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'Forget Ukip: why the Green Party could decide the election' watch

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    (Original post by young_guns)
    Vague on their policies? Only if you haven't been paying attention. You might think their policies are too left wing for you, but you can't seriously accuse them of not being clear about what their policies are

    100 Labour Party policies with each point evidenced by link
    It's not getting into the media enough though. I'm talking about perceptions here.

    Funny that. I used to be very right wing when I was younger, but the older I get the more convinced I become that we only have this one life to live, that being kind to our fellow creatures is important, that working together and helping each other out are important values. The older I get, the less hysterical and worked up I get over, for example, the idea that a poor council estate dweller might have claimed an extra 10 pounds of benefits, as opposed to the idea that on the whole it is a good thing that we help out those people who really are struggling. With age my empathy for other people grows.

    I don't give a crap about benefits. My family needs it, for example. other than that I literally could not care less. That's an example of right wing politics; I never said I was right wing, and not all right wingers have that mentality; some are pragmatists. I consider my to be a pragmatist, I really disagree with most ideologies out there, and I find the idea of blind ideology at least as bad as realpolitik at its worst. I actually find it very hard to define my politic beliefs. I find it easy to identify what i'm against, but what I'm for? That is another thing.


    I agree that this Green policy was utterly idiotic. And a truly left-wing party would not have done that. Labour or trade unions would have fought to bring the womens' pay up to that of the men, not lower the mens pay to that of the women.

    Or ideally let it be because even the BBC admit women have better pay except for when they get older and have children. There is no market policy to solve that. And couples choosing women to take care of the children at a young age isn't a problem. Women are better at it for one thing, and it's widely accepted breast feeding has very positive benefits.


    I'm not really getting how any of that is a Labour policy.

    I'm still talking about the greens. See the post of that other guy on the last page.


    I'm sorry, but that's a fatuous comment. France's corporate tax rate is 33.3%. Germany's is about 29%. The United States' corporate tax rate for income over $18 million is 35%. The UK's is 26%. Ed Miliband's policy is merely to cancel any further reductions.

    I'm still talking about the greens. And I'm talking more about taxing people, thus reducing spending. That is the last thing we need to help the economy considering there's a wage crisis from what i can see.


    The idea that no company will invest in the UK because of that is simply hysterical. Are you suggesting no company will invest in the US because its corporate tax rate is 35%?

    See above.

    You don't think Ed Miliband is intelligent? By that, do you mean "I disagree with his policies", or do you genuinely mean "I think there are unintelligent Oxford graduates"

    Oh all of the westminister ones are intelligent. I was juxtaposing the right wing politicians whom I might disagree with, but still respect on an intellectual level, with the loony greens.


    I couldn't be bothered to fath about with quote bubbles so replies in bold.
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    (Original post by zjs)
    Most socialist Labour supporters would argue that Blair and New Labour was the whole problem. The tack to the right of the 'Third Way' is something Labour isn't recovering from, as they try to pick up votes from the centre right (in their austerity and immigration policy), while simultaneously ensuring support doesn't trickle off to the left; attempting to throw out a genuinely socialist policy every now and then.

    Both the Greens and UKIP have economic policies of fantasy, but at least the former offers an alternative to the austerity narrative. Pursuing tax avoidance isn't the same as levying higher taxes on business; though I'm sure this is supported by the party also.
    I disagree with those socialist supporters. I genuinely think labour should be a party of the centre, while sensitive to the concerns of the left.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    It's not clear to me how sustainability is linked to environmentalism in this way. No plant is sustainable at least in the sense that the plant itself will need maintenance and eventual replacement. So long as the fuel source lasts at least as long as the design life of the plant, sustainability is irrelevant, since a sustainability cap has already been reached.

