Politics

Government’s not very good, is it?

Matt Hancock failed to tell Boris Johnson about a major Public Health England (PHE) study showing the effectiveness of vaccines against the Indian or delta variant during a key meeting to decide whether to extend Covid restrictions, The Telegraph can disclose.

The Telegraph understands that the Health Secretary had known about the PHE data three days before the “quad” of four senior ministers, led by the Prime Minister, met last Sunday to decide whether to postpone the planned June 21 reopening until July 19.

However, multiple sources familiar with the meeting said it was not raised by Mr Hancock or discussed at all during the course of the talks.

As I’ve pointed out before, Hayek had much to say on this point. The impossibility of the centre gaining the necessary information to be able to plan matters in any detail.

The point being this isn’t one specific time, one mishap or action. It’s a fundamental problem with any centre trying to gain access to enough information…..buggers that Curajus State right up.

Oh Aye?

Today I am very happy to announce that the commission has given the green light for Greece’s national recovery plan,” the European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, said in a speech at Athens’s ancient agora as the prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, stood next to her. “This plan … belongs to the Greek people and will transform the Greek economy.”

If it’s all entirely Greek then why does it require the approval of the German Defence Minister?

Something of a thrashing

The contest was triggered by the death of former Cabinet minister Dame Cheryl Gillan, who took the seat with a majority of 16,233 in the 2019 general election – some 55 per cent of the vote.

In a stunning result, Ms Green took 56.7 per cent of the vote to secure a majority of 8,028 over the second-placed Tories.

“This Conservative Party has taken people across the country for granted for far too long,” Ms Green said.

The Green Party came third with 1,480 votes, with Labour trailing in fourth with just 622 votes, losing the party’s deposit in the process.

Isn’t Labour just looking like a government only temporarily in opposition?

It is very difficult to understand, isn’t it?

Twenty years ago this summer, a series of riots broke out in parts of northern England that would have a profound effect on British politics. They began in Oldham in late May 2001, spreading to Burnley in June, and Bradford in July. All had their own specific local triggers, but all involved clashes between men of white and of south Asian background. This racialised dimension ensured that they became a matter of national concern, prompting warnings that some of the country’s diverse communities were, in the words of an official report, living “parallel lives”.

In national debate, this quickly became a narrative that “multiculturalism” had failed, and helped to cement two powerful stereotypes that continue to dominate our politics. One is of the immigrant community – frequently Muslim – that fails to integrate, and stands repeatedly accused of creating “no-go zones” in parts of our towns and cities. The other stereotype is of the disaffected, “left behind” white working class, rarely treated as more than a caricature.

The most immediate effect of the riots was to help Britain’s far right to an unprecedented wave of electoral success – which further entrenched this simplistic narrative. Those first riots in Oldham came after several weeks of agitation by far-right activists, who were hoping to capitalise on recent local tensions between white and Asian residents. In the aftermath, the British National party leader, Nick Griffin, positioned himself as a voice for the white community, advocating Belfast-style “peace walls”; he was invited onto the BBC’s Today programme to have his say. The following year, BNP candidates won a string of council seats in Burnley, heralding a series of victories in English local government.

As it turned out Griffin was right. Hundreds of – of Pakistani immigrant heritage – men were indeed serially raping hundreds to thousands of underage girls. Why would anyone get upset about that?

We can’t allow the elected folks to be democratic!

On Sunday, the West Virginia senator Joe Manchin announced in an op-ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail that he opposes the For the People Act. He also opposes ending the filibuster.

An op-ed in the most prominent state newspaper is about as non-negotiable a position a senator can assert.

It was a direct thumb-in-your-eye response to President Biden’s thinly veiled criticism of Manchin last Tuesday in Tulsa, where Biden explained why he was having difficulty getting passage of what was supposed to be his highest priority – new voting rights legislation that would supersede a raft of new voter suppression laws in Republican-dominated states, using Trump’s baseless claim of voter fraud as pretext.

“I hear all the folks on TV saying, ‘Why doesn’t Biden get this done?’” Biden asked rhetorically in Tulsa. “Well, because Biden only has a majority of effectively four votes in the House, and a tie in the Senate, with two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends. But we’re not giving up.”

Everyone knew he was referring to Manchin, as well as Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, another Democratic holdout.

Democracy isn’t a method of allowing the elected, and their voters, to have a say. Don’t be ridiculous. Democracy means that Democrats win, right?

