POLITICS CORNER

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tripps » 11 Feb 2019, 19:54

Just when you thought this government it couldn't get any worse . . .

Gavin Williamson said he wanted the RAF to form a new “concept unit” composed of hundreds of small flying craft, although some experts in the field questioned whether the technology described existed yet.
Brexit 'can enhance UK's lethality', says defence secretary
The UK would “develop swarm squadrons of network-enabled drones capable of confusing and overwhelming enemy air defences”, Williamson said, and he promised to have them “ready to be deployed by the end of this year”.


He not only looks like Alan Partridge - he sounds like him. Probably thought that if one drone could shut Gatwick down - just think what a swarm of them could do. :smile:
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 12 Feb 2019, 03:23

Williamson, like many other politicians is living in a parallel universe totally divorced from reality. His view of defence matters is risible. See THIS Guardian article. Simon Jenkins has it about right I reckon.
Trade is another area and Liam Fox plus most Brexiteers are functioning in the same fantastic mode. They advocate taking a course that on all estimates will depress the economy totally ignoring time scales and the fact that the economy is tanking as they speak.
I hope someone is nursing a cunning plan.......
Later.... May telling MPs to 'hold their nerve' sounds like a line from Blackadder.....
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 12 Feb 2019, 10:06

Tripps wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 19:54
..although some experts in the field questioned whether the technology described existed yet.
Does it remind you of anything? Perhaps Gav will also employ them to solve the Irish border problem. Backstop, what backstop? We've got drones!

It looks like Labour might be splitting further. Those who are angered by the antisemitism are not satisfied with the latest pronouncements on the matter. LINK The issue could come to a climax just in time to coincide with May's `down to the wire' Brexit. Perfect storm.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tripps » 12 Feb 2019, 10:35

The cabinet will meet today - with just 46 days till Brexit - and nothing fully decided yet - and Brexit is not on the agenda. :surprised: It's a day earlier than planned to give members more time to digest the latest 'negotiations'.

Angela Leadsome was just on the radio, saying - by all means possible except actual words - that she wanted to cancel HS2. For reasons of collective responsibility she's not allowed to.

Was it always like this behind the scenes before the days of instant digital communication - just that we didn't hear about it? :smile:
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 12 Feb 2019, 10:45

And there was a bit hidden somewhere in The Times on Saturday saying that the latest costings for HS2 had caused such a shock that it would likely be cancelled.

Later, back on Brexit...Here's former Lord Chief Justice Igor Judge talking to Prospect magazine on 22nd January... LINK

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by plaques » 12 Feb 2019, 12:52

If we cancelled HS2 just think about how many aircraft carriers we could build it might even run to the odd battleship.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 13 Feb 2019, 03:32

Little doubt that HS2 is in serious trouble and despite instant denials the sensible lad that blew the whistle and said the £50billion was certainly going up and could end up twice that sounded credible to me. Then there was the curious incident of the vanishing CEO.....
David, If you read enough political biographies, yes it was always like this but today the matters in hand are far larger, more complicated by technology and dangerous.
Mind you the Tory course has never been about Brexit, simply stopping the Party ripping itself apart. That was the 'Cat Fight' that started the whole thing off!
Corbyn was right, nothing has changed, no details of who is discussing what and simply more 'time out' tactics. time to cut the Gordian Knot. Parliament must take control, get an extension and bang heads together.
See THIS for a meaty report on Brexit. Note particularly the report by the British Chambers of Commerce warning of the damage to industry. Then scroll down a bit more and read the report of the conversation overheard in a bar in Brussels where Ollie Robins seemed to be spilling the beans on the May strategy to take the matter right to the wire and then present Parliament with a stark choice between her deal or 'an extended Brexit negotiations'.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 13 Feb 2019, 16:09

`Secret Brexit Plot Exposed in Hotel Bar' was the Express at it again; not content with their `Poppadom Plot' they made a big front page splash about Oily Robbins in the Brussels bar. I can imagine all these politicians waiting until there's an Express reporter in earshot and then loudly dropping a hint about Brexit.

