Newcastle United still in trouble despite recent run

Posted on December 8th, 2018 | 150 Comments |

Rafa Benitez at SJP.
Rafa – Not out of the woods yet.
Newcastle United host Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Sunday aiming to keep themselves clear of the relegation zone.

The Magpies have lost just one of their last six league matches to lie 14th in the table, four points above the bottom three.

However, last weekend’s 3-0 drubbing at home to West Ham United highlighted that manager Rafa Benitez still has a big job on his hands.

Newcastle were much improved at Everton in midweek, deservedly picking up a point courtesy of a 1-1 draw.

After a run of six games without a win, losing five times in that sequence, Wolves pulled off a shock 2-1 win over Chelsea on Wednesday. That result left them 12th in the table, six points ahead of Newcastle.

The home side are priced at 39/20 to win the game and you can learn more here about all the latest odds on the match.

Injuries and Suspensions.

Newcastle will welcome Matt Ritchie back from suspension this weekend, but they have now lost centre-back Fabian Schar to a one-match ban. A toe injury kept Kenedy out against Everton and he is doubtful for Sunday’s game.

Ruben Neves served a one-match ban in midweek and he is expected to return to the starting line-up despite the fact Wolves beat Chelsea in his absence.

Morgan Gibbs-White should retain his place up front after impressing against the Blues, but Jonny remains on the sidelines.

Previous Form.

Newcastle have held the upper hand over Wolves in recent years, losing just one of their last nine meetings in all competitions.

However, Wolves ran out 2-0 winners on their last league visit to St James’ Park back in September 2016 and it would be foolish to underestimate them this weekend.

Having climbed away from the drop zone in recent weeks it is vital that Newcastle keep picking up points over the next few games.

Upcoming fixtures against Huddersfield Town (A) and Fulham (H) both look winnable, but the Boxing Day trip to title-chasing Liverpool is a daunting proposition.

Subsequent matches against Watford (A) and Manchester United (H) also won’t be easy, but if Newcastle can enter the New Year further clear of the bottom three, they would have a decent platform to build on for the rest of the season.

Benitez’s side have done well to move off the bottom of the table, but they remain amongst at least seven sides who appear likely to be battling against relegation this term.

A healthy points return over the next few weeks would go a long way to easing some of the pressure around the club.

NUFCBlog Author: Frankly Various Frankly Various has written 67 articles on this blog.

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150 Responses

  1. After a tough start to the season, I think the next 3 games are crucial for us. Winning them could certainly (not to say we can’t be dragged back in) pull us out the relegation battle when it comes towards the end of the season and would be a great boost for the team and fans a like ready for the new year. However, to keep the momentum some key, proven players need to be acquired during the window. #toonarmy

  2. Worky just dropped in to wish you the very best in the new year.
    Don’t have a lot to do with NUFC these days while that “odious creature” still pulls the strings. Unfortunately at my age I’ll be gone before him. Only one of my grandchildren or indeed great grandchildren supported the Toon and he moved to France and is more interested in rugby union now. The creatures legacy will continue long after he has gone with future generations being lost.
    Lets hope something can be saved from his mess when and “if” he goes.

    Noticed Chucks absence which makes me fear the worst.

    Even the blogs are suffering from having a club with no hope or ambition. As much as the football I’ve missed your blog and the varied discussions we had.

    Sorry to be so negative but all the good things seem to be in the past with nothing much to look forward too where NUFC is concerned and don’t get me started on Brexit.
    Hope I’ve cheered you up!! lol

  3. Hi Nutmag, it is really good to hear from you again after all this time! I am also very sorry I didn’t reply to you sooner, I had a bit of a holiday from the blog over Christmas and the New Year until yesterday. I meant to reply after I put a blog up, but then I got a load of phone calls about fixing the plumbing in my kitchen, which has been flooding recently from the drains, which isn’t very nice!

    I was worried about Chuck as well, so I e.mailed him in June. He replied but I think he was travelling again and he was having problems logging in from his iPad. We were trying to work through it (with a little help from Hugh as well) and then he just stopped replying. I might try sending him another e.mail. I really hope he’s ok, even though he is an old curmudgeon who drives me potty and insults me, I do like him for some strange reason. I miss you as well when you don’t come on here, you don’t have to just discuss football!

    On the football, I have been a fan since the 1970s when I was a bairn, but I must admit I find it a test of endurance to watch the games nowadays, and do it out of a sense of duty. It’s the lack of goals more than anything right now.

  4. Yo ! fear not ! as I kinda felt a bit bored with NUFC and their scmuck of an owner..
    Anyhow seasons greeting’s to y’all, still got an interest in watching football, especially the championship teams and their run in, reminds me of the old first division style of play with a bit more technique, whereas the premier sides play a more predictable technique, from the back out, a bit “tika taka”possesion, a high defensive line and all employ the fast break, predictable and one that cancels out the old kick and rush style (a more exciting game that emphasized English football) and made it a more entertaining game.
    I was wondering how long it would take before English sides looked more like NBA Basketball teams, with a point guard bringing the ball up-court and everyone in place with highly organized set plays continually rotating
    .Effective and highly technical but also a bit boring and predictable.

    Their was an interesting article by of all people two American writers, an excerpt from a recently published book concerning the resignation of the former EPL guy Scudamore and the future of the EPL, published in “The “Guardians Long Read”, I think you would find interesting, concerns the possible threatened formation of a super league, the pressure coming from the likes of PSG, The Manchester teams, especially Citeh and those owned by massive money, who naturally demand more of the tv revenues, I predict big changes over the next few years.
    I would like to expound on the madness in both the US Congress and the UK Parliament instead I will direct you to another “Guardian Journal” article by the Irish writer “Fintan O’Toole” that I believe nailed the whole Brexit thing as no British writer has had the balls to admit too yet .namely the article “It was never about Europe, Brexit is a very British neurosis”

  5. Chuck! It’s good to see you back on here. So you’re sick of watching all the triangles then? What I’ve been sick of, up until the last game was sitting every week watching the Magpies and waiting for them to score. They did score three in the last game of course, but two of those came from a part-time defender who doesn’t usually play.

    We have a terrible government here, they’ve completely ruined everything and everything springs from that, including the current mess over Brexit. I’m no fan of the EU, they’re the same old neoliberal bastards that you have over there in abundance really, but the fact that it so hard to get out now tends to indicate that if it was left any longer, it would be impossible to extricate ourselves as the EU agglomerates into the United States of Europe.

  6. Yes I know this is primarily a football blog, but i’m pretty bored with the whole shebang. NUFC and Ashley.

    A crap side with a crap owner, going nowhere, except perhaps relegated to the championship, where I think they play a more entertaining game,

    BIG clubs can go play their boring possession tika taka football in some super league, being I prefer a bit of kick and run stuff, devoid of the constant diving, shirt pulling and other acts presently dominating the EPL.

    I have been following Brexit closely, I just find it hard to believe how the public are being treated, with absolutely no say in the matter and neither party showing any sense of purpose .

    It’s gonna be tough attempting to survive under WTO rules, better to stay within the EU as a member than adrift outside of the worlds largest economic community.

    Even though there are compromises that could make it worthwhile, leave the NI statelet within the EU customs zone would be a start, being demographics show their will be a nationalist majority in NI by the year 2022, which would inevitably evoke a call for vote of reunification,

    Unfortunately the quality of to-days parliamentarians leaves a lot to be desired
    that includes those of all parties.

    However to continue with basically nothing to offer and to leave a comfortable spot in the worlds largest market, will not be remembered with any form of respect from the electorate, as the country goes from the worlds largest Empire to what may become the pound store of the High St. in less than seventy five years, ah well !

  7. Chuck
    Sorry if I inferred you’d “Turned up your toes” “Popped your clogs”or “Snuffed it”
    It just seems I have lost a lot of friends just lately. Being of an certain age I have realized I know more people in the churchyard now than are not.
    Continuing with the age thing: I was at that young age and listening to my father and uncles talking about Hughie Gallacher and the likes, but was unable to go to SJP because of one man. The man had no interest in football his aims and ambitions lay elsewhere his name Adolf Hitler. He had to be got rid of before I could get my wish and see the Toon play.
    Funny here I am again in the same situation at end of my life as I was at the beginning one man stopping me going to SJP Unfortunately who will go first him or me?

    Parasites will only leave their hosts when their hosts don’t feed them any more!
    So its odds on I won’t be going back to SJP.
    Joe good to hear from you again, all we have to do now is get on the same thread l.o.l.
    I’m sure even if there is little joy or hope at the Toon these days we can still have a good natter on here as we used too back when this was by far the best blog!

  8. Nutmag,

    I don’t know much about it as I wasn’t there, but didn’t they have a wartime league in the days of Hitler? That’s why Jackie Milburn was ousted by Shearer as Newcastle’s highest goalscorer, Milburn still scored more, but his early ones were in the wartime league so they weren’t counted.

    I’ve been facing my own mortality in my fifties, the doctor at Barts told me that I’ve already had at least one heart attack, but being a daft Geordie, at the time I just brushed it off as a bad reaction to a new tablet I had taken that day.


    You know that I used to be a huge fan of the Johan Cruyff approach to football, but I must admit that I get rather bored with all the triangles nowadays too. Things have their time, reach their zenith, then start a descent into boredom.

    On Brexit, once David Cameron opened Pandora’s Box, it couldn’t be closed again. The whining remainers who want a second vote are very fanatical now, but many of them couldn’t even be bothered to walk down to the polling station to vote to remain when they had the chance in 2016. If we Brexit under this current Government, there will undoubtedly be some significant consequences. The Conservatives wanted a right wing Brexit where working people’s rights (and wages) are further eroded to the point where we are no better than livestock, and being one of THE most incompetent administrations in Parliamentary history, they have made a complete and utter mess of the negotiations. However, if they ignore the votes of over 17 million people who won the referendum, that will have its own consequences too.

    As for me, I’m torn like my MP, Jeremy Corbyn. Like him I don’t really like the EU, I think it is an undemocratic and neoliberal, but we have become so entwined with it through things like Maastricht and the Lisbon Treaty that it is going to be a nightmare to extricate ourselves from it, but, going back to Cruyff again, he once said that every disadvantage has its advantage.

  9. Worky
    The war time football from my sketchy childhood memory was more like reginal friendlies with very restrictive gates. The reason for me not seeing any of them was more the war itself and logistics. A visit to Newcastle was a twenty odd mile bus journey and not easy at that time.Then and I think more importantly my mother on a trip to Newcastle for something reported to be on sale which wasn’t readily available during the war was caught in an air raid. It was late at night by the time she got home with only a big bag of apples. I can understand her reluctance to see me and my dad spending a whole day at risk for a football game. I waited till the war was over and did that journey most Saturdays on an old bicycle in all weathers to see my hero’s. Not knowing then that these would be my halcyon days

  10. Aye, they do say that the past is a foreign country. My mother was 17 at the end of the war, she’d hardly ever been to school, and my dad was in the navy until 1946. I still have his papers and his medals. He was a tough little bugger but he was only 5’5″, so he was perfect for that job as the bunks on a war ship was no place for giants. He looked a bit like Harry Hill when I was a bairn. He used to talk about the war like it was one long holiday in places like Bombay and Calcutta, but sometimes, he did used to mention the more horrific parts too.

  11. One would think that a game between Citeh and Liverpool would be looked forward too, yet the games already played in my opinion were fairly boring, two sides attempting to employ the same tactical game over their opponents.

    yes you are right and in fact I have heard from many this season that games from the championship league are much more entertaining, in comparison with the football played by either of the above mentioned sides.

    I always thought that Arsene Wenger sides with their pretty angled passing along the sideline at midfield was a waste of time and his record though not entirely poor, was proof of the fact not only had he misinterpreted tika taka, but that the club then bestowed loads of praise on a manager who is still looking to manage a winning side.

    I believe his worth came as a yes man, not spending on the right players or miss- playing them, he could have be described as being the right man at the right time, not spending a great deal on players while the club were absorbing a big hit following the building of a brand new stadium.

    Of course the main force behind to days most popular style is now coaching at Citeh and it’s doubtful whether he can change.
    My attitude being for the sake of viewers and the clubs in general, this
    style has become both predictable and to a degree boring, perhaps with Bielsa and Leeds next season we may in fact see something of a change.

    Something new in how sides set up and with Bielsa who knows how his sides can effect change in a tactical sense.

    On looking around one see’s only continental or So. American managers,
    took em a long time to get rid of the old retreads, apart from Forest’s recent hiring of O’Neill, good luck with that, gonna need it, but if it signifies the end of people like O’Neill and Keane, so be it.

    One may think I am in favor of Kick and run football by reading the above, sorry i’m awaiting the development of a more practical and less
    predictable version of football and where better for it to develop than in the EPL, with it’s regime of top coaches, players and facilities (notice I have left out the officials) who are IMO responsible for many of the games problems, especially by ignoring the video replays.

    One has to be concerned by the sudden retirement of the head of the
    EPL Rich. Scudamore, who obviously sees troubled waters from such clubs as PSG, Juventus, Citeh, the clubs with owners who have unlimited funds and who want a decent return on their investment, being football is now big bucks plus the fact there have been re -occurring rumors of the possibility of a European super league.

    Scudamore who took over the EPL at a time when they actually paid tv stations to show EPL games and turned it into a league with revenues of 1.1b. pounds from many of those tv organizations they once paid.
    As for NUFC , I see nothing better than we have seen yet under our beloved owner, who will lose the best manager we have had since SBR
    for refusing to spend.
    The only answer to dumping or forcing a sale of the club is ‘a big ask’, a complete boycott would do it, apart from the fact there are too many NUFC addicts.


    a contract that earned them approcudamore, wo increased the leagues income from a division that paid people to watch their games, to one that last year



    epl’sthe EPL from a league that used to pay tv providers to show their games and earned almost nothing, to a super league with an income of 1.1billion quid


  12. I like watching Mohammed Salah though, he’s very good, I just get a bit bored with it all nowadays. The Formula One is the same, it’s as boring as well compared with how it used to be. What do you think about Trump and Venezuela then? I think what happens next is going to be the standard US formula, like Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua etc…

    I think you are forgetting that Wenger won alot of trophies, including three league titles, Seven FA Cups and seven Charity Shields. I think Arsene Wenger liked to patiently mould young players into his type of players over time, but as the money in football got bigger and bigger, the other big teams just became a circus with all the top players and it became harder and harder to compete in the league with Wenger’s approach. When he brought in Ozil and Sanchez that was a bit of a turning point.

    As for Bielsa the mad Professor, his teams are very methodical and tippy tappy too, but he’s certainly seems to be bringing a bit of excitement to the Championship with his tactics, his spying antics and his OCD. It looks like Leeds might be making a return to the highest level currently, but you never know what might happen with Bielsa, he walked out of Lazio before he even managed one game. He then went to Lille and lasted 19 games there.

  13. Yes Bielsa needs to stay at Leeds for a while, to prove how good a manager he is, it’s well known that unless given control he can up and quit.
    Not only he, but it’s also understood he requires players with a little more nous, being his tactics are known to be both complicated and therefor require a bit more brain power.

    Looks like Ashley has bought a couple of players, a Paraguyan forward who is supposedly very fast and has a goal scoring touch, the other a young defender from Monaco, who have become the best selling club in france, which this year alone sold some of the best talent in Europe.

  14. Chuck, I think the Paraguayan is more than a midfielder than a striker, we need a striker. In the parsimonious world of Mike Ashley where money has to be spent carefully, we definitely need a striker more than a defender. We haven’t been letting in loads of goals with a crap defence, we’ve been failing to score them with crap strikers so the defence can be tight and have a good game, and we still only get 0-0. It’s shite to watch as well.

  15. Well that was so disappointing after recent triumphs. I must admit that Benitez proved me wrong on Tuesday, holding back Fabian Schar for the Man City game, where he gave another excellent performance and we won against the odds. At Spurs, although they dominated the possession and so on (as Man City did), we held up well and counter-punched, but the game for us was encapsulated by two chances, Perez faffing around nervously when he had the goal in front of him, and Son being in a roughly similar position and just banging it into the net. They did do well on Tuesday but it’s so obvious that we need a better quality striker above everything else, this is especially true as we’re playing a counter attacking game where we’ll get one chance every now and again, and we need a real finisher to make the most of limited opportunities.

  16. Forward midfielder ? who can differentiate these days, what I have read is the guy’s both fast and has a nose for goal, about time now that Perez has proven to be nothing more than a spare tyre, and should be sold.

    The question is will Benitez quit or will two signings be enough to keep him around, why not where would he go, he has proved to be one of the best managers in the league.

    At an old primarily top division club, that with an owner who is ambitious could it would be nice to see what Rafa cold do with the kinda dosh the top six or perhaps sixteen PL sides have, with just about every club in both the PL and championship having owners with pounds to spare and I consider what Rafa has done with chump change to be exceptional, but unfortunately Ashley continues to hang around like a bad smell.

    Ah well !

  17. Aye, Ashley’s a even worse than Theresa May when it comes to hanging around like a ‘bad smell.’

    As for Benitez, though he did do better than he should have done last season in 10th, he’s only been holding his own this season so far bearing in mind what he has at his disposal. Then again, it was like that last season until they rallied towards the end.

  18. Yeah these two signings, young guys around the same age, old enough to be decent journeymen, yet not that well known we should be jumping for joy.
    Our forward// mid-fielder, appears to have a nose for goal , plus his acknowledged speed and decent left foot could give Perez something to be concerned about , being if he is successful he should fill that #10 spot behind Rondon.

    As for our left back/ come left wing back, who apparently has been used as a wing back at former clubs he, also has a turn of speed and will match up with our fast paced righ wing/back Yedlin who appears to be improving to give that extra needed speed on the fast break, which is used consistently by Rafa .

    If possible following survival in the PL, I would certainly reconsider in the offer from Fulham Cairns I believe for Shelvey, who in my opinion is unstable and worse injured a lot.
    it’s my hope that Benitez can keep his cool and stay with the club, it being IMO
    where he best needed and it would be nice to see a side with a bit of quality.
    and a competitive spirit, instead of a bunch of n name unwanted no-body’s.

  19. Chuck, if you were Benitez, would you stay?

    I must say though that looking at our last 2 seasons in the Premier League under Benitez, the team haven’t shown much ‘competitive spirit’ (as you put it) in the first two thirds or three quarters of the season. They seem to flirt with the bottom three for much of the season, then pull their socks up at the end where they lurch up the table and finally gain repectability. Even in the Championship, it looked like Hughton’s Brighton was going to win it with a far more modest group of players, it was only in the very last knockings of the season that we managed to snatch the trophy from the Seagulls.

  20. If I were Benitez would I stay ?, I certainly understand his willingness to improve the club, however as you may have noticed, we have an owner who cares little and spends accordingly.
    However I can see what attracts Rafa to the club, obviously it needs an overhaul and a completely new business model, in fact a new owner willing to spend an amount equal to that of a top ten PL club.

    And I believe Rafa could play a major role in the restructuring of the club, building from the youth ranks will like Monaco require a top level scouting system, plus good coaching, being I believe developing from within would suit the club, unlike say Citeh, who this season fired a whole defensive system and introduced a new set of defenders, great stuff if you can afford it, but who really can, being such wealthy clubs as PSG, Citeh, Juventus, etc having spent like drunken sailors are now looking to recover some of that money from higher revenues, it’s well known that the top EPL sides have a program in place to ensure they receive a good deal more than the lower placed sides, they just don’t have the votes to force it through.
    However I believe with Rafa in charge a new owner with ambition and a few bucks spent NUFC could rightfully claim their proper place, not as a side that
    rconstantly fights relegation , but one that competes for silverware.
    Though as long as Ashley remains as owner we can fogedaboudit !


