Re: Open thread

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COME ON INDEPENDENT KIDDERMINSTER HOSPITAL AND HEALTH CONCERN PARTY!! LET'S WIN THIS!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 2:43 PM
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I shall liveblog UK TV coverage until I go to bed! Currently I am watching "Beyonce vs Jay-Z: Top 20"


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 2:45 PM
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3 minutes until the inevitable triumph of the Tories plus the NI party whose name I'm too lazy to look up. The fact that I don't even know the names of the parties makes my incredible prognostication abilities that much more amazing.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 2:47 PM
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From BBC: "Exit poll for BBC, Sky and ITV News predicts a hung parliament with the Conservatives the largest party. The poll puts the Conservatives on 307 seats, Labour on 255, the Liberal Democrats on 59 and others on 29."

Hmph.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 2:50 PM
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Or apparently 13 minutes in whatever alternative universe the Unfogged server resides.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 2:51 PM
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If that's correct, that's a lot of waverers moving back to Labour at the last minute, isn't it?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 2:52 PM
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How many did the Raving Loonys get?


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 2:53 PM
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Are the Brits online massively unrepresentative of the UK generally? American Republicans are visible, but I never seem to notice anyone from the UK who doesn't snarl and spit when they say "Tory". I get why everyone (or, lots of people) are disillusioned with Labour, but I'm not clear why those people seem to be flipping Tory rather than Lib Dem.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 2:54 PM
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Tierce: you should liveblog UK television coverage while wearing Werdna's glasses. IN OUTLINE FORM.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 2:55 PM
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Or, wait, am I being stupid -- is it that the Tories are winning seats because Labour and Lib Dem are splitting the non-Tory vote?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 2:57 PM
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Try reading a comment thread at any british newspaper site.

My impression is that the UK political blogosphere is dominated by wingnuts. I'm sure they were at some point.


Posted by: David | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 2:58 PM
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I shall wear nothing but!


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 2:58 PM
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My British friend's parents are voting Lib Dem for the first time ever. They normally vote Tory, but apparently their usual MP (oh, I love throwing around this foreign political patois) has stepped down over some expense scandal, and his replacement Tory candidate is a tee-totaling MORMON, which horrifies them.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 2:58 PM
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Samuel Pepys twitters: "I to the office, where busy late, then home to supper and sing with my wife, who do begin to give me real pleasure with her singing."


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:01 PM
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anyone from the UK who doesn't snarl and spit when they say "Tory"

Andrew Sullivan.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:02 PM
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Liz: UK polling report's polling average is Tories 35 Lab 28 LibDem 27. In 2005 the results were 33, 36, 23. I think the Tories will do better and the libdems worse in the actual vote.


Posted by: David | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:04 PM
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First observation: the commentators on both main channels all looking very ancient.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:04 PM
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Story breaking: several poll stations closing before everyone able to vote, overwhelmed by the queues.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:09 PM
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Are there really only 649 polling places in the whole country? I am confused by the BBC blurb article.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:10 PM
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Are we really going to have this thread without discussing the Swingometer? Because I heard that Apo's score is off the charts.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:12 PM
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Dreary routines the watching mind always manages to forget.

a: commentators asked about the exit poll, "This means nothing but is excellent news for [insert commentator's party]"
b: the on-the-spot footage of the first constituency to complete the count, usually sunderland


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:13 PM
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No, there are dozens of polling stations for every constituency, there are 649 constituencies and thus 649 "counting stations"


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:15 PM
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Are the Brits online massively unrepresentative of the UK generally

Depends on what you mean by "Brits online", but basically yes. Libertarians, as always, seem to be massively overrerpresented among prominent UK specific blogs (eg Samizadata). Conversely, you have international blogs like Crooked Timber where the Brit bloggers (actually, I'm not entirely sure if it's more than one) are liberal but not very lefty. And then, as mentioned above, you have newspaper commenters, who are just like YouTube commenters but in a more political way.

Anyway, I'm not at all surprised more people are flipping Tory than Lib Dem, though obviously I'm not happy about it. I think the British public, outside of their few strongholds, have a hard time taking the Lib Dems seriously as a party when it comes to actually voting in national elections, even when they agree with most of their policies. People like to vote for a winning party, and nobody ever thinks the Lib Dems will get a plurality, let alone a majority. They consistently poll higher in the run-up to an election than in the vote itself.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:18 PM
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The swingometer is defunct as this is a three-way battle with tactical voting all over the place -- unless it isn't, in which case it isn't


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:18 PM
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Ok, that makes a lot more sense.

Still, in MY state, we're not allowed to close the polls until everyone who was in the queue at closing time has voted.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:18 PM
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23: That all makes sense.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:19 PM
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here are 649 constituencies

Then why are there 650 members of the Commons?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:19 PM
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They saved a rotten borough for tradition's sake.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:20 PM
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"Sit-in at hackney polling station as people not being allowed to vote" on twitter just now


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:22 PM
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widespread amusement among schadenfreudians as ukip leader n.farage crashes his own biplane while pulling along a "vote for farage" banner -- plane smashed to pieces but he only broke some ribs


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:24 PM
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One constituency is postponing voting as a candidate died a couple of days ago, I believe.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:26 PM
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Open thread

Dear me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:26 PM
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From memory, traditionally the rural (Tory) constituencies return faster, so be careful of the early results. The big city booths take longer.

(One of the constituencies doesn't vote till the end of May owing to a candidate's death, so there's only 649 voting constituencies.)


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:26 PM
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Polish-made biplane, natch.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:27 PM
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Streaming coverage here.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:27 PM
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Mirrored here for those who prefer it supplemented by ill-informed speculation by Americans.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:29 PM
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Except for the super-Labour Sunderland South, where the local council makes a matter of prestige out of quick counting. Democracy as a sport.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:29 PM
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am i feverish or is my heating turned up too high? i shall investigate


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:30 PM
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They're talking about how so-and-so has the "right to try to form a government". Do I have this same right? Since y'all apparently couldn't make up your minds, maybe you want me as PM?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:33 PM
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24: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/election2010/liveevent/

They just started in with the swingometre.

m, FUN!


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:34 PM
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Actually, I rather like elections.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:34 PM
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This looks horribly like going back to the people in six months time, doesn't it?


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:35 PM
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You can't be PM till you reveal your name


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:35 PM
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Open thread

Has it really come to this?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:36 PM
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You are PM until you quit. Them's the rules.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:36 PM
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ZEINAB BADAWI!!!!!11


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:37 PM
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Sorry I haven't seen her on TV for a while. Also looking aged sad to say.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:39 PM
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From the Beeb's live feed:"2247: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has telephoned David Cameron to congratulate him after the exit poll results were announced. On his Twitter feed, Mr Schwarzenegger wrote: "Just called @davidcameron to congratulate him on the victory. Even though results aren't in we know the Conservatives had a great day.""

Christ.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:40 PM
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10: Lib Dems getting more votes than seats has been the case for some time.

Also 30 is amusing, but it looks like ex-leader not current leader.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:40 PM
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First declaration -- Sunderland, labour hold, no surprise. She looks like a thin Julie Burchill.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:41 PM
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Bridget just won, but her face looks like she's admitting defeat. In the US, see, we pump our fists and yell.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:41 PM
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39 was I. Stupid phone losing its cookies. Anyway, between the Swingometre, the 45 minutes of discussion of exit polls, and the big deal being made about this Sunderland place, I am relieved/depressed to see that your political coverage is just as ridiculous as ours.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:42 PM
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The Swingometre is ridiculous, but much cuter than the CNN holodeck.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:43 PM
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Also, a site you don't have to refresh? Hearts!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:43 PM
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32, 44: One of us! One of us!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:46 PM
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DUP: "We'll not be running to David Cameron, he'll be running to us" -- ie to form a government, they'd be powerbrokers


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:47 PM
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A Samuel Pepys twitter feed would be an incredible idea.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:47 PM
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A Samuel Pepys twitter feed would be an incredible idea.

Would be?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:48 PM
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55: never!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:49 PM
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LibDem's describe the exit poll as "random"


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:51 PM
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My, this interview is hostile.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:51 PM
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HURRAH THEY'RE "PLUGGING IN" TO THE "BLOGOSPHERE"

haha ITV newsroom bloggers don't know about TweetDeck


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:52 PM
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58: Oh. Well, that's very funny, then.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:53 PM
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Is there any way for the US Unfoggedariat to access C4's "alternative" coverage? I can't verify myself, but, judging from the trailers it should be a lot more interesting and amusingly cynical than the BBC or ITV.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:54 PM
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"Absolutely fascinating! News as it happens" -- thus Alistair Stewart, TV's anchor, on twitter: #iamkentbrockman


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:54 PM
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Hah. The BBC's feed has just described Neil Kinnock as "another former Lib Dem leader".


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:56 PM
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What I saw earlier was unwatchable, GY.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:57 PM
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64: It doesn't seem so. The only video I can find on their website is prerecorded "4 on Demand" stuff.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 3:58 PM
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58- Creed vexes many, but in Pepys' twitter feed, he vexes Creed!

I'm totally unsurprised that he's on there, but that there are separate accounts roleplaying his wife and servants and so on is pretty great.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:00 PM
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What I saw earlier was unwatchable, GY.

Oh well. Surely the special You Have Been Watching will be (was?) good, though.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:01 PM
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Where has Ian Hislop's new hair come from? He is the only one on TV who doesn't look aged -- bcz he looks like a million-year old baby...


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:03 PM
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Oops, my sister's boyf did not get to vote because polls closed, now there'll really be trouble!


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:05 PM
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ACK DOMINOES! OK, BBC sucks just as bad as CNN.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:06 PM
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I liked the part where the announcer bluntly said, watching video of long lines outside polling places, "It's really badly done, and there should be an inquiry. It's a disgrace."

Compare and contrast to the US.

OOOh! OOOh! Falling dominoes with MP faces on them!

m, woo!


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:06 PM
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74.1 I liked that too. There's a lot more opinionated griping.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:07 PM
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I commented on Zeinab looking old too - she used to be gorgeous! C claims not to know who she is.

David v angry about queuing voters - fucking awful. Do they have to be in the booth to vote? Couldn't they have handed out ballot sheets in the queue? Bundled them all in under the "I've started so I'll finish" rule? Really hope it doesn't cause serious issues.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:12 PM
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Full quote: "It's really badly done, and there should be an inquiry. It's a disgrace. It's as if we're living in a third world country! It's even happening in Ealing!"

This was on my Election Bingo Card: "Dav/d Dimbl/by says something slightly racist"


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:12 PM
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Yeah, but it was still light in that Ealing clip, so not 10pm.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:13 PM
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Another Tory swing.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:14 PM
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"If this swing is repeated, it's the largest since the war"


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:18 PM
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79: Another Tory swing.s


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:18 PM
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75: I liked that too. There's a lot more opinionated griping.

Yeah! If it'd been CNN, we'd have had a measured response, asking if more votes were better since this is a republic and not a democracy.

m, yay! more bitching!


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:19 PM
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"There may be challenges to some results"


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:20 PM
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Were you Twittering?
It's my glasses.
It's in your pocket.

What was that about?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:21 PM
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Sister's boyf didn't stay for the sit-in because he's "not an idiot"

He isn't, but d00d!


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:21 PM
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At this point I think that the best we can hope for is a Lib/Lab/Nat pact, based around reform of the electoral system, and then another election in six months, which is about as likely as a very unlikely thing.

Just please don't let Dave from PR win outright.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:23 PM
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AWB@84: Mandelson's hold over the media is conducted at the level of massive male-male flirting


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:24 PM
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2311: The BBC/Sky/ITV News exit poll has been revised. The outcome remains the same - hung parliament, Tories the largest party - but the figures are now: Conservatives 305, Labour 255, Lib Dems 61 and others 29.

