* Posts by sbt

637 posts • joined 9 Aug 2017

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World's richest bloke battles Oz catastro-fire with incredible AU$1m donation (aka load of cheap greenwashing)

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Paris Hilton

The problem with small-scale private philanthropy by the wealthiest is that it achieves little

The problem with large-scale private philanthropy is that it distorts spending in favour of wealthy individuals' pet projects. Worthy projects ought to be supported by everyone, according to capacity.

But don't confuse taxing 6% of someone's worth with 14% of someone else's income. There needs to be tax reform for individuals to capture capital gains, and corporations to capture revenues and prevent profit stashing.

H0LiCOW: Cosmoboffins still have no idea why universe seems to be expanding more rapidly than expected

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Go

How did it compile?

Must have been make builduniverse rather than make installuniverse.

Or Continuous Deployment something, something.

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Angel

the Hubble variable

Error C3892: 'H0': You cannot assign to a variable that is const in universe.c, line 1029432935.

Alphabet's 'love rat' legal chief David Drummond ejects after 18 years at web goliath, no golden parachute attached

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Or Brooks, "It's good to be the king."

Is there any suggestion this jerk's partners were anything other than willing, or were direct sub-ordinates?

Hey kids! Ditch that LCD and get ready for the retro CRT world of Windows Terminal

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Devil

Sun Gallant Demi (sun12x22) beats them all

All those beautiful curves and serifs, but also you could really see the pixels.

And who could forget the spinning line during boot - \ | / - \ | / - \ | / ....

But really, this is like 'snow' on digital TVs, or 'hiss, crackle and pop' on digital music files.

Is it a make-up mirror? Is it a tiny frisbee? No, it's the bonkers Cyrcle Phone, with its TWO headphone jacks

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Facepalm

It's a backwards name, certainly.

Rootd, in fact.

I thought all these new TLDs were supposed to put an end to the crazy short name wars with the vowels MIA.

National Lottery Sentry MBA hacker given nine months in jail after swiping just £5

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Flame

Justice delayed is justice denied

I'm appalled that it's taken over three and a half years from the arrest to conviction. That's not fair on the guilty or innocent, let alone the victims.

Private equity house Macquarie chucks some money in AirTrunk, grabs majority stake in Aussie hyperscaler

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Paris Hilton

What you gonna do with all that junk in my truck?

Is it AirTruck or AirTrunk?

Love T-shirts, but can't be bothered to wash them? We've seen just the thing!

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Gimp

From what I've heard, gamers get a bit whiffy

There's been coverage about hygiene issues at gamer conventions. They should give these out for free.

And these, to cover up the zits. --->

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Facepalm

At 5pm the shutters go down.

And fair enough, too; post office staff are people, too, with their own lives to lead; It's bad enough they've to put up the stench until 5, let alone past 5. It's not like you're forced to wait until the last day to file. Why are you even filing in paper, anyway?

"Poor planning on your part does not necessitate an emergency on mine.”

-- Bob Carter

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Trollface

Receiving regular shovers?

C'mon, this isn't Wales.

Yeah, says Google Project Zero, when you think about it, going public with exploit deets immediately after a patch is emitted isn't such a great idea

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Facepalm

One brain at a time

Well, a brain surgeon can only kill one patient at a time, usually. Any more and questions start to be asked. On the other hand, a software engineer working for an aircraft manufacturer could kill hundreds or thousands.

ICANN extracts $20m signing fee for $1bn dot-com price increases – and guess who's going to pay for it?

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Devil

"Signing fee"

A bribe by another name would smell of feet.

Wheelie bad end to 2019 for Canyon Bicycles as hackers puncture IT systems

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Headmaster

GmbG OMG!

It's H for Haftung, halfwit!

Pair charged with murder, manslaughter after IBM Aspera boffin killed in New Year's Eve laptop theft struggle

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Stop

Not worth dying for

Another example (if one were needed) that it's not worth risking your life to prevent theft.

Glad you didn't give chase, Kieren.

There's a deeper question here about why after so many arrests these alleged perps were still at large and unreformed.

GCHQ: A cyber-what-now? Rumours of our probe into London Stock Exchange 'cyberattack' have been greatly exaggerated

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Coat

That old saw applies? Never* attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity

* OK, these days, maybe 'rarely' fits better.

