Saturday, June 30, 2007

Gordon is a Mullet

Twice this week I’ve heard someone use a possessive pronoun in relation to the word “politics”.

First was Nick Dent of the anti-war Respect Party who I met in a pub in Whitstable, Kent. He said, “I’m glad people are beginning to understand my politics.”

“Pardon Nick, your politics, did you say? Since when did you acquire exclusive rights over politics?”

Next was a woman in a restaurant. She said, “Are you CJ Stone? I dislike your politics but I admire your writing.”

My politics. Your politics. It’s no wonder no one can ever agree on anything. Politics are seen as a possession, as something we own, rather than as the system by which we are regulated. The illusion is that any of us have any choice in the matter. The word “politics” here is really being used as a substitute for the word “opinion”.

This notion of politics is likely to be liberally applied over the next few weeks as the newspaper pundits begin to reflect upon the differences between Gordon Brown and Tony Blair.

There will be a great deal of talk about different styles of politics, as if politics was really just a hairdo. Snip-snip, roll, grip, spray, a quick session under the hairdryer and bob’s-yer-uncle: a brand new political hair style. Gordon Brown is a mullet, Tony Blair is a perm.

Just to be clear: the word derives from the Greek word “polis” meaning city-state, and is related to a number of similar words, such as “police”, “polite” and “policy”.

They are all words which refer to the regulations we apply to ourselves as human beings living in close proximity.

There are a number of different political systems. The great trick of our current world-system is that it pretends to be one thing when it is something else entirely.

It pretends to be a democracy when it is actually an oligarchy. Democracy means rule by the many. Oligarchy means rule by the few.

The world is being run by the international corporations backed by the power of the American military. Massive concentrated economic and military power is in the hands of the very few and is being utilised on a world scale for their exclusive ends, and to prevent the rise of any meaningful democracy. The appearance of democracy is used to undermine democracy.

You can’t get less democratic than a corporation. A corporation is a form of tyranny. Employees of the McDonalds corporation, for example, don’t have any right of say in the policies of the organisation that regulates their lives. There is no democracy in McDonalds.

This is not an opinion, it is a fact.

Someone once said that politics is the shadow cast over society by big business. I think it is more like a magic trick: smoke and mirrors, sleight of hand, a grand illusion.

In other words, don’t expect any substantial changes now that Gordon Brown is in Number Ten.

He might change his hairstyle, he might change his dress-style, he might even change the cabinet around, but the politics will remain the same.

Court Refuses To Drop 6th Fairford Trial

Milling and Jones

Prosecution Case Continues Tomorrow


The re-trial began today of the 'Fairford Two' at Bristol Crown Court, making this series of trials the second longest the court has seen.

Jones, from Bristol, and Milling, from Cumbria disabled two articulated lorries, fifteen bomb-carrying trailers and three fuel trucks at the RAF base in Fairford, Gloucestershire, in 2003. They admit using hammers and boltcutters to disable the equipment on 13 March, just one week before the invasion of Iraq.

The pair, accused of conspiracy to commit criminal damage, have never denied damaging the vehicles, property of the US Air Force, but claim they were justified in doing so.

In Bristol Crown Court this morning lawyers for the two urged Judge Tom Crowther to dismiss the case on the grounds that the re-trial was 'oppressive', in view of acquittals in five previous related trials. The judge however, refused the application, and the trial began this morning with the prosecution's presentation of its case.

Jones and Milling said they wanted to stop US Air Force B-52 bombers taking off. They were trying to stop the “murder of innocent civilians” in Iraq.

Since the night of their arrest the defendants have claimed they were justified indisabling trailers used to transport bombs for US jets and fuel tankers in order to prevent war crimes being committed.

The two were the first defendants in an English crown court to use the defence of acting to prevent war crimes. They have been on bail for the past four years.

The linked cases of Milling and Jones, Pritchard and Olditch, and Josh Richards, were jointly the subject of a lengthy pre-trial appeal to the House of Lords, over what defence arguments the accused would be allowed to make in court. These appeals had to be completed before the separate trials could go ahead.

The law lords ruled that all five defendants could argue that they were trying to prevent war crimes - but not that the Iraq war was itself a crime.

The current trial is expected to continue until the end of the week.


