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And now a word from Hugh Sykes:

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Eddie Mair | 17:10 UK time, Monday, 25 August 2008


"This is a photo of two mystified Italians, just arrived at London City airport on a full plane of people almost all of whom wanted to take the Docklands Railway to get into town.
But it was closed. For 'capacity improvements'. (I like it!)
Plenty of taxis rolled up, of course. But no one in the queue of about thirty people chose the taxi option. The Rip-Off London Black Cab Fares are too well known now.
So we all waited for a bus. None came for about 25 minutes.
Then two arrived.
The destination board on o ne of them said 'Stratford'. Just to be sure, I asked the driver if his bus connected with the Central Line underground station at Stratford.
'No,' said the driver, with an indifferent expression.
But - I pointed out - Stratford bus station is also a Central Line underground station.
"Yes," said the driver, with an indifferent expression.
Sigh. I told my Italian companions that I knew more than the bus driver, and that they'd be ok to connect at Stratford.
They were fine.
This was such a horrible, mean-minded, ignorant contrast with my experience of warm and generous politeness in Beijing that I have devised a London 2012 pre-Olympic award scheme:
The Olympic Replacement Bus Service: GOLD
The Olympic Essential Engineering Works: Silver
The Olympic Rip-Off Black Cab Fare £100 from Heathrow to London: Bronze
Runner Up:
The Olympic Stinking Hamburgers and Onions on a disgusting cart outside
the British Museum, the London Eye, the Tower of London and every other
tourist venue you can think of.


  • 1. At 5:20pm on 25 Aug 2008, gossipmistress wrote:

    Would you like a nice cup of tea, Hugh?x

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  • 2. At 5:25pm on 25 Aug 2008, Fifi wrote:

    Hugh lovey you need to calm down ... this is not like you!

    Either that or join me in a proper full-on rant at Speaker's Corner in half an hour.

    I'll bring the soap box, if you can find us a megaphone. Gossipmistress will bring a flask of the necessary.

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  • 3. At 5:45pm on 25 Aug 2008, DI_Wyman wrote:

    Welcome home Hugh......good to be back in 'civilisation' isn't it?

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  • 4. At 5:48pm on 25 Aug 2008, nikki noodle wrote:

    This is 'culture shock' at its most stark - the shock of coming home and realising that people are more polite abroad.

    In China it is rarely Me First in public; more often it is Can I Help You

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  • 5. At 7:31pm on 25 Aug 2008, laptoplen wrote:

    Count your blessings you weren't mugged/stabbed.shot while waiting for the bus.

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  • 6. At 7:38pm on 25 Aug 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Among the bookies' favourites:

    The Olympic Peeing In Public (tied with:)

    The Olympic Lack of Public Toilets

    The Olympic Rubbish Thrown on Pavements or Put Out when it's Not a Bin Day

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  • 7. At 7:51pm on 25 Aug 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    It is soooo sad, isn't it? Once upon a time, it was the Parisians who held the World Cup for surliness, now we've overtaken them. In the capital, at least.

    However, I am pleased to report that, away from London, there is still a culture of helpfulness to be found (perhaps not everywhere all of the time), and Op North, in Glasgow, the folk are very kind and helpful. Just as a 'for instance'.

    Hope you find some nice things back home, Hugh, to sweeten the taste of that encounter.

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  • 8. At 9:01pm on 25 Aug 2008, Deepthought wrote:

    For all who know me, no I'm not on drugs, or drunk, or anything like that.

    I have to report a Replacement Bus Service on South-West Trains that was (a) comfortable, (b) timely (although not in phase with the trains running at either end), (c) driver who was polite and knowledgeable (d) station staff deployed "on the street" to help passengers to the appropriate locations to catch said coaches.

    I know, I could hardly believe it either.

    That being said, haven't a clue what engineering works were being done, nothing was visible, despite the fact that the bus ran parallel with the tracks for some of the way.

    But sadly, Hugh's experience here has been repeated time and time again; I've witnessed it myself many times.

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  • 9. At 9:02pm on 25 Aug 2008, U10783173 wrote:

    12 days in the very South of Italy in July and the only two times that I felt uncomfortable were the two times that I heard someone else speaking English. One was a prat having a stupid row with his wife in the centre of a town and the other was a bigger prat telling all of a restaurant that he owned an Aston Martin.

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  • 10. At 9:46pm on 25 Aug 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Probably a banker Gee-gee.

    Ooops, just watched that C4 prog about bankers so not impressed with the trade.

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  • 11. At 11:11pm on 25 Aug 2008, trevrut wrote:

    And just how much of OUR hard earned money did it cost to send you to Beijing????

