old salut!

Colin Randall wrote here on France, things Anglo-French and more......but has moved

November 07, 2006

Nathalie Gettliffe: now for the hard part

This site has now moved to Salut!

The easy part, for me, of the Nathalie Gettliffe case is over.

Canadian penal hawks plainly disagree, but the case for bail pending trial, for an apparently unwell woman going through a difficult pregnancy, struck me as overwhelming. It certainly should not have been denied with what sounded a little like a sentencing speech.

On the question of guilt or innocence, I was less sure. With whatever disclaimers, Nathalie has now entered guilty pleas to abducting two of her own children.

But my views on bail were clear and strong, and I make no apology for expressing them.

I do not doubt that once they got their nurses' industrial action, and a few hostile fellow prisoners, out of the way, the British Columbian prison authorities did their best to care for mother and baby.

Yet if Canada is civilised enough to have a well run prison service, it should also be sophisticated and resourceful enough to come up with an alternative to childbirth behind bars and, for that matter, to all unnecessary incarceration.

Civilised courts should have a predisposition to grant bail - and yes, all the more so in the case of a heavily pregnant woman - unless powerful reasons exist to justify a harsher course. I fully recognise that such reasons occur often enough.

But quite where Nathalie was going to run to, let alone how in her condition, remains a mystery to me. And in what way her conditional freedom would have negated the rights of the father of two of her four children, Scott Grant, has yet to be explained convincingly by his champions here.

No one can tell me that the Canadians do not have the ability to devise terms and conditions to ensure that a defendant stands trial. There is always the stiff sanction of withdrawing bail if, for example, an attempt is made to interfere with witnesses.

And that is why I have regarded Nathalie's continued detention for seven months as a punishment applied by an indignant court.

It outrages me that she is still in custody and while I know little about the sentencing culture of British Columbia, the conduct of its courts in this matter so far do not encourage me to bet very far on a merciful outcome.

But that, in any case, is where the hard part comes in. Nathalie has now acknowledged her guilt and I have no idea what the prosecution is going to throw at her.

There may be factors to challenge my provisional view that extenuating circustances would make a minute of further imprisonment grotesquely inappropriate.

I do not for a moment say Nathalie was right to defy a court order and remove the children to France. On her account, there is substantial mitigation; I hope the court will give a fair hearing to the issues surrounding Scott's religious affiliations that, she says, drove her to desperate actions.

It is, as I admitted when first I wrote about it, a tragic case. I am sure that both Scott and Nathalie love their children, and have good parental qualities, and I hope that eventual custody arrangements reflect this.

But I am not yet ready to pay too much heed to the protestations of the Canadian ambassador to France that coverage of the affair in France has led to unjust criticism of his country.

This site has now moved to Salut!


At November 07, 2006 1:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that Nathalie Gettliffe should be very glad to have at least one champion. When I mentioned her name to a group of French friends yesterday - as a potential Presidential candidate - 9 out of 10 of them said "who?", and the 10th explained that this was a French woman imprisoned in Canada for having broken Canadian law. So I don't think anyone will be rushing to the barricades here, threatening to boycott Canada. It's not as if she's languishing in Newgate.She's pleaded guilty, the court will pass sentence, and hopefully you'll find a more inspiring cause to champion.


At November 07, 2006 1:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obviously SH has been inspired by the Randall writings of the Gettliffe topic.
Talking to his/her French friends?
Be contrite and give us a rich ,embodied piece of writing to read.Mensa style.

At November 07, 2006 2:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are you drivelling on about ?


At November 07, 2006 2:51 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Where would she run to? The United States is only a few kilometres away and from there the world could be her oyster.
I believe it was partly at Scott Grant's urging that Gettliffe pleaded guilty. It was clearly an unwinnable case for her and he wanted her to spare herself the rigours of a trial. The legal question of pre-sentencing psychiatric evaluation was scheduled to be argued this week. Perhaps that might throw some light on this enigmatic woman's deeper thinking and be of more value than Colin's increasingly desperate protestations that she has been cruelly wronged.

At November 07, 2006 3:17 PM, Blogger Colin Randall said...

I am not sure what to make of Bill's proposition that Nathalie has been capable of sprinting across the border to any other country, never mind a land where one (French) man's cult is another (American)'s regular church.
Bill's admiration of the French is well known, but surely even he doesn't believe they can defy gravity.
Or, leaving aside the fascinating notion of Scott as the honest broker in this sorry mess, is he suggesting that no one should ever get bail if they are careless enough to have their collar felt near the US/Canadian border?

At November 07, 2006 3:22 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

As I said...increasingly desperate.
You don't have to sprint over the border. It's easier to catch a bus. And I don't follow your "defying gravity" analogy.
Nor am I presenting Scott Grant as the honest broker; merely trying to add another fragment to the sum of knowledge here.
Given Nathalie Gettliffe's penchant for flight, in this instance I do believe the proximity of the border needed to be a factor in considering her for bail.

At November 07, 2006 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The typical birth weight of a baby is, let's say, about 7 lbs. The placenta and fluid adds, let's say, another 10 lbs. That's 17 lbs in total, or a bit over a stone. Casual inspection suggests there are a lot of ladies in N.America who, without being pregnant, manage to remain reasonably mobile, despite carting around several stone of weight in excess of that figure.

