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The AM Glass Box

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Eddie Mair | 05:01 UK time, Tuesday, 22 September 2009


Good morning.

You may have read your morning paper and listened to the radio, and have some ideas you want to hear on PM tonight.

Perhaps a question about something in the news you would like answered - or better still, direct experience of something topical. Or maybe there's an aspect to a big story you haven't heard explored that you would like to hear.

It's best to post before 10.00, so we can work ideas into our 11.00 meeting.


  • 1. At 08:25am on 22 Sep 2009, Helena-Handbasket wrote:

    Baroness Scotland has apparrently apologised for "any inadvertent mistake" - a phrase so vague it's insulting. Why not go the whole hog and issue a statement with a blank in, so we could all just fill it in for her - it'd be as sincere.

    And seemingly it's a civil matter, not a criminal one, and so will escape prosecution also.

    I'm getting flashbacks to the expenses row, where just because they paid back the money they fraudulently claimed, and sometimes said sorry, MPs seemed to think the matter was at an end. They STOLE public money - where's the prosecutions?

    I don't for one minute think that if *I* broke the law and then just said sorry, that would be an end to it.

    Just another case where those in Westminster think they're above us.


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  • 2. At 08:28am on 22 Sep 2009, steelpulse wrote:

    A gentleman called Gormley. Won a prize - an art prize. Main contents of artistic piece amused me though, Eddie. It does NOT do to criticise J W Turner's work in Great Britain I suppose but it gives other artist a chance to win something.

    What. I didn't say what said items were? Distracted by the above thread involving President Obama.

    Steel balls.

    No Mister President - not a critique, Sir. I am actually listening to James Taylor's "You Got A Friend" song encouraged by the BBC's Today programme.

    But now Mr Taylor is now "going to Carolina in his mind"?

    No. Carolyna - that is Mr Taylor. In my mind at least.

    Mr Gormley's artwork. Mainly Steel Balls. lol

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  • 3. At 08:49am on 22 Sep 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    H H, #1

    I feel insulted at the fact its the sort of misdemeanor the millions of people of the class I hail from could never commit such an act. They couldn't afford to employ somebody to clean up their own crap after them. Also, my Mam would have felt there was something quite shameful employing a stranger to come and clean your house...it would have been a confession and acknowledgement of being a dirty person in need of help. A kind of social services for rich people. Dirt is crap no matter how much spondulix you've got.

    Having said that, Baroness Scotland is the chief law officer of the country and had a personal hand in drafting the legislation that she has been caught under. Should she stay in post or can her staff make all the jokes they like about her?

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  • 4. At 08:57am on 22 Sep 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    The Big UN Glass Box

    Environment Ministers talks for the Copenhagen Climate Summit aren’t progressing well apparently. Interesting article in Newsweek titled Copenhagen or Bust written by someone called Gordon Brown, warns “there is no second chance.” The UN have described the summit as "the last chance."

    Why is an agreement so important?
    What’s Miliband Minor’s view on the talk’s progress?
    Which countries are dragging their feet?

    What else is being discussed in the Big UN Glass Box this week?

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  • 5. At 08:59am on 22 Sep 2009, Helena-Handbasket wrote:

    FJD, #3

    I think it'd be interesting to find out how much Baroness Scotland was paying Loloahi Tapui to 'look after her large family home.'

    I think it'd be a good indicator of her culpability: was it a decent salary - or at/below minimum wage?

    I know where I suspect it was - but then I'm still pretty much convinced she should go.

    Somebody prove me wrong? I'd really like to be pleasantly surprised about SOMETHING...

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  • 6. At 09:03am on 22 Sep 2009, JAlexW wrote:

    The saga unfolding on the French side of the English Channel is caused by the borderless zone created by the Schengen Agreements. The EU needs to enforce effective border controls.

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  • 7. At 09:04am on 22 Sep 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Camp Bucca in Iraq to close

    It used to hold 20,000 detainees (another Abu Ghraib). Hugh Sykes is out there. Will he be filing a report?

    Jungle Camp in France to close

    What’s the reality?
    Where will they all go?
    Is there another camp?
    Will they set up their own camp?
    How do they see the future?
    Do they blame Britain for their plight?

    Some interviews with the refugees would be interesting.

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  • 8. At 09:25am on 22 Sep 2009, LionHeartedLion wrote:

    Mervyn King wants to 'make monetary policy boring again'

    Others, including Robert Peston, talk of returning the banks and the finance industry as a whole to being the humble servants of industry and commerce, providing straightforward loans, etc.

    This view has some v. interesting implications.

    On this view the finance industry, in buying and selling, and indeed creating, financial instruments for profit has lost sight of its purpose.

    In so doing, it is deciding upon matters affecting us all, without consultation or agreement.

