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Denny Crane

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About Denny Crane

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  1. Denny Crane

    Lib Dems

    @MarkDiStef · 5h Good timing from @Jack_Blanchard_ this morning of all the former politicos hoovered up by the US tech giants
  2. Denny Crane

    Lib Dems

    This headline made me chuckle. RIP Facebook. Facebook Turns to U.K. Politician to Help Repair Its Image LONDON— Facebook Inc. FB +0.05% has hired one of Britain’s best-known politicians as its top policy and communications executive, giving a Silicon Valley outsider the task of mending the social network’s image as it deals with increased political scrutiny in the U.S. and abroad https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-turns-to-u-k-politician-to-help-repair-its-image-1539954410
  3. Denny Crane

    Should the UK remain a member of the EU

    I guess it depends what the definition of Brexit is and do people value outcomes solely in GDP. It was decided early on by most politicians that only leaving the single market and customs union means a "true brexit" this differed substantially from the campaigning position of the leave campaign. The torys red lines boxed them into a corner, Labour's position has evolved over the same period. Some have made the case the lack of trust and insults hasn't helped and has contributed to the backstop position. This isn't even mentioning misleading her own cabinet and appointed negotiating person (David Davies) This from March. Take it from a former British EU negotiator—May will regret destroying trust in these negotiations Deliberate disregard for basic negotiating principles will come back to haunt the government It’s fair to say that the Brexit negotiations are not going well. Stalled over the lack of a credible solution to the Irish border issue, and with the prime minister touting a vision of a future relationship that had, at the point it was announced, already been ruled out by the EU27, the clock ticks ominously. Donald Tusk rightly said there is no cake on the table for anyone from Brexit, just salt and vinegar for everyone. All will lose from any Brexit, and the UK will lose much more than the EU27. A no-deal Brexit though would harm the UK and its people in ways we haven’t even realised yet. Without a serious change in policy from the UK though, that is again a possibility. One of the main reasons we are in this position is that the UK government has continued to have a total and apparently deliberate disregard for the fundamental negotiating concepts of trust and goodwill. It’s wrong to think, as many in government seem to, of the Brexit negotiations as a poker game. Being unwilling to “show your hand” in negotiations is a route to failure. In poker, you use secrecy, misdirection and uncertainty to stack the odds in favour of you winning and, crucially, your opponent losing. Negotiations, in contrast, are about finding ways for both sides to be happy, or, in Brexit, at least not lose out too badly. If you won’t tell your opposite numbers what you want, it is impossible for them to give it to you. Establishing and maintaining trust and goodwill is not about being nice or giving in. It’s in your own self-interest. To get anywhere near the outcome you want, you’re going to need to get concessions from your opposite numbers and will have to be able to offer the same to them. They also need to know they can take you at your word and that you will honour the agreements you make. When I was negotiating for the UK, I would keep two annotated lists pinned above my desk. One was the list of our primary and secondary objectives, so I could see easily what had been agreed so far and what was still to be done. The other was a list of my opposite numbers, and the last time I had been for coffee with each of them to listen to and understand their positions, explain our own, and look for solutions together. The two lists were equally important. Yet the UK government has burned trust and goodwill at every stage. Inflammatory and insulting language (as pointed out by UK MEPs last week) has served to sour relations. Posturing and table thumping has ruined credibility. Attempts to divide EU member States have not only failed, but have helped to break down trust. That the government is willing to mislead its own people (“exact same” rights for citizens and access to the Single Market anyone?) and misrepresent the EU27’s position is noted in Brussels, and not forgotten easily. The UK government’s inability to agree policy among itself has meant that EU negotiators do not know whether the person across the table is genuinely speaking for the government or not. When positions have finally arrived, they have been internally contradictory, and based on things that the EU27 have already ruled out as being not on the table, or in some cases impossible under EU law for them to agree to. The government has then portrayed the EU27 as bullying and unwilling to compromise. By offering a wide choice of options, and clarity on the rights and responsibilities attached to each, the EU27 have already compromised. It could have picked its preferred option and negotiated on that basis. Some may now be wondering why it didn’t, when even the more generous position has been painted as a hostile act in the UK. We see the effect of this lack of trust and goodwill most starkly in the current impasse over the Irish border. The UK position has been based on a very obvious bluff—that either a future trade relationship or a technological solution will solve the problem. Having gone along with the bluff for the sake of the negotiations, and to save the PM from her own political difficulties, the EU27 were met with immediate attempts to roll back from or downplay the Phase One agreement. The UK has still made no proposals for either of its own preferred solutions. Having concluded that they, and Ireland, care substantially more about this than the UK government does, and burned by breaches of trust and goodwill, the EU27 have finally had enough of the UK’s bluff, and have called it. Hence their proposal for the “backstop” option of Northern Ireland remaining in the Customs Union, and, largely, as part of the Single Market. This has been met with howls of “betrayal” and “annexation,” of course. In an atmosphere of mutual trust and neighbourly goodwill, perhaps the EU27 would have been willing to let the UK maintain the bluff and kick the can further down the road. Maybe they would have looked for solutions that meet the UK’s self-imposed red lines. At this stage though, why would they? The government has gained nothing from this all except for a bit of jingoistic fervour to keep people’s attention from the unfolding disaster. It must now find its own solutions, and cannot expect to be helped to make things more palatable at home (as the EU27 did with it for the financial settlement), or for EU27 to take account of the perilous political position the PM finds herself in. They tried that, and got nothing but vinegar back. In a process with no winners, the government has nonetheless managed to ensure that it will be the undisputed loser https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/politics/brexit-take-it-from-a-former-british-eu-negotiator-may-will-regret-burning-trust-in-these-negotiations
  4. Denny Crane

