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  1. More re the air fitting scenes depicted in Dunkirk:
  2. How can you possibly "crack" a position that doesn't even exist? Some write as if the monumental problem of negotiating our departure from the EU is akin to some kind of 'war effort' with Britain's people and government all united in a common purpose against a common enemy. That alas is very clearly not the case here is it? Indeed, half the nation - the younger and better educated half in the main - didn't in fact vote to leave the EU and they cannot just be ignored as if they have become irrelevant somehow. While the public seems to be split (more or less) 50/50 on the question, there seems little reason to doubt that both houses of parliament would vote overwhelmingly to remain in the EU were parliament alone given the responsibility of deciding the issue - which many might think they should be in a parliamentary democracy such as ours. Even the 'them and us' style language I see employed now re our new relationship with the rest of Europe is a pretty good illustration of exactly why we joined the European community in the first place and also why our political class should never have risked placing this nation into the appalling lose/lose situation it now faces. Even if the Brexit negotiations go well then all we have to look forward to is that the coming damage to our society and economy is limited. If the negotiations continue as badly as they have started ... well the next decades may be a pretty grim time in this nation's long history. So I ask myself how can what is a manifestly a DISUNITED nation be reasonably expected to present anything resembling a united face in the Brexit process?
  3. I too have seen 'Dunkirk' - and left the cinema feeling rather more irritated than impressed with it. At this distance in time from the event it is admittedly a difficult task to make what should be a entertaining and historically accurate war film, especially if the budget available isn't a huge 'Hollywood blockbuster' style one. Nevertheless, if you are going to make any serious film about this crucial aspect of our national story then there is surely a implicit duty on the film-maker to get the film as faithful to the actual wartime event as it possibly can be. I don't think Director Christopher Nolan and his collaborators achieved than aim satisfactory. The film is divided into three sections dealing with the how the battle was experienced from the differing perspectives of young British soldiers trapped on the beach, RAF Spitfire pilots attempting to provide them with some degree of air-cover, and one of those iconic civilian small boat crews engaged in the rescue operation - the latter of course our defining national image of Dunkirk. Dealing with these aspects of the story in turn, for some reason our solders are all depicted as venal types hell-bent on securing their own personal survival at almost any cost. OK, I suppose 'looking after number one' is a valid enough human behaviour in war (or any other) time. But methinks soldiers can also be disciplined, courageous and even self-sacrificing at times - not that you would comprehend that truth by seeing this film. Another serious flaw with 'Dunkirk' is that at no time did it look like there were hundreds of thousands of men stranded on that beach as there were in reality. Too often the director chose to employ panoramic long shots that while attractive from a cinematic viewpoint only served to betray the lack of resources available to him. Modern CGI effects might have been employed more to make it appear that more men, ships and aircraft were on screen, but presumably were unaffordable. Blatantly including modern container handling cranes in a film set in the 1940 is inexcusable I my view. The air battles depicted are crippled by the small number of WWII aircraft available to film makers now, for example the same lone Heinkel bomber is shot down about a dozen times. I must also add that - as superb as it undoubtedly was - in reality the Spitfire did not field the seemingly inexcusable supply of ammunition depicted in this film! If you have ever seen the older 'Battle of Britain' film then you will know how air warfare really should be depicted on film. Much the same problem exists with attempting to realistically portray 1940 era warships - the small boats seen are fine but to work around the lack of authentic warships post-war vessels are tarted up to vaguely resemble their WWII counterparts - many may not mind this but the resultant mock-ups look so unrealistic they irritated me no end. This film isn't all bad of course, indeed despite being constantly annoyed by it 'Dunkirk' will entertain many and it did hold my attention throughout. Many of the big set-piece scenes are quite effective - the sinking of the hospital ship alongside the mole for instance - and Mark Rylance is always worth watching. However, the overwhelming impression this film left me with is one of disappointment. 4/10.
