petej + nationalism   525

Trump’s ‘go back’ racism is crude, but may be dangerously effective | Afua Hirsch | Opinion | The Guardian
The difference between Britain and the US, however, is that while Americans are having an argument about their known problem of racism, in Britain we are still having an argument about whether an argument even needs to be had.

Theresa May, who brought in the “Go Home” immigration vans, felt able to condemn Trump’s remarks about the four congresswomen as if from a position of moral authority.

Media personalities such as Piers Morgan – who has questioned my right to criticise British “heroes” – or columnists who say that black British figures such as Stormzy should be “grateful” to be in their own country, vigorously deny racism is intended.

Americans are more likely to acknowledge the existence of the kind of racism about which British people remain in denial. The problem in the US is that racism still has its uses. The question for the next presidential election will increasingly be, how many are willing to be complicit in the cost of that racism in exchange for the benefit – in this case, the support of an electoral base fired up by the president’s reviling of migrants and people of colour.

In a press conference responding to Trump’s remarks, the congresswomen affected expressed a desire not to let Trump’s tweets achieve what is, in reality, always racism’s true intent: distraction. “We should not take the bait,” Pressley said. She is right. Trump is turning on these congresswomen quite deliberately, having calculated that, regardless of their policies – which are centred substantially on addressing class inequality – US voters aren’t ready for a Democratic party which looks like them.

Yet it would be wrong to be dismissive of rhetoric as racist as this. Its intended purpose is certainly to play on the fears our racialised pasts have deposited in the present. But that can be a very reliable political strategy.
USA  politics  TrumpDonald  racism  UK  nativism  nationalism  populism  immigration  dctagged  dc:creator=HirschAfua 
5 days ago by petej
Kim Darroch has resigned. Now Britain risks becoming a vassal of the US | Martin Kettle | Opinion | The Guardian
This is a new world. There are no precedents. Britain’s postwar belief that it is a unique bridge between Europe and the US is more rickety now than ever. The Brexiters are set on destroying one end of the bridge. Trump is equally bent on blowing up the other. As the bridge begins to collapse, so does the transatlantic foreign policy that Darroch and others have battled so hard to sustain. As Simon McDonald put it today to the foreign affairs committee, there will be consequences. There certainly will. And none will be good ones.
DarrochKim  ambassador  UK  USA  politics  resignation  leaks  TrumpDonald  McDonaldSimon  ForeignOffice  diplomacy  JohnsonBoris  Trumpism  populism  nationalism  dctagged  dc:creator=KettleMartin 
8 days ago by petej
How to win the Brexit Civil War. An open letter to my fellow Remainers | openDemocracy
Researchers, Chris Prosser, Jon Mellon, and Jane Green of The British Election Study Team asked a large cross sample what mattered to them in the referendum. The word-clouds map the answers. Remainers were overwhelmingly concerned with their economic future. Leavers said ‘immigration” but “were actually more likely to mention sovereignty related issues overall”. The conclusion? “The referendum campaign was not a fight about which side had the best argument on the issues… Instead, the fight was about which of these issues was more important.”
UK  EU  Brexit  politics  Remain  PeoplesVote  referendum  nationalism  isolationism  Leave  campaigning  softBrexit  customsUnion  polarisation  violence  discourse  immigration  economy  fear  precarity  democracy  change  dctagged  dc:creator=BarnettAnthony 
11 weeks ago by petej
Time has run out. Labour must seize its last chance to take a stand on Brexit | Will Hutton | Opinion | The Guardian
The right of British politics is becoming an amalgam of strident English nationalism, nostalgic xenophobia and hyper-Thatcherism hiding behind the language of anti-Europeanism that seeks to legitimise those ugly values. The ageing Tory party, already hostage to thousands of ex-Ukip members who have recently joined it, is being pulled magnetically towards Farage’s Brexit party. Tory councillors and activists around the country say they will vote for it, with its promise of a no-deal hard Brexit and national “independence”, something so valuable, declares Farage, that if it means being poorer and internationally marginalised, so be it. It will allow the greater prize of England becoming the country he wants, home to a virulent capitalism and minimal social safety net; to a spirit of anti-immigration and indifference to inequality.
UK  politics  LabourParty  NEC  EuropeanParliament  election  manifesto  Brexit  EU  referendum  ambiguity  nationalism  BrexitParty  xenophobia  dctagged  dc:creator=HuttonWill 
12 weeks ago by petej
May’s bombshell means Little English revolution is over | Paul Mason | Opinion | The Guardian
There are people on the remain side who have convinced themselves that an otherised, alien, hostile entity called the “working class” wants Brexit so badly that there will be a far-right revolt if a new referendum is called. All the deep polling shows this is nonsense. There have, as promises turned to dust, been clear swings among working-class women, Muslim voters and low-paid young people, leaving a polling majority for remain.

