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AM glass box for Weds 25th November

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Sequin | 06:00 UK time, Wednesday, 25 November 2009


I'm sitting in for Eddie today while he's off on a course to learn how to make the blog even better than it is! In the meantime, we have a programme to do and would appreciate any ideas from you. Let us know before we have our PM meeting at 11am. Eloise Twisk is editing today.
See you later,


  • 1. At 07:13am on 25 Nov 2009, Looternite wrote:

    So more powers for the Scottish parliament!
    Where is the English parliament, why no discussion on the BBC. Why is there no BBC England.

    What do we want - an Enlish Parliament
    When do we want it - Now

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  • 2. At 07:16am on 25 Nov 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #1 Me
    Sorry its early Spelling error.
    So more powers for the Scottish parliament!
    Where is the English parliament, why no discussion on the BBC.
    Why is there no BBC England.

    What do we want - an English Parliament
    When do we want it - Now

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  • 3. At 07:51am on 25 Nov 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Looternite 1/2

    If you are really serious about this issue, have you looked into the historical (mainly recent history) as to why so much reluctance to requests such as a recognition of an English nation, people, parliament?

    Look and the roots of the people who have the power to make such things happen. Don't be surprised if you find most do not have a historical allegiance to England as a country. Historical immigration dear boy...

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  • 4. At 08:04am on 25 Nov 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    If we are a country who police by consent (whatever that means...(if some could explain)?, Why did a report recently conclude that it is almost impossible to have a complaint against the police ultimately upheld. You see, the thing is, I don't remember anyone seeking my consent on anything to do with policing...ever!

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  • 5. At 08:06am on 25 Nov 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #3. funnyJoedunn
    The basic human rights of the English to have:
    A government of the people, by the people, for the people.
    Is all I ask old chap.

    Equality is that too much to ask for!

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  • 6. At 08:15am on 25 Nov 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Looternite (5)

    Don't get me wrong I'm with you old chum on this one. I'm just trying to point to maybe part of the reason why its swept under the carpet down there in the palace of varieties.

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  • 7. At 08:19am on 25 Nov 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Why are the BBC (lead by J. Humphreys) acting all surprised at our secretive corrupt banking system. I would have thought it was par for the course in one of the most secretive and repressive societies in Europe!

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  • 8. At 08:53am on 25 Nov 2009, steelpulse wrote:

    Oh my goodness I thought – how bad can it be? Good news or bad news? So the good news was allegedly they – The Bank of England and a 61 billion loan was it? And then the bad news.......? Eddie A.W.O.L. allegedly on a course to improve blogs? Yeah – right, Carolyn!
    We at the PM-sphere are adult. You can tell us. His “keep it real” acolytes perhaps lost him -in Hamleys maybe? (other toy shops are available) and – oh my goodness! Not the Teddys Bears? So no going down to the Woods today eh? Nuff said!
    Seriously though I am really going to enjoy the backwash from the "we should have been told brigade"! The Cable guy leading in Parliament today I hear! No offence Vincent Carrey On! lol
    And rock to stand on = Cook Dna or Thatch wins

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  • 9. At 09:29am on 25 Nov 2009, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    Good news for the people of Cockermouth! Following the recent flooding, the MoD has rushed its entire stock of Bailey bridges to the USA for an extensive refit to deal with the change of environment from desert to 'wet' conditions. This means that the bridges should be ready for use in Cumbria some time in 2011.

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  • 10. At 09:30am on 25 Nov 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Another murder/torture inquiry

    I’d like to see you link the inquiry into the ‘alleged’ murder and torture of Iraqis, due to be announced today by Bob Ainsworth, with the current Baha Mousa inquiry. Armed Forces Minister Rammell is on record saying there would have to have been “a massive conspiracy” for the murder/torture to have taken place. Unfortunately, since making that statement, the Baha Mousa inquiry has revealed that it wasn’t just a few ‘bad apple privates’ involved, but that officers up to the rank of Colonel were aware of abuse of prisoners.
    How many men does a colonel have under his command?

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  • 11. At 09:32am on 25 Nov 2009, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Looternite (1, 2):

    I agree, and a properly capped block grant like the other regions of the UK have rather than unrestricted spending would do away with the need for the Barnett formula. I can see no down-side to an English parliament at all. We could then do away with the UK parliament and all national issues would be decided between the relevant ministers from all parliaments.

