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76  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Which country has been facing a bigger existential crisis lately, UK or US? on: June 19, 2016, 03:14:01 pm
Thanks for explaining.

I note that part of Thatcher's response to the dispute with Younger was to move him to Defence. Was that seen as a backhanded promotion at the time?

He took over from Heseltine. Perhaps it was replacing like with like. Though he had shadowed the portfolio in the 70's if I remember correctly.
77  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Canadian parliament passes assisted suicide bill on: June 19, 2016, 11:53:55 am
Also, I'm not sure what 'muh morals' is supposed to indicate here, other than 'a shorthand for any or all of the various reasons one might have qualms about assisted suicide'.

Because, like opposition to abortion it is moral grandstanding. You aren't offering a solution to a very real and very tangible act of suffering that a human being is going through and requires release from. Instead wheels are left spinning; you doubt the intent of the state, you doubt the intent of the family, you doubt the intent and the state of mind of the person who is suffering.

Instead you elevate (and even you do this) the physical over the psychological. Is a man the sum of his thoughts, or the vessel in which his thoughts reside? What are you preserving, what are you protecting and defending him from. Himself? Is that your responsibility? 

Why should someone be forced to live with intractable pain, whether physical or psychological? And if it's not moral grandstanding, could you go to someones bed and look into their eyes and no matter how much they sweat, or cry, or shy from touch, of if their heart pounds or their concentration wanes, could would tell them 'no'? It's inhuman.

And if you were the master of this, if you were in some position where you held the power of life and death in a nefarious manner, in a controlled situation, in a time of war or battle, what sort of torturer would you make? Would you be the one who lets them die? Or would you be the one that only stops at death?
78  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Which country has been facing a bigger existential crisis lately, UK or US? on: June 19, 2016, 11:27:31 am
the Government's Man In Scotland (rather than Scotland's Man In The Government)

Could you or afleitch explain the difference, in practical terms? I'm having trouble wrapping my head around it.

Traditionnally, the Secretary of State for Scotland was the one bringing Scottish issues and defending Scottish points of view in the Cabinet. He was representing Scotland in Cabinet.

Under Thatcher, the Secretary of State for Scotland became the guy announcing and applying the government decisions in Scotland.

Went from a representative to a french prefect, sort of.

I guess what I'm asking for is examples (not that I disbelieve it; I'm just curious to know more).

It's a tough one to condense (books have been written about it) but basically the Scottish Office was the first attempt at some form of 'devolution', the Secretary had significant powers and come the welfare state, quite a substantial budget in which to deliver for Scotland. It had power to deliver fisheries policy, agriculture, education, prisons and so forth. It was a post with 'teeth' and the office was politically distant as well as geographically distant. From the 50's to the 70's it was almost patrician.

Under Thatcher (and to be fair, Callaghan before her, though not Wilson) it was perceived Scotland was a testing ground and or dumping ground for public policy before it was 'tried for real' in England. What's curious about this, is that this perception was denied politically and academically until such times as freedom of information released government papers in many ways confirmed that these attitudes had existed.

The most well known example was testing the Poll Tax in Scotland in 1988, two years before it was introduced in England. David Willets in 1986 argued for 'juicy cuts' in Scottish spending as it may prove popular 'the envious north of England might even welcome an attack on the pampered Scots over the border. On the other hand, George Younger (Scottish Secretary) is reported to be very Ďemotionalí on the subject and may well threaten to resign.'

Younger couldn't stop Thatcher's plans to make steel mils in Gartcosh and Ravenscraig obsolete and couldn't protect the budget. He couldn't get the money to plug the cost of changing the local taxation system which had to be borne by local councils.

