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I'm Murrin
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reverting to centrism isn't going to solve anything. There was nothing wrong with the policies, it was Brexit and the media's coverage of Corbyn himself.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to me there wasn't anything wrong with the policies Murrin - but the thumping defeat in the election says how out on a limb my thinking is in comparison to the rest of the populace. I agree that Brexit and the media played their parts - and big parts they were - but no, there was more to it than just that. Corbyn was unpalatable to the traditional Labour voter and his policies were too out there for the bulk of people.

And like it or not, it was his and his team's job to read the mood - and to get it right. This they failed to do and failed to do spectacularly when the country most despatatly needed them to do the opposite.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What Price Pluralism

For a party that prior to the election, spent so much time telling us how it was a 'broad church', with all views welcome, what are we to make of Boris Johnson's making every one of his prospective MPs sign a declaration that they would support the UK's leaving the EU, even with no deal should it come to it, and would vote in favour of the PM's withdrawal agreement, come what may, in the event of their forming a new government.

Well now that they are here, and supposing this to stand, what price the pluralism upon which our system is and has always been based. The idea that it is entirely possible for different opinions on a subject to coexist and that the interplay of the argument between those positions will result in the best option winning the day, is central to our parliamentary democracy. No good will come of it's being stifled in this way.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My son-in-law came in the other day bitterly complaining that his employers have told him that in the new year his job is to be cut to a four day week from the usual five plus he has been getting for the past three years since taking up his position. It's not that he's a bad employee - in fact he works at request, any hours needed, often seven days a week. Neither is it that his company is short of work; they can simply make more money from using franchise drivers than regularly employed ones like my son-in-law.

I didn't say anything other than to agree that his best policy would be to look for work elsewhere, but it occured to me to question why he had vocally and enthusiastically sung the praises of the Tory Party before casting his vote in their direction in the last election. What is it that he doesn't understand about workers rights? It's just the very kind of thing that he is now facing that are covered by the very rights that the Tories have traditionally been leary about, but which the Labour Party have unremittingly fought for and would continue to do so if they were not now dead in the water. Unlike the song that the Tories played at their celebration party post winning their stonking majority (Things Can Only Get Better), for my son-in-law and his like in hard jobs at the bottom of cut-and-thrust industries like delivery driving, things will only get worse!
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On last Thursday's Question Time the question was being debated as to who would be the best person to lead the Labour Party post Jeremy Corbyn and their worst electoral defeat for decades. A woman in a green sweater from the audience made the following (not verbatim) observation.

"We have been discussing the press abuse which Meghan Markle has been subjected to, but this was not a smidgen, not so much a scratch of the surface, of what Jeremy Corbyn was subjected to over years and years, ever since assuming the Labour Party leadership, by a right wing controlled media. It matters not one jot who the Labour Party elects as leader, they will immediately be subjected to the same constant attack until they are brought down. There is no way that a socialist leader will ever be allowed to win power again in this country."

Earlier in the program author and journalist Max Hastings (ex editor in chief of the Tory broadsheet the Telegraph) had in his own way confirmed this. In his answer to the same question he told us how, as a lifelong Tory, he had been persuaded to vote for Labour's Tony Blair on two occasions, and was simply waiting for another center-left leader like him (and for him, Hastings, Kier Stamer was the man) in order to renew his support of the Party. There is, he said, a huge well of unrepresented individuals out there just waiting to be picked up by such a moderate Labour leader.

And this sums up the Labour dilemma, because Hastings is absolutely correct. Unless the new leader is not a real socialist, but as with Blair a quasi Tory with a red tie - a man who is smooth enough to paper over the liberal intelligentsia's guilty feeling that it shouldn't really be voting Tory (there being something of the Terraces about it) and present the possibility of voting Tory without voting for the Conservative Party......then he/she doesn't stand a chance. A bit of realpolitik coming up - socialism is dead in this country. Dead. A non-parrot, not merely away 'pining for the fjords'.

So like the communist Leader who when questioned about the undemocratic nature of communism by a journalist answered "We have elections in our country as you do in yours; in ours all the candidates are communist, in yours all capitalist. Where are we so different", we have reached the Henry Ford state of democracy in the UK. You can have any colour of politics you like in the UK, as long as it's one that the establishment is prepared to allow you to have. So yes, if the Labour Party elect a soft leader, a leader that will not threaten the establishment line, a leader that will operate within the existing set of vested interest and dogma, then the liberal middle will jump on board with a renewed belief (and an understanding that they won't have to taint themselves with that most dirty of ideologies - socialism) and sign up for the next fake election. It will allow them to assuage their guilt of having voted in their droves for the unrepentant reprobate of a PM they have thrust on us, and re-stablish their belief in themselves as progressive forward thinking humanists instead of knuckle-dragging right wingers whose chief contribution to discourse is the gravelly chant of "YOU WHAT! YOU WHAT! YOU WHAT, YOU WHAT, YOU WHAT, YOU WHAT!" welling up in their well hidden but true-blue breasts.
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....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, the beauty of democracy. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing It's called 'First Past the Post' in the UK Av. Tories get an eighth plus seat majority on 43 percent of the vote. Ah well - it is what it is!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wish the AV referendum had gone the other way. It wasn't the ideal option but better than the current system, but of course the Tories controlled the narrative on it and people didn't really get to understand what it was about.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
Laughing It's called 'First Past the Post' in the UK Av. Tories get an eighth plus seat majority on 43 percent of the vote.


