Monthly Archives: June 2012

David Cameron – in his own ‘weasel’ words

David Cameron has a ‘guest article  in tomorrow’s Sunday Telegraph, not that I believe in the slightest he was invited to write it – more likely he pleaded to be allowed to have it published in view of the fact ‘matters Europe’ have risen to the top of the real political agenda as he felt it essential he tried to ‘put a lid’ on the subject.

When he writes that it is vital for our country — for the strength of our economy, for the health of our democracy and for the influence of our nation — that we get our relationship with Europe right; I could not agree more. However, is it not for the reasons he states that this country, especially for the health of its democracy, needs first and foremost to be a self-governing country? How can our economy have any strength when it is subjected to the petty rules and regulations that emanate from Brussels and to which we are tied? How can we have influence in the world when our voice is subservient to that of Brussels?

The fact that Cameron can then continue, stating that we need to be absolutely clear about what we really want, what we now have and the best way of getting what is best for Britain only shows that he forgot that which he had written but seconds before. Whether he, personally, is for or against referendums is neither here not there – the man forgets that if we have a democracy, the ability to have a referendum is not for him to decide – it is for the people to decide. He compounds the errors committed so far (and we are only into the third paragraph!) when he believes that Parliament is elected to make decisions and be accountable. Has Parliament ever asked us if we are happy and agree for them to make decisions on our behalf? Cameron writes that if powers are ‘transferred’ then it is right that the people should be consulted – but when Parliament ‘transferred’ so much power to themselves, by usurping power, when were the people consulted? That Cameron obviously did not read what he had previously written is illustrated by the fact that he firstly admits that he is not against referendums, but then continues he is also not against referendums on Europe. FHS, if the man is not against referendums per se, then why the use of the word ‘also’ in relation to Europe?

Returning to the question of what do we want and how do we get it, Cameron then falls back on the argument of Europhiles by raising the question of trade and the single market, linking that with the need to maximising our influence in the world and project our values of freedom and democracy. Values of freedom and democracy? How on earth do we maintain our values (values is a word the politicians love to use) of freedom and democracy when membership of the EU, which does not begin to understand the meaning of democracy, curtails our freedoms to decide matters for ourselves?

Cameron continues to repeat what he wants and what he believes the people want – to which he has to be reminded that it is not a matter of what he wants, it is a matter of what the people want. How on earth he can believe that his view coincides with what the people want when opinion poll after opinion poll is telling him what the people want is totally different to his, beggars belief. Or is Cameron, like all politicians, selective in the opinion polls he reads?

Asking the question: so what have we got he then opines that the problem is not too little Europe but too much Europe, citing too much cost; too much bureaucracy; too much meddling in issues that belong to nation states or civic society or individuals, and maintaining that whole swathes of legislation covering social issues, working time and home affairs should, in his view, be scrapped. If that is the case the obvious question he has to answer is why the hell is he so intent on keeping us shackled to the EU? He must know, as do I and many others, he has no chance of altering EU policy as the power to set that rests with the Commission; there is also no mechanism in the TEU or the TFEU to repatriate powers (something I am sick and tired of having to remind him); consequently the question of why is he so intent on maintaining the relationship has to be repeated (and I am sick and tired of having to ask that, too!).

Cameron mentions that it is the intention of the government to review the balance of the EU’s competences, to provide a national audit of what the EU currently does and its implications for our country; and in this respect it is assumed he is referring to the proposed review which we have been informed William Hague is to conduct. Well, Hague had better get it right otherwise he will be torn to shreds by those of us who have been shown to know far more than Hague does about the matter. For many years there has been a cry for a cost/benefit analysis of this country’s membership of the EU; now we are informed a national audit is to be conducted. Is not a national audit a cost/benefit analysis and why, having denied the need for such an exercise on the argument that the reasons are obvious regarding our membership of the EU, does Cameron now believe it necessary? In any event, I view this exercise no more than smokescreen as such an exercise will take time to conduct and Cameron is obviously hoping that come the ‘findings’ (which will no doubt be rigged in his favour) the political climate will have changed to the extent that by then we will all be clamouring for ‘more Europe’.

