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This has gone to : Barry & Jock
Dr Kim Howells
Sandra Gidley
Sally Keeble
Lorely Burt
Dr Andrew Murrison
Dr Julian Lewis
Don Touhig

The Journey:

The earliest start date that is known is probably contained in a letter from the Office of the Defence Adviser of Malaysia, Colonel Abdullah Yatim, dated 26 July 04 and referenced PP/A1108, which confirms the award of the Malaysian Commemorative Medal (PJM) only to those Commonwealth Forces who served in Malaya/Malaysia from 31st August 1957 until the end of the Confrontation on 12th August 1966. “It is up to the individual governments of those countries involved to come up with a list of those who are eligible for the award base[d] on their service records. This award will include civil servant[s], the armed forces personnel and police”.

In response to a question tabled in the House of Lords in December 2004, by Lord Chadlington [HL582] ,Baroness Symonds, on behalf of HMG and the advice of those who constituted the HD committee rejected the King of Malaysia’s offer of this award on the 11th January2005. In March 2005, The Malaysian Government again approached the FCO. In June 2005, in a written statement by the then Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon Jack Straw, stated that a review of the rules (1969 Acceptance and Wear) would be undertaken. Following a review of the rules, approval was given for the acceptance of the PJM by HM The Queen, with the caveat that permission to formally wear will not be given. In the re-issued rules, a copy of which had been placed in the library of the House (ref: MGP05/2687) Standard Note:SN/1A3914 last updated February, 2006, which superseded the 1969 Acceptance and Wear Regulations, Part C of the new rules is devoted entirely to precluding the PJM from being worn.

It is noted that in the Standard Note, as in much other correspondence, there is always a gap of at least one paragraph which isolates Her Majesty’s acceptance and approval, and the “permission to wear will not formally be given” which in my opinion indicates that the caveat was either added after HM had signed or She was unaware of the intention of her advisers; or why treat it as separate entity? This is tantamount, in my view, to a junior clerk putting a few more ‘noughts’ on the cheque after the Boss has signed it!

The Statement in the House of Commons regarding HM’s acceptance of the PJM, as well as the caveat, was given by The FCO Minister of Trade, at that time, the Rt Hon Ian Pearson on the 31st January 2006 who, incidentally, is now one of the “fight4thepjm” strongest supporters, regarding his statement as ‘flawed’ and the decision of the HD committee as “nonsense” (given in a reply to an MP whose constituant had raised the question regarding the wearing of the PJM). Prior to the 2005 review, Rt Hon Derek Twigg, the Minister for Veterans, and Rt Hon Ian McCartney a former Minister at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office wrote a joint letter to the HD committee in support of wearing the PJM which was rejected “after being considered carefully – to preserve the integrity of the honours system”. The


HD committee members “were not sufficiently exercised by that correspondence to change their minds” (quote from Rt Hon Kim Howells, Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East appointed by HMG to reply on their behalf in a Westminister Hall debate).

Obstructions & Diversions

The original 1969 Regulations for Acceptance and Wear, Section A, 14 have always been a matter of contention. The Ceremonial Departments of the FCO, Cabinet Office and MOD DS Sec, in particular Honours 1, have continually posited these to disqualify the veterans from formally wearing the PJM. It is my understanding that although the Prinicpals of the Ceremonial Offices in the FCO, Cabinet Office and MOD DS Sec were aware of the contents of the London Gazette (5057) dated 3rd May 1968, at no time was it referred to until ‘discovered’ by the ‘fight4thepjm’ researchers, after which these officials went to great pains to inform the Veterans that it did not apply to them. In a letter to me, Mr R.T.Coney, DS Sec Honours 1, reference D/DS Sec/1102/11/2 dated 16th April 2007 writes, “You and your, colleagues who bravely served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces during the Malaya conflict, were doing so as Crown Servants. Although you are now retired from this service the definition of ‘Crown Servant’ still applies. This highlighted in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Regulations concerning Acceptance and Wear (Section A, point 14) as produced in 1969, namely………” The Campaign ‘fight4thepjm’ team have a letter from Mr Dennis Brennan, Ceremonial Officer in the Cabinet Office which states that these 1969 Regulations have (had) been superseded.

