Rishi Sunak has ascended power atop an estimated fortune of £730,000,000 (that’s around twice the estimated wealth of King Charles III). His coronation preceded that of his poorer royal colleague and arrived after months of complete silence from the forty-two-year-old.

It’s difficult to get your head around those numbers. To put that in context Enough is Enough has calculated: “Sunak’s estimated wealth is £730 million. A worker earning the median wage (£31,772) would need to have been working since the Stone Age 22,976 years ago to amass the same. And that’s without tax. Remember it when he tells you to tighten your belt.” Politics Joe calculated that Rishi Sunak would still be a hundred-millionaire if he gave every person living in poverty in Britain £50 of his own money.

He faced no scrutiny or questions – no ballot other than his MP colleagues – and said nothing during the debacle of Liz Truss’s short time in office. In fact, on his arrival today he barely said anything either, staring off into middle distance …



Blind Management

The glee on the faces of the Conservative MPS yesterday as they welcomed back Rishi Sunak to save them from the disaster they had imposed on themselves and salvage them from the economy they have wrecked and the geopolitical disaster they have created, was palpable. At last, someone to save themselves from whoever has been in charge of this godforsaken country. Sunak’s followers have conjured more revisionism than his Johnsonian colleagues: re-writing Eat Out to Help Out as a huge success; remembering the Furlough as an act of strategic generosity rather than reluctant inevitability; and eliding over the ex-Chancellor’s Green card scandal (he kept his US green card for six years while an MP, including 19 months as chancellor). They’ve forgotten he cut Universal Credit and pensions as Chancellor, and they’re quiet too about his investments too.

Sunak has previously avoided publicly declaring what companies or funds he holds investments in and where these investments are held. His spokesperson would not say what jurisdiction his holding was in, nor when his “blind management arrangement” was set up. It is likely that still holds stock in Theleme, the Cayman Islands-based hedge fund that he co-founded. But nobody knows, and nobody really cares.

In late April he brought in tax breaks to benefit fund managers who are non-doms. In fact, the whole qualifying asset holding companies regime is likely to be used by people who work in his former industry. In late October he became PM.

We have gone from a Prime Minister who we didn’t know how many children he had, to a Prime Minister who we don’t know how much money he has.

The Tories may have breathed a huge sigh of relief as they bundle Truss out the back door and sweep Sunak in, brushing all under the carpet and claiming, ‘nothing to see here’. But the notion that this is a re-set, back to default settings, that the past *checks notes* twelve years is some kind of aberration s a comforting fantasy. The problems that beset our society, not just in Britain, are so vast and challenging that we need leadership and new forms of organisation that are barely imaginable. Instead, we witness the pretence of business as usual – with a veneer of bland diversity rhetoric – as we watch the Tory Cult inheriting twelve years of their own mismanagement of the country.

As James Butler has written (‘Short Termism‘):

“The spectacle of fringe libertarianism crashing and burning on contact with the real world would be funny if we didn’t have to live through the consequences. It isn’t clear what Conservatives think conservatism is any longer: what aspect of actually existing British society (rather than ersatz Victorian fantasy) they seek to conserve, or even what they think the roots of the country’s problems in fact are. The easy, nonsense answers – Remainer fifth columnists, decadent critical race theorists and debauched metropolitans – have their idiot adherents still, some of them sincere and dangerous rather than merely cynical. But they are fictions that won’t stand up to the very real problems of the winter now bearing down on us. The kind of serious reflection that’s needed is better done in opposition, which is one reason it’s vanishingly unlikely to rear its head in the coming week, even if there were anyone capable of it in the party’s ranks.”

57 Varieties

Today Sunak stood in front of No 10, with a tone hovering somewhere between Playschool and Primary 7 Assembly, and paid tribute to Liz Truss and Boris Johnson’s ‘incredible achievements’.

He intoned hard work and integrity, as if these were incredible, mythical concepts alien to humankind.

While the Tories are presented as a brawling mass – divided over Europe, culture wars, austerity and fiscal strategies – in reality they are united on tax avoidance for the rich and a punitive benefit system, a hard Brexit, and Austerity 2.0.

Sunak – the man who is so in touch he thought Darlington is in Scotland – is our 57th Prime Minister, the 10th Tory PM Scotland didn’t vote for.

