General election candidate quits Labour and issues open letter

James Osben (front right)

James Osben, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Newton Abbot in the 2017 and 2019 general elections, has resigned his membership in an open letter to the party.

Osben also published a Facebook post saying that he could ‘longer continue to support a political party that has moved away from its core values and principles:

I have resigned from the Labour Party. I can’t continue to support a political party that has moved away from its core values and principles, the be the values on which it was founded. The Party, under the leadership of Keir Starmer, is trying hard to fit in with the neoliberal establishment, in a desperate attempt to win an election at any cost.

In the pursuit of power it has sold its soul and I won’t be a part of it. I will stick to my values and principles. I will campaign and fight against austerity. I will represent the people Labour was created to represent.This page will be updated in due course to reflect the fact I am no longer with the Labour Party. I have not joined another party but I have applied to stand under the banner of Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in the May Elections for the Kingsteignton and Teign Estuary Council seat.

I hope to stand as a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Newton Abbot at the 2024 General Election and at the moment this would be in the capacity of an independent candidate. Thank you to each and every one of you for your support in the 2017 and 2019 general elections.

There are still some brilliant hard working socialist MPs and many brilliant socialist members within the Labour Party. I wish them all well for the future and hope they are able to hold Keir Starmer to account for the damage he has caused to the Labour Party.

Osben’s announcement comes only a couple of days after former Labour MP Thelma Barlow, who quit the party altogether under similar circumstances, was selected to stand againt Labour for the Northern Independence Party in the Hartlepool by-election.

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  1. The Neolabour Party is what The Neolabour Party does ever since Blair gnawed his Thatcherite Neoliberal come Neoconservative ways in, and that is nothing like The UK Labour Party or UK Labour Movement!
    Two Opposing Political Parties One the Host one the Parasite!
    The UK Labour Party is Dead, the Parasites sucked us dry, time to accept it and move on, we need a home and we’re not bringing any parasites with us!
    Long live The UK Labour Movement, wherever we end up going!

    1. Yep, a heart-breaking letter from James Osben, that we socialists can surely all relate to . And the obviously sincere James doesn’t even come across particularly as a radical socialist (given his stated approval , with only a mild reference to it’s ‘mistakes’, of the Blair/Brown, equally neoliberal, deregulating, pro privatisation, pro US Imperialism, period in office). Nevertheless James simply cannot stay in the Starmerite NuLabour2 Party . There must be hundreds of thousands of either already departed ex Labour members (like me) or very unhappy remaining members, who are desperate for an alternative vehicle for continuing Left campaigning and political activity . Unfortunately Jeremy Corbyn and the entire PLP Socialist campaign Group (a misnomer if ever there was one ) aren’t going to provide any leadership for such a new Party by breaking from Labour – far too comfortable hiding away as posturing PLP Lefties (and Jeremy may never again BE in the PLP – but still isn’t interested in forming a new Party !).

      The ever-widening political space in the UK (in England and Wales anyway) is undoubtedly there for a new radical Left Party – and a few Left-led trades unions just might be up for supporting a credible one – but deeply unfortunately most of the current Far Left/radical Left players in the UK are, frankly, ancient old obsessive nutcases, who , as with previous efforts like Socialist Alliance, Respect, and Left Unity, would repel anyone outside of the only 2,000 or so radical Left bubble of serial entrists and wreckers , from joining such a venture. Only a new Left Party that proscribed anyone currently engaged in sectarian nonsense like ‘Labour in Exile’ would have any chance at all of building a serious mass Left Party. Trick quandary for Leftwingers who have correctly given up on the Labour Party – but are utterly repelled by the madness of the tiny but hyperactive crazed ultraleft wrecker fraternity.

      And before a troll raises the old wisdom of ‘its not possible under FPTP to found a successful new Left Party – the NuLabour2 Party is FINISHD electorally, just like the Greek PASOK and French Socialist Party – and the emerging UK political space will either be filled by a new Left Party OR by the radical populist Far Right. If I was a betting man , the Far Right populists must be the betting favourite. The saving grace is that fortunately the UK Far Right are a bunch of internally fractious nutters too !

