deano seamed to need somewhere to get some things off his chest – so I thought a neutral space might be useful for non-music discussion.

Anything you need to rant about add in comments.

Let’s talk about the government (or not!).

Let’s talk about the double RR state of the nation.

Let’s talk about the etiquette of those that are telling you the meaning of schadenfreude.

Be opinionated – but think about what you want off of your chest.



75 thoughts on “RANT!

  1. As Winnie the Pooh said “When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.”

    I didn’t have a clue for either topic (Song-Bar or Readers Recommend) and am struggling with both.

      • hey ya Leavey – schadenfreude AND pathos:

        “…a bit like having a choice between paracetamol OR Ibuprofen – I sure as damn it know that one does something slightly different to the other but can’t quite work out what because my brain aches!”
        or is that just me?

      • password solution I explain to all people I set up art sites for:

        think of you favourite word and split it in half – say recommend – so: recom….mend
        always use that word.
        every site you use (that needs a password) use it’s first 4 letters in capitals – so: SPIL (for the spill ignoring the)
        think of your fave number – add that after: say 42 after the answer to life the universe and everything.
        add ! or ?

        password = recomSPILmend42!

        on the Guardian it would = recomGUARmend42!

        every site is the same – yet uniquely different and impossible to guess your fav word/number/ending.

        the system is (almost) foolproof..

  2. I think it generally works OK to alternate bumper topics with tighter ones and even those with a bit of brain ache involved. I’m sorry if my topic idea has caused you pain… I can only say in my defence, it did come organically from an RR conversation.

    • oh it’s fine, I’m only joking – I do have 72 schadenfreude tracks as an idea – but it takes a lot for me to fine tune them to actually fit (I have to work tomorrow, so probably can’t give it the time) – it is also perfect that a thinking topic follows a numbers topic – but as it is hard…..
      it would be so much easier to give up and nominate songs with pathos because isn’t that ‘persuasive emotional appeal’ (because that’s umm – I could twist any music I like in to it?)… which is why I detest the two blogs – because the song bar would allow me to give up thinking (about a more difficult topic).

    • It’s part and parcel of why we think about music.
      I’m scratching out schadenfreude tracks (that I’ve considered) one by one – but while doing it – I’m gaining an immensely better understanding of those tracks… this is why it is still amazing.
      I own them, but they needed to get under my skin more. This theme does that – I may well fail in finding a playlist that defines schadenfreude – but I will be a musically richer person for trying.

  3. I’m disappointed that no one has ranted yet. I think I’m too tired to rant. So many things in the world are turning to shit and I am just regressing into my little bubble and hoping it will all go away if I ignore it.

  4. Gripes! You want gripes? How about bleeding’ passwords! Every bloody site I visit wants my number, rank, name, mother’s birthday and PASSWORD etc A few minutes ago I somehow found myself at bleedin’ Facebook, a place I’ve avoided like the plague assiduously since it’s inception, I’ve never been there! I didn’t intend to be there, I was adding a comment to an article at Huff post and before I realized I was filling in all the usual nonsense when I realized that I was at Facebook. My password is simplicity itself, my dogs name and 2 digits for the year he died – 7 digits total. Of course bloody Facebook, just like all their internet brethren, informed me that my password was inaccurate, god knows what makes them think so but it had the effect of causing me to forget about my comment.

    • Use a password manager GF. LatPass, Password Genie, … there are quite a few decent ones. I use something simmilar to Shane’s policy, but I don’t buy or bank on the net and my main concerns are id theft. SO a PW manager would do you good.

      • Ravi : I’m sure that’s good advice but I don’t have a password problem, it’s always that simple 7 digit word. My main problem is being told by sites that it’s not my password, as if they knew! And then being refused access.

  5. I’ve now reset my password, crikey I have so many variations based on something similar to what shane suggested for all the different sites because nowadays it seems you need to have a non-alpha/numeric a minimum of 8 characters a capital etc. etc.

    Anyway all sorted.

    AS to RANTS wasn’t that an alter-ego of yours shane?

    I’ve not got involved in the rights or wrongs / pros or cons of having the two blogs, which is unusual for me as I did have one or two rants during my most active period on RR about other poster’s behaviour, certain professional Guru’s and so on but there were enough people venting it didn’t need my two-penneth worth.

    I actually find both hard to follow now as my i-pad seems to not like either site, though the Guardian app works alright but then you can’t add videos and scrolling to see whether someone else has already posted, well its ridiculous. It starts to become quite tiresome. I’m using an old PC to type this but only access this at weekends.

