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November the Betfair favourite for the General Election – politicalbetting.com

SystemSystem Posts: 11,014
edited February 4 in General
imageNovember the Betfair favourite for the General Election – politicalbetting.com

There is little doubt that this market is going to see a lot of activity in the coming months because Sunak or his successor has to go to the country before the end of January 2025.

Read the full story here

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  • Options
    Pro_RataPro_Rata Posts: 4,806
    First?
  • Options
    Pro_RataPro_Rata Posts: 4,806
    edited January 27
    First?

    Overran the edit ticker:

    I still hold my theory for May, between GE and VoNC, Rishi makes his calculation on fighting the main event rather than being weakened, but what do I know?

    Off-topic, giving Mrs Rata a short snoring holiday to drop off, finished off the Mr Bates drama.A lot to think on, but the actual number affected in some way, not just the convicted but those PO took action against:

    3500 SPMs.

    3500.

    I know it was over years and the offices with SPMs may have had multiple in that time but.

    That is a hell of a portion of the entire SPM base
  • Options
    DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 24,312
    Pro_Rata said:

    First?

    Only because no-one else is up at this time of night.

    January 2025, btw, and goodnight.
  • Options
    Pro_RataPro_Rata Posts: 4,806

    Pro_Rata said:

    First?

    Only because no-one else is up at this time of night.

    January 2025, btw, and goodnight.
    Sleep well John, time to decamp once more and leave the thread to the early risers and those who are time zone diverse.
  • Options
    Andy_JSAndy_JS Posts: 26,531
    "Cameron coalition government ‘knew Post Office chiefs covered up computer scandal’
    ‘Project Sparrow’ was formed to remove the forensic accountants who uncovered the scandal

    Newly released documents show that Post Office chiefs secretly ditched forensic accountants who found problems in the Horizon IT system – with the full knowledge of David Cameron’s coalition government."

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cameron-government-post-office-scandal-b2485261.html
  • Options
    Andy_JS said:

    "Cameron coalition government ‘knew Post Office chiefs covered up computer scandal’
    ‘Project Sparrow’ was formed to remove the forensic accountants who uncovered the scandal

    Newly released documents show that Post Office chiefs secretly ditched forensic accountants who found problems in the Horizon IT system – with the full knowledge of David Cameron’s coalition government."

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cameron-government-post-office-scandal-b2485261.html

    It is no surprise, Andy, but now the smoking gun is in full view it will be impossible for the PO to deny the cover-up.

    I wasn't aware there was a Civil Servant on the Board. I had always assumed that the CS would escape censure over the Scandal on grounds of anonymity, but if they were representing the Government at Board level and instrumental in the cover-up there is no reason why the individuals involved should not be named, and if appropriate, charged along with the rest of the gang.
  • Options
    Peter_the_PunterPeter_the_Punter Posts: 13,293
    edited January 27
    Pro_Rata said:

    First?

    Overran the edit ticker:

    I still hold my theory for May, between GE and VoNC, Rishi makes his calculation on fighting the main event rather than being weakened, but what do I know?

    Off-topic, giving Mrs Rata a short snoring holiday to drop off, finished off the Mr Bates drama.A lot to think on, but the actual number affected in some way, not just the convicted but those PO took action against:

    3500 SPMs.

    3500.

    I know it was over years and the offices with SPMs may have had multiple in that time but.

    That is a hell of a portion of the entire SPM base

    When I first heard about the Scandal, Rata, I didn't know much about the facts but my very first reaction was that common sense ought tohave told you that there was something amiss because of the sheer numbers involved. For the PO to be right you had to believe that the organisation had somehow cornered the market in crooked shopkeepers.

    My instinctive reaction was right. Most of those accused were of previous good character, and of course there was a vetting procedure, so why would so many have gone wrong?

    We now know they didn't. The PO went wrong, criminally wrong.

    Let's hope the CPS doesn;t hold back with the charges.


    Oh, and seventh. Is there a prize?
  • Options
    CleitophonCleitophon Posts: 212
    The polls are widening and that is only going to get worse. I think the tories will panic to save what is left of the Parliamentary group. Recession, summer boats, brexit border chaos,, medicine shortages, interest rates will remain high, ever more infighting on the right and reform in the ascendant > there is simply less and less to wait for. They can wait, but it would be the wrong move. It is time to cut losses now.
  • Options
    To the Conservatives a late autumn election makes some sense on the campaigning side. They lack the ground activists to have any edge with leaflets and canvassing, but have the funds for air war social media campaigning.
  • Options
    NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,477
    edited January 27
    I note some commentary on the last thread about Trump's lawyer being incompetent in court procedure and the rules of evidence.

    That seems extremely unlikely. Her behaviour in court was so obviously provocative of the judge, and so blatantly ignored all rules if evidence, that it's pretty well impossible it wasn't deliberate. This was a performance in her clients behalf, likely on his instructions.

    Here's her biography. Note she's also a senior adviser to his PAC.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alina_Habba
  • Options
    NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,477
    US approves $23bn sale of F-16 war planes to Turkey
    The sale follows Turkey’s decision to ratify Sweden’s NATO membership
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/jan/27/us-approves-23bn-sale-of-f-16-war-planes-to-turkey
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,181
    Nigelb said:

    I note some commentary on the last thread about Trump's lawyer being incompetent in court procedure and the rules of evidence.

    That seems extremely unlikely. Her behaviour in court was so obviously provocative of the judge, and so blatantly ignored all rules if evidence, that it's pretty well impossible it wasn't deliberate. This was a performance in her clients behalf, likely on his instructions.

    Here's her biography. Note she's also a senior adviser to his PAC.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alina_Habba

    Is she the same lawyer for his other cases?

    If so, I do hope she continues to behave like that. It obviously annoyed the jury.

    However, it’s worth remembering that no actually competent lawyers are willing to work for Trump - first because he’s a bad payer, and secondly because he never follows their advice. So it is entirely possible she isn’t very good.

    But then, trying to provoke the court is a silly strategy anyway, so either way…
  • Options
    kamskikamski Posts: 4,235
    In 2023 employees were off sick a record average of 20 days in Germany. This compares to an average of around 10 days off in the years 2010-2020.

    Without the extra sick leave the German economy would have grown 0.5% instead of shrinking by 0.3%.

    Source
    https://www.tagesschau.de/wirtschaft/konjunktur/rekord-krankenstand-rezession-100.html
  • Options
    RattersRatters Posts: 776

    The polls are widening and that is only going to get worse. I think the tories will panic to save what is left of the Parliamentary group. Recession, summer boats, brexit border chaos,, medicine shortages, interest rates will remain high, ever more infighting on the right and reform in the ascendant > there is simply less and less to wait for. They can wait, but it would be the wrong move. It is time to cut losses now.

    On the flip side inflation and will have likely fallen further by the Autumn, with interest rate cuts having commenced.

    It'll be more plausible to argue "we've turned the corner economically, don't let Labour ruin it" in the Autumn as compared to early May.

    The flip side is the summer is when small boats come and Reform will sense their opportunity to make an impact at Westminster.

    I think Sunak is screwed either way.
  • Options
    SandpitSandpit Posts: 49,859

    Pro_Rata said:

    First?

    Overran the edit ticker:

    I still hold my theory for May, between GE and VoNC, Rishi makes his calculation on fighting the main event rather than being weakened, but what do I know?

    Off-topic, giving Mrs Rata a short snoring holiday to drop off, finished off the Mr Bates drama.A lot to think on, but the actual number affected in some way, not just the convicted but those PO took action against:

    3500 SPMs.

    3500.

    I know it was over years and the offices with SPMs may have had multiple in that time but.

    That is a hell of a portion of the entire SPM base

    When I first heard about the Scandal, Rata, I didn't know much about the facts but my very first reaction was that common sense ought tohave told you that there was something amiss because of the sheer numbers involved. For the PO to be right you had to believe that the organisation had somehow cornered the market in crooked shopkeepers.

    My instinctive reaction was right. Most of those accused were of previous good character, and of course there was a vetting procedure, so why would so many have gone wrong?

    We now know they didn't. The PO went wrong, criminally wrong.

    Let's hope the CPS doesn;t hold back with the charges.


    Oh, and seventh. Is there a prize?
    The problem was the organisational mentality. For years the PO management were convinced they had a massive fraud problem, and that this shiny new system was how they were going to magically identify where they were losing money.

    So new system goes in, and immediately starts detecting massive fraud - Bingo! That’s exactly why they spent the money in the first place, trebles all round in the boardroom.

    Ignore that everyone actually involved in the software said it was totally unfit for purpose and not ready to roll out - which is easy to do when it’s detecting all that fraud.
  • Options
    StillWatersStillWaters Posts: 7,014

    Pro_Rata said:

    First?

    Overran the edit ticker:

    I still hold my theory for May, between GE and VoNC, Rishi makes his calculation on fighting the main event rather than being weakened, but what do I know?

    Off-topic, giving Mrs Rata a short snoring holiday to drop off, finished off the Mr Bates drama.A lot to think on, but the actual number affected in some way, not just the convicted but those PO took action against:

    3500 SPMs.

    3500.

    I know it was over years and the offices with SPMs may have had multiple in that time but.

    That is a hell of a portion of the entire SPM base

    When I first heard about the Scandal, Rata, I didn't know much about the facts but my very first reaction was that common sense ought tohave told you that there was something amiss because of the sheer numbers involved. For the PO to be right you had to believe that the organisation had somehow cornered the market in crooked shopkeepers.

    (Snip)
    Common sense isn't very common, sadly. And I say that about myself at times, as well as others. We can all make dumb mistakes.

    This leads into another aspect of human nature: the tendency we all have not to want to admit to mistakes, especially when there is a harsh penalty for admitting those mistakes. Say you make a mistake, and might lose your job over it. Instead of admitting the mistake, you double down on it in the hope that no-one will notice the mistake, and/or that the effect of the mistake will somehow come right.

    Even 'good' people can get into this mindset. So we need people to admit to mistakes; but we also need penalties for making mistakes to be more... understanding, especially as many mistakes are made in environments that allowed them to be made.

    So what we had in the PO were people who must have known they were doing wrong, and were doing wrong deliberately. And the more they did wrong, the harsher the penalties (and in this case, the greater the rewards...) were.

    If a few people had been more honest at the start of this, in the early 2000s, a massive amount of suffering might have been prevented.

    Yet again, openness and clarity are key. "Yes, i fucked up," should not automatically be followed by: "You're fired!", and instead by "Let's fix it. Why did you fuck up?" It might still end up with an individual losing their job, but the organisation also learns.

    In this case, the rewards were such that the
    organisation did wrong, knew it, and kept on doing wrong. Because admitting their mistakes was not in their interest, even when it hurt others.

    (Sorry, a bit of a rambling, incoherent reply. But hopefully you get what I mean...)
    Very well put

    This is why I find the cries of “resign” for the slightest error by anyone in public life profoundly unhelpful.

    We are all human. We all* make mistakes. There needs to be a penalty that is less than loss of job and career otherwise you end up with defensiveness and coverups, which doesn’t make for good governance

    * for some value of all
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,181
    Sandpit said:

    Pro_Rata said:

    First?

    Overran the edit ticker:

    I still hold my theory for May, between GE and VoNC, Rishi makes his calculation on fighting the main event rather than being weakened, but what do I know?

    Off-topic, giving Mrs Rata a short snoring holiday to drop off, finished off the Mr Bates drama.A lot to think on, but the actual number affected in some way, not just the convicted but those PO took action against:

    3500 SPMs.

    3500.

    I know it was over years and the offices with SPMs may have had multiple in that time but.

    That is a hell of a portion of the entire SPM base

    When I first heard about the Scandal, Rata, I didn't know much about the facts but my very first reaction was that common sense ought tohave told you that there was something amiss because of the sheer numbers involved. For the PO to be right you had to believe that the organisation had somehow cornered the market in crooked shopkeepers.

    My instinctive reaction was right. Most of those accused were of previous good character, and of course there was a vetting procedure, so why would so many have gone wrong?

    We now know they didn't. The PO went wrong, criminally wrong.

    Let's hope the CPS doesn;t hold back with the charges.


    Oh, and seventh. Is there a prize?
    The problem was the organisational mentality. For years the PO management were convinced they had a massive fraud problem, and that this shiny new system was how they were going to magically identify where they were losing money.

    So new system goes in, and immediately starts detecting massive fraud - Bingo! That’s exactly why they spent the money in the first place, trebles all round in the boardroom.

    Ignore that everyone actually involved in the software said it was totally unfit for purpose and not ready to roll out - which is easy to do when it’s detecting all that fraud.
    The slight irony being that Horizon did indeed lead to massive amounts of fraud and criminal behaviour being uncovered - among the leaders of the Post Office...
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,181
    Hmmm. 40 behind and Bairstow gone having looked about as comfortable as a Post Office investigator trying to explain why he hadn't written a proper witness statement.

    This is not going to end well for England.
  • Options
    OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 31,960
    Good morning everybody; fine, clear sky here this morning!
    So often the post office scandal gives me a couple of tangent thoughts. Another one this morning; in how many post offices did problems occur after a manager had been sacked? In other words, if the postmaster at Little Snoring had been convicted of false accounting, due to Horizon , and sacked, did problems arise when his or her successor was in post? And if not, why not?
  • Options
    noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 20,706
    Ratters said:

    The polls are widening and that is only going to get worse. I think the tories will panic to save what is left of the Parliamentary group. Recession, summer boats, brexit border chaos,, medicine shortages, interest rates will remain high, ever more infighting on the right and reform in the ascendant > there is simply less and less to wait for. They can wait, but it would be the wrong move. It is time to cut losses now.

    On the flip side inflation and will have likely fallen further by the Autumn, with interest rate cuts having commenced.

