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Eddie Mair | 06:25 UK time, Wednesday, 9 June 2010

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

Perhaps you have 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.

The PM team will meet in a real glass box at 11am. Why not be part of the meeting by sharing your thoughts in this virtual glass box? We don't really look in after 11am so please be prompt! And if you want to simply drone on about something, please try somewhere else.

Comments

  • 1. At 07:21am on 09 Jun 2010, DiY wrote:

    "There is nothing progressive about a government that consistently spends more than it can raise in taxation and certainly nothing progressive that endows generations to come with the liabilities incurred with respect to the current generation."
    Well said me Lord!

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  • 2. At 07:51am on 09 Jun 2010, Mindclearly wrote:

    Newsnight last night were talking about the pensions provided in the civl service. There was an issue as I saw from what was being discussed. TUPE was introduced through Europe, and therefore the conclusion brought would need significant legislative change etc to make any of these savings.

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  • 3. At 07:56am on 09 Jun 2010, JesseBigg wrote:

    So now we know. The cat's out of the bag. Apparently, the economic figures that Cameron was banding about, the other day, which seemed to be a total suprise to him and Osbourne, had all been published weeks before the election. So, obviously, they knew beforehand the full situation.

    Sorry, boys, paint it black if you must, but I'm not buying it.

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  • 4. At 08:11am on 09 Jun 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    If you want more people in parliament from more representative backgrounds, free thinkers able to explore their minds, risk takers with integral passion, visionaries with an understanding of inter dependence...etc, then you need to start by exploding the Ox-bridge myth and domination. Explode the myth of patronage, cronyism and the apartheid class and connections that ensure glass and class ceilings.

    You could make a start by taking away the charitable status of those top education establishments where only people who are rich enough (except where they have been forced to take the odd few customers from, lets say, other backgrounds to be able to retain charitable status). And before you elitists start shouting and yorping about how we would end up with less standards of eduction, I would say, education is about setting people free to take advantage of their own talents, gifts and all they can bring as people for the common good. Eduction isn't and shouldn't be about cynically retaining the means of power and all that means in the hands of a few accented, mostly undeserved, un-visioned rich people.

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  • 5. At 08:21am on 09 Jun 2010, JAlexW wrote:

    A great shame that Labour are not able to put forward a female candidate for the leadership election!

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  • 6. At 08:27am on 09 Jun 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    #5

    And a female that wasn't trying to be a male too!

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  • 7. At 08:32am on 09 Jun 2010, MoC wrote:

    fjd@4 Absolutely. Now, what are we going to do about it other than share it here?
    fjd you'll also enjoy and I recommend to all ... redheylin's half-dozen or so musings on yesterday's AM Glass Box starting around 11pm or so last night.
    I really enjoyed Prescott's demolition of the enchantingly uninformed Zac this morning.

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  • 8. At 08:55am on 09 Jun 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Madness #7 Thanks for your comments. Indeed, what can we do about it?


    I've read the musings of redheylin's contribution on yesterday's blog. very witty.

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  • 9. At 08:56am on 09 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    4. funnyJoedunn

    We are of the same mind about public schools. These “charity” places are a sham as the kids getting these places are carefully screened by the schools and not candidates allocated by the local authority. These "charity" places are a sham.
    I don’t expect any change in public school bias from this ConDem government as they are dominated by ex public school boys.
    Its not just that they get an easy route to Oxbridge they also have powerful friends who pull strings for them to get their first jobs. These first jobs are already halfway up the greasy pole, the part where the rungs begin.
    Just look at Cleggs route to the top for an example.

    I noticed you used the word yorping, my Hertfordshire born and bred Mum, uses this word.

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  • 10. At 09:03am on 09 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    7. MadnessOfCrowds and 8. funnyJoedunn
    I have previously commented that I consider redheylin to be a scholar and I always read his/her comments.

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  • 11. At 09:29am on 09 Jun 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    Housing, the BBC keeps on staging debates on housing that fails to deal with a crucial factor, over population, as we heard this morning on the Today program with the debate between Goldsmith and Prescott. When the British Government has been engineering population growth at a rate of 250k a year through immigration, but building houses at a rate of 70k you are going to get a housing crisis. Yet rather than dealing with the problem of demand we are continually presented with a stale argument about trying to satisfy that demand with supply, when we know there isn't a solution because there isn't the spare land in this over populated country to build the houses needed.

    The stale argument presented to us on the housing debate isn't the only one in this area, the same issues are presented to us on road, rail, water, food, environment etc where demand through over population out strips supply, and rather than confront the issue of over population, we in stead are only offered one solution, rationing. Why is that? Why can't the British establishment, BBC included, not present us with all the arguments, over population included, in stead excludes that from the debating options? We are confronted by two choices, continued over population and rationing, or a more sustainable population and no rationing. I choose the latter, but why is the British establishment denying us that choice, is it because they have too much political capital tied up in the former?

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  • 12. At 09:33am on 09 Jun 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    "I really enjoyed Prescott's demolition of the enchantingly uninformed Zac this morning."

    Hardly Prescott just showed himself to be the nasty class prejudiced thug he has always been.

