3 March 2015
Tory Plans to Avoid Tory Spending Plan Questions
THE LOVE CHANNEL
1 March 2015 (lunchtime)
Grant Shapps pledged the100,000 new houses and an uncosted giveaway of £3.9 Billion over breakfast, and now David Cameroon has just doubled the target and the giveaway at Lunchtime. What are they eating?
Who will pay for the £7.8 Billion giveaway?
Surely not another efficiency saving? Yawn!
And just before an election.
1 March 2015
Grant Shapps, Chairman of the Conservative Party, makes unconvincing uncosted promises ..
Two Years Ago
Most read story on these pages this last month.
The Filthy Rich
Ken Loach may well be promoting a new polemical movie but his knowledge of the economy makes anyone who supports our "market economy", look extremely foolish.
26 FEBRUARY 2015
Long before Primark, ... and Walmart,...
ever widening inequality under the current UK coalition government and beyond.
25 FEBRUARY 2015
Today it was announced that it will soon be illegal to “annoy” with unsolicited phone calls.
This movie from 24 September 2009 continues to be popular on Shoestringonline so it is not just me that feels this way.
a surreal conversation with a lady salesperson, selling indeterminate goods.
24 FEBRUARY 2015
Cash for Access
What was it about the wealth of his potential client that made this man, Sir Malcolm Leslie Rifkind, former Foreign Secretary, agree to meet in order to be subsequently paid £5000 to £8000 a day for providing access to foreign London ambassadors for the commercial purposes of a fake Chinese company?
When exposed, Rifkind made no apology and on the contrary refused to “step down” claiming that he was “livid.” He has since been suspended by David Cameron for electoral purposes and has now resigned protesting that he has done nothing wrong.
Jack Straw was embarrassed, and “mortified” to have his greed exposed but this man was “livid” with pompous indignation because he is so much up his own anus and so remote from all other mere mortals who have a different moral compass, and who might happen to read this.
Can I say that?
Well done Channel 4 and Dispatches.
This picture was taken by Mrs Monk in 2011 during the Anonymous occupation of St Paul’s in 2011.
Seems like yesterday.
A digital collage of 32 melancholic portraits, hand drawn pen and ink drawings, paintings, and photographic images.
This and other artwork by Monkfry is available through
Eleven Years Ago
22 FEBRUARY 2004
16 FEBRUARY 2015
One of “Two Trees” on Two Tree Island
Leigh On Sea Essex
And other pictures taken in and around Leigh On Sea usually by Mrs Monk
THE LOVE CHANNEL
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Love is a very splendid thing. A movie called "Love" was created by us Monks at Shoestringonline. We then discovered that there were 10,729 movies on vimeo with the same title. Most seem to be syrup, or church, or just bad, or all three. Surely there would be enough to start a Love Channel. Love Channel was born, or was there already a Love Channel. Apparently not.
14 FEBRUARY 2015
British Gas have been working on our Worcester Boiler for two days and the job is still not done.
This means we are trapped inside the house while they work on it and still desperately needing a shower on what Mrs. Monk insists on calling VD Day.
11 FEBRUARY 2015
Who are you?
Grayson Perry's new Art Show about identity is currently at the National Portrait Gallery, London. The art is deliberately set amongst the incumbent art in the permanent galleries apparently confronting and challenging past conceptions of identity.
I am left wondering what other context for his work would serve this purpose better.
10 FEBRUARY 2015
THE FILTHY RICH
How is it that the Swiss are so well off?
I asked this question on these pages 2 years ago.
It never occurred to me that anybody thought that the Filthy Rich did not stash away their cash in Switzerland in order to avoid paying for the NHS.
How odd that David Cameron has been so keen to take personal credit for plugging indeterminate tax loopholes on his watch, but when it comes to the enormous black hole identified by this weeks tax dodging revelations, Ministers somehow knew nothing, and continue to know nothing and therefore could not have done anything about what was so bleeding obvious to everybody else.
So obvious I wrote about it on these pages.
13 March 2013
THE FILTHY RICH
They stash it away where they make cuckoo clocks. I know nothing, but I knew that.
4 FEBRUARY 2015
Today David Cameron decided to mock Ed Balls for not having any big business donor friends rather than answer the questions that were put to him today by Ed Milliband in Parliamentary Prime Minister No Answer Question Time.
