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A wilding

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  1. I would say The Laughing Policeman was the best one by some way. The books are deliberately stylised, with relatively little emphasis on characterisation, but they do drop you right into the period, and I also like them. The Haunted Monastery might by a good one to try.
  2. His Too Many Magicians is one of my favourites, despite almost no one in the UK apparently having heard of it. It is an excellent twist on the locked room mystery - one committed at a London hotel hosting the triennial conference of the Most Ancient and Honourable Guild of Sorcerers. Not to mention the pastiches of various famous fictional characters scattered throughout the book.
  3. I also enjoy a good mystery and have tried most of those authors. A few UK based suggestions you might also like, given that list: Josephine Tey: pseudonym under which she wrote a handful of miscellaneous golden age mysteries. Cynthia Harrod-Eagles: cosyish contemporary London based police procedural series (Inspector Slider). Reginald Hill: Northern England police procedural series written about a generation ago. Possibly also Peter Lovesey, Ruth Rendell, Ngaio Marsh.
  4. A wilding

    UK Politics: Awaiting MV3

    And, of course, nobody has suggested anyone is a racist. Indeed we can all agree that Bloom is beyond the pale. Except Tennant clearly doesn't think so. This feels somewhat Trumpian. The Brexit media can and does put out all sorts of spin and fake news, and that is fine because they are not "reliable" and so no one takes them seriously (except of course that is not true, they have a massive impact). However it seems that the Remain supporting media is being held to an impossibly high standard of not only having to tell the exact truth, but also of having to be more than scrupulously fair. Pointing out the evidence of dubious attitudes and beliefs of politicians standing for election is beyond the pale. The general implication is that the slightest mote in the "reliable" media's eye implies that everything they say should be ignored.
  5. A wilding

    UK Politics: Awaiting MV3

    Parallels can certainly be drawn. The UKIPers talk about independence as a means of "regaining control" of the UK's borders, by which they generally mean preventing immigration from outside the EU (however little that is to do with the EU). Then they talk about freeing the UK from "Brussels bureaucracy" which often means no longer being subject to that pesky EU Human Rights act and the protections it gives everyone.
  6. A wilding

    UK Politics: Awaiting MV3

    I think Labour can justifiably be said to have done badly because they are the main opposition party to a government that is, by any standards, a complete mess. In that context they should have been picking up numerous seats, instead of actually losing some. I think that they have been makng a big mistake - I note that even in Brexit supporting Sunderland what hurt them was voters switching to Remain parties. Still I am glad that the electorate seems to have generally seen through Labour's fig leak of pretense that they are not a Brexit party. Our local Labour councillor came knocking on our door a few days ago claiming that she personally was Remainer and that Brexit wasn't that important anyway - I am pleased to say that she has lost her seat to a Green. Theresa May would of course now interpret absolutely any event whatsoever as a message that she needs to go on pushing to get her personal hard Brexit through unchanged. However I am unimpressed by the widespread media spin. "Got the message? Deliver Brexit!" seems to be the typical tabloid response. Given that the swing was to the fiercely Remain parties the Lib Dems and Greens, that is blatant propaganda.
  7. A wilding

    Billionaires, making the world a better place (for them)

    Correct, but redundant, I think. Pretty much everyone reasonable today thinks that public education should be free, available to everyone and as good as it can get (at least in Europe; in USA, if I understood correctly, students struggle for years or even decades to repay their student loans after they've graduated) - indeed, it's one of pillars of equal opportunity you mentioned above. As in other spheres, there is something of a disconnect between what everyone reasonable thinks and what is actually happening on the ground though. For example, despite the ideal, the UK has increasingly burdensome student loans, plus a massively underfunded public education system. There is a serious issue recruiting and retaining teachers. Quality of schools is a postcode lottery, to the extent where school catchment area substantially effects house prices. I see this as symptomatic of our increasingly plutocratic world. Public consensus is increasingly subverted.
  8. A wilding

    UK Politics: The Edge of Destruction

    The Greens are firmly and totally pro-remain. That said, I think the new centre group has plans to put up a slate of specifically pro-remain candidates. It may be worth watching to see what happens with them .
  9. A wilding

    Billionaires, making the world a better place (for them)

    Suppose you want to incentivise people to the extent that if they do well, then they should be able to retire at 60 and live the rest of their lives in comfort. Assume "in comfort" means a pension of 25K a year. Life expectancy is close to 90 now, so they would need to save something like 750K to manage that, plus they would want some extra in case they lived beyond the average. (To buy an indexed linked 25K annuity at 60 cost about a million last time I checked.) And that is not even considering the value of other assets they might have, like their house. Sadly a million is not that much money these days. (Incidentally, I am thinking in UK pounds in this post.)
  10. A wilding

    Homer, Tolkien, and Truth

    There is a poem, famous in Victorian times, that Tolkien, with his classics education, would have certainly been taught as a child, and probably had to learn by heart. It is all about lighting beacon fires to warn of an invasion. The Armada, by Lord Macaulay
  11. A wilding

    UK Politics: What Goes DUP Must Come Down

    She also said: "This is a decisive moment in the story of these islands and it requires national unity to deliver the national interest." I would say that that is something of a Damascene conversion, except that we all know that by "national unity" she means "doing what I say", And of course the "short extension" is a trap. If she can get her deal agreed in the next couple of weeks the EU would probably accept it, but there is no time to negotiate any other deal.
  12. A wilding

    UK Politics: What Goes DUP Must Come Down

    So May now wants Corbyn to sign up to asking for a "short extension" to the Brexit deadline during which MPs are to agree to her deal. Is she delusional, or is this just a cynical attempt to pin the blame for no deal Brexit on him? 50-50 in my opinion.
  13. A wilding

    UK Politics: What Goes DUP Must Come Down

    There are more than two sides here, even with the polarisation May has now caused. (In my opinion her pandering to the ERG has just encouraged them into even more extreme positions, resulting in an understandable backlash the other way from people appalled by them.) Edit to add: though I personally am happy that she has ensured that Remain is now back on the table.
  14. A wilding

    UK Politics: What Goes DUP Must Come Down

    The indicative votes gave a feel for the general mood in parliament. Using them as a starting point, a moderate PM could probably have forged something that a majority could get behind, if only grudgingly, given the year or so to hammer it out that May has now squandered. A capable and flexible PM, one willing to take on or just ignore the irreconcilables in the ERG, might well have achieved that,
  15. A wilding

    UK Politics: What Goes DUP Must Come Down

    However the problem is entirely down to her. She tried to ram through her own personal hard Brexit through parliament without being willing to listen to anyone (other then the ERG) or to make the slightest compromise. After going right to the wire and bending the unwritten constitution of the UK to breaking point, she has finally come to the belated realisation that she can't get it through, but has left no time for any alternative solution to be found. Naturally, with her blinkered viewpoint she thinks "the current parliament has reached the limit of what it can achieve", except that when she says "Parliament" she means the government she is leading - as an autocrat at heart she thinks that Parliament is just there to rubberstamp her decisions.
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