08 June 2010


You've got 27 coin, each of them is 10 g, except for 1. The 1 different coin is 9 g or 11 g (heavier, or lighter by 1 g). You should use balance scale that compares what's in the two pans. You can get the answer by just comparing groups of coins.
What is the minimum number weighings that can always guarantee to determine the different coin?


  1. I thought a little puzzle for you part timers might wake you up when you finally crawl into the office..

  2. Jay

    Too early for me to manage a puzzle, I suffer from bleary brain in the mornings. - I'm on field trips this week - no office for me until Friday....thank christ! Driving to Tewkesbury later this morning. I see its raining...oh well!

  3. ...and all that bling is a bit hard on the eyes first thing.

  4. 4 weighings. If you fluke out it can be done in fewer...

  5. No it can be done in 3, though i wont say how yet, not fluke either.

  6. JayR:

    Do I have to?

    I'm rubbish at such things...is the coin that's lighter/heavier bigger or smaller.... christ, now I feel like Dougal trying to understand 'near and far' ;)

  7. You have to, LaRit, its the law.

    Coins are all same size, its just weight that is different, so not a trick question at all.

  8. Jay - not up to that sort of thing this morning - have a headache and I don't know where it came from! Don't drink!

    Off to take some paracetamol!

  9. I reckon Dot might have a bash at it...

  10. now I feel like Dougal trying to understand 'near and far'
    one of my favourite ever things on TV...cropped up in museum of curiosity this week too! sun 400 times larger than moon and 400 times further away = look the same size...

    all time favourite
    that would be an ecumenical matter

    no idea on the weighing thing. do you put half on each and take one off each side until they balance, when you know the last two taken off included the moody one, and then...then measure both against a 'control' coin to identify the moody one. 3 weighings.

    that right?

  11. Nope. I expect more from our Oxbridge brigade, Pip, terribly disappointing... Shameful even...

  12. @PhilippaB

    My wife is personal secretary to a Bishop, and I've been desperately trying to get her to introduce that would be an ecumenical matter into some of his correspondence, she's refused point blank so far but I remain hopeful... however, I may well just have to settle for her kicking him up the arse.

    And, in an even stranger twist of Ted-related fate, she's recently been corresponding with the head of a priests' retirement home. Sadly, she's proving just as immune to my blandishments when it comes to referring to it as Jurassic Park...

  13. Jay:

    "You have to, LaRit, its the law"

    OK - give me a week!!! ;-)


    I love it. My favourite is....Mrs Doyle....

    " will you have a cake Father? will you have a cake Father? They've got.... Cocaine in them"

  14. SwiftyBoy;

    "My wife is personal secretary to a Bishop, and I've been desperately trying to get her to introduce that would be an ecumenical matter into some of his correspondence, she's refused point blank so far but I remain hopeful... however, I may well just have to settle for her kicking him up the arse"

    I had a friend who worked in IT support, him and his mates used to run a competition to see how many times they could say in a day....

    "have you tried switching your computer off and then on again" hilarious ;)

  15. Am excited today though, after a 2 month wait for it in the Library, I've got me hands on the Dave Eggers book - Zeitoun....

  16. Jay

    Do you put 3 coins in each side first and if the lighter coin is in one of those you weigh two of the coins against each other and if it isn't one of those it is the other.

    If the coin isn't in the original 6 you weight the other coins against each other seperately and voila.

    That is 3 weighings either way isn't it?

  17. Actually if the coin is in the first 6 you can do it in 2 weighings I think.

  18. Nope, but on the right track Jen.

  19. Why wouldn't that work Jay?

  20. "Actually if the coin is in the first 6 you can do it in 2 weighings I think."

    The answer means it takes the same amount of weighings wherever the coin is, so you cant get lucky with coin plaement.

  21. "Why wouldn't that work Jay?"

    "Do you put 3 coins in each side first and if the lighter coin is in one of those you weigh two of the coins against each other and if it isn't one of those it is the other."

    Cos if its one of those others, you still have 21 coins to narrow it down from, so how would you know for def which coin it was from those 21 with only 2 weighings? Cant be done.

    But you're on the right track.

  22. Pah thats a rip off, I can do it quicker. ;)

  23. Ha I thought you had 10 coins not 27 I should have had some coffee first.

  24. 27 is divisible by 9. So 1. divide the coins into 3 piles of 9; 2. divide the heaviest pile into 3 piles of 3 coins; 3. divide the heaviest pile in single coins and voila! there's your answer.

  25. morning all


    that's cruel...don't do mathy stuff.... especially in the morning....


    sorry to hear your news...try to keep your spirits up....... :)

  26. So you split them into 9s then to find out which 9 it is, then split that 9 into 3s to find out which 3 it is (2 weighings) then you weigh two from that 3 and it will either be one of them or the one left over.

  27. Bugger Swifty beat me to it.

  28. PS gandolfo, you got a namecheck in the Evening Standard yesterday (or rather "gandolfo's return" did). You asked Nick Clegg a question at Hay via Comment is Free, did you not?

  29. Swifty - re that would be an ecumenical matter - it aired a bit before a methodist conference, and apparently was the preferred heckle in some lighter moments...

    it still makes my father laugh 'til he cries - brilliant show...

  30. swifty

    indeed...about the Gaza blockade after Clegg published an article in the Guardian last year about political leaders doing nothing.....I asked him whether he stuck by this or whether he'll be towing the Condem line....in short ConDem line....

    wow in the standard! Things can only go up......!

  31. You've got 27 coin, each of them is 10 g, except for 1. The 1 different coin is 9 g or 11 g (heavier, or lighter by 1 g). You should use balance scale that compares what's in the two pans. You can get the answer by just comparing groups of coins.
    What is the minimum number weighings that can always guarantee to determine the different coin?

    I blame Brown and Darling for this. Balance scales? BALANCE SCALES? New Labour certainly didn’t think about balancing immigration did they? Oh wait, they did, they balanced it all in favour of Poles and Pakistanis.

    “What’s in the two pans?”I tell you what’s in them. One pan is the great British tax payer and the other pan is the great British benefit scrounger. Guess who’s pan is full to the brim with the different coins?

    Pull the drawbridge up, leave the EU, reintroduce national service and sterilize single mum’s and teenagers from poor households.

    Is that not the right answer?

  32. Nice one Duke. ;)

    I wonder why when people genuinely go on those kind of rants they always want to sterilize single mothers.

    Even the RSPCA know that it is the males you sterilize to keep populations down, they will help pay to neuter male pets but not female.

    Leave the poor womens tubes alone and get snipping, any volunteers? :-)

  33. @Duke

    Nice work! You are Simon Heffer and can claim your tweed suit.

    Ta @gandolfo.

