Spain strikes a blow against freedom of speech


by Rumbold
13th November, 2007 at 5:19 pm    

Spain reminded us today that it had yet to fully shake off the mindset of Franco’s dictatorship:

“Two Spanish cartoonists have been found guilty of offending the royal family and fined 3,000 euros (£2,100) each. Their cartoon, on the front page of the weekly satirical magazine El Jueves in July, depicted Crown Prince Felipe and his wife Letizia having sex.

The edition was pulled from newsstands across the country by police. A judge said that El Jueves’ Guillermo Torres and Manel Fontdevila “had vilified the crown in the most gratuitous and unnecessary way”.

Not that Britain has anything to be proud about, given that it is increasing restricting freedom of speech. At least we do not have this law:

“Slandering or defaming the Spanish royal family can carry a sentence of up to two years in prison.”

As a staunch monarchist, this seems to me the worst sort of law. Our monarchy has been through some turbulent times recently, but it has survived and is now thriving because the public has been free to criticise it. Spain should repeal this law now, if it wants its royal family to carry on.

A timely reminder that freedom of speech, despite our protestations, is not all that secure and sacred in Europe.


              Post to del.icio.us


Filed in: Civil liberties,Current affairs






53 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. mediawatchwatch.org.uk » Censorship in Spain

    [...] tip Pickled Politics) Monitor @ 11:39 [...]




  1. El Cid — on 13th November, 2007 at 6:01 pm  

    Talk about a provocative lead.
    Yeah, that’s really gonna draw them in Rumbold

  2. jim jay — on 13th November, 2007 at 6:38 pm  

    Someone else the Spanish royals think they can tell to shut up, tut

  3. Don — on 13th November, 2007 at 6:48 pm  

    But Rumbold, how can one possibly respect someone who can’t enforce that respect with time in the slammer? At least.

  4. Rumbold — on 13th November, 2007 at 8:08 pm  

    El Cid:

    “Talk about a provocative lead.”

    A Spanish court convicts people thanks to a Spanish law designed to stifle criticism of the Spanish monarchy- I think the title is pretty apt.

    Don:

    “But Rumbold, how can one possibly respect someone who can’t enforce that respect with time in the slammer? At least.”

    Well, even Jean Bodin, the greatest of all apologists for royal absolutism, felt that a monarch should pardon those who had insulted his person (if he was going to pardon anyone at all).

  5. Leon — on 13th November, 2007 at 11:19 pm  

    That title is a bit Sun newspaper like…

  6. fugstar — on 13th November, 2007 at 11:32 pm  

    so its just fine and dandy to portray human beings like that? no red lines at all?

    typical!

  7. douglas clark — on 13th November, 2007 at 11:33 pm  

    Rumbold,

    You say our monarchy is now thriving. What are they doing? Breeding or summat? Just trying to keep it real bro…

  8. douglas clark — on 13th November, 2007 at 11:34 pm  

    Oh,

    ;-)

    doog from the hood.

  9. sahil — on 13th November, 2007 at 11:44 pm  

    But Rumbold the story is pretty old news, I even had a giggle at the pics :D . The entire of freedom of speech is always going to be in the eye of the beholder, that’s why these debates to me anyway are always a waste of time. Lets all use some common sense.

  10. Don — on 13th November, 2007 at 11:47 pm  

    ‘so its just fine and dandy to portray human beings like that?’

    Unless they are Royalty, apparently yes.

  11. fugstar — on 14th November, 2007 at 1:00 am  

    ^^ that sucks.

    disgrace to the craft of expression methinks.

  12. douglas clark — on 14th November, 2007 at 2:22 am  

    Sunny Hundal!

    Perhaps I am a Spambot, or someone who can’t add two numbers together.

    Assuming I’m not a Spambot, whatever that is, could you answer me this, ré LC:

    Sunny,

    There is an interesting debate going on about Health Care Models. It started on Zohras’ thread and it has expanded into Unity’s thread. Frankly, I, and others who want to discuss it, need a space of our own.

    What say you to this:

    “There has been a lot of interesting debate about various Health Care Models. It might be interesting to see all the arguements in the one place, er, here.

    Consolidation, even.

    Just so’s you know, I’m not neutral, but any point of view is welcome.”

    Expect fun and games, statism and libertarianism.

    Join the ‘fun’.”

    Is that a message I should be having difficulty in sending you? You might not think I could run a forum, but my inability to talk to you, off line, makes this incredibly embarrasing.