Colin R makes pregnancy sound like the ball-and-chain of a Wizard of Id cartoon.

At November 07, 2006 5:04 PM, Anonymous Smiley said...

Ball and chain? Maybe that's the solution!

At November 07, 2006 5:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think she had the misfortune of what's called 'a difficult pregnancy', which is the sort of expression which leaves guys running for the hills rather than hear the gory details.

Even normal pregnancies have their trials (as it were...). I doubt NG could have fled anywhere, except in an ambulance.

She's recovered nicely now though from the sound of it.

At November 07, 2006 5:31 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

"Difficult pregnancy" is one of those convenient, catch-all terms almost designed to send the average guy running for the hills. But I, for one, am curious about the gory details of this one. I'd like more information than has been forthcoming on how difficult it really was. Another fragment, as I've said, added to the sum of knowledge.

At November 07, 2006 6:28 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

Can anyone explain why I sometimes don't get the latest situation on Colin's blog? I thought Colin had become completely inactive. I sign on today and discover that I have not been seeing the posts of the last week or two. Now that Colin tries to get rid of me, I would understand and indeed encourage, but maybe it is a technical hitch and other people are suffering from the same problem.

On Nathalie Getliffe, I find it strange that the French press is so soft on English speaking Canadians. In fact the person that they go for is M. Gauzelle (her companion and journalist) who is apparently totally misrepresenting the situatiuon. Is this the French way of saying English tabloid journalism is unwelcome in France? Or maybe it is a Franco Canadian conspiracy to say that politicians should run the show not journalists à l'anglaise.

At November 07, 2006 6:47 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Which Colin do you mean Richard?

P.S.How are you.

At November 07, 2006 7:26 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

Anne Colin for me is Colin R. For the Antibes scribbler, Berry bun, Verbose vieux who scrounges my tax money I will find alternative labels.

PS I'm very well, though a big problem has cropped up.I had planned to put off the excitement of a trip to the UK for an extra year. But no,I will have to go. The negotiation has reduced it to 36 hours total presence on English soil. French transport in and out. No underground, no curry, no drinks parties and if the bath water is yellow and cold I can return immediately.

At November 07, 2006 7:57 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Cannot answer your tech questions.Things went astray over the weekend for blogs and may have been due to the European power outage.Amazing I thought.
Hope you don't mind that when you were excommunicado I used your name in some verse.
Only to break the monotony prevailing here.
There was a new visitor over the weekend who posted twice.A breath of fresh air.
But not a word of Hello or Welcome from anyone.
Would you go on a flight (fright) of the Concorde if I invited you?

At November 07, 2006 8:29 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

Anne I'm not sure about the flight in Concorde. The plane was great but the engine's messed it up. Noisy, dirty and dangerous. The A380 is going to be a great plane, that is more my kind of flight, but not cattle class, 1000 sweaty Brits off to Spain. The blog is lively and there are fun comments. It would be good to have some more contributors, Colin needs to be more controversial in his openers. Actually I think one of the problems is that the Brits have lost their spunk, just look at the rugby on Saturday. We cancelled their try (what else could an honest Frenchman do)and they collapsed in a heap.

At November 07, 2006 9:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was Richard of Orleans really excommunicado, Anne, or did you mean incommunicado ? Wishful thinking, perhaps ?

At November 07, 2006 9:25 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Thanks Anonymous.
Incommunicado was the intended word.

At November 07, 2006 10:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard, you do inhabit a strange world!

At November 07, 2006 11:03 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

So what’s with this anonymous? Are we to believe that it is a sleeping beauty from the middle ages. He who appears as ‘anon’. on some learned poem or wise saying. Hardly; the trite language of the standard English degree from a dull UK university is transparent. Boring student, of a boring university in a boring town where all the Boots, WH Smiths Tescos and Marks and Spencers look the same from one end of England to the other. All those gaudy double yellow lines, created by an English impressionist, painted in the oily, grimy, litter strewn gutters under a dull grey sky spitting diluted acid rain. Flat town, flat countryside, flat accents, flat beer, flattened brain

No it seems to be a small minded English teacher that is nothing more than a pedantic philologist.

At November 07, 2006 11:06 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

I suggested more controversy a couple of postings ago, Richard, and got no takers. I tried to get Colin Berry to answer your very apposite question and he went all schoolmarmy on me. And the problem with the kind of to-and-fro that can ensue from that is it isn't terribly interesting. I'd hoped for a bit more give-and-take with Colin Randall on his Gettliffe fixation but he seems to be fighting shy of it.

At November 07, 2006 11:15 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

There seem to be several anonymouses (anonymi?) on this blog, which is confusing. One of them, however, is good enough to sign off with the initials SH, which clarifies things a bit. Coincidentally, SH tends to make far more sense than any of the others.

At November 07, 2006 11:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No wonder they don't want Richard of Orléans (or shall we call him Roo ?)in Britain for more than 36 hours. 36 minutes would be more than enough. Poor pathetic sassenach!