    King and Peston's view implies that the banks etc should not be determining
    1.the pensions of getting on for half of us,
    2.the amount of money the rich have to spend on luxuries,
    3 the amount in the long run that governments can spend on our well being.
    4. the level of economic activity by their completely arbitrary 'optimistic and pessimistic' moods (causing boom and bust)
    5. who shall live comfortably, who in poverty, who in a job, who unemployed.
    Money etc in their view looks like a necessary 'engine oil' to commerce and industry, like the transport.
    Questions of distribution, like how big pensions should be, how wealthy the rich should be, whether we can have sufficient statte hospitals and schools are nothing to do with bankers and fund managers.

    But how is any of this cauterisation and cleansing of the purposes of money to be achieved whilst our system is the victim of the vicissitudes of huge private wealth holdings, busy feathering their nests and impoverishing others to create the cheap labour force they live off the backs of?

    Peston (et al) and King's view does seem to imply we need the re-socialisation of money, that it should become a part of the economic environment that we all have an interest in and hence own collectively.

    Galloway versus Cable on this?

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  • 9. At 09:30am on 22 Sep 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Cardiff Cycle Rental Scheme

    I posted news of a similar scheme launched in Blackpool (last week?). Now Cardiff has a “hire it here, leave it there” cycle rental scheme. Users pay an initial registration fee then hire a bike by the hour.

    Is it aimed at commuters or visitors?
    Who do they expect to use service most?
    What’s the minimum age?
    How many schemes are there like this around the country?
    Can registered users use schemes in different cities?
    Will it cut down bike theft?

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  • 10. At 09:33am on 22 Sep 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Cardiff Cycle Rental Scheme


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  • 11. At 09:43am on 22 Sep 2009, Anne P. wrote:

    fjd (3) leaving aside the specifics of Baroness Scotland for a moment, why is it any worse to employ someone to clean for you rather than to paint your house or type your correspondence? As it happens I've never had anyone to clean my house, but I've employed a painter who would do a better job than me, and I have on occasion had a secretary and very efficient he was too. This freed me up to do the things I was good at.

    When we were small my mother, who had a heart condition, employed a local miner's wife as cleaner. This ensured that we had a clean house, a wonderful friend and she had more money to feed her family than she would otherwise have had. Moreover we learned a lot about how many of the people in our village lived. In another time and place she might have been able to gain an education and a different job, but as things were I don't see one can condemn the employment of a cleaner per se.

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  • 12. At 09:48am on 22 Sep 2009, Looternite wrote:

    Baroness Scotland is free to employ cleaners or any help. However employing illegals is another matter. Lets see what the report says before we leap to judgement.

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  • 13. At 09:52am on 22 Sep 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #6. JAlexW
    Aren't assylum seakers supposed to claim assylum in the first safe country they set foot on. To get to France they would have had to cross many safe borders.

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  • 14. At 10:24am on 22 Sep 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Anne@11: excellent points. When I was 11 my mother died and my father employed a cleaner to help.

    fJd: as you say, Baroness Scotland is the Chief Law Officer - do you really think she could do her full day's demanding job and then come home to housework?

    Some women want to have professional careers and if that gives them an income which allows them to employ people to help clean their homes, why shouldn't they? I did and I'm certainly not ashamed to admit it.

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  • 15. At 10:30am on 22 Sep 2009, U14138029 wrote:

    PM/Mac (8)
    "Mervyn King wants to 'make monetary policy boring again'"

    He could achieve that overnight by giving you a job.

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  • 16. At 10:30am on 22 Sep 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    15: :o))

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  • 17. At 10:35am on 22 Sep 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    14: It's a quandary that rarely affects a man, and most men would not be ill judged if they did employ a cleaner, yet for some reason women are, apparently, judged differently. I've never had a cleaner, though for most of my adult life I worked full time and, living alone, didn't have any family members who could share such duties. Now I have a husband, but I'm afraid he considers me to be 'the cleaner'. When I suggested to him the other day that he might like to take on the duty of cleaning the bathroom basin, he was horrified. I felt my request was quite justified since it is his shaving cream which cakes it up but, apparently, that didn't cut any ice with him. Time, perhaps, for the 'cleaner' to go on strike?

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  • 18. At 10:47am on 22 Sep 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    17 BigSis - If you stop cleaning then no-one else will do it and you'll end up living in a pigsty. Instead ... stop washing his clothes until he pulls his weight, that should do the trick.

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  • 19. At 11:18am on 22 Sep 2009, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    Big Sister - That is terrible !!!

    But I have to say, you may have to live with a compromise solution. Men and women are always going to have different priorities and standards when it comes to housework.

