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  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 41,082
    Hope it goes well Mike.
  • Carnyx said:

    Selebian said:

    Sandpit said:

    darkage said:

    darkage said:

    Sandpit said:

    darkage said:

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Progressive taxation under Labour the Tories:
    FYI, a couple of interesting (🤓) tables on income #tax from #HMRC (basically showing 'the rich' *are* paying more tax)...

    1. the % shares of total income tax paid by different income groups (the shares paid by the top 10%, 5% and 1% have all risen over the last decade... (1/2)


    2. the percentage shares of total income for each percentile group (these haven't changed much over the last decade, meaning that higher earners are paying more #tax on roughly the same share of income). (2/2)
    https://twitter.com/julianhjessop/status/1617601327856586752

    Oh no, not data!

    Opinion, that “the rich” need to be taxed more, is much easier to sell to the electorate as a whole, who never think it will affect *them*. IIRC the top decile starts at about £60k annual income, way lower than most people think it would be.

    More seriously, those numbers are a precursor to emigration (and immigration forgone), and it doesn’t need many of the top 1% to change their behavior, to have a large effect on the total tax take.
    ...says our resident tax haven ex-pat.
    Yes, your resident tax haven ex-pat.

    Who sees stories like this in his local newspaper:
    https://www.thenationalnews.com/weekend/2023/01/13/all-roads-lead-to-dubai-for-the-workers-deserting-britains-sinking-ship/
    That tiktok video is absolutely devastating. It explains middle class impoverishment in the UK, the guy was an experienced primary school teacher in the UK in his mid 30's earning £33k, and only had £170 per month to live on after he had paid his living expenses... So actually, you would have to increase his wage by about 10k to make it worth him staying in the UK, IE so he could save up to buy a house, and THEN uprate the pay by inflation every year going forward. None of that will happen. What we have now got is the problems of London of the past 2 decades (where you can only live if you are a co-habiting couple or live in a houseshare) expanded to the whole country.
    Yes, absolutely. The problems are housing costs, housing costs, and housing costs.

    Build more houses. Lots more houses. Then build yet more houses.
    The problems are deeper than this I am afraid. I think that you could build as many houses as you want in Redcar but build costs and regulation mean that a 1 bed flat will always be £600 per month either in terms of rent or mortgage payments... The problem is everything to do with the cost of building and regulation. Unfortunately, unless you want to try and reduce regulation or find a way of building housing for less... The only real solution is to increase wages.
    A large portion of the cost of construction is the wages. Not just direct, but in the cost of materials.

    Wages, especially for the lower paid, are defined, largely, by housing cost.

    Note, historically, the interest by forward thinking employers in providing reasonable quality homes close to their bsuinesses.
    It is about a 70/30 split I think, wages/materials for the basic standard of housebuilding, which is based on a lot of manual labour. But there have been big increases in the minimum wage, obviously reflecting general inflation. If demand for housebuilding goes down, then build costs could go down, but this will be symptomatic of not much housebuilding going on, which would have its own negative consequences.
    Build costs might well go up, if there was a serious contraction in house building.

    If house prices go down, the pressure will be on build costs.
    The way to fix build costs, is with technology. Prefab houses offsite, and ship them in on half a dozen lorries. Government to underwrite 20-year mortgages on them if built to a defined standard. A handful of factories could churn out hundreds of units per week. Target price £100k for a 3-bed, plus land cost.

    It requires the same effort that went into housebuilding post-WWII - and an understanding from government, that housing is the nation’s highest priority.
    It's interesting how pre-fabs have taken off in some areas (e.g. quite a few on Shetland - I've stayed in one, which was a great house) but almost unknown in others. We need to get out of the mindset that pre-fab = post-war tin bungalow, I guess.
    Oh, I don't know - the wartime and immediately postwar prefabs were much loved by many of their occupants (modern, well designed, fitted kitchens as standard) and the survivors are often much cherished. I wonder if the problem is more the sort of shoddy assembly of factory-produced concrete modules seen for instance at Ronan Point? (The problem there was ISTR a basic design principle; but there was some pretty shocking workmanship even in the simple assembly of the concrete chunks.)
    My Dad was watching some 'temporary' pre-fabs being put up in 1946. He made some disparaging remark to the foreman who replied that they were high specifation homes to an American design and if he could get himself one he should do so. Dad took the hint and before long he was living there with my Mum and brother. I came along in 1948.

    We left in 1963 for a semi in Wanstead, but simply because we'd outgrown the place, not because of any deterioration. In fact it was still as pleasantly habitable as ever in 1965 when it was demolished as part of a road scheme.

    We were very lucky. Our fond memeories of the place are not mere nostalgia. It was definitely much better quality public housing than is generally available today.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,041
    The party of 'liberty'.

    https://twitter.com/NoLieWithBTC/status/1617657063215366144
    Top Republican Jim Banks just indicated he wants to find a way to stop “young ladies” from “hopping in a car” to travel to another state for reproductive care. He agreed the fact that women can travel for care means “the fight is far from over.”
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 35,789

    boulay said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Does anyone know what the penalty is to a country should they transfer weapons without consent of the manufacturing country?

    Suppose Poland sends Leopards to Ukraine without German permission, Germany says “we aren’t going to sell you anymore weapons and we will take you to the European court (or whatever forum is relevant).

    Poland says “no problem, we will pay a fine and never buy a German kit again.”

    Germany loses an arms customer who is going to be upping their spending on arms and also is damaged in PR terms.
    Dunno but which other countries will want to do business with a customer who ignores licence terms?
    Plenty. Hopefully including the UK.

    I find it pretty nauseating that the Germans are more than happy to build up a huge defence industry, make billions out of selling weaponry to pretty well anybody, and then get sniffy about allowing their customers to forward on their expensively-purchased kit to a fellow democracy that is being systematically devastated by a brutal dictator.

    A large part of the German political class seems to be quite rotten.
  • DriverDriver Posts: 4,522

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    Yes, I read his article.
    It basically argues, in terms, that Washington and Moscow should agree to partition Ukraine as the war cannot be won.
    His argument is actually for self-determination, but whether that can actually be achieved now is a moot point.
    These are his words.
    ….Der Schlüssel für die Lösung des Konfliktes liegt nicht in Kiew, er liegt auch nicht in Berlin, Brüssel oder Paris, er liegt in Washington und Moskau. Es ist doch lächerlich zu sagen, die Ukraine müsse das entscheiden...
    These are also his words:

    Man sollte die Menschen in der Region, also im Donbass und auf der Krim, einfach fragen, zu wem sie gehören wollen. Man müsste die territoriale Integrität der Ukraine wiederherstellen, mit bestimmten westlichen Garantien.
    Referendums in occupied territories are worth what ?
    They have been done before. Unsurprisingly, when a territory is in dispute, it is also normally occupied by someone or other.

    Given where we are, we should draw an arbitrary squiggly line and give the Eastern portion to Russia.
    We did that in 1991.
  • YBarddCwscYBarddCwsc Posts: 7,172
    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    Yes, I read his article.
    It basically argues, in terms, that Washington and Moscow should agree to partition Ukraine as the war cannot be won.
    His argument is actually for self-determination, but whether that can actually be achieved now is a moot point.
    These are his words.
    ….Der Schlüssel für die Lösung des Konfliktes liegt nicht in Kiew, er liegt auch nicht in Berlin, Brüssel oder Paris, er liegt in Washington und Moskau. Es ist doch lächerlich zu sagen, die Ukraine müsse das entscheiden...
    These are also his words:

    Man sollte die Menschen in der Region, also im Donbass und auf der Krim, einfach fragen, zu wem sie gehören wollen. Man müsste die territoriale Integrität der Ukraine wiederherstellen, mit bestimmten westlichen Garantien.
    Referendums in occupied territories are worth what ?
    They have been done before. Unsurprisingly, when a territory is in dispute, it is also normally occupied by someone or other.

    Given where we are, we should draw an arbitrary squiggly line and give the Eastern portion to Russia.

    The only argument is where the squiggly line should be placed to minimize future conflict.

    It won't be possible to eliminate all future conflict, but a grossly unfair squiggly line will guarantee another War. A solution returning Crimea to Ukraine 100 per cent guarantees another War.

    So, it is a non-linear optimization with penalty problem.

    There are some who venerate Khrushchev & think he solved the non-linear optimization problem correctly.
    There was a perfectly good line drawn between Russia and Ukraine from 1991 until 2014, under international treaty accepted by the rest of the world. No-one, except Putin, would object to that line being restored.
    The line should be chosen to solve an optimization problem to minimize future conflict.

    There is nothing special about any squiggly line, and it can change with time.

    The squiggly line in N. Ireland was drawn (by the British) to solve an optimization problem in 1921: What is the maximum amount of territory that could be safely claimed to ensure a Unionist majority?

    I expect the squiggly line in N Ireland will change in the future. Ditto any squiggly line between Country X and Country Y.

    No squiggly line is inviolate.
    The line has already been chosen, 32 years ago.
    By Khrushchev. Was he any good at solving optimization problems?
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 35,789
    Nigelb said:

    The party of 'liberty'.

    https://twitter.com/NoLieWithBTC/status/1617657063215366144
    Top Republican Jim Banks just indicated he wants to find a way to stop “young ladies” from “hopping in a car” to travel to another state for reproductive care. He agreed the fact that women can travel for care means “the fight is far from over.”

    Perhaps, they'll authorise State police to shoot them on the spot.
  • AnabobazinaAnabobazina Posts: 19,773

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    So you say there's a significant risk of a nuclear disaster if we continue this course.

    Fair enough.

    But what about the other side of the equation? What are the risks of a Russian victory, or a stalemate that Russia can sell as a substantive victory? I'd argue that it's clear Russia wants further western expansion, and a 'loss' for the west will embolden them and weaken the coalition against them.

    Basically: we'd be fighting the same war in five or ten years, either in western Ukraine, or Poland, or Romania, or the Baltics, with a weakened NATO and a Russia that will have probably learnt lessons.

    I'd strongly argue that would be much worse.
    I'm not saying that we should back down in the face of Russian aggression. Far from it. What I am saying is that the war against Russia needs to be won in a way that minimises the risk of nuclear escalation. And, to me, that means gradually wearing down the Russian forces and economy, not going in with guns blazing in an attempt to secure a quick victory.
    I've no idea what strategy reduces the risk, when someone would have to be literally MAD to risk nuclear conflagration. We are not threatening to invade Russia's internationally-agreed borders. The only threat to Russia comes from their own actions in Ukraine.

    But the 'gradually wearing down' argument has one massive moral flaw: it's not our blood that's flowing. You're asking the Ukrainian people - and the Russian mobniks - to lose tens, or hundreds, of thousands of lives on a vague idea that it keeps you safer.

    This war needs to be ended ASAP, and in a way that disuades Russia, and other potential aggressor nations, from trying this sort of madness again.
    Assume you will be shouldering arms, leaving your wife and children, and marching into battle with God on your side?
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 49,762

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    Yes, I read his article.
    It basically argues, in terms, that Washington and Moscow should agree to partition Ukraine as the war cannot be won.
    His argument is actually for self-determination, but whether that can actually be achieved now is a moot point.
    These are his words.
    ….Der Schlüssel für die Lösung des Konfliktes liegt nicht in Kiew, er liegt auch nicht in Berlin, Brüssel oder Paris, er liegt in Washington und Moskau. Es ist doch lächerlich zu sagen, die Ukraine müsse das entscheiden...
    These are also his words:

    Man sollte die Menschen in der Region, also im Donbass und auf der Krim, einfach fragen, zu wem sie gehören wollen. Man müsste die territoriale Integrität der Ukraine wiederherstellen, mit bestimmten westlichen Garantien.
    Referendums in occupied territories are worth what ?
    They have been done before. Unsurprisingly, when a territory is in dispute, it is also normally occupied by someone or other.

    Given where we are, we should draw an arbitrary squiggly line and give the Eastern portion to Russia.

    The only argument is where the squiggly line should be placed to minimize future conflict.

    It won't be possible to eliminate all future conflict, but a grossly unfair squiggly line will guarantee another War. A solution returning Crimea to Ukraine 100 per cent guarantees another War.

    So, it is a non-linear optimization with penalty problem.

    There are some who venerate Khrushchev & think he solved the non-linear optimization problem correctly.
    There was a perfectly good line drawn between Russia and Ukraine from 1991 until 2014, under international treaty accepted by the rest of the world. No-one, except Putin, would object to that line being restored.
    The line should be chosen to solve an optimization problem to minimize future conflict.

    There is nothing special about any squiggly line, and it can change with time.

    The squiggly line in N. Ireland was drawn (by the British) to solve an optimization problem in 1921: What is the maximum amount of territory that could be safely claimed to ensure a Unionist majority?

    I expect the squiggly line in N Ireland will change in the future. Ditto any squiggly line between Country X and Country Y.

    No squiggly line is inviolate.
    The line has already been chosen, 32 years ago.
    By Khrushchev. Was he any good at solving optimization problems?
    The border was settled in 1991, by Khrushchev who died in 1971?
  • Dura_Ace said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vld actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    He's selling the "Civil war in Ukraine" narrative vs the reality of a Russian invasion, followed by Russia spending a lot of time and money creating "rebellions" in Eastern Ukraine.
    The truth lies somewhere between the two extremes. It is a fact that was was a large Russian speaking minority in the Donbas who were very unhappy with the government in Kyiv. It is also a fact that the Russians took advantage of this situation and helped to ferment and support the rebellion.
    Until relatively recently (last 5 years maybe) almost everybody in Ukraine spoke Russian in my experience. Ukrainian was thought of as the language of hillbillies and peasants, Zarkappatia oblatst excepted where they speak Hungarian.

    The Servant of the People show that propelled the Ukrainian Les Dennis to the Presidency was recorded and broadcast with 99% Russian dialogue.
    I mean, I know you're a Russophile, but don't you think that phrases like "Ukrainian was thought of as the language of hillbillies and peasants" highlights exactly why so many Ukrainians are fighting to rid themselves of the poisonous Russian influence?
    Wasn't it the Russians who were thought of as hillbillies and peasants by the pre-WW1 Eurpoean aristocracy?
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 49,762
    Nigelb said:

    The party of 'liberty'.

    https://twitter.com/NoLieWithBTC/status/1617657063215366144
    Top Republican Jim Banks just indicated he wants to find a way to stop “young ladies” from “hopping in a car” to travel to another state for reproductive care. He agreed the fact that women can travel for care means “the fight is far from over.”

    Presumably “reproductive care”, in this context, means “killing the baby”?
  • YBarddCwscYBarddCwsc Posts: 7,172
    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    Yes, I read his article.
    It basically argues, in terms, that Washington and Moscow should agree to partition Ukraine as the war cannot be won.
    His argument is actually for self-determination, but whether that can actually be achieved now is a moot point.
    These are his words.
    ….Der Schlüssel für die Lösung des Konfliktes liegt nicht in Kiew, er liegt auch nicht in Berlin, Brüssel oder Paris, er liegt in Washington und Moskau. Es ist doch lächerlich zu sagen, die Ukraine müsse das entscheiden...
    These are also his words:

    Man sollte die Menschen in der Region, also im Donbass und auf der Krim, einfach fragen, zu wem sie gehören wollen. Man müsste die territoriale Integrität der Ukraine wiederherstellen, mit bestimmten westlichen Garantien.
    Referendums in occupied territories are worth what ?
    They have been done before. Unsurprisingly, when a territory is in dispute, it is also normally occupied by someone or other.

    Given where we are, we should draw an arbitrary squiggly line and give the Eastern portion to Russia.

    The only argument is where the squiggly line should be placed to minimize future conflict.

    It won't be possible to eliminate all future conflict, but a grossly unfair squiggly line will guarantee another War. A solution returning Crimea to Ukraine 100 per cent guarantees another War.

    So, it is a non-linear optimization with penalty problem.

    There are some who venerate Khrushchev & think he solved the non-linear optimization problem correctly.
    There was a perfectly good line drawn between Russia and Ukraine from 1991 until 2014, under international treaty accepted by the rest of the world. No-one, except Putin, would object to that line being restored.
    The line should be chosen to solve an optimization problem to minimize future conflict.

    There is nothing special about any squiggly line, and it can change with time.

    The squiggly line in N. Ireland was drawn (by the British) to solve an optimization problem in 1921: What is the maximum amount of territory that could be safely claimed to ensure a Unionist majority?

    I expect the squiggly line in N Ireland will change in the future. Ditto any squiggly line between Country X and Country Y.

    No squiggly line is inviolate.
    The line has already been chosen, 32 years ago.
    By Khrushchev. Was he any good at solving optimization problems?
    The border was settled in 1991, by Khrushchev who died in 1971?
    Khrushchev drew the boundaries of Ukraine SSR which were inherited by Ukraine.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 59,540
    Today's big economic news is the latest #PMI surveys (not the public finances!) and they are bad.

    The UK composite PMI fell back to 47.8 in January, from 49.0, as services weakened again.

    Notable contrast with the eurozone too (which is also reflected in consumer confidence)……..More positively, UK 'business expectations for the year ahead improved considerably in January ... driven by hopes of an improving global economic backdrop and lower domestic inflationary pressures'.

    So some reason to think that the renewed weakness in January is a blip... 🤞


    https://twitter.com/julianHjessop/status/1617825251831992320


  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 38,772

    Dura_Ace said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vld actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    He's selling the "Civil war in Ukraine" narrative vs the reality of a Russian invasion, followed by Russia spending a lot of time and money creating "rebellions" in Eastern Ukraine.
    The truth lies somewhere between the two extremes. It is a fact that was was a large Russian speaking minority in the Donbas who were very unhappy with the government in Kyiv. It is also a fact that the Russians took advantage of this situation and helped to ferment and support the rebellion.
    Until relatively recently (last 5 years maybe) almost everybody in Ukraine spoke Russian in my experience. Ukrainian was thought of as the language of hillbillies and peasants, Zarkappatia oblatst excepted where they speak Hungarian.

    The Servant of the People show that propelled the Ukrainian Les Dennis to the Presidency was recorded and broadcast with 99% Russian dialogue.
    I mean, I know you're a Russophile, but don't you think that phrases like "Ukrainian was thought of as the language of hillbillies and peasants" highlights exactly why so many Ukrainians are fighting to rid themselves of the poisonous Russian influence?
    Wasn't it the Russians who were thought of as hillbillies and peasants by the pre-WW1 Eurpoean aristocracy?
    One interesting thins we've seen with this war so far is that it appears there is a vast gulf between rich and poor in Russia, between urban Muscovite or St Petersburg-dweller, and those who live in small settlements far to the east. The former are generally using the latter as cannon-fodder; at least that's the way it seems to me.

    Perhaps it's the Muscovites who see ither Russians as hillbillies and peasants? In fact, you don't have to go too far back in our history to see similar sentiments.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,976
    Sean_F said:

    DavidL said:

    Can I just say that that was yet another excellent thread header by @Cyclefree on the previous thread which I am sorry to have missed through ill health. It is slightly disappointing that the thread went off topic so fast but I suppose there is not much more that can be said about this.

