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Edited by Aideen Devine, Tuesday, 15 Jun 2021, 09:52

So, our glorious leaders gathered in Cornwall for the G7, flying in from all over the world, no quarantining for 10 days in a hotel for them, no masks, no social distancing and a big barbie on the beach for over 30 people, and a great time was had by all! And didn't they deserve it after the hard year they had being tyrants and dictators. It's not easy at the top when you're a totalitarian fascist puppet!

Even the Queen attended, a few weeks after burying ol’ Phil, looking like she was having a high old time, no mask and no social distancing either. It’s amazing to think how, just a few short weeks ago, there she was, sat all alone with her little mask on at the funeral and here she is now, a few weeks later, partying in Cornwall! No Victoria, our Liz!

And here we are, still not allowed to travel, masks on, social distancing, separated from our elderly and dying family and friends, not allowed to funerals and weddings, 30 people only. And to top it all, freedom day, 21 June, is now postponed, they say it is only for 4 more weeks (like 3 weeks to Save the NHS and flatten the curve?) but, take it from me, this is indefinitely.

They are playing us, taking us for fools and surely, even the most devoted member of the covid cult must see, after their ‘jolly wheeze’ weekend, it’s one rule for them and another for us.

How much more of this scam are you going to take? Keep doing what they tell you and they will keep tightening the screw. No one is coming to save us, we have to save ourselves and the only people who can end this is us. They are a few and we are the many, we can end this today, take the mask off, go visit your family and friends, have a barbie and invite the neighbourhood, take your life back because they are not going to give it to you. Rise up people, the power is ours if we stand together. Power to the people!



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Paddy's Weekend

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Wednesday, 20 Mar 2019, 15:42

I had a lovely weekend away in England, I went over to visit my sister and we managed to squeeze in a trip to London on Saturday.  There were a couple of exhibitions on in the Tate Modern that I wanted to see, Pierre Bonnard's, The Colour of Memory and Magic Realism, Art in Weimar Germany 1919 - 1933.  We didn't manage to get into the Pierre Bonnard exhibition as we had walked up the 3rd floor, only to be told, we had to go back down to the entrance and buy a ticket and the gallery itself was very busy, so we just did the Magic Realism instead and had a look around some of the other exhibits.  It was ok, but like a lot of art movements, they haven't travelled very well.  They are of a place and time in art and some of them were quite cartoonish and overall, I only liked one or two of the pieces.  

Picasso's Weeping Women was also on display in the gallery.  It is quite a gaudy painting but what made it worse was the ugly frame which did it no favours at all.  I found this with a lot of the paintings in the National Gallery in Ireland too, so many were let down by clunky, overly ornate frames which detracted from the art.  i prefer my art, for the most part, in plain white frames.  In relation to the rest of the 'art' we looked at, I have to say there is a lot of brock masquerading as art.  As my sister remarked, a lot of it looked like A-level art projects and left her cold.  I had to agree, Modern Art is very subjective and to be honest a lot of it really doesn't appeal to me, I'm conservative in my tastes and while I recognise that sometimes art can express the social and political, it has to be done well in order not to appear pretentious or ridiculous. 

So, we headed for the National Portrait Gallery which has an exhibit on at the moment; Elizabethan Treasures, Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver.  I loved this one; the detail was fantastic and took real skill and a very steady hand.  I would definitely recommend you go see them, if you can, the exhibition is on until the 19th May.  We also had a look around the portraits: there was our own Seamus Heaney and a large one of Judy Dench.  We weren't very impressed by the Judy Dench portrait, she looked like a doctor and all the character was missing from her face.  I did love the portraits of Ken Dodd and Stanley Spencer.  Unfortunately, we didn't have time to take in as much as we wanted but I have to go back over in the summer for the Van Gogh in Britain exhibition so we hope to get back to the NPG as well.  

I managed to rattle through Mark Blake's, Is This the Real Life, a biography of Queen while travelling.  I thoroughly enjoyed this as it details the fact from the fiction of biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody.  Highly recommended!