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  • 13. At 09:47am on 09 Jun 2010, MoC wrote:

    IMOORE@12 and ZacBoy showed himself to be a typically uninformed product of the welfare-subsidised class.
    There is a simple way to solve the housing 'crisis': as part of DullDave's "voluntary" sector, anyone who owns a house with more than 2 spare rooms should be volunteered to take in a family in need of a house.
    Here in Windsor we have a few multi-chambered royal residences that could easily be adapted to house about 50,000 residents. Then there are acres of green land around Eton that could be sold off for social housing. It's a cinch. We're all in this together.

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  • 14. At 09:58am on 09 Jun 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Looternite,(9)

    It is seen as an old fashioned word here and my mum used it too. Other words phrases she used are;

    'He got his hair off' (meaning getting angry in conversation). I think this phrase comes from the days when the gentry used to wear wigs. presumably, they would take their wigs (hair) off to get pysical with someone. Hence the other phrase - 'keep your hair on'.

    Ructions; meaning upheaval of the social kind as in, 'oh it was ructions down the pub last night.

    Tantalizing; as in, 'stop tantalizing the dog'.

    'It was Bedlam'.

    She also use to call the settee a 'Sophie' but I think she meant sofa?

    The back garden was always reffered to as 'the back yard' or just 'the yard'.

    The living room was always reffered to as the 'front room'.

    We had a 'bag wash' service.

    we had 'club callers' (often on first name terms) people who came and collected five bob a week for your higher purchase stuff.

    I'm sure theres more that slip my mind at present.

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  • 15. At 10:34am on 09 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    Team PM here's something worth a look, scientist infects himself with computer virus
    Article here: http://www.epdonthenet.net/article.aspx?ArticleID=34242

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  • 16. At 10:56am on 09 Jun 2010, U14450706 wrote:

    4. funnyJoedunn

    • "Explode the myth of patronage, cronyism and the apartheid class and connections that ensure glass and class ceilings."

    Joe, I agree with you, but these things you list are NOT myths, they are present reality!

    What needs exploding is the MYTH of their inevitability and necessity.

    ;-)

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  • 17. At 10:58am on 09 Jun 2010, U14450706 wrote:

    7. MadnessOfCrowds

    • "I really enjoyed Prescott's demolition of the enchantingly uninformed Zac this morning."

    I usually like Prescott, but he was a complete fool this morning. I thought Zack remained cool in the presence of lunacy.

    Just goes to show how perceptions can colour what one sees/hears....

    ;-)

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  • 18. At 11:01am on 09 Jun 2010, U14450706 wrote:

    11. IMOORE

    • "When the British Government has been engineering population growth at a rate of 250k a year through immigration, but building houses at a rate of 70k"

    I wasn't aware that the government was building 70,000 houses every year!

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  • 19. At 11:05am on 09 Jun 2010, U14450706 wrote:

    15. Looternite

    Remind me to refuse any implants!

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  • 20. At 11:27am on 09 Jun 2010, MoC wrote:

    Tufty Ears - yes, Prescott plays the buffoon well; Zac was equally incomprehensible to me. The difference is one of style rather than content. Never underestimate the British public's unquestioning respect for a man in expensive clothes with well-polished shoes and a posh accent - no matter what nonsense he spouts. It helps keep us all infantile.
    Will the FTSe close below 5000 today?
    "The Market" doesn't trust Boy George and Dull Dave.

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  • 21. At 11:43am on 09 Jun 2010, mittfh wrote:

    14. funnyJoedunn

    Etymology's fun!

    Tantalizing - from Tantalus in Greek mythology, who was condemned to spend eternity standing in water that receding when he stooped down to drink, and just out of the reach of fruit trees. Then again, the Greeks did like torturous fates, Prometheus being a prime example, and Orpheus pretty much defines the phrase "So near, but so far".

    Bedlam - from the psychiatric hospital set up by the Order of the Star of Bethlehem. Although not on its original site, Bethlem Royal Hospital still exists, but (surprisingly enough) has more humane treatment than when people could pay 1d to visit, peer through the cells and laugh at the antics of the patients.

    Yard - derives from a word meaning enclosure, hence its use for both a garden and a farmyard. The 'three foot' meaning derives from a slightly different word meaning twig.

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  • 22. At 11:46am on 09 Jun 2010, mittfh wrote:

    21. mittfh

    And talking of the English Language, it helps to proof read your own posts... using the present tense of recede instead of the past tense... tut, tut, tut! Then again, apparently the Daily Wail's been campaigning against a different form of immigration recently - Americanisms.

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  • 23. At 11:52am on 09 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    14. funnyJoedunn
    Another word my mum used was "arkers" - ears!

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  • 24. At 12:01pm on 09 Jun 2010, MoC wrote:

    Echoes of the Bullingdon Club. Rich chaps "looking after" each other's interests. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/09/opinion/09dowd.html?th&emc=th

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  • 25. At 12:06pm on 09 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Just heard the news of John McDonnell withdrawing in favour of Diane Abbott's candidacy for the Labour leadership race. With only 25 minutes to go before close of play, this must be a nailbiting time for her.

    All credit to Mr. McDonnell, though, for stepping aside in order to try to widen the race and include a woman candidate.

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  • 26. At 12:07pm on 09 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Wrens smuggling cocaine? When I heard the news I looked out of my window to see if our own birds were into drug running ....
    :)

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  • 27. At 12:09pm on 09 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    24: What an appalling story! Thank you for highlighting it.

