50 thoughts on “Photos of readers

    1. Yes indeed matthew. Do give ‘em hell. Here in the u.s., both of our houses are elected by the people. Hopefully we will see the same energy here on election day 2020 that we see in your u.k. example and that of hong kong.

  1. I noticed something at the demonstrations in Hong Kong I had not seen before. Besides the teargas and other devices, the water cannons shoot blue dye in the water. I assume that is to recognize the demonstrators later on. Those Chinese are very nasty.

    1. Do the police aim laser lights at protesters’ eyes? (IICR and can believe everything I hear on NPR and read in the NY Times about what at least some protesters have been doing.)

      Protesters say they indulge in violence because the powers-that-be pay no attention to peaceful demonstrations. Henceforth, who is to be denied that as a reasonable rationalization for demonstration violence?)

      1. Filipo:

        “Protesters say they indulge in violence because the powers-that-be pay no attention to peaceful demonstrations. Henceforth, who is to be denied that as a reasonable rationalization for demonstration violence?”

        Henceforth? What are you going on about? The events in HK haven’t lowered the bar further on violence in “demos” – this is what happens in nearly all confrontations where the citizenry feel that the ‘powers’ are whittling away at their privacy & their freedoms.

        This time at least the international media are there in the open which should keep the army, tanks & bullets off the streets – unlike 1989 Tiananmen Square where thousands were injured & 100s [or thousands] protestors & non-protesters alike were murdered. However the blue dye will allow for some brutal behind-the-scenes retribution later on when the police informants do their work.

        1. That sounds about right to me. Of course they can expect no help from us over here since democracy is not something we care about anymore. Trump will work it all out with more tariffs and a few more love letters to his friend in North Korea.

          1. I assume with “we” you mean the USA, and with “anymore” you mean that the USA did care about that in the past. But then you’d be wrong. The USA has helped nasty tyrants, or military coups into power.

          2. “Of course they can expect no help from us over here since democracy is not something we care about anymore.”

            What specific, meaningful help do you have in mind?

      2. I don’t understand how you can lay the blame at the protesters. There are plenty of videos of crowds of Chinese goons thwacking female protesters with sticks while the police do nothing.

        I support peaceful protests in principle, and everyone would rather that’s how this kind of thing goes. But when Chinese operators and the bought-off Hong Kong police are brutalising HKers when they try and protest what exactly do you think is going to happen?

        1. “I don’t understand how you can lay the blame at the protesters.”

          Of course, no culpability can possibly attach to the protesters. Those petrol bombs materialize out of thin air and throw themselves. Protesters are obviously following the lead of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi.

          The protesters appeared to have successfully nipped in the bud (perhaps – likely? – only temporarily) the idea of extraditing Hong Kong criminal suspects to the mainland. IICR, the prospect of that was what started the 2019 protests. Having achieved that, why couldn’t they have let up for a bit and deliberated at length on the efficacy of further protesting, as opposed to immediately expanding the scope of their protests? Had the extradition thing never come up, would they nevertheless be out there violently protesting?

          On page A7 of the Saturday, August 31, 2019 print edition of the N. Y. Times is a full-page letter from a group calling itself “A Group of Hong Kong Citizens.” I speculate that these are the monied, propertied elite, exquisitely focused on Business. Or maybe it’s organized by Beijing. In the middle is a large cartoon of three figures, the middle one (the above “Citizens,” I take it) pushing apart a protester (with umbrella and sling-shot) and police officer (with shield and club).

          Excerpt: “Despite the news images you may have seen of the recent disturbances, for most of us living here it is business as usual. The rule of law continues to stand. Our bustling day-to-day life goes on. [There was recently an NYT article to this effect.] Our vibrant streets are still among the safest in the world. And while our economy may have suffered, our spirit remains strong.”

          My default position is to be skeptical (pending evidence to the contrary) of the rectitude of the good intentions uttered in any such full-page letter in the NY Times. I made a good-faith Google effort to learn more. At the bottom of the letter was “Harmonioushongkong@gmail.com,” from which I hope to soon hear a response to my email requesting a link showing their bona fides.

