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PaulAA

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  1. Rod At the risk of sounding like a miserable old cynic (... sounding like?), ever was it thus. There is a little too much publicity given to billionaires who make what appear to be grand philanthropic gestures, which transpire to be tied into beneficial trusts and tax breaks. Case in point is Mark Zuckerturd, who claims to have wafted billions into his 'charitable foundation', yet sterling work by investigative journalists has revealed it to be little more than a clever front for repositioning his immense wealth. Ditto Ikea, which turns over Euro 40 billion a year, yet is registered as a charity and pays no tax. There was an excellent presentation recently by Rutger Bregman, in which he pointed out that, instead of shouting about their philanthropy, the super rich should simply pay their fair share of tax. Rant over. Sorry, John, for the thread drift! Paul
  2. Dave I disagree. If democracy worked (i) the Conservative Party would have splintered and stood for election on their true respective agendas in the 2010 GE, (ii) the referendum would have been couched as advisory and treated as such, with Parliament taking responsibility for making a decision in the best interests of the country, (iii) proper legal action would have been taken against the financial and procedural irregularities in the referendum campaign, (iv) MPs would be voting in their professional capacity in the best interest of the country and not in the best interest of their re-election, (v) in the spirit of the oft-quoted Swiss model, the irregularities would have rendered the referendum null and void and a fresh, advisory referendum could have been organised by now on the basis of wider information available in the public domain. Also, in a healthy democracy, the referendum would have been re-run in any case, not because it has to be repeated until the 'right' answer is given, but because it is a decision for ever, not the next five years and the margin was too close to represent a decisive victory for the winning side. Three years have now passed - there are plenty of examples of govts lasting a shorter period of time and nobody cried that it is undemocratic to re-run a GE shortly after the previous one. If Leave is confident of its result, there should be no issue over them winning a second referendum, surely. But all of this comes back to a basic failure in process, not democracy. David Cameron hid behind an election manifesto to pander to the extremists in his Party and run a Remain campaign of such incompetence that his true belief was transparent. The future of the UK was abjectly let down by its own Govt. Paul
  3. Hamish I can't help felling that attrition is the strategy the ERG is now following, gradually wearing people down, by keeping the ball endlessly in play, until any solution will seen as acceptable, just to get it over with. Paul
  4. It is a hugely challenging question, more so because of the importance of the cathedral to French culture and history, but also because attitudes to conservation are significantly different in mainland Europe to the UK. Most countries in Europe regard building restoration as a return to its origins, to its original state, whereas an important part of conservation in the UK is about preserving the patina of age, warts and all. Culturally and psychologically, therefore, there is undoubtedly a strong case (and demand) for recreation of Notre Dame exactly as it was intended to be after the current renovations. Layer into this the fact that (speaking as one of the breed) we lack the understanding, perception, fluency and humility to create truly arresting devotional and civic architecture. France has a rich history of grand public architectural statements and took a considerable role in the emergence of Modernism in the 20th century, but dedication has evolved into ambition and, I regret, too much of a project of this nature would become invested in the personality of the star architect chosen to create a statement. Notre Dame was almost derelict in the mid-19th century and the spire built shortly afterwards was a recreation of a far earlier version demolished a century before, but I fear that any attempt to find a response 'of our time', to add to the cycle of decay and rebirth, will quickly become mired in dispute, controversy, financial problems and acrimony. Great, recent cathedrals in the modern style are few and far between. In Europe, war and disaster have given birth to Liverpool and Coventry and remarkable bravery and foresight gave birth to Barcelona, but none of those has (arguably) as powerful a position in their urban fabric as Notre Dame. The closest example, which achieves the remarkable melding of the British 'patina' and European 'spanking new' approaches, is the truly stunning Frauenkirche in Dresden. It is as it was before the war, but there is no doubting the trauma it experienced in the meantime. Paul
  5. Thanks for the feedback and thanks for the links, Phil & Hamish - Bosch triple cores now ordered. Cheers Paul
  6. What is it about Gorillas... they never wear properly-fitting shirts! Is it the chest-beating? Paul
  7. Chaps What is current wisdom for spark plugs for the 2.5 six-pot with carbs? Champion N9YC? NGK BP6ES? A N Other? Paul
  8. Super - thank you, Roger. The old one didn't do that... Paul
  9. Chaps, a swift request for guidance / opinion. My cheapo grease gun has just died an unceremonious death. Good riddance - it leaked and was a devil to get off the grease nipple. To replace it, would you wise ones recommend a second-hand (and tatty-looking) Wanner or a sparkly Hilka with many accessories and spare cartridges? Both look like being around £25 delivered. Also... what is the correct technique for getting the nozzle off the nipple without removing chunks of living flesh from your hands? Paul
  10. One more thing: a guy came to our stand, who turned out to be a film director (no, really, I did check him out afterwards), who is mid-way through making a film about Tadek Marek, the Aston Martin engine designer. And a very colourful character he turned out to be. His personal transport was the only DB5 V8 ever produced, which our friend the film director has unearthed through the Marek family. Now that would be a most fine barn find... Paul
  11. I was about to point out that Asa Bennett at the Telegraph has already conflated black holes with Brexit in his puff piece today, making an interesting subject (black holes) as depressing as... Brexit.
  12. Nick I think more of the locomotion came directly from the steam than any hydrocarbons present in the PI. Come to think of it, the damn thing may well have been a clever hybrid, using petrol to produce steam for motive power! Paul
  13. Niall Apparently, only 200-odd Mk1 PI estates were produced in automatic. Probably not many of them left... This one arrived on our stand on Friday evening more or less under its own steam, but liked it so much that it didn't want to leave when the lights went down on Sunday. Had to be escorted off the premises by the management. Paul
  14. The Telegraph this morning refers to Macron as a 'Poundland de Gaulle', completely missing the fact that the UK's destiny now largely lies in his hands, courtesy of the ERG's behaviour. The whooshing noise could be heard even in these distant parts. Paul
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