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BS: Brexit & other UK political topics

Steve Shaw 07 Jan 21 - 06:26 PM
Dave the Gnome 07 Jan 21 - 05:24 PM
The Sandman 06 Jan 21 - 03:55 AM
DMcG 05 Jan 21 - 07:02 AM
punkfolkrocker 05 Jan 21 - 06:05 AM
Steve Shaw 05 Jan 21 - 05:51 AM
The Sandman 05 Jan 21 - 05:20 AM
DMcG 05 Jan 21 - 04:36 AM
Stilly River Sage 05 Jan 21 - 02:01 AM
Dave the Gnome 05 Jan 21 - 01:52 AM
Bonzo3legs 04 Jan 21 - 06:27 PM
Rain Dog 04 Jan 21 - 05:59 PM
Dave the Gnome 04 Jan 21 - 05:40 PM
Donuel 04 Jan 21 - 03:53 PM
punkfolkrocker 04 Jan 21 - 03:20 PM
punkfolkrocker 04 Jan 21 - 02:34 PM
Backwoodsman 04 Jan 21 - 12:15 PM
Steve Shaw 04 Jan 21 - 12:10 PM
Nigel Parsons 04 Jan 21 - 10:50 AM
Steve Shaw 04 Jan 21 - 06:41 AM
Nigel Parsons 02 Jan 21 - 04:48 PM
punkfolkrocker 02 Jan 21 - 12:19 PM
Jos 02 Jan 21 - 07:14 AM
Steve Shaw 02 Jan 21 - 07:07 AM
Acorn4 02 Jan 21 - 06:59 AM
Backwoodsman 01 Jan 21 - 02:10 PM
Allan Conn 01 Jan 21 - 01:56 PM
Steve Shaw 01 Jan 21 - 11:47 AM
Rain Dog 01 Jan 21 - 10:35 AM
Raggytash 01 Jan 21 - 10:02 AM
Steve Shaw 01 Jan 21 - 09:00 AM
Backwoodsman 01 Jan 21 - 08:16 AM
Dave Hanson 01 Jan 21 - 07:40 AM
Rain Dog 01 Jan 21 - 07:13 AM
Bonzo3legs 01 Jan 21 - 06:34 AM
BobL 01 Jan 21 - 03:55 AM
Backwoodsman 01 Jan 21 - 01:25 AM
punkfolkrocker 31 Dec 20 - 06:10 PM
Backwoodsman 31 Dec 20 - 06:00 PM
Backwoodsman 31 Dec 20 - 05:59 PM
Nigel Parsons 31 Dec 20 - 05:21 PM
Mrrzy 31 Dec 20 - 04:58 PM
The Sandman 31 Dec 20 - 03:18 PM
DMcG 31 Dec 20 - 02:54 PM
Acorn4 31 Dec 20 - 10:43 AM
Mr Red 31 Dec 20 - 10:41 AM
Jos 31 Dec 20 - 10:19 AM
The Sandman 31 Dec 20 - 10:10 AM
Mr Red 31 Dec 20 - 10:03 AM
The Sandman 31 Dec 20 - 08:33 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Jan 21 - 06:26 PM

Well, Dave, in the US you might get shot. Storming Parliament here might get you bashed with either a truncheon or the mace...And that mace has a lot knobbly bits...

Sod it. That's the end of THAT revolution then... Bloody mace...


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Jan 21 - 05:24 PM

Anyone fancy storming the houses of parliament? I don't think anyone has made a serious attempt since 1605 and we can learn a lot from our friends across the pond :-D


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Jan 21 - 03:55 AM

Johnson, has proved to be inept, schools should have been closed a while ago, number one priority is stopping the spread of the virus.
Johnson has dithered and procrastinated and shown he is incompetent and yet bonzo 3legs and his like will still vote Conservative, they cannot admit that the NHS cannot cope because for years the conservatives have run it down., so that it is unable to cope with an emergency, meanwhile nurses are in short supply and are not paid enough.
how does johnsons deal compare to the one Theresa May would have got?
It appears that the most important difference is the non existence of the back stop, I think Thersa May had a higher level of competnce than Johnson and probably would have handled covid and brexit better, not difficult really, Starmer would have been better,, Corbyn would have been better,Johnson is an incompetent ditherer.There are three main differences between Theresa May's Brexit deal and Boris Johnson's one
Boris Johnson has been bullish about the UK leaving the EU on 31 October – will these changes help him?
Oct 19th 2019, 8:00 AM 40,491 Views 7 Comments
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Image: PA Wire/PA Images

THE KEY DIFFERENCES between Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement, and Boris Johnson’s version of it are the alternative arrangement to the Irish backstop, a consent mechanism for the Northern Ireland Assembly, and the level-playing field provision.

