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Biden slips sharply in the WH2024 betting after more memory lapses – politicalbetting.com

SystemSystem Posts: 11,002
edited February 15 in General
imageBiden slips sharply in the WH2024 betting after more memory lapses – politicalbetting.com

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  • SandyRentoolSandyRentool Posts: 20,182
    1st like Taylor
  • lintolinto Posts: 31
    edited February 9
    First? So close yet so far...
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 53,506
    As an aside, I assume @Leon isn't here because the Putin interview bombed, and he's a bit embarassed.
  • BartholomewRobertsBartholomewRoberts Posts: 17,606
    edited February 9
    Biden has been easily the best POTUS of this century, despite his age. Not a high bar to be fair.

    He deserves re-election, given the opposition before him.
  • SandyRentoolSandyRentool Posts: 20,182
    Passing the 20,000 milestone and getting a first in the same day.

    Does life get any better?
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,381

    Passing the 20,000 milestone and getting a first in the same day.

    Does life get any better?

    Nope, this is the peak and its all down hill from here.
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 5,190
    rcs1000 said:

    As an aside, I assume @Leon isn't here because the Putin interview bombed, and he's a bit embarassed.

    Haven’t got around to it. I read it started with him describing a Vikings map which didn’t sound too thrilling.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,310
    To be fair to Biden he is the only Democrat who has proved he can beat Trump in the Electoral College, so it is not really a vanity project on that basis when no other alternative polls much better apart from Michelle Obama.

    Trump's criminal cases also start next month, if he is convicted things could soon look different
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 5,190

    Biden has been easily the best POTUS of this century, despite his age. Not a high bar to be fair.

    He deserves re-election, given the opposition before him.

    Hmmm… Obama did kill Bin Laden, which Biden voted against.
  • SandyRentoolSandyRentool Posts: 20,182
    DavidL said:

    Passing the 20,000 milestone and getting a first in the same day.

    Does life get any better?

    Nope, this is the peak and its all down hill from here.
    Yep. Next stop is an evening listening to Taylor Swift's back catalogue.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,381
    That's a really sharp fall. The report by Special Counsel was pretty devastating but I can't help feeling this is a buying opportunity.
  • lintolinto Posts: 31
    edited February 9
    Can't see Michelle Obama having any interest in running. Why is she even an option, has she declared an intent to run for office of any kind?
    I fear Biden is going to ruin a deserved reputation of competence by continuing in the belief that he is 'the one' who is singularly able to beat Trump. I reckon anyone with a decent background and able to campaign will beat Trump especially if they tack to the centre.
  • williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 47,420

    DavidL said:

    Passing the 20,000 milestone and getting a first in the same day.

    Does life get any better?

    Nope, this is the peak and its all down hill from here.
    Yep. Next stop is an evening listening to Taylor Swift's back catalogue.
    Last attempt to convert @DavidL :

    The Man (Live From Paris): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3aXpa1rQEY
  • Andy_JSAndy_JS Posts: 26,243
    Betfair punters believe Michelle Obama and Kamala Harris are 2 of the top 3 most likely candidates to replace Biden. Is that likely?

    https://www.betfair.com/exchange/plus/en/politics/usa-presidential-election-2024/democratic-nominee-betting-1.178163685
  • londonpubmanlondonpubman Posts: 3,082
    Maybe time for an appearance by AOC? She will be 35 in November so eligible
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 5,190
    Andy_JS said:

    Betfair punters believe Michelle Obama and Kamala Harris are 2 of the top 3 most likely candidates to replace Biden. Is that likely?

    https://www.betfair.com/exchange/plus/en/politics/usa-presidential-election-2024/democratic-nominee-betting-1.178163685

    Why is pb fave Pete at 500s
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 66,243
    If the Democrats really wanted to get their own back - and make a rather pointed comment about the candidate in the race showing several very disturbing signs of extremely advanced cognitive problems - they could ask one of the courts trying Trump to rule him unfit to stand trial.

    At that point it really would be 'cat, meet pigeons.'
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,381

    Biden has been easily the best POTUS of this century, despite his age. Not a high bar to be fair.

    He deserves re-election, given the opposition before him.

    The qualification is key though. What on earth is wrong with the US political system that these 2 very old, more than slightly senile and, in one case, malevolent, men are fighting it out yet again. Why is the system giving such poor choices?

    In fairness we are going to be equally unenthused choosing between Sunak and Starmer (and we won't even bother mentioning Davey). Why can't we do better than this?
  • williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 47,420

    Maybe time for an appearance by AOC? She will be 35 in November so eligible

    I don't think she's electable, and she's even lost a lot of her younger support by sitting on the fence over Gaza.
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 5,190

    Maybe time for an appearance by AOC? She will be 35 in November so eligible

    I don't think she's electable, and she's even lost a lot of her younger support by sitting on the fence over Gaza.
    It would be quite in keeping for them to pick the only candidate capable of losing even worse to Trump than a corpse
  • edmundintokyoedmundintokyo Posts: 17,126
    ydoethur said:

    If the Democrats really wanted to get their own back - and make a rather pointed comment about the candidate in the race showing several very disturbing signs of extremely advanced cognitive problems - they could ask one of the courts trying Trump to rule him unfit to stand trial.

    At that point it really would be 'cat, meet pigeons.'

    I think Trump would have to raise that defence himself? Perhaps he will.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,381

    DavidL said:

    Passing the 20,000 milestone and getting a first in the same day.

    Does life get any better?

    Nope, this is the peak and its all down hill from here.
    Yep. Next stop is an evening listening to Taylor Swift's back catalogue.
    Last attempt to convert @DavidL :

    The Man (Live From Paris): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3aXpa1rQEY
    Sorry, I have reached my tolerance threshold. 2 was enough.
  • maxhmaxh Posts: 768
    edited February 9
    FPT (because you’re worth it):
    Pagan2 said:



    Pagan2 said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    Harper said:

    Leon said:

    IanB2 said:

    Leon said:

    Halfway through tucker Putin


    Interim verdict: Putin looks healthy enough. Quite on top of his brief. Remember when we were told he was dying?

    Also: not mad. Obsessive. Autocratic. But not insane. Not immediately off putting. Wily. Cunning. Duplicitous

    I sense he really doesn’t want to invade and conquer Eastern Europe. But he really does want a large chunk of Ukraine. And he is genuinely aggrieved about NATO expansion - it’s not a pretext

    So a dangerous man but not a Hitler

    Interim verdict on tucker: doing the best he can. His main achievement is getting the interview in the first place - creating the envy of all his peers

    He also asks some quite devious questions that make Putin look a little credulous or clumsy but he does it in a way that Putin doesn’t notice

    It is not 120 minutes of sycophancy. But I am only halfway through

    Yet still 50 minutes longer than most people with their heads actually screwed on have managed.

    Some of us still remember the days when you were telling us all that Putin would be our saviour.

    Another one that didn’t surprise on the upside.
    It it a constant source of amazement to me that your only friend is a dog, given the ready wit, personal charm and that sly, playful charisma you regularly exhibit on this site
    You are wasted on this site Leon. Your charm charisma and intelligence is too much for the regulars to handle.
    I know. I sometimes feel I am more approached in Sverdlovsk than Swindon

    A prophet without honour etc
    What's happened to you, Leon? Are you OK?
    Cambodia. Doing good professional knapping but bereft of social life - a self inflicted monastic solitude which I now possibly regret. Because it makes me reliant on PB for discourse at a time when PB has turned to shit

    No wonder so many have fled the site

    But I will end up with some excellent flints - I think - and it will all be worth it. Head down. Do the graft

    Good work SHOULD be hard
    Is PB not just in a lull waiting for some significant political betting to start? The general election could be mere weeks away and the US election is definitely in November. Calm before the storm (and the opportunity to fleece some less savvy punters on the markets?)
    No. Absolutely no

    It is in a terrible decline

    Recall we used to compare it to a pub. You had the regulars, with their cranky obsessions and ancient gossip, you had frequent visitors - sometimes drunk, sometimes high, often amusing - you had passers by with brilliant new stories or total bewilderment. Crucially you had a core of really intelligent open minded people gathered round the bar

    It seems to me that open minded core has gone. Now PB resembles a tedious HR meeting dominated by fucking boring lawyers and accountants and IT nerds who insist they are right, won’t allow dissent, and either chase away interesting people or bore everyone else

    The wokeness prevails, there is no intellectual curiosity, no surprising new views from that guy on the corner by the slot machine

    The only reason I am still here is because i have invested 15 years of conversation in this place and it will be a large wrench to leave, and I am particularly reliant on it out here in Phnom Penh

    I will leave it as soon as I can
    I think reflects the broader politics.
    Nobody believes in the Brexit fairy anymore, the idea of supporting the Tories is risible, and Starmer is about to offer the blandest prospectus ever put to the British public. Even the Lib Dems have nothing to say.

    The world is pivoting, the kaleidoscope has been shaken, but Britain has given up. For the moment, at least.

    Yes. The wider world is definitely part of it. Politics is more polarised so pb is part of that

    Also everyone here is just older and crankier perhaps. But fuck knows why I have to respect these geriatric twats - I still travel the world and do stuff - I stay open minded. Pb does not

    Hey ho

    If I’m still here in a year please please please tease me mercilessly until I am shamed into going. I need to find a replacement forum - it’s not easy. Pb of old
    was special

    I am looking hard
    Do you not think you've played a large part in driving away people who disagree with you?
    Absolutely not. I love a good argument. That’s why I come here. Yes I can be bruising but I always respect someone who articulately disagrees, and I never whine if someone is nasty

    What’s ruined the site is the dead hand of orthodoxy. Plus you’re all a bunch of fucking lawyers and accountants and business dudes and retired IT geeks. Twats

    We desperately need more arty types. Poets. Violinists. Dancers. Opera singers. Anyone creative, anyone, literally anyone. Anyone!

    But no
    Arty types can fuck off they have nothing whatsoever to add to any conversation
    I consider you something of an arty type pagan. I could imagine one of your diatribes graffitied font size 782 on the wall of the Tate Modern with the tofu-eating wokerati flocking to it to nod sagely at the rawness of it all.
  • SandyRentoolSandyRentool Posts: 20,182
    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    Passing the 20,000 milestone and getting a first in the same day.

    Does life get any better?

    Nope, this is the peak and its all down hill from here.
    Yep. Next stop is an evening listening to Taylor Swift's back catalogue.
    Last attempt to convert @DavidL :

    The Man (Live From Paris): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3aXpa1rQEY
    Sorry, I have reached my tolerance threshold. 2 was enough.
    Try the AI generated imagery. You may find it more to your liking.
  • MoonRabbitMoonRabbit Posts: 12,069
    nico679 said:

    The We Think polling is the most pertinent having been conducted on the 8 and 9 so would include when Labour decided to fxck themselves .

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Opinium dropping them into the 30s .

    The best thing for Labour is for them to not win either by-election next week .

    They need a reality check !

    Off topic, but topical

    Let’s have this out, Nico, so you can please correct me where I am wrong.
    let’s start at the beginning with some honest truth. The Conservative Government record on climate change for most the last 14 years till recently, was rather good, actually. They could have taken it into the coming election as a positive, till they saw the opportunity to win re-election, by attacking Labours £140B Green Jihad on the motorist, public finances and tax payers pocket, so trashed their own brand and messaging for this clear blue water.

    Until yesterday Labour had a green policy deal of £28B extra a year (£140B over term of parliament) paid for from an inherited economy maxxed out on tax intake, maxxed out on borrowing, £1Trilion a year public sector bill for crumbling public services, not least Health, Education and defence, and barely a feather of growth for ages, also until yesterday its £28B spending commitment was completely vague on what items they intended to actually buy with £28Billion a year of additional public spending on this one department alone.

    Yet, you come along with such wisdom to argue Labour should have left it completely alone? not touched this at all before putting it in the manifesto? not rationalised it to something more clear and sane and affordable? Okay… So exactly how from inherited position of maxxed out tax intake, maxxed out on borrowing, with crumbling public services, not least Health, Education and defence, and barely a feather of growth for ages, are you suggesting that £140B was remotely going to be paid for? Remember, there hasn’t been a realistic and achievable spending commitment in the whole history of politics, that didn’t come with a realistic funding mechanism attached - and those that don’t are a gift to your opponents, cost you seats and power. In today’s real world Labours £24B plan of today has question marks over its funding - how much windfall tax, how much more on borrowing. Do you know?
    Which Labour supporter doesn’t want a manifesto that puts the country living within its means, first and foremost? 🤷‍♀️

    Meanwhile, even more incredible really, Sunak and PB Tories are arguing that this example - this conscious act of Labours top team to rationalise the “unfundable splurge” down to something actually vaguely sane, vaguely fundable for a manifesto - is all the proof you now need that Labour are UNFIT for office? 😶
    🤣
  • HarperHarper Posts: 197
    DavidL said:

    Biden has been easily the best POTUS of this century, despite his age. Not a high bar to be fair.

