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Alf Bentley

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Everything posted by Alf Bentley

  1. That's certainly a point that can be argued by anyone who wants the EU to exert foreign policy influence beyond its boundaries. Massively hypocritical criticism from anyone who doesn't want that, of course. Bosnia and Ukraine are examples that can be used to argue that point. It remains true that there haven't been major conflicts between EEC/EU members during the 60+ years of its existence....whereas the previous 40 years saw 2 mass conflagrations & previous centuries weren't exactly peaceful in Europe. Time will tell, but the chances of some nasty tensions ar
  2. But you sought to at least partly blame the EU because "10s of millions died in Russia". When did those 10s of millions die, for which the EU supposedly bore some responsibility? The USSR undoubtedly brutalised and oppressed tens of millions across East/Central Europe as well as in Russia - and killed some, not least Hungary 1956, Czechoslovakia 1968.....not to mention Putin's dictatorship & recent Russian action in Ukraine. But "10s of millions" outside of WW2 or Stalin's purges of the 1930s, before the EEC/EU existed?
  3. Good response, though whether the Yeltsin era is what the OP was referring to, I've no idea. I'd like the EU to have more of a (democratically-decided) united voice on foreign/defence policy. Though, as @bovril pointed out, it's often those most hostile to a strong EU or to the EU straying beyond market/trade policy who are most critical of its alleged "weakness" in these areas. Issues like Catalonia or Hungary are a difficult balancing act. Despite what some Eurosceptics say, in lots of policy areas (not all, obviously) the EU is still a collection of nation state
  4. Not hip-hop or soul, but it's played on the radio.... It's got to be "Stairway to heaven" by Led Zeppelin.
  5. Which "10s of millions who died in Russia" are you referring to? Precise figures are disputed, but millions were killed in the USSR/Russia under Stalin - mainly in the 1930s and Stalin died in 1953. Millions of Russians also died fighting the Nazis during WW2 - between 1941 and 1945. But the EEC (EU forerunner) wasn't even created until 1957 (Treaty of Rome). When did "10s of millions" die in Russia after 1957 for which the EU or EEC can be blamed? I'm aware that the USSR was a brutal regime and some dissidents were killed or brutalised after 1957 - and Putin'
  6. That was a poor advert for EU diplomacy - though it didn't involve EU nations and was a tough task sorting out murderous tensions between different ethnicities within a collapsing ex-communist state. But the pre-EU history was of 2 murderous and destructive conflicts in 40 years between all the main players in Europe, in which countless millions died or had lives ruined. Before that, there were centuries of on-off conflict between those main nations of Europe (Britain, France, Germany/Prussia, Russia, Spain, Ottomans etc.)....
  7. I can't see a good outcome however it turns out. Either Santa snuffs it, which would just about crown a great year....or he's responsible for the first global super-spreader event on 25th December. "Guess what's in your sack? Covid, pneumonia and a fortnight on a ventilator at the ICU!" Don't breathe down the chimney, you fat git!
  8. Experts reckon masks provide a significant degree of protection but do not offer any guarantee of safety. A bit like car seat belts. Just because seat belts don't offer 100% guaranteed protection in a crash, should we say: "there's no point wearing a seat belt AND driving safely, I'll just drive safely"?! I presume your Sainsbury's Local has re-started queuing as a risk calculation - higher risk due to higher infection rate?
  9. "Ob la di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra La-la, how the life goes on" - Beatles
  10. I reckon Nate's brain might have had more impact on those astute observations, Mac, though I've no knowledge of his drinking habits.
  11. If we drink a lot of claret before the match, it might improve the outcome......I'm talking fans and players alike there.
  12. ......led by Elvis while riding Shergar across the Moon. He retreated there with the connivance of the Bilderburg Group after shooting Kennedy from the grassy knoll and melting the girders in the Twin Towers. Then again, he might have used 5G technology to fake his moon landing.....
