POLITICS CORNER

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Sue »

I love your discussions but don’t read them often as I find your pessimism depressing . Unlike my great grandfather John R Widdup I have never had a huge interest in politics, but do now understand all the underlying implications, even more depressed now! I do wish I had known my great grandfather though, and I think from what I have read most of you would have liked him. I found loads of articles about him yesterday whilst spending my day browsing online.
If you keep searching you will find it
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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plaques wrote: 01 Jan 2020, 12:43 America and Russia are the two big players in this game although Russia hardly gets a mention in the UK press.
You must be reading the wrong newspapers, Plaques!
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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Tizer wrote: 02 Jan 2020, 16:57 You must be reading the wrong newspapers, Plaques!
Which poses the question which are the right newspapers?
I'm well aware of the atrocities of the Nazi and Stalin era and also the fact that they continued in Russia well after WW2 ended. Having established the fact that the Russians are the guys in the black hats with a single six shooter on their belts we can now look across the pond at those in the white hats with twin silver guns strapped round their waists. The Ukraine and Syria are current the two main conflict areas with America coming face to face with Russia. Of course our propaganda papers always paint 'our side? as being in the right. Ever since Winston Churchill and Franklin D Roosevelt forged the special relationship which kept WW2 going and placed us as a bankrupt nation forever in their dept we have been their puppet.
Of course there is always big coverage of Russian involvement in cases like the Skripal's which has largely been forgotten through lack of evidence. Then the interference in the referendum voting where Johnson seems reluctant to issue the report. All in all we are constantly hearing that Russia is trying to destabilize Europe while America is trying to help by threatening to withdraw from NATO and impose sanctions on companies who have the audacity to work or trade with Russia.
Perhaps I was wrong to say Russia hardly gets a mention, it should have been favorable mention then we wouldn't have the depressing pessimism that Sue quite rightly mentions.

Rant over.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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Sue, from what I know about JWR he would be very happy with us and with me because he wasn't tainted by the anti-Russian hysteria stoked up by the US after WW2 to persuade the people who had bought War Bonds not to cash them as there was still a need for defence. They did this because if they had all been cashed it would have been a body blow to the US economy. Always handy to have a bogey man to frighten the plebs with!
We did the same thing in the days of empire. The Russian Bear was portrayed as a threat to India and as the route from Russia to India was via Afghanistan we interfered there with disastrous consequences. It was this political bias which forced the refusal of sanctuary to the Tsar and his family at the time of the Revolution and this led directly to their assassination. Anyone who has really studied the history knows that it was Russia who bled the Nazis dry in the East and this was the biggest factor in the downfall of the Third Reich. To read the official western histories and propaganda it was the US that won or the Plucky Brits. There was never any mention of the enormous Russian death toll and the damage to their country after the war.
I am no apologist for the worst excesses of the Russian government any more than I am for ours but I have to recognise the historical facts and so many opportunities have been missed for improvements in relations in the last 200 years. I think JWR and I would have been on the same wavelength. Nothing wrong with 'Workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!'. If you doubt any of this ask me for a reading list!
So P is on the money again. I seem to remember 'The Right Newspapers' advocating Fascism, supporting 'Eugenics' and even advocating rapprochement with Herr Hitler. I could go on but it would be boring.
How it concerns me now is that we are in the grip of the same sort of PR machine which is telling us that we have a wonderful future, a Golden Dawn, stretching before us when all I see is a divided country, a fragile economy and a total refusal to address the real problems of poverty, inequality of opportunity and misery which are exactly the same now as when Seebohm Rowntree started his wonderful foundation to actually enquire and identify those problems. The results of their current enquiries are a rerun of what the conclusions were in the late 19th century. Some freedom, some democracy!
So watch and wait and raise your voice when you see things that are wrong. Actually all you have to do is listen to reliable news sources.
Yes I am angry, and JWR would have been as well.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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plaques wrote: 02 Jan 2020, 20:08
Tizer wrote: 02 Jan 2020, 16:57 You must be reading the wrong newspapers, Plaques!
Which poses the question which are the right newspapers?
If you want news from Russia The Times has a new correspondent on its Russia desk, Anton Troianovski: Troianovski And if you don't want the newspaper then you can go direct to a correspondent's blog: Parfitt

Trump's latest mistake is the assassination of the Iranian general in Baghdad. It's one thing assassinating a head of ISIS or of Al-Queda, they are not sovereign nations, but killing Iran's top general is a step too far. The US is not at war with Iran but they are acting as if war had been declared. The clever thing would have been to snatch the general then put him on public trial with full discussion of all his killings. Instead they've made him a martyr and given Iran a stronger excuse to attack Americans and other westerners.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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Thank you Tizer. Not a fan of the Times but I've bookmarked Parfitt's blog page.