Arguing that the eurozone need to move further towards fuller integration means that a two-tier EU will be born – one in which the UK will be in the outer-fringe and thus not able to influence squat-diddley – in which case why stay? Never will the phrase ‘In Europe but still run by Europe’ be more true. Cameron boasts that following  Friday’s summit he ensured that the key parts of banking union would be done by the European Central Bank for eurozone members and not for us. We, as a country, won’t stand behind Greek or Portuguese banks but then announces a further loan to the IMF – which means that, in a roundabout way, that is exactly what we will be doing. In his efforts to defend his faux-eurosceptic stance he reminds us of his non-existent veto in December, last year – Sheesh!

More smokescreen comes from Cameron when he again boasts that the UK has a British head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and a home in London for important parts of the new EU patent court. Cameron honestly believes that it is not known that any employee of any EU institution has to set aside national considerations and work solely for the good of the EU? So London is the home of the new EU patent court – FHS it is an EU institution and may as well be on Mars for all the difference its siting has,

Stating that there is a need for patience is but stating another way that he is hoping that a change in the political climate will allow him to achieve his dictatorial dream where membership of the EU is concerned – and it is no good his raising what is now an old chestnut by reminding us that we have a Coalition government making life difficult for him. Who created that Coalition government; who obviously did not consider the ramifications of such an agreement in his headlong rush to seize power? It is yet a further illustration that idiots are always answerable for their idiotic decisions. Cameron then poses the question how the political class can take the public with them. Well, we all know the answer to that question: by repeating the lessons of 1972 and 1975, repeating a not so subtle public campaign of misrepresentation of the facts, of brainwashing.

That this article by Cameron, which shows it has been written in haste as he has not ‘content-checked’ that which he has written, is but another opportunistic move on his part in an attempt to deflect opposition to him from within his own party and from the public. As an  example of journalism perhaps Cameron, when he is kicked out of office, should consider such a career move as his effort is on a par with the inferior examples of that trade which we are forced to read each and every day.

Readers outside the constituency of Witney may justifiably feel aggrieved that he is our Prime Minister – in which case spare a thought  for those of us resident in that constituency – we have to suffer him as our Member of Parliament!

 

Afterthought: Meant to say that after Cameron’s statement at the recent European Council meeting last Thursday/Friday, this is one of his quicker ‘U’ turns…….

 


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Another ‘Mash-up’

As a change from politics let’s revisit the subject of what is known in the music trade as a “mash-up”, wherein two songs are used to create a third by overlaying the vocal track of one song seamlessly over the instrumental track of another. I last touched on this subject way back in March last year, featuring Bruce Springstein, Pat Boone and Big Daddy. Time for another example, also featuring Big Daddy who tended to specialize in this genre.

Way, way back in the early days of rocknroll there featured a group called Danny and the Juniors whose most famous record was undoubtedly “At the Hop”, recorded in 1957:

Forward to 1975 and Bruce Johnston (he of Beach Boys fame) wrote a song called: “I write the songs”. This was originally recorded by a duo called The Captain and Tennille, quickly followed by Barry Manilow in 1976, for whom it became almost a signature tune:

In 1985 Big Daddy included this on an EP which also featured Dancing in the Dark (see linked post):

 


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On the ‘Home Front’

Richard North, EUReferendum, continues his highly readable and highly knowledgeable series on matters EU and in passing it is noticeable that David Cameron not only looks ‘shattered’ but also, I would suggest, ‘bemused’ with his mouth agape like a stranded fish (which is what he probably will become, once the ‘colleagues’ have finished with him – at which point the electorate will perform the British electorate will provide the required gutting and filleting).

Meanwhile, at home:

Christopher Hope, Senior Political Correspondent of the Daily Telegraph, reports that John Prescott has used a Whitehall credit card to fund lavish visits to some of the best hotels and resstaurants in the world, in the months after he was stripped of most of his powers as Labours deputy Prime Minister. In a separate article (not it appears on-line) Hope writes that scores of peers have claimed tens of thousand of pounds in expenses last year despite not even voting in the House of Lords. Apparently the figures were compiled by Unlock Democracy, which cross-referenced the Lords’ register of allowances and expense claims with voting records. Lord Laird is quoted as saying that he did not vote frequently because his poor health meant that he could not get to the voting lobby (but no doubt does not prevent him reaching the expenses office to submit them); Lord Paul said a back problem prevented him from standing in line for voting (wheelchair?); and the Earl of Rosslyn did not bother replying to requests for a comment (early postal lockdown?). And there was I thinking that politics had been ‘cleansed’…..

