Republic to protest at Queen’s Jubilee


9:45 am - December 15th 2011

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Campaign group Republic has announced details of “the biggest and boldest anti-monarchy protest in modern times” at the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant next year.

The protest will be held on the afternoon of Sunday June 3 when a flotilla of up to a thousand boats, headed by the Queen and senior politicians, will travel along the Thames from Putney to Tower Bridge. The protest will greet the flotilla as it passes through central London.

A new website – www.jubileeprotest.org.uk – will keep supporters up-to-date with the plans.

Republic spokesperson Graham Smith said:

The Pageant goes to the heart of what’s wrong with the monarchy. It’s an enforced celebration of hereditary power, and all the problems that spring from it. We’re going to make sure that on the jubilee weekend, the republican movement will be impossible to ignore. This will be the biggest and boldest anti-monarchy protest in modern times.

Over a quarter of Britons want the monarchy abolished and that’s only going to grow as Charles gets closer to the throne. The jubilee gives us a unique opportunity to promote the positive republican alternative and build a stronger movement for change. We expect our numbers to swell and our profile to increase during the jubilee, just as they did after the royal wedding.

Additional demonstrations will be held outside the BBC jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace on June 4 and the service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on June 5.

From a press release

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Reader comments


“Over a quarter of Britons want the monarchy abolished and that’s only going to grow as Charles gets closer to the throne”

So its not about the principle, rather about a dislike of a particular individual.

Then what? Thatcher or Blair as president no bloody thanks.

Oh please just grow up and go away…

“Over a quarter of Britons want the monarchy abolished”

Meaning that almost three-quarters don’t, then.

Also agree with John Ruddy @ 1. I always find it dispiriting when people make what ought to be principled and far-sighted decisions based on whom they happen to like or dislike at the time (“I don’t like Charles, therefore I’m going to be a republican”; “We might get somebody I don’t like as President, therefore I’m a monarchist”; “I like Alex Salmond, therefore I’ll vote for Scottish independence”; etc.).

When Republic went on BBC 5 Live to criticise royal wedding expenses this year, they came across as very dull and dour, and so lost an easy argument. They need to acquire a bit more wit and nuance to persuade majority opinion (although their project is not really a national priority right now).

6. Chaise Guevara

@ 4 XXX

“Meaning that almost three-quarters don’t, then.”

Well, not really. Some of those would presumably be don’t knows / don’t cares. So they don’t actively want to disband the monarchy, but the figure can’t be held up against the one-quarter figure.

I think monarchists tend to outnumber republicans anyway, but the 1/4 vs 3/4 figure sounds invalid.

“I always find it dispiriting when people make what ought to be principled and far-sighted decisions based on whom they happen to like or dislike at the time. ”

Yeah, agreed. “Let’s vote No to AV to spite Clegg” and “Let’s vote Yes to AV to spite Cameron” were particularly annoying. It’s a strange and sad state of affairs when someone decides that the feelings of someone they hate are more important than the future of the country.

@2 Well, if they were intent on staying in their position as prime minister they’d be blocked from being president. Plus if the president held the same powers the queen currently does, I doubt either of them would have vied for the position above that of prime minister.

Considering Republic’s rather poor record of getting noticed in the past, I suspect this is probably hype. But good luck to them – the joy of a democracy is that they can do this if they wish.

@8 That’ll be why their anti-royal wedding party nearly got shut down then.

Whatever your opinions of the Monarchy as a constitutional arrangement the Queen is an unparalleled public servant of almost 60 years service. A bit of a party out of respect for all her work and devotion over that period should offend no-one (partly just because any excuse for a party is a good one.) Would it really be so hard for Republic to say that they dislike the Monarchy as a constitutional arrangement but still they take this chance to lift a glass to a dedicated public servant and all round fine old lady.

Do they really think this kind of dour faced, petulant, nonsense will endear them to anyone, or convert anyone to the republican cause? Seriously it will do nothing by alienate people.

11. Chaise Guevara

@ 10

“Whatever your opinions of the Monarchy as a constitutional arrangement the Queen is an unparalleled public servant of almost 60 years service.”

