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GAA Discussion / Re: Mayo v Armagh- Round 3 Qualifier
« on: June 26, 2019, 07:47:37 PM »
DOC getting injured puts a serious dent in qualifying for the Super Duper 8's. Headquarters must be worried that there will be little or no interest in the last 8 the way things are going.  Super Duper 8's without the Super Supported Mayo team would be another blow to financing Dublin GAA.

I never saw a sports administrator like the GAA with gaelic footballán-moran-dublin-have-always-had-advantages-so-what-s-new-1.3937413

"From the GAA’s perspective there is no ambivalence about the impact of the development work in Dublin. The games are holding their own in the most competitive environment in the country and its main urban area and year after year Croke Park has made it clear that they have no wish to make radical alterations to the Dublin project but instead to try to roll it out elsewhere.
The impact of this on the senior inter-county championship is, bluntly, a secondary consideration unless there is a revenue meltdown"

General discussion / Re: Brexit.
« on: June 26, 2019, 12:49:53 PM »

Mr Johnson's apparent hardening of his stance on guaranteeing Brexit "with or without a deal" came as former civil service chief Bob Kerslake called the October 31 pledge "a complete hostage to fortune".
In comments reported by The Independent, the former Whitehall mandarin warned Parliament will not countenance leaving the EU without a deal.
"It is always a good maxim in politics not to enter a room unless you know that you can get out of it," the peer told the Chamberlain lecture in London on Tuesday.
"Boris Johnson has not only entered the room but he has put on the straitjacket, padlocked the door and started the tap running."


"From the GAA’s perspective there is no ambivalence about the impact of the development work in Dublin. The games are holding their own in the most competitive environment in the country and its main urban area and year after year Croke Park has made it clear that they have no wish to make radical alterations to the Dublin project but instead to try to roll it out elsewhere.

The impact of this on the senior inter-county championship is, bluntly, a secondary consideration unless there is a revenue meltdown and although last year’s football gates were down, they were offset by the rise in hurling figures"

General discussion / Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« on: June 25, 2019, 06:03:27 PM »
2 conflicting articles

   The latest Brexit fantasy is the most absurd of all
            Article 24 of the WTO’s underlying treaty is not a solution to no-deal
         The editorial board
It is three years since the UK voted to leave the EU. It did so without a clear plan about its future relationship with the bloc. Since then, the British public has been treated to a stream of more or less unworkable plans by the government and leading Brexiters about maintaining frictionless trade with the union from outside.In the words of Boris Johnson, currently the strong favourite to win the Conservative party leadership contest and succeed Theresa May as prime minister, the UK wants to have its cake and eat it. The latest fantasy promulgated by some Brexit supporters, including Mr Johnson, is that the UK can invoke Article 24 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (Gatt), the treaty underpinning the World Trade Organization. This, they say, would maintain an unchanged trading relationship with the EU even if the UK crashes out without a deal when the deadline expires on October 31.There has been a lot of nonsense over the past three years, but this is a strong contender for the most absurd of all. As countless trade lawyers and other experts have patiently explained, a rarely-used provision of Article 24 allows two economies to maintain a preferential trading relationship between themselves while they are finalising and implementing a full trade deal. It is not an open-ended way of maintaining preferential long-term access to each other’s markets even before talks begin. It also requires both partners to agree to invoke it, and other member governments of the WTO can object. Moreover, the provision applies only to tariffs on goods.
Services trade would still see a severe disruption, as would the UK leaving the EU’s regulatory regime for products including manufactures and food.The EU has repeatedly and rightly said it has no intention of entering into an interim Article 24 arrangement with the UK in case of a no-deal Brexit. Such an agreement would merely give Britain an excuse to flounder around endlessly trying to work out what kind of relationship it wants with the EU.Liam Fox, the international trade secretary and a supporter of Mr Johnson’s opponent Jeremy Hunt, is himself prone to persistent over-optimism about trade negotiations. To his credit, however, he has attempted to quash the Article 24 idea. Yet Mr Johnson and his surrogates continue merrily to propagate the misleading suggestion. Not surprisingly, Mr Johnson is trying to avoid scrutiny during the campaign, ducking debates with other candidates and dodging contact with the press.How much Mr Johnson genuinely believes his arguments and how much he is trying to gull the Conservative membership is unclear. In any case, it seems to be working. Most party members want to leave the EU in October with no deal if necessary, according to surveys.The UK government’s counterparts in Brussels have been watching the policy positions emerging from factional struggles within the Conservative party with rising incredulity. Mrs May crippled the talks from the start by announcing a series of unrealistic red lines. The Article 24 illusion is merely an extreme extension of that mentality.Mr Johnson is likely to win the leadership election and become prime minister. Assuming he manages to form a government, that is when reality will bite. He needs to have a plan ready to deal with the disappointment of his followers when it turns out they were sold policies under false pretences. A unilateral invocation of part of Article 24 is not a way out of the UK’s Brexit predicament. If Mr Johnson and his followers do not know that, they soon will.

