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Everything posted by guzzi

  1. I have an open mind. The answer Boris gives to DW is intentionally deceptive in my view, failing to say exactly what it was that Porton Down had assured him was correct. He leaves us to infer that it pinned down Russia as the source, whereas Porton Down now disputes this. Given that it took 10 years to provide an evidence trail leading to the Litvinenko perpetrators, it seems very early to be able to say that there is any more than circumstantial evidence implicating Russia. After Iraq and WMD, I would hope that any intelligence implicating Russia had been well and truly substantiated before it was treated as if it were true. The sense I get is that we are at a 'on the balance of probabilities' level of proof, not a 'beyond reasonable doubt' level. Boris is both a symptom and a symbol of much that is wrong with Britain, having ascended to his position because of class, school and Bullingdon club mates rather than intellect and experience.
  2. Agreed. But there is also the possibility that a third party wanted to cause this kerfuffle. There are ex-Soviet Union countries who would have every reason to do it, Ukraine for example. Anyone who wanted a kerfuffle must be delighted at present, because they have one and because there is every chance that Britain will finish up with a barrel of egg on it's face. It was always a dangerous move appointing a buffoon as Foreign Secretary.
  3. Track it here: https://www.space.com/32054-satellite-tracker.html One thing looks certain, it won't fall on IoM as it's orbit doesn't take it over us. Northern Spain seems to be the furthest North it can be. I very much hope that it falls on a flat-earther, so that in his or her last moments, they can reflect on their stupidity.
  4. Pretty much, yes. "Detectives traced three distinct polonium trails in and out of London, at three different dates, which according to the investigation suggests Andrey Lugovoy and Dmitry "Kovtun made two failed attempts to administer polonium to Litvinenko before the final and successful one. The first attempt took place on 16 October 2006, when radioactive traces were found in all places visited by the FSB operatives before and after their meeting with Litvinenko. They administered the poison to his tea, but he did not drink it. Apparently, Lugovoy and Kovtun did not fully realize they were handling a radioactive poison. Journalist Luke Harding described their behaviour as "idiotic, verging on suicidal"; while handling a leaky container, they stored it in their hotel rooms, used ordinary towels to clean up leaks, and eventually disposed of the poison in the toilet. On 17 October, perhaps realizing they contaminated their rooms, they prematurely checked out, moved to another hotel, and left London the next day. Another unsuccessful assassination attempt took place on 25 October, when Lugovoy and Kovtun flew to London again. They left radioactive traces again in their hotel prior to meeting Litvinenko, but did not administer the poison, perhaps due to security cameras in the meeting room. They again disposed of the poison via their room's toilet, and left London.[40] The third attempt to poison Litvinenko took place at around 5 pm of 1 November in the Millennium Hotel in Grosvenor Square. The bus he travelled in to the hotel had no signs of radioactivity – but large amounts had been detected at the hotel.[41] Polonium was subsequently found in a fourth-floor room and in a cup in the Pine Bar at the hotel.[42] After the Millennium bar, Litvinenko stopped at the office of Boris Berezovsky. He used a fax machine, where radioactive contamination was found later. At 6 pm, Akhmed Zakayev picked Litvinenko up and brought him home to Muswell Hill. The amount of radioactivity left by Litvinenko in the car was so significant that the car was rendered unusable.