May 26th, 2010

Newsnight’s Olly Grendlestein Problem

Newsnight’s regular political panel, made up of Cameroon Danny Finkelstein, the LibDem’s Olly Grender and Blairite insider Peter Hyman, has a bit of a problem. Ever since the coalition emerged Grender and the Fink have moved closer and closer to each other, not only on the sofa but in terms of argument. They seem to agree on almost everything now with only some nuanced differences.

It’s essentially two pro-government mouthpieces against one for Hyman who has to fight them both – Labour is bound to start really moaning about this sort of thing…


  1. 1
    Bub says:

    Oh come on, what would one expect. It’s about time Labour got shafted. The divide and conquer of old doesn’t quite work anymore.

  2. 2
    Gordon's Scotched earth policy says:

    Fink + Gren = Hairy Biker
    is this not a caption compo

  3. 3
    Dr. Ralph Townsend says:

    But Hyman is an inarticulate, slobbering oik. He reminds me of Toilets Maguire but lacking anything resembling charm or a sense of humour.

  4. 4
    Hang The Bastards says:

    FUCK OFF Cameron with your Capital Gains Tax proposals !

    I never voted you for this type of leftie chite tax measures.

    Get a fkin grip & sort it out. You have already lost my vote you spineless tosser

  5. 5
    Hang The Bastards says:

    I turn off Newsnight when that tosser Hyman is on. What an argumentative dork.

  6. 6
    Mr Ned says:

    I remember many times prior to 1997 on newsnight when they would discuss topical issues relating to Government policy with a single tory to defend the Government, a Liberal MP a labour MP an independent person who might, perhaps, maybe, be effected by the policy and occasionally another tory MP all of whom would be opposed to the government plan.

    Sometimes it was four against one.

    I do not recall labour MPs at the time complaining about bias against the government.

    It is about time that labour got a bloody good kicking on the BBC. After the monumental economic and social catastrophe they bequeathed the incoming Government, labour have no right to complain about anything.

  7. 7
    Unsworth says:

    It’s going to be a few years before you get to use it.

  8. 8
    Mr Ned says:

    Looks like you never voted conservative at all. IF you did, you should realise that the labour party created the mess and EVERYONE in the country will be carrying a large part of the massive burden of putting it right.

    If you are angry at anyone, be angry at those who caused the economic mess in the first place. Labour!

    Are you the type of person who would excuse a mugger stabbing you and then attack the surgeon who patched you up?

  9. 9
    BintInTheMiddle says:

    “I’m telling you, he was this big!

  10. 10
    lolol says:

    Don’t know think the Libdums will bite the hand that is using them, sooner rather than later,they have now tasted power so they will want the power for themselves

  11. 11
    Anonymous says:

    boo fuckin hoo

  12. 12

    I agree. Hymans usually get pushed aside by a hard shafting.

  13. 13
    Uncle Bob says:

    Let them moan, the Beeb is already doing enough for Labour as it is.

  14. 14
    The puppet master says:

    “After the monumental economic and social catastrophe they bequeathed the incoming Government”.

    I wholeheartedly agree .
    But I would have said the incoming generation !

  15. 15
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    Oh come on, this panel is really the most boring and pointless thing on Newsnight (and that’s say something). Doesn’t everyone go and do something else when they come on?

  16. 16
    Robert Mugabe says:

    My election observers tell me that your British elections are wide open to fraud and that we could learn a lot from them. I particularly like the postal voting system developed by your Labour party. It seems like an excellent way of rigging an election.

  17. 17
    Backwoodsman says:

    Lets face it, in view of their agenda to protect labour , especially over the disasterous last five years of economic incompetence, the bbc are as guilty as labour.
    the latest technique the bbc has come up with, is to get one of their labour chums to complain of Tory bias ( no, honestly !!!), thus allowing them to claim they must be being even handed, if both sides are complaining about them.

  18. 18
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    Did Labour cause the mess in the US? I suppose they must have.

  19. 19
    dayzed and confused says:

    Time machine available now then? They’d need to go back, let’s see, erm……100 years should do it.

    Sea Legges will eventually become a Tory, Vince will take the walk (across the floor) and Laws loves being with Gorgeous George so much that he’s already changing his membership card so it will be a leaderless (or with Sea Legges i/c should that be rudderless) LibDum party.

