Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

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Dude runs straight into the Law of Medium Numbers:

For medium number systems, we can expect that large fluctuations, irregularities, and discrepancy with any theory will occur more or less regularly.

Medium number systems are those smaller than infinity and greater than systems reducible to one independent and one dependent variable.  

Medium Number systems are inherently unpredictable.

See:  Weinberg, Gerald M. An introduction to general systems thinking. Vol. 304. New York: Wiley, 1975.

by ATinNM on
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In story: In the Footsteps of Witness Bill Taylor

Re: In the Footsteps of Witness Bill Taylor
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by Oui on
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In story: Brexeternity

< wipes tears >
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Labour would only allow second independence referendum if SNP wins Holyrood majority in 2021, party sources claim
No referendum in the first term for a Labour government ...
wut. we have here --at least-- is a failure to communicate when the next GE is scheduled. amirite.

by Cat on
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In story: October Thread

Re: October Thread
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by generic on
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In story: Trust In Government Big Loser By Disinformation

Re: Trust In Government Big Loser By Disinfo
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From the same article:

Last week, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs attacked Le Mesurier on Twitter, accusing him of being a British intelligence officer and a terrorist.

Remember when Russia tweeted out their intention to take Crimea?

If anything, such tweets should be seen as an counterindication.

Throwing people from fatal heights is effective and has the pretense of being accidental. Second, befitting their broader assassination philosophy, the Russian intelligence services revel in using window-fall assassinations in a target's home or place of frequency as a calling card.

Isn't defenstration a Czech tradition? The plot thickens... (not really, though)

Russian intelligence retains a significant presence on Turkish soil. In part this is because Turkey is a nominal NATO ally, in part it's because Istanbul is a major global intelligence playground.

Replace "Russian" with any significant power and this remains true.

This is a literal conspiracy theory with no evidence at all. Of course, it is rarely needed as long as the official enemy is attacked.

by fjallstrom on
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In story: Brexeternity

Re: Brexeternity
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I got curios about the collapse for the Brexit party.

Turns out, in that poll they changed form of the headline question from selecting between all parties to selecting between candidates known to appear in your constituency. Though this is fair as a measurement on election result (you can't vote for a condidate that isn't there), it creates the illusion of a change. Also it creates even more possible distortions from the polling, depending on where those polled claims (it is yougov after all) they live, and which candidates are availeble there.

If one looks at the same question that they asked last time where the respondents are chosing between all parties the changes are:
Lib dem -1
SNP -1
Plaid Cymru +1
Brexit Party -1
Greens +1
Other +1
And that is all. Probably no statistical significant changes.

Of course, a poll that creates the impression that Conservatives are pulling ahead has an effect on the debate and can thus create the effect it claims - byt hasn't - measured. Which is probably why they do it.

by fjallstrom on
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In story: Brexeternity

Re: Brexeternity
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Opinion polls in the UK have been notoriously unreliable and even the average of polls is of dubious value in predicting seat outcomes. For instance the latest YouGov poll - the only one taken since Farage announced the Brexit Party would not be standing against the conservatives - shows the Tories with a 14% lead. The average hasn't shifted significantly since I wrote this story.

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: Brexeternity

Re: Seven in the rearview mirror, waving bye.
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The deal puts N. Ireland in a uniquely advantageous position with access to both the British and Single markets regardless of whether an EU/UK FTA is ever agreed - but the DUP are too thick to realize that.

And yes, some "miss-documentation" aka "smuggling" may also eventuate, but under the deal it will be the British who will be "policing" the "Border down the Irish sea" in accordance with Single Market rules.

If they want to give EU goods free, un-policed, access to the British market via N. Ireland, that is their business. I doubt the EU would object.  So Boris may even be right that N. Ireland firms will not have fill out customs declarations to "export" to Britain.

But no way will the EU grant GB goods the same privileged access to the Single Market. Therefore there will need to be effective border controls for goods passing from GB to N. I. intended for the Single Market - aka the Republic.

What I can't figure out is what is to prevent GB exports "exporting" control free to N. Ireland, and then for those same goods to be sent across the Irish border invoiced as N. Ireland "exports".

