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If Scotland leaves the United Kingdom, surely that means that the United Kingdom ceases to exist since one of the kingdoms has left. It is not just Scotland that would be the new state, the other part of the United Kingdom would also be a new state. So would it not mean that the other new state of England/N.Ireland/Wales would also have to apply to rejoin? Assuming it wanted to, that is.
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Daniel, a good and well argued piece. But I regret that I am going to have one of my little moans. It is simply too long. I fear that you will have lost a lot of readers about half way through, especially those with only a passing interest in the subject. Great stuff, but do please try to say it in fewer words.
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Well, yes there were some oddballs - but for me that was all part of the fun. A good chairman could deal with them quite adequately. If you allow open debate and discussion you are going to get some rather strange contributions. But by closing down all debate you stifle the organisation. In any case, it was not the case that "the format had to be changed". The party leadership chose to change it because they wanted to change it. There was no compulsion. Sorry, that was meant to be a reply to Sally's reply to my comment.
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I would add to this that part of the problem is that members have been increasingly marginalised from policy making, influence on ministers (or shadows) and shunted out of anything to do with politics, leaving them only with fund raising, socialising and internal bickering. Remember the old days when we used to go to Conference and have debates about policy issues? All now scrapped because the leadership (in general not just Mr Cameron) do not want to parade divisions on TV. Or how about when Associations could put motions forward to party conference. We used to have a lot of fun deciding which motions should or should not go forward from our association. People tend to want to join a political party to do politics, but in today's Conservative Party an ordinary member is not allowed to do that. No wonder younger people do not want to join, or if they do soon drop out. Give the members something interesting and worthwhile to do and some of these problems might solve themselves.
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Indeed, there is a great difference between humour, rivalry and outright nastiness. It is the latter that I object to but which, sadly, I do encounter.
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Since this blog is read by a wide audience, I will not repeat some of the words I have been called - and solely on account of my English birth not due to any factual evidence.
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With respect Tim, you are wrong. Mr Parr is dead right. I get totally fed up with the racism that I face when I go north of the border. Oh yes, it is "only a joke" I am told. Why don't I "lighten up". But it is only the English who are expected to face this sort of abuse and treat it as a joke. If I went out and told the niggers and pakis to go home, could I get away with saying it was "only a joke". I doubt it. It is time that this sort of anti-English nastiness - and some of it is very nasty - was ended. Or the modern Scots might learn some of the things that their ancestors had to learn the hard way.
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Saying "I told you so" is rarely dignified. But I went on the record back in November saying that Mr Cameron's EU strategy of leaving it alone and hoping it does not become an issue was never going to work. Sooner or later the EU was bound to come up with something that would force the government to make a decision. Looks like it is sooner not later.
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Well, thank you to everyone for your comments on this thread. Very interesting, and some useful links. What has struck me looking at these comments is that they are very one sided. When I started "banging on" about climate change, things were very different. Back then I was talking as a historian and saying that climate change was both natural and expected (medieval warm period, Roman optimum, little ice age etc). But then I was routinely shouted down being told that the science was settled, that I did not know what I was talking about and that since I was a writer of history books and not a climatologist I ought to butt out. How different things are today. I know this is a thread on ConHome, not on the Guardian or LibDem Voice, but even so the one sided nature of the dialogue is very striking. We are all being asked to make massive sacrifices in terms of both finance (taxes, carbon credits) and quality of life (windfarms, less motoring). Is it too much to ask that we should be allowed to see the evidence on which these demands are based? Sadly, I suspect that it is too much to ask. CRU should release their data. If they don't, they should be made to do so. But I cannot see our coalition government - reliant as it is on LibDem votes - actually doing so. A defeat for freedom, honesty and truth.
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Um actually, one of the reasons the ice was so far south in spring 1912 was that summer 1911 had been unusually warm. This caused more icebergs than usual to calve off the Greenland glaciers, allowing them to drift slowly southward and so reach the Grand Banks by the spring of 1912. One could argue that global warming would cause more icebergs and so more dangers to shipping. Do you think I could get a £5 million grant from somebody to study this terrible danger to world shipping?
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Yes, indeed. The CRU have claimed that much of their data is covered by confidentiality agreements with the assorted national and local weather centres that provided it. However, it has since been revealed that many of these agreements "have been lost" or "were verbal agreements" or "cannot be disclosed". Losing important but inconvenient documents seems to be a speciality of CRU.
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This is, indeed, sad news. I may have disagreed with Mr Taylor's politics, but he always worked hard for his patch. Andrew is a local man and a top class bloke who would be a real asset to NW Leicestershire. Whether or not there will be a by election, you may care to sign up to his MyConservatives page on: http://www.myconservatives.com/campaigns/andrew-bridgen-strong-local-voice-north-west-leicestershire
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I have been concerned by the local by-election results for some months now. They have not been shaping up as they should given the polls. And there appears to be a large minority support for the non-mainstream parties out there as well. I am still of the opinion that this could be an interesting election with some unusual results and some even more unusual vote shares.
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Twas ever thus. The leading revolutionaries nearly always come from privileged backgrounds and seek to destroy the system that has favoured them. Castro, Guevara, Lenin, Kossuth, Robespierre... I am amazed that the Left still peddles the idea that revolutionary leaders and extremists come from among the downtrodden masses - who are generally much more interested in step by step reform.
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Thank you to everyone who has contributed for - as ever on ConHome - a most interesting debate.
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Well, I don't know the truth behind this either. But surely we cannot dismiss it with the suggestion that the threat (if any) was made by junior officials. When such humble folk as local association activists are dealing with CCHQ surely they can reasonably expect that any clear statement (or threat) made by an official comes with the full authority of CCHQ. If not we could get into very murky waters. If junior officials are allowed to make threats like this without senior approval then it is scandalous. But the suggestion that this happens would also allow Mr Maples to get a threat passed on by a junior official, then later on deny he had anything to do with it. It would also gum up the communcations system since any association official who did not like something a junior official said would be entitled to phone up David Cameron to check if the junior official had the authority to say what he did. There has to be a bit more discipline here from CCHQ and its staff. Association officials have to be able to believe what they are told by CCHQ officials. If they cannot then there will only be more confusion and mayhem ahead. It is, as they say, no way to run a railway.
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Mr Langley mentions smaller parties in passing, says they are important and then hurries on to talk about other things. I think that as things stand the smaller parties are going to do quite well in terms of votes (though not in terms of MPs given the FPTP voting system). The question is how far such voting behaviour will affect the outcome in any given seat. Might a big BNP vote in a Labour city seat allow the Tory in? Might a big UKIP vote in a tory shire let a LibDem in?
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No legitimate issue, it is true. But both had plenty of illegitimate issue. So Mr Mayhew could well be right (but not necessarily repulsive)
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I would imagine that this sort of action is born largely out of frustration with the legal system. It is true that it is not acceptable to take the law into your own hands, but only so long as the law is enforced by the authorities. Time was - and we are going back some generations here - when everybody did take the law into their own hands and moreover was expected and encouraged to do so. Then along came a police force and court system that could be trusted to enforce law and order on the streets, so the need for and desire for self-enforcement both vanished. But if the legal system does not enforce law and order what are law-abiding people to do? More pertinent to this particular case, there is an apparent disconnect between how the police and legal system treat different crimes. The police have visited the shopkeeper, but have they apprehended the culprit?
Toggle Commented Nov 6, 2009 on Naming and shaming vandals at Big Brother Watch
Yes, very modest proposals. Maybe Jeremy does not want to frighten the horses before an election. Or maybe he has been won over by the BBC.
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