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Leaving the EU is now vital to secure the future of the UK and will positively impact the long term of everything that we do

October 8, 2019 Leave a comment

Today has been signifiant. Boris has already achieved significantly more than his predecessor Theresa May, and the chronology of events when we look back on the whole of the Brexit saga is likely to be seen to have pivoted on events that have happened today.

With Merkel saying her piece to Boris, followed by outbursts by Tusk and then Coveney on Twitter too, few of the objective people who are observing this saga unfold will have been left with any doubt about the content of the message that we have collectively been told.

The EU is and never was interested in compromise upon anything meaningful with the UK over Brexit, unless it resulted in a permanent state of Remain.

That they and the Irish Government thought that leaving Northern Ireland behind would ever be acceptable to the UK in order to secure mutually acceptable terms with the EU before Leaving is simply breathtaking in the extreme.

But the EU is an organisation that has form. And if our MPs had been fulfilling their roles as our representatives better – and arguably as they should – we would never have got to the place that we are, where the behaviour of the EU has had to be pushed to become so open and obvious, that many People across the Country are today wondering exactly what it was that we elected these MPs for.

What should now be clear to everyone, is the UK cannot thrive as it should, could and would do in the future, if we are tied to the EU and any of its Member States by even the most trivial policy devices – if they resemble anything that looks like Remain.

We must be able to set our own agenda in our relationships with the World outside. Set our own tariffs and border requirements. And most significantly write and implement all of the laws under which we are governed and required to observed as people and as businesses within.

We must do this because we the British People and the people from amongst us that we ask to represent us are the only people capable of knowing how to serve the interests of this Country best.

Only British People have the understanding of what our communities, businesses and public services need. And we need to have genuine localism working in our Cities, Towns, Parishes and Neighbourhoods in a way that centralising everything towards unelected bureaucrats in a European City never could deliver.

It is only if we do this, and are brave with the decisions that we make along the way and as we do so, that we can begin to address the real problems that are affecting our society. Knife crime, poverty, disenfranchisement, the housing shortage, the climate crisis and a whole lot more besides.

People have been suspicious of it, but might have never realised that many of the problems that we have in this Country have been created because of the way our law making has been exported to the EU. Rules have been changed and the responsibility for doing so given away to people with neither the interest nor understanding of what we all really need in this Country – the same basic responsibilities that UK politicians and MPs MUST be equipped with as a basic step in future, if their UK Lawmaking is to really do any good.

We cannot achieve anything genuinely good in and for this Country or indeed any of the other Countries and their Peoples around the World that we care for, if we Remain tied into the EU monolith in any way at all.

The EU has today proven that they are not interested in facilitating democracy. That they have no respect for it and that they are prepared to do anything and everything possible to keep what they clearly see as the UK cash cow, tied into the EU Project for good.

Its time that we all not only see but also accept that the UK’s best interests and the best interests of the EU are not, have never and will never be legitimately aligned or in any way the same.

We must Leave the EU as soon as possible and then reform our political system too so that neither Foreign Governments, the bureaucrats that represent them, or sell-out politicians of our own can prioritise outside interests.

The British People and our Industries are too important to be left to the whims of anyone who is on their own agenda and drunk on their sense of self importance and control.

 

MPs are getting high on their own supply and are on target to wake up only when all damage possible has already been done

October 1, 2019 Leave a comment

We talk about the ‘Westminster bubble’ as if there is a dome like structure physically parked right over the middle of London under which our establishment and political elite exists. But the humour made out of the detachment that our MPs have from the realities of the world outside has now subsided as significant truth that underlies the joke has been exposed.

Not content with imprisoning a Prime Minister and refusing to go to the Country – as everyone but them realised that time is running out for democracy to be restored – the Remain-collective-Opposition has now moved on to creating a new constitution of its own design, all as the wrecking ball it has aimed at British Democracy swings back and forth keeping the dynamics of the situation continually on the move.

On Wednesday they are tabling a Bill in Parliament to nominate a new PM.

Yet despite Boris Johnson’s attempts to call a General Election, this quasi-Government has refused to seek legitimacy for their position. As such, no vacancy for a Prime Minister actually exists.

To continue going down the road that these MPs who oppose Brexit and the will of the People are going, only serves to underline the truth of what their aims are.

