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UKIP moots return of enrolled nurse and end to graduate training

  • 56 Comments

The UK Independence Party would reintroduce state enrolled nurses to encourage more “home grown talent” in nursing, as part of a package of election pledges on the NHS.

It set out a range of policies affecting nursing, including measures to increase staff numbers, support the development of healthcare assistants and reverse the move to a degree-only entry profession.

“There is a desperate need to bring care and compassion back to the heart of nursing”

Louise Bours

UKIP’s health spokeswoman Louise Bours launched the party’s health policy yesterday. In a speech made during a visit to Rochester in Kent, she stated: “To achieve the highest possible quality of care we must have the right policies for nursing.”

“Although the NHS is the biggest employer in the UK, it does not have enough nurses,” she said. “UKIP would redress the imbalance of their being too many managers, not enough frontline staff.”

To help achieve its workforce aim, it would “simplify procedures” for former nurses to return to practice and bring back the title of state enrolled nurse to enable more HCAs to become registered.  

“[Enrolled nurse] training will take place on the wards, utilizing the current pool of auxiliary staff allowing them to work toward becoming a state registered nurse,” she said.

Assistant nurses, later known as the state enrolled nurses, appeared in 1943 but were phased out during the early 1990s after the restructuring of nurse education under Project 2000. Enrolled nurses were recorded by the former General Nursing Councils but did not have to undergo full registration.

More generally, Ms Bours claimed nurse training “should take place on the ward, not in a university lecture theatre”.

UK Independence Party

UKIP health spokesperson Louise Bours

“There is a desperate need to bring care and compassion back to the heart of nursing, to end the ‘too posh to wash’ attitude of some graduates and make sure patients never again die on our wards because their basic needs to be fed, given something to drink, and to be kept warm and comfortable are not being met,” she said.

In addition, she said that under UKIP control nurse managers would be “responsible for ward cleanliness, the efficient operation of their wards, and oversight of nurse training on their wards”.

It would also insist that overseas health professionals in the NHS “must hold appropriate qualifications and speak and write English to a level that is acceptable to the profession”.

Overall, Ms Bours pledged to “put quality of care back to the top of the agenda” for the NHS.

For example, she highlighted that UKIP expected home care agencies to pay the minimum wage to their staff, and to pay them on duty or in training.

“There is no excuse for a big care company to hire anyone on a zero-hours contract, or to not pay them when they are travelling between appointments, or ‘on call’,” she said.

“Although the NHS is the biggest employer in the UK, it does not have enough nurses”

Louise Bours

The party also said it would scrap hospital parking charges in England and make up the £200m financial shortfall from “tackling health tourism” by overseas nationals using UK health services.

In addition, it said it would require NHS managers to be licensed by law, in the same way that nurses and doctors are registered with professional regulators.

This would “negate the drift of disgraced hospital managers being fired only to find another job elsewhere within the health service”, it said.

It said it also would “abolish” inspections by the Care Quality Commission and pass this responsibility to “local health boards”, which would be “encouraged to take evidence from whistleblowers and patients with grievances”.

Overall, the party pledged to keep the NHS free at the point of delivery and said it would invest £3bn more into providing frontline services – the money coming, it said, from leaving the European Union.

“This money will provide 20,000 new nurses, 3,000 midwives and 8,000 GPs,” said Ms Bours.

It would also provide £130m per year specifically for dementia care, which would total £650m over the entire parliament. It claimed this was double what the Tories had pledged and was in line with what Alzheimer’s Research UK said was needed.

Meanwhile, it said merging health and social care was a “priority” in order to enable more joined-up, integrated patient management.

  • 56 Comments

Readers' comments (56)

  • I am not sure what a 'moot' is - but bring back the nursing tutors onto the wards!

    Bring back La Vocation!

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  • The SEN role was abused in the past as they were often used as staff nurses but on a lower salary. They had no career pathway beyond their SEN level. Health care assistants can now prepare for pre-registration course by taking NVQ level 3. Nurse education does not take place in a university lecture theatre alone, there is a 50% practice requirement. It is worrying that a prospective MP/heath spokesperson is ignorant of the developments which have made career opportunities a reality for previously disadvantaged staff & is ignorant of the process of nurse education. This statement panders to & attempts to reinforce the prejudices which the general public may have of nursing. But that's the UKIP way.

