Tag Archives: Andrew

Michael #Gove in lengthy #Marr interview. This member of the public destroys him with one tweet

Michael Gove – oh no! Sorry – it’s the Spitting Image dummy of Gove. I have a terrible feeling it talks more sense than he does.

If you saw Michael Gove blathering on the Andrew Marr Show today, This Writer sympathises. What a terrible waste of time.

Personally, I don’t care what he said about Brexit, or Manchester, or the amount of money paid on contact tracing; he’ll be saying something different tomorrow, if it suits him.

Here’s the reason:

Yes. It is Johnson’s Conservatives who are incoherent. They say whatever they think we want to hear.

So you must judge them on what they do. And what a catalogue of failure that provides!

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Blatant corruption as Jenrick and fellow Tory Berry allocate millions to each other’s constituencies

Robert Jenrick: he reckons it is ‘perfectly normal’ for ministers to corruptly funnel money from their own department’s funds into their own constituencies.

“Perfectly normal” is it, Robert Jenrick?

If you are utterly corrupt, it might be perfectly normal to allocate millions of pounds from a regeneration fund to your fellow MP’s constituency in return for him giving £25 million to yours. Not if you’re honest!

Jenrick tried to brazen out the Labour Party’s accusation against him when he appeared on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show:

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has dismissed Labour’s call for an investigation into the award of a £25m regeneration grant to his constituency.

He told BBC One’s Andrew Marr show the decision to give the money to Newark, Nottinghamshire, had been taken by fellow minister Jake Berry.

Mr Jenrick said he had himself decided to grant funds to a town in Mr Berry’s constituency under the same scheme.

He called this “perfectly normal” and accused Labour of “distraction”.

The £25m was awarded to Newark under the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s £3.6bn Towns Fund, set up last year to help places that had “not always benefitted from economic growth in the same way as more prosperous areas”.

Here’s a clip of him doing just that:

Jenrick is the Secretary of State for Housing and Berry is a minister within the same government department.

The public has already passed its own verdict on whether the decisions were corrupt – and both Jenrick and Berry have been found lacking:

There will be no inquiry into this and neither Jenrick nor Berry will face the sack, or even any disciplinary action. Boris Johnson’s government doesn’t believe it is accountable to the public.

They’ll probably divert attention by claiming the controversy is about something different. Jenrick has already tried:

He added: “This is perfectly normal. Ministers don’t get involved in making decisions for their own constituency.

“But neither should their constituencies be victims of the fact that their MP is a minister.”

That is not the issue. Just to spell it out so it is perfecly clear: The issue is that ministers from the Ministry of Housing have colluded to funnel cash from that ministry’s Towns Fund into their own constituencies.

Jenrick’s passion for corruption is already well-established – remember the controversy over his decision to help Richard Desmond avoid paying £50 million to a community where he wanted to build a new development that did not conform to planning rules.

Now we may add Berry to our ever-growing list of corrupt Tories.

Source: Robert Jenrick dismisses call for constituency fund probe – BBC News

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Starmer runs out of credibility – and cash – and runs to the rich as Labour supporters run away

Another chance missed: Keir Starmer’s Marr Show letdown was the first of two broadcasting balls-ups for the Neoliberal Democrat Labour leader last week. His party is losing members because the people won’t support him – so he’s running to the rich.

It should have been a cakewalk.

Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have screwed up the United Kingdom in the worst possible ways since before the December 2019 election. The leader of the main Opposition party should have had hearts and minds of the public, there for the taking.

But the leader in question was Keir Starmer, currently in charge of the Other Conservative Party, currently masquerading under the misnomer ‘Labour Party’.

When he gave his interview to Andrew Marr, the representative example of the public on Channel 4’s Gogglebox took a look – and the verdict was damning:

One doesn’t have to imagine how Starmer responded to this; in fact, one imagines this parody account has come close to the truth:

Result: well, party membership was haemorrhaging already but that flood hasn’t abated!

As a result, it seems Starmer’s cash is running out. How ironic that, now the party has been re-taken by the wing that reckons it’s better with money than the Left, it has spaffed all the extra cash accrued by the Left-wing leader up the wall.

