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The government is right to junk Supplementary Vote – it’s the worst of all worlds – politicalbetting

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  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 39,788
    TOPPING said:

    TOPPING said:

    Blimey just noticed that the Army is likely to be reduced by 10,000 from the current 70,000. I note we're already between Ethiopia and Bangladesh in size of active forces.

    Now, more than ever, we need those on PB who have yearnings in that direction, indeed have displayed strategic aptitude in terms of likely campaigns, to sign up. We simply can't allow the country to be at such risk.

    You know who you are.

    I thought it was to 70,000?
    Ah yes. Soz. To 70,000. Still low.
    When I was a lad in Fallingbostel in the early 1970s we had over 50k troops in Germany alone and more than 20k in NI.

    As you will appreciate better than most our army is now too small to carry out any meaningful task for any extended period of time. We simply could not do what we did in Afghanistan for such an extended period for example. No doubt tech, specifically drones, will make absolute numbers less critical but there comes a point when what you have is a home defence force, not an army. I think that's where we are.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 35,767

    tlg86 said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    @MattW are you suggesting that Westminster will unilaterally change the voting system of the Scottish Parliament?

    Inflammatory to say the least...

    Just not politically possible and highly undesirable in any event. You only need to look at the result of the Westminster FPTP system in Scotland to show the risks. Do we really want to risk an opposition to the SNP government of 3? Given that a significant minority spread across the country (with modest soft spots in the borders and the NE) support independence this would guarantee massive SNP majorities.

    Indeed, I would go further. Rather than some smart super forecaster finding some Tory advantage this focus on FPTP elections is a bungle that should be quietly forgotten about as soon as possible.
    Whilst I know your opinion on voting systems is nuanced with a preference for more proportionate systems the more "local" the government, with all due respect it does seem a little hypocritical to support FPTP at Westminster while opposing it at Holyrood for the main reason (possibly sole?) that it would likely give the SNP massive majorities...
    You say hypocritical, I say pragmatic.
    Sure. It is pragmatic. But it does certainly lend support to the idea that the main and dominant reason Conservatives really like FPTP at Westminster is because it benefits them.

    There is a significant minority spread across the country (with modest soft spots in the major cities) that support the Conservative Party...

    FWIW I have always supported PR, even during the last Labour government. In fact it is my biggest criticism of Tony Blair, other than the Iraq War obviously, that he failed to follow through with the manifesto commitment of changing the voting system.
    For me, as we discussed yesterday, the best features of FPTP at national level are its tendency to produce decisive governments and to discourage fragmentation. I would not want a Belgian style situation where it takes a year to form a new government.

    @Pagan2 also made the point yesterday that PR systems with fragmented parties means that you vote for a manifesto that you like but it doesn't get implemented. All the power to decide what a government actually does is taken from the electorate to the politicians in what these days are no doubt well ventilated rooms away from the public gaze. I don't see that as an improvement.
    How did you feel about a Labour "majority" in 2005 with 36% of the vote? Outraged at the unfairness? Quite right too.
    But this is the key point, isn't it? The Tories didn't moan. Ultimately, the Tories and Labour support FPTP because it cements their dominant positions. With PR, you never know what might happen to those parties.
    Yes they did. Cameron was so enraged he demanded boundary changes.

    So rather than repair the broken system Cameron's answer was to regain the advantage iwithin the unfair system.
    I think it's a poor argument to criticize a party for arguing for fairly sized seats in a FPTP system. The 2010 changes notionally gave the Tories a dozen more seats, but as OGH likes to point out, it's not just the size of the seat but differential turnout that contributes to the apparent unfairness against the Tories. Not much you can do about that, except try to win in areas where the turnout is lower. I'd suggest the Tories have done precisely that.
    Or base boundaries on registered voters rather than population? Which apparently assists the Tories.
    If the Tories put a lot of effort into ensuring that second home owners and landlords weren't double counted, I must have missed it.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 41,516
    malcolmg said:
    Contempt of court proceedings should be used when the actions of a person bring the standing of the judicial system into disrepute. Here, it is the actions of the use of contempt of court that is bringing the judicial system into disrepute. All to save the blushes of a lying politician.
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 21,716
    Stocky said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    I would tend to agree on b. But just to say there are few more annoying words on PB than ‘holibobs’. It tends to be used by those who think holidays unimportant. Yet holidays are very important things, even though they may be domestic only for a while.
    It deliberately seeks to trivialise holidays and fails to distinguish between holidays and travel. No return to normal counts as normal whilst we are imprisoned on this island. Anyway, we have been repeatedly assured that the vaccines are the silver bullet and the road map gives and end to all legal restrictions in June.
    The question is how willing you are to be imprisoned in your own house compared to how willing you are to be imprisoned in your own country.

    I know people for whom the only inconvenience of the last year has been the restrictions on foreign holidays and others for whom the only thing that hasn't inconvenienced them are restrictions on foreign holidays.
  • eekeek Posts: 14,926

    TOPPING said:

    eek said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    I would tend to agree on b. But just to say there are few more annoying words on PB than ‘holibobs’. It tends to be used by those who think holidays unimportant. Yet holidays are very important things, even though they may be domestic only for a while.
    The problem with holidays is that people want a complete change of scene and for a lot of people that means being outside the UK.

    Equally trying to find anywhere in the UK looks like it's going to be hard work - we are going away but that's mainly because of friends giving us very first dibs on cancellations.
    I do wonder about capacity in the UK - if we all want a nice cottage in Devon/Cornwall/the Lakes etc. Might be time to explore those lesser visited places.
    H*rtl*p**l?
    Co. Durham certainly, especially parts of the coast, and in the west of the County Palatine.

    When I was a student lodging in Sunderland my landlady used to let our rooms in the summer to Scots who came South for their holidays.
    Whitley Bay used to be one of the biggest summer holiday destinations for Scots.

    Of course that was before they realised it was sh*t and that the Costa del Sol was much better.
    Um that was before the days the Costa del Sol was an option.

    And there is nowt wrong with a day at Cullercoats or South Shields if you have small children. Just remember that you need wind breaks protecting you in all directions...
  • LeonLeon Posts: 11,578
    edited March 22

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    tlg86 said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    You may be surprised to learn Mr M, that I agree with you.

    Apart from the fact that I want to go to see my family in Thailand, probably early in 2022. Of course, Thailand is practically Covid-free.
    I'd suggest your bigger concern would be about whether or not Thailand will let you in (they may do as I guess their economy is suffering badly from no tourism).

