williamjm

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About williamjm

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  • Birthday 04/29/1981

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    Cambridge, UK

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  1. F1 2016

    I don't think anyone saw that coming. I doubt it would hard to find a better example of 'going out on a high', since Rosberg had definitely picked the pinnacle of his career. It's a bit of a shame because it could have been fun to see Hamilton trying to fight back to regain his title next year. I think they can afford not to compromise, it would be easy to hire a solid midfield driver who would know his place (a bit like Schumacher's team-mates in the 90s) but I don't really see the point in that. I think there are two ways to go, either try to get one of the elite drivers who would be able to be immediately competitive against Hamilton or pick a young driver who they believe they can develop into a World Championship contender ready to take Hamilton's place as team lead when he moves on. I'd suspect a driver nearing the end of their career like Button (I'm sure he'd be willing to give up retirement for the chance of driving a race-winning car) or Kimi is probably unlikely. I'm sure half the drivers in the field were phoning up their agents as soon as the news broke, even if a driver is under contract that doesn't necessarily mean a move can't happen if people want it enough. One complication is that there are a lot of regulation changes next year so it's can't be assumed that Mercedes will on top again, although I'm sure they'll be up there. If the likes of Ricciardo or Verstappen think Red Bull can catch Mercedes next year then they don't really have any motivation to move. Vettel seems disgruntled at Ferrari so he might be tempted into a move and Mercedes would probably like a German driver. McLaren have made progress this year, but Alonso might still think Mercedes are a better bet. Seeing Hamilton racing against either Vettel or Alonso would probably maximise the entertainment. If they're going for someone inexperienced then Wehrlein seems the obvious choice, although while he's had a decent first season he hasn't really been dominating his less-hyped team-mates. He's a good driver, but I'm not sure he's necessarily better than the likes of Hulkenberg or Sainz or Di Resta.
  2. Convince me that Brexit wasn't a terrible act of self-harm

    Yesterday's by-election in Richmond is an early example of the Lib Dems benefiting by beating the Eurosceptic (ex-)Conservative candidate. It was pointed out in some of the coverage that this might have been about the perfect constituency for this sort of result given that it was a London suburb which had voted heavily for Remain and had a relatively recent history of Lib Dem MPs. I think they could get similar results in some other London constituencies and other cities like Cambridge where Remain won convincingly, but we'd need to see victories in less favourable by-elections before predicting they'd win a large number of seats. Funnily enough, using PR in the General Election has long been one of the Lib Dems key proposals.
  3. Convince me that breakfast wasn't a terrible act of self-harm

    It's possible I may have misheard, but I think the news was mentioning that some people think we should have a Second Breakfast Referendum, which seems like a grave threat to one of The Shire's most cherished traditions.
  4. Convince me that Brexit wasn't a terrible act of self-harm

    Sadly, I suspect Brexit will prevent any realistic hope of serious House of Lords reform in the next decade (not that there seemed to be much prospect of that anyway) because there are enough constitutional issues to deal with without adding that to the list.
  5. Convince me that Brexit wasn't a terrible act of self-harm

    I think it would be dangerous for Labour, given how many of their strongholds voted for Leave they could have a lot to lose. On the other hand, I think it makes perfect sense tactically for the Lib Dems, when they only got 7 or 8% at the last election there's a lot of opportunity from targeting some of the 48% who voted Remain. Appealing to the losing side in a referendum can be a great move in a FPTP election if you're the only party doing it and there are multiple other parties splitting the winning side of the vote, look at Scotland where the SNP lost a referendum then a year later were getting 30%+ swings in their favour across the country to win just about every constituency. I don't think the Lib Dems would get the same amount of benefit since they're starting from a much lower base but even if they got a quarter of the Remain voters to back them that would still be a big improvement for them on their post-Clegg slump.
  6. Convince me that Brexit wasn't a terrible act of self-harm

