Author Topic: Melanie Johnson, MP  (Read 32992 times)

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Offline southbury

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #30 on: November 04, 2004, 01:32:34 pm »
Fair points John and I do not want to get into a discussion about the finer philosophical points of democracy.  I realised when I was about 15 that  ranting about things not being 'fair'would get me nowhere.I just think that if we want or expect our MP (who has ministerial responsibilities as well) to take notice of 'minor' (but to many of us crucial local issues) then it is all about approach. It's a matter of human nature.
 

John_fraser

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #31 on: November 04, 2004, 02:02:39 pm »
I’m not trying to have a “life’s not fair” thread. But I would like our MP to be answerable to us, and I don’t think she is. I know she has ministerial responsibilities, but I didn’t vote for her to be a minister – yes I did vote for her. I’ll judge her as an MP, and I haven’t seen enough action out of her to justify her cost. Talk to her about the local issues and see if she takes action. I’d still like her to prove JET wrong – only I think he probably isn’t.
 

Offline jet

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #32 on: November 04, 2004, 02:14:38 pm »
I am 52 and will never accept things not being fair.
Of course I realised long ago that things would never change, but lets not give them an easy time as they assume and take too much for granted as it is.
Various people on this forum have invited lots of local representatives to take part.
Only Grant has taken part and even then he has been carefull to debate local issues rather than treat the site as a soapbox.
In MJs world this village and its people mean nothing.
regards,
jet
 

John_fraser

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #33 on: November 22, 2004, 10:07:28 pm »
Before I decide to let this thread be, I thought I’d try and see just how busy our MP is. Fortunately there’s a great site for checking our MP’s performance:

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/

So far in this parliament, Melanie Johnson has voted in less than half the divisions – 88% of MPs do better than her. And she has asked precisely 1 written question – 79% of MPs ask more.

Interestingly enough, 94% of MPs have a safer seat
 

John_fraser

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2005, 10:19:42 pm »
Our MP is currently very busy trying to keep her job by telling us what a great job she’s done, so I don’t suppose she’ll ever have time to comment on the thread. After all it can’t be easy justifying the closure of the local children’s out of hours A&E when you are a minister for health in the government.
 

Offline jazzman

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #35 on: April 19, 2005, 12:38:47 pm »
Reference John Fraser's last post, whilst no-one welcomes the closure of the out-of-hours A&E at QE2, thankfully we are getting a £500m hospital in the constituency, construction of which starts '08, so it ain't all bad news.....
 

John_fraser

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #36 on: April 19, 2005, 01:25:20 pm »
True, we have been promised a new hospital in 2008. Let’s hope that it is ready in 2008 and isn’t delayed, that our children don’t need out of hours A&E for the next three years and that the promise is actually kept in full. Any one care to take a bet on someone saying in 2008 (or whenever) “if they have managed without out of hours A&E for 3 years then they don’t really need it in the new hospital”?
 

pib

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #37 on: April 22, 2005, 04:37:40 pm »
I dont want to sound bitchy about Melanie Johnson but I really do feel that for the past 8 years I havent  had a member of Parliament to represent me.  Yes she does appear in the papers week after week, but much of it in my opinion is all sizzle and no steak.  Pictures like shaking hands with school children and holding the ceremonial shiny spade for planting a tree always look nice. But we never hear her views on anything concrete unless of course it slavishly follows the official government/party line. Now Im pretty jaded about politics and politicians but at least the one thing going for Grant Shapps is that he lives right in the heart of Brookmans Park, consequently walks the very roads we do and uses the same shops and local services that we all use ourselves.  I dont think you can ask for more than to have your Westminster representative living directly amongst the people he represents.
 

Offline Editor

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #38 on: April 25, 2005, 10:02:45 pm »
This thread is being reactivated following feedback from regular forum users who were concerned that their freedom to express their political opinions was being denied. The reason the threads were archived was that we didn't want the forum being hijacked by political campaigning. Apologies for offending regular forum users who have been abiding by the spirit of the site's editorial guidelines.
The Brookmans Park Newsletter has been supporting the village and our local community since 1998 by providing free, interactive tools for all to use.
 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #39 on: April 27, 2005, 10:46:33 am »
Curious that Melanie J is being hounded in this forum for following the party line.  As a junior mininster I think she would be in deep you-know-what if she didn't.

