Fog Creek Software
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BBCi

While web sites are desperately trying to find revenue streams, the BBC's website goes from strength to strength.

I don't know of any other portal that match the depth and range.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/

Do you think that the BBC's public funding gives them an unfair advantage ( http://uk.news.yahoo.com/030115/80/djbjn.html ) or could this be the way of the funding the web for the future?

Is there anything else out there quite like it?

Ged Byrne
Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Well, other web sites have similar (or larger) amounts of funding and have not turned out anything of comprable quality.

BBCi seems to have used its money smartly hiring smart people and taking the time to think about how to present itself online.

Walter Rumsby
Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Political fanaticism makes public funding a taboo concept and also the web is quite new so much stuff has been provided for free either indirectly through public funding or  from commerical interests as a lost leader. However one does wonder how much longer Google can afford to run Google groups for free, or that the webarchive can continue without any apparaht source of funding.

How necessary an ENABLING job will become in the future I don't know. Possibly the job can better be done by indriect public funding as at present. The translation of certain web sites into other languages (particularly those of the poorer countries, and of open source software interfaces and help files is another place that springs to mind.

The insistence in the UK that universities and other insititutions search out extra funding can have nefarious consequences. It would be much better to give them a little extra public funding to produce online content for the public domain. I believe MIT has already committed itsellf to doing that for free.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, January 16, 2003

>>Well, other web sites have similar (or larger) amounts of funding and have not turned out anything of comprable quality.

The difference is they have to use that funding to make money. The BBC doesn't.

How can a private firm compete with the power and funding of the BBC? It can't . Regulators are beginning to examine the role of the BBC more closely. For instance, they recently announced a new learning project for schools - something like half the content has to be procured from the private sector.

Yandoo
Thursday, January 16, 2003

The BBC is providing a service, for which the British public pay a high cost (in the UK anyone with a TV effectively *has* to 'subscribe' to the BBC, regardless of whether they consume BBC content).

On the other hand, the BBC TV is the best TV that I have sampled anywhere ever.  No adverts, two channels of good, well produced content, sold all over the world.

The reason the BBC website is so good (e.g. news.bbc.co.uk is invaluable to me, and IMHO better than cnn.com) is because of the content.

The fact is that the content is content that is already generated for the live shows.  The news and sports coverage is the same coverage as is selected from for broadcast in the news etc.  The background material generated when preparing a documentary or drama or whatnot is relatively straightforward to present online.

So basically I view the online content as the final resting place for great content that was previously discarded/archived.

I look forward to them providing a video-on-demand service for their archives!  When I watch British programs elsewhere in the world, I get fustrated by the incessant adverts!

BBC rules!!! :-D

bccfan
Thursday, January 16, 2003

To say the BBC produces great programs because its better than the competition is like saying Saddam Hussein is great because he's better for the Iraquis than Genghis Khan was (yep! the Mongols did invade Mesopotamia!).

I pay for BBC prime and although its better than all the other Satellite channels I pay for put together there is still only about three or four hours of TV a week that is worth watching.

However BBC World (the free service) and the web site are fairly good.

And those that say public funding is bad because it is inefficient except when it is good in which case it must be trimmed for the sake of "competition" are obviously pushing their special interests.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, January 16, 2003

------------------------------------------------------
How can a private firm compete with the power and funding of the BBC? It can't .
------------------------------------------- Yandoo

The argument is usually the other way round.  How can the BBC compete against the funding of private individuals.

On the commercial channels Who Wants To Be A Millionaire gives away prizes of up to 1000000.  BBCs flagship quiz Weakest Link has prizes up 32,000.  Contestants rarely get close to this.

When BBC lost the rights to show football after ITV Digital paid a fortune for exclusive rights.  Many questioned if the BBC was still viable.  Later that year when ITV Digital went bankrupt, and causing real damage to the game.

My partner is a teacher, and at the moment we are paying way over the odds for resources.  I am delighted to see that the BBC are finally going to shake up the market.

Ged Byrne
Thursday, January 16, 2003

Remember that 25 years ago, there were only 3 channels of television in the UK. Because of this, there was far less possibility of an idea reaching fruitition on television, which meant only the best ideas got in. Also, computers and the internet weren't aorund then, so television had a stronger footing.