    If you both agree to expend similar hours on housework, then prioritise the things you agree are important and blitz it a couple of times a week that should solve it. But you will, I'm afraid, have to live with the fact his standards might be lower than yours. However that is surely better than being the 'cleaning slave' of the relationship ??

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  • 20. At 11:21am on 22 Sep 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Further to my comment above, fJd: are you suggesting that all working women should be 'superwomen' and not only go out to work but take on all the housework too? Or should women just stay in the home? Do you really think this is a class issue?

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  • 21. At 11:55am on 22 Sep 2009, darkdesign wrote:

    This fine that Baroness Scotland was given. Did it come in an envelope, or did they smash in her front door with a battering ram?

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  • 22. At 11:56am on 22 Sep 2009, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Looternite (13) I believe you are right on the "First Country" point. Given the route that these persons appear to have taken, that would be Italy, Greece, or one of the former Eastern European countries. What I found amusing was a sign being held up by some of them yesterday, saying "We want asylum in Europe". So, if they want asylum in Europe, why did they not apply in the country they "landed"? Are our European partners not pulling their weight on asylum requests, leaving it up to us in the UK to handle the burden?

    Big Sis (17) I too am appalled! As a man living on my own, I'm used to doing housework. It's not a great chore, so your SO should really be helping out...

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  • 23. At 11:59am on 22 Sep 2009, LionHeartedLion wrote:

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

  • 24. At 12:02pm on 22 Sep 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

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  • 25. At 12:03pm on 22 Sep 2009, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Preston (15) No, I wouldn't want to inflict that on my worst enemy. Getting the whotsits bored of you by someone with a one-track mind that wants to turn the clock back in a "Year Zero" experiment because of a massive chip on their shoulder doesn't see fair, somehow...

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  • 26. At 12:04pm on 22 Sep 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    So it wasn't the bankers, the hedge fund managers, the regulators nor even the Scots ... BigSis and PrestonFirmlie caused the credit crunch!

    ps. sorry for my slip of the click(24)

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  • 27. At 12:19pm on 22 Sep 2009, T8-eh-T8 wrote:

    On housework;

    Mrs T8 said to me that she wanted to stop working. She didn't enjoy it, even though it was a decent job, office based. She had always worked because she needed to, yet when we got together the financial burden became easier. We also wanted a child. So when she became pregnant, she verbosly claimed the life of a hausfrau. Proudly and bridge-burningly handing in her notice.

    The housework was then firmly claimed as her territory. With traditional exceptions such as taking out the rubbish, back garden dog-poo patrol, and anything loft related, which remained my perview.

    Baby T8 was born amid joy and adulation. Baby chores were anything but and were shared.

    Baby T8 started school this month. [sniff]

    Leaving Mrs T8 with spare time and a hankering for going back to work after 5 years. Naturally I support any decision she makes, so suggested she go to college to ease herself back into the professional groove.

    So I have bought myself some time.

    Inevitably the day will come when she returns to the rat race, and my domestic chores will resume.

    I was raised having a cleaner and a gardner. Mrs T8 was not. My solution to domestic work is to get a cleaner. This fills Mrs T8 with revulsion. So no cleaner is allowed.

    I don't mind doing my share. I do mind being told I am not doing it right.

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  • 28. At 12:21pm on 22 Sep 2009, U14138029 wrote:

    Big Sis (17) - Psst ... forget about cleaning your own house for nothing. Get yourself over to Baroness Scotland's gaff - there's a paid job going, if reports are true.

    btw - are your papers in order?

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  • 29. At 12:23pm on 22 Sep 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    President Zelaya Returns to Honduras

    He 'snuck' back by travelling "for more than 15 hours through rivers and mountains until we reached the capital." He's taken refuge in the Brazilian embassy, which gives the illegal dictatorship a problem.

    Updates to the situation appreciated.

    Who's negotiating the film rights?

    Might be too late for your programme, although you managed to add the McChrystal report yesterday.

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  • 30. At 12:28pm on 22 Sep 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Ref 15. PrestonFirmlie

    You may have read your morning paper and listened to the radio, and have some ideas you want to hear on PM tonight.

    Perhaps a question about something in the news you would like answered - or better still, direct experience of something topical. Or maybe there's an aspect to a big story you haven't heard explored that you would like to hear.

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  • 31. At 12:32pm on 22 Sep 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    Is this the bore war?

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  • 32. At 12:55pm on 22 Sep 2009, U14138029 wrote:

    Ref 30. Richard_SM

    You missed a bit.

    It's best to post before 10.00, so we can work ideas into our 11.00 meeting.

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  • 33. At 1:04pm on 22 Sep 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Anne p, Lady Sue,

    I could give you a diatribe on why, for instance, a miners or any workers wife should not have to be patronized by the well because they don't get paid enough in a proper job. justifying their exploitation by saying, 'well they had a little more money than they would have had' is no excuse in my book.

