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  1. #281
    The Brain
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    If that's true then you're definitely far ahead of us in the political game!

  2. #282
    Author of 101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die Samuel 'Plan's Avatar
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    I agree with Prime, re this dominating our political discourse for another couple of decades - but (and call this head in the sand if you like) I can't see it ending anywhere other than with us being in the EU, either 'still' or 'again,' be it through a second referendum, an outright revocation of Article 50 or a return to the fold after the inevitable crushing reality of leaving really sets in.

    Maybe I'm just hoping. Because I'm sure as hell frightened to death. We're seeing the government transparently lie and fail to be adequately and effectively taken to task over it. We're seeing reckless rhetoric increase in use, rather than decrease. We're getting blitzed with propaganda. The independence of the judiciary is already being turned into a normalised talking point by the press. It's really, really frightening.

  3. #283
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    It might end up with us still in, but I don't see them letting us back in, if we do leave. Not after the mess we've made for everyone. Not in our lifetime at least.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  4. #284
    Toubabo Koomi The Dude's Avatar
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    Leaving with no deal sounds terrible. And Boris is apparently going to break the law to do so...

    Not a good example to lead by.
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  5. #285
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    He's certainly posturing as if he's going to do that. But at this kind of stage you don't know how much of anything is posture and how much they'll follow through on.

    Sam Gyimah joined the Lib Dems in the last few days. Another interesting appointment following in the wake of Phillip Lee, given that he was the guy who as universities minister started talking up that free speech at Universities thing, saying it's 'no right wing conspiracy', then it became apparent that everything he'd cited as 'evidence' was made up and he'd just uncritically related some student anecdotes rather than doing any work to establish the truth of what he was saying. So he's an interesting fit for the Lib Dems, to say the least. Then again, given their limited numbers maybe they are in no position to turn people like him and Lee down. You can't look a gift MP in the mouth when you have fewer than 20 yourself.

    I've heard it said in recent days that if the Tories could be turned off their current tack, there's enough evidence in Swinson's record that she'd be more likely to back a moderate Tory in the event of a hung parliament than a Corbyn-led Labour party. Though where exactly you find a moderate Tory after the Johnson cull is anybody's guess.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  6. #286
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    Swinson got heckled for vetting, or rather not vetting, the incoming defectors well enough at the party conference. I suppose it depends on how you see it - are the Lib Dems being desperate to pick up bodies in Parliament, or are they actually taking care to keep within their own mission statement. Seems to me that some think it's more the former than the latter.

    Seems like we're still not offering any solution to the backstop agreement. What I'm really struggling with is this whole cloak and dagger approach from the Tories - you've got Raab this morning coming out and going 'oh, we've got ideas, but we're not actually going to tell you them because that hurts our negotiating position'. Which just seems ridiculous to me.

  7. #287
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    That right there is always the difference between grassroots and parliamentary parties. Grassroots are always more idealistic, parliament are always more pragmatic. I'm sure the response would be something like 'it's easier to get our mission statement across when there's more than a handful of us in the chamber'. But it doesn't make tough questions go away, especially as this is a party that is still rebuilding trust, really.

    Reminds me of the interesting case when Shaun Woodward crossed the floor to join New Labour, and they took him. Caused a major backlash and meant when he tried to move to a safe seat there was a left-wing challenge in the constituency. But even when there was a majority of almost 180, it was still seen as better to have the extra MP for 2 years and deal with the fallout than not. Of course you have to factor in New Labour/Old Labour politics into those divisions too, but it still makes for something interesting to think about.


    As for the Raab thing, I'm not sure anyone really believes they have ideas. Even the hardline surely must just believe this is a strategy and they're playing out the clock.....

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  8. #288
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    An update. One of the key planks of the government's argument is that this isn't a case for the courts to rule on - essentially repeating the argument of the English high court. What it reads like is this: if the Miller team can't provide evidence of an actual law that has been broken, it shouldn't really be considered a matter for the courts and instead just be one that has political oversight.

    Now - the latest development is that No. 10 are briefing that they expect to lose on that point, whether or not they lose the whole thing. So a significant moment if that comes to pass, and I don't imagine that they'd be managing expectations on something like this. I figure that they'd play up the rightness of their cause until they lost.

    But, all down to 11 judges at the end of the day. Have to wait and see. But still, significant movement.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  9. #289
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    It's interesting the basic Government argument seems (I must admit, I'm skim reading the coverage a bit) to be that they've not broken a law - while the opposition isn't really arguing that they have, just that they're operating in a way to avoid scrutiny and acting in extremis.

