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BRITLAND

UK Politics & Current Affairs Discussion Thread

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Svip

I thought the LibDems were the centrist party in the UK. Or am I missing something?

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Typhus

I thought the LibDems were the centrist party in the UK. Or am I missing something?

After their coalition with the Conservatives, the Lib-Dems have completely faded into irrelevance. The younger voters will never forgive them for the tuition fees, and they lack strong leadership. They've become a complete nonentity.

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sivispacem

Which is a shame, as there the only vaguely ideologically coherent party left in the mainstream British landscape. I do concede they're a toxic brand which is why a new centrist party might not be a bad idea. With Labour lurching to the left and the Tories to the right, and both now being firmly in the Eurosceptic camp, there's plenty of space for a new moderate offering.

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Typhus

Not that I believe any such conspiracy, but one has to wonder why the Russians would use such a poison if they had the address of their target. At that point, wouldn't it have been far more efficient to simply make them disappear in the middle of the night? They literally chose the messiest, stupidest option, that was most likely to lead back to their doorstep. It seems illogical to me.

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sivispacem

It's about sending a message- agonising, unpleasant death on any perceived enemy of the regime. Organophosphosphate nerve agents are much harder to trace than radioactive isotopes, do they learned their lesson, but also much less effective if there's emergency services available to give mechanical respiration.

 

I do wonder if there's some kind of secondary internal process around the FSB chemical agents laboratory, where they're using exotic agents that require additional research and development so they can avoid having their budget cut or something.

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Short Stay

Not that I believe any such conspiracy, but one has to wonder why the Russians would use such a poison if they had the address of their target. At that point, wouldn't it have been far more efficient to simply make them disappear in the middle of the night? They literally chose the messiest, stupidest option, that was most likely to lead back to their doorstep. It seems illogical to me.

 

Disappearing them in the night would be an effective way of creating a mysterious disappearance, with loads of conspiracy theories flying around. On the other hand poisoning them with a very exclusive agent, one which allows the poisoners to be long gone and at the same signals to other ex-spies and any other spies who may be thinking of turning that the Kremlin has a long memory and a long reach...

 

On a lighter note, a little skit...

 

The scene: A dim hospital room. The blinds are drawn. A young woman lies on the bed, dark circles under her eyes. She appears to be asleep, her breathing is shallow and laboured. Another young woman enters breezily, bearing an oversized bunch of flowers.
Visitor: Greetings, greetings, from the Motherland.
Patient: (weakly) Who, who is it?
Visitor: Your cousin. I bring you greetings from the Motherland.
Patient: You don't look like any cousin I remember.
Visitor: We are all cousins in the Motherland. Are you well?
Patient: Well? I am lucky to be alive...
Visitor: Lucky indeed. Everyone in the Motherland wishes you well and hopes for a speedy recovery. Putin also sends his regards.
Patient: Is that what he sends?
Visitor: Look, I have brought you flowers, smell them.
Patient: They are lovely. There is a vase over there, put them in it.
Visitor: I will cousin, but first I want you to breathe in their scent (she thrusts the flowers under the patient's nose.)
Patient: I smell the flowers but there is another scent, something I have smelt recently.
Visitor: Can you guess what it is?
Patient: I'm not sure, is it Soman?
Visitor: No.
Patient: Tabun?
Visitor: Nope.
Patient: Sarin?
Visitor: No! Those are not scents of the Motherland. Sniff again.
Patient: Is it VX?
Visitor: Don't be silly, VX is a British scent. Why would I bring you that? VX is almost as bad as their food, and that is saying something!
Patient: (she takes another sniff) Is it new? New, Nova, Nov...(Her eyes begin to glaze over.)
Visitor: I have to go. I have a plane to catch. But before I go could you recommend a good London estate agent? And a bank, one that doesn't ask to many too many questions...

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Typhus

What do you all make of this Windrush debacle? In truth, I am not so shocked. After all, wasn't it Theresa May who was responsible for those awful "Go home" mobile billboards? I am at least heartened to see a media backlash, and government backpedaling. But it cannot stop those in power from holding the opinion that it is correct to treat people in such a way. Still, from today's developments, it seems these poor people will be compensated for what they have suffered:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2018/apr/23/brexit-no-10-rejects-claims-customs-union-vote-to-be-made-a-confidence-issue-politics-live

 

I would like to live in a country where I could vote for any political party with a clean conscience. But when it comes to the Tories, even when they seem centrist and moderate, there's this underlying elitism and bigotry. It's a generational issue within the party, and it would take years upon years of effort correcting this before I ever felt I could give them my vote.

