Not Saussure

May 30, 2007

Mr Tul Bahadur Pun VC (Gurkha Rifles)

Filed under: Uncategorized — notsaussure @ 7:37 pm

Via Mr Eugenides:

Dear All

My firm is acting for Mr Tul Bahadur Pun VC (Gurkha Rifles).

We are pulling out all the stops to correct the outrage directed toward this 84 year-old man. However, we could not do this without you all. I am personally trying to read several forums at once, but it is impossible to post on them all. I have asked my friends at ARRSERs (The Army Rumour Service), who are already signed up on your forums, to kindly post this and to thank you for all for what you are doing for my client.

The British public are personally, individually, and collectively, repaying the debt this man (one of the “Bravest of the Brave”) is owed by our country.

This is coming from the bottom up. You, the public are leading the politicians and civil servants, and you are the ones righting the wrong which is being done in our name.

My client is fully aware of all the support you have given him. I soon hope you will soon see a photo from him, which he wanted us to send back to the UK, to say that he knows you, the British public, are on his side (even though he is very ill, he got out of bed to make sure that you good people knew that he felt you all “had his back”).

Please support our campaign. Petition and email us at: www.vchero.co.uk. All email will go in front of the Immigration Judge considering this case. However, you must bombard your MP and the Government (particularly the Asylum & Immigration Minister, Liam Byrne) about the continuing snub to the Gurkhas who have fought and spilt blood for our country. Rejecting a VC is, sadly, only the icing on their very ugly cake!

Many, many thanks.

Kind regards

Kieran O’Rourke
Howe & Co Solicitors
Ealing, London

www.vchero.co.uk

There is also a petition on the Downing Street website asking the government

to immediately and retrospectively give all Gurkha servicemen and their immediate families past and present british citizenship

It presently has about 10,750 signatures.

May 28, 2007

Self-congratulation

Filed under: Uncategorized — notsaussure @ 6:29 pm

I’ve just discovered I’ve won, by a whisker, the Third Annual Satin Pajama Award for best new weblog. Not sure what to say, other than many thanks to everyone who voted for me, congratulations to the other winners and commiserations to everyone else.

Johnny Billericay won best UK weblog, Slugger O’ Toole best political weblog (many thanks to everyone who voted for me in that, too), Mick Fealty, founder of Slugger O’ Toole, won the lifetime achievement award, and Petite Anglaise won the best European weblog category.

Check out the other winners, and also the other finalists. I’ve discovered some great new blogs there (by which I also mean, of course, well-established ones I didn’t know about)

Thanks again, all.

May 26, 2007

October Bank Holiday

Filed under: Uncategorized — notsaussure @ 5:45 pm

I’m with Tim Worstall on this one. The TUC’s idea for an extra Bank Holiday at the end of October is brilliant.

Where I differ with Tim, though, is over the exact date. He wants October 21st. However, I think October 25th would be even better. We could still have the same parade route Tim suggests.

Rachel North needs our help

Filed under: Uncategorized — notsaussure @ 12:49 am

As people may know, for over a year now, blogger and July 7 Inquiry campaigner Rachel North has been subjected to an unending stream of abusive emails and completely bizarre attacks, including utterly preposterous malicious complaints to the police from a woman she’s never met, Felicity Jane Lowde. This goes well beyond the sort of trolling and flaming that many of us are used to and can shrug off; it’s truly sickening and frightening stuff. For some samples, see here and here. Lowde has conducted a deliberate and long-lasting campaign to destroy Rachel’s personal and professional life with nasty and damaging attacks on her and her family.

Rachel tried politely asking her to stop, then tried ignoring it and eventually took the matter to the police. Lowde was charged with harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, bailed on conditions that she broke, was re-arrested and re-bailed. She promptly broke those conditions, too, and went on the run. She remained in touch with her lawyers, though, and continued to blog about the affair, in increasingly bizarre terms.

Lowde was well aware of her trial date, set for February of this year and then put back until April 2nd. She did not attend court, despite her boasts only a day or so previously about what a famous victory she was about to achieve — by showing the court the entire contents of her blog, apparently — and how Rachel, several other bloggers to whom she’s taken against and police officers would all end up in prison as a result.