That would be 316 for LibLab, and 305 for the Tories. I don't see how the conservatives could govern from anything but a coalition there. National Unity Government?

m, whoo boy


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:26 PM
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OK, seat 3 coming up - C says if the Tories win it (12.something % swing needed) he's going to bed.

We are all camped out watching it - have 2 sleeping children and 2 awake still.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:27 PM
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So Election Day is not a holiday in the UK? Here in MN, employers have to give you up to 2 hours off, unpaid, to vote. (Which is signif. at variance with many other US states I think.) What's the situation there?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:28 PM
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The Cons get some NI Unionists though. George Osborne says they'll be fine.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:28 PM
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Polls are open for 15 hours. No holidays except for some schoolchildren and their teachers.

#3 for Labour.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:30 PM
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89 - sorry, 1 asleep, 3 awake.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:31 PM
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Smaller swing to Tories in third Sunderland result.

ITV's share-of-vote swing diagram makes no mathematical sense...


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:32 PM
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Our polls are open for 13 hours. 15 would be somewhat better, although it seems like most of the mega-queues in MN (and US) elections happen because of uneven distribution of likely voters, i.e. precincts with lots of college students, who tend to vote later, are the same size as precincts with lots of non-citizens or old people.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:33 PM
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93: Just resting his or her eyes, eh?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:33 PM
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Thank fuck.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:33 PM
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Is this the end for the lib dems? losing seats on a day like this?

Also, queues outside polling stations and people unable to vote: disgraceful. We're supposed to be a civilised nation, not Louisiana.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:35 PM
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The BBC in Merseyside has been taking calls from people saying they couldn't vote because polling stations had run out of ballot papers.

Jeez.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:36 PM
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The bigger swings in the safer seats possibly a "protest vote when it's known to be safe to make one"


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:37 PM
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A voice: "mmm. fiona bruce. mmmm."
the same voice: "someone more passionate about politics should put a bullet in his [nick griffin] head."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:37 PM
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"It would be the first time that the BNP or any party of that... ilk... far-right, with racist views..."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:38 PM
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bbc still calling it for a hung parliament. but i am a bit worried about the number of votes the bnp is picking up. hope they dont win a seat.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:40 PM
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C had to weave his way through camera crews to leave work today - all trying to see Farage at the John Radcliffe.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:40 PM
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Question for imaginary internet people. i am not drunk yet. should i be?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:42 PM
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"We'll have a result from Buckingham some time tonight, no doubt. Or tomorrow."

YES DAVID I IMAGINE WE WILL! Or perhaps they won't bother to tell anyone.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:42 PM
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Well, if the BNP won a seat, would liberals start taking the threat seriously? I mean, it's nice that the Tories don't have quite big enough a tent to encompass out-and-out fascists, unlike the Repugs here, but what harm is one seat going to do? Especially if this Parliament doesn't last very long.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:43 PM
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So, if the Unionists hold the balance of power for a Tory majority, what does that mean? Extreme unionist demands for NI=what exactly, these days?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:44 PM
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105: Yes.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:44 PM
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OMG! Polling lists not updated for this year? What the hell is going wrong with the election? At least here when we marginalize voters it's on purpose.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:47 PM
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107: a BNP MP would almost certainly be completely ineffectual in parliament, going by their record in local government, and he'd only be one mp anyway. It's just the embarrassment of having someone like that in the House.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:48 PM
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105:No


Posted by: Zombie Carrie Nation | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:48 PM
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108: = money.

There was a huge roar of disgust when we managed to give the BNP two European seats. Those two seats gave them money. I don't know if they get much money for winning one Westminster seat. Talking ex recto, I think Labour racists head to the BNP, Tory racists vote UKIP.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:49 PM
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111: Would that mean that you can't laugh at our fascist racists anymore?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:50 PM
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Good Christ these interactive graphic environments are cheesy.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:51 PM
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Gordon Brown has left his house! Gordon Brown has left his house! That is all.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:51 PM
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BBC now discussing previous hung parliaments. a voice: "Orrr! Stanrey Baldwin!"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:52 PM
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"The Queen is like Heineken lager in the Constitution."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:53 PM
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Election expert: "The Queen is only activated in special circumstances".

Like Thunderbird 1.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:53 PM
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118, cont'd: What does this mean?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:54 PM
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118: I was thinking I must have misheard that, but maybe not.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:55 PM
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So, realistically, when should we expect to know for sure whether this parliament is hung? 6 hours? 12 hours?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:55 PM
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"hanged", Otto. Whether this parliament is hanged.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:56 PM
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The slogan was "Heineken refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach". Similarly there are bits of the British constitution that only the Queen can act under.
You get away with saying stuff like this if you have an unwritten constitution.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:56 PM
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So, if the Unionists hold the balance of power for a Tory majority, what does that mean? Extreme unionist demands for NI=what exactly, these days?
Possibly not a whole lot for NI, given that Stormont runs most everything and the Tories aren't going to reverse the peace process. But have a look at the Major years to see what a powerful DUP means for general Tory government policy.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:58 PM
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Exit poll very depressing. Going to bed.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:58 PM
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127

I haven't been reading here regularly: Surely a bazillion "well-hung parliament" jokes have been made by now?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:58 PM
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124: Thanks! I figured it was some kind of slogan. I wonder which special parts Heineken refreshes, and if Heineken in the UK does not taste quite as much like ass as it does here.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:58 PM
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This is an ugly first draft of a blog post. Could anyone who's more knowledgeable about UK politics than me pick holes in it?

What will happen after the election? If there's a lib+lab majority, which seems likely, though not completely certain, Nick Clegg have some tough decisions ahead of him.

If there's a liblab pact or actual coalition, tories will fairly soon get much high poll numbers. If the libdems lets them through with only a vague promise of PR, they can soon just say, I dare you to vote us down. And there's a good chance the grass roots will nix it. The libs will do very badly in the next election then, wether it's early or in 2015.

But will Labour offer a good deal? Even if a majority of them wants to, will the leadership be unified enough to offer something some figures are strongly against, when there's a leadership vacuum and a internal election campaign?

One unusual factor is that any coalition agreement or pact have to be voted on through several levels of the party. Exactly what qualifies as an agreement is a bit vague, however.

If Clegg lets Cameron through and then the next labour leader and Clegg wants to do a deal, could they avoid a new election?
If both larger parties are uncomprimising, Clegg will have no less than six, maybe seven shit sandwhiches to choose from. A deal with Labour, or Tories. Letting either of them in without ANY deal to bypass the grassroots. Immeditate early elections, which doesn't only risk a tory majority, but global economic meltdown (or so people will say). Or outside chance, a national unity gov't. I think he may then choose the shittiest shit sandwhich.

Clegg will probably let Cameron through without a good deal on PR. I think he may be savvy about election campaigns, but not about these things. He's not bloody minded enough.

Why? Because from a not-losing the-three day news cycle perspective it would make sense, and because people sort of expect a tory minority, because the immediate reaction to a labour-liberal deal would be negative, because Cameron will be either bloody minded and strong enough or weak enough not to want to make a good deal for the lib dems. Because no deal lets Clagg let them in, whereas a bad deal will be nixed.


Posted by: David | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 4:59 PM
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124: You get away with saying stuff like this if you have an unwritten constitution.

Seriously. You guys have been working on getting it all written down for 795 years, and you're still not done? Did the dog eat your homework or something?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:00 PM
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6 - 12 hours to know if hung; more if it gets to recounts. (Unlikely, but possible if it's two or three seats difference and they are particularly marginal.)

Problem is that this is all rather chaotic in a semi-technical sense.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:01 PM
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These intellectuals are drunk.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:01 PM
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129: I'VE GOT A HOLE TO PICK: HANDS OFF PUERTO RICO!


Posted by: OPINIONATED MONROE DOCTRINE | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:02 PM
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Joan Collins, you bitch!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:02 PM
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||
When coding up a taxonomy originally defined by 'the former Soil Survey of England and Wales', is it tactful to use 'British' as a keyword argument?
>>


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:03 PM
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If Clegg lets Cameron through and then the next labour leader and Clegg wants to do a deal, could they avoid a new election?

Depends. If Cameron is PM then if it looks like the Lib Dems will defect he can call an early election; if Cameron goes down to no confidence, I don't think he can then call an election. I think then the Leader of the Opposition gets a go.

(At least we'll keep Opposition at this rate, I guess.)

And yes Ajay, you should be drunk. I am heading that way myself.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:04 PM
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||
That was unclear; I've done one that's the accepted USA version, and there's an Australian one, and then I have two references to the charmingly former survey, as named. Have not looked for soil taxonomy of Scotland.
|>


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:05 PM
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These drunks are not intellectuals


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:05 PM
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What are the odds that Plaid Cymru will hold the balance of power, and demand full Welsh independence as the price of a coalition vote? Because that would be fucking awesome.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:05 PM
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Martin Amis was so drunk.

Tony Parsons! David Milliband? Fuck off. Your last book was shit too.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:07 PM
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Single malt ho!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:09 PM
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The BBC panels make me want to emigrate. Fail Lamont. Drunk Amis. Dodgy Jowell. Talking Points Repeater x 100.

Cancer Stick Clarke on now. Who is...barely coherent.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:09 PM
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Dunno how supporting a Tory gov't would go down in the valleys, tbh.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:09 PM
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Having said that I think the combined odds of a liblab pact or toleration, or somewhat later after some unpleasant twists and turns is slightly higher than a long term tory gov't.

Of course, in thinking about the future we should also consider the risk of the economy imploding because of political uncertainty, even if we get the less bad faction in charge.


Posted by: David | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:09 PM
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143 - christ, no.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:11 PM
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DD - Facebook was abolished today!


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:13 PM
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So who did all of our limey and scotch commenters actually vote for?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:16 PM
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Lib Dem...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:17 PM
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I am still queuing and will decide in the booth.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:18 PM
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It's all up to you, tierce...

(Cardhu. very nice, very smooth)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:19 PM
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Come to think of it, I'm not sure whether "limey" includes the Scottish or not. Probably it does.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:19 PM
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Lib Dem. Can't vote Labour after the way they have treated home educators during the last few years (which I know is a bit of a narrow single issue, but still), though was almost tempted back by Gordon's speech on Monday. But I don't like my local Labour candidate. Lots of home educators I know are voting Tory.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:22 PM
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Turned over to C4 and saw a bizarre Making Your Mind Up video.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:23 PM
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I think "Limey" means British and thus includes the Scots. It's not a slur - to Brit ears it has a rather quaint sound, associated with the comic-relief American in a 1950s Gainsborough Studios war film starring Richard Attenborough or Trevor Howard. A bit like us referring to an American as "Brother Jonathan".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:23 PM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7OGUAQSYQ4
Watch at your peril.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:25 PM
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151: This seems to imply that it does.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:26 PM
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Mandelson explaining what should have been done: "Keep the ballot boxes unsealed, bring the voters inside and seal the doors, quarantined from the media, paraphernalia, let them vote and then let them all out again"

I specially like that he felt it necessary to insist they be let out again after voting.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:29 PM
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Returning officer saying they got legal advice and talked to the Electoral Commission before closing the polls.
Alistair Stewart asks where the legal advice came from. What's she going to say, "A comments thread at Wonkette"?


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:33 PM
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A bit like us referring to an American as "Brother Jonathan".

????


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:36 PM
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Alliance win in East Belfast! Outstanding! Alliance about the only sane non-sectarian Northern Irish party. Kicked out Peter Robinson (husband of Heres To You Mrs Robinson) with massive 23% swing.

159: obsolete nickname for Americans.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:39 PM
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omg peter robinson out in east belfast! he's the leader of the DUP mentioned above, 23% swing

"One can only assumed that this s linked to scandal that he and his wife [something something]" says idiotic BBC pundit nick robinson no relation. YES ONE ONLY CAN!