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Short Stay

The Windrush debacle is truly just that - a debacle, though I don't think it's a deliberate attempt to throw people out of the country. At worst it was perhaps a shoddy attempt to get people to get their papers in order under their own steam.

 

What gets me about the whole stramash is the timing of the story. Just before the Commonwealth leaders were meeting in London, up pops this scandal. Oh, and couldn't this story neatly counterbalance the anti-semitism in the Labour Party thing? If I were conspiracy minded I might imagine that the Tories engineered the Windrush story to prompt the three million or so EU migrants to make sure their papers were in order before the final dog's Brexit.

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Svip
Posted (edited)

Wait, why would the Tories bring up a controversy that does them no favours? It's not often you hear people say, "I've brought the guns to shoot ourselves in the foot with".

 

Plus, wasn't this policy since 2014, when May was Home Sec and long before Brexit was going to be a thing?

Edited by Svip

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Short Stay

Wait, why would the Tories bring up a controversy that does them no favours? It's not often you hear people say, "I've brought the guns to shoot ourselves in the foot with".

 

Plus, wasn't this policy since 2014, when May was Home Sec and long before Brexit was going to be a thing?

 

I wasn't seriously suggesting the Tories initiated the scandal. The story was broken by a Guardian journalist (hence left-wing, Labour leaning). What I did seriously wonder was the timing of the story. How long had the Guardian been sitting on it? Presumably she (the journalist) had been gathering evidence for some time, but did it really all come together just in time for the Commonwealth summit? Surely the press in Britain is impartial and so would print such an important scandal as soon as it came to light - or am I being naive?

 

Luckily I'm not a conspiracy theorist, in the internet sense, but I don't think it's beyond credibility that there are some in Tory central office who may see the Windrush scandal, however unwelcome it may be, as at least providing a wakeup call to anyone who may have similar immigration issues, to get them in order and so prevent or reduce a further scandal occurring further down the line.

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Finite

If Rudd somehow stays in the job after this and Brexit this will be the biggest f*ck up by the conservatives since May started running through fields of wheat.

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Short Stay

If Rudd somehow stays in the job after this and Brexit this will be the biggest f*ck up by the conservatives since May started running through fields of wheat.

 

If May goes can I have her jockstrap?

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Finite

https://news.sky.com/story/brexiteers-threaten-to-bring-down-the-government-over-any-customs-union-deal-11355410

 

Well, she's f*cked now. Can't stay in the customs union because her own party will collapse her government. Can't leave the customs union because of Northern Ireland which will probably leave the UK sooner or later if we go full-on hard brexit (and don't forget, the DUP who will collapse her government if she doesn't take a hard enough line on the issue).

 

I mean really, I know she's survived far beyond what most people expected in her position, but it seems to me that it's now becoming entirely untenable for her - there can be no compromise on this issue, either she folds to these rebels and loses Northern Ireland, or she doesn't and the government falls.

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Short Stay

According to LBC radio this morning the Tories have imposed a three line whip on the publication of the papers surrounding Windrush from 2010 to the present day. Nothing on the One O'clock news so I'm not sure of the veracity of the story.

 

We lose Northern Ireland and Ireland gains a civil war - Whoopee Doo!

 

Can T. May survive? Will the government fall? Will we have the first bearded Prime Minister since the 19th century? If we do cancel Brexit will the EU welcome us back with open arms?

 

Events, dear boy, events.

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sivispacem

And the local elections results are...confused.

 

The Tories gain a few seats and retain about the same number of councils. Which truth be told is a pretty good result for an incumbent party.

Labour gain a few seats, but don't really make much progress in gaining councils. Hardly the whitewash many seem to have expected.

Proportionally, the Lib Dems did by far the best, but they're still well down on their peak popularity. They've extended their majority in our local council to 24(!).

UKIP got completely annihilated again.

 

What does it all mean? I have no idea frankly.

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Uncle Sikee Atric

And the local elections results are...confused.

 

The Tories gain a few seats and retain about the same number of councils. Which truth be told is a pretty good result for an incumbent party.

Labour gain a few seats, but don't really make much progress in gaining councils. Hardly the whitewash many seem to have expected.

Proportionally, the Lib Dems did by far the best, but they're still well down on their peak popularity. They've extended their majority in our local council to 24(!).

UKIP got completely annihilated again.

 

What does it all mean? I have no idea frankly.