      1. I absolutely agree, only I do not think there is anything radical about Democratic Socialism, Socialism in the broader spectrum yes, but Democratic Socialism is Centre Left and an absolutely necessary stepping stone for eventually normalising and bringing ‘Socialism’ into the HoP.
        If we look at 2017 and 2019 Manifesto there was nothing radical about it, a lot of it was Urgently Necessary, but only radicalised by the MSM and Neolabour Party Saboteurs, all for their Elite Masters. The only Radical MPs we ever had were the MPs who said it how it is, Hardie, Bevan, Benn, Skinner, Corbyn, Williams, etc, but that is classic Speaking Truth becomes a Radical/Revolutionary act and for quite some time now also!
        So the Press created the so called “Centrists” Thatcherite Neoliberals, basically Tories in The Labour Party and if we look at their lot Blair, Straw, Brown Dropping Bombs on Iraq like Champion Neoconservatives, Campbell and Mandelson Creating the most horrific of Antisemite Campaign Posters in 2005 and does nothing but scream Antisemite at JC 2015 to 2020 for Standing by Jews and any other minority all his life! Margaret Hodge giving the Green light to Bulldoze the oldest Jewish Cemetery in the UK for development while JC and Co are fighting and picketing to save it. The Far Right Scum like Mann and Austin, The Liars, Connivers, etc, etc, etc of The Neolabour Party Tories, now THOSE!, those are the Radical and Dangerous Politicians!
        Yet the MSM call them “Centrists” and what that achieves is to shift the Public’s perception of Democratic Socialists to Far Left Radicals. The keyword/buzzword Socialist in the UK is the same as keyword/buzzword Communist in USA, the MSM Sheeple literally shit themselves at the sound or sight of it! They have no bloody idea why, they just spontaneously poop themselves!
        Well that is why I passionately believe we need a New Party and a New Union, I think it would be best to keep it all under one umbrella group, including all Media, Movements etc, no more Dodgy snake in the grass Momentum etc! If it does not support and stand for the Party/Movement Values 100% it does not belong there and will be replaced, no matter what minority or majority they represented. That does not mean toeing the Party line, it just means that differences will be debated and resolved internally and not at the public laundromat! Geeezas! I am getting 2015 to 2020 flashbacks! Anyway that is my view on the not so Radical Democratic Socialism 🙂

    1. Two kinds of Politicians the now Extremely Rare for The People and the rest for The Elites, The Establishment and The Self.

    2. Worse still, there IS no “current LP” for values and principles to be lacking from. Down, down, and further down in the polls- so much for that “twenty point lead” that was promised when anyone OTHER than Corbyn became leader; so much for any chance of doing anything but losing seats at Holyrood/the Welsh Senedd/the English locals this may- tens of thousands either purged or driven to quit in despair, can anyone seriously question the conclusion that Starmer’s only objective as leader was to singlehandedly destroy the party? Can anyone still seriously argue that any possible good could come to the people who need a Labour government of anything Starmer has done or could possibly do in the future?


      1. kenburch – You’re quite keen on quoting that totally meaningless 20%

        I would say that it’s important to emphasise that no Labour Leader (past, present or potential) could have achieved a 20pt lead in the past few years; not Corbyn, not Starmer, not Long-Bailey. No-one. There are just too many factors contributing to the Tories’ vote share being so high.
        So let’s set our sights a little lower. If Labour is ahead by over 5pts, that’s good – we need to have a clear lead that’s outside the margin of error. That’s the minimum we should be expecting from an opposition that’s on course to win in 2024. If we’re ahead by less than that, or behind – then we’re not doing well enough.

      2. “You’re quite keen on quoting that totally meaningless 20%…”

        The “We’d be 20 pts ahead with abC” (anyone but Corby) was much repeated by Blair and Campbell and then a myriad of ant-iLabour Labour MPs like Yvette Cooper, John Spellar, Margaret Hodge, Alan Campbell, Alison McGovern, Ann Coffey, Barry Sheerman, Caroline Flint, Chris Evans, Chris Leslie, Chuka Umunna, Elizabeth Kendall, Emma Reynolds, Fiona Mactaggart, Graham Jones, Harriet Harman. AIan Austin, Ivan Lewis, Jamie Reed, John Woodcock, Luciana Berger, Mark Tami, Mary Creagh, Melanie Onn, Michael Dugher, Pat McFadden, Phil Wilson, Rachel Reeves, Simon Danczuk, and Rosie Winterton.

