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Monday 15 November 2010

Sarah McDermott | 11:12 UK time, Monday, 15 November 2010

Making his first Mansion House speech, the Prime Minister will tonight say that he rejects the idea that the UK is in decline.

David Cameron says Britain is still a major power although its economic might needs to be repaired.

The speech is viewed as a major event in the political calendar and traditionally focuses on foreign policy issues, but can Britain remain a world force or should it accept that it is a declining power?

Our Diplomatic editor Mark Urban will bring us his analysis and reaction to this keynote address.

The Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has told the BBC that her aim is for a peaceful revolution.

Ms Suu Kyi, who was released on Saturday after seven years under house arrest, said she was sure democracy would come to Burma eventually, although she didn't know how long it would take.

We'll bring you John Simpson's interview with Ms Suu Kyi and discuss what her freedom will mean for the estimated 2,000 other political prisoners in the country.

Are the government's plans to reduce the number of MPs and introduce changes to the electoral system a fundamental assault on the powers of Parliament?

Peers have tonight rejected a proposal which would have delayed plans for a referendum on the voting system. Our Political editor Michael Crick will bring us the latest.

And Tim Whewell speaks exclusively to the senior Russian policeman accused of involvement in the mysterious death in jail of prominent Russian whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky.

Lt Col Silchenko denies inflicting treatment amounting to torture on the jailed lawyer, who was being held on tax evasion charges when he died in unexplained circumstances in Moscow's Matrosskaya Tishina detention centre one year ago. Read more on that story here.

Join Gavin at 10.30pm on BBC Two.
From earlier:

Our Diplomatic editor Mark Urban will be bringing us reaction to David Cameron's first big foreign policy speech - happening tonight at the Lord Mayors Banquet.

Our Political editor Michael Crick will report on the progress of the government's Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill.

And Tim Whewell investigates the death in a Russian jail of Sergei Magnitsky, including an exclusive interview with one of the officials who deny inflicting suffering amounting to torture on the Russian lawyer.

More details later.


  • Comment number 1.

    The Libertarians were up early this morning!

    David Cameron's ideologue, Phillip Blond (from the 'think tank' ResPublica) was on Radio 4's Today programme early this morning extolling the benefits of Mass Mutualistaion of public sector assets in order to to pay off 'the nations debts' (shell game?). He was desperately trying to sell it as some sort of virtuous half-way-house between a state owned asset and superior privately owned assets - run 'by the people for the people' (aka Big Society??).

    Luckily John Humphrys and his other guest speaker (I think it was) Mehdi Hasan from The New Statesman were more than able to counter Blond's predatory libertarian claptrap. At the end of the piece you can hear clear surprise expressed by Blond (he thought the mic's had been switched off) at the robustness of the defence against his pathetic pitch/argument!

    (piece was on Today at around 6:50 this morning

    Blond kept banging on about the example of the the imminent privatisation of the venerable, Dover Harbour Board, as a shining beacon for his wacky strategy...but things aren't going too smoothly on the Dover front.

    Dover people's port bid 'undeliverable'

    DHB, which has run the port as a trust since 1606, asked the government for permission to privatise it in January. A decision is expected soon.
    Dover People's Port website says it wants to prevent the "gateway to the nation" being sold to overseas buyers.

    "Despite making statements that the people of Dover would 'own' the port - at a minimal payment of only £10 per head- it is estimated that such ownership could only be achieved if each and every one of the people of Dover, 39,000 in all, contributed over £5,000 per head to the trust," it said.

    "The reality is that financial institutions would be financing the deal."

  • Comment number 2.

    Blonde is dangerous as well as ill-informed, he rants, he talks over people and he has no coherant stratedgy. He goes about Dover but fails to mention the other failures waiting the wings, bluff and bluster will not do as John Humphries demonstrated on the Today programme. Cameron should put him back in the box with a severe slap....

  • Comment number 3.

    Have you heard the story about the the kid with the Stars and stripes flag on his Bike. Some school teacher told him to remove the flag as it might upset the Hispanics -something like that anyway, some liberial twisted hatefilled horror story. It would appear the USA is infected with the same nonsense we suffer from.