Given that N. Ireland is supposed to maintain "regulatory alignment" with the Single Market, those goods will have to comply with EU standards - policed at the border "down the Irish sea".

The problem may not be so much "chlorinated chickens" bypassing controls, but EU regulation compliant chickens evading any tariffs due by being invoiced first to N. Ireland customers, and then re-invoiced as N. Ireland produce for the Single Market.

In theory, customs "rules of origin" should apply, but who will police them if there is no border within Ireland? Probably some "intelligence led" spot checks at Irish air and sea ports where "unusual trading patterns" have been observed. After all there are only so many "chickens" N. Ireland producers can produce.

The same problem could also apply in reverse. What is to prevent EU goods arriving in N. Ireland via the un-policed Irish land border and being re-invoiced as N. Ireland goods and "exported" control free to the UK?

How long, in the absence of reciprocal agreements, will GB be happy to allow EU goods such privileged access to the GB market via a N. I. "loophole"?

Probably only for so long as the amounts involved are immaterial in the larger scheme of things. Ultimately some kind of "trusted trader" scheme will have to be introduced to enforce rules of origin and prevent N. Ireland becoming a new smugglers "silk road".

But for bona fide N. Ireland producers, access to both markets could put them in a uniquely privileged position, especially in the absence of a comprehensive UK/EU FTA.

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: Poland Spinning the Shoah - Anti-semitism

Re: Poland Spinning the Shoah - Anti-semitism
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The conspiracy theorists who have taken over Poland | The Guardian - Feb. 2016 |

Jarosław Kaczyński has convinced Poland that it is threatened by a shadowy leftwing cabal - and become the country's most powerful man.

At the time of Poland's liberation more than a quarter of a century ago, the Kaczyński twins were middle-ranking members of the Solidarity leadership. They participated in the 1989 round-table talks between Solidarity and the communists, which paved the way for the elections that led to the collapse of communism. However, they built their careers on the argument that Wałęsa and the liberal intellectuals at the top of Solidarity betrayed Poland's transition to democracy by allowing communists to keep their hands on the levers of power in exchange for the status of high office.

[...]

With a penchant for conspiracy and a vituperative speaking style, Jarosław Kaczyński routinely brands his opponents "gangsters", "cronies", and "reds". Before the parliamentary elections in October 2015, he claimed that migrants from the Middle East were bringing cholera and dysentery to Europe, risking the spread of "various parasites and protozoa". More recently, he implied that people demonstrating against the Law and Justice government were "the worst sort of Poles" - an epithet they have adopted as a badge of honour.

Lech Kaczyński vs. Sikorski

Related reading ...

An ill wind in Budapest by Dodo @EuroTrib on March 18, 2013
Trump's Revival of anti-EU Sentiment in Warsaw

by Oui on
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by das monde on
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In story: Trust In Government Big Loser By Disinformation

Re: Trust In Government Big Loser By Disinfo
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Did Russia kill White Helmets founder James Le Mesurier?
The ultimate point is this: Absent evidence established to the contrary, Russia should be regarded as a primary suspect in Le Mesurier's death.

by das monde on
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In story: Poland Spinning the Shoah - Anti-semitism

Re: Poland Spinning the Shoah - Anti-semitism
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'Europe is dying!' Tens of thousands of far-righters march in 'independence' parade calling for 'Polish Intifada'
Tens of thousands of Polish nationalists took to the streets of Warsaw for an annual far-right march commemorating the country's independence, with many displaying white power symbols and waving red flares and tiki torches.

Marchers carried Polish flags and chanted "No to the European Union" and "God, honor, homeland!" among other ultra-nationalist slogans. Black-hooded demonstrators held up banners calling for a "Polish Intifada" and denouncing zionism.

by das monde on
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In story: Trust In Government Big Loser By Disinformation