    One novel spin came from an SNP councillor in Dundee at the weekend. She compared, in all seriousness, the actions of the UK government in blocking the Gender Recognition bill with those of the Nazis at Auschwitz. Both, apparently, involved persecuting minorities for their sexual orientation. Every day is a learning day in the City of DIscovery.

    What is it with people comparing things they dislike to the Holocaust?
    It's a ready reckoner of pure evil. But usually, as here, it just shows how unbelievably distorted and bizarre their own thinking is when they conclude that there is a point of comparison to the current issue.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 55,169
    Sean_F said:

    DavidL said:

    Can I just say that that was yet another excellent thread header by @Cyclefree on the previous thread which I am sorry to have missed through ill health. It is slightly disappointing that the thread went off topic so fast but I suppose there is not much more that can be said about this.

    One novel spin came from an SNP councillor in Dundee at the weekend. She compared, in all seriousness, the actions of the UK government in blocking the Gender Recognition bill with those of the Nazis at Auschwitz. Both, apparently, involved persecuting minorities for their sexual orientation. Every day is a learning day in the City of DIscovery.

    What is it with people comparing things they dislike to the Holocaust?
    They hope its a short-cut way to end the argument.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 55,169
    On topic, all the best, Mike - hope it goes well.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 38,772

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    So you say there's a significant risk of a nuclear disaster if we continue this course.

    Fair enough.

    But what about the other side of the equation? What are the risks of a Russian victory, or a stalemate that Russia can sell as a substantive victory? I'd argue that it's clear Russia wants further western expansion, and a 'loss' for the west will embolden them and weaken the coalition against them.

    Basically: we'd be fighting the same war in five or ten years, either in western Ukraine, or Poland, or Romania, or the Baltics, with a weakened NATO and a Russia that will have probably learnt lessons.

    I'd strongly argue that would be much worse.
    I'm not saying that we should back down in the face of Russian aggression. Far from it. What I am saying is that the war against Russia needs to be won in a way that minimises the risk of nuclear escalation. And, to me, that means gradually wearing down the Russian forces and economy, not going in with guns blazing in an attempt to secure a quick victory.
    I've no idea what strategy reduces the risk, when someone would have to be literally MAD to risk nuclear conflagration. We are not threatening to invade Russia's internationally-agreed borders. The only threat to Russia comes from their own actions in Ukraine.

    But the 'gradually wearing down' argument has one massive moral flaw: it's not our blood that's flowing. You're asking the Ukrainian people - and the Russian mobniks - to lose tens, or hundreds, of thousands of lives on a vague idea that it keeps you safer.

    This war needs to be ended ASAP, and in a way that disuades Russia, and other potential aggressor nations, from trying this sort of madness again.
    Assume you will be shouldering arms, leaving your wife and children, and marching into battle with God on your side?
    What a stupid comment. I want this war over, and IMV the best, least risky way of doing that is to get a 'quick' Ukrainian win. That also costs less in Ukrainian lives.

    The longer this hideous mess goes on, the greater the chance that we in the west will get more dragged into the mire.
  • WillGWillG Posts: 2,058
    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    The party of 'liberty'.

    https://twitter.com/NoLieWithBTC/status/1617657063215366144
    Top Republican Jim Banks just indicated he wants to find a way to stop “young ladies” from “hopping in a car” to travel to another state for reproductive care. He agreed the fact that women can travel for care means “the fight is far from over.”

    Presumably “reproductive care”, in this context, means “killing the baby”?
    A fertilized ovum is not a baby.
  • WillGWillG Posts: 2,058

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    So you say there's a significant risk of a nuclear disaster if we continue this course.

    Fair enough.

    But what about the other side of the equation? What are the risks of a Russian victory, or a stalemate that Russia can sell as a substantive victory? I'd argue that it's clear Russia wants further western expansion, and a 'loss' for the west will embolden them and weaken the coalition against them.

    Basically: we'd be fighting the same war in five or ten years, either in western Ukraine, or Poland, or Romania, or the Baltics, with a weakened NATO and a Russia that will have probably learnt lessons.

    I'd strongly argue that would be much worse.
    I'm not saying that we should back down in the face of Russian aggression. Far from it. What I am saying is that the war against Russia needs to be won in a way that minimises the risk of nuclear escalation. And, to me, that means gradually wearing down the Russian forces and economy, not going in with guns blazing in an attempt to secure a quick victory.
    I've no idea what strategy reduces the risk, when someone would have to be literally MAD to risk nuclear conflagration. We are not threatening to invade Russia's internationally-agreed borders. The only threat to Russia comes from their own actions in Ukraine.

    But the 'gradually wearing down' argument has one massive moral flaw: it's not our blood that's flowing. You're asking the Ukrainian people - and the Russian mobniks - to lose tens, or hundreds, of thousands of lives on a vague idea that it keeps you safer.

    This war needs to be ended ASAP, and in a way that disuades Russia, and other potential aggressor nations, from trying this sort of madness again.
    Assume you will be shouldering arms, leaving your wife and children, and marching into battle with God on your side?
    What a stupid comment. I want this war over, and IMV the best, least risky way of doing that is to get a 'quick' Ukrainian win. That also costs less in Ukrainian lives.

    The longer this hideous mess goes on, the greater the chance that we in the west will get more dragged into the mire.
    The reality is there's a chunk of the left that is so inherently anti-Western that they hate the idea of an obvious Western victory over a rival power. They have been wrong about every stage of the Ukraine War but keep telling us we need to hold back and help put Russia. Putin is now so weak he couldn't get a full mobilization past the Russian elite. There is no way he could get a nuclear attack past them.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 55,169
    All totally normal

    "The emotional gathering was a fitting farewell for a woman who, along with suffering a vicious level of abuse, also attracted an almost religious-like fervour among some.

    The New Zealand Herald reported how her supporters “pressed up against each other, desperate to have their moment with the former leader.”

    “We are sad,” one of them confessed to Ms Ardern as she walked by.

    “Touch her like Jesus, touch her gown,” another woman urged her friend.


    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/01/24/jacinda-ardern-denies-quitting-criticism-faced-prime-minister/
  • YBarddCwscYBarddCwsc Posts: 7,172
    Sean_F said:

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    Yes, I read his article.
    It basically argues, in terms, that Washington and Moscow should agree to partition Ukraine as the war cannot be won.
    His argument is actually for self-determination, but whether that can actually be achieved now is a moot point.
    These are his words.
    ….Der Schlüssel für die Lösung des Konfliktes liegt nicht in Kiew, er liegt auch nicht in Berlin, Brüssel oder Paris, er liegt in Washington und Moskau. Es ist doch lächerlich zu sagen, die Ukraine müsse das entscheiden...
    These are also his words:

    Man sollte die Menschen in der Region, also im Donbass und auf der Krim, einfach fragen, zu wem sie gehören wollen. Man müsste die territoriale Integrität der Ukraine wiederherstellen, mit bestimmten westlichen Garantien.
    Referendums in occupied territories are worth what ?
    They have been done before. Unsurprisingly, when a territory is in dispute, it is also normally occupied by someone or other.

    Given where we are, we should draw an arbitrary squiggly line and give the Eastern portion to Russia.

    The only argument is where the squiggly line should be placed to minimize future conflict.

    It won't be possible to eliminate all future conflict, but a grossly unfair squiggly line will guarantee another War. A solution returning Crimea to Ukraine 100 per cent guarantees another War.

    So, it is a non-linear optimization with penalty problem.

    There are some who venerate Khrushchev & think he solved the non-linear optimization problem correctly.
    There was a perfectly good line drawn between Russia and Ukraine from 1991 until 2014, under international treaty accepted by the rest of the world. No-one, except Putin, would object to that line being restored.
    The line should be chosen to solve an optimization problem to minimize future conflict.

    There is nothing special about any squiggly line, and it can change with time.

    The squiggly line in N. Ireland was drawn (by the British) to solve an optimization problem in 1921: What is the maximum amount of territory that could be safely claimed to ensure a Unionist majority?

    I expect the squiggly line in N Ireland will change in the future. Ditto any squiggly line between Country X and Country Y.

    No squiggly line is inviolate.
    The line has already been chosen, 32 years ago.
    By Khrushchev. Was he any good at solving optimization problems?
    Every region (including Crimea) voted for separation from Russia, the last time that a plebiscite was held.
    There have been many elections in Crimea since then (even before the annexation). Look at the composition of the Crimean Parliament before annexation.

    However, my point is somewhat different. These kind of conflicts can go on forever (eg Britain & Ireland).

    We should try and solve them by minimizing the capacity for future conflict. That means drawing the squiggly line in an optimum place.

    I don't think a solution in which Crimea is returned to Ukraine is likely to be even remotely stable. It absolutely guarantees a future war.

    There is probably no solution without some low level conflict. But we can at least try and make it low level.
  • Peter_the_PunterPeter_the_Punter Posts: 13,266
    edited January 2023

    Dura_Ace said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vld actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    He's selling the "Civil war in Ukraine" narrative vs the reality of a Russian invasion, followed by Russia spending a lot of time and money creating "rebellions" in Eastern Ukraine.
    The truth lies somewhere between the two extremes. It is a fact that was was a large Russian speaking minority in the Donbas who were very unhappy with the government in Kyiv. It is also a fact that the Russians took advantage of this situation and helped to ferment and support the rebellion.
    Until relatively recently (last 5 years maybe) almost everybody in Ukraine spoke Russian in my experience. Ukrainian was thought of as the language of hillbillies and peasants, Zarkappatia oblatst excepted where they speak Hungarian.

    The Servant of the People show that propelled the Ukrainian Les Dennis to the Presidency was recorded and broadcast with 99% Russian dialogue.
    I mean, I know you're a Russophile, but don't you think that phrases like "Ukrainian was thought of as the language of hillbillies and peasants" highlights exactly why so many Ukrainians are fighting to rid themselves of the poisonous Russian influence?
    Wasn't it the Russians who were thought of as hillbillies and peasants by the pre-WW1 Eurpoean aristocracy?
    One interesting thins we've seen with this war so far is that it appears there is a vast gulf between rich and poor in Russia, between urban Muscovite or St Petersburg-dweller, and those who live in small settlements far to the east. The former are generally using the latter as cannon-fodder; at least that's the way it seems to me.

    Perhaps it's the Muscovites who see ither Russians as hillbillies and peasants? In fact, you don't have to go too far back in our history to see similar sentiments.
    Eliots famously sardonic line in the Waste Land draws heavily on the snobbery of the old aristocracies of the 19th and early 20th century:

    Bin gar keine Russin, stamm aus Litauen, echt Deutsch.
    [I'm not a Russian, I come from Lithuania, genuine German.]

    The whole point was that even Russian aristos were regarded as a bit peasanty, hence the sharp denial.

    Not sure how Muscovites and St Pete's folk view the rest. Tolstoy doesn't give the impression of much sneering, but I've read few other Russian authors so maybe that's misleading.
  • YBarddCwscYBarddCwsc Posts: 7,172
    Driver said:

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    Yes, I read his article.
    It basically argues, in terms, that Washington and Moscow should agree to partition Ukraine as the war cannot be won.
    His argument is actually for self-determination, but whether that can actually be achieved now is a moot point.
    These are his words.
    ….Der Schlüssel für die Lösung des Konfliktes liegt nicht in Kiew, er liegt auch nicht in Berlin, Brüssel oder Paris, er liegt in Washington und Moskau. Es ist doch lächerlich zu sagen, die Ukraine müsse das entscheiden...
    These are also his words:

    Man sollte die Menschen in der Region, also im Donbass und auf der Krim, einfach fragen, zu wem sie gehören wollen. Man müsste die territoriale Integrität der Ukraine wiederherstellen, mit bestimmten westlichen Garantien.
    Referendums in occupied territories are worth what ?
    They have been done before. Unsurprisingly, when a territory is in dispute, it is also normally occupied by someone or other.

    Given where we are, we should draw an arbitrary squiggly line and give the Eastern portion to Russia.

    The only argument is where the squiggly line should be placed to minimize future conflict.

    It won't be possible to eliminate all future conflict, but a grossly unfair squiggly line will guarantee another War. A solution returning Crimea to Ukraine 100 per cent guarantees another War.

    So, it is a non-linear optimization with penalty problem.

    There are some who venerate Khrushchev & think he solved the non-linear optimization problem correctly.
    There was a perfectly good line drawn between Russia and Ukraine from 1991 until 2014, under international treaty accepted by the rest of the world. No-one, except Putin, would object to that line being restored.
    The line should be chosen to solve an optimization problem to minimize future conflict.

    There is nothing special about any squiggly line, and it can change with time.

    The squiggly line in N. Ireland was drawn (by the British) to solve an optimization problem in 1921: What is the maximum amount of territory that could be safely claimed to ensure a Unionist majority?

    I expect the squiggly line in N Ireland will change in the future. Ditto any squiggly line between Country X and Country Y.

    No squiggly line is inviolate.
    The line has already been chosen, 32 years ago.
    By Khrushchev. Was he any good at solving optimization problems?
    The border was settled in 1991, by Khrushchev who died in 1971?
    Khrushchev drew the boundaries of Ukraine SSR which were inherited by Ukraine.
    And endorsed by an actual free and fair referendum in 1991.
    In very unusual circumstances just after the 1991 Communist coup d'état attempt in the Soviet Union.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 55,169

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    So you say there's a significant risk of a nuclear disaster if we continue this course.

    Fair enough.

    But what about the other side of the equation? What are the risks of a Russian victory, or a stalemate that Russia can sell as a substantive victory? I'd argue that it's clear Russia wants further western expansion, and a 'loss' for the west will embolden them and weaken the coalition against them.

    Basically: we'd be fighting the same war in five or ten years, either in western Ukraine, or Poland, or Romania, or the Baltics, with a weakened NATO and a Russia that will have probably learnt lessons.

    I'd strongly argue that would be much worse.
    I'm not saying that we should back down in the face of Russian aggression. Far from it. What I am saying is that the war against Russia needs to be won in a way that minimises the risk of nuclear escalation. And, to me, that means gradually wearing down the Russian forces and economy, not going in with guns blazing in an attempt to secure a quick victory.
    I've no idea what strategy reduces the risk, when someone would have to be literally MAD to risk nuclear conflagration. We are not threatening to invade Russia's internationally-agreed borders. The only threat to Russia comes from their own actions in Ukraine.

    But the 'gradually wearing down' argument has one massive moral flaw: it's not our blood that's flowing. You're asking the Ukrainian people - and the Russian mobniks - to lose tens, or hundreds, of thousands of lives on a vague idea that it keeps you safer.

    This war needs to be ended ASAP, and in a way that disuades Russia, and other potential aggressor nations, from trying this sort of madness again.
    Assume you will be shouldering arms, leaving your wife and children, and marching into battle with God on your side?
    What a stupid comment. I want this war over, and IMV the best, least risky way of doing that is to get a 'quick' Ukrainian win. That also costs less in Ukrainian lives.

    The longer this hideous mess goes on, the greater the chance that we in the west will get more dragged into the mire.
    Sadly, I think this conflict is now moving into a place where it will grind on for years until Russia eventually decides it has no alternative but to move to ceasefire negotiations.

    Which means hundreds of thousands more people will die - totally unnecessarily.

    War truly is a tragedy.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 55,169

    Sean_F said:

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    Yes, I read his article.
    It basically argues, in terms, that Washington and Moscow should agree to partition Ukraine as the war cannot be won.
    His argument is actually for self-determination, but whether that can actually be achieved now is a moot point.
    These are his words.
    ….Der Schlüssel für die Lösung des Konfliktes liegt nicht in Kiew, er liegt auch nicht in Berlin, Brüssel oder Paris, er liegt in Washington und Moskau. Es ist doch lächerlich zu sagen, die Ukraine müsse das entscheiden...
    These are also his words:

    Man sollte die Menschen in der Region, also im Donbass und auf der Krim, einfach fragen, zu wem sie gehören wollen. Man müsste die territoriale Integrität der Ukraine wiederherstellen, mit bestimmten westlichen Garantien.
    Referendums in occupied territories are worth what ?
    They have been done before. Unsurprisingly, when a territory is in dispute, it is also normally occupied by someone or other.

    Given where we are, we should draw an arbitrary squiggly line and give the Eastern portion to Russia.

    The only argument is where the squiggly line should be placed to minimize future conflict.

    It won't be possible to eliminate all future conflict, but a grossly unfair squiggly line will guarantee another War. A solution returning Crimea to Ukraine 100 per cent guarantees another War.

    So, it is a non-linear optimization with penalty problem.

    There are some who venerate Khrushchev & think he solved the non-linear optimization problem correctly.
    There was a perfectly good line drawn between Russia and Ukraine from 1991 until 2014, under international treaty accepted by the rest of the world. No-one, except Putin, would object to that line being restored.
    The line should be chosen to solve an optimization problem to minimize future conflict.

    There is nothing special about any squiggly line, and it can change with time.

    The squiggly line in N. Ireland was drawn (by the British) to solve an optimization problem in 1921: What is the maximum amount of territory that could be safely claimed to ensure a Unionist majority?

    I expect the squiggly line in N Ireland will change in the future. Ditto any squiggly line between Country X and Country Y.

    No squiggly line is inviolate.
    The line has already been chosen, 32 years ago.
    By Khrushchev. Was he any good at solving optimization problems?
    Every region (including Crimea) voted for separation from Russia, the last time that a plebiscite was held.
    There have been many elections in Crimea since then (even before the annexation). Look at the composition of the Crimean Parliament before annexation.

    However, my point is somewhat different. These kind of conflicts can go on forever (eg Britain & Ireland).

    We should try and solve them by minimizing the capacity for future conflict. That means drawing the squiggly line in an optimum place.

    I don't think a solution in which Crimea is returned to Ukraine is likely to be even remotely stable. It absolutely guarantees a future war.

    There is probably no solution without some low level conflict. But we can at least try and make it low level.
    If I were Ukraine I might just trade Crimea but I'd want absolute guarantees about everything else, including freedom to join NATO and the EU.

    This won't end well for Russia.
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 12,944

    Dura_Ace said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vld actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    He's selling the "Civil war in Ukraine" narrative vs the reality of a Russian invasion, followed by Russia spending a lot of time and money creating "rebellions" in Eastern Ukraine.
    The truth lies somewhere between the two extremes. It is a fact that was was a large Russian speaking minority in the Donbas who were very unhappy with the government in Kyiv. It is also a fact that the Russians took advantage of this situation and helped to ferment and support the rebellion.
    Until relatively recently (last 5 years maybe) almost everybody in Ukraine spoke Russian in my experience. Ukrainian was thought of as the language of hillbillies and peasants, Zarkappatia oblatst excepted where they speak Hungarian.

    The Servant of the People show that propelled the Ukrainian Les Dennis to the Presidency was recorded and broadcast with 99% Russian dialogue.
    I mean, I know you're a Russophile, but don't you think that phrases like "Ukrainian was thought of as the language of hillbillies and peasants" highlights exactly why so many Ukrainians are fighting to rid themselves of the poisonous Russian influence?
    Wasn't it the Russians who were thought of as hillbillies and peasants by the pre-WW1 Eurpoean aristocracy?
    One interesting thins we've seen with this war so far is that it appears there is a vast gulf between rich and poor in Russia, between urban Muscovite or St Petersburg-dweller, and those who live in small settlements far to the east. The former are generally using the latter as cannon-fodder; at least that's the way it seems to me.

