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Current location: Scotland
Member since: Mon Sep 7, 2009, 12:57 AM
Number of posts: 5,638

Journal Archives

How a president can use Twitter


Joe Biden

When I think of climate change, I think about jobs. Good-paying, union jobs that put Americans to work, make our air cleaner, and rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure.

Brexit stockpiling causing 10-mile tailbacks in Calais

Severe delays as businesses try to get goods into Britain before a potential no-deal Brexit on 1 January
The delays in crossing the Channel are causing acute problems in the UK. Honda and Jaguar have had to halt production temporarily because of parts shortages, and it emerged on Friday that Ikea had been besieged by complaints because of what it called “operational challenges” as shipments of its flatpack furniture are held up at clogged ports.
Eurotunnel said it believed delays on the British side would continue for the next three weeks. Its contingencies centre on the worst-case scenario of a no-deal Brexit involving up to 7,000 lorries queuing in Kent.
The delays have been matched by long tailbacks at the Eurotunnel, caused partly by a reduction in the number of ferries because of Covid and the number of empty lorries returning to the continent after their stockpiling deliveries. Queues sometimes stretching back at least five miles have formed almost every day for the past two weeks.
The drive to stockpile flows from the fact that customs, regulatory and agrifood checks will be introduced deal or no deal because the UK is leaving the single market. Further disruption is expected over the weekend in Kent with a live test of Operation Brock, the no-deal traffic contingency plan for the M20, put in place on Friday night.


There are also reports of 12-mile tailbacks into Dover today. This was the scene on 9 December:


Liam Jesson

Brexit hasn’t even happened yet and this was the queue for Dover - Calais sailings this morning ⁦@simoncoveney⁩ ⁦@BorisJohnson⁩ #BrexitShambles #BrexitReality ⁦@Nigel_Farage⁩

[Twitter video]

That clip works. So does this one:

"Perkins, I want you to lay down your life. We need a futile gesture at this stage to raise the whole tone of the war."

Is this COVID Derangement Syndrome or Brexit Derangement Syndrome?

Or do they overlap?



Gavin Williamson tells LBC the UK approved a Covid vaccine first because ‘we're a much better country’ than France, Belgium and the US.

[Twitter video]

When you need to confirm you're not a robot (Twitter video)


Johnson is an immediate spur, yes, but

he's just the latest and most blatant Westminster leader to be utterly tonedeaf and arrogantly dismissive of not just Scotland's, but the (especially northern) English regions', Wales's and Northern Ireland's concerns as well.

Because of population distribution, MPs from southern English constituencies will always heavily outnumber those from outside England and its other regions. This may not matter as much if a UK government is sensitive to the needs of the areas outside the southeast of England, nearer London, but few have done more than offer lipservice in recent times. Especially with the current government, Westminster acts as the English parliament and the Tories have enough MPs to override pretty much any opposition.

The drive for Scottish independence isn't new. It was behind the precursor to the Labour Party that sprang up in Scotland early last century.

It was a minority movement for many years, but eventually the tensions of the UK's uneven government led to two referendums on devolution and the establishment of a national assembly for Scotland. The first referendum was sabotaged by English MPs who changed the rules to effectively give the dead votes (and was one factor in the demise of Callaghan's very troubled Labour government that ushered in the Tory Thatcher years). Pressure from the EU led to the second referendum, which voted convincingly yes to devolution. Wales and Northern Ireland later gained their own devolved assemblies, but Scotland's has most powers.

Initially, the Scottish assembly was envisaged as little more than a sop and a talking shop, like a glorified local council. As it began to hit its stride and gain powers, the SNP's vote share rose until it eventually managed to win a majority of seats in the Scottish assembly (which had been believed impossible because the proportional representation system of voting had been set up to avoid one party, especially the SNP, taking power and to encourage coalitions). The SNP has been in power in Scotland since, sometimes relying on coalitions, as it does with the Green Party at the moment.

It was hard to gain agreement from the UK government for the 2014 referendum on independence, and it was then hard fought. Initially, support for Yes to independence polled much lower than No, but over the course of the lengthy campaign, it grew until it caused serious alarm in Westminster. One major focus for the No campaign was EU membership and the argument that if Scotland became independent, it would not be welcome in the EU, not least because what was left of the UK would do its best to make sure that was the case. SNP debaters did point out that there was the possibility of a referendum that might take the UK out of the EU, and also that the laughable at the time figure of Boris Johnson might become UK prime minister. Both these prospects were heavily pooh-poohed as ridiculous.