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  • 12. At 11:11pm on 25 Aug 2008, U10783173 wrote:

    Frances O - I know the pun might have been intended, but actually from the very LOUD conversation, I think he was a banker.

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  • 13. At 07:36am on 26 Aug 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Yet another example of British rudeness and gracelessness (11). Please do not imply that a BBC employee, and one who is held in very high regard by Radio 4 listeners, was on a 'junket'. Speaking for myself, and I'm sure many other contributors to the Blog, Hugh Sykes represents extraordinarily good value for money.

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  • 14. At 08:51am on 26 Aug 2008, annasee wrote:

    Just in the interests of balance, you understand, Hugh...

    We just came back from London, late on Friday night. Our Virg*n train (extremely discounted fares with Family Railcard, another plus) was delayed because a passenger pulled the communication cord, (twice - idiot). I could see we were likely to miss the connection with our local train at this end, meaning either a 40 min walk with our backpacks, or a taxi journey (enough said...).

    I asked the train conductor (my best politest, friendliest manners) if he thought it was likely we would make the connection, as it was touch and go by this stage. He offered to call ahead to our station to ask if they would hold the train for us. No guarantees, because all the train operating companies are different, of course, and don't have to help each other out if it means delaying their own services.

    Anyway - he did, they did, and 5 of us managed to catch the train we would otherwise have missed. We were all pleased and grateful. Enough said!

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  • 15. At 09:31am on 26 Aug 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    Hey Hugh, after all these years you haven't learned to stay out of London? I live in St Albans (a stone's throw away) and rarely go there. I'm an American, but learned quickly. I'd rather take the Eurostar to Paris.

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  • 16. At 10:26am on 26 Aug 2008, Aperitif wrote:

    Hugh, I agree with David (15), stay out of London and you'll be fine :-)

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  • 17. At 10:32am on 26 Aug 2008, Thunderbird wrote:

    Hugh, I guess you've spent the last two weeks on a cocktail of speed and Tiger beer.

    Remember the words of Samual Johnson and smile

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  • 18. At 10:39am on 26 Aug 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    That's all well and good, recommending Hugh to keep clear of the Great Smoke - but, what if he lives there?

    Anyway, London isn't all surliness and rudery. I've encountered great kindness from strangers there on occasion, and driving is often much easier there than in provincial cities due to drivers being more considerate to each other.

    As to David McN's comment about going to Paris - see my earlier comment! Though I'd be the first to say that, outside Paris, I've found the French to be very kind and courteous.

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  • 19. At 11:52am on 26 Aug 2008, Fearless Fred wrote:

    A slight tangent from the topic, but I have to tel you all about a recent experience I had at Krakow airport. I arrived on a Monday morning, and was trying to find the bus to take me into the centre of the town. I couldn't find the right stop, but there was a bus to take me to a train station where I could catch a train to the central station. So, I get on the bus, abd we spend 15 minutes waiting. The bus finally leaves the airport, only to find that the train st`tion is actually only 200 metres away from the terminal! I could've walked it just as easily ;-)

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  • 20. At 12:32pm on 26 Aug 2008, UptheTrossachs wrote:

    Big Sis (7) - which part of Glasgow? I take it you weren't in the East End ;o)

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  • 21. At 1:22pm on 26 Aug 2008, Alan wrote:

    Did anyone notice that one of our performers in the 2012 preview demonstrated the Bristish tradition of chucking litter. She hurled a newspaper on to the ground and the area was covered in detritus when they moved away.

    Go Team GB and 2012

    We have 4 years to change service attitudes in this country, so we all need to contribute and buck up!

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  • 22. At 1:28pm on 26 Aug 2008, Electric Dragon wrote:

    When was this? I got to City airport on the DLR on Sunday without any trouble. Of course the reason I was going to the airport in the first place was because of all the engineering works on the railway.

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  • 23. At 1:52pm on 26 Aug 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    UTT: Funny you should say that - While waiting to catch a bus in the East End of Glasgow, and not being sure which one I needed, somebody approached me and asked where I was going, then advised me the line to take. I found kindness all round Glasgow, and a drunk in Sauchiehall street even apologised to me when he 'accidentally' approached me while I was speaking to my SO. At the Willow Tearooms, they arranged for us to have our breakfast in the Silver Room on our last morning, all alone, at no extra charge.