At November 07, 2006 11:44 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

There are positive & negative points to the anonymous question.
When they first appeared I did not like them.We were used to seeing identies at Another Place and most of us got a sparkle when a favourite name came up.
Now, the anonymous is optional,being easy to choose by the way it is presented.
The thought that anyone would not identify their post seemed dishonorable.Your name's out there for all to see and you take it on the chin when the boomerang comes back.Like it or not.When I respond to an anonymous of course the focus is on the person's post and you cannot carry the relationship.
That may be pro or con but we are human and should have a human face to each other.
If someone wants to add to this,could we hear it?

At November 07, 2006 11:49 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Bill? May ask why you state that SH is the better of anonymouses.He has identified himself,therefore he is not anonymous and in your collective thinking you have to go with the bias.
Oh. Just look at the last posting.

At November 08, 2006 12:06 AM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

He's almost anonymous (if, in fact, it is a "he"). SH isn't much of an identifier. But his/her contributions usually make a great deal more sense than the altogether anonymous anonymouses.
I'm not sure what you mean by "in your collective thinking you have to go with the bias."

At November 08, 2006 12:19 AM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

I thought I'd picked up on it somewhere(he) and I forget so he/she is a point to take off from.
Being that I collected this information somewhere I form a bias.And it is added to the next information that "he" sends along.So a mental picture forms ,imprinting, and storage begins.Then I know what ground I'm on.When you see Richard's name on a post instead of mine something happens.It's the beginning of identity.

At November 08, 2006 12:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we can safely say that the Midlands University to which Richard of Orléans refers is my alma mater , ie Birmingham. I described on a recent post to my own blog how Birmingham was my first choice as a University, a decision that I later regretted. But that's by the way. The key point, as far as blogging etiquette is concerned, is that you have this guy who is no longer targeting Brits in general, but has now homed in progressively, first on expatriate Brits in what he regards as his private preserve (France) and now individual Brits, notably myself. So it's crunch time folks. Are we going to allow this kind of personal attack, bordering almost on a vendetta, given its persistence, to continue ? Is it not time that Colin R, Anne Gilbert and other regulars grasp the nettle on this, and laid down some ground rules. This is especially necessary, now that views can be posted within seconds of their being composed.

At November 08, 2006 12:35 AM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Bless my socks.
It's professor Berry.
I was intending to leave a post to you tonight asking if your could help with the word anonymous.

What is the plural of anonymous,please?


At November 08, 2006 12:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous is of course an adjective, but is used here as an abbreviation for "anonymous contributor" . Using "anonymous" on its own gives it the appearance of a noun. But since adjectives, at least in English, have no plural form, then the plural for anonymous would have to be rendered as "anonymous contributors".

Maybe we need to create our own snappier term on this blog - a neologism - for anonymous contributors.

At November 08, 2006 12:45 AM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Colin Berry.How could anyone in their senses believe that you would take Richard of Orleans to heart?A stab in the heart that is.
You who are the fastest,raciest,spectacular writer of this blog should be vexed by a rambler like Richard.
I'm the second best rambler on the blog so if you think it will help I'll tell him to pipe down.

Why didn't you mind when I borrowed your Hippo?

At November 08, 2006 12:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You didn't borrow my hippo, Anne. You suddenly got in touch with your own. One's hippo sits at the crucial interface between conscious and subconscious, between that which is remembered and that which is forgotten - or so one might think - and between the world of the mind, and that of the spirit.

Let the inner hippo speak, and the pen will flow, sometimes wise, sometimes self-critical, sometimes racy. But never a dull moment.

At November 08, 2006 12:57 AM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Parliament is a topic we could introduce tomorrow.
Now that the Queen's English has been defended (thanks),an agenda of blog etiquette with all members expected to attend will be suggested.

At November 08, 2006 2:26 AM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

With you, Colin Berry, every moment is dull. You're such a scoutmaster. If you don't like this blog, go back to your own and play with all your friends (0, 0, 0 and...er, um, 0). But stop trying to hijack this one from Colin Randall's very capable hands. We're all well aware that you think you know better than anyone how to run a blog (we remember the number of times you told the Telegraph people they were doing it wrong) but your pedantry and self-regard are tiresome. To use your own trite cliche: I'm a regular and I'm grasping the nettle. This blog is just fine as it is.

At November 08, 2006 8:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, my apologies or using the expression "grasp the nettle". It was late at night, and I was writing (in reality talking) at speed.
I also appologize for the scoutmaster in my make-up. I was, as it happens, a scout - a patrol leader - which provided some of the happiest moments of my childhood - the camp fire comradeship for example. Maybe blogging on someone else's site is a subconscious attempt to recreate the friendly joshing of those days. I'm not sure.

The charge that I'm trying to hijack Colin R's blog is a serious one. My first reaction is to say nonsense - how do you figure that one out, given I have my own that leaves me little time for anyone else's ? But I'll deliberate on it for a while, and try to think if there may be substance in that charge. But while I do so, perhaps you Bill should be asking yourself whether your guard dog presence on this site is not also tantamount to a kind of take-over of sorts.

Yes, I repeatedly told the Telegraph they were getting wrong -well, at least three times, mainly to Shane Richmond directly. Why ? Because as the number of bloggers was upper from about 10 to 35, Comment became quickly flushed away, giving insufficient time for Comment to become Debate. I no longer feel it worthwhile to invest time in a Telegraph blog, given the speed at which Comment is relegated to the "filing cabinet" (thanks Louise for that handy expression).

