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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:52 pm 
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When historians examine Britain’s departure from the European Union, one of the things that will puzzle them is the behaviour of the Conservative Party. Thanks to copious demographic and geographical analysis, we are already in a position to make sense of the referendum result itself. But it remains difficult to grasp how the Tories could effectively have taken what was to everyone else a fringe issue and used it to attack the interests they had until very recently represented: the City of London, big business, the Union, even Whitehall.

To paraphrase Neil Kinnock, how did we end up in the grotesque chaos of a Conservative government – a Conservative government – setting about the seemingly deliberate demolition of the United Kingdom and its economy? From a Tory perspective, things must have reached a sorry pass when the sole voice speaking up for the Union belongs to Arlene Foster. However much energy the Leave campaign put into stirring up nationalist and anti-immigration sentiment, it is hard to see the Westminster Brexiteers as nationalists when they show so little regard for the integrity of the UK or its governing institutions. If the economic forecasts are remotely accurate, Brexit will render England, let alone the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, a hoax nation. The most regionally imbalanced nation in Europe will become even more so, as the North suffers yet further decline while the South-East holds on. Much of South Wales and Northern Ireland will exist in a parallel economic universe to London.

What do they want, these Brexiteers? The fantasies of hardliners such as Liam Fox, Daniel Hannan and Jacob Rees-Mogg are based on dimly learned lessons from British history. The mantra of ‘Global Britain’ resurrects an ideal of laissez-faire from the era of Manchester cotton mills and New World slavery. Discussing the range of Brexit options at a Tory Conference fringe event in October, the former Brexit minister David Jones concluded: ‘If necessary, as Churchill once said, very well then, alone.’ This is the sort of nostalgia Stuart Hall warned against as early as the 1970s, and which Peter Ammon, the outgoing German ambassador in London, identified recently when he complained that Britain was investing in a vision of national isolation that Churchill had played up (and vastly exaggerated) in his wartime rhetoric.

Do they even believe the myth, or is it an expedient way of bashing opponents while pursuing some ulterior goal? Historical re-enactment may be fine for the Daily Mail and the grassroots, but it doesn’t seem a strong enough motivation to support a professional political career. We need to know not just what kind of past the Brexiteers imagine, but what kind of future they are after. One disconcerting possibility is that figures such as Fox and Rees-Mogg might be willing to believe the dismal economic forecasts, but look on them as an attraction.

This isn’t as implausible as it may sound. Since the 1960s, conservatism has been defined partly by a greater willingness to inflict harm, especially in the English-speaking world. The logic is that the augmentation of the postwar welfare state by the moral pluralism of the 1960s produced an acute problem of ‘moral hazard’, whereby benign policies ended up being taken for granted and abused. Once people believe things can be had for free and take pleasure in abundance, there is a risk of idleness and hedonism. In the United States, this fear was expressed in the cultural conservatism of the Nixon era, during which moral opprobrium was visited on welfare claimants and feckless liberals. The focus was on race and gender: in the conservative imaginary, compassion would be exploited in the economic realm by black women, and in the judicial realm by black men. In Britain, there was more emphasis on the language of economics, specifically the ‘supply side’ idea that the interests of investors and entrepreneurs were paramount. As the theory behind Thatcherism had it, government services shrink everybody’s incentives to produce, compete and invest. They reduce the motivation for businesses to deliver services, and ordinary people’s desire to work. Toughness, even pain, performs an important moral and psychological function in pushing people to come up with solutions.

This style of thinking drove Thatcher through the vicious recession of the early 1980s. It was encapsulated by Norman Tebbit in his conference speech in 1981, often misquoted: ‘I grew up in the 1930s with an unemployed father. He didn’t riot. He got on his bike and looked for work, and he kept looking till he found it.’ That would imply that economic hardship should produce a more mobile population, and perhaps further abandonment of deindustrialised regions. A more interventionist version of such thinking appeared with the development of ‘workfare’ programmes by the Clinton and Blair governments of the 1990s, which sought to repurpose the welfare state as a means of boosting claimants’ ‘employability’ as well as their efforts to find work. Under workfare schemes, benefits were either paid to those already in work in the form of ‘tax credits’, or made conditional on enrolment in training programmes and constant job-hunting. The old British idea of the ‘dole’ (or in America of ‘welfare’), as something that was an alternative to work, was quickly eradicated. And there was a new iteration under David Cameron and George Osborne, in the form of austerity. The hypothesis of ‘expansionary fiscal contraction’, touted by Osbornites during the first years of the coalition government, is that cuts to public spending can lead to economic growth, by creating more opportunities for the private sector to invest. As most economists predicted, the hypothesis turned out to be false, but thanks partly to the workfare policies left behind by New Labour, levels of unemployment under austerity didn’t reach those of the Thatcher recession, and Theresa May’s government now boasts the lowest unemployment rate since the mid-1970s. An alternative perspective on that achievement is that hardship has forced people into worse jobs, demanding fewer skills and lower capital investment, so that Britain’s productivity growth has stalled to a degree not seen since the Industrial Revolution. That is what happens when work is framed as a moral duty, to be engaged in at all costs.