Hardly unparalleled, if we compare the amount of work done with the amount of money and other benefits paid. What about nurses who have to work long, antisocial hours? Did you really just say that they were less worthy than someone who specialises in handwaving and having dinners?

“A bit of a party out of respect for all her work and devotion over that period should offend no-one (partly just because any excuse for a party is a good one.)”

There’s certainly no offense in it, as long as we don’t have to pay for it. However, it is an excellent opportunity to raise how absurd and embarrassing it is to have a constitutional monarch – not to mention a waste of funds that would be better spent on someone more in need (i.e. almost anyone).

” Would it really be so hard for Republic to say that they dislike the Monarchy as a constitutional arrangement but still they take this chance to lift a glass to a dedicated public servant and all round fine old lady.”

You’re kinda coming from the assumption that the Queen is somehow special. If we spent the best part of a day toasting each and every dedicated public servant and fine old lady we’d have no chance to do anything else. I don’t see anyone arranging a national holiday to celebrate the work of Ms Smith, 57, lifelong teacher. So I’m not sure why we’d make such an extravagant special case for the most priviliged one of the lot.

“Do they really think this kind of dour faced, petulant, nonsense will endear them to anyone, or convert anyone to the republican cause? Seriously it will do nothing by alienate people.”

So you’re fine with protest as long as it’s cheerful?

Chaise @ 11:

“You’re kinda coming from the assumption that the Queen is somehow special.”

The Queen is head of state, and therefore the embodiment of the nation, which does make her special. That’s also why we celebrate the Queen’s birthday, and not that of Mrs. Smith, 57, lifelong teacher: a celebration of the Queen’s birthday is by extension a celebration of the country as a whole, whereas a celebration of Mrs. Smith’s birthday… isn’t.

13. Chaise Guevara

@ 12 XXX

My point is that’s Steven’s entreaty on the part of the Queen assumes you buy into the whole Queen thing. You have to accept that the Queen embodies the nation, or is special in some other way, to think that her jubilee is worth celebrating. The people he’s addressing, Republic, are hardly likely to feel that way.

As for comparing the Queen to my fictional Ms Smith, I did that specifically because Steven said we ought to celebrate the Queen for being such a hardworking public servant. Obviously that idea falls down when you think about all the hardworking public servants we don’t celebrate, nor shower with riches.

14. THE TRUTHSSS 2011

You can always piss off to Russia. They murder their Royal Families.
You should love it!

15. THE TRUTHS 2011

And if they dont want anything to do with it fine.
But why the need to protests and shove their feelings onto everyone else?

Don’t see these cretins prostesting the rise in child marriage, honour killing and female circumcision in our country. FAR more liberal a cause.

16. Chaise Guevara

@ 15

I’m gonna try pretending you’re a rational being and responding to you in those terms. Let’s see if it works.

“And if they dont want anything to do with it fine.
But why the need to protests and shove their feelings onto everyone else?”

Yes, god forbid people should declare their political beliefs. It’s almost as if they think they have freedom of expression or something! Next thing you know people will be going on to the internet to protest about things like Islam and shove their feelings about it onto everyone else. Lamentable.

“Don’t see these cretins prostesting the rise in child marriage, honour killing and female circumcision in our country. FAR more liberal a cause.”

Firstly, how did you determine that these “cretins” don’t object to that sort of thing? Did you ask them? Are you even thinking of any particular individuals, or do you seriously think than being a republican takes up so much headroom that it’s impossible to have beliefs about other topics. The fact that you, and a few like you, talk about NOTHING other than the downsides of Islam does not mean that other people are unaware of or unconcerned about this topic. It just means that they, unlike you, do not have an unhealthy obsession with the issue, and are actually capable of discussing an unrelated item without dragging Islam into it.

Secondly, protests are normally aimed at authority figures – the government, or the rich and powerful. Without having read their mission statement, I assume Republic’s raison d’etre is to convince the government to dissolve the monarchy. Whereas the things you mention – FGM, honour slaying and the like – are ALREADY illegal. Get caught doing it and you go to jail. What, do you expect people to march on Downing Street to demand that the government bans something that is already banned?

I’ve still got a memento from years ago. Should I just dig out my 45 of the Sex Pistols and play it really loud?