  21. It could have been done back in the days of John Hall, but now, even if Ashley had a Scrooge like conversion and pumped £100s of millions into the club, it would still struggle to get in the top group. As I once mentioned in an old story, we were judged to be in top five in the world according to Deloitte once, above Barcelona! We didn’t win any trophies of course but still… It would be Europa League rather than the Champions League nowadays though. Even teams like Arsenal and Manchester United are ending up there now as it is just so competitive.

    I know you like the expression, Chuck, but I doubt I’ll ever see a drunken sailor spend as much as Man City!

  22. Unfortunately any discussion about present day NUFC must always revert to that well known “philanthropist” owner Ashley.
    Fact being with relatively modest amounts of investments in the transfer windows since Rafa’s arrival could have seen a whole different picture.
    Good teams are possible, if built with a belief and knowledge of the game.
    Rafa once stated he could manage a team on a limited budget. The vital thing being he needs the players of his choice to fill the roles in “His Team”.
    This means some players that don’t fit in or are unable to adapt must leave Hell even KK sold players like Andy Cole. I know it was a different time but Brian Clough didn’t build his teams with expensive stars. Yes I know he broke the £1m record for Trevor Frances The difference between the calibre of Rafa and the likes of Alan Pardew is frightening. I wouldn’t trust Pardew to buy a coffee.
    Selling Mitrovic has financially gone a long way in the cost of our new signing, a player Rafa things will fit and needs for one that did not.

    “Every penny” if only!!

  23. Look folks the EPL is currently all about money, it has the best players in general,, plays a less than boring style of football and ended up with earnings of 1.1b quid in tv revenues.

    All of which may be threatened by the wealthy clubs such as Citeh, PSG and, well you all know the names, also the top EPL clubs are threatening action and are attempting to cajole votes from the lower clubs to enable them to earn more from those same tv revenues, which as of now has been rejected.

    However those larger clubs now require a higher return on their investments
    and are threatening to initiate a new super league that would dominate Europe, even though retaliation from both FIFA & EUAFA by banning players from the world cup involved in those leagues has been threatened.

    Of course we are all aware how crooked both FIFA & UEFA are, plus players fortunate enough to play in such a league wouldn’t care as from a players point of view it’s also about money.

    On NUFC once a giant in both the First Division and EPL, with it’s tight fisted owner, has almost become an elevator side, were it not for the good management of both Hughton and Benitez.

    Time to get this “gadgie” outta here by employing a serious boycott, which the present fans will reject, being they are addicted to St. James’ and it’s sides no matter how bad, perhaps they should look back over the last ten years and
    realise the damage that has been done to this club and therefor once and for all time send this scrooge on his way.


  24. Chuck
    I agree 100% about boycott I haven’t been back since 08/09 season and that after 70 years of support.
    Tv cameras panning around an empty stadium would do more than all the banners, bed sheets and chants. Ashley knows this he also knows a few words to Sky News like “the club is for sale” or “we have four interested buyers” when protests are threatened and or its a transfer window. Again I say it your American saying “Never give a sucker an even break” it works every time for him.

  25. Yes of course a Boycott of St. James’ Park a complete or near complete boycott , the only weapon that could move Ashley.

    Not introduced by the ridicules bed sheet brigade, “though they deserve a certain amount of credit” for being active, being the rest of the fans are no more than sheep, unwilling to take a week off , even though that week may
    be the one that forces our dear leader to go in peace.

    Sure they show up week after week to watch a team of no names, whose main opponents are the bottom feeders of the EPL, better to have an owner who actually cares about winning as opposed to a cheapskate who makes a living via being Cheap.

    Ah well ! one of these days he will certainly leave, the sooner the better, but don’t rely on the fans to force it to happen, being they are no more than a bunch of sheep.

  26. Chuck, whilst we’re on the subject of revolution, I am reading a fairly epic biography of the United States’ greatest citizen, Thomas Paine at the moment. I am at the stage where Paine is settled in Philadelphia, ‘Common Sense’ has been published to rave reviews and recordbusting sales, and the idea of revolution and an American ‘Brexit’ all starts to ‘kick off’. It made me think about you and your views on the current Brexit. As you are a ‘Remainiac’ does this mean that you also disagreed with the US’s decision to face an isolated and uncertain future outside the largest trading block of the late 1700s? After all, it has all gone so disastrously in hindsight, you must surely want your side of the pond to return to the bosom of the old mother country?

  27. Look Thomas Paine is one of the few hero’s I have and played a major role in the founding of the US and it’s constitution, however one must remember who the revolutionaries were.

    For the most part Slave owners, which generated enormous wealth through slavery and relied on the Brits to supply their slave markets, there were also New England factory owners, but few moneyless individuals, though what they presented both as a political system, with a constitution and bill of rights had to be acceptable to the majority.

    I see very little in common between Brexit and the American Revolution, being most trade had taken place between the America & the Caribbean and of course Britain, plus the country then was in it’s infancy with plenty of land and raw materials, better to remain untaxed by some country an ocean away.

    It was the beginning of what has a common reference “our manifest destiny” which was a reference too the eventual purchases of the French claimed land west of the Mississippi, Alaska ,and of course the absorbing through force of the Spanish colonies of the west and southwest.

    Since then we have done pretty good, becoming the largest economy in the world and as a great trading nation, which has also in a military sense saved your ass on more than one occasion.
    And as far as a comparison with he former British Empire now a small nation off the coast of mainland Europe and that of the empire of late 1700’s, one was an empire the other now the remnants of one.

    It certainly doesn’t take a genius to project Britain’s future outside the worlds largest trading block, having to deal with WTO rules and regs. and attempting to become a greater Britain than it was within that trading block.

    As for your politicians, god help you, sure we got The Donald, but we also have full employment a healthy stock market and full employment, I get calls to see if I want to return to work on a daily basis.
    Plus he will be gone in a couple of years, a lesson to all voters, careful what you ask for.

    If the UK fails to get a decent deal from Brexit it may very well become the
    Dollar/pound store of the worlds markets, as opposed to the more successful former colonies such as Singapore or Hong Kong, which some have indicated would be an ambition.

  28. Hopefully an entertaining game to-day vs. Wolves, a top ten side who have spent their way into the PL by laying out over a hundred million quid, the answer to the question “what does it take to achieve success in football”
    Yeah both Wolves and the Magpies were dominant sides in the old first division and both had some success in the early post war years, the Toon during the early fifties and Wolves in he late fifties and early sixties.

    It’s nice to see the return to the top division of some of the one time decent first division sides and I am looking forward to seeing Bielsa’s Leeds next season, that’s if hopefully we are still PL member.

    15 minutes until k’off

  29. Not much of a game, though I cant say I blame Rafa, having to play that boring defensive game, with the hope of gaining a couple of goals through a fast break.

    Young Longstaff was impressive at times, plus our new striker looked decent in the few moments he got tp play, so look out for those two welcome additions.

    I was upset with the ref in the dying minutes who appeared desperate to give Wolves an opportunity to even the score by adding time to the game and ignoring what could easily be described as a free kick against our goalie.

    it appears that the present bunch of EPL refs. are terrible and whatever happened to checking many of their calls via the video tape, to ensure the ref was right, I believe that’s why it was introduced.

    Well gaining an away point from a decent side is nothing to sniff at, but we need points badly and can only hope there are worse sides than us who go down.

  30. That’s just ruined another week for me, 95th frigging minute!

    Of course, you are right about the so-called ‘Founding Fathers’ and their slaves, Chuck. As Samuel Johnson said of them: “How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?” As for Paine, he was an Abolitionst with no slaves, but his abolitionism was rather half-hearted for someone whose canon was built so much on liberty and equality. Looking at it from another angle, your struggle for indpendence over there was part of a bigger struggle between the old enemies, the British and the French.

    The way people are carrying on about Brexit is ridiculous. We should have known really because of all the divisiveness kicked up by the Scottish referendum and that was in a country of only 5 million.

  31. Ah well, too late to do anything about the Wolves game, other than ban these terrible refs for a number of weeks where they could watch the game they just screwed up and perhaps it would induce them to ask to see the video tape in future, as most of us get many of the calls wrong ourselves and constantly change our minds on viewing the issue seen from a different perspective.

    It appears the magic number of points needed to survive in the top division (according to Rafa.) is around the high thirties, in which case we need to win quite a few games in the final run in.

    Hoever I was not really impressed by either the tactical or technical efforts of the Toon, we really need help if we are to be regular top ten side, the signing of two relatively young players is no doubt helpful, but it may take a lotta dosh to improve this side, to ensure there is no relegation struggle season after season.
    All of which depends on whether Benitez decides this is where he wants to be and of course until he and Ashley reach an agreement they can both live with,

    The other alternative looks something like the position Sunderland has found itself in, or grinding out games against championship sides who now have some money and each of them want to be he next Liecester or Wolves.

    Actually the decision is up-to our dear owner, who I wish would just sell the club.

  32. Chuck, even playing Championship would be a dream for Sunderland now, they’re still in League One. Now Ashley IS bad, make no mistake, but if he’s bad, how bad was Ellis Short? (He left a few months ago). Don’t say that going down to League One would be a good thing because that would get rid of Ashley too.

    We have a cheapskate team, but I’m quite optimistic, we need a hitman to go with our new playmaker, like Beardsley and Cole. The rest of the team aren’t Man City or Liverpool but they don’t let many goals in, it’s just that we can’t even score a goal a game on average and because of that, we’re always on the backfoot trying to play for a 0-0 draw or if we’re lucky, hold on to a one goal lead. It’s quite painful to watch 38 times a year as well.

  33. Yeah I realize that Sunderland are still struggling in the first division and we could quite easily end up being relegated once more, it all reflects the fact that Thatcher’s de-industrialization has had it’s effect on those formally industrial areas of The North, which following Thatchers policies became poorer and therefor couldn’t compete with areas of the country, London and the south coast being examples.
    It becomes obvious when one looks at the west midlands where a once decent group of clubs are now playing in the lower divisions, certainly that once strong group of Villa, WBA & Birmingham are more or less stuck there.
    It’s my belief that Rafa., has just about had it , as far as our dear leader is concerned, NUFC, has suffered from a lack of money for the last ten years and it’s certainly doubtful whether Rafa would be willing to live with the continual attempt to maintain a PL position, without the monitory changes required, including a renewal of the youth system or add the necessary players needed on an annual basis.

    My advice is get used to becoming a regular elevator side like WBA, or acquire a wealthy owner, or at least one who has the best interests of the club at heart.


  34. Chuckles, yes, Thatcher’s deindustrialisation of the North and Midlands had a terrible cost generally, however in football your hypothesis falls down when you consider that two of the worst places in ‘Thatcher’s Britain’ were Liverpool and Manchester, Aston Villa bobbed around in the Premier League, having peaks and troughs well into the 2000s as well.

    On the contrary, when Thatcher was ripping the heart out of Britain and unemployed people were all over the place, that was when English football was at its zenith and English clubs won the European Cup for fun, Nottingham Forest (twice), Liverpool (twice under Thatcher) and even Aston Villa!

  35. Well NUFC has had the misfortune to end up with a cheapskate owner, who’s whole life is a series of cheapskate moves and is unlikely to change, in which case the club will not change it’s policies.
    But that’s only one of the clubs problems, the now all powerful EPL, with it’s enormous tv revenues is about to come under attack, the wealthier sides demanding a larger share of the revenues, which the less wealthy sides hold the majority when it comes to a vote, there are other clubs, mainly top European sides who find themselves spending more than they are earning and realize the only alternative is to invent and operate a super league, which though the controlling bodies FIFA and EUAFA are against it, which tv providers wouldn’t want to have a European super League as their main moneymaker.
    Why did Scudamore the head of the EPL who did such a sterling job of bringing the EPL from a league that paid tv providers to show the leagues games, to one which now earns revenues of over a billion quid a year.

    Yes folks the future does not look bright, depending on how one looks at national leagues who may struggle as new alliance’s are put in place such as a super league consisting of the best sides in Europe, something possibly long overdue and there is also the alternative of other leagues to rival the super leagues.

    Ah impossible you say, look both major organizations both EUAFA and FIFA are corrupt and it’s time they were replaced, their only real threat against the establishment is to ban players from the newly established leagues would be to ban players from playing international football, which do you really think players who earn hundreds of thousands give a damn about playing in an international shirt, I think not !
    Yes football will, following that amazing run by the EPL under Scudamore in earnings want, in fact have to increase their earnings in order to pay the present outrageous wages payed to top players.

  36. Not the European Superleague again, Chuck, you’re obsessed with it! Even though the teams who will go in it will be big teams, it will be the end of teams being where they are through winning and merit, it will be by wealth as the teams won’t be relegated, hence it will no longer be a real competition, it will just be a charade. Some teams which are big teams that are used to winning now but just scrape into this superleague might have to get used to losing most of the time and coming bottom. It will be like a circus, I wouldn’t like it at all. I think you write about it constantly just to wind me up!

    This book I’m reading about Tom Paine is pretty good so far, it’s called ‘Tom Paine – A Political Life’ by John Keane and I’d recommend it if you haven’t read it already.

  37. Not really obsessed by a Super league, though I do enjoy watching the top euro-sides play one and other, just believe money and pressure will eventually force big changes and the fact any future corrupt controlling bodies will be just as amenable to the money clubs as FIFA and UEFA were.

    As for those not chosen, they could quite easily form a rival league, who the hell knows, but you can be sure such wealthy clubs as PSG and Juventus are not prepared to play in their present leagues much longer, earning less than their rivals in the EPL and Spanish leagues.

    You appear to think a system that relies on relegation and promotion is a requirement, there is no such system in regard to clubs in pro-sports in the US, just a comfortable little group where everyone makes money and the sides with the worst records get first pick of the top players coming out of the college or minor leagues.

    In which case money will take care of any super league, plus don’t worry about UEFA and FIFA banning players from the world cup, being they will be adequately rewarded
    and both those two regulatory groups may just fade away.

  38. As for Brexit, I had a feeling that the only strategy in Mays playbook, was going to be “The Backstop” plus it’s my belief she felt she could force it upon a reluctant Ireland and the EU

    Unfortunately for May Gt. Britain is not the once powerful country it was, meaning you can’t make agreements then disregard them a few years down the road, the so called Good Friday agreement has to be protected and Ireland is not alone in that reasoning..

    I read articles in the UK press about Irish borders, there are no Irish borders, apart from those imposed by the UK,
    who have the impression they can arrive and force change whenever they want, perhaps it’s politicians could learn something from the present situation.

    I foresee The Scots coming out of this present crazy situation called Brexit, with a demand for another referendum now that these idiots in parliament have got everyone in such a screwed up situation and immediately apply to rejoin the EU, plus no doubt the NI politico’s will also demand a devolution.

    I cant understand why the Tory’s didn’t use the Statelet of NI it being a present member of the EU Customs Union, and the fact that they voted overwhelmingly to stay, it would have solved the entire problem.

    No Theresa May felt she could bully the Republic into folding over the backstop, which aint gonna happen.

    The referenda was both a waste of time and has left the UK
    in an impossible situation, one that could have been solved long ago, had it not been for the idiots in Parliament.

    And I mean all parties, specially the leadership of the two main parties, and one has to rank Corbyn right up there, I mean has he yet declared whether he is in favor or against a Brexit.

    He needs to go back to the back benches where no doubt he belongs, especially having had a free run in the parliament vs. an idiotic stubborn opposite number, but what does he do, gets involved with an anti Israeli situation, idiot !


  39. Chuck, whether I agree with it or not, I don’t have a problem understanding Jeremy Corbyn’s position on Brexit. He voted remain, he can’t overturn it and force a new one, he doesn’t have the votes and it would be undemocratic. Could you imagine Scotland if the Nationalists won the referendum, then David Cameron saying the result was wrong and there was going to be another vote? What’s really happening is that the blame is being passed over to Corbyn by his enemies, even though Brexit was conceived and executed by David Cameron and the Conservatives, and now, Theresa May, who was absolutely terrible at negotiating a deal. When you open Pandora’s Box you can’t close it again and just go back to normal. In my book on Thomas Paine, he’s having his Corbyn moment where he’s being constantly maligned in the press by the rich and powerful over the Silas Deane affair.

    You can’t hide it, Chuck, it’s obvious that you are obsessed with a European Super League.

  40. It would be undemocratic to overturn the result of the referenda ?

    Better IMO than this mad decision to leave the worlds largest market and attempt to survive as a trading nation within WTO rules.

    When the people of Ireland voted against the European Union’s referenda, on the new constitution they were the only country protesting the fact they were never given prior knowledge of what the new constitution stated, nor the fact it was almost as long and twice as boring as war and peace and as it turns out few politico’s had actually read the full length of the constitution themselves, so in fact some good came out of the situation.

    Anyway it proved to be a lesson to the EU, that not everything is going to get an immediate green light because it is the view of certain important European leaders.

    As far as I am concerned, Theresa May is a stubborn loser
    determined now to take the UK into uncharted waters
    on a quest to do what, with it’s industry rusting away and on the wrong side of the EU fence, the future looks grim.

    As for leadership, there is no leadership May has proven to have made all the wrong decisions and insists on standing by them.

    As for opposition we have the one time backbencher, an elderly Marxist who had the greatest opportunity to topple May had he been willing to declare he was anti-Brexit or in fact to declare anything, resulting in he being charged by members of his own party of being an anti semite, idiot !

    You say it’s Corbyn’s enemies in the Labour Party, now there’s where the problem lies, both Tory and Labour voters positions on Brexit are confused and undecided, and as far as I can see the best result would be for all present parties to reject Brexit while it’s still possible.

    Whether that will keep out those eastern Europeans or former colonials who now pick our fruit and vegetables, I had to laugh on reading the goal of the future UK, (whatever remains of the UK that is)would be an attempt to become a Singapore or Hong Kong, of course the statelet of NI require subsidies from somewhere, in which case they will look to devolve themselves to no avail, being the
    demographics there clearly indicate a nationalist majority
    indicating the reunification of Ireland sometime at the choosing of that majority.

    Of course i’m sure the Scots are already making preparations for a final devolvement and an application to rejoin the EU, looks like England is stuck with Wales as the only members of the former UK, not exactly a great legacy for whoever has to oversee it , but definitely the future.


  41. No Chuck, I just said Corbyn’s enemies, meaning his enemies from all quarters, in his own party, in the media, in the Conservatives and the more right wing Jewish organisations who want to take him down because of his unacceptable views on Palestine etc… It would be anyone who steps outside of the permitted boundaries of debate when in a position of power, a bit like the fictional ‘Harry Perkins’ in ‘A very British Coup’ except it isn’t particularly British as it’s just the same over on your side of the pond.

    I would have thought you would have mentioned the new Labour / Conservative ‘centrist’ splinter organisation, ‘The Independent Group’ as another portent of the UK’s impending doom? Or were you just keeping things brief as usual?

  42. Well like I mentioned, there is presently a lot of confusion and ignorance being there has been little debate prior too, or post referenda, concerning what will occur whichever direction the government decide and is also acceptable to the EU.