    I think this is a very valid subject, and it needs it’s own post.

    Sunny, I know you are quite likely to get cheesed off with me, but it is the system that is wrong. I cannot PM you. Which would be my preferred option.

  13. Letters From A Tory — on 14th November, 2007 at 7:42 am  

    That’s a rather bizarre law to have, and wouldn’t go down well in this country. Going to prison for drawing a stupid cartoon seems a little harsh!

    http://lettersfromatory.wordpress.com

  14. douglas clark — on 14th November, 2007 at 8:44 am  

    Rumbold.

    You say you are a ‘staunch monarchist’. FFS, why? ‘Staunch’ tends to be the only word used to describe the Reverend Iain Paisley. In fact, up until you used it to self-describe yourself, it is the only context that I can think of in which it is in general use.

    “Unswerving allegiance”. Hello! Is that really you. I know you read the Telegraph and drink fine wines, but, really!

    Cue, “it’s the glue that keeps us together”. Er, no it isn’t, it’s a shower of lucky folk who too many folk have unswerving loyalty to. I’d have thought the idea of unswerving loyalty would be anathema to a free thinker such as your good self.

    But, then again. I don’t read the Telegraph, which is simply the Mail for posh folk.

    Purple people unite! You have nothing to lose but your Port. Er, and your monarchy.

  15. douglas clark — on 14th November, 2007 at 8:54 am  

    Update,

    Apparently 2 + 3 now equals 5 and my PM to Sunny has, at last, gone through. Apologies for the thread diversion.

    Sunny, please delete this and 12, if you think it’s off topic.

    Your friendly Spambot, not.

  16. Bert Preast — on 14th November, 2007 at 9:32 am  

    “A Spanish court convicts people thanks to a Spanish law designed to stifle criticism of the Spanish monarchy- I think the title is pretty apt”

    Eh? The Spanish press and people often criticise the monarchy and nothing is done, so the law is not designed to stifle criticism. It’s designed to stifle crass cartoons such as this one, evidently.

  17. Ravi Naik — on 14th November, 2007 at 10:27 am  

    “Eh? The Spanish press and people often criticise the monarchy and nothing is done, so the law is not designed to stifle criticism. It’s designed to stifle crass cartoons such as this one, evidently.”

    Yes, there is little evidence that such laws are being abused in Spain, and thus, the title of this post is somewhat sensationalist.

    I must say that freedom of speech has done little to journalism in this country. Most newspapers are either too anglo-centric (US and England) or too polarised (Left-Right divide).

    Having said that, I find that such laws that protect royals in Spain seem somewhat archaic and can backfire… not to mention, they can lead to abuse.

  18. Morgoth — on 14th November, 2007 at 11:16 am  

    The irony is that Rumbold is far more of a “staunch” (kudos for the Papa Doc reference, Douglas, I appreciated that) monarchist than I am. I hate the bunch of inbred halfwit germans we currently have as a monarchy. But they are much preferable to “President Prescott”. Bicycle Monarchy now!

  19. Rumbold — on 14th November, 2007 at 11:27 am  

    I have to say that I am pretty depressed by the fact that so many of the commentators seem unbothered by the fact that a satirical cartoon can get one fined or even jailed in a democratic country with the rule of law. This is a blow against free speech, because the Spanish are being told that there are certain public figures above mockery.

    Douglas:

    “You say our monarchy is now thriving. What are they doing? Breeding or summat? Just trying to keep it real bro…”

    Safe Douglas, I meant thriving in that they enjoy widespread public support (on the basis that the republican lobby in this country has thankfully little support).

    “You say you are a ’staunch monarchist’. FFS, why? ‘Staunch’ tends to be the only word used to describe the Reverend Iain Paisley. In fact, up until you used it to self-describe yourself, it is the only context that I can think of in which it is in general use.”

    Well, I don’t like being compared to Paisley so maybe I will think of another word. I have no republican urges, so by that definition I am a staunch monarchist. I think that the monarchy is an integral part of what makes Britain Britain.

    Sahil:

    “But Rumbold the story is pretty old news.”

    But the conviction only happened yesterday.

    “So the law is not designed to stifle criticism. It’s designed to stifle crass cartoons such as this one, evidently.”

    Why aren’t ‘crass cartoons’ a legitimate form of expression. Should public figures be protected from mockery then?