    Back to the topics and my Winnie the Pooh brain, yes its very easy to proffer tunes for Places or Girls names and was quite prolific for both but the topics this week have left me quite cold; I’ve nominated a few tunes for Pathos but not really sure they are spot on though one had already been nabbed by amylee so perhaps I do my self an injustice on my level of understanding.

    Anyway, this isn’t really a rant merely the ramblings from a stuffed teddy.

    How about some music to some up the situation:

    Glory Days

    P.S. I’m Guru on one of the blogs next week so be sure to drop by.

  6. Yes, the two-blog situation seems a little frenetic as gurus and songs get used at double speed (but at least the digs and snarks have faded); yes, the whole world is going to hell in a bucket as it polarises ever more into ‘us’ and ‘them’; yes, the greedy bastards are doing their best to whip the poor drones into their places as supporting extras in the umpteenth depressing Capitalist Hero movie; yes, the nice-guy Pope is just as homophobic as his less-nice predecessors; yes, American politics is as scary as fuck……

    But I can’t work myself into a rant about any of it as I am in love with the most amazing woman I have ever met. I did not expect that at my age and it’s rather wonderful. A bit like Leicester City’s fantastic turnaround.

      • The freelance journalist who did RR on The Guardian is running a separate blog playing RR under a different name – The Song Bar – each week. It’s a long story, with different perspectives on it, but RR almost fell victim to The Guardian’s financial situation in the New Year. Peter, the journalist in question, was campaigning with us to save it, but he wanted to carry on doing it. He made a ‘Plan B’ to launch independently in case RR came to an end on The Guardian. When RR was saved, but without him, he decided to go ahead with Plan B anyway. A lot of people play both, and there’s a lot of overlap in participation.

      • The 2 blog situation is this:

        There’s ‘The Guardians Readers recommend’ and ‘Peter’s Song Bar’

        RR was cancelled at the end of last year because there’s a new boss in town and RR (being a game on a newspapers website) was said to have run for long enough and wasn’t important enough to keep paying staff/freelancer for.

        This didn’t go down well with the community or Peter who had been running it for two years.

        A campaign was started to get it reinstated.

        There were two schools of thought on this:
        1 – A Peter organised campaign to get it re-instated with him running it.
        2 – Getting it re-instated as RR whatever.

        RR was reprieved (but without Peter) just as it had been for 8 of the 10 years readers recommend has existed.

        A few hours before RR re-went live Peter started Song Bar – a blog exactly like The Guardian’s Readers recommend where half the Guardian’s RR community gathered (sniping, backbiting, propaganda and views on who has been treated badly ensued).

        There was two sides to this.
        1 – Peter had been treated badly because it was still popular, he was popular, he had kept the numbers up, he had written the intro for two years and The Guardian should treat him like a paid employee – but they didn’t; so he was going to keep RR going elsewhere.

        2 – The Guardian had paid Peter every week for two years to intro a game that didn’t need an intro (BUT were still employing him to write other articles) – they also resurrected RR when the community had asked. And they had created the game and it’s copywrite, they had gathered and created said community; it had run perfectly well for 8 out of ten years without a his 2 years of intros. So why should they include and/or pay him for writing his own (unnecessary to the game) brief every week.

        This may well have caused world war 3 in the RR universe.
        Blazers were held, “bundle bundle bundle” was chanted a lot. But it’s settled down a little now.

        We have two blogs – two gurus every week – two themes to think up.
        We have half the time to think and it will all end 50% quicker.

        Peter announced he’s payed up the Song Bar blog for the year as commitment to his blog.
        The Guardian’s Reader’s recommends is running just about how it always did.

        So we have two RR’s going on at the same time!

        Phew – I think that’s the gist of it.

  7. Hi Everyone

    First of all to Shane – thanks for caring and thinking of me, and I love the artwork, looks great.
    Secondly to DaddyPig – don’t apologise for the RR topic. It is a good one, and I agree with what you say, its good to alternate between the wide and the narrow, and last week, both places had very very wide topics. Arguably girls names is the most common “pop” music topic of them all.

    Now onto me. I was just having a bit of a down day, and as I suspected, sleeping on it and waking up to the weekend has given me new perspective and less over sensitivity, if that makes sense.

    I thought I was a reasonably intelligent person, but I having a few problems at work, just don’t seem to be able to succeed in some of the things that I am doing, no matter how I try. Its making me feel a bit insecure and doubting of my own abilities. Of more concern is that I have been in this job 9 months now, still feel new and don’t feel like I am 9 months experienced. And, of most concern, I can see me making some of the same mistakes that I made in my previous job (in terms of management style and stakeholder/relationship building). Its not that I am not learning from my mistakes, I am a acutely aware of them, I just don’t seem to be able to take an alternative path.