    Perhaps it's the Muscovites who see ither Russians as hillbillies and peasants? In fact, you don't have to go too far back in our history to see similar sentiments.
    Eliots famously sardonic line in the Waste Land draws heavily on the snobbery of the old aristocracies of the 19th and early 20th century:

    Bin gar keine Russin, stamm aus Litauen, echt Deutsch.
    [I'm not a Russian, I come from Lithuania, genuine German.]

    The whole point was that even Russian aristos were regarded as a bit peasanty, hence the sharp denial.

    Not sure how Muscovites and St Pete's folk view the rest. Tolstoy doesn't give the impression of much sneering, but I've read few other Russian authors so maybe that's misleading.
    Dead Souls by N. V. Gogol is the book you need. Then Master and Margarita by M. A. Bulgakov.
  • DriverDriver Posts: 4,522
    WillG said:

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    The party of 'liberty'.

    https://twitter.com/NoLieWithBTC/status/1617657063215366144
    Top Republican Jim Banks just indicated he wants to find a way to stop “young ladies” from “hopping in a car” to travel to another state for reproductive care. He agreed the fact that women can travel for care means “the fight is far from over.”

    Presumably “reproductive care”, in this context, means “killing the baby”?
    A fertilized ovum is not a baby.
    Where do you draw the line between one and the other?
  • DriverDriver Posts: 4,522

    Sean_F said:

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    Yes, I read his article.
    It basically argues, in terms, that Washington and Moscow should agree to partition Ukraine as the war cannot be won.
    His argument is actually for self-determination, but whether that can actually be achieved now is a moot point.
    These are his words.
    ….Der Schlüssel für die Lösung des Konfliktes liegt nicht in Kiew, er liegt auch nicht in Berlin, Brüssel oder Paris, er liegt in Washington und Moskau. Es ist doch lächerlich zu sagen, die Ukraine müsse das entscheiden...
    These are also his words:

    Man sollte die Menschen in der Region, also im Donbass und auf der Krim, einfach fragen, zu wem sie gehören wollen. Man müsste die territoriale Integrität der Ukraine wiederherstellen, mit bestimmten westlichen Garantien.
    Referendums in occupied territories are worth what ?
    They have been done before. Unsurprisingly, when a territory is in dispute, it is also normally occupied by someone or other.

    Given where we are, we should draw an arbitrary squiggly line and give the Eastern portion to Russia.

    The only argument is where the squiggly line should be placed to minimize future conflict.

    It won't be possible to eliminate all future conflict, but a grossly unfair squiggly line will guarantee another War. A solution returning Crimea to Ukraine 100 per cent guarantees another War.

    So, it is a non-linear optimization with penalty problem.

    There are some who venerate Khrushchev & think he solved the non-linear optimization problem correctly.
    There was a perfectly good line drawn between Russia and Ukraine from 1991 until 2014, under international treaty accepted by the rest of the world. No-one, except Putin, would object to that line being restored.
    The line should be chosen to solve an optimization problem to minimize future conflict.

    There is nothing special about any squiggly line, and it can change with time.

    The squiggly line in N. Ireland was drawn (by the British) to solve an optimization problem in 1921: What is the maximum amount of territory that could be safely claimed to ensure a Unionist majority?

    I expect the squiggly line in N Ireland will change in the future. Ditto any squiggly line between Country X and Country Y.

    No squiggly line is inviolate.
    The line has already been chosen, 32 years ago.
    By Khrushchev. Was he any good at solving optimization problems?
    Every region (including Crimea) voted for separation from Russia, the last time that a plebiscite was held.
    There have been many elections in Crimea since then (even before the annexation). Look at the composition of the Crimean Parliament before annexation.

    However, my point is somewhat different. These kind of conflicts can go on forever (eg Britain & Ireland).

    We should try and solve them by minimizing the capacity for future conflict. That means drawing the squiggly line in an optimum place.

    I don't think a solution in which Crimea is returned to Ukraine is likely to be even remotely stable. It absolutely guarantees a future war.

    There is probably no solution without some low level conflict. But we can at least try and make it low level.
    The problem is not the location of the border, it's the mindset of the dictator in the Kremlin.
  • PhilPhil Posts: 1,924

    Phil said:

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Yuriy Ignat, the spokesman of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said that the USA has already decided on the type of aircraft to be supplied to Ukraine, as well as on the terms of pilot training.
    https://twitter.com/NOELreports/status/1617834435025698816

    OOHHHHHHH!!!!!

    Sounds like it could be F-16s heading to Ukraine. Game-changer if that’s the case.
    Depends on the model - If it's the F16A/B that was supposed to be sold to Pakistan way back when, then they'd be useful (maybe).

    A F16C/D Block 52 - that would be a game changer.
    It’ll likely be the older ones. The Septics won’t want the most modern NATO kit ending up shot down and in enemy hands, nor non-NATO pilots and technicians knowing too much about them.

    What’s needed, is sufficient numbers to provide air cover for the Western tanks. We know that the enemy can’t field more than a handful of their latest-gen fighter aircraft in opposition, so they’ll mostly be fighting the Cold-War-era Soviet birds - and even then, likely not many of them.
    https://www.f-16.net/f-16_versions_article9.html

    claims that the older ones aren’t capable of firing modern missiles (like HARM anti-radiation missiles, JDAMs, Harpoons etc etc), so if you want to send those to Ukraine then it’s F16C/D Block 52 or nothing. (The HARM missiles Ukraine are currently using are being fired in a pre-set mode that doesn’t integrate with the fire control in the aircraft.)

    That said, these aircraft started being produced in 1991, so the electronics presumably date from the late 80s. Is any of that stuff really that secret any more?

    Apparently there’s a “block 50/52 plus” which sounds like it’s full of stuff the US might not want to send anywhere near the Russian military, but presumably there are a few hundred of the originals still flying around?
    The American military seems averse to even model numbers to describe the very considerable changes they implement in their systems over the years.

    In any other country, the F16 would have a new number by now. As with the Russians and the decedents of the Su-27.
    This is mostly internal politics: Can’t possibly fund a new jet in the same role as the F16 - that would have competed with the vested interests who were funding the F22 program!

    How about a complete upgrade of everything inside the F16 airframe, engines, avionics, radars, integrated fire control, radios & on and on? Sure! So long as you still call it an F16 the government will sign off on anything you like...
  • GallowgateGallowgate Posts: 19,076

    Sean_F said:

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    Yes, I read his article.
    It basically argues, in terms, that Washington and Moscow should agree to partition Ukraine as the war cannot be won.
    His argument is actually for self-determination, but whether that can actually be achieved now is a moot point.
    These are his words.
    ….Der Schlüssel für die Lösung des Konfliktes liegt nicht in Kiew, er liegt auch nicht in Berlin, Brüssel oder Paris, er liegt in Washington und Moskau. Es ist doch lächerlich zu sagen, die Ukraine müsse das entscheiden...
    These are also his words:

    Man sollte die Menschen in der Region, also im Donbass und auf der Krim, einfach fragen, zu wem sie gehören wollen. Man müsste die territoriale Integrität der Ukraine wiederherstellen, mit bestimmten westlichen Garantien.
    Referendums in occupied territories are worth what ?
    They have been done before. Unsurprisingly, when a territory is in dispute, it is also normally occupied by someone or other.

    Given where we are, we should draw an arbitrary squiggly line and give the Eastern portion to Russia.

    The only argument is where the squiggly line should be placed to minimize future conflict.

    It won't be possible to eliminate all future conflict, but a grossly unfair squiggly line will guarantee another War. A solution returning Crimea to Ukraine 100 per cent guarantees another War.

    So, it is a non-linear optimization with penalty problem.

    There are some who venerate Khrushchev & think he solved the non-linear optimization problem correctly.
    There was a perfectly good line drawn between Russia and Ukraine from 1991 until 2014, under international treaty accepted by the rest of the world. No-one, except Putin, would object to that line being restored.
    The line should be chosen to solve an optimization problem to minimize future conflict.

    There is nothing special about any squiggly line, and it can change with time.

    The squiggly line in N. Ireland was drawn (by the British) to solve an optimization problem in 1921: What is the maximum amount of territory that could be safely claimed to ensure a Unionist majority?

    I expect the squiggly line in N Ireland will change in the future. Ditto any squiggly line between Country X and Country Y.

    No squiggly line is inviolate.
    The line has already been chosen, 32 years ago.
    By Khrushchev. Was he any good at solving optimization problems?
    Every region (including Crimea) voted for separation from Russia, the last time that a plebiscite was held.
    There have been many elections in Crimea since then (even before the annexation). Look at the composition of the Crimean Parliament before annexation.

    However, my point is somewhat different. These kind of conflicts can go on forever (eg Britain & Ireland).

    We should try and solve them by minimizing the capacity for future conflict. That means drawing the squiggly line in an optimum place.

    I don't think a solution in which Crimea is returned to Ukraine is likely to be even remotely stable. It absolutely guarantees a future war.

    There is probably no solution without some low level conflict. But we can at least try and make it low level.
    If I were Ukraine I might just trade Crimea but I'd want absolute guarantees about everything else, including freedom to join NATO and the EU.

    This won't end well for Russia.
    From a NATO perspective, having a base in Sevastopol could be valuable.
  • YBarddCwscYBarddCwsc Posts: 7,172

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    Yes, I read his article.
    It basically argues, in terms, that Washington and Moscow should agree to partition Ukraine as the war cannot be won.
    His argument is actually for self-determination, but whether that can actually be achieved now is a moot point.
    These are his words.
    ….Der Schlüssel für die Lösung des Konfliktes liegt nicht in Kiew, er liegt auch nicht in Berlin, Brüssel oder Paris, er liegt in Washington und Moskau. Es ist doch lächerlich zu sagen, die Ukraine müsse das entscheiden...
    These are also his words:

    Man sollte die Menschen in der Region, also im Donbass und auf der Krim, einfach fragen, zu wem sie gehören wollen. Man müsste die territoriale Integrität der Ukraine wiederherstellen, mit bestimmten westlichen Garantien.
    Referendums in occupied territories are worth what ?
    They have been done before. Unsurprisingly, when a territory is in dispute, it is also normally occupied by someone or other.

    Given where we are, we should draw an arbitrary squiggly line and give the Eastern portion to Russia.

    The only argument is where the squiggly line should be placed to minimize future conflict.

    It won't be possible to eliminate all future conflict, but a grossly unfair squiggly line will guarantee another War. A solution returning Crimea to Ukraine 100 per cent guarantees another War.

    So, it is a non-linear optimization with penalty problem.

    There are some who venerate Khrushchev & think he solved the non-linear optimization problem correctly.
    There was a perfectly good line drawn between Russia and Ukraine from 1991 until 2014, under international treaty accepted by the rest of the world. No-one, except Putin, would object to that line being restored.
    The line should be chosen to solve an optimization problem to minimize future conflict.

    There is nothing special about any squiggly line, and it can change with time.

    The squiggly line in N. Ireland was drawn (by the British) to solve an optimization problem in 1921: What is the maximum amount of territory that could be safely claimed to ensure a Unionist majority?

    I expect the squiggly line in N Ireland will change in the future. Ditto any squiggly line between Country X and Country Y.

    No squiggly line is inviolate.
    The collective pretence that squiggly lines are inviolate is the best deterrence to war and guarantor of peace. If Ukraine is able to restore the 1991-2014 borders it will be a powerful signal of the futility of armed aggression as a means to redraw squiggly lines.

    It will greatly reduce the likelihood of future conflicts over squiggly lines on maps.
    Whilst I like your posts, I think on this you are very wrong.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 49,762
    Phil said:

    Phil said:

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Yuriy Ignat, the spokesman of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said that the USA has already decided on the type of aircraft to be supplied to Ukraine, as well as on the terms of pilot training.
    https://twitter.com/NOELreports/status/1617834435025698816

    OOHHHHHHH!!!!!

    Sounds like it could be F-16s heading to Ukraine. Game-changer if that’s the case.
    Depends on the model - If it's the F16A/B that was supposed to be sold to Pakistan way back when, then they'd be useful (maybe).

    A F16C/D Block 52 - that would be a game changer.
    It’ll likely be the older ones. The Septics won’t want the most modern NATO kit ending up shot down and in enemy hands, nor non-NATO pilots and technicians knowing too much about them.

    What’s needed, is sufficient numbers to provide air cover for the Western tanks. We know that the enemy can’t field more than a handful of their latest-gen fighter aircraft in opposition, so they’ll mostly be fighting the Cold-War-era Soviet birds - and even then, likely not many of them.
    https://www.f-16.net/f-16_versions_article9.html

    claims that the older ones aren’t capable of firing modern missiles (like HARM anti-radiation missiles, JDAMs, Harpoons etc etc), so if you want to send those to Ukraine then it’s F16C/D Block 52 or nothing. (The HARM missiles Ukraine are currently using are being fired in a pre-set mode that doesn’t integrate with the fire control in the aircraft.)

    That said, these aircraft started being produced in 1991, so the electronics presumably date from the late 80s. Is any of that stuff really that secret any more?

    Apparently there’s a “block 50/52 plus” which sounds like it’s full of stuff the US might not want to send anywhere near the Russian military, but presumably there are a few hundred of the originals still flying around?
    The American military seems averse to even model numbers to describe the very considerable changes they implement in their systems over the years.

    In any other country, the F16 would have a new number by now. As with the Russians and the decedents of the Su-27.
    This is mostly internal politics: Can’t possibly fund a new jet in the same role as the F16 - that would have competed with the vested interests who were funding the F22 program!

    How about a complete upgrade of everything inside the F16 airframe, engines, avionics, radars, integrated fire control, radios & on and on? Sure! So long as you still call it an F16 the government will sign off on anything you like...
    Not just the military either, that’s how we ended up with the Boeing 737-Max, a plane that appears to share nothing except the fuselage width (and the type approval certificate!), with the original 737 of 1967.
  • SelebianSelebian Posts: 7,310
    edited January 2023

    Selebian said:

    Sandpit said:

    darkage said:

    darkage said:

    Sandpit said:

    darkage said:

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Progressive taxation under Labour the Tories:
    FYI, a couple of interesting (🤓) tables on income #tax from #HMRC (basically showing 'the rich' *are* paying more tax)...

    1. the % shares of total income tax paid by different income groups (the shares paid by the top 10%, 5% and 1% have all risen over the last decade... (1/2)


    2. the percentage shares of total income for each percentile group (these haven't changed much over the last decade, meaning that higher earners are paying more #tax on roughly the same share of income). (2/2)
    https://twitter.com/julianhjessop/status/1617601327856586752

    Oh no, not data!

    Opinion, that “the rich” need to be taxed more, is much easier to sell to the electorate as a whole, who never think it will affect *them*. IIRC the top decile starts at about £60k annual income, way lower than most people think it would be.

    More seriously, those numbers are a precursor to emigration (and immigration forgone), and it doesn’t need many of the top 1% to change their behavior, to have a large effect on the total tax take.
    ...says our resident tax haven ex-pat.
    Yes, your resident tax haven ex-pat.

    Who sees stories like this in his local newspaper:
    https://www.thenationalnews.com/weekend/2023/01/13/all-roads-lead-to-dubai-for-the-workers-deserting-britains-sinking-ship/
    That tiktok video is absolutely devastating. It explains middle class impoverishment in the UK, the guy was an experienced primary school teacher in the UK in his mid 30's earning £33k, and only had £170 per month to live on after he had paid his living expenses... So actually, you would have to increase his wage by about 10k to make it worth him staying in the UK, IE so he could save up to buy a house, and THEN uprate the pay by inflation every year going forward. None of that will happen. What we have now got is the problems of London of the past 2 decades (where you can only live if you are a co-habiting couple or live in a houseshare) expanded to the whole country.
    Yes, absolutely. The problems are housing costs, housing costs, and housing costs.

    Build more houses. Lots more houses. Then build yet more houses.
    The problems are deeper than this I am afraid. I think that you could build as many houses as you want in Redcar but build costs and regulation mean that a 1 bed flat will always be £600 per month either in terms of rent or mortgage payments... The problem is everything to do with the cost of building and regulation. Unfortunately, unless you want to try and reduce regulation or find a way of building housing for less... The only real solution is to increase wages.
    A large portion of the cost of construction is the wages. Not just direct, but in the cost of materials.

    Wages, especially for the lower paid, are defined, largely, by housing cost.

    Note, historically, the interest by forward thinking employers in providing reasonable quality homes close to their bsuinesses.
    It is about a 70/30 split I think, wages/materials for the basic standard of housebuilding, which is based on a lot of manual labour. But there have been big increases in the minimum wage, obviously reflecting general inflation. If demand for housebuilding goes down, then build costs could go down, but this will be symptomatic of not much housebuilding going on, which would have its own negative consequences.
    Build costs might well go up, if there was a serious contraction in house building.

    If house prices go down, the pressure will be on build costs.
    The way to fix build costs, is with technology. Prefab houses offsite, and ship them in on half a dozen lorries. Government to underwrite 20-year mortgages on them if built to a defined standard. A handful of factories could churn out hundreds of units per week. Target price £100k for a 3-bed, plus land cost.

    It requires the same effort that went into housebuilding post-WWII - and an understanding from government, that housing is the nation’s highest priority.
    It's interesting how pre-fabs have taken off in some areas (e.g. quite a few on Shetland - I've stayed in one, which was a great house) but almost unknown in others. We need to get out of the mindset that pre-fab = post-war tin bungalow, I guess.
    Selebian, I grew up in such a tin-shed in Hackney Wick. It was warm, dry, comfortable and had a fridge and a bath, luxuries that were indeed rare in the neighbourhood at that time. It also had a large garden and a couple of sheds, one for the coal and the other for storage.

    It was a delight and a privilege to live there and I can only think that post-war planners must have made a mistake in their calculations when making such generous housing available to oiks like us.

    Would that the inhabitants of Grenfell Towers and the like have been so lucky. Even if not incinerated, the residents of such blocks would have envied us our delightful little detached bungalows.
    Yep, see also my reply to Carnyx.

    I'm aware (there are some near where I grew up) of their qualities, but despite that, largely for aesthetics or simple snobbery, they are not generally seen as desirable, except by those who actually have experience of living in one (e.g. your father's initial attitude compared to lived experience*). The modern pre-fabs have many of the same qualities (insulation, precision manufacture) while also being as aesthetically pleasing as any other construction and (depending on finish) not necessarily looking that different to a standard construction.