She was sexing a teenager who she handed over a fvckton of public money to so he could open a chip shop! Seems a bit harsh to punish her husband, who was not aware of any of this let alone in favour. However he is a massive cock so hurrah.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:40 PM
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hahaha, pwned tierce!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:42 PM
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The first major scalp of the contest.

Stay classy, BBC.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:43 PM
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PETER SNOW!!! at last andrew neil's party of pissed people throws up someone worth watching.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:43 PM
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Peter Snow now only appears with his son! It's so sweet!


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:43 PM
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160: yes!


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:45 PM
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Which is nice, because on a night of ugly people, Snow Jr is rather fanciable. (Saying fanciable makes me feel like I am in what I imagine a Joanna Trollope novel is like.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:46 PM
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Woo, one for Plaid Cymru!


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:47 PM
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Now discussing whether Conservatives will win anything in Scotland. Consensus: no. Maybe one or two. ALBA GU BRATH!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:48 PM
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We can only hope for an outright Plaid Cymru majority.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:50 PM
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159: As in the fourth one down.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:50 PM
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Did the Kingswood guy just thank U2 and The Police?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:52 PM
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171: That is incredibly awesome.

I love the sixth or so cartoon down. Here is what you have to fear from America, Canada:

Taxes (460 million)
Repudiation
Cold Rinc(??)
Radical Adventurers
Bowie Knives
Scalawags


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:56 PM
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Now calling it for an outright Conservative majority based on Kingswood. Oh lord.
Paxo bringing up Ashcroft - good for him


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:56 PM
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Blimey some of these non-winning candidates look strange


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 5:58 PM
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Mrs. Robinson's rather special venture capital fund came from a pair of property developers who had reasons to want influence on Mr. Robinson. There was some ambiguity as to who her lover might owe the money to, as well as some cash that entirely vanished and presumably stuck to her fingers.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:01 PM
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Saying fanciable makes me feel like I am in what I imagine a Joanna Trollope novel is like.

This is as good a cue as any to launch a discussion of the two-or-three-decade-old practice of American nerds to adopt teabag slang British expressions ("snog," "knickers," "shag," "I prefer television and film actors who are pasty and unattractive").


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:01 PM
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Praying to our Lady of Non-linearity right now.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:02 PM
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And our Lady of Non-Uniformity will get several candles if she pulls this one out the hat.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:03 PM
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You'd think the returning officer would be chosen from people who can speak clearly, since reading out the results is the WHOLE OF THEIR JOB


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:04 PM
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Putney .... another huge swing to Con.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:04 PM
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171: That is great, thanks for posting the link.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:08 PM
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my old pal David Quantick tweets: "Andrew Neil like Bagpuss made from rejected transplant organs"

if anything this is too kind


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:09 PM
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Didn't Mrs. Robinson first get into the kid's pants while consoling him on his dad's death, who she'd also been secretly screwing? That was a sex scandal tailor made for Comedy Central.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:10 PM
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God i hate Nick Robinson


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:15 PM
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First Labour MP to say he thinks the Tories have done it: David Blunkett


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:18 PM
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Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath: guy from the "Land is Power"* party giving a black power salute when his 57 votes are called. Also standing in KandCB: McLaren of McLaren

*wtf?


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:24 PM
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Didn't Mrs. Robinson first get into the kid's pants while consoling him on his dad's death, who she'd also been secretly screwing?

No, the dad wasn't dead in the movie at least.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:25 PM
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o ffs doesn't Blunkett know about fucking coalition gov't? You haven't lost till there's the damn numbers against you. Fucking hell if this ends up hung and there's a chance of a Lib/Lab gov't and Blunkett's quoted against it ffs.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:26 PM
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You always get more nutters in the high profile seats. His arm must be aching though - go on Gordon, keep talking until he can't hold his elbow up any longer!


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:26 PM
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Swing from some party or other to Labour in GB's seat, though. My guess is that there are going to be some big swings to the Tories in all of those suburban, middle of England places; elsewhere, not so much. City votes should be interesting, and a a lot of Labour seats are urban. Putney doesn't mean anything; it was already Tory.


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:26 PM
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187: Looks like a right bunch of winners


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:27 PM
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187: land reform's still a big deal in Scotland, we only got rid of the feudal system a few years ago remember


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:28 PM
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192: I'd like to know how many people voted for Donald MacLaren of MacLaren, Chief of the clan MacLaren. Or how many people whose name is not MacLaren.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:29 PM
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191 - yeah, but a 2000 maj increasing to 10000 is a fuck of a lot.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:30 PM
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57 votes: not quite such a big deal


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:31 PM
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The link in 192 describes the Land is Power guy as a comedian.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:33 PM
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Yes we con? Gross.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:33 PM
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That's literally the only word in the description.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:33 PM
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Yay it's the returning officer with myra hindley hair again!

Also: "Yes we Khan!"


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:34 PM
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"Yes we Khan", I guess. Not much better.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:34 PM
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Oh, yes we KHAN. Cute, not gross.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:34 PM
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OK, less gross.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:35 PM
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Thanks for the help, everyone.


Posted by: David | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:36 PM
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177: This is as good a cue as any to launch a discussion of the two-or-three-decade-old practice of American nerds to adopt British expressions

Because American nerds grew up on BBC, ITV and British actors all playing on PBS. Or at least *I* did.

m, now i've got bbc america and top gear and the new dr. who


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:37 PM
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British people adopt American expressions, too, right? Like "Yes We [whatever]"? And interactive graphic news environments? We invented that shit.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:39 PM
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Jesus Paterson's made her bones by now hasn't she? Coatbridge then Kirkcaldy? She's owed something good soon surely.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:40 PM
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the two-or-three-decade-old practice of American nerds to adopt British expressions

British expressions like "Let's invade Afghanistan, chaps! It'll be easy!"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:41 PM
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"We've been disenfranchised and that's NOT ON"


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:42 PM
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Go here to wait for the results from celebrity proconsul/philosopher Rory Stewart's seat.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:44 PM
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"Yes we can" was invented by Bob the Builder, you foolish Cousin Jonathans.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:45 PM
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I think 205 is most of it. Add English mystery novels, and that's enough to explain it all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:45 PM
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Philosopher: bollocks.


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:46 PM
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Still funny: that there is a party in NI whose acronym is UCUNF


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:47 PM
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I adopted a few unhappy phrases from the Irvine Welsh novels I read in high school, but I hope I tried to keep it at a minimum. My brother was a quoter of Monty Python until we got to high school and met some honest-to-God Python nerds.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:48 PM
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"I wouldn't work for Cameron, I'd rather fly to the moon"

She realises as she says it that "fly to the moon" sounds kind of great instead of as horrible as she intended


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:50 PM
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I love when they get political cartoonists to talk through their rubbish cartoons.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:51 PM
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It's cold on the moon; there's no oxygen. The accommodations on the way there are rather cramped.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:52 PM
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217: Yeah, those were shit. "Please explain! Ah, he's pregnant. I see. Funny."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:52 PM
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Add English mystery novels,

You don't even want to know how long it took me to figure out that Wimsey/Alleyn/Campion wasn't carrying an actual *torch.*


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:53 PM
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Right, it was a flashlight.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:54 PM
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Why don't they have that interactive map up on a wall? It's hard to read.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:54 PM
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Do they have a hologram of this so-called David Dimbleby at this so-called election results gala spectacular?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:55 PM
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Wait. I just caught that Labour is the red team. (Admittedly I've been watching only a few minutes.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:56 PM
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When Jeremy Vine was on newsnight, he imitated Jeremy Paxman's mannerisms so exactly that Paxo started calling him mini-me. Now that Vine is dong Peter Snow's old job, he's imitating Snow's physical mannerisms.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:57 PM
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Glasgow results most raucous so far. Hopefully results will get increasingly shitfaced over the night.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:57 PM
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"good lively reception in glasgow"

translation: DRUNKS IN THE HOUSE `


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 6:57 PM
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226: Glasgow results most raucous so far.

The accent was awesome.

m, canna ye lend me two pounds until next week?


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:02 PM
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Best candidate name I've seen so far in 10 minutes of randomly clicking at the BBC election website: "Piers Tempest". With further Googling it turns out that Piers Tempest was knighted at Agincourt and his son was buried at Giggleswick next to the head of his horse.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:02 PM
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The ITV coverage is very lame.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:04 PM
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That's a big fucking iPad.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:05 PM
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Early on in my first year in Geneva's intl. school I spent most of a movie trying to figure out who the hell was this 'Lorrie' person everyone was talking about.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:05 PM
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"Christian Party, proclaiming Christ's lordship"

Is that part of the party name? Awesome.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:08 PM
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Gutted. Lembit Opik has lost his seat. WHO WILL SAVE US FROM THE ASTEROIDS NOW?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:11 PM
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Ex-MP for Cheeky Girl. Sadface.

Returning officer reading in Welsh but not bothering to pronounce it.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:12 PM
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I can't take the continual uncertainty. I'm staggering off to bed.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:13 PM
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221: no, they were in love.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:20 PM
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Why is this news desk so big and complex? Someone has to dust all that.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:20 PM
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I'm the only one still awake here. The males have gone to bed, the three girls are zonked on the floor/sofa, and I am eating chocolate digestives.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:21 PM
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Braintree is my favourite placename


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:22 PM
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I meant to go to bed an age ago.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:26 PM
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It's only a virtual desk. The presenters have to coordinate their 'desk-wise' movements with reference to bits of masking tape on the floor.


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:26 PM
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You have to have a polling card to vote? As much as I've bitched about voting in the US, I've never had to bring anything with me.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:27 PM
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240: Tree Brain


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:27 PM
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Glasgow is fucking Labour, Mr. Clegg.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:29 PM
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Fiona Bruce is surely hammered.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:29 PM
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proclaiming Christ's lordship

Brown's made Jesus a celebrity peer? Blatant pandering!


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:30 PM
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I love chocolate digestives.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:30 PM
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No, you don't at all. They sometimes frown at you if you don't have it with them, but I think it's just because they can find you quicker on their list and talk to you less.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:31 PM
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It's Christ's lordship, not Jesus. Hereditary, not life.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:32 PM
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I love "chocolate digestives".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:32 PM
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249 to 248


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:32 PM
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249 to 248.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:32 PM
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253 to 252.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:33 PM
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I love digestate chocolives.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:33 PM
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No, the polling card speeds up the process of lookng your name up, but you don't need it to vote.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:35 PM
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I prefer the dark to the milk chocolate, I'll admit. But I do love them, Asilon, I swear.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:36 PM
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Seriously, this "try to form a government" language is awesome.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:36 PM
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"As superficial and patronising analysis! Not least to my rival who beat me!"

He's right, too -- Paxo was being a dick.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:37 PM
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Everyone is being a dick! I'm riveted.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:38 PM
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Though Lembit should of course have replied: "Touch my bum -- this is life."


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:39 PM
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"Touch my bum -- this is life."

Always apropos.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:39 PM
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OH DEAR OLD BLIGHTY

I'M PINIONED TO MY CHAIR BY A SURFEIT OF DICKS

THOSE GLORIOUS MEN

PIERS TEMPEST, SWOON


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:40 PM
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Best candidate name I've seen so far in 10 minutes of randomly clicking at the BBC election website: "Piers Tempest".

One of the minor party candidates contesting my old consituency is named "Tamsin Omond". How minor of a party is it? It's the "Tamsin Omond To The Commons" party.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:44 PM
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Tiny swing in Broxtowe: returning officer reads numbers under weird Goth lighting


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:45 PM
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It's the "Tamsin Omond To The Commons" party.