Their contempt for democracy and the People who lent them their power has now been completely exposed.

The reality is that there is no way back to the system that once existed. Where losers consent and therefore their respect ensured the legitimacy and follow through from both Parliamentary and Electoral Votes.

Over the course of three years, the majority of MPs in this Parliament have overridden the principles of democracy both in their relationship with voters and with the constitution itself.

The damage is done and what is more, these MPs, completely intoxicated with their own power, now believe their own hype and are behaving as if anything goes.

An alternative to the system we have does not appear readily available and this is probably why they are confident that nothing can now stop them.

They have the Courts on their side and believe that there is no power above or below them that can or will stop them. They are certain that they can continue completely unhindered because there is no longer a bigger fish swimming in the pool that is able to get involved.

But the alternative they are not counting on is the British People itself.

A fuse has been lit and when the inevitable explosion comes, these MPs who have got high on their own supply will realise that they do not know better than the People they were elected to represent. That for all the glory and fleeting headlines they temporarily generated – as they wrecked the system that gave them power – it would not only have been responsible, but much wiser to have done exactly what they had been told.

We the People deserve significantly better than to be treated the way we are by politicians who are obsessed with their own ideas and place in the world, rather than with any legitimate cause.

Their selfishness and contempt for others has certainly assured them a legacy and place in history. That will be the destruction of the system of democracy in this Country – for no other reason than their determination to sell out their homelands to a Foreign Power called the EU.

Our system of Government is no longer fit for purpose and we are unlikely to get the change required if it is left in the hands of any of these MPs

September 30, 2019 Leave a comment

Squatter Parliament

Politics is broken. It can no longer remain the same.

Elected representatives have demonstrated repeatedly that they cannot be trusted to respect the principles that underpin our democracy. For what happens next, they have only themselves and their parties to blame.

Until the 2010 creation of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, the safety valve that prevented trouble of the kind we are now experiencing was the ability of any and all prime ministers to call for a General Election, at any time and without two thirds of Parliament in support.

It was respectfully used at times when a government had no way to continue and simply didn’t have the number of votes necessary in Parliament to provide it with majority support.

Whilst opposition after opposition would have grabbed the chance of a General Election being gifted to them at any time, this Remain-majority of a quasi-Government has refused to have one deliberately by choice.

By doing so, they have demonstrated a total disregard, for our centuries-old constitution. A system of government that has never before seen such open and contemptuous forms of abuse.

Their priority and aim has been to manipulate the system to deliver what they want without any form of legitimacy or mandate.

What is worse, their plans run completely contrary to the will of the People – given to them legitimately as a direct and clear instruction in a democratic vote.

None of the political class that currently sits within our Parliament can walk away from this complete mess and claim they had nothing to do with it, the years of abuse that prepared the ground for it, or that it was always out of their control.

There is a rot at the base of British politics now and the real problem for us all is the question of how it can be replaced.

We cannot wait for a new party to be established that will have the policies and reach that will make it a credible alternative to what we have as the current line up or choice.

The current system is a monopoly of three at best and is totally rigged at worst.

But without a new political party that is a real left-right/Leave-Remain all-view-considered movement too, we are faced with the prospect of having to elect MPs at the coming General Election who have come to Parliament through the very same Party Political system that gave us the people that have broken our democracy.

This system of political parties only works to further itself and is as such fundamentally flawed.

The truly concerning thing for us all right now is that the stupidity that we are witnessing in Parliament may not have as yet come to its end.

The MPs we have Today are either so sure of their own position or confident that they can do what they like and that Public concern will simply then fade away, that it has become clear that they are now capable of doing absolutely anything when it comes to getting their own way.

This travesty must be stopped. What they have already done has set a dangerous precedent. Those politicians who follow them in future without there being the meaningful change required will simply approach future policies just the same.

We must find a way to create and establish a fixed and robust constitution that covers all aspects of the way this Country is governed.

We must set proper, considered rules covering how we allow our MPs to be appointed as candidates and then become elected.

Otherwise we must now accept that Parliamentary democracy in this country is no longer fit for purpose and has come to its end and that the time has come to find another way.

One way or another, change is coming and it’s probably going to come very soon indeed.

The answer may not be anything anything we have already seen. And it won’t be a question of if or when.

