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What has the Commonwealth ever done for YOU?

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Eddie Mair | 16:05 UK time, Monday, 27 September 2010

The Queen: head of the Commonwealth

Very soon the Commonwealth Games will take place - it's hoped without any of the problems that still afflict the preparation.

This Saturday on iPM, we're planning a programme that will try to answer this question:
what has the Commonwealth ever done for YOU? And because it's iPM, the programme that starts with its listeners, we want to look at the Commonwealth not through its institutions but through the experience of people.

The Commonwealth has been around for decades and touched the lives of millions of people. Are you one of them?

Whenever it happened, whatever the experience, what did the Commonwealth do for you? Drop me an email to ipm@bbc.co.uk.


  • 1. At 4:24pm on 27 Sep 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    I think most of us in this country have good reason to be grateful to the Commonwealth, with or without direct experience, since we have all benefitted from the trade links that we had, and continue to have, even post EU membership. And the cultural links, too, have provided this country with a wealth of variety.

    However, I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling uncomfortable in the knowledge of why we have such strong links with the countries within the Commonwealth.

    As a child, I did also live for a few years in a Commonwealth country. The experience certainly broadened my horizons, but that was less because it was part of the Commonwealth than because I'd led a very sheltered existence up to that time. However, I'll never forget those years and the way they have shaped my world view.

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  • 2. At 4:36pm on 27 Sep 2010, annasee wrote:

    I come from a Commonwealth Country. We were pretty sore when Britain joined the Common Market & stopped buying our sheep meat, I can tell you.
    On the plus side, we had a Governor General who was the Queen's representative & lived in an official residence (in fact he had two in different cities) and for some years I used to get work playing the harp at official receptions for guests from all round the world. That was fascinating and I met lots of VIP's, so I guess that's a good legacy of the Commonwealth for me!

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  • 3. At 4:37pm on 27 Sep 2010, U14519596 wrote:

    1. Big Sister

    • "As a child, I did also live for a few years in a Commonwealth country. The experience certainly broadened my horizons, but that was less because it was part of the Commonwealth than because I'd led a very sheltered existence up to that time."

    Snap! And we might just mention the Commonwealth/Empire troops who helped make our present lives possible.


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  • 4. At 4:53pm on 27 Sep 2010, davmcn wrote:

    The Commonwealth has given some people the opportunity to win a medal not good enough to win one in the Olympics.

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  • 5. At 4:55pm on 27 Sep 2010, davmcn wrote:

    BS 1, So don't you live in a Commonwealth country now?

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  • 6. At 5:35pm on 27 Sep 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Like annasee, I also come from a Commonwealth country and, also like her, we were "pretty sore when Britain joined the Common Market & stopped buying our sheep meat" - it felt like a dreadful betrayal.

    Rather than having fond memories of Australia Governor Generals, mine are less than favourable. In 1975 there was a constitutional crisis when the democratically elected Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam and his government, were dismissed by the then Governor-General Sir John Kerr. Until then, Kerr's main role as the Queen's representative had been a rather more "ribbon-cutting" ceremonial one. Tens of thousands of people marched in the streets in protest to his completely unprecedented action - the reports of the protests appeared on page eight of the newspaper and took up only one or two column inches. Media space had already been brought up in advance of the subsequent elections and, no surprise, the opposition won the next election. Shame on them all.

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  • 7. At 5:41pm on 27 Sep 2010, Gillianian wrote:

    When I was a little un, a huge chunk of New Zealand Cheddar cheese was always on my Nan's shopping list when we put her order in at the Home and Colonial grocery shop.
    We had a heck of a job finding anything similar after we joined the Common Market.

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  • 8. At 6:16pm on 27 Sep 2010, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    The Commonwealth, especially Australia and New Zealand, keep me supplied with some very good wines. To demonstrate my gratitude I put away as much of it as is sensible.

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  • 9. At 6:18pm on 27 Sep 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    8 - Hear hear. And as a demonstration ofmy solidarity with my commonwealth brothers and sisters I am drinking some right now. Cheers.

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  • 10. At 7:13pm on 27 Sep 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Ah yes, where would we be without Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc?

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  • 11. At 8:01pm on 27 Sep 2010, U14595260 wrote:

    What have you ever done for the Commonwealth?

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  • 12. At 8:32pm on 27 Sep 2010, elcej wrote:

    I think the best reason for having the Commonwealth is that the USA is excluded.

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  • 13. At 9:24pm on 27 Sep 2010, annasee wrote:

    Ha, I'm enjoying all those comments! Seems like our interest in & appreciation of, the Commonwealth is all to do with food & drink. What better legacy?
    Lady Sue, I remember that crisis too, (though obviously I was a very advanced babe in arms at the time). It was a bad business, & brought no credit on anyone involved.

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  • 14. At 9:46pm on 27 Sep 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    annasee, indeed it did not but I doubt whether the PM team wish to investigate such situations.

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  • 15. At 00:59am on 28 Sep 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    It's a great way of remembering who put in the train lines and phone lines around the world. Full English breakfast in an Indian station - the ultimate legacy. Mind you, I don't know why they call it English - never seen anything like it in this country.

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  • 16. At 01:04am on 28 Sep 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    Come to think of it, the cup of tea - the chicken curry - karma, jungles, pyjamas, pundits and gurus, kiosks, the Koh-i-Noor, India Pale Ale, bungalows, verandahs....

    You know what the trouble is with this country today?

    Too many foreigners...

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  • 17. At 01:13am on 28 Sep 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    .... chutney and brown sauce, Akela, Bagheera and Baloo, Kim O'Hara, Colonel Bloodnok and Freddy Mercury, yoga, Bombay duck, Theosophy, Rabindranath Tagore, the peaceful protest....

    not boring you am I?