  10. #290
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    It's an interesting argument really, that fine distinction between legality and constitutionality.

    From what I'm reading this could go either way. Interesting, given that the Miller case in 2017 (that Parliament and not the executive had to trigger article 50) went by 8 votes 3 - implies this could be a bit closer than that. I suppose that margin of error will give people arguing for parliamentary sovereignty some hope, though.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  11. #291
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    Man, when I say David Cameron is the worst Prime Minister in living memory, he seems to want to find more and more ways to go on and prove it. Has now voluntarily, without any prompting, gone and dropped the Palace into a political scandal by telling people he got them to intervene (ever so gently) in the Scottish indy ref of 2014.

    What a fucking turd that man is. How he ever thought he was capable of running a country I'll never know. Desperately sad he was able to convince so many people that he was ever anything more than he was (including, and I'll believe this to my dying day, Nick Clegg, who wrecked his own political career and came within a knife-edge of ruining his party because he trusted that man).

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  12. #292
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    Oh yeah, Cameron was an absolute shit heap. People have probably retroactively seen him in a slightly kinder light given who's followed him, first complete ineptitude and second a buffoon, but he was an utter fucker.

  13. #293
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I'm sure I've probably said something like this before, but I still see him as worse than what's followed because he caused it. He had pretty much clear water and put us in this mess. The people that followed have been 'worse', but they've had a much rougher deal.

    I suppose it's like a 'pound-for-pound, he's worse' kind of argument that I make when I say these things. Although even given his shit hand, Boris is running the risk of exceeding that at the moment. He needs a win, because if he doesn't get anywhere - if his sole legacy is to voluntarily give up his majority, have the courts say he misled the Queen and then resign, never to be seen in Downing St again - I mean, that'd be historically bad.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  14. #294
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    Would Boris, if he resigned by (let's say) October 22nd, be the shortest non-temporary PM in UK history? I have a vague recollection of Brown being the shortest tenure since Douglas-Home in the 60s, but I think he nearly had a whole year. Johnson will be, what, under 90 days?

  15. #295
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Yes, he would. I know that the current shortest tenure is held by George Canning, at 119 days, so Johnson would be still about a month short of that if he quits before October 31st.

    And it's worth pointing out that Canning neither quit nor was he forced out, but rather he died in office. So an unfair comparison in one key way, too.

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  16. #296
    The Brain
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    Is there a real chance of Boris going so soon?

  17. #297
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I suppose it all depends on what you consider a real chance. I'd say it's unlikely, but yes, there's a chance. Maybe a 1 in 5 shot?


    EDIT: Just to the above thing, Canning was obviously a long time ago. In modern politics, the only comparable length reigns (if Boris does go out very quickly) would be during the tumultuous reorganisation of the parties after WWI. Once Lloyd George lost in 1922, you have a run of short-lived PMs. Bonar Law (210 days), got very ill and was replaced with Stanley Baldwin (246 days) who lost enough seats to allow a Labour minority government under Ramsey McDonald (288 days).

    After that things stabilised, and both Baldwin and McDonald came back for lengthier terms after that, so I'm not sure if you'd really want to count them given they were PM for years if you take the subsequent terms into account. Bonar Law died within six months of leaving office so again, not really a fair comparison.

    If you want a single term for a PM bought down really by their own mismanagement in the modern era of politics, you have to look at Anthony Eden. Bought down by the Suez crisis after just 1 year, and 279 days. But obviously, he'd gave passed Alec Douglas-Home well before that.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  18. #298
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    Fucking Labour man..... We're gonna need a bigger boat.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  19. #299
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    The Labour strife seems to be continuing...

    And fucking Thomas Cook. We've seen a lot of businesses shut up shop citing Brexit, and far more moving jobs from the UK... but this.... a high street institution up and down the country with a history stretching back to the height of the industrial revolution in Victorian Britain, costing about 9,000 British jobs... this one feels different. Like it might actually be big enough to get a few people to sit up and pay attention.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  20. #300
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    I can't wrap my head around this Labour stuff - and I'm genuinely stunned that Corbyn, of all people, doesn't seem willing to suggest that remaining is better than leaving, particularly given his backbench record. I always feel there's a little bit of a disingenuous air around his stance and while I can get that he's trying to balance a difficult tightrope between driving half the electorate away and keeping half on side, he's essentially failing to do either.

    Now, that could be to do with party make-up as much as anything. But the time for him to sit on the fence is surely done - the next election is very clearly going to be along the leave/remain lines, and not falling on one side is going to cost Labour seats, in my opinion.

