Rats in a sack

It’s all going so terribly well isn’t it? Liz Truss is living down to expectations that she would prove to be the next Worst Prime Minister in living memory, and is doing so in spectacular style. It must be clear by now to even the most obtuse “But what about the ferries!” frother that allowing the Conservative Party to choose the Prime Minister from within their own ranks without a General Election or even any input from the wider electorate is a system guaranteed to produce an abysmal Prime Minister who governs in the interests of the faction within the party which elected them without any meaningful consideration of the needs of other factions within their own party never mind the public.

Truss is simply the most blatant example of this she is a symptom of a dysfunctional Westminster system, and it is notable that Labour’s much touted constitutional review does nothing about the House of Commons, the Ground Zero of British political malaise.

According to polling, over 70% of voters now think the Truss has lost control of the economy after a mere 26 days in office, three of which she spent out of the country, and another 14 of which during which government had ceased due to the royal mournathon. It’s all going terribly well.

Today Truss and Kwarteng have been forced to perform a sharp U-turn on their plan to axe the 45p tax rate for top earners. It’s a desperate attempt to head off a growing rebellion on the Tory back benches and to halt the Conservatives’ plummeting polling numbers. Kwarteng might have done a U-turn on the politically toxic tax cut for the wealthiest, but is going ahead with his plan to lift the cap on bankers’ bonuses. However don’t let the Chancellor’s forced U-turn on axing the 45p tax rate for top earners distract us from the £18 billion public service cuts that he’s got planned.

Over the weekend Truss threw her Chancellor under the bus, blaming him for the idea to axe the top rate of tax for highest earners, in turn the Treasury briefed that it was really the idea of Chris Philp, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. This lot give rats in a sack a bad name. If they have no loyalty to one another, you can be quite sure that the interests of the rest of us don’t even register in their peripheral vision. No one is to blame for this disaster of an idea. The official position of the British Government is that a bad boy done it and ran away.

For his part Philp denied it was anything to do with him but announced the frankly insane plan to remove all regulation from any business employing less than 500 people. Which presumably means that it will now be OK for your local takeaway to serve you salmonella and for waste disposal company to dump chemical waste in your street.

Demonstrating that compassionate Conservatism is alive and well, Tory chair Jake Berry insisted that people who can’t pay their bills as a result of his party’s policies should “get higher salaries or higher wages and go out there and get that new job.” Only last month Tories were telling us not to ask for higher wages because it would cause inflation. The Tory solution to poverty is to tell people that it’s their own fault for not being rich. I am waiting for a Tory minister to tell pensioners and disabled people who cannot get higher-paid jobs to die for the public good.

Meanwhile the co-founder of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s investment management company – a Tory donor, of course – has just been been given a peerage and made a minister. They’re not even hiding it anymore, are they? Rees-Mogg is hugely in favour of the government’s plans to expand fracking, maintaining that it should go ahead where there was local support, but adding that areas may be “encouraged to frack” by bribing them with GP surgeries and schools. Let your town be rattled by earthquakes an have its water table polluted while we create environmental destruction and hasten climate catastrophe for a quick buck, or we won’t provide you with healthcare or schools, is a very Tory message.

Just a week ago Douglas Ross, the hapless leader – at least for now – of the Scottish Conservatives described these tax cuts as a bold plan to ‘turbo charge’ the economy and demanded that the Scottish Government matched them, including the cuts on taxes for the wealthiest. However this week Douglas Ross says Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng “made the right decision” to U-turn on a plan to scrap the top rate of tax. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those rich people who were moving out of Scotland last week. Presumably all those rich people who were supposed to be moving south because of the tory Tax cuts will be cancelling their plans this morning.

This U-turn represents an utter humiliation for Douglas Ross and the Scottish Tories, right up until Monday morning they were demanding with a furious and self-righteous zeal that the Scottish Government copy and paste the Chancellor’s UK tax plans in their entirety. This screeching U-turn demonstrates that Douglas Ross isn’t just out the loop as far as British Government decision making is concerned, but the entire Scottish Conservative contingent does not even rank as an afterthought. He and the rest of the Scottish Conservatives have been exposed as a complete irrelevance, even to their own party. Still, I’m sure BBC Scotland’s Glenn Campbell is on his way to doorstep Ross right now.