    I think sustainability is more of a brainbug that is wrapped up with the wider environmentalist worldview, which is basically fearful, insular, and parochial. People have a preternatural fear of running out of food. In some people this fear is greater than in others. Some people are hoarders. Environmentalists are hoarders who think big. Their actions are similarly bizarre and irrational to outsiders, not achieving their ostensible aims and causing a lot of harmful side effects. But to the hoarder himself, they are a necessity of survival.
    Generally agree
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    (Original post by KingStannis)
    I disagree with those socialist supporters. I genuinely think labour should be a party of the centre, while sensitive to the concerns of the left.
    Labour's never been a party of the centre though. It was a party formed by workers, for workers. It should be supporting that ideology, of supporting the average person - including in sickness and health - and working with entities such as the unions. Instead, there's been a shift in emphasis to large corporate interests and trying to take voters from the centre right; aiming at the Tory demographic.

    The truth is that a party of the centre is a party of hand-wringing. Their New Labour philosophy has lost traditional support from the left, while the mass of the electorate lose faith in politics and politicians and become apathetic or vote for protest parties. At the same time, a lot of the demographic they're aiming for are tribalist voters, equally disillusioned with politics or need concessions to the point that, in producing the balancing act that gets them onside and keeps them there, they start to hemorrhage traditional support by giving too much.

    A completely centrist party will always produce your so-called "flip-flop" policies as the mass of the electorate do not sit in the absolute centre of the political spectrum. A party always needs to move one way or the other (from the centre) and in doing so loses credibility or support from the other side of the scale.
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    (Original post by KingStannis)
    I couldn't be bothered to fath about with quote bubbles so replies in bold.
    Fair play. I think it's actually quite an unfair perception; Labour has set out its stand, it has quite a substantial policy offering. Now people might like it or they might not, but I wish we would be having substantive policy debates rather than this constant horse-race style from the media, reporting that focuses on the tactics and strategy of politics, and reporting on what other media are reporting. It has debased our politics to a significant degree, and I think it's terrible.

    And fair enough that your comments were on the Greens. Just on the issue of taxing people more (and therefore taking money out of their pocket), one of the most significant decisions in that respect was the Tories decision to increase VAT from 17.5% to 20%. Few policies could be more damaging in terms of taking money out of the pockets of ordinary working families.
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    (Original post by zjs)
    Labour's never been a party of the centre though. It was a party formed by workers, for workers. It should be supporting that ideology, of supporting the average person - including in sickness and health - and working with entities such as the unions. Instead, there's been a shift in emphasis to large corporate interests and trying to take voters from the centre right; aiming at the Tory demographic.

    The truth is that a party of the centre is a party of hand-wringing. Their New Labour philosophy has lost traditional support from the left, while the mass of the electorate lose faith in politics and politicians and become apathetic or vote for protest parties. At the same time, a lot of the demographic they're aiming for are tribalist voters, equally disillusioned with politics or need concessions to the point that, in producing the balancing act that gets them onside and keeps them there, they start to hemorrhage traditional support by giving too much.

    A completely centrist party will always produce your so-called "flip-flop" policies as the mass of the electorate do not sit in the absolute centre of the political spectrum. A party always needs to move one way or the other and in doing so loses credibility or support from the other side of the scale.
    I'm sorry but to link the left necessarily to the interests of the workers is nonsense. Many of the poor are quite right wing in ideology. See UKIP for an example. Maybe many workers would be opposed to the high taxes of a socialist state.

    As for Centrist hand wringing: often that is the case. But I think you'd be hard pressed to say Blair's government was like that. The guy had a vision.
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    (Original post by zjs)
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    All fair points. I would say, though, that in this current cycle Labour has for the first time in about 30 years set out its stall in a serious, substantive left-wing way.

    The policies it is taking into the next election is the most social democratic manifesto we've seen since Foot

    http://www.labourleft.co.uk/100-labo...rginal-report/

    I believe the Blair experiment was allowed to go too far (though it did win three elections on the trot). Labour has repositioned back to its roots in the labour movement, but it has retained a degree of moderation and centre-groundedness that can make it attractive to middle-of-the-road middle class voters as well.