    That's what I don't get about this whole debate. It's all well and good focussing on our government and what they think, but who wants to go to a country that's in lockdown?!
    The Thais are concerned about their economy and the effect of no foreign tourists. Up until now visitors have had to spend a fortnight in quarantine and hotels have been advertising suitable packages. Some equally elderly acquaintances of ours said it was quite pleasant; excellent food, sunny balcony, access to international TV. Of course it cuts the time with relatives.
    However, I understand that they are now planning to allow in people with evidence of vaccination, a negative test on arrival and another after three days quarantine.
    Which, even out of a 30 day stay is acceptable. And, with exceptions along the Myanmar border, Thailand isn't in lockdown.
    Thailand must be haemorrhaging money (like so many others). Tourism is about 20% of their GDP, and all the islands, beaches and Bangkok hotels are deserted. Many have been shuttered for a year. The domestic market cannot make up for international visitors, not remotely

    Eventually they will just have to reopen, or risk civil unrest as poverty deepens
    They've been doing quite well with internal tourism. Obviously not making up for all the foreigners, but even wealthy, or well-off Thais, who would normally have gone abroad, have been subsidised to spend their holidays in the Kingdom. Of course, as you say, it doesn't go far to make up the difference. The black, or least cuddly brown, economy has also, I gather, suffered very severely.
    My favourite hotel in Bangkok (quite new, lovely sky bar) has been completely shut since March 2020. Not just restricted, or taking quarantined tourists - entirely closed. Will it ever reopen?
    It was my son and daughter-in-laws wedding anniversary last week and he sent us pictures of them celebrating in a roof-top bar in Bangkok. And a Thai friend, recently retired, is sending pictures of holiday trips all over the country.
    And surely the Oriental hasn't closed?
    The Oriental is absolutely gorgeous, but in a terrible location, now that all the fun - restaurants, bars, shopping - has moved east down the Sukhumvit Road.
  • GallowgateGallowgate Posts: 16,577
    eek said:

    TOPPING said:

    eek said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    I would tend to agree on b. But just to say there are few more annoying words on PB than ‘holibobs’. It tends to be used by those who think holidays unimportant. Yet holidays are very important things, even though they may be domestic only for a while.
    The problem with holidays is that people want a complete change of scene and for a lot of people that means being outside the UK.

    Equally trying to find anywhere in the UK looks like it's going to be hard work - we are going away but that's mainly because of friends giving us very first dibs on cancellations.
    I do wonder about capacity in the UK - if we all want a nice cottage in Devon/Cornwall/the Lakes etc. Might be time to explore those lesser visited places.
    H*rtl*p**l?
    Co. Durham certainly, especially parts of the coast, and in the west of the County Palatine.

    When I was a student lodging in Sunderland my landlady used to let our rooms in the summer to Scots who came South for their holidays.
    Whitley Bay used to be one of the biggest summer holiday destinations for Scots.

    Of course that was before they realised it was sh*t and that the Costa del Sol was much better.
    Um that was before the days the Costa del Sol was an option.

    And there is nowt wrong with a day at Cullercoats or South Shields if you have small children. Just remember that you need wind breaks protecting you in all directions...
    I know that. I was making a funny wasn't I
  • solarflaresolarflare Posts: 1,914

    TOPPING said:

    TOPPING said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    So do we.

    A well-off old bloke who has seen the world and now lives in a very comfortable pad in a charming area with an unbroken view of the wonderful British countryside.

    Other, younger types not so much.
    There's nothing stopping younger types from enjoying a domestic holiday this year.

    If it means that the younger types can live as normal again, go clubbing at weekends, enjoy hook ups, live life, get jobs, go to uni, or anything else every other day of the year then a weekend at Ibiza can wait until next year.
    The same cohort that has given up so much for everyone else for 4-5% of their lives will be asked to wait another 4-5% of it? To protect the oldies who live in lovely houses in the West Country. And have all been vaccinated.

    I have been following the news fairly carefully but missed the transition from what I believed was the AZN jab giving protection against serious illness and death from the SA variant, and now no one being so sure.

    I know you are past the days you describe, but hundreds of thousands aren't. It's a big ask.
    No, lockdown is a big ask. Enjoying a weekend in the UK instead of Ibiza is not a big ask.

    The point is we need to ensure there are no more lockdowns, no more restrictions. If restrictions can be lifted in this country then we are 99% back to normal.

    If we allow weekends away but then end up having to go back into lockdown then is that worth it to you? Is that worth the young sacrificing another few months or a year?
    Of course if one is being Monday morning cheery one might suspect there's a reasonable chance we will forego foreign holidays plus lots of other stuff and still end up having further lockdowns anyway. But maybe that's just the Monday talking.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 35,767

    Bright sunshine, Chiffchaff singing near the window - winter is now but a faded memory.

    Snow is forecast for Friday apparently
    Maybe on the top of Snowdon.
    BBC forecast was cold weather towards the end of the week with risk of snow, but they did not mention Snowdon
    They said something like 'as far south as Dartmoor'.
    Which, AIUI, is South of Snowdon, by quite some distance..
    The forecast temperatures for the South on the BBC website dont suggest snow is likely
  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 16,136
    IanB2 said:

    An unusually silly lead from Herdson. Yes, the way SV limits second preferences is flawed, but having a second preference is better than none, and ensures both that fewer votes are wasted and that the winner has the support of at least half of the voters, which FPTnP doesn’t do. His suggestions that votes aren’t wasted under our current system is absurd. Indeed every flaw he seeks to call out under SV is worse when there is no second choice at all.

    It will not surprise you to know I disagree. I believe your characterisation of SV is wrong.

    SV does not give a second preference in the way you suggest. As I'd hoped I'd made clear in the leader, many second preferences are simply junked - and those which are junked are often a matter of chance. It is that inequality which is what is so wrong with SV: that some votes literally count when others don't - and that which ones do (or don't) is often quite random.

    SV *doesn't* at all ensure that the winner receives more than 50% of the votes; it ensures that they receive more than 50% of the votes not discarded. In fact, of the 38 elections where there were five candidates, for example, eight were elected on the first round. Of the other 30, only seven won more than half the total votes after redistributions - and in every one of those cases, the winning candidate had a lead of at least 14% in the first round. I've not done a similar analysis for the other SV elections but I'd be surprised if they result in a strikingly different outcome.

    What Ian doesn't seem to accept is the distinction between votes for a losing candidate and votes that, despite being valid in all other respects, are discarded just because of a feature of the system. A vote does not 'count' because it elects someone; it counts because someone cast it. But all too often, SV does not count it.

    As for his unevidenced comment that the claim that "votes aren’t wasted under our current system is absurd" is a good example of 'weak case: shout louder'.
  • eekeek Posts: 14,926

    eek said:

    TOPPING said:

    eek said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    I would tend to agree on b. But just to say there are few more annoying words on PB than ‘holibobs’. It tends to be used by those who think holidays unimportant. Yet holidays are very important things, even though they may be domestic only for a while.
    The problem with holidays is that people want a complete change of scene and for a lot of people that means being outside the UK.

    Equally trying to find anywhere in the UK looks like it's going to be hard work - we are going away but that's mainly because of friends giving us very first dibs on cancellations.
    I do wonder about capacity in the UK - if we all want a nice cottage in Devon/Cornwall/the Lakes etc. Might be time to explore those lesser visited places.
    H*rtl*p**l?
    Co. Durham certainly, especially parts of the coast, and in the west of the County Palatine.

    When I was a student lodging in Sunderland my landlady used to let our rooms in the summer to Scots who came South for their holidays.
    Whitley Bay used to be one of the biggest summer holiday destinations for Scots.

    Of course that was before they realised it was sh*t and that the Costa del Sol was much better.
    Um that was before the days the Costa del Sol was an option.

