Comments for en-gb 30 Sat 29 Aug 2015 07:51:04 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at The Stainless Steel Cat lepus (81):My little dog (now long gone to chase sticks in the sky) was once attacked by a labrador. It's owner barely paused in her chat to her friend to ineffectually say things like "down" and "stop it" while my poor wee thing got bitten repeatedly. If she hadn't wrapped the lead round my legs in an effort to hide from the rotten thing I'd have happily kicked that labrador in the teeth to stop the attack. Fri 20 Nov 2009 20:04:14 GMT+1 Lepus_Madidus Thank you DoctorDoLots #38, and Big Sis #43.We have dogs and cats in the past. Dog saliva may have beneficial properties, but the thought of handling food from the bakers and placing it in my mouth after the dog had licked my hands was offputting.Perhaps I've led a sheltered life but I've never seen a Labrador or Spaniel attack another dog like that. Perhaps it's something to do with the tasks they were originally breed for? Fri 20 Nov 2009 18:25:48 GMT+1 davmcn BS, A cat person., not a catperson. Fri 20 Nov 2009 18:01:28 GMT+1 davmcn J 74, And I kept telling you that that wasn't my cat. Fri 20 Nov 2009 17:31:12 GMT+1 davmcn DD 71, Whichever way you look at it, she ain't one of the Marx brothers. Fri 20 Nov 2009 17:30:15 GMT+1 concerned_uk_citizen 76 LNIndeed – there is nothing I can add to that Fri 20 Nov 2009 17:12:41 GMT+1 Lord Nathan A Moment of appreciation for Constable Barker =Peace and condolence Fri 20 Nov 2009 17:08:02 GMT+1 concerned_uk_citizen #66 L-S Re ‘so you follow a person, not a party? Interesting and I would think, quite rare. Then, if the person you elected resigned, retired or left under disgrace and had to be replaced by another person in that party, would you consider that person not to have been elected?’If my elected MP quit I would expect a bi-election. Unfortunately my vote for a ‘person’ is usually outnumbered by those who ‘vote for a party’ (and then complain about what they get). In the case of our esteemed Prime Minister I think there should have been an election but we will have one soon enough! Fri 20 Nov 2009 17:07:37 GMT+1 jonnie The above should read: I thought David dressed the poor littrle mites up and took pictures of them... Fri 20 Nov 2009 17:02:31 GMT+1 jonnie I thought dressed the poor littrle mites up and took pictures of them... Fri 20 Nov 2009 17:01:43 GMT+1 Big Sister David: You are a catperson? Are there no end to your talents? I'm not a dogperson, btw, but if challenged to choose between cats and dogs, I'm afraid the dogs win my vote every time. But enough of that. Fri 20 Nov 2009 16:52:17 GMT+1 DoctorDolots 65. davmcn - I thought Oprah was Harpo spelled backwards. Fri 20 Nov 2009 16:50:40 GMT+1 DoctorDolots 60. mittfh - yes, it's 63Mb, the contents look genuine, and would have taken a long time to fake, but are innocuous and scientific as one would expect. Nothing that suggest what the deniers are alleging. They do get excited over very little and of course one or two forgeries inserted could be at the centre of this storm in a warm teacup. Perhaps the media have looked and decided it was a hoax? Fri 20 Nov 2009 16:48:06 GMT+1 davmcn Ete 28, I'm glad you said that. I was going to, but A N Other poster jumps all over me if I say St Albans. I see Kelner every so often. Fri 20 Nov 2009 16:47:14 GMT+1 davmcn DD 31, Without Googling, I'd say that mammoths and elephants are related, but mammoths didn't evolve into elephants. Fri 20 Nov 2009 16:44:57 GMT+1 davmcn L_M 33, I saw it on the news on TV.BS, I am a cat person. Fri 20 Nov 2009 16:37:43 GMT+1 Lady_Sue c-u-c: so you follow a person, not a party? Interesting and I would think, quite rare. Then, if the person you elected resigned, retired or left under disgrace and had to be replaced by another person in that party, would you consider that person not to have been elected? Richard: ironrash went on to say, "So, now we have a non-elected PM supporting a non-elected peer for a non-elected position as EU Foreign Minister." I presumed he was referring to the PM as many bloggers have made this mistake about Mr. Brown's position before and I believe Mr. Brown was actually at the conference and had a vote whereas the Queen was not - but you are quite right, the Queen is Head of State. Fri 20 Nov 2009 16:35:04 GMT+1 davmcn Ln 46, Did you know that Oprah's production company is called Harpo, her name spelled backwards? Fri 20 Nov 2009 16:34:12 GMT+1 Lord Nathan "There are of course some very good