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Alf Bentley

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Alf Bentley last won the day on 17 September 2019

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About Alf Bentley

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    Key Player
  • Birthday 29/02/1916

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    Floating through space and time
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    Situationism (passive & active)
    Words and verbosity
    Music with passion
    Consuming mind-altering liquids to defray the tedium
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    Richard III took his helmet off

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  1. Chilwell is being affected by the old phenomenon of posters marking a player partly on recent form, not only on performance in the match IMHO. He wasn't flawless, but I thought that was his best performance for months: more energy & a lot more positivity - looked as if he had recovered his self-confidence after a run of poor form. Excellent energy levels, prepared to overlap (which he'd not done much recently), good crisp passing most of the time & even several good, threatening dribbles at the heart of their defence. Well played, Ben. Not quite at the level of excellence that Barnes & Ricardo managed last night, but a massive improvement & major contribution. Worth an 8.
  2. What do you do? - Self-employed translator, working from home (translating docs, not verbal interpreting - Fr/Sp/Pt->Eng) What do you love about it? - Satisfying to produce a good translation (though some jobs are dull); not having a boss on your shoulder giving you instructions you disagree with; flexible working time - major bonus when kids young What are your stresses? - Isolation, Isolation, Isolation (hence why I'm on here chatting shit so often!); Used to work excessive hours but not any more What size is your business? - Was always small (only me), yielding enough to support a family, not to get rich; I used to service 7-10 regular clients but now just 4, through natural wastage & non-replacement for family reasons. I need more for income to be viable, but despite lack of marketing this year is somehow set to be the best for 5 years, though still well down on previous 15 years. How longs it been going? - 21 years Could you ever go back to employment? - Have a big decision to make in next 2 years: either get 2-3 more regular clients or close business & take employment, but at my age (57) I'd only get low-grade jobs.
  3. What the hell was Pickford doing for that late Newcastle equalizer? Seemed to be having a toddler tantrum while his team were trying to defend - and then keeping goal in the back of his net. Totally unprofessional. England keeper?! There are surely at least 4-5 better English keepers on current form?
  4. She's already been quite critical. If she overdoes it, she'll be fishing for votes only in the anti-Corbyn pool. The blocks are clearly not monolithic, anyway. Corbyn won last time, yet polls suggest RLB is behind, so some previous Corbyn voters are not supporting her currently. Plus, there are members who would be critical of some of Jezza's policies and might like Nandy's ideas, but think Corbyn is a nice man (wrongly, in my view) and wouldn't approve of her slagging him off. Yes, second preference votes might come into it, too. If she made strong progress during the campaign and finished ahead of RLB, she might need the second votes of her lot to beat Starmer.
  5. Jockeying for votes. A lot of Labour members have a positive view of Corbyn, even some who would criticise him. It wouldn't help Nandy's campaign to alienate them all - or to needlessly alienate pro-Corbyn Labour MPs/shadow ministers she'd need to work with if elected leader & seeking to unify the party. She's already been critical of aspects of the party under Corbyn's leadership, as Johnson has about May's leadership.....without any need for anyone to trash the previous/outgoing leader.
  6. Decent idea re. PMQs. I can imagine Johnson & Tory MPs taking the piss, but that itself would be useful - to see how well different candidates responded to that. Corbyn should vacate the stage, anyway. I think some of the later hustings will be televised. Not many people will watch them, but not many watch PMQs except a few snippets on the News.
  7. I tend to agree. Though, I suppose times might have moved on again by 2024. If five years of a more "passionate", extravagant, characterful PM in Boris ends badly, maybe a competent but dull "corporate" type might appeal by then? That would be a gamble now, though. Starmer would be an upgrade on Corbyn, but I could imagine him doing enough to hold Labour together but not to win in 2024.....potentially leading to a backlash & back to square one. Maybe he'd be a good option as (Shadow) Chancellor, where dull, corporate intelligence & attention to detail could be seen as an asset. It's a shame Starmer & Long Bailey seem so far ahead. There's a long way to go in the contest, but Nandy & Thornberry have a lot of ground to make up, judging by polls. Phillips' departure might help Thornberry get on the ballot paper via the constituency route. I hope so, as I thought she was impressive in the first hustings. She has more passion and character & seems more personable than Starmer, but doesn't have the foot-in-mouth qualities of Phillips. She's often