It will simply be a question of who.

 

The future of this Country will not be dictated by a Squatter Parliament filled with cuckoos rather than genuine MPs. Our future will be decided by the British People and implemented by representation that we can actually trust.

This Parliament is a joke that would be funny if the actions of our MPs were not so serious. They are doing nothing less than opening the safety doors that enclosed our democracy and inviting a revolution in

September 26, 2019 Leave a comment

images (16)Observing the chaos that has been caused in Parliament by the exquisite mixture of self interest, ignorance and lack of moral standing on the part of so many of our existing MPs has become frightening. Frightening for the real people outside of politics, who until these past three years have relied upon our system of government to be reliably always there when it comes to doing what it is that MPs, Ministers and PMs should do.

But our MPs are drunk on what they perceive as their own power. They lost all sense of reality when they sold their souls to this establishment’s system.

They have left real people outside of Westminster with literally no idea where this is all heading nor where it will actually end.

Yet they genuinely believe that they are in control of everything that they do.

For years that number centuries, British people have been able to rely upon a system of checks and balances, that without need for anything more than the gentlemanly handshake that was representative of the trustworthy Britain of old, has kept our system of government moving – albeit through transfer of power to complete opposites as well as long-waiting successors, at any time that momentum has been lost, mistakes have been made or the incumbent in No10 has simply become too old.

But the days when MPs and this Country’s leaders were self aware enough and had the moral fortitude to simply ‘do the right thing’ when their time was done have now long since gone.

The stupidity of MPs who are either being deliberately obtuse or simply too stupid to know and understand why they were elected, has driven our system of governance to the point of destruction.

Not content with barricading themselves within our Parliament and seeing themselves as the squatters that they are, or accepting that they have overstayed their welcome and that they should leave; these pretenders to the principles of democracy have now gone even further, not only seeking but securing the dubious intervention of the Courts to endorse their unscrupulousness.

Together, they have underlined the reality that power in this Country is no longer in the hands of the people that Parliament and our Courts are supposed to serve.

The British People have the right to be frightened. Because in the General Election that is soon to come we are not being offered anything different or anything that is good.

In this General Election we will only have the choice of electing MPs who will be motivated by their own set of self-serving values. Whether new candidates or those who will plan on returning, everything will continue to be just the same.

The reason we have got to where we are is because the whole system has become about keeping itself going. It has reached the stage where it just perpetuates pain.

Without fundamental change to the way that political parties operate and the pool of candidates that it offers us is selected, all forms of government in this country are now destined to remain institutionally corrupt.

The British People are awakening to this. Deep down and viscerally we know and understand that the more these people in power today tell us that things are changing and have changed, the more they actually stay the same.

We have now reached a time when so many of these very same MPs blow off steam by projecting the guilt they carry for their own actions onto others that question them by branding them with names they themselves don’t understand such as ‘fascists’ and many other derogatory things.

But they do not realise that it is they themselves who through their dismissal and disrespect of the very system that gave them their opening and opportunity, are now opening the very door to a new form of governance that could very well end up encapsulating all that they suggest they are afraid of and more.

Many will scoff at such sentiment. But what the use of power without thought on this level invites is nothing less than a revolution.

Because it is now becoming clear to the silent majority of the People in this Country that the apparatus has been removed or rendered meaningless that would in other hands have provided us, the Electorate with the choice of a real political alternative that can be trusted to democratically win.

 

image thanks to unknown

 

 

 

 

 

The Supreme Court has lit the fuse on a time bomb sitting under our democracy and whole system of government too

September 24, 2019 Leave a comment

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The legal profession in the UK has been its own worst enemy for a long time.

Whilst reform has been long overdue in probably every area of Law, like most devices linked to the rule of Government in this Country, the breaks have been plastered over again and again and the system has repeatedly failed all of us.

Like politics itself, the people with responsibility have either forgotten or overlooked what’s right for everyone and replaced it with whats right for them in some or other mitigated form.

Perfect judgement of anything is rarely possible, because it is impossible to be aware of or understand all of the facts. And by facts we must not exclude non-material evidence, because thinking itself would also be taken into consideration if the perfect judgement were genuinely the aimed-for thing.