Mark Carney is warning that we're back to 2007 debt levels and the same old securitisation tricks of selling on the debts. That's all we need with Brexit around the corner.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 14 Feb 2019, 04:27

Did you hear May's Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay on Today yesterday oiling his way round all the awkward questions and avoiding any direct answers? A master class in media handling but bloody useless to anyone wanting answers. Did you hear the hauliers saying that Brexit is hitting them now as they have to know what's happening now as they can't arrange contracts beyond the end of March?
See THIS BBC report on the situation. A fair assessment I think. The right wing press are in a bit of a bind, it is now obvious that they backed the wrong horse and their blind optimism bigging May up is now a millstone round their necks but if they tell the truth they blow themselves out of the water. Good!
Despite all the wriggling, the situation becomes clearer. May is definitely putting party unity before the best result for UK PLC and it is a policy that is failing, it isn't fooling anyone and isn't holding her party together.
This Yeats poem seems apposite....

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.


Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

That says all I want to say about what is happening......
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 14 Feb 2019, 09:10

I see John McDonnell has got into trouble for saying, when asked a snap question, wether Winston Churchill was a hero or a villain. His answer was villain because of Tonypandy. The people criticising him should read their history. Churchill was widely criticised for sending the troops in nit only by the workers but by many other people across parties because it was seen as state oppression supporting private capital who were definitely tainted.
At that time and in that case I would certainly agree with John!
Good example of how the framing of a single question can get a skewed answer. Now what does that remind you of.....
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 14 Feb 2019, 16:09

The media love to pose those `quickfire' questions in interviews because they know the answers will be taken out of context by readers to suit their own beliefs. Politicians should refuse to play along with such games.

Will we see a Labour split or won't we? They're teetering on the edge and it's anybody's guess which way it will go. If it's going to happen it will be soon. :undecided:

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 15 Feb 2019, 03:25

I hope not and don't believe it will happen.
I see one Tory MP described the ERG yesterday as a 'party within a party'. That may be where the fracture happens.
Later.... I missed the news last night as I went to bed early so I waited until I heard some this morning. T May loses the vote yesterday which was supposed to be low key but the scale of the defeat (By 45 votes) signals to the EU that she is still without any firm backing from her Party or the rest of Parliament. In practical terms, this means there is no chance of any concessions from Brussels. That being the case, sticking to the deal as she is committed to do in order to stop a split in her party is a busted flush.
Question is, what do you do about a government that has lost control of the Parliament? Watch this space.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by PanBiker » 15 Feb 2019, 09:32

The usual suspects are playing down the defeat as a "blip" rather than a clear signal that she is flogging a dead horse. They can't bring themselves to admit that further negotiations are a waste of time. With the absence of a cross party concurrence by way of a coalition from day one which is what should have happened, they have nothing left. Watch this space indeed.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 15 Feb 2019, 11:25

Last thing yesterday I saw the news that Trump is going ahead and using his emergency powers to get his Mexico wall built. This will set a big and dangerous precedent because future presidents will then be able to us those powers. The Republicans have been cautious about Trump's intentions because the Democrats will now be able to do the same when they are next elected. It's the slippery slope. We have something similar here in the use of referendums. If Brexit is allowed to go through then we'll see more referendums, more populism and more bad decisions. As I've mentioned before, referendums served Hitler well.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by PanBiker » 15 Feb 2019, 12:38

Compulsory voting and some form of PR is the way forward.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 16 Feb 2019, 02:43