    *'lived experience' actually seems apt here :smile:

    ETA: But I can well see how my original comment has been misinterpreted - I do think the ways in which pre-fabs have come on need to be made clear, but I didn't mean to disparage the post-war ones.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 38,772
    Dura_Ace said:

    Dura_Ace said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vld actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    He's selling the "Civil war in Ukraine" narrative vs the reality of a Russian invasion, followed by Russia spending a lot of time and money creating "rebellions" in Eastern Ukraine.
    The truth lies somewhere between the two extremes. It is a fact that was was a large Russian speaking minority in the Donbas who were very unhappy with the government in Kyiv. It is also a fact that the Russians took advantage of this situation and helped to ferment and support the rebellion.
    Until relatively recently (last 5 years maybe) almost everybody in Ukraine spoke Russian in my experience. Ukrainian was thought of as the language of hillbillies and peasants, Zarkappatia oblatst excepted where they speak Hungarian.

    The Servant of the People show that propelled the Ukrainian Les Dennis to the Presidency was recorded and broadcast with 99% Russian dialogue.
    I mean, I know you're a Russophile, but don't you think that phrases like "Ukrainian was thought of as the language of hillbillies and peasants" highlights exactly why so many Ukrainians are fighting to rid themselves of the poisonous Russian influence?
    Wasn't it the Russians who were thought of as hillbillies and peasants by the pre-WW1 Eurpoean aristocracy?
    One interesting thins we've seen with this war so far is that it appears there is a vast gulf between rich and poor in Russia, between urban Muscovite or St Petersburg-dweller, and those who live in small settlements far to the east. The former are generally using the latter as cannon-fodder; at least that's the way it seems to me.

    Perhaps it's the Muscovites who see ither Russians as hillbillies and peasants? In fact, you don't have to go too far back in our history to see similar sentiments.
    Eliots famously sardonic line in the Waste Land draws heavily on the snobbery of the old aristocracies of the 19th and early 20th century:

    Bin gar keine Russin, stamm aus Litauen, echt Deutsch.
    [I'm not a Russian, I come from Lithuania, genuine German.]

    The whole point was that even Russian aristos were regarded as a bit peasanty, hence the sharp denial.

    Not sure how Muscovites and St Pete's folk view the rest. Tolstoy doesn't give the impression of much sneering, but I've read few other Russian authors so maybe that's misleading.
    Dead Souls by N. V. Gogol is the book you need. Then Master and Margarita by M. A. Bulgakov.
    "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" was a great description of how Russians can treat their fellow countrymen.
  • GallowgateGallowgate Posts: 19,076
    Selebian said:

    Selebian said:

    Sandpit said:

    darkage said:

    darkage said:

    Sandpit said:

    darkage said:

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Progressive taxation under Labour the Tories:
    FYI, a couple of interesting (🤓) tables on income #tax from #HMRC (basically showing 'the rich' *are* paying more tax)...

    1. the % shares of total income tax paid by different income groups (the shares paid by the top 10%, 5% and 1% have all risen over the last decade... (1/2)


    2. the percentage shares of total income for each percentile group (these haven't changed much over the last decade, meaning that higher earners are paying more #tax on roughly the same share of income). (2/2)
    https://twitter.com/julianhjessop/status/1617601327856586752

    Oh no, not data!

    Opinion, that “the rich” need to be taxed more, is much easier to sell to the electorate as a whole, who never think it will affect *them*. IIRC the top decile starts at about £60k annual income, way lower than most people think it would be.

    More seriously, those numbers are a precursor to emigration (and immigration forgone), and it doesn’t need many of the top 1% to change their behavior, to have a large effect on the total tax take.
    ...says our resident tax haven ex-pat.
    Yes, your resident tax haven ex-pat.

    Who sees stories like this in his local newspaper:
    https://www.thenationalnews.com/weekend/2023/01/13/all-roads-lead-to-dubai-for-the-workers-deserting-britains-sinking-ship/
    That tiktok video is absolutely devastating. It explains middle class impoverishment in the UK, the guy was an experienced primary school teacher in the UK in his mid 30's earning £33k, and only had £170 per month to live on after he had paid his living expenses... So actually, you would have to increase his wage by about 10k to make it worth him staying in the UK, IE so he could save up to buy a house, and THEN uprate the pay by inflation every year going forward. None of that will happen. What we have now got is the problems of London of the past 2 decades (where you can only live if you are a co-habiting couple or live in a houseshare) expanded to the whole country.
    Yes, absolutely. The problems are housing costs, housing costs, and housing costs.

    Build more houses. Lots more houses. Then build yet more houses.
    The problems are deeper than this I am afraid. I think that you could build as many houses as you want in Redcar but build costs and regulation mean that a 1 bed flat will always be £600 per month either in terms of rent or mortgage payments... The problem is everything to do with the cost of building and regulation. Unfortunately, unless you want to try and reduce regulation or find a way of building housing for less... The only real solution is to increase wages.
    A large portion of the cost of construction is the wages. Not just direct, but in the cost of materials.

    Wages, especially for the lower paid, are defined, largely, by housing cost.

    Note, historically, the interest by forward thinking employers in providing reasonable quality homes close to their bsuinesses.
    It is about a 70/30 split I think, wages/materials for the basic standard of housebuilding, which is based on a lot of manual labour. But there have been big increases in the minimum wage, obviously reflecting general inflation. If demand for housebuilding goes down, then build costs could go down, but this will be symptomatic of not much housebuilding going on, which would have its own negative consequences.
    Build costs might well go up, if there was a serious contraction in house building.

    If house prices go down, the pressure will be on build costs.
    The way to fix build costs, is with technology. Prefab houses offsite, and ship them in on half a dozen lorries. Government to underwrite 20-year mortgages on them if built to a defined standard. A handful of factories could churn out hundreds of units per week. Target price £100k for a 3-bed, plus land cost.

    It requires the same effort that went into housebuilding post-WWII - and an understanding from government, that housing is the nation’s highest priority.
    It's interesting how pre-fabs have taken off in some areas (e.g. quite a few on Shetland - I've stayed in one, which was a great house) but almost unknown in others. We need to get out of the mindset that pre-fab = post-war tin bungalow, I guess.
    Selebian, I grew up in such a tin-shed in Hackney Wick. It was warm, dry, comfortable and had a fridge and a bath, luxuries that were indeed rare in the neighbourhood at that time. It also had a large garden and a couple of sheds, one for the coal and the other for storage.

    It was a delight and a privilege to live there and I can only think that post-war planners must have made a mistake in their calculations when making such generous housing available to oiks like us.

    Would that the inhabitants of Grenfell Towers and the like have been so lucky. Even if not incinerated, the residents of such blocks would have envied us our delightful little detached bungalows.
    Yep, see also my reply to Carnyx.

    I'm aware (there are some near where I grew up) of their qualities, but despite that, largely for aesthetics or simple snobbery, they are not generally seen as desirable, except by those who actually have experience of living in one (e.g. your father's initial attitude compared to lived experience*). The modern pre-fabs have many of the same qualities (insulation, precision manufacture) while also being as aesthetically pleasing as any other construction and (depending on finish) not necessarily looking that different to a standard construction.

    *'lived experience' actually seems apt here :smile:

    ETA: But I can well see how my original comment has been misinterpreted - I do think the ways in which pre-fabs have come on need to be made clear, but I didn't mean to disparage the post-war ones.
    Unfortunately, when committing to pay for something every month for the next 30 years, what other people think (especially banks) is very important.
  • MoonRabbitMoonRabbit Posts: 12,415
    Dura_Ace said:

    Dura_Ace said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vld actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    He's selling the "Civil war in Ukraine" narrative vs the reality of a Russian invasion, followed by Russia spending a lot of time and money creating "rebellions" in Eastern Ukraine.
    The truth lies somewhere between the two extremes. It is a fact that was was a large Russian speaking minority in the Donbas who were very unhappy with the government in Kyiv. It is also a fact that the Russians took advantage of this situation and helped to ferment and support the rebellion.
    Until relatively recently (last 5 years maybe) almost everybody in Ukraine spoke Russian in my experience. Ukrainian was thought of as the language of hillbillies and peasants, Zarkappatia oblatst excepted where they speak Hungarian.

    The Servant of the People show that propelled the Ukrainian Les Dennis to the Presidency was recorded and broadcast with 99% Russian dialogue.
    I mean, I know you're a Russophile, but don't you think that phrases like "Ukrainian was thought of as the language of hillbillies and peasants" highlights exactly why so many Ukrainians are fighting to rid themselves of the poisonous Russian influence?
    Wasn't it the Russians who were thought of as hillbillies and peasants by the pre-WW1 Eurpoean aristocracy?
    One interesting thins we've seen with this war so far is that it appears there is a vast gulf between rich and poor in Russia, between urban Muscovite or St Petersburg-dweller, and those who live in small settlements far to the east. The former are generally using the latter as cannon-fodder; at least that's the way it seems to me.

    Perhaps it's the Muscovites who see ither Russians as hillbillies and peasants? In fact, you don't have to go too far back in our history to see similar sentiments.
    Eliots famously sardonic line in the Waste Land draws heavily on the snobbery of the old aristocracies of the 19th and early 20th century:

    Bin gar keine Russin, stamm aus Litauen, echt Deutsch.
    [I'm not a Russian, I come from Lithuania, genuine German.]

    The whole point was that even Russian aristos were regarded as a bit peasanty, hence the sharp denial.

    Not sure how Muscovites and St Pete's folk view the rest. Tolstoy doesn't give the impression of much sneering, but I've read few other Russian authors so maybe that's misleading.
    Dead Souls by N. V. Gogol is the book you need. Then Master and Margarita by M. A. Bulgakov.
    Why were the Latvians Lenin’s Praetorian guard? I thought Latvians didn’t like bolsheviks and Soviet Union? How did the Latvians end up as his Guard?
  • All totally normal

    "The emotional gathering was a fitting farewell for a woman who, along with suffering a vicious level of abuse, also attracted an almost religious-like fervour among some.

    The New Zealand Herald reported how her supporters “pressed up against each other, desperate to have their moment with the former leader.”

    “We are sad,” one of them confessed to Ms Ardern as she walked by.

    “Touch her like Jesus, touch her gown,” another woman urged her friend.


    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/01/24/jacinda-ardern-denies-quitting-criticism-faced-prime-minister/

    It was like those on the left in the States who bought votive candles of Robert Mueller and even Michael Avenatti (!!) during the Mueller investigation. For people who so often express their anti-religious beliefs, they can be incredibly cult-like at times.
  • TazTaz Posts: 10,926
    Best wishes for later OGH
  • malcolmg said:

    boulay said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Does anyone know what the penalty is to a country should they transfer weapons without consent of the manufacturing country?

    Suppose Poland sends Leopards to Ukraine without German permission, Germany says “we aren’t going to sell you anymore weapons and we will take you to the European court (or whatever forum is relevant).

    Poland says “no problem, we will pay a fine and never buy a German kit again.”

    Germany loses an arms customer who is going to be upping their spending on arms and also is damaged in PR terms.
    Dunno but which other countries will want to do business with a customer who ignores licence terms?
    Amazed that any country can sell bombs etc but contract that they decide who can fire them, crazy buying the kit in teh first place with those conditions.
    Thinking about it, the home country probably controls the flow of spare parts as well, so it is not just words on a piece of paper.
  • Dura_Ace said:

    Dura_Ace said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vld actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    He's selling the "Civil war in Ukraine" narrative vs the reality of a Russian invasion, followed by Russia spending a lot of time and money creating "rebellions" in Eastern Ukraine.
    The truth lies somewhere between the two extremes. It is a fact that was was a large Russian speaking minority in the Donbas who were very unhappy with the government in Kyiv. It is also a fact that the Russians took advantage of this situation and helped to ferment and support the rebellion.
    Until relatively recently (last 5 years maybe) almost everybody in Ukraine spoke Russian in my experience. Ukrainian was thought of as the language of hillbillies and peasants, Zarkappatia oblatst excepted where they speak Hungarian.

    The Servant of the People show that propelled the Ukrainian Les Dennis to the Presidency was recorded and broadcast with 99% Russian dialogue.
    I mean, I know you're a Russophile, but don't you think that phrases like "Ukrainian was thought of as the language of hillbillies and peasants" highlights exactly why so many Ukrainians are fighting to rid themselves of the poisonous Russian influence?
    Wasn't it the Russians who were thought of as hillbillies and peasants by the pre-WW1 Eurpoean aristocracy?
    One interesting thins we've seen with this war so far is that it appears there is a vast gulf between rich and poor in Russia, between urban Muscovite or St Petersburg-dweller, and those who live in small settlements far to the east. The former are generally using the latter as cannon-fodder; at least that's the way it seems to me.

    Perhaps it's the Muscovites who see ither Russians as hillbillies and peasants? In fact, you don't have to go too far back in our history to see similar sentiments.
    Eliots famously sardonic line in the Waste Land draws heavily on the snobbery of the old aristocracies of the 19th and early 20th century:

    Bin gar keine Russin, stamm aus Litauen, echt Deutsch.
    [I'm not a Russian, I come from Lithuania, genuine German.]

    The whole point was that even Russian aristos were regarded as a bit peasanty, hence the sharp denial.

    Not sure how Muscovites and St Pete's folk view the rest. Tolstoy doesn't give the impression of much sneering, but I've read few other Russian authors so maybe that's misleading.
    Dead Souls by N. V. Gogol is the book you need. Then Master and Margarita by M. A. Bulgakov.
    Why were the Latvians Lenin’s Praetorian guard? I thought Latvians didn’t like bolsheviks and Soviet Union? How did the Latvians end up as his Guard?
    Or the Letts as they were called then.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,041
    Nigelb said:

    The party of 'liberty'.

    https://twitter.com/NoLieWithBTC/status/1617657063215366144
    Top Republican Jim Banks just indicated he wants to find a way to stop “young ladies” from “hopping in a car” to travel to another state for reproductive care. He agreed the fact that women can travel for care means “the fight is far from over.”

    Presumably “reproductive care”, in this context, means “killing the baby”?

    No, it means reproductive care of all kinds.

    As we've seen in several abortion ban states, the laws in practice mean making some women wait until they're risking death from sepsis before being granted treatment.

  • TheValiantTheValiant Posts: 1,691
    Sean_F said:

    boulay said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Does anyone know what the penalty is to a country should they transfer weapons without consent of the manufacturing country?

    Suppose Poland sends Leopards to Ukraine without German permission, Germany says “we aren’t going to sell you anymore weapons and we will take you to the European court (or whatever forum is relevant).

    Poland says “no problem, we will pay a fine and never buy a German kit again.”

    Germany loses an arms customer who is going to be upping their spending on arms and also is damaged in PR terms.
    Dunno but which other countries will want to do business with a customer who ignores licence terms?
    Plenty. Hopefully including the UK.

    I find it pretty nauseating that the Germans are more than happy to build up a huge defence industry, make billions out of selling weaponry to pretty well anybody, and then get sniffy about allowing their customers to forward on their expensively-purchased kit to a fellow democracy that is being systematically devastated by a brutal dictator.

    A large part of the German political class seems to be quite rotten.
    It's been discussed quite a depth over on Alternative History forum.
    It seems its a combination of:

    1. Can't hurt the Russians - we bashed 'em around in WWII, so we owe them big time.
    2. The Soviet Union controlled half our territory from 1945 to 1991 so they're still our masters.
    3. We have to be ultra pacifist, and that includes not helping anyone fight a defensive war. Heck, we'd hand over Berlin if an aggressor asked.
    4. We've foolishly believed we could engage in diplomacy to bring Russia into the European fold - we still think that's possible and Ukraine is harming those efforts by defending itself.

    Pretty much terrible reasoning (all of them). Germany has somehow managed to develope Stockholm syndrome.
  • MoonRabbitMoonRabbit Posts: 12,415

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    Yes, I read his article.
    It basically argues, in terms, that Washington and Moscow should agree to partition Ukraine as the war cannot be won.
    His argument is actually for self-determination, but whether that can actually be achieved now is a moot point.
    These are his words.
    ….Der Schlüssel für die Lösung des Konfliktes liegt nicht in Kiew, er liegt auch nicht in Berlin, Brüssel oder Paris, er liegt in Washington und Moskau. Es ist doch lächerlich zu sagen, die Ukraine müsse das entscheiden...
    These are also his words:

    Man sollte die Menschen in der Region, also im Donbass und auf der Krim, einfach fragen, zu wem sie gehören wollen. Man müsste die territoriale Integrität der Ukraine wiederherstellen, mit bestimmten westlichen Garantien.
    Referendums in occupied territories are worth what ?
    They have been done before. Unsurprisingly, when a territory is in dispute, it is also normally occupied by someone or other.

    Given where we are, we should draw an arbitrary squiggly line and give the Eastern portion to Russia.

    The only argument is where the squiggly line should be placed to minimize future conflict.

    It won't be possible to eliminate all future conflict, but a grossly unfair squiggly line will guarantee another War. A solution returning Crimea to Ukraine 100 per cent guarantees another War.

    So, it is a non-linear optimization with penalty problem.

    There are some who venerate Khrushchev & think he solved the non-linear optimization problem correctly.
    There was a perfectly good line drawn between Russia and Ukraine from 1991 until 2014, under international treaty accepted by the rest of the world. No-one, except Putin, would object to that line being restored.
    The line should be chosen to solve an optimization problem to minimize future conflict.

    There is nothing special about any squiggly line, and it can change with time.

    The squiggly line in N. Ireland was drawn (by the British) to solve an optimization problem in 1921: What is the maximum amount of territory that could be safely claimed to ensure a Unionist majority?

    I expect the squiggly line in N Ireland will change in the future. Ditto any squiggly line between Country X and Country Y.

    No squiggly line is inviolate.
    The collective pretence that squiggly lines are inviolate is the best deterrence to war and guarantor of peace. If Ukraine is able to restore the 1991-2014 borders it will be a powerful signal of the futility of armed aggression as a means to redraw squiggly lines.

    It will greatly reduce the likelihood of future conflicts over squiggly lines on maps.
    Whilst I like your posts, I think on this you are very wrong.
    I don’t see how Ukraine taking Crimea ends the war, the Russians will keep fighting till they get it back. Happy to be explained how I am wrong in that. So how does this war end?

    For example Boris in Daily Mail says let’s give Ukraine what they need to win this war - but does he, and everyone who agrees with him on that, know what “win” and “it’s over” actually is?
  • MoonRabbitMoonRabbit Posts: 12,415

    Dura_Ace said:

    Dura_Ace said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vld actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    He's selling the "Civil war in Ukraine" narrative vs the reality of a Russian invasion, followed by Russia spending a lot of time and money creating "rebellions" in Eastern Ukraine.
    The truth lies somewhere between the two extremes. It is a fact that was was a large Russian speaking minority in the Donbas who were very unhappy with the government in Kyiv. It is also a fact that the Russians took advantage of this situation and helped to ferment and support the rebellion.
    Until relatively recently (last 5 years maybe) almost everybody in Ukraine spoke Russian in my experience. Ukrainian was thought of as the language of hillbillies and peasants, Zarkappatia oblatst excepted where they speak Hungarian.