While Sunak’s campaign video highlighted his family’s wonderful opportunity to come and live here – while at the same time his government is actively stopping other people doing the same thing. It’s staggering hypocrisy. As Labour’s Zara Sultana has said: “So Rishi Sunak – the richest MP in history – is going to become Prime Minister, with plans to cut funding for public services and slash workers’ wages. This Tory class war will be waged with no mandate, without a single vote being cast.”

The media is already full of chastisement for anyone who brings up Sunak’s vast wealth and background as if it’s an irrelevance. Make no mistake the serious tone he projects is because he knows exactly what’s ahead. In reality, he embodies Britain in 2022, rule by the Super Rich over mass-poverty. When he bravely talks of “difficult decisions to come” we all know what he means and who he represents.


Comments (49)

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  1. 221025 says:

    ‘Rishi Sunak becomes the 10th Tory Prime Minister Scotland hasn’t voted for.’

    And Nicola Sturgeon is the 2nd Nationalist First Minister Dumgall (etc.) hasn’t voted for.

    1. Iain MacPhail says:

      Given that 95% of first-past-the-post seats went to the SNP at the most recent Holyrood election (which, it should be remembered, took place during the restrcitions of a pandemic, in inclement weather, where voters were forced to queue, outside, for hours, in order to vote, in some cases) and that this result was returned with a record voter turnout, I’m not sure your point holds.

      Meanwhile, all 32 Local Authority areas in Scotland (literally all 32) voted unanimously to remain European citizens, with all of the (tanigble) rights and freedoms that that entailed.

      All of those have been removed from us. And as of yesterday we learn that Hard Brexit Britain faces warnings of needing an IMF bail out.

      That’s a lot of reasons in favour of reunification with our family of 27 nations in Europe.

      1. 221025 says:

        But, even by the measure of first-past-the-post parliamentary seats, Dumgall still didn’t vote for a Nationalist First Minister in the Scottish parliamentary elections, any more than Scotland voted for a Tory Prime Minster in the UK parliamentary elections. In both jurisdictions, the minority just has to go along with what the majority decides when it comes to which party leader gets to be the head of government.

        Same with the vote of Britain’s membership of the EU. The majority of the UK electorate voted to leave, and the rest that electorate just had to go along with it. I can’t imagine you’ll be shouting ‘Foul!’ when a majority of the Scottish electorate votes to leave the UK, even if those of us down here in Dumgall vote to remain.

    2. I don’t understand your point?

      1. 221025 says:

        My point is that the fact that Rushi Sunak is the 10th Tory Prime Minister that Scotland didn’t vote for is nor more or less a cause for grievance than the fact that Nicola Sturgeon is the 2nd Nationalist First Minister that Dumgall didn’t vote for. It’s a democratic deficit that both jurisdictions (Scotland and the UK) share.

        And my grievance is that making the Scottish government independent of the UK won’t do anything to address this deficit in Scotland. Even in an independent Scotland, Dumgall (and other communities) will still be saddled with governments it doesn’t vote for.

        1. Sorry this doesn’t make any sense. Scotland has not voted for a government that England rejected but had to endure. Wales has not voted for a government that England rejected but had to endure. It is a democratic deficit.

          1. 221025 says:

            Yes, I agree; it is a democratic deficit. But it’s the same democratic deficit that we have in Scotland. Dumgall has never voted for a Nationalist (or a Labour) government, yet it’s always had to endure one (or the other) nevertheless.

            This is a pretty strong argument for Dumgallowegian independence, is it not?

          2. Er, no, they’re not a country.

          3. 221025 says:

            But why’s Scotland a ‘country’ and Dumgall not. The only difference, surely, is that ‘Scotland’ as an imagined community is more comprehensive than ‘Dumgall’ is, just as ‘the UK’ as an imagined community is more comprehensive than ‘Scotland’ is.

          4. Alec Lomax says:

            It makes sense in 221025’s mind.

          5. 221027 says:

            It would certainly, to my mind, make democratic sense to radically disempower Scottish government in favour of the governments of Dumgall, the Scottish Borders, South Lanarkshire, South Ayrshire, et al, rather than further enhance the power of our ‘national’ government at the expense of the UK government.

            But, of course, there’s always the nationalist counter-argument that these communities are too wee or too stupid to manage their own public affairs; i.e. to be independent states. That would make no sense at all(!)

