Saturday 30 November 2013


A few years back I received a letter from the Salvation Army's missing person's bureau. Somebody,  they wouldn't say who,  was missing me, wanting to know where I was.  There wasn't anybody who didn't know where I was that I wanted to know where I was.  Anyone who knew me at all, would know where I was.  And anyone who simply knew my name would googlefind me in seconds;  even people in the Caribbean who didn't know my name were able to find me, or find my young friend, stanislav, who visted me, sometimes;  just a little research was all it took.  This person, then, who wanted to know where I was, was stupid, inept, without resource because they did know my name and address and date of birth;  that was another reason for not wanting them to be able to contact me;  I, none of us, are short of encounters with stupid people and having the brassbanders put me in touch with yet another one seemed to me to be decidedly, on their part, unfuckingChristian. 

Robert Anton Wilson counselled: Remember, before you go out of the door each day,  that ninety eight per cent of the people you are going to meet will be stupid assholes;  not sure how he arrived at the ninety-eight per  cent figure but it's near enough for jazz.

But it was a conundrum, how could anyone who knew my full name and current address and date of birth - with which they had  provided the SallyAnn -  need help in locating me?

The letter, signed  by a Major Rupert Golightly-Gospel, extolled the work of his Army in re-uniting estranged families and friends, the cheeky cunt.  He'd never met my family, obviously.  All I had to do was consent, own-up to being me, it's a fair cop, Major,  and some  cack-handed, confused imbecile would re-enter my life, doubtless to the glory of God, if not to the glory of me, Ishmael..

I ignored the letter.  Three or four more arrived and I ignored them.  Then one arrived from the DWP - Am I Ishmael M Smith? Yes of course I fucking well am, you know I am, you are fucking well writing to me, aren't you, you know my name, my address and my date of birth, don't you, what more do you want, you already have my national insurance number?  And if you are, you see, continued the DWP, the Salvation Army wanna talk to you.

I ignored that one, too, but wondered how the fuck these shinyfaced, tut-tutting, demented busybodies can manipulate a government department.

The letters continued to arrive, one every couple of months, until there was one which identified the seeker;  it was a person who knew me very well, knew where I was, had visited, had sat at this very laptop and needed only to pick up the telephone in order to contact me.

Their enlistment of God's Army is a mystery beyond my understanding and I can only assume that this entirely unnecessary and fraudulent  inveiglement added a frisson of drama to a straightforward estrangement. Too much Cruelty TeeVee.

I don't know what all this cost but this is where your collecting-tin money goes, in fucking nonsense, in employing sentimental half-wits like the Major and in badgering defenceless citizens, like me.  Fucking do-gooding bastards. The nerve of some people, who do they think they are, blundering about, interfering?  

The eventual self-identification of the seeker brought a relief for the letters had stirred painful and disturbing  memories, long subdued, of a different  person whom I had good reason to banish from my corner of reality.  You would, wouldn't you, on receipt of such an impertinent inquiry, scan your recycle bin of horror, thinking Who the Fuck is this,  what  ruinous chorus of complaint am I to hear now? There ought to be a law against this sort of thing.

But that's not the half of it. I was up in Tesco an hour ago,  I was outside with  the Harrisbloke and having just entered a moment ago, mrs ishmael came out of the store in tears.

Wossamatter, what is it?  Oh, Ishmael, I'm crying, I'm so upset. They're asking for food. For the poor people.  A food bank. Here. In our country.

She was weeping, a grown woman, in the middle of the fucking carpark

The store foyer  was bannered-up.  This is what they need, sugar, dried milk, tea, etc etc,  they don't need caviar or parma ham, like decent people do. Whatever you donate, Tesco will add thirty per cent.  In conjunction with the Salvation Army, Tesco is helping you to create a strong neighbourhood by giving food hampers to those in need at this very special time of Consumermas. We even have, via the Salvation Army,  God's own imprimatur,  that's trade mark, for the benefit of customers unhindered by erudition. 


 No other store offers you the chance to work with God. And if they do, we'll give you a free hymnbook voucher and five pounds off your next forty-pound spend. The spend which is really a save.

Good, isn't it, smugged a dopey shelf-stacker, delegated to guard the growing stack of hampers, not even hampers, just those green, plastic bread trays,  the ones with a half-life of forty billion years.  Good, I snarled, raging, good ? Hanging a few bankers would be good.  Oh, yes, he said, nervously. And, as an afterthought,  he said if it wasn't for them we wouldn't need to do this, would we? It was as though he had only just, that second, made the connection, a light had finally gone on in his mind,   maybe that really was the case.  That fat oaf, Carmichael, our hypocrite MP, 

Wossat, poor people, sorry, can't hear you.
I'm seckatry of state for Jock, you know, ho ho ho.

As we predicted, LibDem Big Al is so far doing a great job for the Tribesmen.
Here, in a national debate, he is being Sturgeoned good and proper; every commentator saying that he made a fool of himself.

'as he been down, getting his picture taken,  the useless piece of shit, poncing about?  He stopped following me at that point, wouldn't know who his MP was,  and I bit my tongue anyway, none of it was his fault, except that on reflection he'll think I'm a nutter,  that'll be his fault.

Mrs ishmael was beside herself,  winding herself up, like she does, anxious, worrying; why aren't we paying old people enough money, just to live on, be warm, not be hungry,  we have all this money for war 

- the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan have cost the UK, conservatively, £20,000,000,000 and achieved worse than fuck all -  and we have food banks, here, in our country.  