          Finally, to gripe about Nicholas Kristof: the Times flies him to Hong Kong so he can walk around and talk a bit and type his pearls of wisdom, dateline “Hong Kong,” in the 8/29/19 hard-copy Times. What the Times gets for its travel/per diem trouble is the likes of: “”The Hong Kong chief executive, Carrie Lam, who has all the charisma of a fish in a tank in a Cantonese Restaurant . . . .” As if her charisma possibly is relevant in this situation. (I reasonably speculate that Kristof received this epiphany while dining at a Hong Kong Cantonese restaurant with a fish tank.) I take it that such utterances are crucial to Kristof’s own charisma. Apparently Kristof requires her to act out and entertain him with unctuous gesticulations and ululations characteristic of certain current U.S. presidential aspirants. Were she otherwise totally supportive of the protesters, would her charisma somehow be not lacking and not worth the mention?

          FURTHER THE AFFIANT SAITH NOT. A thousand apologies for the length.

        1. Possibly a post-clash, not-blue change of clothes would be a visual giveaway.

          Perhaps the protesters should dye their clothing blue and have done with it.

          Though, of course, the security forces could periodically vary the dye they use.

  2. For the last 3+ years the people who support Leave have, with an increasingly belligerent and often intimidating tone, been screaming and shouting about ‘Remoaners’, accusing them of being undemocratic. Newspapers (a generous description) led by the Sun and Express, have used all sorts of shameful headlines, including attacking judges along the pay who have been required to deliver intermediate legal decisions, usually finding against the obsessive leave mentality, accusing them even of treason. The vote to leave was supposedly intended to restore sovereignty to Parliament, which allegedly had ceded it to Europe (absolute rubbish of course). I suspect that they refuse to see the extreme irony of their position in this attempt to completely undermine the sovereignty of Parliament in this cynical way.

    1. Parliament voted by a large majority to hold an in/out referendum on membership of the EU. It was made clear that the referendum verdict would be considered binding, and that Parliament would act upon it. The referendum delivered a clear majority for Leave. In the general election the following year, both Labour and Conservative parties stood on manifesto commitments to respect the result and deliver Brexit. Three years after the referendum, we are still part of the EU. The Remoaners’ claim to be defending democracy is a grotesque perversion of reality. I say three cheers for Boris and roll on October 31st, when we’ll finally be free of that wretched organisation.

      1. Three years ago, the age group 18-21 was underrepresented in the referendum. Now we have a new, about 3 million 18-21 size age group who has not voted, and who now sees the possibilities of studying abroad, Erasmus exchange, getting research jobs in Europe, etc. flying out of the window. But the Telegraph readers know this and have successfully prevented a new referendum.

        1. And you have the age group of 21-24 year olds who did not vote three years ago, and who would vote definitely this time. The young people would change the polarity of the 0.9 percent swing definitely (and add the people who voted “leave” out of ignorance, but now got wiser).

        2. What percentage of those 3 million have any such possibilities on their radar? What percentage of those young people are named Tristan and Arabella and are concerned about trips to Tuscany? No, I think most of them are more concerned with battling it out with the burgeoning unskilled populace for a zero hours contract.

          Anyway, I don’t think very much of the tactic of ignoring the wishes of the voters long enough for the electorate to change.

      2. Some corrections in from your post

        Parliament voted to hold an ADVISORY referendum via a bill that did not contain any requirement for the UK Government to implement the results of the referendum, nor set a time limit by which a vote to leave the EU should be implemented.

        Both parties stood on a manifesto of getting a deal. Not leaving without a deal

        Remainers are defending democracy. Every turn leavers have attempted to subvert democracy and now they’ve ramped it up again.

