old salut!

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

January 12, 2007

Nathalie Gettliffe to be freed

This site has now moved to Salut!

Since I am one of the few English journalists to take any interest in the Nathalie Gettliffe case - for which I offer no apology - I should briefly note the news that she is finally to be freed tomorrow.

A French court has agreed to her provisional liberty, effectively parole, without requiring her to complete the six further months of imprisonment to which she remained liable when sentenced in Canada last month. She had pleaded guilty to abducting two of her own children in a bitter custody battle.

This second bit of commonsense in a sad and tangled saga (the first being a French court's gesture in granting her some freedom during the festive period) is to be welcomed.

Ironically, had Gettliffe not chosen to be repatriated just before Christmas, she would by now already be free, according to my understanding of procedures in British Columbia.

But is there any provision in Canadian penal practice for the sort of Christmas leave for which she qualified in France?

If not, she was probably better off being with the other half of her family then, even though it meant having to spend another few days in prison pending today's decision.

Of course, we have not heard the end of this affair. But I will stick to my earlier decision and comment only when, as now, there are significant developments.

This blog is not a news agency, as I have said before, and I have not been required to write news articles for anyone about an affair that was deemed a little too foreign for British readers.

That is the main reason why I have felt perfectly at liberty to express an opinion, intolerable as this may have seemed to some.

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This site has now moved to Salut!


At January 12, 2007 8:33 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Not intolerable; just badly misguided and stubbornly adhered to. But what took the French authorities so long to let Nathalie Gettliffe out? Why did they feel the need to reincarcerate her after Christmas? Surely that must have been doubly hard on her after a taste of freedom. As there always has been, there is more here than meets the eye.

At January 13, 2007 12:29 PM, Anonymous SH said...

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water ...

I find it hard to understand why Colin Randall has spent so much time and energy on the case of this self-indulgent French woman who has caused such turmoil in the lives of all her children. Perhaps he sees himself as a lone knight in shining armour. But even the shiniest of armour can rust!

At January 13, 2007 12:49 PM, Anonymous kmtracey@rogers.com said...

So very happy for Nathalie. Canada did her wrong and I'm still pushing for a public inquiry here in Canada into the judicial corruption for which Nathalie was a victim.
Canada is a country that especially praises those who hate women as in the case of Grant - Nathalie's ex-husband. Canada's women are very oppressed as a result. Our judicial system is cultish and works on a system of 'favors' by those who like to believe they are 'untouchable'.

At January 13, 2007 3:09 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Chain mail with a missing link, SH! But let's hope the water from now on will be Gettliffe-free
I'm not which Canada kmtracey inhabits but it's not the country I live in. There again, kmt would doubtless regard me as one of the oppressors.

At January 13, 2007 5:31 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

I mean, of course, I'm not SURE which Canada kmtracey inhabits... I'm still slightly jetlagged but, from the reports we're getting of the weather in England, I'd say I got away not a moment too soon.

At January 14, 2007 11:19 PM, Anonymous SH said...

Your message was more comprehensible than KMT's, Bill. As I recall, the judge in the Getliffe case was a woman, so I'm not sure where she fits in to the "woman-hating, cultish untouchables". But as I understand the post, law-breakers in Canada should not be punished if they are female. So if the writer goes out this evening and is mugged by a gang of teenage girls, that'll be OK.

At January 15, 2007 12:27 PM, Anonymous Smiley said...

"That is the main reason why I have felt perfectly at liberty to express an opinion, intolerable as this may have seemed to some."

Not intolerable, just mind numbingly boring.

She did wrong, did a runner, got caught, and did her time.

Get over it!

At January 15, 2007 2:12 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

The voice of reason! Well put, Smiley.
What's next, Colin?

At January 15, 2007 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's what's next.

It's all very well to blog on and on and on about Gettliffe but may we have an easing up on the nuts and bolts of the blog.It's past time that the LINKS were put in alphabetical order.

At January 16, 2007 2:57 AM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

What would be the point of that, other than to put "Another Colin" at the top? Don't be so egotistical.

At January 16, 2007 10:58 AM, Blogger ColinB said...

If ColinR does decide to put his links in alpahabetical order, but does not wish "Another Colin" (ie myself) to appear first, then he is free to give me a different label. They are not set in stone. In fact if Colin R goes to my blog, he'll find that as a result of some recent springcleaning he now appears three times, no less, in my links.

