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Our best days are still to come? – politicalbetting.com

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  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 56,756
    eek said:

    ydoethur said:


    The system's at snapping point. If they tried to shake it, it will break entirely because the goodwill Cyclefree refers to simply isn't there anymore.

    There is no goodwill left anywhere within the public sector - the goodwill has been abused for so long that it's gone and is very unlikely to ever return...
    Mostly, of course, by other parts of the public sector. How much goodwill has been destroyed by third rate jobsworths at the DoH and DfE?
  • bondegezoubondegezou Posts: 2,644
    rcs1000 said:

    Dynamo said:

    "'(T)he [FSB] has solved the murder of Russian journalist Darya Dugina, born in 1992,' the FSB stressed... '(T)he crime was prepared and committed by Ukrainian secret services.' Its perpetrator was identified as a citizen of Ukraine, Natalia Vovk, born in 1979.

    She had arrived in Russia on July 23, 2022, together with her daughter Sofya Shaban, born in 2010. 'On the day of the murder, Vovk and Shaban attended the ... festival Tradition, where Dugina was ...an honorary guest.

    In Ukraine, it is traditional for secret agents to take their 12 year old daughters on assassination missions.
    Maybe it was Take Your Daughter to Work day?
  • darkagedarkage Posts: 3,338
    ydoethur said:

    So it’s not a crisis budget. No. It’s a "targeted fiscal event" - therefore, as it’s not a budget at all, ohhhh no, usual sensible checks and balances and scrutiny of what government doing in this “not a budget” from things like the Office for Budgetary Responsibility won’t apply.

    2010 Tories build the OBR to prove they are responsible with the nations money and financial health - 2022 the Tories burn down the OBR to prove they are irresponsible with the nations money and financial health.

    It’s so simple really, for change just read “exactly what Sneaky Boris would try to get away with only without the old showbiz, charisma and powers of persuading us better times lie ahead.”

    Will the last one cashing out the “Liz to get poll bounce” please turn out the light.

    Creating the OBR was probably the best thing the 2010-2022 Tory government did. If they burn that down now there really won't be any kind of positive legacy from these miserable, wasted years.
    There was a great reforming agenda from 2010-2013 in areas like education, welfare, pensions, tax and budgetary responsibility and then the Coalition ran out of puff due to the squabbles over Lords Reform, the aftermath of the AV referendum and the EU. It drastically underfunded defence. Climate change initiatives went pretty well - good progress was made after 2010.
    You've left Lansley's health reforms off your list.

    But the bigger problem is, yes, they made major reforms in all those areas and every single one has been a calamitous failure. Pensions are an even worse shambles than under Brown, which is saying something. UC has never worked as intended. Education, well, the best thing that can be said is that the people running it were just very thick and that's maybe why their reforms achieved the opposite of what was intended. Tax and budgetary responsibility is again a mess (IR35 says hello) and on energy policy as we can now see they got it spectacularly wrong.

    The coalition was the best government of the last fifty years. Which says a great deal about the other governments in that time.
    Every single policy the government enacts is a failure; this just goes with the territory. However, occasionally they can be regarded as a success, in comparison to the performance of other governments; or against the default position of doing nothing. Sometimes governments stop stupid stuff from happening. The destruction of Labours identity card scheme was a good example of that.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 49,020
    ydoethur said:

    So it’s not a crisis budget. No. It’s a "targeted fiscal event" - therefore, as it’s not a budget at all, ohhhh no, usual sensible checks and balances and scrutiny of what government doing in this “not a budget” from things like the Office for Budgetary Responsibility won’t apply.

    2010 Tories build the OBR to prove they are responsible with the nations money and financial health - 2022 the Tories burn down the OBR to prove they are irresponsible with the nations money and financial health.

    It’s so simple really, for change just read “exactly what Sneaky Boris would try to get away with only without the old showbiz, charisma and powers of persuading us better times lie ahead.”

    Will the last one cashing out the “Liz to get poll bounce” please turn out the light.

    Creating the OBR was probably the best thing the 2010-2022 Tory government did. If they burn that down now there really won't be any kind of positive legacy from these miserable, wasted years.
    There was a great reforming agenda from 2010-2013 in areas like education, welfare, pensions, tax and budgetary responsibility and then the Coalition ran out of puff due to the squabbles over Lords Reform, the aftermath of the AV referendum and the EU. It drastically underfunded defence. Climate change initiatives went pretty well - good progress was made after 2010.
    You've left Lansley's health reforms off your list.

    But the bigger problem is, yes, they made major reforms in all those areas and every single one has been a calamitous failure. Pensions are an even worse shambles than under Brown, which is saying something. UC has never worked as intended. Education, well, the best thing that can be said is that the people running it were just very thick and that's maybe why their reforms achieved the opposite of what was intended. Tax and budgetary responsibility is again a mess (IR35 says hello) and on energy policy as we can now see they got it spectacularly wrong.

    The coalition was the best government of the last fifty years. Which says a great deal about the other governments in that time.
    I don't agree - coalition reforms led to a massive rise in employment as they incentivised work, and the pensions reforms have given people far more flexibility in retirement - but you wouldn't expect me to.

    I sort of understand what Lansley was trying to do in principle with his reforms but the problem was that absolutely nobody understood them and therefore as a change initiative it was doomed to failure.
  • ydoethur said:

    So it’s not a crisis budget. No. It’s a "targeted fiscal event" - therefore, as it’s not a budget at all, ohhhh no, usual sensible checks and balances and scrutiny of what government doing in this “not a budget” from things like the Office for Budgetary Responsibility won’t apply.

    2010 Tories build the OBR to prove they are responsible with the nations money and financial health - 2022 the Tories burn down the OBR to prove they are irresponsible with the nations money and financial health.

    It’s so simple really, for change just read “exactly what Sneaky Boris would try to get away with only without the old showbiz, charisma and powers of persuading us better times lie ahead.”

    Will the last one cashing out the “Liz to get poll bounce” please turn out the light.

    Creating the OBR was probably the best thing the 2010-2022 Tory government did. If they burn that down now there really won't be any kind of positive legacy from these miserable, wasted years.
    There was a great reforming agenda from 2010-2013 in areas like education, welfare, pensions, tax and budgetary responsibility and then the Coalition ran out of puff due to the squabbles over Lords Reform, the aftermath of the AV referendum and the EU. It drastically underfunded defence. Climate change initiatives went pretty well - good progress was made after 2010.
    You've left Lansley's health reforms off your list.

    But the bigger problem is, yes, they made major reforms in all those areas and every single one has been a calamitous failure. Pensions are an even worse shambles than under Brown, which is saying something. UC has never worked as intended. Education, well, the best thing that can be said is that the people running it were just very thick and that's maybe why their reforms achieved the opposite of what was intended. Tax and budgetary responsibility is again a mess (IR35 says hello) and on energy policy as we can now see they got it spectacularly wrong.

    The coalition was the best government of the last fifty years. Which says a great deal about the other governments in that time.
    The trouble is that despite Conservatives spending umpteen years preparing these policies for its return to government, there was no coordination or even examination of its collection of isolated backs of envelopes. Later, once in office, ministers would complain about being blindsided by the scale of Lansley's NHS changes, for instance, and Cameron and Osborne seemed unconcerned at underfunding IDS's Universal Credit.
  • eekeek Posts: 22,078

    ydoethur said:

    So it’s not a crisis budget. No. It’s a "targeted fiscal event" - therefore, as it’s not a budget at all, ohhhh no, usual sensible checks and balances and scrutiny of what government doing in this “not a budget” from things like the Office for Budgetary Responsibility won’t apply.

    2010 Tories build the OBR to prove they are responsible with the nations money and financial health - 2022 the Tories burn down the OBR to prove they are irresponsible with the nations money and financial health.

    It’s so simple really, for change just read “exactly what Sneaky Boris would try to get away with only without the old showbiz, charisma and powers of persuading us better times lie ahead.”

    Will the last one cashing out the “Liz to get poll bounce” please turn out the light.

    Creating the OBR was probably the best thing the 2010-2022 Tory government did. If they burn that down now there really won't be any kind of positive legacy from these miserable, wasted years.
    There was a great reforming agenda from 2010-2013 in areas like education, welfare, pensions, tax and budgetary responsibility and then the Coalition ran out of puff due to the squabbles over Lords Reform, the aftermath of the AV referendum and the EU. It drastically underfunded defence. Climate change initiatives went pretty well - good progress was made after 2010.
    You've left Lansley's health reforms off your list.

    But the bigger problem is, yes, they made major reforms in all those areas and every single one has been a calamitous failure. Pensions are an even worse shambles than under Brown, which is saying something. UC has never worked as intended. Education, well, the best thing that can be said is that the people running it were just very thick and that's maybe why their reforms achieved the opposite of what was intended. Tax and budgetary responsibility is again a mess (IR35 says hello) and on energy policy as we can now see they got it spectacularly wrong.

    The coalition was the best government of the last fifty years. Which says a great deal about the other governments in that time.
    I don't agree - coalition reforms led to a massive rise in employment as they incentivised work, and the pensions reforms have given people far more flexibility in retirement - but you wouldn't expect me to.

    I sort of understand what Lansley was trying to do in principle with his reforms but the problem was that absolutely nobody understood them and therefore as a change initiative it was doomed to failure.
    What reforms incentivised work? People have never been able to sit at home claiming unemployment benefit....
  • Reading the Trussteam / Kwarteng denials about any problems with energy, I will be kept warm by this simple knowledge:

    Despite Boris Johnson being a corrupt self-centred buffoon leading a clown car government that screwed up almost constantly, it is being replaced by a government almost entirely of the same clowns which will be even more incompetent.

    Mistress Truss has set out Maginot Line defences against why there will be no handouts for the cold and indeed no energy crisis to make them cold. She will - eventually - have to change her position. Spectacularly change position. But unlike the Clown King who would bluster and blather and make it sound like its not a problem.

    Truss cannot do that. Can't think (whether on her feet or not). Can't speak in anything other than meaningless slogans. Has even less of a clue what reality is than shagger did, with the tragedy that she *thinks* she does.

    Bravo Tories, Bravo.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 49,020
    ydoethur said:

    So it’s not a crisis budget. No. It’s a "targeted fiscal event" - therefore, as it’s not a budget at all, ohhhh no, usual sensible checks and balances and scrutiny of what government doing in this “not a budget” from things like the Office for Budgetary Responsibility won’t apply.

    2010 Tories build the OBR to prove they are responsible with the nations money and financial health - 2022 the Tories burn down the OBR to prove they are irresponsible with the nations money and financial health.

    It’s so simple really, for change just read “exactly what Sneaky Boris would try to get away with only without the old showbiz, charisma and powers of persuading us better times lie ahead.”

    Will the last one cashing out the “Liz to get poll bounce” please turn out the light.

    Creating the OBR was probably the best thing the 2010-2022 Tory government did. If they burn that down now there really won't be any kind of positive legacy from these miserable, wasted years.
    There was a great reforming agenda from 2010-2013 in areas like education, welfare, pensions, tax and budgetary responsibility and then the Coalition ran out of puff due to the squabbles over Lords Reform, the aftermath of the AV referendum and the EU. It drastically underfunded defence. Climate change initiatives went pretty well - good progress was made after 2010.
    You've left Lansley's health reforms off your list.

    But the bigger problem is, yes, they made major reforms in all those areas and every single one has been a calamitous failure. Pensions are an even worse shambles than under Brown, which is saying something. UC has never worked as intended. Education, well, the best thing that can be said is that the people running it were just very thick and that's maybe why their reforms achieved the opposite of what was intended. Tax and budgetary responsibility is again a mess (IR35 says hello) and on energy policy as we can now see they got it spectacularly wrong.

    The coalition was the best government of the last fifty years. Which says a great deal about the other governments in that time.
    I don't agree - coalition reforms led to a massive rise in employment as they incentivised work, and the pensions reforms have given people far more flexibility in retirement - but you wouldn't
    expect me to.

    I
    eek said:

    ydoethur said:

    So it’s not a crisis budget. No. It’s a "targeted fiscal event" - therefore, as it’s not a budget at all, ohhhh no, usual sensible checks and balances and scrutiny of what government doing in this “not a budget” from things like the Office for Budgetary Responsibility won’t apply.

    2010 Tories build the OBR to prove they are responsible with the nations money and financial health - 2022 the Tories burn down the OBR to prove they are irresponsible with the nations money and financial health.

    It’s so simple really, for change just read “exactly what Sneaky Boris would try to get away with only without the old showbiz, charisma and powers of persuading us better times lie ahead.”

    Will the last one cashing out the “Liz to get poll bounce” please turn out the light.

    Creating the OBR was probably the best thing the 2010-2022 Tory government did. If they burn that down now there really won't be any kind of positive legacy from these miserable, wasted years.
    There was a great reforming agenda from 2010-2013 in areas like education, welfare, pensions, tax and budgetary responsibility and then the Coalition ran out of puff due to the squabbles over Lords Reform, the aftermath of the AV referendum and the EU. It drastically underfunded defence. Climate change initiatives went pretty well - good progress was made after 2010.
    You've left Lansley's health reforms off your list.