Ireland under EU pressure to lay out plans for border as fears mount that no-deal Brexit is unavoidable

 Members of an anti-Brexit campaign group stage a protest against a hard border in Northern Ireland
•   Peter Foster, Europe Editor
24 June 2019 • 9:30pm
Ireland is facing demands from six fellow EU countries to set out detailed plans for how it will manage a no-deal Brexit as fears grow in Brussels that such an exit may be unavoidable, The Telegraph can reveal.
In the first clear sign that EU solidarity with Ireland is starting to come under strain, a gang of six states: France, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Denmark and the Netherlands; are insisting that Ireland must set out in operational detail how it will protect EU borders.
The move comes as EU leaders bid farewell to Theresa May, who had consistently ruled out a no-deal exit, and prepare to welcome either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt, both of whom have committed to leaving the EU without a deal as a last resort.
It reflects growing impatience among EU member states over the refusal of the Irish government to spell out what will happen if the Irish backstop – which was designed to prevent the return of a hard border in Ireland – backfires and causes a no deal.
Both Tory leadership candidates have pledged to seek changes to the backstop, such as asking for it to be time-limited, but the Irish government, the European Commission and EU leaders say the existing Withdrawal Agreement cannot be reopened.
However, EU negotiators still expect the new prime minister to use the threat of no deal to put huge pressure on Ireland to choose between accepting a time-limit that “kicks the can” or a no deal that would be immediately 
destructive to the Irish economy.
The Irish Central Bank warned this week that a disorderly no-deal Brexit could knock four percentage points off Irish economic growth in the first year; result in 100,000 fewer jobs and inflict “very severe and immediate 
disruptive effects”.
The UK Government has already said it will not impose checks on the border in the event of no deal raising the prospect that the full burden of border checks will fall on Ireland.
Until recently, the Irish government has avoided the detail, countering that the UK has a mutual duty to help avoid a return to a hard border under the Good Friday Agreement, and threatening to not hold any EU-UK trade talks until London complies.
But the decision to put pressure on Dublin reflects concerns in Berlin and Paris that if the UK does not cooperate, then Ireland will pose a risk to the integrity of the EU single market in the event of a no deal.
“We need to know exactly what is going to happen in Ireland on day one of a no-deal Brexit if the British do nothing to help,” said an EU diplomat with knowledge of the discussions.
Poland is understood to be among a minority of member states who harbour hopes that forcing Ireland to confront the difficulties of a no deal could pave the way to reopening the debate on time-limiting the backstop.
Both in private and public, the Irish government remains adamant they will not do anything to dilute the backstop, citing polls showing that eight out of 10 Irish voters support sticking to the backstop even if it risks no deal.
Leo Varadkar, the Taoiseach, dug in publicly at this week’s EU leaders summit, promising there would not be any renegotiation of the Irish Protocol and warning there was no appetite for further Brexit negotiations.
Three senior EU sources confirmed that Ireland was being forced to work with the European Commission’s Task Force 50 to lay out detailed plans on customs controls, tariff collections and checks on plant and animal products.
The European Commission has made clear that it will require Ireland to defend the integrity of the EU single market and will not provide legal exemptions on required checks.
Although customs checks and paperwork can be filled in away from the immediate border, phytosanitary checks on animal and plant products must be done close to the border at registered Border Inspection Posts (BIPs).
Officials on both sides are clear that even a “light touch” and electronic schemes will require policing and inspections that will be politically sensitive in border areas. Customs checks still require infrastructure.
The European Commission has backed Dublin, promising in its recent no-deal planning notices that it will make UK cooperation on the Irish border a “precondition” for agreeing to any discussion on the future relationship in the event of a no deal.
A report by Northern Ireland’s Department for the Economy released last week warned that, given the positions of both sides “Ireland will have to establish BIPs which are closer to the border” in the event of a no deal.