A simple letter to Brussels would do me.
That Angela Leadsom is a devious motor mouth. I am fed up of such people defending the indefensible. It's an insult to the voters. They must believe we are as thick as them. EU ministers keep telling us that it is May's proposals that are on the table and causing the trouble, their position is clear. May has tin ears, she can't or won't hear them. Blind stubbornness.
Read the Second Coming again and reflect.......
See THIS very comprehensive and fair report on the case of the pregnant girl in the refugee camp after fleeing from IS territory. On the whole I think that the outcry against her returning is short sighted and unfair. In particular I thought the Home Secretary was pushing the bounds of legality when he said yesterday that he would not let her into the country. I think he was grandstanding. In fact if she presents herself at the border she has a right to be admitted. The article expresses my sentiments, we should remember that this is a young woman who was groomed by extremists, she is no more culpable than a girl groomed for sex. What followed can be addressed once she is safe but she must not be abandoned. The word is compassion not knee jerk.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Whyperion » 16 Feb 2019, 09:22

Tripps wrote:
11 Feb 2019, 19:54
Just when you thought this government it couldn't get any worse . . .

Gavin Williamson said he wanted the RAF to form a new “concept unit” composed of hundreds of small flying craft, although some experts in the field questioned whether the technology described existed yet.
Brexit 'can enhance UK's lethality', says defence secretary
The UK would “develop swarm squadrons of network-enabled drones capable of confusing and overwhelming enemy air defences”, Williamson said, and he promised to have them “ready to be deployed by the end of this year”.


He not only looks like Alan Partridge - he sounds like him. Probably thought that if one drone could shut Gatwick down - just think what a swarm of them could do. :smile:
Please remind me where the enemy is and what their capabilities are (Russia? China? and which of any state or caliphate of the middle east is friend or foe ?).

Given China's ways of winning friends and influence in Africa for example, one wonders what kind of self-defence the UK actually needs (that it can afford, in money, skills and expertise, and people generally)

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Whyperion » 16 Feb 2019, 09:28

Stanley wrote:
16 Feb 2019, 02:43

See THIS very comprehensive and fair report on the case of the pregnant girl in the refugee camp after fleeing from IS territory. On the whole I think that the outcry against her returning is short sighted and unfair. In particular I thought the Home Secretary was pushing the bounds of legality when he said yesterday that he would not let her into the country. I think he was grandstanding. In fact if she presents herself at the border she has a right to be admitted. The article expresses my sentiments, we should remember that this is a young woman who was groomed by extremists, she is no more culpable than a girl groomed for sex. What followed can be addressed once she is safe but she must not be abandoned. The word is compassion not knee jerk.
I am not certain if compassion is the correct wording, but there is some kind of medial ? opinion that females are needing to be protected, in some experience the female is more the agressor, particulary when wanting to protect offspring- actual or hoped for for the future. As to attitudes to present day middle east practices the R4 in our time popped up on my BBC recomendations = Judith beheading Holofernes , and parliamentarians might do well to recall the actions of past English leaders - like Henry VIII and isn''t there a portrait of Oliver Cromwell in No10 whose actions re Charles 1 give little space for thoughts of right or wrong in this situation.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tripps » 16 Feb 2019, 11:21

Unusually - I listened to Radio 4 between 8 and 9 am this morning. Mr Humphries was in the chair. I didn't hear the word BREXIT once in the hour. Fascinating item about the forthcoming garden slug census though. Ah well - there's still 41 days to go, that should be plenty . :smile:

The current anguish about the fate of the jihadi bride - seems to have fulfilled the function of the famous 'dead cat' thrown on the table. By accident or design I don't know.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by PanBiker » 16 Feb 2019, 12:00

"I have seen bins with beheaded heads in, didn't faze me at all", says it all really. She shows no remorse for her actions so why when we are seeking to prosecute a man who joined the Kurdish forces to fight against Isis should we treat her any differently. Smacks of double standards in my book, if she is allowed back which is almost a given under International Law she will need careful scrutiny for an awful long time. Problem is there are hundreds of others also.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 17 Feb 2019, 03:21