The fear of ‘moral hazard’ produces a punitive approach to debtors, be they households, firms or national governments, the assumption being that anything short of harshness will produce a downward spiral of generosity, forgiveness and free-riding, eventually making the market economy unviable. Osborne liked to claim (against all the evidence coming from the bond markets) that if Britain kept borrowing, lenders would lose trust in the moral rectitude of the government and interest rates would rise. Gratification must be resisted. Pain works. Only pain forces people to adapt and innovate. In practice that may mean all sorts of things: migrating, reskilling, sacrificing weekends or family time, selling property, the ‘gig economy’ and so on. The productiveness of pain is a central conservative belief, whose expression might be economic, but whose logic is deeply moralistic.

There seems little doubt that for many of Thatcher’s followers the free-market experiment hasn’t gone far enough. As long as there is an NHS, a welfare state and a public sector that is more European than American in scale, we will never truly discover what the British people are made of, because they will never be forced to find out. Steve Bannon, the former Trump strategist, has often voiced the opinion that America’s only hope of moral cleansing lies in war. Tory Brexiteers tend not to go that far, but they may well be holding out for a milder version of the same idea, an extreme of economic hardship that means government is no longer capable of picking up the pieces. No wonder families in County Durham or the Welsh Valleys have experienced multiple generations of unemployment, they argue: there’s been adequate unemployment benefit. The estimated £80 billion hit to the public finances caused by Brexit might change that. And that’s before we take up the suggestive comment lurking in the official forecasts that ‘leaving the European Union could provide the UK with an opportunity to regulate differently across social, environmental, energy, consumer and product standards.’

The optimistic version of this story is that it’s only when the chips are down we discover what people are truly capable of. Brexit might reveal reserves of courage and innovation that have lain dormant for decades, held back by the interferences of bureaucracy and public spending. And if it doesn’t? Well, then the truth is laid bare. Perhaps that will be the moment for a more heroic form of political leadership to rise from the ashes. Several prominent Tory Brexiteers, including Iain Duncan-Smith and Steve Baker, have military backgrounds. As with the Second World War, Brexit will perform an X-ray of our collective moral fibre. Remainers love facts, but are afraid of the truth.

This is, I suspect, as close to a Conservative ideology of Brexit as exists. At the very least, it has some internal coherence, whatever it may lack in detail regarding the future. But we shouldn’t exaggerate the coherence of Tory Brexit. The situation is a mess, one aspect of which is the frightening lack of responsibility displayed by its main instigators. The political weather in Westminster has been made over the past two years by Boris Johnson, a man whose only apparent goal is to make the political weather. Senior Leave campaigners, such as Dominic Cummings, admit they would have lost the referendum had he not leapt on board. Johnson approaches public life as a game in which he commits sackable offences as a way of demonstrating his unsackability. The office of foreign secretary in this administration is treated as a leash to constrain someone who would otherwise cause more trouble to the prime minister elsewhere.

Johnson is as close as British politics has to a Trump problem, and his seniority suggests that Trumpism has permeated our political culture more deeply than we like to admit. Trump may be a more acute case, but both men compel all around them to react to their idle remarks, mistakes and fantasies. On the day President Macron visited Britain, to take just one recent example, Johnson declared that he wanted to build a bridge across the Channel, and that became the headline. Trump and Johnson are ‘real-time’ politicians: they dominate the rolling news cycle, and devalue the painstaking aspect of politics in the process. Psychologically, they are inverses: Trump has no sense of humour, where Johnson sees the funny side of everything. Johnson is said to strut around Whitehall asking civil servants if they’ve found his £350 million a week yet: ‘I know it exists because it was written on my bus.’ Ha ha. After his vacuous Valentine’s Day speech on Brexit, most pundits agreed he had overplayed his hand, but that’s always been part of his brand. No doubt men such as Johnson and Trump have always existed, but healthy political systems have ways of keeping them away from the highest echelons of power.

