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View Diary: Icesave: Today Iceland Learns Whether It Gambled Right On Refusing A Repayment Deal With The British (177 comments)

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  •  this may seem like a crazy thing to ask (11+ / 0-)

    well, I guess it is, but--
    given that we're talking about the potential for losing large parts of Britain to sinking under the waves and given that there's scientific fact to back that up, would it be a good time to perhaps ask the Queen to make a statement about it? I know that she has no actual power, but as head of state she surely has some symbolic and moral power. And isn't it her job to look after the survival of the nation rather than politics (not that those two things can be completely separated)?

    She, although insular and insulated, does seem to have a moral compass of sorts around the notion of public service. And it is her job to act for the nation's (or the Empire's, I guess) preservation, isn't it?

    Trying hard to understand something that is not culturally familiar to me...

    if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 08:33:28 AM PST

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    •  More likely Charles, (6+ / 0-)

      who has a certain amount of green credentials and does interfere occasionally, though he also owns a lot of land and would stand to benefit financially. However if the Royal family get involved, and they occasionally do, it would be considered controversial. The Brits seem to expect Queen and company to be decorative window dressing.
      The Royals are generally old school Tories, so maybe it would be better if they kept a low profile or none at all.

      "We are monkeys with money and guns". Tom Waits

      by northsylvania on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 09:18:02 AM PST

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      •  Conservatives outside America (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        northsylvania

        sometimes still understand that the natural world is not their enemy.

        But I'll accept your view on it being seen as unacceptably interfering. The whole non-political head of state is difficult for me to get my cultural brain around (as in, where do the boundaries lie?), so thanks for the "translation"
         :-).

        if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:21:08 AM PST

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        •  Old school Tories (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SouthernLiberalinMD

          are all about class and money, where you were educated and who your friends are. They have stately homes in the countryside and are fanatic about keeping their patch from being spoiled (which is why they can be mistaken for environmentalists). Old school Labour were mainly union members and the working class, and are concentrated in urban areas, both London and up north. They really don't care about anything outside the cities. Some of this has changed: quite a few of our current Tories are primarily anti-immigrant and racist, some are just anti-tax fanatics. Labour is more likely to raise taxes and promote immigration, but they, like the Tories, let the City of London (the banks) do whatever they please. However, except for the most reactionary, neither religion nor sexual preference has any bearing on social position. Cameron has come out forcefully for gay marriage. Education is the most important marker: almost all our top politicians, no matter what party, went to either Oxford or Cambridge, as did the Royals, the bankers, the people who get appointed to the House of Lords (no longer hereditary landowners), and most of the civil servants...in general the people who have any power. We don't have a primary system, so whoever is put on the ballot for each party in your district (often people who have never lived in your district) are the people you choose from for MP. The Prime Minister is the head of the party who elects the most MPs, and is not elected at all. Our election season is therefore very short (and so are the ballots!), but a lot of manoeuvring is done to be head of the party, or be chosen to run for MP, in the years preceding an election.

          "We are monkeys with money and guns". Tom Waits

          by northsylvania on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:54:46 AM PST

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          •  So essentially there is no natural (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            northsylvania

            constituency for environmentalism in British politics. That's tough. I guess it falls to people at the local level to fight back?

            In American politics it's been a weird ride; we started off with just as many Republicans as Dems being environmentalists; Theodore Roosevelt was instrumental in the beginnings of the environmental movement here. I still remember when there were Republican environmentalists, as late as the 80s/early 90s; McCain's 2000 campaign was the last gasp of the Republicans caring about the environment at all.

            Since the 60s there have been a lot of Democratic environmentalists (in response to people like Rachel Carson and disasters like Three Mile Island, as well as chronic problems like the Cuyahoga River burning). Now they are mostly jumping ship as well. I wonder how Kerry is going to square his views with Obama's when he makes decisions about climate treaties and such. Of course, I don't really know which set of views Obama is going to cleave to on climate.  He certainly loves fracking.

            Fracking:  in which you poison your water supply in order to get carbon emissions levels from coal to drop in the short term.

            if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 01:57:01 PM PST

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            •  Obama (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SouthernLiberalinMD

              would definitely be Labour here. He has done a lot for wind power in the States, as Blair and Brown did, and like them pays lip service to environmentalism, but also like them, he's a city boy and doesn't instinctively sympathise with rural concerns.

              "We are monkeys with money and guns". Tom Waits

              by northsylvania on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 06:37:59 AM PST

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