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Want a real Brexit and Corbyn kept out of No.10? – A General Election is now the only way…

images-2Coverage of the result of the Peterborough By-Election actually felt different. Maybe even a little odd. But perhaps prescient of the direction our Politics is now going – a place where there is no control or script and it all seems to be in the hands of the gods.

Within hours of this blog being published, the gurus of political interpretation will have of course broken the whole thing up and began spinning it into many different, but for them, primarily self-serving ways. However, the reality will nonetheless remain underneath it all that Politics in this Country has changed and things are never going to be the same again.

Yet the politicians refuse to see it.

They are still looking at everything coming at them through the lens of the old politics – and yes, I’m even including the Brexit Party as being one of them in this instance too.

To perhaps understand this a little better, it is important to consider the Peterborough result.

Yes, the Labour Candidate was Elected. But the Brexit Party Candidate wasn’t far behind them and it would be foolish to frame the Conservative Candidate’s 3rd place as being outside of the same room.

Somewhere, probably in London today, different conversations will be taking place around the realities of what can be gleaned from the way the vote was split.

Some of this thinking will simply be deluded. Some of it will be based on outright fear. But what will be common among all of it will be the view that the problem is outside of the Politicians, outside of their Party and that it will be something or someone else who is getting it all wrong.

With the Peterborough result for these three Political Parties and the wider Westminster Polls being dispersed between them and the Liberal Democrats as they are, you can bet that the debate will end up for many of them concluding that First Past The Post is now redundant and should be replaced by some other form of electoral system that will benefit the de facto righteousness of their position – such as PR.

What they fail to observe, or deliberately overlook and therefore do not accept, is the reason that none of them – even with Brexit involved – is offering the leadership, vision and inspiration that is necessary to formulate the public policy that the People now want and is required of our Politicians and their Parties not just for Brexit, but as we step off into a world based on A New Politics beyond.

Playing around with the Electoral System will only benefit the Political Parties and the Politicians involved.

It will sure up, consolidate and in some cases expand their presence and position.

But the upshot is that the opportunity to provide the kind of decisiveness and defining leadership that we now need in British Politics more than ever, will simply be lost.

Brexit and the future of this Country requires good leadership and the decisiveness that goes with it by the truckload. Without it the mess we are now in is set to get a whole lot worse.

What Politicians should understand from the results and polling as they are, is that no Political Party is currently capable of commanding a working majority in Parliament. Without it, neither Brexit nor anything substantial in terms of the changes to and creation of new Policy that our people now need is going to be addressed in any meaningful and lasting way. That simply has to change.

The biggest risk to Brexit and to our Democracy –  make no mistake that the two are now intricately involved – is that the new Conservative Leadership will continue onwards and go all out to enable a No Deal Exit from the EU by 31st of October – just so they can claim that they have achieved and can take ownership of that result.

If the current Parliamentary dynamic doesn’t stop them before they do so, there is a storm cloud awaiting them on the other side. Because it is there that the Remain majority in Parliament – if it has not been changed – will have an incredibly hard stick to beat the Government with, and the ability to make serious hay from the sunshine that they will see pouring over them from the inevitable problems that will follow a No Deal Brexit that has been executed in this specific way.

Taking the UK back into the EU on the turnaround of a sixpence is not something that any Political Party with designs or long term aspirations on being the natural party of government is going to want to do. Especially when the straightjacket that the UK will have no choice but to accept as part of a completely one-way and loaded bargain will inevitably become poison for whoever was to blame – irrespective of the Politicians who were actually involved.

The only way out of this problem is to recognise Party boundaries and tribal loyalties as the ties that bind all of them to a form of politics of old. The old politics that the public are telling them is not only flawed but is fundamentally wrong.

Our Politicians must come together to deliver on the issues. And the issue which is the doorway to solving all other issues is Brexit – whether our Politicians like that fact or not.

The People Voted for the UK to Leave the EU without any deal or ties. Giving them anything less will simply be wrong. This includes coming out of the EU and then going immediately back in, whilst then selling their ineptitude and lacklustre attempts at managing the Process as evidence that the whole thing was wrong.

The only Political Parties that have the ability to coagulate around the fact, reality and message that a full and proper Brexit must happen are the Brexit Party and the Conservative Party. And it is within the Conservative Party where the real struggle is still taking place, as it has been all along.