Nowadays, I have 200 channels (most of them of utter dross) on my television, and a virtually infinite quantity of websites at my disposal. The goalposts have changed, and the BBC is trying to react to them.

However, because of it's experience in producing quality, I use the BBC's news site in preference to any radio or TV news, or any newspaper.

Better than being unemployed...
Thursday, January 16, 2003

In general the proliferation of television channels has led to a decline in the number of programs made, apart from the six talking heads sitting in a studio  commenting on home videos variety.

It's not just the "57 channels and nothing on" syndrome Springsteen referred to; it's the fact that is the same stuff on each of these 57 channels. When satellite TV took off in the Arab world in the early niineties the joke was that you could always find your favourite film showing on one channel or another. Indeed one pastime was to watch the same film on different national channels to see which bits each country censored.

The situation with local radio is even worse. There are thousands of local radio licenses but they are all taken up by branches of three or four national chains and the only "local" stuff on the station  are the ads.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, January 16, 2003

I'm a Brit now living in Canada. I can now get over sixty channels of TV (it could be 200 if I tried), but frankly I more often found something I wanted to watch on the five channels of British TV than the sixty of American. Of course if you think 'World's Wackiest Police Chases' is good entertainment then you would disagree with me, but for intelligent programming there is no comparison.

As for the inability to compete, it seems to me that ITV is doing just fine (football fiascos aside). The BBC isn't funded enough to prohibit competition, but the fact that it is judged (to some extent) by quality rather than by revenue seems to force the competition to up the quality bar.

More cheers for the BBC, and keep it funded the way it is.

David Clayworth
Thursday, January 16, 2003

Of course, in the field of television America has done fine without a public broadcasting network.  Right now the USA is producing quality productions like 24, and in the past stuff like Columbo and (of course) Star Trek.

The big difference, though, is that Commercial television figured out how to fund itself from the start: Adverts.

Adverts seemed to have failed on the internet as a means of funding content.  I think this is because the internet does not have the bar to entry that television has, which means that broadcasters are unable to charge the same premiums for advertising space.

This makes the Internet more like Radio, and again the BBC excels here.  Are there any other radio stations quite like Radio 4 (a non music station.  Far more than talk radio, it has drama and highly intelligent content).  Could Radio 4 survive in a commercially?

So far people are struggling to find a way of funding the internet, and the BBC's model seems to be working.

Ged Byrne
Thursday, January 16, 2003

>>The argument is usually the other way round.  How can the BBC compete against the funding of private individuals.

In the sphere of television I agree completely, although the BBC seems very good at leveraging what it does have to produce higher quality programmes.

However on the web it is a different story. Which private companies have access to the amount of quality, and quantity, of content that the BBC does, and can also spend large sums of money with no need to seek a return. That is the argument - the level to which a publicly funded company is allowed to compete against private firms.

Yandoo
Thursday, January 16, 2003

Incidentally, it's real nice to know there is some kind of British interest on this forum. Everything always seems to have such a damn American tint!

Yandoo
Thursday, January 16, 2003

The BBC does have adverts, just not commercial ones. It is constantly advertising its own programmes just before they are on, which I find annoying. Also, don't forget that it has a large commercial revenue from sales of programme formats to other broadcasters, video sales, merchandising etc.

John Topley
Thursday, January 16, 2003

" the level to which a publicly funded company is allowed to compete against private firms. "

Yea, lets get rid of all this dotcommunism.

Look what happened with air. Made it free and all the private companies that could be selling it and creating real jobs aren't around any more

Stephen Jones
Thursday, January 16, 2003

Yandoo

Strangely enough, and don't ask me why, it seems as though two out of the three top posters to this site are British (Ged? SImon?).

Maybe it's the quality of the topics. Or maybe Brits have more time on their hands. :-)

http://www.usabilitymustdie.com/jos/WW_All_Members.html

David Clayworth
Thursday, January 16, 2003

------------------------------------------------------------
Look what happened with air. Made it free and all the private companies that could be selling it and creating real jobs aren't around any more
----------------------------------------- Stephen Jones

Not only that, but all this free air is being used by criminals and terrorists.

Ged Byrne
Friday, January 17, 2003

" it seems as though two out of the three top posters to this site are British ...... Maybe it's the quality of the topics."

Yea, that's right. Why should we let the Yanks have the monopoly on mindless patriotosim!

Stephen Jones
Friday, January 17, 2003

I'm British Too.

