Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Winning With Willie





It's absolutely uncanny.  In spite of the spectacular progress made by the Liberal Democrats two weeks ago, when they surged from a pathetic 5 seats last time around to a stunning 5 seats this time  (prompting the cracking open of champagne and joyous hugs between Willie Rennie and Tim Farron), I somehow just had this weird feeling - call it a premonition - that Rennie's bid to become First Minister would all go horribly wrong and he would lose to the SNP's Nicola Sturgeon by a humiliating margin of 63 votes to 5.  It seemed so improbable, and yet I should have trusted the nagging voice inside my head, because that's exactly what happened.

Election of First Minister :

Nicola Sturgeon (SNP) : 63 votes
Willie Rennie (Lib Dem) : 5 votes

Nicola Sturgeon re-elected as First Minister by a margin of 58 votes.

But give Rennie his due - at least he gave us an election. Ruth Davidson, by contrast, didn't make our day - she ran away. I couldn't help but smile at this rather charitable interpretation of her decision on the BBC website...

"Ms Davidson will not stand this time, after pledging during the election campaign to form a strong opposition."

That implied, somewhat amusingly, that the only reason Davidson wasn't putting herself forward as First Minister was because it would be a breach of a clear manifesto commitment that she wouldn't try to get elected. I felt sure that she wouldn't be mad enough to attempt that excuse herself - after all, you can't control how many people vote for you, so what would she have done if there had been a Conservative majority? Would she have instructed half her parliamentary party to resign immediately? Or would she have voted for Nicola Sturgeon just so that she could have the SNP government she promised to oppose? It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "Vote Tory, get SNP".

But yes, bizarre though it may seem, Davidson confirmed in her speech that she wasn't trying to get elected because she had promised to be the opposition. The mind boggles.

* * *

EU referendum polls are like the proverbial London buses - you wait a whole week for one, and then four turn up at once. Since the two ICM polls were released yesterday afternoon, we've had another two from other firms...

Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

TNS poll (online) :

Remain 38% (-1)
Leave 41% (+5)

ORB poll (telephone) :

Remain 55% (+4)
Leave 40% (-3)


Remain activists were getting very excited about the ORB poll last night, but I'm not really sure what to make of it. The trend shown by ORB phone polls has been as mad as a bucket of frogs, and so far hasn't borne any resemblance to what phone polls from other firms have been reporting. When we have three polls from other firms conducted at around the same time (including a phone poll from ICM) all showing either a steady picture or slight progress for Leave, I think we have to be a bit sceptical about the ORB findings. It's not completely impossible that they're just ahead of the game in picking up a Remain surge earlier than other firms, but we'll just have to wait for more information to find out.

The other slightly irritating thing about ORB phone polls is that it's never entirely clear which set of figures should be treated as the headline figures. The Telegraph, who commission the polls, usually seem to give more emphasis to the turnout-filtered figures - which in this case are much more favourable for Leave (51% Remain, 45% Leave).

* * *

SCOT GOES POP POLL OF POLLS

50/50 ONLINE/TELEPHONE AVERAGE :

Remain 45.8% (+1.2)
Leave 41.3% (+0.1)

ONLINE AVERAGE :

Remain 42.6% (-0.5)
Leave 43.5% (-0.3)

TELEPHONE AVERAGE :

Remain 49.0% (+3.0)
Leave 39.0% (+0.5)

(The Poll of Polls takes account of all polls that were conducted at least partly within the last three weeks. The online average is based on eleven polls - four from ICM, two from YouGov, two from TNS, one from ORB, one from BMG and one from Opinium. The telephone average is based on three polls - one from ICM, one from ORB and one from Survation.)

66 comments:

  1. As long as the so-called united kingdom continues to disintegrate that's all that really matters.

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  2. Glasgow Working Class 2May 17, 2016 at 4:19 PM

    I would go for Rennie. His policy was to tax the better off. The Nat sis will need to tax the Scots a bit more to top up welfare payments.
    Old Maggie badface would probably be pissin herself if she knew that a party to the right of the Tories was now running Scotland. Who would have thought!

