thoughts you and hopefully Monkeyfish have for how we move the game forward.

    And don't suggest a padded cell of a room for deano.

  15. Good point deano, we dont want too many blogs, so ideally the vault would be within either this or the UT, though ahve no idea how to actually make it work, we must have some techy minded folk amongst us, though Montana is pretty good with this blogging stuff, she may know.

  16. Padded cell for deano.

    That's me pretty much out of ideas for the moment (-;

    Do like this though, Montana, despite usually steering clear of sequels.

  17. The Godfather II was good. So was Manon des sources.

  18. Yes, I was going to make an exception for Godfather II. And Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.

  19. I must have missed that second one, Hank.

  20. And Highlander 2: The Quickening.

    Turned out that Sean Connery wasn't dead after all. Or something.

  21. Every now and again, thauma, and it usually coincides with him looking for a handout, my son will tell me how much he appreciates what I've done for him. And I always tell him that the most selfless sacrifice I ever made was sitting through all those Jim Carrey films with him when he was a kid!

    Truman Show excepted of course.

  22. I'd thought we might have a go ourselves here. Don't know how many of you are interested in writing, but it could be an answer to the serious discussion versus chat problem, no? I'd be happy to read anything anyone wants to put up (tales of mungo, Deano? The evils of the middle class Hank? [that's a joke, really] Whatever, Monkeyfish?).


    We talked about something

  23. Manon des Sources was better than Jean de Florette if you ask me.

    Also I think Terminator 2 was better than Terminator one.

    Those are about the only two I can think of atm.

  24. ... like this in the early days, but it didn't really take off.

  25. BB - was Terminator 2 the one where he came up and formed out of the lino? Cos I was tripping when I watched that and it was intense, man!

    I'm all for keeping it serious here (really), but is there a rota or something? It could be a free-for-all with anyone posting anything, which could be interesting and, er, Cif-like, but then I think a lot of good stuff might get lost as the format might bury things.

  26. hoy martillo, well I did promise a long time ago to write something about tax havens. Might give that a go in the next few days. I like the idea of a discussion page which will stay open for a few days, and be focused on that specifically while the more random conversations go on on the other blog.

    So, either that or how Barca's current ascendancy over Madrid will last a thousand years...

  27. Fucking hell! My word verification for the last post was 'Manon'!

  28. Agree with martillo - articles here (not necessarily always serious), daily chat on the other one. Worth a try.

  29. On sequels, I guess you've all heard the story of how The Madness of George III was renamed Madness of King George when they filmed it because the focus groups told them that US filmgoers were confused about what happened to the first two films in the series...

  30. Thirded! Chat should stay where it is because my OCD demands that it stays orange...

    "Manon" - LOL thaum.

  31. Tax havens Hank? Which do you recommend?

  32. You'll have to wait for my top tips, martillo. All I'll say for now is to get your money out of the Isle of Man. The task force sail from Liverpool tomorrow.

    In other news, you can't go wrong investing in pork bellies.

  33. I don't think Messi will live for a thousand years, Hank. Cycles...

    Not always serious is a good idea, scherfig. Anything from you?

    Manon? Mine was bennyhill

  34. If we find that we need more specialised blogs, it only took a few minutes to set this up -- quick and painless. They could be titled to differentiate topics. The original blog could be for the chat. This place more serious topics. If we needed a special place for Hank and Martillo to debate La Liga, or for people to post YouTube clips they like, it would take about 5 minutes to set up and the links would all be up at the top of the right-hand column, quick and easy to get to. We could have Untrusted Futbol, Untrusted Tube, etc. ??

  35. "The Madness of George III was renamed Madness of King George when they filmed it because the focus groups told them that US filmgoers were confused about what happened to the first two films in the series..."

    That is an urban myth isn't it Hank? My favourite is the one about the American heard asking "which one's Les?" during a porformance of Les Miserables

  36. Hi Montana! Do you know last night's result? (Don't want to spoil anything for you...)

  37. Oh, two other things:

    Rota for this place might be a good idea. We'd have to sort one out and figure out when a new post should go up. As a courtesy to authors, we wouldn't want to cut off a discussion too soon or slap two up in the same day, I don't think.

    And, although the thing about changing the name of The Madness of King George III is, indeed, true, it has always made me just a teensy bit huffy. Any American who would be inclined to go to a movie like that would be smart enough to understand that the title referred to the king known as George III and not that it was the third movie about a king named George. Sometimes Europeans overestimate our stupidity.