performed well in TV interviews and in parliament - forceful, articulate, attention to detail & not many slip-ups. She can alienate by being a loud middle-class schoolmarm, but could overcome that, possibly. Unfair the severe hit her reputation took from that Tweeted photo of the house with white van and England flags. It was just a photo with no comment attached, so the assumption that she was sneering was unjustified. I've wandered about taking photos in the past, including photos of houses with England flags, mosques, plush houses, decrepit houses, expensive restaurants, shabby kebab shops......didn't mean I was sneering at patriots, Muslims, the rich, the poor or anyone else. It was more interest in life and wry amusement, not sneering hostility. Some folk on the Left rightly get slated for snowflakery, but it exists on the Right, too...
  8. Interesting C4 News video. Mainly shows a focus group of Birmingham Northfield voters who switched from Labour to Tory, asking their opinions of the different leadership candidates. Focus group starts at about 02:20. Nandy, Thornberry & (to a lesser extent) Phillips go down well, Starmer not so well, Long Bailey poorly. Might change, but think I'm: 1. Nandy, 2. Thornberry, 3. Starmer
  9. A good justification of the film makers' decisions. I got the 2 different personalities & Schofield bottling up intense emotions about life back home and just wanting to survive. I also got the fact that the film was mainly about their war experience & their journey that day, not their life stories. Maybe my expectations were too conventional in wanting to know a bit more about their background. I just felt that they could have thrown in a bit more - about Schofield, in particular - without undermining the focus of the film. If they wanted to depict Schofield as a character who found it too painful to talk about such things (a very reasonable decision), they could have had the more garrulous Blake make the odd comment that revealed snippets about Schofield's life. To be fair, another character did advise Schofield that it "didn't do to dwell on things" (or words to that effect) - reinforcing his existing attitude and supporting your stance. Anyway, I did say it was a "question mark" rather than a negative, as such - and I thought it was a successful and original film overall. The scenes crossing no-man's land were stunning. The only reason I didn't give it a higher mark was that a few of the later scenes stretched credibility for me, suddenly shifting from hard reality to adventure story.
  10. 1917: 7.5 Positives: - Enjoyed the "continuous journey" structure, which worked well - Brilliant scenes of life in trenches & no-man's land (rats, horses, mud, carnage, silence & noise, dark & light) - The simple fact that most of the soldiers looked so young rang true - Good soundtrack: atmospheric, but not intrusive - Good moments of tension - Well-acted by main 2 Negative: - Some plot elements in 2nd half got a bit cheesy B-movie (chase & knife-fight in occupied ruined town, French woman & baby, river scene) Question mark: - Couldn't they have included a bit more of the back story of the main 2, esp. Schofield (their lives & character back home) via dialogue between them?
  11. I almost never eat prawns and do eat mackerel & the odd rollmop, so I'd be OK, too.....though a lot of chip shop fish is imported, I think? I don't know much about the terms under which fishermen have been paid by the EU and/or the UK national govt to scrap their boats (both, I think?). But this is interesting about who gets the UK fishing quotas (controlled by UK, not EU): https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2018/10/11/fishing-quota-uk-defra-michael-gove/ "Just five families on the Sunday Times Rich List hold or control 29% of the UK’s fishing quota....more than two-thirds of the UK’s fishing quota is controlled by just 25 businesses – and more than half of those are linked to one of the biggest criminal overfishing scams ever to reach the British courts.Meanwhile, in England nearly 80% of fishing quota is held by foreign owners or domestic Rich List families, and more than half of Northern Ireland’s quota is hoarded onto a single trawler". "The investigation found: - The five largest quota-holders control more than a third of UK fishing quota - Four of the top five belong to families on the Sunday Times Rich List - The fifth is a Dutch multinational whose UK subsidiary – North Atlantic Fishing Company – controls around a quarter of England’s fishing quota - Around half of England’s quota is ultimately owned by Dutch, Icelandic, or Spanish interests...." A lot of the big, environmentally-unfriendly ships are fishing UK quotas, I think, though I'm no expert.
