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 The Elephant in the Room.

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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 11 Jun 2017, 10:31

You are right to be concerned about the impact on the GFA, Temp. It is a foundational principal that British and Irish governments are impartial honest brokers and this utterly ill-advised arrangement between the British government and the DUP would appear to contradict this. In the present situation, with the NI government being in disarray and with no sign of a resolution and the possibility of Direct Rule being very real, it's folly of a particularly toxic kind.

Where's the Boss? He's yer man to explain all the intricacies.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 11 Jun 2017, 18:13

I found this explanation of the intricacies involved very good, well for an outsider like me anyway.  http://www.coppolacomment.com/2017/06/the-newly-dreadful-state-of-union.html
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 11 Jun 2017, 21:54

@ferval wrote:
Paul, General Elections are run on First Past the Post so the candidate with the highest number of votes wins in each single member constituency and thus where the votes are located can be more important than how many are cast in total across the nation. Parties like the SNP, UDP, Plaid Cymru, sinn Fein are concentrated in particular areas whereas UKIP's 1.8% was spread across the while country. It does produce some quite anomalous results: yesterday Labour in Scotland polled roughly 10,000 more votes than in 2015 (out of a total Labour vote of around 800,000) and went from 1 seat to 7 because many of those extra votes were polled in a very few marginal constituencies where they made a big difference rather than being spread out across all 59 constituencies adding less than 200 votes to each .

In Scotland we have 4 different electoral systems: First Past the Post in the General Election, the Additional Member system in  elections for the Scottish Parliament, the Single Transferable Vote for local council elections and the European List for European Parliamentary Elections and yes, it is confusing.  All of the systems have failings and advantages but I would tend to favour the STV one although it can over-represent smaller parties.
scottish Electoral Systems

Ferval,

thank you very much for all your explanations. Had indeed on BBC world a map of Britain, where each constituancy was represented by a dot, red for Labour Blue for the Tories and that's quite another map as the map with the procentual voting...and thanks also for the site about the Scottish Electoral Systems.

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 11 Jun 2017, 21:56

@Islanddawn wrote:
I found this explanation of the intricacies involved very good, well for an outsider like me anyway.  http://www.coppolacomment.com/2017/06/the-newly-dreadful-state-of-union.html

Islanddawn,

yes superb analysis.

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 11 Jun 2017, 22:30

@Temperance wrote:
I do not for one minute pretend to understand the complicated politics of Ireland, but I am concerned that the peace process in that troubled land is now in jeopardy. What a tragedy that would be for everyone. Or, as is being mooted on the BBC this morning, will the proposed Unholy Alliance actually benefit - economically at least - the people of Northern Ireland?

Temperance,

from the moment I saw this:
http://www.bbc.com/news/election-2017-40208320
http://www.bbc.com/news/election/ni2017/results

and heard later that the Orangist party would be able to take a future May government in jeopardy I was foreseeing trouble in Northern Ireland. If there wasn't already not enough trouble in N I with eventually a "Hard Brexit" they even add this to all the trouble. I hope that this trouble isn't the start of new "Troubles"...?

And read yesterday in a Belgian paper about the DUP...creationists...unbelievable...and that in Britain where Charles Darwin...
And looking on the web I saw even more: anti abortion, anti gay, anti climate...
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/dup-hung-parliament-results-policies-manifesto-abortion-gay-marriage-climate-change-who-are-they-a7781656.html
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/dup-creationists-modernisers-price-government-10597372

And with those May has made  a deal?

Kind regards, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 14 Jun 2017, 11:55

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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 14 Jun 2017, 12:46

Interesting figures there, Trike. Who was it who said: "If you are not a Socialist when you are eighteen there is something wrong with your heart; if you are still a Socialist when you are forty-eight there is something wrong with your head"?
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 19 Jun 2017, 20:36

Blimey, for face-to-face discussions they do seem to be sat rather far apart ... were the British afraid that the EU representatives had all eaten garlic éclaires for breakfast? But what are they going to do when the negociations start in earnest: use semaphore, morse, Aldis lamps? ... or just speak very, very loudly to each other? ... in which case both Davis and Barnier will have likely lost their voices after the first couple of sessions.



Still, impressive stuff on Day 1. Davis really dug his heels in on the parallel talks issue ... he must have held out for, what, at least an hour, maybe even a bit more. He really put the EU in their place before completely caving in and abandoning what he had only days before described as a key UK demand, the negociation of which he predicted was going to be "the row of the summer".