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  • 28. At 12:23pm on 09 Jun 2010, mittfh wrote:

    The New Statesman reports that several Labour MPs are hurredly signing Diane's nomination papers during PMQs - they believe she'll reach the required number before 12:30.

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  • 29. At 12:25pm on 09 Jun 2010, MoC wrote:

    Good to see a woman standing. Even if she is another Oxbridge bod.

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  • 30. At 12:28pm on 09 Jun 2010, MoC wrote:

    just having a look at PMQ on beeb site. Cameron really is astonishingly contemptuous of MPs. His sense of entitlement is disgusting. Though I rather suspect that his high-handedness is actually an attempt to cover up for his lack of knowledge and substance.

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  • 31. At 12:51pm on 09 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Great stuff! Diane Abbott is on the ballot paper!

    Now there is the real chance of a good campaign and airing of issues.

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  • 32. At 12:58pm on 09 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Five candidates:

    Diane Abbott
    Ed Balls
    Andy Burnham
    David Miliband
    Ed Miliband.

    Could be an interesting contest.

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  • 33. At 1:01pm on 09 Jun 2010, mittfh wrote:

    BREAKING NEWS: Diane Abbott secures enough support among Labour MPs to be candidate for Labour Leader.

    OK, so on the one hand she's a grammar school girl, Oxbridge graduate and has spent most of her life working in journalism or politics; but on the other she is from a different wing of the party to the three lads and has a track record of campaigning on equality and human rights.

    Incidentally, according to Wikipedia, not only did Michael Portillo attend the neighbouring school, but they performed together in several joint plays - including Romeo and Juliet (not the title roles though!) and Macbeth (the MacDuffs, although Lady MacDuff only appears in one scene, when her son is being killed by Macbeth's thugs)

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  • 34. At 1:08pm on 09 Jun 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    "Could be an interesting contest."

    How do you arrive at that conclusion? Dianne Abbot might stir things up but only as a side show, the rest look pretty boring forty something professional politicians.

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  • 35. At 1:13pm on 09 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Do you understand the meaning of the word 'could'? There is nothing conclusive about it. Or are you just trying to pick an argument?

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  • 36. At 1:17pm on 09 Jun 2010, Jonathan Morse wrote:

    Diane Abbott has got in.

    No.

    I was hoping it would be a fight between Cambridge PPE's with a tiny vote for them from the membership abstaining in protest. Now we'll have a genuine debate and they'll have to fix the result! Or I may find that one of the Ed's is worth voting for.

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  • 37. At 1:22pm on 09 Jun 2010, MoC wrote:

    Leaving aside her left-wing rhetoric accompanied by right-wing behaviour (kid to private school etc.), I would definitely relish having Diane Abbott as opposition leader. For one thing, she has an even greater sense of entitlement than Dull Dave and an excellent High Moral Tone to accompany it. She would have no hesitation hitting him where it hurts. I don't think any of the pale males could take the same stance as she could: as 30 Rock put it so memorably, she is a Twofer.

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  • 38. At 1:26pm on 09 Jun 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    May be stating your comment as a conclusion is taking the meaning of your comment too far, but you do imply there is potential there. I am sorry I don't see the potential. Dianne Abbot aside, who as a side show will try to get some attention, the rest are boring professional politicians who wouldn't recognise political value or principle if it hit them in the face. They will all jettison policy areas they claimed was a point they would fight to the death on and accept other diametrically opposed values at the blink of an eye, or rather at the publishing of latest polling report.

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  • 39. At 1:34pm on 09 Jun 2010, U14450706 wrote:

    20. MadnessOfCrowds

    • "Will the FTSe close below 5000 today?
      "The Market" doesn't trust Boy George and Dull Dave."


    Up so far today
    http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/marketsdata.html

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  • 40. At 1:37pm on 09 Jun 2010, U14450706 wrote:

    22. mittfh

    • "a different form of immigration recently - Americanisms."

    like running for office? How un-gentlemanly and embarrassing! One should merely stand...

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  • 41. At 1:38pm on 09 Jun 2010, U14450706 wrote:

    23. Looternite

    • "Another word my mum used was "arkers" - ears!"

    'ere we got 'lugs'!

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  • 42. At 1:42pm on 09 Jun 2010, U14450706 wrote:

    35. Big Sister

    • "are you just trying to pick an argument?"

    What? Mr Moore?

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  • 43. At 1:49pm on 09 Jun 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Loternite (32)

    My mum would say 'ark' and put her hand to her ear meaning listen.

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  • 44. At 2:02pm on 09 Jun 2010, mittfh wrote:

    20. MadnessOfCrowds
    Will the FTSe close below 5000 today?

    Ask mac (aka ExpectingTheEnd) - I'm sure he's got an essay or two he could say on the subject...

    But please, for the sake of our sanity, ask him to post it over in The Furrowed Brow, NOT here :)

    (Makes a mental note to see if I can hack the "Respond" userscript to automatically quote the post as well... unless Tufty's already done it!)