    I've noticed the main stream media in the US are reporting stories that were once only viewed as conspiracy koook stuff. Glenn Beck does a special on George Soros last week- he who is a puppet master and is heading the engineered collapse of the dollar etc..Beck got the usual standard issue anti-semitic charge after he did the Soros special.

    Glenn Beck has recently announced on his show that the US Government is gonna stage a terrorist attack and blame the tea party/ rightwing groups. Glenn Beck would never have entertained these stories even only six months ago. Glenn Beck et al are shifting their positions..they have to, because they've realised the people are waking-up to their Govt machinations and are switching away from the main stream and getting their info else where. BBC take note.

  • Comment number 4.


    Will you be going to Court to appeal for your 'deal' involving Tesco and Spar
    Or will you be saying 'good bye'?

  • Comment number 5.

    THE 9/11 FACTOR (#3)

    Well reasoned Kev. I would add that 9/11 is 'gonna blow' and some repositioning is going on among pundits, in preparation.

    "The King he say, a kickin' at the ground: "I ALWAYS knew that the world was round!" (Guy Mitchel)

    Have you sampled 'Building What'?

  • Comment number 6.

  • Comment number 7.

    mr table

    Are you still there? Here's a question in an extended form for you:

    Imagine a case whereby a male with links to world politicians as well as with the international security services had a 'brilliant' idea of communicating with a female via her ears, nostrils, peripheral sphincters and vagina, not talking of links with the media, including what's supposed to be an unbiased, neutral and honourable organisation like the BBC. Do you think it is possible or not? A plain and straightforward answer would be most appreciated. Singie too is welcome to answer this question of mine.

    Oh, and by the way, how about supplying for us the motif for this should you think it is indeed possible?

    Monika Magdalena Maria

  • Comment number 8.


    A cathartic tonic Bro. Brilliant.

  • Comment number 9.


    1. At 11:26am on 15 Nov 2010, DebtJuggler wrote:
    The Libertarians were up early this morning!

    David Cameron's ideologue, Phillip Blond (from the 'think tank'
    ResPublica) was on Radio 4's Today programme early this morning extolling the benefits of Mass Mutualistaion of public sector assets in order to to pay off 'the nations debts' (shell game?). He was desperately trying to sell it as some sort of virtuous half-way-house between a state owned asset and superior privately owned assets - run 'by the people for the people' (aka Big Society??).

    Sadly, rather like the LSE after WWII which too was founded by Fabians, Blond's
    post-grad school's idea of leftism today is predictably 'left-wing' communism (anarchism), and, like Columbia University today, it's no friend of left-wing statistism. On the contrary.

    Still, if Nick Clegg and David Cameron say that they believe in fairness asserting 'we're all in this together, most of the gullible population today will believe what they are told rather than the data, as it's form the government (which clearly can't do governance as that requires a large public sector!) .

  • Comment number 10.

    Friday’s programme .....

    Ace intrepid reporter - possibly known professionally as ‘MC Hack’ - goes ‘up north’ and interviews what is intimated to be a rare species ......

    The interview starts with ‘MC’ saying that the local party was ‘playing on the islamaphobia of white working class voters’

    Then ..... (via iplayer at approx 17’50”)

    Rare Creature: “.... it’s a legitimate one to say we are going to go for the white working class vote.”

    MC Hack: “But that’s verging on racism isn’t it?”

    Rare Creature: “No it’s not.”

    Does “MC” not appreciate that religion has nothing to do with race? And, prior to the last general election there was (? Still) an organisation attempting to be very active in many communities - which one must assume that “MC” would have heard of - it called itself ‘One Black Vote”!

    One has to hope that come the next General Election this issue of ‘It’s Ok for them - because we say so - but it’s not OK for us’ will be thoroughly addressed.

    In the Nation’s best interest of course!

    Thoughts on .....

    At 09:32am on 15 Nov 2010, ecolizzy :

    What is surprising is that anyone thought he would actually see his ‘commitment’ through to the end. He’s possibly already done more ‘u-turns’ than your average plumber!

    Making him ....

    A real man of the people!

    And .... Oh yes .....

    ‘and ‘e hangs them up and ‘burns ‘em states that the “Pupil Premium” will benefit the ‘better off’ rather than the those more in need of help ...

    There’s a surprise then!

