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About Merkie84

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  1. Labour set up the devolved parliaments to run as their own little fiefdoms for the times they would inevitably be out of power in Westminster. Nothing to do with empowering or providing better representation for the people they rule over. When they were set up labour was used to thumping majorities in Scotland and Wales and couldn’t see a time when they would be any worse than senior coalition partners in either chamber. It could be argued than Scottish labour never seen the SNPs 2007 win coming and still haven’t recovered from it. The time to speak up for devolution was in 2012 when the format and question of the referendum was being debated. Had they offered a devo max option then, it would likely have won and maybe seen a resurgence of their fortunes As it was, they went for a straight yes/ no referendum and stood shoulder to shoulder with the tories on the no side. They made their bed, they should be prepared to lie in it.
  2. Looking forward to hearing who can make the most stupid excuses for losing in the next few weeks. Trump or deontay Wilder, should be some contest.
  3. Great question! The last hole of golf I played was a 9 with no pressure! Enough to win by 1 ? I reckon I would bottle it!
  4. I get what you mean about the time gaps, it feels a bit artificial, especially when for a lot of this race, the leader was only there because of the time bonuses. Would have been more exciting without them. On the other hand, on stages where leaders go head to head, it makes it more exciting. If leaders riding are on each other’s wheels, it is very difficult to get enough of a gap to gain even 1 second , so when their isn’t time bonuses, they don’t offer race flat out to the line. With the time bonus, even being a tyre widths in front can net a few precious seconds. It also means leaders are more likely to go for stage wins , challengers join breakaways etc. Jury still out for me but I would be leaning towards keeping them as they can lead to more interesting racing.
  5. Just to be a pedant. Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark , Iceland and Greenland were unified under the Kelmar Union for about 200 odd years. After that broke up Norway remained in a union with Denmark for another 400 years or so. When that broke up it spent about 100 years in Union with Sweden. In the middle of the 17th century, Sweden was the third largest country in Europe behind Russia and Spain, with its territory including modern day Finland, parts of the modern day Baltic states, Russia , Poland and Germany. ‘ Pan Scandinavism’ was particularly popular in the 19th century, especially after the Unification of Germany , popular figures such as Hans Christian Anderson were adherents.
  6. Merkie84


    Damage done in session 2 I think. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone play as badly in a world final as o’Sullivan in that session and he only lost it 5-4. Wilson needed to be ruthless and win that one 7-2 minimum. Here was never going to play that badly again on day 2 . Just glad Selby didn’t win it. Has there ever been a player as good as him who is so bad to watch?
  7. Best score since taking golf up again yesterday! 83 2 birdies( one nearly a hole in one) + 2 for holes 9-17 hit 8 greens with full shots and only just missed 3 others, iron striking was great all day. Would have been better if not caught in a tropical storm coming up the last, torrential rain flooding the green, took 4 to get into hole full of water from 50 yards.
  8. Very enjoyable round today. Played with a friend who like me is getting back into golf after a long layoff. Hit 90 on a course I hadn’t broke 100 on until last week. First Birdie of 2020. Hit several nice very iron shots into the green. Booming drives long and straight, including by far the longest one I have ever hit, (257m) Only 2 terrible holes at the end of each 9 that I am putting down to tiredness and the heat . Can’t wait to get out again!
  9. What a funny game this is. Last week some of my best ever iron play but putting was rubbish. So I spent a bit of time practicing putting during the week. This week , putting was excellent, lots of 1 putts, a few up and downs and some holed puts from outside” gimme “ range, but could I hit an iron? Barely hit a good one all round. My driving is getting better , if I could put it all together , I could post some decent scores! Progress( of sorts!)
  10. The Chinese aren’t messing about, they literally have a 100 year plan which they are about 10 or so years through, designed to get them to be the most powerful country on earth with the rest of the world dancing to their tune. Western democracies barely know what is happening in a weeks time. I have spent a lot of time in Asia and Africa over the past feed years, and everywhere you go there is major infrastructure projects being built by China. Coupled with the hoovering up of the natural resources and buying of debts of these countries, it is hard to see what will stop them. Certainly not calls for democracy. Just because the party is called “ the communist party of China “ does not mean that it or china will face the same future as for instance the Soviet Union. Marx or Lenin would not recognise 21st century China as being in any more communist than America. Chinese society is one of the most rampantly individualistic and capitalist economies there is , it is brutally dog eat dog, climb over your friends and neighbours to get ahead, the latest consumer item etc. The days of communal farms and pouring over every word of maos little red book are long gone.
  11. I lived in Beijing for 3 years. Returning to Europe was like going back 5 years in time. The 21st century will be China’s in the same way the 20th was America’s.
  12. Heading to the driving range with a few pals today. They are in a similar position to me last year, not played in many years but want to get back into it. All in our late thirties and playing football not an option at the moment and when we can, hurts a lot more the next day and we get injured more often! Golf seems like the thing to do instead. One said he only wanted to hit balls at the driving range with irons and driver he bought second hand. . After his first trip to the range he went and bought a putter , balls and a bag and we play our first round tomorrow. Should be a lot of fun.
  13. First post lockdown round for me today!!! I was really enjoying golf again at the end of 2019 after a 10 year break. Went on a long trip to Australia over Christmas so got out of practice and spent a few weeks at the driving range before getting out on the course against in the new year. I then played 2 rounds before getting dengue fever and having to spend some time in hospital and even when I got out again, I was wiped for energy, so didn’t get out on the course again for 2 months. Played 1 more round before lockdown happened! Yesterday was my first round in 3 months and only 4th in 2020. Needless to say I enjoyed it a lot! Helped by smoking a 6I on the 1st to 12 foot and lipping out the bird putt. Shot 45 for first 9, which is excellent for me on that course, before wilting in the sun in the back 9 . Hit plenty of good golf shots with a few easy things to tidy up to score lower next time. Can’t wait!
  14. Yes it is, even for the pros!!! wait till you hit a good one though, what a feeling!
  15. Did England not just win the cricket World Cup? 😲
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