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Eddie Mair | 16:09 UK time, Tuesday, 9 January 2007

passed at 16.09. This is also my 300th posting. And a good time to thank you once again and ask for more STRAPLINE ideas!

Trebles all round...


  1. At 04:15 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    "An Attorney General is for life, not just for Christmas."

    "Other straplines are available."

  2. At 04:16 PM on 09 Jan 2007, jonnie wrote:


    Thanks for the blog Eddie :-)

  3. At 04:19 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Gillian wrote:

    Whee Hee! Who was the culprit?

  4. At 04:27 PM on 09 Jan 2007, gossipmistress wrote:

    16.09 was that you then Jonnie?

  5. At 04:42 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Fifi wrote:

    * PM : grips MPs and PMs in a velvet vice

    * PM : making Today sound pompous and rude

    * PM : the friendly face of current affairs

    * PM : taking the bliss* out of the news (*Fifi Rhyming Slang)

    * PM : today's hot topics served on rocket with a dash of balsamic

    * PM : Mair, please!

    ... OK I'll stop now. I normally charge £50 an hour for this sort of stuff, you know.


  6. At 04:44 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Joe Palooka wrote:

    "Zulus! Fawsands of 'em!.

  7. At 04:48 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Sara wrote:

    Hooray - it looks like Jonnie won. What's the prize? (unless Eddie's claiming it for himself for his 300th posting!)

  8. At 05:18 PM on 09 Jan 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Well gossipmistress,

    Eddie DID say on one of the threads that because there were so many threads running it could not be decided.

    There is also the factor that I was spamming, as Jason pointed out.

    So all in all I think we should all congratulate ourselves and call it a PM Froggers victory,


  9. At 05:23 PM on 09 Jan 2007, David Jones wrote:

    Do you win anything for posting the 20,000 comment? Maybe the person could be a guest Editor on PM?

  10. At 05:37 PM on 09 Jan 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Perhaps we should all spam the blog and see who reaches the 30,000 mark tomorrow.

    Or would another Marc get a bit upset.

  11. At 05:38 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Those Bl**dy Fundamentalists

    The philosophy of Christianity is one primarily of love, forgiveness & mercy, and anyone who believes the letter Bible enough to be homophobic, should also know that they shouldn't be casting any stones.

    If there is a God, & Jesus was his son, I think they would wonder what all the fuss was about & why Christians spend so much time focussing on sexuality when there are so many other much more important things going on in the world.

    A liberal reading of the Bible would countenance any loving committed relationship, which is far more generous & Christian.

  12. At 05:41 PM on 09 Jan 2007, DC wrote:

    Does the man from the "christian" b+b allow unmarried couples to sleep together?

    Does he open on a Sunday?

    He seems to have a bespoke Christianity that backs up his prejudice and bank balance alternately.

  13. At 05:42 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    How about "PM: Fits neatly between the 5pm pips and the 6pm bongs..."

  14. At 05:42 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Fifi wrote:

    * PM : turns an evening commute into an education opportunity

    * PM : making commuters wish they could email whilst travelling

    * PM : Today condensed and briskly whisked

    * PM is to the news what Wogan is to pop music

    * PM : interactive, hyperactive and overactive

    * PM : the best straplines on the BBC

    * PM : absolutely ribbiting

    I think I need to rename myself Fifi The Volunteer Copywriter!!! (Or get on with some work....)

    Fifi ;o)

  15. At 05:47 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Annasee wrote:

    PM - An hour to share with Eddie Mair

  16. At 05:47 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Fifi wrote:

    At 04:09 PM on 09 Jan 2007, jonnie wrote:

    must be getting near now ?

    Game satin match to Jonnie, methinks.

    Now, he can't win a prize of a stay in his own hotel ... for that would be silly. A lovely idea for any other frogger, but not our Jonnie.

    What about 2 weeks in Thailand?
    ... oh, you've got one of those as well.

    If Aperitif is feeling better, and Mrs Trellis is back from work, how about a rousing rendition of 'Freezer Jonnie Good Fellah' on the Beach, performed on guitars and voices by the musical froggers TrellAperitiFifi, later tonight on the Beach?

    I have a VERY tedious meeting at 7.30pm but should be home again by 9.30 and ready to let off some steam.

    That should buy the BBC some time to consider what its contribution to this momentous occasion might be...

    Fifi xx

  17. At 05:52 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Annasee wrote:

    PM - We chop down the trees, so you can see the wood

  18. At 05:55 PM on 09 Jan 2007, gill wrote:

    The reason you can't put interesting things on headstones is because the church often won't let you. Years ago I wanted to put some lines from a Yeats poem on the gravestone of my 9 week old baby and the diocese objected. They finally allowed it, reluctantly, because i think they felt so bad about it being a baby. There are all sorts of rules about size, materials, etc, etc

  19. At 06:03 PM on 09 Jan 2007, madmary wrote:

    Re the Christian B&B man, who would want to stay at his place anyway, gay or otherwise?

    My strapline suggestion which I posted before but it was ignored

    PM: no strapline good enough!


  20. At 06:12 PM on 09 Jan 2007, jonnie wrote:

    On Four, at Five, PM, If it's happening you'll know about it.

  21. At 06:15 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Ros Power wrote:

    Mair didn't seriously compare being black with choosing to practise homosexuality did he?

  22. At 06:17 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Rachel wrote:

    I didn't catch the details of that B&B. I really need them in case I accidentally book into it. Honestly, can you think of a more grim weekend than spending it there. I bet the bacon's all watery too . . .

    PM: Giving everyone a voice, even the ones we don't like very much and make us want to throw things at the radio.

    I know, not very snappy, but I dunno, grrrr - I'm off to commune with Dawkins!

  23. At 06:26 PM on 09 Jan 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Oh Thanks Fifi you are very generous !

    And thanks Helen Sarkles for your view at (11)

    What upsets me is the amount of children the parents have managed to front the demonstration.

  24. At 06:27 PM on 09 Jan 2007, gossipmistress wrote:

    Jonnie! You deserve the prize for persistance at least:-) Do frogs like spam...?

  25. At 06:52 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Mrs Trellis wrote:

    Fifi (16)
    Will be my pleasure (if not for anyone else) to join you on the beach tonight for a sing-song. I will bring some suitable vocal lubricant in the form of a rather good Macallan.
    See you on the beach at 21:30.
    Off to do my vocal exercises.
    La la la la la la laaaa

  26. At 06:57 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Declan Cooke wrote:

    Re the bit of tonight's PM on the B&B's who wish to bar same sex couples.
    I can't find the words... It just makes me so angry. PM has to try and retain the laudable BBC principle of "balance". But the words spoken by the B&B owner and others of his opinion are just bigotry. Plain old bigotry. "No dogs, no jews, no Irish" or however the vile mantra went.
    Of course I accept that many people have difficulty dealing with homosexuality, I had a hard time coming out myself! There's an awful lot of fear and ignorance about. But these B&B people are going out of their way to discriminate and I just find it hard to believe that this is because of their Christian principles. Most of the Christians I know are good people, not bigots.

    ps Apologies if you've read this already - I stuck it in wrong place, fnar fnar?

  27. At 07:13 PM on 09 Jan 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    PM: A Stepping Stone Towards Presenting "The Westminster Hour"

    Yay! From now on I shall be lulled to sleep on a Sunday night by Sequin's velvety tones. Andrew Rawnsley used to keep waking me back up.

    Eddie, I think we need a Sequin sound-clip to celebrate!

  28. At 07:18 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    My comment on the Christian B&B man hasn't appeared either, maybe later, but I think it is just odd that some Christianw get so hung up on sexuality. God would have something to say about that, like aren't there more important things to worry about... I get so fed up with the bigotted & homophobic who think they represent the philosophy of Christianity, particularly if they also won't recognise that they shouldn't be casting any stones anyway.

  29. At 07:19 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    oops, sorry it was there all along, I just get a bit wound up when faith is used this way, forgive me.

  30. At 07:29 PM on 09 Jan 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Rachel (22):

    PM: Makes you want to commune with biologists.