    My view is, no one should have to do menial work because they can't make ends meet in their (or husbands) proper job. Also, doing work that you would never be able to afford yourself, I see as an inequality. For instance, perhaps there is a factory in Mexico that makes washing machines that get exported to the united states because its cheaper to make them in Mexico and the American company makes so much more profit because they can pay workers in Mexico a lot less wage. Now bare with me, those same workers making those washing machines canott afford a washing machine themselves, let alone one of the super duper bangers they are exploited to make for export to the USA and elsewhere. This could be a number of countries but you get my drift.

    Regarding the dirt thing. Where I come from (if you were not disabled)and you didn't have the social skills to clean up your own mess, (painting your house is different that is a skill) Citing someone else (but not me), could do it better, you would rightly be called idle.

    When I was involved in the church of England, one things that always intrigued me was the fact without exception the local vicar (although lowly paid) always seemed to have a 'cleaner/woman who does' weather needed or not. It was a definite middle class image thing. I also think it was a hangover from the days of deference to such institutions that were able to give themselves privileges that the rest could not afford or who had the social skills to know how to wash the pots and mop the floor.

    As regards Baroness Scotland working all day in a stressful job, Don't be so patronizing to the rest of the workforce!

    As Forest Gump would say, 'thats all I got to say about that'!

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  • 34. At 1:19pm on 22 Sep 2009, Anne P. wrote:

    fjd - I'm sorry if you took my family tale to mean I was justifying oppression of anyone. However looked at objectively there would at the time (early 1950's) have been no other work available for our cleaner in that particular village. Should my, vicar's daughter, mother have refused to employ her in order not to appear to patronise? In my book that would have meant serious ill health for my mother and less money for another family. Perhaps the problem here is disentangling the situations one finds onself in by accidents of history or birth, from the world as one would wish it to be. There is a good chance, it having been Scotland, that the miner's children like me were in the first generation of their family to go to university - there certainly are no pits left for them to be sent down!

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  • 35. At 1:25pm on 22 Sep 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Anne P.

    I hope we are still friends :-)


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  • 36. At 1:27pm on 22 Sep 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    34 AP
    I think that we can sometimes make ourselves better persons in the real world by projecting ourselves into the world as we'd wish it to be.

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  • 37. At 1:29pm on 22 Sep 2009, annasee wrote:

    Prestonfirmlie - glad to see you decided to rejoin us. I didn't understand your (current) name for ages becauseI was pronouncing it as if it was the nearby placename to here - i.e. "PRESSdin" which negates the pun a bit. Sorry to be so slow. Then I got it, & you were off!

    Big Sis - you want to get a copy of a brilliant book I've just had from the library. It's a mens' guide to housework called "How to get things really flat" by Andrew Martin. Funniest thing i've read for ages. Made my SO read it too. He did the dishes last night without me asking. I think it's worked!

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  • 38. At 1:29pm on 22 Sep 2009, Anne P. wrote:

    And returning to the main point, now that we hear the Baroness Scotland is to be fined, that is an offence was committed, I don't believe it can be treated just like a parking fine. She, like everyone else, has a responsibility to keep the law. Given that she was involved in drafting it in the first place she had a particular responsibility to ensure that she stayed within it. Using a reputable agency would have ensured the paperwork was properly checked. If Eddie gets a chance he might like to ask about that.

    What is in question now is not just whether a law was broken, but about the judgment of the person breaking it and whether such a failing renders them unfit for office.

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  • 39. At 1:31pm on 22 Sep 2009, Anne P. wrote:

    Joe (35) - of course :-)

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  • 40. At 1:38pm on 22 Sep 2009, annasee wrote:

    fjd - I'm not sure about some of what you said. I mean, everybody is never going to be equal, are they, so should I feel envious or put-upon because I occasionally go to perform at the houses (mansions, in some cases) of the super-rich? I don't think so. I appreciate the opportunity to see how the other 2% lives, but I don't feel it's beneath my dignity to work for them. Nor do I feel I should be able to live in the same luxury. In some cases I can see the price they may have paid - broken marriages, families etc- in their acquisition of wealth. I'm just grateful to take their money at the end of the evening and put it towards my cat-food bill, for example. I would suggest Anne P's mother's cleaning woman may have felt the same.

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  • 41. At 2:10pm on 22 Sep 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #33. funnyJoedunn
    I cannot believe your preachy attitude to Anne_P etc.
    My maternal grandmother left school at 13 and was sent to work in service in London before WW1. this meant that she knew all about domestic chores. When my mother was 8 in 1932 her dad died of pneumonia (thats why my mum never uses the term Manflu) and my grandmother had only widows pension to live on. She worked as a cleaner for various middle class women in the area. It used to make us cringe when my grandmother would say how kind these women were for giving her work when she needed it.
    There is no shame in honest work. The problem is that the working class cleaners are paid "the going rate" and now there is competition from immigrants some of whom are illegal. This keeps the "going rate" down at minimum levels.
    I have no problem with anyone subcontracting out household work. I would never call in a plumber, Electrician or gardener but I certainly don't despise people who do.