    Last night a friend called me at short notice and invited me out to a comedy gig – the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is on at the moment. After that, I was sitting on the train on the way home, lots of time for reflection and thoughts etc….and I have a tendancy to focus on the negative and not on the positive. So its a dangerous situation.

    I think people have probably seen me bang on about Guardian RR and Song Bar not really giving me the joy that I used to get from them. One of the things that I really liked about RR was that everyone was friendly, no one really bagged your music tastes etc, well I think we have a lost a bit of that, not to mention that there is not enough hours in the day to properly engage in both.

    Anyway, last week I kind of made me peace with them both, and realised that I was focusing on what I felt was wrong, and not focusing on what was right about them – the good community is still there, and hey, we now have two opportunities to play each week, and you can either engage in both, or pick the one with the topic that grabs you better each week. (I am still mighty peeved about what has happened with RR and songbar though, but it probably serves no purpose to re-hash that)

    So to escape my negative thoughts on the train about myself, I decided to look at RR. In the clean air of today, I can openly admit I was oversensitive – given what I had said above – but the negative feedback I got about some of my song suggestions hit me hard. Not so much the song aspect of it, but the fact that I considered myself reasonably intelligent, but didn’t know what the topic was, and then even after I looked up a definition, I either couldn’t comprehend it correctly, or explain my song suggestion in a way that demonstrates why it was on topic. Which plays completely into my insecurities about work..which I was trying to avoid by engaging in RR.

    The silly bit though is that I am hypocritical, as I regularly read people’s song suggestions and think that they have missed the point – so its completely fine for someone to think the same of mine. And it wasn’t as if the person was rude about it either.

    So yeah, that was my silly little frustrations yesterday. I know that there are real issues that I should be ranting about, and not my own insecurities and over sensitivities, and I shouldn’t be overanalysing stuff on song bar and RR and should just enjoy them for what they are.

    Less of a rant, and more of a download of thoughts I guess.

    But to anyone that made it to the end and didn’t tune out, thanks for listening, I do appreciate it, and I do thank you Shane for picking up on my grouchiness.

    but its all good, feeling more relaxed than I was yesterday.

    • I’m glad that you are feeling at peace with your own contemplations a little more today.
      I understand totally – I rant and rave, mostly as internal diatribes (RANTaGHOST is another name I’ve posted under on RR as Leavy hints at above) – this doesn’t do me any good, because it becomes knotted up and a self defeating grump/confusion/anger.

      I then confused myself even more by not quite understanding if I SHOULD or SHOULDN’T let it all out after reading this:


      be good to yourself.

    • When people comment on whether someone else’s nomination is on-topic, sometimes that feels OK. It can be a part of the community working a topic out. Sometimes it feels unnecessary and in the wrong spirit, and I can certainly understand it catching you when you were low.

      The thing about being aware of actual weaknesses at work, and / or overdoing the self-criticism I can relate to as well. I’ve been struggling with one piece of work that I think needs someone with a head for complex projects to plan it out for, or with, me. It’s never been my strong point, but a while ago I learned to make myself do it, but in late middle age I seem to be reverting to type and losing the skill again. It does cause me to be self-critical, even though other stuff is going really well.

      Shane’s right though – no point getting down about it because everyone has weaknesses. The main thing is not to let weaknesses undermine your strengths; and don’t go crazy trying to fix them. The fact is you’re aware of what you need to change, and if you bear with the knowledge and look out for opportunities for change, things generally improve if they need to. I hope that doesn’t sound blasé, I just mean that as well as Shane’s “be good to yourself”, also be patient with yourself.

  8. Here is a rant from me, on a subject that I consider to be of paramount importance;

    We are sleep-walking towards the Out door and no one seems to want to understand the implications.

    The lies of the Leave campaign and the likes of UKIP find a resonance with many people simply because they fit in with the lazy stereotyping that seems to be the hallmark of many people’s views of the rest of Europe.

    Leave has been reduced to an argument about immigration which saddens me, mainly because it exposes the underlying xenophobia of many of my fellow citizens. Immigrants are now blamed for the problems caused by UK government actions going back decades; the shortage of social housing, the cost of home buying, school places, pressures on the NHS, the cost of the Welfare budget, the lack of modern infrastructure, underinvestment in public services, under-skilled workers, a shortage of decent jobs, even traffic jams are all being written off as the fault of EU migrants.

    This is all nonsense. Those problems go back decades. I wonder who will get the blame when those problems refuse to disappear once we are outside?

    I fear for the future. It is not Project Fear, it is a real fear of what an Exit will do to the value of the pound, for jobs, for share prices (and therefore people’s pensions), for trade, for the economy and for social cohesion. No one on the Leave side is prepared to be honest about what Exit will mean, but people seem willing to go along with a vague message of Jam Tomorrow. This is madness. When has Jam Tomorrow ever turned out to be the outcome of a leap into the dark?