Haha, I was referring to "You can have any colour of politics you like in the UK, as long as it's one that the establishment is prepared to allow you to have."

Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's a good day!
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
peter wrote:
Laughing It's called 'First Past the Post' in the UK Av. Tories get an eighth plus seat majority on 43 percent of the vote.


Haha, I was referring to "You can have any colour of politics you like in the UK, as long as it's one that the establishment is prepared to allow you to have."

Very Happy

--A


A guy on Question Time said (quite rightly) that barring the Tony Blair years which for the reasons I give above don't really count, the Labour Party haven't won an election in this country for 50 years. The upshot of this is that the pro business, pro market policies of the Tories have had the field almost entirely to themselves for the last half century. We live in a country of the Tories making. They have to own it. All of the inequality, the failure, the poverty, the waiting lists in hospitals, the racism, the whole damn lot, sits firmly and squarely at their door. The only thing that has stopped us from sliding back entirely into the levels of abject poverty and abuse of the Victorian period (with a slightly more modern sheen on them) are the post-war welfare state reforms of the Labour Party and the legal requirements of being in the EU which held working rights and conditions at a parity with the rest of the body.

What is it that people don't get about this?
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if Gwyneth Paltrow was simply too naive to get the obvious connection that would spring to a certain kind of mind (mine to my shame) when she released a candle called This Smells Like My Vagina on her lifestyle website Goop. Or maybe she was simply trading on the salacious connection that might be made by juxtaposition of vagina and candle (Oh God, there is no way of putting this that doesn't sound bad).

Whose vagina are we to assume it smells like anyway? Hers? Given the description (citrusy notes of bergamot, geranium and cedar juxtaposed with damask rose and ambrette seed) we're clearly not talking about any usual run of the mill vagina - at least not any of the kind I've run across in my grantedly somewhat limited experience.

Whatever the case, in selecting the name (yes- it was apparently her own choice of moniker) she clearly knew what she was doing; the candle - priced at an eyewatering 75 dollars (though some might consider it a steal for the chance to have a sniff at ..........no, I'm not going there) the candle flew off the shelves and was sold out in hours. Well, there's no accounting for taste - no, forget I said that! Enough!

Wink
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Washington Post Donald Trump Lie Count; 15413 false or misleading statements in 1055 days as President. No equivalent score for Boris Johnson.

....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
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'Then let it end.'

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you cross the cult of celebrity with conspicuous consumerism...

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
I wonder if Gwyneth Paltrow was simply too naive to get the obvious connection that would spring to a certain kind of mind (mine to my shame) when she released a candle called This Smells Like My Vagina on her lifestyle website Goop. Or maybe she was simply trading on the salacious connection that might be made by juxtaposition of vagina and candle (Oh God, there is no way of putting this that doesn't sound bad).

Whose vagina are we to assume it smells like anyway? Hers? Given the description (citrusy notes of bergamot, geranium and cedar juxtaposed with damask rose and ambrette seed) we're clearly not talking about any usual run of the mill vagina - at least not any of the kind I've run across in my grantedly somewhat limited experience.

Whatever the case, in selecting the name (yes- it was apparently her own choice of moniker) she clearly knew what she was doing; the candle - priced at an eyewatering 75 dollars (though some might consider it a steal for the chance to have a sniff at ..........no, I'm not going there) the candle flew off the shelves and was sold out in hours. Well, there's no accounting for taste - no, forget I said that! Enough!

Wink


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Praise indeed Sarge, and appreciated. It's such a great (and ridiculous) story it would be hard to create a bad post around it!

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....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
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'Then let it end.'