General discussion / Re: Brexit.
« on: June 25, 2019, 06:00:08 PM »
Could somebody with a FT sub copy and paste this please?
Done , Hardy, but on the provisional Brexit thread cos the lads don't like the full article on the official thread

General discussion / Re: Various bits re Brexit and Economics
« on: June 25, 2019, 05:57:39 PM »

                  Simon Kuper
               June 21, 2019

            You turn the pages of yellowing student newspapers from 30 years ago, and there they are, recognisably the same faces that dominate today’s British news. Boris Johnson running for Union president, Michael Gove winning debating contests, Jeremy Hunt holding together the faction-ridden Oxford University Conservative Association (OUCA).Six of the seven men who survived the first round of the Tory leadership contest earlier this month studied at Oxford. The final two remaining candidates, Johnson and Hunt, were contemporaries along with Gove in the late 1980s. The UK is thus about to install its 11th Oxonian prime minister since the war. (Three postwar PMs didn’t attend university, and Gordon Brown went to Edinburgh.) This beats even the grip of the Ecole Nationale d’Administration on the French presidency (four of the past six presidents have been énarques), let alone Harvard’s on the White House.When I arrived in Oxford aged 18 in October 1988, it was still a very British and quite amateurish university, shot through with dilettantism, sexual harassment and sherry. Gove, Hunt and the much less political David Cameron had graduated that summer, and Johnson in 1987, but from my messy desk at the student newspaper Cherwell I covered a new generation of wannabe politicians.You couldn’t miss Jacob Rees-Mogg, seemingly the only undergraduate who always wore a suit, or the early Europhobe Dan Hannan. Both became ideological fathers of Brexit. I’m still covering them today.This isn’t a jolly boys’ story about the japes we all had together. I didn’t know any of the Oxford Tories personally, because we were separated by the great Oxford class divide: I was middle class, from a London comprehensive (after years abroad), and they were mostly upper-class public schoolboys. But the night Brexit happened, I sensed it was rooted in 1980s Oxford. I wrote a column about this in July 2016, then gradually came to see that the roots went even deeper than I had realised.Any understanding of the British ruling class — and the next prime minister — requires returning to that place and time.
                  Being president of the Oxford Union was an opportunity to mix with influential figures – it was ‘the first step to being prime minister’, said Michael Heseltine. Here, Union president Boris Johnson with Greek culture minister Melina Mercouri in 1986.  © Reuters
            At Cherwell, we were always writing about the Oxford Union. The debating society, off a courtyard behind the Cornmarket shopping street, was a kind of teenage House of Commons. Its officers wore white tie, speakers black tie, and everyone called each other “honourable member”. You won debates not by boring the audience with detail, but with jokes and ad hominem jibes.Almost all aspiring Tory politicians passed through the Union. Theresa May never won the presidency — disadvantaged by her gender and with no rhetorical gifts — but in 1979 her future husband Philip did. The Mays had been introduced at an Oxford Conservative disco by another Union president, Benazir Bhutto, future prime minister of Pakistan.In May’s day, the Union was a small circle of debating obsessives. But then it hit financial trouble and began recruiting among the broader student population. By 1988, about 60 per cent of Oxford’s undergraduates had paid the £60 joining fee.
                     The biggest political issues in mid-1980s Oxford were Britain’s deployment of nuclear weapons and the miners’ strike. Europe rarely came up then
            I never joined but I sometimes got press tickets to debates, and I still remember a young Benjamin Netanyahu trouncing hecklers, and, on the 50th anniversary of Dunkirk, the former prime minister and ex-Union president Ted Heath evoking Oxford on the eve of the second world war, when German invasion loomed. Another lure was the Union bar, which — almost miraculously in 1980s Britain — stayed open till 2.30am, until the deferential local police finally intervened.Most Oxford students opposed Margaret Thatcher by the late 1980s, but the Union’s biggest political grouping was the Tories, split between Thatcherites and “wets”, who would exchange arcane factional insults.The biggest political issues in mid-1980s Oxford, recalls Tim Hames, then a Union politician and member of OUCA, were Britain’s deployment of nuclear weapons, apartheid (many Tories weren’t entirely anti) and the miners’ strike. Europe rarely came up then. The European Commission had given Thatcher the British rebate she had demanded, and she was working with the Commission’s president, Jacques Delors, to create a European single market. The Single European Act was passed in 1986.Most Union politicians weren’t very interested in policy anyway. Anyone wanting to make policy that affected students’ lives got involved in the separate Oxford University Student Union or their college’s junior common room (JCR). That kind of politics mostly attracted aspiring Labourites. Dave Miliband chaired the student union’s accommodation committee, while Yvette Cooper, Eddie Balls and Ed Miliband were JCR presidents.By contrast, the Union favoured debating skills and ambition without a cause. Every eight-week term, the Union elected a president, secretary, treasurer and librarian. The “hacks”, as student politicians were known, would traipse around the colleges soliciting votes from ordinary students.As the future Spectator columnist Toby Young wrote in the Union’s house magazine in 1985: “It doesn’t matter how unpopular you are with the establishment, how stupid you are, how small your College is or how pretentious your old school: if only you’ve got the sheer will you can succeed.”
                  Michael Gove, president of the Oxford Union two years after Boris Johnson, defends the institution in Cherwell newspaper in 1988. © Cherwell