This U-turn exposes the deep divisions within the Conservative party and demonstrates the real weakness of Truss. The Conservative Party Conference has only shown how divided, corrupted and vindictive the party is.

Most Conservative MPs did not support Truss in the leadership contest, yet far from building bridges with the rest of the party Truss sidelined them and appointed a cabinet of Yes-men and women. The real problem for Truss is that there are a host of Tory former ministers on her back benches, all of whom hate her and who plan to quit parliament at the next election, they will be more than happy to pull her down. The Conservatives can be ruthless when they sniff the blood of a poor leader, and right now Truss has slashed her political carotid artery. Far from delivering a polling boost for the party she has reduced the Conservatives to levels unseen since the months before the Labour landslide of 1997.

We are now assuredly witnessing the end of the Conservatives’ term in office – at least until the English electoral pendulum swings back in their favour, as it most certainly will eventually. The only question is how much damage the rats in a sack can wreak until they are turfed out of office.


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57 comments on “Rats in a sack

  1. Azel says:

    I’m not sure that disaster will cost Downing Street to the Tories though. To Truss, certainly: I’m pretty sure that even if she were to turn that around, the Tories will turf her out just to be safe.

    But to the Tories? That would require Starmer to convert his party’s lead from being because the Tories are hated to being because Labour is wanted and I’m not sure Labour will think of that.

  2. davetewart says:

    The chancer has just blamed the previous government for low growth and the lack of imagination.

    That was the Johnson, May and Cameron governments and he was a cabinet minister of junior minister in some of them.

    He voted for his immediate predecessor’s plans for the economy.

    This is madness, they’ve only been the government for a few weeks they try to tell us, give them a break.

    The media will be selling it tomorrow as the brexit dividend.

    The magic money tree forest has been found and it’s a credit card that will be maxed out for 2 years.

    I’m off to the bank tomorrow to borrow a million on my state pension, I’ll pay it back over the next 100 years if the interest rate is 0.000001% annually

  3. James Mills says:

    Comparing this present Tory bunch of spivs to ”rats” is a mite unfair on rats in general .
    No rat ever benefited from undermining the country’s currency for a quick buck ,
    no rat was happy to see Food Banks proliferate in one of the world’s richest countries,
    no rat decided in the midst of a cost-of-living- crisis to take £20 pw off the poorest in the land ,
    no rat profited from a PPE scandal during a pandemic ,
    no rat reneged on a manifesto commitment ( the Triple Lock) which denied pensioners a promised rise in line with inflation ,
    no rat would see energy companies make untold billions in profit while customers bills doubled in a year ,
    no rat partied during Lockdown while ordinary families grieved ,
    no rat would pish on the public and then tell them it was raining ,

    no rat would join this Tory Party !!!

    • davetewart says:

      Now James, the energy traders are telling us that the supply of gas for electrical will be short.

      Some days over 50% of generation is Scottish gas, 20 GW in the summer months on dreigh days.

      The Saudi’s idea is to cut production to raise the cost of oil and gas.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:


      We, the undersigned represent the rat population of the United Kingdom and were dismayed when one of our clients at Rodents R Us informed us that he and his kind had be associated with the Conservative party by yourself.

      We have advised our client that as thing stand, that he and his ilk, being 21 wives and 64 children (and others of the Rodents R Us clan) that you have severely defamed their good name and, accordingly, our client has a good case of libel against yourself. It is one thing to be considered a carrier of the Black Death via our clients’ generous nature in accommodating members of the flea population, but it is a far more serious affront and libel to associate our clients with the British Conservative Party.

      We therefore consider it appropriate to seek compensation for our clients (which will naturally include a sum for hurt feelings) in respect of your defamatory and inaccurate linkage of our clients, with the British Conservative Party.

      This course of action however can be avoided if you could see a way forward of apologising sincerely, forthrightly and in public to the rat population of the United Kingdom.

      The Rat King himself will gladly accept such an apology from yourself on behalf of his subjects, but His Majesty informs me that he has set you a deadline of 7 days so to do. You may consider that such action by His Majesty to be rather ‘ratty’ – but on the contrary, you must appreciate that His Majesty is very much the modern monarch (unlike your very own human representation who is said to be representative of his subjects [sic.] from the comfort of Buckingham Palace and has exhibited his own ‘rattiness’ recently in regard to leaking fountain pens.)

