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Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?

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GUEST,Bob 28 Sep 06 - 07:32 AM
Mr Fox 28 Sep 06 - 08:21 AM
Geoff the Duck 28 Sep 06 - 08:41 AM
Charley Noble 28 Sep 06 - 08:42 AM
Rapparee 28 Sep 06 - 08:59 AM
jacqui.c 28 Sep 06 - 09:29 AM
John MacKenzie 28 Sep 06 - 09:30 AM
Big Al Whittle 28 Sep 06 - 09:48 AM
GUEST 28 Sep 06 - 09:52 AM
GUEST,neftig 28 Sep 06 - 10:11 AM
Jim Dixon 28 Sep 06 - 10:39 AM
jacqui.c 28 Sep 06 - 11:23 AM
Rapparee 28 Sep 06 - 11:30 AM
Wesley S 28 Sep 06 - 11:46 AM
Paul Burke 28 Sep 06 - 11:54 AM
Richard Bridge 28 Sep 06 - 12:04 PM
GUEST 28 Sep 06 - 12:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Sep 06 - 12:41 PM
Wolfgang 28 Sep 06 - 12:45 PM
Les in Chorlton 28 Sep 06 - 12:52 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Sep 06 - 01:14 PM
Little Hawk 28 Sep 06 - 01:18 PM
GUEST 28 Sep 06 - 02:40 PM
Richard Bridge 28 Sep 06 - 02:43 PM
Richard Bridge 28 Sep 06 - 02:43 PM
Les in Chorlton 28 Sep 06 - 03:03 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Sep 06 - 03:20 PM
Little Hawk 28 Sep 06 - 03:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Sep 06 - 03:57 PM
Don Firth 28 Sep 06 - 04:20 PM
GUEST,Lunchman 28 Sep 06 - 04:37 PM
GUEST,Coyote Breath 28 Sep 06 - 05:13 PM
Little Hawk 28 Sep 06 - 05:16 PM
Big Al Whittle 28 Sep 06 - 05:58 PM
Charley Noble 28 Sep 06 - 08:28 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 28 Sep 06 - 10:37 PM
JamesHenry 29 Sep 06 - 06:17 AM
Les in Chorlton 29 Sep 06 - 06:26 AM
Scrump 29 Sep 06 - 06:29 AM
jacqui.c 29 Sep 06 - 08:06 AM
Snuffy 29 Sep 06 - 08:38 AM
GUEST,Coyote Breath (without cookie) 29 Sep 06 - 10:17 AM
Wolfgang 29 Sep 06 - 10:29 AM
Folkiedave 29 Sep 06 - 10:31 AM
Folkiedave 29 Sep 06 - 12:07 PM
GUEST 29 Sep 06 - 02:50 PM
Effsee 29 Sep 06 - 04:50 PM
Folkiedave 29 Sep 06 - 09:18 PM
Don Firth 29 Sep 06 - 10:00 PM
Roberto 30 Sep 06 - 01:37 AM
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Subject: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: GUEST,Bob
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 07:32 AM

Jimmy Miller is oft times eulogised on mudcat. But how can you revere a man who deserted from the army during WW2?
Do none of you a conscience?
Did he run away because of cowardice, or because he was a Stalinst?
The man shold be erased from Folk history, he was an embarrassment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Mr Fox
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 08:21 AM

But not as much of an embarrassment as somebody who can't spell 'should'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 08:41 AM

George W Bush used family connections to "dodge the draft".
Does that make him any better or worse singer than he would have been.
This is a Folk Forum. Let's discuss his songs.

Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 08:42 AM

Get a life, Guest Bob!

And I bet your mother wore combat boots!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 08:59 AM

Why can't someone be both -- and a great songwriter as well?

Let's see: WW2 ended 61 years ago.... Why should I give a rat's tushie?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: jacqui.c
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 09:29 AM

Walk a mile in another man's shoes before judging him. Until you know the exact circumstances why bring a man down?