    And there is nowt wrong with a day at Cullercoats or South Shields if you have small children. Just remember that you need wind breaks protecting you in all directions...
    I know that. I was making a funny wasn't I
    You missed the fact - I said a day. What are you going to do for the rest of the week when its peeing down?

  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 21,716
    DavidL said:

    TOPPING said:

    TOPPING said:

    Blimey just noticed that the Army is likely to be reduced by 10,000 from the current 70,000. I note we're already between Ethiopia and Bangladesh in size of active forces.

    Now, more than ever, we need those on PB who have yearnings in that direction, indeed have displayed strategic aptitude in terms of likely campaigns, to sign up. We simply can't allow the country to be at such risk.

    You know who you are.

    I thought it was to 70,000?
    Ah yes. Soz. To 70,000. Still low.
    When I was a lad in Fallingbostel in the early 1970s we had over 50k troops in Germany alone and more than 20k in NI.

    As you will appreciate better than most our army is now too small to carry out any meaningful task for any extended period of time. We simply could not do what we did in Afghanistan for such an extended period for example. No doubt tech, specifically drones, will make absolute numbers less critical but there comes a point when what you have is a home defence force, not an army. I think that's where we are.
    The reduction in military numbers after May 2010 was one thing.

    The increase in Middle Eastern warmongering was another.
  • GallowgateGallowgate Posts: 16,577
    eek said:

    eek said:

    TOPPING said:

    eek said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    I would tend to agree on b. But just to say there are few more annoying words on PB than ‘holibobs’. It tends to be used by those who think holidays unimportant. Yet holidays are very important things, even though they may be domestic only for a while.
    The problem with holidays is that people want a complete change of scene and for a lot of people that means being outside the UK.

    Equally trying to find anywhere in the UK looks like it's going to be hard work - we are going away but that's mainly because of friends giving us very first dibs on cancellations.
    I do wonder about capacity in the UK - if we all want a nice cottage in Devon/Cornwall/the Lakes etc. Might be time to explore those lesser visited places.
    H*rtl*p**l?
    Co. Durham certainly, especially parts of the coast, and in the west of the County Palatine.

    When I was a student lodging in Sunderland my landlady used to let our rooms in the summer to Scots who came South for their holidays.
    Whitley Bay used to be one of the biggest summer holiday destinations for Scots.

    Of course that was before they realised it was sh*t and that the Costa del Sol was much better.
    Um that was before the days the Costa del Sol was an option.

    And there is nowt wrong with a day at Cullercoats or South Shields if you have small children. Just remember that you need wind breaks protecting you in all directions...
    I know that. I was making a funny wasn't I
    You missed the fact - I said a day. What are you going to do for the rest of the week when its peeing down?

    Get on the lash in Newcastle?
  • Big_G_NorthWalesBig_G_NorthWales Posts: 45,409
    edited March 22
    Sky showing a 30 litre bottle of champagne being brought to the UK after being sold for £173,000
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 31,363

    TOPPING said:

    TOPPING said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    So do we.

    A well-off old bloke who has seen the world and now lives in a very comfortable pad in a charming area with an unbroken view of the wonderful British countryside.

    Other, younger types not so much.
    There's nothing stopping younger types from enjoying a domestic holiday this year.

    If it means that the younger types can live as normal again, go clubbing at weekends, enjoy hook ups, live life, get jobs, go to uni, or anything else every other day of the year then a weekend at Ibiza can wait until next year.
    The same cohort that has given up so much for everyone else for 4-5% of their lives will be asked to wait another 4-5% of it? To protect the oldies who live in lovely houses in the West Country. And have all been vaccinated.

    I have been following the news fairly carefully but missed the transition from what I believed was the AZN jab giving protection against serious illness and death from the SA variant, and now no one being so sure.

    I know you are past the days you describe, but hundreds of thousands aren't. It's a big ask.
    No, lockdown is a big ask. Enjoying a weekend in the UK instead of Ibiza is not a big ask.

    The point is we need to ensure there are no more lockdowns, no more restrictions. If restrictions can be lifted in this country then we are 99% back to normal.

    If we allow weekends away but then end up having to go back into lockdown then is that worth it to you? Is that worth the young sacrificing another few months or a year?
    So at what point are we going to "live with it"? There will always be new variants. Just one more push, etc. I thought the SA variant was here and I also thought that "scientists" said that AZN was effective against it.

    We absolutely do need to ensure there are no more lockdowns but at some point - and now we have the Covid Act extended until October, oh just for furloughs, of course - we have to move on.
  • MattWMattW Posts: 10,220

    malcolmg said:
    Contempt of court proceedings should be used when the actions of a person bring the standing of the judicial system into disrepute. Here, it is the actions of the use of contempt of court that is bringing the judicial system into disrepute. All to save the blushes of a lying politician.
    Jigsaw identification of complainants allegedly possible due to his blog-reports on the Salmond Trial.
  • kamskikamski Posts: 2,118
    eek said:

    Leon said:

    Stocky said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    I would tend to agree on b. But just to say there are few more annoying words on PB than ‘holibobs’. It tends to be used by those who think holidays unimportant. Yet holidays are very important things, even though they may be domestic only for a while.
    It deliberately seeks to trivialise holidays and fails to distinguish between holidays and travel. No return to normal counts as normal whilst we are imprisoned on this island. Anyway, we have been repeatedly assured that the vaccines are the silver bullet and the road map gives and end to all legal restrictions in June.
    It also trivialises 10% of our GDP - tourism (and allied things like hospitality)

    We really need to know the true threat from the SA variant. We still don't know if our vaccines prevent acute disease or death.

    We know Novavax DOES work, so that could be another way towards normality. You want to go abroad? You get a Novavax booster shot. Need to think creatively
    Want to go abroad - for the moment that's 2 weeks of house arrest when you return - if your work is happy with that please go ahead.
    That might be a reasonable step (though I think it's generally 10 days quarantine with the possible option of reducing it by about 4 days with test-to-release), but for the moment it is illegal to travel abroad from England for holidays:
    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-declaration-form-for-international-travel

    Removing the ban on leaving the country (which is anyway full of loopholes), but keeping the other measures in place is unlikely to lead to lots of people going on foreign holidays, especially to places that are in lockdown and/or have their own quarantine rules.
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 30,079
    tlg86 said:

    tlg86 said:

    tlg86 said:

    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    @MattW are you suggesting that Westminster will unilaterally change the voting system of the Scottish Parliament?

    Inflammatory to say the least...

    Just not politically possible and highly undesirable in any event. You only need to look at the result of the Westminster FPTP system in Scotland to show the risks. Do we really want to risk an opposition to the SNP government of 3? Given that a significant minority spread across the country (with modest soft spots in the borders and the NE) support independence this would guarantee massive SNP majorities.

    Indeed, I would go further. Rather than some smart super forecaster finding some Tory advantage this focus on FPTP elections is a bungle that should be quietly forgotten about as soon as possible.
    Whilst I know your opinion on voting systems is nuanced with a preference for more proportionate systems the more "local" the government, with all due respect it does seem a little hypocritical to support FPTP at Westminster while opposing it at Holyrood for the main reason (possibly sole?) that it would likely give the SNP massive majorities...
    You say hypocritical, I say pragmatic.
    Sure. It is pragmatic. But it does certainly lend support to the idea that the main and dominant reason Conservatives really like FPTP at Westminster is because it benefits them.

