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Eddie Mair | 05:14 UK time, Thursday, 6 May 2010


This is an Election-free zone.


  • 1. At 05:45am on 06 May 2010, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    Good morning, Eddie and my friends here....

    Beautiful picture!


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  • 2. At 07:11am on 06 May 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Remember, your not allowed to talk about...Shh...you ain't seem me roight!

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  • 3. At 07:18am on 06 May 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Anyway, you know those horrible nasty anarchists and anti capitalists causing havoc in Greece according to media reporting. Well, the pictures I saw on the tele of people chanting 'burn this building, burn this building', outside their parliament were the best dressed middle class looking anarchists and anti capitalists I had ever seen. seems these deviants get everywhere...mmm.

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  • 4. At 07:27am on 06 May 2010, DiY wrote:

    Goodness me! A dose of common sense!

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  • 5. At 07:51am on 06 May 2010, mittfh wrote:

    How nice - a few hours free of that "E" word. However, in browsing the BBC News website, I discovered the magazine have compiled a "Party Pack" for use after 10pm...

    So what else is going on in the world? The ash cloud from {How do you pronounce it again?} has moved West, so Scottish and NI airports can reopen, stress at work apparently increases your risk of heart disease - if you're female and under 50 (the study didn't include males), President Karolos Papoulias has warned his country is on the "brink of an abyss", and Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua has died at his presidential villa following a long illness.

    Looking beyond the front page, Former conjoined twins Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf have left intensive care following an operation to separate them in a London hospital, BP has capped the first of the three leaks from the oil well beneath the site of Deepwater Horizon, and courtesy of a new booking system, 80,000 tickets to The Proms were sold on the first day (compared to 8,000 last year).

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  • 6. At 08:07am on 06 May 2010, Mindclearly wrote:

    It is news with no soul this morning, I'm bored of this it's almost as if a supressive regime is in control. Where is the gossip, not A - Z list related, but the gossip with real banter and debate.

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  • 7. At 08:26am on 06 May 2010, Galahad wrote:

    4 P Nutt - I agree that this sounds like a dose of common sense.
    The downside, however, is that if any volunteers under 18 become involved, their presence (thanks to our current child protection laws) will require the Olympic organisers to undertake a massive vetting programme of all their paid and volunteer adults.
    Organisers were hoping to avoid this enormous drain on time and money by not involving under 18s.

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  • 8. At 08:27am on 06 May 2010, MoC wrote:

    I have really enjoyed this morning's Today programme - no politicians, some quirky stories and a bit of thoughtfulness. I haven't shouted at the radio once. I even enjoyed McCartney's advertorial feature.
    Though Sarah and Justin can sometimes sound like Blue Peter for grown-ups.

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  • 9. At 08:35am on 06 May 2010, Galahad wrote:

    In our modern, liberated and egalitarian world, its a little depressing to reminded that old attitudes and evils are still with us...

    in relation to women's rights:


    and black rights:


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  • 10. At 08:44am on 06 May 2010, Galahad wrote:

    So, if you were given the option of watching a movie whilst undergoing surgery, what would you opt for?


    I'm torn between Carry On Matron and Driller Killer...

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  • 11. At 09:20am on 06 May 2010, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre for me

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  • 12. At 09:29am on 06 May 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:



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  • 13. At 09:34am on 06 May 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Thanks mittfh@5. No need to get a paper today after your news round up. What do you recommend the PM team tackle this evening? Must be a strange sort of 'non news' day today - wonder what they'll be rustling up.

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  • 14. At 09:36am on 06 May 2010, Looternite wrote:

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

  • 15. At 09:51am on 06 May 2010, CarolineOfBrunswick wrote:

    How about another election?

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  • 16. At 10:06am on 06 May 2010, Looternite wrote:

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

  • 17. At 10:06am on 06 May 2010, CG wrote:

    #15, don't worry, you will not have to wait too long for that. When all the fiddles in postal votes come to light, and the tax rises and cuts to pay off our debt come into force, also bearing in mind that whoever wins today will not have much of a majority, we will soon be back to the polling station. And they have already postponed one election because of a UKIP death - to think they came second in our most recent election - so it may not even be decided today. Also we have been told that the young may vote in large numbers today, so they will soon be fed up with whoever wins, and will want to see another I Want To Be Prime Minister show on TV, perhaps one a year, like the Eurovision Song Contest.