      Failure to apologise within the aforementioned time frame therefore will result in us having no choice but to taking you to court on behalf of our clients and suing the pants off you.

      We look forward to hearing from you.

      Yours etc.

      Sue, Grabbit and Ronne
      (Solicitors for the UK Rat Population)

  4. Gariochquine says:

    I suspect Ms Truss and her quasi-chancellor will be out of office and sunning themselves in a tax haven before too long.

  5. yesindyref2 says:

    Tory is an anagram of Troy and look what happened to that.

  6. In February 1933 Hitler invited Germany’s leading industrialists and financiers to a secret meeting. The Nazi Party was skint and needed a war chest to fight the April GE.

    His fundraising pitch opened by declaring that democracy was getting in the way of the ‘supply side’ growing Germany’s economy, and blocking Hitler’s vision to Make Germany Great again.

    When elected, he pledged to outlaw trades unions, crush the Socialists and Communists, and give the Industrial Complex and Finance free rein to build Germany back better, without the threat of lefties and agitators gumming up the works.

    The German Oligarchy responded by contributing over 2 million marks to the Nazi Party.
    Despite this, the Nazis did not win overall control of the government in the April election.
    That didn’t stop Hitler from introducing the Enabling Act; since democracy was now dead, he just did it, and the Elite backed him up.

    The act rested upon Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution which gave the government emergency powers during periods of unrest. Among these powers was the ability to create and enforce laws that could explicitly violate individual rights prescribed in the constitution. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

    Krupps wrote to Hitler, dated March 24, 1933, avowing that the Reich Association of German Industry welcomed the election result with the words:

    The elections have laid the basis for a stable foundation of government, removing the disruptions resulting from the constant political vacillations of the past, which have severely crippled economic initiative.

    and explained:

    The Reich Association of German Industry – as the economic and political representative – will do everything to help the Reich government in its difficult work.

    Kerching’s ! speech today was a direct pitch to the Brit Iron Heel Oligarchy; the Money Men, the industrialists, the merchants, the billionaires.

    He will outlaw industrial disputes, repeal EU laws, free up our tax dollars to the ‘supply side’, to make Britain grow again, unfettered by red tape and laws to protect the rest of us from carpetbaggers and profiteers.

    Britain will grow and there shall be high skilled jobs and high wages, and the market will flourish.
    But first let’s smash the socialists and communists. Outlaw trades unions. Strip Employmet Law, HRA, and HS out of the system; then business will flourish.

    Englund, Englund, Uber Alles.
    Oh, how the room…applauded nervously.

    There are tens of millions of us who are being boiled like frogs.
    Frog marched into oblivion by the biggest bunch of maniacs ever to pull up at the Palace of Westminster.

    Free money, no holds barred, tax heaven.

    Seig Heil, Kerching !

  7. Hamish100 says:

    Personally. The ~FM bowed to much to the KC3 today in Dunfermline city.

    A wee handshake to the unelected monarch would have been enough in my view.

    • Dr Jim says:

      This interim King will be but a fleeting moment, he’s already knackered and doddery walking up a street despite being guided by his Mrs hand in his back
      There are already rumours about his mental capacity

    • deelsdugs says:

      Perhaps the bowing was just a wee nod o the heid with a sideaways, aye I ken your game charliedaturd…didn’t see it, but heard the drooling from the few who were asked what they thought on radio shortbread…yuck

  8. Dr Jim says:

    Liz Truss said “Paisley was a poor town with no prospects” when she lived there

    Number one on that, she was in Primary school for five minutes of her rotten wee life so she probably had no clue what a prospect even was
    Number two, that statement clearly shows how long ago that must have been because that’s not the Paisley of today
    Number three, Every town should have prospects, that’s what governments are there to realise

    Except Tory governments obviously

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Having studied law, I can tell you that the modern law of negligence was established following a meeting of two Paisley women in a local cafe in the late 1920’s where one of them suffered from allegedly seeing a decomposing snail in her ginger beer.

