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Everything posted by mormont

  1. I've yet to see any research that shows there are any policies that increase native birth rates significantly and in the long term. All developed countries are looking for these, and as far as I know none has found a strategy that works. As for immigration in general, yes, migration due to climate change is due to increase. We have a choice there. We can manage that, or we can admit that all this stuff about how our success is due to our political and economic system and our values is nonsense, pull up the drawbridge, and ultimately, as Kal says, start shooting people to keep them out. A strategy that will fail, by the way. It's physically impossible to keep everyone out, even with armed patrols, and our economy can't survive that way anyway. Isolationism has never done anything but cripple a country. So the only strategy is to have a well managed immigration policy, one which takes account of the fact that immigration will have to increase both for 'push' and 'pull' reasons - more people will want to come here and we will need more of them to do so. There's no long term strategy where we can decrease immigration in the UK, no matter how much some people wish there was. This, by the way, is the view of such loony lefties as The Economist.
  2. You referred to doing something about immigration. Not about there being too much immigration. It's telling that these mean the same thing to you, but there you are.
  3. Hopefully, opened legal and safe routes for immigration, increased overall levels of immigration, established sensible, humane and managed asylum policies, worked with our neighbours in an open way that acknowledges our responsibilities under international law and our moral responsibilities as a participant in the international community, and all sorts of other things that would actually address the real problem and not the hyped up nonsense we get in the media instead. But, well, if wishes were horses.
  4. Anyway, that was the Tory conference, I guess. A barrage of bigotry and grandstanding, with an unsubtle undercurrent of yet more manoeuvering for a leadership challenge, all overshadowed by days of blatant lies that everyone knew were lies and were revealed to be lies in the leader's speech. What a crowd.
  5. This is as reductive as it is untrue.
  6. One of these parties is openly playing with mad conspiracy theories, racism, homophobia, and transphobia, is reversing progress on climate change, has wrecked the economy, is corrupt from top to bottom and is experimenting witn vote suppression. The 'overall scheme of things' is not always about economics. These things matter. Saying 'there's not a lot of difference between the two' is either foolish or callous. I wish there were more difference, including on economics, but saying that is to brush aside the very real importance of these differences to people's lives.
  7. It's also a lie. I'm sure you can find a Labour MP who's suggested a tax on meat, for example, but I will eat my hat* if Donelan has ever honestly heard a Labour MP or councilor who's in favour of restricting the number of times someone can go to the shops. That's paranoid conspiracy theory stuff that the Tories have weirdly decided to play with, despite knowing it's a, absolutely untrue and b, linked with some truly awful anti-Semitic world-government COVID-was-a-hoax 5G-can-be-used-to-kill-you stuff. A dangerous game. Anyway, we're now on to Mordaunt complaining that Labour want to 'drag the country back to the 80s', which is telling on three counts: - only has resonance to people who remember the 1980s ie over 50s, but these are the only voters the Tories care about any more. - the Tories were the actual government then. - they can't complain about how awful it was under Blair because, well, it wasn't. It wasn't great but it wasn't some awful spectre that they can invoke to provoke fear. *and I'm a re-enactor, most of my hats are metal.
  8. Even on a purely performance level, that was pretty bad. Stumbling speech, exaggerated and clumsy gesturing, stagey tone of voice. She looks like she read about sincerity somewhere and tried to practice it in front of a mirror. It takes some gall to get up at the Tory conference and complain about people who're insulated from reality by their privilege, but to be fair, they do it every year. They're telling the highly privileged delegates what they want to hear: that their grab bag of incoherent, unexamined prejudices are just realism and 'common sense'. If you really want to insulate someone from reality - praise them for being a realist.
  9. Today the Tory scattergun has also thrown out minimum service levels in that essential public service, university teaching. I've worked to represent students for 25 years and even to me, that one's a real head-scratcher. Also bans on mobile phones in school, because telling people what speed to drive at and how often is sinister government overreach but telling kids what to do is as popular as it always is.
  10. Today I learned that Jeremy Hunt doesn’t know what a ‘vicious circle’ is. (More likely he does know but just felt the phrase got across what he wanted - to make taxes sound evil, decouple them from the things they pay for, and make it sound like a natural phenomenon that happened spontaneously and that he’ll need time to fix, instead of addressing the fact that our tax system is regressive, hits lower earners disproportionately, doesn’t properly address public funding needs, and all of this is his party’s fault.)
  11. Thrawn is buying time to load the ship, which is why he doesn't 'just leave'. It will take 3 cycles. It's been laid out clearly that this is why he's aiming to buy time, and that actually he'd rather not fight Ezra and the rest at all, and will only do so to distract them to that end. Also, I've never watched Rebels so I've never encountered these characters, but surely it's obvious that Sabine is not being 'mysterious', she's avoiding Ezra's questions because she knows when he finds out what she did, he'll react very badly, and after their separation, she just wants to enjoy their reunion for a bit before that happens?
