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Southgate fighting on the terraces
at 11:21 15 Jul 2024

See the photo at the top of the article.
Wimbledon doubles champion is an Ipswich fan
at 21:47 13 Jul 2024

Henry Patten won the men's doubles today and is an Ipswich fan.
[Post edited 13 Jul 21:48]
Shelley Duval
at 16:11 12 Jul 2024

Sad to see her pass away at a relatively young age.

This is a nice article on her. The excerpt from Annie Hall is very funny.
[Post edited 12 Jul 16:45]
The fiscal rules
at 16:53 7 Jul 2024

Sharon Graham calling today for the fiscal rules to be relaxed to allow more borrowing for investment.

Of course, Rachel Reeves isn't going to be persuaded by that but I wonder if Torsten Bell, a very clever man and the new Labour MP for Swansea West, might have more influence given this from his profile in today's Observer.

"His recent book on improving the economy was Starmerite in outlook, putting economic growth at its heart. However, he did call for a rewriting of fiscal rules to allow for long-term investment in infrastructure. Expect Bell to have a significant policy job at the centre of a Labour government that has staked everything on securing economic growth."

Don't expect him though to know the words to the Welsh national anthem.
[Post edited 7 Jul 17:02]
Bromley Town
at 11:05 6 Jul 2024

the only Premier League or EFL team to be represented by a Tory MP, according to my son.
[Post edited 6 Jul 11:06]
Emily Thornberry
at 09:11 6 Jul 2024

It hasn't got much coverage but Emily Thornberry (as Shadow Attorney General) appears to be the only shadow cabinet member not to be appointed to her post.

She's probably too much of a maverick for her own good, but it looks like this may have sealed her fate.

For my own part, it seems to me to be evidence of a sort of control-freakery which is rather distasteful, and not good for a healthily functioning goverment.
[Post edited 6 Jul 9:12]
A government unburdened by doctrine
at 16:20 5 Jul 2024

[Post edited 5 Jul 16:21]
Starmer's education
at 12:41 5 Jul 2024

Starmer joins a select group of three PMs who were educated at undergraduate level in England at a university other than Oxford or Cambridge.

The other two are Ramsay MacDonald who attended Birbeck and Neville Chamberlain who attended Mason College (now Birmingham University).

That to me is to be welcomed, especially speaking as someone who did law at Leeds immediately before Starmer attended.
[Post edited 5 Jul 12:46]
Kemi or Suella?
at 09:33 5 Jul 2024

With the demise of Mordaunt, I think the next leader of the Tory party will be Badenoch or Braverman, especially given the make-up of the membership (assuming the membership is allowed a vote).

Whilst this may help in the fight against Farage, I am not not sure a drift to the right is a winning formula.

On the other hand, if Labour do screw it up, who knows what might happen?
It's the Sun wot won it.
at 15:29 3 Jul 2024

GB Energy
at 08:49 3 Jul 2024

Anyone thinking GB Energy is to be an energy company in the normal meaning of those words should read this.

Tony's cronies?
at 08:01 1 Jul 2024

I think it is wrong for politicians, former politicians or party supporters or doners to be appointed to public bodies. New Labour and the Tories have done it, but sadly it looks like Starmer will be following suit.

Quite apart from anything else, it seems to me to have all the hallmarks of the sort of thing that went on with PPE, so who knows if Labour wouldn't follow suit if something similar happened again. And it certainly goes against the following.

"Labour Leader Keir Starmer kicked off 2024 with a pledge to clean up politics and deliver a “total crackdown on cronyism.”"
[Post edited 1 Jul 8:16]
Why me?
at 21:24 20 Jun 2024

The Telegraph MRP poll today predicts only 53 Tory seats at the general election, but sadly my constituency is one of those 53.

What did I do in a former life to deserve this?
[Post edited 20 Jun 21:28]
Austerity 2.0 OR Things can only get worse?
at 10:40 16 Jun 2024

Given the current state of treatment and care in Aintree Hospital in Liverpool, where my wife is currently based to visit her poorly, elderly mother, I dread to think what it will be like in five years. And health is not an area pencilled in for £17 billion of cuts.