In January 2006 the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals’ (HD Committee) recommended to Her Majesty The Queen a special exception to the rules governing the acceptance and wear of non-British awards be made, to allow the Malaysian authorities to present the PJM and those who are eligible, to receive it….one paragrah on…”Official (?)* permission was not given to allow the Pingat Jasa Malaysia to be worn……Although there have been exceptions in the past and the guidance is *applied flexibly it is a long-standing policy………..(quotes the 5 year rule and double medalling rules). Again, the paragraph gap separating HM’s approval and “Official permission”! Extract from “THE PINGAT JASA MALAYSIA, AND WHY ELIGIBLE BRITISH RECIPIENTS MAY EXCEPTIONALLY RECEIVE BUT NOT WEAR, THE MEDAL”
(* my observations.)

Another letter to me from the Honours Section, Downing Street, unreferenced and dated the 28th August 2007, in reply to my letter to the Prime Minister of the 12 July, 2007, signed by Marion Moore stated “You may like to know that that the statement in the [London] Gazette of 3 May 1968 was clarified in 1969 by a regulation (no indication of the regulations’ actual title or date) on the merging of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that stated “these regulations do not relate to the a awards of campaign or commemorative war medals” This is confusing; does she mean the London Gazette of 3rd May 1968, the 1969 regulation quoted by Marion Moore above or the 1969 Regulations for acceptance and Wear often misquoted by the FCO, Cabinet Office and MOD DS Sec. She continues, “However as you may now be aware, it has recently been announced that Her Majesty The Queen has agreed that
veterans will be allowed to wear the Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal during the celebrations for Malaysan Independence in Malaysia”. Question; can an entry in the London Gazette be clarified to comply with mere departmental ‘rules’?


In response to my letter questioning whether there was a precedence for lifting the ban on wearing, in particular, the PJM, I received a letter from the FCO, unreferenced, dated the 17 August 2007; “Thank you for your letter of 10 August to Tanya Collingridge asking if the temporary arrangement allowing veterans to wear the PJM for a set period had been employed before, in respect of any foreign decorations which have been previously approved for acceptance only by British recipients. I am replying in Tanya’s absence. As far as we are aware this arrangement is without precedence and wholly exceptional”, signed, C Mason-Mahon.

It might appear that the attendance of a member of the Royal Family and an assumption that the Veterans would embarrass their hosts by protests or the “unauthorised” wearing of the PJM, something I believe unlikely, and probably to stave off a possible diplomatic come-back on themselves, prompted the Ceremonial officer of the Cabinet Office (also, in fact, the Secretary of the HD Committee) to request the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (which also provides HD member(s) as does the Ceremonial department of MOD DS Sec) to suspend the ruling regarding non-wearing. These officers then requested the HD Committee, that is, themselves, to grant a lifting of their ban for the period of the celebration, only to re-impose it after 9th September, 2007 presumably, and perhaps wrongly, using the Royal prerogative – to quote Marion Moore, above – “The Queen has agreed that veterans will be allowed….etc”

Arbitrary application of rules is the key word.

The acceptance and wearing of foreign medals rules are arbitrarily applied. The PJM is a commemorative medal and not a campaign medal; there seems to be little logic in the application of rules which appear to be extant but are superseded, ‘tailored to fit the purpose”, then implemented retrospectively” as in the case of the 2005 rules, in particular Part C, which replaced those issued in 1969. In terms of the 5 year rule and double medalling rule it appears to be applied on a ‘you’re lucky/no you’re not’ basis. We are informed by the Ceremonial Departments of the FCO, Cabinet Office and MOD DS Sec that those involved in the Malaya/Malaysian conflicts received the GSM (either 1918 – 1962 or 1962+). This is untrue for many service personnel particularly those services in a support role, i.e. RAF Supply/Transport aircraft over-flying, RN offshore operations (patrolling, etc) except areas designated as operational zones and some personnel, including Army personnel ‘not on active service’! In the period 1960 – 1962 no GSM’s were awarded for reasons, we believe, connected with the perceived rigour or lack of it in operations.