The only thing we can be sure about is the fact the Tory vote survived on the back of the collapse of the UKIP vote....

 

Therefore, the only conclusion over this round of elections is simple, the Donkey has no other 'Get Out Of Jail Free' cards left in the public domain. True, she's finished by the Autumn anyway, when the Brexiteers scalp her over her inability to weedle out of the Customs' Union / Single Market issues, but a few more months won't hurt, will they?

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TheExecutor10

Thoughts about the imprisonment of Tommy Robinson?

On the one hand he broke the law, on the other hand it was a blitz process and the verdict to radical.

What do you think (of course only if you think anything at all) what this means for the interpretation of the law in the UK?

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Uncle Sikee Atric

He broke sensitive reporting regulations and was in contempt of court, plus it was in front of Leeds Crown Court, with both his live feed and CCTV evidence he couldn't defend against.

 

Pretty open and shut, plus contempt cases tend to be handed out same day since they're pretty much impossible to defend. 

 

Race, or anything else wasn't the issue, some vigilantes could ID the wrong person and cause a case far worse than comtempt from what Tommy Robinson was doing.  13 months was fair to me.

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TheExecutor10

2 journalists getting arrested and deported for wanting to talk with him, while radical islamist can traverse the country freely is also fair?

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Svip

I won't accept the premise of the question.  The UK has for a long time had procedures to ban on people who they seem a threat to the public order, that are not UK citizens.

You can debate the merits of that law, and whether it isn't stifling, but considering they are not UK citizens, the UK technically has no reason wanting to protect them.  I may be wrong, but i believe they cannot deny EU citizens, however.

But personally, I am a bit on the fence on whether such laws are OK, because they can be abused, but on the other hand, a country should be able to decide who and who doesn't get into the country.

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TheExecutor10

Okay, I'll explain:

You had one EU-citizen and one US-citizen flying to to the UK. At the airport, they were detained and questioned by the police. They told them they want to talk to Tommy Robinson. After that they were arrested and a while after they were deported.

Now compare that to illegal Pakistani migrants with suspicion of criminal activity (rape gangs) freely traversing the country.

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Uncle Sikee Atric
6 minutes ago, TheExecutor10 said:

Okay, I'll explain:

You had one EU-citizen and one US-citizen flying to to the UK. At the airport, they were detained and questioned by the police. They told them they want to talk to Tommy Robinson. After that they were arrested and a while after they were deported.

Now compare that to illegal Pakistani migrants with suspicion of criminal activity (rape gangs) freely traversing the country.

 

Now you're changing the original question over Tommy Robinson's detainment in the first place....

 

The case of the 'Canadian' (not US) citizen I assume is Lauren Southern, a far right blogger and poster who has put her foot in it several times before over her extreme views and apparent racism.  The EU has free trade and eased travel agreements with Canada, so her refusal was purely a UK immigration service decision.

 

As for 'Pakistani grooming gangs', you're forgetting most of the families arrived in the UK in the 50's, 60's and 70's, so it's not the immigrants, it's their own, British born, children and grandchildren creating these gangs.  White males also have these gangs and issues, but religious ties and skin colour are important tools for radicals like Tommy Robinson, to stir up trouble and hatred between communities.  If a white male grooming gang was in court, you can guarantee Tommy wouldn't be outside getting caught on Contempt of Court charges.

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TheExecutor10

How is Lauren Southern racist? By the way I was referrring to Britanny Pettibone.

Changing the original question is something that is very much natural in a debate to clarify the point of the person asking questions. And like I said, I know he broke the law. But his acts in comparison to people who rape white girls are measured with double standards, obviously because people fearing being called a racist if they call out crimes of non-UK citizens.

Your statement on Lauren Southern really is confusing to me. One the one hand you call Lauren Southern a racist, without any arguments, just to make someone you don't agree with look bad. Due to my familys history I'm very well aware of these kinds of tactics to vilify people speaking out unpleasent truths. On the other hand you sugarcoat muslim rape gangs, by referring to white criminals or stating fake news like "they have been there since the 50's". https://www.migrationwatchuk.org/briefing-paper/160

If a rape gang in this case largely consists of muslim Pakistanis, then calling this out is racist? I don't see the rationality behind that. Also assuming Tommy Robbinson wouldn't stand up against white criminals is not true. He himself punched self-proclaimed white UK nazis in the face, literally.

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Typhus
On 5/31/2018 at 10:45 PM, TheExecutor10 said:

Thoughts about the imprisonment of Tommy Robinson?