    And I believe that if Labour wins the next election and the Tory Party starts to implode on the issue of Europe, many moderate middle class voters will view the Labour Party as the only political force that can maintain a degree of economic stability
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    In my view the Greens are rather like the Lib Dems were before they got into Government- they said whatever they liked because they thought they'd never be held to it, but once they actually got into Government things changed remarkably quickly.
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    (Original post by KingStannis)
    I'm sorry but to link the left necessarily to the interests of the workers is nonsense. Many of the poor are quite right wing in ideology. See UKIP for an example. Maybe many workers would be opposed to the high taxes of a socialist state
    Actually the surveys we have suggest the opposite. The surveys that have been done suggest there are high levels of support for raising taxes on the wealthy to support the welfare state and the NHS, for workers rights in the employment sphere, and so on.

    The perception of the existence of working class Thatcherites (Essex man, and so on) is quite obsolete. Most working class people keenly feel their exclusion from economic growth and the economic opportunities of the 21st century, and consequently view the state as the appropriate means to rebalance this
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    (Original post by KingStannis)
    I'm sorry but to link the left necessarily to the interests of the workers is nonsense
    Oh and I'd just add, whether working class people perceive themselves as left-wing in the conventional sense or not, only the centre-left is actually looking out for their interests, in terms of protecting their employment rights, protecting the redistributive mechanisms of the tax/benefits system, ensuring that they will have a decent income and housing when they grow old or are disabled or unemployed
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    Fair play. I think it's actually quite an unfair perception; Labour has set out its stand, it has quite a substantial policy offering. Now people might like it or they might not, but I wish we would be having substantive policy debates rather than this constant horse-race style from the media, reporting that focuses on the tactics and strategy of politics, and reporting on what other media are reporting. It has debased our politics to a significant degree, and I think it's terrible.

    And fair enough that your comments were on the Greens. Just on the issue of taxing people more (and therefore taking money out of their pocket), one of the most significant decisions in that respect was the Tories decision to increase VAT from 17.5% to 20%. Few policies could be more damaging in terms of taking money out of the pockets of ordinary working families.
    Very true. VAT is non equitable. However, VAT does at least give one a degree of economic choice in mitigating it. ie, you can choose to go to Aldi instead of Waitrose.
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    Oh and I'd just add, whether working class people perceive themselves as left-wing in the conventional sense or not, only the centre-left is actually looking out for their interests, in terms of protecting their employment rights, protecting the redistributive mechanisms of the tax/benefits system, ensuring that they will have a decent income and housing when they grow old or are disabled or unemployed
    But would they be in favour of more income tax for themselves, for "the greater good"?
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    (Original post by jenkinsear)
    There has been no "economic collapse" unless we're truly in the realm of hyperbole.

    Their policies for dealing with tax avoidance are, to anyone with any expertise in tax law, ridiculous. Partly because they haven't even sought to give some solid examples of what legislation they'd introduce beyond weak declarations that they'll somehow raise billions (good luck, the companies will be out like a flash), and partly because they haven't supported things like the GAAR which actually have done a lot on avoidance.
    "In particular press for a transparent international accounting standard that requires companies to report on a country-by-country basis so that their profits can be located and taxed."

    Phrases such as the above do explain some of their methodology in trying to accomplish this. Most political manifestos include statements with questionable costing and results. While the "£13bn" raised from cracking down on tax avoidance may be fantastical, they're pushing more on a point of principle (they're well aware they won't be in government, given that they don't want to form coalitions).

    (Original post by jenkinsear)
    All of this avoiding the fact that tax avoidance by large companies actually helps a lot of ordinary people by keeping companies and industries employing people who otherwise wouldn't be, as well as boosting the share prices of said companies which basically every single person with a pension scheme benefits from. It's not, as the Greens like to imagine, a case of tax avoidance simply being "evil", it's actually a large part of making an economy competitive and providing ancillary benefits like pension yields.
    Your argument is rooted in the belief that cracking down on tax avoidance means a swift exit of every large employer. Even the party of big business - the Conservatives - are looking to crack down to the point of adding a potential £5bn to the coffers. It's fallacious to assume that all of these large companies would summarily pull out of the UK (and a lucrative market) as a result of increased tax.

