Where Angles Fear to Tread

June 9, 2017

Never write a blog at 5:30am

Filed under: Politics, UK Politics — Right Angle @ 4:37 am

Having not slept since 6:15am yesterday morning, done a full day’s work and driven 2 hours to Kent the best thing to do at 5:30am is to update a blog for future posterity… or maybe not.

It is now clear that the exit polls are right (or close enough) and that there will be a Hung Parliment with DUP propping up the Conservatives in the next parliament.

It is also clear that May has ****ed herself, the Conservative party and very likely Brexit. An apalling, negative campaign, too close to other elections and after saying she would not call an election appears to have been a catastrophic error. May should pay with her job following this, but I fear that it has fundamentally holed Brexit as well, with an EU fudge now becoming much more likely than before the election.

Two party politics is also back with LAB & CON going into Scotland, and the SNP being crippled. And May didn’t correctly factor in where the UKIP votes would go. Only winners here are Ruth Davidson and Jeremy Corbyn.

Right Angle


June 8, 2017

Disaster for MayCon

Filed under: Politics, UK Politics — Right Angle @ 11:06 pm

In 2015 CON = 331; LAB = 232, and the exit poll is suggesting that CON will drop and LAB will gain with a dramatic fall for SNP.

As an exit poll it is always difficult to know whether it is right, wrong, or badly wrong but if it is true, or CON don’t get at least 331 then this will be bad for May and could spell the end of her lead in the Conservative party. She may be able to survive if they achieve at least 331 (but would be unlikely to make it to 2022) but any lower than this and one would assume that she may not even make it to the start of Brexit negotiations in June.

Unfortunately, she only has herself to blame for this close run election. Don’t trust polls (a message from 2015 & 2016), and run a good and positive election. (Which she failed to do – see my pre-closure blog earlier). I’m still hoping for a CON majority to give us a slightly more stable government, as a minority government may see another election in October / November which I’m sure is not what anyone wants!

-Right Angle

Tardiness Leads the Count

Filed under: Politics, UK Politics — Right Angle @ 9:58 pm

Four minutes to 11pm and neither Sunderland or Newcastle have declared their results. This despite their use of lots of students and running in front of cameras with pictures of their cities.

I think this may just be a publicity issue, and not a serious political wish to get an early result out to those of us on twitter, facebook and blogs.

Hopefully they’ll get an answer to us shortly.

BBC/ITV Exit Poll

Filed under: Politics, UK Politics — Right Angle @ 9:03 pm

Exit poll saying CON losing 17 seats, LAB winning 34 seats, and SNP losing 22 seats, which seems a little off.

No doubt I will be proven wrong but we shall see as we get the results around 3am – 4am

-Right Angle

An Election of Bad Taste and Bad Memories

Filed under: Politics, UK Politics — Right Angle @ 8:17 pm

The campaigning is over (bar the facebook, YouTube, and Twitter adverts) and BBC has been showing rubbish the whole day, and there is less than one hour to vote… (If you haven’t yet, put down this blog, and vote!)

We already have one result in – the Scottish Episcopal church has voted to allow Gay marriage in their churches. Bravo!

Now we have to wait for 11pm – midnight to hear that Sunderland have voted for Labour, and then wait quite a bit longer for the final result.

The campaign itself has been poor with personal attacks the norm and not policies. Primarily from the Conservatives. Normally a party in government has a track record to fall back on, and the Conservatives have a good record (albeit one that can be a little difficult to understand). Despite insisting that the election was called to give May a mandate for Brexit, this has not been talked about much, and attacks on Corbyn and his team have become common place. Unfortunately, these have been personal attacks as well as attacks on policies (the former being unacceptable, the latter being perfectly fine). Meanwhile SNP are trying desperately not to talk about the 2nd ‘once in a generation’ independance referendum and Labour are failed to explain how they will pay for their election promises (taxing the ‘rich’ and borrowing seems like the key).

I have voted for Conservative again, although I don’t think that will suprise readers of this blog, and I am in South Northamptonshire (Andrea Leadsom) which is one of safest Conservative seats in the country.

A quick break and a nap, and then ready to listen to Sunderland.

(For those non-politics twitter followers, who’ve got this far, (how?!?) I suggest a tour through the highlights of Champions Trophy 2017 on the I-Player. There are 7 games or slightly over 6 hours of great cricket. Stay awake with us and pretend to be a politico!)

-Right Angle

November 9, 2016

The left need to stop ignoring the poor

Filed under: Politics, UK Politics, US Politics — Right Angle @ 8:25 pm

Trump is US President-Elect, Britain is leaving the EU and politicians from the right are making ground in many countries within continental Europe. What is happening, and are all these events linked or relating to country-specific issues? Of course it’s a mixture of both, and never a simple answer.