And they all got a good lunch:

Belgian Asparagus with Vinaigrette
Red mullet with vegetables and fondant potatoes
Vacherin with wild strawberries
Mocha coffee and cakes

Simple but classy ... and not a single garlic éclaire in sight.


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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 19 Jun 2017, 21:07

@Temperance wrote:
Interesting figures there, Trike. Who was it who said: "If you are not a Socialist when you are eighteen there is something wrong with your heart; if you are still a Socialist when you are forty-eight there is something wrong with your head"?

Some f**king thick, obviously.

I don't get these "negotiations". The EU presents its bill for being f**ked up by British thickness, the British eventually say yes (or wait to be fined), and everyone goes home - surely? Or does Britain think anyone outside Britain (except Ireland)  really cares how they've screwed themsleves?

As an Irish person I've so many mixed felings about this stupidity that I'm prepared to implode smugly, and then regret it immediately afterwards.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 19 Jun 2017, 21:15

Well yes, as Michel Barnier today said,

"The United Kingdom has decided to leave the European Union, it is not the other way around. The United Kingdom is going to leave the European Union, single market and the customs union, not the other way around. So, we each have to assume our responsibility and the consequences of our decisions. And the consequences are substantial."

Personally I always thought that was crystal clear from before the referendum, but it seems for some of the cake-and-eat-it politicians on the UK side, this very much needed to be spelled out yet again.

As a British passport holder, but resident in France, I too have mixed views. I think brexit is utter madness but I cannot see now how anyone might get the genie back into the bottle and I actually now feel that a hard brexit, with all the resulting hardships that probably entails, mostly to be borne by the British population, has now to go through. And that's not because i want the UK "punished" but simply because the debate in Britain is now so polarised and toxic that brexit will have to really hurt for most people to understand what the EU was actually all about. If the UK somehow opts to remain in the EU (cue riots whipped up by the Daily Mail plus an even more toxic anti-EU propaganda), or gets a soft, albeit probably expensive, brexit (though doubtless wrapped up as a 'UK triumph over Brussels'), then I fear the whole anti-EU mantra as whipped up by the right-wing press, will just continue like a weeping sore, poisoning all debate, politics and international relations, for years to come.

Sadly though I think it will wreck the UK economy and the country's standing for at least a generation. I think that the UK's media so demonised the EU; the UK's political elites failed to buy-in to the EU ideas; and the UK's political system (with party inevitably being put above country) all eventually led to a poorly worded and badly thought through referendum, and hence to the madness that is brexit. The country is now tearing itself apart and heading for financial ruin and general decline, there's no simple way back ... and so its just has to all go through however diasterous and painful that is likely to be. I'm just glad I no longer live there.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 19 Jun 2017, 22:19

@nordmann wrote:
@Temperance wrote:
Interesting figures there, Trike. Who was it who said: "If you are not a Socialist when you are eighteen there is something wrong with your heart; if you are still a Socialist when you are forty-eight there is something wrong with your head"?

Some f**king thick, obviously.

I don't get these "negotiations". The EU presents its bill for being f**ked up by British thickness, the British eventually say yes (or wait to be fined), and everyone goes home - surely? Or does Britain think anyone outside Britain (except Ireland)  really cares how they've screwed themsleves?




The quote has been attributed to many people, including Churchill, Disraeli, Shaw and Bertrand Russell - also Clemenceau with a variation on the theme. No one particularly "f*cking thick" in that list, although that is no doubt open to argument. But whoever it was I misquoted them - the usual ages given are 20 and 40, not 18 and 48.

http://katecarruthers.com/2005/02/alleged-quote-by-churchill-on-being-a-socialist-or-conservative/

I do wish people would not refer to other people as being "f*cking thick" - it really gets us nowhere and is one of the reasons why we are in this appalling mess. Check your privilege, nordmann, as I believe the young ones say these days.

But it's too hot and I really can't take any more nastiness. Here's the way we were - when we could still laugh at it all, including ourselves. Those were happy days. Not any more.

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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 20 Jun 2017, 07:37

I'm surprised poor old Oscar isn't on the list - he has the misfortune normally to be vicariously associated with pithy comment of not much wit, if only simply because he isn't around to defend himself any more, which I assume is also the reason the above candidates are also being trotted out.

The real "elephant in the room" of course is simple idiocy. Enough idiots electing idiots to sufficient extent that intelligent behaviour has lost its democratic clout. Democracy can survive such onslaughts of stupidity, but only if the idiots are called out for what they are, and by enough people. A society in which it has become taboo to call out f**king idiots when they behave f**king idiotically becomes an idiocracy by default. I'll pretend Oscar said that - but you know he didn't.