According to John Bingham, Social Affairs Editor of the Daily Telegraph, reports that Councils will no longer be able to pay for any libraries, parks, leisure centres or fixing potholes in roads by the end of this decade because of a funding crisis; citing the fact that people will have to be given the choice between soaring council taxes or “drastic” cuts in local amenities unless there is a radical overhaul in how local government is organised – to which I would add ‘thinking’ and ‘funded’. If, for example, they believe waste to be a drain on their resources then how about they begin lobbying the government to do something about it and if that meant leaving the EU, then beginning to campaign for it. Oh and haven’t councils got millions stashed away in their ‘reserves’ – presumably they aren’t aware that ‘reserves’ are created for instances where a shortfall in income occurs?

Tom Kelly, writing in the Daily Mail, reports that Britain granted asylum to more people than any other European Union country last year, according to official figures revealed yesterday; noting that approximately 3,000 of those granted asylum came from Islamic countries. When it appears this country has a problem with those of that religion it makes sense not to add to it, one would have thought.

James Kirkup, writing in the Daily Telegraph, poses the question whether after another U-turn, has backbench discontent forced the PM to awaken his inner Tory. That it is highly debatable whether David Cameron ever had an inner Tory means that this is another of those idiotic pieces for which Kirkup is becoming infamous. As with most of our political elite, David Cameron was and still is interested in only one thing: power. How he achieves that matters not; consequently any sense of principle, belief or honour he has will be changed to achieve that one objective: retention of power.

Autonomous Mind posts that the rules of the game no longer apply in our fight to rid ourselves of what even Helen, Your Freedom and Ours, is now calling our elective dictatorship. Some talk of revolution by which it is assumed they mean an armed uprising, or a mass-demonstration, either of which would be doomed to failure unless by mass-demonstration it would be possible to guarantee at least one million, if not more, ‘on the streets’. Were such a gathering possible, it would need to be ‘organised’ with a central ‘controller’. Digressing slightly, some time ago I read a book, part of a trilogy, by Thomas Gibbon: “The Correction”, in which the overthrow of our political elite and the EU was envisaged (memo to self: I promised a review on these books) and in which a successor to Twitter had been built in which were contained ‘firewalls’ meaning it could not be shut down by forces of the state and which was the means whereby the mass demonstration could be ‘organised’ and ‘controlled’.

In relation to the foregoing, Ana the Imp has a post in which she refers to something G.K. Chesterton wrote and which she writes goes like this:

You can never have a revolution in order to establish a democracy. You must have a democracy in order to have a revolution.”

a statement she holds to be “wonderfully ambiguous”; and in her post she also writes that the real revolution has to be in attitudes – and whether one wishes for mass-demonstrations, armed revolution, or change through more peaceful means, then that change in public  attitude whereby they begin to realize what is happening to them and their country has first to be achieved.

It is for this reason that the soon-to-be-held meeting in Harrogate is of vital importance because the demands that are produced must be phrased in such a manner that it prompts that necessary change in public attitude, one from the present quiet acquiescence to the political and bureaucratic elite. It is once we have a democracy that the real revolution can be put in place.

 


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Definition of ‘represent’

From the Concise Oxford Dictionary:

represent: stand for, or correspond to; be a specimen of example; act as an embodiment of, symbolize; serve, or be meant as a likeness of; fill the place of, or be a substitute or deputy for.

representative: consisting of elected deputies; based on the representation of a nation by such deputies; a delegate or substitute.

Currently in this nation we live under a system of democracy that is termed “representative democracy” and that phrase hinges on the definition of the word “representative”, especially when contrasted with the word “delegate”.