  4. National stereotypes are odious of course, but we can perhaps say that the British have earned for themselves a reputation as a moderate and reasonable people in the main - that approach to life has I think served us pretty well in the past. But it would seem that every now and again we collectively go a bit mad and that hard-earned sense of 'reasonableness' is abandoned for something that looks very much like the extremism and intolerance we might associate with other less fortunate lands than this. Evidence to support this contention can be found below: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/brexit-is-worth-family-members-losing-their-jobs-say-leave-voters-over-65_uk_59806ffae4b00bb8ff3975bb• • Half of Leave voters over the age of 65 would be happy for their family members to lose their jobs in order to ensure Brexit goes ahead. • 61% of people who voted Leave at the referendum think that “significant damage” to the UK economy is a price worth paying for taking Britain out of the EU. • One in three Remain voters (34%), said that “significant damage” economy would be a price worth paying if it meant Brexit was stopped. • One in five Remain voters would happily see the economy suffer “just to teach Leave voters a lesson”. Whichever way you voted last year I think that if you find yourselves agreeing with ANY of the above sentiments then you really need to have a strong word with yourself. That bloody referendum has not only damaged this lovely old nation of ours economically and politically, just as importantly our sense national unity has been harmed as well. Wounds this deep take a long time to heal and always leave a scar I fear.
  5. When seen from the proper perspective a political philosophy employed to justify the waging of expansionist wars or extremist religious beliefs used to excuse terrorist crimes appear to be very much two sides of the same old coin methinks - it's all mass murder at the end of the day is it not? Surely you must have recognised how almost god-like men such as Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler became in the eyes of their most devoted followers. By the way, the current Commander in Chief of the US Air Force describes himself as a Christian for what it is worth.
  6. So if the USAF is not in your view a Christian organisation - because as you say not all its members are indeed Christians - then presumably this also must mean that (for example) the Italian Air Force of WWII cannot be viewed as a instrument of fascism as only a minority of Regia Aeronauctica personnel were also Fascist Party members. This is the underlying logic of your argument here is it not? Research (by the Pew Organisation) shows that some 70% of adult US citizens identify themselves as to some extent followers of the Christian faith. In the light of that obvious reality if some elsewhere in the world choose to see the armed forces of this predominantly Christian nation as essentially Christian in nature then it could be argued that they hold a not entirely unreasonable opinion. This is not by the way a attempt to support or excuse terrorism, but rather a small effort to explain that not everyone in the world sees things from our western, perspective. To better understand the world in all its complexity you must make some effort to see things from "the other side of the hill".
  7. The fact that the modern motor industry is a highly international one with few (if any) vehicles assembled from components sourced from within a single county is well understood. Equally comprehensible I would have thought is the prospect that crashing out of the EU Single Market in the so called "hard Brexit" manner some extremists seem to favour leaves British industry facing a extremely difficult problem exporting to what are by far its biggest markets. If we end up with government having to subsidise industry again, to compensate for a new tariff regime with the EU27 perhaps, then where is the money to come from? If this kind of stuff doesn't worry you then you just don't understand the issue here. This has nothing to do with your 'project fear' or the dark art of spinning - that is the situation we now face.
  8. The above link clearly states that the electric drive-train in question will be manufactured in Germany and then shipped over to Cowley for installation. So while this is a 'good news story' for our threatened automotive sector in the short term, in the longer term BMW could shift production out of the UK with minimal disruption to their electric vehicle plans. #projectcoldhardreality
  9. Evidence that Brexit is indeed already damaging our economy mounts as Morgan Stanley becomes the latest big financial institution to start exporting jobs out of London: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/21/brexit-banking-exodus-theresa-may-morgan-stanley
  10. I must say that while you claim to be agnostic on the issue you come across here as a "Leaver". I seem to recall that one of (the many) arguments put forward re "freedom of movement" was that Brexit would somehow prevent the many millions of Turks who were (apparently) about to descend on our shores from arriving here. You will agree I hope that this particular piece of xenophobic scaremongering was more a clear misrepresentation of the truth rather than another of your "debatable" matters.
  11. Yeah, that is a semi fair point I suppose - had everyone who opposes Brexit somehow all voted Lib-Dem collectively at the last election then we be heading in a different direction now. But you do understand I hope that was never going to happen in the real world where our main opposition party doesn't actually "oppose" Brexit, because its leader dislikes the Single Market for ideological reasons that are very far from why some of those on the right also want us out of the EU. I call this situation "the nexus of crap".
