2 days to go and lots of activity out and about on the street. It's funny that ALBA have done basically ALL the work for the SNP, as the SNP have NO activists because they've almost all left and joined ALBA!
Nicola seems to have splashed all the stolen, sorry ringfenced #indy money on a couple of buses with big photos of her and NO mention of Independence NOR even the SNP, but it's other who apparently have an ego problem!
The Tories know that almost all Yes supporters are going to vote SNP on the constituency ballot on Thursday. That’s priced in and there’s very little they can do about it. What they worry about is the list, which is where nearly all their seats come from, and in which they could be massacred if SNP voters voted for other indy parties.
So the Tories (and Labour) want as many SNP list votes as possible, because they know that nearly all of them will be wasted votes which only deliver Unionist MSPs. The SNP only got four seats on the list in 2016, and that was from 42% of the vote – significantly higher than the 36-37% the SNP are polling currently.
The other thing that scares them is the thought of the SNP being reliant on another party that actually has a viable and active plan for delivering independence. The Unionist parties have just survived five years of an SNP/Green indy majority which didn’t take a single step towards another referendum, and they’re pretty confident that they’ll survive five more years of the same, since nothing has changed.
The Alba Party, however, aren’t in the game for cosy seats and salaries. Many of their candidates have given up cushy SNP careers and put everything on the line for a real shot at independence. Unlike the SNP and the Greens, they actually do scare the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems.
So it’s massively in the Tories’ interests to try to fool SNP supporters into thinking they should give both their votes to the SNP, on the basis of the ridiculous fantasy that Boris Johnson would cave in if the SNP got a majority by themselves. And going by the state of social media in the last few weeks, they might actually be right that SNP voters are dumb enough to believe it.
The only vote that frightens the Tories is a vote for Alba. It frightens them because it threatens to cut their healthy tally of 31 seats in half at a stroke, and it terrifies them because they think it might actually bring independence uncomfortably closer. If unsubtle tricks like this can get enough SNP voters to waste their list votes on Nicola Sturgeon’s motley crew of no-hoper list candidates, the Tories will celebrate long into the coming weekend.
... and instead this is what's happening -
Women's votes are becoming more and more important with all their sex-based rights being removed and ALBA are the ONLY party prepared tp protect them ...
“The BBC apparatchiks may take our debating lines but they cannot take away our freedom to make a fool of their attempts at censorship.
"By depriving ALBA of our proper position in the debates and in their news output they have exposed themselves as unfit to be Scotland’s public service broadcaster.
When ALBA’s community based campaign proves successful BBC bosses will spend the next five years explaining why their attempts to rig an election left them with egg on their faces and the ALBA symbol on their building”
Alex Salmond took questions today, most interestingly about why he proposes Scotland takes NO portion of UK debt! (at the very end)
In the end he had to rush off for an interview with ... (checks notes) ... the BBC!! ... so we'll see how that turns out, but if ALBA manage to get seats and indeed if they do well - How does that look for the BBC "journalists" and their reputation - aren't they supposed to have their fingers on the pulse of what's breaking? If that's the case then they're clearly useless!
There is a lot more at stake on Thursday than just determining who is going to be represented in Holyrood, no what is at stake is going to determine the ground rules for how the media, TV in particular, treat and balance their programmes in the event of any future referendum.
As this election has demonstrated beyond any doubt the BBC and other media outlets can be hugely creative when it comes to stopping pro Indy voices being heard. The blanket ban on Alba has been a democratic outrage. We are calling for our nations Independence but all too many in Scotland are happy to go along with letting the BBC DETERMINE who voters in Scotland should hear from.
The vote is on Thursday and the result will be known on Saturday.
#BothVotesYES #SNP1ALBA2 #SuperMajority
Last edited by James D on Wed May 05, 2021 1:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
So now we know officially that the counts for the Holyrood election will be held on Friday and Saturday, 7 and 8 May. ...
... Expect an interesting Friday afternoon then, when the pundits will stop ranting aboot Labour losing the Hartlepool by-election, and will start ranting aboot the Tory-enabling Scottish Greens making the SNP lose Edinburgh Central for the second time in a row. ...