So let us consider the word “delegate” – once again referring to the Concise Oxford Dictionary:

delegate: an elected representative sent to a conference (is not Parliament a conference or should it not be?); send or authorize a person (as a delegate).

It is possible to spend hours, if not days, debating the difference twixt the word “representative” and the word “delegate”; however if one accepts the definitions provided by the Concise Oxford Dictionary then said debate is but about semantics. Elected politicians are both representatives and delegates and are supposed to represent and speak for those that have elected them – that they do not is only too obvious when one considers all they appear interested in is climbing the greasy pole of “power” (why else would Louise Mensch complain as she has? Is not her first duty, being elected to speak for her constituents, one before that of her personal advancement?).

Too often we witness our “elected representatives”, especially those who find themselves in ministerial positions, acting as “elected dictators” and driven by political ideology. If it is accepted that there is no difference twixt “representative” and “delegate” – and there is no difference – then should not those we elect ‘mirror’ the views of  those they are supposed to “represent”?

Politics Home reports that David Cameron has explicitly ruled out an in/out referendum on British membership of the EU, saying it is not “the right thing to do”, adding that while he believes people just want to get out, he completely understand that but he doesn’t share that view, adding that he doesn’t think that’s the right thing to do. By imposing his will, he is committing the people of this nation to a course of action in which they are not in agreement – that is “democracy”? No, that is “dictatorship”!

James Kirkup, writing (if that is the right word) in Daily Telegraph, reports that David Cameron describes himself as a “practical eurosceptic”; so let us consider the Concise Oxford Dictionary term of “practical”:

practical: of, or concerned with, practice or use rather than theory; suited to use of action, designed mainly to fulfill a use or function; (of a person) inclined to action rather than speculation.

That David Cameron does not believe in action, but relies on speculation; that he believes in theory, rather than action is all too apparent. Who else would attend, at EU level, meeting after meeting where the only decision made, in effect, is to have another meeting? That David Cameron can only believe in theory is, again, apparent because one has to ask: where  is his work experience in the world of finance? We can but thank God that he has never been a banker, otherwise our nation and the eurozone would be in a worse state than it is – but I digress.

Very, very few of the 650 act as representatives/delegates – and while the political system of party “largesse” where candidate nomination is concerned, coupled with party leader “annointment” of the chosen is maintained, the system of representative democracy – aka elective dictatorship – will remain and while it does the people will remain the slaves they have, inadvertently and willingly, become.

 

 

 


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A repost from a fellow blogger

‘Nicked from A K Haart, comes the following:

“Older people live in the past in that we have long memories and in many cases our best years are behind us.Yet we have one important social advantage – we know where the bodies are buried.

I mean in a social and political sense of course.We remember the political blunders of the past, the silly government promises which failed to deliver. The mistakes we are doomed to repeat because those in charge weren’t around to see why their brilliant new wheeze isn’t brilliant or new, is wheezing from the off and didn’t work the last time it was tried.We know why we are where we are.

I think that’s why many of us look on with contempt at senior politicians in their early forties or younger (Chloe Smith? – Ed.) who haven’t seen enough of life to be moulded by it. So often they haven’t troubled themselves about experience, but took hold of the greasy pole as callow youths and never let go.
Now they have squirmed their way to the top and life is a breeze as long as they don’t look down and always have an answer drawn from the spin-doctor’s doctrines rather than something more durable. Such as personal experience. There isn’t much of that to be had on the pole.
Yet as older people see the cycles and realise that these things must wend their weary way through their inevitable phases, I think we also grow less concerned about the chimera of collective self-determination.
Because in the long run there is no collective self-determination, only self-determination which has to pick up the pieces each time the collective illusions fall apart as we slide down to the inevitable trough, wondering how bad it will be this time around.”
It is of interest that opinion poll after opinion poll shows that the greater support for Ukip lies in the 60+ group and the lowest level of support lies with the 18-24 group (per Mike Smithson, anyway). To quote AKH: “…we know where the bodies are buried. I mean in a social and political sense of course. We remember the political blunders of the past, the silly government promises which failed to deliver. The mistakes we are doomed to repeat because those in charge weren’t around to see why their brilliant new wheeze isn’t brilliant or new, is wheezing from the off and didn’t work the last time it was tried.” If those of us 60+ plus know this – and it is a ‘given’ – then why have not Ukip attempted to educate those in the younger voting groups of such knowledge? Ukip have without doubt tried – some would say; and some would say not – but I would suggest their ‘message’ is unheard because they have not found the right combination of words.

