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Creative Midfielder

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Creative Midfielder last won the day on July 10 2019

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  1. Nothing would surprise me where Johnson is concerned but so far this year we've been very short on u-turns - unlike 2020 where he must have managed one at least every other week and on a few memorable occasions managed several in a single week. Perhaps he made a very solemn New Year's resolution - no u-turns this year - in which case we are definitely due one in the very near future
  2. Well they could simply follow the Tories' lead and continue to blame Westminister in exactly the same way as the Tories are continue to try to blame the EU for all the problems that are arising now even though we have left with the oven ready deal that Johnson negotiated personally. In practice because Johnson's bullsh*t hasn't fooled anyone and both the Welsh and Scottish leaders have already shown themselves to be far smarter than Johnson then I expect they will have much less need to deflect the 'blame' anywhere and where there are problems will at least have serious responses rather than the incoherent and deceitful babble Johnson provides on a daily basis. The other difference I'm pretty certain you'll notice is that they won't keep breaking international law or any international treaties that they've signed - another very distinct improvement over the current rogue government in Westminister.
  3. I occasionally wonder whether Swindo is as profoundly stupid as he appears to be or whether he's faking it as a very childish wind up. Either or both seem entirely possible but presumably he gets some satisfaction from it
  4. ....yes, and for several different reasons but all of them pointing towards a united Ireland within a few years.
  5. Nice try but back in the real world the UK death total is appalling and a national disgrace, even you look at our count relative to size of population we are still one of the very worst performers in Europe (and the rest of the world). Some of the other big countries have also suffered badly - Spain, Italy and France obviously - but all have done better than us, and Germany have less than half the deaths relative to population size, Denmark less than a quarter and so on.. And if you think that population density is a significant factor then you need to take a look at the Netherlands - 70% more densely populated than the UK yet with a death rate per 1m people of well under half the UK's. 120k deaths in the UK most definitely was not to be expected, should never have happened and would never have happened if we'd had a remotely competent government which responded to the outset of the pandemic in a timely and effective manner - our Government unfortunately did neither and no amount of vaccinating is going to undo the many thousands of unnecessary deaths along with the huge economic damage that their indecisive, tardy and shambolic response inflicted on the country last year.
  6. The weird thing is we pretty much agree on most of this but to run through your points: We are a constitutional monarchy as I understand it for two main reasons; we have a constitution of sorts although it is really an ancient and cumbersome set of conventions and precedents many of which not really applicable to the 21st century and most of which have never tested as to whether they actually have any real legal standing. This is highly unsatisfactory and IMO should have been replaced by a written constitution years ago. But I would say the problem has become much more acute very recently as it is only the last two PMs and governments that have actively tried and succeded in breaking those rules on a systematic basis. The second reason, which should be good news, is that we have a constitutional monarchy rather than an absolute monarchy because notwithstanding the powers that the monarch has as Head of State there is absolutely no question that within our system Parliament is sovereign and that is firmly embedded in law. I completely agree with you that these powers should be vested in an elected Head of State rather than a hereditary monarch but you say yourself those powers to dismiss/appoint Prime Ministers etc have not been used inappropriately. However all systems need checks and balances, and a huge weakness in our system is that we have no checks or balances in our system against a rogue PM/government other than the Head of State exercising those powers. But in the last 18 months we have had a rogue PM/government - not just the the prorogation though that was bad enough, but the government itself breaking international law, the PM condoning and excusing appalling and illegal behaviour by his chief advisor, his Home Secretary (should have been sacked automatically for proven breaches of the Ministerial Code) and open corruption by several ministers again excused by the PM. In normal times, or at least the past, Parliament itself would never have permitted these abuses and any PM or minister who behaved so appallingly would be toast. But no longer it seems, and the only independent check or balance to a rogue Parliament has chosen to ignore her responsibilities and take no action. So I think we entirely agree that we should have a written constitution and an elected Head of State but you seem really exercised that we have a Royal Family who cost a fair bit of public money and provide no value at all but you're not too worried that the Queen hasn't exercised her powers to stop our PM and his ministers repeatedly breaking the law. Whereas as I, though I'm no great fan, could see some value in a hereditary monarchy in a purely ceremonial/symbolic role (costing a bit of cash but small change in the overall scheme of things). But what I am really exercised about is that she has allowed and permitted our already shabby democracy to be successfully abused and in doing so has allowed new precedents to be created which will also certainly be exploited again in the future. This government has repeatedly shown that in practice it is above the law and that there is nothing whatsoever we can do about it - it is inaction by our Head of State that is the existential threat to our democracy.