    Companies would be helping the economy a lot more by contributing the tax they owe from the business they undertake in any given country. Likewise, the large sums involved with companies such as Google, Amazon, Starbucks and M&S would make a big difference to the treasury and thus a broad spectrum of individuals.

    The boost in share price isn't always distributed to employees beneath the C-suite/executive within a company. It goes to stakeholders before employees. As such, not paying X more in tax doesn't equal a guaranteed higher pension yield.

    Evil is your own emphasis, so I'm not sure why it's in quotes. The vast majority of the electorate supports clamping down on tax avoidance by large companies. Hamstringing competitiveness a little if it means asking companies to actually pay tax on the vast profit they make hardly seems radical as a notion. Given the enormous amount they're avoiding paying and the fact they aren't being pushed on this, there's quite a lot that could be gained in cracking down on tax avoidance before it becomes unprofitable for their business models and thus forces a pull-out.

    (Original post by jenkinsear)
    Wish to re-nationalise.... how much do we think that will cost? Tens of billions I would expect? The government can't just seize property- to do so would destroy all investment in the country. How will our Green masters fund this?
    The contract wouldn't be renewed with the private companies and, when it ends, they would return to public control.

    (Original post by jenkinsear)
    Given if you actually read the Green manifesto they link their economic and tax policies to the environment repeatedly, I don't agree that they have nothing to do with their ideology.
    They talk about a 'Green New Deal' and things such as boosting jobs/the economy through green investment, granted. The point you seemed to be making initially was that their entire economic policy is entirely wedded to the environment, which isn't the case.

    (Original post by jenkinsear)
    Google "green party opposes housing development" and you will find literally dozens of examples. Interesting reasons include there being an owl in residence (we could just move the owl...) or a tree they quite like. So we'll not house hundreds of people to save a tree or an owl that could easily be moved elsewhere. Green logic for you (Y)
    Are we talking about the opposition of the Lodge Hill housing development in Medway here? Yes, this was related to birds, but it's a little more than that. The site is designated an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and is home to the UK's largest nightingale population. You have to look at how overruling the SSSI would potentially set a precedent for overruling other SSSIs in the country. Likewise, there was a lot of local support for the opposition of the development from the local community.

    (Original post by jenkinsear)
    How do you "find" affordable housing when the whole issue is lack of availability? Unless you build more, the market will force prices higher. Rising population especially in London and the South East = desperate need for more building. Greens however wholeheartedly refuse to accept any need for building on the green belt, despite the fact brownfield sites just cannot provide the housing needed.
    You fight the selling off of council and association owned homes to private landlords or you set aside a larger chunk of the budget to buy up housing in order to offer it as affordable housing.

    UKIP also opposed building on the green belt, because it is extremely unpopular with voters in constituencies affected by the planned building.

    (Original post by jenkinsear)
    As for the tax system, it blindly assumes rich people won't move capital/assets abroad or engage in any form of avoidance scheme. They are living in a fantasy world if they think that won't happen. Add to that their ignoring HMRC studies that suggest tax rates over 45% actually lead to LOWER revenues due to avoidance/capital removal being encouraged, and it's hard to respect their tax policy.
    It doesn't "blindly assume". For that, they would be estimating the increase revenue as the total amount currently not being paid as a result of tax avoidance.

    Do you have a link to said study?

    (Original post by jenkinsear)
    Hmm but it's interesting how many greens tend to be middle class & wealthy (particularly inherited cash...) from my experience, so they have an interest in "free market neoliberalist ideology" as they can sit there drinking champagne having already benefited from it.
    Complete conjecture.