The new Conservative Prime Minister must accept and then immediately act on the fact that without a General Election and securing the Brexit MP Majority that it will give them if they ask for Public support in the right way, the future is effectively lost.

To realise and achieve the alternative, which is a real and permanent Brexit, there is no option for the Conservative Party Leadership other than to swallow their pride for the greater good and work with the Brexit Party to establish s grand Brexit Coalition.

Together they can provide that Brexit Majority and then ensure that our Brexit and the great future that follows it will for all of us be secure.

If they fail to do so, the future is very bleak. It is one that revolves around Corbyn and his Marxist tentacles reaching out and destroying everything we value from No.10.

The cost to everyone in this Country from allowing this to happen will go way beyond the destruction of the Conservative Party. It will simply be too high.

Isn’t it time the Conservative Leadership put the requirements of real Leadership first and do whatever is necessary to get the job done?

 

image thanks to unknown

The Brexit Party May well end up hoisted by its own petard if the UK Exits the EU BEFORE we have a General Election and a Brexit-backing majority of MPs has been secured

img_2163Beyond all the infighting and arguments over who actually won the European Referendum and how the results can be reinterpreted to suit the needs of vested interests, the Brexit Party could be getting a bit carried away with the pursuit of a 31st October EU Exit. That is unless they can accept that a fruitful outcome to this argument could have a lot of pain for them and all Brexiteers hidden in store.

Before continuing I need to make something very clear. That is I would be happy for us to be out of the EU without a deal as soon as is humanly possible.

But I also want us to stay out and remain out of the EU long enough so that both Remainers and Leavers alike can start to appreciate the benefits for everyone that will only come once Brexit is completed and secure.

Right now it feels to everyone as if Nigel Farage, his newly elected MEPs and the whole Brexit Party can write their own ticket.

But this is complacency rather than realism. And it could be the first step to ensuring that the whole Brexit project – that’s UK Independence and Sovereignty – is ultimately well and truly lost.

Farage turned his ire on the EU during a press call on Tuesday. Shouting at them that we are going on the 31st of October without a deal, and that if the EU wants better Terms with the UK, it’s up to them to come running, or sit there and count the cost.

Yes, it’s all-powerful rhetoric. And it’s already isolating all of the Conservative Leadership hopefuls bar one.

Yet what the Brexit Party and all of these Conservative Leadership Candidates have in common at this moment is a lack of appreciation that Brexit has and never has been as simple as the mere action of officially Leaving.

Brexit is terrifically complicated – in some ways on purpose I might add. And to fail to do the work necessary to counter this fact and have the right contingencies in place before we take the step out, could result in much worse for the UK than if the 2016 European Referendum on Leaving the EU had simply been lost.

The Parliamentary dynamic that exists today is going to continue to be a significant and potentially terminal problem for Brexit.

If we Leave whilst the Parliamentary Balance is significantly in favour of EU Membership rather than the UK being outside of it, these Remainer MPs will use every opportunity, every story, every fear present to ensure that the overwhelming numbers they have with the weak-willed who will then support them, will not only frustrate Brexit from the location of our short time outside of the EU. But will then be used to turn the UK around and go straight back in. This time on what will be ridiculously unfavorable terms, such as adopting the Euro and committing our Armed forces to a permanent, sitting EU Army.

This really should give every Brexiteer pause for thought.

I am aware that Farage is bigging up the chances that the Brexit Party will win big in a General Election post-Brexit.

But if a no deal Exit is fucked up by a lack of good leadership in a weak, Conservative Minority Government, combined with a Parliamentary Majority being there for Remain (or by this time Return), the public emotion will by this point have surely shifted from outrage against democratic injustice to what the perceived impact of the problems of the transition will be for the short, medium and long term. They will no longer be holding out for any hero unable to give surety to solutions in an immediate and tangible form.

It would be a mistake for any Conservative Leadership hopeful to consider this scenario and take any kind of comfort. Because the fate of the Conservative and Brexit Parties is now inextricably linked.

If Brexit should unfold this way, it will have been under your watch and your leadership. And that will mean that regardless of how strong and pertinent the warnings over Marxism and what the reality of a Corbynista Government will be, People will by then be looking for the first port in the storm and send their votes straight over to him.