Robbie Manson (solicitor) - 01239 821 066 / Mob. 07812 681
Paul Milling - 01539 436 691 (H) / Mob.0776 583 6150
Margaret (Monica) Jones - 0117 946 6885

Latest News: 7/7/07
In spite of the best efforts of our excellent legal team, we had a jury who unanimously found us guilty after only three hours of deliberation.
This was especially frustrating given the previous track record of three hung juries in the orignial trials, and two acquittals for the re-trials prior to ours. Such is life.
Paul got a conditional discharge. I have to go to see the probation people prior to sentencing, and probably will end up doing community service. (The US Air Force should NOT expect any compensation whatever for their damaged vehicles, regardless of anything else !)
Paul and I agreed this afternoon that we both still feel profoundly content about what we tried to do back, in 2003. We still see it as morally right. If it's been adjudged legally wrong - so be it. Only sorry we couldn't pull off a hat trick for the peace movement. (It's STILL two victories to one defeat - and that will have to do.)
I just want to say THANK YOU to our excellent and deeply committed legal team - and also to our wonderful supporters, who really have sustained us for weeks and days now, in so many, many ways.
'Say not the struggle nought availeth ... .
'Stand up, stand up against oppression, for the tyrants fear your might ...
'Peace, love, solidarity -

Friday, June 29, 2007

Postal Workers Dispute

Recently Amazon, the internet book store, shifted its bulk business from the Royal Mail to a rival company.

Rival companies include DX, TNT and UK Mail. You will have seen a variety of franks in the right hand corner of your letters, where the Queen’s head used to be, denoting a number of different companies.

Have you seen any DX, TNT or UK Mail postal workers on the street? What colour uniform to they wear?

The truth is, of course, that you’ve seen no such thing. The only people delivering mail are Royal Mail employees. Your postman and woman - the same person who has always delivered your letters, and who will, as likely as not, know you by name - is still the person who greets you at your door every morning with your mail. There are no rival companies to the Royal Mail in the delivery business.

What you have instead are companies allowed by the government to become parasites on the Royal Mail postal system. The process is called “down-stream access”. What this means is that a rival company can bid for a profitable section of Royal Mail’s trade, do all the easy work, drop it off at a Royal Mail delivery office and then demand that Royal Mail workers deliver it, at the rate of 13p per letter: less than half of what other customers pay.

Of all the companies in the postal business only Royal Mail has a universal delivery obligation.

In other words, what all this amounts to is privatisation by the back door. The trade from profitable city-to-city, bulk mail delivery and corporate sectors such as banks and utilities are sold off to the private companies, while the Royal Mail is expected to continue to deliver the rest: from Land’s End to John O’Groats, the rural, obscure and out-of-the-way post, the inner city areas where no other company would dare enter.

The current industrial action is not just about an under-inflation 2.5 % pay offer, it is also about diminishing conditions, lack of resources, and a contempt for quality of service. It is about whether we want a high-quality postal service in the future. It is about whether we want more junk mail through our post or less.

As part of the package on offer postal workers are being asked to deliver more items of junk through your post every day for the same pay. As if we aren't already chopping down enough trees to turn into adverts for hearing aids or double-glazing. Postal workers refer to this material as "landfill". It goes through the letter box and then straight into the bin.

Royal Mail have been bandying it about that postal workers can earn over £400 per week. I can speak from personal experience now and tell you that the average take-home pay is between £220-£250 per week.

I can also tell you that it is one of the most stressful jobs I have ever done, and that there were days when I worked nine hours without a single break: not even a sit down and a cup-of-tea.

In case you don’t know it, Royal Mail has a pet name for you: the ordinary, non-corporate householder sending post cards and letters and greetings cards the old fashioned way. They call you “Granny Smith”.

Granny Smith is every old lady on every estate who needs looking after and for whom the postal service is a life-line.

The Royal Mail management are on record as saying (I was at the meeting) that they no longer care about Granny Smith. Only the corporate business client matters now.




Robbie Manson (solicitor) - 01239 821 066 / Mob. 07812 681 083
Paul Milling - 01539 436 691 (H) / Mob.0776 583 6150
Margaret (Monica) Jones - 0117 946 6885


Three out of five Iraq war activists who tried physical damage to stop B-52bombers taking off from RAF Fairford in March 2003 have been found NOT GUILTY at Bristol Crown Court. This leaves the 'Fairford Two' - Paul Milling and Margaret Jones - to face re-trial.