  34. jennifer/PeterJ

    just getting in touch with my inner breaking3/styxdweller.

    It would be very therapeutic but therapists are one of those non-jobs along with 'diversity consultants' you only ever see in the Guardian.

    Time to guillotine the public sector gravy train I say. Along with chavs balls and anyone umnemployed for more than two weeks.

  35. @Philippa:

    I love the Chinese episode, where Ted is mistaken for a racist, and prepares a presentation to show the Chinese community on Craggy Island that he is definitely not a racist... I don't cry much as a rule (from laughter, sadness or anything else), but there are some moments in Father Ted which are just so surreal and utterly brilliant...

    And undoubtedly Graham Norton's finest hour.

  36. One for PeterJ and Gandolfo re Israel.

    On one of the BBC threads on what you think of the 2012 Olympic mascots, one of the comments underneath was priceless in its irrelevancy:

    "Rearrange 2012 and you get Zion"


  37. Swifty

    My Dad used to laugh himself off his chair watching Father Ted sometimes, I never really took much notice until I watched it recently.

    So many good moments to pick from, Mrs Doyle trying to get down from the windowsill, Father Jack going to AA and the whole of the caravan holiday episode deserve honourable mentions.

  38. Swifty - when they got stuck in the lingerie department, I swear dad was actually crying with laughter...

    pull yourself together man!

  39. @Duke

    That's speakyourbranes-irrific! Though my irrelevancy meter has already been skewed after reading Joan Smith on why visiting Thai prostitutes leads to mass murder...

  40. @jennifera:

    And Richard "I don't believe it" Wilson... Ted and Dougal getting stuck in a cave with Father "I really really really really like you Terry Phelan" Noel... "Oh Christ, nuns"... Fr Fintan Stack... all genius stuff.

    On the subject of Fr Ted, has anyone ever read Well Remembered Days by Arthur Mathews?

  41. @duke....


    that joan smith article is horrendous....

  42. Jay,

    in response to your question on WADYYA regarding Demos.

    A horrible, soft focus think tank which is part of the 'open left' project and the brains behind New Labour.

    What it means by 'open' is that it is open to whomever is going to win the next election, hence the introduction to the main committee of David Willetts and George Osborne in May 2009.

    On a side project it's also working with James Purnell!!

    To paraphrase Henry Ford. You can have Demos in any political shade you like, as long as it's neo-liberal.

  43. Incidentally (this will be my final Ted post of the day, I know there are more important things to talk about and I am resolutely shallow these days)...

    Wikipedia has the following to say about how the Richard Wilson scene came about:

    The situation was conceived when writers Linehan and Mathews sat behind Wilson at a performance of Le Cirque du Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall. They considered how "tasteless and wrong" it would be to lean forward to him every time that an acrobat did a stunt and yell the catchphrase, and then they realised that that's exactly what their fictional priests would do...

    Epic stuff.

  44. @Duke and @Jay

    Demos is also famous for employing Madeleine Bunting for a matter of minutes, before realising what the rest of us already knew and applying the boot to her twee backside.

    Thank goodness the Guardian took her back before she had to pawn the Aga.

  45. @PeterJ:

    Demos is also famous for employing Madeleine Bunting...

    And also, apparently, for employing Jessica Reed (probably not paying her though, she was only an "intern")...

    Jobs for the progressives, eh? Where do I sign up?

  46. @Swifty

    Another Demos fact; one of its senior analysts was a bloke whose name, apparently changed by deed poll, was - in its entirety - Perri 6. This was used without giggling by his colleagues.

    Now, I find, Perri 6 (or David Ashworth, as we must no longer call him) is a professor of social policy at Nottingham Trent, working on "neo-Durkheimian institutional theory".


  47. @PeterJ:

    Perri 6 sounds suspiciously like one of the Sandmen chasing Logan 5 and Jessica 6 in Logan's Run.

  48. Dag nam it, you were all playing fun games with gold while I was out in a field getting soaked to the skin for no data!

    I know a few more, but I can only think of the physical ones at the mo (suspend a wine glass on three others using three knives without the glasses touching type thing)

  49. Swifty,

    And also, apparently, for employing Jessica Reed (probably not paying her though, she was only an "intern")...

    Jobs for the progressives, eh? Where do I sign up?

    Lord above, progressive guardianistas...thousands of em....


    Perri 6. Inspired by Perri Mason, Fred Perri erm, Perri-Perri sauce?

  50. @13thDuke:

    Famed cross-dresser Grayson Perri? Nothing wrong with that, of course, and I'd most surely like to have been in the Demos meeting when Perri 6 turned up in the baby doll nightie and big frilly knickers to talk about fiscal stimuli and leveraging the power of the third sector as a provider of services to the public, or something.

  51. Mayhap he is a perry drinker? Winston Churchill was a fan of Babycham, don'cha'kno...

  52. Maybe his first sexual awakening was watching Dr Whos' companion Peri when he was six.

    Or maybe he is a total tosser.

  53. @jennifera:

    Or maybe he is a total tosser.

    Hmm, I hadn't thought of that.

  54. Perri
    The Edge

    Adopting a fake name, lame much? I mean who would be so sad.... ; )

  55. Oh, here we go, director of the Adam Smith Institute has just turned up on CiF with his checklist. Here goes-

    1. Spurious mention of the 1970's- check.

    2. Brain drain if we raise taxes (subtext- don't fucking touch my scandalously low tax threshold or the 2% of society I represent)- check.

    3. Deflect attention from the bank bailout- check.

    4. Managerial checklist to 'improve services and costs' when it was the managerial culture of neo-liberalism championed by ASI twonks that got the country into the mess in the first place- check.

    5. Buzzwords- 're-engage', 'good value', 'rebooting government' etc etc- check.

    6. Promote the concept of an ultra elite kitchen cabinet, 'star chamber' which will take full control of fiscal agenda whether or not it has democratic accountability to the legislature etc-check.

  56. @Duke

    Yes, it's a classic isn't it? I heard him on the radio this morning. Guess what the first thing he wants to cut is? Any hint of business regulation.

  57. So PB is doing an article on 24 later today on CIF - he's a sly one isnt he...

  58. In fairness Jay I did say that I had an ulterior motive for asking about 24 - I just didn't want to presume that the Guardian would run with my idea, which thus required me to be oblique about it.

    Apologies if you feel deceived - it was not intentional.

    FWIW, I haven't - obviously - stolen any of the ideas that UTers proffered. But they will undoubtedly reflect some of the reaction to it. That in itself is helpful.

  59. PeterJ,

    The ASI have proudly brought Britain since 1979- present day:

    - privatisation of Rail and Bus services.

    - contracting out of essential public services from hospital cleaning to bin emptying.

