UK Politics in General

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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Severelius » 22 November 2020, 15:50

PopTart wrote:
Marmaduke wrote:
Severelius wrote:If this whole thing reaches its logical endpoint and Scotland leaves, Wales leaves and Northern Ireland leaves to unify with Ireland, then England's Parliament would have 533 seats in it using current boundaries. Meaning a party would need 267 seats to win a majority. Just counting English seats right now the Tories have 345, with Labour on 179.

We would literally never be ruled by anyone but the Tories and I hate the idea of that more than words can describe.

If the United Kingdom ceases to exist, the least of our problems will be that Labour aren’t mounting an effective opposition. Each constituent nation will collapse into insular, international insignificance. Look at Brexit, that’s us leaving a coalition of nations. Can you imagine the process of devolving a nation? It’ll be petty and brutal and nobody will win, we’ll just end up resenting each other so all-consumingly that we won’t even notice the world turn its back on us.

Believe it or not, some people actually want that.

Hell a big part of why Brexit is even a thing that's happening is that a depressing amount of idiots genuinely think that the UK will be stronger and more important on the world stage if it actively stops working collectively with other nations.

Because pissing off all your neighbours apparently makes you king of the entire neighbourhood, or something. Though this dovetails into a whole other stupid form of ideology that posits that the only way to show 'strength' is to be as much of a raging shitheel as possible.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby PopTart » 22 November 2020, 16:21

Severelius wrote:
PopTart wrote:
Marmaduke wrote:
Severelius wrote:If this whole thing reaches its logical endpoint and Scotland leaves, Wales leaves and Northern Ireland leaves to unify with Ireland, then England's Parliament would have 533 seats in it using current boundaries. Meaning a party would need 267 seats to win a majority. Just counting English seats right now the Tories have 345, with Labour on 179.

We would literally never be ruled by anyone but the Tories and I hate the idea of that more than words can describe.

If the United Kingdom ceases to exist, the least of our problems will be that Labour aren’t mounting an effective opposition. Each constituent nation will collapse into insular, international insignificance. Look at Brexit, that’s us leaving a coalition of nations. Can you imagine the process of devolving a nation? It’ll be petty and brutal and nobody will win, we’ll just end up resenting each other so all-consumingly that we won’t even notice the world turn its back on us.

Believe it or not, some people actually want that.

Hell a big part of why Brexit is even a thing that's happening is that a depressing amount of idiots genuinely think that the UK will be stronger and more important on the world stage if it actively stops working collectively with other nations.

Because pissing off all your neighbours apparently makes you king of the entire neighbourhood, or something. Though this dovetails into a whole other stupid form of ideology that posits that the only way to show 'strength' is to be as much of a raging shitheel as possible.

Alot of people I've spoken to, who were in favour of brexit, knew full well that it would not result in better economic circumstances or greater international influence.

Indeed, very few of those people spent much time talking about projecting strength on the international stage or indeed, about anything really relevant to the EU at all.

Many expressed views that were clearly about antipathy from and disenfranchisement with, the entrenched political class at home.

Which you can dismiss as idiocy, but I would argue the more significant idiocy, was to be found in the political establishment, that has so lost touch with a majority of the electorate, that they didn't see this coming when they launched the referendum and instead of taking a look at what exactly they missed, everyone has been running around like children since.

Instead of actually listening to people's grievances, some people would rather label them idiots, bigots and political luddites, dismissing what can be valid concerns, out of hand. :gayblahblah:

You think all those disenfranchised voted for the tories, because they actually support the blues raiding their pockets? No, that was a vote of convenience, because people have been sick of the gridlock during brexit and recognised that they were the only party that had its shot together in any meaningful way, to push the damn thing forward, for better or worse.

That our political class is moribund, is without question, that some people expect the corpse to jump up and start solving all their problems, is what surprises me the most.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Severelius » 22 November 2020, 16:30

PopTart wrote:Alot of people I've spoken to, who were in favour of brexit, knew full well that it would not result in better economic circumstances or greater international influence.

