POLITICS CORNER

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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Johnson's 'Big Ben bong' looks like another dead cat being thrown on the table to get the masses talking about something other than the things that really matter. Meanwhile an American spokesman is inferring that if the UK doesn't toe the line and back Trump over the Iran nuclear plan, which hasn't yet been issued, it may cause difficulty with our trade deal. Blackmail springs to mind. The withdrawal bill now being discussed in the House of Lords has hit a snag with Johnson's(Cumming's) proposal to water down Mrs May's promise to accept all the EU laws on workers rights. Apparently by allowing lower courts to rule on the established laws it will make a dogs dinner out of the whole concept of worker protection. Just what Labour had been predicting from the start of the Brexit debate.
On Prime Minister's question time. The Prime minister's office spent a lot of time trying to predict what questions will be asked. The subjects that are in the news and have already been turned over a few times are the obvious favourites to be asked about. They will then concoct some non-answers to add more confusion to the subject. PM's questions has become entertainment for the baying MP masses.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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In Iran the man who shot the video of the missile hitting the plane has been arrested and `will face charges related to national security'. Iran
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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Rebecca Long-Bailey has moved into the lead in the latest poll for the Labour leadership. BBC featured Keir Starmer tonight on the National News. It will be interesting to see who they feature next.
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P, that statement by the former Trump Aid was barefaced blackmail and a foretaste of how the US operates in these matters.
The court matter that is most pressing if current news reports are to be believed is the fact that the whole of the justice system is failing including the prisons. All stemming from under-funding. The Tories shout about being the party of Law and Order but are failing miserably. In particular, the cutting of Legal Aid means that poor litigants are on a hiding to nothing. The judiciary theme selves are pointing this out.
No signs yet of where the public funds saved by austerity are going. Every decision seems to be delayed by 'waiting for reports', budget etc.
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PanBiker wrote: 16 Jan 2020, 18:23 Rebecca Long-Bailey has moved into the lead in the latest poll for the Labour leadership. BBC featured Keir Starmer tonight on the National News. It will be interesting to see who they feature next.
Quoted as `..with the knife-edge final run-off putting her on 51%, ahead of 49% for Sir Keir'. Has all voting machinery in the UK got jammed to put out 51:49 or 49:51 in any election? I keep seeing these two figures, all over the place - what Tripps would call `spooky'! :laugh5:
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I've just seen this on the BBC site...
`Iran plane crash: Khamenei defends armed forces in rare address' LINK
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I think that bloke qualifies as a zealot! What's frightening is the control he has over his audience but as they were bussed in from surrounding mosques I guess they were hand picked. Nation-wide he and his regime are coming under a lot of pressure. One suspects that this is all good news for the US.
Did you hear Mark François on Today yesterday promoting Aaron Banks and Leave and supporting the 'public' campaign for the Bong? The rabid section have not stopped campaigning for a hard Brexit, they have just changed tactics. If Johnson is approving this at arm's length it could be straw in the wind..... Dangerous stuff which should never have been initiated.
Later... Have we seen the opening salvoes in what could be a contentious series of discussions with the EU? I am thinking about the article Sajid Javid has written warning industry to prepare for a different world as the UK would not be taking EU rules at the end of the year. This sounds like laying down an early marker for the negotiations and isn't going to do anything to mollify the EU because one of their key aims that will not be changed is not to give the UK a deal that would be attractive to other members wanting to improve their position. Do I smell Hard Brexit or even No Deal?
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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Barlick Labour Party Branch meeting today at Midday to discuss the ramifications for the branch with the Boundary Commission changes. About 2/3rds of Coates ward has been shoved into Earby to become "Earby & Coates", only a couple of miles of green fields between the two areas! Craven Ward ceases to exist in favour of a "Barnoldswick" ward that includes Bracewell and a larger rural area extending out nearly to Gisburn. The all out Borough Council elections will be run on the new borders in May with an overall reduction of the number of councillors.

This will be followed around 1.30pm by a bit of a social during the afternoon. A joint affair between the West Craven branches.
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Stanley wrote: 18 Jan 2020, 03:43 Have we seen the opening salvoes in what could be a contentious series of discussions with the EU? I am thinking about the article Sajid Javid has written warning industry to prepare for a different world as the UK would not be taking EU rules at the end of the year.
I see Javid says he wants to double the UK's annual economic growth to between 2.7 and 2.8% regardless of Mark Carney having said he thought the UK's trend growth rate was much lower, at between 1.0 and 1.5%. If austerity is over and Javid gets to spend lots of money I bet they'll spin it as being the `Brexit bonus', trying to convince us that all that austerity was due to being in the EU and now we're out we're suddenly rich. Thank goodness the Big Ben Bongs are off. I can't stomach the idea of celebrating when we've just thrown away the benefit of 50 year's worth of bringing together 28 European countries in a peaceful and economically fruitful friendship.