    - privately contracted prisons and security.

    - an Independent Bank of England (one of the cornerstones of market freedom and chaos.)

    - Welfare to work

    - 'internal markets' for the NHS and Education and the academy system.

    - chopping the top rate of tax and the culture of low taxes for high earners.

    - And as you say, less business regulation.

    Now that the shit has hit the fan as a result of their influence over Tory and Labour Governments, it's time for even more!

    Open wide all.

  60. peterb - when's it going up?

  61. After a wet morning rolling around the web reading of the influence and objectives of leading neocon Grover "starve the beast" Norquist my eye came on this:

    (from the unofficial Paul Krugman site - link below)

    ".....7. What Kind of Country?

    The astonishing political success of the antitax crusade has, more or less deliberately,(d30's bold) set the United States up for a fiscal crisis. How we respond to that crisis will determine what kind of country we become.

    If Grover Norquist is right -- and he has been right about a lot -- the coming crisis will allow conservatives to move the nation a long way back toward the kind of limited government we had before Franklin Roosevelt. Lack of revenue, he says, will make it possible for conservative politicians -- in the name of fiscal necessity -- to dismantle immensely popular government programs that would otherwise have been untouchable.

    In Norquist's vision, America a couple of decades from now will be a place in which elderly people make up a disproportionate share of the poor, as they did before Social Security. It will also be a country in which even middle-class elderly Americans are, in many cases, unable to afford expensive medical procedures or prescription drugs and in which poor Americans generally go without even basic health care. And it may well be a place in which only those who can afford expensive private schools can give their children a decent education.

    But as Governor Riley of Alabama reminds us, that's a choice, not a necessity. The tax-cut crusade has created a situation in which something must give. But what gives -- whether we decide that the New Deal and the Great Society must go or that taxes aren't such a bad thing after all -- is up to us. The American people must decide what kind of a country we want to be.

    Originally published in the New York Times, 9.14.03 ...."

    The above extract is from Unofficial Paul Kruger's archive . I found the full essay (available via the link0 a very interesting read.

    All the so called think tanks read each others papers.........the logic of the "starve the beast" mob could well extend to crashing (pausing) the world economy to 'get the damned government of their backs' ...(so who knows where Dave & Co will take us.)

    The rationale/modus op of these nuts seems to be to so overload/saddle government with debt that they are forced to abandon socially constructive (egalitarian) polices and thus reduce the size/impact of government by forcing cuts in public spending.

    The rest of the morning was reading about the Canadian experience in reducing public debt in the 90's which Bullingdon Osborne is selectively picking over

    (any chance of piece for UT2 Boudican on the Canadian experience - even an anecdotal one would be interesting ??)

    One thing is thus far clear Dave & Co relish cuts in preference to raising taxes to deal with the problem of banker negligence.....the worldwide influence of Grover shouldn't methinks be underestimated .

    New conspiracy theory anyone??

  62. Don't know, Philippa. But have dug out the kevlar helmet in prep...

  63. Afternoon all

    Other than engaging in a bit of banter on waddya
    my interest in CIF nowadays has gone off the boil.
    However most days i do have a 'butchers' to see
    what the serious threads have to offer.

    And today i see that Tory Eric Pickles is spearheading a scheme to help promote recycling in this country.A worthy cause and one which i support in principle.But is Eric Pickles the right man for the job?He is after all a man whose constituency is within commuting distance of Westminster.But nevertheless insists he needs us-the taxpayer-to pay for him to have a second home in Central London.And more pertinent to the debate how much is actually recycled in the Pickles households. He does after all come across as a man whose consumption habits suggest that saving the environment isn,t really much of a priority as far as he,s concerned.

    Methinks this is simply another case of a politician
    whose life,s philosophy is 'Do as i say but not as
    i do.

  64. Its alright Peter, was only joking. Good work getting an article through the net without recourse to some sort of minority, disability or third world country - i have a terrible hit rate myself with article suggestions.

  65. @ Jay, I still think it's 4, because we don't know whether the 'rogue' coin is heavier, or lighter, so in the last stage with just three coins left, two weighings are needed.

  66. @Alisdair:

    Whether it's heavier or lighter is irrelevant, although the question is framed a bit ambiguously. You only need to identify the odd one out, not identify whether it is indeed heavier or lighter.

  67. Alisdair, yeah thats i thought, its 3 for the version i heard before, but in the version i put here today its 4, you were right.

  68. Swift - no he's right.

    Imagine the first split between two groups of 9, the scales are unbalanced. Is it because there's a light coin on the left, or a heavy coin on the right? You need an extre weighing.

    Its a slightly different version to the standard puzzle.

  69. Eric Pickles. Well let's see if he does. Who's got an enormous jar of vinegar?

  70. "....I haven't - obviously - stolen any of the ideas that UTers....."

    Ah free marketeers and the obsession with the monopolistic benefits of copyright of ideas...

    I always find 'artists' arguing about royalties a bit like whores........you got it... you sell it... and you still got it!

    Surley ideas and the creative application of them should be free goods. Mopst of them stem from publicly subsidised education paid for by all.

  71. @Jay/Alisdair:

    Oh yeah OK, that makes sense, you're both right, apologies.

  72. Jay,

    Its alright Peter, was only joking. Good work getting an article through the net without recourse to some sort of minority, disability or third world country - i have a terrible hit rate myself with article suggestions.

    Actually, it's a fair bet that Peter's article analyses 24 through a Bidishan prism that the torture utilised by Bauer can only be justified when used on males.

  73. Peter Bracken

    With regard to your CIF article maybe you could
    acknowledge by name all the UTers who made it possible.
    Look upon it as a gesture of goodwill.A bit like
    those who win an Oscar do when they,re giving their
    acceptance speech.And for added effect who could make
    it really emotional as well.

  74. But, ahem Jay/Swifty, you don*t know to always subdivide the heaviest pile - what if the odd coin is lighter than the rest? (Damn, someone else was faster to point it out.)

    Coincidence has it that I have the decision diagram for "unknown if lighter or heavier" for 12 coins, which really does take three tries. It looks impressive, but not pretty.

    By the way, if anyone cares to wish a lurker too lazy to write here most of the times good luck when he needs it, Thursday is the premiere of my play based on "20000 mile lieues sous les mers", and the rehearsal yesterday was ... emotionally intense, to say the least.

  75. ", because we don't know whether the 'rogue' coin is heavier, or lighter,..

    If you put a rogue coin in one pan and a standard in the other you still wouldn't know if it was lighter or heavier or even which was the rougue and which the standard...................all you have is an imabalnce.

    I'll get me coat.

