Friday, October 18, 2019

When history beckoned, Jo Swinson was caught napping (or posturing)

A couple of things occurred to me yesterday about the implications of Boris Johnson concluding a deal against all the odds, and the fact that it doesn't (as of yet, anyway) look totally impossible that his new Hard Brexit package might just about scrape through the Commons tomorrow.  If it does, it's going to make a complete nonsense of the Liberal Democrats' contribution to the debate in recent weeks on whether or how to bring the government down.  They seemed to think it was a choice between an election or a last-gasp extension after no deal was found.  Instead the real question was whether a Tory government with no parliamentary majority whatsoever (indeed one that has never received any democratic consent to govern) should be left in office during the crucial month of October to negotiate a deal that suited it, as opposed to an alternative interim government putting in place arrangements that were actually in the interests of the people.

When history beckoned, Jo Swinson was caught napping.  Or more accurately, she was caught posturing about things that didn't really matter.  (Such as the identity of an interim PM who would have been in power for an extremely short period of time.)

Secondly, the outcome of the forthcoming election may be affected by the Brexit Party's decision to view the deal as a betrayal.  If the deal is rejected tomorrow, and an extension is requested and granted in line with the Benn Act, and then Johnson seeks to win the election on the promise to get the deal through, it seems likely that the Brexit Party would put up a full slate of candidates against the Tories - which paradoxically could mean that Johnson's negotiating triumph will make it harder for him to be re-elected.  The same would apply if the deal is ratified before the election.  The only way Farage will back off now is if the deal is rejected, the EU refuse a further extension, and a No Deal exit actually occurs before the election.  But I think that's pretty unlikely.  The EU may try to force MPs' hands by making noises in advance of tomorrow about refusing an extension, but will change their tune if the deal is voted down.

Mind you, it may not matter to the Brexit Party's electoral strategy whether this deal is passed before the election, but it certainly matters to the Liberal Democrats.  If Britain has already left the European Union by polling day, the clarity of their "stop Brexit" message will be spoiled.  They'll probably come up with an alternative message of negotiating as close a relationship with Europe as possible, but that may not capture people's imaginations in quite the same way.  The SNP will have no such problem: they'll still be able to inspire Remain voters with a crystal-clear pitch of swiftly rejoining the EU as an independent country.

70 comments:

  1. James,

    I'm not sure why you see Swinson as a threat?

    Swinson has already jumped the shark. Moving the libdems to a position of automatically revoking article 50 was stupid. I'm not a fan of Brexit but the only way out for a UK is through another democratic event i.e. another referendum or a general election.

    Any party that invokes a policy that conflicts with its primary reason for existence (i.e. liberal democracy) will ultimately pay a penalty.If Swinson can't see that then she's either naive or stupid.

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    1. "I'm not sure why you see Swinson as a threat?"

      This post is about the strategic error Jo Swinson has made, not about any threat she poses. However I've explained in previous posts why Swinson becoming Lib Dem leader was a cause for concern - history shows that London parties with Scottish leaders tend to do better in Scotland than they otherwise would.

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    2. "Any party that invokes a policy that conflicts with its primary reason for existence (i.e. liberal democracy) will ultimately pay a penalty."

      Now there's something to think about for the EuroUnionists in the SNP.

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  2. Your vision assumes the SNP are serious about independence, James.

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    1. I don't think anyone disputes that they're seriously anti-Brexit, and if we leave the European Union, the only realistic way of getting back in will be independence.

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  3. I wouldn't be surprised if Labour help Johnson get his deal over the line. Never underestimate the number of Labour MPs who will back the Tories when it comes to the crunch.

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  4. Scratch a Liberal Democrat and it bleeds Tory
    They always have and always will

    Swinson wants back in government and so will never do down the Tories because they're the government she wants to be part of, lets face it the woman's voted for them more times than half the actual members of the Tory party

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    1. Scratch a Yellow Jocko Nat si and Blue Tory capitalist policies will flow.

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  5. Suggests a hard border at Gretna has merit.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-50090140

    Rural communities in the Highlands, Aberdeenshire and Perthshire are being targeted by gangs using school children to sell class A drugs.

    Dealers based mainly in London and Merseyside use youngsters to move heroin and crack cocaine from major cities to smaller locations.

    Police Scotland say there are more than 20 active routes north of the border known as "county lines".

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  6. Independence would be so, so easy if it's what England wants.

    All effort should be place on getting English voters to seek independence from Scotland.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Something like that is underway as you speak

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    2. If you give the English the vote on Scottish independence you will win hands-down. Easy peasy give John Bull the vote.

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    3. We've been over this before. In 2014, English immigrants voted No while Scots born in majority voted Yes.

      Polls do suggest England is swinging towards indy now though.

      If the SNP can stop Boris's brexit, that will help things along.

