the silliness of the present

Why are airlines still forced to give us lectures on how to do and undo a seat-belt? It is hardly new technology. They are fitted to every car. We use them several times weekly – The same mechanism has been in use for 50 plus year. And still before every takeoff, we are treated to a lecture, detailing how to lift the metal flap and clip the other end into place. it’s mindless regulation and it is not worth the effort involved to bring passenger experience into the 21st centruy


Anther instance of ministers playing with constitutional principle. Government agencies had enough chances to indicate or correct the sentence passed on criminal. The Attorney General has powers to ask the Court of Appeal to Reviews unduly lenient sentences. She could have referred the case to the Court of Appeal – but she didn’t. Equally, all the other offences alleged against him, could have been further investigated and reviewed and appropriate charges brought – But the CPS, led by Keir Starmer as DPP declined. If those decisions were properly taken according to due process, what business is it of government to try to challenge the Parole Board, the very body that government set up TO BE INDEPENDENT. Only 40 years ago, these decisions over Parole release were taken away from politicians because it was widely thought that the discretion involved, and the objectivity needed, could be improperly affected by the hurley-burley of public opinion. Now it seems, they want it back.

Brexit – another year of confusion and posturing

2017 was a year of unmitigated rancour. Let’s face it, the aftershock from the referendum have bleached all political discourse. Remember, the whole political class, including Dominic Grieve, Anna Soubry, and their principled band of Remainers, all voted for the referendum in the terms under which it was held. Each political party (the Tories) pledged to give effect to the result. The Remain campaign was centered around the what an economic disaster would follow from leaving the EU. It is illogical for them now to distinguish exiting the EU from also leaving the customs union and single market, which they say, was not part of the Referendum decision. I personally cannot imagine what negative economic consequences they were warning us about, if it was NOT connected to those two institutions.
I voted to remain. I believed that our political class and civil service was not capable of salvaging whatever good deals were achievable following an exit vote. And so it has come to pass. Two of the most economically (and politically damaging) aspects of the handling of the vote by our political leaders, have been entirely of their making ( incompetence and hyperbole) First: the polarised rancour that has poisoned the discussion; and secondly the uncertainty that has followed. The lack of clarity, lack of vision. In fact, the failure to understand the processes of the EU and its own priorities which are political and not economic. We have come to the debate with economics our principle concern. Well, it isn’t to them. Their’s is the integrity of the political edifice that constitutes the EU project.

Tony Blair asserts that an electorate is entitled to change its mind and have a mechanism (a second referendum) to express its feelings. As if a second referendum is likely to be held in a more enlightening climate; as if the decision will kill of the prospect of a third. Surely there comes a moment when a decision has to be treated as for once and all? Only people who want to reverse the decision to leave, while paying lip service of acceptance, insist on another vote.  Even if successful, by the time such a vote can take place, we will have left: the vote will be whether we apply to join. Such a decision could only be put to the electorate once the terms of joining were known. Take the Euro? take Schengen? what else by then? How will any party be certain that the electorate is up to another referendum? Every stage continues and amplifies the schism, sense of betrayal, of manipulation. There will be an exodus of EU nationals, leaving vast gaps in the workforce. Politicians have shown an insatiable appetite to consume all their political capital on this one issue at the expense of fundamentally pressing domestic crises viz, housing, social care, elderly care, the NHS to name but a few. When will they wake up from the nightmare they have inflicted on us?

Theresa May

Nobody imagined it could get THAT bad. It is like watching a Greek tragedy. It is not even as if luck has deserted her; its actually that luck has turned against her. She has lost control and incompetence has infected the whole Tory machine. After watching her her speech on becoming Prime Minister, and then hearing almost the same content re-hashed in some of the set pieces that followed, I realised that rather then the ‘safe pair of hands’ she had been portrayed as the received wisdom was up until June this year, she was utterly lacklustre. She had no imagination; no vision and no dynamism. I suppose what could you expect from a politician who had found her home at the Home Office. That department has been so dysfunctional for so long that some of its former responsibilities were taken over by another department. The watchwords that she seemed to abide by were, ‘keep your head down’ and ‘caution first and always’. She seemed to be in a permanent state of defensiveness. No wonder that historically,  so few Home Secretaries make it to the top job. But a department that controls the police, immigration, public order, internal security, is never going to zip with excitement and inspiration. And so it has proved.

it is bad enough that, since June this year, everyone has decided she has nothing to say. But worse, when she does open her mouth, the sentence always begins with , ‘I am clear….’ An awful phrase. has anyone told her to drop it? It is meaningless. Today, when she wanted to speak, something shut her up; indeed it was her own throat.