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Monday, September 21, 2020
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Readers’ comments round-up

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In response to Julie Lynn: Sexism? Sorry, racy Tracy, but no,

captainslugwash wrote:

It doesn’t matter how she dresses . . . unless of course she wants people to listen to her and take her seriously.


Attire should be unremarkable either way. I have certainly learnt to be very wary of MPs in interesting shoes, or those who break convention in dressing for the role of Speaker.

fred finger wrote:

Equality: men HAVE to dress in a lounge suit or jacket and long trousers as a minimum. NO dress code for women. Look what happens.

In response to Chris McGovern: Mary Beard on nudes – warning, contains nut,

Peter Davis wrote:

I never particularly found Frankie Howerd all that funny, but I did see him once moan that he suffered from the curse of beauty – now that was genuinely funny, my appreciation of him went up hugely. Much respect for his self-deprecation. You are probably wondering how I went from the male gaze to male gays, as it were. Well, I think that Mary similarly suffers from the curse of beauty and when I see her all I can think of is ‘soothsayer’. What we need to cheer up the country in these dark times is a remake of Up Pompeii! Plenty of room for roles for all those pretty historians too and David Starkey to play Lurcio. We could even throw in a few Labour MPs for comic relief – Tracy Brabin would be a shoo-in for wearing an off-the-shoulder toga.

Colonel Mustard wrote:

Male attraction to the beauty of the female form: a constant for millennia – natural and accepted as the bleedin’ obvious – until Beard decides to have a ‘conversation’ about it, facilitated by a partisan propaganda bureaucracy which coerces its funding through a regressive tax.

In response to Ruth Lea: In trade talks, we hold just as many cards as the EU,

Peter Gardner wrote:

Much of the difficulty is psychological. EU leaders and technocrats find it almost impossible to understand why any country would not want to enjoy the benefits of membership of the EU. Membership, they believe, is like a hallmark. Is your country good enough to qualify? We’ll let you know. They believe every country in the world aspires to membership – except the one led by the unmentionable Donald Trump.


The prospect of another country, especially an ex-member, demonstrating to the world that it is a better country to invest in or trade with is anathema. That it might also show the very hallmark of EU membership, their beloved standards, to be based on falsehoods is truly horrifying. Without its regulatory standards the EU is nothing. 


The truth is that the reason the EU seeks to impose its standards rather than to agree equivalence – as it does in all its negotiations, not just with UK – is that doing so gains for it political and economic power. It is the vital lever of the EU Empire’s expanding territory, population and influence.


The best negotiating tactic for the UK is to tell the EU it really doesn’t need anything from the EU but there could be some mutual benefit worth exploring if the EU wishes. Otherwise, let’s not waste time messing about. Then allow the EU a month or so before announcing the UK’s decision.


The most urgent thing UK needs is a decision, not a trade agreement with the EU. UK can always talk about trade at any time in the future. It’s a trading nation. That is what it does.


If there is fog in the Channel, the EU can always find the UK at WTO meetings engaging with the vast majority of the countries of the world who do not belong to the EU.

In response to Laura Perrins: You’re middle-class? Ugh! How can you bear to live with yourself?

johnnythefish wrote:

I can think of a number of lads at my grammar school from poor working-class backgrounds who made it to Oxbridge, Durham and a host of other good universities.

Their CVs looked pretty ok though unfortunately they were still guilty of being white.

Reuben Wade wrote:

I think Laura Perrins is getting more than a bit brassed off with the way things are going for all the normal people who are the backbone of this country. She has written some cracking articles recently.

Robert Edwards wrote:

I shall give up writing and researching books, surrender my enthusiasm for Llanelly (with an i, latterly) pottery and Japanese swords, abandon my abiding interest in car restoration and surrender my hard-earned pension.

Instead, I’ll tattoo my legs, move to a high floor in a brutalist, postmodern tower block and breed pit bull terriers, which will all be called Tyson. I’ll live on White Lightning and spice and the occasional dodgy takeaway. I’ll communicate in TXTSPK and cease to speak English.


It will be idyllic and I will vote Labour, as it was they who made me dependent on/brought me to this state of Marxian beatitude.

Such a progressive organisation . . .

In response to Margaret Ashworth: HS2? Just give us better branch lines,

David wrote:

East to west routes, by road or rail, have always been poor in this country’s transport network. North to south links have always been good, particularly to London. Reinforcing that funnelling effect, of talent and capital, into London must stop. Link up the rest of us first, by stopping this wasteful, foolish project!

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