    It'll be more plausible to argue "we've turned the corner economically, don't let Labour ruin it" in the Autumn as compared to early May.

    The flip side is the summer is when small boats come and Reform will sense their opportunity to make an impact at Westminster.

    I think Sunak is screwed either way.
    He won't make the autumn. If he tries he will be removed over the summer after the local elections.

    He has no good options at all.
  • Options
    MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 50,096
    kamski said:

    In 2023 employees were off sick a record average of 20 days in Germany. This compares to an average of around 10 days off in the years 2010-2020.

    Without the extra sick leave the German economy would have grown 0.5% instead of shrinking by 0.3%.

    Source
    https://www.tagesschau.de/wirtschaft/konjunktur/rekord-krankenstand-rezession-100.html

    The Sick Man of Europe?
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,253
    edited January 27

    Good morning everybody; fine, clear sky here this morning!
    So often the post office scandal gives me a couple of tangent thoughts. Another one this morning; in how many post offices did problems occur after a manager had been sacked? In other words, if the postmaster at Little Snoring had been convicted of false accounting, due to Horizon , and sacked, did problems arise when his or her successor was in post? And if not, why not?

    It was just such an example that led Arbuthnot to go back and take a look at the Hamilton case.

    People forget that when first contacted by Jo Hamilton, Arbuthnot did just the same as everyone else - forward the case to the Post Office, believe their reply, and respond to the constituent that the PO says everything is fine. It was only when one of his other Post Offices closed, because the previous SPMR had been sacked, and the new person started to have the same problems, that he realised something fishy was going on.

    There were also cases where problems started or finished when kit was installed or repaired or an office reconfigured - which often happened when a PO was taken over (as in the Misra case, I think?). This could be further evidence that power and connectivity issues might be behind some of the more common faults.

    Yes, a decent sunrise today. With 15 minutes extra daylight in the morning and 50 in the evening, so an extra hour of day compared to December’s minimum, winter is already slipping away; just don’t look at the long-range weather projections for mid-Feb…
  • Options
    MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 50,096
    Andy_JS said:

    "Cameron coalition government ‘knew Post Office chiefs covered up computer scandal’
    ‘Project Sparrow’ was formed to remove the forensic accountants who uncovered the scandal

    Newly released documents show that Post Office chiefs secretly ditched forensic accountants who found problems in the Horizon IT system – with the full knowledge of David Cameron’s coalition government."

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cameron-government-post-office-scandal-b2485261.html

    It would kinda be the icing on the shit sandwich if, Sunak having brought him back to show some gravitas to his team, Cameron were to have to resign from Government again.....
  • Options
    OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 31,960
    edited January 27
    IanB2 said:

    Good morning everybody; fine, clear sky here this morning!
    So often the post office scandal gives me a couple of tangent thoughts. Another one this morning; in how many post offices did problems occur after a manager had been sacked? In other words, if the postmaster at Little Snoring had been convicted of false accounting, due to Horizon , and sacked, did problems arise when his or her successor was in post? And if not, why not?

    It was just such an example that led Arbuthnot to go back and take a look at the Hamilton case.

    People forget that when first contacted by Jo Hamilton, Arbuthnot did just the same as everyone else - forward the case to the Post Office, believe their reply, and respond to the constituent that the PO says everything is fine. It was only when one of his other Post Offices closed, because the previous SPMR had been sacked, and the new person started to have the same problems, that he realised something fishy was going on.

    There were also cases where problems started or finished when kit was installed or repaired or an office reconfigured - which often happened when a PO was taken over (as in the Misra case, I think?). This could be further evidence that power and connectivity issues might be behind some of the more common faults.

    Yes, a decent sunrise today. With 15 minutes extra daylight in the morning and 50 in the evening, so an extra hour of day compared to December’s minimum, winter is already slipping away; just don’t look at the long-range weather projections for mid-Feb…
    Oh yes, I’d forgotten that case.
    Very much obliged! It underlines the stupidity of the post office management in sticking to their story!
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,181

    Andy_JS said:

    "Cameron coalition government ‘knew Post Office chiefs covered up computer scandal’
    ‘Project Sparrow’ was formed to remove the forensic accountants who uncovered the scandal

    Newly released documents show that Post Office chiefs secretly ditched forensic accountants who found problems in the Horizon IT system – with the full knowledge of David Cameron’s coalition government."

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cameron-government-post-office-scandal-b2485261.html

    It would kinda be the icing on the shit sandwich if, Sunak having brought him back to show some gravitas to his team, Cameron were to have to resign from Government again.....
    I doubt it.

    The truth is, everyone in government is implicated one way or another - the politicians of all parties, the civil service, the CPS, the courts, the press all have awkward questions they don't want to have to answer about their mistakes, including sins of omission as much as sins of commission. So nobody will be pressing him to go.

    Really, what the Horizon enquiry is doing is showing in pitiless detail just how broken and self-serving the management of this country is.

    It's not a surprise to those who've had to work with it (my encounters with the DfE and OFSTED make the errors of the Post Office look positively reasonable) but it must be coming as a surprise and not a pleasant one to most people whose experience of government is the odd tax bill and grumbling about rubbish public services.
  • Options
    Scott_xPScott_xP Posts: 32,875
    @kitty_donaldson

    A Downing Street official said this week’s events had exposed the plotters as a disorganized rabble of disgruntled junior apparatchiks. But the arrangement gives the aides’ bosses deniability that they’re also involved.

    While Sunak is safe for now, those plotting to get rid of him are preparing for a campaign of attrition between now and the summer, with by-elections and local elections key tests.
  • Options
    FoxyFoxy Posts: 44,578

    The polls are widening and that is only going to get worse. I think the tories will panic to save what is left of the Parliamentary group. Recession, summer boats, brexit border chaos,, medicine shortages, interest rates will remain high, ever more infighting on the right and reform in the ascendant > there is simply less and less to wait for. They can wait, but it would be the wrong move. It is time to cut losses now.

    On current polling it is hard to see a May election. The only reason to expect one is the not insignificant one of preventing a leadership challenge to Sunak. Lasts weeks fizzled out and in the absence of any real alternative apart from a magic combination.

    Looking at the odds on Betfair the value to me looks like September (currently 20) which prevents an uncomfortable conference, 2025 or later (currently 18) as going as late as possible is the norm for unpopular governments, and December (currently at 11).

    I agree that November is also likely, but doesn't look value at odds on.
  • Options
    OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 31,960

    Andy_JS said:

    "Cameron coalition government ‘knew Post Office chiefs covered up computer scandal’
    ‘Project Sparrow’ was formed to remove the forensic accountants who uncovered the scandal

    Newly released documents show that Post Office chiefs secretly ditched forensic accountants who found problems in the Horizon IT system – with the full knowledge of David Cameron’s coalition government."

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cameron-government-post-office-scandal-b2485261.html

    It would kinda be the icing on the shit sandwich if, Sunak having brought him back to show some gravitas to his team, Cameron were to have to resign from Government again.....
    Doesn’t it increase the ability of the Conservatives to blame the LibDems?
  • Options
    MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 50,096

    Andy_JS said:

    "Cameron coalition government ‘knew Post Office chiefs covered up computer scandal’
    ‘Project Sparrow’ was formed to remove the forensic accountants who uncovered the scandal

    Newly released documents show that Post Office chiefs secretly ditched forensic accountants who found problems in the Horizon IT system – with the full knowledge of David Cameron’s coalition government."

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cameron-government-post-office-scandal-b2485261.html

    It would kinda be the icing on the shit sandwich if, Sunak having brought him back to show some gravitas to his team, Cameron were to have to resign from Government again.....
    Doesn’t it increase the ability of the Conservatives to blame the LibDems?
    Well it doesn't look good for Swinson and Cable, for sure. But if Sparrow was discussed at Cabinet...
  • Options
    OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 31,960
    Scott_xP said:

    @kitty_donaldson

    A Downing Street official said this week’s events had exposed the plotters as a disorganized rabble of disgruntled junior apparatchiks. But the arrangement gives the aides’ bosses deniability that they’re also involved.

    While Sunak is safe for now, those plotting to get rid of him are preparing for a campaign of attrition between now and the summer, with by-elections and local elections key tests.

    Well, if anybody is qualified to recognise a disorganised rabble ……..
  • Options
    Foxy said:

    The polls are widening and that is only going to get worse. I think the tories will panic to save what is left of the Parliamentary group. Recession, summer boats, brexit border chaos,, medicine shortages, interest rates will remain high, ever more infighting on the right and reform in the ascendant > there is simply less and less to wait for. They can wait, but it would be the wrong move. It is time to cut losses now.

    On current polling it is hard to see a May election. The only reason to expect one is the not insignificant one of preventing a leadership challenge to Sunak. Lasts weeks fizzled out and in the absence of any real alternative apart from a magic combination.

    Looking at the odds on Betfair the value to me looks like September (currently 20) which prevents an uncomfortable conference, 2025 or later (currently 18) as going as late as possible is the norm for unpopular governments, and December (currently at 11).

    I agree that November is also likely, but doesn't look value at odds on.
    I cannot see how they would spin any scenario as a positive one to call an "early election". We had the tax cut autumn statement where they put taxes up but not as much as they were going to do. They are going to do a giveaway budget which will backfire, they will get reamed in the May locals and the face a summer of shit as their fate edges closer and the spivocracy start to get nervous about what is to happen to them.

    The idea that they get to the autumn happy and ready to go to the country is one of absolute denial. I read now that they plan an autumn statement to try and bribe their remaining voters with even more money - so forget October or November.

    They will cling on until they are told to stop. 23rd January 2025. Or 12th December as the "these tax cuts in the AS will definitely swing it" alternative.
  • Options
    NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,477
    edited January 27
    ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    I note some commentary on the last thread about Trump's lawyer being incompetent in court procedure and the rules of evidence.

    That seems extremely unlikely. Her behaviour in court was so obviously provocative of the judge, and so blatantly ignored all rules if evidence, that it's pretty well impossible it wasn't deliberate. This was a performance in her clients behalf, likely on his instructions.

    Here's her biography. Note she's also a senior adviser to his PAC.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alina_Habba

    Is she the same lawyer for his other cases?

    If so, I do hope she continues to behave like that. It obviously annoyed the jury.

    However, it’s worth remembering that no actually competent lawyers are willing to work for Trump - first because he’s a bad payer, and secondly because he never follows their advice. So it is entirely possible she isn’t very good.

    But then, trying to provoke the court is a silly strategy anyway, so either way…
    She's one of his few relatively competent lawyers. This wasn't incompetence.

    It was a very clear strategy, and could only be at the direction of her client.
  • Options
    ChrisChris Posts: 11,117

    Andy_JS said:

    "Cameron coalition government ‘knew Post Office chiefs covered up computer scandal’
    ‘Project Sparrow’ was formed to remove the forensic accountants who uncovered the scandal

    Newly released documents show that Post Office chiefs secretly ditched forensic accountants who found problems in the Horizon IT system – with the full knowledge of David Cameron’s coalition government."

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cameron-government-post-office-scandal-b2485261.html

    It would kinda be the icing on the shit sandwich if, Sunak having brought him back to show some gravitas to his team, Cameron were to have to resign from Government again.....
    Doesn’t it increase the ability of the Conservatives to blame the LibDems?
    The Lib Dems seem to be a sideshow, as far as the polling goes.

    But if guilty knowledge of what was going on in the POst Office could be pinned squarely on Cameron ...
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,181
    Stokes out.

    England into Reluctant Turkish Conscript territory.
  • Options
    FoxyFoxy Posts: 44,578

    kamski said:

    In 2023 employees were off sick a record average of 20 days in Germany. This compares to an average of around 10 days off in the years 2010-2020.

    Without the extra sick leave the German economy would have grown 0.5% instead of shrinking by 0.3%.

    Source
    https://www.tagesschau.de/wirtschaft/konjunktur/rekord-krankenstand-rezession-100.html

    The Sick Man of Europe?
    It's not just a German problem:

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peoplenotinwork/economicinactivity/articles/risingillhealthandeconomicinactivitybecauseoflongtermsicknessuk/2019to2023

    It would be interesting to see figures from other countries. While the UK figure may well be in part due to the increasingly dysfunctional NHS, the German data might well suggest a genuine problem of both recurrent waves of covid and of long covid. In particular the raised risk of cardiovascular disease in the 6 months after infection, which is reduced but not eliminated by vaccination.



  • Options
    StuartinromfordStuartinromford Posts: 14,409
    Foxy said:

    The polls are widening and that is only going to get worse. I think the tories will panic to save what is left of the Parliamentary group. Recession, summer boats, brexit border chaos,, medicine shortages, interest rates will remain high, ever more infighting on the right and reform in the ascendant > there is simply less and less to wait for. They can wait, but it would be the wrong move. It is time to cut losses now.

    On current polling it is hard to see a May election. The only reason to expect one is the not insignificant one of preventing a leadership challenge to Sunak. Lasts weeks fizzled out and in the absence of any real alternative apart from a magic combination.

    Looking at the odds on Betfair the value to me looks like September (currently 20) which prevents an uncomfortable conference, 2025 or later (currently 18) as going as late as possible is the norm for unpopular governments, and December (currently at 11).

    I agree that November is also likely, but doesn't look value at odds on.
    Even amongst 2019 Conservatives, there's no real enthusiasm for any alternative PM. This came out yesterday from Mori;



    Forget the fantasy contortions to get Nigel or Boris in place, they don't really solve the problem.