    I have fond memories of Glasgow - it's a very friendly city. Oh, and my SO was born there ;o)

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  • 24. At 1:53pm on 26 Aug 2008, Downtumble wrote:

    Yesterday I got the bus from Edinburgh to Earlston. The bus driver first tried to knock a cyclist off his bike after overtaking him coming up to the bus stop and then cutting him off. This ended up in the pair of them edging forward, an argument and the bus winning because of size and aggression. (I'd like to point out that I am not generally on the side of cyclists in Edinburgh.) Then - and this is a bus going through the countryside where request stops are the norm - the driver refused to let a woman off at her house but dumped her further on where the road is very fast with no place for people to walk. Then they wonder why people choose to drive.

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  • 25. At 2:08pm on 26 Aug 2008, Aperitif wrote:

    I used to take buses as a teenager. Some bus drivers, I recall, were lovely friendly types who enjoyed the sociabilty of their jobs. Others tended to be desparate to hang on to the tiny bit of power they had -- enjoyong driving off as someone ran to catch the bus, closing the doors just as they were approached, basically forgetting the fundamental factor in a bus service is passengers -- no point in a bus without any.

    I walk, drive and take the train/underground now. No need to interact verbally with (other) drivers.

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  • 26. At 2:14pm on 26 Aug 2008, rainbowlostmarble wrote:

    I visited Vancouver in July. The next Winter Olympics will be staged there in 2010. The people were so helpful, polite and friendly, I was genuinely touched and couldn't help but think how different things are back in London. It's sad but the attitude is so different and generally negative back here. I grew up in London but now live in Cornwall. People here actually say hello to you and not as a pre-text to some crime they may want to commit upon you! There's much room for improvement in the Big Smoke!

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  • 27. At 3:26pm on 26 Aug 2008, mygloriousleader wrote:

    Interesting thoughts all round and I can agree with much of the above.

    I think much of it comes from three basic areas;
    1) communication
    2) manners
    3) oppression
    There is a huge amount of information about what is taught by the education system but my increasing opinion is that a growing proportion of children / young adults starting their post education life cannot commence or hold a conversation with anyone other than their grunting cohorts.
    Following on from this are the basic manners of say, holding a door for those carrying something or the infirm, letting drivers into a traffic stream, saying please and thankyou.
    The final of the three, probably the worst, is oppression. This can come from many areas. It can be financial. It can be managerial. It can be from the daft pseudo science that is political correctness.
    All of these or any can create the anti-social behaviour cited in the many cases above.

    If you fix the three main subjects above, much of the antisocial behaviour be it minor or major would vapourise overnight.

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  • 28. At 3:28pm on 26 Aug 2008, Thunderbird wrote:

    Alan (21) I dont think the throwing of a newspaper was meant to signify the British obsession of littering, I think more likely it was the 10 million pound free thrown away on Mr Beckham's fee.

    Anyway after seeing the Chinese girls in the skin-tight red leather trousers a red bus is never going to cut it.

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  • 29. At 3:40pm on 26 Aug 2008, ozscarecrow wrote:

    I know it all sounds like another rant about rip off Britain, but I do despair at the treatment we dish out to visitors, and that which we are expected to tolerate ourselves. Everything has a price but not necessarily any value.
    I speak as a resident of Edinburgh who thinks she maybe detecting the shine coming off the Fringe and Festival. Visitors are expected to pay far too much for accommodation and pay outrageous prices for indifferent food around the city centre (there are great restaurants in the city, they're not concentrated where tourists are). Oh, and the classic 'no children in pubs'. In a country where alcohol represents a major health problem, we seem to think that by discouraging families into pubs, this will help...Nothing is joyful, everything is about turning a quick buck. And I don't think that's how most of us want to be.

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  • 30. At 4:05pm on 26 Aug 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    MGL (27): I don't disagree with the thrust of your comments, but I feel I must add that I (and no doubt others) am frequently flabbergasted at the bad manners of some elderly people. Whatever the cause, it can be quite outrageous and matches, or exceeds, any bad manners exhibited by the young. That much said, I've also been treated with exquisite courtesy by older people. But you do sometimes get the feeling that some elderly people feel they have some kind of royal prerogative which allows them to behave as badly as the worst behaved toddler.

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  • 31. At 4:16pm on 26 Aug 2008, Thunderbird wrote:

    Old people are in the same position as toddlers they don't give a stuff about political correctness.

    My Nan before she slipped off the dish was a nightmare to be out with because just like a two year old she would say things as she saw them. Unfortunately we are all so conditioned to hearing the right thing all the time that we could mistake it for rudeness

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  • 32. At 4:28pm on 26 Aug 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Tbird: I agree that it is down to a lack of inhibition, but the sad thing is that it is often the nightmare nans who are the first to complain about the lack of manners of the young.

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  • 33. At 4:31pm on 26 Aug 2008, Thunderbird wrote:

    Very true....