Labour and Tories would ‘both leave NHS worse off than under austerity’

Analysis by leading experts the Nuffield Trust reveals that main parties’ manifestos would squeeze health spending

Labour and the Conservatives would both leave the NHS with lower spending increases than during the years of Tory austerity, according to an independent analysis of their manifestos by a leading health thinktank.

The assessment by the respected Nuffield Trust of the costed NHS policies of both parties, announced in their manifestos last week, says the level of funding increases would leave them struggling to pay existing staff costs, let alone the bill for massive planned increases in doctors, nurses and other staff in the long-term workforce plan agreed last year.

The Nuffield Trust said that “the manifestos imply increases [in annual funding for the NHS] between 2024-25 and 2028-29 of 1.5% each year for the Liberal Democrats, 0.9% for the Conservatives and 1.1% for Labour.

“Both Conservative and Labour proposals would represent a lower level of funding increase than the period of ‘austerity’ between 2010-11 and 2014-15.

“This would be an unprecedented slowdown in NHS finances and it is inconceivable that it would accompany the dramatic recovery all are promising. This slowdown follows three years of particularly constrained finances.”

The trust added that the planned funding increases “would make the next few years the tightest period of funding in NHS history”.

Sally Gainsbury, senior policy ­analyst at the Nuffield Trust and a leading authority on NHS funding, said: “They will struggle to be able to pay the existing staff, let alone the additional staff set out in the workforce plan. It’s completely unrealistic.”

EDIT: The fact that real term increases in NHS spending, at a time of a rapidly growing population, were far below the average from 1945 to 2010 is why the NHS is in the state it is.

[Post edited 16 Jun 14:11]
Are you a true lefty?
at 10:35 10 Jun 2024

People often say on here that the forum is dominated by lefties (or pinkos as they were once disparagingly known).

This begs the question, what constitutes a lefty?

For my own part, I believe a true lefty in this country is someone who has never voted Tory or Liberal Democrat (or any of its former incarnations). And in every election since 1979, I have voted Labour, apart from in two local elections where there was no Labour candidate and I voted firstly for the Ecology Party and secondly for the Greens, both of which I would regard as left-leaning parties..

My hunch is that there is only a handful on TWTD like me, and it would be interesting to know who falls into the category, or if anyone else has their own definition of a lefty.

In all this, I am ignoring the fact that some people (myself included) might not regard the current Labour Party as truly left wing.

[Post edited 10 Jun 13:02]
Blue Action photo in the Telegraph
at 08:11 4 Jun 2024

The Guardian has on at least two occasions given prominence to photos of the Blue Action welcomes (indeed one featured as its sports' photo of the year), and the Telegraph today is doing the same, although (as might be expected of sloppy journalism) it doesn't really fit the context of the programme discussed.

EDIT: didn't realise there was a separate thread on the programme mentioning our involvement.
[Post edited 4 Jun 8:30]
Mexico Presidential election
at 07:37 3 Jun 2024

With all the controversy over the war in Gaza, nice to see a Jewish woman on course to be the next President of Mexico.
[Post edited 3 Jun 7:37]
John Burnside
at 17:35 31 May 2024

Yet another Scot to die young, and probably not well known outside poetry circles.

I can't say I've read much of his poetry, but I thought his 2011 novel A Summer of Dreaming, set in Norway and shortlisted for the Costa prize, extraordinarily haunting.
[Post edited 31 May 17:41]
Iain Dale
at 12:24 30 May 2024

I quite like Iain Dale, and note that he has given up his LBC radio show to try to become the Conservative candidate for Tunbridge Wells.

Tunbridge Wells was the only place in Kent to vote remain, its council is controlled by the Lib Dems, and it strikes me that there is a good chance that the seat will fall to the Lib Dems in the upcoming election.

He lives there but has perhaps done his chances no good by saying in the past that he never liked the place, a view shared by my mother who lived there for six years before her death.

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