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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 6:39 am 
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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 6:49 am 
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https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... t-20-years


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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 9:17 am 
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HindleA wrote:
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/nov/28/labour-unveils-plan-to-plant-2bn-trees-in-next-20-years


If Ethiopia can do it......

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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 11:08 am 
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Almost inevitably, a BBC "politics journalist" has sniggered at it.


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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 12:07 pm 
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AnatolyKasparov wrote:
Almost inevitably, a BBC "politics journalist" has sniggered at it.


I've already had an exchange on twitter with someone who had the same kneejerk reaction to Labour's tree planting proposal - "it's impossible". And yet Ethiopia are making an heroic effort to show that it's not. I've no idea if they will succeed but I know that they certainly won't if they don't even try.

Whereas some of Labour's plans have the potential to destroy them if they fail to deliver, not planting all the trees isn't one of them. As a statement of what needs to be done, it's important. Our response should not be "it can't be done" but "how are you going to do this?" and not just of Corbyn and McDonnell but also of Johnson and Javid.

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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 12:15 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 12:17 pm 
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Morning all.

Michael Rosen posted this on Facebook but is happy for it to be shared 'anywhere and everywhere'. Long but worth a read.

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1. I've met people who think that there are no Jews left in the Labour Party.
2. I've met people who think that the Chief Rabbi is in some way or another in charge of, or a representative of all Jews in Britain.

Neither of these statements is true or anything like true.

There are several Jewish candidates for the Labour Party. There are thousands of Labour Party members who are Jewish. Several times in the media people have said how it's impossible or 'not safe' for Jews to stay in the Labour Party. It's not impossible. If the media had wanted to, they could have asked Jewish MPs, Jewish candidates in this election 'Is it impossible or unsafe for you to be in the Labour Party?' It has been dishonest of them to have not done that.

There are also Rabbis who have either said that they will vote Labour and/or have expressed great concern over the way Jewish religious leaders (Rabbi Romain and the Chief Rabbi) have intervened in this election. You can read about these Rabbis in the Jewish Chronicle online: Rabbi Danny Rich and Rabbi Howard Cooper.

This tells us that within the religious part of Jewish life, there are people who are worried about how religious leaders have politicised religion. In the past this has been levelled at Muslims for having brought in 'communalist politics'. Commentators like Nick Cohen were particularly scathing about this at the time of, say, George Galloway being elected. The silence in the mass media about the dangers of a religious group saying, in effect, 'don't vote for Party X' are very great. Howard Cooper could see a danger that it could invite persecution.

In this particular election, it is also particularly dangerous because it is a two-horse race. Saying 'don't vote Labour' is in effect saying, 'Let's have a victory for the Tories'. This is no surprise, as the Chief Rabbi welcomed the election of Boris Johnson to the leadership of the Tory Party and blessed him.

Johnson is a bigot and a liar. He and the Tories have been quite content to snuggle up to extreme right wing and antisemitic parties in Europe - like Orban in Hungary. He has also kept quiet about the pattern of antisemitism coming from Jacob Rees-Mogg, who has talked of his Jewish colleagues in the House of Commons as 'illuminati', questioned whether they 'understand' the constitution, he has done the 'Soros jibe' (this is an antisemitic 'trope' about the financier Soros deemed to be an international wheeler and dealer); Rees-Mogg has also retweeted a tweet from the Alternative für Deutschland - the far-right organisation in Germany and he has had dinner with the far-right British organisation, 'Traditional Britain Group'. There are other incidents of antisemitism in the Tory party that Boris Johnson has 'kept silent' about (Crispin Blunt, Suella Braverman, Toby Young).

Yet, the Chief Rabbi is in effect entrusting those who regard him as their figurehead to a Johnson Tory government!

For clarity's sake, the Chief Rabbi may 'speak for' a majority of Jews in the UK but he does not 'represent' them. He is the leader of the United Synagogue which has a congregation of around 40,000. According to the Board of Deputies there are 284,000 Jews in the UK. Half of us are affiliated to synagogues, half of us are not.