John_fraser

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #40 on: April 27, 2005, 01:16:32 pm »
When you vote you are voting for the person to become an MP and their party to form a government.  I can think of no advantage in having your local MP become a minister, other then possibly how they influence government decisions. In fact the local MP being a minister is a disadvantage to their constituency as it takes them away from constituency matters.

On the party you have to decide if you are happy with the policies the party is advocating or, in MJ’s case, has implemented  while in office. So it is entirely reasonable to “hounded“ an MP for towing the party line. Any minister – shadow or actual - is free to resign of they can not support the party line. Robin Cook did it, Michael Heseltine did it, Geoffrey Howe did it  even  Clare Short did it (eventually). All were more senior and had more to lose. If MJ supported a government policy then supported it willingly and it is reasonable to ask her to account for her support.
 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #41 on: April 29, 2005, 03:33:17 pm »
Since she did not resign I assume that she supports the party line, and she is on record as supporting the huge requirement by John Prescott for almost 500,000 more houses in the East of England. Goodness knows where the necessary water supply etc will come?  Her train from Cambridge to London will be more crowded as well.

We do know that the 'Blues' intend to do away with these unelected Regional Assemblies (a totally unnecessary added layer of government since there are already Government Offices for each region) and not convert the Home Counties into London suburbs.

Offline jet

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #42 on: April 29, 2005, 05:46:52 pm »
I agree with JF and BH. on MJ.
Too much fermented shamrock I guess.
As for the QE2 hospital, its a fine hospital in a good location, why not refurbish it at a fraction of the cost of a new hospital.
The money for the new one will run out, it will be bodged to a budget and will end up with wards/rooms etc. lacking beds/staff.
regards,
jet
 

pib

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #43 on: May 07, 2005, 02:16:12 pm »
Melanie who???      ;D   Since this premier has a made a virtue of "cronyism"  and thereby rewarding the seemingly undeserving, we may soon find a Baroness Johnson of Cambridge has been elevated to the House of Lords perhaps?? ::)
 

Offline jet

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #44 on: May 07, 2005, 07:09:40 pm »
Ha Ha Pib, is it not funny that the so called party of the people has created more crony Micky Mouse aristocrats than ever before.
We are all equal but some are more equal than others, dependant on their toadying.
regards,
jet
 

Offline JLC

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #45 on: May 11, 2005, 09:37:37 am »
As reported in the press today:

"Stephen Twigg and Melanie Johnson, the two ministers who lost their seats and their Government jobs at last week's election, will have the nasty blow of being rejected by the electorate cushioned by payoffs of over £200,000 each, once their generous pension benefits are included. 

According to the official Green Book of Parliamentary Salaries, Allowances and Pensions, MPs who lose their seats are entitled to a minimum of half their annual £59,000 salary as a "resettlement grant" to help them make the transition to ordinary life. ... In addition, ministers who lose their jobs receive a redundancy payment of a quarter of their ministerial salary. ...

Miss Johnson served as an under secretary of state at the Department of Health earning a total of £27,000 on top of her MP's salary.  ... her cash payoff is about £36,300. ...  Miss Johnson's pension will be about £15,000 a year when she reaches 65, which would cost £210,000 to buy via an annuity."

Not bad for eight years work?
JLC





 

Offline trinity

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #46 on: May 11, 2005, 08:43:28 pm »
"Miss Johnson's pension will be about £15,000 a year when she reaches 65, which would cost £210,000 to buy via an annuity."

Not bad for eight years work?

But of course glorious leaders, ahem, sorry, elected representatives, must be congratulated on their abstemiousness and restraint over those things that they must, with deep reluctance, vote for themselves.
Shame on you, sir.

Somehow I don't recall ever seeing "whopping great pensions deals for ministers the electorate have thrown out on their ears" on any party's election literature, so it isn't clear just where the democratic mandate for that one comes from. In which case, Ms Johnson, can we have our money back ?








Didn't think so.
 

pib

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #47 on: May 19, 2005, 11:25:21 pm »
We would have much better politicians if we paid them expenses only, and not the  comfy salaries of a kind that make them scared of losing their jobs, or  think twice as the possible financial repercussions if they speak out on any controversial issue.

