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Showing most liked content on 16/04/15 in all areas

  1. 4 likes
    I suppose it's a sad state of affairs that all we are discussing is the symbolism or otherwise of flags. We should be ranting on about different policies from the main parties, but there's not much to choose between the main UK parties.
  2. 4 likes
    I can understand your logic about it being a UK election for a UK parliament, but did they use the EU flag when we were electing representatives to the EU? Maybe all the main parties used EU flags at that time, I genuinely can't remember By its very definition the Union Flag is a symbol of unionism, of British nationalism, it is after all, the "national flag of the UK" to quote many sources I found when I searched on Google. If you wave the national flag of a country then clearly you are a nationalist for that country. Political parties have their own colours and symbols to identify themselves, they don't need to drape themselves in national flags unless they are nationalists. Why not have all the flags of the countries of the UK together? Why have a flag which is going to put off a lot of people in Scotland when the issue can be neatly sidestepped by having all of the flags? Why have a flag which also supposedly represents Ireland, but not Wales? Very strange things flags
  3. 3 likes
    The flag is not offensive and there is nothing wrong with them using it. It the hypocrisy of the Unionists that matter. The SNP are constantly told nationalism is dangerous and bad, look at the Balkans the Unionists say etc... Yet, it is ok for British Nationalists to dress themselves up in a flag but but bad when Scots Nats do it. That's the issue.
  4. 2 likes
    The politics and history of Ireland are even more ironic and tragic than our own - nobody knows that better than I do as I was brought up on stories of the Famine.... but there's no point in going over it because the two sides will never meet in a million years. But we all need to be aware of how the UK govt operates and what their track record is.
  5. 2 likes
    As someone who attends a Presbyterian Church, even i would find it hard to call the displacement of native Irish people by planted Scots as something other than occupation. It defines what it is. However, it happened 300 odd years ago and we have to deal with things as they are now.
  6. 2 likes
    Yea I understand that too. It's not my flag and never has been so I don't pay any attention to it anyway. And I never ever look at tory or labour posters because their smug smarmy faces get me ratty. LOL
  7. 2 likes
    I think the union jack is supposed to emphasise (gawd I canny spell that at this time of the morning!) the union. I don't think it's nationalism, I think it's just us who are starting to get paranoid.
  8. 2 likes
    I'm not sure what the big issue is with having the UK flag as a backdrop when you are campaigning for a party to represent the UK in a UK Parliament? I wouldn't have any objections about seeing any or all of the parties standing in front of a Saltire while campaigning for Holyrood. I guess some may find it offensive but it is the flag of the UK and we live in the UK (currently at least). If they all adopt the flag as part of the campaign does it really matter? The nature of the flag is that it includes all the home nations (except for Wales possibly?)
  9. 2 likes
  10. 1 like
    'Escape to the country' is on and I'm not allowed to watch the debate until it's finished (2 mins left, thank the lord). I retract the Scottish nationalist remark then. Fair enough. I agree with hat your saying, you long to be a Scot rather than a Scottish nationalist or 'separatist' but you are still a Scottish or a 'Scot' currently though.
  11. 1 like
    OFGS SW. I thought it was obvious I'm doing my devil's advocate thing+ looking at the 'bigger picture'. I couldn't care less about being called a separatist. It only damages the unionist cause. You don't win people to your side by using pejorative terms for them; only a complete fool would think that. It comes back to the 'One man's 'terrorist' is another man's 'freedom fighter' thing. It's all relative. If Scotland was independent right now and I supported Scottish independence (it not handing governance over to London), how come I wouldn't be a separatist? My political views would be absolutely identical. I would be against London rule and want Scotland governed by its own parliament - exactly as now - yet not a separatist... Huh? Using an example... I guess I grew up hearing about how people who supported Irish reunification were bad. That IRA were bad, but loyalist terrorists were, well, more acceptable. Two terrorist groups; one called 'terrorists', the other 'loyalists'. All for political expediency; it wouldn't do to talk about 'British Terrorist Groups' killing civilians under a union flag banner now would it. Then I read up on the subject + asked my Gran and found I had been subject to standard state propaganda. I learned what had happened over there. While the IRA attacking civilians was wrong, I then understood why they had come into existence. That it was not a simple case that Britain was the good guy and the Irish republicans were bad (which was the general media theme). In fact, it seemed to be more the other way around if anything. Britain had been very bad to Ireland and this was the result - the IRA attacking England. But then that's how these things always work. Would you call the Australians 'Separatists?' After all, they separated from the UK finally in 1986. Are the Irish not separatists too? It was within the lifetimes of some that they separated after all. If Scotland became independent, how come, almost instantly, I'd lose my separatist status yet not have changed by political views one bit? Like I said, one man's separatist is another's supporter of normality for their country. Anyone who uses the term is doing so simply in an attempt to demonise a group. Par for the course for imperialist types. ---- One thing I'll add is that I do empathise with people who feel British so want the union to work. It's easy to do; they just feel British as I feel Scottish. Their country is a UK, mine Scotland. It's not hard to understand. I wouldn't use pejorative terms for these people; at least as long as they don't do that to me.