    According to the logic of those protestors, by not actually condemning and preventing the sale of a certain sugary drink which rhymes with Mocha Molar, I am in fact promoting that drink. Do you think that if I presented the company with a bill for 38 years' continuous promotion I would in fact get a big cheque?

    Or would they laugh in my face and tell me to get a grip?

    I hope the B&B owners are also trying to clamp down on other sins being comitted under their rooves, like unmarried heterosexual people sharing a bed, men sleeping in the same room as their wives during at *that* time of the month, anyone wearing two different types of cloth, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...

  31. At 07:33 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Peter Wharton wrote:

    Strap lines:
    PM : Premium News
    Post - mortem for the day
    Past and future master
    Nuclear furnace for those in the
    news (Promethium - Pm)
    Please no more of the God squad!

  32. At 07:37 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Frances O wrote:

    How about these?

    PM: no newsletter, lots of news

    The PM frog: reddit!

    Mair, no less

    Ready, Eddie, go!

    PM: question time

    PM: it comes just before T/tea

    PM: hear the news before you hear The News

    Knows more about current affairs than 'Hello'

  33. At 07:47 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Frances O wrote:

    January, February, March, April, Mair...

    Better Mair than Blair

    Please, Sir, can I have some Mair?

    Eddie Mair: the Frog Prince

    Mair, Mair, au contraire

    (here's one for Marc)

    Marc my words

  34. At 07:53 PM on 09 Jan 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Some more straplines...

    "More news than Book at Bedtime, less music than Today."

    "Caroline Quinn woz here."

    "Eddie Mair is available as a download from the BBC."

    "Mair havering than a gallus stushie. (By the way.)"

    "Ignorance: Exit stage left, pursued by E. Mair."

    "Bet you won't use this strapline!"

    "No photos of Kate Middleton. Guaranteed!"

    "Better than listening to paint dry."

    "Home of the Mr. Knibbs fan club."

  35. At 08:10 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Perky wrote:

    PM: Picking the bits out of the marmalade

    PM: A rear-view mirror on the day's news

    PM: Threading a panel through the eye of a needle

    PM: The Roman Road of news & comment

    I really must do some ironing now. That's not a strapline by the way, that's just my life on a Tuesday evening.

  36. At 08:43 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Belinda wrote:

    Were the location details of that B&B revealed? I want to know where to avoid.

    It is disgusting behaviour to use religion as an excuse to 'justify' his own blatant bigotry. This isn't anything to do with Christianity, it is simply wrong and prejudicial to discriminate against a group of people because of whom they choose to sleep with and nothing else - I think it is wrong and unhealthy to concentrate so much on other people's sex lives frankly. How dare he?! I'm fuming here*.

    *On the other hand, it is nice to feel something for a change other than numbness.

  37. At 08:43 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Perky wrote:

    Ah. Due to rapid typing, my first strapline is missing a vital word. It should, of course, say:

    PM: Picking the bits out of the news marmalade.

    Back to the old iron, then.

  38. At 09:14 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Confused wrote:

    I'm SO glad that Tony Blair, having spoken out on the hanging of Saddam Hussein, has reminded us that the punishment "should not blind us" to his crimes.

    Gosh. I'd almost forgotten about them - possibly because he was never really tried for them.... Good old Blair reminding us that he was responsible for "the use of chemical weapons against his own people, wiping out entire villages of people. "

    Well! Would you ever? I wonder where he got those from then? And why he, nor anyone else, was ever charged with it?

    What would we do without the ongoing inspiration of our intrepid leader?

    On another note:

    PM: Puts MP in the shade

  39. At 09:38 PM on 09 Jan 2007, confused wrote:

    Jason (1.) Shouldn't that read "A flatmate is life, not just for Christmas"? I like both, I think.

  40. At 09:59 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Annasee wrote:

    PM - boiling the daily news carcass to render a tasty stock.

    PM- has "too many cats" on its blog, says Eddie Mair

    PM - where our PM fears to tread

    PM - it's your aperitif for the 6 o'clock news

  41. At 10:03 PM on 09 Jan 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re: 36 (Belinda)

    There is a bit about it here :-


    Re: Declan Cooke, I think it was a fair and balanced report but I'm hoping that the majority of people don't support his views.

    We have found one or two have walked away when they find two men have been running our establishment, C'est la vie :-(

  42. At 10:09 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Geoff Realname wrote:

    Don't want to start a flame war here, but could we perhaps be a bit more grown-up than to bandy around labels like "Fundamentalist" and "homophobic" and think that settles anything? As a Christian I believe that some things are true, others not, some things are good and others bad; I'm no more a fundamentalist for sincerely believing these things than someone is who sincerely believes the opposite.

    I don't "fear" gays, the true meaning of the "-phobic" bit: I believe that they fall short of the good that God intends for us, just as I myself do in other ways that have nothing to do with sexuality but are equally destructive if allowed to develop.

    And, please, let's not fall back on that tired old complaint that Christians are only worried about sexual matters: there are many Christians whose faith leads them into all kinds of areas of social action.

  43. At 10:21 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Anne P. wrote:

    Odd, nothing showing on the beach since 06:54 but you all seem to be here.

    Not feeling witty enough to generate more straplines, you've all been so prolific.

    PM: The talk without the chalk

    ( no not really very good).


  44. At 11:14 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Annasee wrote:

    I've had 1/2 a glass of red wine, whereupon the following straplines suggested themselves... (just wait till I've finished it!)

    PM - even pets listen & we have the photos to prove it.

    PM The programme with the least exciting web camera ever

    PM- fit for purpose! ( just not sure what purpose)

    PM - a balanced news diet to go with your tea

    PM - where no newsletter isn't a good newsletter

    PM- picking the scabs off the day's news to examine what's underneath

  45. At 11:21 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Belinda, I am feeling some concern about your numbness.

  46. At 11:45 PM on 09 Jan 2007, whisht wrote:

    Geoff - fair point and hear hear.

    I'll try and post again tomorrow (probly) but I hate easy trite postings (including calling "Bush" "shrub" - honestly, its letting the people and situation off by laughing as if its silly). And I dislike myself for falling into it when i do it too.


    oh, btw, I haven't reaed this blog rigorously enough nor did I hear the guy speak. However... if its the same guy as was on Today then he has no argument at all and is a homophobic bigot. However I'm guessing a few people here took an easy swipe and that that is what has rightly annoyed you. This criticism takes thought (which I apologise to not being able to do)

  47. At 11:46 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    So, by my reckoning, it was Jonnie's 19th post on the last thread which came up at 20,000. But that's hardly surprising since he seems to become a Blog hijacker .....

    I hope nobody at the Cransley was looking forward to an afternoon tea today, Jonnie?

  48. At 11:55 PM on 09 Jan 2007, confused wrote:

    42. I don't give a toss what anyone believes in, or to a great extent what they do in the privacy of their homes, etc. Provided they're not breaking the law of the land then I believe in respecting their human rights to a free choice - and I expect people to respect mine as well.

    I am so often very glad I live in a laid-back city like Brighton which in general doesn't bother with all this nonsense.

  49. At 11:58 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Hi Geoff Realname, I think I shall ignore the bit about your desire for some of us to be a bit more grown up, because if that isn’t meant to be objectionable I shall be eating hats for a while.

    Should you be referring to my posts, there was nothing being bandied about, I used those terms quite deliberately, albeit using homophobic as it is in general discourse rather than your definition. I think language is very important, because it can be a powerful tool to describe exactly what is meant, & I used it to express my views precisely.

    I am sorry you feel that it is tired to complain that Christians only feel concerned about sexuality, I am exhausted by constantly hearing that they are, and the debates go on at the higher echelons of the church as well as in protests like tonight’s.

    I have been quite open about my faith elsewhere on this blog, and am quite happy to be called a liberal if someone wishes to label me, but I tell you that only because I feel confident it will mean I don’t have to unpack the theology for you which would explain exactly why I don’t feel there to be anything wrong with same sex relationships.