    The Servant of the People show that propelled the Ukrainian Les Dennis to the Presidency was recorded and broadcast with 99% Russian dialogue.
    I mean, I know you're a Russophile, but don't you think that phrases like "Ukrainian was thought of as the language of hillbillies and peasants" highlights exactly why so many Ukrainians are fighting to rid themselves of the poisonous Russian influence?
    Wasn't it the Russians who were thought of as hillbillies and peasants by the pre-WW1 Eurpoean aristocracy?
    One interesting thins we've seen with this war so far is that it appears there is a vast gulf between rich and poor in Russia, between urban Muscovite or St Petersburg-dweller, and those who live in small settlements far to the east. The former are generally using the latter as cannon-fodder; at least that's the way it seems to me.

    Perhaps it's the Muscovites who see ither Russians as hillbillies and peasants? In fact, you don't have to go too far back in our history to see similar sentiments.
    Eliots famously sardonic line in the Waste Land draws heavily on the snobbery of the old aristocracies of the 19th and early 20th century:

    Bin gar keine Russin, stamm aus Litauen, echt Deutsch.
    [I'm not a Russian, I come from Lithuania, genuine German.]

    The whole point was that even Russian aristos were regarded as a bit peasanty, hence the sharp denial.

    Not sure how Muscovites and St Pete's folk view the rest. Tolstoy doesn't give the impression of much sneering, but I've read few other Russian authors so maybe that's misleading.
    Dead Souls by N. V. Gogol is the book you need. Then Master and Margarita by M. A. Bulgakov.
    Why were the Latvians Lenin’s Praetorian guard? I thought Latvians didn’t like bolsheviks and Soviet Union? How did the Latvians end up as his Guard?
    Or the Letts as they were called then.
    Yeah. And letts there be answer why Latvians were on Lenin and Bolsheviks side, presumably safeguarding him from the Russian People. But the Bolsheviks were annulling an election they lost, banning opposition parties, and killing everyone who disagreed with them doing that - how could anyone democratically minded actually have been on their side 😠
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 12,944

    Dura_Ace said:

    Dura_Ace said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vld actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    He's selling the "Civil war in Ukraine" narrative vs the reality of a Russian invasion, followed by Russia spending a lot of time and money creating "rebellions" in Eastern Ukraine.
    The truth lies somewhere between the two extremes. It is a fact that was was a large Russian speaking minority in the Donbas who were very unhappy with the government in Kyiv. It is also a fact that the Russians took advantage of this situation and helped to ferment and support the rebellion.
    Until relatively recently (last 5 years maybe) almost everybody in Ukraine spoke Russian in my experience. Ukrainian was thought of as the language of hillbillies and peasants, Zarkappatia oblatst excepted where they speak Hungarian.

    The Servant of the People show that propelled the Ukrainian Les Dennis to the Presidency was recorded and broadcast with 99% Russian dialogue.
    I mean, I know you're a Russophile, but don't you think that phrases like "Ukrainian was thought of as the language of hillbillies and peasants" highlights exactly why so many Ukrainians are fighting to rid themselves of the poisonous Russian influence?
    Wasn't it the Russians who were thought of as hillbillies and peasants by the pre-WW1 Eurpoean aristocracy?
    One interesting thins we've seen with this war so far is that it appears there is a vast gulf between rich and poor in Russia, between urban Muscovite or St Petersburg-dweller, and those who live in small settlements far to the east. The former are generally using the latter as cannon-fodder; at least that's the way it seems to me.

    Perhaps it's the Muscovites who see ither Russians as hillbillies and peasants? In fact, you don't have to go too far back in our history to see similar sentiments.
    Eliots famously sardonic line in the Waste Land draws heavily on the snobbery of the old aristocracies of the 19th and early 20th century:

    Bin gar keine Russin, stamm aus Litauen, echt Deutsch.
    [I'm not a Russian, I come from Lithuania, genuine German.]

    The whole point was that even Russian aristos were regarded as a bit peasanty, hence the sharp denial.

    Not sure how Muscovites and St Pete's folk view the rest. Tolstoy doesn't give the impression of much sneering, but I've read few other Russian authors so maybe that's misleading.
    Dead Souls by N. V. Gogol is the book you need. Then Master and Margarita by M. A. Bulgakov.
    "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" was a great description of how Russians can treat their fellow countrymen.
    It's like a book about a trip to Centre Parcs compared to V. T. Shalomov's Kolyma Tales.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,041

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    Yes, I read his article.
    It basically argues, in terms, that Washington and Moscow should agree to partition Ukraine as the war cannot be won.
    His argument is actually for self-determination, but whether that can actually be achieved now is a moot point.
    These are his words.
    ….Der Schlüssel für die Lösung des Konfliktes liegt nicht in Kiew, er liegt auch nicht in Berlin, Brüssel oder Paris, er liegt in Washington und Moskau. Es ist doch lächerlich zu sagen, die Ukraine müsse das entscheiden...
    These are also his words:

    Man sollte die Menschen in der Region, also im Donbass und auf der Krim, einfach fragen, zu wem sie gehören wollen. Man müsste die territoriale Integrität der Ukraine wiederherstellen, mit bestimmten westlichen Garantien.
    Referendums in occupied territories are worth what ?
    They have been done before. Unsurprisingly, when a territory is in dispute, it is also normally occupied by someone or other.

    Given where we are, we should draw an arbitrary squiggly line and give the Eastern portion to Russia.

    The only argument is where the squiggly line should be placed to minimize future conflict.

    It won't be possible to eliminate all future conflict, but a grossly unfair squiggly line will guarantee another War. A solution returning Crimea to Ukraine 100 per cent guarantees another War.

    So, it is a non-linear optimization with penalty problem.

    There are some who venerate Khrushchev & think he solved the non-linear optimization problem correctly.
    There was a perfectly good line drawn between Russia and Ukraine from 1991 until 2014, under international treaty accepted by the rest of the world. No-one, except Putin, would object to that line being restored.
    The line should be chosen to solve an optimization problem to minimize future conflict.

    There is nothing special about any squiggly line, and it can change with time.

    The squiggly line in N. Ireland was drawn (by the British) to solve an optimization problem in 1921: What is the maximum amount of territory that could be safely claimed to ensure a Unionist majority?

    I expect the squiggly line in N Ireland will change in the future. Ditto any squiggly line between Country X and Country Y.

    No squiggly line is inviolate.
    The collective pretence that squiggly lines are inviolate is the best deterrence to war and guarantor of peace. If Ukraine is able to restore the 1991-2014 borders it will be a powerful signal of the futility of armed aggression as a means to redraw squiggly lines.

    It will greatly reduce the likelihood of future conflicts over squiggly lines on maps.
    Whilst I like your posts, I think on this you are very wrong.
    I don’t see how Ukraine taking Crimea ends the war, the Russians will keep fighting till they get it back. Happy to be explained how I am wrong in that. So how does this war end?

    For example Boris in Daily Mail says let’s give Ukraine what they need to win this war - but does he, and everyone who agrees with him on that, know what “win” and “it’s over” actually is?
    It's unpredictable, of course.
    But it's not going to end until Putin gives up the attempt to conquer Ukraine - which probably means taking back all the territory taken since last year, at a minimum.
  • Scott_xPScott_xP Posts: 32,793
    PM needs to resolve Zahawi tax row ‘very quickly’, says Hague

    Rishi Sunak needs to get to the bottom of Nadhim Zahawi’s tax affairs “very quickly”, the former Conservative leader Lord Hague said today, as he warned it had become a “distraction” for the government.


    Not for the first time, this entire debacle was foreseen in an episode of The Hollowmen. PM refuses to make a decision about sacking a minister embroiled in a share scandal...
  • MoonRabbitMoonRabbit Posts: 12,415

    Sean_F said:

    boulay said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Does anyone know what the penalty is to a country should they transfer weapons without consent of the manufacturing country?

    Suppose Poland sends Leopards to Ukraine without German permission, Germany says “we aren’t going to sell you anymore weapons and we will take you to the European court (or whatever forum is relevant).

    Poland says “no problem, we will pay a fine and never buy a German kit again.”

    Germany loses an arms customer who is going to be upping their spending on arms and also is damaged in PR terms.
    Dunno but which other countries will want to do business with a customer who ignores licence terms?
    Plenty. Hopefully including the UK.

    I find it pretty nauseating that the Germans are more than happy to build up a huge defence industry, make billions out of selling weaponry to pretty well anybody, and then get sniffy about allowing their customers to forward on their expensively-purchased kit to a fellow democracy that is being systematically devastated by a brutal dictator.

    A large part of the German political class seems to be quite rotten.
    It's been discussed quite a depth over on Alternative History forum.
    It seems its a combination of:

    1. Can't hurt the Russians - we bashed 'em around in WWII, so we owe them big time.
    2. The Soviet Union controlled half our territory from 1945 to 1991 so they're still our masters.
    3. We have to be ultra pacifist, and that includes not helping anyone fight a defensive war. Heck, we'd hand over Berlin if an aggressor asked.
    4. We've foolishly believed we could engage in diplomacy to bring Russia into the European fold - we still think that's possible and Ukraine is harming those efforts by defending itself.

    Pretty much terrible reasoning (all of them). Germany has somehow managed to develope Stockholm syndrome.
    Maybe those answers are too modern in their thinking, and the truth goes way back? Catherine the Great of Russia was German. The Germans provided Russia their monarchs. The Germans put Lenin on a protected train and took him to Russia to re stimulate the revolution - in return Lenin baffled Russian patriots by signing a peace treaty with Germany despite the fact Germany occupied Ukraine at the time he signed it.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 38,772

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    Yes, I read his article.
    It basically argues, in terms, that Washington and Moscow should agree to partition Ukraine as the war cannot be won.
    His argument is actually for self-determination, but whether that can actually be achieved now is a moot point.
    These are his words.
    ….Der Schlüssel für die Lösung des Konfliktes liegt nicht in Kiew, er liegt auch nicht in Berlin, Brüssel oder Paris, er liegt in Washington und Moskau. Es ist doch lächerlich zu sagen, die Ukraine müsse das entscheiden...
    These are also his words:

    Man sollte die Menschen in der Region, also im Donbass und auf der Krim, einfach fragen, zu wem sie gehören wollen. Man müsste die territoriale Integrität der Ukraine wiederherstellen, mit bestimmten westlichen Garantien.
    Referendums in occupied territories are worth what ?
    They have been done before. Unsurprisingly, when a territory is in dispute, it is also normally occupied by someone or other.

    Given where we are, we should draw an arbitrary squiggly line and give the Eastern portion to Russia.

    The only argument is where the squiggly line should be placed to minimize future conflict.

    It won't be possible to eliminate all future conflict, but a grossly unfair squiggly line will guarantee another War. A solution returning Crimea to Ukraine 100 per cent guarantees another War.

    So, it is a non-linear optimization with penalty problem.

    There are some who venerate Khrushchev & think he solved the non-linear optimization problem correctly.
    There was a perfectly good line drawn between Russia and Ukraine from 1991 until 2014, under international treaty accepted by the rest of the world. No-one, except Putin, would object to that line being restored.
    The line should be chosen to solve an optimization problem to minimize future conflict.

    There is nothing special about any squiggly line, and it can change with time.

    The squiggly line in N. Ireland was drawn (by the British) to solve an optimization problem in 1921: What is the maximum amount of territory that could be safely claimed to ensure a Unionist majority?

    I expect the squiggly line in N Ireland will change in the future. Ditto any squiggly line between Country X and Country Y.

    No squiggly line is inviolate.
    The collective pretence that squiggly lines are inviolate is the best deterrence to war and guarantor of peace. If Ukraine is able to restore the 1991-2014 borders it will be a powerful signal of the futility of armed aggression as a means to redraw squiggly lines.

    It will greatly reduce the likelihood of future conflicts over squiggly lines on maps.
    Whilst I like your posts, I think on this you are very wrong.
    I don’t see how Ukraine taking Crimea ends the war, the Russians will keep fighting till they get it back. Happy to be explained how I am wrong in that. So how does this war end?

    For example Boris in Daily Mail says let’s give Ukraine what they need to win this war - but does he, and everyone who agrees with him on that, know what “win” and “it’s over” actually is?
    As I've said all through this, people talking about one side or the other 'winning' needs to define what 'win' means. For instance, if the war magically ended tomorrow with the lines as they are, then Russia would be able to sell a 'win' to its public. But Russia would be a much-reduced country, especially if sanctions continue. It would be a pyrrhic victory.

    As for Russia taking a Ukrainian Crimea: it'd be difficult. At the moment they've created a land bridge from the north, but if Ukraine was to get that, then Russia would have to rely on an attack across the Kerch strait or Sea of Azov. Presuming the Ukrainians (ahem) remove the bridge, then Russia would be looking at an amphibious landing.

    And that's perhaps an order of magnitude more complex.
  • RogerRoger Posts: 18,891
    Corruption in Ukraine now.....

    ......No wonder Boris was there like a rat up a drainpipe
  • Are my eyes deceiving me or what the hell is going on with this photo?

    Rugby sevens star Collins Injera retires
    https://www.bbc.com/sport/africa/64388019
  • YBarddCwscYBarddCwsc Posts: 7,172

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    Yes, I read his article.
    It basically argues, in terms, that Washington and Moscow should agree to partition Ukraine as the war cannot be won.
    His argument is actually for self-determination, but whether that can actually be achieved now is a moot point.
    These are his words.
    ….Der Schlüssel für die Lösung des Konfliktes liegt nicht in Kiew, er liegt auch nicht in Berlin, Brüssel oder Paris, er liegt in Washington und Moskau. Es ist doch lächerlich zu sagen, die Ukraine müsse das entscheiden...
    These are also his words:

    Man sollte die Menschen in der Region, also im Donbass und auf der Krim, einfach fragen, zu wem sie gehören wollen. Man müsste die territoriale Integrität der Ukraine wiederherstellen, mit bestimmten westlichen Garantien.
    Referendums in occupied territories are worth what ?
    They have been done before. Unsurprisingly, when a territory is in dispute, it is also normally occupied by someone or other.

    Given where we are, we should draw an arbitrary squiggly line and give the Eastern portion to Russia.

    The only argument is where the squiggly line should be placed to minimize future conflict.

    It won't be possible to eliminate all future conflict, but a grossly unfair squiggly line will guarantee another War. A solution returning Crimea to Ukraine 100 per cent guarantees another War.

    So, it is a non-linear optimization with penalty problem.

    There are some who venerate Khrushchev & think he solved the non-linear optimization problem correctly.
    There was a perfectly good line drawn between Russia and Ukraine from 1991 until 2014, under international treaty accepted by the rest of the world. No-one, except Putin, would object to that line being restored.
    The line should be chosen to solve an optimization problem to minimize future conflict.

    There is nothing special about any squiggly line, and it can change with time.

    The squiggly line in N. Ireland was drawn (by the British) to solve an optimization problem in 1921: What is the maximum amount of territory that could be safely claimed to ensure a Unionist majority?

    I expect the squiggly line in N Ireland will change in the future. Ditto any squiggly line between Country X and Country Y.

    No squiggly line is inviolate.
    The collective pretence that squiggly lines are inviolate is the best deterrence to war and guarantor of peace. If Ukraine is able to restore the 1991-2014 borders it will be a powerful signal of the futility of armed aggression as a means to redraw squiggly lines.

    It will greatly reduce the likelihood of future conflicts over squiggly lines on maps.
    Whilst I like your posts, I think on this you are very wrong.
    I don’t see how Ukraine taking Crimea ends the war, the Russians will keep fighting till they get it back. Happy to be explained how I am wrong in that. So how does this war end?

    For example Boris in Daily Mail says let’s give Ukraine what they need to win this war - but does he, and everyone who agrees with him on that, know what “win” and “it’s over” actually is?
    Agreed.

    It is curious. There are many intelligent people on this blog who know exactly what comprises "a Boris solution", yet they still believe implicitly in "a Boris solution" for Ukraine.

    And they believe in this after seeing "a Boris solution" for Brexit, for the pandemic, for the NHS, for social care.

    For every problem, there is "a Boris solution". It is neat, simple, superficially plausible ... and completely wrong.
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 12,944
    Nigelb said:

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    Yes, I read his article.
    It basically argues, in terms, that Washington and Moscow should agree to partition Ukraine as the war cannot be won.
    His argument is actually for self-determination, but whether that can actually be achieved now is a moot point.
    These are his words.
    ….Der Schlüssel für die Lösung des Konfliktes liegt nicht in Kiew, er liegt auch nicht in Berlin, Brüssel oder Paris, er liegt in Washington und Moskau. Es ist doch lächerlich zu sagen, die Ukraine müsse das entscheiden...
    These are also his words:

    Man sollte die Menschen in der Region, also im Donbass und auf der Krim, einfach fragen, zu wem sie gehören wollen. Man müsste die territoriale Integrität der Ukraine wiederherstellen, mit bestimmten westlichen Garantien.
    Referendums in occupied territories are worth what ?
    They have been done before. Unsurprisingly, when a territory is in dispute, it is also normally occupied by someone or other.

    Given where we are, we should draw an arbitrary squiggly line and give the Eastern portion to Russia.

    The only argument is where the squiggly line should be placed to minimize future conflict.

    It won't be possible to eliminate all future conflict, but a grossly unfair squiggly line will guarantee another War. A solution returning Crimea to Ukraine 100 per cent guarantees another War.

    So, it is a non-linear optimization with penalty problem.

    There are some who venerate Khrushchev & think he solved the non-linear optimization problem correctly.
    There was a perfectly good line drawn between Russia and Ukraine from 1991 until 2014, under international treaty accepted by the rest of the world. No-one, except Putin, would object to that line being restored.
    The line should be chosen to solve an optimization problem to minimize future conflict.

    There is nothing special about any squiggly line, and it can change with time.

    The squiggly line in N. Ireland was drawn (by the British) to solve an optimization problem in 1921: What is the maximum amount of territory that could be safely claimed to ensure a Unionist majority?

    I expect the squiggly line in N Ireland will change in the future. Ditto any squiggly line between Country X and Country Y.

    No squiggly line is inviolate.
    The collective pretence that squiggly lines are inviolate is the best deterrence to war and guarantor of peace. If Ukraine is able to restore the 1991-2014 borders it will be a powerful signal of the futility of armed aggression as a means to redraw squiggly lines.

    It will greatly reduce the likelihood of future conflicts over squiggly lines on maps.
    Whilst I like your posts, I think on this you are very wrong.
    I don’t see how Ukraine taking Crimea ends the war, the Russians will keep fighting till they get it back. Happy to be explained how I am wrong in that. So how does this war end?

    For example Boris in Daily Mail says let’s give Ukraine what they need to win this war - but does he, and everyone who agrees with him on that, know what “win” and “it’s over” actually is?
    It's unpredictable, of course.
    But it's not going to end until Putin gives up the attempt to conquer Ukraine - which probably means taking back all the territory taken since last year, at a minimum.
    Why and how does that make Russia stop fighting?
  • FrancisUrquhartFrancisUrquhart Posts: 76,274
    edited January 2023
    Roger said:

    Corruption in Ukraine now.....

    ......No wonder Boris was there like a rat up a drainpipe

    Now? Ukraine has had massive corruption / financial irregularities problems for many many years, ranked up there will the worst in the world. Even Ukrainian Winston Churchill has had serious issues, such that before the war he was in big trouble, over the fact he had his money from the hit tv show in Panama.
  • TheValiantTheValiant Posts: 1,691


    I don’t see how Ukraine taking Crimea ends the war, the Russians will keep fighting till they get it back. Happy to be explained how I am wrong in that. So how does this war end?