    He deserves re-election, given the opposition before him.

    The qualification is key though. What on earth is wrong with the US political system that these 2 very old, more than slightly senile and, in one case, malevolent, men are fighting it out yet again. Why is the system giving such poor choices?

    In fairness we are going to be equally unenthused choosing between Sunak and Starmer (and we won't even bother mentioning Davey). Why can't we do better than this?
    You very rarely get good leaders in a democracy. By definition to get elected you have to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Makes for bad govt.
  • TimSTimS Posts: 8,669
    My pop star cabinet:

    PM: Mercury
    CoE: Barlow
    Foreign sec: Bono
    Home sec: Morrissey
    Justice: Glitter
    Health: Winehouse
    Education: Waters
    Transport: Rea
    DEFRA: Sharkey
    Defence: Blunt
    Business: Tennant
    International development: Geldof
    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Bush

    I know there are various others but that’ll do.
  • Harper said:

    DavidL said:

    Biden has been easily the best POTUS of this century, despite his age. Not a high bar to be fair.

    He deserves re-election, given the opposition before him.

    The qualification is key though. What on earth is wrong with the US political system that these 2 very old, more than slightly senile and, in one case, malevolent, men are fighting it out yet again. Why is the system giving such poor choices?

    In fairness we are going to be equally unenthused choosing between Sunak and Starmer (and we won't even bother mentioning Davey). Why can't we do better than this?
    You very rarely get good leaders in a democracy. By definition to get elected you have to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Makes for bad govt.
    Is that what they teach you in Moscow?

    Actually you get far better leaders in democracies than autocracies. In a democracy a bad leader who has overstayed their welcome can be turfed out, while you're lumped with the same douchebag you had nearly a quarter of a century ago.
  • Andy_JSAndy_JS Posts: 26,243
    Apologies for the length of this post.

    Steven Edginton
    @StevenEdginton
    Exclusive: Whistleblower exposes Home Office's asylum system:

    "I work in the Home Office deciding whether to grant people asylum, and I am terrified that one day one of my cases will end up on the news.

    There has been no internal communication about the recent acid attack case. Nothing. Not even an email telling us that they are looking into how it could have been allowed to happen.

    Instead we are bombarded with emails that celebrate things like “World Hijab Day’’ at the same time as I deal with cases of women claiming they cannot go back to Iran otherwise they will be forced into wearing these items.

    Asylum seekers will be coached, often by legal representatives or through friends and family (some of whom may have been granted asylum in the past), to concoct a reason they might be persecuted in their home country. They “convert” to Christianity, often coming with evidence of recent baptisms, or say they are gay and take pictures in gay nightclubs to prove it (some of these photos look as though they are very uncomfortable being there).

    In one instance a male claimed that he was gay, only to drop the assertion halfway through his asylum interview because he felt so disgusted by the idea.

    In one interview the claimant insisted that he was being persecuted in his home country due to his political beliefs. I asked him to name the leader of his nation’s opposition party and he couldn’t answer. He asked for a break and came back ten minutes later knowing everything about the political situation.

    The Home Office is hostile to those who speak up internally, unless their complaint is about diversity or discrimination or some other civil service obsession.

    Home Office directives and pressure to clear the backlog of asylum cases has caused caseworkers to cut corners. The default is now to err on the side of accepting people. For example, we have been told to cut down the time it takes to conduct asylum interviews, which has led to confusion and a lack of clarity over some cases.

    Even as someone who is sceptical of many applications, internal targets and incentives mean that I feel under huge pressure to accept people. It takes less than half an hour to accept a case, while it takes around a day to write up a report to reject someone (this is because you have to lay out the evidence as to why you rejected it for legal reasons, which is a timely process).

    The top brass have told us to be on the lookout for applications (even citing a string of recent cases), that use the same wording, or similar stories, and are often submitted by people using the same immigration lawyer. We know that many law firms tell applicants to submit the same hokum that has been proven to work previously but we have not been told to stop granting asylum in these cases."
    5:10 PM · Feb 9, 2024"

    https://twitter.com/StevenEdginton/status/1756002642084454686
  • AlsoLeiAlsoLei Posts: 435
    DavidL said:

    That's a really sharp fall. The report by Special Counsel was pretty devastating but I can't help feeling this is a buying opportunity.

    I'm deeply conflicted about this. I had thought for ages that Biden would step aside - build up Buttigieg and Harris and whoever else, and be the "bridge to the future".

    I was almost sure of it, and have bet accordingly. I'm all green on Betfair's Dem nominee market - but to the tune of only £2 for Biden. Which works out at about a penny an hour, given the time I've put into it. He's always been the favourite, and still is - currently at 1.46.

    But he's still there. It's too late. It's him or Trump. What's the plausible path towards it being anyone else?
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 66,243

    ydoethur said:

    If the Democrats really wanted to get their own back - and make a rather pointed comment about the candidate in the race showing several very disturbing signs of extremely advanced cognitive problems - they could ask one of the courts trying Trump to rule him unfit to stand trial.

    At that point it really would be 'cat, meet pigeons.'

    I think Trump would have to raise that defence himself? Perhaps he will.
    No. In the US it's a determination by the court.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 66,243
    AlsoLei said:

    DavidL said:

    That's a really sharp fall. The report by Special Counsel was pretty devastating but I can't help feeling this is a buying opportunity.

    I'm deeply conflicted about this. I had thought for ages that Biden would step aside - build up Buttigieg and Harris and whoever else, and be the "bridge to the future".

    I was almost sure of it, and have bet accordingly. I'm all green on Betfair's Dem nominee market - but to the tune of only £2 for Biden. Which works out at about a penny an hour, given the time I've put into it. He's always been the favourite, and still is - currently at 1.46.

    But he's still there. It's too late. It's him or Trump. What's the plausible path towards it being anyone else?
    One or both of them could snuff it.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,381

    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    Passing the 20,000 milestone and getting a first in the same day.

    Does life get any better?

    Nope, this is the peak and its all down hill from here.
    Yep. Next stop is an evening listening to Taylor Swift's back catalogue.
    Last attempt to convert @DavidL :

    The Man (Live From Paris): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3aXpa1rQEY
    Sorry, I have reached my tolerance threshold. 2 was enough.
    Try the AI generated imagery. You may find it more to your liking.
    I was watching a documentary about that last night. Yet another Storyville called AI Another Body. People scraping images off Facebook and the like and pasting them onto porn. I vaguely remember us debating this on PB once upon a time.

    The world is a lot weirder than even my current job has taught me. Its amazing it works at all really.
  • HarperHarper Posts: 197

    Harper said:

    DavidL said:

    Biden has been easily the best POTUS of this century, despite his age. Not a high bar to be fair.

    He deserves re-election, given the opposition before him.

    The qualification is key though. What on earth is wrong with the US political system that these 2 very old, more than slightly senile and, in one case, malevolent, men are fighting it out yet again. Why is the system giving such poor choices?

    In fairness we are going to be equally unenthused choosing between Sunak and Starmer (and we won't even bother mentioning Davey). Why can't we do better than this?
    You very rarely get good leaders in a democracy. By definition to get elected you have to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Makes for bad govt.
    Is that what they teach you in Moscow?

    Actually you get far better leaders in democracies than autocracies. In a democracy a bad leader who has overstayed their welcome can be turfed out, while you're lumped with the same douchebag you had nearly a quarter of a century ago.
    Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore was better than most democratic leaders.
  • edmundintokyoedmundintokyo Posts: 17,126
    edited February 9
    moonshine said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Betfair punters believe Michelle Obama and Kamala Harris are 2 of the top 3 most likely candidates to replace Biden. Is that likely?

    https://www.betfair.com/exchange/plus/en/politics/usa-presidential-election-2024/democratic-nominee-betting-1.178163685

    Why is pb fave Pete at 500s
    Basically if you say "I'm going to put a black woman in the VP slot" then the time comes to get the actual top job you elbow her aside for a white man it doesn't look great. Although most of the voters don't seem to care about presidential gender there are some people in the Democratic Party who really do, and they've been feeling cheezed off ever since Obama beat Hillary. (Remember PUMA?) So if Biden was going to arrange to pass the baton to someone who isn't Kamala Harris, it would make sense to pick a woman, preferably a black woman. The black woman bench isn't very deep, but there are good woman candidates (Whitmer, KLOBUCHAR) and also good black candidates (Booker, Warnock). I think the Betfair odds are right in putting them in that order.

    I think Newsom is a bubble, but at least he's clearly running.
  • williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 47,420
    Biden is destroying his own legacy and will go down as one of the most hated men in American history if he carries on and loses to Trump.

    Remember this speech when he was running for the nomination?

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/09/politics/joe-biden-bridge-new-generation-of-leaders/index.html

    Biden says he’s a ‘bridge’ to new ‘generation of leaders’

    Former Vice President Joe Biden called himself a “bridge” to future Democratic leaders Monday night as he campaigned with Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

    “Look, I view myself as a bridge, not as anything else,” Biden said. “There’s an entire generation of leaders you saw stand behind me. They are the future of this country.”
  • Harper said:

    Harper said:

    DavidL said:

    Biden has been easily the best POTUS of this century, despite his age. Not a high bar to be fair.

    He deserves re-election, given the opposition before him.

    The qualification is key though. What on earth is wrong with the US political system that these 2 very old, more than slightly senile and, in one case, malevolent, men are fighting it out yet again. Why is the system giving such poor choices?

    In fairness we are going to be equally unenthused choosing between Sunak and Starmer (and we won't even bother mentioning Davey). Why can't we do better than this?
    You very rarely get good leaders in a democracy. By definition to get elected you have to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Makes for bad govt.
    Is that what they teach you in Moscow?

    Actually you get far better leaders in democracies than autocracies. In a democracy a bad leader who has overstayed their welcome can be turfed out, while you're lumped with the same douchebag you had nearly a quarter of a century ago.
    Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore was better than most democratic leaders.
    Thatcher and Reagan were also better than most democratic leaders, what's your point?

    There will be the occasional diamond in the rough, like LKY. Its worth noting that Lee was very adamantly anti-corruption and was throughout his entire, long, period in office which is exceptionally unusual in autocracies.

    Still however most democratic leaders are better than most non-democratic leaders.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,381
    AlsoLei said:

    DavidL said:

    That's a really sharp fall. The report by Special Counsel was pretty devastating but I can't help feeling this is a buying opportunity.

    I'm deeply conflicted about this. I had thought for ages that Biden would step aside - build up Buttigieg and Harris and whoever else, and be the "bridge to the future".

    I was almost sure of it, and have bet accordingly. I'm all green on Betfair's Dem nominee market - but to the tune of only £2 for Biden. Which works out at about a penny an hour, given the time I've put into it. He's always been the favourite, and still is - currently at 1.46.

    But he's still there. It's too late. It's him or Trump. What's the plausible path towards it being anyone else?
    I agree. The date for nomination in most of the states, certainly for Super Tuesday, has passed. It is too late on both sides of the aisle. We are stuck with Alien-v-Predator round 2 (and that's probably a bit unfair on Biden). If Biden was going to step aside it really has to be like this weekend. And even that would cause chaos.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 53,506
    moonshine said:

    rcs1000 said:

    As an aside, I assume @Leon isn't here because the Putin interview bombed, and he's a bit embarassed.

    Haven’t got around to it. I read it started with him describing a Vikings map which didn’t sound too thrilling.
    Indeed, it starts with Putin giving a 30 minute history lecture about how Ukraine isn't a real country, and is really part of Russia.

    Which - of course - is very interesting in that it is a tacit acknowledgement that this really is a war of territorial expansion, rather than merely defanging a country which posed a threat. (Which was the message Putin and co repeated ad nauseum at the start of the invasion.)
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,310
    edited February 9

    Biden is destroying his own legacy and will go down as one of the most hated men in American history if he carries on and loses to Trump.

    Remember this speech when he was running for the nomination?

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/09/politics/joe-biden-bridge-new-generation-of-leaders/index.html

    Biden says he’s a ‘bridge’ to new ‘generation of leaders’

    Former Vice President Joe Biden called himself a “bridge” to future Democratic leaders Monday night as he campaigned with Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

    “Look, I view myself as a bridge, not as anything else,” Biden said. “There’s an entire generation of leaders you saw stand behind me. They are the future of this country.”