In all the surveys of Jewish opinion in the UK, I have never been sure of how the survey of the 142,000 non-religious Jews is done. How do they find us? One survey created a 'panel' having found secular Jews by focussing on Jews in areas where there is a high Jewish population and people having 'Jewish names'. Ahem ahem - apart from Hebrew and Hebraic names there are no Jewish names. Most Jews in this country have German, Polish (if they (we) are 'Ashkanzim' or Sephardi names which may be e.g. Italian or Spanish) and/or we have English names! What's more, since the arrival of many EU citizens, there are many Germans and Poles who have names that before were considered to be 'Jewish' like 'Meyer' - a standard German name that some Jews have.

The surveys may be accurate - perhaps - but this method of polling looks decidedly dodgy. I have challenged this many times on twitter and no one has successfully defended it so far.

I have been asked several times to come on the radio and TV to talk about supporting Corbyn. I have refused. I have said to the producer - 'Do the honest thing, talk to a Labour voting rabbi, and/or a Jewish Labour candidate and/or a Jewish Labour Party member.' The reason why I say this is because
a) I can't answer any questions that the interviewers ask all the time 'Is enough being done? Are Jews being bullied in meetings etc' I don't want to screw up this matter by appearing on programmes and saying 'I don't know...' or 'some of my best friends are Jewish and they tell me....x' It's a trap.

b) The times I have appeared e.g. on al-Jazeera, the method of dealing with me (or Miriam Margolyes or Alexei Sayle) is to say that we represent no one. At one level, I have to say that that is true. I have never pretended and can't pretend and would never pretend that I 'represent' any other Jews. I have no trouble making another claim that I am entitled to have my views but again, is not great TV in a 2 minute interview!

For the record, for people who are not Jewish: I am no less Jewish than the Chief Rabbi. I was brought up knowing that I was Jewish, and have participated in all my life (read, studied, reflected on, been particularly interested in ) secular Jewish activities to do with Jewish writers, artists, and Jewish history and have of course reflected on this in my writing in hundreds of different ways. I see myself as a poet and performer who has absorbed many traditions one of which is 'aggadic' - that of Jewish story-telling.

To say these things has invited Jews and non-Jews on twitter to call me a 'kapo' (a Jewish concentration camp guard), a 'used Jew' (that from the editor of 'Jewish News'), someone who 'dons the cloak of Jewishness' (a Jewish DJ and actor), one of the 'useful Jewish idiots' (from the commentator Dan Hodges, 'a cheerleader for Soros' (from Lee Harpin political editor of the Jewish Chronicle), and a plea to the BBC to not employ me to present 'Word of Mouth' (from the QC Simon Myerson and the campaigner against antisemitism (!) Euan Philips.

Clearly some people think that the best way to combat antisemitism is to be antisemitic.

Further: the whole question of 'antisemitism' has been fogged by an unknowing or unwilling lack of clarity over distinctions between slurs, prejudice, bias, discimination, persecution, incitement to antisemitic violence, and the violence itself. There are times when you might have thought that UK Jews were experiencing a pogrom.

Secondly, the minimum requirements for a claim that there is a 'problem' in a given area (e.g. antisemitism in the Labour Party) is that it is distinctly and measurably worse than in other places or in society as a whole. If that hasn't been shown , (and it hasn't been) it's not a Labour Party problem it's a societal problem.

I've known Jeremy Corbyn for 30 years. He is no antisemite. He has put his neck on the line hundreds of times in opposing racism, antisemitism, far right fascism, holocaust denial.

For the record the sudden loss of Jewish support for Labour came when Miliband was leader who the Jewish Chronicle described as 'toxic' for Jewish voters. MIliband is Jewish. It was his support for recognition of Palestine before negotiations that did for him, they said. Being Jewish was no shield against this hostility.