      Even N. Irish unionists are mumbling about reunification now that Bozo shat all over them.

      I said you couldn't trust him. He was always going to sell them out. The look on Fosters face was quite something. That deep hurt of unrequited love.

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    4. Does that mean there are more English immigrants in Scotland than so called real Scots! Most Scots immigrated during the 50s, 60s and seventies. Scotland is just a name on the EU map it is not a nation anymore.

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    5. Emigrated even.

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  7. What you Nat sis never explain is why you want to give the EU 13 billion a year and never explain what happens to the money. My tax return explains what percentage is spent and where.

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    1. Where is all that NHS $$ ?? You know : the Bus. ?? That is what people voted for. Good luck on tax savings. Unless you are richer than we think.,are you really Lord Wanker!??

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    2. Bill from Boston, is that the USA or NORTHUMBERLAND.

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    3. What have you got against Boston in LINCOLNSHIRE? It's a Brexiteer heartland, after all.

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    4. Sober up Jocko doleboy. Away and varnish your nails

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    5. My tax statement certain does not say where all the tax is spent, i think it's a state secret. Considering Westminster keeps 85% of all Scottish taxes and distributes them as it sees fit.

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  8. Just been showing my elderly NO voting neighbour the internet comments that she has never seen before and she has emphatically changed her view of Independence and now supports it wholeheartedly

    So thank you James Kelly for allowing the GWC to keep posting because thanks to his abuse that elderly lady has seen what many in that age group don't get to see or experience

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    1. When the Nat sis cut her heating allowance she spends on the gran weans christmas presents she will change her mind.

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  9. It was interesting how quickly the BBC swiched to Swinson after Ruth departed - did not even take 24 hours before they started running love-ins on TV and radio

    IMO Boris has this deal won either on Saturday or after the election he will win (in England).

    It will accelerate a United Ireland and will leave Scotland looking at NI being able to decide its future on an ongoing basis - either in or out of the EU or even the UK

    One would think that would make the penny drop in Scotland

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    Replies
    1. Mystical lowlightsOctober 19, 2019 at 9:31 AM

      It looks like Swinson's bright future has ended up in the same place as Davidson's and Dugdale's. Not sure how long she'll last because Lord Snooty Umunna isn't going to play second fiddle to her chaotic antics.

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  10. Now the Wingers are egging Stu on to stand against Pete Wishart in the forthcoming GE.
    If he stood against Mhairi Black the televised debate would have to be after the watershed.

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    1. Not all of them, but you're right, but there are also those who want to see him make a public fool of himself which he would, he's a good writer when he's hiding behind the internet but as a public speaker he looks like something from the most wanted list and folk tend not to care for that especially as he sounds particularly creepy as well, women wouldn't vote for him even if he offered them sweeties as they ushered their children behind their backs

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    2. Big Eater From PerthOctober 19, 2019 at 10:15 AM

      I have now applied my considerable mental powers to this idea. Normally I would be deeply honoured to represent my home city but in order to increase the impact of 'dissident independentism' I propose to stand as a Solidarity With Wings candidate in North East Fife. After some study I have calculated that the SNP majority there is approximately ten times more vulnerable. Needless to say I welcome the chance to take my feisty debating style to the streets of Ceres and Auchtermuchty.

      Did I mention that St Andrews has one or two quite remarkable restaurants?

      #Dissolve An Alka-Seltzer

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  11. I assume that the Tories have offered the SNP a Section 30 carved in stone in exchange for votes on the deal, and the SNP have refused this right?

    If not, what's everyone on about?

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  12. Look what Northern Ireland has achieved by blocking England's brexit.

    Sure that wasn't what the DUP intended, but it's the next result.

    If Scotland can keep blocking brexit, at some point Sturgeon will get a Section 30 in the post without asking. That or Brexit will be made EVEL, and that will the that for the union.

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  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Well, the Spanish government's nipped the Catalan indy movement in the bud eh!

      Absolute genius from Madrid. They can relax now as Catalans joyously return to the unionist fold.

      I'm sure Spanish unionists will do really well in the next Catalan elections. I mean if Scots saw their granny beaten up by English police sent into Edinburgh by London against Scotland's wishes, they'd rushing out to buy union flags and bunting right?

      It's funny how unionists always destroy their own union. The key to holding one together is actually really simple; allow countries the freedom to leave any time they wish and chances are, they won't, not if it's run well enough. Tell them they can't leave without your permission, and well, you can see what happens.

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    2. Scottish grannies are famous for beating up son in laws and breaking in to the leckie meter.

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    3. Who hurt you?

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    4. No, seriously..... who caused this much damage to your soul? You've obviously been traumatised at some point in your life. Was it a relative? An uncle perhaps? It's never too late to get help, you know. Even though you may feel worthless and hopeless, there IS a human being inside you, capable of leading a normal, productive life. You don't HAVE to exist like this. Seek help my friend, because your ramblings are getting worse and worse.