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  • 18. At 01:40am on 28 Sep 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    "for we believe that our multi-national association can expand human understanding and understanding among nations, assist in the elimination of discrimination based on differences of race, colour or creed, maintain and strengthen personal liberty, contribute to the enrichment of life for all, and provide a powerful influence for peace among nations" (The Singapore Declaration)

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  • 19. At 07:24am on 28 Sep 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    11 - Well I but their wine, don't I? :-)

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  • 20. At 07:37am on 28 Sep 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    Why do they make the t and y keys so close together?

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  • 21. At 09:29am on 28 Sep 2010, Mindclearly wrote:

    Provided amazing places to visit and assist with an understanding of how our country's past has inflenced other parts of the world. Ghana is one such place where I visited Kumasi with the most amazing botanical gardens.

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  • 22. At 10:24am on 28 Sep 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Why is the UK supporting the Commonwealth Games when India is using underage children to get the construction finished?

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  • 23. At 12:20pm on 28 Sep 2010, mittfh wrote:

    Err...not sure. Considering there's a significant shared history between the UK and the rest of the Commonwealth, and I'm sure there are plenty of links between the countries nowadays (apart from the Games), I'm pretty sure I learned absolutely nothing whatsoever about it at school in the 1980s. In fact, I think my History education was limited to the Great Civilisations (Greeks, Romans, Egyptians etc.) at primary school, together with a potted guide to a few notable monarchs; followed by WWI and WWII at Secondary school. Although I enjoyed history I dropped it at A level as the sixth form syllabus only covered post 1945 history (with an emphasis on the Cold War).

    I have no idea what's on History syllabii nowadays, but it wouldn't surprise me if colonisation / independence / Commonwealth don't feature highly (if at all).


    Of course, the problem with teaching history is that there's so much of it - heck, humanity has been recording aspects of their lives, society, culture and interests for the past 4,000 years. Multiply that by all the regions of the world and some selection must inevitably occur.

    But then again, since Commonwealth countries are popular countries of birth for those born outside the UK and destinations for UK leavers, perhaps Commonwealth should be part of the education system? Let's look at the official statistics:

    Migration statistics 2008 annual report
    Top 10 countries of last residence
    2007: Poland, India, Australia, Pakistan, USA, China, France, Spain, S Africa, Germany
    2008: Poland, India, Germany, Australia, USA, S Africa, Pakistan, China, Spain, Italy

    In both 2007 and 2008, Australia was the top destination for emigrants.

    India and Pakistan are the most popular and third most popular countries of birth for those born outside the UK (Migration Statistics Quarterly Report August 2010)

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  • 24. At 2:28pm on 28 Sep 2010, hetcdr wrote:

    Anyone of my age would be most grateful to the Commonwealth. The men / women of the Commonwealth came to the assistance of the `Mother Country' in her great hour of need. They fought alongside each other when the rest of the world was either `under the Jack-boot' or acquiescing in their determination to take over the world.
    Long Live the Commonwealth of Nations !!


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  • 25. At 4:31pm on 28 Sep 2010, Noisette D Agneau wrote:

    mittfh 23.
    "I have no idea what's on History syllabii nowadays, but it wouldn't surprise me if colonisation / independence / Commonwealth don't feature highly (if at all)."

    History syllabii are of necessity incomplete, and thus subject to the subjective manipulation current/fashionable at any time. In America, it has become natural and necessary to include 'black history', and in Scotland, there is at last an opportunity to include something other than English history...

    But, as you note, there is an awful lot of the stuff.

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  • 26. At 4:38pm on 28 Sep 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    hetcdr@24: "The men / women of the Commonwealth came to the assistance of the `Mother Country' in her great hour of need" and were slaughtered by their tens of thousands for doing so when they were sent in ahead of the British troops.

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  • 27. At 5:05pm on 28 Sep 2010, davmcn wrote:

    AN 19, But is spelled butt in that case.

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  • 28. At 5:09pm on 28 Sep 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    Well, I try to keep it to the bottle rather than the butt, but while the flesh is willing...


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  • 29. At 7:30pm on 28 Sep 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    'Common-wealth', 'wealth in common'

    To use a current popular phrase, 'come off it'.

    We did get a big open prison out of it though. Later it became known as 'the land down under'.

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  • 30. At 8:36pm on 28 Sep 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    (not)funnyJoe: some things (opinions) don't change! I wont rub it in by pointing out that it is the land of opportunities (milk and honey), that your countrymen/women in droves are still chomping at the bit to migrate there... oh and, probably wouldn't let the likes of you in. *tee hee*

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  • 31. At 9:05pm on 28 Sep 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    I wasn't being funny. *tee hee* And why would I want to change my opinions just because you think I should?

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  • 32. At 9:26pm on 28 Sep 2010, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    funnyJoedunn(31) - Joe, you're seldom funny. I've no idea why you think you deserved that moniker in the first place.

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  • 33. At 10:06pm on 28 Sep 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    I don't suppose your a horse either?

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  • 34. At 10:10pm on 28 Sep 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Just been watching a very good panorama about a church cult. The cult wanted everyone in it to say and think only things that didn't upset the apple cart. they didn't want any dissent of any kind that might reveal it;s true nature. Mmm... Just a thought.

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  • 35. At 00:01am on 29 Sep 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    (not)funnyJoe: it continues to amuse me that you think I'm in charge!

