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Eddie Mair | 17:55 UK time, Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Every weeknight after PM, the production team meets in a Glass Box to talk about the programme...a frank and civilised discussion about what worked and what didn't. Please contribute your thoughts on this subject in a similar spirit.


Comments

  • 1. At 6:04pm on 21 Sep 2010, MoC wrote:

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

  • 2. At 6:07pm on 21 Sep 2010, Sindy wrote:


    I've always wondered if PM was really live. Thanks for clearing that up.

    And well done to Paddy Ashdown for keeping cool in response to a characteristically predictable display from CQ.

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  • 3. At 6:08pm on 21 Sep 2010, bigbuzzard wrote:

    It's a long time since I watched any snooker, but this is unbelievable. Genius and chutzpah like I don't think I've ever seen. Thanks for covering it. Here's the whole thing on video. He didn't really take that much persuading to finish it off.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2010/sep/21/ronnie-osullivan-147-break

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  • 4. At 6:10pm on 21 Sep 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    Poor Carolyn, there seemed to be a Leslie Philips moment there in her interview with Paddy Ashdown - quite scary!

    Excellent programme again, thank you.

    The story of Eileen Nearne is remarkable - I wonder what she thought of it all as she looked down from the world beyond? (please forgive the assumptions in that musing)

    And the exclusive, well to be frank we all knew this sort of thing has being going on for years.

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  • 5. At 6:11pm on 21 Sep 2010, MoC wrote:

    Hi, Sid@2 - did you agree with Paddy's answers? And did you agree with Nick's answers to Justin W earlier today?

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  • 6. At 6:18pm on 21 Sep 2010, Sindy wrote:

    5. MadnessOfCrowds
    "did you agree with Paddy's answers? And did you agree with Nick's answers to Justin W earlier today?"

    (a) by and large; (b) didn't hear him - what did he say? (I tried to answer on the other thread, having just got in from work - but it's closed.)

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  • 7. At 6:18pm on 21 Sep 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    being = been (too eager after all the excitement)

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  • 8. At 6:24pm on 21 Sep 2010, lakeside63 wrote:

    Please could you tell me who decided, and when that the Union Jack should become the Union Flag.
    We are historically a maritime nation and this slow erotion of our traditions does not bode well for our national pride.

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  • 9. At 6:29pm on 21 Sep 2010, MoC wrote:

    Sid,have a listen on LA for Today. Good interview. Justin W asked 2 very specific questions. Nick obfuscated on both. I'm afraid he comes across very poorly when being pinned down. Sadly, he seems to adopting both Blair's speech patterns and Cameron's "I want" toddler-psychology. I used to think he was a bit wet behind the ears; now my thoughts are less kind.
    Anyway, thank Biddy for BBC Radio 4 news programmes.

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  • 10. At 6:32pm on 21 Sep 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    8 - It is the Union Flag and technically only known as the Union Jack when flown at the jackstaff of a ship (ie up at the pointy end).

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  • 11. At 6:40pm on 21 Sep 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    3 - There is a long and honourable tradition of snooker on the radio. Dave Lee Travis, if memory serves. ;-)

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  • 12. At 6:42pm on 21 Sep 2010, Sindy wrote:

    10. Alan_N
    "... only known as the Union Jack ..."

    Not so.

    'The Flag Institute, the vexillological organisation for the United Kingdom, stated that the term Union Flag is a "relatively recent idea". Jack was a word previously used to denote any flag.'

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

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  • 13. At 6:49pm on 21 Sep 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    Whilst I bow to their undoubted (not to mention self-appointed) wisdom, I'm not sure I am convinced. Jacks were traditionally flown at the front and ensigns at the back and contemporary accounts from Nelson's day (and earlier) are full of references along those lines. What they called the ones flown at the gaff and masthead I have no idea, but we can call them Jacks too if it makes the Flag Institute feel any better!

    Vexillological?? Sheesh.

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  • 14. At 7:02pm on 21 Sep 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    Don't believe everything you read on Wikipedia

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  • 15. At 7:04pm on 21 Sep 2010, U14519596 wrote:

    9. MadnessOfCrowds

    • "Sadly, he seems to adopting both Blair's speech patterns "


    And, watching on TV last night, the body language was very reminiscent if al Toady the poodle.