I deliberately stayed away from Colin R's blog recently, first because I was setting up my own, but also to have a break from being targeted by the likes of R/O, like being expected to defend myself against his charges, expressed in the vituperative of terms, of being a parasite on the French social services .Te charges are totally groundless ,in fact, but I've no intention of divulging details of my personal affairs at someone else's behest.

If people wish me to take an even longer holiday, to see how Colin's Mark 2 blog evolves in my absence, then they have only to say. The scientist in me says that might be quite an interesting experiment to perform. The writer in me would feel frustrated, being excluded from all that instant repartée. But I also believe R/O should drop his anti-Brit thing, which is so highly xenophobic in the way he expresses it, as to be essentially racist. Being ethnically a Brit himself (or so I understand) is no defence.

At November 08, 2006 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS Apologies for the typos, missing words etc. I'm still only half awake.

At November 08, 2006 9:34 AM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

The English are not a race so I am not racist.They are genetically indistinguishable from other Europeans.I could be prejudiced, but knowing England and the English intimately, it is a criticism difficult to defend. If my comments are preposterous they will have no effect, I seek a few kernels of truth all the better to penetrate the carapace of the perfidious Brits. Those snobs and nobs that looked down on a simple litter collector, and want to exclude me from their educated debate.Mr Berry, you have a persecution complex. It could be Birmingham, but also Colchester, Leicester, Notingham, Sollihull and why not Sunderland? Let us cite one government department that you have overlooked (amongst many). The veterinary service which protects us from mad cow disease.

At November 08, 2006 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PPS False modesty is OK in everyday life, if only to avoid the charge of immodesty. But false modesty goes out the window when the chips are down, and when BT and R/O are about, the chips are down most of the time.

What we are seeing on this blog are two individuals who are both highly territorial - in their different ways.

At November 08, 2006 10:21 AM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

Bill I noticed Colin's problem on Gettliffe. He seems to have been sucked in by Gauzelle.

At November 08, 2006 11:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

R/O says : "The English are ......genetically indistinguishable from other Europeans".

Once again he is displaying his profound ignorance. I usually find two minutes on Google is sufficient to demolish most if not all of his ex cathedra statements.

I suggest he reads the recent guest article in the Telegraph by Stephen Oppenheimer of Oxford University:


Stephen Oppenheimer is the author of 'The Origins of the British: A Genetic Detective Story' (Constable)

As for R/O's resort, yet again to victim status: who's to say that that Oppenheimer wasn't sweeping his college courtyard before becoming an academic ? Einstein was working as a tax collector when he first began to think about relativity.

I am totally indifferent to a man's educational qualifications - unless or until he starts to belittle my own.

Britain's redbrick Universities, and some newer ones too, have produced much fine scholarship and discovery. For R/O to dismiss them all so contemptuously confirms what Sarah was saying earlier: this man inhabits a very strange world. He is the one with the persecution complex. And an inferiority one also, by the looks of it.

At November 08, 2006 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Substance abuse is a tough issue to deal with.
Readers of this blog may have recognized the symptoms a long time ago.

At November 08, 2006 12:50 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

Mr Berry. The British, in their large majority, came from Europe. I don't have the time nor inclination to search newspaper archives. If you want to justify your argument, that the British are a separate race, then let's have it.To my knowledge Einstein was a patent inspector when he developed his initial theory of relativity. Another of those government services which you seek to scrimp through tax avoidance.Far be it for me to belittle a scholar on the threshold of a nobel prize. What is it? Physics? Medecine? Hardly genetics.

At November 08, 2006 1:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, as I made clear, the newspaper article was not a journalist's second- hand account, but a guest article by a highly respected academic, Stephen Oppenheimer. Yes, a major part of the present British gene pool came from Europe, he says, but a particular part of Europe with an unusual language, namely Basque country. I quote his final passage below which makes clear that the "expected" N. European genes in fact make at best a minor contribution.

"But should we lightly wish such a fate on foreign invaders? After all – Celts, Angles, Jutes, Saxons, Vikings, Normans and others – are all minorities in the modern British gene pool compared with the first unnamed pioneers from the Basque country who, 15,000 years ago ventured into the empty, chilly lands, so recently vacated by the great ice sheets".

You said the English were genetically indistinguishable from other Europeans. You were entirely wrong in that assertion. And why ? It's not because of where you were educated, or for how long. It's because you can't be bothered to do research, preferring instead to posture as an authority on matters about which you know nothing.
David of Bordeaux made exactly the same complaint against you over 6 months ago, before disappearing off the scene. Perhaps he gave up in exasperation, feeling you were a hopeless incorrigible case. Know what ? I think he was right.

At November 08, 2006 1:08 PM, Blogger Louise said...

Just caught the tail-end of the bickering, boys! Quickly, can I add that yes, Richard, many English have European origins but so do all Europeans - today's travellers with Dan Dare didn't invent travel, did they? And thank God that we have loads of mixed blood, n'est pas, otherwise we would be totally interbred and completely batty (cretin des Alpes syndrome - interbreeding and lack of some bracing sea air!)

