Posts by naturalman1975

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  • Anzac Cove memorial honouring Australians removed to make way for Islamist inscription

    06/20/2017 5:06:57 PM PDT · 11 of 15
    naturalman1975 to PAR35

    My degree is in Military History (mostly Australian but not solely). I know the numbers for Gallipoli.

    And you’re right. I should have said “Gallipoli campaign” not Gallipoli landings. I was in a hurry when posting but that was a slip.

    But also, as an ex-sailor, I definitely do include the Naval contribution in talking about the numbers.

    The reason for adding the addendum is I find that whenever I discuss this online, there’s a very good chance that if I don’t mention them explicitly, there’s a very good chance some Brit will pop up and complain about the all too common presentation of Gallipoli as only being the ANZACS. And I think they’ve every right to.

  • Anzac Cove memorial honouring Australians removed to make way for Islamist inscription

    06/20/2017 3:39:02 PM PDT · 1 of 15
    naturalman1975
    The land is in Turkey. It's their land and they really can do what they like with it. And to some extent, I've always been a bit surprised at how willing the Turks have been to allow Australians and New Zealanders* to make such a big deal of what was, after all, an attempted invasion of their country by us.

    But having said that, the removal of this particular memorial - unless it is restored with one bearing a similar inscription - will have a negative effect on Australian/Turkish relations because of the specific words carved on it. They are gracious and graceful and the fact that Kemal Ataturk expressed them has been a significant positive in terms of our historical relationship.

    Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives... You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours... You, the mothers who sent their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.

    Turkey moving back towards a more rigid interpretation of Islam is problematic for all sorts of reasons. And this may be symbolic of that.

    (*I am fully aware that in real terms, the Australian and New Zealand contribution to the Gallipoli landings was a minority one, compared to overall British forces. But it has special meaning for Australians and New Zealanders because it was the first time significant numbers of soldiers from both countries saw action under their own flags as independent nations - to the United Kingdom, it's a relatively minor campaign in its history. To Australia and New Zealand, it's defining).

  • U.S. Surveillance State Leads to Gun Arrests in Australia

    06/19/2017 4:14:25 PM PDT · 21 of 24
    naturalman1975 to marktwain
    This honestly doesn't have much to do with Australian gun laws from what I'm reading. It's a smuggling issue - the guns were illegally imported. Judging by the photo and the brief description of the weapons in the article, they could have been imported legally. So smuggling issue, not a gun law issue as such.

    The silencers, I'm not sure about - I've never wanted to own a silencer so I've never really paid much attention to the laws on those. I know they've been relaxed recently in at least parts of the country, but it's possible the ones seized in these raids may still be restricted under the gun laws.

  • U.S. Surveillance State Leads to Gun Arrests in Australia

    06/19/2017 4:08:59 PM PDT · 20 of 24
    naturalman1975 to samtheman
    Australia has no Second Amendment, no Fourth Amendment, no Fifth Amendment, no First Amendment.

    True on the first one - we have no real equivalent to your Second Amendment (there is a much more limited right to bear arms, but it really doesn't come close).

    But the rights guaranteed in the US by the Fourth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, and the First Amendment, are all guaranteed in Australia under various parts of Common and Statute law - although the right to freedom of speech is coming in for a hammering from people on the left trying to erode it.

  • Vehicle Hits Pedestrians In Finsbury Park

    06/18/2017 5:54:56 PM PDT · 28 of 96
    naturalman1975 to The people have spoken
    White van man at Wikipedia for an example of that type of useage.
  • Vehicle Hits Pedestrians In Finsbury Park

    06/18/2017 5:53:52 PM PDT · 24 of 96
    naturalman1975 to The people have spoken

    “White Van” is a term commonly used in Britain to describe the types of small commercial vans typically used for deliveries and by tradesmen - plumbers etc. They do tend to nearly always be white but it’s a term with a specifically understood meaning.

  • Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull Mocks Trump In Press Winter Ball Speech In Canberra

    06/16/2017 5:51:17 PM PDT · 5 of 19
    naturalman1975 to mbrfl

    Honestly, to me it seemed much more that Turnbull was mocking himself. His whole skit was about how badly he was doing in the polls.

    There is a tradition at this function of both self-deprecation and comments directed at other world leaders. It’s a roast. The difference is this year it was leaked against the normal conventions that what is said at this function is not publicised by the journalists in attendance. Yes, I think it was a dumb move on Turnbull’s part, especially the ‘Russian’ comment but the context does matter.

    And next years function is now likely to be incredibly boring if politicians can’t rely on the lobby following the conventions.

    I’m also not a fan of Turnbull in any sense - but Obama chose to conceal a deal made months earlier until after your elections. It wasn’t really that ‘eleventh hour’.

  • People are sharing lies about hero Grenfell Tower firefighters as they risk their lives

    06/14/2017 11:46:20 PM PDT · 1 of 21
    naturalman1975
  • Spitfire preparing to take off at French airshow nosedives into the ground and flips over

    06/12/2017 7:48:59 PM PDT · 31 of 32
    naturalman1975 to null and void

    Pilots injuries are relatively minor and he is expected to recover.

