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Comment: Re:Farce (Score 1) 365

by Xest (#47730939) Attached to: Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Well, England also pays for things in Scotland it doesn't get to use too, so that kinda works both ways I'm afraid. You could just as well argue that the rest of the UK has to pay 91.1% of Scotland's railways even though they're by definition not in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland. I don't think that argument really has any logical grounding given it's two way nature.

Comment: Re:close to population (Score 1) 365

by Xest (#47728263) Attached to: Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

"There has been absolutely no appetite in England up until now for reorganising the system of government to provide improved localism. Scotland has consistently voted differently to the rest of the UK. The Scottish Parliament was an acknowledgement of that."

You don't see how nonsensical your argument is? really?

The Scottish parliament IS an example of improved localism and has seen consistently more devolved powers offered to it, as has Wales, as has Northern Ireland.

The fact you believe that somehow moving the power to Edinburgh when most of Scotland isn't Edinburgh seems to completely miss the point. Sure a bunch of people at the centre of power in Edinburgh will be more happy but then what of those areas of Scotland that are still not represented?

It's not like all of Scotland wants to be independent for the reasons I cited- say Scotland gets a majority for independence but areas such as the outlying islands whose ocean territory is oil rich want to stick with the union, then how do you think they feel being ruled by Edinburgh against their will? Do you feel self-determination is a thing that they deserve too such that the oil heavy parts of Scotlands coast that support the union can stay with it?

Again, the only people served by moving the centre of power to Edinburgh are those close to that centre of power in Edinburgh (who are already well served by the devolved parliament) - it does absolutely nothing to resolve the underlying problems of lack of representation for everyone else, and again, Salmond has proven that over and over with cases such as that of overruling a local decision against Trump, in favour of Trump because it suited him and those in power in Edinburgh, not the people of Scotland in general.

Comment: Re:Farce (Score 1) 365

by Xest (#47728165) Attached to: Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

No you're missing the point of 20 minutes up north. It's 20 minutes up north to a station that's 20 minutes away from the place you most likely want to go. HS2 to Leeds is going to end at a new station that's 20 minutes away from the center where all the businesses and shops are, to Sheffield it's going to stop at Meadowhall which is convenient if you want a 3 hour shopping round trip from London but puts you a 20 - 40 minute tram/train journey from Sheffield centre.

The point is that HS2 is literally 100% useless it seems - it doesn't stop at the normal city center destinations, it stops at destinations that are far enough out from where you most likely want to be that all benefit is lost. Worse, studies (including the official ones despite the fact they "forgot" to include the relevant pages in the original report) show areas not served will suffer economically, so you'll even see economic decline as a result. I regularly travel between Leeds, Sheffield and London and I'll still just take the East Coast Mainline, or the Sheffield - St Pancras route, because it'll be direct to where I want to go rather than me having to hope between the end points to where I actually want to be at further expense.

So fundamentally HS2 isn't useful at all, it's the anti-thesis of useful, it has no benefits when built, and destroys many people's homes at colossal tax payers expense. Make no mistake - it's a scheme designed to create jobs at the tax payers expense, whilst achieving nothing useful in practice.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing for Trident either, I agree I'm not convinced it serves any purpose, I get the feeling if we're ever at serious threat of being nuked then having a deterrent wont make or break the decision to nuke us anyway, but my point is that Trident if nothing else is at least a very cheap waste of money compared to pointless schemes like HS2 - on the money wasting scale Trident just doesn't even come close to the top of the scale. I'd rather we ditch Trident AND HS2 and have an extra £70bn to £100bn to spend on useful things like nationwide 1gbps internet connections, better maintained roads, additional capacity on the East Coast Mainline, free university tuition and so forth and still had enough change left over to make the NHS more awesome.

Comment: Re:The real question (Score 3, Insightful) 365

by Xest (#47728119) Attached to: Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

Right, but you have to remember also that Salmond has been allowed to rig this poll in his favour, precisely so even if the result is that close the Westminster parties can say that he couldn't even win the referendum on his terms.

