POLITICS CORNER

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 19 Feb 2020, 10:31

Stanley wrote:
19 Feb 2020, 04:23
Since when did we allow such breathtaking arrogance or advisers to speak for the government?
A letter in The Times asked: `Will someone please tell Dominic Cummings that the purpose of Brexit was that the UK government should take back control from unelected individuals?'.

Meanwhile, `over there' Super Tuesday is but two weeks away. An extra contributor to the excitement then will be that Bloomberg throws his hat in the ring, having stayed away from the earlier events. This is a man with much more money than Trump who has been ignoring Iowa, New Hampshire etc and aiming his advertising spend at the states that come up in March. Another New Yorker, and many say that it will take a New Yorker to beat a New Yorker (Trump). His followers at present are mostly older folk but that could change in March. There's more about him here: `US Election 2020: Meet the voters behind Bloomberg's surge' LINK

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tripps » 19 Feb 2020, 13:49

Your lad's going to be busy. :smile:

Transport Minister Andrew Stephenson will be given full-time responsibility for overseeing the controversial HS2 high speed rail project, the Government confirmed today. He will also oversee the £39bn Northern Powerhouse Rail high speed rail project linking the major cities of the North and the £29bn Trans-pennine Route upgrade between Leeds, Manchester and York.

However it seems he not going to be responsible for expanding Heathrow.

More detail here
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 20 Feb 2020, 03:11

God help us!
He will, as far as Johnson is concerned, be a 'safe pair of hands'. He does exactly what he is told and slavishly follows the party line.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by plaques » 20 Feb 2020, 09:05

Never mind the Hitch Hikers universal number being 42. Priti Patel has now just changed it to 70. That's the magic number that immigrants must have before they can work in the UK. Almost throughout history immigrants have been used as the scapegoats for a countries problems. By popular demand, whipped up by the right-wing tabloids, Johnson has bit the bullet and given them exactly what they have been campaigning for. Never mind it may bring the country to its knees just when it will be crying out for stability this is good politics and first class ballot box material. Priti Patel has come up with a mythical solution to future shortages... Quote..
she said 8 million people between the ages of 16 and 64 were “economically inactive” and could be given the skills to do jobs in sectors where there were shortages

Businesses immediately point out that these numbers include students, those not physically / mentally fit for work, intentionally retired and many who would be a liability to any employer and are beyond any training programme. The interim period will see much 'fine tuning' with loopholes and exceptions turning the magic number '70' back to '42'. If push comes to shove at the end of the day and Johnson has to cancel the whole project he will say ' I gave you what you asked for now you have changed your mind'. Politically he is on a win win gambit because none of it will be his fault.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 20 Feb 2020, 11:21

Julian Smith having a go at getting his own back on Boris...
`Julian Smith: Boris Johnson approved Stormont agreement' LINK
I liked this bit: Writing in the Spectator, Mr Smith said: "On Wednesday night the Times reported my expected fate, suggesting the reason for the chop was that Downing Street had been unaware of key details of the deal to restore Stormont. "I was grateful for the opportunity to confirm to the journalist that a PM does not sign off a key government deal without reading it first, alongside a phalanx of talented PJ Masks aides." Dominic Cummings, Mr Johnson's chief adviser, told reporters ahead of the reshuffle that the animated superhero trio - PJ Masks - would "do a greater job than all of them [cabinet ministers] put together".

It will be interesting to see who is telling the truth and who isn't in this bust up... :smile:
`Blackburn Asian women councillors 'forced out' by Labour party' LINK

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tripps » 20 Feb 2020, 13:33

Tizer wrote:
20 Feb 2020, 11:21
It will be interesting to see who is telling the truth and who isn't in this bust up...
I looked on the Council website for some background information. I've been unable to find a list of the whole council - just a box for 'find your Councillor'. It's a complex site, and perhaps it's just me - or they don't want anyone to see it.

You can do it for my local Council - S. Cambs Councillors in a very transparent manner.