At November 08, 2006 1:10 PM, Blogger Louise said...

Sorry - that all sounds a little muddled but you know what I mean I hope - obviously the cretin des alpes syndrome is setting in...

At November 08, 2006 1:15 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

1) Basques are Europeans
2) Basques are not a separate race
You haven't handled the tax avoidance issue.
Remember you are a full time drone who left your shaky hive to suck honey elsewhere.I am a full time worker bee, so have to make do with what I picked up sweeping. Yeah and french litter is better than english litter.

At November 08, 2006 1:29 PM, Blogger Louise said...

Yeah, Basques are European but I seem to have read somewhere that their genetic make-up is closely related to people from Galicia, Cornwall, Ireland and Scotland - normal it is a trading route...

At November 08, 2006 1:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

R/O is now displaying his two least desirable traits simultaneously. First, his ignorance. He clearly knows nothing re the special place of the Basques in European ethnology, whose language is not related to any other European language. And second, less forgiveably, his contempt for accepted blogging etiquette, which says you do not pry into a person's private affairs online. Those of us who make no secret of our full names, or where we live, surely deserve protection from constant sniping, indeed targeting, by this inquisatorial martinet. Or in plain English : Nosey Parker !

At November 08, 2006 2:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, Roo, are you familiar with the German expression "So froh wie Gott in Frankreich" ? It means "As happy as God in France". You obviously think you are God in France, so why are you always so bloody miserable ?


At November 08, 2006 2:13 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Postage to Orleans.

Hello Richard.Much sword clashing,ball&chain and mace action last night.
It's a wonder the eventers can mount their steeds today.
Colin Berry with a kaleidoscopical curiosity is more of a defender of clarity with roadsigns placed on the highway towards progress.
As we all know it's nice to be important and with that comes the curve; it's important to be nice.
Stop signs are for stopping.
There have been signs posted by other contributors indicating rules of the road.Or to keep the speed of this analogy in context;etiquette while using the path while on horseback.
Hope you are still with me here.
The comings & goings give us all an opportunity to connect.
However when I see a steed approaching on the path,with helmuted rider(and those with visors emplaced) it can be a signal of an exclusive form of interaction.
Being a rider myself who uses the path the next time I sight one of these Notos,Euros,Boreas or Zephyrs then it's time to direct the direction to Zeus.

At November 08, 2006 2:36 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Guten morgen SH.
You are inspired again; the god of France this morning.
In your equiponderate prose please join us for a discussion

At November 08, 2006 2:54 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Colin Berry perfectly illustrates my charge of hijacking. He's throwing acres of verbiage into this blog, discussing procedure and standards and lord knows what for something he has no control over. He automatically assumes that he knows best and that his thoughts and wishes override all else.
The question of blogging standards has been dealt with already by Colin Randall. He will decide. This isn't a democracy. It's Colin Randall's blog. Participants are not entitled to vote one another off (I wouldn't even do that to Colin Berry, though his small-mindedness and self-obsession are, to say the least, trying). Colin Berry has his own blog where he is free to censor and block access as he chooses.
A blog is not a complicated thing. We come, we go, we leave our comments. If Colin Randall decides something is unacceptable here, he excises it. Anyone who can't accept that is free to leave.

At November 08, 2006 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, this is the alleged hijacker calling. I was curious to know how Bill T could justify the following charge he lays at my door:

"He's throwing acres(my italics) of verbiage into this blog, discussing procedure and standards and lord knows what for something he has no control over".

As far as I can see, I appear to have engulfed Bill with the following 4 sentences:

"So it's crunch time folks. Are we going to allow this kind of personal attack, bordering almost on a vendetta, given its persistence, to continue ? Is it not time that Colin R, Anne Gilbert and other regulars grasped the nettle on this, and laid down some ground rules ? This is especially necessary, now that views can be posted within seconds of their being composed".

These "acres" clearly aren't what they used to be. No wonder folk are switching to hectares.

It's yet another example, if one were needed, of Bill T's tendency to exaggerate and thereby to misrepresent.

Yes, I've put quite a lot onto this thread, but as Anne Gilbert correctly (and colourfully) observes, it's a reflection of a "kaleidoscope of curiosity" as distinct from banging on endlessly about one particular issue. And the idea that I've been pressuring Colin R to do my bidding, or am trying to hijack his blog, is just too ridiculous for words. Where's the evidence ? It's not there.

If Colin R wants me off his blog, then fine, I'll go quietly. But for the immediate future I shall voluntarily ration myself to ONE comment per day, maximum 250 words.

So if anyone comes back and attacks that comment, then it follows they will have to wait till the next day for an answer. So they will have to find something else to talk about in the meantime.

That's today's ration used up.

At November 08, 2006 3:30 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

"Colin Berry perfectly illustrates my charge of hijacking".
Now what's this?
Here is a rider on the path,in disarray.Helmut on backwards,sword upside down and holding up his medals as a shield.
The campaigns he endorses are for seeking the limelight for himself and his medals are stolen privileges.
Swords into ploughshares is overdue.