Re: Trust In Government Big Loser By Disinfo
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History as a giant data set: how analysing the past could help save the future
Goldstone recognised that the different components of a society - state, elites, masses - would respond differently to strain, but that they would also interact. In other words, he was dealing with a complex system whose behaviour was best captured mathematically. His model of why revolutions occur consists of a set of equations, but a crude verbal description goes something like this: as the population grows there comes a point where it outstrips the ability of the land to support it. The standard of living of the masses falls, increasing their potential for violent mobilisation. The state tries to counteract this - for example, by capping rents - but such measures alienate the elite whose financial interests they hurt. Since the elite has also been expanding, and competing ever more fiercely for a finite pool of high-status jobs and trappings, the class as a whole is less willing to accept further losses. So the state must tap its own coffers to quell the masses, driving up national debt. The more indebted it becomes, the less flexibility it has to respond to further strains. Eventually, marginalised members of the elite side with the masses against the state, violence breaks out and the government is too weak to contain it.
Educated, middle class progressives are invariably the last to notice that the society is swimming in a Malthusian-Darwinian phase. There can always be yet more institutional care, stimulation and justice, right?
by das monde on
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In story: Spanish election thread

Re: Spanish election thread
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ERC has said no, and JxCAT was even less willing to talk last time. Basicly, the coalition will have to offer them real and tangible concessions they can present to Catalans to justify even an abstention (because those parties have voters too, who will hold them to account for any betrayal). Alternatively, they can try cutting a deal with the PP or the fascists.
by IdiotSavant on
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In story: Brexeternity

Re: Brexeternity
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After one poll puts Tory lead over Labour at just 6 points - is the election race tightening?
A Survation opinion poll gives the Conservatives a 6-point lead today, the lowest since early October - so does this mean the election race is becoming closer?

Survation puts the Tories on 35 per cent and Labour on 29 per cent, a result that could give Boris Johnson a majority of just 18 seats, according to the model used by the Electoral Calculus website.

Given how many seats can change hands if there are small shifts in national shares of the vote, a projected majority of 18 is hardly secure - leaving alone the dramatic shifts in opinion that happened during the election campaign last time.



by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
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In story: Brexeternity

Re: Brexeternity
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UK election polls: Boris Johnson's lead over Jeremy Corbyn narrows as Labour makes gains
The Tory lead over Labour has narrowed ahead of the general election on December 12, the latest Survation polls show.

Labour made a 3 per cent gain, jumping from 26 to 29 per cent, while the Conservatives made marginal gains with a 1 per cent rise to 35 per cent. Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit Party both fell by 2 per cent, dropping to 17 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.

The data was collected between November 6 and 8 from 2,037 people over the age of 18.



by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on
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In story: Brexeternity

Twenty-one in the Dail, waving hello.
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Has anyone campaigning in NI yet proposed a double "rebate" for south-bound traffic?

by Cat on
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In story: Brexeternity

Seven in the rearview mirror, waving bye.
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State of the parties
excluding 21 present in the Dáil Éireann, AFAIK not voting in any chamber of UK parliament.

"English" ennui, superceding effects of GFA/Belfast with EU rearguard, and recent parliamentary acts upon NI have loosed E-W ties the chieftains slowly realize. HRM BoJo's purported "betrayal" of DUP mightn't be such a bad "deal". After all Stormont ministers are left to divvy the golden egg of exclusive, E-W port traffick "rebates". Now who wouldn't fudge a wee bit of N-S declarations and spite for that--if need be?

Scottish ministers are envious so it must be good.

by Cat on
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In story: Spanish election thread

Re: Spanish election thread
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Would have been smarter to have made the coalition earlier, but I guess they did the right thing after trying everything else. Remains to be seen if PSOE can also make a deal with the separatists in ERC.

In 2015 PSOE+Podemos had 159 seats, in 2016 156, this spring 165, and now 155, so they are in their weakest position since Podemos got going. Very stable, for elections with d'Hondt and many small constituencies and pretty large swings in support for different parties.

by fjallstrom on
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In story: Brexeternity

Thought experiment
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Let us assume core and committed party supporters vote for their respective parties - surveys indicate these are a declining number with voter churn higher than ever.

So the election will be decided by people not very committed to any party and who probably don't think much about politics or politicians and who probably haven't made up their minds to vote, and if so, how.

So who do you vote for if you are generally pissed of with politics and Brexit and all that shite? The Brexit party was a handy vehicle for that protest vote the last time around. Farage seemed to annoy the establishment and upset the apple-cart.