    I am happy to brand the entire Leave campaign as a pack of lies and misrepresentations, because that is exactly what it is. The sad thing is that so many people are willing to swallow these lies because they are simple messages.

    Life is not simple, international relations are not simple. Nothing is ever perfect, but there are some imperfections that are better than others. Knowing where you are is a whole lot better than wilfully wandering off into the dark, with no map, no torch and no idea where you are likely to end up.

    The future of the UK outside the EU is a complete step into the dark. Why take the risk? It isn’t only the here and now that will be affected. It is the future of the entire country and generations to come, as well as the future of the continent.

    • It’s the idiocy of the timing too.

      Where do you find 9million £ to fund leaflets, just leaflets, FFS – be they pro or anti – this is STUPID use of money.. and that’s a drop in the ocean to all the rest they will squander on schoolchild ideas. They are alright, it’s only taxpayers money – not their off-shore stashes.

      As a government that only had 17% of votes for them, that makes up it’s own agenda now – whoring out anything WE own to their friends – what would they (or any other flavour government) be like without anyone watching over them at all?


      • The problem is though, for me, is that the issue of membership of the EU is bigger and more important that party politics.

        Leaving the EU will fuck the country up for decades, but most people are either too stupid or too supine to actually think it through.

        Either that or they are bigoted xenophobes who have bought into decades of anti-Europe lies in the media.

      • Maybe it will all boil down to who can be bothered to vote.

        Let’s use a large brush to take a swipe at the population:

        A small proportion (1%) of rich toffs want the empire back and get orf their arses to vote = out.
        A large proportion of bigoted xenophobes want out but can’t spell X even if they knew where the polling booth was.

        Poor people, rich people, in the middle people who actually think (and know how to vote) realise it’s an idiot idea = stay (even though they understand it isn’t a perfect situation).

        Unfortunately you are probably closer to the truth than me.
        I don’t read/ or watch much media anymore – so don’t know the force of the propaganda.

    • It is a worry, though I suppose the reasons for being in could’ve been better articulated from the top over the years. The “leavers” who say we can get out but still have free trade with the EU are especially wrong – why spend years negotiating our way out, when it’ll need years of negotiation to set up free trade, and we’d have to pay to be oart of it, and wouldn’t have a say over how it worked.

      The “Stronger In..” campaign were leafletting where we were in Headingley this morning, and there was a good leaflet about all the major EU investment in Yorkshire. That gave me a bit of hope. I think it’ll be OK. I wonder if it’ll be like the Scottish referendum again, with Cameron having to keep his head down to avoid toxifying the case for staying in.

      • Yes, free trade. The only way we would get free trade with the EU if we left would be to apply to rejoin the Single Market, which would mean that we would have to pay into the Social Fund and accept Freedom of Movement. So we would be exactly where we are now, but, as you say no voice.

    • As a UK citizen, but someone who lives and works in the EU, the potential for a leave result will probably find me taking out Finnish citizenship. Something which I don’t want to do as there is no way I feel Finnish (trapped between two cultures maybe, but far more British than Finnish). It breaks my North Western England post-punk heart, crushes my northern soul.

      Depending on whose figure you believe (and I believe the UN/Migration Watch’s rather than the UK governments ‘figures-out-of thin-air’ approach) it’s still 1.2 million people who will be temporarily plunged into chaos that will drastically affect their lives. http://www.migrationwatchuk.org/briefing-paper/354

      And as we all know, some come out of chaos well and some totally fucked. But that’s nothing compared to how some will fare in the UK if the worst case scenario occurs. And this government is well capable of leading us to a series of fucking horrifically negotiated Brexit deals, such is their ignorance of the EU and their basic short-term political gain, self-serving perspective on life.

      I follow http://whatukthinks.org/eu/opinion-polls/poll-of-polls/ For me it shows that a tainted government that has used an anti-EU policy to get elected, and had its cheerleaders in the UK press insinuate that the EU is to blame for many UK ills is paying the price for its actions. If Cameron and others in the Conservative Party had been unequivocally pro-EU from the start, he might have some credibility on the issue. Instead, events elsewhere mean he’s being seen as essentially telling porkies on every issue, and he’s absolutely the wrong figurehead for the Remain campaign – a total liability. (BTW. I notice The Guardian asking Corbyn to step up this morning, after months of sniping cos he’s not a Blairite. Do I detect panic?)

      Anyway, I thought that the overall poll would have started to show a strong Remain lead by now but Leave is narrowing the gap. For fuck’s sake!

      So what do I think? And I don’t care that you don’t care.

