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Eddie Mair | 07:45 UK time, Tuesday, 29 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 08:03am on 29 Jun 2010, DiY wrote:

    Could the end be in sight for the mozzie?

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  • 2. At 08:04am on 29 Jun 2010, H wrote:

    Who was responsible for having removed a 'break clause' from Fabio Capello's contract, and at whose behest was it done? A potentially very expensive liability, surely? Was it recklessness? If so, who will carry the can for it? My guess is no-one will; isn't it there, in the directorate of the FA that much responsibility for failure lies?

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  • 3. At 08:11am on 29 Jun 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Do the Japanese have an RSPCA equivalent and, if so, would PM ask a spokesperson to comment on the penguin clip posted on yesterday's thread?

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  • 4. At 08:15am on 29 Jun 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    2 - Yes, we definately need more discussion about football...

    ;-)

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  • 5. At 08:25am on 29 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    The ConDem government wants cuts and yet they are talking about Ann Widecombe being amassador to the vatican.
    Come on get real, we are a secular society what the hell do need an ambassador to the vatican for.

    Cut the post and save some money.

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  • 6. At 08:27am on 29 Jun 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    1 - I hope so, but what then to do about the yoofs that hang around outside shops etc intimidating - intentionally or otherwise - potential customers.

    Mrs N and a friend were walking over to the local corner shop a couple of weeks ago and was forced to run the gauntlet of a couple of dozen teenaged boys. The verbal abuse that they suffered was utterly staggering as the poor, put-upon, misunderstood young people competed with each other to see just how repugnant they could make their comments, suggestions and questions; I can't repeat any of it here, but let your imagination go wild and you are no-where close. Needless to say the police were called and had to waste time moving the little darlings on rather than dealing with real crime.

    I agree that the mossie devices are too blunt a tool because they will also be heard by babies and by older but well behaved children. Yes, they impact on the rights of the yoofs concerned. We hear a lot about people's rights, and surprising little about their responsibilities. It also occasioned me to wonder why they think it's OK to treat strangers that way when I am sure that they would not have approved had I behaved in that manner towards their mother, sister or granny.

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  • 7. At 08:30am on 29 Jun 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    5 - Hear hear.

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  • 8. At 08:33am on 29 Jun 2010, Mindclearly wrote:

    5. Loonernite, I think Ann would be better and more in touch with the UK populas (Sid will correct my spelling if its wrong) than others I can think of. Just think if someone like Cherrie Blair got the role ;o)

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  • 9. At 08:40am on 29 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    8. Mindclearly
    I believe being ambassador to the vatican means she gets a to host parties and the highlight of which is to hand out overpriced chocolates from a tray. :-)

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  • 10. At 08:42am on 29 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    Oh dear, have we gone back in time, Tories in power, cuts and Russian spies.

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  • 11. At 08:42am on 29 Jun 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    8 - MC - Sadly Sid has said that he will no longer be joining us. He cites as his principal reason the endless use of abusive nicknames for individuals or organisations which, he believed, impeded reasoned and adult debate. I happen to agree wth him, but that's by the by.

    I forget where exactly he posted his farewell - it was over the weekend sometime. It's a real shame and I hope he reconsiders.

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  • 12. At 08:47am on 29 Jun 2010, Anne P wrote:

    Looternite, I may be wrong, but I think the point is that the Vatican is a state and therefore we are able to have diplomnatic relations with it. So the real issue is why on earth in thes day and age is any religious organisation allowed this kind of political and economic status?

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  • 13. At 08:54am on 29 Jun 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    12 - Anne I think you are quite right. However, there are nearly 200 nations in the world and we don't have nearly 200 Ambassadors, so someone somewhere made a determination that having an Ambassador in the Vatican is more important than, for example, Monaco (which has an honorary British Consul). The thought process that led to that determination is far from clear!

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  • 14. At 08:56am on 29 Jun 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    "But Mr Cameron" retorted the retired gentleman police officer, "I don't need cold weather payments". Mr Cameron, a bit taken aback and somewhat stumped replied, "well these payments have been traditionally paid and people tell us..."But I'm well off enough to not need cold weather payments, bus passes, allowances and the like, I don't need them". Yet, I have to accept them and give them to a united nations charity". Mr Cameron,...None response.

    It is estimated that if the government simply didn't pay universal benefits to those who do not need them, this could save the exchequer up to five billion a year.

    Also it is reckoned that if they had the will to confront tax fraud (a past time only the rich can indulge in) it could net more than bashing vulnerable poor people dependent on benefits. this apart from closing some tax evasion loop holes.