But now he has joined the establishment by supporting BoJo and self-impaled his own party. Isn't he Trump's guy?

Brexit - which was an anti-austerity, anti-immigrant, anti-government, anti-everything  - protest has become a monumental bore. People don't so much want to get it done as get rid of it altogether.

Also the economy doesn't seem to be going quite as well as it was. Public services are still starved of funds, the High streets are dying and nothing seems to improve.

Oh, and by the way the Tories have been in power - like forever. Cameron, May, Boris - the names change but has anything changed for the better recently? Haven't they had enough chances to get things done?

OK some people - like that bloke Rees-Smug seem to be doing very well, but hasn't he reinvested his funds in Ireland? Who's looking out for the little guy?

Is it not time to give that other guy - whatshisname - a go? He seems to annoy the establishment even more. He seems like a grumpy old man, buts that exactly how a lot of people feel right now.

What time's the match?

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: Spanish election thread

Re: Spanish election thread
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El Nacional: PSOE and Podemos sign preliminary agreement for coalition government in Spain

The agreement has ten points, one of which is dedicated entirely to Catalonia. They say they want to "guarantee social harmony in Catalonia and the normalisation of political life." They promise to "promote dialogue in Catalonia, looking for formulas for understanding and coming together, always within the Constitution", and add that they will "guarantee equality between all Spaniards".

[...]

Today's announcement is far from a done deal. Even if PSOE and Podemos do turn this into a formal agreement, they still need to get it through the Congress. Between them, they have 155 seats; an absolute majority would need 176. There is the possibility they could form a government with less support if another party or parties abstain.

For the moment, BNG (1 delegate), Coalición Canarias (2), PNV (7), Más País (2) and Més Compromís (1) have said they are prepared to vote in favour of the coalition. That would get them to 168 seats. Catalan pro-independence party ERC (13), on the other hand, have said that "right now our position is 'no'" and that "if they want something, they need to sit down and talk".

by IdiotSavant on
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In story: Spanish election thread

Re: Spanish election thread
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Guardian: Spain's ruling socialists strike coalition deal with Podemos
Spain's ruling socialist party has reached a preliminary coalition deal with the anti-austerity Unidas Podemos to try to form a government after the country's second inconclusive election in seven months.

Pedro Sánchez, the acting prime minister and leader of the Spanish Socialist Workers' party (PSOE), announced the agreement following a meeting with the Podemos leader, Pablo Iglesias, on Tuesday afternoon.

[...]

Sánchez - who said only two months ago that he would have trouble sleeping if he had Podemos ministers in his government - said the disagreements of the past no longer mattered.

"The Spanish people have spoken and now it is time for its political leaders to implement that will and to overcome the deadlock that Spain has suffered in recent times," he said.

by IdiotSavant on
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Sinn Fein is the second largest party in N. Ireland challenging the DUP for pre-eminence. It is the third largest party in the Republic where it does take its seats. No Scottish/English/Welsh party has any purchase in N.I. Corbyn campaigned for Remain in the referendum. Whether or not SF would have any influence in the next Parliament were they to take their seats is as yet unclear, and depends on how "hung" a hung parliament it turns out to be. Most likely, neither they nor the DUP will/would hold the balance of power.

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on
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In story: Brexeternity

Re: handing the election to Boris...
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by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on
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In story: Poland Spinning the Shoah - Anti-semitism

Re: Poland Spinning the Shoah - Anti-semitism
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The situation there is pretty psychotic.

by Cat on
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In story: Poland Spinning the Shoah - Anti-semitism

ECJ Rules On Products Occupied Territories
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European Court of Justices rules in line with ethical concern of consumers to differentiate where products are grown: in Israel or in Palestine. A boost for the BDS movement.

Israeli settlement products must be labeled as such, EU's top court rules | DW |

France's top tribunal sought clarification from the ECJ after the country published guidelines in 2016 that products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Golan Heights must carry labels making their precise origin clear. The guidelines were challenged by the Organisation Juive Européenne (European Jewish Organization) and Psagot, a company that runs vineyards in occupied territories.

The groups were concerned that such labeling would facilitate boycotts, such as those endorsed by the BDS movement, which Israel sees as anti-Semitic.

