Tag Archives: letter

Asylum crisis: Johnson’s tweeted letter infuriates Macron and make UK look daft

The clown head of Britain: this is undoubtedly how Emmanuel Macron and all the other European national leaders rate Boris Johnson.

What sort of statesman thinks Twitter is an appropriate place to discuss ending the refugee crisis with the Head of a neighbouring State?

A man who’s in a state, that’s what sort.

And what were his advisors thinking? Why didn’t they stop him?

No wonder Emmanuel Macron was enraged by this:

For a start, it’s an attempt to seize control of the dialogue by engaging the public; by ensuring that the general population got to see his proposals, Johnson hoped to ensure that at least some of them would have support.

Also, he tried to seize control of the language used to discuss the issue.

And of course this meant that Johnson was trying to dictate the posture that France should take – that asylum-seekers should be prevented from trying to reach the UK for their own safety and that not doing so is helping people-traffickers.

It seems, as well, that the content of Johnson’s letter was radically different from what he had previously said to the French President in person.

No wonder M. Macron was enraged.

According to the BBC,

At a press conference on Friday, Mr Macron attacked Mr Johnson over the posting of the letter on Twitter, saying: “I spoke two days ago with Prime Minster Johnson in a serious way.

“For my part I continue to do that, as I do with all countries and all leaders. I am surprised by methods when they are not serious.

“We do not communicate from one leader to another on these issues by tweets and letters that we make public. We are not whistleblowers.”

A French government spokesman accused Mr Johnson of saying different things in his conversation with Mr Macron and in the letter, adding: “We are sick of double-speak.”

The result: a furious France has retracted an invitation for Home Secretary Priti Patel to discuss the matter with her counterparts in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

Macron is also understood to believe that Johnson tweeted the letter to address flagging support from his fellow Conservative MPs, rather than to achieve anything serious.Sickckckckck

Johnson has worsened the UK’s position internationally. Yet a-bloody-gain.

(And I’m not the only one who feels that way.)

The meeting without Patel will undoubtedly be more productive than if she had been allowed to attend. I mean, consider the state of this:

That’s an accurate criticism. The UK has spent decades causing chaos in foreign countries and making promises to their populations – then, when the time come to honour those promises, they turn out to be lies.

Earlier in the week we heard that one of the men who died was a former Afghan soldier who had worked with the UK and whose life was endangered after the panicked withdrawal that Dominic Raab couldn’t be bothered to leave his holiday to oversee.

Even knowing that, Matthew Garrahan’s words ring true:

There are simple solutions for the problem that the UK government has created for itself. Firstly:

Secondly, as This Writer has previously stated, there should be an easily-accessible and legal route for asylum-seekers to take. Blocking off the routes only makes these people prey to the traffickers.

And that leads to deaths.

This Site has commented many times on the fact that Tory government policy on disability benefits has killed (many) more people than the Nazis did with their Aktion T4 purge of disabled Germans, back in the 1930s and 1940s.

Now it turns out that the false barrier the Tories have made between the UK and France has killed more people than the false barrier the Communists created between West and East Berlin:

Yeah. British jingoism refers to the Nazis and the Communists as the bad guys, but it turns out that the people making these comparisons have killed more people than Johnny Foreigner.

Are continuing to kill more people.

And they’re lying to us about what’s happening:

On second thought, it’s probably a blessing in disguise for Johnson and Patel that they are being excluded from Continental discussions on the subject.

If they tried to float their lies and silliness around serious politicians, I dread to think of the international consequences.

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‘No confidence’ letters hit Boris Johnson – but who may replace him?

Boris Johnson: it seems we all think it’s time for him to go.

After the Tory corruption scandal, apparently falling asleep maskless next to David Attenborough, and Peppa Pig-gate, this should be no surprise at all:

Tories don’t like to be a laughing-stock – especially when the ridicule is coming from the mainstream UK media they demand must be loyal to them.

So the letters of ‘no confidence’ have started to arrive.

Only 15 per cent of Conservative MPs need to send such a letter to the chair of their backbench 1922 Committee – that would be 55 letters – for a vote of ‘no confidence’ to be triggered.