    So the anti Rishi crew may continue to wound, but there aren't enough of them to kill. And the loyalists will hold on to nurse Sunak for fear of something far worse.
  • Options
    noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 20,706
    Foxy said:

    The polls are widening and that is only going to get worse. I think the tories will panic to save what is left of the Parliamentary group. Recession, summer boats, brexit border chaos,, medicine shortages, interest rates will remain high, ever more infighting on the right and reform in the ascendant > there is simply less and less to wait for. They can wait, but it would be the wrong move. It is time to cut losses now.

    On current polling it is hard to see a May election. The only reason to expect one is the not insignificant one of preventing a leadership challenge to Sunak. Lasts weeks fizzled out and in the absence of any real alternative apart from a magic combination.

    Looking at the odds on Betfair the value to me looks like September (currently 20) which prevents an uncomfortable conference, 2025 or later (currently 18) as going as late as possible is the norm for unpopular governments, and December (currently at 11).

    I agree that November is also likely, but doesn't look value at odds on.
    To me the value is in laying Starmer as next PM.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,181
    edited January 27
    Nigelb said:

    ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    I note some commentary on the last thread about Trump's lawyer being incompetent in court procedure and the rules of evidence.

    That seems extremely unlikely. Her behaviour in court was so obviously provocative of the judge, and so blatantly ignored all rules if evidence, that it's pretty well impossible it wasn't deliberate. This was a performance in her clients behalf, likely on his instructions.

    Here's her biography. Note she's also a senior adviser to his PAC.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alina_Habba

    Is she the same lawyer for his other cases?

    If so, I do hope she continues to behave like that. It obviously annoyed the jury.

    However, it’s worth remembering that no actually competent lawyers are willing to work for Trump - first because he’s a bad payer, and secondly because he never follows their advice. So it is entirely possible she isn’t very good.

    But then, trying to provoke the court is a silly strategy anyway, so either way…
    She's one of his few relatively competent lawyers. This wasn't incompetence.

    It was a very clear strategy, and could only be at the direction of her client.
    Hmmm.

    She asked for a recess for compassionate grounds and was surprised it wasn't granted merely because the witness concerned didn't have to attend that week anyway.

    She admitted she didn't know how to enter documents in evidence.

    She asked for a delay due to Covid and was photographed at a rally.

    Her inability to follow courtroom procedure was of such a level that she was threatened with jail for contempt.

    Her questioning of the witnesses was so inept even Trump's niece accused her of incompetence.

    She was so rude to the jury that they inflated the damages to more than triple the demands of the plaintiff.

    And finally, she wasn't meant to be the lawyer at all, but the original attorney pulled out about a week before the case started.

    Now it's entirely possible this was all deliberate and part of a strategy.

    But it's also very possible that she's just a bit useless.
  • Options
    MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 25,126

    Andy_JS said:

    "Cameron coalition government ‘knew Post Office chiefs covered up computer scandal’
    ‘Project Sparrow’ was formed to remove the forensic accountants who uncovered the scandal

    Newly released documents show that Post Office chiefs secretly ditched forensic accountants who found problems in the Horizon IT system – with the full knowledge of David Cameron’s coalition government."

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cameron-government-post-office-scandal-b2485261.html

    It would kinda be the icing on the shit sandwich if, Sunak having brought him back to show some gravitas to his team, Cameron were to have to resign from Government again.....
    No, I don't think the Post Office Horizon scandal fells Dave (there is a safety in numbers) or questions why Rishi might bring him back into Government.

    But this might.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2024/jan/27/david-camerons-activities-at-greensill-matter-of-interest-in-wider-inquiry-sfo-gfg
  • Options
    SandpitSandpit Posts: 49,859
    ydoethur said:

    Stokes out.

    England into Reluctant Turkish Conscript territory.

    Only 20 more runs needed to avoid an innings defeat!
  • Options
    FoxyFoxy Posts: 44,578

    Foxy said:

    The polls are widening and that is only going to get worse. I think the tories will panic to save what is left of the Parliamentary group. Recession, summer boats, brexit border chaos,, medicine shortages, interest rates will remain high, ever more infighting on the right and reform in the ascendant > there is simply less and less to wait for. They can wait, but it would be the wrong move. It is time to cut losses now.

    On current polling it is hard to see a May election. The only reason to expect one is the not insignificant one of preventing a leadership challenge to Sunak. Lasts weeks fizzled out and in the absence of any real alternative apart from a magic combination.

    Looking at the odds on Betfair the value to me looks like September (currently 20) which prevents an uncomfortable conference, 2025 or later (currently 18) as going as late as possible is the norm for unpopular governments, and December (currently at 11).

    I agree that November is also likely, but doesn't look value at odds on.
    To me the value is in laying Starmer as next PM.
    Yes, that covers 3 possibilities, in decreasing order of probability:

    1) a successful defenestration of Sunak before the GE.

    2) Starmer being removed by some unknown scandal or illness.

    3) a Tory victory at the GE, then Sunak replaced by another PM.

  • Options
    FoxyFoxy Posts: 44,578

    Foxy said:

    The polls are widening and that is only going to get worse. I think the tories will panic to save what is left of the Parliamentary group. Recession, summer boats, brexit border chaos,, medicine shortages, interest rates will remain high, ever more infighting on the right and reform in the ascendant > there is simply less and less to wait for. They can wait, but it would be the wrong move. It is time to cut losses now.

    On current polling it is hard to see a May election. The only reason to expect one is the not insignificant one of preventing a leadership challenge to Sunak. Lasts weeks fizzled out and in the absence of any real alternative apart from a magic combination.

    Looking at the odds on Betfair the value to me looks like September (currently 20) which prevents an uncomfortable conference, 2025 or later (currently 18) as going as late as possible is the norm for unpopular governments, and December (currently at 11).

    I agree that November is also likely, but doesn't look value at odds on.
    I cannot see how they would spin any scenario as a positive one to call an "early election". We had the tax cut autumn statement where they put taxes up but not as much as they were going to do. They are going to do a giveaway budget which will backfire, they will get reamed in the May locals and the face a summer of shit as their fate edges closer and the spivocracy start to get nervous about what is to happen to them.

    The idea that they get to the autumn happy and ready to go to the country is one of absolute denial. I read now that they plan an autumn statement to try and bribe their remaining voters with even more money - so forget October or November.

    They will cling on until they are told to stop. 23rd January 2025. Or 12th December as the "these tax cuts in the AS will definitely swing it" alternative.
    I think Jan 25 is best value. No one chooses a battle that they are certain to lose, so the incentive is to delay as far as possible.
  • Options
    Bad news for Boris Johnson fanboys and Badenoch fanboys too.

    Getting rid of Rishi Sunak won’t save the Tories, poll says

    Voters tell survey they would not vote Conservative even if Kemi Badenoch or Boris Johnson took over


    The Conservative Party’s electoral prospects would not improve if they replaced Rishi Sunak with another leader such as Kemi Badenoch, polling for The Times suggests.

    Conservative rebels, including the former cabinet minister Sir Simon Clarke, have cited polling to claim that a different Conservative prime minister could revive the party’s fortunes.

    However, a YouGov poll shows that even if the Tories were to install a third leader in two years, this would do nothing to improve their electoral fortunes.

    Voters were asked whether they would be more likely to vote Conservative if Sunak was replaced by Badenoch, the business and trade secretary, who is seen by many MPs as the most likely candidate to win a leadership race.

    The poll found that just 6 per cent of voters said they would be more likely to vote Conservative if Badenoch was leader, while 13 per cent said they would be less likely to vote Tory...

    ...The Times polling also found that replacing Sunak with someone like Boris Johnson, even if that was feasible, would not improve the Tories’ fortunes.

    It found that a Johnson leadership would make 16 per cent of voters more likely to back the party while making 22 per cent less likely to vote Tory.


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/getting-rid-of-rishi-sunak-wont-save-the-tories-poll-says-b9sptfxb6
  • Options
    noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 20,706

    Foxy said:

    The polls are widening and that is only going to get worse. I think the tories will panic to save what is left of the Parliamentary group. Recession, summer boats, brexit border chaos,, medicine shortages, interest rates will remain high, ever more infighting on the right and reform in the ascendant > there is simply less and less to wait for. They can wait, but it would be the wrong move. It is time to cut losses now.

    On current polling it is hard to see a May election. The only reason to expect one is the not insignificant one of preventing a leadership challenge to Sunak. Lasts weeks fizzled out and in the absence of any real alternative apart from a magic combination.

    Looking at the odds on Betfair the value to me looks like September (currently 20) which prevents an uncomfortable conference, 2025 or later (currently 18) as going as late as possible is the norm for unpopular governments, and December (currently at 11).

    I agree that November is also likely, but doesn't look value at odds on.
    Even amongst 2019 Conservatives, there's no real enthusiasm for any alternative PM. This came out yesterday from Mori;



    Forget the fantasy contortions to get Nigel or Boris in place, they don't really solve the problem.

    So the anti Rishi crew may continue to wound, but there aren't enough of them to kill. And the loyalists will hold on to nurse Sunak for fear of something far worse.
    There are two major leadership problems.

    The party is hopelessly divided and no candidate can secure enough support without internal enemies seeking to take them down.
    Sunak is particularly rubbish and out of touch as a campaigner and persuader.

    The first doesn't get changed by toppling Sunak, the second one might do.
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,253
    Scott_xP said:

    @kitty_donaldson

    A Downing Street official said this week’s events had exposed the plotters as a disorganized rabble of disgruntled junior apparatchiks. But the arrangement gives the aides’ bosses deniability that they’re also involved.

    While Sunak is safe for now, those plotting to get rid of him are preparing for a campaign of attrition between now and the summer, with by-elections and local elections key tests.

    LOL @ Marina Hyde: Stop badgering the Tories to run the country. They’re plotting and putsching, and really don’t have the time
  • Options
    noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 20,706
    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    The polls are widening and that is only going to get worse. I think the tories will panic to save what is left of the Parliamentary group. Recession, summer boats, brexit border chaos,, medicine shortages, interest rates will remain high, ever more infighting on the right and reform in the ascendant > there is simply less and less to wait for. They can wait, but it would be the wrong move. It is time to cut losses now.

    On current polling it is hard to see a May election. The only reason to expect one is the not insignificant one of preventing a leadership challenge to Sunak. Lasts weeks fizzled out and in the absence of any real alternative apart from a magic combination.

    Looking at the odds on Betfair the value to me looks like September (currently 20) which prevents an uncomfortable conference, 2025 or later (currently 18) as going as late as possible is the norm for unpopular governments, and December (currently at 11).

    I agree that November is also likely, but doesn't look value at odds on.
    I cannot see how they would spin any scenario as a positive one to call an "early election". We had the tax cut autumn statement where they put taxes up but not as much as they were going to do. They are going to do a giveaway budget which will backfire, they will get reamed in the May locals and the face a summer of shit as their fate edges closer and the spivocracy start to get nervous about what is to happen to them.

    The idea that they get to the autumn happy and ready to go to the country is one of absolute denial. I read now that they plan an autumn statement to try and bribe their remaining voters with even more money - so forget October or November.

    They will cling on until they are told to stop. 23rd January 2025. Or 12th December as the "these tax cuts in the AS will definitely swing it" alternative.
    I think Jan 25 is best value. No one chooses a battle that they are certain to lose, so the incentive is to delay as far as possible.
    Another advantage of January is that the US election will be out of the way (probably....).
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,253
    Nigelb said:

    ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    I note some commentary on the last thread about Trump's lawyer being incompetent in court procedure and the rules of evidence.

    That seems extremely unlikely. Her behaviour in court was so obviously provocative of the judge, and so blatantly ignored all rules if evidence, that it's pretty well impossible it wasn't deliberate. This was a performance in her clients behalf, likely on his instructions.

    Here's her biography. Note she's also a senior adviser to his PAC.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alina_Habba

    Is she the same lawyer for his other cases?

    If so, I do hope she continues to behave like that. It obviously annoyed the jury.

    However, it’s worth remembering that no actually competent lawyers are willing to work for Trump - first because he’s a bad payer, and secondly because he never follows their advice. So it is entirely possible she isn’t very good.

    But then, trying to provoke the court is a silly strategy anyway, so either way…
    She's one of his few relatively competent lawyers. This wasn't incompetence.

    It was a very clear strategy, and could only be at the direction of her client.
    The US legal expert on R4 this morning said that Trump boasted about his wealth in court and hence landed himself with a much bigger fine....
  • Options
    BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 31,636

    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    The polls are widening and that is only going to get worse. I think the tories will panic to save what is left of the Parliamentary group. Recession, summer boats, brexit border chaos,, medicine shortages, interest rates will remain high, ever more infighting on the right and reform in the ascendant > there is simply less and less to wait for. They can wait, but it would be the wrong move. It is time to cut losses now.

    On current polling it is hard to see a May election. The only reason to expect one is the not insignificant one of preventing a leadership challenge to Sunak. Lasts weeks fizzled out and in the absence of any real alternative apart from a magic combination.

    Looking at the odds on Betfair the value to me looks like September (currently 20) which prevents an uncomfortable conference, 2025 or later (currently 18) as going as late as possible is the norm for unpopular governments, and December (currently at 11).

    I agree that November is also likely, but doesn't look value at odds on.
    I cannot see how they would spin any scenario as a positive one to call an "early election". We had the tax cut autumn statement where they put taxes up but not as much as they were going to do. They are going to do a giveaway budget which will backfire, they will get reamed in the May locals and the face a summer of shit as their fate edges closer and the spivocracy start to get nervous about what is to happen to them.

    The idea that they get to the autumn happy and ready to go to the country is one of absolute denial. I read now that they plan an autumn statement to try and bribe their remaining voters with even more money - so forget October or November.