  12. 1 like
    Surely this is in a UK and/or Scottish context...Does the Con/Lib/Lab parties advocate separating from Scotland or NI or Wales...? No. Does Plaid Cymru or the SNP want to separate Wales or Scotland from the rest of the UK? YES. It must be seen in our context. The 'unionist' parties want the union to remain intact. How is this difficult to understand? Why is the term 'separatist' so offensive to you? How are ethnics Russians who want to 'separate' from Ukraine and join Russia not separatists? Primarily their aim is to LEAVE then join a different country. Hardly aiming to maintain a 'union'. NI - those who want to leave the UK (ie the union) are wanting to SEPARATE from rUK. They are not unionists since there is no current union between RIreland and NI. Of course I 'know what you mean' but I find it a rather bizarre/strange/weird interpretation at best and rather proposterous in the more extreme. You must surely have a problem with the term 'separatist' as for all intent and purposes, we ALL know what that means. 'Incrediably pedantic' would be how most find you argument but I think some would find it to be actually incorrect.
  13. 1 like
    Sorry, I don't really get what you mean. The Conservatives are separatists since they don't advocate a union with every other country on the planet? France, China, USA etc.... That makes no sense. When did they become separatists? Since I presume you wouldn't call the country which oversaw the commonwealth at the height of that era separatist.... A strange one. On Ireland, yes Balmaha, MS et al I take your point. I'm not claiming to be an expert and I tried to keep my comments neutral. Ok, you can harp back to bygone days (I hope some of those days are firmly in the past*) and blame the UK but ultimately in the here and now you have Northern Ireland which does want to remain part of the UK. * - I am under the impression that the demographics are changing and at some point soon we'll have a 50/50 situation on whether NI will rejoin the Republic or to stay. Perhaps I'm wrong on this...
  14. 1 like
    Or remain separated from. Tories don't support a direct union with France for example. Why do they want to remain separate? Do they not like my wife and her people or something? --- Sorry, but the UK is occupying a bit of Eire. Look at a map. You can't just move lots of your own people to a region of another country then claim its yours because the local populace want that. Should expat areas of Spain get a vote on becoming part of the UK? I imagine you don't support Glasgow, Dundee and the other areas which voted yes forming an embryonic independent Scotland (employing the same logic) any more than you'd support bits of Scotland being partitioned to remain in the UK if they voted No while Scotland voted Yes to indy. Eire joined the union as Ireland. It should have been allowed to leave as Ireland and not militarily partitioned leading to a nearly a century of conflict. That's what partitioning does.