For certain, a second referendum will be difficult. But mass ideologies deflate suddenly. There cannot legitimately be a no-deal option on the ballot paper – in which case, I expect the minority of dedicated white nationalists and xenophobes to throw the towel in. We need to break it to them as gently as possible, and offer as many as possible a way back to consensus politics, but May’s bombshell means simply: the Little English nationalist revolution is over.

On the left side of politics, I expect some of the Labour MPs (and a few frontbenchers) who have voted against the second referendum to conduct a rearguard action that would delink any deal agreed from a people’s vote. But this too is a non-starter, especially among Labour’s membership. Corbyn should resist any backbench attempts to resolve this crisis over the heads of the British electorate.
UK  EU  Brexit  politics  MayTheresa  CorbynJeremy  LabourParty  softBrexit  customsUnion  referendum  PeoplesVote  nationalism  xenophobia  dctagged  dc:creator=MasonPaul  talks 
april 2019 by petej
Theresa May’s Brexit lost to the ultimate adversary: reality | Rafael Behr | Opinion | The Guardian
This has been the greatest source of frustration and shock for the rest of Europe: the spectacle of a once serious country, formerly admired for the coolness of its temperament, racing towards perilous choices while turning its face defiantly against obvious realities. That, plus the tragic irony of history creating a vacancy for visionary leadership and then filling it with May.

There is an almost perfect mismatch between the prime minister’s character and the skills she has needed. She was blunt when she should have been diplomatic; inscrutable when she needed to be candid. When imagination was required, she opted for inane repetition. When she should have reached out, she doubled down. She appeased enemies of compromise in parliament and squandered goodwill in the country.

It can be hard to disentangle the disaster Brexit might always have been from the specific mess May has made of it. There are turnings on the road to failure that she did not need to take, junctions that were missed. She did not have to embark on the article 50 route before knowing where it led. She could have drawn different red lines or changed them when they confined her to impossible choices. But while there were problems with the driver, there were also limits to how far she could get with Brexiteer maps, scrawled in crayon on the eve of the referendum with wild, higgledy lines pointing at destinations that don’t exist.

The result is that the country has been driven round in circles. The parliamentary debate on May’s deal today was a gloomier, paler version of the one that was held in January. For much of the day the Commons benches were emptier than last time. The prime minister’s exhausted voice was hoarser. The deal was rejected by a smaller margin not because it has got any better, but because fear and exhaustion are catching up with Tory MPs, overtaking their belief that something better will come along.

As for the implacables who voted against May, they were not jubilant. They inflicted a defeat, but they know also that there was no victory here for any kind of Brexit. A ruinous no deal is still technically possible, but a chain of events has been triggered that could lead to postponement or even annulment of the whole project. The prime minister’s humiliation could rebound on to every Eurosceptic fanatic who urged her ever further and faster down the road to nowhere. Brexiteers have a dangerous adversary that they cannot name. It isn’t any opposition party, or Brussels, or remainers. It is reality.
UK  EU  Brexit  withdrawalAgreement  meaningfulVote  defeat  HouseOfCommons  Parliament  backstop  Euroscepticism  MayTheresa  politics  nationalism  delusion  leadership  failure  dctagged  dc:creator=BehrRafael  intransigence 
march 2019 by petej
Campaign against Brexit starts now – on positive terms only Labour can deliver | Opinion | The Guardian
The EU reflects the political reality of the member states that comprise it, and is far from perfect. We deplore the treatment of Greece by the European institutions, and the fact that tens of thousands of migrants have been left to drown in the Mediterranean Sea. It is precisely because of these criticisms that our movement has a moral duty to stay and fight in the EU, working alongside the European left and using our position as the largest group in the Party of European Socialists. Jeremy Corbyn, and the mass movement underneath him, could yet be a major player in influencing the EU’s policies and development for the decades ahead.
UK  EU  Brexit  Remain  LabourParty  nationalism  immigration  farRight  reform  Guardian  letter  OsamorKate  LewisClive  Russell-MoyleLloyd  OnwurahChi  politics 
march 2019 by petej
America’s Original Identity Politics | by Sarah Churchwell | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
The logic of exceptionalism is embedded in the American imagination: one set of rules historically applied to white American men, another set to all other people in the country, who were not recognized as full citizens—which is to say, as fully American.

