04 February 2010

04/02/10

The Song Dynasty began in 960, with the coronation of Emperor Taizu.  George Washington was unanimously elected to be the first President of the United States by the Electoral College in 1789.  Three earthquakes have struck on this date in recent decades:  1328 people were killed in 1975 in Haicheng, China; twenty-two thousand were killed in Guatemala and Honduras in 1976; and 5000 were killed in Afghanistan in 1998.

Born today:  Fernand Leger (1881-1955), Nigel Bruce (1895-1953), Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Rosa Parks (1913-2005), Ida Lupino (1918-1995), Alice Cooper (1948), Dara O'Briain (1972), Oscar de la Hoya (1973), Natalie Imbruglia (1975).

It is Independence Day in Sri Lanka.

113 comments:

  1. Just finished reading the end of yesterday's thread.

    *wipes tears from eyes*

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  2. Did they memory hole all the neo nazis with weird numbers from the BNP thread?

    I wanted to point and laugh!

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  3. Good God, I cannot believe the homeopathy thread is still going. Must crack on with book for the CIFBelief 'bookclub' later...

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  4. Philippa,

    I've decided that the smallest possible dose of the homoeopathy thread cures my blood pressure problem.............

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  5. 13thD: that was magnificent. It does suggest there would be a market for Regency-diction rap.

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  6. The last two WAddyas are lost, or locked, in the ether..

    Is it cos I said, 'cunt'?

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  7. Prolly - it's off topic when we're talking about tits.

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  8. Fencewalker,

    there's few things on youtube that make me laugh out loud, but that's one of them.

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  9. Hurrah! I share a birthday with Rosa Parks and Ida Lupino!

    Not so hurrah - and Natalie Imbruglia.

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  10. Dot
    Quite so. And not more than a handful, neither.

    I realise I'm in danger of being labelled a breast fetishist now. I mean more than I am. I would just like to advertise that I didn't start all this, I'm just playing along...

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  11. Happy Birthday PeterJ!
    I'd buy a pint for you any time. Have a good 'un, our kid!

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  12. Happy Birthday PeterJ, I normally bake a cake for someone's birthday, would you accept a virtual one?

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  13. Happy birthday, Peter!

    Where is BB? We need her on Andrew Brown's ridiculous apology for an article.

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  14. God, don't we Thauma? That man is a disgrace to argumentation. My heart sank when Jess's response to our requests was to say he was doing it. He has gone way beyond a joke.

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  15. Nice to see Cherie Blair letting off criminals because they're good religious folk. I take back all my previous criticism of the woman.

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  16. Happy birthday, PeterJ!

    And by the way, all people who criticize Andrew Brown's article are obviously ISLAMOPHOBES who would like to see all Muslims in PRISON!!!1!1eleven!

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  17. I think the Cherie case would be perfect for BeautifulBurnout to write about from the legal perspective.

    All Andrew Brown can do is write it from his narrow religionist point of view without addressing the fundamental legality (illegaity) of her actions.

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  18. I was thinking BB too. Go on girl!

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  19. yr grace - he's the least atheist atheist I've ever come across. it took him actually saying he was an atheist on one thread before I noticed...

    Am still not convinced, frankly...

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  20. He's not fit for his job. I don't think a Belief editor ought to be completely neutral, but to have such disdain, exacerbated by misrepresentation, for another school of thought makes him - to borrow from Mr Brooks - the Leading Asshole In The State.

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  21. Happy Birthday Peter.

    Your Grace that rap video made me howl - wonderful.

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  22. That AB thread is full of fuckwits.

    Just needed to say that somewhere.

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  23. Unbelievable. Someone has just posted a 'what about teh menz'-type comment on the AB thread.

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  24. So much for working from home today...

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  25. Am working my way through the AB thread.

    Christ. And I mean that literally.

    Maybe he's a sort of unitary fifth columnist - he's managed to get posters who normally throw rocks at each other to unite in the cause of calling him an idiot.

    I have recommend a post by Etoiles for pete's sake.

    Etoiles.

    (Only the first one, mind, not that later stuff about everybody finding God eventually - the world hasn't gone that crazy yet)

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  26. That misrepresentation - twice - has got to be actionable, surely? BB?

    The defence 'people on these threads are nasty' having bugger all to do with what one individual said, whether on the thread or not.