      I’ll echo the conclusion of this article in http://eulawanalysis.blogspot.fi/2014/07/what-would-happen-to-eu-nationals.html

      “Those advocating the exit of the UK from the EU as a solution to unwanted intra-EU immigration do not seem to have grasped the unpalatable nature of the alternatives even in the terms of their own anti-immigration agenda. Maintaining the benefits of free access to Europe for UK citizens will almost certainly involve accepting inward movement from the entire EU on terms which are similar to those existing today but accompanied by the loss of influence that an exit implies. Alternatively, the UK can choose an isolationist position and apply domestic immigration controls to EU citizens. The price will be the loss of innumerable business, educational and cultural opportunities as movement from Europe becomes more difficult, and likely increased difficulties for UK citizens who may no longer take for granted their own privileged access to Europe for work, education, holidays or retirement.”

      My succinct opinion, Brexit are a skydiver without a parachute.

  9. Carole: I wonder who the ‘Ins’ and the ‘outs’ are. Since it’s a referendum, a vote, who will vote and why? And what are their numerical strengths?
    When I was at school in the 50’s the population was about 50 million, there were no black or brown faces to be seen nor were there any Eastern European accents to be heard, everyone who bothered was CofE with a few Catholics, not a muslim in sight.
    Now UK has the highest population density in Europe, third highest in the world and the difference is composed largely of black, brown, asian and eastern european, all with their different accents, cultures and religions. This is a totally different England than the one I grew up in. Back then the steel mills and coal mines along the river Don in Sheffield were going full blast, now they’re all shut down, just like Tata steel; just like half a dozen brands of English cars that I could mention that are no longer here. There’s a core of workers who’ve lost their jobs to factories moving overseas, they’re on the permanent dole. There’s another group who’ve spent their entire lives on the dole, no education, no qualifications, no jobs.
    The England that I visit from time to time looks nothing like the one I remember, I suspect that the ‘outs’ are yearning for the ‘good old days’, the rest have fallen into an acceptance of modern day English society.
    Maybe that’s how they’ll split of voting day. I hope that ‘they’ win
    These are probably the meaningless ramblings of someone with no grasp of the current reality of contemporary UK life. Good luck in June.

    • I think that the Out supporters do have a yearning for the past, nostalgia seems to be a powerful part of the Leave argument. I mistrust nostalgia, because it is pretty much always a selective remembering of the past, embellished with all manner of fantasy.

      I wrote a blog post back in 2014 on the topic of nostalgia – https://labelledamesanssouci.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/fings-aint-wot-they-used-to-be/ – which covers the subject pretty well, I think, as it bears upon the EU referendum.

      • “Immigration is one of the big issues for the reactionary forces we see today, but the issues they raise are exactly the same issues that have always been raised over immigration. Yes, new people arrive, but new people have always arrived. Over time, they end up fitting in. The problem is that the people who instinctively oppose immigration don’t seem to want to recognise this. They just want to oppose it regardless. They are afraid of change and retreat into some nostalgic fairyland.”

        this sentence is so true.
        I live in East Anglia – it’s a cut off part of the Uk – no-one really cares about the larger parts of it – except those of use that live here and think it’s wonderful – but the old timers rant about shutting the A11 and A14 and stopping anyone entering, this may be ‘foreigners’ from different shores or to them, Londoners are just as foreign!
        The funniest thing is – Norwich and it’s market towns were built on trading – and when industries needed updating they let people in to teach and up-date their industries, it was a sometimes fraught process. But it was still generous with give and take from both sides.

        There’s a building here called Strangers Hall:

        In 1565 the City authorities invited Protestant refugees from the Spanish Netherlands to settle in Norwich to boost the City’s textile industry. 30 households of master weavers came over from Flanders, of which 24 were Flemish and 6 were French-speaking Walloons. Soon followed by many more, they became known as the Strangers, and at their peak accounted for over a third of the City’s population.

        Elizabeth I and her advisors faced an entirely new situation. Never before had asylum seekers come in such numbers; never before had they been primarily, or allegedly, ‘political’ refugees. The Queen and the Privy Council worried not only about their sheer numbers, but also about their political reliability at a time of international tension, about the presence of dangerous fundamentalists (aka Anabaptists) in their ranks and about the danger of disorder sparked off by xenophobia in the local population.

        But in general the government came down on the side of welcoming them. Sympathy for persecuted fellow Protestants was one reason, but the most important consideration was less altruistic – their economic value.