On his current performances, it is a vote that Boris Johnson is unlikely to win.

But who could possibly replace him?

Not Rishi Sunak, it seems. His star appears to be falling:

Probably not any of the other Cabinet members, either:

I hear Jeremy Hunt may be positioning himself for a bid – but we all remember how, as Health Secretary, he spent years preparing the NHS for the privatisation that the Tories have just voted in – don’t we?

Anyway: a Tory leadership battle is still a long way away. And when it comes, it will just be a matter of replacing the current poster boy for neoliberalism with a new disciple of Ayn Rand, Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman.

For now, we can look forward to a protracted period of Tory backstabbing as they all jockey for position to take over, and Johnson himself tries to foil them – by any means available:

It’s scant comfort after the brutal double-rape and murder of our health and social care systems over the last two days.

But This Writer would still be buying popcorn if I wasn’t stuck in self-isolation for another eight days.

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Did Labour widely distribute intimidating letter to domestic abuse victim Apsana Begum?

Apsana Begum: why won’t Keir Starmer support his MP?

Is the Labour Party deliberately abusing a former victim of domestic abuse?

Apsana Begum has spoken of being a victim of domestic abuse, coercive control and financial abuse during her short marriage to a Tower Hamlets councillor, Ehtashamul Haque, between 2013 and 2015.

She was falsely accused of council housing fraud and had to go through a lengthy trial, at the end of which she was cleared of all charges.

Now this:

These are just allegations. This Writer cannot vouch for their veracity or make any claims as to who may be responsible for whatever has happened.

But doesn’t it seem strange that the Labour Party under Keir Starmer seems to have less regard for the well-being of one of its own MPs than under alleged racist (but we all know that was another nonsense allegation, right?) Jeremy Corbyn?

Ms Begum seems remarkably upbeat about it:

But the question remains: what is going on in Tower Hamlets and why hasn’t the Labour leadership clamped down and announced an investigation – possibly, considering the situation, involving the police?

The Castex letter DIDN’T say the UK should be punished. Kuenssberg was WRONG

Laura Kuenssberg: by publicising an apparent mistranslation of a letter by the French Prime Minister, she has caused a major international political row. Can she even read French?

The BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, misrepresented a letter on the UK/EU fishing row by French Prime Minister Jean Castex – apparently to stoke international tensions on the eve of the G20 and COP26 summits.

The UK and France are sabre-rattling over rights to fish in each other’s waters, after the UK prohibited some French trawlers over a technicality.

Kuenssberg aggravated the row by publicising a letter from Castex to European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen, claiming it said the EU needed to demonstrate that there was “more damage to leaving the EU than remaining there”.

This is based on a translation publicised by Alex Wickham of Politico. In tweets, he claimed the letter said:

“It is indispensable to demonstrate to European public opinion that more damage is suffered by leaving the EU than by remaining.”

The implication is that the EU should actively punish the UK.

An alternative translation by Edwin Hayward states the following:

“The UK’s uncooperative stance today threatens to cause great harm not only to fishermen, especially the French, but also to them [European] Union as it sets a precedent for the future and challenges our credibility and our ability to enforce our rights in relation to the international commitments signed by the union.

“It therefore seems necessary for the European Union to show its full determination to achieve full respect for the Agreement by the United Kingdom and to exercise its rights in a firm, cohesive and proportionate manner using the levers at its disposal.

“It is important to make it clear to European public opinion that respect for commitment is non-negotiable and that leaving the union does more harm than staying there.

“If a satisfactory solution is not found in this context, the European Union must apply Article 506 of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement and take corrective measures proportionate to the economic and social damage that [violations] will cause.”

That makes it a little different, once it’s put into context!

As Hayward states in his own article,

It should be immediately clear from the above text that there is no active intent to punish the UK. All the French want to do is to highlight the problems that Brexit has been causing — they are not trying to inflict new ones on us.

And people know:

(He means “…can’t be as advantageous as being IN” of course.)