        It wasn’t meaningless with the alleged anti-semite but it is with the Trilateral Billionaires supporter as leader?

        Your self-deception is becoming acute. You should medicate it with an experimental mRNA gene therapy drug happily supplied by Astra Zeneca (other “vaccines” do exist, as they say on the BBC).

      3. qwertboi – I suggest you follow the link and read the full article

      4. Nice to see SteveH get his dribble, Starmerrhoid bollocks in again quickly – any excuse SteveH, any excuse for your boy ain’t it?

      5. christopher – How long has StatsForLefties been publishing “dribble, Starmerrhoid bollocks

      6. Your mates in the right wing of the party were the ones who kept claiming Labour would be “twenty points ahead” as soon as Corbyn was replaced.

        Can’t keep throwing that figure out there for years against someone you and your mates were obsessed with forcing out, and, then say the successor you and your mates demanded be put in can’t be held to it.

        And as to a five point lead being more than enough, why didn’t you and your mates in the right wing accept it as enough when Corbyn had the party EIGHT points ahead in 2018? Why wasn’t that taken as proof that the fight to oust him as leader needed to stop?

        Finally, Labout has fallen further and further behind in the most recent polls- and done so with a leader who, unlike his predecessor, has never been subjected to a relentless and totally unjustified demonisation campaign by the media and his own MPs?

        If nobody could have the party in a twenty point lead, fine- that means that the argument that anyone who replaced Corbyn would have the party in a twenty point lead was always bogus, and it proves that the four year campaign to undermine the and force his replacement with a right-winger was nothing but a destructive sham, and it proves that Starmer’s continued obsession with driving the Left out of the party is a destructive waste of time- it proves that there was never any chance that any of that sabotage and nastiness would serve any positive objective.

        In all liklihood, the party won’t survive what Starmer has done since becoming leader. Why even bother defending any of it?

      7. Too right there is no UK Labour Party, at least we have the UK Labour Movement, which will always belong to Democratic Socialists, the Neolabour Party Tories and their Thatcherite Neoliberalism could not align to our values, if they tried.
        To think what Jeremy Corbyn did with the support of only ~20% PLP against ~80% PLP and I dare say more than that staffers, the rest of the HoP, all of UK MSM, most of International MSM, USA, IL and UK Governments and all Elites/Establishment is a phenomenal testament to the power of Democratic Socialism.
        Sadly The People were not fully awake and could only hear the clanging of empty tin cans from the above and not the The UK Labour Movement message Jeremy was conveying.
        41 Years of Thatcherite Neoliberal hell was not quite enough. Let’s hope it does not take another 41 years for The People to be offered a gift of Justice, Equality and Unity.
        Keith and his ~95% Sturmabteilung are struggling to so much as follow in Jeremy/Democratic Socialism’s shadow, and that with exactly the opposite of the above against Corbyn!
        If only the remaining 10/15, (20 at a push and watchful eye), Democratic Socialists would leave and form a Democratic Socialist Party, based on the values of Keir Hardie’s UK Labour Movement, we’d see a strong opposition to this government, including their Neolabour Party, in no time! One Democratic Socialist is worth more than all of Keith’s Sturmabteilung!
        We just need the remaining UK Labour Party MPs to stop worshipping the ‘Labour’ Brand and realise that “Labour” the name/logo/brand is not the important thing, Democratic Socialism and The Crimson Standard is! And that The Neolabour Party, won their dishonourable battle of lies, coups, conniving, sabotage for the brand, the parasites killed The UK Labour Party. We need to accept that UK Labour Party can never be revived, we need to move on, we need a home a new parasite free beginning! We are Democratic Socialists before we are “Labour” or the Working Class, Struggling Class, any other kind of class, label or divide created by the MSM, Elites/Establishment.

      8. Just came to this discussion so, as suggested, I read the StatsForLefties article.
        It appears to be saying:-
        1. Lots of people were banging on that Labour “should be 20 points ahead”
        2. There was probably, given the demographics and political climate at the time, no realistic prospect of that being a possibility.
        3. Labour is, currently, in a bit of a hole.
        My view is that, given that we have a government that has produced the worst handling of Covid in the world with the exception of Tanzania and a couple of other small nations, it is not unrealistic to say that, with a half-decent leadership, Labour could be 20 points ahead.
        Yes or no, It’s not of great relevance when a resignation letter such as the one we have just read is such a powerful critique of the current shambles.