  12. I agree with both bits of that first line. No Deal could happen for a multiplicity of reasons, given the number and complexity of different issues involved, extending well beyond trade. The whole process could also be complicated by differences between different EU countries, as well as those between the EU27 and the UK. Different EU countries have very different individual relationships with the UK with regard to different issues and to the importance of those issues: e.g. big trade deficit with Germany v. important trading relationship & big surplus with Ireland; importance of fishing to France, Spain, Portugal; big immigration influx from Poland v. outflow to Spain; importance of defence & security relationship with France etc. I agree that a complete No Deal on the future relationship seems unlikely, as it would damage both sides too much (not only on trade - stuff like defence, crime, orderly if limited migration & fishing). For that reason, I hope (and tend to believe) that neither side will be reckless enough to either walk away or cause the other to walk away. I can see it ending up with a limited, bare-bones agreement by December. To cover crucial issues like security, data, crime, defence, fishing & a high-friction, low-alignment trade relationship (tariffs, quotas & regulatory barriers v. wide freedom to diverge)? I'm a bit unclear to what extent the EU will negotiate on migration or whether most of that will be negotiated by individual EU states? I can see some issues not being sorted out by December. But I don't think the EU will be anticipating an extension to the transition period. All their talk of establishing priorities for negotiation by December suggests that, while they think it won't all be done by then, they do think that "Brexit proper" will happen then, with no extension......just with some issues unresolved or only provisionally resolved. There could be big struggles over what the priorities are, of course.
  13. I only thought, rather than knew he was anti-Brexit because.... - I hadn't seen that article you linked to, in which he came out as anti-Brexit after standing down, so had never seen him express a view on the subject - I didn't see his actions to stop Govt forcing its will on Parliament over Brexit as anti-Brexit; I saw them as pro-parliamentary democracy, regardless of his personal views (I presume he's a liberal "Tory" now, like Grieve or Clarke, having started off as Hard Right) Anyway, whatever the flaws in our democratic processes, democracy and events have moved on now, as you say.
  14. The fishing element of the Brexit negotiations could be surprisingly important, considering how few people are now employed in fishing in the UK. UK fishing is now dominated by large corporations, who were allowed to take over most of our quotas. So, there are not many UK jobs in it (except processing) & the importance to us is mainly symbolic (history, identity etc.)....unless there's an upsurge in families / small businesses involved in fishing... But some EU countries - notably Spain & France (& Portugal?) - still have a lot more family businesses/jobs/communities dependent on it, so it will be a priority for them. There's also the oddity that most fish we eat is imported, but most fish we catch is exported! This dates from 2016 but doubt it's changed much: https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-4043758/EU-trade-key-success-UK-fish-industry-75-home-caught-fish-exported-majority-fish-eaten-Britons-imported.html "Britons will have to eat more home-caught mackerels and fewer imported prawns if the Government fails to agree a favourable trade deal for the fishing industry with the EU following Brexit. A parliamentary report published today has found that some 75 per cent of fish caught in the UK is exported, mostly to the European Union, while the majority of fish eaten in the UK is imported. For this reason, it argued that trade agreements with the EU ‘will be a key factor to the future success of the UK fishing industry and fish processors’." "Britain imports big quantities of prawns and tuna from the EU, while its main fish export is mackerel. This could be reversed if tariffs were to be imposed on such trades. The report brings in example Norway, which, although being member of the EEA, is still subject to tariffs on certain fish, which, along with export quotas, were ‘a serious obstacle to trade’, according to a Norwegian trade ministry official, Vidar Landmark. He said that while the EEA agreement allowed Norway to export white fish products tariff-free, import quotas and tariffs ranging from 2 per cent to 25 per cent were applied to other valuable species."
  15. Doesn't sound like it: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7902843/Ministers-secretly-restart-No-Deal-plans-amid-fears-trade-talks-Brussels-collapse.html "Ministers have quietly restarted No Deal planning meetings amid fears trade talks with Brussels will collapse, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. Whitehall's EU Exit Operations committee – dubbed XO and chaired by Michael Gove – met on Thursday to begin preparations for a 'disorderly December', should Brussels 'fail to grasp we really are going at the end of the year', said a Cabinet Minister who was present". "Fears are mounting that Brussels's intransigence and insistence on a settlement of fishing access rights before proper trade talks begin will push the negotiations to collapse. In that scenario, the transition phase would end without new border rules in place – hence the Government's reactivation of emergency planning.Referring to the Conservatives' resounding General Election win, Mr Cummings added that Europe would be wrong to think 'a big majority means a softening of our position'. And he warned that Brussels has 'failed to grasp their judges will have no power and we are not interested in level playing fields'." "The Chancellor told the Financial Times: 'There will not be alignment, we will not be a rule-taker, we will not be in the single market and we will not be in the customs union and we will do this by the end of the year.'"
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