    For example Boris in Daily Mail says let’s give Ukraine what they need to win this war - but does he, and everyone who agrees with him on that, know what “win” and “it’s over” actually is?

    Unfortunately, it may well get worse before it gets better (Macron was very much right last year).
    It's almost an unresolvable problem:

    Russia:
    - Still wants to annex Ukraine.
    - If it can't get that, it would probably accept puppet state for Ukraine.
    - If its losing badly enough, RUSSIA might come to the table and offer 2014 less Crimea. However, Putin won't survive such an offer, so it'd be a government not led by him.
    - Putin doesn't want to die, and the only way he's leaving office is via his death.

    Ukraine:
    - Wants 2014 borders, including Crimea, including agency to join EU/NATO
    - If it can't get that, I might see it accepting 2014 less Crimea. It will want agency no matter what now I suspect.

    So..... how do you resolve the above? The most unlikely Russian 'offer' is still some way away from the most unlikely Ukrainian one.

    The only ways out of THIS war seem to be:
    1. Russia goes Nuclear and wins. Unfortuantely, this is very likely to turn the Russia-Ukraine war into World War III. This doesn't end well.
    2. Russia collapses in a World War I style collapse (either Russian 1917 or German 1918). Both end badly in the longer term (a stab in the back myth or the Soviet Union Part 2)
    3. Ukraine collapses. Putin smirks and eyes Moldova.
    4. Both Russia and Ukraine collapse at virtually the same time. The failed states they both become for the next decade is a sight to behold.......

    If anyone can see another way out, I'll listening.
    Leon's hysteria over 'Threads' is (currently) misplaced..... but it might not be totally misplaced.
  • FrancisUrquhartFrancisUrquhart Posts: 76,274
    edited January 2023
    Interesting article on Japan,

    https://noahpinion.substack.com/p/actually-japan-has-changed-a-lot

    Interesting that the BBC correspondence who lived there for 10+ years appears not to speak very much of the language. Seems like would make fully judging Japanese society quite tricky, as Japan is notorious for a culture that without speaking the language to a very high level makes many factettes nearly impenetrable.
  • MoonRabbitMoonRabbit Posts: 12,415

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    Yes, I read his article.
    It basically argues, in terms, that Washington and Moscow should agree to partition Ukraine as the war cannot be won.
    His argument is actually for self-determination, but whether that can actually be achieved now is a moot point.
    These are his words.
    ….Der Schlüssel für die Lösung des Konfliktes liegt nicht in Kiew, er liegt auch nicht in Berlin, Brüssel oder Paris, er liegt in Washington und Moskau. Es ist doch lächerlich zu sagen, die Ukraine müsse das entscheiden...
    These are also his words:

    Man sollte die Menschen in der Region, also im Donbass und auf der Krim, einfach fragen, zu wem sie gehören wollen. Man müsste die territoriale Integrität der Ukraine wiederherstellen, mit bestimmten westlichen Garantien.
    Referendums in occupied territories are worth what ?
    They have been done before. Unsurprisingly, when a territory is in dispute, it is also normally occupied by someone or other.

    Given where we are, we should draw an arbitrary squiggly line and give the Eastern portion to Russia.

    The only argument is where the squiggly line should be placed to minimize future conflict.

    It won't be possible to eliminate all future conflict, but a grossly unfair squiggly line will guarantee another War. A solution returning Crimea to Ukraine 100 per cent guarantees another War.

    So, it is a non-linear optimization with penalty problem.

    There are some who venerate Khrushchev & think he solved the non-linear optimization problem correctly.
    There was a perfectly good line drawn between Russia and Ukraine from 1991 until 2014, under international treaty accepted by the rest of the world. No-one, except Putin, would object to that line being restored.
    The line should be chosen to solve an optimization problem to minimize future conflict.

    There is nothing special about any squiggly line, and it can change with time.

    The squiggly line in N. Ireland was drawn (by the British) to solve an optimization problem in 1921: What is the maximum amount of territory that could be safely claimed to ensure a Unionist majority?

    I expect the squiggly line in N Ireland will change in the future. Ditto any squiggly line between Country X and Country Y.

    No squiggly line is inviolate.
    The collective pretence that squiggly lines are inviolate is the best deterrence to war and guarantor of peace. If Ukraine is able to restore the 1991-2014 borders it will be a powerful signal of the futility of armed aggression as a means to redraw squiggly lines.

    It will greatly reduce the likelihood of future conflicts over squiggly lines on maps.
    Whilst I like your posts, I think on this you are very wrong.
    I don’t see how Ukraine taking Crimea ends the war, the Russians will keep fighting till they get it back. Happy to be explained how I am wrong in that. So how does this war end?

    For example Boris in Daily Mail says let’s give Ukraine what they need to win this war - but does he, and everyone who agrees with him on that, know what “win” and “it’s over” actually is?
    As I've said all through this, people talking about one side or the other 'winning' needs to define what 'win' means. For instance, if the war magically ended tomorrow with the lines as they are, then Russia would be able to sell a 'win' to its public. But Russia would be a much-reduced country, especially if sanctions continue. It would be a pyrrhic victory.

    As for Russia taking a Ukrainian Crimea: it'd be difficult. At the moment they've created a land bridge from the north, but if Ukraine was to get that, then Russia would have to rely on an attack across the Kerch strait or Sea of Azov. Presuming the Ukrainians (ahem) remove the bridge, then Russia would be looking at an amphibious landing.

    And that's perhaps an order of magnitude more complex.
    But Russia wont accept Crimea as Ukraine, they wouldn’t stop trying to re take it, so it wouldn’t be war over at any point, not an end. And I fear now ditto for much of the territory they have now taken, they will continually war for it, what actually stops this?

  • I don’t see how Ukraine taking Crimea ends the war, the Russians will keep fighting till they get it back. Happy to be explained how I am wrong in that. So how does this war end?

    For example Boris in Daily Mail says let’s give Ukraine what they need to win this war - but does he, and everyone who agrees with him on that, know what “win” and “it’s over” actually is?

    Unfortunately, it may well get worse before it gets better (Macron was very much right last year).
    It's almost an unresolvable problem:

    Russia:
    - Still wants to annex Ukraine.
    - If it can't get that, it would probably accept puppet state for Ukraine.
    - If its losing badly enough, RUSSIA might come to the table and offer 2014 less Crimea. However, Putin won't survive such an offer, so it'd be a government not led by him.
    - Putin doesn't want to die, and the only way he's leaving office is via his death.

    Ukraine:
    - Wants 2014 borders, including Crimea, including agency to join EU/NATO
    - If it can't get that, I might see it accepting 2014 less Crimea. It will want agency no matter what now I suspect.

    So..... how do you resolve the above? The most unlikely Russian 'offer' is still some way away from the most unlikely Ukrainian one.

    The only ways out of THIS war seem to be:
    1. Russia goes Nuclear and wins. Unfortuantely, this is very likely to turn the Russia-Ukraine war into World War III. This doesn't end well.
    2. Russia collapses in a World War I style collapse (either Russian 1917 or German 1918). Both end badly in the longer term (a stab in the back myth or the Soviet Union Part 2)
    3. Ukraine collapses. Putin smirks and eyes Moldova.
    4. Both Russia and Ukraine collapse at virtually the same time. The failed states they both become for the next decade is a sight to behold.......

    If anyone can see another way out, I'll listening.
    Leon's hysteria over 'Threads' is (currently) misplaced..... but it might not be totally misplaced.
    Geopolitics should be regarded as a branch of geology rather than geography and in James Hutton's renowned words there's "No vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end". The last century began with the 'war to end all wars' and concluded with 'the end of history' yet we still keep buggering on. Realising it's insoluble is the first step to finding a solution (albeit temporary).
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,041
    Dura_Ace said:

    Nigelb said:

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    Yes, I read his article.
    It basically argues, in terms, that Washington and Moscow should agree to partition Ukraine as the war cannot be won.
    His argument is actually for self-determination, but whether that can actually be achieved now is a moot point.
    These are his words.
    ….Der Schlüssel für die Lösung des Konfliktes liegt nicht in Kiew, er liegt auch nicht in Berlin, Brüssel oder Paris, er liegt in Washington und Moskau. Es ist doch lächerlich zu sagen, die Ukraine müsse das entscheiden...
    These are also his words:

    Man sollte die Menschen in der Region, also im Donbass und auf der Krim, einfach fragen, zu wem sie gehören wollen. Man müsste die territoriale Integrität der Ukraine wiederherstellen, mit bestimmten westlichen Garantien.
    Referendums in occupied territories are worth what ?
    They have been done before. Unsurprisingly, when a territory is in dispute, it is also normally occupied by someone or other.

    Given where we are, we should draw an arbitrary squiggly line and give the Eastern portion to Russia.

    The only argument is where the squiggly line should be placed to minimize future conflict.

    It won't be possible to eliminate all future conflict, but a grossly unfair squiggly line will guarantee another War. A solution returning Crimea to Ukraine 100 per cent guarantees another War.

    So, it is a non-linear optimization with penalty problem.

    There are some who venerate Khrushchev & think he solved the non-linear optimization problem correctly.
    There was a perfectly good line drawn between Russia and Ukraine from 1991 until 2014, under international treaty accepted by the rest of the world. No-one, except Putin, would object to that line being restored.
    The line should be chosen to solve an optimization problem to minimize future conflict.

    There is nothing special about any squiggly line, and it can change with time.

    The squiggly line in N. Ireland was drawn (by the British) to solve an optimization problem in 1921: What is the maximum amount of territory that could be safely claimed to ensure a Unionist majority?

    I expect the squiggly line in N Ireland will change in the future. Ditto any squiggly line between Country X and Country Y.

    No squiggly line is inviolate.
    The collective pretence that squiggly lines are inviolate is the best deterrence to war and guarantor of peace. If Ukraine is able to restore the 1991-2014 borders it will be a powerful signal of the futility of armed aggression as a means to redraw squiggly lines.

    It will greatly reduce the likelihood of future conflicts over squiggly lines on maps.
    Whilst I like your posts, I think on this you are very wrong.
    I don’t see how Ukraine taking Crimea ends the war, the Russians will keep fighting till they get it back. Happy to be explained how I am wrong in that. So how does this war end?

    For example Boris in Daily Mail says let’s give Ukraine what they need to win this war - but does he, and everyone who agrees with him on that, know what “win” and “it’s over” actually is?
    It's unpredictable, of course.
    But it's not going to end until Putin gives up the attempt to conquer Ukraine - which probably means taking back all the territory taken since last year, at a minimum.
    Why and how does that make Russia stop fighting?
    To take back all that territory necessarily means inflicting substantial defeats on the Russian forces.
    It doesn't automatically mean he gives up, of course, but it would destroy most of the domestic war narrative.

    What's the alternative - broker an agreement with territorial concessions to a mass murderer who has broken every prior one ?
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 49,762

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    Yes, I read his article.
    It basically argues, in terms, that Washington and Moscow should agree to partition Ukraine as the war cannot be won.
    His argument is actually for self-determination, but whether that can actually be achieved now is a moot point.
    These are his words.
    ….Der Schlüssel für die Lösung des Konfliktes liegt nicht in Kiew, er liegt auch nicht in Berlin, Brüssel oder Paris, er liegt in Washington und Moskau. Es ist doch lächerlich zu sagen, die Ukraine müsse das entscheiden...
    These are also his words:

    Man sollte die Menschen in der Region, also im Donbass und auf der Krim, einfach fragen, zu wem sie gehören wollen. Man müsste die territoriale Integrität der Ukraine wiederherstellen, mit bestimmten westlichen Garantien.
    Referendums in occupied territories are worth what ?
    They have been done before. Unsurprisingly, when a territory is in dispute, it is also normally occupied by someone or other.

    Given where we are, we should draw an arbitrary squiggly line and give the Eastern portion to Russia.

    The only argument is where the squiggly line should be placed to minimize future conflict.

    It won't be possible to eliminate all future conflict, but a grossly unfair squiggly line will guarantee another War. A solution returning Crimea to Ukraine 100 per cent guarantees another War.

    So, it is a non-linear optimization with penalty problem.

    There are some who venerate Khrushchev & think he solved the non-linear optimization problem correctly.
    There was a perfectly good line drawn between Russia and Ukraine from 1991 until 2014, under international treaty accepted by the rest of the world. No-one, except Putin, would object to that line being restored.
    The line should be chosen to solve an optimization problem to minimize future conflict.

    There is nothing special about any squiggly line, and it can change with time.

    The squiggly line in N. Ireland was drawn (by the British) to solve an optimization problem in 1921: What is the maximum amount of territory that could be safely claimed to ensure a Unionist majority?

    I expect the squiggly line in N Ireland will change in the future. Ditto any squiggly line between Country X and Country Y.

    No squiggly line is inviolate.
    The collective pretence that squiggly lines are inviolate is the best deterrence to war and guarantor of peace. If Ukraine is able to restore the 1991-2014 borders it will be a powerful signal of the futility of armed aggression as a means to redraw squiggly lines.

    It will greatly reduce the likelihood of future conflicts over squiggly lines on maps.
    Whilst I like your posts, I think on this you are very wrong.
    I don’t see how Ukraine taking Crimea ends the war, the Russians will keep fighting till they get it back. Happy to be explained how I am wrong in that. So how does this war end?

    For example Boris in Daily Mail says let’s give Ukraine what they need to win this war - but does he, and everyone who agrees with him on that, know what “win” and “it’s over” actually is?
    As I've said all through this, people talking about one side or the other 'winning' needs to define what 'win' means. For instance, if the war magically ended tomorrow with the lines as they are, then Russia would be able to sell a 'win' to its public. But Russia would be a much-reduced country, especially if sanctions continue. It would be a pyrrhic victory.

    As for Russia taking a Ukrainian Crimea: it'd be difficult. At the moment they've created a land bridge from the north, but if Ukraine was to get that, then Russia would have to rely on an attack across the Kerch strait or Sea of Azov. Presuming the Ukrainians (ahem) remove the bridge, then Russia would be looking at an amphibious landing.

    And that's perhaps an order of magnitude more complex.
    But Russia wont accept Crimea as Ukraine, they wouldn’t stop trying to re take it, so it wouldn’t be war over at any point, not an end. And I fear now ditto for much of the territory they have now taken, they will continually war for it, what actually stops this?
    Ukraine joining NATO, and the whole of the Western world prepared to defend that border. The land border between Russia and Ukraine to look like the border between North Korea and South Korea, with a clear DMZ between the two countries.
  • CookieCookie Posts: 11,300


    I don’t see how Ukraine taking Crimea ends the war, the Russians will keep fighting till they get it back. Happy to be explained how I am wrong in that. So how does this war end?

    For example Boris in Daily Mail says let’s give Ukraine what they need to win this war - but does he, and everyone who agrees with him on that, know what “win” and “it’s over” actually is?

    Unfortunately, it may well get worse before it gets better (Macron was very much right last year).
    It's almost an unresolvable problem:

    Russia:
    - Still wants to annex Ukraine.
    - If it can't get that, it would probably accept puppet state for Ukraine.
    - If its losing badly enough, RUSSIA might come to the table and offer 2014 less Crimea. However, Putin won't survive such an offer, so it'd be a government not led by him.
    - Putin doesn't want to die, and the only way he's leaving office is via his death.

    Ukraine:
    - Wants 2014 borders, including Crimea, including agency to join EU/NATO
    - If it can't get that, I might see it accepting 2014 less Crimea. It will want agency no matter what now I suspect.

    So..... how do you resolve the above? The most unlikely Russian 'offer' is still some way away from the most unlikely Ukrainian one.2

    The only ways out of THIS war seem to be:
    1. Russia goes Nuclear and wins. Unfortuantely, this is very likely to turn the Russia-Ukraine war into World War III. This doesn't end well.
    2. Russia collapses in a World War I style collapse (either Russian 1917 or German 1918). Both end badly in the longer term (a stab in the back myth or the Soviet Union Part 2)
    3. Ukraine collapses. Putin smirks and eyes Moldova.
    4. Both Russia and Ukraine collapse at virtually the same time. The failed states they both become for the next decade is a sight to behold.......

    If anyone can see another way out, I'll listening.
    Leon's hysteria over 'Threads' is (currently) misplaced..... but it might not be totally misplaced.
    Astonishing to say given where we were 11 months ago, but 2 looks the most likely to me. Russia will collapse because it will collapse economically. It can afford to keep losing men; it can't afford to keep spending money.

    What happens then? My view is the most likely medium-term outcome is the fragmentation of the Russian empire into, what, 15 or so smaller states? Not a recipe for stability in the world - but the mega-Russia of the last 200 years has not exactly been a recipe for stability in the world either. The peace of the last 30 years was not stability, it was a pause before the next instance of Russia lashing out.

    Separately, apparently Russia is now preparing a bill that anyone intending to cross its borders needs to book a slot in advance. Doesn't look good for military-aged men in Russia.

  • YBarddCwscYBarddCwsc Posts: 7,172



    But Russia wont accept Crimea as Ukraine, they wouldn’t stop trying to re take it, so it wouldn’t be war over at any point, not an end. And I fear now ditto for much of the territory they have now taken, they will continually war for it, what actually stops this?

    The War will end when it affects the re-election chances of Western politicians.

    And the solution will be some territory seceded for some security guarantees.

    Alternatively, there is "the Boris solution".

    I think all of us know in our hearts what "the Boris solution" will end up like. .
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,976

    Interesting article on Japan,

    https://noahpinion.substack.com/p/actually-japan-has-changed-a-lot

    Interesting that the BBC correspondence who lived there for 10+ years appears not to speak very much of the language. Seems like would make fully judging Japanese society quite tricky, as Japan is notorious for a culture that without speaking the language to a very high level makes many factettes nearly impenetrable.

    Definitely worth a read. His explanation of how the Japanese housing market works is remarkable. I have not seen that before.
  • SelebianSelebian Posts: 7,310

    Are my eyes deceiving me or what the hell is going on with this photo?

    Rugby sevens star Collins Injera retires
    https://www.bbc.com/sport/africa/64388019

    Other photos from different angles showing the same
    https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/photos/collins-injera
    (but absent in most pictures of Injera - only present with same Kenya shirt)

    Can't quite work it out
    - Under shirt? Not present on other arm
    - Some kind of brace?
    - Item (or skin paint) worn for some symbolic meaning?
  • Selebian said:

    Are my eyes deceiving me or what the hell is going on with this photo?

    Rugby sevens star Collins Injera retires
    https://www.bbc.com/sport/africa/64388019

    Other photos from different angles showing the same
    https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/photos/collins-injera
    (but absent in most pictures of Injera - only present with same Kenya shirt)

    Can't quite work it out
    - Under shirt? Not present on other arm
    - Some kind of brace?
    - Item (or skin paint) worn for some symbolic meaning?
    Arh worked it out now, its that special Japanese kinesiology tape that athletes use.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,041



    But Russia wont accept Crimea as Ukraine, they wouldn’t stop trying to re take it, so it wouldn’t be war over at any point, not an end. And I fear now ditto for much of the territory they have now taken, they will continually war for it, what actually stops this?