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  • “home grown talent”

    Not like those home grown RNs and HCAs eh? Or do they mean something more sinister by "home grown"?

    Along with this nugget: "In addition, she said that under UKIP control nurse managers would be “responsible for ward cleanliness, the efficient operation of their wards, and oversight of nurse training on their wards”, are they not responsible for that at the moment???

    This statement has more holes than a broken tea strainer.

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  • HCSW

    Good idea. There is a need for a sensible use of bands 3 and 4.

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  • Probably the most sensible pledge by UKIP ever

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  • As a second year student nurse on the degree program I do not agree. Our course is still 50% practice, therefore we spend 50% of our time out there on the wards. Some things need to be taught in a classroom, such as important policies and legislation that arise due to the poor nursing care this article talks about, which came about before nursing became graduate only...

    A&P is also best taught in the classroom.

    Yes practice is very important, and while this is where I learn the most about nursing the classroom builds some foundations.

    Let's not also forget the doors that are opening to nurses due to them being graduates.

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  • The most stunning abuses were certainly when nursing was well along the path to graduate only....
    I despise UKIP - but this is a reasonable bit of thinking. SENs would be useful and they allowed lots of less academically gifted staff to do a practical job that they loved. And they were bloody excellent care givers.

    I think many students would be stunned if they realised how out of date so many lecturers are. It shames the NMC that people who never touch patients are allowed to register merely by dint of spouting poor lectures to young people.

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  • anon above

    will re validation change that for the lecturers - probably reliant on who they know!!!!! - which makes a nonsense of it for all the rest of the hard working and honest nursing population.

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  • wow! if only it was sooner there is one trust in the midlands that has got rid their H C S W (BAND 3) to cut back on 400 jobs and save money and the was a lot that was on the high scale very experienced and was active on all skill which has left wards ruined as they was very important people so how is it going to work as a lot of these people have 26 years experience and more in all aspects of care I hope D G O H foundation trust are looking at this matter

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  • There is no need to reintroduce SENs. It is perfectly possible for trusts already to employ Band 4s with foundation degrees to deliver protocol-based care. My former trust did this in learning disabilities and mental health services. Band 3 HCAs with NVQ Level 3 studied for the foundation degrees part-time, with one day a week at the local university.

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  • They need to get their facts right for a start. Louise says that enrolled nurses did not have full registration. Well, they were on part two of the register, performed all of the technical skills that RN's did, and were regularly in charge of wards on a shift by shift basis in the absence of a RGN or SRN as RN's were then known as. UKIP are referring to RN's as state registered nurses; we haven't been called by that term for years.

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  • What does Ms Bours know about Nursing??? Can the NT let us all know?

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  • Just googled her she trained as an actress and singer-where do they get them from??

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  • I categorically disagree with this. This undermines the values of the profession and has the potential of making it a free-for-all. The calls by UKIP are also going against findings in the Francis report, the profession needs the right people not just anyone. Nursing education needs to change but not like this.

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  • 'One thing I'm not joking about is that Farage is potentially the most dangerous man in the country.'

    redpads above


    he is an excellent example to the future of healthcare and undoing all the good being done by perpetually being shown in press photos with cigarette or mug of beer in hand and self satisfied grin from ear to ear!
    doesn't seem he takes life, and more importantly that of others, too seriously!

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  • I am also a student on the foundation degree. The course is hard work, this particular one is self funded and fries my poor brain like never before... But I'm glad because learning on the job isn't enough. I need the theory, I need the science, I need the reasons, I need the challenge. I do believe that AP's should have their own register, AP's are a vital gap bridger between HCA and Nurse. I've chosen this course over a pre-reg course, and that one is bursary funded! It's such an important role, although only recently I heard a nurse describe the role as a glorified HCA, so I appreciate there's a way to go before people know what we do and don't do and know where we fit within a team, but that will come in time.
    I'm sure there are some lecturers that are out of date, but mine are all experienced nurses who do so many clinical hours a month, they teach pre-reg too so they know what the score is, quite frankly there are nurses and sisters on the wards right now who could do with a bit of a refresh and some Matrons who could do with a couple of clinical hours themselves!
    And now for my politics...
    Getting nurses quick by whatever means you can might look good in the daily mail, but what about the patient? In the unlikely event of a UKIP win and they poke about with our NHS we're all of us doomed... How will it meet the needs of everyone, be based on clinical need not means to pay and free at the point of delivery? It will be UK Residents only, immigrants this way, stand in line, ok you can go back, and you, leg hanging off? Let me check your insurance. Look that surgeon is foreign and has an accent, send him back, and that consultant, she's not from here is she, human rights? What human rights? That nurse is wearing a hijab? Not on my watch, get it off her, tear it off. No problem, smoke inside the hospital if you want, free cigarettes to UK residents. Ooh now we've deported all our staff there's a bit of a shortage. You can be a nurse, and you, and you. Experience? Not necessary just get these foreigners out! Please read the UKIP policies. The horrifyingly bad outweighs the seemingly sensible. Don't be a sheep, don't vote for them. There are better ways to fix our country.