    It appears everyone remains just as ignorant as they were prior to the referenda, we hear different policies from numerous groups (mostly nonsense) concerning various alternative decisions, none of which makes more sense than to abandon Brexit entirely and continue as part of the worlds largest trading block, where if changes need to happen, it would be in the interests of the UK, to attempt to either agree or disagree from within, than as some kind of

    After all the days of colonialism and captive markets are long gone and to reject membership in the worlds largest trading block, appears to be a form of economic suicide.

    As for the split of a small group of both Labour and Tory party members is hardly worth mentioning as they are less relevant right now than the DUP of NI.

    No ! it’s an unforgiveable mess, caused over an un- necessary attempt to gain a larger majority in parliament, by another failed leader, simply leading a confused British
    electorate into an unknown future, with little or no plan for the future, shame !


  43. Corbyn ?

    Someone who has spent a lifetime as a Labour backbencher and also a critic of it’s policies and all that entails, certainly a close relationship with the leftist base of the LabourParty and in general I favor of socialist based policies.
    One might wonder what the hell he is now doing as leader of the Party, well as far as I can see loosing a verbal battle to an even worse party leader who is on the ropes and twisting in the wind.
    With everything apparently going his way, what is the result of his parliamentary speeches.
    Which is to be condemned by his own party for being an anti-Semite, great !
    Unfortunately for Labour he has no clue as to leadership
    any-more than May does within her party.

    I certainly feel sorry for the he fact the country is leaderless
    and see no light at the end of Brexit, having seen Mays
    belief that she can bully her way into getting what she wants,
    Yeah but we have as great an idiot as May in Trump, however the economy is booming markets are up and we have less than two years of Trump left.

    If nothing else it should be a lesson to both countries, carefull what you vote for.



  44. Chuck, I voted remain but just as the talk that Brexit would be some kind of cakewalk was wrong, some of the ridiculous tales of doom being put around by these ever more rabid remainers are absurd too. Besides tiny pricipality sized tax havens which aren’t really proper countries (Luxembourg, Liechtenstein), the richest countries in Europe (and the world) like Norway and Switzerland are in Europe but are not in the EU, they have different deals which are not entirely dissimilar to the kind of arrangement Corbyn and his team were discussing with the EU today. I’m not saying that we’ll be like Norway or Switzerland, or that leaving won’t be difficult, but the idea that we will return to being hunter-gatherers chasing wild boar with our flint headed spears is getting really boring now.

    Yes, there are many things going against Corbyn, the only kind of Labour Leader who won’t experience constant attacks and smear campaigns would be a Tony Blair style of leader who is totally in line with US and Israeli policy, and corporate values. If not they will be Communist Jew haters who will worse than Stalin or Hitler if elected. His enemies within have been Manchurian Candidates from the Blair era who have been trained to attack as soon as anyone like Corbyn reaches real power in the party. I think that the worst of all of this so called ‘Labour Antisemitism Crisis’ has been the shameful spectacle of non-Jewish people who know next to nothing about Judaism self-righteously accusing real Jewish people on the left of being ‘Antisemitic.’ It’s a shocking reminder of how insane things can get.

  45. Sure ! I basically understand the problem and have as little time for the Manchurian (Blairite’s)candidates as I do for those dyed in the wool Marxists, who see things through the prism of their fifty year old eye-glasses.

    After all this is not the nineteen teens when both Marxism and revolution was for many people “the future”.

    Now that the former Soviet Socialist grouping has declared its self a failed
    experiment and the former Warsaw pact countries have reverted back to being racist and to a degree fascist, not to mention a part of the EU.

    Yes things move a bit faster in the UK, with Labour having already going through a metamorphosis too a middle of the road party under the Blair /Brown government, which was a massive change from the direction
    of Atlee’s post ww2 government.

    Unfortunately Labour has yet to define it’s self which has not been the case, the Party remaining divided, nothing unusual, also the fact both the Liberals and other smaller groups have attracted a large number of former Labour members, through those quitting the party because of differences of opinion.

    And though the US election parties have already began the two year process of declaring candidates and their policies, we will not be able to make a judgement on that until much later,

    It appears Bernie Sanders has made both a return to being a candidate, at the age of what, high seventies ? and to ensure he will not be ignored collected a windfall of small donations, he not being the only senior member running on the same ticket as Elizabeth Warren another senior
    member of the Democratic party. has also declared.

    Well she being a Democrat and Bernie a socialist/ democrat, their is a difference, all we need now is “Slick Willie’s” wife back for another waste of our time.
    The one thing I cannot see happening is for Labour to win a general election
    with Jeremy Corbyn as it’s leader, basing it on his recent general leadership and lack of ideas.

  46. Chuck, I don’t really agree when Marx and even Socialism is conflated with Sino and Soviet styles of totalitarian State Socialism, it’s like the Nazis calling themselves ‘Socialists’ and when rabid right wingers over there describe themselves as ‘Libertarians.’ For a start, Marx did actually say that Communism would never work in big old feudal countries like Russia and China, seeing it more as an eventual development of the most modern, developed societies who had been through the cycle of Capitalism. I could go down that road for a long time but I’ll move on.

    A Democratic Socialist Labour party will always find it very hard to define itself in post Thatcher Britain because it will be under such relentless attack that it will always be on the back foot, fending off one ‘scandal’ after another, much like how ‘Brexit’ is blotting out so many other important issues over here at the moment.

    As for Shillary, surely not!??? Surely she’s a busted flush now? On the Bernie side, if I were one of his advisers, I’d tell him to stop clutching on to his lecterns so tightly when he’s giving speeches that he looks like he’s clinging on for dear life!

    Finally on Corbyn, it’s strange. You can call him a bumbling Geography teacher (I thought ‘Socialist Vicar’ when I met him), but the fact is that people are also sick of slick, blow dried car salesmen too, just like they were with Shillary over there.

  47. Yes I understand that the present day Labour are a party in turmoil and to project themselves as a modern party with a Marxist bent in this day and age, just wont attract the modern day voter, following the collapse of The former Soviet Union and the eventual fall of most socialist government in the former Warsaw Pact countries both Marxism and Socialism appear to be
    not in anyway the flavor of the month, at present.
    That is true except for in the US, where surprisingly enough the fact that Benie Sanders running on a mixed socialist/democratic ticket, drew a certain amount of attention, especially among the younger voters, by using a party platform, which opted for a “medicare for all policy” and a major reduction in third level college fees, which not only attracted a more sophisticated and younger group of voters, looking out for their best interests, as opposed to their parents who either voted for one of the two main parties, many of who did so without giving it a lot of thought.
    Which is a good sign, being the Republicans and Dems were neither much different from one and other, having the whole spectrum of voters contained within each party.

    The main difference being {each party claiming to represent either supporters of a small government) the Republicans, or supporters of big government with welfare programs, like improved healthcare, the Democrats, none of which actually bore any truth with the Dems. calling the Republicans the party of the wealthy.
    At least there are clearly identifiable reasons for voting for either Labour or Conservative, but Labour has to come up with a name that doesn’t identify with Marxism, which although it certainly is possibly that it might be a progressive political policy, when compared to the neo- liberal capitalist governments that brought us two of the heaviest market collapses in the post ww2 era.
    It’s just that following the de-industrialization of the UK, the Labour Unions have diminished, many In order to survive have had to amalgamate with other fellow unions, in which case neither the funding of the Labour party has remained as strong and there may be certain forms of resentment to-wards those same unions for what could be considered a form of abandonment.
    However there remains a certain negativity associated with Marxism
    of any party due to the collapse of the former Soviets.though one has little to do with the other and why is it that although it was responsible for two of the most devastating market collapses, there is seldom any criticism of those Neo- liberal and capital institutions, who just continue to rely on the public to pay for their mistakes .

    The problem inmost countries is the ignorance of the electorate, which certainly was made clear by Brexit.

  48. That Almiron seems to look the part so far, even bearing in mind he was £20 million. His name sounds like a boring mid-range car though, maybe a Nissan. Generally, it seemed to a good day for hitting the bar but we got two anyway, albeit against 10 men. We really needed three points after the disgraceful lack of justice at the end of the Watford game.

    Marxist? Do me a favour! You read too many newspapers. You Yanks really do have a complex about that sort of thing, though must admit I was stunned when Bernie Sanders wasn’t lynched for openly mentioning the ‘S’ word when he was campaigning against Clinton. That is a huge leap for your lot over there.

    The funding of the Labour party is pretty strong, it comes from hundreds of thousands of subscriptions and smaller donations rather than a few wealthy donors. Labour have 4-5 times the amount of members the Conservatives do, and many more activists who will give their time for free as well.

    History has been turned upside down, the so-called ‘golden age of Capitalism’ was 1945 to Nixon and the end of the Bretton Woods agreement. Today though they would have you believe that Reagan and Thatcher brought us the dawn of the golden age of Capitalism, which is bollocks when you look at the relevant statistics.

  49. As the clock continues to tick to-wards Brexit, the first signs of Panic are readily available, with Theresa May looking at a worst case scenario and it being inevitable, however having refused to alter her Brexit Plan which was to bulldoze her way through and force an acceptance of a time limited back-stop would be contrary to the fact they (the UK) was a main signature to the Good Friday Agreement treaty.

    The second parliamentary vote, initiated to gain more Tory votes in Parliament was of course no better than the Cameron attempt with the referenda, resulting in losing more votes and having to buy the loyalty of those also known as loyalists, the DUP.

    And the fact that a large majority of the votes in NI were STAY votes during the referenda, appears to mean nothing, being The DUP have a deal with the Tories, which gave them over a billion quid therefor guaranteeing their loyalty during the negotiations and ensuring they would not be forced into a customs union with the EU. why you may ask, it means little more than a treaty, but one that strikes a fear of being abandoned by the UK, which if they were smart (the UK, that is) would in fact abandon a group that seeks only subsidies from both the EU and the UK.
    And your shadow leader has after all this time finally spoken about his most recent intentions on what he would do to prevent a debacle, which would be to hold a second referenda on Brexit.

    One has to wonder about this geezer, he has had years to make up his mind on the subject and now states he’s in favor of a second referenda, f*****g brilliant, I cant wait to hear what else this clown has to say, FFS it’s bad enough to have one stupid leader, but when the shadow leader shows he is just as much an idiot as the one supposedly in power, then it’s time to think, what the
    f**k is going on ?

    Yeah I understand there are many at this stage who just want the whole thing over and done with, but the present choices apart from staying within the EU are a recipe for disaster and that’s well understood by those in Parliament
    and by the average citizen and a can’t wait to see the results of this madness.

  50. Certainly as the UK gets ready to abandon the EU, the remaining states, both NI and Scotland will doubtlessly come out of the process with plans for some kind of devolutionary intent, though I see Wales staying to reform what was the UK alongside England, the Scots no doubt will demand a further referenda and when things appear more appropriate will once more become an independent nation and will no doubt apply for a continued existence within the EU.

    So if you think that Brexit will be the end of the UK’s problems, think again being the same customs union situation we are now dealing with, will also apply to the Scottish England borders, so one can see things are about to go sideways in the immediate future, until those in Parliament finally begin to act rationally.

  51. Although Corbyn has been very skeptical about the EU from a left perspective for many years, he is focused on baulking the right wing headbanger Brexiters who see Brexit as a way of discarding EU worker’s rights and avoiding the forthcoming EU tax avoidance legislation. I also think that he has been seduced into being more of a remainer in recent years by people like economist, Yanis Varoufakis and other European Socialists. You don’t seem to have much of an idea what a serious step ignoring the referendum result or re-running the vote would have, he does and I still think that he wants to honour the result, but with a customs union which will take away Irish border problems, along with preservation of workers’ rights and that sort of thing. Brexit has also been used as yet another Trojan Horse to attack Corbyn with as well. However, as he keeps saying, Theresa May is playing for time until we reach March 29th and we are faced with a choice beteen her terrible deal and no deal whatsover, so the Parliament will be blackmailed into voting for her deal.

    Oh well, more football tomorrow.

  52. Worky,

    Truth is Corbyn has no clue as to what the right policy should be and is struggling in Parliament against a beaten party leader a virtual joke who will no doubt play the Pied Piper to the Tory’s, leading them (and the rest of you) to an unknown future in an unknown role.

    Sure a Brexit re-run looks like the only sensible answer, but why did he not advocate that until the last minute,

    It’s a day late and a dollar short, the man is an embarrassment, who if associated with Varoufakis , could certainly have accomplish more by working with anyone of the extreme left from within the EU, being there are few left wing allies to be found outside the EU, this being the year of the Right, Increasing their power on all continents, the US included.

    No this is a particularly British self examination period that
    has more to do with traditional Britishness and was described perfectly through an article in the Guardian’s Journal section by the Irish Times writer and author Fintan O’Toole, on Jan. 18th of this year.

    What’s happening here is the EU will make an example
    too others wishing to follow the UK’s lead to think again.

    As for alternative’s there’s really nothing on the table to argue over, other than “the new deal” that which has yet to be negotiated over trade and tariffs that will be in place following the final Exit, well hopefully !

    As for what may occur nationally following Brexit ?

    No doubt it will have it’s repercussions for many, not just the Brits., the Irish being one of the UK’s most important market’s will suffer, the Scots having to ready themselves for both a devolution plus an attempt to rejoin the EU, the
    uncertainties of a possible referenda which would decide whether the people of NI, will unite or not.

    Yeah your brilliant idea Mr. Cameron has the UK and others between a rock and a hard place and no one has a clue what to do
    stupid, stupid, stupid !!!!!!

  53. Thankfully for us, Burnley were like we have been too many times this season, ie not threatening at all in the goals department – Good job as they beat Spurs in their last game. There were some good performances from our lads though, Schar really knows how to score for a defender, Longstaff’s really progressed as well from the second team. There was Lascelles and Almiron as well. Almiron adds a new dimension but we still need a striker who scores a few more than the ones we have.

    Corbyn can’t win whatever he does, what he is actually doing IS hard to discern in a sea of complete disinformation about him. I can remember smear campaigns of old like the one against Michael Foot but we now live in the world of the supercharged shite sprayer that is the World Wide Web.

    When it comes to the EU, the thing is that if they are really as O’Toole says they are, that they in their lust for revenge use the UK as a brutal example to any others who might think about stepping out of line, then why would we want to be members of such a ghastly, mafia-like organisation? I’m still reading that book on Paine and that description of the EU isn’t so much different than Paine’s on the perfidious England of George III.

  54. Sorry but you must be discussing a different article by O’Toole, as he never mentioned anything about a lust for revenge by using the UK as a brutal example, of what may occur to those others who may be considering breaking-away from the EU.

    He considers the fact that this is a curiously British (or English) problem, that is difficult to understand for the rest of the world, certainly in my case I find it to be an unbelievable f**k up.

    Yet it continues, with no rhyme or reason, one can forgive for a mistake, but to carry on getting deeper and deeper in shit is just beyond my understanding.

    The fact is there’s a prescribed method including cost which the UK agreed to on leaving the EU, to now bitch about it and change the rules is a bit much to ask, the UK understood the price to be payed from day one, now they want to change the procedure’s, good luck with that !

  55. Chuck, you quoted O’Toole thus:

    “What’s happening here is the EU will make an example too others wishing to follow the UK’s lead to think again.”

    He isn’t making a very good argument for the EU there, it is actually the worst argument he could have made. He sounds like a fool.

    Things are very bad for Corbyn now, the writing could be on the wall as his ranks have now been split, too many are getting sick of being thrown under the bus for supporting him by people close to Corbyn like Momentum head, Jon Lansman and they have had enough. I completely agree with them. The ‘Antisemitism’ thing has reached a point of complete hysteria, it’s like the Salem witch trials now.

  56. Yes I know exactly !
    It is like Salem a witch hunt.

    But we are all aware of how things change quickly enough.
    Take the 2020’s, could they be like the 1920’s the beginning of a new form of fascism is this what we have to look forward too !

    What will poor Jeremy do then poor thing ?

    Hands up those who believe we/you are on the road to a better future. …..erm ! from when like…. now stupid !

    Don’t worry folks, don’t pay attention to tv, it’s not real, everything is gonna be ok,

  57. Ah! the train crash that is Brexit. We are all aware of it being caused by Cameron for all the wrong reasons taking the split in the Tory Party and elevating to the country. Now the country is split about 50/50 with no action or silver bullet that can heal it. Neither side can ever be satisfied and Mrs May stubbornly hanging on to the controls.
    I am reading Nassim Nicholas’s book Skin in the Game at the moment which seems to apply to many in this “disaster”. Making decisions and not being held accountable, and being able just to walk away. Any guess’s who is going to pick up the tab and suffer the most whatever the outcome of this “wreck”. The blame game will be never ending. We all have “Skin in the Game” but none of them that should have do.
    As for Jeremy Corbyn he has my deepest sympathy having to fight on so many fronts. Its always a sign when the media and the like are worried they dig up and regurgitate old rubbish. Anti Semitism really ? wot a crock!! Oh yes we know he doesn’t dress correctly, he failed to sing the National Anthem how disgusting ?
    What he has for me is “The Belief” you know the one that Nye Bevan said we should have and that belief has swelled the Labour party membership to record levels. As for those M.Ps leaving the party and loving being paraded like “celebrities in a cheap “Reality Show” Put yourselves up for election and good riddance! As for the future it will fall into one of three categories bleak, very bleak, or catastrophic. The two phrases that make me want to laugh and cry at the same time are “We can stand alone” and “Make America great again”. Well for both countries Good Luck With That.
    Being very old does have its advantages

  58. Chuck, it’s all mixed up now. Thanks to persistant propaganda, we are now expected to beleive that people like Corbyn, the ultimate demo-whore who used to be at all the anti-racist demos when I was going through my political activist phase are the antisemitic racists. Meanwhile, Benjamin Netanyahu is close friends with Hungary’s fascist prime minister, Viktor Orban, who spreads real Antisemitism about his fellow Hungarian and the latest Rothschild style hate figure of the far right, George Soros. In the UK, the so-called ‘Tommy Robinson’ (his real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) is allying himself with Rabbis, wearing Israel Defence Force T-Shirts and proudly flying Israel flags at his demos in a united front against Muslims. This doesn’t mean that the far-right aren’t still the ones who are carrying out real antisemitic attacks, ie beating up Jews, attacking Synagogues and even shooting the occupants (as happened over there) rather than saying that shooting Palestinian children is wrong and maybe using something which might be interpreted as a ‘trope’ on Twitter.

    The world is now under the spell of what Vladislav Surkov (Putin’s spin-doctor) describes as ‘non-linear warfare.’ Surkov’s the kind of person who treats Orwell’s ‘1984’ as a training manual. Once he said: “Create chaos in the system, such that you don’t know what is the truth or not the truth;” Anti-racists are the real racists, the real racists are the anti-racists, anti fascists are the real fascists, Hillary Clinton is running a paedophile ring from a Pizza house (as Hitler and Goebbels knew, the more absurd the better). Hitler was really a Socialist (like Corbyn and Sanders) is one of the big ones that gets consantly repeated, as I quoted; “Create chaos in the system, such that you don’t know what is the truth or not the truth.” Outside of Russia most people haven’t heard of Surkov, but he is possibly the most influential man in the world right now, and certainly not in a good way.

  59. Nutmag! great to see you back on here. I didn’t see your comment when I was writing the last one to Chuckles. I was reading Orwell’s essays a while back and in one of them he was writing about British decline between the wars, when there was no such thing as a meritocracy and incompetant, chinless wonders were kicked out of schools like Eton, Winchester and Harrow to bugger up the country (though Orwell was an old Etonian himself). It was startling because I could have been reading about today with Cameron, Osbourne, Johnson and the like.