    But the bigger problem is, yes, they made major reforms in all those areas and every single one has been a calamitous failure. Pensions are an even worse shambles than under Brown, which is saying something. UC has never worked as intended. Education, well, the best thing that can be said is that the people running it were just very thick and that's maybe why their reforms achieved the opposite of what was intended. Tax and budgetary responsibility is again a mess (IR35 says hello) and on energy policy as we can now see they got it spectacularly wrong.

    The coalition was the best government of the last fifty years. Which says a great deal about the other governments in that time.
    I don't agree - coalition reforms led to a massive rise in employment as they incentivised work, and the pensions reforms have given people far more flexibility in retirement - but you wouldn't expect me to.

    I sort of understand what Lansley was trying to do in principle with his reforms but the problem was that absolutely nobody understood them and therefore as a change initiative it was doomed to failure.
    What reforms incentivised work? People have never been able to sit at home claiming unemployment benefit....
    UC reforms and cutting tax and NI on low income workers.

    Look at the high employment figures during the coalition years, and record low unemployment, which continue even today.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 49,020
    Alistair said:

    Deleted as too early.

    Need another coffee?
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 49,020
    Is it just me or are we all now afflicted by a plague of pigeons?

    They are everywhere.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 47,316

    Reading the Trussteam / Kwarteng denials about any problems with energy, I will be kept warm by this simple knowledge….

    We’re going to see significantly reduced electricity imports from France and Norway because of both supply constraints (French nukes requiring repair, and not enough water for Norwegian hydro) and increased demand from Europe. Gas will be a similar story, but worse.

    If it isn’t a mild winter, power cuts don’t sound unlikely at all.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 56,756
    Liz Truss 'has sewage in her hands'

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/aug/22/liz-truss-environment-agency-cuts-sewage-water-pollution

    An interesting article even if it doesn't tell us much we didn't already know about her character flaws.
  • Scott_xPScott_xP Posts: 29,264

    Reading the Trussteam / Kwarteng denials about any problems with energy, I will be kept warm by this simple knowledge:

    Despite Boris Johnson being a corrupt self-centred buffoon leading a clown car government that screwed up almost constantly, it is being replaced by a government almost entirely of the same clowns which will be even more incompetent.

    Mistress Truss has set out Maginot Line defences against why there will be no handouts for the cold and indeed no energy crisis to make them cold. She will - eventually - have to change her position. Spectacularly change position. But unlike the Clown King who would bluster and blather and make it sound like its not a problem.

    Truss cannot do that. Can't think (whether on her feet or not). Can't speak in anything other than meaningless slogans. Has even less of a clue what reality is than shagger did, with the tragedy that she *thinks* she does.

    Bravo Tories, Bravo.

    It's worse when you realise Truss is fishing in an even shallower talent pool than BoZo.

    Exclude the people who wouldn't serve in his cabinet, who were sacked by him, and those who support Rishi, and you are left with Ian Duncan Smith and John Redwood.

    The epic scale of the coming storm has not been fully appreciated...
  • ydoethur said:


    What reforms incentivised work? People have never been able to sit at home claiming unemployment benefit....

    UC reforms and cutting tax and NI on low income workers.

    Look at the high employment figures during the coalition years, and record low unemployment, which continue even today.
    Sadly these reforms only scratched the surface. Since then we have had the bigger "reform" of successfully encouraging so many EU workers to leave and then closing the door behind them.

    We now have the brilliant combination of deep-rooted mass unemployment in some areas and now firmly embedded mass job vacancies in others. We can't send the unemployed in Widnes to fill the vacancies in Wisbech, the hospitality jobs in places like the Lake District can't be filled as the local cost of housing is £stupid, and the government denies there is even an issue.

    There is Good News though. The simultaneous explosion in energy prices and collapse in leisure spending power will likely wipe out so many of the hospitality businesses who have the unfillable vacancies. At which point Trussteam will be sending their mince 2019 MPs out to proclaim how amazing things are and how you definitely need to re-elect them.

    "But you voted for this" will say angry voters, complete with ample proof that they did. Like the poo beach fiasco. "erm urm yebbut Labour don't know what a woman is" will likely be the response. You can't feed your family and keep the heating on powered only by the war against "woke".
  • Scott_xPScott_xP Posts: 29,264
    Another shitstorm about to engulf Truss...

    Liz Truss presided over "efficiency savings" that slashed funding during her time in charge of the Environment Agency, leading to "doubled sewage discharge", Labour claims
    https://trib.al/J7QEoYU
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 45,874
    ydoethur said:

    Tony Blair: Rip up the current exam system – it’s unfit for the modern world
    Writing in The Telegraph, the former PM said GCSEs and A-levels leave students 'poorly prepared for work' and should be scrapped

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/08/23/tony-blair-rip-current-exam-system-unfit-modern-world/ (£££)

    Blair's piece is at
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/08/23/time-scrap-gcses-a-levels/ (£££)

    The Telegraph currently offers a 3-month free trial but remember to cancel before it rolls over to charging a tenner a month (set a calendar reminder or something).

    Blair's gist is:-
    GCSEs are pointless.
    A-levels are too narrow because of AI and automation, and something like the International Baccalaureate would be better (although aiui many schools that have tried IB or Pre-U are returning to A-levels).
    Exams should be largely replaced by continuous assessment.
    Ofsted ratings are pointless because parents do not use their assessments to choose schools.

    I can't see anything there that has not been said by other people (even by me and others on pb) but maybe Blair is taken more seriously in Whitehall, and there will be a new EdSec in a fortnight.

    Ironic to have an education piece under a pb header asking if Our best days are still to come?

    I haven't read the article, but to take your summary in order:

    1) Agree with him. They are not leaving exams, they are so badly written they don't really tell you very much and because they're so prescriptive you have to spend ages undoing the damage before you can do anything useful. Plus they cost a fortune.

    2) Narrowness isn't really the issue, although it is an issue. The issue, again, that they don't set people up for further study and the exams are not well written or well assessed.

    3) Depends on the subject. In some subjects exams are sensible and probably the best choice for assessment. In others they are at best a blunt instrument and in some they're actually worse than useless (art springs to mind). However, while there needs to be a sortout of them you would need to give serious thought beforehand to who would actually be running them.

    4) There are all sorts of issues with OFSTED of which the fact that their ratings are more nonsensical than a Cummings excuse for breaking lockdown is just one. The fact that they are wilfully committing major safeguarding breaches during inspections to test school policies on the matter, for example, is a much bigger problem. The fact that their role is not really to improve education but to bring schools firmly under the thumb of the DfE to justify everyone's jobs is another. The fact it is run by a failed investment manager who literally does not know what safeguarding is and is responsible for the appalling state of our exam system tells you all you need to know about the system's real priorities.

    The difficulty is that making such changes now, on top of the years of changes we've already had, would be even more exhausting and demoralising for staff and see the leaving rate rise rapidly.

    One reason Felix spouted so much nonsense on workload and accused me of being lazy, a bad time manager and feckless despite having been a teacher himself is because he only went through one major reorganisation, in the 1980s with the introduction of GCSEs and the National Curriculum, which didn't actually affect History that much (and on his own account, he never bothered to do the work himself and got everyone around him to do it, which might explain why everyone around him complained about workload).

    More recent reforms have involved truly shocking amounts of work, because the entire curriculum, assessment system and indeed basic philosophy has been repeatedly changing and OFSTED have repeatedly demanded detailed documentation to show how it's been done (despite their public claims they wouldn't). This would be similar, if it went ahead.

    The system's at snapping point. If they tried to shake it, it will break entirely because the goodwill Cyclefree refers to simply isn't there anymore.
    I don't know enough about the English exam system but this makes a lot of sense to me. Certainly in Scotland the Curriculum for Excellence has been a catastrophic failure, resulting in reducing standards rather than the addressing the very real problems that were identified before implementation. The attainment gap has also increased although in fairness that may still be getting distorted by Covid.

    Despite all that would I want the Scottish government to rip it all up and start again? I would be wary for the reasons that you identify. It might be better to have much more incremental change addressing the more obvious failures, such as kids of 6 or 7 not being able to read.

    The major problem that I see in education, and indeed in other public services, is the complete corruption of the data that would allow the failures to be identified. In the everyone gets a gold star world how do you identify what works and what doesn't? The data shows spectacular and incredible levels of success because this is what careers, the flow of money and the politicians in charge want. I remember a very good chapter in Freakonomics demonstrating this in Chicago but I don't remember the solution, if there was one.
  • darkagedarkage Posts: 3,338
    I didn't mention it before but this was an excellent header; thanks to @cyclefree.
    Messing up the criminal justice system is something that the tories have got away with for a decade; and they can't really blame anyone for its failure other than themselves.
    They can try and blame barristers but this is a bad idea, because they are all generally a lot smarter than politicians, politics being a place where failed barristers often end up.
    There is no option to 'get rid of the barristers' because if they do, then they are literally destroying the entire basis of our legal system.
    They've not really managed to destroy any other professions after 12 years despite trying, they won't win this battle.
  • Nigelb said:

    Reading the Trussteam / Kwarteng denials about any problems with energy, I will be kept warm by this simple knowledge….

    We’re going to see significantly reduced electricity imports from France and Norway because of both supply constraints (French nukes requiring repair, and not enough water for Norwegian hydro) and increased demand from Europe. Gas will be a similar story, but worse.

    If it isn’t a mild winter, power cuts don’t sound unlikely at all.
    They are absolutely crazy. Countries with better provisions than us are already implementing power reduction measures. We are going to be switched off by most if not all of the interconnectors we rely on, and yet "use as much as you want" is the response.
  • Luckyguy1983Luckyguy1983 Posts: 20,506

    carnforth said:

    Graphene pioneer Paragraf threatens to quit UK over government ‘paralysis’

    One of the UK’s most promising science-based start-ups has threatened to leave the country over what its boss called political “paralysis” and a lack of clarity in national industrial strategy.

    Paragraf, a leader in efforts to commercialise graphene for electronic devices, is likely to move its base to the United States because the UK government “just doesn’t know what it’s doing”

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/graphene-pioneer-paragraf-threatens-to-quit-uk-over-government-paralysis-gmm8tsqjw (£££)

    The graphene bubble has burst, and the government has halted the subsidies? Try fleecing some US investors instead?
    Thomas cited issues including post-Brexit difficulties in attracting talent and incoherent or insufficient support for firms spun out of university research, as well as a lack of clarity on issues ranging from the implications of new national security rules to delays in forumlating a strategy for the semiconductor industry.


    Oh look.
  • bondegezoubondegezou Posts: 2,644
    edited August 2022

    rcs1000 said:

    Dynamo said:

    "'(T)he [FSB] has solved the murder of Russian journalist Darya Dugina, born in 1992,' the FSB stressed... '(T)he crime was prepared and committed by Ukrainian secret services.' Its perpetrator was identified as a citizen of Ukraine, Natalia Vovk, born in 1979.

    She had arrived in Russia on July 23, 2022, together with her daughter Sofya Shaban, born in 2010. 'On the day of the murder, Vovk and Shaban attended the ... festival Tradition, where Dugina was ...an honorary guest.

    In Ukraine, it is traditional for secret agents to take their 12 year old daughters on assassination missions.
    Maybe it was Take Your Daughter to Work day?
    (Edited)
    STOP PRESS: The alleged assassin of Dugina also brought a cat with her, as well as her daughter. https://twitter.com/shvetsantonand/status/1561769670839046144
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 47,316

    carnforth said:

    Graphene pioneer Paragraf threatens to quit UK over government ‘paralysis’

    One of the UK’s most promising science-based start-ups has threatened to leave the country over what its boss called political “paralysis” and a lack of clarity in national industrial strategy.

    Paragraf, a leader in efforts to commercialise graphene for electronic devices, is likely to move its base to the United States because the UK government “just doesn’t know what it’s doing”

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/graphene-pioneer-paragraf-threatens-to-quit-uk-over-government-paralysis-gmm8tsqjw (£££)

    The graphene bubble has burst, and the government has halted the subsidies? Try fleecing some US investors instead?
    Thomas cited issues including post-Brexit difficulties in attracting talent and incoherent or insufficient support for firms spun out of university research, as well as a lack of clarity on issues ranging from the implications of new national security rules to delays in forumlating a strategy for the semiconductor industry.


    Oh look.
    At what ?
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 56,756

    rcs1000 said:

    Dynamo said:

    "'(T)he [FSB] has solved the murder of Russian journalist Darya Dugina, born in 1992,' the FSB stressed... '(T)he crime was prepared and committed by Ukrainian secret services.' Its perpetrator was identified as a citizen of Ukraine, Natalia Vovk, born in 1979.

    She had arrived in Russia on July 23, 2022, together with her daughter Sofya Shaban, born in 2010. 'On the day of the murder, Vovk and Shaban attended the ... festival Tradition, where Dugina was ...an honorary guest.

    In Ukraine, it is traditional for secret agents to take their 12 year old daughters on assassination missions.
    Maybe it was Take Your Daughter to Work day?
    STOP PRESS: Dugina also brought a cat with her, as well as her daughter. https://twitter.com/shvetsantonand/status/1561769670839046144
    I think you mean this Ukrainian the Russians are pretending killed Dugina, not Dugina herself.
  • bondegezoubondegezou Posts: 2,644
    ydoethur said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Dynamo said:

    "'(T)he [FSB] has solved the murder of Russian journalist Darya Dugina, born in 1992,' the FSB stressed... '(T)he crime was prepared and committed by Ukrainian secret services.' Its perpetrator was identified as a citizen of Ukraine, Natalia Vovk, born in 1979.

