Sunday 29 September 2019

Seems harsh

Recently heard over our local garden centre's speaker system.

Kevin to compost - Kevin to compost.

Poor Kevin. I wonder what he'd done?

Saturday 28 September 2019

The timid world of the BBC

It would be comforting to discover that the public arena is becoming less weird and more rational. Sadly it isn't so. A recent example has been this silly issue at the BBC.

Naga Munchetty: BBC not impartial on racism, senior bosses say

On Wednesday, presenter Munchetty was found by the BBC's Editorial Complaints Unit (ECU) to have breached the corporation's guidelines by criticising US President Donald Trump's motives after he said four female politicians should "go back" to "places from which they came".

Part of the BBC response was -

The email from the BBC's Executive Committee - which includes director general Lord Hall and director of news and current affairs Fran Unsworth - tells all staff: "You will have heard a lot of comment over the past few days about the BBC and the reporting of racism.

"The BBC is not impartial on racism. Racism is not an opinion and it is not a matter for debate. Racism is racism."

Suppose we amend that last sentence to something less controversial.

Theft is not an opinion and it is not a matter for debate. Theft is theft.

No that won't do. It may be less controversial but is still too rigid. In many situations theft is certainly a matter for debate. Going back to the original issue, Trump's comment may be seen as nationalist or merely patriotic rather than racist. It doesn't matter, the point is that political labels are almost always debatable. 

Calling Trump's comment racist isn't a fact but an opinion and obviously a matter for debate, but of course that's the point. The BBC chooses not to debate certain debatable issues. Yet again we are confronted by its creepy lack of social and political courage. It really is a useless outfit.  

Thursday 26 September 2019

Harry sticks to the script

The Duke of Sussex says there is "a race against time" to halt global warming, adding that he is "troubled" by climate change deniers.

"I don't believe that there's anybody in this world that can deny science," he said.

He called it "an emergency", adding "the world's children are striking" after teenage activist Greta Thunberg led a worldwide protest on Friday.

Prince Harry is visiting Botswana as part of a tour of southern Africa.

He says it was the place he went to "to get away from it all" after his mother's death.

The duke had visited the country soon after Diana, Princess of Wales, died in August 1997 and had made "some of my closest friends" there.

"Now I feel deeply connected to this place and to Africa," he said during a visit to the Chobe Tree Reserve.

Strange how politically correct it is to display a soft spot for Africa, the spiritual home of kleptocracy.

Wednesday 25 September 2019

Sticking to the script

As we know, political life has much in common with acting, but how close is it to a purely thespian career? Prime ministers, ministers, MPs- are they merely actors? Very close to it presumably, because if one assumes they are merely actors then many things become clear. A common enough point of view perhaps, but in our current political turmoil these things are worth repeating. The turmoil isn’t accidental.

Let us devise an imaginary political actor named Creep. Let us assume that Creep doesn’t make much effort to understand his own words when it comes to political discourse. He learns the script but goes no further. Creep has found that there is political safety in the script if he allows for a limited amount of ad-libbing. This is what he does if his script does not fit a particular political scenario – he ad-libs to build bridges back to the script.

We see this all the time in politics where standard scripts seem to have taken over political discourse. The reason is simple enough - standard scripts are the best and easiest way for Creep to navigate through the minefields of political discourse.

Sticking to the script works because it is easy and it is easy because scriptwriters design their scripts to be easily delivered. They know their actors so their scripts require little in the way of mental agility. There is no compelling need for a political actor such as Creep to absorb all the detail behind his scripts.

Maybe this sounds cynical, but for political actors there are advantages to not researching the background to their scripts in too much detail. It keeps the ad-libbing within narrow bounds. Arguments rarely strike home because no great effort is required to deflect them. Creep’s scripts may not fit a particular political argument but he can usually be relied on to ad-lib and deflect awkward arguments back to the script. Creep has no real choice anyway. Creep is an actor.

For Creep, political discourse is easy, no matter how powerful opposing arguments may be. His scripts and acting ability keep things under control. Here we have the dual purpose of the political script - it works well and it makes life easy for political actors. The downside for voters is that many political actors are merely that – actors. Voters cannot vote for or against the scriptwriters.

Tuesday 24 September 2019

Kristian Niemietz on political correctness

Not a new angle on political correctness but it may be worth noting how strongly Brexit Remainers have tried to present their position as the higher status position. For many Remainers, the social status of Remain seems to be the only significant issue.