  20. 20
    dayzed and confused says:

    The mess should have been US centric but for the fact that Chancellor/Prime Minister/Shouter in Chief, Gordun,g took away the control mechanisms and put his mates in charge instead.

  21. 21
    Gordon's Scotched earth policy says:

    Bill clinton’s third way same as Blair and Brown lend to the poor and they will spend as well, and look at all the tax returns.
    EMMM wait they don’t seem to be able to understand interest rates or the fact they have to pay the money back.

  22. 22
    Garden Brain says:

    Blimey. Is that where it started?

  23. 23
    Mr Ned says:

    Partially yes. You see the City of London is one of the world’s biggest banking centres and when labour removed the oversight and controls from the City, then lots of American Banks and investment firms moved in and a general contagion was then spread internationally, from London to the US and other markets.

    Of course The US Government were ALSO making their own mistakes too. But one cannot pin the entire blame for the global collapse solely on America. Gordon Brown did do a lot to encourage it.

    As for the British Economic collapse, yes that was down to Brown!

  24. 24
    Mr Ned says:

    true enough.

  25. 25
    Fluffer says:

    Fink: Really? He stretched you this wide?

  26. 26
    Perplexed of Chatsworth says:

    Why is the referendum on proportional voting a first past the post vote?

  27. 27
    Anonymous says:

    Are they rejects from an Aphex Twin video? I’m sure I’ve seen the Grendlesteins in the outakes for Windowlicker.

  28. 28
    RavingMad says:

    I took time to watch the ‘emergency’ question posed by Alastair Darling in Parliament earlier. Darling wanted to know the exact nature of the ‘cuts’ that were being announced outside Parliament by the new coalition government. Funny that most nextlabour policies were announced from a sofa in Downing Street without any recourse to the newlabour party nevermind Parliament!

    Debate ensued and whilst funny watching the nextlabour opposition front bench it was heartily sickening to see them there, having been voted there by idiot people who, despite everything that has happened, still see the nextlabour party as viable (FFS).

    Apart from several amusing salvoes, what was of interest was the disdain, arrogance and sheer mendacity of nextlabour despite all that’s happened. No sign of any contrition, humility or even shame. No. These bastards deserve to be ridiculed, which I think Laws did quite well. And they deserve the full obobrium of the electorate. They are foul.

  29. 29
    Go boil your head says:

    Who gives a fuck about America?!

    Did the Americans fuck up the regulation of our banking system? Did they deliberately remove house prices from inflation calculations allowing a huge boom to take place completely unchecked by the Treasury? Did they run up a massive budget deficit in this country BEFORE the fucking recession happened? Did they waste billions of pounds of our cash pissing money against the wall on schemes designed solely for the purpose of buying votes & returning them to office?!

    No, of course they fucking didn’t you stupid c­u­n­t. It was your man Brown – cheered on, no doubt, by pathetic simpletons like you…

    Just go fuck yourself you massive massive cock.

  30. 30
    Anonymous Misogynist says:

    Jimmy Carter started the process..!

  31. 31
    Can't remember my moniker says:

    Life is not fair. Get used to it.

  32. 32
    I Love Kim Jongs Chinos Innit! says:

    Exactly, and by then we`ll be in a trench somewhere south of the 38th parallel

  33. 33
    Mr Ned says:

    If you really want to go back to where the fuck up started, you should look at what happened at Jekyll Island in 1913.

  34. 34
    TGF UKIP says:

    Why on earth be surprised, Guido, at two SocDems agreeing with each other. It’s not just Labour who should be pissed off so should conservatives.

    With the Tory Party always represented on the broadcast media by people like Finkelstein and Portillo, small wonder that people say with complete justification “They’re all the same.”

  35. 35

    Capital Gains for non-business properties = unearned income.

    Taxing unearned income at the same rate as earned, while protecting gains in assets used for businesses that create employment, is hardly leftie – it’s just common sense.

    You’ll have to find a productive use for your spare assets that won’t attract so much tax, or just fucking suffer like the rest of us.


  36. 36
    Mr Ned says:

    Or even the Bank of England’s incorporation by Royal Charter in 1694.

    The real problem, of course, is the practice of usury involving fiat money in a fractional reserve system, whereby there is always more “money” owing in debts than exists in reality!

