Thursday, January 25, 2007

Quotes for today

"It is always easier to believe than to deny. Our minds are naturally affirmative." - John Burroughs

"With Epcot Center the Disney corporation has accomplished something I didn't think possible in today's world. They have created a land of make-believe that's worse than regular life." - PJ O'Rourke

"Estimated amount of glucose used by an adult human brain each day, expressed in M&Ms: 250" - Harper's Index

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Monday, February 27, 2006

Make up department in RTE comes under fire as Charlie Bird called 'orange bastard'

The make-up department in RTE has come under fire from TV chiefs for "making our broadcast staff look like orange bastards". Ruling Manderins at the semi-state broadcaster are said to be furious that chief news correspondent Charlie Bird was targeted by rioters in Dublin city centre on Saturday who called the journalist an "orange bastard".

The clearly emotional Bird was punched and then chased as he tried to escape the racists.

"I wasn't born orange you know. These racists took their anger out on me because of a mistake in the blending of rouge and foundation back in the RTE make-up department," said a tearful Bird as the eyliner ran down his bruised and blackened cheeks.

"I just feel so sorry for those in the North who are born with this natural affliction. Poor bast...I mean sods," added a highly charged Bird.

When the head satsuma on the RTE non-elected-government-appointed-no-conflict-of-interest-authority heard of the violence dished out to one of the news department he said: "We're fed up with the constant cock ups from the make-up department. One minute you can't see our broadcasters's for the bad lighting, the next, they're all fucking tangoed. It looks like we're broadcasting out of Umpa Lumpa land," said an irate Han di Monay.

Mr di Monay said that he personally would look into the so-called jobs for the "Foxrock girls" in the make-up and morkeshing departments at the beleagured station.

"All these young ones who are coming in from UCD are taking real jobs away from young men. It's got to stop...Are ye right Sharon," Mr di Monay said from his coupe before he sped away with the young blonde for the weekend.

A whole tranch of RTE broadcasters and presenters could not be contacted for comment from their hospital beds in St Vincents at the weekend, although Marion Finucane refused to confirm or deny she said "up the Raa" at Saturday's riots. Riiiiight!

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Friday, February 24, 2006

Is it love or hate coming to town in tomorrow’s Love Ulster parade

There appear to be mixed messages coming from the organiser’s of tomorrow’s Love Ulster parade in Dublin. Organiser Willie Frazer originally said that the parade was intended "to convey the message about how our relatives died at the hands of the IRA."

Today, speaking on RTE, he said the parade was to show "unionist culture" to the people of Dublin.

Yesterday, in the Daily Ireland newspaper he said that he would not stop anyone on the march from carrying posters of a man allegedly involved in the 1974 Dublin bombings that killed 26 people.

"I can’t give a guarantee a photograph of Robert McConnell will not be carried because I wouldn’t be against anyone carrying Robert’s photograph," said Mr Frazer.

Before adding: "Anybody I know who knew Robert would say there is no way he was involved in anything. He was involved with the security forces and he helped the SAS and stuff like that but a lot of people would say that was just part of his job."

At the end of January Frazer said this: ""We do not want to bring Dublin to a standstill, nor cause offence, and we hope we will be allowed to walk peacefully in Dublin to convey the message about how our relatives died at the hands of the IRA."

Tell me this Mr Frazer, if you don’t want to cause offence, whey would you allow marchers to carry posters of a man allegedly involved in the 1974 bombings?

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Unbeknownst to us all: World peace if only we were all like Mary Harney

Mary Harney, the Minister and picture of Health, has, without so much as breaking sweat, solved the problem of MRSA in hospitals. It seems that the problem, unbeknownst to all experts, but, apparently staring all of them in the face, is people who visit sick people in hospitals.

Those dastardly visitors of sick and ailing relatives are, according to the Minister, and she would know, unhygienic and therefore the root of all MRSA evil in hospitals. Well, tie me kangaroo down sport.