So, in order to get money, it appears Starmer has copied the Tories again:

Think of the Conservative Party’s annual Black and White Ball fundraiser.

Of course, this information comes from Gabriel Pogrund*, who I wouldn’t normally trust to tell me what the weather’s like, but as there appears to be documentary evidence of this, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Starmer has also sent personalised letters to lapsed party donors:

This Writer hopes Starmer fails to attract the cash.

Firstly, if he does get it, he’ll finish Labour:

Moreover: His version of New Labour is nowhere near as investible as Tony Blair’s; he has made too many public relations blunders (again, he’s like the Tories in that respect). The Andrew Marr/Gogglebox incident is only the latest.

And if the rich donors don’t come back, they won’t be able to give Starmer any more excuses to steer Labour even further into Toryism.

Then who will Starmer ask for help?

That’s why, while This Writer can’t go back there (at least, not at the moment), I tend to agree with the following:

Monitor this situation closely. There may yet be a chance to bring democracy back to the UK.

*Pogrund wrote a story about This Writer in The Sunday Times that was riddled with falsehoods, for which that newspaper was forced to publish a lengthy “correction and clarification” almost a year later (it took me that long to go through the IPSO complaints process).

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Andrew Bridgen destroys his government’s credibility on EU trade talks

Andrew Bridgen: winner of this week’s “Inverse Genius” award.


Everyone with any political nous in the UK has been laughing at eurosceptic Andrew Bridgen after he swallowed both feet (metaphorically) in a Channel 4 News interview.

Discussing his Fuhrer Boris Johnson’s plan to renege on the EU withdrawal agreement that he signed in January, Bridgen said – well, see for yourself:

The reaction on Twitter has been universal:

https://twitter.com/cbailiss/status/1303110907732602883

What a… typical Conservative MP.

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Advisor who got Tories to buy useless PPE loses his unpaid position. Is that really enough?

Liz Truss: she slipped her buddy Andrew Mills £150 million for useless PPE, launching a huge corruption scandal in the process. Now the Tories have quietly dropped him from his position as an unpaid advisor to the Board of Trade.

Some might say it’s poetic justice that Andrew Mills, the man who advised Liz Truss to buy unusable face masks for the NHS, has lost his position as an advisor to the Board of Trade.

But what’s happened to all the money that she paid the firm he also (as it happens) advises, Ayanda Capital?

Was that repaid?

If not, then it seems the loss of his unpaid position – as part of a wider reshuffle and not even connected to the PPE scandal – is no punishment at all.

Source: Adviser in £150m PPE scandal is axed | News | The Times

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Tory corruption: they gave their mate £150 million of OUR money – for USELESS face masks 

Liz Truss: it seems she corruptly slipped her buddy £150 million – for useless PPE.

The worst part of this is it isn’t even the only example of Tories using the Covid-19 crisis to line their mates’ pockets rather than help.

It seems your Tory government – voted into power against last December with a massive majority because the UK electorate thought its MPs were the most trustworthy – has been handing your cash to its mates again.

The Tories spent £150 million of your money on 50 million face masks for the NHS – that can’t be used.

Three months after they were bought, the government said the masks, which use ear-loop fastenings rather than head loops, may not fit tightly enough.

Amazingly, the government still reckons its safety standards process is “robust”.

But the question is whether this process was even used, because the masks were bought by the President of the Board of Trade, Liz Truss, after she was approached for the contract by one of her long-standing friends and advisors, Andrew Mills.

Oh, and apparently it was sourced through a tax haven so this guy can keep all the money.

It seems clear that the process by which these useless masks were sourced was utterly corrupt – just a way to hand a huge amount of money to a friend of a Tory minister.

Here are just a few examples of the huge outcry online:

I want you particularly to bear this next comment in mind…

… when Boris Johnson finds Truss and Mills completely innocent of any wrongdoing.

And remember – the Tories were voted into power because they presented themselves as the most trustworthy.

More fool the voter who believed it.

