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Member Since 14 Apr 2004
Online Last Active Today, 04:51 PM

Topics I've Started

Soviet Union

17 December 2014 - 09:32 AM

I'm not sure that I should be posting this, but before my trip to Leningrad in the mid 1970s,  I was warned by security that I might be the target of er....what I think is described as a" honey trap".  I was warned of being befriended by any  "young ladies"  calling at my hotel room late at night. As a precaution I sat up all night waiting...but no luck I'm afraid.  


The abiding impression of the SU at that time, based on that one  trip ( the trip planning and execution both), was one of a bureaucracy that choked the life out of everything. I was free to do what I wanted...as long as I had a permit. A permit to enter the country, a permit that listed all the foreign currency I had with me..coins included, a permit for a taxi, a permit to go into the hotel (a state hotel for residents not for tourists, with a "housekeeper" stationed on each floor)


I was working at an industrial facility, and being naïve  (I still am) I took my camera with me on the first day..and was let in with it! By the second day I was  advised to leave it at the hotel. All my documents, passport, foreign currency declarations etc ) had to be surrendered into the safe keeping of the hotel


The radio on the room had one knob..on/off  and volume as there was only one station to listen to. The whole place had a what I imagine was a feel of the immediate post-war year in the UK.


Sure the SU was a terrible regime, repressive, cruel, brutal and murderous and ultimately, yet another failed socialist experiment.  However, the terror that is  ISIS/Procol Harum/ Taliban-stan/Sharia etc where murderous terror can and does strike anyone, anywhere at any time, any place, is truly terrifying to all of us.

Can't wait...

16 December 2014 - 07:45 PM

for the new season! Fed up of endless debates about how many scrum halves you can fit on the point of a needle. Just want to get to the start of the next season of summer rugby. First SL game in Feb? bring it on!

BBC Radio 4 Any Questions tonight

12 December 2014 - 08:59 PM

A great edition, just finished: polly Toynbee, Ken livingstone, etc. What a contrast with last nights Question Time. No shouting, no interrupting, everyone got their say, even Toynbee spoke quite a bit of sense at times, no one was ridiculed. No Brand, no Farage, and no screaming SWP Bunny La Roche in the audience.

Gotta be an example for QT to follow.

Inside the dressing room

20 November 2014 - 04:54 PM

Michael Vaughan examines the different dynamics experienced within the dressing room across three different sports - cricket, rugby union and football


I missed this highly informative programme last night. However, you can listen again  here: http://www.bbc.co.uk...rammes/b04sn7gj


51 minutes in,  you can here Matt Dawson verifying the cactus story. Such fun!!



Say YES to Radi-Aid!

19 November 2014 - 10:38 PM

donate your radiator and spread some warmth!