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Boris to lead Reform UK? – politicalbetting.com

SystemSystem Posts: 11,010
edited February 4 in General
imageBoris to lead Reform UK? – politicalbetting.com

Assume for a moment that you are Boris, and that you would like to be Prime Minister again. What are your prospects of regaining the Tory leadership?

Read the full story here

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Comments

  • Options
    Thanks Nick.
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    PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 75,904
    Can't see it, Boris isn't really "reform" to my mind.
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    MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 50,095
    Not a chance.
  • Options
    Boris Johnson pretended to be a SDP supporter to win the Oxford Union election, he will back anything to win.
  • Options
    bigjohnowlsbigjohnowls Posts: 21,829
    LOL
  • Options
    Alphabet_SoupAlphabet_Soup Posts: 2,735
    Top trolling by NPxMP.
  • Options
    bondegezoubondegezou Posts: 7,560
    I think it’s more plausible than Farage leading the Conservatives.
  • Options
    Stark_DawningStark_Dawning Posts: 9,294
    Very unlikely I'd have thought. Boris will want to spend the rest of his days hobnobbing in High Tory circles. Getting tied up with a low-rent, five-minute-wonder outfit like Reform would make him something of an outcast. Doesn't seem a very Borisy thing to do.
  • Options
    DougSealDougSeal Posts: 11,121
    HYUFD said:

    DougSeal said:

    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    Foxy said:

    HYUFD said:

    Who cares how tall Clarkey and Rishy are? Both are 100% helmet and that is the only measurement that matters

    I have no idea why race, religion etc are protected characteristics, but people think it’s fine to mock someone over their height. You get the hand you get.
    Making religion a protected characteristic was a terrible mistake.

    People choose their beliefs.
    No it wasn't, ask the survivors of the Holocaust for starters what happened when their religious freedom to be Jewish was not respected by the State
    The Nazis killed non practicing, atheist and converted Jews enthusiastically. They viewed Jews as an ethnic group, rather than primarily a religion.
    Judaism is a religion however, not a nationality (even in Israel) or a race
    "Races" don't exist. They are thus nothing or anything, whatever people call them. UK law says you can be racist against Jews (and Sikhs), so in that sense they are a race. One could describe the Jewish people as an ethnoreligious group, like Sikhs, Druze, Yazidis etc. There is no agreed, overarching rule for who is or is not Jewish from a religious perspective, as there isn't for any religion.
    Jews are generally considered racially white
    Jews have always been considered a people (an ethic group if you prefer) by themselves and others. You betray a profound and worrying ignorance by confusing the Jewish People with Judaism as a religion.
    Judaism is a religion, even more concerning is your ludicrous left liberal assertion that the descendants of the followers of Moses do not belong to a religion!
    Can I have an apology from @HYUFD for this ridiculous assertion? Of course Judaism is a religion. All its followers are Jews, but not all Jews follow Judaism. I am tired of this man. I pointed out at many points that Judaism is a religion but the Jews are a people. This is utterly wrong.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157
    Pulpstar said:

    Can't see it, Boris isn't really "reform" to my mind.

    He's good at refucking though.
  • Options
    geoffwgeoffw Posts: 8,140
    "The Tories would collapse rapidly, and in a “statesmanlike” move you could then reverse engineer a merger between RefUK and the Tory rump."
    The Tory Reform Group (https://www.trg.org.uk) is a ready-made vehicle for this, nominally at least
  • Options
    OnlyLivingBoyOnlyLivingBoy Posts: 15,079
    What an intriguing possibility. It does raise some interesting questions. The whole purpose, funding and organising structure of Reform seems quite odd to me. Isn't it a business not a party? I strongly suspect that its purpose is skulduggery, but whether that is ultimately to be deployed against the Tory party or to its advantage is unclear to me. I'm not totally sure that they are seperate organisations, in a functional sense, to be honest. They seem like two paths to the same hideous goal.
  • Options
    algarkirkalgarkirk Posts: 10,500
    I think this interesting idea probably fails to take sufficient account of Boris's unwillingness to lose. The chances of Reform Boris losing in any seat at all is very high. The tactical machinations would be wondrous to behold. And, mercifully, he isn't Trump. He would take losing on the chin if he lost but that doesn't mean he would walk knowingly into it.

    The thought that Reform has not one but two potential leaders both of whom are substantially more interesting in media/PR terms than all the other party leaders or possible candidates put together is strange.

    I would bet against it however
  • Options
    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.
  • Options
    OnlyLivingBoyOnlyLivingBoy Posts: 15,079

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    And that is why people send their kids to Winchester! Limitless self confidence in the face of all evidence to the contrary.
  • Options
    NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,411

    Top trolling by NPxMP.

    Better than trolling - it's a delightful piece of mischief making.

    Only problem is that it might genuinely tempt him, and it's not utterly impossible that Nick's fanciful projections actually come about.
  • Options
    AnabobazinaAnabobazina Posts: 19,913
    geoffw said:

    "The Tories would collapse rapidly, and in a “statesmanlike” move you could then reverse engineer a merger between RefUK and the Tory rump."
    The Tory Reform Group (https://www.trg.org.uk) is a ready-made vehicle for this, nominally at least

    Tory Rump Group?
  • Options
    LeonLeon Posts: 46,917
    Very clever

    And just about possible. If I was Boris, I’d do it for the LOLZ

    However there is one ideological issue. Boris is One Nation, Big Spend, Pro Immigration. That ain’t Reform
  • Options
    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,263
    Interesting premise - but no, I think

    Boeing 737 issues. An apparent whistleblowing in the comments of the Leeham News -

    https://leehamnews.com/2024/01/15/unplanned-removal-installation-inspection-procedure-at-boeing/#comment-509962
  • Options
    kamskikamski Posts: 4,231
    DougSeal said:

    HYUFD said:

    DougSeal said:

    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    Foxy said:

    HYUFD said:

    Who cares how tall Clarkey and Rishy are? Both are 100% helmet and that is the only measurement that matters

    I have no idea why race, religion etc are protected characteristics, but people think it’s fine to mock someone over their height. You get the hand you get.
    Making religion a protected characteristic was a terrible mistake.

    People choose their beliefs.
    No it wasn't, ask the survivors of the Holocaust for starters what happened when their religious freedom to be Jewish was not respected by the State
    The Nazis killed non practicing, atheist and converted Jews enthusiastically. They viewed Jews as an ethnic group, rather than primarily a religion.
    Judaism is a religion however, not a nationality (even in Israel) or a race
    "Races" don't exist. They are thus nothing or anything, whatever people call them. UK law says you can be racist against Jews (and Sikhs), so in that sense they are a race. One could describe the Jewish people as an ethnoreligious group, like Sikhs, Druze, Yazidis etc. There is no agreed, overarching rule for who is or is not Jewish from a religious perspective, as there isn't for any religion.
    Jews are generally considered racially white
    Jews have always been considered a people (an ethic group if you prefer) by themselves and others. You betray a profound and worrying ignorance by confusing the Jewish People with Judaism as a religion.
    Judaism is a religion, even more concerning is your ludicrous left liberal assertion that the descendants of the followers of Moses do not belong to a religion!
    Can I have an apology from @HYUFD for this ridiculous assertion? Of course Judaism is a religion. All its followers are Jews, but not all Jews follow Judaism. I am tired of this man. I pointed out at many points that Judaism is a religion but the Jews are a people. This is utterly wrong.
    I think technically we are all 'descendants of the followers of Moses', except for the AI bots and aliens.
  • Options
    AnabobazinaAnabobazina Posts: 19,913
    Also, how about

    Biden-Haley 2024

    Nikki as his VP pick?
  • Options
    NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,411
    DougSeal said:

    HYUFD said:

    DougSeal said:

    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    Foxy said:

    HYUFD said:

    Who cares how tall Clarkey and Rishy are? Both are 100% helmet and that is the only measurement that matters

    I have no idea why race, religion etc are protected characteristics, but people think it’s fine to mock someone over their height. You get the hand you get.
    Making religion a protected characteristic was a terrible mistake.

    People choose their beliefs.
    No it wasn't, ask the survivors of the Holocaust for starters what happened when their religious freedom to be Jewish was not respected by the State
    The Nazis killed non practicing, atheist and converted Jews enthusiastically. They viewed Jews as an ethnic group, rather than primarily a religion.
    Judaism is a religion however, not a nationality (even in Israel) or a race
    "Races" don't exist. They are thus nothing or anything, whatever people call them. UK law says you can be racist against Jews (and Sikhs), so in that sense they are a race. One could describe the Jewish people as an ethnoreligious group, like Sikhs, Druze, Yazidis etc. There is no agreed, overarching rule for who is or is not Jewish from a religious perspective, as there isn't for any religion.
    Jews are generally considered racially white
    Jews have always been considered a people (an ethic group if you prefer) by themselves and others. You betray a profound and worrying ignorance by confusing the Jewish People with Judaism as a religion.
    Judaism is a religion, even more concerning is your ludicrous left liberal assertion that the descendants of the followers of Moses do not belong to a religion!
    Can I have an apology from @HYUFD for this ridiculous assertion? Of course Judaism is a religion. All its followers are Jews, but not all Jews follow Judaism. I am tired of this man. I pointed out at many points that Judaism is a religion but the Jews are a people. This is utterly wrong.
    You just need to accept that you've run the argument, and HYUFD is trying to pretend that you haven't by misrepresenting it.

    It's a regular thing, and nothing to get too upset about.
  • Options
    viewcodeviewcode Posts: 18,651

    The whole purpose, funding and organising structure of Reform seems quite odd to me. Isn't it a business not a party?...

    It's almost like somebody has an upcoming and frequently-promised article on political parties that would cover this eventuality...

    (Bugger. I have to write it now. :) )
  • Options
    Alphabet_SoupAlphabet_Soup Posts: 2,735

    Boris Johnson pretended to be a SDP supporter to win the Oxford Union election, he will back anything to win.

    Maybe he genuinely did support the SDP? They were the future once - a perma-centro political settlement that promised to do away with all the yaboo unpleasantries we now take for granted.
  • Options
    CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 39,609
    Nigelb said:

    DougSeal said:

    HYUFD said:

    DougSeal said:

    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    Foxy said:

    HYUFD said:

    Who cares how tall Clarkey and Rishy are? Both are 100% helmet and that is the only measurement that matters

    I have no idea why race, religion etc are protected characteristics, but people think it’s fine to mock someone over their height. You get the hand you get.
    Making religion a protected characteristic was a terrible mistake.

    People choose their beliefs.
    No it wasn't, ask the survivors of the Holocaust for starters what happened when their religious freedom to be Jewish was not respected by the State
    The Nazis killed non practicing, atheist and converted Jews enthusiastically. They viewed Jews as an ethnic group, rather than primarily a religion.
    Judaism is a religion however, not a nationality (even in Israel) or a race
    "Races" don't exist. They are thus nothing or anything, whatever people call them. UK law says you can be racist against Jews (and Sikhs), so in that sense they are a race. One could describe the Jewish people as an ethnoreligious group, like Sikhs, Druze, Yazidis etc. There is no agreed, overarching rule for who is or is not Jewish from a religious perspective, as there isn't for any religion.
    Jews are generally considered racially white
    Jews have always been considered a people (an ethic group if you prefer) by themselves and others. You betray a profound and worrying ignorance by confusing the Jewish People with Judaism as a religion.
    Judaism is a religion, even more concerning is your ludicrous left liberal assertion that the descendants of the followers of Moses do not belong to a religion!
    Can I have an apology from @HYUFD for this ridiculous assertion? Of course Judaism is a religion. All its followers are Jews, but not all Jews follow Judaism. I am tired of this man. I pointed out at many points that Judaism is a religion but the Jews are a people. This is utterly wrong.
    You just need to accept that you've run the argument, and HYUFD is trying to pretend that you haven't by misrepresenting it.