    It was thanks to Biden the Democrats managed to remove Trump from office in
    the first place in 2020, he
    declined to run in 2016
    despite being incumbent VP to let Hillary run and Trump beat her
  • edmundintokyoedmundintokyo Posts: 17,126
    AlsoLei said:

    DavidL said:

    That's a really sharp fall. The report by Special Counsel was pretty devastating but I can't help feeling this is a buying opportunity.

    I'm deeply conflicted about this. I had thought for ages that Biden would step aside - build up Buttigieg and Harris and whoever else, and be the "bridge to the future".

    I was almost sure of it, and have bet accordingly. I'm all green on Betfair's Dem nominee market - but to the tune of only £2 for Biden. Which works out at about a penny an hour, given the time I've put into it. He's always been the favourite, and still is - currently at 1.46.

    But he's still there. It's too late. It's him or Trump. What's the plausible path towards it being anyone else?
    The plausible path to it being someone else is that he stands down on grounds of ill health and hands over the job to his Vice President, and his delegates vote for her at the convention. He can do this any day between Super Tuesday and late summer, he just has to wake up in the morning and decide it's what he wants to do. I think it's very easy to see. Getting to one of the other candidates, not so much.
  • MJWMJW Posts: 1,219

    MJW said:

    rcs1000 said:

    MJW said:

    Harper said:

    darkage said:

    I think that people are exaggerating the influence of Taylor Swift. Up until the 00's there were genuine megastars that everyone had heard of because the amount of information was limited to what was on TV. I'd guess nowadays that a lot of people have no idea who she is, even though her songs get billions of listens on Spotify and her shows attract 50,000 people per night. She is popular with her fans and has some broader cultural recognition but she is not a ubiquitous megastar in the way that some people imagine.

    Madonna in her prime was bigger with a wider fan base.
    Was she though? Swift is absolutely huge in a way that transcends pop. Her tour has broken every record going. I'm not sure Madonna could have re-recorded her back catalogue and topped the charts with albums that were old material.

    However, even the biggest stars have less of a footprint than we might assume. Swift was the biggest-selling artist of last year by a mile (she has managed this 5 times, Madonna 0 btw) - with an album she originally released a decade ago. But sold around 2 million copies - a tonne in music these days, but a drop in the ocean among an electorate that runs into the hundreds of millions.

    This isn't unusual. To become a huge, global star you only need a relatively small percentage of the population to love you. After all there are a lot of 60 or 70 year olds who prefer the music of their youth.
    Ah hem.

    No-one buys albums anymore, so I'm not sure that's a great metric.
    Streams are generally counted in sales for chart purposes in various ways. But even in the glory days of the late 90s - when CDs made sent sales rocketing, the top sales were around 9 million - a lot, sure, but the same point applies. A small fraction of the electorate.

    And it is a fairly good way of judging who is a committed fan - as it shows who has parted with cash to support an artist.

    Anyway, the point is Swift is a generational megastar - she's now bigger than ever when at 34, she's at an age when most popstars are winding down a bit or getting experimental. But even that kind of fame - and she breaks pretty much every record she wants to - doesn't necessarily translate to votes as even the biggest stars' fanbases are small compared to the entire adult population.
    I still think @kyf_100 has it right: she’s inherently pap.

    One interesting thing about her though is that she’s more attractive at 34 than she was at 24.
    Yeah I'm not judging the quality of her music. I agree that her oeuvre can be a bit bland - albeit with the odd absolute banger.

    Just pointing out that she's an absolutely huge star even in historical terms - even outstripping big stars of the past who weren't quite as ubiquitous or commercially dominant over such a long period.

    One reason I think she's become so big is that she's effectively kept building and building an audience. From country music to pop, and then across generations. It's rare, possibly unprecedented, for a pop artist to still be the most popular with 15-year-olds and the 35-year-olds who were around at the start of their career.

    Part of the reason for that maybe her music being slightly bland but perfectly crafted and with lyrics laser-guided to appeal to the emotional side of teens and young adults.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,381
    Andy_JS said:

    Apologies for the length of this post.

    Steven Edginton
    @StevenEdginton
    Exclusive: Whistleblower exposes Home Office's asylum system:

    "I work in the Home Office deciding whether to grant people asylum, and I am terrified that one day one of my cases will end up on the news.

    There has been no internal communication about the recent acid attack case. Nothing. Not even an email telling us that they are looking into how it could have been allowed to happen.

    Instead we are bombarded with emails that celebrate things like “World Hijab Day’’ at the same time as I deal with cases of women claiming they cannot go back to Iran otherwise they will be forced into wearing these items.

    Asylum seekers will be coached, often by legal representatives or through friends and family (some of whom may have been granted asylum in the past), to concoct a reason they might be persecuted in their home country. They “convert” to Christianity, often coming with evidence of recent baptisms, or say they are gay and take pictures in gay nightclubs to prove it (some of these photos look as though they are very uncomfortable being there).

    In one instance a male claimed that he was gay, only to drop the assertion halfway through his asylum interview because he felt so disgusted by the idea.

    In one interview the claimant insisted that he was being persecuted in his home country due to his political beliefs. I asked him to name the leader of his nation’s opposition party and he couldn’t answer. He asked for a break and came back ten minutes later knowing everything about the political situation.

    The Home Office is hostile to those who speak up internally, unless their complaint is about diversity or discrimination or some other civil service obsession.

    Home Office directives and pressure to clear the backlog of asylum cases has caused caseworkers to cut corners. The default is now to err on the side of accepting people. For example, we have been told to cut down the time it takes to conduct asylum interviews, which has led to confusion and a lack of clarity over some cases.

    Even as someone who is sceptical of many applications, internal targets and incentives mean that I feel under huge pressure to accept people. It takes less than half an hour to accept a case, while it takes around a day to write up a report to reject someone (this is because you have to lay out the evidence as to why you rejected it for legal reasons, which is a timely process).

    The top brass have told us to be on the lookout for applications (even citing a string of recent cases), that use the same wording, or similar stories, and are often submitted by people using the same immigration lawyer. We know that many law firms tell applicants to submit the same hokum that has been proven to work previously but we have not been told to stop granting asylum in these cases."
    5:10 PM · Feb 9, 2024"

    https://twitter.com/StevenEdginton/status/1756002642084454686

    I got an email about World Hijab day today. I was equally bemused.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 53,506
    Andy_JS said:

    Betfair punters believe Michelle Obama and Kamala Harris are 2 of the top 3 most likely candidates to replace Biden. Is that likely?

    https://www.betfair.com/exchange/plus/en/politics/usa-presidential-election-2024/democratic-nominee-betting-1.178163685

    Well, Kamala is, by dint of being the sitting Vice President.

    Michelle Obama clearly isn't.
  • Luckyguy1983Luckyguy1983 Posts: 24,726
    Andy_JS said:

    Apologies for the length of this post.

    Steven Edginton
    @StevenEdginton
    Exclusive: Whistleblower exposes Home Office's asylum system:

    "I work in the Home Office deciding whether to grant people asylum, and I am terrified that one day one of my cases will end up on the news.

    There has been no internal communication about the recent acid attack case. Nothing. Not even an email telling us that they are looking into how it could have been allowed to happen.

    Instead we are bombarded with emails that celebrate things like “World Hijab Day’’ at the same time as I deal with cases of women claiming they cannot go back to Iran otherwise they will be forced into wearing these items.

    Asylum seekers will be coached, often by legal representatives or through friends and family (some of whom may have been granted asylum in the past), to concoct a reason they might be persecuted in their home country. They “convert” to Christianity, often coming with evidence of recent baptisms, or say they are gay and take pictures in gay nightclubs to prove it (some of these photos look as though they are very uncomfortable being there).

    In one instance a male claimed that he was gay, only to drop the assertion halfway through his asylum interview because he felt so disgusted by the idea.

    In one interview the claimant insisted that he was being persecuted in his home country due to his political beliefs. I asked him to name the leader of his nation’s opposition party and he couldn’t answer. He asked for a break and came back ten minutes later knowing everything about the political situation.

    The Home Office is hostile to those who speak up internally, unless their complaint is about diversity or discrimination or some other civil service obsession.

    Home Office directives and pressure to clear the backlog of asylum cases has caused caseworkers to cut corners. The default is now to err on the side of accepting people. For example, we have been told to cut down the time it takes to conduct asylum interviews, which has led to confusion and a lack of clarity over some cases.

    Even as someone who is sceptical of many applications, internal targets and incentives mean that I feel under huge pressure to accept people. It takes less than half an hour to accept a case, while it takes around a day to write up a report to reject someone (this is because you have to lay out the evidence as to why you rejected it for legal reasons, which is a timely process).

    The top brass have told us to be on the lookout for applications (even citing a string of recent cases), that use the same wording, or similar stories, and are often submitted by people using the same immigration lawyer. We know that many law firms tell applicants to submit the same hokum that has been proven to work previously but we have not been told to stop granting asylum in these cases."
    5:10 PM · Feb 9, 2024"

    https://twitter.com/StevenEdginton/status/1756002642084454686

    The whole thing is unfit for purpose. Get a taskforce in to do it. G4S couldn't fuck it up more than this.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,310

    Maybe time for an appearance by AOC? She will be 35 in November so eligible

    She would just be McGovern to Trump's Nixon, it would be a 1972 scale Republican landslide
  • SandyRentoolSandyRentool Posts: 20,182
    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    Passing the 20,000 milestone and getting a first in the same day.

    Does life get any better?

    Nope, this is the peak and its all down hill from here.
    Yep. Next stop is an evening listening to Taylor Swift's back catalogue.
    Last attempt to convert @DavidL :

    The Man (Live From Paris): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3aXpa1rQEY
    Sorry, I have reached my tolerance threshold. 2 was enough.
    Try the AI generated imagery. You may find it more to your liking.
    I was watching a documentary about that last night. Yet another Storyville called AI Another Body. People scraping images off Facebook and the like and pasting them onto porn. I vaguely remember us debating this on PB once upon a time.

    The world is a lot weirder than even my current job has taught me. Its amazing it works at all really.
    But these days you don't even need to source the images.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,381

    Andy_JS said:

    Apologies for the length of this post.

    Steven Edginton
    @StevenEdginton
    Exclusive: Whistleblower exposes Home Office's asylum system:

    "I work in the Home Office deciding whether to grant people asylum, and I am terrified that one day one of my cases will end up on the news.

    There has been no internal communication about the recent acid attack case. Nothing. Not even an email telling us that they are looking into how it could have been allowed to happen.

    Instead we are bombarded with emails that celebrate things like “World Hijab Day’’ at the same time as I deal with cases of women claiming they cannot go back to Iran otherwise they will be forced into wearing these items.

    Asylum seekers will be coached, often by legal representatives or through friends and family (some of whom may have been granted asylum in the past), to concoct a reason they might be persecuted in their home country. They “convert” to Christianity, often coming with evidence of recent baptisms, or say they are gay and take pictures in gay nightclubs to prove it (some of these photos look as though they are very uncomfortable being there).

    In one instance a male claimed that he was gay, only to drop the assertion halfway through his asylum interview because he felt so disgusted by the idea.

    In one interview the claimant insisted that he was being persecuted in his home country due to his political beliefs. I asked him to name the leader of his nation’s opposition party and he couldn’t answer. He asked for a break and came back ten minutes later knowing everything about the political situation.

    The Home Office is hostile to those who speak up internally, unless their complaint is about diversity or discrimination or some other civil service obsession.

    Home Office directives and pressure to clear the backlog of asylum cases has caused caseworkers to cut corners. The default is now to err on the side of accepting people. For example, we have been told to cut down the time it takes to conduct asylum interviews, which has led to confusion and a lack of clarity over some cases.

    Even as someone who is sceptical of many applications, internal targets and incentives mean that I feel under huge pressure to accept people. It takes less than half an hour to accept a case, while it takes around a day to write up a report to reject someone (this is because you have to lay out the evidence as to why you rejected it for legal reasons, which is a timely process).

    The top brass have told us to be on the lookout for applications (even citing a string of recent cases), that use the same wording, or similar stories, and are often submitted by people using the same immigration lawyer. We know that many law firms tell applicants to submit the same hokum that has been proven to work previously but we have not been told to stop granting asylum in these cases."
    5:10 PM · Feb 9, 2024"

    https://twitter.com/StevenEdginton/status/1756002642084454686

    The whole thing is unfit for purpose. Get a taskforce in to do it. G4S couldn't fuck it up more than this.
    G4S: hold my beer.
  • BartholomewRobertsBartholomewRoberts Posts: 17,606
    edited February 9
    DavidL said:

    AlsoLei said:

    DavidL said:

    That's a really sharp fall. The report by Special Counsel was pretty devastating but I can't help feeling this is a buying opportunity.

    I'm deeply conflicted about this. I had thought for ages that Biden would step aside - build up Buttigieg and Harris and whoever else, and be the "bridge to the future".

