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Posts posted by mormont

  1. 1 hour ago, BigFatCoward said:

    Considering his initials Boris is really into penetrative sex. Mrs Boris is pregnant again. The man is fertile as fuck. How many is that now? 

    There is literally a court injunction preventing anyone publishing a reply to that question.

  2. 31 minutes ago, BigFatCoward said:

    If this had anything whatsoever to do with what is best for kids, conservatives wouldn't have enacted so many policies that disadvantage kids. Also what about non married parents? Fuck those kids of sinners?  

    Well, this is where principle 4 comes in.


    4. God and Public Religion. No nation can long endure without humility and gratitude before God and fear of his judgment that are found in authentic religious tradition. For millennia, the Bible has been our surest guide, nourishing a fitting orientation toward God, to the political traditions of the nation, to public morals, to the defense of the weak, and to the recognition of things rightly regarded as sacred. The Bible should be read as the first among the sources of a shared Western civilization in schools and universities, and as the rightful inheritance of believers and non-believers alike. Where a Christian majority exists, public life should be rooted in Christianity and its moral vision, which should be honored by the state and other institutions both public and private.


  3. 42 minutes ago, Liffguard said:

    Two points; one, do you think that given the statement was coming from a government source at an explicitly political conference, there's an implication that this is something the government should be actively involving itself in?

    Danny Kruger isn't a government source: he's a backbencher. But as I say, he and the NatCon org undoubtedly believe that this is something the government should be actively involving itself in, as an urgent priority.

    However, to be fair, Sunak has rejected this idea.



  4. Some context here might be useful.

    First, the gentleman above is making these remarks at a conference organised by a group whose statement of ten guiding principles is listed here:


    Number 8 says:


    8. Family and Children. We believe the traditional family is the source of society’s virtues and deserves greater support from public policy. The traditional family, built around a lifelong bond between a man and a woman, and on a lifelong bond between parents and children, is the foundation of all other achievements of our civilization. The disintegration of the family, including a marked decline in marriage and childbirth, gravely threatens the wellbeing and sustainability of democratic nations. Among the causes are an unconstrained individualism that regards children as a burden, while encouraging ever more radical forms of sexual license and experimentation as an alternative to the responsibilities of family and congregational life. Economic and cultural conditions that foster stable family and congregational life and child-raising are priorities of the highest order.

    This is the context within which this MP is speaking and what he says reflects this statement very closely. 'This is the only possible basis for a safe and successful society'. 'Marriage is not just a private arrangement' but a matter of public policy. Marriage must be 'at the heart of our fiscal system'. In other words, he's advocating for tax breaks for marriage. Presumably, as he specifies 'a man and a woman' (as does the statement), he'd like that to be specifically heterosexual marriage, but he doesn't say so explicitly.

    So what he's talking about is financial incentives to stay married, which is a stale, failed idea but compared to a lot of the nonsense coming out of that conference, less offensive than some. It's not going to speak to anyone under 50, and it's rooted in that notion I mentioned earlier, that everyone else is doing their lives wrong, but there we are.

    I will add that the idea that parents who divorce have not tried hard enough before coming to that decision is both offensive and stupid. I'd prefer to use a less strong term but none fits, I'm afraid. It's dismissive of the real life experience of millions of people in this country, including but not limited to myself and others in this discussion. It's not a view worthy of respect, because it's not a view that grants any respect to others.

    ETA - the statement of principles above, by the way, is a pretentious mess that basically boils down to 'we'd like to freeze time'. It's entirely unrealistic and bankrupt of ideas. I can see why so many Tory MPs find it appealing.

  5. 29 minutes ago, BigFatCoward said:

    Do they benefit to the tune of the debt they accrue? I'm doubtful.  

    Again, yes: both the original introduction of tuition fees and every tweak to the system since has relied on research that shows this. The earnings premium has declined, for sure, but it's still there. Again, until now the tuition fee 'debt' they accrue is mostly at least partially written off, so that helps. In fact I'd argue it's not even really 'debt', it's a graduate tax in all but name. A very badly designed and unfair one, that you can get out of by paying up front if you're wealthy, but nevertheless.   

    ETA - in the original post, by the way, I deliberately didn't refer to 'high earning' jobs but 'high skill' jobs. We pay some graduates too much and others too little (nurses, for example). But in terms of what the economy needs, which was the original point, high skills not high earnings is more relevant. 

    29 minutes ago, BigFatCoward said:

    i'd also like to see figures comparing like for like, not just university attendees versus non university pupils.  For those at the lower levels of society I'm sure there is a difference, but the more you move up the social classes i bet there is almost no difference (not that giving the poor a leg up isn't a worthwhile endeavour). 

    It's hard to do a comparison because there are lots of confounding factors. But the analysis suggests the reverse: that the bigger graduate earnings premiums go to higher social class graduates.


