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Politics, The Final Frontier (Politics)
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Mick Harper
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The first step AE-ists have to do is compare their political beliefs with what they believed in their adolescence. If there is any marked similarity, then they know they are just 'ordinary people' politically. They can either do something about it or decide life's too short to be bothering with such ingrained stuff, continue with their present political beliefs, and use their brains for more rewarding work in other branches of endeavour. It goes without saying that they will agree politically with everyone else of their subculture no matter how dissident they may be about other things.

It becomes more complicated if the AE-ist observes that their political beliefs are decisively different from their adolescent beliefs, and that therefore their own brain must have intervened at some point in between...
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Mick Harper
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Although the average person acquires their basic ideology in adolescence, they invariably alter it somewhat as they get older. Usually towards the centre but it can be outward to a more extreme position. The elderly are noticeably reactionary. It is also observable that moderate right can become moderate left, or vice versa, if somebody is consistently subject to influences in that direction. Being married to someone politically opposite might do it for example. The job might do it -- immigration officers are often reported to be liberal when they start out but don't remain so for very long.

Some people however experience an 'awakening' and shift from left to right quite dramatically -- less often from right to left. Is this to be taken as an example of 'their brain intervening'? Maybe. If the individual is a genuine intellectual -- Paul Johnson, Malcom Muggeridge spring to mind -- presumably it is but I have my doubts. It 'feels' emotional. Can the brain hold one set of beliefs and then another set of beliefs by rational act? It would seem unlikely, especially if the brain is that of an intellectual.

Either way it is not in itself an AE act but it may point the way for AE purposes.
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Wile E. Coyote


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Not sure. I reckon most folk (ie not on twitter) broadly define themselves in opposition to a set of ideas rather than for one. The great majority of the population is simply not bothered, provided taxes are not too high and the bins are collected, that is providing you don't have ideologial leftists or rightists in charge.

It's really only your ideological lefties on twitter that are really worried that we are being taken over by populists or fascists, (they actually believed that when BJ prorogued parliament we were in the midst of a coup!), and there are equally a few Conservatives who are convinced that liberals/Marxists are now controlling education, the BBC, the judiciary, the civil service, and that there is a so-called culture war going on.

In fact the only place where a liberal conensus, of cracking on and getting by, is under threat is Scotland as the SNP have successfully defined themmselves against the English. The result looks like a Scottish one-party state that is riding roughshod over civil liberties. Still, Chad wasn't arrested on holiday, so maybe I am overstating.
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Mick Harper
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Not sure. I reckon most folk (ie not on twitter) broadly define themselves in opposition to a set of ideas rather than for one.

A highly unquantifiable notion.
The great majority of the population is simply not bothered

"The great majority of the population" vote at elections, the great majority of them vote the same way at all elections, so they may not be bothered by politics but this is not the same as having no politics. Although I'm reminded of my mum's classic remark, "I'm from Guernsey where we don't have party politics so I always vote Liberal."

provided taxes are not too high and the bins are collected

But taxes are always too high and the bins are never collected or whatever is the current gripe. Moaning is politics too.

that is providing you don't have ideologial leftists or rightists in charge

So these a-political folk of yours are taking an interest after all. I agreed with the rest of your diatribe apart from the Scots Nats comment. Where did that come from? England?
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Mick Harper
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What will be the first developed country in mainland Africa? Cailian Savage
https://medium.com/@cailiansavage1/what-will-be-the-first-developed-country-in-mainland-africa-a04b286dcff9

A very important question though the answer arrived at shows that maybe overall it is 'None, any time soon'. But anyway first the facts

The World Bank classifies a grand total of two African countries as being “high-income economies” — Mauritius and Seychelles. Neither are typical of the continent since they are both island nations in the Indian Ocean, over 1,500 kilometers away from the African mainland. They both rely heavily on tourism.

I would have thought neither country having any Africans would be more to the point but still...

Nevertheless, they are African countries, and they are developed: well-equipped hospitals, stable governments, universal education, and functional public transport systems. In short, they are successes, which is a very important thing to acknowledge.

Not having any Africans. Important. Acknowledged.

Africa is the poorest continent, and to the outside world, it has become almost synonymous with poverty and war. The reasons for its problems are well understood (European colonialism, frequent natural disasters, disease, etc)

The big three barriers to development are well understood. They are (1) European colonialism (2) disasters and (3) disease. Being African is not a factor.
Botswana

Correct me if I'm wrong but Botswana has had (1) European colonialism (2) disasters and (3) diseases in full measure. Still, it's full of Africans. Well, not many Africans but anyway shows it can be done by Africans. Maybe by African countries with small populations, who knows? Mauritius and the Seychelles have small populations, since you mentioned them. Unfortunately mainland African countries tend to have large populations because of the legacy of European colonialism. Put that one behind the ear for later.

Tunisia

No, sorry. No Africans.
South Africa

No, sorry. The European colonial parts are fully developed, the African parts aren't and, if anything, are going backwards. And that was the end of the list. So, to sum up...
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Wile E. Coyote


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Mick Harper wrote:
I agreed with the rest of your diatribe apart from the Scots Nats comment. Where did that come from? England?