However, in two recent elections the accepted wisdom that the poor will vote the way of the left has been disproved. In Britain the largest votes to leave the EU were from the previous industrial areas of the North where labour dominates, and in USA Ohio and Pennsylvania have voted for Trump despite all polls suggesting they would go Democrat again.

The left – including liberal media, commentators, and celebrities – assumed that the poor – many of whom previously worked in heavy industry and manufacturing – would continue to vote for them whatever they do or say. Vague – and sometimes not so vague – accustations of racism and not adapting to the new global world we now live appear to have built up resentment against this assumption. The America ‘Rust Belt’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rust_Belt is a good example of the point I am trying to make.

Manufacturing (especially first tier level such as steel manufacture) has been steadily transferred to countries outside the ‘developed’ world. This has been replaced with higher paid service jobs and the ability to focus skills in a country and become specialists. However, that is economic theory – in practice it might work for society as a whole, but it doesn’t work for individuals. If a person has worked in manufacturing for 15 years, and their parents worked there before them, and the plant closes and moves to China then it may make more jobs in New York in banking or trading but that is little help to this person. Left in a town with the primary industry gone, and no alternative employment available this person is left with two choices – stay and struggle, or leave and look for new employment. However, they must leave their houses behind – as no-one will buy them in a shrinking town – and start again, through no fault of their own. So anyone who does escape this trap must start again, and give money to the rich landlords of the populous and successful cities as they will never afford to buy property there.

What I am trying to convey is that this impact of globalisation has not been acknowledged by the left and is only starting to be recognised by those outside the left (and not the traditional parties of the right – the Conservatives didn’t believe Brexit could win, and the Republicans didn’t believe Trump could). Any politician who does acknowledge this impact appears to be certain to increase their votes in these areas, potentially delivering unexpected results.

The real problem occurs if these people are still not listened to. I hope those in power in both UK and USA don’t ignore this requirement and work towards improving the lives of these people left behind by globalisation through no fault of their own.

Right Angle

July 11, 2016

May & Eagle appear in July

Filed under: Politics, UK Politics — Right Angle @ 7:13 pm

Today has definitely been a weird day in UK politics. And that is with the backdrop of the last 18 days since the Brexit vote.

Angela Eagle was preparing for a press conference (well trailed with the press) to declare a challenge to Corbyn, when the Conservative leadership contest between May and Leadsom took a very unexpected turn.

Early this afternoon Leadsom announced she would stand down, with a statement that made it clear no-one else could come back in. Queue confirmation from Gove that he would not contest May’s leadership campaign and the 1922 committee scrabbling for a decision. Cameron has agreed to stand down, and May will start on 13th July (no earlier as the Queen is currently not in residence in London).

This all somewhat overshadowed Eagle’s announcement, but there is much more time to review this later – and there will be complex reviews with Corbyn saying he will on on the ballot and others saying he needs 20% of the MPs to back him first. This could be the start of a breakup of the Labour party, and May must be tempted to call a snap election – although she has said she won’t.

More interesting times are definitely ahead whilst we wait to see when May will activate Article 50, and what Brexit will look like. Will we have a further negotiation and an ‘EU-lite’ to vote on? Who knows, but there will more reason for me to return to this blog in the near future.

Right Angle

June 30, 2016

Boris isn’t here anymore

Filed under: Politics, UK Politics, Uncategorized — Right Angle @ 6:28 pm

Today was going to be a review of the runners and riders within the Conversative leadership election. The deadline was 12 noon, and I was already writing the reviews is my head…

So onto number 1, the bookies favourite and joint leader of the Leave campaining – Boris Johnson. He has experience of running a large metropolitan area, led the Leave campaign to victory, left the Mayor seat behind to (one assumes) become PM after Cameron and as such he… isn’t standing…!

And the rest of my article is just shock. I didn’t expect it and don’t really know what to say. So after a long day at work the best approach is to say very little and consider this change in the party.

For completeness the candidates are:

  • Theresa May
  • Michael Gove
  • Stephen Crab
  • Liam Fox
  • Andrea Leadsom

Now the MPs need to reduce this list to 2, and let the Conservative party members decide. It’ll be an interesting few months, and is an issue I will return to in more detail, once I’m over my suprise.

Right Angle

June 29, 2016

Corbyn & Labour

Filed under: Politics, UK Politics — Right Angle @ 6:05 pm

It’s always a risk for a dyed in the wool Tory blue like me to comment on the woes of the other party, but I have reason to do so. Democracy in this country suffers when one party is too strong, or the other too weak (1980s, 2000s are the ones I remember). With the changes in Scotland the Labour party needs to be strong, and hold the Conservative government to account.