The PJM qualifying dates are comprehensive; from August 1957 to August 1966 (with a cooling off period extending to December 1966 presumably to allow for skirmishes and ‘mopping up’). Many, nearly all in fact, who did not qualify for the GSM (18-62 or 62+) are eligible for the PJM, the only tangible recognition of their service under front line or support conditions in these conflicts which remains
unrecognised by HMG.

‘Eye-openers, Aggro and Good Heavens’

The Readership of the (Malaysia) Star, opinion Saturday August 26, 2006 were informed, inter-alia, by the Deputy High Commission (it is believed on advice from the


FCO) “…..This is due to a long-standing custom in our Armed Services. However, the wearing of medals by civilians (as the veterans now are) is not policed”.

A letter from the FCO (Minister of State for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs) in reply to a Member of Parliament who had written to them on behalf of a constituent;

Our Reference 36322 dated 5th October 2006, wrote:

“The wearing of non-British awards is not policed, and no law is broken if an individual wears such an award, even though official permission to do so may not have been given. It is a matter of the individual concerned whether they wish to wear the PJM on this basis.

Please thank your constituent on my behalf for raising this important issue.

(Signed) The Rt Hon Ian McCartney
Minister for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs


a. Please note that the Rt Hon Ian McCartney MP (still a Minister) is another of our strong supporters; indeed with the current Minister for Veterans, Rt Hon Derek Twigg MP they wrote a joint letter to the HD committee requesting that they re-consider their, (that is HD Committee), decision with the result already given above. It is significant that the Minister, Rt Hon Ian Pearson MP, as mentioned above, is still a Minister, and also gives us full support, indeed to recap, he has stated that he believes his statement to Parliament on the 31st January 2006 was flawed and in a letter to a constituent’s MP, described the HD decision as ‘nonsense’.

b. The London Gazette of 3rd May 1968 is unambiguous in its directions to
those British citizens, not servants of the Crown, who are eligible to accept
and wear decorations, orders, medals and emblems awarded by
Commonwealth countries of which she is not Head of State, and foreign
Countries together with the provisions of DIN 10 -002 dated January 2006
(incidentally published on the same date as that of the statement given in the
House of Commons) both of which make it quite plain that the wearing of any
unauthorised awards is a grave discourtesy to Her Majesty The Queen.

My personal opinion, which I believe is shared by most, if not all, of my comrades in the ‘fight4thepjm’, is that it is unlikely that HMC in Kuala Lumpur, or Government Ministers would encourage PJM’ers, in particular, to be discourteous to Her Majesty.

Our authority for wearing the PJM on our medal bars are the LG and JSP 761 (paragraph 21). As far as we are concerned, we don’t need a ‘Loophole’. So who does?. I (we) believe that the whole matter has been, from the start, mishandled through bad staff work and questionable advice given then, and now, to Ministers, and indeed the Prime Minister himself. One eminent MP, giving evidence to a Public Administration Select Committee, 10.00 am, Thursday, 29 June 2006, refers to the fact that Departments often have “Departmental Policy”, and that Senior Civil


Servants frequently tell Ministers, “Departmental Policy is this”. I concede that I have taken this out of the original context; however, I believe that it is relevant to the PJM matter in so far that it appears to me, personally, to allow these particular Senior Servants to work to their own agenda. In a letter to one of our members, under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, Reference FOI 247342 dated 14th February 2007, signed by Eleri Pengelly, Deputy Ceremonial Officer at the Cabinet Office, she wrote:

“You are aware that the Committee met on 7th December 2005 and that one of the items on the agenda that day was the question of the acceptance and wear of the PJM. The Committee has not met since to discuss any aspect of the acceptance and wear of the PJM or any other matter. I should advise you, however, that the committee meets only extremely rarely and has met on very few occasions since the end of the Second World War. Business is normally transacted by correspondence”.
(Comment; no minutes of the business discussed are issued). This begs the question, are, in fact all of the members involved or those perhaps randomly nominated by the Principal(s). Although the Prime Minister is represented on the committee, there is ministerial input but they, the HD committee, are answerable only to Her Majesty. Information regarding the relationship between the HD committee and Buckingham Palace is denied under the exemption rules of the FOI Act.