For Paddy's Day, the cousins and their children came around and we had some great food and a few drinks and a good time was had by all!  All in all, a wonderful weekend and made even better in that I'm not back to work until Friday!  Yayyy!  

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Bohemian Rhapsody

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 11 Oct 2020, 09:43

Is this the real life, is this just fantasy...and many a day I spent, back in my teenage years, gazing out the classroom window, watching the sky as clouds contorted and rolled over Croaghan Hill, the ever-changing light, adding depth and detail to the broad vista of the town below while fantasizing about (among others!) Freddie Mercury.  Completely unaware at that stage of his sexual preferences, although, even when I did become aware, I still fantasised that he was only gay because he had never met me!  After all, we had so much in common, he liked opera and ballet and so did I, and he also loved to play Scrabble, my favourite board game!

Bowie and Zeppelin were my first loves in music and I had been introduced to them through my oldest brother but Queen, I discovered and fell in love with, all on my own.  I still remember the night at St Colman's disco when I first heard Seven Seas of Rhye, Now I'm Here and of course, Killer Queen.  I also remember, only too well, the announcement of his death and how I cried that miserable Monday morning in November.  So, with my heart on my sleeve, I ventured forth tonight to see if justice had been done to my beloved Freddie, in the movie, Bohemian Rhapsody. 

The movie tells us about the early days of the band and their rise to fame.  It reveals more about the background of Freddie's life than the other members but there wasn't anything in it that I hadn't read or heard about before, from his long term friendship with Mary Austin to his, shall we say, adventurous party lifestyle.  

 As a Queen fan, I loved it!  I had forgotten just what a tour de force Freddie Mercury was on stage! What a showman, artistic and outrageous, unique and dynamic! I wanted to sing along! I wanted to stamp my feet and clap my hands to We Will Rock You!  I wanted to stand in the crowd at Live Aid and cheer and sing and drink in every second of that heart-storming performance, made more poignant when we realise he had just been diagnosed with Aids, and I'm not the least bit embarrassed to admit a few tears were shed.  Ah, Freddie!  We'll never see your like again, unfortunately!  

When the film ended, no one wanted to leave, conversations were struck up with strangers in order to delay the inevitable as fans and new fans discussed the merits of Mr Mercury et al.  Those of us old enough to remember relived those moments in our lives when the music of Queen provided the soundtrack and helped to cement those memories in our hearts and minds.  Many vowed to come back and see it again and next time, we will stamp our feet and clap our hands!

In the daily grind of life, we sometimes forget those great moments in life.  Times when our hearts soared, when the sheer joy of a performance or piece of music lifted and inspired us, reminded us that there was more to life, that there could be better days or better ways of living if we just had the courage to reach out for it.  I remember 1985,  I remember Live Aid and how unhappy I was with my life at that time.  I also remember vowing to change it and the following year I ended my marriage and even though I had a tough few years after it, it's a decision I've never regretted. 

I haven't listened to music much in the last few years even though I still have all my albums and CD's.  I seem to have settled (or been driven?!) into a sort of musical doldrums, I put away Queen and the Sex Pistols, Billy Idol and all those others who sent my heart soaring and my pulse racing, those powerhouses of my youth who didn't compromise or apologise for being exactly who they were and screw everyone who didn't like it!  

In the apparent misery of the world today, as controlled and promoted by the media, we are fed a daily diet of fear, propaganda and paranoia.  We have forgotten that music used to be a way to stick it to the man, a way to upset the establishment and inspire revolt and rebellion.  Nowadays, everybody is so busy trying to display their liberal principles, demonstrating to the world how open-minded they are, how welcoming, all kumbaya and political correctness, anxious to be good citizens, terrified of change with a soundtrack so bland, sanitised and nonthreatening that we're being lulled into a permanent state of brain-deadness and musical easy-listening (which used to be the most insulting thing you could say about someone's musical taste!).  Now we have music giants like Ed Sheeren with all the charisma of cold rice pudding, perfect for the snowflake generation and political cowards like (punk?) Bob Geldof who turned coat and now kisses the asses of the establishment.  'Oh, we're better together,' 'Oh, we need to save the planet', 'Oh, we can't listen to someone who might disagree with us because we're so easily offended', 'Oh those nasty Brexiteers have taken away our future'.  Blah, whine, blah!  