    I reckon, all things considered, will definitely will not have to wiat too long for another Election.

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  • 18. At 10:19am on 06 May 2010, Looternite wrote:

    I give up. Mods have defeated me.

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  • 19. At 10:23am on 06 May 2010, CG wrote:

    Trust the BBC to spend four week winding you up about elections, and then on the day it happens say this is an election free zone - on cup final day will this be a football free zone?

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  • 20. At 10:51am on 06 May 2010, MoC wrote:

    As this an election-free zone, can we talk about drugs today?

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  • 21. At 11:02am on 06 May 2010, mittfh wrote:

    Apparently there's been a minor plane crash at Hinton in the Hedges Airfield. Let's just say that due to the purdah today, I probably can't say much else about it...

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  • 22. At 11:23am on 06 May 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    Plane crashes and robot telephone calls offering advice on the location of certain local facilities, including an offer of transport to said facilities and a (generic) encouragement to make use of them....

    Sailing/flying close to the wind?

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  • 23. At 11:26am on 06 May 2010, mittfh wrote:

    @20: What kind of drugs?

    Medicinal, recreational (e.g. ethanol, nicotine, caffeine), hallucinogenic, or something else?

    Perhaps your favourite is fluoxetine, or possibly sildenafil citrate?

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  • 24. At 11:37am on 06 May 2010, MoC wrote:

    I was thinking of some research I read recently on the how cocaine impairs decision-making capacity. I also dimly remember research showing that cocaine use is very high amongst, e.g., certain types of city trader and even business leaders. I was thinking about the perils of investing in a company whose CEO or Financial Director dabbles in cocaine. More of a financial investment question really. Though the neuropsychology is also interesting.

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  • 25. At 11:53am on 06 May 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    19. bankingballs

    • "Trust the BBC to spend four week winding you up about elections, and then on the day it happens say this is an election free zone - on cup final day will this be a football free zone?"

    We can only hope so!

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  • 26. At 12:04pm on 06 May 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    On the BBC News Channel, this morning, with his voice on the sound track and a translation voiceover, Daniel Cohn Bendit, reported from the European Parliament, said Greece can't implement the demands of the Trichet-led ECB.

    His point was that the changes proposed had to be carried out in three months - but for Germany and France such changes couldn't be brought about in years.

    Cohn-Bendit said (to my ears) that Trichet was saying to Greece, 'Change!'.
    Not 'Changez'. How's that?
    The implication is, I think, that for Cohn Bendit, Trichet's attitude of Greece is one of contempt (?? Have I got that right?)


    considers one aspect of Greece's economic problems.

    But Cohn Bendit's point may relate to the material in footnote 28, here, below:


    This doesn't seem to help much:


    Currently on the BBC News Channel, Moody's is reported as mentioning the effects of a possible double dip recession in combination with this:


    That BBC item, updated today, mentions calls for nationwide strikes in Greece, this afternoom. The sad, sad tradegy of the three deaths of bankers is also remembered.

    The Channel is also reporting an Ernst and Young analyst saying that the Bank of England may need to make more money available at the 'contagion' stage, if it comes, by large scale open market operations (Quantitative Easing) which provided markets here with 200 billion of high powered money this year.

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  • 27. At 12:17pm on 06 May 2010, MoC wrote:

    For the Cup Final - does anyone think Ross County have a chance?

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  • 28. At 12:42pm on 06 May 2010, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    Of course they do. You can get 5 to 1 on them

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  • 29. At 12:51pm on 06 May 2010, Cash Hughes wrote:

    Ho Hum......sunny and breezy here, time for a nice long walk and a chat with a few favourite trees.

    See y'all in the snug later.

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  • 30. At 12:53pm on 06 May 2010, Cash Hughes wrote:

    I almost forgot!

    Don't neglect to dig the garden and support the vegetable of your choice.

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  • 31. At 1:27pm on 06 May 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    14, 16

    If the probs are the election rulles,as mine was apparently on last night's PM GB, could the Moderators just hold them up until after the polls close.

    Reposting is always tricky 'cos it can be picked up as spam.

