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Author Topic: The Political Thread  (Read 1401498 times)

Tjm86

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #17295 on: 21 July, 2020, 04:43:55 PM »
You know, whilst I watch the news from the states with a growing sense of unease bordering on horror, events in this country don't help either.

So federal law enforcement engages in suspect activity while at the same time it looks like Trump might actually be laying the foundations for a reflection of November's result (admittedly that might be high scale tin-foil-hattery but it is also disturbingly believable).

Here in the UK on the other hand our politicians have just voted to deny parliamentary scrutiny of future trade deals whilst it turns out the government has been avoiding any coherent scrutiny of distortion of British democracy mainly because they are getting so much money for their party.

Remember the good old days when this was the sort of stuff our favourite dystopian writers made up?

Professor Bear

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #17296 on: 21 July, 2020, 05:55:32 PM »
A lot of our favorite dystopian writers were journalists, or knew journalists.  What if they were just writing about what was already going on?  What if periods of prosperity and relative domestic calm are not the norm but the exception?  What if a constant stream of data from people's firsthand experiences of current events make it impossible to tell that lie anymore?  What if it's always been like this?
For a lot of people, it has always been like this.  This is our life now and there's no going back - we change or we die.

Tjm86

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #17297 on: 21 July, 2020, 07:02:09 PM »
Fair points.  I just don't remember living through so much in such a short space of time.  Growing up, the Cold War was so ubiquitous it was barely noticeable.  Granted the prospect of nuclear holocaust and slow death by radiation poisoning was a possibility but it still seemed a bit, I don't know, detached somehow?  In all honesty the threat from Irish nationalists was a bigger issue, certainly more real somehow.

The last decade has been something else though.  It's a bit like Sir James Jasper's Warp.  We have a global pandemic involving a potentially lethal virus for which there doesn't seem to be any obvious solution.  We have political leadership that makes the most lunatic of conspiracy theorists look sane on one side of the Atlantic while the Sloth rules the UK, aided and abetted by Beeker's less intelligent cousin.  So while we are trying to find some sort of solution, the folks that are supposed to be in charge are terrifying everyone in sight.

Oh, and we seem to have managed to provide evidence that climate change is a man-made phenomenon as air quality around the world improves with lockdown.  Not that the most pressing problem we've ever faced is that important.

Dandontdare

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #17298 on: 21 July, 2020, 08:36:41 PM »
The last decade has been something else though.  It's a bit like Sir James Jasper's Warp.

Best analogy so far!

sheridan

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #17299 on: 21 July, 2020, 09:39:47 PM »
Fair points.  I just don't remember living through so much in such a short space of time.  Growing up, the Cold War was so ubiquitous it was barely noticeable.  Granted the prospect of nuclear holocaust and slow death by radiation poisoning was a possibility but it still seemed a bit, I don't know, detached somehow?  In all honesty the threat from Irish nationalists was a bigger issue, certainly more real somehow.

I certainly encountered the IRA trying to blow me up when I was ten years old more often than the Russians did!  I say ten, I think I was actually about twelve or so.

I, Cosh

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #17300 on: 21 July, 2020, 10:43:58 PM »
BBC article: Portland protests: Oregon state files lawsuit against federal US government

Key quote: "federal officers in unmarked vehicles appeared to forcefully seize protesters from the streets and detain them without justification".

Trump's extra-judicial goon squads are detaining non-violent protesters, basically.

Quite fascinating Twitter thread related to this on the idea of collusion and plausible deniability.

https://mobile.twitter.com/GregoryMcKelvey/status/1284007847173386240
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shaolin_monkey

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #17301 on: 22 July, 2020, 12:34:08 AM »
You know how the Conservatives are constantly stripping the U.K. of its assets and flogging then at bargain basement prices just to keep them and their rich pals in Lear Jets? I think they’ve just sold our democracy down the pan for shitloads of cash from Russian oligarchs. I think Russia owns the U.K. now.

It’s the only thing that seems to explain why Johnson, Cummings and Banks haven’t been dragged away and jailed for treason. They can’t be traitors to the state if the state is now owned by Russia.

Tjm86

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #17302 on: 22 July, 2020, 06:36:51 AM »
You know how the Conservatives are constantly stripping the U.K. of its assets and flogging then at bargain basement prices just to keep them and their rich pals in Lear Jets?

There are a couple of takeaways from the Russia Report that have not quite made the headlines yet: this has been going on for decades, the process started not long after the fall of the Communist Regime as the Islamic Threat was prioritised, attempts were made to create a new regime with Russia and (possibly most importantly) the City of London became one of the key laundering centres.  So New Labour once again has questions to answer here.

I think they’ve just sold our democracy down the pan for shitloads of cash from Russian oligarchs. I think Russia owns the U.K. now.