Jeremy Corbyn and the henchpeople around him may well have read the political runes and this would explain why even now Labour seem unable to behave in any kind of joined-up way.

But make no mistake. If any of you would-be Brexit Leaders should succeed in pushing for or even allowing a crash out, no deal Brexit in October by apparent default, and have done so without going to the Country first, believe me when I say that Brexit blowing up in your face will be the least of your problems, because for all of us, things will be about to get a whole lot worse.

There are few who would call themselves fans of the current Conservative Party hierarchy. Conversely many will admire and respect what Nigel Farage has done.

But if the two entities don’t take a step back and see how they now need to work together and very closely, the war they are squaring up to fight – based only on Brexit alone – is not one that will be won.

The Brexit Party has the power to capture hearts and minds very widely over Brexit, but no ability to unify its followers beyond the Brexit question, with policies or indeed a party machine that can bring them all together as a credible, long-term political cause.

The Conservatives have forgotten what it is to be conservative and must embrace far-reaching and fundamental change. But they already have the structure and experience that with new thinking can bring A New Politics into being, be used as the vehicle to reunite us all and remove our divisions, then take us forward as the UK becomes an Independent Sovereign State and walks onto an entirely different world stage.

If the leadership of both Parties can now find a way to work with each other and respect that they can fill the gaping holes of each others Party structure at a time when to go forward there are simply no other options available or way they can deliver Brexit, succeed or remain involved, they CAN and WILL deliver on the Vote of the 2016 Referendum AND benefit everyone who has become involved.

None of this can be achieved without a late September or early October General Election based on Leave vs. Remain.

And to achieve the desired outcome, the Manifesto that is created must sell the benefits of Brexit as well as to promote A New Politics in order to achieve wider buy-in to win over the Voters who support the EU and Remaining with them – because to them that’s just the way that things always appear to have been done.

As Farage has proven with the success in the EU Elections in the space of just a few short weeks, a General Election Campaign can be conducted and won over the Summer, just so long as all those fighting for a real Brexit understand and accept that the political world has already changed around them and that General Elections are fought under a very different kind of sun.

 

image thanks to unknown

If Conservatives want to deliver the Brexit People Voted for, today is the time to have the confidence to vote No Confidence in all Theresa May has led this Tory Government to become

January 16, 2019 Leave a comment

Counterintuitive as it may seem, the defeat of May’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement last night, immediately followed by Jeremy Corbyn picking up the gauntlet that the Prime Minister had thrown to call a No Confidence Vote, has given the Conservative Party a lifeline and the opportunity to take control of the whole Brexit process that it needs.

No, we do not want and definitely do not need a Corbyn Government.

But we do need Theresa May to find some dignity from some where and accept that she is not the Prime Minister that this Country needs as it now stares at an evolving crisis.

The prefect storm which surrounds the greatest Government Defeat in recorded history, is the only reason that we this morning still have a Prime Minister May.

It was encapsulated perfectly well this morning when a friend asked me the very simple question ‘Why doesn’t the Conservative Party intervene?’

My response was as polite and honest as I could make it; ‘The people who have the power to do something all want May’s job and want a trouble-free run at it too’.

And it is within these circumstances; what is increasingly likely to become a National crisis, that we can see so very clearly that it was all so very avoidable, but self-interest, self-righteousness and blind ambition on the part of an out-of-touch political class bears all responsibility for the chaos over Leaving the EU that it has made.

The biggest problem is that the Politicians responsible are so blinded by their arrogance, they have no idea what to do with the child they have given birth to.

So instead they blithely press on as if they are incapable of doing wrong. As if they have no responsibility to anything other than keeping their jobs.

And amongst these non-representatives of the people, the worst of them all and most out of touch is Theresa May.

After the humiliation of the Defeat that she and the plan with which she is so personally entwined last night, a real stateswoman would have immediately resigned. Instead we see a powerless leader, so certain of her own right to govern that she is literally prepared to destroy her own Political Party, and worse, the future of a whole Country, simply on the basis of her believing that only she can be the PM to deliver something out of Brexit ‘come what May’.

The trouble is that something doesn’t look anything like the Brexit that the People actually Voted for. And by refusing to make way for someone capable of grabbing the wheel, she is going to drive the whole Brexit Bus over the cliff with us all in it, when the route was unnecessary and only a problem that she herself made.