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  • 42. At 2:12pm on 22 Sep 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Anne P. (38)

    Thank you. I do see your points and I didn't mean anything against your points about your family.

    Is the Baroness fit to do her job. well, to be frank, she probably is fit and totally able to perform her role as defined in her job description. weather this will be politically sustainable...Like you, I'm not sure.

    With all the publicity in recent times about employing none nationals and the pit falls others have fallen into at her level, you would have though She would have been that extra vigilant. Obviously not. To this extent she wasn't up to her 'public' responsibility that goes with her role.

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  • 43. At 2:22pm on 22 Sep 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    For what it's worth, today's chore for me is painting the shed.

    [Oh yes, SO doesn't like that kind of chore either ;o)]

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  • 44. At 2:25pm on 22 Sep 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Annasee (40)

    I understand your choice to be do what you said about your work and how you use it as an opportunity to see how the rich live. I have no problem with that choice. Neither am I envious of their lifestyles.

    My point is, there are those who believe there is also an underlying often unseen purpose attached to such contracts. There are those who believe it is rooted in past exploitative deference to certain people. I guess what I would ask is, although I might choose and know the reasons why I do something (as you obviously do in this case), however, what is their reason (apart from the obvious) for this contract. Is there an underlying reason that bolsters the image of past repressive deference that, lets face it, a lot of them would like to see return. I mean look at some of those rich people who get caught out fiddling in one form or another. Many of them believe the rest of society have on business to question their personal moral behaviour in these things. However, that really is all I have to say about that. I hope you are happy in your work :-))

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  • 45. At 2:45pm on 22 Sep 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Looternite, Sorry if I sound preachy...don't mean to be...perhaps that is the way you read it? Can't help it.

    With all due respect to your family, I don't live in the past. My mother did clean...for the NHS. Why do you insinuate that I despise people who hire electricians and gardeners and the like...Where have I said this? I think the issue of people in service, domestics and the like has an historical oppressive deference attached to it, and, was one of the labour movements pet issues in the days when you were beholden to the local big wig for everything when you were 'service to them'. It could be a particularly cruel type of employment often involving no holidays and only on the masters permission could you leave the house. and, sometimes only on permission of the master, could one marry. But, like you say, they were probably kind people...thats how they got away with it for so long. This is where my dislike of domestic service comes from. Of course we have rich visitors to this country now who still believe penal servitude is still the only thing to dish out to 'the woman who does'. It was a taboo issue in the days of the 'REAL' party to approve of domestic service.

    PS, I've never been a member of any party.

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  • 46. At 2:50pm on 22 Sep 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Big Sis,

    I wish I was with you helping to paint the shed...out of friendship.

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  • 47. At 2:58pm on 22 Sep 2009, U14138029 wrote:

    (Various) - I think we should be able to draw a distinction between employing people to carry out 'menial' tasks (and the definition of menial is debatable) and exploiting them.

    We employ a cleaner in our offices (8 hours a week) at minimum wage+. They have been with us for over 5 years, work the hours to suit them, have other jobs and as far as I know make an honest living. I don't feel that I am demeaning them and I don't think they consider themselves demeaned by their work.

    I don't cut my own grass any more. What could take me 3 hours+ is now 'blasted' by 2 or 3 guys in less than half an hour. And it gets done every week (weather permitting) as opposed to the days when it was done when I got round to it. I know what I pay the Boss, but I don't know what the Boss pays the other workers. It has been the same ones for 2 or 3 years, so I expect they are content enough. And it gets done every week (weather permitting).

    Neither office-cleaning nor grass-cutting is particularly skilled but I think that is irrelevant, because I can't see the difference between me paying for skilled and un-skilled work, apart from the cost.

    We occasionally have to sub-contract some office work to specialists as we don't have the necessary skills in-house. We pay through the nose for that and (gritted teeth) rightly so. There are only 2 or 3 people with the skills and knowledge to perform that particular design function and they deserve reward for their qualifications and expertise. Thankfully we call on it very rarely.

    So I have no problem in paying someone to do something that I don’t want to do or can’t spare the time to do.

    Big Sister (43) – I hope that is an undercoat and not the final colour!

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  • 48. At 3:01pm on 22 Sep 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:


    And exploitation would be?