True Ian but remember that the Times reporter said he suspected her 'friends' who were present were ISIS and she was perhaps under their influence. I am just arguing from the principle that a young lass who has undoubtedly been brainwashed should be given the benefit of the doubt. Any judgement should be left until she has been investigated thoroughly.
From the number of Tory 'loyalists' (Is there such a thing?) flocking to the media I suspect that this is a last desperate spin campaign before the shit hits the fan. All bets are off now, the denouement is imminent and I haven't the faintest idea where it will go.
David, I shall not be counting slugs!
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 17 Feb 2019, 09:05

We are told that T May is writing to all MPs telling them we must stick together. She's going to talk to all EU ministers to tell them they must break ranks. All she is telling me is that she isn't for turning..... Now where have I heard that before?
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 17 Feb 2019, 10:11

Panbiker, it's a tricky problem because even if the girl had made her own decision to go out there and wasn't `groomed' she was only 14 at the time and therefore legally a child. It's worth listening to Anthony Lloyd's views on the issue because he's been reporting on the spot from the Syria war for The Times since it began (and other wars out there before) and knows as much as anyone about life with ISIS ad the beliefs and behaviour of Brits who have gone out there and fought. (He was even shot by his local interpreter at one stage!)
Stanley wrote:
17 Feb 2019, 03:21
..the number of Tory 'loyalists' (Is there such a thing?)..
Unfortunately, yes (just as there are Labour loyalists)! :extrawink:

Perhaps someone can explain for me how the Labour Party hierarchy works? I see that Tom Watson, the deputy Labour Party leader said that the local party leader for Luciana Berger should be sacked because of the antisemitism he allowed (amongst other things) but somebody (I can't remember her name) who is Labour Party general secretary refused. Who's really in charge? :confused:

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by PanBiker » 17 Feb 2019, 10:36

This girl seems to be getting younger in various reports, was she 16, 15 or 14 as you say Tiz, I'm a bit confused. I have never said she should not be allowed back. We will have great difficulty anyway in refusing to accept her under International Law. It is illegal to make any individual "Stateless" which is what would happen if we tried to revoke her passport and citizenship. All I am saying is that she will need careful monitoring for a very long time. Probably via some form of custodial sentence, that would be for the courts to decide. It's a whole can of worms and will become a nightmare for the security services as there are hundreds set to return. She is the current IT girl because the news media have made it so. ISIS and it's doctrine have not gone away, regardless of what Trump says, just underground which makes it even more dangerous than when involved in direct territorial fighting. A scary prospect which ever way you look at it. Sadjid Javid is just grandstanding with his rhetoric about what he is going to do, he has little power in this regard other than to delay.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by PanBiker » 17 Feb 2019, 11:18

Tizer wrote:
17 Feb 2019, 10:11
Perhaps someone can explain for me how the Labour Party hierarchy works? I see that Tom Watson, the deputy Labour Party leader said that the local party leader for Luciana Berger should be sacked because of the antisemitism he allowed (amongst other things) but somebody (I can't remember her name) who is Labour Party general secretary refused. Who's really in charge? :confused:
First of all, Tom Watson is entitled to his opinion just as any other Labour Party member is, it's not up to him. Jenny Formby is the name you are looking for, she is the General Secretary of the party. She is the non voting chairperson of the NEC (National Executive Committee) which is the ruling body of the party, She is also entitled to an opinion. An elected Chairperson of a CLP can be removed in two ways, directly by the membership of the particular CLP by the mechanism of a vote of no confidence followed by a special meeting of all members of the CLP or directly by the NEC again on a majority vote. It's not down to any individual "who is in charge".

The Labour Party operates as a membership driven organisation. Individual Ward Branches make up the CLP's. The Constituency party is run by and Executive Committee (EC) which sees to the day to day running of the CLP based on the rule book and a General Committee (GC) which formulates the organisation and campaigning roles of the Constituency party. General Committee's can be formed on a branch delegate basis or can be all member. Pendle CLP operates on an all member GC meaning that any member can attend the meetings and has full voting rights. All CLP's can send delegates to the National Conference and take with them motions agreed at branch and then passed by the Constituency Party. That way any Labour Party member can have their ideas turned into party policy. We are the only party that operates on this principle of equality.
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