    Is there anything that Mr Go Very Fast isn’t going to change? The change to ‘direct payment’ to schools will have a drastic effect upon certain communities. Any guesses that it might be poorer areas? How long before Grammar Schools are the ‘next big thing’?

    And .... Oh yes .....

    No legal aid for ‘welfare’ cases and Employment Tribunals et al!

    Whom does that benefit? Whom then gets justice?

    Those with money? .... Or those without?

    But wait .... How long before the National Minimum Wage is ‘frozen’?

    It’s good having a coalition isn’t it!

    They can blame you and you can blame them!

    Everyone is a winner except the vast majority of the Great British Public!

    Message for the Moderators ....

    (If you're not the Moderator close your eyes now ....)

    Many thanks for finally ‘pasting’ my post at No 24 for last Friday’s ‘page’.

    Having read and re-read it many times I cannot see what could cause such an extended delay on your part ....

    Any chance of a hint?

    Even a small one would do?

    (OK you can open your eyes now!)

  • Comment number 11.


    If so, he might suggest #24 in the Friday thread was off topic.

  • Comment number 12.

    Response to ....

    11. At 6:43pm on 15 Nov 2010, barriesingleton

    Good point, but how much on here is on topic?

    As you say King Con will know!

  • Comment number 13.

    Further thought ( re No 12 above).... Ahem!

    Perhaps the purpose of this page is ....

    To advertise the programme.

    To get feedback and ....

    (Apologies for the fact that I have mentioned this before [ I hate repeating myself myself] but ...)

    To get ideas for broadcasts.

    The ranting, bickering, bantering sic, repetition, pontification, obfuscation, delusion, obsession, threats, theories, thoughts, ideas, suggestions, condemnations, alliterations, poetry, links, rhetoric and flaws et al .....

    Just go to make the whole thing just a bit more interesting!

  • Comment number 14.

    6. At 3:19pm on 15 Nov 2010, brossen99 wrote:

    Watch the cartoon !

    Now you know why the National Socialists in Germany stopped all this in the 1930s, why Stalinist USSR purged those bringing it back in the 1930s, Why Islam is anti usury etc, and why it isn't a good idea to talk about those working in Wall Street and The City etc as corporate Nazis, and most of all, why you can't use words in your own way without contributing to the anarchism which is their bread and butter.
    Bet it doesn't change your verbal behaviour though. This is why they get away with it. people are vain, and they exploit it. They'll have you vilifying the good guys whilst exonerating them as victims of persecution. It's a trick as old as time and people never learn.

    Note, many naive Americans will be suckered into calling for the abolition of the Federal Reserve (the USA central bank) just as many people here have been suckered into voting for the abolition of their Public Sector! They don't see the psychology. Cameron is a PR man.

  • Comment number 15.

    a long time ago i read a report that said Mrs T major regret was not reforming the law.

    The biggest reform would be to make it so people could go through the process themselves with little effort. There is no need for much of the antiquated fee generating methods used by lawyers to delay and procrastinate to fabricate that 'good law is slow and expensive law'. Justice is swift.

    an easy way to cut costs in society would be to end the blame claim culture that has made many things impossible or wildy expensive.

  • Comment number 16.

    All our working lives

    Britain is not in decline; it has declined, it's done, it's dusted; at least 10 years of Japanese type doldrums to come.

    The brilliant series All Our Working Lives gives many reasons why Britain has declined; it makes fascinating watching; the key thing is - the two World Wars gave Britain two bounces of the dead cat- so when is the next one coming along?

  • Comment number 17.

    Tab #14

    " Corporate Nazi " is an accurate way to describe socialism for benefit of the Corporate Multinational Cartel ( not the people or their nation ) and the Welfare State for the stock market parasites the Anarcho Capitalist Trotskyite politicians have created and are expanding at every given opportunity.

    I thought we had once had this argument before, at least with Adrianne / jaded_jean several years ago when I first started using the term ?

  • Comment number 18.

    Tab #14

    The old style 19th century socialism you subscribe to is not the answer for the 21st century, what is required is input from all angles of the alleged political spectrum in the interest of finding best practice for our future. As you well know I support the principle of a welfare state, yet oppose nationalisation of business other than to use as a caretaker stage before breaking up large virtual monopoly organisations into smaller more efficient units in a true FREE MARKET. Of course the state must take a key roll in providing the civil infrastructure of our country, but that is all. Perhaps I trouble you so because you can't politically pigeon hole me but what we need to " progress " is a new political ideology neither beholden to the traditional left or right. Whatever we do we must avoid anarchism as prescribed by the likes of the eco-fascists and others attempting to operate a subversive agenda ?