  7. I'm sure you are a great teacher but I really hope you don't teach history, politics, citizenship etc because the idea that the Head of State, even in a constitutional monarchy, exercising their powers equates to an absolute monarchy is total tripe. And you should be very concerned that she didn't exercise her powers because that is actuallly an existential threat to our democracy, as Johnson so vividly demonstrated in 2019 when he illegally requested the Porogation of Parliament. She should stopped it, it was her duty and responsibility to stop it but she didn't and so Johnson effectively ruled as a dictator for a period. None of the Westminister political establishment tried to stop him, and much of the British press and media were quite happy to go-along for the ride. It took Joanna Cherry and Gina Millar to eventually get a case to the Supreme Court to do what our Head of State should have done - all credit to them but Johnson had achieved what he wanted by then and of course there was no penalty for illegally suspending our 'democracy' - that is why you should should be upset!!!
  8. That is very true, SKS is pretty much a one man band which clearly doesn't help although the Tories are equally deficient in ability/intelligence and it doesn't seem to have held them back too much (at least in the voters' eyes ). But the impact of having an almost completely talentless bunch of career politicians in the HoC who are more concerned about their own careers than the good of country has been very obvious over the last few years, particularly as Sod's Law dictates that nearly all the decent ones are in the minor parties.
  9. Exactly this, and add in our lack of a formal/written constitution and our antiquated ineffective electoral system and we are actually a million miles away from a fully developed democracy.
  10. Sorry BF but whilst I agree that LOTO is a difficult job, to say that opposion is purely symbolic in the face of a massive majority is plain wrong. If you cast your mind back to last year there were several significant revolts amongst Tory backbenchers which could have reduced if not eliminated Johnson's majority and yet Starmer still failed to make an impact. Of course it may be questionable whether those rebel MPs would have actually voted against the Government if Starmer had also been opposing them vigorously but the fact remains that Starmer totally failed in his role to hold the government to account and in the process collected a huge amount of baggage by assisting/enabling a bungling Tory government. Yes, there are 3+ years to an election but Starmer has already set a pattern that I believe he will find very difficult to break, and he is unlikely to be handed so many good opportunities to do so, especially by the right wing press who were noticably far more critical of Johnson last year than Starmer/Labour. He won't get oppertunities like those again even if he does actually come up with any interesting alternatives to the Tory shambles which so far he has signally failed to do, and I'm afraid the idea that the way forward for Labour is to wave the Union Jack around a bit more was the final nail in his coffin as far as I'm concerned. Not that I would have voted for him anyway, unless as I've said before (and Purple posted in similar terms) Labour forms some kind of electoral alliance with like-minded opposition parties - that is the only chance that Labour has of winning an election, the idea that they can beat the Tories on their own is delusional. Again I got the impression in the early days of his leadership that he understood that and would probably move in the direction but quite the reverse as it turns out based on his actions since. So I'm afraid IMO it is already all over as far as the next GE is concerned. Of course it is entirely possible, in fact quite likely, that something really unexpected will happen and change the dynamic but without that some really dramatic change happening then the very best I think we can expect from the 2024 GE is that the Tories don't win an overall majority or get an exremely slim one, and even that would require SKS to up his game hugely compared to what we've seen so far.