    Sad, really
    ;-(

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  • 16. At 7:14pm on 21 Sep 2010, Sindy wrote:

    14. Ellis P Otter
    "The Flag Institute"

    "It is often stated that the Union Flag should only be described as the Union Jack when flown in the bows of a warship, but this is a relatively recent idea. From early in its life the Admiralty itself frequently referred to the flag as the Union Jack, whatever its use, and in 1902 an Admiralty Circular announced that Their Lordships had decided that either name could be used officially. Such use was given Parliamentary approval in 1908 when it was stated that "the Union Jack should be regarded as the National flag"."

    http://www.flaginstitute.org/index.php?location=7.2

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  • 17. At 7:23pm on 21 Sep 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    Sid, I was just making a general remark ;-)

    But, what on Earth does this have to do with whether the programme worked well or not?

    I sympathise with Eddie and his frequent encouragement to stick to the subject in hand.

    Go to the Furrowed Brow if you want to argue about flags and their names,
    the Beach if you want to relax.

    The Glass Box is for "a frank and civilised discussion about what worked and what didn't" in the programme.

    How hard is it to get this into your head?

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  • 18. At 7:52pm on 21 Sep 2010, elcej wrote:

    9 MoC wrote Nick Clegg "comes across very poorly when being pinned down"

    I think you might be confusing the ability to answer questions adequately with the ability to provide answers that are politically aligned to your own point of view.

    The problem is that you are so tribal that you hate everything he says before he's even said it. Usage of the nickname "ConDem" is a perfect example of childish, blinked vision. If you disagree with what Nick Clegg says then enlighten us on the way forward rather than just saying..... "that Nick Clegg, he's really poo poo pants"

    It is so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so boring when all we hear is criticism of the government just because your political ideal didn't win the election.

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  • 19. At 8:10pm on 21 Sep 2010, Gillianian wrote:

    Ellis P Otter (4) re Leslie Philips - that's what went through my mind too. I don't remember Mr Ashdown ever sounding so oleaginous. *shudder*

    I enjoyed the programme - but the exclusive was over-hyped, in my opinion. I kept listening, hoping for a revelation or two, but we didn't really hear anything new.

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  • 20. At 8:17pm on 21 Sep 2010, Anne P wrote:

    Agree the exclusive was a bit overhyped especially since the interviewee was rather short on specifics. Sad that none of it really surprises.

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  • 21. At 8:23pm on 21 Sep 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Ellis@17: hear, hear!

    Gillianian@19: agree re. your para 2. Thought it a bit of a waste of air time.

    Very much enjoyed the piece about Eileen Nearne - was driving and kept tearing up. How many more wonderful people like her are out there who should be honoured now, in their lifetime, not at their funeral when they will (very sadly) know nothing about it? What an absolute gem she must have been and to die alone like that - just breaks my heart. Could someone please confirm that she has been listed for some posthumous gong? Also confirm that others equally as wonderful are sought out now, before it is too late?

    Good programme overall - did have such a sympathy dive for poor Carolyn but thought Eddie managed situation brilliantly (no surprise!). Also rather shocked at the state of the "flats" (so called) for the participants in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. NZ and Scotland moved to other premises but, God love them, the English rolled up their sleeves and scrubbed their own loos. Indomitable spirit of the English at their best.

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  • 22. At 9:29pm on 21 Sep 2010, Thruns_Guinneabottle wrote:

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

  • 23. At 9:48pm on 21 Sep 2010, MoC wrote:

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

  • 24. At 10:39pm on 21 Sep 2010, newlach wrote:

    The man who committed many crimes on behalf of journalists did not get much of a sentence. I can understand why journalists use the methods they do to get information, but when the people being investigated are not criminals but merely "celebrities" tough deterrent sentences are necessary.

    Liked the piece on snooker.