Yet we are in a position where the problem could be resolved quickly, if the Conservatives were to come together, respect that the Vote of the People meant Leaving without what Remain have clumsily referred to as a ‘deal’, and accept that the first step to turning this whole mess on its head is to part company with Theresa May.

If the Conservatives back Jeremy Corbyn’s No Confidence Vote later today, there is a golden opportunity to reverse all of this quandary and ensure that the British People do get Brexit AND one in which WE ALL WIN.

Once Theresa May has been put in the position where she can be forced to resign AND the Cabinet collectively accept that the race for a new Prime Minister is not one that they all are equipped for or able to win, a new Conservative Government can be immediately be formed. YES, with nothing more than a swift and timely crowing, but with the purpose of doing what is strategically necessary so that the Country is once again capable of facing up to the EU AND achieving the People’s Win.

No, it won’t be easy. But by taking the time to look beyond what stares back at them from the mirror each morning, this may be the last opportunity to voluntarily embrace the true responsibilities of being an MP, come together, deliver a real and meaningful Brexit and consign any chance of a Marxist government gaining power and wrecking everything the UK has to the bin.

Please MPs, for once have faith in the decision of the People, in opportunity and the future that your being selfless with responsibility most assuredly will allow us ALL to have.

No plan is going to solve the Brexit problem. We need leadership without the unbridled ambition and we need it now

December 6, 2018 Leave a comment

The only comfort for many of us peering into the Westminster fishbowl as it continues its daily mission to self destruct, is that there are at least some voices of reason breaking through this malaise, running contrary to the crap that various factions across the Establishment are trying to feed us, and bringing truth to power. Something that we so desperately need.

The real problem is of course, that with so many politicians so very obsessed with having their own ideas heard and prioritised – no matter the cost, very few of the people who are in the position to influence any of this mess for the better are hearing, considering or acting upon what wise voices now say.

There is an obsession with the idea that there has to be an agreed plan for however we handle Brexit. This is a fallacy and simply isn’t true. And as I wrote last July, the problem with the plan for Brexit, is that Brexit has become all about having a plan.

This whole perception that there has to be a fixed strategy in place before we can do anything at this level is one of the key reasons why Brexit and democracy itself are now in such a perilous state, and so many normal people across this Country are now feeling completely cut off from their representatives and wondering what the hell will now happen and if there is anything that anyone with any influence can actually do.

Whilst it makes curious reading when the Will of the People to Leave the EU was so clearly defined, the fact remains that there is no majority amongst our 650 MP’s for any plan or direction. A situation that in every sense possible means that for the People of the UK, democracy as good as doesn’t exist, and that the result of the EU Referendum is by a majority of our MP’s being at best ignored and at worst, clearly denied.

Getting out of this mess is not going to be easy. Not least of all because all the options that are being openly considered as being possible right now, have no guarantees that they would change anything.

A General Election might not change anything as at best we would still have most of the same politicians left in Parliament coming from the self-interested culture where the purpose of representing the people, once elected is in many cases simply forgotten if not actively denied. At worst, Theresa May could actually stay in No.10, not because she isn’t seen as the biggest part of the current problem, but that many Voters would vote strategically against the prospect of a Corbyn government – which for anyone who understands his modus operandi knows his brand of leadership is not how we want to experience the next 5 years of our future being defined.

A Referendum is in trouble before it could even be put into being, as its very existence would underscore the reality that far from only being in the process of dying, as far as the UK is concerned, democracy has already died. It doesn’t matter what stories influencers who should know better tell us, out in the real world across the UK, people haven’t changed their minds about Brexit, in fact they are more disillusioned now than ever, see the EU as the controlling foreign force that it is, and are desperate for the people elected to represent them, to actually do what they have already been told.

And whilst there are many left who are behaving like they have not just a chip, but a whole sack of spuds strewn across their shoulders, there no longer exists any such thing as the option tabled in June 2016, which is still being romanticised as ‘Remain’. The true relationship with the EU is now in a continuing process of being outed, they will never allow the UK to resume its former relationship as a Member and if the EU is seeking to keep indefinite control over our future as a condition of actually leaving them, just imagine what the price of being ‘openly’ joined to this pathway to the United States of Europe could actually do.

