Nov 192023
 

Some of us who are anti-Tory are encouraging the use of tactical voting – voting not necessarily for the party you would most like to represent you, but instead voting for the party most likely to defeat the Tories. The Tory government has been so inept, corrupt, morally bankrupt, and generally icky, that giving them a total hammering is only right.

But there are plenty of people out there who don’t feel that Labour (or one of the others in certain areas) really represent their views. Labour has moved too far to the right – which is something I would agree with.

But politics is about compromise and with first-past-the-post system, we have to compromise more than other systems of voting. There will never be a political party that exactly represents my views, so I have to select the one that closest matches my views. In an ideal world anyway.

In a less than idea world, we have to compromise more and vote for the candidate in our constituency that is most likely to defeat the Tories. There is no point in voting for the Green party in a constituency where they typically get 2-3% of the vote when switching to the Liberal-Democrats are in second place and most likely to defeat the Tories.

The left in Britain is somewhat more fractured than the right (although if we give the Tories a bloody enough nose that might just change) which with the FPTP system gives the Tories an inherent advantage. We need to overcome that advantage and without a change in the voting system, tactical voting is the way to do that.

Give the Tories a bloody nose and vote tactically.

The Wild Chained
Nov 112023
 

The frothing-at-the-mouth loons on the far-right are trying to get the country to rip up the ECHR and reject the ECHR. That’s two different things – the European Convention on Human Rights, and the European Court of Human Rights. Essentially the first is an agreement on what rights we should all have, and the second is how those rights are enforced.

We’ve all heard about (thanks to right-wing propaganda media) ridiculous stories about some inane judgements of the ECHR (although not a few are complete fiction), but before we listen too long to lying scum-bags with hidden agendas should we consider whether throwing out the baby with the bathwater is a good idea?

In the wake of World War II, the nations of Western Europe founded the Council of Europe to adopt measures that would stop that sort of war even occurring again (and to combat the rise of Communism). A time when Britain’s influence in Europe was at a zenith – the British lawyer David Maxwell Fyfe was probably the biggest single influence on the new convention of human rights. In normal circumstances it would be churlish to suggest it, but there is an argument to say it should be called the British Convention on Human Rights for Europe.

Ripping up the convention on human rights also requires us to leave the Council of Europe. Which would horrify the hero of the far-right – Winston Churchill who was the biggest single proponent of the post-war Council of Europe. And have a similar catastrophic effect on Britain as the disastrous Brexit that we have undergone.

But let us look at what the ECHR actually does – it can force governments to admit they’ve gone too far and make them step back. Now the propagandists for abolishing the ECHR will quite rightly point out that this is not democratic.

Indeed.

But imagine a situation where a democratically elected government is of a flavour you despise – perhaps a far left government that intends to take away your company because you haven’t “shared” enough with the workers, or because you pay yourself more than 20 times the pay of the lowest paid worker.

Doesn’t sound fair does it?

And if the ECHR forced that government to stop its plans? Doesn’t sound quite so bad now does it?

It is all too easy to look at the “bad” the ECHR does – when it stops a government you like doing what it thinks is right. But that’s not how to examine something like the ECHR – you have to imagine the ECHR stopping a government you despise doing something awful.

And always remember – those talking about ripping up the ECHR are all spitting on Winston Churchill’s grave. Do you still want to join them?

Oct 112023
 

Almost every time that something about Britain is mentioned online, there will be someone claiming that we all have rotten teeth. Seemingly unaware that British dentistry has changed over the last century; perhaps stuck with stereotypes learned from WWII soldiers stationed in Britain.

If you check, you will find that according to international surveys, British teeth quality (in terms of cavities) is actually quite good. The last link ranks the UK fourth compared with the USA’s ninth – it often seems that those saying the equivalent of “Ah! What about your teeth” seem to be Americans.

And we’re definitely not getting wooden teeth (just for once it’s a semi-relevant photo).

Wooden Teeth
Sep 222023
 

Now that Sunak has reversed a policy that didn’t exist in the first place – taxing meat – the question is whether it would be a good idea or not?

I can already hear the howls of protest from meat eaters, but bear with me …

Firstly there are all sorts of good reasons to discourage meat eating – environmental reasons and health reasons chief amongst them.

Secondly we should encourage the occasional consumption of high quality meat rather than constant consumption of low quality meat. This might mollify some of the British farmers – at least those who have very sensibly concentrated on quality rather than quantity.

So what we want is a flat rate per kilogram of meat – perhaps 25p per kilo of mince which would make Quorn mince a relatively cheap option, but not make much difference to quality mince.

Make meat a luxury not a necessity (because it isn’t).

Filthy Roaring Beasts Rushing Along The Scar
Feb 082023
 

Aeons (well perhaps not quite) an ancient Greek (not Ptolemy although he wrote it down on his map) rocked up on these misty islands and after overcoming the initial language barrier asked “Well, who are you”. “We’re the Prydain” replied his hosts.

And thus British Islands, overlooking the fact that Ireland was inhabited by a different branch of the Celts. Of course Ptolemy later used the names Hibernia and Albion, and an awful lot of wasted bits would be saved if those had stuck.

But for better or worse, it didn’t stick. But also it wasn’t the English who invented the term; it was widely used amongst geographers a thousand years before the Saxons invented England (to appease the Angles otherwise we’d be called Sexland).

But to those who like to gloss over 1,500 years of history, it can easily seem like a conspiracy to claim ownership by the English. Which tends to overlook that everyone has been trying to seize power over all the islands; and it was the Scottish who succeeded in the end.

But if we were to translate “British Islands” into modern English it would be “Celtic Islands”.

Entering The Great Hall