    I was almost sure of it, and have bet accordingly. I'm all green on Betfair's Dem nominee market - but to the tune of only £2 for Biden. Which works out at about a penny an hour, given the time I've put into it. He's always been the favourite, and still is - currently at 1.46.

    But he's still there. It's too late. It's him or Trump. What's the plausible path towards it being anyone else?
    I agree. The date for nomination in most of the states, certainly for Super Tuesday, has passed. It is too late on both sides of the aisle. We are stuck with Alien-v-Predator round 2 (and that's probably a bit unfair on Biden). If Biden was going to step aside it really has to be like this weekend. And even that would cause chaos.
    Its not so much Alien-v-Predator more John McClane v Predator but with Bruce Willis as he is today not in the eighties.

    Again that might be a bit unfair on Biden.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 53,506
    Harper said:

    DavidL said:

    Biden has been easily the best POTUS of this century, despite his age. Not a high bar to be fair.

    He deserves re-election, given the opposition before him.

    The qualification is key though. What on earth is wrong with the US political system that these 2 very old, more than slightly senile and, in one case, malevolent, men are fighting it out yet again. Why is the system giving such poor choices?

    In fairness we are going to be equally unenthused choosing between Sunak and Starmer (and we won't even bother mentioning Davey). Why can't we do better than this?
    You very rarely get good leaders in a democracy. By definition to get elected you have to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Makes for bad govt.
    Even if we accept your premise, you also very rarely get really, really bad ones.

    And a Max-Min strategy is almost certainly a winning one. Simply bad leaders do a lot more damage than good leaders do good.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 53,506
    TimS said:

    My pop star cabinet:

    PM: Mercury
    CoE: Barlow
    Foreign sec: Bono
    Home sec: Morrissey
    Justice: Glitter
    Health: Winehouse
    Education: Waters
    Transport: Rea
    DEFRA: Sharkey
    Defence: Blunt
    Business: Tennant
    International development: Geldof
    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Bush

    I know there are various others but that’ll do.

    I fucking hate Bono.
  • Luckyguy1983Luckyguy1983 Posts: 24,726
    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    Passing the 20,000 milestone and getting a first in the same day.

    Does life get any better?

    Nope, this is the peak and its all down hill from here.
    Yep. Next stop is an evening listening to Taylor Swift's back catalogue.
    Last attempt to convert @DavidL :

    The Man (Live From Paris): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3aXpa1rQEY
    Sorry, I have reached my tolerance threshold. 2 was enough.
    I think I've only heard and recognised that Take it off take it off take it off song of hers. I wasn't impressed. I'm sure I've heard more in passing and not attributed them to her.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 42,827
    DavidL said:

    Biden has been easily the best POTUS of this century, despite his age. Not a high bar to be fair.

    He deserves re-election, given the opposition before him.

    The qualification is key though. What on earth is wrong with the US political system that these 2 very old, more than slightly senile and, in one case, malevolent, men are fighting it out yet again. Why is the system giving such poor choices?

    In fairness we are going to be equally unenthused choosing between Sunak and Starmer (and we won't even bother mentioning Davey). Why can't we do better than this?
    Who rises to the top in politics.

    I’ve previously mentioned a relative - educated to PhD level, wrote some serious papers that are still quoted, coached a sport at national level, started a business from a 1 man band up to the level that he can take time for other things.

    As he puts it - why take a pay cut for such an awful, pointless job?
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 53,506
    edited February 9

    moonshine said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Betfair punters believe Michelle Obama and Kamala Harris are 2 of the top 3 most likely candidates to replace Biden. Is that likely?

    https://www.betfair.com/exchange/plus/en/politics/usa-presidential-election-2024/democratic-nominee-betting-1.178163685

    Why is pb fave Pete at 500s
    Basically if you say "I'm going to put a black woman in the VP slot" then the time comes to get the actual top job you elbow her aside for a white man it doesn't look great. Although most of the voters don't seem to care about presidential gender there are some people in the Democratic Party who really do, and they've been feeling cheezed off ever since Obama beat Hillary. (Remember PUMA?) So if Biden was going to arrange to pass the baton to someone who isn't Kamala Harris, it would make sense to pick a woman, preferably a black woman. The black woman bench isn't very deep, but there are good woman candidates (Whitmer, KLOBUCHAR) and also good black candidates (Booker, Warnock). I think the Betfair odds are right in putting them in that order.

    I think Newsom is a bubble, but at least he's clearly running.
    The only issue with Newson is that he might lose his home state. (Also, of course, he could not have Kamala has his VP.)
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 5,190
    rcs1000 said:

    TimS said:

    My pop star cabinet:

    PM: Mercury
    CoE: Barlow
    Foreign sec: Bono
    Home sec: Morrissey
    Justice: Glitter
    Health: Winehouse
    Education: Waters
    Transport: Rea
    DEFRA: Sharkey
    Defence: Blunt
    Business: Tennant
    International development: Geldof
    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Bush

    I know there are various others but that’ll do.

    I fucking hate Bono.
    At least he didn’t put Glitter at Education
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 53,506
    DavidL said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Apologies for the length of this post.

    Steven Edginton
    @StevenEdginton
    Exclusive: Whistleblower exposes Home Office's asylum system:

    "I work in the Home Office deciding whether to grant people asylum, and I am terrified that one day one of my cases will end up on the news.

    There has been no internal communication about the recent acid attack case. Nothing. Not even an email telling us that they are looking into how it could have been allowed to happen.

    Instead we are bombarded with emails that celebrate things like “World Hijab Day’’ at the same time as I deal with cases of women claiming they cannot go back to Iran otherwise they will be forced into wearing these items.

    Asylum seekers will be coached, often by legal representatives or through friends and family (some of whom may have been granted asylum in the past), to concoct a reason they might be persecuted in their home country. They “convert” to Christianity, often coming with evidence of recent baptisms, or say they are gay and take pictures in gay nightclubs to prove it (some of these photos look as though they are very uncomfortable being there).

    In one instance a male claimed that he was gay, only to drop the assertion halfway through his asylum interview because he felt so disgusted by the idea.

    In one interview the claimant insisted that he was being persecuted in his home country due to his political beliefs. I asked him to name the leader of his nation’s opposition party and he couldn’t answer. He asked for a break and came back ten minutes later knowing everything about the political situation.

    The Home Office is hostile to those who speak up internally, unless their complaint is about diversity or discrimination or some other civil service obsession.

    Home Office directives and pressure to clear the backlog of asylum cases has caused caseworkers to cut corners. The default is now to err on the side of accepting people. For example, we have been told to cut down the time it takes to conduct asylum interviews, which has led to confusion and a lack of clarity over some cases.

    Even as someone who is sceptical of many applications, internal targets and incentives mean that I feel under huge pressure to accept people. It takes less than half an hour to accept a case, while it takes around a day to write up a report to reject someone (this is because you have to lay out the evidence as to why you rejected it for legal reasons, which is a timely process).

    The top brass have told us to be on the lookout for applications (even citing a string of recent cases), that use the same wording, or similar stories, and are often submitted by people using the same immigration lawyer. We know that many law firms tell applicants to submit the same hokum that has been proven to work previously but we have not been told to stop granting asylum in these cases."
    5:10 PM · Feb 9, 2024"

    https://twitter.com/StevenEdginton/status/1756002642084454686

    I got an email about World Hijab day today. I was equally bemused.
    I wore mine today, as I'm sure many other PBers did.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 66,243
    moonshine said:

    rcs1000 said:

    TimS said:

    My pop star cabinet:

    PM: Mercury
    CoE: Barlow
    Foreign sec: Bono
    Home sec: Morrissey
    Justice: Glitter
    Health: Winehouse
    Education: Waters
    Transport: Rea
    DEFRA: Sharkey
    Defence: Blunt
    Business: Tennant
    International development: Geldof
    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Bush

    I know there are various others but that’ll do.

    I fucking hate Bono.
    At least he didn’t put Glitter at Education
    If I suggest that he would be at home there given they spend all their time screwing children, do I get accused of bad taste?
  • darkagedarkage Posts: 4,613
    edited February 9
    FPT
    rcs1000 said:

    darkage said:

    There is a scenario where you ship out all your militar

    Harper said:

    rcs1000 said:

    darkage said:

    So, who have we got defending Putin?

    Williamglenn and a Russian bot called Harper... anyone else?

    There are some on the right in the UK that are so far down the culture war rabbit hole that getting one over Biden and the Libs is more important than the defence of Ukraine and vital British security and defence interests.

    I am probably in a 'culture war rabbit hole', but would nonetheless comment as follows:

    The discussion about Ukraine on PB is hopeless. The consensus is that Putin is Hitler and we are in the run up to the second world war again, so Russia has to be stopped by shipping an unlimited amount of military hardware there, at any cost. And any other opinion is giving in to fascism.

    Such comments are useful mainly as evidence of the effectiveness of propaganda, they offer no real insight in to the situation.



    Oh, I think Ukraine is very simple.

    A democratic, friendly country has been invaded.

    We do not have a military alliance with that country, so clearly should not be sending people.

    But we absolutely should offer all assistance short of fighting.

    Do you have a different opinion?
    Interesting argument as far as it goes but the problem is the differential in manpower. Russia has much more of it so can afford more losses. And whilst Ukraine may not have lost as many troops as Russia they have still lost a huge number. Regardless of weapons sent you still need the manpower. Now the way to make up this manpower differential would be to send in NATO troops. That would likely near guarantee victory short of a nuclear conflagaration. But you are unwilling to do this. Why?
    @rcs1000
    There is a possible scenario where the west could support Ukraine with unlimited amounts of weapons, military hardware etc and still lose because of the manpower problem. In that scenario you would question whether sending unlimited weapons etc to Ukraine was the right thing to do, even though it 'feels' right at the moment.

    My concern is that the Ukraine conflict could ultimately act as a way of burning through vast amounts of ammunition, weapons, military hardware; with the ultimate outcome of the war (ie victory for Russia) being the same. This scenario could diminish public support and appetite to go in to these conflicts, reduce public support for NATO (which obligates us to defend other eastern european countries) - and the outcome being that is more difficult to fight the next war with Russia.

    In this context, supporting Ukraine the way we have and continue to do so may actually be working to Russia's advantage, and this may actually be Putin's calculation.

    I fear that the conflict with Russia will be a very long one that will play out over many decades, and this Ukraine conflict may just be the opening skirmish in it.



    The alternative being that we guarantee their failure?

    Because that's what you're saying. You're saying leave the Ukrainians at the mercy of the Russians, because we might otherwise regret having spent some money.

    And we pay a price for that too. It means, for example, that there will be a flow of refugees into Western Europe (and the UK). It means our ability to deter in future will be that little bit more constrained, because this time we blinked.

    This isn't just about morality, it is also about what is best for us. And it is indisputably best for us that aggression is checked.
    This isn't my position. I am not in any way 'against' spending money on support for Ukraine. I am just questioning what the strategy is - because the strategy I am told to accept appears high risk and flawed. It is difficult to ever have any discussion about this issue because it gets in to 'good v evil' very quickly, today is no different.

    For what it is worth it seems to me that the current plan is to let Ukraine fight out a stalemate which reduces the threat posed by Russia by detaining it in mutually destructive conflict. This itself has many moral problems.
  • moonshine said:

    rcs1000 said:

    TimS said:

    My pop star cabinet:

    PM: Mercury
    CoE: Barlow
    Foreign sec: Bono
    Home sec: Morrissey
    Justice: Glitter
    Health: Winehouse
    Education: Waters
    Transport: Rea
    DEFRA: Sharkey
    Defence: Blunt
    Business: Tennant
    International development: Geldof
    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Bush

    I know there are various others but that’ll do.

    I fucking hate Bono.
    At least he didn’t put Glitter at Education
    He's running OFSTED instead?
  • MoonRabbitMoonRabbit Posts: 12,069
    rcs1000 said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Betfair punters believe Michelle Obama and Kamala Harris are 2 of the top 3 most likely candidates to replace Biden. Is that likely?

    https://www.betfair.com/exchange/plus/en/politics/usa-presidential-election-2024/democratic-nominee-betting-1.178163685

    Well, Kamala is, by dint of being the sitting Vice President.

    Michelle Obama clearly isn't.
    Is it the sort of situation where someone who could be a strong opponent for Trump could be a poor president, someone who could be a strong president could be a weak opponent for Trump?

    For all the reasons going for Biden, such as economy will align perfectly for voting day, the more centre ground moderate platform compared to Trumps extremism, this being the far stronger administration than the Trump mess, but minus the disadvantages of the ailing Biden - if I was to say I think Harris would beat Trump, why am I wrong?