For all his idiosyncrasies, Johnson typifies something about contemporary conservatism, which might best be understood biographically. The cultural forces shaping the new conservatism resolve in a particular stereotype: men born between the mid-1960s and the early 1970s, with some constellation of expat backgrounds, famous fathers and first careers in the media. All four things apply to Johnson, but a Venn diagram of these various characteristics would also include Michael Gove, Douglas Carswell, Daniel Hannan and Jacob Rees-Mogg. The result of these disparate characteristics is a comfortable familiarity with the myths and rituals of the British state, but a blasé indifference to the impact of policy. As Ian Jack pointed out in these pages last year (15 June 2017), the expat perspective seems to play an important role in the psychology of Brexit. Hannan and Carswell both had expatriate childhoods. Astute observers, such as the writer Gary Younge, have argued that Brexit rests more on an imperial imaginary than on a national one. But as much as anything the expat is in a position to see ‘Great Britain’ from a perspective other than that of government. Such things as statistics, macroeconomics and policy itself fade into insignificance compared to the way the nation is seen from afar, alongside its historical rivals. Ignore ‘official Treasury forecasts’ and focus on the atlas instead.

In contrast to the populist message of Ukip, which is all about British blood, British soil and how the elites have betrayed them, Tory Brexitism can have a strange flippancy about it. In some cases, you wonder if they really mean it or if it’s just another attention-seeking strategy. Like Johnson, Rees-Mogg was treated as a joke until suddenly he was being discussed as a potential Conservative leader. Then there are their allies who write in the Spectator and specialise in exploring the sliver of political space between irony and bigotry. Among them is Toby Young, who originally found fame as the butt of his own joke with his memoir How to Lose Friends and Alienate People (2001). The game is a quest for attention, and humorous transgression is the key skill in winning it. Another name for it is ‘trolling’.

Armchair psychoanalysts can muse on what responsibility the high-profile fathers of these men have for cultivating their sons’ delinquency and need for attention. It is surely a safer psychological force confined to op-ed pages than unleashed on politics, especially where historic constitutional reform is at stake. But the boundary separating the conservative press from the Conservative Party has in any case been slowly dissolving, with the Times (Gove’s former employer, which currently boasts two Conservative peers, Lords Finkelstein and Ridley, on its comment team) occupying a particularly porous position on the border between the two. In January, Young came within a Twitter-storm of being appointed to the new Office for Students, which will regulate universities in England and Wales. The reality is that in addition to the ideological and cultural forces behind Brexit, it is also happening thanks to the recklessness of individuals who see public life as an opportunity to show off. This is the more fundamental sense in which Westminster is being permeated by Trumpism.

These men’s contemporaries on the centre-left had the existential fortune of beginning their careers in tandem with Blairism. The likes of Ed Balls, David Miliband and Andy Burnham threw themselves into the details of policy design and implementation, with a level of technocratic commitment that would eventually provoke populist derision from both left and right. No doubt this clique contained some planet-sized egos too, but one thing that can be said for the New Labour generation is that they saw politics as a serious business, requiring hard, serious work. Among Tory Brexiteers, by contrast, ignorance and a lack of effort is taken almost as a mark of distinction – how else to explain David Davis? Having spent so long witnessing the Blairite policy machine churn out evidence and evaluations, year after year, with impeccable economic logic, it’s as if they have abandoned such dull, humourless pursuits altogether. Hence their disdain for the Treasury and for the man, ‘Spreadsheet Phil’ Hammond, who runs it.


https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n05/william-d ... they-after

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:34 pm 
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That would be by the political writer William Davies Knocker ? The one that lists Karl Marx as his inspiration ? The one that wrote about Labour MP's before Corbyn being " Class Traitors"......?

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:00 pm 
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I switched off when you mentioned Neil Kinnock.


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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:35 pm 
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davejonesears wrote:
I switched off when you mentioned Neil Kinnock.


I guess many of us do that reach for the remote and mute button.

I know I did with David Cameron and do now with several members of the Tory front bench.

Actually I mute quite a few of the Labour front bench.


News story about to break the Tories and Cambridge Analytica.

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:17 pm 
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Fresh stats out this week show The UK is the only country in the developed world where workers are getting poorer while the country is getting richer.