I would be a tad worried about living in Scotland under the new Hate Crime Law. There is nothing wrong in principle with these type of laws, but the Scots have approached this with the reforming zeal of fanatics. Why? The answer is that Scots Nationalism is one form of the new "victim" "identity politics" which is gripping the US/UK. The Scots have somehow convinced themselves that they are hard done by, a sort of ex colony of England rather than the product of a pragmatic Union, based on the fact that they had managed to bankrupt themselves by trying to build a Panamanian empire abroad, and needed to be bailed out by their neighbours. It's like they have adpated the crudest forms of anti-imperialist theory and molded it with a new politics of envy. You can see why. It has done for Labour in Scotland. The avearge working class Jock, who was once British except when it came to matters football, has now beome anti English rather than anti toff, so keeps voting SNP.

As fanatics the problem is they, the SNP, have now gone all in by banning offensive speech, (pretty difficult to define that) even within the four walls of the Scottish home. I doubt this will end well. It's probably time for Scotland to leave the Union, rejoin Europe and then seek future bail-outs from Brussels.
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Mick Harper
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I didn't recognise any of this. I even had to look up this Hate Crime Law. And there it was! Clearly I'm a bit out of touch. Even so it doesn't seem to amount to much more than codifying stuff familiar from the general liberal ethos of England, America and the EU. These kinds of "add on a coupla years if you didn't do it for the usual reasons" laws have all turned out be either dead letters or marginally useful. I find it difficult to see such gentle (weedy?) folk as the Scots becoming anything very blood-curdling on the back of their own version. Though, I agree, they seem suspiciously eager.

The answer is that Scots Nationalism is one form of the new "victim" "identity politics" which is gripping the US/UK. The Scots have somehow convinced themselves that they are hard done by, a sort of ex colony of England

It's a beguiling theory, and it definitely had legs in the days of "We want our oil back" but it just doesn't fly and the Scots are too fly to think it will. The psychology is all wrong. "We are victims" doesn't sit well with "We can manage perfectly well on our own, thank you very much."

Even though personally I don't think they've got a prayer. The new Slovakia, I reckon, not the new Catalonia. But I agree with you that it's probably better to let them try. If only we could trust the English to give them a fair wind. Now there's a bunch of people I wouldn't want to identify with.
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Mick Harper
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Just to return momentarily to finish off my AE-ist's Guide to his or her own politics, the following assumptions can be made

1. If you still believe broadly what you believed in adolescence you are not an AE-ist when it comes to politics.
2. If you believe broadly what those around you believe, you are not an AE-ist when it comes to politics.
3. If you broadly believe what people you have sought out (whether on the internet or in real life) believe, you are probably not an AE-ist when it comes to politics.
4. If you are on a journey away from 1,2 and 3 then you've got every chance.
5. But don't kid yourself.
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Mick Harper
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I suppose I'd better mark NATO's card over this Ukraine business in order to avoid World War Three.

1. Russia wouldn't be massing troops on the border if it intended to invade. It would be massing them back a bit and concealing them a bit until D-1 when it would bring them forward to the frontier. What Russia is doing at the moment is called a 'demonstration' and is designed for some other purpose. Send me an SAE if you want to know what this is.

2. When Russia does decide to invade Ukraine it won't be Ukraine proper but the Donets basin which is already occupied by Russian troops or their local equivalent, the separatist militias. Therefore there won't be a damn thing Ukraine, NATO, America or anybody else can do about it. They won't even be able to prove there has been an invasion since the Russian troops will not be in Russian uniforms. Biden has already announced he will only apply sanctions if the Russians do this so I fully anticipate Russia will do this, probably sometime after Christmas. During Christmas if they are clever.

3. This will create a boots-on-the-ground situation à la Crimea and the Ukrainian troops can all go home since now they have no prospect of 'getting the Donets back'. The situation willl gradually be accepted as a reality by the 'world community'. And so it should be since the Donets basin (like the Crimea) has no business being in the Ukraine in the first place.

4. This will herald a new campaign to link the Donets basin with the Crimea first using local militia etc etc

5. This will also succeed and in the fulness of time, and so long as Ukraine is not allowed into NATO, everyone will decide to stop pushing the rock uphill and settle down to a) a happy and unified Ukraine (b) a happy and satisfied Russia and (c) a happy and otherwise engaged world community.

6. Except for Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Belarus. That will require another SAE. AE members will find in their AE Christmas crackers the motto "Always reward aggressors when it is wise to do so."
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Mick Harper
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As we all know, Boris is a born liar and cad. The Guardian have issued a cutout'n'keep wallchart that handily itemises them

Explained: Johnson's lies and misdemeanours
Christmas parties
...er... still being investigated, Guardian

Downing Street flat
... er ... still being investigated

EU contributions
The famous bus with the £350 million. ... er ... that's politics, Guardian. Expressing things in a way that suits you

Prorogation of Parliament
Politics again. Everyone thought it was perfectly legal at the time

New hospitals
This was a pledge to build forty hospitals by 2030. Waiting on it

Extramarital affair
Oh come on. In 2004?

Journalism
"In the late 1980's..." Strewth, we'll be onto dopesmoking aged fifteen in a minute

Hillsborough disaster
rehash ending with "Johnson apologised and added he 'bitterly regretted' the comments"

And so should the Guardian for such a sorry roll-call of shame.
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