Source: Coronavirus: Safety concerns halt use of 50 million NHS masks – BBC News

READ NEXT:

https://twitter.com/MidWalesMike/status/1292084834161037312

 

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Boris Johnson is a liar – according to the BBC, after it fact-checked his interview

Boris Johnson: The lies keep coming.

Boris Johnson – what a miserable, fake excuse for a politician!

First he ducked out of the interview he had promised the BBC, after he saw Andrew Neil pressing Jeremy Corbyn hard (but not too hard for the Labour leader, who remained calm and clear throughout).

Then he used the atrocity of the terror attack on London Bridge to press the Corporation into allowing him to be interviewed, not by Andrew Neil but by Andrew Marr – and for 15 minutes, not 30.

That interview was broadcast on Sunday (December 1) – and Johnson lied through his teeth from start to finish.

How do I know? Simple.

The BBC fact-checked it.

Here are some highlights:

1. Mr Johnson said his government is putting £160 million of extra money into counter-terrorist policing – but in fact it had promised only to increase funding in line with inflation. The £160 million was the difference between spending plans announced in 2015 and the figure eventually spent in 2019-20. Lie.

2. Mr Johnson claimed Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had said he would disband MI5 – but there is no evidence to support it. Lie.

3. Mr Johnson said the Queen’s Speech – the programme for the new Parliamentary session he had demanded – had been blocked by Parliament. In fact it had been passed, on October 24 – by 16 votes. Lie.

4. Mr Johnson said his government was already considering ending the policy of automatic early release for serious and violent offenders – but the ‘Sentencing Bill’ in the Queen’s Speech would have only changed the automatic release point from halfway to two-thirds of the way through a sentence. Offenders considered “dangerous” are already not considered for release until they have served two-thirds of their sentences. Lie.

5. Mr Johnson said his government would make the largest investment in the NHS in modern memory – but the £34 billion he quoted, in real terms, came to 3.2 per cent per year, only slightly more than half the six per cent average achieved by Labour governments between 1997 and 2010. Lie.

Source: General Election 2019: Boris Johnson’s interview with Andrew Marr fact-checked – BBC News

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Theresa May chokes over her apology for ‘hostile environment’ scandal

Thanks to Wear Red: Stand Up and Be Counted for this snapshot of Mrs May’s contrition (or lack of it) at the misery her “hostile environment” policy has caused.

All Theresa May had to do was utter three little words, and this might have been a very different story. But she simply could not find it in herself to say: “I was wrong.”

That’s what the members of the Windrush generation, who have been wronged in some of the most spectacularly heartless ways in the recent history of the United Kingdom, wanted to hear her tell Andrew Marr on his Sunday morning television show as the Conservative Party Conference began.

And they didn’t get it, even after Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott called for it on Twitter:

Instead, Mrs May managed to spit out a partial apology for the targeting of people who have every right to live and work in the UK, and receive state benefits, by her “hostile environment” policy.

But it wasn’t easy. Watch the following clip and you will see Mrs May appearing to choke on her words at around the 16 second mark. That’s what she’s doing in the image at the top of this article.

It got worse from there. She stuttered, she choked some more, but she was determined not to give the people she herself had personally wronged the satisfaction they deserve.

The performance was an insult – and Ms Abbott, who had clearly watched the interview after tweeting about it, drew all the right conclusions. In a statement, she said: “Theresa May’s refusal to apologise for her hostile environment policy is disgusting.

“It is astonishing that the Prime Minister doesn’t care to know how many people have been denied access to healthcare or lost their homes.

“The Windrush scandal has exposed a moral failure at the heart of this rotten Government. Lives have been destroyed. Theresa May should hang her head in shame.”

No, she should have resigned months ago.

It is incredible that this should happen so soon after it was revealed that Mrs May had failed to apologise for the death of a woman who had been refused benefits by her Tory government – and in fact had failed to even acknowledge that it had happened or offer condolences to the family of the deceased.

What we’re seeing here is a racist prime minister defiantly refusing to acknowledge the harm she deliberately inflicted – and harming herself in the process.

I suggest this because her apology about the “hostile environment” policy was released to coincide with the start of the Tory conference – and to give it a popularity boost.

