Monday, 28 June 2010

Whats the exit strategy for Daves Folly now?

Bit of an outside issue I know, but Dave was reliant on McChrystal to say "the surge has worked we can go home" was he not?

McChrystal has now been fired, quite possibly because the surge has failed and he's not stupid enough to claim it hasnt. So where does this leave our plan to declare victory and "get the fuck out of dodge"?
Can Dave still declare victory and come home, when the general he's bowed down before has been sacked?

All of this begs the question, why did David take it upon himself to take ownership of an unpopular warhe doesnt have a clue about?

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Men bbq on wood

gas is just cooking in the rain

words

budweiser, brewed in the uk, and distributed by inbev uk.

So who brews it?

We Woz Wobbed

Trt did not expect england to be the germs, but that doesnt change the fact that our goal was not allowed. fifa have ruled out video tech, instead they want better refereeing. Does that mean numpty and his assistants are going to be sacked for incompetance?
Englands defence, fuck me, trt hasnt played football since he missed a gcse exam, but i could have stopped three of those goals.

Friday, 25 June 2010

The Paywall has been a raging success

Lord Guido of Fawkia has an article on the failure of the times paywall.
He is wrong.

The Times has managed to keep a third of its viewers, thats amazing, early estimates that would still have been profitable were as low as 10%.
Guido may have more leaders, but as a retailing major once said to low grade paper, "your readers are my shoplifters", when asked why they didnt buy advertising space

Guido may end up with more readers, but we'll be the window licking variety, not the one anyone wants.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Postponed Peak Oil

The Sage of Telegraphia has a new blog post on that most persistant of paranoias, peak oil, the only phenominom I'm aware of thats able to get Pastoralist Luddites and American Nuclear Bunkerists to hold hands and whisper sweet nothings.
Postponed Peak

The article asserts that peak oil is being pushed even further back by unconventional gas, which is a bit of a cheat, we'll still run out of oil, we just wont care.
If unconventional gas reserves are even a 10th of whats possible, thats a severe understatement.

But thats not what I intended to talk about.
At the very least, the marginal cost and risk cost of deep-sea drilling has rocketed. This must affect projects off Brazil, Angola, the Norwegian Arctic, and up in Russia’s `High North’. If the spill keeps gushing into the Autumn it may do to sea drilling, what Three Mile Island did to the US nuclear industry for thirty years.


Three Mile Island happened when there was a preponderance of gas, coal and oil ready and waiting to take up the slack.
When 10 million Americans freeze to death in the Northern States because the electricity grid buckled, anyone protesting that drilling might harm fish/sheelfish/birds or Gaia will be torn apart by the rampaging mobs.

More Jackals? Are you people ******* stupid?

The MoD has just announced the purchase of another 140 Supacat Jackals, these will be the 2a standard, with increased armour.

Why is this a stupid purchase?
Because these vehicles are not armoured in a sense that matters in Afghanistan. They are armoured against small arms, which to my knowledge, have yet to kill a single vehicle mounted soldier in Afghanistan.
They are not armoured against mines, which is what are killing the vast majority of our forces, at one point a little under a year ago, 8.6% of KIA's in Afghanistan were mine strikes against JACKALS, not even vehicles in general, just this specific model. The damned platform was responsible for 8.6% of KIA's in a 7 year long war, despite only being deployed for 16 months!

The vehicles stand absolutely no chance of surviving a mine strike, the army claims this is irrelevant, because they are mobile enough to avoid conventional roads.
The argument that they are mobile enough to avoid conventional roads is correct, however the point is irrelevant.

The Vehicles may be mobile, but the British Army is not.
The majority of these vehicles will be used to guard Combat Logistics Patrols, columns of over a hundred vehicles carrying food, fuel, ammo and water to our dispersed forces, the Water Carriers have to stick to roads, and if they expect to guard them, the Jackals will have to as well.

But even if we accept the fantasy reality that the army lives in, Patrols in the deep desert are still hit by high yield mines.
"The colonel and his team were returning from Patrol Base Silab in Helmand, in January, and had decided to take a route through the desert. It was open and flat. "It wasn't really an obvious vulnerable point," says the colonel. "

The Colonel was in a Ridgeback and so all crew walked away unharmed, if a little shaken. Had he been in a Jackal, the Colonel and the two crew would be dead.

Busy bees



Alas they are not my busy bees, but busy they are

Belarus and Russia arguing?

Belarus and Russia arguing?