Ask me, who am I 'safer' with: a Johnson-led government with its record of the 'hostile environment', persecution of Windrush generation, and persistent antisemitic jibes from leading party members or this Labour Party, and I say, Labour every time.

But I don't look at the election purely through a Jewish prism. It is a clear class issue: a Tory government will continue to ravage the lives of of working class people through attacks on wages, public services, and the disabled. A Labour government will halt these and start to reverse them.

World business ('capitalism') is in crisis: huge levels of debt, massive 'productivity' problems (in their frenzy to compete with each other) a slew towards 'economic nationallism' (the Steve Bannon philosophy ) and Johnson is riding the Bannon bus which is driven by the US. The US are desperate to create a bogus 'free trade' world, which in actual fact is a US-protectionist world. Johnson is backing this as a 'solution'.

I'm voting Labour.

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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 12:18 pm 
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Planting more trees is unequivocally good, setting a challenging target is no bad thing even if you fall a bit short in the end.

And there are few voters who will disagree with it.


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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 12:19 pm 
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Blimey!

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(((Dan Hodges)))

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Joking aside, can you imagine if Corbyn had ducked Andrew Neil? He’d have rightly been slaughtered for it. Boris Johnson is Prime Minister. He has an obligation to subject himself to scrutiny. If he bottles it people will wonder what he’s trying to hide.


:o

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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 12:27 pm 
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Stopped clock, etc.

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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 12:30 pm 
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AnatolyKasparov wrote:
Planting more trees is unequivocally good, setting a challenging target is no bad thing even if you fall a bit short in the end.

And there are few voters who will disagree with it.

I would actually, although I very much welcome the principle.

There's tree planting and tree planting, and then there's setting aside land for natural regeneration with minimal intervention. Next time I see a good piece on the subject I'll link it here.

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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 12:56 pm 
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Quote:
Martin Belam
‏Verified account @MartinBelam

I see we've got to the "Planting trees is a mad, unachievable policy" stage of the election, have we?
4:27 AM - 28 Nov 2019

Martin Belam
‏Verified account @MartinBelam
4m4 minutes ago

Pakistan's "Billion Tree Tsunami" took just 3 years. India planted 66m trees in a day. New Zealand has planted 83m trees this year.

Here: "This 'Photosynthesis Socialism' is yet another uncosted impossible dream from reckless blah blah blah better things aren't possible amen"

Martin Belam
‏Verified account @MartinBelam
34s34 seconds ago

"One of the things Labour has overlooked with their mad reckless tree-planting is England's unique reputation for *checks notes* being a green and pleasant land *checks notes* dotted with ancient forests *hang on Dom, are you sure about this attack line*"

End of conversation
https://twitter.com/MartinBelam/status/ ... 8485445632


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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 1:03 pm 
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gilsey wrote:
AnatolyKasparov wrote:
Planting more trees is unequivocally good, setting a challenging target is no bad thing even if you fall a bit short in the end.

And there are few voters who will disagree with it.

I would actually, although I very much welcome the principle.

There's tree planting and tree planting, and then there's setting aside land for natural regeneration with minimal intervention. Next time I see a good piece on the subject I'll link it here.


It's my understanding that in terms of climate change and absorbing CO2, all trees count, although some are more efficient than others, including some pines, oak trees and the horse chestnut. I don't think this is a policy that should replace ecological and regeneration projects, but should run alongside them while also covering far more diverse areas, such as expanding parks and greening cities.

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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 1:09 pm 
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gilsey wrote:
AnatolyKasparov wrote:
Planting more trees is unequivocally good, setting a challenging target is no bad thing even if you fall a bit short in the end.

And there are few voters who will disagree with it.

I would actually, although I very much welcome the principle.

There's tree planting and tree planting, and then there's setting aside land for natural regeneration with minimal intervention. Next time I see a good piece on the subject I'll link it here.