    PM peeps, any chance of getting constitutional experts on the programme to discuss this? Soon it'll be a run-up to the election and the focus will move from general issues to specific policies, so now is probably the time to do it.

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  • 12. At 09:34am on 25 Nov 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Protest rally planned in NY demanding an end to Justice

    Protesters will demand Washington stops this worrying trend.


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  • 13. At 09:37am on 25 Nov 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    #7. funnyJoedunn,

    "Why are the BBC (lead by J. Humphreys) acting all surprised at our secretive corrupt banking system?"

    John Humphreys should have been reading EtE's posts. He raised it ages ago.

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  • 14. At 10:18am on 25 Nov 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Sequin, have you ever thought that you might be a bit of a Jonah when it comes to the Blog? I've been getting 500 messages for the last half hour. Or could it be that Eddie, from some remote spot, is tinkering with it as part of his course? :o)

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  • 15. At 10:22am on 25 Nov 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    #14 Big Sister,

    "I've been getting 500 messages for the last half hour."

    You should check your email inbox more regularly.


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  • 16. At 10:36am on 25 Nov 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Richard, you may have a point!

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  • 17. At 11:04am on 25 Nov 2009, Lord Nathan wrote:


    • "A government of the people, by the people, for the people."

    Wrong continent, dear boy.

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  • 18. At 11:06am on 25 Nov 2009, concerned_uk_citizen wrote:

    Has Eddie installed a few ‘gremlins’? – I have been getting a ‘500 Error’ when trying to log in to the site this morning and when refreshing the page. If there is a problem could someone post a note on the site or like me you may think it’s personal!

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  • 19. At 11:27am on 25 Nov 2009, concerned_uk_citizen wrote:

    Looternite #1/2
    Do we really want an English Parliament? Scotland has one, Wales has one Northern Ireland sort of has one and these are in addition the UK Parliament, so if we had an English one we would have to find another few hundred people of the same moral, financial and personal standards as the current bunch, I think it may be difficult, I suppose there are a good number of Double Glazing Salesmen, Estate Agents and former Bankers that may be able to swear black is white convincingly but would they have the requisite amount of extra marital affairs and such a good grasp of financial irregularity practice to come anywhere near the current standard, or am I looking at this the wrong way?

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  • 20. At 11:28am on 25 Nov 2009, Sid wrote:

    On the same subject, cuc - I see the Tories are proposing to work during the summer holidays ... personally, the less legislating and interfering in my life they do, the better.

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  • 21. At 11:31am on 25 Nov 2009, Lord Nathan wrote:

    cuck (old?),

    The 500 is such a notice

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  • 22. At 11:33am on 25 Nov 2009, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    The economy SHRANK by -.3 per cent last quarter.

    That's a contraction of 5.1 per cent on the year, 5.8 per cent since the contractions started, putting the economy over 9 per cent below trend.

    The text makes depressing reading:


    Output etc, down. Only company profits and short term government spending up.

    Nils, whatever is to become of us?

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  • 23. At 11:38am on 25 Nov 2009, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    The below-trend figure of over 9 per cent will help the environment of course. Just as the Thatcher slump cut oil use.

    But it does suggest the unemployment figures should be looked at again, Nils. Hidden unemployment, firms holding on to labour they feel they may not be able to replace later, the cost of severance packages, are probably accounting for over half a million poor souls at the moment.

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  • 24. At 11:49am on 25 Nov 2009, Lord Nathan wrote:


    • "...personally, the less legislating and interfering in my life they do, the better."

    When it became apparent that Scotland was going to be governed by a "minority" administration, a chorus of cries went up, "But they'll not get much legislation done...."

    After God(s) know(s) how many centuries of lawmaking, aren't there enough of the durned things, already?

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  • 25. At 11:51am on 25 Nov 2009, Lord Nathan wrote:

    Oh, and Sequin, Thanks for the proper label for this vitreous container.

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  • 26. At 11:59am on 25 Nov 2009, concerned_uk_citizen wrote:

    #21 LN - Point taken.