For practical reasons that include the functioning of what we consider to be a ‘normal‘ or civilised society, it is necessary for the Law to work set against a framework of Laws, precedents and past Judgements as a guide to identify the milestones and benchmarks of legal circumstances and know that a decision is being made against the ‘right’ things.

When it comes to matters that sit outside precedent or the Law making of our Government, it stands to reason that the highest Court in the Land which is now the Supreme Court, should be consulted and be asked to consider what precedent to set upon  those things.

Yet the dynamics of the relationship between primary Law makers (Government, ultimately representing the People) and the administrators of the Law (The Judiciary, ultimately representing the Government) is one that should never be impinged.

To do so brings into question where the power of our democracy ultimately falls.

The ruling by the Supreme Court today against the Government that the current Prorogation of Parliament was unlawful has stepped over a fundamental fault line in the way that our system of Democracy has previously been successful and worked.

Laws have been created under the power of the electorate via the ballot box, through the election of representatives of the people.

Until today, we have not been a Country that has been under the rule of the Courts.

As I outlined in a recent blog, there can be no suggestion that Boris Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament was absolutely right. But the circumstances which led him to the place where he made that decision were simply unprecedented too.

There should have been acknowledgement from the Supreme Court that the nature of the circumstances that have led to the Prorogation have themselves led to the experience for both the Government and the Courts.

Regrettably, the Judges of the Supreme Court have not done this. And our concern should now be what impression this will leave in people’s minds when we know that the way that politics works is broken and that change is an inevitable thing.

We have a Parliament that has refused to obey the will of the people by enacting the instruction of a democratic vote; refused to go back to the people when a confirmatory vote in the form of a General Election was offered – not just once, but twice, and has now encouraged the highest Court in the land to intervene in support of what at best can only be called their very questionable actions. All without the people being allowed to become involved in the process and being allowed democratically give their view on whats been happening, without Parliament first taking every step it believes that it can, to stack the deck in its favour of being returned en masse in order to frustrate once again the meaning of that original 2016 European Referendum Vote.

As those who have taken the time to study the steps and pathways that dictators take to power will already know, one of the first things they look to destroy or take control of is the system of Law and the Judiciary.

With the state of our so-called democracy being in the condition that it is and the self-serving behaviour of our MPs wrecking the whole concept of a working democracy in the way that it is, it is arguably the case that the combined efforts of all the people who should know better at the top of our establishment may have just combined to give any would-be dictator just cause.

 

image thanks to itv.com 

 

Changing Politics for the better Pt 1: Public Sector Reform

September 6, 2019 Leave a comment

The key aim of my discussion on change in politics is to talk about Brexit and the possibilities that it opens up to us more openly, and how a good Government can go about putting the ideas underpinning A New Politics into practical and meaningful form.

In the first instance, it is easy for us to assume that these changes can come about just by changing the way that Politicians think, or replacing the Politicians themselves. But the reality of changing the way that Government and the Public Sector works is so very much more.
One of the reasons it has become so important that we get the right Politicians in place, is because the Public Sector itself has as a result of EU influence and poor political management over many years, become rotten to the core.
The Public Sector has become for many senior officers one big gravy chain with tentacles that reach outwards and far beyond. There is a protectionist culture in place from top to bottom that shies away from responsibility and passes the buck onwards an upwards – usually to consultants who actually add nothing new, rather than simply getting the job done, which is after all exactly what all Government Officers and Civil Servants are employed to do.
Rather than the priority of Public Services being to serve the Public, the focus has become all about the people who are employed within its jobs. The employment rules and regulations and bottomless pits such as the Local Government Pension Scheme are a gargantuan drain on just about every resource.
And it is because it has become so very expensive to employ staff directly and to keep up with the legal obligations to those staff that once were, that significant incomes generated by Council Tax and Business Rates go nowhere near as far as they should.
Poor Management, management based on self-interest and management which is incompetent whilst selling itself as knowing better than elected decision makers is at the core of this rich malaise.
Any original thinking that could find solutions to the problems is restricted by all the rules that being tied to the EU has put in play.
And the rich mix of key positions of influence in the Public Sector being filled by people who really shouldn’t be there, entwined with the incompetence of politicians who are in it for themselves as simply assume that the executive is there to decide what work to do, rather than being there to do as they are told, means that the whole Public Sector System is failing us. Is too expensive to run. And is at the mercy of idiots who have concluded that getting more money from Central Government is the only way to get anything done.
A Good Government will immediately embark upon top to bottom Public Sector Reform.
To begin with it could:
  • Create a new code of ethics and protocol that requires all public employees to fulfill both the obligations and live up to the responsibilities of their jobs.
  • Ban the use of outside consultants, agencies or temporary staff to carry out work that a public sector employee could do.
  • Ensure that Employees and the expectations placed upon them are realistic and where extra is required from them, that they are happy to undertake additional work voluntarily if that is the most sensible way to get things done.
  • Stop councils and other public sector bodies contracting out services to profit making contractors and agencies.
  • Reform and remove the guarantee of the gold-plated pension schemes and put them on a par with those in the commercial world.
  • Reverse the reforms that Gordon Brown enacted to Pension Schemes in 1997.
  • Remove the Working Time Directive and any Employment Rules that mean the employer has to prioritise the rights of the Employee above the execution of the job and the responsibilities that they were employed to do.
  •  Put a fixed, realistic and mandatory pay scale in place for each and every level, role or position, placing the emphasis back on jobs in the public sector including the benefit of putting something back, rather than being all about what the employee can gain from being in the job that they do.
  • Take appropriate steps to stop ambulance chasers and everything that contributes to the culture of blame. Public employees need to know that they are trusted to do their jobs and to adapt to circumstances rather than having to do everything based on a risk assessment first in case they should be accused of intending to hurt others in some way, or do something that could otherwise be interpreted as being wrong