constituency MP’s, we just never hear of them."Their constituents do, though. An end to Parties? Fri 20 Nov 2009 16:32:55 GMT+1 davmcn EtE 49, Go to Wooten Bassett and give it a try. Put your money where your mouth is. I saw that Bruce Kent here not long ago. And talked to George Galloway at an anti-war meeting. Fri 20 Nov 2009 16:31:12 GMT+1 jonnie #3 GiulioNapolitani,I also found the DAB story hilarious on the Today programme. When our boiler fan and burner is modulated the DAB radio - at least 15 foot away turns into a warbling mess - analogue is unaffected. I realise it's due to some radio frequency hash which is intefering with the DAB signal - but at least with analogue you can hear whats being said through the inteference and hiss. Fri 20 Nov 2009 15:53:23 GMT+1 jonnie Interesting Mittfh,I'm a little surprised aswell - however it could be that the story isn't really that important and of course it's quite a busy news day with the floods etc... thanks for clarification on the pm glassbox. Fri 20 Nov 2009 15:29:47 GMT+1 mittfh Re: Hadley Centre hacking.I've just done an extensive Google on the subject, and so far the alleged leak has received extensive coverage in the blogosphere - but oddly enough, there doesn't appear to have been a single article in the mainstream media anywhere in the world yet...Hmm. Apparently the zip file is about 60 MB in size, has appeared at numerous torrent websites, and allegedly contains emailed correspondence from the past decade or so which supposedly 'reveals' that the Hadley Centre have been spinning and manipulating their data sets to reveal trends that apparently aren't noticeable in the original data. Some of the sites claim to have a quote from the Centre's director, which supposedly says that they knew they'd been hacked and the data appears genuine.However, I reiterate - although this story has been around all day, no mainstream media site indexed by Google today has yet reported on it. A fact which seems ever so slightly suspicious...Perhaps someone can give them a bell and ask them to prepare a comment on the story. Have they been hacked? How genuine is the data? Given there are only a couple of emails being reprinted in the media, are these part of the package? Are they genuine? Fri 20 Nov 2009 15:17:20 GMT+1 concerned_uk_citizen #54 L-SI’m afraid I disagree, at the election I vote for a candidate, a person, a Member of Parliament who is supposed to represent those in his or her constituency. The Party system is there because to get elected you need the resources they provide and in return you have to tow the Party line.It’s academic anyway as once elected they have so much to do working out what expenses to claim and which lobbyist would be the most advantageous to accommodate that their constituents appear to drop down the priority list.There are of course some very good constituency MP’s, we just never hear of them. Fri 20 Nov 2009 15:03:49 GMT+1 jonnie All these PM glassboxes seem to attract little or no comments from the Editors anymore?Have I missed comments from Dan and Ryan?It's always good to hear some feedback from the likes of Amanda and Elouise etc... Fri 20 Nov 2009 14:57:43 GMT+1 Richard_SM #32. realjacques,"These files appear to contain highly sensitive information that, if genuine, could prove extremely embarrassing to the authors of the e-mails involved."Highly sensitive information - Like where the Christmas party is being held this year!Emabarassing - The best climate change denier jokes! Fri 20 Nov 2009 14:49:05 GMT+1 Richard_SM #31. DoctorDolots,Same family. I thought the 'evolving' occurred further back. My understanding is they were species in parallel. One died out. And the reason might be in the 'dung.' Fri 20 Nov 2009 14:43:41 GMT+1 Richard_SM #54. Lady Sue,Our Head of State is the Queen! Fri 20 Nov 2009 14:33:16 GMT+1 Lady_Sue Ironrash@2: "the Head Of State from the UK was in no way democratically elected". We've had this before and your assertion is not correct. It is not like the US system. The UK population elect a political party and that party has every right to select whichever leader they feel most appropriate. Fri 20 Nov 2009 14:28:55 GMT+1 GotToTheEnd 48An Asian friend has just told me I don't see the anger****, that's all. When the time comes, they'll push!!