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Government confirms plans to repeal the Fixed-term Parliaments Act Fixed Term.
The next general election under the fixed term agreement was due to take place in 2024 the proposed changes mean the sitting government can chose the most advantageous date that may help their re-election. Of course the spin does not say that in the pre-election pledges its really fot he public good.

We want to return to constitutional arrangements that give people more confidence in what to expect, and more security.

Boris as Prime Minister may parachute out long before any chosen election date but the Tory party will hang on until the covid pandemic has eased and memories of the Brexit debacle have faded. Masses of propaganda from the right-wing press 'make Great Britain Great Again' (GB to GA) and everything in Gove's garden is lovely especially if he becomes PM. :trustme:
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Here's the BBC's take on that...
`Boris Johnson able to call early election under proposed new law' Boris

The BBC Economics editor also has this - here we go again!
`Will there be a further Brexit breach of the law?' LINK
`As early as Thursday, I'm told, the Treasury is planning to announce it is to bring a Taxation Bill to the Commons next week that might need to contain clauses breaking international law, specifically the Northern Ireland Protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement..'.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
It's good to hear a Republican giving Trump a kicking! :smile:
`Trump inciting violence, says Georgia election official' LINK
`A US state of Georgia election official has said President Donald Trump will bear responsibility for any violence that results from unsubstantiated election fraud claims he has stoked. In a fiery statement, Gabriel Sterling, a Republican, said: "It's all gone too far! All of it! It has to stop!"...Voice quaking with anger at a news conference in Atlanta, Mr Sterling, the state's voting systems implementation manager, rebuked his fellow Republicans, including the president.

`He said a 20-year-old contractor in Gwinnett County for Dominion Voting Systems, which has become the subject of baseless right-wing conspiracy theories, had received death threats. The worker's family was also getting harassed, Mr Sterling added. The unnamed man had been threatened with a noose and accused of treason, Mr Sterling said, after transferring a report on ballot batches to a county computer so he could read it. Mr Sterling said he himself has a police guard outside his home, while the wife of Georgia's Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, was "getting sexualised threats through her cell phone". "Mr President, you have not condemned these actions or this language," added Mr Sterling. "Senators, you have not condemned these actions or this language. "We need you to step up and if you're going to take a position of leadership, show some!" He added: "Death threats, physical threats, intimidation, it's too much, it's not right, they've lost the moral high ground to claim that it is."'
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

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I would have thought that any thoughts about 'the future' would be more coherent if decisions were put on hold until we have seen the size of the rabbit in 2021. Nobody knows what is going to happen.
Joe Public is left in the wake picking up clues. One I heard recently was a slip of the tongue when Laura Kuenssberg referred to Michael Gove as a 'Cabinet Office Member'. He is of course a member of the Cabinet but it looks as though that forum now takes second place to the Cabinet Office. Shades of the West Wing and Presidential ambitions.
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I can't quite understand what's going on in American politics. The Republicans currently control the senate which can effectively block much of Biden's actions. Then we see that there are two seats shortly up for re-election which could retain the status quo or give the control of the senate to the democrats. Some 'stop the steal, put him in gaol' republicans are advocating a republican boycott of the elections giving it to the democrats. Why?
Post your conspiracy theory here.
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Americast discussed this a couple of weeks ago and predicted trouble. In a nutshell, the important senate election is for two Georgia seats which need to be Republican for them to have a majority in the Senate. However Trump has been pouring criticism on the the leaders and election officials in the state, claiming it's all fraudulent because he lost the presidential vote. He's been undermining the confidence of the state's Republican voters and the worry now is that they won't come out to vote in the senate election, in which case the Dems get in and the senate will be split 50:50. More here: NBC