    Mr Cameron, your reply please.

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  • 15. At 08:56am on 29 Jun 2010, Mindclearly wrote:

    12. Anne P, Indeed, yet the Church of England still has seats in the Lords. I personally think there is a need for something, but it should be inclusive. ie less CoE bishops and more from other faiths and then even drop the vatican role, but these are my thoughts based on quick assumptions. Anyhow it would a wrong choice to cut all ties with all religious organisations.

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  • 16. At 08:59am on 29 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    12. Anne P

    The vatican is indeed technically a state however we don't have diplomatic relations with all states.

    I also agree with you regarding your second point, why any religious organisation.

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  • 17. At 09:02am on 29 Jun 2010, Anne P wrote:

    11 - I hadn't realised Sid had gone and I'm very sorry. I've not been reading much of the blog lately as I too found the tone of some of the recent comments hard to take and not in the spirit of reasoned debate that used to be its hallmark.

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  • 18. At 09:04am on 29 Jun 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Political power given to religious organisations. Well the Vatican, Elle Papa, et al do represent and gain the allegiance of lets say 2 or 3 billion catholics. I'm sure this must count for something.

    And if we use the argument that people like the bishops in the house of lords are no democratic mandate, them all those others appointed (not elected) have the same none mandate. So why do people who have a beef about people who have a faith center on just one aspect of the debate?

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  • 19. At 09:05am on 29 Jun 2010, MoC wrote:

    fjd@14 - Mr. Cameron does not make a habit of giving direct answers to direct questions. It would require him to master his briefs. When one has people to do one's bidding, one doesn't need to get one's hands dirty. Perhaps you and I do not feel such entitlement.

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  • 20. At 09:05am on 29 Jun 2010, Anne P wrote:

    15 - I'm not suggesting we don't talk to people because they have a religious affiliation, but that religious organisations should not have overt political status (that includes the C of E but its entanglement with the state would take some sorting out).

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  • 21. At 09:15am on 29 Jun 2010, Mindclearly wrote:

    Anne P, Yes, and the issue for me, (I know I can sound like a like a republican on this type of issue) there is still the Queen as she is the head of the CoE.

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  • 22. At 09:18am on 29 Jun 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    21 - I wonder what they would do if Prince Charles came out as an atheist ;-)

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  • 23. At 09:27am on 29 Jun 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Alan @22
    Nothing, just carry on as normal.

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  • 24. At 09:27am on 29 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    18. funnyJoedunn
    Surely these catholics are also covered by ambassadors in their own countries.

    Cut the post as it is not required.
    Save the money afterall we are all in it together.

    21. Mindclearly

    I have been a long time disestablishmentarian and we need to have clear separation of state and religion.

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  • 25. At 09:42am on 29 Jun 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Looter, @24

    I find it ironic how the United States constitution clearly separates religion from state, (no state funding for religion based schools, community centers, charities and the like) They are not allowed to have religious assemblies in schools or even pray.

    So why does the most capitalistic, business driven economy proudly emblazon on their money,

    'IN GOD WE TRUST'.

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  • 26. At 09:44am on 29 Jun 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    I suppose we have an ambassador to Vatican State because when the Pope speaks, a lot of people listen. Few other leaders have that influence.

    It may be wrong in principle but it is so. In which case, it's probably better to have someone around to know what the thinking in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith before they go off on one!

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  • 27. At 09:45am on 29 Jun 2010, Mindclearly wrote:

    Loonernite, as you know, religion and politics are the two worst dinner discussion and this debate cover the two in one go and, boy what a mess we have currently have on our statute books, in my view.

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  • 28. At 09:56am on 29 Jun 2010, Moray Mint wrote:

    25. funnyJoedunn

    • "So why does the most capitalistic, business driven economy proudly emblazon on their money,

      'IN GOD WE TRUST'."

    It is a non-denominational God. A Deist God, if you will.

    In God we trust, but we also tether our camels.
    ;-)

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  • 29. At 10:00am on 29 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    25. funnyJoedunn
    Because they are hypocrites!

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  • 30. At 10:03am on 29 Jun 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Alan@13: "an Ambassador in the Vatican is more important than, for example, Monaco (which has an honorary British Consul)." As Ellis point out above, when the Pope speaks a lot of people (not only Italians) listen. Very important to have a representative there and Ann Widdicombe is well qualified and, I believe, would make a first rate Ambassador.