  76. Good luck and best wishes elementary

  77. Not sure that 4 weighings are enough, btw .... Care to elaborate?

  78. Hals- und Beinbruch, elementaer.

  79. elementary - hope it gets better review than our local wordsmith.....

    John Godber's 20,000 leagues under - Guard Review

  80. @Elementary

    Cool! You could do with a shorter title, though. How about 'Losing Nemo'? 'Nautilus but Nice'?

    Break a tentacle.

  81. It's simply called "Nemo", Peter. Nautilus but nice is cool, but wouldn't work in German - we even have to provide translations of the English poems quoted in the play. And thanks for the tentacle thing.

    Thanks Swifty, too, and deano, I must have a look at that play you referred to ...

  82. Peter - Break a tentacle fucking LOL

    "......but you might expect to see something more imaginative than screaming actors dragged off by a rubber tentacle. Then again, considering what has preceded it, it's probably an appropriate way to go...."

    Talk about damned by a critic's faint praise - I bet Godber is spitting.

  83. Good luck Elementary!

    "Not sure that 4 weighings are enough, btw .... Care to elaborate?"

    Yeah 4 works, you add the extra weighing near the start, after your first weighing of two groups of 9 IF the scales are unbalanced at that point - ie, you then weigh either group against the excluded group, that confirms which was rogue.

    If the scales balance at that first weigh, you dont know whether your rogue coin in the excluded group is lighter or heavier, so the extra weighing comes in after the final weighing.

    So depends on results as to when the extra weigh comes in.

  84. elementary

    good luck.......

    classic review deano.....

  85. A lightbulb switched to on above my head just now. Thanks Jay, that approach is a lot more intuitive than the solution I just figured out (which would take about 500 words to describe). Although I guess you can decide among more than 27 coins with just 4 weighings ...

    And thanks for the wishes!

  86. Good luck elementary. Like Peter, have you been abusing the UT for ideas for your play?


    Eric Pickles reminds me of the fat controller from Thomas the Tank Engine, minus the top hat.

  87. And thanks gandolfo!

    I can't help myself, deano, but the review makes the musical sound like a lot of fun - who cares if "screaming actors dragged away by rubber tentacles" is a bit literal, it's cool!

  88. Thanks, Your Grace and thauma! I've written the play long before the UT came into existence, but if any of you would like to be thanked for inspiration, just let me know :-)

  89. Elementary, i dont think you could do more than 27 in 4, because its based on 3 to various powers, ie 3^3 you can do in 3 weighings (if you know the rogue coin is heavier, OR you know the rogue coin is lighter, but not if you the rogue coin is lighter OR heavier).

    So 3^4, 81 coins, you could do in 4 weighs.
    3^5, 243 coins, you can do in 5 weighs.

    That sounds much more impressive, doesnt it, 243 coins and 1 rogue - how many weighs to find it, a mere 5...

    It revolves around 3 because each weigh gives you an answer from 3 groups.

  90. "So 3^4, 81 coins, you could do in 4 weighs.
    3^5, 243 coins, you can do in 5 weighs"

    Assuming you know the coin is heavier or you know its lighter, the original form of the puzzle which i meant to put up here. In todays version, its (power +1), so 3^3 is 4 weighs, 3^4 is 5, etc...

  91. However, Jay, you can decide 12 with three weighs (when you don't know the weight of the rogue coin), which tears a little hole in the "power of three" theory.

  92. @elementary watson

    Good luck with your play.And if you could thank
    me for wishing you good luck in the credits
    i,d be eternally grateful:-)

  93. Thanks and I'll see what I can do, Paul :-)

  94. And Jay, I can find the rogue coin among 30 coins with 4 weighs *gg*

  95. God damn you're right, elementary. You can do 15 in 3, 21 in 3, but not 36 in 3. I thik 30 is the smallest number you need 4 for, because you end up with a possible group of 4 for the first time, which needs 2 weighs to narrow to one. So nothing to do with third powers whatsoever...

  96. 7 7 7

    2 2 3

    if its 3, you weigh 1 and 1, either one of those is heavier or its the excluded.

    if its one of the 2s, you obviously just weigh them against each other.

  97. is it me or is Ms reed eggy?

  98. Hanks going to love all this puzzle talk...

  99. Ah, so you know once again that the rogue coin is heavier ... Or am I missing sth?

  100. Yeah this is when you know its heavier, or you know its lighter.

  101. But if you know in which direction the difference goes, you get the powers of 3 again - I think.

  102. I think maybe thats right, yeah, i checked 300 - 6 weighs. So if its over 3^5, its 6 weighs maybe, so the power is the maximum number for that bracket before you need an extra weigh. Maybe.

  103. jenn

    yesterday an editorial on Bhopal, MAM posted his/her usual bile, after remembering your idea: I posted "don't feed the troll" guess what .........it didn't post again......spookey!!!

  104. gandolfo

    I would love to think that I had come up with a way to defeat MAM but I think the reason there was only one post was because it wasn't a popular enough thread.

    MAM does like to play to the crowds.

  105. jenn

    yep was trying to be optimistic!

  106. gandolfo

    I thought you might have been. ;)

    I have to admit I don't really read his stuff anymore unless it is less than 2 paragraphs, too dull, too predictable.

  107. jenn
    gawd I gave up reading long ago....just know it's going to be bile.....on whatever subject...

  108. Jay - how could you? That sort of puzzle frazzles my brainbox. I could never do stuff like that - just reading it makes my brain hurt. I will forgive you though because that post on 24 yesterday was truly sublime. Just brilliant.

    I have watched every series - including this one - which (no spoilers) i hated especially the end. Tell me what you think when you have watched the box set.

    I loved the first two but after that hated its 'torture is really okay' message. And peterB - it obviously is a neo-con media machine. I mean don't you remember the 'terrible' Amnesty Global that kept trying to stop them torturing people?
    I only have watched anything beyond series 3 because PrinceCC watches it religiously. But I don't recognise a morality to Jack that I would call any sort of real morality. He's just an amoral hired gun. It is not well acted either in my humble, but it IS relentless - in both drama and tension. Compare it to something truly brilliant though like the wire or the Sopranos or Oz and it falls flat.

    I suppose whether you could Jack moral depends if you think the ends justify the means - I dont.

    Sheff - hope your daughter is okay now?

    I am still on the sofa - been sofa bound ever since the gathering. But I have to say it was definitely worth it - and even if I knew I would have a few terrible days after I would do it all over again. There's not many things in life you can say that about!

  109. Hi PCC

    Further evidence of the neo-con drive, the 1 hour "film" - what was the key message? The UN are spineless wimps who let innocent people die, only America acts to save them. I should've remembered that in yersterdays rant..

    Shameless beyond words.

  110. Phew! - torrential rain and spray nearly all the way to Tewkesbury - sun out now and everything very beautiful again.