    (Original post by jenkinsear)
    Talk me through how the Greens have shown that there is any alternative to the current austerity measures. Asides from delusionally claiming you can find tens of billions from "tax dodgers", they seem to have a bit of a hole in the balance sheet...
    Even the Chancellor of the Exchequer thinks there's £5 billion to be found. Not as 'delusional' as you posit.

    There's a lot of economic theory and argument against austerity measures. A lot of economists are behind this alternative, but it isn't favourable with the government and mainstream media due to the influence of corporate - and other - interests with a vested stake in maintaining the 'cuts are necessary' narrative.

    It's explained extensively elsewhere and the Greens support this.

    Here's but one article outlining one such proposition: http://www.newstatesman.com/politics...pt-such-secret

    (Original post by jenkinsear)
    Their voter and membership base is far from "ordinary"- it's mainly middle class yuppies, students and environmental extremists. If they hold Brighton Pavillion I would be amazed, and I think they'll be hard pushed to win anywhere else. UKIP appeal to the average man, Greens do not and will not unless they ditch the extremist ideology they are so wedded to.
    Again, conjecture.
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    (Original post by KingStannis)
    But would they be in favour of more income tax for themselves, for "the greater good"?
    The fact they wouldn't be in favour of greater taxes for themselves doesn't mean they are right wing because I don't think any left-wing parties are actually calling for greater taxes on the poor.

    In fact, the people who have really ratcheted up the financial pressure on the poor are the right wing, who increased VAT and slashed benefits and various forms of tax rebates enjoyed by those on low incomes

    In that sense, it seems clear that the people who want higher taxes on the poor are conservatives
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    (Original post by KingStannis)
    I'm sorry but to link the left necessarily to the interests of the workers is nonsense. Many of the poor are quite right wing in ideology. See UKIP for an example. Maybe many workers would be opposed to the high taxes of a socialist state.

    As for Centrist hand wringing: often that is the case. But I think you'd be hard pressed to say Blair's government was like that. The guy had a vision.
    All of the 'poor' who are now right wing in their ideology would be without a vote were it not for the worker's movement.

    The fact that a lot of people take on a right wing ideology is more to do with the media and scapegoating. Immigration becomes a hot topic issue because unskilled labourers are competing against foreign labourers for the same jobs, which they'll do cheaper - or so the narrative goes - when this nicely avoids the fact that the reason there is a scarcity of jobs and increased competition in the first place is that a lot of the companies they worked for have been privatised and sold off, or outsourced to countries where the labour is a fraction of the price.

    I'd hardly call Blair's vision appealing though.

    (Original post by young_guns)
    All fair points. I would say, though, that in this current cycle Labour has for the first time in about 30 years set out its stall in a serious, substantive left-wing way.

    The policies it is taking into the next election is the most social democratic manifesto we've seen since Foot

    http://www.labourleft.co.uk/100-labo...rginal-report/

    I believe the Blair experiment was allowed to go too far (though it did win three elections on the trot). Labour has repositioned back to its roots in the labour movement, but it has retained a degree of moderation and centre-groundedness that can make it attractive to middle-of-the-road middle class voters as well.

    And I believe that if Labour wins the next election and the Tory Party starts to implode on the issue of Europe, many moderate middle class voters will view the Labour Party as the only political force that can maintain a degree of economic stability
    How hard will they fight for them though?

    I'd like to back a socialist Labour, but Miliband just isn't fighting the key issues hard enough. The 'Red Tories' is still the way they're seen by a large section of the electorate as they aren't out-and-out fighting the Conservative austerity agenda.
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    (Original post by jenkinsear)
    All of this avoiding the fact that tax avoidance by large companies actually helps a lot of ordinary people by keeping companies and industries employing people who otherwise wouldn't be
    I agree with much of what you say about the vague, confused and histrionic nature of Greens Party policy, but that statement is utterly fatuous.