    Also the weirdly symmetrical thing that keeps popping up in history books - thought they were to have first female President but it was killed off by Trump, then election of first female President kills off Trumps political career.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,381
    Harper said:

    Harper said:

    DavidL said:

    Biden has been easily the best POTUS of this century, despite his age. Not a high bar to be fair.

    He deserves re-election, given the opposition before him.

    The qualification is key though. What on earth is wrong with the US political system that these 2 very old, more than slightly senile and, in one case, malevolent, men are fighting it out yet again. Why is the system giving such poor choices?

    In fairness we are going to be equally unenthused choosing between Sunak and Starmer (and we won't even bother mentioning Davey). Why can't we do better than this?
    You very rarely get good leaders in a democracy. By definition to get elected you have to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Makes for bad govt.
    Is that what they teach you in Moscow?

    Actually you get far better leaders in democracies than autocracies. In a democracy a bad leader who has overstayed their welcome can be turfed out, while you're lumped with the same douchebag you had nearly a quarter of a century ago.
    Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore was better than most democratic leaders.
    I lived in Singapore for 2 years as a child when LKY was in charge. It was a bit weird.

    The radio would say "put on a happy face" to encourage tourism and, as a child, you would have an entire bus load of people smiling at you somewhat inanely. And none of them would sit down until you chose a seat.

    Another campaign was getting fitter. The music would blast out and everyone, including the grannies, would be out on their verandas doing exercises together almost north Korean style.

    These things weren't happening without someone keeping a very close eye on anyone that was not complying. And I would not like to have been them. Not a society I would like to have been a part of for all their economic success.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 53,506
    darkage said:

    FPT

    rcs1000 said:

    darkage said:

    There is a scenario where you ship out all your militar

    Harper said:

    rcs1000 said:

    darkage said:

    So, who have we got defending Putin?

    Williamglenn and a Russian bot called Harper... anyone else?

    There are some on the right in the UK that are so far down the culture war rabbit hole that getting one over Biden and the Libs is more important than the defence of Ukraine and vital British security and defence interests.

    I am probably in a 'culture war rabbit hole', but would nonetheless comment as follows:

    The discussion about Ukraine on PB is hopeless. The consensus is that Putin is Hitler and we are in the run up to the second world war again, so Russia has to be stopped by shipping an unlimited amount of military hardware there, at any cost. And any other opinion is giving in to fascism.

    Such comments are useful mainly as evidence of the effectiveness of propaganda, they offer no real insight in to the situation.



    Oh, I think Ukraine is very simple.

    A democratic, friendly country has been invaded.

    We do not have a military alliance with that country, so clearly should not be sending people.

    But we absolutely should offer all assistance short of fighting.

    Do you have a different opinion?
    Interesting argument as far as it goes but the problem is the differential in manpower. Russia has much more of it so can afford more losses. And whilst Ukraine may not have lost as many troops as Russia they have still lost a huge number. Regardless of weapons sent you still need the manpower. Now the way to make up this manpower differential would be to send in NATO troops. That would likely near guarantee victory short of a nuclear conflagaration. But you are unwilling to do this. Why?
    @rcs1000
    There is a possible scenario where the west could support Ukraine with unlimited amounts of weapons, military hardware etc and still lose because of the manpower problem. In that scenario you would question whether sending unlimited weapons etc to Ukraine was the right thing to do, even though it 'feels' right at the moment.

    My concern is that the Ukraine conflict could ultimately act as a way of burning through vast amounts of ammunition, weapons, military hardware; with the ultimate outcome of the war (ie victory for Russia) being the same. This scenario could diminish public support and appetite to go in to these conflicts, reduce public support for NATO (which obligates us to defend other eastern european countries) - and the outcome being that is more difficult to fight the next war with Russia.

    In this context, supporting Ukraine the way we have and continue to do so may actually be working to Russia's advantage, and this may actually be Putin's calculation.

    I fear that the conflict with Russia will be a very long one that will play out over many decades, and this Ukraine conflict may just be the opening skirmish in it.



    The alternative being that we guarantee their failure?

    Because that's what you're saying. You're saying leave the Ukrainians at the mercy of the Russians, because we might otherwise regret having spent some money.

    And we pay a price for that too. It means, for example, that there will be a flow of refugees into Western Europe (and the UK). It means our ability to deter in future will be that little bit more constrained, because this time we blinked.

    This isn't just about morality, it is also about what is best for us. And it is indisputably best for us that aggression is checked.
    This isn't my position. I am not in any way 'against' spending money on support for Ukraine. I am just questioning what the strategy is - because the strategy I am told to accept appears high risk and flawed. It is difficult to ever have any discussion about this issue because it gets in to 'good v evil' very quickly, today is no different.

    For what it is worth it seems to me that the current plan is to let Ukraine fight out a stalemate which reduces the threat posed by Russia by detaining it in mutually destructive conflict. This itself has many moral problems.
    I don't think that's the current plan at all. I think the plan is to allow the Ukrainians to defend themselves to the best of their ability.

    History suggests that - in those circumstances - the defender has the advantage, because it's their homeland.

    The attacker, by contrast, has to consciously choose to keep sending their young men off to die on a foreign field for the ambitions of the leader. And at some point the cost of that becomes prohibitive.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,381

    DavidL said:

    Biden has been easily the best POTUS of this century, despite his age. Not a high bar to be fair.

    He deserves re-election, given the opposition before him.

    The qualification is key though. What on earth is wrong with the US political system that these 2 very old, more than slightly senile and, in one case, malevolent, men are fighting it out yet again. Why is the system giving such poor choices?

    In fairness we are going to be equally unenthused choosing between Sunak and Starmer (and we won't even bother mentioning Davey). Why can't we do better than this?
    Who rises to the top in politics.

    I’ve previously mentioned a relative - educated to PhD level, wrote some serious papers that are still quoted, coached a sport at national level, started a business from a 1 man band up to the level that he can take time for other things.

    As he puts it - why take a pay cut for such an awful, pointless job?
    I am nowhere near as successful as that and it simply doesn't appeal at all. Not at all. God no.
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 38,654
    edited February 9

    rcs1000 said:

    TimS said:

    My pop star cabinet:

    PM: Mercury
    CoE: Barlow
    Foreign sec: Bono
    Home sec: Morrissey
    Justice: Glitter
    Health: Winehouse
    Education: Waters
    Transport: Rea
    DEFRA: Sharkey
    Defence: Blunt
    Business: Tennant
    International development: Geldof
    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Bush

    I know there are various others but that’ll do.

    I fucking hate Bono.
    Plus nowadays Geldof would get CoE instead anyway. Give us your f***ing money.
    [Edit: sorry, misreading over from CoS etc and Mr G's charitable fundraising. But the issue is still interesting.]

    Talking about banging fists on the table and the C of E, this was quite startling especially in view of the recent discussion on PB of the liabilities of parish church council members:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/feb/09/c-of-e-urged-to-tackle-aggressive-behaviour-at-local-church-meetings

    'A separate paper to the synod describes the bullying of clergy as a “grievous stain on the life of the church” and calls for church legislation to allow the disqualification of church wardens, PCC members and other lay officers. It points out that a priest who is found guilty of bullying can be disciplined and removed from their post but there is no equivalent penalty for lay officers.'
  • MoonRabbitMoonRabbit Posts: 12,069
    ydoethur said:

    moonshine said:

    rcs1000 said:

    TimS said:

    My pop star cabinet:

    PM: Mercury
    CoE: Barlow
    Foreign sec: Bono
    Home sec: Morrissey
    Justice: Glitter
    Health: Winehouse
    Education: Waters
    Transport: Rea
    DEFRA: Sharkey
    Defence: Blunt
    Business: Tennant
    International development: Geldof
    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Bush

    I know there are various others but that’ll do.

    I fucking hate Bono.
    At least he didn’t put Glitter at Education
    If I suggest that he would be at home there given they spend all their time screwing children, do I get accused of bad taste?
    yes
  • MoonRabbitMoonRabbit Posts: 12,069
    rcs1000 said:

    TimS said:

    My pop star cabinet:

    PM: Mercury
    CoE: Barlow
    Foreign sec: Bono
    Home sec: Morrissey
    Justice: Glitter
    Health: Winehouse
    Education: Waters
    Transport: Rea
    DEFRA: Sharkey
    Defence: Blunt
    Business: Tennant
    International development: Geldof
    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Bush

    I know there are various others but that’ll do.

    I fucking hate Bono.
    You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your government.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 42,827
    DavidL said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Apologies for the length of this post.

    Steven Edginton
    @StevenEdginton
    Exclusive: Whistleblower exposes Home Office's asylum system:

    "I work in the Home Office deciding whether to grant people asylum, and I am terrified that one day one of my cases will end up on the news.

    There has been no internal communication about the recent acid attack case. Nothing. Not even an email telling us that they are looking into how it could have been allowed to happen.

    Instead we are bombarded with emails that celebrate things like “World Hijab Day’’ at the same time as I deal with cases of women claiming they cannot go back to Iran otherwise they will be forced into wearing these items.

    Asylum seekers will be coached, often by legal representatives or through friends and family (some of whom may have been granted asylum in the past), to concoct a reason they might be persecuted in their home country. They “convert” to Christianity, often coming with evidence of recent baptisms, or say they are gay and take pictures in gay nightclubs to prove it (some of these photos look as though they are very uncomfortable being there).

    In one instance a male claimed that he was gay, only to drop the assertion halfway through his asylum interview because he felt so disgusted by the idea.

    In one interview the claimant insisted that he was being persecuted in his home country due to his political beliefs. I asked him to name the leader of his nation’s opposition party and he couldn’t answer. He asked for a break and came back ten minutes later knowing everything about the political situation.

    The Home Office is hostile to those who speak up internally, unless their complaint is about diversity or discrimination or some other civil service obsession.

    Home Office directives and pressure to clear the backlog of asylum cases has caused caseworkers to cut corners. The default is now to err on the side of accepting people. For example, we have been told to cut down the time it takes to conduct asylum interviews, which has led to confusion and a lack of clarity over some cases.

    Even as someone who is sceptical of many applications, internal targets and incentives mean that I feel under huge pressure to accept people. It takes less than half an hour to accept a case, while it takes around a day to write up a report to reject someone (this is because you have to lay out the evidence as to why you rejected it for legal reasons, which is a timely process).

    The top brass have told us to be on the lookout for applications (even citing a string of recent cases), that use the same wording, or similar stories, and are often submitted by people using the same immigration lawyer. We know that many law firms tell applicants to submit the same hokum that has been proven to work previously but we have not been told to stop granting asylum in these cases."
    5:10 PM · Feb 9, 2024"

    https://twitter.com/StevenEdginton/status/1756002642084454686

    The whole thing is unfit for purpose. Get a taskforce in to do it. G4S couldn't fuck it up more than this.
    G4S: hold my beer.
    The violently homophobic “gay” asylum seeker was a running joke/reality, when my ex did immigration law a few years back.
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 5,190
    rcs1000 said:

    darkage said:

    FPT

    rcs1000 said:

    darkage said:

    There is a scenario where you ship out all your militar

    Harper said:

    rcs1000 said:

    darkage said:

    So, who have we got defending Putin?

    Williamglenn and a Russian bot called Harper... anyone else?

    There are some on the right in the UK that are so far down the culture war rabbit hole that getting one over Biden and the Libs is more important than the defence of Ukraine and vital British security and defence interests.

    I am probably in a 'culture war rabbit hole', but would nonetheless comment as follows:

    The discussion about Ukraine on PB is hopeless. The consensus is that Putin is Hitler and we are in the run up to the second world war again, so Russia has to be stopped by shipping an unlimited amount of military hardware there, at any cost. And any other opinion is giving in to fascism.

    Such comments are useful mainly as evidence of the effectiveness of propaganda, they offer no real insight in to the situation.



    Oh, I think Ukraine is very simple.

    A democratic, friendly country has been invaded.

    We do not have a military alliance with that country, so clearly should not be sending people.

    But we absolutely should offer all assistance short of fighting.

    Do you have a different opinion?
    Interesting argument as far as it goes but the problem is the differential in manpower. Russia has much more of it so can afford more losses. And whilst Ukraine may not have lost as many troops as Russia they have still lost a huge number. Regardless of weapons sent you still need the manpower. Now the way to make up this manpower differential would be to send in NATO troops. That would likely near guarantee victory short of a nuclear conflagaration. But you are unwilling to do this. Why?
    @rcs1000
    There is a possible scenario where the west could support Ukraine with unlimited amounts of weapons, military hardware etc and still lose because of the manpower problem. In that scenario you would question whether sending unlimited weapons etc to Ukraine was the right thing to do, even though it 'feels' right at the moment.

