April 14th, 2014

Brides-Ed Revisited: Labour’s Gene Pool Problem

“The last Labour leadership challenge was a battle between brothers,” writes Tim Stanley. “The shadow chancellor is married to the shadow home secretary – a former leadership candidate wedded to a future one. The deputy leader is married to the shadow minister for communities and local government. The shadow secretary of state for the environment, food and rural affairs is sister of the shadow leader of the House of Commons.”

And when they’re not related or sleeping with one another, they all come from the same narrow educational gene pool:

Ed Miliband: PPE, Corpus Christi College, Oxford
David Miliband: PPE, Corpus Christi College, Oxford
Angela Eagle: PPE, St John’s College, Oxford
Maria Eagle: PPE, Pembroke College, Oxford
Ed Balls: PPE, Keble College, Oxford
Yvette Cooper: PPE, Balliol College, Oxford

Guido supposes the fact that Harriet Harman only made it to York after St Pauls is why Labour feel they can get on their high horse about the make up of their Shadow Cabinet.


  1. 1
    What a surprise says:

    Surely the education situation is common across our political class, and indeed those that report and comment on it in the media.

    Prep school then Public school then Oxbridge/Russell Group seems the prerequisite right across the upper echolons of our society, public and private.

    The marriage thing is a bit more unique….

  2. 2
    Come on Chelsea says:

    Chelsea for the cup

  3. 3
    What a surprise says:

    I mean christ, even that defender of the working classes and all things wimmin, Laurie Penny went to Brighton College ‘the smartest kid in the smart school’ and then Oxford

  4. 4
    Peter Martin says:

    Given the graduating output and their… achievements… it may be worth an actual scientist having a gander at what exactly an Oxford PPE does to a person.

  5. 5
    Stephanie Flanders says:

    Isnt this the same small Gene Pool which the BBC also draws on?

  6. 6
    fuck off working class says:

    In the past, Labour leaders children kept well away from politics. The post Wilson lot like to keep it in the family, preferraby London based families.

  7. 7
    What a surprise says:

    It’s ok, Blair’s son will save us.

  8. 8
    Yorkist says:

    What do you mean ‘only’ made it to York? Ok, it’s not Oxford, but York’s bloody good.

  9. 9
    Harriet Harpedo says:

    Dont forget man of the people Andy Burnham, villiage in Cheshire to Cambridge then quangoland.

  10. 10
    What a surprise says:

    it’s the same gene pool all public life draws on, thats the wider point surely. the 93% of us who didn’t go to public school are overwhelming legislated for, judged by, QUANGO’D by, performed at, treated by etc. products of the public school system.

  11. 11
    Don't give a shit about UKRAP, the Limp Dumbs or LieBore says:

    More chlorine, please. 50mm ordnance or a 2 inch mortar.

    Can I watch?

  12. 12
    FrankFisher says:

    I don’t really care where they went to uni – what concerns me is that none of these clowns has ever held down a job in the real world. Has never been skint, has never had to struggle to find work, has never worried where the next tenner might be coming from. Even the tories contain more individuals who’ve actually worked in proper jobs.

    In UKIP, we’re ordinary people with ordinary jobs and lives behind us. I think, increasingly, this is what Joe Public is looking for. You can’t fake sincerity, but you cannot fake your life – and this is going to cost labour dear.

  13. 13
    Idiot says:

    Vote UKIP

  14. 14

    And they all read for the rich thicko students degree as well. Not a fag paper between them and the bulk of the political class on the government front bench. It’s almost enough to make you vote UKIP in your weaker moments.

  15. 15
    smartest no, brightest yes says:

    I am going to swap by pinky hairdo for curliers with flashing LEDs. Everyone within a mile will notice me.

  16. 16
    None of the above says:

    Get them on University Challenge.

  17. 17
    still walking into darkness says:

    Have you heard that sanctimonious hag Angela Thornberry, she was asked if the new proposed Minister for Women under, God help us, a Labour government was a good thing. She replied ‘yes’, the interviewer went on to ask if therefore there should a Minister for Muslims and one for Gays or one for men, she went quiet at that point and said ‘no’. Asked about a certain double standard here she went on to say ‘how good she was at her job’. Just an extremely unpleasant creature.

  18. 18
    jgm2 says:

    Miliband is the spitting image of Giles Brandreth there.