**** a bit like the English hearing the Welsh crowd at rugby internationals as 'merely' beautiful, and never hearing the anger!! Fri 20 Nov 2009 14:19:42 GMT+1 GotToTheEnd How do fellow listeners and bloggers react to the apparently increasing numbers of groups of soldiers in uniform, recruiting or running through the streets with automatic weapons in our towns?I tell them they are being trained as killers and that the presence of their colleages in Afghanistan is immoral.They don't seem keen to talk about it, even though their uniformed presence is clearly a part of a public message designed for people like me. Fri 20 Nov 2009 14:17:01 GMT+1 DoctorDolots Having tracked down the relevent document via a hacker download link, I've had a look through the contents, not the emails which I consider private and therefore not for anyone but the intended recipient. There's a crime been committed here and I trust the police will be investigating and p-rosecuting. Nothing so far I have seen looks in the slightest interesting to a non-scientist or saying anything that would give support to the deranged conspiracy theorists of the oil-funded denial lobby. It's general run of the university stuff one might expect. That they got the name wrong is illustrative of the amateur level of these people, all they can do is spread rumours and innuendo and hope some of it sticks. The hacker may have done damage while there os course, deleing files etc. they usually do as they are essentially vandals with no respect. The same people who write viruses that give the rest of us so much hassle. Should we pay any attention to them? Fri 20 Nov 2009 14:15:26 GMT+1 GotToTheEnd Sorry, a subject too serious for my mistypes.'people''I think if I lived there...' Fri 20 Nov 2009 14:11:49 GMT+1 GotToTheEnd What is it like for peopel in Wooton Bassett?I thion kif I lived there, I'd feel, not only the sadness for the families of these young people and their tragic death.But I think I would also feel that the immoral presence of our troops in Afghanistan was being supported.We never, never hear a reported voice from there, whether military, religious, political or public which cries out, in anger or in grief, 'BRING THEM HOME NOW!' Fri 20 Nov 2009 14:10:06 GMT+1 GotToTheEnd Speaking of which, I was watching Question Time last night. Until recently the homepage had a clip of an African-Caribbean young woman stopping AJP Taylor with a question too difficult to answer.She was one of a large number of ordinary black peope asking spectacularly good questions over the years on QT.Yet the Tory politicians promise the NEXT generation of young black people that they will get a fair deal.The thing is, they are ready for power and responsibility now. That politicians pretend they're not, is what holds them back in schools. It demoralises them. I've heard it all my life. 'In a generation or two black people will be ready' The reply James Baldwin gave FORTY FIVE YEARS AGO should be updated, 'The Fire This Time'What happened to her, that brilliant young woman on QT? Did she go to Oxford to help Alan Taylor with the modern world, I wonder?Some Asian woman from poor backgrounds seem to have found a way through to professional roles, thank goodness. The white middle class can find them less threatening than either white or black working class youngsters. They don't mention or seem to think about the Glass Floor that their white middle class mentors never seem to fall through, as often. But despite their competence and their professional positions they don't seem to be achieving real power. That still seems to be the preserve of the middle classes who are overwhelmingly white in this country.With them running the education syllabi in history, literature, politics and social studies, they're not going to become Rosie the Riveters or join the Land Army or become Bevin Boys volantarily. And groups in the education system who are rightly motivated by the prospect of that transformation - black, white, asian and poor - all suffer.........from all that middle class programming and ideology. Fri 20 Nov 2009 14:05:43 GMT+1 GotToTheEnd The governemnt is bad enough not wanting to pass enabling legislation to stop they themselves and the other MPs from ripping off the rest of us in expenses scams. Now, the Tories are, to a final MP, refusing chairpersonship (and membership?) of the Parliamentary Committeee on Standards and Priveleges since the newspapers plan to reveal such MP's expenses in complete detail.So we have an Oppositon frightened the truth will out - but revealing the truth is what the Opposition is supposed to do.This self perpetuating self-feather-bedding oligarchy that we call our Parliament is a public disgrace.Kick them out now. Let the