Then let's focus on the bigger picture of the Great Matter at hand. Recent Holyrood polls have been quite contradictory, with few of them bringing good news for either the SNP or the Alba Party. But it's been quite good overall for the Greens, who will most probably increase their number of MSPs. ...
What is most striking, and you have surely noticed it on their national campaign material, is that both Labour and the Conservatives are literally begging for list votes, but leave the constituency campaigning to the local candidates. Which of course has not gone unnoticed by the SNP, who use it to ironically hit at the opposition's lack of ambition. This attitude is even a bit surprising as the trends of the constituency vote show that the SNP has had better days. ...
It is also quite remarkable that the SNP are the only party explicitly campaigning on becoming the next Scottish Government and having one of their own become the next First Minister. ...
... And now Nicola Sturgeon has taken the unusual step of campaigning for the benefit of English voters, not surprisingly in that beacon of English progressivism, The Guardian. Which has probably as many readers in Glasgow as The National in London. But never mind, it's the paper of choice of the Woke Labourgravia Elite, and they even seemed to like what she wrote. ...
... The list vote trends also show some interesting movement in recent polls. The SNP are bound for a very lacklustre performance, being challenged for list votes by the Greens and the Alba Party, and oddly enough also by Labour. Though here Labour have so far failed to overtake the Conservatives.
Finally, current polling begs the question: is there a Shy Albannach Factor at work? I do believe there is, as I think the true potential of the Alba Party is more likely to be 8-10% rather than 1%, and only the relentless savaging of Big Eck from all corners of the compass prevents it from being visible in the polls.
But of course even True Believers have to brace themselves for failure and accepting it gracefully. If the Alba Party actually bags just 1% on Election Day, that will be a massive missed opportunity and a carefully laid-out own goal for the Yes camp. We can only hope SNP HQ will realise they're not just pissing down the wrong tree, but also in the wrong fucking forest. But if failure is bound to happen only due to personal hostility, there is little even Big Eck himself can do about it, or is there? ...
The trend of IndyRef2 voting intentions is again very disappointing, with four polls in a row putting No in the lead by 1% to 6%. The weighted average of the last five polls, all conducted within the last two weeks, is also far from encouraging. We would have 43.5% Yes to 45.8% No, with 10.7% undecided. Which translates into 48.7% Yes to 51.3% No. Quite far from where we were in October when Yes bagged up to 58%, or even in March when we still had a more satisfying 52-53% for Yes. ...
... I would allocate some of the blame to the Scottish Greens, who are often even less straightforward and convincing than the SNP on Independence, which already says a lot. ...
Another weird take on IndyRef2 undoubtedly comes from Laura Webster in The National, who feigns to discover that Green voters are the weak link in the Yes camp. This has already been highlighted time and time again in previous polls, you just have to pay attention to the crosstabs of IndyRef2 voting intentions with Holyrood voting intentions. ...
... Doesn't take a rocket scientist to add 2 and 2 here, does it? But of course it's far easier to blame Big Eck for everything from lousy polling to rainfall, and cuddle the Greens to protect the identity politics agenda. The real litmus test will come after the election, when we compare the IndyRef voting intentions then with the vote shares of the pro-Independence parties.
I have a hunch that only somewhere above 55% of the list votes would translate into 50% Yes, still leaving us with a long way to go before we reach the comfort zone. With the added risk that constitutional issues will again be put on the back-burner for a while, in the name of post-Covid recovery and plans to salvage the economy. Unless the SNP learn how to multitask, which I seriously doubt they will.
The most recent snapshot we have now is the last Panelbase poll, commissioned by James Kelly, and conducted between 21 and 26 April. As is usually the case with Panelbase, and is definitely a shortcoming, it does not include regional crosstabs. ...
... The combination of this explains why the SNP would end up gaining three constituencies, instead of the overall "no change" you have on uniform swing. Then factoring in under and overperformances on the list votes takes down the Alba Party from eight seats on uniform swing to just six. They would widely miss a seat in Central but be just a few hundred votes shy of one in Glasgow. So there's still hope. ...
Now there is an interesting twist to this poll if you forget about all the regional crosstabs stuff and simply replay the constituencies on basic uniform swing all across the country. Then the SNP miss their top target Edinburgh Central by 1% with the Greens bagging 14%. The SNP also miss a possible gain in Galloway and West Dumfries by 3% with the Greens bagging 4%.