As has been said, Ewan is admired for the contribution he made to folk music. If he had stayed in the forces maybe he might have died and we would have lost one of the major contributors to the genre of his generation.

Look into the background of a number of the people who are put on pedestals these days. I am aware of one actor, well known in the UK, who served a prison sentence for murder. His later life may not have borne close scrutiny either. However, it did not stop him making it in the trade.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 09:30 AM

Guest Bob raises a valid point but in a combative way, he also only offers 2 alternatives as to McColl's desertion, methinks it may have been a bit more complicated than that!
My last words on this thread, as the original post is designed to cause an argument.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 09:48 AM

My father never spoke much about his combat experiences with the armoured division of the Irish Guards. He just said it was 'wholesale slaughter'. And if you weren't there - you will never know the meaning of the phrase.

I don't really blame anybody who found himself in such a situation from walking away.

Anyway the handing out of white feathers is despicable - only a scoundrel would do it. We don't neeed to know the name, or make the acquaintance of such a wretch.

Return, when you are a nicer person. And if it is beyond your power to reform - piss off!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 09:52 AM

I'm not sure anyone will ever know. Another side of the coin is that apparantly he was never charged - something I'd have thought quite unusual for a "coward or traitor". Perhaps there was more to it than the more obvious conlusions? Perhaps not.

It all seems too foggy to me. I think its best just to "judge" him on the rest of his life, his contibutions to folk music, etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: GUEST,neftig
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 10:11 AM

Yeah, "Bob"? I bet you would approve of a German who deserted from the army during WWII, wouldn't you? Screw you. Your judgements upon other people's worth are totally arbitrary, and stem from a twitch in your own gimpy knee.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 10:39 AM

GUESTs who start provocative threads - trolls or idiots?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: jacqui.c
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 11:23 AM

Yes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Rapparee
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 11:30 AM

Why can't they be both? And lousy singers as well?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Wesley S
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 11:46 AM

There's no reason why a troll couldn't be an excellent singer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Paul Burke
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 11:54 AM

Of course they are excellent singers... I am a troll, foldy roll,I am a troll, foldy roll, I am a troll, foldy roll, and I'll eat McColl for supper.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 12:04 PM

I suppose there was no such thing as a conscientious objector, was there? D'oh!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 12:07 PM

They don't usualy join do they?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 12:41 PM

This news story gives a few more details, and it was rather more c0mplicated than the opening troll indicates. Basically he appears to have decided to split when he'd been picked out by his superior officers as someone suspected of beiing a politically dangerous Communist - this beig at a time when the Russo-German Pact was still theoretically in operation, so he mighthave felt a bit vuklnerable to harassment or worse if he stayed put.

...his commanding officer expressed his concerns to Hyde Borough Police on December 16, 1940.

The report stated: "His influence over his fellow soldiers was that of a man of much greater intelligence than the ordinary soldier.

"In some ways they would follow him, though at no time was he ever discovered suggesting improper action, he may well have done so under cover. "

Two days later MacColl went AWOL.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 12:45 PM

Fact is he was in the Army (joining in June, 1940) and went AWOL on December 18th, 1940. MI5 had monitored him since 1932 and had placed him on a Special Observation List when he joined the army. His superiors did not like his activities in the army and feared his bad influence on fellow soldiers.

It is hard to believe for me that MI5 had observed him all the time but completely lost track of him after December 1940. In January 1941 a colonel wrote: Pte. miller has been absent from this unit without leave since 18th December, and there would appear to be something fishy concerning his absence, as communications have been received from his wife asking for extensions of leave

After the war there has been no action against MacColl, completely different from the treatment of normal deserters.