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  • michael stone

    Hi Red, I agree that Farage is a real danger.

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  • Mike, great minds and all that!

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  • Theres not enough nurses in britain because the University make it so ridiculously difficult to get into!!!!!! has anyone tried because I have. The Government need to take a look at entry into University. I applied and forgot to add on my english and maths. I realised this almost immediately, I called the universitys and they said that my application had been rejected. I explained my mistake and offered through ucas to correct this mistake and still they would not accept my application. 3 out of my 5 places rejected because of a ridiculous mistake. I already have a degree in Social Science and work in Childrens Nursing with a reference from head of my department and still no places for movement. Not enough nurses in England because of pathetic red tape. Get a grip England and good luck UKIP at least you talk the talk lets hope that you walk the walk.

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  • We need to to understand that carers are as important as nurses. Lets stop giving different titles to people to make them feel more important, lets show them how important they are by respecting the job that they do. Lets listen to the carers, HCA's, Nursing assistants, or SEN's if UKIP had their way and show them they are the most important people on the front line especially if you are a patient requiring personal, intimate care, feeding and kindness and support. They of course need to be guided by research based, quality nurses who have spent time being academically educated.

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  • sara munday | 25-Feb-2015 11:52 am

    it is a sad attitude and fact of life in Britain right across all of its institutions and one of the main reasons I was glad to leave. those in other European hospitals don't make this distinction between nursing staff. we all work together interdisciplinary team no matter what level with one common goal of focus of care on each and every patient. it is a collegiate, motivating and learning environment where everybody is free and open to dialogue everybody else and it is only in this way that patients and colleagues and patients can have confidence in high standards of care, safety and adequate support for learners which we all are with something new to learn from one another each and every day.

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  • Isn't this sad that the leader of now one of the biggest political parties doesn't realise that this is already in place??
    It is just under a a new job title - Assistant Practitioners. I am in this training post at present within a District Nursing Team, and the feedback from the team is that our role is very much needed. The academic side is at Level 5 (same level as Diploma nurses).
    Our position is also very clinically based, and this helps offload the caseload and number of patients for our qualified nurses to let us all do the job we love - to be able to spend the adequate time with our patients that they so deserve.

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  • Anyone who votes UKIP can say goodbye to nursing as a profession. Years and years of hard work and commitment by thousands of nurses could go to waste. Are readers aware that they have poor policy on green issues? Basically saying they don't interfere in farming methods etc while millions of animals are caged and living miserable lives. Each government has huge influence on how animals are farmed, cared for, antibiotics use etc etc. Going back to nursing (the current government appears to treat us like cattle so why not talk about them!)

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  • I was SEN from 76-91 and then did the conversion course. The problem started when the SEN 'practical' nurse was suddenly stopped from actually doing anything to the patient. In my hospital they stopped SENs doing drugs, IVs, syringe drivers etc whilst still allowing us to run the ward. That is the reason I converted to RGN but I didn't want to. I applied for the SEN course even though I had the required O levels for SRN because it was what I wanted to do. On my first day of the conversion I asked if what had happened to SENs being phased out would also happen to RGNs without degrees - I was assured that it wouldn't. Now, unless you're dripping with degrees you cannot get promotion. Thankfully I reached a senior position soon after qualifying as RGN based on my experience, but know many good, competent RGNs who are overlooked because they do not have a degree. SENs should be brought back but treated as NURSES not HCAs.

