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SpankyMcFarland

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SpankyMcFarland last won the day on April 20

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About SpankyMcFarland

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    Talamh an Éisc

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  1. SpankyMcFarland

    Maybe no Brexit exit.

    Mrs.Thatcher took a very dim view of referendums and felt they were not in the British parliamentary tradition of government.
  2. SpankyMcFarland

    Maybe no Brexit exit.

    The Brexiteers don’t understand that the EU position is not based on vindictiveness but fear. Bernier and Co. feel obliged to protect the internal market and its rules. They can’t give the Brits a super-duper bespoke deal because that would threaten the whole EU. It’s not personal. What’s unforgivable is that BJ and the lads didn’t agree on a realistic UK negotiating position before starting the clock running on Article 50. Instead a hard Brexit becomes more likely by the day.
  3. SpankyMcFarland

    White South African Farmer Plight.

    Russia remains governed by one absolute ruler so there’s that. I would go to Putin’s Russia only as a last resort.
  4. SpankyMcFarland

    Saudi Arabia expells Canadian ambassador

    If I had to allot blame it would be 90% for the Saudis. They are behaving hysterically with a completely disproportionate response. If the West stood together such extortion would not even be tried by these tyrannies.
  5. SpankyMcFarland

    Saudi Arabia expells Canadian ambassador

    I hope there’s no compromise. The British have humiliated themselves on numerous occasions by dealing with KSA so let’s not be cowards like they are. The family in question in here have substantial Canadian links and are thus different from many other similar situations around the world. It’s always an eye-opener to see how lightly many people hold principles when money is at stake.
  6. SpankyMcFarland

    Saudi Arabia expells Canadian ambassador

    One of the few countries that can say what it likes about anybody, including China, is Norway. For that you need the per capita equivalent of their trillion dollar sovereign wealth fund. The rest of us have to trim our sails and tell lies or deceive by not telling the truth. However, where we draw the line on such squalid compromises is our business.
  7. SpankyMcFarland

    Saudi Arabia expells Canadian ambassador

    My comment about tweeting was directed at a fervent Trump supporter. The Canadian govt does know the Saudis - and how previous more prudent Saudi administrations would have behaved here - but tact and diplomacy become craven silence and complicity at a certain point. The new Saudi regime has already shown itself to be highly reckless with its relentless bombing of Yemen and its blockade of Qatar which almost turned into an invasion. MBS even extorted money from his own wealthy businessmen. As expected, he’s clueless about diplomacy or running a country. There’s a serious downside to doing business with these people. Do you agree we should apologize as the Saudis are now demanding? It’s a hysterical over-reaction. We have absolutely nothing to apologize for. And I hope none of the critics of Iran’s human rights abuses are urging tact here. That would be kind of hypocritical.
  8. SpankyMcFarland

    Saudi Arabia expells Canadian ambassador

    It was a comment on the mistreatment of peaceful protesters in a foreign country. There's no hope for reform in KSA if it can't even tolerate that. And you're really going to criticize Canadian politicians for using Twitter indiscreetly?
  9. SpankyMcFarland

    Saudi Arabia expells Canadian ambassador

    The thing is we don't send an ambassador home because their govt highlighted our asbestos problem or the deplorable conditions on our reserves. KSA will never reform if it can't accept mild criticism from abroad.
  10. SpankyMcFarland

    White South African Farmer Plight.

    We’ll have to see how this ‘reform’ works out in practice. I doubt the ANC are going to go full Mugabe and destroy their wine and fruit exports but you never know. South Africans I have talked to are uncertain how this will work out in practice. Let’s hope it’s a political ploy aimed at reducing the appeal of Malema and his fellow maniacs. Regarding a new start in Russia, that didn’t work out so well for descendants of the Volga Germans invited in by Catherine the Great and on the violence angle it’s pretty dodgy for everybody in RSA these days, not just white farmers.
  11. SpankyMcFarland

    Saudi Arabia expells Canadian ambassador

    Doing deals with the Saudi regime comes with substantial strings attached. If they want to cut us off over some anodyne remarks maybe that’s best for both sides. After all, they are a fairly despicable bunch.
  12. SpankyMcFarland

    Iran needs some democracy

    Liberal democracy took centuries to develop in England. Magna Carta preceded universal suffrage by seven hundred years. Brilliant students aren’t enough either as China demonstrates. Furthermore, violence is less likely to produce a tolerant society respectful of minority rights.
  13. SpankyMcFarland

    Iran needs some democracy

    10 years of democracy compared with two and a half millennia of absolute rule of various sorts - such cultural habits may be hard to break. The small numbers of Iranians I meet are usually militantly secular but I suspect there are many at home who are more conservative. I’d say the long term future is bright - I see another person born in Iran, this time Kurdish and working in Cambridge University, has been awarded a Fields Medal, one of the highest honours in mathematics, but many others stand to lose from change. The least worst outcome for all is surely gradual, peaceful reform. One way this might occur is if Khameini’s successor largely withdraws from the political sphere and takes on a role more like that of Ayatollah Sistani next door in Iraq. A tolerant, prosperous Iran would transform the entire region. There’s a reason Farsi was once the language of scholars from Anatolia to India.
  14. SpankyMcFarland

    Justin Trudeau the Worst PM Since Pierre Trudeau?

    PR produces a result that more closely reflects the popular vote. From that point of view it’s the best system. FPTP only works well with two national parties, as Canada and the UK have repeatedly demonstrated.
  15. SpankyMcFarland

    Mohammad bin Salman

    And now he has expelled our ambassador: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/saudi-arabia-suspends-trade-canada-ambassador-1.4775133 The Saudis take their cue from Trump. Canada can be dissed with impunity. I presume all those concerned with human rights abuses by our enemies in Tehran will be at least as excercised about wrongs committed by our erstwhile friends in Riyadh.
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