  37. 37
    Anonymous says:

    As if by magic the Tory stooge appeared. Maybe if the Tories had OPPOSED whilst in… OPPOSITION… rather than agreeing to match Labour spending plans and promising to “share the proceeds of growth” then they might have been able to put a bit more than that fag paper between the other parties policies and gained an overall majority. As it is we’re stuck with this Blairite, triangulation shite and a LibDem govt.

    We’re were fucked before and we’re now doubly fucked with a bunch of posh schoolkids playing at running the country. I’m not alone in resenting having to work hard and play fair to support feckless shitbags and the Tories better get that into their thick heads tout de fucking suite. I will not support a Tory who thinks he can milk me to keep the public sector gravy train on its rails.

  38. 38
    Anonymus says:

    House prices and inflation index: Did brown do that? when?

    Who in opposition said “house prices must be stabilised”. no-one. All politicians and most house owners are just as guilty on that one.

    What were you doing when the house prices were going through the roof? I seem to remember a lot of people complaining about stamp duty going up being a stealth tax, perhaps it should have gone up?

  39. 39
    Mr Plum says:

    No it would be far better to list all the options in order of preference, it would make your vote count, you know it makes sense.

  40. 40
    JontyPriorLabourLiarEsquire says:

    On the subject of inflation and the removal of Mortgage interest from that measure that everyone seemed to ignore.

    How ironic that BBC Radio 5 Drive programme should mention the RPI inflation rate last week hitting over 5% and presenting a problem for the new government.

    Hello Complicity !!

  41. 41
    Sir William Waad says:

    Darling has to hang on because most of them are unemployable elsewhere. Witness Gordon’s “I’m resigning as an MP, no I’m not” fiasco. The smartest of them, Blair, got out at the top. Mandy tried, but fouled up so badly in Brussels he had to ask for his old job back. The likes of Prescott, Hoon and Byers have already found enough nice little earners to set them up fro life. This leaves the hopeless ones like Darling to carry on regardless.

  42. 42
    Le Marquis de Saint-Viollet (1743) says:

    It’s your Count that votes!

  43. 43
    Rising Star says:

    How does David Laws do it?

    He’s never played with the big boys, he’s always been in the wishy-washy party. Yet he stood up in Parliament today for the first time as a government minister and firmly kicked the big boys (and girls) into touch.


  44. 44
    Grandma says:

    We needed a government and we’ve got one that seems to be doing OK. As a conservative voter, I’m really glad. I’m also really glad that Gordon Brown is no longer embarrassing us. By-the-way, where is he?

  45. 45
    Penfold says:

    Who gives a rats what these talking heads utter.

    They have shown over the last 2 decades a total and complete contempt for the people, who pay good money for their observations in newpapers and have to pay to see them prognosticate on TV, by not revealing pertinent facts, such as Kennedy’s alcoholism, Major’s affair, Blair/Brown disagreements, Browns vicious temper, Campbell’s alcoholism and tantrums et al.

    They are part of the Westminster village, whilst not the commissars they are certainly the apparatchiks, and as such should be reviled.

    A pox and plague on the lot of ‘em…..

  46. 46
    Labour Rat Race latest says:

    Milipede David 48
    Milipede Ed 41
    Balls Ed 15
    Burnham Andy 10
    McDonnell John 0
    Abbott Diane 0

  47. 47
    JohnB says:

    As usual I’m struck by the utter Tory gormlessness of most of these comments. You must get fed up with writing quite intelligent stuff only to have this kind of repetitive, brainless partisanship tagged on to the end of it. For what it’s worth, I thought Grendo was marginally more pro-government than Fink, and clearly besotted (almost sexually) with Cameron (has she never seen an Old Etonian before?). Maybe they should get a more dissident LibDem on instead: she always was the kind of LibDem who’s really a tory, and she’s been grinning from ear to ear ever since the coalition was formed. But I think Labour do have a grievance here, should they choose to express it (which they won’t, not for a while anyway). It was two against one when they were in power, and now it’s two against one when they’re in opposition. Hardly fair. The fact that your idiot commentors don’t like the Labour Party is not really germane. But coalition politics does pose a problem for the way ‘balance’ has been traditionally achieved in British broadcasting.