Mine's the one with the matching dunce cap.

Xerox grabs $24bn from banking titans to fund hostile takeover of HP Ink

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Megaphone

Doc, please climb out of that abyss

The echoes from your comments are disturbing.

It's all fine. I'm sure interest rates will be negligible for the foreseeable future*

* for small values of foreseeable.

Late $440m Christmas present for HP: Judge triples damages windfall from Quanta in CD-ROM drive price-fix showdown

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Meh

Ignore the man behind the curtain

We do have anti-trust laws here in Oz, of a sort. I think the most famous case here was the cardboard packaging cartel (Visy, et al.)

We live so fast I can't even finish this sent...

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Joke

And did those feet in ancient times, Or, Romani ite domum

I 'figured' the X was a Roman numeral and it was a subtle dig at just how old some people are, and 10 degree slopes would be too much for them.

Senior health tech pros warn NHS England: Be transparent with mass database trawl or face public backlash

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Stop

The de-identification will be a fig-leaf ...

... that will blow off in the slightest breeze from the winds of ML change.

The amount of de-identification needed for such a comprehensive collection undermines the research value.

But if the motivation for building the collated dataset is not first and foremost better continuity of care for patients but the assembly of a saleable product, you can bet the de-identification will be minimal and the veil readily pierced with a little effort, particularly for those with chronic or rare conditions with particular patterns of contact with medical practitioners.

Happy New Year!

Oh this 2019 timeline. Finish this sentence: Austrian politico accused of spending €3,000 a month on ...

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Flame

For every roach you see, there are ten more.

When democracy leads to politicians being held to account, politicians focus on avoiding being held to account. If we're not careful, the more secretive and repressive regimes will thrive, whereas the democracies will be paralysed by scandal, point-scoring and partisanship. Spoiler: It doesn't go well.

Starliner: Boeing, Boeing... it's back! Borked capsule makes a successful return to Earth

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Stop

Not reassured by the easy, obvious nature of the problem

If it was so easy to notice and easy to fix, it should never have happened. I'd forgive some weird anomaly resulting from conditions in space or velocity that can't be tested on the ground. Not this.

Jet2 hacker who deleted every account on UK company's domain cops 5 months in jail

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The straw man strikes again

In which case you would no doubt welcome a mandatory life driving ban for the first speeding offence.

No, come on. I have not suggested anything of the kind. That is a disingenous suggestion. I've commented earlier on the treatment of 'misdemeanours'. Driving is a bad example in any case, because it's licensed conduct and the licence can be withdrawn/suspended.

The discussion on spent convictions is not about bans, and I'm trying to suggest a balance between licencing everything, universal background checks and the kind of creeping social credit score approach of the CCP, with maintaining trust in society and managing risks of recidivism.

What people with the mindset you describe never seems to understand is that *it is not a zero-sum game*

Be honest, you mean me. I am a person with this mindset, surely, in your view. Sure, some aspects of life are a 'zero-sum game'. Whether games are zero-sum is no moral judgement. To the extent that societies are constructed by trading off total freedom of conduct on one side with the protection from harmful conduct on the other, I guess you could consider that a zero-sum game.

As a small-l liberal and pluralist, I'm for the maximum possible freedom of action, but that's tempered with the need to impose some fairly basic and frankly not at all onerous responsibilities on all members, to not harm others. For convenience and predictibility, some are kind of arbitrary, like which side of the road you drive on. There is no right or wrong, only right or left and the main thing is to agree which.

Also as a practical matter, there must be some mechanism to address failure to carry out the responsibilities, proportional to the harm done and risk of further harm. Reasonable people can can and do disagree about the balance of interests between those that fail and their victims (or potential victims). If that's what you meant by 'zero sum game' mindset, I think that's not true of mine. I'm not just arguing more strongly for 'the rest' in this case, but for a better approach to discrimination and bias against those that fail, as well as better risk management for the rest. I've also argued elsewhere for other reforms that would shrink the area where a responsibility exists and legal sanctions apply (e.g. drug possession).

Also, I'm not sure what an ordinary member of the public actually needs protecting from in this case.