    Have given up on your puzzle. If you put one of those diagramatic puzzles up I'd give it a whirl as I can do those. Absolutely useless with numbers and percentages.


    Very best of luck with your play - break a leg!


    Looking forward to your piece - gird your loins for the onslaught!

    Tewkesbury Abbey is across the road and is very pretty. Am told it is so 'high church' it's practically the vatican so will go to (choral) evensong tonight, listen to the sensational music and immerse myself in candle smoke and incense for an hour.

  111. Well Peter Brackens article is up, have at it. ;)

    Couldn't make head nor tail of it myself but that isn't unusual for me.

  112. Pbs piece was very odd indeed. I think the "instinctive" love for Bauer has driven PB to some strange lengths to defend him, i cant see how hiw argument for "truth" works at all.

    Its an interesting issue, Bauers undeniable popularity, but im not sure Peters quite hit the spot. Interesting effort though.

  113. Good luck EW! Break a limb

    "Liberty is worth paying for . . . "

    could be something Jack Bauer sez! : )

  114. Hey all,

    Ok, I've tried normal googling, now I'll try you lot. Somewhen some famous type said something along the lines of:

    "The only way terrorists can win is by causing us to legislate away our own freedoms"

    Any and all words may be wrong, but that's the sentiment of the quote. What's the proper quote, and whose is it?

  115. Dott - sounds like a variant/extension of:

    Burke, Edmund:
    It is necessary only for the good man to do nothing for evil to triumph.

  116. "The only way terrorists can win is by causing us to legislate away our own freedoms"

    Don't show in any of the Oxford reference works either!

  117. This any good Dot..


  118. Hey good luck EW - meant to say that earlier.

    Jay - good work over on the Peter Bracken thread. Interesting article but think PeterB is tied in knots trying to 'make' Jack moral. He isn't moral he is a torturing, murdering bastard. And as I said over there - Keifer is really bad as him in many ways. He lacks the physical presence and charisma to make Jack really chilling, he also lacks the acting skills to give him any real complexity. He is a cardboard cut out 'hero' for Fox news loving america. He is a modern day, lesser, John Wayne.

    I have no problem with nasty characters on TV who do harm to others per se - I love the Sopranos and watched every season of the amazing Oz. But these were shows with many layers and the characters were deeply flawed, not held up as heroes.

    Sheff evensong sounds lovely.

  119. Interesting possibilty turm - the "legislating away your freedom" bit has a distinctly USA feel about it.

    Trouble is it seems to be part of the vocabulary of quite a lot of wild backwood groups....

    I look forward to it being tracked down - cooking calls.

  120. Jay -

    can I have a crossword tomorrow? All that talk of 3's n 2's n weighing things has had me perplexed all day... and the ensuing discussion has left me with cross-eyes ;)

    Elementary - best of luck on Thursday!


    Haven't read the thread yet, but I have a deep-seated antithesis to 24.... although if I dare say anything on your thread, you'll probably savage me anyway!

  121. "legislating away your freedom"....mmmmnnn...sounds like Chomsky to me.
    Anyway what's with all this brain frazzling Jay?
    I'm with the Princess on this one; put a sheet of numbers in front of me and I break out in a cold sweat and feel faintly nauseous.

  122. I think I only watched the first series avidly and then lost interest....I remember it was compelling, but gave me nightmares.

  123. Ah good - I'm in a bad mood and there's a stupendously stupid "oh, poor upper-middle-class mothers" thread.

  124. Thaumaturge:

    Is that the one with the woman moaning about having to leave work to have her kids?

    Aaw that, thought, oh, please, go away.

  125. should've been

    Saw that, no aww that ;)

  126. That's the one, LaRit - it was terrible even when I went onto a job-share - I had to get home in time for the nanny every day!

  127. I'd never savage you La Rit. Or anyone else, for that matter.

    The piece is a polemic, of course - but not for the sake of it. Jay's right - I haven't anywhere near nailed the argument, partly because Jessica insists on 750 words.

    Still, it's a bit of serious fun. A few more on here should try it!

  128. I might just read it to piss myself off!

    I am so sick and tired of either hearing/seeing/reading these women and their petty grievances when they don't actually really give a rats arse for anyone else. They're ubiquitous... their dreary voices dominate R4 - where do they dig them up from?

    Jodie Kidd was interviewed in that column, 'What I see in the Mirror' and I thought good grief, how 'does' she manage?

  129. Bunch of smartarses over here.

    Check this, made me chuckle.


  130. PeterB:

    Glad to hear you wouldn't savage me!!

    It's a very good article.

    You write extremely well and in a very lucid style and I thought Jay's comment was excellent.

    When I'm not beset with fears and self doubt, I might have a go at writing something, but a very long block prevents me. Believe me, I've thought about it enough.

    Congrats though, it's good to be taken seriously and it beats the pants of alot of the drivel on Cif.

  131. Oof, BW, a bit frenetic, that! Some good lines though.

  132. BW:

    ahhhh....George Carlin... fabulous!

  133. @Dott

    Sounds like an updated version of Benjamin Franklin:

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    Otherwise, @Turminder's seems the closest to what you're looking for, only Joe Quinn's not that famous.

  134. Thauma - liked your comment on the poor-part-time working-mummy-with-nanny thread!

    She worked part time and had a nanny and it was too much. I cant catch my breath. What world do these people live in? I don't know anyone with a nanny.

    One thing I don't get is people who have kids and then moan about it endlessly. A poster has just said that you should be able to have kids but not really have to enjoy doing so or raising them - and be able to say so. So why have them? I mean if you have one and find it the dullest most boring thing you have done - stop!

    The world doesn't need loads more kids and people in it after all.

    A lot of my friends love the time they have with their kids - a fair few would rather stay at home than work but cant afford to (and don't have nannies either). But whats with the whole middle class ''we are so bored by it and would rather be in our exciting careers but it is sooo worthwhile and essential'' thing?

    Sorry rant over.

  135. PCC

    rant really necessary with that thread

    great comments from you and Thauma......

  136. princess
    She worked part time and had a nanny and it was too much.

    heh..heh..heh. Better stay off that thread...might say something I'd regret later.

    I'd respond to PeterB's piece but as I haven't seen 24 there's not much I can say. In so far as I understand what it's about I think Jay nailed it. Now if he'd written a piece about The Wire which I have seen and loved...

    I shall watch the final episode of Luther tonight which I have very mixed feelings about.

  137. Sheff - i am with you on Luther. I am addicted to it but think it is a bit nasty and totally unrealistic. I would watch Idris Elba in almost anything though - think he is a really charasmatic actor.

  138. Sheff: catch you later for the Post Mortem!

  139. That stay at home mother article really is ridiculous, I am starting to think that the Cif editors are pretty much taking the piss and doing it on purpose.