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  • 25. At 10:50pm on 21 Sep 2010, Sindy wrote:

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

  • 26. At 10:59pm on 21 Sep 2010, Sindy wrote:

    22. Thruns_Guinneabottle

    That's the second (or possibly third) time you've said that. Do you think it's clever?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2010/08/am_glass_box_166.shtml#P99689116

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  • 27. At 11:01pm on 21 Sep 2010, Sindy wrote:

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

  • 28. At 11:10pm on 21 Sep 2010, Sindy wrote:


    '...a frank and civilised discussion about what worked and what didn't. Please contribute your thoughts on this subject in a similar spirit.'

    Hmmmm.

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  • 29. At 11:14pm on 21 Sep 2010, elcej wrote:

    23. MoC

    Yes!

    Don't just drone on.
    Be part of the solution.
    Don't just criticise.
    Enlighten us all.


    I challenge you.
    Tell us just one new policy of the current coalition government you like.

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  • 30. At 11:14pm on 21 Sep 2010, skoubhie_dubh wrote:

    #21. Lady Sue wrote:

    "Also rather shocked at the state of the "flats" (so called) for the participants in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. NZ and Scotland moved to other premises but, God love them, the English rolled up their sleeves and scrubbed their own loos. Indomitable spirit of the English at their best."


    Mmmmmm!!!! or are they just copy cats?

    quote from BBC Scotland website.

    "After representation to the Organising Committee, Scotland was reallocated finished accommodation, but which still required serious cleaning and maintenance to bring it up to the necessary Games ready standards.

    "This has now been largely addressed by the Scotland team management, cleaning the seven-storey tower block from top to bottom themselves with assistance from Delhi Games volunteers.

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  • 31. At 11:26pm on 21 Sep 2010, skoubhie_dubh wrote:

    #22. At 9:29pm on 21 Sep 2010, Thruns_Guinneabottle wrote:

    "Some Liberals are evidently unhappy with their participation in a coalition with the conservatives. But it has to be a great leap forward. After all, their previous collaboration was with Saddam Hussein."


    Their other great participation was with the Labour party in Hollyrood. Strangely enough, they seem to be making rumblings and policy changes in the hope of re-accommodate that position after May's elections in an attempt to keep the SNP out of office and I assume still have some power in Scotland as the wee-est big party here - not unlike down south just now.

    Now, how does that situation work. In coalition with the Tories in the UK making the massive cuts and in coalition with Labour in Scotland opposing the cuts and recommending more spending. Having a policy for the UK that is the exact opposite to that in Scotland. How can they argue both sides of the coin and keep the minute credability they have left? Someone should have a work with dear Vince who has said recently that he would not work with Labour anytime soon.

    Maybe they should have just stuck with Saddam. Life would have been so much simpler.

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  • 32. At 11:33pm on 21 Sep 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    I give up. This box is obviously not about the programme it's the Clapham Omnibus.

    28 - Sid, Yes, it was me.

    Can you honestly expect the producers to read through all this drivel after spending a full day's work co-ordinating a programme from two locations and collecting interviews as and where they gather them?

    We are fortunate to be provided with a forum to air our views and should treat it with the respect the professional team behind the programme deserves and not use it to mount our own soap box for our own particular gripe of the day.

    Right... that said - I'll just take this rather large soap box off to the Beach.

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  • 33. At 11:57pm on 21 Sep 2010, U14519596 wrote:

    17. Ellis P Otter

    • "But, what on Earth does this have to do with whether the programme worked well or not?"


    To be fair Ellis, Sid was answering Alan who was answering Lakeside's question at #8. Did you have a specially irritating day or something?

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  • 34. At 00:49am on 22 Sep 2010, jonnie wrote:

    Brushing my teeth during the Carolyn moment! Sounded to me like a BH error on the fader?

    Glad Eddie stayed with it.

    No offence to Eddie who I adore as a presenter, and not about tonights programme, but generally I'm getting the impression of a Scottish news overload.

    Posssibly more from last nights PM and the BBC in general - but do or did we ever have a BBC England?

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  • 35. At 00:51am on 22 Sep 2010, jonnie wrote:

    Re: the Carolyn Quinn above (last post) I meant a TV Centre error for the pedants.... ;-)

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  • 36. At 00:58am on 22 Sep 2010, skoubhie_dubh wrote:

    #34. jonnie wrote:

    "but generally I'm getting the impression of a Scottish news overload."

    aye well, could you send some of it back home to Scotland because all we get here is English Education and cricket.