  21. #301
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    From what I understand, and I must confess I'm getting more of this second-hand than out of any research of my own, Corbyn's not the greatest lover of the EU in the first place, and as an old-school socialist sees it as an essentially liberal institution that is committed to a free-market that (as he sees it) guarantees inequality. He doesn't like the direction the Tories are trying to take Brexit, but has no great love for the idea of remaining, either.

    So it might be more than just trying to play both sides of the electorate. It might be - quite simply - that he doesn't like it, and doesn't want to go with it anymore than the party membership will force him to go.


    But I think you're right about it costing them seats. The only way they don't end up getting battered seems to be some sort of alliance/tactical voting amongst the non-Tory parties. And I can't see anyone in the LD/Green/SNP areas wanting to sign up to that with Labour based on the platform coming out of conference.

    Meanwhile, the Tories have shot back up to the mid-30s in most polls and the Brexit party are back down to around 10%. Labour and the Lib Dems currently look like having only 20-25% a piece, and while the Lib Dems might do OK in some those are the kind of numbers that could see Labour get fewer than 200 seats. Which would be a worse result than they got in 1983, and almost as bad as the Tories in the Blair wipe-out of 1997.


    EDIT: Though to give them some credit, I'm totally there for the reduction of the working week to 32 hours.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  22. #302
    The Brain
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    So what's the story with Thomas Cook? I know I could google it but honestly I feel like y'all explain this stuff more clearly than the actual news does.

  23. #303
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    They're a travel company. One of the biggest in the country. And they've gone bust, so now we're looking at trying to get everyone who is out there on holiday back, along with seeing thousands of people lose their jobs.

    The Brexit link isn't everything but it is an industry that has been hit by the uncertainty because people don't want to book holidays knowing the uncertainty.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  24. #304
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    Really, they're one of a number of high street companies in a whole range of industries that have gone into adminstration, ceased trading, or flirted with one of those since the recession in 2008(?).

    Rent rates are increasing, online outlets like Amazon offer goods cheaper so they have to try and compete, but as a result the profits against overheads are unsustainable.

    Obviously Thomas Cook differs in that they're not a traditional seller of goods, but I'm sure there are plenty of ways to get what they offer as package holidays cheaper online, either from a different seller that will pull it together for you cheaper, or by putting it together yourself.

    As far as Labour goes, like Prime says the main thing this likely does is rule them out of a 'remain' alliance with other parties, which in turn hurts them. I could see some Labour remainers switching their votes too, because this is an issue people feel so strongly on and is most likely going to be the key point in any election - unless Johnson walks us out of the EU on October 31st.

  25. #305
    The Brain
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    Heard about the Thomas Cook stuff at work, so I know that's a big one... sounds like a fair number of people got stranded because of it. Yeesh.

  26. #306
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    Personally, it's really bad news as my mum was taking Thomas Cook to court as part of a discrimination case and will now likely not get any compensation, even though the evidence is overwhelming.

    From what I've heard from her during her time her, the company was directionless, not taking care of it's employees or customers properly and just shoddy overall.


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  27. #307
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    The Supreme Court has just upheld the Scottish court. Implicitly, they've agreed that Boris Johnson misled the Queen.

    There's been a Brexit Party spokesman on TV already who has said that he expects Dominic Cummings to resign today, Boris Johnson to resign tomorrow, Brexit to be put back beyond October 31st, a lot of anger in the country, and that a General Election is needed ASAP.

    He's also reiterated that the offer of a 'Leave Alliance' at the next election still stands.



    EDIT: This from the BBC.

    "But talk of embarrassment, having an Order in Council, an act by the Sovereign, declared unlawful by the court, null and void and having no effect – I’ve been looking through the precedents and I can’t find a precedent."


    I think this is the thing that is really staggering. Basically what this means is that Boris has created a situation where the courts have had to strike an Act by the Monarch from existence, to overrule it and say it never existed. Huge.

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  28. #308
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    Yeah, it's an enormous decision by any measure. I'm fascinated by what happens next - but also watching through my fingers.

    Johnson - based on the headline I read this morning - seems willing to try and lawfully prorogue parliament to the same date. Bercow is already saying that Parliament will be sitting tomorrow morning, but with no PMQs, and he'll allow more SO24's to be used in the near future. People calling for Cummings' head, Johnson's head, an immediate General Election...it's going to be a remarkably topsy turvy couple of days.