This is the other takeaway; this is not a recent event nor is it just about the political class here.  The role of what the report euphemistically terms 'enablers' (once upon a time would be called 'collaborators') in the City should raise some serious questions for us about the role of finance.  So now in addition to the question of how much damage they did to the UK with the 2008 crash (please remember the role of our current chancellor here) there is the question of the role that they have played in weakening democracy in the UK.

As you say, the British government (or rather ironically, the Tory party) has been pretty much bought and paid for by foreign money.  I wonder if May would now like to revisit her frequent use of the phrase "betrayal of democracy" of recent years?

It's also worth bearing in mind that the UK Treason Laws only apply to crimes against the crown, not the state and British People.

shaolin_monkey

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #17303 on: 22 July, 2020, 01:03:11 PM »
Quote
It's also worth bearing in mind that the UK Treason Laws only apply to crimes against the crown, not the state and British People.

Drat.

So what law is there that would apply here? What would you legally call their collaboration with an enemy of the state in terms of getting them hauled out of office and up in front of a judge?

Professor Bear

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #17304 on: 22 July, 2020, 01:39:32 PM »
Fair points.  I just don't remember living through so much in such a short space of time.  Growing up, the Cold War was so ubiquitous it was barely noticeable.  Granted the prospect of nuclear holocaust and slow death by radiation poisoning was a possibility but it still seemed a bit, I don't know, detached somehow?  In all honesty the threat from Irish nationalists was a bigger issue, certainly more real somehow.

I certainly encountered the IRA trying to blow me up when I was ten years old more often than the Russians did!  I say ten, I think I was actually about twelve or so.

I can't help but feel my point is being made for me: The Cold War and the Troubles happening at the same time and we just sort of hand-wave them away like they don't really count as extraordinary.  I'm a bit guilty of this myself as I don't even remember living under military occupation most of the time, but I do sometimes feel when I pass where military bases and checkpoints used to be that the houses since built on those sites don't quite belong there.  My dad still drives around town using routes based on avoiding where military roadblocks used to be.

"We Didn't Start The Fire" is just Billy Joel listing mental things that went on in his lifetime.  He wrote it as a response to those people who said it was harder to grow up in the turbulence of the 1980s compared to the 1950s of Joel's youth when things were simpler.  I imagine the obvious joke is that a remake would be fifteen minutes long.

Funt Solo

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #17305 on: 22 July, 2020, 07:15:37 PM »
My sister is quite relaxed about the current swing to the right that's being experienced in the UK and the US: she said "there are always swings to the left and to the right - we just happen to be in a swing to the right".

The thing is, if we swing too far (I suppose in either direction), we get death camps. I don't think I'm being hyperbolic. Look at China at the moment and how its treating its citizens: in particular the Uyghurs. They're not gassing or shooting them (as far as we can tell), but there is clearly a program of mass incarceration and sterilization. Coming out of the other end of that pipeline are two products: indentured workers and hair. (Oh, and thanks to the sterilization program: the genocide of an ethnic group. I'm not sure why this is in parentheses - it's worse than selling hair or enslavement, right?)

So, I disagree with my sister. Just because it's SNAFU, that doesn't mean we shouldn't fight it. Trump's goons in Portland are now being confronted by a Wall of Moms!

The guy in charge of the goon squad is Acting DHS (Department of Homeland Security) Secretary Chad Wolf. Yes, the man preying on mostly peaceful protesters is named "Wolf". And Chad. Are there any nice Chads?

What the feds are doing (deploying troops when the local state & city government is asking them not to) is all perfectly legal, under an old law that was put in place to put down Native Americans. Or, as we see here, anyone the federal government decides is an enemy. Like ... the citizens of the country.

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broodblik

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #17306 on: 22 July, 2020, 07:25:32 PM »
My sister is quite relaxed about the current swing to the right that's being experienced in the UK and the US: she said "there are always swings to the left and to the right - we just happen to be in a swing to the right".

These swings normally produce the worse of mankind. When will we ever find the middle-ground ?
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IndigoPrime

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #17307 on: 22 July, 2020, 08:08:20 PM »
This is not a normal swing to the right. This is straight-up nationalism. The Tories threw Heseltine and Clarke out, for crying out loud. Thatcher would be too much of an EU-loving liberal for this party. The upshot is the Overton window is now so heavily skewed that even the likes of Dominic Grieve are seen as being worryingly left-leaning.

Jim_Campbell

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #17308 on: 22 July, 2020, 08:20:50 PM »
Are there any nice Chads?

Well, there’s one hanging chad I’d like to see… :-)
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Professor Bear

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Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #17309 on: 22 July, 2020, 10:04:57 PM »
When will we ever find the middle-ground ?

We tried, but the centrists refused to support it.