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  • 49. At 3:10pm on 22 Sep 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #45. funnyJoedunn
    You are doing it again my friend.
    I know all about the exploitative relationship between "master" and servant. I could quote family oral tradition.
    My reference re Plumbers etc is that cleaners are also hired help and I do not judge people who employ others.
    I do not employ a cleaner (although my daughter when she visits thinks I should) and I cannot see myself doing so.
    I have no problem with PrestonFirmlie #47.
    Exploitative employment is outlawed and should be reported and it was the Unions, Labour and now the EU that has put paid to the pre-war attitude.

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  • 50. At 3:16pm on 22 Sep 2009, U14138029 wrote:

    fjd (48) - Well, paying beneath the minimum wage would be one way. But as I'm not currently planning to exploit anyone, I'm no expert.

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  • 51. At 3:20pm on 22 Sep 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:



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  • 52. At 3:38pm on 22 Sep 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Sorry everybody...Perhaps I was a little too hasty in my judgments. On reflection. I can understand all the other comments that were at odds with mine. I guess I was trying to explore morality, but in a legalistic way. perhaps, this can't be done...or at least, only to a certain extent.

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  • 53. At 3:40pm on 22 Sep 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    43 BigSis
    Paint the shed pink!

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  • 54. At 4:21pm on 22 Sep 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    The shed is painted - two coats in one day - and it is NOT pink! or blue, or that yellow-brown beloved of shed makers, but a muted off-white with dark green trim. Not inspiring, but it should blend into the background of the flower beds that are the next major chore on my list. After I've finished the hearth for the woodstove, of course.

    Joe, that was a lovely thing to say. Thank you :o)

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  • 55. At 4:27pm on 22 Sep 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Ref 31. lucien_desgai

    You may find the posts about “cleaning” are boring, but it’s not obligatory to read them.

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  • 56. At 4:41pm on 22 Sep 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #52. funnyJoedunn
    Don't get me wrong I know where you are coming from. The tendancy of the relationship can easily be how you say. However, honest work even if it looks demeaning (to us) is still worth doing.

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  • 57. At 4:43pm on 22 Sep 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    54 BigSis
    If you painted the shed pink then I'm sure he'd never leave you to do the painting again.
    It's what I'd have done.

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  • 58. At 4:59pm on 22 Sep 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    BS, I have been thinking about painting my shed(s) with that fence and shed paint. Being rich, we have three (3, count 'em) sheds, but I will paint them myself.

    This thread sounds like the 'That's nothing, I lived in a box....' shetch.

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  • 59. At 5:10pm on 22 Sep 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    PF 47, Do you wash your own windows, car? No, I'm not available, people in St Albans don't do that for other people. Try Looter, people from Luton need the work. (It's a joke, LN.)

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  • 60. At 5:10pm on 22 Sep 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    58 DMcN
    I think you may have earned yourself a new nickname :o)


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  • 61. At 5:11pm on 22 Sep 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    l_d 53, Fudge was painted pink.

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  • 62. At 5:13pm on 22 Sep 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    fJd 33, When were involved in the C of E? Bet it wasn't a cathedral, like with me.

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  • 63. At 5:18pm on 22 Sep 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #59. David_McNickle
    I guessed it's a joke. It's not me who complains about humour on the PM blogs.
    What yer payin.

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  • 64. At 5:20pm on 22 Sep 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #60. lucien_desgai
    Good one.

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  • 65. At 5:36pm on 22 Sep 2009, U14146942 wrote:


    I support PM in this (the poster not the prog)

    Their refusal, along with the economically illiterate Sid etc ,etc certainly stopped all discussion about the impending crisis.

    Even mentioning it meant getting removed from the blog.

    I say the bluvvies on this blog had their heads in the sand but so too did the programme itself. That's why, using irony to cover their embarrassment, we get all that Upstairs Downstairs rubbish from Edgie, never one willing to take second place to a global crisis.

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  • 66. At 5:48pm on 22 Sep 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    DMNC (62)

    Thats a whole other story. I'll let you know at an appropriate time.

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  • 67. At 6:18pm on 22 Sep 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    47 Prestonfirmlie: well said.

    Joe I suspect you have a slight hang up when it comes to class as you always revert to a diatribe on a 'master and servant' theme. Not always appropriate and frequently simplistic, as I think you have gathered yourself by your comment at 52.

    David, I also thought of the 'shoe box' sketch.

    Big Sis, your colour combination sounds very tasteful. I have a utility room with similar colouring. Of course, I never go in there, we have staff for that sort of thing...

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  • 68. At 6:30pm on 22 Sep 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Lady sue (67)

    A 'slight hang up' Don't hold back...lets be honest...I'm carrying around half a tree on each shoulder! I like to think of it has being 'well balanced' don't you know. you don't need a gardener do you your lady Sue-ness marm? I bet we would get on like a house on fire.