  11. And that upsets you more than having a Head of State that doesn't discharge her responsibilities in protecting our democracy, such as it is..........???? I guess we just have different priorities.
  12. Sounds a bit harsh when you put it that way, especially as the Queen (and Prince Philip) have a very long record of public service which in some ways has been quite admirable. But I don't think there is any getting away from the fact that having a Head of State who is both unelected and who chooses not to exercise their powers\undertake their responsibilities as Head of State is a really major problem. I wouldn't say they have zero value but their value is in the ceremonial/symbolic/soft power side of the UK and it is not trivial but unfortunately it is still far outweighed by the negative political and constitutional connotations of having a vacuum where we should have a Head of State. This may not be our biggest problem but it is certainly a significant factor in our dysfunctional and undemocratic system of governance. It is also very dangerous in the 21st century when we have a government, as we have now, which believes and acts as if it were above the law, and sadly it turns out that they are above the law because the only backstop we have to prevent this kind of abuse of our 'democracy' chooses to take no action. So I'd say that the Queen's long service has rightly or wrongly meant she has a level of respect that is substantial but is entirely personal, is already dissipating and will completely disappear when her reign ends - after that we desperately need an elected Head of State but it seems that most Brits, and certainly both the Tory and Labour parties are very much backward rather than forward looking so in reality it just isn't going to happen - after all the UK establishment and political system has been frozen in aspic for several centuries, so surely a few more decades of the same old, same old can only be a good thing...........
  13. Thanks VW, I knew that us being in agreement would be extremely short-lived and so it has proved but it was fun while it lasted
  14. Ok, I'm sure that agreeing with VW isn't going to become the new normal for me but I think on this occasion he is right. On top of that I also think SKS has already given the right wing press several very significant hostages to fortune - for now they have been quietely filed away but you can be absolutely certain that as 2024 draws closer any attempt by SKS to hold the Tories to account is going to founder as the right wing press relentlessly point out how he acquiesced with Johnson's mistakes on both Brexit and Covid and his almost complete absence of any substance on the economy or the climate crisis. If SKS can't carve out a distinctive position now, and it appears that he can't, then his chances of doing so in the next three years are negligible IMO.
  15. I think I react to events, and particularly with politicians, to what they actually do rather than what they may or may not say - with respect to Starmer I have said on a number of occasions that although I have never been much a fan of his I thought he got off to a very good start as leader of the party, yes by dismantling Johnson at PMQs but also by initiating some decisive actions on on Labour's internal problems. But also as you say yourself, even if your terminology may vary from mine, I hoped he would create a credible and better alternative to the incompetence and corruption of the current government. Again like you since that early promise it seems to me ever clearer that he hasn't got what it takes and that, almost unbelieveably, he has saddled himself with a huge amount of baggage, on both Brexit and the the virus, that will make it impossible for him to ever hold this governemnt accountable for their actions in the way that a competent opposition should. So frankly, although you appear to be suggesting that I'm unduly critical, it seems to me that my position, at least as far as Starmer and the Labour party, is concerned is remarkably similar to your own. As to a proposal for the future then I'm afraid I don't have one, as I said earlier I genuinely believe that the future for the UK, well England anyway and sod's law dictates that I am English, is extremely bleak. Of course I do have actually have a proposal for the future but it is so to unlikely to happen that I don't really count it as a proposal, scarely even a pipe dream. But for the record the only thing I believe that has any chance of turning around the horrendous mess this country has become is a written constitution, an elected head of state, and a parliament elected under some form of PR. But that simply isn't going to happen in the foreseeable future and there is no guarantee that even if it did we could turn this country around. But if it did come to pass then at least whatever happened would be as a result of a genuinely democratic process instead of the dysfunctional and undemocratic shambles that currently drives our inept governance and has left us with a two party system in which both parties are stuffed with second, third and fourth rate career politicians far more concerned with their own careers than any thought of the national interest.
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