Note: I have four 30 watt monitors, blown out in different ways, sitting in the boot of my car on route to the WEEE depot.

Throughout our lives (most of us), Germany and Ireland have had no-mark presidents. Just no-mark presidents; no-mark presidents do not try to change the world. (Ireland had one who is recalled for her exception, because she was smart and happened to be elected at the right time.) However, the job of a President is to do nothing unless there is a constitutional crisis.

Consequently, I would prefer not to have a Queen or King. I prefer a no-mark President.

Charlieman @ 18:

Erm, perhaps I’m being dense here, but how exactly did you get from “Germany and Ireland’s presidents haven’t tried to do anything significant” to “Republics are better than monarchies”?

Abolition of the monarchy is more important than the economy, poverty, crime etc. Yes, I am serious.

19. XXX: “Erm, perhaps I’m being dense here, but how exactly did you get from “Germany and Ireland’s presidents haven’t tried to do anything significant..”

The link is: Presidents do fuck all and only shout when it matters; Presidents are observers, not participants.

Charlieman @ 21:

“The link is: Presidents do fuck all and only shout when it matters; Presidents are observers, not participants.”

I’m sorry, I still don’t understand. After all, the role of a constitutional monarch is essentially to “do fuck all and only shout when it matters”, and I don’t see why you think that electing such a person is better than having the position inherited.

23. Chaise Guevara

@ 22 XXX

“I don’t see why you think that electing such a person is better than having the position inherited.”

Speaking for myself, the difference is mainly symbolic. We’re a democracy, and it’s embarrassing to have a head of state who was born into the role. For that reason, this is far from the most important issue on the table.

Coupla other things, though. In theory, the Queen can dissolve Parliament. While that seems to be one of those powers that you don’t use in case you lose it, I can imagine it happening, and I’d prefer a legitimate leader to be the one doing it. Also, getting rid of the monarchy could have practical benefits: mainly that we could stop wasting money on them and sell off things like the Crown Jewels.

Finally, the Queen IS seen as a representative of Britain. This is probably especially true of countries that have monarchies and take them seriously. Our Liz is ok, but what happens when you get some nutter taking up the crown who could actually cause trouble? It’d be better if said person could be ousted in an election, or deselected by parliament, rather than us having to change our constitution to fix the problem.

Of the ten most equal nations in the Spirit Level, seven are constitutional monarchies. Of the ten most unequal only three are monarchies (sharing one monarch – Queen Elizabeth II)

25. Chaise Guevara

@ 24

Your point being?

Chaise @ 23:

“Also, getting rid of the monarchy could have practical benefits: mainly that we could stop wasting money on them and sell off things like the Crown Jewels.”

The Crown Jewels are part of our history. Why would we *want* to sell them, even if we became a republic?

“Finally, the Queen IS seen as a representative of Britain. This is probably especially true of countries that have monarchies and take them seriously. Our Liz is ok, but what happens when you get some nutter taking up the crown who could actually cause trouble? It’d be better if said person could be ousted in an election, or deselected by parliament, rather than us having to change our constitution to fix the problem.”

If we did have a monarch who was too bonkers to do the job probably, his tasks would probably be given to his nearest sane relative, as happened with George III and the Prince Regent.

27. Voice of truth 2000

Yeah, just sell off the Crown Jewels! Who cares?!
They’re only part of the history of a stinking, worthless, country/culture/people who mean nothing and should just dry up and blow away to be replaced by far more worthy cultures and people…hopefully with tans and even better with Qurans as well.

Sell off all the history of England. It’s the new fake liberal approved racism and genocide!

28. Chaise Guevara

@ 26 XXX

“The Crown Jewels are part of our history. Why would we *want* to sell them, even if we became a republic?”

We wouldn’t want to sell them for the sake of it. We’d want to sell them for the money. People like to make a fuss about money not being important, but it is, because money is really resources. I simply cannot imagine how the warm glow of having a few more nuggets of our history lying around is more important than what we could do with the pounds that selling them would fetch.

I don’t have a problem with romantic attachments of this kind, far from it; I just don’t see them winning in an honest cost/benefit calculation. Bear in mind that we’re a very old country: our landscape and our buildings and our culture breathe history on their own.

