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Denzil_DC

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Current location: Scotland
Member since: Sun Sep 6, 2009, 11:57 PM
Number of posts: 5,023

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Trident challenge for Theresa May as support for renewal falls

THERESA May today faces growing pressure over Britain’s nuclear deterrent as a new poll suggests waning public support for Trident.

In the first days of Mrs May’s tenure as Prime Minister, Conservative MPs are expected to overwhelmingly support the renewal of Trident in a Commons vote.

A new UK-wide poll for The Herald shows that just 45 per cent of British people are in favour of renewing the project.

Just over a quarter, 27.5 per cent, oppose the move, and almost the same number, 27.9 per cent, say that they don't know.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14614614.Trident_challenge_for_Theresa_May_as_support_for_renewal_falls/

Theresa May’s husband steals the show in sexy navy suit as he starts new life as First Man

Stepping into the limelight as First Man, Philip May showcased a sexy navy suit with a flourish of pinstripe.

A single fastened button at the waist helped show off his fantastic figure and a pale blue tie brought out the colour of his eyes.

Round glasses perched on his nose accentuated his amazing bone structure – no doubt one of the assets he used to help him to bag his wife.

...

Philip elongated his pins with a pair of black brogues as he accompanied his wife to step over the threshold of their new home – 10 Downing Street.

...

http://metro.co.uk/2016/07/13/theresa-mays-husband-steals-the-show-in-sexy-navy-suit-as-he-starts-new-life-as-first-man-6005294/


Nicely done, I thought.

A little more insight on that second story:

The first time I heard the name Boris Johnson was in the early 1990s. I was in graduate school, and one of the ways I made a little money during the summer was by helping shepherd tours of American policy people around Brussels to be lectured by various dignitaries and then writing up reports. One year, my Americans were treated to a performance by a prominent UK member of the Brussels press corps, who was clearly enjoying himself immensely. The larger part of his talk focused on Boris Johnson, who was then the Daily Telegraph’s Brussels correspondent. The journalist told of how Johnson clearly was completely at sea in Brussels, and at a loss for what to report on. Other reporters quickly noted that he had a sweet tooth for stories about this or that regulatory horror that Brussels bureaucrats were about to inflict on unsuspecting Britons. They started an informal pool, to see what was the most ridiculously exaggerated story that they could stuff into Boris, which he would then relay as gospel truth to Telegraph readers. The speaker suggested (perhaps exaggerating for effect) that they hadn’t yet been able to find a story so ludicrous that Boris wouldn’t gulp it down.

http://crookedtimber.org/2016/06/28/boris-johnson/

Corbyn on ballot.

This is breaking, so no media sources yet, this is off Twitter.

Neal Ascherson: Death of the British project – my life in three demonstrations of public outrage

"I HIT bottom. But then I heard somebody tapping from underneath." It’s a Polish saying. But it’s immigrated to Britain. Each time, you think there’s nothing worse they can do. And each time another even grosser blunder arrives to splinter away more of the world’s diminishing respect for the United Kingdom. And here once more comes the English political elite, treating their subjects as credulous peasants, and getting away with it.

Can something even more humiliating than absurd Brexit and its dishonoured referendum be waiting round the corner for its cue? Surely there’s no further to fall, after Tory ministers threaten to use nearly two million foreigners living in Britain as diplomatic hostages? Just listen for the tapping underneath.

I remember the sound of three mighty London demonstrations against misrule, separated by a tract of 60 years. First memory is the battering of hooves and the screams of women, drowning the chants of "Law, not War". That was the Suez protest in November 1956. That was the end of political virginity for my generation. We had never imagined that a British government could commit criminal, illegal aggression in a secret conspiracy with France and Israel to invade Egypt, overthrow its regime and return the Suez Canal to private shareholders. We did not know, until then, that "our" police could slash batons across the faces of young girls, and drag them across the pavement by the hair.

An innocence died. So did a hank of the nerves which had told the British public to obey orders and – with mild scepticism – to trust those who gave the orders. But the Establishment (which wasn’t yet called that) was surprised and vexed at the fuss.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/opinion/14609459.Neil_Ascherson__Death_of_the_British_project_____my_life_in_three_demonstrations_of_public_outrage/?ref=twtrec

John Prescott reveals his guilt at the 'illegal' Iraq War will haunt him for the rest of his life

by John Prescott

On Wednesday we finally saw the Chilcot Report.

It was a damning indictment of how the Blair Government handled the war – and I take my fair share of blame.

As the Deputy Prime Minister in that Government I must express my fullest apology, especially to the families of the 179 men and women who gave their lives in the Iraq War.

Chilcot went into great detail as to what went wrong. But I want to identify certain lessons we must learn to prevent this tragedy being repeated.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/john-prescott-reveals-guilt-illegal-8387319

Pro-EU Labour and Tory MPs look at forming a new centrist party

Tory and Labour MPs have held informal discussions about establishing a new political party in the event of Andrea Leadsom becoming prime minister and Jeremy Corbyn staying as Labour leader, a cabinet minister has disclosed.

Senior players in the parties have discussed founding a new centrist grouping in the mould of the Social Democratic party (SDP) should the two main parties polarise, according to the minister. Talks should be taken seriously, though they are still at an early stage, according to the source.