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  • Bring back SEN training! Patients need nurses who are concerned about their comfort and well-being - not one who is forever off the ward studying for degrees/masters so they can climb the ladder.

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  • Seems like a very good idea to me, under the old training SEN's were enrolled by the then GNC/UKCC These were people who wanted to nurse were more capable than HCW's but were not interested in being a boss, they wanted to care for people and were pretty good at it. The nearest thing to theses people now are HCA's with level 3 nvq's. Having trained under the old system which did not have the common nursing section, you either trained as a general mental illness or what is now badly named learning difficulties, then added to your basic training as you went along, nurses did not need to be made to do further education in those days, I was teaching, and yes you needed a degree to do this, under the introduction of P2K and the migration to universities. The main difference and the major problem is the size of intakes these days it is difficult to teach in any way other than lectures, it was this aspect that took me back to the wards from the teaching. Therein to traditional training will mean that people who want to nurse, not just get a degree will increase, and the attrition rate after qualification of those not wanting to nurse because it isn't what they thought it was will reduce drastically. There is not now and never has been any rational reason for full graduate nursing in the UK it was forced on to us by the eu.

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  • News just in:

    "Dear Sirs,
    The world's changed. It ain't 1976. You need an effing degree with all the PAPERWORK! The NHS is a pit of vipers. Oh and some of the public aren't who they used to be either you know, they are Twitter reading, ukip voting, lazy, ungrateful, boozing, Facebook updating, scrounging, moaning, violent fame junkies. Good luck with that!
    Kind regards,
    Ms. F Nightingale
    Spinning in a grave somewhere"

    Outrageous!

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  • It is really sad how people speak to each other online these days. Please just show each other some respect, it makes our profession and the people trying to enter it appear very different to the way we should be perceived. Surely non-judgemental is the one thing that we should be, afterall we dont know what has gone in in each others lives to make us behave the way we do.

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  • I completely agree with the student - some things need to be learnt in the classroom! I am a student and on my different placements I have seen the same things done differently eg gastrostomy feeds. Yet only once out of 4 placements did they follow the correct guidelines, they had them present and we got taught them in lectures and therefore without this mistakes could be continually passed down the line as it takes a responsible, policy-abiding mentor to teach the correct way, and/or a university! I am just not too sure they have thought about this fully, yes we are short staffed but what about more HCA training? More trained university students? But I still strongly believe that there are aspects of nursing that requires university education, especially for a quality improvement point of view!

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  • Anonymous | 26-Feb-2015 10:19 am

    good comment and also the page is open to the public!

    there is so much aggression not just in the comments but in the topics of the articles themselves across the media. this morning I saw on in the telegraph on male domestic abuse with a tragic picture and it made me think of all the violence, aggression, trickery and fraud that goes on right around the world starting somewhere as small as a family argument around the breakfast table, to the comments, to the abuse of the elderly and not just physical and mental but also those who trick them out of their savings or beat them up in their own homes and right up to full scale war and the Ukraine, Syria, hostage talking and the recent killings, etc. All I could say to myself on seeing this article and on reflecting on some o the comments, and especially in the national press, is how can people be so nasty to each other and how can one wish to harm another human being. By comparison I just think of all the richness that one can gain from any human encounter and especially among those in one's closer circle.

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  • I'd come on here to make a flippant comment about UKIP wanting to take us back to the 1950's. Seems they're not the only ones and a lot of nurses despise their younger colleagues who are "always off the ward studying for degrees" and would rather things were taken back to ritualised care rather than evidence based care that all our colleagues use. We will never be taken seriously as a profession while we still behave like this.

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  • it never ceases to amaze me how everyone who knows nothing about nursing wants to decide how to train nurses, politicians need to take a deep breath and stop changing everything, I would love mps to work as a nurse for a year, not just having a photo of him trying to help make a bed, clearly that is all he thinks nurses do

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  • michael stone

    redpaddys12 | 25-Feb-2015 10:11 am

    Mike, great minds and all that!

    I'm not often described as a great mind on this website (fool and idiot are more common descriptors) - much more interestingly, your comment (which at least one other person and I have referred to) seems to have been removed without any statement to that effect ? Rather naughty in my opinion - if a comment is removed, NT should leave a 'comment removed' notice in the discussion thread !