    They will cling on until they are told to stop. 23rd January 2025. Or 12th December as the "these tax cuts in the AS will definitely swing it" alternative.
    I think Jan 25 is best value. No one chooses a battle that they are certain to lose, so the incentive is to delay as far as possible.
    Another advantage of January is that the US election will be out of the way (probably....).
    ... or the 2nd US Civil War will have broken out which might be an election help to Sunak, even while the rest of the West is screwed.
  • Options
    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,319

    Pro_Rata said:

    First?

    Overran the edit ticker:

    I still hold my theory for May, between GE and VoNC, Rishi makes his calculation on fighting the main event rather than being weakened, but what do I know?

    Off-topic, giving Mrs Rata a short snoring holiday to drop off, finished off the Mr Bates drama.A lot to think on, but the actual number affected in some way, not just the convicted but those PO took action against:

    3500 SPMs.

    3500.

    I know it was over years and the offices with SPMs may have had multiple in that time but.

    That is a hell of a portion of the entire SPM base

    When I first heard about the Scandal, Rata, I didn't know much about the facts but my very first reaction was that common sense ought tohave told you that there was something amiss because of the sheer numbers involved. For the PO to be right you had to believe that the organisation had somehow cornered the market in crooked shopkeepers.

    (Snip)
    Common sense isn't very common, sadly. And I say that about myself at times, as well as others. We can all make dumb mistakes.

    This leads into another aspect of human nature: the tendency we all have not to want to admit to mistakes, especially when there is a harsh penalty for admitting those mistakes. Say you make a mistake, and might lose your job over it. Instead of admitting the mistake, you double down on it in the hope that no-one will notice the mistake, and/or that the effect of the mistake will somehow come right.

    Even 'good' people can get into this mindset. So we need people to admit to mistakes; but we also need penalties for making mistakes to be more... understanding, especially as many mistakes are made in environments that allowed them to be made.

    So what we had in the PO were people who must have known they were doing wrong, and were doing wrong deliberately. And the more they did wrong, the harsher the penalties (and in this case, the greater the rewards...) were.

    If a few people had been more honest at the start of this, in the early 2000s, a massive amount of suffering might have been prevented.

    Yet again, openness and clarity are key. "Yes, i fucked up," should not automatically be followed by: "You're fired!", and instead by "Let's fix it. Why did you fuck up?" It might still end up with an individual losing their job, but the organisation also learns.

    In this case, the rewards were such that the organisation did wrong, knew it, and kept on doing wrong. Because admitting their mistakes was not in their interest, even when it hurt others.

    (Sorry, a bit of a rambling, incoherent reply. But hopefully you get what I mean...)
    Just Culture

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_culture

    Very successful in aviation accident investigation.
  • Options
    FoxyFoxy Posts: 44,578

    Andy_JS said:

    "Cameron coalition government ‘knew Post Office chiefs covered up computer scandal’
    ‘Project Sparrow’ was formed to remove the forensic accountants who uncovered the scandal

    Newly released documents show that Post Office chiefs secretly ditched forensic accountants who found problems in the Horizon IT system – with the full knowledge of David Cameron’s coalition government."

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cameron-government-post-office-scandal-b2485261.html

    It would kinda be the icing on the shit sandwich if, Sunak having brought him back to show some gravitas to his team, Cameron were to have to resign from Government again.....
    No, I don't think the Post Office Horizon scandal fells Dave (there is a safety in numbers) or questions why Rishi might bring him back into Government.

    But this might.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2024/jan/27/david-camerons-activities-at-greensill-matter-of-interest-in-wider-inquiry-sfo-gfg
    One of Labour's most effective attacks on the government is campaigning against Tory sleaze and cronyism. It certainly hits home with Mone and related PPE profiteering, but Greensill coming back as an issue too.

    Its quite a safe attack by Labour too as can get little return fire.
  • Options
    bondegezoubondegezou Posts: 7,586
    ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    I note some commentary on the last thread about Trump's lawyer being incompetent in court procedure and the rules of evidence.

    That seems extremely unlikely. Her behaviour in court was so obviously provocative of the judge, and so blatantly ignored all rules if evidence, that it's pretty well impossible it wasn't deliberate. This was a performance in her clients behalf, likely on his instructions.

    Here's her biography. Note she's also a senior adviser to his PAC.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alina_Habba

    Is she the same lawyer for his other cases?

    If so, I do hope she continues to behave like that. It obviously annoyed the jury.

    However, it’s worth remembering that no actually competent lawyers are willing to work for Trump - first because he’s a bad payer, and secondly because he never follows their advice. So it is entirely possible she isn’t very good.

    But then, trying to provoke the court is a silly strategy anyway, so either way…
    She's one of his few relatively competent lawyers. This wasn't incompetence.

    It was a very clear strategy, and could only be at the direction of her client.
    Hmmm.

    She asked for a recess for compassionate grounds and was surprised it wasn't granted merely because the witness concerned didn't have to attend that week anyway.

    She admitted she didn't know how to enter documents in evidence.

    She asked for a delay due to Covid and was photographed at a rally.

    Her inability to follow courtroom procedure was of such a level that she was threatened with jail for contempt.

    Her questioning of the witnesses was so inept even Trump's niece accused her of incompetence.

    She was so rude to the jury that they inflated the damages to more than triple the demands of the plaintiff.

    And finally, she wasn't meant to be the lawyer at all, but the original attorney pulled out about a week before the case started.

    Now it's entirely possible this was all deliberate and part of a strategy.

    But it's also very possible that she's just a bit useless.
    Yeah, I think it’s a little from column A and a little from column B. Some of this was strategy agreed with her client, but some of it is incompetence. Decent lawyers don’t want to work for Trump. Sane, rational people don’t want to work for Trump. Trump only wants yesmen… or preferably pretty yeswomen… who will spout his narcissistic lies.

    Any decent lawyer would have told Trump to stop talking about Carroll and to be polite in court. Trump didn’t want to do that.
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,253
    ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    I note some commentary on the last thread about Trump's lawyer being incompetent in court procedure and the rules of evidence.

    That seems extremely unlikely. Her behaviour in court was so obviously provocative of the judge, and so blatantly ignored all rules if evidence, that it's pretty well impossible it wasn't deliberate. This was a performance in her clients behalf, likely on his instructions.

    Here's her biography. Note she's also a senior adviser to his PAC.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alina_Habba

    Is she the same lawyer for his other cases?

    If so, I do hope she continues to behave like that. It obviously annoyed the jury.

    However, it’s worth remembering that no actually competent lawyers are willing to work for Trump - first because he’s a bad payer, and secondly because he never follows their advice. So it is entirely possible she isn’t very good.

    But then, trying to provoke the court is a silly strategy anyway, so either way…
    She's one of his few relatively competent lawyers. This wasn't incompetence.

    It was a very clear strategy, and could only be at the direction of her client.
    Hmmm.

    She asked for a recess for compassionate grounds and was surprised it wasn't granted merely because the witness concerned didn't have to attend that week anyway.

    She admitted she didn't know how to enter documents in evidence.

    She asked for a delay due to Covid and was photographed at a rally.

    Her inability to follow courtroom procedure was of such a level that she was threatened with jail for contempt.

    Her questioning of the witnesses was so inept even Trump's niece accused her of incompetence.

    She was so rude to the jury that they inflated the damages to more than triple the demands of the plaintiff.

    And finally, she wasn't meant to be the lawyer at all, but the original attorney pulled out about a week before the case started.

    Now it's entirely possible this was all deliberate and part of a strategy.

    But it's also very possible that she's just a bit useless.
    Jarnail Singh's replacement, right there....
  • Options
    BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 31,636
    edited January 27
    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    The polls are widening and that is only going to get worse. I think the tories will panic to save what is left of the Parliamentary group. Recession, summer boats, brexit border chaos,, medicine shortages, interest rates will remain high, ever more infighting on the right and reform in the ascendant > there is simply less and less to wait for. They can wait, but it would be the wrong move. It is time to cut losses now.

    On current polling it is hard to see a May election. The only reason to expect one is the not insignificant one of preventing a leadership challenge to Sunak. Lasts weeks fizzled out and in the absence of any real alternative apart from a magic combination.

    Looking at the odds on Betfair the value to me looks like September (currently 20) which prevents an uncomfortable conference, 2025 or later (currently 18) as going as late as possible is the norm for unpopular governments, and December (currently at 11).

    I agree that November is also likely, but doesn't look value at odds on.
    To me the value is in laying Starmer as next PM.
    Yes, that covers 3 possibilities, in decreasing order of probability:

    1) a successful defenestration of Sunak before the GE.

    2) Starmer being removed by some unknown scandal or illness.

    3) a Tory victory at the GE, then Sunak replaced by another PM.

    The odds being what:

    1) 10%
    2) 0.1%
    3) 0.0000001% ?
  • Options
    BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 31,636
    Foxy said:

    Andy_JS said:

    "Cameron coalition government ‘knew Post Office chiefs covered up computer scandal’
    ‘Project Sparrow’ was formed to remove the forensic accountants who uncovered the scandal

    Newly released documents show that Post Office chiefs secretly ditched forensic accountants who found problems in the Horizon IT system – with the full knowledge of David Cameron’s coalition government."

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cameron-government-post-office-scandal-b2485261.html

    It would kinda be the icing on the shit sandwich if, Sunak having brought him back to show some gravitas to his team, Cameron were to have to resign from Government again.....
    No, I don't think the Post Office Horizon scandal fells Dave (there is a safety in numbers) or questions why Rishi might bring him back into Government.

    But this might.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2024/jan/27/david-camerons-activities-at-greensill-matter-of-interest-in-wider-inquiry-sfo-gfg
    One of Labour's most effective attacks on the government is campaigning against Tory sleaze and cronyism. It certainly hits home with Mone and related PPE profiteering, but Greensill coming back as an issue too.

    Its quite a safe attack by Labour too as can get little return fire.
    Teesside Freeport in the mix too?
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,181
    IanB2 said:

    ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    I note some commentary on the last thread about Trump's lawyer being incompetent in court procedure and the rules of evidence.

    That seems extremely unlikely. Her behaviour in court was so obviously provocative of the judge, and so blatantly ignored all rules if evidence, that it's pretty well impossible it wasn't deliberate. This was a performance in her clients behalf, likely on his instructions.

    Here's her biography. Note she's also a senior adviser to his PAC.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alina_Habba

    Is she the same lawyer for his other cases?

    If so, I do hope she continues to behave like that. It obviously annoyed the jury.

    However, it’s worth remembering that no actually competent lawyers are willing to work for Trump - first because he’s a bad payer, and secondly because he never follows their advice. So it is entirely possible she isn’t very good.

    But then, trying to provoke the court is a silly strategy anyway, so either way…
    She's one of his few relatively competent lawyers. This wasn't incompetence.

    It was a very clear strategy, and could only be at the direction of her client.
    Hmmm.

    She asked for a recess for compassionate grounds and was surprised it wasn't granted merely because the witness concerned didn't have to attend that week anyway.

    She admitted she didn't know how to enter documents in evidence.

    She asked for a delay due to Covid and was photographed at a rally.

    Her inability to follow courtroom procedure was of such a level that she was threatened with jail for contempt.

    Her questioning of the witnesses was so inept even Trump's niece accused her of incompetence.

    She was so rude to the jury that they inflated the damages to more than triple the demands of the plaintiff.

    And finally, she wasn't meant to be the lawyer at all, but the original attorney pulled out about a week before the case started.

    Now it's entirely possible this was all deliberate and part of a strategy.

    But it's also very possible that she's just a bit useless.
    Jarnail Singh's replacement, right there....
    Trump running mate, right there...
  • Options
    FoxyFoxy Posts: 44,578

    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    The polls are widening and that is only going to get worse. I think the tories will panic to save what is left of the Parliamentary group. Recession, summer boats, brexit border chaos,, medicine shortages, interest rates will remain high, ever more infighting on the right and reform in the ascendant > there is simply less and less to wait for. They can wait, but it would be the wrong move. It is time to cut losses now.

    On current polling it is hard to see a May election. The only reason to expect one is the not insignificant one of preventing a leadership challenge to Sunak. Lasts weeks fizzled out and in the absence of any real alternative apart from a magic combination.

    Looking at the odds on Betfair the value to me looks like September (currently 20) which prevents an uncomfortable conference, 2025 or later (currently 18) as going as late as possible is the norm for unpopular governments, and December (currently at 11).

    I agree that November is also likely, but doesn't look value at odds on.
    To me the value is in laying Starmer as next PM.
    Yes, that covers 3 possibilities, in decreasing order of probability:

    1) a successful defenestration of Sunak before the GE.

    2) Starmer being removed by some unknown scandal or illness.

    3) a Tory victory at the GE, then Sunak replaced by another PM.

    The odds being what:

    1) 10%
    2) 0.1%
    3) 0.0000001% ?
    I would go with:

    1) 25%
    2) 1%
    3) 1%

    So the current price to lay Starmer as next PM of 1.23 on BFX seems about right.

  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,181

    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    The polls are widening and that is only going to get worse. I think the tories will panic to save what is left of the Parliamentary group. Recession, summer boats, brexit border chaos,, medicine shortages, interest rates will remain high, ever more infighting on the right and reform in the ascendant > there is simply less and less to wait for. They can wait, but it would be the wrong move. It is time to cut losses now.

    On current polling it is hard to see a May election. The only reason to expect one is the not insignificant one of preventing a leadership challenge to Sunak. Lasts weeks fizzled out and in the absence of any real alternative apart from a magic combination.

    Looking at the odds on Betfair the value to me looks like September (currently 20) which prevents an uncomfortable conference, 2025 or later (currently 18) as going as late as possible is the norm for unpopular governments, and December (currently at 11).