    This is for several reasons, many of which are related, including choice of degree subject, choice of institution, access to more enriching opportunities while studying, access to better post-graduation employment opportunities, earlier average graduation age (because mature students are disproportionately from lower SE classes), and so on. 

  6. 1 hour ago, BigFatCoward said:

    i disagree with HOI on almost everything, but the amount of people going to university that have no business going to university, and leaving with 50 grands worth of debt and no discernible skills is absurd.  

    As someone who has worked in HE for his entire career, I've learned that this is a meme that won't die. People are simply not willing to accept any amount of factual information to the contrary - and pretty much all the factual information is to the contrary. 

    Almost everyone who goes to university in the UK benefits from doing so in multiple ways, even if they don't graduate. Survey after survey shows that they acquire useful skills, disproportionately wind up in high skill jobs, and also gain non-career benefits like better resilience and health outcomes. 

    Almost no-one under the current system actually repays their full tuition fee debt. (Non-tuition fee debt is a more serious issue, and the government are implementing changes that mean this will no longer be true, but that's another story.)

    The actual biggest issues with universities these days are that they are chronically underfunded, like everything else in the public sector, and this is giving students a poorer educational experience. But the idea that there are too many graduates, which has been around for about twenty years and to which middle class people cling like a limpet, is just not true, and we know it isn't true. Anecdotes abound but the data is clear. 

    ETA - relating it back to the conference of fools that we were discussing earlier, you can't have it both ways here. If the UK is to be a high skill economy, we need lots of graduates. If it's fruit pickers you want, we're not going to be a rich country. 

    Somewhere in the middle there is also a shortage of skilled trades, as everyone knows, but that's another discussion. The solution to that is not people doing plumbing instead of a nursing degree. 

  7. The conference in question is a US import that previously didn't get much traction, but now is going international with this nativist nonsense. The theme, unofficially, is 'white people* don't behave as we'd like them to'. They don't have enough babies. They go to university. They don't want to work in certain jobs. They think wrong.

    The number of self-proclaimed libertarians attending this conference to complain that people are using their freedom wrong is certainly entertaining. But again it just illustrates the point: the modern Conservative party has nothing to say to most voters under 50 except 'you're doing your life wrong'.




    *sorry, 'British people'. They literally grandfather in some immigrants. Only the right ones though. The ones that vote Tory and don't have too many babies.

  8. 20 minutes ago, Kalnestk Oblast said:

    Biden, right now, is a fairly weak candidate in a fairly precarious position

    I cannot name a declared or likely candidate for President that this hasn't been said about. And I would bet serious cash money that any of the other declared or likely candidates would give their left arm to be in Biden's 'precarious' position.

  9. 17 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

    I agree. Except that Americans are dumb, forget recent history very quickly and might feel like the economy hasn't been amazing sauce under Biden. So they may do something incredibly stupid. Wouldn't be the first time. 

    The issue there is that Trump has not forgotten and will not let anyone else forget recent history.

    Apart from the grift, the main reason he's running is to literally relitigate the last election. I'm neither American nor in the US, but from what I read, once you take out the diehards, even voters who might give Trump a second chance are put off by that.

  10. 8 hours ago, butterweedstrover said:

    People don't want reassurances that everything is the same because his personal definition of "number one priority" is the same as it was since 2014, which is to say inadequate.  

    Those people - not everyone - have this particularly odd idea that somehow, GRRM's problems would all be solved if he just... decided that the thing he already talks about as his life's work and legacy and has worked on for decades was more important?

    That goes in the same bin as 'he just needs to work harder'. The idea that there's a simple solution and that it lies in the author's work ethic may be comforting in a weird way, but it's clearly not true.

  11. 11 hours ago, kav2001c said:

    GRRM basically said "Oh remember when I said I was working on Winds? Psyche! I have actually been working on and going over HotD episodes, 5 times to go over each"

    That's a very odd way to interpret the phrase 'WINDS continues to be priority number one', an explicit reassurance that he has continued to and will continue to work on the book regardless: but you do you.

  12. 2 hours ago, dog-days said:

    I haven't been following the coronation discussions here and elsewhere closely, but at least based on the Twitter reactions I've been seeing, the talk has been mainly about the rather striking dress. Think there's also a narrow but deep gulf between 'that person looks really elegant'* and typical 'totally fuckable/eight out of ten/I'd tell her to sit on my face if I was Sunak' locker-room talk.

    Well, we haven't quite got as bad as the latter lot. But, though some people clearly don't like to see it pointed out, the comments we do have about Mordaunt were more in that vein than the 'elegant dress' vein.

    I certainly won't pretend I don't notice a good looking woman (though honestly, I see more attractive women than Mordaunt every day). And I'm certainly anything but a prude, as I think anyone who knows me is aware. But there's a time and a place and a way to comment on these things that's not crass and reductive of women in public life. We can do better, folks.