      See Donoghue (McAllister) v Stevenson [1932] AC 1 House of Lords.

      All law students meet this decomposing snail in their first few lectures of the Law of Tort.

    • ArtyHetty says:

      Did she mention who ran the council then and who ran Scotland then as well…English parties, English governments. Hmm, I wonder why it was ‘poor with no prospects’. Like most if not all of Scotland, the country next door used it for industry, while utterly neglecting to ensure any ‘prospect’ of a better life for the workers and their children. I come from a ‘poor’ area in NE England, but most of the new social (council) housing built post war, was far far superior to what to saw when I came to live in Scotland in the late 80’s. Housing in Scotland was an afterthought, years after the English gov/cabal were forced to build housing for the sheeple in England, or face a revolt as people were fed up after the war and the poverty and destitution that brought.
      I think if you go to the National Lib of Scotland ‘moving image archive’ there are films under the title, ‘prospect of a nation’. All in copyright but should be able to watch some via their site.

  9. Hamish100 says:

    Delict in Scotland, I believe. A civil wrong.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Quite probably – but we learnt is as a tort as it was so held by the House of Lords in England, although all parties were Scottish. (No Welsh law, you appreciate, just English or Scots.)

      The leading judgement and in whose name the neighbour principle is invoked in regards to negligence was the Scot, Lord Atkin.

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        Week 1- Lecture 1 Introduction to delict negligence. The duty of care. Intro – Delict is the law imposing a unilateral obligation on the defender who commits a wrongful act to compensate the pursuer.

        Negligence- Most important area of the law of delict. – To succeed in a negligence action, you must establish that the defender owes the pursuer a duty of care and that duty of care has been breached. – Conduct of defender must have caused the pursuer harm. There must be a causal link between the act of the defender and the harm of the pursuer. The harm must not be too remote.

        Donoghue v Stevenson-Concentrate on judgement of Lord Atkin. -Mrs Donoghue went into a café in Paisley. Her friend ordered an ice cream float with ginger beer. She poured half of the ginger beer into the glass and poured remainder in and found a decomposing snail. -She argued she suffered from a shock and gastric..-There was no contract between Donoghue and Stevenson but there was one between her and the owner of the café. -No contract between pursuer and defender. -She had to invoke the law of delict. -House of Lords had to answer whether Stevenson owed Donoghue a duty of care in law. -By majority, the HOL held that a duty of care was owed.

        Source: Uni of Strathclyde. (Scots Law)

        My studies involved ‘English’ Law and no one bothered to tell us that Scots Law was different. ‘Ours’ was the precedent, ‘ours’ the term ‘tort’. (No one else got a look-in despite it being a wholly Scots case.)

        • yesindyref2 says:

          Scots Law is a mixture of Common Law and Civil Law. I think at times terminology gets a bit mixed up when referrals to the HoL were made, with the HoL within the UK Parliamentary estate and perhaps overriding Scots terminology lazily with its English equivalent.

          Whereas now referrals are made to the UKSC which is outside the UK Parliament estate. I don’t think we’ve seen yet what difference this may make, both to terminology and judgements. This from 2010, I posted this link previously, sections 3.4 Devolution Issues: The Birth of a Constitutional Jurisdiction, and specifically for the forthcoming UKSC hearing – Devolution Issues.


          Now that the United Kingdom Supreme Court has assumed the JCPC’s jurisdiction in these matters, it remains to be seen if the change of court will also herald a change in approach. It seems unlikely, however, that the United Kingdom Supreme Court, with substantial continuity of membership and an identical jurisdiction, will address the key issues very differently from the JCPC, at least in the short term.

          Well, perhaps we’re past the short term now …

          (as always IANAL and huvnae got a scoobie doo)

          • Golfnut says:

            A. V. Dicey when asked on what Parliamentary Sovereiegnty was based replied that it was ‘ English common law ‘. Pre union of course.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          Sorry to tag on, that reference was part of a major review by Neil Walker commissioned by the Scottish Government in 2008. He does not appear however to have been an Indy supporter, indeed, from SCFF:

          Neil Walker: Hijacking the Debate Posted on February 18 2014

          Let me lay my cards on the table. I remain inclined to vote ‘no’ in September’s referendum. I put it no stronger than ‘inclined’ in part because I believe, in the spirit of democracy – even democracy referendum-style – that those of us who have not signed the party pledge should keep an open mind as long as possible. That, indeed, is one of the reasons why, 18 months ago, some of us set up the Scottish Constitutional Futures Forum and its accompanying blog.