“If we did have a monarch who was too bonkers to do the job probably, his tasks would probably be given to his nearest sane relative, as happened with George III and the Prince Regent.”

That’s good, but I’d like to see that written officially into the system, so we know the failsafe is there if we need it. Also, a dangerous monarch wouldn’t need to be insane, they’d just have to be politicised, or maybe even just personally unpleasant enough to upset foreign dignatories. Imagine if Prince Phillip were king.

Finally, while you make a fair point reducing the case against the monarchy, you’re not making a case for the monarchy. You might raise history as an example… but wouldn’t the creation of the republic itself be a major historical event, to later be celebrated and commemorated in endearingly illogical ways?

29. Chaise Guevara

@ 27

Gosh, you connected the topic with Islam. I am shocked to my core. My evil liberal core!

Speak You’re Branes would have a field day with you. They could probably just follow you around and get all the content they needed.

@op: “Campaign group Republic has announced details of “the biggest and boldest anti-monarchy protest in modern times” at the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant next year.”

Only video cameras captured the Sex Pistols on the Thames.

Chaise @ 28:

“We wouldn’t want to sell them for the sake of it. We’d want to sell them for the money. People like to make a fuss about money not being important, but it is, because money is really resources. I simply cannot imagine how the warm glow of having a few more nuggets of our history lying around is more important than what we could do with the pounds that selling them would fetch.”

They’re rather more important nuggets than most. And as for the money, the Crown Jewels might raise a few million, which in the context of the national finances isn’t really that much, actually. Especially given that we can (and do) display them for tourists and make money out of them that way, whereas if we sold them off we wouldn’t be able to do this. Over time, selling off the Jewels would probably *lose* us money.

“That’s good, but I’d like to see that written officially into the system, so we know the failsafe is there if we need it. Also, a dangerous monarch wouldn’t need to be insane, they’d just have to be politicised, or maybe even just personally unpleasant enough to upset foreign dignatories. Imagine if Prince Phillip were king.”

The precedent is there, so we don’t really need it written into the situation. As for a politicised monarch… maybe, although TBH I doubt that any monarch would put their position on the line like that. And I’m not sure whether a personally unpleasant monarch would actually do much damage. Most negotiation is after all done by the PM and the Foreign Secretary, so the serious diplomacy would be unaffected.

“Finally, while you make a fair point reducing the case against the monarchy, you’re not making a case for the monarchy. You might raise history as an example… but wouldn’t the creation of the republic itself be a major historical event, to later be celebrated and commemorated in endearingly illogical ways?”

A monarchical form of government tends to have more sense of continuity than a republican one, so I think the historical argument is still on the side of the monarchists.

Personally, though, I’ve never understood the arguments about the Monarchy and the House of Lords being affronts to democracy. Yes, we ought to be able to elect our representatives, and those representatives ought at the end of the day to have the final word; but I don’t think it follows that every position in government has to be elective. As long as the government is broadly democratic, there’s no reason why some offices shouldn’t be hereditary/appointed.

32. Chaise Guevara

@ 31 XXX

“They’re rather more important nuggets than most. And as for the money, the Crown Jewels might raise a few million, which in the context of the national finances isn’t really that much, actually. Especially given that we can (and do) display them for tourists and make money out of them that way, whereas if we sold them off we wouldn’t be able to do this. Over time, selling off the Jewels would probably *lose* us money.”

I think it would take a long, long time for that to happen, over which some other objects would have become treasured cultural artifacts that we could display for money.

There tends to be an assumption among royalists that getting rid of the Queen would lose us basically all revenue from tourists who come to London for a cultural fix, as if a monarch that they can’t see is more of a draw than Buckingham Palace, Westminster, the Tower of London etc. Similar thing with the Crown Jewels – if we sold half of them, is there any reason to believe that we would lose related income?

Also, I’m fairly sure some of them aren’t on display. So we can sell those – one-off profit, zero loss.

“The precedent is there, so we don’t really need it written into the situation. As for a politicised monarch… maybe, although TBH I doubt that any monarch would put their position on the line like that.”

The current heir to the throne already does a bit.

“And I’m not sure whether a personally unpleasant monarch would actually do much damage. Most negotiation is after all done by the PM and the Foreign Secretary, so the serious diplomacy would be unaffected.”