            Johnson’s Oxford days are now usually mentioned in connection with his membership of the hard-drinking, posh and sometimes destructive Bullingdon Club, but in fact he was a vessel of focused ambition. Arriving in Oxford from Eton in 1983, he had three aims, writes Sonia Purnell in Just Boris: to get a First-class degree, find a wife and become Union president. That post was “the first step to being prime minister”, said the 1980s Tory politician Michael Heseltine. At speakers’ dinners, a 20-year-old Union president would find himself or herself sitting next to cabinet ministers and other useful contacts.Most students arrived in Oxford barely knowing the Union existed, but Johnson possessed the savvy of his class: he had run Eton’s debating society, and his father Stanley had come to Oxford in 1959 intending to become Union president. Stanley had failed but Boris was a star. Simon Veksner, who followed Johnson from their house at Eton to the Union, tells me: “Boris’s charisma even then was off the charts, you couldn’t measure it: so funny, warm, charming, self-deprecating. You put on a funny act, based on The Beano and PG Wodehouse. It works, and then that is who you are.”Johnson also came equipped with the peculiarly intimate network that an upper-class boarding school confers. Ordinary schoolchildren spend eight hours a day with their classmates but boarders live together, and often have inner-class family connections going back generations. Johnson arrived in Oxford knowing dozens of people, whereas some state-school kids knew precisely nobody.He didn’t let his degree — Classics — interfere with his Union ambitions. In 1980s Oxford, studying was almost optional. A common workload for arts students was one essay a week, often penned during an overnight panic, then typically read aloud to one’s tutor. When I reread my old essays while revising for finals, they were so pathetic that I wanted to write to my tutors to apologise.One thing you learnt at Oxford (even if you weren’t in the Union) was how to speak without much knowledge. Underprepared students would spend much of a tutorial talking their way around the holes in their essay. Cherwell praised Simon Stevens (a Union president in 1987) as “Oxford’s most talented off-the-cuff tutorial faker”: “Recently Simes read out almost half of an essay to his tutor before his partner revealed that he was ‘reading’ from a blank piece of paper.” Stevens is now chief executive of the National Health Service, appointed in 2013 under health secretary Jeremy Hunt, his Oxford contemporary.Johnson just missed his First. His tutor Jonathan Barnes recalls, “If you’re intelligent enough, you can rub along in philosophy on a couple of hours a week. Boris rubbed along on no hours a week, and it wasn’t quite good enough.” Johnson’s sister Rachel said that it later fell to her to “break the terrible news” to Boris that their brother Jo had got a First. (Rachel, Jo and Boris’s first wife Allegra Mostyn-Owen all edited the Oxford magazine Isis.)
                  David Cameron at the Oxford Union Valentine Ball in 1987. After Oxford, Cameron went straight to the Conservative party’s research department – where he would later encounter his future chancellor, George Osborne © Dafydd Jones
            In 1984 Johnson ran for Union president against the grammar schoolboy Neil Sherlock. The election dramatised the Oxford class struggle: upper class versus middle class. (Working-class students were rare.) In the vernacular of some public schoolboys, state-school pupils were “stains”, below even the “Tugs” from minor private schools.Sherlock, later a partner at KPMG and PwC, and special adviser to the Liberal Democrat deputy prime minister Nick Clegg in 2012/13, recalls: “Boris mark one was a very conventional Tory, clearly on the right, and had what I would term an Old Etonian entitlement view: ‘I should get the top job because I’m standing for the top job.’ He didn’t have a good sense of what he was going to do with it.”
                     As Union president in 1988, Gove wrote a paean to elitism in the Union’s house magazine: ‘We are all here, part of an elite. It is our duty to bear that in mind’
            Mostyn-Owen invited Sherlock for tea and tried to charm him into not standing against “my Boris”. Undeterred, Sherlock campaigned on a platform of “meritocrat versus toff, competence versus incompetence”. Johnson mobilised his public-school networks but lost. Sherlock came away underwhelmed by his opponent: “The rhetoric, the personality, the wit were rather randomly deployed, beyond getting a laugh.” Sherlock expected OUCA’s president Nick Robinson to become the political star, and Johnson to succeed in journalism. Instead, Robinson now presents BBC radio’s Today programme.Johnson learnt from his defeat. A year later he was elected president, this time disguising his Toryism by allying himself with Oxford’s Social Democrats. His second campaign was more competent: the American graduate student Frank Luntz, now a senior Republican pollster, conducted polls for him. And Johnson worked his charm beyond his base.Michael Gove, a Scottish fresher in 1985, told Johnson’s biographer Andrew Gimson: “The first time I saw him was in the Union bar . . . He seemed like a kindly, Oxford character, but he was really there like a great basking shark waiting for freshers to swim towards him.” Gove told Gimson: “I was Boris’s stooge. I became a votary of the Boris cult.”In an essay for The Oxford Myth (1988), a book edited by his sister Rachel, Johnson advised aspiring student politicians to assemble “a disciplined and deluded collection of stooges” to get out the vote. “Lonely girls from the women’s colleges” who “back their largely male candidates with a porky decisiveness” were particularly useful, he wrote. “For these young women, machine politics offers human friction and warmth.” Reading this, you realise why almost all Union presidents who become Tory politicians are men. (Thatcher’s domain was OUCA, where she was president in 1946.)Johnson added: “The tragedy of the stooge is that . . . he wants so much to believe that his relationship with the candidate is special that he shuts out the truth. The terrible art of the candidate is to coddle the self-deception of the stooge.”Tory MPs now backing Johnson’s candidacy for leader may find the essay interesting. Gove, who wore a kilt in debates, was such a gifted speaker that he could even make a compelling case to a student audience against free choice in sexual behaviour. He was unusually ideological by Union standards, a Thatcherite meritocrat. As Union president in 1988, he wrote a paean to elitism in the Union’s house magazine: “I cannot overemphasise what elitism is not. It is not about back-slapping cliques, reactionary chic or Old Etonian egos. It is a spirit of unashamed glamour, excitement and competition . . . We are all here, part of an elite. It is our duty to bear that in mind.”Meanwhile, Jeremy Hunt, an OUCA president in 1987, made much less noise. Hames sums up: “The Boris appeal was Boris. Michael was interested in ideology and ideas. Jeremy was more a small-c managerial conservative.”Hunt wasn’t charismatic or eloquent, and had no obvious political passions, but he was the archetypal head boy (a role he’d held at Charterhouse). An admiral’s son, distant relative of the Queen, tall and courteous, he usually rose above Tory factionalism. After Cherwell reported that a “libertarian faction” was trying to “take over” OUCA, and that one committee member was a “Moonie” (a member of the Unification Church cult), Hunt wrote a letter to the editor: “OUCA remains a moderate association controlled by neither libertarians nor any other faction within the Conservative party, and exists to represent the views of all Conservative students at Oxford.” The Moonie, he added, had been expelled.Amid all this Oxford politicking, there was one notable absentee: David Cameron. He got his First, and amused himself in posh dining clubs, but felt no need to do anything so vulgar as burnish his CV with student politics. After all, he too was distantly related to the Queen, his father chaired the establishment club White’s, and his cousin Ferdinand Mount headed Thatcher’s Policy Unit. Cameron went straight from Oxford to the Conservative Party’s research department, where he later encountered his successor in the Bullingdon and future chancellor, George Osborne.Rees-Mogg arrived at Oxford at the same time as me in 1988. Almost immediately, Cherwell nominated him (as it had Gove before) for the traditional title of “Pushy Fresher”. The paper printed a photograph of him speechifying in his suit, above the caption, “What more need we say?”Studying the picture, you realise: Rees-Mogg hasn’t changed. Like Johnson and Gove, he even has the same hairstyle today. They were almost fully formed at 18. School had given them the confidence, articulacy and know-how to bestride Oxford. They also already knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. If most students back then had had to guess who would be ruling Britain in 2019, they would probably have named Johnson, Gove and Rees-Mogg.
                  Like Michael Gove before him, Jacob Rees-Mogg is nominated for the traditional title of ‘Pushy Fresher’ by Oxford University’s student newspaper Cherwell in 1988 © Cherwell
            The last became president of OUCA in 1991, with Cherwell citing his “campaign for world domination and social adequacy”. However, he proved just too peculiar to be elected Union president and lost to Damian Hinds, who is now the education secretary.The Oxford Tories were climbing the greasy pole before most students had even located it. The majority arrived at university uncertain, terribly dressed, trying to find themselves, often wrestling with imposter syndrome. Only at Oxford did they acquire the qualities that Johnson et al already had: a ruling-class accent, rhetorical skills and the ability to feel confident in any establishment setting.In 1988, British politics changed. The previously pro-European Thatcher suddenly turned Eurosceptic. She had realised that her beloved single market would be accompanied by closer political integration. In her “Bruges speech” in September 1988, she warned against “a European super-state exercising a new dominance from Brussels”.That idea spooked the Oxford Tories. They revered Britain’s medieval parliament filled with witty English banter, whereas Brussels offered ugly modernism and jargon-ridden Globish. Ruling Britain was their class’s prerogative. It was none of Brussels’ business. In 1990, the future OUCA president Dan Hannan founded the Oxford Campaign for an Independent Britain at the Queen’s Lane Coffee House on the High Street. With hindsight, some see this as the start of the campaign for Brexit.
                  Magdalen College, Oxford, where Jeremy Hunt studied, as did future chancellor George Osborne © Getty Images
            Toby Young had written in 1985 that it was lucky the Union existed — “that in an environment as full of ruthless, sociopathic people as Oxford, there should be an institution that sucks them all in, contains all their wilful energy and grants them power only over each other”. He hoped that one day its officers could be similarly contained within the House of Commons.But the Commons couldn’t contain them. These people spent years agitating for Brexit. In 2016 they secured their referendum. Johnson sniffed the chance to become prime minister, and — in Union jargon — decided at the last minute to back the motion. Gove is a true believer in Brexit, but his decision to campaign for it — undermining Cameron — was partly an outflow of the Oxford class struggle. As education secretary under Cameron, he had thought they were friends, but when ­Cameron suddenly moved him to chief whip in 2014, Gove was devastated. He felt that Cameron and his coterie of Old Etonians (a stronger network for Cameron than Oxford) had treated him “like staff”, one person in his circle told me. He wanted revenge.Timothy Garton Ash, professor of European Studies at Oxford, describes the referendum as “a Union debate with the addition of modern campaigning techniques”. He says, “One of the great things about British public life is that it’s irradiated by a gentle sense of humour — but ‘chaque qualité a ses défauts’ [‘every quality has its downsides’].” In a cross-class alliance with Nigel Farage and the tabloids, the Oxford Tories triumphed.Politicians from 1980s Oxford dominated both the Remain and Leave camps, but they were divided by the subject of their degrees. Oxford’s “prime minister’s degree” is PPE: politics, philosophy, economics. It has often been associated with the Brexiters. Ivan Rogers, for instance, a grammar schoolboy in 1980s Oxford and the UK’s permanent representative to the EU until he resigned in 2017, discerned “a very British establishment sort of revolution. No plan and little planning, oodles of PPE tutorial-level plausible bullshit, supreme self-confidence that we understand others’ real interests better than they do . . . ”
                     May entrusted the Brexiters with executing Brexit. But they were debaters, not policymakers. They couldn’t debate Brussels into submission
