The Maldovarium

Home Forums General The Maldovarium

This topic contains 1,003 replies, has 38 voices, and was last updated by  IAmNotAFishIAmAFreeMan 1 year, 8 months ago.

Viewing 50 posts - 601 through 650 (of 1,004 total)
  • Author
  • #58831
    Nick @nick


    Not a lot. From what I recall USA agri-industry was growing large straight banana’s in Central America (Honduras ?) while Europe was importing smaller curved bananas from the Caribbean  – ex-French colonies  ? and using product standards to exclude the larger bananas.

    The biggest problem with brexit right now is that its a phoney war (ie 9/1930 through to 5/1940) when not a lot happened. Until both sides sit down and start to talk and feel where either side will compromise its hard to see what the outcome will be. Much of the Trade deal is actually relatively easy to do, because there is some much money involved. The sticking points are political (citizens rights) and whatever the financial cost of any unsettled liabilities and assets relating to the period up to 3/2019.

    Anonymous @

    @nick @pedant

    all the meat you could buy came from Australia, New Zealand and Brazil (even in part French owned businesses). Most of the fruit and veg was North African and Indian in origin. Apples were routinely imported from the USA. European sourced food was quite rare. We see little imports from these locations because of EU wide trade barriers. Don’t think suppliers from these countries wouldn’t love to sell into the UK market.

    Erm, halloo?? No, Australia for one, does not want “increased” trade with the UK. When one listens to Parliament and Question time  -particularly Dorothy Dixers – you’ll see the rather sad laughter both sides of parliament (never mind the Opposition) indulge in.

    I still, to this day, don’t know how Brexit happened. I’m not a geographer, but I am a frantic polly-watcher.


    Indeed. Pretty much within two hours of the election the ABC was interviewing various ‘authorities’ on the DUP./UVF situation.

    Not good at all.


    Anonymous @

    helloo to all the Who-Fans. Mum’s being doing a lot of posting, I see which is good. I liked Extremis a lot and thought the 3rd part was possibly better than the 2nd. I still see, I guess, the whole, “why is this happening and how can we compare this to our own current domestic and international situation??” as most important. But that’s my opinion.

    I do have a favour to ask of any and all intelligent members (coz you all are!) about the play Romeo and Juliet. I have to present a thesis that Friar Lawrence was responsible for the death of the two people. I said that the poison was given by the Friar but I found I was partly wrong there -the Friar gave Juliet a sleeping ‘draft’ and Romeo got his poison from somewhere else. Would I be right though in saying that the Friar is still involved by giving this to Juliet in an effort to stay her hand? She said she would die, by her own hand, rather than marry Paris. The Friar was attempting to help, to ensure she didn’t commit such a sin but his sin, as a member of church was equally deceptive and …..anyone else some ideas?

    @ichabod you’re a writer and I know there are lots of knowledgeable people here. I’m asking anyone to write anything for me! I think I’m good with that but I want to make sure I have the rhythm correct; Friar had the venue, Friar had the means (the latter meaning the sleeping draft etc)etc.

    Thank you for reading,


    Whisht @whisht

    Not sure if this has been mentioned here, but from the UK coverage of the recent election it seems there was a very large turnout by ‘young voters’ which swung a lot of seats in Labour’s favour.
    Having seen their vote ‘making a difference’ (even if there was an ultimate ‘failure’ in not getting Labour into power) it’ll be interesting what might happen in the next election (whenever that may be).

    But can’t be a bad thing galvanising people to care about politics.

    I’ll also be interested in how they were reached – eg probably by Momentum (a campaigning team which works to get votes in favour for Corbyn) but whether it was sophisticated social media blah blah or a more traditional ‘physical’ approach (people passing out leaflets and talking to young people in parks etc).

    @Thane15 – sorry mate, never read R&J or even seen a production (shock!)

    Maybe the butler did it?

    Anonymous @


    Hello Mr W. !No worries at all: I have read it (over and over) and memorised bits  but my teacher hasn’t been ….well. No, she’s been awesome! These poor teachers have less than 5 weeks to prepare, teach and then teach US how to complete an exam or essay, mark it and move on! There’s always a lesson missed every few months due to….something (like the cyclone where we had two days off). So, they work really hard.

    I agree about getting the kids to vote, hey? That’s important. I know Mum had serious views about Brexit and when explained I couldn’t understand, why when there are really important geographical implications as well as economic issues dating back 100 years (nearly) why anyone would be fooled into thinking “this is a debate about immigration.”

    What was just as bad was the US President tweeting about “keeping immigrants at bay, or something” -using a really awful tragedy in the UK to make political points. How sad. I know he re-tweeted something, probably on the advice of his strategy-guys.