wretched of the earth, our poor African-, Asian- and white- working class and underclass take over. Fri 20 Nov 2009 14:05:38 GMT+1 Looternite Is tonights PM going to mention Oprah by any chance. I think it might have been mentioned in the newsletter.originally Posted on wrong blog sorry. Fri 20 Nov 2009 13:48:54 GMT+1 DoctorDolots There is no Hadley Climatic Research Centre at the University of East Anglia. The University of East Anglia has a Climatic Research Unit, which is based at the University, which is in Norwich, Norfolk. Meanwhile, the British Government's Met Office has a Hadley Centre which looks at climate change. This is not part of the University of East Anglia, and is based several hundred miles away in Exeter, Devon. Given this fundamental factual error in the article, should we trust any of it? Fri 20 Nov 2009 13:48:03 GMT+1 Looternite #33. Lepus_MadidusI saw that footage last night on BBC London and although they gave the usual warning I was still a bit surprised by what I saw.From what I know of dogs, I grew up with a dog always about, the guide dog was showing submission and was in no way responsible.The owner and his dog need to be found, as no child or pet is safe. Fri 20 Nov 2009 13:43:21 GMT+1 Big Sister Um, Lepus, the Dangerous Dogs Act was introduced in 1991. I believe there was a Tory government at the time ;o) Fri 20 Nov 2009 13:06:51 GMT+1 Lepus_Madidus Head, Shoulders and Teeth? It's a special dog shampoo for those breeds of dogs that like a good punch up and is specially formulated to quickly wash away blood? Fri 20 Nov 2009 13:01:24 GMT+1 DoctorDolots 32. realjacques - REALLY! Woow, denial minds going overtime, high excitement. I shall have to email a climate change researcher I know at UEA and get the truth. Bet it's way different to your overblown insinuations. And this when parts of Cumbria is under ten metres of flood water! What do you think caused that then? Or perhaps you don't feel you need to have an alternative explanation. Oh, I forgot, since the reality of climate change has become undeniable to all but the most challenged, you've shifted to 'well it wasn't us then' scenario. The kind of argument typical of three year olds when caught bang to rights. Fri 20 Nov 2009 12:55:55 GMT+1 mittfh In the spirit of a certain Belgian poet (currently moonlighting as a politician):Children in Need DaySponsorship and FundraisingA very worthy cause!---PM starts at 5With Eddie and the FroggersSat in Glass Boxes---Weekdays on PMAM / PM Glass BoxesPlus a Beach on Fri---As you can undoubtedly tell from those abyssmal efforts, I'm no poet or wordsmith. Go on, I dare you to do better! Fri 20 Nov 2009 12:54:10 GMT+1 Lepus_Madidus #35, Big Sister, the BBC is my home page on both IE and Firefox and it was one of the top 10 news items last yesterday evening.It just made me really cross. I'm finding it difficult not to come to some judgement about the owner from the footage before the attack, his gait, the lead on the ground, the beer...We've had many dogs. I hate to stereotype but these dogs that are all shoulders, head and teeth to seem be usually in the company of certain types. That Staffordshire Bull Terrier that licked my hand? The owner lifted it up so I could stroke it, it was only a puppy, but the owner was telling me that she was lovely and in a couple of years would be breeding from her as he could get £250 per puppy.The dangerous dog legislation is another piece this regime has introduced and failed to enforce or use properly? Fri 20 Nov 2009 12:52:12 GMT+1 DoctorDolots 33. Lepus_Madidus'...a delightful Staffordshire Bull Terrier, unfortunately it licked my hand when I was stroking it which put paid to popping into a local bakery for a snack before going home where I could wash my hands.'Are you under the impression there's something dangerous about a dog licking your hand? Their saliva is highly antibiotic, which is why they can lick their bottoms and not have the runs as we would. My dogs regularly lick any part of me they can reach, including my face, and so far I haven't suffered any dire consequences. In fact, it's well known that people who live with dogs are healthier than those who don't, and children growing up with a dog have much more robust immune systems and suffer fewer illnesses. So I don't know where you got the bizarre idea a dog licking you meant you couldn't buy a snack!I didn't click your links as I didn't want to be upset, not being a wildlife cameraman who all seem to enjoy shots of animals being killed - it's