  15. 1 like
    A separatist party surely wants to separate from something... What do Con, Lab or Lib want to separate from? Rather simplistic on Ireland. A majority of people want to stay part of the UK in NI, surely we should respect that? I realise the whole event of the 70/80/90s was traumatic and I believe mistakes were made on both sides, many lives were lost unnecessarily. N.B. Will have no access up the internet until tea-time so won't be able to respond to your (anticipated) reply
  16. 1 like
    As some maybe aware back in the warm June of 1858, London was overwhelmed by the smell of untreated sewage that became known as the "Great Stink" of 1858 and this lead to the development of the sewage system after MPs started to refuse to attend Parliament because of the "poisonous airs" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Stink In 1881, there was another "Great Stink" when cold ESEly winds pulled in from continental Europe across the UK. Pollutants from the Ruhr industrial region and the Saar coalfields had become trapped under an inversion during late March.The inversion eventually lifted and the pollutants from the Ruhr, Saar and from the pig farms of Alsace-Lorraine (then under German rule) spread ENEwards across northern France and the UK.By the first of April, the "sulphurous airs" had crossed the Channel into SE England. A smell of rotten eggs (from the high sulphur content in German coal) hung in the air for much of that day in and around London and the concern of the government was a repeat of the "Great Stink of 1858" especially with Mr Gladstone, the then Prime Minister. Queen Victoria was in residence at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight at the time when her walk around the grounds of her beloved home on the Isle of Wight was cut short by the smell. A furious Queen Victoria telegrammed Gladstone demanding action especially after what happened in 1858, when she was driven from London to Windsor Castle because of the "Great Stink". She made it clear that she would not be driven from Osborne House because of the "foul air" and that she was not amused. Gladstone contacted the Royal Society for an immediate investigation. It was noted that there was a definite edge to the "sulphorous airs" It reached Dover about 1am on the first of April, London by 3am, and moved ENEwards in an arc across southern England reaching a line from the Isle of Wight to the Wash about 5am. By 9am, it had spread across the whole of southern parts of the UK south of a line from Blackpool to the Humber with a pong of rotten eggs in the air.Thankfully, the "pong" lifted the next day as it became diffused but enough information was gathered by the Royal Society to conclude the origin of the "smell" was from the industrial heartlands of the German Empire. Gladstone, after consultation with the Cabinet, contacted the German Chancellor Bismarck after the French Premier Charles de Freycinet was concerned it could be a new weapon being developed "to pong out the enemy" with "noxious fumes". Bismarck reassured the French and British government that no weapon was being developed by the German military to "pong" out the enemy.
  17. 1 like
    If the SNP are separatists, then so is any UK party which wants the UK to be an independent, sovereign state not in direct union with another country such as France. This makes the Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems also separatist. In fact the UK, by continuing to occupy northern Ireland, is separating it from Eire. That occupation was the cause of so much division and strife. If it hadn't done that and just walked away from the whole of Ireland when Eire wanted independence, we wouldn't have had the troubles, the IRA and the walls which divide communities to this day. As for the flags... I was simply noting the increasing degree of nationalism being displayed by UK parties. Old 'international socialist' Labour stayed well away from the union flag in party symbolism. Tony introduced the union flag to Labour as he was right-wing authoritarian and nationalist, i.e. a Tory. Ed seems to have taken this to the max. Increasingly gone is the simple red + rose of (economic) socialism accompanied by the yellow of social liberalism. Instead, this is replaced by the blue of centre-right conservatism with associated national flag. We even went through a red to blue purplish transitory stage last year. The reason is simple; Labour has pretty much lost Scotland and is now chasing the same centre-right swing voters that the Tories and UKIP are. Hence all three are presenting similar, nationalistic symbolism. Oh, and the SNP are supporters of Scotland being a member of the EU and UN, hence are unionists. The UK parties are against this, hence separatists.
  18. 1 like
    Kriging involves a more than simple linear interpolation that one can use in excel with 2 points in excel. It involves local, regional and global spatial trends (not just linear), with covarience based weightings, etc. The accuracy was mainly assessed by removing known temperature data, and filling in with kriging and hybrid data and comparing to the real observations. With your example, multidirectional trends would be taken into account, as using kriging to fill in a simple line of data points would be no better than other estimates. So rather than just the NW-SE line, other regions of data would be taken into account and the effect of the land/sea boundary could be easily accounted for. Different methods could be tested and assessed, then the most accurate used. Anyway, the method they found that was the most accurate involved using the HadCrut4/UAH hybrid and kriging, where their respective errors were lowest. Personally, I think trying to fill in gaps caused by missing data does provide an area for a researchers bias to get in the way, but it's better than pretending that these areas don't exist. Also, I'd hope the peer review process and the open nature of their work (all code and data are provided on their university web pages) should help with spotting any obvious errors or bias.
  19. 1 like
    Kriging provides a best unbiased linear estimate for interpolation: in it's two dimensional (Cartesian) form if we know values at (x1,y1) and (x2,y2), can we determine what the value is anywhere on the line that connects the two points. In it's simplest form this is analagous to the standard linear regression (ie the slap a line on an Excel spreadsheet mathturbation etc) I haven't read the paper by Cowtan etc, so I can't possibly comment on their initial assumptions which are crucially vital. Critically, one needs to select data points very carefully as Kriging, given it's linear analogue, is open to both cherry picking and is vastly affected by outliers. Consider the following: if we take the temperature in London, and the temperature in Paris, can we necessarily derive the temperature at the surface in the middle of the English Channel? Anyone with even a modicum of interest in meteorology would question such an experiment as suspect (although it might well work, I don't know) The problem is, is that it is a linear solution to a non-linear problem; so all of the caveats must be considered.