[43] Everything that he touched at home during the next three days was contaminated. His family was unable to return to the house even six months later. His wife tested positive for ingesting polonium, but did not leave a secondary trail behind her. This suggested that anyone who left a trail could not have picked up the polonium from Litvinenko (possibly, including Lugovoy and Kovtun).[43] The patterns and levels of radioactivity the assassins left behind suggested that Litvinenko ingested polonium, whereas Lugovoy and Kovtun handled it directly.[43] The human body dilutes polonium before excreting it in sweat, which results in a reduced radioactivity level. There were also traces of Po-210 found at the Hey Jo/Abracadabra bar, Dar Marrakesh restaurant, and Lambeth-Mercedes taxis.[44] Besides Litvinenko, only two people left polonium trails: Lugovoy and Kovtun, who were school friends and worked previously for Russian intelligence in the KGBand the GRU, respectively.[43] They left more significant traces of polonium than Litvinenko, indicating that they handled the radioactive material directly, and did not ingest it.[43] Lugovoy and Kovtun met Litvinenko in the Millennium hotel bar twice, on 1 November (when the poisoning took place), and earlier, on 16 October. Trails left by Lugovoy and Kovtun started on 16 October, in the same sushi bar where Litvinenko was poisoned later, but at a different table. It was assumed that their first meeting with Litvinenko was either a rehearsal of the future poisoning, or an unsuccessful attempt at the poisoning.[43] Traces left by Lugovoy were also found in the office of Berezovsky that he visited on 31 October, a day before his second meeting with Litvinenko. Traces left by Kovtun were found in Hamburg, Germany. He left them on his way to London on 28 October.[43] The traces were found in passenger jets[45][46] BA875 and BA873 from Moscow to Heathrow on 25 and 31 October, as well as flights BA872 and BA874 from Heathrow to Moscow on 28 October and 3 November.[47][48] Andrey Lugovoy has said he flew from London to Moscow on a 3 November flight. He stated he arrived in London on 31 October to attend the football match between Arsenal and CSKA Moscow on 1 November.[49] When the news broke that a radioactive substance had been used to murder Litvinenko, a team of scientists rushed to find out how far the contamination had spread. It led them on a trail involving hundreds of people and dozens of locations.[50] British Airways later published a list of 221 flights of the contaminated aircraft, involving around 33,000 passengers, and advised those potentially affected to contact the UK Department of Health for help. On 5 December, they issued an email to all of their customers, informing them that the aircraft had all been declared safe by the UK's Health Protection Agency and would be re-entering service." From Wiki, but well established from other sources too.
  5. .... and as someone on MF pointed out a while back, the TT demographic grows ever older and motorcycling isn't that popular amongst the young. Your rail tourists are even older. There's always be a few outliers who come here, and some who like the place enough to come back, but I can only see tourism headed down the chute. Which leaves our future viability as a community dependent on the various avenues of financial chicanery that are available here, and our willingness to host such well-loved industries as on-line gambling. Oh, and farming HNW individuals to milk for tax, which doesn't seem to be working that well. Meanwhile, we build a port for bigger ferries and try to attract yachties to our fabulous new marinas. Tough, weatherbeaten yachties who aren't afraid of a bit of hardship battling around the Irish Sea. Time to consider our future, as the outlook seems pretty bleak.
  6. Sling in the towel now and start petitioning to become an English/Scottish or maybe even Irish county.
  7. guzzi