NB. The two R candidates, Perdue and Loeffler, are a dodgy couple. Politico
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I'm more interested in UK politics at the moment. Something must be happening in Westminster but we are being smothered in a fog of vaccine news instead of being kept informed about our future.
We got a glimpse through the furnace door this morning. Downing Street see Monday as crunch day but then waffle about the EU ministers meeting on Thursday. At the same time 'sources' inside Downing Street tell us that the EU has introduced 'new factors' into the discussions. Mr Barnier says there is nothing new. Looks like a bit of preparation for arse-covering if there is no agreement.
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Of course the Daily Express throws its weight behind the UK government's claims that it's the EU who are being awkward, not the UK - although the BBC reports:`The UK and the EU will resume talks on a post-Brexit trade deal on Friday despite a senior UK government source saying the prospect of a breakthrough is "receding". With time running out, sources suggested Brussels had made new demands on how rules and regulations should be enforced. But an EU source told the BBC "there were never any surprises or new demands" from their side. BBC

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One of the big issues in Brexit was to 'get back our controls' then we find parliament trying to bring in a law to cancel a previous internationally recognised agreement. (not agreed by the house of Lords but can still be passed by Parliament). This demonstrates the fact that the UK was always in a position to make its own laws and if necessary brake internationally agreed laws. Just another of the Brexit propaganda lies. With this in mind consider all the so called immutable dead lines that we have set ourselves to finalize the transition period. There is nothing to stop parliament extending of cancelling the Brexit programme altogether. The EU may take a very dim view of this and carry on as if nothing had happened ie: you said you wanted out so you are out. On the other hand they may agree but now hold all the cards and dictate all the terms to their advantage. So what can you do when your back's against a stone wall and you have been boxed into a corner ? turn round and fight your way out ??????
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The Brexit talks - in their final days - are predictably in crisis. Covid 19 is rampant, and the vaccine programme need a lot of explaining and organising. The new Vaccine Minister has not yet put been seen in public.The Business Minister who drew the short straw for media appearances today, doesn't seem to know the difference between a hundred thousand and a hundred million.

The First Floosie who is hot - on green matters - persuaded the Prime Minister to announce a new de- carbonising target to be achieved by 2030. Curious choice of start and finish dates.

The UK will aim to cut its carbon emissions by at least 68% of what they were in 1990 by the end of 2030, Boris Johnson has announced. The PM said the "ambitious" target would see the UK cutting emissions faster than any major economy so far.
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I am not au fait with every detail of Brexit but it seems to me that from the very earliest encounters the EU published a very clear set of proposals that were their basic position. This was agreed by all the member nations and to my knowledge, apart from making some minor concessions, the EU hasn't changed the fundamental rules they set out from the first. The cries of 'foul' we are hearing from the Right were totally predictable. (I remember Richard Broughton foretelling all this many years ago......) Every glitch we hit will be the fault of the EU.
Question is do the Brexiteers hold their nerve right up to the wire. I suspect they will on the spurious grounds of sovereignty and national pride. Ingerland rules, OK? They have fought for No Deal and are not going to give up now. If the government did a U-Turn on this there would be an immediate Tory revolt.
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Slipped out under the radar Sunak has reduced the proposed spend on railways by £1 Billion from a previously declared budget of £10.4 Billion.
Austerity What austerity??
From BBC news
Rishi Sunak had previously promised record infrastructure investment as part of the government's "levelling up" agenda.
Until now, Network Rail's "enhancement" budget for the five year period from 2019-24 had been set at £10.4bn.
But, this week rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris said that the budget would now be £9.4bn.

From Yahoo news
The cut put a question mark over planned projects and improvements to rail infrastructure across the UK, including increasing capacity at Leeds station, a long-term fix to overcrowding at London’s Clapham Junction station and the electrification of lines linking Wigan and Bolton in north-west England.
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Plaques mentioned the demands to `take back control'. That's what Farage and the Brexiteer Tory European Research Group wanted. It raises the question `Do we really want to let those people take back control?