But I'm not a top poster, I'll admit.

Neil Elkins
Friday, January 17, 2003

I think our typing speed is quicker.

The BBC is doing so well at its site that its prompted Patricia Howells to snarf about the licence fee again.  And the web site is a curious admixture of the public broadcaster and the definitely for profit merchandiser.

The BBC had to stop promoting BBC publications in all those little adverts because it was recognised as a misuse of the Charter.

But in the past five years or so the BBC has certainly got its act together, I just wish there wasn't this pell mell rush into digital ghettoes.  TV and radio content is splitting into ever smaller nuggets of stations, none of them are likely to gain a secure following and they'll just be merged and demerged over and over.

The illusion of choice pervades everything.

The centre cannot hold, I need more coffee.

Simon Lucy
Friday, January 17, 2003

As far as I can see the only reason for those BBC digital channels is to allow us poor workers to savour the delights of daytime TV.

Ged Byrne
Friday, January 17, 2003

"Look what happened with air. Made it free and all the private companies that could be selling it and creating real jobs aren't around any more."

That's not an exactly ... useful analogy.  The issue is that the BBC has been entering areas which are already reasonably well-served by the private sector, and throwing money at it.  Money which was actually raised for other purposes by a compulsory tax on television ownership.

Even in the broadcast sector, which is where the BBC was intended to operate, it attempts to compete with the commercial companies operating in the same sector.  It actively tries to minimise their market share.  How is this consistent with a public service mandate.

The reason that its recent move into educational publishing causes concern is that it was a pre-existing sector, in which the BBC had no intrinsic interest.  It decided to enter the field, just because, well, it could (and it had some money spare).  To put it into perspective, how would you react if it decided to form an IT consultancy division which would give away its services for free?


*Declaration of interest: I work at a web publisher that the BBC started competing with directly a few years back.

JP
Friday, January 17, 2003

I think that Education publishing is hightly relevant to the BBC.

BBC has produced educational programming since day 1 for both radio and television.  Education is a significant part of the corporations remit.

The real problem is that in education the market is not 'well served.'

As I say, we spend a lot of time and money on teaching resources on the web and both quality and quantity are poor.

Ged Byrne
Friday, January 17, 2003

I would also say that the public broadcaster going into educational publishing is a better use of the public money it is trusted with than it being spend on game shows, daytime soaps or football licences. All the latter grounds are abundantly covered by the private sector, and there seems to be no particular civil values served in these.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, January 17, 2003

The BBC levies a £2.5 billion tax on UK television owners. What we get in return is a load of left wing propaganda and very few programmes worth watching. Most intelligent viewers only watch TV for the US shows - Friends, Frazer, etc and these shows are only on the commercial channels. It is a myth to say there are no adverts on the BBC. There are hundreds of them every day. These adverts usually consist of pointless animation or praise for the BBC. If you do not pay the TV licence fee you can be thrown in prison with a load of murderers and perverts. Despite the above comments I think the BBC web site is very poorly done.

I just like to read
Saturday, January 18, 2003

Most of the programmes on the BBC (and the commercial channels) are adverts for the related merchandise, just look at the Tellytubbies or S-Club-Whatever.

Funny thing is, product placement in programmes is actually against the broadcasting rules here. But Popstars, Pop Idol or Fame Academy manage to display their product (the singers) quite happily for several weeks before their records come out. Why not go the whole hog and invite car manufacturer to provide a programme so we can vote for our favourite design features in the months before the car is launched...

Even the bit which should be worth it, the news, is crap. I wouldn't agree that it has a left-wing bias, I think it's more of a bias toward recieved wisdom and cliches.

Still, that Del Boy falling through the bar in 'Only Fools and Horses' is worth evey penny of licence fee I've paid over the years... Ahem.

Neil E
Saturday, January 18, 2003

------------------------------------------------------------
The BBC levies a £2.5 billion tax
------------------------------------ I Just Like To Read

I'm surprised the conservative party haven't used this yet.  With families starting to feel the pinch, a promise to scrap the license fee could be a real vote winner.

Ged Byrne
Sunday, January 19, 2003

Provocative post from I Just Like to Read

"The BBC levies a £2.5 billion tax on UK television owners."

