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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 14,700

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When confronted with looming economic catastrophe...

...our politicians are like rabbits caught in the headlights of a speeding car. There are no solutions to this mess that don't involve a lot of pain or telling people who read the Diana Express a few home truths they don't want to hear.

All very depressing isn't it?

They only have to appeal to a very narrow, and rather extreme electorate in the form of grassroots Tories and this contest is almost certain to deliver a new PM with no idea about how to work for anyone else.

None of the candidates seem to have much idea of how to clean up the sleaze and dishonesty of the Johnson era, let alone how to deal with rampant inflation, or collapsing trade to name but 2 problems.

I don't expect the more moderate runners such as Tugdenhat or Hunt to make much headway. Morduant and Braverman look error prone. Sunak appears to have a big target on his back. Zahawi is making all sorts of wild, undeliverable promises. Grant Schapps has too much personal baggage even for this lot. Kemi Badenoch may be someone who's politics I firmly dislike, but she seems to be quietly building up a fair bit of support.

The usual Tory "defence" of their lockdown shenanigans....

... Is to claim that the general public isn't interested and would much rather that the government got on with their usual agenda of being beastly to foreigners.

The trouble is that people are interested, and actually quite annoyed by all this. The Coronavirus pandemic has been a life changing experience for almost all of us so it's quite galling to see SW1 muppets thinking that the rules they foist on the rest of us don't apply to them.

The fallout from this isn't just something remote from the rest of us either. Aside from the abysmal example being set by politicians, it's making the fight against Coronavirus more difficult and also dragging more and more people into the mire, as can be seen with the current situation with the chief executive of Sheffield Council at present.

With regard to HGV drivers

The issues behind this have been known for a while. HGV driving is an ageing profession, lots of drivers nearing retirement with very few young people training to drive HGV''s. This has been the case for a few years now, and use of immigrant labour has been the obvious short term solution to a long term problem.

Leaving the EU has removed that solution. And the government has given this problem no consideration whatsoever, so an opportunity to do something positive to sort this problem is being squandered.

Other than rejoining the EU, the government really needs to reclassify HGV as skilled labour (which it most definitely is, even if it's not appreciated as such by most) and offer free HGV driver training. At present it's expensive to train as a HGV driver, and there are better paid jobs with more sociable hours out there where you don't have to pay so much to train for.

What Jake Berry did here...

Was to totally undermine the argument he was making about protecting team sports.

When you consider the damage being done to grassroots sports by the pandemic, the last thing anybody needed was this clown making this into a class argument or a North v South argument when it is anything but.

I suspect that Mr Berry''s thought process has been warped by the "culture war" nonsense that's currently so fashionable on the right.


The movement surrounding Corbyn was quite cultish and put loyalty to Corbyn ahead of everything else.

It wasn't a small movement either. Corbyn had significant grassroots support that dominated Labour. And Corbyn's supporters were often quite myopic with their focus on internal Labour Party issues above stuff that actually mattered to voters.

There was a leadership contest following the disastrous EU referendum, and Corbyn's lacklustre performance in that campaign, but the organisational network surrounding Corbyn, and the influx of new Labour members personally devoted to Corbyn ensured that the leadership challenge never really had a chance.

"Doubling down" is a major part of the Tory playbook

When right wing politicians and commentators get things badly wrong they don't admit their mistake as that would be a sign of weakness. Instead they "double down" and keep in digging themselves further into a hole.

Patel appears very strongly to be very much one of those who will never admit to any error. It's been a successful strategy for right wing politicians for a while. Even if it has created a hugely dishonest, wildly arrogant and incapable generation of politicians.

There's a lot of blame flying around at the moment

Truth be told, I think that people not respecting the rules, weak leadership from Westminster politicians and anti lockdown gobshites like Peter Hitchens and Piers Corbyn all have to take some of the responsibility.

The second wave is happening, and I fully expect full lockdown to return before too long. Winter conditions alone, with people not ventilating their homes as much will play a major part in things here.

When this is all over

We will need to have a constitutional convention to overhaul the British Constitution.

Lack of checks and balances has resulted in the British Constitution being completely broken by bad Conservative politicians.

Some major issues have come to light for the government

One is that people spend more money when they work in an office as opposed to working from home.

When I'm in the office I spend more on transport and food. If the papers weren't such a steaming pile of crap then maybe I might have considered buying one of those as well. There's also more opportunity to nip out to the shops to buy other things rather than buying stuff online. Some people also socialise straight after finishing at work. All this adds up to a lot of economic activity (especially in Central London) and the loss of this is hurting a lot of people.

This is a major reason why the press is so shrill on this point. They are losing a big chunk of their readership. To be honest I wish they would admit this point when shrieking about the supposed evils of working from home.

The second point is that this is having a dramatic effect on how and where people shop. Not just the move to buying online but also where I live it is very noticeable that people are keeping to the suburbs and out of the city centre.

The future looks very bleak for town centres. High Street retail is doing really badly and town centre living with it's lack of space is looking a lot less attractive than it used to. And homelessness, which is already a big problem in town centres is going to be an even bigger problem going forward.
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