MM, you have a good point about the media and "demonisation". Though of course the media was simply feeding a prejudice supported as much by others failing to point out its idiocy as by the idiots themselves who mistook their stupidity for political stance. There's no sign of it easing up either in Britain - though catharsis can arrive in different ways, and we may see one soon in the form of successive tragedies in which idiocy will eventually be seen as the common thread by enough people that they might even be motivated to combat it instead of just whining about its effects. We can only live in hope.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 20 Jun 2017, 08:15

You miss my point, nordmann. But then you often do.

I am seriously worried about myself: I am in agreement with what is said in this article from Richard Littlejohn this morning:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-4619728/RIHCARD-LITTLEJOHN-says-democracy-hanging-thread.html

I note you did a Temperance last night and deleted the post you sent after midnight. Shame - it actually seemed quite friendly for once and made a good point about reaping what you sow in terms of mocking people, although you did not quite word it like that.

Anyway, this f*cking idiot who believes that insulting people is never a good idea however f*cking annoying they are will retire now to water her plants.

I sincerely hope a "Day of Rage", combined with shopping with violence, does not take off in our cities: when the temperature in our green and pleasant land soars over 90 degrees we just can't cope. Most of us are not thinking about the Brexit stuff at the moment; we are all just too stunned at what is happening all around us. We are lost at sea - so yes, you can all rejoice at what I can assure you goes beyond our mere discomfiture.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 20 Jun 2017, 08:27

I have an app that goes back over my internet use once the BAC level in my blood rises above 0.299 and deletes it.

I've lost patience with anti-socialists who haven't a f**king clue what socialism actually is. Oscar said something pithy to the same effect, but then who gives a toss who actually said stuff any more? Only words, innit?
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 20 Jun 2017, 08:42

@nordmann wrote:


I've lost patience with anti-socialists who haven't a f**king clue what socialism actually is. Oscar said something pithy to the same effect, but then who gives a toss who actually said stuff any more? Only words, innit?

You say that to me?

Ah, what is socialism and what indeed is the soul of man under socialism? I've got Oscar's essay here somewhere - ages since I read it. I seem to remember he was all for people living and not merely existing - now how exactly is that to be achieved? In the old days someone would claim to know, and might even start a discussion on the topic, but who indeed gives a toss any more?

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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 20 Jun 2017, 09:32

Temp wrote:
You say that to me?

No, in best Peter Finch style I am leaning out the tenement window with rain-drenched hair screaming it at an indifferent world.

"... what indeed is the soul of man under socialism?". About as vague an entity as it is "under" any ism, I'd say. I'm more inclined to define such things in terms of quality of life - equally impossible to pinpoint regarding its actual nature but a definition less inclined to be hijacked by religion and all the others out there who delight in derailing such noble ambition for their own squalid, ill-thought-out agenda-driven reasons.

Oscar's ambition for people to live rather than simply exist would definitely be abetted by not ploughing rented vans into them. It's a start anyway ... I'll suggest it at the next meeting of the anti-idiocy society (we do have them still, don't we? - or was that just in Plato's time?)
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 20 Jun 2017, 10:13

An interesting poll about what people across EU nations think about brexit and other European issues (although I think the Guardian's title slightly miss-represents it ... the principal question on which they based their article asked whether the EU should compromise on its core principals for the UK?).

Two-thirds of Europeans believe EU should take a hard line on brexit


The original survey is  here, and was conducted before the elections in France and the Netherlands,

Chatham House - The Future of Europe: comparing public and 'elite' attitudes

PS - Interesting that the same survey is reported by the Daily Mail under the headline, "Brussels in denial over EU crisis: Out-of-touch Eurocrats failing to tackle rising public anger across the continent, study finds."


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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 20 Jun 2017, 10:14

God help me, I concur with some elements of that article as well. It seems to me that we are living with the Dianafication of politics: recreational politics as a branch of entertainment with all the celebrity culture and compulsory mass emoting that that implies. We saw it with Indy-ref I and the 2015 elections when a section of the electorate, fuelled in large part by social media, rallied to a banner and then when not getting instant gratification either dropped out of the electoral process altogether or moved on to the next 'big thing', in the recent election here it was Corbyn and Ruthy who captured that group. As Clegg said, 'If you live by the sword......'  There has been a whole other election campaign that we who are not permanently attached to FB or Twitter or instagram or snapchat  are largely unaware of, the material produced on those platforms by the likes of Momentum is another world from that which the traditional media covers. It's yet another reflection of a society that values what it feels (or thinks it should feel) above what it thinks and so is utterly open to manipulation by those who display the passionate intensity that seems to be compulsory. I would put good money on much of the current Labour revival drifting away whether or not the party regains power; the realities of government do not allow the kind of immediate transformation they are looking for.