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter - I knew nothing of the story
Before your post.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

She's long been recognised as...having gone a little odd... Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But Dang! the girl knows how to work it! Hard to see what the male equivalent would be called [and not all that pleasant to think about it Wink ].
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, I've been thinking: this business of ringing the bell of Westminster, Big Ben at 11.00 pm on January 31, the moment of our leaving the EU, is bloody insulting really. Not only is it needlessly rubbing it into the noses of the fifty percent of the country (well, just under) that voted to remain, that they lost and that their views are being ridden rough shod over - but it also is putting our leaving the EU on a par with the end of the second world war, as though we have in some way 'escaped' from a position of being held in thrall by an evil European dictatorship. It's insulting to the people who voted remain, it's insulting to our European neighbors and it should not be done. Quite the opposite of ending the division in the country it will stoke it further by simply rubbing salt into the wounds. In fact the whole irony now of the PM calling for an end to division when he has just severed us away from our closest neighbors has just struck me - ridiculous!

I shall wear black for the day in mourning for what has been lost.
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....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my search for a job (my temporary Christmas contract being over) I have recently been filling out application forms on-line until they come out of my ears. This today, seems to be the way it is done, and very often the application comes alongside these kind of test things, where you are put into different scenarios and have to choose or grade your reactions from lists you are given.

The natural inclination when doing these is to try to answer in such a way as to project the image of yourself that you think that the employer might want to see in a prospective candidate for the job. Do they want super-confident leaders who take the initiative and push their way of doing things forward - or do they want people who can take instructions, will listen to what they are told to do, and then endeavour to fulfill their remit as instructed with no argument or deviations.

In a recent 'report' I was sent back on my performance in one of these tests, entitled "Is the job at X the right one for you", the assessment spent five minutes spewing back at me what I had spent half an hour telling them via their tick-boxes, and then finished up by telling me that I wasn't interested in either the customer or my workmates, but simply in getting the job done. Nothing could be further from the truth. In no place in the test had I been able to express my belief that the customer and their satisfaction are the absolute priority in every business that would begin to hope to thrive - and that the moment you forget this you are done. But now I have been judged by an algorithm, placed in a box and most likely thrown out with the also-ran's before even being made aware to another human being that I exist.

Such is the random world we live in - and maybe it has to be this way. I applied for a job, part-time serving behind the counter in a fish and chip shop; sixteen hours a week on minimum wage. One hundred and ninety eight people applied for it along side myself. We are told proudly by the government that there is more work out there than there has been for decades, the implication being that any person not in work chooses not to be so. The reality is something different. Since registering with recruitment agencies in the locality of where I live, I've been offered a couple of three day stints doing factory work (overnight) for minimum wage fifteen miles away from where I live. I have sent out multiple job application forms (online) from which most I get no response, a few a simple immediate rejection and even less a communique that my application is being considered followed by silence. I've delivered hand written letters and cv's to local stores and businesses to no avail and I've trawled the internet job-sites to no avail excepting to see the same jobs that I have applied for, to no avail, being regurgitated on a round-robin basis as they are automatically re-posted month after month.

While it would be easy to let this pointless excercise of throwing out applications like messages in a bottle from a dessert island get you down, I do not let it do so. Everything in our world has become shallow to the degree that my experience of searching for work is no more than may be expected. Everything is sold on the basis of being super-efficient and swimmingly good, but in reality when you get into it there is nothing of substance behind it. The automated answering services we get on the phones play us soothing music while they drive us to distraction (before spitting us out, problem unsolved out at the extreme end of the system) and the soothing voice at the checkout tells us it cares for us from the front of its blank automated program. Even in the rare cases where actual human beings are inserted into these systems, they are to function simply as slightly better decision making machines in a process that is as automated and mindless as if they were not there at all.

We all have a million friends on Facebook but none in reality - and reality itself is degraded to the point where the closest many of us get to it is in the myriad 'variations on a theme' that we soak up nightly on the TV versions of the same - candy-floss fodder upon which our minds can get fat, but serving to provide distraction at least, from what we have become. And of our political masters, need I say more; that they epitomise our shallow decadent society with perfect precision, reflecting back on us in infinite receding regress what we ourselves have made them; ephemeral gesture politicians, full of sound and fury but signifying nothing.

So how could one be other than equally shallow in one's response to all of this than to simply be unaffected by it. To let the rejection and indifference below the sugar-coated surface of cod-concern simply pass one by like the idle wind which one regardeth not. To engage with the process as simply an unthinking cog in the machine of to's and fro's, to let it do it's unthinking thing, tick the boxes, turn the dials, ever active and shiny above it's hollow core until finally at the end it releases you, graded and stamped, judged and quantified, to the place that you were meant to be. There is a phrase from the Bible, that much criticized but still useful at times repository of wisdom that sums my take on it up. I have learned that whatsoever situation I find myself in therein to be content. It works for me; hope it does for you too!

Wink
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Washington Post Donald Trump Lie Count; 15413 false or misleading statements in 1055 days as President. No equivalent score for Boris Johnson.

....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
'Have we not served you well'
'Of course - you know you have.'
'Then let it end.'

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