Robert Peston said in his tweet that Boris Johnson has swallowed the Wickham translation and is “visibly angry” about the letter. But is he?

If Johnson is as well-educated as he’s supposed to be (Eton and Oxford) then it is entirely possible that he can read French for himself and knows exactly what the letter said. If so, then he is simply trying to manipulate a situation created by reporters (who probably can’t – with apologies to Kuenssberg and Peston if they turn out to be fluent, but that just implies that they know they’re peddling falsehoods and don’t care either).

This Writer, as a journalist and editor of nearly 28 years’ standing, agrees with Marcus Chown, below:

Indeed. Or indeed any journalist-training organisation such as the one that taught me (the National Council for the Training of Journalists). Where did Peston and Kuenssberg get their qualifications?

Actually, let’s check.

Kuenssberg, it seems, has no qualification as a journalist. She studied History at the University of Edinburgh, then spent a year studying (but the subject is not clarified) at Georgetown University in Washington DC, where she interned at the NBC News political programme. Returning to the UK, she eventually joined the BBC as a trainee journalist – but that doesn’t mean she was doing any training. ‘Trainee’ is just the name applied to a working reporter who hasn’t passed the test to become a Senior Reporter. If she was trained in the States, it was in an American standard of reporting.

Peston’s degree at Oxford was Politics, Philosophy and Economics. He then studied at the Université libre de Bruxelles – but again, it’s not clear what the subject was. He entered journalism via another back door, writing for the Investors Chronicle after being a stockbroker.

Those details aren’t very reassuring!

But it shouldn’t be up to the Kuenssbergs, Pestons, or even the Johnsons of this world to sort out this row. It’s a matter for the French.

All Jean Castex has to do is come out and read the relevant part of his letter, along with a translation into English saying exactly what he intended it to say.

That should end any ambiguity. How about it?

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The Tories’ #FreedomDay means freedom to infect young people with Covid-19

Unmasking: but would new Health Secretary ‘Covid’ Javid be so keen for us all to do the same if he hadn’t had both vaccination jabs? And will he continue to protect himself until after the vaccination programme is complete – long after his planned “Freedom Day” on July 19?

More than 100 scientists have told the government that its plan to end Covid-19 restriction on July 19 makes it #DangerDay – not #FreedomDay – for the nation.

The letter states: “Immunity will be achieved by vaccination for some people but by natural infection for others (predominantly the young). We have previously pointed to the dangers of relying on immunity by natural infection

“Implicit in this decision is the acceptance that infections will surge, but that this does not matter because vaccines have “broken the link between infection and mortality”.

“The link between infection and death… has not been broken.

“And infection can still cause substantial morbidity in both acute and long-term illness.”

Read it for yourself:

The Tories are deliberately sentencing young people in the UK to either death or serious health problems, long into the future.

If you’re a parent, are you happy that ‘Covid’ Javid is threatening your children in this way?

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Letters wrongly demanding that UK citizens seek ‘settled’ status could be part of established Tory plan

Around six months ago, This Writer received a form letter from the Department for Work and Pensions, demanding details of my self-employed earnings from me (if I recall correctly) and saying my claim for Carers’ Allowance was in danger if I didn’t respond.

I found this behaviour extremely odd as I had quit Carers’ Allowance more than a year previously.

I wrote back, pointing this out, and also the fact that we had agreed at the time that I had done the right thing and that my finances were in order.

I did not receive a reply – neither acknowledgement nor apology.

I mention this because yesterday, on Twitter, I read the following:

It seems there are more such cases:

The Home Office letter, according to the article, tells long-term British citizens they risk losing the right to work, benefits and free healthcare unless they apply for UK immigration status in the next six weeks.

The article states that people are concerned that it reveals weaknesses in the Home Office’s databases, but I don’t think that’s right.

It seems more likely to be an attempt to repeat what I think the DWP was trying to do to me – catch me out by inducing me to provide evidence that could be used against me; a fishing expedition.

And the Home Office has the perfect cover for it at the moment: Brexit.