    I am also tired of Christians who don’t live their faith, which is a far better way of persuading those of any doubts, especially through social action on a small or large scale. Condemning the lifestyles of others is far too easy, completely un-Christian and that is what I think. I don’t expect a lot of other people to agree so feel sure we can avoid the flaming.

  50. At 12:47 AM on 10 Jan 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Fair point Geoff Realname (42) , however you did say

    "I believe that they fall short of the good that God intends for us"

    although you went on to add " just as I myself do in other ways that have nothing to do with sexuality but are equally destructive if allowed to develop."

    So presumably you think that God only intended sex as a means of procreation ?

    It's late, and there is, unfortunately a party raging around me but I'd really appreciate a slight expansion on your comment at some stage.

    On a lighter note, it's the Poole Panto party -- they all leave on Sunday! We two (boys) have had enough now and counting down the days,

  51. At 01:45 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Johnnie, I would suspect that, as there is no heirachy of sin, this could refer to other indulgences as well as sex. But I shall let Geoff answer for himself as well, it just often seems that sex is the baddie.

  52. At 02:31 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Jerry Cornelius wrote:

    PM - Cut it in half and it says 'Radio 4' right through the middle
    PM - does just what it says on the tin
    PM - putting those who count on the spot, but in a nice way
    PM - putting the lilt in Radio 4
    PM - not taking ourselves too seriously
    PM - not taking anything very seriously, for that matter
    PM - thank goodness
    PM - you know it makes sense
    PM - putting the kilt in Radio 4
    PM - Broadcasting House, but on weekdays
    PM - making us proud to be British
    PM - as does the fact that we have Charles Darwin on our bank notes, but I digress

  53. At 02:33 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Jerry Cornelius wrote:

    Talking of BH, isn't Fi Glover's new Saturday morning programme just - and it pains me to say this - well, really really awful? I had such high hopes. Mind you, I've only listened to it one and a quarter times. Should I try it again? (If it still features extremely naff poets, the default answer to that question is 'No you shouldn't' btw.)

  54. At 03:07 AM on 10 Jan 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re: Helen Sparkles, (and others not to do with Helen)

    As you can judge by the clock, I'm still up with lights to turn out, and certain people still quite upset that as we faded out the second rendition of Dusty singing 'I close my eyes and count to ten' and after a fair amount of alcohol, and wishing they would all go away.

    I dind't really give a toss about what people think about two guys living together, Yes, of course, we are trying to make a few bob, and doing (our) their best to make people happy. (and I'm really not trying to encourage a symphathy vote.)

    However, as someone who believes, or has faith in an after life, I'm just believing in the God that I've chosen.

    Sorry, -- this should have been posted on the beach tonight! .. then I'd have had an excuse for a few drinks.

    I DO understand others views about Homosexulaity! It took three years for Mum to come to terms with me, -- though. Why?

    Becase of Religion !

    It's only (luckily for me) that her Friends at St Peters in Bournemouth happen to tolerate Homosexuality!

    Perhaps it's just because they tolerate my Mother and mentioning her son! ?

    I'm really not asking for sympathy! I just would like to make a point from my side (so to speak)

    I'd also point out that the Poole Panto team are very naughty with the drinks ! Hic!

  55. At 07:47 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Ros Power wrote:

    Should landlords be forced to allow group sex on their premises?

    I mean, if what you want to do sexually is inevitably hard coded into the genes, and there is no less reason to think that someone is born a swinger than born gay, and that what you want to do is a moral reason to do it, and that that is a basis to be allowed to do it anywhere you like, and you cannot "leave your sexuality at the door", why not?

    Do we have to live with this kind of bigotry and discrimination in 21st century Britain?

  56. At 08:17 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    Ros (55) what interested me about the landlord's stance was that it was all about sexual acts and not about sexuality. This is presumably because of the assumption that whenever two gay people spend any time together they are only interested in having sex. Similarly with your swinger idea - if someone happens to be a swinger, it is not inevitable that they must indulge in swinging just because other people are in the vicinity.

    As a heterosexual male I have, over the years, frequently stayed at hotels with a SO and not had sex. But once that door is locked, and provided the sounds remain within, who is it harming, be it straight, gay or (referring to an earlier thread) squirrel?

    We just fixate on the sexual acts to the exclusion of the humanity behind them.

  57. At 08:39 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    Jerry Cornelius has made me think of another tagline...

    PM - putting the Rs in Radio Four.

  58. At 08:46 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Frances O wrote:

    PM: an ironic fist in a velvet glove

  59. At 08:58 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Frances O wrote:

    If it's the act some of these hoteliers dislike, rather than the people themselves - as has been said - I just wonder whether they object to adulterers taking a room with a double bed?

    Custom would fall, though...

  60. At 09:23 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Yes, I can see you're scraping the barrel for straplines, with mine up there in lights.

  61. At 09:24 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Ros Power wrote:

    It's not unreasonable for a landlord to assume that two men seeking a double bed will be performing homosexual acts in it.

    Freedom cuts both ways. The freedom of people to do with their genitals what they wish and to live their lives within their own moral parameters is balanced by the right of service providers to provide services to people who behave in certain ways.

  62. At 09:32 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Humph wrote:

    Rachel (22)

    As the laws governing "acceptable food" are spelt out in the same part of the bible as what to do about homosexuality, and as that is the part of the bible that the B&B owner seems rather hot upon, I think that it would be safe to assume that there is no bacon at all, watery or otherwise. Nor pork sausages. Nor black pudding. A grim place to visit indeed!


  63. At 09:33 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Anne P. wrote:

    Jerry (53) I haven't been listening to Fi Glover's new programme but did happen to catch part of it on Saturday. What I heard was a heartrending description of so-called aversion therapy applied to a young gay man at a time when homosexuality was still illegal. It amounted to a disgusting act of torture inflicted by a psychiatrist, who it later turned out was himself gay (and by implication a sadist). I think the programme did a service in the best sense by showing how things used to be, and therefore by implication that they really have improved.

    I see from the BBC website that the guest-house owner who wishes not to offer accommodation to gay couples cites the presence of his 14 year old daughter in the house as a reason. So I am doubly sorry - that he discriminates, and that he denies his child the opportunity to make up her own mind about issues she is bound to encounter at school or on TV and film.

  64. At 09:47 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Belinda wrote:

    Should landlords be forced to allow group sex on their premises?

    No, but they should be forced to allow people who like to have group sex on their premises, given that the practice is not illegal.

    The landlords do not have a say in whether the sexual act actually takes place or not; that is the perogative of their customer, given that it directly involves the customer and not the landlord (unless he wanted to join in, of course).

    If you wanted to impose a rule on this to be fair, then the landlord would need to dictate what all couples/groups do inside his room - not just the people who do not share his lifestyle values.

  65. At 09:54 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Stewart M wrote:

    Hoteliers like the Church have always brushed stuff under the carpet. They know fine well that same gay folk, adulterers, unmarried couples etc use their facilitiies. The church has for years turned a blind eye to gay folk who have faith. (e.g. the single priest with the male housekeeper) Hoteliers for years must have had thousands of Mr & Mrs Smiths booked in. Or Mr Jones and Mr Smith who are "friends". Dual standards?

  66. At 10:01 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    Helen Sparkles (51): Hierarchy of sin? Can I get a promotion??

    As a practising Freemason I am frequently told by American evangelists that, not only am I doomed, but also I am responsible for dooming others. Why? Because I am tolerant of all religions. I do not share their view that Christianity is the only path to redemption, the only true word, etc.

    You'd think they'd be too busy laughing at the aprons.

  67. At 10:01 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:


    "there is, unfortunately a party raging around me"

    Why didn't you invite us!!!!! We'd have found the silver lining ......

    But, on a more serious note, and as somebody who adheres to Christian principles (though abhors hypocrites who often hide behind the label), I find the attitudes of anti-gays to be quite bizarre. Though 'straight' myself, I've known many gays and, like Confused, lived for many years in Brighton, where I never found any issue around homosexuality.