    Even the fire in the Dundee hospital that meant the evacuation of 5 floors of patients was more or less overlooked because of the cricket. If this had happened in a London hospital could you imagine that it would not make the national news?

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  • 37. At 01:24am on 22 Sep 2010, U14595260 wrote:

    Goodness, what a moment!

    Signed in, and mis-checked my name - thought I was Madness of Crowds, given 1. and the hour! (:-)
    And there was me abou tto welcome Vince Cable to the Marxist fold.

    World unity in absolute equality and total freedom and individual fulfulment.

    The Labour Party IS for disaffected liberals who want the end of capitalism and world equality. Now!

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  • 38. At 05:45am on 22 Sep 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    skoubhie_dubh@36: good heavens! Certainly sounds like that hospital fire should have been covered instead of the cricket.

    SandR: "Signed in, and mis-checked my name - thought I was Madness of Crowds, given 1. and the hour!" Hardly surprising when you have had so many different names.

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  • 39. At 07:09am on 22 Sep 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    16 - Sid - Many thanks. From the same link as your quote:

    There are various theories as how it became known as the 'Union Jack', but most of the evidence points to the name being derived from the use of the word 'jack' as a diminutive. This word was in use before 1600 to describe a small flag flown from the small mast mounted on the bowsprit, and by 1627 it appears that a small version of the Union flag was commonly flown in this position.

    Thus it seems clear that the early 20th century edict by the Admiralty was the formal codification of a universal practice and that the flag had been known colloquially as the Union Jack since “before 1600”, which is hardly recent. The evidence is in the contemporary texts that I mentioned.

    That’s enough deep nerding for one day ;-)

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  • 40. At 07:19am on 22 Sep 2010, lucien desgai wrote:

    As a Londoner I'm often frustrated by the paucity of coverage of London government and politics. The activities of the boroughs and the London Assembly are virtually ignored and coverage of the mayor rarely extends beyond Boris's pr inspired silliness. The BBC London news site is far less comprehensive than that for Scotland despite having a larger population and despite London being far more culturally distinct from the wider UK than any other UK region or nation.

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  • 41. At 07:42am on 22 Sep 2010, MoC wrote:

    ej@29 - I believe I have already posted my approval of many of Nick's policies: cancelling Trident, more intelligent approach to cuts with investment in job creation, property tax and many more. Sadly, Dave doesn't agree with me so we won't be seeing those intelligent suggestions enacted.
    As for enacted ConDem policies? Detention centre changes undoubedly. I'm at a loss to praise any others and I find many of them ill thought out.

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  • 42. At 07:55am on 22 Sep 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    41 - You have, but not as often as you have posted along the lines of your 9 above.

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  • 43. At 07:55am on 22 Sep 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    For Wednesday.

    Vince Cable, PWC and immigration:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8077579.stm

    The use of immigrant IT workers to the detriment of IT workers here was discussed on File on Four.

    Why can't PWC use graduates of British universities?

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  • 44. At 07:59am on 22 Sep 2010, MoC wrote:

    42 - true... and if only Nick had stuck to his 'principles' too.
    43 - UK graduates ... presumably because they lack necessary skills? e.g., fluency in foreign languages, ability to comfortably work with different cultures, ability to take part in conversations about topics other than reality TV, ability to speak good English in like a way that like other like people can like understand. Perhaps

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  • 45. At 08:02am on 22 Sep 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    44 - He did, but he is in a coalition, which you seem to struggle with. Either way, I think it's the endless name calling that turns people off to your argument.

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  • 46. At 08:03am on 22 Sep 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    How are graduates supposed to get experience if big business can just import workers from abroad?

    How many fewer graduates would be stacking shelves in shops or sitting by phones in call centres if they could get jobs where they gained proper experience?

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  • 47. At 08:08am on 22 Sep 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    If I understood the lady from PWC correctly, she was saying that they employed foreign graduates (American lawyers was the example used) with expertise that is not available at home.