Thusly, on the most commonly used method of seat projection, you have the Greens squarely in the way of an outright SNP majority on the constituencies only, the scenario I have already identified and advocated as the one path to an unquestionable victory. But of course the Glasgow clique at SNP HQ will choose to ignore than and carry on cuddling the Greens, and possibly invite them into government.
The Greens' game-plan is painfully obvious: sabotage the chances of an outright SNP majority, so they hold the balance of power when SNP HQ asininely refuse to work with the Alba Party. If the SNP and the Greens actually go into a government coalition after the election, as some have already proposed, I strongly advise Nicola Sturgeon to keep Harvie and Slater on a very short leash. And to be ruthless and unforgiving on coalition discipline.
This is Scotland, for fuck's sake, this is not Israel, where they have votes in the Cabinet because members of hotchpotch coalitions can't even agree on some key issues. If you're in government, you toe the line and you suck it up when things don't go your way. Just ask Nick Clegg for advice. And there is no "three strikes" rule here. At the first strike, you're gone. Take it or leave it, or git tae fuck.
Overall, the SNP are predicted to gain three constituencies: East Lothian from Labour, West Aberdeenshire and Edinburgh Central from the Conservatives, but all three will be extremely close. The crowded field in Edinburgh Central might even result in a situation you rarely see, even with the quirks of FPTP: the winner bagging less than 30% of the popular vote.
Overall, this is really not satisfying for the SNP. Ending up with the same number of seats, with constituency gains nullified by list losses, is possibly the worst case scenario outwith of a net loss. It only illustrates one of the SNP's weaknesses at this election: the distinct possibility of a dismal result on the lists, that can't be cured by smallish overperformances on the constituencies in a few regions. ...
So we're deep into the late flurry of polls that always arrive in the last 48 hours of any major election campaign - I expect there'll be more tonight, and perhaps even one or two tomorrow. ...
As for Alba, they're up in one poll, down in one, and level in the other - which suggests their vote is holding up. It seems like quite a while ago now that the Alba-haters were breathless with excitement about a single ComRes poll showing the party on 1% - I think they imagined that Alba were on the way out and would soon stop registering in polls completely. That hasn't happened - it looks like Alba will end the campaign having registered in every single poll, and so far all but one poll has put them in the 2-6% range. If they're at the upper end of that range on polling day, they could take a decent number of seats.
I also think Alba may have dodged a bit of a bullet last night. Another leaders' debate excluding them so close to polling day could have led many voters to overlook them completely, but on this occasion the BBC were shamed into providing an extra prime-time programme with compensatory coverage for parties not in the debate. I didn't time each interview, but I got the impression that Alex Salmond had about nine minutes or so, which isn't too bad considering that each leader in a five-way 70-minute debate will presumably have had an average of 14 minutes.
Alex Salmond wasn't invited to the debate again but he did get an interview from the BBC, probably as some form of defence to the OFCOM report which, to be delivered AFTER the election, will no doubt not be very favourable.
However with "New Media" again leading the way, here he is answering all the same questions -
If you want to watch the result on a Non unionist-spouting-the-usual-shite platform you could do a lot worse than @IndyLiveStream -
Scotland vote sets up new independence clash with London
Updated / Sunday, 9 May 2021 12:33
The British Prime Minister has invited Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon for crisis talks after she warned he would be standing in the way of democracy if he denies Scotland a second independence referendum.
The SNP fell one seat short of an overall majority in the Scottish parliament elections, securing 64 seats, but the final result still leaves Holyrood with a pro-independence majority.
In her victory speech, Ms Sturgeon told supporters the result proved a second independence vote was the "will of the country" and said any Westminster politician who stood in the way was "picking a fight with the democratic wishes of the Scottish people".
But Boris Johnson, in a letter to Ms Sturgeon, argued the UK was "best served when we work together" and called for a conversation about "our shared challenges" in recovering from the pandemic.
In a letter shared by No 10, the Prime Minister congratulated Ms Sturgeon on her re-election and said: "I would like to invite you to join me, UK Government colleagues and others at a summit meeting to discuss our shared challenges and how we can work together in the coming months and years to overcome them.
"We will all have our own perspectives and ideas - and we will not always agree - but I am confident that by learning from each other we will be able to build back better, in the interests of the people we serve."
