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UK Politics - Democracy for the 0.27% - Worst Past The Post edition


Which Tyler
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Truss really does have only one answer for anything doesn't she. "Tax cuts". And they called Theresa May the Maybot ...

At least Thatcher had a self justification for tax cuts - that the wealth would "trickle down" to the poor. If Truss has one, I have not heard it.

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4 hours ago, dog-days said:

Jacob Rees Mogg planning to sell £1.5 billion of government offices because civil servants are still working from home. This from the man that wandered around Whitehall leaving bitchy notes behind for anyone not obsessed with presenteeism. He's framing it as a victory for the taxpayer. O Lord God of Israel who sent the twelve plagues against Egypt, can't you manage something small and localised just for him? Embarrassingly-placed boils would do. 

But that means he's finally on board with work from home for non-public facing civil servants. Selling some buildings and securing smaller spaces for government departments that allow for ~70% of the workforce to be in office means most people will work from home at least one day a week. I work from home 3 days a week when there isn't a pandemic and 4 days a week when there is one.

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11 minutes ago, The Anti-Targ said:

But that means he's finally on board with work from home for non-public facing civil servants. Selling some buildings and securing smaller spaces for government departments that allow for ~70% of the workforce to be in office means most people will work from home at least one day a week. I work from home 3 days a week when there isn't a pandemic and 4 days a week when there is one.

When I worked for the Department of Transport a few years ago, more than half the people worked from home because there physically wasn't enough room for everyone if they came into the office, and I believe almost every department had the same situation.

The framing of this to the public has been, "everyone used to come into the office all the time and because of the pandemic they're now not meh meh meh," instead of "60-70% of people used to work from home on any given day anyway and everyone had systems set up to work from home, often far more efficiently than in the office and without 5 hours of commuting every day, so this is literally a total non-issue."

On the days I did work in the office, after the delights of the near-3 hour commute at ludicrously high cost (no discounts for Department of Transport employees), I often found it was an utter waste of time being in the office because I'd be hunched over a shitty laptop rather than working on my multi-screen setup in my office at home, getting about a third of the same workload done, and any face-to-face meetings in the office were purely by chance because the person you wanted to talk to was probably working from home on the day you were in the office so it all got sorted by emails anyway.

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5 minutes ago, Werthead said:

my multi-screen setup in my office at home

I'm having visions of mission control at JSC.

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Do the Tories actually want to create a riot? This thread is becoming an ever bleaker read. Anyways:

1 hour ago, Werthead said:

When I worked for the Department of Transport a few years ago, more than half the people worked from home because there physically wasn't enough room for everyone if they came into the office, and I believe almost every department had the same situation.

Just want to echo that this is pretty universal in government work unless you have your own office. I once literally worked in a closet with three other interns in the Minnesota state capitol, and if we were all there at once, two worked on the folding table, one on the floor and the other found a bench in the hall, assuming there was one. Nothing like being in your late teens/early 20s wearing your best clothes sitting for hours on the floor of a dirty public government building...

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20 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

Do the Tories actually want to create a riot?

We have a Chancellor of the Exchequer of *ahem* let's just say extremely dubious background, who is currently having his affairs investigated by HMRC, telling the plebs that "We must all carefully consider our energy usage."

If there's a queue for spikes, this cunt will be at the forefront. 

And not just for this. He has been one of the most absurdly mendacious media defenders of the governmental shit show we've all been suffering for the past five years. Dreadful man.

Edited by Spockydog
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27 minutes ago, Spockydog said:

We have a Chancellor of the Exchequer of *ahem* let's just say extremely dubious background, who is currently having his affairs investigated by HMRC, telling the plebs that "We must all carefully consider our energy usage."

While getting the taxpayer to pay for his own energy usage ...

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3 hours ago, Spockydog said:

This is well worth a read..

It's worth a read indeed - thanks for sharing.
I find it difficult to sympathize with the author though. The crux of the article seems to me that at some point she remembered that it takes guts to be a journalist - that a journalist doing their job correctly will make a lot of people unhappy and face criticism (often unfair).
To be fair, journalists have a tougher job in difficult times (they're easy targets for many people). OTOH, it's a bit worrying that it took years for a professional to realize that "both-sideism" was problematic ; if it was so difficult to find an economist speaking in favor of Brexit, surely she could realize it meant something and acted on that. In a similar way, her conclusion that journalists have to explain things to people, "to make sense of what we are seeing and anticipate the next move." makes me wonder whether she was ever trained for her job.
There are a few interesting points here and there (yep, tweets shouldn't be exempt from scrutiny), but what I take from this is that media professionals may be incredibly naive about the media (or politics, or rhetoric... ). I mean, most boarders this side of the wall know what "false equivalence" is and how most rhetorical tricks work (boths-sideism, whataboutism, strawmaning... etc). I can only hope she wasn't paying attention to her lectures (at Queen's College, Cambridge).