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  • 36. At 01:07am on 05 Aug 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    The bits about the Brits not doing as much for local people as the Italians and our disposal of the NFD are priceless! Somali, south, central and swathes of the capital are under Al-Shabaab control.
    The area has a claim to Commonwealth memebership (far more so than Mozambique!) We could do them a favour by calling off the AMISCOM forces (yet another UN mandated to fight and kill anti-Western (Islamic) peoples) and RECOGNISING Al-Shabaab. They'd trust us enough then to accept our help. So we'd be feeding the starving-to-death and stopping killing civilian children, by our putting politics above civilians lives (Again).

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  • 37. At 11:01am on 11 Aug 2011, davmcn wrote:

    fJd 31, She just thinks she's in charge.

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  • 38. At 4:56pm on 11 Aug 2011, davmcn wrote:

    fJd 31, Of course, since I told her so privately, she has cut off all contact with me...and my wife.

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  • 39. At 11:12pm on 17 Aug 2011, Looternite wrote:

    My oldest brother emigrated to Australia in 1973 (Melbourne), married a local and has been there ever since.

    Mind you my Australian niece and her Australian born fiance both ensured that they got British passports so that they can tour and work over here or Europe. So rainy old Britain still has its uses.

    I have been away from these blogs for awhile and I notice FJD is still getting picked on. Nice to hear from you mate, don't let them grind you down.

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  • 40. At 6:36pm on 29 Aug 2011, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Well, well, fiddle de dee. Still an active post.

    For the record. I am in charge.

    Looter: "Nice to hear from you *mate* " Erk.

    I'm sure your para 2 is not *meant* to be inflammatory.

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  • 41. At 02:00am on 30 Aug 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    I can't think of an ethnic group, a group Britain used to colonise, that the Commonwealth has properly compensated.

    Ethnic groups have been turned against each other to preserve the old order's hegemony.

    If any group stands out against that hegemony the agents of the old order will go to any lengths, including illegal execution, to preserve its power. In such cases the fear of the innocent and information control by the guilty can ensure that not even proper protest can be made. So the innocent feel isolated and despair.

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  • 42. At 3:23pm on 30 Aug 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    One of the Big Six became a Commonwealth Prime Minister:


    The rioters were acknowledged as in the right and those who suffered in the riots were compensated by the British government, for years afterwards.

    The Empire in retreat seems to have had a better sense of justice than today's Commonwealth (the hint is in the irony in the name)

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  • 43. At 08:59am on 31 Aug 2011, Big Sister wrote:

    Last week, while in temporary charge, Paddy O'C referred listeners to the PM Blog - as, indeed, has been the custom for the past several years. Yet the Blog is closed for comments - hence having to be 'off topic' here, which appears to be an overlooked haven.

    Is the Blog, or isn't it? 'I post therefore I am', or however you phrase it - something has to happen for something to exist!

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  • 44. At 09:34am on 31 Aug 2011, Rusty wrote:

    I think it needs a drop of oil to get the blog cogs in motion again. ;-)

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  • 45. At 09:58am on 31 Aug 2011, Big Sister wrote:

    Olive, avocado, or hazelnut - take your pick, Rusty ;)

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  • 46. At 10:09am on 31 Aug 2011, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    Lookit here son, I say son, did ya see that hawk after those hens? He scared 'em! That Rhode Island Red turned white. Then blue. Rhode Island. Red, white, and blue. That's a joke, son. A flag waver. You're built too low. The fast ones go over your head. Ya got a hole in your glove. I keep pitchin' 'em and you keep missin' 'em. Ya gotta keep your eye on the ball. Eye. Ball. I almost had a gag, son. Joke, that is.

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  • 47. At 10:15am on 31 Aug 2011, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    Okay, I'll shut up. I'm not one that has to keep talkin'. Some fellas just have to keep their mouths flappin', but not me! I was brought up right, my pa used to tell me "shut up" and I'd shut up! I wouldn't say nothin'! One time, darn-near starved to death - Wouldn't tell him I was hungry!

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  • 48. At 10:25am on 31 Aug 2011, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    What kept, I say what kept ya son! I can't hold my breath forever! I'm not a fish! I gotta breathe air! My lungs crave air! Ya gotta think of things like that, boy!

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  • 49. At 10:35am on 31 Aug 2011, Rusty wrote:

    @Big Sister....cod liver!
    Lots of omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, and very high levels of vitamin A and vitamin D. It is widely taken to ease the symptoms of arthritis and for other health benefits. So it should get these creakin' ol' joints supple again.

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  • 50. At 10:43am on 31 Aug 2011, Big Sister wrote:

    Horse, you got me thinking there. Time for a song, perhaps? Here's one for Annasee:

    There ain't nobody here but us chickens
    There ain't nobody here at all
    So quiet yourself and stop that fuss
    There ain't nobody here but us
    We chickens tryin' to sleep, and you butt in
    And hobble hobble hobble hobble it's a sin

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  • 51. At 11:10am on 31 Aug 2011, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    Hold a chicken in the air
    Stick a deckchair up your nose
    Buy a jumbo jet
    And then bury all your clothes
    Paint your left knee green
    Then extract your wisdom teeth
    Form a string quartet
    And pretend your name is Keith

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  • 52. At 11:25am on 31 Aug 2011, Big Sister wrote:

    On the Ning Nang Nong
    Where the Cows go Bong!
    and the monkeys all say BOO!
    There's a Nong Nang Ning
    Where the trees go Ping!
    And the tea pots jibber jabber joo.
    On the Nong Ning Nang
    All the mice go Clang
    And you just can't catch 'em when they do!

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  • 53. At 11:29am on 31 Aug 2011, Big Sister wrote:

    @52: Nice girl, but about as sharp as a sack of wet mice.