    I agree too -about it being that later,  is it 4 years for you? there could be a change in govt. We don’t get much about Corbyn here. No-one knows him. If they do, it’s to make him seem weird or a wack job. Don’t know why?

    Is it beards? Seriously, in this country so many of the politicians would be told to shave beards because it made them look shifty. Mum mentioned some politician called Gareth….? who she really liked about 15 years ago or more. He had a beard. 😈

    Thank you, Thane.

    Anonymous @

    @whisht @ichabod

    Oh boy!!!!!!! I said the WRONG thing. I said  “I’m asking **anyone to write anything for me”

    No!! That’s wrong -I missed a word. I meant to write: “I’m not asking anyone to write anything for me!”

    Gosh, I wouldn’t expect anyone to use this site to write my own work for me: no way. This is a big reminder for me to check for typos, particularly ones which make me look totally selfish. Gosh, sorry peeps.


    Whisht @whisht

    @Thane15 – ha ha no worries!
    I did raise an eyebrow when I read you asking for people to write something for you as it was so out of character, so no surprise it was a typo!

    Beards – yes, I’ve heard similar here (ie politicians being told to not have a beard). No idea where it comes from and only seems to be a thing for politicians rather than anyone else.

    In terms of Trumps tweets – possibly best to look at time of day he tweeted. He seems to get up early, read/watch slightly dodgy news and tweet from his personal account without much thought. His advisors use the POTUS feed.
    But advised or not – he’s responsible for his tweets, speeches and actions. What he said and repeated without apology about the London mayor is odious. It seems to be personal animosity toward Sadiq Khan based on at least Khan’s expression of distaste at Trump’s plans to ban Muslims. I can’t say that its also based on any inherent bigotry on Trump’s part (though I look at his actions and… will let everyone decide).

    As for a Gareth-with-a-beard – unfortunately I’ve no idea who that was!

    Nick @nick


    Brexit happened because of two main reason so far as I can  tell. One is that there is a minority view on both the left and right of UK politics (which has gradually morphed into  more of a right wing view than left) that the EU is a flawed experiment. The argument on the left was always that the EU is part of the capitalist global structure that exploit workers. The argument on the right is a more theoretical view that the UK should be absolutely free to do what it wants and neither the EU or the European Court of Justice (and more lately the European Court of Human Rights) should have any power over the UK. Those pesky EU laws governing workers rights, our ability to expel terrorists back to Jordan etc.

    These arcane argument were safely ignored by the majority, until the 2008/9 recesssion happened (which were are still in, even through growth has returned).The UK has its own rust belt, stretching across the SWest, Wales, Midlands, NW and NE and into Scotland. In the 1980s heavy industry (coal steel ship building) and light and heavy engineering jobs (there were millions) were wiped out almost overnight and not replaced. Many of these were skilled high paying jobs, which kept the communities wealthy enough. Since then local economies have recovered, but not back to the same point. Most jobs now are much lower paid service sector.

    The UK went through really high rates of economic growth from 1997 to 2007. However, a significant proportion of this happened in SE and London (due to the Financial sector). The ONS collects GDP data per head (GVA basis). Its a bit dodgy I believe, but it is indicative. For 2015 GVA per person in London was £43.6k verses UK average of £25.3k. Wales is £18k, NI  £18.6k, NE £18.9k, Midlands £20.8k, NW£21.9k, SE £27.8k.

    In this growth period, a lot of jobs were created. Enough to support the existing UK population plus a significant increase in immigrants. What’s happened since 2008 especially is that in the poorer areas income has not increased much at all, benefits have been reduced. Costs have increased across that period through inflation. People have got poorer and remain poorer than they were in 2007 today.  This is on the back of the impact of the 1980/90s recessions. Whilst employment % is at an all time high, a lot of these jobs are zero hours contracts (ie you dont know how much you’ll work from day to day and you only get paid by the hours worked). Many more are part time. None are high paying. Job insecurity is high. Some places are predominantly employing only EU citizens (widely claimed but certainly true in some instances) and it is claimed only recruiting in the EU and not locally. Public services have been significantly cut.There is limited public housing available. Immigration adds to demand. House rents have increased above inflation. Waiting times to see Doctors have increased (as has the number of people per doctor). Its more difficult to get into schools. The public infrastructure hasn’t kept pace with increased population size etc.

    Resentment in general and against immigrant labour in particular has risen. The right in general and UKIP in especially have blamed the EU for this. The right controlled media (Sun, Daily Mail, Telegraph) has been publishing anti-EU propaganda since at least the 1980s. Combine all these things together and you end up with 52 % of voters being anti-EU.