          I personally almost prefer constitutional stuff by someone who is moderately unionist because whatever then is in favour of Indy has more thrust to it, than someone who sees things through an Indy glaze like us. The trick though is to recognise their innate bias in the way they word things, and raise a question mark – for instance with any emphasis on UK or United Kingdom when you might more expect a reference to something purely Scots. Here’s another article by him from August 2014:

          https://www.pure.ed.ac.uk/ws/portalfiles/portal/18397054/www_scottishconstitutionalfutures_org . pdf (remove spaces)

          and as an aside note this excerpt:

          What’s in a name?
          The awkwardness begins with the sheer range of candidate labels. Was Darling talking about – or rather not talking about – Britain, or the United Kingdom, or perhaps ‘The Union’? As Aileen McHarg reminds us in a recent post, these are not interchangeable terms …

  10. Earlier, I compared Kerching’s offer to ‘business’ in his performance today to Hitler’s 1933 deal with German industrialists, on here. It was ‘awaiting moderation’, or GCHQ intervened.
    Smash the Unions, outlaw democracy, set in motion an unregulated free for all…
    Hitler got his deal…and the rest was history.
    Will tens of millions suffer a slow premature death so that bankers get their bonuses?

    • Adolf would have loved it if the Reichstag was elected by FPFP. Would have saved him bothering with the whole Reichstag fire, power grab, and end to democracy thing.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      I’d often commented on the troubling parallels between the history of the Weimar Republic and all that obtained from it, with Brexit and onward.

      It is indeed worrying to see the same mechanics show up, but I’m unsure it’s fascism rather than emulating the techniques historically deployed for control and manipulation – From the propaganda war being prosecuted via BBC Scotland, to blatant disinformation via MSM, normalisation of lies in politics, suppression of rights to protest, the blatant othering by media and politicians in concert, it’s orchestrated for sure, but to what end ?

      I had many a conversation with my grandfather Opa on what led to WW2 – his candour on what life was like in Germany before and during WW2 was as enlightening as the injustices Germans felt after WW1 – The entire population was ripe for manipulation, but not everybody was duped – All it needed was a few loud ones and a bit of orchestration to whip up hysteria and drown objectors out, or accuse them of being unpatriotic.

      What these rich manipulators are playing at I’m not entirely sure, but no good will come of it for the population at large any more than Brexit did.

  11. yesindyref2 says:

    I’ve given this much thought after some serious research and much scribblings and erasures, cogitation and at times sheer despair, and with several weeks having elapsed from start to finish, copious tabulations and filled recycling bins, I realise now finally that there is just one single question that needs an answer:

    What in the name of feck is going on?

  12. Dr Jim says:

    A rebellion has begun and we didn’t know it

    I’ve looked it up and apparently it’s considered a rebellion when 15% of a population is at odds with a governing authority, considering around 52% of Scotlands population is at odds with the UK government I demand to be labeled a rebel and I’ll happily wear and be proud of that description rather than these childish separatist or nationalist references, I also demand my rebelliousness to be *put down* by the English crown, I think I deserve the proper attention of my status as a rebel

    So c’mon England, have at me

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Open warfare in the Cabinet, too, apparently:


      Cabinet discipline falls apart as leadership rival Mordaunt goes to battle with Truss on benefits

      04 Oct 2022 5 minute read

      Cabinet discipline in Liz Truss’ government has already fallen apart after Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt publicly took on Liz Truss on the issue of a rise in benefits payments.

      The Prime Minister is refusing to rule out a return to austerity or say whether welfare payments will be increased in line with soaring inflation.

      But Ms Mordaunt, who ran against Ms Truss in the Tory leadership contest, told Times Radio it “makes sense” to increase benefits in line with inflation.


      • Capella says:

        Penny Mordaunt was the Tory party members’ top choice before the MPs ensured she was removed from the ballot. This is turning into a tragical comical circus.