    She had arrived in Russia on July 23, 2022, together with her daughter Sofya Shaban, born in 2010. 'On the day of the murder, Vovk and Shaban attended the ... festival Tradition, where Dugina was ...an honorary guest.

    In Ukraine, it is traditional for secret agents to take their 12 year old daughters on assassination missions.
    Maybe it was Take Your Daughter to Work day?
    STOP PRESS: Dugina also brought a cat with her, as well as her daughter. https://twitter.com/shvetsantonand/status/1561769670839046144
    I think you mean this Ukrainian the Russians are pretending killed Dugina, not Dugina herself.
    Yes. You are entirely right. I was overly excited by this breaking development.
  • DavidL said:

    ydoethur said:

    Tony Blair: Rip up the current exam system – it’s unfit for the modern world
    Writing in The Telegraph, the former PM said GCSEs and A-levels leave students 'poorly prepared for work' and should be scrapped

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/08/23/tony-blair-rip-current-exam-system-unfit-modern-world/ (£££)

    Blair's piece is at
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/08/23/time-scrap-gcses-a-levels/ (£££)

    The Telegraph currently offers a 3-month free trial but remember to cancel before it rolls over to charging a tenner a month (set a calendar reminder or something).

    Blair's gist is:-
    GCSEs are pointless.
    A-levels are too narrow because of AI and automation, and something like the International Baccalaureate would be better (although aiui many schools that have tried IB or Pre-U are returning to A-levels).
    Exams should be largely replaced by continuous assessment.
    Ofsted ratings are pointless because parents do not use their assessments to choose schools.

    I can't see anything there that has not been said by other people (even by me and others on pb) but maybe Blair is taken more seriously in Whitehall, and there will be a new EdSec in a fortnight.

    Ironic to have an education piece under a pb header asking if Our best days are still to come?

    I haven't read the article, but to take your summary in order:

    1) Agree with him. They are not leaving exams, they are so badly written they don't really tell you very much and because they're so prescriptive you have to spend ages undoing the damage before you can do anything useful. Plus they cost a fortune.

    2) Narrowness isn't really the issue, although it is an issue. The issue, again, that they don't set people up for further study and the exams are not well written or well assessed.

    3) Depends on the subject. In some subjects exams are sensible and probably the best choice for assessment. In others they are at best a blunt instrument and in some they're actually worse than useless (art springs to mind). However, while there needs to be a sortout of them you would need to give serious thought beforehand to who would actually be running them.

    4) There are all sorts of issues with OFSTED of which the fact that their ratings are more nonsensical than a Cummings excuse for breaking lockdown is just one. The fact that they are wilfully committing major safeguarding breaches during inspections to test school policies on the matter, for example, is a much bigger problem. The fact that their role is not really to improve education but to bring schools firmly under the thumb of the DfE to justify everyone's jobs is another. The fact it is run by a failed investment manager who literally does not know what safeguarding is and is responsible for the appalling state of our exam system tells you all you need to know about the system's real priorities.

    The difficulty is that making such changes now, on top of the years of changes we've already had, would be even more exhausting and demoralising for staff and see the leaving rate rise rapidly.

    One reason Felix spouted so much nonsense on workload and accused me of being lazy, a bad time manager and feckless despite having been a teacher himself is because he only went through one major reorganisation, in the 1980s with the introduction of GCSEs and the National Curriculum, which didn't actually affect History that much (and on his own account, he never bothered to do the work himself and got everyone around him to do it, which might explain why everyone around him complained about workload).

    More recent reforms have involved truly shocking amounts of work, because the entire curriculum, assessment system and indeed basic philosophy has been repeatedly changing and OFSTED have repeatedly demanded detailed documentation to show how it's been done (despite their public claims they wouldn't). This would be similar, if it went ahead.

    The system's at snapping point. If they tried to shake it, it will break entirely because the goodwill Cyclefree refers to simply isn't there anymore.
    I don't know enough about the English exam system but this makes a lot of sense to me. Certainly in Scotland the Curriculum for Excellence has been a catastrophic failure, resulting in reducing standards rather than the addressing the very real problems that were identified before implementation. The attainment gap has also increased although in fairness that may still be getting distorted by Covid.

    Despite all that would I want the Scottish government to rip it all up and start again? I would be wary for the reasons that you identify. It might be better to have much more incremental change addressing the more obvious failures, such as kids of 6 or 7 not being able to read.

    The major problem that I see in education, and indeed in other public services, is the complete corruption of the data that would allow the failures to be identified. In the everyone gets a gold star world how do you identify what works and what doesn't? The data shows spectacular and incredible levels of success because this is what careers, the flow of money and the politicians in charge want. I remember a very good chapter in Freakonomics demonstrating this in Chicago but I don't remember the solution, if there was one.
    The top level question to ask isn't so much about this year's or last year's results, but a broader question of is the system set up to do what we need it to do?

    Curriculum for Excellence has some serious shortcomings - everyone but the hardiest SNP ramper can see that. But is the right system being implemented poorly in some areas. The English alternative is the wrong system being implemented poorly in some areas. Its just too narrow, and too academic with not enough broader life skills learning.

    So I agree with Blair - the English system needs a rethink. I don't think the Scottish system does, just needs competent ministers who aren't exhausted after 3 and a bit terms in office.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 56,756

    Nigelb said:

    Reading the Trussteam / Kwarteng denials about any problems with energy, I will be kept warm by this simple knowledge….

    We’re going to see significantly reduced electricity imports from France and Norway because of both supply constraints (French nukes requiring repair, and not enough water for Norwegian hydro) and increased demand from Europe. Gas will be a similar story, but worse.

    If it isn’t a mild winter, power cuts don’t sound unlikely at all.
    They are absolutely crazy. Countries with better provisions than us are already implementing power reduction measures. We are going to be switched off by most if not all of the interconnectors we rely on, and yet "use as much as you want" is the response.
    An easy one to start would be advising office workers to work from home as much as possible for the winter, which would save considerable amounts of power both for heating offices and for transport. And making sure somebody locks Jacob Rees-Mogg in a darkened cellar for that time so he doesn't leave stupid notes demanding people return to work in government offices which are frequently the least energy efficient buildings of the lot.

    I suspect this is going to happen anyway as more firms do the sums as TSE already has.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 56,756
    edited August 2022

    ydoethur said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Dynamo said:

    "'(T)he [FSB] has solved the murder of Russian journalist Darya Dugina, born in 1992,' the FSB stressed... '(T)he crime was prepared and committed by Ukrainian secret services.' Its perpetrator was identified as a citizen of Ukraine, Natalia Vovk, born in 1979.

    She had arrived in Russia on July 23, 2022, together with her daughter Sofya Shaban, born in 2010. 'On the day of the murder, Vovk and Shaban attended the ... festival Tradition, where Dugina was ...an honorary guest.

    In Ukraine, it is traditional for secret agents to take their 12 year old daughters on assassination missions.
    Maybe it was Take Your Daughter to Work day?
    STOP PRESS: Dugina also brought a cat with her, as well as her daughter. https://twitter.com/shvetsantonand/status/1561769670839046144
    I think you mean this Ukrainian the Russians are pretending killed Dugina, not Dugina herself.
    Yes. You are entirely right. I was overly excited by this breaking development.
    This pussy overstimulated you?

    Edit - anyway, it's just as well you were wrong. If a Ukrainian assassin were alleged to have killed a pussy rather than a c*** there would be riots on the streets until we stopped all aid.
  • pingping Posts: 3,297
    edited August 2022
    One upstart energy consultancy, “Auxilione” predicts the April price cap will set the electricity unit price at £1.01/kWh.

    Fun times ahead…
  • Luckyguy1983Luckyguy1983 Posts: 20,506

    rcs1000 said:

    Dynamo said:

    "'(T)he [FSB] has solved the murder of Russian journalist Darya Dugina, born in 1992,' the FSB stressed... '(T)he crime was prepared and committed by Ukrainian secret services.' Its perpetrator was identified as a citizen of Ukraine, Natalia Vovk, born in 1979.

    She had arrived in Russia on July 23, 2022, together with her daughter Sofya Shaban, born in 2010. 'On the day of the murder, Vovk and Shaban attended the ... festival Tradition, where Dugina was ...an honorary guest.

    In Ukraine, it is traditional for secret agents to take their 12 year old daughters on assassination missions.
    Maybe it was Take Your Daughter to Work day?
    STOP PRESS: Dugina also brought a cat with her, as well as her daughter. https://twitter.com/shvetsantonand/status/1561769670839046144
    Dugina was the lady who was killed. They are alleging her killer was a lady with cat and daughter in tow.

    I still don't rule out Dugin himself. The man seems disturbed to me. His recent statements demand that Russia renews its resolve and puts even more into this conflict. This is certainly one way to try to achieve that. The circumstantial evidence is that he changed his travel plans at the last minute and went in a separate vehicle, but was going the same way? Police will need to probe (subtly) the reasons for that decision.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 55,103
    ping said:

    One upstart energy consultancy, “Auxilione” predicts the April price cap will set the electricity unit price at £1.01/kWh.

    Fun times ahead…

    There seem to be a lot of these energy consultancies popping up in the newspapers with predictions.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 56,756

    ping said:

    One upstart energy consultancy, “Auxilione” predicts the April price cap will set the electricity unit price at £1.01/kWh.

    Fun times ahead…

    There seem to be a lot of these energy consultancies popping up in the newspapers with predictions.
    Another easy energy saving we could make?
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 45,874

    Nigelb said:

    Reading the Trussteam / Kwarteng denials about any problems with energy, I will be kept warm by this simple knowledge….

    We’re going to see significantly reduced electricity imports from France and Norway because of both supply constraints (French nukes requiring repair, and not enough water for Norwegian hydro) and increased demand from Europe. Gas will be a similar story, but worse.

    If it isn’t a mild winter, power cuts don’t sound unlikely at all.
    They are absolutely crazy. Countries with better provisions than us are already implementing power reduction measures. We are going to be switched off by most if not all of the interconnectors we rely on, and yet "use as much as you want" is the response.
    Those interconnectors have been pumping a lot of energy to Europe in recent weeks, to France especially. Yesterday the interconnectors were all positive to the UK, meaning that we were exporting energy to everyone, including Norway. I think that this is because we have terminals to import LNG and it makes sense to burn that here and export the energy rather than the fuel.

    I do not think we have any problem producing enough energy in this country, the problem is what does that energy cost and can all our population afford to buy it?

    One other curiosity I have noted from Gridwatch is that our demand is normally between 28 and 36GW. France's is in the mid 40s so they use almost a third more energy than us. Not sure why that is but it is pretty consistent.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 55,103

    rcs1000 said:

    Dynamo said:

    "'(T)he [FSB] has solved the murder of Russian journalist Darya Dugina, born in 1992,' the FSB stressed... '(T)he crime was prepared and committed by Ukrainian secret services.' Its perpetrator was identified as a citizen of Ukraine, Natalia Vovk, born in 1979.

    She had arrived in Russia on July 23, 2022, together with her daughter Sofya Shaban, born in 2010. 'On the day of the murder, Vovk and Shaban attended the ... festival Tradition, where Dugina was ...an honorary guest.

    In Ukraine, it is traditional for secret agents to take their 12 year old daughters on assassination missions.
    Maybe it was Take Your Daughter to Work day?
    (Edited)
    STOP PRESS: The alleged assassin of Dugina also brought a cat with her, as well as her daughter. https://twitter.com/shvetsantonand/status/1561769670839046144
    We know they are lying, they know we know they are lying etc etc.
  • Luckyguy1983Luckyguy1983 Posts: 20,506
    Nigelb said:

    carnforth said:

    Graphene pioneer Paragraf threatens to quit UK over government ‘paralysis’

    One of the UK’s most promising science-based start-ups has threatened to leave the country over what its boss called political “paralysis” and a lack of clarity in national industrial strategy.

    Paragraf, a leader in efforts to commercialise graphene for electronic devices, is likely to move its base to the United States because the UK government “just doesn’t know what it’s doing”

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/graphene-pioneer-paragraf-threatens-to-quit-uk-over-government-paralysis-gmm8tsqjw (£££)

    The graphene bubble has burst, and the government has halted the subsidies? Try fleecing some US investors instead?
    Thomas cited issues including post-Brexit difficulties in attracting talent and incoherent or insufficient support for firms spun out of university research, as well as a lack of clarity on issues ranging from the implications of new national security rules to delays in forumlating a strategy for the semiconductor industry.


    Oh look.
    At what ?
    At the real reason for this intervention. 'Gizz us a bigger grant'.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 56,756
    DavidL said:

    Nigelb said:

    Reading the Trussteam / Kwarteng denials about any problems with energy, I will be kept warm by this simple knowledge….

    We’re going to see significantly reduced electricity imports from France and Norway because of both supply constraints (French nukes requiring repair, and not enough water for Norwegian hydro) and increased demand from Europe. Gas will be a similar story, but worse.

    If it isn’t a mild winter, power cuts don’t sound unlikely at all.
    They are absolutely crazy. Countries with better provisions than us are already implementing power reduction measures. We are going to be switched off by most if not all of the interconnectors we rely on, and yet "use as much as you want" is the response.
    Those interconnectors have been pumping a lot of energy to Europe in recent weeks, to France especially. Yesterday the interconnectors were all positive to the UK, meaning that we were exporting energy to everyone, including Norway. I think that this is because we have terminals to import LNG and it makes sense to burn that here and export the energy rather than the fuel.