The vast majority of the Withdrawal Agreement is untouched from its original format – with the changes focused on the two elements that pro-Brexit MPs took issue with the last three times a vote was taken on it (although the financial settlement has been reduced from £39 billion to £33 billion because of the extension).

Today’s vote in the House of Commons will clarify whether there was a legitimate concern over these elements, which Brexiteers claimed would locked the UK in a customs union that restricted the it from future trade deals, and agreeing to rules that would make the UK less competitive post-Brexit.

Despite nothing much in the 585-page Withdrawal Agreement having been changed, the things that have been changed are complicated to explain.

1. The backstop is gone

The backstop, was a plan B in the Withdrawal Agreement that would be implemented if an alternative agreement to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland couldn’t be found.

It would keep Northern Ireland aligned to the European Union’s Custom Union and Single Market, which Brexiteers argued would mean the UK couldn’t avail of future trade deals (Theresa May rejected a Northern Ireland-only backstop in favour of a UK-wide one in order to protect ‘the integrity of the union’).

The backstop’s replacement is similar to the original Northern Ireland-only backstop, with the additional issue of consent to make the mechanism less “antidemocratic”.

In short, it means that Northern Ireland will remain aligned to the EU’s Custom Union, but will be in the United Kingdom’s custom territory, meaning that if there are future trade deals struck, Northern Ireland would avail of them.

In practice, this would mean that if goods are sent from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, no tariffs apply. If goods are sent from Great Britain through Northern Ireland to Ireland, tariffs will apply, but they will be collected at ports and airports – effectively putting a customs border along the Irish Sea.

For goods sent from Ireland to Northern Ireland, there would be no tariffs, and for goods travelling from Ireland through Northern Ireland to Great Britain, there would be tariffs collected at the Irish Sea customs border.

2. Consent

This was an important part of the discussions, as it proved difficult to capture what true “consent” from Northern Ireland would be.

If the Withdrawal Agreement is passed by the House of Commons today, this arrangement will come into effect at the end of the transition period, which will end in December 2020 (or December 2022 if it’s extended).

Related Reads
18.10.19
'Too soon to celebrate': On the border, people give Brexit deal cautious welcome
17.10.19
Explainer: Here's how the consent vote in the North will work
17.10.19
Explainer: Where has the Northern Ireland backstop gone?

Four years after that, (but two months before the deadline), the Northern Ireland Assembly will get a vote on whether to keep this customs arrangement, or default to “existing” WTO rules.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels yesterday, the Taoiseach said: “So there is of course an outside chance that at some point in the latter part of the next decade… [an] Assembly might decide to opt out of alignment, opt out of the Single Electricity Market, opt out of the new customs arrangement.

    But I’m confident that’s not going to happen, because I think that people in Northern Ireland, businesses in the Northern Ireland, farmers in Northern Ireland are going to see and experience the benefits of this arrangement.

    But if there’s a risk we’re taking, the risk we’re taking is one on democracy, and saying to people in Northern Ireland that you determine your future and this is something I can stand over.

On the vote itself, if a simple majority is achieved (so half of the total of votes cast, plus one more vote at least), it would extend the arrangements for another four years.

If they receive a cross-party consensus, meaning a majority of 60%, and at least 40% support from unionists and nationalists, then the arrangements will be extended by eight years.

If there’s no Stormont Assembly in four years’ time, those elected will be reconvened for a vote on which direction to take Northern Ireland in.

Although the DUP is opposing the deal over customs, consent and VAT reasons, and fears that it would severe the North’s link with the rest of the United Kingdom, the Taoiseach said that in his view, it did not change its “constitutional status”.