    I also realise (and I know you've mentioned this elsewhere) that most gays haven't 'chosen' their sexuality. I had thought this now to be widely accepted.

    Quentin Crisp's moving account of his battle to have his sexuality accepted (The Naked Civil Servant) is something I would thoroughly recommend to anyone who thinks homosexuality an easy option for anyone. It is hardly surprising, in the light of this and of the reactions of many hetrosexuals even today, that there are still many who are afraid to 'come out'.

    My SO, I'm sorry to say, still struggles with the issue, but this is due to an experience at school where he was the object of unwanted attention from a schoolmate. I think straight men generally still have a problem here, which is probably largely a cultural thing.

    I found myself being openly approached by a bisexual woman a couple of years ago, which I found quite amusing. SO was with me at the time. I told him he should be chuffed that somebody, of whatever sex, fancied me!

    But, back to the point. I am heartily glad that I don't have to deal with the prejudice and day to day issues that gays have to deal with, even now. It is about time we all became a bit more grown up about these matters.

  68. At 10:08 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Frances O (59)

    Well, I would. If I were faced with this regulation, I think I'd close - and blame the Govt. who, of course, would compensate me just as they did when they deprived the miners of their income.

  69. At 10:17 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Belinda wrote:

    by the right of service providers to provide services to people who behave in certain ways.

    'behave in certain ways'?!

    In my future licenced cafe then, I will refuse to serve anyone who is even vaguely religious (whatever religion), has dyed blonde hair, listens to Oasis and wears tracksuits. In fact, I refuse to serve anyone who doesn't think that a brandy before breakfast is a good idea.
    In fact, I won't let them on the premises at all, because I don't like to think about the practises that they must perform in everyday life as they are incompatible with my own, even if it is absolutely none of my business. I judge myself to be better than these people because I live to my strict morals of a brandy breakfast and they do not, therefore I am happy as pigs in swill to sit here in my bigoted state and discriminate against large groups of people because of what they choose to drink. This is despite the fact that their hatred of brandy does not stop me from drinking it and their brandyphobia is perfectly within the law.
    It doesn't matter that I am running a business and providing a public service, not a pet hobby, and if I had even a half-sense of professionalism and decorum, then I wouldn't put my personal habits above the needs of my customers.

  70. At 10:19 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    Ros Power (61): Where is the difference between that and denying a room to, say, a black couple? The thing being objected to in both cases is a matter of genetics (sexuality and colour) and socialisation (the stereotypical behaviour of those groups).

    I think it *is* unreasonable for a landlord to assume anything about his guests (apart from that they will settle their account and not damage the property). Especially matters which may occur behind a locked door, are totally legal in this country and do not affect anyone else.

    A fairly common tabloid reaction to Muslim criticism of Western culture is "if they can't accept our laws they shouldn't live in our country". I am starting to think this may have more widespread application.

  71. At 10:32 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Eddie Alert:

    Comments button not working on new thread.

  72. At 10:41 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Fifi wrote:

    Mrs Trellis (25) : Well, we certainly livened up the beach with our singing last night didn't we! I don't think Jonnie was too impressed though, he looked exhausted. And that irritating harpy from the Poole Panto party had clearly had two sherries too many ... wish she'd kept her clothes on!

    Jerry Cornelius (53) : I know, I know, you just want it to be better don't you! I must say, I thought she was the perfect presenter to follow Eddie on BH, with her dry style. But on Saturdays I find myself yearning for a Home Truth! Thing is, it's not Fi that's the problem: it's the tired old magazine format to blame. What about Fi presenting Home Truths Return?


  73. At 10:51 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Gillian wrote:

    I'm torn between the views of Ros and Jonnie in earlier posts. I would have no objection to staying in a place run by a same-sex couple, or one which accepted gay guests, even though I'm heterosexual. Equally, I would have no objection to staying in a ''Christian'' establishment even though I'm an Atheist. Of course there is a proviso....so long as their behaviour wasn't blatant or provocative. If I was uncomfortable I would have to walk away. I wouldn't anticipate being turned away because I didn't agree with the owners' views. As Jonnie says, ''C'est la vie''
    However, my judgment is perhaps clouded as I am the mother of 3 children. In some of the earlier postings if you substitute the word ''parents'' for ''gay couples'' and ''misbehaviour'' for ''sex'' then you can see my dilemma. I have been offended by certain establishments refusing to take my booking because of my children, but I have always been able to find alternative accommodation, some of which you would not have thought of as child-friendly, being well-furnished, beautifully decorated, and so on. We have never had any mishaps or knowingly caused annoyance to anyone. Yet I can understand why other places may be prejudiced against me. The fact is if I were able to excercise any right I may be given to take my children anywhere I chose, I still would not be made to feel welcome by those who couldn't hide their feelings, so would choose another place any way. And I wouldn't expect to be given such rights. Is this a reasonable analogy?

  74. At 11:07 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Fiona wrote:

    Just had a thought - I wonder if the B&B owner would provide me and SO - as a hetrosexual, but unmarried couple, with a double room? And with a couple of "illegitimate" children as well!! Not that I would ever in a million years choose to visit this establishment.
    I worked with someone who celebrated 25 years with his partner recently - and all in all I think they had a more honest, loyal and committed relationship than many hetro couples around.

  75. At 11:25 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Since the comment button isn't working on the next thread (Are you thinking of removing it, Eddie? It's been frozen since you posted eons ago ...) I'll comment here on last night's introduction:

    "More on the revelation that more than 500 criminals convicted abroad was left sitting in desk files in the Home Office and not processed. "

    Well, Eddie, we're all capable of seeing the problems with that, and it's hardly surprising you became entangled.

    Because it does involve A.N. Other, I'll not make any personal comments on their grammar, syntax, etc.

    But I herewith offer you, Eddie Mair, my services, free of charge, to write introductions for you when you are unable to write them yourself. You deserve much, much better than last night's offering.

    An offer you can't refuse?

  76. At 11:27 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Ros Power wrote:

    I think it *is* unreasonable for a landlord to assume anything about his guests (apart from that they will settle their account and not damage the property). Especially matters which may occur behind a locked door, are totally legal in this country and do not affect anyone else.

    It's not unreasonable to assume that a man and a woman requesting to share a double bed would be likely to use it for sexual activity.

    If a camera crew and a group of known pornography actors requested a room, would it be unreasonable to assume that they were going to use it for pornography, and would it be "discrimination" for a landlord to refuse?

  77. At 11:28 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    "if what you want to do sexually is inevitably hard coded into the genes, and there is no less reason to think that someone is born a swinger than born gay, and that what you want to do is a moral reason to do it, and that that is a basis to be allowed to do it anywhere you like, and you cannot "leave your sexuality at the door", why not?"

    A wonderfully convoluted conditional!

    My only real problem is with "if .... what you want to do is a moral reason to do it..."

  78. At 11:38 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Belinda wrote:

    How much desk file space does the Home Office have exactly??!

  79. At 11:39 AM on 10 Jan 2007, confused wrote:

    I'm delighted to say that my 18 yr old, heterosexual, daughter has been attending the Pride day extravaganza in Brighton with all her friends - both gay and straight - since she was 12 years old. It's one of the highlights of the year in Brighton - and long may it remain so.

    Would the B&B welcome, say, Peter Stringfellow for the night? He'd be OK with a man 40 years older than his "partner" for the night?

  80. At 11:39 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Strapline Ideas:

    PM- Live corpsing at its best

    PM-Eddie, you're so awful!

    PM-No-one else is laughing

    PM, with Who Know's What?

    PM-Unpredictability at its finest

    PM-A programme in search of a newsletter

    PM-Too much talent crammed in just an hour

    PM-The Mair the Merrier

    I've tried posting these twice before, so my apologies if - eventually - they appear three times!

  81. At 11:52 AM on 10 Jan 2007, Mrs Trellis wrote:

    As I understand it morality refers to the concept of human ethics which pertains to matters of good and evil —also referred to as "right or wrong". This being the case are you really telling me that Homosexuality is "Evil?"