So officers can say (as they have) that they are using every avenue available to ensure that everyone who needs to apply for the EU settlement scheme may do so, before it is too late and they have to face other consequences.

They say the letter does include a paragraph stating that those who already have citizenship that they do not need to apply – but this is buried on page two, far below the shock announcement that recipients may lose their right to work, benefits and free healthcare (free? It’s supported by our taxes/NI).

It seems clear to me that the Conservatives are abusing their control of the UK’s bureaucracy in order to cause as much fear and confusion as possible, keeping the public off-balance.

This makes people more susceptible to manipulation – and more likely to accept that they deserve punishment when they haven’t done anything wrong.

It’s gaslighting – and right on the border of fraud.

It could be interpreted as a new development of the Tory government’s racist “hostile environment” policy.

I wonder how many people have been fooled by it – and how many other such scams are being run by the Tories?

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Thousands demand Boris Johnson withdraws race report whitewash

Sulky: Boris Johnson thought he could gaslight us all with a report on racism that pretended it doesn’t exist in the UK’s government and institutions. He was wrong. Will he grow up, throw it away and make a start on tackling race prejudice? I think we all know the answer to that.

Boris Johnson is facing demands by more than 20,000 people to withdraw a report claiming there’s no institutional racism in the UK.

Instead, they say in an open letter that he should implement recommendations from previous investigations, to combat the institutional racism that Johnson’s report claims isn’t there.

Organisations including Charity So White, Liberty, the National Education Union, The Runnymede Trust and, yes, Black Lives Matter called on Johnson to “repudiate the … findings immediately and withdraw [the] report”.

Recommendations by Johnson’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities included:

  • Forcing school children from disadvantaged areas into extended school days to catch up on missed learning caused by the Covid-19 lockdown.
  • Better quality careers advice for children from disadvantaged backgrounds – to be funded by university outreach programmes (This Writer has a few doubts about whether this would happen in any case).
  • Research on why children from some communities do better than those from others, in order to replicate conditions that help all children succeed (again, this seems unlikely to happen).
  • Retirement of the acronym BAME because minority ethnic groups should be recognised for their differences rather than their mutual disadvantages (but doesn’t this open them up to discrimination because of those differences, which is exactly what the report should be avoiding?) and an end to unconscious bias training.

People named as contributors to the report have distanced themselves from it, with some saying government representatives used false pretences to secure their participation, or misrepresented their contribution.

An expert on race-related health inequalities said the report used outdated references and notably underplayed the impact of structural racism in health outcomes.

Sir Michael Marmot said there are health differences between races that are not fully explained by class, and so therefore racism must play some role.

And these are just some of the criticisms that have been lined up against Johnson’s report.

That’s why its lame recommendations have been dismissed by the more-than-20,000 signatories of the open letter.

They want recommendations from previously-published reports to be put into practice instead, like:

  • The Home Office appointing a Migrants Commissioner, develop a programme of cultural change for the department, and establish a race advisory board.
  • The justice system introducing targets for a more representative workforce, to reduce race-related bias; allowing low-level offenders to “defer” prosecution and opt for a rehabilitation programme before entering a plea; and gathering more data on the ethnicity and religion of offenders.
  • Firms with more than 50 workers publishing a breakdown of their workforce by race and by how much they are paid (to establish any disparities between the different races).

To be honest, to This Writer, even these ideas seem like pussyfooting around the subject.

Those other reports, and Marmot’s work, and no doubt many others, have already established that the UK’s institutions are racist, and if measures to combat that racism haven’t been devised already, then I have to ask what all these commissions, organisations and pressure groups have been doing with their time.

So let’s have a bit of honesty about the real situation in the UK.

And then let’s have a bit of real action to put the prejudice in the past.

Source: Race report: Boris Johnson urged to withdraw ‘whitewashing’ inquiry – BBC News

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It’s not the DWP’s envelopes that need changing, but the attitude behind them

Kiss of death: for benefit claimants, letters from the Department for Work and Pensions – no matter what colour the envelope in which they arrive, cause more problems than they solve. It isn’t the packaging of the letters that is the problem, it is the content – and the malice of the people writing it. [Image: www.disabledgo.com]

Can you believe the Department for Work and Pensions is planning to change the colour of its envelopes from brown to white, to encourage disabled people to open its letters?