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  • 34. At 5:28pm on 26 Aug 2008, pottersplodder wrote:

    Ooh Hugh you do sound disgruntled, quite rightly so. A few months ago I received a phone call from my daughter in the early hours of the morning when a bus driver would not wait whilst she topped up her oyster card (at a a machine only metres from the bus stop) but left her on her own to await the next bus.

    Hope you managed to get a soothing cup of tea.

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  • 35. At 8:48pm on 26 Aug 2008, RJMolesworth wrote:

    Hugh, in the bus driver's defence, he probably didn't speak English and had no idea what you were asking him.

    "Does this bus go to Aldwych"

    Bus Driver:
    "No, Waterloo Britch"

    Repeat twice until my wife told the tourist it did go to Aldwych.

    This followed an incident when a bus took the wrong route and my brother-in-law had to direct him back on course.

    But we are not alone. Taxi drivers in New York usually landed yesterday and drive around looking for another taxi driver to tell them how to get to the Empire State Building.

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  • 36. At 9:56pm on 26 Aug 2008, U11204129 wrote:

    Sorry, Big Sister, I've lost track of what you're trying to teach us today.

    Its this business of 'reputation'. Of London, Paris, Glasgow etc.

    How do you know these places have the REPUTATIONS you attribute to them?

    How do you decide when an opinion is sufficiently widely held or strongly felt for you to say it constitutes a REPUTATION for these various groups of people and places?

    Given all the kindnesses that humanity has shown you 'where'ere you walk', as far as I can tell, what makes you think that the REPUTATION of these 'places you remember' and 'people and friends' is different from how you found them?

    I've been away, so maybe I've lost the drift of your thread.

    I thought you were about to tell us why you blog. I don't seem to be able to find the reason anywhere.

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  • 37. At 05:31am on 27 Aug 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The cause is clearly lack of civility, a basic dislike of people even at the most casual level of an accidental momentary meeting. So it's even worse that Paris, now that's an accomplishment. How glad I am that I have never visited the UcK and never will. Ugh.

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  • 38. At 06:34am on 27 Aug 2008, Hugh wrote:

    Thanks for all the nice comments!

    I'm in Teheran now (on another junket?...or didn't 'trevrut' notice I was taking a BUS...despite carrying a portable satellite dish, sound mixer, laptop, and rucksack!)

    On Pasdaran Avenue two evenings ago, I was about to despair of finding a cab when a small white car stopped and the driver offered to take me where I wanted to go.

    I happily accepted, and off we went. At the end of the journey, as I was getting some money out of my pocket, his mobile phone rang, and he said to his friend: "I'm sorry I'm late, I'm just giving a lift to a guest."

    And he was very reluctant to accept any money for the trip.

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  • 39. At 08:15am on 27 Aug 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    PML: I'm not trying to teach anyone, nor have I mentioned the word 'reputation' anywhere. I'm entitled to an opinion, and as far as I can see you exercise the same right over and over again, and primarily in criticism of myself.

    The thread is about rudeness, so perhaps your rudeness towards me is appropriate expressed here? - as yet another example of how rude some people can be towards others.

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  • 40. At 08:17am on 27 Aug 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    PMHugh: Safe journey in a politer world!

    Looking forward to some more wonderful photos.

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  • 41. At 11:04am on 27 Aug 2008, paulcrossleyII wrote:

    Re37, Was it when you were never visiting the UK that you went to a British Political Conference?

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  • 42. At 11:16am on 27 Aug 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    MAII 37, I'll bet you're one of those Murcans who has never had a passport or travelled out of Arkansas. No, you can't convince me that you have, so don't try. We won't miss you here in the UK.

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  • 43. At 11:19am on 27 Aug 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    pmL 36, Parisians have the REPUTATION of be rude, not uncivil. They seemed OK to me.

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  • 44. At 11:19am on 27 Aug 2008, Aperitif wrote:

    How is someone who claims never to have been to the UK able to comment on what it's like here then?


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  • 45. At 11:30am on 27 Aug 2008, U11204129 wrote:


    Perhaps? No, definitely not*.

    Sorry, didn't mean to interrupt the imperious** flow.

    *Remember having to apologise for thinking a whole post was about you, when not one word was? And deciding it was personally directed rudeness?

    I accepted the apology. Try not to see everything as about you, and rude if it expresses an opinion different from your own, and which you find challenging and difficult for you. Read 7. again.

    Here endeth today's lecon.

    **Second meaning set, COD, 1963

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  • 46. At 11:44am on 27 Aug 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    I think you'll find, PML, that words like 'imperious' and other adjectives that you appear to ascribe to me can be regarded as rude.