    I do not think we have any problem producing enough energy in this country, the problem is what does that energy cost and can all our population afford to buy it?

    One other curiosity I have noted from Gridwatch is that our demand is normally between 28 and 36GW. France's is in the mid 40s so they use almost a third more energy than us. Not sure why that is but it is pretty consistent.
    I imagine they're using a lot more aircon right now.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 59,869
    Football: more rambling: https://enormo-haddock.blogspot.com/2022/08/23-august-thoughts-on-epl-la-liga-and.html

    Backed Villa to beat West Ham at 2.28. We'll see if the Hammers continue to act as whipping boy.

    Also, went for Southampton at 4.5 to beat Manchester United. May depend on whether the Red Devils are enjoying a resurgence or had a flash in the pan.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 47,316

    rcs1000 said:

    Dynamo said:

    "'(T)he [FSB] has solved the murder of Russian journalist Darya Dugina, born in 1992,' the FSB stressed... '(T)he crime was prepared and committed by Ukrainian secret services.' Its perpetrator was identified as a citizen of Ukraine, Natalia Vovk, born in 1979.

    She had arrived in Russia on July 23, 2022, together with her daughter Sofya Shaban, born in 2010. 'On the day of the murder, Vovk and Shaban attended the ... festival Tradition, where Dugina was ...an honorary guest.

    In Ukraine, it is traditional for secret agents to take their 12 year old daughters on assassination missions.
    Maybe it was Take Your Daughter to Work day?
    STOP PRESS: Dugina also brought a cat with her, as well as her daughter. https://twitter.com/shvetsantonand/status/1561769670839046144
    Dugina was the lady who was killed. They are alleging her killer was a lady with cat and daughter in tow.

    I still don't rule out Dugin himself. The man seems disturbed to me. His recent statements demand that Russia renews its resolve and puts even more into this conflict. This is certainly one way to try to achieve that...
    Except that she was making the same (possibly even more extreme) calls that he was. And harboured rather more realistic political ambitions.
    It’s more likely that it was the FSB, directed by Putin. But this is Russian so who the hell really knows ?
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 55,103

    Reading the Trussteam / Kwarteng denials about any problems with energy, I will be kept warm by this simple knowledge:

    Despite Boris Johnson being a corrupt self-centred buffoon leading a clown car government that screwed up almost constantly, it is being replaced by a government almost entirely of the same clowns which will be even more incompetent.

    Mistress Truss has set out Maginot Line defences against why there will be no handouts for the cold and indeed no energy crisis to make them cold. She will - eventually - have to change her position. Spectacularly change position. But unlike the Clown King who would bluster and blather and make it sound like its not a problem.

    Truss cannot do that. Can't think (whether on her feet or not). Can't speak in anything other than meaningless slogans. Has even less of a clue what reality is than shagger did, with the tragedy that she *thinks* she does.

    Bravo Tories, Bravo.

    She may change her position ten minutes after being told she has won the membership. She will never need their votes again and so they can dumped faster than a very fast thing.

    Massive pivot to electoral campaigning mode for wider public voters.
  • ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    Reading the Trussteam / Kwarteng denials about any problems with energy, I will be kept warm by this simple knowledge….

    We’re going to see significantly reduced electricity imports from France and Norway because of both supply constraints (French nukes requiring repair, and not enough water for Norwegian hydro) and increased demand from Europe. Gas will be a similar story, but worse.

    If it isn’t a mild winter, power cuts don’t sound unlikely at all.
    They are absolutely crazy. Countries with better provisions than us are already implementing power reduction measures. We are going to be switched off by most if not all of the interconnectors we rely on, and yet "use as much as you want" is the response.
    An easy one to start would be advising office workers to work from home as much as possible for the winter, which would save considerable amounts of power both for heating offices and for transport. And making sure somebody locks Jacob Rees-Mogg in a darkened cellar for that time so he doesn't leave stupid notes demanding people return to work in government offices which are frequently the least energy efficient buildings of the lot.

    I suspect this is going to happen anyway as more firms do the sums as TSE already has.
    I don't think it's as advantageous for us, because we don't have much? any? capacity to store fuel saved today for the winter. Which wouldn't stop it being a bit worthwhile cashwise.

    Another thought linked to the header and thread. Truss seems to have been round lots of departments (Education, DEFRA, Justice, Trade, Foreign Office). Are there any where she's done a good job? Depends what you think of those trade deals, I guess.
  • DavidL said:

    ydoethur said:

    Tony Blair: Rip up the current exam system – it’s unfit for the modern world
    Writing in The Telegraph, the former PM said GCSEs and A-levels leave students 'poorly prepared for work' and should be scrapped

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/08/23/tony-blair-rip-current-exam-system-unfit-modern-world/ (£££)

    Blair's piece is at
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/08/23/time-scrap-gcses-a-levels/ (£££)

    The Telegraph currently offers a 3-month free trial but remember to cancel before it rolls over to charging a tenner a month (set a calendar reminder or something).

    Blair's gist is:-
    GCSEs are pointless.
    A-levels are too narrow because of AI and automation, and something like the International Baccalaureate would be better (although aiui many schools that have tried IB or Pre-U are returning to A-levels).
    Exams should be largely replaced by continuous assessment.
    Ofsted ratings are pointless because parents do not use their assessments to choose schools.

    I can't see anything there that has not been said by other people (even by me and others on pb) but maybe Blair is taken more seriously in Whitehall, and there will be a new EdSec in a fortnight.

    Ironic to have an education piece under a pb header asking if Our best days are still to come?

    I haven't read the article, but to take your summary in order:

    1) Agree with him. They are not leaving exams, they are so badly written they don't really tell you very much and because they're so prescriptive you have to spend ages undoing the damage before you can do anything useful. Plus they cost a fortune.

    2) Narrowness isn't really the issue, although it is an issue. The issue, again, that they don't set people up for further study and the exams are not well written or well assessed.

    3) Depends on the subject. In some subjects exams are sensible and probably the best choice for assessment. In others they are at best a blunt instrument and in some they're actually worse than useless (art springs to mind). However, while there needs to be a sortout of them you would need to give serious thought beforehand to who would actually be running them.

    4) There are all sorts of issues with OFSTED of which the fact that their ratings are more nonsensical than a Cummings excuse for breaking lockdown is just one. The fact that they are wilfully committing major safeguarding breaches during inspections to test school policies on the matter, for example, is a much bigger problem. The fact that their role is not really to improve education but to bring schools firmly under the thumb of the DfE to justify everyone's jobs is another. The fact it is run by a failed investment manager who literally does not know what safeguarding is and is responsible for the appalling state of our exam system tells you all you need to know about the system's real priorities.

    The difficulty is that making such changes now, on top of the years of changes we've already had, would be even more exhausting and demoralising for staff and see the leaving rate rise rapidly.

    One reason Felix spouted so much nonsense on workload and accused me of being lazy, a bad time manager and feckless despite having been a teacher himself is because he only went through one major reorganisation, in the 1980s with the introduction of GCSEs and the National Curriculum, which didn't actually affect History that much (and on his own account, he never bothered to do the work himself and got everyone around him to do it, which might explain why everyone around him complained about workload).

    More recent reforms have involved truly shocking amounts of work, because the entire curriculum, assessment system and indeed basic philosophy has been repeatedly changing and OFSTED have repeatedly demanded detailed documentation to show how it's been done (despite their public claims they wouldn't). This would be similar, if it went ahead.

    The system's at snapping point. If they tried to shake it, it will break entirely because the goodwill Cyclefree refers to simply isn't there anymore.
    I don't know enough about the English exam system but this makes a lot of sense to me. Certainly in Scotland the Curriculum for Excellence has been a catastrophic failure, resulting in reducing standards rather than the addressing the very real problems that were identified before implementation. The attainment gap has also increased although in fairness that may still be getting distorted by Covid.

    Despite all that would I want the Scottish government to rip it all up and start again? I would be wary for the reasons that you identify. It might be better to have much more incremental change addressing the more obvious failures, such as kids of 6 or 7 not being able to read.

    The major problem that I see in education, and indeed in other public services, is the complete corruption of the data that would allow the failures to be identified. In the everyone gets a gold star world how do you identify what works and what doesn't? The data shows spectacular and incredible levels of success because this is what careers, the flow of money and the politicians in charge want. I remember a very good chapter in Freakonomics demonstrating this in Chicago but I don't remember the solution, if there was one.
    The top level question to ask isn't so much about this year's or last year's results, but a broader question of is the system set up to do what we need it to do?

    Curriculum for Excellence has some serious shortcomings - everyone but the hardiest SNP ramper can see that. But is the right system being implemented poorly in some areas. The English alternative is the wrong system being implemented poorly in some areas. Its just too narrow, and too academic with not enough broader life skills learning.

    So I agree with Blair - the English system needs a rethink. I don't think the Scottish system does, just needs competent ministers who aren't exhausted after 3 and a bit terms in office.
    Aiui the posh, expensive public schools are increasingly limiting pupils to three A-levels — there is no practical benefit to passing an armful — and using the remaining time to fill in the gaps in culture and life skills.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 45,874
    ydoethur said:

    DavidL said:

    Nigelb said:

    Reading the Trussteam / Kwarteng denials about any problems with energy, I will be kept warm by this simple knowledge….

    We’re going to see significantly reduced electricity imports from France and Norway because of both supply constraints (French nukes requiring repair, and not enough water for Norwegian hydro) and increased demand from Europe. Gas will be a similar story, but worse.

    If it isn’t a mild winter, power cuts don’t sound unlikely at all.
    They are absolutely crazy. Countries with better provisions than us are already implementing power reduction measures. We are going to be switched off by most if not all of the interconnectors we rely on, and yet "use as much as you want" is the response.
    Those interconnectors have been pumping a lot of energy to Europe in recent weeks, to France especially. Yesterday the interconnectors were all positive to the UK, meaning that we were exporting energy to everyone, including Norway. I think that this is because we have terminals to import LNG and it makes sense to burn that here and export the energy rather than the fuel.

    I do not think we have any problem producing enough energy in this country, the problem is what does that energy cost and can all our population afford to buy it?

    One other curiosity I have noted from Gridwatch is that our demand is normally between 28 and 36GW. France's is in the mid 40s so they use almost a third more energy than us. Not sure why that is but it is pretty consistent.
    I imagine they're using a lot more aircon right now.
    I am sure that they are but I do not think that explains 10GW+ of a difference. I think we have actually become a lot more fuel efficient than some are giving us credit for.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 47,316
    edited August 2022

    Nigelb said:

    carnforth said:

    Graphene pioneer Paragraf threatens to quit UK over government ‘paralysis’

    One of the UK’s most promising science-based start-ups has threatened to leave the country over what its boss called political “paralysis” and a lack of clarity in national industrial strategy.

    Paragraf, a leader in efforts to commercialise graphene for electronic devices, is likely to move its base to the United States because the UK government “just doesn’t know what it’s doing”

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/graphene-pioneer-paragraf-threatens-to-quit-uk-over-government-paralysis-gmm8tsqjw (£££)

    The graphene bubble has burst, and the government has halted the subsidies? Try fleecing some US investors instead?
    Thomas cited issues including post-Brexit difficulties in attracting talent and incoherent or insufficient support for firms spun out of university research, as well as a lack of clarity on issues ranging from the implications of new national security rules to delays in forumlating a strategy for the semiconductor industry.


    Oh look.
    At what ?
    At the real reason for this intervention. 'Gizz us a bigger grant'.
    Which demonstrates your ignorance.
    The company is hardly strapped for cash, having raised 60m earlier this year.
    It’s about the viability of growing an advanced semiconductor industry startup in the UK.
  • ydoethur said:

    DavidL said:

    Nigelb said:

    Reading the Trussteam / Kwarteng denials about any problems with energy, I will be kept warm by this simple knowledge….

    We’re going to see significantly reduced electricity imports from France and Norway because of both supply constraints (French nukes requiring repair, and not enough water for Norwegian hydro) and increased demand from Europe. Gas will be a similar story, but worse.

    If it isn’t a mild winter, power cuts don’t sound unlikely at all.
    They are absolutely crazy. Countries with better provisions than us are already implementing power reduction measures. We are going to be switched off by most if not all of the interconnectors we rely on, and yet "use as much as you want" is the response.
    Those interconnectors have been pumping a lot of energy to Europe in recent weeks, to France especially. Yesterday the interconnectors were all positive to the UK, meaning that we were exporting energy to everyone, including Norway. I think that this is because we have terminals to import LNG and it makes sense to burn that here and export the energy rather than the fuel.

    I do not think we have any problem producing enough energy in this country, the problem is what does that energy cost and can all our population afford to buy it?

    One other curiosity I have noted from Gridwatch is that our demand is normally between 28 and 36GW. France's is in the mid 40s so they use almost a third more energy than us. Not sure why that is but it is pretty consistent.
    I imagine they're using a lot more aircon right now.
    France has been suffering 40+ degrees Celsius through much of the summer, whereas our heatwave lasted a long weekend. France is, of course, largely due south of us.
  • eristdooferistdoof Posts: 4,448
    From main post "..., largely because pay rates are so poor that the average pay for junior barristers after 3 years is £12,200."

