General Election Prediction

Neil Kinnock is not a fan of Jeremy Corbyn:

Former Labour leader Neil Kinnock has given a stark warning about the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn.

Speaking to the BBC’s Panorama programme, Lord Kinnock said: “Unless things change radically, and rapidly, it’s very doubtful I’ll see another Labour government in my lifetime.”

At the last election, Labour got 232 seats, 98 less than the Tories who got 330. Under Corbyn they will probably do worse. So here’s my prediction:

If Jeremy Corbyn is Labour leader at the next general election, Labour will get at least 100 fewer seats than the Tories.

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Government treats religion as just ‘fairies, goblins and imaginary friends’

Baroness Warsi complains:

Religion is still viewed in government circles as little more than a parade of “fairies, goblins and imaginary friends” despite claims that it would now “do God”, according to Britain’s former minister for faith.

Baroness Warsi said there is still misunderstanding and hostility towards religion in “ever secular” Whitehall circles, despite efforts to change the culture.

Sounds about right to me!

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Thoughts on Health Care

The NHS is supposedly running out of money, so much so that one NHS body has decided to withhold treatment to obese people and smokers:

The Vale of York clinical commissioning group (CCG) will make people wait for up to a year for treatment for non-life-threatening conditions such as hip and knee replacements if their body mass index is 30 or higher.

adult smokers will have elective surgery postponed “for six months or until they’ve stopped smoking for eight weeks”.

But does the NHS really need to do this? Consider Spain, Italy, Singapore, Japan, Israel, Malta and Cyprus. What these countries have in common is they all spend less per person on health care than the UK, and they all live longer, as this graph from Gapminder shows:


If the UK looked at what these countries are doing, maybe we could learn something.

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Mother Theresa Was No Saint

Instead she was a sadistic religious fanatic.

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Twas Brexit and the Slimey Goves

Twas Brexit and the slimey Goves,
Did lie and grumble in the Mail.
All Menschy were the Boris droves,
And Farage starts to wail.

Beware the Brexiteer, my son,
The fear that bites, the lies that catch.
Beware Teresa May and shun,
Her frumious randy snatch.

With Sturgeon’s speech in hand, went he,
Long time the bigot foe he sought,
So rested he, in the EEC,
And prepped his speech for court.

And as he stood, to plead our case,
The Brexiteer, with eyes of flame,
Came gibbering with an exit poll,
And babbled as it came.

One Two! One Two! And through and through!
With Sturgeon’s speech he drove it back.
It ran in dread, with speed it fled,
Back to a lib’ral tack.

“So Thou didst best the Brexiteer?
Embrace me now!” I say.
“Come sing with me, calloo callay,
Oh look, it’s Robin Day…”

Twas Brexit and the slimey Goves,
Did lie and grumble in the Mail.
All Menschy were the Boris droves,
And Farage starts to wail.


— by Matt Sielewicz

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Brexit and Scotland

Scotland voted to remain in the EU. It also voted, two years ago, to remain in the UK. Clearly Scots believe that we’re better off as part of a larger entity.


But which one? Some reasons why Scotland should choose the EU over the UK:

1. The “better together” argument is that we are better off as part of something bigger. The EU is bigger than the UK.

2. The converse of being part of something bigger is that you lose some independence. The EU will give us more autonomy than the UK.

3. If the UK economy tanks post-Brexit, there are economic reasons for Scotland to stay in the EU. During the 2014 referendum, a strong argument against independence was that it would create economic uncertainty and that Scotland may well be worse off; that no longer applies.

4. Scotland voted to stay in the EU by a larger margin than it voted to stay in the UK.

Scottish independence

What Scotland should do, therefore, is leave the UK in order to stay in the EU. Since the rump state will be the England-dominated former United Kingdom I suggest we call it FUKED (Former United Kingdom, England-Dominated).

At the same time Scots should acknowledge that many south of the border, particularly the young and educated, voted remain. These people are the most productive part of society and should be encouraged to remain in the EU by moving to Scotland. An independent Scotland with a million or two of the most productive English Remainers would be an economic powerhouse.

Scotland should provide incentives for the best people in FUKED to join us. Young people have been screwed by high house prices and exorbitant student loans, so Independent Scotland should attract them with a policy of affordable housing for all. The Scots government would also not do anything to enforce payment of student loan debt.

Scotland should acknowledge that most of the UK’s national debt was incurred by the post 2010 Tory government which Scotland didn’t vote for, so Scotland will only be paying its share of Britain’s 2010 national debt. If FUKED doesn’t agree to this, we pay nothing — FUKED would be unable to start a trade war against us over this because we’d be in the EU and them out. In order to deter them from a real war, maybe we could have an alliance with France? There are precedents…

Parts of London’s financial services industry may wish to relocate in the EU — we should make it easy for them to do so in Scotland.

Looking at how England voted, two areas that voted heavily for Remain were Cambridge (73.8%) and Oxford (70.3%). If those universities want to relocate to Scotland, they should be encouraged to do so.

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2 out of 3 potholes fixed

I recently wrote about some potholes.

I notified the council, and lo and behold, they’ve had a go at fixing them:


Two of the three appear to have been fixed. The third one is still there, unfixed: it has a depression where the buses’ offside front wheel stops, and with a corresponding hump as the tarmac has been moved nearer to the pavement. I see this a lot at Edinburgh bus stops, but I have never seen it outside Edinburgh so I suspect they are using a substandard way of fixing the potholes.

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