    I watched the first episode of Luther and thought it was stupid, then one night I was a bit tipsy and there was nothing else on so I watched the next episode, three hours later I had watched them all (curse the iplayer) and now I am a hooked.

    I don't actually like it but I watch it anyway, don't know what that says about me.

  140. Princess

    Agree about Idris Elba, although I preferred him in The Wire. Luther is basically bonkers but very watchable and I am getting quite attached to the murderous psychopath who's name I forget - she has such a well developed sense of humour.

  141. okey dokey chekhov - 10pm it is then.

  142. Jenn

    I don't actually like it but I watch it anyway,

    That's just what a lot of people who watch it, say about 24.

  143. Come on people

    The Wire rules the last - and this - decade, of telly, by a country mile.

    And by series three at that.

  144. Evening all

    Simon Jenkins has just posted a blog on CIF
    calling for the defence budget to be scrapped
    in order to save £45 billion pounds a year.
    Methinks the silly season has come early this
    year.Yes we spend more than we should on defence.And probably convince ourselves that
    we are still a key player on the World stage because of it.But scrapping the defence budget
    altogether? The Argentinians would be in Port
    Stanley in a flash and the Spanish flag would
    soon be flying in Gibralter.And that,s just
    for starters.

    Other than posting 'silly buggers' on waddya
    still can,t be arsed to post anything on CIF.
    Started typing a post on the Jenkins thread
    and then thought fcuk it!Am well and truly
    'blocked' as far as CIF is concerned.

    C,est la vie!

  145. Princess (and others) - I know. 99% of the women (and a slightly lesser proportion of men) in the world are seriously struggling, and she's moaning about getting home to the nanny, and then actually having to look after the kids after deciding to give that first terrible struggle up - er, in order to look after the kids.

    Much as I might moan to my mates on a regular basis, I do consider myself to be one of the very lucky ones in the world and wouldn't write a blog bemoaning my fate over what are pretty fucking minor annoyances in the grand scheme of things. (At least, not that publicly!)

  146. PCC:

    I can't even go there on that thread - same reasons.... I might say something I seriously regret.

    "Now if he'd written a piece about The Wire which I have seen and loved...

    I shall watch the final episode of Luther tonight which I have very mixed feelings about"


    I loved the Wire... we practically watched the whole five series back-to-back... I can't even start about how much I loved it.

    As for 'Luther' I think it was probably a really good idea which was sodomised by the white middle class posturing and pov of the world along with vehicles to hollywood for various well-connected footlight-Fannies.

    The most heinous crime against real drama was the failure to commission beyond one series the brilliant 'Outlaws' with Phil Daniels.... now, we were almost getting near the mark there about the class system in this country and wha' d'ya know? It's scrapped. Criminal.


  147. apols for the rouge 'me' at the bottom there ;)

  148. Paul
    Jenkins writes from a position of extreme priviledge and, while often flying close to insightful and perceptive positions, never actually lives anywhere near the real world. Don't sweat it. He is CiF incarnate.

  149. PrincessCC;

    in case you never saw it... here's a link... as a lawyer, I think you'd love it :)


    Sorry for the shite link scrabble...

  150. La Ritournelle
    To say nothing of scrapping The Bill, just when it's getting good. Tozzers....

  151. Paul;

    "Started typing a post on the Jenkins thread
    and then thought fcuk it!Am well and truly
    'blocked' as far as CIF is concerned"

    That's 'cos you have to fight your way through the white middle class RP of bullshit to find anything decent. It's like someone standing on your chest... and I'm white and despite the glaring lack of a nice 3 bed Georgian Terrace, a Nanny and 2 pretentious offsrping, supposedly 'middle class'...

  152. @BW

    I was reading a Jenkins piece a few weeks ago, and suddenly realised why they annoy me so much. He treats politics as some sort of game, because he has no stake in it. He has nothing to lose; whoever's in power, he will still get his quango appointments, his dinner invitations, and his agreeable life wandering round churches or whatever the fuck he actually does.

    It's a game he can't lose, and so he doesn't really care.

  153. "I haven't anywhere near nailed the argument, partly because Jessica insists on 750 words."

    Thats a fair point, Peter, 700 odd words is far too short to really develop a full argument. I know they insist that online readers can only manage a few paragraphs but would be nice to see them loosen that word limit a bit.

  154. PeterJ
    Exactly. Because his priviledge affords him membership to club most can never know, he feels he can get away with his constant - sneering, one dimensional - reiteration that he is a member of no club. As if. He can write reasonably well - when really pushed - but then who couldn't write half-decently with that amount of education has been arrived at freely ? He's just a columnist... I keep telling myself... he's just a trust-fund collumnist...

  155. Jenkins is crazy.

    I have issues witht the British armed forces, and have several friends who are serving soldiers, one was in Afghanistan last yeear.

    But to suggest total scrappage of armed forces is like scrapping the judiciary or civil service. As I said, going back to Plato and probaly before, political philosophers have always realised the nessesity of an armed soldier class.

  156. PeterJ:

    You're bang on the money with that analysis although I did agree with him the other day and I usually find him irritating in the extreme.

    But doesn't that go pretty much for all those who live such a charmed existence? i.e. the maj. of those writing for the Groin?


    Don't agree with you there... just you wait until this shower of shite of a Govt. re-introduce 'National service for the unemployed' Israel's about to start WW3 and as their 'ally' we will be needing plenty of cannon fodder a la WW1.

  157. Been super busy all day,(doing citizen journalism workshops all week on top of the day job,plus got a speech to give on Friday, and the focus of the conference has only gone and been shifted to a more arcane area in which I don't work:cramming ahoy) so not able to chip in much here or on CiF, but my goodness there's a lot of woeful shite on there today.
    [n.b. that's not including PeterB's piece, with which I disagree, and has some internal contradictions,but I took to be more of a thought experiment than anything else, and good as such]
    Joan Smith's piece a fucking disgrace,Jessica Smith's solipsistic cobblers (she doesn't want equality, or the sharing of tasks: she wants everything nice and nothing nasty,and for others -nanny- to do the icky stuff) and Simon Jenkins plain bizarreness, and ah,heck that wankstain Neal Lawson has now shown up, shape-shifting as ever, laying claim to that most weasel or words "progressive".
    Are the commissioning editors just out to take the bloody piss now? How is that those who have gone from BTL to ATL write better than the bulk of otherwise-commissioned writers? Isn't that a sad indictment of the G's processes.

  158. La rit.
    Actually there is a very credible left wing case for national serivce.

    It means that the succesive generations will have knowledge of what a military life is, including the future politicans, who will be less likely to commit to acts of war.