    Monaco is tiny and (in international stakes) fairly insignificant politically. A British Consul is (IMHO) the right "level" of representative.

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  • 31. At 10:03am on 29 Jun 2010, CG wrote:

    I see that one of the groups not included in the new immigration controls are religious (workers?). With all the reports of mad mullahs and child abusing Catholic clergy, why is this?

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  • 32. At 10:08am on 29 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    26 EPO
    From this site http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=16391 is the fact that "The post, which comes with an official residence in Rome, was created after the Reformation, yet was not given ambassadorial status until 1982."

    So there you have it the post is very recent and so we got by perfectly well for hundreds of years.

    Scrap the post and give the money saved to me and FJD.

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  • 33. At 10:12am on 29 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    31. bankingballs
    I also noticed that.

    So expect a rise in religious clergy, who work in takeaways.

    The last thing this country needs is more religious leaders with no experience of multiculturism, democracy and free expression.

    That goes for all faiths.

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  • 34. At 10:15am on 29 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    A residence in Rome? Sounds like a nice little number for the lucky Ms W. Can I apply for the post? ;o)

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  • 35. At 10:23am on 29 Jun 2010, Moray Mint wrote:

    Here you go, Sis

    It's a modest house, only a staff of ten or so.... All you need to know

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  • 36. At 10:30am on 29 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    35. Moray Mint
    Lovely jubbly, for some. Can't they just have an office down the road in the British Embassy!

    We are all in it together!!

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  • 37. At 10:31am on 29 Jun 2010, Stewart_M wrote:

    Any chance of interviewing one of the cabinet after their meeting today in Bradford. Ask them how embarrassed they are by the state of the lack of development of this once proud city?

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  • 38. At 10:34am on 29 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    Is this abassador to the vatican an equall oportunity post.

    Would an *atheist gay person be considered.

    *other non christian beliefs are available.

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  • 39. At 10:35am on 29 Jun 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:


    You continue to report this so-called 'government' as if it had constitutional or political authority.

    In fact of course it has neither.

    At the start of this Parliament we, the electorate, had clearly voted for a hung Parliament, so that in electoral terms, in terms of the percentages that each party got, a number of options to us, the people, were available.

    By which I mean a number of options might have commanded a majority in the country.
    1. The Lib Dems might have secured an electoral majority by teaming up with either Labour or Tories.
    2. The Lib Dems could have formed a government, again electorally, and been selective in calling for Labour and Tory support on particular issues.
    3. Equally, the simple stochastic choice between a purely Labour or a purely Tory government might have commanded a majority among us.
    4. Or , indeed, a pure and simple Lib Dem administration.

    The first two could have been delivered by a Parliament constructed on lines of proportional representation.
    The last two might equally well have commanded majority support, but those sorts of views cannot always be delivered by proportional methods.

    With respect to 1. and 2., for three parties, x, a and y, with any two commanding an electoral majority, the alliance of any two commands a majority in the obvious way. That 'a' using x or using y support for different pieces of legislation might instead command majority support, is an intuitively obvious possibility too.

    3. and 4. pan out like this. What our representatives may do in the, then, circumstances was completely unclear to us at the time of the election, and indeed, after the results are declared.

    Thus supporters of x (resp. y) may, then, fear that they will be left out of the government, or that the y's (resp the x's) may be included.

    The supporters of x and y may be so risk loving (think of them as extremes, 'a' as middle ground) that instead of any possibility in 1. or 2. being cooked up by our MPs, and who could tell which would come about (even given proportional representation), they may prefer the 'turn of the card' gamble with government exclusively by x or government exclusively by y as the outcomes. They would prefer the risk of losing or winning outright to the uncertainty of coaltional politics in the House.
    3. can also occur when all the x and y supporters prefer the gamble, x or y, to the middle ground certainty of a.

    Equally, instead of the PROSPECT of any coalition at all, all of us, or at least a majority of us, may prefer the certainty of government purely by the 'a's.

    These risk-regarding possibilities cannot ever be ignored. Deciding on a 'turn of the card' outcome in the face of a safe alternative can be the will of the majority even with full proportional representation - which final outcome proportional representation cannot deliver

    In the shambolic circumstances of the last election and the way the present Parliament is preparing that AV should work, the coalitional intentions of no candidate or party are known. (Calling for STV makes no difference to that sad fact).

    Thus the attitude to risk of every one of us, of every voter, that is, is relevant to the question, which government should emerge, given voters' opinions? These attitudes are completely ignored by the present incumbents in Parliament.