    In fact I 'corrected' a removed post, reposted it and got it removed for spamming. The post had been substantially changed, but not unreasonably the two posts did have stuff in common.

    There again, during 27th, 28th, 29th, I made a comment on a then current issue, whih I can't go into now. Suffice to say the opinions expressed were very very measured. It was a difficult issue. The VIEW I expresssed did not deserve to be completely erased. But...reposting would have brought another spamming. Worse, I ouldn't really see what was wrong with it. Thinking again, now, it may be that I should have uncoupled the analysis from the events so that the conclusions were not explicitly or even necessarily about the people in the events

    Anyway, the triple 'modding' (despite not having been 'modded' for a week, whilst posting more often than the average Christmas card sender) was enough to earn me my current 'punitive handicap' status. (Sorry, 'mods', for all that extra reading)

    Given my 'modding' on yesterday's PM GB, and given the acceptability of other posts thereabouts, the election rules may be difficult to self-apply.

    Careful, though, my friend(s), 'cos I think all 'moddings' must count in some sort of tally sytem - which doesn't take much notice of any very low percentage of offence whether by word or post.

    Nor of removals being the result of a simple error of posting, making the Beach more serious than it should be and the FB being downright flippant.

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  • 32. At 1:50pm on 06 May 2010, skintnick wrote:

    An election-free zone seems to be the perfect place to mention the paradox that has been completely omitted from the previous months' debate: Namely how can we expect or achieve continuous economic growth in an economy which ultimately relies on earth's finite natural resources for all it's energy and raw materials? (excepting the power of the sun perhaps).

    I am truly ashamed of the BBC for omitting this crucial issue from mention.

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  • 33. At 1:53pm on 06 May 2010, Mindclearly wrote:

    MOC - 8, I think everone needs that shot of adrenalin pumping around the system from shouting at the radio, almost like coffee habit, otherwise holidays would become just another day.....

    Are the thought police around?? or is this a politically free zone, as it might as well be the beach. Come on some one put something contrioversal up and start a debate politics related.

    I'm trying my best in twitter world but I can't see if there is any feedback though (thought police of the work place!)

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  • 34. At 1:57pm on 06 May 2010, Mindclearly wrote:

    Does historical debates count? Can we discuss the pit falls of crossing the chamber Winston style? for instance? or whether Pitt the younger was too young to be a Prime Minster at 24??

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  • 35. At 2:01pm on 06 May 2010, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

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

  • 36. At 2:08pm on 06 May 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    8. MadnessOfCrowds - you missed the time check 9.25 at 8.25 then? How many people panicked I wonder. It's usually Humphreys who gets the time wrong, so professional for a morning presenter, but then he's already at 'work' so why should he be concerned at the odd slip?

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  • 37. At 2:08pm on 06 May 2010, Mindclearly wrote:

    35 - Horse, Thankyou, you have cheared me up. 22:00 it is then for new and expression?

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  • 38. At 2:10pm on 06 May 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    32. skintnick - well said, it simply doesn't figure in their little minds, despite all the nodding to the environment, they still don't get it.

    But they will one day...

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  • 39. At 2:18pm on 06 May 2010, Cash Hughes wrote:

    32. skintnick

    • "I am truly ashamed of the BBC for omitting this crucial issue from mention."


    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell."
    -- Edward Abbey

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  • 40. At 2:20pm on 06 May 2010, Mindclearly wrote:

    here is something which can start a good debate that should not be barred, by the censorship UK, I think


    I have been to Saudi recently and this is very positive step and shouuld be broadcast more loudly.

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  • 41. At 2:21pm on 06 May 2010, Cash Hughes wrote:

    35. The Intermittent Horse

    • "Snow White fell to her knees, praying, ‘Oh, thank you, God! At least Dopey is still alive….!’"

    LOL!, but where's the "balance"? And are the "regions" represented?


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  • 42. At 2:27pm on 06 May 2010, Trevor Mansell wrote:

    Something for the election winner to smile about:


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  • 43. At 2:29pm on 06 May 2010, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    Cash Hughes - As you know, the story works with any individual or Party name. It wasn't DC in the line when I first heard it, so I'm doing my bit for balance!

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  • 44. At 2:32pm on 06 May 2010, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    Ah, it's gorn! Still, it lasted 30 minutes longer than I thought it would!