Rethinking the Railways: no Public Service should be in private hands, nor should it be under union influence either

January 3, 2019 Leave a comment

It’s January and once again, we are witnessing inflation-busting rises in Rail Fares with the same old media coverage, the same old political responses from all sides and the same old reality that it is the same people being financially worked-over as a result of the ineptitude of the Politicians who were Elected to help them.

As usual, the blame game is well and truly afoot, providing ever useful cover for those choosing not to be responsible as we focus on the beneficial myths which are privatisation of public services, public ownership, building completely new railways and the inherent suggestion that people can always afford to pay more.

Whilst championed by the various sides as Westminster takes a momentary breath from Brexit, the reality is that none of these approaches can solve the fundamental problems that exist within the railways, public transport or wider public sector services.

Switching from one of these methods to another to solve just one problem, will simply create many more.

As with most issues that now surround the ineptitude and incompetency of Government, the real solutions to these problems – that’s the one that tackle the actual causes – are simply too unpalatable for the spin doctors and marketing whizzes to contemplate on behalf of the Politicians who would have us believe that they are in control.

The Politicians themselves do not have the foresight to see that by taking the tough and difficult decisions that they are supposed to, the results and impact of that action will soon speak much louder than any sound bite, as the reality of doing things properly becomes manifest and finds a very loud voice of its own.

The problem with the options that we are told are available

It’s very important to understand that one of the key principles of the Public Sector and the way that it operates is involuntarily and often deliberately overlooked:

Public Services are not and never will be a commercial business.

The purpose of Public Services is to provide uniformity of service and/or access to the wider community, which is simply contradictory to the motivation for running private business.

The simple reason being that the universal nature of the requirement for Public Services necessitates that unless you cherry pick and introduce different levels or tiers of service or remove the provision of that service from some areas altogether, the guarantee of profitability from all those parts operated, if not all of the service itself would always be denied.

This is why even in private hands, the Railways are heavily subsidised by the Government.

The Railways today

Today the Railways are effectively operated by profit-making private sector contractors or operating companies. Contractors who are often large PLC’s that make substantial sums of money by operating large-scale services and employing the economies of scale to reduce costs, usually on an ongoing basis.

Operating under the auspices of being a regulated public service as the nature of the public ownership of the railway infrastructure itself dictates, the contractors do not have the flexibility to raise prices and change service structures at will.

This effectively means that to increase profits, the contractors have to reverse engineer the profit-making-process by reducing overheads and making more money from the cost centres which have been accounted for in their Contract with the Government.

In effect, they are adhering to the terms of their agreement with the Government in principle rather than spirit. The outcome being the shitty end of the stick that we all experience each and every time we get on a sweaty train and realise that we have to stand for at least significant chunks of a very long journey, unless we want to get out and run.