Because, darling, of people like Carmichael and people like the Salvation Army, ever willing to hold Villainy's coat, as long as, for a brief moment,  they are in Celebrity's  flickering limelight. Charity is the new rock'n'roll.  Utter filth, like the Windsor gang, have their own charities, Hollywood slags have their own charities, are given charity ambassadorships by thieving gangsters at the UN;  charities like Barnardos have been pimping vulnerable children for decades.  Don't argue, they tried it with me.  Father Hudson's Homes, in Birmingham,  the noncing monsignors,  appointed by His unHoliness, himself;  papal knight Savile,  the greatest charity fundraiser in history; convents full of bitter, harridan brutes, stealing children, enslaving children, torturing children.  How many times, how many times, how many times ?

Mrs ishmael  knows all this stuff, she's worked among human wreckage all her life, the fragile and feckless, washed up on the shores of Insolence,  the meek and mild, disinherited that the Proud may strut.  There's nothing she doesn't know about the over-reach of the state,  the cruelty of its officers.  It was just such a slap in the face, the weasely Tesco sanctimony,  the justifying of Ian Duncan Smith's criminality, - yesterday, some city spivs awarded themselves billions in seasonal bonuses - as though this vile foodbank palaver was no more than an exercise in community singing, was not a clebration of shame. Ah-one-two-three-four  Let's all piss in the faces of the poor. 

 It's the willingness of the community to engage, docile and compliant,  in this charitable sleight of hand and feel good about itself,  that's what shocked her.

Don't get upset, get mad, been telling you for years, charity bandits are part of the problem, sweeping up after the offence, paying themselves bundles of idiotmoney, donated by idiotdonors to salve their idiotconsciences.  And in a way the Salvation Army is worse because its careerists award themselves Ruritanian ranks and ribbons, like the Prince of fucking Wales;  the other ranks, the buglers and the charity shop attendants, they're strictly voluntary, but the Captains and Majors are like all Captains and Majors.  Paving slabs,  that's the thing, lamp posts, crucify the bastards, let them be martyrs, instead of  being do-gooders for Ruin.  Jesus, of course, would've considered Himself a private.     Don't think it's very much to do with Jesus, though, the Salvation Army.

I never responded to the seeker and I haven't had a letter for a while now but the next time I'm in London I will pop-in and see the Major, in his missing persons HQ and put the fear of God in him.  

An afterthought on Money being the root of all evil, courtesy of mr verge.


Alphons said...

Yea verily ye hath spoken the truth.....again!

Agatha said...

Hi, Mr. Ishmael,
When I was a Probation Oficer in inner city Birmingham, each Christmas a group of churches would donate hundreds of carrier bags emblazoned with jolly festive greetings and stuffed full of basic groceries together with a massive bar of chocolate. Each Birmingham Probation Office would bid for how many of these carrier bags they wanted and the Probation Officers would deliver them to families in need in the fortnight before Christmas. Always made me feel a little queasy, playing the lady bountiful with donated teabags etc. Still, the donation of a few groceries would free up some of the household income for other, festive purposes and maybe the kids got some chocolate. And now Tesco are in on the act. Got to admire the cynical opportunism of Tesco to spin good will out of their pursuit of increased profits. The other week they were telling us they were ending the BOGOF because people were taking home more than they needed and the extra food ended up in the bin - nothing to do with immediately doubling sales by stopping giving away 50%. And now Mr. Ishmael tells us that they are promoting additional sales by facilitating the donation of food purchased from them to the Salvation Army, and assigning a security guard to discourage people from stealing the donated food. And if you don't join in with this cynical ploy, then you are a bad person, a Christmas grump and happy to see the poor people starve.
In my life time I've seen the flourishing and then the decline of the Welfare State - a once-proud concept but now a dirty word. A few extra groceries at Christmas, soup kitchens, free lunch clubs for the elderly and disadvantaged - gives the benefactors a warm glow; but shouldn't be necessary in a developed, wealthy nation that has proper social care policies and finance in place for its citizens. My experience as a Probation Officer in the inner city a couple of decades ago taught me that there was a cost of collecting, sorting, allocating and delivering the handful of groceries to recipients who knew that they were being belittled by the whole process. Set aside the cost of the salaried time and claimable expenses incurred by the operation, the true cost was in the perpetuation of the client, have-not status of the recipients, their inevitable resentment that they had to be grateful for these crumbs from the rich table of the haves and the social division that inevitably followed.
I'm with Mrs. Ishmael on this one - I'd prefer my taxes support a decent level of income for all and not the perpetual war that our country seems to have been engaged in during my lifetime. And how's the Civil List these days?

call me ishmael said...

Yes, the BOGOF cessation was great, all the news channels covering it as though it was a great, green development, instead of, as you say, a clawing for every penny by a corporation running out of steam, its products now tacky and overpriced, its huge foreign ventures collapsing, its profits slumped. I knew it was on the cards when Terry Leahy left, why would he go, he was a young man, a favourite of govament, he could name his own salary; he must've smelled the rot, felt the rising damp. I hope they get squeezed and wiped out, as they have done to so very many others.

Anonymous said...

'Ruritanian ribbons'. Good. Very good.

You should do this for a living, you really would be successful.

