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*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:27:17 PM EST
Despondent Sarkozy faces his final reckoning - Europe - World - The Independent

Three out of five polls before the multi-candidate stage of the campaign officially ended at midnight last night showed the Socialist challenger, François Hollande, increasing his narrow first-round lead over the President. All polls showed him winning a crushing victory over Mr Sarkozy by up to 14 points in the two-candidate second round in two weeks' time.

President Sarkozy's campaign team accepts that he must top the first-round field tomorrow to make him appear a "winner" and gain the necessary momentum to overhaul Mr Hollande before 6 May. They insist that opinion pollsters are missing a "hidden" layer of Sarkozy supporters who dare not openly voice their choice. But this amounts to an admission that President Sarkozy has deeply alienated a broad section of the electorate in the past five years.

Mr Sarkozy has fought a passionate campaign but he has also zigzagged between hard-right and statesmanlike poses, and made baseless claims. The harder he has campaigned, the more he has reminded some voters of what they disliked in his presidency.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:27:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
Sarkozy supporters who dare not openly voice their choice

I'm speechless too.

"Do not be afraid," as the great man has been saying dramatically to his supporters.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:49:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Liberal conspiracy - Paul Cotterill - The Daily Mail and support for French fascists

Even by the Daily Mail standards, the decision to publish an article fully in support of Marine Le Pen as President of France is pretty extraordinary, given the paper's support for fascism in the 1930s.

It is fairly clear that the author has had little recent contact with French politics, and the idea that France will be saved by withdrawal from the Euro and the defence of `national identity' is little more than a sign of pitiful immaturity on the part of the author. But it causes concern when it's passed through editorial hands at a mainstream paper.

What surprises me more is that relatively little attention has been paid by opponents of Marine Le Pen to what she really represents, and how recent acts continue to reflect this.
 



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 06:02:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is fairly clear that the author has had little recent contact with French politics, and the idea that France will be saved by withdrawal from the Euro and the defence of `national identity' is little more than a sign of pitiful immaturity on the part of the author.

Au contraire, it's The Fail pandering to its traditionally xenophobic base.

The author doesn't need to be familiar with French politics, because most of his readers won't be either.

The article is really just using the French election as a transparent excuse to make yet another point about the value of robust nationalistic narcissism, and the evils of the Euro. (Although unfortunately, that second point is much harder to argue against.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 06:37:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Despondent Sarkozy ...

Jump! Jump!

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 06:39:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lib Dems ready to sabotage Coalition deal - UK Politics - UK - The Independent

Liberal Democrat MPs are prepared to sabotage a key plank of the Coalition agreement unless rebellious Conservative backbenchers back down and support a fully elected House of Lord's, the party's president suggested yesterday.

Tim Farron told The Independent that the Liberal Democrats would find it impossible to back Tory proposals to reduce the number of MPs is the House of Commons unless Conservative MPs backed his party's plan for a fully elected second chamber.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:27:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hahahahaha, the idea of any LibDem MP having a spine is laughable, let alone the idea of of 50 of them having them.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 05:11:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Conservative Home: Lord Lamont: A Lords elected by PR will give LibDems a huge, permanent, enhanced role in politics
The Liberal Democrats are understandably keen because in a bicameral system with proportional representation for the Lords, they would hold the balance of power possibly on a permanent basis.

...

The argument about "legitimacy" or "democracy" is somewhat overdone since the Lords has only limited powers. It does not make laws. That is the prerogative of the elected, democratic House.  The Lords revises, invites the Commons to think again, but if the Commons is determined its will prevails.  The Lords cannot vote on money bills, that is financial legislation.

It is difficult to see how the present, limited role of the Lords would be improved by an elected House composed of yet more professional politicians.  We have so many layers of elected representatives:  The European Parliament, Local Government, the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Parliaments, Police Commissions, on top of the House of Commons.  Do we really need more elected politicians with their blue, red and yellow scarves, not to mention their expensive offices, secretaries and research assistants?



guaranteed to evoke a violent reaction from police is to challenge their right to "define the situation." --- David Graeber citing Marc Cooper
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 05:46:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Blair aide among 46 new Murdoch hacking claims - Crime - UK - The Independent
A key Labour aide who worked for Tony Blair and David Blunkett had his messages intercepted while employed at the highest levels of government, according to papers filed yesterday against Rupert Murdoch's News International - one of 46 new claimants involved in a second tranche of phone-hacking lawsuits against the company. Matthew Doyle, who became Mr Blair's deputy director of communications in Downing Street and continued to work for the former prime minister until this year, joined the England and Manchester United footballer Wayne Rooney, actor James Nesbitt and Sir John Major's former daughter-in-law, Emma Noble, in filing damages claims.

The latest salvo of cases also involves the first lawsuit related to allegations of illegal newsgathering against Times Newspapers, publisher of The Times and Sunday Times...



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:27:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But that was probably just to make sure Tony was obeying orders

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 05:11:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fears raised over 'inferior' Navy jets - UK Politics - UK - The Independent
Military planners have raised fears ministers may order inferior jets for the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier to save money.

Labour had originally intended to buy the jump jet version of the Joint Strike Fighter, but the coalition decided to go for the catapult-launched carrier version.

Since then the cost of fitting catapults have spiralled, leading to speculation that the government is set to revert to the original plan.

Ministry of Defence papers seen by the Daily Telegraph compare the two planes in a range of military scenarios, ranging from the Falklands to striking terrorist camps in Chad and a stabilising operation in Saudi Arabia.