    • I do not consider myself a ‘rebel’, Dr Jim.
      I am indigenous; I am driving insurgents from my country, ‘s’all.
      Against what would I be ‘rebelling’ The Establishment?
      MY countrymen and women?
      I am Scotland, I am righteous anger, I am sovereign.
      As England’s Army trudges South, few will weep at their passing.
      Right is on our side.

  13. davetewart says:

    The justice secretary, lewis is slimey.
    Have a look at his non answers to ‘Should benefits and pensions be raised by CPI’?
    Swings from, not his department , cabinet decides to DWP decide.

    We are not getting told until their CONference is over.

  14. Capella says:

    The PM is very clear about something. Guess what.

    Liz Truss: Independence referendum shouldn’t happen even if Supreme Court deems it legal

    Under the Scotland Act, referendums are devolved, but anything which “relates to” the Union is reserved. This has created legal ambiguity on whether Holyrood has the power to legislate for a consultative referendum on the issue of independence.

    Asked if she would be leading the Unionist campaign in the event the Supreme Court ruled Scotland could hold indyref2 without Westminster’s consent, Truss was non-committal.

    She told ITV’s Tom Sheldrick: “I’m very clear that, in 2014 when there was a referendum, we said it was once in a generation.

    “I’m very clear there shouldn’t be another referendum before that generation is up.”


  15. Capella says:

    On the other hand – don’t bother waiting for a coherent argument from Liz Truss.

    Shona Craven: Tory incompetence is now stranger than fiction

    The Prime Minister’s current communications strategy seems to be pausing for so long in response to questions about the UK’s economic meltdown that listeners will think the phone connection has dropped and change radio stations accordingly. 2018-era jokes about the Maybot ring hollow now that it seems the Prime Minister really might be waiting for someone to WhatsApp her the right lines from a script, or even feed them into software that recreates her trademark stilted delivery. Clips of Michael Gove gurning in the Commons start to look wholesome compared to those of Kwasi Kwarteng swaying and chuckling to himself at the Queen’s funeral.

    On a good day, this bunch of smirking chaos merchants behave like juddering automata from a chamber of horrors that someone either needs to wind back up or – preferably – smash into tiny pieces and throw down a deep well.

    Let’s not forget that Truss was selected despite the fact that she is incapable of anything resembling competent delivery of sentences – maybe even partly because of it.

    “I may not be the slickest presenter in the business,” she understated to viewers of a BBC debate back in July, implying there was something highly suspect about Rishi Sunak’s ability to sometimes fluently answer the questions put to him as though his human brain and flesh mouth were actually connected to each other


  16. Capella says:

    This tragedy was foretold. An article by Martin Wolf in the FT which was written before the “fiscal event” last Friday but spells out the dire policies of the Liz Truss/Kwasi Kwarteng clown show. It’s thumbs down from the FT.

    For example: The idea that further tax cuts and deregulation (such as lifting the cap on bankers’ bonuses) will transform this performance is a fantasy. What is simple has already been done. What is left is hard to do. To take one example: higher investment requires higher savings. From where are these to come? There are also the linked complexities of climate change and energy. Moreover, the evidence is that both better economic performance and political stability may depend on lower inequality(opens a new window), not still more than the country has today.


  17. LOL.

    Incidentally, UK-wide, it does seem that the Libs are losing share. All the recent polls have them standing still or going down.

    Scottish subsamples showed a fall in both Con and Lib, my guess is because of unionist party voters reckoning Labour is the ticket to take down Con, so dumping Lib for that.

  18. yesindyref2 says:

    Going out on a limb, I’d say that while the Scotland Act 1998 was a creature of the UK Government, a UK Act and a UK Law, the moment the Scottish Parliament sat and legislated from 1999 onwards, the Scotland Act 1998 became a hybrid Act and Law, not just under the UK Parliament, but under the Scottish Parliament.

    It isn’t just a part of UK Law now, it is a part of Scots Law, and the two different systems can and should have different interpretations.

    The Scotland Act 1998 is self-extinguishing, and in its place it leaves behind a Scottish Parliament which has come of age.

  19. Capella says:

    Hearing that the Conservative Conference is on lockdown because of a potential security threat. They’re all locked in.

  20. Capella says:

    More from the FT – yes THE FT

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