Right, are we by any chance extracting the Michael here? Because no problem if you are, I can take it as well as dish it out.

If you knew me, you'd know I don't do warm and fuzzy (outside family, anyway, my grandkids can get away with anything). I'm a dour, grizzled, 62-year-old Yorkshireman specialising in dark humour, sarcasm, not suffering fools gladly and speaking as he finds. A habit that has cost me more than one job.

It has been said of me that "Tony isn't prejudiced. He doesn't like anybody!"

I'm not a clever person, and I'm not a nice person. As a Trade Union activist and Branch Chair I cured the constipation of a number of senior managers and at least one CEO. I have been called 'scary'.

What I try to do, have always tried to do, is treat people as people. I don't care about colour, origin, religion, sexuality or gender (and their gender is up to them, not me). Are they a decent person or an arsehole? Are they sensible or an idiot? I don't want anyone to pose or pretend at me, or waste my time. Life is short and I've already had a bucketful of its' crap thrown over me, I don't need any more and neither do they!

Other folk can be as warm and fuzzy and nice as they want. Other people are a lot more clever than me and I don't envy them. It must hurt to see so much.

BUT, I still believe that the whole thing begins and ends with learning to treat people as people on the understanding that they will treat me the same way. Quixotic? Maybe, but here I stand, and can do no other.

Snapper-up of unconsidered trifles, walker of paths less travelled by. Advocate-in-Ordinary to His Satanic Majesty.

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