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  27. Happy Birthday, Peter.
    That Brown article is so dunder-headed it beggars belief. Maybe it's a crafty line of argument designed to get more attendees at mosques,churches,synagogues,temples etc. Profess faith X,Y or Z and get a free get-out-of-jail card!No sincerity or honesty test required, offer open to those already facing trial too:you might be late getting your bum on our seats, but hey, we'll get you out of your fix.On second thoughts, nah, it's not even crafty, just lame.

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  28. Happy Birthday to Peter and Rosa (you're in good company there, mate)

    Philippa: If misrepresentation on Cif was actionable, there would soon be very little left for anyone to read. Whether this would be a positive step is perhaps a moot point.

    I've been too busy saving the planet (well, a small part of the Cornish coastline) to contribute recently, but I've got the Anniversary Party on the 13th down in my diary.

    See ya all then...

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  29. I hate myself for reading the thread, and posting, as I do think the best thing to do with AB is to ignore him like any other troll. But I just couldn't help myself.

    El - soss @1:22:

    I am sure that the NSS do not kick up a fiss when exactly the same treatment is dished out to female offenders, who these days are acquitted of murder amongst other crimes.

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  30. Philippa: Who is an atheist? The only one I've seen mentioned here would be Andrew Brown, but come one, he can't have as much chutzpah to claim *that*; the only thing that would top such a statement would be Julie Bindel publicly self-identifying as Men's Rights Activist.

    So, who's an atheist?

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  31. andy - I know, but he's ATL (he's editor of CIFBelief) so surely he can be seen as speaking on behalf of the Guardian.

    I'm not saying anybody should sue, I'm saying it looks to me like they could, so I'm surprised it is still up. Because they do mod BTL-ers 'for legal reasons' if they say something that could bring legal heat. I've been done for that meself.

    elementary - I know. That's why it took ages for me to get it - he self-identifies as 'atheist', but quite apart from the thinking as shown in the thread up today, he does seem to see 'atheism' as a coherent and unified movement, sort of like, erm, a religion...

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  32. thauma: Wrong thread to make that point (and totally wrong society, as the NSS has nothing to do with gender issues), but I don't see how it would lower the intellectual level of the discussion, considering the level it started on ...

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  33. Bah fuckit. Spent last 20 mins writing a response to onemanisanisland and have just deleted it as utterly pointless.

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  34. In his attitude towards NuAtheists (TM) AB often seems indistinguishable from SonoftheRock, which is not a position I'd wish on anyone.

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  35. Philippa, as long as you don't call him by his name, I will still assume that my thinking you're talking of Andrew Brown is the result of a huge misunderstanding ... ;-)

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  36. Fence - he's just old-style anglican, to my mind. Not dreadfully religious, quite likes the bells and smells, thinks it's a bit infra dig to be visibly observant, but certainly not taking any of the upstart commie 'new' atheism either...

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  37. Just read a couple of articles and threads on CiF. Hmm.

    "Convivial friends have all gone,
    Death has trampled them down one after another;
    We were in one wine-bout at life's party,
    They got drunk a round or so ahead of us."
    (Omar Khayyam)

    Think I'll keep giving it a miss.

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  38. Aye, Philippa, I think that's quite possible. Trouble is it's married to that wilful, unapologetic and flagrant lying about what other people think.

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  39. The moving finger writes, and having writ
    Moves on, nor all thy piety nor wit
    Shall convince it it has written shit,
    Nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.
    (Omar Khayyam via Edward Fitzgerald + me)

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  40. Nice one from iquit, surely about to be zapped:

    "Andrew Brown

    Stop being a dick, get back on here and admit you got it wrong. Any other explanation for your flagrant misrepresentations are going to look pretty shoddy."

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  41. Hang on. Andrew Brown is an atheist?!!! Seriously?

    Granted, I don't pay much attention to the religion threads but when I have looked I assumed he's bashing the holy book like billy-o.

    If Brown's an atheist I think I may have to go back to BeautifulBurnout's posts to review whether or not she's a member of Combat19, whether princesschipchops is James Purnell and my own to find out if I'm actually a Tory.

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  42. Duke - I know, it's hard to believe, isn't it? In fact I don't believe it. I think Philippa's on the money.

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  43. evening all

    BB

    Did you see this in the graun yesterday?

    Guardian : "Border staff humiliate and trick asylum seekers – whistleblower"

    Truly nauseating stuff.

    Bitters
    Bumped into Richard on the bus this evening - apparently he couldn't work out who your better half was talking about - so perhaps I don't know him as well as I thought.

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  44. Just got the following from the Institute for Public Policy Research if anyone's interested

    The ippr has launched a new project looking at local-level work to tackle poverty, discrimination and disadvantage, improve job opportunities and protect the environment.