That's not to say I would not have voted Labour if if I were in England, I probably would, and not because I object to May and her cohorts on the grounds of their lack of emotional outpourings and breast beating, but because I think that socialism, like western civilisation, would be a very good thing.

I see there are new posts but I'll send this and then read them so forgive me if I'm cross posting.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 20 Jun 2017, 16:00

The words (or not) of Alexander Fraser Tytler;
wiki:
The following quotation has been attributed to Tytler, although it has also been occasionally attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville:
A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to complacency; From complacency to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.
This text was popularized as part of a longer piece commenting on the 2000 U.S. presidential election, which began circulating on the Internet during or shortly after the election's controversial conclusion.

There is no reliable record of Alexander Tytler's having written any part of the text. In fact, it actually comprises two parts which didn't begin to appear together until the 1970s. The first paragraph's earliest known appearance is in an op-ed piece by Elmer T. Peterson in the 9 December 1951 The Daily Oklahoman, which attributed it to Tytler:
"Two centuries ago, a somewhat obscure Scotsman named Tytler made this profound observation: "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy”.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 20 Jun 2017, 16:39

I found that very interesting, Trike - thank you for posting it. Perhaps it links to what I was asking on my ill-fated Kyklos thread. Only one reply there from dear Paul who was obviously amused that I recognised myself as an old and grumpy donkey.

Bread and circuses again? Who was it who first came up with that expression - was it Juvenal - or some other f*cking Roman idiot? F*cking idiot is now the favoured expression of the day in my house.

Man shall not live by bread alone, but what about circuses alone? Discuss. Circuses certainly abound these days, if not the bread.

PS It is too hot even for garden or beach today here in Devon - 94 degrees in my summer-house. Unbearable. How sensible of the Scots to have allowed that cold front in from the Atlantic. I hope they send it down to us asap. So I've been lying in a cool bedroom reading Oscar Wilde. I'm ashamed to admit I fell asleep. I love Oscar dearly, but Lord, he really was the first champagne socialist, wasn't he? Utterly brilliant and funny man, but perhaps instead of lecturing us all and quaffing buckets of finest Dom Perignon before exploiting - with Bosie - all those Cockney telegraph boys he'd have done better to try to educate a few. That said, I'm sure that had I been a Cockney likely lad or lass (lass unlikely),  I'd rather have been exploited - even if just for one gaudy night -  by Oscar, than educated by some worthy, Bible-thumping do-gooder like Gladstone. Living - not merely existing - is very tempting after all.

A couple of glasses of icy-cold fizz would go down a treat just now in fact. One should always drink champagne when reading Wilde.


PS Gladstone was known as "the People's William" - which does unfortunately make him sound rather like a pear for the proletariat - as well as the "Grand Old Man," or, according to Disraeli, "God's Only Mistake".


Can't imagine him with a Twitter account somehow.



See - even Oscar grew up...


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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 20 Jun 2017, 16:53

Which cold front is that? 26 C. in the garden and blazing sunshine again, thank goodness for thick old stone walls to retreat within, and hotter tomorrow but with rain. Open air sauna, anyone?



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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Tue 20 Jun 2017, 16:58

Must have been fake weather news.

In the interests of order and topic discipline, I have transferred Larry's comments about the hot weather to the appropriate thread.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 21 Jun 2017, 07:53

@ferval wrote:
That's not to say I would not have voted Labour if if I were in England, I probably would, and not because I object to May and her cohorts on the grounds of their lack of emotional outpourings and breast beating, but because I think that socialism, like western civilisation, would be a very good thing.

OK - to be serious once more...


In the cool of the early hours I finished reading "The Soul of Man Under Socialism". I was struck once more by how similar Wilde's thinking is to that which we find in the Gospels - something that I mentioned ages and ages ago on the Marx thread. My comments were, if I remember correctly, predictably dismissed or ignored by nordmann. I also pointed out that Wilde asked to be received by the Jesuits after he was released from prison. The Jesuits rejected him, although the man after whom they were named did not. This is not me being sentimental after watching too many episodes of McGovern's Broken: the evidence is in the texts - for those who bother to read them (I'm thinking of "Soul", "De Profundis" and "The Ballad of Reading Gaol"). I was particularly struck by the following, words from "The Soul Of Man Under Socialism", comments from Wilde with which I am in complete agreement:

"Socialism, Communism, or whatever one chooses to call it, by converting private property into public wealth, and substituting co-operation for competition, will restore society to its proper condition of a thoroughly healthy organism, and ensure the material well-being of each member of the community. It will, in fact, give Life its proper basis and its proper environment. But, for the full development of Life to its highest mode of perfection, something more is needed. What is needed is Individualism...  no Authoritarian Socialism will do. For while under the present system a very large number of people can lead lives of a certain amount of freedom and expression, under an industrial-barrack system, or a system of economic tyranny, nobody would be able to have any such freedom at all...Under the new conditions Individualism will be far freer, far finer. I am not talking of the great imaginatively realized Individualism of such poets as I have mentioned, but of the great actual Individualism latent and potential in mankind generally. For the recognition of private property has really harmed Individualism, and obscured it, by confusing a man with what he possesses. It has led Individualism entirely astray. It has made gain, not growth, its aim. So that man thought that the important thing was to have, and did not know that the important thing is to be...what a man really has, is what is in him. What is outside him should be a matter of no importance..." (my emphasis).

...With the abolition of private property, then, we shall have true, beautiful, healthy Individualism. Nobody will waste his life in accumulating things, and the symbols for things. One will live. To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all...

This is not me Bible-thumping, but I have to point out that Wilde's words echo so many of the ideas offered by those thoughtful Jewish writers. Here are a couple at random, but there are so many others which are relevant. Wilde, of course, was an expert on New Testament Greek - read about his viva at Oxford during which he stunned the examiners with his brilliance, even though they had deliberately tried to catch him out by demanding translations of particularly tough passages about Saint Paul. Wilde assured the dons that he had thoroughly enjoying the challenge.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (For "soul" here read "true self".)


And, of course, later in "Soul" (page 27 in my edition), Wilde confirms that what he elsewhere calls "faithless Christianity" (the best - the real - Christianity?) is relevant to his argument:

"In its development it will be assisted by Christianity, if men desire that; but if men do not desire that, it will develop none the less surely...it will love those who sought to intensify it, and speak often of them. And of these Christ was one.

'Know thyself' was written over the portal of the antique world. Over the portal of the new world 'Be thyself' shall be written. And the message of Christ to man was simply, 'Be thyself'. That is the secret of Christ."


But knowing oneself and being oneself is easier said than done for most of us: it is a lifetime's work and one which is usually never complete. Perhaps the average politician never even starts on the quest for such difficult knowledge, let alone an "authentic" (Sartre's word) state of being.


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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 21 Jun 2017, 11:53

Well, that's probably killed off all further discussion. Sorry about that.

I'm watching the Queen reading her speech at the moment. Not the same without all the pomp and circumstance - the Imperial State Crown looks very odd stuck on that little table rather than on the royal head. Bad omen that I feel. Her Majesty looks absolutely sick to the teeth of it all. And who can blame her? Hope the air-conditioning's working.

What a wowdy wabble the Commons are - so noisy as they filed into the Other Place. Corbyn pointedly ignored May in a very rude fashion, although she, sad woman, tried to make the customary polite conversation as they processed through to the Lords. He's an absolute prat.

Dennis Skinner got a laugh when, after Black Rod's summons, he shouted out: "And put your skates on; the first race starts at 2.30pm!"

No more to be said, except that it's a mad world, my masters, as Thomas Middleton (no relation) observed all those years ago.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 21 Jun 2017, 12:36

I do feel quite sorry for the queen ... she's 91, over the past week she's had to try and show compassion to grieving relatives and distraught firemen which I'm sure was  distressing, and all in the glare of the media with people making sarky comments about why she won't put homeless people up in her house, her husband's just been taken into hospital, and she now has to suffer all this Parliamentary malarky while probably thinking to herself: what's the point, there'll as likely be another general election in a few months and we'll have to do it all again. I'm not pushing a republican agenda but as a system of government a monarchy is almost inhumane.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 21 Jun 2017, 13:37

Essayist HL Mencken writing in the Baltimore Sun in 1920:
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 21 Jun 2017, 14:12

Meanwhile, is Her Maj trying to tell us something?


 
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 21 Jun 2017, 15:36

I see it was 'bring your child into work day' today at Westminster:



"I'm bored mummy ... when do I get a go?"


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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 21 Jun 2017, 16:32

I say Charlie is getting porky, those lift and seperate crotch huggers are definitely not for public consumption.

Austerity Britain isn't forking out for a new pair of trousers then?
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 21 Jun 2017, 17:19

Probably scoffed too many of these ... few others can afford £7, sorry £6.89*, for a small packet of biscuits so there must often be a lot of unsold stock to shift.