dramatic, man. Fri 20 Nov 2009 12:48:54 GMT+1 Lord Nathan I wonder at the similarities between the tactics of the AGW Sceptics lobby, well funded by well-connected interested parties (fuel companies, manufacturing industry, etc.) and the lobby fighting he 'demonisation' of a well-known Middle-Eastern "democracy"One lunatic fringe is pretty much like another? Fri 20 Nov 2009 12:43:13 GMT+1 Lord Nathan Consider the source: Fri 20 Nov 2009 12:33:01 GMT+1 Big Sister Lepus (33) Thank you for flagging up that story. The footage is shocking. Unfortunately, we all already know that there are some VERY irresponsible dog owners in the community. This guy obviously knew his dog's nature - just as soon as the dog took off, he shot off after it in what looked like blind panic. The footage had me in tears, and I still feel pretty shaken. As a dog owner myself, I've been attacked by other people's dogs, and my own dog has been attacked on a regular basis by a neighboour's dogs. My dog, incidentally, has never initiated an attack and is, in any event, never allowed off the leash when other dogs are around unless they are know to be friendly with each other.As somebody who loves dogs, yet is very alive to the responsibilities of dog ownership, I feel very torn about how these incidents can be prevented. And, it must be remembered, the blind woman will regard her dog as not only a good friend but an essential companion. I hope this man either hands himself, and his dog, in or that somebody will be able to identify him to the police. I can see another debate looming about dog ownership. Fri 20 Nov 2009 12:31:54 GMT+1 The Stainless Steel Cat realjacques (32):Interesting. I take it you've seen these e-mails if you know them to be "embarrassing". Care to share? Fri 20 Nov 2009 12:25:40 GMT+1 Lepus_Madidus Thanks realjacques. I'll have a ferret about later.I'm really saddened by the footage on the BBC news website of that dog attacking a guide dog at a railway station in London.What was the owner doing leaving the lead on the ground like that? Other than posing? Couldn't he have put his ankle and leg through the handle of the lead? It made me some angry I was doing heavy breathing. What possible justification is there for having a dog like that? Do these people feed their dogs steroids?Should there be a reward out for information about the owner of that dog that attacked that guide dog?It's people like that help justify the way the entire country is covered by CCTV cameras? it seems it's not the first time a guide dog has been attacked.Imprisonment? If your dog attacks a guide dog you face a custodial sentence? that sentence apt? Did the penalty in anyway make up for the damage and cost of that attack on the police horses? weekend in one of the less good suburbs near my home I happened across a chap with a delightful Staffordshire Bull Terrier, unfortunately it licked my hand when I was stroking it which put paid to popping into a local bakery for a snack before going home where I could wash my hands. Fri 20 Nov 2009 12:21:50 GMT+1 realjacques The University of East Anglia's Hadley Climatic Research Centre appears to have suffered a security breach earlier today, when an unknown hacker apparently downloaded 1079 e-mails and 72 documents of various types and published them to an anonymous FTP server. These files appear to contain highly sensitive information that, if genuine, could prove extremely embarrassing to the authors of the e-mails involved. Those authors include some of the most celebrated names among proponents of the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW).Hadley has confirmed that it has been hacked and it has cancelled all existing passwords. Discuss on PM? Probably not. Fri 20 Nov 2009 12:02:40 GMT+1 DoctorDolots 21. Richard_SM - I thought mammoths evolved into elephants rather than dieing out, or maybe that's too simplistic. Fri 20 Nov 2009 11:59:11 GMT+1 DoctorDolots 25. ExpectingtheEnd - Bangladesh doesn't have a future any more than other low-lying areas like parts of Pakistan, Holland and East Anglia. Height above sea level is going to become ever more important as time goes by. Fri 20 Nov 2009 11:58:01 GMT+1 U14138029 EtE (28) - 10/10. Fri 20 Nov 2009 11:41:14 GMT+1 GotToTheEnd My Facetious Comment of the day:I think the EU high representative for Foreign Affairs and security leads the ideal private life to deal with political complexity, difficult non-European neighbours and language gulfs.She's married to Peter Kelner and lives in........St