    We would like to find out about the work currently being done by local organisations across the UK. We are keen to hear from all types of organisations, including trade unions, local authorities, charities, social enterprises, campaign groups and service providers - anyone who is involved in tackling poverty, improving job opportunities or protecting the environment at a local level.

    The survey can be accessed here: Survey

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  45. Thanks for that, Sheff, have sent it on to a friend who works for a charity.

    *grr*

    Is it me, or is Blogger getting worse and worse about posting comments? Try again....

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  46. Evening all.

    Hope everyone is well. Sorry for absence lately. No legitimate excuse.

    AlisdairCameron

    Thanks for the nod over on WADDYA.

    Not vastly interested, but for no other reason than being a lazy git.

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  47. Evening all

    I will take a shufty at the AB piece. It is well dodgy to assume that just because someone is "religious" that somehow makes them of better character than someone who isn't.

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  48. Ha ha,

    just noticed I'd written combat19 instead of combat18. Combat19 getting their name from the initials AL- Adolf Litler, Hitler's lesser known cousin.....

    Sheff,

    that story is enough to gie ye the dry boak.

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  49. your grace - yes, seriously...
    "If Brown's an atheist I think I may have to go back to BeautifulBurnout's posts to review whether or not she's a member of Combat19, whether princesschipchops is James Purnell and my own to find out if I'm actually a Tory"

    And I'm a retired colonel in the guards who thinks everyone should just bloody well pull themselves together.

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  50. BB - Nooooooooooooo - don't gooooooooooo!!!!


    Damnit, she'll be back in a minute, spitting feathers, and we'll have to hoover again...

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  51. Better hurry, BB, the mods are closing the thread soon!

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  52. Aaaaaaand ... it's shut, just in time to stop Helen the Magistrate issuing a writ on AB for his most recent balls-up on the extrapolation front.

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  53. Philippa

    Where do you think the Brown thread goes in terms of legendary CiF own goals?

    Higher or lower than Libby Brooks?

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  54. Heh heh, she managed to get a quick one in first!

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  55. The slimy bastard has also suggested that people ought to report anyone mentions pope and nazi in the same breath to the mods.

    Of course, the only people who have done this are the religious nutters!

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  56. I never bothered to have a look at the Brown thread until now. I skimmed every 20 or so comments.

    Wow, did the Enlightenment actually happen?

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  57. thauma

    Nice "short riposte" from helen01 there - bang on the money on the distortion front.

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  58. MsChin - yep, you can see she's got an analytical mind unlike the blog host!

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  59. Hi All

    Duke-- It's a massive own goal. He won't apologise though as that seems beneath his conception of his own stature. The Longley article, the misrepresentation of Sam Harris,etc. Too arrogant and hypocritical for the job, methinks.

    Best to you on your birthday PeterJ.

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  60. That thread has become a bit of a mess. And we don't know what she actually said in context. I have no idea, to be frank, whether she suspended the sentence because he was a devout muslim, or whether that was, rather, part of the sentencing remarks in pointing out to him that he should know better.

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  61. Damn. Missed all that cos I was reading the first posts on the thread! I need to look at the bottom section, obviously.

    Sheff - yeah I saw that article and I was appalled but not surprised. I mentioned on Waddya last night, as I would have liked it to be open to comments.

    Combat19 - LOL at Adolf Iitler :o)

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  62. I've made the mistake of going back to read the last comments, and come across AB's "reply". I mean he's actually doing a double act with that tool SOTR. And his trademark spitefulness is coming out.
    How does he have that job when so many of the Belief BTLers can explode his reasoning in half a minute?

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  63. Check out JonathanWest's post on WADDYYA regarding the Brown blog.

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  64. Fence - that is one thing I have noticed about AB too. I don't read his threads very often, but he doesn't like being disagreed-with does he? He gets quite "handbags at dawn" at times.

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  65. I'll pop over to waddya in a minute - just going to check out how many of my comments on the British Numpties Party thread were modded last night :p

    I seem to recall telling one eejit that it was past his bedtime...

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  66. That's why I stopped going on Belief, along with a few others.
    Certain 'guilty pleasure' feeling about all this today, though.
    It's sad, because most of the Belief crowd are very polite to people they don't agree with (numbnutses like SOTR and Scheusslich to the contrary. Props to the Xr chaps who came on to say they didn't agree with Cherie).

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  67. Aw - that one has gone. And a couple of others too (can't remember what they were about).