    It is more meritocratic. Children of Lords, children from counicl estates, all get treated equally

    Switzerland, Finland, Germany have compulsorary NS, with civilain service as well. These countries are much more egalitarian.

  159. "It means that the succesive generations will have knowledge of what a military life is, including the future politicans, who will be less likely to commit to acts of war."

    Or more likely to feel quite confident with guns and happy to fire them......

    "It is more meritocratic. Children of Lords, children from counicl estates, all get treated equally"

    but when push comes to shove the cattle fodder ain't the aristocracy....

  160. NapK:

    "Actually there is a very credible left wing case for national serivce"

    Bollocks Nap, there is no 'credible' argument for National Service.

    "It is more meritocratic. Children of Lords, children from counicl estates, all get treated equally"

    Again, bollocks. My paternal grandfather was a conscientious objector eventually forced by dint of poverty and harrassment to join the British army (he was an Irish Catholic)and fight in WW2 - he drowned in a river in India because the pontoon bridge which had been built was a piece of shite.... as he was drowning the Commanding officer refused to allow anyone to help him.... his words were "leave him, he's wastage".

    Yeah, a great 'meritocracy' that. That was 1942. He was 27 years old and had 4 children under 7 and a wife (my Grandmother at home) who spent the rest of the war suffering from malnutrition.

  161. Gurkhas, Jocks and Sikhs. Thats the british army front line for the past 200 years. U fancy polishing coal and square bashing then Nap?

  162. Napoleon

    "Switzerland, Finland, Germany have compulsorary NS, with civilain service as well. These countries are much more egalitarian."

    national service sounds "nice" "doing service for your nation" in fact it's conscription.....
    enforced military service there are other countries which do it Napoleon that aren't "so" egalitarian: syria, thailand, turkey, china, north korea, Iran, Kuwait, to name a few....

    by the way you can't be "much more egalitarian" a state is either egalitarian or not...pedantic but true........

  163. Bitterweed/LaRit/PeterJ/Alisdair

    Wise words from you and very true.I suppose the thing is not to take Cif too seriously.Easier said than done mind.

    Cif is a bit like an amphitheatre with those
    ATL seated and those BTL in the pit.And every
    now and again Jenkins,Toynbee et al chuck the
    equivalent of a sausage or lamb chop into the pit and start cheering whilst those BTL scrap over it.And those ATL probably have sweepstakes
    and suchlike to see which BTL poster gets most
    recs,who gets nul points,who loses their temper,
    who gets moderated,banned etc.So i suppose
    the last laugh is on those of us BTL who do get
    sucked into the whole CIF experience and start
    bigging it up into something it isn,t.

    To change the subject altogether i dunno what
    people think about the governments plan to get
    all and sundry to decide where the 20% cuts in
    public expenditure are going to fall.Like who
    is going to argue in favour of substantial cuts in their own sector. The government could start
    by declaring a 5 year pay freeze on MP,s pay
    and extremely tight controls on their expenditure.They should scrap the second home
    allowance and build the equivalent of a YMCA
    for politicians who can,t commute into London.
    Each politican will be given a bedsit with shower/wc.And there will be a communal cafeteria
    for meals.Would probably save a fortune in the
    long run.

  164. 90% ATL writers don't look btl Paul, they couldn't give a tinkers fart.

  165. Sheff:(re; "Luther"),a triumph of style over substance? Just thought I'd lob that in as a point of departure.
    It wouldn't be the first time that some great acting managed to get the writers out of jail.
    Actually the script was pretty good but I lost the plot about half way through. Didn't stop me watching it till the end though!

  166. turminderxuss

    You,re probably right.

    @evening chekhov.

  167. "...Actually there is a very credible left wing case for national service..."

    So there is - it's based on the inevitable need of the impoverished to understand how to shoot a gun and/or defend themselves if the revolution comes. Might as well learn at the taxpayers expense if we are going to be forced to go after the tax evaders.

  168. Paul

    I like the analogy of chucking a lamb chop into the pit below the line!

    But as TurminderX says... 90% of the atl's never bother to look below the line (although I'm convinced some people lurk around to nick the best bit of LaRit's fantabulous comments he-he-he)

    Good eves Chekhov ;0)

    Am about to depart as I'm hangin'... made on last comment on the refugee children thread and it looked like I no longer had control of the keyboard!.... also couldn't cope with the hideous hate-fest that was unfolding there.

    Tooraloo all!

  169. Deano;

    "Might as well learn at the taxpayers expense if we are going to be forced to go after the tax evaders"

    OK, put like that, where do I sign up? ;-)

  170. K me hearties, am really off to hit the hay with a big stick :))

  171. Paul: well said. I think I've mentioned before (maybe not on here) that far from being threatened by the hoi polloi being allowed their freedom to let rip on blogs, it actually suits the dominant, minority, ruling elite for us to scrap amongst ourselves. Nothing new about that, it's merely the old "divide and rule" principle up- dated fot the internet.

  172. chekhov

    I thought it was one of the better ones in the series, and great the way he delivered that last line - "what now?" - second series perhaps? I loved the insouciance of the psycho woman too, who's name I can never remember.

    I didn't get the diamonds thing? Must have missed that detail previously

    But almost the best bit is the opening credits and that song/singer - they create a terrific atmosphere which the series never quite lives up to.

  173. "...by the way you can't be "much more egalitarian" a state is either egalitarian or not...pedantic but true........ "

    I suspect gandolfo that quite a few politico's might wish to disagree with you on that one. The question of wheter the UK is more or less egalitarian over time is often debated

    egalitarian -usage

    Thus I guess I don't quite get your point?

  174. Sheff: funny that, I could never remember her name either. Maybe because it was deliberately not mentioned much. I'm assuming you mean the character's name and not the actor. She's called Ruth Wilson and yes, "insouciance" sums up her performance very well. In fact it was worth watching just for that.

  175. Is it just me or does Osborne look the epitome of mean and nasty in this photo:

    Mr Mean Bullingdon Boy

    Just the kind of look to provoke a riot? Perhaps I'm indulging in wishful thinking.

  176. Deano
    Yes of course politicos would dispute it it's about degrees of equality.........

    "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others"

  177. Cheers gandolfo - I'm not arguing with Eric Blair or George Orwell for that matter. ;-)

  178. deano

    if a state like Britain is "less egalitarian" then it's not egalitarian...
    egalitarian is a fixed and final state it can't be more or less..it either is or isn't.......

  179. "by the way you can't be "much more egalitarian" a state is either egalitarian or not...pedantic but true........"

    I don't agree. 'Egalitarian' refers to belief in equality. Can a state believe more in equality than other states do? Can it have a wider view of what equality is and who should be included? Can it be more or less committed to the idea than other states? Yes, yes and yes. Whether a State can have more equality is another matter...