  19. 19
    bergen says:

    As we seem to keep voting for them, we’ve got no-one to blame but ourselves.

  20. 20
    Bob Crow says:

    I hear Hattie likes a bit of PIE. Doesn’t surprise me one bit.

  21. 21
    publish and be dammed says:

    What, publish the family secrets

  22. 22
    Jack Dromey (cardinal Vaughan, Islington) says:

    It’s not about being ‘good’, its about joining the clique.

  23. 23
    What a surprise says:

    Nigel Farage (Dulwich College)

    he is as bad as the rest of the party leaders. A job in the City in the 80s followed by years sucking the Euro teat isn’t a ‘real’ job, it is a life experience as divorced from reality for the bulk of the population as any MP’s doing work experience at some think tank for their mate from the Upper Sixths Dad.

    I take your wider point though, just think old Nige is a rubbish example.

  24. 24

    Sounds like a job for Lew and Cookie. Tell them what the result should be and they’ll do a number for you.

  25. 25
    What a surprise says:

    ‘When Daddy met Wendy’

  26. 26
    Officer Dibble says:

    And wee Dougie Alexander’s sister Wendy used to be leader of the Labour Party group in the Scottish Parliament, until she (ahem) “resigned” after breaking rules on donations

  27. 27
    Harriet says:

    Anyone for PIE? Jack likes his in chocolate sauce.

  28. 28
    Jack Dromey says:

    I love BBC.

    Big black cakes.

  29. 29
    Frustrated Voter says:

    Nobody else to vote for because City of London & Trades Union Fat Cats keep funding them.

  30. 30
    jgm2 says:

    Is it? I thought it was Oxford and Cambridge followed Durham. I’ve no idea where York is in the hierarchy.

    As for PPE, it is clearly the Oxford University equivalent of Media Studies.

  31. 31
    Mitch says:

    It certainly is. I was at Derwent ’88-’91 – you?

  32. 32
    still walking into darkness says:

    You’re forgetting Frank that George Osborne had an extensive stint in the private sector as a retail assistant in the towels section I believe it was at Selfridges. Be fair, he did a whole two months there, critical experience to be a Chancellor. And you’re being very unkind to Miliband, he worked as a tv researcher for some political show for about 10 minutes once. I do have to agree you with you that the rest of them are c*nts

  33. 33
    C O (Ξ7q1) says:

    Strange article as Cameron has his PPE from Brasenose Oxford.

  34. 34
    Fatbott says:

    Even Fattbot’s son went to public school.

  35. 35
    jgm2 says:

    If she’s so fucking smart then how come she’s still doing work experience in her late twenties instead of a proper job?

    If I were her dad I’d be down at Brighton College asking for my fucking money back.

  36. 36
    Pitkapoika says:

    Oh come on now. Surely, following the BBC campaign, everyone knows it’s only going to Eton that renders a person unsuitable for Public Office, whilst working for fine upstanding organisations with links to PIE, is considered a mind expanding and enlightening undertaking, qualifying the subject(s) for high Government Office.

  37. 37
    Catswhiskers says:

    Bang on there.

  38. 38
    Peter Martin says:

    :) And the BBC can have a secret meeting to justify saying it has been ‘settled’, albeit in advance. Though guessing an alumni gathering may see all necessary folk to arrange that in the same room.

  39. 39
    Penfold says:

    Don’t hear the same level of bitching from the left about OxBridge elitists as you get about Eton.
    And how exactly does an alumni from OxBridge have any connection to or empathy with the working class.

  40. 40
    non taxable pikey says:

    Whatever you think about the current situation in Eastern Ukraine it has now become obvious that Putin is arming those who took over the government offices there. Captured personnel were armed with AK100 automatic rifles, the newest Russian gun, not available in the Ukraine or anywhere else outside of the Russian armed forces.

  41. 41
    Peter Martin says:

    If rather reinforcing the key point some have been making.

  42. 42
    7% is just the tip of the iceberg says:

    Nick Clegg on telly lying his head off about what his party knew about the accusations re prolific sexual criminal Cyril Smith. He is claiming his party did not know about the accusations . This guy lies and lies and les.

  43. 43
    in the city says:

    Sweet FA people passing through “The City” prior to being elected.

  44. 44
    non taxable pikey says:

    He is now in Ghana at an International School. That’s where his dad is from.