Is it just me that thought being President of Belarus was a stepping stone to Diplomat to Congo?
Apparently so.

They had a to do in 2007 as well
And 2004.

Bugger, I've not got a fixed price gas tarrif yet either.

Monday, 21 June 2010

The Golden End Game

Shelby Henry Moore III has (to me) a new problem with stockpiling gold for the apocalypse, or the rebuilding after it anyway.

The argument is that following the crash and the ensuing hyper inflation, the illusary Gains your gold has made will be taxed as Capital Gains, at 50%, or whatever other number.
Now, firstly, thats not as bad as it sounds, if you had £10,000 in cash today and bought gold, you would sell it in 5 years for £1million, pay £500,000 CGT and be left with £500,000, which would in reality be worth £5,000, a loss of 50%
If you took your £10,000 and bought Gilts, you'd have £10,500 in 5 years, which would really be worth £105, a loss of 98.95%
Your eating a massive loss, but there are bigger losses to be eaten.

There are then the (presumably) illegal ways to avoid the tax, there will still be Gold Mines, Refineries, Mints and Jewelers, all of whom will find it quite easy to hide the odd piece of gold every now and again, I'm sure it shouldnt inconvenience a decent jeweler to turn a piece of gold into 10 gold rings, and pay you for 7, the paper working listing it as a perfectly legal purchase or some family heirlooms.

Then of course there are the people who simply dont believe the governments promise that it will ever redeem paper for the real gold and the real gold interest accrued, and will happily buy you a weeks shopping in return for a quantity of gold they can hold.
I'm not a gold bug, but I'd certainly expect any government promising to turn 1kg of gold into 2.07kg of gold over 4 years to, struggle to make the extra atoms, shall we say.

And thats before you've thrown other governments into the mix, the US Government may have terrible power within its borders, but beyond them its much reduced, if you drove south to Mexico and came back with a new $10,000 truck you paid $5,000 for and have receipts to prove it, is anyone going to be able to prove you didnt get a great discount on an ex display model the dealer wanted rid of, rather you paid $5,000 cash and $5,000 of undocumented gold.

In The Pale Moonlight

I'm not sure what made me think of this DS:9 episode recently, I was never a big Trekie, disliking the "lets all be happy" ethos that somehow manages to weld together a galaxy dominating empire, But I did like DS:9.

I think this episode epitomised everything that was right about DS:9, its definatly worth a look.

Whats going on 'ere then?

The usualy spot on EURef has an article up asking why the "right wing" press (by which he means The Telegraph and The Times) hasnt bothered to discuss the Saville Report Blackwash in any detail.
Even if the "right" is pro military and pro union, we should be concerned with military effectiveness and the proper working of the justice system, which is fair.

However, the reason the Blackwash has been ignored is that in no way does it cover those issues.
Its no more a frank and fair report on "Bloody Sunday" than the Widgery Report Whitewash done at the time was.
Its Blairs attempt to curry favour with Northern Ireland and tarnish The Tories, nothing more, nothing less, so the people who support that aim have jumped all over the report, and those who dont havent bothered to report on it.

There are lessons to be learnt from Northwern Ireland, but they cannot be learnt from the Blackwash, because the Blackwash maintains that a Battalion of Paratroopers lost control and massacred a crowd of 30,000 innocent men women and children, which considering the facts are 14 killed and 13 injured is preposterous!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Fallout, boy?

Ive been returning to some of my older games to see if i 'got' them now i was a bit older.
Rome total war still sucks, but medievil two is much better.

Most surprising has been my return to Fallout, a post apocalyptic romp with a dark comedic twist, i'd never played the original, just the sequal, but they were cheap on steam so i gave them a go.

The game is old, its infuriatingly easy to get into the game and realise you've missed something and really need to restart, which is mental, because the game is so wide you can actualy complete it without ever fireing a shot, simply conving the baddie to hand over the water chip and be nice.

But, after several games, i am near the end, with a decent gun, a decent skill with it, i am nearing the end.
Picked skilled an gifted as traits, small guns, energy weapons, barter.
Maxed int, char, ag, strength 6 (trust me), no luck and the rest somewhere else

Friday, 18 June 2010

Arsi Warsi asks

Arsi Warsi asks we all tell our friends the upcoming cuts are labours fault.
I ask she shuts her noise hole till she wins an election.

Labour expanded the welfare state, unless you cut labours waste, then why should we believe youre against it?