Jones and Milling, charged with damage to US military vehicles, had their first trial for conspiracy to commit criminal damage last year. A re-trial was ordered when the jury failed to reach a verdict.

Lawyers have now asked the Crown Prosecution Service to drop the case. But the prosecution is determined to press on. The trial starts at Bristol Crown on Monday.

Jones, from Bristol, and Milling, from Cumbria, disabled dozens of bomb-carryingtrailers and fuel trucks at the RAF base in Fairford, Gloucestershire, in 2003. They admit using hammers and boltcutters to disable the equipment on 13 March, just one week before the invasion of Iraq.

They said they wanted to stop US Air Force B?52 bombers taking off. They weretrying to stop the “murder of innocent civilians” in Iraq.Since the night of their arrest the defendants have claimed they were justified indisabling trailers used to transport bombs for US jets and fuel tankers in order toprevent war crimes being committed.

The defendants deny conspiracy to cause criminal damage, arguing they wereentitled to be acquitted because they were acting to prevent war crimes and thedestruction of property in Baghdad.The two, who were the first defendants in an English crown court to use thedefence of acting to prevent war crimes. They have been on bail for the past four years.

The linked cases of Milling and Jones, Pritchard and Olditch, and Josh Richards,were jointly the subject of a lengthy pre-trial appeal to the House of Lords, over what defence arguments the accused would be allowed to make in court. These appeals had to be completed before the separate trials could go ahead.

The law lords ruled that all five defendants could argue that they were trying toprevent war crimes - but not that the Iraq war was itself a crime.


(1) Josh RichardsAn activist from Bristol, Josh Richards was charged with trying to set fire to thewheel of a B-52 bomber. In the re-trial earlier this month the jury debated for over 9hours and failed to reach a verdict.. The judge then ruled the defendant not guilty.

(2) Pritchard & OlditchThe re-trial of Philip Pritchard and Toby Olditch in May ended in unanimous acquittal by a jury of 11 women and one man. The two were arrested while trying to reach and disable a B-52 bomber.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tai Chi Twanky

I’ve been practising Tai Chi.

Actually, when I say “practicing” I think that needs some clarification.

Dentists practice dentistry. Doctors practice medicine. Lawyers practice law. ‘Practice’ implies some sort of knowledge, some sort of expertise. But if doctors or dentists or lawyers did their practice the way I practice Tai Chi, then the world would be a very scary place indeed.

Actually, in the case of lawyers, this is probably already the case. Lawyers already practice law the way I practice Tai Chi.

I’m not very good.

Tai Chi is a bit like that trick you learn as a child, patting your head while rubbing your belly, only more complicated. It is more like patting your head while rubbing your belly, while hopping up and down on one leg, while cooking bacon, egg and chips while reading the newspaper all at the same time.

It’s funny, because when you see it on the TV – all those old folks in parks in Beijing, doing their eloquent, stately movements in graceful unison – it looks so easy and so natural. And, indeed, when our teacher does it, it looks easy and natural too, like some slow-motion ballet.

When I do it, on the other hand, it looks more like a schizophrenic sumo wrestler fighting an invisible orang-utan. Usually the orang-utan is winning. I have a tendency to fall over.

Where I do it they also do Kung Fu and Kick Boxing and all these other martial arts.

In fact Tai Chi is a form of martial art. It is martial arts for cowards. The point about Tai Chi is to weave and shimmy out of your assailant’s grasp, to unbalance him so you can run away as quickly as possible.

So the place is full of young people, lively and enthusiastic, swirling and kicking like demons, in one room - leaping and spinning and hurrahing and making all these explosive, guttural, shouting noises - while us older folk are in the other, wobbling about and falling over.

One day one of the young kick boxers came into our room to collect her shoes. I was doing my Tai Chi walking. This involves a complex set of delicate steps, raising one leg, stepping out, balancing on the other leg, while doing these slow-motion hand movements like semaphore. And you could see it on her face. Her eyes went round and huge like saucepan lids. I was so useless. She thought she was watching Widow Twanky in Aladdin. It was more like pantomime than sport. If I’d have been wearing a wig and false bosoms I couldn’t have looked more insane. It was all she could do to stop herself screaming with laughter. I could see she was dying to tell her friends what she had witnessed in the martial arts club that night.