I'm a bit puzzled about the Momentum leadership poll `won' by Long Bailey. She was the only candidate for leader. She got about 70% of the votes - who did the other 30% vote for if she was the only candidate? The vote was restricted to Momentum members, of whom there are about 40,000. Only 7395 voted, which is about 18%, therefore only 13% of Momentum members voted for her. Surely an election based on 18% turnout should be declared invalid? And shouldn't there be more than one candidate? Sounds more like Zambia than the UK! :smile:
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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"I see Javid says he wants to double the UK's annual economic growth to between 2.7 and 2.8% "
I agree Tiz. All part of the obvious campaign of relentless optimism about Brexit which I fear will eventually be exposed as just that, whistling in the dark. Nobody knows what the future holds and I trust Mark Carney's assessment more than Javid's.
I hear what you are saying about the Momentum voting figures but don't attach any importance to them unlike you Tiz. All that matters is the eventual agreed candidate for leadership and the subsequent vote. This is notoriously hard to predict. Look at Corbyn for an example. We shall have to live with the final result and I am not optimistic, the old schisms will not go away. It's not beyond the bounds of possibility that eventually there could be a split in the Party. For instance, due to the peculiar pressures in Scotland it wouldn't surprise me if the Labour Party there opted for independence. It's all connected to how radical the factions are, an old story in the Party. We shall see.....
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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None of my business really, but does the Labour Party really need a three month process to elect a new leader? The first hustings were held yesterday, and there are another eleven (count them) to come. Such meetings seem to me, to be a hangover from the 19th century. Are they appropriate for the 21st - in the age of television and the internet?
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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All in different parts of the country and yes I know that TV covers the same areas as well. Hustings generally allow questioning of the candidates by some means. There is also the logistics of balloting around 500,000 members which is around what the party has at the moment. At least it's a finite process unlike brexit which has had more goalpost moves than you can shake the proverbial stick at. :smile:
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Here's what Jess Phillips thinks of hustings - not a big fan :smile: - from The Guardian

So now for the honesty.

I hated the first hustings on Saturday. Genuinely the most inspiring moment was the sound of a baby crying in the audience. That was Baby Alfie, whose mother I knocked doors with while he was still safe in the womb. She knocked doors in the rain, in a seat we lost, while she was nine months pregnant and in possible slow labour.

The hustings was awful. I was awful because I was trying to hit a million different lines and messages in 40 seconds. Some were my lines, some were other people’s, and it fell flat.

It was not all my failing. The format of the hustings is terrible. To answer any question in 40 seconds is ridiculous. If it were possible to sum up, for example, an economic plan or an industrial strategy in 40 seconds, one wonders why they are actually hundreds of pages long. What a ridiculous farce.

“How will you unify the party?” is an example of a question we will be asked in every hustings. Everyone is going to give the same bloody answer: “I’ll build a broad team, I’ll end factionalism, I’ll make sure all are welcome … blah blah blah.” The truth is it is going to be a long hard slog of carrot and stick. This is no criticism of the other candidates – I did it, too. The real truth is you have to inspire change. You have to lead people to it, they have to believe in your intentions and want to go along with you.

I have absolutely no idea what kind of test of leadership it is for five people to stand on a stage and deliver frankly dull pre-rehearsed lines, some that have clearly been focus-grouped to death. How does it show how you will lead a team, inspire people to action or reach out into the country? It doesn’t. It proves some people can practise lines.
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Isn't it wonderful how many 'experts' there are out there on the royals. All putting the same gloss on the stitch-up. Paying the costs of the refurb on Frogmore 'Cottage'? More likely coming out of Chuck's back pocket. The news yesterday was wall to wall Harry/Meghan. Enough already! (I suspect hat on the quiet Brenda is not amused.
Is it my imagination or is there a growing tide of doubt being expressed about eventual Brexit and the economic situation, mostly from captains of industry? Are they getting fed up with the relentless optimism from the government and looking at harsh reality?
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Stanley wrote: 20 Jan 2020, 03:13 Is it my imagination or is there a growing tide of doubt being expressed about eventual Brexit and the economic situation, mostly from captains of industry? Are they getting fed up with the relentless optimism from the government and looking at harsh reality?
Chancellor, Sajid Javid, has said that it is possible that the cost of food may rise when we finally leave. To me that's not a problem because its what the vast majority of people voted for. Isn't it? He also implied that that industry have had years of warning about Brexit and should have made contingency plans for it. Admittedly they didn't know any detail. Sounds a bit like a Donald Rumsfeld quote...

Rumsfeld stated: Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.