            Yet in fact in 2016 the PPEists were almost all Remainers: Cameron, Hunt, Stewart, Philip Hammond, Matt Hancock, Sam Gyimah, Hinds, Nick Boles, the Milibands, Balls, Cooper and Peter Mandelson. They had presumably chosen the degree in search of the cutting-edge knowledge needed to run a modern country. (Fatefully, the one great PPEist Leaver was the media proprietor Rupert Murdoch, who in 1950s Oxford had been business manager of Cherwell and a Labour Club member.)By contrast, most Brexiters had studied backward-looking subjects: Classics for Johnson, History for Rees-Mogg and Hannan, and English Literature (which mostly meant the canon) for Gove. They were nostalgics. Hence Johnson’s hagiography of Churchill and Rees-Mogg’s much-mocked recent paean The Victorians, while Gove as education secretary strove to make sure pupils learnt 19th-century literature and Britain’s “island story”.After the Oxford Brexiters won the debate, Cameron resigned, and they switched to another familiar format: the in-house leadership election. As one former Union president remarked, the ensuing contest could be described entirely in Union slang: “Boris knifed Dave. Michael knifed Boris. Theresa and Michael stole Boris’s slate. Boris self-binned.”May became prime minister, and entrusted the Brexiters with executing Brexit. She gave them the key jobs in cabinet. But they were debaters, not policymakers. They couldn’t debate Brussels into submission, because the EU’s negotiators followed rules. So poorly briefed were the Brexiters that in December 2017 they accepted the principle of a “backstop” plan to keep the Irish border open, before spending the next 18 months fighting it.Now the Tories have another leadership election. Second time around, just as at Oxford, Johnson is running a competent and centrist campaign, talking up his liberal reign as mayor of London. Like Sherlock in 1984, Hunt is targeting Johnson’s lack of “seriousness”. Then as now, Gove stands in his hero’s shadow. He needn’t worry: in the Oxford tradition, there may be another election coming along soon.In the small, insular world of the British establishment, every so often a clique of people can exert an extraordinary influence. There is a curious parallel between the 1980s Oxford Tories and the 1930s Cambridge spies. The charming, blond, dishevelled Etonian sybarite Guy Burgess, Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, Anthony Blunt and John Cairncross also emerged from an intimate, all-male, public-school network. Four of them were at Trinity College, with Maclean next door at Trinity Hall. Confident enough to formulate a revolutionary worldview despite being ill-informed, they embraced a utopian cause: Soviet communism. It promised a far-off paradise that they never expected to live in themselves. Working towards it was great fun.
                  A letter written to Cherwell newspaper in 1987 by Jeremy Hunt, who was president of the Oxford University Conservative Association (OUCA). Hunt ‘made much less noise’ than Boris, and usually rose above Tory factionalism © Cherwell
            There is a similar element of play in Tory Brexit. Caroline Lucas, the Green MP, chastised Rees-Mogg last year: “This is not a parlour game or debating society. These are real people with real lives.” Well, that’s what she thinks.The Cambridge Five were given roles of responsibility because they possessed elite CVs and came across as archetypal British gentlemen (partly through displays of eccentricity in hairstyles, drink and dress). They pursued their utopia for decades, ignoring all evidence that contradicted it and looking down on the rest of the establishment for its unimaginative thinking. When the spies were finally exposed, British trust in the establishment suffered a lasting dent.Admittedly, the comparison between the Cambridge and Oxford sets isn’t entirely fair: though both betrayed Britain’s interests to the benefit of Moscow, the Brexiters didn’t mean to.It’s an odd feeling to return to a town that you have barely seen in 25 years but where you know every street. Oxford looks almost unchanged, yet the time-traveller from the 1980s experiences a series of small shocks: there are Chinese tourists! Students sit in coffee shops working on laptops! The food is decent!Wandering around my old college, I marvelled at the Chinese and German names at the bottom of staircases. There are far more applicants to places nowadays, lazy alcoholic tutors are dying out, and rubbing along on “no hours a week” is no longer tolerated.
                  The Oxford Union Debating Chamber as it was in 1949. By the 1980s, ‘you won debates not by boring the audience with detail, but with jokes and ad hominem jibes’ © Getty
                  Welsh Labour MP Chris Bryant speaking in 2013 at the Oxford Union, which operates rather like a student House of Commons © Alamy
            But the Union, weekly tutorials and therefore the outsize role of rhetoric survive. Is there some soul-searching at the university over the triumph of the Oxford Brexiters? “I think there should be,” replies Garton Ash. He exempts the tutorial system from blame: “Having an hour a week with an expert on the field cross-examining you — that doesn’t seem to me to lead to glibness.”But he adds, “Public schools and the culture around them provide a training in superficial articulacy: essay writing, public speaking, carrying it off. The Oxford Union reinforces that, even among those who didn’t go to public school. Compare and contrast the German elite. For me, Gove is the ultimate example.” Garton Ash says Oxford as an academic institution no longer encourages this style.Kalypso Nicolaïdis, professor of international relations, says: “If a student is capable of producing two well-written essays a week, with well-structured arguments, they can kind of get away with not knowing much about the subjects. This may sound superficial, but communicating is useful in life. Sometimes you need to convince people succinctly, especially if you go into politics.”But, she adds, “it’s not what Oxford is about. I believe most colleagues would agree that our commitment is to convey knowledge as deeply as possible. Whether as a student you want to take advantage of this is up to you.”I deplore what my contemporaries are doing to Britain. But given that I too learnt at Oxford how to write and speak for a living without much knowledge, I can hardly talk.Additional research by Pauline HarrisFollow @FTMag on Twitter to find out about our latest stories first. Listen and subscribe to Everything Else, the FT culture podcast, at or on Apple PodcastsThis article has been amended to correct the year Boris Johnson graduated from Oxford university.