  12. Can we park our hobby horses, please, and get back to the topic at hand.
  13. She is wrong, and especially technically. She acknowledges that latter bit herself. You may mean that the headline describing what she said isn't technically wrong, which is probably true - simply being gay or a woman is not the basis for an asylum claim. But that's not what she said. (emphasis mine). Where she's particularly wrong is this idea that the world has changed and so this means the convention is no longer fit for purpose. It's still fit for purpose and needed as much as it ever was. It's just becoming inconvenient. And we don't abandon our moral duties because they are inconvenient.
  14. I’m not saying that, no. When you can’t win, don’t play, is my usual approach. But your last comment begs the question, in the original sense. It assumes that the problem is cowardice because your preferred answer is just to be braver. It reminds me of football fans who see a losing team and complain they’re just not trying hard enough, like nothing else could be the problem with a team of professional athletes. It’s the timeless appeal of the simple answer to a complicated question. I don’t think the Dems are cowards. I think they’re wrong about a lot of stuff, and sometimes too cautious, but caution isn’t always about courage.
  15. If you think that, I think you have misunderstood what I was saying. I'm not at all saying that Dems should not 'get back to their roots'. I'm saying both types of criticism are insincere.
  16. My only comment on the Fetterman thing is how it shows Dems can't win: they're criticised as 'out of touch elites' but if they show any signs of a common touch, the Republicans will swoon at the lack of decorum.
  17. Well, that's the thing: in addition to what I've said about it, it's also funny and sweet and charming and well made. It's a better film than it has any right to be.
  18. I'm sorry you didn't get that out of the movie, but you're wrong about this, and wrong about it being incoherent. Just my opinion, of course, but one that's widely shared. You can find whole essays about this, numerous critics have discussed it in their reviews, and Gerwig has talked about it in interviews. OK, but you're the one saying that, not me.
  19. It's right for those officers to step back from armed duty if they have concerns that they might be vulnerable to being charged. There is a whole other question about why they might be charged and whether the charges in this case are justified. They do indeed have 'weighty responsibilities' but I might have hoped they'd have considered that before taking the job. Anyway, the latest Sunak wheeze is to float the idea of abolishing inheritance tax, an unfunded tax cut which will disproportionately benefit the better off and do nothing at all for people on benefits, renters, the low paid, etc. Who will all then be told there's no money to help them, sorry. I recall saying at the time of the Sunak/Truss leadership contest that although he was better than Truss, we should not be fooled into thinking Sunak was a moderate. He's spent the week proving me right.
  20. I've spent a lot more than five minutes thinking about this movie, which has been very enjoyable and productive. You can switch your brain off when watching a film that has inspiration from Plato through to Milton and de Beauvior, I guess, but you're cutting yourself off from a lot of the best things about the film. But then, it's in the film's favour that it works on so many levels. ps the movie was co-written and directed by Gerwig, and she was given complete creative freedom. It's very much her vision from what I can understand, with input from her co-writer, of course, and Margot Robbie as a producer. For a major movie release, it's very much not written by committee.
  21. Again, we've had this discussion, but the money quote if you want to know what this film is 'about' is: The film is feminist and rightly engages with the complicated relationship between Barbie and feminism and the ways in which that reflects the development of feminist thought in a patriarchal society. But that's the B plot, not the A plot. The A plot is existentialist, not feminist. The movie explicitly recognises that patriarchy is just a way of trying to take control of our lives, of hiding from existential discomfort. It's not meaningless, nor harmless, but it's a distraction just the same. Barbie chooses to live in an imperfect (and patriarchal) mortal world, over a utopia, because she believes doing so will give her existence true meaning. (The same can be said of consumerism. The film engages with it through the Mattel CEO bit, but it's a sub-plot, not the plot.) The theme of the film right from the moment Barbie blurts out 'do you guys ever think about dying?' at the party is existential dread. That's what causes her to go to the real world, kicking off the story proper. Ken's patriarchy and the Mattel stuff are just things that happen along the way. They're neither the beginning of the plot, nor the end when they're resolved. The journey of the movie is Barbie coming to terms with mortality. And the film is IMO very successful in portraying that journey. The issue is that, understandably, a lot of folk come to the theatre with ideas about what this films is going to be about, and existential dread is not one of those things. Sometimes we see what we expect to see, and it confuses our perceptions a bit.
  22. I'm sure his defection to the Republican party is imminent. The natural home for those caught red-handed but who want to claim persecution.
  23. Can we let the Al Franken thing go already? Yes, Menendez has done far worse. But the relevance of Al Franken's resignation to that is nil, and the comparison actually downplays the gravity of the Menendez story. Whether you think Franken should have gone or not, it's ancient history in political terms and has nothing to do with this issue.
  24. Apparently he’s musing about charging for missed GP appointments again too. Just flailing at this point.
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