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  • 27. At 12:27pm on 25 Nov 2009, concerned_uk_citizen wrote:

    I was missing yesterday and this may have been discussed, I’ve had a scan through last nights Glass Box but could not see anything on it but forgive me if there was.
    Jane Andrews went missing from an Open Prison – there are a few things that don’t sit right with story maybe PM could ask about the following.
    • Many prisoners abscond from Open Prisons and its not reported so why the network coverage for her?
    • If she was thought to be dangerous, why was she in such an establishment, if she wasn’t why the fuss?
    • She was sentenced to life and was not due for immediate release so again why was she in an Open Prison anyway?

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  • 28. At 12:35pm on 25 Nov 2009, Lord Nathan wrote:

    Cukc old boy,

    You can relax. She's back inside.

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  • 29. At 12:44pm on 25 Nov 2009, Fifi wrote:

    (9) re Cockermouth ... I received this today from a former frogger known as Mrs Trellis:

    Cumbrian town still flooded by journalists

    Cockermouth has been staggering under an influx of journalists on a scale never seen since records began in April 2007. The town has almost drowned under a torrent of clichés said to be of ‘Biblical proportions’.

    Local resident Carol Smith said: ‘The police and council are doing a great job. But the drone of helicopters overhead and the incessant pressure to supply the perfect quote for reporters to illustrate the human angle in all this has knocked us for six.’

    A council spokesman said that once reporting levels fall and the journalist population returns to normal, hopefully the clean-up could begin. He added: ‘It’s just as well we aren’t a close-knit community, otherwise we’d be completely ****ed by now.’

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  • 30. At 12:46pm on 25 Nov 2009, vainly_here wrote:

    ETE (23) Perhaps there's been a secret recession for the last 11 years, since temeperatures have failed to rise over that period.
    And did you know that we are expected to reduce our oil consumption in future; OPEC expects us to compensate them for loss of earnings (I kid you not).

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  • 31. At 12:59pm on 25 Nov 2009, Fifi wrote:

    Re English Parliament ...

    As a Scot I was full of hopes and doubts when 'devolution' was at last brought in. I was too young to vote in the Referendum first time round, and this time I was living in England and not entitled to a vote.

    After watching the Scottish situation bed-in from my vantage point in the Midlands, my fears that a halfhearted not-quite-independence would be worse than the previous full Union have to a depressingly large extent been realised. The thing is neither one thing nor another. And that fiasco of the parliament building is an embarrassment... worse even than the Dome.

    However, that boat was missed when Scotland might still have argued that the oil revenue should belong to Scotland - not the strongest argument, even then, but it would have meant the country could at least start by proudly standing on its own financial feet.

    The half-measure that Scotland willingly accepted from Labour was never going to satisfy everyone. And I have some sympathy with those who feel Scotland should have snipped the pinny-strings by now ... but we are where we are. It's not practical. Nor, probably, is undoing the devolution that is now in place and going back to the original full Union.

    Maybe I'm too fatalist (or cynical?) but I can't see the point of repeating the assertion that the English all want rid of Scotland ... even if it were proven to be true, which it isn't ... except as a means of winding up the Scots who are as stuck with the situation as the rest of you.

    I don't normally comment on this but I have mixed and informed views - and those who repeat what feels to me like a one-sided version of the subject just alienate me.

    I remember feeling like this before, when watching Kelvin MacKenzie on stage at Any Questions a couple of summers ago (Eddie was in the chair). That otherwise entertaining panel member managed to make me feel slapped in the face, personally, all evening.

    It's not a situation of Scotland's making. Could we please try and de-personalise the language we use about it, so it feels less like an attempt at bullying?

    * ducks in expectation of dissent! *


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  • 32. At 1:00pm on 25 Nov 2009, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    The economy is shrinking, last quarter by .3 per cent.

    This is the third quarter that the economics illuminati have told us the recession is at an end and the sixth quarter that the economy is shrinking.

    It seems we train our financial microeconomists to create speculative bubbles and credit crashes and our financial macroeconomists to ignore the facts and whistle in the dark.

    In a blog now beyond our reach (!!!) one of the BBC economics blog meisters quoted some city finance bod, as saying the intitial shrinkage of the economy measured by the ONS would be revised into positive growth!!!