With ‘matters EU’ becoming even more ‘mainstream’ by the day, should not Ukip be polling in the 20s/30s – rather than struggling to reach double figures? Why is Ukip not turning Cameron’s “Big Society” argument back on him? All things considered, with the public becoming more and more aware of the defects of EU membership, are not those agin said membership a “Big Society”? There is another aspect to the question of Ukip’s lack of ‘general support’ and it relates to the younger generation. Those that follow Ukip – read the website, the tweets, the announcements by ‘Young Independence’ (the under 35 section of Ukip) – they are informed that the ‘younger generation’ is a vibrant and growing division – so why is this not reflected in the opinion polls?

A final thought: with the Lib/Lab/Con consensus for maintaining EU membership incorporating the continuation of subservience of our country, the continuation of loss of sovereignty; and the only party that is offering an alternative cannot get it’s strategy or message ‘right’, then UK plc is doomed. Having said that, if ‘Harrogate’ can agree a strategy for the future then Ukip may well find itself relegated to fourth or fifth in the rankings, instead of the ‘faux’ third place they claim…….

Just a thought………. (again)

 


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War memorials

Richard North, EUReferendum, has a thought provoking post about war memorials and in particular that marking the Battle of Britain and Bomber Command, posing the question that if we are to have war memorials how about one for Coastal Command. In his post Richard North suggests that there are those who have ‘distinct reservations’ about the proliferation of World War II war memorials.

If we are to have World War II war memorials then how about one dedicated to the civilian casualties who lost their lives during the Blitz; how about one for Air Raid Wardens, the police, ambulance and fire crews who lost their lives – in fact, the more the merrier, I suggest.

If anything might re-awaken a sense of national identity, a sense of national pride, then it would probably be war memorials as they would, it is suggested, just remind the people of how once we were a great nation, how once more we fought for the greatest of all gifts: freedom. The question about the erection of war memorials throws another, what may be termed ‘ironic’ element, into the discussion.

When we have finally succumbed to the ‘Brussels Invasion’ our new Lords and Masters would have, to their eyes, an ‘eyesore – and would then be faced with two options: either they suffered the indignity of gazing at them every day – and bear in mind that they could well serve as ‘rallying points’ – or knocking them down. It is suggested that nothing would rile the people and bring them out on the streets than a group of ‘foreigners’ dismantling memorials to our dead.

In fact, instead of a plethora of ‘Whirly-Gigs’, lets have a plethora of war memorials – let every village, every town, every city, have one for each ‘fallen group’ and let them be adorned with fresh flowers each and every day until the end of time.

 


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2012
06/29

Category:
David's Musings

TAG:





COMMENTS:
Comments Closed

Long live sport

Italy and Spain are preparing to battle it out in the Euro 2012 final in Kiev on July 1, while the euro is navigating a deep crisis.

Born in 1945, Arend van Dam is a well known Dutch cartoonist. Having studied psychology at the University of Amsterdam, he took up a post as a teacher of industrial psychology, before becoming a professional illustrator and cartoonist for newspapers and trade publications. His work, which has been rewarded with several international prizes, can also be seen in a number of children’s books written by his remote cousin, Arend van Dam. On a number of occasions, he has published under the pseudonym Zetbé.

Ac: Presseurop.


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The man from Number 10, he say ‘No’

Earlier today Conservative Home proudly trumpeted that nearly 100 Conservative MPs had signed a letter to David Cameron  urging him “to place on the Statute Book before the next General Election a commitment to hold a referendum during the next Parliament on the nature of our relationship with the European Union”. 

I have refrained from posting on ‘matters Europe’, even superficially, as Richard North has been doing such an excellent job over at EUReferendum in a ‘string of posts’ (on top of which he knows a damn sight more about it than I do), however I cannot allow this domestic event on ’matters Europe’ to pass uncommented.