I’m not sure either. But there are big cultural divides in these things. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a country with an actual monarchy took an offensive comment by our monarch very seriously indeed.

“A monarchical form of government tends to have more sense of continuity than a republican one, so I think the historical argument is still on the side of the monarchists.”

What does that mean, exactly? You don’t actually lose the monarchical history when you get rid of the monarchy. Tourists are drawn to Rome in part to see the remnants of a society that hasn’t existed for hundreds of years.

“Personally, though, I’ve never understood the arguments about the Monarchy and the House of Lords being affronts to democracy. Yes, we ought to be able to elect our representatives, and those representatives ought at the end of the day to have the final word; but I don’t think it follows that every position in government has to be elective. As long as the government is broadly democratic, there’s no reason why some offices shouldn’t be hereditary/appointed.”

It’s an insult, not an injury. The existence of the monarchy doesn’t make us less democratic in any way that’s worth getting excited about. As I said, it’s a symbolic issue and thus not all that important. It’s just that given the option of having or not having a monarchy, I’d go with the latter.

Chaise @ 32:

“There tends to be an assumption among royalists that getting rid of the Queen would lose us basically all revenue from tourists who come to London for a cultural fix, as if a monarch that they can’t see is more of a draw than Buckingham Palace, Westminster, the Tower of London etc.”

As it is, we get all the money from tourists going to see the Crown Jewels. If we sold them off, then that money would go to whomever now owned the Jewels. We might get a bit back in taxation (assuming they remained in the UK), but I don’t see why it wouldn’t be better to just keep them and get all the money.

“Also, I’m fairly sure some of them aren’t on display. So we can sell those – one-off profit, zero loss.”

A one-off profit of how much? Millions? And how big do you think that figure would look when compared to all the money that goes in and out of the exchequer every year? You’re advocating selling off irreplaceable pieces of our heritage for a gain that is essentially negligible.

“The current heir to the throne already does a bit.”

Well, he’s not monarch yet.

“I’m not sure either. But there are big cultural divides in these things. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a country with an actual monarchy took an offensive comment by our monarch very seriously indeed.”

Even countries where the monarchs have real power tend to make sure their ambassadors know about the constitutions of the countries they’re being sent to.

“What does that mean, exactly? You don’t actually lose the monarchical history when you get rid of the monarchy.”

You don’t lost the history itself, you lose the sense of continuity. Some of the ceremonies surrounding the British monarchy date back to Biblical times. You wouldn’t get that with a presidency.

34. Chaise Guevara

@ 33 XXX

“As it is, we get all the money from tourists going to see the Crown Jewels. If we sold them off, then that money would go to whomever now owned the Jewels. We might get a bit back in taxation (assuming they remained in the UK), but I don’t see why it wouldn’t be better to just keep them and get all the money.”

You’ve ignored my point about selling some of them. I’m not convinced that a smaller collection of jewels would mean fewer tourists, or having to charge less. I doubt many people have an idea of exactly how many jewels are worth the price of admission, or have one particular jewel they really want to see.

“A one-off profit of how much? Millions? And how big do you think that figure would look when compared to all the money that goes in and out of the exchequer every year? You’re advocating selling off irreplaceable pieces of our heritage for a gain that is essentially negligible.”

I’ll be honest and say I don’t see that “heritage” has much value beyond the pleasure people get from actually going and looking at things like the Crown Jewels. If an individual doesn’t ever go to see them (that’s probably most UK citizens), the fact that the country owns the jewels helps them not one whit (disregarding the revenue from ticket sales, which we’re discussing elsewhere). And while you’re arguing that the profit from selling some of the jewels is minor compared with the country’s budget, I bet you could spend it to improve lives more efficiently than by displaying them in a museum.

“Well, he’s not monarch yet.”

Yeah, but we know that we have an heir who is inclined to disregard protocol so he can sound off on his own views. What happens if, a few generations from now, we have someone like that who has offensive views and is unpleasant to foreigners?

“Even countries where the monarchs have real power tend to make sure their ambassadors know about the constitutions of the countries they’re being sent to.”