    Ravi Naik:

    “Yes, there is little evidence that such laws are being abused in Spain, and thus, the title of this post is somewhat sensationalist.”

    Two journalists were fined because they made fun of a royal. I would say that such a law is a blow against freedom of speech.

  20. Morgoth — on 14th November, 2007 at 11:38 am  

    I would say that such a law is a blow against freedom of speech.

    I concur.

  21. douglas clark — on 14th November, 2007 at 11:54 am  

    Rumbold,

    I, I’d hope obviously, agree with you about the freedom of speech issue. Please, don’t be depressed, just assume that the lack of the usual suspects is because we all agree with you. Have a glass of Port and a read at the Telegraph.

    I mean, I had to work really, really hard to find something to disagree with you on. Heh.

    Gawd, I even agree with Morgoth about something, I’m away to lie down.

  22. Ravi Naik — on 14th November, 2007 at 11:58 am  

    “Two journalists were fined because they made fun of a royal. I would say that such a law is a blow against freedom of speech.”

    Not so fast, Rumbold. There are laws that protect individuals from defamation, libel and slander – and surely you don’t consider these as “serious blow against freedom of speech”, do you? Checks and balances, we don’t need to go to either extemes. I do think that special laws that protect the ‘royals’ are archaic, but they could use civil laws to sue any journalist who they deemed to be working in bad faith.

  23. Ravi Naik — on 14th November, 2007 at 12:03 pm  

    There is a difference between mockery for satirical purposes, and mockery as an act of bad faith. Journalists and media have the power to use both in the name of freedom of speech – in any case, I do think that “Two journalists were fined because they made fun of a royal. I would say that such a law is a blow against freedom of speech” narrative is too short to make a sentence. :)

  24. douglas clark — on 14th November, 2007 at 12:07 pm  

    Ravi,

    I’d think that the covers of Private Eye are a good litmus test of where the boundaries of ‘free speech’ ought to be set in a mature democracy. For the absence of doubt, I’m in favour. What say you?

  25. Katherine — on 14th November, 2007 at 12:10 pm  

    I’d have thought that if these journalists take this to the European Court of Human Rights they’d have a pretty good case. I find it astonishing that some commenters seem to think this conviction is acceptable. As for the comparison with libel laws – you do understand the difference between criminal and civil law, right?

  26. Ravi Naik — on 14th November, 2007 at 12:15 pm  

    Is everything a fair game in freedom of speech? In my view, not really. There are limits and they are well defined. Sensasionalism sells papers at the expense of the people who are targeted, so I don’t see why they should not sue the papers… call that another form of freedom of speech.

    To me, a fair game in attacking a politician is to target his hypocrisy, his lying and all other tools of his trade. But not his wife or family, or his personal life – specially when it has nothing to do with his public personna. This is not a blow to freedom of speech, it is a blow to abuses to freedom of speech, which again serve only to sell more papers.

    To me, a serious blow to freedom of speech, would be if some newspaper criticised his “shut up” outburst to Chavez, and this newspaper was fined for criticising the King. Because that is what it feels when reading the title of this post.

  27. Rumbold — on 14th November, 2007 at 12:21 pm  

    Douglas:

    “I, I’d hope obviously, agree with you about the freedom of speech issue. Please, don’t be depressed, just assume that the lack of the usual suspects is because we all agree with you. Have a glass of Port and a read at the Telegraph.

    I mean, I had to work really, really hard to find something to disagree with you on. Heh.”

    I wasn’t complaining about people not commentating, more that people seem to think that the cartoonists got what they deserve because the image is crude. I need to buy some port actually- I haven’t had any for a bit. As for disagreeing with you, I suspect that you have republican leanings, so we can disagree on that.

    Ravi Naik:

    “Not so fast, Rumbold. There are laws that protect individuals from defamation, libel and slander – and surely you don’t consider these as “serious blow against freedom of speech”, do you? Checks and balances, we don’t need to go to either extemes. I do think that special laws that protect the ‘royals’ are archaic, but they could use civil laws to sue any journalist who they deemed to be working in bad faith.”

    I happen to think that the libel laws are far too harsh as well. I suppose there must be some libel laws, but they should always be weighted in the defendant’s favour, otherwise they are a blow against freedom of speech.

    “There is a difference between mockery for satirical purposes, and mockery as an act of bad faith. Journalists and media have the power to use both in the name of freedom of speech – in any case, I do think that “Two journalists were fined because they made fun of a royal. I would say that such a law is a blow against freedom of speech” narrative is too short to make a sentence.”