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    1. And as usual, your lot sat on their hands and carped from the sidelines, 23. As they will continue to do for the next five years, thanks to the Bain Principle.

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    2. Glasgow Working Class 2May 17, 2016 at 5:48 PM

      They are a minority and if they do put additional tax proposals forward they will be defeated by the two Tory parties. They could of course put forward a motion to cut the ammount of MSPS! Less people sitting on their hands and less taxpayer expenditure.

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    3. Where to start? There are three sets of Tories in the Parliament - blue, red and discarded blue Tory human shield. Further, Elections to the Scottish, UK and European Parliaments are matters reserved to the UK Government and are currently the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Scotland, so write to Fluffy Mundell.

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  3. 63 votes - I see you also predicted the Stab in the Back by the Turncoat Green Betrayers of the Yes Movement.

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    1. It was obvious based on past precedent that the Greens would abstain - they only voted for Alex Salmond in 2007 because there was a formal deal, and without a deal in 2011 and 2014 they abstained. But it's an interesting question whether people have a right to be slightly disappointed about their decision - after all, if a party asks for the "second votes" of SNP supporters in the name of pan-Yes solidarity, you'd think that might cut both ways when the First Minister is being elected.

      In 1999, the Liberal Democrats voted for Donald Dewar as First Minister long before the coalition deal was signed, and they did so on the basis that the voters had given him a mandate. The Lib Dems' Kirsty Williams voted for Carwyn Jones as Welsh First Minister last week on the same basis.

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    2. It's a weird kind of reasoning, though. Did the SNP vote for Dewar in 1999, on the basis that the voters had given him a mandate?

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    3. It's not weird reasoning at all. We're forever being subjected to sanctimonious lectures about how the SNP can't achieve independence alone, and how we need to understand that the SNP, Greens and RISE are part of the same movement. If that's true, it must surely be the case that the Greens are at least as close to the SNP as the Lib Dems were to Labour in 1999.

      I personally don't think there's anything wrong with the Greens abstaining, but I can understand why a lot of people think they're trying to have their cake and eat it - we're "the same movement" when list votes are being sought, but we're suddenly "different political parties" when being part of the same movement might entail the Greens showing some solidarity.

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    4. "But it's an interesting question whether people have a right to be slightly disappointed about their decision - after all, if a party asks for the "second votes" of SNP supporters in the name of pan-Yes solidarity, you'd think that might cut both ways when the First Minister is being elected."

      I'm more bothered by the fact that all the leaders (not just Harvie) who didn't vote for Rennie or Sturgeon used their speeches to talk about how this Parliament has to be more "co-operative," and build a "consensus," rather than just let another SNP juggernaut. If they were so interested in co-operation and working together, then refusing to do either of those things and abstaining is a funny way of showing it.

      Not to mention this "strong opposition" starting its strong opposition by... meekly offering Willie Rennie as a sacrifice to the Great God Sturgeon, who summarily annihilated him 63-5. Some thanks the Lib Dems get from their former Coalition partners...

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    5. It's not weird reasoning at all. We're forever being subjected to sanctimonious lectures about how the SNP can't achieve independence alone, and how we need to understand that the SNP, Greens and RISE are part of the same movement. If that's true, it must surely be the case that the Greens are at least as close to the SNP as the Lib Dems were to Labour in 1999.

      That's an argument about the closeness of parties, though, not about mandate. If the LDs were claiming that Dewar deserved their votes for FM purely because he had a mandate (by dint of his party having the most MSPs, presumably), that obligation would extend to every party, regardless of how close they were to Labour.

      Did the LDs really make this bizarre claim in 1999? If so, perhaps they should be asked why this time they've voted against Sturgeon, who has a bigger mandate than Dewar could ever have dreamed of.

      I personally don't think there's anything wrong with the Greens abstaining, but I can understand why a lot of people think they're trying to have their cake and eat it - we're "the same movement" when list votes are being sought, but we're suddenly "different political parties" when being part of the same movement might entail the Greens showing some solidarity.

