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  • Re: » Blog Archive » Father of six who has never been a minister nor changed a napp

    RE those bringing up the IRA and Corbyn being a ‘Marxist’ - Corbyn’s supporters are unlikely to have lived through, or remembered the days where IRA bombed places in the UK, or indeed the fall of communism. I only know about these things because of (a. my interest in politics (b. my mum having discussions with me about them. On top of that, Corbyn’s more hardcore supporters see successive governments association with Saudi Arabia, and Thatcher’s association with Pinochet as morally equivalent (edit: actually, thinking about it - they see it as worse) to Corbyn’s IRA association. That’s a message which gets relayed down to his less hardcore supporters meaning that to this group, the moral distinctions that Conservatives and others feel exist between them and Corbyn on these kinds of matters evaporate in the eyes of Corbyn’s biggest and more lukewarm supporters.

    I think the term ‘Marxist’ would mean nothing at all, to most people actually - how many ordinary voters do you know who could provide a specific definition of Marxism? Then there’s the matter that if you've grown up in the post-crash years, it’s is likely that it won’t be Marxism that will be the dirty word, but rather capitalism or, more specifically ‘neo-liberalism’. It will be that system that many will associate with hardship, a lack of social mobility and unfairness.

    Then there’s the fact that many of these anti-Corbyn stories tended to be printed in outlets such as the Mail, and the right wing press more generally - sources of information that Corbyn’s voters by and large aren’t reading and don’t take seriously. The Tories have a real problem that their cheerleaders in the press are seen as joke by many of those who aren’t old.
    In the age of the internet and smartphone, how can there be any excuse for people not to know the basic outline of recent history as far as the IRA and other subjects is concerned? They don't even have to go to the library to get a book on it. It's a duty of being a citizen to take an interest in the history of the country you live in.
    The NASA guy who wrote the official history of the space shuttle program was loaned a few interns to proofread the book. The idea was for them to read it and flag up anything they didn't understand, for it might need explaining in the text. These interns were intelligent (they had to be to get in at NASA). During one meeting, one of them put up her hand and asked: "What's the Cold War?"
  • Re: » Blog Archive » In Tory leadership races the assassin rarely becomes the repla

    FPT (and o/t)
    Yep Musk has decided this too. Dragon 2 goal is human rated. Propulsive landing would be an additional complication so it is sensible to ditch it and focus that effort towards ITS development
    I fear it's a bit more complex than that. SpacX have been working on propulsive landing of their Dragon 2 capsule for years now, and developed rocket motors to do it. This gave them the option of landing a capsule on land (unlike all other US capsules at sea), which is much cheaper - you don't need loads of ships at sea to pick it up.

    Firstly, NASA wanted backup parachutes. This added weight. Secondly, they've nixed the propulsive landings by saying they wanted the heat shield unbroken by rocket motors or landing legs - understandable after Challenger.

    This left propulsive landings for just cargo Dragon 2's, and it would not be worth doing it for just that. This also nixed Red Dragon, which was to use that technology, and would have been useful to provide data for atmospheric re-entries of heavy bodies on Mars.

    SpaceX wanted propulsive landings for many reasons: it's cheaper, it reduces reliance on the US government (the ships at sea), and it's more flexible. NASA didn't want it for all those reasons, and they're the paymaster.

    In a day of generally bad news for SpaceX, Musk also cast some doubt on the likelihood of the Falcon Heavy's first flight succeeding.
  • Re: » Blog Archive » Why TMay must stay – for now

    He is a very able man. There is also the question of whether he would be any good at running the country (at least, not substantially worse than the other contenders). I am confident Boris is "up for the job" in terms of being a good salesman come election-time and, based on reports of how he worked as London Mayor and how he is doing in the Foreign Office, quite capable of getting on with the business of administration. But there are at least four black marks against him, more serious than his love life or gaffe-prone nature or the "buffoon" question..


    Could his obvious upper-class Englishness and divisiveness cost the Tories in key regions or nations? (We know how the folk of Liverpool see him, though no marginals there. But in some of the Midlands and northern seats May was targeting, he doesn't strike me as the right kind of Tory. Would he really buoy the party in Wales? Could he be a serious, wipe-out style, liability in Scotland?)

    As a controversial figure within the party, could he create serious fissures within it? (Possibly unhealable if we believe certain newspaper front pages with respect to the Scottish party! But then there is the Gove issue, the internal class warfare that seems to have been taking place post-Cameron, and so on. The risk the Tory party would be taking by selecting him would not just be how the party is seen by the voters, but the coherence of the party itself.)

    (Based on comment FPT, sorry for repetition)
    Boris doesn't take responsibility for his actions. Sorry to harp back to the Garden Bridge, but the report into that miserable scheme shows that he should be let nowhere near anyone else's money, yet alone public funds.

    The report is here, and is well worth a read:

    Boris refused to cooperate with the investigation. He wasted tens of millions of public funds, and has failed to accept any responsibility.

    To quote from the report: "I deeply regret that Boris Johnson, the London Mayor ultimately responsible for all the decisions and actions taken on the Garden Bridge refused to co-operate with this review,either in person or in writing and despite several requests."

    Boris should not be PM.
  • Re: » Blog Archive » Has the 2017 general election killed Scottish nationalism ston

    It is one of the most moderate Conservatives - Ruth Davidson - that has saved the Tories tonight. The country has not swung as right, as some Conservatives imagined that it had.
    Theresa May isn't right wing.
    She's been led by your dog-collar. And you're sitting pretty in Switzerland. The rest of us have to live with this result.
  • Re: » Blog Archive » It looks like Mrs May’s UKIP firewall was as good a defence as

    I am buying pounds call options, Brexit is doomed
    Nope. Brexit will go ahead. And probably be far better managed than it would have been because it won't be May calling the shots.
    Desperate straw-clutching.

    The country may well be in chaos.
    No straw clutching at all. With both Labour and the Tories committed to Brexit and the main Anti-Brexit parties getting slaughtered the only question is what sort. If you think this will change the eventual fact of us leaving you are sadly deluded.

    To be honest if we get to the end of the night with the Tories with a small majority and May on her way out that would be just about perfect for me.
    I wish you could see it from the perspective of my family. But you've ignored such perspectives throughout, as your Europhobia overrode everything.