Free Schools, is this what we were promised

Guv has announced his new free schools, find your own link i'm on the mobile.

Its a pretty tame procedure to start with, theres no room for movement on pretty much anything, its not even clear they can set their own term times, let alone ethos.
But that aside, at every stage, the free school must justify its choices, and indeed its existance, to the ministry of schools.
Freedom? Where? From what? Difference?

Thursday, 17 June 2010

The Blackcurrants are coming in



The blackcurrants are starting to come in, yummy, crumble soon. I could do with figuring out how to take cuttings, I've only got two, I've got four massive redcurrants, but they're seriously bitter on their own.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Oh Really?


If Gods recession proof, why's there a bingo week to pay for the new roof?

On the Blackwash

It was my intention to simply ignore the Blackwash, but I'm afraid that position can no longer be maintained.

The findings of the report and the posituion of terrorists in government seems to be that 1Para was an unruly mob of psychotic killing machines that got out of control.

If that is the case, can someone please explain how, when faced with 30,000 targets, the out of control psychotic killers, killed 14 people?

99.953% of the protesters escaped with their lives.
That seems like rather a high number to escape a group of highly trained killers hell bent on their deaths.
How many people that Derek Bird shot at escaped?

A post from A Gone Nation

Nazi Propaganda

I have nothing to add

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Growing Sage with age


I'm growing sage in my old age


I realised the dog could pee on it

Monday, 14 June 2010

KW-BJG

Erm, what?

No seriously, what?
Thats just, I dont know

I've not seen many counter posters, so I've had a go

Daves Folly, The Folly Ends?

This blogger has always taken a hard line against David Cameron, but, not credit, but something like credit, where something like credit is due

Dave Appears to have recognised his error

The NSC appears to have published something relevant and informative about our intentions in Afghanistan.
Summarised.
Ramp up the Propaganda Campaign to explain how we are winning the war
Change the definition of winning the war from "Fully stable country" to "some stability"
Support any new strategy that involves being home in 13 months time.

So, lie about the present, lie about the past, lie about the future, declare victory, come home.

It is of course still the bastardly deceitful politics epitomised by Blair and aped by Cameron, but at least unlike Camerons usual bastardly deceitful politics, this will end the slaughter of our finest, the wasting of our treasure and the bleeding of our support in the polls

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Down at the bottom of the garden

Down at the bottom of the garden
The raging tory hasnt got any peas
a little lot of juicy cherrys
on his three cherry trees

Heart of oak

oak

Im lucky enough to have a rather nice oak in the back garden. I have also figured out how to upload from phone to net

The Raging Tory has gone Mobile

The Raging Tory has gone Mobile, as the proud owner of a White (mostly Silver) Nokia E72.

Its billed as the Backberry 9700 Killer, and although I've never actualy held a blackberry of any sort, this being £8 a month cheaper was enough for me, for the princely sum of £17 a month for the next two years (£408) I get the phone (300), 1gb a month internet access, free 3-3 calls and 100 minutes to any network at any time, or 100 txts.

Since I was spending about £15 a month PAYG its quite a deal.

The phone is very well made, its a little bit fiddly and the track screen will take some getting used to, but I'm pretty chuffed.

Theres a few issues, the internet shortcuts preinstalled all seem to default to accessing through mobile broadband not my home lan, but new shortcuts will go through the connection you set as primary, annoying, but meh.
The phojne is supposed to be very customisable, but the instruction book is useless (yes, I'm a man who sometimes read instruction books, as long as your not building something, its ok) so I shall have to perservere.

Anyway
I'm off

Friday, 11 June 2010

Killing Hitler - a whatifstory

Killing Hitler

A Blog I frequent has an interesting post about possible plans to kill Hitler made by the Soviet Union, and their cancellation by Stalin.
The man making the assertions that Stalin saved Hitler has a book to sell, where all will be revealed, so treat with a pinch of salt.

Although the reasons given by the author are somewhat weak, there are compelling reasons why, in early 1943, the last thing Stalin would possibly want is a dead Hitler, why?

Well, let’s see what could happen.

Hitler himself wasn’t particularly talented as a commander, the most obvious mistake in 43 being cutting the Kursk offensive in half to reinforce Italy.
Its unlikely that just these forces would have been enough to break through the lines and still be in a position to advance, however they would almost certainly have been enough to break the defending Red Army, which despite talks of its success, was virtually annihilated, had the Kursk offensive been at planned strength, its probably that the Soviet Reinforcements that in reality broke through and ended German hopes for even a stalemate would have been able to do little but replace the shattered defending army in the Salient.

