Outside the marginals

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

Archive for the category “Selected Posts”

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?

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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.

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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.

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Deeper Prepping in a dysfunctional UK

My previous post, Prepping in COVID UK, was about the low level prepping that I and others have done to enable us to shield during the COVID pandemic. Similar precautions may also help should there be significant supply chain disruption following a no-deal exit from Brexit transition.

There is a further depth of prepping to explore – more in line with the sorts of prepping that some Americans do. As I said last time this feels a bit tin hattish and conspiracy theorist. But the last few years have shown that the comfortable (for most) political environment that we have lived in for many decades is not immutable. So some thought should be given to the darker consequences of prolonger extensive disruption.

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Prepping in COVID UK

Prepping” is principally an American practice – usually meaning preparing for when the SHTF (Shit Hits the Fan) often judged to be when disaster strikes or the government has “gone rogue” and it is everyone for themselves.

To UK eyes it’s all a bit tin hattish and conspiracy theorist. But part of it appeals to my Health and Safety and Risk Assessment background. So what might be “UK prepping”?

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Falling between two stools

The British peoples are meant to be renowned for their stoicism and their ability to “take it” (think Blitz spirit, Dunkirk Spirit etc.). But we are also known for belligerence and bloody-mindedness. Which we demonstrate rather depends on the leadership we get.

In respect of the coronavirus and associated health issues we seem to be lacking leadership and consequently falling between the two stools of isolation and testing.

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Covid19 – Attempting a Personal Risk Assessment

My doctor has confirmed that I count as “vulnerable” (due to lung problems) and therefore I should socially-distance for “at least 12 weeks”. This is the only real mitigation step offered by this government (so far; drafting this on 21 March 2020). Can applying Health and Safety principles – particularly with regard to Risk Assessment help me take steps that are both proportionate and effective?

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Stepping into the Abyss

Tomorrow is election day in the UK and the country seems poised to step into the abyss. This is the most dismal prospect that I have faced in my adult life and in my Tory Safe Seat – so safe the others are not even working it, I have no say. Facing retirement, with a small uncertain occupational pension pot, and poor health, I am scared for my future and of probable social unrest. I (in my stupid uncomprehending prejudiced dotage?) believe that sorting out the mess that will be precipitated by the votes of others tomorrow will take decades.

How have we got to this state?

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In Praise of the Fixed Term Parliament Act

There has been much comment about “the problems with the Fixed Term Parliament Act” preventing a Government from calling an election when it wants to – even preventing a resolution of the dreaded Brexit Question.

However, I believe it is a useful bulwark of Parliamentary Democracy. Our Parliamentary Democracy is imperfect and has its problems but it is important to support it. The Fixed Term Parliament Act (FTPA) does this.

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D Day: “Don’t Call Me a Hero”

Watching the commemorations of D-Day, 75 years ago, I am struck by the numbers of veterans who say “Don’t Call Me A Hero”; those that died are the real heros.” With the deepest respect, I beg to differ.

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