Monday 23 September 2019

The balloon


Many years ago while bringing up our young family, a little lad and his sister used to come round to our house to play with our two kids. We never really knew who they were, they just appeared on the doorstep every now and then.

One day they both came round each holding a toy helium-filled balloon on a bit of string. In those days such balloons were more of a novelty than they are now. Anyway, as usual the little lad played various games with our son while his sister tried to be friendly with our daughter.

The two boys were outside when cries of consternation caused us to see what they were up to. Unfortunately the little lad had managed to let go of his balloon and up into the air it went. We were just in time to see it disappear into the heavens never to be seen again.

However the little lad didn’t go in for tears and lamentations. He simply nipped into the house, snatched his sister’s balloon, popped back outside and let his sister's balloon go too. An impeccably egalitarian move I thought.

Sunday 22 September 2019

BBC Brexit bias

To my mind the most remarkable revelation of the week was to be found in the Daily Mail. John Humphrys' take on the BBC attitude to the Brexit referendum.

But recalling the morning after the 2016 referendum, he says: ‘Leave had won – and this was not what the BBC had expected. Nor what it wanted.

‘No nods and smiles when the big bosses appeared. No attempt to pretend that this was anything other than a disaster.

‘Their expressions were as grim as the look on the face of a football supporter when his team’s star player misses the penalty that would have won them the cup. Bosses, almost to a man and woman, could simply not grasp how anyone could have put a cross in the Leave box on the referendum ballot paper.

‘I’m not sure the BBC as a whole ever quite had a real grasp of what was going on in Europe, or of what people in this country thought about it.’

Yes this is easily explained as well-known BBC bias, but surely there is another question which isn't so easily answered. Why would professional broadcasters fail to take some pride in understanding both sides of the Brexit debate? If Humphrys' view is sound then BBC staff up to and including senior levels failed to understand the basics of the debate - such as crucial questions of democracy and accountability.

Yet it isn't difficult to understand both sides of the debate. I voted Leave and I'm hoping that Leave means Leave but I understand why people voted Remain. From what I see, I think most Leave supporters understand why people might vote Remain. Similarly I would have expected professional broadcasters to have no great difficulty in putting their own views to one side in order to understand and maybe even predict the mood of the electorate. Apparently they weren't up to it.

It suggests the BBC is an astoundingly unprofessional outfit which in turn suggests there are two BBCs. One section delivers the technical side of BBC output plus the slick, professional presentation. That side of the BBC is pretty good.

The other section seems to be a narrow, somewhat amateurish and bureaucratic management structure which does not even understand its own audience. Dump this bit and maybe the BBC could revive itself - but only within a fully commercial environment.

Saturday 21 September 2019

Susan Crockford on polar bears

A good, concise summary of why we may ignore polar bear scare stories. 

Incidentally, why are polar bears so fascinating? Their ability to thrive in such severe conditions? I'm not sure but they are fascinating.

Thursday 19 September 2019

Between known and unknown

Where sheep pasture meets high moorland.

The photo was taken not far from the Barrel Inn during one of our favourite Eyam walks. It always reminds me of the way our view of the natural world has changed over the centuries. 

That sharp division of the land would have been even sharper for our ancestors - almost a border between known and unknown, between civilised and uncivilised . Most of them, especially town dwellers, would have seen the moorland as a wild, remote and dangerous place. Even with a touch of superstitious awe in some cases. An area to be avoided. 

Wednesday 18 September 2019

Save your praise

It's a strange world where Greta Thunberg can speak to the US Senate climate task force when she is not a US citizen and has no expertise in climate science.

Greta Thunberg has told US politicians that they're not doing enough to combat climate change.

"I know you are trying, but just not hard enough. Sorry," said the climate activist, who's inspired young people across the world to protest against the impact of global warming.

She told the Senate climate task force in Washington DC to "save your praise".

"Don't invite us here to just tell us how inspiring we are without actually doing anything about it," she said.

The 16-year-old was one of several young activists from around the world invited to address the task force during two days of action and speeches.

Save your praise? Consider it saved. We know why such stunts are arranged of course, but is the obvious explanation sound? Lateral thinking might suggest that she is being manipulated to convey an impression that climate change is no longer an adult concern. 