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  • 69. At 6:40pm on 22 Sep 2009, U14146942 wrote:

    Make the beds, polish the shoes.

    Play a little harp.

    Seems different somehow.

    Let's be frank, the work we're talking about is farmed out to the least powerful, asylum seekers, poor immigrants, oppressed women etc. Because it is menial.

    No matter how it is wrapped (eg laundry collection etc) there are people at the core of such enterprises doing menial work.

    In my book if you can point to such work in your lineage it excuses you, willy nilly.

    The problem seems to be that those with lineages rich in menial servile or arduous manual employed work, and now rich themselves, may insist they be paid back in kind.

    In fact they should be paid back by being excused the 'necessary eemployed labours of production' and unnecessary menial work should never become anyone's paid employment. Some work still 'necessary' is extremely menial.

    Who should do the necessary work looking after the homes of the disabled, for example?

    Where that duty falls seems to me to be a social class question and a historical one at that. Along hte lines of 'Whose turn is it?'

    Lady Scotland should surely be benefitting from the services of the descendents of the Scots slave owners (not the earlier indentured Scots labourers in the Carribean who mostly died out) whose awful labour practices her lineage clearly suffered. Or of course the Americans who benefitted from slave produced cheap cotton goods - since McN wants in on this one.

    The valiant attempts to make this a gender politics question amuse me because I know of many well orgainised single men who surrendered t otheir partners totalising regime at coupledom, and so lost valuable contact with the material world. (Washing up is one of the great pleasures of life. Ten minutes work transforms the world, bringing about a sort of small scale rebith. Damn dish washers) And I know many men these days who from nappy to Asda to hoovering do it all, and I mena every every thing, in their shared homes..

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  • 70. At 7:39pm on 22 Sep 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    65 I can't help but suspect that you're a little closer to PeoplesMandate than you're letting on.

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  • 71. At 7:57pm on 22 Sep 2009, Fearless Fred wrote:

    MP (65) Of course you support PM at post 26. That's because (having been banned under the name PeoplesMandate, you've reinvented yourself as MyPreference. The "funny" (and I use the word advisedly) reference to Eddie as "Edgie" gives you away. So PM (the programme) has failed to discuss the fact that you want to subject the world to the same sort of political system as that espoused by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. Well Waah Waah Waah. Sorry if I don't shed a tear for you.

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  • 72. At 8:00pm on 22 Sep 2009, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Another give-away is that you refer to the poster by initials welll after the name has disappeared to be replaced by a number. I notice you still shy away from posting your "economic" suggestions onto either Robert Pestons' or Stephanie Flanders' blogs. Scared you'll get shot down in flames, perhaps?

    Oh, and here's the missing ) from that last post.

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  • 73. At 8:05pm on 22 Sep 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    69 PeoplesMandate
    If you have been removed from the blog then it might be better to address the reasons for your removal than to continue with the same behaviour under a different name.

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  • 74. At 8:11pm on 22 Sep 2009, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Lucien (73) I'm afraid PM/MP/Mac/PMLeader/aka-PMLeader/SendInTheClowns/ten other names I cant remember of the top of my head, has "form for this. He/She will drone on and on until banned, then will re-appear shortly after espousing the same old discredited theorems, calling Eddie "Edgie", saying how Mervyn King is ignoring something he/she had personally advised Mr King to do, etc, until he/she is banned again, and the whole dance starts anew....

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  • 75. At 8:16pm on 22 Sep 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    74 FF
    Yes, but it's the fault of all the rest of us for not agreeing with him. :o)

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  • 76. At 8:31pm on 22 Sep 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    74FF - Just to be clear ... it's not necessarily his opinions I object to (I'm a leftie myself) but the way he chooses to present them, and his attitude to other blog users.

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  • 77. At 9:02pm on 22 Sep 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    68 fJoe - you are funny! Thank goodness you have exhibited a sense of humour. Half a tree on both shoulders... we probably would get on like a 'house on fire'. So glad you finally saw the funny side to all of this. It's great.

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  • 78. At 10:07pm on 22 Sep 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Lady Sue,


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  • 79. At 10:15pm on 22 Sep 2009, U14146942 wrote:


    Sounds like you, to me. Back, then v, rude to everyone you don't agree with, then banned for life, again. So it goes.

    'Edgie Mare' is in the public domain, it belongs to no one. Don't be afraid to use it, Fearless.

    Mervyn hangs on the every word of one man only, John Kay. Do you have his ear? Now if you could have convinced John Kay that public ownership was the answer, we'd have socialised money by now.

    Poor Flanders is limping along in her out dated Thatcherite way and Peston still thinks the idea is to save capitalism. It isn't. It's to destroy it. But don't be afraid, Fearless. I beleive in majority rule and full individual rights.

