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grasshopper

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  1. That 4,000km is some achievement and I presume that you benefited both mentally and physically as a reward for your efforts. Running kept me sane during the lockdown phase of early spring and like you, I noted how the absence of cars and lorries etc on the roads created a tranquil and peacefully environment that was transformative. Hopefully, some of that experience will be etched into the minds of our politicians and urban planners etc and some good may come of these testing times we find ourselves in.
  2. I suspect that we are situated at different points on the political compass.
  3. You are starting to depress me. I remember well when Graham Stringer was the Labour Leader of Manchester City council in the 80's and got a load of flak for expanding the cycle lanes network around Oxford Road and beyond. The cycle lanes were a great start to improving cycling safety, journey speed and environmentally friendly transport. I lived in Salford at that time and was a research student at UMIST. Cycling times from Salford to UMIST was about 25 minutes during rush hour. Occasionally, when I took the car the same journey took about 45 minutes. Now that is what you call pedal power.
  4. Never mind draining the swamp. We need a government that will clean out the cesspit.
  5. Suggest your avatar - that Roman bloke looks like he's got a bit of a sneer on him.
  6. There is a distinction to be made between accepting something as the least worst option and embracing it with enthusiasm.
  7. Yes - this is most probably the agreed stratergy. Whether greater convergence or divergence from the EU is best achieved by stealth is an interesting political question. I find it hard to believe that Keir Starmer will be able to convince the majority pro-European membership of the Labour party that our ongoing relationship with the EU ought not to be under discussion and review during the next parliament. And if he persists in that course of action, there will be many who think that it is high time that the UK had a fully fledged pro-European Social Democratic Party which should make that case.
  8. Design. The Conservative party will be looking to further diverge from the EU and its regulatory structure and the review will give them the opportunity to argue that case. The current agreed arrangement can be viewed as a further transition period, while the necessary political and economic groundwork is done for the real agenda to be realised.
  9. Yes I agree. On far too many occasions the executive behaves as if the legislature is simple there to rubber stamp instead of scrutinise.
  10. Well, any nationalist politician with leaving intentions from a EU member state, will surely wait awhile and see how the UK fares post Brexit.
  11. I imagine that such forecasting is quite precarious at present due to the pandemic and its affects. We saw a large growth in GDP in Q3(?) but this was, I believe, the steep V shaped recovery from the lockdown in Q1/Q2. So lots of unknowns out there at the moment.
  12. Yes, I wouldn't be surprised if the UK actually argued for this part of the agreement, so that the further divergence debate falls nicely within the scope of the UK electoral cycle. Difficult to say how this will all play out in NI and Scotland but clearly being taken out of the EU against the majority vote to remain will be a big factor in the political debate.
  13. Agree. The current EU-UK deal looks like a holding operation for the Conservative free marketeers, while the economy is given time to re-align itself to the new operating environment. I presume while they accept the LPF and it's associated enforcement mechanisms as a necessity for the next four years, they will be looking for a complete break from the EU and it's orbit in the longer term. Otherwise, what would be the point of leaving?
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