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#1
Off the Record / Re: Hungarian Politics
Last post by Sheilbh - Today at 09:45:34 AM
Quote from: Tamas on Today at 08:42:01 AMThey are not a bit Potemkin they are entirely Potemkin. It is a ridiculous notion to ask an autocracy to weaken itself. Any real return of independent oversight on corruption suspicions and charges would destroy the very fabric of Orban's regime. He will never, ever, introduce meaningful reforms which would even weaken -let alone destroy- his supremacy.

I can't believe EU politicians cannot see this.
I think some don't want the Commission doing reports on them and their internal practices for conditionality - I think that's the Italy plus CEE block.

Sadly I think as long as Hungary is able to keep tying decisions on this to important issues that other member states care about but require unanimity - Ukraine aid, global tax deals etc - then other states will not let the agenda they care about fail if that's necessary to block funds to Hungary.

At some point I hope the logjam breaks in one way or other but I think those are the dynamics. I don't think it's that they're not aware. I also think it's a massive block on the EU ever wanting to re-open the treaties while Orban's around. I think there's already a massive reluctance following the French and Dutch votes on the constitution of doing any treaty work that would require a referendum, I think added to that, now, is a desire to not give Orban another veto point that he can leverage.
#2
Off the Record / Re: Brexit and the waning days...
Last post by Sheilbh - Today at 09:34:13 AM
Piece by Hadley Freeman in the Jewish Chronicle. From what I understand she's left the Guardian because of her "gender critical" stance, but I heard her speak and she also mentioned that she was discouraged from writing about Corbyn/Labour/anti-semitism because she's Jewish - which isn't great.

So I thought this was interesting for calling out some of the comments she received as a Jew, on the left who was raising the issue of anti-semitism in Labour during Corbyn's leadership. I think Starmer's done all of the right things on this, but I think at some point there needs to be a bit of a confrontation/reckoning on this on the left especially with people who just looked the other way or said any of the things Freeman flags here:
QuoteIt sucks to be a Jew on the left
As Hadley Freeman leaves the Guardian for the Sunday Times, she opens up about her Jewish experience
December 06, 2022 10:57

Last week was my last day at the Guardian, where I've worked for more than 22 years. Quite a seminal moment for me, probably less so for all of you, but it did make me think about what it's been like in recent years to be Jewish, British and on the left.

The Guardian is the newspaper of the British left, of course, and I am now off to the Sunday Times, which is not. My own political persuasions haven't changed, by which I mean I'm not voting Tory at the next election. But there's no doubt I am – like Adam and Eve being cast out of Eden – leaving the garden of the left. So it seems like a good time to take stock.

Well, as I sit here, getting ready with my kids for the start of Hanukkah (the actually fun Jewish holiday!), things seem fine for British Jews. David Baddiel's documentary Jews Don't Count recently screened on Channel 4 and Jonathan Freedland's Jews. In Their Own Words played at the Royal Court.

The last time I heard from so many Jews was when I went to my cousin Ben's barmitzvah. And yet, all this almost over-the-top fine-ness is a reaction to the very much not-fine-ness that came before.

I don't think any of us want to rehash what I shall delicately refer to as The Corbyn Stuff. But I recently looked up what I'd written during that time and I found a 2016 article in which I mentioned that the Jewish MP Ruth Smeeth was heckled with abuse at the launch of Labour's antisemitism report (contrary to one of Jeremy Corbyn's most famous claims, this Zionist can see the irony in that.)

Afterwards, Corbyn chummily chatted with – no, not Smeeth, but the heckler, ending with a friendly, "I'll call you." And the weirdest thing about this very weird episode is I'd forgotten all about it.

Honestly, what a dumpster fire that whole period was, to the point that it's almost hard to remember what actually happened. But just off the top of my head, here is a list of things I remember lefty non-Jews saying to me back then:
1.    "I don't think you should write about antisemitism because you obviously feel very passionately about it."

2.    "What, exactly, are Jews afraid of here? It's not like Corbyn is going to bring back pogroms."

3.    "Jews have always voted right so of course, they don't like Corbyn."

4.    "It's not that I don't believe that you think he's antisemitic. It's just I think you're being manipulated by bad-faith actors. So let me explain why you're wrong..."

5.    "Come on, you don't really think he really hates Jews."


All of the above were said to me by progressive people, people who would proudly describe themselves as anti-racism campaigners. And yet. When Jews expressed distress at, say, Corbyn describing Hamas as "friends", or attending a wreath-laying ceremony for the killers at the Munich Olympics, or bemoaning the lack of English irony among Zionists, we were fobbed off with snarky tweets and shrugged shoulders.

