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Sunday, 11 August 2013


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Did you know that the excellent Inspector Rebus has made a comeback, by virtue (ho, ho) of joining one of those "New Tricks" squads? It makes a pretty satisfying whodunnit, with some rather good jokes.

I really enjoyed the early 'New Tricks', the 'chemistry' between the four main characters just worked somehow but I have rather lost interest in it recently.

I agree with you about Wallender, even though I have always admired Kenneth Branagh for his interpretation of Shakespeare. You brits do a wonderful job with dectectives though. One on my local stations is showing copious amounts of British Detectives. The usual, Morse, Lewis, but also Vera, Scott and Bailey, George Gently, and others from northern England. I once said if it werenl't for Midsomer Murders I would be speaking with a northern accent. ;)

I am sorry for my spelling mistakes... more typing mistakes.. My sister distracted me.

You and the 'Memsahib' would hit it off, Miss Red, she has seen so many of those so often she actually mouths the words as she watches!

I agree about Vera - not bad at all. It helps no end when the lead can act.

I love Vera. Wish I could see her more often.
So then Duffers, next time i am in the Isles, I will take a trip down to meet you and memsahib and have a wonderful time conversing in the northern. Don't worry, with my lack of finding gainful employment, it may be decades yet before I visit.

Sorry, but Vera doesn't do it for me! Partly the director's fault, he will keep going in for long shots showing Vera trudging gamely along. The poor woman must walk miles in that series!

Miss Red, you would be enormously welcome any time but do bear in mind that we live almost as far south as we can get. Nothing against the north, really, but if I'm going to suffer language problems I'd rather do it in France!

Is it just me (and my gross generalisations) or does the behaviour of 'The Left' and 'The Right' mirror gender differences?

Women, on the whole, seem to organise, group and support 'their gender' on 'womens issues'. Men do not.

Women tend to support an argument in which they disagree with the majority of the points, so as to provide support for the minority points they agree with. Men will disagree an argument in which they mostly agree, so as not to be seen supporting the minority of points they disagree with.

Women 'seem' to support any argument proposed by anyone (preferably another woman), as long as it's against a man. Men will support anyone as long as it's against another man.

Imagine a book by a 'Leftist', even if 'the left' disagreed with the majority of what it said, they'd support it for the few bits they agree with, and to get their message out. 'The Right' is willing to completely destroy the credibility of the whole publication because they disagree with a percentage of the book.

I'd say 'The Right' has, typically, shot itself in the foot again. The whole book, including those known and confirmed facts, is now discredited. There may have been 'interpretation', bias and hyperbole but McCarthys '105 Soviet Agents' have been 'proven' to have been but a drop in the ocean of reality - but no-one will believe that now, will they?

MissRed - but, what about Frost. I want Jack investigating if crime comes my way. (I liked Jeremy Brett as Holmes and Joan Hickson as Miss Marple [DVD box-sets on order] - does this make me old[er]?)

No, Able, it makes you positively ancient, almost worthy of a preservation order!

It is difficult to comment on Ms. West's book, not having read it. However, there has always been in America a large streak of conspiracy theory in too much of what tries to pass itself off as contemporary history. Kennedy's assassination goes on and on and on! Yes, the Soviets had many agents of varying importance, and yes, FDR was surrounded by Dem party activists (like Hopkins) who had tremendous ideological sympathies with communist Russia. I don't think after all these years that anyone is surprised by it. However, If you are going to make specific charges against individuals, or, if you are going to propose a new theory of historical explanation, then you need to have hard evidence. According to those whose sympathies are aligned to Ms. West, she failed to produce any.

Oh I agree, the book is poorly written (I trudged through it), full of conclusion-jumping, exaggeration and a complete lack of anything approaching objectivity.

My, as usual poorly put, point was the difference in the reaction of the 'sides' involved. If West had been a lefty, writing from a lefty perspective (still as poorly), they would be lining up to defend and laud her, despite any misgivings on the objectivity.

The right, despite her airing of an amount of hitherto not widely publicised factual data, is denigrating 'all' of the book.

I have no skin in the game, I just find it (and gender arguments) endlessly intellectually interesting. Having worked in male and female dominated areas, it apocryphally mirrors how discussions progress in each area.

It would be interesting to read a truly objective book which attempted to weigh as precisely as possible, in a very imprecise activity, the actual effect of secret intelligence on events. Of course, gaining the intelligence is one thing, acting on it is another - one thinks of Sorge in Tokyo who gave Stalin the details of the forthcoming German attack - and was ignored! On the other hand, there was the famous Room 40 at the Admiralty who provided the exact time the German fleet put to sea prior to Jutland allowing Jellicoe to spring his trap; and also, of course, in WWII the desperately needed breaking of the Enigma machine. Also, the various atomic spies in the late '40s no doubt assisted in the making of the Russian bomb. Tricky subject, I think, and difficult to weigh in the balance.

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