    There is a significant minority spread across the country (with modest soft spots in the major cities) that support the Conservative Party...

    FWIW I have always supported PR, even during the last Labour government. In fact it is my biggest criticism of Tony Blair, other than the Iraq War obviously, that he failed to follow through with the manifesto commitment of changing the voting system.
    For me, as we discussed yesterday, the best features of FPTP at national level are its tendency to produce decisive governments and to discourage fragmentation. I would not want a Belgian style situation where it takes a year to form a new government.

    @Pagan2 also made the point yesterday that PR systems with fragmented parties means that you vote for a manifesto that you like but it doesn't get implemented. All the power to decide what a government actually does is taken from the electorate to the politicians in what these days are no doubt well ventilated rooms away from the public gaze. I don't see that as an improvement.
    How did you feel about a Labour "majority" in 2005 with 36% of the vote? Outraged at the unfairness? Quite right too.
    But this is the key point, isn't it? The Tories didn't moan. Ultimately, the Tories and Labour support FPTP because it cements their dominant positions. With PR, you never know what might happen to those parties.
    Yes they did. Cameron was so enraged he demanded boundary changes.

    So rather than repair the broken system Cameron's answer was to regain the advantage iwithin the unfair system.
    I think it's a poor argument to criticize a party for arguing for fairly sized seats in a FPTP system. The 2010 changes notionally gave the Tories a dozen more seats, but as OGH likes to point out, it's not just the size of the seat but differential turnout that contributes to the apparent unfairness against the Tories. Not much you can do about that, except try to win in areas where the turnout is lower. I'd suggest the Tories have done precisely that.
    Why is anyone putting a party political slant on this?

    The fact is if you support FPTP you must be comfortable with 36% of the vote (or even lower) giving a party a majority of seats, whoever this may be.

    Again you may think that the benefits of strong and decisive government are worth it and that's fine but it's still a valid criticism.
    Labour's impressively efficient performance in 2005 wasn't down to unequally sized constituencies (it helped, but only a little bit).

    But I don't think it's wrong to at least try to get them roughly equal (I tend to agree with @rcs1000 that the tolerance should be higher than -/+ 5%).
    Labour did superbly well at holding lots of marginal seats by 100-3,000 votes, that year.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 41,516
    edited March 22
    Leon said:

    eek said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    I would tend to agree on b. But just to say there are few more annoying words on PB than ‘holibobs’. It tends to be used by those who think holidays unimportant. Yet holidays are very important things, even though they may be domestic only for a while.
    The problem with holidays is that people want a complete change of scene and for a lot of people that means being outside the UK.

    Equally trying to find anywhere in the UK looks like it's going to be hard work - we are going away but that's mainly because of friends giving us very first dibs on cancellations.
    I do wonder about capacity in the UK - if we all want a nice cottage in Devon/Cornwall/the Lakes etc. Might be time to explore those lesser visited places.
    Everywhere in the West Country, Lakes, Hebrides, is booked out for the rest of the year. All gone.

    My advice: try eastern England. Rural Suffolk. Ely. Lincoln. Or far north Scotland.

    Explore....

    The run across from John O'Groats to Cape Wrath is spectacular. And deserted. (Well, it used to have quite a few Dutch and Germans, but not much else.)
  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 16,136

    Foxy said:

    I see that another African politician has died of Covid:

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/22/congos-opposition-candidate-kolelas-dies-a-day-after-poll

    The combination of meeting lots of people, age much greater than the national average and air conditioned offices is not a good one.

    As I mentioned yesterday, the traditional Congolese greeting is not the handshake, but rubbing alternate temples together. Covid couldn't have devised a better vector for transmission - two faces in extended close contact.
    The Inuits say hello.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 24,545
    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    tlg86 said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    You may be surprised to learn Mr M, that I agree with you.

    Apart from the fact that I want to go to see my family in Thailand, probably early in 2022. Of course, Thailand is practically Covid-free.
    I'd suggest your bigger concern would be about whether or not Thailand will let you in (they may do as I guess their economy is suffering badly from no tourism).

    That's what I don't get about this whole debate. It's all well and good focussing on our government and what they think, but who wants to go to a country that's in lockdown?!
    The Thais are concerned about their economy and the effect of no foreign tourists. Up until now visitors have had to spend a fortnight in quarantine and hotels have been advertising suitable packages. Some equally elderly acquaintances of ours said it was quite pleasant; excellent food, sunny balcony, access to international TV. Of course it cuts the time with relatives.
    However, I understand that they are now planning to allow in people with evidence of vaccination, a negative test on arrival and another after three days quarantine.
    Which, even out of a 30 day stay is acceptable. And, with exceptions along the Myanmar border, Thailand isn't in lockdown.
    Thailand must be haemorrhaging money (like so many others). Tourism is about 20% of their GDP, and all the islands, beaches and Bangkok hotels are deserted. Many have been shuttered for a year. The domestic market cannot make up for international visitors, not remotely

    Eventually they will just have to reopen, or risk civil unrest as poverty deepens
    They've been doing quite well with internal tourism. Obviously not making up for all the foreigners, but even wealthy, or well-off Thais, who would normally have gone abroad, have been subsidised to spend their holidays in the Kingdom. Of course, as you say, it doesn't go far to make up the difference. The black, or least cuddly brown, economy has also, I gather, suffered very severely.
    My favourite hotel in Bangkok (quite new, lovely sky bar) has been completely shut since March 2020. Not just restricted, or taking quarantined tourists - entirely closed. Will it ever reopen?
    It was my son and daughter-in-laws wedding anniversary last week and he sent us pictures of them celebrating in a roof-top bar in Bangkok. And a Thai friend, recently retired, is sending pictures of holiday trips all over the country.
    And surely the Oriental hasn't closed?
    The Oriental is absolutely gorgeous, but in a terrible location, now that all the fun - restaurants, bars, shopping - has moved east down the Sukhumvit Road.
    It's riverfront is good, though.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 35,767
    edited March 22

    IanB2 said:

    An unusually silly lead from Herdson. Yes, the way SV limits second preferences is flawed, but having a second preference is better than none, and ensures both that fewer votes are wasted and that the winner has the support of at least half of the voters, which FPTnP doesn’t do. His suggestions that votes aren’t wasted under our current system is absurd. Indeed every flaw he seeks to call out under SV is worse when there is no second choice at all.

    It will not surprise you to know I disagree. I believe your characterisation of SV is wrong.

    SV does not give a second preference in the way you suggest. As I'd hoped I'd made clear in the leader, many second preferences are simply junked - and those which are junked are often a matter of chance. It is that inequality which is what is so wrong with SV: that some votes literally count when others don't - and that which ones do (or don't) is often quite random.

    SV *doesn't* at all ensure that the winner receives more than 50% of the votes; it ensures that they receive more than 50% of the votes not discarded. In fact, of the 38 elections where there were five candidates, for example, eight were elected on the first round. Of the other 30, only seven won more than half the total votes after redistributions - and in every one of those cases, the winning candidate had a lead of at least 14% in the first round. I've not done a similar analysis for the other SV elections but I'd be surprised if they result in a strikingly different outcome.