Is that the British equivalent of the Connecticut for Lieberman Party?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:45 PM
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OMG Witney has the oddest minor party candidates.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:45 PM
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Monster Raving Looney Party?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:46 PM
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They got this Witney returning officer from DFS.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:47 PM
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190 to 267.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:48 PM
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268: Monster Raving Loony Party


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:49 PM
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the MRLP is an ancient and very tiresome "comedy" party, taken from an old monty python skit -- there's a long wikipedia entry on it


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:49 PM
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Why is Colonel Sanders there? Free Doubles Down for everyone?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:50 PM
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I feel sad the Wessex Regionalist didn't do better.


Posted by: Abelard | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:50 PM
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Oh. I shouldn't have muted the sound and looked at other stuff. My B!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:51 PM
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273: Doubles Down?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:52 PM
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From 1993 to 2008, the U.S. had a president with a last name starting with 'B' or 'C.' If you include VPs, it runs from 1981 to now. Whatever the outcome of the latest election, the U.K. is clearly in the grip of the same forces.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:52 PM
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How does one pluralize "Bloody Mary" BTW? Bloody Maries is a different name, and Bloodies Mary is stupidly wrong. I had two of them last weekend and didn't know how to do this properly.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:52 PM
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Cameron's speech very unspecific and trepidatious -- which means their internal polling doesn't give them a clear picture yet AT ALL.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:53 PM
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"Wait. I just caught that Labour is the red team."

Refrains from obvious jokes...

CET, and I'm still awake.

Did Cameron just say they've got the most seats in 80 years? That would be be like when the GOP bragging about how red the map looked in 04, but more pathetic - the GOP actually got a majority.


Posted by: David | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:53 PM
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how do you get bbc news if you are in america and don't have cable, does anyone know.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:54 PM
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"There no sense of real drama, it's everyone biting their nails and waiting." Eh?


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:54 PM
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281: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/election2010/liveevent/


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:54 PM
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Bloody Marys. Bloody Mary's? No.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:55 PM
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How does one pluralize "Bloody Mary"

"One Bloody Mary and then another."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:55 PM
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100 pages up: Well, Blunkett may root for tories, or at least not liblab, he's almost a wingnut, isnt' he?


Posted by: David | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:56 PM
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Bloody Marys is correct. Even though it looks wrong.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:57 PM
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How does one pluralize "Bloody Mary"

Just order a pitcher.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:57 PM
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One of our local public radio station switches to BBC News radio in the evening after All Things Considered, while the other one goes to the standard (in my experience) nightly jazz. I quite like it.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:57 PM
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love you bear


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 7:58 PM
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"Today the people are speaking. And they haven't finished speaking."


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:05 PM
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But Paxman will cut them off anyway.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:12 PM
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Paxo just claimed Labour and the Lib Dems are beginning talks. No sourcing. Milliband denied knowledge (fairly convincingly).


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:13 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:14 PM
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Is that the British equivalent of the Connecticut for Lieberman Party?

I hear there were some stabs at outreach between the two coalitions, but Lieberman saw some photos and wanted nothing to do with her shirt's message.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:14 PM
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Jeremy Paxman is such a dick. Like, Rick Sanchez bad.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:15 PM
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These pictures of motorcars are not interesting, good sir.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:17 PM
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Dimbleby disses leylandii. Your licence fee money at work, folks.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:17 PM
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But why would Miliband be in the loop yet? All he said was he hadn't been involved in the relevant calls. I'd say it was highly likely the outreach already began.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:18 PM
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the lighting in news sets is my favorite.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:19 PM
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Yeah, Wikipedia cities the New Yorker saying "Bloody Marys" in 1964.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:19 PM
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No, Paxman is fantastic.

Was surprised that Oxford East stayed Labour (apart from the fact that Andrew Smith has been MP there for 20+ years) and there was a LibDem to Labour swing there. No pattern happening here. And weird to see LibDem hype fizzle away to nothing.

Am considering turning over to itv - didn't the Beeb just saw earlier that LibDem had *held* Newton Abbott? But apparently it is Tory gain.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:19 PM
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Bill Wyman's hair is green.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:19 PM
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What's Murray doing drinking Peroni? Weaksauce foreign lager? Carling or at a push Stella, surely.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:20 PM
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The Rolling Stones dude is a Tory? Wow. I hate them even more.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:20 PM
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Bill Wyman votes Conservative. Rock and fuckin' roll.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:21 PM
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"Nick Clegg is being filmed sitting in a stationary car, obscured by some hedges. An apt metaphor" tweets my friend Matt.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:23 PM
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Wyman was swayed by Michael Caine's endorsement.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:23 PM
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Wyman was presumably swayed by making a shitload of money.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:24 PM
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ugh, 'amnesty' is a bad thing in uk too?


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:24 PM
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The hedges aren't Leylandii, I don't think.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:24 PM
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305: The them I hate in that comment is the Rolling Stones. It's hard to muster too much hatred for the Tories when they often seem to the left of the fucking Democratic Party on stuff.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:25 PM
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Second Lib Dem gain. But it's from Labour.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:25 PM
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Do the US commentariat get so visibly sauced on election nights?


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:26 PM
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You can see comparisons here Stanley - http://www.politicalcompass.org/index


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:27 PM
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314: You mean the TV pundits? I don't think any of them would dare.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:28 PM
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314: It was a marvelous night. I didn't get super-drunk, but when I went home, people were in the streets being much friendlier than usual.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:29 PM
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It also didn't go so late. I'm chalking part of the incoherence and bitchiness up to the hour.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:30 PM
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314: Do the US commentariat get so visibly sauced on election nights?

No. An excellent reason to be fond of TV from the UK.

312: It's hard to muster too much hatred for the Tories when they often seem to the left of the fucking Democratic Party on stuff.

Kinda like Reagan.

m, they sneak up on you like that


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:31 PM
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yes i meant the pundits -- i don't remember seeing them so smashed on uk tv coverage before


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:31 PM
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also: alistair darling? DRUNK!?


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:32 PM
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OK UK'ers, tell me why I'm wrong about this: the LibDems are better off tolerating a Tory minority government than propping up a weakened Labor government and allowing the Tories to become the sole major party opposition. The LibDems could wheel and deal with the Tories to get some kind of commitment on proportional representation in return for abstaining from confidence votes (not that the Tories would agree to give them PR outright, but they could probably offer, say, a non-binding referendum).


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:32 PM
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They're not really pundits, just random slebs at a party on a boat. I mean, Chris Addison? Because he's been in a tv show about politics?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:33 PM
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Alistair Darling - about to fall asleep. Possibly already asleep.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:34 PM
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315: I should clarify that I meant the comment was about the Rolling Stones. I can't imagine voting for the Tories had I the opportunity. As far as I can see, they hate the poor at least as much as the GOP and have decided it's a hard political pill to swallow, but they better support the NHS, be sorta nice to gays, and be vaguely "green".


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:34 PM
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I mean Andrew Rawnsley and Fiona Bruce.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:34 PM
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323: I don't think that's wrong. The problem might be that the Tories become exposed as being largely to the right of their leadership, so no actual concessions to the Lib Dems are forthcoming.


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:35 PM
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Yes, Darling is probably just exhausted.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:36 PM
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Because the LibDems are further left wing than Labour these days. So making a deal with the Tories would just be *weird*.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:36 PM
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324: I've been led to believe by sports coverage that "pundit" in UK parlance has much lower standards than it does here, meaning "anyone on TV or radio who gives opinions". The people blathering away on TV or radio are divided into "presenters" (what we would call "hosts") and "pundits".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:36 PM
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Lib Dems are an odd coalition. I like to see them as left wing, and many of their policies suggest that they are, but there are also a fair few soft Tories in the mix. I think some of those have jumped ship tonight, hence the poor LD showing.


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:38 PM
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That's a pretty fucking loose definition of "molecular detail", Emily.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:38 PM
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I'm about as sleepy as Darling now.

I want to see Ed Balls lose his seat, that would make me happy.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:41 PM
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how often does one hear 'victorian' as a pejorative?


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:41 PM
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All the time, especially in London. Thames Water are always blaming their terrible water wastage on the Victorian pipes.Victorian porn is pretty crap too.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:45 PM
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323: The LibDems could wheel and deal with the Tories to get some kind of commitment on proportional representation

That's the rub, though. Can they? The Tories should never, ever, ever give an inch of ground on FPTP.

And, under the present circumstances, why should the Tories be willing to compromise on that at all? The Lib Dems have had a spectacular flameout. If the Tories can't take No. 10 outright right now (and there's a non-trivial chance that they'll muscle their way into a minority government with support both from the Unionists and from their friends in the media), they'll take it as soon as any Lib-Labour coalition collapses, or until a Labour minority government becomes untenable in its own right. And that should be soon enough.

Beyond that, a deal with the Tories would cost the Lib Dems a huge share of their support (indeed, the emerging conventional wisdom seems to be that the ongoing Lib Dem collapse is largely a function of Clegg's public flirtation with the idea of a Lib-Con coalition). So, the Lib Dems have a strong incentive to give the Tories less (e.g., passive toleration for a minority government, instead of an active coalition). But then the Tories will give the Lib Dems even less in return, and so on.


Posted by: Mirounga | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:51 PM
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huh, i think i only hear 'victorian' as a architectural style


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:56 PM
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The Tories should never, ever, ever give an inch of ground on FPTP.

No doubt the Tories should dread the prospect of PR ever actually being implemented. But where's the harm of offering a national referendum, which might well be voted down? And even if it isn't, they can slow-walk the issue indefinitely until the next parliamentary election is fought over something else.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:57 PM
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Following Cameron OJ-style...


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:57 PM
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Dimbleby rhapsodising about watching cars on motorways from helicopters.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:58 PM
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Mr. Balls, of course...


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:59 PM
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Oh Lord, DD needs to go to bed. Can't someone tag in? This is getting sad.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 8:59 PM
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341: I was chuckling at that two, fellow 13-year-old.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:00 PM
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Er, "too".


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:00 PM
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Oh, I waited up for Ed Balls too.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:01 PM
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Shit. Recount in Oxford West, seat of Evan Harris, the best MP in Parliament. It would be a tragedy if he lost, and a terrible blow for science.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:05 PM
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In Wisconsin?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:06 PM
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338: No doubt the Tories should dread the prospect of PR ever actually being implemented. But where's the harm of offering a national referendum, which might well be voted down? And even if it isn't, they can slow-walk the issue indefinitely until the next parliamentary election is fought over something else.

Maybe. If I were a Tory, though, I wouldn't want to admit that the issue might be up for discussion at all. Right now, the argument for FPTP is fundamentally Conservative: FPTP is the system we have now, and the system we have now is fine. Obviously, though, if you were designing the system today you'd never pick FPTP. As soon as the Tories admit that this issue might be up for debate, they've lost the debate.

And I'm not a Tory: actual Tories are much more bloody-minded than I am. Even if there were some case to be made, in the abstract, for a deal with the Lib Dems on electoral reform, I don't think actually-existing Tories would want to make it.


Posted by: Mirounga | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:07 PM
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325: As far as I can see, they hate the poor at least as much as the GOP and have decided it's a hard political pill to swallow, but they better support the NHS, be sorta nice to gays, and be vaguely "green".

Oh, yeah. And Gerald Ford was practically a communist as far as the GOP base is concerned. My thought is that conservatives try to sneak into power by, well, lying a lot. They'll sorta be nice to gays but mostly they can't wait to get the opportunity to be shits to gays and so on. But they have to be nice in this situation, and they will be, until they get a head of steam built up.

m, sorry Stanley, 30 years of disgust has taken its toll


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:08 PM
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m, sorry Stanley, 30 years of disgust has taken its toll

No need to apologize; the comment was poorly stated. I was expressing dismay that the UK's main right-wing party seems to fall to the left of the US Democrats at times. By no means do I mean to suggest support for Tories.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:11 PM
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Peter Kellner is a slimey asshat but he has watched a lot of elections: just said "Local conditions are kicking in like I've never seen"


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:12 PM
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Kirstie Walk also drunk


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:13 PM
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Crap. Harris has lost. Worst result so far.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:13 PM
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Tories take Oxford West from Evan Harris? That's sad.