The trial proceeded in her absence, as she had been warned it would if she did not attend without reasonable excuse, and she was convicted. A bench warrant was issued for her arrest. When she’s eventually arrested, she’ll be sentenced and have the opportunity to appeal, within days, against both conviction and sentence to a bench comprising a crown court judge and two magistrates.

In the meantime, however, she is still at large and is obsessively bombarding Rachel with emails of such vitriol and frequency that Rachel — who, as we know, is a woman of great courage and determination, is now frightened — not least because Lowde has discovered her home address.

Rachel has asked bloggers to help the police capture this convicted criminal who almost certainly needs psychiatric help and most definitely needs getting out of Rachel’s life. Lowde is thought to be living rough in London, where she is using internet cafes to continue to harass Rachel. She sometimes, though, seems briefly to return to Oxford, where her home was before she went on the run. There are further details, including an old (10 year old) photo of her, on Rachel’s blog.

Rachel writes,

If you see her – she is believed to be using internet cafes in London and periodically travelling to Oxford – please do not approach her.

Do not respond to her blog.

Instead, please immediately call your local police or CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111 with a description of her and her location, (grab a pic on your mobile if you can) , and say that you have a sighting of Felicity Jane Lowde, convicted stalker/harasser – who is wanted for arrest and sentencing.

As Rachel says,

Remember, stalking and harassment are crimes, and she was found guilty under the ten-year-old 1997 Protection From Harassment Act. Voluntary or imposed internet use regulation codes do not work with someone like Lowde. Therefore I say that the best way to protect free speech and blogging from the damage done to it by people like Felicity Lowde is to use the internet for good purposes. We do not need to be regulated, we can look after ourselves and our own, and we can self-regulate. Here is an opportunity to help the police bring a woman who brings blogging into disrepute, to justice, and to do so safely and legally.

Please do not do anything that could jeopardise her arrest and sentencing. Please do not respond to her or anything she says. Please just help the police do their job of bringing her to justice.

This is nothing to do with freedom of speech. It’s to do with helping the police to enforce the judgment of the court on someone convicted of harassment, a crime against the person just as much as is a physical assault.

May 22, 2007

Back shortly

Filed under: Uncategorized — notsaussure @ 1:13 am

Sorry, but matters both personal,to to with winding up my late mother’s estate, and professional mean that I probably won’t be in a position to post very much until some time on Wednesday evening at the earliest.

Back shortly, though.

May 20, 2007

Social Mobility

Filed under: Uncategorized — notsaussure @ 9:51 pm

Interesting and lengthy article about social mobility by Alasdair Palmer in the Telegraph today, questioning whether it’s such a good thing. One of its key points, incidentally, is admirably summarised in a new blog that looks well worth watching, Heraklites.

Anyway, obviously we want — well, I do — everyone to have the opportunity to make the best of his life, but should we be that worried that, in the event, most people’s income ends up falling in pretty much the same quintile as did their parents,, which is apparently how ‘social mobility’ is measured? That is, if you take everyone’s income and then say, 20% of the population earn between this much and this much, then the next 20% earn between that and that, and so on, then if someone ends up in a different 20% bracket than did his parents,we’ve got social mobility. If, on the other hand, he ends up in much the same bracket as did his parents, we haven’t got social mobility and we should, apparently, find this a cause for concern.

I’m really not sure about the full implications of this, other than that, on principle, I begin to worry when politicians of all parties seem to agree that such-and-such is a good thing and begin to vie with each other about how they’ll deliver more of it. If we were to have a completely socially mobile society, it seems to me, there’d be just as good a chance that the son of the richest man in the country would end up in the gutter as there was that the son of a beggar would end up in the Sunday Times ‘rich list’ — 1 in 5. In practical terms, I’m really not sure how we’d achieve this or whether we’d want to. I used to joke to my interpreter and PA in Russia that Communism had clearly managed to achieve one of its ends, since the grand-daughter of a Kievan merchant prince had ended up working for the grandson of a dirt-poor Irish farmer (Inna had as black a sense of humour as, at times, do I, or otherwise I wouldn’t have dared crack such a joke, obviously — and, besides, I felt a little retaliation was due).

