Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Archive for the category “Unified Society”

A Parting of the Ways?

Today marked a number of partings of the ways. The most obvious is the imminent (in historical terms) departure of the UK from the EU.

But there is another parting which comes down to values. Read more…

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An Outside View

Sometimes it is sobering to read an outsider’s view of you. Today is one of those days. It does not help that I am already feeling depressed and not able to see a positive future.

Some people say that I only have myself to blame and it serves me right for being a small “l” liberal – although I can’t and don’t want to claim to be part of the “elite”. But early retirement does give me the luxury of time to follow current events and to read around a topic – and the internet means I have access to a wide range of views. The nihilists will claim that being informed makes me part of the “elite” and will delight at my discomfiture by recent events. That such people may be in a majority in “my country” I find incredibly depressing. Read more…

Reasons to be Fearful – 1,2,3

  1. Putin
  2. May
  3. Trump

Possibly in that order! Read more…

Red White & Blue – or “Dinner means Dinner”

People talk about the sort of Brexit that there is going to be – is it hard or soft, is it grey or white. Actually we want a red, white and blue Brexit: that is the right Brexit for the UK, the right deal for the UK.
The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, quoted on BBC News Website, 6 December 2016 | Theresa May: We want a red, white and blue Brexit

Red as in bloody, white as in the eventual surrender and blue as in the party who will ensure that it gains the most? Is Red White and Blue Brexit any closer to reality than “Brexit means Brexit”?

Read more…

Will Democracy ever work for me?

Yes, I mean me personally. I got the vote in the mid 1970’s and democracy has never worked for me (talking UK). My vote has never made a difference and I have always been told that I must accept the “democratic will of the people”.

So I have, over and over and over again. Read more…

North East England is not Metropolitan

The mini devolution deal for North East (of England) is apparently in danger of running out of time.

In a letter sent to the councils which make up the North East Combined Authority, and which has been seen by the BBC, Mr Javid said: “I reaffirm the government’s commitment to implementing the North East devolution deal in full.

“[However] without an elected mayor the deal cannot progress.

“There is a significant risk now that we will run out of time to implement the deal unless you publish your governance review and scheme, and move forward with the consultation immediately.”
BBC News Website, 26 August 2016 | North East devolution delay ‘risks £900m investment’

Why does an area that includes two conurbations (Newcastle-Gateshead-Tyneside and Sunderland-Washington) and a huge rural area (Northumberland and Durham) need an elected mayor to manage transport, skills and training? The LEPs (remember them?) where set up by the Conservatives to address issues that included skills and training. Read more…

Trump and Brexit

I would like to write him off, but Trump did win the Republican Nomination even though so many commentators said he was a joke.

Why did he win the nomination?

  • He has plugged into something that most commentators (professional and amateur) don’t understand
  • I suspect that his supporters hold “commentators” in contempt, so either,
    • they are not listening to the commentators saying what a danger he is, or
    • they are listening and what is being said just hardens their support for him

He put together a coalition of support in places where it mattered and won the nomination. To win the presidency (elected by an electoral college) he has to build a coalition of support in places where it matters – the swing states. Outside those marginals it does not matter what people think or vote.

Read more…

Identity post Brexit

The recent vote to leave the EU has had me pondering my identity and how this may guide me in the next few, possibly turbulent, years.

The late Charles Kennedy, used to say

he was “a Highlander, a Scot, a Briton and a European”, in that order.
West Highland Free Press, 5 June 2015 | “The brightest and the best of men”

Following that model I should be “a Southerner, English, British and European”, in that order; but I don’t feel I am. Read more…

Post “The Day” Reflections

Ok, I think it’s a disaster and I am livid at what I see as the way both campaigns – but particularly Leave’s – were run. (Remain was inept, but Leave at times seemed deliberately devious.) If I had been active in the campaign I would also be feeling sore.
But the deed is done and we have to accept the result even if we can’t respect it. But there are a number of issues that bear closer examination.

Read more…

On the Precipice; No one likes us, it’s OK

What will happen on Thursday 23 June 2016 – the day of the EU In/Out Referendum promised to the Euro-septics? More importantly what happens afterwards?

We are told it’s going to be OK. The remain team’s warnings are overblown and can be dismissed (“dismiss” is the Leave team’s reflex reaction to anything Remain says) and we will have freedom! (Think Braveheart – staring Nigel Farage and Buffo Johnson) Read more…

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