    The present Parliament is then, clearly a travesty without legitimacy.

    We didn't know what we were voting for. Our votes may have meant that we should have coalition government, but which coalition government?

    If the Parliament had any shred of belief in the integrity of the methods that put it in place, it would have implemented representation which reflected the popular vote. This Parliament would thus have reformed itself at least to the extent of implementing proportional representation with candidates declaring their coalitional plans, leaving voters ourselves, via strategic voting, to express our attitudes to risk.

    Labour and Lib Dem combined could still bring it about with the one off cooperation of parties who would benefit representationally from it.

    Instead, an unholy alliance of Tories and turncoats is using the government propaganda machine to make its own existence seem 'necessary' (and indeed seek to justify its disgraceful 'cuts' programme) in the minds of the public.

    At this stage, our openly manipulated so-called public opinion is not worth a light. It is not democratic opinion. It is counterfeit.


    This unconstitutional band of carpet baggers have refused democracy as their way forward and opted for pursuit of power for themselves.
    They superseded a dishonest Parliament no one trusted and now are bent on a road to dictatorship. They are not doing as we wish. They are doing as they will and using government machinery to terrify us into kow towing to their plans. They have not bothered to make possible, by implementing electoral reform, one of the major coalitional possibilities that we, the electorate, might well have decided upon had it been available and which our voting percentages made feasible. (Lab + Lib Dem)

    Instead a group within this already disgraced Parliament has decided to take power to itself by reneging on its own principles and gone into alliance with a group which ruthlessly pursues its own aristo bankster class interests.

    This Parliament is a dictatorship that has no electoral mandate whatsoever. It has got hold of the government information machine and is using it to dictate to us and control us.

    The decsions they have taken, to not even bother to TRY to elicit our opinions about which coalition is best, to ignore completely OUR attitudes to risk and to use the machinery of government, nationally and internationally, to bludgeon us into agreeing with their propagandist views, IS dictatorial. It is dictatorial not just in style or some rhetorical sense, it is dictatorial in that an oligarchy is manipulating public opinion having sneaked its way into power, and within that oilgarchy all are turning to a single view. 'I've changed my mind. I agree with the Leader' is to be heard everywhere in this cabal of the 330. These are the conditions, logical and politcal, for the emergence of a formal dictatorship.


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  • 40. At 10:41am on 29 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    There we are, Sepp Blatter has spoken:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/world_cup_2010/8771294.stm

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  • 41. At 10:41am on 29 Jun 2010, Moray Mint wrote:

    39. ExpectingtheEnd

    • "You continue to report this so-called 'government' as if it had constitutional or political authority.

      In fact of course it has neither."

    Only such authority as gained from the rare fact that more than half those who could be bothered to vote, voted for the constituent parties....

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  • 42. At 10:45am on 29 Jun 2010, Moray Mint wrote:

    36. Looternite

    • "Can't they just have an office down the road in the British Embassy!"

    they are the British Embassy!

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  • 43. At 10:46am on 29 Jun 2010, Anne P wrote:

    Not sure if PM has covered this, tho' I've heard mention elsewhere.

    Plans to create huge industrial agricultural facilities on US lines with many thousands of animals (pigs and cows) held all their lives indoors with never a sight of fresh air, grass or freedom to run around. Of course we are told the highest animal welfare standard will obtain, but how can that be.

    Local opposition to one of these facilities planned for Derbyshire for example
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/derbyshire/10440625.stm

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  • 44. At 10:54am on 29 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    42. Moray Mint

    I meant to say an office down the road in the British Embassy to the Republic of Italy. Which is also in Rome.

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  • 45. At 11:07am on 29 Jun 2010, Moray Mint wrote:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intensive_pig_farming

    http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-recent/6168

    Oink!

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  • 46. At 11:16am on 29 Jun 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/q?s=%5EFTSE

    Ah, the markets we're supposed to be placating responding well to this coalition (whom nobody voted for) comprising the Tories and a party nobody voted for - the turncoat Law-Alexander cuts, Micheal Alexander Brown financed quislings.

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  • 47. At 11:26am on 29 Jun 2010, H wrote:

    4 Alan_N

    Or, maybe definitely not.

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  • 48. At 11:38am on 29 Jun 2010, Moray Mint wrote:

    Pigs might cry...

    Swim for your life!