    I agree that November is also likely, but doesn't look value at odds on.
    I cannot see how they would spin any scenario as a positive one to call an "early election". We had the tax cut autumn statement where they put taxes up but not as much as they were going to do. They are going to do a giveaway budget which will backfire, they will get reamed in the May locals and the face a summer of shit as their fate edges closer and the spivocracy start to get nervous about what is to happen to them.

    The idea that they get to the autumn happy and ready to go to the country is one of absolute denial. I read now that they plan an autumn statement to try and bribe their remaining voters with even more money - so forget October or November.

    They will cling on until they are told to stop. 23rd January 2025. Or 12th December as the "these tax cuts in the AS will definitely swing it" alternative.
    I think Jan 25 is best value. No one chooses a battle that they are certain to lose, so the incentive is to delay as far as possible.
    Another advantage of January is that the US election will be out of the way (probably....).
    ... or the 2nd US Civil War will have broken out which might be an election help to Sunak, even while the rest of the West is screwed.
    Personally, that would make me more anxious to have somebody competent in charge. Somebody who doesn't think Grant Shapps is fit to be SoS for Defence.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,181

    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    The polls are widening and that is only going to get worse. I think the tories will panic to save what is left of the Parliamentary group. Recession, summer boats, brexit border chaos,, medicine shortages, interest rates will remain high, ever more infighting on the right and reform in the ascendant > there is simply less and less to wait for. They can wait, but it would be the wrong move. It is time to cut losses now.

    On current polling it is hard to see a May election. The only reason to expect one is the not insignificant one of preventing a leadership challenge to Sunak. Lasts weeks fizzled out and in the absence of any real alternative apart from a magic combination.

    Looking at the odds on Betfair the value to me looks like September (currently 20) which prevents an uncomfortable conference, 2025 or later (currently 18) as going as late as possible is the norm for unpopular governments, and December (currently at 11).

    I agree that November is also likely, but doesn't look value at odds on.
    To me the value is in laying Starmer as next PM.
    Yes, that covers 3 possibilities, in decreasing order of probability:

    1) a successful defenestration of Sunak before the GE.

    2) Starmer being removed by some unknown scandal or illness.

    3) a Tory victory at the GE, then Sunak replaced by another PM.

    The odds being what:

    1) 10%
    2) 0.1%
    3) 0.0000001% ?
    Nah.

    That third one is way too high.
  • Options
    MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 25,126

    Foxy said:

    Andy_JS said:

    "Cameron coalition government ‘knew Post Office chiefs covered up computer scandal’
    ‘Project Sparrow’ was formed to remove the forensic accountants who uncovered the scandal

    Newly released documents show that Post Office chiefs secretly ditched forensic accountants who found problems in the Horizon IT system – with the full knowledge of David Cameron’s coalition government."

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cameron-government-post-office-scandal-b2485261.html

    It would kinda be the icing on the shit sandwich if, Sunak having brought him back to show some gravitas to his team, Cameron were to have to resign from Government again.....
    No, I don't think the Post Office Horizon scandal fells Dave (there is a safety in numbers) or questions why Rishi might bring him back into Government.

    But this might.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2024/jan/27/david-camerons-activities-at-greensill-matter-of-interest-in-wider-inquiry-sfo-gfg
    One of Labour's most effective attacks on the government is campaigning against Tory sleaze and cronyism. It certainly hits home with Mone and related PPE profiteering, but Greensill coming back as an issue too.

    Its quite a safe attack by Labour too as can get little return fire.
    Teesside Freeport in the mix too?
    Sir Simon Clarke (yes that Sir Simon Clarke) is confident that Houchen is exonerated in the next couple of days.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/cq5xzvdq4jvo
  • Options
    FoxyFoxy Posts: 44,578

    Foxy said:

    Andy_JS said:

    "Cameron coalition government ‘knew Post Office chiefs covered up computer scandal’
    ‘Project Sparrow’ was formed to remove the forensic accountants who uncovered the scandal

    Newly released documents show that Post Office chiefs secretly ditched forensic accountants who found problems in the Horizon IT system – with the full knowledge of David Cameron’s coalition government."

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cameron-government-post-office-scandal-b2485261.html

    It would kinda be the icing on the shit sandwich if, Sunak having brought him back to show some gravitas to his team, Cameron were to have to resign from Government again.....
    No, I don't think the Post Office Horizon scandal fells Dave (there is a safety in numbers) or questions why Rishi might bring him back into Government.

    But this might.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2024/jan/27/david-camerons-activities-at-greensill-matter-of-interest-in-wider-inquiry-sfo-gfg
    One of Labour's most effective attacks on the government is campaigning against Tory sleaze and cronyism. It certainly hits home with Mone and related PPE profiteering, but Greensill coming back as an issue too.

    Its quite a safe attack by Labour too as can get little return fire.
    Teesside Freeport in the mix too?
    Too far outside the M25 for the national media, but might well be significant in the NE.
  • Options
    BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 31,636
    edited January 27
    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    The polls are widening and that is only going to get worse. I think the tories will panic to save what is left of the Parliamentary group. Recession, summer boats, brexit border chaos,, medicine shortages, interest rates will remain high, ever more infighting on the right and reform in the ascendant > there is simply less and less to wait for. They can wait, but it would be the wrong move. It is time to cut losses now.

    On current polling it is hard to see a May election. The only reason to expect one is the not insignificant one of preventing a leadership challenge to Sunak. Lasts weeks fizzled out and in the absence of any real alternative apart from a magic combination.

    Looking at the odds on Betfair the value to me looks like September (currently 20) which prevents an uncomfortable conference, 2025 or later (currently 18) as going as late as possible is the norm for unpopular governments, and December (currently at 11).

    I agree that November is also likely, but doesn't look value at odds on.
    To me the value is in laying Starmer as next PM.
    Yes, that covers 3 possibilities, in decreasing order of probability:

    1) a successful defenestration of Sunak before the GE.

    2) Starmer being removed by some unknown scandal or illness.

    3) a Tory victory at the GE, then Sunak replaced by another PM.

    The odds being what:

    1) 10%
    2) 0.1%
    3) 0.0000001% ?
    I would go with:

    1) 25%
    2) 1%
    3) 1%

    So the current price to lay Starmer as next PM of 1.23 on BFX seems about right.

    I'll give you 1) and 2); 3) Hahaha.

    The value bet is surely laying a Con majority at the next GE?
  • Options
    noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 20,706
    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    The polls are widening and that is only going to get worse. I think the tories will panic to save what is left of the Parliamentary group. Recession, summer boats, brexit border chaos,, medicine shortages, interest rates will remain high, ever more infighting on the right and reform in the ascendant > there is simply less and less to wait for. They can wait, but it would be the wrong move. It is time to cut losses now.

    On current polling it is hard to see a May election. The only reason to expect one is the not insignificant one of preventing a leadership challenge to Sunak. Lasts weeks fizzled out and in the absence of any real alternative apart from a magic combination.

    Looking at the odds on Betfair the value to me looks like September (currently 20) which prevents an uncomfortable conference, 2025 or later (currently 18) as going as late as possible is the norm for unpopular governments, and December (currently at 11).

    I agree that November is also likely, but doesn't look value at odds on.
    To me the value is in laying Starmer as next PM.
    Yes, that covers 3 possibilities, in decreasing order of probability:

    1) a successful defenestration of Sunak before the GE.

    2) Starmer being removed by some unknown scandal or illness.

    3) a Tory victory at the GE, then Sunak replaced by another PM.

    The odds being what:

    1) 10%
    2) 0.1%
    3) 0.0000001% ?
    I would go with:

    1) 25%
    2) 1%
    3) 1%

    So the current price to lay Starmer as next PM of 1.23 on BFX seems about right.

    That would give a price of 1.37.

    And if you wanted could lay 3) at around 5% to further significantly boost the value on 1).
  • Options
    theProletheProle Posts: 948

    Good morning everybody; fine, clear sky here this morning!
    So often the post office scandal gives me a couple of tangent thoughts. Another one this morning; in how many post offices did problems occur after a manager had been sacked? In other words, if the postmaster at Little Snoring had been convicted of false accounting, due to Horizon , and sacked, did problems arise when his or her successor was in post? And if not, why not?

    This certainly happened in some cases. I think one of the first MPs to take in interest had his curiosity piqued by the fact that his local PO closed after something like three successive people took it on, and were all dismissed for stealing from the PO, and he thought this seemed a little improbable.
  • Options
    DavidLDavidL Posts: 51,197
    Andy_JS said:

    "Cameron coalition government ‘knew Post Office chiefs covered up computer scandal’
    ‘Project Sparrow’ was formed to remove the forensic accountants who uncovered the scandal

    Newly released documents show that Post Office chiefs secretly ditched forensic accountants who found problems in the Horizon IT system – with the full knowledge of David Cameron’s coalition government."

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cameron-government-post-office-scandal-b2485261.html

    The story yesterday was that Operation Sparrow was kept from the government who, incidentally, is also the owner of the business and the only shareholder. That seemed a remarkably brave thing for the incumbent management to do. This version makes more sense but is even more appalling. Next time anyone claims that public ownership is somehow morally better they really need to think about this. What it amounts to is the government making a decision to defraud small business people of their money and, even more unacceptably, lock them up rather than admit a series of mistakes. Shameful doesn't quite cover it.
  • Options
    BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 31,636
    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    Andy_JS said:

    "Cameron coalition government ‘knew Post Office chiefs covered up computer scandal’
    ‘Project Sparrow’ was formed to remove the forensic accountants who uncovered the scandal

    Newly released documents show that Post Office chiefs secretly ditched forensic accountants who found problems in the Horizon IT system – with the full knowledge of David Cameron’s coalition government."

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cameron-government-post-office-scandal-b2485261.html

    It would kinda be the icing on the shit sandwich if, Sunak having brought him back to show some gravitas to his team, Cameron were to have to resign from Government again.....
    No, I don't think the Post Office Horizon scandal fells Dave (there is a safety in numbers) or questions why Rishi might bring him back into Government.

    But this might.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2024/jan/27/david-camerons-activities-at-greensill-matter-of-interest-in-wider-inquiry-sfo-gfg
    One of Labour's most effective attacks on the government is campaigning against Tory sleaze and cronyism. It certainly hits home with Mone and related PPE profiteering, but Greensill coming back as an issue too.

    Its quite a safe attack by Labour too as can get little return fire.
    Teesside Freeport in the mix too?
    Too far outside the M25 for the national media, but might well be significant in the NE.
    The PO scandal was largely outside the M25.

    ITV drama on Teesside Freeport anyone?
  • Options
    SandpitSandpit Posts: 49,859
    edited January 27

    Pro_Rata said:

    First?

    Overran the edit ticker:

    I still hold my theory for May, between GE and VoNC, Rishi makes his calculation on fighting the main event rather than being weakened, but what do I know?

    Off-topic, giving Mrs Rata a short snoring holiday to drop off, finished off the Mr Bates drama.A lot to think on, but the actual number affected in some way, not just the convicted but those PO took action against:

    3500 SPMs.

    3500.

    I know it was over years and the offices with SPMs may have had multiple in that time but.

    That is a hell of a portion of the entire SPM base

    When I first heard about the Scandal, Rata, I didn't know much about the facts but my very first reaction was that common sense ought tohave told you that there was something amiss because of the sheer numbers involved. For the PO to be right you had to believe that the organisation had somehow cornered the market in crooked shopkeepers.

    (Snip)
    Common sense isn't very common, sadly. And I say that about myself at times, as well as others. We can all make dumb mistakes.

    This leads into another aspect of human nature: the tendency we all have not to want to admit to mistakes, especially when there is a harsh penalty for admitting those mistakes. Say you make a mistake, and might lose your job over it. Instead of admitting the mistake, you double down on it in the hope that no-one will notice the mistake, and/or that the effect of the mistake will somehow come right.

    Even 'good' people can get into this mindset. So we need people to admit to mistakes; but we also need penalties for making mistakes to be more... understanding, especially as many mistakes are made in environments that allowed them to be made.

    So what we had in the PO were people who must have known they were doing wrong, and were doing wrong deliberately. And the more they did wrong, the harsher the penalties (and in this case, the greater the rewards...) were.

    If a few people had been more honest at the start of this, in the early 2000s, a massive amount of suffering might have been prevented.

    Yet again, openness and clarity are key. "Yes, i fucked up," should not automatically be followed by: "You're fired!", and instead by "Let's fix it. Why did you fuck up?" It might still end up with an individual losing their job, but the organisation also learns.

    In this case, the rewards were such that the organisation did wrong, knew it, and kept on doing wrong. Because admitting their mistakes was not in their interest, even when it hurt others.

    (Sorry, a bit of a rambling, incoherent reply. But hopefully you get what I mean...)
    Just Culture

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_culture

    Very successful in aviation accident investigation.
    Yup, as seen in many industries where people can die when mistakes are made.

    Firing people who make mistakes actually doesn’t reduce the number of mistakes made, but instead means that people cover up mistakes, and the company/industry doesn’t have the opportunity to learn lessons or change processes. It also means that small incidents can end up leading to large accidents.

    It’s not always human nature though, which is way many of these industries have external regulators to ensure that the right culture of incident reporting is maintained. It’s rare to see in private unregulated industries, although there are exceptions such as the Mercedes F1 team, where they have a total no-blame culture and debrief thoroughly after every race, analyzing every mistake that was made even if they won the race.
  • Options
    StuartinromfordStuartinromford Posts: 14,409

    Foxy said:

    The polls are widening and that is only going to get worse. I think the tories will panic to save what is left of the Parliamentary group. Recession, summer boats, brexit border chaos,, medicine shortages, interest rates will remain high, ever more infighting on the right and reform in the ascendant > there is simply less and less to wait for. They can wait, but it would be the wrong move. It is time to cut losses now.