  60. ps, I don’t why why I referred all the way back to the Salem witch trial of the late 1600s in my previous comment, what is happening with the Labour Party at the moment is pure Joe McCarthy from the 1950s.

  61. I have to say I more or less agree with both Worky and Nutmag, that we have in the UK is a form of political

    I mean had the referendum been about going to war, would PM May be quite so determined of making sure we did ?

    Being no-one has a clue where the UK is heading (apart from leaving the EU) which could be worse than any war.

    Of course every outsider is astounded that the UK and it’s leader insist on enforcing the result of a phony vote that was supposed to go the other way in order to have a larger Tory Parliamentary majority, I mean what were they thinking.

    That the present Party in power lead it’s country and people
    on a trip to god knows where and giving up the security of a membership in the worlds largest trading block, doesn’t sound like the action of any sane person/s.

    It’s unfortunate that the UK as a member outside the EU, will have less weight behind it and as a lone trading country working within the rules of the WTO possibly be ignored unless they offer a deal too good to refuse.

    Look the Country has been going down the tubes since ww2, is this then the final culmination and end of what was once a major world power, a form of national suicide ?

    I’m sure “her majesty” is keeping a close eye on things, possibly muttering, you give them the power to make major decisions and this is what they come up with.

    It’s all too much to too consider and within a few years there will probably be a plea to rejoin the EU, whether they
    can fit in a resolution to re-run a second referendum or not, in the meantime, it’s a day late for Corbyn to suddenly let us know what he is in favour of, when we could already have accomplished either a new referendum or a general election instead of sitting doing nothing, but there we are, idiots all !

    My advice is to get rid of these bungling politico’s, before they totally destroy the country, if that isn’t already in the works.

  62. Chuck, If you said we’d been going down the tubes since the 1970s you might closer to the mark. When the war was over we WERE down the tubes, we were massively in debt to your lot, much more so than today, the country was strewn with rubble and there was still rationing. However there was a postwar boom on both sides of the Atlantic. Along with the US and its wartime bonus of refugee geniuses, the UK was still the most technologically advanced nation in the world. They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and in the bid to beat Fritz, we invented Radar, jet engines, the stored program computer etc… We built some brilliant stuff which the whole world came to take for granted. Did you know in 1973, the year we joined the EEC, we had low unemployment, our growth rate in terms of real GDP was almost 8%, that is like China today. So what happened after we joined the EEC? It plummeted below zero! The power of propaganda, especially right wing propaganda is amazing though, people are now convinced that those days were a grim socialist nightmare, a catastrophe we should never contemplate returning to.

  63. Worky

    Actually the 1970’s was a time of high unemployment and stagflation in the UK, followed by industrial unrest and found itself involved in a war at the end of the world.
    It’s economy went from one dependent on export to a service economy, leaving former industrial areas, such as Tyne-side and the entire north east with hundreds of thousands of well paid Arms industry, shipbuilding, coal mining and steel industry, gone, replaced by minimum wage call centers (possibly they all voted for Brexit)
    The oil shortages of the seventies also played an enormous role in a terrible decade that is better forgotten than remembered.
    I have no idea why you would want to remember the seventies as being a good year for the UK, or where your information comes from, sure it may be the year the UK joined the EU, following more than a decade of attempt’s to form a competing European trading group, but finally saw the light and had been doing ok as a massive car manufacturing country since , none of which other than small specialty cars were British owned.
    Now your list of genius inventors may in many cases be true, however in most cases the inventions were developed and manufactured better by others.

    Besides the seventies were almost fifty years ago which is not right wing propaganda.

    Brexit who knows what that may bring, except that most agree to it being something detrimental , but assuming it’s what the people of the UK voted for and want, your political masters have decided to take a leap into the unknown and bringing everyone along for the ride, yeah good luck with that !

  64. Following the last three home wins , it appears as if The Club will once again avoid relegation, Rafa. stating a number in the high thirties, would be enough for survival this season.

    Yeah though Ashley signed Almiron for a record transfer fee, I doubt everyone is convinced he is the savior we need, having watched their games regularly, I just don’t see them as a team that can go into next season, without adding some more talent, they look more like a WBA , a perennial elevator side.

    One would think that Ashley having experienced more than one season with Rafa. at the helm, would be more than willing to give him what he wants in regard to rebuilding the side and re-establish them as a top ten side with a decent youth system, perhaps by using the Monaco system of buying youngsters for the future.

    Unfortunately the main problem at the club has been a lack of top management, whereas a good close relationship between Rafa. and Ashley could no doubt convince Ashley it would be both cheaper and a better way of doing business and no doubt Rafa. would be happy enough to stay.

  65. Chuck, I know how time flies when you get older but the 1970s wasn’t a year, it was a decade, a very eventful one in terms of economic changes. In 1973 unemployment over here was low. We’d lived in a Keynesian consensus where full employment was seen as a very high priority and unemployment used to be around 2%, but it was the turning point before things started to go wrong, as I suggested when I also pointed out that growth went into negative territory after 1973, also, that’s when inflation started to shoot up too and when you put those things together, that’s ‘stagflation’.

    We’ve been through the wider causes on here before, Nixon, the end of the Bretton Woods agreement and tying the $ to gold, Israel, Palstine, Saudi Arabia, oil shocks fuelling inflation, worker’s being expected to accept pay agreements which were way below the high inflation causing industrial strife etc… Even so, it wasn’t until Thatcher in the 80s when we learned what real, full strength unemployment was like because she couldn’t give a damn about full employment and that sort of thing.

    With significant exceptions, generally, we went from being really good at making things to really bad, we went from making things like Minis and E-Type Jags to making things like the Austin Allegro and Austin Princess, that much is true, then Thatcher ripped the heart out of our manufacturing base which was a huge mistake. She didn’t like muck and trade unions, she liked banking and getting everyone into debt chasing a lifestyle they couldn’t afford.

    As for the football, West Ham held Liverpool to a draw in their last game, still, Burnley had beaten Spurs in the game before we beat them.

  66. I have no idea as to what you mean by “the seventies was a decade not a year” are you insinuating I was unaware of that ?

    As far as industry, the old motor car manufacturers such as Austin were still in many cases manufacturing without an assembly line and there were no more colonies to enforce cheap tin trays on,
    The whole west midlands was quickly becoming a giant pocket of closed outdated industries, the ports that exported their manufactured crap, both Manchester and Liverpool more or less went out of business.

    This had nothing to do with the Bretton woods agreement, it just proves (now that The UK is no longer a major manufacture )

    That this was the reason for the countries ill’s, outdated plants and design’s were the reason for the demise of the UK, plus the loss of captive markets (the former colonies) though some on the left like to personalize the reason as one Maggie Thatcher, who actually had little to do but build her platform during the seventies, but decided to get rid of coal mining as both an expensive and dirty form of energy.
    Of course the main reason was to de- industrialize, being there were no markets for their goods and if one looks around the UK, one finds that Indian owned Jaguar and Land Rover, plus any major steel mills are also Indian owned with a massive auto.plant located in the North East which supplies British manufactured Japanese owned and designed automobiles to the European market and which may be closed due to that great idea “Brexit”, one wonders why the people of Sunderland could have voted to leave, just what were they thinking..

    It’s all quite simple really, sure as I have stated before the wealth of the British Empire was the result of having the colonies as captive markets, and the fact that Britain had a head start during the industrial revolution, the mills of the industrial north putting the hand woven fabrics of India out of business was but one example

    Ever wonder what the Indian flag has at it’s center, a spinning wheel, it is to remind them of both Ghandi and the enforced demise of a hand industry that employed millions of Indians.

    Although most sources name the UK as the world’s fifth largest economy, check it out when they are no longer a
    member of the EU, say a couple of years hence and see how well things are going for a lone country, attempting to
    survive alone as the only country attempting to maintain itself, alone without belonging to any trading block and operating under WTO rules.

    It’s all so incredibly stupid and uncalled for and obviously the electorate are as ignorant as the politico’s themselves, or it would never have come to this stage.

    I still find it incredible that there has not been one iota , nor one degree of change or for that matter anything positive
    come out of this two year fiasco and believe there never will

  67. Chuck, sorry it has taken me so long to reply, I’ve been busy. Must I go over the same ground again? You just grind me down by ignoring my wisdom until I just give up! I will say that end of the Bretton Woods agreement was a huge event in economies of the western world, if you say that the events we have been discussing had “nothing to do with the Bretton woods agreement” you are just completely wrong. To lapse into cliche for a moment, it was a seismic event.

    Have a look at what Ha Joon Chang has to say about the golden age of Capitalism and fall of the Bretton Woods agreement under Nixon (see ‘1945-1973: The Golden Age of Capitalism’). He is a leading economist and current Professor of Economics at Cambridge University but his books are good at making economics accessible.

    Of course we had production lines in the UK, Henry Ford brought the first one over in 1911 and other large scale manufacturers followed. I recently watched a film on YouTube of little Austin 7s being made on an assembly line in the 1930s. After the War, there were a lot of brilliant British designers desgining things like the world’s first passenger jet, jet engines, we exported our little sports cars all over the world, and our biggest market the US. Many of the Yank servicemen over here took a shine to our little MG-TF and took them home starting the fashion. The Jaguar XK 120 was the fastest production car in world when it came out in 1948. One of the most important car designers ever, Colin Chapman started in an old shed just a short walk away from my place. He invented things such as the monocoque design, the mid engined racing / sports car and sports car and other things, which he used to dominate Formula One along with the amazing Cosworth engine designed by Keith Duckworth. When Ford in the decided they simply had to win Le Mans, they had to get their car (the GT40) designed and built in the UK because they couldn’t do it over there. I could go on but I’m bored now.

    On another topic, I’ve noticed that the accusations of Antisemitism have started over there now too.

  68. I was watching Hatem Ben Arfa again when Rennes beat Arsenal 3-1 this evening and he was one of their star players, along with a chap called Bourigeaud and another one called Sarr. Well done him!

  69. Yes it took Henry Ford to introduce the assembly line to Europe ,who until then had been using the Batch System, which continued even after WW2 in certain UK plants.

    A cursory glance is all that’s needed to see the rapid decline in most UK industries following WW2, as the US was left being the worlds largest industrial nation, with both energy and raw materials shipped to a Europe, devoid of both.

    The nose dive has continued, along with the loss of markets, that were captive markets, theyr being British Colonies up until the sixties.

    And yes The UK did manufacture quite a few cars during the period following WW2, but unfortunately where are they now, oh yes you still have a few specialty models that are sold to foreigners and Brits alike, I even owned an (MGB 1977} with an electric system that mechanics would shake their heads at and called the company, “The Prince of Darkness” I forgot the name of the company but they did the electrics for most British cars and other vehicles.

    But the UK, can no longer claim to be either a car designer or maker, since all they manufacture are Asian and American cars, that don’t require much skill, just labor .

    The same applies to aircraft, being they now buy their aircraft (RAF) from the US and will be lucky to hang onto the manufacturing of wings for the European passenger planes, once Brexit occurs.

    All one has to do is look at the UK’s track record when it comes to manufacturing whereby using comparisons, it becomes obvious that they are a nation in steep decline.

    If you don’t believe that just ask those from the former industrial areas the north and west midlands, who are usually blamed for such bad news, not because they should shoulder any blame, but in fact to emphasize the fact that it was poor design and production methods that left them unemployed, not lack of skills.

    As for those brilliant British Designers who built the Comet, with it’s crashes through metal fatigue and had they not taken it off the market would no doubt have been replaced by the Boeing 707, which actually happened.

    Tell the southern racing circuit “NASCAR” about that weird type of racing by non street ready cars called formula’s one and two and they don’t get it, truly an elitist sport, for an elitist crowd, that has nothing in common with cars in general, not being a great fan of The Formula #1circuit, are their any representative British cars involved
    in that sport ?

    I mean we sure as hell don’t have any Austin sevens about and I got rid of my MGB rag-top over twenty years ago, the Comet is nothing but a sad memory and India is now the owner of both Jaguar and Land Rover and the Japanese are the most important car manufacturers in the UK, but what happens following Brexit ?

    It’s gonna be expensive to fill those two aircraft carriers with F35’s (I fail to see the need for two /aircraft carriers)
    Plus the most recent Euro-fighter built is not a particular best seller, though it seems our friends in Saudi are still buying arms of every kind from the UK, so be nice to them.

    you may not realize it but you are talking about a time period that took place around seventy years ago and tell me which cars are still made in the UK from design to owner to-day, nothing but a few very expensive models for the rich.

    rapid decline

  70. Who we got to-morrow ? oh yeah Everton better than playing Liverpool I guess, but a better side according to the tables, a draw would be acceptable.

    I had thought we were doing decent enough but I suppose we have to deal with this latest plague of awful ref’s., certainly we should have gained all three points from our last game, were it not for a horrible performance from the ref. in the dying seconds.

    However I believe we can survive in the PL once more, but we need help, this is not exactly a good side and were it not for Benitez and his tactical direction, we could just as easily be among the bottom three.

    I have to say we may have a local hero on our hands in Longstaff, he appears to have a good tactical sense and not only puts himself about but shows he can score also
    As for Almiron watched him closely in the two games he was in, yeah he’s got pace and they claim a decent left foot, but we gotta give him more time, as it’s a big step from Atlanta to the EPL.

    I guess our Italian LB/wing back is still learning being he ain’t had a game yet Dummett getting the nod for the last game, but as far as anyone outstanding, nah !

    We could really use an entire new side as these guys for he most part are not up to EPL scratch.

  71. LOL! 1977 was the perfect time to buy a dodgy MG! I was only about 13 but I’ve always had a strong interest in cars and motor racing. Cars like the MG and the Jaguar came under the ‘British Leyland’ group at the time and it is true that they had a period of a few years, right when you bought your MG when they were in turmoil, the quality control was poor and the cars were crap. It was a particular shame for Jaguar for they were really beautifully designed cars. The XK engine was a timeless classic, The XJ6s and 12s looked great, had the smoothest ride on the road and were swift and extremely safe in a crash for the time. About three or four years of really iffy quality control really damaged their reputation for a long while at a time when the Germans were on the march again. Jaguar didn’t get it right in the States either, they sent the cars over but not the infrastucture to look after them. The US wasn’t much different though with the Japanese invasion, you used to build those massive, sluggish, ugly, gas-guzzling old ‘Yank Tanks’ which used huge amounts of fuel at the time of the big ‘oil shocks.’ Detroit is a ghost town nowadays. Daimler bought Chrysler over there but then decided that they weren’t worth having. When it comes to American car exports, they flop in Europe and most of the rest of the world. The only ones that succeed are where they take over european car companies, like GM with Opel and Vauxhall, or like Ford where they get Europeans to design European cars in Europe for the European market.

    It is shocking what has happened with defence procurement under recent governments over here. They scrapped a load of Harrier vertical take off jets (another brilliant British invention) which were still perfectly servicable before these new F-35s were built. It was pure incompetence. Of course, the F-35s took far longer than expected and when the first of the Carriers were built the only thing to put on them was helicopters.

    These right wingers actually seem to prefer it when foreign companies take over excellent British companies rather than staying in British hands – they practically force them into it sometimes. Cadbury’s is a recent one, one of the most historic companies in Britain. Since the American Kraft took it over, they replaced the chocolate in many of their products with this super cheap American formula which is most unpalatable and doesn’t taste like chocolate at all! ARM processors is another company which was encouraged into foreign hands not because they were failing but because they are world leaders. I remember another of the famous, historic Quaker chocolate giants, Rowntree-Mackintosh when they were taken over by Swiss Nestle. Rowntree’s were one of the giants like Cadbury’s or Hershey over there, but weren’t allowed to launch a takeover of Nestle because the Swiss, sensibly, wouldn’t allow it, but Nestle could take over Rowntree’s because the Conservatives are perfectly happy to let all of our best businesses go into foreign hands.

  72. On the football, it’s at home and our home form has really picked up recently with four home wins in a row, it was terrible before so that might be a good sign. You’re right about Longstaff so far. He was at Blackpool last season and he seemed to do well there, but that was only league one.

  73. Five home wins in a row now and a brilliant performance from Perez. He had so much energy in the final part of the game, maybe the competition from the new lad is pushing him? though they both played together today. I’ve been watching the coverage on NBC / CNBC quite a few times and it is remarkable how English it is, I can’t tell the difference until it gets to the adverts.

  74. I was within a hair’s breadth of changing over to the Spurs game following the penalty miss and the lumbering style being played by the Toon.

    But decided to hang in as Spurs were doing no better than us, I still find it difficult to fathom, whatever it was Benitez said during the half time break, being the game changed remarkably, with the toon reversing roles and i’m sure the Everton manager, was equally puzzled, the end result should have been 4-2, had that first half penalty not been missed.

    Appears St.James’ Park is becoming a fortress and a number of clubs are leary of playing there, especially now when points are more precious at both ends of the league.

    The question remains, will the man responsible for the fact we are still a PL side sign the three year contract awaiting his signature and will our “dear leader” back him in strengthening the side for the next season.

  75. Well I didn’t think that luck was with us after Pickford rugby tackled Rondon, didn’t get sent off and then saved Ritchie’s ill judged penalty down the middle. Perez was our man of the match today, but Rondon’s goalscoring rate is starting to look much better – It’s getting down towards a goal every 200 minutes now, which is respectable, even for a striker.

    Although it’s pretty much curtains for Fulham and Huddersfield, Cardiff won too, as did the teams around us like Brighton, Bournemouth and Southampton, the Saints even beat Spurs. Our only rivals who didn’t win were Crystal Palace so we really needed those 3 points.

  76. About cars, you seem to think that the UK is both a terrific designer of cars, if that were so how come there are only those super expensive (Aston Martin) cars still manufactured and owned by British interests.

    The only successful mass marketing car was the Issegonis designed cross mounted engine and is now owned by the Germans “The Mini” , among others such as Rolls Royce and Bentley.

    Fact is the most successful British engine used on the racing circuits was originally designed as a mobile fire pump, “The Coventry Climax”

    A f*****g fire pump ?

    As for all of those sports cars, most bought engines from various manufacturers, my friend still has his Sunbeam Tiger an eight cylinder four hundred cu inch Ford engine powered the car, however to days mass manufactured cars can compete with it having had both the time and innovation to overcome the size of a Ford engine designed prior to ww2.

    In fact the US car industry has developed any number of decent engines over-time which have been copied and manufactured under license.

    And Shelby built a car with a ford Engine “The Cobra” that was way ahead of the competition, but one has to remember motor sports between the US and Europe are totally different, most US competitors driving basic cars off the assembly line, that have been changed by the competitors themselves and compete in the Nascar cicuit, as opposed to European billionaires who back those weird cars that are not even road worthy for what’s known as formula one.

    And why knock big engines, the US is a country that enjoys cheap gasoline
    so why not have enogh power in Pick -up trucks and eighteen wheelers, not to forget your air conditioned full sized sedans, travelling distances.

    I recall seeing a documentary starring the Scottish comedian “The Big Yin”
    about his journey across The US, where he decided the car to drive was a loaded sixties Cadillac and I understand having made the trip a number of times, in various vehicles, nothing like comfort and power.


  77. It appear’s that a number of parliamentarians are claiming the EU is making it as difficult as possible for the UK to leave, claiming it as an attempt to break up the UK.

    Fact is both the Scottish .and Ni electorate both voted unanimously for remaining part of the EU.