Whereas "adspend" in the UK is £16 billion or more, of which television accounts for 25 - 30%.  Of course, this is in decline at present.
http://www.adassoc.org.uk/pressoffice/newsreleases/nr105.html

Adspend is a tax on anyone who buys pretty much anything, as producers, retailers etc. just lump the cost of advertising into the price.

Although some adverts also qualify as quite good and amusing programs (the first couple of times you see them).  "Guess what it's selling" is a popular game.

"What we get in return is a load of left wing propaganda"

You think it's _left_ wing?  You have been reading the Daily Mail for way too long!

"very few programmes worth watching"

Sadly all too true, but they are still only the worst except for all the rest.  And do you imagine that if the BBC wasn't there to compete on all fronts that commercial television would improve?  Dream on.

"Most intelligent viewers only watch TV for the US shows - Friends, Frazer, etc"

Some US series are excellent, true, but why intelligent people should watch anodyne dross like the two mentioned, I have no idea.  Zzzzzzzz!  Perhaps they were swayed by the advertising.

It's all been downhill since they added pictures to radio, anyway!

The best thing about the BBC website is the listen on demand facility: choice, quality and convenience! (Although I'm afraid that Jeremy Hardy is just a little bit left wing.)

Mathematical Dunce
Monday, January 20, 2003

If you think the BBC produces bad programmes, just come over here to North America and see what really bad programmes are like. For example:

There is almost no such thing as prime time current affairs.

There is absolutely no such thing as prime time science programs, even on cable (unless your idea of a science program is "Very Big War Machines"). There is pretty much no such thing as a current science program at any time, never mind prime time.

Whoever thought that only US programmes were worth watching, try watching them some more. At least until you can spell 'Frasier'. The best US programmes are worth watching, and British TV has imported pretty much all the good ones. But if you imagine that there are a whole lot more of the same quality out there waiting to fill up the British schedules you are sadly wrong.

If you  think the BBC is left wing, go and find out what real left wing is. By world standards the BBC is pretty middle of the road.

Actually the difference between the BBC and NA commerical TV is very simple. NA TV is there to Entertain, not to inform. Always. Whatever kind of programme. Even its news is designed to entertain. News items are selected for how many viewers they will attract, not how important they are. This may be true to some extent of the BBC, but it is less so. It doesn't have to live day to day by the ratings.

For example, just before the 2000 US Presidential campain, the Republican electoral officers in  Florida purged the electoral rolls of anyone who might be a felon - by which they meant had a similar name, date of birth or Social Security number to a felon. No proof was required. Just the suspicion was enough. Surely an important story. Who broke this story? Not CNN - the BBC.

David Clayworth
Monday, January 20, 2003

The version of the world presented by the BBC bears no relation to world most UK citizens live in. At the moment most of us are very angry at the way the police and courts have surrendered to the criminals  and they are terrified about the number of Muslim fanatics entering the country now that our immigration controls have collapsed.

The mindset of the people who run the  BBC  is that most people - with the exception of conservatives - are naturally good and that any restraints on their behaviour are bad. Most people in the UK do not believe this. They know that the only way to stop criminals from preying on the weak in society is to lock criminals away for a very long time.  The BBC bosses think that "criminal" is a relative term and that most of the people in our jails are political prisoners. Most people think pornography is debasing and is a very bad thing.  The BBC bosses think pornography is liberating and will do us good. Much of the output on the BBC seems to  be a deliberate attempt to undermine the morals of decent people and their families. I believe the BBC to be an evil organisation which is being used by a small group of left wingers to destroy the country so many of us loved. My comments also apply to much of the commercial output in the UK. I have watched TV in the US and although most of it is very bad at least you are not paying for it. You have to watch more ads but they are more interesting than the BBC ads.

I don't own a TV because I refuse to pay the licence fee. But I would like say this to any US readers of my comments. Every time you log on the BBC site or watch any BBC programmes you are putting money in the pockets of people who think you are unsophisticated simpletons and who despise your country - the last free country in the world.

I just like to read
Tuesday, January 21, 2003

I just like to read - Mein Kampf.

Oops, end of thread!!


Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Dear Just likes to read,
                                  What puzzles me is, if you refuse to have a television set how you can be so clued up about what is happening with BBC television.

                                    Or perhaps you can hear the voices and see the pictures without the need of technology.