Naturally this has all come as something as a shock to regular hospital visitors and the sick and ailing recipients of such visits. It goes without saying that this problem was unbeknownst to both visitors and visitees until Ms Harney so eloquently got on the ball. Indeed their collective flabbers were well and truly gasted at this massive revelation.

But, as with most things in life, one answer can lead to a thousand questions, and so it is with this latest missive from the Department of Health.

If the visitors are causing MRSA in hospitals, are they then becoming infected when they leave?

If infected, who is treating them?

If left untreated, are the infected going off to ditches to die like fatally injured dogs do in Meath?

When dead, are their corpses consumed by bone gnawing vermin like rats and badgers who then spread the MRSA bug into the eco-system with the potential to cause a extinction event to humainty in Co Meath?

Thank the lord Mary Harney has her finger on the pulse of the Health system.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

McDowell gambles political career on being right about Frank Connolly

The one thing everyone can say about Justice Minister Michael McDowell, is that he never backs down. As the controversy surrounding his Dail statement alleging Frank Connolly’s connections to the Columbia 3 and a false passport application gains a bringing-down-the-government type momentum, McDowell ain’t for turning. If he’s wrong, he’s gone.

He said that he revealed the garda documents about Frank Connolly to protect the State from subversion. He didn’t say how Connolly was subverting the State, or how a visit to Columbia was subverting the State. As Prof Dermot Walsh of the University of Limerick told The Irish Times today: "The principle of innocence until proven guilty is fundamental to civilisation throughout the world. Leaking documents from a criminal investigation to a particular newspaper - that's subversion of the State."

If McDowell is wrong about Connolly then his crusade against Connolly will look like the biggest witch hunt since Salem.

It’s no secret that Connolly as a journalist was unpopular in political circles because, as an investigative reporter he - shock and horror - exposed scandals. Like the scandal involving planning corruption that led to the Flood tribunal. Oh yeah, and that other scandal involving corrupt gardai in Donegal which led to another tribunal and a damning report from the tribunal chairman.

And before anyone goes putting 3 & 8 together and coming up with 42, let’s be clear about one thing, there could never be any question that the gardai would have a file on Connolly that they, erm, shouldn’t have. Got that. It just couldn’t happen, right!

And then there’s this other thing Connolly was involved in. The setting up of the Centre for Public Inquiry (CPI). An independent body set up to examine issues of public importance and most likely expose corruption during the course of its findings. Now who’d want a thing like that?

Both McDowell and Bertie Ahern lobbied the Irish-American millionaire and patron of the CPI, Chuck Feeny, on behalf of, erm, themselves. They told Feeny of Connolly’s alleged dodgy tooing and froing and Feeny believed them. Feeny withdrew funding of Eur800,000 from the CPI on the basis of conversations with Ahern and McDowell.

But, it seems everything is beginning to go a little pear-shaped for the government. Rumour has it that Feeny is going to chuck (sorry) his money back in. Perhaps just in time for the CPI’s next investigation. Thornton Hall. Remember that one. The prison in the middle of no-where that cost an arm and a leg.

There is one thing for sure that would bring McDowell down on his knees. An explanation from Connolly as to his whereabouts when allegedly he was in Colombia. He says he’s never been there.

Most people are suspicious that he has something to hide by not being forthright with his explanations. If he’s biding his time to drop a bombshell on McDowell, there’ll be a new government within months.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Quotations for today

Somewhere on this globe, every ten seconds, there is a woman giving birth to a child. She must be found and stopped. - Sam Levenson (1911 - 1980)
When they discover the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to discover they are not it. - Bernard Bailey
Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake. - Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 - 1821)

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Sad Notice of death of Hokey Kokey composer

With all the sadness and trauma going on in the world at the moment, it is worth reflecting on the death of a very important person which almost went unnoticed last week. Larry LaPrise, the man who wrote 'The Hokey Kokey' died peacefully at the grand age of 93. The most traumatic part for his family, was getting him into the coffin. They put his left leg in; and then the trouble started...

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Friday, November 18, 2005

Keane sacked by MU?