    Incidentally, you appear to want to know why I blog. Perhaps you would be kind enough to illuminate us, from your great wisdom, why it is you blog here? Other than using it as an excuse to harrass people, that is ......

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  • 47. At 12:17pm on 27 Aug 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    A Conservative Party Convention was a filler on C-Span a few years ago. I watched it for about half an hour just to see what it was like. Then I fell asleep in front of the TV.

    David_McNickle, I lived in France for 2 years. I've been to about 40 foreign countries. In the last six months of a new job, I've racked up about 40,000 frequent flier miles on Continental Airlines. I've also lived in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and California. I've been in about half the 50 States. I'm sick and tired of travel. BTW, I've also been on 23 ocean cruises. If you want a good vacation, visit Alaska. Be sure to see Denali Park. There' s nothing in Europe or for that matter anywhere else like it.

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  • 48. At 12:41pm on 27 Aug 2008, Thunderbird wrote:

    Dear oh dear, "my Dad'd bigger than you Dad" !

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  • 49. At 1:37pm on 27 Aug 2008, mittfh wrote:

    So what can we expect of 2012? Here's an ever-so-slightly cynical guide:

    Opening ceremony: athletes guided into position via Tensa Barriers, rather than 2,012 local girls in gym kit. CGI fireworks, because they're less expensive and less polluting than the real thing.

    Outside: The Great Olympic Car Park, i.e. all the roads in the vicinity of Stratford / Hackney Wick.

    The Great Olympic TaxGrab, i.e. what the Daily Wail will make of all the fines levied on people who refuse to respect the new Olympic Lanes around London's roads, get snapped on camera, and fined £80 or so.

    The Great Olympic Confusion, i.e. what happens when spectators blindly follow their Sat-Navs and end up in the wrong Stratford...

    The Great Olympic Queue, i.e. spectators waiting hours for their train to arrive because the driver of their scheduled train decided to take an unannounced sickie.

    The Great Olympic Grafitti, i.e. what will happen to the events after hours, when they get invaded by bored teenagers armed with Sharpie markers (well, they'll be bound to test out the manufacturer's claims that they write on almost anything...)

    The Great Olympic Ticket Tout, i.e. keen businessmen flogging tickets for £500 outside the stadium. Or colour photocopies of tickets via an internet auction site, who promptly disappear off to the Bahamas once they've scammed enough people...

    The Great Olympic Protest, i.e. Greenpeace & co. setting up camp in the ex-village North of Heathrow as the bulldozers move in.

    The Great Olympic PubCrawl, i.e. us "educating" the world in the subtle art of UK nightlife.

    The Great Olympic Fight, i.e. what happens immediately after the previous event...

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  • 50. At 2:00pm on 27 Aug 2008, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Mittfh, I'd suggest the Great Olympic Security Scare, where a member of Fathers for Justice or some other silly group climbs on top of the stadium..

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  • 51. At 2:21pm on 27 Aug 2008, U11204129 wrote:


    They CAN, but you have already had to apologise for thinking me rude to you when not one word of mine was written in that post with you in mind, at all.

    I said, here, your blogs are urgent and imperative (was the COD not to hand when you replied?). Indeed, that was about you.

    Well, on reflection, for whatever reason, it wasn't to bandy words with anyone.

    So here's to you and DMcN.

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  • 52. At 3:00pm on 27 Aug 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Well, pmL, if you apologised to me for every slander and rudeness you've thrown my way since you morphed from Mac, your fingers would be raw from the keyboard. And, for the record, I readily apologised when I realised I'
    d made a mistake - a choice, not an imperative.

    Can I just remind you of the Terms of Use of the BBC sites?

    "You agree to use bbc.co.uk only for lawful purposes, and in a way that does not infringe the rights of, restrict or inhibit anyone else's use and enjoyment of bbc.co.uk. Prohibited behaviour includes harassing or causing distress or inconvenience to any person, transmitting obscene or offensive content or disrupting the normal flow of dialogue within bbc.co.uk."

    So I'll ask you again: kindly stop harassing me.

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  • 53. At 3:58pm on 27 Aug 2008, U11204129 wrote:

    To stop, I'd have to start.

    I think the things I say on this blog are part of the proper use of the blog.

    To call anything I say rude that isn't, is to disrupt the normal flow of dialogue if it's effect is to force me to change perfectly proper content.

    DMcN rightly describes me as menopausal, long and boring and one of the living unDead.

    I find that sort of heckling far preferable to the strategy of declaring that what I say is rude, whenever, and only when, I point out glaring contradictions in what has been said

    Two questions remain to me.
    One is the suggestion raised by another blogger that some of the contributions on this blog are paid for by the programme. Is that, in any sense, true?