It may seem like the antithesis of everything accepted as being normal, but planning when we are in a situation like we are now, with so much fluidity, risk and the potential for disaster, is simply not something we have either the time, or the luxury that having reasoned debate – that the presence of a complete chamber of objective politicians would allow us to do.

We now need real leadership of a very different kind. Leadership that is guided only by the ambition of the UK and our future, with vision, humility and a respect for the age of consequence. Leadership that actually leads with the responsibility it has been given, rather than leadership which was only ever about gaining position. A situation we have no for too long been forced to try.

May must go and it is only the Conservatives who can replace her.

This talk of governments of national unity is not only dangerous, it would still be constructed of the very same people who have contributed to this unholy mess. People who are still dedicated to listening to only themselves. And with this kind of power, would continue to overlook everything that has now become important. Not least of all what the People of the UK have told them, and that everything which has happened since has itself began to model a different destiny for this Country, which requires new thinking and not giant leaps backwards of the kind to which they are clinging to – and not one to which Voters are in the majority inclined.

The question of who in Parliament could really replace May now. The ambitions of the Cabinet are now so inextricably linked to her Plan for Brexit that the question of how each and every one of their priorities, demonstrated by their acquiescence with this whole travesty could possibly show that they are now equipped to seize the moment and take this Country forward is not a story that I can honestly the Electorate stomaching for very long, should it be one that were now to be told.

Fresh starts require fresh thinking, and like the Conservative Party that is currently built around them, the Prime Minister who replaces May must be all about change, respecting the will of the people and no longer obsessed with the destructive tribal reality of thinking and acting in terms of either Leave or Remain.

Government is not the same thing as a business, and should never be run like it is one

AU491810_942longThe word ‘business’ conjures up different meanings for different people, depending on their background and of course what exposure they may have had to its use or application.

Most will agree that its use as a term suggests enterprise and methods of working which would sit snugly within a commercial environment. But should this word actually be applied to the modus operandi of any form of Government when the two terms are completely incongruous?

Much is made of the idea that the best people to run Government at any level are those who have a business background. One of the current arguments against the demographic makeup of our MP’s today is the substantial lack of solid business experience possessed by those who lead the Country from Westminster, with the accompanying notion that MP’s who have run or owned businesses of their own would somehow automatically have an almost esoteric level of understanding and midas touch which would solve just about any problem. They wouldn’t; they don’t and they never have.

With years of Local Government experience as both an Elected Member, an Officer and from working within 3rd Sector Organisations alongside, I have also often heard the term ‘business case’, ‘business plan’ and the idea often suggested that Councils are now run ‘like a business’ in meetings.

The problem with this is of course that the political leadership and members of Councils rarely have ‘hands on’ experience of running any kind of business you could draw reasonable parallels with themselves, and when they do, it is often the case that it has been so long since they did so, that any lack of an appreciation that time moves on or that things continually change will soon erode any tangible benefit.

Perhaps worse is the ability that Officers and Civil Servants have been gifted by political demographics and the opportunity to use such terms in plans, which are then taken as read by those who simply don’t know any better as being a true ‘business case’, when such ‘business’ cases could never be any such thing.

Recognising the differences between running a business in its purest sense, and running Government under the delusion that it can be run as business has never been more essential for today’s politicians, because neither Central or Local Government are businesses, and the people running them have to stop believing and behaving like they are.

A business is of course run for the profit of an individual or shareholders. All decisions will normally be made with the form of pay-off that they will receive firmly in mind. It can be expanded or changed to meet the demands of customers as it sees fit, and a business can choose which customers it may wish to target and how much profit it will seek from delivering any particular product or service. Its revenues are never guaranteed.

On the other hand, Government does not run to make profit, but to provide services and support for all those which it has been elected to serve.

Run properly, Government would not actively target any particular group of customers to provide a different quality of service depending on the feedback or profit that it gets from that group, and would work to meet demand for services as best and prudently as it can, well knowing that it has a duty to do so without seeking payment from one customer to pay for the benefits of another, or to irresponsibly borrow money from lenders that it knows it doesn’t have the appropriate levels of revenue to comfortably repay.

However, Government revenues – as long as they remain sensible – will always be guaranteed, and it is with this significant difference that come the even greater levels of responsibility than no one business should ever realistically be able to have.