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  • 54. At 11:39am on 31 Aug 2011, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    Why, that boy's about as sharp as a bowling ball.

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  • 55. At 12:16pm on 31 Aug 2011, Big Sister wrote:

    I say, boy, pay attention when I'm talkin' to ya, boy.

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  • 56. At 12:27pm on 31 Aug 2011, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    What's the big... I say, what's the big idea chasin' my worm? You're a cat, son. Cat's don't eat worms. You're takin' the food right outta my mouth! I don't go around chasin' mice!
    [knocks the cat down]
    Stand up boy, you're trippin' over your own feet. Now you stay away from worms and I'll stay away from mice. That's fair and square, and if you'd stop all your arguin' and jawin', you'd see my side of it!
    [pushes the cat up a ladder]
    Yap-yap-yap, keep that mouth flappin' and do no listenin'.
    [the cat falls off the ladder]
    There's nothin' worse than a blabber-mouth cat!

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  • 57. At 12:29pm on 31 Aug 2011, Big Sister wrote:

    Now cut that out boy, or I'll spank you where the feathers are thinnest.

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  • 58. At 1:46pm on 31 Aug 2011, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    Fortunately, I keep my feathers numbered for just such an emergency.

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  • 59. At 1:49pm on 31 Aug 2011, Big Sister wrote:

    Boy, you cover about as much as a flapper's skirt in a high wind.

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  • 60. At 4:10pm on 31 Aug 2011, Rusty wrote:

    TiH, should have worn Speedos.

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  • 61. At 4:18pm on 31 Aug 2011, Big Sister wrote:

    That dog's as subtle as a hand grenade in a barrrel of oat meal.

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  • 62. At 4:46pm on 31 Aug 2011, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    Gal reminds me of the highway between Fort Worth and Dallas. No curves.

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  • 63. At 5:29pm on 31 Aug 2011, Big Sister wrote:

    This boy's more mixed up than a feather in a whirlwind.

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  • 64. At 7:35pm on 31 Aug 2011, mittfh wrote:

    You don't HAVE to be mad to post here...

    ...but it certainly seems to help ;)

    Combining the two threads with another paraphrase of the line from Life of Brian:

    * What has the PM Blog ever done for YOU?

    Time to refresh some memories!

    Did the newsletter arrive in your Inbox before 5;
    And did our comments ever get displayed?
    Did the Day One Beach remember all our posts back in November;
    And was Eddie's "Hi!" to Appy ever made?

    Always listen between five and six (PM, PM, PM, PM)
    That's when Eric gets up to all of his tricks (PM, PM, PM, PM)

    You can listen live online, or in Stereo divine;
    In digital and sometimes long wave too.
    Meanwhile Marc without a K is working tirelessly all day;
    As the BBC would say "It's what we do!"

    Always listen between five and six (PM, PM, PM, PM)
    That's when Eric gets up to all of his tricks (PM, PM, PM, PM)

    For those who like to blog, you can come along and frog;
    With Eric and with Sequin when he's off.
    For even wider reach, you've always got The Beach;
    Where there's camels and there's drinks and food to scoff.

    Always listen between five and six (PM, PM, PM, PM)
    That's when Eric gets up to all of his tricks (PM, PM, PM, PM)

    If life's pushed you too far, drop by the Nick Clarke Bar;
    Or try the purple hammock for a snooze.
    For frolics in the sun, there's always Fido's run;
    To freshen up your mind before the news.

    Always listen between five and six
    (PM, PM, PM, PM)

    Always listen between five and six
    (PM, PM, PM, PM)

    Always listen between five and six
    (hmm hmm, hmm hmm, hmm hmm, hmm hmm)

    Always listen between five and six
    (hmm hmm, hmm hmm, hmm hmm, hmm hmm)
    (That's Fifi's strapline - again!)

    Always listen between five and six
    (Come on Froggers - he's reading out emails out again!)

    Always listen between five and six
    (That camel's pinched my sausage!)

    Always listen between five and six
    (Oh Eddie, that's a lovely rugby shirt!)
    (Hmm hmm, doo doo, doo doo, doo doo)

    Always listen between five and six
    (Oh, I'm off for a paddle - anyone coming?)

    Always listen between five and six
    (I'll come along with ya!)
    (Wait for meeeeeeeeeeeee!)

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  • 65. At 7:46pm on 31 Aug 2011, Stewart_M wrote:

    And don't forget upshares. My cd still not been played :-)

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  • 66. At 7:47pm on 31 Aug 2011, Big Sister wrote:

    Now that's no way for a kid to be wastin his time, readin' that long-haired gobbledegook

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  • 67. At 8:25pm on 31 Aug 2011, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    I think, upon long consideration, that there are two things that the Commonwealth has achieved.

    The Commonwealth has achieved is a legal system adopted by pretty much all of its members that is founded on justice and equality under law.

    For me, personally, that helped me negotiate my way to achieve appropriate results on several occasions in a Commonwealth member country where I had expected a different outcome.

    Secondly, and not quite so importantly to me but essential to many others, is the opportunity that the Commonwealth has given to showcase the voice and skills of those who we don't generally care about in forums and competitions, such as sport.

    If the best thing to come out of the Commonwealth is the Games, so be it!

    In my humble opinion, the best thing about the Commonwealth is that its members are proud to be a part of it and nations, never under the tyranny of Empire, still want to join.

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  • 68. At 10:44pm on 31 Aug 2011, Sindy wrote:

    Time for a quickie at the Nick Clarke bar? I'm paying ...