    The EU has given notice that in the special case of The island of Ireland, they would be willing to allow NI to remain within the EU customs zone to prevent a hard border, which was rejected by both the Tory’s and the DUP, which is being paid by the Tory party, to have it’s support in parliament.

    Some recent polls have suggested, that though the DUP party politicians are not in favor of NI being a member of the EU Customs Zone, perhaps a majority of the large farmers there, may in fact have become used to those large subsidies that come from the EU and may be inclined to stay.

    After all the majority of voters in NI voted unanimously to remain and rigtly so, it being in their best interest..,

    Of course Theresa May claims the EU are attempting to break up the UK being her survival depends on the votes of the loyalist DUP.

    It has been noted that due to shifting demographics the six counties of Irelands population is rapidly changing and by the year 2022 the population of the Nationalists will surpass that of loyalists.

    With that in mind comes the likely outcome will be a demand by the /Nationalists for a referenda which could result in a re-unification of the island, or the status quo., but regardless the future of Ireland due to these demographics will eventually be as a single independent Republic..

    There have been rumors of the NI joint government demanding some sort of withdrawing from the UK, which if Brexit turns out to be the catastrophic mistake as things look at present, (that’s if his idiot assigned as NI secretary of state (Bradley) who knows less than anyone about the statelet manages to resurrect the NI parliament..

    The NI statelet is a deadweight on the UK, it costs billions to support it but like Scotland who will no doubt apply for a new referenda, .which could both cause them to leave the UK and as quickly as possible apply for a re-alignment with he EU, just because England my decide to commit economic suicide doesn’t mean the Scots have to do the same.

    And the fact is the Statelet of NI will eventually have to be a part of a United Ireland due to the demographic picture, what do they have to lose by entering the EU Customs Zone now and why would Britain care about NI, which has caused them more grief than any other part of the UK, they aught to be happy that perhaps jointly the EU and the Irish Republic can take care of their unproductive and unpredictable neighbor.NI and concentrate on their own future, which as of now does not look very enticing.

    This needs to happen, but all I see and hear from the Tory leaders are politics concerning their own positions and pushing for some sort of electronic settlement of The Back Stop, which they have been told repeatedly will not work.

    It’s difficult to imagine how stupid and bizarre this whole idea of Brexit is and why apart from the result of a referendum, intended to add to the Tory majority by a former PM, (Cameron) who wasted no time in getting out from under and is now happily attending board meeting as a member of who knows how many companies and living shamelessly unmoved by the seriousness of the situation..

  78. Chuck, I don’t think, I know that Britain is the home of cutting edge car design, usually around Northamptonshire where most Formula One cars are still built, even when they have foreign names. Their dominance came originally from the so-called ‘Garagistas’ (as Enzo Ferrari called them) of the 1950s and 60s, because they could beat Ferraris with cars designed and built in scruffy old sheds. We ruined our manufacturing industry though so nowadays it’s mostly foreign car companies coming to use British expertees at the highest level of engineering.

    From a ‘Green Goddess’ water pump to a brillant racing engine, that’s British genius for you! Anyway, the fire pump was the original, and was completely transformed by Walter Hassan and Harry Mundy, the later Grand Prix engines were designed from scratch. The greatest engine of all though was the one Colin Chapman aquired to replace the Coventry Climax, the Cosworth DFV, which became, and still is the greatest Formula 1 engine, and the greatest racing engine ever. It was another Anglo-American partnership like the Ford GT40 and the AC Cobra as Chapman asked Ford and Aston Martin for sponsorship and after being persistent, eventually got sponsored by Ford. Chapman then brought in an engineer called Keith Duckworth from the British Cosworth to design it. When it was finished, it was so good it was literally miles better than anything else, and most remarkably, it stayed that way for decades without any significant changes. Chapman also pioneered stuff like monocoque / unitary contruction of cars, use of downforce etc which revolutionized the whole car industry. As well as all the British Garagistas like Lotus, Cooper, Vanwall etc, two antipodean world champion racers, an Australian called Jack Brabham and a Kiwi called Bruce McClaren played a big part as well with their Brabham and McClaren cars.

    The Cobra was an AC, a British Car, but Shelby and Ford put a big (289) or a huge (427) Yank engine in it. I’ve driven a 427, a real one too and they were only a few hundred built. It was in the 1980s and it was being sold for a tiny pittance by today’s million dollar standards. It was a 1960s car, but it is still one of the fastest cars I’ve ever driven as far as the acceleration goes. I think it was probably too much of a good thing with the power though and Blighty might have let the side down for once in the chassis department. I don’t know why Shelby would have wanted to put so much power into an old AC Ace anyway. I haven’t driven a Tiger but I’ve heard that the Ford V8 grunter is a bit overpowering for a little old Sunbeam Alpine too.

    Power is great but a perfect sports car also needs a great chassis and light weight, which you don’t seem to be too fussed about over there with your expansive landscapes and big, wide roads. Besides going faster with less power, lightness is also important for handling. I know that back in the old days, fancy Italian engines were like complex, temperamental divas which were hard to maintain (especially over there) and often went wrong in comparison to simple cheap, cheerful and BIG American lumps, they’re so heavy though with all that pig iron in them. There was a craze for putting big American lumps like the ‘MOPAR’ in luxury Euro GT Cars in the 70s. Back then there was also the ‘De Tomaso Pantera’ which was a garish Italian supercar, but with a big American no-nonsense grunter under the hood instead of a temperamental and demanding Italian Diva that you’d get in a Ferrari or Lamborghini. It was a car for real men with hairy chests and big medallions.

    I’ll deal with the EU later as it is nearly 1am now.

  79. What is this a history lesson and in the words of John McInroe, “surely you can not be serious” ?

    The “I know the UK is the cutting edge of edge in car design” is that some subtle example I ‘m not getting being no serious person would be foolish enough to make such a statement, orclaim.

    The Uk evolved from WW2. with it’s production in decent shape and because they were one of the few car manufacturers sold everything that came off the line.
    the UK had an advantage still having colonies that they could sell too and
    they built ships, cars and aircraft, where as take Korea which was a basket case lucky enough to be able to feed themselves .

    To-day Korea is one of the worlds largest shipbuilders and outproduces the UK in auto -production, that is Korean designed and produced cars along with mid and luxuary, being there are no more British designed and manufactured .
    cars still in production

    Tell me how did that come about when relating to a country that only produces models for over rated luxury cars
    Where are the cutting edge mid priced cars, oh that’s right the Germans bought them all and the fact is the Japanese and Germans had them manufactured in the UK (areUK wages lower than in Germany) ?

    Look the average price cars in the UK, are either general motors owned or Ford’s the rest are either ultra expensive (Aston Martin) type ultra expensive
    models the rest are either foreign imports or those manufactured by former
    British companies, now defunct , like the infamous bus manufacturer who were bad at making buses but an abject failure , when it became involved in car manufacturing..

    As for sports cars, that was an era where a number of car designers felt they could make a buck from making cheap sports cars, many were successful
    for a short period of time, usually they were designed and built with whatever parts were available, certainly engines were cheap and available in the US, the resul twas a Sunbeam Tiger with a 400 cu. inch ford big big-block engine hat overpowered the car and the added weight to where it was a total mismatch, however the buyers thought the big-gas eater was great, soh!

    Others like my 77 MGB rag -top was somewhat underpowered and an electricians nightmare, few are aware of the fact these cars were ASP models
    and thought they were designed from some kind of plan, fact is if it fitted ok !.

    And as far as Ferrari and Lambourgini and hairy chests are concerned, theonly thing I can afford is the hairy chest.

  80. I have just read the results of various polls both in the Irish republic and in the northern Irish statelet, that certainly surprised me, mostly about Brexit but also concerning any future vote on whether there should be a referendum about NI becoming united with the Republic, from the viewpoint of both sides of the border.

    Why then is there not the least information in that regard in the British papers, don’t they want those who are about to decide the future of the UK to be fully informed as to what the situation, including many recent polls from non government agencies state, in order to vote fully informed on their future ?

  81. ARGGGH! Chuck, you have ground me down again until I’m almost at the point of banging my head against the wall! Actually, arguing with you is a bit like arguing with a brick wall, all of my facts just bounce off you! However I do have some sympathy for you for buying a British Leyland car in 1977. You have my sympathies there. Then again, my father had two Mercedes cars in the 1970s and they never stopped going wrong too. He was Mercedes’ most famous disgruntled customer after he got so sick of his second one that he smashed it though a Mercedes showroom window with a load of reporters in tow from the British and World media (my dad was great at publicity stunts). He even made it into a sketch on the famous 70s / 80s comedy show, ‘Not the Nine O’Clock News’ about the opening of the world’s first drive in opticians. Much later, I had two VWs and they were both crap as well. Eventually, the whole family discovered the wonder of Japanese cars which never went wrong. The thing is that they make them all over the world now but I still like the ones that are built in Japan as they are particularly nutty and obsessive over there. The reason why Japanese cars became so reliable and successful is because of the Toyodas and their ‘TPS’ (Toyota Production System) which was the greatest leap in manufacturing since Ford’s ‘Assembly Line’. There are two parts to TPS, ‘Jidoka’ (automation with a human touch) and most famously, the ‘lean’ or ‘just in time’ method of production, which is currently being discussed a lot because of ‘Brexit’ as the whole world lives on just in time production now, where parts are never allowed to get rusty on some dusty old shelf.

  82. Not wishing to get involved in a “Our house is bigger than your house” type of argument but I would like to offer my two penny worth.
    First the “British Empire” an empire that covered a record 20% of the worlds surface. Not too bad for a tiny backward island off the coast of Europe. All empires rise and fall but I believe the British Empire has evolved and evolved into the Commonwealth. I’m not by any means saying it was a totally good thing or bad and I have been involved with it and saw it warts and all close up
    Which leads me on to “Brexit” I was against joining The European Common Market as it was then. Because I had more faith and trust in the Commonwealth countries than I had in the Europeans, but now as with the Empire things have evolved.
    This action is wrong on so many levels a disaster that cannot now be stopped or repaired. The split goes through families friendships everywhere. The cause being, inept self serving politicians, and guess who will pick up the tab not them.
    Chuck referring to coal as a “dirty” form of energy and then extolling the virtues of the American car industry just gives me visions of your multi lane highways in full flow. Needless to say I’ve never been a “Petrolhead”. First motorbike a 1933 350 BSA “hand change” first car Singer ten 1931. Both gave me loads of fun and pleasure Even now I am content with my 1998 Toyota Corolla.
    Chuck WW2 thankyou for “saving our sorry arses” but you failed to mention you where paid very handsomely for it and also needed a bit of a nudge from Japan to get started
    America came out of the war very well compared with us and Europe, your country and industry was untouched, Europe had to rebuild from the ground up, new with a clean sheet. We on the other hand were left with an out dated damaged industry and a large debt to repay I think we did very well ! and I end as I started “Not bad for a tiny backward island off the coast of Europe

  83. Oh and also talking of the Coventry Climax engine didn’t Honda start its business after the war with old American war surplus water pump engines?

  84. Nutmag, I think that Oscar the grouch likes our verbal custard pie fights.

    Most countries in Europe have histories which are scarred by industrial scale beastliness, not just the usual suspects, the smaller countries like Portugal and Belgium committed some of the worst atrocities of all. The US despite the lofty ideals of its Founding Fathers has been no different, it rebelled against the tyranny of George III, it said that all men are created equal, but it couldn’t escape the inherant contradiction that it was built on someone else’s land using slaves from other lands who certainly weren’t equal in any way.

    As for the war, the US also got most of the secrets of the world’s most technogically advanced nation wrapped up in a trunk in a bid to get them involved, it was a priceless treasure trove of secret technolgies which helped drive American postwar growth.

    On the EU, one trap Cameron fell into is that rebels who demand change are generally far more enthusiastic than people who are content with the status quo. Brexiters would have gone through fire, flood and tempest to get to the polling station to vote ‘leave’ if they had to, where many of the status quoers coundn’t be arsed with a gentle stroll down the road with their polling card on the day of the referendum. Now that the leavers have won, the remainers are the rebels on the verge of hysteria.

    Nutmag, If you have a Toyota Corolla, you have the best car in the world! As I have mentioned to Hugh in the past, I still get dewy eyed thinking about all the happy, reliable times I spent with my 1988 Toyota Corolla Gtti-16, I couldn’t bring myself to sell it and kept it for over a decade. I was only parted with it when it was stolen!

    Aye, I saw a Honda history on TV once and that sounded right. I checked and Sochiro Honda got a load of army surplus small generator engines used to power radios during the war and screwed them on to pushbikes, and the results went down very well indeed, and they still do. The Honda Super Cub scooter is easily the best selling piece of motorised transport in the world and I have been on many. You can’t move for the things in Asia!

    Here we go!

  85. Hey Nutmag, always the voice of moderation !

    Face it,if the present party leaders (Tory & Labour) are all there is, then you guys are in for a rough time, Corbyn kept his opinions to himself, May traveling back and forth to Brussels to listen to the EU negotiators repeatedly explain to her that any idea about an electronic backstop was a no starter, though they were willing to keep the NI Statelet within the EU customs Zone, which would solve the present Border and Backstop’s present border situation.

    I believe the woman is much like the rest of those politicians that repeatedly insist she be more forceful, it kinda reminded me of ignorant Brits. abroad who spoke more loudly and slower being those stupid natives obviously had trouble speaking English.

    Well the answer to he problem is there whether she decides to use it or lose it is her prerogative, but what about the other sixty million plus citizens, face it, it ain’t about her ego but to do what’s best for the citizens.ofhe UK.

    And Nutmag to equate the still resilient British Empire of post ww2 with a tiny backward island located off the west coast of Europe, is both a stretch’ and then to add the commonwealth to the discussion, an organization that has done nothing for decades, other than play an occasional game of cricket now and then, between members.

    I had to laugh recently because it appears the Queen insisted on her son Charles being appointed as head of the Commonwealth, which was the same as being made head of nothing, face it when was the last time they even met for tea.

    As for saving your sorry asses, de nada, we did it twice during the last century
    and I believe the final loan amount was finally paid off within he last twenty years, thank you !
    Just don’t continue to bite the hand that fed you.

    And yes you can’t deny that coal is a dirty form of fuel, but we now have a number of companies marketing Electric powered vehicles, which once battery technology becomes more advanced will surely dominate the highways.

    And no way am I going to accept that continental Europe was rebuilt from scratch and that the UK, were left with an outdated industrial base, that’s just nonsense

    And Worky to claim that the US got both the then most recent technology from the UK as a temptation to join with the allies is just made up nonsense also, being the US is far and away on a different technological level to the UK to day,
    how did that ever happen ?

    Face it WW2 was about both numbers and production, it was understood by 1943 that the Germans were losing the production race, sure some of their technology was better, but numbers tend to overwhelm technology, which is what happened, being in late 1943 until the war ended the Soviets were outproducing Germany, alone

    And I would love to know exactly which technologies the Brits. gave the US

    Were it not for the US, you may very well be speaking either German or Russian right now as Britain even with the manpower of all of it’s colonies ,was unable to fight a war on both fronts, without the help of the US which was known as the at the time as The Arsenal of Democracy and still is.

  86. Oh! so it’s like that is it? It’s all coming out now, Chuckles! That is such a stereotypical American view. You remind me of an episode of 70s wartime comedy ‘Dad’s Army’ I watched recently when the Yanks descended on Walmington on Sea, the Home Guard met with them at the local Pub for a cordial ‘meet and greet’, but the brash Yanks just moaned about the beer, seduced all the women and the American Officer ended up giving Captain Mainwaring a black eye. As for the first World War, You lot arrived right at the end and brought the Spanish Flu, which killed five times as many people as the war itself!

    I’m not sure about electric cars at all, I think it might end up being a big mistake like diesel. I would prefer hydrogen cell cars as a world full of electric cars which are virtually all battery is not good for the planet either.

  87. Hi Chuck Yes I do believe in moderation in all things but I also believe in “Speak softly but carry a big stick”, a saying from your side of the pond.
    I also believe this American compulsion to belittle anything British, is an inferiority complex bourn out of your “origins”, seeing as in most part you are made up of British and European Over flow, undesirables, and rejects. This giving you the compulsion to say “Look at us now” we are not failures now.
    You also seem too think of us as we were forty- fifty years ago, Liverpool docks? they were turned into a museum years ago. I do believe we have purpose built container ports now. Again not bad for such a backward nation.
    Really though I’ve got nothing at all against you yanks, beyond being “loud and brash” and I wouldn’t want your ex presidents Reagan, Bush jr and Trump in my Quiz team!

  88. Very sage, Nutmag. There is also a misunderstanding overseas about how we British talk about ourselves, which people overseas take at face value without understanding the subtleties of British discourse. I have had quite a few foreign friends in the past who have read our media, looked at British people discussing things on social media etc, not just now but in the past as well and genuinely thought that we are a country which is permanently tumbling into the abyss, that we are the ‘sick man of europe’ and that if they come here, it will be like a third world country. Murdoch’s and Rothermere’s newspapers certainly haven’t helped in this perception.

  89. Worky

    Are you seriously suggesting that the US troops that came to save your ass in WW1 were responsible for the great Pandemic of 1918, named “The Spanish Flu”.
    It was a disease that was common-place in certain parts of Italy, which due to ignorance was named Influenza, “being under the influence” being some thought there was a relationship with the disease and the phases of the moon.

    And sure US troops in the hundreds of thousands died from the Pandemic but to blame them for creating it is ridicules.

    As for hydrogen celled cars, do you actually believe their is such a thing, sure it’s a hope that a clean hydrogen powered car can be developed, but until then I believe electric cars with improved battery technology are where it’s at.

    I don’t believe that, the people who emigrated to the new world were in fact undesirables and rejects and in fact I find they have respect for the people of the UK , it took either a very tough life and a certain amount of bravery to venture to a new unknown land.
    And they certainly have no inferiority complex about anything British, but are aware of the fact there would be no Britain to-day if they hadn’t saved your asses in both ww1 & 2.

    And you know sometimes the assumption of an inferiority complex in others can be a mistaken result caused by a misplaced superiority complex.

    And yes we may be brash and loud, but certainly not drunken hooligans like those produced in the UK and I still laugh at British pretensions when overseas, especially the way they address the ignorant natives, speaking both slowly and perhaps a bit louder to ensure the natives , get it

    As for container terminals, which require both deep water and lots of land, sure the change over from regular break bulk freighter’s to containerization was accomplished in the eighties, one of the most important changes in history, a reduction in labor by around eighty percent being involved plus there exist to-day container terminals that are fully automated using almost no humans, the result of containerization was of course a revolution, which reduced the cost of moving a ton of cargo at a cheaper cost than that of the1920’s .
    And where was it invented, yes the US by a Hill Billy trucker from North Carolina named Malcolm McClean.

    And yes I agree all three presidents you mentioned were IMO not that great, but consider your PM’s at the time, Maggie Thatcher, Theresa May and Cameron, hell lets throw in Blair for nothing, meaning you have certainly had your share of questionable leaders also.

    C’mon Worky , “the subtleties of British discourse” are you serious ffs that’s where you get into trouble and the reason that the Empire went down the tubes so fast, because of that kind of discourse and defensive ego and you can see how well you guys can negotiate by checking out the massive gains made by May in negotiating Brexit.
    In the words of Nutmag
    “A tiny backward island (England and Wales), off the western coast of Europe” that is if the Welsh don’t abandon ship like those determined to in NI and Scotland who know who butters their bread and if they are smart will negotiate a return to the EU, as soon as possible.