    Secondly, I feel the threat of Room 14 coming on, Big Sis. Moderators approaching like the very unDead McN fights off with his Dalek. (Which I thought the Bristol parrot was impersonating)
    But posts you seem to object to have not been Moderated formally. So are there informal ways that Moderators and production staff and programme makers can be contacted?

    If so, shouldn't any such communications be in the public domain?

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  • 54. At 4:22pm on 27 Aug 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    Apairofteeth 44, He watches Last of the Summer Wine.

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  • 55. At 4:23pm on 27 Aug 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    BS 46, I blog here for the fun of it.....and to annoy pmL and MAII.

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  • 56. At 4:23pm on 27 Aug 2008, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    pmL, you have often been nasty to and about both Big Sister and David McNickle for ages now, and you then saying 'that's not true' really doesn't convince anyone who has noticed it. If you want to be nasty, then fine, but don't try to pretend you're not. If you don't want to be, why not just stop?

    It's not as if you had nothing else you wanted to say, after all: you post plenty of other things. At length. Great length. Often.

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  • 57. At 4:31pm on 27 Aug 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    MAII 47, I've been to every country in the world including the two just proclaimed by Russia, and a few others.

    I've been in Pa to as I was born there. So nyah! to you.

    Given the money, we would buy a house in France and live there.

    I crossed the Atlantic twice: once on the Polish liner Stephen Batory (now scrapped) and once on the QE 2.

    Continental Airlines is cr*p.

    And I'll bet my doodah is bigger than yours!

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  • 58. At 4:33pm on 27 Aug 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    Tbird 48, I said something similar. As he wouldn't give me his passport number, I don't believe any of it. Who in their right mind would fly with that airline?

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  • 59. At 4:33pm on 27 Aug 2008, Gillianian wrote:

    pmL - I too find your posts snide and rude and they are preventing me from enjoying the blog as much as I usually do - it is NOT a proper use of the blog.
    I usually just ignore your posts, believing that you are an attention-seeker who deliberately sets out to provoke angry responses.
    There - you win again!

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  • 60. At 4:35pm on 27 Aug 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    "I've been to every country in the world including the two just proclaimed by Russia, and a few others/."

    Can you elaborate, David? ;o)

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  • 61. At 4:36pm on 27 Aug 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    pmL 51, Keep me out of it. She can take care of herself. Continental Airlines indeed. Ever drink the tea they served on Trans World Airlines?

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  • 62. At 4:38pm on 27 Aug 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    pmL 53, I think I called you postmenopausalLeader. Woddaya want, postmortemLeader?

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  • 63. At 4:46pm on 27 Aug 2008, U13193581 wrote:

    Another Bleat

    I was blog-unloved as a former self and I am again. Doesn't faux intellectualism count for anything these days? I lectured on this when the world was younger and Dreaming Spires allowed dreams. Not that I was Oxbridge – dontchano?

    I have been a hasbeen** but would rather sup with the notbeens than share the filthy lucre of the money-changers, flimflammers and mountebanks of the capital

    **I thought this would sound clever.

    I'm not so much a one trick pony as a bit of an old donkey - stubborn, obstinate and mean. And those are just my good features. Donkey or ass? - Oh profanity! Profanity!

    I'm so sharp that I have to be careful with knives you know.

    Baa Baa

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  • 64. At 4:52pm on 27 Aug 2008, UptheTrossachs wrote:

    What I really enjoy about the PM blog is the interesting and insightful comments you find on current affairs, all mixed with some lively banter and good humour. A bit like the programme itself.

    Give it a rest! For goodness sake!!

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  • 65. At 5:20pm on 27 Aug 2008, Aperitif wrote:

    David (54), Haha, I 'spect you're right. But do you have to do the teeth/dentures joke? Surely it was done to death in the first few months of he blog. What you really need to know is that I'm very pleasant before dinner -- and somewhat innapproparite afterwards...

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  • 66. At 5:20pm on 27 Aug 2008, Aperitif wrote:

    And my typing's appalling.

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  • 67. At 11:42pm on 27 Aug 2008, U11204129 wrote:

    63 Excellent! And the political pastiche continues at http://www.rayleighlibdems.org.uk/articles/index.html But please don't laugh, he thinks he's being serious there.

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  • 68. At 11:49pm on 27 Aug 2008, U13193581 wrote:

    (67) - Didn't bother to read that. Well you knew I wouldn't.


    Big gap - wasn't it? Effect? sadly no!
    Anybody responding - again - sadly no.
    Got a life? You answer.