  • 'Dead woman walking': UK Prime Minister Theresa May clings to power

    06/11/2017 8:26:25 PM PDT · 13 of 14
    naturalman1975 to dp0622
    Parliament did decide it got a vote and the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom agreed with that (correctly in my view) and then Parliament voted in line with the will of the people and voted for Brexit (as the MPs should do when faced with a referendum result).

    Technically Parliament could vote again, and technically they could even order another referendum. There's nothing to stop either of those things happening.

    But it would accomplish nothing. Neither a 'No' vote by Parliament, or a 'No' vote in a second referendum would stop Brexit.

    The only thing that can stop it is a unanimous vote by the Council of the European Union - which is made up of the Head of Governments or Head of State (where the Head of State still has political power) of all 28 EU nations plus the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission.

    The following is the text of Article 50. Section 3 is the critical one in this case:

    1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.
    2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.
    3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.
    4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.
    A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. 5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

    The United Kingdom could apply to rejoin again under Article 49, once it has left, but only by starting from scratch.

    Technically Article 3 only allows exit to be delayed, but an indefinite delay would be the same as not leaving. But the key is it would have to be a unanimous vote - and there are a number of members that would not allow that to happen for various reasons (it was hard enough for Britain to get in in the first place - and there are more nations to deal with now).

  • 'Dead woman walking': UK Prime Minister Theresa May clings to power

    06/11/2017 6:23:36 PM PDT · 10 of 14
    naturalman1975 to dp0622
    It hasn't.

    This is driving me crazy.

    Article 50 has been triggered. The only way it can be cancelled or postponed is if every single European Union nation unanimously agrees to allow that. That's written into article 50.

    It cannot be stopped even if the British government decided it wanted to back away from it.

    The United Kingdom will leave the European Union automatically on March 29th 2019, unless an agreement to extend the negotiation period is unanimously agreed - which is possible but unlikely. There is no way unanimous agreement for it to back out entirely would be forthcoming.

    It could leave earlier if negotiations lead to an agreement before that.

  • Donald Trump's state visit to Britain put on hold

    06/11/2017 6:01:01 PM PDT · 29 of 29
    naturalman1975 to DoodleDawg

    From what I’ve heard from some people who I think should know, what’s actually happened is closer to President Trump, out of politeness and courtesy, offering the Prime Minister an easy way to postpone things in what is currently a complicated situation for her.

    The Prime Minister indicated that she appreciated that offer, but didn’t feel there was a problem.

  • Hero stopped London Bridge jihadis attacking women and children in restaurant, reveals injuries

    06/10/2017 8:37:16 PM PDT · 40 of 41
    naturalman1975 to Lorianne

    This man should get the George Cross.

    I’ll be speaking to some people who I know who in a position to make sure that the recommendation has been made and is being properly dealt with to make sure that is taking place. I’m virtually certain it is, but it would be a travesty if it isn’t.

  • 84% of voters backed parties committed to leaving EU

    06/10/2017 4:09:27 PM PDT · 9 of 9
    naturalman1975 to Gay State Conservative
    European courts trumping British ones

    Note - even a hard Brexit doesn't solve this problem completely. The European Court of Justice is an EU court, but the European Court of Human Rights isn't. It is under the control of the Council of Europe, and Britain will remain part of the Council of Europe and will be subject to ECHR rulings.

    I'd like to see the UK leave the Council of Europe as well, but that is far less urgent - the ECHR is far less interventionist that the ECJ, has far more limited jurisdiction, and in most cases, it's rulings are actually fairly reasonable. Also, critically, while British courts do generally take notice of ECHR rulings, final authority remains with the British Courts - the ECHR can ask a British Judge to take its rulings into consideration but the Judge can still ignore them - and is supposed to if they are inconsistent with British law.

  • 84% of voters backed parties committed to leaving EU

    06/10/2017 3:59:32 PM PDT · 8 of 9
    naturalman1975 to Gay State Conservative
    It's my understanding that the real battle...which seems to be happening largely behind the scenes...is “hard Brexit” or “soft Brexit”.I've come to believe (incorrectly,perhaps) that “soft Brexit” isn't really Brexit at all.

    Not quite. Even a soft Brexit could accomplish the goal of protecting and preserving British sovereignty which was beginning to be put at serious risk by continuing membership of the EU. The principle of Parliamentary Sovereignty - that the British Parliament (Parliament in this particular sense being comprised of the House of Commons, the House of Lords, and the Monarch - there's another more common casual useage of the term where the Monarch isn't included) - is the ultimate decision maker for the United Kingdom and cannot be overruled or bound by any other body is the cornerstone of the British constitution - but continuing EU membership could have changed that. Even a soft Brexit can stop that problem.

    That isn't to say soft Brexit is a good outcome - it would still leave a lot of problems in place like porous borders, and routine interference in British affairs unless Parliament specifically acts to block them. (Having the power to assert sovereignty has limited value if you don't actually do it, and even if you are willing to, there's a big difference between an 'opt out' system compared to an 'opt in' system), but it's not totally worthless.