The outcome of the re-run will indeed be interesting, and I'm sure the legendary Labour party democratic process will give an outcome which satisfies everyone. :smile:
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 20 Feb 2020, 13:45

At the moment I am fighting my anger. Priti Patel has rubbished carers and promoted brickies and chippies above them in terms of skill. Perfect example of how these people think, money more important than some old lady getting help to wash and dress. They disgust me!
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by PanBiker » 20 Feb 2020, 17:41

Priti Patel has already said that her parents would have not got into the country on her rules. Shows how, holier than thou she thinks she is, she has always struck me as a smug operator, I am better than you kind of person in her demeanour and how she projects herself. Not far off the mark in my view.

Lords of the bloody Universe contender, shame on her. :furious3:
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 21 Feb 2020, 02:40

She denies having said it but thinks Capital Punishment wasn't all bad.....
Reading between the lines in PE the coded message is that Dom Cummings is being seen as an uncomfortable bedfellow in Downing Street.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 21 Feb 2020, 10:19

Stanley wrote:
21 Feb 2020, 02:40
...Dom Cummings is being seen as an uncomfortable bedfellow in Downing Street.
That's exactly what he wants to be, the disruptor.

Putin doesn't need the conventional military to take on the US, he can win control via getting Trump elected...
`Russia meddling to help Trump win re-election, US lawmakers hear' LINK
`US intelligence agencies have warned that Russia is attempting to help President Donald Trump get re-elected in November, US media report. The comments came in a closed-door briefing to the House Intelligence Committee on 13 February, officials told US outlets. President Trump was reportedly enraged, complaining that Democrats would use the information against him. He replaced his acting intelligence chief, Joseph Maguire, on Thursday.

This is going to hold back the world economy until Covid-19 gets defeated...
`Coronavirus: Car sales in China fall 92% in February' LINK
`...China is the world's biggest car market, selling just over 21 million cars last year, according to Statista. The US is the second biggest market. Even before the deadly outbreak, car sales in China were in decline due to a slowing economy and trade tensions with the US. While car sales have slumped, production has also been severely disrupted with many of the world's biggest car makers warning of delays...'.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 22 Feb 2020, 03:33

Covid-19 is having an effect on many industries and they are starting to sound warnings. (Events Dear Boy)
I saw an interview with a professor of Linguistics at one of the Ivy League Colleges in the US and he was slamming into Trump because he is using the same stand up routines he used as a TV presenter and even worse after three years in the job is showing no signs of being intelligent enough to realise he has to change his style and get serious.
He also commented on how sensitive Trump is to any comments about his schooling or intelligence. Like many bullies I believe he is, at heart, very insecure.
On the subject of intelligence, does Cummings really believe he can outwit the mandarins of the Civil Service? There are some very smart and well-practised operators amongst them....
'Disruption' is the equivalent of a temper tantrum and throwing your toys out of the pram. Effective as a short term strategy but what evidence is there that it works in the long run?
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 23 Feb 2020, 05:03

The big question that seems to be exercising the UK media is 'Where is Johnson?'. The answser seems to be that for the past week he has been holed up in Chevening, country seat of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. (Chequers is having a makeover... They kept that quiet!) His ministers are bending over backwards to demonstrate that he is fully abreast of the situation and controlling activity.
Consider this, if it was Downing Street that was flooded would there be any difference? Would COBRA be meeting? Would funding be immediately available? Answers on a postcard please.....
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 24 Feb 2020, 04:45

I note that Downing Street is in full attack mode when it comes to certain key Civil Service mandarins, particularly in the Treasury. This is pure Trump tactics. Does Johnson think he is President?
Time they stopped concentrating on disruption and did something concrete about clear and present dangers. Eu negotiations, flooding, budget all spring to mind. Shaking government up is one thing, destroying well tried structures in the hope of a good outcome is another. Do they imagine that the Civil Service is helpless? This will not end well and is definitely not productive. It's vindictive action in pursuit of short term goals and I fear we will all pay.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 24 Feb 2020, 09:39

The Government has announced it is to appoint an HR boss to manage the appointment of spads. I wonder who suggested it and who will choose the person?