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  • 69. At 11:13pm on 31 Aug 2011, Stewart_M wrote:

    Sindy, Are you a friend of Samantha? She is waiting to taste the semillon.

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  • 70. At 11:26pm on 31 Aug 2011, Big Sister wrote:

    Forget the semillon - lashings of sauvignon blanc chilling nicely on the bar ;)

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  • 71. At 11:35pm on 31 Aug 2011, Anna Cardium wrote:

    Mine's a Liffey, thanks

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  • 72. At 11:46pm on 31 Aug 2011, Big Sister wrote:

    Fresh from Dublin's shores, especially for you, Anna :o)

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  • 73. At 00:45am on 01 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    It would be worth working out how to bring about the equality of income, wealth and burden of work that a 'Commonwealth' implies.

    It's an easy matter to calculate what average income and wealth are, for Commonwealth citizens and to identify social groups who are clearly unjustly employed. (As David and Ed's father, Ralph, made clear to us - and them both)

    After the credit crunches, share price movement fiascoes etc of recent years it is completely clear that no system of private ownership is ever going to deliver a Commonwealth. Instead we need a responsible system of property rights to guarantee our freedom under equality. Now that the estimable Cable is at subversive work inside the Tory led coalition, policies to that end look easy to achieve. For instance we can bring all the banks into public ownership and use them, after they have repaid their debts to the government, to establish equal wealth holdings. Demands to equalise housing wealth will of course follow.
    Similarly the sequestering of all shares, bonds and other paper wealth holdings would facilitate the equalisation of pensions, something, again, Cable would help with, after the General Election his understanding of the theory of democracy demands.

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  • 74. At 00:49am on 01 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    Overheard on the train to London today:

    1. 'Well, I think Gaddafi's and Murdoch's sons are look-alikes'

    2. '..and I am not going back to that restaurant until they tell me they've found my teeth and they'll send them to me'

    Both people, were, I judge, members of the Commonwealth

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  • 75. At 07:02am on 01 Sep 2011, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Nurse! He's out of bed again!

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  • 76. At 09:11am on 01 Sep 2011, Rusty wrote:

    Hi Mac!

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  • 77. At 09:12am on 01 Sep 2011, Rusty wrote:

    Now, if I can just find my way to NC's I will put on a brew and we can tea and biscuits at 11.

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  • 78. At 09:18am on 01 Sep 2011, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    [the cat is trying to get the worm out of the ground with a tire pump]
    What're you d... I say, what're you doin' with a pump, pumpin' for oil? You're crazy boy! There's no oil in this ground!
    [knocks the cat down]
    Stand up, son. You're fallin' all over yourself. There's no oil five-hundred miles o' here! Geology, the ground's all wrong! Even if there was oil, you'd need a drill not a tire pump!
    [the cat steps on a rake and gets knocked down]
    Oh, you're down again. You gotta learn to stand on your own feet, boy. I may not always be around to help ya.
    [walks away]
    Boy's got a mouth like a cannon, always shootin' it off.

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  • 79. At 09:52am on 01 Sep 2011, Big Sister wrote:

    Hey, give me that! (takes the axe away from the cat) Who do you think you are, George Washington? (hits the cat over the head with the axe) Hm, there's no cherry trees around here.

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  • 80. At 10:18am on 01 Sep 2011, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    Pay attention to me boy - I'm not just talkin' to hear my head roar!

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  • 81. At 10:34am on 01 Sep 2011, Big Sister wrote:


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  • 82. At 12:50pm on 01 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    Gove just doesn't get it!

    What underclass? Such a description just reinforces this inferior cove's superiority complex.
    The problem is the uber class that he belongs to, lording it over us, absorbing resources to their own satisfaction and glorification, a class bereft of morality and decency, degenerate, in power but without authority.

    They exploited Commonwealth peoples in their own countries and then brought them here to exploit them, their children and their grandchildren. Blessed are the poor, white and black, for theirs IS this commonweal.
    I don't want to hear about the sticking plasters offered by upper class toffs and their lackeys, for the wounds thy've created in our society. Let them hear it in every whisper and every shout: 'In the name of God, GO!'... and get proper jobs for the first time!

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  • 83. At 12:54pm on 01 Sep 2011, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    I can, I say, I can run faster than that in high heels *pause* I ain't saying I wear high heels.

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  • 84. At 1:23pm on 01 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    Too loud, too low, Nato warplanes practicing over the Beach (that significant part of the blog commonwealth (which suffers not from privatisation but from the schadenfreude (and tissy fits) of self obsessed BBC careerists)

    Didn't one of these jet monsters (a little one) drop out of the sky the other day at an air show?
    Sectators go there to see the planes and know the risks.
    Here on the Beach that I write from, jets (and Wed. at 10.55 was particularly unnerving - I felt like an Afghani peasant) go supersonic and so low the sand gets blown by them. We're here for sea and sand and wish they weren't
    We've been writing 'No low flying jets' in the sand here for 40 years to my knowledge, but it does no good. I think they just fly lower to read what we say.

    I truly think for the common good of our commonwealth they should Whittle (geddit?) down these flights.

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  • 85. At 1:35pm on 01 Sep 2011, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    Explain yourself! Yer tounge's flappin' but no noise is comin' outa yer big mouth!

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  • 86. At 1:41pm on 01 Sep 2011, Big Sister wrote:

    Boy's as sharp as a pound of wet liver!

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  • 87. At 3:21pm on 01 Sep 2011, Fearless Fred wrote:

    That boy's like taxes: He just don't know when to stop.

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  • 88. At 3:34pm on 01 Sep 2011, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    Kid don't stop talking so much he'll get his tongue sun burned.