It speaks volumes for how weak and insipid we have become that the most rebellious voice in politics today is Jacob Rees-Mogg!  My God!  What happened to us?? We were the punk generation, when did we roll over, give up and play brain dead? 

Well, I'm not giving up and thank you Bohemian Rhapsody for getting my blood pumping again, I'm going make it a point to listen to Queen, the Sex Pistols and Billy Idol at least once every month because I need those reminders.  We all need those reminders, to remember who we were, when we had a fire in our bellies and weren't afraid to speak up and speak out.  Remember our youth, when it was normal to challenge the status quo and defy the authorities instead of cowering in a permanent state of anxiety, too terrified to stand out or stand up and go against the crowd even when we're being sold out!  Maybe it's time to get out those old tunes, crank the volume up and let chaos reign for a while, be a rebel, disagree with your friends, be offensive, challenge everything you are being told and be a bit like Freddie, strutting, confident, belting it out at volume, the shy man who was a God on stage, and who knows what might happen if we let that fire burn again...ROCK ON!

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Billionaires and their house repairs

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 11 Oct 2020, 09:29

Three hundred and sixty-nine million pounds! Three hundred and sixty-nine million pounds! I just can't seem to stop myself saying it, maybe it's because of how it rolls off the tongue. Three hundred and sixty-nine million pounds! What a number!  And you can write it in so many ways too...you can write it in numbers like this, £369 000 000 or you can write it in letters, three hundred and sixty-nine million pounds.  Or, if it is your want, you can write it using both, £369 million pounds.  Take your pick, try any of them.

I prefer to write the whole thing out in letters.


You really get the full impact of it like that. Of course, it's a mere pittance to a billionaire, little more than pocket change...but then do you think billionaires have pocket change??  Hmmmm, not sure about that...

But apart from that, how could you even think of objecting to it? I mean, she's an old age pensioner and she needs her plumbing and electrics fixed, poor thing!  All together now...awwhhhh!  And she does so much for us doesn't she?  Like.. like..ok give me a minute to think of something....oh yes!  Tourism, she brings in all those tourists.  Just think of all the people who come to see Buckingham Palace, they might not come if she wasn't there.  Just like Egypt, because no one has gone near those pyramids since the Pharoah's died off. Or France.  Has anyone ever bothered to go there since they got rid of their royals??? 

But sure if it's upsetting you, just think about little George and Charlotte, I mean, they are just sooooo cute!  What's not to love??  And I'm sure you wouldn't want them to visit a house that didn't have proper lights and plumbing. God!  Do you think they still have an outside toilet??

But what do I care that the taxes I pay on my pathetic minimum/living wage is going to help do up the house of the richest woman in Britain while the NHS is being starved of funding.  I mean, it was those same taxes that helped to bail out all those rich bankers when they gambled and lost and royally screwed the economy and us poor working saps!  Sorry, I mean hard-working strivers!  Because that's just what we're here for, to make the rich richer and allow ourselves to be shafted again, and again, and again.  Royally shafted even!

Now, my nephew has a young son, and he's just as cute as George (actually he's cuter but I don't want to brag)  Can his granny get some millions to do her house up?  Because she could really use it, she had a bit of a flood recently and she has MS, she could really do with some help. But when I think about it, she wouldn't even need millions, a couple of thousand would suffice. Any chance the government might give her a handout, do you think?  Or what about his great-granny, I'm sure she would like a few million from the hard working, tax paying, suckers... Oh!  Sorry again,  I don't know why that keeps happening....I mean strivers, STRIVERS!

Well, why does Mrs Elizabeth Saxe Coburg Gotha-Mountbatten, deserve to be given three hundred and sixty-nine million pounds of taxpayer's money to do her house up?  (Yes, I know, Windsor IS a lot more user friendly...like when they changed the name of Windscale to Sellafield) But still, for the life of me, I can't think of one valid reason.