    But why should ‘bad faith’ be penalised? I think that my sentence that you quoted does in fact sum it up.

  28. douglas clark — on 14th November, 2007 at 12:38 pm  

    Rumbold,

    You suspect I’m a Republican? Dam’ rootin tootin’ right I’m a Republican.

    Still, you’d have to replace the Monarchy with a Supreme Court rather than two Jags for it to make any sense to me. An elected Supreme Court, not one at the behest of politicians, c.f. the USA.

    If we need a figurehead then our greatest living legend, maybe David Beckham, could be trained up in the proper use of scissors. Maybe that’s a bit of a stretch….

    Best give the job to a foreigner, ’cause that has history behind it. Eric Cantona, anyone?

  29. douglas clark — on 14th November, 2007 at 12:42 pm  

    Rumbold @ 28,

    You are quite right about the libel laws. They protect the wrong folk. And give money to lawyers, which is obviously a bad thing.

  30. Ravi Naik — on 14th November, 2007 at 12:43 pm  

    “But why should ‘bad faith’ be penalised? I think that my sentence that you quoted does in fact sum it up.”

    Because it is an abuse of power. What if some journalist decided to persecute you because he does not like you or has a personal vendetta?

    For completeness, here is the offending cartoon. If my Spanish is correct, it says “Do you realise? If you get pregnant… this is going to be the closest to work that I have done in my life”. :)

  31. Ravi Naik — on 14th November, 2007 at 12:49 pm  

    So, were they fined because of the pornographic image, or because of the message?

  32. Rumbold — on 14th November, 2007 at 2:26 pm  

    Douglas:

    “You suspect I’m a Republican? Dam’ rootin tootin’ right I’m a Republican.

    Still, you’d have to replace the Monarchy with a Supreme Court rather than two Jags for it to make any sense to me. An elected Supreme Court, not one at the behest of politicians, c.f. the USA.”

    Are you a republican or a Republican? An elected supreme court as the head of state? Sounds ghastly.

    Ravi Naik:

    “Because it is an abuse of power. What if some journalist decided to persecute you because he does not like you or has a personal vendetta?

    For completeness, here is the offending cartoon. If my Spanish is correct, it says “Do you realise? If you get pregnant… this is going to be the closest to work that I have done in my life”.”

    Well, as I said before there should be a few libel laws to protect against vendettas. But as Katherine pointed out, this was a criminal law, and such a picture can hardly be described as a ‘vendetta’. The conviction was for the cartoon, but it seems that it was the image rather than the words which were viewed as the most offensive. Your translation is accurate, judging by the other translations whhich I have seen.

  33. Ravi Naik — on 14th November, 2007 at 3:07 pm  

    “Well, as I said before there should be a few libel laws to protect against vendettas. But as Katherine pointed out, this was a criminal law, and such a picture can hardly be described as a ‘vendetta’.”

    Rumbold, I do agree with you that this is not the case of “vendetta” and the message of the cartoon is fair play, and I don’t agree with special laws against the monarchy, specially in the context of a criminal case.

    However, I am wondering if you consider that anything should be accepted in the name of freedom of speech? Maybe you consider a cartoon depicting the naked royal couple having sex doggy style is fair play, but what about publishing a real photograph? What about depicting royals in “unnatural” sex acts?

    Everything should be accepted, because otherwise it will be a blow to freedom of speech?

  34. Morgoth — on 14th November, 2007 at 3:36 pm  

    Whats an “unnatural” sex act?

    Aren’t all sex acts by definition natural?

  35. Ravi Naik — on 14th November, 2007 at 3:45 pm  

    Morgoth, if you don’t know what it is, maybe wikipedia can help. :)

  36. Morgoth — on 14th November, 2007 at 3:56 pm  

    Heh. I do know.

    I really hate the emphasis that some people put on “unnatural” sex acts. If there are two (or more) willing participants, then there’s no such thing as an “unnatural” act.

  37. Rumbold — on 14th November, 2007 at 4:39 pm  

    Ravi Naik:

    “Rumbold, I do agree with you that this is not the case of “vendetta” and the message of the cartoon is fair play, and I don’t agree with special laws against the monarchy, specially in the context of a criminal case.

    However, I am wondering if you consider that anything should be accepted in the name of freedom of speech? Maybe you consider a cartoon depicting the naked royal couple having sex doggy style is fair play, but what about publishing a real photograph? What about depicting royals in “unnatural” sex acts?