One of our members posted a question on our website (; “Who on this forum has been barred from speaking [or communicating with] …” followed by a list of Senior Civil Servants who have barred him from speaking or writing to officers at the Cabinet Office, he also complains that the MOD Correspondence Unit have not replied to his questions. This evoked a number of replies from members whose letters had not been answered. One member related that he had received his “bar” in a letter signed jointly by three Heads of Department. With the British serviceman’s renowned sense of humour in adversity, the recipient was congratulated on his ‘Triple ASBO’ and members (jocularly) displayed envy at having only one ASBO, or indeed, none at all!

The following is not a deliberate attack on a Department or of a particular officer; it is simply a fact that DS Sec Ceremonial, despite the number of times in which they have stated that the PJM is not within their remit, appear to have taken the lead, or orchestrated, the opposition to our request for permission to formally wear the PJM until about the middle of last year when the Head of the MOD DS Sec Ceremonial Branch withdrew his officer (Honours 1) from further involvement and, himself, declined to answer further correspondence on the PJM and referred our members to the MOD Correspondence Unit.

The DS Sec of MOD as well as the Ceremonial Department also includes the Veterans Agency, now known as Veterans UK, the Minister of which is the Rt Hon Derek Twigg MP.

An article on the Veterans UK website, which caused considerable distress to veterans, contained not only inaccuracies, but implied that we veterans were “disaffected”, were envious of current serving personnel who appeared to have far more medals than were awarded to us when serving which was the reason we were
now applying for medals for past service. Moreover, it complained that the MOD were being accused by the media of refusing to allow acceptance of the PJM. They


were quite correct in complaining. The PJM had already been accepted by HM after having been conferred by the Agon of Malaysia. The problem was, and still is, the reluctance of the HD committee to alter its decision on “wearing formally”. The article was finally withdrawn after a number of complaints to the Veterans Agency, Customer Services Manager, Ann Moyes (CSU/35198/07 dated 20th February 2007 refers) only to reappear, unaltered, including typo errors, subsequent to the HD review of the PJM later in the year, and was again removed after more complaints.

The article concludes:

“Most people who feel strongly enough about matters to write directly to the MOD, or their constituency MPs, only know about these subjects from the articles that they read in the newspapers, or see on the television. The reality is after often very different from the story presented by the media, which is after all written with the primary intention of selling the news. The Mod is often unable to present its side of the story. The following information might help to redress the balance; since there is no “following information”, I suspect that “following” should read “foregoing”.

In fact, the MOD DS Sec was given the opportunity to present their case in the matter of the Arctic Medal (Emblem) which they did, in articles in the “Portsmouth Today” newspaper (and on line) on the 24thMay 2004 and the 26th May 2004, featuring Honours 1, Mr R.T.Coney and his previous Head of Department (including photographs). The articles concerned the proposed “Arctic Medal” (which became an Emblem) and were extremely critical of the manner in which both Civil Servants and the Minister at that time, carried out their responsibilities. I concede there are fundamental differences in the cases of the Arctic Medal and the PJM. At the same time there a many similarities in the way in which these cases were, and are being handled, not only by MOD DS Sec, but by the FCO and the Cabinet Office. It is difficult not to muse whether the experience gained in this and the 1952 Suez Medal campaigns qualified him as first choice to lead the campaign against the PJM!

Space precludes reference to a number of similar MOD DS Sec sponsored articles, one of which appeared in the Guardian, and was repeated in the MOD Oracle, the editor of which gave our Campaign General Secretary the opportunity to reply.

“Good Heavens”

I do not believe it wrong to criticise errors, particularly fundamental errors for example, in replying to correspondence. One instance which caused raised eyebrows as well as disbelief involved a reply to letter to a Member of the Johore Royal Family to the then Foreign Secretary Rt Hon Margaret M Beckett MP (the salutation reads Dear Madam,). The salutation on the reply to YM Tunku Mahmood Shah on behalf of Margaret Beckett MP, reads Dear Mr Shah. Signed by an official of the FCO, Honours Secretariat, Protocol Directorate…..!