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  • 45. At 2:05pm on 09 Jun 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    Thank you - I am glad a few people have enjoyed my late-night economics - but the real kudos goes to my inspirations - our own IMoore, who tells us that the more you tax the wealthy the less you get, and the BBC's own famous-for-being-famous Michael Portillo, the son of an asylum-seeker who fled from right-wing Spain, who joined a right-wing party that sought to turn away asylum-seekers from the country that gave him safety; who after bitter opposition to public spending in general and the BBC in particular now turns a nice living on public money at the BBC; a grammar-school boy who uses his entire lack of broadcasting talent to inform us that we are better off ruled by an entrenched elite. When the BBC supplies material like this, anybody could be funny - except Portillo, obviously.

    So please continue to laugh at this nonsense: at our politicians telling us that, to be patriotic and to help Britain in its hour of need, we must first of all look after the wealthy who are so unpatriotic that, if they are not rewarded by us for losing unthinkable amounts of our money, they will immediately go and work for our competitors. While the rest of us must give up pay-rises, bonuses and perks, otherwise those same people will be forced to put us on the dole - there's no question here that ordinary workers deserve any greater reward than being allowed to continue to work. It's a double standard.

    If we continue to accept that the wealthy must get wealthier and the rest must get poorer for the economy to work, the only thing that can happen is that companies get larger and larger, so it gets harder and harder for a small company to compete, while employees have less and less power and - that wonderful thing - choice. Meanwhile, the increasing perception of unfairness combined with this unstoppable emphasis on greed rather than on good work and social responsibility will irreparably damage labour relations, which are becoming nothing more than threats and hypocrisy.

    Mrs Thatcher claimed to be on the side of the home-owning small businessman. That's fair enough - so why do our governments now advise us to toe the line lest the all-powerful multinationals destroy our economy. The assumption is, when we hear of "taxes on jobs" and so on, that we have no option but to work for monopolistic concerns that have not the slightest regard for our well-being as workers or as a nation but only for their own excessive rewards.

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  • 46. At 2:07pm on 09 Jun 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Mittfh (21)

    Following on from your definition of 'Bedlam'. The origin of the saying 's/hes gone round the bend' (meaning mentally unstable) comes from the fact that when the Victorians were building many of the mental asylums of the 19th century. They would invariably build them so as not to be visible from the public highway. Hence, the drive leading to the ominous building housing the occupants always needed to be one that had a bend to blind the view. And yes, Victorians would also visit such places as a past time to view the patients...from a safe distance of course. Asylums were specifically built to different in an obvious way from a prison. Namely, they never had those high walls.this was demonstrate illness rather than crime. There were huge passionate debates over these sort of decisions when such huge building programs were undertaken some issues dating back to the 18th century. There were debates on weather it should Doctors, local councils, the borough JP or even the local vicar who should have the power to say who should be put away in such institutions. The debating for power in these matters became quite heated.

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  • 47. At 2:12pm on 09 Jun 2010, U14450706 wrote:

    44. mittfh

    • "(Makes a mental note to see if I can hack the "Respond" userscript to automatically quote the post as well... unless Tufty's already done it!)"

    Simply select something in the post, and the script will do it for you (in italics) If you want ul/li stuff, you'll have to hack a bit. in firefox, it;s tools/greasemonkey/manage scripts...

    On secrecy and such

    ;-)

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  • 48. At 2:23pm on 09 Jun 2010, U14450706 wrote:

    45. redheylin

    • "f we continue to accept that the wealthy must get wealthier and the rest must get poorer for the economy to work, the only thing that can happen is that companies get larger and larger,"

    But that's the sole directive for corporations!

    A corporation is a pile of money with the sole purpose of becoming a bigger pile....
    • "But for the time being (may it be short) the corporations thrive, and they are doing so at the expense of everything else. Their dogma of the survival of the wealthiest (i.e. mechanical efficiency) is the dominant intellectual fashion. A Letter to the New York Times, of July 8, 1999 stated it perfectly: "While change is difficult for those affected, the larger, more efficient business organization will eventually emerge and industry consolidation will occur to the benefit of the many." When you read or hear those words "larger" and "more efficient" you may expect soon to encounter the word "inevitable," and this letter writer conformed exactly to the rule: "We should not try to prevent the inevitable consolidation of the farming industry." This way of talking is now commonplace among supposedly intelligent people, and it has only one motive: the avoidance of difficult thought. Or one might as well say that the motive is the avoidance of thought, for that use of the word "inevitable" obviates the need to consider any alternative, and a person confronting only a single possibility is well beyond any need to think. The message is: "The machine is coming. If you are small and in the way, you must lie down and be run over." So high a level of mental activity is readily achieved by terrapins."
      -- from "Life is a Miracle"



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  • 49. At 2:26pm on 09 Jun 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    I'm sorry to say I don't like Diane Abbot for the same reason I don't like Alistair Campbell. But I don't know what that reason is yet.

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  • 50. At 2:29pm on 09 Jun 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Perhaps I need to find a reason to like them? But I can't stand how these people manipulate the media to sell their books but cry woolf when they say things they don't like or try to hold them to account. Am I just a cynical middle aged old git?

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  • 51. At 2:44pm on 09 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Joe: I'm not sure how I feel about her, either. There was a time when I couldn't abide her, but as she has mellowed, my view of her has altered. I do admire her tenacity. She wasn't given an easy ride in the early days, but she has stuck with it and, from what I hear, is a good constituency MP.