That pantomime goes on but it struck me as odd that Cameron would think that publicly gloating about having more big business donors than Labour would be a vote winner and a good sound bite for the news bulletins.
He can’t help it I suppose because it is in his very Tory DNA
The following story is the most read story on these pages in the last twelve months. The show goes on.
31 MARCH 2014
So clever of the Chancellor to bribe pensioners with their own money.
27 January 2014
Pictures by Sara Monk where the Television is featured, either directly or inadvertently. Context is everything.
Ten Years Ago On These Pages
Cat and Mouse with
and Cat Flap Charlie
10 January 2015
Hello Sajid Javid
Thank you for your E-mail. Lying politicians make me angry.
I agree with you that Ed Milliband has not avoided the necessity for tax rises to protect public services.
And yes, I did notice that you avoided the awful truth that the Conservative have not been able to avoid tax rises in the last 5 years, and yes, as you know, there has been 24 tax rises since 2010.
And whilst raising taxes by £23 billion for all of us, you have at the same time prioritised a tax cut for millionaires. The average British household will be £974 a year worse off by the time of the next general election because of tax and benefit changes since 2010.
That is tax cuts for a privileged few and tax hikes for the many.
Yes, Labour wants to cut taxes for 24 million working people on middle and low incomes with a lower 10p starting rate of tax.
So WHY have you this week resorted to pathetic lies about Labour's tax policies?
I might need anger management.
10 January 2015
8 January 2015
One Year Ago
4 January 2014
The Biggest Splash
Much of the England is flooded and battered with weather, including the Beach Front down the road where Mrs. Monk snapped this pic with her phone.
We are blessed with a photogenic subject; the Estuary can be sublime in all weathers.
Sir David Amess
The Queen has seen fit to honour this man and it is........................
29 December 2014
Thank you for your Email.
Mrs. Monk was worried that we had fallen out because we had not heard from you for a while.
You say that if I donate £100 to the Conservative Party, one of your filthy rich subscribers will add a further £100. Or to put it another way if I don’t donate £100, the Conservative party will be denied £200.
Thank you for helping me make my decision . It does seem a no-brainer to me because nobody likes wasting money on lost causes. Have you seen the polls?
Thank you for your list of “our” achievements. What exactly did I do apart from reading your email and having a little chuckle.
Happy New Year and try not think about the polls.
PS when you have a spare moment, please fix the railway network.
Pictures of People
photographed this year by Mrs Monk.
25 December 0000
This years Christmas Card
22 December 2014
The Yarn Bombers
Anarchy in wool. A charm offensive.
Miss Putupon’s Last Lesson
21 December 2011 It was the last lesson of the afternoon before Christmas.
20 december 2014
Four Shopping Days to Christmas.
That is three days to put head into sand. And one day to force myself into a shop, to buy something that would pass scrutiny of demanding recipient of gift, Mrs Monk. Might just accept my fate and take the flack.
Mrs. Monk is addicted to shops and I am allergic to shops.
Otherwise we have a lot in common.
15 december 2014
The Daily Telegraph today leaked advice to Labour candidates who have been told to avoid the subject of Immigration on the door step. The Nigel Barton Moment. No kidding! Did they read my post yesterday below.
14 december 2014
The Nigel Barton Moment
And why we need
And why he should not stand for election; heaven forbid.
The Nigel Barton Moment is frequently discussed on these pages. It is of course the moment when a politician fails to say what he really thinks because he wants to court all available votes in what we call a democracy, even if that vote is from a confirmed racist or a xenophobe.
Nigel Farage hardly bothers to disguise his tendency to court racists. He knows very well that he is the apologia of racism, but that does not trouble him. That makes him smile. That makes him laugh out loud.
Gordon Brown had a Nigel Barton moment and that cost him dearly in 2010. Cameron and May and Labour “shadows” are aware of the pitfalls and have also failed to condemn endemic British racism. They tend to assert unconvincingly and wish-fulfillingly, British notions of tolerance and fair play.
Does not wash. Does not stand scrutiny.
And when would a career politician ever tell a potential constituent not to vote for them, because they did not approve of the vote-giver? Has that ever happened?