    If this agreement is ratified and it is fully implemented, the queen will still be the queen; the pound will still be the pound; people will still post letters in Royal Mail red letterboxes, Northern Ireland will still be part of the United Kingdom.

3. The Political Declaration

The “level-playing field” provision was another sticking point for UK-EU negotiators. It essentially aimed to create a base level of standards for labour rights, the environment, tax and state aid rules.



This is so as to ensure state aid rules aren’t used by either side to boost their own companies; labour rules aren’t lowered in order to increase company profits; or environmental standards aren’t renegned upon in order to become more competitive post-Brexit.

This had been a legally-binding agreement contained in the Withdrawal Agreement – it’s now stated in the Political Declaration:

“the Parties agree to develop an ambitious, wide-ranging and balanced economic partnership. This partnership will be comprehensive, encompassing a Free Trade Agreement, as well as wider sectoral cooperation where it is in the mutual interest of both Parties.

“It will be underpinned by provisions ensuring a level playing field for open and fair competition, as set out in Section XIV of this Part. It should facilitate trade and investment between the Parties to the extent possible, while respecting the integrity of the Union’s Single Market and the Customs Union as well as the United Kingdom’s internal market, and recognising the development of an independent trade policy by the United Kingdom.”

Reference to a customs union as the baseline for a future trade deal, and UK alignment with EU regulations have also been removed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: DMcG
Date: 05 Jan 21 - 07:02 AM

I thought, Steve, you might comment on the risk of evolving a vaccine-resistant variant of covid-19. Back in April 2020 at least 30 variants had been identified, so it looks like the virus is fairly adaptable.   Any thoughts? Obviously, neither of us has the detailed knowledge of viruses to answer the question rigorously, but in general terms the risks and processes seem to be similar to evolving antibiotic resistant    bacteria etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 05 Jan 21 - 06:05 AM

Dick - children were back 'as normal' for only one day yesterday..

Now today, teachers and other staff must attend school all day for emergency meetings and briefings..

Tomorrow, who the f@ck knows...???

It appears the academy that runs my wife's school completely excluded Union Reps
from any discussions and planning...???

At least that is how my wife understands what may have transpired behind the scenes...


Whatever happens, be assured the tories will blame Teacher's Unions
for all disruption and chaos...


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 05 Jan 21 - 05:51 AM

"Are we allowed to drive somewhere for exercise? If so, is the 15 miles or so to my nearest National Trust property considered 'local'?"

Nah. It's only OK if you drive that far in order to test your eyesight for driving...   :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Jan 21 - 05:20 AM

Schools should be closed, are they still open in the uk?


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: DMcG
Date: 05 Jan 21 - 04:36 AM

I agree we needed to lockdown, and immediately. It was, and is, the only way of getting a handle on things. But it is still too vague and lax in many ways. I am a Church-goer, but think it unwise to keep places of worship open. Yes, I understand the mental health aspect, but non-church-goers also have a mental health aspect, and there is no 'special' support for them. We are told to keep things local, but that is left vague. Are we allowed to drive somewhere for exercise? If so, is the 15 miles or so to my nearest National Trust property considered 'local'?


But the action the government is taking that concerns me most is this idea of a long delay between first and second vaccinations. Because if you asked me to come up with a way to evolve vaccine-resistant forms of the virus outside a lab, that is almost exactly the way I would do it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Jan 21 - 02:01 AM

Would Biden be taking on and continuing trumpy era legal grudge cases like Assange;
or maybe quietly letting them slip off the priority 'to do' list...???


The Assange business started during the Obama administration. This will hold more context for Biden than some of the other things Trump has mangled over the last four years.

As a journalist I have mixed feelings about Assange. Publishing the Manning stuff was one thing; publishing the Clinton emails as a tool of the Russians and Trump were entirely another and put his journalistic motivation to question.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 05 Jan 21 - 01:52 AM

I agree that the lockdown is good, Bonzo. It was the actions prior to that that were idiotic.

I just remembered that one of Terry Pratchett's characters was called Bloody Stupid Johnson. Prophetic or what!