I have so far declined to enter Bill Taylor's site in my list. I don't suppose it's any skin off his nose. But while he continues to engage in this kind of schoolboy baiting behaviour at my expense, he will never be in my Links.

Now could the real "Anonymous" step forward, and explain his or her reasons for wanting Colin's list to be in alphabetical order ?

PS Yes, I suppose I do have an egotistical streak, and make no attempt to hide it, but I would not fritter it away in the manner BT suggests. Look instead for Comment 4 on Shane Richmond's current Telly post, and you'll see that I don't do things by halves.

At January 16, 2007 12:51 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

Colinb I looked at Shane's blog. I tested the programme that detects clichés. I used it on your text. It turns out that your prose is full of clichés including 'Colin Berry'. Smart programme.

At January 16, 2007 2:05 PM, Blogger Colin Randall said...

Anon's demand that I put the blog's house in order, and the links in alphabetical order, has the moral equivalence of an instruction from me that (s)he starts clicking on the ads to keep the blog alive.

At January 16, 2007 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All of you,yes ALL are a silly bunch in wet nappies.
The links in alphabetical order.
The links in alphabetical order.
The links in alphabetical order.

There.Can your read?
May we have the links in order?

At January 16, 2007 2:53 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Oh dear, I'm never going to be in Colin (aka Anonymous, Final- Farewell-Until-Next-Time and Captain Cornflake) Berry's links, alphabetically or otherwise. I shall try to bear up bravely under the disappointment.

At January 16, 2007 9:02 PM, Blogger ColinB said...

There's a bad smell about you, Anonymous. Take Louise's blog, for example (Chocolates and Cuckoos): different bloggers have different ways of listing it. Colin R, for example, refers to it simply as "Swiss Maid". So what possible purpose is served by listing alphabetically ?

I strongly suspect that "Anonymous" was created purely to cause trouble.

You should be able to figure out the rest for yourselves, although I would imagine that most of you will have done that already.

At January 16, 2007 10:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes ColinB we all know how you perceive things to be that in reality do not exist.Causing trouble is your undoing and shifting blame onto someone else is always your metier.To get out of a crisis you create one.And do you have alphabetical Escape Routes?

At January 16, 2007 11:11 PM, Blogger ColinB said...

Is that the same Anonymous as before ? Presumably it is, since you persist with this idiotic obsession about the order in which we choose to list our Links.

Then you have made a big mistake there, Anonymous. By indulging in your cowardly and poisonous little diatribe, you will removed any last remaining shadow of doubt from people's minds that I was the Anonymous pushing for Colin R's Links to be listed alphabetically, purely, so BT tells us, to get "Another Colin" to the top of the list.

As if I care where I come in a list of 11 ! Hardly the Paris telephone directory, is it ?
And were you aware (and Colin R can confirm this) that I deliberately asked to be kept off his list at the beginning, having had a bellyfull of some of his regulars (no disrespect there to Colin R, who doesn't get to pick and choose).

So you have, as they say, Anonymous, shot yourself in the foot.

As for why I put my own Links in an alphabetical order, I hardly gave it a moment's thought. Perhaps I wanted to avoid revealing my favourites: that is the usual reason for doing so.

But this is not really about Links and their order, is it Anonymous ? This is about a despicable attempt to coax me back to this blog, so that you can resume your juvenile antics, because that's how you get your kicks, isn't it, you sad, pathetic individual. Get a life !

At January 17, 2007 12:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apologies to you ColinB for my causing you upset and offence.It is not my wish to torment you.
Sarah has her lnks in alphabetical order and it's presentable.Yours are alphabetical as already mentioned.They are presentable.
Order gives the reader a cohesive connection to reading a blog and leaves other parts of the blog open to personal thought,does it not?

At January 17, 2007 12:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Post script to ColinB.

Your being back on Colin Randall's blog?
I always enjoy your posts;not very kind but full of human effort.

At January 17, 2007 12:45 AM, Blogger ColinB said...

OK, Anonymous & BT. You've had your bit of fun - an attempt to stitch me up. But it didn't fool anyone for long, because Anonymous got carried away. Once he/she started getting personal, it became clear that I was not Anonymous.

And when you work back, you find BT has tried to finger me not just once, but twice, as someone who would try a cheap stunt under the cloak of anonymity simply to get to the top of a list.