Indeed, very few of those people spent much time talking about projecting strength on the international stage or indeed, about anything really relevant to the EU at all.

You and me must have been talking to very different people for the last few years. Among the people I'm forced to interact with about the subject of Brexit, "they need us more than we need them" is probably the most regularly recurring phrase used in regards to the whole project.

Maybe that's just a weird quirk of my particular sphere of contact regarding politics, but the "we don't need them, we can go it alone and be better than we ever were being subservient to Brussels" mentality is what most of the people in my life who are pro-Brexit seem to have taken away from the whole thing.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby PopTart » 22 November 2020, 16:46

I can't speak to your experiences, I've certainly met a few of those people, but when pressed for specifics and challenged on their misconceptions, they often relate what is really bothering them and while I don't like the establishment that is the EU, which, far too many people seem to regard as something far more virtuous than what it is, I can safely say, that what most people really have an issue with, isnt the EU but instead, is our politicians and the fact they seem more concerned with their interests in London and across Europe, than they do, local people and their local concerns.

Brexit has been a great big "fuck you" to the political establishment and it has been done with atleast, subconscious awareness that the fallout might hurt, so people have to reassure themselves of the rightness of their choice, because they didn't know how else to articulate their disaffection. They had no other means to voice their grievances. So they repeat the popular arguements they hear other advocates shouting, because then they can be comfortable with those great big two fingers they stuck up to the current political parties, if they just keep saying it.

This was all they had left in a political system that has left them behind.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Severelius » 22 November 2020, 17:12

I guess my own personal cognitive dissonance here kicks in when I try and pair "people are tired of the uncaring establishment" with "those people then went and gave the Conservative Party of all people a massive majority."

Like... I don't get that. That doesn't make any sense to me at all. You hate feeling ignored by the establishment so you decide to back the most establishment of the establishment parties, the ones who have been in charge for 10 years and who since 1945 have spent the clear majority of that time as the party of government.

Like I do, honestly, try not to call people who disagree with me politically complete morons but if your hatred of the establishment transfers into support for the Tories I feel like I don't have many other words I can use, there.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Brenden » 22 November 2020, 17:36

Marmaduke wrote:
Severelius wrote:If this whole thing reaches its logical endpoint and Scotland leaves, Wales leaves and Northern Ireland leaves to unify with Ireland, then England's Parliament would have 533 seats in it using current boundaries. Meaning a party would need 267 seats to win a majority. Just counting English seats right now the Tories have 345, with Labour on 179.

We would literally never be ruled by anyone but the Tories and I hate the idea of that more than words can describe.

If the United Kingdom ceases to exist, the least of our problems will be that Labour aren’t mounting an effective opposition. Each constituent nation will collapse into insular, international insignificance. Look at Brexit, that’s us leaving a coalition of nations. Can you imagine the process of devolving a nation? It’ll be petty and brutal and nobody will win, we’ll just end up resenting each other so all-consumingly that we won’t even notice the world turn its back on us.

Did the Republic of Ireland collapse into insular, international insignificance, or did it become a corporate office and travel hub, using its historical connections to both America and Europe to bolster its significance?

Many officials of the European Union have expressed that Scotland would be welcomed with open arms, and the Netherlands already has plans in place to set up a ferry route direct to Scotland were it to secede, to bypass going through Newcastle or Hull.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby PopTart » 22 November 2020, 17:57

I get why on the surface you feel a dissonance, why alot of people feel a dissonance, around that choice.

For many who voted brexit, the tories are the means to an end. The tories serve the political upset by pushing brexit through. It's what won them the red wall, although, that victory is much like Biden, won not for who they are or the policies they peddle, but for who they weren't (corbyns labour) and for the one policy promise that voters really cared about, getting on with it. As such, the blue wall is likely temporary. My concern is where those people vote in the future, if Labour can't move back towards the center and the working classes.