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick stressed that, despite the strong preference in Scotland for pro-independence parties, it would be a "grave error" to pursue another border poll.
The Cabinet minister told BBC News: "I don't know what the future might hold but our sole focus right now must be on recovery, and I think being distracted in any way by talk of constitutional wrangles would be a grave error."
Four things we have learnt from the British Elections
The dispute over a follow-up referendum came as Labour recriminations began over its poor showing in the Super Thursday elections on Thursday.
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner was sacked on Saturday from her role as chairman and national campaign coordinator.
It comes after the Opposition party lost the Hartlepool by-election - with the North East town voting for a Tory MP for the first time in 60 years - and incurring a net loss of six councils and more than 200 seats in the local elections as voters in its traditional heartlands deserted the party.
Prominent figures on the left of the party hit out at the move, with former shadow chancellor John McDonnell calling it a "cowardly avoidance of responsibility" by leader Sir Keir Starmer.
Angela Rayner and Keir Starmer
The row came despite Labour faring better in Saturday's results, producing surprise victories in the West of England and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough mayoral contests, while comfortably winning second terms in Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region with Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram respectively.
Mr Burnham - who has been installed as the bookmakers' favourite to replace Mr Starmer, despite not being an MP - did not close the door on the possibility of becoming the next Labour leader, saying: "In the distant future, if the party were ever to feel it needed me, well, I'm here and they should get in touch."
In London, Labour's Sadiq Khan had to wait late into the night to find out that he had won a second term as mayor in City Hall after fending off a challenge from Tory rival Shaun Bailey, and Marvin Rees won a second term as Bristol mayor for Labour, beating Green candidate Sandy Hore-Ruthven in the run-off after the Liberal Democrat and Conservative candidates were eliminated.
Elsewhere in England, The Tories completed their hat-trick of victories to go with their shock Hartlepool by-election win and stomping Tees Valley mayoral victory when Andy Street was re-elected as West Midlands Mayor.
By the close of Saturday, with results in from 129 of 143 English councils, the Tories had a net gain of 11 authorities and more than 280 seats, while Labour had a net loss of six councils and more than 220 seats.
Mr Johnson vowed there would be "no let up in levelling up" after his successful further dismantling of Labour's so-called "red wall", adding: "Voters have put their trust in Conservative representatives, councillors and mayors and we must deliver for them."
In Wales - as in Scotland and England - the party in power was rewarded by the voters.
Mark Drakeford's Welsh Labour avoided the kind of electoral drubbing Sir Keir endured on Friday.
With the final declarations made on Saturday, Labour ended with exactly half the 60 seats in the Senedd - one short of an overall majority - equalling its best ever results.
First Minister Mr Drakeford, who extended the majority for his Cardiff West seat by more than 10,000 votes, vowed to be "radical" and "ambitious" in government
_________________ Minds are like parachutes.
They only function when open.
In terms of seats, the BBC projection was almost but not quite right - the SNP won one seat more and the Greens took one seat fewer. That makes no difference to the outcome for the pro-indy parties combined, but crucially it means the SNP will be neither a majority nor minority government as long as an opposition MSP is selected as Presiding Officer. It'll be a 64-64 split between government and opposition.
SNP 64 (+1)
Conservatives 31 (-)
Labour 22 (-2)
Greens 8 (+2)
Liberal Democrats 4 (-1)
Well, what do I know? - Clearly nothing! What a a huge disappointment! I had such high hopes for ALBA.
I personally felt almost as bad as I did on the 19th Septenber 2014!
... because I believe Nicola Sturgeon and the Greens are fake pretendy independence supporters and the pro-indy victory is a sham!
The difference from 2016 is SNP+1, Tories=, Labour-2, Greens+2, LibDems-1 ... so basically not much difference but a slightly increased (+3) "pro-indy mandate" to add to the other six previous ones! But, hey, maybe this time she really will use it?
ALBA got 45,000 votes only 1.7% of the vote and NO seats so a huge victory for the MSM blackout, the BBC particularly who did some epic trolling AFTER the election explaining to the elecorate how the #BothVotesSNP - 1,094,374 votes wouldn't really be of much use to them and maybe they should maybe lend their vote to another pro-indy party ... like the Greens!