They need to co-operate with the SNP on UK issues (not those just affecting England and Wales) where they share a common ground and they need a strong leader and a strong Parlimentary party.

We have a period of change ahead of us, and we need people in parliment who will question the decision of the party in government so that they are forced to remember that there are people in the country who didn’t vote for them. The FPTP system tends to play into the hands of parties forming governments and this is a good thing (in my mind), but both need to be able to participate.

So last night, the PLP (Parlimentary Labour Party) held a vote of no confidence in their leader – Jeremy Corbyn. It is not binding, and does not require him to do anything but a leadership challenge is looking likely. The problem is that Labour party activitists/members (those with the final vote) are being polled as still in strong support of him, so any coup is unlikely to work unless the PLP can keep Corbyn off the list they present to the activists. There is – naturally – differing legal opinion as to whether this is possible.

The real problem for Labour though, is whether Corbyn is electable with or without the support of the PLP. And the honest answer is I don’t know. Many of my friends who have supported Labour in the past say no, but that is a highly unscientific sample.

So just when we need leadership and rigorous checking of government policies and ideas, we have both parties in middle of leadership ‘discussions’.

Right Angle

June 28, 2016

A curve in all but name

Filed under: Politics, UK Politics — Right Angle @ 6:04 pm

Since the result of the Referendum a lot of my friends on facebook, twitter and in real life have shown (what I assumed) was an unfortunate lack of acceptance of the democratic process. The petition to re-run the referendum within impossible boundaries so that neither side could ever win (60% on 75% turnout!), the anger at leave voters, and the concern to the future.

However on reflection (and with reference to my business books) I realise this is natural and even has a theory attached to it. For those who don’t know it is the Change Curve (although as a mathematician I am duty bound to say that it goes up and down not in one simple parabola).

I love change, it’s a key part of my job and without it I would be bored witless. However, I know from the same job that many people struggle with change and it shouldn’t suprise me that people are struggling with this one. Why has it taken me so long… well things do – sometimes I need a rest and staying up all night to watch an election is not always the best thing to do!

So, onto the theory for those who don’t know it. (‘Designed’ by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross)

  • Shock

People are unable to process the result. They don’t know what to do, never expected or planned for it, and sit quietly (or loudly) in a corner. In democracy of course, there is also the shock that 52% of the country think differently to you – despite recent evidence to the contrary we are a very communal species. The stock market and the FTSE 250 are almost certainly still here. They don’t seem to be settling yet!

  • Denial

For when people move on from shock, comes the denial. It can’t be happening, there must be a way to stop it. Why is this happening to them? The perfect example is the call for a re-run of the referendum so that we can try again to get the right answer.

  • Anger

There seems to be a lot of people at this stage, and many more to go through it in the next weeks / months (and even years potentially). This is currently directed at the Leave supporters who voted for the change. Those of us, who sat quietly (or not so quietly) and shocked (see back to stage 1) those who voted Remain and were told on polling day that they were winning.

  • Depression

The lowest point on the curve for country moral and cohesion. If everyone reaches here at the same time we’ll have a problem but fortunately that is unlikely. Some people can stay here a long time, but if you find yourself down here know that there is almost always someone at the next two steps who will willingly help you get through it. Speak to them, seek them out and ask for help. Avoid people who use the phrase ‘get over it'(… if that was me in previous blogs or twitter you should probably ignore me too).

  • Acceptance

I know some Remain voters who are already here. An acknowledgement that what is changed is changed and that it can’t be undone. Of course with politics that isn’t always a guarantee and so people may take a while to get here, some may not need to get here and if the referendum vote is somehow changed or ignored I imagine that the Leave campaigners will immediately start on shock and follow the same journey.

Politics is of course different to business, and whereas you have options on the way with business – and (normally) a person with a plan who will push it through, or someone who has done it before – with Politics we don’t currently have the leadership or direction to help people reach this stage.

  • Integration

Integration to the solution, pressing forward suggesting ideas and solutions and a willingness to get involved. There may be changes even at this late point but those who have reached this stage tend to deal with them better than those who haven’t.

So why is this important? Everyone reaches the points on this graph/process at different times. Those who voted Leave should already be at the end of the it, but some will be at the beginning as well – especially as the PM has quit, and Labour are in turmoil. So lets help each other if we spot them in any bad places – knowing that these things exist does make it easier to spot them and I find that it helps me talk to people.

So, sorry it took a few nights’ sleep to wake up to the fact, and to actually engage my empathy – it’s sometimes a struggle. I hope you don’t consider this to be belittling or unfeeling, that is furthest from my intention. I only share this (with a little addedexplanation) because it has helped me in the past. Use or otherwise at you leisure.

– Right Angle

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