    I am pleased she is in the race because I think her presence is likely to make a difference to the leadership race and also because I felt it quite ridiculous that the race should be restricted to white, middle aged men, no matter how talented or otherwise. Now, that might sound like tokenism on my part, and I don't intend it in that way. Ideally, I'd like to see a much more vibrant contest, with a true breadth of choice, but it isn't easy to see where the vibrant potential candidates are ...

    And to end my 'endorsement' ;o) can I share you a Diane Abbot classic moment:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWuaODbABVg&feature=related

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  • 52. At 3:08pm on 09 Jun 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    Questions for Dianne Abbott:

    1. Don't you think the descendants of aristo and banker millionaires should get proper jobs?

    2. Don't you think that white upper middle class women enjoy a Glass Floor which ensures that they never have to get proper jobs?

    3. Don't you think that white middle class chattering intellectuals have been the curse of us all, including the Labour Party from Shirley Williams to Tony Blair, and that this whole caste should join the upper middle classes in factory or other manual labour?

    4. Now liberal whites have defeated Apartheid, shouldn't ALL whites in South Africa (and white ex-pats too) get proper jobs there now?

    5. If the answer to any of 1 to 3 is 'No', who exactly do YOU think should do the work in the factories, on the roads, etc, for you and for us?

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  • 53. At 3:16pm on 09 Jun 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    45.

    Its not a case of looking after the wealthy, but following the most successful path to generating tax income. Sure you can soak the rich, but that has been shown to not generate the tax income but in fact does the opposite. The pleasure with which some are getting in proposing raising taxes due to the recession has nothing to do with economics but really an excuse to wage their class war.

    One thing we can do to help the poor is to stop sabotaging their wage earning potential by swamping the country with low paid immigrants. In recent years we have seen politics come full circle with the internationalist left getting into bed with the global capitalist right and pursing a policy of mass immigration which has screwed the low paid here.


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  • 54. At 3:30pm on 09 Jun 2010, mittfh wrote:

    53. IMOORE
    "stop sabotaging their wage earning potential by swamping the country with low paid immigrants"

    But...many of these immigrants, particularly in rural areas, are hired for the simple reason that insufficient numbers of UK-born citizens are applying for the jobs. Agriculture in particular employs lots of migrant labour because there aren't enough UK citizens who are willing to spend 8 hours a day trudging around a muddy field in all weathers harvesting fruits and vegetables, on a temporary indeterminate period contract.

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  • 55. At 3:35pm on 09 Jun 2010, MoC wrote:

    IMOORE - your knowledge of economics has no beginnings! It is the primary purpose of fiscal policy to help achieve social ends; just as a business is not primarily about making profits but actually about having a purpose and a vision. My vision for Britain is that it should be a society that encourages talent and endeavour by the morally decent. A by-product of that is that we shall also become wealthy but the primary purpose is a moral one. If that requires A War on Talentless Twits, so be it. Squeeze them until the pips squeak. I am judging not on the basis of class but on the basis of talent, honesty, sweat and decency. It happens that our class system ensures that there is positive discrimination in favour of the talentless, lying, lazy, decadent rich. It is time to redress that. Pour encourager les autres.

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  • 56. At 3:40pm on 09 Jun 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    A corporation is a pile of money with the sole purpose of becoming a bigger pile....

    Paradoxically, it is not business itself that seems to be the difficulty here. After all, starting a business takes talent and risk, just as much as being a musician! And to do business you have to profit.

    Neither is the ancestral privilege of the "elite" any more of a problem than it was a century ago.

    The difficulty is, I think, that the London money market now constitutes such a large slice of the economy, particularly in the south-east, that it must be placated at any cost, even though most of the money and investment does not itself originate in or benefit the UK. This market cannot benefit from small, private, local companies: it needs monster limited companies with large public stock.

    Just now Lord Myners has said that "the government cannot create jobs" - he is copying Obama, and of course he does not mean public sector jobs, and you have to exclude all the privatised companies with govt. contracts as well, but even then it is dishonest. The deregulation and digitalisation of the square mile was as near as you can get to a government creating jobs - with public money.

    Lord Myners was a City investment fund manager before being drafted into government: he was accused of dishonestly distancing himself from the Goodwin affair and failing to safeguard public interest in the banks.

    So it is not business but international finance that calls the shots today - international finance that really does function only "to make a bigger pile", without adding value, without social conscience, without workers or customers, often making no other contribution to the national economy though working on behalf of pension funds that mostly appear unlikely to fulfil their contracts to the workers who paid in.

    And politicians must placate this monster, which will create no garden cities, which will protect no job or community, which will be concerned for no ecology.

    Meanwhile, we are now considering building a pipe to take water from Scotland (no work) to the South-East (no water, no houses) I wonder who will pay?

    Can't be us. The government cannot create jobs. But meanwhile I walk past this;

    http://www.eyefetch.com/image.aspx?ID=307418

    and can no longer give a reason why teenagers should stay in school. Perhaps we need a pipe going the other way to deliver some "trickledown"?

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  • 57. At 3:46pm on 09 Jun 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    IMoore; "The pleasure with which some are getting in proposing raising taxes due to the recession has nothing to do with economics but really an excuse to wage their class war."

    IMoore, you rely too much on "ad hominem" - not answering points but attempting to smear those who raise them. This is no serious way to debate.

