A wilding

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  1. Wasn't Jeyne a Westerling rather than a Frey? It is possible that Lady Stoneheart may not be fully aware of the Westerling treachery, especially as Jeyne's brother Raynald is assumed to have been murdered by the Freys at the Red Wedding. She might consider Jeyne as being on her side, especially given the pregnancy possibility.
  2. Scary anecdotal evidence though: My Daily Mail reading aunt still thinks that Boris is a Great Man who would make a superb prime minister, and has swallowed his comments whole and taken them as evidence that Brexit was a good idea after all. She now confidently expects the NHS to get all this extra money and to be sorted out. (She had some personal experience of it recently that forced her to admit that it is somewhat stretched, though her main complaint seems to have been how low class most of her fellow patients were.) Still it does serve to give some insight into how western democracy has got in its current state. And hopefully there are not that many people like her left.
  3. I have always thought that that story cries out for a thematic sequel. "Scientists prove Nessie does not exist, but nobody takes the slightest notice." This would be especially relevant now, when so many people choose to ignore scientific facts (or are bamboozled into thinking that they are not true).
  4. Yes, as you say Varys tells Illyrio in AGoT that this is Renly and Loras'es plan. Though it is doubtful that Renly knew about the incest. He tells Stannis at their parley in ACoK that the incest story is a superb piece of propaganda, but that he (Renly) does not believe it. My pet theory about that conversation between Renly and Ned is that Renly knew perfectly well that the resemblance between Lyanna and Margaery was slight, but was delicately sounding out Ned to see if Ned could be persuaded to join in the plan. Renly had to be careful as he did not want the Lannisters to find out too soon and perhaps strike against him first. However when Ned acted dumb and did not seem to get the point Renly thought it best to back off.
  5. Also, you have to multiply the depth of water by the size of the area it has fallen in (hundreds of square miles?) to get the staggering total volume of water. Then think that much of that water has to flow downhill, into the river systems, and then make its way to the sea. Anyone living anywhere near a river downstream of this should be thinking through their options now. My best wishes to you all. Stay safe.
  6. She knows exactly what she is doing. It is an easy way for her to boost her support amongst the party faithful.
  7. My local town has two second hand bookshops run by charities (Oxfam and Cancer Research), both with thousands of books. They are staffed mostly by volunteers, but run very professionally. The last commercial second hand bookshop closed years ago.
  8. Except for rare/collectable stuff, charity shops do rather dominate the UK market now. Just box them all up and give them to Oxfam. They will accept them with thanks and hopefully do some good with them.
  9. The Thirty Years War was possibly the biggest single factor in that demilitarisation of Christianity. Simplifying, it was a war between Catholics and Protestants that lasted a generation and caused so much horror and destruction as to seriously discredit the idea of spreading a religion by force. Which analogy does not bode well for the Middle East.
  10. Naturally they are not "advocating" that, they know that being open about it would indeed cause outrage. They are merely trying to hand over chunks of the NHS to those US companies that make so much money out of the US system (and taking lucrative contracts with those same companies as soon as they leave office). Also they have been trying to quietly push through a "free trade" deal that will make it impossible ever to get those bits of the NHS back. As for them managing, even if they wanted, to impose "strong regulations and limitations" on companies they have outsourced to? Don't make me laugh. A good case could be made that much of previous increases have been spent on hiring layers of expensive management and creating a costly and wasteful "internal market" system.
  11. To me the whole story reflects perfectly the central problem with Corbyn, his amateurish incompetence. It would have been trivial to show a genuinely massively overcrowded train. Just pick any going into London in the morning rush hour or out of London in the evening rush hour. Pull in the recent issues with Southern Rail also. You could then use that to make the strong case for at least a partial renationalisation of the railways, a case that would resonate strongly with many people. Instead we get this halfhearted effort, giving Branson and the unsympathetic media the chance to shift the discussion. It is not political rocket science to predict that they would look for a way of doing this, Corbyn and those around him should have anticipated it and made sure they were reasonably bullet proof.
  12. Just about all the defined benefit pension schemes in the UK are now closed to new members. Many are seriously in deficit, and while employers have a legal duty to fund them and there is a UK wide pension protection fund as a fallback, I still suspect that in the medium term many people will not be getting anywhere near their full pensions.
  13. A first world problem, but I am currently riled up about how often professions, in this case the financial industry, are conspiracies against the layman. The UK personal financial industry has a bad track record. The government, to do it justice, has been trying to tighten things up, but of course their legislation has been heavily influenced by the industry. So Mrs W has decided to make some changes to her pensions, changes that she is confident are entirely reasonable (as am I). However she is now legally required to consult a financial advisor before she can do so! Cue us researching and phoning a whole bunch of advisors, with depressingly similar results. First you get the hard sell for them to provide general advice on your investments, for about 3% of their value up front plus 1% per annum ever afterwards. When you turn that down, half of them have no further interest in you. For the specific advice Mrs W must get, the minority actually prepared to give an up front quote typically make it 3% - 5% of the value of her pensions. Daylight bloody robbery. I realise that they would argue that they must take care that their advice is sound, as they face the risk she might sue them later, but frankly that would cut a little more ice if they had not lobbied furiously to make consulting them compulsory in the first place. And don't get me started about the privacy and security issues of some fly by night advisor having so much information about you and your finances.
  14. I agree that the 2008 crash represents some sort of turning point. Possibly increasing prosperity until then was masking the effect. But I have seen enough anecdotal evidence in the UK to be confident that the effects have become noticeable, however coloured by perception. I do think that modern social media, being relatively out of control of the mainstream/elites, may be partly responsible for the spread of this mood though.
  15. Surely the reason for the widespread anger is fairly clear? Economically the West may be doing ok, but the benefits are not being evenly spread. The gap between the wealthy and everyone else is steadily widening, and a large proportion of people are not seeing any of the benefits and/or are living close to the edge. Many see democracy as having been hijacked by the wealthy, who are ensuring that their interests come first. For the first time in generations, many are seeing that their children are likely to be less well off than they are.