    What Ian doesn't seem to accept is the distinction between votes for a losing candidate and votes that, despite being valid in all other respects, are discarded just because of a feature of the system. A vote does not 'count' because it elects someone; it counts because someone cast it. But all too often, SV does not count it.

    As for his unevidenced comment that the claim that "votes aren’t wasted under our current system is absurd" is a good example of 'weak case: shout louder'.
    You don't need to shout very loud to establish that our system wastes millions of votes. There are countless people with lived experienced of it.

    And Tories who - with characteristic self-interested hypocrisy - then exploit that fact by campaigning on slogans such as "A Liberal vote is a wasted vote" (exchange Green/UKIP etc.)
  • LeonLeon Posts: 11,578
    DavidL said:

    TOPPING said:

    TOPPING said:

    Blimey just noticed that the Army is likely to be reduced by 10,000 from the current 70,000. I note we're already between Ethiopia and Bangladesh in size of active forces.

    Now, more than ever, we need those on PB who have yearnings in that direction, indeed have displayed strategic aptitude in terms of likely campaigns, to sign up. We simply can't allow the country to be at such risk.

    You know who you are.

    I thought it was to 70,000?
    Ah yes. Soz. To 70,000. Still low.
    When I was a lad in Fallingbostel in the early 1970s we had over 50k troops in Germany alone and more than 20k in NI.

    As you will appreciate better than most our army is now too small to carry out any meaningful task for any extended period of time. We simply could not do what we did in Afghanistan for such an extended period for example. No doubt tech, specifically drones, will make absolute numbers less critical but there comes a point when what you have is a home defence force, not an army. I think that's where we are.
    Didn't the recent Armenian-Azeri war show that troops and tanks are virtually defenceless against well organised drones and missiles? That is the future. Large armies are finished. Analogue military in a world of digital wars.

    The same will soon be true of large aircraft carriers. Ooops
  • MattWMattW Posts: 10,220

    Leon said:

    eek said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    I would tend to agree on b. But just to say there are few more annoying words on PB than ‘holibobs’. It tends to be used by those who think holidays unimportant. Yet holidays are very important things, even though they may be domestic only for a while.
    The problem with holidays is that people want a complete change of scene and for a lot of people that means being outside the UK.

    Equally trying to find anywhere in the UK looks like it's going to be hard work - we are going away but that's mainly because of friends giving us very first dibs on cancellations.
    I do wonder about capacity in the UK - if we all want a nice cottage in Devon/Cornwall/the Lakes etc. Might be time to explore those lesser visited places.
    Everywhere in the West Country, Lakes, Hebrides, is booked out for the rest of the year. All gone.

    My advice: try eastern England. Rural Suffolk. Ely. Lincoln. Or far north Scotland.

    Explore....

    The run across from John O'Groats to Cape Wrath is spectacular. And deserted. (Well, it used to have quite a few Dutch and Germans, but not much else.)
    Is that the one with the umpteen speed cameras?

  • LeonLeon Posts: 11,578

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    tlg86 said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    You may be surprised to learn Mr M, that I agree with you.

    Apart from the fact that I want to go to see my family in Thailand, probably early in 2022. Of course, Thailand is practically Covid-free.
    I'd suggest your bigger concern would be about whether or not Thailand will let you in (they may do as I guess their economy is suffering badly from no tourism).

    That's what I don't get about this whole debate. It's all well and good focussing on our government and what they think, but who wants to go to a country that's in lockdown?!
    The Thais are concerned about their economy and the effect of no foreign tourists. Up until now visitors have had to spend a fortnight in quarantine and hotels have been advertising suitable packages. Some equally elderly acquaintances of ours said it was quite pleasant; excellent food, sunny balcony, access to international TV. Of course it cuts the time with relatives.
    However, I understand that they are now planning to allow in people with evidence of vaccination, a negative test on arrival and another after three days quarantine.
    Which, even out of a 30 day stay is acceptable. And, with exceptions along the Myanmar border, Thailand isn't in lockdown.
    Thailand must be haemorrhaging money (like so many others). Tourism is about 20% of their GDP, and all the islands, beaches and Bangkok hotels are deserted. Many have been shuttered for a year. The domestic market cannot make up for international visitors, not remotely

    Eventually they will just have to reopen, or risk civil unrest as poverty deepens
    They've been doing quite well with internal tourism. Obviously not making up for all the foreigners, but even wealthy, or well-off Thais, who would normally have gone abroad, have been subsidised to spend their holidays in the Kingdom. Of course, as you say, it doesn't go far to make up the difference. The black, or least cuddly brown, economy has also, I gather, suffered very severely.
    My favourite hotel in Bangkok (quite new, lovely sky bar) has been completely shut since March 2020. Not just restricted, or taking quarantined tourists - entirely closed. Will it ever reopen?
    It was my son and daughter-in-laws wedding anniversary last week and he sent us pictures of them celebrating in a roof-top bar in Bangkok. And a Thai friend, recently retired, is sending pictures of holiday trips all over the country.
    And surely the Oriental hasn't closed?
    The Oriental is absolutely gorgeous, but in a terrible location, now that all the fun - restaurants, bars, shopping - has moved east down the Sukhumvit Road.
    It's riverfront is good, though.
    It is magnificent. I love getting the river ferry over to the gleaming spa

    I may treat myself to a stay in winter 2022
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 41,516

    Foxy said:

    I see that another African politician has died of Covid:

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/22/congos-opposition-candidate-kolelas-dies-a-day-after-poll

    The combination of meeting lots of people, age much greater than the national average and air conditioned offices is not a good one.

    As I mentioned yesterday, the traditional Congolese greeting is not the handshake, but rubbing alternate temples together. Covid couldn't have devised a better vector for transmission - two faces in extended close contact.
    The Inuits say hello.
    There are any left?
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 30,079

    Foxy said:

    I see that another African politician has died of Covid:

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/22/congos-opposition-candidate-kolelas-dies-a-day-after-poll

    The combination of meeting lots of people, age much greater than the national average and air conditioned offices is not a good one.

    As I mentioned yesterday, the traditional Congolese greeting is not the handshake, but rubbing alternate temples together. Covid couldn't have devised a better vector for transmission - two faces in extended close contact.
    The Inuits say hello.
    In some tribal societies, men greet each other by grasping the other's genitalia.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 24,545
    eek said:

    eek said:

    TOPPING said:

    eek said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    I would tend to agree on b. But just to say there are few more annoying words on PB than ‘holibobs’. It tends to be used by those who think holidays unimportant. Yet holidays are very important things, even though they may be domestic only for a while.
    The problem with holidays is that people want a complete change of scene and for a lot of people that means being outside the UK.

    Equally trying to find anywhere in the UK looks like it's going to be hard work - we are going away but that's mainly because of friends giving us very first dibs on cancellations.
    I do wonder about capacity in the UK - if we all want a nice cottage in Devon/Cornwall/the Lakes etc. Might be time to explore those lesser visited places.
    H*rtl*p**l?
    Co. Durham certainly, especially parts of the coast, and in the west of the County Palatine.