I remember, as a child, completing an essay on Dr Barnardo. I think he was a very good man, with the very best of intentions, who practised what he preached, who was willing to sacrifice his own interests that others might benefit. Alas, as almost always with these type of things, the wreckage of what he created is simply vile, the exact polar opposite of what he intended.

Tesco's. Fucking Tesco's. Has there been another company in British history that has done more to undermine society? A corporation that pays its workers so little they must claim benefits to survive. Terry Leahy was, indeed is, an utter cunt. I'd have him dangling, make no mistake. He's not to be respected as an astute businessman, he's to be villified as a thief, enriching himself by defrauding his workers of their rightful wages, his belly as fat as his stupid mouth, out of which spews utter bollox about 'every little helps', helps fuck up a village, a town, a country even, the cunt.

If I met a hungry man, I'd be happy to feed him. For a short while. Then I'd expect some kind of quid pro quo, my windows cleaned, my lawn mowed, for example. If I did not expect something for something, he would begin to expect something for nothing, and the result of that is, you guessed it, Ruin. Food banks have grown exponentially because people no longer have any dignity in themselves, no self respect, no shame, even. They have realised that they can spend the money they would have spent on food and essentials on other things, doesn't matter what, just anything, and that others will buy their food for them. I'd ban them, food banks, for all the fucking use they are. There is not one peron, not a fucking one, in the UK, that is hungry EXCEPT by his or her own choice.

As for the Sally Ann, yet another example of rotteness and stupidity.


Anonymous said...

Person. Nothing to do with Evita.


call me ishmael said...

It is pissawful, writing in these tiny blogger comment boxes, sometimes I can't recognise what I've written.

"There is not one person, not a fucking one, in the UK, that is hungry EXCEPT by his or her own choice."

I agree with the sentiment of your comment, mr vincent, it is one long-expounded here by mr jgm2 and others - self-reliance, boot strapping and so on, self-respect, good judgement and husbandry but there is more to it than that. Energy prices, here, have quadrupled in ten years, pensions and wages have not and as you point out, even those in the empoyment of Satan must claim state support, this is a scandal on its own but when you add to it the fact that capitalism doesn't function any longer and even savers and investors receive below-inflation returns on their money then there exists profound economic disadvantage generated completely outwith the control of the individual. The Coalition remedy for recent events is for prices to rise, whilst workers terms and conditions fall. Aside from being wicked this is stupid, it is contra-capitalism, it is the no-risk trading of debt, not the creation of goods and services and it is the foisting upon stupid people of the notion that they need not save because the value of their homes will increase stratospherically.

But outside the Brown-Osborne diktat remains the impact of spiv privatisation on those on fixed and declining incomes; they are not to blame for being in need.

yardarm said...

Right....we have food banks when we have open ended funding for junk like the Trident replacement, HS2 and Help To Buy....then there were the billions of write offs, subs and loan underwriting for the banksters in 08/09...then the 375 billion of dole, sorry, slip into suit-speak, quantative easing, money created for the, er, wealth creators....and some people will tell you ' there`s no money left '. It gets a laugh from me.

call me ishmael said...

'Sright, a man ciould piss himself, laughing. But if you cried, you know you'd fill a lake with tears.

Alphons said...

The whole world has lost the plot.
There is a lot of talk, by a lot of people, about money. Unfortunately most of them do not have the slightest idea what money is. Most of them view it as something that comes out of a bank, whereas it is actually something that is, sometimes, put into a bank for safe keeping.

At its most basic a piece of money is a token exchanged for a quantity of energy. This token can then be exchanged for another portion of energy when needed. Prior to the introduction of money (by whom, and when, is not at this point important) the means of exchanging energy was by barter.

Now energy is a transitory commodity so how was it packaged in order to exchange it?

In the DBM (Days Before Money) everyone grew their own produce and were self sufficient in virtually every way, but of course it was often the case that when, for example, a sheep was slaughtered, there was too much meat for consumption just at that precise time (and to wait for someone to invent the ‘fridge would have meant that the mutton would “go off”) so it made sense to swap some of it, with Alf down the road, for maybe half a dozen turnips and a bit of honey.

The only thing that was involved in breeding and rearing that sheep was energy. It had been conceived in the normal way by the interaction of one the family’s ewes with the family ram, or perhaps a neighbours ram (in exchange for a couple of cabbages), and it had been delivered by the family shepherd and raised on the family land. It had fed on hay, during the winter months, that had been gathered by the family, from the family lands or from the common. All that had gone into it was family energy. (Some of that energy had also gone into shearing it during the summer, and turning the resultant wool into clothing.)

Similarly Alf had sown some turnip seed on his family land. This seed had been saved from last year’s crop, by the simple expedient of letting one or two good healthy turnips run to seed. The land had been cultivated by ploughing, using the family’s home bred oxen and rough home made plough. The honey may have been gathered ‘from the wild’ or may have been produced by Alf’s family “bee herd”!

The basis of this transaction was simply an exchange of “packets of energy”. The energy used in the production of the goods.

This exchange of packets of energy was not restricted simply to food. Over the centuries (millennia really) it would include pieces of flint worked into tools, pieces of bone and horn similarly worked. Later on metal ores would be dug up and made into tools and then exchanged for foodstuffs. What ever it was that was bartered it was, in reality, an exchange of energy, of work.