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  • 58. At 3:50pm on 09 Jun 2010, MoC wrote:

    This looks like an interesting book: "The Meaning of David Cameron". The description (from amazon) is: 'David Cameron has been sold to the British electorate as a thoroughly modern politician, part Blair, part Thatcher, a one nation conservative with a soft spot for social democracy, the green movement, big and small business, youth, minorities, traditionalists, the armed forces and the old. Has a politician ever been sold as so many things to so many people, at home in fashion magazines as he is at Party conferences? But, despite being told arguably more about Cameron the man than any other politician, he remains vacuous, strangely unformed, a cipher for the real interests and forces he represents. The Meaning of Cameron is an unmasking of the false politics Cameron embodies, and an examination of the face the mask has eaten into'.

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  • 59. At 3:51pm on 09 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    56. redheylin

    Nailhead well hit my friend.

    However you mention the earlier talk about Scotland providing water to South East England. This has was discussed years ago and it was mentioned that it is more enviromentally friendly to De-salinate sea water in the Thames estuary than to pipe or ship Scottish water.

    This is a "pipe dream2 (ho, ho).

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  • 60. At 4:00pm on 09 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    58: I'm ordering my copy now ;)

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  • 61. At 4:06pm on 09 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Questions for EtE:

    1. How many "proper jobs" have you had?

    2. Why do you keep harping on about women in this bigoted way?

    3. Don't you think that Marxists with lazy, extreme opinions have been the curse of all true Socialists?

    4. Now that the Labour Party is in oppostion, shouldn't all those with a moral conscience be working towards putting them back in office?

    5. If you're unable to answer any of 1 to 3 rationally, why exactly do you keep banging on like this?




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  • 62. At 4:10pm on 09 Jun 2010, MoC wrote:

    Big Sis@60 - I've ordered mine too. Anyone else? Maybe we could all do a wee Jim Naughtie-style online reading group here when we get them.

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  • 63. At 4:11pm on 09 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    EtE: I should perhaps apologise for my 61, but I simply couldn't resist. ;o)

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  • 64. At 4:12pm on 09 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Madness: I think we may have to form a Facebook group for that purpose as we may have opinions that the mods won't like. I'm up for it, are you?

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  • 65. At 4:13pm on 09 Jun 2010, U14450706 wrote:

    • ""We are often cautioned that we must live in the 'real world' by folk

      who mean 'money', a concept more abstract than theoretical physics.""

    And, over time, Money has evolved from a useful tool, a "medium of exchange", to the principal subject of The Market (note capitalisations as appropriate to Dieties).

    I read some decade or more ago that foreign exchange trading alone trades the entire global value of all the corporations in a matter of three weeks....That is, the value of all the shares on all the exchanges changes hands as trades in currencies every three weeks, and traders of course 'win' and 'lose' at the margins, but those who manage the trades always 'earn' their commission...

    Where is the value in this?

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  • 66. At 4:16pm on 09 Jun 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    59 Looternite. "You and Yours" today: see;

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/you-and-yours/

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  • 67. At 4:21pm on 09 Jun 2010, SirStarryKnight wrote:

    I agree with IMOORE (#11). We do not have a shortage of housing, we have too many people. Most of the projected population increase for the UK is expected to be in the form of immigration. I know it's a blue-pencil word these days, but there it is. And the longer politicians shy away from this thorny issue, the worse the housing etc problem will become.
    Unfortunately we seem to have landed ourselves with another gutless government.

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  • 68. At 4:26pm on 09 Jun 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    54.

    "hired for the simple reason that insufficient numbers of UK-born citizens are applying for the jobs."

    You ended the sentence too early, it should have gone..... “hired for the simple reason that insufficient numbers of UK-born citizens are applying for the jobs for the money on offer.”

    It irritates me no end that people accept the argument that British people won't work. No they won't work for the money on offer. Why is it that the market principle is used as an argument to incentivise senior management with multi million pound salary packages, yet it is set aside for the low paid, and rather than coming to the conclusion when they can't get staff for the money on offer and raising salary levels to attract people to the jobs, they instead ship in low paid immigrants? In fact half of the argument I make is actually accepted. The half of the argument of why immigrants come here, FOR THE MONEY, the Eastern European immigrants were earning at a level that could purchase them 10 times that which they could get back home, and a few years working here would buy them a house back home. Yet the British worker who they would be working along side of would get very poor purchasing power for the money he was earning for his family. You pay a British worker 10 times that he was used to, and sufficient to buy his house after 5 years work, I think you would get people queuing up around the block for the jobs and working bloody hard. Don't you?

    Personally I think it is a form of class racism at work. George Orwell wrote in 1941 saying "England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality", I think there is something of this and class politics wrapped up in the issue, where rather than defending our own people, we have an establishment who prefer to give them a good kicking, whether from the right or left.

    We have become a country that is mass immigration junkies, where employers rather than being told to pay higher wages to attract the staff, instead get Governments to ship in low paid immigrants. Of course this lowers the wages and increases the base cost of living, which leads to even more calls for low paid immigrant labour to quick fix the problem. Of course immigrant labour, if they stick around, soon see the problem, as they join the ranks of 'lazy' British people who won't work for the money on offer.