    It's a regular thing, and nothing to get too upset about.
    Ah, but HYUFD does like to improve his argument and tone up his logic by accusing his opponents of being the latest thing in leftieism since sliced bread, or at least Ken Livingstone.
  • Options
    On topic, its depends what Boris wants. He has given us a lifetime of narcissism so far, so I do question if a quiet retirement making speeches and writing newspaper columns will be enough.

    Boris leading the Tories again is not going to happen. Regardless of whether members would vote for him or not he wouldn't get through the MPs - didn't last year, wouldn't after ELE clears so many of his remaining supporters into the gutter.

    So, defect to lead the FUKers? A great narcissistic blaze of glory. Everyone in the country talking about HIM once again. And as the FUKer vote doubles overnight, the defections of doomed anyway Tory MPs begins in earnest...

  • Options
    kamskikamski Posts: 4,231

    Also, how about

    Biden-Haley 2024

    Nikki as his VP pick?

    Sounds like the kind of electorally suicidal thing the Democrats might do...
  • Options
    geoffwgeoffw Posts: 8,140
    Leon said:

    Very clever

    And just about possible. If I was Boris, I’d do it for the LOLZ

    However there is one ideological issue. Boris is One Nation, Big Spend, Pro Immigration. That ain’t Reform

    Boris has his principles, and if Reform don't like them I'm sure he has others

  • Options
    rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 58,167

    Also, how about

    Biden-Haley 2024

    Nikki as his VP pick?

    Trump might make her an offer before Biden gets there.

  • Options
    MoonRabbitMoonRabbit Posts: 12,415
    edited January 24
    Nigelb said:

    Top trolling by NPxMP.

    Better than trolling - it's a delightful piece of mischief making.

    Only problem is that it might genuinely tempt him, and it's not utterly impossible that Nick's fanciful projections actually come about.
    What a surreal thread. It’s like PB having a fantasy dream sequence dropped in .

    Rather than a merger, in Nick’s fantasy more likely a deathmatch?

    But what happens to Farage? Does he join the Tories and become their leader? What would polls show with Con leader farage, and Ref leader Boris? It would be like a reversed engineered 1980s.

    Are we really destined to 18 years of Labour government with all those non entities they have as MPs and shadow cabinet 😖
  • Options
    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,263

    Nigelb said:

    Top trolling by NPxMP.

    Better than trolling - it's a delightful piece of mischief making.

    Only problem is that it might genuinely tempt him, and it's not utterly impossible that Nick's fanciful projections actually come about.
    What a surreal thread. It’s like PB having a fantasy dream sequence dropped in .

    Rather than a merger, in Nick’s fantasy more likely a deathmatch?

    But what happens to Farage? Does he join the Tories and become their leader? What would polls show with Con leader farage, and Ref leader Boris? It would be like a reversed engineered 1980s.

    Are we really destined to 18 years of Labour government with all those non entities they have as MPs 😖
    No, Corbyn takes over the Tories.
  • Options
    bondegezoubondegezou Posts: 7,560
    I think it’s more plausible than Farage leading the Conservatives.
    kamski said:

    DougSeal said:

    HYUFD said:

    DougSeal said:

    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    Foxy said:

    HYUFD said:

    Who cares how tall Clarkey and Rishy are? Both are 100% helmet and that is the only measurement that matters

    I have no idea why race, religion etc are protected characteristics, but people think it’s fine to mock someone over their height. You get the hand you get.
    Making religion a protected characteristic was a terrible mistake.

    People choose their beliefs.
    No it wasn't, ask the survivors of the Holocaust for starters what happened when their religious freedom to be Jewish was not respected by the State
    The Nazis killed non practicing, atheist and converted Jews enthusiastically. They viewed Jews as an ethnic group, rather than primarily a religion.
    Judaism is a religion however, not a nationality (even in Israel) or a race
    "Races" don't exist. They are thus nothing or anything, whatever people call them. UK law says you can be racist against Jews (and Sikhs), so in that sense they are a race. One could describe the Jewish people as an ethnoreligious group, like Sikhs, Druze, Yazidis etc. There is no agreed, overarching rule for who is or is not Jewish from a religious perspective, as there isn't for any religion.
    Jews are generally considered racially white
    Jews have always been considered a people (an ethic group if you prefer) by themselves and others. You betray a profound and worrying ignorance by confusing the Jewish People with Judaism as a religion.
    Judaism is a religion, even more concerning is your ludicrous left liberal assertion that the descendants of the followers of Moses do not belong to a religion!
    Can I have an apology from @HYUFD for this ridiculous assertion? Of course Judaism is a religion. All its followers are Jews, but not all Jews follow Judaism. I am tired of this man. I pointed out at many points that Judaism is a religion but the Jews are a people. This is utterly wrong.
    I think technically we are all 'descendants of the followers of Moses', except for the AI bots and aliens.
    No? You’re maybe thinking of Noah? If you want to get into Biblical ancestry of people: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_terminology_for_race
  • Options
    LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 15,125
    Amusing. On Johnson becoming Tory leader after the election:
    "..someone else will have been made leader post-Sunak. Will they be in a hurry to welcome a rival back in a by-election?"
    The way this could happen would be if a Johnson loyalist were to stand for the leadership election explicitly on the basis of engineering a by-election for Johnson to return to the Commons and then to stand down in his favour, so Johnson could become leader.

    But I'm not really sure Johnson wants to be PM again. I think his position of being the King-over-the-water probably suits him.
  • Options
    kamskikamski Posts: 4,231

    I think it’s more plausible than Farage leading the Conservatives.

    kamski said:

    DougSeal said:

    HYUFD said:

    DougSeal said:

    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    Foxy said:

    HYUFD said:

    Who cares how tall Clarkey and Rishy are? Both are 100% helmet and that is the only measurement that matters

    I have no idea why race, religion etc are protected characteristics, but people think it’s fine to mock someone over their height. You get the hand you get.
    Making religion a protected characteristic was a terrible mistake.

    People choose their beliefs.
    No it wasn't, ask the survivors of the Holocaust for starters what happened when their religious freedom to be Jewish was not respected by the State
    The Nazis killed non practicing, atheist and converted Jews enthusiastically. They viewed Jews as an ethnic group, rather than primarily a religion.
    Judaism is a religion however, not a nationality (even in Israel) or a race
    "Races" don't exist. They are thus nothing or anything, whatever people call them. UK law says you can be racist against Jews (and Sikhs), so in that sense they are a race. One could describe the Jewish people as an ethnoreligious group, like Sikhs, Druze, Yazidis etc. There is no agreed, overarching rule for who is or is not Jewish from a religious perspective, as there isn't for any religion.
    Jews are generally considered racially white
    Jews have always been considered a people (an ethic group if you prefer) by themselves and others. You betray a profound and worrying ignorance by confusing the Jewish People with Judaism as a religion.
    Judaism is a religion, even more concerning is your ludicrous left liberal assertion that the descendants of the followers of Moses do not belong to a religion!
    Can I have an apology from @HYUFD for this ridiculous assertion? Of course Judaism is a religion. All its followers are Jews, but not all Jews follow Judaism. I am tired of this man. I pointed out at many points that Judaism is a religion but the Jews are a people. This is utterly wrong.
    I think technically we are all 'descendants of the followers of Moses', except for the AI bots and aliens.
    No? You’re maybe thinking of Noah? If you want to get into Biblical ancestry of people: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_terminology_for_race
    Him too. But it was more of a mathematical assertion. If any followers of Moses have any living descendants, then I think we are all descendants.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157
    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD
    He’s just *unlucky*

    In the same way Truss surprised on the upside?
  • Options
    HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,963
    Reform won't win Wantage, it voted Remain.

    Boris would maybe be interest in leading a merged Tory and Reform Party under FPTP or even Reform alone under PR, he has no interest leading Reform under FPTP
  • Options

    Boris Johnson pretended to be a SDP supporter to win the Oxford Union election, he will back anything to win.

    Maybe he genuinely did support the SDP? They were the future once - a perma-centro political settlement that promised to do away with all the yaboo unpleasantries we now take for granted.
    No he was a Tory back then.
  • Options
    Highly imaginative, Nick, and not entirely implausible.

    'Taint gonna happen, of course, if only because of the skill required to engineer such an outcome. You think Boris possesses it? Or Reform?

    I can see it appealing to Boris. It's a stunt, that requires little hard work and would inspire a lot of column inches. Reform might even buy it. Their chances of being taken seriously would improve, although that's not saying much.

    I just can't see the GBPublic buying it though.

    Personal disclaimer - I once voted for Boris. You can fool some of the PtP all of the time, and all of the PtP some of the time, but.....
  • Options
    LeonLeon Posts: 46,917
    ydoethur said:

    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD
    He’s just *unlucky*

    In the same way Truss surprised on the upside?
    No

    Sunak is merely a lightning rod for all the dark energy directed at the Tories. If you step back, and think neutrally, he is actually OK

    He is playing a terrible hand as well as he can, I do not see anyone else doing any better - which is presumably why a challenge to his leadership never actually eventuates. There is nothing to save the Tories, Sunak is as good as it gets, they are doomed, and I expect Starmer to be a massive disappointment to millions within six months of winning, when everyone realises our problems go beyond “Tory incompetence”
  • Options
    HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,963
    DougSeal said:

    HYUFD said:

    DougSeal said:

    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    Foxy said:

    HYUFD said:

    Who cares how tall Clarkey and Rishy are? Both are 100% helmet and that is the only measurement that matters

    I have no idea why race, religion etc are protected characteristics, but people think it’s fine to mock someone over their height. You get the hand you get.
    Making religion a protected characteristic was a terrible mistake.

    People choose their beliefs.
    No it wasn't, ask the survivors of the Holocaust for starters what happened when their religious freedom to be Jewish was not respected by the State
    The Nazis killed non practicing, atheist and converted Jews enthusiastically. They viewed Jews as an ethnic group, rather than primarily a religion.
    Judaism is a religion however, not a nationality (even in Israel) or a race
    "Races" don't exist. They are thus nothing or anything, whatever people call them. UK law says you can be racist against Jews (and Sikhs), so in that sense they are a race. One could describe the Jewish people as an ethnoreligious group, like Sikhs, Druze, Yazidis etc. There is no agreed, overarching rule for who is or is not Jewish from a religious perspective, as there isn't for any religion.
    Jews are generally considered racially white
    Jews have always been considered a people (an ethic group if you prefer) by themselves and others. You betray a profound and worrying ignorance by confusing the Jewish People with Judaism as a religion.
    Judaism is a religion, even more concerning is your ludicrous left liberal assertion that the descendants of the followers of Moses do not belong to a religion!
    Can I have an apology from @HYUFD for this ridiculous assertion? Of course Judaism is a religion. All its followers are Jews, but not all Jews follow Judaism. I am tired of this man. I pointed out at many points that Judaism is a religion but the Jews are a people. This is utterly wrong.
    No you most certainly can't. If it wasn't for the religion of Judaism based on the teachings of Abraham and Moses for starters, Jews would not exist.