  180. Osborne really looks to be sneering to my eye - and I've only had a glass of red.

    If I won the lottery I'd fund a poster campaign based on that photo. What could we have as the text?

    "Cuts - you voted for cuts and now your going to get them

    Love Bullingdon George."

  181. deano

    "Is it just me or does Osborne look the epitome of mean and nasty in this photo"

    oh he looks like what I imagine Squealer of animal farm to be!!!but then again so does mandelson!!!

  182. martillo

    Whether a State can have more equality is another matter...

    in fact that was the point....:)

  183. Seems a bit absolutist gandolfo

    Cuba - more or less egalitarian after Castro?

    UK - equally egalitarian in 1960 as 1760?

    To my mind egalitarian fits quite comfortably into a spectrum thus there can be more or less of it in comparisons and over time.

    I'm seeing my sometime tommorrow a ferocious English teacher I'll take an advice from her.

  184. erm Squealer Osborne has a nice ring about it.

  185. deano and martillo

    yes I get your points totally........I'm being picky because I don't believe that Germany, Switzerland or Finland are more egalitarian than other places because they have military service.......Napoleon threw this in as a justification for it...now how he believes that they are more egalitarian as states we don't know as yet because he came by threw the comment in and disappeared....!

  186. Crikey Deano that pic gave me the shivers. Am a bit confused about all these cuts. first they say they are going to ask us (cue fuckwits on Cif calling for them to bring back the workhouse) then they say they are going to cut welfare, child tax credits and pensions. But then say they will protect the poorest - surely those three areas are the ones that look after the poorest generally?

    Am really bricking it for some people I know. The only thing that gives me hope is that they are now saying the government cannot create employment - maybe, just maybe, if George wins the row they will go back to the old Thatcherite model of leaving people alone to molder on the rock and roll, which will be shit but not as shit as losing your job and then being forced to work thirty hours a week for your sixty quid.

    IDS says his plans will cost the country four billion more - we all know how much parasites like A4E cost so is the coalition going to stop all this third sector welfare shite or are they going to go full steam ahead with IDS crazy schemes? Do the coalition themselves even know?

    And is it just me or do the Guardian seem to be a bit - well - excited by all this. There is a tone to their reporting that disturbs me. Almost like they quite like all this, like its a bit of fun for them? In fact all the press have this tone.

  187. princess - the tone at present does seem a bit 'ooh, where will the axe fall?', like they're watching one of those crazy Japanese gameshows involving impending death, without actually appreciating that there are real people living already shitty lives out there on the 'playing field'.

    they're spectators at the colisseum, basically.


  188. "...to nick the best bit of LaRit's fantabulous comments..."

    La Rit - been a wt day here ion Yorks and thus I've been idling my time on 'net and by chance came across a few items on Polari.............fantabulous(Fantabulosa) is, as you may know, part of the Polari vocab.

    Wiki on Polari

    I just knew that if I read hard enough I would come across polari word in use today and there it was. Perhaps your theatrical connections?

  189. Princess: of course the press are "wetting their knickers" over this. They just get paid to report, the cuts won't change their lifestyles one jot. It's all a big game to them and their jobs aren't on the line.
    Of course they can get away with murder since no politician is going to attack the media for being disingenuous because that would be tantamount to supressing freedom of speech.
    The media cannot lose whatever happens. No politician of whatever flavour will have the guts to say that people who read the "Red Tops" are idiots!

  190. gandolfo I don't see much of a causal link between National Service and egalitarianism either.

    Although it has been argued that the Army Education Corp had a great deal to do with the election of the Labour Govt at the end of WWII - but that's another story.

    PCC - I share your confusion. I'm confident that they intend to be mean but will also be being told the facts of the historical endeavours and the reality of cuts in welfare in recessions by the Civ Service.

    They will thus be wanting to preserve as much wriggle-room/ambiguity as possible 'just in case'.

    Thus it looks like anybody guess at the minute. A freeze is a de facto cut but not as savage as some possibilities.

  191. Much agreed PhilippaB and Chekov. Disgusting spectacle it is too.

    LaRit. I will check out that link now before I turn out the light and try to sleep.

    I ordered a DVD off Amazon today of this really dreadful eighties TV show that I love called Jake and the Fatman - don't know if anyone remembers that? It was about this DA and his investigator Jake (the DA was the 'fat man') and he had a bulldog that looked just like him. So cheesey but such fun.

    Oh and Chekov and Sheff - re Luther. Yes love Ruth Wilsons character (she was in Jayne Eyre a while back) and liked that last line too.

  192. Hi All

    deano--From what I remmember, the Canadian government implemented austerity measures due to several issues. The international banks downgraded Canada's AAA credit rating as a result of a minor recession in the early 90s. Identity crisis/Quebec separation also undermined confidence in the economy. When Paul Martin took over in 1993 he introduced fairly wide sweeping cuts with a target of eliminating the deficit by 2000, I think, which he did. There were some bitter scraps as Ministers had to joust over whose departments would be hit hardest. Martin should not be perceived to be a genius, (which he would have us think) as the economy and stock markets were factors in his government's success. Unfortunately, I don't remember many details but hope this informs.

    BTW it didn't take Mr 'fiscally responsible' Harper long to plunge us into a huge debt once again. Some where in the region of 50 billion I believe, and our banks were not in need of bailouts.

  193. BTW: by my last post, I wasn't suggesting that anyone who reads a "Red Top" is an idiot, merely that the media should share it's responsibility for the mess we are in and that includes all newspapers, tabloid or broadsheet.

  194. deano, we've had wage and price freezes at times, I agree not as harmful as cuts, but not good in ideal free market economies. I'll be damned if one of the latter is in existence anywhere today though.

    Re conscription, I'm not in favour of it either. Volunteer soldiers just may have their hearts in it a bit more, and the ruling classes always seem to avoid service. Don't see that changing much.

  195. Cheers Boudican -seems to a lot of interest in the 'success'/methods of Canada in dealing with the budget cutting at the minute.

    As Larry Elliott wrote (Mondays Guard):

    "...The PM has a model for how deficit reduction should work: Canada in the 1990s. In 1992, Canada had a budget deficit of more than 9% of GDP, but this was cut to 5.5% by 1995 before moving into surplus in 1997. During this five-year period, the Canadian economy grew by about 3% a year on average.

    There are reasons to be wary not just of the Canadian experience, but of the prime minister's overall argument. Canada was aided by the pick-up in the global economy in the 1990s, and especially the strong US expansion. Britain does not have a fast-growing US for a neighbour: it has a eurozone mired in crisis(d30's bold)......"

    ......things just ain't that simple.