One can speculate what has happened. Perhaps, MI5 was quite happy to have him, the communist, no longer in the army and there was a kind of mutual agreement that he needed not to come back and that the AWOL would not be prosecuted in his case.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 12:52 PM

I guess this will run and run. What did he say about going AWOL? It's very difficult to separate McColl the singer from McColl the agitator - mostly because McColl wouldn't let it happen. His contribution was massive but his arogance could be painful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 01:14 PM

I rather suspect that he left with the encouragement of his superiors, as a way of avoiding an embarrassing situation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 01:18 PM

Nonconformists and free spirits are always detested by the military command structure...in ANY army. The military values unthinking obedience to superior authority above all else. He got encouraged to leave? Good. It speaks well for him. I would say the same of someone who got encouraged to leave the Catholic Church for thinking outside the box. Same basic deal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 02:40 PM

Sighhhhhh
One of these days we'll get around to discussing his singing - oh - was that a pig I just saw flying past the window.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 02:43 PM

I rather like the military distrust of intelligence...


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 02:43 PM

But there again, I have much sympathy with those who believe that wealth should be shared fairly too...


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 03:03 PM

True enough Jim, I only saw him and Peggy once and they were very, very good, they wrote lots of great songs and made a massive contribution to the revival and so did lots of other people. If he left political and personal controversy it was no more than he would have wanted or expected.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 03:20 PM

Interesting thing with that report I quoted from and meant to link to (and have now) - throughout Ewan is identified as "Singer Kirsty MacColl's dad", rather than the other way round.

I don't actually think he'd have liked that too much.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 03:34 PM

Why just leave the choice at "coward or traitor"?

Why not include these possible choices as well: "wife beater, apostate, pervert, cheater, scoundrel, wastrel, drunk, layabout, criminal, thief, opium fiend, morbidinist, blackmailer, murderer, masochist, grave-robber, serial rapist, and tort-feaser"?

I mean, hey, if we're going to pass judgement on another human being, why restrict the field so narrowly, Bob?

(the above is intended as sarcasm)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 03:57 PM

I rather assume the selection of the words were a reference to the word of the Red Flag -

...Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer
We'll keep the Red Flag flying here.


As sung by the British Labour Party to wind up its Manchester conference today. (Good grief...)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Don Firth
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 04:20 PM

The fact that Ewan MacColl was not prosecuted for being AWOL might indicate that there was much more going on than meets the eye.

I wonder what GUEST, Bob's real problem is with Ewan MacColl.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: GUEST,Lunchman
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 04:37 PM

Ewan McColl can sing better than GUEST, Bob.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: GUEST,Coyote Breath
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 05:13 PM

Sounds like Ewan MacColl had both the honor and integrity to live his life without compromise. Good for him!

In January of 1959, while stationed in France with the USAF, I walked into the orderly room and told the first sargeant that I quit. I told him I would ONLY follow direct orders from that point on and would do NOTHING to contribute to our NATO "mission".

I was kept in that orderly room and away from the microwave communication equipment I had been responsible for until I was finally give a "General Discharge, Under Honorable Conditions" in May of that year. Basically, I went "on strike".

In the course of the USAF trying to figure out just what I was up to I was asked if I was a Communist. I said, "Not yet"!

I got the discharge I received because I hadn't done anything to warrant any other type of discharge. No laws broken, no bad deeds done. I was still able to enjoy all my veteran's benefits (including the GI Bill funds to attend college).

I wasn't allowed to keep my uniforms (oooh!)

I don't know what sort of reaction I would have gotten had I been in during Vietnam or what would happen if I were a soldier in combat (as in Iraq or Afganistan) Maybe I would have been court martialed. The investigators just couldn't understand why I "quit" and I wasn't saying anything to help them. I quit because what I was doing was wrong. I decided that my being in the military, no matter how much removed from any sort of combat, was wrong.

I took a chance when I quit. I really had no idea how they would react but I figured that if I just "quit", not presenting any threat of any kind they would just let me go, to avoid any "problems".