    The fact some of the original Jews descendants might now be secular doesn't change that.
  • Options
    turbotubbsturbotubbs Posts: 15,130
    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD
    He’s just *unlucky*

    In the same way Truss surprised on the upside?
    No

    Sunak is merely a lightning rod for all the dark energy directed at the Tories. If you step back, and think neutrally, he is actually OK

    He is playing a terrible hand as well as he can, I do not see anyone else doing any better - which is presumably why a challenge to his leadership never actually eventuates. There is nothing to save the Tories, Sunak is as good as it gets, they are doomed, and I expect Starmer to be a massive disappointment to millions within six months of winning, when everyone realises our problems go beyond “Tory incompetence”
    No. Cancelling HS2 was stupid and needless.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157
    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD
    He’s just *unlucky*

    In the same way Truss surprised on the upside?
    No

    Sunak is merely a lightning rod for all the dark energy directed at the Tories. If you step back, and think neutrally, he is actually OK

    He is playing a terrible hand as well as he can, I do not see anyone else doing any better - which is presumably why a challenge to his leadership never actually eventuates. There is nothing to save the Tories, Sunak is as good as it gets, they are doomed, and I expect Starmer to be a massive disappointment to millions within six months of winning, when everyone realises our problems go beyond “Tory incompetence”
    'Nobody else would do better' and 'he is actually OK' are horses of two very different hues.
  • Options
    StuartinromfordStuartinromford Posts: 14,382
    Isn't the catch that Reform is a company with NF as the majority shareholder- what's in it for him?
  • Options
    On topic, I don't think it's likely because he'd not be looking to come to RefUK as Farage's assistant but as, at the very least, an equal. That never ends well - Farage ultimately falls out with and crushes anyone who looks for one moment to be doing that. Hard right politics outside the Conservative Party is littered with the corpses of people like that.

    Johnson is a fool in many ways. But not, I think, in that way.
  • Options
    Scott_xPScott_xP Posts: 32,868
    ydoethur said:

    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD
    He’s just *unlucky*

    In the same way Truss surprised on the upside?
    No

    Sunak is merely a lightning rod for all the dark energy directed at the Tories. If you step back, and think neutrally, he is actually OK

    He is playing a terrible hand as well as he can, I do not see anyone else doing any better - which is presumably why a challenge to his leadership never actually eventuates. There is nothing to save the Tories, Sunak is as good as it gets, they are doomed, and I expect Starmer to be a massive disappointment to millions within six months of winning, when everyone realises our problems go beyond “Tory incompetence”
    'Nobody else would do better' and 'he is actually OK' are horses of two very different hues.
    And neither are empirically true
  • Options
    kamskikamski Posts: 4,231
    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD
    He’s just *unlucky*

    In the same way Truss surprised on the upside?
    No

    Sunak is merely a lightning rod for all the dark energy directed at the Tories. If you step back, and think neutrally, he is actually OK

    He is playing a terrible hand as well as he can, I do not see anyone else doing any better - which is presumably why a challenge to his leadership never actually eventuates. There is nothing to save the Tories, Sunak is as good as it gets, they are doomed, and I expect Starmer to be a massive disappointment to millions within six months of winning, when everyone realises our problems go beyond “Tory incompetence”
    I don't know who would do better, but Sunak made poor decisions from the start - making a deal with Braverman for example. He had an opportunity to go with the story that he is a more pragmatic reasonable kind of Conservative - like developing a more constructive relationship with Europe which he seemed to be doing, but he threw it all away. Whether because of weakness, or because he actually isn't pragmatic or reasonable I don't know.
  • Options
    algarkirkalgarkirk Posts: 10,500
    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD
    He’s just *unlucky*

    In the same way Truss surprised on the upside?
    No

    Sunak is merely a lightning rod for all the dark energy directed at the Tories. If you step back, and think neutrally, he is actually OK

    He is playing a terrible hand as well as he can, I do not see anyone else doing any better - which is presumably why a challenge to his leadership never actually eventuates. There is nothing to save the Tories, Sunak is as good as it gets, they are doomed, and I expect Starmer to be a massive disappointment to millions within six months of winning, when everyone realises our problems go beyond “Tory incompetence”
    Yes he has a terrible hand, but Sunak so far falls short of the greatness which is especially required when it is all awful.

    At a similar moment in Mrs T's time as PM though things were tough we had an idea of her core non negotiable principles, some idea of her direction of travel, and a perception of her leadership capacity.

    I have no idea what Sunak's core principles or political beliefs are, or his direction of travel.

    This is why, it seems to me, that in tough times a sense of hope is also lacking. And Labour is, perhaps understandably, little better.

    While of course the worst are full of passionate intensity.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157
    Johnson is sixty this year.

    Admittedly, May, Howard and Corbyn all became leaders in their sixties.

    And they all had in common that none of them were election winners, with the sort of exception of May.

    But how many candidates for seats over the age of sixty are selected unless they're already in Parliament?

    Plus, it means missing out on ten years of earning lovely amounts of cash on the after-dinner circuit which he will need to pay for his young family's school fees.

    I don't see him making a comeback.

    Even allowing for his massive ego.
  • Options
    LeonLeon Posts: 46,917

    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD
    He’s just *unlucky*

    In the same way Truss surprised on the upside?
    No

    Sunak is merely a lightning rod for all the dark energy directed at the Tories. If you step back, and think neutrally, he is actually OK

    He is playing a terrible hand as well as he can, I do not see anyone else doing any better - which is presumably why a challenge to his leadership never actually eventuates. There is nothing to save the Tories, Sunak is as good as it gets, they are doomed, and I expect Starmer to be a massive disappointment to millions within six months of winning, when everyone realises our problems go beyond “Tory incompetence”
    No. Cancelling HS2 was stupid and needless.
    I was also irked by the cancellation but the whole concept of HS2 was a fucking catastrophe, from the get go

    Britain is so small it does not need 200+ mph trains. That is the truth of it. Sunak probably sees it that way and was trying to extricate HMG from the mess as cheaply as possible. It was and is a calamity he inherited
  • Options
    turbotubbsturbotubbs Posts: 15,130
    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD
    He’s just *unlucky*

    In the same way Truss surprised on the upside?
    No

    Sunak is merely a lightning rod for all the dark energy directed at the Tories. If you step back, and think neutrally, he is actually OK

    He is playing a terrible hand as well as he can, I do not see anyone else doing any better - which is presumably why a challenge to his leadership never actually eventuates. There is nothing to save the Tories, Sunak is as good as it gets, they are doomed, and I expect Starmer to be a massive disappointment to millions within six months of winning, when everyone realises our problems go beyond “Tory incompetence”
    No. Cancelling HS2 was stupid and needless.
    I was also irked by the cancellation but the whole concept of HS2 was a fucking catastrophe, from the get go

    Britain is so small it does not need 200+ mph trains. That is the truth of it. Sunak probably sees it that way and was trying to extricate HMG from the mess as cheaply as possible. It was and is a calamity he inherited
    The HS2 catastrophe is that you still think it was about 200+ mph trains - it never was. It was about freeing up capacity on existing lines. It was, from the start, miss-sold.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157
    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD
    He’s just *unlucky*

    In the same way Truss surprised on the upside?
    No

    Sunak is merely a lightning rod for all the dark energy directed at the Tories. If you step back, and think neutrally, he is actually OK

    He is playing a terrible hand as well as he can, I do not see anyone else doing any better - which is presumably why a challenge to his leadership never actually eventuates. There is nothing to save the Tories, Sunak is as good as it gets, they are doomed, and I expect Starmer to be a massive disappointment to millions within six months of winning, when everyone realises our problems go beyond “Tory incompetence”
    No. Cancelling HS2 was stupid and needless.
    I was also irked by the cancellation but the whole concept of HS2 was a fucking catastrophe, from the get go

    Britain is so small it does not need 200+ mph trains. That is the truth of it. Sunak probably sees it that way and was trying to extricate HMG from the mess as cheaply as possible. It was and is a calamity he inherited
    It needs extra capacity, urgently, regardless of how fast the trains go (and the faster they are the more capacity you have).

    Delaying it is only making things worse.
  • Options
    OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 31,938
    ydoethur said:

    Johnson is sixty this year.

    Admittedly, May, Howard and Corbyn all became leaders in their sixties.

    And they all had in common that none of them were election winners, with the sort of exception of May.

    But how many candidates for seats over the age of sixty are selected unless they're already in Parliament?

    Plus, it means missing out on ten years of earning lovely amounts of cash on the after-dinner circuit which he will need to pay for his young family's school fees.

    I don't see him making a comeback.

    Even allowing for his massive ego.

    What about the current Mrs Johnson’s ambitions?
  • Options
    LeonLeon Posts: 46,917

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD
    He’s just *unlucky*

    In the same way Truss surprised on the upside?
    No

    Sunak is merely a lightning rod for all the dark energy directed at the Tories. If you step back, and think neutrally, he is actually OK

    He is playing a terrible hand as well as he can, I do not see anyone else doing any better - which is presumably why a challenge to his leadership never actually eventuates. There is nothing to save the Tories, Sunak is as good as it gets, they are doomed, and I expect Starmer to be a massive disappointment to millions within six months of winning, when everyone realises our problems go beyond “Tory incompetence”
    No. Cancelling HS2 was stupid and needless.
    I was also irked by the cancellation but the whole concept of HS2 was a fucking catastrophe, from the get go

    Britain is so small it does not need 200+ mph trains. That is the truth of it. Sunak probably sees it that way and was trying to extricate HMG from the mess as cheaply as possible. It was and is a calamity he inherited
    The HS2 catastrophe is that you still think it was about 200+ mph trains - it never was. It was about freeing up capacity on existing lines. It was, from the start, miss-sold.
    No, I understand the capacity argument. But why did the engineers say Well if we’re having more capacity let’s make it 200mph trains?

    Just build more standard capacity, fuck the high speed shit. 125mph is easily fast enough for a country as compact and densely populated as the UK
  • Options
    kjhkjh Posts: 10,584
    edited January 24
    What an excellent article @NickPalmer and as a piece of mischief it all hangs together really well. The only bit I find a bit too much of a stretch is the LOTO straight away (either the Tories or LDs would have more seats I still think), but the rest all seems plausible.
  • Options
    NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,411

    Highly imaginative, Nick, and not entirely implausible.

    'Taint gonna happen, of course, if only because of the skill required to engineer such an outcome. You think Boris possesses it? Or Reform?

    I can see it appealing to Boris. It's a stunt, that requires little hard work and would inspire a lot of column inches. Reform might even buy it. Their chances of being taken seriously would improve, although that's not saying much.

    I just can't see the GBPublic buying it though.

    Personal disclaimer - I once voted for Boris. You can fool some of the PtP all of the time, and all of the PtP some of the time, but.....

    I'm pleased to say that I voted against him in the first (I think) election he ever stood in (which he lost). And have successfully maintained that stance.
  • Options
    CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 39,609
    HYUFD said:

    DougSeal said:

    HYUFD said:

    DougSeal said:

    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    Foxy said:

    HYUFD said:

    Who cares how tall Clarkey and Rishy are? Both are 100% helmet and that is the only measurement that matters

    I have no idea why race, religion etc are protected characteristics, but people think it’s fine to mock someone over their height. You get the hand you get.
    Making religion a protected characteristic was a terrible mistake.