  82. At 12:07 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Fifi wrote:

    The things labelled 'sinful' by certain flavours of religion are generally speaking laid down, NOT by any scripture or holy book, but by human beings in a position of power who place their own interpretation on their particular accepted text.

    I worked that one out, aged 16, when I finally parted company with some evangelical god-botherers with whom I'd got entangled at school.

    And it still makes me angry today.


  83. At 12:12 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Fifi wrote:

    Confused (79) : My ultra-conservative and painfully shy parents unexpectedly expressed an interest in seeing the Gay Pride procession, a couple of years ago when we were visiting my aunt in Hove.

    Up till that morning, it had been mentioned only as a reason to avoid the town because it would be jam packed with people.

    My mother in particular was bowled over. As we walked along the prom, she kept wandering away from us to the front of the kerb and staring, entranced, at the spectacle.

    She said little about it afterwards but it was fun watching her world expand!

    I adore Brighton. I always feel very safe and relaxed there, even on my own.


  84. At 12:14 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    Ros Power (76): the camparison falls down in that the film crew exist for the purpose of filming pornography. Are bedrooms in lodging houses purely for having sex? I think not.

    It just perpetuates the myth that non-heterosexuals are constantly "at it", that this one aspect of their lifestyle and character is so dominant and overriding that it is all they can possibly do or think about.

    The reality is far more boring.

  85. At 12:28 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Geoff Realname wrote:

    I take Helen's (49) point about my "grown up" comment: it was fairly late (for me) last night and, unlike some, I haven't been to a party for far too long! I agree with you (51) that there is no hierarchy of sin. My own failing that I referred to is chronic and persistent laziness, and I find no difficulty in setting that alongside sexual sins as, as I said, they both constitute a falling-away from God's standards and are equally in need of forgiveness.

    On consideration, I wonder about the perception that Christians only ever object to sexual sins. Certainly that is the area which can guarantee to be reported, as we have seen, but is it actually the case? The church I attend supports a free debt advice centre, believing that many people are trapped and lose their freedom through debt; we make it clear that this is a Christian centre but no-one has to believe anything they don't want to. Many other churches are involved in this area, but we don't find reporters beating a path to their door to ask them their views on debt. Not controversial enough, perhaps? Or has no-one else worked out that debt is a serious, life-affecting matter?

  86. At 12:32 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    Camparison? (me, in at 81)

    How freudian.

  87. At 12:44 PM on 10 Jan 2007, gossipmistress wrote:

    PM - The Big Sister of the Today programme

    PM - Can whip a meringue out of any old eggs

  88. At 12:55 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Ros Power wrote:

    It just perpetuates the myth that non-heterosexuals are constantly "at it", that this one aspect of their lifestyle and character is so dominant and overriding that it is all they can possibly do or think about.

    I'm not going to comment here on homosexual promiscuity or the overriding characteristics of the gay subculture, but it still remains the case that when two people request a double bed, one can assume they will be using it for sexual purposes.

    An establishment cannot be forced to provide premises for people to do certain things in, any more than people can be forced to patronise certain premises.

  89. At 01:08 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:


    Would that be a boring camparison, perchance?

    Sorry, guys, couldn't resist it!

  90. At 01:17 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    Ros (87) I do honestly believe that homosexual promiscuity is exaggerated. It is no worse than single heterosexuals imo.

    And I always ask for a double bed whether I am in a hotel alone or with my SO (who happens to be female). Not for sexual purposes but for comfort as I cannot sleep well in a single bed and I enjoy simply cuddling up to my wife as much as anything else that may happen in a double bed. Perhaps it is me that is strange?

    Does the sight of a double bed inflame everyone else's passions??

  91. At 01:26 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    GM (currently 87): I like your straplines....

  92. At 01:41 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Mrs Trellis wrote:

    Geoff (85)
    Leviticus 18:6 reads: "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female. It is an abomination." A similar verse occurs two chapters later, in Leviticus 20:13: "A man who sleeps with another man is an abomination and should be executed." Leviticus is a holiness code written 3,000 years ago. This code includes many of the outdated sexual laws we mentioned earlier, and a lot more. It also includes prohibitions against round haircuts, tattoos, working on the Sabbath, wearing garments of mixed fabrics, eating pork or shellfish, getting your fortune told, and even playing with the skin of a pig. So what's a holiness code? It's a list of behaviors that people of faith find offensive in a certain place and time. In this case, the code was written for priests only, and its primary intent was to set the priests of Israel over and against priests of other cultures. What about this word abomination that comes up in both passages? In Hebrew, "abominations" (TO'EBAH) are behaviors that people in a certain time and place consider tasteless or offensive. To the Jews an abomination was not a law, not something evil like rape or murder forbidden by the Ten Commandments. It was a common behavior by non-Jews that Jews thought was displeasing to God.
    Jesus and Paul both said the holiness code in Leviticus does not pertain to Christian believers. Nevertheless, there are still people who pull the two verses about men sleeping together from this ancient holiness code to say that the Bible seems to condemn homosexuality.
    In fact, the Bible accepts sexual practices that we condemn and condemns sexual practices that we accept. Lots of them! Here are a few examples.
    DEUTERONOMY 22:13-21
    If it is discovered that a bride is not a virgin, the Bible demands that she be executed by stoning immediately.
    If a married person has sex with someone else's husband or wife, the Bible commands that both adulterers be stoned to death.
    MARK 10:1-12
    Divorce is strictly forbidden in both Testaments, as is remarriage of anyone who has been divorced.
    LEVITICUS 18:19
    The Bible forbids a married couple from having sexual intercourse during a woman's period. If they disobey, both shall be executed.
    MARK 12:18-27
    If a man dies childless, his widow is ordered by biblical law to have intercourse with each of his brothers in turn until she bears her deceased husband a male heir.
    DEUTERONOMY 25:11-12
    If a man gets into a fight with another man and his wife seeks to rescue her husband by grabbing the enemy's genitals, her hand shall be cut off and no pity shall be shown her.
    I'm certain you don't agree with these teachings from the Bible about sex. And you shouldn't. The list goes on: The Bible says clearly that sex with a prostitute is acceptable for the husband but not for the wife. Polygamy (more than one wife) is acceptable, as is a king's having many concubines. (Solomon, the wisest king of all, had 1,000 concubines.) Slavery and sex with slaves, marriage of girls aged 11-13, and treatment of women as property are all accepted practices in the Scriptures. On the other hand, there are strict prohibitions against interracial marriage, birth control, discussing or even naming a sexual organ, and seeing one's parents nude.
    Now, are you going to pick and choose which of these you are going to adhere to or blindly follow them all.
    Times change my friend and, happily, so do our ideas of what a sin is or isn't and what the punishment should be.
    Times change. Try to keep up please.

  93. At 01:55 PM on 10 Jan 2007, gossipmistress wrote:

    The hotelier interviewed in yesterday's programme provides double beds in which people take off their clothes and spend the night together. If he's so concerned with what goes on inside the rooms he should either only provide single rooms or get into a different line of business.

    On a wider note, I wonder how representative he is of the hotel trade? Not very I suspect. And his blinkered viewpoint will deny him all sorts of interesting guests he will now never meet.

    His loss.

  94. At 02:00 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Humph wrote:

    As my post from around 10am still has not appeared:

    PM - Rivet, rivet, riveting stuff.

    PM - Listen with Mair.

    PM - Thinking allowed.


  95. At 02:08 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Fiona wrote:

    No Jason you are definitely not strange. The sight of a double bed merely makes me think "sleep, sleep.......just want to sleep"!

  96. At 02:09 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Jason, I hereby promote you, what have you done to deserve it?!

    "I am frequently told by American evangelists that, not only am I doomed, but also I am responsible for dooming others. Why? Because I am tolerant of all religions. I do not share their view that Christianity is the only path to redemption, the only true word, etc."

    In John Humphrey's series "In Search of Faith" an Iman said they wanted respect, not just tolerance for their faith. Having always practiced the latter, I have decided to adopt the former.