If people were 100% sane, then this wouldn’t be a problem, because an ambassador would never allow a personal affront to affect how they did their job. People are complex, though, and even with an ambassador trying to be professional, offensive behaviour from a monarch could be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“You don’t lost the history itself, you lose the sense of continuity. Some of the ceremonies surrounding the British monarchy date back to Biblical times. You wouldn’t get that with a presidency.”

You haven’t explained why that’s a bad thing. Look, treating continuity as if it can be assumed to be good by default, which you appear to be doing, sounds identical to assuming that change must be bad by default. This is an attitude that leads people to reject improvements simply because they dislike change. If you’re not doing that, why is continuity something we should care about?

Chaise @ 34:

“I’ll be honest and say I don’t see that “heritage” has much value beyond the pleasure people get from actually going and looking at things like the Crown Jewels. If an individual doesn’t ever go to see them (that’s probably most UK citizens), the fact that the country owns the jewels helps them not one whit (disregarding the revenue from ticket sales, which we’re discussing elsewhere).”

I think that the Crown Jewels are the sort of thing people like having owned by the country, even if they don’t get to see them themselves. I’ll be honest and say that selling off pieces of our heritage for negligible financial gain (seriously, you could probably stick a fiver on everybody’s annual tax bill, and make at least as much money) seems like a rather philistine and short-sighted thing to do.

“Yeah, but we know that we have an heir who is inclined to disregard protocol so he can sound off on his own views. What happens if, a few generations from now, we have someone like that who has offensive views and is unpleasant to foreigners?”

Personally I don’t think that’s very likely (if you’ve been raised from birth knowing that you’ll one day be King, you’ll presumably be taught not to pee off foreign dignitaries), but if it does ever happen, we can deal with it then.

“You haven’t explained why that’s a bad thing. Look, treating continuity as if it can be assumed to be good by default, which you appear to be doing, sounds identical to assuming that change must be bad by default. This is an attitude that leads people to reject improvements simply because they dislike change. If you’re not doing that, why is continuity something we should care about?”

Because it’s things like this which help to make a country into a proper country, rather than a collection of individuals who just happen to live near each other. Shared history helps bind people together, makes them feel like they have something in common with their neighbours; and, if they’ve got something in common with them, then they’re going to care more about what happens to them, and not just think “Well, I’m alright, so no need to worry about those other people.” Also, having a sense of continuity makes it easier to plan for the future, both because it helps you to step outside the short-term perspective and remember that your actions might have far-reaching consequences, and because it’s easier to value what you have if you appreciate how you got it. If — to take one example — you remember that you only have the right to elect a government because a lot of people were prepared to fight and die for it, you’re going to value it a lot more than if you never really think about it and just take it for granted. “People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors,” and all that.

36. THE VOICE of REASON 2001

Chaise Guevara is racist scum.

He’s happy to see at least one race, nation, culture, people, history and country wiped out. England and the English.

Genocide defending racist.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Campaign group plan protest at Queen's Jubilee http://t.co/YSpacV5X

  2. Nemesis Republic

    Campaign group plan protest at Queen's Jubilee http://t.co/YSpacV5X

  3. Ms C

    a date for your diary… RT: @libcon: Campaign group plan protest at Queen's Jubilee http://t.co/DbwKJl3F

  4. Antonio Larotta

    @libcon: Campaign group plan protest at Queen's Jubilee http://t.co/XWotEljZ #occupylsx

  5. CAROLE JONES

    Over 1/4 of Britons want the monarchy abolished and that’s only going to grow as Charles gets closer to the throne. http://t.co/guPZnnCh

  6. Alex Braithwaite

    Campaign group plan protest at Queen’s Jubilee | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/1rlICMb2 via @libcon

  7. Michael H.

    Campaign group plan protest at Queen’s Jubilee | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/1rlICMb2 via @libcon

  8. Occupy London evolves with new political ambition | Occupy Cyberspace – American Autumn

    […] Campaign group plan protest at Queen’s Jubilee (liberalconspiracy.org) […]

  9. Hark what discord follows when you meddle with the monarchy – Telegraph | Odds and Ends: Pit's Complete Waste of Bandwidth

    […] Campaign group plan protest at Queen’s Jubilee (liberalconspiracy.org) […]





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