      I don't really understand why people think that, because there doesn't appear to be any potential self-interest in the Greens' abstention. Having your cake and eating it implies trying to secure a win on both sides: but voting for Sturgeon wouldn't have cost them anything, nor has abstaining benefited them.

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    6. "That's an argument about the closeness of parties, though, not about mandate."

      I think you misunderstood what I meant. The mandate thing was obviously bollocks (Dewar was 9 seats short of an overall majority), but the point I'm making is that a smaller party can always find some sort of pretext to vote for a larger party's candidate for FM, even in the absence of a formal deal, if the sense of solidarity is there. I'm not talking about "obligation", I'm talking about choices. The Greens made a choice today - it's an entirely defensible choice, but I do think they're fighting a losing battle in telling people that they have no right to draw conclusions about the party on the basis of that choice.

      "Did the LDs really make this bizarre claim in 1999?"

      Yes, they did. The dates just didn't work out - they would ideally have preferred to vote for Dewar after the coalition deal had been agreed, but the negotiations dragged on, so they had to come up with some excuse to vote for him anyway.

      "nor has abstaining benefited them."

      I'm not sure that's true from the Greens' own perspective. I think they're paranoid about the long-term consequences of being seen to be too close to the SNP.

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    7. As someone who voted SNP-Green, I'm perfectly happy at their stance. I didn't vote for a Green MSP as my regional representative so he could be a carbon copy of an SNP MSP. Abstaining on FM vote had no practical consequences for Sturgeon's government but was a useful way to signal political independence and may indeed give the Greens cover if their votes are needed to bail the SNP out in a really tight vote in the future.

      Non-tactical Green voters (who are surely an overwhelming majority of Green voters) will expect their Green MSPs to be a distinctive voice.

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    8. "was a useful way to signal political independence"

      Absolutely, that's what they were doing, and there's both an upside and a downside to that choice. The more they distance themselves, the harder it will be to lecture SNP supporters about "the breadth of the movement". Remember how bad relations got in the 2007 parliament (I can't remember what year it was, but it may have been 2009) when the Greens contributed to the rejection of the budget? Patrick Harvie's personal ratings took an enormous - albeit temporary - hit as a result of that.

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    9. In five years' time when the Greens are looking to be re-elected, they will find it a lot easier if they can point to a solid record of achievement in parliament on the issues Green voters care about. Parties who make themselves into rubber stamps for larger allies tend not to do well from the deal - ask the Lib Dems. The optics of waving through Sturgeon of FM having campaigned strongly against various aspects of the SNP's economic, environmental and social agenda aren't great, whereas without wishing to relitigate old battles, I don't think the harvest in tactical votes from committed SNP supporters is ever going to be very large.

      If there's another independence referendum during the next parliament I expect the Greens to play a full role on the Yes side.

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    10. "In five years' time when the Greens are looking to be re-elected, they will find it a lot easier if they can point to a solid record of achievement in parliament on the issues Green voters care about."

      That was the theory in the 2007-11 parliament, and it seemed like a sound one - until the votes came in.

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    11. "give the Greens cover if their votes are needed to bail the SNP out in a really tight vote in the future."

      Except all the Greens need to do to "bail out the SNP" is abstain. The *only* way the SNP lose a vote is if all four opposition parties actively vote against them, so unless the Greens want to be seen to be working with the Unionists and Tories, the SNP have practical majority.

      So their choice of voting with the SNP or abstaining is purely a symbolic one, but it's a symbol that will be remembered next time they're asking for votes.

      I don't have a problem with them showing their true colours like this, but I voted SNP/SNP. If they want to try to pull that "charity votes on the list" crap again though, they might need to be careful about what colours they show.

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  4. What happened in Wales was rather a high-stakes game for Leanne Wood. If the Lib Dem had abstained she might have found herself first minister by accident, and forced to endure a couple of very embarrassing days before presumably resigning. She must have been very clear that it wouldn't happen.