    The EU is the biggest single area of difference within the Tory party and has been since the 1980s. Its the one issue that could split the party. Increasingly, the Tory party members and new MPs have become increasingly eurosceptic. There has been talk about a referendum on the issue throughout the late 2000s. Cameron wanted to settle the issue within the Tories for a generation. He called the referendum to make the internal issue go away.

    I dont think he appreciated how the anti-EU Tories and UKIP would combine and deploy with anti-EU propaganda and lie. The remain campaign was very poor and focused on a negative view of the EU (dubbed project fear). Basically the economic cost of leaving is very high. Nothing positive was said. I think they adopted project Fear approach as the similar tactic was used at the end of the Scottish independence referendum and was widely acclaimed to have worked. The final straw was that the leave camp were more motivated to vote than remain. People who hadnt voted for years across the rust belt voted and voted to leave.

    This is simplistic and other people may say different things and have different point of views. This is mine though.

    On trade, Puro, do you really think Australian agri-industry doesn’t want to sell more Beef and Lamb into new markets ? In 2016 the UK imported 264,000 tonnes of beef (exported 110,000) the vast majority too and from the EU. 4,000 tonnes was from Australia. I don’t know what Australian politicians are saying, but Irish politicians are extremely worried about the potential job losses and reduced tax income that food tariffs of 25 to 30 % would have on the Irish agricultural industry, which is heavily reliant on exports from Ireland into the UK. I’ll give you a cheap example. When McDonalds advertise on French TV they always say they use only 100 % French beef. In the UK its 100 % British and Irish beef.

    Nick @nick

    @whisht @thane15 @pedant

    This is quite interesting economic based view on why May lost. I wouldn’t suggest this was the only or even best reason, but the underlying economics are important back ground.



    janetteB @janetteb

    @thane15 Gareth Evans I think. Labor of course. Bit to the right from memory but did serve under Whitlam. He was a consummate politician. As for the Friar, I think, (from memory, been a few years since I studied R&J and it has always been my least liked Shakespeare play) he meant well but was responsible for the deaths of R&J, highlighting the dangers of well meaning interference. I always thought the message was to think carefully before interfering in the lives of others, advocating selfishness maybe. Shakespeare was indeed a great writer but not always a great moraliser. Don’t be afraid to attribute to him a message that you do not agree as long as you can justify it well. Too many people “like to think” that Shakespeare is perfect. I tend to think of him more as a brilliant opportunist who wrote what others wanted to hear.

    Like @blenkinsopthebrave  I have found the discussion here more informative and enlightening than what is in the news. Just saw about the Kensington result which is a bit thrilling. Only twenty votes. What a win.

    I hope that the resurgence of Labour with a leftist mandate shows that left policies have traction and this gives confidence to the left world wide. If so something positive will have come out of this election.

    the result is certainly far more positive than I expected when the election was called. Interesting days ahead.



    Nick @nick


    One thing I meant to say to you. I was a 20 year old at Durham university during the strike. Two things particularly stand out. I was doing one set of exams (cant remember which year anymore) and I could hear one of the Colliery brass bands, come and go through the window. They were leading a March into the centre of Durham. I cant recall whether it was strike related or part of the annual Miners Gala. It was poignant the the time. Now it feels like the one last huzza for a dying industry. A lot of people, whole communities went. on the scrap heap between 1980 and 1990. Many never came back.

    The other one, was a mate and I were waiting for a train one evening. A slightly drunk (I thought) guy shouted at us from another platform. He thought we were undercover Police.

    Anonymous @


    Oh wow, did you type all that up for me? Thank you that was very kind! It’s pretty complicated -Mum does know the issues up, down, sideways and whilst Remain/Brexit campaigns were going on, Australia was very well informed. Politics as part of some post graduate work helped with that, I’m guessing!

    @janetteb Oh thank you: I really appreciate that advice because you’re right: people think William’s like a god 😉

    It’s given me some more thoughts, which is awesome.

    Good night: getting a bit late here now.

    (Oh hang on @nick, just re-reading it sounded like you were talking to Puro? I wouldn’t worry, she’s got ALL her ducks in a row with Brexit and the EU -something she was dealing with for a long time. But thank you for that. A lot of it (what  you wrote) was beyond me!! I have to avoid economics in year 11! No room on the timetable which is a shame. Also, I think the EU/Brexit debate was one we had last year and things may’ve got a little heated? But I totally appreciate your knowledge on the matter. It’s obviously a very important issue.

    From, Thane.