      2. dave says:

        Mike Small, no one understands 221025 plus all the other numbers and names he or she uses. Years ago, I remember a person who posted exactly the same type of nonsense as 221025 in the English owned Scotsman. One in the same person?

        1. 221025 says:

          Another pseudonym used to write letters anent religious education to the editor of the Scotsman from a fictitious address in Edinburgh in the late 1980s/early 1990s as pairt o a flytin wi the Scottish Humanists. Maybe you’re thinking of her, dave.

          ‘Flytin’ (from the Old English flītan) is, as you’ll well know, a fine auld Scottish literary genre.

          ‘The erd sould trymbill, the firmament sould schaik,
          And all the air in vennaum suddane stink,
          And all the diuillis of hell for redour quaik,
          To heir quhat I suld wryt with pen and ynk;
          For and I flyt, sum sege for schame sould sink,
          The se sould birn, the mone sould thoill ecclippis,
          Rochis sould ryfe, the warld sould hald no grippis,
          Sa loud of cair the commoun bell sould clynk.’
          (William Dunbar, c.1500)

          Here’s a wee translation intil the Inglis to aid your understanding, dave

          ‘The earth shall tremble, the firmament shall shake,
          And all the air with venom quickly stink,
          And all the devils of hell in fear shall quake
          To hear what I shall write with pen and ink;
          For when I flyte, some man for shame will sink;
          The seas will burn; the moon will be eclipsed;
          Rocks will split; the world will lose its grip;
          The bells will clang in bitter loud lament.’

  2. Alan says:

    Sunak “paid tribute to Liz Truss and Boris Johnson’s ‘incredible achievements’.” I think you aided the scare quotes.

    As Robert Sanders pointed out on Twitter: “As I occasionally remind students, “incredible” means “not credible” or “impossible to believe”. Nice to see it being used correctly.”

    1. 221025 says:

      I don’t know about ‘proper’ usage (whatever that might be), but in common usage ‘incredible’ has a number of meanings, not all of which are conceptual. (For example, if I use the word affectively in response to seeing a beautiful sunset, it means the emotion the sight has stirred in me rather than any idea I have in mind.)

      Merram-Webster lists two conceptual meanings that are currently to be found in common usage: 1. too extraordinary and improbable to be believed, as in ‘Mike makes incredible claims.’, and 2. amazing or extraordinary, as in ‘Rishi has incredible amounts of money.’

      Both usages (being currently common) are perfectly acceptable, so Robert Sanders is tweeting realist sh*t*. (Realists think conceptual meanings are absolute rather than contingent on their actual use.)

      1. Alan says:

        Uncle Colm?

  3. Dougie Blackwood says:

    We will not have long to wait to hear what “help” we will get. I fear that this piece above is all too accurate but let us hope that we are mistaken. Will he will raise taxes only for those that can afford it, prevent the export of wealth to tax havens, ensure nobody goes cold and hungry and properly funds public services.

    As the say. Aye Right.

    1. dave says:

      Correct Dougie. The current Scottish Gov’t will complain and do nothing as they have always done since 2014. There is no chance ever that the British F.M. Sturgeon leader of the NU-S.N.P. will stand up for Scotland. A Brit leading an independence movement against Britain? The true independence parties of Alba and IPS are the only ones fighting for Indy. Along with the many Indy groups, we will succeed. The NU-S.N.P. party led by Ms. Sturgeon refuse to join Alba and ISP in our fight. In fact, Ms. Sturgeon is only interested in her huge salary and the huge non-taxable expenses for herself, her husband who she appointed CEO of the NU-S.N.P., and the millionaire Ian Blackford who is her silent leader at Westminster. add to that all of the NU-S.N.P.s at Westminster who have similar benefits. Meanwhile another Foodbank was just opened in the Borders. The first in that area which has a Tory MP ‘looking after’ the people there.
      In order to enjoy our wealth and make no mistake, Scotland is one of the wealthiest if not the wealthiest country in the world in the world We Scots need a leader who is dedicated to that end. Alex Salmond and his team are the ones with the ISP are the only parties which will do that.
      It’s about independence not personalities. Either join or accept being poor for the rest of our and our children’s lives.