    My concern is that the Ukraine conflict could ultimately act as a way of burning through vast amounts of ammunition, weapons, military hardware; with the ultimate outcome of the war (ie victory for Russia) being the same. This scenario could diminish public support and appetite to go in to these conflicts, reduce public support for NATO (which obligates us to defend other eastern european countries) - and the outcome being that is more difficult to fight the next war with Russia.

    In this context, supporting Ukraine the way we have and continue to do so may actually be working to Russia's advantage, and this may actually be Putin's calculation.

    I fear that the conflict with Russia will be a very long one that will play out over many decades, and this Ukraine conflict may just be the opening skirmish in it.



    The alternative being that we guarantee their failure?

    Because that's what you're saying. You're saying leave the Ukrainians at the mercy of the Russians, because we might otherwise regret having spent some money.

    And we pay a price for that too. It means, for example, that there will be a flow of refugees into Western Europe (and the UK). It means our ability to deter in future will be that little bit more constrained, because this time we blinked.

    This isn't just about morality, it is also about what is best for us. And it is indisputably best for us that aggression is checked.
    This isn't my position. I am not in any way 'against' spending money on support for Ukraine. I am just questioning what the strategy is - because the strategy I am told to accept appears high risk and flawed. It is difficult to ever have any discussion about this issue because it gets in to 'good v evil' very quickly, today is no different.

    For what it is worth it seems to me that the current plan is to let Ukraine fight out a stalemate which reduces the threat posed by Russia by detaining it in mutually destructive conflict. This itself has many moral problems.
    I don't think that's the current plan at all. I think the plan is to allow the Ukrainians to defend themselves to the best of their ability.

    History suggests that - in those circumstances - the defender has the advantage, because it's their homeland.

    The attacker, by contrast, has to consciously choose to keep sending their young men off to die on a foreign field for the ambitions of the leader. And at some point the cost of that becomes prohibitive.
    Of the few clips I saw, I was intrigued by Putin saying Germany can recommence gas imports through the pre Nordstream pipeline any time they like. Not exactly a power pose.
  • AlsoLeiAlsoLei Posts: 435

    rcs1000 said:

    TimS said:

    My pop star cabinet:

    PM: Mercury
    CoE: Barlow
    Foreign sec: Bono
    Home sec: Morrissey
    Justice: Glitter
    Health: Winehouse
    Education: Waters
    Transport: Rea
    DEFRA: Sharkey
    Defence: Blunt
    Business: Tennant
    International development: Geldof
    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Bush

    I know there are various others but that’ll do.

    I fucking hate Bono.
    Plus nowadays Geldof would get CoE instead anyway. Give us your f***ing money.
    And piss it all up the wall by throwing it at a bunch of weird, doomed, authoritarian confidence tricksters?

    Oh, er, yeah... I see what you mean.
  • Sunil_PrasannanSunil_Prasannan Posts: 48,565
    darkage said:

    FPT

    rcs1000 said:

    darkage said:

    There is a scenario where you ship out all your militar

    Harper said:

    rcs1000 said:

    darkage said:

    So, who have we got defending Putin?

    Williamglenn and a Russian bot called Harper... anyone else?

    There are some on the right in the UK that are so far down the culture war rabbit hole that getting one over Biden and the Libs is more important than the defence of Ukraine and vital British security and defence interests.

    I am probably in a 'culture war rabbit hole', but would nonetheless comment as follows:

    The discussion about Ukraine on PB is hopeless. The consensus is that Putin is Hitler and we are in the run up to the second world war again, so Russia has to be stopped by shipping an unlimited amount of military hardware there, at any cost. And any other opinion is giving in to fascism.

    Such comments are useful mainly as evidence of the effectiveness of propaganda, they offer no real insight in to the situation.



    Oh, I think Ukraine is very simple.

    A democratic, friendly country has been invaded.

    We do not have a military alliance with that country, so clearly should not be sending people.

    But we absolutely should offer all assistance short of fighting.

    Do you have a different opinion?
    Interesting argument as far as it goes but the problem is the differential in manpower. Russia has much more of it so can afford more losses. And whilst Ukraine may not have lost as many troops as Russia they have still lost a huge number. Regardless of weapons sent you still need the manpower. Now the way to make up this manpower differential would be to send in NATO troops. That would likely near guarantee victory short of a nuclear conflagaration. But you are unwilling to do this. Why?
    @rcs1000
    There is a possible scenario where the west could support Ukraine with unlimited amounts of weapons, military hardware etc and still lose because of the manpower problem. In that scenario you would question whether sending unlimited weapons etc to Ukraine was the right thing to do, even though it 'feels' right at the moment.

    My concern is that the Ukraine conflict could ultimately act as a way of burning through vast amounts of ammunition, weapons, military hardware; with the ultimate outcome of the war (ie victory for Russia) being the same. This scenario could diminish public support and appetite to go in to these conflicts, reduce public support for NATO (which obligates us to defend other eastern european countries) - and the outcome being that is more difficult to fight the next war with Russia.

    In this context, supporting Ukraine the way we have and continue to do so may actually be working to Russia's advantage, and this may actually be Putin's calculation.

    I fear that the conflict with Russia will be a very long one that will play out over many decades, and this Ukraine conflict may just be the opening skirmish in it.



    The alternative being that we guarantee their failure?

    Because that's what you're saying. You're saying leave the Ukrainians at the mercy of the Russians, because we might otherwise regret having spent some money.

    And we pay a price for that too. It means, for example, that there will be a flow of refugees into Western Europe (and the UK). It means our ability to deter in future will be that little bit more constrained, because this time we blinked.

    This isn't just about morality, it is also about what is best for us. And it is indisputably best for us that aggression is checked.
    This isn't my position. I am not in any way 'against' spending money on support for Ukraine. I am just questioning what the strategy is - because the strategy I am told to accept appears high risk and flawed. It is difficult to ever have any discussion about this issue because it gets in to 'good v evil' very quickly, today is no different.

    For what it is worth it seems to me that the current plan is to let Ukraine fight out a stalemate which reduces the threat posed by Russia by detaining it in mutually destructive conflict. This itself has many moral problems.
    What do you think was the rationale Putin for invading Ukraine?
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,310
    Carnyx said:

    rcs1000 said:

    TimS said:

    My pop star cabinet:

    PM: Mercury
    CoE: Barlow
    Foreign sec: Bono
    Home sec: Morrissey
    Justice: Glitter
    Health: Winehouse
    Education: Waters
    Transport: Rea
    DEFRA: Sharkey
    Defence: Blunt
    Business: Tennant
    International development: Geldof
    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Bush

    I know there are various others but that’ll do.

    I fucking hate Bono.
    Plus nowadays Geldof would get CoE instead anyway. Give us your f***ing money.
    [Edit: sorry, misreading over from CoS etc and Mr G's charitable fundraising. But the issue is still interesting.]

    Talking about banging fists on the table and the C of E, this was quite startling especially in view of the recent discussion on PB of the liabilities of parish church council members:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/feb/09/c-of-e-urged-to-tackle-aggressive-behaviour-at-local-church-meetings

    'A separate paper to the synod describes the bullying of clergy as a “grievous stain on the life of the church” and calls for church legislation to allow the disqualification of church wardens, PCC members and other lay officers. It points out that a priest who is found guilty of bullying can be disciplined and removed from their post but there is no equivalent penalty for lay officers.'
    Reasonable.

    Geldof is actually quite supportive of his local C of E Parish church and knows the Vicar well who we also know
  • TimSTimS Posts: 8,669
    rcs1000 said:

    TimS said:

    My pop star cabinet:

    PM: Mercury
    CoE: Barlow
    Foreign sec: Bono
    Home sec: Morrissey
    Justice: Glitter
    Health: Winehouse
    Education: Waters
    Transport: Rea
    DEFRA: Sharkey
    Defence: Blunt
    Business: Tennant
    International development: Geldof
    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Bush

    I know there are various others but that’ll do.

    I fucking hate Bono.
    I was considering Adele or McCartney for the role too.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 53,506

    DavidL said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Apologies for the length of this post.

    Steven Edginton
    @StevenEdginton
    Exclusive: Whistleblower exposes Home Office's asylum system:

    "I work in the Home Office deciding whether to grant people asylum, and I am terrified that one day one of my cases will end up on the news.

    There has been no internal communication about the recent acid attack case. Nothing. Not even an email telling us that they are looking into how it could have been allowed to happen.

    Instead we are bombarded with emails that celebrate things like “World Hijab Day’’ at the same time as I deal with cases of women claiming they cannot go back to Iran otherwise they will be forced into wearing these items.

    Asylum seekers will be coached, often by legal representatives or through friends and family (some of whom may have been granted asylum in the past), to concoct a reason they might be persecuted in their home country. They “convert” to Christianity, often coming with evidence of recent baptisms, or say they are gay and take pictures in gay nightclubs to prove it (some of these photos look as though they are very uncomfortable being there).

    In one instance a male claimed that he was gay, only to drop the assertion halfway through his asylum interview because he felt so disgusted by the idea.

    In one interview the claimant insisted that he was being persecuted in his home country due to his political beliefs. I asked him to name the leader of his nation’s opposition party and he couldn’t answer. He asked for a break and came back ten minutes later knowing everything about the political situation.

    The Home Office is hostile to those who speak up internally, unless their complaint is about diversity or discrimination or some other civil service obsession.

    Home Office directives and pressure to clear the backlog of asylum cases has caused caseworkers to cut corners. The default is now to err on the side of accepting people. For example, we have been told to cut down the time it takes to conduct asylum interviews, which has led to confusion and a lack of clarity over some cases.

    Even as someone who is sceptical of many applications, internal targets and incentives mean that I feel under huge pressure to accept people. It takes less than half an hour to accept a case, while it takes around a day to write up a report to reject someone (this is because you have to lay out the evidence as to why you rejected it for legal reasons, which is a timely process).

    The top brass have told us to be on the lookout for applications (even citing a string of recent cases), that use the same wording, or similar stories, and are often submitted by people using the same immigration lawyer. We know that many law firms tell applicants to submit the same hokum that has been proven to work previously but we have not been told to stop granting asylum in these cases."
    5:10 PM · Feb 9, 2024"

    https://twitter.com/StevenEdginton/status/1756002642084454686

    The whole thing is unfit for purpose. Get a taskforce in to do it. G4S couldn't fuck it up more than this.
    G4S: hold my beer.
    The violently homophobic “gay” asylum seeker was a running joke/reality, when my ex did immigration law a few years back.
    A staple of US evangelical preachers too :smile:

  • williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 47,420
    edited February 9
    Breaking News: Morrissey has resigned from the government, saying in a statement about the position he's held: "It pays my way but it corrodes my soul."
  • Sunil_PrasannanSunil_Prasannan Posts: 48,565

    DavidL said:

    AlsoLei said:

    DavidL said:

    That's a really sharp fall. The report by Special Counsel was pretty devastating but I can't help feeling this is a buying opportunity.

    I'm deeply conflicted about this. I had thought for ages that Biden would step aside - build up Buttigieg and Harris and whoever else, and be the "bridge to the future".

    I was almost sure of it, and have bet accordingly. I'm all green on Betfair's Dem nominee market - but to the tune of only £2 for Biden. Which works out at about a penny an hour, given the time I've put into it. He's always been the favourite, and still is - currently at 1.46.

    But he's still there. It's too late. It's him or Trump. What's the plausible path towards it being anyone else?
    I agree. The date for nomination in most of the states, certainly for Super Tuesday, has passed. It is too late on both sides of the aisle. We are stuck with Alien-v-Predator round 2 (and that's probably a bit unfair on Biden). If Biden was going to step aside it really has to be like this weekend. And even that would cause chaos.
    Its not so much Alien-v-Predator more John McClane v Predator but with Bruce Willis as he is today not in the eighties.

    Again that might be a bit unfair on Biden.
    "Welcome to the party, pal!" :lol:
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,381

    darkage said:

    FPT

    rcs1000 said:

    darkage said:

    There is a scenario where you ship out all your militar

    Harper said:

    rcs1000 said:

    darkage said:

    So, who have we got defending Putin?

    Williamglenn and a Russian bot called Harper... anyone else?

    There are some on the right in the UK that are so far down the culture war rabbit hole that getting one over Biden and the Libs is more important than the defence of Ukraine and vital British security and defence interests.

    I am probably in a 'culture war rabbit hole', but would nonetheless comment as follows:

    The discussion about Ukraine on PB is hopeless. The consensus is that Putin is Hitler and we are in the run up to the second world war again, so Russia has to be stopped by shipping an unlimited amount of military hardware there, at any cost. And any other opinion is giving in to fascism.

    Such comments are useful mainly as evidence of the effectiveness of propaganda, they offer no real insight in to the situation.



    Oh, I think Ukraine is very simple.