Brexiteers are thinking ahead, but only so far ahead. I can't say what many of them hope for post brexit, politically speaking, but my biggest concern, is that a genuinely horrible political movement could begin at any time, it won't be under the tories. It won't be under labour, it will be under a new party, that capitalises on the disenfranchisement those same people feel with the current political establishment. You may come to look back on a tory government and for all its bullshit, you might wish for it back if we continue to neglect large sections of the electorate.

Right now, many of them see the tories as a means to an end and as means to an end go, they aren't so bad.

These are the tories that legalised gay marriage, that have spent the last year, giving away over £30bn in (almost) free money, that at most can be accused of acute neglect, as opposed to outright tyranny.

True extremism, isn't born out of monstrousness or evil, but out of genuine concerns, that having been neglected, lead good people to make bad choices.

I see alot of good people in England, being told, their views don't matter, they don't count or their views stem from wrong thinking and are thus invalid. Those people are going to go somewhere and right now, there is no place in the political arena for them. Hopefully a benign political alternative will rise to fill that gap. But it doesn't seen like benign is on the menu these days.

There is too much exclusion in political discourse today and it needs to be remedied or the results are, as history has so often shown us, extremism and we would be foolish to think it couldn't happen here.

Yes, I know I sound like an alarmist, but what I see, coming out of both sides, is alarming.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Marmaduke » 22 November 2020, 18:01

Brenden wrote:
Marmaduke wrote:
Severelius wrote:If this whole thing reaches its logical endpoint and Scotland leaves, Wales leaves and Northern Ireland leaves to unify with Ireland, then England's Parliament would have 533 seats in it using current boundaries. Meaning a party would need 267 seats to win a majority. Just counting English seats right now the Tories have 345, with Labour on 179.

We would literally never be ruled by anyone but the Tories and I hate the idea of that more than words can describe.

If the United Kingdom ceases to exist, the least of our problems will be that Labour aren’t mounting an effective opposition. Each constituent nation will collapse into insular, international insignificance. Look at Brexit, that’s us leaving a coalition of nations. Can you imagine the process of devolving a nation? It’ll be petty and brutal and nobody will win, we’ll just end up resenting each other so all-consumingly that we won’t even notice the world turn its back on us.

Did the Republic of Ireland collapse into insular, international insignificance, or did it become a corporate office and travel hub, using its historical connections to both America and Europe to bolster its significance?

Many officials of the European Union have expressed that Scotland would be welcomed with open arms, and the Netherlands already has plans in place to set up a ferry route direct to Scotland were it to secede, to bypass going through Newcastle or Hull.

I think rebranding the Republic of Ireland from incredibly handy tax avoidance hotspot to corporate nirvana is perhaps a little flattering. I don’t really want to live in a country that is any more of an unfair corporate tax refuge than the one we already have, I don’t think offering a nil-tax settlement option to attract tech companies is a terribly attractive long-term plan for the country.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby PopTart » 22 November 2020, 18:03

Brenden wrote:
Marmaduke wrote:
Severelius wrote:If this whole thing reaches its logical endpoint and Scotland leaves, Wales leaves and Northern Ireland leaves to unify with Ireland, then England's Parliament would have 533 seats in it using current boundaries. Meaning a party would need 267 seats to win a majority. Just counting English seats right now the Tories have 345, with Labour on 179.

We would literally never be ruled by anyone but the Tories and I hate the idea of that more than words can describe.

If the United Kingdom ceases to exist, the least of our problems will be that Labour aren’t mounting an effective opposition. Each constituent nation will collapse into insular, international insignificance. Look at Brexit, that’s us leaving a coalition of nations. Can you imagine the process of devolving a nation? It’ll be petty and brutal and nobody will win, we’ll just end up resenting each other so all-consumingly that we won’t even notice the world turn its back on us.