RTE Radio reported at lunchtime today that Roy Keane was sacked by Manchester United and did not leave by mutual consent.

RTE’s sports editor, Tony O’Donoghue, claimed that Keane’s family had said Roy had turned up for a reserve game last night and was told there was no place for him. When Keane asked why, he was told to ring Alex Ferguson.

When he rang Ferguson he was the told to speak to his agent, Michael Kennedy.

If this version of events stands up to be true, it’s a pretty disgraceful way to sack the best player ever to play for Manchester United. I would have thought Alex Ferguson would have had the decency to tell Roy to his face

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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Rafferty murder inquest adjourned for a year

The inquest into the death of Dublin man Joseph Rafferty who was shot dead outside his home has been adjourned for a year by the Dublin County Coroners Court.

Rafferty (29), with an address at Hayworth Court, Ongar, Clonsilla, was shot dead as he came out of his home in the early hours of April 12th. The court heard today he was killed by a single shot to the chest.

Gardai today applied for an adjournment of the inquest due to the fact there was an ongoing criminal investigation into the killing.

Det Insp Thomas O'Loughlin told the Coroner, Dr Kieran Geraghty, this investigation "may take considerable time" and asked for a year's adjournment.

Dr Geraghty adjourned the inquest to November 14th, 2006.

Members of the Rafferty family were not present at the inquest.

The claim Joseph Rafferty was shot dead by a Provisional IRA member after arguing with a republican family. Sinn Fein denies the claim.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

D4 residents in Uri Gellar bent spoon row

Irate D4 residents voiced their anger today at Uri Gellar in what they described as an unprovoked attack on cutlery in the posh Dublin suburb.

Thousands of phone calls jammed the lines of radio stations as residents complained to anyone who would listen - Joe Duffy - at the visit to Lansdowne Road yesterday of Uri Gellar, the famous Israeli spoon bender turned good vibes and positive thinking guru.

Gellar visited the Old stadium yesterday to spread some good vibes and positive thinking in a bid to assist a hapless Irish soccer team to victory over the watching making country of Switzerland.

Speaking to anyone who would listen - crap RTE programmes - Gellar urged the Irish people to put their hands together and shout "win Ireland, win".

He did offer some health and safety precautions to those driving vehicles and said maybe drivers should only take one hand off the wheel and touch the radio and say the chant. We don’t want anyone to crash during the chanting as that would only spread bad vibes.

However, Gellars good intentions towards the Irish football team cut no ice with the perennially angry, moany residents of Ballsbridge and its environs.

One angry caller to a radio show complained: "Gellar’s just a menace to decent residents. He says he doesn’t bend spoons anymore, but, that’s clearly a lie.

"The silver spoon that was in my mouth when I was born and which is the centre piece on my sideboard display is bent out of all proportion," said Ms Mona Lott.

"He should be trying to help Israel qualify anyway. And what’s this I hear about him going to be flying around in a helicopter in a bid to send positive thoughts to the Irish team. What’s going to happen to the rotor blades on the helicopter?" she asked.

Local hardware stores in the D4 area have reported a big increase in lead sales as residents attempt to protect their cutlery from Gellars amazing powers.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Did the Ira really kill Joe Rafferty?

The simple answer is no. Despite current speculation that Rafferty was gunned down outside his home in Ongar west Dublin last April by an Ira hit man, the Ira didn’t murder Rafferty.

The gunman himself could well have been involved in the Ira - indeed, it was confirmed to The Irish Times that the only suspect in the case was in the Ira and still has strong links to the organisation - but that still doesn’t make the hit an Ira one.

The story doing the rounds at the moment and one that is being particularly promoted by Rafferty’s sister, Esther Uzell, is that Rafferty got into a dispute with some men from the same family from the Ringsend area of Dublin’s south-inner city where he is originally from.

The dispute had its roots in a fight at a party in the south inner city last October at which three brothers from the area assaulted two young members of Rafferty's family. I understand that those family members were female.