`More than 11,000 homes in England to be built on land at high risk of flooding. Exclusive Guardian and Greenpeace analysis finds areas hit by recent storms are planning houses on floodplains' Guardian
`More than 11,000 new homes are planned to be built on land at the highest risk of flooding in the regions battered by the worst winter storms in a generation, the Guardian has learned. An analysis of planning documents reveals that 11,410 new homes have been planned for land the government considers high-risk in the seven English counties where thousands of properties have been devastated by flooding since November. In Shropshire, where a major incident was declared and residents were evacuated during Storm Dennis, 764 homes are set to be built in areas with a high flood risk. In Doncaster, where the Fishlake area was flooded in November, nearly 4,000 homes are intended for such flood zones..'.

`John Harrington, the [Herefordshire] council’s cabinet member for infrastructure and transport, described the government’s housing policy as “completely and utterly flawed” and that it was forcing local authorities to approve “idiotic” developments on floodplains so they can meet demands from Whitehall. “Central government just say: ‘There’s a housing target, now go do it.’ It’s really quite stupid. It’s devolving responsibility without giving the authority any power or money to deal with the situation. It is absolutely unacceptable,” he said...'.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 25 Feb 2020, 04:58

All very valid comments and I agree with the sentiments.
What grabbed me yesterday was the sudden spate of denials/explanations coming out of the Home Office in response to what I saw as some reasonably believable reports about Priti Patel. I am of course not party to the full story but the general tenor of the criticisms is in accord with what I have seen and read. The post of Foreign Minister demands a very wide experience and depth of general knowledge and good judgement. Ms Patel has never impressed me and I'm afraid I don't believe the managed damage control statements. Particularly the joint one with her chief adviser, a man who, if reports are to be believed. she tried to sack.
All par for the course at the moment. Can anyone name a Cabinet Minister who impresses?
On another matter, consider the effects of Covid-19 and remember Harold's dictum;"Events Dear Boy".
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 25 Feb 2020, 11:33

Matthew Parris wrote a scathing article about Priti Patel in The Times last Saturday. He's familiar with enough insiders to know what's really going on.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tripps » 25 Feb 2020, 12:00

There was a clip last night on Newsnight, of Health Minister Matt Hancock recommending (from the despatch box) a company called Babylon Health. He actually said "they are my GP". This is an IT company which allows you to input symptoms, and gives you a range of possible illnesses. What happens next I don't know - perhaps they have a deal with BUPA? Very worrying when a Minister recommends such an outfit - especially as it 'competes against the NHS dial 111 system.

I noticed that the boss was one Mr Ali Parsa (never mentioned in the clip, but he's very distinctive), who I remembered from the time he took over the running of Huntingdon Hospital trust. He was very much in your face on TV then and actually got the place to top of some merit list, with cordon bleu chefs and the like. Didn't last long though - he changed his mind and handed the contract back. Perhaps he didn't make enough (or any) money? He's not a medical man by the way - just a very clever, well qualified MBA, hedge fund type.

The algorithm used was being criticised by a Consultant who had used a pseudonym (Dr Murphy), for a while, but was now coming out, and said, and demonstrated that it wasn't fit for purpose. I think he's right, and if that is the direction of travel for the NHS - include me out. :smile:

Someone should be asking Mr Hancock some searching questions.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by PanBiker » 25 Feb 2020, 12:29

I received all my voting info via email for the Labour leadership election. Links too for all the statements by the candidates for both posts. My unique security code and link for voting online which I can do anytime up to the 2nd April.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Whyperion » 25 Feb 2020, 20:29

Stanley wrote:
23 Feb 2020, 05:03
The big question that seems to be exercising the UK media is 'Where is Johnson?'. The answser seems to be that for the past week he has been holed up in Chevening, country seat of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. (Chequers is having a makeover... They kept that quiet!) His ministers are bending over backwards to demonstrate that he is fully abreast of the situation and controlling activity.
Consider this, if it was Downing Street that was flooded would there be any difference? Would COBRA be meeting? Would funding be immediately available? Answers on a postcard please.....
I remember driving back from Barnoldswick into London over new year i think [I now entrust my journeys to X43 and Coaches - they can have the problems) (certainly a weekend) during one of the Snow Disruption that halted most of London including Transport For London pulling all Bus services on safety grounds, Boris was Mayor In Charge - but away doing something ( now I realise probably floozing with some lass ), no central control even though Tory Westminster had made some attempt at pre-gritting roads, Tory Wandsworth a valient and effective effort and all main roads were passable, Labour Merton had not done a thing. Johnson does not do co-ordination.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Whyperion » 25 Feb 2020, 20:31

