POLITICS CORNER

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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Stanley wrote: 12 Jan 2021, 03:55 Opinion gathers that the Capitol attack was actually an attempted coup.
Andrew Neil ,who knows a thing or two, said "if you think that was a coup, I have a bridge here to sell you" :smile:
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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Some other views here, both from The Conversation web site...

`Was it a coup? No, but siege on US Capitol was the election violence of a fragile democracy' LINK 1

`The U.S. Capitol raid was a failed self-coup previously seen in dying regimes' LINK

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There's a lot of argument now about freedom of speech after the `big tech' companies denied Trump his accounts and then `cancelled' various platforms like Parler for inciting violence. Perhaps we need to be more specific about the phrase `freedom of speech' - perhaps replace it with `freedom to tell the truth'. But it is ironic that big tech is silencing Trump and the other platforms when big tech has been making a fortune out of allowing Trump and his supporters, together with the conspiracists, QAnon, anti-vaxers, anti-5G groups et al to spout lies and incitement of disruption and violence for years.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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"big tech has been making a fortune out of allowing Trump and his supporters, together with the conspiracists, QAnon, anti-vaxers, anti-5G groups et al to spout lies and incitement of disruption and violence for years."
Quite Peter. On the face of it shutting down individuals and sites looks good but when you start to examine who did what it looks iffy. Angela Merkel thinks so as well and she knows a bit about coercion, she was raised the Eastern Zone of Germany. The problem is of course that in the US as here in the UK government has been slow to regulate the big tech companies because they have been doing so well and, dare I say it, are too powerful to mess with? Perhaps this is what has to change.
See THIS BBC report on the furore over the meagre free food parcels. Leaving aside the crossed wires in the original reports, Compass the providers have agreed that they aren't good enough. My question is why let a firm like Compass take a profit out of the meals? Why not give the £30 to the mothers and let them do the shopping? Are they afraid they'll spend the money on booze fags and drugs?
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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Trump sets another record as being the only President in history to be impeached more than once. This time it's for inciting insurrection and at least 10 Republicans voted in favour. Did you hear him at Alamo saying that 'it would be a good thing not to annoy my people'?
Difficult to make any comment about politics in the UK as everyone in the Tory Party seems to be leaving Matt Hancock to take the flak. Johnson fulminates about Charter and the food 'hampers' and in the process finds there has been mis-reporting and that what was being provided accords with the government guide lines.
THIS Guardian report is a very good overview of how the government is failing in its response to both Labour elephant traps and the assault of the pandemic. This is not a competent government and keep an eye on Sunak.
"Rishi Sunak increased universal credit by £20 a week early in the pandemic, in an implicit admission that the payments had become too paltry to live on. The chancellor has not yet said whether that will remain in place from April, choosing instead in a recent Spectator interview to highlight the necessity of “hard choices” to tackle the deficit. With Rashford already on the warpath, extending the £20 a week increase looks all but inevitable; but the government will continue to remain vulnerable to the campaigning footballer’s attacks as long as there are parents in 21st-century Britain who cannot afford to feed their kids."
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Stanley wrote: 14 Jan 2021, 04:49 This time it's for inciting insurrection and at least 10 Republicans voted in favour.
Only 10? this is amazing its not as though this was some distant event that can get confused in the reporting they were all there under attack with the prospect of being injured or even killed. The impeachment trial will go ahead once Biden has settled down and got the government back on track doing what they should be doing and taking the lead. The Republicans will get their heads together and see what happens to the Trump support. If it holds up and remains strong we shall here a lot of 'this is not the time to split the country' lets continue with the job in hand'. If Trump's support collapses it will depend on what the division will be and whether there is anyone strong enough to become Trump mark 2.
Equally the banks and all those who have been bankrolling him will be seeing if it is worthwhile to continue or to pull the plug. Will Trump disappear into the dustbin of history? As they say 'follow the money'.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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I suspect the hard choices might be impacting on inheritance tax. which could be a double hit for those families where a son, father or grand parent has died recently.