    On current polling it is hard to see a May election. The only reason to expect one is the not insignificant one of preventing a leadership challenge to Sunak. Lasts weeks fizzled out and in the absence of any real alternative apart from a magic combination.

    Looking at the odds on Betfair the value to me looks like September (currently 20) which prevents an uncomfortable conference, 2025 or later (currently 18) as going as late as possible is the norm for unpopular governments, and December (currently at 11).

    I agree that November is also likely, but doesn't look value at odds on.
    Even amongst 2019 Conservatives, there's no real enthusiasm for any alternative PM. This came out yesterday from Mori;



    Forget the fantasy contortions to get Nigel or Boris in place, they don't really solve the problem.

    So the anti Rishi crew may continue to wound, but there aren't enough of them to kill. And the loyalists will hold on to nurse Sunak for fear of something far worse.
    There are two major leadership problems.

    The party is hopelessly divided and no candidate can secure enough support without internal enemies seeking to take them down.
    Sunak is particularly rubbish and out of touch as a campaigner and persuader.

    The first doesn't get changed by toppling Sunak, the second one might do.
    Successful plots probably need someone who can promise to fix both. May had to fail and Johnson had to be available. Or Maggie and Hesteltine/Major.

    Otherwise, a flailing leader can often limp on, see Major in 1995.
  • Options
    DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 24,312

    Good morning everybody; fine, clear sky here this morning!
    So often the post office scandal gives me a couple of tangent thoughts. Another one this morning; in how many post offices did problems occur after a manager had been sacked? In other words, if the postmaster at Little Snoring had been convicted of false accounting, due to Horizon , and sacked, did problems arise when his or her successor was in post? And if not, why not?

    Well, first of all, the errors were not a 100 per cent thing, in that SPM Smith-Jones had money disappear every single day, but more importantly because SPM is not just a job. If you are appointed SPM you have to make room in your own premises for the Post Office counter and if you are dismissed and someone else appointed, the whole kit and kaboodle moves to their shop, probably with updated electronic equipment and certainly with new connections.
  • Options
    StuartinromfordStuartinromford Posts: 14,409

    Foxy said:

    Andy_JS said:

    "Cameron coalition government ‘knew Post Office chiefs covered up computer scandal’
    ‘Project Sparrow’ was formed to remove the forensic accountants who uncovered the scandal

    Newly released documents show that Post Office chiefs secretly ditched forensic accountants who found problems in the Horizon IT system – with the full knowledge of David Cameron’s coalition government."

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cameron-government-post-office-scandal-b2485261.html

    It would kinda be the icing on the shit sandwich if, Sunak having brought him back to show some gravitas to his team, Cameron were to have to resign from Government again.....
    No, I don't think the Post Office Horizon scandal fells Dave (there is a safety in numbers) or questions why Rishi might bring him back into Government.

    But this might.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2024/jan/27/david-camerons-activities-at-greensill-matter-of-interest-in-wider-inquiry-sfo-gfg
    One of Labour's most effective attacks on the government is campaigning against Tory sleaze and cronyism. It certainly hits home with Mone and related PPE profiteering, but Greensill coming back as an issue too.

    Its quite a safe attack by Labour too as can get little return fire.
    Teesside Freeport in the mix too?
    Sir Simon Clarke (yes that Sir Simon Clarke) is confident that Houchen is exonerated in the next couple of days.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/cq5xzvdq4jvo
    Oh dear.

    That's like a war movie where the pilot says "one more mission, and I'm a free man".
  • Options
    DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 24,312

    Pro_Rata said:

    First?

    Overran the edit ticker:

    I still hold my theory for May, between GE and VoNC, Rishi makes his calculation on fighting the main event rather than being weakened, but what do I know?

    Off-topic, giving Mrs Rata a short snoring holiday to drop off, finished off the Mr Bates drama.A lot to think on, but the actual number affected in some way, not just the convicted but those PO took action against:

    3500 SPMs.

    3500.

    I know it was over years and the offices with SPMs may have had multiple in that time but.

    That is a hell of a portion of the entire SPM base

    When I first heard about the Scandal, Rata, I didn't know much about the facts but my very first reaction was that common sense ought tohave told you that there was something amiss because of the sheer numbers involved. For the PO to be right you had to believe that the organisation had somehow cornered the market in crooked shopkeepers.

    (Snip)
    Common sense isn't very common, sadly. And I say that about myself at times, as well as others. We can all make dumb mistakes.

    This leads into another aspect of human nature: the tendency we all have not to want to admit to mistakes, especially when there is a harsh penalty for admitting those mistakes. Say you make a mistake, and might lose your job over it. Instead of admitting the mistake, you double down on it in the hope that no-one will notice the mistake, and/or that the effect of the mistake will somehow come right.

    Even 'good' people can get into this mindset. So we need people to admit to mistakes; but we also need penalties for making mistakes to be more... understanding, especially as many mistakes are made in environments that allowed them to be made.

    So what we had in the PO were people who must have known they were doing wrong, and were doing wrong deliberately. And the more they did wrong, the harsher the penalties (and in this case, the greater the rewards...) were.

    If a few people had been more honest at the start of this, in the early 2000s, a massive amount of suffering might have been prevented.

    Yet again, openness and clarity are key. "Yes, i fucked up," should not automatically be followed by: "You're fired!", and instead by "Let's fix it. Why did you fuck up?" It might still end up with an individual losing their job, but the organisation also learns.

    In this case, the rewards were such that the organisation did wrong, knew it, and kept on doing wrong. Because admitting their mistakes was not in their interest, even when it hurt others.

    (Sorry, a bit of a rambling, incoherent reply. But hopefully you get what I mean...)
    Just Culture

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_culture

    Very successful in aviation accident investigation.
    Good luck spreading that culture beyond aviation.
  • Options
    MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 25,126
    ...

    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    Andy_JS said:

    "Cameron coalition government ‘knew Post Office chiefs covered up computer scandal’
    ‘Project Sparrow’ was formed to remove the forensic accountants who uncovered the scandal

    Newly released documents show that Post Office chiefs secretly ditched forensic accountants who found problems in the Horizon IT system – with the full knowledge of David Cameron’s coalition government."

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cameron-government-post-office-scandal-b2485261.html

    It would kinda be the icing on the shit sandwich if, Sunak having brought him back to show some gravitas to his team, Cameron were to have to resign from Government again.....
    No, I don't think the Post Office Horizon scandal fells Dave (there is a safety in numbers) or questions why Rishi might bring him back into Government.

    But this might.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2024/jan/27/david-camerons-activities-at-greensill-matter-of-interest-in-wider-inquiry-sfo-gfg
    One of Labour's most effective attacks on the government is campaigning against Tory sleaze and cronyism. It certainly hits home with Mone and related PPE profiteering, but Greensill coming back as an issue too.

    Its quite a safe attack by Labour too as can get little return fire.
    Teesside Freeport in the mix too?
    Too far outside the M25 for the national media, but might well be significant in the NE.
    The PO scandal was largely outside the M25.

    ITV drama on Teesside Freeport anyone?
    It's a good old fashioned local Labour corruption scandal from the1970s. Only this time the grifters badged themselves as Tories.
  • Options
    JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 38,937

    Pro_Rata said:

    First?

    Overran the edit ticker:

    I still hold my theory for May, between GE and VoNC, Rishi makes his calculation on fighting the main event rather than being weakened, but what do I know?

    Off-topic, giving Mrs Rata a short snoring holiday to drop off, finished off the Mr Bates drama.A lot to think on, but the actual number affected in some way, not just the convicted but those PO took action against:

    3500 SPMs.

    3500.

    I know it was over years and the offices with SPMs may have had multiple in that time but.

    That is a hell of a portion of the entire SPM base

    When I first heard about the Scandal, Rata, I didn't know much about the facts but my very first reaction was that common sense ought tohave told you that there was something amiss because of the sheer numbers involved. For the PO to be right you had to believe that the organisation had somehow cornered the market in crooked shopkeepers.

    (Snip)
    Common sense isn't very common, sadly. And I say that about myself at times, as well as others. We can all make dumb mistakes.

    This leads into another aspect of human nature: the tendency we all have not to want to admit to mistakes, especially when there is a harsh penalty for admitting those mistakes. Say you make a mistake, and might lose your job over it. Instead of admitting the mistake, you double down on it in the hope that no-one will notice the mistake, and/or that the effect of the mistake will somehow come right.

    Even 'good' people can get into this mindset. So we need people to admit to mistakes; but we also need penalties for making mistakes to be more... understanding, especially as many mistakes are made in environments that allowed them to be made.

    So what we had in the PO were people who must have known they were doing wrong, and were doing wrong deliberately. And the more they did wrong, the harsher the penalties (and in this case, the greater the rewards...) were.

    If a few people had been more honest at the start of this, in the early 2000s, a massive amount of suffering might have been prevented.

    Yet again, openness and clarity are key. "Yes, i fucked up," should not automatically be followed by: "You're fired!", and instead by "Let's fix it. Why did you fuck up?" It might still end up with an individual losing their job, but the organisation also learns.

    In this case, the rewards were such that the organisation did wrong, knew it, and kept on doing wrong. Because admitting their mistakes was not in their interest, even when it hurt others.

    (Sorry, a bit of a rambling, incoherent reply. But hopefully you get what I mean...)
    Just Culture

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_culture

    Very successful in aviation accident investigation.
    Good luck spreading that culture beyond aviation.
    Sounds like what the Rail Accident peeps do as well.
  • Options
    numbertwelvenumbertwelve Posts: 5,441

    Foxy said:

    The polls are widening and that is only going to get worse. I think the tories will panic to save what is left of the Parliamentary group. Recession, summer boats, brexit border chaos,, medicine shortages, interest rates will remain high, ever more infighting on the right and reform in the ascendant > there is simply less and less to wait for. They can wait, but it would be the wrong move. It is time to cut losses now.

    On current polling it is hard to see a May election. The only reason to expect one is the not insignificant one of preventing a leadership challenge to Sunak. Lasts weeks fizzled out and in the absence of any real alternative apart from a magic combination.

    Looking at the odds on Betfair the value to me looks like September (currently 20) which prevents an uncomfortable conference, 2025 or later (currently 18) as going as late as possible is the norm for unpopular governments, and December (currently at 11).

    I agree that November is also likely, but doesn't look value at odds on.
    Even amongst 2019 Conservatives, there's no real enthusiasm for any alternative PM. This came out yesterday from Mori;



    Forget the fantasy contortions to get Nigel or Boris in place, they don't really solve the problem.

    So the anti Rishi crew may continue to wound, but there aren't enough of them to kill. And the loyalists will hold on to nurse Sunak for fear of something far worse.
    There are two major leadership problems.

    The party is hopelessly divided and no candidate can secure enough support without internal enemies seeking to take them down.
    Sunak is particularly rubbish and out of touch as a campaigner and persuader.

    The first doesn't get changed by toppling Sunak, the second one might do.
    There is still one option that remains that doesn’t lead to an immediate defenestration of Sunak.

    If Sunak could be persuaded to step down at the GE, he can pre-announce his resignation as leader, but not PM. In the summer, we get a Tory leadership contest allowing all those wonderful candidates (eye roll) an opportunity to sell themselves as new brooms. Winner announced around conference, then we soon go into a GE campaign which they front. Sunak and the government are just caretakers at that point.

    The advantage for Sunak in all this is he gets his full two years or so as PM for the CV but he doesn’t get blamed for the defeat.

    The advantage (potentially) for the Tory Party is that technically they’ve not replaced PMs a third time in the parliament but they’re able to produce a different face to the electorate.

    I’m not suggesting this will happen but if they do really want to change leader again that is probably the least damaging way for all involved.
  • Options
    NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,477

    ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    I note some commentary on the last thread about Trump's lawyer being incompetent in court procedure and the rules of evidence.

    That seems extremely unlikely. Her behaviour in court was so obviously provocative of the judge, and so blatantly ignored all rules if evidence, that it's pretty well impossible it wasn't deliberate. This was a performance in her clients behalf, likely on his instructions.

    Here's her biography. Note she's also a senior adviser to his PAC.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alina_Habba

    Is she the same lawyer for his other cases?

    If so, I do hope she continues to behave like that. It obviously annoyed the jury.

    However, it’s worth remembering that no actually competent lawyers are willing to work for Trump - first because he’s a bad payer, and secondly because he never follows their advice. So it is entirely possible she isn’t very good.

    But then, trying to provoke the court is a silly strategy anyway, so either way…
    She's one of his few relatively competent lawyers. This wasn't incompetence.

    It was a very clear strategy, and could only be at the direction of her client.
    Hmmm.

    She asked for a recess for compassionate grounds and was surprised it wasn't granted merely because the witness concerned didn't have to attend that week anyway.

    She admitted she didn't know how to enter documents in evidence.

    She asked for a delay due to Covid and was photographed at a rally.

    Her inability to follow courtroom procedure was of such a level that she was threatened with jail for contempt.

    Her questioning of the witnesses was so inept even Trump's niece accused her of incompetence.

    She was so rude to the jury that they inflated the damages to more than triple the demands of the plaintiff.

    And finally, she wasn't meant to be the lawyer at all, but the original attorney pulled out about a week before the case started.

    Now it's entirely possible this was all deliberate and part of a strategy.

    But it's also very possible that she's just a bit useless.
    Yeah, I think it’s a little from column A and a little from column B. Some of this was strategy agreed with her client, but some of it is incompetence. Decent lawyers don’t want to work for Trump. Sane, rational people don’t want to work for Trump. Trump only wants yesmen… or preferably pretty yeswomen… who will spout his narcissistic lies.

    Any decent lawyer would have told Trump to stop talking about Carroll and to be polite in court. Trump didn’t want to do that.
    Given the behaviour in court, I wouldn't call her a decent lawyer, but she's not brain dead.