You'll know enough of the UK's recent history to understand how that all panned out after the independence referendum went 55%/45% No. Scotland then voted resoundingly 62% to remain in the EU in the subsequent referendum.

The argument now is that the UK leaving the EU is a fundamental change of circumstances that warrants a fresh Scottish independence referendum to take account of the new situation. On top of that, promises were made in the post-referendum settlement for more powers for the Scottish parliament that have not been honoured (Labour figures tend to want to talk about federalism in the UK as a solution, but there's no serious support for it and power tends to be centralized under any UK government), and there's a constant buzz from Johnson and other high-up Tories to strip powers from the Scottish parliament, or even abolish it altogether. Meanwhile, Scotland's SNP MPs, who form the third largest party in Westminster, are routinely abused, belittled and patronized by the Tories. They don't seem to grasp that when they do that, they abuse, belittle and patronize those of us who voted for them as our representatives.

Opinion polls over the last year have shown support for independence in Scotland rising to consistently around 60%. This has been driven partly by the ongoing Brexit debacle, partly by the mismanagement of the COVID crisis by Westminster, partly by the perception that Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has done a far better job of communicating and marshalling resources and heeding scientific advice on the pandemic, but not least by the lack of respect from the Tories and their incompetence and blatant corruption in handing out contracts for PPE etc. The main counter-argument from those who oppose Scottish independence at the moment is that the first independence referendum was described by SNP politicians at the time as a "once in a generation opportunity". They want to focus on the words "once in a generation" and ignore the context of "opportunity", and want to define a generation in this case to extend up to 40 years.

Johnson's the obvious figurehead for all that dysfunction. I don't think he and his cabinet are capable of charming voters in Scotland after the experiences of the last few years, even if they had any inkling to try to do so.

Donald J. Trump Presidential Library online

Enjoy. Don't forget to exit through the Grift Shop.


Trump campaign says Sidney Powell not a member of legal team

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump’s election campaign issued a statement on Sunday distancing itself from Sidney Powell, a lawyer who made baseless allegations of voter fraud at a campaign press conference on Thursday.

“Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own,” Trump campaign lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis said in the statement. “She is not a member of the Trump Legal Team. She is also not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity.”

The announcement came one day after a judge dismissed the campaign’s lawsuit seeking to halt President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania, dealing a major blow to Trump’s flailing efforts to overturn his Nov. 3 election loss.

Read more: https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-trump-powell/trump-campaign-says-sidney-powell-not-a-member-of-legal-team-idUSKBN2820UB

Linked article updated to 16 paragraphs since first posted.

Real Clear Politics Made a Sharp Right Turn. What Steered It?

A Popular Political Site Made a Sharp Right Turn. What Steered It?

Real Clear Politics has been catering to campaign obsessives since 2000. It pitches itself as a “trusted, go-to source” for unbiased polling. The Trump era changed its tone, and funding sources.

For three days after every major news organization declared Joseph R. Biden Jr. the victor of the presidential election, one widely read political site maintained that Pennsylvania was still too close to call.

The delay was welcome news to allies of President Trump like Rudolph W. Giuliani and friendly outlets like The Gateway Pundit, which misrepresented the site’s decision in their efforts to spread false claims that Mr. Biden’s lead was unraveling.

That site, Real Clear Politics, is well known as a clearinghouse of elections data and analysis with a large following among the political and media establishment — and the kinds of political obsessives who might now have all the counties in Georgia memorized. It markets itself to advertisers as a “trusted, go-to source” admired by campaign and news professionals alike. Its industry benchmark polling average is regularly cited by national publications and cable news networks.

But less well known is how Real Clear Politics and its affiliated websites have taken a rightward, aggressively pro-Trump turn over the last four years as donations to its affiliated nonprofit have soared. Large quantities of those funds came through two entities that wealthy conservatives use to give money without revealing their identities.


I haven't placed any great trust in RCP since the 2008 election, when I noticed its slate of polls changed from week to week to focus on those that gave more favorable results for the Republicans. I assume that pattern continued after I stopped paying it much attention.

Cummings to leave No 10 with immediate effect

Boris Johnson's chief adviser Dominic Cummings has left Number 10 with immediate effect, BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg says.

Mr Cummings spoke to the PM earlier on Friday and it was decided it was best for him to go immediately after days of turmoil, our political editor said.

The former Vote Leave supremo had been at the centre of a power struggle in Downing Street in recent days.

The PM's director of communications Lee Cain has also left.

Mr Cummings was seen leaving No 10 a short while ago carrying a box.


Oh well. Perhaps his father-in-law's estate has an opening for a scarecrow.

Much whooping here: #DominicGoing
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