    I always say that faith is just that, a leap of/act of, so while my faith is sure, I shall never know if I am right. Your evangelists & my fundamentalists share much of their world view, and seem so sure they are right, that they exclude so many.

  97. At 02:19 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Jerry Cornelius wrote:

    Fifi - I wasn't a big fan of Home Truths I'm afraid and am not sure it would be any better with Fi, fragrant and wonderful though she is.

    Completely agree that she was excellent on BH (and before that on Radio 5), so the new show was a particular disappointment. Perhaps I should try it again. Problem is that I'm allergic to bad poetry and when ever I turn it on there's a bad poet spouting and I turn it off straight away.

    A big improvement would just to have Fi chatting away for an hour about whatever comes into her head, with maybe the odd interlude involving Fi doing some vox pops (she's very good at those, IMHO) and telling a few jokes.

    Incidentally, I'm new here but I do like the fact the comments threads seem often to be completely unrelated to Eddie's original posts. No, seriously.

  98. At 02:20 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Mrs. Trellis:

    A StAnDiNg OvAtIoN!!!!!!! BRAVO! BRAVO!

  99. At 02:20 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Geoff realname, I am glad you & your church are involved in the debt advice centre, it is a very important service & it is true that the media focus is not often particularly constructive in many areas of life. The church I attend on a Thursday (very emerging church!) tends to help out with household jobs like gardening for those who struggle themselves, when the need arises.

    One chap living next door to an overgrown garden, had the same problem himself, we offered to help out but noticed how often he popped out to tell us not to do too much. It took a while for us to realise he expected us to charge him. He was totally bemused when we told him not only that it wouldn't cost him anything, but why we were doing it; as just an act of kindness. Other groups support the refuge we fund for women who are fleeing domestic violence and as with your service, no Christianity is required.

    I am passionate about social justice, and also think that living your faith is a better way of passing on any message than Bible bashing.

  100. At 02:23 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    Mrs Trellis (currently 92, but who knows): are we allowed to pick our own from the list or do we have to have all of them. Only it seems to me that some have merit, and Solomon *was* very wise...

    I wish I knew how to do italics. I wonder if it is like [i]this?[/i]

  101. At 02:25 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    And some more advice on how to avoid displeasing the Gods, from Hesiod somewhere before 700 BCE:

    Don't throw a man's poverty up in his face.
    He's already hurting, and it comes from the gods.
    The best treasure in the world is a tongue
    That knows when to stop, the greatest pleasure
    Is when it goes as it should. Say bad things
    And you're sure to hear worse yourself.

    Don't be tiresome at a potluck dinner:
    It's good entertainment and cheap at that.

    Don't pour a libation of wine at dawn
    To Zeus or any other immortal god
    Without first washing your hands:
    They'll spit your prayers out.

    Don't piss standing up while facing the sun.
    Between sunset and sunrise, remember,
    Don't piss on the road or on the roadside,
    Or naked. The blessed gods own the night.
    A religious man sits down, if he's got any sense,
    Or he goes by the wall of an enclosed courtyard.

    Don't let your privates be seen smeared with semen
    Near the hearth at home. Be careful to avoid this.

    Don't beget children after coming home From a burial.
    Wait until after a feast of the gods.

    Don't ever set foot in a river you're fording
    Without saying your prayers first. Gaze deep
    Into the current as you wash your hands
    In the precious white water Whoever crosses
    A river unwashed (I mean hands and wickedness)
    The gods visit with nemesis and suffering later.

    Don't trim the dry from the five-branched quick
    Using honed flashing steel at a feast of the gods.

    Don't ever put a jug on top of the mixing bowl
    When folks are drinking It's deadly bad luck.

    Don't leave the wood rough on a house you're building
    Or a chattering crow might perch on it and croak.

    Don't eat from impure pots, nor wash from them
    Either. There's a terrible vengeance in them.

    Don't let a boy of twelve sit on gravestones and such.
    It's a bad thing to do. Makes a man unmanly.
    Nor a twelve month old, it comes to the same thing.

    Don't wash in a woman's bath-water,
    Which for a time has a bitter vengeance in it.

    Don't, if you come across a sacrifice burning,
    Find fault with what the fire consumes.
    The god will visit you with nemesis for sure.

    Don't piss in the mouth of a river that flows to the sea,
    Nor in springs either. And don't ever shit in them.

    That's the way to behave. And try to avoid being
    The object of talk. A bad reputation is easy to get,
    Difficult to endure, and hard to get rid of.
    Talk never really dies, not when so many folks
    Are busy with her. Talk too is some kind of a god.

    (translated by Stanley Lombardo, who teaches Classics and Zen in Kansas, of all places)


  102. At 02:33 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Fifi wrote:

    Brilliantly said, Mrs Trellis (92).


  103. At 02:39 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Fifi, I do agree with you in some ways, although obviously, I do have a faith, I just don't agree with what so many Christians say about sin.

    In the last couple of years I met someone who would call himself a Christian fundamentalist, and I would maintain his version of Christianity was highly suspect, he was a misogynist for a start. It was a real shock to find someone who thought as he did, I thought they all lived in the American midwest, and he could justify everything he said with a Bible verse.

    It seemed to breed such animosity towards others that it seemed heartily un-Christian to me. I think I have said before that Oliver James has a lot to say on the disordered personalities which embrace such a philosophy.

  104. At 02:50 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Mrs Trellis, thank for unpacking all the verses I couldn't be bothered to. The Bible can be culturally located & it was a very different time & place. It is much easier to concentrate on the philosophy of Christianity than to get hung about a set of rules.

  105. At 02:50 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    I think respect is a much stronger feeling than tolerance.

    I cannot respect that of which I am largely ignorant and may have fundamental disagreements with (not that I am a fundamentalist - isn't language tricky). So, for example, I do not respect Islam. Equally, however, I do not deliberately disrespect Islam. I am just very largely ignorant of it. Similarly most other religions.

    I have understanding of the CofE flavour of Christianity (which I was brought up in) and of Buddhism (which I investigated off my own bat). (Most of religion beyond that is beyond me.) I respect both, to a degree, and disagree with them both in many respects. But respectfully.

    One of the beauties of Freemasonry is that it *isn't* a religion. But it does contain a code of morality and ethics (too frequently ignored by some Masons in their business dealings and personal lives, I freely admit) and it promotes the kinds of behaviour that most religions would wish to associate with, such as brotherly love, supporting those less fortunate than yourself, and being truthfull.

    I imagine, though, there are guest houses up and down the country smiting me off their welcome lists. No doubt they fear I would arrive on their door and try to get all the men within to wear an apron, white gloves and do funny handshakes with items of clothing disrupted.

    And there is always the problem of where to hide the goat.

  106. At 03:25 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Yup, but with < and > instead of []. Also <blockquote> </blockquote> as well as <a href="url">text</a> for an embedded link. (use lower case)

    Helen, My professor Lombardo who does Classics and Zen is in the midwest....(though from New Orleans before that). Imagine learning Homer from a fellow who also does classes in (and translations of) Lao Tzu!

  107. At 03:35 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Jason, language is tricky but I don't think I was clear either. I just meant that I respect the fact that others have a faith that is different to mine, or none, and I am happy with that being stronger than tolerance. You are right about the Freemasons too, I have a very dodgy take on them due to those I have met, & it is interesting to find their premise differs from those who act so.

    Could we curry the goat do you think?

  108. At 03:41 PM on 10 Jan 2007, RJD wrote:

    Jason (100)

    Change your [] to > for italics

  109. At 03:42 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Ed, I am glad to find that the midwestern states have some diversity, I suspected & hoped they might have, but also know how dominant that particular brand of Christianity is there.

  110. At 04:00 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    Helen (107 or thereabouts, other numbers are available and all too often used): I am not knocking your tolerance/respect stance at all, just explaining my own. Would that more people even considered having a stance.

    My Dad is and my maternal Grandfather was a Freemason - reason enough to steer well clear until recently. Sadly it is all too often used like a golf club would be (and I'm not talking about potting balls here) and I was very sceptical.