    Ah well you still have a monarch and the city of London with it’s famous financial system holding in place, so the wealth wont have to worry about the future.

  90. Yes Worky our humour is often misunderstood as are many other things. Some old American friends of mine would make insulting remarks about the royal family expecting me to bite, mistakenly thinking we were all devout royalists.
    Chuck’s obvious dislike of us Brits goes deeper than a misunderstanding though which I fail to understand.
    Chuck My remark about the three presidents was about their basic knowledge geography etc.. not their governing prowess.
    I take it then that the people that headed to America were a different breed to the ones that colonised the British Empire then. The America bound ones being brave honest upstanding individuals. Where as the ones heading to the colony’s would have to be feckless property grabbing toe rags.
    Really I should stick to what I said earlier that I wouldn’t get drawn into a “Ours is better than yours” discussion as it will inevitably turn into an argument.
    But ours is!! (that’s humour)

  91. Nutmag

    I really don’t know where you and Worky got the idea that there is something intrinsically different about English humor.

    Whether, as you appear to claim that others just don’t understand it’s subtleties and is only universally understood by the English, one could make that same claim in regard to most countries, and it would still be nonsense.

    And I really don’t care one way or another concerning the Royals, apart from they being archaic and a drain on the national purse, better off retiring them as most European countries have done, reducing them to bicycle royals.

    And please don’t tell me how they pay for themselves, that story was proven to be nonsence also.

    And erm, as far as the education of our recent presidents are concerned,
    they were self made men, one an ex fighter pilot with an education from Yale, the other a former governor of California and the third a successful real estate manipulator
    and graduate of the country’s best school of finance.
    How stupid is that ?

    We (the Yanks) make no distinctions concerning the Likes of Ausralians, Canadians, etc, being we were just not prepared to pay for king Georges French wars or being taxed without representation, we decided to get rid of our European masters and create a totally new form of government and elect our leaders.

    Got a problem with that ?

  92. Howay Chuck, there’s no need to be so defensive!

    You can get Hydrogen Cell cars in the far east, I saw a Honda one being tested on TV over here years ago and subsequently found that Toyota and Hyundai also make them, and Toyota have one on sale, maybe Hyundai do as well but I don’t know. A world full of huge batteries is more bad news but Hydrogen is everywhere.

    I’ve got Economic History O-Level, the Industrial Revolution, Arkwright’s Spinning Jenny and all that, and I’m pretty sure that they had containers for barges and then containers for trains after we invented them, what your chap did was to develop the modern truck-ship container system, which did completely change the world just like canals and trains did before. The Dockers’ Unions went mad when they came in.

    George W. Bush and Donald Trump are as thick as mince, but the people behind them weren’t / aren’t, as for the American War of Independence, that was quite some time ago.

    Nutmag, our language is misunderstood as well, I once told two American lasses after a pleasant dinner that I could murder a fag, and they looked at me like I was a homophobic psychopath. I suppose it would have been the same if I said I could murder an Indian too!

  93. There you go again, defensive? I think we are talking about the UK no ? in which case why would I be defensive?
    Just keeping you straight.

    And the early beginning ‘s of containerization was an attempt by the US Army, at using 8ft by 8ft. connex boxes as they were named, which did prove effective in prevention of theft but were unable to connect to truck chassis, therefor a standard size container with the necessary fittings to lock it in place was designed, the standard size being #35 ft by eight.
    It was a tough sell to most countries, in regard to a future massive reduction of labor, but todays ton of cargo is cheaper to move than it was in the early twentieth century.

    The problem was solved in NY by the ILA Longshoremens Union, by reducing the number of workers per ship in exchange for a guaranteed wage for those who had sweated in the cargo holds for years, “Creative thinking”
    Things have progressed enormously since then. to where we now have vessels that can carry eight thousand 40’by 8’by 9’ 6″ (the most used or standard size boxes) just multiply eight thousand by forty and see how far that would be if lined up one behind he other.

    As for Trump and Bush, both graduates from Ivy league colleges, with decent recorded IQ’s, how do you then call them dumb ?
    On the other hand of the four PM’s I mentioned, it’s unlikely many apart from Blair were particularly bright.

    And look your reply to my enquiry on hydrogen powered cars available was to talk nonsense about what you think may be available, when we both know there is no such thing.

    And those bright Scottish engineers who brought about the Steam Powered industrial revolution, would be embarrassed to find you no longer manufacture trains and cant seem to find anyone to build the required nuclear generator plants needed.

    Truly it should be obvious to all you are still in decline and
    have yet to reach the bottom, but Brexit will take care of that and hopefully end the careers of it’s negotiators.

  94. And on a lighter note your joke was similar to one I heard

    about the SARS virus,

    What did a drunken sars virus say to his counterpart following a hard night’s drinking.

    Jaysus !I could murder a Chinese right now !

  95. No wonder there’s an explanation in each piece of printed matter from sources like the BBC, explaining what the Back Stop is and other complex questions.

    I have wondered why the same information was never
    produced prior to the actual Brexit vote itself in order to give the entire electorate the opportunity to make an informed decision.

    Of course it was a misjudgment on Cameron’s part, who
    believed it was a done deal, before he realized it was the end of his less than wonderful political career.

    However the circumstances surrounding Brexit or the possibilities , were never fully examined and I would guess that even at this stage of negotiations not many of the Electorate fully understand most of the circumstance surrounding it, ergo the continuous inserting of info surrounding Brexit (explanations) are annoyingly inserted, a bit like every time either a dollar amount or a Euro amount is is printed it is immediately followed by the current sterling evaluation that makes one think, they may belive we are unable to do the math.

    The British electorate whatever they now understand, have been treated like mushrooms, kept in the dark and told as little as possible.
    It’s a mess, with chaos ruling the Parliament, the perfect storm of possibly the country’s worst political decisions that has everyone confused.

    It’s got to the point where a recent statement by a famous
    ex very British ex-pol., has suggested it’s time the Irish learned their place and acted accordingly, is obviously a reference to might is right (in a reference to a country of 4.5m vs a sixty odd million UK populace.) this of course was in reference to the Backstop which May thought she could bulldoze through.

    One can only hope that sanity can prevail, with either a deal that uses NI as a member of the EU Customs Union and keeps everyone happy, except the DUP leadership, being the results of these recent polls showed a majority of the NI electorate voting in exactly the same way as during Brexit, a large majority for staying within the EU customs area and why not receive subsidies from both the EU and the UK.

    Either that or cancel Brexit entirely as i’m sure by now the majority of the British electorate rue their leave vote and understand the reality of what they may face alone, outside the worlds largest trading zone.

    Only a day or two ago, the local BBC evening-news interviewed a number of Sunderland residents, (The town its self voted heavily to leave) the result was IMO one of ignorance from each and everyone interviewed, yes they were tired of Brexit but had no idea of what the results of leaving would mean for them.

    Meaning how much awareness is there from the general electorate during this particularly serious situation and how much trust is there of Theresa May who’s total involvement has consisted of travelling to Brussels in what appears to be a daily trip to ask the same questions and to receive the same answers on The Back-Stop.

    But that doesn’t appear to daunt her in any way, does she know something we don’t ?

  96. “And look your reply to my enquiry on hydrogen powered cars available was to talk nonsense about what you think may be available, when we both know there is no such thing.”

    Et voila!

    There were engineers from all over Britain who drove the Steam Age, not just Scotland. You really do seem to have it in for jolly old England! The Steam Engine was invented by Thomas Newcomen (English), and improved by people like James Watt (Scottish) and Richard Trevithick (English). Trevithick was a hugely important figure as he also invented the railway, not the Geordie, George Stephenson as many think, though he is sometimes known as the ‘Father of the Railways.’

    That wasn’t a joke, I actually said it to two Denver lasses I met in Cambodia without thinking about the ‘two nations separated by a common language’ thing first and they looked rather shocked for a second.

    The UK is not in ‘decline’ in economic terms, but it IS becoming more and more unequal like the US, or like Britain was back in Victorian times. Back then its economy was booming and it was the ‘workshop of the world’, yet there were millions who lived in hovels and could hardly feed themselves. The First World War was a bit of a shock when they discovered that many of the new recruits from among the poor were undernourished and suffering from poor people’s diseases.

  97. Bournemouth should have had Lerma sent off in that game for a dangerous challenge on Ayoze Perez, which riled me up for the rest of the game, even more so when they scored twice (one a slightly debateable penalty) in the second half. Then we should have had a definite penalty for a back pass which everybody could see. If I said that Mike Dean was a shite referee, that would be insulting to shite, yet he just goes on and on refereeing big games. Ritchie’s goal got us a point right at the end, but I’m still not happy. I can’t stand it when we get Mike Dean. One point I picked up on was when the commentator mentioned when Lerma fouled Perez was that little Bournemouth paid something like £28 million for him. They also payed something approaching that for Solanke from Liverpool, along with a brace of other £10 million+ players, which once again puts Ashley’s Toon in perspective.

    Chuck, on your earlier point about people being ‘educated’ about things such as a ‘Backstop’ before the Brexit Referendum, some of these things were unforeseen and can only be looked back on in hindsight rather than warned about in foresight as we were embarking on a journey into uncharted waters.

  98. Worky
    My point is that there was no given explanation as to why the UK should leave the EU, neither that or anything else was ever discussed.

    In which case what was the reason that the UK had to have this, stupid Referendum?

    Actually we all know it was considered by the then PM (Cameron) as a done deal, and there were no explanations as to what would happen if by chance those voting to stay lost.

    And when they were then confronted with the present situation, had no clue as everyone was in a state of shock and totally unprepared.

    An offer was made by the EU. to make a special case about NI, offering to let them stay within the EU Customs union along with the ROI, which was refused, though the public there had voted overwhelmingly to stay and in recent polls voted exactly the same, unfortunately PM May
    who had bought the Parliamentary votes of the DUP leaders, could hardly agree being on a personal level she needed their votes and thought she could find a way to manipulate the Backstop, or force it through, which has proven to be more difficult being it would probably negate part’s of the Good Friday agreement .

    The woman is obviously a fool, who has run out of ideas and it’s now facing a no deal Brexit, which is the worst of all possible outcomes.

    Ah well !.

    Deal with it !

  99. Of course breaking up the UK as claimed by Theresa May
    in the case of NI is a joke, being it was created out of the barrel of a gun and only as recently as 1922.

    Prior to that the UK was created in 1707 following what has become a questionable result in regard to the vote, a bit of voting manipulation has been claimed and became known as “The United Kingdom of great Britain and Ireland”.
    Wales being annexed by England in the sixteenth century.

    It was not until after the Irish war of independence that the northern statelet was created (an enforced choice) a continued war or a settlement,and became part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & NI

    And as I stated prior in this blog, the present population is quickly becoming a statelet where the Irish nationalist population, growing at a rate that will see them reach a majority around 2021-2, which would indicate there will be a demand for a referendum to decide on whether the two states will become united.

    However the eventuality of The ROI and NI reuniting is almost a guarantee , and the fact that NI will remain a part of the UK , until then, would only prepare it for the eventuality that will result in a United Ireland, with both sides still members of the EU, would be in everyone’s interest, including Theresa May’s if she ever thought about it seriously..

    So Theresa how bout you let the people of the NI statelet remain within the Customs Union as they indicated was their choice both in the original Brexit vote and the most recent polls and solve everyone’s problems.

    It’s just that simple.

  100. Chuck, your understanding of European History lacks depth and context. Back in the old days things were undefined. Ireland was initially invaded in 1171 by the Normans who had invaded and taken over England around 100 years earlier in 1066. As for Wales, it was ‘annexed’ by Henry VIII whose Welsh father, Henry VII had taken over the throne of England after the Wars of the Roses, replacing the Platagenets who were originally from Anjou in France. Hence, looking at things in your way, you could also say that a Welshman annexed England before his son annexed Wales, even though the Wars of the Roses which brought the Tudors to power was supposed to be a struggle between Yorkists and Lancastrians. History has always been the struggle between powerful men from wherever, and the poor and powerless from wherever just live with the consequences of these power struggles which have defined history.

    As for the future, who knows? but you always seem to salivate over the prospect of the decline and demise of the UK.

  101. Worky

    You claim that Wales was taken over by Henry the eighth, look that’s just not the case, though that question has a variety of answers.

    Also depth and context.

    It could be acceptable to call the original Statute of Rhuddian around the late twelfth century, when the then King Richard the first, led a massive army and defeated the (Welsh) Prince of Wales, who was killed and two years later his Brother was executed.

    The other time was between 1535 & 1542, when the official annexation took place, incorporating Wales fully into the English legal system and enforced English as it’s official language , plus eradicated the Welsh legal system.

    Of course it was shortly after that they at the end of the nine year war in Ireland that Ulster finally fell to Elizabeth the first’s army.

    Which up until then had remained a Celtic Province, that of Ulster, the nine year war was a guerilla type war, led by The O’Neill and O’Donnell combined leadership which had protected Elizabeth the first’s army’s from invading Ulster.

    It was decided to make a forced March to Kinsale around three hundred mile, in an attempt to lift the siege of some hundreds of Spanish soldiers, however following the march and the fact they were used to a guerilla type warfare, they were defeated in a set piece battle, leaving Ulster open to invasion by the large English army in Ireland.
    The result was the flight of the Earls, the leadership of the Gaelic community who existed there, leaving them leaderless.

    Following the invasion of Ulster, which resulted in many of the native Irish population being dispossessed and forced to exist in the worst of conditions , by a plantation drawn mostly from the north of England and south western Scotland’s poor, who were of a different religion, the Irish having kept Catholicism as their religion.

    Of course following the Irish war of independence, it was decided that those from the Plantation Stock, mainly in the two north easternmost counties, should be given a statelet of their own, why ? because they could, no Brexit in those days only the will of the monarch and the might of the British Empire, it was decided that six counties would be enough for such a statelet.

    Which has proven to be a continuous problem, between “the ascendency” and the dispossessed” , the only part of the UK where the police were Armed and yes it was a police state, for the protection of those who inherited their land from the natives. .

    Well now we have Brexit where once again that Statelet is a problem, in regard to the Border, where a new hard border would be anathema to everyone.

    However recent polls have indicated that there has been little change between the Brexit vote and the most recent polls, that in fact many of the farmers there remain in favor of staying, even if that goes against the policies of the DUP, who in turn, fear any form of separation such as remaining inside the EU Customs Area, hell better to receive two subsidies than one.

    Instead the dauntless, PM Theresa May, continues in the forlorn hope of forcing a time limit on the Backstop and as many times as she has asked has been told, due to any possible conflict with the Good Friday Agreement, to which the UK is a major signature holder, they can forget about .
    changing the Backstop.

    Apparently no one has informed the present leader of the
    Parliament that Britain (the UK) has been in the process of devolving from colonization since WW1 and it’s time to get out of Ireland entirely and to not worry so much about the UK as it is due to be reduced by the devolution of Scotland as soon as they possibly can.

    Face it Ireland was the first colony and is destined to be the last.



  102. And no I neither salivate nor find any joy in a now deteriorating one time Empire, but only register it here knowing that most people in the UK are basically ignorant of their own history, which as in most countries is seldom close to truth.

  103. Chuckles, YOU were the first person to say that Wales was “annexed” in the sixteenth century (“Wales being annexed by England in the sixteenth century” as you wrote) and it was, by Henry VIII in 1535 and 1542. Now you tell me that I am wrong for agreeing with what you said! Whatever! I give up! Whatever you say.

    However my main point, which Nutmag touched upon with his Adlerian ‘inferiority complex’ comments earlier (Adler was the major student of Freud who originally coined that term) is that you Yanks have a big problem with dissonance. This is because most of your national myth was built in the time of the ‘Founding Fathers’ of the late 18th Century on the notion of the US being the plucky, democratic, Republican underdog fighting against the tyranny of a monarchical bully called the United Kingdom. However, now, YOU are the Britain, YOU are the Ancient Rome, YOU are the most powerful nation on earth, whose armies spread throughout the whole planet. You can no longer play the part of the oppressed underdog railing against the old empire which no longer exists anyway, though so many of you still do. That is dissonance, though some might call it hypocrisy.

    Finally, what does the end of your last comment mean (“i protestant?”) Did you fall asleep again half way though making it? ;-)

  104. Yes we are big, wealthy, with powerful armed forces, etc, but we also have a built in system of checks and balances, within the political system which makes sure we don’t end up with a dictator or like yourselves an idiot who like the Pied Piper of Hamelin is leading you to a disaster, and as a former ruler of subjugated people’s with not many friends in this world.

    But you must get your heads together and adapt to your circumstance , but by going it alone and trading within the WTO rulebook is not exactly something desirable, better to be a medium sized country within Europe, than a has-been or as Nutmag referred to it a tiny backward Island off the coast of western Europe,

    Hmmm ! didn’t you yourselves once use other countries to assemble British products when you actually manufactured things, however thanks to that other screwup Female PM Maggie Thatcher, who believed manufacturing was not the way to go and preferring a Service Industry, perhaps because she was a shopkeepers daughter.

    Soh ! is the UK about to rely on the City of London with it’s massive involvement in the worlds financial markets, as it appears that many of those old established private banks have disappeared and the fact the pound may take a pounding, during the post Brexit search for a future.

    Being PM May has proven to be not up to the job of leading the country, then it’s up to the opposition to prevent this total collapse by either calling for an election, or a second choice at reversing the referendum being not just most of those who voted the first time had no idea, about what it would mean, but even most MP’s had no clue and would be willing to bet, that many still don’t, which if that’s the case how many of the Electorate are better informed.

    And yes we have the Donald, which I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but for two more years, or if not the checks and balances are still in place.

    Can you or do you have any clue as to where the UK will be two years from now, no ! didn’t think so !

    But what amazes me more than anything is the fact the UK is about to sever it’s ties to the EU to do what ?

    For instance why have there been no debates on the subject not a word from either Theresa or the Reese-Mogg types, who still believe the UK is so important, that Europe wants to hang onto desperately and if they are forceful enough, can demand whatever they want, yeah sure !

    Well I just don’t get it ?

  105. Chuck. Please stop using my reference to us being “a tiny backward country off the west coast of Europe” out of context . I only referred to it as such as most of your posts implied that’s what you thought we actually where. It is in fact not what I believe in any way. I do suppose I could use the last phrase in your last post in the same way Chuck says “He just doesn’t get it.”
    As for Brexit yes we all know it was a monumental mistake by Cameron (The man who always wanted to be Prime Minister but didn’t know how to be one)
    After years of austerity, daily reports and TV pictures of the hoards of refugee’s trying to cross the channel, it was bound to be a protest vote. Being the result was an almost 50/50 split has made it even worse. Carry it through and you will always have a disgruntled 50%. Call it off or have a revote and you will still have a disgruntled 50% only a different 50%
    I would just like to add most of the refugees were a result of yours and ours destabilizing the middle east with our actions.
    I have to admit NOT having voted to leave I still have a hankering for it to go through. Just to see who the Brexiteers will blame when it all goes wrong.
    My bet would be they will blame the MPs for not getting it right.
    Again I must say there are some advantages to being old.
    Chuck do I take it you don’t think Trump will get a second term? He is still causing some havoc even with your checks and balances. Who knows what he could achieve with a second term.

  106. .


    Sorry if I offended you and yes I did realize I took your description out of context, just couldn’t resist it.

    Well as precious time passes, i’m curious as to how now that things in regards to Brexit have become clearer, (no thanks to either of the major party’s) I still have little idea what the hell is really happening.