  48. 48

    Exactly. Sorry you’ve been shafted but then you’ve had 10 years to bail out of property investments. most didn’t think the bubble would burst..just sort of deflate. But that was the risk. We all knew that 5 times income was going to be the limit.
    I didn’t bail out of it either but I KNEW that I should have.

    You’ll be telling us next that Gordon was right to bail out the Icesavers because who could know that something pay 4% more than anything in the UK could be in any way risky and why weren’t we told?

  49. 49
    On Harman Pride's Dossier says:

    Or move the whole shebang to Georgist property taxes and thereby tax wealth, rather than wealth creation.

    Much simpler too – it’s a lot harder to offshore a fucking house

  50. 50
    Four-eyed English Genius says:

    Labour is bound to start really moaning about this sort of thing…

    In the immortal words of the bollocular one, “So what?”

  51. 51
    Anonymus says:

    wiki must be wrong on this.

    “RPIX is a measure of inflation in the United Kingdom, equivalent to the all items Retail Prices Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.”

    “It was the UK’s target rate of inflation from October 1992 to December 2003″

  52. 52
    AC1 says:

    Should let you discount the Buildings insurance cost from the CGT.

    Then the more you develop the property, it doesn’t really change the tax.

  53. 53
    Anonymus says:

    With stilts?

    Sounds like turning sealand into a bordello.

  54. 54
    Retrograde says:

    In Skirtland, sulking.

  55. 55
    Sarge says:

    Is all this chatter not complete bollocks? The country resides in deep shit and our coalition comes up with a 1% of spending first hit…….at least that’s 1% ahead of Labour.The reaction to it astonishes me. There is more to come and instead of talking about it as ‘worse’ the media should be talking about it as a step forward. This just shows how institutionally politicised they are.

    We have been dining at the table of socialism for 13 years. The menu has been:

    Starter – Shit
    Main Course – Shit on a bed of more shit
    Dessert – Large helping of shit.

    Buy one get one free on this promotion.

    The coalition have a least given us a starter of limp lettuce which tastes wonderful by comparison.

    Labour politicians and the media need to get their heads around the fact that Labour ain’t in power. Politics has moved on, although the jury is out on which direction as yet.

    Various fuckwitted comemnts from across the political spectrum suggest lots of people have not grasped this fact. The key fac is the majority did not vote for Labour and the government reflects that choice in part – what’s wrong with that?

  56. 56
    Ollie Grender says:

    Will it help if I get my considerable titz out?

  57. 57
    Anonymous Misogynist says:

    @Raving Mad, I watched it too and fully agree with your post.. I take it that mean ‘OPPROBRIUM’ of the electorate?

  58. 58
    Retrograde says:

    It’s all academic, redrawn boundaries, fewer MP’s, a crack down on postal voting fraud, will do for Labour. They are headed nowhere fast, whoever get’s the gig.

  59. 59
  60. 60
    Ben Dover says:

    Camaroon has got his orders anything left after liebour must be sold off to foreign bankers..
    “Elitist banking dynasty pushes for toll roads that would privatize the UK’s road network, enrich coffers of same banking elite who have wrecked global economy”

  61. 61
    Anonymous says:

    Why should they try to deliberately find extra people who say things that make no sense just in the interest of “balance” ?

    I mean, at the moment you have 2 people that say things that make sense, and a labour twat who says things that simply don’t make sense. Are you saying that we need to get another loony in place so that we have 2 sane people and 2 loonies, instead of 2 sane people and 1 loony?

    By all means get people who will hold the government to account, but there’s absolutely no reason to get extra people on who are completely out of touch with reality just because of “balance”.

    Labour are still bleating saying that they never did anything wrong and that the debt is absolutely nothing to worry about and that we don’t need any cuts.

    Fuck labour; they lost the election and bankrupted the country, and they still refuse to admit that they’ve ever done anything wrong.

    I don’t want 2 pro-labour fuckwits spouting shite, just a couple of people who give reasonable opinions and who can be critical of what the government does.

    “No” to loony fuckwits who have no understanding of reality, and “yes” to people who say things that actually make sense and who are willing to be critical of both sides.

    Anyway, Nick Robinson’s doing enough pro-labour work to counter-balance it, because he’s absolutely determined to destroy the coalition.

  62. 62
    Desperate Dan says:

    Yes indeed. He was brilliant.