I think you owe me an apology, BT since you have impugned my honesty, and wasted several hours of my time to boot. But I shan't hold my breath on that one.

As for Anonymous, words fail me...
Is there more than one of you, or do you have a split personality ?

At January 17, 2007 2:26 AM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

No, don't hold your breath, Colin Berry. You'd turn blue and that wouldn't be pretty. I owe you nothing; your honesty or lack thereof is your own concern, between you and your conscience. And wasted several hours of your time? How, for goodness sake? Anyway, what else have you got to do with your time other than blog-pontification and self-aggrandisement here, there and everywhere? Heaven forbid that anyone, anonymous or otherwise, should try to coax you back here. If only this latest Anonymous COULD make words fail you for once.

At January 17, 2007 7:11 AM, Blogger ColinB said...

I wondered if you would be willing to stand back, BT, to see there's a clear issue of right and wrong here, and be big enough to apologize for your part in what's happened these last few hours. Your response, though, has been entirely predictable, and will, I suspect, win you little support.

However my main complaint is not with you. Your role in this has probably been to take advantage of a situation. You saw an opportunity to try and stick one on me. And when I rush back to defend myself, you can then mock me for breaking my vow to stay away from this site while the likes of you remain in residence.
But that's enough about you, BT. I wouldn't waste another second of my time on you. I shall now post, and then deal with the pitiful Anonymous.

At January 17, 2007 8:15 AM, Blogger ColinB said...

I think I now know what this has been all about. It's nothing to do with the order in which Colin R lists his links. It's to do with who's in there, and who's not.

Before I paste the present list (which may or may not visible on your present page), I'd mention an incident that occurred recently. I had a slightly puzzled and hurt email from someone wondering why a link to their blog had been removed, and wondering if they'd said something that had offended. I was able to reassure them that it must have dropped out accidentally while adding some new ones recently, and quickly restored it.

It could not have been easy for that individual to address the issue, not knowing what response they might get. But they did, and the matter was resolved, and not allowed to fester.

Now look at Colin R's present Links:

This French Life

Bill's Art

Sarah's France

Phil in Chateauroux

Rue Rude

Petite Anglaise

Swiss Maid

Another Colin

Halcyon's blog


Roads of stone

Someone, Anonymous, has looked for their blog, failed to find it, and wonders why they are not there, when even my D&D lists it (in spite of everything, and thus under a pseudonym, but there all the same ). But he/she (take your pick) feels unable to tackle ColinR on it directly. So all this guff about the links not being in proper alphabetical order has been a smokescreen, to try and draw ColinR's attention to the omission, in a way that hopefully won't reveal the true reason for feeling miffed.

But Anonymous had not reckoned on BT, seizing on this heaven-sent opportunity to reopen old wounds, by bringing my name into it, suggesting that I was Anonymous pulling a cheap stunt to get "Another Colin" at the top of Colin R's list.

The rest, as they say, is history. Correction: a somewhat tawdry and pathetic footnote to history, one in which two individuals in particular come out with no credit whatsoever.

Now can I get back to my own blog, please, and be spared these needless distractions that waste hours of my time. Yes, hours, BT. And I'm still waiting for that apology.

At January 17, 2007 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well we can see that Links in alphabetical order or not would have caused suspicious Bill to write and ColinB to run 'round having his pants on fire.
Now, if the fire is out and Bill is calmed may we have the Links put into their proper order.ALPHABETICAL.

At January 17, 2007 2:53 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

"I think I now know what this has been all about...."
If only you had a sense of humour and proportion, Colin Berry. Even Louise has remarked on how easy it is to wind you up. You're like a clockwork rabbit (in more ways than one). You cannot bear to have your dignity slighted and thus you make yourself even more ridiculous.
A clear issue of right and wrong? I believe I'm right in saying that the only thing wrong here is that the amount of hot air you're giving off must be contributing to global warming.

At January 17, 2007 6:05 PM, Blogger ColinB said...

I'm obviously not going to get my apology from Bill Taylor. But then knowing this man, I did not expect one.

He's not big enough to admit that he got something wrong, and he doesn't give a toss about slagging someone off, provided he can go home feeling he's scored a point or two.

You're a terrible advertisement for your profession, Bill Taylor. No wonder you are in awe of your old school mate: a rôle model at whose feet you prostrate yourself, but one to whom you can only aspire to emulate.