    Baah. baah.

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  • 69. At 00:19am on 28 Aug 2008, U11204129 wrote:


    Excellent, again.

    The trouble is, it sounds so much like self analysis.

    Keep believing in the unbelievable.


    is the WORD, and


    puts us fully in the PICTURE.

    Try the Rosicrucians
    They may give you back your faith.


    Lets hope it doesn't come to that, but I'll keep on standby.

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  • 70. At 07:14am on 28 Aug 2008, U13193581 wrote:

    Baah, baah.
    Self analysis, pretentious, MOI?

    Not for me, I think.

    (and the libdems is a garden path)

    too early for the FTSE. No Times - no Comment.
    Bahh, baah.

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  • 71. At 07:31am on 28 Aug 2008, Hugh wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 72. At 08:29am on 28 Aug 2008, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Careful, Hugh, pml will think that you've been asked by Big Sis to say that, and MAII will assume it's all some kind of pinko-lefty plot...


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  • 73. At 08:36am on 28 Aug 2008, Sid wrote:

    pmLeader - why the sudden personal attacks on me? Just curious.

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  • 74. At 09:01am on 28 Aug 2008, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Sid (73) It could be that pml decided to expand his target range from Big Sis and David McN. Pretty soon I think we'll all be fending off baseless attacks, I'm afraid... :-(

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  • 75. At 09:28am on 28 Aug 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Fred (72): Gosh, how intriguing! And Hugh was modded! which means I have no way of knowing just what was said.

    Well, if it was in any way in defence of me, thank you, Sir Hugh!

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  • 76. At 09:31am on 28 Aug 2008, U13193581 wrote:

    Sid - I'm afraid that's my fault.

    Poor old pmL thinks I'm you (or is it 'you're me'?)

    Anyhows, he's a bit confused. Thought process varies with the FTSE and alcohol levels I think.


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  • 77. At 09:37am on 28 Aug 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    But, but, but (or should that read baa baa baa) I thought, pmB, gosh, now you've confused me, you're soooooo similar to pmL - well, except that now you're beginning to make sense, so that's a difference .......

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  • 78. At 09:56am on 28 Aug 2008, Fearless Fred wrote:

    pmB, I think your counterpart may not realise the satire that's taking place...

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  • 79. At 10:02am on 28 Aug 2008, U13193581 wrote:

    Big Sis - But it's really easy to be like pmL. A 10-step guide.

    1. Assume that no-one likes you or wants to talk to you.
    2. Try desperately to elicit a response from someone.
    3. Consult the FTSE and commment sagely** on the recent movement.
    4. Have a drink.
    5. Drop in a very random thought, perhaps on the connection between the energetics of emotional states in the id, ego, and superego as they relate to early childhood developments and processes.
    6. Insist that post-Keynesianism shouldn't be thought of as heterodox economics.****
    7. Have another drink.

    8. Leave a gap for effect.
    9. Go to step 1.
    ** this is optional

    ****just another thought as it's Thursday

    Only 9 points I'm afraid - the market is down after all.
    Baah baah.

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  • 80. At 10:08am on 28 Aug 2008, UptheTrossachs wrote:

    Thick as mince - that's me. 18 hours or so later and the penny has finally dropped.
    (I'll get my coat)

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  • 81. At 10:18am on 28 Aug 2008, Big Sister wrote:


    Baaaaaah! baaaaaaah!


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  • 82. At 10:20am on 28 Aug 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    UTT: Would that be minced beef, or lamb? :)

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  • 83. At 10:28am on 28 Aug 2008, Fearless Fred wrote:

    pmB (79) You forgot:

    10) Assume that certain commenters have "super-user" privileges and a direct line to the moderators.
    11) Take someone else's comment, look for a single word that can be mis-contrued, and rail in some way about how this doesn't fit into an obscure sociological theory.


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  • 84. At 11:04am on 28 Aug 2008, U11204129 wrote:


    Thank goodness, now, Big Sister must know that at the very worst of her imaginings, s/he's being attacked by a dead sheep.

    The oil and gas markets go up and down like a fiddler's elbow. Apparently its vicissitudes are well modeled by the power companies. who smoothly gear their pricing to them and use every penny they make to provide capacity.

    'Why, if we don't deprive the poor NOW of heating via proper pricing, we won't be able to supply them with power, in the future, which they won't be able to afford then either.' as Ruth Lea, in effect said on QT on behalf of the haves everywhere.

    Meanwhile FTSE tracker funds and the FTSE as a measure of market confidence determine our PENSIONS.

    And universal and sole state provision wouldn't be fairer?

    pmB, you're a savant, unrecognised in your native land. I couldn't have put what you say better myself.