Similarly, when I come to think about it, the sequence of events that led to an East Prussian aristocrat and land-owner, finding his land occupied by Russians and Germans who seemed to want to contest the matter, eventually removing, along with his son, to Hull, finding there a job as a street sweeper and, in time, having a grand-daughter who ended up married to the grandson of said dirt-poor County Clare farmer whose son, my father, became a very senior civil servant of Her Majesty, certainly represents social mobility, and undoubtedly represents good news for my side of the family, but the social upheavals — 2 World Wars, the Russian Revolution and the Irish Civil War — that eventually led to our marriage being solemnised according to the rites of Camden register office were a tad drastic. Well worth it, of course, at least from my and my late wife’s point of view, but a bit disruptive and outside anyone’s planning.

My point, I think,is that social mobility is a zero-sum game. It has to be; the way the terms are defined, at least in current debate, mean that everyone starts off with an equal — one in five — chance of ending up in a different economic position to his parents. The practical implications of achieving that — should we wish to achieve it — are pretty frightening, at least to me. Means, for one thing, my cousin Bob can’t leave the wealth he’s deservedly accumulated over the years to his two children, any more than can his wife — a very talented woman from a wealthy family — leave to his two children anything. Means I can’t leave them anything, either. Ann and Andrew almost certainly don’t deserve it — ungrateful little buggers never thanked me for their last Christmas present, after all — and it’s doubtless very unfair that they’ll eventually come to inherit the sackfulls of ill-gotten dubloons in which Bob and his wife find themselves standing knee-deep to their hips, let alone what I’ll add to the pot after a former mistress is taken care of (one of the pleasures of drawing up a will is that you can put in clauses like that) , but I can’t see what else to do with the money. Give it all to the Exchequer and hope they’ll use it wisely? Don’t think so.

I think, too, that there’s a dreadful confusion, the implications of which I’ve not yet properly thought through, between class and status. More, though, on this later

Owen Barder and the Daily Mail

Filed under: Uncategorized — notsaussure @ 3:15 pm

A magnificent post from Tim Worstall in defence of a blogger, Owen Barder, who has been monstered by The Daily Mail. Tim writes, and I concur with every word of it. To my mind, anyone who blogs should associate themselves with Tim’s defence of Mr Barder.

The Mail, yesterday, launched a quite incredible attack on Owen Barder. I think it’s worth responding to in detail and would hope that we can get the word around a bit. If people can be attacked by a newspaper in this way and then find their livelihoods jeopardised then none of us who scribble online are safe. [my italics].

A little publicity for this please?

http://timworstall.typepad.com/timworstall/2007/05/owen_barder.html

Via the UK Daily Pundit (who, oddly, seems to approve of this) I see that Owen Barder has been attacked in The Daily Mail . You might note that Owen’s blog is now down, which is probably sensible given the shit-storm that is about to descend but it’s also true that it makes pointing out what’s really going on here a little difficult.

I should perhaps point out that Mr. Barder and I have our little differences, he sees me as little less than a parody of a spittle flecked saloon bar Thatcherite while I regard him as a hopelessly wet leftist, but despite these (only slightly overstated) caricatures we have been able, on occasion, exchange pleasant words and even interesting information.

So, what does the Mail say that Owen has done which is so heinous?

A former aide to Tony Blair has posted on his website an attack on the Prime Minister which compares President George Bush to Hitler.

Really, has he?

The attack, which has shocked Whitehall, appears on the outspoken, sexually explicit, website blog of £100,000-a-year civil servant Owen Barder.

Sexually explicit? I’ve been a regular reader there for some time and really not noticed all that much smut or anything close to it.

It features comments and links on a range of subjects from his opposition to the Iraq War to whether marathon running makes men better in bed.

Margaret Thatcher is described as ‘pernicious,’ while ex-Labour leader Neil Kinnock is praised for making ‘one of the finest speeches in British politics’.

I do recall the calling of St Mags “pernicious” and I also recall his praise of the Kinnock speech. Neither view is all that uncommon and by the miracle of the Google cache I can actually bring you his post on it .
Neil Kinnock’s speech in Bridgend, Glamorgan, on 7 June 1983, rates as one of the finest speeches ever made in British politics.

It was two days before the General Election. He scribbled the notes from which he delivered the speech in the car on the way to the rally, and his voice was hoarse from campaigning. He was elected leader of the Labour Party at the party conference in October 1983, after Labour’s resounding defeat. He went on to transform the party to make it fit for government.

Here is the full text of what he said.
The rest of it is the actual speech (which is indeed an excellent piece of political rhetoric) and then several of us squabbling about it in the comments. Nothing too awful there, eh?