Because the margins the operating companies accept to gain a contract or franchise are often very tight, expectation versus the ability to back engineer those all-important profit margins can easily prove impossible to align. And when they do, this is when we experience ‘franchises’ being passed back to public hands.

No private company will pay for the privilege of operating a Public Service, and nor should  the Government expect them to do so. But on the same count, neither should they be able to milk profit by taking all the value out.

The only thing that literally keeps the train wheels spinning is the RPI linked rise in Rail Fares which comes into operation each January.

It’s a dubious way of calculating an annual rise to say the least. But without it, the current operating model simply wouldn’t work.

Return to Public Ownership

Jeremy Corbyn and his shotgun John McDonnell advocate a wholesale return of Public Services to Public Ownership. For obvious reasons which only a fool would overlook or dismiss, this is a principle that the Public would all too easily embrace.

What it doesn’t do is answer the big questions surrounding why the idea of privatisation gained momentum in the first place. Perhaps the biggest reason being one of the left’s own making; the power of the Unions and Employment Rights too.

The simple question for anyone who understands the reasons why Public Services are put out to contract and therefore placed in profit-making hands is this: ‘Why is it more cost effective to employ a profit making company to run an identical service to the one we could or have provided ourselves?

The answer isn’t one that the left likes.

But it is also the reason that wholesale return of public services to public ownership without reform would cripple this Country in no uncertain terms: The Public Sector wage and benefits bill is out of control, as are the regulations and rights that support them, and the Union’s will bring everything to a standstill under the guidance of their barons who will employ the very same self-interest employed by big bankers and pension funds who milk public services today, simply served up in a different and even more malevolent form.

Building new Railways

Building new Railways will not solve the problems of franchising to profit-led contractors or operating them in unreformed Public hands.

It will cost money that the Country doesn’t have and would be unnecessary for us to spend too, if the Government was prepared to make the decisions that it should do.

The existing Infrastructure

One of the biggest errors of Government in ‘recent’ times, was the dismantling of the Railways undertaken by Dr Beeching in the 1960’s.

There was a complete lack of foresight and understanding by yet another Government which was reacting to the effects of problems it was facing, rather than getting on and tackling the causes as any good government should.

The result was that much of the indirect capacity which had until that time existed, was removed and with it, a ticking time bomb created for the effectiveness of the reformed railway network which would soon be as restricted as the diminished number of lines.

Today, there are simply not enough platforms at key and terminus or hub stations to increase capacity on the network in the most simple and effective way:

Increase the number of trains.

Using the Public as a cash cow

Whilst the Government heads off a simmering crisis each year by putting up the Rail Fares in what can only be argued as an unrealistic form, it relies on what is in effect taxing the same people over and over again for using a substandard service. One that only appears sustainable because over many commuters the Rail Operators hold a monopoly – something public services were NEVER created for.

Solving the problem and not creating others instead

It occurred to me as I was thinking about writing this blog, that the whole idea of public-private sector partnerships is actually oxymoronic.

Man can only have one master, and if that master is money, the service will not be about providing a good experience to the public.

Whilst I like the idea of public services being fully in public hands, this idea itself is no longer possible.

The standing influence that institutional and regulatory bias towards employees and unions has, has already priced out this operating model in many ways. It is itself the elephant in the room that it remains dangerous to identify when the collapse of public services – particularly at local level – is ever discussed.

In respect of these two options alone, the complexity of solving the Rail Fare crisis is identified and as part of the wider cost-of-public-services is concerned, certainly comes into its own.

The only way that railways and all forms of public transport can be returned to a format of universal, uniform quality and experience is to do away with the current and previous forms of operation and accept that there has to be a new operating model, focused on public service but adapted to deliver for all against the flow of self-interested times.

We need more platforms and if necessary stations in key locations, but we don’t need to build completely new lines.

The technology now exists to run and manage many more Trains on the same lines at the same times and we should be both embracing and furthering this massive opportunity for the benefits to the public, rather than just the profitability that it was developed for.

Existing line-beds and heritage Railways should be put back into commercial use and we should be making the very best of the infrastructure that we already have.

The cost of doing so and the time it will take to deliver will be substantially less and with much less disruption than any white elephant project like HS2 would ever have.

 

image thanks to unknown

 

 

 

 

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