    Should the UK remain a member of the EU

    They are trying to not pay the existing bill any extension would cost a substantial amount. Another way to look at it is even more reason for internal fighting amongst them. I'm sure the ERG will be happy with this latest development. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-transition-period-divorce-bill-higher-39-billion-theresa-may-david-davis-eu-a8221941.html Anyway of course people will vote for another party if brexit is even half as disastrous as predicted.
  5. Denny Crane

    Should the UK remain a member of the EU

    How Tiny Moldova’s Brexit Grudge Could Cost the U.K. $1.7 Trillion The U.K.’s post-Brexit access to $1.7 trillion in public projects relies on the good will of its European neighbors. Too bad Moldova holds a grudge. The tiny country wedged between Romania and Ukraine is joining half a dozen nations in blocking the U.K.’s re-entry to the World Trade Organization’s Government Procurement Agreement, an accord that smooths the bidding process on public contracts, including in the $837 billion U.S. market. Why the hold-up? Corina Cojocaru, Moldova’s ambassador to the WTO, and her team were denied entry to the U.K. last year when they wanted to discuss their future relationship with Britain after it leaves the European Union. And Cojocaru has a good memory. “I couldn’t get a visa and a diplomatic passport to go to London to negotiate on government procurement,” Cojocaru said in a telephone interview. “Nobody listened to us for six to seven months.” The U.K. Home Office, which processes visa requests, didn’t immediately comment. Diplomatic Slight Brexit backers have wooed Britain with their vision of a buccaneering future as a global trading nation clinching new deals in markets that were previous closed off to them because of their membership in the 28-nation bloc. The reality may be that they’ll be held ransom by every country, like Moldova, that has suffered personal affronts. For Cojocaru, the diplomatic slight is emblematic of a broader issue: If her delegation wasn’t able to get visas in a timely manner, how could Moldovan suppliers seeking to bid on projects in the U.K. be expected to compete with vendors from nations that have an easier time gaining entry? To read more about U.K. efforts to gain entry to the GPA, click here Moldova was joined by the U.S., New Zealand Japan, South Korea, Ukraine, and Israel in expressing concern that the U.K. application didn’t pass muster, according to officials familiar with the accession procedure. U.S. reticence was due to the U.K.’s failure to provide requested information and updates. The purpose of the GPA is to open up government procurement markets to foreign competition, and help make the process more transparent. British officials argue that the U.K. is a special case and should receive expedited approval because it’s already a member -- although it has never independently ratified the agreement -- and can simply replicate its current commitments, deriving from its EU-membership status. Trade Concessions While all members of the GPA want to retain access to the U.K.’s 67 billion-pound ($88 billion) public procurement marketplace, they’re still willing to use the opportunity to squeeze some concessions. Some members are seeking increased access to projects such as Britain’s high-speed railways, a Heathrow airport expansion and government IT networks, among others. And since a majority of the WTO’s agreements are forged by consensus, as is the GPA, each country wields considerable power. GPA members will consider a provisional agreement to the U.K.’s accession bid at the next WTO government procurement committee meeting on Nov. 27. The U.S., New Zealand and other WTO members have pressed the U.K. to ensure that Brexit doesn’t prevent their companies’ ability to sell more products like lamb, beef and chicken into the U.K. market. The U.S. and New Zealand have already begun procedural moves that presage talks to establish free-trade agreements. But as Brexit negotiations reach a crescendo, it’s becoming apparent that any detail, however small, can throw a wrench in the U.K.’s attempt to leave the EU with as little disruption as possible. On Wednesday, after the U.K. bid to join the GPA stalled, “the U.K. minister for immigration contacted our ambassador in London,” Cojocaru said. “I hope they will be able to find a compromise.” https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2018-10-17/how-tiny-moldova-s-brexit-grudge-could-cost-u-k-1-7-trillion?__twitter_impression=true
  6. Denny Crane