Instead, it has revealed that the Tories are still the “nasty” party Mrs May claimed they were, many years ago – and herself the nastiest of the whole rotten lot.

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After Adonis: Never mind the naysayers – we can still stop Brexit

This Writer was alarmed to read posts on Twitter by Owen Jones, attacking Lord Adonis’s comments on Theresa May’s Brexit because Lord Adonis is one of the most privileged citizens of the United Kingdom.

Brexit will affect us all, of course. Some of the most privileged citizens of the UK will benefit hugely; most of the least privileged will suffer terribly.

From my point of view, as a member of the privileged class, it was honourable of Lord Adonis to take a stand against Brexit.

Mr Jones’s argument, that Lord Adonis was unlikely to sway the opinion of the majority because he does not represent them in his social position or lifestyle, won’t wash with me because it’s not about that. It’s about the effect on all of us.

That being said, it would be an easy label for Brextremists to apply, in order to sway the gullible. And we know that ‘Leave’ won by influencing the gullible.

So how do we move forward?

Mr Jones seems determined that the Remain cause needs a figurehead. He’s right that Lord Adonis isn’t it – but for the wrong reasons. For one, Lord Adonis hasn’t asked to be one.

Looking at the article Mr Jones has written on the subject, he names several other high-profile people who have spoken up in the Remain cause, and dismissed them for varying reasons.

Tony Blair is “one of the most unpopular individuals — let alone politicians — in Britain, partly because of the small matter of a war sold on a false pretext which ended up an even worse calamity that many of those who opposed it predicted, and who then got paid millions to work for murdering torturing dictators”.

Nick Clegg, “by undermining faith in democracy and implementing austerity, helped pave the way to Brexit… The messenger does matter in politics, whether you like that fact or not, and no, Clegg is not going to achieve anything other than reinforce the negative image the Remain cause has”. That would be a negative image among Leave supporters, one supposes.

Mr Jones neglects the most important reason of all, despite it being the main pillar of his opposition to Lord Adonis: They represent the 1% – not the vast majority of the people.

Because of that, none of the politicians who might be candidates to lead a revived Remain campaign can possibly hold our trust. Brexit will benefit the few, not the many, and they are members of the few.

Look at all the prominent Brexiters: Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Theresa May, those three Tory MPs who head up the 1922 committee, and any of the Labour MPs who want out of the EU – one per centers, all of them, This Writer is willing to bet. It’s in their job description.

Gina Miller, the woman who challenged the government over Brexit in the courts, is out for the same reason. She is a member of the moneyed class, not a woman of the people.

For a Remain argument to be persuasive – by Mr Jones’s own criteria – it needs a spokesperson who represents us. And there’s a real problem with that.

If there is such a person to be found among the working people, or even the unemployed, of the United Kingdom, then they simply cannot spare the time to go off campaigning. Their employer wouldn’t let them go; the DWP would sanction them.

Any serious campaign to stop Brexit would need to find such a person and then provide an incentive for them to hit the road, campaigning – a financial incentive. And that opens them up to criticisms about doing it for mercenary reasons. To be convincing to a Brextremist, such a person would have to starve for their belief.

If an answer can be found to this, we can move on to some of Mr Jones’s ideas that are actually worth repeating:

“I would tour Leave areas as part of a new grassroots national campaign, emphasising my background, that I know what hardship and insecurity is like from my own lived experience, and directly appeal to Leave supporters.”

To that, I would add an admission that both the Leave and Remain campaign told untruths. The referendum was intended to be advisory, but the leaflet put out by the Conservative government promised flat that the result would be honoured. It perverted the intention. That was wrong.

Obviously, Leave campaigners splattered a lie about the UK giving £350 million a week to the EU all over the side of a bus and persuaded far too many people that this nonexistent money could be given to the National Health Service instead, if only they voted ‘Leave’.

There was a huge campaign to pretend that “unelected bureaucrats” in the EU force their laws on the UK; in fact, all EU laws must be ratified by the governments of member states. That’s why there has been such a huge battle between the UK and the EU over whether prisoners should have the vote. Remember that?

The list is probably very long; any competent Remain campaign would have to address everything on it, to explain why Remain failed in the first place.