Whatever Greta says about the global climate, her age, lack of experience, and general demeanor add nothing obvious to the supposed gravity of climate change. Almost as if that is the underlying intention. Not her intention, but the intention of people who wish to see the whole sorry business discredited.  

Tuesday 17 September 2019

One step forward, two steps back


...they were the eyes of a madman, but of a madman who can yet calculate upon and arrange his position in the world. He was mad for his own purposes, and could, for these same purposes, bind his madness to its proper bounds.

"My brothers and sisters," he began, "I have come to-night to give you a warning, and this warning is given to you not as the expression of a personal opinion but as the declaration of an assumed fact. Disregard it or not as you please, but I shall have done my duty in pointing out to you the sure and certain meaning of my message."

"I, a sinner like the rest of you, live nevertheless in the fear of hell fire. Hell fire has become, I think, to many of the present generation a mockery and a derision. I come to tell you that it is no mockery, that it as surely lies there, a blazing furnace, in front of us as though we saw it with our own eyes ..."

Hugh Walpole – The Captives (1920)

Monday 16 September 2019

What does Lib Dem mean?

Rhetorical question of course - but from the BBC

Lib Dems pledge to cancel Brexit if they win general election

The Liberal Democrats have pledged to cancel Brexit if they come to power at the next general election.

Members voted for the new policy at their party conference in Bournemouth by an overwhelming majority.

Previously, the party has backed another referendum or "People's Vote", saying they would campaign to Remain.

After the vote, their leader Jo Swinson, said: "We will do all we can to fight for our place in Europe, and to stop Brexit altogether."

Of course the Lib Dems know they won't win the next general election so as usual they are in a position to promise anything. A liberal democracy for example. Yet anyone with even the most rudimentary observation skills will know that the Liberal Democrats are not liberal and are not too hot on democracy. Maybe one shouldn’t complain because the Labour party isn’t interested in those who labour for a living.

Yet even in political life words ought to mean something.

respecting and allowing many different types of beliefs or behaviour

a person who believes in democracy

Seems clear enough to me. I wonder why they have such difficulties with it?

Sunday 15 September 2019

Corbyn again

As suggested earlier, Tom Bower’s book about Jeremy Corbyn is not an easy read. It is well written and well researched but Corbyn himself is not a particularly interesting character. If it were not for his unscripted and somewhat accidental rise to Labour party leader he would have been a tiny footnote to UK political history.

Overall conclusions? The man is very limited with what seems like a poor memory, weak analytical abilities and a strong preference for stock phrases over genuine engagement. Although he does appear to have a certain ability to attract political support. From the book we have the view of Corbyn’s first wife.

Among the surprises for Chapman was the absence of books in her husband’s life. Throughout the four years of their marriage, he never read a single book. He did not think deeply about ideology or political philosophy. Her initial judgement that he was ‘bright’ was mistaken.

An obsessive interest in political violence is well known, as are his distaste for argument and tendency to walk away from any attempt to question his underlying motives. As a counterweight to his deficiencies, Corbyn’s biggest asset seems to be a steely determination to maintain the “decent bloke” image he has cultivated for decades. This he does rather well for an inarticulate man who clearly loathes his own social class.

He came to loathe achievers, especially undergraduates with ambitions to get to the top, disdained those who enjoyed material wealth, and showed little respect for religion. Most of all he hated the rich and successful, and identified with losers. In his self-protection he became conspicuously stubborn.

I’m not convinced he has any underlying motives apart from the obvious class malice. Hate is undoubtedly what drives him in spite of his rigidly low-key demeanour. That demeanour seems to be necessary in that he does not have the mental agility to engage with any kind of hostility towards his obvious absurdities, incompetence and apparent lack of interest in the damage he has done in the past. Bower’s book brings this out this dismal aspect of his history very well.

Within Haringey council, everyone knew about Corbyn’s conflict of interest. He was in charge of the employment of NUPE members, and at the same time he was their trade union representative organising a strike against the council. He was also responsible for the housing maintenance department, from which £2 million had gone missing annually for several years in succession. Council employees were both stealing money and inflating their claims for overtime.

Most of his political opponents are likely to be far more articulate than he is and he knows it. As a result the standard seventies rhetoric has barely changed in decades and that also suggests there is nothing more to the man. What you see is all there is. What Bower’s book does well is pull it together. For example, Corbyn has a long history of siding with the most blatant antisemitism.