    When I was a student lodging in Sunderland my landlady used to let our rooms in the summer to Scots who came South for their holidays.
    Whitley Bay used to be one of the biggest summer holiday destinations for Scots.

    Of course that was before they realised it was sh*t and that the Costa del Sol was much better.
    Um that was before the days the Costa del Sol was an option.

    And there is nowt wrong with a day at Cullercoats or South Shields if you have small children. Just remember that you need wind breaks protecting you in all directions...
    I know that. I was making a funny wasn't I
    You missed the fact - I said a day. What are you going to do for the rest of the week when its peeing down?

    Not on the East coast it won't be. Freezing, maybe.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 41,516
    MattW said:

    Leon said:

    eek said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    I would tend to agree on b. But just to say there are few more annoying words on PB than ‘holibobs’. It tends to be used by those who think holidays unimportant. Yet holidays are very important things, even though they may be domestic only for a while.
    The problem with holidays is that people want a complete change of scene and for a lot of people that means being outside the UK.

    Equally trying to find anywhere in the UK looks like it's going to be hard work - we are going away but that's mainly because of friends giving us very first dibs on cancellations.
    I do wonder about capacity in the UK - if we all want a nice cottage in Devon/Cornwall/the Lakes etc. Might be time to explore those lesser visited places.
    Everywhere in the West Country, Lakes, Hebrides, is booked out for the rest of the year. All gone.

    My advice: try eastern England. Rural Suffolk. Ely. Lincoln. Or far north Scotland.

    Explore....

    The run across from John O'Groats to Cape Wrath is spectacular. And deserted. (Well, it used to have quite a few Dutch and Germans, but not much else.)
    Is that the one with the umpteen speed cameras?

    Not a road you'd want to speed on. Observe the speed limit - and the scenery.
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 30,079
    County Durham and Northamptonshire have much to recommend them.
  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 20,278

    Stocky said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    I would tend to agree on b. But just to say there are few more annoying words on PB than ‘holibobs’. It tends to be used by those who think holidays unimportant. Yet holidays are very important things, even though they may be domestic only for a while.
    It deliberately seeks to trivialise holidays and fails to distinguish between holidays and travel. No return to normal counts as normal whilst we are imprisoned on this island. Anyway, we have been repeatedly assured that the vaccines are the silver bullet and the road map gives and end to all legal restrictions in June.
    The question is how willing you are to be imprisoned in your own house compared to how willing you are to be imprisoned in your own country.

    I know people for whom the only inconvenience of the last year has been the restrictions on foreign holidays and others for whom the only thing that hasn't inconvenienced them are restrictions on foreign holidays.
    It should have been this way last summer, but my view is if we allow holidays this year, everything needs to be open here no restrictions, no social distancing, no masks. Over.
  • CookieCookie Posts: 4,297

    TOPPING said:

    eek said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    I would tend to agree on b. But just to say there are few more annoying words on PB than ‘holibobs’. It tends to be used by those who think holidays unimportant. Yet holidays are very important things, even though they may be domestic only for a while.
    The problem with holidays is that people want a complete change of scene and for a lot of people that means being outside the UK.

    Equally trying to find anywhere in the UK looks like it's going to be hard work - we are going away but that's mainly because of friends giving us very first dibs on cancellations.
    I do wonder about capacity in the UK - if we all want a nice cottage in Devon/Cornwall/the Lakes etc. Might be time to explore those lesser visited places.
    H*rtl*p**l?
    Co. Durham certainly, especially parts of the coast, and in the west of the County Palatine.

    When I was a student lodging in Sunderland my landlady used to let our rooms in the summer to Scots who came South for their holidays.
    Whitley Bay used to be one of the biggest summer holiday destinations for Scots.

    Of course that was before they realised it was sh*t and that the Costa del Sol was much better.
    Bit harsh, that.
    Whitley Bay's a pretty handsome town, with a lovely stretch of coastline.
    It's also one of the driest spots in Northern England.
    The only thing it has against it is the rarity of actual warmth.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 39,788
    malcolmg said:
    I am not questioning what he has been told, particularly in these weird Covid times, but court cases, specifically criminal court cases, normally need a formal end point. He just might be being a tad pessimistic. I certainly hope so. This is a prosecution that should surely never have been brought and would not have been in a country that takes free speech seriously.
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 31,363
    DavidL said:

    TOPPING said:

    TOPPING said:

    Blimey just noticed that the Army is likely to be reduced by 10,000 from the current 70,000. I note we're already between Ethiopia and Bangladesh in size of active forces.

    Now, more than ever, we need those on PB who have yearnings in that direction, indeed have displayed strategic aptitude in terms of likely campaigns, to sign up. We simply can't allow the country to be at such risk.

    You know who you are.

    I thought it was to 70,000?
    Ah yes. Soz. To 70,000. Still low.
    When I was a lad in Fallingbostel in the early 1970s we had over 50k troops in Germany alone and more than 20k in NI.

    As you will appreciate better than most our army is now too small to carry out any meaningful task for any extended period of time. We simply could not do what we did in Afghanistan for such an extended period for example. No doubt tech, specifically drones, will make absolute numbers less critical but there comes a point when what you have is a home defence force, not an army. I think that's where we are.
    It certainly seems like it. Of course no politician would articulate that. And yes, 150k boys in green when I were a lad serving.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 24,545
    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    tlg86 said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    You may be surprised to learn Mr M, that I agree with you.

    Apart from the fact that I want to go to see my family in Thailand, probably early in 2022. Of course, Thailand is practically Covid-free.
    I'd suggest your bigger concern would be about whether or not Thailand will let you in (they may do as I guess their economy is suffering badly from no tourism).

    That's what I don't get about this whole debate. It's all well and good focussing on our government and what they think, but who wants to go to a country that's in lockdown?!
    The Thais are concerned about their economy and the effect of no foreign tourists. Up until now visitors have had to spend a fortnight in quarantine and hotels have been advertising suitable packages. Some equally elderly acquaintances of ours said it was quite pleasant; excellent food, sunny balcony, access to international TV. Of course it cuts the time with relatives.
    However, I understand that they are now planning to allow in people with evidence of vaccination, a negative test on arrival and another after three days quarantine.
    Which, even out of a 30 day stay is acceptable. And, with exceptions along the Myanmar border, Thailand isn't in lockdown.
    Thailand must be haemorrhaging money (like so many others). Tourism is about 20% of their GDP, and all the islands, beaches and Bangkok hotels are deserted. Many have been shuttered for a year. The domestic market cannot make up for international visitors, not remotely

    Eventually they will just have to reopen, or risk civil unrest as poverty deepens
    They've been doing quite well with internal tourism. Obviously not making up for all the foreigners, but even wealthy, or well-off Thais, who would normally have gone abroad, have been subsidised to spend their holidays in the Kingdom. Of course, as you say, it doesn't go far to make up the difference. The black, or least cuddly brown, economy has also, I gather, suffered very severely.
    My favourite hotel in Bangkok (quite new, lovely sky bar) has been completely shut since March 2020. Not just restricted, or taking quarantined tourists - entirely closed. Will it ever reopen?
    It was my son and daughter-in-laws wedding anniversary last week and he sent us pictures of them celebrating in a roof-top bar in Bangkok. And a Thai friend, recently retired, is sending pictures of holiday trips all over the country.
    And surely the Oriental hasn't closed?
    The Oriental is absolutely gorgeous, but in a terrible location, now that all the fun - restaurants, bars, shopping - has moved east down the Sukhumvit Road.
    It's riverfront is good, though.
    It is magnificent. I love getting the river ferry over to the gleaming spa