Actually Tai Chi is more than just exercise. The aim is the achieve balance in your life, between the opposing but complimentary forces of yin and yang. Yin is the receptive force, yang is the creative force. You cannot have one without the other.

The ‘Chi’ of ‘Tai Chi’ is understood as a sort of universal creative energy which you can breath in and store in your belly. Tai Chi is best practiced out of doors, in parks, near trees and waterfalls, while watching the clouds drift by.

And despite my difficulties, learning Tai Chi is actually very good for me, gentle on the old soul. How come Chinese people can do it with such grace? Because they practice it every day. And maybe, with a little practice, one day I can become graceful too.

1984 and All That

I’m very worried about my computer. It’s been doing some very odd things of late. I tell it to do one thing and it does something else. It’s like a recalcitrant teenager throwing a permanent paddy, stamping its foot and going off in a virtual sulk.

Cunning Folk

There are some books which are influential without necessarily being credible. One of those books is The Witch Cult of Western Europe by Margaret Murray, first published in 1921.

The basic theory is that witchcraft is a modern survival of pre-Christian forms of worship, and that the persecution of the witches which took place throughout the middle ages was a Christian attempt to eradicate a rival religion.

The theory has since been discredited. But the reason the book has been so influential is that one person, at least, believed it, and set out to recreate what he imagined this religion to be.

That person was Gerald Gardiner, and the religion he founded was Wicca.

There is an irony here. Wicca is often referred to as “the Old Religion”, or “the Craft”, while making assertions about its link to an ancient tradition, and yet its one true claim to historical importance is that it is, in fact, a very successful new religion, born in the British Isles, which has since spread to many parts of the globe.

Where Margaret Murray and Gerald Gardiner might have been on to something is that, though there never was a religion which could be identified as witchcraft, there were certainly some odd magical practices which survived well into the last century, and which may have had their roots in some ancient belief system.

The people who practiced these beliefs were not usually called witches, however. Often they claimed to protect people from witches, who were understood to be people who used magic for evil ends. No: the general name they went under was “cunning-folk”.

I like that. Cunning-folk. Cunning-men and cunning-women. Folk who use cunning in the practice of the magical arts; which means that another word for “magic” might be “cunning”.

And looking the word up in my dictionary I can see that it is related to the Old Viking word kunna, to know, which is probably related to the Scottish word “canny”, meaning shrewd, astute or knowing, and to the English word “can”, as in “can do”, meaning the ability to do something. In other words, the cunning-folk are shrewd, clever or canny folk who know how to do things.

The activities of these mysterious people were made illegal under the same laws which banished witchcraft, in 1542, 1563 and 1604, and which outlawed "witchcraft, enchantment, charm, or sorcery, to tell or declare in what place any treasure of gold or silver might be found…. or practice any sorcery, enchantment, charm or witchcraft to the intent to provoke any person to unlawful love."

Which is a startling concept. The first part would make metal detecting illegal, while the second seems to imply that there can be such a thing as “unlawful love”. How can love, in any form, ever be made unlawful?

The reason that cunning-folk were rarely prosecuted is that people depended on them too much, and that they were too respected in their communities for anyone to inform on them. Also, they kept themselves to themselves and stayed quiet.

Later, in 1736, the laws were amended. Witchcraft became a lesser crime. Later again, in 1951, all the laws were finally repealed. It was then that Gardiner set out to create his new religion based, as he claimed, upon an old one.

Meanwhile cunning-folk continued their mysterious practices, making love-charms and casting spells, predicting the future, driving away evil spirits, and making sure that all was well with the world, well into the 20th century.

And who knows, maybe they are doing it still?

How do you know, in fact, that I’m not a cunning-man?

Adam Smith

I’m looking at one of the new £20 notes. It is very flashy. I mean that in the literal sense. There is a band of silver all down one side which flashes whenever it catches the light.

As you have no doubt already seen (unless you live outside the UK) there is a picture of Adam Smith on the reverse side, replacing the image of Elgar that used to be on the old notes. Also the words: “The division of labour in pin manufacturing (and the great increase in the quantity of work that results.”

Now what does that mean?

It is, of course, a quote from the great man himself, from his book, The Wealth of Nations, dated 1776.