Wakey Wakey.

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:37 pm 
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knocker knowles wrote:
Fresh stats out this week show The UK is the only country in the developed world where workers are getting poorer while the country is getting richer.

Wakey Wakey.


Which stats are these KK and what exactly do they say?

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:08 am 
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A Tanner on an empty bottle of Cider, threepenny bit on an empty bottle of Manns.

Well done Gove.

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:09 am 
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knocker knowles wrote:
A Tanner on an empty bottle of Cider, threepenny bit on an empty bottle of Manns.

Well done Gove.


So you disagree then KK?

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:14 pm 
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suiging wrote:
knocker knowles wrote:
A Tanner on an empty bottle of Cider, threepenny bit on an empty bottle of Manns.

Well done Gove.


So you disagree then KK?


No, I think its a good idea, I'm all for recovering this planet from various types of pollution.

Successive UK governments have fallen well short and further behind on the plastics issue.

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:27 pm 
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knocker knowles wrote:
suiging wrote:
knocker knowles wrote:
A Tanner on an empty bottle of Cider, threepenny bit on an empty bottle of Manns.

Well done Gove.


So you disagree then KK?


No, I think its a good idea, I'm all for recovering this planet from various types of pollution.

Successive UK governments have fallen well short and further behind on the plastics issue.



Aye. It's about time.

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:28 pm 
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Long overdue, why did we ever stop, money back on empties?

2p for an empty Corona bottle (Every bubble's passed its FIZZical)
Or Alpine if you lived in Cannock

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:56 am 
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Trouble is you can't trust Tories, they say one thing pre elections then do differently post election.

David Cameron and Huskies comes to mind.

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:03 am 
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knocker knowles wrote:
Trouble is you can't trust Tories, they say one thing pre elections then do differently post election.

David Cameron and Huskies comes to mind.


Knew it could't last :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:53 am 
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knocker knowles wrote:
Trouble is you can't trust Tories, they say one thing pre elections then do differently post election.




Sounds a lot like socialists as well.

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:35 pm 
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suiging wrote:
knocker knowles wrote:
Trouble is you can't trust Tories, they say one thing pre elections then do differently post election.

David Cameron and Huskies comes to mind.


Knew it could't last :roll:


True, that's what years of experience does to you, makes you aware of the reality of things to come.

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:05 pm 
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knocker knowles wrote:
True, that's what years of experience does to you, makes you aware of the reality of things to come.


So why do you seem so taken in by Corbynism?

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:16 pm 
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When Theresa May starts going on about her Christian values and you realise rough sleeping has gone up 134% on the Tories watch
120,000 deaths have been linked to Tory austerity policies and 128,000 children will wake up homeless on Easter Sunday.

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 Post Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:16 pm 
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knocker knowles wrote:
When Theresa May starts going on about her Christian values and you realise rough sleeping has gone up 134% on the Tories watch
120,000 deaths have been linked to Tory austerity policies and 128,000 children will wake up homeless on Easter Sunday.


So your experience tells you that Corbyn's Labour will sort it all out despite the fact that you haven't experienced his government yet.

I wish I had your confidence and certainty.

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:37 am 
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The coverage of Israel solders murdering Palestinians these past few days by the BBC has been scandalous.

The British people are not being given the truth.

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:08 am 
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knocker knowles wrote:
The coverage of Israel solders murdering Palestinians these past few days by the BBC has been scandalous.

The British people are not being given the truth.


Too busy mate. Corbyn's anti-Semitism hogging the limelight. Oh along with all his money men pulling the plug.

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:23 am 
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knocker knowles wrote:
The coverage of Israel solders murdering Palestinians these past few days by the BBC has been scandalous.

The British people are not being given the truth.


My dear old Dad was in the 6th Airborne Div (Airlanding) at the end of the war. The pesky German's surrendered early so they could further their plans for European domination via the EU, so off he went to fight the Japs. Half way across the oggin, they surrendered ( must have been told he was coming along with his Ulster Rifles pals ) so his boat steered into Haifa harbour to try to hold Palestine together.

He spent the next two years watching utter misery. Communities where Arabs and Jews had lived together in peace for centuries torn apart by Eastern European jews fresh from EU (sorry Nazi) concentration Camps, which had turned them (through no fault of their own) into ferrel animals, storming the beaches and claiming houses land and anything they could get their hands on, killing all non-jews, and resident Jews, who stood in their way. He lost pals to the Haganah and the Irgun. He came back with a hatred of Zionists, but importantly no hatred of Jewish people by classification of their faith alone.