Posted by: Mirounga | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:13 PM
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351: This seems important to me. I'd be really torn between local issues and government control in an election like this.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:14 PM
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So why are the LD's doing so badly?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:25 PM
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ok that's it for me, night all


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:31 PM
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Balls in.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:39 PM
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Balls in Wisconsin.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:41 PM
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256: Because of the swing.

I'm trying to figure out whether this "swing" stuff is a more sophisticated kind of analysis than in USian elections or just a quaint obsession.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:45 PM
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Allow me to be the first to say that I'm hung like Parliament.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:45 PM
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Then it's good that you've still got Balls.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:47 PM
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There should be a Pepys photoblog showing images of his diary in his shorthand.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:54 PM
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360.1 to 359.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:56 PM
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Balls too beloved to be unseated.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:56 PM
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I'm hung like Parliament.

Yours has a recessed filter?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:57 PM
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Balls in an aircraft hangar without cell access.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:57 PM
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One two, your face, my shoe
My name's Ed Balls and I'm comin' through
Gun crime, stabbin' and burglarization
Is on the rise all across the nation


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 9:59 PM
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It's hard to muster too much hatred for the Tories when they often seem to the left of the fucking Democratic Party on stuff.

Yeah, on many issues, they really are to the left of the US Democrats. And yet, while I don't hate the Democrats, I do hate the Tories. Everything being relative, it's all relative, I suppose.

(But my contempt for Canadian Tories is absolute, not relative).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:01 PM
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368: Labour's more deadly than fuckin' kung fu.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:02 PM
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366: So you don't have to use your hands!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:02 PM
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John Prescott says on Twitter: Good to see #BallsIn

I am not alone. You are here with me.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:04 PM
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'swing' seems like a great concept. it has some idea of marginal changes being important, which avoids all those dumb columns that use mark penn categories to fret that obama isn't polling well among white boomers, even though thats never a winning demographic for dems

and 'hung like Parliament' sounds like an insult. pfunk smokes are quite thin.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:08 PM
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Are they to the left of the Dems? It depends on whether you look at their positions in an absolute sense or if you look at which way they are trying to move things. From what I can tell it involves tax cuts for the rich and cuts to social services, except the NHS, and further 'privatization' of government services including the NHS.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:08 PM
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balls hangs in for the win


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:10 PM
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I will stop making Balls jokes to ask why they keep talking about a "moral" justification for setting up a party government. Moral? Really?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:10 PM
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Holy Hammersmith necklace.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:14 PM
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Are they to the left of the Dems?

In absolute terms, yes (I mean, basically, in terms of how the wealth will be redistributed, and which groups will get which services, and etc). Not because they are more leftward in their intent than the Dems, of course, but because they occupy a space that is just to the right of what passes for the crazy left in America. Okay, I exaggerate to make a point on the internets, but still. It really is all about the broader political culture. In relative terms, they are cold-hearted evil bastards, of course.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:23 PM
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"A conservative victory, and quite a handsome one."

Nice editorial, tired DD.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:25 PM
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I can't believe Dimblebimleby has been at this for 7.5 hours starting at 2200. That's pretty bad ass. But yeah, give the guy a break. I remember Dan Rather barely had it together at 2 a.m. on election night 2000.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:27 PM
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Pacific Daylight Time actually turns out to be a great timezone for watching UK election returns; I hadn't considered that!


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:28 PM
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Seriously, they should tag out. Tag out!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:29 PM
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and 'hung like Parliament' sounds like an insult.
I wouldn't say it's so bad.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:31 PM
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Is he just the only voice Britons trust to lead them through these trying times? Or can the Beeb not afford a second presenter because too many people have been shirking their licence fees?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:33 PM
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'lets leave aside that we said you're get lots of seats, which means you took a pounding, doesn't it?'


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:34 PM
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A seat for the Greens.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:40 PM
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"What in your case caused you to lose so comprehensively?"

Jeez. Go to bed.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:47 PM
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-2% swing for Nick Griffin in his constituency. I guess that's good news?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:48 PM
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THE QUESTION REMAINS WHETHER I HAVE THE MORAL RIGHT TO COMMENT ON THIS BLOG.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:53 PM
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You have a moral obligation to do so, Otto.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:54 PM
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If you don't, you will be attacked by moray eels.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:56 PM
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David Dumbledore should at least push his glasses back up the bridge of his nose.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 10:56 PM
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My constituency went Conservative (12% swing from Labour).


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:01 PM
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King Henry I of England is reported to have died from an overindulgence in eel, or lamprey, which was apparently baked in a pie.

I report; you decide.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:03 PM
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Eel: so disgusting in its state of nature, so yummy to eat.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:11 PM
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I love the "Britain Decides" headline at the BBC, which trails off into speculation, uncertainty, acknowledgement of contingency, and so on.

"Britain Decides...to be Indecisive"!


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:11 PM
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David Dumbledore should at least push his glasses back up the bridge of his nose.

Until this comment I thought "DD" was, you know, dsquared.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:12 PM
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King Henry I of England is reported to have died from an overindulgence in eel, or lamprey, which was apparently baked in a pie.

I heard that they weren't baked into a pie but rather boiled in broo, and that it wasn't Henry I but rather Lord Randal, and that they weren't eels but rather poisonous snakes.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:14 PM
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Well, I don't know from Lord Randal, except for that Borders lordling who told his mother that he was sick at heart and fain would lie down.

But, you know, eel or lamprey or poisonous snake (yikes!) ... it all sounds equally disgusting to me, and I'm not sure if and where we can draw bright lines.

Scottish ballads, by the way, and by way of stating of the obvious, are full of domestic violence: infanticide, and poisoned lovers, and deposed queens who got their heads chopped off, and etc. Weep not for me.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:34 PM
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Well, the point is that Lord Randal was told they were eels boiled in broo but they really weren't. See "'Eels Boiled in Broo' or What Killed Lord Randal?".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:41 PM
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Very tasty meat, whether fried up straight from the mud or smoked. Rich and fatty. It does not taste like chicken.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:43 PM
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except for that Borders lordling who told his mother that he was sick at heart and fain would lie down.

Because of the snakes!!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:45 PM
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it all sounds equally disgusting to me

Unagi is among my very favorite sushi choices. Mmm, barbecued eel.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-10 11:50 PM
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Unagi is the only eel preparation I've ever had, but it is quite nice.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:08 AM
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I don't see any good reason why the Lib Dems would want to stay out of government. They've never been in government, right? (Unless you want to count all the way back to the days of Lloyd George.) Plus they will never again have as much leverage as they do now to get electoral reform implemented.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:11 AM
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That's the only way I've eaten it as well.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:18 AM
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I love the argument that a coalition government representing fifty percent of the voters would be undemocratic as opposed to a government representing 37%.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:29 AM
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re: 384

The people who collect the BBC license fee are scary. It doesn't do to avoid it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:38 AM
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407: I know, right? Yet an argument much like that carried the day in Canada.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:39 AM
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barbequeing and sushi seem like very opposites, no?


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:39 AM
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||

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/may/06/neanderthals-dna-humans-genome

Seems like quite a big deal.

>


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:42 AM
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King Henry I of England is reported to have died from an overindulgence in eel, or lamprey, which was apparently baked in a pie.

From experience, lampreys are the richest naturally occurring foodstuff on earth. Very tasty, but you wouldn't have to eat that much to kill you if you were old or your heart was dodgy.

LibDem surge? What LibDem surge? (The really interesting stuff has happened in N.Ireland.)


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 1:02 AM
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411. The really interesting twist to that item is that it seems that the interbreeding didn't happen in Europe where the two species coexisted for ten thousand years, but very early on, just after H. sapiens had begun to leave Africa, and for quite a short time.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 1:10 AM
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I'm going to bed. I expect there to be a government by the time I get up, OK?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 1:19 AM
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Argh, result just in for Ealing Central and Acton. F'cking Tories.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 1:20 AM
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I expect there to be a government by the time I get up, OK?

There is a government, it's led by Gordon Brown. I don't expect there to be a new one by the time you get up unless you've pricked your finger on a spindle.



Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 1:22 AM
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415. Condolences, but it must have been predictable. Labour held Sheffield Central with a majority of 165. Rat's whisker.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 1:24 AM
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re: 417

It was a very tight 3-way marginal. It could have gone to any of the three with only a small swing. As it happened, Labour and LDs both down 3% and Tories up 6%.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 1:25 AM
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Wow, acton must have changed since I was a kid. It was the national HQ of the curtain twitching tendency.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 1:29 AM
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Hang on - Breaking News! The BBC say a hung Parliament is approaching!

(Does it really count as 'breaking' if you've been saying it for 11 hours?)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 1:41 AM
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Will it be a well hung Parliament?


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 1:59 AM
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So much for Ed Fordham, the Barack Obama of North London.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 2:00 AM
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Tamsin Omond is amazing -- a very upper class lesbian who decided not to become a priest but to be an environmental activist for a while before taking over the Church of England. She will go places.

My other reflection is that this election is unambiguous in one respect -- a total rejection of the Guardian's analysis, and prescriptions: "the liberal moment"? ~That didn't last long, did it.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 2:15 AM
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Really? fptpfail never more clearly demonstrated...


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 2:35 AM
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423: Left of the Tories has over 50% of the vote. If we had PR things would be very different.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 2:49 AM
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||

In another news, someone killed the power to our servers overnight, without telling me in advance, upfucking all over night processes.

>


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 3:31 AM
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For the first time, the expression "kissing hands at the Palace" implies a MMF threesome....


Posted by: Banastre Tarleton | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 4:36 AM
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Any of the British people planning to go along to Trafalgar Square tomorrow, at 2pm? For the planned 'demo'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 4:45 AM
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I am, if you've not noticed from my one-man propaganda blitz...


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 4:48 AM
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Yeah, that was where I picked it up from! I think I'll probably head down. Curious about turnout, as much as anything. Plus registering "Tories, remember, we don't like you".


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 4:53 AM
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Dr David Butler, the "guru of swing"*, has an accent that is largely defunct: the voice of upperclass intellectuals of the 30s. He deploys it on the word "nerd".

*Author of the "Nuffield Election Study" every UK General Election" since 1945. One of his early co-authors was Anthony King, who my mum once sat on a bed with at a party.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 5:36 AM
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What I know about British party politics could fill a thimble, so I'm sure I'm stating the completely obvious, but Scotland sure does appear immune to the Conservatives' charm.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 5:56 AM
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re: 432

Yes. They got wiped out in the mid 90s, although their popularity has been low in Scotland for decades. Thatcherism destroyed the Tories forever, north of the border.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 6:09 AM
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432, 433:

So now, if we get some sort of Conservative government, it will be a government that has basically no relationship to Scotland. (Even if we don't get a Tory government, the whole episode doesn't really bode well for Westminster's ability to legitimately represent Scotland.) How much does this strengthen the Scottish nationalists?

And of course, the Tories have their own reasons to foster a political environment that strengthens the Scottish nationalists , since any nationalist success (up to and including independence) comes entirely at Labour's expense.


Posted by: Mirounga | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 6:25 AM
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re: 434.1

As was essentially the case throughout most of the 80s and 90s, where the Tories always had MPs in Scotland, but the number barely scraped into double figures.