This was important not because Scotland should have suffered 'less' than elsewhere in the UK, but that Thatcher refused to accept or acknowledge the political clout of the Scottish Office and it's large civil service while at the same time allowing education, prisons etc, which were technically by Act of parliament 'separate' (as was the NHS) to 'drift' while she concentrated on England and Wales. The ship was rudderless. Money was tight but direction in terms of policy was gone. It was harder and harder to get Parliament to consider '(Scotland) Acts'; acts pertaining to strictly Scottish affairs as had been the case since 1707. And if it did, there was nothing particularly 'exceptional' about them. After Younger moved in 1986, she had a succession of Scottish Secretaries who were neutered.
79  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Who are your family members voting for in next weeks EU referendum on: June 18, 2016, 05:30:01 pm
Mum - Remain
Dad - Remain
Brothers - Remain, Remain
Sister - Remain
In-laws - Remain, Remain.
80  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Which country has been facing a bigger existential crisis lately, UK or US? on: June 18, 2016, 01:11:54 pm
Oh for sure. But I think this explains a lot of the misunderstandings between Scottish polity and that of the rest of GB, which have resulted in (thus far) 45% of the Scottish electorate voting to break away. Both sides of the political relationship have a very different understanding of what it is and don't really understand that this is the case. The phrase 'the Union' is basically never used south of the Tweed for instance. Or consider the Thatcher government: there was genuinely no awareness at all that making the Scottish Secretary the Government's Man In Scotland (rather than Scotland's Man In The Government) would be seen as breaching a constitutional convention.

Absolutely, politically, the concepts of Britishness/The Union  as 'personal-political' was initially a contrast to 'Irishness', (in that being a unionist was more 'Irish' than being a nationalist) Certainly the migration of Ulster protestants to (or in some cases back) to the Scottish cities in particular at the start of the last century brought that into the Scottish political scene. The imagery, and the rhetoric was easily re-orientated for nationalistic purposes of a different nature during the two wars (and in the National Government)

In Scotland, we got the Unionist Party (in which 'The Union' was interchangeable with the concept of Empire and most importantly with strong industry) Indeed it was a Scotsman's duty to be a Unionist as it promoted 'Scottishness' within the Empire where you could be as Scottish in Australia/New Zealand/Canada etc or in a mine in Yorkshire as you were in Scotland.

As Tories and Unionists became Conservatives they had a well from which to draw in order to establish a concept of Britishness and of 'The Union' out of what was left of the Empire. This was done in many cases to try and take something tangible into Europe. You had to get from Empire (which didn't draw from mid 1800's romantic nationalism) to 'Great Britain' in less than 20 years.

Being in Europe has made Great Britain an entity (flegs, queen, curries, Jessica Ennis) and keeps it that way. This is what those who campaign for Leave can't grasp. British identity doesn't exist without Europe.

There is a sense of the need to be 'interconnected' in Scotland, as it was with the Empire (see emigration) it's now with Europe. It's a genuine 'thing' that really requires more academic study and isn't just an 'oh the Scots like to think they are x' diagnosis that is often made when faced with whether there's a 'Scottish exceptionalism' with respect to the left-right scale, perceived social liberalism/secularism etc.

The Union guaranteed these things. The threat of not being in Europe is the key determiner of what 10% of the Scottish electorate are going to think with respect to their constitutional future.

I don't think the threat to revisit the constitutional question in the near future is an idle one with respect to the outcome of the EU referendum.
81  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Is a "double bell curve" Clinton swing possible? on: June 18, 2016, 11:29:08 am
If you say, falling further 'behind' in states the Democrats used to be competitive in at a presidential level (WV, KY etc), states that her husband won, but make significant strides in say Texas, Utah and the Dakota's, where Bill never one, then yes I think it's possible.
82  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UK General Discussion: Corbyn vs the Pigdiddler on: June 18, 2016, 05:22:36 am
Some media outlets were downplaying the already very obvious as late as this morning...

Of course they will

83  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Christian Hypocrites Celebrate Orlando Shooting on: June 17, 2016, 04:59:52 pm
In the US, most imams and priests and pastors are telling their flocks that hatred like this is not okay.