    Companies remit their operating surplus to offshore tax havens in order to avoid company tax; overheads and operating expenses aren't taxable for company tax and so when the money is remitted overseas, all of their expenses such as wages have already been covered.

    To the extent they avoid company tax, the amount avoided is pure cream that is poured into the bank accounts of the owners. If Vodafone's notional tax bill would be 8 billion and by tax avoidance they reduce it to 2 billion, it's not as though that 6 billion is used to contribute to their operating expenses. They've already covered their operating expenses before they compute dividends.

    To be honest, I find it astounding that some right-wing people believe there is some overall socio-economic benefit to tax avoidance. It is simply a demonstration of economic illiteracy to assert it
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    (Original post by zjs)
    I'd like to back a socialist Labour, but Miliband just isn't fighting the key issues hard enough
    What specifically are you claiming he is not doing hard enough? To me that just sounds like lazy carping and sniping from the sidelines. Usually comes from SNP and Green types (who are often complete hypocrites themselves, based on the Greens' right wing, union bashing policies in Brighton)

    The 'Red Tories' is still the way they're seen by a large section of the electorate
    That is utter nonsense. "Red Tories" is the way they are labelled by noisy, idiotic middle-class sandal wearers who are, by and large, complete non-entities politically.

    Real working class people don't use that fatuous term and are actually, by and large, intending to vote Labour at the next election

    What specifically are you claiming they are failing to do in "not fighting the austerity agenda"?
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    (Original post by zjs)
    I'd like to back a socialist Labour, but Miliband just isn't fighting the key issues hard enough. The 'Red Tories' is still the way they're seen by a large section of the electorate as they aren't out-and-out fighting the Conservative austerity agenda.
    By the way, which of these policies is insufficiently left-wing?

    100 Labour Party policies with evidence by links

    The snide attitude of Greens is just pathetic, and they know their only hope is that Labour doesn't win the next election otherwise they are ****ed. They know they will implode if Labour wins the next election

    But please, run along and go carry some water for your Tory mates. Don't forget to bash some unions along the way
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    What specifically are you claiming he is not doing hard enough? To me that just sounds like lazy carping and sniping from the sidelines. Usually comes from SNP and Green types (who are often complete hypocrites themselves, based on the Greens' right wing, union bashing policies in Brighton)
    It's encapsulated quite nicely in the Myleene Klass incident. She came out with a slew of ridiculous claims about homes in London and it was fairly obvious that "people" and "little old ladies" meant her and the equally rich.

    It was a perfect opportunity to mention the enormous public support for introducing 'mansion taxes' and thinks of that ilk. He could have hammered home the advantage.

    In a more substantive way, it's the incremental opposition to Conservative policies.

    What 'type' is an SNP supporter, out of interest? A Scot in Scotland at the next election, it would seem (an exaggeration for comic effect, but there's a hell of a lot of predicted SNP seats).

    (Original post by young_guns)
    That is utter nonsense. "Red Tories" is the way they are labelled by noisy, idiotic middle-class sandal wearers who are, by and large, complete non-entities politically.

    Real working class people don't use that fatuous term and are actually, by and large, intending to vote Labour at the next election
    That may well be, but people are certainly saying it.

    (Original post by young_guns)
    What specifically are you claiming they are failing to do in "not fighting the austerity agenda"?
    Just that, really. A lack of opposition to the cuts, beyond saying that they'd cut less or differently; they still seem wedded to the idea of wanting to go along with the Conservative austerity experiment.
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    By the way, which of these policies is insufficiently left-wing?

    100 Labour Party policies with evidence by links

    The snide attitude of Greens is just pathetic, and they know their only hope is that Labour doesn't win the next election otherwise they are ****ed. They know they will implode if Labour wins the next election

    But please, run along and go carry some water for your Tory mates. Don't forget to bash some unions along the way
    You're the only one with an attitude in the thread thus far, I'm sorry to say.

    What do you hope to achieve with your little digs, out of interest?
 
 
 
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