By the way, just in case we need to know, here's what to do if we soon decide we made a mistake (and a majority now believe we did)...
`Membership 2.0: what the UK rejoining the EU would involve' (from 23 Jan 2020) LINK
`What would it take for the UK to rejoin the EU? Anthony Salamone sets out how the UK would have to change and the demands the Union would make. Abandoning its opt-outs, the UK would have to start from scratch and accept being a more normal member state – and thus make its second EU membership much more positive and inclusive...'.
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Ken is quite right about Sunak and his real agenda. Put aside the freedom he got to spend like a drunken sailor and concentrator on the signs that he is a very typical Tory Chancellor whose first instinct is to protect the wealthy (himself included)
Very telling links Peter. That's always bothered me, the further we went into the negotiations and readjustments the harder it would be to re-enter or cancel the application to leave. We had the best of both worlds before but weren't satisfied. What we are going to end up with is far worse, inside or outside the EU.
See THIS the latest BBC report on the phone call yesterday which didn't solve anything.
I have this strange feeling that everyone thinks there is still time for a last minute rapprochement but they are mistaken and are in for a hell of a shock. Brexit by accident looks the most likely outcome to me at the moment.
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We keep hearing about the actions Trump is taking to make life difficult for Joe Biden when he becomes Potus. Many are obvious, some less so. An example is that he has now added China's biggest computer chip-maker SMIC to a list of companies instigated under an executive order seeking to prevent US capital from funding the modernisation of China's military. The BBC's Gordon Carera says `The Trump administration will also be counting on it being hard for a Biden administration to be seen to roll back measures for fear of being accused of going "soft" on Beijing.'
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I watch Trump performing his version of election 2020 and am torn between hating him and pitying him. I don't think anyone can argue now that he isn't deluded. There doesn't seem to be any mechanism to deal with this...
Come to think it's a bit like that here at the moment.
Brexit. More 'last ditch' negotiations in Brussels today. 'The wire' has been said to be Thursday now.
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Stanley wrote: 06 Dec 2020, 12:35 I don't think anyone can argue now that he isn't deluded.
Agreed - here's what Andrew Neil has spotted -

President Trump has sent 145 twitter messages in last week, nearly all about how he really “won” the election. Only four about Covid, which is now taking 3,000 American lives a day. Yes, 3,000 a day.
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I've chopped this analysis piece by BBC Europe editor Katya Adler out of one of today's news stories...
--------------------------------------------------------------
The EU wants this deal. A no-deal scenario would be costly for EU businesses - a nightmare for European fishing communities, largely dependent on access to UK waters.

So the German car industry and others must be lobbying EU governments hard to use these two extra days of talks to finally seal the deal, right?

Wrong.

The UK government isn't the only one briefing that no deal "is better than a bad deal". EU countries that do most trade with the UK, like France, the Netherlands and Belgium, say that too.

This week they piled the pressure on those representing them in negotiations not to give "too much" away. France threatens to use its veto, while Germany speaks softly of red lines and compromise.

The tone is different; the message the same. The EU priority is to protect its single market in a deal with the UK.

It insists the government must sign up to "fair competition rules" and an agreed method to enforce them, before it gets better access to the single market than any other non-EU country not closely aligned to the bloc.

During this last-minute negotiating push, EU governments say they're mindful not to sign up to a deal in a panicked rush.

If push comes to shove, they say, they prefer the short-term pain of no deal, in order to protect their longer-term interests: not exposing their businesses to what they view as unfair competition in their own single market.