Sadly our democratic system is one which tends to  produce politicians of mediocrity and underachievement. The reason being that the truly genuine and sincere members who speak out on any issue, and show a modicom of common sense, are quickly marginalised and sidelined.

What we are left with at the end of the day are those who have crawled up the greasy pole, having no convictions of any kind and believe in nothing anything apart from themselves or their bank balances.  The only mastery they have gained in their political training is how to tell you nothing whilst making it sound like something and to dodge direct and searching questions.

People really do get the government they deserve and until people ask  more searching questions and look beyond the Lib/Lab/Con monopoly supported by the media, critical issues will continue to go unanswered and  the second rate calibre of politicians trying to run our lives look set to continue well into the future.
 

Offline trinity

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #48 on: May 22, 2005, 09:12:43 pm »
We would have much better politicians if we paid them expenses only, and not the  comfy salaries of a kind that make them scared of losing their jobs, or  think twice as the possible financial repercussions if they speak out on any controversial issue.

Sadly our democratic system is one which tends to  produce politicians of mediocrity and underachievement. The reason being that the truly genuine and sincere members who speak out on any issue, and show a modicom of common sense, are quickly marginalised and sidelined.

Actually, this recent Rover thing has had me amused - particularly because it is a good example of the politicians never learning.

"Rover must be saved because it is the last bastion of the British motor industry". Good one, that. Let's see.
Aston Martin, Land Rover, Jaguar, Bentley, Rolls Royce, TVR. The new Mini, I suppose. And a fair whack of the engineering that goes into Formula 1. "But all those firms are foreign owned!" Yep. Funny that, all those foreigners came in and chose to invest in these British firms - and they've been doing some remarkably fine stuff, too. Yet they left Rover alone. Rover got to do deals with companies in India, and tried to do it with China before the Chinese walked away. Rover is what is left of the company that did the Metro - and if that isn't enough for it to deserve to die maybe all these forgeiners are just saying that Rover is a pile of garbage.

But wait - why is this so ?  Why do all these foreign firms have this money to invest in decent British companies, yet Rover doesn't ?  Oh yes - generations of British politicians have meddled with Rover, and ruined it. They stopped potential investors extracting the last real piece of value out of Rover - the MG name. And when the corpse was finally, irretrievably on its deathbed they then come up with yet more meddlesome proposals in the form of tax breaks for the Chinese. That, by the way, is *British*taxpayers'*money* going to persuade a Chinese company to try to keep the corpse walking for a few more months.

Like Miz Johnson's pension, I don't recall that one being agreed to by the electorate, either.
 

Offline jet

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #49 on: May 23, 2005, 10:48:57 am »
There was once a clear mandate that politicians, "politicked" and business ran itself.
Then the first labour government got in and applied its manifesto to privatise certain key industries.
Of course it was then impossible to reverse the trend when the Tories got back in and were lumbered with union run industries that were just too far gone to do anything with.
Then of course the EEC put in its centsworth, enough said;if only we had taken notice of De Gall ( correct spelling) and said wee wee wee to his non non non.
Yes its a simplification of ecconomics but usually simple works best.
Rover have allways made rubish cars that keep maintainance workshops busy.
If only the people of this country had backed the competitiveness and simplicity of Ford and Vauxhall ( GM) then perhaps people would not have been inflicted with imported Japanese and european, limited life junk. At least Fords and GM cars were repairable.
regards,
jet
 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #50 on: May 23, 2005, 12:01:36 pm »
Funny but we seem to forget that Ford and Vauxhall are foreign companies.  And that the Rootes Group - Hillman etc disappeared when taken over by Peugeot/Citroen.  The latter now produces the 206 at the old factory.

Funny how all these foreign car companies keep on investing in England. And the Icelanders keep on buying up our shops.  This country must be getting something right but maybe we are too close to recognise it

Offline jet

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #51 on: May 23, 2005, 08:48:16 pm »
Vauxhall started in London and although taken over by GM paid its way in this country.
Ford did likewise.
The european and japenese companies were highly subsidised by their governments to undercut indigenous makers.
The japenese in particular virtually destroyed Detroit and most American companies.
For some strange reason Western governments give golden wellcomes in  Land and grants to allow these foreign based companies to set up and cream of the profits while unfairly competing with existing companies.
It is done under the guise of competition and is of course where european companies are concerned a dictate of the eu.
Despite raising productivity and having the best industrial relations in the car industry the employees of Vauxhall  Luton were dumped by GM with the governments blessing thus wiping out skills, industry,support companies and Luton in one go.
In a similar way this Government constantly blocked the takeover of Abbey by British
companies who would have made British investors a fair profit and then let a Spanish bank take them over through the back door at a knock down price to the cost of millions to loyal investors.
Whats this to do with MJ? well its under the government she supported, that these things happened so in essence its partly MJs fault.
regards,
jet
 

