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PostPosted: Wed 21 Feb, 2018 8:37 pm 
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frog222 wrote:
Being still engaged in my fifty-year clearout that may be some time ....

pto perhaps ?

Not yet.
...

Bugger! :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed 21 Feb, 2018 8:44 pm 
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I don't think Syria has a lot of oil, particularly. I think it's who they neighbour, their geographic position and the fact that Syria's borders encompass a hotch potch of ethnicities and religious groups (a hangover from arbitrary colonial boundaries). This isn't their first civil war, I don't think. Didn't Assad senior bring a previous long drawn out civil war to a close when he seized power? I'll have to check.

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PostPosted: Wed 21 Feb, 2018 8:50 pm 
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Willow904 wrote:
I don't think Syria has a lot of oil, particularly. I think it's who they neighbour, their geographic position and the fact that Syria's borders encompass a hotch potch of ethnicities and religious groups (a hangover from arbitrary colonial boundaries). This isn't their first civil war, I don't think. Didn't Assad senior bring a previous long drawn out civil war to a close when he seized power? I'll have to check.



I think this is what I trying to get at earlier - some countries are inherently unstable (I think NI is the same but to a much lesser extent) and there is always the possibility of trouble based upon tribal conflict (be it religious or ethnic tribes).

The Kurds are spread across 4 countries and have no homeland and then you have the religious sectarianism in Syria itself. There is always the possibility (probability?) that it will kick off sometime and these civil wars are vicious - the best thing the West can do is try to mediate and not get drawn into it and then end up with a proxy war with Russia......stop providing big guns would be a place to start!


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PostPosted: Wed 21 Feb, 2018 9:27 pm 
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Think gas pipelines from the huge South Fars field shared between Iran and Qatar , it has to go somewhere . Iirc some already or soon to go east, but most to the north ... but how ?

Not huge amounts of oil in Syria, but still considerable. Has everyone already forgotten the Russians bombarding the miles long convoys of oil tanker trucks heading towards Turkey ? It was the Russkies first major action , again iirc ! Corruption being the rule, rumours that the Erdogan family profited from the trade .

Many local war lords financed themselves, drilling and even refining on a small scale .


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PostPosted: Wed 21 Feb, 2018 9:28 pm 
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Just double checked. Syria won independence from France in 1946. It was plagued by unstable government and frequent coups until Assad Sr seized power in 1970. There was an uneasy union with Egypt between 1958 and 1961 in the wake of the Suez Crisis and the Russian association started in 1966 when Syria allied itself with the Soviet Union. And then there were the various wars with Israel over the Golan Heights......

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PostPosted: Wed 21 Feb, 2018 9:29 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed 21 Feb, 2018 9:34 pm 
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Fourteen (!!) local council byelections last week - so <deep breath> here goes:

East Northamptonshire DC/Northants CC - this "double header" saw two comfortable Tory holds in an area that has been very safe for them in recent years. The district seat was unopposed at the last election in 2015, as was the case in 2011 when two Tories were again automatically returned and indeed a late 2007 byelection, we have to go back to May that year for the last contest here when the Tories beat Labour about 70-30 in a straight fight. This time round the Tories got just over 55%, whilst the LibDems finished ahead of Labour and the Greens came just ahead of UKIP who were last with 2%. The county division has at least been contested in both 2017 and 2013 (its first appearance in this form) Labour stayed second this time and got a modest swing overall, but the Tories won with about the same percentage as above. LibDems managed a modest increase, UKIP more than halved to 4% - but that is actually one of their less bad performances recently and got them above the Greens on this occasion.