At November 08, 2006 3:59 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

If Colin Randall decides the content of his blog comments,then reading the contributor's posts are of importance.
Have you ever heard of FSN?
Formin,stormin and normin.
In that order.
This blog is in the formative stage as Colin Randall would be aware.
To shift it to the secondary phase is counter productive to the blogs existence.
A clogged blog.

At November 08, 2006 5:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a serious survey you can take on blogging privacy:
It might interest more than one here... and is part of a Manchester University doctoral thesis.

At November 08, 2006 6:39 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

Anne, now why would a stormin blog be counterproductive? It sounds exciting and enjoyable.(there you see SH I can be excited about things)If the formin goes right then we should get to stormin. But how will we know when we have arrived? The normin bit does sound dull, we could go nice and easy through the stormin if that's not an oxymoron.

At November 08, 2006 6:44 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

The survey Sarah calls to our attention appears to be directed solely at people like Colin Randall who run blogs, not the people who post comments to them. Fascinating as I'm sure it is, it would seem to have little relevance or value here.

At November 08, 2006 6:46 PM, Blogger Louise said...

Oh, no - here we go again ... all you men getting in a huff and stalking off the blog - what a load of prima donnas you all are! We all know that Roo loves to send out vicious little attacks, so we ignore him...and this is what you should do, Colin. You fall into the trap every time when he picks on you - as you say your private life is your own, and then just leave it at that. No need to justify yourself.

I think Randall is old enough and wise enough to zap any comments that are inappropriate in his view - and it is his blog after all - so let's not all start preaching what is and isn't right on a blog - otherwise all go back to the Torygraph blog and get yourselves blue pencilled or wait for 5 hours before being published.

I see in Private Eye that "Randall has taken his readers with him" - good. But where are they? Apart from us lot we seem to have lost a few on the way - perhaps they don't know about (l'armee de) Salut!

At November 08, 2006 6:50 PM, Blogger Louise said...

You'll all be pleased to hear that I shall not be writing too much rubbish this evening as it is the last in the series of Prison Break - almost as good as Desperate Housewives!!!

At November 08, 2006 6:52 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

Yes Bill, I don't see myself as a blog meister so I'll stay away from that.

I'll stick to putting my exemplary comments on other people's blogs.Cheering them up, making them feel wanted, creating a sense of purpose in life.

At November 08, 2006 7:08 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

I think that's what sticks most in Colin Berry's craw, Richard -- the fact that his own blog has failed to attract more than one or two comments. He's desperate to impose his considerable ego (no one can have failed to notice that his favourite pronoun is "I") on other people and it's not working there.
Colin Berry, Louise, is the only person right now who's talking about leaving in a huff. Clearly,though, he'd like one or two others banished from this blog, which is hardly the same thing.

At November 08, 2006 7:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh dear, Bill, why do you descend to this level when you have so much that is worthwhile to contribute? Anne Gilbert invites me to join the discussion. But what are you discussing exactly ?Petty personal comments don't interest me. Sorry.


At November 08, 2006 7:24 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

SH so let's have your exciting words of wisdom. Scottish? Good friend of France. Based in Germany? Where? The French like the scottish though they're closer to the Irish(southern). The dour presbyterianism is a bit tough for catholics to comprehend. On the other hand they always admire engineers so you get good marks on that score. And we have a historical enemy in common of course.

Bill what is the Toronto Star saying about the US elections? Happy? Pity about the Senate.

At November 08, 2006 7:30 PM, Blogger Louise said...

Yes I know that it is only Colin 'threatening' to post only once a day or to quit, Bill. It's just that over the last few months on the Telly blog, everyone kept waltzing off (well, the men anyway - us girls seem to be far more cool - can't remember what Roo called Sarah and I in the spring!).

Anyway, Colin, Roo is off to England soon, hopefully to test out the rusty bath water - I really do wonder what area of England he visits. At least he warns us when not to go back to Blighty.

At November 08, 2006 7:47 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

Louise I'm going to West London of course, you're old stamping ground. Hence the rule about no drinks parties.I've never flounced off, though at one point the censorship got so heavy that the motivation for developing 'vicious attacks' declined. But I don't attack anyone, a comment about French driving is seen as helpful advice. My personal dislike of all those horrid gaudy double yellow lines is a vicious attack on red brick universities. Back to the Brits level playing field again I suppose.

At November 08, 2006 8:02 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Thanks for the blogging survey .I read it without taking the survey as it addresses persons who own a blog.
Saw some sensitive questions though.

Did you see anything in the survey of concern?

We're in the formative stage,gathering contributors.
By the tally of readers the blog is read, more than commented on.
What could be the reasons for this.
The Telegraph had many blogs a reader could choose from.
They were specialized;David Rennie for example that was the forum of EU enthusiasts.
When the reader has satisified themself after reading the blog,there were other subjects to peruse.Obituaries,weather,sports;not having to leave the Telegraph site.
Colin Randall's blog does not have this broad choice of offered topics,so the visitor has to take what is offered;not much at the moment.
On seeing the comments ,very quickly a person can assume the comments' scope.Active number of posts,glance at the posts,same authorship.On closer inspection,a chat room.
Reader evaluates chat,decides to comment or not comment.
The blog is new and takes time to form as in the early Randall blogs of the Telegraph.
This is no place for slurrs,inuenndo,dumbdown retorts,and I'm a friend of the boss.
The stormin?
The dividing of groups in chaos.
We have no groups as yet,only a clutch of individuals.