  45. 45
    jgm2 says:

    All that bunch and Cameron – PPE.
    Osborne – History
    Boris – Classics

    Does Oxford do any proper degrees? You know, sciences?

  46. 46
    What a surprise says:

    luckily, or the economy would be even more fucked.

  47. 47
    Not nice but dim says:

    I presume you mean the pompous, patronising but dimwitted Emily Thornberry ?

  48. 48
    PPE = Pissed Poof Elite says:

    Cambridge is the place for proper Science

  49. 49
    jgm2 says:

    Ah, an ‘International School’. Where Aid-funded parents send their children to meet Aid-funded children from around the globe and become part of the aid-funded global hierarchy.

    Like Atlantic College and Pearson College.

  50. 50
    The two muppets. says:

    Labour ,rotten to the core.

  51. 51
    C.O.Jones says:

    Their sciences and maths depts have some of the best outputs in the academic world. But the way the system is set up it still favours applicants from independent schools.

    Politicians of all hues have been trying for decades to influence the student intake and get a fairer system but both Oxford and Cambridge do not enter into adjustment for their student intake.

    The system is improving but its very slow. All IMHO.

  52. 52
    Mr Bingley says:

    I went to a black country comprehensive and work in a warehouse and pricks like Ed Balls want to appear working class

    I am not working class, so fuck knows what balls is

  53. 53
    C.O.Jones says:

    True, it is. Entrance requirements are very high and many courses require STEP exams.

  54. 54
    Question Time does comedy says:

    WHen is she next on that thursday night BBC program? The studio crowds laugh at her. Looking forward do it.

  55. 55
    Fred Haircutz says:

    Strange they take all their tags and flashes off and do everything to not be identified yet they still get identified by their modern guns, that suggests whoever is in charge made a cockup in allowing them to take those modern guns, would have thought that would have been a no no from the beginning, but then the EU and the USA dark arts are at work and money has that magic of making anything happen.

  56. 56
    Oxbridge and well met. says:

    There is a cleaner for each stairs. Porters, Waiters for Breakfast, Lunch and Supper, Barman runs the bar. Gardeners, thats it.

  57. 57
    C.O.Jones says:

    “Adjustment” for the uninitiated is a process whereby students who have gained much better results (than expected), can apply to universities that are higher up the pecking order.

  58. 58
    William says:

    Don’t blame the public schools, blame the socialist-infected state schools for failing the majority of their perfectly able pupils.

  59. 59
    Magnolia says:

    Don’t dis York, Peter Hitchens went to York and he’s brighter than the lot of them.

  60. 60
    a geneologist says:

    Harriet Harman is only non-Oxbridge because she was so thick that even the special Oxbridge training at her expensive public school was not sufficient.

    The niece of the Countess of Longford should have taken the hint and stuck spending her time getting in amusing scrapes with Bertie Wooster

  61. 61
    Another Welsh Windbag says:

    Emily Thornberry is Diane Abbott without the tan. Put the two of them side by side and see the same diction, hand/facial gestures, and same lack of any common sense. Their joint IQ is about the same as my shoe size.

  62. 62
    The Public says:

    What do you expect? If he told the truth where do you think he’d be in the opinion polls? 0.7%, that’s where.

  63. 63
    Know your place, Pleb. says:

    Yes you are.

  64. 64
    Balls says:

    Double first working class

  65. 65
    William says:

    TV researcher? Wow!

  66. 66
    Hypochondriac Bob - is blood supposed to come out of there? says:

    Whatever it does do Peter, after looking at the general effect of having one, it had better stay the hell away from me!

  67. 67
    The Growler says:

    I notice none from Peters, Cambridge

  68. 68
    C.O.Jones says:

    York is a very good university. One of the Russell Group.
    They are all good unis but some have areas that they excel in. ie if you are considering aeronautical engineering you would place Southampton uni high on your list. Horses for courses.


  69. 69
    mingers parade says:

    don’t be a pleb all your life

  70. 70
    genghiz the kahn says:

    As that social commentator Nelson Muntz would say – Ha, Ha.

  71. 71
    PPE Trougher Dross says:

    Time to get Ofsted to inspect Oxford PPE. The fucking useless thieving criminals it produces is a scandal. Ronnie Biggs was a tutor wasn’t he?