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  • 48. At 08:11am on 22 Sep 2010, MoC wrote:

    Alan_N@45 - perhaps. Endless muddled thinking and endless lack of logic turns me off people's arguments.

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  • 49. At 08:48am on 22 Sep 2010, Thruns_Guinneabottle wrote:

    22 - Sid

    I try to say it no more than once per blog. But it IS clever. I say it whenever I hear liberals boasting how they were against the Iraq war. If "Ming" had had his way, we would still be contending with Saddam Hussein in the world. Not to mention his delightful offspring (who were probably staunch liberal voters).

    I think it is a pity we made such a hash of the war. But that is a different question. There are lessons for future conflicts. One of which must be to avoid putting our personnel at risk, until the "enemy" has been thoroughly degraded. This was what happened in our (in my opinion far more illegal) war against Serbia in the previous decade.
    This was a war which the Europeans (European liberals) wanted and called upon the Americans to do the bombing. After seventy days of bombing, the
    Europeans decided it was time to put boots on the ground. By which they meant American boots, of course. The actual "invasion" was almost bloodless, and Serbia is wrested out of the Russian grasp, and seeks a future in the EU. I remember Paddy Ashdown being keen on this war.

    In the invasion of Iraq, lots of Iraqis still thought they had a choice whether to accept the chance of freedom from Saddam (delivered to them by the west) or not. I think the Saddamists and the Islamists were greatly encouraged by the widespread opposition to the war manifested in (an ungrateful) Europe and in this country. In this country the liberals were foremost in the anti-war campaign - along with the BBC.
    Fortunately, the Iraqis have come to realise where their future interests lie.

    As for repeating myself, I kind of hope that all of what I have just said is implicit in my humorous little remark. So I use it as a shorthand for liberal opposition to the removal of Saddam. I think it speaks volumes about the political partiality of BBC, (happily itself not antipathetic towards the concept of repeats), that the corporation currently has it under moderation.

    The fact that you remember my little comment means it must, ipso facto, be memorable
    I call that a result.

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  • 50. At 09:01am on 22 Sep 2010, Thruns_Guinneabottle wrote:

    Driving tests for all - Stainless Seel Cat et al)
    -------------------------------------------------------
    I am between driving tests at the moment. I am between the one I took at age 17, and the one I will have to take when I am umty um (whatever).
    In fact I have driven for over forty years and it is my proud boast that in all that time, I have never hit anything (that wasn't actually stationary at the time). That must be some kind of achievement.

    But I am beginning to think that I am getting a little too absent minded for the open road. I was at the head of the queue of cars waiting at some local traffic lights, recently. At these traffic lights, I am far more frequently, a pedestrian, in the company of my dog, Jasper than a motorist. Jasper always sits at the curb and waits for me to tell him when to cross. I don't even look at the lights. but as soon as I hear the beep beep beep, I know it is time to go.

    As I was waiting in the car, my mind clearly on other matters, I heard the pedestrian beeps and assumed it was my turn to go. So I did. Fortunately, there were no other road users and I got away with it.

    I only realised what I had done after the guy in the car behind me blew his horn at me, and I asked my self why is that stupid idiot blowing his horn.
    It was the fact that I could see him getting smaller in the rear view mirror that gave me the clue.

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  • 51. At 09:04am on 22 Sep 2010, lucien desgai wrote:

    49 Thuruns
    A million dead as a consequence British and American action.
    What a pity, maybe we'll do it better next time.

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  • 52. At 09:19am on 22 Sep 2010, Thruns_Guinneabottle wrote:

    51 - Lucien

    This figure cunningly conceals the truth. Most of this million was muslims killing other muslims. I bet you blame the British "We are now at war with Germany ...." for the six million killed in in German extermination camps.

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  • 53. At 10:41am on 22 Sep 2010, MoC wrote:

    Blimey - the am box closed pretty sharply. I was hoping to suggest an item for tonight (Wed):
    I hope PM will cover the composition of the new Swiss cabinet and ask Dave (or Theresa May on his behalf) why he insists that at least 2/3 of the UK cabinet should be composed of men until the end of this parliament. (Switzerland - not exactly the most progressive country in the world)

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