What we were seeing, they said, we were not actually seeing. You could not design an exercise more perfectly structured to cause madness. It was, to be blunt, gaslighting.

Anyway, that's all in the past now, right? Well it is for me, because I'm walking away. A lot of illusions were broken, and I lost a lot of respect for a lot of people I thought I knew, but it turned out I didn't. Not really. Not at all. So I have left the garden. And it feels bloody great.   

Needless to say I think Starmer is also entirely right in having kicked Corbyn out of the party and having said that he can't, realistically, see a way back for Corbyn into the party.
#3
Off the Record / Re: Football (Soccer) Thread
Last post by Duque de Bragança - Today at 09:30:59 AM
Quote from: Threviel on Today at 04:33:18 AMCan't we all agree to be anti-Iberians?

Quote from: celedhring on Today at 04:49:02 AMNo, we can't.

That goes without saying.
#4
Off the Record / Re: Football (Soccer) Thread
Last post by Duque de Bragança - Today at 09:30:09 AM
Quote from: Valmy on December 05, 2022, 08:59:00 PM
Quote from: Duque de Bragança on December 04, 2022, 03:46:48 PMThe next quarter final, France-England is not that common in the World Cup, so you'll have something new to watch.  :P

This will be the greatest owning of England by France since the Battle of Castillon.

Formigny or Castillon?  :hmm:
#5
Gaming HQ / Re: The Miscellaneous PC & vid...
Last post by Syt - Today at 09:17:54 AM
CK3 can be spammy, but it has nothing on V3's trade notifications and IG bonus trait activation/deactivations. :P
#6
Off the Record / Re: Russo-Ukrainian War 2014-1...
Last post by Legbiter - Today at 09:01:39 AM
Quote from: Tamas on December 05, 2022, 04:41:43 PMHeard a podcast where they invited some Russian academic (living abroad I believe). He was convinced if Ukraine and the West holds out this winter, Putin's system will not survive to see 2024.

Hopefully the Russian military will be soundly defeated in 2023 and Russia itself fully de-satanized and brought into the Lutheran fold by early 2024. Specifically of course as promulgated by the Uppsala Synod of 1593. :contract:  :pope: 
#7
Off the Record / Re: Hungarian Politics
Last post by Tamas - Today at 08:42:01 AM
They are not a bit Potemkin they are entirely Potemkin. It is a ridiculous notion to ask an autocracy to weaken itself. Any real return of independent oversight on corruption suspicions and charges would destroy the very fabric of Orban's regime. He will never, ever, introduce meaningful reforms which would even weaken -let alone destroy- his supremacy.

I can't believe EU politicians cannot see this.
#8
Off the Record / Re: Hungarian Politics
Last post by Sheilbh - Today at 08:32:34 AM
Quote from: Tamas on Today at 07:08:12 AMEU members openly linked a vote on a joint loan to Ukraine with approving a big bunch of grants (reconstruction grants, I think) to Hungary. Everyone voted in favour of the Ukraine loan except Hungary who vetoed it. They'd rather give up on massive amounts of money rather than make it easy for the EU to fund Ukraine's efforts. Fucking traitors.
That's shifted, probably sensibly (it was also blocking the EU implementing the global deal on minimum taxation). The proposed Ukraine aid required unanimity so Hungary was the one linking it.

The council have now asked the Commission to prepare an alternative legal/financial "modality" for aid to Ukraine that doesn't require unanimity, but that will take time.

There's also been ping-pong over the suspension of EU funds to Hungary, basically because it looks increasingly like there aren't the votes to endorse the Commission's assessment on rule of law that would freeze funds. There's enough CEE countries plus Italy willing to vote against that it's not clear it would get through QMV. So EcoFin have also asked the Commission to prepare another assessment and to lower the amount of suspended cohesion funds.

On the upside it's likely that Ukrainian aid (and the tax deal) will get unlocked, but it also looks like the Commission will try to block less funding from Hungary and take a more benign view of Orban's "rule of law" reforms - which from what I've read are a bit Potemkin. I think member states/the council either still don't really get what they're dealing with in Hungary or have decided it's too hard and don't care enough
#9
Off the Record / Re: Brexit and the waning days...
Last post by Tamas - Today at 08:15:20 AM
Quote from: Admiral Yi on December 05, 2022, 11:48:01 PMIn England a booster shot is called a borcestershire shot.

Stolen from interweb.

 :lol:

Yeah that took some getting used to here.

Display on train: next stop, Worcester Park. Audio announcer: next stop: wosta' park
#10
Off the Record / Re: Brexit and the waning days...
Last post by Grey Fox - Today at 08:10:53 AM
A distinction without a difference.

 ;)