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 04 Jan 21 - 06:27 PM

Excellent action by the government.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Rain Dog
Date: 04 Jan 21 - 05:59 PM

Yes pfr,that is far too cynical an idea.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Jan 21 - 05:40 PM

Pay people to eat out
Open universities
Threaten schools with legal action if they close

Oh look. Infection rates are up. It must be this new strain. Can't be me. I follow science.

B Johnson. January 2021


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Jan 21 - 03:53 PM

Jeeze pfr, tell us what you really think.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 04 Jan 21 - 03:20 PM

well then.. lockdown from tomorrow...

But our inept / willfully negligent / ideologically vindictive / murderous / tory Govt
could not resist just one more day of cramming infected kids and parents into primary schools...

So, how can we not suspect a deliberate attempt to kill off expensive older teachers,
falsely accused of being marxist feminist brainwashers of innocent naturally conservative children..

..when there's a massed herd of newly redundant right wing business and financial workers
who are available to be redeployed as fast tracked ideologically 'acceptable' teacher substitutes...?????

nah.. that's far too cynical an idea...??????????????????????????????


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 04 Jan 21 - 02:34 PM

Would Biden be taking on and continuing trumpy era legal grudge cases like Assange;
or maybe quietly letting them slip off the priority 'to do' list...???


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 04 Jan 21 - 12:15 PM

I have a very strong suspicion that, if there were to be such a swap, Mrs. Sacoolas would receive considerably better treatment by U.K. authorities than Julian Assange would receive from the authorities in the US.

A very good reason not to agree to such a swap in the unlikely event it was offered by the US.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Jan 21 - 12:10 PM

Except that she should definitely be here but he should definitely not be there. In m'humble, of course.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 04 Jan 21 - 10:50 AM

How about a straight swap for Anne Sacoolas?


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 04 Jan 21 - 06:41 AM

So, yanks, you're not getting your grubby mitts on Julian Assange. Excellent!


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 02 Jan 21 - 04:48 PM

Though how many times has old man Johnson changed his mind on brexit, to suit himself and his struggling PM son...???
Hardly at all. Right up until last month Johnson Snr. was writing articles in the Telegraph on why we should cancel Brexit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Jan 21 - 12:19 PM

Though how many times has old man johnson changed his mind on brexit,
to suit himself and his struggling PM son...???

At least the old fella is in a very comfy position, with more than enough options,
to weather the 'leave' storm,
his dopey boy has inflicted on the rest of us...


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Jos
Date: 02 Jan 21 - 07:14 AM

People should be allowed to change their minds without being accused of being a "turncoat".

In the article linked to, Stanley Johnson expressed a belief about what would happen. It was NOT a life-long commitment with no option to retract if that belief turned out to be unfounded.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Jan 21 - 07:07 AM

You will never get a one-word answer from a politician. If you asked him that, I suspect that you'd get the full treatise around the IHRA false definition of antisemitism...


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Acorn4
Date: 02 Jan 21 - 06:59 AM

i'd like to ask Keir Starmer just one question to which the required answer would be yes or no:-

Is it correct that I am allowed to criticise the actions of the Britiah government, the US government, the Russian government or the German government but not the Israeli government?


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 01 Jan 21 - 02:10 PM

He’s a turncoat...

Stanley Johnson - Turncoat...


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Allan Conn
Date: 01 Jan 21 - 01:56 PM

Re Stanley Johnson. Not a great fan but to be fair on this issue he seemingly voted Remain so if he has a legit route to regain his European Union citizenship then why not? I'd certainly do the same.


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Subject: RE: BS: worst british prime minster
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Jan 21 - 11:47 AM

I meant strong personalities, not possessing strong and visionary leadership skills. OK, read charismatic for strong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Rain Dog
Date: 01 Jan 21 - 10:35 AM

I see that the new 'new variant' has been designated 'Variant of Concern'by Public Health England.


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Subject: RE: BS: worst british prime minster
From: Raggytash
Date: 01 Jan 21 - 10:02 AM

Have to take issue with you there Steve, Johnson very strong? Don't think so.