As to the pernicious? Ermm, no, that’s not quite what was said. It’s actually someone else, in his comments section, who uses the word pernicious, in itself being a play upon the words of a quotation, from yet another blog. Owen actually says things like (re the Thatcher era):

We tend to take for granted some of the really good reforms and policy changes of that era, such as the abolition of exchange controls and the agreement to the Single Market Act. Maybe they would have happened anyway; maybe not.

Thatcher and Lawson should be commended for persuading the chattering classes that increasing trend economic growth is primarily challenge for microeconomic policy (ie improving the supply side), whereas controlling inflation is primarily a challenge for macroeconomic policy. This seems obvious today but it was a total reversal of the then prevailing wisdom which saw macroeconomic policy targeting growth (demand management) and microeconomic policy controlling inflation (price controls, wage freezes, hire purchase controls etc).

The Thatcher Government has not got the opprobrium it deserves for breaking the link between the state pension and the growth of wages. Allowing our old people to fall behind rising living standards of the rest of the community year after year, creating a generation of retired people living in poverty, was unforgivable.

I think Mrs Thatcher did, in some undefinable way, change our attitudes – largely for the better – to the role of the state in private enterprise. Before her, there was a widespread assumption, under both Labour and the Conservatives, that the state should step in to prevent the collapse of particular firms or industries. That was mainly an expensive mistake, and Mrs Thatcher was robust in refusing to come to the aid of many sunset industries. (She was, however, not entirely consistent on this: her friends in industries such as aerospace continued to receive large public subsidies.)

Now I wouldn’t want to have to sign up to all of those views myself but I think it’s a very fair overview, given the starting point that Owen is on the left. It’s his father, the retired Ambassador, Sir Brian, who is actually rather harsher in the comments.

Mr Barder, who heads the DFID’s Global Development Effectiveness Department, is a former economic private secretary to Mr Blair.

Indeed, Owen was, just as in earlier years he worked for a Tory Chancellor (I think it was Kenneth Clarke) about whom he has been (anonymously) complimentary at times.

Just one little point that might be worth mentioning here? All of the above, none of which is as remotely awful or incendiary as the Mail tries to portray, was in fact written while Owen was on a two year sabbatical (an unpaid one, by the way).

Which means that absolutely none of it has anything to do with his position in the Civil Service either past or future. Private citizens do, for the meantime at least, possess freedom of speech.

His website features an article entitled “Fascist America in 10 easy steps’ which says: “From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms. George Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all.”

Yes, indeed it does. He quotes the opening lines of this article in The Guardian by Naomi Wolf. Actually, not even the opening lines, rather the header put there by the sub-editor, then suggests that we should go and read it.

Now I do realize that by this point Owen was back in the Civil Service but really, quoting the Guardian is hardly a crime and nor (unless one is talking about Polly T or the Mahdi Bunting, both banned for the serious impacts they can have upon mental health) is recommending that someone read an article in that paper.

He says: “George Bush and Tony Blair must be very proud that they have created the precedent, through their action in Iraq, which has allowed Russia to announce it will take pre-emptive strikes anywhere in the world.”

That’s err, from September 2004…not, as the article implies, from his commentary about Fascist America, which is from a few weeks ago.

Mr Barder condemns ‘extraordinary renditions’ whereby America – allegedly using UK airports with Mr Blair’s support – snatched Al Qaeda suspects and tortured them.

“I do not understand why extraordinary rendition is not causing more outrage in the UK,’ he states.

And quite rightly. The kidnapping of innocents to be tortured somewhere convenient is indeed an outrage.

And he disputes whether Osama Bin Laden is ‘hostile’ to the American way of life.

Can’t find that quote, sorry.

Mr Barder also gives extraordinary details of his private life with partner, Grethe. Discussing his hobby of marathon running, he quotes an unnamed ‘sex fiend’ female friend as saying: “I had a fling with a marathon runner. Damn that boy had stamina. It shows there is a correlation between fitness and all night sh******.”

Mr Barder adds: “Well, possibly, the ones who aren’t knackered running 80 miles that week.”

In his frank account of a vasectomy, he says: “Today I had a vasectomy. I realise this is relatively unusual for a man of 36 with no children.

