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Politics, The Final Frontier (Politics)
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Grant



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I love predictions. Here's mine:
BLM will enable Trump to win handily because the white majority, sickened by the constant preaching in the media, will get behind him even though he has failed to achieve his main goals (build the wall, anyone).
Johnson, though, will lose in four years because by then everyone will realise that lockdown was a mistake and he will get the blame. 90% of the population who are now cowering will remember that they realised Covid was a load of bollocks and the Tories will pay.
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Mick Harper
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I love dissing your predictions, Grant.

BLM will enable Trump to win handily because the white majority, sickened by the constant preaching in the media, will get behind him

I agree this is a real possibility. Even liberals like me are getting a wee bit antsy.

even though he has failed to achieve his main goals (build the wall, anyone)

Any goals. But since this is true of most American presidents, it is not an issue. And with Joe Biden as the alternative, you can count me in.

Johnson, though, will lose in four years because by then everyone will realise that lockdown was a mistake and he will get the blame. 90% of the population who are now cowering will remember that they realised Covid was a load of bollocks and the Tories will pay.

You really think the British electorate has this kind of elephantine memory? Yes, maybe so.
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Mick Harper
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Benny Ganz says any Palestinian living in an area annexed by Israel will be given 'equal rights'. Can you spell out what these are, Benny, in case Israel decides to annex Kensington & Chelsea? You never know these days how eretz Eretz Israel is going to be. Does it, you know, involve any surgical procedure?
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Johnson, though, will lose in four years because by then everyone will realise that lockdown was a mistake and he will get the blame. 90% of the population who are now cowering will remember that they realised Covid was a load of bollocks and the Tories will pay.


I doubt this. The lockdown might have been a political decision, not based on science, but it was backed by all parties, everywhere, and it was also backed by a lot of scientists, and supported by the media. The political gains will come from leading us swiftly out of lockdown.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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The outcome from Black Lives Matter is that the police are going to abandon preventative policing and revert back to solving crimes. This sounds good for the leafy suburbs, villages and towns but I reckon you are going to get further increases in street crimes in London and the cities.
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Mick Harper
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Not so much in 'London and the cities' as in the blacker parts of London and the cities. So long as 'street crime' remains largely a black-on-black business -- as it overwhelmingly is now that drugs have replaced muggings as the route from rags to riches -- black lives will continue not to matter. It all comes down to stop-and-search and I see no way of persuading the police not to stop blacks forty times (or whatever it is) more often than whites because this is an operational decision arising from the nature of stop-and-search. A black man in a large car is after all forty times more likely to be a drug dealer than a white man in a large car.

The cycle hardly varies and goes all the way back to the 'sus' laws of the sixties
1. The black population gets vociferously fed up being stopped and searched (mostly for no reason)
2. The police rein back on stop-and-search
3. Black on black crime increases
4. The black population gets vociferously fed up because their children are being disproportionately stabbed in the streets and demand something be done
5. The police step up stop-and-search.
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Mick Harper
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Spot the Errant Word Competition

The memory of [Clare] Short’s insight returned on reading the Independent’s Thursday interview with the actor Maxine Peake, in which Peake falsely claimed that the knee on the neck that killed George Floyd in Minneapolis was a technique “learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services”. Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian

That's right, she didn't falsely claim it, she did claim it. You may think this trivial (she conceded later it was a false claim) but in our business, spotting the over-emphasis is our stock-in-trade. We are in the realm of the polemic. Do go on, Jonathan

The link between Peake and Short is a cast of mind that sees the worst events in the world and determinedly puts Israel at the centre of them, even in defiance of the facts or basic common sense.

Funnily enough, the Left do suffer from 'a cast of mind', they do name the cause of 'the worst events in the world' and usually it is 'in defiance of both facts and common sense', but in all my years of observing the Left, I've never known them to name Israel. Your evidence for this astounding discovery, Jonathan?

At a conference in Brussels, Short said the global finger of blame should point at Israel because, if it wasn’t for that country’s conflict with the Palestinians, the world would be amicably united in dealing with carbon emissions. Israel, she said, “undermines the international community’s reaction to global warming”, an act of distraction that would ultimately lead to “the end of the human race”.

One almost feels sorry for the Left if they have to live down thirteen-year-old remarks from old potty-mouth. But there's more from Jonathan. And it's even less...
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Hatty
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Out of curiosity, was the 'global finger of blame' pointed at Israel when Dimona and other sites were revealed? Surely a right-wing, militaristic state being the sole nuclear power in the Middle East terrified the Left, if not the world, more than the threat of global warming.
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Mick Harper
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Whatever horrors are unfolding, the hidden hand of the world’s only majority-Jewish country must be secretly behind them.

Someone can correct me but this is the first time I've come across Israel being described as 'the world's only majority-Jewish country'. Is Jonathan nervous about Israel's description of itself as 'the Jewish state'? A tad racist possibly. Ironic too given that if the annexation programme goes ahead full steam, Israel might not be majority-Jewish in the future.

For a long while, my favourite illustration of such thinking was the Washington DC council member who in 2018 blamed a day’s heavy snowfall on “the Rothschilds”. But Peake might now have a claim to top spot.

Aren't you forgetting something, Jonathan? Maxine was only blaming American choke-holds on Israel. It's not exactly Protocols of Zion territory, is it?