To this day, the American common man remains strongly coded in racial, classed, and religious terms. The common man is not, for example, commonly understood to be a Muslim. He is understood to be a coal miner from West Virginia, despite the fact that American Muslim men are much more common, statistically speaking, than West Virginian miners. These are the voters we’ve heard from endlessly over the last two years, the white working-class men of so-called “Trump country,” especially the white men without a college education who voted for Trump by a margin of 71 percent to 23 percent. The reasons for their choice have been hotly debated, including the erosion of perceived power, economic stagnation, cultural backlash, racial bigotry, gender bias, and evangelical social agendas. Yet Trump’s election was also widely perceived as an anti-elite insurrection, one that was treated as an anomaly, instead of as the latest in a series of populist surges in American history that have sought to “restore” a power to the common man that he perceived himself to be losing to other less-deserving groups.
USA  politics  identityPolitics  TrumpDonald  Breitbart  race  gender  BlackLivesMatter  transgender  LillaMark  FukuyamaFrancis  history  slavery  whiteSupremacism  women  exceptionalism  populism  resentment  JeffersonThomas  JacksonAndrew  nativism  nationalism  KuKluxKlan  citizenship  census  exclusion  authenticity  dctagged  dc:creator=ChurchwellSarah 
february 2019 by petej
Interview with Kenneth Clarke on Brexit - SPIEGEL ONLINE
Clarke: It's a very nasty climate out there. People are retreating into angry simplicities. Half the population is angry about politicians not getting on with it, they're not following the detail, they haven't a clue what the Irish backstop is, and they couldn't care less. They just want it to be over. The other half does follow quite fairly, intensely, more than usual. They are divided in angry remainers who are ever more ferociously for remaining and angry leavers who ever more ferociously feel they are being betrayed.
UK  EU  politics  Brexit  ClarkeKenneth  interview  DerSpiegel  ToryParty  withdrawalAgreement  compromise  backstop  ERG  nationalism  ThatcherMargaret  DelorsJacques  MaastrichtTreaty  Euro  CameronDavid  polarisation  Leave  Remain 
february 2019 by petej
Dreams of a No-Deal Nation | Red Pepper
Just like the original vote to Leave, the strength of the ‘no deal’ story is not its facts but its feelings, not its statistics but its sentiments. What is the story of ‘no deal nation’? No deal nation is strong, steeled for the disruption of ‘no deal’. It is powerful to the point of petulance, defiant of the demands from Brussels. But above all, it is in control, unchained from European rules, whether a customs union or the backstop. It might be materially bad, but it damn well feels good. It offers hope of a future of pride and dignity. Fighting the idea of no deal nation with facts will not work: ‘hope that is seen is not hope: for who hopes for what he sees?’