That is why we need Russell Brand and that is why he should not stand for election.
So far, so untainted.
Respect to Dennis Potter. Not much has changed since 1965.
13 december 2014
Get off My Land, Says Kent
12 december 2014
In just four days, there will be a parliamentary vote on scrapping the Bedroom Tax. Why would anyone of any political persuasion not sign this petition?
9 december 2014
Serjeant Musgrave's Dance
And The Special Relationship
“war crimes” that may well have prolonged the current "war on terror." #CIAReport
7 december 2014
Last Year’s Foodbank Christmas Card
David Cameron is still in denial and has turned down £100s of Millions of EU Cash for Foodbanks . Cameron wants to be seen fighting for EU money but he does not want it for the UK poor.
Today the Bishops are naming names.
They are naming David Cameron for starving the poor.
Items designed to be useful or important for only a short time and/or occasionally embedded with prescient significance.
Photos by Sara Monk.
Shopping for Jesus
24 November 2014
“health and safety” for bullshit jobs-worth “health and safety” reasoning.
16 november 2014
Dear Theresa May
You might need to reconsider the poster you sent me just a month ago.
Police crime figures have now lost official status over claims of fiddling and the UK Statistics Authority has withdrawn the gold-standard status from police figures, due to 'accumulating evidence' of unreliability.
You must have known.
3 november 2014
An early postman in these post privatisation days is like finding an apple in a puddle in the street and dancing a fox-trot with the vermin where the rain has fallen.
25 october 2014
.. was one of the earliest "privatisations". Formerly a non profit nationalised company "giving" away heat to the British public at knock down prices. Thatcher privatised British Gas and now they lead all other gas providers by driving up the price of heat.
Naked capitalism was embraced by privatised British Gas and pretty soon they were dishing out huge sums to incumbent management, notably .....
the original "Fat Cat" that outraged an army of small time investors, Thatcher's new capitalists were disappointed.
Who do they now blame? The immigrants of course.
It was twenty years ago Mrs Monk Wrote a letter to the Observer on these very subjects illustrated by the legendary Trog.
Let Classy Croaks Cull Fat Cats
Such progress we have made in the last twenty years.
23 october 2014
Recent London Pictures
snapped by Mrs Monk
Tripple Hippo Award
Pot calls kettle black
“The salaries paid to the executive directors are in many cases absolutely outrageous and unjustifiable.”
David Amess, of all people, felt compelled to complain about Southend Hospital Trust Executive Pay.
Privatised Trust Executives get huge salaries and he of all people is surprised.
If a Labour MP said this they would say it were the “Politics of Envy”.
“The hyena complaining about what the vulture gets!”
Evening Echo Reader
"Oh My God!"
Attempting to juggle these plentiful gifts, while simultaneously maintaining my dignity.
17 October 2014
17 october 2014
UKIP Candidate for Basildon has been deselected for being something worse than a UKIP candidate
16 october 2014
Dear Theresa May
Thank you for your email.
You say "Under Labour, Police officers were wrapped in red tape, unable to do their job"
Do they no longer have to record and count the crimes committed because of Nasty Red Tape, because you also say that crime has gone down under your tenure as Home Secretary?
Amazing! How do you do get away with this BS?
10 october 2014
Ugly donkey passes posh thoroughbred
5 october 2014
Recent Pictures of Leigh upon Sea and thereabouts by Sara Monk. Pictures are added and subtracted from this collection from time to time. Mrs. Monk’s editor deserves some credit but gets very little.
2 october 2014
Given last weeks panic driven pledges to ameliorate the Scots, how pathetic and desperate were David Cameron’s pledges to protect the NHS with references to his own tragic family story as if that excused his failure to honour his NHS pledges before the last election, or would allow us to accept yesterday’s preposterous financial pledges that unraveled arithmetically almost before he finished speaking to the Tory faithful at his party conference.
The man needs another vacation already.
Selected By Others
These pictures were chosen, for whatever reason, by readers of these pages and not by the editor, nor the photographer, usually Mrs Monk.
1.derogatory ( Brit ) a musician, esp a pop musician, regarded as being overconcerned with technique rather than musical content or expression
2.( Austral ) any musician, esp a professional one