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Questions Of The Day (Politics)
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Grant



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The first single I ever bought was Rock n Roll parts one and two by that great rocker Gary Glitter
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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I don't want to sound ageist, err, some of my friends are well worn. In fact I did have a conversation with a oldish geezer prior to the lockdown...

Still, can it be good that we have a POTUS already at 79, a House Leader Nancy Peolsi who is 81, and is has now announced she is seeking a further term, which might or might not be as leader, and a House Majority Leader who is again past 80?

To be fair it seems that US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer at 83 is now retiring, amidst mublings that he needs to be replaced, hopefully before expiring on the job, so that could give a zippy youngster a chance, but I understand that things are so bad that Ms Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has had to formally complain that Republicans are now hitting on her. Cripes, they must either be desperate or into femdom humiliation. If only the Reublicans would drop Trump and give Nikki Haley a go, then maybe poor AOC would feel less threatened but, unfortunately for those of us that like a slice of political totty, at a mere 75, the orange ex-POTUS looks set to stand again, thwarting the ambitious ex-US ambassador to the UN.

It only goes to show that the United States needs an honorary talkng shop like the Lords where you can send off oldsters and they can still feel relevant.
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Mick Harper
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I use the 'do-I-fancy-it' test to evaluate British prime ministerial candidates on the grounds that if I'm going to have to watch them for the next five years, that's got to be a consideration. I say 'it' because I have to become omnisexual to give all candidates a fair crack of the whip. If you'll pardon the expression.

Sorry, Rishi, but you've got no chance. Liz Truss... OK. Keir Starmer, yes, reminds me of this 'uncle' I used to have. No charges were brought. Angela Rayner, no. I'd have to listen to her for five years. Actually -- and I know this is going to be controversial -- I'm going for Priti Patel. Being awful has never been a barrier when it comes to my partners. But only because Sajid Javid is too much to hope for.
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Grant



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What’s wrong with Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. If I was an ageing Senator I’d be hitting on her. She comes under one of my favourite female categories: pretty girl who’s batshit crazy
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Mick Harper
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It makes me laugh how everyone keeps saying that negotiations will solve the Ukraine crisis. It might do if anyone was actually putting anything on the table. Negotiations that consist of "We'll offer you anything you don't want and are no skin off our nose," are rarely effective.
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Mick Harper
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But just to mark your card. The only important thing is the status of the Donbas region. This is unquestionably an indissoluble part of a sovereign state called Ukraine. The whole world, including Russia, has entered into binding agreements recognising this fact. (Just like the Crimea.)

It is also an unquestionable fact that the Donbas region doesn't want to be part of the Ukraine and there is not the slightest prospect of it ever being so. Ukraine entered into a binding agreement (Minsk II protocols) recognising this and, while it was not prepared to grant de jure independence (i.e. handing it over to Russia), it was prepared to give it de facto independence (i.e. remaining part of Ukraine in name but otherwise running its own affairs).

An AE-ist can choose between
1. Just giving Donbas to Russia whether Ukraine wants to or not.
2. Forcing Ukraine to observe Minsk II whether it wants to or not.
3. Saying to Russia (and Ukraine): "You can have both Crimea and Donbas, with possession recognised internationally, if you supply Ukraine with oil free for the next twenty years (o.n.o.)"

But all these policies may well be incorrect if Russia has some other agenda in mind.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Grant wrote:
If I was an ageing Senator I’d be hitting on her. She comes under one of my favourite female categories: pretty girl who’s batshit crazy


It's called Betty Blue State syndrome.
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Wile E. Coyote


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Mick Harper wrote:
But just to mark your card. The only important thing is the status of the Donbas region. This is unquestionably an indissoluble part of a sovereign state called Ukraine. The whole world, including Russia, has entered into binding agreements recognising this fact. (Just like the Crimea.)

It is also an unquestionable fact that the Donbas region doesn't want to be part of the Ukraine and there is not the slightest prospect of it ever being so. Ukraine entered into a binding agreement (Minsk II protocols) recognising this and, while it was not prepared to grant de jure independence (i.e. handing it over to Russia), it was prepared to give it de facto independence (i.e. remaining part of Ukraine in name but otherwise running its own affairs).

An AE-ist can choose between
1. Just giving Donbas to Russia whether Ukraine wants to or not.
2. Forcing Ukraine to observe Minsk II whether it wants to or not.
3. Saying to Russia (and Ukraine): "You can have both Crimea and Donbas, with possession recognised internationally, if you supply Ukraine with oil free for the next twenty years (o.n.o.)"

But all these policies may well be incorrect if Russia has some other agenda in mind.