    And of course most nauseating of all we get the people who have been the proponents of mass immigration, then wringing their hands in concern about the widening wealth gap.



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  • 69. At 4:33pm on 09 Jun 2010, MoC wrote:

    Big Sis@64 - sadly, I am vehemently anti-facebook. But I take your point re modding. I suppose the first thing we should do is read it (and weep?)
    SSK@67 - Immigration is "a blue-pencil word"? Wotaloadof. But if you spout nonsense on any topic, you'd better be ready to be corrected. That's not 'blue-pencil', that's someone doing you a favour by helping you with your education. The only immigration problem we have is that we don't have enough immigration. Meanwhile, as invited by Dull Dave, I've sent him a suggestion that all current UK residents (regardless of race, creed or class) who fail to pass my Critical Thinking Aptitude Test should be thrown out of the UK and forcibly resettled in Kentucky or Southern Carolina. Plenty of space for them there, we'd have plenty of space here for immigrants and society would be so much more pleasant. We're all in this together!

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  • 70. At 4:34pm on 09 Jun 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    68 - You accept without demur the proposition that "you can soak the rich, but that has been shown to not generate the tax income but in fact does the opposite" - when this is, we are told, largely due to the fact that people can migrate to places of higher remuneration - or simply cause their income to do so. But when poorer people do the same by migrating here "it irritates you no end". Why?

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  • 71. At 4:39pm on 09 Jun 2010, mittfh wrote:

    68. IMOORE

    But with house and utility bills so high (in both Worcestershire and Warwickshire, it's difficult to buy any property for less than £100k unless it's unmortgageable e.g. of concrete construction), how could the agricultural companies afford to pay their workers a comparative salary without raising prices to the level that inflation rises to staggeringly high levels?

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  • 72. At 4:41pm on 09 Jun 2010, U14450706 wrote:

    58. MadnessOfCrowds

    • "The Meaning of Cameron is an unmasking of the false politics Cameron embodies, and an examination of the face the mask has eaten into'. "

    Not only part blair, then.

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  • 73. At 4:42pm on 09 Jun 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    I think you miss the point.

    I think, were she free to say so, Dianne would answer Yes to the first three questions.

    You can answer the fifth.

    The Q for the top jobs is round the block twice.

    I have no doubts about my support for Dianne Abbott against the other cnadidates.

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  • 74. At 4:49pm on 09 Jun 2010, U14450706 wrote:

    Perspective

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  • 75. At 4:50pm on 09 Jun 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    70.

    No I don't blame the immigrants for wanting to come here to work, what irritates me is all the people who claim that British people won't work. No, they won't work for the money on offer.

    I do blame the British establishment for allowing this situation to have developed. In the past the battle between left and right helped the country, as there was a balance between what was good for industry and what was good for employees. But when the national interest was weakened with the likes of the EU, the battle between left and right became a liability to the people of this country, for the capitalist globalist right got what they wanted, and the internationalist left got what they wanted, but the working people of this country got well and truly screwed between the two of them.


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  • 76. At 5:02pm on 09 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    69: Twitter? :o)

    73: By all means support Diane Abbott. But, while she is left wing, she will not be in total accord with your views, so be prepared for disappointment. I admire her (as I think I've already made clear), but she's as fallible as the rest of us, as was made clear in her choice of education for her child. Her roots are very middle class (not a problem with you, I'm sure) and she went to Cambridge, an institution you seem to hate. Of course, she did all this based on her talent and ability, along with some (not all) other working and middle class women. I know no women, in fact, who haven't made advances in society without being very able. I know quite a few mediocre men who have got on very well because they were well connected.

    Moral of the story? Don't make sweeping assumptions.

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  • 77. At 5:04pm on 09 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Oh, and I'm pretty confident that Diane considers herself completely free to express her views on any and everything. To suggest otherwise is to underestimate the woman.

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  • 78. At 5:06pm on 09 Jun 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    71.

    We have an example of this in our history, the Black Death. Here the loss of thirty percent of the population led to a massive redistribution of wealth, where the peasant labour got the whip hand in the employment market. The result though was good for the economy, not only did we get more disposable income for the average people, the loss of cheap labour forced changes on industry and agriculture that made English agriculture the most productive in Europe.

    Mass immigration is just a quick fix, in the long run it damages our competitiveness, for rather than necessity being the mother of invention, where we saw mechanisation driving productivity in the 17th centaury, mass immigration is blunting this necessity now, and rather necessity making us do things differently , we instead allow industry ship in another batch of low paid immigrants and keep on doing the same things in the same way. This is not good for our economy in the long run.


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  • 79. At 5:08pm on 09 Jun 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    75 We agree that there's a double standard in public rhetoric;

    "Why is it that the market principle is used as an argument to incentivise senior management with multi million pound salary packages, yet it is set aside for the low paid...?"

    (It's "incite", by the way!) Now, I am suggesting that this "market principle" is a side-effect of economic over-reliance upon that very market, the "deregulated square mile", whereas you deny it has been deregulated at all and have never criticised it.

    And I am saying that the perception that "soaking the rich does not generate the tax income" depends upon a more insidious kind of economic migration, whereas you appear to accept it as a fact of life. Therefore you appear to favour light taxes on the rich and heavy taxes on the poor, which cannot possibly relieve the situation of the British worker you describe but must quickly and seriously aggravate it.