Did the Republic of Ireland collapse into insular, international insignificance, or did it become a corporate office and travel hub, using its historical connections to both America and Europe to bolster its significance?

Many officials of the European Union have expressed that Scotland would be welcomed with open arms, and the Netherlands already has plans in place to set up a ferry route direct to Scotland were it to secede, to bypass going through Newcastle or Hull.[/quotes] So Scotland leaves one union, to join another?

Sorry Brenden, but I don't agree that it would be a smooth economic transition.

It would be bitter, and shitty, to say the least and neither the UK nor Scotland would benefit, though the EU, might.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Severelius » 22 November 2020, 18:16

PopTart wrote:Brexiteers are thinking ahead, but only so far ahead. I can't say what many of them hope for post brexit, politically speaking, but my biggest concern, is that a genuinely horrible political movement could begin at any time, it won't be under the tories. It won't be under labour, it will be under a new party, that capitalises on the disenfranchisement those same people feel with the current political establishment. You may come to look back on a tory government and for all its bullshit, you might wish for it back if we continue to neglect large sections of the electorate.

In the time I've actually been bothered to care about politics I have seen two instances of a smaller or new party rising to significant prominence over exploiting and pandering to the worst instincts of shit-stirring nonsense-peddlers. Both of them have been led by Nigel Farage, and both of them have basically been consumed by and assimilated into the Tories.

UKIP existed to get Brexit, they got Brexit, then they vanished and everyone who voted for them voted for the Tories because of Brexit. Then the Brexit Party cropped up because Nigel needed more attention, won big at the EU elections to 'send a message' to the Tories to go for a harder Brexit, then the Tories pushed for a harder Brexit and at the following GE all the Brexit Party voters backed the Tories.

There is very little worry about some new insurgent party toppling one of the two major parties because they inevitably just get fucking eaten by them and take over the host like a fucking parasite. Like I hate the Tories but if we're stuck with them I'd sell my left bollock right now to have the 2010 David Cameron-led Tories back over the Boris Johnson-led Tories of today. At least even if I disagreed with those Tories I didn't think they were all to the last man too incompetent to run themselves a bath without drowning in it.

Boris Johnson could fuck up a bowl of cereal, and he's in charge with unquestioned power by majority during two simultaneous national crises, Brexit and Covid, either one of which by itself could totally destroy us if not handled right.

And just to pre-empt the response that this kind of 'tribalism' I am displaying is part of the problem I feel I should point out I basically hate Labour as well. The broad central tenant of my political engagement is that both major parties are dreadful and that this country is utterly fucked until they both either collapse into nothingness and die or we get an electoral system that isn't fundamentally designed to all-but always ensure one of the two of them has an unquestionable vice-grip on power.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Brenden » 22 November 2020, 18:18

I didn't say it would be smooth, but it wouldn't be collapsing into insularity or insignificance, unless you're talking about England which seems hell-bent on just that.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Marmaduke » 22 November 2020, 18:20

I don’t think I subscribe to relevance being measured by a country’s attractiveness as a corporate headquarters. Google leasing a floor of an unbranded office to base a wholly owned subsidiary for tax purposes doesn’t make a country relevant. It’s the ability of a country to shape and direct the discourse and political direction of the world that is where it’s relevance is found. It’s not England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland that sit on the UN Security Council. It’s The United Kingdom. It’s not England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland that sit as a member of the G7. It’s The United Kingdom. The same is true of the G20, of NATO, of the WTO and the OECD.

Scotland separating erodes our influence within the groups and eliminates itself entirely from the top table. The devolution of the Union as a whole loses us all our seat at the table. England is the only one with a hope of retaining the political capital to stay in the conversation, and even then it’s not likely.