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  • 45. At 2:45pm on 06 May 2010, Cash Hughes wrote:

    Funny, when it's Erection Day in the good ole USA, the Markets are closed, but not here. BTW, they're not registering optimism.


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  • 46. At 3:02pm on 06 May 2010, Cash Hughes wrote:

    The headlines just noted that three party leaders had already voted.

    Have the rest, or do they not matter?

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  • 47. At 3:03pm on 06 May 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Can we mention Mr. Farage? Something of an Isabella Duncan moment, though without such serious results. I hope the pilot will be okay as he, apparently, suffered serious injury.

    Strangely enough, when the UKIP plane flew over here last week, I thought to myself that those banners could be a hazard - but I was thinking of hanggliders at the time.

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  • 48. At 3:17pm on 06 May 2010, skintnick wrote:

    @38 (DoctorDolots) - they still don't get it.

    This is the question I cannot fathom. Probably they do get it but choose to ignore it in order to prop-up business-as-usual rather than tacklet the hard issues that are a consequence. Certainly the BBC knows about it from various snippets on Costing the Earth, Home Planet etc. Yet, despite my strenuous urgings for more than a year PM and Today will not question the dogma of growth. I like to say it will give me no pleasure to say "I told you so" but as BAU continues to the point of catastrophe it will be hard not to.

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  • 49. At 3:23pm on 06 May 2010, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    Big Sister - "...I was thinking of hanggliders at the time."

    I know what you mean - I spend some time thinking about female beach volleyballers.

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  • 50. At 3:33pm on 06 May 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    (15) CarolineofBrunswick

    Whenever your...oh ELECTION.

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  • 51. At 3:53pm on 06 May 2010, Sparkleseren wrote:

    A phrase used all the time on R4 news, on programmes that should know better, is "the country", e.g. "taking the electoral pulse up and down the country". Most of the time, presenters/reporters mean the UK. Last time I looked, this could mean any one of 4 countries. So stop saying it. Even John Humphreys (Welsh) referred to Cardiff as one of the "finest (sic) cities in the country". Wales only has 5 cities, so it was either damning with faint praise or he meant the UK. Still it's better than the speaker on PM one day who referred to London, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, thereby elevating London to country status. That tickled me!

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  • 52. At 3:54pm on 06 May 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:


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  • 53. At 4:05pm on 06 May 2010, Sid wrote:

    Strange, isn't it? You wait centuries for a trial without a jury, then three come along at once.

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  • 54. At 4:07pm on 06 May 2010, Sid wrote:

    Horse @ 44 - it would have lasted longer if you'd used the pairwise comparison method ...

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  • 55. At 4:13pm on 06 May 2010, Keith Heddle wrote:

    Stanley Gibbons (world's best known stamp dealers) have just broken the Guinness World Record for the world's biggest envelope - I'd like to see how long it would take for Royal Mail to deliver that!

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  • 56. At 4:21pm on 06 May 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    300 years of trial by jury, then within months of them making an allowance to have Crown court trial without a jury we get three, one tried and two more applied for. Its pretty clear that the objective was always to do away with jury trials.

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  • 57. At 4:29pm on 06 May 2010, Cash Hughes wrote:

    45. Cash Hughes

    • "they're not registering optimism."

    Even less so, now.

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  • 58. At 4:34pm on 06 May 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Without wishing to sound in the least blonde (and no offence to blondes) why can't the news/PM mention the election today?

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  • 59. At 4:41pm on 06 May 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    It's a form of purdah, Lady Sue. ;o)

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  • 60. At 4:41pm on 06 May 2010, Sid wrote:

    I'm guessing it's a sort of self-imposed purdah ... you know, not wanting to sway our votes.

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  • 61. At 4:42pm on 06 May 2010, Sid wrote:


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  • 62. At 4:42pm on 06 May 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Actually, here's the explanation, Sue


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  • 63. At 4:48pm on 06 May 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:


    BS. In return for my mentioning ISADORA Duncan, ould you commnet on Cohn - Bendit's 'Change' in his speaking as if he were Trichet instructing Greece.

    (cf 'Changez', 3rd paragraph of 26)

    Best wishes,


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  • 64. At 5:02pm on 06 May 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    As soon as I heard Sequin speak, I started chuckling ... again. Sorry Carolyn.

