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In other sh!thouse news ...
at 16:18 26 Jun 2020

The UK doesn't deserve the utter shambles of its supposedly public servants.

at 18:04 15 Jun 2020

This was Communism a few months ago. Now "Will no-one think of the poor children?"

Establishment tosspots are now doling out favours like Victorian philanthropists.

WT Actual F!??
at 15:05 14 Jun 2020

Why don't they just prosecute them under existing vandalism and criminal damage laws?

FAO Swansea
at 15:34 10 Jun 2020

I know you found the Oborne article on Corbyn interesting.

Hadn't had the time to watch this interview until now but it's pretty revealing and definitely worth a watch. IMO, particularly the first half where it becomes very clear how Corbyn's world view is almost totally at odds with that of the Establishment, certainly in terms of priorities.

Corbyn's view and the policies he promotes put protecting the environment, protecting worker's jobs and their rights, and fighting inequality at the very top of the agenda. The establishment may talk about that but it's lip service and their very first priority is still protecting power and vested interests. It's probably worse now than it's ever been when you used to feel some sense of public and democratic duty. But politicians are generally a different breed nowadays.

Here, I think Corbyn was a threat because he was using reality in the UK and around the world to challenge this cosy world. But this is where Corbyn's weakness comes in. By refusing to face the reality of his opponents, across the commons floor and inside the Labour Party, and play their game he was set up to fail. Especially when the majority of a largely partisan media are playing exactly the same game, rather than being the trusted interface between the electorate and politicians.

It's clear that his leadership by consensus and not fighting his opponents and nominal colleagues wasn't the right way to go. He may feel he kept to his principles but I think a more ruthless approach was needed. And I think he certainly misjudged the result of the election in 2017: rather than people responding to his campaign and joining him, they actually redoubled their efforts to take him out. He should have used that time of relative success to go on the attack himself.

Anyway, be interested to hear what you think as a semi-reluctant supporter.

At a time when BLM is spread around the world
at 14:28 9 Jun 2020

And we show solidarity with US minorities as well as address our own severe shortcomings with structural racism and inequality.

Let's not forget the stuff that is less tweetable and rarely makes the news. We should extend that solidarity to a more critical assessment of the foreign governments our own government largely supports. From China for its multiple and continuing abuses of ethnic minorities and indeed the democratic rights of the masses, India and Modi for its potentially genocidal campaign against Muslims, Israel for the impending annexation of the West Bank that will put its apartheid system on the map, Saudi Arabia for its human rights abuses and war in Yemen on some of the poorest men, women and children in the world. The list goes on but it's a list we in the UK mainly turn a blind eye to.

There's a lot to be put right but we can start by trying not to profit from this stuff economically or in terms of our geo-political influence.
Trump's approval ratings are pretty interesting
at 14:12 6 Jun 2020

Saw this and particularly interesting to scroll down and see Trump's approval rating compared to other presidents.

There's a lower base level of support for him than the others but the most interesting bit is that it barely changes. All the others show approval going up and down depending on real-life events but Trump's don't flicker. It seems to me that Trump's supporters aren't even looking at reality - this is much more faith-based or based on personality/identity stuff.

Killing Jeremy Corbyn
at 14:04 5 Jun 2020

Oborne is in the cult, obvs.
Good sign that things are starting to get back to normal
at 08:49 4 Jun 2020
Reading about the military getting involved in the LA riots in 1992 ...
at 15:41 2 Jun 2020

I hope that this sort of thing has been sorted out because not sure there's much room for error. Anyway it's a blackly humorous story:

"In another incident, the LAPD and Marines intervened in a domestic dispute in Compton, in which the suspect held his wife and children hostage. As the officers approached, the suspect fired two shotgun rounds through the door, injuring some of the officers. One of the officers yelled to the Marines, "Cover me," as per law enforcement training to be prepared to fire upon if necessary. However, per their military training, the Marines mistook the wording as providing cover while utilizing firepower, resulting in a total of 200 rounds being sprayed into the house. Remarkably, neither the suspect nor the woman and children inside the house were harmed."

Jesus wept.
How are we all doing? In three words.
at 21:31 29 May 2020

I'm feeeling:


Everything in between of course.
Great thread by Monbiot on the state of our democracy
at 13:17 27 May 2020

Don't let the circus of Cummings distract from the bigger picture and problem. It's a symptom, of course, but Cummings and Johnson's disdain for democratic accountability comes from the fact that there really isn't any.

WTF is this?
at 21:02 21 May 2020

They've been in government for a decade, Laura. This isn't about timing.

It's about accountability.It strikes me that if high-profile public sector journalists had it and understood it then maybe successive governments would too.
Re: Kids and teachers, this may ease some worries
at 13:16 17 May 2020

I think children going back to school is a clear part of easing the lockdown. But I appreciate that this is also becoming more and more academic in the UK (excuse the pun) when kids will shortly be having their summer holidays anyway.

Anyway, for those who are worried about the risk to kids and the risk of transmission, this seems a good, trustworthy message to bear in mind:
A couple of great articles from Oborne and Cook in the last few days
at 15:27 16 May 2020

They do a very good job of presenting two sides of the same undemocratic and shady coin.

The common thread? Not just that it's the independent media that brings this stuff to light nowadays instead of the corporate media, but that the corporate media is actually complicit in this.

A time to take stock - and be ready to reform
at 10:19 12 May 2020

This is a damning verdict but still a pretty fair comment if you take a step back and look at the wider picture:

There aren't any benefits to coronavirus in real terms. But it's been a pause button that's helped us reappraise the environment, people's worth in society, our dependence on each other etc. The rest of the world will also be taking that on board too.

But in the UK our extra remedial homework is to look in the mirror about our politics, government and the media that has clearly failed to hold power to account. Because here in the UK and the US the pandemic is providing a pretty thorough audit of how we operate publicly - and the results don't look good.

However our biggest failure would be not to demand better from those established institutions and structures. We should be pushing for reform pretty much throughout.
0.37% infection fatality rate according to this study
at 18:54 4 May 2020

Now that means it's a lot more fatal than flu as that is 0.04% to 0.1% depending on whether you test everyone or just count symptomatic cases. But still, it really seems to suggest that with the measures available e.g. more vigilance and better treatment of cases, tracking and tracing, keeping up habits of working from home and social distancing, isolation of those most at risk etc. that we can manage this until a vaccine is available. And without the need for lockdowns when all that is in place.

The bad news? With all the measures and discipline needed to keep it manageable, there's no way we're going to see football with crowds, concerts, packed pubs, cinemas etc. this year. But I think that's a small price to pay if it means we can still reclaim most other areas of our lives.
Potentially fantastic news
at 16:38 4 May 2020

And a bit of perspective too: "More than 400,000 people are killed by malaria each year, most of them children under the age of five."

As a society we'll get through Coronavirus. Let's hope we come out the other side with a shift in our priorities as well.

Not quite Usain Bolt levels of ridiculousness but still ...
at 13:55 3 May 2020

Mighty impressive.
Why the difference?
at 08:59 30 Apr 2020

In Scotland 52% of Covid-19 deaths have been in hospital, 39% in care homes and 9% at home.

In England and Wales, the recent care home figures that have been added suggest 80% in hospital and just 20% in care homes.

Anyone know the reason for that?
Well, this doesn't sound Trumpian at all
at 18:46 26 Apr 2020

Why do I get the feeling the Uighurs and human rights are bottom of the list while protecting interests is right at the top?
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