  38. No, martillo -- I've just gotten home. Early out day for us.

  39. Hank/Martillo - hehe!

    BB - my favourite Manon is Manon Lescaut, although I think the name was delibertely chosen on that account for Manon des sources.

    Montana: we can has an Untrusted Rugby & LOTR pleeze? By the way, how is your LOTR reading getting on?

  40. "That is an urban myth isn't it Hank?"

    As all the US-hating liberals live in the leafier areas, martillo, I think it's more properly a suburban myth.

  41. Dinner time... have fun, and maybe we should move this to the UT...

  42. Thauma: afraid I got to @ page 112 or so and decided I'd rather stab myself with quilting needles than continue. We can have whatever you want, blog-wise. It only takes a few minutes to get one going, but you and Jay would be on your own as far as posting articles. The only thing I know about rugby is that there's Rugby League and Rugby Union and my friend from Bradford thinks that Rugby Union is a load of crap.

    Hank: I think suburban myths could be a whole new genre.

  43. OMG, Montana, and I thought you were a woman of discrimination. You did take my advice and skip the intro, yes?

    Your friend is iffy too cos I think rugby league is a load of crap. I say that having never actually watched it, but I know they have funny rules. Anyway, they don't have anything like Six Nations or the World Cup.

    I think the urban/suburban myth thing is pretty much covered by snopes.com, although there are a fair few contributors here who could make them MUCH more entertaining! That's not at all a bad idea.... Contest for the best suburban myth?

  44. "...and maybe we should move this to the UT..."

    Without wishing to come over all billp, or indeed Hank, there is a danger in setting up too many specialist strands within the site, ie that there's very little traffic, people view the main site and forget there are others etc. Just my view, montana, but would have thought that footie chat, rugger, youtube etc can all be comfortably accommodated on the free-ranging daily chat.

    If any of those topics kick off a debate, then maybe they could be moved to Untrusted2 at that point.

    I'd rather just have the two strands tbh, especially if, as scherfig and martillo have said, the topic for discussion on U2 doesn't always need to be serious or worthy.

    Things can be spread too thin.

  45. Hank, I was joking about the rugby & LOTR - it's just that some people unaccountably seemed to find the topics boring after the 300th post or so. Some people have no taste at all.

  46. Thauma, sorta guessed that, and I don't want to get into that debate again! Regretted doing so first time around...

    ...but the point stands about youtubing, footie etc plus all the lunatic fringe interests like rugger, that there's space for them all on the daily chat if there's a separate strand for the
    political/serious stuff for those like me who have no sense of humour.

    Btw, kiz, if you happen to be browsing...I meant what I said the other day. I will walk away if that's what's needed to get you back on here. I apologise for what I said to you but not what I said about Cif.

    But I've now decided for the sake of my sanity that I won't be returning in any guise to Cif and, hopefully, as a result, I won't get so outraged or obnoxious when their reps turn up on here.

    So, olive branch. I have felt very conscious the last few days that I might have damaged this blog, and I like montana too much to absolve myself of blame easily.

    I like what montana and martillo have come up with here, and I would be happy to spend my time here. But if, in doing so, I split the regulars, the guys who make this place what it is, then I am prepared to do the decent thing.

  47. Hank

    lunatic fringe interests like rugger

    Lunatic fringe! Off with your head!

    Oh, and I've never actually met anyone else who calls it 'rugger', but maybe that's just because I don't move in the right circles. ;-)

    On that note ... night all!

    This time word validation is 'wingr' - is that 'winger' or 'whinger', d'you reckon?

  48. Yeah, frankly, I don't want to see too many different "threads" either. My own inclination is that the two ought to be enough.

    Thauma: I was thinking more along the lines of

    Urban myth = there are alligators in the New York City sewers because people flush unwanted pet baby alligators down the toilet.

    Suburban myth = there are people in this world who drink white wine with beef.

  49. Well, glad I've managed to generate a debate anyway. That's a first.

    You're wrong of course, montana. Round my way we all enjoy spritzers with beef-flavoured Monster Munch. We don't know whether we're aspirational or drinking on a budget.

  50. Hank, I'm afraid my knowledge of suburbia is pretty limited. I've heard of suburbs, but I've never seen one up close. I couldn't even name a type of white wine because I'm not too sure what is what. I'm vaguely aware that people who do drink wine say that white goes with fish & chicken and red goes with beef. Not sure what one is supposed to drink with lamb or pork. 'Round here, we wash everything down with Coca-cola.