Ok, so she's the queen..but what does that even mean?  I know that centuries ago people used to believe that royalty had blue blood and had a Divine right to rule (nothing to do with me,by the way)  But then, people used to believe that the Churches were Christian and a guy called Santa lived in the North Pole.  ( I even believed that one for a while,but then I grew up...)

Ok, she comes out now and again and smiles and waves to people.  I could do that, and for a whole lot less, let me tell you. But I've been giving this some serious thought, just in case someone would object, like maybe OUR public representatives, and I think I have a solution.  Since it's coming out of the public purse, maybe we should make it a crisis loan.  You know, like when you're on the dole and you have an emergency, like your washing machine breaks down and you need to buy a new one, you can get a crisis loan. Of course, you have to pay it back.   You can't expect the Government to hand out money to people and not get it back..  (Sorry, what was that...bankers??)  But she has millions and millions in property, jewels, money, even race-horses!  She would be able to pay it back in no time at all!  And if she couldn't afford it, then she could do what all those other people who lived in London had to do when their benefits were cut and they couldn't afford the rent.  She should downsize or move out of London.  Well, there's always Balmoral or Sandringham and I'm sure if she was really stuck, Charles could find her something down there in the Duchy of Cornwall.

By the way, my car broke down recently, and I think it's going to be expensive to fix, probably more than the car is worth..(that's expensive for me on my wage, not expensive from a billionaire's perspective..a mere speck of dust in the corner of their wallet, if even that)  Do you think the government would give me some money to fix it up?? After all, technically, it is my money, I've been working and paying tax for years.  Yeah, that's what I thought too...

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Thursday, 1 Sep 2022, 14:24

A little quiz question for today, what do the Pope, the Queen, David Cameron and Bono have in common?  

Well, if you said the Pope is head of the Catholic Church, the Queen is the head of State for Britain and the Church of England, David Cameron is the head of the present Government, and Bono has a big head, then head would be the connection and you might be right and, actually, that is a right answer too, when you think about it. 

But that’s not the answer we’re looking for today, so, sorry if you said that but good thinking just the same. 

The answer we’re looking for is, and this might surprise some people, they all say or think they are Christians but in reality none of them are, which might surprise some people since two of them are heads of Christian Churches and at least one of them thinks they are God. 

So, how is that the right answer, I hear you say? Well, I was at mass a couple of weeks ago and the priest was talking about the reading that day, which was the one about how it would be ‘easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it would be for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God ’ (or heaven, anyway, same thing).  And he went on about wealth and poverty and I was sitting there thinking, ‘Well what about the Vatican?’  I almost got up and said it, and if it had been another priest I might have, but this priest is old and retired and then I thought, ‘Well he’s not Rome so why harass him about it’. And then yesterday we were back on the money question with the story of the Widow's Mite. Now, I go to mass, I consider myself Catholic, definitely not a Roman Catholic but Catholic in the original sense of the word, which comes from the Greek and means ‘universal’, and that is how I consider myself. I am a member of the ‘universal church of humanity’. 

I was in Rome a couple of years ago and while there was a lot to see, from an historical perspective, I didn’t particularly like the place and I certainly didn’t feel too inspired by the ‘Christianity’ of the Vatican, and wouldn’t be in a hurry to go back any time soon. When I was there, I was hoping for some profound spiritual experience and the nearest I got to encountering anything like that was looking at Michelangelo's Pieta, which is in St Peters and is a stunningly beautiful piece of sculpture. If you ever go to Rome, I couldn’t recommend going to see this highly enough. 

The other big attraction was the Sistine Chapel and, honestly, I felt a bit let down by it. Firstly, it’s not really a chapel, as you would imagine, it’s just another room in the Vatican and by the time you get to it, you have passed through so many rooms painted from floor to ceiling with angels and the like, that your eye is a bit tired by the overload.  

I had the same thing in the Renaissance section of the Louvre, I remember coming out and thinking, ‘If I see one more picture of the dead Christ…!’ And, for the record, the painting of God creating Adam, which I had always imagined was this huge painting across a domed ceiling, is in fact a small panel in the centre of the ceiling about 5ft by 3ft. (it probably is bigger than that, but from my perspective, that is how it appeared). The place was also packed, it was a hot day and, between the crowd, the stifling air and the smell of body odour, it wasn't a pleasant experience. 