The more that ‘no deal’ demands sacrifice, the more its popularity will grow: the higher the price, the greater the prize. No deal nation is bolstered by a fuzzy reading of history, self-soothing with stories of its past. It reassures itself: the last time we stood alone, Britain emerged in triumph and the Europeans in tragedy; we prospered before 1972 and will do so again. Do not imagine that the reality of a ‘no deal’ Brexit will change this: confirmation bias will kick in. The Brexit faithful will conclude that they have been punished by devious elites who never wanted to Leave and by European opponents who never had our interests at heart. Rather than undermining Brexit, the ‘no deal’ disaster would merely confirm their suspicion they were right to vote to Leave.
UK  EU  Brexit  noDeal  BBCQT  nationalism  AndersonBenedict  storytelling  deindustrialisation  dignity  emotion  defiance  sacrifice  delusion  Lexit  stateAid  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=KibasiTom 
january 2019 by petej
Brexit: Why Labour should stick to its conference strategy
Brexit is now a class struggle — between a hard right nationalist project and, on the other side, an alliance of liberal centrists, with working class socialists, Greens and the left-nationalists in Scotland and Wales. The Leave 2.0 campaign will be, in Hannah Arendt’s famous phrase, an “alliance of the elite and the mob”. The Remain campaign should be an alliance of the working class and progressive middle class and any business leaders with the guts to join it — ie excaclty the kind of formation that the left used in the mid-1930s to fight the far right.
UK  EU  Brexit  politics  LabourParty  softBrexit  referendum  PeoplesVote  StarmerKeir  Remain  reform  class  nationalism  middleClass  workingClass  dctagged  dc:creator=MasonPaul 
january 2019 by petej
It was never about Europe. Brexit is Britain’s reckoning with itself | Fintan O’Toole | Opinion | The Guardian
Paradoxically, this drama of departure has really served only to displace a crisis of belonging. Brexit plays out a conflict between Them and Us, but it is surely obvious after this week that the problem is not with Them on the continent. It’s with the British Us, the unravelling of an imagined community. The visible collapse of the Westminster polity this week may be a result of Brexit, but Brexit itself is the result of the invisible subsidence of the political order over recent decades.
UK  EU  Brexit  identity  nationalism  nationalIdentity  England  GoodFridayAgreement  indyref  Scotland  welfareState  democracy  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=O'TooleFintan 
january 2019 by petej
Don’t expect Brexit to give us a British Alexander Hamilton | Rafael Behr | Opinion | The Guardian
This represents the confluence of two streams of British political culture. One is anti-intellectualism – admiring the gentleman dilettante who gets by on bluff and charm, socially superior to the sweaty scholarship boy who over-thinks and over-works. The other is moral complacency in holding up victory over fascism in 1945 as proof of eternal immunity to dangerous dogmas.
UK  Brexit  nationalism  delusion  victimhood  entitlement  noDeal  hardship  anti-intellectualism  complacency  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=BehrRafael 
december 2018 by petej
Theresa May is now a lame duck – too weak to take back control of her party | Martin Kettle | Opinion | The Guardian
More profoundly – much more profoundly – this vote was a wake-up call about the terminal sterility of a certain kind of Conservative vision. It’s a kind of Conservatism that is a confluence of two different traditions, and the Tory party is too respectful to both of them. On the one hand, there is a white establishment tradition, largely English rather than British in mentality, that has not come to terms with the loss of empire, dislikes foreigners, and which somehow equates Brexit with the restoration of British superiority and power. On the other, there are Thatcher’s children, often self-made, self-confident, petit bourgeois, anti-foreigner and anti-state, flirting with Ukip, beguiled by the Great in Great Britain and irreconcilable to any European engagement.

May’s critics are genuinely hopeless at politics. They can cause a lot of trouble. But they cannot, will not, take responsibility for practical action in government. They appear to believe that there is a Commons majority for their faith-based, crash-out, free-at-last, ourselves-alone Brexit if only they can install a true believer and bring the DUP back onside. The vote confirmed that is not true. The naivety is breathtaking. Such a Tory leader would lose any Brexit bill or confidence vote. Luckily for the Tory party, most MPs proved today they are not so foolish.

In the end, it’s the recklessness over Ireland, an instinct that lies deep in the DNA of part of the Tory party, that is the most frightening piece of foolishness. These fanatics, playing footsie with a DUP clique that puts sectarianism above the wider needs of a Northern Ireland that voted remain, are the direct political descendants, though with half the talent, of people such as Lord Randolph Churchill in the 1890s, FE Smith in the 1910s and Enoch Powell in the 1970s. All of them tried to play the Orange card. All of them did so with awful results for Ireland and Britain alike. As Talleyrand said of the Bourbons, they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing – and they proved it again this week.
UK  politics  ToryParty  leadership  MayTheresa  TheRight  Brexit  authority  dctagged  dc:creator=KettleMartin  conservatism  nationalism  xenophobia  Thatcherism  neoliberalism  delusion  Ireland 
december 2018 by petej
There is no left-wing case for Brexit: 21st century socialism requires transnational organization | British Politics and Policy at LSE
The left needs to turn resolutely to Europe. It needs to pluralise (and not reduce) the sites of political conflict. It needs to build a pan-European movement through transnational party lists, shared political manifestos, and common protest initiatives. It needs to mobilise migrant workers rather than alienate them even further. It needs to campaign, in a coordinated way, not for a liberal superstate with a common army but for a European socialist federation which renounces neo-imperial ambitions once and for all. It needs to advocate neither the abandonment nor the reform of the European Union but a review of the Lisbon treaty that dismantles neoliberalism and bureaucracy. It needs to campaign for non-territorial citizenship, European-wide public ownership, extensive popular control of the economy, a new digital common, direct democracy, a federal parliament with revocable public offices and a non-technocratic, accountable, administrative apparatus based on strong principles of subsidiarity.