Teignbridge DC - two vacancies here, and both were LibDems gains from the Tories, but the results differed in several other respects - the first contest saw a landslide LibDem win by over 70-30 in a straight fight with the Tories to give them a councillor in this ward for the first time since 2003 when it split 2C/1LD (Independents won a seat in 2011, between Tory clean sweeps in 2007 and 2015) Oddly, the Tory share was little changed since then but the LibDems took the previous Indy, Green and Labour votes three years ago to power ahead. The other result was much closer - despite occurring in very sub-optimal circumstances for the Tories - the LibDems edging ahead in a ward where they had won a previous by-election in 2016 but before that had again to go back to 2003 for any success (when things split 1Ind/1LD) Independents then shared the seats with Tories in 2007 and 2011 before a clean Tory sweep in 2015. Compared with then there was a double figure swing to the LibDems, but there was a move to the Tories compared with the last byelection poll - this is thanks to the only other contestant this time, Labour (who actually won a seat here come their 1995 high water mark) increasing their share from 6% two years ago to almost 19% now.

North Norfolk DC - another gain for the LibDems from the Tories, and again by a commanding margin - over 70 per cent of the vote and a swing of over 30% in their favour since the last contest in 2015 - the LibDems had won here in the previous three elections, 2003 was a close straight fight with the Tories but the subsequent wins were more comfortable which made the result last time a bit of a shock (though less so given that the Tory winner was the previous LibDem who had defected) This time round the Tories lost over half their vote, and weren't that far ahead of Labour - even though they also dropped slightly to 10%.

Tendring DC - Tory gain from UKIP, and the scale of the latter's decline even in this former stronghold (Clacton!) is shown by the fact they managed to win the previous byelection here in 2016. As with other wards locally, this one has a varied recent history - two Tories safely returned in 2003, but the localist Tendring First swept the board in 2007 and 2011 before losing their seats come 2015 in a 1C/1UKIP split. UKIP held "their" seat in the previous vacancy, but now was rather different as a little under 40% - a healthy advance on 2015 and a double figure rise since the last poll - was enough to give the Tories a comfortable win over a fragmented field. The next few places were taken by Independents, the second of whom had stood two years ago (but did less well now as the other Indy stole their thunder) followed by Labour whose 12% was slightly down on the last vacancy (the first time they had stood here since 2003) LibDems also made a first showing since 2003, and their 8% was enough to beat UKIP whose vote totally cratered. Greens last with 2%.

Epsom and Ewell DC - Residents hold with 37% of the vote and a fairly narrow hold over the second placed Tories. This council is known as a long term Residents stronghold, but in recent years the Tories in particular have made some inroads and they took 1 of the 3 seats here in 2007 and 2 out of 3 in 2011 before the Residents - maybe slightly counter-intuitively - took all 3 again come GE day in 2015. Residents dropped 5 points since then, but a smaller drop for the Tories scuppered any chance of them taking advantage, whilst Labour advanced by double figures to a quarter of the vote - easily their best result here since running the Residents close back in 2003. LibDems in last place on 6%, down a bit on last time.

West Oxfordshire DC - Tory hold with over 60% in what has normally been a safe ward for them, though the LibDems almost took one of the two seats in the 2002 all-out elections and then managed to win by a single vote in 2007. No real alarms for the Tories since then, however, maybe the only minor point of interest being that UKIP came second in the most recent contests in 2014 and 2015. Their now familiar absence now mainly seemed to benefit the LibDems who advanced from 4th last time to 2nd - albeit distantly - now, almost tripling their vote share. Labour also up slightly, to over 13%.

North East Derbyshire DC - Labour hold, though a strong Tory effort in what was of course a "breakthrough" seat at Westminster level last year meant it was fairly close this time. Labour were unopposed here in 2003, and easily saw off a sole Tory opponent to win both seats in this ward come 2007 and 2011, before the last contest in 2015 had slightly more interest - UKIP taking second place with a quarter of the vote. Labour dropped 9 points since then but still had nearly half the vote - Tories advanced by over 20 per cent for an overall swing of almost exactly 15%. LibDems the only other candidate this time - their 12% was respectable but some way short of their gain in a nearby ward in a 2016 by-election.