Of course the world changes and develops and eventually somewhere along the line tokens, representing the expended energy, were devised, and these tokens were very benficial. Now it became unnecessary to go out and kill a sheep if you just happen to fancy a turnip or some honey. Instead. you simply used some of the tokens you received in exchange for that last basket of poultry. These tokens, or coinage, also made markets and bazaars possible. You could now take all your surplus sheep to market and come home with a pocket full of tokens and this would enable you to go back again each week to buy just one fresh turnip and maybe a fresh cabbage, should you feel that way.
What happened next was where the foul-up started.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Mr Ishmael, you think too llittle of me.

Fuck capitalism, and all its whores.

Fuck Terry Leahy, long and hard, very hard, too. Fuck those that suppose a man may be bettered by charity, fuck the creation and maintenance of an underclass.

Fuck those self-righteous bastards that think it their civic duty do dole out coppers, making themselves feel better than the recipients.

Fuck the system that prevents a man from prospering, even though he slaves like a dog, fuck Thatcher, Major, Blair and Brown. Fuck the current cunt that supposes he wields power.

Fuck me, I'm poor, and fuck those that vainly imagine that it is a poor man's fault that he lacks all-sorts.

But fuck most of all, right hard, those that think there is any benefit to be derived from finger-pointing and high-horsing.



Verge said...

Dear Mr Vincent, god knows if this is up your street but google yourself a youtube hearing of Brooklyn Funk Essentials' "I Got Cash". Another bracing flurry of fucks...

call me ishmael said...

What you describe, mr alfons, is Adam Smith's coincidence of wants - the man who would trade sheep for salt must find a man with salt who wants sheep; that necessary coincidence of wants is the failure of barter and the cause of currency. That we now live ruled by the fluctuations in fiat currencies is the failure of government to stand up to markets. And, actually, if a loan is made by a lender the money is not drawn from reserves but simply created out of nothing. And these people are the rulers of the universe.

Tush, mr vincent, you are highly regarded. I mention the corruption and pollution of the capitalist system only to emphasise the rottenness of our betters who cannot even run a system rigged in their favour; we are now post-capitalist. Previously, traders, inventors, manufacturers, import and exporters, took a risk with their own or their joint-stock shareholders' money, they could prosper and as a consequence create employment and pay taxes or equally easily go bust and lose everything. What happens now is that financial terrorists who trade only in debt cannot fail, take no risk, their losses are nationalised, their profits trousered, they cannot fail. I don't know what you call such a system but it ain't capitalism.

Sadly, MediaMinster has created a nation of stupidly gullible Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. I saw them earlier, up Tesco.

I've done the conceptualising of an Underclass to death, I feel, over the years but it is sobering that even among those who qualify for the vile appellation there exist orders of differentiation. There are no such here, and for the purposes of these commentaries, these dialogues, all of us are among and of the poor.

call me ishmael said...

Yeah, it's great, mr verge, rooted in Melvn van Peebles'
Save the Watergate Five Hundred spielraps of the 'seventies - Yuh can take this checks and balances t'inga little too far.....

call me ishmael said...

I tagged it on to the end of the post, it's drenched in that ruthless, confrontational honesty of nigger rap; good stuff.

Anonymous said...

Credit came first, no primitive society has ever been discovered that is based on barter. Barter only breaks out after a disaster has ruined the economy, ie Germany immediately post 3rd Reich. Bride money in the Cameroons, strips of leather in Ireland, feathers or shells etc wherever, cheques, credit and promissory notes have always been handier than bringing a python to a marina in case someone wants to swap a boat for a snake. Where it has fallen down is that the production of money is a monopoly protected by force. If I make money it's illegal, if the bank does it, it's quuantitative easing. As you say, Mr Ish, the banks create it out of thin air for loans and credit cards. Therefore you don't have to pay it back. See

jgm2 said...

I find myself in violent agreement with Mr Vincent and his 'something for nothing' comment. It's human nature. If you pay for something then you value it. If something is 'free' then we tend to put no value on it. Twenty and more years ago I got married, usual gig, church then off to the reception. At the time I was a rich oil and gas man so I had a free bar all night. Some guy, me.

Now, these guests are my mates, my family, my new family but even they can't respect the fact that just 'cos it's free to them doesn't mean it's free. So as you're wandering around the venue I see half finished glasses everywhere.

Put you drink down? Can't remember where? No problem. Just go and get another one. It's free innit. Lesson learned.

My dad refused to claim a pension until he was 80. Pride see. Could have kicked back from 65, spent more time with my mum. Spent more time with us. But no. Got to provide for the family you see. Don't want to be a 'sponger'.

Did he get any thanks? Not from me, not from my mum and not from HMRC either.

There is a generation now (and I count myself amongst it) who has seen their parents toil for what we in the west have come to consider a basic minimum standard and then look up the road to the council estate where we have home-grown wasters and increasingly, 'asylum seekers' shipped in from the sub-continent, Africa and the Caribbean and handed better houses than my parents worked their whole fucking lives to afford. We then have the inequity further rubbed in our face by the legions of professionally concerned state employees that are banging on their doors making 'em aware of this grant and that grant and this allowance and that mobility vehicle. Because you're 'disabled' see. Or the kid has got asthma. So you're a 'carer'.