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  68. Naughty BB!

    Various people have suggested that you would be the right person to write a piece on the Booth decision. Presumably you would be able to dig up actual facts about the trial transcript as opposed to "I couldn't be bothered to do any research"-Brown?

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  69. I dunno thaum - not all cases are published, and while there would probably be a court transcript, I would have to pay to get my mitts on it. The only other thing I could try and do is to track down the barrister who was representing Miah and see if they had any reliable notes (which they ought to have had)

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  70. Really? That's astounding! I innocently thought all trials were a matter of public record.

    I expect the Guardian could run to buying the court transcript, however.

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  71. There is nothing to stop anyone going into court and making a transcript of the proceedings, and various organisations - either for money or in the case of BAILLI for free, will publish important cases, but it is rare that Crown Court transcripts are published unless it is something really unusual because the rulings are not binding on another Crown Court. The court transcript has to be paid-for. Which is a bummer.

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  72. The last couple of AB (abominable bastard) thread posts are a belter, but that swinging reply..

    AB quoting Helan01

    "..But religion is not a guarantee of virtue, as so many have pointed out. On the contrary."

    Right. Religion is a contrary to a guarantee of virtue. I don't see that's far from claiming that religion is a guarantee of the contrary of virtue. Isn't that exactly the position I suggested that the NSS wants magistrates to take up? And here we have a magistrate from the NSS taking it. There is a god.

    ENDQUOTE

    So on a thread where he's repeatedly been pulled up for distortion, he quotes someone, distorts what they said and uses it as a personal attack! You couldn't make this shit up...

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  73. And the twat's admission that he is a theist.. ;)

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  74. LOL. True dat, turminder. He does his best to appear non-partisan but it always comes out in his posts. Not that I have anything against people of a religious persuasion, as long as they are not trying to persuade me to change mine. But at least have the cojones to come out and say it.

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  75. Question to ponder: If you have told your son about the privacy settings on Facebook and he still allows non-friends to see the wall-posts, is reading his Facebook page morally wrong? Am I spying? Is it like reading a diary you find lying around?

    Hmmm....

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  76. @BB. Many years ago, I followed a girlfriend to a 'business meeting' she had told me she was going to, when I looked through the windows of the bar she went to, I saw she was actually playing footsie with a colleague...

    Don't look unless you want see...

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  77. BB

    Have been requested to help out with a very young Congolese kid who has been refused because the bloody ukba don't believe he's only 16.

    He arrived ce soir - practically no English and very accented French. My very rusty French is struggling and have just plugged him into the TV. He seems very sad and lonely, he has no friends in the town. He's so young to be on his own like this. But just getting here from Congo is an epic journey to survive for such a young one.

    Might request advice when I know more of his story.

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  78. That's a good bit of advice, Turminder.

    And I have been in a similar situation too, with an ex bf years ago. I guess I should either ask him to add me as a friend, in which case it won't be snooping, or just stop snooping!

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  79. Has anyone else read today's truly excellent Seumas Milne piece on Iran? Just read it over dinner, and can't find fault with a single word.

    BB - those questions are too deep for me. But I would say that he trusts you and perhaps you shouldn't betray that trust. Unless you really, really think something may be wrong, but I doubt that.

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  80. Evening all - thanks for birthday wishes. Have been wandering around, had a couple of pints alongside a good book, and have dinner at a friend's tomorrow and my daughter coming down on Sunday to look forward to...

    Catching up, I should admit that I know Andrew Brown quite well, or used to, on friend-of-a-friend level. He always reminded me of Auberon or Evelyn Waugh, and his nickname among us was The Bishop when he was a religious affairs correspondent at the Indie. Very English, very Oxbridge, very upper-middle, with an interest in science but a feeling that it wasn't quite as important as what some philosopher or other said about science. Have any of you read Bryan Appleyard? Like that.

    I never had him down as an atheist, although he always treated the CofE more as an anthropological study project than anything to do with theology.

    Now to visit the thread.

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  81. Oooh! Happy Birthday Peter! :o)

    Thaum - I read Seumas's piece in the paper at lunchtime. It really is excellent.

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  82. Another question to ponder: is there any biscuit in the world better than a Tunnock's wafer? I haven't had them for years and they had a special twofer offer on the big packs, so I bought some. Sublime!

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  83. @Thauma - my rule of thumb, which has never let me down so far, is that finding oneself in agreement with Seumas Milne is prima facie grounds for suspecting one's own sanity. I got moderated for calling him a Tankie last week, but reading his Salon Stalinist bollocks always sends me back in spirit to punchups of the early 1970s. And he was a host at 'Progressive London', forsooth!