  4. graeme mccormick says:

    Are we not placing too much emphasis on giving people hope with Independence? Those who have yet to be persuaded to vote yes are economic nationalists. That’s about 20% of the population and is a very flimsy foundation on which to build an independence process. Even if a majority vote yes their vote is promiscuous and could revert to a Unionist one during the process.

    To counteract this the SG must now use “ devolved taxes” to control and enhance public spending and services including a meaningful Universal Citizens Income. that will embed in the process a financial comfort for all of us and is a much more positive agenda for Independence than a message that you can only flee despair by voting yes.

    Put money raised in Scotland in peoples pockets then you control the agenda.

    1. 221025 says:

      Put money raised in Scotland in peoples pockets then you control the agenda.

      Wasn’t that Liz Truss’s political philosophy (only for ‘Scotland’ read ‘the UK’)?

  5. Alice says:


    How much do you get paid for your witterings?

    1. 221025 says:

      Juist my state pension. (But I suppose that’s not conditional on my witterings.)

      1. dave says:

        No. but a state pension is only given in America. As I have pointed out to you many times you are American living in a STATE and obviously a very sad one. Your grammar gives you away……………………..

        1. 221025 says:

          Jings! Nae state pension in the UK?

          Syne, wha’s been peyin aa thon money intil my bank accoont ilka fortnicht?

    2. JP58 says:

      Alice – he is just a sad, contrarian, disruptive idiot.
      I doubt he has anything else in his life apart from trying to upset people on this site.
      Do not waste any time or energy on him you are only feeding his narcissism.
      Ignore him- I am sure most people do in real life.

      1. dave says:

        I think the word is EEJIT with reference to 221025 and all the numbers he/she uses in posting.

  6. SleepingDog says:

    Property is still a major theme of British imperialism. I watched Al Jazeera’s (how long until they get the RT treatment?) The Stream episode on the prospect of reuniting Greece’s Parthenon sculptures (the bit held by the British Museum is also known as the Elgin Marbles):
    Apparently most British people think they should be returned so the Greeks can put them in their purpose-built Acropolis Museum. The show said they asked the British Museum to put up a spokesperson, but they refused the offer, issuing a statement asserting their property rights instead. The buck seems to be routinely passed between British Museum and British Government, in a contrived stasis so neither is held accountable (which is largely how institutions in the British imperial quasi-Constitution are designed). Recent British governments (Blair’s Labour blocked return as well as Conservative governments up to Liz Truss’) have pursued the same line the British have adopted for a couple of centuries. No, never, and if you want a loan, you have to sign an ownership waiver. Although they have made some exceptions (Nazi loot, human remains) recently, so perhaps the defences are crumbling at last.

    Is this really a defensible position? Not only is the British Empire/UK out of step internationally, heading downwards through laughing stock, basket case, to pariah status according to some commentators; but successive governments have been unrepresentative of British public opinion on something that seems, on the face of it, an easy choice between “evil and perverse: keep everything” and “reasonable and diplomatic: repatriate the marbles and the looted stuff important to other communities”. Especially since you could just 3D-print accurate copies of the sculptures anyway and display those in the British Museum instead.

    This is the Conservative and New Labour position: what we got our grubbly little paws on, we’ll cling on to. There was time, I guess, when British credit or diplomacy or militarism or covert operations or soft power or needy allies or financial arm-twisting, whatever, could suppress some international criticism. But what is left? How is the British experiment with one-party rule going to go down in halls of decision-makers or homes of opinion-formers abroad? Will Prime Minister Sunak be immediately targeted as someone with such a weak mandate by foreign campaigns for restitution, and put the whole question of British imperial propertarianism under the international spotlight? Will PM Sunak cower in fear like the British Museum before the weight of world opinion and reasonable demands for justice?

    1. Alvin Vertigo says:

      By “How long til they get the RT treatment”, do you mean you’re a headbanging Alba-supporting, Salmond worshipping, Assange and Craig Murray fanboy, and idiot-tool of Putin’s disinformation warfare?