Doncaster - Labour hold, beating a lone Independent candidate in a straight fight by nearly 3 to 1. An impressive result even if this ward has voted Labour in every election since 2010 - before that it returned 3 Independents in the 2004 all-outs and they duly won the following three "regular" elections before Labour took over. In the 2015 and 2017 elections (both all-outs, Doncaster is the first Met authority to move away from elections by thirds) UKIP came second, they were quite close to taking one of the 3 seats in 2015 and were a good second in 2014 as well. Striking how little their absence seemed to help the sole non-Labour candidate this time.

York - Labour hold with almost exactly half the vote, a double figure increase since 2015. That all-out election (following boundary changes) saw 3 Labour councillors returned here, but both the Tories and LibDems were also quite competitive. Under slightly different boundaries this ward saw 3 LibDeme returned in 2003, whilst Labour had clean sweeps in 2007 and 2011 they were never by overwhelming margins and the LibDems showed their former strength here as they took close to a third of the vote and had a 15 point increase since three years ago. Tories took second then - maybe boosted by GE level turnout - but their share halved now. Though they still did better than the Greens who lost two thirds of their 20% share (and third place ahead of the LibDems) in 2015, getting less than 7%.

Halton - Labour hold with over 70% of the vote, as that suggests this is a very safe Labour ward normally (this share is actually a bit down on their most recent 2016 showing) though the LibDems snatched it by a handful of votes in 2007 and were normally competitive until - as in many similar places - the coalition years totally cratered their vote. They did not even stand this time, and second place (a very distant one) was taken by an Independent who had stood here as a TUSC candidate in 2014 and 2015 - taking their customary bottom place. UKIP came second last year but have again disappeared - in their absence a Tory candidate, the first since 2010, managed to get roughly 12%.

Lancashire CC - Tory hold with a little under 50%, though that was a double figure drop since last year in a division that has long been safe for them (though on slightly different boundaries pre-2017) and this wasn't a massive surprise given the bad publicity that has surrounded this local authority recently. Though in this case the main beneficiaries were not Labour but the LibDems, who increased by over 20 points to nearly 30% in what hasn't traditionally been great territory for them. Labour were almost unchanged on 21%, and will likely be disappointed that no Green candidate this time hasn't worked more in their favour.

Falkirk - SNP hold with a bit short of 40% of first preference votes - they have topped the poll in this division at each regular election since STV was introduced for Scottish elections back in 2007. Then and in 2012, the three seats here split 1Nat/1Ind/1Lab, before the Tories increased strongly last year and took the Labour seat. There was no Independent candidate this time, and this seemed to benefit both the Tory and Labour candidates who both advanced by 8% (compared to the more modest SNP increase) but the Tory continued strength stymied and Labour hopes of regaining a seat in this division. Greens little changed on a little under 4%, UKIP last with 1% in a rare Scottish appearance - though their results elsewhere are normally almost as modest now.

Another big day tomorrow - was due to be 12 contests but one (in Wigan) has just been called off by the courts, so that still leaves "only" 11 ;)


Last edited by AnatolyKasparov on Thu 22 Feb, 2018 12:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed 21 Feb, 2018 9:43 pm 
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@AnatolyKasparov

Thank you. Go and have a lie down.


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PostPosted: Wed 21 Feb, 2018 10:09 pm 
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Willow904 wrote:
[ Freedland is wrong, people do care, they are aware the war is ongoing and are appalled at its escalation.



I don't think they do care. See this board. See the news headlines. It is all noise about Corbyn and his meeting a Czech spy he claims he thought was a diplomat. Trivia from years ago, dwarfed by other things we know about him. Assad kills a few more hundred and we shrug, because we know we'll do nothing. It might have been different under Clinton, but there we are.

We don't want to face the consequences of our choice.


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PostPosted: Wed 21 Feb, 2018 10:20 pm 
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SpinningHugo wrote:
Willow904 wrote:
[ Freedland is wrong, people do care, they are aware the war is ongoing and are appalled at its escalation.



I don't think they do care. See this board. See the news headlines. It is all noise about Corbyn and his meeting a Czech spy he claims he thought was a diplomat. Trivia from years ago, dwarfed by other things we know about him. Assad kills a few more hundred and we shrug, because we know we'll do nothing. It might have been different under Clinton, but there we are.