    People choose their beliefs.
    No it wasn't, ask the survivors of the Holocaust for starters what happened when their religious freedom to be Jewish was not respected by the State
    The Nazis killed non practicing, atheist and converted Jews enthusiastically. They viewed Jews as an ethnic group, rather than primarily a religion.
    Judaism is a religion however, not a nationality (even in Israel) or a race
    "Races" don't exist. They are thus nothing or anything, whatever people call them. UK law says you can be racist against Jews (and Sikhs), so in that sense they are a race. One could describe the Jewish people as an ethnoreligious group, like Sikhs, Druze, Yazidis etc. There is no agreed, overarching rule for who is or is not Jewish from a religious perspective, as there isn't for any religion.
    Jews are generally considered racially white
    Jews have always been considered a people (an ethic group if you prefer) by themselves and others. You betray a profound and worrying ignorance by confusing the Jewish People with Judaism as a religion.
    Judaism is a religion, even more concerning is your ludicrous left liberal assertion that the descendants of the followers of Moses do not belong to a religion!
    Can I have an apology from @HYUFD for this ridiculous assertion? Of course Judaism is a religion. All its followers are Jews, but not all Jews follow Judaism. I am tired of this man. I pointed out at many points that Judaism is a religion but the Jews are a people. This is utterly wrong.
    No you most certainly can't. If it wasn't for the religion of Judaism based on the teachings of Abraham and Moses for starters, Jews would not exist.

    The fact some of the original Jews descendants might now be secular doesn't change that.
    But you complained that our seal said that "the descendants of the followers of Moses do not belong to a religion".

    You've just admitted that, up front. Some don't, in your own freely expressed words. Therefore the descendants of Jews at time = t can't all belong to the Jewish religion just because of their birth and ancestry.
  • Options
    tlg86tlg86 Posts: 25,187
  • Options
    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD

    I am now spending so much time OUT of the UK (a bit more than half the year, the last two years) I reckon I am getting a perspective. Or I hope so. Seen from afar Sunak’s government is not that disastrous, relatively, and Sunak himself is far from a disaster. He comes across as honest (unlike Boris), and as sane (unlike Truss) and as personable and articulate (unlike TMay). He is intelligent and kind if a bit unworldly (it seems to me). His wealth is an issue, but on the upside it insulates him from corruption - he does not need to be corrupt

    His policies may disappoint many but these are disappointing times for almost every western nation. The west as a whole is in quite steep relative decline and nearly all major western countries face similar and grievous challenges - mass migration, demographic descent, illegal migration, global insecurity, climate change, energy prices, a need to beef up defence even as these societies age, and so on and so forth. Sunak is facing the same problems as Macron, Schulz, Meloni, Biden etc and it is not obvious to me that he is doing notably WORSE than any of them; and its even less obvious that Starmer has the ideas, energy, brilliance that will make things better

    Sunak is a perfectly adequate prime minister doing the job of prime minister at maybe the worst possible time in the last 40 years, and he’s a Tory PM at the arse-end of 13 disappointing Tory years

    He’s just *unlucky*

    If I may, there are two issues clouding your judgement on this:
    1. You spend more than half the year away and often travel to poorer countries than us. Your perspective on services in the UK not being that bad whilst sat in Vietnam doesn't really reflect the lived reality of people living in Vange*
    2. You lean to the right politically so put a glass half full spin on things when the right are in office

    Sunak is not a corrupt liar like Boris, nor an idiotic gambler like Truss. So he is better than them. The problem is that being better than Truss or Johnson doesn't make him any good. He is incompetent but not as much so. He is a liar but not as brazenly. He has tanked the economy but not as quickly.

    The Tories main problem now is that they and their shills are selling that the sky is green. Taxes are being cut, services are being improved, people are being empowered. None of it is true - and lived reality for most is the opposite. But they keep insisting that the sky is green and anyone pointing out that it is blue is a leftie woke no plan Britain-hating liar.

    The primary reason why the Tory vote share keeps sliding and sliding and sliding is that more and more people watch and listen to Sunak and his ministers, and say, "yeah but the sky is blue isn't it".

    Compare and contrast.
    1992: YES IT HURT. YES IT WORKED.
    2024: No, it didn't hurt. But it worked fantastically. And is more fantastic every day actually. Don't go back to square one.

    You can't sell people unreality. Own the thing like Major did and you can unexpectedly win.
  • Options
    LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 15,125
    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD
    He’s just *unlucky*

    In the same way Truss surprised on the upside?
    No

    Sunak is merely a lightning rod for all the dark energy directed at the Tories. If you step back, and think neutrally, he is actually OK

    He is playing a terrible hand as well as he can, I do not see anyone else doing any better - which is presumably why a challenge to his leadership never actually eventuates. There is nothing to save the Tories, Sunak is as good as it gets, they are doomed, and I expect Starmer to be a massive disappointment to millions within six months of winning, when everyone realises our problems go beyond “Tory incompetence”
    I think that's a fairly reasonable interpretation of the situation, with the caveat that Sunak appears to be panicking at his failure to recover the Tory position, and attempting ever madder hail Mary's in a fruitless attempt to win the next election.
  • Options
    NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,411
    This rather explodes one of the originalists key arguments if they try to say that the Presidency is not an office.

    What Justice Scalia Thought About Whether Presidents Are “Officers of the United States”
    https://www.lawfaremedia.org/article/what-justice-scalia-thought-about-whether-presidents-are-officers-of-the-united-states
    ...It turns out, though, that there is now highly persuasive empirical evidence that at the time the Appointments Clause was drafted and ratified (1787-1788), the words “appointed” and “elected” were used interchangeably. This is one of the conclusions reached in a recent article by James A. Heilpern, a senior fellow at Brigham Young University Law School and Michael T. Worley, a Provo, Utah, attorney. Their study relies on both conventional legal research techniques and “corpus linguistics” research, in which computer searches are performed on databases of documents or congressional records or newspapers to determine how words and phrases were used at a certain time in history. (BYU Law School is one of the nation’s leading centers for legal corpus linguistics research, along with Northern Arizona University.)

    Heilpern and Worley reach a number of interesting conclusions, but one is particularly pertinent here. They assert that the semantic distinction Tillman, Blackman, and several others have tried to make between “appointed” and “elected” positions

    didn’t exist at the time of the Founding. It’s a linguistic anachronism. The words appear to have been used interchangeably, at least to the extent that an election was considered a mode of appointment...,/i>
  • Options

    Isn't the catch that Reform is a company with NF as the majority shareholder- what's in it for him?

    You mean Nigel Farage, and not National Front?
  • Options
    OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 31,938
    edited January 24
    Carnyx said:

    HYUFD said:

    DougSeal said:

    HYUFD said:

    DougSeal said:

    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    Foxy said:

    HYUFD said:

    Who cares how tall Clarkey and Rishy are? Both are 100% helmet and that is the only measurement that matters

    I have no idea why race, religion etc are protected characteristics, but people think it’s fine to mock someone over their height. You get the hand you get.
    Making religion a protected characteristic was a terrible mistake.

    People choose their beliefs.
    No it wasn't, ask the survivors of the Holocaust for starters what happened when their religious freedom to be Jewish was not respected by the State
    The Nazis killed non practicing, atheist and converted Jews enthusiastically. They viewed Jews as an ethnic group, rather than primarily a religion.
    Judaism is a religion however, not a nationality (even in Israel) or a race
    "Races" don't exist. They are thus nothing or anything, whatever people call them. UK law says you can be racist against Jews (and Sikhs), so in that sense they are a race. One could describe the Jewish people as an ethnoreligious group, like Sikhs, Druze, Yazidis etc. There is no agreed, overarching rule for who is or is not Jewish from a religious perspective, as there isn't for any religion.
    Jews are generally considered racially white
    Jews have always been considered a people (an ethic group if you prefer) by themselves and others. You betray a profound and worrying ignorance by confusing the Jewish People with Judaism as a religion.
    Judaism is a religion, even more concerning is your ludicrous left liberal assertion that the descendants of the followers of Moses do not belong to a religion!
    Can I have an apology from @HYUFD for this ridiculous assertion? Of course Judaism is a religion. All its followers are Jews, but not all Jews follow Judaism. I am tired of this man. I pointed out at many points that Judaism is a religion but the Jews are a people. This is utterly wrong.
    No you most certainly can't. If it wasn't for the religion of Judaism based on the teachings of Abraham and Moses for starters, Jews would not exist.

    The fact some of the original Jews descendants might now be secular doesn't change that.
    But you complained that our seal said that "the descendants of the followers of Moses do not belong to a religion".

    You've just admitted that, up front. Some don't, in your own freely expressed words. Therefore the descendants of Jews at time = t can't all belong to the Jewish religion just because of their birth and ancestry.
    I am certain as I can be that some of Moses’ followers descendants are Christian, some Moslem and some, like acquaintances of mine profess no religion.
    Whereas some who were nowhere Siniai have converted to Judaism.
    Koestler wrote an interesting book about it.
  • Options

    Also, how about

    Biden-Haley 2024

    Nikki as his VP pick?

    On the same basis, why don't Ed Miliband and Theresa May form a dream ticket?

    The fact two politicians are essentially establishment figures looking to work within existing constitutional structures to achieve policy objectives, as opposed to populist outsiders promising to blow sh1t up, doesn't mean they have a lot in common beyond that.

    Haley and Biden disagree on nearly everything. They would probably privately agree Trump is dangerously unhinged. But she'd not say even that publicly, and certainly it isn't a platform for a functional four years.
  • Options
    kyf_100kyf_100 Posts: 3,937
    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD
    He’s just *unlucky*

    In the same way Truss surprised on the upside?
    No

    Sunak is merely a lightning rod for all the dark energy directed at the Tories. If you step back, and think neutrally, he is actually OK

    He is playing a terrible hand as well as he can, I do not see anyone else doing any better - which is presumably why a challenge to his leadership never actually eventuates. There is nothing to save the Tories, Sunak is as good as it gets, they are doomed, and I expect Starmer to be a massive disappointment to millions within six months of winning, when everyone realises our problems go beyond “Tory incompetence”
    No. Cancelling HS2 was stupid and needless.
    I was also irked by the cancellation but the whole concept of HS2 was a fucking catastrophe, from the get go

    Britain is so small it does not need 200+ mph trains. That is the truth of it. Sunak probably sees it that way and was trying to extricate HMG from the mess as cheaply as possible. It was and is a calamity he inherited
    The HS2 catastrophe is that you still think it was about 200+ mph trains - it never was. It was about freeing up capacity on existing lines. It was, from the start, miss-sold.
    No, I understand the capacity argument. But why did the engineers say Well if we’re having more capacity let’s make it 200mph trains?

    Just build more standard capacity, fuck the high speed shit. 125mph is easily fast enough for a country as compact and densely populated as the UK
    Just make it affordable.

    If I want to get from London to Manchester tomorrow for 9 o'clock, it's £224.70 for a standard single. Another £234.70 to add a return after 6pm.

    That's a gobsmacking four hundred and sixty quid I'd be out if, say, someone rang me now and asked me to pop up to their office to talk about some new business (yes, I know there's Teams et al, but sometimes people want to, I dunno, actually meet you in person before hiring you).

    Round trip in my car, petrol probably about seventy quid.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157

    Also, how about

    Biden-Haley 2024

    Nikki as his VP pick?

    On the same basis, why don't Ed Miliband and Theresa May form a dream ticket?

    The fact two politicians are essentially establishment figures looking to work within existing constitutional structures to achieve policy objectives, as opposed to populist outsiders promising to blow sh1t up, doesn't mean they have a lot in common beyond that.

    Haley and Biden disagree on nearly everything. They would probably privately agree Trump is dangerously unhinged. But she'd not say even that publicly, and certainly it isn't a platform for a functional four years.
    Biden implied that he agreed with her on just one thing.