John_fraser

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #52 on: May 24, 2005, 12:35:44 pm »
We would have much better politicians if we paid them expenses only, and not the  comfy salaries of a kind that make them scared of losing their jobs, or  think twice as the possible financial repercussions if they speak out on any controversial issue.
This may not be such a good idea. George Washington, whilst leading the colonial (rebel? insurgent? terrorist?) army generously refused to accept a salary: "Sir, I beg leave to assure the Congress that as no pecuniary consideration could have tempted me to have accepted this arduous employment, I do not wish to make any profit from it. I will keep an exact account of my expenses. Those I doubt not they will discharge, and that is all I desire."

His expenses amounted to 450,000USD – several million dollars in today’s money.

When Washington became president he again offered to work for ‘just‘ expenses. Congress refused and paid him a salary of 25,000USD.

Washington is one of the few – possibly only - examples of someone who lead a victorious rebel army and voluntarily gave up power afterwards. Doubly impressive when you consider some of his officers wanted him to become King of the USA. Having done such a thing he ranks head and shoulders above any of today’s politicians.
 

Offline Bada Bing

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #53 on: May 24, 2005, 01:55:56 pm »
Well this just goes to show that expenses by their very nature are indeed very expensive!  ;)
 

Max

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #54 on: June 04, 2005, 05:22:31 pm »
In response to all the above criticism of Ms Johnson, I would like to make the following points.

In the mid 1980s, shortly before moving out of the UK, I decided that it was not really on to be forever criticising the politics of the UK whilst doing nothing about it, so decided to get involved. I was living in South London at the time, and duly joined my local branch of the Labour Party in East Dulwich. The Chairperson of our ward gave up a good 80% of his spare time to party activities, entirely without pay. It made me wonder just how much work you had to put in to become, and remain, an MP. Based on my own experience, I would think it must be an enormous amount. I very much doubt that Ms Johnson did not work very hard as an MP. Rather than not caring about Brookmans park, she probably made the judgement that it was the sort of place which could take care of itself, which it manifestly is. If she did keep herself highly active, I would expect that she would have been dealing with issues affecting the poorer parts of Welwyn and Hatfield, as befits a Labour MP, and I would not expect many people in BP to notice this.

Now, consider the typical backgrounds of Labour MPs, compared to their Tory counterparts. Nothing like so many of them are, when they are not being MPs, members of a highly paid profession. If they lose their seats, apart from a few fortunate ones (Neil Kinnock spreings to mind) they are unlikely to have highly paid consultancies seeking their services. Someone like Ms Johnson will have had an 8 year break from whatever it is that she was doing before, and is far from certain to be able to walk into a job that will provide for a comfortable old age. Does anyone not consider it possibly a good thing that MPs, for that period that they are MPs, should receeive substantial salaries? If this were not the case, we would surely have an even higher percentage of business people and lawyers in parliament than we have already, because a great deal of less well off people would not opt to enter politics, fearing justifiably that in the long run, they could not afford to.

Before we get too lavish with our praise for the self-sacrificing Mr Shapps, I wonder what his anual income is for his non-political activitities, and how this compares with that of Ms Johnson?

I do get a bit tired of people getting so upset about the enormous priviledges of the "political elite". We are free to change the system any time we want.  I gather that some 38% of the electorate could not be bothered to vote in the last election. There was nothing to have prevented them all from getting up off their fat spotty bottoms and voting for anyone they wanted. The Lib Dems, UKIP, the Official Monster Raving Loony Party or even the Tories. If people choose NOT to change the system, they must accept the consequences of their own apathy. And if you cannot convince enough people to overcome their inertia and get out and vote for the party YOU support, or against the party government you want removing from office, then it is just too bad, really. 
 