  2. This is happening hundreds of times every day to people less public than Thelma Barlow and James Osben. It is known to have repeated at an individual member level more than a hundred thousand times since Sir Keir took power.

    Each time it happens the departing member AND the Labour party dies a little.

    How fitting it would be if at each departure the leaving member could proclaim:

    “The Labour Party is Dead – Long Live The Independent Labour Party.

    We can dream, or we can make it so. Where are the Trade Unions and a symbiotic realtionship with the political party that exists to serve the needs of the Many when we need them?

    1. If people don’t accept The Labour Party is Dead we will just see an extension of another 41+ years of Neoliberal Tory Hell. The state of “Labour” and the Unions is so dire that there is only one option, to start a new party from scratch and parasite free.
      People are fooling themselves by flogging a dead horse and worshipping a dead brand. There are 2 distinct factions in “Labour” The Thatcherite Neoliberal Neolabour Party and the Democratic Socialist UK Labour Party. The Neolabour Party succeeded in destroying and killing The UK Labour Party and infiltrate every Union, Office, Movement, etc. Accept this, move on and perhaps in 10/20 years we will be where we need to be, keep pretending there is the Right and the Left of the same UK Labour Party and worshipping the Brand ‘Labour’ and we face 41+ years more of Neoliberal Hell and even still starting a new party then.

    2. Thelma Barlow died when the hairdryer blew up.Ken Barlow tried to save her.Shes was very good in the Victoria wood sketch but unfortunately Victoria wood died as well…Thelma Walker is currently appearing for the Nirthern independence party in the Classic Labour party moment of “Meltdown in Hartlepool Starring DR who and the knight of the Appoclypse,

  3. A new party is not the answer, it would not have a snowballs chance until 500,000 members, the unions and 11 million supporters decides it does and that’s a long way off, first things first

  4. James asks the question – is it Starmers aim to lose the 2024 election. I think it is. I think New Labour 2 want to purge the party of all socialists ( that is their principal aim, their priority),then regroup, relaunch the party and aim for government around 2032. By then the electorate will be well and truly fed up with the Tories and will want a change – same thing as happened in 1997.In the meantime Labour couldn’t care less about the poor, sick, disabled -old and young – suffering at the hands of the Tories. They are seen as just collateral damage.

    1. Apart from the loss of Scots Labour seats and the Red Wall collapse Labour faces Boundary Commission changes in 2023. These are bound to have a greater negative impact on Labour constituencies than Tory. Labour haven’t a hope in hell in 2024 of eating in to that 80 Troy seat majority and I would think it would be very hard pressed to win a working majority for itself in subsequent elections. Times have changed.

  5. Here’s the latest piece from Medialens:

    Propaganda By Omission: Libya, Syria, Venezuela And The UK

    We live in a war-like society; one that supports, and is in league with, the world’s number one terrorist threat: the United States of America. Corporate media propaganda plays a key role in keeping things that way.

    Ten years ago this month, the US, UK and France attacked oil-rich Libya under the fictitious cover of ‘humanitarian intervention’. The bombing was ‘justified’ by Barack Obama, David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy by the supposed imminent massacre of civilians in Benghazi by forces under Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. As we have documented previously, the propaganda claims were fraudulent.

    Libya, previously a wealthy state with free health care and education, was essentially destroyed. An estimated 600,000 Libyans were killed. Many more were displaced from their homes……

    1. Just came across the following article by Aaron Bastani on JVLs website. Here’s a couple of clips:

      The rot is running deep

      Yet since Starmer assumed the leadership, barely-concealed antipathy towards the left has become increasingly overt, and nowhere more so than in Bristol. In April, Bristol West MP and shadow housing secretary, Thangam Debonnaire, told Radio 4 that my colleague Ash Sarkar should be expelled from the party – although what for remains a mystery…..

      Yet in a bizarre turn of events, three of the five individuals with the most nominations – Leslie Mansell, Mhairi Threlfall and Mike Davies, all viewed as coming from the party’s left – weren’t shortlisted.