    Anonymous @


    OK, hey, I see the confusion: Mum said “to this day I don’t know how Brexit happened” What she probably meant there was that, with all the evidence, all the so-called campaigning and the lack of decent Brexit arguments, that the unexpected happened! A bit like the “one with orange hair winning” (though he didn’t actually ‘win’) 🙂

    Also, probs that things like “zero” hour contracts are things she’d know? Before official retirement she was working in some jobs and voting because it’s compulsory here (but you probably know that) so it’s really good to be up on politics. In this house, dinner time conversation is about stuff like Palestine or Israel, federalism, free trade, social conscience over economics, Hume and John Locke….Boy, sometimes I wanna watch telly, chill out over dinner. But if it’s telly it’s probably awesome like Letters and Numbers (you probably know that show though, so I won’t go into the details!)


    Nick @nick


    Hi Thane. Brexit wasnt unexpected though. I was in France, but I told my wife and her (french) friends that I thought it was very likely Leave would win (leaving the EU is an incredible idea for the majority of French people – unthinkable).

    I hoped I was wrong, but not surprised at all that it happened. I certainly expected the result to be very close. I dont think the majority of voters is SE England really appreciate what the rest of the country thinks and feels. Most holiday overseas these days and dont leave the motorways much anyway. If you don’t travel in the UK for business, I don’t think many actually see how depressed parts of the country are.

    Nick @nick

    @Thane 15

    Thane I was just trying to explain how it seems to me. There are about 1 million people (thats 1 in 40 ish) on zero hours contracts. If you’re a high paid professional that’s great. If you’re on minimum wage or close to it, you cant be sure how much money you’ll have to spend on rent and food each week. Many use pay day loans to fill the gap and hope to be able to repay it within the month.

    On brexit and the EU we all have our opinions and like the Scot inde referendum, it got quite passionate and not much based on analysis and reflection. Looking back, using hindsight things seem clearer now.

    Personally, I always see and read arguments from both sides of the debate. I am still undecided whether on balances it is a good or bad thing, using a 20 year outcome view.

    Anonymous @

    @nick -oh that’s ghastly. We have that here too. I was watching this show called Q&A where some politicans and some heavy weights discuss important issues. Our opposition minister, of Trade spoke about the 700 000 people losing out due to cuts in entitlements when working on Sundays or special festival holidays? Those are the most vulnerable people aren’t they? Many are trying to pay off or save for other things: courses, a car (most jobs you need a car in QLD anyway) and it’s an awful thing for our Liberal Govt to do.

    The Liberals are the conservatives here and are joined with the National Party. They were in for a very long time -since before I was born and then we had some hope with Kevin Rudd in 07 but his military style and general ways of doing everybody’s job for them caused a terrible reaction and another MP became PM because of a vote against Rudd: your system is very much like ours, as you know but not similar to the United States.

    Oh, OK, I thought it was a bit unexpected? In Aus, we woke up to that and thought it would be very close but Remain would win. I think as you said, people in London don’t pay attention to the rural areas (I don’t know if  you use the word rural in the way we do?) and as you say communication was a large problem with the grass roots (I just learnt that term today!).

    Must catcha shut-eye!

    Thank you, Thane

    janetteB @janetteb

    @nick. I have probably told this story before so apologies for that. I was working in Surrey at the time of the miners strike. There was no television and no papers found their way into the staff quarters and if they did they would have been Murdoch rags so i wasn’t really up on the news at the time. One night we had a group of fat cigar smoking conservatives, (the usual stock broker belt client) sitting around sipping cognacs and discussing the strike. They were of the opinion that “Maggie” was being too soft on the miners. “She should just nuke them”, one proposed. Eavesdropping from the coffee station I wondered just how much of England would be affected by the fall out. It seemed to me that being such a small country Surrey would not be immune.

    What I saw of stock broker England certainly reinforced my left leanings.

    In Australia and I am certain it is not much different in the U.K. it is currently the salary earners who pay the bulk of the national tax. Businesses pay 20 percent tax, most big business none or almost none at all. We pay more tax than one of the major national energy suppliers. If Governments taxed the wealthy there would be more than enough to pay for infrastructure, public health, education and maybe a living wage. The problem isn’t a lack of money but the lack of distribution. Sorry if that is out of context, getting late and currently watching Pyramids of Mars so bit distracted




    Nick @nick


    Post Industrial is a better description for the former Industrial heartland on the UK (essentially Birmingham northwards).  Often referred to as the Labour heartlands.

    There are rural areas, when Industry never touched too deeply. Northern Scotland, Central Wales, a lot of the east coast, the welsh borders in England. Central England between London and Birmingham. These areas are dominated by farming. They are deeply conservative (with a small c) and largely Tory voting. Often referred to as the “Shires” and “Home Counties”.