    Apparently Wor Theresa is a daily visitor to Brussels, arriving with the same offer that has been refused from day one, an electronic miracle that will take care of the Backstop to avoid a hard border, which is a direct contravention of the Good Friday Agreement and is sent back with the same refusal as every previous offer.

    I imagine she is confident that the EU will give her what she wants, through sheer persistence, which ain’t gonna happen, but there you are.

    And being both the Scots and those of NI, (who’s vote have been bought by the Tory’s) are not happy with things, the Scotts probably being a bit more knowledgeable about what’s going on in regard to themselves being subject to the lawmakers in an English dominated parliament and the NI farmers addicted to those EU subsidies are also unhappy, with talk about another referendum for each in regard to devolving from the UK.

    And can one blame them watching the chaotic negotiations from a seriously fractured party and the internal disputes between it’s members,

    Which could eventually leave a UK, consisting of both England and Wales alone, which is a lot closer to Your original joking concept.

    As for NI, I have explained the demographic changes taking place there, which should see a United Ireland within the next 5 years for sure, where those wealthy farmers can continue to collect the substantial subsidies
    that makes them happy by being a part of the EU, once more.


  107. Comment of the month award goes to Nutmag.

    I voted remain, though I would never describe myself as a ‘remainer’ as the people who do are really getting on my tits now, and I can’t stand the EU either. It is a microcosm of the neoliberal world we live in, run for the benefit of transnational corporations rather than people. But enough about that!

    There was a great documentary on TV last night about Hollywood film star, Hedy Lamarr, which I’d seen before. In her spare time she was a brilliant inventor who invented (among other things) frequency hopping to avoid the jamming of Allied torpedo guidance systems by the Axis powers during the War, and is now a very important part of wireless technology with things such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. They didn’t take her seriously enough though as they thought that she was too beautiful to be brilliant. They only started using her invention many years after the war and they never gave her anything for it, even though it was an extremely important invention and she was skint in her later life. When she offered to help the war effort though the National Inventor’s Council, they told her to use her pretty face selling War Bonds instead.

  108. As if Brexit wasn’t enough, there’s another piece of potentially disastrous legacy legislation still to come from David Cameron which may cause rioting in the streets, the ‘porn block’. In a few days, horny UK internet users will find access to their favourite porn sites blocked and to gain access, they will have to give lots of their personal details to a dodgy porn company on the other side of the world in order to ‘crack one off’ which will have very bad consequences indeed in the long run. Loads of priapic men in their haste to get to the action will hand over a full profile of information including their address, credit card details etc and eventually get their most personal details hacked by God knows who in God knows where. I think that David Cameron might well be the worst Prime Minister ever. Most people don’t even know about this yet.

  109. Chuck, when you say “Either that or cancel Brexit entirely as i’m sure by now the majority of the British electorate rue their leave vote and understand the reality of what they may face alone, outside the worlds largest trading zone.”

    I’m not entirely sure that’s true. I probably know the voting patterns of maybe 12 to 15 people, so it’s not a huge cross-section I admit, and they are fairly evenly split between Leavers and Remainers. But not one has changed their mind in the years since the referendum.

    It’s like the accusation that Leavers or (to a lesser extent) Remainers were unduly influenced by the political campaigning around the referendum. Most of the people I know had held their Leave/Remain belief long before referendum campaigning got under way, probably going back to when Blair first considered (and rejected) the idea of a referendum.

    If there were to be a second referendum I do think Remain would win. They would pick up more of the floating voters who were borderline in the first referendum because they’re largely pissed off with the whole thing, but I’d be surprised if the final result was anything more significant that 55-45 and could even be along the lines of the 52-48 we saw first time (just the other way).

    Both sides compromise in a way.

    Remainers generally recognise the deficiencies of the EU but, on balance, feel we’re better off in the long term within it and effecting what change we can from that position.

    Leavers recognise the same deficiencies but, on balance, feel we’re better off in the long term away from the EU even if that involves a short term ‘hit’.

    The press whips up a storm about Remainers being frightened, selfish, ultra-left snowflakes who are too scared to take a short term hit, and Leavers being bigoted, rich, ultra-right racists whose only concern is immigration. Whilst I acknowledge those characterisations exist at the extremes of both sides, they are not, in my experience, prevalent amongst ‘normal’ voters. Or at least not the ones I know.

    What they all can agree on, though, is that parliament is a shambles at the moment.

  110. Hugh, whilst a lot of Leave voters WERE comfortably off right wing bigots of mature years, I think that leave voters are being painted more as poor, uneducated immigrant haters in places like the NE, Lancashire, Yorkshire etc. The ‘narrative’ being pushed is that they are former old school Labour voters who turned to UKIP and the far right after being ignored and treated like shite for decades, as well as a perception that modern Labour cares more about immigrants in ‘that London’ than it does about them.

    One thing for sure is that the older someone is, the more likely they are to remember life BEFORE we joined the then EEC in 1973 and the more likely they are to want to leave the EU. As I pointed out to Chuckles earlier, back then was just before it all went wrong in 1973, GDP growth was a huge 7.4%, unemployment was 2-3%, the jobs were proper, full time jobs with rights and Trade Unions, there were council houses all over the place and houses were much cheaper to buy too.

    Hugh, you’re an Internet expert, what do you think about this porn block thing?

  111. Worky, yes I agree there’s also the perception (in some quarters) that Leave voters are poor, uneducated immigrant haters. Undoubtedly some are, just like some are rich, right wing toffs.

    There’s a definite divide regarding older v younger voters and you pointed out one of the reasons why that may be. But that’s not unique to the Brexit vote. There’s a generational divide in general elections too.

    There’s a lot of unproductive vitriol passed either way across that divide. Some Leavers think the young are just “silly youths” who are too immature to vote until they’re at least 30 and some Remainers think older people “shafted them” and shouldn’t have voted because they’ll be dead soon.

    But I think the stereotypes can be dangerous. Most of the people I know thought at length about how they voted and are not abusing those who voted differently. I think that, in general, is more representative of voters than the characterisations often portrayed in the press and on social media..

  112. The EU have given this completely incompetent Government a real kicking, everything has been by their rules and even some people who voted Remain have been angered by that. The most ironic thing is that Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty was written by a British man (Lord Kerr) to make it very difficult to leave the EU! Even though the rules were stacked against us, Theresa May has done an abysmal job. Even so, the Conservatives with help from the media are very good at making people think that everything is the fault of the other side, eg that the world crisis of the 70s was all the fault of Labour and bolshie Trade Unions, that the world banking crisis and current austerity was caused by Labour overspending, that Brexit is all Jeremy Corbyn’s fault and so on…

    On the vitriol, there really are astroturfers, trolls, bots or whatever you want to call them stirring the pot online to create division.

  113. Hugh and Worky

    there are numerous reasons for the way people voted during the referendum.

    Such things as a revanchist attitude by those who live in once prosperous regions, a difference in class or age, certainly a disguised form of racism, in regards to one of the UK’s most serious reasons “immigration’, one has only to check the records of how the Windrush generation and their descendants have been treated by what appears to be an anti immigration Home Office

    While a total lack of any information to the voting public, by either of the major party’s, which could be described as criminal, were the whole exercise not so ridicules.

    And yes I recall the ROI referendum concerning the Lisbon Treaty resulted in a no vote, due to there being no information to exactly what was included in a “War and Peace” sized booklet, read by almost no one, apart from those who spent a lot of both time and effort and no doubt money, to write it, why ? we will never know, being the UK has no written constitution and that of the US has I believe a total oft two pages.

    And yes a little of arm twisting from the EU, enforced a change , but not before they attempted to clarify things for those others without a clue, that and the ROI’s need for loans from the European banks @ a 7% interest rate.
    It took place during the last economic melt-down.

    As I recall there was no pro or con information concerning Brexit, apart from some bus inscribed by an advertisement
    that claimed that there would be savings made from payments to the EU that could be of help in supporting the NHS, which proved to be untrue.

    As for Theresa May, who by now must be considered a bit of a nut case, with her daily trips to Brussels with the same information asking the same questions that receive the same answers and being so adamant and persistent that both the ROI and EU, will become tired of it and grant her a time limit on The now infamous Back-Stop, which ain’t gonna happen.

    Of course the two main party’s are almost equally to blame
    neither offering any intended policies or even criticism of one-another. and yes it’s a sad day for the UK, who following Brexit, regardless of he outcome will be reduced to two combined countries England and Wales, the Scots will be awaiting a new referendum in regard to independence and an opportunity to rejoin the EU.

    Meanwhile NI is said to be in favor of following the Scots out, though it’s of no consequence as they will once again
    become a member of a re-united Ireland, already an EU member, which would take place within the next few years, because of the demographic changes taking place .

    And Worky

    there is actually no exact reference to hardening the border, within the Good Friday Agreement, however other necessities such as the removal of former Customs posts
    and other buildings formerly used by the British and ROI army and civil service’s having to be removed, certainly implies a soft border continue, which is also a demand from the majority of people of both sides of the border

  114. Which drivel are we talking about ?

    If you are referring to The group from Doncaster and their beliefs I agree, most average people should be aware of the results of deindustrialization by now, it having occurred around thirty years ago, that’s not news !

    I find it a ridicules situation (thank you very much (Mr Cameron) but find Theresa Mays attempts to solve the question of planning a future outside the worlds largest trading block as equally ridicules, there is no way that the UK can do any better than by staying within that economic zone, and to go it alone under WTO rules would be a form of national suicide.

    And yes, to blame the politicians would be wrong though they have proven to be stupid the Voting Public are the ones that actually voted for Brexit, meaning how stupid are they ?

    The Scots and those in NI, at least had the intelligence to vote overwhelmingly to stay, being aware that to leave the
    EU, would be a form of political suicide, the Scots have already stated they will not wait and will divorce themselves from the UK as soon as possible, with the likelihood of rejoining the EU shortly after.

    Whereas (due to the statistics surrounding population growth) NI can reenter the EU by re-uniting with the ROI, which is a certainty according to the most recent polls, leaving a UK consisting of both Wales and England.

    WHAT ! yes folks that’s how it looks, ain’t life grand.

  115. Chuck, what I meant was that you rely too much on drivel from the media from some of the things you’re saying, we live here. Whatever anybody thinks about Brexit, leave or remain, Theresa May lost the game when it had hardly even started by capitulating to two phased negotiations with the EU. She didn’t have to do that and it was one of the worst decisions in the history of decision making. Basically, she allowed them to take everything before they gave her a thing and it was all destined to go downhill from there. Of course though, the current Government has made lots decisions which will go down in the annals of bad decision making since they came into office in 2010, they get away with it for long enough though because they have the uncanny knack of shifting the blame on to the other side through constant propaganda.

  116. Worky

    My drivel came from reliable sources, that staunch West Brit newspaper The Irish Times and groups of unprepared people in the street, (in Sunderland) that I can vouch appeared to be randomly chosen.

    It appears the Irish do in fact attempt to inform their citizens of what to expect from Perfidious Albion, responsible for the mistake that was the creation of that useless little colony statelet and stupid enough to wage war on half of it’s citizens (the original inhabitants) there for a period of thirty years, but still cant let go.

    So far not having daily access to most British newspapers and reliant on the news from The BBC, I find there’s seldom anything new in regard to negotiations, just Theresa back and forth begging the EU to remove the time limit on the so called Backstop and receiving the same reply each time, “that’s a policy” ?

    It may have been at the time when the statelet was forced on the people of Ireland, but that was when might was right .

    She was given an opportunity to have NI stay within the customs union of the EU, but screwed it up, stating she didn’t want to break up the UK, fact is she is about to end up alone with only Wales to accompany her, being in a few short years Scotland and NI, will once again be members of the EU, NI through it’s being a part of a United Ireland and Scotland via it’s newly acquired independence.

    And yes you are right, certainly in regards the Tory’s ability to
    shift blame to others, being at this time the blame for May’s
    debacle are claimed to be, not the two entities negotiating the deal, but on the Irish, who persist in refusing something they have no control of, “the Backstop” !.

    You can be assured, that if things don’t go the way May would like, the easiest target and oldest, will be the Irish, who are a large part of the British economy, because following Eliabeth 2’s
    visit a couple of years ago, almost all of the Brits. large box stores began to replace older Irish department stores, same with supermarkets, and still to-day Irish farmers are dependent on British trade.

    When one seriously think’s about the present situation The UK finds itself in and through an idiot of a PM and his guaranteed
    success to increase the Tory majority in parliament, to the present unknown future, where without a decent trade deal from the EU, who knows what life will be like, a sad ending to an Empire which covered 20% of the earths surface until as recent as some of us remember, sad but inevitable.

    And oh ! it’s not all bad news, being UK citizens will once again have access to the storied “Blue Passports” no doubt it will cost them but what the hell, at least there will be no customs and immigration booths on entry labeled “EU citizens” only labels such as “Them and Us”

    But what I cant understand is to knowingly make life more difficult for a country and especially it’s citizens is unforgivable
    especially when now most of those who voted are taking a serious look at what the future has in store for them and realize that the idiots in charge are seriously willing to ruin the country
    for a policy that had never been seriously considered by the dumb ass electorate nor explained to the country.

    Idiocy, Idiocy, Idiocy !!!!!

  117. I just happened to note that one of the three choice’s now open to the Government is a cancellation of Brexit, which should have occurred when examined by the government shortly after the result of the referendum, everyone understanding the fact the referendum appeared out of no-where and without any prior pro or con information,

    As to the consequences or what might be gained or lost and firmly believe that most of the British Electorate continue to remain ignorant. being that no one is aware of which direction will end up as the acceptable one.

    Obviously I would think that by now most people realize the consequences of a Brexit of any kind and would prefer the whole sad f**k up had never occurred so there’s the answer, just take a deep breath and declare the whole thing what it is a total f**k up.

    Believe me it’s a better policy than continuing with this embarrassing nonsense, and ending up adrift in the world without any trade deals and having to do business within The WTO rules.

    Oh ! I know that the country will have still to negotiate trade deals with the EU as an outsider soon, but don’t think for a minute that will be any easier than Brexit,
    ” I guess you done done it and there ain’t no use’n talk’n bout it no moh !”

  118. Chuck, I’ll say it again, you really are obsessed with the downfall of the UK!

    Some would say (including myself) that newspapers, and the media in general are often unreliable sources of information, though there are few notable exceptions among journalists. You mentioned the blue passport thing, a classic media driven talking point used by right wing, Brexit media to stir up patriotism among its readers, and by media such as the Guardian to paint Brexiters as stupid old reactionaries who want to go back to the days of Harold Macmillan. We could have had blue passports anyway and the old ones, although technically one of the deepest shades of blue, actually looked black to anyone who looked at them – The new blue passports are much lighter and don’t look the same as the old ones at all anyway with the nice little details like the die cut front covers and hard bindings.

    Actually, I would say that thing which was more relevant to why people voted for Brexit was the other salient point about the blue passport affair, they were lovingly crafted by the finest Artisans in Gateshead under conditions of the highest security, but the Government, under EU laws of contract procurement, awarded the contract for the new ones to a company in France, not on the grounds of quality and security, which is of vital importance for such an important document, but merely on saving cost (around £100 – £120 million), a saving which is debatable anyway when you factor in the cost of losing jobs in one of the most economically deprived parts of the UK. Being made in France will automatically make them somewhat less secure with the added transit and less supervision over security at the factory.

  119. Worky

    Well it’s good to hear you are going to have a brand-new passport in whatever shade of blue, as you are going to have to use it everywhere, apart from Wales.

    Though a bit unfair to the Scots who play sports in blue and the national flag is a white St. Andrews Cross on a blue background
    who no doubt will also need a national passport which I would assume would be blue, after-all England is closer associated with the color red, no?

    I assume it won’t take long for the Scots to declare Independence and at the same time apply to rejoin the EU

    Which raises the question, once Scotland becomes secure as an EU member, will that trigger the necessity of a hard border, between the EU and UK or will there be a series of discussions in regard to the rights of residency and the right to vote, plus
    the terms of nationalization, plus freedom to travel. ?.

    I guess you realize the problems you The (UK) are causing among it’s residents and the Irish obvious your fellow EU residents consider you crazy in a bemused way and industry will no doubt leave, especially non British industry, that is unless The UK becomes a low wage state

    As for a hard or soft border @ Carter Bar or Carlisle, who knows
    is a back-stop is likely, but what i’m saying is that this stupid Brexit deal will cause complications and tons of work changing the rules and .at what cost, it’s a form of insanity, yet some consider it the best thing since sliced bread, just what are you thinking ?

  120. Chuck, I just got a new passport recently for the next ten years, though I very much doubt I will last that long the way I feel at the moment. It’s Burgundy colourwise just like the last one.

    The thing about Scotland and Northern Ireland leaving the Union and applying to join the EU, is that they would lose their money from the so-called ‘Barnett Formula.’ Public spending per person is 11% higher than the UK average in Wales, 16% higher in Scotland and 20% higher in Northern Ireland and England. All of them carry large deficits every year. So if they did decide to accept them, would they also pick up the tab for Scotland and N.Ireland’s higher levels of spending, maintaining things like free prescriptions for all in Scotland and the rest? Or would they treat them like they treated Greece, let the banks and corporations move in and put them all on a diet of thin porridge? They would also face a huge risk of uncertainty in leaving the Union without knowing if they would be accepted into the EU, let alone knowing if they would be subsidised to the tune of £10s of billions every year. It would be an even bigger leap into the unknown than Brexit.

  121. Worky

    If I were you I would be more concerned about what the UK will do than worry about the Scots, who will do fine and if in fact there’s no price for prescriptions it only indicates they care more about their citizens than the other countries of the UK.

    They also care more about education, especially third level, where there’s much more invested, being they understand that a high quality work force is essential for any country in this modern era.

    Talking about Scotland I just watched a hilarious tape of a BBC
    announcer attempting to explain, why a British Airways plane supposedly bound for Dusseldorf had landed in Edinburgh, the poor guy did his best, unfortunately he kept digging a deeper hole, funny.!

    Just reading the latest Brexit news, and have no clue as to what may come out of it, my advice would be to just apologize and
    admit, the whole procedure was a bad mistake and to just forget about it, being each alternative is worse than the one that preceded it and get a grip on some kind of reality because right now your politicians are the laughing stick of the world and contrary to caring the negotiators from the EU appear to have a certain sense of bemusement about the whole procedure and just like everyone else just want the whole crazy situation over with..

  122. Speaking of passports I recently picked up a new one, colored a dark blue, though I have owned various colors through the many years, it also lasts for a ten year period, which is a bit disconcerting as I would like to outlast it, which is uncertain, but hopefully I will get my money’s worth.

    And believe me more attention is paid to the country of origin than
    too the color.

  123. Getting close to crunch time, talking about the fate of both the club and finding out whether Benitez can be tempted to sign another three year deal.

    Also rumors in regard to certain players, there’s mention of our young no !0 # Perez looking to leave the sunny North East, for La Liga, which doesn’t surprise me, being IMO Almiron was brought in as a replacement for Perez, who in no way has lived up to expectations and it’s time to either sell or trade him.

    Frankly Benitez is much more of a dealmaker than I gave him credit for, lookin at our Slovakian goalie and players like Schere
    and of course our Venezuelan horse up front and I would be surprised if here were not a large turnover in the squad during the summer.
    I find it hard to believe the side would do quite as well under a different manager and though it’s early days we are already
    developing a much better youth system, with young Longstaff fitting well into the side and being looked at by some top clubs.