He is approaching 92. He sees in Corbynism, the same seeds of hatred that rose Nazism to prominance. Hatred that sent millions to their deaths, as the Nazis had to have someone to "Blame" for their Momentum=like brown shirted fools, to feast on. The same as the far left needs a scapegoat today, so they too can rise to the top in the Animal Farm sometimes called the UK.

The State of Israel came into being on the back of collective guilt. Guilty people act in one of two ways. They accept their guilt and try to do something about it ( however misguided that help may be) or they get angry. They lash out at the source of their shame, blaming the oppressed for their oppression and committing acts against them to secretly hide their guilt and offer scapegoats up to the uneducated.

Do you think Corbyn, Abbott, MacDonald and CO, would be frontline soldiers? Standing up for their country and being prepared to sacrifice their live's for it ? Or would they be skulking in the shadows, Gestapo like Commissars. Camp Guards or propaganda Tsars ? Ready to condemn and eradicate all who stand against them by stealth, gas, or a knife in the back ?

Israel has been condemned by 46 resolutions since the inception of the UN Council for Human Rights. The rest of the world combined, barely reaches that figure. North Korea burning Christians at the stake, ISIS beheading just about everyone and stoning to death women who refuse to be covered from head to foot. Myanmar, committing genocide against it's muslim population, Syria, with the help of Russia, killing children by the score. All of these horrific acts don't amount to the heinous crimes committed by the Jewish State.

Don't get me wrong Israel should be sanctioned for such acts. But to be used, as Jews of old were, by the far left to hide the utter savagery of their terrorist friends, is nothing short of a disgrace.

Corbyn and all his cabal of terrorist supporting, anti-semites, should be expelled from politics, and prosecuted for their insidious beliefs.

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:57 am 
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Isn't it strange how people can have such contrasting views, my old grandfather lost an eye in the first world war to a German lancer.

He would have loved Jeremy Corbyn with his life time quest for peace and fairness. Having the willingness to stand strong against the elite establishment.
With all their power and ability to manipulate.

But back to Israel.

With the UK media unwilling to focus on their humanitarian crimes it creates a division within society.

Between people who accept without comment Israeli soldiers snipers killing innocent teenagers in a peaceful protest.

And those in society who want one rule for the whole of mankind.

Deep divisions formenting.

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 12:09 pm 
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-43609657

A very rare case of where politicians give up their quest for self obsession and do something for the common good of all people regardless of political persuasion.

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:18 am 
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Rozza wrote:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-43609657

A very rare case of where politicians give up their quest for self obsession and do something for the common good of all people regardless of political persuasion.



True.

Something Labour have focused on and taken to the house of commons for some time, Well done the Labour back benchers.

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:27 pm 
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Chief executive of Porton Down research laboratory has told Sky News scientists have not been able to prove the Novichok nerve agent used to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal came from Russia or establish its country of origin.

Lets see where this news takes us.

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:55 pm 
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knocker knowles wrote:
Chief executive of Porton Down research laboratory has told Sky News scientists have not been able to prove the Novichok nerve agent used to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal came from Russia or establish its country of origin.

Lets see where this news takes us.


If he's so obviously giving away State secrets, let's see how long he keeps his job.

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:35 pm 
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suiging wrote:
knocker knowles wrote:
Chief executive of Porton Down research laboratory has told Sky News scientists have not been able to prove the Novichok nerve agent used to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal came from Russia or establish its country of origin.

Lets see where this news takes us.


If he's so obviously giving away State secrets, let's see how long he keeps his job.


Porton Down have to blow the Tory cover story now, because the OPCW are due to release their analysis of the samples this Friday.

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:22 am 
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https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/new-party-gets-£50m-backing-to-‘break-mould’-of-uk-politics/ar-AAvBnEt?li=AAmiR2Z&ocid=spartanntp

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:00 am 
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gladbachwolf wrote:
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/new-party-gets-£50m-backing-to-‘break-mould’-of-uk-politics/ar-AAvBnEt?li=AAmiR2Z&ocid=spartanntp


With the demise of UKIP the super rich elite require something else to split the Labour vote.

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 Post subject: Re: This Government.
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:35 pm 
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Minister doesn't know how many police officers there are in England.

Cabinet Minister doesn't read vital document about causes of crime.

Foreign Secretary congratulates fascist on winning election.

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