        Nowhere did the Strangers have a greater impact than in the city of Norwich where they eventually came to constitute nearly a third of the population in what was then the second city in the realm. The textile industry, Norwich’s main source of wealth, had fallen on hard times thanks to disruption of foreign markets and failure to bring in new techniques. Unemployment, poverty and urban decay were rife. Responding to the central government’s desire to disperse the refugees, hitherto mainly concentrated in London and Sandwich, the mayor Thomas Sotherton, realised that the Strangers might help by bringing in new expertise, new products (the so-called ‘New Draperies’) and a new spirit of enterprise which, in turn, would start and economic trickle-down effect.

        Then, as now, such a ‘flood’ might well have been expected to stir up all sorts of social, economic and even religious tensions. However, the Strangers appear to have been initially well received – at least better in Norwich than in London or elsewhere. The tone of their letters home, some of which are amazingly preserved in the archives of Ypres, testify to the warmth of their welcome. ‘You would never believe how friendly the people are together, and the English are the same and quite loving to our nation’, writes a hatmaker to his wife. ‘Come at once and do not be anxious’. For their part the incomers are aware that they have to make allowances for different customs.

        The innovations they introduced are thought to have contributed to the continued rise of the Norwich textile industry right up to its golden age in the mid eighteenth century when it stood supreme in Britain and Europe. More fancifully, their love of gardens and canaries (the symbol of Norwich City Football Club) is said to persist even in present-day Norwich. Overall the story of these Norwich asylum seekers is one of mutual benefit and smooth integration. 

        Nostalgia for when the country was just natives – so before 1565 is when we need to return to in East Anglia! – funny old world.

        • Funnily enough, my father’s grandfather, along with his father and a couple of brothers and other family members migrated from the Deopham area to north-east London in the 1860s. They moved because of poor employment prospects and low wages for agricultural workers in Norfolk, which was a depressed area back then, compared with other parts of the country.

      • “A selective remembering of the past.” You bet! In Finland the success of populist right.wing parties throughout Europe has inspired anti-EU rhetoric amongst the government here, which was partly elected on its pro-Finnish, anti-foreigner murmurings. By anti-foreigner I mean people who aren’t white and ethnically northern European. (Sweeping generalisation alert.) Ironically this right-wing populist movement amongst anti-EU parties is promoting great pan-European cooperation on the issue. It so forgets waves of Finnish migration – more about that below.

        It’s also ended up with Finland electing a bunch of austerity promoting idiots who seem to have been seduced by the rhetoric of Blairite/neo-con arguments. Ironically many who voted for the out-and-out anti-EU party did so because of their underlying social welfare programme, which has been fucked by the more powerful partner in the coalition, which adopted the rhetoric of the Finns party but has quietly dropped it once in power.

        Furthermore, the leader of the more powerful party might be a good CEO but he’s shite at running a country – a country is not a fucking business and can’t be run on business principles. Fucking Thatcher and her grocer’s shop analogies. Drumpf and his myth-creating “I know how to run a business” ramblings. They are so fucking irrelevant to caring for the people, unless you are caring for “your voters” and Drumpf doesn’t care for them.

        Where was I? Yes, Finns complain about immigrants coming to Finland but ignore that very recent history of Finland and migration:

        http://www.migrationinstitute.fi/files/pdf/artikkelit/finnish_emigration_and_immigration_after_world_war_ii.pdf Page 3.

        “Destinations and the individual motives for emigration

        During the last one hundred years, more than one million Finns have moved abroad,
        nearly 500,000 of them before and about 730,000 after World War II. Before the war,
        the majority of the emigrants moved to North America and, after the war, about 75 per
        cent went to Sweden. Approximately half of them have returned. Emigration has generally
        followed economic development in target countries to the extent that during booms
        it has increased, and during recessions it has correspondingly decreased (Korkiasaari
        1992 and 1993).

        Table 1. Emigration from Finland in 1860-1999
        Destination 1860-1944 1945-1999
        Sweden (45,000) 535,000
        Other Europe (55,000) 125,000
        United States 300,000 18,000
        Canada 70,000 23,000
        Latin America 1,000 5,000
        Asia 500 6,000
        Africa 1,000 4,000
        Oceania 3,500 20,000
        Total 476,000 736,000

        Migration to Sweden – and formerly to North America – can most clearly be described as
        ’labour migration’, especially in the 1960s and 1970s, since most of the movers were
        seeking jobs to earn a basic livelihood. Unemployment in Finland and better salaries in
        Sweden were the dominant motives for migration. In the 1980s this migration due to the
        economic reasons decreased noticeably. The main reasons for this were depression and
        structural changes in the Swedish economy as well as the narrowing of the differences
        between the Finnish and Swedish economies and standards of living. Therefore, today
        the motives for moving to Sweden are primarily non-economic or “personal” as they
        have long been in emigration to other European countries.”