But many also excuse other forms of hatred. They even weave it into their faith. Homophobia is homophobia; doesn't matter how it manifests itself. The intent is to discriminate, to label, to divide and to de-humanise.
84  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Which country has been facing a bigger existential crisis lately, UK or US? on: June 17, 2016, 02:10:06 pm
The interesting thing is that Britishness is really a Scottish (and yeah also NORN ION) concept; there was never a question of two identities in England or even Wales, where 'British'* just = as you were plus an extra flag with a bit of blue on it.

*As a national-political identity. Obviously all parts of the islands are part of a distinctive cultural region, whether part of the United Kingdom now or in the future or not. And had been so long before the Act of Union.

That's because England and Wales was the a priori state. So they didn't have to acclimatise. 'Britain' was what you had to define when you added on a political element. Of course there was never an ecclesiastical or legal (as in law) union, and initially those things were more important before the concept of the nation state. Indeed 'Britain' wasn't really defined as a thing until you had to sell it in WW1.
85  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Florida gunman was known to frequent club on: June 17, 2016, 02:03:01 pm
The FBI are casting doubts on this particular narrative now;

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/17/us/orlando-shooting.html?emc=eta1
86  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Which country has been facing a bigger existential crisis lately, UK or US? on: June 17, 2016, 01:01:09 pm
I'm no Brexiteer, but to say that leaving the EU would 'question, and strike at, the actual identity of the United Kingdom as a state' strikes me as odd. In any case the answer is still Britain.

What 'Brexiteers' don't fully get is that being part of the EU is a part of modern British identity and in many ways, keeps it together. Our entry to the then EEC happened at the same time the Northern Irish troubles and Scottish Nationalism was politically taking off. The EU promoted economic unity on a wider scale, while industry in the UK was struggling.
87  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UK General Discussion: Corbyn vs the Pigdiddler on: June 16, 2016, 12:07:20 pm
88  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UK General Discussion: Corbyn vs the Pigdiddler on: June 16, 2016, 11:21:48 am
The assailant has been named as Thomas Mair.

Here he is in 2011; http://www.batleynews.co.uk/news/local/volunteer-at-award-winning-site-1-2976712

'Thomas Mair has been helping at the Birstall park for over a year, and said itís done him more good than all the physiotherapy and medication in the world.

Read more: http://www.batleynews.co.uk/news/local/volunteer-at-award-winning-site-1-2976712#ixzz4BlBmdBXC'
89  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UK General Discussion: Corbyn vs the Pigdiddler on: June 16, 2016, 11:20:15 am
F-ck

Rest In Peace.
90  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: United Kingdom Referendum on European Union Membership on: June 16, 2016, 09:52:05 am
Campaigns suspended following the attempted (let us hope this remains the correct prefix) murder of Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox in what currently sounds like an act of far right political violence.

In what's currently a period of increasingly hostile rhetoric.
91  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: United Kingdom Referendum on European Union Membership on: June 16, 2016, 07:58:05 am
They've literally gone and changed methodology between polls. ffs.

Back to herding again, I see...

Yes. If there's a scent of a move back towards Remain in the last week they will all herd at 50-50 and declare themselves 'accurate' no matter the result.
92  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump's RCP Average on: June 15, 2016, 05:34:30 am
We should all know to reserve serious judgments until September. The convention bounces will have subsided by then.

Sam Wang has calculated that statistically February polls ate the best you get till August.

http://election.princeton.edu/2016/05/22/february-national-polls-are-the-best-you-get-until-august/
93  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: There have been 196 multiple-casualty shootings SINCE Orlando on: June 15, 2016, 01:00:32 am
Probably mostly in ghettos and big cities with lots of gun control.

Read: blacks?
94  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Christian Hypocrites Celebrate Orlando Shooting on: June 14, 2016, 04:56:39 pm
...
95  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Stop pretending you care. on: June 13, 2016, 06:14:55 am
Can at least one half of America stop pretending it cares?

If your response to each and every tragedy like this is nothing, which it is, why even bother to report these shootings? Why not leave them for the Ďand finallyí columns in newspapers? If Sandy Hook didnít change anything, then I doubt the deaths of a bunch of Hispanic gays is going to change anything.