The unionist understand fine how the system works and use it to full advantage chopping and changing between them for the best #BetterTogether result.
It seems like only now it is starting to dawn on a lot of SNP voters that maybe Alex Salmond was right so we'll leave the last word to him ...
I still think the SNP are finished. This was their last chance for a big push towards forcing #indyref2 and to unite the Independence Movement behind them ... and they blew it with their anti-ALBA posturing and I don't think they'll be forgiven.
I think the electorate are in for a big shock as this New SNP-Greens GRA/HCB nightmare unfolds during this parliament.
There will be an ALBA conference in June and we'll see what that brings but I think the SNP will now be openly challenged at all future elections regardless of the consequences.
Craig Murray was today sentenced to eight months in prison for the crime of “jigsaw identification” of one or more of the complainers in the trial of Alex Salmond. We believe he is the first person ever to be convicted of this extremely vaguely-defined crime, and certainly the first ever sentenced to imprisonment for it.
In her judgement Lady Dorrian cited a number of factors, one of which was that the case was an extremely high-profile one which had attracted a great deal of media attention. This was of course in large part due to the actions of an “unknown” person within the Scottish Government or Scottish civil service who illegally leaked the story to David Clegg, then of the Daily Record and now editor of The Courier.
In reality everyone in Scottish politics knows who this person was and whose orders they were acting under, but even though they’re not the subject of any current court case we cannot say their names or we too would face prosecution and imprisonment. (As ever, DO NOT speculate or hint about their identities in comments. Any such comments will be deleted and the commenter banned.)
In sentencing Murray to incarceration rather than the fine which is almost always used for contempt charges, Lady Dorrian emphasised the danger of dissuading victims of crime, and especially sexual assaults, from reporting the offence if they thought they might be identified publicly.
But it must be noted that NONE of the complainers against Mr Salmond were victims of any crime. The jury heard their evidence and the defence evidence – the latter of which went almost entirely unreported except by Craig Murray – and concluded that none of them had in fact been assaulted in any way whatsoever.
Several of the complainers gave evidence which in the light of the verdict suggested a strong case for charges of perjury, but no prosecutions (or, as far as we’re aware, even investigations) have followed.
At least 10 Scottish newspaper journalists have also published information which by any empirical measure enables the identification of complainers. Two separate independently-conducted opinion polls have found that far more people claim to have identified complainers via these newspaper publications than from Craig Murray’s blog. All the articles in question remain online, yet none of their authors have even been questioned or warned by the Crown Office or police, let alone prosecuted.
(The Crown Office has for over a year refused to tell this site whether we’re allowed to quote those articles or not.)
Craig Murray is only one of a long list of people supportive of Alex Salmond to have been prosecuted in connection with his trial – others, including this site, have been threatened – while absolutely nobody hostile to Mr Salmond has faced any criminal action. The official in charge of prosecutions in Scotland, the Lord Advocate James Wolffe, is a minister of the Scottish Government directly answerable to the First Minister. We are sure these matters are unconnected.
We understand, though we have not confirmed, that Craig Murray remains at liberty for now, pending a request for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. He is an elderly man with a number of serious health conditions which could pose a severe risk to his life in prison, and who clearly poses absolutely no danger to society. His appeal fund is linked at the bottom of this post.
Actually what I found most shocking about that was the peculiar determination of the judges to make sure that, during the three weeks we have to lodge the appeal, I am not allowed to go to Spain to testify in the criminal prosecution for the CIA spying on Assange's legal team.
Craig is a fukn hero.
Salmond is a threat.
And Alba is a threat.
Which is why.
Nice to know they care
AN UPDATE FROM CRAIG:
The defence fund has received £46,520 in the 24 hours since it was relaunched to fund the appeal to the Supreme Court. That does not get us there, but it is a good start on our way as the appeal continues. Over 2,000 people have donated, with the smallest donation being 82p and the largest £1,000. Every penny is greatly appreciated. I should make plain that despite the astronomical costs, some members of our legal team have been working substantially below their normal rates and with time donated free.
One donation of £500 from a gentleman I know, came with a note that explained that Willie MacRae had lent him £100 shortly before his highly suspect death. He regarded the £500 as repaying that debt, and was sure Willie would approve of the use of his money. That brought tears to my eyes. _________________ Minds are like parachutes.