Rafferty bumped into one of the brothers on the street the next day and - this is speculation on my part, but it seems logical - Rafferty dished a out a couple of slaps. There followed a number of incidents involving attacks on property owned by the Rafferty family.

Rafferty was also told a number of times by members of the family he had clashed with that he would be "got" by the IRA.

The mother of the brothers that Rafferty got into dispute with is in a relationship with the only suspect in the case, the former Ira man.

What puzzles me here is why would Rafferty be told he’d be "got"? Why not just "get him"?

And then there’s the big question. Why would a former Ira man go to all the bother of assassinating Rafferty - remember this murder was meticulously planned - over what was probably a couple of slaps? To impress his new mot? To stand up for guys who aren’t his sons?

It appears that before the killing Esther Uzell had gone to local SF councillor Daithi Doolin to tell him of the threats to her brother Joe. From what I can gather, she didn’t go to the gardai to tell them. Why? Did she have something to fear by going to the gardai?

Uzell now wants SF to put pressure on the suspect to come forward, but both Doolin and the leader of Sinn Féin's council representatives, Christy Burke, have said the suspect is not in the Ira and that SF have no influence on him. They say they can’t confirm whether he was previously in the Ira as "the Ira don’t say who their members were and are".

But, since when have SF not had any influence in Dublin’s inner city?

Was Rafferty shot for something more than just a few slaps? Something criminal perhaps that SF don’t want to get involved in? Uzell herself has been quoted in the Northside people as saying the brothers are running around Ringsend selling drugs and still threatening her family to drop their campaign.

If the truth is to be found in Uzell’s determination to have her brother’s killer bought to justice and that her version of events bears out to be accurate, the what’s the point in having SF in inner city areas where a lot of former Ira men enjoy the criminal life.

However, if her brother - or some other family member - was involved in some shady dealings that went pear shaped and inevitably led to the killing, she should leave well alone.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

There are some things money can't buy - for everything else there's Fianna Fail

Overpriced land for new prison - 30 million

MIT Europe Fiasco - 40 million

An electronic voting system that can't be used - 52 million

A payroll system that pays staff 1 million a month - 160 million

Having a government that blows our cash - Priceless

There are some things money can't buy - for everything else there's Fianna Fail - Courtesy of Spudnik's wife

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Mad Dog bites mad bitch

Former loyalist paramilitary leader Johnny Adair has been arrested on suspicion of assaulting his wife. Adair, who is also known as ‘Mad Dog’, was arrested by Greater Manchester Police yesterday evening after officers were called to a park in Horwich, near Bolton. He was being questioned by officers today. He and his wife fled to Horwich after an internal feud within the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), of which he was once a senior member.

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Friday, September 23, 2005

Ian Brown says Bono is ‘such a fake’

There’s an interesting read in the Guardian today with former Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown. The best bit is where he says: "Through those years, he says, he was always sure the Roses would make it. Why? "Because I knew we loved music and I knew what time of day it was, and I knew Bono was faking. He's such a fake, isn't he? When he did Live Aid which made them a worldwide group and he looked out and seen that black girl in the middle of all them people, and she's from Hackney or something, and he was like, 'Here's a great shot for me around the world to show I'm Mr Africa'. It's like colonialist times with a big white hat."

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Rafferty’s murder by IRA will see no one brought to justice

While it might be debatable as to whether the McCartney sisters will see justice over the killing of their brother Robert, it seems that the family of Joseph Rafferty, who was shot dead by an IRA gunman in a west Dublin housing estate in April, are more likely never to see anyone prosecuted for the murder of their family member.

While the killing of Robert McCartney was brutal and savage, it essentially stemmed from a row in a pub and pervious bad feeling. The killing of Rafferty was a lot more insidious.

Joe Rafferty was assassinated because he stood up to a man who had assaulted his little sister. He was shot by a gunman who was dressed in builders clothing as he was about to drive off to work from his apartment in the Ongar area of Dublin 15.

The gunman had clearly planned the operation for several days, hence the disguise of builders clothing in an area still under development.