    I may treat myself to a stay in winter 2022
    We're hoping for January of that year. Stay with family of course. Eldest of that set of grandchildren will be 16.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 41,516

    Sky showing a 30 litre bottle of champagne being brought to the UK after being sold for £173,000

    Bloody socialists.....
  • GallowgateGallowgate Posts: 16,577
    edited March 22
    Cookie said:

    TOPPING said:

    eek said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    I would tend to agree on b. But just to say there are few more annoying words on PB than ‘holibobs’. It tends to be used by those who think holidays unimportant. Yet holidays are very important things, even though they may be domestic only for a while.
    The problem with holidays is that people want a complete change of scene and for a lot of people that means being outside the UK.

    Equally trying to find anywhere in the UK looks like it's going to be hard work - we are going away but that's mainly because of friends giving us very first dibs on cancellations.
    I do wonder about capacity in the UK - if we all want a nice cottage in Devon/Cornwall/the Lakes etc. Might be time to explore those lesser visited places.
    H*rtl*p**l?
    Co. Durham certainly, especially parts of the coast, and in the west of the County Palatine.

    When I was a student lodging in Sunderland my landlady used to let our rooms in the summer to Scots who came South for their holidays.
    Whitley Bay used to be one of the biggest summer holiday destinations for Scots.

    Of course that was before they realised it was sh*t and that the Costa del Sol was much better.
    Bit harsh, that.
    Whitley Bay's a pretty handsome town, with a lovely stretch of coastline.
    It's also one of the driest spots in Northern England.
    The only thing it has against it is the rarity of actual warmth.
    I actually really like Whitley Bay.

    It has also been massively improved in recent years with the refurbished seafront and Spanish City, and the closure of the crappy bars.

    However I wouldn't want to go there for my "summer holiday".
  • kjhkjh Posts: 4,127

    IanB2 said:

    An unusually silly lead from Herdson. Yes, the way SV limits second preferences is flawed, but having a second preference is better than none, and ensures both that fewer votes are wasted and that the winner has the support of at least half of the voters, which FPTnP doesn’t do. His suggestions that votes aren’t wasted under our current system is absurd. Indeed every flaw he seeks to call out under SV is worse when there is no second choice at all.

    It will not surprise you to know I disagree. I believe your characterisation of SV is wrong.

    SV does not give a second preference in the way you suggest. As I'd hoped I'd made clear in the leader, many second preferences are simply junked - and those which are junked are often a matter of chance. It is that inequality which is what is so wrong with SV: that some votes literally count when others don't - and that which ones do (or don't) is often quite random.

    SV *doesn't* at all ensure that the winner receives more than 50% of the votes; it ensures that they receive more than 50% of the votes not discarded. In fact, of the 38 elections where there were five candidates, for example, eight were elected on the first round. Of the other 30, only seven won more than half the total votes after redistributions - and in every one of those cases, the winning candidate had a lead of at least 14% in the first round. I've not done a similar analysis for the other SV elections but I'd be surprised if they result in a strikingly different outcome.

    What Ian doesn't seem to accept is the distinction between votes for a losing candidate and votes that, despite being valid in all other respects, are discarded just because of a feature of the system. A vote does not 'count' because it elects someone; it counts because someone cast it. But all too often, SV does not count it.

    As for his unevidenced comment that the claim that "votes aren’t wasted under our current system is absurd" is a good example of 'weak case: shout louder'.
    I don't think the criticism is your analysis which is spot on in my opinion, but to resolve the problem you revert to a worse system. Why not do the job properly and have multiple transfer votes as in STV (or AV for a single position). The issue with SV is it is half cocked. Just do it properly.

    I disagree with your statement that FPTP provides equality and while it is familiar and simple, they are not good reasons. After all if you want that a dictatorship wins hand down.
  • BurgessianBurgessian Posts: 935
    malcolmg said:
    Yes, but I have a feeling she will ride the storm, regardless of Hamilton and the parliamentary inquiry. It's been turned into a Salmond vs Sturgeon choice in the public mind and most people, particularly women, shudder at the sight of Salmond. The fact that she was, for many years, his chief myrmidon, and knew everything there is to know about him, counts for nowt.
  • Andy_CookeAndy_Cooke Posts: 3,755
    Sean_F said:

    Foxy said:

    I see that another African politician has died of Covid:

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/22/congos-opposition-candidate-kolelas-dies-a-day-after-poll

    The combination of meeting lots of people, age much greater than the national average and air conditioned offices is not a good one.

    As I mentioned yesterday, the traditional Congolese greeting is not the handshake, but rubbing alternate temples together. Covid couldn't have devised a better vector for transmission - two faces in extended close contact.
    The Inuits say hello.
    In some tribal societies, men greet each other by grasping the other's genitalia.
    Are we talking about Hartlepool again?
  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 16,136
    DavidL said:

    Really not sure I get this argument. Why is a vote "wasted" if I don't choose one of those who get through to the final round but not "wasted" when I vote for someone that loses in FPTP?

    We certainly have more important things to worry about, on that I agree.

    Because your vote is not counted. Literally. You wanted to register a second preference, the system allowed you to do so, and yet it was not counted at all; your voice is missing from the result, not as a consequence of abstention but because of the vaguary and chance of the mechanism and combined vote.

    At least, when you vote for a losing candidate under FPTP, your choice for them (and implicitly, against the winner), is recorded and acts as political mandate for or against the winner, and helps frame actions within the politicians term and future elections.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 24,545

    Cookie said:

    TOPPING said:

    eek said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    I would tend to agree on b. But just to say there are few more annoying words on PB than ‘holibobs’. It tends to be used by those who think holidays unimportant. Yet holidays are very important things, even though they may be domestic only for a while.
    The problem with holidays is that people want a complete change of scene and for a lot of people that means being outside the UK.

    Equally trying to find anywhere in the UK looks like it's going to be hard work - we are going away but that's mainly because of friends giving us very first dibs on cancellations.
    I do wonder about capacity in the UK - if we all want a nice cottage in Devon/Cornwall/the Lakes etc. Might be time to explore those lesser visited places.
    H*rtl*p**l?
    Co. Durham certainly, especially parts of the coast, and in the west of the County Palatine.

    When I was a student lodging in Sunderland my landlady used to let our rooms in the summer to Scots who came South for their holidays.
    Whitley Bay used to be one of the biggest summer holiday destinations for Scots.

    Of course that was before they realised it was sh*t and that the Costa del Sol was much better.
    Bit harsh, that.
    Whitley Bay's a pretty handsome town, with a lovely stretch of coastline.
    It's also one of the driest spots in Northern England.
    The only thing it has against it is the rarity of actual warmth.
    I actually really like Whitley Bay.

    It has also been massively improved in recent years with the refurbished seafront and Spanish City, and the closure of the crappy bars.