        Democracy is not a single vote and that’s then set in concrete and everyone else has to give up what they believe to be right and start supporting the opposite

        The referendum was stay or something else. A stupid question. But now the liars on the vote leave side have taken a 0.9% swing victory to mean they can inflict the hardest possible version of what leave means, even though they made opposite promises in the lead up to the referendum

        Would love to know why you consider it a wretched organisation. I can’t say I see that

        1. Whether the government and parliament of the time promised to abide by the result of the referendum, (the terms of which were horribly poorly thought out) the fact is that every close look at what leaving the EU would mean to the economic prospect of the UK shows enormous damage. The government’s own study, the famous Operation Yellowhammer, shows this, and yet it’s dismissed as ‘scaremongering’. That’s like dismissing a tobacco company’s report saying ‘smoking causes cancer’ as just scaremongering.
          If we had sensible, mature politicians, they would be brave enough to say ‘actually, we’ve looked into this, and it’s a total shit-storm. are you really sure sure you want to do this?’
          sadly, we’ve fallen under the spell of a group of religious fanatics, whose only answer is to plough on, and keep shouting that all will

        2. Whether the government and parliament of the time promised to abide by the result of the referendum, (the terms of which were horribly poorly thought out) the fact is that every close look at what leaving the EU would mean to the economic prospect of the UK shows enormous damage. The government’s own study, the famous Operation Yellowhammer, shows this, and yet it’s dismissed as ‘scaremongering’. That’s like dismissing a tobacco company’s report saying ‘smoking causes cancer’ as just scaremongering.
          If we had sensible, mature politicians, they would be brave enough to say ‘actually, we’ve looked into this, and it’s a total shit-storm. are you really sure sure you want to do this?’
          sadly, we’ve fallen under the spell of a group of religious fanatics, whose only answer is to plough on, and keep shouting that all will

          1. Whether the government and parliament of the time promised to abide by the result of the referendum, (the terms of which were horribly poorly thought out) the fact is that every close look at what leaving the EU would mean to the economic prospect of the UK shows enormous damage. The government’s own study, the famous Operation Yellowhammer, shows this, and yet it’s dismissed as ‘scaremongering’. That’s like dismissing a tobacco company’s report saying ‘smoking causes cancer’ as just scaremongering.
            If we had sensible, mature politicians, they would be brave enough to say ‘actually, we’ve looked into this, and it’s a total shit-storm. are you really sure sure you want to do this?’
            sadly, we’ve fallen under the spell of a group of religious fanatics, whose only answer is to plough on, and keep shouting that all will be well. no evidence will stop them.
            ‘the volcano keeps erupting despite us sacrificing all these virgins!’
            ‘sacrifice more virgins!’

            we’ll not go into the lies and hypocrisy of the leave group; but it’s telling that they all have ties to shady finance. as Nigel Farage would say, not one of them has ever done a proper day’s work.

            it’s too late for the UK. Scotland will leave the union and after bloodshed, Ireland will reunite and stay in the EU (there will be some who kick and scream, but the vast majority in Northern Ireland will simply look at the facts of where they’re better off, and vote for security and the roads mended efficiently,and the bins emptied on a regular basis…)
            England is now a Comedy Nation, and whatever happens, even if by some miracle Article 50 is withdrawn, no sensible investor would want to touch us with a bargepole. we’re unstable idiots, and quite capable of kicking the table over again and again.

            Harsh as it is, i think we’re going to have to leave and suffer the consequences. England needs to take a long hard look at our true status in the world. i’m going to keep voting and protesting, and trying in my own small way to put things right, but it’s going to be a rough, ugly process.

              1. Don’t worry about it – the national fuck up brought about by liars & spinners needs repetitive emphasis.

      3. Democracy is a process, not taking a vote.

        The referendum was not binding even if the prime minister of the time said he would be bound by it.

        In the three years since the vote it has become clear that the only way to leave the EU involves ripping up the Good Friday Agreement, ripping up the UK and ripping up many people’s livelihoods.

        If you voted for Brexit and you haven’t changed your mind, the chaos of the last three and a bit years and the chaos to come are on you.