    I'm inclined to believe this theory of the case (which predates the verdict).
    https://www.emptywheel.net/2024/01/18/donald-trump-has-chosen-to-pay-millions-to-trash-rule-of-law/
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,253

    Foxy said:

    The polls are widening and that is only going to get worse. I think the tories will panic to save what is left of the Parliamentary group. Recession, summer boats, brexit border chaos,, medicine shortages, interest rates will remain high, ever more infighting on the right and reform in the ascendant > there is simply less and less to wait for. They can wait, but it would be the wrong move. It is time to cut losses now.

    On current polling it is hard to see a May election. The only reason to expect one is the not insignificant one of preventing a leadership challenge to Sunak. Lasts weeks fizzled out and in the absence of any real alternative apart from a magic combination.

    Looking at the odds on Betfair the value to me looks like September (currently 20) which prevents an uncomfortable conference, 2025 or later (currently 18) as going as late as possible is the norm for unpopular governments, and December (currently at 11).

    I agree that November is also likely, but doesn't look value at odds on.
    Even amongst 2019 Conservatives, there's no real enthusiasm for any alternative PM. This came out yesterday from Mori;



    Forget the fantasy contortions to get Nigel or Boris in place, they don't really solve the problem.

    So the anti Rishi crew may continue to wound, but there aren't enough of them to kill. And the loyalists will hold on to nurse Sunak for fear of something far worse.
    There are two major leadership problems.

    The party is hopelessly divided and no candidate can secure enough support without internal enemies seeking to take them down.
    Sunak is particularly rubbish and out of touch as a campaigner and persuader.

    The first doesn't get changed by toppling Sunak, the second one might do.
    There is still one option that remains that doesn’t lead to an immediate defenestration of Sunak.

    If Sunak could be persuaded to step down at the GE, he can pre-announce his resignation as leader, but not PM. In the summer, we get a Tory leadership contest allowing all those wonderful candidates (eye roll) an opportunity to sell themselves as new brooms. Winner announced around conference, then we soon go into a GE campaign which they front. Sunak and the government are just caretakers at that point.

    The advantage for Sunak in all this is he gets his full two years or so as PM for the CV but he doesn’t get blamed for the defeat.

    The advantage (potentially) for the Tory Party is that technically they’ve not replaced PMs a third time in the parliament but they’re able to produce a different face to the electorate.

    I’m not suggesting this will happen but if they do really want to change leader again that is probably the least damaging way for all involved.
    We can't have a lame duck all year while the Tories inflict on us, as powerless viewers rather than participants, yet another of their psychodramas.
  • Options
    BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 31,636

    ...

    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    Andy_JS said:

    "Cameron coalition government ‘knew Post Office chiefs covered up computer scandal’
    ‘Project Sparrow’ was formed to remove the forensic accountants who uncovered the scandal

    Newly released documents show that Post Office chiefs secretly ditched forensic accountants who found problems in the Horizon IT system – with the full knowledge of David Cameron’s coalition government."

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cameron-government-post-office-scandal-b2485261.html

    It would kinda be the icing on the shit sandwich if, Sunak having brought him back to show some gravitas to his team, Cameron were to have to resign from Government again.....
    No, I don't think the Post Office Horizon scandal fells Dave (there is a safety in numbers) or questions why Rishi might bring him back into Government.

    But this might.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2024/jan/27/david-camerons-activities-at-greensill-matter-of-interest-in-wider-inquiry-sfo-gfg
    One of Labour's most effective attacks on the government is campaigning against Tory sleaze and cronyism. It certainly hits home with Mone and related PPE profiteering, but Greensill coming back as an issue too.

    Its quite a safe attack by Labour too as can get little return fire.
    Teesside Freeport in the mix too?
    Too far outside the M25 for the national media, but might well be significant in the NE.
    The PO scandal was largely outside the M25.

    ITV drama on Teesside Freeport anyone?
    It's a good old fashioned local Labour corruption scandal from the1970s. Only this time the grifters badged themselves as Tories.
    It was probably Starmer's fault as DPP though.
  • Options
    BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 31,636
    Tories now averaging lower in the polls than at any time since Truss was PM:

    image
  • Options
    kle4kle4 Posts: 91,717
    I feel like having the election around the time of the American one may see people conflate the Tories with Trump. Which they really shouldn't, they're quite different, but people do often frame things here around what's going on there, and that coukd really hurt them.
  • Options
    noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 20,706

    Foxy said:

    The polls are widening and that is only going to get worse. I think the tories will panic to save what is left of the Parliamentary group. Recession, summer boats, brexit border chaos,, medicine shortages, interest rates will remain high, ever more infighting on the right and reform in the ascendant > there is simply less and less to wait for. They can wait, but it would be the wrong move. It is time to cut losses now.

    On current polling it is hard to see a May election. The only reason to expect one is the not insignificant one of preventing a leadership challenge to Sunak. Lasts weeks fizzled out and in the absence of any real alternative apart from a magic combination.

    Looking at the odds on Betfair the value to me looks like September (currently 20) which prevents an uncomfortable conference, 2025 or later (currently 18) as going as late as possible is the norm for unpopular governments, and December (currently at 11).

    I agree that November is also likely, but doesn't look value at odds on.
    Even amongst 2019 Conservatives, there's no real enthusiasm for any alternative PM. This came out yesterday from Mori;



    Forget the fantasy contortions to get Nigel or Boris in place, they don't really solve the problem.

    So the anti Rishi crew may continue to wound, but there aren't enough of them to kill. And the loyalists will hold on to nurse Sunak for fear of something far worse.
    There are two major leadership problems.

    The party is hopelessly divided and no candidate can secure enough support without internal enemies seeking to take them down.
    Sunak is particularly rubbish and out of touch as a campaigner and persuader.

    The first doesn't get changed by toppling Sunak, the second one might do.
    Successful plots probably need someone who can promise to fix both. May had to fail and Johnson had to be available. Or Maggie and Hesteltine/Major.

    Otherwise, a flailing leader can often limp on, see Major in 1995.
    Historical precedents aren't going to apply if the Tories are in the teens come the local elections, which is plausible, and for me enough to make Starmer next PM a reasonable lay.
  • Options
    DavidLDavidL Posts: 51,197
    kamski said:

    In 2023 employees were off sick a record average of 20 days in Germany. This compares to an average of around 10 days off in the years 2010-2020.

    Without the extra sick leave the German economy would have grown 0.5% instead of shrinking by 0.3%.

    Source
    https://www.tagesschau.de/wirtschaft/konjunktur/rekord-krankenstand-rezession-100.html

    Interesting but it doesn't really go into why this is happening. Is it a consequence of long covid? People getting used to days at home from WFH and finding 5 days at the office or factory just too hard? A break down in the discipline that existed pre-Covid and a realisation that there is more to life than work? A greater awareness that going to work with an infection has consequences for your co-workers?

    I recall seeing some similar trends in the UK as well. It would be very interesting if someone investigated whether this is an international phenomenon. It would help to explain the somewhat anaemic growth the west is suffering.
  • Options
    kle4kle4 Posts: 91,717
    edited January 27
    Nigelb said:

    ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    ydoethur said:

    Nigelb said:

    I note some commentary on the last thread about Trump's lawyer being incompetent in court procedure and the rules of evidence.

    That seems extremely unlikely. Her behaviour in court was so obviously provocative of the judge, and so blatantly ignored all rules if evidence, that it's pretty well impossible it wasn't deliberate. This was a performance in her clients behalf, likely on his instructions.

    Here's her biography. Note she's also a senior adviser to his PAC.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alina_Habba

    Is she the same lawyer for his other cases?

    If so, I do hope she continues to behave like that. It obviously annoyed the jury.

    However, it’s worth remembering that no actually competent lawyers are willing to work for Trump - first because he’s a bad payer, and secondly because he never follows their advice. So it is entirely possible she isn’t very good.

    But then, trying to provoke the court is a silly strategy anyway, so either way…
    She's one of his few relatively competent lawyers. This wasn't incompetence.

    It was a very clear strategy, and could only be at the direction of her client.
    Hmmm.

    She asked for a recess for compassionate grounds and was surprised it wasn't granted merely because the witness concerned didn't have to attend that week anyway.

    She admitted she didn't know how to enter documents in evidence.

    She asked for a delay due to Covid and was photographed at a rally.

    Her inability to follow courtroom procedure was of such a level that she was threatened with jail for contempt.

    Her questioning of the witnesses was so inept even Trump's niece accused her of incompetence.

    She was so rude to the jury that they inflated the damages to more than triple the demands of the plaintiff.

    And finally, she wasn't meant to be the lawyer at all, but the original attorney pulled out about a week before the case started.

    Now it's entirely possible this was all deliberate and part of a strategy.

    But it's also very possible that she's just a bit useless.
    Yeah, I think it’s a little from column A and a little from column B. Some of this was strategy agreed with her client, but some of it is incompetence. Decent lawyers don’t want to work for Trump. Sane, rational people don’t want to work for Trump. Trump only wants yesmen… or preferably pretty yeswomen… who will spout his narcissistic lies.

    Any decent lawyer would have told Trump to stop talking about Carroll and to be polite in court. Trump didn’t want to do that.
    Given the behaviour in court, I wouldn't call her a decent lawyer, but she's not brain dead.

    I'm inclined to believe this theory of the case (which predates the verdict).
    https://www.emptywheel.net/2024/01/18/donald-trump-has-chosen-to-pay-millions-to-trash-rule-of-law/
    I can believe that to a point, though feel it could have been done more effectively without looking so incompetent as well. Playing to the gallery but dialling back in court he has done a lot.

    He obviously has better lawyers, the ones who stay quiet and focus on their work, they are just on the even more serious cases. Not ones who surely cannot even prep for court much because they're always on TV or following him about across the country.
  • Options
    numbertwelvenumbertwelve Posts: 5,441

    Tories now averaging lower in the polls than at any time since Truss was PM:

    image

    Look at the Reform line.

    If they start getting more media attention/traction this could be even more damaging for the Tories (possibly might take some Labour support as well, but they’re so far ahead at this juncture it won’t matter).
  • Options
    noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 20,706
    kle4 said:

    I feel like having the election around the time of the American one may see people conflate the Tories with Trump. Which they really shouldn't, they're quite different, but people do often frame things here around what's going on there, and that coukd really hurt them.

    It would be bad for the Tories as:

    - They are chasing so need attention and publicity. The Trump Show takes away far too much attention from the Tories.
    - The Tory divisions will be on display loud and clear with a third of the party Trumpian, a third horrified by him and another third trying to avoid commenting on him at all.
    - Mobilise those on the left who are not enthused by Starmer but terrified of Trump and conflate him with Tories.
  • Options
    DavidLDavidL Posts: 51,197
    Looks like England are going to lose by less than an innings. Which is something, I suppose. The form of Joe Root is starting to become a concern.
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,253
    A lovely phrase from an audience member in last week's QT, saying the last fourteen years has felt like a "fourteen year long episode of The Thick of It"...
  • Options
    kle4kle4 Posts: 91,717

    Foxy said:

    The polls are widening and that is only going to get worse. I think the tories will panic to save what is left of the Parliamentary group. Recession, summer boats, brexit border chaos,, medicine shortages, interest rates will remain high, ever more infighting on the right and reform in the ascendant > there is simply less and less to wait for. They can wait, but it would be the wrong move. It is time to cut losses now.

    On current polling it is hard to see a May election. The only reason to expect one is the not insignificant one of preventing a leadership challenge to Sunak. Lasts weeks fizzled out and in the absence of any real alternative apart from a magic combination.

    Looking at the odds on Betfair the value to me looks like September (currently 20) which prevents an uncomfortable conference, 2025 or later (currently 18) as going as late as possible is the norm for unpopular governments, and December (currently at 11).

    I agree that November is also likely, but doesn't look value at odds on.
    Even amongst 2019 Conservatives, there's no real enthusiasm for any alternative PM. This came out yesterday from Mori;



    Forget the fantasy contortions to get Nigel or Boris in place, they don't really solve the problem.

    So the anti Rishi crew may continue to wound, but there aren't enough of them to kill. And the loyalists will hold on to nurse Sunak for fear of something far worse.
    There are two major leadership problems.

    The party is hopelessly divided and no candidate can secure enough support without internal enemies seeking to take them down.
    Sunak is particularly rubbish and out of touch as a campaigner and persuader.

    The first doesn't get changed by toppling Sunak, the second one might do.
    There is still one option that remains that doesn’t lead to an immediate defenestration of Sunak.

    If Sunak could be persuaded to step down at the GE, he can pre-announce his resignation as leader, but not PM. In the summer, we get a Tory leadership contest allowing all those wonderful candidates (eye roll) an opportunity to sell themselves as new brooms. Winner announced around conference, then we soon go into a GE campaign which they front. Sunak and the government are just caretakers at that point.

    The advantage for Sunak in all this is he gets his full two years or so as PM for the CV but he doesn’t get blamed for the defeat.

    The advantage (potentially) for the Tory Party is that technically they’ve not replaced PMs a third time in the parliament but they’re able to produce a different face to the electorate.

    I’m not suggesting this will happen but if they do really want to change leader again that is probably the least damaging way for all involved.
    Nah, go one step further and hold the contest during the GE campaign.
  • Options
    El_CapitanoEl_Capitano Posts: 3,870
    Chris said:

    Andy_JS said:

    "Cameron coalition government ‘knew Post Office chiefs covered up computer scandal’
    ‘Project Sparrow’ was formed to remove the forensic accountants who uncovered the scandal

    Newly released documents show that Post Office chiefs secretly ditched forensic accountants who found problems in the Horizon IT system – with the full knowledge of David Cameron’s coalition government."