    1. Ooo, I durn’t really knurr, reeta.

      (Better than Les bloody dnnis’ impression, that saw him fine out on it for dirty bleedin’ years or more and I don’t care if he is a fellow Evertonian 😕)

      1. Wtf…

        Dennis. Dine out. Forty years

        Sorry, but the bastard keyboard on my phone is tiny.

    2. Jim…Ken couldn’t rescue Thelma iThelma in the fire,or was it electric shocks but I believe shes unavailable for the knight and his neo Labour party.theyve chosen DR Who instead…Thelma Walker is now appearing for the Norhern independence party.

      1. I have solved the mystery of Thelma Barlow who is Mavis in coronation street.ITs very important for expats like the living in the jungle and rapidly ageing that the names solved.for posterity.I don’t think Thelma Barlow would like to run in Hartlepol .buts available for Pantomime.

    3. You’re maybe thinking of Ken Barlow’s fist wife, Valerie Tatlock/Barlow (actress Ann Reid). I looked Ken Barlow up on wiki,and he has had relationships with 27 women over the years, but none was called ‘Thelma’.

      Must admit tho’ “Thelma Barlow” feels like a name I’ve encountered somewhere

      1. Played Mavis Riley(Surname?) in constipation street, also played the daily heil-reading one in ‘Dinnerladies’.

      2. WI am proud that the good Doctors faction have driven me into chatting about Dr who but not the Daleks and Thelma Barlow of coronation street whos really mavis…..Ken Barlow and his love life and now we are drifting into Dinner Lady’s and Victoria woods.I think Steve H needs to get this sent to HQ for adjudication and Possible AS or nefarious activities by Marxist factions under the control of Squawky.?…Maybe another inquiry?and direction from Evans help us?

  6. I can add to your list of former parliamentary candidates who have parted ways with Starmer’s Labour – the Labour candidate in 2015, 2017 and 2019 for Northwest Norfolk is now sitting as an Independent Councillor.

  7. Question. How do you know a politician is from the right wing of the Labour Party? S/he is provided with numerous opportunities to speak by the BBC.
    PS Great programme on Aljazeera last night…..puts BBC to shame. ‘Football Heroes’ introduced by Eric Cantona. The story of the ‘politics’ of Women’s Football in Palestine. .

  8. A letter that expresses what thousands of Labour Party members, past and present, must be feeling. Now in my nineties, I joined the Labour Leage of Youth and pushed through thousands of leaflets through tight letter boxes helping to bring about the 1945 Labour landslide. People actually came out of their houses to demand window bills! Why you may wonder? The answer is blindingly simple – Labour offered a brilliant detailed vision to sweep away the pre-War ills. That kind of vision we totally ack today as whimperingly we support this Tory government in almost all they do. Not content with this feeble opposition the current leadership is hell bent on driving out the very members we need to be the poor bloody infantry to do the legwork to bring the real change we need to create a fairer society .

    I will hang on until this year’s Annual Conference in the hope that it will be a proper event where members will have their say and the present leadership and the appalling Acting General Secretary will be brought to account for their dictatorial actions since the last General Election. If the direction of travel remains the same then the Labour Party is finished and all the members ,like myself ,who have always believed you can change the Labour Party for the better from within will have lost so the need to form a new socialist party will be obvious as the what we leave behind will surely deserve to wither on the vine.

  9. Nothing but the simple truth in his letter. The cult of new Labour 2.0 is NOT the Labour party it’s definitely NOT a left party any more and certainly with this hatred of anything socialist anything to do with that so what is it? Tory Lite…

    I respect this gentleman because like him my ideology won’t allow myself to assist this cult to destroy Labour and I certainly won’t be voting for them either. I urge any socialist left to leave and have the same respect for your beliefs.

    1. Toffee – I don’t accept the premise of the article that the two events are comparable.

      1. I never made out they were comparable, gobshite.

        Typical cop out shithousery a-bleedin-gain.

      2. Toffee – Whether you did or not is entirely irrelevant when the article that you have asked me to comment does.

      3. Wrong AGAIN, knobhead.

        I wanted to hear you defend stammers gobshitery regarding sobel.

        You haven’t because there is NO defence for it, or at least you cannot come across with one without demonstrating your own duplicity.

        Obfuscation, obfuscation, obfuscation.