“But I have no doubt, and nor does my partner, that we do not want children. Some men think it makes them less manly but that is rubbish. I feel a little nausea, as though I have been kicked in the b***s. I have iced the area to keep the swelling down.”

The problem with any of this is what? When a substantial part of Rod Liddle’s column today is a complaint that Jerry Hall should keep her vagina to herself the use of the *** is really rather sweet.

Mr Barder’s family are no strangers to controversy: his father, Sir Brian, resigned from the Special Immigration Appeals Commission in 2004, accusing Home Secretary David Blunkett of deporting terror suspects detained without trial.

Indeed, despite having as many strange ideas about economics as his son, stand up bloke Sir Brian is.

Surprisingly, Mr Barder junior criticises his former boss, ex-Cabinet Secretary Lord Turnbull who recently attacked “Stalinist’ Gordon Brown.

“Civil servants have no business revealing their views of Ministers and their behaviour,’ says Mr Barder, apparently without irony.

Which, when he’s been a Civil Servant, he hasn’t done. Nor, in fact, do I recall (other than a rather light hearted post about which cabin of the aircraft you get to fly in when travelling with a Cabinet Minister) him giving any details of his views of the Ministers he has worked for, nor of their views.

I have to admit that I think this piece in the Mail is really rather extraordinary. As above, you can see that it’s a mixture of gross distortions, garbled (and wrongly attributed) quotes and in general a hit job.

Which is really something that all of us other bloggers might want to start thinking about. If they hound Owen out of his job on the basis of the above farrago and tissue of innuendo and misquotation then that’s rather going to be the end of this enjoyable pastime for most of us, isn’t it? Anyone writing tens of thousands of words over the years is open to such an assassination of the character.

Traditional here to start quoting Voltaire but the problem with that is that Voltaire never actually said it. I think we all know the Pastor Niemoller quote by now as well, don’t we? So I’ll just content myself with a small in joke shall I?

I am Spartacus!

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May 15, 2007

Nul points

Filed under: Uncategorized — notsaussure @ 8:17 pm

There was once a publicity-mad back-bench MP called Snooks (not his real name) who used to bombard bemused editors of the local papers for his constituency with press releases about things like ‘Local MP catches bus,’ containing accounts of how Mr Snooks had taken a Number 15 Bus round his constituency and it had prompted the following thoughts on public transport, or how well the local school, which he’d been able to see from his seat, was doing, or something. There was also a luckless MP from a different party who took years to live down, because the Observer unearthed it when he was made a cabinet minister by Mrs Thatcher, an early day motion he’d been persuaded to table by unkind drinking companions, rather late one night and of which he had no recollection whatsoever when he woke up the the following morning, calling for the public hanging, drawing and quartering of football hooligans.

However, I wonder what the excuse for this is:

The Eurovision Song Contest voting system needs to be changed because it is “harmful to the relationship between the peoples of Europe”, an MP has said.

Countries voted for their neighbours rather than the best songs, Liberal Democrat MP Richard Younger-Ross said.

And the BBC should insist on voting changes or withdraw from the contest altogether, he added.

I’m not sure which astonishes me more; that several other MPs, both Lib Dem and Labour, have put their names to this call to do something about this clear threat to the peace of Europe or that the BBC were able to find someone to comment

who has spent years studying Eurovision voting patterns,

That’s got be worse than train spotting, surely?

May 13, 2007

Curious searches

Filed under: Russia/USSR, Uncategorized — notsaussure @ 1:15 pm

I made a resolution I wasn’t going to succumb to the temptation of writing about the odd searches that lead people to this blog, so it was, of course, inevitable that I would write about it….

Every day, though, two or three people arrive here having googled for the phrase ‘Fuck you’.  It’s not my habit to swear — my late wife, who swore like a Hull fishwife (coming from Hull and having been PA for the director of a trawler company, you see) didn’t like it, since she knew that meant I was about seriously to lose my temper — so it leads only to a post about the Iranian writer of graphic novels, Marjane Satrapi, a lady whom it is clearly unwise to tell she shouldn’t smoke.  And now, of course, here.

Why, though, do people google for that phrase? Other than if you’re trying to find the Phillip Larkin poem, (it’s here, by the way), I can’t think of a reason for so doing. People presumably know what it means and when it’s commonly used.

