Maximus Decimus

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About Maximus Decimus

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  1. 2016 has been an eventful year. The biggest plus point being the birth of my daughter and fortunately any negatives were minor first world problems. Pokitically, I've always thought things were gradually getting better in society but this year was the first time I've ever really considered that they could go backwards. Here's hoping 2017 sees a return to some form of normality.
  2. The Northern Irish comparison is not weak in that it involved outside settlement (and eventual usurption) of a native population within relatively recent history. They are comparable in that regardless of the politics of the day, there are those who will refuse to ever truly accept their legitimate right to live there. In fact if you go to Northern Ireland you might be surprised to find that the Unionists will often fly Israeli flags and the Nationalists are very pro-Palestinian. Just this year the town my wife is from had a demonstration where people lay across the road blocking traffic protesting about Israeli actions.
  3. Just for a bit of balance there have been more UN and Human Rights resolutions against Israel in 2016 than North Korea, Iran, Syria and South Sudan combined.
  4. Criticism of Israel is of course not anti-semitic. They are pretty much universally condemned for their settlement building and rightly so. However, you'd have to be blind to see that criticism of Zionism doesn't go further than simply criticism of Israeli policies. Increasing use of phrases like the 'zionist-led media' and inferences that zionists control money and power are basically anti-semitism in disguise. One of the big problems with any Israeli/Palestinian discussion is that there is little balance and both sides are very polarised. Any debate I've heard has been depressing. The pro-Israeli advocates seem to offer zero criticism and will defend obvious ills like the settlements and excessive use of force and you even hear religious arguments about how the land is their right. However the anti-Israeli advocates often seem naive and blind to the obvious challenges Israel has. A two-state solution is great but can anyone say with any degree of certainty that a full Palestinian state wouldn't eventually try to wipe Israel off the map? My thoughts are that Israel exists whether we like how they were settled or not, much like the protestants in Northern Ireland. Any position that refuses to accept this (and I think many anti-Israelis fundamentally don't) is not going to get anywhere.
  5. Another horrific on a place all too close to home. Personally one of my favourite places. Sadly, too many people in the world will be most bothered about who did it so that they can make a political point. 1/3 of social media are praying it's a far right extremist, 1/3 are hoping it's a muslim and about 1/3 are bothered about the tragedy.
  6. This is what I've been saying they need to do. It's clear that there is a feeling of dissatisfaction with the way things are. Brexit, Trump and Sanders were all reactions in some form to the establishment. Corbyn for his many faults is a break from the establishment (or at least is viewed to be). I do think he could tap into this and that if he built momentum and started narrowing the polls he could see a bit of a surge. The big problem he has is that he had a bit of momentum and lost it and has languished since. It's hard to see how he'll undo people's opinions of him. He also has the problem that he (or his movement) represents a lot of what was rebelled against with Trump and to a lesser extent Brexit. If you don't like PC culture, the blaming of the West and white men for all the world's problems then Corbyn isn't going to sway you.
  7. Give over, he'd have been out on the streets doing what he does best, protesting.
  8. Apparently he's a red Tory I heard today. Yes, Peter Tatchell.
  9. Good to see Peter Tatchall taking him to task this morning over his silence regarding Aleppo and Russia. If Corbyn doesn't want to look like one of those people who blame the west for everything whilst ignoring (and often praising) other far worse offenders he needs to start criticising the likes of Russia as well.
  10. It must make pretty dire reading for any hardcore Corbynistas. Even worse, in a straight shoot out between him and Teresa May, only 16% would definitely vote for him at the moment. This media conspiracy working against him is the most efficient conspiracy in the history of the world.
  11. Facebook in general but especially the following things: 1) Those made up lists of things like '10 names of people who are too stingy.' 2) Things that are basically chain letters. Grown people sharing posts or PMs that say if you don't pass this on to another 10 people you'll be cursed. You're 30 years old and still doing chain letters? Grow up. 3) People who post long apparently heartfelt messages with 'reply yes to show you care' at the end, making it painfully obvious that all they care about is getting a lot of replies. God I hate facebook.
  12. I also think it's wrong go give the EU the credit for the years of peace since WW2. It may have contributed but I doubt it has very much. That said it is also true that it is naive to think we could never return to those depths. One of the most concerning things about post-fact politics is that you could imagine a scenario where a demagogue with the media behind them whips up a frenzy that leads to war.
  13. And we're talking about Corbyn's different approaches to Castro and Blair! Pretty relevant I think.
  14. Even if (and it's a big if) you can excuse Castro's actions as 'dealing with the old regime,' it doesn't excuse him for a number of other things that he went on to do and didn't do like allow people a proper vote or freedom of speech for instance. It's the same logic that says because the US treated him badly initially it excuses him for siding with the Soviets for the next 30 years. And we're not just talking passively supporting, we're talking supporting them during the 1968 Czech invasion where he decried the counter-revolutionaries for trying to set up a free press that could criticise socialism. He also didn't denounce the Soviets for their invasion of Afghanistan and blamed Tiananmen square on the counter-revolutionaries. Many of the same people who love to criticise Tony Blair for being America's poodle will no doubt defend Castro for taking pragmatic decisions that ensured he kept good relations with Moscow. It is for good reason that people criticise Blair for the decision he made in Iraq but to call him a war criminal on the one hand yet focus on the good points of Castro's rule and then attend his funeral is outright hypocrisy. It is no wonder that his poll ratings are stubbornly refusing to rise despite the May honeymoon coming to an end. If he wants to get rid of this image that he has of being anti-British and anti-western he is going the wrong way about it.
  15. I once went to visit my sister in Leeds and was waiting to cross at a junction. There was a pretty sudden crash and a car slammed into the side of another car. I don't know exactly what happened but the car that had been slammed into suddenly started driving out of control. Either the person had passed out with their foot on the pedal or they just lost it but it started swirving around. It suddenly became clear that it was heading straight for me and I didn't have time to do anything about it. There was a brick wall behind me and I just remember being quite calm in my thoughts and I think I was planning on jumping up so to roll over the bonnet. Anyway it ended up swirving so much that it missed and hit a barrier in front of me. I wasn't certain of death and probably wouldn't have died but it wasn't until I got to my sisters house that I broke down and it hit me what had just happened. A couple of times I've lost control of my car through skidding and funnily enough I've had that same lack of panic as it was happening followed by the feeling of shock setting in after things have sorted themselves out.