The Leinster championship should be boycotted next year. So should the All Ireland
The GAA need a kick up the hole. 

Prioritising percentages playing in Dublin over the All Ireland is insane

Judging by the number who bothered to turn up for the Connacht final the boycott has already started over there.

As for the AI finals, I don’t suppose there’ll be any rush for tickets in Galway this year.
Combined population of Ros and Galway 300k at most.
17k at CF.
Combined population of Neath and the 4 Dublin Counties  1.6m.
LF attendance 47k.
I'll leave te to work out the percentages.

Is 17000 odd an acceptable attendance for a Connacht final?
Attendances in general have fallen , to go with RTE not broadcasting any provincial matches until mid June.
The game is banjaxed as a spectacle. It's not all the Dubs' fault either ;)

Does any one think that constant negativity is having an Affect on attendances ,
the championship has been excellent this year with the exception of the elephant in the room, but Dublin should be seen as a prize scalp not a cause of non stop whining .
what possible good could come out of boycotting next years championship .
it would not be so much a boycott than the raising of the White flag
I'd say the lack of competition is more likely to be the driver
Ask the Kildare lads

The Leinster championship should be boycotted next year. So should the All Ireland
The GAA need a kick up the hole. 

Prioritising percentages playing in Dublin over the All Ireland is insane

General discussion / Re: The IRISH RUGBY thread
« on: June 25, 2019, 11:14:54 AM »

Can you imagine the public (and GAAboard from certain posters) fury and condemnation if it was a bunch if "Gah thugs".
Shane Ross would be threatening to stop all funding etc etc

Not much talk of the ex Leinster Legend allegedly knocking seven bells out of an academy player.