    My reasons for joining and staying are complex and outside scope but there is genuine good being done by the many despite the attempts of the few to derive advantage from membership.

    My proposer and seconder are both factory workers and there is a notable absence of middle or upper class snobbery at my particular Lodge.

    I think the Bretheren would take objection to the currying - but if it were in a rich gravy with a flaky pastry top, potatoes and two veg I am sure they would be amenable.

  111. At 04:22 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Declan Cooke wrote:

    Re message 41 from jonnie.

    Jonnie, I didn't mean to give the impression that I thought the report was biased or prejudiced. It's just that the B&B owner's viewpoint really upset and angered me. And I'm usually such a passive wee thing. If you've ever been on the receiving end of a bit of nasty bigotry it can be really hard to keep a cool head and argue coherently.

    Sincere thanks to you jonnie for fighting the good fight and sincere thanks to all of you who make the effort to speak out when you come across such bigotry.

  112. At 04:32 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Nothing was taken as knocking Jason, it is an exchange of ideas. Not that you should, but do you know anything about Rotary clubs? They seem to be populated by people wanting to do good, which is good, but I know the values of some members of our local club & they decide who deserves their support in a way that I might not.

  113. At 04:46 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    Some more vague straplines:

    PM - would you care to stance?

    PM - stripped, strapped and stropping.

    PM - the one that doesn't lie.

    PM - gives you the pip to start and a bong to finish.

  114. At 04:53 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    Glad to note you've mastered italics!

    Now for blockquote:

    I pondered: Are we so intelligent,
    To burn the earth and chase our tails to source?
    Accumulating airmiles by the billion,
    We spend more time in transit than in situ.
    and, an interesting artifact, emboldened text - the only way to get it here (<b> doesn't work).


  115. At 04:53 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Confused wrote:

    Oh dear, here I am banging on again on pretty much the same thing....

    Jason (105.) and others - the whole joy of following the UN Declaration of Human Rights instead of a religion, for me at any rate, is that you don't have to like a person, or respect them, or share their views/beliefs/lifestyles. These are all irrelevant. All you have to do is repect their basic human rights - their right to live in peace according to their beliefs and to live as a family according to those same beliefs, providing that in doing so they do not break the laws of the land in which you live (these being different in different lands).

    "I cannot respect that of which I am largely ignorant and may have fundamental disagreements with (not that I am a fundamentalist - isn't language tricky). So, for example, I do not respect Islam. Equally, however, I do not deliberately disrespect Islam. I am just very largely ignorant of it. Similarly most other religions."

    So you don't have to respect Islam- you just have to respect the rights of others to have different views to yourself.

  116. At 05:26 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Geoff Realname wrote:

    Helen (99): I agree that living out one's faith is more important than "Bible-bashing", but that faith has to have a basis; for me , as I'm sure for you, that basis is the Bible, but we will doubtless disagree on points of interpretation. Do keep emerging, though!

    Mrs Trellis (92): a couple of points. Well done with your research! For Christians, though, the Old Testament is to be seen in the light of the teachings of Jesus and his followers in the New. Sometimes this will bring a relaxation - for us no food is "unclean", bacon-lovers may rejoice (but discreetly) - at other times the OT is taken deeper - Jesus said that it isn't enough not to kill someone, you mustn't hate or despise them either.

    And secondly, certainly "times change" but we mustn't automatically equate that with progress: some past understandings need to be forgotten but others need to be remembered. We must beware of what CS Lewis called "chronological snobbery".

  117. At 05:29 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Fifi wrote:

    RJD ... good to see you back again! You have been so quiet lately.

    And has anyone got Aperitif's email address? I would like to contact her to wish her well and see if she's OK but if anyone else has the means to do so, that would be lovely too.


  118. At 06:08 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    You can probably reach her here.

  119. At 06:13 PM on 10 Jan 2007, RJD wrote:

    Fifi - I'm awfully noisy on other threads! There are so many that it's hard to know where to go. I've sent you a note.

  120. At 06:54 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    Helen (112) re. Round Table. My experiences of this tend to be that it is somewhat "showy" people who join. I dread to think what they say about Freemasons, though.

    Our charitable endeavours are quite wide. There is an educational fund for girls and for boys and a chain of nursing and care homes for the elderly. All of these give priority to the family of Freemasons, but will assist others if there is insufficient demand from "within" (yes, I know...)

    This is what the world tends to know about and is what tends to draw criticism - "you are only helping yourselves".

    But there is a whole array of support outside of this. For example, several million was sent to support the relief effort in the immediate aftermath of the Tsunami. Much is given locally to hospices and small charities etc. For example, the local Lodges that meet in one place all contributed to help buy the local brass band a new uniform.

    I do not doubt there are many within Freemasonry who's views and life I would disagree with, but those I know are good people trying to contribute what they can to the world "without detriment to themselves or their connections". The big problem is the secrecy, for which you can largely blame Adolph Hitler.

    Confused (115) I can subscribe to that. Respect would have been my middle name had my parents not already made the choice. "Not Very" does seem cruel, howvever, given the surname.

  121. At 07:36 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    The way we're going on this thread, it'll be 20,000 Frogs under the Sea!

  122. At 07:52 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Mrs Trellis wrote:

    Geoff (116)
    But how do you choose if, as is often stated, it is all the word of God, how can you decide which parts no longer apply? Is is not simply the teaching of men (and I am not using Jesus as an example here as, lets face it, he never left us any written lessons and neither for that fact did any of the other disciples/apostles). If they received their lessons, psalms or laws etc, from God then they must be all true however, if they were simply preaching from their own slant on the world, they can be disregarded as the ramblings of men prior to the enlightenment.
    Most of the laws then were based on keeping people healthy eg. Not eating pork (as it was common in those days to fall ill from pork meat) it made sense to rule against it. In those days God and religion were the most powerful force in most peoples lives and so it was a useful tool to use in the fight to educate people against disease. Again I ask: How do you decide which laws do you keep as the word of God and which to disregard. Is it an arbitrary decision or are you being dragged, kicking and screaming, into the present.

  123. At 07:52 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Adam Naylor wrote:

    PM - yesterday's news tomorrow
    PM - the butter side is always up
    PM - not as naughty as Today (not sure if this one's original, might have seen it before)
    PM makes the news sunnier, and the day shorter
    PM - news abuse

    They're all rubbish I know, but I felt I had to contribute.

    On the gay thing, a friend of 20 years recently "came out" to me and was slightly surprised when I answered I'd known for about 18 years. He'd thought I'd be upset/embarrassed/never talk to him again or something.

    What tosh!

    Might try to steal his boyfriend when I finally get to meet him though, just to keep him on his toes :-)

  124. At 08:37 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Mrs Trellis, I don't agree with Geoff's interpretation of the Bible, but it isn't just pick 'n' mix; there is a rational theology to support his post.

  125. At 11:53 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Confused wrote:

    Fifi - thanks for the story of your mother at Gay Pride! And thanks on behalf of Brighton for the kind words. If you're thinking of another visit, then the Brighton Festival (especially at weekends) which runs for the whole of May is a good time - loads going on whatever your tastes ...

  126. At 04:25 AM on 11 Jan 2007, Annasee wrote:

    Some more straplines ( there's a terrible strom outside, & I've been awake for hours listening to it, so what else to do?)

    PM- The Today programme for people who sleep late.

    PM- Turn on, tune in, and giggle

    PM- picking the best items from the news menu for you

    PM- mechanically- recovered news to serve up with the turkey twizzlers

    PM- Number 1 Programme for cats, dogs, rabbits, sheep, goats. All named.

    PM- the programme that's proud of its visible straplines

    and finally, let's not forget Eddie's excellent contribution some time ago:
    PM- If we knew what we were doing we'd be dangerous!

  127. At 08:52 AM on 11 Jan 2007, Mrs Trellis wrote:

    Helen Sparkles (124)
    "rational theology" Now there is an oxymoron if I ever heard one.