  72. 72
    William says:

    Don’t forget the bedders at Oxford. I kid you not.

  73. 73
    Butch Dave says:


    Arf Arf!

    They’re called “scouts”, you oik

  74. 74
    Gerbil 7 says:

    Also, if she is so smart, why does she keep spouting bollocks?

  75. 75
    bubbles says:

    chadvalley canal

  76. 76
    William says:

    Or is it Cambridge?

  77. 77
    Inconvenient Truth says:

    More like Universally Challenged….

  78. 78
    Barrenness Cathy Ashtray says:

    You can call me thick and say I look like one of the cleaning staff, but with any luck I can start World War 111

  79. 79
    Glyn H says:

    Well you bedded two of the creeps, well that’s just the two we know about! Janet Daley had a good crack at the BBC, that swamp of Labour luvvies, in passing in her piece in yesterday’s Telegraph.

  80. 80
    Lady Virginia Droit de Seigneur says:

    His godfather is Jonathan Aitken so he doesn’t stand a chance.

  81. 81
    The Growler says:

    Well they must have passed through something

  82. 82
    choose your weapons gentlemen please.. says:

    blow darts and laxatives ?

  83. 83
    John Pissclott says:

    Right there lad. If you’re considering thuggery, thieving and shagging, try Hull.

  84. 84
    Mitch says:

    That figures :-)

  85. 85
    Cost-of-Labour-crisis says:

    Judging from this bunch of tw*ts PPE stands for Piss Poor Education.

  86. 86
    The Growler says:

    It produces a chappie like Dave, and he is down as first class hons

  87. 87
    C O (Ξ7q1) says:

    The university aspect is just fine – the common subject is what stands out.

  88. 88
    Another Engineer says:


    PPE is generally regarded as a joke. They all seemed to spend more time politicking in the Union or being Thesps than doing any actual study.

    The Cambridge equivalent is ‘Land Economy’, which is useful if you are going to inherit a large estate.

  89. 89
    jimboooo says:

    Except Nige had a real job, Militwat never did. The banks may be complete bastards who are in many ways anti-capitalist, but to work for them requires some intelligence, hard work, cunning, graft. Nige turned down the chance to make millions more to try to save our parliament. Without politics and quangos, Miliband would be lucky to get a job stacking shelves.

  90. 90
    Sam Millionaireband, Racist socialist traitor to his country says:

    Same gene pool as the Cambridge spies too.
    Nasty own-class-hating, working-class-despising, delusional political automatons.

  91. 91
    Anonymous says:

    Not surprised the Tories are unable to form political dynasties when they’re so busy buggering each other and the country.

    Someone should tell them about the birds and bees.

  92. 92
    Labour...mendacious expedient sociopaths says:

    the common denominators are sneer and unrivaled levels of hypocrisy… its a socialist thing nothing to do with education.

  93. 93
    Who, me? says:

    You must have very tiny feet.

  94. 94
    The Growler says:

    Are you thinking of the famous five they not only liked the bedders but like their booze

  95. 95
    Anti Fabian says:

    Margaret Thatcher – Chemistry, Sommerville College, Oxford

  96. 96
    FrankFisher says:

    Not only did Nigel work for someone, he also employed people – this experience matters.

  97. 97
    The Growler says:

    Oooh, sciences, now those are hard subjects, they would have do a lot of work and not spend time smashing up resturants at night, that would never do.

  98. 98
    Reg says:

    It all goes to show what a mess can be made by “educating” the “uneducatable”.

  99. 99
    The Critic says:

    What novel would best describe this lot

    Bonfire of the Vanities? or with a little adjustment

    Dickhead Revisited

  100. 100
    The Growler says:

    I heard it rumoured in the 1980’s in HR (posh name for personel department), if a candidate for a job put on his/her application a PPE a universal groan went up, in many places they were regarded as a joke.

  101. 101
    ss says:

    So inbred 96% of them are their own grandfather.

  102. 102
    C.O.Jones says:

    It’s about as useful for the workplace as a degree in theology.

  103. 103
    The Growler says:

    What about Lincoln?

  104. 104
    The Growler says:

    He should have been wearing his ID card, silly boy

  105. 105
    The Growler says:

    Doubt it but Mr Big probably did, for the connections built, and they still have not got him!