To look at the US, with its four centuries of racist oppression and white supremacist violence, its many decades of police brutality, and to decide that the Floyd killing was not something US police might have come up with all by themselves – that they required the instruction of faraway Israel – is to stray from rational analysis into the wilder reaches of conspiracy theory.

I'm not sure it is. America and Israel have two things in common: (1) a large disaffected minority prone to large-scale violent protest and (2) a sophisticated and free media poking their noses in every which way. This is not a situation many countries find themselves in and since undoubtedly Israel has the most practical experience in dealing with it, I would recommend other countries, faced with the same problem, set up a series of seminars with the Israelis to learn all about it.
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Grant



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I had an interesting thought the other day, well interesting to me. We are told that 1.4% of Americans owned slaves. The figure for Britons was lower. How many white Americans are descended from slaves then? It's only six generations ago but DNA will have been stirred up pretty well. Let's say half of whites have slave-owning ancestors.
What about blacks in the US? Apparently the average US black has 25% white DNA. Now where does the White DNA come from? Most comes from white slave owners and slave overseers. Blacks are more likely to have slavers in the family than whites.
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Mick Harper
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Very cute, Grant. Oddly I was having parallel thoughts during the (very good) Black Panther documentary this week. We've all seen wizened old gits rehashing their great days from the sixties but I must say blacks seem to age much better than whites if this lot of wrinklies was anything to go by. However, to your point, Grant, they did seem to be decidedly on the white side of the mixed slavery heritage. But again maybe that's a sign of old age. "Whitener for the skin, sir? "Nah, I'll grow old gracefully." "I think you mean disgracefully, sir." "Yes, yes, all right, you'll get your tip." "That'll be twelve dollars for your Angela Davis, sir."

Actually the Black Panther Party was the last best hope for racial peace in the USA and Hoover blew it. But more on this in the telly thread.
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Mick Harper
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We must return to the Jonathan Freedland question. Yes, settle down, it's important. Jonathan doesn't necessarily think he is the smartest person around, it's just he doesn't know anyone who's smarter than he is. Therefore he is stuck with his beliefs. This is quite normal for intellectuals (including me -- at any one time). But, on this particular question, he is acutely aware that he is a) Jewish and b) left wing, which he knows might make him radically unsound on questions of left-wing anti-semitism.

Of course he could listen to me or someone like me (a little joke there to lighten the atmosphere) except, because I or anyone like me can't be smarter than he is, his brain instructs him to assume that if anyone disagrees with him, they must be anti-semites, hard left, fruitcakes -- whatever works -- so he is still stuck with his beliefs. What's wrong with that, you might well ask, most people are. Even intellectuals.

True, but remember he can't stand what Israel has become and he can't stand that his left wing opponents are making hay with this. The best he can manage is to interpose the anti-semitism tag between him and them. He has to overlook the fact that he knows perfectly well they aren't really -- he's spent his whole life among them -- but for an intellectual that is pretty easy going. He can write whole Guardian op-ed pieces demonstrating they are, though of an admittedly different kind to your ordinary right-wing anti-semites. Fortunately, on this question everybody who counts agrees with him which is a great comfort.

It wouldn't be for me but that's what makes me smarter than him. Being neither left nor right, neither anti-semitic nor anti-anti-semitic, I've got no baggage. So I can fly through the air with the greatest of ease, the daring old man on the flying trapeze. Which is a great comfort.
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Wile E. Coyote


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Am I the only one that thinks if your job is to stop serious offenders and those that consistently break the law, including controlling civil unrest, your job is actually to seek out the best restraint methods irrespective of where they are being used, in order that your officers can do their job better and more safely?

If Derek Chauvin had been properly trained and retrained in choke-holds, (this is a very safe chokehold for the officer, and known risky hold for the offender) let's say by the Japanese (the originators of Judo), then this wouldn't have happened, as it never does in Judo or MMA. If you ban these restraints and get officers to use tasers or (heaven forbid) guns more regularly, you will kill many more.

Of course the Americans will have had training from the Israelis, the Brits, and so on.
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Mick Harper
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Of course the Americans will have had training from the Israelis, the Brits, and so on.

I doubt that. Americans always think they know best. But surely all this is beside the point since, if you are a police force that routinely uses restraint holds of any kind, it is certain that a small proportion will kill the restrainee. This is true in Britain and results in those incredibly long (ten years is nothing) cases in which someone has died following something (it is never entirely clear what) that occurred during the arrest procedure.

The trick is not to use restraint holds at all and that is where Britain and most civilised countries differ from America and other less civilised countries. We'll pick him up later and add 'resisting arrest' to the list of charges. For us, it is a genuinely operational question. As an ex-head night porter at a major London teaching hospital I can assure you that these are not only occasionally necessary but choosing which martial art from which country you are going to use is the last thing on anybody's mind.

In America, when it's a white cop dealing with a black man, it's the first thing on his mind. That's the difference.
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Wile E. Coyote


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We are starting to see what happens when the police are removed from policing in Seattle. The Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) Demonstrators have occupied several blocks around the Police Department’s East Precinct and Cal Anderson Park for about three weeks, after forcing out police. Is it utopia? Nope, they have roadblocks (eh, these are walls aren't they?) and the CHOP, who have taken over the policing function, have ended up shooting people, worse it's Black people, but don't worry it is in self defence, and it is likely to be due to social problems that were there before the occupation started.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/shooting-at-seattles-chop-protest-site-leaves-2-in-critical-condition/
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