From Politics Home we learn that 100 Conservative MPs have now signed this letter – not only that but Cameron, attending what we are informed is an EU Summit (it isn’t; it is a meeting of the European Council – but hey, why let a matter of detail interfere with such an inferior example of journalistic expertise) dismisses calls for a referendum on our country’s membership of the EU (and, figuratively speaking, the ink on the letter is not even dry yet). This series of events demonstrates the benefits we have of living under an elected dictatorship – but I digress.

Just what is it that Cameron does not understand about this statement from José Manuel Barroso:

“ ………..I do not want to talk about a specific country, but it’s like a club, if a member fails to comply with the rules it is better for him to leave the club and this applies to any organization, any institution, for any project. ” 

Just what is it that Cameron does not understand about the fact that there is not one article in the Treaty on European Union (TEU) or the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) that covers the repatriation of powers? If Cameron only wanted one power returned his only option is to invoke Article 50 of the TEU – leave the EU and negotiate a new ‘arrangement’.

If Cameron really does completely understand and in many ways share people’s concerns about Brussels getting too much power, then he has a damn odd way of showing it – and as for his ‘Lock’, it would appear Brussels has managed to ‘pick it’ on………. – how many directives have we had nodded through Parliament now since the locksmith installed said lock……?

Having told us that no way were we going to lend to the eurozone, lo and behold we are now informed Cameron has agreed to inject £1.3 billion from Britain into an EU-wide growth plan and the Prime Minister will give the go-ahead to the additional contribution to the European Investment Bank (EIB). In defense of this decision, no doubt we will be told that 3 million jobs depend on our membership of the EU and to safeguard those jobs, etc etc. And there was I thinking our country is ‘broke’ – in fact according to Eamonn Butler of the Adam Smith Institute, the UK’s national debt now stands at £1,055,000,000,000 – and he can’t be more precise than that because, he says, it’s increasing by about £4,000 a second.

Well, one thing is for sure – unlike the money found from Chloe Smith’s ‘underspend’ to enable the fuel price rise to be frozen, this £1.3 billion won’t be coming from any ‘underspend’ on the cost of MPs.

 


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Master of Ceremonies

Financial solidarity and growth spending or increased EU controls to ensure austerity? The European Council meeting of June 28-29 is forcing the 27 member countries to face up to their responsibilities to try to overcome the crisis.

At the European Summit…

“Just like normal.

“Those who are asking for money, make a line on the left.

“Those who are fed of giving it, on the right.

“Anyone who has a solution, raise their hand.

“And everyone will have a coffee at 5pm.”

Herman Van Rompuy, European Council President.

Born in 1958 in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo (at the time it was still a Belgian colony), Pierre Kroll initially studied environmental science and architecture before embarking on a career as a freelance cartoonist in 1985. Today, he is the resident cartoonist for both the daily Le Soir and the weekly Télémoustique, and appears on RTBF‘s Sunday current affairs programme, which broadcasts live footage of his work as it is being drawn. He is also popular in France, where his cartoons often feature in Courrier International. In 1986, he was awarded the French Prix de l’humour vache (Caustic Humour Prize), and he won the Press Cartoon of Belgium award for best cartoonist in both 2006 and 2009.

Ack: Presseurop.


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The Deputy “Reichsführer” has spoken

Politics Home reports that Nick Clegg ‘expects’ ”everybody” in the Government to abide by the Coalition Agreement and get behind House of Lords reform. 

“We’ve had a discussion within government about what the shape of this legislation would look like, and we’ve agreed it collectively.”

Really? And when was the Coalition Agreement put to the people for their approval? Consequently, where is the mandate for the Coalition to implement this policy? To whom does the constitution of our nation belong – the people, or the political elite?

When will any member of the Coalition admit that, in effect, what they carried out following the general election of 2010 was but to impose on the electorate of this nation, a dictatorship?

Those in the Coalition may have decided on what House of Lords reform should look like and may have collectively agreed it, but the people haven’t. If the United Kingdom is a democracy, should not the people have so agreed – and if so, when did they so do?

And representative democracy is of the people, for the people, by the people?

Just asking……….

 

 

 

 


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