      1. SleepingDog says:

        @Alvin Vertigo, I mean as in Ofcom revoking their broadcast licence.
        Perhaps I was being too subtle, I did not mean to imply that *I* thought RT and Al Jazeera were similar, only that British authorities, although ostensibly lovers of free speech, and presumably aware than banning foreign media channels will likely provoke reciprocal broadcast bans on their own propaganda outlet the BBC, tend to react negatively to journalism that isn’t owned by their friends. Why is there British corporate media near-silence over the Labour Files, for example? Is that kind of investigative reporting ‘head-banging’ journalism? I have only ever watched a handful of RT programmes, so I have little to base a comparison on. I watched one Salmond episode but I wasn’t a fan of its cosy interview style.

  7. Alvin Vertigo says:

    His campaign video highlights his family’s fantastic opportunity in coming to live here, and his first move as PM is making Suella Braverman Home Secretary. Astonishing!

    1. dave says:

      Alan Vertigo = 221025

    2. Gercon says:

      Sue-Ellen re-emerges from the shower truly shocking.

  8. Robbie says:

    “The Empire” Stokes Back , Queen VIC must be turning in here grave, niver mind the raest o them

  9. dave says:

    My cousin who lives in the borders mentioned to me that a Food Bank has been opened up in the Borders. That is the first one. We must give credit where credit is due. Boris Johnson gets the honour. Liz-ms. no-Truss t would like to claim it and Sunak hasn’t been England’s chief colonialist long enough. Needless to say, my cousin was shocked and worries about how Scots are going to survive.
    We must also give credit to our British F.M. Sturgeon, leader of the NU-S.N.P. and Ian Blackford who never stand up for Scotland as they accept their hundreds of thousands of pounds salaries plus their tax-free expense accounts also in the hundreds of thousands of pounds while more and more Scots attend foodbanks. We should also include all NU-S.N.P. MPs for their continued silence at Westminster as they too receive their large salaries plus tax-free expense accounts.
    As it is, we have only 2 Scottish MPs both from Alba fighting for our independence against over 600 English and NU-SNP MPs at Westminster.

    It is the time for all NU-S.N.P. members and supporters to join Alba or ISP. We can then declare independence.
    For one of the richest countries in the world we would never have been in this ridiculous church-mouse poor situation if Ms. Sturgeon hadn’t lied for the last 9 years about fighting for independence when as we now know her intentions where to keep Scotland as a colony of England..

    1. 221026 says:

      Your cousin must bide in a raither rarified part of the Borders, not to know that there are eight food banks in thon country and that several of them have been trading for a good number of years. In terms of social capital, food banking is one of the fastest growing areas of the country’ economy.

      We’ve got 12 owre here in Dumgall. I invest in one myself (run by syndicate of the Machar communities), according to my ability; I deposit 10% of my ‘American’ state pension and a wee bit o my time til it ilka week agin the proverbial ‘rainy day’.

      1. JP58 says:

        More like dumbass from your replies.
        I recommend you take some Imodium – it may help with your diarrhoea you seem to wish to inflict on everyone else.

  10. Meg+Macleod says:

    nobody is looking/pointing out the threads going deep into a central guiding hand ..or should i say manipulating hand that ensures whoverer is in power will do as they are instructed by the `elite organizations` and by doing so will be rewarded……it is that thread that needs to be unravelled..where are the journalists brave enough and still alive to do this?……there is a curtain of secrecy that only the dedicated researcher can get behind… so i believe.. but the resulting chaos would intimate this is so…creating chaos so that out of chaos the “guiding“ hand will have its way and control the can happen so quietly while all hell rages in the homes of the ordinary people trying to make sense of the latest gas bill…. system change is needed but not the one that waits for us in the wings of the world governments as they are…….

    1. 221026 says:

      I can see how there’s a kind of comfort and reassurance to be had from the belief that there’s some conscious agency behind what happens and that’s guiding what happen to some end or purpose; that’s the pathology behind all conspiracy and ‘hidden hand’ theories. But it’s really just ‘bad faith’ or a flight from the radical freedom that characterises a universe, the ‘meaning’ of which is just whatever we want it to be.

      I’m always suspicious of folk who claim some special knowledge of [malign or beneficial] ‘controlling’ forces that remain hidden from the rest of us.

  11. Mr E says:

    Does someone want to set a maximum allowable wealth for politicians? No, I didn’t think so. Certainly not any politicians.

    In Scotland, the SNP hasn’t had a leadership contest for 18 years (Sturgeon’s one had one candidate, which isn’t a contest).