And yes, if the Tories govern in true Tory fashion for a couple of years, that would definitely strengthen the nationalist case.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 6:33 AM
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Another technical question: Is the system of proportional representation that's being proposed somehow tied in with ranked choice (a.k.a. instant run-off voting)? 'Cause those seem like very different things, essentially different answers to the same problem, and yet I have inferred from some of the commentary that some element of RCV is being discussed. Am I totally confused? What exactly are people looking at for PR?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 6:45 AM
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If the Tories tried to impose tough budget cuts in England, Scotland and Wales by relying on NI support, I think they'd fail hard. But unless the Lib Dems agree to help them out, that's the path open to them.

Fairly happy with this result, all in all, but still sad the LDs didn't do better. Wondering if it's a local campaign machinery problem or a policy problem. Moderately appalled at the way my part of London went Tory (I blame my 'young professional' peers in Battersea and Putney) but very proud of the rest of London for resisting the blue tide so effectively. London basically stuffed the Tories yesterday.


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 6:48 AM
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436. Most of the talk is about Single Transferable Vote (STV), which is the system used in Ireland. This is a multi-member constiuency system which is widely regarded as the best available compromise between true proportionality (e.g. List Vote) and single member representation.

Labour have in the past considered IRV (AV), but I don't think the LibDems would want to know.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 7:16 AM
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438: Jesus, does watching Cameron talk give me hives.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 7:25 AM
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I have no idea why I directed that at 438. But, that's fine, OFE -- Cameron gives me hives!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 7:26 AM
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Cameron's offer is this: nothing. Not even the fee for the all-party committee of inquiry, which he would appreciate if you would put up personally.


Posted by: Mirounga | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 7:35 AM
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411 is interesting. I'd like to know how they reason that creatures sharing 99.7% of their DNA have 1-4% coming from interbreeding and the rest from a common ancestor. There's probably something going on with definitions of "in common" and "sharing" or perhaps just sloppy science reporting, which has never ever happened before anywhere. I suppose I shall have to read the actual paper.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 7:36 AM
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Charles Stross made the prediction that Tory government would boost yes votes for Scottish independence by 10%.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 7:51 AM
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I presume they mean 1 - 4% of the 99.7% of DNA they share comes from interbreeding, and the other 96-99% of that 99.7% comes from a common ancestor.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 7:51 AM
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442, 444. Look at this, for a start.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 8:09 AM
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444: I'm reading the paper now to try to understand it better. What's unclear is how you distinguish the two, especially given that Africans don't have the Neanderthal DNA, yet are a lot closer to non-Africans than sharing only 96-99% of DNA.

...and on further reading my sloppy reporting hypothesis is confirmed! 99.7% is for the whole genome, and 1-4% is for the part of the genome that diverges from that of the common ancestor of Humans and Neanderthals. The divergence of modern humans from the common ancestor is ~8-10% and that of Neanderthals is ~12%. Of the divergent elements 1-4% of non-African Human DNA is common with Neanderthals, and 0% of African DNA is Neanderthal. From this we can conclude that the ancestors of non-African humans were a bunch of filthy sluts.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 8:24 AM
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My other reflection is that this election is unambiguous in one respect -- a total rejection of the Guardian's analysis, and prescriptions: "the liberal moment"? ~That didn't last long, did it.

How long is the average moment?


Posted by: Amsin Tomond | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 8:26 AM
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"Tamsin Omond" is up there with "Henning Mankell" as a name whose syllables could all be reshuffled into random arrangements and it would look just as much like a name, to me. Is "Tamsin" one of those trendy Welsh names or something?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 8:29 AM
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Trendy yes (well, sort of), Welsh no.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 8:33 AM
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446: 99.7% is for the whole genome, and 1-4% is for the part of the genome that diverges from that of the common ancestor of Humans and Neanderthals. The divergence of modern humans from the common ancestor is ~8-10% and that of Neanderthals is ~12%. Of the divergent elements 1-4% of non-African Human DNA is common with Neanderthals, and 0% of African DNA is Neanderthal. From this we can conclude that the ancestors of non-African humans were a bunch of filthy sluts.

Or we could conclude that Neandertals, Cro-Magnon and the like are all subgroups of Homo Erectus; thus, Neandertals are humans, just like Cro-Magnon.

m, merely funny-lookin' ones


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 8:51 AM
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re: 450

I'm not sure what point you are trying to make.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 8:54 AM
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Hennman Kelling?

Kellhen Ingman?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 8:57 AM
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How long before the first 'scientific' racist speculates that the crucial 4% admixture of Neanderthal genes explains why Europeans and Asians are so much smarter than Africans? I give it a week.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 8:57 AM
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He seems to think Homo erectus was an ancestor of Homo sapiens.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 8:57 AM
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If only William Golding had lived to see this.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 9:01 AM
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Well, if they interbred, it's a fairly strong argument that H. sapiens and H. neanderthalis should be put back in the same species, as they used to be.

H. erectus is completely different.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 9:01 AM
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454: He seems to think Homo erectus was an ancestor of Homo sapiens, because he's a feminist.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 9:02 AM
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He seems to think Homo erectus was an ancestor of Homo sapiens, in Minnesota.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 9:03 AM
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re: 453

I'm fairly sure I've seen that sort of claim made already. They've suspected [where 'they' is anthropologists] that some human populations have ancient DNA not shared by other human populations for a while. And I'm fairly sure, somewhere or other, I've read racist interpretations of that.*

* I sub' to some anthropology blogs in my rss reader, and the comment threads always throw up the odd racist.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 9:04 AM
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456: I'd actually missed that they were thought of as separate species these days -- I thought they were still subspecies, sapiens sapiens and sapiens neandertalis.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 9:04 AM
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||
Speaking of odd racists, have you all heard about the outrage in San Francisco? Some neo-Nazi wankers calling themselves "Bay Area National Anarchists" attacked antifacist protesters on May Day and the antifa people got arrested and are being charged with like 5 felonies each.

Messed up.
||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 9:07 AM
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460:
a) opinions differ and
b) mine are
i) non-expert and
ii) based on a degree taken more than a decade ago.
But when I was in primary school Neanderthals and modern humans were definitely both subspecies of H. sapiens, and by the time I got to university they were separate species.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 9:08 AM
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Some anthropologist somewhere is going to conclude that being pale, short and a bit ginger is a sign of superior intelligence, and then I am going to embrace it wholeheartedly.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 9:11 AM
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463: likewise.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 9:13 AM
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Scientists have proven that gingers are pansies
(http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/487261) so there must be some compensation.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 9:16 AM
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I can logroll with you on the pale bit. I plan to claim that being heavily built means that I'm more Neanderthal than most people, and hence superior.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 9:16 AM
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He seems to think Homo erectus was an ancestor of Homo sapiens

For some values of H. erectus, this is conventional wisdom, though not immediate ancestor.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 9:20 AM
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I'm definitely cold-adapted. Squat, thick neck, properly insulated. It's only really my beard that's ginger-ish, but I'm sure when they do the research that'll prove to be definitive proof of superior genetic stock.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 9:21 AM
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I generally explain that I inherited my ancestors' Famine-surviving adaptations.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 9:27 AM
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486: my mental image of ttaM has just been readjusted. For some reason I thought he was quite tall - as in over six feet. Now I know he's squat, thick necked and ginger bearded, I am picturing him as a Tolkienesque Dwarf.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 9:28 AM
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re: 470

I usually exaggerate my shortness for mild comic effect. I'm actually 5ft 10+, and the beard is short rather than unruly and dwarf-like. The thick neck is fairly true, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 9:31 AM
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465: Is that the pain story? Poor (pale, ginger, but quite tall) CA was elated when that stuff came out, because he'd spent a life time insisting to dentists that anesthetics didn't seem to work on him and that if they didn't juice him up but good, he was going to end up screaming in the middle of the procedure.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 9:33 AM
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I'm about as ginger as one gets without being an Irish Setter. I have a high pain threshold and rarely take pain medications (or any other kind, for that matter), but I usually up the dose quite a bit when I do.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 9:43 AM
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it's a fairly strong argument that H. sapiens and H. neanderthalis should be put back in the same species,

Insufficient. Lions and tigers interbreed, producing viable and fertile offspring, for instance.

This is a pretty interesting window into life ~100k years ago. There have been implicit suggestions of intermixing for a while, I think from Mark Stoneking mostly.

If people are interested in reading about technical ins and outs of speciation, "Dobzhansky-Muller incompatibility" is a useful phrase. Wikipedia is not that great on this- Coyne+Orr's book, Speciation is great.
This article, though densely written, is a clear example
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17124320


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 9:44 AM
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Labor holds Hampstead and Kilburn by all of 42 votes (6.7% swing from Labour to Con), with fewer than 1,000 votes separating the top finisher from the third place finisher. That must have been one of the closest results of the evening, if not THE closest.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 9:49 AM
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it's a fairly strong argument that H. sapiens and H. neanderthalis should be put back in the same species

Insufficient. Lions and tigers interbreed, producing viable and fertile offspring, for instance

It depends on how you define species doesn't it? The biological species concept (that interbreeding does not produce fertile offspring) is a valid way to determine what is or is not a species. As is the phylogenetic species concept. They are popular in different fields due to differences among species but I wouldn't say that looking at purely genetic differences is any better than looking for fertile offspring.

I think that genetic and morphological differences can exaggerate differences among individuals/populations and therefore increasing the number of apparent species. But I work with large vertebrates.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 10:09 AM
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Conceptually, I never understand arguments about classification very well. There are obviously going to be examples of populations that exhibit every possible degree of divergence, so why not just measure relatedness on a sliding spectrum?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 10:12 AM
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I mean, I get that we don't necessarily have access to the information to do that. But I don't get the drive to be reductionist about these things.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 10:13 AM
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A sliding spectrum of what? Because disagreements about what we are measuring in our spectrum precisely are disagreements about the species concept we ought to employ.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 10:17 AM
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475. Sinn Fein held Fermanagh and South Tyrone by 4 (four) votes. I said upthread that all the real fun was in Norn Iron.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 10:18 AM
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477, 478: I think the deal is that the species line, while there are odd cases like lions and tigers, mostly is one that's pretty easy to observe in nature -- I'm thinking of something I read somewhere (that's proper citation format, right?) saying that folk classifications pretty nearly always accorded with modern biological classifications at the species level. At higher levels, you'd get different systems, but Joe Random Huntergatherer is going to look at a bunch of animals and classify them into the same species that Jane Random Bio-Postdoc will.

What exactly that means, I'm not precisely sure, but mostly I think it means that 'species' is a useful, non-arbitrary concept, and so it makes sense not to abandon it over the occasional hard case.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 10:19 AM
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Because disagreements about what we are measuring in our spectrum precisely are disagreements about the species concept we ought to employ.

I get that there's no single distance metric for determining how far apart two species are. But if there are, say, three big factors, you could weigh them and come up with a rough approximate distance metric that says "population X and Y have distance D from each other."

Calling two populations separate species or a single species or a subspecies requires drawing a line in the sand and saying "If d(x,y)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 10:23 AM
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Stupid less than sign.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 10:23 AM
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...and saying "If d(x,y) < D, then X and Y are members of the same species". I don't see the point in doing that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 10:25 AM
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I think the deal is that the species line, while there are odd cases like lions and tigers, mostly is one that's pretty easy to observe in nature

Right. I get why it's useful in easy cases. I just don't get the point of arguing over it. When it fails as a useful schematic, why keep trying to apply it and arguing over it? Why not find a schematic that describes more accurately what's going on?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 10:26 AM
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But lots of the ground work in elucidating concepts -- in science, or in the humanities -- happens with difficult boundary cases. Obviously that can go wrong, or become the subject of excessive discussion,* but it's hardly a surprise that biologists should argue about the application of a concept that's at the core of their discipline.

* you can insert in here critiques of 'analytic' philosophy if you like ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 10:30 AM
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485: I don't actually know what I'm talking about, but if I'm right that the vast majority of the cases are easy, then there may not be a better generally applicable schematic. Arguments about the few hard cases might be worth it to keep the system generally workable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 10:33 AM
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But lots of the ground work in elucidating concepts -- in science, or in the humanities -- happens with difficult boundary cases.