Anyway, what got me about it, was the wealth of art in the Vatican museum and, also, the fact that the Pope lives like an earthly king. He lives in a palace, is surrounded by lackeys and riches, he is dressed in expensive robes, waited on hand and foot and separated from the people. He is supposed to be Jesus’ representative on earth, how is that anything like Jesus? And another thing, he is supposed to be infallible, says who? I would like to know where that idea came from? He can’t be infallible, he is a human being, it isn’t possible, all humans are flawed and imperfect, it’s the most interesting thing about us. Just think how boring it would be, if we were all perfect and flawless?  

When you look at it, everything about the Pope goes against everything Jesus preached about and the same goes for the Queen. It is a complete hypocrisy to have a Queen as head of any Christian church and the same applies to David Cameron and Bono, you cannot be that rich and be a Christian, it just isn’t possible, you may perform Christian acts now and again, but as long as you are sitting with all those millions (and avoiding paying tax) you are not and never can be a Christian in the truest and only sense of the word. 

And since we’re on the subject of Churches and religion, any religion that differentiates between men and women is wrong, especially if the Bible is a big part of the religion, because one of the first statements in the Book of Genesis says, that God made them, male and female, both equal. That’s it, equal, no more, no less, equal.  Not the Animal Farm kind of equal, where ‘everyone is equal, only some are more equal than others’, no, not that one. There was no qualification to it, all equal, no argument. 

And if you really believed in the God of the Bible, you couldn’t regard any human being as not being your equal, (or as discussed in previous blogs, of equal value), because if you believe God made everything, then to say that a woman is something less than a man, is to insult God. If God made them equal then who is any human being to say that Her/His/It’s creation, woman, is something less, when they are both human. The value for what He/She/It has created, then extends to everything because if you truly believed that, then you have to consider that everything that God has created is of value to God, otherwise it would not exist.  

Which makes it very arrogant and insulting to go traipsing around claiming dominion over other lands and other human beings and treating them badly, or as your own personal property. Because if everything is God’s creation then, maybe it’s time we started to really think about that and consider how we are living and how we treat other people and the planet. Maybe it’s time we cleaned up our act and started taking care of what we have been given because whether there is or isn’t a God, and whether you believe or don’t believe in a God, we only have a short time here so why don’t we do our best to live well and respectfully, and try and make life better for everyone.  

I mean, does the Queen, David and Bono, and all those other millionaires and billionaires, really need all that money. They can’t spend it in a lifetime and it won’t buy them another life. They can’t take it with them so what do they need it for, to feed their egos and make them feel like they are successful, that they are better human beings than the rest of us?  

Sorry, but the bad news about that is, if you can sit with millions or billions in a bank while on this planet another human being is dying for the want of something as basic as food, then you have failed in the most important area of life, you have failed as a human being and you have certainly failed as a Christian. 

What are we here for, if not to live, life is supposed to be lived is it not?  Why does it always feel that life is something to be endured or survived, why can we not just live and live well? We speculate and ponder on the meaning of life and maybe it is something as simple as that, to live it and live it well. 

Comments as usual, are always welcome.




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Elections and Votes

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Wednesday, 18 Aug 2021, 19:11

Looking at the results of the local elections in Britain, I have to say I find it very disappointing to see how low the turnout has been, although considering how democracy has been subverted for many years now, it’s hardly a surprise that people have lost faith in the political system.  I think this is due in part to the fact that there is no mechanism for appeal once a party has been elected, so the politicians can promise all sorts during the campaign trail, but once in office, they can do what ever they like which, of course, they have done and there is no one to stop them or make them follow through on the promises they made. 

 I also think we are still suffering the fall out from the Thatcher era.  Her attack on the unions, strongly backed by a right-wing media (I for one, am delighted that the past is finally catching up with Rupert Murdoch and his whole media dictatorship, having been railing against him for years) has left the working-classes without a way into politics or a strong voice that truly represents them. 