See my reply to your other comment above about the particular trust needed in IT practitioners for them to work effectively. In this particular case, the members of the public who are the other employees or customers of Jet2 whose work with or business with Jet2 would have been disrupted by the hack (if it hadn't been mitigated by the other admin).

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Stop

I'm *not* saying 'because he can never be trusted again'

IT practitioners are given massive amounts of trust to do their jobs; as system administrators, they can have access to all of an organisation's most sensitive information, and they can exploit that access for financial gain (e.g. the other recent report here on insider trading) or wreak havoc, as in this case. Developers get access to personal customer data (some medical/financial/HR depending on the org) in the course of testing and bug-fixing. Misconduct by IT professionals hurts us all.

I'd prefer to avoid the licencing approach taken elsewhere which would bring background checks into play for everyone and make the spending of convictions irrelevant even though that would seem to achieve my purpose. Since convictions aren't spent immediately anyway, there's still an issue for the convicted to not have to 'reboot' as you say and licensing with background checks would make it worse for them than at present.

Again, as commented elsewhere, bias against the rehabilitated needs to be addressed and people should be given a chance to regain trust, under supervision, and pass the 'attitude test'. Some people may never be able to do so, but that's OK, we're all better off if they don't work in IT. So-called 'white collar' crime is not taken as seriously as 'more common crimes' you mention, but can have devastating consquences for the victims, who are not always just faceless corporations with insurance, but are real people who often lose their assets, jobs, privacy or even just dignity when defrauded, harassed or have their personal information leaked.

I'm concerned about incentives to reform, too. It seems bizarre that in say, the case of a person convicted of fraud, they are effectively told, "You lied, lying is wrong, go to prison, but after you get out, after a while, you can lie about this".

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Alert

I'm *not* for 'the maximum hardship for revenge and spite'

No, again as I've replied elsewhere, not asking for more bans or more punishment for spite. It's not about misdemeanours (e.g. speeding tickets). This is about information and still allows people to earn back trust, and not have it assumed. By the way, dangerous drivers will earn a long or lifetime ban in some jurisdictions, and I'm OK with that considering the consequences that bad driving can lead to. It's really easy not to speed, if people will take responsibility for their conduct. Here's an example where I disagree with the leniency shown.

There's a common theme in responses to my comments in this topic; people seem to take my comments to mean I want more punishment for the convicted, to destroy their lives and careers, etc. I'm not about that at all; it is definitely better all round if on release/discharge they are able to resume a normal, law-abiding life and career. I'm suggesting a better risk management approach that re-balances the scale towards the innocent and the victims; again it's about information.

I'd be happy to see more education for the public, by the way, about the success stories for rehabilitation and reduce the bias against dealing at all with people over historical convictions. I don't think hiding the facts is the best way to solve this problem. We don't take this approach in respect of other discrimination issues and suggest people hide the ethnic, sexual or other aspects of their identities or personal histories that lead to discrimination; there are laws and there is discussion and some progress in these other areas has been made. We should really do the same in this case.

How about as a compromise, instead of the automatic spending of convictions after the same fixed timeframe in all cases, the behaviour of the convicted person afterwards is taken into account; e.g. a timeframe can be recommended to the judge by the prosecution based on trial and pre-trial conduct, set as part of sentencing and then reviewed/adjusted by parole board based on post-trial conduct? Or at least a mechanism to delay the spending of convictions for poor conduct?

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Alert

Your lessons are an argument for legal reform of a different kind

I drew different ones:

1) It would be fairer to treat "victimless" crimes differently. Mere drug possession should be a misdemeanour, if at all;

2) Forgiveness is one thing, forgetting, another. I'd still argue that betrayals of trust ought to be on record. Would you want a sex offender convicted of a minor assault years earlier to be employed in your kid's school because the conviction was spent? What about a fraudster who made off with a dozen OAPs' life savings setting up as a salesperson for timeshares in your parent's home town?

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Facepalm

The sentence is the punishment

True, but I'm not arguing for more punishment, rather, for the protection of the public (which is one function of the justice system) and reducing the risk of recidivism.