    ;-(

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  • 49. At 11:40am on 29 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    43: Intensive farming of this kind is both unnecessary and needlessly cruel. I'm not a vegetarian these days (though I was for many years) but could not eat flesh from any form of life that had been forced to live out its days like this. It is a measure of our humanity, for me, that we should insist that animals (and poultry) reared for human consumption should be allowed to live their brief lives as near the norm for them and not made to suffer needlessly. Have we not learned from the evidence of battery farming?

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  • 50. At 11:53am on 29 Jun 2010, Anne P wrote:

    49 - clearly not. Despite all the evidence that smaller scale mixed farming is much better for the planet, the animals and hence us, there will be powerful lobbies pushing spurious arguments that this is the only way to feed the world.

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  • 51. At 11:57am on 29 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    No, Anne, you're right - we (or some of us) haven't. But this is a ridiculous way to feed the world, as I'm sure you realise. It makes much greater sense to grow more cereal and pulses as protein to feed humans rather than feeding penned up animals with it. All we need to do is to learn to eat less meat, and to eat meat more efficiently. It isn't difficult.

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  • 52. At 12:08pm on 29 Jun 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    51.

    There is another way to feed the world, not have rationing, keep on eating meat, but have a smaller population.

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  • 53. At 12:09pm on 29 Jun 2010, Jonathan Morse wrote:

    FIFA's Seth B says they'll review video evidence of games. Although it would have been simple in England's case, there have been a lot of complicated cases in the past, e.g. fake falls to claim a foul, which would make the system more complicated. If you said only obvious cases attracted video decisions that would have helped in our case but how do you define it.

    In a league you could have a post match appeal system with the option of deducting points but you can't do that in a knockout. Perhaps you could have an appeals system in a knockout if you allowed extra time and/or extra penalties or goal concelation after a fixed break for the appeal process, with the game being played on until then.

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  • 54. At 12:13pm on 29 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    IMOORE: So, we feed the world with the surplus humans? Sorry, have I missed something here? ;o)

    I don't know how we can convince everybody to stop procreating. As a childless woman, my hands are clean on this issue, but there's no way I'd advocate telling the rest of the world, regardless of their circumstances, that they can't have a family. And how would it be reinforced? Even China has struggled with its one child policy ... Or are you advocating euthanasia? Enforced sterilisation?

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  • 55. At 12:58pm on 29 Jun 2010, Anne P wrote:

    52 - eating less meat can be accomplished more quickly unless you advocate mass extermination.

    Education of women is the single most effective tool in reducing population size.

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  • 56. At 1:08pm on 29 Jun 2010, darkdesign wrote:

    The percentage of the public who voted for the different members of the Coalition has less meaning, I think, if you consider what they received those votes for. The Lib-Dem section was elected on a manifesto which was the opposite to the policies which they are now implementing. That does not equate to a mandate for their current role, in my view.

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  • 57. At 1:27pm on 29 Jun 2010, Anne P wrote:

    56 - what we have now is a coalition. Do all those who keep moaning about it really want to see it break up in chaos? Do you really think that would be an improvement? I read the three-way split at the election as many voters saying 'a plague on all your houses' and wanting to see politics done in a different way. Why not give it a try.

    None of those who did not vote for the two coalition parties seem to have been able to state clearly and in detail what labour would have done, or done differently, had they been in power - or indeed why they did not do it when they were in power.

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  • 58. At 1:45pm on 29 Jun 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    1. 6. I'm pleased to read that there's no likelihood of it being banned, it's perfectly legal. Teenagers know how to avoid it, they can go away. Having suffered from gangs of the objectionable species recently, thelatest when five of them smashed our garage door in trying to get in to steal, I'd love one. But the price, even of the mini version for householders at £269 is too much for me to afford. An air rifle is cheaper.

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  • 59. At 1:48pm on 29 Jun 2010, Fifi wrote:

    Alan_N (22) : There is an interesting organisation, with the misleading name Sea of Faith. It encompasses everyone from believers to atheists to humanists and every stripe betwixt. And the majority of its members seem to be those who are atheist but who appreciate the social and emotional benefits of religious ritual.

    Many are practising CofE clerics, who apparently manage to do their jobs without believing in what humanists would refer to as an 'imaginary friend'.

    Anne P (43) : I finally gave up on Countryfile after watching an item on this in the strand 'John Craven Investigates'. There was a lot of unchallenged talk of how the cattle are kept on sand, which is more natural than grass for them, and how much better off they are in their lovely indoor home... the animals I saw didn't look happy to me.