  29. #309
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    I know this probably goes more to opinion than to political fact, but is there a best case scenario out of all this?

  30. #310
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    It's... hard to see one, for anyone but the Brexiters.

    In the short term, the best case scenario is just the death of Johnson's political career and his replacement with someone more competent and respectable.

    Beyond that, that wing still hold the best cards right now, so even if they lost Johnson they'd still be in control.

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  31. #311
    Author of 101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die Samuel 'Plan's Avatar
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    The scenes in the Commons tonight are just so awful. Why have people become this? Everyone's so angry all the time at each other, and it's exhausting. People are lying and cheating, and when they get caught lean into the lies and the cheats all the more instead of saying sorry. People on both sides are using rhetoric with such zeal now they've become the standard political lexicon. Apologies are not forthcoming. Parties are hostage to ideologies. The press is at its worst. The leaves have fallen in this other Eden, and I can't for a second believe that there is any envy from any less happier lands anymore.

    I weep for my country and its people. I'm so tired of being mad.

  32. #312
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    I second all of that, 'Plan. This is where I feared we were heading when the referendum result came in, and why I wanted to consider options for moving abroad at the time (unfortunately not viable for a whole wealth of options - although there was a period where a camper van and a nomadic family life was considered quite strongly) - the referendum campaign was built on the kind of bluster and bullshit we saw from Johnson yesterday, and the divide is such that any response has to be similarly phrased.

    All that's been achieved in the past three years to wedge the people in this country further apart, and there is not a single party or politician that I trust would lead a truly unifying government at this point in time.

  33. #313
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    Was an awful day, for sure.

    Y'know, there's only two ways out of this right now. One is the election, which Boris is clearly amping up the rhetoric to try and force. He reckons he'll win, and right now it looks like he is probably right (though it depends on how much damage he does to himself in getting the election going, and whether or not he suffers the same problem that May had when running against Corbyn in an election cycle). But that's why he's not backing down, he clearly thinks if he can get it to an election campaign that he'll win and then he'll have the Parliament that'll let him do whatever he wants.

    The other is essentially that the opposition are split already - because if the opposition were to get on board with supporting a Corbyn ministry, they could call the vote of no-confidence and remove Johnson. Obviously, the more he pushes it the more likely it is that this will happen. But Corbyn isn't likely to win the support of the Lib Dems, and the SNP have their own plans so something like that could probably only be a short term thing.

    But it would have to be Corbyn, and therein lies the rub for many. There's no chance of ousting the Labour leader right now, and as the leader of the opposition he's the only one that could realistically take the job. People do come up with alternatives all the time but they just aren't realistic in that, and it's going to kill anything dead to try and manoeuvre one of the other party leaders (or a temporary leadership change in the Labour Party) into the top job.


    But the number to beat the Tories/DUP is 299. So, although I don't see it happening, if this does get pushed to a crunch it's not implausible. Say, the 247 Labour votes, plus 35 SNP votes, 18 Lib Dems and Caroline Lucas all agree to pass a Corbyn Queen's Speech. That puts you at 301. Say Plaid Cumru or the Independent Group also come on board, that'd give you the cover of any defecting Labour voters. The trick, then, is if all the rest were to abstain rather than vote against. As I say, very unlikely, but there's a slight possibility of it resolving that way if Johnson can alienate Parliament to the point where even the people kicked out of the Tories say 'you know what, Corbyn's a disaster, but he's a safer pair of hands for the time being than Boris'. Right now, even Jo Swinson doesn't want to get on the same page as him, never mind the Phillip Hammond's of the world - but don't rule out some shifts in that if we get more displays like yesterday.

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  34. #314
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    So, I don't know how this works, but wondering if someone can shed some light for me on something that I've been worried about.

    Is there a chance that we effectively sleepwalk our way out of the EU with no deal, even with the Benn Act in place?

    I know recently there has been talk of somehow forcing Johnson to request the extension sooner than October 19th, which suggests there is concern there from politicians. But hypothetically (and I suppose my fear) is it possible that the Benn Act demanding an extension is requested is either ignored or otherwise subverted by Johnson (this side letter thing they keep talking about), but any subsequent court orders/appeals are not heard and fully decided upon prior to October 31st? Does that mean we leave the EU by default (given the EU deadline) and even if on, say, November 1st a decision is passed by the Supreme Court it's too late as we're out of the EU?