But what if they went further, what if the replacement leader doesn’t just not reinforce Italy, but abandons Western Europe?
Germany appoints De Gaulle Provisional Emperor, promises to pay reparations once the war in the east ends, and removes its army, on the proviso that France remains neutral.
Would France renter the war by allowing an Anglo/American Occupation of France which would be used to press a war against Germany? It seems unlikely.
This would free over a million men for the war in the east, not enough to even the numbers across the entire front, but enough to even them in key areas and blunt the advantage in others

With our main reason for war gone, attacks on our soil and shipping over and our only realistic route of invasion removed (an Invasion through Italy and Austria would be a logistical nightmare) would the UK maintain the war effort? Would Churchill be able to maintain support in parliament for the ruinous endeavour? In the face of a de facto peace and offers of reparations, like all North Africa?
With the UK out of the war, the attacks on German Industry would cease, quite probably enough to overcome the material shortage.

Who knows, with Hitler dead, the Kursk Salient could have been reduced in good order and the Soviet Union irreparably weakened by the loss of half its vehicles and quarter of its manpower, 1944 might have been the year when Germany laid siege to Moscow again.

Unlikely?
Of course it is, but when the return is the death of a paranoid madman who’s undermining his own side and has been drawn up as a propaganda enemy by most of the major powers, why risk it?

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Arsi Warsi

I received an email from her most glorious the high lord empress warsi, who, apparently, has been appointed chairman of the Conservative Party, shouldnt we have voted on that?

I realise elections are a bit of a saw spot for Warsi, having contested one election, and getting the spectacular result of decreasing the Tory vote by 112.
Based on that result, one would expect her to face another selection, but no, thanks to her possesion of David Camerons Mobile Phone Number, Dinner Reservations with a Labour Peer and a pair of tits, shes made a peer.

Well, shes only a peer, she cant be worse than the millions of other peers.

But no, she must be a minister!

Why the hell is a woman who's contested a single election, AND LOST VOTES, now chairman of the conservative party, including fighting the sodding elections?

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Thats so cool

http://order-order.com/2010/06/09/white-lies/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+guidofawkes+%28Guy+Fawkes%27+blog+of+parliamentary+plots%2C+rumours+and+conspiracy%29

After reading the title, I started humming white lines in my own tone deaf manner, much to the chargrin of the sleeping puppy, and it was about coke abuse.

I'm afraid I stand with Guido here, why should someone be protected from his own behaviour in the official records

Choose Life?

How about I choose stop wasting my fucking money on tat you filthy stinking communists.

My Council has put out a glossy booklet, "choose life, choose health".
This 44 page monstrosity has cost, I dare not speculate, but will FOI tomorrow, since it was hand delivered to a house without any kids, my guess is a lot.

It has three sections, under pressure, choices and relationships.

The first under pressure is an eating disorder.
Just incase you dont know if you have eating disorder, it gives things to look out for.
Annorexia
Eating Less
Losing weight Quickly.

Bulimia
Eating a lot in one go
Being sick afterwards.

Well, consider me enlightened!

The final under pressure is overcoming suicide.
Seriously
Not overcoming depression, overcoming suicde.
I had hoped it would be "I've just slashed my wrist, but now I dont want to die, what do I do now", followed by, "Take a wet towel... "
Alas no, it is overcoming depression

Making choices might as well say, do as we say, dont drink smoke or take drugs, but if you get pregnant at 14, your school has to pick up the slack so you still pass.
And brush your teeth.

The final section wasnt entertaining enough to comment on, although it did explain what a chat room was.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Do Predator Drones Dream of Electric Arnies?

Drone Pilots have Feelings too you know

The article is pretty interesting, I'm not sure what the British Army Equivilant of a Taliban Operations Chief is (Sergeant? Major? Field Marshal?) but they have a life expectancy of 6 months, which cant be terribly helpful when your trying to plan a campaign.

But I was drawn to this article it links to

The UN report argues, without any evidence, that its possible that the soldiers piloting drones could act like drunk red necks shooting randomly, because thats what people with playstations do.

The idea that a Drone Pilot is more removed from combat than an infantry soldier who's just bayonetted Johnny Taliban to death is reasonable.