Rafferty, despite constant warnings and threats from what are believed to be Dublin Sinn Fein members, still stood up to the man who assaulted his sister. He paid with his life.

It is also likely that this episode will soon be forgotten and that no one is ever likely to be prosecuted.

If Sinn Fein are aware of the people involved in Rafferty’s murder, and lets not kid ourselves that they’re not, then what does that say about one of the potentially biggest political parties in Ireland.

Who would you rather have? Messrs Haughey, Burke and Lawlor and their conniving and swindling, or your ex-IRA volunteer Sinn Fein member?

As a republican I’m sickened. I’d hoped Sinn Fein would bring republican idealism to bear on Irish politics, but instead, it seems that covering up murder committed by its members is one of its major policies.

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Boring, boring Premiership has eaten itself

Something is definitely in the air. Almost every soccer fan I know - sports journalists and friends alike - are doing what is almost unthinkable for arm-chair fans. They’re agreeing. Agreeing that the Premiership just ain’t interesting no more.

Most, it seems, are pissed off with the hype. We’re constantly bombarded with ‘morkeshing’ telling us it’s the greatest league in the world. Yeah? Is that why English teams dominate the European competitions?

And then there’s the money. Millions paid to thicks who would probably find it difficult to comprehend the contracts they’ve signed. The clubs do everything to pamper they’re players. Witness a recent BBC documentary about the sad life of footballers when they retire when Mike "Razor" Ruddock declared: "I didn’t know how to do anything. When the boiler on the central heating broke I didn’t know what to do. The club did all that."

Any wonder then they constantly end up in the tabloids in gang-bang/rape stories?

Simon Hattenstone in today’s Guardian compares and contrasts English footballers with the Ashes winning English cricketers. He writes: "...when England won they managed to go on a bender without being charged with common assault or rape."

If you compare the same stars to the GAA’s amateurs - those players who every summer create sporting lore and legend for no recompense - the picture of the spoilt Premiership brat gets even sadder.

Try comparing hurling and football to soccer. Ever watch a soccer match after watching the hurling? Just pure shite. No excitement and no commitment.

Where’s all the skill and excitement gone from the Premiership? It would be interesting to have a word with the editors who put together the Sky packages to see if they have more or less choice of footage to splice together when doing the highlights or best of the season segments.

The money stakes are high in the Premiership and for club owners, especially for those clubs that populate the mid-to-low table, it is essential not to get relegated and face the prospect of millions walking out the door.

Getting a result - any result as long as it’s not a loss - is the object of the game and it doesn’t matter how you get it is the mantra of many clubs in the English top-flight. Win ugly? Who cares?, it’s a win.

Arsenal’s manager, Arsene Wenger recently bemoaned the fact that many teams were playing negatively, but, haven’t we heard this before from the Frenchman when Arsenal have failed to break down stubborn mid-table opposition.

And while one might point out to Mr Wenger that he might try and use some different tactics, his argument can still be backed up by looking elsewhere.

Greece in Euro 2004. Porto in the Champions League 2004. And then Chelsea.

Every one wants to blame Chelsea for the demise of the Premiership. "They’ve just gone and bought it, haven’t they," is the common cry. But, it seems, Chelsea’s success is more to do with Jose Mourhino’s football ethos, than Roman Abramovich’s billions.

Real Madrid used to spend more than anyone else on players, but, never, ever resorted to winning ugly.

The most entertainment you’re likely to get out of a Mourniho side is the manager’s pre and post-match interviews in which he invariably hypes everything up like a world title contest in boxing.

It’s all been hyped up so much, not just by the likes of Mourinho, but also the very tiresome Wenger v Ferguson spats and of course Sky Sports.

Every now and then Pop music does eat itself, but, it always comes back. You’d think there’s too much money at stake for soccer not to come back. But, you’d have to ask, if it was such a beautiful game before the Premiership, why were the crowds so low?