Adam Smith is famous for having extolled the virtues of the free market. He is supposedly Gordon Brown’s favourite writer, hence – probably – his appearance on our English £20 note, despite the fact that he was Scottish.

There is also an institute named after him, an organisation which cheerfully promotes the privatisation of our public services. Margaret Thatcher was fond of quoting him.

Are we to read his presence on the back of one of our bank notes as a statement of policy then? Does this mean more free market economics under Gordon Brown?

As it happens, any actual reading of Adam Smith himself soon reveals the fact that he has been badly misrepresented.

He used the term “the free market” rather in the way that Ghandi referred to western civilisation, meaning he thought it would be a very good idea.

In fact Adam Smith showed that the free market didn’t exist. To quote:

It cannot be very difficult to determine who have been the contrivers of this whole system; not the consumers, we may believe, whose interest has been entirely neglected; but the producers, whose interest has been so carefully attended to.”

In other words, the so-called free market is based around the need of producers to accrue wealth, not the need of consumers to get a fair deal.

This is still the case. There is still no such thing as the free market. It is a system entirely rigged to serve the interests of certain groups with wealth enough to buy influence over government.

Or, to quote Adam Smith again: “The vile maxim of the masters of mankind, all for ourselves and none for other people.” Perhaps they should put that on the back of the £20 note.

The process can be summed up in the phrase: “privatisation of profit, socialisation of cost.”

In other words, it is we, the public who are expected to pay to clean up the mess that private enterprise makes. It is we who are expected to build roads, to arm, to train, to police, and to do all of the millions of jobs on which private enterprise depends. It is only after all of this has been done and paid for that the merchants of private power can take their customary profits.

What a joke! Adam Smith would be turning in his grave.

The Last Post

By the time you read this I will no longer be a Royal Mail employee. I will have handed in my uniform, my cap, my badge and my bicycle clips. They will have sounded the Last Post at the Whitstable Delivery Office for CJ Stone, APG, which I think means Associated Postal Grade. Something like that.

I feel like the archetypal detective in that classic movie being asked to hand over his badge and his gun. Only in my case it’s my badge and my delivery pouch.

Never to have to post a letter again! Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I’m both sad and relieved at the same time.

The job served me well for a time. I was flat broke and in dire straights, several thousand pounds in debt, and with few prospects for my writing career. I was also very depressed.

Becoming a postman was helpful in more ways than one. It got me out of my financial hole, but it got me out of my mental hole too. There’s nothing like straight physical labour to brace the soul and lift the spirits, and there’s a certain joy in testing yourself against your own limits, to see what you can achieve.

I was never the best postman in the world, not even the best postman in Whitstable, by a long shot, but I was the best postman I could be, and there’s something very vital in that.

Also, having spent the last ten years working on my own, it was good to have people around me again, even if I couldn’t quite keep up with the banter most of the time.

I tell you, they’re quick those postmen. There are one or two down that office who could easily have their own TV series.

On the other hand, I’m a chronic insomniac, and I never could get used to those hours. There were days on end where I was walking into work having got less than an hour’s sleep.

Anyone who has ever gone without sleep for any length of time will know what it is like. It’s as if your nerves have been plugged into the National Grid. You feel on the verge of losing your temper all the time. Anyone breathing in your presence is in mortal danger.

“Excuse me, are those eyes you are looking at me with? Well put them away before I eat them.”

After nearly a year of that I was forced to go part time, two days a week. But then the two days of disruption turned into four - a day of anxiety in advance, and a day of recovery after – so that I almost might as well have been working full time again.

In the end I decided that enough was enough and to have a go at kick-starting my writing career again.

But I’m glad I did it and I will miss my work mates particularly.

Keep up the good work everyone.

Despite the proliferation of junk-mail, it is still honourable and valuable work you do.

E-Mail Trouble

I seem to be having trouble with my e-mail. Every time I send a note to the my newspaper it comes bouncing back to me with a cryptic message attached.

“Host or domain name not found,” it says. “Name service error. Host name does not exist.”

How very peculiar.

It seems that there is no such place as the Whitstable or Herne Bay Times. Neither the Whitstable nor the Herne Bay Times exist. These newspapers are a figment of your imagination. You are not reading a newspaper column right now. You are merely having a very bad dream.

That, at least, is what my computer appears to be telling me.