*and that was the price eight years ago!
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Thu 22 Jun 2017, 14:56

I've deleted silly biscuit post because it was not appropriate for the Elephant/Politics thread.

Just trying to keep things going actually, but to be honest it does seem to be a pretty futile exercise these days.









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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Fri 23 Jun 2017, 13:30

Was that Dennis Skinner, Temperance?  I do enjoy his "snark" sometimes  (a bit like I enjoy David Starkey's in the domain of history - even though Mr Starkey has said some naughty things about women historians).  My TV is still "down", though I have been tardy to call out somebody to fix it.  I've been using iplayer and similar to follow the news, though truth to tell much of the time I just listen to the "headlines" or whatever the audio-visual equivalent of "headlines" is.  There has been so much bad news of late I almost have to make myself watch.  Things like the tower block fire and terror attacks are so distressing though as I say I think there is a moral obligation to keep myself aware of at least the salient points.  I watched a few news outlets on YouTube but the way YouTube "suggests" videos I'd clicked on one of those silly "truther" or anti-illuminati (or whatever they call themselves) videos and it was saying that Grenfell Tower was a "false flag".  Do such people really have fertilizer for brains?

Temperance, I will look at what Larry said on the Moggy thread to see if it can assuage my somewhat low mood (because of the bad news we've been having recently).


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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 24 Jun 2017, 09:27

@LadyinRetirement wrote:


Temperance, I will look at what Larry said on the Moggy thread to see if it can assuage my somewhat low mood (because of the bad news we've been having recently).

Hi LiR,
Yes, it is indeed a sorry state we are in when the antics of a rescue moggy from Battersea seem to be the only sane thing in our world. You probably missed the BBC programme, Brexit Means Brexit, but Larry was featured in the opening sequence. Apparently he has to be removed now if there is any kind of broadcast from Downing Street, especially an official statement of any kind, because he is such a distraction. All eyes (and cameras) are on Larry, not the politicians. Quite right too.










These shocking images have prompted suggestions that we are now living in a police state. I don't think Larry was having a Day of Rage, just a snooze.



I hope all the viciousness and backbiting stops - amongst the humans, that is, not the Whitehall moggies. The country looks to Larry and Palmerston to set an example of restraint, dignity and calm decorum: they have to show our unhappy nation that - whatever our differences (and yes, they are considerable) - co-operation and peaceful co-existence is still possible.


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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 24 Jun 2017, 10:30

Well Larry was lying in the road, Temp. Could he have been having a sit-down or lie-down protest?
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 24 Jun 2017, 11:01

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
Well Larry was lying in the road, Temp. Could he have been having a sit-down or lie-down protest?

It's his road, and he has the perfect right to lie or sit there without being harassed by the forces of a right-wing dictatorship and its cats. Palmerston is a class traitor and has been corrupted by the stuck-up, privileged elite at the Foreign Office. This needed to be said: it is an elephant in the room and is not an off-topic comment.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 24 Jun 2017, 12:29

Palmerston should perhaps remember his namesake's famous declaration: "civis felis sum!" Although to be honest civic equality wasn't a commonly exhibited characteristic of Lord Palmerston when he was PM.


Edit

Hmm ... that was a fairly crap bit of trying to be clever with an obscure and vaguely topical/historical/political reference. A bit like the sort of waffle Bojo comes out with. I do apologize.

Nevertheless Palmerston does seem to already have the backing of the army so can we expect a coup de chat:



And clawing back to the 'elephant in the room' ... are we also shortly going to see the current incumbent at Number 10 ousted and perhaps replaced by him from the Foreign Office? And I'm no longer talking about cats ... or at least only one Eton-educated fat-cat with a Cheshire Cat grin.


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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 24 Jun 2017, 13:58

It was funny! You do well to remind us - and that F.O. cat - of the words of the original Palmerston:

...as the Roman, in days of old, held himself free from indignity when he could say Civis Romanus sum, so also a British subject shall feel confident that the watchful eye and strong arm of England will protect him against injustice and wrong".

I was going to put Felix Romanus in above, but, on checking my Latin dictionary, I discovered that the Latin for cat is actually "feles", not "felix" - and all cats in Rome were feminine.  Mad

Putting "Feles Romana sum" just doesn't sound right, probably because it isn't.

Just found out something about Roman moggies - I'm off to the Moggy Thread with it.

EDIT: That picture you've just posted  Very Happy

EDIT 2: I've just realised that if Boris does become PM, Palmerston might move into Number 10 with him and Larry will also be ousted. Doesn't bear thinking about.

Right, enough moggy nonsense for today - this is getting silly.