    Should the UK remain a member of the EU

    It looks like there are five possible outcomes. Over the past 18 months the torys have gone full Sam Allardyce and have been time wasting from the first minute. The first an agreement is made with the EU (looking more remote by the week) Second, no agreement is reached that would leave the UK trading on WTO terms. May acknowledged yesterday this would then be a matter for the house to resolve. Thirdly and fourthly a general election and a people's referendum but these two outcomes can only start once no agreement with the EU has been found. Fifth a unity government but considering the torys can't agree anything between themselves the chances of politicians across all parties looks totally impossible. The only other nuclear option the torys could bring up is a border poll for Ireland in an attempt to avoid 3 and 4 but I think there are rules about that in the GFA that would need to be followed. This tweet below is telling. Not surprisingly Ruth Davidson and the DUP are using similar language they understand where this is going. It seems to have gone under the radar but the Scottish torys are kicking off they not surprisingly can't support anything that doesn't support a union. By my reckoning 13 Scottish Tory mps and 10 DUP mps plus the ERG is quite a lot. Then you have the pro remain Tory mps ( but they are obviously strongly opposed to a general election) But how would the DUP and Scottish tory mps react if they believe the Torys are deliberately sabotaging the union to get the brexit they want. Would that move them to support a general election. DUP say they will sabotage Mays domestic plans but won't support a general election but things are changing fast. A Tory generic talking head suggested May has this uncanny knack of making any situation worse. Gerry Kelly @GerryKellyMLA The DUP say they are in a ‘battle for the union’. What is interesting is that the battle is with the ‘Conservative an Unionist’ party. The writing is on the wall
  7. Denny Crane

    Should the UK remain a member of the EU

    This hasn't aged well. I'd like to think Dan Hodges was moonlighting and running the tory twitter account. Conservatives @Conservatives The choice at #GE2017: a coalition of chaos creating uncertainty and risk - or strong, stable leadership with Theresa May
  8. Denny Crane

    Donald Trump

    President 45 meet 46. James Cook @JamesLiamCook · 27m Kanye West told Donald Trump in the Oval Office that Apple should build a hydrogen-powered iPlane to replace Air Force One and then showed him a design for the plane on his iPhone
  9. Denny Crane

    Theresa "MAY" not build a better Britain.

    I think it's fair to say the DUP are team Johnson and want a no deal for differing reasons though. Beth Rigby @BethRigby · 10 Oct And..... on the matter of voting down the Budget & withdrawing from confidence & supply deal, DUP source suggests that PM ‘could go because she can’t hold together her govt, and someone else could take over’ >> that’s pretty, er, punchy
  10. Denny Crane

    Theresa "MAY" not build a better Britain.

    This thread is worth a read. The Tories are reportedly negotiating a solution that would see Northern Ireland get a deal that would give them a competitive advantage compared to England, Scotland and Wales. The offer being in the single market for goods via devolution. So it seems if it was a financial assessment it is probably a very good offer but they are a unionist party and it seems the polar opposite of what they stand for. The SNP must be rubbing their hands of different parts of the UK having different deals. https://mobile.twitter.com/pmdfoster/status/1049985123914051584
  11. Denny Crane

    Theresa "MAY" not build a better Britain.

    There seems to be some talk of the DUP threatening to vote against the budget scheduled for the 29th of October. After trying to break the EU and failing looking like they are seeing if the DUP will crack. Nicholas Watt @nicholaswatt The DUP were alarmed by meeting in Brussels with @MichelBarnier who reportedly said Great Britain entitled to sign traditional free trade deal with the EU. But NI would have to be separate and subject to rules of single market to avoid no hard border between NI + Irish Republic Nicholas Watt @nicholaswatt · 6h Consequence of breach of DUP ‘nuclear’ red line on #Brexit has been: abandon confidence and supply arrangement with @theresa_may even if that ends up installing @jeremycorbyn in Downing Street
  12. Denny Crane

    Should Corbyn remain as Labour leader?