  • Comment number 19.

    The Future of the UK is Stuffed Whatever Conmoron Bleats Tonight !

    I was talking to a relative of mine who runs a small building contractors ( employs 30 on good wages ) the other day and Health and Safety guidelines cropped up. It is theoretically no longer allowed to undertake simple roof maintenance like for instance " pointing the ridge tiles " without massive expense in safety equipment. In the past you would have just sent perhaps a tradesman and his labourer with a ladder and a cat ladder to get to the top of the roof. That became a simple scaffold platform, but now it is proposed that the entire house must have full scaffold both sides of the roof. From an original cost for the entire job of 250 quid it could now cost 4,500, when you include the cost of renting and erecting all the scaffold.

    Just the other week H&S contacted him to say that if he did not provide a cabin for " the men to dry their clothes " by the end of the week they would hit him with a 20,000 quid fine. They already had an ample brew cabin with heaters, but that was not good enough, he had to order and pay for a new 7ft by 3ft cabin specifically for the purpose. If H&S keep their dash for regulations to promote false economic growth up at the same rate they are going to make building work of any kind totally uneconomical unless you only pay minimum wage, and I suspect that the big companies behind it all are planning to make everything theoretically safe to force one of IDS's dole slaves to do it. No new houses will be built in future because its simply too expensive when you follow all the regulations and have to pay things like the Aggregate Tax and soon a Carbon Tax on all the materials like energy intensive bricks and cement for instance.

  • Comment number 20.

    "In terms of our role in the world, the truth is that many other countries would envy the cards we hold. Not only the hard power of our military, but our unique inventory of other assets all of which contribute to our political weight in the world.

    Our global language, the intercontinental reach of our time zone, our world class universities, the cultural impact around the world of the BBC, the British Council and our great museums. A civil service and a diplomatic service which are admired the world over for their professionalism and impartiality."

    (David Cameron)

    What is this man on? British Council? Envy of the world? Who is this guy trying to kid? Even Prince Andrew describes the useless, venally corrupt British Council as 'evasive'! Cameron should stop talking tosh - and
    add this useless, bloated British Quango to the list of public bodies scheduled for reform if not abolition!!

  • Comment number 21.

    British Council reality check for David 'Out of Touch' Cameron:

  • Comment number 22.

    Cameron's belief in his economic policy being able to pull the country out of debt, out of the risk of a deep recession and into significant growth is so fundamental to the coalition's existence that if this fails to deliver he is finished, but he will have taken our world status with him.

    Let us remember what the Office for Budgetary Responsibility has predicted: the Government's policy MUST deliver 2.7M NET new private sector jobs, £400 Bn investment in new manufacturing capacity and an increase of a THIRD in exports in this Parilament - if it doesn't, our debt will RISE, not fall.

    If the austerity package tips us back into recession, then we could see a meltdown in the housing market which would dwarf what has happened in Eire, precipitating a second banking crisis and a wholesale collapse in Sterling - no EuroZone there to bail us out...

    This would trully be the point at which the UK lost all its international credibility - we would be a busted flush economically, our defence spending would have to be cut by 75% and our role in the UN and EU would be as a sidelined has-been.

    Throw in the ScotNats winning independence and the N.Irish catholics mustering a majority for irish unification, as Gerry Adams clearly now thinks is on the cards with his move to Irish politics away from Stormont & Westminster - the UK would be history and England would be back to its medieval status as a minor island power off the western coast of mainland Europe - the Welsh would no doubt have the sense to try and jump ship too if they can.

    What word adequately begins to describe the cabal of leading Tories & LibDems if this happens? Is there a couple of words in the english language that begin to adequately describe people who were prepared to take these sort of risks with our country for their own political ends?

    Think of a couple of words beginning with T.

    "...there's always an excuse for it,
    but when I find the reason,
    I still can't get used to it".


  • Comment number 23.

    John Simpson....If I could write about what I really thought about this 'journalist' on here, it would be moderated out.

  • Comment number 24.