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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 24 Jun 2017, 14:10

Was I correct then with "Civis felis sum" - I am a (singular) cat citizen? Or should it be the pural feles? (It's over 40 years since the trauma of Mr Whithead's lessons and I still worry about these things).


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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 24 Jun 2017, 14:11

Don't ask me, MM - the only Latin I can remember now is Caesar had some jam for tea.

EDIT: Just looked it up again. I think it's "feles civis sum" - the singular is feles and the plural is felis - which looks very odd, but that's what it says in my book. But then should civis be feminine because feles is always feminine, even when talking about Larry? Oh I don't know - people called the Romans they go the house.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 24 Jun 2017, 16:44

@Meles meles wrote:


And clawing back to the 'elephant in the room' ... are we also shortly going to see the current incumbent at Number 10 ousted and perhaps replaced by him from the Foreign Office? And I'm no longer talking about cats ... or at least only one Eton-educated fat-cat with a Cheshire Cat grin.

I think she will stay in place until the party has sorted out who it wants to succeed her or perhaps longer if it is decided that she should take the blame for everything over the next couple of years. Certainly they don't want another election right now as JC is being given rock star treatment at Glastonbury.


Anyway, who else is therereally? Boris did himself no good with his interview with Eddie Mair - did you hear it? "This is not a Two Ronnies' sketch, you can't keep answering the question before last"  Brilliant!

Angela Leadsom is a no hoper and she's put her foot in it too (again) with her comment on TV that interviewers and journalists should be more patriotic and stop asking awkward questions.

Gove? GOVE?, no chance.

Hammond (Philip not Richard but thinking about car crashes........) is too wet and the undead are stirring as it begins to appear that there might not be machine guns on our borders after all: watch out for Nige turning up again to scare the Tories. So unless Ms May voluntarily goes, she's there for a while.

But then again, the way things are going I may turn to the news pages now and find she's gone.

edit: And just to undeline that last remark, I turn to find that the UK parliament was hit by a cyber attack sdo perhaps you should address your question to the Kremlin.  UK parliament, cyber attack
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 24 Jun 2017, 17:53

They could always invite Katy Perry to stand - if you can't beat the Star Turn, get one of your own.

The Bank of Jeremy beats the Bank of Mum and Dad any day - those bright young things certainly appreciate that.

I want to be walled up like Julian of Norwich - Corbyn on the Pyramid stage has finished me off. I really can't take any more.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 24 Jun 2017, 22:34

@Temperance wrote:
They could always invite Katy Perry to stand - if you can't beat the Star Turn, get one of your own.

The Bank of Jeremy beats the Bank of Mum and Dad any day - those bright young things certainly appreciate that.

I want to be walled up like Julian of Norwich - Corbyn on the Pyramid stage has finished me off. I really can't take any more.

 Temperance,

now you said something...for a continental like me..."walled up like Julian of Norwich"...
First of all I was mystified by "walled up" and then I misread "Julian of Norwich" by "Julius Norwich"
I read from him: The Normans in Sicily.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Normans-Sicily-1016-1130-Kingdom-1130-1194/0140152121

And then Julian of Norwich...and it seems to be a lady...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_of_Norwich


And then "walled up"...in my concise Collins of English I found: to block an opening with a wall...
And then via this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anchorite
I found what you meant...

And yes we had also such female mystici over here...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadewijch

In Dutch there is a lot more:
https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadewijch_(schrijfster)


But not walled up at all...in fact I read this evening that it was possible that she didn't belonged to a beguinage (but that's a French word!) but rather to a common house were ladies encountered each other on regular times...because the Catholic Church was against the beguinage, because some beguins dare to differ from the "official" indoctrination of that said church. And as an organisation they couldn't tolerate that. The erudite Hadewijch, some women rightist avant la lettre, has defended some of those women. There was even a beguin burned at the stake by the Inquisition...after all I think it was not that far from the time of the Cathars (The Albigensians)

And now half past eleven PM on the European peninsula...time to go to sleep...

Kind regards from your friend Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 25 Jun 2017, 08:11

Thank you for the links, Paul. I was only joking, you know - I do not really want to be walled up, as I am neither holy nor reclusive! I've just had enough of the madness in our political life: a quiet little cell with no access to news channels seems very tempting at the moment. Actually we had a thread about these women here - MM and ferval offered some really interesting information:

The Recluse atte Norwyche

But we must return and confront the elephants - they are not going to go away any time soon...
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 25 Jun 2017, 19:13

@Temperance wrote:
Corbyn on the Pyramid stage has finished me off. I really can't take any more.