We don't want to face the consequences of our choice.

Quote:
It is all noise about Corbyn and his meeting a Czech spy who had a cover as a diplomat diplomat and appears to have gotten nothing from the meeting. Trivia from years ago, dwarfed by other things we know about him. That was dredged up by the right-wing media as a dead-cat distraction from the clusterfuck of this government.

FIFY

Did you really expect no response to that bullshit?


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PostPosted: Wed 21 Feb, 2018 10:24 pm 
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SpinningHugo wrote:
Willow904 wrote:
[ Freedland is wrong, people do care, they are aware the war is ongoing and are appalled at its escalation.



I don't think they do care. See this board. See the news headlines. It is all noise about Corbyn and his meeting a Czech spy he claims he thought was a diplomat. Trivia from years ago, dwarfed by other things we know about him. Assad kills a few more hundred and we shrug, because we know we'll do nothing. It might have been different under Clinton, but there we are.

We don't want to face the consequences of our choice.


Piss off troll

Don't you dare tell me what I do and do not care about

It is not us that have been making a big deal about Corbyn - just the fact that the press lied. I seem to remember you were the first to bring it up and lost interest when it was found to be shit


You brag about being against Iraq but then you say you want intervention in Syria. You have no idea what that actually means though and what it would look like. I hold people like you who play generals and seem happy to send our soldiers into conflicts where we have no place being in contempt.

I think you are a lying little turd and are just using this as another subject in your desire to troll this board

Some of us attempt to post responses to your shit and you ignore them, refuse to answer any of the points that are made and just come back with more simplistic juvenile rubbish - grow up!

Apologies to the mods but I have had enough of him


Last edited by howsillyofme1 on Wed 21 Feb, 2018 10:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed 21 Feb, 2018 10:25 pm 
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Willow904 wrote:
Just double checked. Syria won independence from France in 1946. It was plagued by unstable government and frequent coups until Assad Sr seized power in 1970. There was an uneasy union with Egypt between 1958 and 1961 in the wake of the Suez Crisis and the Russian association started in 1966 when Syria allied itself with the Soviet Union. And then there were the various wars with Israel over the Golan Heights......


and then there were a series of droughts which drove the hungry into the cities (IIRC of course ! )

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/clim ... lict-18718

and then the State dept at work 2009-

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/wikileaks- ... pposition/

and the huge confusion with the number of armed gangs reported in the Western Press beginning at 30 and rising to 300 ....

One example in one corner --

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/wikileaks- ... pposition/

New 25,000-strong Syrian terrorist force unites 70 gangs – Russian General Staff
Published time: 25 Aug, 2017 22:26
Edited time: 26 Aug, 2017 11:46

Summary -- getting involved in an area so complicated is only for Tony Blair, George Bush,

and Spinning Hugo !


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PostPosted: Wed 21 Feb, 2018 11:15 pm 
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SpinningHugo wrote:
Willow904 wrote:
[ Freedland is wrong, people do care, they are aware the war is ongoing and are appalled at its escalation.



I don't think they do care. See this board. See the news headlines. It is all noise about Corbyn and his meeting a Czech spy he claims he thought was a diplomat. Trivia from years ago, dwarfed by other things we know about him. Assad kills a few more hundred and we shrug, because we know we'll do nothing. It might have been different under Clinton, but there we are.

We don't want to face the consequences of our choice.


Yeah, you're right. I should have voted for Clinton. What was I thinking :smack:

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PostPosted: Wed 21 Feb, 2018 11:26 pm 
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Trump's new plan is, of course, to arm teachers.

Quote:
Donald Trump has said he will consider a proposal to arm school teachers in an attempt to prevent mass shootings, a move certain to prove fiercely divisive. The US president, holding a listening session at the White House with survivors of last week’s Florida school shooting and others affected by gun violence, claimed that allowing airline pilots to carry and conceal guns had demonstrated the measure could be a success
.

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