    1. Alec Lomax says:

      Sturgeon succeeded Salmond as First Minister by a vote in the Scottish Parliament. Whereas Sunak succeeded Truss (who succeeded Johnson) as PM via a vote confined to Tory MPs.

      1. 221026 says:

        You’re right, Alec. The Scottish parliament gets to elect whom it wants as the Crown’s First Minister in the Scottish government, and the Presiding Officer takes that nomination to the Crown, which duly appoints her/him as such. Nicola got the nomination because, as the newly shooed in leader of the SNP, she could command a majority in the Scottish parliament.

        I wonder whom the UK parliament would have nominated to be the Crown’s Prime Minister in the UK government? Given that Rishi commands a majority in the UK parliament, it would probably have been himself.

        That how the Westminster system works in both Edinburgh and London: s/he who can command a majority in parliament gets to be the head of government.

        Personally, I’d like to see in both Scotland and the UK a) sovereignty being invested in the electorate rather than the Crown, and b) each parliament’s nomination for head of government being accepted or rejected by its respective electorate rather than by a monarch. In effect, a general election to appoint members of parliament and then a second referendum-type vote to accept of reject the parliament’s subsequent nomination as head of government.

    2. dave says:

      Mr., unfortunately the British F.M. Sturgeon NU-S.N.P. leader has received hundreds of thousands of pounds in salary every year since 2014 from England. Not only that but thousands more in non-taxable expenses. Then you have millionaire Ian Blackford receiving slightly less. Then add all the silent NU-S.N.P. MPs at Westminster who receive a wee bit smaller sums than Ian. Let’s not forget that the highly paid CEO of the NU-S.N.P. Murrell, was appointed by his wife Ms. Sturgeon.
      For the last 9 years there has been nothing, but lame excuses used to delay independence from that lot above. In fact, it’s worse. They have blacked out that Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. The same tactic as the English Gov’t and the 95% English owned Scottish media up here. This blackout means that around 50% of the NO voters only receive English lies about our economy. Ms. Sturgeon’s constant begging to the English aristocrats in London for permission is an absolute disgrace and points out she is ashamed to be a Scot as is her NU-S.N.P. MPs at Westminster. She also refuses to work with any other true independence party (Alba or ISP) or Independence group.
      While Scots are struggling, and more foodbanks are being opened up Ms. Sturgeon makes sure that Scotland remains a colony of England.
      The answer: Join Alba or ISP.

  12. Niemand says:

    ‘The glee on the faces of the Conservative MPs yesterday as they welcomed back Rishi Sunak to save them from the disaster they had imposed on themselves’

    Sort of . . . the MPs actually voted by a majority for Sunak first time round, but it was the membership who went for Truss. The main reason, I assume, the sensible among them did not want to ask the membership again as they would have probably elected Johnson. I would have hated that most of all, though the one big advantage would have been to see him wreck the party even more.

    1. 221026 says:

      Yep, Rishi was the parliamentary party’s choice in the original leadership contest. It didn’t take long for it to purge Liz and ‘correct’ the membership’s mistake. It took Labour’s MPs much longer to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn.

      1. Niemand says:

        I have heard others make this comparison, but Corbyn was not PM and actually did pretty well in the first year or so, coming close to defeating May in 2017.

        What has made me laugh was some Tory members resigning in disgust because they were not asked this time ‘as if they couldn’t be trusted’. Profound delusion seems to sum up recent internal Tory thinking.

        1. 221027 says:

          If I was a member of the Conservative Party, I’d be resigning too. It’s treated its members pretty shabbily over the leadership succession.

          It sounds as though the Conservative Party, as a community, needs to look at its approach to succession planning. Come to think of it, what would the succession planning strategy of an independent Scottish government be? I’ll maybe tuck that question away for the next independence referendum: Question – Should Scotland be an independent country?; Answer – Don’t know, depends (among other things) on what the succession planning strategy of an independent Scottish government would be.

          1. Niemand says:

            They had one go at choosing a leader and got it massively wrong. I see no reason they should have been asked a second time, though I think the whole thing ridiculous anyway – I accept we don’t elect a PM so one change mid-government is sort of OK, but two within a few weeks? Nah, it’s taking the piss and it would be absurd to allow the 80,000 members to have another shot at it. Let them resign, the deluded fools.

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