Offline jet

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #55 on: June 06, 2005, 10:30:13 am »
Perhaps its just me but in my world I come across lots of very well off "tory" socialists and many poor conservatives.
The old rich/poor, tory/conservative steriotype is in the past.
Socialists want to  be idealistic with other peoples money and practice state control.
Nationalisation of key "industries" being their original manifesto.
Tories wish to encourage self determination and free market.
regards,
jet
 

Max

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #56 on: June 06, 2005, 06:29:15 pm »
Perhaps its just me but in my world I come across lots of very well off "tory" socialists and many poor conservatives.
The old rich/poor, tory/conservative steriotype is in the past.

I think it is probably just you, jet. Meeting a Socialist would make me feel quite young again. I would have thought them virtually extinct. I still feel that the Labour party clings to some vestiges of a belief that poorer people are more in need of help from the government than wealthy people, but this is hardly socialism. No-one who is not already resigned to losing his/her deposit would stand for election on a platform of re-nationalising major industries, even if this were legal under European law, which it probably isn't.

Still, if you think that Labour is not still seen as the better option by the poor and the Tories as a better option by the rich, all you need to do is to look at the election results and compare the relative wealth of areas with Tory MPs to that of areas with Labour MPs. I think you will find that this stereotype still exists after all.
 

Offline jet

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #57 on: June 10, 2005, 08:59:34 am »
Talking about Mps and concerning B Liar 1.
There he was, over in the good ole US of A, talking about Africa and spending enough expenses to fund a village.
when his other half had her nose in the trough.
Yes another lecture and 30K Pounds in the kitty.
When interveiwed he said " nothing I can say in this type of situation can help" or words to that effect.
There then seemed to follow a news blackout on the affair?
I wondered if it made the papers in Blighty?
regards,
jet
 

pib

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #58 on: June 10, 2005, 04:12:26 pm »
Quote
Perhaps its just me but in my world I come across lots of very well off "tory" socialists and many poor conservatives.
The old rich/poor, tory/conservative steriotype is in the past.


I have no objection to socialists in theory but I find time and again they never practise what they preach.  The definition of a socialist is someone who accepts privately as an individual what he denies publicly to others as a group. That is why socialists have no conscience about squirreling their money away in complicated trust funds, or sending their children to private schools.  A socialist lives his life entirely by the maxim  of "Dont do as I do,  do as I say!"

There are "socialists" in the Conservative Party as well as the Labour Party, and there is no difference between them.  On the one hand they talk about "doing more for the poor and needy" while they omit to say....."but the reality is know your place and remember you are a small cog in the great state collective. You must never entertain thoughts of improving your life and doing better. Your wealth and your assets are ours to harvest when we choose - if we choose to do so.  We already take half your wealth in taxes. You will be regulated taxed and strictly controlled, and when you die we will take what wealth you have, and ladle it out to whatever just deserving cause we think fit. So be grateful we dont come seeking the other half of your wealth,  for the time being at least,  and enjoy the meagre life you live, preferably on a state handout of sorts which we see fit to give to you"

I have found there are two types of people - individualists and collectivists.  The individualists want primarily to be free to get on with their lives and be left alone. The collectivists want to encroach more and more into our daily lives and those of our families. Collectivists dont like individualists because they see them as dangerous. The  Individualist is the mortal enemy of the Collectivist because he seeks to withhold his values from their ever grasping hands, and this spells the end of the Collectivist's free lunch.  Collectivists need vast quantities of money to fund their schemes and they seek to attain this by ever tighter laws and higher taxes. You need only to look at the crazy ideas of a  road pricing scheme coupled with the push towards compulsory national identity cards  to see in which direction things are moving, namely a national database for 24 surveillance and control of all citizens!

 If Hitler had had access to such enormous data bases of information, then the holocaust of the 40s would have been far worse than it was. People woke up one day to find their government didnt like them for the most trivial of reasons (their noses were the wrong shape and their religion didnt conform to what the state expected it to be)   You might think that it couldnt possibly happen here -  that was fascism in those days. But hold on a minute! Wasnt Hitler a socialist? Yes he certainly was, and believe it or not, - democratically elected too!
 

Offline jet

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Re: Melanie Johnson, MP
« Reply #59 on: June 10, 2005, 05:43:07 pm »
Well said Pib, but why can so few people see this?
regards,
jet
 

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