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  • 89. At 3:41pm on 01 Sep 2011, Fearless Fred wrote:

    He remi - I say, he reminds me of Paul Revere's ride. A little light in the belfry.

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  • 90. At 3:45pm on 01 Sep 2011, Big Sister wrote:

    Ah'm a rooster, son, not a chicken! Pay at-ah say, pay attention, boy! Ah'm talkin' to ya! Kid doesn't listen to a word Ah say.

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  • 91. At 7:34pm on 01 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 92. At 8:24pm on 01 Sep 2011, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Gosh, what on earth's going on here?

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  • 93. At 9:33pm on 01 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    I see Cable's fight for equality in the Commonwealth now includes waiting till after the next election to bring in his version of Glass-Steagal (which gives him time to read Keynes properly so he knows that it won't stop ring fenced retail banks from collapsing)

    So the Commonwealth must wait. Meanwhile he will insist the banks pay back what they owe us so that he can help business directly with a tax break with it.

    If a bank is still in debt, we, the commonwealth, will give its retail customers protection and pick up the bankrupt shell and its personnel

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  • 94. At 9:39pm on 01 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:




    An eerie timetable congruence with the link in my 91 here above, eh!
    All these anti-authoritarian-killer-state riots take on a similar shape.

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  • 95. At 10:52pm on 01 Sep 2011, Big Sister wrote:

    Place your bet - Ah say - place your bets, gentlemen. Winner plays, loser stays. Everyone's a winne - well, not everyone.

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  • 96. At 11:42pm on 01 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    Hey, and Saint Vince's Coalition is bringing back Control Orders (the ones Saint Vince's party convinced the Coalition it should abolish (in fact abolishing then was in the Lib dem manifesto and the Coalition Agreement)) for Commonwealth Citizens whom the government doesn't like, can't get the Yanks to torture and doesn't have a shred of evidence against.

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  • 97. At 01:01am on 02 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    The LibDemTory Coalition should be kicked out of the Commonwealth.

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  • 98. At 05:53am on 02 Sep 2011, Lady_Sue wrote:

    This used to be such fun - what a shame about the trolls and their willful desire to destroy.

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  • 99. At 08:40am on 02 Sep 2011, Fearless Fred wrote:

    This boy - Ah say - this boy's as thick as a whale sandwich....

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  • 100. At 09:20am on 02 Sep 2011, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    I don't think this kid's got all his marbles. Shakes his head when he means yes and nods when he means no.

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  • 101. At 11:11am on 02 Sep 2011, Sindy wrote:

    Anybody hungry? I’m gonna do a figure eight, the foreign version. Two cheese pizzas.

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  • 102. At 11:15am on 02 Sep 2011, Big Sister wrote:

    Okay, kitty, let's see if we can get to the root of your troubles with a little game. I say a vord, and you say the first thing that poops into your head. Bird.
    - Tweety!
    - Cantalope.
    - Tweety!
    - Dirigible.
    - Tweety Tweety Tweety!
    - Oh well, nothing to worry about. [writes "Diagnosis: INCURABLE"] He's hopeless!

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  • 103. At 12:18pm on 02 Sep 2011, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    Suffering succotash!

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  • 104. At 3:22pm on 02 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    Goodness me, another dreadful day for the Commonwealth.

    The fiancial uncertainty here threaten their very futures.

    The Commonwealth would be better off without the banks, RBS etc which dominate and make chaotic our economic efforts here.

    The National Giro system, shells of the bankrupt banks (and believe me they still are) and the experise of the BoE properly applied, can form the basis of a truly equitable national bank and take its place among the National Banks of the Commonwealth

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  • 105. At 4:24pm on 02 Sep 2011, Stewart_M wrote:

    We still playing here.

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  • 106. At 4:55pm on 02 Sep 2011, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Boy's got a mouth like a cannon, always shootin' it off.

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  • 107. At 6:12pm on 02 Sep 2011, Big Sister wrote:

    What's up, doc?

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  • 108. At 8:33pm on 02 Sep 2011, mittfh wrote:

    @Big Sis: The lunatic (troll) trying to take over the asylum (blog)?

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  • 109. At 10:40pm on 02 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    Libya is another country where Britain, whilst she was still in Empire mode, did a lttle imperial dabbling (as in Iraq where Brtish bombing was in the hands of Bomber Harris)
    The post-rebel 'victory' 'news' the Beeb is broadcasting is interesting. First there's the regular acknowledgement that the rebels are accused of the racist killing of black migrant workers. Now, that civilians are being ordered to leave towns still held by Gaddafi for fear of Commonwealth (under Nato) war plane attacks. Yep, Gaddafi protecting civilians, Nato attacking them.
    Now why weren't we told this sort of news (and there was plenty of it) before the so-called rebel victory?
    Surely everything is wholly transparent when the Commonwealth and Nato wage war.

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  • 110. At 10:59pm on 02 Sep 2011, Big Sister wrote:

    Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Wile E Coyote, Genius. I am not selling anything nor am I working my way through college. And so let's get down to cases. You are a rabbit and I am going to eat you for supper. Now don't try to get away. I am more muscular, more cunning, faster and larger than you are and I'm a genius while you could hardly pass the entrance examinations to kindergarden. So I'll give you the customary 2 minutes to say your prayers

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  • 111. At 11:08pm on 02 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    Think about it! Life would be better without these capitalist banks!

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  • 112. At 09:03am on 03 Sep 2011, Big Sister wrote:

    I bet you say that to all the wabbits.

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  • 113. At 09:38am on 03 Sep 2011, Anna Cardium wrote:

    A be-fuddled coyote?