Corbyn’s antagonism towards Zionism is one of the most notable through lines of his entire career. During the 1980s he sponsored the LMCP’s campaign to ‘eradicate Zionism’ and replace Israel with Palestine. In 1984 he chaired a conference blaming the Labour Party for colonising Palestine. ‘Zionism,’ asserted the LMCP, ‘is inherently racist’, and that same year he sponsored an LMCP newsletter calling for the disaffiliation of the Poale Zion, the only Jewish group attached to the Labour Party. He also supported the expulsion of Jewish societies by student unions.

Apart from the obvious, one conclusion one might draw is that Jeremy Corbyn epitomises a great political divide between simple and pragmatic. In a formidably complex world simple doesn’t work and as we have repeatedly seen, the only way to enforce it is by coercion. As the failures mount so does the coercion until the inevitable disaster. As a direct result, simple attracts those who are also attracted to coercion. Corbyn is one of them.

All in all the book is well worth reading as a forceful reminder of just how poor we are at attracting capable people into national political life.

Saturday 14 September 2019

Disfiguring Derby

The BBC has a remarkable claim that Derby could be disfigured by a monorail project.

A "futuristic" billion-pound monorail, inspired by one being built for Egypt's ancient pyramids, is being proposed to connect Derby to a possible HS2 hub.

City council leader Chris Poulter said the highway in the sky would run people from the city centre to the high-speed rail station in Toton, Nottinghamshire.

Mr Poulter said the scheme was "quite futuristic stuff" and was one of several alternatives being considered.

However, rail experts said a monorail could "disfigure Derby".

Surely more optimism is called for here. Making Derby even less visually attractive would be no easy task even for city planners. 

Thursday 12 September 2019

The lad Corbyn

At the moment I'm slogging my way through Tom Bower's book on Jeremy Corbyn. Well written as usual but unexpectedly hard work because old Jeremy seems to be considerably less interesting than I imagined. With all the depth and fascination of a pancake he comes across as a guy who never really grew up.

Oh well - time to plough on with it.

Wednesday 11 September 2019

Parliamentary losers

A core problem with Brexit is that hardly any members of the political class seem likely to emerge with any credit. Even worse, hardly any of them seem to know how to extract a residue of credit from the situation. As if they are new to the political game and don’t know how to play it, don’t know what counts as winning or losing, don’t understand what spectators expect from them and why.

It is not so much the intransigent bungling of Parliamentary Remainers but the banal nature of the debates, the amateurish attempts to cling to an unwinnable position. Because even if we remain within the EU, politically Remain is an unwinnable position. Professionals would have abandoned it and moved on.

The Brexit referendum turned certain political options into blunders because the result is what it is and cannot be denied. Remain lost the referendum and a lost game is a lost game. The only professional move is to accept the loss and move on. Competent Remainers could accept the referendum result, help implement whatever is the best option then work for a closer relationship with the EU. Fair enough but this hasn’t happened and the only conclusion one can draw is that the Parliamentary players are incompetent.

That is not to say that they are incompetent in the pejorative mud-slinging sense, but in a basic professional sense where players know which goal is theirs, understand what the lines on the pitch signify and why spectators turn up.

That’s the problem, the insufferably tedious nature of Parliamentary incompetence. Everyone understands winning and losing but far too many MPs appear to think like children where losing is deemed to be impossible or the rules of the game must be altered to make it impossible. Most of them shouldn’t be there. They can’t even play the political game to a reasonable standard.

Tuesday 10 September 2019

Blimey – who thought it couldn’t get worse?

Labour's Harriet Harman to run for Commons Speaker

Harriet Harman has confirmed she will run to become the next Commons Speaker.

The Labour MP and Mother of the House - the longest continuously-serving female MP - made the announcement after the current Speaker, John Bercow, said he would stand down by 31 October.

Ms Harman told BBC Radio 4's Today programme it was the Speaker's job "to ensure Parliament can have its say".

Monday 9 September 2019

The price of admission

Here’s an admission – I am wealthy...

...but probably not compared to you. Yet in a global context I am wealthy - as is almost everyone in the UK. We live in a wealthy country. As far back as I can remember we have been reminded of our relative wealth by an unending cascade of appeals, images and TV programmes about famine, disease, poverty, malnutrition and the general plight of the undeveloped world. For decades organisations such as Oxfam have driven home the message that in global terms we in the West are wealthy.