Seeing your comments we can only read a shrug of the shoulders.
You wanted a blog to read this winter when you come home from work?
Blank screens are not very interesting.

At November 08, 2006 11:36 PM, Blogger Louise said...

Oh dear, Richard - wrong again. West London may be your stamping ground, but it was never mine. Maybe it is fashionable now, but not in my day...

Sorry - didn't really follow your remark about blank screens, Anne...my shoulder shrugging is because we always seem to go round in the same circles and finish off in the play ground with a mud slinging match - I enjoy this blog but haven't yet reached the stage where my long winter evenings entertainement depends on it - that would be sad.

At November 09, 2006 1:58 AM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

What level, SH? I'm merely expressing an opinion about Colin Berry and what I see as his unacceptable efforts to redirect this blog and limit its parameters to fit in with his personal hypersensitivities.
I've been out of town and away from electronic communications most of the day, Richard, so I'm not entirely in touch with the Senate race. I take it the Democrats haven't taken control? But I imagine the Star will see the results as a very welcome change of direction in the U.S. The paper's mandate is liberal (with a small "l").

At November 09, 2006 2:34 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

So the Democrats have the Senate as well as the House, Richard. A remarkable (but predictable) volte-face by Bush, yelling: "I look forward to working with you." And Donald Rumsfeld dropped like a hot brick, with unceremonious and undignified haste. Hard to feel any sympathy, though.

At November 09, 2006 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As you say Bill, hard to feel any sympathy for Rumsfeld, especially after the publication of Woodward's book. On my side of the pond a distinct feeling of envy. Why can't we have an election next week ?


At November 09, 2006 2:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guten morgen SH.

The East German spy master Markus Wolf has died.
The Times has a brief obituary;have you read it?

Mit freundlichen Gruben.
Anonymous 2

At November 09, 2006 3:29 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

It leaves an interesting situation in Canada, SH. Right now, we have a Conservative minority government that is falling steadily in the opinion polls in spite of the fact that the Liberal party is leaderless at the moment. They'll choose a new one next month. The prime minister has allied himself quite closely with the Bush regime, which at the best of times can backfire -- we've learned to be wary of our neighbours to the south -- but now could really have an effect on his popularity. But our last election was earlier this year and the populace wouldn't take kindly to another one so soon. So it becomes a delicate balancing act among the opposition parties as to the optimum time for bringing down the government.

At November 09, 2006 4:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure I would describe The Times article as brief, Anonymous 2. What a charmed life that man led and what a pity he did not end up like Karla.

Bill, thanks for the info on the Canadian government's situation. Why do we know so little about such a large and important country, I wonder, especially since there are so many Canadians of British extraction.


At November 09, 2006 4:59 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Canadians spend half their time agonizing over that very question. And the other half being rather grateful for our low profile!

At November 09, 2006 6:03 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

Bill, yes good news on the Senate. Yesterday,the French press was suggesting the Democrats would miss out. Amazingly Le Monde is not very triumphalist today, I expect they will get round to it shortly. Right now everybody is calling for consensual politics, but that ain't going to last long. Roll on the impeachment, special prosecutor and all the dirty tricks I say. With what Clinton had to put up with, Bush deserves a double dose. Interesting point, could the Americans extradite Blair for incitement of this that and the other?
The problem with Canada is that its leaders are low profile. When Pierre Trudeau was there the country had a high profile.What does it stand for also? It's seen as US lite which is not a terribly positive message. It's just Quebec which has a clear image, as the French bit with the concomitant positive implications for culture, liberty egality and fraternity..

At November 09, 2006 6:17 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

It's the US-lite image that bothers us most -- especially when Americans tell us we're just like them. A lot of Canadians regard that as fighting talk. We're totally different.
Trudeau was one of a kind and did indeed give us a global profile. But that's not something Canada has ever been totally comfortable with. Just as our current combat role in Afghanistan has a lot of people questioning the government's wisdom. Canadians prefer to see themselves as peacekeepers, rather than warriors.
Which brings us back to why the US-lite tag is something we truly hate. It was Trudeau who perfectly summed up our relationship with America, telling the Washington press club in 1969: "Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, one is affected by every twitch and grunt."
And the United States, of course, is neither friendly nor even-tempered.

At November 09, 2006 7:19 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

Of course in the Middle East, France is perceived as America lite. We are seen as a country that huffs and puffs but finally tags along with the yanks. That’s why the Chirac foreign policy over Iraq was excellent. Not only was it the right decision, it showed that France was not to be pushed around. The French part of me holds its head high, the UK part has its tail between its legs. Canada made the right decision over Iraq too and many people took note. So Canada has to stand up to Washington more often. But beware the pressure from the southern sector. ‘Punish France’ per Rice. A country that renames its fries because somebody disagreed with them. It’s not an issue of being right or wrong; it’s just a question of who pushes who around. You need to be courageous enough to stand by your values. Do you have enough courage? The way forward for Canada is to hook up more closely with Southern America. There are quite a few countries on that continent but there is only one that feels he can make the life of all the others uncomfortable, just because he has acquired the selfish attitude of doing what he likes. But beware, remember the British adage on Europe ‘divide and conquer’. That’s one idea the US is not too proud to imitate.