    ...and I forgot to add that it wouldn't even break ANY of the 'house rules'.

  • Comment number 25.

    BBC are a joke!

  • Comment number 26.


    1) Surely moral authority has to DERIVE from moral integrity? Do I need to add anything?

    2) That Britain's place in the world (in the mind of Destiny Dave) depends on our 'economic strength' shows that Dave has no grasp of our social and psychological crisis.

    3) I have noticed Dave's characteristic 'medicine ball grip' hand gesture. It looks like a man who just can't grab enough to satisfy his childish NEED.

    4) Apparently Russia is a NETWORK OF FRAUD AND CORRUPTION. They'll never get moral integrity that way!

    5) In Britain - as an example to the world - we breed toffs, and they are permitted rig the system, without censure. Meanwhile, we also breed and school 'losers' - they get locked up. Now THAT'S what Dave calls moral integrity.

    Be proud Dave - we can't stop you.

    Oh - it's all so awfully British.

  • Comment number 27.

    So how long will my #23 take to be considered/moderated, please?

  • Comment number 28.

    Some BBC journalists (who may or may not be reporting from Myanmar) have obviously reached deity status!

    Their name cannot be mentioned on BBC blogs.

  • Comment number 29.

    I'm greedy now (just like a banker!)

    When is my post #11. At 3:22pm on 03 Nov 2010 going to be moderated?

    Mods still say of this post..."This comment has been referred for further consideration."

    When will it be moderated? long do you need?

    It either broke the rules or it didn't.

  • Comment number 30.


    That should stuff our 'moral authority'! See #26 above.

  • Comment number 31.


    Who's bought who or hoping to 'buy'? Are there any females for sale? Please do not hesitate to say that among them you think it's me, mim.

  • Comment number 32.


    I've got another description for yur friend, mr table, a 'talent scrounger' while he himself thinks he is a genius. I suppose you have been quite 'successful' with your manipulation but such tricks are not my thing at all.

  • Comment number 33.

  • Comment number 34.

    M76UK #33 (and many many many many more)
    Oh Good grief Rickenbacker!

    Just how much time every day do some of you spend googling for any news or images of your hero?

    Do you seriously think he is likely to be desperately trying to get your email addresses and phone numbers because of your impressive display of intellectual prowess?

    Since it is open house, nothing deemed off topic, I'll lob in this softball from left field......

    "Natural ability without education has oftener raised men to glory and virtue, than education without natural ability"


    Today's news carries some interesting tit bits too.

    - The criminal tendencies of offspring of heavy smoking pregnant women in the 60's.

    - The number of children 'caring' for a parent in this country

    - Your happiness rating

    Any takers?

  • Comment number 35.



    I'm not sure whether all the 'conclusions' of the article are true, especially the one about Cardiff women preferring vampires to any other type of man, which did make me laugh, however, but with regard to what's written about Jeremy: 'in Norwich, ladies like their blokes to be serious like Newsnight's Jeremy Paxman', first of all he is not always all that heavily serious but I would rather say caring and thoughtful but with a good, if not great, sense of humour and irony and I remember him saying in an interview a while back that he himself was not sure why anyone ever would take him seriously, or something to this effect anyway. Although I don't know Paxo all that well, I'm quite certain that he is, apart from other qualities which I won't go into here, a responsible kind of man.


  • Comment number 36.


    It's a hard road LC2. The Ape is ever with us, but few realise that it frequently hijacks our cerebral function, the better to pursue primal drives.

    Where nihilism is bliss, it is folly even to get up in the morning.

  • Comment number 37.

    @ LC2 #34 - Jeremy is HOT, so there :p

  • Comment number 38.


    According to the worthies on Radio 4 'Today', the answer to Britain's ( generally admitted) decline, is to GROW THE ECONOMY (stupid).

    Not one word of GROWTH IN INTEGRITY passed those pound-wise lips.

    Yet Britain has shown herself to (globally) cheat, lie, connive, abet, neglect, torture, bomb, drug, poison and drive-mad both Johnnie Foreigner, and 'her own', on a whim, and without a meaningful prayer.

    Is there a philosopher in the House?

    Oh - i' i' i' i' it's all going ter' ter' terribly well.

  • Comment number 39.