We’re stronger together.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Magic J » 22 November 2020, 18:27

Marmaduke wrote:If the United Kingdom ceases to exist, the least of our problems will be that Labour aren’t mounting an effective opposition. Each constituent nation will collapse into insular, international insignificance. Look at Brexit, that’s us leaving a coalition of nations. Can you imagine the process of devolving a nation? It’ll be petty and brutal and nobody will win, we’ll just end up resenting each other so all-consumingly that we won’t even notice the world turn its back on us.

Slightly apocalyptic, but yes, absolutely, the process of devolving Scotland would be a nightmare task. The basic institutional building blocks are all there, so they wouldn't be starting from scratch, but still, it'd be mind-bendingly complex. Not to mention that Scotland's pretty much just as internationalised as England in terms of capital ownership. The initial business flight would be a huge economic shock. I'd stick with the boffins and wager that there would be a decade or so of hard times. Doubly so now that North Sea Oil revenues are dwindling (an industry that was badly mismanaged with scant regard to the national interest imo, but that's pretty much by the by, now). The economic case certainly hasn't improved.

On the other hand, there's an argument to be made that these are necessary risks to be faced if we're to achieve a more equitable political settlement. That is, the Scottish electorate, whilst basically pretty similar to the English/Welsh electorate in terms of social attitudes, appear to have quite a different vision for how the state should be managed, and its place in the global community. Obviously, this is always a factor in a democracy, but the Scottish situation is distinct in that Scotland retains not just its sense of nationhood, but also a fair bit of the institutions that constitute a nation. Devolution worked to smooth this over for a while. Contrary to being described as "disastrous", it fairly effectively addresses some of this discrepancy between Scottish and English/Welsh electorates in terms of domestic policy, but the foreign policy element has become a major sticking point in the past few years. Personally, I can see why one would be willing to throw the dice to reaffirm Scotland's membership with the European Union. For a longer vision, I think bodies like the EU, whilst far from being great, are likely the most reliable vehicles for addressing future challenges, which are going to require international cooperation on a very large scale indeed (think climate change, increasing population movement, over mighty corporations, Putin's shenanigans, etc).

But I'm very torn on the issue. I spend an inordinate amount of time attempting to talk down my most pro-independence colleague from supporting a wildcat referendum, or worse, immediate secession. Can you even imagine the chaos? Thankfully still a minority opinion.

Marmaduke wrote:I think rebranding the Republic of Ireland from incredibly handy tax avoidance hotspot to corporate nirvana is perhaps a little flattering. I don’t really want to live in a country that is any more of an unfair corporate tax refuge than the one we already have, I don’t think offering a nil-tax settlement option to attract tech companies is a terribly attractive long-term plan for the country.

An excellent point. I was perturbed to read that the vast majority of bodies consulted for the 2018 Sustainable Growth Commission were business lobby groups (17/23). Few trade unions or environmentalist bodies were consulted. Obviously, it can't be taken as a given that they'll try to do down the Irish route, but it doesn't look particularly good if Scots are voting out of a desire for a definitively different economic model.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Brenden » 22 November 2020, 18:28

You think Scotland is at all represented vis a vis the United Kingdom's seats? It's not. Little Englandshire Conservatives are the only people who have been represented internationally for the last decade.

The Republic of Ireland's per-capita GDP is more than twice that of the United Kingdom, so those corporate offices in unmarked buildings are certainly doing something for the country.

The countries of the UK are stronger within the EU. They're not stronger drifting off with England into jingoism and insularity.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Marmaduke » 22 November 2020, 18:44

Brenden wrote:You think Scotland is at all represented vis a vis the United Kingdom's seats? It's not. Little Englandshire Conservatives are the only people who have been represented internationally for the last decade.

The Republic of Ireland's per-capita GDP is more than twice that of the United Kingdom, so those corporate offices in unmarked buildings are certainly doing something for the country.

The countries of the UK are stronger within the EU. They're not stronger drifting off with England into jingoism and insularity.

Do you really think Scotland will be better served by leveraging for independence rather than political reform? Are you genuinely of the opinion that the EU, blessed be they that sit in Brussels, will see the people of Scotland given their hopes and dreams on a plate?