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Subject: RE: BS: worst british prime minster
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Jan 21 - 09:00 AM

Daft question in m'humble. Very strong, pig-headed leaders make for very damaging prime ministers (Thatcher, Johnson). Then there are those who can't work with advisers (May). Corbyn is not of that ilk and he would likely have worked well with advisers. Of course, that raises the question of the quality of those advisers. Let's hope that Starmer is booted out before the next election. He isn't even a leader, and he would make such a terrible prime minister that the Tories would quickly regain power and hold it for a generation. And if anyone is fomenting a civil war in Labour, it's him. He should never have whipped MPs to vote for Johnson's shoddy deal and he should not have made himself supine before the Board Of Deputies. These things will come back to bite him, and it won't necessarily be the fault of leftie Labourites either.


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Subject: RE: BS: worst british prime minster
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 01 Jan 21 - 08:16 AM

I don’t know if he would have been the ‘worst’ PM, but he certainly managed to alienate a lot of voters, and his supporters currently waging a civil war within the party are in danger of doing the same.

The usual disclaimers apply......IMHO, YMMV etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: worst british prime minster
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 01 Jan 21 - 07:40 AM

I've been a Labour voter all my life but I tend to agree with Bonzo about Mr Corbyn.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Rain Dog
Date: 01 Jan 21 - 07:13 AM

It is a disgrace that the trade agreement was only reached with a few days left.A lot of people both here and in the EU are unsure about the new procedures. The UK is adopting a hands off approach for the first 6 months with regards to imports. Exports of course are entirely another matter.

The port entrance was very quiet at 10.00 this morning, apart from the number of TV crews standing around with nothing to do.


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Subject: RE: BS: worst british prime minster
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 01 Jan 21 - 06:34 AM

Who WOULD have been the worst prime minister if elected ??? Gold medal goes to corbyn - no contest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: worst british prime minster
From: BobL
Date: 01 Jan 21 - 03:55 AM

Lord North - lost us our colonies the other side of the Pond.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 01 Jan 21 - 01:25 AM

No surprise there then...


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 06:10 PM

News.. Boris's dad applying for French citizenship...???


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 06:00 PM

However, she has contacts, and a plan...


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 05:59 PM

DMcG - no further info up to yesterday. She’s on leave now until 4/1/21.


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 05:21 PM

39 minutes. It's now 22:21 UTC


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: Mrrzy
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 04:58 PM

2 more hours! Wow!

[I just remembered time zones.]


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 03:18 PM

Starmer is the Ramsay Macdonald of 2020


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Subject: RE: BS: Brexit & other UK political topics
From: DMcG
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 02:54 PM

I hardly dare ask, but does Mrs Backwoodsperson know yet?


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Subject: RE: BS: worst british prime minster
From: Acorn4
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 10:43 AM

Also depends how far back:-

Lord Liverpool - presided over the era of Peterloo and the Corn Laws.

Lord John Russell - disastrous response to the Irish potato famine.

The Duke of Wellington's stint as Pm was also pretty disastrous though he did enable the Catholic Emancipation Act as I recall


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Subject: RE: BS: worst british prime minster
From: Mr Red
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 10:41 AM

Yes an H - I was distracted by Mrs T


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Subject: RE: BS: worst british prime minster
From: Jos
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 10:19 AM

Mr Red, did you mean 'to which someone had appended an "H"'?


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Subject: RE: BS: worst british prime minster
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 10:10 AM

I think callagahn enabled mrs thatcher to get in to power,
i think heath had a disastrous 3 day week , so i was talking about heaths home not foreign policy


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Subject: RE: BS: worst british prime minster
From: Mr Red
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 10:03 AM

'King Boris

Because his only qualification for the job was that he wanted it.

A turncoat just like Trump. And look what is happening there.

And if you thought Callaghan & Heath put the country in queer street, the next four years will be telling.

And on a lighter note, during the 3 day week, in a factory visit, there was a notice on a door saying "Please close door to conserve HEAT" to which someone had appended a "T"


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Subject: RE: BS: worst british prime minster
From: The Sandman
Date: 31 Dec 20 - 08:33 AM

mind you heath was a bad PM ,THE MAN THAT GAVE THE UK A 3 DAY WEEK


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