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The Marquis de Leech

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    Dunedin, New Zealand

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  1. The Marquis de Leech

    Robert Stanek strikes again!

    Definitely. If Stanek devoted as much time to working on actual writing as he does working on this nonsense...
  2. The Marquis de Leech

    UK Politics: Royal Weddings and Referendums

    Good thing you still have the "dairy farm-with-a-country-attached" that you dropped in the 1970s, then. (As I believe I have mentioned before - New Zealand trade officials are very quick).
  3. The Marquis de Leech

    Tolkien 2.0

    Searching around online, I found this one, which I quite like: https://img00.deviantart.net/c092/i/2015/105/b/5/ulmo_appears_before_tuor_by_leone_art-d7yzkj1.jpg A shame that Tuor's standing so awkwardly.
  4. The Marquis de Leech

    Tolkien 2.0

    Oooh. I hadn't seen the back cover. Alan Lee's Sea is awesome.
  5. I decided some time ago that social democracy is inherently unstable. Either it goes too far for the comfort of the Establishment, who use the mechanisms of globalised capital to punish the offending nation (especially easy in a post-1991 era), or it sells out to the Establishment and becomes liberalised. The cherry on top is that if it succeeds, it creates a massive middle-class, who suddenly lack the interests their working class parents and grandparents had, and are more than willing to vote for liberalisation. In hindsight, I really wonder how much the Eastern Bloc made social democracy uniquely viable - the Establishment put up with it, because the alternative was Moscow.
  6. Except that the divergence isn't 1953. It's 1975: https://thenextrecession.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/korean-gdp.jpg
  7. The Marquis de Leech


    Of course. And it will be *actual* Champagne! *Not the cheap, foreign imitation!
  8. The Marquis de Leech

    World Cup 2018: Celebratin' Your Nation.

    Instead we got the definitive conclusion to Napolean's invasion of Russia. Take that, Tchaikovksky!
  9. The Marquis de Leech

    Tolkien 2.0

    It's not so much counterfactual, so much as a raw perspective flip (I'd say Abercrombie's Bayaz is the closest we get in the genre to a portrait of Gandalf with the Ring). I have mixed feelings on Carey's duology. As always, I love her prose (I have a great fondness for purple prose, and here she goes ultraviolet), and it's a fun enough pastime to spot who is whom. My biggest complaint is that the duology simply does not "get" Tolkienian Evil at the thematic level. Morgoth wasn't Evil because he was misunderstood, a bit emo, and wore black armour. He was Evil because he did Evil. The Sundering is to Tolkien as a Heathcliff fangirl is to Wuthering Heights.
  10. Douglas was working on a flat tax, but Lange killed that off via telling the media directly that the Government was having a cup of tea, and a break from further reforms. Douglas was not amused.
  11. Minister of Broadcasting in the 1972-1975 Labour Government. He gave us a second television channel. More seriously, he was Minister of Finance 1984-1988 in the 1984-1990 Labour Government. He was responsible for massive deregulation, tax cuts, the floating of the dollar, the ending of subsidies, and the restructuring of the economy in a more market-based direction. Think Thatcherism, but under Labour. Contrary to folk memory, Douglas did not play a significant role in the major privatisations of the era - that was mostly after the Prime Minister sacked him in December 1988. Nor did he cut social welfare.
  12. Douglas or Prebble?
  13. The Marquis de Leech

    Tolkien 2.0

    My guess is that she'd take Narya off Gandalf, holding it out as a sort of "good behaviour" thing. And Gandalf, being Gandalf, would not take kindly to it. Elrond either finds out when messengers arrive in Rivendell, or at the latest when Galadriel openly claims the Ring. I don't think she does this immediately, because she needs time to build up. Meanwhile, Elrond is not in a position to do anything. One point someone raised - would Galadriel try to rescue Aragorn and company (Legolas is useful) before Saruman's forces come? She might well see it in her Mirror. On the other hand, she has distractions...
  14. Having met Roger Douglas a couple of times (yes, really), the thing to remember about him is that he was completely sincere. He genuinely believed (and still does) that he was helping people. He's just batshit crazy. Prebble on the other hand was (and is) an ideological thug.
  15. Mostly agreed. People forget that the Fourth Labour Government re-introduced compulsory unionism, increased the minimum wage, and dramatically increased social welfare spending, even while it was laying people off. As for the 1990s... Bolger was in the same boat as Lange. He wasn't a fundie nut. In fact, he sacked Richardson when he could, basically ending the revolution in 1993. The thing to remember about old-school Nats is that they actually hated privatisation as much as the Left did - their issue was the unions, not state ownership. We can thank Winston Peters in 1996 for getting rid of CHEs (remember them?).