    If you are saying that actual immigration is a mere side-effect, a side-show that we should ignore, then by all means let us do so.

    You may care to note another reason for it; that the relative values of currencies are not determined by actual value but, once again, by money markets.

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  • 80. At 5:10pm on 09 Jun 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Big sis,

    Thanks for the Diane Abbott link. Lol. She ought to let her lighter side out more often in public.

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  • 81. At 5:16pm on 09 Jun 2010, U14450706 wrote:

    76. Big Sister

    • "I know no women, in fact, who haven't made advances in society without being very able."

    One too many negatives, methinks.
    ;-)

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  • 82. At 5:19pm on 09 Jun 2010, U14450706 wrote:

    79. redheylin

    • "You may care to note another reason for it; that the relative values of currencies are not determined by actual value but, once again, by money markets."


    Indeed, why else is it possible for us to 'earn' in a few minutes an amount which exceeds a week's wages for an average third-worlder?

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  • 83. At 5:22pm on 09 Jun 2010, Frank_Davis wrote:

    The report that the smoking ban has prevented 1200 heart attacks in a year is junk science. There is no reason to place any credibility in it. The incidence of heart attacks has been falling for some time, long before any smoking ban was imposed. The smoking ban hasn't even accelerated that decline. Read Chris Snowdon's detailed refutation.

    Frank Davis

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  • 84. At 5:34pm on 09 Jun 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    There seem to me to be two routes to Oxbridge. one by privelege, one by technical expertise.

    The problem is that the technocratic path demands such ideological compromises in the techocrats but ofcourse not in the priveleged.

    The problem used to be thought to be one only in the social sciences and humanities on the grounds that the ideological commitment of scientists and mathematicians was less crucial to their progress.
    We can see that that is false now. The 'contribution' of Cambridge maths graduates to, first, nuclear solutions, and more lately to financial economics tells us so. Ecology and education have been confirming it for years.

    I think DA has managed to smuggle herself through this system avoiding all the tosh her tutor threw at her - at the cost of course of the class of her degree.

    I think her answers to 1 to 3 of my qustions above would be Yes if she were asked as Prime Minister.

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  • 85. At 5:41pm on 09 Jun 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    The question

    'Who should produce what for whom, and how?'

    cannot be answered by markets

    but by a politcal system in which everyone
    does what they should .

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  • 86. At 5:44pm on 09 Jun 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    I gave up smoking only to find nine months later I developed angina. When I explained this to my cardiac nurse she gave a knowing shake of her head and a familiar expression as she said,"its not unusual". I took this to mean that actually giving up smoking could act as a trigger of some kind. It would be interesting to see if any research has been done on this.

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  • 87. At 5:47pm on 09 Jun 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    The immediate task for the Labour Party is to resist cuts this year absolutely.

    The Lib Dem Con is a dictatorial scam.

    An absolute majority voted against it

    It is being implemented by Alexander who followed Laws. 'Nuff said.

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  • 88. At 5:48pm on 09 Jun 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    78 - Interesting interpretation of that period of history. I seem to recall that teh peasants' rebellion (which followed our early flirtations with the black death) were entirely because nothing had happened to better the lot of the peasants.

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  • 89. At 5:50pm on 09 Jun 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    ETE (85) is this what you mean ;-)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJa7VzfWJQg

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  • 90. At 5:50pm on 09 Jun 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    73 - EtE - but you would presumably be happier had she been to the local secondary modern and subsequently dropped out of Thames Poly, yes?

    ;-)

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  • 91. At 5:51pm on 09 Jun 2010, U14450706 wrote:

    87. ExpectingtheEnd

    • "The immediate task for the Labour Party is to
      [admit that]
      An absolute majority voted against it"

    ;-)

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  • 92. At 5:53pm on 09 Jun 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    85 - EtE - I admire your remaining confidence in a system tried in so many countries and which has failed in every single one!

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  • 93. At 6:50pm on 09 Jun 2010, Jonathan Morse wrote:

    Shouldn't all the parties admit that an absolute majority voted against them?

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  • 94. At 6:50pm on 09 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Tufty (81) to exclude a negative would make completely the opposite point. But it is a cumbersome sentence, nonetheless. Let me try it a different way:

    "All the women I know who have made advances in society have been very able."


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  • 95. At 7:02pm on 09 Jun 2010, U14450706 wrote:

    94. Big Sister

    • ""All the women I know who have made advances in society have been very able.""

    or
    "I know no women, in fact, who have made advances in society without being very able."

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  • 96. At 7:31pm on 09 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    95: You're probably right, but my brain is so addled today with other things that I really can't be bothered to think about it any more. Sorry! :o)

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  • 97. At 00:18am on 10 Jun 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    An absoute maority voted against the economic policy of these TWO parties!!!

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  • 98. At 07:58am on 10 Jun 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    97 - Didn't an absolute majority vote against any two parties?

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  • 99. At 09:30am on 10 Jun 2010, Fearless Fred wrote:

    98 - Or: an absolute majority voted against each of the parties.

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  • 100. At 4:31pm on 10 Jun 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    This is surely the version for the campaign manager of the Women's Candidate, Dianne, our next Prime Minister:


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJZ5fFVO86A

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