But there's nothing confusing about why the speciation model would fail to work in the boundary cases. That part is obvious. The hard part is determining how specific blurry populations are related.

Yes, I get why it happens in a "scientists are human" explanation. Yes, you stick with what you do in other cases. I should have said I think it's dumb to argue over speciation in the difficult boundary cases, rather than just trying to describe what's there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 10:36 AM
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Arguments about the few hard cases might be worth it to keep the system generally workable.

This is silly. Science tries to accurately describe what's going on, not to superimpose a theory that works 98% of the time onto the remaining 2%. You limit the big theory to those cases of which it applies, and you don't overextend it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 10:37 AM
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What if by arguing about the hard cases, you can make the big theory apply workably to those too? Seems worth giving it a shot.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 10:41 AM
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"scientists are human"

Or at least we are capable of interbreeding with humans. Laydeez.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 10:44 AM
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but if I'm right that the vast majority of the cases are easy

I'm not sure you are right. Most cases involving large mammals may be easy, but most animals are insects, and from what I've read telling species of Amazonian ants apart is pretty damn tricky.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 10:44 AM
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But no one is confused about why the big theory fails in the boundary cases. That is not murky. It's very easy to hypothesize all kinds of population events and genomic mutations that would lead to a completely blurry picture.

The hard part is being given a blurry picture, and trying to recover the events and relatedness that got the populations to that point. What's the point over arguing whether or not the clean categorization applies?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 10:46 AM
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493 to 490


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 10:46 AM
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492: I'm not sure that I'm right either, my source is 'something I read somewhere', but what I recall reading was that folk classifications of species, where there were any (that is, I'm sure there are areas where the local 'folk' just haven't paid attention to that type of insect), lined up with modern science classifications even in what one would think would be difficult circumstances.

493: I'm not clear enough on what we're arguing, and don't know enough, to keep the argument up.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 10:50 AM
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re: 493

At least in part because species-concepts aren't historically neutral, for want of a better term. The tree you'd draw up using one methodology and species concept is different from the one you'd draw up using another.

Also, as far as I can tell, a lot of biological scientists are realists about species. They think species are part of the ontology of the universe. So there's an intellectual investment in the conceptual apparatus surrounding speciation that one chooses to employ.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 10:51 AM
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The hard part is being given a blurry picture, and trying to recover the events and relatedness that got the populations to that point.

Well, it starts with the victory of Tony Blair as leader of the Labour Party, and his subsequent victory over John Major in the general election of 1997. It's a long story, though.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 10:54 AM
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telling species of Amazonian ants apart is pretty damn tricky

In Arizona, they're required to carry ID papers.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 10:55 AM
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The tree you'd draw up using one methodology and species concept is different from the one you'd draw up using another.

Sure. And this is the conversation to be having. Drawing up a tree, where branch lengths represent some distance between populations, is totally fine. Arguing over branch lengths, based on methodology, is where you make your case. None of that is reductionist, and none of that is trying to overapply the 19th century category-fetishist model where it doesn't neatly apply.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 10:56 AM
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499: It's not that this sounds unreasonable -- again, I really don't know much about this at all -- but what makes you think that when biologists have arguments about classifications, that they're having arguments you consider silly and reductionist rather than arguments you consider reasonable?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:09 AM
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499. Sure, but easier said than done. For a start, the available molecular evidence is still fairly small and scattered, so most estimates of "distance between populations" are still based on morphology, and necessarily pretty subjective. Secondly, even if you don't like species realism, you have to allow realism through the door at some level above individuals, or you can't really explain behaviour much. What to do about Neanderthal and modern humans, for instance? Apparently they interbred briefly 40,000 years ago and then lived cheek by jowl in Europe for the next 10,000 and studiously ignored one another sexually. Must have been the mother of all break-ups. But what's happening with those populations?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:10 AM
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In 477, I was referring to the argument that was going on in 476 and above. The biologists I know don't actually have such arguments in my presence, and I don't think they have them in general.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:11 AM
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Wikipedia article on "the species problem". And John Wilkins with "A list of 26 Species 'Concepts'".

I agree with heebie (if I've understood her point) that almost certainly the valuable next steps in work on an issue like homo sapiens and Neanderthals can proceed without resolving the species/sub-species issue. It is interesting that apparently they geographically co-existed without interbreeding for thousands of years after the period of mingling--but that can be investigated independently of the classification. (Now it may be that "X is a different species than Y under species classification system Z" is useful shorthand in certain scientific discussions, but what would really be under discussion would be something related to the characteristics of X and Y relevant to classification system Z rather than the classification itself.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:16 AM
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502: Couldn't the conversation about Neanderthals still be non-contemptible? As OFE says, we're still working on the data for estimating genetic distance between the populations. If the change in usage was due to "We used to think the distance was comparable to that we'd normally think of as a subspecies kind of distance, but now we think the distance is greater, so we're going to call them a separate species," that seems to fit within your paradigm without anyone being locked into 19th century category fetishism.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:19 AM
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504: Certainly "non-contemptible", but I'm not sure how useful it would be other than per 503 as shorthand for people who understand the species classification system being used.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:26 AM
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504: Sorry about the contempt.

JP's version is a more eloquent version of what I was trying to say.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:26 AM
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The problem is that the phylogenetic tree vs. a biological species tree can look really different so it's not just a matter of branch lengths, it's the actual base of branches.

For example, birds. Blue geese and Snow geese look really different - a typical person would think they were separate species. And they were considered separate up until their ranges started overlapping about 70 years ago and now they freely interbreed. So they're one species now.

On the other hand you have oriole species that are not sister taxa (i.e. they are not branches coming from the same point) but they interbreed to produce fertile offspring.

Birds are also weird because they radiated recently enough that the genetic differences among taxa can be quite small but the behaviour can be sufficient that they never interbreed (flycatcher species).

Also, also, currently the approach to genetic differences has more in common to early taxonomic descriptions (number of differences; phenetic approach) rather than a more complex cladistic approach.

Sorry, this is really long but one more thing. The genetic distance between different 'species' within a group varies depending on the group. Like the bird example above, bird species tend to be more similar to each other than say mammals.

Us biologists love these arguments! As do birders.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:29 AM
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505, 506: Sure, shorthand is another way of describing most communication.

It's not that the contempt hurt my feelings -- I'm not a biologist who has any direct knowledge of whether Neanderthals and modern humans should or should not be considered members of the same species under some particular definition of species, so it's not pointed my way. I just couldn't figure out what made you think that whoever it was who decided that Neanderthals and modern humans should or should not be considered members of the same species under some particular definition of species was doing so in a thoughtlessly blinkered manner, rather than as a shorthand for the end product of a useful process of analysis of the data.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:34 AM
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But I'd say Heebie is correct - it doesn't really matter whether it is a species or subspecies when you're doing the science. It's a fun discussion to have over some beers.

However, it can have significant impacts on conservation. A species becoming a subspecies can greatly increase population size which means the species comes out of protection.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:34 AM
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Yeah, I remember hearing about some sort of bird that lives in a ring just south of the North pole, where there is a weird "starting" and "ending" point to the ring: each population can interbreed with the ones on either side of it, except the ones on either side of the dividing line of the circle. So those birds have third parties they can interbreed with, but they can't interbreed with each other.

My reaction on hearing this was, well then that's what is. What's to argue?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:34 AM
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However, it can have significant impacts on conservation. A species becoming a subspecies can greatly increase population size which means the species comes out of protection.

That is interesting.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:38 AM
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510: Ring Species. My favorite are the Ensatina salamanders that ring around the Central Valley in California.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:38 AM
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I just couldn't figure out what made you think that whoever it was who decided that Neanderthals and modern humans should or should not be considered members of the same species under some particular definition of species was doing so in a thoughtlessly blinkered manner, rather than as a shorthand for the end product of a useful process of analysis of the data.

Because this is a clearly murky case, and those words don't have great clear meanings in murky cases.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:41 AM
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why not just measure relatedness on a sliding spectrum?

Because not all contributions to an aggregated genetic distance have equal phenotypic significance. In some cases, a relatively small number of changes is sufficient to create either hybrid sterility or hybrid inviability. In other cases, genetically dissimilar organisms can produce viable offspring, though they choose not to most of the time. Moreover, expected variation in a population depends on lots of factors which can't contribute to the definition of a species.

The interesting corner cases are self-fertilizing hermaphrodites. Dandelions and many fruit trees, for example.

Not to be snotty, but speciation is a problem that working scientists have noticed before-- some of them have both thought and written clearly.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:41 AM
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Not to be snotty, but speciation is a problem that working scientists have noticed before-- some of them have both thought and written clearly.

Then don't be snotty. Instead, read a little further in the thread where I was saying that genetic distance is not a tidy little concept. Or that hybrid viability is complicated.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:44 AM
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510: You need some sort of classification in order to simply get shit done. If you are trying to examine a particular species, however defined, it's a big diversion of effort to put time into deciding where the exact boundary is, or if there's a real boundary or exactly where on the continuum to make the arbitrary cut. Science (and life) is full of arbitrary distinctions made in order to simplify a complex subject to the point where you can invest effort in asking questions other than "how do we mark the boundaries of the population we're studying."

These sorts of distinctions are needed in biology, in law, in astronomy, in art history, music, bloody everywhere, in fact. Every so often new information becomes available and categories are shifted around a bit, but that doesn't make the categories meaningless.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:47 AM
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Because this is a clearly murky case

But morphologically, rather than genetically, I'm not sure it is a murky case. If you saw a Neanderthal walking down the street, you'd think it was an alien or a midget weightlifter in a Halloween mask. I don't think you'd think about breeding with it.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:47 AM
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508: 505, 506: Sure, shorthand is another way of describing most communication.

And the shorthand generally loses its utility in borderline cases. [Insert extremely dubious "Hard cases make bad law" analogy here.] Plus pwned in 513.

The Neanderthals/humans is doubly interesting/tricky because of the potential that cultural rather than biological* factors began to play a role in the breeding isolation.

*And even the use of biological vs. cultural (or behavioral) is fraught in this instance. There are species that can mate and reproduce successfully but do not "simply" due to mating rituals.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:47 AM
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Moving on to the most important implication: does the Creation Museum now update their exhibits to show Sapiens and Neanderthals frolicking lovingly among the dinosaurs? Because that might push me over the top in my desire to visit.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:48 AM
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517: I don't think you'd think about breeding with it.

Plus their fruit hang so very low.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:49 AM
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I don't think you'd think about breeding with it.

Don't be too sure. Heebie hangs out with melon-fuckers.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:53 AM
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If you saw a Neanderthal walking down the street, you'd think it was an alien or a midget weightlifter in a Halloween mask. I don't think you'd think about breeding with it.

Dude, when I see the big powerlifters at meets, I already think that's nothing that falls into what I normally see as human. You are right; I don't remotely consider breeding with them. It is really odd and off-putting to see something that many standard deviations out.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:54 AM
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Biologically, humans can mate with melons, but culturally the two canteloupe.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:54 AM
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There are organizations that do the species classifications for you. The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature is thinking about rearranging Drosophila. The AOU has more splitters than lumpers these days so expect more bird species.

I'm not sure I want to go here but what is the roll of rape/forced sex in the human/Neandertal species concept?


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:56 AM
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So, melon, no Ma?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:57 AM
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Your melon may be pretty, but it can't do what my honeydew.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:57 AM
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524.1: Shockingly high. See Auel, 1980.

Seriously, how on earth would anyone know?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:59 AM
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That should be to 524.2.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 11:59 AM
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Don't know whether to be happy that I think just like LB, or mad because she got in there while I was looking for an image.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:00 PM
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Further, our delivery was almost the same. I was going to refer to research on the topic, but link to a picture of the book cover.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:02 PM
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527: Well you could compare mitochondrial RNA with DNA to examine whether Neandertal genes are passed on maternally differently than paternally.