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Mein Kampf ? I don't get it. I'm just expressing the views of people like my old work friends - many of whom helped to defeat Hitler. Some of these people are now dead and I am glad in a way that they are dead because what has become of this country would have broken their hearts.

How do I know about the BBC if I don't watch it? Well, it often on in the pub I usually go to and I sometimes fail to get them to turn it off or over. Also some people like to talk about what they have seen on TV. I listen to the great Alistair Cooke - 95 or 96 and still going strong -  on BBC Radio 4 on Sundays mornings. It gladdens my heart to think the lefties have been trying to sack him for 50 years and they have failed. I think the Queen likes to listen to him and she has blocked his sacking or early retirement. If he outlives the Queen then he will get his marching orders.

Just imagine if any other country apart from America had invented the internet. It would never have got off the ground. Only a creative and productive people like the Americans could have done it. All the other countries steal their software and technology and still the Americans are miles ahead of the rest. I bought a BBC computer when it came out. It cost me £400. What a load of rubbish. Not going down the Microsoft road meant a lot of wasted time.

I just like to read
Tuesday, January 21, 2003

So why did the US turn down your visa application? I can't think of anything else that's stopping you emigrating.

Neil E
Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Hi Just Like To Read

From your last post I sympathise with your nostalgia a little bit. However I think you may have a rather rosy opinion of the US. Have you ever been there?

Alistair Cooke would not have lasted five minutes on US radio. This is because pretty much all US radio does nothing but play music. Even if it didn't, a slow-paced, whimsical, factual broadcast from a foreign country would last about as long as the Paint Drying Show. Don't get me wrong, I like Alistair Cooke too, but US radio would never find a place for him. He doesn't appeal to the right demographic (the ones with money) and he would be too expensive. There isn't any place in North America with a radio station the equivalent of Radio 4. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation does a pretty good job (it's funded with government money too), but if you came to the US you'd probably be listening to Country music on Sunday mornings. :-/

How about healthcare? Do you think US healthcare is going to serve you better than the UK?

David Clayworth
Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Yes, I've been to the States. Great place, great people, terrible food. I'm not looking for a green card or whatever it takes to get a job there. I'm more or less retired.

>How about healthcare? Do you think US healthcare is >going to serve you better than the UK?

Ok, we've got free heath care in the Uk. Big deal. I'd rather have good health care. If you go in to a British hospital you stand a fair chance of coming out sicker than when you went in. For the last few years I think I've had a stomach ulcer. I could have gone to the local doctor and queued up with a load of asylum seekers, drug addicts and other rubbish and been seen by a doctor who has no interest in her job. I would rather put up with the stomach pains. I haven't got much money but if I get any worse then I will seek private treatment. Look at the teeth of the average American and then look at the poor state of our teeth - that tells you all you need to know about free health care.

>Alistair Cooke would not have lasted five minutes on US >radio.

Alistair Cooke lasted decades on US TV but I am not sure if he did much radio in the US.

The quality of debate on the US phone radio stations is far above anything we hear on the BBC. This is because the US is a democracy. We just hear the same kinds of Tory careerists or left wing rent a gobs on all the main political talk shows. The little man is rarely allowed a voice. If the average man or woman in the UK tried to say what they felt about the state of our country on the BBC they would be cut off in seconds. Listening to the radio in the states I have heard a wider and more intelligent range of arguments than I have ever heard in the UK.

I just like to read
Wednesday, January 22, 2003

IJLTR, when I went to the doctors I had to get in the queue with an old lady and a younger lady with a toddler. Really, you should go, it's not as bad as you've been told.

Also, dental healthcare is *not* free for working people here, maybe we're just not paid enough to make it a priority.

And finally (going back to a point you made earlier in the thread), the R18 film certificate was recently introduced specifically to allow European and American-style hardcore pornography to be sold in this country.

Neil E
Wednesday, January 22, 2003

>>>>>>>>I could have gone to the local doctor and queued up with a load of asylum seekers, drug addicts and other rubbish <<<<<<<<<<<

But if Britain is as bad as you say it is shouldn't you be fleeing to ask for political asylum somewhere "free"?

As for Alistair Cooke on US TV I always thought it was PBS he was on anyway.

I'd sure do something about that stomach ulcer though! It's turning you bilious!