    South Quay

    It would have been useful if they had at least evaluated the options. As it is they are intending only to increase the size of the tanker berth to accommodate larger vessels. I guess larger vessels = fewer vessel movements which probably reduces likelihood but increases potential impact in risk terms. If you read the strategy, the only place where a new fixed deepwater breakwater is considered at all is Port St Mary. None of the other harbours are suitable for major commercial development. So we aren't exactly spoiled for choice. Link to document: https://www.gov.im/media/1360793/harbours-strategy-gd-2018-0011.pdf
  8. guzzi

    South Quay

    I assume they are down on the quayside because that is where the tanker berth is. It would be interesting to see the risk assessment for the fuel depot, or at least re-assuring to know that one had been done. I know that there is a water-mist drenching system around the depot that is regularly tested, and that presumably came about as a risk-mitigation measure. Whether the depot is adjacent to the tanker berth or remote from it and linked by pipelines, Douglas will still have whatever risk attaches to the operation of the tankers themselves and to the transfer ashore of their cargo. So for me, the thing to ask for from Gov first of all is that they publish the risk-assessment, if they haven't already. This is the kind of area where we need good local journalism to keep us informed.
  9. Comprehension of written English. Q1. Do these phrases mean the same thing? "She can still apply to have her case heard" / 'she'll still get a hearing"
  10. "However she can still apply to have her case heard by a full court of two or three judges." So that isn't a foregone conclusion. And neither is it the point.
  11. She was appealing her suspended sentence, and her leave to appeal was denied. So I assume that in this lifetime, she has seriously damaged her chance to be a surgeon. I do find it extraordinary that when she has already been spared a custodial sentence, she should appeal even that. She committed a violent crime, what does she expect? A caution? My understanding is that a criminal record for a crime of violence will seriously prejudice her chances of becoming a doctor anyway. If she is as intelligent as she presumably is having got into Oxford, she shouldn't have too much trouble pursuing an alternative career. I wonder how this would all sit if it involved a trainee hairdresser from Middlesborough, say. Life and liberty has the same value regardless of social status, in my book.
  13. Wow. Hateful attitudes Twinkle. I understand that you feel you have licence to voice them under anonymity, but don't you feel worse about yourself for doing so? Don't be an arsehole.
  14. No, don't know what you are on about.
  15. Absolutely, and clearly no-one, least of all me, is challenging that. But I have those rights now, and I am losing them. Hence my comment.
  16. http://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/putting-the-type-45-propulsion-problems-in-perspective/ There is an interesting discussion in the linked article. The short of it is that the MOD under Geoff Hoon accepted the risk of a potentially better Rolls Royce/Northrop Grumman propulsion system over a tried and tested design from General Electric. Labour government, British workers jobs etc. A defensible decision, but one which turned out to have been the wrong one. Problem is, BAE Systems (the ship's builders) pointed out the risk to the MOD and the MOD chose to accept the risk. So sadly, it looks unlikely that BAE Systems, RR or Northrop Grumman will be putting their hands in their pockets. The good news is that the Type 45 will be one of the best air defence ships in the World when the propulsion problem is sorted. Incidentally, while the Type 45s definitely aren't battleships (battleships have bloody great guns, these have missiles) the distinction between Destroyers and Frigates these days is pretty blurred.
  17. Be happy, Woody, be happy. There's a word for that: schadenfreude.
  18. I don't give a shit who makes it or what colour it is. But I would like one that confers the right to work and reside in any country in the EU, just like my current one.
  19. Whatever estimate you come up with, add at least an hour contingency. The seemingly endless narrow lanes with 50 mph limit and no hard shoulder are incredibly vulnerable to long delay. Just one broken down vehicle, and the whole sorry mess grinds to a halt. 'Upgrading to a smart motorway' = pissing down our backs and telling us it's raining!
  20. Well done Druid. The cabbage seedlings look a wee bit leggy, try to put them in good light where they aren't having to 'reach out' for it. You might want to create a herb garden for your thyme, lavender etc.. A lot of herbs, including thyme, don't do well in a fertile soil. Go for a limy soil with plenty of gravel and don't add any fertilisers. They like Mediterranean habitats with thin, poor soils. Good luck.
  21. The figures are as above Woody. No need for Newsnight.
  22. Woody, as always you simply thud around with your hammer blows, missing the work piece and the anvil altogether. As soon as a confidence issue arises, labour and the cross-bench parties would vote the government down; with a reasonable expectation that the electorate would put Cprbyn in Downing Street. Hence the Confidence & Supply agreement with the DUP.
  23. Bizarre statement. Current State of the Parties Nearly all MPs are members of political parties. The list below details the current composition of the House of Commons, based on the number of MPs in each party. If an MP is not a member of a political party, they are known as an 'Independent'. Party Seats Conservative 316 Labour 259 Scottish National Party 35 Liberal Democrat 12 Democratic Unionist Party 10 Sinn Féin 6 Independent 5 Plaid Cymru 4 Green Party 1 Speaker 1 Vacant 1 Total number of seats 650 Working Government Majority * 0 * The Conservative Party has formed a minority government and has signed a “confidence and supply” agreement with the Democratic Unionist Party.
  24. I agree, Woolley. The evidence against Russia is circumstantial and based on a Soviet era nerve agent. Russia was not the only inheritor of Soviet military materiel. But, listening to the Today programme and the growing internal disarray and faint support from the UK's allies, I do wonder whether Putin is thinking several moves ahead and has calculated that he can extend the hand of retribution against an enemy, but more importantly, sow further discord in Britain, exploiting leaders who he sees as intellectually feeble. I certainly don't discount Russia as the actor in this, and there are other equally likely candidates with plausible motives, such as Ukraine.
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