Mark's Musings

A miscellany of opinions, thoughts, rants and comments

6 May 2017
by Mark
0 comments

The “Progressive Alliance” is a figment of the imagination

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Left-wing activists cling to the idea that there is an inherent anti-Tory majority, if only the opposition parties could get their act together and cooperate. Real election results, though, ake it clear that there is no such thing. Eight new … Continue reading

27 March 2017
by Mark
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Necessary hashtags and the art of detecting media bias

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Twitter (or, at least, my particular Twitter bubble) has been busy this last 24 hours pouring scorn on the Home Secretary’s apparent admission in the Andrew Marr show on BBC1 (and later, in conversation with Sophy Ridge on Sky News) … Continue reading

15 March 2017
by Mark
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Happy Ides of March!

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Today is the 15th of March, the nearest equivalent in our calendar to the Roman Ides of March, the date on which – as we all know from our Shakespeare – Julius Caesar was assassinated. Everybody knows to beware the … Continue reading

31 December 2016
by Mark
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2016 and all that

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It’s been an interesting year. For some, it’s been interesting in the sense of the apocryphal Chinese curse, “may you live in interesting times”. For others, it’s been interesting in a less ironic sense. Politics and celebrities are two of … Continue reading

4 August 2016
by Mark
1 Comment

Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign pledges. Some of this will shock you.

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These are the ten pledges launched today by Jeremy Corbyn as part of his campaign to retain control of the Labour Party. I thought they’re worth a few comments. 1. A decent job for all, in a decent economy This … Continue reading

4 July 2016
by Mark
1 Comment

Our next Prime Minister – time for Conservatives to decide

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Unlike my position on the EU referendum itself, where I deliberately avoided participating in either campaign, I have decided to publicly state who – of the five candidates on offer – I want as the next leader of the Conservative … Continue reading

28 June 2016
by Mark
0 comments

The next Prime Minister

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Nominations for the Conservative Party leadership election – and, by extension, the internal election for the next Prime Minister – open today and close on Friday. Conservative MPs will whittle down the contenders to a final two, who will then … Continue reading

27 June 2016
by Mark
2 Comments

Two tribes go to work

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Following the EU referendum, there are, broadly speaking, four groups of people in the UK: Group A – Hardcore Remain voters, who are not only unhappy with the result but are unwilling to accept the outcome and insist on either … Continue reading

22 June 2016
by Mark
0 comments

After the referendum

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This time tomorrow morning, we will be voting in the EU referendum. By this time the day after that, we should know the result. So, what happens next? Obviously, that depends on what the result is. But this is what … Continue reading

15 June 2016
by Mark
1 Comment

Referendum musings

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It’s just over a week to go to the EU referendum, so I thought I’d jot down a few thoughts. To begin with, let me say what this post is not. I will not tell you how to vote, or … Continue reading

6 October 2015
by Mark
4 Comments

An unpleasant encounter

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I’ve been at the Conservative party conference this week. As you may have seen reported by the media, there’s been a group of protesters outside the venue most of the time, although they tend not to be there earlier in … Continue reading

12 September 2015
by Mark
0 comments

Throw your emails in the air like you just don’t care

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I received my first batch of template emails from 38 Degrees recently. As a general rule, most of their mail-bombing campaigns are aimed at MPs, rather than councillors, so they tend not to come our way. But the recent announcement … Continue reading

29 June 2015
by Mark
4 Comments

Actually, most people are happy with the result of the general election

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One of the assertions that I keep seeing on social media and other websites is that only a minority of people voted for the current government, with the implication that it therefore lacks both popular support and legitimacy. It’s become … Continue reading

23 May 2015
by Mark
0 comments

Election reflections

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The elections seem a long time ago already, even though it’s only just over a couple of weeks. But I can still feel the sense of exhilaration when, firstly, the exit polls confounded the pre-election predictions and then the real … Continue reading

16 April 2015
by Mark
0 comments

The question that hasn’t been asked

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3 April 2015
by Mark
2 Comments

Zero Thought

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One of the subjects that cropped up in the Leaders’ debate yesterday evening was zero hours contracts. Ed Miliband wants to effectively abolish them. David Cameron’s response was that Labour have a “zero jobs” approach. In the double-header interview previously, … Continue reading

2 April 2015
by Mark
0 comments

Knee-jerk reaction….

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Well, I’ve just watched the leaders’ debate. Here are a few random impressions of how it went. The questions weren’t particularly well distributed. Two on education. Nothing on tax, the economy only addressed in passing. Everyone knows that the SNP … Continue reading

23 March 2015
by Mark
0 comments

Why you can’t just vote for policies

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As we approach the general election in May, a number of websites have sprung up (and more will probably follow) where you can compare the various policies of the parties competing for your vote. The idea is that you can … Continue reading

25 February 2015
by Mark
0 comments

MPs to be banned from taking jobs that Ed doesn’t approve of (if he gets in, of course)

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Ed Miliband has just sent me[1] an email in which he said It’s time to stop MPs taking second jobs once and for all. Your MP should be working solely in the interests of you and your community. and then … Continue reading

18 February 2015
by Mark
0 comments

Does quality journalism have a future?

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I don’t normally read the Daily Telegraph in print, except when I’m visiting my parents and I try to do the crossword before my mum gets a chance. But I’ve been reading it a lot more online recently, ever since … Continue reading