However does a gunner on a WMIK prodiving supressing fire have a better view of the situation than a Drone Pilot?
How about a mortar team? Or an artilery battery?
Whereas the Drone pilot will see his target and watch it explode, an artillery battery wont see their target before hand or after, they might not even hear the explosion. Unless somethings gone quite wrong, a battery crew shouldnt see the Taliban ever!

And thats just the infantry.
An Apache pilot has a 3inch screen he can glimpse at whilst trying to avoid ramming a tree.
A Typhoon pilot doesnt have to worry about crashing, but is twice as high and moving 15x as fast as a drone. Added to that he will at any one time be at an engagement, have an engagement to be at and be being told of another site where men are losing their lives for lack of air support
A Heavy Bomber might be nominaly in afghanistan, but they'll have the same view as a drone pilot will live on a tropical archiapelago in the Indian Ocean

Is a drone pilot really any more detached than any other modern war fighter?
Is the CIA really going to allow its operatives to fire $70,000 missiles at random civillians?

Of course not, but throwing around some accusations involving playstations and the US is a great way to score a few headlines and a promotion at the UN.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Nothing Changes, Everything Stays the Same

Some Lefty "think" tank is complaining that people who can afford to work for free as interns have an unfair advantage over those who cant afford to work unpaid for any period of time.
The main thrust appears to be that its illegal to pay less than the minimum wage, and that includes not paying anything.

What did the Coalition Minister say?
Did he say, this is why the minimum wage is stupid idea?
Did he say, why are you asking me, if you dont like it, you pay an intern to make tea?

Of course he didnt.

He said, yes, this is very important, expect a new law to be passed as quickly as we can whip it through

Friday, 4 June 2010

**** that Finn was right!

Back on Glee.

**** that Finn was right!

If Tina, after being blindfolded and walked into Pucks room was told this was where she'd be sleeping from now on, had flipped out and screamed "I want to get rid of this pervey see through privacy partion" everyone would be cheering what strong female role model she is.
But because the victim is a nominaly "strong" male and he says faggy, he's the bad guy?

Troy would've punched Kurt and McNamara would have fed him to some crocs

Flash Forward

I was going to blog about Flash Forward, but, mildly entertaining as it is, I just dont care about any characters, I just cant.
Taking a boring character and making him an alcoholic doesnt make him interesting, it just makes him a boring alcoholic, trust me, Ive had two beers and I'm watching Glee alone on a saturday night waiting for my girlfriend to get back from taking the dog to his show class, I know.

Now Glee, actually no I still dont care about the characters, but its bright and happy and well worth Gleeking out over.
Compared to Nip/Tuck, its distinctly boring,

Spurious Spillious?

Why is my blog roll showing silly spillies blogs, I want the gospel as preached by Hannan!!!

Daves War Update

With thanks to EURef

Telegraph Article

Lieutenant Colonel Walker, Commanding Officer of the Grenadier Guards, just returned from a six month tour in Afghanistan, has quite thoroughly pissed all over Davids plans for a conclusion to the Afghanistan Folly.
"He said that the local [Police] force was "the reason for the insurgency" in the Nad-e-Ali district of Helmand"

Commanding Officer of what is, at least in theory, the best Battalion in the British Army, fresh back from theater, says that, as much as the Southern Afghanistan dislike the Taliban, they hate the ANP even more.

Do we have any reason to disagree?
We know the ANP are a bunch of criminals
According to the Grenadier Guards they killed over 600 Taliban soldiers, for the loss of 15 men (a ratio that would be enough for the UK to exterminate India and China) and yet the Taliban are still fighting.

Its hardly surprising when we'e trying to impose the ANP on them.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Defence Costs - Update

Those wonderful chaps (and maybe chapettes) at RUSI have come up trumps

http://www.rusi.org/downloads/assets/FDR7.pdf

Page 20 includes a reasonably detailed breakdown of what department the defence budget is spent on.
I'll have to have a ponder about how Capital expenditure is being treated, Submarines and Escorts are very high, which sort of makes sense if you include the better part of £1bn for a T45 and an Astute class.
The same goes for combat aircraft, 200 aircraft, costing 45,000 an hour at 20 hours a month leaves a funding variance that could be filled by buying 50 ish Typhoons.

*****Update*****
I've had a further thought and it appears that these are proper accounts rather than Cash Accounts, so Capital is being depreciated as it should be.
Theres even a depreciation table*, doh.
*I've found the actual MoD accounts and reports but lost the link, google it if you want it.

Good God operating aircraft is expensive!