It's unheard of in the UK for you to not be able to vote in a referendum because of your residency, rather than your nationality yet Westminster let Salmond have his own way on exactly this such that the 20% of Scots most likely to vote against independence (those not currently resident, but otherwise nationals of because they were born there) cannot vote in the referendum. Similarly he was allowed to continue with a loaded referendum question, and he was allowed to bring in the 16 - 18 bracket who are more naive to and hence swayed by populist nationalist rhetoric.

Given that Salmond can't even get a 50:50 split when the thing is slanted completely in his favour then I think saying there's no popular support is a fair argument. If all Scots were allowed a say rather than those Salmond has fiddle the figures for it seems the polls would be running closer to about 66:34.

This is a risky but potentially smart gamble by Westminster in letting Salmond have his own way - it means Salmond cannot come back and say the vote wasn't fair, that it should be re-run, he wont have a leg to stand on because everything was allowed on his terms and yet he'll still most likely lose it seems.

Comment: Re:Should be interesting RE- Nato (Score 2) 365

by Xest (#47728061) Attached to: Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

"In fact it's an open question whether he would continue to even be an EU citizen."

I don't think it is an open question in anyone's mind other than Salmond's. Given that even those within the EU who would be responsible for making such decisions have made it abundantly clear that Salmond would have to reapply, and the likes of Spain's PM have said he'd likely veto them joining then I think it's pretty clear what the stance of Scotland's EU status would be.

Comment: Re:No. It would not. (Score 4, Informative) 365

by Xest (#47728019) Attached to: Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

No, it's mostly where it is because they wanted to put it somewhere where it's easy to get it out into the deep water of the Atlantic - you can rapidly disperse them to places where they'll be almost impossible to find from the North Western side of the country. Putting it on the East coast like Newcastle isn't ideal because it's much easier for a country like Russia to get it's forces there to start searching, and there's less room for a sub to run.

So most likely places would, given that Ireland gets in the way to much of the West coast would be Wales, or Cornwall.

If you look at a depth map of the world's seas then you'll see that the current location gives some of the quickest access to very deep waters that our coasts offer.

Comment: Re:Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Defence (Score 2) 365

by Xest (#47727975) Attached to: Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

I think Kirchner is too busy ruining her nation's economy to worry about that now. She seems to have dropped that topic now she's realised that it's no longer effective at distracting her populace from the fact that she's making them lose all their jobs and rapidly pushing them to a point where they wont even be able to afford things like bread.

Comment: Re:Farce (Score 1) 365

by Xest (#47727961) Attached to: Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

I used to think that, but then I saw the price tag of HS2. We could triple our nuclear deterrent for the price of that and what does it give us? 20 minutes faster journeys to new stations that are 20 minutes from the outskirts of the handful of cities you can visit giving no actual benefit in practice anyway and with no doubt much higher fares to use it on top?

Trident is an absolute bargain compared to some of the wastes of money our government has a love affair with.

Even the handful of trains themselves are going to cost 1.5x more than a 4 acre aircraft carrier. I used to think many military projects were a colossal waste of money until I saw the cost of HS2. Now I think they're a bargain.

Comment: Re:close to population (Score 0) 365

by Xest (#47727939) Attached to: Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

"Scotland has only been invaded by one country in the last 1000 years, it's a country to our south."

Why do you think that might be? Do you think, if say, Scotland was independent and the rest of the UK left it to fend for itself that you wouldn't have been attacked by the Nazis?

The whole reason Scotland hasn't been invaded by anyone other than the English in the last 1000 years is because the English have been running the single biggest empire in history for most of it and Scotland has thrived and been protected as a result of that.

"we just don't like the arseholes in Westminster telling us what to do (neither does large areas of England as it happens)"

Sure, and I'm in one of those parts of England where we have even less localism than you because we don't have a devolved parliament, but the idea of independence is far more retarded because we'd be even worse off again - sure we'd have more local politicians but you think someone in Glasgow is really going to be any more represented by a parliament in Edinburgh than they are London? All Salmond is selling you is that he'll get to fuck you over instead of the politicians in London, god only knows if Salmond's deal with Trump to overrule the rights of a Scotsman and his local council so that Trump could build a golf course isn't evidence of that I don't know what is - he doesn't give a shit about you any more than the politicians in Westminster and he's proven that enough times already.