Albans.Nuff said? (:-)) Fri 20 Nov 2009 11:37:16 GMT+1 Lord Nathan What a crock of crocs!;-) Fri 20 Nov 2009 11:29:41 GMT+1 Richard_SM China have spoken out about Israel's plans for new settlements. Unusual for them to comment!,7340,L-3807688,00.html Fri 20 Nov 2009 11:28:39 GMT+1 GotToTheEnd The tradegy of floods here, severe though it is, is dwarfed by hte permanant real threat in In this world of QE and banksters, 6 billion doesn't seem worth the argument.Or are the hydrological objections to river bank protection so severe it's worth risking hundreds of thousands of lives? I think not.From a welfare point of view the need for action is paramount.Of course if the Bangladeshis who die have lives that our experts don't count anywhere near as valuable as our own (for which they should be horsewhipped) then one gets funny answers.(Check George Monbiot on how poor African and poor Asian life is accounted in Nick Stern's hallowed report!!!!)Can PM use this occasion (after all it will be short of film clips) to look at the world's worst flood areas and report on what Britain is doing there to help.Incidentally, the Bangladeshi government has been praised, rightly, for its work on population growth. Fri 20 Nov 2009 11:25:17 GMT+1 Richard_SM #23. Lord Nathan,No - not like the St Matthew Island story. But there is a crocodile story today. Fri 20 Nov 2009 11:21:28 GMT+1 Lord Nathan "Professor Johnson told BBC News: "If we want to understand the history of ecosystems across the planet we really need to understand the effects of megafaunal extinction.""Like the reindeer on St Matthew Island?Nah! That's an example of uncontrolled population growth..... Fri 20 Nov 2009 11:14:12 GMT+1 Looternite #21. Richard_SMThat was a very interesting link - Thanks.Perhaps PM can expand on this.Could lead to a fertile debate. Fri 20 Nov 2009 10:58:35 GMT+1 Richard_SM Mammoth dung may hold the answerHere's a lighter story for tonight. Dung analysis shows a slow decline in megafauna around 15,000 years ago.Professor Johnson told BBC News: "If we want to understand the history of ecosystems across the planet we really need to understand the effects of megafaunal extinction." Fri 20 Nov 2009 10:51:21 GMT+1 davmcn Ln 19, It was over their heads. Fri 20 Nov 2009 10:45:51 GMT+1 Looternite #15. davmcnMissed it. Fri 20 Nov 2009 10:43:37 GMT+1 Looternite #14. Richard_SMThanks, the numbers as you say are somewhat light.Again I agree with you how long does it take to train a "warlike people" (according to countless BBC reporters) to become an army. Fri 20 Nov 2009 10:42:36 GMT+1 davmcn Ln 13, Don't mention flying carpets... Fri 20 Nov 2009 10:40:27 GMT+1 Lord Nathan Ironrash (2),Agreed, but isn't our actual "Head of State" hereditary? P.S. I'm looking across the valley at a hill named after your cousin Ironhash.;-) Fri 20 Nov 2009 10:37:29 GMT+1 davmcn This post has been Removed Fri 20 Nov 2009 10:13:30 GMT+1 Richard_SM #13. Looternite,No - with Afghan Army/Police it takes it up to 200,000 - still a long way short. US military manuals suggest troop levels of around 1:50 for counter-insurgency operations, which is 2%. Combining NATO and Afghan resources brings it just 0.6%. There is something very wrong with the resource levels.And why is it taking so long to train the Afghan army? It had to be done from scratch in Iraq and they managed it in a much shorter time. Fri 20 Nov 2009 10:13:02 GMT+1 Looternite #8. Richard_SMInteresting numbers.One question - do the numbers for Afganistan include the Afgan army? Fri 20 Nov 2009 10:01:07 GMT+1 davmcn R_SM 8, No fly zones? Send more fly swatters. Fri 20 Nov 2009 09:55:57 GMT+1 Richard_SM Torture complicity: Court rejects Miliband attemptsThe sixth judgement in this case seemed to escape coverage yesterday. The Foreign Office are preventing disclosure of evidence, saying it would damage US-UK relations, when the information is now available in the US. The Foreign Office argument is now bizarre. Fri 20 Nov 2009 09:55:09 GMT+1 DoctorDolots 9. concerned_uk_citizen - it goes with Chief Constables increasingly exerting their 'independence' and behaving like feudal chiefs. I think a national force but locally answerable is the sensible, democratic way. For too long the police have acted as if they are in control of us rather than our servants. Fri 20 Nov 2009 09:54:34 GMT+1 concerned_uk_citizen Police chief constables may resign if a Tory government tries to place forces under local political control, the head of their professional body has warned. - So they don’t want