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    1. What if that WAS her plan? The Lib Dem screwed them. ;)

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  5. Glasgow Working Class 2May 17, 2016 at 6:05 PM

    It appears some Nat sis have been winning with their willies down in westminster!

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2May 17, 2016 at 6:28 PM

      Get yer ain monika.

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    2. Not content with picking fights with all and sundry, 23 has finally turned his fire on himself. Comedy gold.

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    3. Glasgow Working Class 2May 17, 2016 at 10:11 PM

      Honest I never had sex with that women. So it seems two Nat sis were shaggin the same burd. Sharing is nice and should be Nat si policy. Tax the rich.

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    4. We already established that you're not interested in paying more taxes, 23.

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  6. BREAKING: Willie's on a roll! it has just been announced in Paris that the new SI international unit measure of political irrelevance is to be named the RENNIE.

    As the governing body of the Système international d'unités put it in the citation accompanying the official announcement:

    "The Rennie: The SI international unit measure of political irrelevance is named after an obscure, diminutive, Scottish politician who has become an object of ridicule for jumping up and down in frustration that no one took him seriously.

    Our experiments determined within 95% confidence limits that 500mRen (half a Rennie) is a lethal dose for most political careers."

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  7. So, only 5 MSPs objected to NS as FM.

    She's well popular it seems.

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2May 17, 2016 at 11:39 PM

      Just shows there is always a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

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    2. And less than half the parliament objected to Willie Rennie as FM. I'm surprised he's so loved!

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    3. It's Willie Rennie. Being mean to him would feel like kicking a puppy.

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  8. Utterly and completely bored rigid by GW2, who continues like white noise or a dripping tap with his Nazi monologue.

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2May 18, 2016 at 12:16 AM

      Seems your Nat si pals doon Westminster were rigid and boring. In their own time of course.

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    2. I'm much more offended by the activities of the warmongering brown envelope wing of the red Tories than by any sex scandal.

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    3. Glasgow Working Class 2May 18, 2016 at 1:02 AM

      The burd may have been extracting some pillow talk of national importance from those pillars of the community. Only kiddin just a pair of Nat si wankers. Makes paddy pantsdown look respectable. Do you actually get offended! That is a sign of weakness.

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    4. Offence is never a sign of weakness, 23, it is a strength. It inspires people to work against that which offends them, like warmongering, greed and corruption. I wouldn't expect you to understand, in your blind devotion to the warmongers and expense fiddlers in the Labour party.

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    5. Glasgow Working Class 2May 18, 2016 at 1:25 AM

      Lots of idiots get offended and some pretend but it is an excuse to moan and you Nat sis are masters at that. I have been listening to your fn moanin for decades. But do get to the point!

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    6. I already made my point. Your inability to comprehend it is hardly my problem, 23. Calling me a Nazi and an idiot won't change that.

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    7. GWC2 - why don't you just change your ndp to WC - would be much more appropriate, save you the spelling and of course the content would fit the cover!

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    8. Glasgow Working Class 2May 18, 2016 at 10:51 AM

      Cludgy or Crapper would suit you considering you talk shite.

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    9. Glasgow Working Class 2May 18, 2016 at 11:13 AM

      Anon, I do not recall calling anyone a Nazi on here however are you prepared to put names to the warmongerers, corrupt and greedy?

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    10. You're not getting to wriggle out of your Nazi obsession through the semantics of spelling. You've been calling all and sundry Nazis for months. As for greedy warmongers, try Blair for starters.

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    11. You know, I actually have reason to get seriously offended by that "nazi" crap that 24 keeps putting out. Not going to go into it, but I have family who had nightmares on their deathbed about them, because they lived through it.

      So, 24, we know you have a nazi obsession, and you like the current Labour party's warmongering ways. I'm starting to wonder what your opinions on the third riech really are. Perhaps you think it was all to the good? Maybe you think the current crusade is a good idea as well? Or perhaps you just want the world to burn?