  • Theresa May Promises 'Certainty' After Queen Approves Plan To Form Government

    06/09/2017 8:17:15 PM PDT · 64 of 75
    naturalman1975 to CriticalJ
    Queen approval huh?

    How’s that play into the figurehead narrative?

    The Queen is not, and never has been, just a figurehead. But she is expected to follow the constitution, including constitutional conventions at all times. The only time she would ever exercise any real power is if there was a constitutional crisis of some sort.

    This does not reach that stage, so it's a simple matter for the Queen to simply give approval.

    If May had been unable to negotiate a deal to get her to the magic 326 number, then the Queen would have had to intervene.

    At the time of the last hung Parliament in 2010, it's known that Gordon Brown held on as Prime Minister trying to negotiate a deal until the Palace made it clear he was out of time. At that point he did the right thing and resigned before the Queen actually had to step in. But he took it pretty much to the limit (and that's fine by the way - he was allowed to go to that limit, and even arguably had a duty to do so, but the Crown still has the power and duty to say "decision time.")

  • Glimmer of hope for Tories: First REAL results contradict stunning joint-TV exit poll

    06/09/2017 3:40:28 PM PDT · 47 of 48
    naturalman1975 to Sam Gamgee
    Fair enough ... although why didn’t Cameron do anything?

    Two reasons - one that is somewhat forgiveable in my opinion and one that isn't.

    The first one - the one that can be forgiven to some extent - is that for the first five years of his six years as Prime Minister, he was stuck in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. He had no real choice but to form that coalition because he didn't get an overall majority in 2010 - he wound up 20 seats short of an overall majority and only the LibDems with their 57 seats could get him over the line.

    Anyway, it meant for those five years, he needed the LibDems to agree to anything he wanted to do, and while the LibDems aren't as left as Labour, they are nothing close to conservative either - and they are very into their version of human rights for all (including criminals) and very soft on security issues.

    They blocked almost any measures David Cameron or Theresa May as Home Secretary wanted to put in place to improve British security.

    Cameron finally managed to secure a small majority at the 2015 election. At that point he could have - and should have - done more and he is totally responsible for the fact he didn't. Why didn't he? Because even though he was leader of the Conservative Party, he wasn't all that conservative. The CP is a broad church - the right wing of the party is genuinely conservative, but there is also a large moderate section and that's where Cameron came from.

    May is further to the right than Cameron and better on security than he is - but she's had to work under weak leadership and the only thing she had a mandate on was Brexit since she became Prime Minister. I was hoping she'd get her landslide and that would embolden her - that's not to be, unfortunately. Even if it had been, I don't know how far she'd have been willing to go - just that it would have been further in the right direction than up until now. Now... the best hope is that the DUP will influence her right as the LibDems influenced Cameron left, but while she needs the DUP their numbers aren't as great as the LibDems were and their influence may be harder to wield.

  • Theresa May Forms a Government with DUP Support

    06/09/2017 5:52:58 AM PDT · 20 of 51
    naturalman1975 to FenwickBabbitt

    I’m seeing posts here on FR from people who have managed to get the impression Jeremy Corbyn is now going to be Prime Minister. That’s how odd the effects this spin is having.

    Corbyn personally can regard this as a personal victory in a sense. I think he’s laid to rest the idea that Labour cannot possibly win with him as Leader and that makes his position more secure, and makes the next election a very scary prospect for conservatives in Britain. But a personal victory for Corbyn isn’t the same as a victory for Labour. They’ve lost this election, and in any normal election that would be obvious to all.

    May threw away a majority. That’s bad. Very bad. But again, if this was a normal election, Conservatives would probably be breathing a sigh of relief at this point as they did that with help they can still fall over the line.

  • Theresa May Forms a Government with DUP Support

    06/09/2017 5:47:55 AM PDT · 18 of 51
    naturalman1975 to FenwickBabbitt

    You’re right - Labour gains are not a good sign. But they shouldn’t just be allowed to spin a defeat by nearly 60 votes into a victory and that seems to be happening.

  • Theresa May Forms a Government with DUP Support

    06/09/2017 5:46:48 AM PDT · 17 of 51
    naturalman1975 to bert
    There are 650 members of the House of Commons. 326 (50%+1) is an outright majority.

    The Conservatives have 319 seats - not enough by themselves. DUP has 10. Add them together, and you get 329. And government.

    Labour has won 261 seats - 58 less than the Conservatives. If the result was closer, they might have been able to do something like a deal with the Scottish National Party and the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru (Welsh) and the Green but as it is, even if you added in all of those, you get a total of 51 more seats (35 for the SNP, 12 for the LibDems, 3 for PD, 1 Green). 313 - Labour cannot get to the 326 even with the support of parties that might support them.

    So - Conservative government.

    (Sinn Fein MPs - there are seven of them - never take their seats, so in a sense, 322 is the magic number not 326, but it's not close enough for that argument to have to be made).