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About Sophelia

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    North East England
  • Interests
    writing fantasy novels
    visiting historical sites and castles
    geeky computer stuff
    cognitive psychology and counselling skills
    learning Spanish (just started)

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  1. UK Politics: The Overton Defenestration

    Hartlepool voters... in 2002 voted for H'Angus the Monkey as their mayor instead of the Labour candidate. Hartlepool voted 70% for Brexit (highest in the North East). A classic one of these post-industrial deprived areas where many people are worried about effects of immigration on already low employment among locals: Though, at least in 2011, Hartlepool had very little immigration: More older people, more people on benefits, more traditional working class, poorer health, lower levels of education. ETA: Yes quite possible that Corbyn's defence of immigrants and saying he would not cap numbers turned the Hartlepool vote against Labour. Could also be because Corbyn was against Brexit, and Ukip is widely credited with galvanising the Brexit vote favoured by Hartlepool.
  2. UK Politics: The Overton Defenestration

    My twitter feed was in total incredulity for an hour. Now reports are that Steven Wolfe is conscious and recovering, lots of comments on the totally farcical nature of this incident in Strasbourg.
  3. UK Politics: The Overton Defenestration

    UKIP MEP Steven Wolfe in hospital. Rumours are that he had an argument with another UKIP MEP, they had a fight, he got punched in the face... (Rumours of smashed window, bleeding on brain...)
  4. Attempted Coup in Turkey

    Today I was chatting to a Turkish man who lives in the UK (he had just come back from holiday in Turkey) and I asked him how things were there, with teachers being sacked and so on. What he told me was rather chilling, but not in the way I expected. He said that everything is fine. The teachers who were arrested were fake teachers, and the police etc. were fake police - the fake teachers had not passed their exams and were fraudulent. The genuine teachers are not in danger. Turkey is going to be great friends with Russia now, and in 2023 Turkey will finally become as great as America. Turkey has been kept down by America, because of a treaty signed in 1923 which means that Turkey can't use its own oil etc. This Gulen fellow, he told me, was taken from Turkey at a young age and indoctrinated by the US so that he would in turn set up schools in Turkey to indoctrinate young people and to infiltrate the army etc. There will be another coup on August 14th, because that was the Gulenists' plan - but the people will rise up and stop that one too. I wonder if these are standard beliefs in Turkey? It makes me want to read some Turkish history (probably from several different sources...) because I have no idea where any of this comes from. I really know so little.
  5. Programming language for kids?

    I'm not an expert at all but I think it's a really interesting question, as I learnt programming at the age of 13 (I think) - but things were pretty different then, in the 80s! (Yes it was BASIC) I just googled a couple of pages which do have suggestions, though hopefully you'll get some actual techies replying in this thread.
  6. Attempted Coup in Turkey

    When I heard about the coup I was shocked and worried about how it might effect the people and the country, and relieved it was over quickly. Relief has now turned to a deeper worry about the effects on the people and the country. Erdogan's extreme reactions continue, now hearing that all university deans (executives?) have been sacked along with thousands of schoolteachers and education workers. The number of ordinary people who have suddenly lost their jobs without trials or tribunals, presumably with no recourse to appeal, is horrific.
  7. Attempted Coup in Turkey

    So, horrible and bizarre things are emerging 265 people killed (or more) including 104 coup-plotters (the precise number mentioned in that 'list' earlier - really strange), the rest a mixture of police and ordinary people who had gone into the public places at Erdogan's urging. people are angry and calling for the death penalty - if the Turkish parliament agreed then this would put an end to any future hopes of joining the EU (not that this was likely to happen soon in any case) rumours that the Incirlik Air Base (the Nato one) was closed for so long (open again now) because the person in charge was associated with the coup - they helped refuel the coup aircraft - and some of the coup soldiers were Turkey's Nato soldiers. wikileaks planning to release a lot of documents about Turkey's political situation which they say are both good and bad for Erdogan's party general reports of incompetence of plotters e.g. that they had to ask for directions to Erdogan's hotel in Marmaris which is partly why they arrived too late. Rumour that they had aircraft guns pointed at his plane as it was flying to Istanbul but the pilot told them it was an Air Turkey flight and so they didn't shoot. Apart from thousands of arrests e.g. of judges and police as well as army, Erdogan has apparently cancelled holidays for millions of civil servants and banned them from leaving Turkey
  8. Attempted Coup in Turkey

    This is not looking good for Turkey-US relations: at first Erdogan was making statements that any countries protecting Gulen would be considered at war with Turkey. Now the rhetoric seems to be getting more explicit, as I hear Erdogan and other MPs are demanding that the US must return Gulen to Turkey, and blaming the US, by sheltering him, for the coup. (This is second-hand translation of things being said on Turkish TV). I'm not sure if it is related to this, but according to what I'm reading, all air traffic into and out of the Incirlik Airbase has been stopped for quite a few hours (this Nato base is mainly used by the US, which has 1500 personnel and planes for attacking ISIS. There are also nuclear weapons stored there). Anyone know more about this situation or the diplomatic implications? P.S. I also heard that the USA had said they would extradite Gulen if they got a request to do so, and some evidence of his involvement in the coup, with the implication that they had received neither. P.P.S. The Guardian livefeed is reporting the same things, so I guess that's confirmed then.
  9. Attempted Coup in Turkey

    Erdogan seems to be saying (according to a couple of people in twitter translating his speech) that the hotel he was staying in Marmaris was bombed - but after he had left. P.S. Others are reporting that he lied. P.P.S. I didn't hear anything about this before on twitter but surely can be factually checked (if he did indeed make this claim) P.P.P.S. Heading off to try and sleep now. Hope things don't escalate.
  10. Attempted Coup in Turkey

    BBC is reporting a tweet saying " Istanbul Police Chief says only 104 soldiers involved in #TurkeyCoup. Leader named as Col Muharrem Kose, recently dismissed as Gulen member. " and also a list of alleged organisers which is being put forward by the state-run news agency. 104 soldiers?! In other news, Erdogan is pictured at Ataturk airport surrounded by some of the jubilant supporters he asked to come out on the streets.
  11. Attempted Coup in Turkey

    Some people in Istanbul are reporting there have been no bombs there and all the explosions were sonic booms from the jets (by mistake or on purpose) ... hope you hear from your friend again soon Relic.
  12. Attempted Coup in Turkey

    This is horrible - it was sounding like things were just fizzling out and minimal people would get hurt, but this is frightening. Seeing it on people's facebook pages etc., you have a feeling it could happen here, anywhere. Surreal yet deathly real too.
  13. Attempted Coup in Turkey

    Reports another helicopter taken down over Istanbul and (non-catastrophic) bombing of Parliament building in Ankara (if the coup was claiming it would restore democracy that seems an odd target... but may be an accident collateral damage, who knows). Impressions I get is that government has pretty much regained control of Istanbul but it's taking a bit more force in Ankara. Nowhere else in Turkey seems to have been affected directly. P.S. Other sites saying parliament building being bombarded/third bomb and MPs are huddled inside. Really hard to know what to believe.
  14. Attempted Coup in Turkey

    Apparently big military bods lining up to take their turn on television one by one to say "weren't me gov" and condemn the coup
  15. Attempted Coup in Turkey

    And that the military have killed 17 police in Ankara ETA: I'm hearing the helicopter was part of the army coup