Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK elections of 2010, 2015, 2017 and 2019 (and THAT referendum)

Killing us with half measures

There seems to be no end to this [UK] Government’s incompetence – if indeed that is the correct word to describe the mix of Ground Hog Day and Contagion of which we seem doomed not just to be viewers but also helpless participants.

Read more…

The Real Covid Conspiracy

There are numerous conspiracy theories about COVID from it all being a hoax to it being very real and a means to get us all microchipped.

But there is a simpler conspiracy – at least as far as the UK and probably the US are concerned.

Read more…

Security of Home vs the Madness of the Public World

I have not visited “my” town centre for more than 8 months. I read in the local paper (online version) of branches of major chains closing in “my” town, yet I feel weirdly detached from that news.

This has left me pondering about how “shielding” is affecting my perception of the world and how much I am prepared to engage with it.

Read more…

The Duty of the Opposition

Sir Keir Starmer has confirmed there are differing opinions within the party on its approach to voting on a Brexit deal, but stressed that a trade agreement with the European Union was “in the national interest”.

Caitlin Hutchison, Hopes of Brexit deal ‘receding’ as UK-EU talks continue and deadline looms, The Herald 4 December 2020

Has Labour got itself in a real bind as to how to handle the rogue administration at Westminster?

Read more…

Federal Britain

Sir Malcolm Rifkind has been advocating a “United Kingdom federation of the four nations” (Herald, 22 November 2020). This follows Johnson’s clumsy remarks about “devolution being a disaster” and ever increasing support for a second Scottish Independence Referendum.

But I think he misses the point.

Read more…

Leaky Lockdown

The government has put those of us in England back into “lockdown”. It appears that the scientists have become apoplectic about the exponential growth in COVID cases and the impact on the NHS. Finally the Prime Minister has had to take notice after rejecting their advice for weeks.

And yet this is Lockdown Lite. So what is the purpose of this leaky lockdown?

Read more…

Thinking the Unthinkable

In March last year (2019) I drafted but did not publish a post trying to get my mind around what one should do if totally convinced that the government is seriously misgoverning the country. Does your duty as a citizen over-ride your duty to our (imperfect) democracy?

I did not publish because I was troubled by the conclusions that I thought I was coming to and could not answer the challenge as to whether I would follow my own prescription.

The concerns that caused me to start drafting still remain. In addition we now have a government that is so seriously incompetent that fellow citizens are dying.

Read more…

Hounding Miscreant MPs

At the moment (October 2020) an MP who has broken the COVID regulations is receiving a lot of abuse for not resigning as an MP.

Whilst we are annoyed – and express our annoyance socially (when able to do so) and (less socially) online, we have to be careful that this does not end up hounding someone out of office.

A comparison with what happens to someone in more “normal” employment who makes an error that undermines their suitability for their job might be useful.

Read more…

What if (and what if)

The Negotiations around the future relationship between the UK and the EU (I don’t think I can dignify them with a title such as “trade relationship”) seem to be heading to the buffers.

This provokes several what if scenarios which it may be interesting – even scary – to chew over.

Read more…

Reflections on Parties

We all are meant to like a good party – but we all know some atrocious ones. Last December (12 December 2019 to be precise) we saw the impact of a number of lousy parties. A rough headcount:

  • A Nasty one dominated by lies
  • An Ideological one dominated by a desire for purity
  • A Deluded one thinking it could spring into power
  • A Party that does not want to be with the others
  • A number of other small ones

The problem with political parties is that they are groups of approximately like-minded people. And there lies a problem – for our politics and ultimately for the country.

Read more…

Post Navigation