The problem is not that everybody wants this area.... it is that nobody wants it, as all the mines have closed. The vast majority of the area would have supported being annexed by Russia, it was formerly a prosperous area in the old Soviet Union, crammed full of Russian speakers, "heroic workers" etc, and Russia could have easily taken it back but, unlike Crimea, it was of no strategic military importance.

So the only purpose of the Donbas region is now as one of those areas in the world where all concerned, ie Russia, US, Ukraine, can complain about the belligerent actions of the others, which of course boosts their own popularity at home. So a beneficial useful stalemate for all the larger powers, just not good if you actually live there.
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Mick Harper
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The problem is not that everybody wants this area.... it is that nobody wants it, as all the mines have closed.

You mean like the Falklands?

The vast majority of the area would have supported being annexed by Russia, it was formerly a prosperous area in the old Soviet Union, crammed full of Russian speakers, "heroic workers" etc, and Russia could have easily taken it back but, unlike Crimea, it was of no strategic military importance.

You mean like the Sudetenland?

So the only purpose of the Donbas region is now as one of those areas in the world where all concerned, ie Russia, US, Ukraine, can complain about the belligerent actions of the others, which of course boosts their own popularity at home. So a beneficial useful stalemate for all the larger powers, just not good if you actually live there.

I cannot agree with this. Having fellow-countrymen groaning under a foreign yoke gets everyone going. Whether you agree with it or not, it is a legitimate foreign policy objective to end their suffering. I am not saying that Putin would give a toss one way or the other, given different circumstances (Hitler happily left German minorities in northern Italy) but he cannot be faulted for trying.

PS There are significant Russian minorities in the Baltic states.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Rank the following police officers in terms of competence
(1) Cressida Dick
(2) Inspector Clouseau
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Grant



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Clouseau always solved the crime in the end
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Mick Harper wrote:
Rank the following police officers in terms of competence
(1) Cressida Dick
(2) Inspector Clouseau


So who do you think was a good Commisioner of the Metropolis?

The answer is that they all resign or are ousted under a cloud. So it's not the, person it's the job.

Londoners live in an area where there are lots of people, extreme wealth and poverty and large numbers of folks entering the area who live anonymously, ie few or none of their neighbours know who they are, what job they do etc. In addition a number of folks live in communities that do not want to assist the police, and in fact actively campaign to defund them.

It's simple. Bad folks have a big incentive/high rewards to commit a crime as they know they are highly unlikely to be reported or caught. In fact many London criminals only finally get caught because crime is such a good option, they keep on repeating and repeating their offences.

The answer for Londoners is simple and obvious, stop complaining about the police commisioner not solving crimes, stop complaining about her use of facial recognition technology, and using stop and search, and start getting behind the police, but you won't.......she will of course be forced out but the next commisioner won't be better.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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You are really saying that policing a big city is impossible because London is not, in the general scheme of difficult big cities, even top half. Compare it to the nearest, Paris. No comparison. And Paris isn't top half either. [I'm talking non-police state states here, they're easy.]

But to your point... Robert Mark is the only one that springs to mind but, yes, he eventually left under a cloud. Can't have been a very big one... I can't even remember what it was. And there was that Scotch bloke. Actually, that would be my gravest objection to La Dick. She doesn't feel like a Met Commissioner. Surely that's the main thing. We need to think there's someone in charge.

Certainly I don't think PC (ha!) is appropriate for such a post and I cannot believe she was appointed for any other reason. Oddly, even if she was the best qualified she wouldn't be the best qualified because we'd all think she was appointed for PC reasons.

However I completely agree with your general drift and shall grin and bear her.
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Mick Harper
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What exactly is wrong with having a mildly (or even wildly) flaky Prime Minister? We don't pay him to be a role model, he's just the bloke who runs the government. He can do this well, he can do it badly, but it won't be because he's a bit slippy with the lippy. And what's wrong with 'a drinking culture' at No 10? If they're comatose by 10 a.m, that's one thing, but the impression I get is that they drink a lot because they work a lot.

The only thing I definitely disagreed with about Boris's 'raft of promised reforms' was the one about consulting MP's more. God forbid. We had a few years of that with the Brexit Golden Shower.
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Mick Harper
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Now that everyone is unanimously of the view that it is only a matter of time before Boris goes, let me re-iterate
a) he's not going anywhere
b) he will fight the next election
c) he has a reasonable expectation of winning that election.

I can say all this because political parties always get rid of leaders who can't win elections, and they always keep ones who can. Irrespective of what they think of the leaders. Johnson only has to hang on for a few weeks and every Tory MP (apart from those who have incautiously adopted a public anti position) will notice that the steam has started to go out of the issue -- as it always does -- and Johnson is their best bet. By the time of the next election this issue will scarcely be referred to.
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