    That she isn't Nancy Pelosi.
  • Options
    DougSealDougSeal Posts: 11,121
    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD

    I am now spending so much time OUT of the UK (a bit more than half the year, the last two years) I reckon I am getting a perspective. Or I hope so. Seen from afar Sunak’s government is not that disastrous, relatively, and Sunak himself is far from a disaster. He comes across as honest (unlike Boris), and as sane (unlike Truss) and as personable and articulate (unlike TMay). He is intelligent and kind if a bit unworldly (it seems to me). His wealth is an issue, but on the upside it insulates him from corruption - he does not need to be corrupt

    His policies may disappoint many but these are disappointing times for almost every western nation. The west as a whole is in quite steep relative decline and nearly all major western countries face similar and grievous challenges - mass migration, demographic descent, illegal migration, global insecurity, climate change, energy prices, a need to beef up defence even as these societies age, and so on and so forth. Sunak is facing the same problems as Macron, Schulz, Meloni, Biden etc and it is not obvious to me that he is doing notably WORSE than any of them; and its even less obvious that Starmer has the ideas, energy, brilliance that will make things better

    Sunak is a perfectly adequate prime minister doing the job of prime minister at maybe the worst possible time in the last 40 years, and he’s a Tory PM at the arse-end of 13 disappointing Tory years

    He’s just *unlucky*

    For once I tend to agree with Leon. I spent some time in Munich over Christmas and was struck by how clean, efficient and prosperous it seemed. However, while the wife and I were expounding on how much we'd like to live in Munich, the friends we were staying with were seriously considering moving over the border to Austria because they think Germany is f**ked - Munich being an oasis of prosperity in a country whose industrial base, on which it relies, is being destroyed by high energy prices and the short sightedness in that regard from successive governments. They have always been particularly incensed by the refusal to reconsider nuclear.

    Everyone, it seems, seems to want to move somewhere else. The grass is always greener etc.

    Where I disagree with Leon is that I think that Starmer, while not having any brilliance, nor showing many ideas, at least has a degree of control over his party that means he won't be distracted by lunatic schemes to keep the lunatic wing in check.
  • Options
    bigjohnowlsbigjohnowls Posts: 21,829
    Labour MP Tahir Ali accused the PM of having blood on his hands over refusing to back a ceasefire

    Labour say this was inappropriate language.

    Well they would say that, wouldn't they, because if the PM has blood on his hands so does SKS
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157
    edited January 24
    kyf_100 said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD
    He’s just *unlucky*

    In the same way Truss surprised on the upside?
    No

    Sunak is merely a lightning rod for all the dark energy directed at the Tories. If you step back, and think neutrally, he is actually OK

    He is playing a terrible hand as well as he can, I do not see anyone else doing any better - which is presumably why a challenge to his leadership never actually eventuates. There is nothing to save the Tories, Sunak is as good as it gets, they are doomed, and I expect Starmer to be a massive disappointment to millions within six months of winning, when everyone realises our problems go beyond “Tory incompetence”
    No. Cancelling HS2 was stupid and needless.
    I was also irked by the cancellation but the whole concept of HS2 was a fucking catastrophe, from the get go

    Britain is so small it does not need 200+ mph trains. That is the truth of it. Sunak probably sees it that way and was trying to extricate HMG from the mess as cheaply as possible. It was and is a calamity he inherited
    The HS2 catastrophe is that you still think it was about 200+ mph trains - it never was. It was about freeing up capacity on existing lines. It was, from the start, miss-sold.
    No, I understand the capacity argument. But why did the engineers say Well if we’re having more capacity let’s make it 200mph trains?

    Just build more standard capacity, fuck the high speed shit. 125mph is easily fast enough for a country as compact and densely populated as the UK
    Just make it affordable.

    If I want to get from London to Manchester tomorrow for 9 o'clock, it's £224.70 for a standard single. Another £234.70 to add a return after 6pm.

    That's a gobsmacking four hundred and sixty quid I'd be out if, say, someone rang me now and asked me to pop up to their office to talk about some new business (yes, I know there's Teams et al, but sometimes people want to, I dunno, actually meet you in person before hiring you).

    Round trip in my car, petrol probably about seventy quid.
    It's a 400 mile round trip.

    That's a good £200 including petrol, insurance, maintenance, depreciation and so on.

    Even if you go with the Treasury's parsimonious allowance it's £190.

    Not including any parking fees. Not including having to drive for seven or eight hours (and even for that, add the toll on the M6 Toll).

    I agree with you it should be cheaper. Much cheaper. But driving isn't quite so ridiculously a cheaper option when you weigh it all up.
  • Options
    DougSealDougSeal Posts: 11,121
    HYUFD said:

    DougSeal said:

    HYUFD said:

    DougSeal said:

    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    Foxy said:

    HYUFD said:

    Who cares how tall Clarkey and Rishy are? Both are 100% helmet and that is the only measurement that matters

    I have no idea why race, religion etc are protected characteristics, but people think it’s fine to mock someone over their height. You get the hand you get.
    Making religion a protected characteristic was a terrible mistake.

    People choose their beliefs.
    No it wasn't, ask the survivors of the Holocaust for starters what happened when their religious freedom to be Jewish was not respected by the State
    The Nazis killed non practicing, atheist and converted Jews enthusiastically. They viewed Jews as an ethnic group, rather than primarily a religion.
    Judaism is a religion however, not a nationality (even in Israel) or a race
    "Races" don't exist. They are thus nothing or anything, whatever people call them. UK law says you can be racist against Jews (and Sikhs), so in that sense they are a race. One could describe the Jewish people as an ethnoreligious group, like Sikhs, Druze, Yazidis etc. There is no agreed, overarching rule for who is or is not Jewish from a religious perspective, as there isn't for any religion.
    Jews are generally considered racially white
    Jews have always been considered a people (an ethic group if you prefer) by themselves and others. You betray a profound and worrying ignorance by confusing the Jewish People with Judaism as a religion.
    Judaism is a religion, even more concerning is your ludicrous left liberal assertion that the descendants of the followers of Moses do not belong to a religion!
    Can I have an apology from @HYUFD for this ridiculous assertion? Of course Judaism is a religion. All its followers are Jews, but not all Jews follow Judaism. I am tired of this man. I pointed out at many points that Judaism is a religion but the Jews are a people. This is utterly wrong.
    No you most certainly can't. If it wasn't for the religion of Judaism based on the teachings of Abraham and Moses for starters, Jews would not exist.

    The fact some of the original Jews descendants might now be secular doesn't change that.
    That's not what you were accusing me of. Indeed you have just implicitly admitted that I did not say what you accuse me of. Again, you change the argument just because you have a childlike inability to accept you might be wrong. Apology please.
  • Options
    LeonLeon Posts: 46,917

    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD

    I am now spending so much time OUT of the UK (a bit more than half the year, the last two years) I reckon I am getting a perspective. Or I hope so. Seen from afar Sunak’s government is not that disastrous, relatively, and Sunak himself is far from a disaster. He comes across as honest (unlike Boris), and as sane (unlike Truss) and as personable and articulate (unlike TMay). He is intelligent and kind if a bit unworldly (it seems to me). His wealth is an issue, but on the upside it insulates him from corruption - he does not need to be corrupt

    His policies may disappoint many but these are disappointing times for almost every western nation. The west as a whole is in quite steep relative decline and nearly all major western countries face similar and grievous challenges - mass migration, demographic descent, illegal migration, global insecurity, climate change, energy prices, a need to beef up defence even as these societies age, and so on and so forth. Sunak is facing the same problems as Macron, Schulz, Meloni, Biden etc and it is not obvious to me that he is doing notably WORSE than any of them; and its even less obvious that Starmer has the ideas, energy, brilliance that will make things better

    Sunak is a perfectly adequate prime minister doing the job of prime minister at maybe the worst possible time in the last 40 years, and he’s a Tory PM at the arse-end of 13 disappointing Tory years

    He’s just *unlucky*

    If I may, there are two issues clouding your judgement on this:
    1. You spend more than half the year away and often travel to poorer countries than us. Your perspective on services in the UK not being that bad whilst sat in Vietnam doesn't really reflect the lived reality of people living in Vange*
    2. You lean to the right politically so put a glass half full spin on things when the right are in office

    Sunak is not a corrupt liar like Boris, nor an idiotic gambler like Truss. So he is better than them. The problem is that being better than Truss or Johnson doesn't make him any good. He is incompetent but not as much so. He is a liar but not as brazenly. He has tanked the economy but not as quickly.

    The Tories main problem now is that they and their shills are selling that the sky is green. Taxes are being cut, services are being improved, people are being empowered. None of it is true - and lived reality for most is the opposite. But they keep insisting that the sky is green and anyone pointing out that it is blue is a leftie woke no plan Britain-hating liar.

    The primary reason why the Tory vote share keeps sliding and sliding and sliding is that more and more people watch and listen to Sunak and his ministers, and say, "yeah but the sky is blue isn't it".

    Compare and contrast.
    1992: YES IT HURT. YES IT WORKED.
    2024: No, it didn't hurt. But it worked fantastically. And is more fantastic every day actually. Don't go back to square one.

    You can't sell people unreality. Own the thing like Major did and you can unexpectedly win.
    What a ridiculous rant

    To take just one point, how has Sunak “tanked the economy”?

    All major western nations face tough economic challenges, particularly on energy and migration. America is, conspicuously, doing best (in terms of growth) - it just happens to be the world’s biggest energy producer. Meanwhile Europe is heavily reliant on imported hydrocarbons, at the same time as we are virtually at war with Russia, and the Middle East is roiled with violence

    Sunak has not personally “tanked the economy”. The UK is experiencing very sluggish growth, which is dismaying, but the UK is probably growing faster than France and certainly faster than Germany

    We’re all in a bind. Sunak is managing a mess as best he can. Specifically, he has not “tanked the economy”. Get a grip


  • Options

    Labour MP Tahir Ali accused the PM of having blood on his hands over refusing to back a ceasefire

    Labour say this was inappropriate language.

    Well they would say that, wouldn't they, because if the PM has blood on his hands so does SKS

    What do you make of Hamas rejecting a ceasefire.
  • Options
    ydoethur said:

    Johnson is sixty this year.

    Admittedly, May, Howard and Corbyn all became leaders in their sixties.

    And they all had in common that none of them were election winners, with the sort of exception of May.

    But how many candidates for seats over the age of sixty are selected unless they're already in Parliament?

    Plus, it means missing out on ten years of earning lovely amounts of cash on the after-dinner circuit which he will need to pay for his young family's school fees.

    I don't see him making a comeback.

    Even allowing for his massive ego.

    Starmer is older - 62 this year.
  • Options

    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD

    I am now spending so much time OUT of the UK (a bit more than half the year, the last two years) I reckon I am getting a perspective. Or I hope so. Seen from afar Sunak’s government is not that disastrous, relatively, and Sunak himself is far from a disaster. He comes across as honest (unlike Boris), and as sane (unlike Truss) and as personable and articulate (unlike TMay). He is intelligent and kind if a bit unworldly (it seems to me). His wealth is an issue, but on the upside it insulates him from corruption - he does not need to be corrupt

    His policies may disappoint many but these are disappointing times for almost every western nation. The west as a whole is in quite steep relative decline and nearly all major western countries face similar and grievous challenges - mass migration, demographic descent, illegal migration, global insecurity, climate change, energy prices, a need to beef up defence even as these societies age, and so on and so forth. Sunak is facing the same problems as Macron, Schulz, Meloni, Biden etc and it is not obvious to me that he is doing notably WORSE than any of them; and its even less obvious that Starmer has the ideas, energy, brilliance that will make things better

    Sunak is a perfectly adequate prime minister doing the job of prime minister at maybe the worst possible time in the last 40 years, and he’s a Tory PM at the arse-end of 13 disappointing Tory years

    He’s just *unlucky*

    There is a lot of truth in this, and it runs against the prevailing headwinds on PB, where all seem to be welcoming the imminent decline of the Tories and triumphant march of the Starmerites.