Officials have apparently discovered the existence of “brown envelope anxiety”, which is a nervous condition triggered in some people whenever they receive an envelope of that colour – denoting a communication from an official source – through the letterbox.

They have wrongly deduced – probably from the name of the condition – that merely changing the colour of the envelope will magic away the anxiety.

How stupid can they be?

As a friend posted on Facebook,

It’s not the envelopes that need changing, DWP and Tory government, it’s your inhumane assessments processes that cause untold harm and distress to many.

I have a total fear of the postie coming to my house; that’s a huge trigger for me, let alone what’s put through the door.

[It’s about] living with never knowing when the review will come up and living with constant financial insecurity and the amount being taken away and leaving you destitute and probably homeless.

To add insult to injury, DWP officials think people with brown envelope anxiety will be more likely to read their white-envelope missives immediately if they print on the front: “IMPORTANT INFORMATION INSIDE. PLEASE OPEN.”

In fact – as they would know if they had asked any experts instead of listening to the tweeting birds inside their empty heads – this is more likely to trigger an anxiety (if not a heart) attack.

Rather than reading the contents of these white envelopes and responding to the Job Centres, it is more likely that overworked doctors will be examining the recipients’ vital signs – if they manage to get to a hospital in time.

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Corbyn calls in the lawyers – just as This Site asked him to

What a coincidence!

The day after This Writer called for Jeremy Corbyn to take court action to stop the current Labour leadership from playing fast-and-loose with party rules to persecute him – he did just that.

Jeremy Corbyn’s solicitors have written to Labour calling for his suspension as one of the party’s MPs to be lifted, the BBC has been told.

I can’t take credit for the move – this is a tiny website with a very small readership – around 16,000 a day on average – but I think it is worth recording my gratitude to everybody who did pass my message on to Mr Corbyn, just in case.

Keir Starmer has built up a reputation, in a very short time, for conceding court cases Labour’s legal advisers say the party should win. In this instance, the opposite should apply – so I fear he’ll decide to fight.

Possibly mitigating against this is the letter to the party’s acting general secretary, David Evans (his appointment has yet to be ratified by a Labour Party conference), demanding that the Parliamentary party whip be restored to Corbyn.

According to Skwawkbox, the letter

  • condemns the ‘double jeopardy’ and ‘deliberate political interference’ of withdrawing the whip from Corbyn after he was reinstated by an NEC panel
  • makes clear that the decision of the panel was based on independent legal advice and the recommendation of Labour’s disciplinary investigative unit
  • implies that their advice was that there were no valid grounds for Corbyn’s suspension
  • confirms that the whip had been restored to Corbyn on the lifting of his suspension, making an utter mockery of Starmer’s excuse that he was ‘not restoring’ the whip rather than withdrawing it
  • makes clear that the meddling in the disciplinary outcome is exactly that kind of ‘political interference’ the EHRC has ruled unlawful
  • accuses Starmer and other right-wing MPs of smearing the NEC panel members who acted in accordance with the party’s rules and the legal advice they gave
  • says that Starmer has put NEC members in a legal bind – and that as a highly-qualified barrister he has no excuse for his ‘unconscionable’ choice
  • demands that Evans rebuke Starmer for his political interference in party processes and undermining public confidence in Labour’s disciplinary process
  • ‘requires’ Evans to immediately ‘demand’ that Starmer upholds the NEC panel’s decision and restores the whip to Corbyn

So now Starmer is well and truly caught between a rock and a hard place.

I wonder what sanctions will be carried out by the NEC members who signed the letter, if they don’t get what they demanded?

Perhaps Starmer’s decision will be made easier by the continuing rebellion of party members across the country, who continue to ignore his diktats that they should not speak up on Corbyn’s behalf or campaign for him.