Daves War - The Coalition Speaks

The National Security Council has been formed
The National Security Council has met
The National Security Council has Spoken

Whats it said?
We support the Troops, We're Going to do everything we can to aid NATO, We support the Afghan Peace Jirga.

Forgive me, but isnt that the same policy espoused by Gordon Brown, support the troops, support NATO objectives, support peace with "moderate" taliban?
Shouldnt the formation of a National Security Council lead to a step change in policy? Shouldnt the election of a new government?

Lets just look at those statements.

We support the troops.
How? 6 Men have died since the election and the best Dave can come up with is "we support the troops? Surely he, or his Sec Def anyway, has spent the last 5 years planning for taking over the operations in Afghanistan? No? Why Not?
Is it too much to expect the party that was expecting to stroll into government to have planned for what to do when it got there?
How many more men will die in the time it takes for The NSC to actualy work out what "Support our Troops" means?
At a rate of one every 4 1/2 days I'm forced to guess a lot

Support the Nato Strategy
What Strategy?
Seriously, go to NATO's website and search for Afghanistan Strategy, you get 1 result, from 2006.
If you mean Obamas strategy, build up the Afghans capability till they can fight on their own, thats just not working

Afghanistans Elite Police
Paid a little over $10 a day (not bad when the Taliban pay $5), Afghanistans Elite Police force cant be trusted to man a simple checkpoint without stealing a passage fee from the people its supposed to be checking, offering people quick entry if they pay a fee, or even just abandoning the checkpoint because its hot.
And thats AFTER to drug addicts and trouble makers were ejected by the US forces mentoring them. Well, I say ejected, their still in the elite police force, they;ve just been moved to another part of Afghanistan
That the officers were Tajiks who couldnt speak much Pashto, the language of the people they were policing seems a minor problem.

If after 9 years, the best Afghanistan can offer is a police force that extorts money from those its supposed to protect, refuses to man a check point in the afternoon and can barely converse with the hostile section of the populace, what possible reason is there to believe in another two years, a large, highly trained, hard working and loyal force will exist to support government actions with the enthusiastic support of the people?

But thats what the NSC is pinning its hopes on, and the plan our soldiers are being killed for.

The Jirga has yet to announce results, but I cant see what the two sides could possibly agree on, the conquest of Pakistan perhaps?

Voting Reform

In response to / Inspired by
Saying no to reform

Although your point about PR is wonderful, in that I agree with it and I am right, I'm cant agree with your defence of the constituency.

I live in a constituency called Stalybridge and Hyde, and that is where I vote.
I shop, socialise and get(well dont get, but am assigned) medical care in a neighbouring constituency, Ashton something or other.
My Mechanic is in a third constituency, Oldham something
And I work 25 miles away in a fourth constituency.

Is where I sleep a better way of assigning my vote than where I work, or where I buy food?

Is assigning votes by geography any better than assigning votes by age?
It would be logistically more complex to vote based on the month and year of your birth, 11/84 if anyone cares, but I dont see why that would give results that are any less fair than counting votes based on arbitrary lines drawn on a map.
We could go further and have homosexual east asian women born between 1967 and 1969 electing their own MP.
No doubt the counting office would be a nightmare, but I dont see why its a worse system than the current one.
That Proportional Representation is a bad system does not mean that FPTP Geographic Constituencies is the best system, even if its better.

Those in favour of Electoral Reform, different than those in favour of Europeanisation, do have some pretty valid points.
That most of the alternative systems mooted are worse than the status quo does not mean we cannot do better than the status quo.

I live in a Metropolitan Borough that currently elects three MP's. Results Below

Party Constituency Name Votes
Labour Ashton David Heyes 18604
Tory Ashton Seema Kennedy 9510
Liberal Ashton Paul Larkin 5703
BNP Ashton David Lomas 2929
UKIP Ashton Angela MacManus 1686
Labour Denton Andrew Gwynne 19191
Tory Denton Julie Searle 9360
Liberal Denton Stephen Broadhurst 6727
UKIP Denton William Robinson 2060
Ind Denton Jeff Dennis 297
Labour Stalybridge Johnny Reynolds 16189
Tory Stalybridge Rob Adlard 13445
Liberal Stalybridge John Potter 6965
BNP Stalybridge Anthony Jones 2259
UKIP Stalybridge John Cooke 1342
Green Stalybridge Ruth Bergan 679

And, "fairly", the three men with the highest votes are now seated in Westminster.
And "unfairly", a party with only 46.16% of the vote got 100% of the seats.