On the one hand he broke the law, on the other hand it was a blitz process and the verdict to radical.

What do you think (of course only if you think anything at all) what this means for the interpretation of the law in the UK?

The key to understanding this case is an understanding of British concepts of personal liberty. Unlike America or France, who fought bloody revolutions on the matter and so enshrined such concepts into their national psyche, we did not. And as such the state has always possessed far more power, and exercised a close watch on personal freedoms mostly with the quiet consent of our people. This is not to say, as Robinson has claimed, that we are living under some kind of tyranny. That is sheer hyperbole. But our ideas of free speech and political dissent have simply never flowered in the style of other nations, or been held in such esteem.

So, ultimately, the case of Tommy Robinson is irrelevant. It does not represent any major divergence from British policing or our standards of civil liberties. And it does not represent any kind of watershed moment for the far-right in terms of gaining ground. People don't care, people will forget this, because by large our population trusts in the power of the state and does not question it in any meaningful way.

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Svip

Aren't you forgetting the English Civil War?  While it ultimately led to the Glorious Revolution, it did cement Parliament's power.  You can well argue that that revolution was a prelude to the American and French revolutions, both of who decided to take it a step further.  But the English Civil War basically highlights why the UK had a constitutional monarchy before everyone else, and therefore the people didn't feel a need for that to change (until the 1832 Reform Act).  Significantly, anyway.

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sivispacem
9 hours ago, TheExecutor10 said:

How is Lauren Southern racist?

In what way is any vocal supporter of the identitarian movement, which is explicitly white supremacist and nativist, or any believer in Camus' "great replacement" theory that immigrants are perpetuating a genocide of white Europeans not a racist?

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Typhus
38 minutes ago, Svip said:

Aren't you forgetting the English Civil War?  While it ultimately led to the Glorious Revolution, it did cement Parliament's power.  You can well argue that that revolution was a prelude to the American and French revolutions, both of who decided to take it a step further.  But the English Civil War basically highlights why the UK had a constitutional monarchy before everyone else, and therefore the people didn't feel a need for that to change (until the 1832 Reform Act).  Significantly, anyway.

I don't consider that event comparable to the American and French Revolutions. The Founding Fathers and Robespierre, despite their failings, were great intellectuals, who were working on a foundation of humanistic, democratic principles. Now, it is true that during the English Civil War, John Lilburne was such a man, but where the English Civil War differs is that Lilburne and the Levellers did not govern. They were suppressed by the Crown, and then suppressed by the Commonwealth.

 

Cromwell, whilst depicted in revisionist history as a man of tolerance or a champion of liberty, was more comparable to modern day religious extremists. He suffered a nervous breakdown in middle-age, and was subsequently radicalised by the Puritans and the Millenialists. Once in power, his rule did not represent a shift away from Monarchy, but a grave worsening of previous power structures. He continued the imperialistic wars of his predecessors, and as Henry VIII did invested power in a minorty sect. In Henry's case it was Protestant reformers, in Cromwell's it was the Puritans.

 

A better contrast would be the Peasant's Revolt. Whose aims were more overtly socialistic, aiming for land redistribution and the removal of serfdom. But given their attacks on the Flemish population in London, even they were marred by xenophobic undercurrents.

So, as I say, we do not have the same democratic bedrock as America or France. What revolutions we have had has almost all betrayed those principles.

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Svip

I think what I'm trying to say, is that exactly because of those events, and the large power of Parliament in Great Britain (particularly in comparison to other European powers of the mid-1700s), the UK did not get hit with revolutions and were largely an observer to the Spring of Nations in 1848.

The French and American revolutions came out of a dissatisfaction with basic necessities, not necessarily the intent of Republics.  In the early years of the American revolution (if we start with the prelude), very few people were even considering independence (and independence remained unpopular among the general population throughout the independence war), since they just really wanted representation.  Had Great Britain given in, there likely wouldn't have been much of an independence war.

The same goes with the French revolution.  Most were opening for more allocation of funds to the poorer countryside, and failing that, perhaps a constitutional monarchy?  In both cases, when push came to shove, that's when the real revolution took place.

Great Britain's own English Civil War, the Peasant's Revolt and Glorious Revolution, meant its people basically already had a constitutional monarchy and felt they had a say in government affairs, compared to the absolute monarchy of France or the colonial governors of British America.  So around 1800, British people felt they were pretty decently represented, and the 1832 Reform Act further cemented that.  British governments were surprisingly cunning enough to give a little in, which could have been enough to avoid the American and French revolutions.

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