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Mike Ward's picture

Hiraeth (Aberfan remembered)


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Debbie Young-Somers's picture

Freedom of Speech


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Since their election in June, the BNP have had an unprecedented amount of media coverage, speaking on news programmes regularly on both TV and radio, raising public consciousness about the plight of the "oppressed" white indigenous population who suffer racism in today's Britain. Until now, however, no other mainstream politician would share a platform with a BNP representative. That is, until last night.

Debbie Young-Somers's picture

Whose in charge here?


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We have just completed the festival of Sukkot, known to Christians as the Feast of Tabernacles. Basically we build temporary shelters (called sukkot in the plural, or sukkah in the singular) in our gardens, which have to have roofs made of wood through which we can glimpse the stars - in other words it has to be open to the elements.

Mike Ward's picture

"Trust Me - I'm a Dealer/Christian/Banker !*" (*delete as necessary)


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  Ho, hum…It seems the Beeb has got tired of daytime antiques programmes which show well-meaning couples in colour co-ordinated fleeces getting fleeced by dealers and seeing their purchases lose squillions of pounds at auction. Presumably in these hard-up times, the Beeb thought the license-payer might like to see a success story. Enter Paul Martin, he of the toothpaste-advert Cheshire cat grin, and so we have Trust Me – I’m a Dealer!

Mike Ward's picture

The Invention of Lying


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  Imagine a world in which people are incapable of lying: they have to tell the truth. Pause for a moment and think about it…Would such a world be good? A happy world? Would you want to live there? Would you be allowed to live there? How many lies have you told today? Or this week? Were those lies justified?

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The House That James Built - The Sequel


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  Sequels can be tricky things. How do you follow the story I wrote about recently of BBC Top Gear’s presenter James May building a house, a real full-sized house, made entirely out of Lego bricks? Well, planners and lawyers have the answer. "The wise man builds his house on the rock." Without planning permission? Demolish it! A house built of Lego? Sorry, it has to come down. And come down, it has.

Debbie Young-Somers's picture

Taking Time for Reflection - the Day of Atonement


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In 3 days time it will be Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. To atone is to somehow make up for your sins. We do this once a year, but it's not a one day process alone. We spend the month before preparing for Yom Kippur, and the 10 days before (from Rosh Hashanah - the new year) really seriously getting ready. But how do we get ready? How do we repair our relationship with God on this one day?

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Crashgate: Cheating (is) For Dummies


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Drivers of Renault cars, look away now. Your car is about to hit the wall. Or not. Well, it will if you ask it to. Or to be more precise, if you are instructed to hit the wall by your boss (who conveniently for you, is not in the car, which you are currently driving a tad over the legal speed limit at 80mph). Be honest: would you disobey an order from your boss?

But, hey, this is Formula 1. Your boss tells you on the car radio to crash your ten million quid's worth of kit into the wall; you do it.

Mike Ward's picture

The house that James built


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It's a Boy Thing. And some of us just don't grow up. If I can stick my head above the parapet and offer, with my tongue firmly in cheek, a few sexist observations, those endowed without a Y chromosome spend their formative years messing about with dolls, later of course graduating into womanhood to collecting shoes and handbags and going on endless Saturday shoe-shopping trips, visiting 237 shoe shops before finally realising that the pair of shoes they want is actually in the first shop they visited, by which time their long-suffering partner has lost the will to live and needs to get home for the football results. Those of us who the genetic lottery has given us our boyhood on the other hand messed about with Lego, building things and then - this was always the best bit - taking them apart. (Cue your family stories of the girls with Meccano sets and screwdrivers and all the rest of the Boy Stuff.) 
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"Having a go"


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What do the parents of a tiny premature baby in Paraguay, certified dead and then heard crying when she was placed in her coffin for burial, have in common with Richard Cass, the father of the 19-year old backpacker Jamie Neale who was discovered alive after being lost in the Australian outback for 12 days? At first sight the answer is simple: both have experienced miracles after writing off for dead the life of a loved one – though sadly the baby did die a few days later when returned to hospital.