Moving the place the people in control of you sit changes fuck all, increasing the accountability of whoever controls you and changing it to a relationship of serving you rather than controlling you is the only option to achieve what you're after, and you can do that far more prosperously in the union.

But perhaps instead of chasing independence you'd have worked with those of us in England to get that accountability and improved localism for the regions we might have got somewhere, but instead you're taking the worst possible option out of laziness.

Thankfully though, it seems that plenty enough Scots aren't quite retarded enough to take the stupid option that you're pushing so fingers crossed we can soon start focussing on a solution that makes sense, rather than one that's destructive fed by petty populist nationalist rhetoric.

Comment: Re:Estimates (Score 1) 507

by Xest (#47712227) Attached to: Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

Well that depends on the species doesn't it? Last I checked birds aren't a single generic type of creature that are entirely interchangeable in their roles in the environment.

Cats killing 200,000,000 common songbirds out of populations in the many billions is far less of a big deal than a solar plant killing 28,000 of a species which has less than 20,000 left in it's entire population.

You do realise there is more than one species of bird right? and that they have different levels of population and different levels of importance in terms of conservation?

Comment: Re:How many years could he be charged with? (Score 3, Interesting) 297

by Xest (#47702293) Attached to: WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

I know each time the Assange story comes up you like to jump on it because the whole thing is personal for you (I haven't forgotten the last time you lost the plot on the issue, don't worry), but you seem to be making things up that aren't even there, which is a new low even for you. The story states very clearly that he was convicted in absentia, not simply that he was simply awaiting an appeal when he died, using Swedish translations of common words like "prosecute" doesn't add weight to your case by the way, it just makes you look even more desperate in your argument.

"And the British court system has at every level ruled Assange to be in a state equivalent to charged under the British legal system."

What the British court has ruled is that he can be extradited under the extremely lax checks of the European Arrest Warrant, something which is a major bone of contention in the UK and has been the target of much political preference for removal by MPs and precisely because it's such an utterly stupid piece of law in the first place. Pretending stupid law somehow adds weight to your overriding bias that Assange is a rapist is another example of your further highlighting the stupidity of your argument.

"But do you somehow know more about Swedish and British law..."

What I know is that not all these things are in agreement, so to try and stack them together to add weight to your argument is again, a further example of the weakness of your argument. I know for example that the prosecutor your refer to when stating her case in British court actually admitted that Assange could indeed be interviewed and charged here under the MLA framework (exactly like they did for this guy in Serbia: http://www.expressen.se/nyhete...), but simply insisted that she be able to do so in person in Sweden regardless.

What I also know is that whilst I may not be a professor of Swedish law, that professors of Swedish law also completely disagree with you, so your appeal to authority fallacy fails miserably in the face of a similar but opposite appeal to authority:

http://sverigesradio.se/sida/a...

Another thing I know is that the British courts regularly get such human rights issues wrong, they spent 10 years restricting the liberties of Abu Qatada only for him to be found innocent when he finally got to Jordan, and there have been many other cases where British courts got such issues wrong. The idea you're pushing that they consistently get such issues right, and aren't ever swayed by politics is demonstrable false, again, as in the Abu Qatada case. The British justice system is imperfect and easily manipulated by politics, in fact, the whole reason we have a Supreme Court is because politicians wanted an overriding court with a politically appointed judge panel precisely so that politics could play a part in justice, which is yet one more thing that shows how utterly laughable your appeal to authority fallacy is in this respect.

So Rei, I think you should accept what you accepted last time this discussion came up, that this issue is one that is too personal for you, and that in Rei land a man accused is a man guilty is a man convicted is not how things should work in the real world. In the real world we like justice and due process, if that isn't being followed, which it isn't - because the Swedish prosecution are insisting on avoiding processes that could resolve this issue fairly and objectively, then there's a problem.

