Summary of Boris Johnson's position on the US - Iran situation:

Bombing cultural sites - naughty, don't do it.
Illegal killings - just dandy, go ahead.

I agree with Iain Macwhirter.

"Scots did not vote to leave the European Union. They did not vote to lose their EU citizenship, with all the protections that brings. They did not vote to cut EU immigration; did not vote to accept trade deals with the United States; did not agree to the diminution of environmental standards; and did not vote to be subjected to untrammelled Tory rule from Westminster.

That’s really all the SNP need to say. Voters will do the rest."

It is being reported that the Iraqi PM said that General Soleimani' was their guest, and the US strike was illegal. Calls also being made for the US embassy in Baghdad to be closed & troops to be removed from the country

Trump has managed to unite Iraq and Iran. Quite amazing.

Footage of General Qassem Soleimani's funeral in Iran, earlier to-day.

To say he was popular would be an understatement.

From the "you could have knocked me over with a feather" department:

"Defense-sector stocks rose Friday on Wall Street after the United States killed Iran’s top military official and braced for escalated conflict in the region."

latimes.com/business/story/202

UK PM Margaret Thatcher won her most decisive General Election victory in 1983, credited in a great part to the successful outcome of the Falklands War.

Other world leaders will know that a "good" war helps win elections.

I'm going to stick my neck out, and make my first politics prediction of 2020:

Keir Starmer will win the Labour leadership election.

I suspect Starmer will win in a run-off against Rebecca Long-Bailey.

I've felt for some time that Starmer had positioned himself well for a leadership bid:
mstdn.io/@fitheach/10271663070
mstdn.io/@fitheach/10312101495

There is also the nice historical connection that Starmer is named after the Labour Party founder Keir Hardie.

One of the lesser considered impacts of is on musicians performing in the EU. A no-deal Brexit will make it much more difficult & expensive for musicians to tour continental Europe. & bands (particularly), often rely on the income from tours to keep going.

If you are from the UK please consider following some of the suggestions in this article by the Musicians' Union:
musiciansunion.org.uk/Home/New

I am completely non-religous, but I do have a lot of sympathy for people who try to persuade others of their ideas. I recognise a little of myself, doing something similar in a political sphere.

I don't agree with Jehovah's Witnesses (or other religous evangelists), but I am always polite, and will give them some of my time, if it is possible.

Arise, Sir Universal Credit.

For services to violating human rights obligations (oh, and running Boris Johnson's leadership campaign).

The European Union leaders have agreed that Northern Ireland would automatically rejoin the EU in the event of a united Ireland.

The unanimous decision was agreed within one minute at a special EU summit which was called to agree future negotiations on Brexit.

irishtimes.com/news/world/euro

Can someone explain to me how the Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire constituency voted 52.7% Tory, in last week's General Election?

When the seat was created in 1997 Labour had 49.1% of the vote.

Wales, you are baffling me.

I note that some people are suggesting Jo Swinson should be "parachuted" into the House of Lords, because the voters of East Dunbartonshire rejected her.

That's democracy, for you, UK style.

In Scotland the polar opposite happened (compared to E & W). A Remain supporting party, the SNP, were the main beneficiaries of the majority pro-EU vote.

The SNP recovered *most* of the support that was lost in 2017. Vote share was 37% in 2017 and 45% . Seats won increased by 13, to 48 total (out of 59 max). However, this is still down from 50%, & 56 seats won in GE2015.

Crucially though, an independence vote would attract voters from other parties, particularly Labour.

Due to the inabilities of the previous parliament to resolve the situation, this election became a proxy EU referendum.

The Tories became the main beneficiaries of the Leave vote.

The Remain side (in E&W) couldn't organise over indulgent drinking in a brewing facility. Recent polling have suggested there is a UK Remain majority, but that has been squandered. Instead the course is open for us to have whatever Brexit the Tories want.

Corbyn had most of the media against him, many in his own party undermining him (voters don't like internal disharmony) and criticism from other parties.

The latter is to be expected, but Swinson & the LibDems went out of their way to defeat the anti-Tory side in the election. Instead of looking for ways to have a Tory opposition and Remain coalition, ego and electoral greed made them think they could go it alone.

Instead, they increased their vote, but lost 1 seat.

#2019

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The large Tory majority at Westminster was a failure by Jeremy Corbyn and Labour.

In 2017 Labour got 40% of the vote, in this election they got 32.2%. The differential between the two parties in a First Past The Post election caused the disparity in the number of seats won.

Labour didn't GOTV, the "Youth Quake" was imaginary, and possibly invented to create "momentum".

Corbyn had an uphill struggle, but he didn't help his own position.

Some observations on

Most importantly Johnson & the Tories DID NOT win a huge mandate. It was the differential between them & 2nd placed Labour that did the damage.

The Tories got 43.6% of the vote (Theresa May in 2017 got 42.4) on a total turnout of 67.3%, which was less than 2017.

The vote for the Tories almost stood still (~300k up from 2017). What Johnson achieved was to Get Out The Vote. He also nullified the Brexit Party.

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