  106. 106
    Quiet Flows The Thames says:

    How did the sons of a supposedly impoverished illegal marxist immigrant get to Oxford, was there any Moscow funding involved in all of this??

    Has anyone at all bothered to check?

  107. 107
    The Growler says:

    What about a play, Much ado about Nothing, or See How They Run

  108. 108
    Boot Camp Nigel into counselling says:

    Labour are slime & they emerged from the primordial soup of scum. I despise them!

    No Future With Labour!

  109. 109
    The whole of the Labour Party. says:

    We hate success & Javid should have been on welfare, completely dependent on Labour to run his life for him. We would have helped him fill in his benefit forms.

    Javid is a despicable person.

  110. 110
    C.O.Jones says:

    Cannot say for Ed but this was posted on another website regarding his brother.

    “There is more room to make the charge against David Milliband, who did far worse at A level and was admitted to Oxford under the terms of a widening access scheme (because from an inner London comp). This does seem like stretching a point, since attempts at widening access to university were surely never intended for the children of internationally famous professors.”

  111. 111
    Graham says:

    All Oxford with a useless PPE degree,in other words thick and fucking useless, and never had a real job in the real world.Enough said.

  112. 112
    Fred the pensioner says:

    International Schools the world over have excellent reputations for turning out very well educated kids from just about any nationality under the sun. The reason being that they operate free from any political interference and only employ properly educated staff. If you can get your kids into one of them do go for it – you won’t be sorry. Take it from an oldie with lots of experience in this field.

  113. 113
    Conrad says:

    Not much by way of diversity there. One rule for them etc etc……….

  114. 114
    Andy Car Park says:

    bet she took it up the khazi an’ all, the beeboid slappa

  115. 115
    Fred the pensioner says:

    Yes indeedy – that is precisely the point I was making above at 4.05pm under entry no 34. Glad somebody else on here recognises excellence when they see it.

  116. 116
    Fred the pensioner says:

    Yes, I agree with you. That’s what is wrong with much of the third world. When you start educating them, you raise their expectations – which regrettably can seldom be met; so that leaves lots of time for reasonably well educated layabouts to create trouble and problems.

  117. 117
    Fred the pensioner says:

    …or dim fuckwits who could not even get a decent A level. He stole the place from some kid far more deserving.

  118. 118
    Fred the pensioner says:

    Let’s face it, the only decent thing ever to come out of Oxford is that bloke’s famous thick cut marmalade.

  119. 119
    Anne Arquist says:

    A first in PPE is not worth a pass degree in science and engineering.

  120. 120
    Idon'tneednodoctor says:

    Pseudo Socialist Oxford Elitism.

  121. 121
    John Major says:

    Sajid Javid for next Tory leader and next PM !

  122. 122
    jgm2 says:

    ISTR he got a ‘D’ in his Physics ‘A’ Level. Real Oxford material.

    If I’d known the bar was so low I’d have applied to Oxford myself.

  123. 123
    broderick crawford says:

    yes , the marriage thing creates an incestuous internecine vitriolic fight for supremacy amongst both siblings and conjugal couplings …. to the detriment of the common electoral good.

  124. 124
    broderick crawford says:

    …. judging by this cohort s achievements it goes sone great way to cerebrally lobotomising them !

  125. 125
    broderick crawford says:

    ‘ …. are you here for work experience ? ..”

    No . I m here for my free school milk and jammy dodgers … Miss.

  126. 126
    broderick crawford says:

    ….. and DCI Morse !!!

  127. 127
    Axe The Telly Tax & Religion & Kill All Eco-loons says:

    My late father won a scholarship to Jesus College Oxford in 1939.

    After having his degree course in Physics interrupted by 6 years of war, where he served in the navy working on the newly developed radar, he went on to get both his BSC and MSC with honours in 1948.

  128. 128
    timbo46 says:

    Hardly surprising that there is a reciprocal love between all of them and the Guardian, the BBC and between Oxford and the Guardian

  129. 129
    Anonymous says:

    What about it? Nice Cathedral otherwise 50 percent of Fk All.

  130. 130
    Anonymous says:

    Poor People Exploiter

  131. 131
    C.O.Jones says:

    Wow, respect. Physics has always been a degree that only the best academically would enter.

