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A wilding

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Everything posted by A wilding

  1. The Tory party has lurched significantly to the right in the last half a dozen years. It now contains hard right figures such as Cruella Braverman, who would never have got near a cabinet position ten years ago. By current standards Cameron is definitely on the left wing of the party.
  2. Even in total war a country needs people to keep the lights on as well as fighting soldiers. How many of those 12Mn US soldiers actually saw front line combat? But it is probably a political question is much as a military one. What casualty rates can a democracy absorb without collapsing? WW1 Britain and France probably give the upper limit, and they were mature stable countries.
  3. My take: Corbyn is an elderly idealist, incapable of making the smallest compromise. His values were set in stone many years ago and he is not open to changing them no matter what has happened since. He will not say anything he believes untrue, but has has just enough political nous to remain silent sometimes. Of course Piers Moron's motives are hardly pure here either.
  4. So Cameron... Quite a clever attempt by Sunak to change the political narrative, give a "back to the adults" vibe, and signal a shift centrewards. While putting Cameron in a position where he can't actually do much to push the Tories back to the centre. But what was Cameron thinking? Okay he is probably a bit desperate because his post PM career has suffered from having the albatross of calling that stupid referendum and then mismanaging it so badly around his neck. But his only claim to dignity came from his immediate resignation afterwards. And now? Every foreign dignitary he meets is going to be sniggering "Brexit" at him behind his back! He is lumbering himself with prime responsibility for putting lipstick on the pig that he himself allowed to escape from its sty.
  5. From where I am sitting, that fits most of the current cabinet.
  6. "Is it a book that you would want your wife or your servants to read?"
  7. They may be quite genuinely trying to look after your best financial interests. The rental market is indeed insane right now. We are looking after someone's estate that includes a flat 1 hour out from central London. The tenant recently gave notice after a year. We lined up another tenant to move in for a 10% higher rent. A month later, before the old tenant had moved out, the new tenant started getting awkward and wanted some extra conditions before signing the contract. The letting agency said drop them, you can now up the rent by a further 10% and easily find an alternative tenant willing to pay that and not quibble. We did and did.
  8. I was once staying in some ridiculously high end US hotel (a long story, it was a business trip, there was a mix up with my hotel booking, nearly everywhere was full and the client company had to find a last minute bed for me). However all was not well at this hotel, the staff were unhappy and working to rule or something. I was having breakfast in a palatial dining room, but my pot of tea did not arrive. Eventually some sort of head waiter in a resplendent uniform arrived at my table. "I am most terribly sorry about this sir. We are just microwaving it for you now". Wince.
  9. But privatisation was a good idea right? It was going to "lead to much needed investment".
  10. Well to engage with the substance of this: ASoS is widely considered the best ASoIaF book. However if you look "north of the wall" in the ASoIaF threads then you might see that there is a theory that it threw ASoIaF of track, and that the series has never recovered from it. (As you will know, the later books have come out at increasing intervals and are considered weaker by many people.) Basically the idea is that rearranging the plot to create a strong mid series ending in ASoS messed the story up. This relates to the "five year gap" issue. So your confidence that "the best is still in store" for your series may be misplaced!
  11. Its a sad world. There are users and exploiters out there, and so people generally ignore phone calls from unknown numbers, brush past people accosting them in cities, and yes, also ignore random people on the internet praising some product. And people sometimes get tired of such approaches and get sarcastic or rude. And occasionally this leads to honest genuine people getting rebuffed, but most of them understand the world that we live in and understand. So my answer is that you probably do indeed need to "post stuff here for a few months on many other subjects just to create an illusion of credibility before recommending something". Because that is something that an influencer would not be willing to make the effort to do and so weeds them out. Though I would tend to give doing so a more positive spin and call it building up social capital. This site is after all a community where members tend to know a fair bit about each other, not least whether their tastes in literature are likely to align. If doing that does not seem worth while to you, then you might do better just posting your opinions on a site such as Goodreads.
  12. Unless you are very naive you will know that the internet contains a large amount of deceptive advertising and promotion of all sorts of products. Sadly it is a jungle and everyone needs to be careful. Bluntly, nobody here knows anything about you other then that you have just joined this forum, and that every single post you have made on it is promoting this relatively obscure series. That is enough to set off the bullshit detectors of most people and make them heavily discount what you are saying. Edit: Also you "regularly drop by here to scan for reading recommendations, and have picked up some good suggestions", but nothing in your posts demonstrates much knowledge or interest in fantasy beyond this series. However, if you want a laugh on this subject, try googling the chequered career of fantasy author Robert Stanek.
  13. My impression is that they think that they are better off than they are relatively, and that they are already part of the elite. Plus being lied to about how the tax works (they are quoted the headline threshold of 325K without understanding that that is per person and that there is a partial exemption for their homes). And not realising that they are likely to spend a good deal of their savings during retirement and for end of life care. Basically most people in the UK seem to think they are middle class these days.
  14. And of those 4%, I wonder how many pay a significant amount? For example, children inheriting 1.2M from their parents will have to pay 90K in tax, 13%, which does not exactly feel onerous.
  15. Your home is partially exempt from inheritance tax. Also a couple's inheritance tax thresholds can be combined. It is a bit complex but in basically the first £1m a couple leave to their children is generally already tax free. And there are some dodges available to push that threshold up further. Inheritance tax is a typical right wing con. They whip up anger over it amongst people who are unlikely to pay very much, if any, as a cover for giving the wealthy further tax breaks. (I suppose it works especially well in this case as people are dead by the time the inheritance tax rate of their estates is actually calculated.) And they are successful enough that Sunak apparently thinks scrapping it entirely would be popular. I agree that the ultra rich avoid it, and that other ways would need to be found to target their wealth, but lets not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
  16. Unless you are an MP sadly. It is really annoying to hear corrupt MPs whinging about "due process" and "fairness" when they get consequences for misdeeds that would get any of us get immediately fired by our employers.
  17. My city (in all but name) has an excellent bus service, in contrast with many others. It is run by a company wholly owned by the local council. The government has been trying on and off to force its privatisation for years.
  18. He failed with this audience. I started skimming about 1/3 of the way into Heroes Die because I found Caine such an unlikeable character. I have no desire to try the sequels.
  19. I would suggest not going too far from London. It is, for example, a 5 - 6 hour drive to the Lakes, a big ask for a 3-4 day trip with a single driver who has never driven in the UK before (though Keswick is an excellent place to visit for a gentle Lakes holiday). So perhaps the Cotswolds via Oxford? Bath is worth seeing also. If they want bigger hills, then the Wye valley is worth a look and is only 2 hours down the M4.
  20. Also saw it when it came out. I was in my mid teens I think. A weekday afternoon in the school holidays. It blew me away My first experience in a cinema of a really good film.
  21. Monbiot's article on deer is a rushed confused take on a complex subject. He talks about munjac deer, but they are mostly found in southern and eastern England where there is definitely no space for wild wolves. In fact deer are a serious issue mostly in the Scottish Highlands. While it is widely agreed that something needs to be done about them there, reintroducing wolves is definitely not an uncontroversial idea. Indeed some of the strongest proponents are big landowners who think it will deter hill walkers and the like from going onto their estates - one guy wants not only to introduce wolves on his estate, but to fence it all off and not allow any access.
  22. There is also the interesting experience of rereading a book that you last read 40 years ago, and having a different experience than the first time. It helps triangulate how much you have changed since you were younger.
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