This is neither “leave” nor “reform”: it is “transform”. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to how the project can become appealing to European citizens, given the current predicament. Matters of tactic and strategy will be different in different member states. This is why Remain and Leave mean very little without concrete ideas of how one can go from where we are to where we aspire to be. But these ideas need organizational structures and an international mass movement to be developed. Rushing to abandon the primitive forms of transnational coordination that the current European Union offers seems premature in the absence of realistic, alternative paths forward. Retreating to civic republican projects disconnected from the wider fight for transnational democracy will only strengthen capital, and the far right.

Socialism in the 20th century took a civic nationalist form. Socialism in the 21st century can only be transnational. This is a very demanding task. But it has one advantage. Unlike socialism and social democracy in one country, it has not already failed in the past.
UK  EU  Brexit  TheLeft  socialism  internationalism  transnationalism  nationalism  socialDemocracy  SchroederGerhard  BlairTony  politics  LabourParty 
november 2018 by petej
Hard, soft or no Brexit, Britain must begin to heal its wounds | Martin Kettle | Opinion | The Guardian
Those who believe that the importance of our place in the EU makes a second referendum vital cannot avoid asking themselves whether the wider outcome and consequences are worth the risk. On balance, in my view, they are. But I cannot help worrying at the same time that a Britain in which the liberal left feels outraged about Brexit may be literally a less dangerous place for us all to live in while we try to rebuild our relationship with each other and with Europe, than a Britain in which it is the nationalist right who feel betrayed.
UK  EU  Brexit  MayTheresa  politics  polarisation  ClarkeKenneth  liberalism  nationalism  danger  referendum  dctagged  dc:creator=KettleMartin  division 
november 2018 by petej
National Populism review – compassion for supporters of Trump, Brexit, Le Pen | Books | The Guardian
Eatwell and Goodwin treat these aspects as a diversion from the deeper question of what their supporters are seeking, which they paint in sepia: “To reassert cherished and rooted national identities over rootless and diffuse transnational ones; to reassert the importance of stability and conformity over the never-ending and disruptive instability that flows from globalisation and rapid ethnic change; and to reassert the will of the people over those of elitist liberal democrats who appear increasingly detached from the life experiences and outlooks of the average citizen.” It is the pursuit of these goals that characterises the movement or ideology of national populism.

This is a canny and deceptive intellectual move. It would be strange to define socialism in terms of the hopes and fears of trade unionists, or liberalism in terms of the worldview of a free rights-holding individual. And yet national populism is only really distinguished from nationalism and racism by the fact that its supporters do not see themselves in these terms. Inversely, Eatwell and Goodwin’s insistence that Le Pen or Wilders are not racist politicians rests on the PR efforts these figures have made to detoxify their images as racists in the eyes of the public and media.
UK  politics  nationalPopulism  nationalism  populism  racism  GoodwinMatthew  EatwellRoger  GoodhartDavid  culture  demographics  change  dctagged  dc:creator=DaviesWill 
november 2018 by petej
How Brexit Broke Up Britain | by Fintan O’Toole | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
Another word for “control” is “regulation.” The fundamental appeal of Brexit is that the British have had too much regulation imposed from Brussels and desire in the future to regulate themselves. Thus the British will control their own environmental safeguards, their own food safety, their own labor standards, their own laws on competition and monopolies. The EU does indeed do many of these things and there is a perfectly coherent argument to be made that the British state should do them instead. It is a safe bet that this is what most people who voted for Brexit want and expect.