    Oh how very grown up. Isn't there a page in Jackie you should be writing to. Why do you think this sort of carp belongs here? What does it add to any debate on current affairs anywhere in the world? Why did your parents or teachers not tell you that .....'if one keeps ones mouth shut one can sometimes fool people; open it and one is more than likely to give a very clear indication of ones stupidity?


    Here's something I really really don't understand. And one of the reasons (other than the silliness above) I seldom post here.

    Wasn't it uncontrolled desire for 'growth' in the economy that brought us to the brink?

    At what point does growth stiffle every living thing on the planet?

    Why do we believe that anyone person/party/policy can guarantee freedom from 'boom and bust'?

    And talking of headlines and news stories (well I was) yesterday Scotland's news carried a report that many young mums are upset at the lack of support from midwives to help them lose the baby weight. Many quoted the examples of celebrities who regain pre baby figures quickly as bad examples. Many of them admitted to being over weight before conceiving. Why is this a problem for Midwives? Why do these people not KNOW what they need to do? - ie put a bit less in their mouths.

    When did we become a nation who had be TOLD what was good/sensible, whilst resolutely refusing to listen or act?

  • Comment number 40.


    Do you consider yourself a hero, 'luck no 2'? If so, in what? Trying to put down Paxo and is it you, 'rocking' through Esler, the kiddies and passing car number plates, never mind blokes showing their bottoms with you dreaming of mountains of gold?

  • Comment number 41.


    As I have moaned before LC2, it is a characteristic of the Ape Confused by Language that WE DO NOT MATURE and are, in fact, becoming ever more juvenile. Tab says it's a conspiracy from unidentified masterminds - I see it more as a chance cultural drift, that some needy nutters have hijacked.

    Infants babble - any sound will do. Infants eat - unhappy infants overeat (if food is plentiful and in reach).

    I shudder every time Dave trumpets OUR place in the world. Watch him do that GLOBE-GRIPPING gesture over and over. In Dave's head, it is HIS world. Tony had(has) the same syndrome. (Brown just couldn't manage to have a syndrome - his wretched compass couldn't find one.) But in Dave:


  • Comment number 42.

    Jeremy’s hot, Jeremy’s temperate,
    Jeremy’s clever, Jeremy’s intelligent
    And what is more the journalist’s human,
    Serious and funny, the author of books,
    He’s even written about fishing hooks.


  • Comment number 43.

    #40 Mimpromtu

    I am going to need a translation of that if I (and please note the user name/screen name is LC2 and you have not sought permission to abbreviate/elongate or otherwise mangle it) and to begin to understand. Though perhaps I am not meant to. Is this a mind game?

    I have neither put down nor elevated Jeremy Paxman (who I understand does accept the abbreviation you use in context). Why should I?

    Where Gavin Esler, number plates, kiddies bottoms or golden mounds come into anything beats me.

    Sometimes I dream. But mostly reality rocks. Delusion...... well it deludes.

  • Comment number 44.


    Last night I went to the theatre. Tommy Steele in Scrooge. Good Fun. And he was pretty good given his 73/74 years. Most enjoyable light entertainment.

    What's HOT and what's NOT?

    Well, I thought Mark Ramprakash's was pretty HOT when he was on Strictly. And Colin Firth, in Darcy mode could shorten the breath.

    Something attractive, sexy even about the passion of people like Fred Dibnah on Steam and Chimneys; and Michael Portillo on Trains and Spain. But HOT???? No, not in my book. But to a different palate?

    Right. Now I need to get on with some work. Crikey, what a bummer this RL is eh?

  • Comment number 45.

    Tax charges lead to death

    putin will never be considered a great leader while this sort of thing goes on. Actually it makes him look weak. Unable to provide law for his people leaving them at the mercy of bandits. Is that a leader with strength? Is that a leader with greatness? No one remembers such people well.

    Further its a warning to the west that one day russian government full of criminal woodworm will be openly behaving like this militarily? Projecting this 20 years ahead there looks trouble ahead with russia as an out of control rogue bandit state with nuclear weapons?

    under new labour organised crime ballooned taking some 40 billion a year out the uk. no one remembers Blair well. All Blair did was well for himself and left the people with massive debts and two unwinnable wars.

    Is Burma instead of Gaza these days? Two peoples fighting against military repression?


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