The Republic of Ireland has a population of less than 5 million people, through which flows the income streams of some of the largest and most profitable companies on earth. The pittance they pay Ireland to do this goes a lot further per person when there are less people to share amongst, all the while these largely American companies give absolutely nothing to the American people that they rely on to operate, and leave them all without the basic social infrastructure offered in much of the rest of the western world. And you’re defending that status quo?

Inside the EU or out of it, our voice is better heard together. Without meaning to sound like an imperialist shit, how long after independence do you think it will be before the average person anywhere else on Earth hears “Scotland” or “Ireland” or “Wales” and doesn’t immediately think of the Queen and then think of England? The United Kingdom is the voice. If I set foot in any other country on earth, when asked who is the Prime Minister, people will answer Boris Johnson. Maybe 1-in-20, optimistically, will name Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister? Let’s not even waste our time asking them about Drakeford and Foster. And whilst we’re touching on The Republic of Ireland, beloved by corporate America as it is, how many Americans do you think I could write the word “Taoiseach” on a piece of paper for and not have them accuse me of making it up?
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Derek » 22 November 2020, 19:32

Why do you want strong international standing? What good has the UK used its international standing for recently, for its own people or for others?
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Brenden » 22 November 2020, 19:53

Marmaduke wrote:The Republic of Ireland has a population of less than 5 million people, through which flows the income streams of some of the largest and most profitable companies on earth. The pittance they pay Ireland to do this goes a lot further per person when there are less people to share amongst, all the while these largely American companies give absolutely nothing to the American people that they rely on to operate, and leave them all without the basic social infrastructure offered in much of the rest of the western world. And you’re defending that status quo?

RoI median equivalent adult income is $25,933 vs $23,717 in the UK.

Marmaduke wrote:Inside the EU or out of it, our voice is better heard together.

Scottish, Welsh, and Irish voices are drown out by English gammons shrieking.

Marmaduke wrote:Without meaning to sound like an imperialist shit, how long after independence do you think it will be before the average person anywhere else on Earth hears “Scotland” or “Ireland” or “Wales” and doesn’t immediately think of the Queen and then think of England?

They already don't think of the Queen when they hear Ireland. It's been a century.

Americans know of the Queen as the Queen of England. When I lived in England my grandpa would jokingly ask all the time how the Queen was, whether I've seen her, etc. You know what all my relatives think of when they hear I live in Scotland? Whisky, kilts, bagpipes, Nessie, and the Highlands. My grandma still doesn't get that Scotland is in the same country as England; I'm always having to remind her that my postal address ends with United Kingdom not Scotland.

Marmaduke wrote:And whilst we’re touching on The Republic of Ireland, beloved by corporate America as it is, how many Americans do you think I could write the word “Taoiseach” on a piece of paper for and not have them accuse me of making it up?

Don't be obtuse. Taoiseach translates as Prime Minister and that's exactly what people outside of Ireland know the position as. Americans barely know that Premier is a French term for Prime Minister and not a specific title within the former USSR!
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Brenden » 22 November 2020, 19:58

I've just asked my mom and she said she's never thought of the Queen when thinking of Scotland. She thinks of castles, Sean Connery, and, now, me.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Magic J » 22 November 2020, 20:02

Brenden wrote:I've just asked my mom and she said she's never thought of the Queen when thinking of Scotland. She thinks of castles, Sean Connery, and, now, me.

She thinks of Sean Connery? Fuck sake... We need to address this. It cannot stand.
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Re: UK Politics in General

Unread postby Severelius » 22 November 2020, 20:06

Magic J wrote:
Brenden wrote:I've just asked my mom and she said she's never thought of the Queen when thinking of Scotland. She thinks of castles, Sean Connery, and, now, me.

She thinks of Sean Connery? Fuck sake... We need to address this. It cannot stand.

It could be worse. She could think of Mel Gibson.
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