    Everything should be accepted, because otherwise it will be a blow to freedom of speech?”

    I certainly wouldn’t make it a crime. Any statement or expression should be acceptable unless it is a direct incitement to violence.

    As for defamation, if the ‘wronged’ party could prove that it went beyond the realm of criticism/satire (calling someone a paedophile for instance), that should be libellious.

  38. sonia — on 14th November, 2007 at 4:39 pm  

    heh i agree with you morgoth on that.

    of course it might deviate from the norm, but that’s hardly enough for us to say its not ‘natural’. it might well be ‘natural’ to have a full spectrum of behaviours, some of which are at what we consider ‘extremes’.

  39. sonia — on 14th November, 2007 at 5:02 pm  

    Mind you, i daresay the royal family could say its their country and if you don’t like their policy, you don’t have to participate!

    after all, if blogs can do it, why not rulers of physical spaces.

  40. Rumbold — on 14th November, 2007 at 5:06 pm  

    Sonia:

    “Mind you, i daresay the royal family could say its their country and if you don’t like their policy, you don’t have to participate!

    after all, if blogs can do it, why not rulers of physical spaces.”

    A bit different surely? If someone is deleted/banned then that is all that happens to them- hardly much of a punishment. In Spain you can go to prison, or else go into exile.

  41. Ravi Naik — on 14th November, 2007 at 5:44 pm  

    “Any statement or expression should be acceptable unless it is a direct incitement to violence”

    What about media that propagates lies and damn lies?

    “I really hate the emphasis that some people put on “unnatural” sex acts”

    Morgoth, the term “unnatural” is still used by homophobes and far right to describe homosexual acts, and that is why I used it under quotes. However, I meant it is an umbrella term for a number of less common sexual activity, including incest, necrophilia and bestiality. My point, which seems to have been lost with your observation, is that such depictions to ridicule are not acceptable in my opinion.

  42. Ravi Naik — on 14th November, 2007 at 5:50 pm  

    “A bit different surely? If someone is deleted/banned then that is all that happens to them- hardly much of a punishment.”

    You are talking about what is acceptable and what is not, not necessarily the form of punishment. I do remember a picture you linked a few days ago depicting a very famous blogger celebrating diwali and enjoying himself with a certain other, and which a few hours later, you auto-censored for unknown reasons. Another blow to freedom of speech in pickled politics? ;)

  43. Rumbold — on 14th November, 2007 at 7:36 pm  

    Ravi Naik:

    “What about media that propagates lies and damn lies?”

    Do you mean lies or exaggerations?

    ” You are talking about what is acceptable and what is not, not necessarily the form of punishment.”

    But there is a difference between freedom of speech and giving someone a platform to express those views. Nick Griffin should be free to speak his mind, but I would not want to invite him along to an event to propagate his views. Pickled Politics is the same- people have the right to express themselves, but that is not the same as this blog allowing anyone to say anything on it.

  44. Ravi Naik — on 14th November, 2007 at 7:56 pm  

    “Do you mean lies or exaggerations?”

    Well, is there a difference these days? Skewing a point of view, and ignoring others to push an agenda, and sometimes damn right lying… something in the lines of Fox News?

    I think you hold a fundamentalist view that media should not be accountable for what it spouts and everything should be acceptable (except inciting hate), all in the name of freedom of speech. That I believe is losing sight of what freedom of speech is supposed to accomplish.

  45. sonia — on 14th November, 2007 at 8:30 pm  

    yes rumbold of course its different, but similar principles imho.

  46. Rumbold — on 14th November, 2007 at 8:32 pm  

    Ravi Naik:

    “Well, is there a difference these days? Skewing a point of view, and ignoring others to push an agenda, and sometimes damn right lying… something in the lines of Fox News?

    I think you hold a fundamentalist view that media should not be accountable for what it spouts and everything should be acceptable (except inciting hate), all in the name of freedom of speech. That I believe is losing sight of what freedom of speech is supposed to accomplish.”

    I do not really mind being labelled a ‘free speech fundamentalist’. I am never quite sure what media accountability means- I do not like the idea that newspapers could be censured so easily. Yes, there are downsides to such a free press (such as some of Fox’ news coverage), but I believe that the positives easily outweigh the negatives.

    “That I believe is losing sight of what freedom of speech is supposed to accomplish.”