    I was reminded of those residential homes Gerry Robinson visited whose benighted inmates were sedated to keep them 'content' with their unstimulating, uncaring, inhumane lot until they died. One wondered whether they would even notice the difference when the time came.

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  • 60. At 1:53pm on 29 Jun 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    33. It's the creed of multculturalism that gave the religionistas their special status.

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  • 61. At 2:02pm on 29 Jun 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    11. What, like 'Boy George' Osbore? Isn't all fair in politics? Don't politicians invite it? I think Sid is too sensitive.

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  • 62. At 2:11pm on 29 Jun 2010, theotherdaughter wrote:

    Alan (11) and Sid if you are reading - heartily agree. I always appreciated your posts.

    tod

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  • 63. At 2:23pm on 29 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    I miss Sid too. I wish he'd reconSIDer ...

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  • 64. At 2:28pm on 29 Jun 2010, Moray Mint wrote:

    57. Anne P

    • "56 - what we have now is a coalition. Do all those who keep moaning about it really want to see it break up in chaos? "

    It is also, to my reckoning, the best possible outcome following the actual voting results. Consider:
    1. A Tory minority administration - unstable and problematic at best.
    2. A "progressive" coalition with a tiny (if any) majority, led by a discredited Labour rump. Unstable and problematic.
    3. A coalition of two quite disparate parties, each (hopefully) tempering the extreme elements of the other, committed to serve the full five years and implement some form of electoral reform.

    I know which of the alternatives I prefer. It may not be ideal, but it's the best available solution to the situation. Let's give it some rope.

    Peace and patience

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  • 65. At 2:39pm on 29 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    61. DoctorDolots
    I'm with you my friend on this, sometimes a nickname sums up someone so succinctly.
    It was not so long ago when Wince Cable called Gordo an insulting name on the floor of the house. Oh, how everyone laughed, apart from Labour supporters of course.

    Lib/Dems and Tories like Hague and others are very quick to dish out the mocking name-calling and yet are somewhat sensitive when they are on the receiving end.

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  • 66. At 2:47pm on 29 Jun 2010, darkdesign wrote:

    While I can see the benefits of coalition, the Lib-Dem campaign was fundamentally against many of the Conservative party policies they are smoothing the way for. Conservative minority government would not be chaos. It might be hard, but at least the checks and balances of open debate in the Commons, for all to see, would replace whatever is being cooked up at Number 10 and, it appears, rubber-stamped by the Lib-Dem section.

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  • 67. At 3:02pm on 29 Jun 2010, Moray Mint wrote:

    66. darkdesign

    • "Conservative minority government would not be chaos."

    No, but it would be unstable, and likely at any time to result in another election. A new election is highly unlikely to give very different (or better) results, and the general economic malaise doesn't really need another six, twelve, or eighteen months of electioneering.

    I am actually a fan of minority government, and the present Scottish situation is a pretty good recommendation. I still come down on the side of the present coalition at Westmidden as the best of a non-ideal set of possibilities.

    All over the world, coalitions are governing with stability and commonsense. It's far more democratic than a "landslide" majority based on slightly more than one third of the vote.

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  • 68. At 3:57pm on 29 Jun 2010, Jonathan Morse wrote:

    Perhaps one of the Labour leadership contenders should offer, if s/he is elected, to seek to split up the current coalition by offering Labour votes for a liblab coalition with what the libdems want, e.g. STV and progressive politics - perhaps even a policy of dealing with the deficit only by raising income tax, not quite Labour election policy but NI is similiar except that Brown went for NI as part of his Machaevellian Machinations.

    I believe that the Nationalist parties won't oppose a liblab minority coalition and I also believe that Labour MP's dumped Brown when he offered the libdems STV because that would loose the Labour MP's their precious safe seats but with a party mandate s/he might be able to push it through.

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  • 69. At 4:05pm on 29 Jun 2010, Mindclearly wrote:

    61. Thick skin is always a hand asset as there are time when a mockery of your sugestion is made. It is progressive politics. Name calling is always part of modern political game otherwise the startrek joke of Dave's, would not of been said in the house.

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  • 70. At 4:16pm on 29 Jun 2010, Moray Mint wrote:


    Global Growth Fears Hit U.S. Markets

    • "Fears about the pace of global growth hit financial markets hard, with stocks sliding and investors stampeding into the safety of the dollar and U.S. government bonds..."

    European Markets Tumble
    • "A wave of nerves ran through Europe's financial markets, sending share prices and the euro lower, while bolstering core European government bonds...."

    Red ink everywhere!