Or maybe not — my sometime interpreter and PA in Russia, the lovely and talented Inna, had a somewhat mischievous sense of humour, as I discovered when I asked her to teach me a few useful Russian phrases. My, how we laughed when I discovered that, rather than asking waiters and waitresses for — as I thought — an ashtray, I’d been asking for something completely different (which I would doubtless have enjoyed, but it’s hardly the sort of thing one asks of a complete stranger….). No wonder I kept on getting strange looks, and it’s a tribute to the hospitality of the Hotel Astoria in St Petersburg that I didn’t get my face slapped. I began to smell a rat after the barman in the night club there told me he’d be glad to oblige, but I’d probably be better off asking one of the young ladies sitting at the far end of the bar, and it would probably cost $150 (the price one pays, you see, for staying in posh hotels).

I did, after that, tend to check her advice on colloquial phrases rather closely.

May 12, 2007

Thinking bloggers

Filed under: Uncategorized — notsaussure @ 11:51 pm

My thanks to two very different bloggers, both of whom I greatly enjoy reading, Noosa Lee, of That’s So Pants and, belatedly, to Jailhouse Lawyer for both nominating me for this award. I was, in fact, nominated once before, so it’s taking me a bit of time to think of a second tranche of people on to whom to pass this meme.

It’s a bit of a problem with geometric progression, I think. You’re supposed to pass it on to 5 people, so the chap who started it sent it to 5 people he reads, and they then sent it to another 5 each, making 25, and they then passed it on to a further 125, who then passed it on to 625 others,and thence to 3,125, and thence to 15, 625…. you can see where this is leading. Well, according to Matt of Technorati, there are 71 million blogs, which I reckon means everyone gets nominated in about 10 turns if we all nominate five people who haven’t before been tagged..

But thanks, both… I really do appreciate it, and I’ll pass it on shortly.

At least, I think I want to thank Noosa, but I’m still trying to work out the full implications of her comparison between this blog and a Ferrari. There’s a pop-Freudian reading of that simile….

My only close encounter with a Ferrari, as it happens, was when someone was mad enough to lend one to my late wife, when we lived in London.

He’d recently acquired this vehicle and, while he tried to arrange secure parking for it near his flat in Kensington, asked Anna if she’d get it kept in a very secure lorry park near our flat in King’s Cross — hey, it’s central, cheap and, having been educated by the Sisters of Mercy (1), Anna wasn’t scared of anything very much — where she knew the owner. His main business is shipping antiques on behalf of auction houses, so his lorry park really is rather secure.

Delighted to help out a friend, Anna, of course, agreed. I could have told him what would happen if you gave her the keys to a Ferrari, but no one asked me and I wasn’t going to volunteer my opinions since I value domestic harmony very greatly.

Anna, at the time, worked up at The Angel, Islington; for the benefit of those who don’t know that bit of London, it’s only one stop on the tube from Kings Cross, or maybe 10 minutes’ walk up Pentonville Road, which is long, straight and steep.

My beloved  was certainly not going to miss the chance of turning up for work in a new Ferrari.   Unfortunately, she’d hardly ever driven since moving down to London from her native Hull (if you live in Central London and don’t have a company car, which neither of us did, it’s not really worth buying one). Nor, indeed, do they have many hills in Hull, so she wasn’t that used to hill starts, and the Ferrari was, apparently, a bit more powerful than the sort of cars to which she was used.

I wasn’t there, thank God, when she accelerated away from the lights at the bottom of Pentonville Road, but she somehow managed somehow to stop in time for the lights up at The Angel. Astonishingly, both she and the car escaped unscathed; she said it was rather like the first time a horse tried to bolt when she was riding it.

Great fun, apparently, once you get over the initial panic.   And, which was Anna’s great insight, look like you meant to do it, rather in the same way one of her cats looks when it falls in the bath after doing a tight-rope walk round the side and slipping on the soap.         ‘No ordinary person,  or cat, could have done that, could they?  And besides, I meant to do it’.

(1) In fairness to the good sisters, I think they may have found my late wife a bit of a handful. She certainly appreciated her old school and there was a clause in our joint will, which I’ve retained in mine, leaving the school a not inconsiderable amount of money. Nevertheless, she sometimes had the impression they were named in much the same spirit as the ancient Greeks named the Eumenides, or ‘kindly ones’. ‘They taught me the importance of not getting caught.’

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