  51. Oh, bless you, montana, you're gonna be mighty perplexed when those hossless carriages pass you by xx

  52. Montana

    Suburban myth = there are people in this world who drink white wine with beef.

    Oh I say! Surely not!

  53. ...but would have thought that footie chat, rugger...

    rugger Hank? the only times I've heard that used to describe rugby was went it emanated from the mouths of people educated at Eton, Harrow or other similar institution.

    Am I giving away my bourgeois credentials or are you giving away yours? :-))

  54. I like the idea of another thread that can run for a few days, and which is on a specific topic. I think that it would be great if us posters here could write articles on a subject that we are particularly interested in or have knowledge of. The subject needn't always be 'serious', and hopefully it shouldn't be so specialized or arcane that it prohibits an interesting discussion even among posters who don't know much about it. We live to learn.
    I don't think anyone should be 'obliged' to write something, but the more the merrier. I don't think that a rota should be necessary, but an article should be allowed to stand alone for 2 or 3 days, and if another one is in the pipeline, then perhaps the writer could give a 'heads-up' on the thread in advance. We should also suggest and encourage articles from each other - between us all we have a broad spectrum of knowledge and experience of many diverse things.
    Perhaps some of us will find our 'niche' here and then sell the concept to the Guardian several times like eg. Kate Clanchy's unsurpassed knowledge of the dreadful nanny/cleaner problem, the grey economy, middle class guilt and Kosovan refugees. There's £80 from Cif right there just for making the effort!

    Anyway, that's my tuppence worth, and I'm prepared to show willing by writing something within the next week - suggestions welcome or I'll just find some old bollocks myself. Martillo's already shown the way, and there may shortly be something cinematic from Hank. As Peter Kay said, 'the world's our lobster'.

  55. I do like a mystery - but this is fucking silly where are my trousers?

  56. Montana

    Your friend from Bradford is a wise and honourable human being.

    In this life there are people who make sense - they have a feel for life so to speak.Your Bradfordian mate is one such person.

    Tell him/her that you also have a friend who was refused admittance to the Idle 'Workingman's' Club So he turned up on UT2 instead.


    Looking forward to the articles - Scherf and Hank and friends... I really am interested in questions of tax`evasion/avoidance.

  57. I'm not sure how well the Blogger format would lend itself to this, but I think you could probably have two or three posts a day by different people to comment on: what one person finds interesting might be incredibly dull to someone else. Obviously the threads wouldn't have to expire, but it would give a range of discussion as Cif does. If we want to go that way.

    As Scherfig says, a rota might not be required, but an etiquette that says "no more than three posts in 24 hours", or something.

    Either that or you'd need an editor to decide what gets posted, and that gets all too political and is also a lot of work for the editor (and Montana doesn't need the extra work, I'd think - unless she outsources it).

    Re tax: has any country ever tried an earmarked tax? By which I mean that the taxpayer gets to decide which pot their taxes go into. I've just paid a rather hefty sum in company tax, and I'd like to think that it's going to pay someone's pension or something, but in fact it'll pay for all sorts of things that I disagree with such as ID cards and Trident renewal and stupid Labour quangos.

    You'd probably only be able to earmark a certain portion of your taxes as there are all sorts of unglamourous things that tax pays for, but wouldn't it be a nice democratic touch to be able to designate what at least some of your tax money went to fund?

  58. good post scherf.

    I think one every few days is good. if its a topic someone isnt interested in they have the UT to sustain them, we've all survived on that fine so far so should be ok for a few days here and there when its a topic you dont fancy, IMO.

    Saw Doohnibor back on waddya.

    Anyway, yes, articles. I think it need to be low in expectation, meaning if someone just wants to write a paragraph or two about something they'd like to talk about, or learn more about, that should be fine too. If we get to the point where people feel they need to sit and craft a beautiful bit of prose with fascinating insights and original angles then lots of people just wont bother, i suspect, too much hassle and expectation.

    And people shouldnt feel they need to interest everyone, if they think only a few people will have any interest they should still write it. If Bru wants to do a piece on Greek jewellery she should still do it only if her and Kiz read it (and im not saying thats the case, it probably isnt, just an example, I have no qualms with jewellery talk at all and have never struggled with the "scroll on" method of dealing with things I dont personally find interesting). If i wrote something about rugby it'd probably only be me, Thaum, and... thaum and me, but i still think it would be valid.

  59. How about a two threads on the go system: one article and one on what we'll talk about next, where we can agree who goes next and when? The person who puts up the article could put up the "what next?" thread at the same time, so they're both at the top.

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