  63. 63
    Labour's Legacy..Bankruptcy,War,Unemployment and Chaos says:

    Quite right….Labour have had it their way for over 13 years…it’s time to redress the balance…they deserve no sympathy for the mess they’ve left the country’s finances and society in…not to mention two bloody unwinnable wars(one of them illegal and another of doubtful authenticity.

  64. 64
    Less envious now says:

    Yes, yes, yes.

    But what about Yvette turning into a dog.

  65. 65
    Desperate Dan says:

    I’ve started going to do something else as soon as Newsnight starts. The whole programme’s a joke.

  66. 66
    Foxy Fuchsochs says:

    Great. A permanent ConLiberation to rule over us all. Why bother with the expense of Parliament at all, when its work can be done by an Executive Committee?

  67. 67

    What a pile of shite you just contributed JohnB – After your cut ‘n paste complaint regarding the comments on this site I expected something more intellectual, but instead you went straight to the bottom.

    Comments here are of the highest standards in the blogosphere, to prove it why not go to LabourLost or Left Foot Forward for an instant comparison.

    Our foul and downright sick comments are especially good and require enormous amounts of cheap boooose and substance abuse before they can be created, or read for that matter.

  68. 68
    RavingMad says:

    yeah, I was in full flow ta :0)

  69. 69
    Desperate Dan says:

    The BBC rentaquote list is a closed shop. These three have probably been given life contracts because BBC producers are too inept to find any alternatives out of a population of 55million.

  70. 70
    PM says:

    Looks like Bill Bailey.

  71. 71
    PM says:

    Dolly Finkelender.

  72. 72
    Former Labour voter says:

    “Labour is bound to start really moaning about this sort of thing…”

    Labour can moan until the end of time. They aren’t getting back into power. The Parasite Party shall navel-gaze forever more.

  73. 73
    Gordon Brown says:

    What about me?

  74. 74
    RavingMad says:

    I should add even Cooper- Ballsup at the end tried to cast some doubt on the credibility of the coalition by making a point-of-order – Bercow rose to its manifest dishonesty and said her intervention was mere ‘self opinion’

    Good on the female MP who raised Brown’s ‘scorched earth policy – don’t know who she was. There were many good moments …….. PMQs whenever it is – they’re all on bank holiday leave – should be interesting

  75. 75
    Edward Balls - The next leader of the Liebour Party says:

    So what. We lost you know.

    I want to be the leader. If only I could work out where they are going, I could just get in front of them and then I would be their leader by default. I’ll see if I can try that…

  76. 76
    Tesco Is Shite says:

    Sir William – wodja mean, Darling is hopeless? He’d make a wonderful school dinner supervisor. He has loads of charisma. As much as a plastic flower, anyway. He could shepherd the little darlings into the dining room and lecture then on the stability of the chairs and tables and look depressed and worried at the same time, just as he did while acting as puppet geranium. Sorry, I mean ‘chancellor.’ The Scottish wanker.

  77. 77
    50 Calibre says:

    You are dead meat. Get used to the idea. Dead meat.

  78. 78
    E Balls Esq. says:

    She already has.

  79. 79
    P Hyman says:

    Get them out and I’ll tell you.

  80. 80
    RavingMad says:


  81. 81
    RavingMad says:

    you mean, you noticed!

    and here’s me thinking you were totally stupid …… must be the better weather since Gordon fucked off

  82. 82
    Gordon Brown says:

    As soon as I declare my candidacy for leadership of the Labour Party you’ll see how popular I am.

  83. 83
    50 Calibre says:

    Are you suggesting that poor Kevin actually has anything resembling charm or a sense of humour?

  84. 84
    RavingMad says:

    why don’t you try a long walk off a short bridge?

  85. 85
    Tesco Is Shite says:

    Actually, TGF UKIP, Portillo has often been critical of the Tories. Love him or loathe him, and I admire his intellect, he is that rarity; a party member through and through who’s not afraid to point the finger when necessary. You’d NEVER get that from anyone in the Labia ranks during the campaign, only after the event from a skidmark like Balls when angling for the leadership.

  86. 86
    RavingMad says:

    tesco is shite – yes, it is

    and I agree with you

    when are all the scottish MPs going to be thrown out of westminster?