    I have worked with guys like that. They are ARSE’s. Being simplistic, the wealthier your are (especially if you’re family has always been wealthy) the more selfish it seems your thinking becomes. The poorer you are, the more collectively you think.

    One problem is that the really wealthy pay very little tax. There are some many legal structures combined with the ability to live in multiple global locations or in tax havens, which can be used to take income out of tax completely in the UK. Corporate tax structuring does exactly the same thing across the EU. These people/businesses don’t have any home or loyalty beyond themselves and their like. The world is chess pieces to them not people.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    I can completely forgive the Monks their flaws for enabling the internet to come up with this (thanks to Twitter) –

    “Thanks to our friends, the Monks, I can now form a strong and stable government!”


    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @scaryb   I posted 2 Theresa May & the Monks pix on twitter a while ago. Deleted one & replaced with a Chuckle Brothers one…..  Plus a host of others, with various politicians (inc. Trump of course) & celebs including this one…….

    monk - y


    ScaryB @scaryb

    @wolfweed You are the king of memes and interweb pics!! 🙂

    toinfinityandbepond @toinfinityandbepond

    Hey Hey We’re the Monkees…

    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    June 9th is my birthday. I woke up to news that the Conservatives had lost their majority and I genuinely felt like the universe had bought me a present. “Happy Birthday. We didn’t know what to get you so we just kicked the Tories a bit. Hope you like it.” (Yes, I very much do like it.)

    Then of course the Westboro Baptist Church aka DUP showed up and things didn’t look quite so rosy after that.

    I normally vote Lib Dem or Green myself, but this time I voted Labour for the first time in my life, in the hope of ousting our incumbent Conservative MP. (It didn’t work, he’s still here.)

    On the bright side, I think this election may very well change the way political campaigning is done, for the better. For a long time, PR consultants, media advisors and campaign “gurus” have reigned supreme. They’ve put words into politicians’ mouths and coached them in saying nothing in as many words as possible. They’ve taught them that honesty is dangerous: you have to be “on message.” You have to say, ad nauseam, whichever meaningless alliterative slogan went down best with the focus groups. You have to learn your lines and not deviate from them. The idea that any of this is actually helpful is, I think, a myth created by the PR industry itself, off the back of which it’s made its fortune. Meanwhile we, watching our tv, don’t believe a word of it. We’re hard-wired to know when people mean what they say and when they’re putting on an act, just like we know the difference between a real smile and a fake one. Even if you can’t put your finger on why – you just know they’re faking. And you know you can’t trust what they say.

    Jeremy Corbyn, on the other hand, seems to have no truck with that kind of thing. I don’t think the man is a saint, or a particularly competent manager – but blimey he speaks with his own words and he knows what he believes in, and he doesn’t much care what you think of his suit. He’s a good, old-fashioned conviction politician I suppose. And I think he’s shown that to win hearts and minds you don’t need to be sleek or polished – you just need to tell the truth, and you need to care.

    The contrast between him and Mrs May couldn’t have been starker this past month, with her reciting her lines and avoiding human contact, and him speaking from the heart and eating a Pringle like it’s the most normal thing in the world.

    Yes, Brexit was obviously a huge factor, as were policy differences – for a change. However I do think that JC’s authenticity and passion made a considerable difference to both the turnout and to Labour’s vote share. In just 5 weeks of fair broadcast media coverage, he’s reversed damage sustained over 2 years. So fair play to him, and I hope this spells the beginning of a new era of conviction politics – and the end of Crosby and his ilk. That in itself would be quite a result, I think.

    Apologies to any conservative voters by the way. I do think mature, mutually respectful debate is the way forward, but I also feel quite angry. This is directed at the current government and not necessarily at you and everything you hold dear.

    @scaryb Ha ha that’s brilliant.

    idiotsavon @idiotsavon


    • Re: Romeo and Juliet. Sent a message rather than posted here.


    ScaryB @scaryb


    Your paragraph about PRs, spin and truth and lies sounds very Monk-ish method to me!  😉

    (And thank you – I didn’t make it tho (wish I had), just popped up on my twitter feed). Happy birthday btw

    Anonymous @


    That’s amazing thank you  very much. I have a lot more to think about and the issues you raised are definitely super relevant.

    Happy Birthday! The world has given you that birthday present for sure. 😀

    @scaryb good to see you in the Pub and not just on the Sofa -eating snacks!


    Those images are fabulous. “la la land” was great!


    winston @winston

    @wolfweed  Thanks for the laughs. Those pics are great. Monks! (shakes fist in air)

    winston @winston

    @scaryb    Those monks are up to all sorts.Thanks for the proof.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @Thane15 You too (Are you old enough to be in the pub??!). Got some jelly babies if you’d like some.