    Is this a full time salary, or do junior barristers get income from other professionally related sources (ie not from working in a real bar)? If so that seems incredibly low. In 1991 my starting salary as a 22 y.o. junior scientist in the NHS was almost exactly that figure. It was after an MSc but with no professionally related work experience.
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 10,792

    rcs1000 said:

    Dynamo said:

    "'(T)he [FSB] has solved the murder of Russian journalist Darya Dugina, born in 1992,' the FSB stressed... '(T)he crime was prepared and committed by Ukrainian secret services.' Its perpetrator was identified as a citizen of Ukraine, Natalia Vovk, born in 1979.

    She had arrived in Russia on July 23, 2022, together with her daughter Sofya Shaban, born in 2010. 'On the day of the murder, Vovk and Shaban attended the ... festival Tradition, where Dugina was ...an honorary guest.

    In Ukraine, it is traditional for secret agents to take their 12 year old daughters on assassination missions.
    Maybe it was Take Your Daughter to Work day?
    STOP PRESS: Dugina also brought a cat with her, as well as her daughter. https://twitter.com/shvetsantonand/status/1561769670839046144
    Dugina was the lady who was killed. They are alleging her killer was a lady with cat and daughter in tow.

    I still don't rule out Dugin himself.
    He did write an article for his fucking lunatic website about the occasional necessity of sacrificing one's daughter in the cause of spiritual progress.

    http://arcto.ru/article/1655

    Only click on this from inside a VM and bear in mind it will land you on both GCHQ's and Jessop's watchlists.
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 28,836
    edited August 2022
    eristdoof said:

    From main post "..., largely because pay rates are so poor that the average pay for junior barristers after 3 years is £12,200."

    Is this a full time salary, or do junior barristers get income from other professionally related sources (ie not from working in a real bar)? If so that seems incredibly low. In 1991 my starting salary as a 22 y.o. junior scientist in the NHS was almost exactly that figure. It was after an MSc but with no professionally related work experience.

    The other question is whether this is before or after their chambers gets its cut.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 45,874

    DavidL said:

    ydoethur said:

    Tony Blair: Rip up the current exam system – it’s unfit for the modern world
    Writing in The Telegraph, the former PM said GCSEs and A-levels leave students 'poorly prepared for work' and should be scrapped

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/08/23/tony-blair-rip-current-exam-system-unfit-modern-world/ (£££)

    Blair's piece is at
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/08/23/time-scrap-gcses-a-levels/ (£££)

    The Telegraph currently offers a 3-month free trial but remember to cancel before it rolls over to charging a tenner a month (set a calendar reminder or something).

    Blair's gist is:-
    GCSEs are pointless.
    A-levels are too narrow because of AI and automation, and something like the International Baccalaureate would be better (although aiui many schools that have tried IB or Pre-U are returning to A-levels).
    Exams should be largely replaced by continuous assessment.
    Ofsted ratings are pointless because parents do not use their assessments to choose schools.

    I can't see anything there that has not been said by other people (even by me and others on pb) but maybe Blair is taken more seriously in Whitehall, and there will be a new EdSec in a fortnight.

    Ironic to have an education piece under a pb header asking if Our best days are still to come?

    I haven't read the article, but to take your summary in order:

    1) Agree with him. They are not leaving exams, they are so badly written they don't really tell you very much and because they're so prescriptive you have to spend ages undoing the damage before you can do anything useful. Plus they cost a fortune.

    2) Narrowness isn't really the issue, although it is an issue. The issue, again, that they don't set people up for further study and the exams are not well written or well assessed.

    3) Depends on the subject. In some subjects exams are sensible and probably the best choice for assessment. In others they are at best a blunt instrument and in some they're actually worse than useless (art springs to mind). However, while there needs to be a sortout of them you would need to give serious thought beforehand to who would actually be running them.

    4) There are all sorts of issues with OFSTED of which the fact that their ratings are more nonsensical than a Cummings excuse for breaking lockdown is just one. The fact that they are wilfully committing major safeguarding breaches during inspections to test school policies on the matter, for example, is a much bigger problem. The fact that their role is not really to improve education but to bring schools firmly under the thumb of the DfE to justify everyone's jobs is another. The fact it is run by a failed investment manager who literally does not know what safeguarding is and is responsible for the appalling state of our exam system tells you all you need to know about the system's real priorities.

    The difficulty is that making such changes now, on top of the years of changes we've already had, would be even more exhausting and demoralising for staff and see the leaving rate rise rapidly.

    One reason Felix spouted so much nonsense on workload and accused me of being lazy, a bad time manager and feckless despite having been a teacher himself is because he only went through one major reorganisation, in the 1980s with the introduction of GCSEs and the National Curriculum, which didn't actually affect History that much (and on his own account, he never bothered to do the work himself and got everyone around him to do it, which might explain why everyone around him complained about workload).

    More recent reforms have involved truly shocking amounts of work, because the entire curriculum, assessment system and indeed basic philosophy has been repeatedly changing and OFSTED have repeatedly demanded detailed documentation to show how it's been done (despite their public claims they wouldn't). This would be similar, if it went ahead.

    The system's at snapping point. If they tried to shake it, it will break entirely because the goodwill Cyclefree refers to simply isn't there anymore.
    I don't know enough about the English exam system but this makes a lot of sense to me. Certainly in Scotland the Curriculum for Excellence has been a catastrophic failure, resulting in reducing standards rather than the addressing the very real problems that were identified before implementation. The attainment gap has also increased although in fairness that may still be getting distorted by Covid.

    Despite all that would I want the Scottish government to rip it all up and start again? I would be wary for the reasons that you identify. It might be better to have much more incremental change addressing the more obvious failures, such as kids of 6 or 7 not being able to read.

    The major problem that I see in education, and indeed in other public services, is the complete corruption of the data that would allow the failures to be identified. In the everyone gets a gold star world how do you identify what works and what doesn't? The data shows spectacular and incredible levels of success because this is what careers, the flow of money and the politicians in charge want. I remember a very good chapter in Freakonomics demonstrating this in Chicago but I don't remember the solution, if there was one.
    The top level question to ask isn't so much about this year's or last year's results, but a broader question of is the system set up to do what we need it to do?

    Curriculum for Excellence has some serious shortcomings - everyone but the hardiest SNP ramper can see that. But is the right system being implemented poorly in some areas. The English alternative is the wrong system being implemented poorly in some areas. Its just too narrow, and too academic with not enough broader life skills learning.

    So I agree with Blair - the English system needs a rethink. I don't think the Scottish system does, just needs competent ministers who aren't exhausted after 3 and a bit terms in office.
    I think that you are missing the point bith @ydoethur and I are making. Politicians love to change things because it makes them sound important and as if they are addressing the countries problems but far more often than not they do more harm than good because they do not know enough to understand what the implementation of those changes requires and they fail to see the knock on effects. Blair still doesn't seem to have learned this despite being PM for an extended period.
  • Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    carnforth said:

    Graphene pioneer Paragraf threatens to quit UK over government ‘paralysis’

    One of the UK’s most promising science-based start-ups has threatened to leave the country over what its boss called political “paralysis” and a lack of clarity in national industrial strategy.

    Paragraf, a leader in efforts to commercialise graphene for electronic devices, is likely to move its base to the United States because the UK government “just doesn’t know what it’s doing”

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/graphene-pioneer-paragraf-threatens-to-quit-uk-over-government-paralysis-gmm8tsqjw (£££)

    The graphene bubble has burst, and the government has halted the subsidies? Try fleecing some US investors instead?
    Thomas cited issues including post-Brexit difficulties in attracting talent and incoherent or insufficient support for firms spun out of university research, as well as a lack of clarity on issues ranging from the implications of new national security rules to delays in forumlating a strategy for the semiconductor industry.


    Oh look.
    At what ?
    At the real reason for this intervention. 'Gizz us a bigger grant'.
    Which demonstrates your ignorance.
    The company is hardly strapped for cash, having raised 60m earlier this year.
    It’s about the viability of growing an advanced semiconductor industry startup in the UK.
    This response does illustrate a wider problem in that any intervention from any industry is immediately dismissed in Whitehall and Westminster (and on pb) as special pleading. That is even worse than having had enough of experts.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 59,869
    Breaking: Trump's suing the justice department:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-62640448
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 42,503
    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    carnforth said:

    Graphene pioneer Paragraf threatens to quit UK over government ‘paralysis’

    One of the UK’s most promising science-based start-ups has threatened to leave the country over what its boss called political “paralysis” and a lack of clarity in national industrial strategy.

    Paragraf, a leader in efforts to commercialise graphene for electronic devices, is likely to move its base to the United States because the UK government “just doesn’t know what it’s doing”

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/graphene-pioneer-paragraf-threatens-to-quit-uk-over-government-paralysis-gmm8tsqjw (£££)

    The graphene bubble has burst, and the government has halted the subsidies? Try fleecing some US investors instead?
    Thomas cited issues including post-Brexit difficulties in attracting talent and incoherent or insufficient support for firms spun out of university research, as well as a lack of clarity on issues ranging from the implications of new national security rules to delays in forumlating a strategy for the semiconductor industry.


    Oh look.
    At what ?
    At the real reason for this intervention. 'Gizz us a bigger grant'.
    Which demonstrates your ignorance.
    The company is hardly strapped for cash, having raised 60m earlier this year.
    It’s about the viability of growing an advanced semiconductor industry startup in the UK.
    What are they actually looking for - apart from the government picking them as a winner, showering them with tax breaks and grants?
  • UnpopularUnpopular Posts: 584

    DavidL said:

    ydoethur said:

    Tony Blair: Rip up the current exam system – it’s unfit for the modern world
    Writing in The Telegraph, the former PM said GCSEs and A-levels leave students 'poorly prepared for work' and should be scrapped

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/08/23/tony-blair-rip-current-exam-system-unfit-modern-world/ (£££)

    Blair's piece is at
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/08/23/time-scrap-gcses-a-levels/ (£££)

    The Telegraph currently offers a 3-month free trial but remember to cancel before it rolls over to charging a tenner a month (set a calendar reminder or something).

    Blair's gist is:-
    GCSEs are pointless.
    A-levels are too narrow because of AI and automation, and something like the International Baccalaureate would be better (although aiui many schools that have tried IB or Pre-U are returning to A-levels).
    Exams should be largely replaced by continuous assessment.
    Ofsted ratings are pointless because parents do not use their assessments to choose schools.

    I can't see anything there that has not been said by other people (even by me and others on pb) but maybe Blair is taken more seriously in Whitehall, and there will be a new EdSec in a fortnight.

    Ironic to have an education piece under a pb header asking if Our best days are still to come?

    I haven't read the article, but to take your summary in order:

    1) Agree with him. They are not leaving exams, they are so badly written they don't really tell you very much and because they're so prescriptive you have to spend ages undoing the damage before you can do anything useful. Plus they cost a fortune.

    2) Narrowness isn't really the issue, although it is an issue. The issue, again, that they don't set people up for further study and the exams are not well written or well assessed.

    3) Depends on the subject. In some subjects exams are sensible and probably the best choice for assessment. In others they are at best a blunt instrument and in some they're actually worse than useless (art springs to mind). However, while there needs to be a sortout of them you would need to give serious thought beforehand to who would actually be running them.

    4) There are all sorts of issues with OFSTED of which the fact that their ratings are more nonsensical than a Cummings excuse for breaking lockdown is just one. The fact that they are wilfully committing major safeguarding breaches during inspections to test school policies on the matter, for example, is a much bigger problem. The fact that their role is not really to improve education but to bring schools firmly under the thumb of the DfE to justify everyone's jobs is another. The fact it is run by a failed investment manager who literally does not know what safeguarding is and is responsible for the appalling state of our exam system tells you all you need to know about the system's real priorities.

    The difficulty is that making such changes now, on top of the years of changes we've already had, would be even more exhausting and demoralising for staff and see the leaving rate rise rapidly.

    One reason Felix spouted so much nonsense on workload and accused me of being lazy, a bad time manager and feckless despite having been a teacher himself is because he only went through one major reorganisation, in the 1980s with the introduction of GCSEs and the National Curriculum, which didn't actually affect History that much (and on his own account, he never bothered to do the work himself and got everyone around him to do it, which might explain why everyone around him complained about workload).

    More recent reforms have involved truly shocking amounts of work, because the entire curriculum, assessment system and indeed basic philosophy has been repeatedly changing and OFSTED have repeatedly demanded detailed documentation to show how it's been done (despite their public claims they wouldn't). This would be similar, if it went ahead.

    The system's at snapping point. If they tried to shake it, it will break entirely because the goodwill Cyclefree refers to simply isn't there anymore.
    I don't know enough about the English exam system but this makes a lot of sense to me. Certainly in Scotland the Curriculum for Excellence has been a catastrophic failure, resulting in reducing standards rather than the addressing the very real problems that were identified before implementation. The attainment gap has also increased although in fairness that may still be getting distorted by Covid.

    Despite all that would I want the Scottish government to rip it all up and start again? I would be wary for the reasons that you identify. It might be better to have much more incremental change addressing the more obvious failures, such as kids of 6 or 7 not being able to read.