A load of people on YouTube have raised $6m to plant 20 million trees, so it shouldn't be hard for a government to do more.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/ ... -the-world


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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 1:13 pm 
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This is brilliant. Almost up to the "Now Baldrick, I take two beans..."

https://twitter.com/PeoplesMomentum/sta ... 9738091521

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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 1:13 pm 
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gilsey wrote:
Stopped clock, etc.


Looking at it cynically, he's saying this as someone who wants Johnson to win.

If the idea of him as a coward gets traction with the voters in the final fortnight, it could be highly toxic.


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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 1:30 pm 
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We need tree-planting and areas set aside for regeneration


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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 1:55 pm 
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We do. I shall look carefully at what Labour are proposing.


Up to now, planting sitka spruce for harvesting in 20-30 years has counted for tree-planting targets.

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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 1:56 pm 
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JRM has resurfaced, I see.

:sick:

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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 1:57 pm 
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On the other hand, David Gauke's campaign vid is quite sweet.

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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 2:07 pm 
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gilsey wrote:
JRM has resurfaced, I see.

:sick:


Good. So far, he's been a liability. I trust he will continue to be so.


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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 2:11 pm 
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gilsey wrote:
We do. I shall look carefully at what Labour are proposing.


Up to now, planting sitka spruce for harvesting in 20-30 years has counted for tree-planting targets.


Absolutely. In terms of climate change, if the trees are planted and then felled and then planted again that only maintains current numbers. It doesn't count as "more trees". It's very much like nurses, in that respect :D

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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 6:44 pm 
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Quote:
It has emerged that Michael Gove and Boris Johnson’s father Stanley Johnson have turned up at Channel 4 studios. Gove wanted to speak in the climate debate on behalf of the Conservatives, but was refused as he is not a party leader. (Politics Live, Guardian)


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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 6:57 pm 
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re ^^^

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It was kind of @michaelgove to turn up at @Channel4News tonight offering to come on the #climatedebate but the other party leaders will only debate other party leaders. We look forward to welcoming Mr Gove another time.


:lol:

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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 7:19 pm 
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We’re aware of Conservative Party Facebook adverts using edited BBC content. This is a completely unacceptable use of BBC content which distorts our output and which could damage perceptions of our impartiality. We are asking the Conservatives to remove these adverts.

6:37 PM - 28 Nov 2019


Perish the thought!

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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 8:33 pm 
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Johnson "aides" now apparently saying he is willing to do an interview with Marr instead of Neil. I wonder why?? :D


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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 9:09 pm 
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Quote:
A Conservative party spokesperson has accused Channel 4 of bias.
Quote:
“We are deeply disappointed that Channel 4 News has conspired with Jeremy Corbyn to block the Conservatives from making the case for tackling climate change and protecting the environment in this evening’s debate,” they said.
Michael Gove was turned away from the debate, which was for party leaders only, after Boris Johnson refused to attend.

The Conservatives are now threatening to review the channel’s broadcasting remit after it decided to replace Boris Johnson with a melting ice sculpture during the debate.


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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 10:29 pm 
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Quote:
Sebastian Payne
@SebastianEPayne
BREAKING: Lee Cain, No10 director of communications, has filed a formal Ofcom complaint against
@Channel4News

https://twitter.com/SebastianEPayne/sta ... 9050619905

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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 10:31 pm 
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Well I'm here and I've got wine, so despite a sports injury (carpet burn on the arse from doing sit ups) QT report is on tonight.

Honestly just sitting on the couch is painful.


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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 10:38 pm 
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Goodnight, everyone.
love,
cJA


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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 10:41 pm 
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Sky'sGoneOut wrote:
Well I'm here and I've got wine, so despite a sports injury (carpet burn on the arse from doing sit ups) QT report is on tonight.

Honestly just sitting on the couch is painful.

Top tip. Do your sit-ups either clothed or on a wooden floor :twisted:


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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 10:45 pm 
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I think a characteristic of Corbyn's Labour is that their policies are, for better or for worse, not technocratic.

The tree-planting policy is a good example. They may not end up planting precisely n million trees, but we understand easily the aim of the policy.