This Writer is delighted to see that Bristol South CLP (I’m from that part of Brizzle) has just voted to support Corbyn:

I understand Brent Central CLP has also passed a motion demanding the restoration of the Labour Parliamentary whip to Corbyn.

And it seems another CLP has passed a motion calling on the NEC to take all steps possible to remove David Evans from office.

November 19 has been a disastrous day for Keir Starmer and his cronies.

How much worse can it get before he bows to the inevitable?

Source: Jeremy Corbyn’s lawyers challenge Labour over MP suspension – BBC News

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Conservatives complain about #ToryScum label – but refuse to apologise for behaviour that fits it

Priti scummy: home secretary Priti Patel tweeted abuse against “do gooder” “activist lawyers” that allegedly led to a knife attack in one such solicitors office but none of the Tories complaining about being called “scum” have lifted their voice to complain about this scummy behaviour.

Cognitive dissonance: it seems 113 Conservative MPs have written to Labour leader Keir Starmer, complaining that they, their families and staff have been abused by members of the public after Angela Rayner referred to Christopher Clarkson as “scum” in a Commons debate.

Ms Rayner has already apologised for the “language” she used “in a heated debate”.

The letter, written by Conservative Party co-chairman Amanda Milling, states: “I am sure that you agree that whilst targeting MPs in this way is clearly unacceptable, it is even worse that their relatives and staff members (many of whom are young and beginning their careers) should find themselves becoming targets.”

That depends on the circumstances in which those people attracted such comments, doesn’t it? As my late grandmother said to some other mother complaining on her doorstep about some transgression of my father (a boy at the time): “Ah. And what did THY boy do?”

“Sadly, this is not the first occasion in which the Honourable Member for Ashton-under-Lyne has used such language to describe Conservatives, nor the first time she has behaved with the standards expected of a Member of Parliament.”

I suspect this is a Freudian slip. It is a welcome surprise that the co-chair of the Conservatives accepts that calling her fellow MPs “scum” conforms with the standards expected of an MP.

“When you became Leader, you stated that you would put aside the divisive and combative politics that caused such bitter division in our nation, engaging ‘constructively’, not scoring party political points. We do not believe that this language, Labour’s recent actions in the House of the stream of the abuse this incident has resulted in, delivers on this promise.”

Hypocrisy. Every week the Conservative leader – I believe his name may be Boris Johnson – tries to score party political points against Labour during Prime Minister’s Questions. Starmer’s promise was an attempt to lift that Parliamentary debate above that and Johnson’s behaviour shows that it has failed. So there is no point in continuing. The Conservatives have set the bar low and they should not complain if Labour supporters follow their example.

Worse still, these Tories seem to be suffering from selective memory loss.

Have they all forgotten the Twitter outburst by their own Home Secretary, Priti Patel, against “do-gooder” “activist lawyers” that led to an actual knife attack in one such lawyer’s office?

Where was their indignation against Patel, who brought their whole organisation into disrepute by inciting violent attack against immigration lawyers?

Nowhere to be seen.

And Patel has been at it again.

This time, she tweeted information that could prejudice a major criminal trial. She has deleted it, fearing criminal action against her for contempt of court.

You should note that she is already facing possible prosecution for contempt of court over a previous case.

I won’t be sharing the tweet because

I await contact from Ms Patel’s own lawyers, who may actually try to revise history by claiming that she didn’t do it. That is the level of denial we are seeing from Conservatives at the moment.

It is certainly the level of denial we are seeing from Milling and the 112 colleagues who signed her letter to Keir Starmer.

You see, they are all forgetting – or denying – one simple fact that explains (if not justifies) the abuse they have received.

I haven’t checked, but I think it is reasonable to believe that all 113 signatories voted to deny free school meals to poverty-stricken English children in a debate last week (not the debate in which the “scum” remark was made but one immediately thereafter). Feel free to do some checking yourself, if you like.

I also think it is reasonable to believe that any abuse from the general public will arise from their choice to ensure that hungry children starve – over Christmas, as I understand it.

So it seems to me:

If they don’t want to be called scum, they should not behave like scum.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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