It would appear that our special relationship has fallen at the first hurdle. Tory MP's are claiming that the UK government were never informed that they were about to kill Qassem Soleimani. Whether this is true or not we will never get to know. If Johnson was told before hand the question becomes did he agree or not. If he did agree then he is complicit in this murderous action. If he advised against it so much for our special relationship and fantastic trade deals. Dominic Raab our Foreign Secretary has given one of those wishy washy political answers ' he was aggressive but we should look to calm things down'.
Should we worry? Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria springs to mind.
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I had exactly the same thought P. I listened carefully to the comment yesterday which was very wide ranging and interesting. The general consensus seems to be that this will not in itself trigger war but Iran will retaliate. What happens then is dependent on the US reacts. The opinion is that neither the US or Iran want war but this action has poked a stick into a hornet's nest. Like so may things, we shall just have to watch and wait.
What a world we live in......
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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Perhaps the biggest miscalculation on America's part is that America is taking this action for hegemony and profit. The Iranian's for their 'ideal' and for 'their' country. Under these circumstances in the long run I would back the Iranian's.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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That's a very good point P and I tend to agree. The long history of Western 'interest' in Iraq, Iran and the Gulf States is based primarily on exploitation of oil reserves. This has always been denied but is self evident. As with so many of these things we have to watch and wait. Two things are certain, Trump is a loose cannon and the last thing the world needs is a war in the which would soon involve Iraq.
Another field where we watch and wait is Brexit. According to the latest info the next session starts on Tuesday this week. One would imagine that the Brexit Bill will be the first order of business. Perhaps we will get some clues then.
Later. Reports of fury in Whitehall caused by the absence of any senior figures from Cobra meetings and the lack of direction during the current crisis in Iran. Johnson is said to be on his way back from Mustique, he might find himself doing a Morrison, explaining why he didn't come back immediately.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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No hard political news at all, nothing but gossip and conjecture. One gets the feeling that Downing Street are keeping a low profile. Tomorrow's session may start to give us some clues about the direction Johnson is taking us.
Later... Iran and the US dominate the news. There is a growing feeling that Trump has taken this action to divert attention from the impeachment proceedings in the run up to the election. He is proposing committing another international crime, attacking cultural sites.
At home the government's stance towards the US is softening. I get the impression that any possible trade deal with the US is having an influence. This is bad. The bottom line is that the whole affair is barely legal and very dangerous. We should not support it.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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Angela Rayner has put her cap in the ring for the post of Deputy Leader, good, I like her. Seen her a few times and she is a particularly rounded and down to earth individual. She supports Rebecca Long Bailey as well for leader, she has been mentioned but has yet to declare an interest. In my view that particular pair would be a force to reckon with and will get my votes if on the ballot.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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I had already decided to vote for a woman. That news helps me Ian, thanks.
I see Trump is threatening Iraq with sanctions now and saying they have to pay the US for the Bagram air base. The man is raving mad!
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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The quest for the correct Labour leader is probably the most difficult decision they are going to have to make for years. Corbyn and McDonnell were sound enough but didn't have the charisma to get the population behind them. Bringing in new blood sounds OK but without the experience of detecting the elephant traps it could lead to one blunder after another. The right-wing press would love it. Having someone learn the game on the hoof could come really unstuck if Johnson calls another snap election before things start going downhill. Some serious thinking needs to be done.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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Rebecca Long Bailey is now a candidate for leader, declared this morning. :smile:
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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Stanley wrote: 07 Jan 2020, 03:06 threatening Iraq with sanctions now and saying they have to pay the US for the Bagram air base.
In the interests of pedantry - Bagram air base is in Afghnistan
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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You're right David, sorry for that. I find I have little interest in politics at the moment, it's a distraction from getting to grips with this new phone!
I did note that far from an all out assault on Brexit yesterday Johnson didn't even bother to go to the House. Commendably letting ministers do their jobs or avoiding awkward questions? If this is a shift away from Presidential style a la all leaders since Thatcher I welcome it as long as it is accompanied by proper Cabinet government..
Later, news that Uri Geller has responded to Cummings' call for 'weirdo' volunteers. Good God! What next?
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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A letter in The Times points out that if you choose a `weirdo' as your chief special advisor then don't be surprised if he wants to populate the civil service with weirdos! :smile:
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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I saw him going into work (10 Downing Street) yesterday - deliberately scruffy - no jacket, jeans and jumper, and carrying the obligatory paper cup of coffee. I can't really explain why this bothers me, but it does. :smile:
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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`UNISON backs Keir Starmer to be the next leader of the Labour Party' Unison
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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David, Probably the same reason that means faces with two or three days stubble offend me. Perhaps a spell in the army was a good thing after all? They always told me it was 'personal pride'.
Johnson met Ursula von der Leyen yesterday and she told him quite clearly (in diplomatic terms) that his timetable for the trade deal is impossible. I can see that 'trade deal' is going to be the buzz word this year.....
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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Stanley wrote: 09 Jan 2020, 03:30 Perhaps a spell in the army was a good thing after all? They always told me it was 'personal pride'.
The rule was "no shave - no breakfast" that usually worked. :laugh5:
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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This is an interesting link between climate change and international geopolitics...
`As the ice melts, Greenland considers its future' LINK
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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Barry Gardner MP, who announced he was considering standing for Labour leader, which resulted in laughter from a range of commentators, has now said he isn't. (Laura Kuensberg).

I saw him in an interview a while ago, when someone revealed he is a very talented whistler. He was a good sport, and demonstrated his gift by whistling "Ode to Joy" in a quite impressive performance. He'd have made a fair living on the music hall stage in another age. :smile:

Not a lot of people know that. . . .
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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David, in my day if you hadn't shaved and had no note from the MO the Wrath of the CSM descended on you! This worked! Cummings needs some discipline. Remember him and Gove being taken to task for using private emails to plot? PE says he is up to his old tricks again and in view of the Cabinet Data leak he might get nabbed for it.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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Stanley wrote: 10 Jan 2020, 03:23 Remember him and Gove being taken to task for using private emails to plot?
That must have been in the days before Whatsapp! :smile:

`US killing of Qasem Soleimani is good news for IS jihadists' LINK
By Jeremy Bowen, BBC Middle East editor, Baghdad (it's always worth listening to him.)
`US President Donald Trump's decision to assassinate Gen Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran's Quds Force, has set off a chain of consequences....History has shown that jihadist extremists thrive most when they can take advantage of instability, chaos, and weakened, divided enemies. That has happened before and there is a strong chance it will happen again.'
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