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4 hours ago, Spockydog said:

I'm having visions of mission control at JSC.

I have an 11-year old 22" monitor and a newer 24" monitor from about 18 months ago, with a decent mouse/keyboard/speaker setup. Not exactly JSC, but it is better than hunched over a single laptop perched on a hotdesk with dozens of other people.

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19 hours ago, Rippounet said:

if it was so difficult to find an economist speaking in favor of Brexit, surely she could realize it meant something and acted on that. In a similar way, her conclusion that journalists have to explain things to people, "to make sense of what we are seeing and anticipate the next move." makes me wonder whether she was ever trained for her job.

 

Holy shit, you weren't exaggerating. I found this paragraph jaw-dropping:

Quote

I would later learn the ungainly name for this myopic style of journalism—“both sideism,” which talks to the way it reaches a superficial balance whilst obscuring a deeper truth. At this stage, I had never heard the term—or indeed the criticism—I just thought we were doing our job. 

 

That's from 2016. A prominant BBC journalist tasked with interviewing major politicians and presenting political analysis to the public unaware of even the concept of "both sides" until 2016. I certainly don't disagree with her overall conclusions, but the whole lecture comes across as breathtakingly naive. This is stuff that has been screamingly obvious to even half-awake observers for a very long time now. How could someone in her position be so late in becoming aware of it? (of course my immediate suspicion is that she had her position largely because she was unaware of it).

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Liz Truss 'can no longer spare the time' for BBC1 interview with Nick Robinson.  Translation: She's so thick her minders don't want her face somewhat demanding questions in case she says anything so hopeless that even Conservative party members won't vote for her. Or accidentally commits herself to a General Election. 

ETA: Re the Maitlis article. I haven't watched Newsnight for years — not since I was staying with my parents and Paxman was still leading the show. I'm not fond of the Paxman style at its most extreme, though sympathise with the attitude behind it ('why is this lying bastard lying to me?'). I'm even less fond of the journalism that seems largely to consist of reciting press releases and gobbets from political parties, organisations and think tanks.

Both styles are too much in hock to spin-doctoring, and end up with a vicious cycle of parties employing ever more PR people, and journalists wasting time on the PR instead of anything more meaningful. I reckon that if a political party starts on an issue, the BBC should be able to say: "Okay, you've brought it up" and proceed to spend its time analysing the issue itself, while giving the politicians and their entourages as little time on air and page space as possible. 

Liffguard's comment about Maitlis getting her job because of her apparent naivety reminded me of Andrew Marr interviewing Noam Chomksy. Can't remember if it's been posted here before. 

Edited by dog-days
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Hearing more and more noise about Johnson emulating Churchill by having two separate terms as PM.

Ooooooh, can't wait.

 

Edited by Spockydog
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4 minutes ago, Liffguard said:

I may or may not have brought it up a couple of times before on previous threads :leaving:

Heh, I must have missed it then. I think I first saw the recording in a Twitter reaction to news of Andrew Marr leaving the BBC. 

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Apparently the requirement for passports to get into UK from Europe has hit the short-term tourism industry ie day visitors to places like Canterbury. A lot of money lost.

More Brexit winning

 

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The pilgrims have abandoned us! The last time this happened, Henry II had to eat some serious shit.

Perhaps we will see Jacob Rees Mogg donning a hair shirt and  prostrating himself on the ground before the cathedral altar.

 

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3 hours ago, Spockydog said:

The pilgrims have abandoned us! The last time this happened, Henry II had to eat some serious shit.

Perhaps we will see Jacob Rees Mogg donning a hair shirt and  prostrating himself on the ground before the cathedral altar.

 

He would enjoy that too much.  Frankly, probably already does (but not at Canterbury - it’s tainted).  Has also probably said something about ridding Rome of a turbulent pope.  Mere speculation.

 

There is a joke somewhere about St. So and So a Brexit, but I don’t have the mental energy to complete.

Edited by Mlle. Zabzie
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