    2 hours ago, dog-days said:

    Re: the article. I did like the way that at the end the breakdown was: 50% good people, 25% excellent, 25% walking problems that should never have been recruited in the first place. I've had relatives in the police, and do feel for the ones trying to do a decent job while the horrors go around stamping on whatever good will has been created by the others. 

    * In the context of an event focused on appearance and pageantry 

    I've known a few police personally myself, and had some good experiences as well as bad ones. And I can't blame folks for not speaking out sometimes: it must be exhausting trying to be a decent person in that culture. But that's the point: the culture needs to change.

  13. 20 hours ago, dog-days said:

    This extract from a book by former Special Constable Matt Lloyd-Rose makes pretty good reading. Not as completely down on the Met as it initially seems, though still critical. 

    I read that extract and then some of the comments on this thread and have to wonder why it's bad for officer to be 'talent spotting' but OK for users here to be discussing Penny Mordaunt purely in terms of her physical attractiveness.

  14. 6 hours ago, Spockydog said:


    8 hours ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

    Ukip gone [snip]

    These two posts are telling the same story. The Tories, for years, were worried about being outflanked on the right by UKIP and various other lunatics. Now, there's no good reason to vote for those parties because the Conservative front bench are positioned to the right of where UKIP was back in the 2010s. But that has put off middle-of-the-road voters, not because they're repulsed by these policies but because the Tories - having been in government for so long - just have no ideas to address those voters' real priorities. All they talk about is issues of ideological purity. They have literally nothing to say to huge swathes of the electorate: anyone under 40, for example, would struggle to find a single Tory policy that speaks to their concerns.

  15. 7 minutes ago, polishgenius said:

    Honestly, that's what I liked about it. There's a lot going on, thematically etc.

    To be clear, I don't doubt that they were going for something other than what I said. But


    the way it comes over, in the end, is very much as I described. Partly I think it's a function of the episode being so brief: all we really get about Daal is that she wants to escape her life, for good reasons, and she and Quinn agree that if she gets the chance she must take it, no matter what. For me, that's not really enough to make her choice at the end tragic in the way a seduced-by-the-Dark-Side story should be. The problem is doubled because Daal was tricked into killing the Screecher and didn't understand the nature of the pendant - which is designed to fool the viewer, too. So it becomes, not a seduced-by-the-Dark-Side story, but a careful-what-you-wish-for story. And since what Daal wished for was perfectly reasonable, that doesn't work, for me.


  16. 24 minutes ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

    The restriction for front-facing staff is new and I’d be curious if its enforceable as its not in t&c.

    It is now. And if it's a properly assessed health and safety requirement, those tribunal cases (who goes straight to a tribunal?) are not likely to get far IMO.

    24 minutes ago, Derfel Cadarn said:

    Also since it’s apparently due to masking, which is nO longer really a thing, seems a bit like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted.

    Well, apropos of that:




    Governments and healthcare bodies around the world have not learnt the lessons from Covid-19 and are not ready for another pandemic, according to the boss of private healthcare firm Bupa.

    "We might face [another pandemic] soon," Iñaki Ereño said.


    He's not wrong. There will certainly be another pandemic in our lifetimes, possibly within the decade, probably airborne. Complaining about a key service instituting an RPE policy now is odd given that everyone would doubtless ask why they didn't have one in place before the next pandemic hits.

  17. 8 hours ago, polishgenius said:

    Okay, Screecher's Reach - the Cartoon Saloon episode- is incredible. 

    Visually, yes, without a doubt - although 'Sith' is the one thing I've watched in recent years that really made me wish I had a bigger TV. Simply amazing looking episode. So beautiful.

    But Screecher's Reach does fall down a bit for me story-wise.


    What's the message? Don't try to escape your shitty lives, peons, because you might shit on your friends, betray your ethics and wind up worse off?

    Also, bit of a waste of Anjelica Huston.

    I've watched up to episode 5 and can tell anyone who hasn't watched it yet, the Aardman episode is exactly what you would hope for. Perfect.


    The miniature Death Star popping out of the wing. I LOLed.


  18. 4 hours ago, mcbigski said:

    Jesus fucking christ.  Are they actually saying that you can buy 5 supreme court votes for 2 million each?  Because that looks the implication to me.

    That is probably an overestimate, yes.

    4 hours ago, mcbigski said:

    If a supreme court judge has broken the law, go ahead and charge them with something specific. 

    Ethics. Ethics is the issue. Not lawbreaking. Ethics and high standards are important in public life. This is where, I know, you'll start parroting right wing talking points about Biden, rather than discuss Donald Trump, a man whose entire life including his presidency has been defined by his contempt for the notion of ethical behaviour. But the modern Republican party is more or less defined by its absolute rejection of the notion that there should be standards in public life, and that does matter.

    4 hours ago, mcbigski said:

    Not sure where they have immunity or not, but they are subject to impeachment.  Go for it.  Everyone claims to want to have justices above reproach.  Let's apply that all the way down the line.

    Sure. Not many of Trump's appointees will be left, so that's good.

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