If true the Guards should be looking into that rather than the IRFU.

Oh, no charges were pressed. That's alright then.

1. An internal IRFU investigation into O’Brien’s actions on May 26th.
“The IRFU have investigated an incident of inappropriate behaviour by a player which occurred on 26th May 2019 (Sunday night),” read an IRFU statement. “The player has expressed his deep regret and has been sanctioned in line with the provisions of his contract.”

2.London Irish recently lost a 27-year sponsorship arrangement with Guinness after Diageo, the parent company, objected to the signing another Ireland international Paddy Jackson.

3. Leinster stated on June 5th that a separate investigation into an assault by former player Stanley Wright (40) on a Leinster academy player, at a private team function in the early hours of May 26th in the Intercontinental hotel, has concluded to the “satisfaction of all parties.” The academy player (20) was knocked unconscious by a punch from Wright. He was hospitalised but Leinster stated that he “has made a full recovery.” The player did not to press charges.

Only if Dublin are not playing otherwise it would be mean spirited and divisive!
and involve begrudgery


Declan Rowley
 Suggestion- All teams in Leinster bar Dublin make a pact to withdraw from next year’s championship until this ridiculous situation is brought to an end. Why would players make the huge commitment required each year to end up with this humiliation?

Dublin are below the level they were at for the last few years. They were well out of the picture in the league - and Jim Gavin didn't throw it at all - and the last two championship performances have been sloppy. There are a load of players getting on in years and not at the same level they were - Mick Fitzsimons, Philly McMahon and Cian O'Sullivan are all well past their best - the Brogans, Flynn and Connolly are gone and the players who have replaced them, good as they are, are not in the same all-time elite class.

When Dublin were in their absolute pomp with those players, between 2013 and 2017, Donegal beat them and Mayo and Kerry pushed them to the absolute limit in some of the greatest matches ever played.

Kerry, Mayo and Donegal are all westerly counties with populations between 130k and 160k with a high rate of emigration and poorly located economically.

Kildare and Meath have significant advantages that those counties do not have, and yet those other counties seriously challenged or beat the best Dublin team of all time.

How did they do that?

And if they did, how is it that people suddenly think this current Dublin team is unchallengable?

Kildare, Meath, Galway, Down, Tyrone, Armagh, Cork - all of those counties have the resources to do what Kerry, Donegal and Mayo have done over the last six or seven years.
But none of these counties have the resources to do what Dublin have done, do they?

Dublin is a county of 1.4 million people

Obviously Dublin are going to be better resourced and attract greater sponsorship and funding because it's only major city on the island

That's the nature of representative sport

Inter county football has never been about equality, it's about county identity

Half the counties in Ireland have never won the All-Ireland football championship - in my lifetime only about 13 counties have ever had a realistic chance of winning it - and some of those have not done so

Inequality is also the nature of international football, international rugby and international cricket

Presumably everybody here believes Ireland should not compete against Germany, France and Spain as those countries have far bigger resources than Ireland, and that Ireland should instead stick to competing against Georgia and Lithuania etc.

If you want anything resembling a level playing field, amalgamate all the other counties into three or four provincial teams, because that's only way you can achieve any sort of equality

But that would mean 31 county teams ceasing to exist and a championship of five teams
Sport has to be competitive. It doesn't have to be equal.

Its actually hilarious that the Dubs can't  see that the money makes no difference.

They actually fully believe it's the magical fairy volunteers.  ;D ;D

If you were to give €10m to Meath co board tomorrow there is no guarantee they would be successful. First thing a county should do if they are serious about football/hurling in the county is put together a long term plan for underage set up in the county and then look for funding. Offaly board had a plan for hurling in the county prepared for them, but they never actually bothered implementing it. Instead they sack the senior team manager in a desperate and ultimately failed short term/quick fix attempt to avoid relegation. Why should they for example receive funding.

I don't think the GAA should be handing out grants to any county board unless they have plans in place. The game is dying a death and the GAA are fully culpable.
Maybe the GAA are no longer fit to run Gaelic Football

Its actually hilarious that the Dubs can't  see that the money makes no difference.

They actually fully believe it's the magical fairy volunteers.  ;D ;D

If you were to give €10m to Meath co board tomorrow there is no guarantee they would be successful. First thing a county should do if they are serious about football/hurling in the county is put together a long term plan for underage set up in the county and then look for funding. Offaly board had a plan for hurling in the county prepared for them, but they never actually bothered implementing it. Instead they sack the senior team manager in a desperate and ultimately failed short term/quick fix attempt to avoid relegation. Why should they for example receive funding.
If they put together a long term plan they would be successful. It's not rocket science

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