    A democratic, friendly country has been invaded.

    We do not have a military alliance with that country, so clearly should not be sending people.

    But we absolutely should offer all assistance short of fighting.

    Do you have a different opinion?
    Interesting argument as far as it goes but the problem is the differential in manpower. Russia has much more of it so can afford more losses. And whilst Ukraine may not have lost as many troops as Russia they have still lost a huge number. Regardless of weapons sent you still need the manpower. Now the way to make up this manpower differential would be to send in NATO troops. That would likely near guarantee victory short of a nuclear conflagaration. But you are unwilling to do this. Why?
    @rcs1000
    There is a possible scenario where the west could support Ukraine with unlimited amounts of weapons, military hardware etc and still lose because of the manpower problem. In that scenario you would question whether sending unlimited weapons etc to Ukraine was the right thing to do, even though it 'feels' right at the moment.

    My concern is that the Ukraine conflict could ultimately act as a way of burning through vast amounts of ammunition, weapons, military hardware; with the ultimate outcome of the war (ie victory for Russia) being the same. This scenario could diminish public support and appetite to go in to these conflicts, reduce public support for NATO (which obligates us to defend other eastern european countries) - and the outcome being that is more difficult to fight the next war with Russia.

    In this context, supporting Ukraine the way we have and continue to do so may actually be working to Russia's advantage, and this may actually be Putin's calculation.

    I fear that the conflict with Russia will be a very long one that will play out over many decades, and this Ukraine conflict may just be the opening skirmish in it.



    The alternative being that we guarantee their failure?

    Because that's what you're saying. You're saying leave the Ukrainians at the mercy of the Russians, because we might otherwise regret having spent some money.

    And we pay a price for that too. It means, for example, that there will be a flow of refugees into Western Europe (and the UK). It means our ability to deter in future will be that little bit more constrained, because this time we blinked.

    This isn't just about morality, it is also about what is best for us. And it is indisputably best for us that aggression is checked.
    This isn't my position. I am not in any way 'against' spending money on support for Ukraine. I am just questioning what the strategy is - because the strategy I am told to accept appears high risk and flawed. It is difficult to ever have any discussion about this issue because it gets in to 'good v evil' very quickly, today is no different.

    For what it is worth it seems to me that the current plan is to let Ukraine fight out a stalemate which reduces the threat posed by Russia by detaining it in mutually destructive conflict. This itself has many moral problems.
    What do you think was the rationale Putin for invading Ukraine?
    There is a flaw in that question. It wasn't rational at all.
  • RattersRatters Posts: 717
    rcs1000 said:

    Harper said:

    DavidL said:

    Biden has been easily the best POTUS of this century, despite his age. Not a high bar to be fair.

    He deserves re-election, given the opposition before him.

    The qualification is key though. What on earth is wrong with the US political system that these 2 very old, more than slightly senile and, in one case, malevolent, men are fighting it out yet again. Why is the system giving such poor choices?

    In fairness we are going to be equally unenthused choosing between Sunak and Starmer (and we won't even bother mentioning Davey). Why can't we do better than this?
    You very rarely get good leaders in a democracy. By definition to get elected you have to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Makes for bad govt.
    Even if we accept your premise, you also very rarely get really, really bad ones.

    And a Max-Min strategy is almost certainly a winning one. Simply bad leaders do a lot more damage than good leaders do good.
    Especially if you accept the premise that good leaders eventually suffer from fatigue and 'become bad'.

    There's lots of good reasons for that, including that it's difficult to be the best critic of your own work. Leaders may come to power correctly diagnosing what is wrong with the government of the day, but ten years into power something else will have gone wrong and it's probably partly their fault, intentional or not. A fresh pair of eyes is typically better at that point.

    What autocracy/dictatorship does is separate leaders into:
    1) Useless leaders who would be rubbish under any system, but now have the job for life. Picture Truss as our eternal leader for another two decades.
    2) Initially competent leaders who fail under the passage of time. Think Blair, Cameron, Thatcher.
    3) Leaders who remain excellent for decades at a time. No UK examples there.

    Dictatorships are a gamble that a given person ends up being the frankly mythical third type of person.

    And that's why they (almost always) end up failing miserably.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 53,506
    TimS said:

    rcs1000 said:

    TimS said:

    My pop star cabinet:

    PM: Mercury
    CoE: Barlow
    Foreign sec: Bono
    Home sec: Morrissey
    Justice: Glitter
    Health: Winehouse
    Education: Waters
    Transport: Rea
    DEFRA: Sharkey
    Defence: Blunt
    Business: Tennant
    International development: Geldof
    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Bush

    I know there are various others but that’ll do.

    I fucking hate Bono.
    I was considering Adele or McCartney for the role too.
    I really don't think you appreciate the depths of my disdain for Bono.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,381

    DavidL said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Apologies for the length of this post.

    Steven Edginton
    @StevenEdginton
    Exclusive: Whistleblower exposes Home Office's asylum system:

    "I work in the Home Office deciding whether to grant people asylum, and I am terrified that one day one of my cases will end up on the news.

    There has been no internal communication about the recent acid attack case. Nothing. Not even an email telling us that they are looking into how it could have been allowed to happen.

    Instead we are bombarded with emails that celebrate things like “World Hijab Day’’ at the same time as I deal with cases of women claiming they cannot go back to Iran otherwise they will be forced into wearing these items.

    Asylum seekers will be coached, often by legal representatives or through friends and family (some of whom may have been granted asylum in the past), to concoct a reason they might be persecuted in their home country. They “convert” to Christianity, often coming with evidence of recent baptisms, or say they are gay and take pictures in gay nightclubs to prove it (some of these photos look as though they are very uncomfortable being there).

    In one instance a male claimed that he was gay, only to drop the assertion halfway through his asylum interview because he felt so disgusted by the idea.

    In one interview the claimant insisted that he was being persecuted in his home country due to his political beliefs. I asked him to name the leader of his nation’s opposition party and he couldn’t answer. He asked for a break and came back ten minutes later knowing everything about the political situation.

    The Home Office is hostile to those who speak up internally, unless their complaint is about diversity or discrimination or some other civil service obsession.

    Home Office directives and pressure to clear the backlog of asylum cases has caused caseworkers to cut corners. The default is now to err on the side of accepting people. For example, we have been told to cut down the time it takes to conduct asylum interviews, which has led to confusion and a lack of clarity over some cases.

    Even as someone who is sceptical of many applications, internal targets and incentives mean that I feel under huge pressure to accept people. It takes less than half an hour to accept a case, while it takes around a day to write up a report to reject someone (this is because you have to lay out the evidence as to why you rejected it for legal reasons, which is a timely process).

    The top brass have told us to be on the lookout for applications (even citing a string of recent cases), that use the same wording, or similar stories, and are often submitted by people using the same immigration lawyer. We know that many law firms tell applicants to submit the same hokum that has been proven to work previously but we have not been told to stop granting asylum in these cases."
    5:10 PM · Feb 9, 2024"

    https://twitter.com/StevenEdginton/status/1756002642084454686

    The whole thing is unfit for purpose. Get a taskforce in to do it. G4S couldn't fuck it up more than this.
    G4S: hold my beer.
    The violently homophobic “gay” asylum seeker was a running joke/reality, when my ex did immigration law a few years back.
    Yes, friends of mine who do that work say that they are bombarded with offers to send them videos of the applicants having gay sex to "prove" the point. Particularly popular amongst Iranian applicants, apparently.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,310
    Of course there is the out of the blue possibility Trump could be assassinated, one of his allies suggested last year the 'Deep State' would allow such an attempt to succeed https://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-will-face-assassination-attempt-ally-predicts-1855189
  • Ratters said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Harper said:

    DavidL said:

    Biden has been easily the best POTUS of this century, despite his age. Not a high bar to be fair.

    He deserves re-election, given the opposition before him.

    The qualification is key though. What on earth is wrong with the US political system that these 2 very old, more than slightly senile and, in one case, malevolent, men are fighting it out yet again. Why is the system giving such poor choices?

    In fairness we are going to be equally unenthused choosing between Sunak and Starmer (and we won't even bother mentioning Davey). Why can't we do better than this?
    You very rarely get good leaders in a democracy. By definition to get elected you have to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Makes for bad govt.
    Even if we accept your premise, you also very rarely get really, really bad ones.

    And a Max-Min strategy is almost certainly a winning one. Simply bad leaders do a lot more damage than good leaders do good.
    Especially if you accept the premise that good leaders eventually suffer from fatigue and 'become bad'.

    There's lots of good reasons for that, including that it's difficult to be the best critic of your own work. Leaders may come to power correctly diagnosing what is wrong with the government of the day, but ten years into power something else will have gone wrong and it's probably partly their fault, intentional or not. A fresh pair of eyes is typically better at that point.

    What autocracy/dictatorship does is separate leaders into:
    1) Useless leaders who would be rubbish under any system, but now have the job for life. Picture Truss as our eternal leader for another two decades.
    2) Initially competent leaders who fail under the passage of time. Think Blair, Cameron, Thatcher.
    3) Leaders who remain excellent for decades at a time. No UK examples there.

    Dictatorships are a gamble that a given person ends up being the frankly mythical third type of person.

    And that's why they (almost always) end up failing miserably.
    Plus evolution is better than revolution.

    The 'chaos' of democratic governance is a strength not a weakness, it enables rapid mutations and evolution by adopting what works and dumping what does not.

    Whereas autocracies tend to get increasingly bad under stale leaders most of the time, then lurch when the leader changes.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,381

    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    Passing the 20,000 milestone and getting a first in the same day.

    Does life get any better?

    Nope, this is the peak and its all down hill from here.
    Yep. Next stop is an evening listening to Taylor Swift's back catalogue.
    Last attempt to convert @DavidL :

    The Man (Live From Paris): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3aXpa1rQEY
    Sorry, I have reached my tolerance threshold. 2 was enough.
    I think I've only heard and recognised that Take it off take it off take it off song of hers. I wasn't impressed. I'm sure I've heard more in passing and not attributed them to her.
    It was Shake it off, which is not quite the same. Maybe @SandyRentool could have a quiet word on the differences.
  • TimSTimS Posts: 8,669
    DavidL said:

    Harper said:

    Harper said:

    DavidL said:

    Biden has been easily the best POTUS of this century, despite his age. Not a high bar to be fair.

    He deserves re-election, given the opposition before him.

    The qualification is key though. What on earth is wrong with the US political system that these 2 very old, more than slightly senile and, in one case, malevolent, men are fighting it out yet again. Why is the system giving such poor choices?

    In fairness we are going to be equally unenthused choosing between Sunak and Starmer (and we won't even bother mentioning Davey). Why can't we do better than this?
    You very rarely get good leaders in a democracy. By definition to get elected you have to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Makes for bad govt.
    Is that what they teach you in Moscow?

    Actually you get far better leaders in democracies than autocracies. In a democracy a bad leader who has overstayed their welcome can be turfed out, while you're lumped with the same douchebag you had nearly a quarter of a century ago.
    Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore was better than most democratic leaders.
    I lived in Singapore for 2 years as a child when LKY was in charge. It was a bit weird.

    The radio would say "put on a happy face" to encourage tourism and, as a child, you would have an entire bus load of people smiling at you somewhat inanely. And none of them would sit down until you chose a seat.

    Another campaign was getting fitter. The music would blast out and everyone, including the grannies, would be out on their verandas doing exercises together almost north Korean style.

    These things weren't happening without someone keeping a very close eye on anyone that was not complying. And I would not like to have been them. Not a society I would like to have been a part of for all their economic success.
    Indeed. And the place still reeks of authoritarianism as soon as you step off the plane. I don’t like it, for the same reason I don’t like the UAE. By contrast, for all its weirdness, Russia never felt so stifling the times I visited.

    You can tell a lot about a country from the passport control. I remember one week going from a few days in Beijing to a brief trip to São Paulo and the sense of relief, the dropping of the shoulders and exhalation as I handed my passport to a gum chewing border policewoman with a nose ring in a chaotic arrivals area was palpable.
  • AlsoLeiAlsoLei Posts: 435
    Andy_JS said:

    Apologies for the length of this post.

    Steven Edginton
    @StevenEdginton
    Exclusive: Whistleblower exposes Home Office's asylum system:

    "I work in the Home Office deciding whether to grant people asylum, and I am terrified that one day one of my cases will end up on the news.

    There has been no internal communication about the recent acid attack case. Nothing. Not even an email telling us that they are looking into how it could have been allowed to happen.

    Instead we are bombarded with emails that celebrate things like “World Hijab Day’’ at the same time as I deal with cases of women claiming they cannot go back to Iran otherwise they will be forced into wearing these items.