    The War will end when it affects the re-election chances of Western politicians.

    And the solution will be some territory seceded for some security guarantees...
    The latter, as repeatedly demonstrated, are fairly meaningless.
    It would have to be full NATO membership.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 38,772

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    Yes, I read his article.
    It basically argues, in terms, that Washington and Moscow should agree to partition Ukraine as the war cannot be won.
    His argument is actually for self-determination, but whether that can actually be achieved now is a moot point.
    These are his words.
    ….Der Schlüssel für die Lösung des Konfliktes liegt nicht in Kiew, er liegt auch nicht in Berlin, Brüssel oder Paris, er liegt in Washington und Moskau. Es ist doch lächerlich zu sagen, die Ukraine müsse das entscheiden...
    These are also his words:

    Man sollte die Menschen in der Region, also im Donbass und auf der Krim, einfach fragen, zu wem sie gehören wollen. Man müsste die territoriale Integrität der Ukraine wiederherstellen, mit bestimmten westlichen Garantien.
    Referendums in occupied territories are worth what ?
    They have been done before. Unsurprisingly, when a territory is in dispute, it is also normally occupied by someone or other.

    Given where we are, we should draw an arbitrary squiggly line and give the Eastern portion to Russia.

    The only argument is where the squiggly line should be placed to minimize future conflict.

    It won't be possible to eliminate all future conflict, but a grossly unfair squiggly line will guarantee another War. A solution returning Crimea to Ukraine 100 per cent guarantees another War.

    So, it is a non-linear optimization with penalty problem.

    There are some who venerate Khrushchev & think he solved the non-linear optimization problem correctly.
    There was a perfectly good line drawn between Russia and Ukraine from 1991 until 2014, under international treaty accepted by the rest of the world. No-one, except Putin, would object to that line being restored.
    The line should be chosen to solve an optimization problem to minimize future conflict.

    There is nothing special about any squiggly line, and it can change with time.

    The squiggly line in N. Ireland was drawn (by the British) to solve an optimization problem in 1921: What is the maximum amount of territory that could be safely claimed to ensure a Unionist majority?

    I expect the squiggly line in N Ireland will change in the future. Ditto any squiggly line between Country X and Country Y.

    No squiggly line is inviolate.
    The collective pretence that squiggly lines are inviolate is the best deterrence to war and guarantor of peace. If Ukraine is able to restore the 1991-2014 borders it will be a powerful signal of the futility of armed aggression as a means to redraw squiggly lines.

    It will greatly reduce the likelihood of future conflicts over squiggly lines on maps.
    Whilst I like your posts, I think on this you are very wrong.
    I don’t see how Ukraine taking Crimea ends the war, the Russians will keep fighting till they get it back. Happy to be explained how I am wrong in that. So how does this war end?

    For example Boris in Daily Mail says let’s give Ukraine what they need to win this war - but does he, and everyone who agrees with him on that, know what “win” and “it’s over” actually is?
    As I've said all through this, people talking about one side or the other 'winning' needs to define what 'win' means. For instance, if the war magically ended tomorrow with the lines as they are, then Russia would be able to sell a 'win' to its public. But Russia would be a much-reduced country, especially if sanctions continue. It would be a pyrrhic victory.

    As for Russia taking a Ukrainian Crimea: it'd be difficult. At the moment they've created a land bridge from the north, but if Ukraine was to get that, then Russia would have to rely on an attack across the Kerch strait or Sea of Azov. Presuming the Ukrainians (ahem) remove the bridge, then Russia would be looking at an amphibious landing.

    And that's perhaps an order of magnitude more complex.
    But Russia wont accept Crimea as Ukraine, they wouldn’t stop trying to re take it, so it wouldn’t be war over at any point, not an end. And I fear now ditto for much of the territory they have now taken, they will continually war for it, what actually stops this?
    What other things do you want others to give up, as Russia won't accept them any other way?
  • DavidL said:

    Can I just say that that was yet another excellent thread header by @Cyclefree on the previous thread which I am sorry to have missed through ill health. It is slightly disappointing that the thread went off topic so fast but I suppose there is not much more that can be said about this.

    One novel spin came from an SNP councillor in Dundee at the weekend. She compared, in all seriousness, the actions of the UK government in blocking the Gender Recognition bill with those of the Nazis at Auschwitz. Both, apparently, involved persecuting minorities for their sexual orientation. Every day is a learning day in the City of DIscovery.

    Ignorant and unthinking people of ALL political persuasions are guilty of comparing whatever irks them to the Holocaust.

    From this SNP councillor to the MP recently stripped of the Tory whip.

    Could cite plenty of US politicos, again of all stripes and types.
  • CookieCookie Posts: 11,300
    edited January 2023

    Interesting article on Japan,

    https://noahpinion.substack.com/p/actually-japan-has-changed-a-lot

    Interesting that the BBC correspondence who lived there for 10+ years appears not to speak very much of the language. Seems like would make fully judging Japanese society quite tricky, as Japan is notorious for a culture that without speaking the language to a very high level makes many factettes nearly impenetrable.

    That's an interesting article, and worth 10 minutes of anybody's time. Particularly that houses tend to depreciate and that Japanese housing is better as a result.
    I'm not sure I'd necessarily want to live in a built environment in which almost every building was less than 30 years old. I like old buildings. But it's hard to argue that the British are doing urban particularly well.
  • All totally normal

    "The emotional gathering was a fitting farewell for a woman who, along with suffering a vicious level of abuse, also attracted an almost religious-like fervour among some.

    The New Zealand Herald reported how her supporters “pressed up against each other, desperate to have their moment with the former leader.”

    “We are sad,” one of them confessed to Ms Ardern as she walked by.

    “Touch her like Jesus, touch her gown,” another woman urged her friend.


    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/01/24/jacinda-ardern-denies-quitting-criticism-faced-prime-minister/

    It was like those on the left in the States who bought votive candles of Robert Mueller and even Michael Avenatti (!!) during the Mueller investigation. For people who so often express their anti-religious beliefs, they can be incredibly cult-like at times.
    Aye, completely cult like


  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 60,951
    Good afternoon, everyone.

    Russia, and Putin in particular, has shown itself to be vicious, vindictive, and absolutely untrustworthy, so no deal that relies even slightly on Russian goodwill can be trusted.

    The only outcomes seem to be a Russian-enforced 'peace' with land grabbed, or a crushing defeat for Russia (perhaps a combination of military stalemate and economic calamity).

    Ukraine has gotten a lot of military gear this time round but in another war it may not have that. That should provide an impetus for them to try and join NATO sooner rather than later.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 59,540
    DavidL said:

    Interesting article on Japan,

    https://noahpinion.substack.com/p/actually-japan-has-changed-a-lot

    Interesting that the BBC correspondence who lived there for 10+ years appears not to speak very much of the language. Seems like would make fully judging Japanese society quite tricky, as Japan is notorious for a culture that without speaking the language to a very high level makes many factettes nearly impenetrable.

    Definitely worth a read. His explanation of how the Japanese housing market works is remarkable. I have not seen that before.
    Agree - and our ancestors viewed housing as a depreciating asset - you build it and ultimately it falls down….
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,976

    DavidL said:

    Can I just say that that was yet another excellent thread header by @Cyclefree on the previous thread which I am sorry to have missed through ill health. It is slightly disappointing that the thread went off topic so fast but I suppose there is not much more that can be said about this.

    One novel spin came from an SNP councillor in Dundee at the weekend. She compared, in all seriousness, the actions of the UK government in blocking the Gender Recognition bill with those of the Nazis at Auschwitz. Both, apparently, involved persecuting minorities for their sexual orientation. Every day is a learning day in the City of DIscovery.

    Ignorant and unthinking people of ALL political persuasions are guilty of comparing whatever irks them to the Holocaust.

    From this SNP councillor to the MP recently stripped of the Tory whip.

    Could cite plenty of US politicos, again of all stripes and types.
    Sure, it was recent and topical, not in any way unique.
  • TheValiantTheValiant Posts: 1,691



    But Russia wont accept Crimea as Ukraine, they wouldn’t stop trying to re take it, so it wouldn’t be war over at any point, not an end. And I fear now ditto for much of the territory they have now taken, they will continually war for it, what actually stops this?

    The War will end when it affects the re-election chances of Western politicians.

    And the solution will be some territory seceded for some security guarantees.
    Appreciating that there is a Czechoslovakian precedent for other countries ceding territory on another's behalf (we'll leave you to decide whether that worked in the longer term or not), just in 1938 Czechoslovakia could've fought DESPITE the withdrawal of guarantees by France and Britain, what will happen if Ukraine refuses to abide by this 'treaty' and keeps fighting?

    Will we also see an Act of Parliament banning my Monthly Standing Order?
  • Nigelb said:

    Dura_Ace said:

    Nigelb said:

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    Yes, I read his article.
    It basically argues, in terms, that Washington and Moscow should agree to partition Ukraine as the war cannot be won.
    His argument is actually for self-determination, but whether that can actually be achieved now is a moot point.
    These are his words.
    ….Der Schlüssel für die Lösung des Konfliktes liegt nicht in Kiew, er liegt auch nicht in Berlin, Brüssel oder Paris, er liegt in Washington und Moskau. Es ist doch lächerlich zu sagen, die Ukraine müsse das entscheiden...
    These are also his words:

    Man sollte die Menschen in der Region, also im Donbass und auf der Krim, einfach fragen, zu wem sie gehören wollen. Man müsste die territoriale Integrität der Ukraine wiederherstellen, mit bestimmten westlichen Garantien.
    Referendums in occupied territories are worth what ?
    They have been done before. Unsurprisingly, when a territory is in dispute, it is also normally occupied by someone or other.

    Given where we are, we should draw an arbitrary squiggly line and give the Eastern portion to Russia.

    The only argument is where the squiggly line should be placed to minimize future conflict.

    It won't be possible to eliminate all future conflict, but a grossly unfair squiggly line will guarantee another War. A solution returning Crimea to Ukraine 100 per cent guarantees another War.

    So, it is a non-linear optimization with penalty problem.

    There are some who venerate Khrushchev & think he solved the non-linear optimization problem correctly.
    There was a perfectly good line drawn between Russia and Ukraine from 1991 until 2014, under international treaty accepted by the rest of the world. No-one, except Putin, would object to that line being restored.
    The line should be chosen to solve an optimization problem to minimize future conflict.

    There is nothing special about any squiggly line, and it can change with time.

    The squiggly line in N. Ireland was drawn (by the British) to solve an optimization problem in 1921: What is the maximum amount of territory that could be safely claimed to ensure a Unionist majority?

    I expect the squiggly line in N Ireland will change in the future. Ditto any squiggly line between Country X and Country Y.

    No squiggly line is inviolate.
    The collective pretence that squiggly lines are inviolate is the best deterrence to war and guarantor of peace. If Ukraine is able to restore the 1991-2014 borders it will be a powerful signal of the futility of armed aggression as a means to redraw squiggly lines.

    It will greatly reduce the likelihood of future conflicts over squiggly lines on maps.
    Whilst I like your posts, I think on this you are very wrong.
    I don’t see how Ukraine taking Crimea ends the war, the Russians will keep fighting till they get it back. Happy to be explained how I am wrong in that. So how does this war end?

    For example Boris in Daily Mail says let’s give Ukraine what they need to win this war - but does he, and everyone who agrees with him on that, know what “win” and “it’s over” actually is?
    It's unpredictable, of course.
    But it's not going to end until Putin gives up the attempt to conquer Ukraine - which probably means taking back all the territory taken since last year, at a minimum.
    Why and how does that make Russia stop fighting?
    To take back all that territory necessarily means inflicting substantial defeats on the Russian forces.
    It doesn't automatically mean he gives up, of course, but it would destroy most of the domestic war narrative.

    What's the alternative - broker an agreement with territorial concessions to a mass murderer who has broken every prior one ?
    Given that the domestic war narrative will be that Russia is fighting for its life, there's a significant chance that it also means a nuclear confrontation.
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 39,464
    edited January 2023
    Selebian said:

    Selebian said:

    Sandpit said:

    darkage said:

    darkage said:

    Sandpit said:

    darkage said:

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Progressive taxation under Labour the Tories:
    FYI, a couple of interesting (🤓) tables on income #tax from #HMRC (basically showing 'the rich' *are* paying more tax)...

    1. the % shares of total income tax paid by different income groups (the shares paid by the top 10%, 5% and 1% have all risen over the last decade... (1/2)


    2. the percentage shares of total income for each percentile group (these haven't changed much over the last decade, meaning that higher earners are paying more #tax on roughly the same share of income). (2/2)
    https://twitter.com/julianhjessop/status/1617601327856586752

    Oh no, not data!

    Opinion, that “the rich” need to be taxed more, is much easier to sell to the electorate as a whole, who never think it will affect *them*. IIRC the top decile starts at about £60k annual income, way lower than most people think it would be.

    More seriously, those numbers are a precursor to emigration (and immigration forgone), and it doesn’t need many of the top 1% to change their behavior, to have a large effect on the total tax take.
    ...says our resident tax haven ex-pat.
    Yes, your resident tax haven ex-pat.

    Who sees stories like this in his local newspaper:
    https://www.thenationalnews.com/weekend/2023/01/13/all-roads-lead-to-dubai-for-the-workers-deserting-britains-sinking-ship/
    That tiktok video is absolutely devastating. It explains middle class impoverishment in the UK, the guy was an experienced primary school teacher in the UK in his mid 30's earning £33k, and only had £170 per month to live on after he had paid his living expenses... So actually, you would have to increase his wage by about 10k to make it worth him staying in the UK, IE so he could save up to buy a house, and THEN uprate the pay by inflation every year going forward. None of that will happen. What we have now got is the problems of London of the past 2 decades (where you can only live if you are a co-habiting couple or live in a houseshare) expanded to the whole country.
    Yes, absolutely. The problems are housing costs, housing costs, and housing costs.

    Build more houses. Lots more houses. Then build yet more houses.
    The problems are deeper than this I am afraid. I think that you could build as many houses as you want in Redcar but build costs and regulation mean that a 1 bed flat will always be £600 per month either in terms of rent or mortgage payments... The problem is everything to do with the cost of building and regulation. Unfortunately, unless you want to try and reduce regulation or find a way of building housing for less... The only real solution is to increase wages.
    A large portion of the cost of construction is the wages. Not just direct, but in the cost of materials.

    Wages, especially for the lower paid, are defined, largely, by housing cost.

    Note, historically, the interest by forward thinking employers in providing reasonable quality homes close to their bsuinesses.
    It is about a 70/30 split I think, wages/materials for the basic standard of housebuilding, which is based on a lot of manual labour. But there have been big increases in the minimum wage, obviously reflecting general inflation. If demand for housebuilding goes down, then build costs could go down, but this will be symptomatic of not much housebuilding going on, which would have its own negative consequences.
    Build costs might well go up, if there was a serious contraction in house building.

    If house prices go down, the pressure will be on build costs.
    The way to fix build costs, is with technology. Prefab houses offsite, and ship them in on half a dozen lorries. Government to underwrite 20-year mortgages on them if built to a defined standard. A handful of factories could churn out hundreds of units per week. Target price £100k for a 3-bed, plus land cost.

    It requires the same effort that went into housebuilding post-WWII - and an understanding from government, that housing is the nation’s highest priority.
    It's interesting how pre-fabs have taken off in some areas (e.g. quite a few on Shetland - I've stayed in one, which was a great house) but almost unknown in others. We need to get out of the mindset that pre-fab = post-war tin bungalow, I guess.
    Selebian, I grew up in such a tin-shed in Hackney Wick. It was warm, dry, comfortable and had a fridge and a bath, luxuries that were indeed rare in the neighbourhood at that time. It also had a large garden and a couple of sheds, one for the coal and the other for storage.

    It was a delight and a privilege to live there and I can only think that post-war planners must have made a mistake in their calculations when making such generous housing available to oiks like us.

    Would that the inhabitants of Grenfell Towers and the like have been so lucky. Even if not incinerated, the residents of such blocks would have envied us our delightful little detached bungalows.
    Yep, see also my reply to Carnyx.

    I'm aware (there are some near where I grew up) of their qualities, but despite that, largely for aesthetics or simple snobbery, they are not generally seen as desirable, except by those who actually have experience of living in one (e.g. your father's initial attitude compared to lived experience*). The modern pre-fabs have many of the same qualities (insulation, precision manufacture) while also being as aesthetically pleasing as any other construction and (depending on finish) not necessarily looking that different to a standard construction.

    *'lived experience' actually seems apt here :smile:

    ETA: But I can well see how my original comment has been misinterpreted - I do think the ways in which pre-fabs have come on need to be made clear, but I didn't mean to disparage the post-war ones.
    Just reflecting that the sort of place you often find a prefab is the Scottish islands - not a lot of building material beyond rocks and peat and grass and aome driftwood, and not many neighbours who don't have the same problem, and no Screwfix or builder's merchant nearer than Stornoway or Lerwick or the Fort if you are unlucky. If you are going to import materials you might as well import them as highly finished as possible given the relative cost and the shortage of local labour. I suppose the characteristic wooden matchboarded and tarpaper/corrugated iron house of the 1920s-1970s-ish was an intermediate, being the sort of thing one could do DIY reasonably easily without needing too much heavy stuff humped around without a lorry with a Hiab to lift and drop the pallets. Some of this is of course paralleled in the conditions of the recovery from 1943-4 onwards - including shortage of skilled labour.
  • MoonRabbitMoonRabbit Posts: 12,415
    edited January 2023

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    Yes, I read his article.
    It basically argues, in terms, that Washington and Moscow should agree to partition Ukraine as the war cannot be won.
    His argument is actually for self-determination, but whether that can actually be achieved now is a moot point.
    These are his words.
    ….Der Schlüssel für die Lösung des Konfliktes liegt nicht in Kiew, er liegt auch nicht in Berlin, Brüssel oder Paris, er liegt in Washington und Moskau. Es ist doch lächerlich zu sagen, die Ukraine müsse das entscheiden...
    These are also his words:

    Man sollte die Menschen in der Region, also im Donbass und auf der Krim, einfach fragen, zu wem sie gehören wollen. Man müsste die territoriale Integrität der Ukraine wiederherstellen, mit bestimmten westlichen Garantien.
    Referendums in occupied territories are worth what ?
    They have been done before. Unsurprisingly, when a territory is in dispute, it is also normally occupied by someone or other.

    Given where we are, we should draw an arbitrary squiggly line and give the Eastern portion to Russia.

    The only argument is where the squiggly line should be placed to minimize future conflict.

    It won't be possible to eliminate all future conflict, but a grossly unfair squiggly line will guarantee another War. A solution returning Crimea to Ukraine 100 per cent guarantees another War.

    So, it is a non-linear optimization with penalty problem.

