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Politics, The Final Frontier (Politics)
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Mick Harper
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Surely it's the queue of ambulances waiting to get into Casualty that is the current piece of the NHS knicker that's in the greatest twist. At first I thought, like everyone else, "Cure that, cure all." But then I realised, "Cure that and the system really would burst as the ambulances would be let loose to ferry more and more extra patients in." As every first year AE-ist knows

When the system is constantly breaking down and it is constantly breaking down at a different point, it's the system that needs getting rid of.

But since the NHS is sacrosanct we shall just have to carry on throwing money at it until we've got no more money. Fascists please note

It's being free at the point of delivery that is sacrosanct.
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Mick Harper
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A tremendous illustration of anti-Russian wish-fulfilment this weekend. Putin has introduced conscription, a step that everyone from the off has been predicting would spell his doom. The Russian people would rise up as one man and throw the swine out. Hence the ensuing protests were greeted as a triumphant told-you-so by the western media.

You had to be paying careful attention to hear there were seven hundred protestors, representing by my reckoning one for every two thousand square miles of Russia. I had been predicting zero so I think I was nearer the mark on this occasion.
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Mick Harper
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And so to Italy. The political chaos there has resulted in a snap election with every prospect of the 'first extreme right-wing prime minister since Mussolini'. Oh horror! My advice to the Italians: go for the extreme right wing option, it's the best prospect for stability. Either they will be a success or they will get the others talking to one another.

Of course if they are a success, the media will call them something else, as they did with that Northern League bloke and Berlusconi before him. But then Musso was the best option in 1922. It takes all sorts when it's Italians expressing a preference, not the liberal media wringing its hands. One thing the Italians know that the media doesn't know is that politics is not very important.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Mick Harper wrote:
A tremendous illustration of anti-Russian wish-fulfilment this weekend. Putin has introduced conscription, a step that everyone from the off has been predicting would spell his doom.


Putin has never done away with conscription. It is just that there was a law that these yearly conscripts could not be used abroad, and sent off in wars. When it was discovered some yearly conscripts had mistakenly ended up in Ukraine it caused a bit of a stink. According to Putin they are now in addition "conscripting" citizens who are currently in "the reserves" and, above all, those who have served in the armed forces have military skills and relevant experience, who will now be going to Ukraine.

This has resulted in lots of confusion as to who or not is going, and some evidence of flight from Russia through neighbouring borders.
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Wile E. Coyote


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Russian TV is already complaining about the mobilisation. https://twitter.com/JuliaDavisNews/status/1574491958101393411

The Supreme Leader told officials that they should only send "reservists" with previous combat experience, but this "partial mobilisation"appears like arbitary conscription of all ages in an effort to meet regional tragets. The solution, according to the pundits, is that they send these guilty officials to the front.

Unsaid is that when The Comic was dragooning folks to fight, and sending them off with just one week's training and a hunting rifle, this was seen as "Plucky resistance" by western commentators.

The lessons are that in an era of Professional armies, mobilisation is incredibily difficult. You need to start early. The Ukrainians have now mobilised, the Russians are just starting, Army General Dmitry Bulgakov has been relieved of the post of deputy minister of defense in charge of logistics and will now be replaced by Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev. Probably too late. Winter is coming. One side appears well kitted out, the other is going to have a lot of very cold hungry troops.
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Mick Harper
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A most useful tour d'horizon. As I pointed out right at the beginning (to universal execration) Ukraine has all the military advantages when it comes to a war v Russia inside Ukraine. I believe their trained troops now number a million and they've only got one thing on their mind. Russia doesn't have that many (trained for immediate deployment in war, I mean) and has a dozen things on its mind.

But like I said the day after saying what I said, Russia should not be underestimated just because it's a ramshackle congeries of incompetence. Ukraine should still get out now while it's behind.
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Mick Harper
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One side appears well kitted out, the other is going to have a lot of very cold hungry troops.

Last night Al-Jazeera showed Ukrainian front line troops having a barbecue banquet that would have put Australians to shame. It reminded me of tales my father used to tell me of how his armoured car unit swanned across northern France in 1944, sleeping under the stars and eating American K-rations which were somewhat better than the food a Londoner like him was used to before the war, never mind during it.

But thereby hangs a tail. British and American troops simply refused to put up with hardships (and that included man-to-man fighting) their opponents seemed perfectly willing to undergo. One hopes Ukrainians haven't become too westernised.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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I have just been told I am only superficially brown and furry. Told me I looked like an unkempt version of Bugs.
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Mick Harper
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You'd have a hard job. Bugs' creator, Chuck Jones, used to get so engrossed in his work he used to wee in his trousers rather than go wee-wees.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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I really shouldn't be laughing at this.

https://twitter.com/Teoyaomiquu/status/1574522290808983553/photo/1
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Mick Harper
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The irony is that Putin would probably get a 90% backing from a straight referendum. If you want a domestic application, consider Catholics in Northern Ireland voting in any referendum from 1921 until about 1980

Do you want to live rich in Ulster or poor in Ireland?
Ireland, begorrah.
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Grant



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What does the panel think about the fact that the US has carried out a terrorist attack on German-Russian property? Their goal is to stop Europe doing a deal with the Russians as winter approaches.
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Mick Harper
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How is it a terrorist attack? Straightforward muscular foreign policy surely.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Putin wrote:
“The sanctions were not enough for the Anglo-Saxons: they moved onto sabotage,”......“It is hard to believe but it is a fact that they organised the blasts on the Nord Stream international gas pipeline.”

Wiles reckons Vlad thinks it was us.

"The US is pushing for a complete cut-off of Russian energy to the EU in order to capture the European market themselves."

Aha. Cunning.
"They want to see us as their colony, they want to rob us,"..."They are using double standards, triple standards. They're taking us for fools."

That's one standard for the west, and another for Russia, and a third maybe for someone else, or maybe it's one standard for the west and two for Russia? It might have been a little lost in translation. Either way Putin is no longer going to be taken for a fool.
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Mick Harper
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Shall we list the reasons why it wasn't the Americans?

1. They can't keep a secret for more than twenty minutes. The operation would have taken hundreds of people.
2. The pipelines can be repaired in twenty minutes.
3. If the operation was blown it would mean a dozen members of NATO doing their nuts (and suing the arses off the Americans).
4. Never mind the horrified rest of the world.
5. Nobody knows what the effects of blowing up submarine fuel pipelines are
6. Or how to do it, come to that.
7. The pipelines are virtually unused now and will be redundant when the EU gets its fuel policy in gear.
8 - 10 Other stuff I can't tell you about.

So it could be the Americans.
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