If the two groups are having sex and sapiens are known for using rape as a war tool, than it's not a stretch to think that both groups are using it as a tool. The point being here that 'attractiveness' of the other may not be the way to look at how the intermating would occur.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:07 PM
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510, 512: I really want someone to find a ring species with more complicated topology. With an environment that was figure-8 shaped instead of just a ring you could end up with a really awesome mess of a "species" (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cayley_graph_of_F2.svg).


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:13 PM
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531.1: Still wouldn't tell you much about rape, exactly. I could easily imagine different populations where interpopulation attraction differed depending on the gender of the parties. E.g., if, say, gender dimorphism in terms of muscularity were important to both populations as a foundation for attraction, and Neanderthal were more robust than modern humans, you'd get more voluntary modern human woman/Neanderthal man matings than the reverse.

Wouldn't rule anything out, of course, but I can't see where you'd get enough data to draw conclusions about social interactions like rape versus voluntary sex.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:14 PM
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524.2: I suspect that it's relatively high, just due to my bleak view of human nature.

Also, just because: My cousin knocked up the daughter of Jean M. Auel's best friend. He's a Neanderthal, but it was totally consensual.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:15 PM
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482: I predict that within our lifetime there will be movement towards an explicit genetic-distance-based definition of species, genus, etc. Furthermore, as a result the next big Pluto-style controversy will be when a science museum decides to start calling chimps Homo Troglodytes.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:16 PM
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I'd rather be Pan Sapiens myself. I could start playing the pipes, and stop shaving my legs.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:17 PM
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Relatedly, I also expect that when a good fossil record for chimps is found we'll discover that our common ancestor looked more like us than they did like chimps.

Scientifically the Pan vs. Homo question would be based on which was named first (which I don't know), although my understanding is that such decisions can be appealed if they contradict long-standing practice. But somehow it seems clear to me that *science museums* would strongly prefer Homo over Pan because it'd teach children the lesson that "Chimps are people too" rather than the lesson "We're all nothing but apes."


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:22 PM
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536. Jared Diamond is way ahead of you.

Hydrobatidae, I've been idly reading you as a family of gibbons for hours. Nice one.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:23 PM
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533: Yeah I guess I wasn't being clear. I was arguing for rape being a reason not to consider Neandertal attractiveness. Interbreeding is interbreeding whatever the reason but saying 'well those guys would be ugly too ugly to interbreed with' is kind of weird.

Did someone link to the other Homo species found in Europe from the same time as sapiens and Neandertals? I don't know how to do links but: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8583254.stm


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:24 PM
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enough data to draw conclusions about social interactions

532. Stickleback


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:24 PM
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My favorite are still the hobbits..


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:28 PM
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"Fuck a duck" is a more complicated and fraught concept than one might think.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:29 PM
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541: The hobbits that lived with giant rats and miniature rhinos. What a world.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:29 PM
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I am aware of at least one SF author who is planning a book based on this conceit. We're pushing her to make it a steamy romance novel.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:31 PM
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Homo sapiens is Linnaeus, 1758. I don't think Pan can be older by definition, though I may be wrong. It may be the same date. Sod it, they've already moved the African apes into Hominidae to resolve the problem of Homo being caught in the middle of Pongidae, so why not go for broke?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:31 PM
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Some skepticism on the interbreeding hypothesis.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:35 PM
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539. Siberia is in Europe? Also, I understand that there's not much material from around there, so it might be an outlying Sap. or Neanderthal, and we might just be underestimating the genetic variability in one or both of those.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:36 PM
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Here's the paper (open access).


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:41 PM
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How long before the first 'scientific' racist speculates that the crucial 4% admixture of Neanderthal genes explains why Europeans and Asians are so much smarter than Africans? I give it a week.

There has already been speculation about that on page 226 of this book:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0465002218?ie=UTF8&tag=the10000yeaex-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0465002218


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:50 PM
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547: ugh, right. Not Europe sorry.

I think the small sample size for all of this is really problematic. The authors were basing their analysis on three bones. The paper I linked to above had one.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 12:51 PM
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In other news, the BNP got hammered.


Posted by: palau | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 1:01 PM
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We know Brits drink a lot, but how did they do in the election?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 1:02 PM
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Drunkenly.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 1:05 PM
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517 Bestiality ain't just an urban myth. If some people are willing to fuck sheep a lot more would do Neanderthals.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 1:09 PM
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554: Especially if they were ancestors of the Scots. *ducks; runs away*


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 1:10 PM
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550: My analysis has thirty goddamn bones!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 1:14 PM
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From the link in 540 I deduce that "The Chirality of the Duck Penis" would be a good title for a concept album.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 1:17 PM
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If you saw a Neanderthal walking down the street, you'd think it was an alien or a midget weightlifter in a Halloween mask. I don't think you'd think about breeding with it.

As I recall, Neanderthals were pretty similar in height to other humans at the time (males around 5.5 feet, females about 5).


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 1:20 PM
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More on the duck penis thing (with videos).


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 1:30 PM
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As I recall, Neanderthals were pretty similar in height to other humans at the time (males around 5.5 feet, females about 5).

Well OK, not pedantically midgets, except in weightlifting circles, but upper Palaeolithic sapiens was significantly taller and more gracile. We didn't shrink to that sort of size until the Neolithic (agriculture) ushered in the epoch of malnutrition.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 1:37 PM
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I figure it'd like having a bunch of Olympic gymnasts running around. Sure, kind of short and way muscled out. But some people dig that.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 1:47 PM
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561. And then it went out of fashion for ten thousand years. I have no answers, but wtf?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 1:49 PM
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It's the smell.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 7-10 1:53 PM
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497 - You need the death of John Smith in your story.

Re Neanderthals - I saw Ad/m Rutherf/rd last night (not, like, socially; he was talking at a show) and he said that there are signs of butchery on their bones, so it seems we ate them and fucked them. Or fucked them and ate them. And then Marcus Brigstocke made a joke about the Tories fucking and eating the LibDems. I'm still very tired.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 8-10 7:22 AM
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557: Some kind of Matthew Barney experimental film series.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 8-10 7:49 AM
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On the conservatives, I have to admit that I have a soft spot for David Willets.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 8-10 7:10 PM
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As far as the Conservatives go, I have to admit that I have something of a soft spot for David Willets.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 8-10 7:17 PM
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453

How long before the first 'scientific' racist speculates that the crucial 4% admixture of Neanderthal genes explains why Europeans and Asians are so much smarter than Africans? I give it a week.

Such speculation wouldn't actually make any sense as there has been sufficient time and interbreeding for strongly adaptive genes to make it back to Africa. Which means it is more plausible that any such genes are for things like cold weather tolerance which are not useful in Africa.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 7:33 AM
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481

What exactly that means, I'm not precisely sure, but mostly I think it means that 'species' is a useful, non-arbitrary concept, and so it makes sense not to abandon it over the occasional hard case.

I agree with this. Of course I would still agree if you replaced "species" with "subspecies" or "race".


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 7:39 AM
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485

Right. I get why it's useful in easy cases. I just don't get the point of arguing over it. When it fails as a useful schematic, why keep trying to apply it and arguing over it? Why not find a schematic that describes more accurately what's going on?

As MattM pointed out in 479, these arguments can be thought of as arguments about what is the most useful definition of species. One useful property is that every organism be assigned to a species even if the assignation is somewhat arbitrary in some cases.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 7:46 AM
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489

This is silly. Science tries to accurately describe what's going on, not to superimpose a theory that works 98% of the time onto the remaining 2%. You limit the big theory to those cases of which it applies, and you don't overextend it.

No, science tries to come up with simple models which accurately approximate a complex reality. A big increase in model complexity for a small increase in accuracy may not be worthwhile.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 7:57 AM
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Because this is a clearly murky case, and those words don't have great clear meanings in murky cases.

It's mainly unclear because the data is so poor. And both answers could be correct. They could be the same species when interbreeding occurred and later separate species when interbreeding was not occurring.

On a billion year time scale it may be useful to think of speciation events as instantaneous although of course they actually aren't.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 8:04 AM
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453: Such speculation wouldn't actually make any sense as there has been sufficient time and interbreeding for strongly adaptive genes to make it back to Africa.

The assumption that greater intelligence would be the result of "strongly adaptive genes" is one of several dubious assumptions underpinning this assertion.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 8:15 AM
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573

The assumption that greater intelligence would be the result of "strongly adaptive genes" is one of several dubious assumptions underpinning this assertion.

Greater intelligence was strongly adaptive at some point in the evolution of modern humans which is why we are much smarter than monkeys. However intelligence doesn't come for free so it did not increase indefinitely but only until a new equilibrium was established. If intelligence has different value in different environments then you would expect different human populations to have different average intelligence levels without any need to invoke introduced genes. If on the other hand intelligence is equally valuable throughout the world then you would expect any introduced superior genes for intelligence to spread throughout humanity given sufficient time and interbreeding.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 8:56 AM
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To the OP (What?): And... Clegg is now talking to Labour.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05- 9-10 12:44 PM
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However intelligence doesn't come for free so it did not increase indefinitely but only until a new equilibrium was established.

The assumption that evolution continued until it produced the modern world and then stopped is a massive BIOLOGY FAIL. Of course evolution is still going on among humans as well as the rest of the living world. Why assume that we're now at an equilibrium with regard to intelligence, or indeed any other quality? How can you tell we're not still in the middle of the increase?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-10-10 9:36 AM
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Exit Brown.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05-10-10 10:10 AM
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re: 577

Yeah. Now the fight for the coalition begins.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-10-10 10:13 AM
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I infer the Cameron talks have hit a serious obstacle or six.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05-10-10 10:20 AM
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So glad to read in this a.m.'s paper that Ed Balls was under consideration to be the next prime minister. So unsurprised that the Mineshaft had beat the L.A. Times to consideration of Mr. Balls.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 05-11-10 9:20 AM
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re: 579

And now looking like it's all on with the Tories, and goodbye to the Labour government.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-11-10 9:22 AM
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Wait, really? I was idly wondering if the Labour flirtation was to get the Tories to up their offer, but I'm surprised it happened so soon.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-11-10 9:28 AM
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I guess I assumed they (the Lib Dems) would have to talk to Labour first, so that nobody could accuse them of rushing into an unholy alliance with the Tories, but that a Labour-LibDem coalition was never a realistic possibility because they couldn't come up with the numbers.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-11-10 9:34 AM
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I thought (probably from something at CT) that a Lib-Lab coalition was doable with a plausible level of support from minor parties -- not just technically possible, but genuinely practical.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-11-10 9:37 AM
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584: it was. But it would also have required support from Labour's own MPs, who are making rebellious noises over electoral reform.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-11-10 9:38 AM
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A Lib-Lab coalition would still have been a minority government, although they could probably have passed legislation with the assistance of the smaller parties. It'd have been fairly knife-edge, though, I imagine when it came to some issues.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-11-10 9:39 AM
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Mostly I just like saying Lib-Lab.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-11-10 9:39 AM
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I love learning about British politics. I especially like the idea of a "whipped" vs. a regular vote -- vote our way or you get automatically kicked out of the party!!! The Democrats could learn from that.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-11-10 9:41 AM
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re: 588

And of course the whips [the MPs assigned with the job of maintaining party vote discipline] put the screws on for important votes.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-11-10 9:44 AM
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588: Getting kicked out of the party is called "withdrawal of the whip". Which makes you wonder, where do they keep the whip when it's in?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-11-10 9:56 AM
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587: Mostly I just like saying Lib-Lab.

You should start a site with that name and show humourous animations of British politics!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-11-10 3:36 PM
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