I really could not care if Assange is found guilty or not, I have no presumption of innocence unlike your presumption and insistence of guilt, I think there's a fair chance he may well be guilty all the same. I appreciate some of the things he has talked about and some of his goals, but that's by the by, I appreciated some of the things Rolf Harris did but it doesn't change the fact it's all overshadowed by him being a child molester - the same is true of Assange, if he is guilty regardless of what I think of his political views he needs to be dealt with over that. But none of that changes the fact that Sweden isn't interested in charging Assange, they're not interested in trying Assange - they've had options to do this over the last two years based on existing Swedish law and based on the MLA framework if they wish to investigate him or speak to him further, all they're interested in is getting him on Swedish soil, and this is where my problem lies, because they're not just wasting my money as a tax payer as a result, but they're implying that they don't want to solve an alleged sexual assault case due to the artificial barriers they've built.

You may think you can slip your dishonest arguments past people, you may think your obvious bias whilst proclaiming objectivity aren't noticeable, but I'm afraid neither is the case. On the bright side at least you can take solace in the fact that the likes of the British justice system is horribly broken, such that you'll probably get what you want. None of which will however get you the revenge you're seeking for what happened to you - you'll still have to get past that in another way regardless and it's a shame you've decided to let it twist you in this way such that you apparently think that arguing on the internet for subversion of the justice system (even if what you said was true, that procedure was being followed and had been exhausted, it's _still_ an affront to justice all the same) will somehow make it better. Your time would be better spent actually dealing with your problems, rather than wishing for poor implementations of justice to be cast upon people you politically disagree with.

Comment: Re:Soon? (Score 1) 297

by Xest (#47701721) Attached to: WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

Sure, and we took the same line with Abu Qatada - we watched his family 24/7, we held him in detention without trial, and we did this for 10 years whilst trying to send him to Jordan but requiring Jordan guarantee him a fair trial. We just had to spend millions trying to get him sent there and monitoring his family in the meantime, carrying out defacto punishments and restrictions on his freedom, because he "technically" skipped bail once or twice, we had to do this because he was accused by Jordan.

Luckily we finally were able to get Jordan to guarantee him a fair trial, we finally managed to ship him off after being good to our laws in restriction his freedoms for 10 years. This year Jordan was finally able to bring judgement on this man accused of terrorism and restricted in the UK for so long.

Oh, but turns out, in fair trial, he was found not guilty.

Seriously, UK law is completely broken on this sort of issue, the fact a person can be in and out of jail, can be constantly watched, can have his family tracked and pursued, all without charge because of accusations by a foreign nation only to be found to be not guilty all along is absolutely fucking ridiculous.

Though it's also been the case in the past that people who skipped bail but are found not guilty or have had charges dropped do in fact have punishments for skipping bail dropped because they should never have been held on bail in the first place because they were never guilty of the crime.

So if Sweden did drop the charges, how Assange would be treated for skipping bail would be quite telling - there's no reason a judge couldn't accept his argument that he believed the charges were politically motivated and that in the fact of them being dropped he could be let go without further punishment. If they decide to pursue punishment for skipping bail in light of there being no case to answer though, that'd actually be quite unusual.

Comment: Re:How many years could he be charged with? (Score 1) 297

by Xest (#47701677) Attached to: WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

Perhaps it wont die because it's not actually a myth? What you quote, and state, states that the prosecution would like to pursue 4 specific charges, but there's the problem, all they're doing is saying they'd like to, they're not actually doing it.

The point is, that if they want to actually press charges then they should just do it. Yes, yes, I know the argument is that they can't because of a magical clause that prevents Sweden charging and trying in absentia. Oh wait, they can do exactly fucking that when it suits:

http://www.thelocal.se/2010052...

All the lies about Sweden having a "different" legal system that prevents them doing things that every other country in the world manages to do are exactly that, lies. Sweden can and does do things exactly like everyone else, they're just making an exception in lying about it in Assange's case.

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