    However, he doesn't do politics very well and has shot himself in the foot too many times. The biggie, for me, is HS2. Just do it. Stick with it. Keep banging on about levelling up the North and that HS2 is just the start. Show confidence in the future.

    Instead it was cancelled with some mealy mouthed comments about funding other things, which turned out to be not actual things to be done, but examples of projects that could be done. I think that was when I finally had enough.

    It will be refreshing to have a Labour government. Some things will get better - the NHS almost certainly, although how is not easy to see. But at least PB's horde will have someone else to moan on about.
    Yes, much truth indeed, Turbo, particularly Leon's concluding paras.

    I am reminded of John Major, who was also dealt a bad hand, although not as bad as Sunak's. JM was also a much better politician, but that doesn't alter the substance of what The Flintknapper is saying, nor the inevitability of the voters getting sick to death with Starmerism - in pretty short order, I expect.
  • Options
    williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 48,042
    edited January 24
    Trump has a big polling lead over Haley in Nevada, but it looks like they won't actually be competing head-to-head because there are two parallel contests which have each ended up with Trump and Haley as the only candidate left.

    Trump is on the caucus ballot which will determine who gets the delegates, and Haley is on a state-run primary ballot which is purely symbolic.

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/explaining-nevadas-dueling-2024-primary-system-matters/story?id=104127101
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157

    ydoethur said:

    Johnson is sixty this year.

    Admittedly, May, Howard and Corbyn all became leaders in their sixties.

    And they all had in common that none of them were election winners, with the sort of exception of May.

    But how many candidates for seats over the age of sixty are selected unless they're already in Parliament?

    Plus, it means missing out on ten years of earning lovely amounts of cash on the after-dinner circuit which he will need to pay for his young family's school fees.

    I don't see him making a comeback.

    Even allowing for his massive ego.

    Starmer is older - 62 this year.
    And was 58 *when he became leader*.
  • Options

    ydoethur said:

    Johnson is sixty this year.

    Admittedly, May, Howard and Corbyn all became leaders in their sixties.

    And they all had in common that none of them were election winners, with the sort of exception of May.

    But how many candidates for seats over the age of sixty are selected unless they're already in Parliament?

    Plus, it means missing out on ten years of earning lovely amounts of cash on the after-dinner circuit which he will need to pay for his young family's school fees.

    I don't see him making a comeback.

    Even allowing for his massive ego.

    Starmer is older - 62 this year.
    Hadn't appreciated that, Nicky. So everything from 1962 onwards is his fault, including of course our failure to win the World Cup only once (and that with the connivance of a Commie linesman.)
  • Options
    squareroot2squareroot2 Posts: 6,333
    I bet N Palmer is wishing this to happen.
  • Options
    LeonLeon Posts: 46,917
    ydoethur said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD
    He’s just *unlucky*

    In the same way Truss surprised on the upside?
    No

    Sunak is merely a lightning rod for all the dark energy directed at the Tories. If you step back, and think neutrally, he is actually OK

    He is playing a terrible hand as well as he can, I do not see anyone else doing any better - which is presumably why a challenge to his leadership never actually eventuates. There is nothing to save the Tories, Sunak is as good as it gets, they are doomed, and I expect Starmer to be a massive disappointment to millions within six months of winning, when everyone realises our problems go beyond “Tory incompetence”
    No. Cancelling HS2 was stupid and needless.
    I was also irked by the cancellation but the whole concept of HS2 was a fucking catastrophe, from the get go

    Britain is so small it does not need 200+ mph trains. That is the truth of it. Sunak probably sees it that way and was trying to extricate HMG from the mess as cheaply as possible. It was and is a calamity he inherited
    The HS2 catastrophe is that you still think it was about 200+ mph trains - it never was. It was about freeing up capacity on existing lines. It was, from the start, miss-sold.
    No, I understand the capacity argument. But why did the engineers say Well if we’re having more capacity let’s make it 200mph trains?

    Just build more standard capacity, fuck the high speed shit. 125mph is easily fast enough for a country as compact and densely populated as the UK
    Just make it affordable.

    If I want to get from London to Manchester tomorrow for 9 o'clock, it's £224.70 for a standard single. Another £234.70 to add a return after 6pm.

    That's a gobsmacking four hundred and sixty quid I'd be out if, say, someone rang me now and asked me to pop up to their office to talk about some new business (yes, I know there's Teams et al, but sometimes people want to, I dunno, actually meet you in person before hiring you).

    Round trip in my car, petrol probably about seventy quid.
    It's a 400 mile round trip.

    That's a good £200 including petrol, insurance, maintenance, depreciation and so on.

    Even if you go with the Treasury's parsimonious allowance it's £190.

    Not including any parking fees. Not including having to drive for seven or eight hours (and even for that, add the toll on the M6 Toll).

    I agree with you it should be cheaper. Much cheaper. But driving isn't quite so ridiculously a cheaper option when you weigh it all up.
    Train travel is insanely expensive in the UK, I entirely agree with that

    When I take trains abroad in countries with roughly similar wealth-levels as the UK the price of a train ticket is often a third of that in the UK. How do they manage it? Where have we gone wrong?
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157

    Labour MP Tahir Ali accused the PM of having blood on his hands over refusing to back a ceasefire

    Labour say this was inappropriate language.

    Well they would say that, wouldn't they, because if the PM has blood on his hands so does SKS

    What do you make of Hamas rejecting a ceasefire.
    Hamas may be hoping that after nearly four months Israel may need to slacken off soon.

    So far they appear to have outlasted the IDF, insofar as Hamas are still in Gaza and haven't been driven from it, although that survival has been at savage cost to the people of Gaza (not that Hamas care).

    Unless the Israelis want to leave themselves vulnerable to incursion from the north, there are limits to how long they can keep up this level of fighting.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157
    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD
    He’s just *unlucky*

    In the same way Truss surprised on the upside?
    No

    Sunak is merely a lightning rod for all the dark energy directed at the Tories. If you step back, and think neutrally, he is actually OK

    He is playing a terrible hand as well as he can, I do not see anyone else doing any better - which is presumably why a challenge to his leadership never actually eventuates. There is nothing to save the Tories, Sunak is as good as it gets, they are doomed, and I expect Starmer to be a massive disappointment to millions within six months of winning, when everyone realises our problems go beyond “Tory incompetence”
    No. Cancelling HS2 was stupid and needless.
    I was also irked by the cancellation but the whole concept of HS2 was a fucking catastrophe, from the get go

    Britain is so small it does not need 200+ mph trains. That is the truth of it. Sunak probably sees it that way and was trying to extricate HMG from the mess as cheaply as possible. It was and is a calamity he inherited
    The HS2 catastrophe is that you still think it was about 200+ mph trains - it never was. It was about freeing up capacity on existing lines. It was, from the start, miss-sold.
    No, I understand the capacity argument. But why did the engineers say Well if we’re having more capacity let’s make it 200mph trains?

    Just build more standard capacity, fuck the high speed shit. 125mph is easily fast enough for a country as compact and densely populated as the UK
    Just make it affordable.

    If I want to get from London to Manchester tomorrow for 9 o'clock, it's £224.70 for a standard single. Another £234.70 to add a return after 6pm.

    That's a gobsmacking four hundred and sixty quid I'd be out if, say, someone rang me now and asked me to pop up to their office to talk about some new business (yes, I know there's Teams et al, but sometimes people want to, I dunno, actually meet you in person before hiring you).

    Round trip in my car, petrol probably about seventy quid.
    It's a 400 mile round trip.

    That's a good £200 including petrol, insurance, maintenance, depreciation and so on.

    Even if you go with the Treasury's parsimonious allowance it's £190.

    Not including any parking fees. Not including having to drive for seven or eight hours (and even for that, add the toll on the M6 Toll).

    I agree with you it should be cheaper. Much cheaper. But driving isn't quite so ridiculously a cheaper option when you weigh it all up.
    Train travel is insanely expensive in the UK, I entirely agree with that

    When I take trains abroad in countries with roughly similar wealth-levels as the UK the price of a train ticket is often a third of that in the UK. How do they manage it? Where have we gone wrong?
    Privatisation certainly hasn't helped, but the age of our infrastructure and rolling stock isn't a great thing either.

    Not sure where the obscene salaries of train drivers factor in, or if they do.
  • Options
    rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 58,167
    Here it comes...


    Chris Havergal
    @CHavergalTHE
    ·
    6h
    University of York posts £24m deficit (£14m operating deficit) after 16% drop in international student numbers,
  • Options
    Scott_xPScott_xP Posts: 32,868
    @rafaelbehr
    Column, on the Trump revival forcing more candid recognition of quite how bad the Brexit deal really is

    https://t.co/xfnqg2hG0m

    @DavidGauke

    The implications of a Trump presidency on the UK's relationship with the EU is a fascinating question. I think this is right - it will be easier to make the case for a European Britain if Trump is in the White House.
  • Options
    kinabalukinabalu Posts: 39,148
    Great (and semi-trolling?) header but what a nasty shock to click in and be confronted with a large close-up of that facetious face and stupid stupid hair again. "Boris". We just can't seem to escape the man.
  • Options
    carnforthcarnforth Posts: 3,178
    edited January 24
    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD
    He’s just *unlucky*

    In the same way Truss surprised on the upside?
    No

    Sunak is merely a lightning rod for all the dark energy directed at the Tories. If you step back, and think neutrally, he is actually OK

    He is playing a terrible hand as well as he can, I do not see anyone else doing any better - which is presumably why a challenge to his leadership never actually eventuates. There is nothing to save the Tories, Sunak is as good as it gets, they are doomed, and I expect Starmer to be a massive disappointment to millions within six months of winning, when everyone realises our problems go beyond “Tory incompetence”
    No. Cancelling HS2 was stupid and needless.
    I was also irked by the cancellation but the whole concept of HS2 was a fucking catastrophe, from the get go

    Britain is so small it does not need 200+ mph trains. That is the truth of it. Sunak probably sees it that way and was trying to extricate HMG from the mess as cheaply as possible. It was and is a calamity he inherited
    The HS2 catastrophe is that you still think it was about 200+ mph trains - it never was. It was about freeing up capacity on existing lines. It was, from the start, miss-sold.
    No, I understand the capacity argument. But why did the engineers say Well if we’re having more capacity let’s make it 200mph trains?

    Just build more standard capacity, fuck the high speed shit. 125mph is easily fast enough for a country as compact and densely populated as the UK
    Just make it affordable.

    If I want to get from London to Manchester tomorrow for 9 o'clock, it's £224.70 for a standard single. Another £234.70 to add a return after 6pm.

    That's a gobsmacking four hundred and sixty quid I'd be out if, say, someone rang me now and asked me to pop up to their office to talk about some new business (yes, I know there's Teams et al, but sometimes people want to, I dunno, actually meet you in person before hiring you).

    Round trip in my car, petrol probably about seventy quid.
    It's a 400 mile round trip.

    That's a good £200 including petrol, insurance, maintenance, depreciation and so on.

    Even if you go with the Treasury's parsimonious allowance it's £190.

    Not including any parking fees. Not including having to drive for seven or eight hours (and even for that, add the toll on the M6 Toll).

    I agree with you it should be cheaper. Much cheaper. But driving isn't quite so ridiculously a cheaper option when you weigh it all up.
    Train travel is insanely expensive in the UK, I entirely agree with that

    When I take trains abroad in countries with roughly similar wealth-levels as the UK the price of a train ticket is often a third of that in the UK. How do they manage it? Where have we gone wrong?
    The subsidy per passenger mile is greater:



    In 2024, this difference may be larger than 2008 - we have been reducing subsidies (before covid, anyway).
  • Options
    TazTaz Posts: 11,097

    Labour MP Tahir Ali accused the PM of having blood on his hands over refusing to back a ceasefire

    Labour say this was inappropriate language.

