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Two things we don’t yet know

Two things we don’t yet know

Donald Rumsfeld once famously said: “Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know”. For that, he won the Plain English Campaign’s Foot In Mouth award…

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YangGangAgain? – Betting on the next Mayor of NYC

YangGangAgain? – Betting on the next Mayor of NYC

, Sadiq Khan is cruising to victory in the delayed London elections, but it’s all to play for across the pond. Bill de Blasio is term-limited, and Democrats have 5 months to choose his successor (in their primary, the Republicans have little chance in the general). There are 38 candidates who have filed and the frontrunner is the both the wildcard and the only one you may have heard of… Andrew Yang (2/1 at Ladbrokes) may have come 9th in…

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Leave looks like…Has Brexit met Vote Leave’s prospectus?

Leave looks like…Has Brexit met Vote Leave’s prospectus?

Has Brexit matched your expectations?  Let’s start by considering what your expectations should have been.  Shortly before the referendum in 2016, Vote Leave issued a document called Leave Looks Like… which is the closest thing they had to a manifesto.  Their bullet point commitments were as follows: We end the supremacy of EU law and the European Court. We will be able to kick out those who make our laws. Europe yes, EU no. We have a new UK-EU Treaty based on…

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Jabbing the Unjabbable (or, for the less polite, Pricking the Pricks)

Jabbing the Unjabbable (or, for the less polite, Pricking the Pricks)

A guest slot by Stocky I saw a friend recently who is an enthusiast of myriad butt-clenching conspiracy theories.  “My intention was to calmly, cleverly and succinctly knock down each piece of nonsense one-by-one and emerge victorious, chest swelled and buttocks relaxed. My plan quickly got caught up in the weeds.” He quickly got into his patter: Covid is no worse than flu; the death figures are deliberately inflated; long-Covid is largely made up; the pandemic is a fiction created by…

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Of talking dogs and politicians

Of talking dogs and politicians

We’re still allowed to take daily exercise and I expect that most readers do.  If, like me, you go for a walk, you have no doubt been treated to the experience of an unleashed dog bounding up to you. As it barks and jumps, you regularly hear the owner breezily assure you: “don’t worry, he won’t bite”. On such occasions, an ex of mine used to reply sardonically: “fuck me, a talking dog”. Academics working in political science have spent many years…

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This is not about Trump (except of course it is)

This is not about Trump (except of course it is)

A guest slot by Richard Tyndall Trump’s second to last tweet before he was banned permanently from Twitter began with the sentence: “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future.” “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future.” Ignoring for a moment the fact that Trump…

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Labour’s paths to victory: the choices of Sir Keir Starmer

Labour’s paths to victory: the choices of Sir Keir Starmer

The wheel turns.  In 2005, Labour won 355 seats, a majority of 64.  The Conservatives got just 198.  But last year, the Conservatives took 365 seats, a majority of 80, while Labour secured just 202.  The two elections as close to exact reverses of each other as you’ll ever get for the major parties. Labour would like to turn the tables again.  In order to do so, they’ll need to decide how this is achievable.  In essence, they have three…

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