The document apparently finds the carrier version proves more effective in most cases.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 02:28:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
Since then the cost of fitting catapults have spiralled, leading to speculation that the government is set to revert to the original plan.

My initial reaction was WTF, since catapults are hardly rocket science these days.

However,

Converteam develops catapult launch system for UK carriers

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is investing in the development of an electromagnetic catapult system for the Royal Navy's Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers in case procurement of the F-35B short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) version of the Joint Strike Fighter is abandoned.

Power conversion specialist Converteam UK announced on 20 July that in 2009 it was awarded a GBP650,000 (USD1 million) follow-on contract to continue the design, development and demonstration of high-power electrical systems for its EMCAT (electro-magnetic catapult) system and that work on the contract was nearing completion.

The naval director at Converteam UK, Mark Dannatt, told Jane's on 22 July that a small-scale EMCAT system had been completed in 2007 to prove the operation of modern linear motor, energy stores and control systems. Since then, extensive testing of the system has been successfully undertaken, as well as further work at the request of the MoD to enable Converteam UK to scale the system up to a full-size catapult suitable for the RN's new aircraft carriers.

Just another example of military procurement...

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 04:14:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aircraft designed to fight the Soviet Union being launched from a floating gin palace barely capable of waving a flag. Just like nuclear weapons, aircraft carriers are all about political egos.

Paying banker's bonuses directly from the Treasury would be a more honest use of the money

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 05:15:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Dutch government austerity talks collapse | News | DW.DE | 21.04.2012

The Dutch government appeared close to collapse on Saturday after budget talks between the minority government parties and its opposition support collapsed.

The talks were aimed at cutting up to 16 billion euros ($21 billion) from the annual budget. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told reporters he would hold a crisis meeting on Monday to assess the situation.

"Elections are the logical next step," Rutte said. He added that he wants to work with parliament to finalize austerity measures before the poll takes place.

The talks among Rutte's Liberal Party, his coalition partners the Christian Democrats and the anti-Islam Freedom Party headed by Geert Wilders started in March as the Dutch economy sank into recession. Forecasts showed the 2012 budget deficit would reach 4.6 percent of gross domestic product when the EU deficit ceiling is 3 percent.



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 03:06:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Great news! Quick elections would be good.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 04:53:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Prague demonstrators call for government's resignation | News | DW.DE | 21.04.2012

Tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Prague on Saturday calling for an end to austerity cuts, the resignation of the government and early parliamentary elections.

The demonstration was organized by unions and non-governmental groups who estimated the turnout at 120,000. This would make it the biggest street protest in 23 years, since the collapse of the communist government.

It comes at a critical time for the Czech Republic's centrist coalition government led by Prime Minister Petr Necas, who says the reforms are necessary to bring the budget deficit back below 3 percent of gross domestic product. He issued a statement Saturday saying he feels "a great responsibility for our country not to fall into a debt trap."



The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Sat Apr 21st, 2012 at 03:06:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian - Andrew Rawnsley - The midterm elections are now crucial thanks to omnishambles

the midterms referred to are local council elections that do not have any impact of Parliament directly, but they speak to the state of the parties nationally and will affect party morale

Omnishambles. It is a great word to encapsulate the government's serial misjudgments and misadventures, from granny taxes and petrol panics to the boomeranging budget and Theresa May's lost day. So I am not surprised that Ed Miliband chucked it at David Cameron in the hope that it will lodge in the public mind as the definitive, damning description of the coalition. The word does not, though, help us all that much with the large, long-term question raised by the most torrid period for the coalition since its inception. Does this mark a significant turning point or is it merely a passing blip?
[....]
It is usually rash to read too much into midterm elections, but the outcome of these contests will nevertheless matter hugely to the national picture because of their impact on the morale and standing of the parties. As one of the prime minister's senior aides puts it: "They will set the weather from now until the party conference season." Convincing gains for Labour will give the opposition confidence-building momentum and open more space for Ed Miliband to act boldly. A better than expected performance by the coalition parties will conversely make it easier for them to draw a line under this miserable period for the government and turn the pressure back on the Labour leader. Which means that, even before a single vote has been counted, both sides are trying to shape how these elections are judged by the media and viewed by the public. For they know that it is not just the result that matters, it is how the result is interpreted.
[....]
Whether the omnishambles represents a lasting turning point in political fortunes will at least in part be determined by how the parties react to it. If these elections are seen as a disappointment for Labour, then the coalition will breathe a bit easier because Ed Miliband will face renewed doubts about whether he is a convincing candidate for prime minister. If these elections are seen as confirming that the coalition is in deep trouble, then the heat on them will intensify and with it the risk that the government will go into a self-consuming downward spiral. The night of 3 May will be a long one for all the party leaders. What you might call an omnisweat.


keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 05:58:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Associated Press: Investigation under way into Amsterdam train crash

AMSTERDAM (AP) -- Investigators are probing the cause of a head-on collision between two packed passenger trains near a park in Amsterdam that left scores of people injured, many of them seriously.

Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan says 42 people were seriously injured in the crash Saturday evening between a double-decker intercity train and a commuter train.

Dozens more travelers escaped with minor injuries.

Dutch railway officials said Sunday that rail traffic around Amsterdam would be disrupted throughout the morning as the two damaged trains both remain on the tracks where they collided

by Bernard on Sun Apr 22nd, 2012 at 07:14:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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