    The meister also quoted city research arguing the ONS figures should be upped, 1 per cent a quarter during a contaction!!!! (That would mean growth for 4 of the six last quarters!!!). The ONS uses long term trend numbers in its data sets until it gets the fresh figures.
    With such a methodology, as I pointed out, revisions to a NEGATIVE growth are extremely unlikely to change sign (to positive) during a slump.

    The BoE still has the third quarter shrinkage of less than 4 per cent, year on year:


    The facts are that the shrinkage was over 5 per cent.

    That is close to a misrepresentation of the facts.

    Sarky music isn't enough, and I think Eddie is too close to Nils to grill him, but PM surely should criticise the way the high and mighty are telling a story they wish were true, rather than the truth. Including BBC correspondents.

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  • 33. At 1:26pm on 25 Nov 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    29. Fifi - there did seem to be a note of disappointment in the voices of journos reporting the expected further floods had not materialised.

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  • 34. At 1:27pm on 25 Nov 2009, GotToTheEnd wrote:


    Wikipedia says (of Larry Summers)

    One of Summers' prominent findings in labor economics is that unemployment insurance and welfare payments are a major contributor to unemployment, and therefore should be scaled back.

    But the gist of 23 contradicts this 'finding' and makes it implausible.
    Think about the employers in this slump!

    Stephanie Flanders was Larry Summers' advisor and speech writer!!

    Another reason why the PM Blog is hte best place to go for informed opinion in political economy.

    (Though Stephanie's blogstuff is picking up now the socialist messages she gets from Nuffield College are getting through)

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  • 35. At 1:28pm on 25 Nov 2009, Fearless Fred wrote:

    cue the bagpipes....

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  • 36. At 1:29pm on 25 Nov 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Just want to second LordN@25: thanks for a clear label Sequin!

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  • 37. At 1:32pm on 25 Nov 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    30. Vyle Hernia - don't know where you got that idea. The temperature has continued to rise and an increasing rate of warming has taken place over the last 25 years, as the graph here illustrates


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  • 38. At 1:35pm on 25 Nov 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    I'm glad I got my bank to refund all its outrageously unfair charges years ago before it became a group sport, they must have thought back then that if they nipped it in the bud ... they might just get away with it.

    Not suspecting that a newly-created Supreme Court [did Diana waive her copyright?] would take the side of the banks, especially at this point in time with general revulsion at their greed.

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  • 39. At 1:43pm on 25 Nov 2009, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    2.6 billionn given to the banks today by the courts. Time to get angry, Nils?

    In overcharging overdraft charges.

    This market system of yours, PF, is a treat to behold.

    For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance:
    but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath

    You hold lots of bank shares. I'm glad for you. The shares would be worthless but for tax payers money, and now it'll be augmented by this decision.

    Clever chaps like you deserve to prosper at the expense of others, don't you.

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  • 40. At 1:43pm on 25 Nov 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    The issue of Scotland and independence is a tricky one since the ruling class of the UK has been dominated by Scots for over a century, and the present government is a majority of Scots from Brown down. If Scotland gets independence, does England get an English parliament rid of all Scots? [Reference the autobiography of Alexander King (himself a Scot) who formed the Club of Rome which published 'Limits to Growth'. He recounts that a relative went to London in the 19th century, and on returning to Glasgow was asked about the English, he replied that he only met the important people, and they were all Scots.]

    Considering that the English are thoroughly villified for the British Empire, while the Scots, who actually planned and ran the Empire, are looked on as victims of the English as much as India et al.

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  • 41. At 1:57pm on 25 Nov 2009, theotherdaughter wrote:

    Apologies if someone has already said something along the same lines - my lunch hour is too short to read all the comments.

    If you intend to run an item on bank charges tonight, and I am sure you do as everyone else is, please could I ask that you get the grammar right.

    I have heard a lot of reports about 'unauthorised overdraft (or borrowing) charges' which implies that the charges were unauthorised. The fact is that the overdraft was unauthorised, and when we opened our bank accounts - we signed to say that we had read, understood and agreed to abide by the terms and conditions that applied - and these charges were contained within the Ts an Cs. Please would you therefore report on 'charges for unauthorised overdrafts (or borrowing)'.

    These charges are made for taking the money that belongs to people who are in credit, and without asking. Not something you would dream of doing if you found a wallet in the steet.

    I am not saying that the charges are right or that they are fair - but maybe we should have thought twice before we agreed to something that we had not bothered to read because there was a lot of it in very small print.