At November 09, 2006 8:02 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

We push back against the States all the time, Richard. We have all kinds of ongoing trade disputes, from which Canada refuses to back down, and the question of Arctic sovereignty is very important. The U.S. would love unrestricted access to the Northwest Passage but they don't have it. Canadians may be too much on the quiet side sometimes but that doesn't mean we let ourselves be pushed around. The U.S. has learned that its bullying tactics don't work here.

At November 09, 2006 10:13 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

In the event some of you readers would relish suspense and suspicion added to your list of books to read,here are two of Markus Wolf's (obituary The Times).

Memoirs of a Spymaster
The Man Without a Face

Anonymous 2

At November 09, 2006 10:42 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

Anne I read memoirs of a spymaster a while back. I know what impressed me was that the guy seemed to have access to everything in West Germany. If he needed anything technical in the computer world he just rang IBM Berlin. It really made you feel what a strange country West Germany was, totally penetrated by the spying of the East Germans who fed the information to Moscow. But of course it was inevitable, it was one country cut in two, with many East Germans in the west. I also remember what a conversation stopper it was with my German travelling companions.

At November 09, 2006 11:49 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Richard,I'll find a copy of the memoirs and tell you when I've read it.

At November 14, 2006 11:11 AM, Blogger Maxine Pour Les Enfants said...

To all of you: if you're journalists in the league of Colin Randall, then God help you - Francis's actual name is GRUZELLE.
Now, if any of you drivelling lot (mensa, my arse) are interested in the facts, then why not do some investigative journalism yourselves and read the unpublished facts at www.nathaliegettliffehaguefree.blogspot.com
There you are sure to be entertained or at least distracted regarding the priest/psychologist with the criminal past who has unlimited access to the two youngsters, Josephine and Maximillien, Scott Grant's shady rapport with Michael Luchenko, a B.C. Crown Counsel prosecutor, and the entire set up.
While you all sit about tossing salad and sipping on G & T's comforting yourselves that the case is over and wondering why on earth poor Colin Dear has bothered with this case, four young children are distraught and shall remain so until journalists with balls, like Colin, expose the truth.
My name, I am pleased to announce, is Maxine. I live in Vancouver, B.C., Canada and I would be happy to answer any of your questions.

At December 02, 2006 4:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband's infant son was taken across the US/Can border 3 times while under Court Order no to leave Calgary, AB. What ensued was a 4 year life of hell for a small child that lived in Florida, New York, Wisconsin, California, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and Pennslyvania. He was on the National Missing Children's List when he was found in PA, USA, and was returned to his father in ALberta, Canada. What we now have to contend with is a child that suffers severe PTSD, RAD and ADHD; and disgustingly enough was beaten, neglected and molested by his biological mother. The Justice system in Canada is lazy, and will not get off their respective asses unless something is an easy win. I would suspect that in this case there was an overwhelming amount of evidence against her. Do I feel sympathy for her...not an ounce. I feel for the children (including the one on the way) who are victims of a self absorbed criminal.

At December 07, 2006 10:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I make it a practice of not abiding by the words of women who act as mother substitutes on behalf of men who vilify the child's original mother and who have suceeded in removing the children from that mother, rather than assisting her as a mother, which any decent person would do. Ironically, mother substitutes simply prove that some (not the good ones) fathers treat their children as property, removing them from one women, no longer in his control, and placing them with another, who is so obviously under his power as to do his work for him.-- MS

At December 08, 2006 8:25 AM, Blogger Steve said...

I read the Canadian news article and NONE of them gave Nathalie's side of the case.

Scott Grant spends most of his newsbyte time asking the court to give his ex a psychiatric examination.

This in itself shows that he is distracting us from the truth of how his children are dealing with his time with them.

We can tell that Scott refuses to spend the time to effectively communicate with his children.

The judge's analysis of the children's use of French gives evidence of this.

Indeed it ignores the fact that in Canada French is sometimes required. We are bilingual.

Also the use of a known sex offender to retrieve the kids and the way key officials involved in the case suddenly disappear.

The only reason Scott won this case is he spent a lot of money to have it end this way.

His defense of the ICC hides a lot of things from public scrutiny as did the Canadian news media.

At April 22, 2007 4:20 PM, Blogger help alienated parents said...

Why are some Canadians totally unwilling to believe that sometimes fathers are the better parents? They seem to continually want to place children in the care of the biological mother despite what she has done to them. Scott, the courts have determined that Nathalie Getliffe has probably irreperably damaged these children and that Scott Grant is the parent to act in their best interest and still you write that the only reason he was awarded full custody is that he bought it? and that he refuses to effectively communicate with his children? Come back Scott, we miss you here on Earth. DO you think he spent thousands of dollars to fight for his children to ignore them? Stop trying to vilify a man who simply wants to raise the children he made. It would be interesting to hear your opinion if the tables were turned and he STOLE the clidren and alienated them against their mother. Parental Alienation is real and serious. Mrs. Getliffe has been justly punished for her actions and I am willing to bet that Mr. Grant is working double time to repair these children.


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