 All the political parties are now populated by upper/middle class public school boys who have no idea how the other 95% of the population live.  That the front bench in the House of Commons is full of millionaires, speaks volumes about our so-called democracy.  Where is the voice of the working-classes in Parliament?  Even the so-called left wingers seem so egotistical and arrogant that they don’t really speak for ordinary people any more, with the exception of Dennis Skinner and, since Tony Benn retired, they are becoming thinner on the ground and there does not seem to be any new blood following in their steps.  Politics is now a career for the upper middle-classes and they work in the interests of one group, and one group only, their own. 

The whole class system too, is part of the problem.  The most obvious example of this is the House of Lords.  The whole idea of an unelected upper house based on class and privilege is so anachronistic in the 21st Century and completely subverts what is supposed to be a democracy.  Why should these people have this right?  It supports privilege for some and exclusion for most of the rest of us.  How can Britain even claim to be a democracy when this system remains in place.

 What is really needed is political reform, but how is that going to be achieved when it is in the interest of the ruling classes to maintain the status quo?  The truth is, is that those who now rule, are not the least bit interested in democracy but are only interested in self-promotion and self-protection for themselves and their own social class.  And I’m really going to p*ss off the middle-classes with this next statement because I believe that they too, are partly to blame for the situation. 

The class system is elitist and unfortunately too many aspire to be part of it.  I don’t believe in the middle-class, and if you think of yourself as middle-class then you are, in my eyes, a working-class snob.  What does it even really mean to be middle-class, other than you have more money and a bigger house (or should that be mortgage, another con, but a subject for another day) than someone who is called working-class.  Middle class is an illusion, you either work for a living or you don’t, and to divide people into class groups is nothing more than social apartheid, and is every bit as disingenuous and damaging, as the racial apartheid that existed in South Africa.

 So how do we resolve the political apathy that exists?  Well, firstly, I would like to say thank-you to all those who did turn out to vote, at least you made the effort.  To all those who didn’t vote or who haven’t voted for years, I challenge you.  If you are so disillusioned with the system and those self –serving politicians, then put yourself forward for election next time.  Go forward as an independent, and let’s start a campaign to fill Parliament with independents at the next General Election, because your vote IS your voice and if you don’t use it, even if it is to spoil it, then you shouldn’t even be allowed an opinion. 

 Politics affects every area of our lives, and almost seventy per cent of the people who were entitled to vote, didn’t even bother to turn out.  Now, what if those seventy per cent had turned out and voted for the most politically independent candidate on the ballot paper?  Or just for the fun of it, voted for anyone as long as they were not a candidate for any of the big three?  What kind of difference could that have made?  Because it isn’t just one vote, it amounts to millions when used collectively or not, as the case may be.  Opting out resolves nothing, if you want to change it, then you have to get in there and do something about it, otherwise things will just remain the same. 

 And when you do get in, remember why you are there.  Get rid of the House of Lords, and while you’re at it, do your best to dismantle the class system, and that means removing the Queen from Parliament.  The monarchy is an out-dated system and doesn’t really have a place in a truly democratic society.  I have nothing personally against the Queen, she seems like a really nice woman, she can still be Queen if that’s what people want, but an honour’s system that confers titles, again supports the social elitism of the class system and she doesn’t have any political power, so why is she even there?  I read in the paper today about a move to bring in changes to the Honour’s system by removing Empire from titles and instead give awards that are more reflective of the reality of life in Britain today.  Rather ironic that the Queen’s Lord Lieutenants are more in touch with the social reality of Britain, than our so-called Parliamentary democracy!!

 And remember too, that when elected, regardless of who has, or who has not voted for you, you have a moral obligation to govern in the best interests of all the people in the country, because the business of government, is the business of the people, and the business of the people, is the business of government.  This means, that government has a moral obligation to work in the best interests of the entire population and that the population too has a responsibility to be aware of what their government is doing, and to hold them accountable for it, and the only way we have of doing that at the present time IS WITH YOUR VOTE.  So please, use it!

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