At January 17, 2007 6:17 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Hey, Colin (Randall, that is), did you know I'm in awe of you? Prostrate at your feet? I've seen the day but only when we'd been drinking.
Of course you're not getting an apology, Colin Berry. No, I don't give a toss about slagging you off. This is a blog; it's a free-for-all. I didn't get anything wrong; I was winding you up. If you weren't such a pompous, humourless pedant and so self-conscious of what you perceive your image to be, you'd realize this. It would make you much less a figure of fun. Now, isn't it about time you invoked your "daughter" to come and lead you out of this precarious playground?

At January 17, 2007 6:23 PM, Blogger ColinB said...

Thank you Bill Taylor. I rest my case.

At January 17, 2007 8:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not resting until I get satisfaction on the Links case.

Should a pair of lynx be sent over to Le Lavandou's garden to look around for signs of alphabetical movement.

At January 17, 2007 8:12 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

How about a pair of blithe alpaca? As an anagram of "alphabetical" they may be more appropriate.

At January 17, 2007 8:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lynx, blithe alpaca.Anything else?Some crocs might be interested.

At January 17, 2007 9:17 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

I spy the great Anne Gilbert. Welcome back

At January 17, 2007 9:36 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

You mean we're about to be indundated with hippos? And the damned things are so incontinent.

At January 17, 2007 10:24 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Good timing you Crocs. Deer walking over to Le Lavandou to be followed by an eagle and frog.Anything else?

At January 17, 2007 10:28 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

How about a skunk 'The centre needs someone to drive the skunk the 3,500 kilometres back to Le Lavandou, probably in a truck or van, "though I've often transported skunks in my car," Karvonen said. "I don't have any problem with it. We deal with about 200 skunks a year. Sometimes they spray, sometimes they don't."'

At January 17, 2007 10:36 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Skunk on it's way.That takes care of S.
Getting close to H.
Will Hippo attend?If yes,please pack his knapsack with map for the trip.

At January 17, 2007 10:40 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

I had a call from a guy in Switzerland today, wanting to offer his help to the wildlife rescuers. But the skunk saga is turning into a monster; some big American TV names appear to be trying to involve themselves. Will this be in the skunk's best interests? Stay tuned.

At January 17, 2007 10:56 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

A lovely rufous throated wren babbler is in the air.......destination...Colin Randall's garden,Le Lavandou.

At January 18, 2007 11:05 AM, Blogger ColinB said...

I have just submitted the following to Toby Harden's latest post on the Telegraph. It remains to be seen whether they will publish it, especially it touches on Toby's recent diificulties that are the subject of my current post.

I have twice asked Bill Taylor to apologize for his attempt to blacken my name. He has refused to do so. Sorry, but I will not listen to one journalist lecturing us on ethics, while Taylor is allowed to get away with his mud-slinging behaviour.

"Here's a comment which a so-called professional journalist (no less) placed yesterday on a blog run by another respected, journalist, now working freelance.

"Of course you're not getting an apology, Colin Berry. No, I don't give a toss about slagging you off. This is a blog; it's a free-for-all. I didn't get anything wrong; I was winding you up".

So might I suggest that you journalists need to put your own house in order before you start lecturing us citizen bloggers on the matter of behaviour or ethics. And that at least one of you, at any rate, stops using the blog as a wind-up.

As you know, I recently took your side in that storm in a teacup over your Saddam report. What you filed was a preview, using the future tense. It would seem that any substitution of past for future tenses occurred in London during editing for publication, so was out of your hands.

At the risk of seeming to adopt a holier-than-thou posture, some of us do seek balance and fairplay in what we write, but then find that our reward is to be called "boy scouts" or worse by cynical members of your profession who are old enough to know better.

I shall now post a copy of this to the blog in question, so that in the event of the Telegraph's moderators deciding not to publish here (which is their prerogative), its contents and sentiment will still enter the public domain, albeit quietly by the back door."

At January 18, 2007 12:43 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Black day here on the blog it seems.No place for the likes of me.
Enjoy yourselves.

At January 18, 2007 1:35 PM, Blogger ColinB said...

PS "Chiding", or even "gently chiding" would perhaps have been a better word to have used than "lecturing" re Toby Harnden's post (and apologies for misspelling his surname).