Or, looking at it another way: if the Times’ offices no longer acknowledge my messages and their computer system refuses to respond to me, maybe it’s me who doesn’t exist. Whoever it is sitting on this chair in front of this computer must be an impostor. It’s not really me at all.

My last column was not delivered by e-mail. It was delivered by hand to the Times office in Whitstable, then delivered by courier to Canterbury, and then typed by hand into the computer terminal there: the old-fashioned way.

It’s amazing how fast this technology has developed.

When I first started writing for the newspapers - just over thirteen years ago now - I would write on an old Amstrad, print it off, and then send the printed copy by post a few days before the deadline.

Occasionally I would send a fax.

There may have been internet access at the time, but only a few computer nerds had it. The web did not even exist.

These days many of us spend large portions of our spare time “surfing the net“ and most correspondence is done by e-mail..

No one sends letters any more. As a postman I know how few genuine hand-written letters actually travel by post (or by snail-mail, as the computer buffs call it): no more than one in a hundred, I would guess, and most of those are pre-printed Christmas or Birthday cards, in which only a signature and a brief message is required.

Pretty soon we will have forgotten how to write.

This is a very worrying prospect, not least when you discover how dependent we have become on the technology, and how little control we have when things go wrong.

So this is in the nature of an appeal to all of you out there who can still remember how to use a pen and paper: keep doing it!

Those handwritten letters that pass through your postman’s hands are like items of treasure these days: small reminders of humanity in a mountain of pre-printed dross.

Computers have invaded every aspect of our lives. Even our language has changed. Once upon a time memory was something that human beings had, not machines, applications were for jobs, programmes appeared on TV, cursors used bad language, webs were what spiders wove, a virus meant a week in bed and a hard drive was eight hours behind the wheel.

As for your three inch floppy, that was something best kept to yourself.

Second Hand Linen

If anyone wants to know how to get away without being searched by the bouncers at a nightclub: it's easy. Be over 50, have grey hair and wrinkles and such a dignified air of aloof superiority that no young whippersnapper would dare feel up and down the inside of your trouser leg.

Actually my friend, who was on the till at the time, had told the bouncers I'd be coming. She said, "look out for my good friend Chris."

"But how will we recognise him?" they asked.

"That's easy,” she said. “He'll be dressed like Man at Oxfam."

She's right. I buy all of my clothes second hand. The only exceptions are pants and socks, which my family buys for me at Christmas, and shoes, which I buy new for myself. For some reason I don’t like the idea of wearing anybody else’s shoes.

I guess you could call me mean. Or maybe careful. Or maybe I just like the sense of adventure, the uncertainty of trolling round charity shops looking through racks of unusual gear for exactly the right thing, instead of buying identikit products brand new off the shelf. How boring.

If people want to give their stuff away, then I might as well buy it. Why not? Anyway, I hate shopping. This particular evening I was wearing a linen jacket which cost 50p from a jumble sale. Go to any conventional outlet, and the same jacket would cost fifty quid or more. Admittedly mine is too big and rolled up at the sleeves. But it's still linen, still cool and stylish, still eminently practical for the summer.

I have a particular taste for loud, loose, expensive shirts made from cotton or silk, which I simply couldn’t afford to buy new. And it’s great going into a charity shop and discovering something quirky and surprising to add interest and colour to your wardrobe.

Anyway, let’s face it, my face isn’t exactly brand new either. I need clothes to match my personality, not the other way round. So it’s crumpled, bad-tempered, patched-up and dryly sceptical clothes I need to give full expression to my inner being.

One day, maybe, some bright young thing will teach me how to dress. I'll be wearing Nike cardigans, Armani socks and Gucci earmuffs, no doubt. I'll wear my Marks & Sparks vest inside out to show the label. I'll make sure my Y-fronts are multi-coloured and I will wear them above the waistband of my low-slung jeans.

That will be when I'm rich and famous. I'll be spending my time with top businessmen and Rock’n’Roll stars, all dressed in the same immaculate gear. I'll hang around in the Groucho Club and, when Mick Jagger walks in, I'll say: "Hey, you're wearing exactly the same trousers as I am." That's the sort of profound conversation we'll have, comparing notes for a more fashionable future.

Meanwhile I'll stick to my second hand linen jacket. At least it gets me into clubs without the bouncers wanting to search me.