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  • 114. At 7:10pm on 03 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:


    Great music from the Commonwealth

    This case was still outstanding during the 2011 Commonwealth Riots here.


    Belief that the knife had gone right through the body and that the police had killed Smiley were widespread.

    A police officer refused to give evidence to the pathetic IPCC and the IPCC refused to release some police accounts to the relatives.

    British government compensation may still be paid in this case

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  • 115. At 8:27pm on 03 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    There's strong opinion supporting ring fenced retail banking across the Commonwealth.

    But that will fully stabilise things only under two conditon. One, when the system no longer suffers sharp changes in the economic atmosphere, including in interest rates and trade terms. Two, that the huge sums presently associated with 'casino banking' become COMPLETELY inactive!

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  • 116. At 11:20pm on 03 Sep 2011, Big Sister wrote:

    Does anybody understand what this duck is saying?

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  • 117. At 6:13pm on 04 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    The 9/11 anniversary is getting the chattering classes ...chattering.

    Whilst one has to take Peter Wilby's (of the New Statesman) 'I would have done it mayself if they hadn't' with a pinch of salt, there WAS much non-exhibitionistic left wing opinion that hoped that the destruction of the World Trade Center would cause America to re-think her financial systems.

    As was clear then, the dollar is done for, a mere client currency of the Yuan, and American capitalism on its knees. 9/11 can be seen as the first of the fatal Blows against the Empire

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  • 118. At 6:17pm on 04 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:


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  • 119. At 6:53pm on 04 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    The ironies of the current financial crisis are of course many.

    One, that it is only China holding on to US debt that is making the dollar worth any more than a brass farthing ('red cent')
    That willingness will end as soon as China is back on the Mao path and puts the welfare of her workers first by stopping supplying chaep good to the uS and demainding infrastructure projects in return for every penny of US debt held.

    Two, that international finance is itself on the run. If we borrow more to build houses schools etc, and we buy it back under a QE scheme, the
    money goes straight into shares.
    Because of the borrowing the 'stupid money' has a tissy fit and...slumps the stock markets - allaying inflation concerns!! So why is Mervyn King so against a fiscal stimulous?
    Making the BoE hold govt bonds via QE is equivalent to printing money and requiring that the banks deposit sufficient high powered money with the bank to avoid inflation!

    Three, King and Greenspan caused the crash by raising interest rates, (and Bush by refusing to subsidise the mortgages of the subprime poor).
    The Oxbridge and Ivy league math clowns the banks employed didn't know about changes in expectation in their theories. (They were all trained as physicists). Now the US and UK are demanding their money back!

    Four, Greenspan and King did it to protect US and UK capitalism against...China!

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  • 120. At 00:33am on 05 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    Now it is confirmed. The war criminal Blair was having Al Qieda suspects tortured by the Libyans.

    Good NEVER comes of bad.

    Darling versus King: Well, darling never should have given a penny to the banks. Mervyn thought he shouldn't either But for reasons of 'moral hazard' as if the banks knew they could wind up up sh*t creek without a paddle. No, King and Greenspan's contractionist strategies were a complete surprise to them.

    O tempora! o mores!
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

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  • 121. At 09:46am on 05 Sep 2011, Big Sister wrote:

    Promenade across the floor. Sashay right on out the door. Out the door and into the glade and everybody promenade. Step right up you're doing fine. I'll pull your beard you'll pull mine. Yank it again like you did before. Break it up with a tug of war. Now into the brook and fish for the trout. Dive right in and splash about. Trout! Trout! Pretty little trout! One more splash and come right out. Shake like a hound-dog. Shake again. Wallow around in the old pig pen. Wallow some more. Y'all know how. Roll around like an old fat sow. Alamand left with your right hand. Follow through with a great left band. Now lead your partner the dirty old thing. Follow through with an elbow swing. Grab a fence post. Hold it tight. Womp your partner with all your might. Hit him in the shin. Hit him in the head. Hit him again. The critter ain't dead. Womp him low and womp him high. Stick your finger in his eye. Pretty little ring. Pretty little sound. Bang your heads against the ground. Promenade all around the room. Promenade like a bride and groom. Open up the door and step right in. Close the door and into a spin. Whirl! Whirl! Twist and twirl! Jump all around like a flying squirrel. Now don't you fuss and don't you swear. Just come right out and form a square. Now right hand over and left hand under. Both join hands and run like thunder. Over the hill and over the dale. Duck your head and lift your tail. Don't you stray and don't you roam. Turn to your partner. Promenade home. Corn in the cornfield. Wheat in the sack. Turn to your partner. Promenade back. And now you're home. Bow to your partner. Bow to the gent across the hall. And that is all!

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  • 122. At 5:59pm on 05 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:


    My goodness, that man is a piece of work!

    Illegal war! Clever clogs lies, outsourcing torture..and constantly denying Palestinians a homeland.

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  • 123. At 6:11pm on 05 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    Why didn't PM interview Sir Mark, the MI6 bloke whom Jeremy Bowen is telling us about? He was the main man dealing for us with Libyan torture of Islamists

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  • 124. At 00:12am on 06 Sep 2011, Anna Cardium wrote:

    117. DividedTheyRule

    • "The 9/11 anniversary is getting the chattering classes ...chattering."

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 125. At 00:13am on 06 Sep 2011, Anna Cardium wrote:


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  • 126. At 12:05pm on 06 Sep 2011, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Anna Cardium 125

    Then came the rise of the machines. They swept away everything before and took over the world. But not before a terminator was sent to the past...