    Which is what exactly? Surely the principle laying behind freedom of speech is that we are able to say what we want, and we do not have to justify it to the state. As Thomas Paine said, “tolerance is the counterfeit of intolerance, not the opposite, for it presumes that one has the right to be tolerant of a particular activity [i.e. has the right to dictate someone's behaviour in this regard].”

  47. Rumbold — on 14th November, 2007 at 8:34 pm  

    Sonia:

    “Yes rumbold of course its different, but similar principles imho.”

    One is a platform, the other is the law. If I delete you, I am not saying that you can never say such a thing, just not say it here. The law bans you from saying it anywhere in the country.

  48. El Cid — on 17th November, 2007 at 10:42 am  

    Rumbold,
    By lead, I meant first paragraph not your headline.
    The casual reference to Spain not being able to cast off the mindset of Franco’s dictatorship. For Pete’s sake. If it was meant in a light hearted way, then fair enough. But I’ve seen enough of you to know that it wasn’t. Your tiresome Spanish cliches and your inability to reciprocate generous praise from the mainland stands you out as a little Englander within the European context. At least Jeremy Clarkson is witty and charming and is worth listening to on some things.
    Never mind that Spain has a pretty liberal federal structure, has legalised homosexual marriages, no death penalty, no 28-day terrorism detention law, etc.
    Democracy is a broad church and no legal system is flawless.
    It would have been far more intelligent to draw a comparison with the Danish cartoon controversies — that might have made for an interesting debate — and used the Spanish example to highlight ways in which secular systems can also be used to suppress freedom of expression. (e.g. treatment of US or Turkish flags, banning of films, photos of children, paedophile paintings, etc — where do you draw the line and what’s the criteria)
    The thing that bugs me about your attempts to remain the liberal brown-skin friendly Tory is your inability to grasp that European immigrants to this country also reserve the right to embrace and adhere to the culture of their parents while integrating deeply into British society. In short, you are a wanker.

  49. Rumbold — on 17th November, 2007 at 11:25 am  

    El Cid:

    “By lead, I meant first paragraph not your headline. The casual reference to Spain not being able to cast off the mindset of Franco’s dictatorship. For Pete’s sake. If it was meant in a light hearted way, then fair enough.”

    I know Spain has come on leaps and bounds since Franco’s dictatorship, which was why I said “fully shake off”. I would argue that this law is indeed a leftover of the mindset from Franco’s era, as it is designed to punish the mocking of authority.

    “Your inability to reciprocate generous praise from the mainland stands you out as a little Englander within the European context. At least Jeremy Clarkson is witty and charming and is worth listening to on some things.”

    When have I received generous praise from the mainland? When you say “Little Englander”, if you mean by that the belief that Britain is distinct from Europe then I suppose that I am a ‘Little Englander’.

    “Democracy is a broad church and no legal system is flawless.”

    I agree. In general, Spain’s is no worse than England’s. However, it does not follow that anythig in the Spanish legal system should be above criticism.

    “It would have been far more intelligent to draw a comparison with the Danish cartoon controversies — that might have made for an interesting debate — and used the Spanish example to highlight ways in which secular systems can also be used to suppress freedom of expression.”

    True enough. But I did not want to turn this thread into an argument over the Danish cartoons, which it would have become. That is why I only lightly implied it in passing. You are welcome to debate it though.

    “The thing that bugs me about your attempts to remain the liberal brown-skin friendly Tory is your inability to grasp that European immigrants to this country also reserve the right to embrace and adhere to the culture of their parents while integrating deeply into British society.”

    Sorry, when have I attacked European immigrants? When have I even discussed Europeans integrating in this country? Please provide some examples, as I am at a loss.

    “In short, you are a wanker.”

    You did not need to summarise your post.

  50. Sid — on 17th November, 2007 at 11:55 am  

    gwaaan ElCid.

    At least Jeremy Clarkson is witty and charming and is worth listening to on some things.

    There goes the hard-won credibility.

  51. El Cid — on 17th November, 2007 at 12:28 pm  

    well he knows about cars and engineering and if you can get over the clearly absurd ref to 5.4 billion west African pickpockets (as well all know, they are Romanians — that’s a joke my Romanian friends), then this too has its charms:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/jeremy_clarkson/article2326687.ece

  52. El Cid — on 17th November, 2007 at 12:28 pm  

    typo alert. should be ..as we all know…

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
With the help of PHP and Wordpress.