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Irish sunbathers cause interstellar war

It's now official. Thanks to the diligence of Spudnik and the multi-trillions of cash invested in a high grade state-of-the-art interstellar satellite network, Spudnik can now report that there is life on other planets. And they're not very happy with Earth. Well with Ireland, but they can't tell the difference from 350,000 light years away.

There must be many questions that are being asked by you right now. How could a mere blogger know about life on other planets? Why does Spudnik have a high grade state-of-the-art interstellar satellite network? And probably the most poignant of them all, has Spudnik lost the plot and finally cracked up?

Patience all, patience.

The explanation is quite simple really. Not so many moons ago, Ireland had the Gods smile upon it and bless the simple happy folk of the land with a very rare and precious gift. A week of sunshine in the summer.

There was much rejoicing and merriment across Ireland's green and fair isle. Much alcohol was consumed. This in turn led to yet more merriment, more than the good folk could cope with. So the Gods duly took the sunny weather away again. But the damage had been done.

While the good folk - and they are quite good - had the pleasure of uninterrupted sunshine and warmth, they enjoyed it to the full. The people of Ireland sunbathed.

There were what would be hideous scenes to foreigners but quite normal to Ireland as millions of red-head freckily Irish men and women flocked to the beach and stripped off and revealed their bluer-than-white skin to all and sundry.

Spudnik has mentioned before about the dangers of Irish people taking off their clothes in public. For those of you who have never seen an Irish person with most of their kit off, it's not pleasant, so brace yourselves.

It really is simple. You see for millennia the Irish have evolved in a country which has had very little sunshine and therefore the Irish have evolved with extraordinary white skin. As a result when the sun shines and the Irish are sunbathing, there is a huge reflection from the sun off their skin causing blinding white light. This has caused hazards for drivers and pilots of aircraft, but never before has it caused the death of so many.

Which brings us back to life on other planets.

During the recent sunny spell over the last few days, millions of the aforementioned red headed and bluey-white skinned Irish took to the beaches and stripped off at the same time. This sent a massive wave of reflected bright light out into deep space. 350,000 light years into deep space, to a planet known to it's inhabitants as Kerrpoof.

The Poofs, as they are know to their neighbours, are a civilisation of astronomers. They had recently found life on a small little planet some 350,000 light years away.

As the whole planet turned their telescopes on Earth, you know, to see for themselves, they were greeted by a massive wave of reflected white light down their scopes.

The Poofs being beings of a planet that has little sunshine (so not to dissimilar to Ireland then - Ed) are no good at coping with bright light. In fact it's fatal to them.

Not all who died were killed first time round. Some Poofs of course had to work and on hearing the news decided to have a look for themselves. The Poofs are a nosy sort you see, and they in turn suffered the same fate as the other Poofs before them.

This is where the Spudnik’s high grade state-of-the-art interstellar satellite network comes in.

Spudnik has sighted on it's scopes a giant fleet of spacecraft heading towards our solar system. A fleet of mother ships, brother ships, half-sister ships, in-laws ships and other ships which weren't family members but were friendly enough to be considered as such.

There is only one hope for us all. Pray that the Gods will smile on Ireland again, so the Irish can strip off and defeat the alien invasion.

Pray hard. Your life depends on it.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Quotations for today

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes. - Mahatma Gandhi
Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one) both partners might be found more suitable mates. But the real soul-mate is the one you are actually married to. - J. R. R. Tolkien, in a letter to Michael Tolkien, March 1941
To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer. Farmers' Almanac, 1978

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It's good to talk, but we've lost the art of conversation

From the Guardian: Creativity and freedom have given way to egotism and adversarialism

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Mo Mowlam reported 'critical' in London hospital

Former Northern Secretary Dr Mo Mowlam is critically ill in hospital tonight.

Dr Mowlam previously suffered a brain tumour and has appeared increasingly frail in recent months.

The ex-MP is at London's King's College Hospital where a spokeswoman described her condition as "critical but stable".

Dr Mowlam served as the British government minister for the North from May 1997 to October 1999, during the crucial phase during which the Belfast Agreeement was signed in 1998.

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