    Missy @missy

    Is there any truth in the rumour that Boris Johnson is a possible candidate for prime Minister?

    Now, that would be interesting.

    Shall be watching “Mars” tonight.


    Mudlark @mudlark


    I meant to send you my thoughts on the R & J question yesterday but other matters intervened. I have now sent a PM with some suggestions, for whatever they are worth and assuming that it is not now too late for them to be of use.


    As I wrote on Friday, Boris Johnson would jump at the chance to be PM and would probably be first to put his name forward if it came to another leadership contest, but his would be about the most unsafe pair of hands imaginable to take charge in the current circumstances and to steer the looming Brexit negotiations . Interesting, indeed, but only in the sense of the proverbial Chinese curse.

    Nick @nick

    @mudlark @missy

    My guess is that Maybot will be around as PM for quite a while. The Tories can’t have a leadership contest in the middle of Brexit talks. Therefore whoever is the next leader has to be the sole candidate, who the majority can stand behind. I don’t think that’s Boris (right now anyway). It not obvious who else it might be either (if there was May would never have been appointed Tory party leader in the first place).

    Looking at the lot of them from the outside, the most reasonable choice would seem to be Philip Hammond (as he said at their last party conference – no one voted for Brexit to be poorer) or David Davies (he at least seems to understand negotiations require good will and compromise). It’s interesting that May was supposed to be planning to dump both of them after her coronation.

    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    @scaryb Watching Pyramid in the middle of the election campaign, I did feel the Monks’ brainwashing programme was at points eerily familiar! That opening sequence: the gentle lull of the propaganda juxtaposed againt the brutality of real life. And one of Nardole’s observations struck a chord – about how people are prepared to accept a crappy situation if you can make them think that’s just the way it has to be – the way it’s always been.

    I do love the internet for that. There have been some hilarious hashtags and memes during this election. I think #lastminutecorbynsmears has to be my favourite.


    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @thane15 @winston

    Cheers. Just to clarify – the T May pic (& accompanying ‘quote’) posted by @scaryb is by Andrew-Mark Thompson, the Emperor of Dr Who photoshopping…

    This is my Trumpy one, posted on the day he backed out of the Paris Agreement…….

    paris trump monk

    janetteB @janetteb

    @wolfweed. I’m convinced. Those damn monks. They are everywhere.. (urgh I don’t know which is uglier, actually I think I find the monk less scary)



    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    There’s a reasonably large ABB (‘Anyone But Boris’) contingent in the Tory Parliamentary Party. 😈

    It’s difficult to say who’d stand against May because Tory Leadership Contests often include MPs who are testing the waters for the next leadership campaign and MPs who are angling for a major cabinet post rather than the actual leadership – running for the experience and buying people off so that they stand down in your favour is an accepted part of the Tory leadership process.

    Which is how David Davis became Secretary of State for Brexit. 😀

    Personally, I’d expect Mrs May to last for another few months, then use ‘ill-health’ as a fig leaf – she is diabetic. However, it’s always possible that she’ll prove a sh*t-hot negotiator – in which case she’ll last until the next election.

    I’m now reasonably sanguine about the result. Good things: the country may be divided, but didn’t go for an ultra-right wing landslide. The youngest voting generation has learnt from its brutal lesson in the EU referendum and is now turning out to vote. The DUP may be getting concessions – but it’s more ::cough, cough:: socially conservative tendencies are likely to be off-set by the more socially liberal Scottish Conservatives – who also have a nice little voting bloc to extract concessions with.

    But it’s definitely interesting times. You can feel the geological foundations of British politics shifting steadily underneath us all.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    The best laid plans ….

    This afternoon I had intended to spend two or three hours gardening before perhaps posting a comment on The Empress of Mars.  Instead there was an interlude involving an ambulance and several hours in A & E at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. All I did was call 111 for some advice and they promptly summoned the emergency services 😕

    Panic over, and I am none the worse, except that I now have to take beta blockers; but maybe this will enable me from now on to face life with zen-like calm – which, come to think of it, could be a blessing in the present climate.

    Anyway, all hail the NHS!  The ambulance arrived just over 10 minutes after having been summoned, the paramedics were delightful, as was everyone I saw in A & E, even though they were clearly being run off their feet.  The doctor I saw was also utterly charming as well as helpful and informative  – and he was, incidentally, German – no thanks to Brexit.  On the other hand, the TV in the waiting area where I was parked until the results of the blood tests came through was tuned to the BBC 24 hour news channel, and I learned in the interim that Jeremy-the-well-known-spoonerism has been retained as Minister in charge of the Health Service, which was not reassuring, even though the duration of his reign there could be brief.


