07 December 2019

General Election 2019 predictions

My 2017 prediction makes for interesting reading now

This prediction is made therefore with little actual confidence.

The question that this election ultimately rests on is whether Conservative gains from Labour in Leave-supporting areas in the North will exceed Conservative losses to the SNP in Scotland and the Lib Dems in Remain-supporting areas in the South of England.

Corbyn is toxic among many voters. Whether the 'smears' are true or false, they have worked and Labour's abysmal handling of antisemitism has not helped in the slightest.

Johnson isn't exactly popular among the wider electorate; I doubt you will get any huge fans of him anywhere. However, his 'Get Brexit Done' message has a certain powerful resonance that Labour's fudge doesn't.

The economy isn't great, but nor has it tipped into recession. "It's the economy, stupid" remains true and while we are likely to have another recession sooner rather than later, Johnson is lucky to have called the election when he did.

So my prediction:

  • Conservative overall majority of under 25, quite possibly under 15.
  • Labour end up going backwards significantly and end up under 250 seats. Corbyn resigns and his replacement will be someone who carries forth a lot of the policies with less of the baggage.
  • The Lib Dems will significant vote share gains, but barely any seat gains. 
  • The Brexit Party will lose a bucket load of deposits.
  • All the defectors and independents will lose their seats.
  • The Alliance will gain a couple of seats off the DUP in Northern Ireland.
  • We leave the EU on 31 January 2020 and enter the transition period; however, there will not be a 'No Deal' at the end of 2020 - there will be something that Johnson, who may be a coward but isn't that much of an idiot, will call a 'deal'. Trying for 'No Deal' would be politically suicidal and likely stopped by a Commons where 'Leave' means a lot of different things. Free movement will end after 2020, however.
  • 'Austerity' will be officially dead and the Tories will try to repudiate it. What changes they make won't be enough to deal with some pretty major deprivation issues.
  • The Fixed Term Parliament Act will be repealed and replaced with something that eliminates the 2/3 requirement for an early election.

23 November 2019

56 Years of Doctor Who

Well, the Series 12 Trailer is out. It's rather staggering to think this is the twelfth run of a revival in a world where many shows don't even get twelve episodes total.

Got to say that I'm rather impressed with the trailer. It looks like it is going to be a lot of fun and hopefully some of the writing has improved; Chibnall's scripting was a major complaint among even those who like Jodie Whittaker's daughter.

No air date yet, mind and I think we're going to have get used to a season every 18 months or so from now on... well, 15 or 16 in this case.

But I'll frankly take what I can get.

10 November 2019

Remembrance 2019

The First World War has nearly passed out of living memory - the oldest person alive, aged 116, was 15 when it ended and lived in Japan. All those who served in any combatant capacity on the various fronts have passed on.

It's very difficult to see a bunch of people in a black & white photograph as 'us', but they were. Peter Jackson's superb They Shall Not Grow Old, with colour images and reconstructed sound, helped really bring home the reality of that conflict. The slang may have been different, the fashion definitely so and the weapons far less advanced than those that appear on today's, still bloody, battlefield, but the emotions these people felt would have been just the same. Fear, disgust, friendship, relief, sadness, pain.

Let's not do this again and let's work to end the scourge of war worldwide.

We will remember them.

02 November 2019

General Election 2019

There may be something of a resolution depending on the result of the general election. A Conservative majority would see the Withdrawal Agreement ratified and we'd move over to negotiating a trade deal during the transition period, which may get extended.

A Labour minority government (a majority is very unlikely) would give us another referendum, probably ending up with us remaining in the EU.

If we get a continuation of the status quo... who knows?

While I find the current Conservative government highly distasteful, I can't bring myself to vote Labour with the current leadership. Since I live in a safe Conservative seat, I will likely vote Lib Dem to help boost their national numbers and make a clear case for Remain.

20 October 2019

Where next for Brexit?

After yet another government defeat yesterday, Boris Johnson sent a photocopy of a letter to the EU Council asking for another extension along with two further letters calling for them to reject the extension because he thinks he can get the deal ratified this week.

I'm not so sure; definitely not in its current form that's for sure. A lot of the amendments tried in the May era narrowly failed - but some of the people who helped vote them down were in ministerial positions and obliged under collective responsibility to vote against. These have now been purged from the front benches and some cases right out of the party.

Quite a few of these amendments will turn up again... and may well pass.

We're also very likely to get another extension from the EU27 and this whole process goes on and on...

15 October 2019

Turkey, Kurds and Trump

The primary responsibility for the Turkish invasion of Kurdish-controlled areas of Syria is that of Turkey itself.

However, Trump's decision to withdraw US forces and betray the Kurds who had done the bulk of the fighting and dying fighting Daesh gives him a very high level of secondary responsibility. Especially due to the sudden nature of the withdrawal. 

Also, Trump seems to be of the "let the [offensive term for Muslims] kill each other" infant school of thought that is oversubscribed in Western society today. I've never liked that view. 

24 September 2019

Utter humiliation for Boris Johnson

I tuned in for the tail end of the Supreme Court judgement. While I'm not in favour of having criminal trials broadcast on television, these appeal court judgements are something that I am perfectly fine with.

And, wow, it was damning for Boris Johnson. The summary and the full judgement available on online make clear that the 11 justices view a five-week prorogation as unjustified just to create a new Queen's Speech... as well as unlawful. To quote:

61. It is impossible for us to conclude, on the evidence which has been put before us, that there was any reason - let alone a good reason - to advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament for five weeks, from 9th or 12th September until 14th October. We cannot speculate, in the absence of further evidence, upon what such reasons might have been. It follows that the decision was unlawful. 

The prorogation is null and void - the 2017-19 session is back on from tomorrow at 11.30am - and this crazy process has yet more twists and turns.

If Boris Johnson had any morals, he'd resign over this. I guess we'll have to kick him out via a Vote of No Confidence instead though...