My brothers kids go to school in B'ham. He tells me the first thing the pushy Indian parents do is get their kid 'statemented'. Aye, Rasheed is 'dyslexic' you see. So he'll need an extra half hour in all his GCSEs. And no end of 'child psychologists' popping out of the woodwork to certify that yes, indeed Rasheed is dyslexic. Rasheed is no more dyslexic than you or I but somebody has alerted the fuckers to the scam of an extra half hour in exams.
There is simply no pride any more. Mr I. The recipient of charity should feel a little grateful, should feel beholden, should be looking to get out from such a position of dependency. But we now have millions of state employees or professional charidee employees who rely on that dependency for their own livelihood. So those on the dole are encouraged to see it as their 'right' - after all, you've paid your stamp haven't you, even if you haven't and, even if you have, it certainly doesn't cover your costs for the last 20 years on the dole. Indeed the state employees invent new mechanisms and processes and jobs all the time to hand out even more 'free' money.


jgm2 said...

..cont (character limit)

At an individual level it is hard to argue that some silly girl who has got herself knocked up at 16 and thrown out of her house shouldn't be cared for and her child not stigmatised, after all it's not the kids fault. But somehow that individual act of compassion has become an epidemic of single mums with their hands out for a free council house and free money until the kid is 18. Cos it's their right, innit.

Same with this 'food bank' nonsense. Food is dirt fucking cheap. Half-hundred-weight bags of spuds for under a fiver. Own brand beans, cereal, bread, fuck me they're practically giving it away. But you have these skanky fuckers mugging it up for the camera kidding on they can't afford food and so they've swallowed their pride and are stalking around the food bank. No doubt moaning about the quality of the items on offer. S'all crap this. I can't eat this.

Fuck off. Just fuck off my screen.

As for not being able to afford heating? Just fuck off. Wear a jumper. Wear two. Wear a fucking beanie hat. Yes, in the house if you have to. That's what I do.

Just fuck off my screen you whiny cunts.

The road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions.

Alphons said...

“call me ishmael said...
What you describe, mr alfons, is Adam Smith's coincidence of wants - the man who would trade sheep for salt must find a man with salt who wants sheep; that necessary coincidence of wants is the failure of barter and the cause of currency. That we now live ruled by the fluctuations in fiat currencies is the failure of government to stand up to markets. And, actually, if a loan is made by a lender the money is not drawn from reserves but simply created out of nothing. And these people are the rulers of the universe.

I think Adam Smith did not see the entire picture, mr ishmael. or if he did he chose not to mention it.

All the world’s raw materials, the starting point of all production, still cost nothing. The cost is in the human energy of getting that material, be it mining the ore, extracting the oil, breeding and feeding the animals, chopping down/growing the trees, and then processing and converting all that material into processing machines or products.

The accountants will tell us that production costs are divided into three categories, labour, raw materials and overheads. But will refuse to accept that it is all human effort, human energy, that give rise to every one of those three. ( I will concede that there are things that are added to the “Overheads” which are not human energy, like the chairman’s bonus and the penthouse for his mistress, but then they are totally out of order on any balance sheet under any heading!) Quite a large quantity of the energy is not spent hewing coal or labouring in the grunge foundry but is spent in ancillary activities connected with successfully getting the product to the consumer, but it is nevertheless “productive effort”.

The result of his effort furnishes the energy provider with what is these days called “Purchasing power” to enable that individual to provide, for himself and his dependants, the necessities of life. Or more correctly should do so. Unfortunately so blinkered has most of the world become that the worker and the consumer are seen as two distinct species of animal, whereas they are both the same one. They are in fact two parts of that indivisible Earthly Trinity, The Worker, The Consumer and The Voter.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting, Mr Verge, thank you.


call me ishmael said...

Well, there is a good deal here of interest and dispute, so, in no particular or consistent order, let us not pray but deconstruct.

mr jgm2 speaks passionately but from an abyss of misunderstanding and hyperbole, from a reason-free zone, red in tooth and claw; it is almost as though civilisation itself is an affront.

I do not know how to cost the life of any one of us, much less prepare a cost-benefits analysis but let's have a quick look.

There is the cost of our ante- and post-natal care. Provided, as it is, by a national health service, this care, whatever it is, will be much cheaper than it would be to any of us trying to buy it privately, individually, in the hallowed free market, nevertheless, even state-provided, it can be hugely expensive, complicated labours, surgical interventions, medications, dressings, equipment, nursing doctors, specialists, vaccinations, health visitors, corrective measures to eyes, ears, teeth, feet etc; we are debtors to the collective, scroungers, mr jgm2, from before we are born.

Then there is the infrastructure of roads and buses and trains and telephones which enables us to visit hospital in the first place - or which, unackowledged, makes possible the angelic efforts of the wealth creators, the ontra-pra-nooers, such repulsive, braying, scabby, malformed misanthroped as constitute the Dragons Den, fucking kill them, I would, just for their bad manners.

Then there is the cost of education, mr jgm2's and mine significantly more expensive than most, yet free to us and our parents, what would that cost, if he and I were now to repay it. How much would my university grant and his cost to repay. Ah, but we've paid it back in tax, mr ishmael. Not unless we are hugely wealthy, mr jgm2, and have paid our full tax quota - which, of course, describes a citizen and an ethos long-extinct........continues.

call me ishmael said...

........Would we all stumble about in the dark or should we collectively install street lighting by which all can see, or should public illumination selectively extinguish itself when a poor person passes beneath? They haven't paid for it, after all, and such bizarre discrimination is the mantra of the current govament of spivs which your complaint supports.