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Glad to hear there was a positive outcome. I have always venerated the NHS after a brief episode while on holidays in Scotland some years ago. That was why I was disappointed to hear that Jeremy Hunt was left in charge of its destruction in the recent cabinet non-reshuffle.

    P.S. You beta blockers sound wonderful!

    Anonymous @


    Good grief! Talk about cool.  That sounded like it would’ve caused a bit of panic. I agree: when Thane had his vomity/train/shivering illness in the UK in December the NHS were wonderful -and we’re Aussies.

    So, yes, 3 cheers.

    Glad your back. More medicines though 🙁


    Nick @nick


    A major earthquake for sure – and we have an opposition now (finally) . I think Maybot is going to be around for quite a while unless Brexit causes the Tory party to split into hard/soft Brexit parties. The ideological hard brexiteers (who May seems to be captive to) aren’t going to go quietly. They will now raise some taxes, reduce the deficit target and spend more on public services.

    In my opinion, for it to become a tectonic shift, Corbyn has to broaden his appeal (unless the Libdems can expand their vote in the SE significantly) and get a clear position on what his “soft brexit” looks like. John McD was on the TV this weekend restating brexit means leaving the single market (ie a Norway style arrangement cant be the solution). That is Maybot’s view.

    I’d suggest that a Norway style exit (adopting the same sort of freedom of movement controls the Germans use) is probably the majority position across all MPs ?

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @mudlark — glad to hear you’re OK after your episode

    @nick and @bluesqueakpip — I think Corbyn’s been doing very well at widening his appeal over the last few months. There’s no sign that he won’t be able to continue doing this I reckon. His immediate challenge is the tricky job of forming a shadow cabinet that looks like a Government in waiting, one that doesn’t piss off his core loyalists but which also finds room to extend an olive branch to previous Blairite opponents. (If one good thing has already come out of this, it’s that it’s finally killed the Blairite/New Labour faction of the party. As Jonathan Pie said, it’s driven the final stake through the coffin of Count Mandelson.

    As for May staying on, there’s almost no chance of it, I’d say. No doubt the party would like a gradual and dignified ‘coronation’ of (most likely) Amber Rudd but I doubt it will happen. May will be gone within weeks, if not days. If the 1922 Committee don’t do for her then there’s no way she’ll get a Queen’s Speech passed at the end of the month. And then there’s the question of the Good Friday Agreement. By getting into bed with the DUP, she’s essentially put the entire peace process in jeopardy. And there’s many on both sides of the Irish Sea, and wider Europe itself, that won’t allow that to happen. Sinn Fein, for instance, have been remarkably silent since the aftermath of the election but I don’t expect that do continue for long. In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they broke their long-standing policy of not taking up their Westminster seats for the first time. Nah, she’s toast. Even The Donald can see it, which is why he’s ‘postponed’ his visit. He hates being associated with losers.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    On another note, it’s Glasgow Comic Con at the end of the month. Any of the Scottish contingent planning on going?

    Nick @nick

    @jimthefish @bluesqueakpip

    I agree with you Jim, Corbyn does indeed seem very open and honest (I’ll talk to anyone conversation I sawe on TV springs to mind). I’m not a Cobynite, but I like a lot of what I hear him say. I’m not so sure about those around him. Broadening appeal is going to be hard. I’m not sure what it will take to convert a decent % of the SE heartland to go pink.

    On May. She is politically dead already. But someone needs to lead the Tory party and its not clear who else can command a majority. I think if she survives the week, she’ll be around for a while. The problem is that they can’t delay Brexit talks to have another leadership election and then general election in the next 12 months. If they were seen as opportunistic in April, they’ll be seen as abrogating their duty if they do something in the middle of the talks. There is a view that until the German election is finished nothing serious will happen. That creates a window that lasts until October, but I don’t see another election within that period changing the result significantly from this one.

    Going to the country on the back of the Brexit deal with a new leader seems more likely. Who knows. Interesting times. Cameron is going to be damned by historians as one of the least politically acute PM’s of the modern age.

    A Sinn Fein guy was on the TV this morning, in effect saying that they thought the UK government was always biased and reconfirming that they think the UK gov shouldnt be the arbitrator. That may be true especially after the DUP deal, but who ? The US would be ok (but not Trump surely). The EU isnt possible politically. Obama on a personal basis ? May has to get involved personally, but she seems completely disinterested.

    I think an astute PM, would run a minority government and buy off the DUP without any sort of deal at all.


    @xad4 @thane15 and any others who were following the Dyfi ospreys…

    Monty and Glensi have grandchildren! In Scotland. (As far as is known the first offspring from a Welsh nest to have chicks since repopulation began). Also, interesting question as to if this is the first time a British osprey has been followed from conception to parenting.