One of the greatest dangers facing us as a society comes from the fact that politicians at all levels of Government have either failed to recognise these basic differences and therefore maintain them, or have willingly abused their ability to raise revenues to cover badly managed services or implement policies without any due regard to striking the balance for every member of this society or in applying fairness to all, while they have given every thought to political expedience and electability.

The British political system is broken, because it has adopted those very same values of a profit-making business, which are to further the interests of that business. For politicians, this comes in the form of power, whilst they have ignored the basic rule of business as they have done so; the rule which states they must deliver profit to every single one of the shareholders rather than to themselves. Profit in this sense should always be seen as the delivery of the same results for all.

So if our politicians really feel that they have to treat Government like a business, they then must also realise that if they continue to keep raising the fees on the same old products time and again without offering new products and value for money, they will soon price their offerings way beyond the purse of the people who normally pay, and the cash will soon start ceasing to flow.

Government is not run for a financial profit, any more than it should ever be so for the bottom-line benefit of just the ‘staff’.

Whatever their backgrounds, experience and level, politicians must remember that they are the managers; the facilitators; the decision makers; not the beneficiaries themselves – and especially so where the end profit is not even perceptively the same as what it would be for a business.

The time has long since passed when the electorate could continue to live decent lives, whilst those within Government continue to focus on the end result for themselves. Government is not the same thing as a business, and should never be run like it is one.

Osborne’s threats to break up Banks: True banking reform will take leadership by example rather than the issue of diktats to the financial leviathans for whom God is profit first and the interests of the very customers who keep them there come a distant second

February 7, 2013 Leave a comment

Commercial Altruism is perhaps an aspiration, but a term which certainly describes the kind of ethics that we need to see exhibited more often within industry and certainly within the Financial Sectors where its absence has been so painfully apparent.

Any resistance to George Osborne’s plans to require Banks to split their retail and less-stable investment arms in attempt to avoid further Taxpayer-funded bail-outs will hardly come as a surprise,  and particularly so when politicians themselves hardly exhibit anything near that type of mentality. But is this really all that the Government actually has within its power to do?

Few could actually believe the sums thrown at the rescue packages of the Banks which had effectively beached themselves through little more than acts of greed and complete disregard for anything other than maximising profit on the part of a few – all at the cost of people who have paid perhaps not just once through fees; but twice by then paying out on the losses when speculation – upon what is effectively thin air – crashed to the floor, as anything without true foundation surely would. The true wonder is how they kept the charade going for so long.

Forcing banks to ‘ringfence’ funds and therefore prevent further Government intervention through the creation of dedicated retail arms, is hardly likely to encourage a growth in benefit to domestic or small business customers. It is in fact more likely to increase the cost of basic banking services to people who already struggle to make ends meet and to those small businesses that need to be subsidised themselves, rather than to be given no option but to subsidise focussed services that banks are currently reluctant to give.

The development and provision of a an easy-to-access or ‘peoples’ bank which would provide the basic account services that everyone is entitled to access is the responsibility of Government, and should be set up as such.

Providing basic free-banking services in this way would provide Government with many advantages such as access to unfettered borrowing streams without 3rd party profit margins being included. But it could also support the administration of ‘smart’ card payments to retailers by customers, restricting the purchase of certain items by those being encouraged into work, with the added benefit of instantly losing the stigma which would be associated with payments made with a non-bank-derived payment card.

Better still, a Government-based bank run as a public service and with a customer focused culture, rather than one based upon benefits to employees and stakeholders may be able to provide many of the products which those on low incomes currently seek such as ‘payday loans’ without the utterly unrealistic levels of interest, and also provide the low-cost services and low-margin lending which new and existing small businesses need in order to survive and then thrive as we have so very long been seeking.

Creation of such a new bank – or indeed adaption of one of those that the Taxpayer already owns – would require a radical change in thinking and the type of leadership which has been sadly lacking in British politics for far too long. But it could be done.

The real question here is whether the Chancellor and the Government really want to affect change in the way that the Financial Sectors operate.

True banking reform will take a lot more effort than simply telling the banks to split their operations or even go back to employing managers within every branch.

Reform will take leadership by example and the provision of the best services possible for those who have the least money first; not by sound-biting newsworthy diktats to the financial leviathans for whom God is profit first and the interests of the very customers who keep them there come a distant second.

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