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  84. Sheff - le pauvre! Respect to you.

    Dis-lui (in my increasingly pidgin French) qu'il a de la courage et qu'il trouvera des amis.

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  85. Blimey Sheff. I hope he is ok!

    There was recent case law that says that the Tribunals are not bound to accept the Home Office/Social Services assessment of age if there is a specialist paediatrician who has given an expert opinion. Of course, expert opinions cost money, but if he can find a good legal aid sol, he ought to be ok.

    Best of luck.

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  86. Sheff,

    I wish you all the best with your young charge. You're doing a great thing and I hope everything works out well.

    BB,

    Tunnocks wafers rule. When I lived abroad I always got my Mum to send some over along with oatcakes.

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  87. Peter, I've read a lot of criticism of him, but admit I've not read his pieces that often. This one really has it right - and I can say this without prejudice as I *haven't* read much of his before. Really, read it!

    Glad you are having a half-decent birthday with more to come over the weekend.

    A friend-of-a-friend of AB's, really? Ugh. To descend into utter juvenility, his fucking picture nauseates me - full-on religious insincere smile, attempt at populism with open-necked denim shirt when you know he'd be more comfortable in formal wear, etc. - hypocrisy incarnated, really.

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  88. I've never had a Tunnock's wafer; am I deprived? Is that like growing up without the sublime knowledge of soda farls?

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  89. 'is there any biscuit in the world better than a Tunnock's wafer?'

    No. They're known as camel biscuits in our family, due to cunning wrapper-folding so it says camel rather than caramel...

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  90. THAUM!

    Buy some! Seriously. They are yummy!

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  91. BB - but ... what are they like? 'Wafer' implies to me some sort of papery, insubstantial waste of time.

    Do they have magical properties like the afore-mentioned soda farls?

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  92. wafer filled with caramel and coated in chocolate. Deffo magical...

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  93. That doesn't sound too bad, BB - will look for some.

    Time for bed - 'night all!

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  94. AndrewBrown
    "Religion is a contrary to a guarantee of virtue. I don't see that's far from claiming that religion is a guarantee of the contrary of virtue"

    Dogs have four legs.
    My cat has four legs.
    Therefore my cat could write better columns that Andrew Brown.

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  95. Right, having got that out of my system.

    Sheff - I was tangentially involved last year in the case of Rima Admariam, a 16-year-old eritrean girl with a baptismal cert but no birth cert, so UKBA assessed her as 18 on the grounds that she was 'tall' (and didn't bother reading the file). They (despite a Tribunal ruling syaing they hadn't considered her case properly, if at all) hoicked her out of the house where she was staying (churchfriends of a mate's mother, long story) and took her to a Scots 'centre', then, when a judicial review was started in Scotland, shipped her down to Yarls Wood to change the jurisdiction. Judge fortunately told them to get stuffed and she was, last I heard, back with the friends in Scotland.

    Not meaning to be scary there, but that could be what you have to deal with. What made the difference for Rima seemed to be press attention. The local paper was deluged, so made a big deal of it, and it spread.

    A bit like that article you linked to, where the whistleblower said they only cared about cases where the local MP was involved - any trouble, get the word out. It seems, sad world that it is, that's the only thing that matters.

    Bon chance. Can provide cackhanded translation via email if that would help...

    Good luck with it.

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  96. Lord Monckton is a cock.

    Really.

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  97. Right, I'm just gonna watch Prof Jim's latest on BBC4, then crash.. Can i recommend the Falco drama on BBCr7, on the iPlayer the now. It's really good.

    Cheers for the T-Birds link yest Pip ; -D F.A.B!

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  98. Pip

    Stories like that are, sadly, ten a penny. They are sneaky buggers and will do whatever they can to circumvent the law if they think there is the remotest chance they might get away with it.

    It keeps me in work, but god I wish it didn't. I would much rather be earning a fraction of what I do and knowing that people were treated with something remotely resembling humanity.

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  99. BB - aye - what depresses me most is the thought of how many other 'Rimas' don't have a stubborn Scottish congregation all writing four letters a day and refusing to shut up supporting them, and where they end up.

    So salute to Sheff.

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  100. On a lighter (sort of) note - watched District 9 tonight, really good film.

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  101. Philippa, Question Time on now. Cracker line-up!

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  102. OK me dears. Bed is calling to me...

    Night all x

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