But EU fingers are tightly crossed a compromise can still be found.
--------------------------------------------------------------
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I heard an industry spokesman, I think for transport, yesterday and thought he made a lot of sense. He said that he didn't understand what all the talk of preparation was about because as far as he was aware nobody had any idea of what they were preparing for, none of the mechanisms or facilities was in place and even if they could start this week with full information and all the facilities in place and tested there was no way they could be ready for January 1st.
His advice was to get ready for transport chaos especially at the Chanel ports.
What strikes me is that there are all the other aspects of interaction with the EU that have to be addressed, there are thousands of them and I haven't heard any good news about any of them.
How can any piece of paper address all the problems we now face Deal or No Deal?
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Can't fully understand this last minute negotiation brinkmanship. Negotiating a compromise is by definition a compromise, the end result being no outright winners both sides being both winners and losers . The nearer you get to the end date then the 'advantage' moves towards those with the least to lose. In terms of total trade the EU looks like the loser but within any EU country the individual loss is much less therefore the big loser then becomes the UK. Another question is which is more likely to suffer a total collapse as a result of the UK leaving the EU. Normally the party with the most capital behind them usually survives.
To my mind our position on a no deal is on a par with the turkeys suffering from avian flu they will have avoided the Christmas cull.
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I have to agree with you Ken. I too cannot see any sense in what is happening, not only in how we got to this situation but also how we are managing the situation as it is.
But I would say that wouldn't I....
It's just been announced by the Irish delegate that no progress at all was made yesterday. I think the message is clear, don't rely on anything you hear. Wait for eventual certainty.
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I hope folk remeber who got us into this disater and how it has all been mismanaged. Four years since the vote and two years straight to sort it out and they are still pratting about. It's actually criminal in my book on the grounds of dereliction of duty. As Stanley though, I would say that would't I?
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I agree with all of you although (with regard to Plaques' comment) I usually explain the trade differential between EU and UK as being that a large chunk of our exports go to the EU whereas only a small fraction of theirs comes to the UK.

Someone on the radio this morning said that Boris is now being heard singing Waltzing Matilda. I suggest that they heard the tune but were not near enough to hear the words. He's really singing Marlborough's Marching Song which is where the tune of Waltzing Matilda comes from. This was used by the Duke of Marlborough (ancestor of Winston Churchill, Boris Johnson's hero) to attract recruits for his army when Britain and its allies fought the French and Spanish in the War of the Spanish Succession at the beginning of the 1700s. There are different versions of the song, such as these: LINK 1 LINK 2

(In passing, that's when we gained Gibraltar and replaced the Dutch as the leading maritime and commercial European power. All rousing stuff for the likes of Boris Johnson and the Brexiteers! :smile: )
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Actually Peter, I think you have put your finger on the aspect of what is happening that most angers me. It's the English disease of looking backwards to past glories, conflating that with spurious traditions (often 19th Century inventions to boost Royalty) and imagining this can be projected forwards to give us a path to the future. It's all delusion of course. You only have to listen to Johnson going off into one of his inspirational flights of fancy to realise that he imagines we can move into some sort of golden age when we had complete control of the country, Parliament and the Empire. It never existed of course but these fools think it did and it can be repeated if only we have full control over all aspects of our lives.
I've read the Matthew Parris article you sent me Peter and as usual he produces clever arguments but doesn't actually go for a killer blow. The nearest he gets to it for me is when he says that we ignored the benefits of being part of the most noble cooperative experiment that emerged from WW2, the EU and a coordinated Europe working together instead of against each other. Further, this was always regarded as an internal Tory Party matter when it was obvious from the start that it should have been subjected to all Party cooperation and even a Coalition National Government like the one we used to get us through WW2. I argued then and still believe the threat was just as great.
But that's all water under the bridge now. All we can do as a nation is accept whatever we are presented with, try to manage it and hopefully do some serious thinking about the future of the UK or whatever is left of it after the chaos that is coming.
This is the single worst political decision ever. Full stop! The full extent of the delusion we have been subjected to will shortly become obvious. An expensive way to find the truth.
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Well said! The bit about the `noble cooperative experiment' is important but I agree there's more than that to be considered. We should be progressing towards a united world, not fragmenting. Coronavirus and climate change alone should make that obvious. Then we have to take into account our expansion into the deep oceans and outer space. It all requires unity and cooperation. One day we might even be visited by an alien life form - how would we cope with that unless we were a united world?
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Tizer wrote: 08 Dec 2020, 10:49 One day we might even be visited by an alien life form - how would we cope with that unless we were a united world?
We have already been invaded, one is called Donald and the other Boris.
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