        So, if the past was great why did so many Finns move abroad? Nostalgia! Fuck it! Lots of Finns came out of the forest quite recently and their javelin skills just reveal them to be a bunch of spearchuckers. Having a go at Finnish racists with that is liable to invite a beating, so don’t use that argument unless you’re agile. Finland was poor,, the country is not rich in resources, looking abroad is what has dragged all of the country into the modern world.

        And yet Finns love to shout the success of Finns abroad, although about half of Finland would prefer it if the rest of the world fucked off and didn’t come here at all. It’s a stupid attitude.

        I have made friends with Pakistanis who came here during Nokia’s peak years but who left because they couldn’t get work. Where did these highly qualified folk go? They were snapped up by companies in the UK, initially, one of them moved to Norwich first of all 🙂 , And yet the UK would have had to turn such skilled people away if they hadn’t studied in Finland. In fact, they would have found it difficult to get the visas to work in Brexit Britain As you see the UK even benefits from cheap education given by Finns to the sons of wealthy and politically connected Pakistanis with enormous social and business skills and it would want to make it difficult for them to get in.

        I dunno, stop developing and stick your head in the ground for long enough and you won’t be fit for anything except having others park their bikes in your arse.

    • “I suspect that the ‘outs’ are yearning for the ‘good old days’, the rest have fallen into an acceptance of modern day English society.”

      The ‘outs’ are yearning for the memory of the good old days that never were, in the main. They long for a time when everyone had the same attitude (skin colour/religion/political views) as they do, before the world go so complicated and confusing. The fact that this world never existed doesn’t matter to them (or the Daily Mail and the Daily Express which continue to peddle the ‘good old days’ fantasy and malign ‘foreigners’.)

      The ‘rest’ are a disparate bunch, ranging from the apathetic to the genuinely enthusiastic multiculturalists who embrace ‘modern day English society’ (although British would be more accurate in this context). I am proud to be one of the latter, as I suspect most commenters here are too.

      What really mystifies me is why, when their own lives continually demonstrate that co-operation with and understanding of different people makes it easier to get on with them, that such ignorant rejection and wall-building persists. In the European context, millions of people died because of inter-national prejudice, isolation, arrogance and lack of understanding, all of which was made more difficult by the creation of the EU. Why go back? Surely not in the vain hope of re-creating a halcyon age that never existed?

      That’s the nearest to a rant you’ll get from me at the moment. Something like Ringo’s aggressive ‘peace and love’ message….

      • Funnily enough, many of those who are most vocal in their opposition to immigrants actually live in areas where the number of immigrants is quite small or insignificant. You look at places where UKIP are strong, like the north Kent coast and in south Essex and what you see are communities that are overwhelmingly white English. In Bristol, I think that you get more opposition to immigrants in places like Kingswood and in the south of the city in Hartcliffe and Knowle where the population is mostly white working class than in the more ethnically mixed areas like Easton, Fishponds and St Paul’s.

      • I think the opposition to immigrants among those who don’t encounter them is all too understandable and not in the least funny. If you can keep your bogeymen untainted by the awkward reality that they aren’t all the same, it’s so much easier to hate them and blame them for your own problems.

        The really fucking annoying thing (OK, I’m getting ranty now) is that most of everyone’s current problems – the financial ones, anyway – were caused by the bankers gobbling up all the money, yet it’s the people who are already struggling who get it in the neck and who then (are encouraged to) look for the wrong scapegoat.

        We should collect all the bankers together and put them away from the rest of us, maybe on a desert island. Oh wait, that where they say they live already, hence why they avoid contributing any tax (unlike the poor saps who play by the rules).

  10. OK, I have a question and it’s not hypothetical, I don’t know the deals nor the answer.
    Is there any other country than Britain wanting to leave the EU, if not, why not?
    I know that France and Germany have much lower population density figures than Britain, is that a factor, if so, why is that?

    • Lots of countries have considered the idea and are considering the idea – more to pander to a section of voters than to actually hold a referendum. Right-wing populists have been very successful throughout Europe. People have fears about immigrants and laws being made outside their country but instead of reassuring people and pointing out the benefits of the EU and trying to get them involved in its processes, political parties have played on the people’s fears of the outsider and ended up letting bigots into power.

      Population density has nothing to do with it. Finland has a very low population density and The Finns party are in the coalition and that has given confidence to some fucking awful racists to say the most ignorant shite.


      ‘Seeing children dressed in hijabs engaging in the Easter tradition, Kiemunki [A Finns Party politician] asked on her [Facebook] wall, “Is this some kind of integration [programme] where Muslim children go around giving Easter blessings? Or does Allah also have some kind of anniversary today?”

      “It’s a pity I don’t have any condoms …” she added, which some readers took to mean that she would have given them to the children’s parents.