    And you know what a pretentious bore I am.

    PS. Don't forget my use of PSs.

    PPS Blimey, did I say the Beijing Olympics had buried the cult of poisonality with that hurdler falling at the first (of)fence?

    PPPS And my use of brackets ((:-)).

    PPPPS And my errant full stops! (Does one belong here? Or here?). But as you say, does one belong anywhere? That's the question

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  • 85. At 11:05am on 28 Aug 2008, Aperitif wrote:

    The thing is, some people see even this kind of attention as flattering...

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  • 86. At 11:23am on 28 Aug 2008, U11204129 wrote:


    Hey, I hope I didn't put too many of my detractors wrong, earlier.

    In the song, of course, the Rosicrucians will give you back your 'hOPE'

    ('Cos it arrives in a 'plain brown envelOPE'

    Then there's some stuff about 'Hey, prince. you've had your day'
    And how you need a shave and a body refit etc

    Judy Collins sang the version I used to listen to. No doubt available on YouTube. It was on the 'In my life' LP, last track second side)

    I really don't recommend pmB listens to it without a little Highland dew pick-me up to....pick himself up with, afterwards.

    PS And dots, ....., don't forget the......dots (.......).

    ...I nearly did... it's easily done

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  • 87. At 11:50am on 28 Aug 2008, U13193581 wrote:

    Aperitif (85) I have no doubt that you are right.

    Baaahk to the grazing, I think.

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  • 88. At 12:11pm on 28 Aug 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    BS 60, I think my statement was self-explanatory.

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  • 89. At 12:13pm on 28 Aug 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    pmL, parimutualLeader?

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  • 90. At 12:17pm on 28 Aug 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    A 65, I wasn't here the first few months. I just like to take the pi....., er, Mickey out of people who won't use their real names.

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  • 91. At 12:20pm on 28 Aug 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    FF 78, I thought a counterpart was formica.

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  • 92. At 12:34pm on 28 Aug 2008, Aperitif wrote:

    86, You've begun your post with "85" which suggests it may be some sort of response to my post there. However, I'm afraid I don't understand it. That proabaly says as much about me s it does you, but it's true.

    David (90), Are you saying you think that isn't my real name?

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  • 93. At 12:42pm on 28 Aug 2008, U10783173 wrote:

    DMcN (91) - Nah! Counterpart is the bit of your keyboard with the numbers on it.

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  • 94. At 1:19pm on 28 Aug 2008, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Hugh's been referred? (71) That should be interesting. Can you (or anyone) remind us of what the indiscretion was, Hugh?

    As always, Respect!

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  • 95. At 2:02pm on 28 Aug 2008, mygloriousleader wrote:

    As head of the intellectual humour section of the blog I would just like to recommend the following shorthand for users to shorthand signify a raspberry sound.
    The only response required to 36,51,53,67,69,84 and 86.

    "Oh infamy, infamy
    They've got it in for me"

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  • 96. At 2:49pm on 28 Aug 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    David (88) From which I suppose we have to assume that the world is a little bigger for you than it is for the rest of us. That's fine by me.

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  • 97. At 4:24pm on 28 Aug 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    BS 96, Well, Ohio is five times the size of Wales.

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  • 98. At 4:27pm on 28 Aug 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    Apairofteats 92, Yes.

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  • 99. At 5:06pm on 28 Aug 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    David: Your point being? Ohio is a state, Wales is a country. Perhaps the USA should devolve itself. ;o)

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  • 100. At 5:34pm on 28 Aug 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    BS 99, You're the one who said that the world is a little bigger for me. Not only that, but you can put Wales, N Ireland, and Scotland in Ohio.

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  • 101. At 02:41am on 29 Aug 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    David, just re-read your post 57, in which you say:

    "MAII 47, I've been to every country in the world including the two just proclaimed by Russia, and a few others."

    You've been to every country in the world, and a few others.

    Hence, for you, the world is a little bigger than it is for us ordinary folk.

    Or have I got it wrong? ;o)

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  • 102. At 06:39am on 30 Aug 2008, Hugh wrote:

    I was 'referred' because I was 'off topic'.

    Ho Ho Ha Ha

    This was MY topic in the first place, and my post simply complained that between post 50 and 70 everything was off topic.

    Reading everyone having a go at each other is about as interesting as a bus ride from London City Airport to the Central Line.

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  • 103. At 11:32am on 03 Sep 2008, Aperitif wrote:

    This thread isn't very nice. I'm off.

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  • 104. At 10:08am on 23 Jul 2009, U14079256 wrote:

    This is very confusing.

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