Entirely so, entirely so

Why the reference to the wings in re the two major political parties? Are we being asked to envision either of our two major political parties as a bird, an aircraft. If so, each would surely have two matching wings, one on either side of the body/fuselage. Maybe they meant to make an analogy with the sides of an aisle in a room, or the banks of a river as in rive gauche or rive droite, or to those seated on the far left hand side of the room or on the far right hand side of the room from the front? All, implying that there is a body politic made up of members from both parties that is pretty much in the center of wherever. Sounds nice, but has nothing whatsoever to do with today’s politics.

That’s not the correct analogy for today’s politics. No, instead, it’s those menstrual products with wings. The smaller bits either side of the bleedin’ cu…..

Willy, really now

As the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, prepared the UK’s response to last Sunday’s forced landing of a Ryanair jet by a Belarusian MiG-29 over its airspace to secure the trumped-up detention of a well-known democracy activist, Roman Protasevich, it must have crossed his mind that Britain’s response would have been so much stronger within the EU. The UK is now a little Sir Echo, weakening the west. It is part of the reason why Belarus’s president, Alexander Lukashenko, can act with impunity, as he refuses to acknowledge his loss of last’s August presidential election.

Riiiight.

Poots Prevails!

Edwin Poots elected DUP leader to succeed Arlene Foster
Northern Ireland agriculture minister and young Earth creationist says someone else will be first minister

It’s fun, isn’t it? That he’s a young Earth creationist is plastered everywhere. Other views equally stupid never do get mentioned in this same manner. Who points at Hindus and laughs because they believe in reincarnation? Actually, the Dalai Lama gets applauded for the belief – this being the basis of his claim to be Dalai anything.

Or, to be more fashionably present, a quick rustle with a knife changes one’s sex.

And those who believe that socialism is perfectible? Or in the Labour Theory of Value? That last being clearly wrong simply because humans don’t behave that way. Could be true in some other universe that the value of something is that of the labour that goes into its production. Could even be true of some other species. But as humans don’t act as if it is it’s not a useful theory when detailing the behaviour of humans.

Still put that aside. What we now need to do is celebrate the name Poots and its elevation into headlinedom. It is just such a lovely name that there must be decent headlines that can be written.

Over to you….

Jeez, these progressives are so damn racist

Proponents of ranked-choice voting or RCV, which was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2019, argue that this system allows voters to support the candidate they most prefer rather than “wasting” a vote on a candidate with little chance of winning or strategically voting for a candidate with a better chance of victory. It also requires candidates to reach broader audiences rather than stay in their “lane,” and is believed to discourage negative campaigning. But some candidates have raised concerns that the new system, absent a sustained effort at voter education, may disenfranchise voters of color and spark confusion at polling places.

Or, as they mean but aren’t saying, the block folks are too damn dumb to count to five.

Then again, given that most of those blacks have had to suffer NYC’s most, most, progressive public school system perhaps they’re right at that.

But joking aside look at that claim. Blacks hardest hit by slightly complicated voting system. You what?

It’s not Keir’s fault

Sir Keir Starmer was accused on Friday night of allowing Labour to be captured by a “London-based bourgeoisie” and “brigades of woke social media warriors” by a frontbencher

This has been going on for decades now. We could probably say that Wilson and Callaghan were Labour in that proper and solid manner. But Tony Benn – and Crossland perhaps – were definitely metropolitan frou frous imposing weirdness upon the working class.

This is what happens to organisations over time of course. Shrug. The Tories nearly lost it over Europe and only reconnected with their base at the instigation of Ukip.

Polly Toynbee and economics exams

The old joke about economics exams is that the questions remain the same decade after decade, it’s the acceptable answers that change. Polly Toynbee demonstrates the opposite:

An electoral stamp of approval for the Tories risks dishonesty becoming the new normal
Polly Toynbee

The answer is always the same, don’t vote Tory. It’s just the reason – whatever will resonate – that changes from election to election.

Finally, they found some!

How we met: ‘When Hillary Clinton lost the election we decided to leave America’
Rebecca Roldán Gordon, 37 and Nick Reynolds, 38, met online as teenagers. They have endured ill-health and homelessness together, and have supported each other to transition to non-binary and male. They live in Andalucía

Folks who left American when Trump was elected! Woo Hoo, we knew there must have been some out there given the number who threatened.

Unionist leaders

An early favourite is Edwin Poots, a Stormont assembly member and agriculture minister who has taken a hard line against the protocol.

Gets my vote. This country needs a political party leader called “Poots”. Edwin rather adds to the joy.

This all sounds entirely sensible to me

Voters’ frustration poses challenge for Labour in Liverpool
Disillusionment with local and national leaders could make next week’s election the city’s most unpredictable in years

Finding out that the local Labour party has been ripping everyone off blind for decades might, yes, produce some frustration.

Even to the extent of not voting for them……