The Realisation and the Vision.
Others, too, have trod this road. The Public Administration Committee – Fifth Report ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 7 July 2004. The Summary of this report is interesting reading, it includes the marking [recognition] of services to the community – what are honours for; Today’s honours system and so on. What ever became of this report, I do not know!


On my (our) journey I (we) have accrued a considerable amount of support from the public which includes:

Lt Cdr Ian Fraser VC DSC RD and Bar JP
Bill Speakman-Pitt VC
Dame Vera Lynn DBE LLD MMus
Mr Leslie Thomas OBE
Circa 2200 interested Registered Users on our Website, not, of course, all of whom will necessary be supporters (truthfulness is important to me and to other campaigners). Privy Councillors and other eminent people, Serving and former Ministers, MPs, 219 who have signed the EDMs, and other Members of parliament e.g. those on the front bench, and PPS’s and others who by virtue of their positions are unable to sign EDMs. I am humbled and grateful to those who served as Ministers and initially accepted the advice of their staff but who now believe that they were not served well and have since reviewed their position and have strongly supported us in our campaign. The Rt Hon Don Touhig MP and Rt Hon Michael Mates both tabled EDMs in the House of Commons; and Don Touhig who was granted a debate on the Malaysian Veterans and PJM on the 11th December 2007. I watched the debate ‘on line’ and read the subsequent Hansard Report. The case presented by Don Touhig was as strong as one could possible hope for and well supported by Bob Spink, Dr Julian Lewis, Sandra Gidley, Lorely Burt, Willie Rennie and Dr Andrew Murrison.

I was greatly heartened by the words of Dr Kim Howells, FCO Minister for the Middle East in his reply on behalf of HMG, particularly by his closing remarks;

a.. [That] “The HD committees plan’s will ultimately be determined by decisions of Parliament”.

b. [having quoted the words of Winston Churchill].”These are wise words, but they were designed not just to make the central point and that we must take great care in awarding medals and honours, which we do, but to ensure that there must be flexibility and sensitivity as events unfold and circumstances and perceptions change.
That is why I shall try to communicate to my colleagues in the Government and to the HD committee that flexibility is needed in this case. I hope that they will take the testimonies that we have this morning and my words seriously”

Sadly, in reply to a letter from my MP, the current Minister for Trade in the FCO replied, in some length, detailing the well rehearsed 1969 Regulation reasons why the HD committee decision was the correct one. I believe, once again, that the Minister is repeating misinformation in quoting the1969 Acceptance and Wear Regulations, which we, on Cabinet Office advice are told have been superseded.

David Dilley,
Fight4the PJM Campaign

10th January 2008

Last edited by GLOman on Sat Jan 12, 2008 4:54 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Just one correction (to my knowledge).
Lord Chadlington asked his question in December 2004, it was answered on the 11th January 2005 (as you said) by Baroness Symonds, who as always refused to answer my letters or emails.

I checked with NZ & Aus MoD who said the PJM was offered in July 2004 as you stated.

According to information which I obtained in a telephone conversation with a certain Civil Servant (Known as “Cornflakes” to some of us) it was the MoD who wanted the PJM stopped.
As you know we have always claimed that the rules were changed to stop the PJM and applied retrospectively.

A nice piece of work and research, well done.
It takes time but we will win this fight

Last edited by Paul Alders on Sat Jan 12, 2008 4:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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What a piece of work GLOman!......Let no one ever say that the GLOman does not have an understanding of the situation...this represents a brilliant compilation of the facts of the case and in addition a carefully considered submission of those facts to the individuals concerned with the 'Don Touhig Debate'...It is clear that GLOman has devoted much time and effort in the production of this work...having been peripherally involved in the production of several major PJM documents myself, I am aware of just how much effort is involved in assembling the facts and presenting them in a fashion likely to be understandable to the uninitiated....and I congratulate the author of this document on a well researched and cleverly compiled piece of lobbying which resists the temptation to lapse into bitterness, snide comment, or invective.

Well done David... another blow struck!