As a certified geek, I do struggle with this approach, but I can see its merits. Catchy. Clear. Distinctive.


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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 10:45 pm 
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"I'm sorry Mr Gove but this is Crufts, I'm afraid you can't just turn up unannounced and expect to take part, you're not an actual dog."


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PostPosted: Thu 28 Nov, 2019 10:49 pm 
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PaulfromYorkshire wrote:
Top tip. Do your sit-ups either clothed or on a wooden floor :twisted:


I'll have you know I was clothed after a fashion, but the elastic on my boxer shorts had perished.


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PostPosted: Fri 29 Nov, 2019 12:14 am 
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Another top tip ,avoid sit-ups altogether


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PostPosted: Fri 29 Nov, 2019 1:35 am 
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Question Time report tonight from Swindon, which is one of those places you can never imagine finding a reason to visit. Not because it sounds horrible or anything, just a bit dull. Like it's just there. I'm sure someone will correct me and tell me it has a magnificent coprolite museum or something.

For the Tories we had Brandon Lewis. Brandon began with his usual fat headed bluster, even garnering some early applause, then a member of the audience asked this question; "If I have 3 apples and the Conservatives give me 2 more apples have the Conservatives given me 5 apples?", and from that moment Brandon was doomed. He even began laughing along with the audience as they mocked his pitiful attempt at an answer. Like some school bully who suddenly realises bullying isn't going to get them out of this one so ingratiation is all they have left. And it didn't work. He had to put up with the triumphant questioner calling him a liar to his face repeatedly and for the rest of the programme I think everyone felt embarrassed that he was still in the room. Brandon is supposed to be one of the Conservatives 'hard men' which leads me to believe that as long as ninja film single combat rules applied I could kick the arse of the entire Tory party. Even with carpet burns on my backside.

For Labour we had Andy McDonald. I don't mind Andy, he's a serious politician, with the emphasis on serious. He always looks grumpy, like the universe is pissing him off somewhat, so in that way at least we are fellow travellers. And tonight was no different. He scowled and looked a bit grim then began waving a grey dossier about as if that would inspire cheerfulness and inspiration. Being an old Goth that was fine by me. I like misery and a lack of chromatic excess. But I am aware other more simple folk like bright colours and enthusiasm which I'm afraid Andy, and whichever idiot decided it should be a 'grey book', hadn't taken into account. He did get a couple of decent attacks in about the Tories and the NHS and made a plea for evidence based politics which I'm sure we all would like. Mostly however he just seemed like he was going through the motions, but it's hard to tell.

For the Greens we had Caroline Lucas. In Black. I'm saying nothing other than she looked fabulous. And she did what Caroline Lucas always does, be a voice of decency.

For herself we had Lionel Shriver. Despite living, as she said, half a year in the U.S and half here she appeared to have zero understanding of British politics. Her perspective seemed to be entirely based on the U.S culture war. And as such was worthless when discussing the NHS in Swindon. But effective winding up British muslim women.

From the Economist we had Zanny Minton Beddoes. Zanny (apparently a nickname) was

You'll have to excuse me I live in a shared house and somebody has been taken seriously ill. I had to call an ambulance. Not good.


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PostPosted: Fri 29 Nov, 2019 1:42 am 
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Speaker of the House

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He's 70 years old and I've told him to move to somewhere more appropriate but he wouldn't have it.


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PostPosted: Fri 29 Nov, 2019 1:59 am 
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Speaker of the House

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I've been doing his shopping for years in return for his stories. When I looked at the paramedic he just shook his head.

Shit.


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PostPosted: Fri 29 Nov, 2019 2:14 am 
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Speaker of the House

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Silly old fool.

I do believe I'm crying.


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PostPosted: Fri 29 Nov, 2019 7:08 am 
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Prime Minister

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Sorry to hear that.At least your advice to move to a more appropriate place was well meant;the Tories would have financially penalised us for not moving to a non existent apparently more suitable than a bespoke adapted home but for timing.


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