  132. 132
    What a surprise says:

    what tosh. most of the banking intake, particularly in the 80s was either what school you went to or if you were a wheeler dealer, he worked in commodities didn’t he? it was a den of spivs :D

    he had a job, most certainly, which sets him aside from many of our political class, but it was the City, which is a disconnect for most of us.

  133. 133
    A.Crosland & S.Williams, posh Labour b'stards. says:

    Didn’t happen when we had Grammar schools for the brighter members of the working class. We stopped that cheeky game though!

  134. 134
    Charlie says:

    I believe PPE was introduced in 1922 or there abouts as an alternative to Greats, in order to provide a broader education for Civil Servants. What a disaster. The introduction of PPE was coincided with the decline of Britain.

    A classicist with a knowledge of Roman engineering has a better technical education than someone with PPE.

  135. 135
    dAVE t says:

    Most of the crop at the moment couldn’t spell fisikks.

  136. 136
    Keep it in the BBC says:

    You should know Stephanie – you “dated” both Eds.

  137. 137
    Another Engineer says:

    You obviously didn’t have a famous Marxist father, though.

    Toynbee was another one.

    Some of the old dons who are parked in a SCR for 40 years get pretty detached from reality. Wadham College used to have a large collection of lefties.

    This doesn’t happen so much in science departments because denying reality doesn’t get you very far.

  138. 138
    Phish and Chips (RFID) says:

    Is this an example of convergence of mitochondrial DNA in the hierarchical control pyramid, i.e. insectualization? Since mitochondrial DNA is only passed down the female line and only the insect Queen produces progeny, the mitochondrial DNA evolves to be entirely fixed. The future is revealed and the Fabian Society master plan towards construction of the human hive is further consolidated through nepotism. Individualism will not be tolerated and eliminated.

  139. 139
    Biffo says:

    Well, you’re certainly trying hard enough – I’ll grant you that. Meetings in Egypt & Syria then all the s*** – stirring in the Ukraine. Hopefully, you’ll get caught up in some of the unrest you’re creating & never be heard from again.

  140. 140
    NE Frontiersman says:

    116: Even more so here: wouldn’t you say that much government policy for the last thirty years has been an increasingly desperate bid to create white-collar work for the state-created lumpen-graduate class?
    Why else would the number of lawyers and accountants have quintupled in 30 years?
    Bear in mind that almost every penny such people earn is either state-funded, or somebody else’s tax deduction, or piled on to the price of housing. Brown didn’t double the size of Tolley’s Tax Guide entirely by accident.
    Imagine tens of thousands of articulate, semi-professional unemployed: what trouble might they cause once they sus that the HE Ponzi scheme was only intended to buy their parents’ votes?

  141. 141
    THX-1138 says:

  142. 142
    NE Frontiersman says:

    My college Master was the government’s chief economic adviser. When Burton and Taylor gave the college some money for a new building the site wasn’t yet for sale, so the master invested the funds, pending the purchase.
    He lost the lot.
    His brother was the Fourth Man, by strange coincidence.

  143. 143
    NE Frontiersman says:

    19:Having been at a count in Waltham Forest where the turnout in one ward was 125%, I increasingly doubt that this is the case.

  144. 144
    NE Frontiersman says:

    132; The City in the 80s, like it or not – and I don’t – was when the barrow boys moved into the exchanges. A lot of talented working-class boys made a lot of money. How much money you could make counted most for the first time. The trouble was, many of the old-school wallahs were a bit vague about the nuts and bolts, which is where Barings lost a wheel: they knew some oik was making them lots of money , until suddenly he wasn’t.

  145. 145
    Max mon amour says:

    We are one dirty ape

  146. 146
    DAVE EAT'N HEAD says:

    Should read “Shite heads revisited”

  147. 147
    Anon says:

    Not that good. HarCow is fucking useless.

  148. 148
    Anon says:

    That’s actually true. We just binned the CVs with PPE on them. No point doing anything else.

  149. 149
    Anonymous says:

    Would be nice to know the grades received too, are all of the lower seconds / thirds or did any of them get a first?

  150. 150
    Anonymous says:

    Would be nice to know the grades received too, are all of the lower seconds / thirds or did any of them get a first?

  151. 151
    stushie says:

    It,s simple,’PPErs’ could get by with spouting balls all day (and night) long.
    It’s not a proper degree cf engineering or physics FFS.

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