As an adult, for decades I have had health problems not of my making, although the then-state-encouraged smoking and drinking may have played some part; the type 1 diabetes, thirty years ago was spontaneous, non-attributable, maybe genetic, I dunno, my parents didn't live terribly long, certainly not long enough to claim any sort of pension, that shouild make them heroes, shouldn't it, in this harsh, jungle economics; the other health things have been consequential upon that first, incurable disease. It doesn't matter how much tax I have paid, directly or indirectly; it doesn't matter how much VAT I have collected for the government at no cost to itself; none of it, piled up on the table would compare with what I and my family have received and continue to receive from the collective efforts of the nation, efforts and results impossible to achieve by individuals, however exclusive and secure their gated estates. Even though I would not fit the profile of the so-called shirker, I, like, I supsect, the overwhelmimg majority of people would, in accounting terms, be a loss. But only in accounting terms.

Some people, as you say, are a job creation scheme in themsleves and they need to be shown the errors of their ways. My affection for work is that it is good in and of itself, economically productive or not. And I have been one of the army of charidee workers whose very rewarding task was to encourage people into work who had never previously worked, it was an easy sell, people like to work, they like comradeship, achievement, tiredness, they like acquiring knowledge and skills, they like timetables and regularity. But they will not respond, mr jgm2, to you and George Osborne calling them names, damning them all for the crimes of Mick Philpott, as he did; much of their inactivity is generational, the bequest of spivs like well, you know the names better than I, the screechin drama queen, Heseltine, the repulsive Tebbit, Lawson the Coke and their facile Unemployment is a Price Worth Paying, trouble is, stupid cunts, it isn't, as we see.

I don't wish to short-change mr jgm2's provocation and passion, so we will return to this, anon.

call me ishmael said...

Mr anonymous said......

"As you say, Mr Ish, the banks create it out of thin air for loans and credit cards. Therefore you don't have to pay it back. See"

I believe that there is not enough money in the world for Uncle Sam to pay back his debts, nor would there be in decades'-worth of every cent of his GDP. How come that's cool for him but not for us?

call me ishmael said...

Whenever I am asked, mr alphons, say, by a hospitaa;l admissions nurse, who just wants to write C-of-E, I describe myself as a Zen-Presbyterian-Marxist. Zen, becasue Shit Happens; Presbyterian because I believe in the Sermon on the Mount, there is enough to go around, it just needs properly sharing-out and Marxist because Workers of the world should unite, why on Earth do we not, are we addicted to eating Power's shit?

jgm2 said...

'it was an easy sell, people like to work, they like comradeship, achievement, tiredness, they like acquiring knowledge and skills, they like timetables and regularity.'

You would think. Yet when Tebbitt dared to suggest that instead of sitting at home waiting for a job to be provided on their doorstep that they might want to get on their bike and go to where the jobs are there were shrieks of outrage. 'But there's a million unemployed... there's no jobs anywhere..' My parents and, I believe, yours didn't sit there waiting for a job to appear in Ireland. They fucked off to where there were jobs.

We've had a couple of million Poles, the Paddies-de-nos-jours, arrive in the last decade who've managed to find a job. Ah yes, but you see they'll sleep four to a room while they get a 'start', not like us of British blood who are too good for that. Aye, and you can't ask a chap with a young family to leave his family to find work. Well, not unless he's Polish of course. He can leave his family till he gets set up but we, of British blood, are too good for that. Aye. And you can't expect a chap to just leave his 'community' and move. And...

As we were bemoaning a few days ago there's still plenty of MPs who actively discourage any such thoughts of moving. No, no. Stay here with your 'community'. Why should you have to leave your 'community' to find a job. How dare you try to dismantle these proud 'communities'. As if, prior to the mines opening, there was a village full of thousands already on-site just waiting for somebody to find the coal beneath their feet. In the desolate valleys of Wales.

It's why I have little sympathy with the whiny refrain bemoaning Fatcha 'tearing the heart out of mining communities'. Oh do fuck off. They came together to mine coal. The coal has gone or the mine has shut down. Time to move on.

Mining is a fucking shit and dangerous job. You'd only do it for the money. Or because it happened to be the only gig in the village. 'Oh, I'd miss my community'. Jesus Christ, it's the sort of mewling you hear when you tell the kids you're leaving Fucking Scotland and they'll be going to another school.

'You'll make new friends', You tell them. And they do.

Alphons said...

"" call me ishmael said...

....there is enough to go around, it just needs properly sharing-out ""

Enough what? Money or goods?
There are no goods without people expending energy on their production and distribution, and there is no money for their purchase if these producers and distributers are not given adequate compensation for the energy they have put in to this production and distribution.
We are looking at a chicken and egg situation. You can not have one without the other. So for all the "unearned income" in the upper echelons of our hierarchies there is bound to be loss of purchasing power in the lower echelons.

call me ishmael said...