  12. I truly believe that a sizeable proportion of the electorate - especially the older, less educated, less well-off sections of society to be frank about it - would struggle to understand the difference between the ECJ and a RSJ and instead sized upon that referendum as a opportunity to kick what they perceived as "the establishment" in the pants and express their sense of general dissatisfaction with their lot in life. When given a chance to complain it is only to be expected that some will take advantage of that I suppose - however counter-productive that may be in the long term. The barrage of outright lies peddled by much of the press and shameless political opportunists - such as our next Prime Minister Boris Johnson for example - during the referendum campaign was also deeply damaging to the national interest. So here we are, a (51.9%) foolish people lead by a bunch of equally foolish and conniving politicians into a course of action that can only harm us all and there seems absolutely nothing anyone can do to stop it. What is more, it's even pretty hard to argue that we as a nation don't deserve that which we are about to receive I'm sorry to say. That damn referendum has left our old nation in a situation that can only be described as a even deepening "omnishambles" that our political class seem destined to spend the next twenty years, or so, attempting to sort out - a torturous exercise in "damage limitation" the like of which most Britain's have not seen during their life times.
  13. According to this poll - published in a Brexit supporting newspaper - if the EU referendum were to be held today then the "Remain" side would actually win: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/02/remain-would-win-brexit-referendum-held-now/ The main argument politicians employ to justify the damage Brexit policies will almost certainly cause our nation is that they are democratically implementing the "will of the people" and that is the end of the matter. Well all this "will of the people" stuff was always a somewhat problematic line I think when you remember that the referendum vote was as close as 51.9 to 48.1% - this society has in-effect been split right down the middle on this question in truth. But if a (growing) majority of the people are now experiencing some degree of "buyers regret" and come to realise that leaving the EU is indeed the historic error of judgement it always seemed to many of us, then pursuing Brexit in the face of that realisation is just a bloody minded exercise in human folly that only a minority of eurosceptic extremists really desire is it not? For that matter I don't really believe there was ever a true majority among the British people to leave the EU anyway because so many voters (in their wisdom) decided to employ the referendum more as a means to express their dissatisfaction with their lot in life, and perhaps to give the establishment a bloody good kicking, rather than cast their vote only on the issue before them. The veritable phalanx of lies much of the Press and "Vote Leave" employed to mislead the British people before the referendum is hardly a shining example of democracy in action either methinks. It seems to me that the British people require a second vote on this matter when whatever God awful Brexit deal the politicians can manage to cobble together has been agreed.
  14. I started this thread predicting that Corbyn would be the death of the Labour party. But right now, in the wake of the election result and the Grenfell Tower disaster, I genuinely believe he might well win a general election - if another was to be held soon that is. He'd be a disaster as PM of course, but that is another matter.
  15. Nearly a year after the momentous day it seems increasing clear that the "way forward" for our nation looks as perilous a path now as it appeared to be before a single referendum vote had even been cast. It has been reported in the press recently that BMW would close its entire UK Mini production operation before compromising the EU Single Market that is so vital to its broader European interests. The future of Airbus wing manufacture in the UK is also very much in doubt now for much the same reasons. Okay, Airbus UK and Mini are just two firms in what is still a big world economy - but those grime prospects would be potentially hugely damaging hits to our vital (and hitherto thriving) automotive and aerospace sectors. As brits we should all care about this kind of stuff should we not? It is a matter of fact that the real wage growth many of us were enjoying before the referendum has been lost now as sharply rising inflation has overtaken pay growth in this economy. As a result, and almost lost amid all the political chaos of recent months, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has confirmed that Brexit will indeed result in our people becoming materially poorer than they might otherwise have been in the coming years - not that there was ever any real doubt about that of course. As the "icing on the cake" of our nation troubles we are also set to pay the EU a huge pile of cash as part of the "divorce settlement" we are seeking - NHS managers can surely kiss goodbye to that "£350m a week" Boris and Grove promised them and the British people. We can only hope that Philip Hammond somehow manages to find a way of side-lining the likes of David Davis and secures us the softest of all possible "soft" Brexit deals. The good news is that the prospect of a second Scottish Independence referendum looks to have receded somewhat for now - but that is still very much a "watch this space" question I fear. It seems to me that right now the UK is akin to a bus full of 50 people that is speeding remorselessly towards the edge of a cliff - and that manoeuvre is perfectly okay with the bus driver because 26 of the 50 thought that was a good idea ...
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