I wouldn't be that bothered Temp. The Glastonbury crowd is probably the most witless section of the fickle UK public. Only seven years ago, for example, Rolf Harris was also on the Pyramid stage.

My only experience of the Glastonbury festival was in 1989. And I seem to be as witless and fickle as the next crowd member because I can't even remember who was headlining that year although through the spliff and scrumpy induced fugg I seem to recall The Waterboys playing Fisherman's Blues at some point.

I gradually lost interest in the festival after about 1992 when the marketing of it became decidedly more commercialised. Coincidentally that was the same year as the launch of the 'Premier League' in England when my interest in professional soccer also took a nose dive. It would be interesting to read a contemporary social history of what exactly the factors were behind the corporate takeover of so much of popular culture in the UK in the mid-1990s.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sun 02 Jul 2017, 18:25

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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Fri 11 Aug 2017, 16:54

Er, I hate to mention this just as the weekend is beginning, but are we really on the Eve of Destruction? We have been here before a couple of times (I can remember the Cuban crisis), but this seems to be pretty bad. Should we expect the worst - paint our kitchen tables white and all that?

Apparently Khrushchev never threatened in 1960 "We will bury you" (a mistranslation?), but mere shoe-banging would seem quite welcome these days.

I wish I could find MacMillan's superbly British riposte to the Russian leader's apoplectic ranting. I think he simply said, "May I have a translation?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Sat 12 Aug 2017, 10:13

Trump is doing his utmost to distract everyone from the Russian investigations against himself and his son. And it is working, it is just a pity that he chose someone as equally unstable as himself to have a willy waving contest with.
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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 06 Sep 2017, 14:34

There was an article in The Observer on Sunday recalling the Cold War and how Public Information films and posters gave sensible instructions and many top tips on what to do in the event of a nuclear strike.

The Government issued (was it around 1982?) guidance of a similar kind in a booklet called Protect and Survive. This, according to The Observer, is now completely out-of-date and is being revised. The updated version will give sensible advice on, among other things, showering, bathing and haircare, should one wake up one morning and notice that, inexplicably, there has been a thermonuclear explosion near one's house.

It is essential to take frequent showers, apparently, to wash away radioactive particles from the skin. It is also good to shampoo one's hair, but it is very unwise to use hair conditioner, because such stuff simply binds the deadly particles to the hair shaft. Not good.

I don't know what I'm going to do when the bomb drops: without conditioner I can't get a comb through my hair. I shall look a complete mess. I do hope the boffins at L'Oréal come up with a solution to this pretty damn quick.


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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Wed 06 Sep 2017, 15:11

Reminds me of this film:

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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 11 Sep 2017, 14:04

The Telegraph (March 2017) actually beat The Observer to it. Anticipating possible thermonuclear unpleasantness from Kim Jong-un, the article link below helpfully revisits the 1980 top tips for survival in the event of an inconvenient explosion happening just up the road from one's house.

The list of things to have in the fall-out shelter is very odd. I notice a dustpan and brush is included.


Survival kit

Pack a tin opener, bottle opener, cutlery, crockery, bedding, sleeping bags, portable stove and fuel, saucepans, torch, batteries, candles, matches, toilet rolls, bucket and plastic bags to use as a makeshift toilet, disinfectant, a first aid kit, dishcloths, notebook and pencils for messages, rubber gloves, dustpan and brush, toys and magazines, a clock and a calendar.



Makes a mad kind of sense I suppose - there will be a bit of a mess to clear up. So those rubber gloves will come in handy, too (see offer below).


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/16/survive-nuclear-war-british-way-pack-tin-opener-loo-rolls-jam/







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PostSubject: Re: The Elephant in the Room.   Mon 11 Sep 2017, 14:46

I remember a slogan in the 1980s proclaiming that Newcastle-under-Lyme was a nuclear free zone - as if it would have made any difference to an enemy though one would always hope it didn't come to that. The news does indeed make depressing viewing at present with events in North Korea, dreadful flooding in various parts of the world and the ethnic cleansing in Myanmar.

Vizzer makes a valid point about popular culture becoming increasingly influenced by large corporations. My understanding is that (I came relatively late to having internet connection in my home though I did use internet cafes before) YouTube used to be a platform for people to share information by means of videos and I have benefited from some of their "how to" videos but it seems to have become increasingly money driven. Also some years ago I signed up to a group giving information about sewing (not that I'm a prolific sewer but occasionally I have a bash not that I'm any expert) - I just wanted something I could dip into for ideas but now I get emails about online classes and how to "grow" my sewing blog - when I don't HAVE a sewing blog and have no intention of starting a sewing blog!!!)
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