    Thank you


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  • 42. At 2:02pm on 25 Nov 2009, U14138029 wrote:

    ExpectingtheEnd (39) - "This market system of yours, PF, is a treat to behold."

    To be fair, I can't take all the credit (unintentional pun). There are a few other investors besides me.

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  • 43. At 2:10pm on 25 Nov 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    41. theotherdaughter - thanks for the banks' point of view. I'm sure it has loads of sympathy.

    What the banks did was change the way they operated. In the eighties, I had a 'business manager' who managed my account seemingly in my best interests; I would get a phone call, he would say 'I see you've just strayed over your overdraft limit by a couple of pounds, shall we increase it by fifty for a week or two until some more invoices are paid?' I agreed.

    Then, he was made redundant [at approx age 45] and the 'business manager' was a twenty-something who didn't know my name and was oblivious of the state of my business account, and interested less. A slight stray over the limit by a couple of pounds [due to people paying freelances late] was met with an automatically generated letter telling me that because I had gone over my agreed limit, the bank faced extra costs [how? It's digits on a computer hard drive] and was taking £35 from my account. I was now £37 over the limit, and the next week, low and behold, the bank faced further extra administrative costs due to this and a further £35 was taken [they should sack the robot, obviously too expensive]. This is the operating morality of the money lender who parasites off the poor who can't 'afford' a bank account.

    It isn't a question of 'not bothering to read the very small print' but a situation not of the customer's choosing which the bank took full advantage of, where once they saw their role as helping people manage their finances. And they don't need to send round muscle as they already have all our money and can help themselves whenever another payment in is made.

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  • 44. At 3:02pm on 25 Nov 2009, Lord Nathan wrote:


    • "I had a 'business manager' who managed my account seemingly in my best interests; I would get a phone call, he would say 'I see you've just strayed over your overdraft limit by a couple of pounds, shall we increase it by fifty for a week or two until some more invoices are paid?' I agreed."

    Similar experience from one old enough to remember when the banks knew who was serving whom. I used to get the occasional call informing me that I hadn't signed a cheque or had got the words and numbers out of sync, etc. Whatever it was, the matter was resolved televerbally, and the cheque went through.

    Customers shouldn't allow themselves to forget who is supposed to be serving who; even if the Chairman/CEO carries a knighthood, he's your servant!


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  • 45. At 3:23pm on 25 Nov 2009, U14138029 wrote:

    Echoing earlier posters, BIG THANKS TO SEQUIN for putting the day of the week to the Glass Box.

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  • 46. At 4:13pm on 25 Nov 2009, Sid wrote:

    45. At 3:23pm on 25 Nov 2009, Preston Firmlie wrote:

    Echoing earlier posters, BIG THANKS TO SEQUIN for putting the day of the week to the Glass Box.

    complain about this comment

    Why would I complain? It's a jolly good idea!!

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  • 47. At 4:23pm on 25 Nov 2009, davmcn wrote:

    We've been Expecting the End for some time, but it keeps returning...

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  • 48. At 6:59pm on 25 Nov 2009, GotToTheEnd wrote:


    goodness knows how I could have got you and FF confused.

    Still, re-reading what I said, I think that you, as part of the 'We think ourselves as so, so clever and therefore entitled to more than our fair share' minority, take it as applying to you, too.

    I look forward to the joke, to your usual standard, about 'shares' from you. How about your saying 'I think I'm entitled to an unfair share'. It would be you being almost as unfunny as usual, but honest.

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  • 49. At 7:11pm on 25 Nov 2009, GotToTheEnd wrote:


    If I go into mbarchers, it says to me

    'ExpectingtheEnd. Are you ExpectingtheEnd?'

    Well, I am.

    But before it comes, David could you please teach me your trick of converting Daleks into Wheelie Bins.

    I've seen a couple of yours where the Dalek is already 99.9 per cent bin.
    Is the last .1 per cent (removing the trans-substantiated rakishly angled rake) very difficult indeed?

    Where go you get the Daleks from in the first place?

    And what do you do with the wheelie bins after the full transformation?

    Sell them to the Council?
    Go fishing with them?
    Or golf, maybe?

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  • 50. At 9:31pm on 25 Nov 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

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

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