But that’s not actually what Brexit is about. The real agenda of the Hard Brexiteers is not, in this sense, about taking back control; it is about letting go of control. For people like Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary, the dream is not of a change in which regulation happens, but of a completion of the deregulating neoliberal project set in motion by Margaret Thatcher in 1979. The Brexit fantasy is of an “open” and “global” Britain, unshackled from EU regulation, that can lower its environmental, health, and labor standards and unleash a new golden age of buccaneering hyper-capitalism. Again, this is a perfectly coherent (if repellent) agenda. But it is not what most of those who voted for Brexit think it is supposed to be. And this gap makes it impossible to say what “the British” want—they want contradictory things.

The second question is who is supposed to be taking control: Who, in other words, are “the people” to whom power is supposedly being returned? Here we find the other thing that dare not speak its name: English nationalism. Brexit is in part a response to a development that has been underway since the turn of the century. In reaction to the Belfast Agreement of 1998 that created a new political space in Northern Ireland and the establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 that did the same for another part of the UK, there has been a rapid change in the way English people see their national identity. Increasingly, they are not British, but English. This resurgent identity has not been explicitly articulated by any mainstream party and surveys have shown a growing sense of English alienation from the center of London government in Westminster and Whitehall. Brexit, which is overwhelming an English phenomenon, is in part an expression of this frustration. In Anthony Barnett’s blunt and pithy phrase from his 2017 book The Lure of Greatness: England’s Brexit and America’s Trump, “Unable to exit Britain, the English did the next-best thing and told the EU to fuck off.”

There is stark and overwhelming evidence that the English people who voted for Brexit do not, on the whole, care about the United Kingdom and in particular do not care about that part of it called Northern Ireland. When asked in the recent “Future of England” survey whether “the unravelling of the peace process in Northern Ireland” is a “price worth paying” for Brexit that allows them to “take back control,” fully 83 percent of Leave voters and 73 percent of Conservative voters in England agree that it is. This is not, surely, mere mindless cruelty; it expresses a deep belief that Northern Ireland is not “us,” that what happens “over there” is not “our” responsibility. Equally, in the Channel 4 survey, asked how they would feel if “Brexit leads to Northern Ireland leaving the United Kingdom and joining the Republic of Ireland,” 61 percent of Leave voters said they would be “not very concerned” or “not at all concerned.”
UK  EU  Brexit  withdrawalAgreement  customsUnion  MayTheresa  ToryParty  CorbynJeremy  LabourParty  opposition  ThornberryEmily  StarmerKeir  referendum  regulation  deregulation  control  neoliberalism  hardBrexit  England  nationalism  NorthernIreland  dctagged  dc:creator=O'TooleFintan 
november 2018 by petej
Going native: Populist academics normalise the anti-immigrant right
One of Eatwell and Goodwin's key moves is to define 'racism' so narrowly that the populists mostly escape. It should be confined, they say, "to the erroneous and dangerous belief that the world is divided into hierarchically ordered races, to anti-Semitism which plays more on conspiracy theory, and to violence and aggressive attitudes towards others based on their ethnicity". But that's it. "Where the disparagement and fear of different cultural groups is not linked to this form of systematic thinking" they prefer the term 'xenophobia'.

No serious survey would conclude that "systematic thinking" defines racism. The elaborate, pseudo-scientific hierarchies of Nazism and apartheid are outliers in the history of generally more ad-hoc, inconsistent prejudices and discriminations. That's been the case throughout modern history, but it is particularly the case now that what the authors call "blatant racism" has been delegitimised.

A more coherent definition is that racism is constituted of ideas and practices which express hostility towards population groups, however these groups are defined by perpetrators. Xenophobia, for example against Mexicans or East Europeans, is no less a form of hostility than colour prejudice and anti-semitism and often part of the same toxic mix. In reality, racism is generally pragmatic rather than intellectually coherent. It easily tolerates one out-group while attacking another, especially when it operates in a democratic political environment. When you have such a narrow definition of it, it is unsurprising that you cannot identify it when you stares you in the face.
politics  nationalism  populism  nationalPopulism  GoodwinMatthew  EatwellRoger  immigration  xenophobia  racism  normalisation  farRight  identity  dctagged  dc:creator=ShawMartin 
november 2018 by petej
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