    The major problem that I see in education, and indeed in other public services, is the complete corruption of the data that would allow the failures to be identified. In the everyone gets a gold star world how do you identify what works and what doesn't? The data shows spectacular and incredible levels of success because this is what careers, the flow of money and the politicians in charge want. I remember a very good chapter in Freakonomics demonstrating this in Chicago but I don't remember the solution, if there was one.
    The top level question to ask isn't so much about this year's or last year's results, but a broader question of is the system set up to do what we need it to do?

    Curriculum for Excellence has some serious shortcomings - everyone but the hardiest SNP ramper can see that. But is the right system being implemented poorly in some areas. The English alternative is the wrong system being implemented poorly in some areas. Its just too narrow, and too academic with not enough broader life skills learning.

    So I agree with Blair - the English system needs a rethink. I don't think the Scottish system does, just needs competent ministers who aren't exhausted after 3 and a bit terms in office.
    My understanding is that CfE was a bit of a half-assed job. The idea was for more individualised teaching based on the needs of the children, putting a lot of extra work on teachers. On the flip side, class numbers were to be capped at 25, with full time support for every class. The Government did the first bit, increasing the workload of teachers massively, but failed to follow through with the second (more expensive bit).

    Anecdotally, I hear that many local authorities didn't fully implement the CfE but Highland have gone very strict on adhering to CfE. Highland are bottom of the table for education in Scotland.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 56,756

    Breaking: Trump's suing the justice department:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-62640448

    Inflation reaches 26% due to the spike in world popcorn prices.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 72,863
    ping said:

    One upstart energy consultancy, “Auxilione” predicts the April price cap will set the electricity unit price at £1.01/kWh.

    Fun times ahead…

    We might as well pack up and die at this rate.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 45,874

    Breaking: Trump's suing the justice department:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-62640448

    Of course he is. Anything to distract and muddy the waters.
  • ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    Reading the Trussteam / Kwarteng denials about any problems with energy, I will be kept warm by this simple knowledge….

    We’re going to see significantly reduced electricity imports from France and Norway because of both supply constraints (French nukes requiring repair, and not enough water for Norwegian hydro) and increased demand from Europe. Gas will be a similar story, but worse.

    If it isn’t a mild winter, power cuts don’t sound unlikely at all.
    They are absolutely crazy. Countries with better provisions than us are already implementing power reduction measures. We are going to be switched off by most if not all of the interconnectors we rely on, and yet "use as much as you want" is the response.
    An easy one to start would be advising office workers to work from home as much as possible for the winter, which would save considerable amounts of power both for heating offices and for transport. And making sure somebody locks Jacob Rees-Mogg in a darkened cellar for that time so he doesn't leave stupid notes demanding people return to work in government offices which are frequently the least energy efficient buildings of the lot.

    I suspect this is going to happen anyway as more firms do the sums as TSE already has.
    I don't think it's as advantageous for us, because we don't have much? any? capacity to store fuel saved today for the winter. Which wouldn't stop it being a bit worthwhile cashwise.

    Another thought linked to the header and thread. Truss seems to have been round lots of departments (Education, DEFRA, Justice, Trade, Foreign Office). Are there any where she's done a good job? Depends what you think of those trade deals, I guess.
    It is a bit like the case for Theresa May, who had outlasted the average Home Secretary. Liz Truss has been in government for a long time and if she has had no great successes, at least she's not set fire to the NHS or the benefits system, or got anyone banged up in an Iranian prison. Long service is enough to make her a Big Beast.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 72,863
    DavidL said:

    ydoethur said:

    DavidL said:

    Nigelb said:

    Reading the Trussteam / Kwarteng denials about any problems with energy, I will be kept warm by this simple knowledge….

    We’re going to see significantly reduced electricity imports from France and Norway because of both supply constraints (French nukes requiring repair, and not enough water for Norwegian hydro) and increased demand from Europe. Gas will be a similar story, but worse.

    If it isn’t a mild winter, power cuts don’t sound unlikely at all.
    They are absolutely crazy. Countries with better provisions than us are already implementing power reduction measures. We are going to be switched off by most if not all of the interconnectors we rely on, and yet "use as much as you want" is the response.
    Those interconnectors have been pumping a lot of energy to Europe in recent weeks, to France especially. Yesterday the interconnectors were all positive to the UK, meaning that we were exporting energy to everyone, including Norway. I think that this is because we have terminals to import LNG and it makes sense to burn that here and export the energy rather than the fuel.

    I do not think we have any problem producing enough energy in this country, the problem is what does that energy cost and can all our population afford to buy it?

    One other curiosity I have noted from Gridwatch is that our demand is normally between 28 and 36GW. France's is in the mid 40s so they use almost a third more energy than us. Not sure why that is but it is pretty consistent.
    I imagine they're using a lot more aircon right now.
    I am sure that they are but I do not think that explains 10GW+ of a difference. I think we have actually become a lot more fuel efficient than some are giving us credit for.
    Barely any heavy industry here.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 47,316

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    carnforth said:

    Graphene pioneer Paragraf threatens to quit UK over government ‘paralysis’

    One of the UK’s most promising science-based start-ups has threatened to leave the country over what its boss called political “paralysis” and a lack of clarity in national industrial strategy.

    Paragraf, a leader in efforts to commercialise graphene for electronic devices, is likely to move its base to the United States because the UK government “just doesn’t know what it’s doing”

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/graphene-pioneer-paragraf-threatens-to-quit-uk-over-government-paralysis-gmm8tsqjw (£££)

    The graphene bubble has burst, and the government has halted the subsidies? Try fleecing some US investors instead?
    Thomas cited issues including post-Brexit difficulties in attracting talent and incoherent or insufficient support for firms spun out of university research, as well as a lack of clarity on issues ranging from the implications of new national security rules to delays in forumlating a strategy for the semiconductor industry.


    Oh look.
    At what ?
    At the real reason for this intervention. 'Gizz us a bigger grant'.
    Which demonstrates your ignorance.
    The company is hardly strapped for cash, having raised 60m earlier this year.
    It’s about the viability of growing an advanced semiconductor industry startup in the UK.
    This response does illustrate a wider problem in that any intervention from any industry is immediately dismissed in Whitehall and Westminster (and on pb) as special pleading. That is even worse than having had enough of experts.
    There is a danger that we are abandoning stuff which drives the broth of advanced economies. It’s not about a single company, but entire sectors.

    South Korea - a smaller country than us, with a smaller science base - has managed to be a world leader in for example semiconductors, and more recently, battery technology and manufacturing. So it’s not about the size of the national market, either.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 45,874
    Pulpstar said:

    ping said:

    One upstart energy consultancy, “Auxilione” predicts the April price cap will set the electricity unit price at £1.01/kWh.

    Fun times ahead…

    We might as well pack up and die at this rate.
    You think we have the energy to run those crematoria?
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 47,316
    Sandpit said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    carnforth said:

    Graphene pioneer Paragraf threatens to quit UK over government ‘paralysis’

    One of the UK’s most promising science-based start-ups has threatened to leave the country over what its boss called political “paralysis” and a lack of clarity in national industrial strategy.

    Paragraf, a leader in efforts to commercialise graphene for electronic devices, is likely to move its base to the United States because the UK government “just doesn’t know what it’s doing”

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/graphene-pioneer-paragraf-threatens-to-quit-uk-over-government-paralysis-gmm8tsqjw (£££)

    The graphene bubble has burst, and the government has halted the subsidies? Try fleecing some US investors instead?
    Thomas cited issues including post-Brexit difficulties in attracting talent and incoherent or insufficient support for firms spun out of university research, as well as a lack of clarity on issues ranging from the implications of new national security rules to delays in forumlating a strategy for the semiconductor industry.


    Oh look.
    At what ?
    At the real reason for this intervention. 'Gizz us a bigger grant'.
    Which demonstrates your ignorance.
    The company is hardly strapped for cash, having raised 60m earlier this year.
    It’s about the viability of growing an advanced semiconductor industry startup in the UK.
    What are they actually looking for - apart from the government picking them as a winner, showering them with tax breaks and grants?
    Somewhere to move to, by the sound of it.
  • The average UK CEO is now paid 109 times what the the average British worker is. It was 79 times higher barely 2 years ago. Have CEOs really been grafting so much harder these last two years to deserve such rewards?

    Executive pay is set by other executives on remuneration committees and voted on by other executives at AGMs.

    All of whom have a vested interest in executive pay increasing.

    If a political party wanted a popular policy they would advocate a maximum wage based on 10x average earnings for each organisation.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 47,316
    Pulpstar said:

    DavidL said:

    ydoethur said:

    DavidL said:

    Nigelb said:

    Reading the Trussteam / Kwarteng denials about any problems with energy, I will be kept warm by this simple knowledge….

    We’re going to see significantly reduced electricity imports from France and Norway because of both supply constraints (French nukes requiring repair, and not enough water for Norwegian hydro) and increased demand from Europe. Gas will be a similar story, but worse.

    If it isn’t a mild winter, power cuts don’t sound unlikely at all.
    They are absolutely crazy. Countries with better provisions than us are already implementing power reduction measures. We are going to be switched off by most if not all of the interconnectors we rely on, and yet "use as much as you want" is the response.
    Those interconnectors have been pumping a lot of energy to Europe in recent weeks, to France especially. Yesterday the interconnectors were all positive to the UK, meaning that we were exporting energy to everyone, including Norway. I think that this is because we have terminals to import LNG and it makes sense to burn that here and export the energy rather than the fuel.

    I do not think we have any problem producing enough energy in this country, the problem is what does that energy cost and can all our population afford to buy it?

    One other curiosity I have noted from Gridwatch is that our demand is normally between 28 and 36GW. France's is in the mid 40s so they use almost a third more energy than us. Not sure why that is but it is pretty consistent.
    I imagine they're using a lot more aircon right now.
    I am sure that they are but I do not think that explains 10GW+ of a difference. I think we have actually become a lot more fuel efficient than some are giving us credit for.
    Barely any heavy industry here.
    What are the comparative figures for domestic and industrial gas use ?
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 42,503
    Sounds like the eco-mob are on the M25 again.
  • The average UK CEO is now paid 109 times what the the average British worker is. It was 79 times higher barely 2 years ago. Have CEOs really been grafting so much harder these last two years to deserve such rewards?

    Executive pay is set by other executives on remuneration committees and voted on by other executives at AGMs.

    All of whom have a vested interest in executive pay increasing.

    If a political party wanted a popular policy they would advocate a maximum wage based on 10x average earnings for each organisation.

    If you want one reason why productivity is stagnant then look at earnings inequality.

    Workers aren't going to look to increase their productivity if the result is more money for the executive oligarchy but nothing more for themselves.
  • SelebianSelebian Posts: 4,939

    ping said:

    One upstart energy consultancy, “Auxilione” predicts the April price cap will set the electricity unit price at £1.01/kWh.

    Fun times ahead…

    There seem to be a lot of these energy consultancies popping up in the newspapers with predictions.
    Free advertising, isn't it? But not for energy consultancies with boring "the peak will be nowhere near as high as feared" projections which are not newsworthy.
  • DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    ydoethur said:

    Tony Blair: Rip up the current exam system – it’s unfit for the modern world
    Writing in The Telegraph, the former PM said GCSEs and A-levels leave students 'poorly prepared for work' and should be scrapped

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2022/08/23/tony-blair-rip-current-exam-system-unfit-modern-world/ (£££)

    Blair's piece is at
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/08/23/time-scrap-gcses-a-levels/ (£££)

    The Telegraph currently offers a 3-month free trial but remember to cancel before it rolls over to charging a tenner a month (set a calendar reminder or something).

    Blair's gist is:-
    GCSEs are pointless.
    A-levels are too narrow because of AI and automation, and something like the International Baccalaureate would be better (although aiui many schools that have tried IB or Pre-U are returning to A-levels).
    Exams should be largely replaced by continuous assessment.
    Ofsted ratings are pointless because parents do not use their assessments to choose schools.

    I can't see anything there that has not been said by other people (even by me and others on pb) but maybe Blair is taken more seriously in Whitehall, and there will be a new EdSec in a fortnight.

    Ironic to have an education piece under a pb header asking if Our best days are still to come?

    I haven't read the article, but to take your summary in order:

    1) Agree with him. They are not leaving exams, they are so badly written they don't really tell you very much and because they're so prescriptive you have to spend ages undoing the damage before you can do anything useful. Plus they cost a fortune.

    2) Narrowness isn't really the issue, although it is an issue. The issue, again, that they don't set people up for further study and the exams are not well written or well assessed.

    3) Depends on the subject. In some subjects exams are sensible and probably the best choice for assessment. In others they are at best a blunt instrument and in some they're actually worse than useless (art springs to mind). However, while there needs to be a sortout of them you would need to give serious thought beforehand to who would actually be running them.

    4) There are all sorts of issues with OFSTED of which the fact that their ratings are more nonsensical than a Cummings excuse for breaking lockdown is just one. The fact that they are wilfully committing major safeguarding breaches during inspections to test school policies on the matter, for example, is a much bigger problem. The fact that their role is not really to improve education but to bring schools firmly under the thumb of the DfE to justify everyone's jobs is another. The fact it is run by a failed investment manager who literally does not know what safeguarding is and is responsible for the appalling state of our exam system tells you all you need to know about the system's real priorities.

    The difficulty is that making such changes now, on top of the years of changes we've already had, would be even more exhausting and demoralising for staff and see the leaving rate rise rapidly.