    Well they would say that, wouldn't they, because if the PM has blood on his hands so does SKS

    What do you make of Hamas rejecting a ceasefire.
    A two month ceasefire at that.
  • Options
    MattWMattW Posts: 18,413
    Provocative header - thanks.
  • Options
    Scott_xPScott_xP Posts: 32,868
    kinabalu said:

    Great (and semi-trolling?) header but what a nasty shock to click in and be confronted with a large close-up of that facetious face and stupid stupid hair again.

    Is this better?


  • Options
    El_CapitanoEl_Capitano Posts: 3,870
    edited January 24
    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD
    He’s just *unlucky*

    In the same way Truss surprised on the upside?
    No

    Sunak is merely a lightning rod for all the dark energy directed at the Tories. If you step back, and think neutrally, he is actually OK

    He is playing a terrible hand as well as he can, I do not see anyone else doing any better - which is presumably why a challenge to his leadership never actually eventuates. There is nothing to save the Tories, Sunak is as good as it gets, they are doomed, and I expect Starmer to be a massive disappointment to millions within six months of winning, when everyone realises our problems go beyond “Tory incompetence”
    No. Cancelling HS2 was stupid and needless.
    I was also irked by the cancellation but the whole concept of HS2 was a fucking catastrophe, from the get go

    Britain is so small it does not need 200+ mph trains. That is the truth of it. Sunak probably sees it that way and was trying to extricate HMG from the mess as cheaply as possible. It was and is a calamity he inherited
    The HS2 catastrophe is that you still think it was about 200+ mph trains - it never was. It was about freeing up capacity on existing lines. It was, from the start, miss-sold.
    No, I understand the capacity argument. But why did the engineers say Well if we’re having more capacity let’s make it 200mph trains?

    Just build more standard capacity, fuck the high speed shit. 125mph is easily fast enough for a country as compact and densely populated as the UK
    Just make it affordable.

    If I want to get from London to Manchester tomorrow for 9 o'clock, it's £224.70 for a standard single. Another £234.70 to add a return after 6pm.

    That's a gobsmacking four hundred and sixty quid I'd be out if, say, someone rang me now and asked me to pop up to their office to talk about some new business (yes, I know there's Teams et al, but sometimes people want to, I dunno, actually meet you in person before hiring you).

    Round trip in my car, petrol probably about seventy quid.
    It's a 400 mile round trip.

    That's a good £200 including petrol, insurance, maintenance, depreciation and so on.

    Even if you go with the Treasury's parsimonious allowance it's £190.

    Not including any parking fees. Not including having to drive for seven or eight hours (and even for that, add the toll on the M6 Toll).

    I agree with you it should be cheaper. Much cheaper. But driving isn't quite so ridiculously a cheaper option when you weigh it all up.
    Train travel is insanely expensive in the UK, I entirely agree with that

    When I take trains abroad in countries with roughly similar wealth-levels as the UK the price of a train ticket is often a third of that in the UK. How do they manage it? Where have we gone wrong?
    Labyrinthine industry structures thanks to privatisation; insane engineering and consultancy prices; absolutely no sense of direction.

    Example: 15 years ago or so, the Government decided to move towards electrification (which pretty much everywhere else in Europe has been doing for ages). So they started electrifying a load of lines and ordered a load of electric trains.

    The electrification cost more and took longer than expected (like I say, insane prices) so the Government abandoned it halfway. The Oxford electrification only got as far as Didcot. The Bristol electrification only got as far as Chippenham. And so on.

    But they'd already ordered the trains. So we now have fleets of electric trains sitting around and nowhere to run them. (@Sunil_Prasannan can tell you the numbers.) One bunch of electric intercity trains had to be expensively fitted with diesel engines. Another set of comfortable 1990s electric trains - not that old in railway terms - got carted to the scrap yard.

    This is just one example. There are loads. Like the fleet of Transpennine trains that's been sent back into store after three years because no-one added to the specification "the engines should not wake up the entire town of Scarborough when starting up at 5am". The entire industry is dysfunctional. Every five years the Government wakes up and notices this and thinks "ah, what we need is another reorganisation and a STRATEGY". You can fill in the rest yourself.
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,233

    Amusing. On Johnson becoming Tory leader after the election:
    "..someone else will have been made leader post-Sunak. Will they be in a hurry to welcome a rival back in a by-election?"
    The way this could happen would be if a Johnson loyalist were to stand for the leadership election explicitly on the basis of engineering a by-election for Johnson to return to the Commons and then to stand down in his favour, so Johnson could become leader.

    But I'm not really sure Johnson wants to be PM again. I think his position of being the King-over-the-water probably suits him.

    Even Johnson wont have escaped the very widespread conclusion, from voters, experts, friends and colleagues, that he was utterly crap at the job, and even Johnson would at least have considered the possibility that maybe his childhood dream of being Churchill reincarnated wasn’t as realistic as he once imagined.

    At least now he has the ambition fulfilled, and has the not insignificant excuse of having his premiership waylaid by the pandemic as fig leaf for his failure. Giving the job another shot would simply prove that the rest of us were right all along.
  • Options
    DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 24,255

    Trump has a big polling lead over Haley in Nevada, but it looks like they won't actually be competing head-to-head because there are two parallel contests which have each ended up with Trump and Haley as the only candidate left.

    Trump is on the caucus ballot which will determine who gets the delegates, and Haley is on a state-run primary ballot which is purely symbolic.

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/explaining-nevadas-dueling-2024-primary-system-matters/story?id=104127101

    That was careless of Haley. Shades of Hillary Clinton's team not knowing the rules.
  • Options
    MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 50,095
    First drumming Greater Spotted Woodpecker of the year in the garden today.
  • Options
    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD

    I am now spending so much time OUT of the UK (a bit more than half the year, the last two years) I reckon I am getting a perspective. Or I hope so. Seen from afar Sunak’s government is not that disastrous, relatively, and Sunak himself is far from a disaster. He comes across as honest (unlike Boris), and as sane (unlike Truss) and as personable and articulate (unlike TMay). He is intelligent and kind if a bit unworldly (it seems to me). His wealth is an issue, but on the upside it insulates him from corruption - he does not need to be corrupt

    His policies may disappoint many but these are disappointing times for almost every western nation. The west as a whole is in quite steep relative decline and nearly all major western countries face similar and grievous challenges - mass migration, demographic descent, illegal migration, global insecurity, climate change, energy prices, a need to beef up defence even as these societies age, and so on and so forth. Sunak is facing the same problems as Macron, Schulz, Meloni, Biden etc and it is not obvious to me that he is doing notably WORSE than any of them; and its even less obvious that Starmer has the ideas, energy, brilliance that will make things better

    Sunak is a perfectly adequate prime minister doing the job of prime minister at maybe the worst possible time in the last 40 years, and he’s a Tory PM at the arse-end of 13 disappointing Tory years

    He’s just *unlucky*

    If I may, there are two issues clouding your judgement on this:
    1. You spend more than half the year away and often travel to poorer countries than us. Your perspective on services in the UK not being that bad whilst sat in Vietnam doesn't really reflect the lived reality of people living in Vange*
    2. You lean to the right politically so put a glass half full spin on things when the right are in office

    Sunak is not a corrupt liar like Boris, nor an idiotic gambler like Truss. So he is better than them. The problem is that being better than Truss or Johnson doesn't make him any good. He is incompetent but not as much so. He is a liar but not as brazenly. He has tanked the economy but not as quickly.

    The Tories main problem now is that they and their shills are selling that the sky is green. Taxes are being cut, services are being improved, people are being empowered. None of it is true - and lived reality for most is the opposite. But they keep insisting that the sky is green and anyone pointing out that it is blue is a leftie woke no plan Britain-hating liar.

    The primary reason why the Tory vote share keeps sliding and sliding and sliding is that more and more people watch and listen to Sunak and his ministers, and say, "yeah but the sky is blue isn't it".

    Compare and contrast.
    1992: YES IT HURT. YES IT WORKED.
    2024: No, it didn't hurt. But it worked fantastically. And is more fantastic every day actually. Don't go back to square one.

    You can't sell people unreality. Own the thing like Major did and you can unexpectedly win.
    What a ridiculous rant

    To take just one point, how has Sunak “tanked the economy”?

    All major western nations face tough economic challenges, particularly on energy and migration. America is, conspicuously, doing best (in terms of growth) - it just happens to be the world’s biggest energy producer. Meanwhile Europe is heavily reliant on imported hydrocarbons, at the same time as we are virtually at war with Russia, and the Middle East is roiled with violence

    Sunak has not personally “tanked the economy”. The UK is experiencing very sluggish growth, which is dismaying, but the UK is probably growing faster than France and certainly faster than Germany

    We’re all in a bind. Sunak is managing a mess as best he can. Specifically, he has not “tanked the economy”. Get a grip


    Everyone is broke. We're in a recession and people are spending less. The *real* economy - the one you don't see - is fucked.

    The next shock which hasn't yet kicked in is that shipping anything here from Asia - and that's an awful lot of things - is now 3x more expensive than it was because of the Huthi thing. Hasn't yet hit prices. But it's coming.

    Please feel free to deny it all you like from your immediate vantage point in Vietnam. The more the Tories deny it the lower they get in the polls.
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,233
    edited January 24
    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD

    I am now spending so much time OUT of the UK (a bit more than half the year, the last two years) I reckon I am getting a perspective. Or I hope so. Seen from afar Sunak’s government is not that disastrous, relatively, and Sunak himself is far from a disaster. He comes across as honest (unlike Boris), and as sane (unlike Truss) and as personable and articulate (unlike TMay). He is intelligent and kind if a bit unworldly (it seems to me). His wealth is an issue, but on the upside it insulates him from corruption - he does not need to be corrupt

    His policies may disappoint many but these are disappointing times for almost every western nation. The west as a whole is in quite steep relative decline and nearly all major western countries face similar and grievous challenges - mass migration, demographic descent, illegal migration, global insecurity, climate change, energy prices, a need to beef up defence even as these societies age, and so on and so forth. Sunak is facing the same problems as Macron, Schulz, Meloni, Biden etc and it is not obvious to me that he is doing notably WORSE than any of them; and its even less obvious that Starmer has the ideas, energy, brilliance that will make things better

    Sunak is a perfectly adequate prime minister doing the job of prime minister at maybe the worst possible time in the last 40 years, and he’s a Tory PM at the arse-end of 13 disappointing Tory years

    He’s just *unlucky*

    7/10 for at least the effort.

    And it’s not entirely untrue.

    But he has no strategy or foresight. The marbles episode was foolish. Cancelling HS2 up north (and then having your party in London campaigning that potholes were being mended with the savings) was foolish. This whole Rwanda nonsense is foolish.

    And he should have understood that his USP, after three PMs increasingly inadequate in their different ways, was being the sensible, moderate, practical guy who would restore us to sensible politics. That was his mission, but he buckled at the first hurdle and is now doing all this nutty stuff, trashing his own brand.
  • Options
    OnlyLivingBoyOnlyLivingBoy Posts: 15,079
    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD
    He’s just *unlucky*

    In the same way Truss surprised on the upside?
    No

    Sunak is merely a lightning rod for all the dark energy directed at the Tories. If you step back, and think neutrally, he is actually OK

    He is playing a terrible hand as well as he can, I do not see anyone else doing any better - which is presumably why a challenge to his leadership never actually eventuates. There is nothing to save the Tories, Sunak is as good as it gets, they are doomed, and I expect Starmer to be a massive disappointment to millions within six months of winning, when everyone realises our problems go beyond “Tory incompetence”
    No. Cancelling HS2 was stupid and needless.
    I was also irked by the cancellation but the whole concept of HS2 was a fucking catastrophe, from the get go

    Britain is so small it does not need 200+ mph trains. That is the truth of it. Sunak probably sees it that way and was trying to extricate HMG from the mess as cheaply as possible. It was and is a calamity he inherited
    The HS2 catastrophe is that you still think it was about 200+ mph trains - it never was. It was about freeing up capacity on existing lines. It was, from the start, miss-sold.
    No, I understand the capacity argument. But why did the engineers say Well if we’re having more capacity let’s make it 200mph trains?