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Last free country? I can think of several countries which have much stricer laws on pornography, and which do not allow broadcasters to undermine the morals of the country, and certainly would not tolerate left wing views on their national broadcasters. Iran and Saudi Arabia spring to mind. In Saudi Arabia at least you could get good quality healthcare as long as you can pay for it. And you certainly wouldn't have to wait in line with asylum seekers. Therefore they must be at least as free as the US mustn't they?

Freedom lover
Wednesday, January 22, 2003

>>>>>>>>>In Saudi Arabia at least you could get good quality healthcare as long as you can pay for it.<<<<<<<<<<<<

Actually all Saudis and many expats get health care for free. I wouldn't say it was too bad, though people do tend to get sent to the UK or Germany for the complicated stuff.

Having sampled health care in half-a-dozen countries I would say that the little known secret is that there is a much greater difference inside countries than between them.

In the UK I keep the same GP I had in the eighties even though I haven't been in the area for fifteen years except to visit him, not only because he is exceptionally good, but because it means I get referred to the London teaching hospitals. I'd prefer  not to give you my opinion of the local hospital, but family have instructions to put me on the boat to Calais if anything serious happens.

The best casualty departments in the world are in Spain; the worst I have ever been in (and that includes Sri Lanka and Greece) are in the UK. But if you have a heart attack in Blanes Catalonia, then make sure you crawl across the dry river bed of the Tordera river so you get sent to a Barcelona hospital, because if you go to the Girona one you will die in a trolley in the corridor.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, January 22, 2003

>But if Britain is as bad as you say it is shouldn't you be fleeing to ask for political asylum somewhere "free"?

If I didn't have my family here I would have gone years ago. My advice to any young person who wants to live a good life is to go to New Zealand or the US. I have traveled to many countries and I found these two countries both contained decent sensible people and plenty of empty space.

Most people know what freedom means. It doesn't mean giving some low life the right to show porn films to kids. It means protection from tyranny. The tyrant might be the head of state or it might be the local gangster who controls your neighbourhood. The only way we can be protected from tyrants is either to arm the citizens and to allow them to defend themselves or to have a strong policeforce which is answerable to the local citizenry or their representatives. Whichever way you look at it we are not protected against tyrants in the UK. There are now large areas of London and other cities where the police will not enforce the law and the local people are not allowed to defend themselves against the drug barons and other criminals who control these areas. In America the citizens are allowed to defend themselves and as far as I know the police have not given up the fight against crime.

It is silly to make comparisons between the US and Saudi Arabia. I am not saying a country is free if it bans pornography and bans left wing views. When I say America is the last free country I mean it in the sense stated above.

I just like to read
Wednesday, January 22, 2003

>>>>>>>>>these two countries both contained decent sensible people and plenty of empty space. <<<<<<<<,

So all the other countries you've been to don't have plenty of decent people?

The empty space is certainly a good idea, but I reckon that wherever you go you would just have to  open your mouth to find acres of empty space unfold before you.

Just as a matter of interest, what is it you "just like to read"? Sounds like you've picked up some science -fiction undergournd crime sexploitation comic and mistook it for your local weekly news.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, January 22, 2003

I guess if owning guns is important to you, then the US is the place to be. For myself, I would choose no guns, and a murder rate six times lower.

I'll be signing off this thread now. And for you Americans out there, sorry if I sound negative about you. You have a wonderful country with many good things going for it. I'll look forward to visiting you soon.

David Clayworth
Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Actually for owning guns Yemen is the place. They even sleep with them.

Don't ask about the murder rate though!

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, January 22, 2003

>Just as a matter of interest, what is it you "just like to read"?

I came on to this site to get idea about the latest trends in programming and when I saw the comments about the BBC I saw red - literally. I don't normally add comments unless I feel strongly about something and that is what I meant by "I just like to read."

>So all the other countries you've been to don't have plenty of decent people?

I said sensible and decent people. A lot of people are decent - i.e. fair and honest - but you will often find that they are not very sensible. Look at the Spanish. A very noble and generous people, but look at what they have done to their country. All their coastal resorts are ruined just to make a short term profit from the worst kind of UK tourist. Now they want to invite in millions of South Americans who have already ruined their own countries. Not very sensible.

>Sounds like you've picked up some science -fiction undergournd crime sexploitation comic and mistook it for your local weekly news.

You try reading my local paper. Rape, murder, treason. And that's just the sports pages.