  87. 87
    Terrible But True says:

    Well, the usual, facile Newsnight ‘twofer’ was always a farcical ‘heat over light’ pathetic tilt at ‘balance’, so this was never going to be exactly much different no matter what.

    All broadcasters really want are some fodder to shout a lot and say things the production team want to but can’t (or shouldn’t) as a bit of proxy propaganda and, for preference, with a nutter on t’other ‘side’ to get the ratings up by pissing off as many folk as possible.

  88. 88

    Consensus politics at its worst, shouting loud.

  89. 89
    eric spock. says:

    That’s just not logical.

    You’d just get to the other side, unless it was like the knackered one in Avignon.

  90. 90
    Anonymous says:

    Typical BBC and Newsnight bias. Where`s the Conservative voice?

  91. 91
    The Golem says:

    Might be interested in the charms of Susanna Reid or Siân Williams but otherwise, no thanks.

  92. 92
    albacore says:

    Don’t look now but there are two very large bluebottles in that particular salve: ever-increasing national debt; and ever-increasing immigration.

  93. 93
    Kirsty Wark sucks lots of pork says:

    Actually, Desperate D – Newsshite does have a valuable function. Our vet says it saves her a fortune in tranquilisers. She plays a VHS copy of an old edition with Paxo and the pets needing surgery go into suspended animation. It’s a substitute pre-med. She once tried a Kirsty Wark edition and the beasts went bananas and she had to resort to the chemical cosh. One little Shitzu needed counselling.

  94. 94
    Civil Servant says:

    But Labour are not complaining! You are complaining that they might complain. Are CCHQ sending you a script?

  95. 95
    Big Bazongas says:

    Tesco is shite? It’s much worse than that. It’s buggering up large chunks of the country, putting specialist retailers out of business, breaching planning regulations, damaging local communities and marginalising shoppers without cars. I loathe Tesco and support the campaign to keep the bastards out of Harrogate. Please join and do your bit.

  96. 96
    NeverRed says:

    So instead of one tory opposition MP being ‘attacked’ by one lying piece of labour scum like Byrne/Mandelson/Balls/Cooper…… plus one lying LibDem piece of shit…plus trash Mirror Muckguire…Plus a biassed BBC/Sky piece of rubbish, Labour are going to have a bit of discomfort. Great News.

    Perhaps they will all gang up on poor Balls etc. and tear him to pieces about all the lies he has told over the years and his total incompetence.

    5 years of watching labour suffer on every political/news broadcast will be a pleasure and should ensure they never get in again.

  97. 97
    Tankboy says:

    About half way through the transition as the glasses appear – she actually looks like one of the hairy bikers

  98. 98
    Anonymous says:

    i suppose its labours fault the whole world was hit by a recession and collapse of the banking systems. i dont think the european countries with right wing governments have fared much better.

  99. 99
    Unsworth says:

    “toute de suite”?

    Another State Education Victim then.

  100. 100
    Unsworth says:

    Oh, are they not out already?

  101. 101
    Anonymous says:

    Exactly RM. You would expect a half decent journalist to say ‘didn’t the Labour government announce policy after policy without discussion?’ But the journalists are stupid?/corrupt?/tribal (marxist,communist?) Instead we have to shout at the telly and weep.

  102. 102
    Unsworth says:

    Not necessarily, but it certainly is Labour’s fault that the warnings issued by many prior to were simply not heeded. And it’s Labour’s fault that despite the looming disaster Brown and his loopy colleagues continued to piss our cash away in huge and increasing quantities. Actually several other governments are doing much better.

  103. 103
    Hair 2Day Gone 2Morrow says:

    I think Danny looks kewl with Ollie’s hair!

  104. 104
    Anonymous says:

    When Hitler lost the war, people didn’t say:
    “hey, why can’t we have more nazis on the telly for balance?”

    nope, they said:
    “Thank fuck that evil bastard’s dead. Let’s make sure it never happens again”.

    Same logic should apply to labour.

  105. 105
    Archie says:

    Perhaps they attend the same synagogue?

  106. 106
    Archie says:

    “Toute de suite” happens to be correct, Unctuous.

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Why We Must Remember the Holocaust | Hugo Rifkind
“Adjustments” Not Cuts | Gary Gibbon
The New Puritans | Alex Wickham
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