And of course there is the issue of illegal interference in the referendum, that should – in This Writer’s opinion – render that vote null and void.

So, come on. It’s not right to run down Lord Adonis for doing what he could to point out that Brexit is wrong for the United Kingdom – not without having something better to offer instead.

It’s time for Remain to offer something better. Let’s have it, before Brexit becomes irreversible (and no, Brextremists, that hasn’t happened yet).


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Adonis quits as ‘infrastructure tsar’ over Theresa May’s Brexit – in the most damaging way possible

Andrew Adonis said Brexit was ‘a dangerous populist and nationalist spasm worthy of Donald Trump’ [Image: Martin Godwin for the Guardian].

Let us be clear from the start: This Writer is not a fan of Andrew Adonis. He was a Blairite who was too keen to introduce the private sector into public service.

I’m aware that he regretted introducing tuition fees, but he still went through with the introduction of the policy.

So his appointment as “infrastructure tsar” for a Conservative government did not surprise me in the least.

His resignation – on the prejudicial terms that have come to light – has. Pleasantly!

Put simply, it is hard to see how Lord Adonis could have spoken out more strongly against Mrs May, her government, her legislative strategy and her abilities in general. He’s given her a right old trashing.

If you don’t believe me, take a look at his resignation letter – the actual letter, not the sanitised version put out by Mrs May’s government. She tried a bit of damage control here, but Lord Adonis wasn’t having any of it. Here’s the unredacted version:

“The European Union Withdrawal Bill is the worst legislation of my lifetime.”

He has accused Theresa May of being the worst lawmaker to head the United Kingdom since 1963. That’s quite an achievement!

“Brexit is a populist and nationalist spasm worthy of Donald Trump.”

This is not meant kindly. He is saying that the voters who gave Brexit its miniscule majority engaged their emotions – not their brains – in doing so, and in so doing, have condemned the United Kingdom to a long period of suffering.

“By allying with UKIP and the Tory hard right to wrench Britain out of the key economic and political institutions of modern Europe, you are pursuing a course fraught with danger.”

He is accusing Mrs May of pushing herself and the Conservative Party to an unacceptably right-wing position politically. There is nothing intelligent about her action or intention, he is saying. She is dismantling the UK’s ability to make its way in the world, with no alternatives lined up to take the place of the current systems.

“If Brexit happens, taking us back into Europe will become the mission of our children’s generation, who will marvel at your acts of destruction.”

Hard right-wing and Brextremist commentators have already raised issue with the “if” at the start of this sentence. Lord Adonis is saying that Brexit should not happen; that it is the worst possible course of action for the United Kingdom and that we will waste generations trying to win back the ground that a few hard-line jingoistic nationalists are determined to throw away on behalf of the rest of us. He is right. Brexit will be cripplingly damaging. There is no argument against halting it. Saying “We had a democratic vote” means nothing when you add the required caveat “that makes absolutely no sense at all”.

For those who are determined to force their version of democracy on us, I like to reference Alan Moore’s classic line about democracy. Suppose every animal on Earth had sentience and was able to vote on what we all had for breakfast, with the result as enforceable as Brexit seems to be for the Brextremists. Human beings would vote for bacon and eggs, or porridge, or some accepted breakfast food, right? And then billions upon billions of ants and other insects would vote for excrement. We would all end up eating sh*t in the name of democracy.

That’s a pretty good metaphor for what Brexit will do to the United Kingdom, as everybody with an ounce of sanity knows.

The line about future generations marvelling at Theresa May’s “acts of destruction” may seem pessimistic to some, but Lord Adonis is saying that a certain proportion of the current generation is too blinkered to accept the facts. Future generations won’t have the prejudices of the current age to blind them and will have bitter experience to inform their actions.

All in all, therefore – and this is what Lord Adonis is saying – the only sane policy is to scrap Brexit altogether.

“A responsible government would be leading the British people to stay in Europe while also tackling, with massive vigour, the social and economic problems within Britain which contribute to the Brexit vote. Unfortunately, your policy is the reverse.”