    Worth a read The long read The death of consensus: how conflict came back to politics New Labour’s ‘third way’ promised to end the clash between left and right. But did the fantasy of politics without strife create our age of anger A snippet full article below. In 2005, the year New Labour won its third consecutive general election, Chantal Mouffe, a Belgian political theorist who had been living and teaching in Britain for more than 30 years without attracting much attention outside academia, published a short, sharp book called On the Political. Its anodyne title concealed an original and unsettling argument, which Mouffe had been honing for two decades. Despite being a supporter of the radical left, Mouffe defined “the political” in a similar way to thinkers often associated with the right, such as Machiavelli: as an arena of competing interests and perpetual conflict. “Liberal theorists are unable to acknowledge … the primary reality of strife in social life,” she wrote. In a democracy, different groups compete for economic resources, and cultural and physical space. Politics, therefore, involves incompatible choices and dilemmas “for which no rational solution” – meaning objective solution – “could ever exist”. Such conflicts result only in temporary victories; then the balance of power between the winner and loser shifts, thanks to social or other change, and the conflict starts again. Such unresolved battles, Mouffe argued, were not a threat to democracy, but its vital essence. “To be able to mobilise passions,” she wrote, “to have a real purchase on people’s desires and fantasies … democratic politics must have a partisan character.” A healthy democracy required “opposed camps with whom people can identify”: in order to be politically engaged, people needed to have a “we” and a “they”. And besides, any attempt to eradicate such tribalism by building a consensus was bound to fail – no consensus could include everyone. Mouffe regarded New Labour’s third way as a prime example of such a doomed strategy. “Far from creating the conditions for a more mature and consensual form of democracy”, she wrote, it would lead to “exactly the opposite”. It would create a society where the conflicts that New Labour had tried to suppress, or whose existence it had denied altogether, would resurface, more vicious than before. Their antagonists would no longer see each other as legitimate competitors, but as “enemies to be destroyed”. In Britain and across the west, she warned, “conditions are ripe for political demagogues … [for] disaffection with political parties [and] the growth of other types of collective identities … nationalist, religious or ethnic.” In particular, she foresaw a surge in “rightwing populism”. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/sep/20/the-death-of-consensus-how-conflict-came-back-to-politics
  13. Denny Crane

    Should the UK remain a member of the EU

    This sounds like it's from the Onion or the Daily Mash. I thought the fella who drove round Europe in the shape of STOP BREXIT was odd but this! A focus group must have said the brits love dogs let's bring dogs to a march. I respect everyone's right to protest but I just wish the pro Europe bods spent more time with leavers and engaging with them. No Brexit camp deploy 5,000 dogs for 'Wooferendum' march Latest update : 04/10/2018 © AFP/File | Anti-Brexit campaigners will march on parliament on Sunday accompanied by up to 5,000 dogs to hound Prime Minister Theresa May into holding a second referendum on EU membership https://m.france24.com/en/20181004-no-brexit-camp-deploy-5000-dogs-wooferendum-march Labour MP Owen Smith said in the statement: "We look forward to a great turnout of dogs and people. It's about to unleash a bit of common sense to end this Brexit madness". Labour former spin doctor Alastair Campbell has said will be attending with his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy. "We have to do everything we can to show the politicians that the country is not uniting around Brexit," he said. The march route will include Trafalgar Square and the Whitehall government district before the canine protesters arrive at Parliament Square. Organisers said they would also be handing in a petition to Downing Street "signed by dogs and owners".
  14. Denny Crane

    Men's Clothing

    I picked up a few from TKMaxx for £30 on a couple of occasions and had some bargains online. But there always tend to be offers online once you know the number you want. I wouldn't pay £75 for Levi jeans/trousers. For that price I could understand people saying the quality v cost is poor. The hukd app is ok. You can set an alert for say "Levi" or "Hollister" and when someone posts an offer you should receive a notification and get your own tailored page of keywords you have created. Although I just bang what I need in the search box without downloading the app as too many apps clogging up my phone can be a bit shit. https://www.hotukdeals.com/search?q=levi
  15. Denny Crane

    The Apprentice 2018

    Never watched the apprentice when I did my maths degree I had my fill of business students and snakeskin oil salesmen. But saw this clip doing the rounds which is ace. So much going on in this short clip but quite telling their first reaction is to blame each other. The comment at the end cracks me up, "anyway I'll leave it with you".