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    Scotland post-Brexit - what happens next?

    The Scottish Nationalists may well have such a vested interest, but would they have been anything like so successful in stirring things up is the Westminster government hadn't managed to deal quite so disastrously with Scottish needs and aspirations — just as their C19 predecessors did with...
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    Scotland post-Brexit - what happens next?

    Using the rejection of the proposed north-east assembly as an example of lack of interest in regional devolution is like using the electoral system referendum that was held as a rejection of real PR. In the first case the assembly that was proposed by Whitehall and Westminster simply added an...
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    Scotland post-Brexit - what happens next?

    So the English "tend to like centralisation", do they? Isn't that very much a London/Westminster view of exactly the sort that has done so much damage over recent years? As for the concept of England, wasn't that rather suppressed into notion of "Britain" and more recently of "UK" (someone once...
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    Scotland post-Brexit - what happens next?

    Yes, of course if you set up a genuine federal system each part of it must have its own parallel assemblies. The simple way to make progress would indeed be to have established an English parliament/assembly alongside the others, but the problem is that England has far too much of the total...
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    Scotland post-Brexit - what happens next?

    But if you have devolution (or what masquerades as devolution) for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, then surely you should have English Votes for English Laws, or otherwise you have an imbalance. It's back to the basic error of Tony Blair's devolution plans for the United Kingdom which...
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    Manchester Recovery Taskforce (timetable) consultation

    Are we still suffering the aftermath of the 1980s attribution of every little piece of infrastructure to an owning business, with pressure on that business to get rid of anything it didn't regularly use? That's a recipe for no resilience, because resilience comes at a cost. Admnistrations like...
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    Manchester Recovery Taskforce (timetable) consultation

    Option "C" seems to be by far the most logical and most robust, and generally to deliver the most regular service patterns. One thing—minor in the grand scheme but shewing a particular attitude—I really dislike in "A" and "B" is the willingness to muck around with and degrade a supposedly...
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    Advice sought on monitors/VDUs

    For a good few years my desktop monitor has been a 22" unit with a 1680 x 1050 display. For many purposes it's still fine, but increasingly I'm finding things where it doesn't give me enough screen territory, particularly like editing Word documents when I want two documents open side by side to...
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    Brexit matters

    Ah, but they'll be of such a high quality — far better than the unicorns or rainbows we might buy from anyone else. Doesn't really matter if no-one else wants to buy them, does it?
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    2020 US Presidential Election

    Thanks for that really interesting NPR link. The topic really does raise some fascinating questions of jurisprudence, but there are also really interesting questions about ideas from the past surviving through into the US constitution. How could educated men (because they all were!) of the...
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    Brexit matters

    I think that's inevitable. The Brexiteers won, and having fought against the EU-idea for a long time they want to rejoice in their victory. They are also (or many of them are) happy to pay the price of higher costs, reduced opportunities, and so on. The Remainers feel that the referedum was won...
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    How would you reform the UK?

    Agree completely. But how do we get to a written constitution (and a constitutional court) to tend it? As long as we have FPTP maintaining two parties which both know that sooner or later they'll get their turn at untrammelled power there's not the slightest pressure on present politicians to...
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    2020 US Presidential Election

    Something that puzzles me about the pardon question. Is a presidential pardon absolute and beyond question, or could a Trump self-pardon (if theoretically possible) be questioned and possibly revoked later either by a decision of Congress or by some form of case brought before the Supreme Court...
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    Should the English language have a spelling reform?

    Thanks for the reference to that — it makes very interesting reading. (I also rather like the various articles one can frind in Franch and Germany about the presence of British (and American) English terms in their languages and what the "correct" attitudes towards them should be. As I said, we...
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    Should the English language have a spelling reform?

    Of course they're all perfectly valid regional varieties of English, and American English in particular retains quite a few older usages and pronunciations from the regional British English of several centuries ago where it's British English that has done the changing. If we look at all...
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    Routes through Edinburgh

    Brussels is relatively recent. Berlin is the old and interesting one. The city start with a ring of terminals, just like other places. In the 1880s the Stadtbahn was built as a deliberate extended city terminus and at first most long-distance trains were switched to it. The pattern was that for...
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    Scotland post-Brexit - what happens next?

    "British" at a time when more and more of those from the mainland seem to choose to define thmselves as "English" or "Scottish" or Welsh", if polling over the last few years is to be believed? And does anyone really feel a loyalty to "the Crown"—to a person, to an overlord by right of birth—any...
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    Scotland post-Brexit - what happens next?

    The break with Ireland was pretty acrimonious and complicated by the issue of the Six Counties, yet reasonably good arrangements were made between the two countries (like the CTA). However nasty things got with Scotland, I don't think they'd be as bad as they were with Ireland. (In the case of...
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    Brexit matters

    But not really surprising when for most of us there won't be any identifiable tangible gains.
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    Should the English language have a spelling reform?

    And if you were going to reform the spelling system, which version of pronunciation would you base the spelling on? The choice would be even harder today than 70 or 80 years ago, when you might still have got away with the claims of the so-called "Received Pronunication". But that wouldn't do...

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