He’s saying the Conservative government under Theresa May is irresponsible. With regard to Brexit, dangerously irresponsible.

“The Government is hurtling towards the EU’s emergency exit with no credible plan for the future of British trade and European co-operation, all the while ignoring – beyond soundbites and inadequate programmes – the crises of housing, education, the NHS, and social and regional inequality which are undermining the fabric of our nation and feeding a populist surge.”

Okay, this part is quite involved. In a nutshell, Lord Adonis is saying that the narrow vote in favour of Brexit was informed by the crises mentioned here – in housing, education, the NHS, social and regional inequality. These are all products of almost 40 years of useless neoliberal policies that have dismantled the perfectly capable state system we had before in favour of an anarchic private-enterprise hell in which the rich exploit the poor to their death while telling them immigrants and foreigners are to blame for their predicament.

“I would have been obliged to resign from the Commission… because of the Transport Secretary’s indefensible decision to bail out the Stagecoach/Virgin East Coast rail franchise. The bailout will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of pounds, possibly billions if other loss-making rail companies demand equal treatment. It benefits only the billionaire owners of these companies and their shareholders, while pushing rail fares still higher and threatening national infrastructure investment. It is even more inexcusable given the Brexit squeeze on public spending.”

This is a reference to the government’s decision to spend public money bailing out a private company that has tried to run a privatised railway line and failed. The Conservative government is committed to the neoliberal ideology that privatisation produces more efficient and profitable services, but the East Coast rail franchise proves that it doesn’t. This is not acceptable to the Tories so they are determined to sink millions (or perhaps billions) of pounds of your money and mine into keeping it in private hands, rather than simply re-nationalising it, for the good of the country.

Note also that Brexit is forcing a reduction in public spending. The Leave campaign swore to us – promised us fervently, day in, day out – that Brexit would provide more money for public services, from the moment the decision was made. Clearly that was a lie. It seems idiotic, therefore, to expect the floodgates to open and money to come pouring into the UK, the moment our departure from the EU takes place.

We are going to be poorer – significantly so – after Brexit. Unless you are a company director, you may be driven to extreme poverty. If you voted in favour of that, ask yourself why.

“Astonishingly, Stagecoach has not only been bailed out: it remains on the shortlist for the next three rail franchises.”

If anyone can explain this, please do. It makes no commercial sense whatsoever.

“Brexit is causing a nervous breakdown across Whitehall and conduct unworthy of Her Majesty’s Government. I am told, by those of longer experience, that it resembles Suez and the bitter industrial strife of the 1970s, both of which endangered not only national integrity but the authority of the state itself.”

A “nervous breakdown”? Yes, that seems accurate.

“Conduct unworthy of Her Majesty’s Government”? Yes – David Davis alone bears out that claim.

A danger to “the authority of the state itself”? Certainly.

Nobody This Writer knows has anything but contempt for Theresa May, her government, and its conduct – and Lord Adonis, having made exactly the right points, will only deepen that contempt across the UK.

Andrew Adonis, the former Labour minister, has resigned as chair of the government-backed National Infrastructure Commission in protest at Theresa May’s management of Brexit, describing the process as “a dangerous populist and nationalist spasm worthy of Donald Trump”.

The former transport secretary headed the body that makes recommendations to the government on projects such as the high-speed rail link HS2. Most recently he recommended that 1m new homes be built in the “brain belt” spanning Oxford, Cambridge and Milton Keynes.

He resigned with a strongly worded letter accusing the prime minister of becoming the “voice of Ukip” and pursuing policies that he said would leave Britain in “splendid isolation”.

Adonis said he would be “duty bound” to oppose the government’s EU withdrawal bill, which will reach the House of Lords in the new year. He described the bill – the government’s flagship piece of Brexit legislation – as “the worst legislation of my lifetime”.

He said Britain could have left the EU, abiding by the result of the 2016 referendum, “without rupturing our essential European trade and political relations”. Instead, the prime minister had “become the voice of Ukip and the extreme nationalist rightwing of your party”.

Source: Andrew Adonis quits as Theresa May’s infrastructure tsar over Brexit | Politics | The Guardian


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