  13. A very detailed Greenpeace history of the mismanagement of the fishing industry by British Govts over decades, setting up systems that allowed UK quotas to be bought up en masse by super-rich corporations & foreign fishing interests.... https://unearthed.greenpeace.org/2019/03/07/fishing-brexit-uk-fleetwood/ Some jaw-dropping stats in here: "An Unearthed investigation last autumn found that around half of England’s quota is held on Dutch, Spanish, or Icelandic-owned “flagships”, so called because they sail under a British flag. One Dutch multinational alone con
  14. On the face of it, both the EU and UK have a lot of reasons to compromise on these final issues: - It makes sense for the EU to compromise and accept reduced access to British waters, rather than risk having no access, causing a lot of strife at home - It makes sense for the UK to compromise and allow guaranteed but reduced access to British waters, rather than risk losing the main market for their own catch & ending up with a more damaging deal on wider trade & other issues - I presume that the "level playing field" problem is more like a sliding scale on which the UK n
  15. Conservative Party 2019 manifesto............. "Our deal is the only one on the table. It is signed, sealed and ready. It puts the whole country on a path to a new free trade agreement with the EU. This will be a new relationship based on free trade and friendly cooperation, not on the EU’s treaties or EU law" Nothing much there about rewriting the WA and not signing any FTA, never mind mass lorry parks, a border between Kent & England or Icelandic Cod Wars, The Sequel.
  16. .........while shouting "Try this for social distancing!"
  17. I appreciate that Ferrier was in a tricky situation, but at the very least shouldn't she have been capable of getting advice from her party whips or parliamentary officials - or simply phoned 111 for advice? I presume that it's not unheard of for people to get a Covid diagnosis while away from home, given that a significant number of people are staying or working away from home at any given time? I imagine that she was panicking a bit, but someone in a position of responsibility should be able to deal with that. She also mentioned her fear that she might be forced
  18. .......whereas all me 50p cakes are made out of live birds, so they're all going cheep.
  19. Less affected than most as I've worked from home self-employed for 20+ years. But the thing I've never liked about working alone from home is the isolation - and that's got worse due to Covid (few visits to friends, no cinema, no football, no face-to-face book club, even no outdoor gym for several months). Started going bonkers by July but got away for 9 days, which saved my sanity. Ideally, I'd like work to involve going to an office sometimes, just for the social contact (even once a week would be a big benefit). FoxesTalk is my surrogate for that social contact.....p
  20. Switzerland and Israel are among the countries that still have compulsory military service - and Israel is among the countries currently worst afflicted by Covid. France had compulsory military service within my adult existence - and, amazingly, is reintroducing it, I've just discovered....didn't know that. Do you mean a culture of compliance rather than complicity? I don't know enough about South Korea to comment but I know that New Zealand is a pretty libertarian country, and has performed well. A "culture of complicity" sounds more like a description of Bri
  21. Hmmm! South Korea was pretty undemocratic a few decades back so that might be arguable at a stretch, but..... - Germany has a history of dictatorship and has done pretty well - Russia is arguably still a dictatorship, after a much longer dictatorship, and has done pretty badly - Spain & Italy have a history of dictatorship and got swamped - New Zealand has no history of dictatorship, and is another country held up as a role model for good practice
  22. The thread title would have been so much better if another club had put in a large, late bid to snatch him from Beskitas.... "Ghezzal Gazumped" I could've been a Sun sports journalist, Mum, honest.....I could've been a contender.
  23. It's only a short jump from that thinking to compulsory euthanasia of the elderly and incurably sick. If the elderly and incurably sick were put to death (humanely, of course), it would undoubtedly free up a lot of resources that could be used to improve the quality of life of the younger, healthier majority of the population. The vast majority of the elderly and incurably sick would be dead in 10 years, anyway, so where's the problem with that?
  24. I've been meaning to ask about this. It was to avoid the Darién Gap [60+ miles of mountainous jungle, marshland & rivers between Panama and Colombia, with no road connection] that I opted to negotiate a passage on a merchant ship and ended up on smugglers' boat. At the time (1990), I was told locally that it was possible to cross the Darién Gap on foot as a 7-day trek if you hired a local guide. But I had little money (it would have cost a lot to hire someone for 7-14 days), had no camping equipment and didn't fancy heading into the jungle with persons unknown....pa
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