      I know that you're an idiot, and seem incapable of having a civilised conversation. Maybe you'd be better off in one of those "not torture, honest" places that the USA keeps for their ambiance?

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    12. Glasgow Working Class 2May 18, 2016 at 12:36 PM

      Anon, Tony Blair your fellow hootsman thought you would love him.
      Illy. How does it feel offended?

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    13. The troll is devoted not only to expense fiddlers in the Labour Party, but the kiddie fiddlers as well. See Lord Janner.

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    14. Britain Elects ‏@britainelects 22m22 minutes ago
      EU referendum poll:
      Remain: 55% (+6)
      Leave: 37% (-2)
      (via Ipsos Mori, phone / 14 - 16 May)

      That looks a bit like the ORB poll doesn't it.

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    15. Glasgow Working Class 2May 18, 2016 at 1:11 PM

      I note you mentioned a Jewish bloke. Abstinence makes the Church grow Fondlers.

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    16. "That looks a bit like the ORB poll doesn't it."

      Yes, but it also looks almost identical to the Ipsos-Mori poll in February that was conducted at exactly the same time ComRes were showing a big drop in Remain's telephone lead. Today's YouGov poll is moderately good for Remain, but is within YouGov's recent normal range. We may not know for sure if Remain's position has genuinely improved until next weeks' ICM poll.

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  9. Glasgow Working Class 2May 18, 2016 at 9:19 PM

    Is Nat si Jose poppin his plonker in Serene Cow?

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  10. How many wummin are getting meat injections from Nat si MPs.

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2May 18, 2016 at 9:48 PM

      (yawn)

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  11. Willie Rennie did Sturgeon a favour. It looks more legitimate if you have an opponent who you actually beat - rather than just a coronation. In 70 years time, people will look up Wikipedia from a wee chip in their brains and see that Nicola Sturgeon walloped her only opponent 63-5. They'll then think "Wow - she must've been good. Shame about the Scottish civil war though...."

    Aldo

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    1. Civil war is the Tories' specialty. Twenty years of fratricidal mayhem over Europe is proof of that.

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  12. Glasgow Working Class 2May 19, 2016 at 12:09 PM

    Willie Rennie reminds me of David Steel, a progressive man indeed. What have the Nat sis given us. Named persons to check our children's underwear. Jailing football fans for singing jolly traditional songs. Refusing to tax the better of a lousy penny to improve public services. Wee Nicola getting sworn in in front of the etablishment judiciary was impressive. None of that lot will pay a penny more.

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    1. GWC2 - you are a very strange person indeed referring in any context to "children's underwear" and of course the rest of you at 1209 confirms the retrograde step humanity takes every time you post. I proposed the other day you should use the ndp WC - I'd like to recommend it again to you!

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    2. Glasgow Working Class 2May 19, 2016 at 6:47 PM

      Sorry chaps but recommendations from Nat sis are non negoitionable. Now squeeze oot of the weans nappy.

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    3. Glasgow Working Class 2May 19, 2016 at 8:32 PM

      Yawn hiccup.

      Delete
  13. Sensible article by M Mosley. Maybe the scum of the Herald could learn a thing or two.

    Then you can ask a judge to rule. I was unsuccessful, but we got a strong statement that “tawdry allegations about an individual’s private life” are not lawful, as opposed to “contributing to a debate of general public interest in a democratic society”. It’s quoted in the supreme court judgment.

    In other news. Does abies jezerna tompkins have any real qualifications to be a," shadow minister," apart from being a sectarian bigot? Is he GWC in much the same way JK Plagiarist is Brian Spanner?

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2May 19, 2016 at 11:01 PM

      On a roll then! Try plain English keep it short and explanatory.

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  14. Glasgow Working Class 2May 20, 2016 at 9:55 AM

    Wee Knickerless now getting her kneb in about Muirfield. Who the fook would want to stand at a club bar and listen to her constant moanin. That is why real men want peace and quiet. Well done guys.

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  15. WC - "real men" - what? do you know some? What a dork and waste of time and space you are!

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