    One reason Felix spouted so much nonsense on workload and accused me of being lazy, a bad time manager and feckless despite having been a teacher himself is because he only went through one major reorganisation, in the 1980s with the introduction of GCSEs and the National Curriculum, which didn't actually affect History that much (and on his own account, he never bothered to do the work himself and got everyone around him to do it, which might explain why everyone around him complained about workload).

    More recent reforms have involved truly shocking amounts of work, because the entire curriculum, assessment system and indeed basic philosophy has been repeatedly changing and OFSTED have repeatedly demanded detailed documentation to show how it's been done (despite their public claims they wouldn't). This would be similar, if it went ahead.

    The system's at snapping point. If they tried to shake it, it will break entirely because the goodwill Cyclefree refers to simply isn't there anymore.
    I don't know enough about the English exam system but this makes a lot of sense to me. Certainly in Scotland the Curriculum for Excellence has been a catastrophic failure, resulting in reducing standards rather than the addressing the very real problems that were identified before implementation. The attainment gap has also increased although in fairness that may still be getting distorted by Covid.

    Despite all that would I want the Scottish government to rip it all up and start again? I would be wary for the reasons that you identify. It might be better to have much more incremental change addressing the more obvious failures, such as kids of 6 or 7 not being able to read.

    The major problem that I see in education, and indeed in other public services, is the complete corruption of the data that would allow the failures to be identified. In the everyone gets a gold star world how do you identify what works and what doesn't? The data shows spectacular and incredible levels of success because this is what careers, the flow of money and the politicians in charge want. I remember a very good chapter in Freakonomics demonstrating this in Chicago but I don't remember the solution, if there was one.
    The top level question to ask isn't so much about this year's or last year's results, but a broader question of is the system set up to do what we need it to do?

    Curriculum for Excellence has some serious shortcomings - everyone but the hardiest SNP ramper can see that. But is the right system being implemented poorly in some areas. The English alternative is the wrong system being implemented poorly in some areas. Its just too narrow, and too academic with not enough broader life skills learning.

    So I agree with Blair - the English system needs a rethink. I don't think the Scottish system does, just needs competent ministers who aren't exhausted after 3 and a bit terms in office.
    I think that you are missing the point bith @ydoethur and I are making. Politicians love to change things because it makes them sound important and as if they are addressing the countries problems but far more often than not they do more harm than good because they do not know enough to understand what the implementation of those changes requires and they fail to see the knock on effects. Blair still doesn't seem to have learned this despite being PM for an extended period.
    Especially when one change is followed by another a year or two later and then by further changes so that organisations are in a continual state of disruption.
  • Is it just me or are we all now afflicted by a plague of pigeons?

    They are everywhere.

    Yes - we are having to protect our solar panels with mesh but are held up by a nesting pair who are protected, as are all birds and have to wait until the young leave the nest

    The other problem is little known but they can produce upto 12 broods per year virtually nesting 24/7

    Their poo is acidic and disease ridden and they really are a pest

    All food sources should be removed and there are various deterrents but with limited success
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 47,316

    Breaking: Trump's suing the justice department:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-62640448

    I posted a couple of links analysing that upthread.
    Here’s another one which gives his pile of garbage another going over.

    https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1561817258309156864
    Uh, "pro se" means, Trump's going it alone.
    There are, however, actual lawyers signed onto this, only, they didn't file a notice of appearance to make sure they acted like officers of the court...


    Worth reading in full, if only for entertainment value.

    Note, though, that this will be heard by a judge he appointed.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 82,567
    More money does not always solve the fundamental problems of a public service. But with criminal justice it would quite clearly have an immediate positive effect on very visible outcomes. Much as I liked the coalition its direction on this area, since continued, was counter productive to the point of serious problems in basic delivery of justice.

    For relatively little cost big improvements could be had, and yes that means more money for legal aid and lawyers.
  • Reading the Trussteam / Kwarteng denials about any problems with energy, I will be kept warm by this simple knowledge:

    Despite Boris Johnson being a corrupt self-centred buffoon leading a clown car government that screwed up almost constantly, it is being replaced by a government almost entirely of the same clowns which will be even more incompetent.

    Mistress Truss has set out Maginot Line defences against why there will be no handouts for the cold and indeed no energy crisis to make them cold. She will - eventually - have to change her position. Spectacularly change position. But unlike the Clown King who would bluster and blather and make it sound like its not a problem.

    Truss cannot do that. Can't think (whether on her feet or not). Can't speak in anything other than meaningless slogans. Has even less of a clue what reality is than shagger did, with the tragedy that she *thinks* she does.

    Bravo Tories, Bravo.

    She may change her position ten minutes after being told she has won the membership. She will never need their votes again and so they can dumped faster than a very fast thing.

    Massive pivot to electoral campaigning mode for wider public voters.
    Sounds like projection rather than a cool assessment of the available evidence but in any case, once in office Truss (or Sunak) will be hit with a tidal wave of problems from a collapsing NHS through the cost of living crisis and a real possibility of actual shortages of fuel and food; problems that will need to be dealt with. The new government will not have the luxury of slipping into campaigning mode.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 72,863
    Coal mining would likely be economically viable and beneficial right now if we hadn't blown up the mines and power stations. I'm serious !
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 47,316
    edited August 2022

    The average UK CEO is now paid 109 times what the the average British worker is. It was 79 times higher barely 2 years ago. Have CEOs really been grafting so much harder these last two years to deserve such rewards?

    ...

    (I’m not defending it, but) That’s the average FTSE 100 CEO.
    Which is hardly typical of UK businesses (especially as quite a few of them are largely overseas).

    What’s the real figure for UK businesses ?

  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 43,682

    Is it just me or are we all now afflicted by a plague of pigeons?

    They are everywhere.

    How do you know it’s not the same small bunch of them, following you around?
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 56,756
    Nigelb said:

    Breaking: Trump's suing the justice department:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-62640448

    I posted a couple of links analysing that upthread.
    Here’s another one which gives his pile of garbage another going over.

    https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1561817258309156864
    Uh, "pro se" means, Trump's going it alone.
    There are, however, actual lawyers signed onto this, only, they didn't file a notice of appearance to make sure they acted like officers of the court...


    Worth reading in full, if only for entertainment value.

    Note, though, that this will be heard by a judge he appointed.
    Not so much pro se as felo de se.
  • Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    carnforth said:

    Graphene pioneer Paragraf threatens to quit UK over government ‘paralysis’

    One of the UK’s most promising science-based start-ups has threatened to leave the country over what its boss called political “paralysis” and a lack of clarity in national industrial strategy.

    Paragraf, a leader in efforts to commercialise graphene for electronic devices, is likely to move its base to the United States because the UK government “just doesn’t know what it’s doing”

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/graphene-pioneer-paragraf-threatens-to-quit-uk-over-government-paralysis-gmm8tsqjw (£££)

    The graphene bubble has burst, and the government has halted the subsidies? Try fleecing some US investors instead?
    Thomas cited issues including post-Brexit difficulties in attracting talent and incoherent or insufficient support for firms spun out of university research, as well as a lack of clarity on issues ranging from the implications of new national security rules to delays in forumlating a strategy for the semiconductor industry.


    Oh look.
    At what ?
    At the real reason for this intervention. 'Gizz us a bigger grant'.
    Which demonstrates your ignorance.
    The company is hardly strapped for cash, having raised 60m earlier this year.
    It’s about the viability of growing an advanced semiconductor industry startup in the UK.
    This response does illustrate a wider problem in that any intervention from any industry is immediately dismissed in Whitehall and Westminster (and on pb) as special pleading. That is even worse than having had enough of experts.
    There is a danger that we are abandoning stuff which drives the broth of advanced economies. It’s not about a single company, but entire sectors.

    South Korea - a smaller country than us, with a smaller science base - has managed to be a world leader in for example semiconductors, and more recently, battery technology and manufacturing. So it’s not about the size of the national market, either.
    I was utterly amazed when I visited South Korea at the massive shipbuilding and maintenance that is going on
  • pingping Posts: 3,297
    Selebian said:

    ping said:

    One upstart energy consultancy, “Auxilione” predicts the April price cap will set the electricity unit price at £1.01/kWh.

    Fun times ahead…

    There seem to be a lot of these energy consultancies popping up in the newspapers with predictions.
    Free advertising, isn't it? But not for energy consultancies with boring "the peak will be nowhere near as high as feared" projections which are not newsworthy.
    Sure.

    But, actually I think they’re broadly on the money. They’re just taking the wholesale futures price and churning it through ofgem’s price cap model.

    It’s not rocket science. Anyone with an internet connection and some basic maths skills can do it.

    Obviously, they’re doing it for the free publicity, but their basic calculations look sound to me.

    The disclaimer - and it is a big one - is that the futures markets are fluctuating wildly. If it turns out the energy cap is lower, it will be because the energy prices are lower than the current futures market, not because “Auxiolone” or whoever are being sensationalist.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 32,812
    Dura_Ace said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Dynamo said:

    "'(T)he [FSB] has solved the murder of Russian journalist Darya Dugina, born in 1992,' the FSB stressed... '(T)he crime was prepared and committed by Ukrainian secret services.' Its perpetrator was identified as a citizen of Ukraine, Natalia Vovk, born in 1979.

    She had arrived in Russia on July 23, 2022, together with her daughter Sofya Shaban, born in 2010. 'On the day of the murder, Vovk and Shaban attended the ... festival Tradition, where Dugina was ...an honorary guest.

    In Ukraine, it is traditional for secret agents to take their 12 year old daughters on assassination missions.
    Maybe it was Take Your Daughter to Work day?
    STOP PRESS: Dugina also brought a cat with her, as well as her daughter. https://twitter.com/shvetsantonand/status/1561769670839046144
    Dugina was the lady who was killed. They are alleging her killer was a lady with cat and daughter in tow.

    I still don't rule out Dugin himself.
    He did write an article for his fucking lunatic website about the occasional necessity of sacrificing one's daughter in the cause of spiritual progress.

    http://arcto.ru/article/1655

    Only click on this from inside a VM and bear in mind it will land you on both GCHQ's and Jessop's watchlists.
    "Jessop's watchlists"

    Do fuck off, little man.
  • SelebianSelebian Posts: 4,939
    edited August 2022

    The average UK CEO is now paid 109 times what the the average British worker is. It was 79 times higher barely 2 years ago. Have CEOs really been grafting so much harder these last two years to deserve such rewards?

    Executive pay is set by other executives on remuneration committees and voted on by other executives at AGMs.

    All of whom have a vested interest in executive pay increasing.

    If a political party wanted a popular policy they would advocate a maximum wage based on 10x average earnings for each organisation.

    If you want one reason why productivity is stagnant then look at earnings inequality.

    Workers aren't going to look to increase their productivity if the result is more money for the executive oligarchy but nothing more for themselves.
    This is something you hear a lot of, anecdotally. Workers don't think bosses give a shit (or that their own hard work just enriches bosses) so it's morally ok to slack off, pull a sickie etc. But not in the companies where people are actually paid well and have some investment in the future of the company.

    You even hear it in universities with respect to VC pay etc. Must say our current VC is a bit of fresh air on this. Took a pay cut (compared to previous VC) when he took over. Took at 20% pay cut during Covid (the uni furloughed a lot of staff, so he put himself on same terms while still working). Encouraged rest of SMT to take at least 10% pay cut. He's on a little under 6 times my salary and under 15 times the lowest paid staff's salary. There are VCs at lower profile unis earning more. He's also very visible; I've met him three times and I'm just a researcher, below prof and no management role. He was very visible during Covid with frequen zoom meetings updating on Uni financial position/degree of campus/remote work etc.
  • jamesdoylejamesdoyle Posts: 313
    Unpopular said:

    Anecdotally, I hear that many local authorities didn't fully implement the CfE but Highland have gone very strict on adhering to CfE. Highland are bottom of the table for education in Scotland.

    It doesn't take an expert to work out that there could be factors other than the curriculum in play in the Highlands.
  • Big_G_NorthWalesBig_G_NorthWales Posts: 55,354
    edited August 2022
    IanB2 said:

    Is it just me or are we all now afflicted by a plague of pigeons?

    They are everywhere.

    How do you know it’s not the same small bunch of them, following you around?
    I have not seen as many pigeons in the area before and they are a real problem
  • LeonLeon Posts: 30,637

    Is it just me or are we all now afflicted by a plague of pigeons?

    They are everywhere.

    Yes - we are having to protect our solar panels with mesh but are held up by a nesting pair who are protected, as are all birds and have to wait until the young leave the nest

    The other problem is little known but they can produce upto 12 broods per year virtually nesting 24/7

    Their poo is acidic and disease ridden and they really are a pest

    All food sources should be removed and there are various deterrents but with limited success

    There’s a massive great sea gull that lives opposite my flat in Camden which has developed the skill of brutally stabbing pigeons and eating them (sometimes alive)

    I’ve now seen this so often, over years, I wonder if one pioneer seagull has taught a whole tribe to do this. And why not. There’s loads of pigeons and they are quite dim so the food is endless

    We need more Killer Gulls


  • Leon said:

    Is it just me or are we all now afflicted by a plague of pigeons?

    They are everywhere.