At January 18, 2007 1:47 PM, Blogger richard of orléans said...

There is just one disagreeable piece of flotsam. But a beautiful seagull can perch on that unpleasant jetsam and have a beautiful view. There is no need to leave.

At January 18, 2007 2:30 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

Better day,already,seeing what's in the sea.
Keeping an eye on Le Lavandou garden and Hippo trail.
Altitude 100m and flying with calm.

At January 18, 2007 2:35 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

I don't blog as a journalist, Colin Berry. I blog as a free citizen for the joy (except in your case) of the cut-and-thrust of debate and the fun (sometimes vicious fun but fun all the same) of getting into a slagging match. Why do you take yourself so seriously? Who and what do you think you are? It's far nicer to laugh WITH people than AT them but with you it's an impossibility. You are indeed holier-than-thou.

At January 18, 2007 4:15 PM, Blogger ColinB said...

Seems to me that BT has gone ever so slightly into defensive mode, as well he might.

In fact, he'd be well advised to stay there for a bit, to read what I've just posted on Sarah Hague's blog and see what I say on my next blog post. It'll be composed at leisure, with a view to keeping lawyers out of the picture.

At January 18, 2007 4:27 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Defensive? Not in the least. I just don't understand how anyone can be as petty as you or take blogging (and yourself) so seriously. And I'm at a loss as to how I've "blackened" your name. By suggesting it might've been you who wanted to alphabetize the links? Is that what has you screeching in outrage? Get a grip on yourself, man.

At January 18, 2007 4:39 PM, Blogger ColinB said...

No, by refusing to accept my protestations of innocence, thus branding me as a liar.

Or maybe you do think I am a liar. Is that why you put quotation marks around "daughter" ? If not, then explain why you used them. And try to do it without adding insult to injury.

At January 18, 2007 5:04 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

Why should I believe anything you say, with your history of hiding behind aliases and making unverifiable claims? Why would you deem something so stupidly petty as worthy of such vehement protestations of innocence? Why do you take blogging and yourself so seriously? Do you really have such self-esteem problems that you have to go to such ridiculous lengths to ensure no one thinks at all badly of you?

At January 18, 2007 5:17 PM, Blogger anne gilbert said...

CB's self esteem is coupled with his self discipline.Coming from his world,chaos is always at the fringe of dialogue which undoes reason/logic.
In fairness to his contributions here,he does give this blog a standard that many of us from time to time wish we could reach .
Sometimes I wonder why he stays with us.Maybe he likes us.

At January 18, 2007 5:23 PM, Blogger ColinB said...

It would appear that Bill Taylor (Toronto Star) is the only one allowed to have fun in the blogosphere.

It's OK for him to invent an alias, called "James Hamilton" and pretend to be waiting for me at named premises in my home town, and to give credence to those claims by describing the make and colour of his car.

This man, who upset my wife with these antics, now wants to hark back to my aliases, conveniently forgetting his own irresponsible use of the blog in a way that intruded on our real lives.

As for your posing all those "whys?" , let's see them for what they are: an attempt to evade the key issue, namely his branding me a liar.

And he still hasn't explained why he placed those quotation marks around "daughter".

I give Bill Taylor one last chance to apologize for his blackening of my character, in particular the charge that I am a liar.

If he won't do that, then this crucial issue of defamation of character moves to my own blog.

At January 18, 2007 5:34 PM, Blogger ColinB said...

Thank you Anne Gilbert. I don't always understand your embroidered prose, but I do read you on this occasion, and thank you greatly for your moral support.

At January 18, 2007 5:41 PM, Blogger Bill Taylor said...

By all means take it to your own blog because then no one will read it. Which is fitting because no one but you really cares. They see blogging for what it is.

At January 18, 2007 5:57 PM, Blogger ColinB said...

Wrong again, Bill Taylor (Toronto Star). There have been over 4000 hits on my counter in just this last week alone, on account of Toby Harnden's difficulties.

Since I intend to cite your behaviour in the context of Toby Harnden's current post, suggesting a whiff of hypocrisy in the world of journalism, don't underestimate my readership.

No one can say I did not give you an opportunity to reflect and then retract. All I've had in return is evasion and more insults. And you still refuse to say why you wrote "daughter".

This is me now signing off. Further insults here will be ignored, or rather addressed on my next blog post.


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