Palestinian Liberation Organization Secretary-General Saeb Erekat called the ruling a "legal and political obligation."

Ethical considerations

The ECJ found that simply indicating that goods originate in the state of Israel, as opposed to occupied territory, could mislead consumers about the fact that Israel "is present in the territories concerned as an occupying power and not as a sovereign entity," it said in a statement.

It said product information must allow consumers to make informed choices relating "not only to health, economic, environmental and social considerations, but also to ethical considerations," as well as the observance of international law.

The regions affected include the West Bank, annexed east Jerusalem, internationally accepted as occupied Palestinian land, and the Golan Heights, taken from Syria in 1967.

The EU does not accept these territories as belonging to Israeli territory.

In BDS victory, top European Court rules settlement products must be labeled | JPost |
Pro-Israeli group scores own goal on EU retail labels | EU Observer |

From the archives ...

Scarlett Johansson's Image As SodaStream Ambassador
Obama Called Anti-Semitic and a Jew-Hater

by Oui on
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In story: Brexeternity

Better to reign in hell etc etc
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by Cat on
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In story: Brexeternity

Re: Sinn Fein Corby deal?
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Eilis O'Hanlon: SF chortle at polls that show a majority of Britons would dump NI to get Brexit done... that wouldn't have anything to do with 30 years of murder and mayhem, would it?
YouGov survey suggests a heavy price is already being paid for DUP standing in the way of England's desire to leave the EU
[...]
"We need to be honest, folks," [Sinn Fein's Foyle MP, Elisha McCallion] said. "They (Britons) don't care about Ireland. They don't care about nationalists, they don't care about unionists and they don't care about anyone in between. They only care about England."
[...]
Just 34% of Labour supporters and 27% of Liberal Democrats said they wanted Northern Ireland to stay in the UK. The equivalent figure for Tories was 49% - still worryingly low from the self-styled "Conservative and Unionist Party", but way ahead of other potential candidates for government.
[...]
Northern Ireland is suffering the collateral damage from this experiment in devolution. Unionists have to decide whether thwarting Brexit will slow down that process, or dangerously accelerate it. ... Unionists may be furious with Boris [cutting them loose to DEVOLVE], but can what they ultimately want most survive without him?


by Cat on
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In story: Brexeternity

Re: Sinn Fein Corby deal?
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US donations to Sinn Fein exceed £11m after Manhattan event, 700 patrons
Party sources told Sunday Life the majority of the cash has been ploughed into election campaigns in Northern Ireland as strict rules in the Republic prevent large foreign donations being used by political candidates.
I don't expect it will be sharing these gains with Labour for Corbyn do you?

and btw, the crypto-unionists' "deal" for DUP contested seats already shows signs of cracking in Belfast Telegraph despite u-b-my-bitch threats:
Jon Tonge: It's shaping up to be a cliffhanger poll even before the parties set out their stalls and UUP leader Steve Aiken to challenge DUP's Sammy Wilson in East Antrim, for example. Is the deadline to "stand" end of this week or next?

by Cat on
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In story: Brexeternity

Re: Sinn Fein Corby deal?
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There's that (yawn), and the more prosaic truths: (1) SF is isolated in IE/NI and doesn't sit in parliament; (2) Labour has no purchase in NI (or Scotland); (3) Corbyn is 30 years older than that dalliance, as is everyone else not "diaspora" in Britain which is indifferent to--dare I say ignorant about--gang rivalries on the little island. More bluntly, he doesn't need SF any more that HRM BoJo needs Farage to achieve their desired results.

What are their desired results? For the hide-bound observer, to each his own mere capture of PM chair. As for hypothetical domestic legislative agenda ("policy") onto which redundant MPs will glom while they canvass, deregulation/devolution (BoJo), centralized/majoritarian "reform" (Corbyn). Semi-refined ideological conflicts with occasional "Trumpian" augurs served by columnists are canards. Both support secession from the EU as a means to obtaining his paramount goal.

by Cat on
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News and Views

 1 - 7 October 2019

by Bjinse - Sep 30, 440 comments

Your take on this week's news

 October Thread

by Bjinse - Sep 30, 75 comments

Let's call the whole thread off

Occasional Series
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