After Sandy Hook, a background check bill was filibustered in the Senate. An attempt to renew the federal assault weapons ban failed. A bill to allow the CDC to study the cause of and solutions to gun violence went nowhere. After Charleston, a bill to reform background checks went nowhere. After Roseburg and the Presidentís plea, no response was taken. After San Bernardino bills went nowhere. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

Stop pretending you care. Care is not thought, not consolation but action.

Your prayers are pointless. I will be a sh**tty atheist on this one; prayer absolves you actually doing anything while still making you feel good. If it's all politicians have got then they have absolutely nothing to give. Itís especially insensitive given that many of the victims will have already had Ďprayerí thrown at them in their name for very different reasons. It didnít work then and it wonít work now.

ĎOh but wait, but this was Islamic terror.í

No. This wasnít the Bataclan. This wasnít a mass planned, defying the odds series of co-ordinated attacks. It was an act of domestic terror. It does not matter what ideology someone taps into, or tries to self-justify.

Iím going to repeat this; IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT IDEOLOGY SOMEONE TAPS INTO.

It doesnít matter whether it was Islamist, or white-supremacist, or dominionist. The shooter was not a foreigner, he wasnít a weird basement dwelling kid. He was 29. He was middle class, married. He was a security guard and he was able, last week to buy weapons and walk out the f-cking store with them.

And he bought an AR-15. The weapon of choice for mass shooters. They should put it on the box. They should advertise it; why buy anything else? Why else would you need an AR-15? Is it a choice weapon for farmers, for hunters? Is it the number one weapon for law enforcement? Is there an Olympic shooting event that requires expert training with an AR-15?

And like every other issue that directly affects LGBT Americans, this whole event get's turned around by right wing reactionaries to make it about them and their rights and their guns and their freedoms. The right of gays to marry became more about their right to not marry them, the right of gays to not be discriminated against became about their right to religious freedom or what ever cognitive bullsh**t they washed in public, the rights of trans people to use a bathroom becomes about 'rapists and mothers and daughters' and every mans stupid scatological fetish.

So don't pretend you care about them for who they are and who they love and why they were there together in a 'safe space' an actual safe space to celebrate who they are and for their friends to celebrate with them. Don't offer hollow solidarity if you've never once showed it for a single LGBT person. You don't get to claim them now if you never claimed them before.

96  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Mass shooting at LGBT nightclub in Orlando. on: June 12, 2016, 05:19:55 pm
What's sad about this thing media wise is that yet again something actually affecting LGBT people now about everyone and everything else.
97  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Mass shooting at LGBT nightclub in Orlando. on: June 12, 2016, 02:37:35 pm
›es, and anybody who says otherwise is wrong.

The secularists want to rewrite history to make us (the West) into something that we are not. The Islamists don't feel that way - they see us as we've always been. They don't hate us because we're free, they hate us because they see us as decadent Christians. We are in a religious war, not against all Muslims, but against a faction of them who will not rest until they avenge their loss at the Battle of Tours, and perhaps not even then.

They hate us because we're gay. We're in a war against people with positive social scores on the PM, no matter what religion they follow.
No. They hate us because we tolerate homosexuality, despite our positive social PM scores.

Tolerate?
98  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Mass shooting at LGBT nightclub in Orlando. on: June 12, 2016, 01:00:33 pm

Take it! It's a opportunity to sell attacks on LGBT as an attack on "Us" and our values.

The reactionary right don't specifically care about the LGBT part of this crime. We don't need to be collateral in their chest beating.
99  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Mass shooting at LGBT nightclub in Orlando. on: June 12, 2016, 12:44:30 pm

Are you?
100  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Does the recent gun massacre of 50+ LGBT people in Orlando, Florida... on: June 12, 2016, 12:27:58 pm
^ The Lt Gov of TX essentially already did.  He deleted his twat already though.

That's because anti-gay religious homophobia whether Christian or Islamic are still two cheeks of the same arse.
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