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    5. In Bridgeton no one can hear you scream.

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    6. His wife's granny must have beat GWC up when she caught him breaking into the leckie meter.

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  14. The red meat has been thrown to the leavers now and like Hyenas they'll kill each other to get to it
    If Boris Johnson said it was OK to kill verminous Scottish people the House of Commons and Unionists everywhere would all shout Yaay! let's get it done
    Right here in little old Scotland the so called journalists return to their roots with the likes of Kevin McKenna coming over all Labour again and blaming the SNP for everything he can think of then sewing the seed of division in the ranks by some folk who have an opinion on something that nobody much cares about but McKenna highlights its importance as if if Jo Public is all clued in to this nothing
    So yes, Nicola Sturgeon is in fact to blame for everything because she should have produced a big gun and shot all the English MPs on behalf of Scotland, but she didn't, so her bad

    What's the next step for Scotland? well according to people like McKenna it's get rid of Nicola Sturgeon who didn't do the job he never wanted her to do anyway but bring us back a strong Labour party so we can all go back to square one and begin complaining all over again

    It seems that when people advocate violence everybody becomes all PC and says Oh no you can't do that, then complains that Northern Ireland only gets special treatment because the English are afraid of people and stuff being blown up by the Northern Irish if they don't get any consideration
    So what does that tell us about the English, well they're prepared to deal and do whatever people want who threaten them and Scotland's problem is the English haven't been made afraid Scotland will do the same thing to them as the Irish would so they treat Scotland badly

    That might very well change very soon

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  15. N. Ireland and Scotland just blocked England's brexit again.

    Why doesn't England just go for independence?

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    1. In fact Scotland and NI have apparently forced the PM of England to go begging - some might even say surrendering - to the EU for an extension.

      If I was English, I'd wish brexit was a matter for England and its EVEL parliament alone.

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    2. But I thought that England always got what it wanted in Parliment - it is the 'English Parliment' after all ;)

      Anyhow onto the more serious stuff and Corbyn/Labour are now paying for three years of dithering and have run out of road. Now that there is a deal don't think that there are the votes for second ref and Boris has probably got enough votes to get the deal though (although will be very very tight) so he has to table a VOC; if not he will go down as the Labour leader that let Brexit happen on his watch.

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    3. It goes pretty much always get what it wants. On a rare occasion Scotland can block things, but as you point out, it's only because NI has blocked it too, and even then it's buy a baw hair.

      Pointing out the 1/100 times Scotland manages to tip a vote is a really, really bad way to advertise the union. Ideally, Scotland should have a veto like Ireland does in the EU. You just highlight how little a voice Scotland has.

      If brexit does happen as you think it will, then that just highlights how England, in the end, will get what it wants.

      There remains the faintest possibility it might need to break the union for that though, and the SNP should pursue that to the end. Block, scupper, ruin, screw up. Every single spanner in the UK works. Pass as many devolved laws as possible to get in the way of trade deals. Take every law possible to court. A court case each weak to make sure England's brexit is utterly ruined.

      Unless a permanent Section 30 is granted of course. That changes things.

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    4. You just need to read the tweets responding to this to see the future of the UK.

      https://twitter.com/britainelects/status/1185553781162946561

      English leavers hate the N. Irish and Scots, DUP included.

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    5. I've noticed some of the Daily Mailers describing the DUP as 'traitors'. Bunch o Funny Yins, right enough. :)

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    6. DUP voted with the SNP against GWC and mates.

      That's the thing. The DUP prioritise the union over brexit. For them, Brussels rule trumps a border down the Irish Sea.

      So if this brexit deal does go ahead, the DUP will do nothing but cause England headaches going forward, using the GFA as a stick to beat them with.

      Brexit pits Scottish/NI Irish unionists against English nationalists.

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  16. Does anyone know if Johnson is the most unsuccessful PM ever? Asking for an acquaintance called Gordon.

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    1. Because of the £300 million bet him and his financial backers have put on getting a no deal Brexit he could end up the richest or the poorest Prime Minister ever

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  17. Tories starting to build up a decent lead again in the polls. Ten points clear of Labour now.

    Libs falling away as standard.

    http://britainelects.com/

    If that continues, then it's not going to be in the interests of either Labour or the Lib dems to bring down Johnson in a VoNC. SNP can keep calling for one though safely enough it seems.

    Yet Johnson has no majority, and the DUP are the opposition now. They will remain so as longs as there's a border down the Irish sea.

    So Johnson may get his poll ratings, but not his election, as he needs the opposition to give him his VoNC. All the time, the Scots + N. Irish will continue to prevent England doing what it wants (as does rarely happen) / ruining its brexit.

    Fingers crossed.