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  • 127. At 5:08pm on 06 Sep 2011, Anna Cardium wrote:

    126. funnyJoedunn

    • "Then came the rise of the machines. "


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  • 128. At 10:09pm on 06 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    It's the Mervyn King Show later this week when the BoE's Monetary Policy Committee decides the rate of interest.

    Between now and then, since he is SUCH a clever chap, he'll use QE to buy up this year's government debt, excluding what he'll raise by selling the government's holding of bank shares.

    Natch, the QE money will fuel the stock market by another 500 points

    Then on Thursday, he'll hike the interest rates. The value of government debt outstanding (the National Debt) will crash and he'll be able to pick up a shed load of it cheaply as what chips are (as they say at the high table at St Jonnies.)

    The stupid so-called 'clever money' will have a tissy fit and it'll crash the stock market

    That way the potential inflationary effect of QE is neutralised.

    A perfect policy, borrowing and spending without tears.

    The pity is Mervyn doesn't believe we should have any fiscal expansion (saving the economy from recession by govt spending). 'Cos this way we could have enough new houses, schools etc built. The Commonwealth could not be better served.

    So, go it, Merve (Trouble is, nothing is quite what it seems with him, though. He didn't want to save the banks (quite right) but thinks he, qua governor (one hopes), should have a secret slush fund available to 'help' banks in trouble anyway!)

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  • 129. At 10:23pm on 06 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    50p in the £ tax doesn't raise much, according to the current crop of economist numbskulls.

    Hey, well, let's raise it to 75p then.

    PS Now we know, all of us, surely, that the economy being governed by the Ftse and by the floating crap game that is international finance capital, is wrong from start to finish, let's take the whole darned shooting match into public ownership.

    PPS Buying shares is NOT to make an investment, it's to exchange paper assets, money for an ownership claim. An investment is a NEW piece of capital equipment - a bridge, a school, a software programme, not a purchse by your pension fund of shares

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  • 130. At 02:16am on 07 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    Why in heck doesn't China read the UK and US the riot act about the debt of those two self indulgent so-called economies that she holds? Why doesn't she demand that these two powers, who hold sway in the world because of their military power, build her cities, set up green power systems, found medical schools - all in return for the debt?
    After all, China is now replacing her sweated labour, that makes the stuff the US and UK buy, with robots. She doesn't need to supply cheap trash to imperial owers to build up social capital. She can build it directly [under democratic communism].

    That she doesn't need to make trash in return for US and UK is surely true of India too. And certainly of Japan.

    So these three economies are being run for the benefit of the US and UK. In India there are people starving but they produce stuff to import US and UK debt to hold. China is like it always was with the exception of Mao's time. Huge tracts of the country under foreign power hegemony. They used to exist to absorb UK opium produced in UK dominated Pakistan. Now they exist to buy US and UK debt by producing trinkets big and small. Japan is still in thrall to the powers that produced and dropped atomic bombs on it

    We should be ashamed of this dominance and reject it. It is immoral. From it we harvest nothing but les fleurs du mal

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  • 131. At 08:45am on 07 Sep 2011, Big Sister wrote:

    DTR - Has it occurred to you that you are biting the hand that feeds you? Thanks to your continual use of the Blog - in your various incarnations - as a soapbox for your political views, no matter whether on topic or not, the 'powers that be' at PM have lost all interest in this place now, and the last remaining active threads will close, never to reopen, and with little chance of new ones appearing.

    Mary Tudor had said that, when she died, they would find 'Calais' written on her heart. In your case, perhaps, it will be 'PM Blog'.

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  • 132. At 1:59pm on 07 Sep 2011, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Big Sis (131): I'm afraid you're working on the assumption that DTR (aka mac) actually wants to take part in discourse, when history tells us that all he wants to do is reel off his political screeds.

    Sometimes that lone voice in the wilderness is a prophet. However, 99.99% of the time (like here) it's just a lone nutter....

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  • 133. At 3:24pm on 07 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    The greedy 50p tax avoiders.

    These people aren't wealth creators. They just create paper asset inflation. They thus crowd out government spending on things our society needs. They threaten proper incomes for working people by trying to drive down wages. They damage the economy.

    Get them proper jobs.

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  • 134. At 3:28pm on 07 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    I saw a BBC 24 hours News report at about 2 am this morning.

    It mapped the poorest areas in Manchester and the postal addresses of those charged with rioting there.

    There was apparently a high correlation between being a rioter and being poor.

    I can't find the report to link you to it. Sorry.

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  • 135. At 3:43pm on 07 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 136. At 9:17pm on 07 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:


    On Sky News this afternoon, one of the signatories to the Times 50p tax letter asserted that if the tax rate is too high, taxable income is not declared.

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  • 137. At 00:02am on 08 Sep 2011, DividedTheyRule wrote:

    Hands up all those who think they know the meaning of 'twerp'. (As I did) Now hands down if you thought it meant idiot. (As I did) Apparently it means cad or bounder. Curses!

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  • 138. At 5:15pm on 08 Sep 2011, Anna Cardium wrote:

    137. DividedTheyRule

    • "Apparently it means cad or bounder."

    twerp, n.
    ronunciation: /twɜːp/
    Forms: Also twirp.(Show Less)
    Etymology: Of uncertain origin. See quots. 1944, 1957; T. W. Earp of Exeter College, Oxford, matriculated in Michaelmas Term, 1911.... (Show Less)
    A despicable or objectionable person; an insignificant person, a nobody; a nincompoop.

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  • 139. At 11:17pm on 11 Sep 2011, oldavenger wrote:

    On this day of all days, the Commonwealth could tell America 'If you stopped running an empire held in subjugation by force of arms, maybe these things wouldn't happen to you'

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