While what I did might seem like a blow against the system, I looked at it as a challenge, a contest of wits and I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

CB


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 05:16 PM

Good for you, Coyote Breath. I wish there were a hundred million more who would the wisdom and the guts to do the same as you did.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 05:58 PM

Another thing, how can someone who has given so much to this country and whose genuine patriotism and love of the people of this country shines out in a hundred songs at least - how could someone like that possibly be a traitor?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 08:28 PM

Well, I'm impressed that this troll thread has actually generated some good discusion.

The choices of "coward " or "traitor" certainly ticked me off initially but I do find the AWOL situation worthy of further discussion. There are all kinds of choices that people can make in their lives, and Ewan's choice was probably a reasoned one. I'm surprised that there is no record of any follow-up on the part of the British Army. Maybe they were just too busy, or maybe someone did some thinking and realized that Ewan was too tough a nut to try to crack.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 28 Sep 06 - 10:37 PM

As Studs Terkel said introducing him at Newport in 1959, "Here is a monumental figure in the world of folk music!"

I just put Ewan and A.L. Lloyd's grand riverside LP onto a CD----the one called Champions And Sporting Blades. All sporting events and matches chronicled in great songs and ballads.

Someone started a thread recently called something like, "Did Ewan MacColl ever do any songs that weren't serious"---in the tragic sense, I guess. Well, this LP proved that he did on just about every cut.

A great artist with a treasure trove who learned from so many source singers!!! ;-)

Art


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: JamesHenry
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 06:17 AM

Perhaps Jimmy Miller (deserter) was never prosecuted by the military because he had taken on the identity of Ewan MacColl, someone who didn't appear on their records?


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 06:26 AM

When did he first Ewan?


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Scrump
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 06:29 AM

Oops, just seen this thread. Maybe this comment I just made elsewhere would have been more appropriate here.


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: jacqui.c
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 08:06 AM

I agree Scrump. A few years ago I worked with a guy who was an absolute homophobe. There was a particularly good singer around at that time but this guy wouldn't even listen to his music because the singer was homosexual. I reckon that was his loss but it was difficult to understand why his sexuality was so important to someone who was only ever going to know his music.


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Snuffy
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 08:38 AM

So when was his next recorded sighting after 18/12/40 and what was he doing in the meantime?


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: GUEST,Coyote Breath (without cookie)
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 10:17 AM

Thanks LH, but "guts"? I just got fed up.

Could someone enlighten me as to why the sudden attention to Ewan MacColl?

I like what I have heard from him (Springhill is a favorite, the imagery is powerful and appropriate to the story and to all mine disaster stories).

CB


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 10:29 AM

C'mon, half anonymous attackers, we have only three threads about MacColl running. You can do better than that. Surely there must have been a rumour about his marital life once (there always are) and didn't he once borrow a songbook and forgot to bring it back?

Wolfgang (clueless about the real motivation for these attacks)


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 10:31 AM

According to the news report he became Ewan in 1952.


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 12:07 PM

Jim Carroll, I wonder if you would be kind enough to contact me at my home email, dave @ deyre.plus.com.


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 02:50 PM

Dave,
My e-mail has gone awol and we are going on holiday on Sunday,
Will try to contact you again tomorrow, o/w will be back on Monday week
Jim Carroll
PS Don't understand technology - why can't I send e-mails but can mail to Mudcat - why did I ever abandon teh quill pen!


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Effsee
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 04:50 PM

"The murky past of Kirsty MacColl dad, who sang with the Irish punk band The Pogues " LOLOLOL


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 09:18 PM

Thanks Jim,

dave@deyre.plus.com will reach me.

I suppose another half dozen emails offering me viagra wont make much difference. Mind my wife is wondering why I keep deleting them!!

Dave Eyre


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Sep 06 - 10:00 PM

Hmm. Interesting. I notice that GUEST,Bob dropped his little stink-bomb and then hasn't been back.

Freakin' troll!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - coward or traitor?
From: Roberto
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 01:37 AM

I think the Mudcat should modify the title of this thread (criticism of Ewan MacColl?): GUESTBob's is a shame, don't let him win this. R


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