Not everyone, mr jgm2, can live on Emergency's cutting edge, not everyone can pioneer, can wagon train their way to new opportunities, only some of us can. And crucially, only some of us can see through the rhetoric of politicians who have, for generations, encouraged the belief in the Eternal Community, be it fishing or mining. People generally believe what their betters tell them, doesn't matter if their betters are filth, like Kinnock and Straw and Hatterjee, people of their caste take their lifecues from such abominations, just as there are people who think that Grant Schitts, Tory chairman, is a fine human being, even though, demonstrably, he is a piece of shit. If you are told throughout your life that you have a job for life, such as it is, going underground, breathing-in cancer, if you are not adventurous, if you are rooted by sentiment to your place, your brass bands and banners and allotments and if you can see that, rather than being an expression of practicality, the tauntings of your oppressors and their police goons are just a ruthless, cruel, ideological vendetta then you have every right to be pissed off, the thing is, Mr jgm2, - wry as it may seem, cominmg from me - we are not fucking Poles. Poles are acustomed to being shat upon, jailed, betrayed, tortured, ignored and conquered. We are not Poles. Even though, snivelling, corralled, hectored and bullied, our resistance short-circuited by Stuff and Greed, we are heading that way.

There is not much separates us, you and I, just a question of the allocation of blame.

call me ishmael said...

I suppose, mr alphons, I am unashamedly redistributionist, by force, if necessary.

If our whole encharaded existence, trotting more and more exhaustedly on this hamster's wheel, is based upon the idea that those who already have more survival tickets than they can ever spend must have yet more, and those from whom the expended energy - means of production, distribution and exchange - is ever-more imaginatively and impertinently stolen, then it is time we tore it down. For not only will it enslave us all, the 99 per cent, it will destroy the planet.

I understand profit, I've been in business, I love how money goes around, how you can create value that previously wasn't there, how you can create employment. But this shit isn't anything to do with that. What did I used to call it, totalitairinisme comsumeriste nouvelle. The shops and supermarkets and the online bazaars, these are our chains.

jgm2 said...

Not everyone, mr jgm2, can live on Emergency's cutting edge, not everyone can pioneer, can wagon train their way to new opportunities, only some of us can.

Come now Mr I. Of course not everybody can wagon train their way to new opportunities. But, as mass emigration from Ireland demonstrates, a solid 50% or more can certainly up-sticks and fuck off without looking over their shoulder.

Unless they're brainwashed into staying where they are. Be like us. Stay here. Reaffirm our shit lifestyle choices. If I accept that (say) 10% or even 20% of the population are too disabled mentally or physically to ever be of any use work-wise that still leaves 80% or 90% who have no excuse for sitting in the shit village their great grand-dad happened to be born in. With their hand out.

Perhaps it's because of my Mick upbringing (albeit in Birmingham) that I have no problem at the thought of sleeping four to a room to get a 'start' in a job. My dad, and him born a British citizen, used to regale us with tales of spending years sleeping in a barn, on beds of ferns, working just to have a bite to eat so I have no time for natives who consider themselves too fucking good to get off their arse and get a job.

You're right though about worm-tongues down-playing people's aspirations. Eternal Community - like it. But, as I've said before - deliberately farmed and given just enough handouts to keep them there in dependency. Not too little to force them to move out of desperation. Just enough to discourage them from taking on any job out of town. Because it wouldn't be worth it.

I think you're right about young Grant. Anybody who is using a string of aliases in business should, at the very least, be worth a good fucking going over by HMRC and Plod. A fucking red flag if ever I seen one.

The difference between us is that I cannot see why the Tories would want to perpetuate an impoverished underclass. These days I'm 'rich' by any reasonable standard but I don't want to live in a gated community with drive-by private security. I'd want folk to have a job and, thus, some 'buy-in' to society.

But I can see why Diane Abbott and Jack Straw wouldn't. After all - who would vote for them if they were content and had a job, food in their belly and a roof over their head provided by the sweat of their own brow?

Naaah, you is down-trodden by them over there. Here, stay here with your 'community', take this money we took off 'them' and vote for us.

Anonymous said...

Mr Ishmael,

I knew you must have read TRTP, i just knew.

That book, along with the obvious, changed my life.

How sad, and how ironic, that Tressel's daughter sold the rights for 25 quid and when the beeb made a play of it in the '60s, she didn't possess a television upon which to watch it.


Anonymous said...


I'm afraid I disagree with you about state-run health care. It is precisely because the state, with its massive resources, is involved that medicine costs a fortune.

There is no reason that a heart by-pass should cost more than a new engine in your car, chemo should cost no more than antifreeze.

The NHS is now, no matter what it was, a fucking joke. Death camps, with that little wanker Burnham like some SS Major, shovelling the weak into the ovens.


call me ishmael said...

I saw an extract of Philanthropists at the Triangle Theatre in Gosta Green, Birmingham way back, in the 'seventies and thought that its power was greatest on the page. I have several copies, if you need one.

THat the health service is now hostage to PharmaCorp, DoctorCorp and the likes of Burnham doesn't undermine my argument about collectivism. Everything is broken, fucked up, plundered, vandalised but that's down to the criminalisation of the state, not to the principles.

Everything going into every aspect of health care is hugely over-priced, that's down to ministerial fuckwittery. And graft, of course. Milburn and wotsername, Leatherface, Patsy Hewitt, now up to their noses in healthcare providers' bungs.

It's global. My GP, bless her, rants and raves about PharmaCorp's depradations in India and Africa, cynical and heartless and exploitative of the sick. They'll trial a drug on a sick population and then when it's approved, they withdraw it and seek to charge the Earth, they will, according to my doc, fiddle with the product names endlessly, in order to keep them in patent, long after they have recovered R and D costs and made huge profits. These people need hanging.

call me ishmael said...