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  • 80. At 10:42pm on 22 Sep 2009, U14146942 wrote:

    Frivolity aside, I do think that its time we reviewed the blog from a long term perspective.

    For me, the worst thing about it has been the way arguemnt has been thwarted by the over-personalisation of much of it.

    The run up to the credit crunch is just one example. Because none of hte bluvvies (you know who you are) were aware of its coming and because the bluvies then saw thmeselves as a sort of blog Archers, outsiders forecasting doom were excluded.

    Another example is the War on Gaza. Some bloggers used bluvvy relationships to talk about naything except the Israeli slaughter there.

    Goodness knows how many other potential bloggers with Casandra warnings have been put off by the clique of trolls that regulate the social tone of the blog and use that social tone and their own longstanding as bluvvies to rule in and out the political contnet of debates on the blog. The 'old hands' (who regularly congratulate themselves on exactly that) have become an old guard. They are a Robert Michels prime example.

    Thank goodness things are changing. R-SM, fjd, Joseph Walker, Socrates etx as forces new and old to the blog, make it better informed and its stance more critical than the programme that spawned it.

    The blog has grown up and moved on, the programme not.

    That may well be because the feedback the programme gets from listeners is swamped by the messages from the bluvvies for whom the silly is exceptional, cussedness a virtue, argument for argument's sake something to be admired and endless descriptions of cocktails and breakfast combinations genuinely entertaining.

    Well, foir the two things I watched closely, the unemployment came and a new Ftse bubble is growing whilst in Gaza over 700 civilians 'many of them children' died, whilst this blog, repspectively, derided those who saw it coming aand tried to warn, and sheltered those who were refusing to condemn the murderous invasion.

    There were others, no doubt, many.

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  • 81. At 11:24pm on 22 Sep 2009, Sid wrote:

    mac - just as a matter of record, RSM does not make the blog better informed. He thinks, for instance, that Mark Oaten and Nick Clegg were in the same election for Lib Dem leader (they weren't) and he thinks George Harrison played bass on the UK Hey Jude single (he didn't).

    (Not really a problem that he thinks those things - but he does insist on claiming he's right about them to anyone who will listen ...)

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  • 82. At 00:05am on 23 Sep 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    80: It doesn't appear to occur to you that, perhaps, some bloggers, myself included, may now avoid certain topics, not because they are of no interest to them, but because you - yes YOU - criticise whatever they may have to say.

    It is impossible to have any respect for your opinions when you clearly have none for those of any one else.

    I'd say that you are more responsible than any other blogger for cramping free and frank discussion on serious issues. Oh, and at a guess I'd say that you monopolise the Blog as much as anyone.,

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  • 83. At 00:09am on 23 Sep 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    82 BigSis
    I've posted on this in 'A note from the blog czar'.

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  • 84. At 10:24am on 23 Sep 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    l_d 73, Peoples "Ten Names" Mandate.

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  • 85. At 10:27am on 23 Sep 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    fJd 66, The Curate's egg, eh?

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  • 86. At 10:55am on 23 Sep 2009, U14138029 wrote:

    Lady_Sue (67) "Of course, I never go in there, we have staff for that sort of thing..."

    Thank you for that. I missed it yesterday, but it didn't half make me laugh this morning!

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  • 87. At 2:13pm on 23 Sep 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Ref 82. Big Sister

    "It doesn't appear to occur to you that, perhaps, some bloggers, myself included, may now avoid certain topics, not because they are of no interest to them, but because you - yes YOU - criticise whatever they may have to say."

    Does it occur to Sid, Fearless Fred and PrestonFirmlie?

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  • 88. At 2:38pm on 23 Sep 2009, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Richard (87), Why are you directing questions to Big Sister regarding what other posters are thinking? Please ask them directly. I try to take serious debate seriously here. I disagree with many posters here on many things, but I am willing to debate matters with them. What the erstwhile Mac has done is repeatedly cast abuse at certain posters, leading to him being banned for breaking the house rules. This has happened on more than ten occasions. Tell me, if there was a neighbour of yours that was persistently causing trouble by hurling abuse at the people in the street, blocking the street, playing the music at loud volume all the time, wouldn't you complain to the authorities? Well, I submit that this is the cyber equivalent. Mac has repeatedly been adjudged by the moderators (a group none of us has any contact with or influence over) and by the Central Communities Team (ditto) to have broken the House Rules for the blog bad enough to have been banned from the blog. If he is unable or unwilling to be bound by the rules applied to the blog system by the BBC, then it is only right that he is not allowed to comment. That is what all of us have agreed to when we signed up to the system.

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  • 89. At 4:18pm on 23 Sep 2009, U14138029 wrote:

    Richard_SM (87) - -It's not often we agree but yes, speaking for myself, it certainly does. I wish Mac could see that too.

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