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Questions Of The Day (Politics)
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Mick Harper
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Yes, but isn't that the point? Inherited billionaires are notoriously miserable, always going hippy, dippy or dead. Becoming a billionaire seems to be much more fun. You only have to look at people like Bezos, Musk and Branson to know they're having a whale of a time. [Jimmy Whale though keeps asking me for money for his Wikipedia project.] They are not concerned with money at all except as a vehicle to make more money, but differently.

Epstein and Maxwell are sort of intermediates. Jeffrey seems to have hit on a winning formula early doors and then spent his days looning around; Ghislaine technically couldn't inherit any of dad's millions but maintained a lifestyle that suggests she did. The point is neither became Muskish, hurling themselves into one extravaganza after another. They didn't even (it seems to me) employ their money satisfying their sexual/social needs but instead spent their days dangerously panhandling for pliant girls south and east of the Florida panhandle.

As to you, Grant, you will find as I have done that fame and fortune comes too late in life to be as depraved as once you might liked to have been.
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Mick Harper
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The sex scandal tidal wave has finally washed up at my own door. No, not that, the Met have given me a clean bill of health on that one, TIC my recent contributions to the Scotland Yard Car Park Fund, but Chris Cuomo's trials and tribulations. Readers of our TV thread will know I used to watch him for an hour a day (albeit on fast forward through the sentimental and liberal angst bits).

Now no longer. He has been dismissed 'with immediate effect' by CNN for... get those salacious glands going... helping his brother. Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York, was engulfed by a sex scandal and Chris very unwisely gave him media advice. So remember, any time you are engulfed in a sex scandal and you have America's top rated anchor in the family, it's more than his jobsworth's to pick up the phone. I've certainly told my brother. Forget it, matey, if you do the crime, you serve the time. You haven't got a spare wunner going, have you, I'm a bit brassic at the mo?
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Mick Harper
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We now have an idea of where right wing libertarianism has reached in the Home of Liberty. (Britain, in case you needed telling.) A hundred Tory MP's rebelled against the government last night and while rebelling against the government is not what it used to be (virtually non-existent) these MP's were largely the old anti-EU brigade, the people responsible for bringing Boris to power, so this was most definitely not a Boris-Out! stalking vote. What was it?

It was because this OMG Covid variant needed stopping by requiring people going to night clubs to present evidence they were vaccined-up. Nothing about, "Look, I must be on the guest list, Joe said he'd have a word." When asked, every rebel Tory said this meant the end of freedom as we have known it since Magna Carta, or words to that effect. So now you know.
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Wile E. Coyote


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Magna Carta didn't really happen according to Johnson. That is Edwin, not Boris.
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Mick Harper
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When asked, every rebel Tory said this meant the end of freedom as we have known it since Magna Carta, not that even that ever existed. Strewth, everything's hanging by a thread, and no mistake. To which Emily Maitlis said, "It certainly is if we're relying on people like you, now get orf my show."
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Grant



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The reason the Tory rebels are so annoyed is that thousands of businesses which have survived the hysteria are now being given a kick in the balls just to distract attention from Boris’s zoom quiz.

The good news is that few believe this rubbish any more and, when thousands don’t die after Christmas, Whitty et al will have no credibility left.
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Mick Harper
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They're certainly being a bit mealy-mouthed about Omicron. Since it has less severe effects, one might urge it to replace Delta as quick as it likes. Except, like the man said, if a million people catch it double quick and only one per cent end up in hospital, it's the end of the NHS. Just like the other twenty-two times he said it.

I think you are wrong to commend the Tory rebels for such crass commercialism. Everyone should have been saying from day one: "Covid has to be weighed up against everything else in a cost-benefit exercise." Nothing to do with liberty, business, death, politics. Johnny Reb may be saying the right thing. Just not necessarily for the right reason. We mustn't forget they're a bunch of arseholes. Or, as AE puts it, people.
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Hatty
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There were 99 rebels and judging by their speeches in the Commons seemed to be mostly ranting about freedom. But there are always flaky elements in political parties.
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Mick Harper
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When someone uses the word 'always' in a political context I always ask them two questions
1. Does the 'always' apply to your own side or to the other side?
and when the someone answers, as they always do hurriedly, "Oh, of course my side as well/their side as well" and "not that I have a side particularly", I pop the second question
2. So you are referring to the human condition including yourself?

But they always have a train to catch so I never get to hear.
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Mick Harper
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So, now 'Boss' Johnson says it's to be a limit of three visitors per person at care homes from now on. Well, I've visited a few in my time (I'm a consultant geriatric ontologist) and I can assure any worried Tory rebel that three visitors per month will achieve the same effect.
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Grant



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So as a consultant geriatric ontologist do you visit the homes and talk to them about the ontological argument for the existence of God? Sounds a bit cruel. What they really want is a rousing rendition of Knees Up Mother Brown
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Mick Harper
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I am in no position to judge, I was lying about being an ontologist. Though I was never caught.

PS The alleged working class tastes of the elderly can be overdone when you're paying a thousand pounds a week for the privilege. The difference between Camberley's Twilight Repose and the Glasgow Alhambra lies in how captive the audience is. I know, I used to book acts for both.
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Mick Harper
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So the Bank of England has put up interest rates from 0.1% or 0.5%. That blew everyone away -- they were expected to try out 0.2% first and only in the spring when post-Covid prospects were clearer. My constant yelps about low interest rates being harmful to the economy generally was underlined by the way the news media treated it all. "It's desperately bad news for house-buyers already facing [list follows]," they wailed in despair. Maybe so but it's good news for the ten times as many people you didn't mention: people who have got their cash stashed in zero interest rate accounts. Which includes the house buyers.

Meanwhile all those projects that needed 0.1% interest to get going (the stated reason for having low interest rates) are facing a bleak future in this Brave New World of 0.5% interest rates. But then they are due to go belly up whenever sanity returns anyway. Either Rishi Sunak or myself will be prime minister when that happens.
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Mick Harper
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We must worry about Chile. It would have been safer if the far right candidate had won but the far left bloke did instead. One crumb of comfort was that the margin, 56-44, was more substantial than expected, lessening possibilities of violent backlashes.

So what's the problem? As always with tenuous democracies it is that the Left, when they do make it to power, have a sense of needing to make up for lost time and suspect they may not have a lot of time to do it, so start dishing out the dosh too fast, too wastefully. The economy collapses and then you do get backlashes. Not the least of which is the Left using force to stay in power. Though normally it is either a precipitate rightist move or just simply an economy in ruins and another ten years to get back to the status quo ante.

Of course it is true the losing candidate was a pretty unsavoury character but that in itself is not damning. The background Chilean problem was that the right had been in power too long and popular discontent at perceived injustices were overspilling into the streets (and worse in some indigenous areas). The unsavouriness was probably why nobody figured he would be able to solve this. He was a daft candidate to run but in Chile all shades of opinion are mildly daft.

Efficient right-wing governments are adept at managing perceptions of undue poverty (it cannot of course be solved in any country that falls short of west European scales of prosperity) but with that ruled out the best we can hope for is this new Leftist president, who looks flaky in the extreme, will turn out to be able to keep his own left quiet without buying them off with ruinous 'reforms'. Which, by the look of it, he believes in himself.

I fear the worst but it was something of a Hobson's choice so here's hoping.
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Grant



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Where’s Pinochet when you need him?
The greatest ever South American leader was pilloried by the far left around the world, but he sorted out the country economically and, to show what a despot he was, gave up power voluntarily.
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