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  18. Fairly bog standard opinium UK Scots sample:

    44% SNP
    26% Con
    10% Lib
    9% Lab
    7% Brx
    1% Grn
    1% UKIP

    Average since August is 45% SNP.

    Similar case for Comres, which always have the SNP lower, but recently have them just edged into the low 40's.

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  19. Incidentally, EU member states should obviously only consider the wishes of the UK parliament (and their own desires) re any extension.

    Johnson doesn't have a majority and, while he would love to be a dictator, is not actually a full one yet. Ergo, what he wants is pretty much irrelevant.

    As a result, his letter is just a humiliation for him and England. That's it.

    They should go with what the Scots and N. Irish want (as these seem very decided, unlike England), and grant an extension. A 10 year one or something.

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  20. you missed out Wales. There votes are blocking a Brexit as much as Scotts or NI ones.

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    1. Yes, Wales is stopping England's brexit too. Very good point. I'd be furious like English people are right now if I was English.

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  21. Why are NI people allowed to block England's brexit when they are getting to stay in the single market?

    Surely if N. Ireland is getting to stay as they want, they shouldn't be allowed to vote to block England from leaving?

    Same for the Scots. How is it fair that the Scots block England's brexit, then vote for indy a few months later?

    I think brexit should be Engxit EVEL.

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  22. I see the N Irish (DUP with the backing of Sinn Fein, the IRA and the EU) now want to vote to impose a second EU ref on England.

    The Scots will join them in this endeavor I assume.

    This will unite the UK like never before I imagine. The English will just love their union partners.

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  23. Tories have what a 56% majority in England?

    They'd already be out of the EU with the Tories in charge if brexit was EVEL.

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  24. How to support Independence In Europe:

    https://twitter.com/lauramarsh70/status/1185475704277868546?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Eembeddedtimeline%7Ctwterm%5Eprofile%3Alauramarsh70&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fweegingerdug.wordpress.com%2F2019%2F10%2F19%2Fthe-law-as-a-serving-suggestion%2F

    Visca separatisme!

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  25. Did the PM break the law again?

    Scotland's court to decide on Monday.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-50112554

    Let's hope he has.

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  26. Remember when Nigel Farage told the population they were stupid for letting the Tories fool them and their politicians were letting them down for their own financial comfortable reasons and that he Nigel Farage had the answers the sneaky rotten politicians weren't telling them because they thought the population were thick too

    Read Wings over Scotland, it could be the same guy, he even quotes him

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    Replies
    1. Wings Forward UnitOctober 20, 2019 at 3:28 PM

      But what if Rev Stu manages to enter parliament at the firstr attempt? You won't be laughing then!

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    2. We might be after his maiden speech. "But c**t is just a word, Presiding Officer! No, I won't f**king withdraw it, Miss Prissy!"

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    3. Stuart Campbell lists his accupation as "subversive" and just to make the point he posted it on Twitter, at the same time he informs the population of Scotland they're stupid which to be fair to him a certain amount are in every country but the taking advantage of that stupidity whilst at the same time applauding it is pure Farage

      The fantasy Wings party won't happen because you have to face the public, you can't just hide behind a computer insulting and swearing at people and hope to be voted for, personality counts, and Campbell has a problem with that, unless Nigel is going to take him by the hand round the hustings which would be twice as ridiculous as Campbell doing it himself
      Not saying Campbell isn't a clever writer and trickster, he's done well as long as he keeps hiding but that's coming to an end and he has to earn a living so who's going to be foolish enough to provide that for him
      Voters? or all the stupid people he keeps telling us about

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    4. A whispering moon shining calmlyOctober 20, 2019 at 8:00 PM

      I don't think people would vote for a candidate who looks sinister and unwashed. (Except for Neil Hamilton of money came).

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    5. Just a minor point, but Farage and Trump have successfully been elected. Johnson too.

      They're ignorant, incompetent racist assholes who insult people openly all the time.

      I would place Campbell notably further down the asshole scale.

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    6. Johnson hasn't been elected, except by his own party. Trump was beaten in the popular vote by Hillary Clinton. And Farage has lost every time he's stood for Westminster.

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    7. All within the democratic process in the respective countries young James.

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    8. Johnson was elected an MP (I wasn't talking about him being PM, he's unlected in that respect).

      Trump wasn't far behind Clinton (and won by the rules in place), and Farage has been an MEP for many years.

      Lets not pretend being a total asshole prevents you being elected to parliament / high office. Jeez, Hitler got 44%.

      That's all my point was. I wasn't advocating a vote for Wings or anything. I was just saying that it's a totally false premise to suggest only the whiter than white will ever be elected. Quite the opposite can apply.

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  27. A whispering moon shining calmlyOctober 20, 2019 at 8:01 PM

    came = fame

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  28. Boris could go on for at least three terms. Knickerless will become a credit union manager helping people she helped into food banks.

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