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55 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Mr No Deal versus Mr N... · 0 replies · +1 points

Not only a Guardian reader, but believes every word printed there.

56 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Henry Hill: GERS Day -... · 0 replies · +1 points

Surely the Scots came to us (the English) in the first place because they were bankrupt. This situation has persisted ever since 1704, with possibly a small exception when North Sea oil first came rolling in. But there is no way the Scots will ever be solvent on their own - raise taxes and many will move South, lower benefits and the SNP will be out of business. Why do these people persist in their impossible dream and send their representatives down to Westminster to insult and harass their generous funding cousins at every opportunity?

56 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Parvez Akhtar: The Gov... · 2 replies · +1 points

It is easy after the event to say that Kashmir should have been an independent state from the start, with a non-religious constitution. But what has happened in recent weeks is unethical and downright dangerous for peace in the area. In other border wars since 1947 Pakistan have occupied territory from Indian-governed Kashmir and have ethnically cleansed the Hindu and non-Muslim parts of the territory. Now it looks as if India are going to open up 'their' Kashmir to settlement by non-Muslims, something that will stir-up the Pakistani authorities. We have two nuclear armed nations here, neither of which has a good record in the region, about to accuse each other of illegal actions over a repeal of some laws in a very suspicious way - and not for the good of Kashmiris. We should definitely remonstrate with both governments and try to quieten things down, but Modi is in his Hindu-nationalism mode and is unlikely to listen to anyone. He is enforcing the ability of Hindus to own property in Kashmir and likely to go much further before he is done. This WILL result in war and maybe a very bloody one. I personally believe that we can do very little now, but that little should be done. Discuss with Modi, raise it in the UN, discuss with Imran Khan. But above all get diplomatically active in the region before something really bad kicks off.

57 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Neil Hudson: Animal we... · 1 reply · +1 points

Stunning in and of itself is not by any stretch of the imagination a humane process. It is the whole process, from transport to the abattoir, reception, passage through to slaughter that matters. The respect shown in well-run halal and kosher abattoirs compared to many non-religious slaughter-houses leaves a very large gap in treatment. The stun/not-stun process is only in the last few seconds of a minutes long ordeal. The action of cutting the arteries and nerves at one stroke renders the animal comatose as quickly as putting the bolt-gun accurately in the skull. The argument is specious at best, motivated by outside factors at worst.

57 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Neil Hudson: Animal we... · 3 replies · +1 points

Our negotiators will be working within the rules as they stand. Any agreement outside our existing rules will require modification to our laws - thus a debate in Parliament. I would suggest that such a step is very rare and liable to failure. Trade deals may stretch existing rules, but seldom break them. If the country with whom we are negotiating does not accept the British standing rules, then they will surely fail to come to an agreement, in a similar manner to us not observing the other countries rules. The idea of negotiation is not to overturn the rules, but to find accommodation within the rules.

57 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Neil Hudson: Animal we... · 1 reply · +1 points

No Deal is a temporary step on the road to a Free Trade Deal with the EU. It is temporary. It does not affect FTAs with other nations. We can make deals with regard to foodstuffs, animal trading and other matters affecting farming and other agricultural and environmental matters within weeks, if we so desire. The EU may take longer as their efforts to protect French, Belgian and other farmers and outdated theories on animal welfare will take a long time to change. However much of our current trade with European countries will continue as they need our products, as we need theirs. ('Need' being an interpretive word :-) ). The big decisions will be made in the other FTAs and will carry through to the EU Agreement under British terms. Our animal welfare and Genetically Modified rules apply to each and every country that wishes to export to us. As it will when we leave te EU (No Deal or with Deal is immaterial). Please look to the 'sunny uplands' of life outside the EU, not the Vale of Despond that is the immediate, albeit short, time of dealing with EU Trade negotiators.

57 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Asher Glynn: One-natio... · 1 reply · +1 points

'One nation Conservatism' is now only a badge worn by a few discontented left-of-centre Conservatives. It has nothing to do with a complete political/philosophical mindset as was the case a century-and-a-half ago. Maybe David Cameron could see a path back to such an outlook and maybe he believed in the premise. But I doubt those who wear the badge today could give you a rounded view of what they hope to achieve.
To me, the ideals of the past are still an idea worth pursuing and the bringing together of all classes under the one umbrella, with benefits for all, contributions from all, is in many ways the ideal society. But is it achievable - is it even a vote-winner? I am not sure. It is something I would like to see, but with the greed that modern-day society seems to exhibit from top to bottom, from the bankers and hedge-fund managers drawing lunatic salaries that they will never spend in their life-times, to the greed of those lower down the ladder, who want more wages for less work, or no work at all and their closed-shop practices (the train-drivers spring to mind) leaves many of us with no place to turn. A more equitable society is possible, but will it ever happen?

58 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Iain Dale: Who's afrai... · 1 reply · +1 points

I hesitate to interrupt the two of you, as I was only briefly in HK in the early 90s. But militarily was the fate of Singapore in WWII ever considered when planning our 'defence' of the New Territories, Kowloon and the island? It was surely germane to the argument.
I cannot understand why we did not at least start by insisting on the treaty rights of holding Kowloon and HK Island in perpetuity. It would have been difficult having a border running along Boundary Road, but an accommodation could have been found - moving the border to the nine hills, for instance. That would at least have allowed the Mong Kok police barracks to keep their sports club.
The thing that surprises me in all this is that the Hong Kong Chinese population should be so keen on having the democratic 'rights' that they are demanding now. They had nothing under the British. They were just there to serve the demands of their 'masters'. OK - they excelled in surpassing those masters and themselves getting into government, but not at the behest of their fellow Hong Kongers - they simply joined the cabal of successful businessmen who ruled the territory. Democracy was not in the interests of any of the governing class.

58 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Iain Dale: Who's afrai... · 0 replies · +1 points

One conference in 2017, sponsored by Nudgestock, that is run by Ogilvy. Behavioural science in the service of marketing. Would anyone anticipate that comments made at such a gathering would be of interest to those outside the tight circle of advertising executives.

58 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Iain Dale: Who's afrai... · 1 reply · +1 points

Oh for an integrated spell-checker. Ian says lighting rod, you say lightening rod. Neither makes sense.
Lightning rod, ffs!!

(Sorry - I do get pedantic at times. Must be the Grammar School training)