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  • 71. At 4:48pm on 29 Jun 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    61 - Do you? I'm not sure he is. There are many sobriquets that some members here use, some more insulting than others and each clearly depending on the political outlook of the person posting. None of them contribute in any way to the value of the debate or the strength of the point being made. Other members feel that they can make their points without recourse to name calling.

    To use the same example that you chose, the Chancellor's name is Osborne, so why not call him that? I'm sure no-one will be impressed or persuaded by calling him ‘Boy George Osborne’ but using his name - or rather omitting to append a school yard label - implies neither respect for the individual nor endorsement of his or her views. It simply implies manners and the ability to enter into debate without feeling the need to descend into personal attacks based on such irrelevancies as personal appearance or age.

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  • 72. At 4:55pm on 29 Jun 2010, Anne P wrote:

    71 - well said.

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  • 73. At 4:57pm on 29 Jun 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    65 - How amusing - Vince Cable's first name rhymes with Wince. How we laughed... It also rhymes with quince and mince, so presumably there are jelly jokes in our future after which there will be insinuations of homosexuality (or perhaps just recipes for chilli) ;-)

    I appreciate that this is a technique much beloved of 10 year olds and the editors of the redtops, but to test your thesis, how exactly does 'Wince Cable' or 'Gordo' sum up "so succinctly" either of the individuals concerned?

    And what makes you think I am either a tory or a lib/dem?

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  • 74. At 5:05pm on 29 Jun 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    69 - Calling somebody Boy George (because, amusingly, shares the first name of a 1980s pop star and is under 60) or Wince Cable (because his name rhymes with wince) is not, I would suggest, making a mockery of any suggestion, good or bad. It is making an unnecessary personal attack, and I am sure you would never stoop to such a level ;-)

    Interesting that you should bring up the behaviour at PMQs though. There is a school of thought that suggests that one of the reasons that politicians are held in such low regard is what is commonly known as 'Punch and Judy' politics. That’s the trouble with sound bite broadcasting – they will always go for the snappy one liner!

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  • 75. At 5:09pm on 29 Jun 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Anne, awful to read yours @43. What is being done about this? I hope PM find some time (this week) to investigate further.

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  • 76. At 5:22pm on 29 Jun 2010, Anne P wrote:

    75 - I think there is quite a lot of local opposition at the sites in question, as much for noise and smell nuisance as for animal welfare considerations. The Soil Association has recently sent out a questionnaire, which came with my organic veg box, asking whether poeple want their food produced in this way, but they are probably surveying the already convinced unless it also has more general circulation.

    I do think that people who have been interested in the campaign by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall against intensive poultry production might be easily engaged with this issue. Equally if times get hard people are likely to buy more cheap food, rather than less good quality food (or am I being unfair?).

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  • 77. At 5:24pm on 29 Jun 2010, jonnie wrote:

    Re: Sid,

    His last post was on Thursday and in response to Lucien - who I think Sid may have mis-understood?
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    'Quisling Democrats'

    Well, I've tried my best ... but I'm afraid casual abuse like this is more than I can tolerate. I've enjoyed being here, but I enjoy it no longer. Labour supporters utterly unable to see that they were part of the problem. Others who cannot accept that Lib Dems have tried to make things better than they might have been. You'd have preferred a Tory majority government? Good grief. Anyway, I'm out of here. Goodbye and good luck.

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  • 78. At 5:31pm on 29 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    73. Alan_N

    "Wince" is apt as Cable sits on the government benches and surely he must wince at the unliberal policies he is now having to support.
    Don't forget that cartoons and caricature have been feature of British political life for hundreds of years.

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  • 79. At 5:40pm on 29 Jun 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    Must he? I see. Odd then that he was being called that here long before he sat on those benches. What then of 'Gordo' or 'Boy George' or 'Dopey Dave' or PiNickio'? What deep insight do any of these labels give us?

    I havevn't forgotten the long tradition of cartoons or caricature but this is hardly in the same league - it's just being rude about someone you don't agree with for no better reason than because you can.

    77 - Jonnie - I think he understood perfectly.

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  • 80. At 6:02pm on 29 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    79. Alan_N

    The first time I saw "Gordo" was in a posh paper I think, and wasn't it reference to his taking his time to make his mind up. It might be a reference to "Waiting for Godo" a play that I think the redtops would not have referenced.

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  • 81. At 6:04pm on 29 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Er, Looternite, I think it may have been very carefully chosen by someone who knows their Spanish, since 'gordo' means 'fat' in Spanish. Not really appropriate, but then casual abuse is, well, casual.