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  • 65. At 5:07pm on 06 May 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Thanks Sid and Big Sister. I gathered as much but it seems a bit silly, though a relief from all the electioneering over the past month.

    I started giggling too Ellis - will we ever be able to take her seriously again? The 'light switch' gag very well delivered.

    Delighted PM is going to do something on those who died to enable everyone to have the right to vote. Hope that might spur a few people to the polls. Can I say that? We'll soon see!

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  • 66. At 5:23pm on 06 May 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    The ECB has deemed that Greece is too big to fail.

    The bank will continue to discount Greek debt.

    There is also talk of it acting more aggressively and deciding to buy Greek debt in open market operations.

    This is in effect a Quantitative Easing strategy.

    It will further dimish the importance of private finance capital in the Euro zone.

    For the ECB is in effect guaranteeing to stand behind not only Greece but also Portugal and Spain too.

    With the legal, economic and political action taken against private capital in the USA, since the crash of October 2008, and these new commitments from European public finance, are we seeing the end of the importance of the actions and opinion of private capital in the USA and the Euro zone?

    Is this great arc of economic activity (the dollar-euro 'bloc') becoming a zone led by political decision, made by governments, indeed democracies, and transnational governemtnal organisations rather than markets?

    Hugh Pym or Nils on this?



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  • 67. At 5:33pm on 06 May 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Birdsong? There were House Sparrows chipring away in the trees and bushes outside my polling station. I wondered if their popultion drop had been overhyped.

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  • 68. At 5:34pm on 06 May 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    The Ftse, now all agree, is over 80 points down.

    ( The BBC and

    http://www.google.com/finance?q=INDEXFTSE:.FTSE fully concur. )

    Though the 1 day graph here is still not up to date.


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  • 69. At 5:43pm on 06 May 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    From the BBC Editorial Guidelines, I've copied the following (which gives, perhaps, a bit more explanation of the BBC Policy:

    "Reporting UK election & referendum campaigns
    The BBC is required by law to adopt a code of practice at each election to govern the participation of candidates in each constituency or electoral area. Before drawing up a code the BBC is required to "have regard to any views expressed by the Electoral Commission".

    Election and referendum guidelines will be agreed by the Board of Governors and issued by the Chief Adviser Politics before each election or referendum.

    On polling day the BBC, in common with other broadcasters, will cease to report campaigns from 06.00 and until the polls close. We will restrict our coverage to factual accounts, for example, of the level of the poll, politicians' appearances at polling stations and the weather to ensure that while the polls are open nothing in our output can be construed as influencing the ballot."

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  • 70. At 5:43pm on 06 May 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Oh, and now somebody's reading it out on the radio! SNAP!!!!!

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  • 71. At 5:46pm on 06 May 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    Danny Blanchflower is suggesting (BBC News Channel) that Greece may be successful in transfering more of its debt from the private sector to the ECB (Germany and France).

    The implication seems to be that the package of measures for Greece insisted upon by the ECB and IMF need not result in such savage cuts since the debt would be rolled over for longer.

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  • 72. At 5:51pm on 06 May 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    63: Thanks for your correction - it didn't sound right to me as I typed it, but it's been a very long day for me .....

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  • 73. At 5:57pm on 06 May 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    The rules:,

    So, one and all:

    And so 'Have I Got News for You' at NINE o'clock tonight on BBC 1 and not TEN olock on BBC 2?????

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  • 74. At 5:59pm on 06 May 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    The Rules:

    So, to one and all:

    'Have I got News For You' at NINE oclock on BBC 1 instead of TEN oclock on BBC 2 ????????

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  • 75. At 6:07pm on 06 May 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    73, 74

    Sorry one and all. It wasn't spamming, I thought the first one had disappeared, honest. (Pause for witty comments about how all my posts say the same thing anyway. Well, look at it this way, 73 and 74 are easy enough to scroll through. And reading one in two of my posts works well here)

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  • 76. At 9:33pm on 06 May 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    And now I heard Jim Naughtie mentioning Sequin and the studio

    I just burst out laughing - a mistake, given the folks in the room

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  • 77. At 11:08pm on 06 May 2010, Cash Hughes wrote:

    "dense, urban conurbations"?

    Lord Reith rolls in his grave

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