The message has consequences. As global perspectives seep into everything, our political concept of wealth has undergone a significant change. When we refer to the rich in a global context we cannot easily exclude ourselves without a sense of hypocrisy. We are wealthy in global terms but have been taught not to admire wealth. Apart from celebrity wealth perhaps. As if our situation is some kind of privilege which fell from the skies.

One consequence is that political movements based on hating the rich are turned inwards. Socialism and its offshoots turn inwards because globally we are the rich. How do we bash the rich in a global sense? What are we to do - hate ourselves?

Obviously we don’t hate ourselves but progressives have opted to do the next best thing – hate stereotypes who just happen to be in the same boat. Build those stereotypes around the old enemy, the bourgeoisie and capitalists then add a few more such as racists, xenophobes, islamophobes, homophobes, transphobes, climate deniers and so on and so on.

This allows lots of virtue signalling but more importantly it allows progressives to dream their way into a fantasy world where they are not associated with their own society while retaining the right to live off its wealth and its achievements.

The core of it all is a progressive ethos which is simple enough for wide appeal and doesn’t cause immediate economic problems. In an impossibly complex world millions of middle class people have opted for an ethos so simple that they can teach it to young children. As they do.

Progressives define what they are not as opposed to what they are. This is the function of progressive stereotypes - the usual function of negative stereotypes. The advantage of defining what you are not instead of what you are is that schisms and divisions are minimised. It doesn’t much matter what you are - what you are not is more important. The end result is a flexible ethos for the modern world. And the modern child of course.

Saturday 7 September 2019

Broken China

An interesting video which to my mind sets a few hares running. There may be no direct comparison to be made with the UK, but it is worth thinking about our future retirement prospects, pressures on our welfare system, our widespread lack of religious faith and our lack of faith in government.

Not a symbol but a fraud

A conception not reducible to the small change of daily experience is like a currency not exchangeable for articles of consumption; it is not a symbol, but a fraud.

George Santayana - The Life of Reason (1906)

Thursday 5 September 2019

Glass half full

Looking on the bright side of Brexit isn’t easy, but it has exposed the weaknesses of our supposed democracy. As many of us know, political life attracts the wrong people, the party system fails to screen them out and voters are far too tribal, far too casual and continually fail to spot the duds.

From a glass half full perspective, exposing the system for what it is must be healthy. Incidental exposure of the EU as an intransigent waste of space must be good too. Maybe we will even learn something from it.

Wednesday 4 September 2019

Fiction and non-fiction

One couldn't carry on life comfortably without a little blindness to the fact that everything had been said better than we can put it ourselves.
George Eliot - Daniel Deronda (1876)

Why do we read books, magazines, newspapers, blogs, web articles etc? Is it entertainment, information, education or something else? I don’t know why others read, but in part I’m looking for insights. Sounds pompous I know, but from what others have written online over the years, insight seems to be a very common reason for reading. It applies to both fiction and non-fiction.

Take two examples, firstly from fiction and secondly non-fiction.

Mrs. Dale was one of those empirical thinkers who love to philosophize generally, but who make no specific application of anything to their own affairs.
Theodore Dreiser – The Genius (1915)

The Hanoverian kings owed their position as kings to the Whigs. They paid for their right to reign by the abandonment of the powers that had hitherto inhered in the monarch.
Charles Downer Hazen - The Long Nineteenth Century (1919)

Of course insights vary between fiction and non-fiction as these two quotes demonstrate. They are certainly not equivalent, but the dividing line can more diffuse than we usually assume. Factual information is an insight in itself, but even factual information ends up distilled and compacted into wider and more general insights. Lists of facts are not in themselves particularly useful.

For example even a cursory study of Operation Barbarossa could lead to the obvious insight that this was Hitler’s biggest mistake. Alternatively one might study Operation Barbarossa in enormous detail, extract from it a number of insights about Hitler, Nazi Germany, Stalin’s regime, the course of WWII and so on. Insights become wider and more nuanced.  

On the other hand fiction may give subtle insights about human behaviour, social mores and the power of language. In many cases fictionally-derived insights are cogently expressed reminders of familiar viewpoints. Such insights may be expressed so powerfully that we absorb them into what we are whereas factual information may slip into the background.