    Asylum seekers will be coached, often by legal representatives or through friends and family (some of whom may have been granted asylum in the past), to concoct a reason they might be persecuted in their home country. They “convert” to Christianity, often coming with evidence of recent baptisms, or say they are gay and take pictures in gay nightclubs to prove it (some of these photos look as though they are very uncomfortable being there).

    In one instance a male claimed that he was gay, only to drop the assertion halfway through his asylum interview because he felt so disgusted by the idea.

    In one interview the claimant insisted that he was being persecuted in his home country due to his political beliefs. I asked him to name the leader of his nation’s opposition party and he couldn’t answer. He asked for a break and came back ten minutes later knowing everything about the political situation.

    The Home Office is hostile to those who speak up internally, unless their complaint is about diversity or discrimination or some other civil service obsession.

    Home Office directives and pressure to clear the backlog of asylum cases has caused caseworkers to cut corners. The default is now to err on the side of accepting people. For example, we have been told to cut down the time it takes to conduct asylum interviews, which has led to confusion and a lack of clarity over some cases.

    Even as someone who is sceptical of many applications, internal targets and incentives mean that I feel under huge pressure to accept people. It takes less than half an hour to accept a case, while it takes around a day to write up a report to reject someone (this is because you have to lay out the evidence as to why you rejected it for legal reasons, which is a timely process).

    The top brass have told us to be on the lookout for applications (even citing a string of recent cases), that use the same wording, or similar stories, and are often submitted by people using the same immigration lawyer. We know that many law firms tell applicants to submit the same hokum that has been proven to work previously but we have not been told to stop granting asylum in these cases."
    5:10 PM · Feb 9, 2024"

    https://twitter.com/StevenEdginton/status/1756002642084454686

    As someone entrusted with handling vulnerable people's personal information, it's fairly fucking vile for this civil servant to be spreading confidential details like this about, is it not? And the journalist involved should know better than to be amplifying the privacy breach without redacting any of the key details.

    Will the ICO be taking action against the Telegraph?
  • Sunil_PrasannanSunil_Prasannan Posts: 48,565
    rcs1000 said:

    TimS said:

    rcs1000 said:

    TimS said:

    My pop star cabinet:

    PM: Mercury
    CoE: Barlow
    Foreign sec: Bono
    Home sec: Morrissey
    Justice: Glitter
    Health: Winehouse
    Education: Waters
    Transport: Rea
    DEFRA: Sharkey
    Defence: Blunt
    Business: Tennant
    International development: Geldof
    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Bush

    I know there are various others but that’ll do.

    I fucking hate Bono.
    I was considering Adele or McCartney for the role too.
    I really don't think you appreciate the depths of my disdain for Bono.
    You still haven't found what you're looking for?
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,310
    edited February 9
    AlsoLei said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Apologies for the length of this post.

    Steven Edginton
    @StevenEdginton
    Exclusive: Whistleblower exposes Home Office's asylum system:

    "I work in the Home Office deciding whether to grant people asylum, and I am terrified that one day one of my cases will end up on the news.

    There has been no internal communication about the recent acid attack case. Nothing. Not even an email telling us that they are looking into how it could have been allowed to happen.

    Instead we are bombarded with emails that celebrate things like “World Hijab Day’’ at the same time as I deal with cases of women claiming they cannot go back to Iran otherwise they will be forced into wearing these items.

    Asylum seekers will be coached, often by legal representatives or through friends and family (some of whom may have been granted asylum in the past), to concoct a reason they might be persecuted in their home country. They “convert” to Christianity, often coming with evidence of recent baptisms, or say they are gay and take pictures in gay nightclubs to prove it (some of these photos look as though they are very uncomfortable being there).

    In one instance a male claimed that he was gay, only to drop the assertion halfway through his asylum interview because he felt so disgusted by the idea.

    In one interview the claimant insisted that he was being persecuted in his home country due to his political beliefs. I asked him to name the leader of his nation’s opposition party and he couldn’t answer. He asked for a break and came back ten minutes later knowing everything about the political situation.

    The Home Office is hostile to those who speak up internally, unless their complaint is about diversity or discrimination or some other civil service obsession.

    Home Office directives and pressure to clear the backlog of asylum cases has caused caseworkers to cut corners. The default is now to err on the side of accepting people. For example, we have been told to cut down the time it takes to conduct asylum interviews, which has led to confusion and a lack of clarity over some cases.

    Even as someone who is sceptical of many applications, internal targets and incentives mean that I feel under huge pressure to accept people. It takes less than half an hour to accept a case, while it takes around a day to write up a report to reject someone (this is because you have to lay out the evidence as to why you rejected it for legal reasons, which is a timely process).

    The top brass have told us to be on the lookout for applications (even citing a string of recent cases), that use the same wording, or similar stories, and are often submitted by people using the same immigration lawyer. We know that many law firms tell applicants to submit the same hokum that has been proven to work previously but we have not been told to stop granting asylum in these cases."
    5:10 PM · Feb 9, 2024"

    https://twitter.com/StevenEdginton/status/1756002642084454686

    As someone entrusted with handling vulnerable people's personal information, it's fairly fucking vile for this civil servant to be spreading confidential details like this about, is it not? And the journalist involved should know better than to be amplifying the privacy breach without redacting any of the key details.

    Will the ICO be taking action against the Telegraph?
    Not if he is a valid whistleblower, whistleblowers are protected from dismissal under UK law
  • TimSTimS Posts: 8,669

    Breaking News: Morrissey has resigned from the government, saying in a statement about the position he's held: "It pays my way but it corrodes my soul."

    And heaven knows he's miserable now.
    Yorke reshuffled into the role, with a promise to reinstate Karma police on the channel coast.
  • williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 47,420
    edited February 9
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,310
    Both Trump and Biden down on their 2020 voteshares there, a lot of undecideds who will decide it
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,381

    rcs1000 said:

    TimS said:

    rcs1000 said:

    TimS said:

    My pop star cabinet:

    PM: Mercury
    CoE: Barlow
    Foreign sec: Bono
    Home sec: Morrissey
    Justice: Glitter
    Health: Winehouse
    Education: Waters
    Transport: Rea
    DEFRA: Sharkey
    Defence: Blunt
    Business: Tennant
    International development: Geldof
    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Bush

    I know there are various others but that’ll do.

    I fucking hate Bono.
    I was considering Adele or McCartney for the role too.
    I really don't think you appreciate the depths of my disdain for Bono.
    You still haven't found what you're looking for?
    He's running to stand still. Far Away, so close. (that's enough Ed)
  • kamskikamski Posts: 4,129
    rcs1000 said:

    DavidL said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Apologies for the length of this post.

    Steven Edginton
    @StevenEdginton
    Exclusive: Whistleblower exposes Home Office's asylum system:

    "I work in the Home Office deciding whether to grant people asylum, and I am terrified that one day one of my cases will end up on the news.

    There has been no internal communication about the recent acid attack case. Nothing. Not even an email telling us that they are looking into how it could have been allowed to happen.

    Instead we are bombarded with emails that celebrate things like “World Hijab Day’’ at the same time as I deal with cases of women claiming they cannot go back to Iran otherwise they will be forced into wearing these items.

    Asylum seekers will be coached, often by legal representatives or through friends and family (some of whom may have been granted asylum in the past), to concoct a reason they might be persecuted in their home country. They “convert” to Christianity, often coming with evidence of recent baptisms, or say they are gay and take pictures in gay nightclubs to prove it (some of these photos look as though they are very uncomfortable being there).

    In one instance a male claimed that he was gay, only to drop the assertion halfway through his asylum interview because he felt so disgusted by the idea.

    In one interview the claimant insisted that he was being persecuted in his home country due to his political beliefs. I asked him to name the leader of his nation’s opposition party and he couldn’t answer. He asked for a break and came back ten minutes later knowing everything about the political situation.

    The Home Office is hostile to those who speak up internally, unless their complaint is about diversity or discrimination or some other civil service obsession.

    Home Office directives and pressure to clear the backlog of asylum cases has caused caseworkers to cut corners. The default is now to err on the side of accepting people. For example, we have been told to cut down the time it takes to conduct asylum interviews, which has led to confusion and a lack of clarity over some cases.

    Even as someone who is sceptical of many applications, internal targets and incentives mean that I feel under huge pressure to accept people. It takes less than half an hour to accept a case, while it takes around a day to write up a report to reject someone (this is because you have to lay out the evidence as to why you rejected it for legal reasons, which is a timely process).

    The top brass have told us to be on the lookout for applications (even citing a string of recent cases), that use the same wording, or similar stories, and are often submitted by people using the same immigration lawyer. We know that many law firms tell applicants to submit the same hokum that has been proven to work previously but we have not been told to stop granting asylum in these cases."
    5:10 PM · Feb 9, 2024"

    https://twitter.com/StevenEdginton/status/1756002642084454686

    I got an email about World Hijab day today. I was equally bemused.
    I wore mine today, as I'm sure many other PBers did.
    Saw a group of women in traditional hijab outfits today, I assumed they were in slightly dodgy carnival costume (Germany having little sense of political correctness about these things, the only no-no is nazi uniform), but maybe it was because of World Hijab Day
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,381

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2024/feb/09/rishi-sunak-paid-effective-tax-rate-of-23-on-22m-income-last-year

    At least someone isn't suffering from our record high tax rates. My effective tax rate must be north of 40%, on a much lower income. I am so sick of these jokers taking us for mugs.

    I paid 47p in the £ on most of my income at the end of last month. Some of that is because I get the privilege of living in Scotland but jeez, he must have had some serious pension contributions.
  • londonpubmanlondonpubman Posts: 3,082

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2024/feb/09/rishi-sunak-paid-effective-tax-rate-of-23-on-22m-income-last-year

    At least someone isn't suffering from our record high tax rates. My effective tax rate must be north of 40%, on a much lower income. I am so sick of these jokers taking us for mugs.

    It's because tax on capital gains are much lower than on income. CG should be taxed as income at the individual's marginal rate. I think we may have had that in the past.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 50,381

    AlsoLei said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Apologies for the length of this post.

    Steven Edginton
    @StevenEdginton
    Exclusive: Whistleblower exposes Home Office's asylum system:

    "I work in the Home Office deciding whether to grant people asylum, and I am terrified that one day one of my cases will end up on the news.

    There has been no internal communication about the recent acid attack case. Nothing. Not even an email telling us that they are looking into how it could have been allowed to happen.

    Instead we are bombarded with emails that celebrate things like “World Hijab Day’’ at the same time as I deal with cases of women claiming they cannot go back to Iran otherwise they will be forced into wearing these items.

    Asylum seekers will be coached, often by legal representatives or through friends and family (some of whom may have been granted asylum in the past), to concoct a reason they might be persecuted in their home country. They “convert” to Christianity, often coming with evidence of recent baptisms, or say they are gay and take pictures in gay nightclubs to prove it (some of these photos look as though they are very uncomfortable being there).

    In one instance a male claimed that he was gay, only to drop the assertion halfway through his asylum interview because he felt so disgusted by the idea.

    In one interview the claimant insisted that he was being persecuted in his home country due to his political beliefs. I asked him to name the leader of his nation’s opposition party and he couldn’t answer. He asked for a break and came back ten minutes later knowing everything about the political situation.

    The Home Office is hostile to those who speak up internally, unless their complaint is about diversity or discrimination or some other civil service obsession.

    Home Office directives and pressure to clear the backlog of asylum cases has caused caseworkers to cut corners. The default is now to err on the side of accepting people. For example, we have been told to cut down the time it takes to conduct asylum interviews, which has led to confusion and a lack of clarity over some cases.

    Even as someone who is sceptical of many applications, internal targets and incentives mean that I feel under huge pressure to accept people. It takes less than half an hour to accept a case, while it takes around a day to write up a report to reject someone (this is because you have to lay out the evidence as to why you rejected it for legal reasons, which is a timely process).

    The top brass have told us to be on the lookout for applications (even citing a string of recent cases), that use the same wording, or similar stories, and are often submitted by people using the same immigration lawyer. We know that many law firms tell applicants to submit the same hokum that has been proven to work previously but we have not been told to stop granting asylum in these cases."
    5:10 PM · Feb 9, 2024"

    https://twitter.com/StevenEdginton/status/1756002642084454686

    As someone entrusted with handling vulnerable people's personal information, it's fairly fucking vile for this civil servant to be spreading confidential details like this about, is it not? And the journalist involved should know better than to be amplifying the privacy breach without redacting any of the key details.

    Will the ICO be taking action against the Telegraph?
    I’m not seeing names or other identifiable information. This surely counts as whistleblowing.
    There has been a marked increase in the success rate of applications over the last couple of years. If this is being driven by a desperation to reduce the backlog it is in the public interest to know about it.
This discussion has been closed.