      4. Plus in the EU MEP elections in 2019 29 out of 73 MEPs belonged to the Brexit Party. And the total number of MEPs from parties with a formal Leave the EU policy was 44 out of 73. Wikipedia has the details, see “2019 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom”.

        It would appear that claims of ‘Remain’ gaining support are overblown.

        And as far as a ‘coup’ is concerned, no, none happened. Before the coup Boris Johnson was Prime Minister, the Conservative Party were in power, there were no tanks on the streets, and the default arrangement is to leave the EU on 31 October. But after the coup Boris Johnson was Prime Minister, the Conservative Party were in power, there were no tanks on the streets, and the default arrangement is to leave the EU on 31 October.

        All the fuss about the constitution or democracy is a smokescreen for the real argument about political advantage for people who want to stop Brexit. And that is anti-democratic – we’ve had a Referendum, a General Election, and voted for MEPs all with a Brexit result.

        1. “Plus in the EU MEP elections in 2019 29 out of 73 MEPs belonged to the Brexit Party. And the total number of MEPs from parties with a formal Leave the EU policy was 44 out of 73. Wikipedia has the details, see “2019 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom”.

          It would appear that claims of ‘Remain’ gaining support are overblown.”

          Not really. It simply exemplifies how well-organised and in lockstep the leave vote was, and how it was almost entirely focused around a minority of parties with clear messages: the Conservatives and the Brexit party.

          OTOH, the remain vote is arrayed across a variety of different parties, many of whom loathe each other and have leaders who refuse to work together.

          You also, notably, refused to count the actual percentage of votes for each remain- or leave-leaning party(rather than the number of MEPS they gained, which is effectively meaningless) in the European elections.

          If you had done so you’d have had to acknowledge that, even with far less organisation and far less overall unity, remain parties gained more votes than leave parties.

          Your focusing on the word ‘coup’ – as though only violent overthrow of the government could possibly warrant such a characterisation – is particularly irritating given the hysterical, borderline fascistic language the leave side have used over the last three years, talking about ‘enemies of the people’, crushing ‘saboteurs’, ‘traitors’, ‘treason’, etc.

          Finally, please stop spinning this bullshit that ‘remain voters’ have been stymieing Brexit. It’s Brexiteers who have been stymieing it, refusing to accept anything but the most pathologically stupid and extreme version of Brexit, the version we were all _explicitly promised_ wouldn’t happen by Brexiteers. They have had many, many chances to leave the EU, and remainers like myself have been waiting and waiting for them to do so, frustrated and angry but accepting the decision in 2016.
          But the Brexiteers have refused to leave unless they get the suicidal version of Brexit – a version that no-one in Britain voted for because it wasn’t on the ballot; a version that we we were _promised_ wouldn’t happen.

          And we both know how leave voters would have reacted if the vote had been 48% leave and 52% remain: they’d have been calling for a do-over before the results had even come in.

          Why am I confident about this? Because that’s exactly what happened, with Farage demanding a do-over on referendum night, when the exit polls looked dodgy*, when he thought his side was going to lose.
          Remainers have behaved far more rationally, patiently and reasonably than leavers would have behaved in the same situation.

          *Although who knows whether that was even genuine: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-nigel-farage-eu-referendum-leave-vote-made-a-lot-of-money-astronomical-sums-quote-comment-a7376401.html

          1. You obviously interpret what you see in a different way than I do. Opinions about Brexit are polarised.

            I would remind you that the court case raised by Gina Millar requiring that Parliament vote in support of signing Article 50 has delayed matters – and that she has more recently confirmed she supports Remain. This act prevented the Government proceeding with Brexit as an Executive Treaty responsibility – and from my viewpoint this meant that Gina Miller’s remainer interference has had the unintended consequence of preventing Theresa May accepting an atrocious Withdrawal Treaty by fiat.

            And we both know how remain supporters would respond to a ‘Peoples’ Vote’ (a second referendum) because the new Lib Dem leader has said her party would ignore an adverse second leave vote.