Is that clear.
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Tripps wrote: 19 Jan 2020, 15:40 None of my business really, but does the Labour Party really need a three month process to elect a new leader? The first hustings were held yesterday, and there are another eleven (count them) to come. Such meetings seem to me, to be a hangover from the 19th century. Are they appropriate for the 21st - in the age of television and the internet?
For the Libdems it will be even longer before they know who is their new leader: `A timetable was set at an 18 January 2020 meeting of the party's Federal Board... Nominations will open 11 May and close 28 May. The ballot will open 18 June and close 15 July.' (Wikipedia)
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Notable that Javid has been told his position is safe in any reshuffle. What happens if the do-do hits the fan on leaving the EU. One thing is clear to me, Johnson will not admit he was wrong, he will place any blame squarely on the intransigence of the EU and in passing I suspect Javid will be a scapegoat.
I am with Rumsfeld, we are in the grip of unknowns and so is the government. It is dishonest not to admit this. I still expect the trade talks to stall and for Johnson to initiate a No Deal version of leaving. What the effects will be is the unknown, all I am sure of is that if it does happen it will be the worst of all worlds!
As usual, we watch and wait. We are not helped by the fact that there has evidently been a decision to avoid any interaction with the media apart from discussing ad infinitum any 'safe' current matters like Meghangate. A safe distraction...... Expect a lot more of this.
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Did you hear the EU official a few days ago saying he expected that Britain would eventually apply to return to the EU?
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I think that official was Michel Barnier, I heard him on R4. He has said it before and I suspect he's right. Common sense usually prevails in the long run. (" In the long run we are all dead" J M Keynes.
Because of my current reading I was thinking about the way the propaganda we were flooded with in WW2 still influences historians. I fear that Brexit is another example of this. Any stray piece of genuine evidence as to what is happening is like a shaft of sunlight through the overcast on a very wet day. Old country people used to call them 'The eyes of God'. The antithesis of 'false news'.
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Question.. How many dead cats can fit on a single table?
Attempts to divert the public's attention away from the real economic issues are getting out of hand. The list is getting longer.

Radical overhaul of the civil service. ie; redundancies.
Bung a bob for a Big Ben Bong.
Move the House of Lords to Barlick or its equivalent.
Close down the BBC and sell it to Fox News.
HS2 shall we shan't we, Northern powerhouse.etc:

Can't make up my mind who to attribute the original propaganda to. Either Hitler or Stalin. they both have good claims to the ideas.
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plaques wrote: 22 Jan 2020, 09:30 Bung a bob for a Big Ben Bong.
In The Times every Saturday Hugo Rikind writes a spoof `My Week' based on someone or something in the news. Last week it was the Big Ben Bong WhatsApp Group. The group members are all discussing the bongs and as usual there are plenty of Rikind's amusing things such as Michael Gove thinking they're talking about a drug called bong. It's the last paragraph that really amused me. `Hello, it's Boris here. I've just found this phone. Anyone know whose it is?'
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I watched Javid at Davos telling the US representative that we were going ahead with taxing big tech even though the man had said that if we did the US would impose taxes on UK car exports. Very reassuring for a hard pressed sector of British Industry. The present atmosphere of 'trade protection' is economic war, nothing less than that.
"Two hundred years ago, the prominent German military theorist Carl von Clausewitz proposed his famous definition of war as “the continuation of politics by other means.”" Add to that "Trade protection is war by other means" (SCG. 2020.)
I agree with P, his list is accurate and note that in all cases there are no firm decisions being made, all kicked down the road for 'future announcement'.
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Stanley wrote: 23 Jan 2020, 04:45 Very reassuring for a hard pressed sector of British Industry.
I see you've caught the irony bug from Plaques. We'll have to institute those irony codes: [irony on] [irony off] or we won't know whether what is written in posts is what we think it means! :extrawink:
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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For Tizer (irony off)

Taxes on UK made cars is not as simple as it sounds .
Cars made in the UK include...
Aston Martin DB9.
Bentley Continental GT.
Honda Jazz.
Jaguar XK Convertible.
Land Rover Discovery 4.
Mini Clubman.
Morgan 4/4 Two Seater.
Nissan Leaf.
Only the Morgan is fully British owned all the rest are Continental or Asian /Indian owned. If Trump was to tax all cars the UK would come under pressure to drop the high tech tax until there was international agreement. Another dead cat on the table?
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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I'm beginning to suspect that all political news now is smoke and mirrors. The only shafts of light come from opposition questions. Give Corbyn his due he's asking the right questions and highlighting the government failings which verge on outright lies. I still watch and wait, the next real clues as to direction could come in the Budget. (Wednesday 11 March)
Later... a lot of discussion about another white elephant this this morning, HS2. This round has been triggered by a very critical report from the NAO. (LINK) It blames both DfT and HS2 Ltd for bad management of public money and not making adequate provision for unforeseen problems.
This is going to be a political problem as nobody knows what the network north of Birmingham is going to be or even what the ground conditions are.
My reading of this is that the London/Birmingham line will get the go ahead but North of Birmingham will be put on hold until it is properly surveyed and costed and before that happens the actual shape and size of that connection will have to be decided. That'll be interesting! The bottom line is don't expect high speed trains reaching the north before 2050 if you are lucky!
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