locally elected control over them, they don’t want a National Police Force, they want to be independent . . . and who elected them, are they not employees of the local authorities, is it not the Council Tax Payers that they are employed to serve? I think it is about time we had a national debate about the way policing is done or not done in this country. How about it Eddie? Local control, National Force or the status quo? Fri 20 Nov 2009 09:28:19 GMT+1 Richard_SM Afghanistan: Strategy and troop levels.Obama’s announcement on strategy and troop levels must be due soon. If more troops are the answer, why not send an appropriate number?1991, Iraq, with a population of 24 million, around 500,000 troops were sent, equating to around 2% of population.2003, Iraq, severely weakened after 12 years of sanctions and no-fly zones, 300,000 troops were sent, representing 1.25% of the population.In Northern Ireland, from memory (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong) Britain had around 25,000 troops in a population of 1.7 million, which is roughly 1.5%So why in Afghanistan, with a population of more than 32 million, a far more difficult terrain, a history of conflict, and a known terrorist base, do troop levels only now stand at 0.3% of population? It doesn’t make sense. NATO forces should be around 500-700,000 compared to other conflicts. Tinkering around with an extra 20 or 30,000 troops won’t make much difference. Fri 20 Nov 2009 09:19:56 GMT+1 concerned_uk_citizen #6 DD Agreed, I would wager that Westminster would be evacuated long before the fist damp patch in similar circumstances. Fri 20 Nov 2009 09:18:57 GMT+1 DoctorDolots Floods again, and despite advance weather warnings that become more accurate every year, there's no proactive thinking, just wait till the flood happens and then risk the lives of the emergency services rescuing people from rooftops and windows. The word evacuation doesn't come into it. What's the point of the Met Office providing warnings when the authorities hang about to see if they're accurate?Now a police officer is lost, presumed swept away, and numbers of people unaccounted for. 'This area will flood', should be the signal for an orderly evacuation rather than a call to the coastguard and mountain rescue to stand by in case they're needed. Fri 20 Nov 2009 09:15:00 GMT+1 Looternite I wish the BBC news reports regarding the flooding in Cumbria would tell us not just the amount of rain falling but how much above normal. Not just in mm but % as well.After all the Lake district is a wet part of England anyway. Fri 20 Nov 2009 09:13:36 GMT+1 GiulioNapolitani Nice piece on the Today prog just now about digital switchover for radio, with Torin Douglas clearly illustrating the folly of the project as he attempted to report over a faltering digital line. Good to finally hear an explanation of the reason for this madness: basically that radio must have its 'digital moment'. At least we can now rest assured that it isn't just the desire of government to cash in on the sale of the current AM/FM radio spectrum. Fri 20 Nov 2009 08:58:46 GMT+1 GiulioNapolitani #2. Ha! It makes sense, though. Tony Blair's failure to win the top job clearly marks him as the Cliff Richard of politics, with this his 1968 Eurovision moment. From here on in, it's going to be unknown East European acts all the way. Over to you, Paddy... Fri 20 Nov 2009 08:52:38 GMT+1 Ironrash Lord Kinnock was on "Today" this morning protesting that although Baroness Ashton had never been elected to any position, this didn't matter because she had been elected to her new post by "27 democratically elected Heads of State". Surely some mistake. I can't really speak for the other 26 but the Head Of State from the UK was in no way democratically elected.So, now we have a non-elected PM supporting a non-elected peer for a non-elected position as EU Foreign Minister.And we preach to the Afghans about democracy? Fri 20 Nov 2009 08:31:05 GMT+1 gossipmistress As the Highway Code states that " windscreens and windows MUST be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision how is it that lit-up screens of travel information are allowed to be attached to the inside of car windscreens right in front of the driver's nose, with the intention that the driver should take their eyes off the road to look at the screen while they drive?Does anyone else fine these quite distracting in other people's cars at night-time when they are lit up? Just me then?! :-( Fri 20 Nov 2009 08:28:47 GMT+1