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Alert

far less [likely] to reoffend

Why not eliminate temptation? I'm not saying actually ban people (although disqualification applies in the medical field, and corporate directorships, for example), but allow others to do their due diligence and make a decision to hire/engage/do business with/monitor these folks based on the facts. At least let them earn back the trust, rather than just assume it.

Checks don't apply when you hang out a shingle and start selling a lot of services direct to customers.

Two recent Google RTBF cases both involved folks that appeared to want to get back into the industries/sectors/roles they fell short in previously and google searches (they claimed) were preventing them from doing so. The apparent lack of remorse did not suggest they'd learn their lesson.

As you say, the released need to re-enter society and contribute/sustain themselves. That is in everyone's interest. But they should be able to earn a living doing something else requiring less risk and trust, that doesn't involve being entrusted with client's life savings. It's not an all-or-nothing, scrap-heap or straight back to the top(?) of their prior profession situation.

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Pirate

... with a history like that

Until the conviction is spent and he can hide it.

This is why I don't agree with spent convictions as currently in force; there are other occupations to take up post release/sentence but I think it's fair to permanently disqualify convicted persons from positions of trust, in the financial, legal, medical and other professional areas, even if it's only by not allowing them to be forgotten.

Uber forks out $4.4m to settle claims of rampant sexual harassment and retaliation in the Travis Kalanick era

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Meh

A system for identifying...

OK, but that's internal. Do we expect the Uber culture to have improved significantly enough that it will make a difference?

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WTF?

Seems a pittance.

Is there any word on how many claimants for this extremely modest pie? Over a 5 year period at a toxic workplace like that, I'd expect there's a good many.

Settlement's one thing. What about the individual perps? Any reason to think they'll not just move on and harass elsewhere?

Is this another case where settlement is more cover-up than justice?

ACLU sues America's border cops: Tell us everything about these secret search teams targeting travelers

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Facepalm

Another win for the terrorists

There seems to be a lot of secrecy around counter-terrorism. Not sure it's justified, particularly as attacks on freedom in democracies aligns very much with some terrorists' goals.

I wish TPTB would put the resources into far more widespread criminality, like domestic abuse, but I suspect there's a political 'us vs. them' factor that means the general public feel better if someone else is being policed.

I hope this wasn't a case of incompetence where they mixed up 'Silk Labs' and 'Silk Road'. Maybe they thought Gal was the next DPR.

FYI: FBI raiding NSA's global wiretap database to probe US peeps is probably illegal, unconstitutional, court says

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Flame

Justice in secret, justice delayed; this is not justice at all

702, should never be renew!

Also, get your damned finger off that trigger, missus!

FCC proudly wastes $90m getting data-capped, pricey satellite internet to tiny percentage of US population

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Coat

- That's not my pie!

- That's not my finger.

The FCC should spend their spectrum windfalls on fostering competition in the space, if they really wanted to get good value for their money as well as improving access (including the price outcomes for consumers). But this is FCC, so that's not going to happen; The F doesn't stand for 'Federal' any more. It stands for 'F*cked'.

Mine's the one with the matching oven gloves. -->

InLink Limited limited: Firm that puts up UK's ad-supported phone booths enters administration

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Happy

Thanks, Rich. You know, here at Tea-in-a-Box...

... we pride ourselves on innovation in delivering piping hot tea to your face, but safely. The Sippy-Straw's patented wide nozzle maximises volumetric transfer, while preventing spillage in most situations. As an added benefit, the large diameter of Sippy-Straw makes it too large to get stuck in the nostrils of most marine species ...

*click*

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Coffee/keyboard

F*ck.

You would owe me a new keyboard if only I hadn't been drinking Tea-in-a-BoxTM, now with sippy straw.

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Thumb Up

Good.

Getting sick of the creeping alienation of the commonweal by advertising hoardings, signs, bus shelters, etc. It is the ugly face of consumerism, writ large.

Don't get me started on corporate sponsorship of public facilities.

The IoT wars are over, maybe? Amazon, Apple, Google give up on smart-home domination dreams, agree to develop common standards

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Alert

The key to success

Keys specific to manufacturers would prevent interoperability, which seems to be one goal of this standardisation "effort". If comms are going to be encrypted in the manner you suggest back to the cloud and the providers will need broker between each other in order for your devices to work together, then they might as well stick to the current protocols and build the brokerage amongst themselves anyway.