    Having made an annual profit of twenty big ones I can’t see Ashley being upset, but if he wants a better manager than Benitez, best of luck, the search result would be futile , and hey he could end up with top ten side and a decent youth system to boot, without bankrupting the club.

    As it’s not exactly about the amounts of dosh you spend, but on who and what you spend on.

    But hey ! we all know how much of a tightwad Ashley is.

  124. Chuck, I am not worried about Scotland and Northern Ireland leaving the union, you are the person who is obsessed with those sorts of things. Thomas Paine was a bit like you with his grudge against the UK, which was well deserved I admit as they wanted to hang him; what’s your excuse?

    No football until Monday, and even then it’s Arsenal away, so I don’t fancy our chances too much, still, you never know after Man City. Perez was only around £1.5 million and Almiron was over £20 million. The new lad has showed some good touches at times but Almiron hasn’t scored any goals or provided any assists whereas Perez has scored 3 goals and provided 1 assist since Almiron joined the club.

  125. Chuck, on Ashley, his energies, and his money currently seem to be going into trying to buy up all the British high street chains who are in financial bother because of the Internet. He seems to have a big masterplan for that, but not so much for Newcastle United.

  126. Worky,

    Perez has been here and has been given opportunities that he hasn’t deserved over the last five years or so, with what result ?
    There’s no doubt that he will never live up to earlier expectations, is a poor but constant diver and a worse goal scorer considering his opportunities, sell him !!!

    And before you condemn Almiron, give him an opportunity to show what he is capable of, from what I have seen
    he is both faster and positionally more aware, so before any criticism, lets give the kid a chance and not let the twenty million price tag be an albatross around his neck.

    I mean twenty million is an average price for a decent EPL


  127. Does Ashley not read the newspapers ?

    And realize that both big box stores and shopping malls are closing at a tremendous rate, both in Europe and the US. and there are no more malls being constructed.

    Look at the approaching demise of one of the worlds greatest big box stores Sears (once Sears and Roebuck) yes the one that produced the massive catalogue, where people from (fly over country) used to select their merchandise from, which also included a water-tight guarantee .

    What happened is “time”, and the new technologies, just look at Amazon and other on line sellers, where one can select order and have delivered within a couple of days, almost any merchandise.

    One of he worlds greatest big box stores demise is assured, once the biggest mail order and big box store, who produced more sales than anyone, is now reduced to the few big box stores that are still profitable.

    Sears had a cast iron guarantee, that brought fly over country to the nearest Sears stores to view the merchandise, then go to the massive catalogue select and expect a delivery within a week or more.

    Just look at the worlds top merchandising or the worlds top corporations, Apple, Twitter, Amazon, Facebook, Google, they are all of the moment and have the ability to change and adjust when necessary, box stores are ok in certain areas (cities) but still cannot compete with what’s on offer through the internet, rents, labor etc. in most cities are just
    too expensive.

  128. I read about Sears in a book about the history of Silicone Valley startup companies of all things, kind of like M&S (Marks & Spencer) over here as the standard purveyor of underwear, suits for work and such for honest, decent, middling sorts among other things. It also has the take it back if it’s not right guarantee. Ashley must have a Gordon Gecko type scheme up his sleeve, maybe buy them up dirt cheap as they’re in distress, strip out all the unprofitable stores and sell them to property developers for city centre flats, keep a few of the good ones, sack a few thousand, use all the deals the old companies had going on with suppliers to build an Internet empire, I don’t know, I’m just wildly speculating off the top of my head.

    On the subject of your so-called ‘Founding Fathers’, I finished Paine a while back and I now have ‘Franklin’s Wit and Wisdom’ as my current bath time reading. He was a funny old sort: “A ship under sail and a big bellied woman, are the handsomest two things that can be seen common.”

    “Never praise your Cider, Horse, or Bedfellow.”

    There were never great expectations about Ayoze Perez, he was a cheap (£1.5 million) Segunda Division punt who might be a prospect, or someone who could be counted on for emergencies. Give him a break, he’s an honest lad who’s done alright. WTF is going on with Beardsley though? The affair with Kathy Secker and the rather sickly praise for Ashley apart, he seemed an innocent ‘Forrest Gump’ type lad, but the gossip coming out now makes him sound like Satan himself!

  129. Worky

    Yes ! a well known insult to describe an unsophisticated mid-westerner was “Dressed by Sears & Roebuck”.
    However it introduced a method of the way most retailers of the great unwashed managed to reach their goal of providing an almost unlimited choice of everything from a wedding dress, to a washing machine.
    And played it’s part in retailing history.

    Being a pre war child and having observed the changes taking place from then to the present, I have a certain advantage of being a part of that history, yet still amazed by what drives it, especially to day.

    Though i’m sure some who may glance at this particular blog will understand I have my pet peeves in regard to our modern society and their usage of the toy to beat all toys, “The Smartphone” a hand-held look that can inform one in a matter of seconds about anything and everything.

    However it has it’s price, this machine can be compared with Orwell’s big brother attempt at describing our future.
    Only the direct opposite of Orwells dystopian world.
    If one ever expects to find information about ones self this is the place to find it, being the primary goal is to suck up every last piece of information possible about you, the future being he who has the most information wins.
    Wins what you may ask, well it actually projects the power of knowledge and though many realize that it is owned and used by those who’s names or logo’s appear on the wealthiest corporations lists, they (those who understand)
    continue to use with abandon, repeating the mantra “if you are not involved in anything untoward, why worry ”
    Obviously those names we are all aware of are so wealthy and predatory that to many they represent a new way of living, many just walk down the street oblivious of others reading some nonsense about the royals perhaps, while the googles and others are working hand and glove with
    the agencies of most first world countries, CIA, NSA, FBI,
    M5-6 etc., being they are the ones who deal in a form of secrecy that can only they can provided by these organizations.
    There’s an interesting book just published in Jan of this year called “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism” by Shoshana Zuboff. certainly worth asking your local librarian to reserve a copy for you, which will answer any questions you may have in regard to the advantages and disadvantages of owning an operating Smart Phone.

  130. That was one your best comments for a while, Chuck, I really enjoyed reading it. You don’t have to warn me about the perils of our increasing reliance on the Internet though, or how much and why we are surveilled. I’ve discussed this with Hugh before, when I think about smartphones I don’t thonk about George Orwell, I think about an American chap called BF Skinner. A pioneer of ‘Behavioralism’ and heavily influenced by Pavlov (of ‘Pavlov’s Dog’ fame). BF Skinner was a psychologist who didn’t go in for all that fancy Freudian speculation about one’s childhood, one’s parents and sexual perversions etc, that was very decadent and ‘European.’ Skinner was a practical man who was more interested in controlling a human, or a rat through a system of rewards and punishments. Using the insights of Skinner, smartphones are designed to reel you in with a steady stream of little rewards which stimulate your brains and keep you interested so you’re hooked. Little buttons which bring instant joy.

    Whatever the NSA and GCHQ are up to, Israel is now a or even the leading exporter of tools for spying on civilians. Many years ago now, they originally developed the applications behind all these trolls and bots you see online trying to influence arguments on discussion forums and Twitter, Facebook etc, where one person can control many so-called ‘sockpuppets’ to influence debate all over the world. It’s a big part of their army, which gives Israel a very high proportion of trained computer programmers through their permanent conscription program into the Israeli forces. Whilst the big lummoxes are sent off to bully Palestinians, the brainy ‘geeks’ over there are whisked off into their cyber division. When they leave, they often go on to work in or form companies that work in the commercial sector on stuff like security and surveillance.

    Changing the subject, I can remeber my childhood introduction to the American style superstore, Woolco in Washington! The real Washington too, not the pale imitation you have over there.

  131. Worky

    Well thanks for the comments on my previous comments.

    Sure I remember BF Skinner, after all he was as you stated
    a no nonsense behaviorist but what I didn’t know was he was heavily influenced by Pavlov.

    I have this annoying habit of relating what it is that makes those Russian bear dance when they hear that certain melody.
    Curious, it’s simple, heat the bear’s floor until it becomes almost unbearable, then play the melody, while the bears have to lift their feet continually because of the heat, which in turn appears to be a form of dancing.
    And of course it follows that anytime the bears hear that melody they associated it with a hot floor and begin dancing.

    It works likewise with humans only on a more sophisticated level

  132. Oh yes coming from an age when you could live your entire life within a twentyfive mile radius. Your information came from a set of encyclopaedia that where out of date before you got them on your bookshelf, is a world away from this age of technology that seems to change by the hour.
    The scary part of it is not just the “Big Brother” thing like walking past an establishment and getting an instant message on your smart phone to review it, but the way it is changing communities and society’s. Modern kids can have a community of friends that is worldwide but don’t speak to their neighbours next door.
    There was something to be said for living within an area like a pit village etc where there was an equality and trust. It was growing up in such a community that I grew up with an instinct choosing friends, ones I could trust in a life or death situation. It worked in the mines and also in the forces. How can people of today make that judgement without face to face contact. I have always been a “people watcher” body language and facial expressions mean so much.
    That’s not to say I don’t trust you guys (but not with my life anyway)
    I have a vision of the future, a room full of people texting each other and not talking or looking at each other. The death of conversation.
    Having said all that I’m thankful for social media as it keeps my family in constant touch even though they are spread far and wide.
    It also goes to prove I’m a better conversationalist than writer

  133. Chuck, Nutmag, unless I get hopelessly lost because of my lousy sense of direction, I only use my Smartphone for voice calls and texts, but I do use the Internet A LOT on my laptop, I use it to find out all sorts of information, however, I have never gained the deep knowledge I have gained through old fashioned paper books which have been around for thousands of years now. I don’t like reading them through ‘Kindle’ or similar devices either. I just can’t concentrate on them in the same way.

    Nutmag, do you remember Mrs Thatcher told an interviewer from ‘Woman’s Own’ that there is “no such thing as society, there are individual men and women and there are families?” In this she was promoting the idea of social atomism, that we are all like self interested hyenas fighting over a carcass until the Lion comes along. As ‘Gordon Gecko’ said in the film ‘Wall Street’ “Greed is good, greed works.” This is what has caused the malaise of which you write, the atomisation of communities and the society we used to live in. Before anything else we need to restore society and the sense of common good which has been systematically stripped down by the atomists.

    Moving on to the modern technology which has made us even more alienated, I will use a quote I have used on here before, from Johnny Rotten speaking about Richard Branson he once said “Never trust a hippy!” I think that what he really meant was never trust a hippy millionaire. Never trust people like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg when they bang on about their messianic misson to “connect people,” (it is pretty much the only thing Zuckerberg ever says). They are even worse than the ones which came before them because they come in disguise as rebels, as mavericks against the old order, as people who will lead us to a new “connected” society when the truth is pretty much the exact opposite.

    Finally, Nutmag, don’t be so modest, you are very good writer indeed and I always look forward to your comments on here.

  134. Worky I have to agree with what you say. I had a very dear old friend who was a lecturer in history who had a knack of never answering a question but instead getting you to answering it yourself. The only question he ever answered for me was when I asked soon after Maggie had been elected “What will be the one thing that she will leave when she is gone. “Looking after you and yours and protecting them yourself ” I didn’t fully understand the answer at the time but I soon did.
    I agree with books I grew up in a house with bookshelves that groaned with the weight of all the old classics, encyclopaedia’s, books on anything and everything.
    No I can’t get on with Kindle and the like. There was something about letter writing and receiving to that was a bit special being able to reread them. Something I can’t imagine doing with a text, and this from a man who got two “Dear Johns” on the same day but that’s another story

  135. Nutmag

    Don’t underestimate your abilities, you tend to be more precise in your statements, than either Worky or myself.

    And if you have something to say, I suppose this blog is as good as any.

    I find that lately there has been a number of articles printed
    that show an awareness of the fact the new technologies are not quite the benevolent technologies we originally thought they were, I’m sure many astute users have reached that same conclusion a while ago.

    Being it’s a somewhat recent form of communication, with laws concerning it’s usage dependent on where and who
    it is that provides it.

    Whether it’s Apple, Google etc, they all fed us that bullshit warning concerning privacy, by which they mean we will decide what privacy is. followed by a bunch of legalese the length of war and peace that even those who were responsible for it, have no memory of it’s meaning.

    This media needs an internationally agreed upon set of laws, that it operates by not rules decided by Apple or one of the other providers. but an international agency, that is
    considered respectful.

    Yep ! it was an interesting media in those early days, which allowed a certain freedom of speech and a sense of finally a media which covered the world and could be used by almost anyone anywhere.

    Which has now been reduced to certain countries allowing only what they choose to allow, to it’s citizens.

    And all one has to do is take a glance at the corporations that are presently listed as the wealthiest according to the financial reports, Apple, Google ……. well all of the “.coms”

    Who are also involved with government agencies, CIA, NSA, etc. being they have access to all forms of communications and work in partnership with both other corporations and governments, a tangled mess of interests.
    And the idea of a storage site for all the information created from day one, I’m talking about the area in Utah two football sized fields in length, intended to be the worlds largest collection of everything concerning events , history,
    projected events, more craziness.

    I recall a friend attempting to explain the value of having information many years ago and feel safe to add, this must then be “the age of information”
    And how easy it has been to get people to buy into that plan, with the same old adage “if you re not doing anything untoward, why worry” whereas possibly a certain percentage of smartphone users would waste less time and manage to navigate their way in a busy street, without everyone bumping into each other, by using a dumb phone, not one that follows your every movement and records your very life for others to store.

    I’m going to end this with the thought, it appears I am becoming more paranoid than ever, with the so called co-incidences that occur in my daily life, which I cant figure out
    how when or where they (Big Bro) receive that particular info from.

    There are finally a number of decent books that have been written as far as this subject is concerned and where it may be heading, might be a good idea to check with your local public library .

  136. Nutmag, my shelves still groan with books and old fashioned records. The records still sound much better than downloads and even CDs, which are mostly unlistenable as they have been ‘overnormalised’, where the lower level sounds are made louder so they are closer to the higher level sounds, which takes away all the dynamic range from the music so it sounds really unpleasant and irritating on the ear, like the overnormalised adverts on the TV which also sound really loud and painful.

    Chuck, web servers in Utah are like chickens in Iowa, it’s one of the big things they do, from the NSA to a small business website from the other side of the world. Apparently, Iceland and the Scandinavian countries are the best places to have one’s websites hosted though. Firstly, they are very cold, which is perfect keeping huge banks of very hot servers cool, and they also have the best laws for that sort of thing.

    Whether you want it or not it will eventually be a fait accompli, you won’t be able to live without the surveillance society. They want to do away with cash eventually and that will be big step.

  137. I have to admit your right about sound quality, but I have to confess to having an mp3 player and headphones on most of the time while I’m moving about and an old ghetto blaster in my studio which I converted from an old oak garage (that’s the studio not the ghetto blaster!). I do have a neighbour and good friend who is a sound deck and record lover he also has and repairs reel to reels. I hardly ever just sit back and listen to music anymore, I seem too always be moving about Painting in my studio is not the cleanest of environments for record decks either. Shame really as my three loves are painting, music, and food. Don’t get me started about Tv sound and yes I am of a “certain age” but I’m not going deaf.

  138. Nutmag, records have definitely made a comeback, they way they process audio for CDs and downloads is just crazy now, and MP3s actually cut out alot of the audio information, which is why the files are smaller than they would be if they were uncompressed CD quality, it can be that as much as 80% of what you pay for is missing. I do like my old hi-fi equipment as well. Progress doesn’t always move forward like it does with computing power, sometimes they really did make things better in the old days. I know that oil paint and playing records don’t go together from my days at Art College.

  139. Worky

    You mention the fact they are attempting to create a cash free society.
    Is it not true in fact that certain Scandinavian towns are in fact close to being cashless, (one has to give credit to those countries for being constantly aware of and ahead of the curves in lifestyles) not that I’m in favor of joining society as we know it, I much preferred the pre card sixties where one could be an outlaw until “Computer Rule” began in 1980, making it impossible to remain anonymous.
    In fact changing people’s lifestyles forever.
    For instance
    I haven’t yet seen a punter go into a bar and hand the barkeep a card and tell him to run a tab in Europe, but it’s now commonplace here in New York and people like myself who still lay a twenty on the mahogany then leave the change for the barkeep to take out the next drink until it’s either gone or used as a tip, take a guess which system is preferred by bartenders.
    Of course one only has to look directly along the bar and observe that just about every punter has a smart phone sitting directly in front of them, using it to having the occasional conversation, ffs that’s why they have bars, to loosen the tongue and to converse with each other, not to sit staring at the screen of a piece of big bro’s. entry system to everything you do and whenever and where you do it.
    But I guess I’m shoveling shit against the tide, being some of these same assholes, enquire about my act, believing I have somehow fallen behind society’s standards and are willing to explain how modern society now operates.
    I’t aint easy bro.

  140. Chuck. A little glimmer of hope! Only last week a couple of pub chains and restaurants band mobile phones over here, users now have to join the smokers outside.
    I did say its only a glimmer, lets hope it becomes the norm. But I won’t hold my breath.

  141. Chuck, can you imagine being homeless in a cashless society? Being refused a Bank account? being totally cut off from society? I’ve never handed my card over in a bar, it could have all the data ‘skimmed’ off it. As you probably know, skimming goes back decades, well before all this paying by smartphone and such. I did my bit for the revolution the other evening as well, I caused a scene in my local Tesco Metro with the manager when there were no tills available manned by humans. I was like carrying on a bit like Howard Beale in ‘Network’ though I didn’t actually say that I was as mad as hell and I wasn’t going to take it anymore; eventually, with my persistence, a human till was opened and people flocked to it.

  142. Yeah ! been there done that !
    There’s a massive number of Drug store / convenience store’s, here in NY all owned by the same people just having different names as a result of takeovers.

    And being lazy I sometimes used it for convenience it being a 24/7 operation, about a few years ago I was buying some stuff and was directed to a new system of check- out.
    It was self checkout which I was reassured was simple.
    I then enquired as to what had happened to the four high -school checkout kids, I was informed they had to be let go.
    I insisted on being checked out or he could return my would be purchases to the shelves, I explained I was not about to do the job of someone laid off and unless i got paid for it he was going to have to do it, which he did.

    i have to admit to feeling sorry for the manager, not knowing his circumstances, but never again use that particular store.

    It’s also commonplace to find the same situation all across Europe, apart from Sweden where one also may need a credit card.

    The demands for increased profits enforce ideas such as these, however i see there is now two checkout counters open at the store mentioned above, of course it may be for reasons other than people like myself objecting, so don’t give up feel free to express your opinions and threats of boycotting.

  143. Chuck, what makes me go the the full ‘Howard Beale’ is when I tell them I don’t want to use one and they immediately assume that I am a just a geriatric idiot who is frightened and completely clueless when it comes to computers, that they will do it for me and worse, they gently try to lead me by the elbow to the machine I have just told them you don’t want to use. That is the thing which is going to get me into trouble for violence one day!

    I have been though exactly the same routine quite a few times, including the threat of dumping all my shopping and walking out of the shop and yes, the bit about how, in their zeal to get everyone to use those infernal machines, they are signing their own redundancy notices!

    It’s another step towards social alienation too, where we just interact with machines instead of humans.

    Oh well, another game tomorrow, it doesn’t seem like five minutes since the last one. Is Benitez off to France at the end of the season? The French media can be bollocks just like the English media, or it can be when it comes to football anyway.