  128. At 10:04 AM on 11 Jan 2007, Rachel wrote:

    Ros: "when two people request a double bed, one can assume they will be using it for sexual purposes"

    Ros, I want some of what you're having if that's the case in your world. Double beds are for cuddles and love and security and pillowtalk. For waking in the night and hearing your love snoring next to you and feeling warm and safe. Of course, they are for sex too sometimes - but I had more sex in a single student bed than I'll probably ever have in a middle-aged double one.

  129. At 11:06 AM on 11 Jan 2007, Fifi wrote:

    Thanks Ed ... but Flikr doesn't seem to want to let me join.


    Fifi the Grump


  130. At 12:08 PM on 11 Jan 2007, Belinda wrote:

    "when two people request a double bed, one can assume they will be using it for sexual purposes"

    One could also assume that for single beds, car seats, and kitchen tables. Sex is no less likely to take place in a single bed than a double (It's just a little more cramped, that's all!). I have never known anyone NOT have sex because of the size of the bed or the location. Equally, I have never known anyone feel compelled to have sex just because the bed is 4ft in width rather than 3 ft 6'.

    And whatever the size of the bed, the landlord of the establishment really should not be projecting what his customer - be they heterosexual, homosexual or a dog-lover - is doing in their paid room, and discriminate against them on the account of his own over-active imagination.

  131. At 12:18 PM on 11 Jan 2007, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    I am not sure how I can re-phrase that Mrs Trellis, but theolology is an area of academic study, and some of that work supports Geoff's POV, which suggests rationality to me.

    I don't agree his theology at all, and you and I are will never agree on this subject I suspect, which is fine.

    I think I have said before that faith is exactly that; a leap of or an act of. It might not be rational but it is what faith is, and I place my faith in lots of places, including in other people.

  132. At 12:20 PM on 11 Jan 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Apologies in advance for failing to make references to others' posts, but:

    Someone said the Church is obsessed with sexual sins. This is not true, it is simply that this government is obsessed with promoting certain sexual sins. I suspect they may have more to answer for over scrapping Section 28 than over the Iraq War. (Takes cover)

    Perhaps it is only a matter of time before restaurants are fined for refusing to serve shrimps (don't bother to interpret that one!)

    Hierarchy of sins is a difficulty to me. If you keep in lane, obey the lights, correctly use your indicators (hundreds don't when leaving roundabouts, thereby causing considerable congestion) but you are caught speeding, you get done. Sins are a bit like that, but can murder be equal to taking home a pen from work? Discuss (but probably elsewhere).

    "rational theology" Now there is an oxymoron
    Try reading Schaeffer's "Escape from Reason" if it's still available. Good discussion on the irrationality of secular humanism.
    Reason is about thinking from a given point. If the premise is wrong, then reasoning may well lead to a wrong conclusion.

    What was that about Dawkins? If he really believed in what he says, he'd be giving away his book "The God Delusion", not charging £20 for it (25%off at WHS). Gideons give away the book in which they believe.

    [Think I've covered most of what I wanted to, after reading frog last night.]

  133. At 01:06 PM on 11 Jan 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    Belinda (130) I have never known anyone NOT have sex because of the size of the bed or the location.

    Whilst agreeing on the bed (as it were), I disagree on the location - I have frequently not had sex because of the location. And, even more frequently, the lack of willing accomplice And, even more frequently than that, the lack of inclination.

    But I know what you mean...

  134. At 02:09 PM on 11 Jan 2007, Belinda wrote:

    Thanks for the laugh, Jason. I will amend my statement to say:

    I have never known anyone NOT have sex because of the size of the bed or the location, except from Jason Good.

    That better?

  135. At 02:33 PM on 11 Jan 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    I think I should have kept my own counsel on this one, shouldn't I?

    Somehow I now feel empty and used...

  136. At 04:04 PM on 11 Jan 2007, RJD wrote:

    Jason (133)

    I think you should rephrase the end of your second last paragraph - or did you really mean the "the lack of inclination"?

  137. At 05:11 PM on 11 Jan 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    RJD (133): I believe it has its origin as a geologist's term for an angle - will that get past moderation I wonder? Other interpretations are available..

    I wanted to say "couldn't be bothered" - but I always prefer to use a flowery word when an ordinary one would suffice.

  138. At 05:13 PM on 11 Jan 2007, Trevor Adcock wrote:

    Blogs are breaking out all over the BBC site but they do not seem to me to be what I think of as a “blog” (or Weblog”). I always thought that they were the thoughts of one individual on things that happen to him or her or on the world - and in particular the world news.

    There are some notable examples from quite ordinary individuals facing extraordinary circumstances (for example in Iraq) but, for the life of me, I cannot see where anything like that is to be found in the BBC “blogs”. There is usually a nominal author but the comments are short and great in number. Just imagine all those people in a room at the same time, all making their comments on what is often a very trivial point! What a cacophony that would be. Surely not what was intended! Or was it?

    That brings me to my point, which is to ask what the purpose of the “blogs” is? Without knowing that, I find it difficult to make a contribution. Can anyone enlighten me?

  139. At 05:25 PM on 11 Jan 2007, Geoff Realname wrote:

    Mrs Trellis (122): you're quite right that some prophecies, commandments etc were given for specific people at specific times. How we decide which these are is by the long way round: thought, scholarship and prayer. We think long and hard, we examine the original texts and contemporary writings, and we ask God to show us his way through it. And if we're honest we keep on doing this as a continuing process so that we can try to find what God is saying to us as specific people at this specific time. Example:

    I'm by no means a Biblical literalist. I don't believe in a 6-day creation of the world because there is too much evidence to suggest otherwise. Nonetheless, I believe that the creation accounts enshrine the fact that, by whatever means and over however long a period, the physical universe was made by God: this being so, it tells us things about our own relationship with that world that we need to hear and to act on.

  140. At 11:24 PM on 11 Jan 2007, Valery P wrote:

    RJD & Jason G, now just settle down, boys.

  141. At 12:21 AM on 12 Jan 2007, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Vyle Hernia, I posted yesterday along the lines that not indicating would be quite high up my hierachy of sins actually, but it didn't appear. I also wondered if a certain car manufaturer wasn't fitting them as standard, perhaps that was the issue to be moderated, but they are also the drivers who think the 'fast' lane is their lane!

  142. At 12:31 AM on 12 Jan 2007, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Trevor, I refer you to this link to find out a bit more about this blog; http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/pm/2007/01/the_beach.shtml & would have to agree that the BBC uses its blogs for interaction, whereas other blogs are usually a long post by the blogger with shorter comments. I hope you will join us here again though, even take a trip to the beach or furrowed brow.

  143. At 09:13 AM on 12 Jan 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Sparkly Helen (141)

    It's usually the members of the Middle Lane Owners' Club who get my goat. I think I may have misled by using the term "Keep in lane"; I should have said something like, "Choose the correct lane."

  144. At 11:05 AM on 12 Jan 2007, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    My biggest bugbear is just people sabotaging my stopping distance, where-ever they are driving, usually without letting me knew what their intentions are with an INDICATOR!

  145. At 11:38 AM on 12 Jan 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    They haven't got time to indicate! They've got to quickly jump into the space you've so carelessly left open by not tailgating. ;-)

    On a related matter, the ones who really get up my nose are the ones who try to get up my exhaust! If they think they're going to encourage me to go faster, they've made a serious mistake, as I just slow down the closer they get, and if they get too close, they're likely to see my brakelights go on very suddenly.... (foglights can be very useful, and it's a treat to watch their reactions)

    My SO is one of these at times, and seems to want to hitch onto the bumper of the car in front, even on well-known roads when there is no chance of overtaking for miles. It's strange, if we consider how little we're gaining by getting somewhere a couple of seconds sooner by being a few yards closer to the car in front, but it's not a rational matter.

    Grrrrr (It's probably a good thing I drive a lot less)
    Friday January 12, 2007 at 11:40:02 GMT

  146. At 11:42 AM on 12 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    RJD and Jason (belatedly!)

    Just caught up on your lovely exchanges above.

    What a double act! A definite improvement on Ant and Dec, methinks!

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