        You’re a shithouse and so is stammer.

      4. Toffee – If only you had expressed yourself clearly in the first place then you wouldn’t have wasted my time or yours plus you would have got an answer.

  10. Essential reading (for some)
    Changes to the complaints procedures</b

    Labour is seeking to boost transparency and confidence in its internal complaints process by releasing new information in accordance with legally-binding recommendations from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
    The following documents have been published by the Labour Party on its website today:
    The Labour Party complaint handling handbook
    The Labour Party complaints policy
    March 2021 disputes report
    A party source said Labour has also simplified and improved its online complaints handling form and strengthened its social media code of conduct in its bid to improve processes for complainants and respondents.

    Links to these documents (and others) can be found here.

    1. I took this advice and, so far, have been through the Complaints Draft Policy.
      As someone who, during my working life, had responsibility for drawing up such policies, and who subsequently sat on discipline panels, I feel able to make an informed assessment of this draft policy.
      Here it is:-

      P3 Complaints Handling
      States that -“There are essentially three different complaint handling procedures, for complaints relating to: sexual harassment, discrimination based on a protected characteristic such as antisemitism and all other complaints.”
      .. but then, immediately says – “The procedures for all complaints are very similar but the sensitivities around sexual harassment and antisemitism mean that there is an independent overview of the process.”
      In other words, all other protected characteristics are considered not to be sensitive, and sexual harassment and antisemitism are the only ones to be given an independent overview process. Not very reassuring for people who are the victims of homophobic or Islamophobic behaviour or other protected characteristics.

      P3 States -“A member of staff within the GLU will firstly assess a complaint to see if it merits investigation and shouldn’t be excluded (see Appendix 1 to this Policy). If the complaint is to be investigated, then the evidence supplied with the complaint will be considered. If more information is required, then they will attempt to obtain this, either through independent research, from the complainant or from the member being complained about (also known as the respondent).”
      NO – the respondent should only comment (if s/he wishes to do so) at a disciplinary hearing if one is deemed necessary.

      “Once they have enough information, or they can obtain nothing more, a decision will be made as to whether the member has breached the Labour Party’s rules and/or conduct requirements.”
      NO – The GLU is acting as the investigating officer. The investigating officer should decide whether there is a case to answer. A discipline panel should decide whether conduct breached guidelines.

      P3 States – “At the outcome of the complaint investigation, a report will be written and a recommendation will be made to the NEC. The NEC can make a decision themselves or refer the complaint to the National Constitution Committee (NCC) for their decision. “
      This is unclear. If the GLU has already determined that the complaint is upheld, what is the NEC or NCC required to decide?

      P5 Complaint Resolution Involvement
      States – “However, there are times when independent people will be commissioned to be involved. “
      There is no statement regarding who these independent people will be and how they will be selected …… or, indeed, whom/what they will be independent of.

      P6 Withdrawing complaints
      States – “A complaint may be withdrawn verbally or in writing at any time by the complainant. “
      Poor English, “verbally” means in speech or writing. What they mean is “orally” rather than “verbally”.

      P7 States – “There is no right of appeal to the Labour Party regarding the implementation of this section of the Policy”
      This is nonsense. Any half-decent Complaints Policy MUST give people the ability to appeal.

      Had this been brought to me by an employee who had been charged with producing a draft policy, I would have helped him/her to amend it such that it reflected best practice. There MUST be a clear distinction between the Investigating Officer and those who decide whether the complaint is upheld. There MUST be provision for reference to an appeals panel.
      There is one other glaring error. There is no stipulation that confidentiality should be maintained. It is essential that Discipline and Appeals Panels do not have their decisions prejudiced by public discussion of the case. We saw, over that past half decade, repeated instances of complainants (and in one case the respondent) running to the media to publicise the complaint. It would be my preference, in such cases, to continue with the panel meetings but to also charge the person who ran to the media with attempting to prejudice the outcome of a hearing (this would attract a similar range of sanctions).
      Sorry about the length of this, but it is something that I know about.
      I’ll have a look at the rest later.

      1. goldbach – Thanks for the analysis, you appear to have msde some valid points.

  11. Essentially, as long as a policy continues to allow the GLU to be a law unto itself, the policy is not worth the paper it’s written on.

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