The one great principle of the English law is, to make business for itself. There is no other principle distinctly, certainly, and consistently maintained through all its narrow turnings. Viewed by this light it becomes a coherent scheme, and not the monstrous maze the laity are apt to think it. Let them but once clearly perceive that its grand principle is to make business for itself at their expense, and surely they will cease to grumble.
Charles Dickens - Bleak House (1853)

…not a man of refined conscience, or with any deep sense of the infinite issues belonging to everyday duties; not quite competent to his high offices; but incompetent gentlemen must live, and without private fortune it is difficult to see how they could all live genteely if they had nothing to do with education or government.
George Eliot – The Mill on the Floss (1860)

Another difference between fiction and non-fiction is that non-fiction tends to be comparatively recent and written from a modern perspective. Obviously a vast amount of modern fiction is written from a modern perspective too, yet a vast amount of readable fiction and even non-fiction was written decades or even centuries ago from perspectives which are no longer modern but still valid.

But vain men are fools as well as ignorant of themselves, and make this plain to all the world; for, not doubting their worth, they undertake honourable offices, and presently stand convicted of incapacity: they dress in fine clothes and put on fine airs and so on; they wish everybody to know of their good fortune; they talk about themselves, as if that were the way to honour.
Aristotle – The Nicomachean Ethics

This escape from modernity can provide interesting insights into our modern concerns and assumptions. Often older fiction reminds us of aspects of the human condition which have slipped into the background but do not change.

The beings closest to us, whether in love or hate, are often virtually our interpreters of the world, and some feather-headed gentleman or lady whom in passing we regret to take as legal tender for a human being, may be acting as a melancholy theory of life in the minds of those who live with them—like a piece of yellow and wavy glass that distorts form and makes color an affliction. Their trivial sentences, their petty standards, their low suspicions, their loveless ennui, may be making somebody else's life no better than a promenade through a pantheon of ugly idols.
George Eliot - Daniel Deronda (1876)

In addition, older fiction frequently reminds us of numerous economic, political and practical changes which have influenced the way we live. These tend to be much more compact insights than a work on social history is likely to provide.

Wishing to be polite, he entered, in spite of the artistic disgust he felt for all that zinc, coloured to imitate bronze, and having all the repulsive mendacious prettiness of spurious art. ‘Good morning, monsieur. Is Henri still at home?’ The manufacturer, a stout, sallow-looking man, drew himself straight amidst all his nosegay vases and cruets and statuettes. He had in his hand a new model of a thermometer, formed of a juggling girl who crouched and balanced the glass tube on her nose.
Emile Zola - The Masterpiece (1886)

To my mind the attraction of older fiction is that we see fictional scenarios through eyes which looked out on a world no longer ours. Our times are so intense, so suffused with manufactured drama that escaping from it every now and then is something of a necessity. If we don’t escape we can’t see what it is to escape.

Tuesday 3 September 2019

The Great Flushing

Brexit is certainly flushing out those with a somewhat attenuated hold on democracy. To the surprise of nobody, MP Phillip Lee's leap from the Conservatives to the Lib Dems has not been universally popular in the Lib Dem nest.

Former Tory MP Dr Phillip Lee's arrival in the Liberal Democrats has not been welcomed by everyone within the party.

Dr Lee's voting record showed he had abstained on a vote to legalise same-sex marriage and that marriage should be a matter for the church to reconcile.

He also voted for a "wrecking amendment" that attempted to stop the gay marriage bill, tabled by Tory MP Tim Loughton.

He also backed regressive policies such as screening immigrants for hepatitis before allowing them into the country.The move has sparked Jennie Rigg, who was chair of the Lib Dem LGBT+ group, to resign from her role and the party.

She wrote: "I thought the Lib Dems were not a single issue party. I thought we had a soul and principles.

"But apparently as long as you are on the right side on Brexit we'll take you. Well, I'm sorry, but no."

Weird people the Lib Dems. Imagine not welcoming a politically incorrect Tory reject. Jo Swinson seems to approve though.

Monday 2 September 2019

Wordplay - Gauke

Gauke - verb; to distort esp politically; after David Gauke a UK politician

1. "Mr Gauke said he was prepared to put the national interest ahead of his own, showing his firm determination to gauke the term national interest."

2. "In order to make political capital Mr Corbyn has gauked his long-standing position on the EU."

3. "Mrs May had to resign after attempting to gauke the meaning of the word leave in her Brexit negotiations."

Sunday 1 September 2019

Elective dictatorship and missing the point

Apparently John McDonnell is trying to scare us in a way which rather misses the point. With Brexit we are trying to get away from a dictatorship we can't elect at all.