Paroi...Rasah...Batu Signals Troop.
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I would like to say, David, that is probably the finest article in this forum to date. There is no disrespect meant to all the other articles presented over this campaign, all of which have been brilliant. Ours is a very simple request. Overturn the decsion that was made, because it is quite clearly wrong. I refer to the entry in the LG. The Agong, the Government and the people of Malaysia have been insulted by the decision and this must be rectified. I am not interested in seeing heads roll over this matter, there is nothing to be gained by that. Show Malaysia and us respect. It is well deserved.
Well done David. Now that I am back from my annual visit to Sicily with the band, where I wore the PJM as usual, I wish you all a Happy New Year. In 3 weeks we are off to Cologne on another annual bash. PJM will be worn as usual. Best wishes all. Dave.....

I like it here on MY planet. If you wish to visit, you are welcome,
but your sanity is not my responsibilty!
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Quite brilliant David, I must place a few links to this via the WWW Very Happy

HD Committee: Amateurs in a Professional World
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Paul A,

Thanks for that. It is important that such as this is factually correct; amendments made to above and to the original 'Word' docu which, when transferred, came over slightly different in layout but not content,

Again many thanks. Best wishes,


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By the Way (for those not familiar with the story)

Saul’s journey to Damascus is described in the New Testament, Acts 9: 1-20. The version I read was in modern English rather than the lovely language of the authorised version.

Amazingly, the Heading of this extract is:

What We Believe (in the PJM )

Faith Through Belonging (the family of fight4thepjm)

It is not, in fact, difficult to choose names for those in the story:

Brengun; Brengun; why do you persecute me said a voice.

Who are you, asked Brengun?

I am Barry of the fight4thepjmers who you are persecuting. But get up and go to your office and you will be told what to do.

Now there was a disciple in Westminster called Don Touhig MP and Barry had told him that he needed help. Barry said to Don “go to the street called Downing Street at the House of the Prime Minister and look for someone called Brengun;at this moment he is praying (that it is all over)". But Don Touhig said “I have heard from many about this man; how much evil he has done to your PJMers; and he has authority from the FCO and MOD DS Sec to bind you and the PJMers from wearing the PJM; and Don spoke to the FCO Minister for the Middle East (not inappropriate), who spoke to Brengun, and the scales fell from his eyes; his sight was restored (and he called a meeting of the HD committee to change their decision)

Now you have a go!

I promise I will give it a rest for a lttle while.


Last edited by GLOman on Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post On the road to Damascus 
See the rewards Richard Coney and Ian Keith got from their worldly masters at the MOD for opposing our right to wear the PJM:

No doubt 'Brengun' at the Cabinet Office also shared in the spoils of war.


PS also see the following:

Last edited by hamishw on Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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GLOman wrote:

Saul’s journey to Damascus is described in the New Testament, Acts 9: 1-20.

While I find GLOman's tongue in cheek allegory of Saul's journey to Damascus quite fascinating, I cannot help but assume that those MoD, FCO, Cabinet Office and HD Committee officials with whom we have dealt are firmly committed to a stringently literal interpretation of a very different, small and select, portion of the Scriptures....that of Luke 19:26

Which says:

"For I tell you that to everyone who has, will more be given; but from him who doesn’t have, even that which he has will be taken away from him."

Paroi...Rasah...Batu Signals Troop.
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Post Road to Damascus. 
OK. we can't do much about the GSM for those who did not get it, but the PJM issue is a saga not yet finished.


Mike Barton
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Mike, you are so right!


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I was agreeing with Jock's reference to those officals vide Luke 19.26 who would take everything from those that don't have or have little. I wasn't giving up hope, as should have been obvious; I'm still in to the end!

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GLOman wrote:
I was agreeing with Jock's reference to those officals vide Luke 19.26 who would take everything from those that don't have or have little. I wasn't giving up hope, as should have been obvious; I'm still in to the end!

After reading that brilliant piece of work that you produced to start this particular thread, I am sure that nobody is suggesting that you have given up hope.....most registered members on this forum are quite happy to leave the greater part of the lobbying and letter writing etc to Barry and othersw like yourself who are obviously much more gifted than most of us when it comes to expressing oneself and putting thoughts to paper. And I am equally certain that I speak for the 2200+ registered members on here when I say that we are right behind you and support whatever you write.
And I agree with you, Luke 19;26 sums it up beutifully.
Cheers, Ken

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