From Taxation Magazine
"It is worth mentioning that, in July 2020, the House of Commons’ Treasury committee launched a new, wide-ranging inquiry, ‘Tax after coronavirus’ into the future of the UK tax system after the pandemic. Of interest in the current context was a call for evidence on how to achieve the right balance between taxation of work, savings, pensions and wealth, and the role of tax reliefs in rebuilding the economy.

Also in July the chancellor asked the OTS to carry out a review of capital gains tax and in November it published Capital gains tax review – first report: Simplifying by design (tinyurl.com/y3b5usxb). The executive summary makes it clear that the review focuses on individuals’ liabilities"
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"Only 10?"
Politicians hedging their bets Ken. Doncha love 'em? Forget the fine words, this is where they show their true colours and it's almost always self-preservation.
Trump takes a last swipe at China announcing sanctions against more firms and insiders expect more actions. Then there is the small matter of any outstanding soft pardons for him and his family. Word is he has refused to pay his lawyer's bill.
Meanwhile, over on this side of the pond a feeling is growing in the Tory Party that Johnson is absent off parade and if there is any extension of lockdown a leadership challenge can be expected. The way things are going that could well happen, the key figures are still rising, the effects of the Xmas and New Year holidays haven't come through in the hospital figures yet and we have already set new records.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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Well Johnson was up on the press briefing tonight I could not work out if he was blaming the NHS for not really coping with the high numbers, or admiting that the under funding of years past has left the NHS in a position where coping would be more than difficult. I think he did enough to appeal to his conservative party, which may be all he aspires to.

Biden may well find it would not suit USA interests to be dependent on China for its technology and so if not in name, something like approved supplier lists may need a review.

I note North Korea has been showing off its big explosives now Trump is on the way out. Biden might need to find a velvet glove to hide a tin fist in.
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Johnson promoting girls education and attacking Japanese whaling in the middle of a pandemic. Do we detect the hand of special adviser Carrie?
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Years ago on OG we predicted that when Leavers found out what Brexit was really going to do to the UK and our jobs they'd then complain that it was because the UK government had done a bad deal. Fishermen were notable among the Leavers and here they go confirming our prediction...
`Scottish fishermen 'sailing to Denmark to land catch'' LINK
`Scottish fishermen have resorted to sailing to Denmark to land their catch as Brexit red tape continues to delay exports, an industry body has said. The Scottish Fishermen's Federation, which campaigned to leave the EU, also said the Brexit trade deal was the worst of both worlds for the industry. Many fishermen "now fear for their future", it said. The UK government said the deal would "bring immediate gains to our fishermen and women across the whole UK". Late last year, the Scottish Fishermen's Federation (SFF) said it was "deeply aggrieved" by the Brexit deal. Fishing firms have also warned of impending bankruptcy as delays continue at ports following the introduction of post-Brexit regulations..'.
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True Peter and there are going to be lots more examples like that as we move further into the brave independent and sovereign future. I note that the government is asking the French customs for 'light touch' enforcement for a few weeks as we get used to the new rules (The ones that Johnson said did not exist). As if!!
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This is not just about Trump but about religion in the USA and the proliferation of divisions in society. It's getting ever more complicated, for example with Black Christians supporting the Democrats and White Christians supporting the Republicans...
`Trump's Christian supporters and the march on the Capitol' LINK
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American politics is going to be very complicated until the 74 million people who still support Trump have either seen the light or become disillusioned. So what's changed?
Over here, our lot are waiting and watching to see how final Brexit pans out. I think they may be holding their breath.
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We haven't been able to visit Cornwall for about 18 months now and miss our favourite places such as Tintagel. When I opened the Saturday edition of The Times this weekend I was pleased to see a great photo of the big Camelot Castle Hotel which sits in a prominent position on the headland opposite the island. Once seen, always remembered! But then I read on and got a shock, finding the owner is a big QAnon conspiracy supporter and now flies the QAnon flag over the castle. One of the reasons we've enjoyed Tintagel, as well as it's wonderful scenery, geology, history and views, is that it's always been a favourite place for King Arthur fanatics. They're a harmless eccentric crowd, have a lot of fun and give pleasure to the rest of us with their beliefs. That makes it all the more saddening to find a rich man contaminating the place with his vile claims about the paedophile elite, anti-5G and anti-vax leanings. I can't show you the Times story but here's a Guardian article about him from a year ago...