    There are some who venerate Khrushchev & think he solved the non-linear optimization problem correctly.
    There was a perfectly good line drawn between Russia and Ukraine from 1991 until 2014, under international treaty accepted by the rest of the world. No-one, except Putin, would object to that line being restored.
    The line should be chosen to solve an optimization problem to minimize future conflict.

    There is nothing special about any squiggly line, and it can change with time.

    The squiggly line in N. Ireland was drawn (by the British) to solve an optimization problem in 1921: What is the maximum amount of territory that could be safely claimed to ensure a Unionist majority?

    I expect the squiggly line in N Ireland will change in the future. Ditto any squiggly line between Country X and Country Y.

    No squiggly line is inviolate.
    The collective pretence that squiggly lines are inviolate is the best deterrence to war and guarantor of peace. If Ukraine is able to restore the 1991-2014 borders it will be a powerful signal of the futility of armed aggression as a means to redraw squiggly lines.

    It will greatly reduce the likelihood of future conflicts over squiggly lines on maps.
    Whilst I like your posts, I think on this you are very wrong.
    I don’t see how Ukraine taking Crimea ends the war, the Russians will keep fighting till they get it back. Happy to be explained how I am wrong in that. So how does this war end?

    For example Boris in Daily Mail says let’s give Ukraine what they need to win this war - but does he, and everyone who agrees with him on that, know what “win” and “it’s over” actually is?
    As I've said all through this, people talking about one side or the other 'winning' needs to define what 'win' means. For instance, if the war magically ended tomorrow with the lines as they are, then Russia would be able to sell a 'win' to its public. But Russia would be a much-reduced country, especially if sanctions continue. It would be a pyrrhic victory.

    As for Russia taking a Ukrainian Crimea: it'd be difficult. At the moment they've created a land bridge from the north, but if Ukraine was to get that, then Russia would have to rely on an attack across the Kerch strait or Sea of Azov. Presuming the Ukrainians (ahem) remove the bridge, then Russia would be looking at an amphibious landing.

    And that's perhaps an order of magnitude more complex.
    But Russia wont accept Crimea as Ukraine, they wouldn’t stop trying to re take it, so it wouldn’t be war over at any point, not an end. And I fear now ditto for much of the territory they have now taken, they will continually war for it, what actually stops this?
    What other things do you want others to give up, as Russia won't accept them any other way?
    I didn’t say I wanted Ukraine to surrender Crimea to the sick Russian aggression, you slow on the uptake twit. I asked what actually stops this war, considering Russia won’t stop wanting stuff the moment it’s back to 2014 borders - and until sandpit posted the solution of a massive DMZ all down the border between Ukraine and Russia (I guess Belarus too) after first defeating Russia back to 2014 borders, and then quickly embraced by NATO for 2014 border protection, nobody else had posted a realistic and believable way of the war ending. You certainly couldn’t think of one.
  • Speaking on a podcast yesterday, Dom argued it was reasonable for the public to blame the Tories for the current mess the country’s in, however:

    “If you had a top-notch campaign team working in No. 10 now, then you could definitely knock Keir Starmer very far off course. You could break his whole decision-making system, you could shake up the game, you’d definitely have a good shot at shaking the whole thing up enough you make it competitive for sure. And then if you can make it competitive then the best team has got a chance of winning.”

    https://order-order.com/2023/01/24/cummings-i-could-make-next-election-competitive-for-tories/
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,976
    edited January 2023
    Scott_xP said:
    That article is rather embarrassing dribble by someone who knows for sure who she doesn't like but doesn't actually understand any of the details.

    The key to Zahawi, in my opinion, is the word "careless". In the tax world, when you have made an inaccurate or incomplete declaration in your tax return, you can either be prosecuted for fraud and quite likely, certainly for these sort of sums, spend a period in jail or you can be deemed to be "careless". It is a very specific meaning quite different from ordinary usage that arises from your duty to make a true and accurate declaration.

    Zahawi has accepted that he was "careless" in this context, that he failed to make a true and accurate declaration of monies he received in his tax return. It was not in any way "careless" in the conventional sense, it wasn't an oversight or a mistake, it was a decision made not to disclose receipt of relevant funds.

    The test for fraud, especially in tax matters, is a high one and it is easy to understand why inspectors of HMRC might well accept that there has been a "careless" failure to make a true declaration rather than taking on the onus of proving criminal intent beyond a reasonable doubt. But do not be deceived by the technical use of the word: this man, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, has accepted that he did not make a true and accurate statement of his tax liabilities and has paid a substantial penalty as a result. That really should have been the end of any role for him in public life.
  • TheValiantTheValiant Posts: 1,691

    Speaking on a podcast yesterday, Dom argued it was reasonable for the public to blame the Tories for the current mess the country’s in, however:

    “If you had a top-notch campaign team working in No. 10 now, then you could definitely knock Keir Starmer very far off course. You could break his whole decision-making system, you could shake up the game, you’d definitely have a good shot at shaking the whole thing up enough you make it competitive for sure. And then if you can make it competitive then the best team has got a chance of winning.

    https://order-order.com/2023/01/24/cummings-i-could-make-next-election-competitive-for-tories/

    Unfortunately for him, the best team isn't the Conservatives, so even if what he proposed happened, they'd still lose.
  • FrancisUrquhartFrancisUrquhart Posts: 76,274
    edited January 2023

    Speaking on a podcast yesterday, Dom argued it was reasonable for the public to blame the Tories for the current mess the country’s in, however:

    “If you had a top-notch campaign team working in No. 10 now, then you could definitely knock Keir Starmer very far off course. You could break his whole decision-making system, you could shake up the game, you’d definitely have a good shot at shaking the whole thing up enough you make it competitive for sure. And then if you can make it competitive then the best team has got a chance of winning.

    https://order-order.com/2023/01/24/cummings-i-could-make-next-election-competitive-for-tories/

    Unfortunately for him, the best team isn't the Conservatives, so even if what he proposed happened, they'd still lose.
    I think Labour and Tories are both Everton / Southampton level of crap teams, with the Lib Dems a Wolves....
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 12,944

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    Yes, I read his article.
    It basically argues, in terms, that Washington and Moscow should agree to partition Ukraine as the war cannot be won.
    His argument is actually for self-determination, but whether that can actually be achieved now is a moot point.
    These are his words.
    ….Der Schlüssel für die Lösung des Konfliktes liegt nicht in Kiew, er liegt auch nicht in Berlin, Brüssel oder Paris, er liegt in Washington und Moskau. Es ist doch lächerlich zu sagen, die Ukraine müsse das entscheiden...
    These are also his words:

    Man sollte die Menschen in der Region, also im Donbass und auf der Krim, einfach fragen, zu wem sie gehören wollen. Man müsste die territoriale Integrität der Ukraine wiederherstellen, mit bestimmten westlichen Garantien.
    Referendums in occupied territories are worth what ?
    They have been done before. Unsurprisingly, when a territory is in dispute, it is also normally occupied by someone or other.

    Given where we are, we should draw an arbitrary squiggly line and give the Eastern portion to Russia.

    The only argument is where the squiggly line should be placed to minimize future conflict.

    It won't be possible to eliminate all future conflict, but a grossly unfair squiggly line will guarantee another War. A solution returning Crimea to Ukraine 100 per cent guarantees another War.

    So, it is a non-linear optimization with penalty problem.

    There are some who venerate Khrushchev & think he solved the non-linear optimization problem correctly.
    There was a perfectly good line drawn between Russia and Ukraine from 1991 until 2014, under international treaty accepted by the rest of the world. No-one, except Putin, would object to that line being restored.
    The line should be chosen to solve an optimization problem to minimize future conflict.

    There is nothing special about any squiggly line, and it can change with time.

    The squiggly line in N. Ireland was drawn (by the British) to solve an optimization problem in 1921: What is the maximum amount of territory that could be safely claimed to ensure a Unionist majority?

    I expect the squiggly line in N Ireland will change in the future. Ditto any squiggly line between Country X and Country Y.

    No squiggly line is inviolate.
    The collective pretence that squiggly lines are inviolate is the best deterrence to war and guarantor of peace. If Ukraine is able to restore the 1991-2014 borders it will be a powerful signal of the futility of armed aggression as a means to redraw squiggly lines.

    It will greatly reduce the likelihood of future conflicts over squiggly lines on maps.
    Whilst I like your posts, I think on this you are very wrong.
    I don’t see how Ukraine taking Crimea ends the war, the Russians will keep fighting till they get it back. Happy to be explained how I am wrong in that. So how does this war end?

    For example Boris in Daily Mail says let’s give Ukraine what they need to win this war - but does he, and everyone who agrees with him on that, know what “win” and “it’s over” actually is?
    As I've said all through this, people talking about one side or the other 'winning' needs to define what 'win' means. For instance, if the war magically ended tomorrow with the lines as they are, then Russia would be able to sell a 'win' to its public. But Russia would be a much-reduced country, especially if sanctions continue. It would be a pyrrhic victory.

    As for Russia taking a Ukrainian Crimea: it'd be difficult. At the moment they've created a land bridge from the north, but if Ukraine was to get that, then Russia would have to rely on an attack across the Kerch strait or Sea of Azov. Presuming the Ukrainians (ahem) remove the bridge, then Russia would be looking at an amphibious landing.

    And that's perhaps an order of magnitude more complex.
    But Russia wont accept Crimea as Ukraine, they wouldn’t stop trying to re take it, so it wouldn’t be war over at any point, not an end. And I fear now ditto for much of the territory they have now taken, they will continually war for it, what actually stops this?
    What other things do you want others to give up, as Russia won't accept them any other way?
    I didn’t say I wanted Ukraine to surrender Crimea to the sick Russian aggression, you slow on the uptake twit. I asked what actually stops this war, considering Russia won’t stop wanting stuff the moment it’s back to 2014 borders - and until sandpit posted the solution of a massive DMZ all down the border between Ukraine and Russia (I guess Belarus too) after first defeating Russia back to 2014 borders, and then quickly embraced by NATO for 2014 border protection, nobody else had posted a realistic and believable way of the war ending. You certainly couldn’t think of one.
    Getting Ukraine into NATO quickly or otherwise is impossible with a change in constitution regarding existing territorial disputes and no vetos. They can't even get Sweden in at the moment.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 38,772

    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Erich Vad, ex advisor to Merkel and co-architect of her flawed policy towards Russia, is back again advocating against arms supplies to Ukraine. He has been consistently wrong on Ukraine/Russia since Feb24, but this time he is also spreading lies

    https://twitter.com/dszeligowski/status/1614293389780090880

    Have you read what Erich Vad actually wrote?

    This is all starting to feel like 2003 again, except that this time we are risking nuclear annihilation. I'm guessing that those who are keen to go in against Russia with guns blazing are the same people who were beating the drum for the invasion of Iraq.

    Yes, Russia needs to be pushed out of Ukraine, but not at the cost of sparking a nuclear disaster.
    Yes, I read his article.
    It basically argues, in terms, that Washington and Moscow should agree to partition Ukraine as the war cannot be won.
    His argument is actually for self-determination, but whether that can actually be achieved now is a moot point.
    These are his words.
    ….Der Schlüssel für die Lösung des Konfliktes liegt nicht in Kiew, er liegt auch nicht in Berlin, Brüssel oder Paris, er liegt in Washington und Moskau. Es ist doch lächerlich zu sagen, die Ukraine müsse das entscheiden...
    These are also his words:

    Man sollte die Menschen in der Region, also im Donbass und auf der Krim, einfach fragen, zu wem sie gehören wollen. Man müsste die territoriale Integrität der Ukraine wiederherstellen, mit bestimmten westlichen Garantien.
    Referendums in occupied territories are worth what ?
    They have been done before. Unsurprisingly, when a territory is in dispute, it is also normally occupied by someone or other.

    Given where we are, we should draw an arbitrary squiggly line and give the Eastern portion to Russia.

    The only argument is where the squiggly line should be placed to minimize future conflict.

    It won't be possible to eliminate all future conflict, but a grossly unfair squiggly line will guarantee another War. A solution returning Crimea to Ukraine 100 per cent guarantees another War.

    So, it is a non-linear optimization with penalty problem.

    There are some who venerate Khrushchev & think he solved the non-linear optimization problem correctly.
    There was a perfectly good line drawn between Russia and Ukraine from 1991 until 2014, under international treaty accepted by the rest of the world. No-one, except Putin, would object to that line being restored.
    The line should be chosen to solve an optimization problem to minimize future conflict.

    There is nothing special about any squiggly line, and it can change with time.

    The squiggly line in N. Ireland was drawn (by the British) to solve an optimization problem in 1921: What is the maximum amount of territory that could be safely claimed to ensure a Unionist majority?

    I expect the squiggly line in N Ireland will change in the future. Ditto any squiggly line between Country X and Country Y.

    No squiggly line is inviolate.
    The collective pretence that squiggly lines are inviolate is the best deterrence to war and guarantor of peace. If Ukraine is able to restore the 1991-2014 borders it will be a powerful signal of the futility of armed aggression as a means to redraw squiggly lines.

    It will greatly reduce the likelihood of future conflicts over squiggly lines on maps.
    Whilst I like your posts, I think on this you are very wrong.
    I don’t see how Ukraine taking Crimea ends the war, the Russians will keep fighting till they get it back. Happy to be explained how I am wrong in that. So how does this war end?

    For example Boris in Daily Mail says let’s give Ukraine what they need to win this war - but does he, and everyone who agrees with him on that, know what “win” and “it’s over” actually is?
    As I've said all through this, people talking about one side or the other 'winning' needs to define what 'win' means. For instance, if the war magically ended tomorrow with the lines as they are, then Russia would be able to sell a 'win' to its public. But Russia would be a much-reduced country, especially if sanctions continue. It would be a pyrrhic victory.

    As for Russia taking a Ukrainian Crimea: it'd be difficult. At the moment they've created a land bridge from the north, but if Ukraine was to get that, then Russia would have to rely on an attack across the Kerch strait or Sea of Azov. Presuming the Ukrainians (ahem) remove the bridge, then Russia would be looking at an amphibious landing.

    And that's perhaps an order of magnitude more complex.
    But Russia wont accept Crimea as Ukraine, they wouldn’t stop trying to re take it, so it wouldn’t be war over at any point, not an end. And I fear now ditto for much of the territory they have now taken, they will continually war for it, what actually stops this?
    What other things do you want others to give up, as Russia won't accept them any other way?
    I didn’t say I wanted Ukraine to surrender Crimea to the sick Russian aggression, you slow on the uptake twit. I asked what actually stops this war, considering Russia won’t stop wanting stuff the moment it’s back to 2014 borders - and until sandpit posted the solution of a massive DMZ all down the border between Ukraine and Russia (I guess Belarus too) after first defeating Russia back to 2014 borders, and then quickly embraced by NATO for 2014 border protection, nobody else had posted a realistic and believable way of the war ending. You certainly couldn’t think of one.
    Given the rhetoric coming from Russia, there will have to be a DMZ between them and other more western-leaning countries, wherever that border is. My own view (and I have stated this many times) is that it should be the 2014 borders.

    But as I've also said many times before, only one thing stops this war: Putin. He can stop this war whenever he wants. No-one else has that power. Ukraine cannot stop it (even if they were to surrender, Putin wants more expansion, and there will be partisan warfare in Ukraine).

    And Putin shows no sign of wanting to stop the war. He's had plenty of opportunities to say "mission accomplished", and he has not taken them.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,041
    DeSantis is running - otherwise is there any point to this crap ?

    Florida teachers told to remove books from classroom libraries or risk felony prosecution
    https://popular.info/p/florida-teachers-told-to-remove-books
    ...In an interview with Popular Information, Chapman said that the policy was put into place last week in response to HB 1467, which was signed into law by DeSantis last March. That law established that teachers could not be trusted to select books appropriate for their students. Instead, the law requires:

    Each book made available to students through a school district library media center or included in a recommended or assigned school or grade-level reading list must be selected by a school district employee who holds a valid educational media specialist certificate, regardless of whether the book is purchased, donated, or otherwise made available to students.

    In Florida, school librarians are called "media specialists" and hold media specialist certificates. A rule passed by the Florida Department of Education last week states that a "library media center" includes any books made available to students, including in classrooms. This means that classroom libraries that are curated by teachers, not librarians, are now illegal. ..
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,976
    Nigelb said:

    DeSantis is running - otherwise is there any point to this crap ?

    Florida teachers told to remove books from classroom libraries or risk felony prosecution
    https://popular.info/p/florida-teachers-told-to-remove-books
    ...In an interview with Popular Information, Chapman said that the policy was put into place last week in response to HB 1467, which was signed into law by DeSantis last March. That law established that teachers could not be trusted to select books appropriate for their students. Instead, the law requires:

    Each book made available to students through a school district library media center or included in a recommended or assigned school or grade-level reading list must be selected by a school district employee who holds a valid educational media specialist certificate, regardless of whether the book is purchased, donated, or otherwise made available to students.

    In Florida, school librarians are called "media specialists" and hold media specialist certificates. A rule passed by the Florida Department of Education last week states that a "library media center" includes any books made available to students, including in classrooms. This means that classroom libraries that are curated by teachers, not librarians, are now illegal. ..

    So Fahrenheit 451 then? Makes a change from 1984 or The Handmaid's Tale, I suppose. But a political class which doesn't think dystopian novels are "how to" self help books would be nice.
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 41,082
    DavidL said:

    Scott_xP said:
    That article is rather embarrassing dribble by someone who knows for sure who she doesn't like but doesn't actually understand any of the details.

    The key to Zahawi, in my opinion, is the word "careless". In the tax world, when you have made an inaccurate or incomplete declaration in your tax return, you can either be prosecuted for fraud and quite likely, certainly for these sort of sums, spend a period in jail or you can be deemed to be "careless". It is a very specific meaning quite different from ordinary usage that arises from your duty to make a true and accurate declaration.

    Zahawi has accepted that he was "careless" in this context, that he failed to make a true and accurate declaration of monies he received in his tax return. It was not in any way "careless" in the conventional sense, it wasn't an oversight or a mistake, it was a decision made not to disclose receipt of relevant funds.

    The test for fraud, especially in tax matters, is a high one and it is easy to understand why inspectors of HMRC might well accept that there has been a "careless" failure to make a true declaration rather than taking on the onus of proving criminal intent beyond a reasonable doubt. But do not be deceived by the technical use of the word: this man, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, has accepted that he did not make a true and accurate statement of his tax liabilities and has paid a substantial penalty as a result. That really should have been the end of any role for him in public life.
    Chris Philp was already spinning the careless "small c" interpretation of the HMRC judgement saying there would be an enquiry and we shouldn't pre-judge, whereas as you note, "careless" has a very particular meaning akin to negligence and indicates that he has already been deemed as such under that meaning.

    I think the Cons are going to try to rely on the man on the Clapham Omnibus thinking "careless" means careless.

    https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/compliance-handbook/ch53400
  • Scott_xPScott_xP Posts: 32,793
    TOPPING said:

    I think the Cons are going to try to rely on the man on the Clapham Omnibus thinking "careless" means careless.

    As Hugo Rofkind noted in his column, that's no better.

    These people literally could not care less about paying their taxes...
This discussion has been closed.