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Big Brother

they kinda missed a trick here?

The model to date has been to maintain reliance on a cloud service with maximal opportunity to extract ongoing revenue via subscriptions and data for resale via slurp. Sadly, I don't see either of those motives going away in the hunt for ubiquity.

Simple devices isolated from the 'net and a controller/hub with enough smarts to run stuff regardless of 'net connectivity is the only way I'd want to go, but that's not the model on offer.

Except that if the protocols are open and royalty free, there's nothing to stop someone from rolling their own hub on a small SoC style unit.

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Holmes

you would be well advised to wait a year

Nah, I'm gonna wait a heck of a lot longer than that.

Log us out: Private equity snaffles Lastpass owner LogMeIn

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WTF?

better than the other alternatives for KeePass on Mac (i.e. none)

KeePassX working fine here for years. It's open source, too.

Hate speech row: Fine or jail anyone who calls people boffins, geeks or eggheads, psychology nerd demands

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Alert

Appreciate this!

I guess the replication crisis is explained, then. Next!

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Boffin

The 98% percentile score varies between tests

I seem to recall different scores for Wechsler vs. Stanford-Binet, for example.

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Boffin

The good doctor was a bit niggardly...

...with her sample size. Not sure she's a boffin with only twenty respondents.

I'm not bothered by labels, but I do get the sense that 'nerd' is used more perjoratively than 'geek', a somewhat more neutral term, of grudging admiration. Boffin seems generally positive, with perhaps a hint of ivory tower/absent mindedness or freedom from life's quotidian concerns.

Google security engineer says she was fired for daring to remind Googlers they do indeed have labor rights

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Alert

I think the straw man is unemployed

I don't think so. I am suggesting that avoidance or relocation are possible direct consequences of the following statement in the same comment, viz. "Humans can, and should, constrain their activities so that they benefit humans."

The bigger picture is that businesses that employ staff play a useful role in the economy if not everyone turns out to be artisanal cake baker working from their kitchen, or an Instagram influencer.

Monopolies should be constrained, and lawbreaking punished (and whistleblowers protected), but you will not get the organisations with the scale to invest in supplying useful goods and services (at reasonable costs) or the returns that your pension funds need to sustain you in retirement without balancing the incentives needed to build such businesses with robust protection for suppliers, customers and employees. Or even the Inland Revenue (where Google really needs a swift kick).

I've commented here previously that businesses operate in markets (for goods, services and labour) that are in the gift of the public and the government that represents it, creating trust, efficiency and access. This justifies taxation of corporate profits, the application of VAT, as well as regulation of conduct (such as non-discrimination), safety and honest representation. Access to the labour market is a fair exchange for providing workers with particular skills or knowledge oppotunities to be rewarded and sustained without them necessarily needing to have all the skills to run a business themselves.

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FAIL

Seriously?

Come on, give it a rest with the emotive straw man stuff. You might convince me if you'd only make an argument.

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Holmes

Companies have no God-given right to exist

Absolutely. But you can't necessarily force them to exist and create employment either. There absolutely needs to be a regulatory framework for markets to operate in (including labour markets).

However, if you make it too expensive/awkward/inefficient to employ people due to government imposed or union negotiated wages and conditions, businesses will find ways to not employ people, or not operate in your jurisdiction/market, or at all.

Unless you're suggesting central planning/communism where everyone is employed by the state. I think it's been tried, but not successfully.

Cool 'joke', bro, you could have killed someone: Epilepsy Foundation sics cops on sick flashing-light Twitter trolls

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Devil

Wait, they've killed the <blink> tag, haven't they?

<blink>See?</blink>

Remember Unrollme, the biz that helped you automatically ditch unwanted emails? Yeah, it was selling your data

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Thumb Up

An arrest warrant, maybe?

It was a joke, so probably doesn't warrant anything. But thanks for the virtual beer.

Digital Ministry merry-go-round set to continue as Nicky Morgan reappointed, made a life peer

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Facepalm

They must have installed a high-speed revolving door...

,,, whilst restoring Elizabeth Tower.

How long before UK starts electing the upper house instead of appointing them? This gravy train is too ripe for abuse (sorry for mixed metaphor).

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