`Fan of Trump and Farage raises far-right ‘Q’ flag at his Cornish castle' Guardian

Here's another article from 10 days ago. Glastonbury is suffering the same fate. (By the way, the castle owner is one of the Mappin & Webb jewellery family)...
`King Arthur’s Camelot Castle Is Now Ground Zero for Brit QAnon' Yahoo
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Two links I wish I hadn't seen Peter. Reports like that deeply depress me. First because I can't conceive how people can be so gullible and stupid and second because of the nature of the lies that are being peddled as 'truth'. Then you have the description of a rich idiot imposing his views on the world and polluting a national cultural asset by doing this. Isn't there some charge that can be raised against this sort of cultural attack? I know that people bang on about free speech but if we go to this length and allow this we'd have let Lord Haw Haw off during WW2.
This is offensive. End of story. There should be sanctions.
As for Farage, he has gone very quiet but will be bobbing up again in a while like a cork in a septic tank.....
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I sympathise with you and share your depression. I've read several long, detailed articles recently analysing the conspiracy theorists and QAnon. The Times has been following QAnon and Trump supporters and teasing apart the connections, with help from researchers in US universities. Obviously a lot of it is due to people's loss of confidence in politicians, professions, institutions etc but the underlying motor is social media and other online networks. The echo chamber effect has been recognised for a decade or more now and has got worse as more online networks arose and with the decline in local news media (as with your own local paper). Most only get their news from social media. One of the analysts found that most people joining and or supporting the offending groups had already an attraction to more benign versions such as spiritualism, evangelism, even yoga (I would include religion too although others might disagree with me).

We on OG have our own concerns about corruption in politics, media, business etc. Life has become much more complicated - even trying to sort out a problem with your broadband or energy supplier can be a trial. The next level is people like all those postmasters and postmistresses who were falsely accused of fraud then left without help for years. Most of us are having difficulties and many people are needing to place the blame somewhere yet we often don't really know who is the ultimate culprit. I think that the likes of QAnon, 5G, vaccines etc have become the lightning rod for all this rage. The only way we'll stop it is to better educate our populations, provide them with a decent living, have zero tolerance for corruption and regulate social media more intensively. That's all it needs... :extrawink:
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In short more people in positions of power who have opinions and standards like yours Peter.
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Possibly the latest actions of Trump's legacy will be the number of pardons (acts of clemency ) 143 so far that he has announced. There could be others yet to be announced or kept in his pocket like an insurance policy against future litigation. The one that stands out is Steve Bannon who has yet to be tried so still innocent but now pardoned ? Confused? so am I. Does Trump know he is guilty or is he buying him off to stop him spilling the beans on what was going on. I think this one will roll on for so time now.
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Interesting to compare President Trump's list of Federal pardons with President Obama's.

