Outside the marginals

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

Archive for the category “United States”

Twitting about Wire-Taps

The latest morning tweets from Trump allege that Obama wire-tapped him. He offers no evidence (hard to get in in 140 characters), but demands a Congressional investigation.

This could be just more early morning venting. But it might (possibly) be more subtle. Read more…

Can Democracy Survive the Internet?

The internet was at one stage hailed as a major democratic tool – allowing us “voters” to have a direct input into the democratic purpose (beyond that of putting an “X” on a piece of paper every few years).

But now we are not so sure. Read more…

Reasons to be Fearful – 1,2,3

  1. Putin
  2. May
  3. Trump

Possibly in that order! Read more…

Is Trump an Alien?

A simple question that I have been asked; one deserving a simple answer.

The evidence? 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…

Donald J Trump is unhinged

Republican presidential rival Lindsey Graham, said: “What has been in the past absurd and hateful has turned dangerous. .. Donald Trump today took xenophobia and religious bigotry to a new level.” …

Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said Trump’s proposed ban [on Muslims entering the US] would apply to “everybody”, including Muslims seeking immigration visas as well as tourists seeking to enter the country. Another Trump staffer confirmed that the ban would also apply to American Muslims who were currently overseas – presumably including members of the military and diplomatic service.
The Guardian 8 December 2015 : Donald Trump: ban all Muslims entering US

What has provoked this – as if this “man” works on reason? Read more…

Is work the be all and end all of success?

… speaking to Times columnist Danny Finkelstein at a fringe meeting at the Conservative conference, Mr Hunt [Health Secretary] said: …

“My wife is Chinese and if we want this to be one of the most successful countries in the world in 20, 30, 40 years time there is a pretty difficult question that we have to answer which is, essentially, are we going to be a country which is prepared to work hard in a way that Asian economies are prepared to work hard, in a way that Americans are prepared to work hard?

“And that is about creating a culture where work is at the heart of our success.”
BBC News Website, 12 October 2015 : Tax credit cuts promote hard work, says Jeremy Hunt

This all depends on how you measure success and what you are prepared to do to achieve it. Read more…

Undercover Boss

Channel 4 has just finished a re-run of the American version of Undercover Boss, the TV programme based on a senior executive donning a disguise and going to work on some pretext in his (or her) own company and getting new insights into the organisation.

The format is a touch artificial but the contrast between the UK version and the American version is worrying. Read more…

EDM 202: TTIP

It is particularly worrying that this proposal (and a similar one between the USA and Pacific countries) seems to be slipping through with very little comment or examination.

Julian's musings

See http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2014-15/202

Having read Early day motion 202 it strikes me as perfectly reasonable to require democratic accountability for TTIP, especially in its dealings with Government bodies. I have therefore no problem with supporting this.

Of course, I am not a Member of Parliament (yet!) and so can only offer vocal support at this point, but I think it important that I do so, and that I broadcast my views so that all may know where I stand on this issue.

The motion reads as follows:

TRANSATLANTIC TRADE AND INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP, DEMOCRACY, RIGHTS AND THE RULE OF LAW

That this House notes that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership includes investor-state dispute settlements that are being designed in secret, so enabling multi-national companies to intimidate and sue governments for lost profits due to Government policies designed to protect the public as consumers or workers or to change the level of…

View original post 125 more words

Conspiracy Theory: The Interview

Sony Pictures has cancelled the Christmas release of a film at the centre of a hacking scandal after terrorist threats to cinemagoers and a decision by major movie theatre groups to cancel screenings in the US.

A group calling itself Guardians of Peace (GOP) published an online message on Tuesday warning cinemagoers to stay away from screenings of The Interview, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, which depicts the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The threats led five of biggest cinema chains in the US to drop the film. A federal investigation is also under way.
The Guardian 18 December 2014 : Sony Pictures cancels Christmas release of The Interview.

Now what would the conspiracy theorists make of this?

Read more…

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