I just like to read
Wednesday, January 22, 2003

>>>>>>>>>Look at the Spanish. A very noble and generous people, but look at what they have done to their country. All their coastal resorts are ruined just to make a short term profit from the worst kind of UK tourist.<<<<<<<<

I lived in Spain for fifteen years. I'd say the average Spaniard is as sensible, or more so than the average Briton or American.

If you want to talk about wrecked coastlines how about the British. When Blackpool beach found itself having to put a health waring forbidding people to bathe in the water because they were so cheapskate they poured raw sewage into the sea the comments where "who would want to swim on the beach at BlackPool anyway?". At the same time this was happening the Spanish beaches all had the four or five star EEC flag.

The only thing that has stopped them concreting over the whole British coastline is the weather; nobody wants to go on holiday at the British seaside.

And whatever the Spaniard's faults you don't get the ignorantly patronizing "a generous and noble race but not really ....." that you are indulging in.

As for the millions of South Americans that ruined their own countries, that's marvellous. The reason they're coming back to Europe is that that is where they left when South America was the second richest place in the world after the States.

And what's sensible about murdering Maoris and Red Indians anyway.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Oh dear ! I only wanted to find out about PHP and Python.

I have never been to Blackpool but I have been to Peru and most of the people I saw there - particularly in the countryside - looked Indian, but if you say that they the descendants of the Spanish invaders and they are only going back to their home country it still doesn't contradict the fact that they have made a mess of South America and if they continue to behave in the same kind of way in Spain then they will make a mess of Spain.

>South America was the second richest place in the world after the States.

It might have been rich but the Aztecs and Incas were controlled by evil tyrants who were just as bad as the men who crushed them.

>And whatever the Spaniard's faults you don't get the ignorantly patronizing "a generous and noble race but not really ....." that you are indulging in.

I go to Spain quite a lot. I find them generous - i.e. not mean - and noble - i.e. proud and dignified. Is that wrong or offensive ? There are exceptions, of course, but that is my overall impression. Should I pretend that national characteristics are a fiction ?

>And what's sensible about murdering Maoris and Red Indians anyway.

I have met many Maoris and although they can be a bit hot headed after a few drinks on a Saturday night I don't think it is polite to call them "murdering Maoris." Yet if you look into their history you will find that cannibalism was part of their culture until quite recently.

I just like to read
Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Wrong thread for PHP and Python I'm afradi. Scheck theo other threads on the forum.

I think we had better be ending this one now, so quickly; the period when South America was rich that I was referring to was in the first half  of the twentieth century; it hadn't been devasted by warr like Europe or Japan, and in places like Argentina there were a lot of opporitunities. The people who went over (primarlily Italians and Soanish, though you will find a German contingent in Mexico and Chile, a Japanese in Peru, and of course the Welsh in Patagonia) were poor farmers or workerrs looking for a better life, just lke their counterpart s who emigrated to the States, Canada, australia or New Zealand. Now the economic cycle has changed and they are on their way back.

>>>>>>>>Should I pretend that national characteristics are a fiction ?<<<<<<<<<<

You would probably be right if you did!

When iI referred to murdering Maoris I was thinking of the Maoris being killed by white setllers as happened to the Aborigines in Australa, and even more so in Tasmania where they became extinct.  I did have a New Zealand friend thoug,h who reckoned that "murdering Maoris" described them to a tee, and that it was exaclty what all right-minded New Zealanders ought to be doing!

Stephen Jones
Thursday, January 23, 2003

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
The version of the world presented by the BBC bears no relation to world most UK citizens live in. At the moment most of us are very angry at the way the police and courts have surrendered to the criminals  and they are terrified about the number of Muslim fanatics entering the country now that our immigration controls have collapsed.
----------------------------------------------------- Just like to read

You certainly have been reading the Daily Mail for too long. 

Ged Byrne
Friday, January 24, 2003

---------------------------------------------------------------
You have to watch more ads but they are more interesting than the BBC ads.
----------------------------------------- Just Like to Read

What, even the one with the chap jumping over the roofs?  Surely not!

Ged Byrne
Friday, January 24, 2003

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Sounds like you've picked up some science -fiction undergournd crime sexploitation comic and mistook it for your local weekly news.
------------------------------------------------- Stephen Jonnes

Just like I said, the Daily Mail:)

Ged Byrne
Friday, January 24, 2003

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