I think one has to be quite brave to point this sort of thing out.
If you are a grown man who needs to wear incontinence pants you don’t really want anyone to know that fact. So, when you find that a supermarket chain is selling your incontinence pants at a price which far exceeds their cost, you just keep mum.
There, I have been brave. Let me explain a bit more. Continue reading
My attention has been drawn by a good friend, Matthew Brunning, to a poll which breaks down political support by class and age. It has featured in several newspapers and I daresay you have seen it. The universal line taken by the journalists has been that it is remarkable that the Tories now have a significant majority in the working class group.
That is, I agree, very interesting. But I am much more interested by the decline in support for the Conservatives amongst the middle classes. Continue reading
The conventional view is that it was Ukip which ensured our departure from the EU. I am not wholly convinced by that contention, but I can see it is not without force. Maybe, without Ukip’s success in European elections, Mr Cameron would have felt strong enough to resist the calls for a referendum. But I have a sneaking feeling that he would still have given in to the Tory grassroots. Still, it would be churlish not to give at least some of the credit to Ukip.
And Ukip has done very well in several elections. I know it has not managed to get anyone (other than existing MPs crossing the floor of the House) into the House of Commons, but it consistently outperforms all other parties in European elections and, until recently, has justifiably laid claim to being the third party (ahead of Lib Dems and SNP in the popular vote) in other national elections.
But what now? Ukip tells us that it is not a one issue party. It has policies on everything under the sun. The reality is, however, that its electoral success has been due solely to its opposition to our membership of the EU. It would be fanciful to claim, for instance, that Ukip attracted all those northern working class voters by its support for more grammar schools. Continue reading
Of course, we all know that opinion polls have to be taken with a pinch of salt. And, anyway, the campaign hasn’t even started yet. Things can change very quickly during general election campaigns.
Nevertheless, it must be likely that the Tories will have a landslide victory in June. Bear in mind that, generally speaking, the polls have been unreliable in the recent past because they have underestimated Conservative support. The conventional theory is that the pollsters have failed to take account of the reluctance of some people to admit that they intend to do anything so anti-social as to vote for Tories.
In the last couple of days there have been some truly remarkable polls. Continue reading
I must be charitable. I assume the BBC thought it was being kind to Tony Blair in giving over a large part of the World This Weekend on Radio 4 to an interview with him. The alternative theory, that it was eager to embarrass a man whose former glory has waned so much that he has become a figure of fun, does not bear thinking about. Continue reading
A traditionally classical liberalism:
A. Acknowledges the value of individual lives, but:
[modern liberalism devalues individual lives by violating individual rights and by treating citizens as fungible elements of economic, social or political classes] Continue reading
My eye was caught by a news piece on the Telegraph’s website. It told me that a body called the Oxford University Equality and Diversity Unit had produced a newsletter telling undergraduates that, if they didn’t make eye contact when talking to others, they were guilty, though unintentionally, of racism. Continue reading
That could be the mission statement of the Crown Prosecution Service, the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church.
It was said, of course, by Caiaphas, the High Priest, to justify the killing of Jesus Christ. It is interesting that the main Christian churches in Britain now subscribe to his view. They do not, I accept, seek to excuse the pharisees for demanding Christ’s death. But they agree with the pharisees that it is better to seek to destroy the reputations of good men than to allow the possibility of criticism of themselves. Continue reading
When I was a boy there were two television channels (BBC and ITV). When I reached the grand old age of 12 a third channel (BBC 2) was added. A lot later, when I was 30, Channel 4 was born. Now I am 64 and I have a choice of an enormous number of channels (I have lost count but I think it may be something like 70 – and I am not rich enough to subscribe to Sky or BT). Apparently there are also television broadcasts only available on computers (Netfix and Amazon?) which I am not bright enough to be able to find. In 2017, even if you don’t pay for Sky etc., you can get almost a hundred television channels.
Why is it, therefore, that the choice of watchable programmes seems to have declined horribly? Continue reading
That may seem an odd question. The general view is that the election is about Brexit and nothing else. But, even if that is right, what is it about Brexit which requires a general election? Mrs May says Westminster is not united, though the country is. In a sense, both those statements are untrue. Continue reading