  20. 1 like
    Well I participated in my very first canvassing session in my village last night. I didn't do the door-knocking as such, I took over the job of handing out and collecting the survey cards for those more experienced/confident at the door-knocking. I think there were 10 of us (including the SNP candidate), plus a certain Mr James Naughtie and two sound recordists from Radio4 (I'd no idea they were coming). Seemed a fairly positive session in terms of returns. Even although I wasn't really looking at the cards as they were returned, more often than not they were returned with a "that's another 2 for us" or something similar. I do believe that where we were was the 'better' end of the village in terms of it's normal leanings (by the sounds of it I live in the 'depressingly bad' end, at least as far as the Indy Ref canvassing went, so maybe I need to get working on the neighbors). I think you could be right. That probably stems from occasions in the past where it definitely has been used to represent 'the union', but not convinced that is the reasoning behind it currently. On the other-hand I think SS could have a point. In the past you were much more likely to see the party leaders with a blue/red/yellow backdrop behind them and some sort of party logo. The use of the Union Flag (being pedantic - not 'Jack') does appear to have become more prevalent. I don't find it 'offensive' but neither does it instill any patriotism in me. Anyway, I don't think SS was saying people might find it offensive, only that it's strange that they are using nationalistic symbology whilst at the same time decrying nationalism north of the border.
  21. 1 like
    We usually have a single car with the streaming camera, as we all travel in convoy having one on each would only show the same view and burn through bandwidth. The camera is mounted inside the windscreen and we try to make sure that it's catching what we are seeing, occasionally the sound is on, but as chasing can be quite an adrenaline rush the language might be a bit 'loud' for sensitive ears, so we don't always have audio on. Of course a streaming camera has limitations, the main one being available bandwidth, we visit some pretty remote places, so the signal can drop out, and the 'Golden Hour' for storms in the USA is around 6pm local time, which means things typically really get going in the late evening UK time. Which results in some people catching up with the events over breakfast.
  22. 1 like
    Why raw temperatures show too little global warming http://variable-variability.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/raw-temperatures-show-too-little-global-warming.html
  23. 1 like
    Basically I was trying to say that a Lab/Con coalition isn't necessary. All that is required are 126 Lab and 126 Cons to agree to not disagree on budgets, Trident, devo and Barnett and it's job done game over. Right and left wingers would sqeal, and the Libs would gladly jump into bed with anyone and however much Scotland complained we would be effectively sidelined and emasculated. The ONLY options left for Scotland (given a massive Scots SNP majority) would be either to suck it up or a unilateral ripping up of the Union. What would categorically not happen is for Westminster to play fair.
  24. 1 like
    France enjoying a very warm week and yesterday (Tuesday) the 30c threshold was breached for the first time this year. Some highlights from the report on the Meteo France website: After a particularly sunny and warm Monday anticyclonic conditions persisted Tuesday, April 14 on the country and the threshold of 30 ° C was reached for the first time this year! On the Aquitaine coast, it has frequently between 29 and 31 ° C in the afternoon. Météo-France has even recorded 31.6 ° C at Cap Ferret. This is a new monthly record for this station opened in 1887, the previous record of 31.5 ° C was dated 22 April 1893. In many other French cities the maximum temperature, whilst not reaching any records, on Tuesday afternoon saw a surplus of 10 to 14c degrees above the normal 24 ° C in Reims 25 ° C in Brest and Bourges 26 ° C to Paris and Tours 28 ° C in Toulouse and Auch 29 ° C in Biarritz, Bordeaux, Cognac and Limoges 30 ° C to Nîmes Full report in French: http://www.meteofrance.fr/actualites/24343512-le-seuil-des-30c-franchi-pour-la-premiere-fois
  25. 1 like
    Whats causing the ice growth wind , fresh water , warmer waters ? Why is it 'boring' and I assume you mean 'nonsensical' If a climate model is wrong surely that's worthy of further research ? Personally i think the comment below from Dr Parkinson is a cop out. ""The fact that ice in one part of the world is doing one thing and in another part ice is doing another is not surprising" I think Dr Parkinson would be more honest if she said we don't know at present the jury is out.
  26. 1 like
    The remainder of April sees most of the highest daily figures being achieved in 2014 - all of the daily records for May are set in 2014. My ancient system cannot open the link up page so I'll show both months as a screen shot for quick reference. April May http://www.cawcr.gov.au/staff/preid/seaice/sea_ice_table_extent.html
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