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cameron-government-post-office-scandal-b2485261.html

    It would kinda be the icing on the shit sandwich if, Sunak having brought him back to show some gravitas to his team, Cameron were to have to resign from Government again.....
    Doesn’t it increase the ability of the Conservatives to blame the LibDems?
    The Lib Dems seem to be a sideshow, as far as the polling goes.

    But if guilty knowledge of what was going on in the POst Office could be pinned squarely on Cameron ...
    Cameron was aware of problems with Horizon as far back as 2009, apparently:

    https://twitter.com/OxfordClarion/status/1745760429735825635
  • Options
    numbertwelvenumbertwelve Posts: 5,441
    kle4 said:

    I feel like having the election around the time of the American one may see people conflate the Tories with Trump. Which they really shouldn't, they're quite different, but people do often frame things here around what's going on there, and that coukd really hurt them.

    The other side of it is that it possibly amplifies the Reform message for those who actually do have a favourable or at least ambivalent view of Trump (and they do exist), which damages the Tories at that end of the spectrum too.
  • Options
    StuartinromfordStuartinromford Posts: 14,409

    Pro_Rata said:

    First?

    Overran the edit ticker:

    I still hold my theory for May, between GE and VoNC, Rishi makes his calculation on fighting the main event rather than being weakened, but what do I know?

    Off-topic, giving Mrs Rata a short snoring holiday to drop off, finished off the Mr Bates drama.A lot to think on, but the actual number affected in some way, not just the convicted but those PO took action against:

    3500 SPMs.

    3500.

    I know it was over years and the offices with SPMs may have had multiple in that time but.

    That is a hell of a portion of the entire SPM base

    When I first heard about the Scandal, Rata, I didn't know much about the facts but my very first reaction was that common sense ought tohave told you that there was something amiss because of the sheer numbers involved. For the PO to be right you had to believe that the organisation had somehow cornered the market in crooked shopkeepers.

    (Snip)
    Common sense isn't very common, sadly. And I say that about myself at times, as well as others. We can all make dumb mistakes.

    This leads into another aspect of human nature: the tendency we all have not to want to admit to mistakes, especially when there is a harsh penalty for admitting those mistakes. Say you make a mistake, and might lose your job over it. Instead of admitting the mistake, you double down on it in the hope that no-one will notice the mistake, and/or that the effect of the mistake will somehow come right.

    Even 'good' people can get into this mindset. So we need people to admit to mistakes; but we also need penalties for making mistakes to be more... understanding, especially as many mistakes are made in environments that allowed them to be made.

    So what we had in the PO were people who must have known they were doing wrong, and were doing wrong deliberately. And the more they did wrong, the harsher the penalties (and in this case, the greater the rewards...) were.

    If a few people had been more honest at the start of this, in the early 2000s, a massive amount of suffering might have been prevented.

    Yet again, openness and clarity are key. "Yes, i fucked up," should not automatically be followed by: "You're fired!", and instead by "Let's fix it. Why did you fuck up?" It might still end up with an individual losing their job, but the organisation also learns.

    In this case, the rewards were such that the organisation did wrong, knew it, and kept on doing wrong. Because admitting their mistakes was not in their interest, even when it hurt others.

    (Sorry, a bit of a rambling, incoherent reply. But hopefully you get what I mean...)
    Just Culture

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_culture

    Very successful in aviation accident investigation.
    Good luck spreading that culture beyond aviation.
    Sounds like what the Rail Accident peeps do as well.
    Both engineering, both rational. I'd be pretty confident that the mindset leads to better outcomes than "rewards while you are seen to succeed but heaven help you if something goes wrong" approach that's more common.

    There clearly is a value in making an example, encourager the autres and all that. And there are professional crimes that are unforgivable.

    But our collective attitude feels like something that holds us back... is there a way of tweaking the incentives to reward healthier responses to things going wrong?
  • Options
    SandpitSandpit Posts: 49,859
    DavidL said:

    kamski said:

    In 2023 employees were off sick a record average of 20 days in Germany. This compares to an average of around 10 days off in the years 2010-2020.

    Without the extra sick leave the German economy would have grown 0.5% instead of shrinking by 0.3%.

    Source
    https://www.tagesschau.de/wirtschaft/konjunktur/rekord-krankenstand-rezession-100.html

    Interesting but it doesn't really go into why this is happening. Is it a consequence of long covid? People getting used to days at home from WFH and finding 5 days at the office or factory just too hard? A break down in the discipline that existed pre-Covid and a realisation that there is more to life than work? A greater awareness that going to work with an infection has consequences for your co-workers?

    I recall seeing some similar trends in the UK as well. It would be very interesting if someone investigated whether this is an international phenomenon. It would help to explain the somewhat anaemic growth the west is suffering.
    There’s definitely been a cultural change among white-collar workers and managers, that it’s no longer seen as good to be struggling into work with a bad cold, especially when remote working is possible.

    I did a couple of weeks WFH last year, once with a bad cold and once with Covid.

    How that culture can be applied to blue-collar work, especially for hourly paid of self-employed, is a different question.
  • Options
    LeonLeon Posts: 46,994
    DavidL said:

    kamski said:

    In 2023 employees were off sick a record average of 20 days in Germany. This compares to an average of around 10 days off in the years 2010-2020.

    Without the extra sick leave the German economy would have grown 0.5% instead of shrinking by 0.3%.

    Source
    https://www.tagesschau.de/wirtschaft/konjunktur/rekord-krankenstand-rezession-100.html

    Interesting but it doesn't really go into why this is happening. Is it a consequence of long covid? People getting used to days at home from WFH and finding 5 days at the office or factory just too hard? A break down in the discipline that existed pre-Covid and a realisation that there is more to life than work? A greater awareness that going to work with an infection has consequences for your co-workers?

    I recall seeing some similar trends in the UK as well. It would be very interesting if someone investigated whether this is an international phenomenon. It would help to explain the somewhat anaemic growth the west is suffering.
    Lockdown fucked up everyone, psychologically

    One way or another

    The second most catastrophic public health mistake in a century. After the original idea to do gain of function virology on dangerous bugs in dodgy labs in the centre of a massive Chinese city
  • Options
    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,319
    DavidL said:

    kamski said:

    In 2023 employees were off sick a record average of 20 days in Germany. This compares to an average of around 10 days off in the years 2010-2020.

    Without the extra sick leave the German economy would have grown 0.5% instead of shrinking by 0.3%.

    Source
    https://www.tagesschau.de/wirtschaft/konjunktur/rekord-krankenstand-rezession-100.html

    Interesting but it doesn't really go into why this is happening. Is it a consequence of long covid? People getting used to days at home from WFH and finding 5 days at the office or factory just too hard? A break down in the discipline that existed pre-Covid and a realisation that there is more to life than work? A greater awareness that going to work with an infection has consequences for your co-workers?

    I recall seeing some similar trends in the UK as well. It would be very interesting if someone investigated whether this is an international phenomenon. It would help to explain the somewhat anaemic growth the west is suffering.
    From working with German companies - they seem to have a stricter culture of getting a sick note from the doctor for even minor, short illness causing time off work.
  • Options
    eekeek Posts: 24,949

    Foxy said:

    The polls are widening and that is only going to get worse. I think the tories will panic to save what is left of the Parliamentary group. Recession, summer boats, brexit border chaos,, medicine shortages, interest rates will remain high, ever more infighting on the right and reform in the ascendant > there is simply less and less to wait for. They can wait, but it would be the wrong move. It is time to cut losses now.

    On current polling it is hard to see a May election. The only reason to expect one is the not insignificant one of preventing a leadership challenge to Sunak. Lasts weeks fizzled out and in the absence of any real alternative apart from a magic combination.

    Looking at the odds on Betfair the value to me looks like September (currently 20) which prevents an uncomfortable conference, 2025 or later (currently 18) as going as late as possible is the norm for unpopular governments, and December (currently at 11).

    I agree that November is also likely, but doesn't look value at odds on.
    Even amongst 2019 Conservatives, there's no real enthusiasm for any alternative PM. This came out yesterday from Mori;



    Forget the fantasy contortions to get Nigel or Boris in place, they don't really solve the problem.

    So the anti Rishi crew may continue to wound, but there aren't enough of them to kill. And the loyalists will hold on to nurse Sunak for fear of something far worse.
    There are two major leadership problems.

    The party is hopelessly divided and no candidate can secure enough support without internal enemies seeking to take them down.
    Sunak is particularly rubbish and out of touch as a campaigner and persuader.

    The first doesn't get changed by toppling Sunak, the second one might do.
    There is still one option that remains that doesn’t lead to an immediate defenestration of Sunak.

    If Sunak could be persuaded to step down at the GE, he can pre-announce his resignation as leader, but not PM. In the summer, we get a Tory leadership contest allowing all those wonderful candidates (eye roll) an opportunity to sell themselves as new brooms. Winner announced around conference, then we soon go into a GE campaign which they front. Sunak and the government are just caretakers at that point.

    The advantage for Sunak in all this is he gets his full two years or so as PM for the CV but he doesn’t get blamed for the defeat.

    The advantage (potentially) for the Tory Party is that technically they’ve not replaced PMs a third time in the parliament but they’re able to produce a different face to the electorate.

    I’m not suggesting this will happen but if they do really want to change leader again that is probably the least damaging way for all involved.
    And would result in complete Tory party annihilation as they would choose the more right wing and loopy candidate (because remember Tory party membership no longer represents the actual population).

    So on that basis alone bring it on - because reality is I think Rishi is about as good as the Tory party have at the moment and the best chance they have of doing well because of the he gave out during Covid,
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    OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 31,960

    Good morning everybody; fine, clear sky here this morning!
    So often the post office scandal gives me a couple of tangent thoughts. Another one this morning; in how many post offices did problems occur after a manager had been sacked? In other words, if the postmaster at Little Snoring had been convicted of false accounting, due to Horizon , and sacked, did problems arise when his or her successor was in post? And if not, why not?

    Well, first of all, the errors were not a 100 per cent thing, in that SPM Smith-Jones had money disappear every single day, but more importantly because SPM is not just a job. If you are appointed SPM you have to make room in your own premises for the Post Office counter and if you are dismissed and someone else appointed, the whole kit and kaboodle moves to their shop, probably with updated electronic equipment and certainly with new connections.
    Good point; thanks. However, does that always happen? There are places where there are only one or two shop premises.
    I think the point’s been adequately covered though.
    I should have remembered Arbuthnot’s SPM’s.
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    TheScreamingEaglesTheScreamingEagles Posts: 114,358
    edited January 27
    Oh FFS, no first class seats? What the actual fucking fuck? Are we in the USSR? Further proof Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak are lefties.

    First-class seats could be scrapped on Britain’s new High Speed 2 train line as officials look for ways to avoid a drop in passenger capacity on the troubled rail link after Rishi Sunak tore up much of the planned route.

    The UK prime minister in October cut the northern leg of HS2 from Birmingham in the Midlands to Manchester to rein in spiralling costs on what has been the most expensive infrastructure scheme in Europe.

    A new high-speed rail line will now only be built from London to Birmingham, with HS2’s custom-built trains shifting on to existing tracks the rest of the way to the north of England.

    Sunak’s revised plans mean passenger capacity will drop because the HS2 trains are smaller than the existing stock of trains that currently use the West Coast Mainline from Birmingham to Manchester.

    An internal government document seen by the Financial Times said capacity would drop from 1,690 to 1,530 seats per hour between London and Manchester, undermining the original aim of HS2, which was to hugely increase capacity on the railway system between the north and south...

    ...One idea under discussion is removing all first-class seats from the new trains, which would return the seat capacity on the line closer to previous levels, they said.

    “They are serious about ripping out the first class, it’s another nail in the coffin of this being some kind of superior rail service but it’s probably less embarrassing than ending up with lower capacity,” said one senior rail industry figure.


    https://www.ft.com/content/17dc0a18-f56b-4ecc-9676-0113c09d6811
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    JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 38,937
    Leon said:

    DavidL said:

    kamski said:

    In 2023 employees were off sick a record average of 20 days in Germany. This compares to an average of around 10 days off in the years 2010-2020.

    Without the extra sick leave the German economy would have grown 0.5% instead of shrinking by 0.3%.

    Source
    https://www.tagesschau.de/wirtschaft/konjunktur/rekord-krankenstand-rezession-100.html

    Interesting but it doesn't really go into why this is happening. Is it a consequence of long covid? People getting used to days at home from WFH and finding 5 days at the office or factory just too hard? A break down in the discipline that existed pre-Covid and a realisation that there is more to life than work? A greater awareness that going to work with an infection has consequences for your co-workers?

    I recall seeing some similar trends in the UK as well. It would be very interesting if someone investigated whether this is an international phenomenon. It would help to explain the somewhat anaemic growth the west is suffering.
    Lockdown fucked up everyone, psychologically

    One way or another

    The second most catastrophic public health mistake in a century. After the original idea to do gain of function virology on dangerous bugs in dodgy labs in the centre of a massive Chinese city
    No, it didn't. You keep on making grand statements like that, and when you're proved wrong - as you did with your stupid claims about kids and toilet training - you deny reality.

    You claim to have a high IQ. It'd be good if you actually showed signs of using it occasionally... ;)
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    MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 50,096
    You don't need as grand as project as the Severn Barrage. A series of tidal lagoons either side of the Severn are far easier (and far less disruptive of shipping too).

    If May had approved Swansea (or more to the point, if her civil servants hadn't nobbled it) then you would now have half a dozen lagoons under construction, delivering power by 2030. Well before Hinkley C. And at at fraction of the cost.

    The Severn barrage won't get built, because it isn't needed. Tidal lagoons will get built, because they are exactly the answer that various Ministers have been groping around for in the dark.
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