    I'd imagine immigration is the most popular reason for voting in favour of Brexit, possibly along with the more general sovereignty argument, although maybe among the 52% who voted to Leave there are probably a lot of smaller groups who care passionately about other issues. Most of Britain may be completely indifferent to issues like the Common Fisheries Policy but in some coastal areas that could be the dominant issue. I'd think anyone who has a particular vision of Britain's relationship with Europe, whether it be close co-operation or a 'Hard Brexit' should have reasons to be nervous about the current situation where we're apparently all at the mercy of what a small number of politicians decide. The advocates of Hard Brexit seem to mostly be arguing that we should let the Government get on with it without much oversight, but if May, Hammond and Boris were to get together and decide that they were going to stay in the EEA there's not much they can do in the short term to stop them except complain loudly. On the other hand, if May lets her dislike of immigration overcome the reasons she backed Remain during the referendum and sacrifices the single market then again there doesn't seem to be much anyone can do about it. While I like the idea, I do wonder if tactically it might be better to ask for a referendum on what type of Brexit we have since there's more chance of getting at least some Leave supporters to think a second referendum would be justified. The other way there could be a mandate for Brexit would be for there to be an election and the winning party having specific manifesto commitments, but it seems it's unlikely that will happen.
  7. November Reading 2016

    I just finished this as well. I liked it, Bujold's always good at creating interesting characters and this one is no different. I think it does come to a reasonable conclusion but I think there does need to be a follow-up...
  8. Convince me that Brexit wasn't a terrible act of self-harm

    Apparently, there's a new legal case related to Brexit, in this case about whether leaving the EU automatically means leaving the EEA or if that has to be done separately. It's difficult to tell from the article how speculative the case is (the Government's position that we're only part of the EEA because we're part of the EU does sound superficially reasonable), but if they did win it could be bad news for fans of a Hard Brexit. Even if there's a Parliamentary vote on enacting Article 50 I can't see most MPs being willing to vote against it given the referendum result, but they might find it easier to vote against leaving the EEA given that it wasn't explicitly the subject of the referendum. I'm disappointed this post has been here for three whole hours and nobody has pointed out that if Britain really had superior intelligence we wouldn't have voted for Brexit,
  9. Wasn't it Newt who unravelled his spell, showing his true identity? Admittedly, he'd already shown that he was at least a Grindlewald sympathiser with his rant.
  10. Really? That's feels like a stupid development, because there was no indication of that and he wasn't that interesting a character to begin with (although the actor did bring a fair amount of creepy intensity to the role).
  11. F1 2016

    It does seem weird to lose Germany given how important German engineering and drivers have been to F1, although the track itself is not much loss since the Hockenheim redesign seemed to take away most of its distinctive features. Hopefully next year will be a bit less one-sided in terms of one team dominating, I'm sure Mercedes will still be at the front but hopefully some of the others can challenge.
  12. I saw the film today. I thought it was entertaining, although not as good as the best of the original films. It felt like it couldn't make up its mind about whether it wanted to be a fun romp about Newt chasing down his escaped beasts, or be telling a darker story about the beginning of Grindlewald's rise to power, and I think it probably worked better when concentrating on the lighter parts of the plot. I did like some of the magical creature design in it, but it's a bit disappointing that the final battle ended up being with an emo CGI cloud. I thought the acting was good, although the Johnny Depp cameo felt misjudged and I thought Colin Farrell did a better job with the character. It seems the magical community is too obsessed with its own prejudices related to magical ability to be very concerned about prejudices related to race or gender.
  13. They are a bit dull, although given what the title of the series refers to I suppose we can't complain too much about the covers focusing on swords.
  14. F1 2016

    Might be worth a try, although if he slows up too much then Rosberg might 'accidentally' run into him. It does seem largely out of Hamilton's hands, he may well win the race but he's going to need to get lucky to win the Championship. Maybe his best bet is the pressure getting to Rosberg and him making an uncharacteristic mistake, but if Rosberg can make it through a monsoon in Brazil without making an error then Abu Dhabi should be comparatively easy.
  15. Cricket 30: World Twenty20 and beyond

    It does seem to be the best change they could make although it also seems a bit short-sighted not to have included another specialist batsmen when the original touring party included two players making their debut and a player (Gary Ballance) whose place was already under threat. Admittedly, if they had an extra batsmen then he wouldn't have had any time out in the middle to prepare due to the lack of warm-up matches, but Buttler also has the same issue.