They only function when open.
Kenmure Street stood outside UK law yesterday, as Westminster legislation on immigration, opposed by the people of Scotland, could not physically be enforced by agents of the state. What the people did was gloriously, joyfully illegal. Its illegality must be embraced, not skated over by politicians worried at the precedent of people power.
Scottish cities have a history of social solidarity, and in my lifetime I remember similar scenes over warrant sales and poll tax, and of course roots of popular resistance in Glasgow can be traced back through Tommy Sheridan, Jimmy Reid and John MacLean. But there is, undeniably, an added element of nationalism here. The handmade banners decrying “Team UK” in Kenmure St and the active presence of the SNP’s Roza Salih in a community leadership role, will both be seen as significant in an event which future historians will rightly view as a socially important step on the road to Independence.
There is a strong understanding that this is English oriented immigration law and English racist attitudes towards immigrants, being imposed on a Scotland which feels very differently. Indeed, the contrast between Kenmure Street, and the Labour electoral collapse in Northern England as their voters turn to more open panderers of anti-immigrant snake oil, could not be stronger. It is a part of why Labour in Scotland is doomed until it embraces Independence.
But Kenmure Street is an example in a much wider way. I have repeatedly explained, in detail, that Scotland has the right to self-determination in international law. which specifically states that right cannot be constrained by the domestic legislation of the state from which you are seceding. Otherwise Latvia would still be Soviet and Slovenia would still be Yugoslav. Westminster legislation and its Supreme Court cannot override Scotland’s right to self-determination. It is an inalienable right.
The UK state will never accept the great loss to its resources that would result from Scottish Independence. Scottish territory, seas, military bases, renewable energy, water, minerals, food products, financial institutions, education, and above all “human capital” to exploit, are all viewed as essential to London.
Keeping Scotland is the most vital of all UK national interests. As I have explained till I am blue in the face, David Cameron only agreed the last referendum because at the time Independence stood around 28% in the polls and the UK state apparatus believed the referendum would destroy and humiliate the very idea of Independence. Instead of which, the astonishing Alex Salmond brought it to the brink of achievement.
Where it has hovered ever since.
That is why there will never be another referendum agreed by Whitehall. Even if Johnson wanted to agree (which he doesn’t), the security services, military and other power structures of the UK Establishment would prevent him.
Nor can Scotland, “legally” in terms of UK law, hold a referendum without agreement. The UK Supreme Court has already explicitly held that Westminster is sovereign, in its ruling that the Sewell Convention has no force in law. If, as she suggests, Nicola Sturgeon leaves it to the courts to decide if a referendum without a S30 is legal, I have no doubt whatsoever – not even 0.000001% uncertainty – that one of two things will happen.
(1) Either the Supreme Court will rule that, under the current Scotland Act, an advisory referendum on a reserved matter is illegal without Westminster agreement;
[I think that would very probably be the ruling; ultra vires expenditure]
(2) Or the Tories will simply amend the Scotland Act to specifically outlaw the referendum, which the UK Supreme Court will certainly uphold because of their established doctrine that sovereignty resides in Westminster.
Either way, one thing is absolutely clear. There will never be a “legal” referendum as legality is defined by London. It is just not going to happen. Independence is going to have to be achieved illegally in terms of UK law, but legally in terms of international law.
How do you do that? I am constantly told this is impossible, that the UK state will act to prevent it happening. Well, we saw the answer in Pollokshields yesterday, and very plainly. The British government cannot enforce its law on the streets of Scotland if the people of Scotland reject that UK law and its enforcers. Yesterday there were riot shields, helmets, long batons, horses, and all the panoply of repression on display, and all of that could not take two men out of the community, against the will of the people.
Pollokshields showed how the people of Scotland will eventually take their own Independence. The “illegal” way in British law. The Gandhi way. The Mandela way. The people’s way. You cannot impose UK law on the people of Scotland.
I can’t tell you exactly how it will happen. Kenmure St crowds may be protecting polling stations, may be protecting the parliament. But happen it will. The people of Scotland will take Independence sooner than people realise. We will not just wait on Boris Johnson or the UK Supreme Court for permission. Come it will for a’that.
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