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A wilding

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  1. Another random first world rant. A rich elderly driver who should have given up driving kills a baby and gets away with it: Driver cleared over Waterbeach pram death This is a real trigger subject for me. I now have direct experience of four elderly people who tried to keep on driving when they were manifestly no longer safe doing so. Fortunately all these were resolved without any innocent person being hurt, though in was a close run thing in at least one case. One of these people positively glorified in how many minor incidents they had had. Another is still angry about being made to stop and still needs watching (recently we found a letter to them from the DVLA "thank you for your application for a new driving licence. However we note that you did not mention your notifiable medical condition on the application ..."). It is a point that living in a nice house in an affluent village is very restricted without wheels, but they are the generation that created a country where rural public transport is totally inadequate, so my sympathy is muted. And there was nothing to stop them moving somewhere more convenient. And of course these people all vote and mostly vote Tory, so there is zero political will to do anything about this. Relatives, police and doctors are often reduced to just begging someone to stop driving, often to no effect.
  2. I had somehow missed that he had written another book. They are always worth a try, I have added it to my list.
  3. I agree about the stupid "tick in the box" attitude towards degrees in many companies. Interestingly, in some circles, a degree is now no longer enough, you have also to have a PhD (however meaningless or irrelevant). I find it hard not to see that as partly a way of maintaining a hereditary class system, as mentioned previously, limiting roles those those with family resources to fund an extra 3 years. Anecdote: at one company I worked at not long ago an extremely able junior IT guy who had been with the company for years, ever since he was 18, was denied a thoroughly deserved promotion just because he did not have a degree. He promptly left for a better job elsewhere, leaving a significant hole. It did cause a bit of a shock wave through the management, but ultimately I don't think that anything changed.
  4. I am somewhat in agreement with this, but I also think Mormont is right in it not being primarily the fault of the education system. I see the root of the UK's problem lies in in deifying management roles and denigrating almost all technical hands on ones. An attitude that is now so pervasive as to have reached even the teaching and medical professions. Only finance and possibly the law seem exempt (and being societal constructs, you could make an argument as to how technical they truly are). In many countries "engineer" is an honoured title, in the UK it tends to conjure up the image of someone in dirty overalls carrying a spanner. Those of us who identify as engineers have to get our sense of self worth from our peers and within ourselves (and the fact that scarcity value means they have to grudgingly pay at least some of us pretty well). It sometimes seems to me that the ideal UK corporation is considered to be one that takes on contacts and outsources all the work on to other outsourcing companies, basically a just thin veneer that extracts a slice of the money going through, while adding bureaucracy. I could cite numerous supporting anecdotes. This means that degree courses are slanted away from vocational subjects and more towards ones for students with aspirations to become managers, because those are what students, understandably, want to do. So it is scarcely surprising we end up with a glut of would be managers who end up making tea if they are lucky.
  5. Sort of, but as a Cambridge alumni I have to protest that there is some distinction between them. Oxford is the upper class solidly Tory university that aspiring Tory politicians want to go to. Cambridge is generally more intellectual upper middle class and somewhat further to the left, "Whig" being the old word for it. To quote one (somewhat pro Oxford) saying; Oxford is the university of dreaming spires, Cambridge the university of aspiring dreams.
  6. I do notice many people from the US saying much the same about their Democrat party. I think it has something to do with how much the Right has succeeded in steering public discourse. They have vastly more money at their disposal naturally.
  7. It is worse than that. She is a second rate lawyer who has zero respect for the rule of law and thinks that this government should be able to do whatever it wants with no limits. And she was promoted to the position of the government's legal supremo precisely because she holds those beliefs.
  8. And that is explicitly Johnson's position. The people who voted Tory in the last election voted for him personally, and his ousting is an "anti-democratic coup".
  9. That was the one who walked out. She reminded me strongly of one of my relatives, who gets aggressively furiously angry whenever her (sometimes way out there) beliefs are challenged, and is also very much into herbalism. To be fair to her, she is a chronic invalid that the NHS has been unable to do much for (though she has not made it easy for them), and who has been engaged in a years long battle with social services to get support.
  10. @Raja The best Indian in Reading is Clay's Hyderabadi
  11. There was an interesting Hannah Fry programme on the BBC the other night about Covid anti-vaxers. She gathered together a disparate group of people who had refused vaccination for various reasons, listened to them and tried to gently broaden their minds a bit. You see why she is such a good science communicator, it was interesting, even if she had a lot more patience with some of them than I would have done. I particularly noted when one of them just got up and walked out of the room when told things she did not want to hear. https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0019g27/unvaccinated
  12. And note how this government has changed our unwritten constitution. Once upon a time it was parliament that changed laws. Now a minister in a caretaker government can do it at the stroke of a pen.
  13. That's the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations on the table to his left. Obviously because coming up with a good quote (using dead trees) is what he sees his role as being all about.
  14. It take five minutes to boil that little? You learn something new every day.
  15. Sadly she is not an example of nominative determinism. If Johnson likes to imagine himself as a reincarnation of Winston Churchill, Truss likes to imagine herself as a reincarnation of Margaret Thatcher. In both cases they fall ludicrously, short. If she wins, expect more of the same empty populism as with Johnson, only with somewhat less charisma.
  16. He is establishing his narrative for posterity. Mere vulgar facts have nothing to do with it, And he was cheered because, even now, Tory MP are scared of losing diehard Johnson supporter votes. Or of having him turn on them.
  17. Well that blew up. To return to my original question: Absolutely. The current diversity of Tory MPs is the result of an extremely successful drive by Cameron when he was PM. Like gay marriage, it was one of his centrist ideas and definitely aimed at improving the party's image. As to why these diverse MPs disproportionately recently made it to the upper ranks, my guess is that it it is something to do with them being generally on the right of their party, plus a certain common quality of pragmatic ruthlessness unhindered by much scruple. For example Sulla Braverman, made Attorney General because of a clear willingness to come up with any legal ruling Johnson wanted (in contrast to the two previous holders of the position). Or Priti Patel with her "send them to Rwanda" immigration policy. Though Sajid Javid feels like a bit of an outlier. Still this only pushes the question back as to why they were the ones who got selected to be MPs. And the answer to that presumably does indeed have something to do with class and wealth.
  18. @Heartofice So you would phrase the question as: why were disproportionately few of Johnson's senior cabinet members white men? But I think you misread my post. I said nothing at all about "Tory voters". I was looking at the makeup of the actual Tory party, which is unquestionably overpopulated with white men compared to the rest of the country..
  19. It is an interesting question though. Given the preponderance of old white men in the parliamentary Tory party, and indeed in the wider Tory party as well, how come so few of them even entered the leadership contest?
  20. If it helps, neck pain is often caused directly or indirectly by stress. Reviewing your posture, especially when seated, might be a good idea. I also suggest consulting a physiotherapist if possible.
  21. Indeed. Too busy basking from his jolly being taken for a ride in a Typhoon over the weekend to bother with anything else. Certainly not with the current heatwave.
  22. Also a great deal of money has been and is being spent on investigating climate change and ways to ameliorate it. Though possibly not as much has has been spent obfuscating it. Not to mention hounding and ridiculing climate change scientists.
  23. Probably the air conditioning would only break down.
  24. If you mean Eats, Shoots & Leaves, I think that was actually written by a different Truss. I doubt Liz Truss would have had the intellect for it.
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