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The Subscription Economy - Why buy things you only use once? 87% Posted Jun 2017

The Subscription Economy - Why buy things you only use once?

Comment: 170 days ago

Not sure about his example of borrowing a turkey-roaster (whatever that is) for Thanksgiving - that's the day everyone will want to borrow it.

But hiring cars, tools, tuxedos makes a lot more sense

 

The Putin Interviews - Putin discusses NATO 87% Posted Jun 2017

The Putin Interviews - Putin discusses NATO

Comment: 171 days ago

Very clever man who is running rings round western foreign policy at the moment.

George Carlin - How to speak English 88% Posted Jun 2017

George Carlin - How to speak English

Comment: 173 days ago

I'm looking forward to George Carlin's next podcast on "How to build a career on not being funny"

Ubitricity 87% Posted Jun 2017

Ubitricity

Comment: 174 days ago

In the UK, stealing cables has been banned by the Queen. I don't know what you'll do in the USA

Why did the fire at Grenfell Tower spread so quickly? 86% Posted Jun 2017

Why did the fire at Grenfell Tower spread so quickly?

Comment: 177 days ago

If my building was on fire, I'd evacuate too.

Then I'd leave the building.

What Labour Party figures said about Jeremy Corbyn 87% Posted Jun 2017

What Labour Party figures said about Jeremy Corbyn

Comment: 177 days ago

absolutely spot-on

What Labour Party figures said about Jeremy Corbyn 87% Posted Jun 2017

What Labour Party figures said about Jeremy Corbyn

Comment: 177 days ago

Until 2011 the maximum time between elections was 5 years - then PM had to call an election, but could choose to do so pretty much at any time before the time was up. They tried to pick a time that suited them and their party. Elections were also called if there was a vote of no confidence passed.

In 2011 the Fixed Term Parliament Act was passed which should have meant (as the name implies) Parliaments lasted 5 years and no less. However, there's a clause that  if 2/3 of the House of Commons agrees then an election can be called.

This is what May did. She called an election before she had to and threw away her majority. The conservatives are very angry at her for doing this.

In order for this government to run for the full 5 years now, May has to keep passing legislation and avoiding a vote of no confidence. She is now in a coalition with an extreme right party (DUP); will have someone (Boris Johnson) snapping at her heels to replace her as leader of the conservatives; and has to manage a divided conservative party some of whom think she's too right-wing (and some think she's not right-wing enough). Sooner or later some conservatives will vote against her.

In order to keep passing legislation, she has to keep the DUP and moderate conservatives all on side, hope nobody gets ill or dies and everyone always turns up to vote. This is unlikely, so at some point they'll find it hard to make any progress and there will be a vote of no confidence that she'll likely lose.

What Labour Party figures said about Jeremy Corbyn 87% Posted Jun 2017

What Labour Party figures said about Jeremy Corbyn

Comment: 177 days ago

I suspect a wind-up, but it's Friday and the sun's shining, so...

1) Which part of my comment did you find confusing?

2) The big thing that changed is that the conservatives no longer have a majority in Parliament. I'm simplifying a bit - technically they don't have an overall majority in the Commons (look it up if you need to find out the difference between the House of Lords and the House of Commons). This means they can't pass legislation by themselves and need to form a coalition with another smaller party. There are many consequences from this.

3) This has had a major impact on Corbyn. Yes, labour did not get a majority, but they won so many seats from the conservatives that it shows his policies of recruiting the youth vote and having a socialist agenda are working (and he is "electable"). The labour centrists can no longer justifiably attack him and he has effectively united the party.

4) May's government cannot last long. The splits in the conservative party over Brexit, the strains of working in a coalition with the far right Irish DUP will make passing legislation very hard indeed. There will probably be another election in 6 months to a year and (if he does more of the same) Corbyn and labour will win it.

Here endeth the lesson.

What Labour Party figures said about Jeremy Corbyn 87% Posted Jun 2017

What Labour Party figures said about Jeremy Corbyn

Comment: 177 days ago

As someone said recently on here, "I wish you would read my comments more closely so I don’t have to repeat myself."

What Labour Party figures said about Jeremy Corbyn 87% Posted Jun 2017

What Labour Party figures said about Jeremy Corbyn

Comment: 177 days ago

Go on then I'll take that as a serious question.

Before this election the labour party was pretty well split: the left supported (and elected as leader) Corbyn; the centrist ("Blairite") faction did not.

The Blairites campaigned within the party against Corbyn because they thought the British public would not want him as Prime Minister, so would not vote labour and a lot of labour MPs would be out of a job.

This is what those Blairites meant when they decribed Corbyn as "unelectable". They did not mean unelectable (by the people of Islington) as MP for his constituency or unelectable (by the labour party members) as leader of the party.

They thought the public as a whole would not vote labour in their own areas/"constituencies" because they would not want Corbyn as PM.

It turns out they were wrong.

Russell Brand - who really won, May or Corbyn 87% Posted Jun 2017

Russell Brand - who really won, May or Corbyn

Comment: 178 days ago

I stand corrected on the Declaration of Independence. We've already covered the "tyrannical government of England" in another topic. Basically it seems to come down to paying taxes without a representative in Parliament (not exactly Abu Ghraib.)

Is Magna Carta still a "viable document"? Yes, in that it still informs the law (and is part of our unwritten constitution).