    The Supreme Court took, what, 3-4 weeks to pass the decision on prorogation - is it likely they can expedite things with such a hard deadline? And if they do, I suppose my question is - then what? I wouldn't be surprised to Johnson ignore any ruling that forces him to go to the EU and request an extension - so do we (well, someone) need to throw the Government out and form the temporary unity Government we've heard talk of?

    Johnson's going to love that, given he's already working a People vs Parliament angle and it's a highly effective one to take (exactly as the EU referendum showed us in the first place), so all that act does is add fuel to his fire.

  35. #315
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    We're in such weird territory that I doubt anyone can give you a definitive answer until Johnson tries it, because we don't know what would happen in what until now would have been a purely hypothetical situation: but my instinct is yes, we probably could sleepwalk out, as you put it.

    Not least because though Johnson is mandated to ask for an extension by law, the EU is in no way bound to grant it.

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  36. #316
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    Anyone else find that if a week or so goes by now, you're really hard pushed to find a way to sum it all up while at the some time get across just how much nothing has really changed for all that?

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  37. #317
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    Yep. Very much so.

    The Scottish courts have opined that they cannot force Johnson to sign a letter requesting an extension. Meanwhile it seems clear that the messaging from the Conservative party is to say they will comply with the law without actually saying they'll request the extension because they are desperately trying to find a work around that also allows them to meet the repeated messaging that we'll be leaving on October 31st.

    Remarkably, the Tories that had the whip withdrawn the other week have all objected to the opposition parties using an SO24 to allow MPs to seize control of Parliamentary business on any day between now and the end of October. That seems kind of counter intuitive, and presumably is due to them all still wanting a deal and believing the oft stated messaging that preventing no deal harms our chances of getting a deal.

    Meanwhile, Johnson is visiting yet another hospital. The American lady that's had public funding which may be linked back to him is not denying that they had an affair while appearing on TV interviews this morning - and to be honest even if he did I doubt it would bring him down anyway.

    To be honest, I've probably been paying more attention to the situation in America than in the UK in the past week or so, because that's been fascinating to me.

  38. #318
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    Appreciate the update Ollie. I've been trying to not pay attention to the situation in America so as not to get my hopes up for no reason!

  39. #319
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    I do feel like there's a bit of a brouhaha brewing over this diplomatic immunity thing, mind you, which could put the US and UK at loggerheads. Bit of a diversion from the main political issue(s) in the country at the moment, but seeing Trump dismiss the woman in question driving on the wrong side of the road at the time by just saying 'it happens' really sticks in my craw. Plus, this seems like the wrong sort of thing to be claiming diplomatic immunity for. It's not going over very well over here, if I'm reading the mood correctly.

    As for more standard UK political things, Johnson is meeting Varadkar for talks on the EU deal today. Meanwhile Corbyn is announcing what will essentially be the basis of a Labour manifesto should there be an election coming up at some point in time. Lots of interest in this - realistically it's not radically different to what was promised in the last election (public transport being taken back from private companies, ending austerity etc), but this:

    Labour will ban fracking, roll out a street-by-street insulation programme and fit solar panels on 1.75 million roofs, double large-scale solar, remove barriers to onshore wind and ensure every single new house built is a zero carbon home.
    is the sort of thing that they are pitching to, presumably, win over the green vote from those that support the further left parties. I must say, that paragraph alone is powerful enough for me to want to vote Labour next time, because I think it's the sort of forward thinking we need as a country to tackle climate issues.

  40. #320
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    So, by way of an update - it seems that Johnson has agreed, or at least made some promising noises, to revise the current Government position, and the EU and UK negotiating teams will 'intensify discussions' over the coming days.

    Whether this means we're entering the 'tunnel' (the nickname to intense negotiation, which I always envisage as everyone being locked in a windowless room with bad coffee and Danish pastries until they agree something) or whether it's a pseudo-tunnel - perhaps a wide bridge? - seems a bit unclear. It's certainly being reported as the former by the press, but I'm not sure it's been formally confirmed as being that by the UK/EU.

    There have been some rumours - like this https://twitter.com/BBCkatyaadler/st...083d8b3b9d9fcc - that the EU is concerned Johnson is playing them to then pull out down the line and look domestically strong for electoral purposes. I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see it happen at all, because I think Johnson is desperately calculating and would do anything, including playing game like that, to preserve his role as PM. But that's a bit more of a personal point.

    Where do (UK) people sit on the potential for a second referendum? I keep swaying on it, because I fear that the Government won't put one forward that isn't 'deal or no deal', whereas I'd rather we had 'deal or remain'. I guess you could do a three way one with an alternative vote system - does anybody know if there is a precedent for that?

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