Pardons
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David, Bill Clinton's makes interesting reading as well but when looking at the lists we have to remember that most of them are acts of clemency generated by the fact that many have been harshly judged, particularly if there is an element of mental troubles. The key fact in judgement is always the circumstances of the original case. Examples like Bannon flag up huge doubts.
Here's another example...
"The pardon of Richard Nixon (formally known as Proclamation 4311) was a presidential proclamation issued by President of the United States Gerald Ford on September 8, 1974. By it, Ford granted to Richard Nixon, his predecessor, a full and unconditional pardon for any crimes that he might have committed against the United States as president. In particular, the pardon covered Nixon's actions during the Watergate scandal. In a televised broadcast to the nation, Ford, who had succeeded to the presidency upon Nixon's resignation, explained that he felt the pardon was in the best interests of the country and that the Nixon family's situation was "a tragedy in which we all have played a part. It could go on and on and on, or someone must write the end to it. I have concluded that only I can do that, and if I can, I must." After Ford left the White House in 1977, he privately justified his pardon of Nixon by carrying in his wallet a portion of the text of Burdick v. United States, a 1915 U.S. Supreme Court decision that stated that a pardon carries an imputation of guilt and that its acceptance carries a confession of guilt"
Like many other clear evidence it is as well to look very closely at the circumstances. Some would say that it would be a smart move if Biden were to drop the impeachment proceedings and it wouldn't surprise me if this is what happens. Nancy can be a bit too fiery at times!
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More Brexiteering...
`UK and EU in row over bloc's diplomatic status' LINK
`A diplomatic row has broken out between the UK and EU over the status of the bloc's ambassador in London. The UK is refusing to give Joao Vale de Almeida the full diplomatic status that is granted to other ambassadors. The Foreign Office is insisting he and his officials should not have the privileges and immunities afforded to diplomats under the Vienna Convention....EU officials privately accuse the Foreign Office of hypocrisy because when the EU's foreign service - known as the External Action Service - was set up in 2010 as a result of the Lisbon Treaty, the UK signed up to proposals that EU diplomats be granted the "privileges and immunities equivalent to those referred to in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 18 April 1961"...

`A European Commission spokesman said: "The UK, as a signatory to the Lisbon Treaty, is well aware of the EU's status in external relations, and was cognisant and supportive of this status while it was a member of the EU. "The EU has 143 delegations, equivalent to diplomatic missions, around the world. Without exception, all host states have accepted to grant these delegations and their staff a status equivalent to that of diplomatic missions of states under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and the UK is well aware of this fact." He added: "Nothing has changed since the UK's exit from the European Union to justify any change in stance on the UK's part. ..'.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Another consequence of Brexit...
`Brexit: 'I was asked to pay an extra £82 for my £200 coat'' LINK
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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Cannot work out the duties on that Coat , if it is EU I thought we had agreed tariff free trade, if its not EU, then it would have paid a tariff coming into the EU ( which is Part of the cost to the supplier), then per agreement , tariff on whatever the country source is (plus delivery - which if its a cost the supplier has added, then has the VAT added on top too ). Govt quite happy that the VAT collected is now British VAT and not EU vat (which seems reasonable). The long term adjustment is that non-eu products will arrive directly into UK rather than via EU (which may be consumer cheaper, may or may not be economically efficient in break bulk and distribute terms)
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Peter, the lady and her coat....

Image

On one of my trips to the States I was lucky enough to get a very good replica A2 flying jacket for $70 in a sale in Twin Cities. I wore it on the trip home but customs nabbed me for VAT on it, £40. I was not best pleased. That was thirty years ago but evidently under WTO rules it still applies.
I'm still waiting to see what happens in the Co-op where their own brand brown sauce and salad cream (both excellent) were imported from Belgium.
Meanwhile, as regards Parliamentary business I listen to Gavin Williamson broadcasting from his broom cupboard and wonder how far the Grayling Effect has penetrated the Tory Party.
I have always held that one of the joys of politics is the scurrilous article. Have a look at THIS gem from five months ago. (The whip and the red book on his desk? That's even more weird than the tarantula he had when he was chief whip.)
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I'm glad we are not still running a publishing business. We used to sell books online worldwide. It was tricky then sending stuff to the US because of the danger of tariffs but at least it was easy to the EU....then! Now I see some retailers are saying they're going to burn clothing because it's cheaper than sending it back: Adam Mansell, boss of the UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT), said it's "cheaper for retailers to write off the cost of the goods than dealing with it all, either abandoning or potentially burning them." LINK

The row over the UK downgrading the diplomatic status of the EU's ambassador in London rumbles on and now "Ex-Foreign Office ministers and diplomats said the decision was petty and could set a bad precedent." LINK Somehow we've landed ourselves with a right bunch of dunce noddies in our government! :smile:
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What tosh this government comes out with.
I listen to “More or Less “ on Radio 4.. If you haven’t heard it, it’s a brilliant programme about statistics. Today they discussed our fishing rights. Our stake has improved by just under4 %. We must defend our waters with gunboats!!!😂🤣
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