Party Vote %
Labour 53984 46.16147624
Tory 32315 27.63241154
Liberal 19395 16.5845775
BNP 5188 4.436235528
UKIP 5088 4.350725976
Independent 297 0.253963368
Green 679 0.580609854
Total 116946

If we assume the second statement to be true, we have to come up with a fair system.

Fair system 1 could be
Labour get the first seat and their % goes down to 12.82%
Tories get the second seat and their % goes down to 0%
Liberals get the third seat and their % also goes down to 0%

Labour would no doubt find this system unfair because, because despite getting more votes than the coalition, they ended up with fewer seats.

Fair system 2 could be
Labour get the first seat and their vote goes down to 40,538 (Lab Vote - Highest none Lab Vote -1)
Labour get the second seat and their vote goes down to 27,092 (as above)
Tories get the third seat and their vote goes down to 16125 (Tory Vote - unassigned Lab vote -1)

Or some variant of the above.

The Tories would no doubt favour this result, but is it fair that JR doesnt get a seat and RA does?
The Liberals would, quite "fairly", be furious with system, because even though they beat every individual Labour candidate, Labour get two seats and them none.

The problem remains that "Tameside" is an administrative boundary that was decided on a whim. As were all of the 10 MB's that make up Greater Manchester, if it werent for a sign saying you are now entering Stockport, theres no reason you would know you had left Tameside.
In reality, 5% of English people reside in an area that, although it differs as one moves around, has no definable borders that could possibly represent those changes.


So, now I've dazzled you with some number wizardry, what am I actually suggesting?

At the next election, instead of three thirds of Tameside electing three MP's separately, Tameside as a whole should elect three MP's as a whole, on identical voting slips.
The three candidates with the most votes would go through.
How does this differ from now? Well, it doesnt have to however....

It will be up to the Liberals to decide if they want to, as now, field three candidates and hope to win all three seats but probably none, or just field a single candidate and have a very good shot at winning a single seat.
Labour could field three Candidates and hope to win all three seats, or they could play it safe and on go for two seats.
The In dependant Anti Crime Candidate in Denton would have three times as many potential supporters.

Voters would then be presented with an unprecedented choice as well, even within "their" party, they would have two or three MP's to choose from.
The ability to parachute in unpopular candidates could be resisted by voters simply choosing to vote for someone else (as now), but still vote for "their" party (rather different than now).

Quite a change, even if its not as vast as some would like.

At the following election, the system should be expanded to cover the 28 (proposed 27) constituencies of Greater Manchester. And like last time, the 28(27) candidates with the most votes would win seats at Westminster.

I'm not going to prepare a breakdown as above, I really dont care enough but just discuss some of the possibilities.
For the smallest parties, the likes of the Libertarians it would open up enormous possibilities.
Could a single Libertarian candidate for all of Manchester pick up 16190 votes? If so he'd be seated at Parliament in place of JR.

For the small parties like UKIP/BNP/Greens, they could of course run 28 Candidates, and have votes dispersed, or they could run 28 Candidates and everyone could vote for the first person on the list, or, they could run a UKIP Manchester North/East/South/West and hope that there are enough UKIP voters in Manchester North and that they all dont vote for the Manchester South Candidate.
The Medium and larger Parties could run a full set of candidates, or a smaller set, or even run more candidates than there are seats.
The candidates of larger parties wouldnt be able to rely on the party label to win them an election, simply because there would be many Lib/Lab/Con candidates, and voters could pick from any of them.

Depending on how that goes, the system could either be rolled back, maintained or rolled out to EU Regions (as good a boundary as any), countries and finally the UK as a whole.
Obviously, a voting slip with 3000 candidates wouldnt be practicable, Manchester could have as many as 150, but if the small and mediums go from running 20+ to 5+, it might be be more like 75.
Logistically difficult, but democratically sounder.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Facts Man, what are the Facts?

http://www.youtube.com/idfnadesk#p/a/u/0/bU12KW-XyZE
http://www.youtube.com/idfnadesk#p/a/u/1/gYjkLUcbJWo

Frankly I'm amazed the IDF managed to control the situation so well they only had to kill 10 people to protect their own lives.

Iain Dale asks if we would be spitting feathers had the Revolutionary Guard done the same thing.
I would not, anyone who attacks a group of soldiers should expect to get shot