    Anonymous @


    there’s dust in the ceiling I think.





    Missy @missy

    @mudlark: Ooops, sorry about that. I obviously missed your comment about Boris. A comfort to hear that the NHS is still functioning well.



    (move t’pub)

    @bluesqueakpip @thane15 @tradigrade

    but that doesn’t stop your hypothesis testing also being an act of faith.

    See the answer I gave some moments ago (and it is one that no amount of verbiage overturns).

    If it’s important that you get somewhere else quickly, you will not have time for repeat testing.

    And you will know that you had inadequate information and will know better next time. Whether right or wrong, at no time is faith a factor.

    Limitations on choice are not acts of faith. Appeal to anecdote doesn’t change that. Nor does hasty generalisation from that anecdote.

    See, science as an approach knows that information is imperfect, that measuring things can be darned tricky and that new data will probably confound our most convincing theories. And it knows that sometimes it has to act on *assumption* – which again, is not an act of faith.

    The bendy bridge happened because Arup didn’t do its literature search well enough. Two major papers described exactly the problem that happened. It was an error.

    Errors aren’t acts of faith either and nor in imperfect information.

    Although faith, like hubris, can lead to error – and hubris isn’t faith either.


    Both Kepler and Newton were profoundly religious

    As was Ibn al-Haytham and William of Occam, who came up with the best axiom about not making assumptions.

    ‘cos assumptions aren’t faith.

    if you want a document translated, you go to a translator, not a scientist. If you want to prove that Queen Elizabeth I owned a particular piece of jewellery, the only scientist you could ask would be a Time Lord – a physicist would be utterly useless

    Actually, if you want a document translated you will look for a translator with a grounding in whatever the pertinent field is. If it is a German a paper about textiles then one of my exes is your woman. Remember “brown is the new black”? I knew about that two years before.

    And science does not use the word “prove” in the sense that you are using it (which is the mathematical sense). In science it is essentially synonymous with ‘test’. As in “the proof of the pudding,”; “proving grounds”; “proof of concept” and “the exception that proves the rule” (ie shows the limit of the rule). So you can quite easily use a scientific approach to prove if Liz 1 owned the ring, but accept from the outset that it will likely not be definitive.  Or test when a term is being used a a particular sense in a foreign language and see if that helps clarify the translation.  Because science (to reify it for a moment) knows at the start that it not only doesn’t have all the answers, but probably cannot.

    Nobody has denigrated historians, translators or theologians. But all of them would benefit from listening to scientists.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    .@Blenkinsopthebrave  @thane15 (puro)  @jimthefish  @nick

    Thanks for the good wishes.  It was a rather disconcerting attack of tachycardia – for no apparent reason my heart rate went through the roof and stayed in the stratosphere for the better part of an hour, which to say the least felt weird. After things had settled down again the medics decided that my resting heart rate was too high, hence the beta blockers, but it seems that there is no major reason for concern or further intervention.


    I’m a huge fan of gardening, too! Weeding & pruning  can be a very effective hypertensive ‘medication’.

    That might account for the fact that I have never suffered from hypertension 🙂   But it’s true that gardening can help counteract stress.


    A comfort to hear that the NHS is still functioning well

    My admiration for the NHS in this case is due rather to how relatively efficiently, in this region at least, they appear to be coping  in the face of the Tory onslaught over the past 7 years – major, expensive and worrying reorganisation for largely ideological reasons, funding which in real terms has fallen far behind what is needed and is well below that of other western European countries,  plus understaffing which is partly the result of policy decisions and partly loss through burnout, not to mention the staff – medical and otherwise – recruited from EU countries who are now considering other options. The service is currently under severe stress and nearer breaking point than I ever remember it.

    Nick @nick

    @mudlark @missy

    I’ve been a regular attendee at Imperial College NHS trust (and its predecessors) since 1998 (due to past and current life sins I’m sure 🙂 ). My observation is that things havent got as bad as they were in 1998/99/00 (yet) and that the major investment (under Blair/Brown) is still there keeping the system safe. Since 2010, things have gone down hill significantly and the fabric is stretching thin.

    Anonymous @


    still not asleep yet. After two years or maybe 5, Mum’s  finally let me watch Misfits.


    Joy Division: and a whole lot of Kraftwerk which I know some people might be ‘over’ but so awesome. Love the show.

    Love the tracks.

    Thane (Ok, sleep. It’s raining.).


Viewing 50 posts - 601 through 650 (of 1,004 total)

The topic ‘The Maldovarium’ is closed to new replies.