      “They didn’t come to us, it would have been funny to hear what kind of rhyme they recited or whether they would have just settled for ‘Allahu akbar’ (sic),” she also wrote.’

      The Easter witches tradition is as pagan as they come, nowt Christian about it.

    • I believe there are more countries wishing to join the EU – currently Turkey (applied in 1987), Macedonia (applied in 2004), Montenegro (applied in 2008), Albania and Serbia (both applied in 2009) – than wish to leave. They obviously see it as a beneficial thing.

    • GF – it is interesting to see who would benefit from a UK exit, and the possible break-up of the EU. The person with the most to gain is Vladimir Putin and to that end, his government channels a lot of funding to anti-EU groups and parties across Europe. Interestingly, over here, UKIP has been fulsome in its praise for Putin as a nationalist.

      There is more at stake than just economic issues here.

  11. From the outside It seems obvious that the EU is a beneficial thing, just the elimination of borders and passports and the ability to travel and to seek work anywhere regardless of business. I suspect that the right wing’s resistance and racism are closely connected as they are in the US. The attitudes of Republicans, particularly their tea-party wing plus the anti-communists, the neoconservatives, and the fanatical religious right, have literally from day one of Obama’s election opposed every statement he’s made, because he’s black, i’s very obviously racist inspired.
    You might think that population density has nothing to do with it but one thing that I’m always conscious of whenever I visit UK is how crowded the cities are and the crowds are very multicultural. Since I left in the ’50’s the population has increased by over 40%, basically mostly immigrants. That can only inflame racist tendencies to dream of the ‘good old days’. Just listen to what Trump has to say, he appeals to that audience.

    • Another reason that cities often appear crowded might be that we have changed as a society and people live their lives far much more in public spaces than we did in the past. Yes, cities are crowded, but the reasons are complex. Interestingly, though, there has been, in recent years, a slight shift in population demographics, whereby rural populations have grown at the expense of urban ones.

  12. Just a minor rant about tradespeople who don’t do what they promise. We’ve got some sort of short in our electricity so only half of the lights in our house are working. The electrician was supposed to come yesterday afternoon so we rearranged our day to be sure that we’d be here when he arrived. That was pointless. He didn’t turn up. So we sat around all afternoon waiting for nothing. My husband is convinced a more lucrative job came along so they put us at the back of the pile.

    This isn’t the first time we’ve had problems with various trades not coming when they have said they would. I don’t know what causes it but there seems to be some sort of complacency whereby people think that they can muck you about but you’ll still continue to use them because they’re the companies you always use.

    Anyway, I’m pissed off in a fairly minor way but my husband is raging and he’s pissing me off more than the electricians.

    • I’m pretty much building an extension to our house (on my own) at the moment – obviously I can’t get electrics and plumbing past building control if I did it – but sometimes I think if I took a course and studied each trade for 3 years I’d get it done quicker and cheaper than calling in a ‘professional’.

      I’m probably pissing off the Ms. just as much as your husband is to you.
      “grrr” to electricians I say.

  13. Oh a rant place ! How marvelous. I’ve a lot of bottled up rant.
    Haven’t been here in a while, Hope I can get in. OBG here, testing…

  14. I think this is a rant. A mini-rant ?
    Just wondering. Does anyone get into the kind of funk where tears are just
    lurking under the surface and ya feel like crying. just because
    Different from ordinary dole drums..
    The blues to end the blues kind that get you down and won’t let you go
    and you don’t know why. That kind.
    Just wondering.

    • I think that happens more than people let on.

      I spent a decade with that bubbling under the surface and volcanoing up and out – it got diagnosed as Seasonal affective disorder – but it wasn’t really. It was just a pure and simply impossibility to cope emotionally on my part.

      I still need lots of distractions to stop those feelings bubbling over.

      I hope you are okay.

    • It’s entirely normal to, at some points in our lives, to have those kinds of feelings. Sometimes linked to things going wrong, sometimes for no obvious reason. I heard an interview recently with Graham Fowler, the former England and Lancashire cricketer, about his depression. He went to see his doctor because his wife ordered him too, because he hadn’t spoken to anyone for about a month. He described it as “I knew I had a good life, a lovely wife and children, but it was over there and I couldn’t get to it”.

  15. Thanks.
    As you say, it’s normal in life. Some song topics stirred feelings I’m coping with due to changes occurring in life. Empty nest syndrome, for instance, ‘a blessing and a curse’, lol.
    Loss of loved ones for whatever reason, is sad.
    I find it harder than I thought to adjust to some of the ‘inevitable’ changes.
    My Grandparents’ advise – Keep a stiff upper lip and carry on!

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