In Guano Veritas

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Happy Winter Solstice Christina!

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Jimmy Hill 1927-2015                              Rest in Peace Big Fellah

In our current world of petty  little men Jimmy Hill is the opposite: a great guy, a great loss!

He was about football, not money, though he got the money when it counted and when it was hard.

He was that rare beast: a hard but gentle man!

Eat your wallet Blatter!

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Having "Ratted" on the Conservatives once, is Mr Carswell preparing to emulate Winston Churchill by "Ratting" on Nigel Farage as well, as an hors d'oeuvre to "Re-Ratting" from UKIP to the Conservatives just to upset David Cameron? 

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The best, most sublime line in Educating Rita must be when, in response to Frank's question how she would stage Peer Gynt on a very low budget, Rita says to her raddled old tutor: "Do it on the radio."

Then there's the quote (almost a cliché now) about "the pictures being better on radio compared with television!"

These two thoughts seem to have coincided in the Archers Calendar Girls storyline.

Imagine the cost of getting 12 actors with the necessary equipment to strip off and be filmed in 12 separate sequences for television on a closed set - prohibitive, even if the audience was to go through the roof.

And then, even post watershed, it would have to be pixelated and very coy, raising expectations that could never be met.

Television audiences would not get the Full Monty, except possibly for fleeting seconds, while most nights, for a couple of months now, the Archers audience has had pictures galore -  rich, fruity, unfettered pictures, uninhibited by editorial rules and considerations of taste.

Wonderful stuff!

There must be hundreds of millions of images stored away in millions of cerebral cortices and the best is yet to come.

 We need new R4 drama for the afternoons which follows this pioneering work.

What do we want? More nudity on radio!

When do we want it? All the time!

There will be queues at water coolers: "Did you see The Archers last night, its was terrific..."

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The Very Special One, Jean Harvey, clearly needs to have her credentials examined fully.

But what is also clear is that she must accept the will of the team which is working against her continued employment at the moment.

It's time the Archers fans had their say!

We need a Strictly Come Naked audition for the vacancy in the Calendar Girls line-up, with the winner decided by an informed ballot of the people of Ambridge and the millions of listeners. 

Candidates: Helen, Fallon, Jennifer, Alice and Pip.

My vote goes to Helen!

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Scenario Uno: Lynda Snell has another inspired idea - Helen to fill in for Carol in Calendar Girls! (Pregnant and bare-breasted in the kitchen, eh?)

Scenario Dos: Helen has heart-to-heart with Ian who (can't think where Ian got the idea from) starts stirring up Helen's relationship with El Robo Controllio.

Scenario Tres: The play is a great success and Helen is voted BBC Woman's Hour "Woman of the Year."

Scenario Quattro: Robo is so angry, he finally looses it and locks her up in the house threatening her with "consequences" if she tries to escape.

Scenario Cinco; Helen is struck down with pre-eclampsia, or worse, as a result of the stress; she calls Ian, not Robo, who rushes her to hospital.

Senario Seis: Helen is unconscious and the doctor says "her husband will have to choose between his wife and his unborn child." One could die to save the other.

Scenario Siete: Ian calls Rob and says he has to know NOW which Rob will save; Rob, predictably, says "my son, of course".

Scenario Ocho: The superwoman doctor saves Helen and the child, and Helen wakes up in time to name him Ian Adam Archer-Titchener before Robo reaches the hospital.

Scenario Nueve: Robo and Ian do not leave the hospital together, but Robo is never seen or heard of again. Police efforts to trace him are half-hearted - surprise!

Scenario Diez*: Ambridge is flooded again in 2016, not as badly (thanks to the Paris Agreement!), but just enough to wash the soil off a shallow grave on the banks of the Am where Robo's bleached skeleton is found with a broken and severely mangled jaw and a pitchfork buried in his back.

*Four pints of Shires for anybody who can spot the Spanish Connection

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Yes, unlike the Great Leader Mao, Corbyn is a decent man. But that does not make him right. Trying to reconcile human decency with national and global politics, let alone lethal forms of anarchy, is impossible, worthy but impossible. Even the process of trying is destroying the Labour Party.

Then what?

Corbyn's priority should be to find the power to advance the material conditions of the poor, be they working or not. That can only be done by reducing the power of hoarded money that comes in private container loads.

But protecting us all from direct and indirect violent attacks is the only thing that supersedes that, and that imeans having Trident or an equivalent and at the very least helping to degrade Daesh (IS) while working towards their elimination.

It's sad but the ghastlies of this world will do more than finish off the Labour Party if they get a chance, they'll finish of the decency we celebrate.

Corbyn is a decent person but sticking to lifelong values and methods is misguided, muddled, and ultimately destructive. Politics is a shock absorber between decency and reality, it's not about sticking out for the unobtainable. That way, decency breaks.

Get the Bisto Kids some gravy, matey, before you search for purity. Decency is more important than political chastity. It may nourish your dreams but not those kids at the window, and it does nothing for most of us.

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Captain Konstantin Murakhtin, the surviving Su24 pilot/crewman alive in Syria, is clearly a very resourceful man. 

Whatever else is true about the incident, and let's not forget he is saying no more or less that he is asked to say by his superiors, he was shot down over very, very hostile territory, ejected, was shot at on his parachute, (from the ground, against the Geneva Conventions and contrary to any decent soldierly behaviour), his colleague was killed by such action, he landed in steep-looking forested, mountains crawling with Turkmen/FSA, he evaded capture, alone, was not rescued by the  Russian helicopter carrying Russian Marines sent to get him out, it was then shot down and blown up by a TOW missile, one of the Marines was killed, but he continued to evade capture until somehow able to make contact with Syrian Army rescuers who took him to his base.

He is clearly a hell of a good guy, a tough-minded and very determined young man who should be applauded loudly for his personal qualities. Any decent society would hail him as a national hero and he is no less of one because he was doing his duty extremely well for the Russian Air Force. He has those qualities, full stop.

To be clear, his ultimate master, Putin, is not a match for the Captain. Putin is a ghastly apology for a man: confused, duplicitous and not to be trusted a millimeter for all his bare-chested heroism and stagey sporting and martial prowess in front of the cameras. He is a Walter Mitty figure, a man more in love with his own fantasies of warfare than understanding their realities. Putin's a fake and dangerous.

The Captain is real.

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