    Yes - we are having to protect our solar panels with mesh but are held up by a nesting pair who are protected, as are all birds and have to wait until the young leave the nest

    The other problem is little known but they can produce upto 12 broods per year virtually nesting 24/7

    Their poo is acidic and disease ridden and they really are a pest

    All food sources should be removed and there are various deterrents but with limited success

    There’s a massive great sea gull that lives opposite my flat in Camden which has developed the skill of brutally stabbing pigeons and eating them (sometimes alive)

    I’ve now seen this so often, over years, I wonder if one pioneer seagull has taught a whole tribe to do this. And why not. There’s loads of pigeons and they are quite dim so the food is endless

    We need more Killer Gulls


    I have witnessed a similar event and it is not pretty
  • LeonLeon Posts: 30,637

    Leon said:

    Is it just me or are we all now afflicted by a plague of pigeons?

    They are everywhere.

    Yes - we are having to protect our solar panels with mesh but are held up by a nesting pair who are protected, as are all birds and have to wait until the young leave the nest

    The other problem is little known but they can produce upto 12 broods per year virtually nesting 24/7

    Their poo is acidic and disease ridden and they really are a pest

    All food sources should be removed and there are various deterrents but with limited success

    There’s a massive great sea gull that lives opposite my flat in Camden which has developed the skill of brutally stabbing pigeons and eating them (sometimes alive)

    I’ve now seen this so often, over years, I wonder if one pioneer seagull has taught a whole tribe to do this. And why not. There’s loads of pigeons and they are quite dim so the food is endless

    We need more Killer Gulls


    I have witnessed a similar event and it is not pretty
    At first I flinched. Now I quietly cheer the gulls

  • geoffwgeoffw Posts: 6,911
    Leon said:

    Is it just me or are we all now afflicted by a plague of pigeons?

    They are everywhere.

    Yes - we are having to protect our solar panels with mesh but are held up by a nesting pair who are protected, as are all birds and have to wait until the young leave the nest

    The other problem is little known but they can produce upto 12 broods per year virtually nesting 24/7

    Their poo is acidic and disease ridden and they really are a pest

    All food sources should be removed and there are various deterrents but with limited success

    There’s a massive great sea gull that lives opposite my flat in Camden which has developed the skill of brutally stabbing pigeons and eating them (sometimes alive)

    I’ve now seen this so often, over years, I wonder if one pioneer seagull has taught a whole tribe to do this. And why not. There’s loads of pigeons and they are quite dim so the food is endless

    We need more Killer Gulls


    Someone told me he witnessed that about 15 years ago.
  • SelebianSelebian Posts: 4,939
    ping said:

    Selebian said:

    ping said:

    One upstart energy consultancy, “Auxilione” predicts the April price cap will set the electricity unit price at £1.01/kWh.

    Fun times ahead…

    There seem to be a lot of these energy consultancies popping up in the newspapers with predictions.
    Free advertising, isn't it? But not for energy consultancies with boring "the peak will be nowhere near as high as feared" projections which are not newsworthy.
    Sure.

    But, actually I think they’re broadly on the money. They’re just taking the wholesale futures price and churning it through ofgem’s price cap model.

    It’s not rocket science. Anyone with an internet connection and some basic maths skills can do it.

    Obviously, they’re doing it for the free publicity, but their basic calculations look sound to me.

    The disclaimer - and it is a big one - is that the futures markets are fluctuating wildly. If it turns out the energy cap is lower, it will be because the energy prices are lower than the current futures market, not because “Auxiolone” or whoever are being sensationalist.
    Yeah, may not be far off. But if you want the publicity, you need to go with the projection that is even higher than the last one. The ones we hear about we trend steadily higher, I think.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 36,825

    ydoethur said:

    So it’s not a crisis budget. No. It’s a "targeted fiscal event" - therefore, as it’s not a budget at all, ohhhh no, usual sensible checks and balances and scrutiny of what government doing in this “not a budget” from things like the Office for Budgetary Responsibility won’t apply.

    2010 Tories build the OBR to prove they are responsible with the nations money and financial health - 2022 the Tories burn down the OBR to prove they are irresponsible with the nations money and financial health.

    It’s so simple really, for change just read “exactly what Sneaky Boris would try to get away with only without the old showbiz, charisma and powers of persuading us better times lie ahead.”

    Will the last one cashing out the “Liz to get poll bounce” please turn out the light.

    Creating the OBR was probably the best thing the 2010-2022 Tory government did. If they burn that down now there really won't be any kind of positive legacy from these miserable, wasted years.
    There was a great reforming agenda from 2010-2013 in areas like education, welfare, pensions, tax and budgetary responsibility and then the Coalition ran out of puff due to the squabbles over Lords Reform, the aftermath of the AV referendum and the EU. It drastically underfunded defence. Climate change initiatives went pretty well - good progress was made after 2010.
    You've left Lansley's health reforms off your list.

    But the bigger problem is, yes, they made major reforms in all those areas and every single one has been a calamitous failure. Pensions are an even worse shambles than under Brown, which is saying something. UC has never worked as intended. Education, well, the best thing that can be said is that the people running it were just very thick and that's maybe why their reforms achieved the opposite of what was intended. Tax and budgetary responsibility is again a mess (IR35 says hello) and on energy policy as we can now see they got it spectacularly wrong.

    The coalition was the best government of the last fifty years. Which says a great deal about the other governments in that time.
    I don't agree - coalition reforms led to a massive rise in employment as they incentivised work, and the pensions reforms have given people far more flexibility in retirement - but you wouldn't expect me to.
    Taking low paid out of tax with a big rise in personal allowance and pension freedoms were both LD policies.

  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 28,836

    The average UK CEO is now paid 109 times what the the average British worker is. It was 79 times higher barely 2 years ago. Have CEOs really been grafting so much harder these last two years to deserve such rewards?

    Executive pay is set by other executives on remuneration committees and voted on by other executives at AGMs.

    All of whom have a vested interest in executive pay increasing.

    If a political party wanted a popular policy they would advocate a maximum wage based on 10x average earnings for each organisation.

    There'd be a major shift in corporate and many personal donations - but to the other parties.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 72,863
    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    Is it just me or are we all now afflicted by a plague of pigeons?

    They are everywhere.

    Yes - we are having to protect our solar panels with mesh but are held up by a nesting pair who are protected, as are all birds and have to wait until the young leave the nest

    The other problem is little known but they can produce upto 12 broods per year virtually nesting 24/7

    Their poo is acidic and disease ridden and they really are a pest

    All food sources should be removed and there are various deterrents but with limited success

    There’s a massive great sea gull that lives opposite my flat in Camden which has developed the skill of brutally stabbing pigeons and eating them (sometimes alive)

    I’ve now seen this so often, over years, I wonder if one pioneer seagull has taught a whole tribe to do this. And why not. There’s loads of pigeons and they are quite dim so the food is endless

    We need more Killer Gulls


    I have witnessed a similar event and it is not pretty
    At first I flinched. Now I quietly cheer the gulls


    Our cats occasionally get one. The amusing part is some of the fatter pigeons are almost the same size as our small black cat, who is the best hunter.
  • TazTaz Posts: 6,592

    In more pleasant news, I am now a grand-uncle (or is it great-uncle?)

    Mother and baby are fine. :)

    Fantastic news
  • LeonLeon Posts: 30,637
    Bradford is “the most dangerous city in Europe”

    Coventry is second. Birmingham is fourth

    Some unsurprising names in the top ten: Naples, Marseilles, Malmo

    Also surprises: Nantes?

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/19565832/british-city-most-dangerous-in-europe/
  • FishingFishing Posts: 3,810
    edited August 2022
    Nigelb said:

    The average UK CEO is now paid 109 times what the the average British worker is. It was 79 times higher barely 2 years ago. Have CEOs really been grafting so much harder these last two years to deserve such rewards?

    ...

    (I’m not defending it, but) That’s the average FTSE 100 CEO.
    Which is hardly typical of UK businesses (especially as quite a few of them are largely overseas).

    What’s the real figure for UK businesses ?

    £76k base apparently, about three times the salary of the average employee.

    https://www.payscale.com/research/UK/Job=Chief_Executive_Officer_(CEO)/Salary

    If you earn more than £158k you're in the top 10% of CEOs.

    But never let facts get in the way of a good rant.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 36,825
    IanB2 said:

    Is it just me or are we all now afflicted by a plague of pigeons?

    They are everywhere.

    How do you know it’s not the same small bunch of them, following you around?
    It is well known now that pigeons are actually government spy cameras, and lockdown was so their batteries could be changed.

    https://pigeonsarentreal.co.uk/
  • UnpopularUnpopular Posts: 584

    Unpopular said:

    Anecdotally, I hear that many local authorities didn't fully implement the CfE but Highland have gone very strict on adhering to CfE. Highland are bottom of the table for education in Scotland.

    It doesn't take an expert to work out that there could be factors other than the curriculum in play in the Highlands.
    Indeed, and there are, but demographically there is no reason Highland should be dead last. In terms of affluence (and all that brings with it) it's pretty mixed but with no real pockets of deprivation (with a few exceptions). It is largely rural, which also brings problems for delivery of public services, but there are other local authorities that are similarly rural and others that are even more remote.

    Now, the Council are a parochial bunch, resistant to change and slow to reform public services. When they do stir themselves it's often austerity disguised as streamlining. This is part of a wider problem in Scotland with Local Authorities, however, and not Highland specific. Per capita funding does hurt Highland because services are more expensive to deliver, especially to the more remote communities but again, this is not unique in Scotland.

    The factors contributing to Highland's educational performance are many faceted, and Highland is unlikely to ever top the table, or even be in the top half, because of them. But it certainly shouldn't be coming last. From speaking to Teachers in Highland who see their colleagues in other areas not strictly sticking to CfE the impression develops that part of the reason for Highland's performance is due to strict adherence to CfE. Because it is unworkable without the other measures promised, but not delivered, by the Government.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 36,825
    Leon said:

    Bradford is “the most dangerous city in Europe”

    Coventry is second. Birmingham is fourth

    Some unsurprising names in the top ten: Naples, Marseilles, Malmo

    Also surprises: Nantes?

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/19565832/british-city-most-dangerous-in-europe/

    Does Mariopol make the list?
  • LeonLeon Posts: 30,637
    Foxy said:

    Leon said:

    Bradford is “the most dangerous city in Europe”

    Coventry is second. Birmingham is fourth

    Some unsurprising names in the top ten: Naples, Marseilles, Malmo

    Also surprises: Nantes?

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/19565832/british-city-most-dangerous-in-europe/

    Does Mariopol make the list?
    No. Maybe gathering stats is a bit hard right now

    The list is being roundly rubbished by various authorities (mainly in Bradford) but I’m not sure it is completely worthless

    It’s compiled by a Serbian consultancy - i think - that specialises in giving good advice to expats. Where is safe where is warm etc

    I don’t see how it is in their interest to hand out totally bogus data. But 🤷‍♂️
  • CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 23,356

    The average UK CEO is now paid 109 times what the the average British worker is. It was 79 times higher barely 2 years ago. Have CEOs really been grafting so much harder these last two years to deserve such rewards?

    Executive pay is set by other executives on remuneration committees and voted on by other executives at AGMs.

    All of whom have a vested interest in executive pay increasing.

    If a political party wanted a popular policy they would advocate a maximum wage based on 10x average earnings for each organisation.

    If you want one reason why productivity is stagnant then look at earnings inequality.

    Workers aren't going to look to increase their productivity if the result is more money for the executive oligarchy but nothing more for themselves.
    A point made very cogently by Sharon Morgan, Unite's General Secretary on the Today programme this morning in relation to the strike at Felixstowe port.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 42,503
    edited August 2022
    Carnyx said:

    The average UK CEO is now paid 109 times what the the average British worker is. It was 79 times higher barely 2 years ago. Have CEOs really been grafting so much harder these last two years to deserve such rewards?

    Executive pay is set by other executives on remuneration committees and voted on by other executives at AGMs.

    All of whom have a vested interest in executive pay increasing.

    If a political party wanted a popular policy they would advocate a maximum wage based on 10x average earnings for each organisation.

    There'd be a major shift in corporate and many personal donations - but to the other parties.
    As well as the lowest paid staff in offices - the cleaners, caterers, drivers, and low-level admin staff, being outsourced to service companies purely to bring the average ‘company’ wage up.

    See even tech companies such as Facebook, where the people doing the worst job of content moderation don’t work for the company, but for a local outsourcing provider - often for barely minimum wage, with no benefits and high turnover.
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 19,093

    Is it just me or are we all now afflicted by a plague of pigeons?

    They are everywhere.

    If they are really, really annoying you, I think you might have mistaken Socialists for pigeons.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 107,356
    edited August 2022
    Penddu2 said:

    I was just catching up on some of HYUFD's deluded comments about speeding up infrastructure programs using infinite resources. Speaking as a professional building multi-billion usd infrastructure projects - there is a technical term for this strategy:

    ABSOLUTE BOLLOCKS.

    Well you can join Kjh then and be vaporised by a Putin nuclear missile. For if the US withdrew from NATO and rendered Trident redundant we would then be defenceless against Putin's nukes if we did not quickly produce our own nuclear weapons
  • edmundintokyoedmundintokyo Posts: 16,522
    Leon said:


    I don’t see how it is in their interest to hand out totally bogus data

    The Sun ran the story and you shared the link, so job done.
  • LeonLeon Posts: 30,637
    There’s no way I’m retiring to Bradford, Coventry or Birmingham. Not now

    THEY’RE OFF THE LIST
This discussion has been closed.