PanBiker wrote:
25 Feb 2020, 12:29
I received all my voting info via email for the Labour leadership election. Links too for all the statements by the candidates for both posts. My unique security code and link for voting online which I can do anytime up to the 2nd April.
The problem with having candidates for Leader, and Dep Leader, is sometimes you think the candidate for one post would actually be better for the other (Particulary if they fail to gain the post they were aiming for)

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Whyperion » 25 Feb 2020, 20:36

Tripps wrote:
25 Feb 2020, 12:00
There was a clip last night on Newsnight, of Health Minister Matt Hancock recommending (from the despatch box) a company called Babylon Health. He actually said "they are my GP". This is an IT company which allows you to input symptoms, and gives you a range of possible illnesses. What happens next I don't know - perhaps they have a deal with BUPA? Very worrying when a Minister recommends such an outfit - especially as it 'competes against the NHS dial 111 system

....

The algorithm used was being criticised by a Consultant who had used a pseudonym (Dr Murphy), for a while, but was now coming out, and said, and demonstrated that it wasn't fit for purpose. I think he's right, and if that is the direction of travel for the NHS - include me out.
Realistically there are two problems, the wrong diagnosis for a serious illness, or a diagnosis of a serious illness when there is none. These are both outcomes that any medical professional could also make, can (any) AI system at least reduce the likely hood of a mis-diagonosed serious illness, prescribe the wrong or wrong value treatment ? Some AI systems can 'learn' (though I still dont know how) where they make good, or bad, decisions.

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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 26 Feb 2020, 04:32

I have mine as well Ian. I shall be going through it very carefully this morning.
David, Babylon Health has had a very bad press in PE and also Hancock's attitude to them. Not a lot of point taxing Hancock with this, all you'll get is the usual aspirational answer, see his response to the Marmot statement on longevity. "The NHS is doing all it can" etc. I can't remember the details but PE has noted some interesting links between key figures in the government on health, big pharma and private health providers.
I heard Matthew Paris recently on R4 being very scathing about Ms Patel. I think I'll trust him before stock defence statements from the Home Office!
I see we actually start talking to the EU on Monday..... Stand by for the accusations of them being wreckers!
Later. BBC reports that Matt Hancock has refused to be interviewed about the latest figures for A&E and patients being stacked in corridors on trolleys, both figures are rising.
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 27 Feb 2020, 04:11

I see Sajid Javid stuck it into Johnson and Cummings ('Comings and goings', :biggrin2: )in his statement yesterday in the House.
Meanwhile, see THIS BBC account of the report from the IFS yesterday. "The new chancellor must raise taxes in his first Budget or break the government's rules on borrowing, a leading economic think tank has warned. Rishi Sunak is under pressure to increase spending on the NHS, social care and schools. He has also inherited a fiscal target from his predecessor Sajid Javid to bring spending in to balance by 2022. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has suggested this will not be possible without increasing taxes."
It'll be interesting to see what he actually does. Have they one eye on the fall in the markets as well?
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Stanley » 28 Feb 2020, 05:05

We start to get a flavour of the friction points that are coming in the EU negotiations. Note that Johnson has said that if there isn't progress by the end of June he will walk away. He is staking everything on strong-arming the EU to give us everything we want and a brown paper bag to take it away in. This isn't going to happen but it won't be bothering the hard line Tories who secretly want No Deal. Meanwhile, industries like fishing and the motor industry watch nervously to see who is going to get ditched as a negotiating ploy. How can this possibly end well?
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Re: POLITICS CORNER

Post by Tizer » 28 Feb 2020, 09:52

This report outlines the government's priorities in its 30-page Brexit document (I wish the news media wouldn't call these talks `post-Brexit talks' - we haven't left the EU yet, we've only signed a piece of paper saying we will*).
`Post-Brexit talks: UK prepared to walk away in June if no progress' LINK

*An analogy would be a married couple writing a note saying they're going to get divorced and signing it. There's an awful lot to be done and negotiated before they are actually divorced from each other, and they can't marry someone else in the meantime. (And after much discussion they might even decide it's better to stay together!) :smile:

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