“There have been talks between Labour and Tory MPs about a new party,” the minister said. “A number of my colleagues would not feel comfortable in a party led by Andrea Leadsom.”

It is understood that MPs in both parties who campaigned to remain in the European Union believe there is an opportunity to build on the newly founded relationships between centrist MPs in both parties made before the EU referendum.

https://amp.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jul/09/labour-tory-mps-talk


So the tittle-tattle is that there's a new "tribe" finding common ground in Parliament's tea rooms.

Torn here: On the one hand, this probably needs to happen if Labour's ever to overcome its schizophrenia, though the timing's far from ideal. On the other, to a large extent we've been here before.

Splitting along Remain/Leave lines may be convenient "tribally" at the moment, but unless it's a single-issue pressure group, that centrism they're proclaiming is what's lost both the Tories and Labour votes over the years, for various reasons, and it's hard to see how the compromises they'd each have to make would lessen voters' impatience and confusion.

I may not be alone in giving the SDP, and particularly David Owen, credit for helping in great measure to ensure Thatcher's 11-year reign.

UK: lost, divided and alone

The woman selling me the railway ticket at a small Welsh station was in no hurry. She was having a public discussion with the worker next to her. He said: ‘You can’t buy girls pink toys anymore, they have to be grey.’ She replied: ‘It’s the same with the word gollywog...’ They were both within earshot of customers and both wearing the uniform of a major rail company.

During the Brexit campaign you could hear it everywhere, if you bothered to listen. Brief random expressions of racism, brief revolts against political correctness. Coming from a small working-class town myself I knew what they meant: a fake revolt of the underclass was under way — against the values of a socially liberal elite and its lifelong project: membership of the European Union.

In that conversation, and millions like it, nobody had to use the word ‘Europe’. The referendum was just the opportunity to say: we’ve had enough. Enough bleakness, enough ruined high streets, enough minimum-wage jobs, and enough lies and fear-mongering from the political class. On the night, 56% of voters in that solidly Labour Welsh town voted to leave the EU.

The signs were there. In the local elections of May 2016 the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) broke through into the former mining valleys of Wales where politics had been solidly Labour since the party was formed in 1906. In the European Parliament elections of 2014 UKIP had won 26% of the vote across the UK, always concentrated in the same kind of town: small, drab, with a low-wage private sector and just enough inward migration to remind everyone of what economists confirmed: that migration from eastern Europe was suppressing the wages of the lowest paid.

http://mondediplo.com/2016/07/03brexit


Journalist Paul Mason offers his analysis of the dynamics of the Brexit vote in Le Monde diplomatique.

MPs to vote on Trident replacement this month

MPs will vote on 18 July whether to renew the UK's Trident nuclear weapons system, PM David Cameron has said.

Mr Cameron, who is standing down in September, said the issue should not be left to his successor.

Meanwhile, an internal review of Labour's defence policy will keep open the possibility of retaining Trident, BBC Newsnight understands.

The review is considering the party's stance on Trident, which leader Jeremy Corbyn wants to scrap.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36754911


The final para of this breaking news story says that Labour's review will likely set five "tests" for the deployment.

It remains to be seen whether those tests - or the debate as a whole - will consider:

* the no doubt even further skyrocketing cost of the programme due to the historically low sterling exchange rate, and where in the stretched defence budget or national coffers that money will come from;

* where they expect the submarine and weapons handling facilities to be based, given the uncertainty over Scotland's future relationship to the rest of the UK, and what contingency plans they will make to take account of the possibility of Scottish independence.

Oh, you meant well? That's OK, then

Never mind that a 2.5-million-word report says Blair was responsible

Like Tony Blair, we were all duped by the intelligence on Saddam Hussein – except for the millions that went on marches, and Nelson Mandela, and France, and the Pope, and the chief weapons inspector, and Robin Cook

The most important thing is Tony Blair insists he made his decision “in good faith”. So it hardly matters that a two-and-a-half-million-word official report finds him responsible for incalculable global carnage, because he says he meant well. It’s just like if you drive the wrong way up the motorway and cause 40 deaths in a pile-up, you haven’t done anything wrong if you thought you were going the right way.

When asked whether he regrets going to war, Blair repeated that he’s not sorry for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. But that wasn’t the question. It’s similar to Oscar Pistorius answering a question about whether he regrets his decision to shoot by saying “I don’t regret getting rid of that bathroom door, I’d been meaning to get it replaced for months”. In any case, even the man filmed in 2003 smashing Saddam’s statue with a hammer said in an interview: “If I met Tony Blair I would spit in his face.”

Yet there were still MPs who voted for the war, who yesterday claimed the people of Iraq were grateful for Blair’s actions. Maybe they’re right, and spitting in your face is one of those customs that means different things in different countries – when you come back from Iraq drenched in gob it means they adore you.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/jeremy-corbyn-iraq-war-chilcot-report-tony-blair-right-important-matter-doing-up-tie-a7125521.html


Political comedian Mark Steel again, on incendiary form.

(Note: The headline is the shorter one that appeared on the print version of the article published in the i newspaper.)
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