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  • 82. At 6:11pm on 29 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    79: re the use of the word 'quisling'.

    'Quisling' is defined as "A traitor who serves as the puppet of the enemy occupying his or her country". In the present circumstances, the behaviour of the LibDem leadership may indeed be seen by some as 'quisling'. I believe, as I think Jonnie was trying to say, Lucien did not intend to imply this of Sid, but was commenting on the national situation. However, as Sid hasn't explained himself any further on the matter, I suppose we can only speculate.

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  • 83. At 6:21pm on 29 Jun 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    I also read Lucien's post and whilst that may not have been the intent, that's the way I interpreted the use of the reference. With so much other casual abuse being flung around I may have misinterpreted and if so, Lucien - I apologise.

    Anyway, rant over.

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  • 84. At 6:29pm on 29 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    83: I sincerely don't believe Lucien meant it as a personal attack. Perhaps he'll visit the blog and give us his version?

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  • 85. At 6:32pm on 29 Jun 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    I am sure you are right. At the tie mI took his meaning to be a crude comparison between a party in coalition and a traitor. Seems Sid id as well :-(

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  • 86. At 7:14pm on 29 Jun 2010, lucien desgai wrote:

    'Quisling Democrats' is in a sense a piece of cheap political rhetoric, but I used it as an easy means of highlighting my feelings about, and particularly my anger toward, the Liberal Democrats for their role in forumlating last week's regressive budget. Sid had been active in recent threads defending the LibDems and the coalition and had even deployed a bit of cheap rhetoric himself to mock Labour opponents of his party.

    I made it very clear in my response to Sid that he is someone I have respect for and who I believe is principled and progressive in his beliefs. We have both been at the receiving end of far sharper attacks from others on this blog and there's been more than one occasion when I've stood by Sid's side against such abuse. But if Sid chooses to be a LibDem advocate on these threads then opposition to the LibDems will inevitably be addressed to him.

    I certainly don't regret criticising the Liberal Democrats and their role in sustaining this vicious Tory government and I will continue to criticise them, including the use of cheap political rhetoric wherever (in)appropriate. That said ... I really wish Sid would come back for his witty and interesting contributions on the issues and for some robust debate about the place of the QuisDems in this Tory coalition.

    The original posts can be viewed here.

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  • 87. At 9:37pm on 29 Jun 2010, Mindclearly wrote:

    74 - Alan_N

    I alway thought Gideon was a better first name than George!! Punch and Judy politics is something Cameron will not enjoy being reminded to him in the future I feel.

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  • 88. At 9:49pm on 29 Jun 2010, Anne P wrote:

    87 - so who do you see as the Midianites?

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  • 89. At 9:59pm on 29 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    86 lucien desgai
    Originally I thought that you were a Lib/Dem supporter and only voted otherwise as an anti-tory.
    So I understand why you are critical of the Lib/Dems as they have betrayed at the first oportunity their principles.

    As we say in our family "never trust a liberal".

    I had best not repeat here what we also say about the tories as the mods might have seizures.

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  • 90. At 11:29pm on 29 Jun 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Hm. I see the hidden costs of the Budget are now emerging.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jun/29/budget-job-losses-unemployment-austerity

    1.3 million jobs, eh? And with a leaner, meaner benefit system, it looks like a grim future for those who lose in the jobs lottery.

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  • 91. At 07:38am on 30 Jun 2010, Mindclearly wrote:

    88. One answer is Shoaib

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  • 92. At 08:34am on 30 Jun 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    86 - Lucien - Thanks for presenting your side of the story. Having read many of your posts your views on a wide range of topics are perfectly clear and cogently argued and you have no need to rely on such crude devices as name calling. Leave it to those that can't string a coherent sentence together! ;-)

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  • 93. At 08:42am on 30 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    Reduce prison population by sending all foriegn criminals back to their countries of origin to carry out their sentences in the prisons of their homelands.
    This is in line with their human rights as they would be in touch with their culture and language.
    This also covers EU citizens who come here and commit crimes.

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  • 94. At 08:45am on 30 Jun 2010, Looternite wrote:

    # 93 sorry wrong thread.

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  • 95. At 09:03am on 30 Jun 2010, lucien desgai wrote:

    92 Alan
    Thank you for your kind words, however ...
    Crude and simplistic word plays are my stock in trade; I see no harm in deploying them in the characterisation of political parties.

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