      5. “Three years after the referendum, we are still part of the EU”

        That is entirely down to Brexiteers. There has been chance after chance for us to leave and they have waved them away as unacceptable. Remember, there was never any kind of explanation of what kind of Brexit we would be getting, nothing on the ballot at all except ‘leave the EU’, and on those occasions when Brexit was outlined by Brexiteers we ONLY EVER heard the mildest, softest form of Brexit. No one ever suggested that ‘no deal’ would be part of Brexit; in fact they are on record promising no such eventuality would ever arise.

        Remainers have been waiting three years for you Brexiteers to _do your job._ You haven’t, and that is on you and no-one else.

  3. Unfortunately, Boris the Terrible remains at #10 Downing, probably laughing. Hopefully, before he shuts down the Parliament, the fragmented opposition to this clown will unite and bring him down.

  4. Are you yourself, Dr Cobb, come November
    this year and beyond, you and Your People
    going to be okay ? Or ?

    Blue

    1. Most of us will be OK but poorer. Some of us will lose our jobs. Some of us may die if they don’t sort out the import of vital medications. None of us will have the easy access to Europe we had on Oct 31.

      Don’t worry though, according to Michael Gove these are just bumps in the road.

      (the last sentence is sarcasm, btw).

    1. I still stand by my opinion that we won’t leave

      It was always a stupid idea and Johnson (his real name isn’t Boris, it’s his stage name) telling everyone to just believe isn’t going to change that

      The people who pushed leave and a lot of who voted leave are perpetual losers and moaners. They moan about immigrants taking their jobs whilst also taking their benefits even though it’s bull. They moan that the EU makes our laws even though it’s also bull. They don’t really want to go through with it because then their lies will be revealed and they’ll have to live with it.

      But if it doesn’t happen now. If there’s a new referendum on the actual deal and they lose or article 50 is revoked then they can go back to moaning about how they were betrayed and how if their Brexit had been carried out their way then we’d all be millionaires

  5. I suspect, Sir, that you have been misled by a number of people with a political agenda.

    First of all, let us look at the dictionary definition of the word “coup ”

    “a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government.”

    So – what has been violent about this? What has been illegal? What power has been seized from this government?
    The answer to all those is – none. So let’s ignore the misuse of this word.

    Now, a lot of people will be piling in to tell you Parliament is sovereign. This is true. Okay. Let’s look at the issues presented to Parliament.

    Did Parliament vote to leave the EU? Yes, it voted overwhelmingly to invoke article 50. So, on the basis of the referendum and vote in Parliament, article 50 was invoked. The government negotiated for at least two years for a deal. The EU said that: it’s all you’re going to get. The vote was put to Parliament. Parliament rejected the deal. There is no other deal on the table. So, – it’s the deal that was negotiated with the EU or it’s no deal. So – Parliament rejects the deal and Parliament rejects the no deal. So tell me, what exactly does Parliament want?

    And if Parliament was to go back to re-negotiate the deal, there are two snags. First of all, we are committed to leave at the end of October whatever. There is not time to re-negotiate anything. And secondly, why would the EU want to renegotiate the deal? We’ve been at this for years. As far as they are concerned they want to move on and get on with life.

    I’m sorry, but this is complete and utter nonsense.

    1. I’m not sure whether you mean “complete and utter nonsense” as referring to Matthew’s post (the word “coup” is just Pecksniffery on your part about words, as the OED also gives a definition as “A blow, stroke; the shock of a blow, engagement, or combat”.)

      I suspect you meant that the post itself was “complete and utter nonsense, in which case if you ever want to post here again you should apologize. Did you ever read the posting rules?

      1. With respect, I think you’ve been too hard here!

        Those talking about a coup over here *are* referring to what they see as illegal seizure of government. Hence the marches and protests.

        I think the poster was simply disagreeing with this viewpoint and provided an argument supporting it.

  6. What a mess.

    Us Canadians too have experience with undemocratic uses of prorogation, but unfortunately I cannot offer any advice on how to overcome it, and this situation is far worse.

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