I don't know, mr jgm2, if the Irish Diaspora - or any diaspora - proves to be any good for the diasporees, in the long term. Look at Boston and NY Micks funding the bombing of the Tavern In The Town; look at the dejected, miserable, lump-working. homesick, red-faced, nelancholy Guinness-gulping bogtrotters, hanging around outside the Mermaid, and the Magnet LuchBox on the Stratford Road, preying on one another, sure they were, poor fucked-up bastards, with not a pot to piss in, if they're lucky, going into the Magnet for a dinner of boiled bacon, spuds and cabbage and D'you want gravy or butter on your taities, Michael?. And there were miserable dives like that all over the Stratfors Road,, from Digbeth to Hall Green. Nichael and Patrick, in my judgement, would've been better staying in the Emerald Isle, battering a few noncing monsignors and fighting for change. Not everybody is like us, not everybody can do it, some people need a home.

As for being rich, if I was rich I'd be in a gated community for sure, in Monaco or somewhere; not being rich, I moved as far as I could from trouble and strife. It ain't home but it's big and safe. The Daily Telegraph a few years back, determined that my house was the safest - in crime terms, the cleanest - in eco-terms and the most idyllic, in terms of the walled garden with the seasl on the other side in the whole of the fucking United Kingdom. But you can't believe everything you read in the 'papers.

Anonymous said...

I too suffer insomnia, Mr Ishmael, and I too have more than one copy of TRTP. I'm like a sad, little salesman, trying to flog it others, FOC, that their eyes would open just that little bit, but, with little success.

The problem with communism is that it does not take into account the depravity of human nature. Capitalism merely exploits that depravity, teaching us to feed of each other, it has us ripping up the roses, to get to the weeds.


Anonymous said...

Beware of the S. Army.Not one of us.

kl13 - messy messages ltd trading as turds direct, any size job accepted, you make it, we post it said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
yardarm said...

Poverty of ambition: perhaps all these single parents in council houses who have knackered the economy can show some enterprise and instead of getting up the duff they can set up a bank and really clean up. Any silly cunt can do it and any silly cunt does. Borrow a tenner, run up a debt bigger than the UK GDP then go to the Bank of England and the prick running it will go down the basement and run you off 375 billion cos you`re worth it, you wealth good at creating wealth you need some wealth created for you.

Now the more financially rigorous of you might think this is rewarding moral hazard but that only happens when you increase the bennies to slappers on council estates. And quantative easing doesn`t cause inflation because its magic, unlike all other forms of government expenditure, which aren't magic.

All these unemployed fucks, absorbing all of 4% of the DWP budget, the greedy economy ruining cunts, should turn into hard working/striving families of bankers, get off their dole/entitlement/handouts and onto the quantative easing.

Fuck me, I`m convincing myself.

call me ishmael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
call me ishmael said...

Convincing me, too, mr yardarm,.

Fuck me, is that it, 4% of the DWP budget? That should silence even the most dedicated redneck. Shame it won't.

I queried the magic money illusion at the time of the Tony & Cherie Retirement Fund wars, It just comes out of contingency funds, growled Gordon Snot, so these half a million a pop playground-seeking cruise missiles, they don't really cost anything. And are the right thing for the country, for hard-working families, only not Iraqi ones, obviously..

Maybe they keep the QE money in the same safe as the T&CRF money, a big magic safe, filled with limitless, magic money.

jgm2 said...

The Irish, like the 'Stanis, came over in their droves and stuck to each other. My parents are both Irish. Met in Birmingham. Same for a lot of the kids I was at school with. Where my parents differed was that they stayed out of the pubs and encouraged us (me and my brothers) to pay attention at school and not be dragged down by the zero-ambition natives.

'Worrr, why should I pay attention? Woorrr, I'll get a job down the Austin when I finish school. My dad works at the Austin..'

Meanwhile his dad and his 20,000 co-workers have been hi-jacked by Moscow and unwittingly manoeuvred into a decade long march to the dole queue. Cobbling shittly manufactured components together shittly when they weren't being ordered out on strike on some pretext or other. Then complaining that nobody would support them by buying their shit.

The attitude persists today. It's why the medical schools are filled with first generation Indians and Stanis Mr I. Work, even education is just too, well, beneath, the natives. Why should we have to work? We're British goddammit. Somebody should just invent a job that any cack-handed, illiterate jackass could learn in 5 minutes, right here on my doorstep, and pay me twice the average wage to do it.

And the rich. They should pay more taxes so I don't have to.

Only 4% of DWP budget? I'm surprised. Is that just the dole? Are the free council tax, free mobility vehicles. 'carers' allowances etc etc that go hand-in-hand accounted for elsewhere?

But if it's true then we need to look elsewhere for savings. No point obsessing about clipping the edges off 4%.

yardarm said...

Many claiming scooters or carers allowance are not the comedy doletariat of Shameless but people who once did aspire to better things, the socially mobile, people who studied, improved their social and economic circumstances for themselves and their children. But then fell afoul of the shipwrecks of life: old age, illness, bereavement, redundancy or a perfect storm of all.

No politician or central banker gives a flying fuck about savings, Mr jgm2. The likes of you and I may have to but they don`t because the money doesn`t really exist...and not just because they don`t earn it. No one does. Fractional reserve banking....quantative easing: this isn`t politics or economics: its science fiction.

mrs narcolept said...

I used to think better of the Sally Ann until I read the chapter in The People of the Abyss about their Sunday breakfast for street sleepers. The Majors were always the worst, it seems.