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  • Ever get the feeling that some politicians would like to get rid of nurses altogether and replace them with family help and carers on minimum wage (not even living wage).

    Then if you want nurses you'll have to pay one of their private companies who supply them, costing an arm and a leg. Nurses would probably still not be paid properly, not enough resources and having to train + develop in their own time/expense.
    A hideous vision that hopefully won't be realised.

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  • michael stone

    andy | 27-Feb-2015 3:25 pm

    Well, UKIP does seem to be to the right of the Tory average, doesn't it ? And right-wing Tories, don't wholeheartedly support public services, do they - or have I misunderstood their ideology ?

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  • Mike Stone

    Just goes to show that the far-left and the far-right are both equally into censorship and against freedom of expression ( SHAME ON YOU NT).

    JE SUIS REDPADDYSDOUZE

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  • michael stone

    So your comment has disappeared without trace, Red ?

    I couldn't be 100% sure, because I wasn't certain where it should have been (but browsing over this one, and over your comments in your profile, didn't seem to show it, so I was pretty sure it had disappeared).

    I don't speak much French - does that translate to 'I am Redpaddy and I'n dozy' ?

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  • why is there no debate about other job roles? I cannot think of any other field which is advocating fewer qualificaitons. If SEN training is brought back, humans will be cared for by a trained and legal worker with fewer qualifications (2 grades) than that of a animal care Nurse.
    Does UKIP appreciate research based evidence that endorse the fact of smaller ratios of patients to Registered Nurses displaying better outcomes for all concerned!
    However, there is scope for all support workers to be trained adequately (especialy home-care staff).

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  • michael stone | 1-Mar-2015 12:22 pm

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/a-blog-around-the-clock/2013/01/28/commenting-threads-good-bad-or-not-at-all/

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  • michael stone

    Anonymous | 1-Mar-2015 9:32 pm

    Two questions - are you Red, and did you answer the question I posed at 1 Mar 12:22 ?

    Or were you simply 'off-topic' twice, there ?

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  • michael stone | 2-Mar-2015 12:21 pm


    read the article and watch the video

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/a-blog-around-the-clock/2013/01/28/commenting-threads-good-bad-or-not-at-all/

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  • Mike,
    I always post under my assumed name.

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  • michael stone

    I didn't think the anonymous post was yours, Red (and I've just noticed I typed 'I'n' instead of 'I'm').

    I get blasted for being 'off-topic' on this website, and I also get 'my comment was addressed to someone else !' fairly frequently.

    So an anonymous post, referencing my question to you [but not answering it], and having a go at my posting without commenting on the article either, really takes the biscuit for being 'off topic' TWICE !

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  • michael stone | 3-Mar-2015 2:23 pm

    takes the biscuit that your comment is totally incomprehensible and apparently nothing to do with the article or much else as far as can be determined!

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  • michael stone

    Anonymous | 3-Mar-2015 3:36 pm

    The comprehensibility of the thread, was hampered by NT removing a comment Redpaddys made (and which at least one other persona nd I commented on) without leaving a 'comment by Redpaddys removed place marker''. That was rather my point - that if people's posts contain comments on another post, and NT subsequently removes that other post without trace, things get confusing !

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  • michael stone | 4-Mar-2015 11:43 am

    thank you troll. you were not asked to spell it out!

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  • michael stone

    Anonymous | 4-Mar-2015 6:49 pm

    Erm. yes I was asked to spell it out - the comment at Anonymous | 3-Mar-2015 3:36 pm can not be responded to in any other way !

    At least you thanked me.

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  • michael stone | 5-Mar-2015 11:30 am

    Anonymous | 4-Mar-2015 6:49 pm

    | 3-Mar-2015 3:36 pm

    the comment was mine and I can assure you you were not requested to spell anything out or troll any further. thank you!

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  • michael stone

    Anonymous | 5-Mar-2015 8:30 pm

    Well, if you understood that my comment re Red's removed post was 'incomprehensible' because NT had made it so by removing Red's post without leaving a comment-removed marker, your comment at Anonymous | 3-Mar-2015 3:36 pm was both misleading and malicious.

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  • michael stone | 6-Mar-2015 1:12 pm

    '...both misleading and malicious.'

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