I note you term it "your precious Magna Carta". Well yes, over here we  think habeas corpus and the right to a fair trial with due process are precious. I do understand that Americans think these are arbitrary, but we take human rights a bit more seriously.

The Museum of Failure 87% Posted Jun 2017

The Museum of Failure

Comment: 178 days ago

Snappy come-back, but you missed making cracks about her race, gender and state of health.

Russell Brand - who really won, May or Corbyn 87% Posted Jun 2017

Russell Brand - who really won, May or Corbyn

Comment: 178 days ago

The USA has a written constitution, the UK has an unwritten one. Neither is cast in stone, so get over it.

If the US constitution were immutable, it wouldn't have codified amendments (or are you going to pretend that "amendment" doesn't mean "change"?)

And beyond amendments, the US constitution is interpreted in different ways. "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" didn't include slaves to begin with.

Abortion wasn't mentioned by the Founding Fathers, what was and was not included in Free Speech has also been interpreted.

So, you have a document which has been added to and interpreted since 1776?

Big deal. We have one that dates from 1215 - and Magna Carta not only set the law above the Crown, it also gave us habeas corpus (something notably absent from the USA's treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo).

Mark Blyth: Welcome to the new Britain 86% Posted Jun 2017

Mark Blyth: Welcome to the new Britain

Comment: 179 days ago

I think he's definitely grown into leadersip. 6 months ago (frankly, 6 weeks ago) I was pessimistic. He wasn't coming over well on the mainstream media, his party was split, he'd already faced 2 leadership challenges. It seemed the way forward was for labour to lose the election catastrophically, elect someone more uniting/competent then hit the election 5 years from now.

Instead, he's proved us all wrong. He's united the party, ignored the mainstream media (or downplayed it in favour of social media) and come across as a credible leader/opposition/government in waiting.

If labour don't now rest on their laurels but keep growing the youth vote while chipping away at the tory "coalition of chaos", I'd say we'll be looking at a labour government by this time next year.

UBI might be a stretch - I'm not sure it's in the public consciousness enough yet. Decriminalising cannabis might be on the cards (Legalising might be too big a step) Renationalising at least some of the privatised central services seems likely.

But PR? Personally I would like to see it happen (it would allow greater Green representation) but labour traditionally have opposed it: FPTP has always favoured the 2-party Lab/Con politics to the detriment of the smaller parties. But maybe this is the time. Labour have lost Scotland under FPTP so PR could be a way for them to recapture Scottish labour supporters.

Fingers crossed - that would change the face of British politics.

The Museum of Failure 87% Posted Jun 2017

The Museum of Failure

Comment: 179 days ago

No, but there's a strong and stable plinth reserved for someone else

Bernie slams Trump at the Oxford Union 93% Posted Jun 2017

Bernie slams Trump at the Oxford Union

Comment: 180 days ago

I'm glad you finally admit the USA is guilty of torture inflicted on inmates at Guantanamo (waterboarding) but while that may have stopped, it wasn't the only "enhanced interrogation techniques" practised.

Here's the relevant paragraph from Article 17 of the Geneva Convention:

"No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind."

Are you still going to maintain that the USA abides by the Geneva Convention?

 

 

Bernie slams Trump at the Oxford Union 93% Posted Jun 2017

Bernie slams Trump at the Oxford Union

Comment: 181 days ago

The Geneva Convention states that PoWs should not be interrogated (as has extensively happened to the inmates in Guantanamo), so your argument falls at the first fence. The USA is breaking the Geneva Convention either by holding them illegally - or by interrogating "prisoners of war". You can't have it both ways.

Secondly, Guantanamo is not a neutral nation: it's an American military base - so your argument is in shreds.

Let's be honest: the USA thinks it's OK to pick up anyone it doesn't like, hold them indefinitely without trial, torture (sorry, "interrogate") them and then to claim the moral high-ground.

The hypocrisy is staggering.

 

Bernie slams Trump at the Oxford Union 93% Posted Jun 2017

Bernie slams Trump at the Oxford Union

Comment: 181 days ago

That's neither here nor there. no giraffes are held at Guantanamo, either,

The point is that it's US policy to capture/kidnap people and hold them indefinitely without trial.

It must be embarassing to live in a country that rejects such basic human rights as habeas corpus. No wonder Trump and Putin get on so well.

Bernie slams Trump at the Oxford Union 93% Posted Jun 2017

Bernie slams Trump at the Oxford Union

Comment: 181 days ago

"Guilty until proven innocent" - you mean like Guantanamo?

What is a hung parliament? 86% Posted Jun 2017

What is a hung parliament?

Comment: 183 days ago

"From what you remember"? Not sure where you got that.

The PM is the leader of the party with the greatest number of seats (Members of Parliament). The post is not selected by the monarch. Going to the Palace to ask permission to form a government is a formality and probably done to establish the relationship between the monarch and the incoming PM.

We don't select our ministers by voting. We elect an MP for our local area ("constituency"). The leader of whichever party has the most MPs becomes Prime Minister. The PM appoints members of the cabinet (the ministers).

"The Queen may decide to use the popular vote if she wishes. It's all up to her how she wants to make that choice." Where on earth did you get this from? It might have been true before the Civil War (ours, not yours) but absolute power of the monarchy disappeared when Charles I lost his head.

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