    Just build more standard capacity, fuck the high speed shit. 125mph is easily fast enough for a country as compact and densely populated as the UK
    I think it makes sense that if you build something new you build it at a spec that reflects the technology available. When the Victorian built our rail network in the 1840s they didn't build it for horse drawn carriages. So if we're building a new train line from scratch it should be built to reasonable high speed specifications. AIUI we did over-egg it a bit by building potential for 300mph vs 250mph (or something like that), maybe that was going too far. Better to future proof it though as the costs of upgrading an existing line later are very high as we saw with the WCML. Again AIUI the real excess costs came from burying so much of the southern portion in tunnels to avoid upsetting Tory voters in the Chilterns. The bits that were cancelled in the North were much cheaper. I think we should just build the damn thing all the way to Scotland, we will still be using it in 150 years and it will more than pay for itself. We should have built it years ago in fact. We could have used the North Sea or privatisation revenues instead of giving them away in tax cuts for the rich.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157

    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD
    He’s just *unlucky*

    In the same way Truss surprised on the upside?
    No

    Sunak is merely a lightning rod for all the dark energy directed at the Tories. If you step back, and think neutrally, he is actually OK

    He is playing a terrible hand as well as he can, I do not see anyone else doing any better - which is presumably why a challenge to his leadership never actually eventuates. There is nothing to save the Tories, Sunak is as good as it gets, they are doomed, and I expect Starmer to be a massive disappointment to millions within six months of winning, when everyone realises our problems go beyond “Tory incompetence”
    No. Cancelling HS2 was stupid and needless.
    I was also irked by the cancellation but the whole concept of HS2 was a fucking catastrophe, from the get go

    Britain is so small it does not need 200+ mph trains. That is the truth of it. Sunak probably sees it that way and was trying to extricate HMG from the mess as cheaply as possible. It was and is a calamity he inherited
    The HS2 catastrophe is that you still think it was about 200+ mph trains - it never was. It was about freeing up capacity on existing lines. It was, from the start, miss-sold.
    No, I understand the capacity argument. But why did the engineers say Well if we’re having more capacity let’s make it 200mph trains?

    Just build more standard capacity, fuck the high speed shit. 125mph is easily fast enough for a country as compact and densely populated as the UK
    Just make it affordable.

    If I want to get from London to Manchester tomorrow for 9 o'clock, it's £224.70 for a standard single. Another £234.70 to add a return after 6pm.

    That's a gobsmacking four hundred and sixty quid I'd be out if, say, someone rang me now and asked me to pop up to their office to talk about some new business (yes, I know there's Teams et al, but sometimes people want to, I dunno, actually meet you in person before hiring you).

    Round trip in my car, petrol probably about seventy quid.
    It's a 400 mile round trip.

    That's a good £200 including petrol, insurance, maintenance, depreciation and so on.

    Even if you go with the Treasury's parsimonious allowance it's £190.

    Not including any parking fees. Not including having to drive for seven or eight hours (and even for that, add the toll on the M6 Toll).

    I agree with you it should be cheaper. Much cheaper. But driving isn't quite so ridiculously a cheaper option when you weigh it all up.
    Train travel is insanely expensive in the UK, I entirely agree with that

    When I take trains abroad in countries with roughly similar wealth-levels as the UK the price of a train ticket is often a third of that in the UK. How do they manage it? Where have we gone wrong?
    Labyrinthine industry structures thanks to privatisation; insane engineering and consultancy prices; absolutely no sense of direction.

    Example: 15 years ago or so, the Government decided to move towards electrification (which pretty much everywhere else in Europe has been doing for ages). So they started electrifying a load of lines and ordered a load of electric trains.

    The electrification cost more and took longer than expected (like I say, insane prices) so the Government abandoned it halfway. The Oxford electrification only got as far as Didcot. The Bristol electrification only got as far as Chippenham. And so on.

    But they'd already ordered the trains. So we now have fleets of electric trains sitting around and nowhere to run them. (@Sunil_Prasannan can tell you the numbers.) One bunch of electric intercity trains had to be expensively fitted with diesel engines. Another set of comfortable 1990s electric trains - not that old in railway terms - got carted to the scrap yard.

    This is just one example. There are loads. Like the fleet of Transpennine trains that's been sent back into store after three years because no-one added to the specification "the engines should not wake up the entire town of Scarborough when starting up at 5am". The entire industry is dysfunctional. Every five years the Government wakes up and notices this and thinks "ah, what we need is another reorganisation and a STRATEGY". You can fill in the rest yourself.
    Twas ever thus. Have you read Fiennes' I Tried To Run A Railway? He was eloquent on the waste and incompetence of such reorganisations.
  • Options
    HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 116,963
    edited January 24
    Carnyx said:

    HYUFD said:

    DougSeal said:

    HYUFD said:

    DougSeal said:

    HYUFD said:

    HYUFD said:

    Foxy said:

    HYUFD said:

    Who cares how tall Clarkey and Rishy are? Both are 100% helmet and that is the only measurement that matters

    I have no idea why race, religion etc are protected characteristics, but people think it’s fine to mock someone over their height. You get the hand you get.
    Making religion a protected characteristic was a terrible mistake.

    People choose their beliefs.
    No it wasn't, ask the survivors of the Holocaust for starters what happened when their religious freedom to be Jewish was not respected by the State
    The Nazis killed non practicing, atheist and converted Jews enthusiastically. They viewed Jews as an ethnic group, rather than primarily a religion.
    Judaism is a religion however, not a nationality (even in Israel) or a race
    "Races" don't exist. They are thus nothing or anything, whatever people call them. UK law says you can be racist against Jews (and Sikhs), so in that sense they are a race. One could describe the Jewish people as an ethnoreligious group, like Sikhs, Druze, Yazidis etc. There is no agreed, overarching rule for who is or is not Jewish from a religious perspective, as there isn't for any religion.
    Jews are generally considered racially white
    Jews have always been considered a people (an ethic group if you prefer) by themselves and others. You betray a profound and worrying ignorance by confusing the Jewish People with Judaism as a religion.
    Judaism is a religion, even more concerning is your ludicrous left liberal assertion that the descendants of the followers of Moses do not belong to a religion!
    Can I have an apology from @HYUFD for this ridiculous assertion? Of course Judaism is a religion. All its followers are Jews, but not all Jews follow Judaism. I am tired of this man. I pointed out at many points that Judaism is a religion but the Jews are a people. This is utterly wrong.
    No you most certainly can't. If it wasn't for the religion of Judaism based on the teachings of Abraham and Moses for starters, Jews would not exist.

    The fact some of the original Jews descendants might now be secular doesn't change that.
    But you complained that our seal said that "the descendants of the followers of Moses do not belong to a religion".

    You've just admitted that, up front. Some don't, in your own freely expressed words. Therefore the descendants of Jews at time = t can't all belong to the Jewish religion just because of their birth and ancestry.
    The vast majority do, even if they aren't all Orthodox. If it was not for the Jewish religion of their ancestors, as set down in the Torah, none of them would have Jewish identity at all.

    Of course therefore the religious must be protected from discrimination as much as any other protected characteristic, as was the original argument I was making
  • Options
    LeonLeon Posts: 46,917

    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Leon said:

    Off-topic briefly. Watching Sunak at PMQs I have the horrible realisation that as appalling as Sunak's performance is, he *genuinely* believes he is doing a brilliant job.

    OK I’m going to Challenge the Narrative

    SUNAK ISN’T THAT BAD
    He’s just *unlucky*

    In the same way Truss surprised on the upside?
    No

    Sunak is merely a lightning rod for all the dark energy directed at the Tories. If you step back, and think neutrally, he is actually OK

    He is playing a terrible hand as well as he can, I do not see anyone else doing any better - which is presumably why a challenge to his leadership never actually eventuates. There is nothing to save the Tories, Sunak is as good as it gets, they are doomed, and I expect Starmer to be a massive disappointment to millions within six months of winning, when everyone realises our problems go beyond “Tory incompetence”
    No. Cancelling HS2 was stupid and needless.
    I was also irked by the cancellation but the whole concept of HS2 was a fucking catastrophe, from the get go

    Britain is so small it does not need 200+ mph trains. That is the truth of it. Sunak probably sees it that way and was trying to extricate HMG from the mess as cheaply as possible. It was and is a calamity he inherited
    The HS2 catastrophe is that you still think it was about 200+ mph trains - it never was. It was about freeing up capacity on existing lines. It was, from the start, miss-sold.
    No, I understand the capacity argument. But why did the engineers say Well if we’re having more capacity let’s make it 200mph trains?

    Just build more standard capacity, fuck the high speed shit. 125mph is easily fast enough for a country as compact and densely populated as the UK
    Just make it affordable.

    If I want to get from London to Manchester tomorrow for 9 o'clock, it's £224.70 for a standard single. Another £234.70 to add a return after 6pm.

    That's a gobsmacking four hundred and sixty quid I'd be out if, say, someone rang me now and asked me to pop up to their office to talk about some new business (yes, I know there's Teams et al, but sometimes people want to, I dunno, actually meet you in person before hiring you).

    Round trip in my car, petrol probably about seventy quid.
    It's a 400 mile round trip.

    That's a good £200 including petrol, insurance, maintenance, depreciation and so on.

    Even if you go with the Treasury's parsimonious allowance it's £190.

    Not including any parking fees. Not including having to drive for seven or eight hours (and even for that, add the toll on the M6 Toll).

    I agree with you it should be cheaper. Much cheaper. But driving isn't quite so ridiculously a cheaper option when you weigh it all up.
    Train travel is insanely expensive in the UK, I entirely agree with that

    When I take trains abroad in countries with roughly similar wealth-levels as the UK the price of a train ticket is often a third of that in the UK. How do they manage it? Where have we gone wrong?
    Labyrinthine industry structures thanks to privatisation; insane engineering and consultancy prices; absolutely no sense of direction.

    Example: 15 years ago or so, the Government decided to move towards electrification (which pretty much everywhere else in Europe has been doing for ages). So they started electrifying a load of lines and ordered a load of electric trains.

    The electrification cost more and took longer than expected (like I say, insane prices) so the Government abandoned it halfway. The Oxford electrification only got as far as Didcot. The Bristol electrification only got as far as Chippenham. And so on.

    But they'd already ordered the trains. So we now have fleets of electric trains sitting around and nowhere to run them. (@Sunil_Prasannan can tell you the numbers.) One bunch of electric intercity trains had to be expensively fitted with diesel engines. Another set of comfortable 1990s electric trains - not that old in railway terms - got carted to the scrap yard.

    This is just one example. There are loads. Like the fleet of Transpennine trains that's been sent back into store after three years because no-one added to the specification "the engines should not wake up the entire town of Scarborough when starting up at 5am". The entire industry is dysfunctional. Every five years the Government wakes up and notices this and thinks "ah, what we need is another reorganisation and a STRATEGY". You can fill in the rest yourself.
    Illuminating. Thankyou
This discussion has been closed.