    However I wouldn't want to go there for my "summer holiday".
    Went out with a girl from Whitely Bay for while. Overall, not one of my happier memories.
  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 16,136

    Do Londoners have an issue with the current voting system? Seems to me that yet again the Tories are imposing changes on a city that has run them out.

    To be clear, this is not a London-specific issue. The proposal is to change it for all mayoral and PCC elections; that it happens to affect London is a detail.
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 7,731



    The reduction in military numbers after May 2010 was one thing.

    It wasn't just the raw numbers in the 2010 SDSR. For reasons of political expedience the focus was very much on voluntary redundancies so it was those with transferable skills who took it up. The result was a vast exodus of the most experienced and technically proficient people. The RN in particular has never recovered from this so we have the situation where HMS QE can't put to sea without 2-300 civvie contractors onboard to operate and maintain anything more complicated than a toaster.

    On my first carrier cruise in the 90s we had exactly two non-RN personnel on board out of 1,000. A tailor from Hong Kong who lived in a compartment the size of a tea chest and an army major who was in charge of all the maps. We pushed his Land Rover off the stern as we crossed the equator.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 39,788
    Leon said:

    DavidL said:

    TOPPING said:

    TOPPING said:

    Blimey just noticed that the Army is likely to be reduced by 10,000 from the current 70,000. I note we're already between Ethiopia and Bangladesh in size of active forces.

    Now, more than ever, we need those on PB who have yearnings in that direction, indeed have displayed strategic aptitude in terms of likely campaigns, to sign up. We simply can't allow the country to be at such risk.

    You know who you are.

    I thought it was to 70,000?
    Ah yes. Soz. To 70,000. Still low.
    When I was a lad in Fallingbostel in the early 1970s we had over 50k troops in Germany alone and more than 20k in NI.

    As you will appreciate better than most our army is now too small to carry out any meaningful task for any extended period of time. We simply could not do what we did in Afghanistan for such an extended period for example. No doubt tech, specifically drones, will make absolute numbers less critical but there comes a point when what you have is a home defence force, not an army. I think that's where we are.
    Didn't the recent Armenian-Azeri war show that troops and tanks are virtually defenceless against well organised drones and missiles? That is the future. Large armies are finished. Analogue military in a world of digital wars.

    The same will soon be true of large aircraft carriers. Ooops
    That's why I mentioned drones. We will need a different kind of armed forces. The days of massed divisions have clearly passed but how do you control an area without boots on the ground?
  • BurgessianBurgessian Posts: 935
    MattW said:

    Leon said:

    eek said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    I would tend to agree on b. But just to say there are few more annoying words on PB than ‘holibobs’. It tends to be used by those who think holidays unimportant. Yet holidays are very important things, even though they may be domestic only for a while.
    The problem with holidays is that people want a complete change of scene and for a lot of people that means being outside the UK.

    Equally trying to find anywhere in the UK looks like it's going to be hard work - we are going away but that's mainly because of friends giving us very first dibs on cancellations.
    I do wonder about capacity in the UK - if we all want a nice cottage in Devon/Cornwall/the Lakes etc. Might be time to explore those lesser visited places.
    Everywhere in the West Country, Lakes, Hebrides, is booked out for the rest of the year. All gone.

    My advice: try eastern England. Rural Suffolk. Ely. Lincoln. Or far north Scotland.

    Explore....

    The run across from John O'Groats to Cape Wrath is spectacular. And deserted. (Well, it used to have quite a few Dutch and Germans, but not much else.)
    Is that the one with the umpteen speed cameras?

    No. And, sadly, the run is no longer deserted. The North Coast 500 promotion has led to it becoming jam-packed with campervans.
  • kamskikamski Posts: 2,118
    IanB2 said:

    IanB2 said:

    An unusually silly lead from Herdson. Yes, the way SV limits second preferences is flawed, but having a second preference is better than none, and ensures both that fewer votes are wasted and that the winner has the support of at least half of the voters, which FPTnP doesn’t do. His suggestions that votes aren’t wasted under our current system is absurd. Indeed every flaw he seeks to call out under SV is worse when there is no second choice at all.

    It will not surprise you to know I disagree. I believe your characterisation of SV is wrong.

    SV does not give a second preference in the way you suggest. As I'd hoped I'd made clear in the leader, many second preferences are simply junked - and those which are junked are often a matter of chance. It is that inequality which is what is so wrong with SV: that some votes literally count when others don't - and that which ones do (or don't) is often quite random.

    SV *doesn't* at all ensure that the winner receives more than 50% of the votes; it ensures that they receive more than 50% of the votes not discarded. In fact, of the 38 elections where there were five candidates, for example, eight were elected on the first round. Of the other 30, only seven won more than half the total votes after redistributions - and in every one of those cases, the winning candidate had a lead of at least 14% in the first round. I've not done a similar analysis for the other SV elections but I'd be surprised if they result in a strikingly different outcome.

    What Ian doesn't seem to accept is the distinction between votes for a losing candidate and votes that, despite being valid in all other respects, are discarded just because of a feature of the system. A vote does not 'count' because it elects someone; it counts because someone cast it. But all too often, SV does not count it.

    As for his unevidenced comment that the claim that "votes aren’t wasted under our current system is absurd" is a good example of 'weak case: shout louder'.
    You don't need to shout very loud to establish that our system wastes millions of votes. There are countless people with lived experienced of it.

    And Tories who - with characteristic self-interested hypocrisy - then exploit that fact by campaigning on slogans such as "A Liberal vote is a wasted vote" (exchange Green/UKIP etc.)
    The header is a mixture of some valid criticism of SV and the ridiculous claim that SV leads to wasted votes but FPTP doesn't. With SV you basically have double the chance of having a winning vote. It's so obviously a (perhaps small) improvement over FPTP on the "wasted votes" criterion that to suggest the reverse requires really silly mental gymnastics.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 35,767

    DavidL said:

    Really not sure I get this argument. Why is a vote "wasted" if I don't choose one of those who get through to the final round but not "wasted" when I vote for someone that loses in FPTP?

    We certainly have more important things to worry about, on that I agree.

    Because your vote is not counted. Literally. You wanted to register a second preference, the system allowed you to do so, and yet it was not counted at all; your voice is missing from the result, not as a consequence of abstention but because of the vaguary and chance of the mechanism and combined vote.

    At least, when you vote for a losing candidate under FPTP, your choice for them (and implicitly, against the winner), is recorded and acts as political mandate for or against the winner, and helps frame actions within the politicians term and future elections.
    Your arguments are getting more and more pitiful.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 41,516

    malcolmg said:
    Yes, but I have a feeling she will ride the storm, regardless of Hamilton and the parliamentary inquiry. It's been turned into a Salmond vs Sturgeon choice in the public mind and most people, particularly women, shudder at the sight of Salmond. The fact that she was, for many years, his chief myrmidon, and knew everything there is to know about him, counts for nowt.
    Got to be worth a like for use of "myrmidon"!
  • kamskikamski Posts: 2,118

    DavidL said:

    Really not sure I get this argument. Why is a vote "wasted" if I don't choose one of those who get through to the final round but not "wasted" when I vote for someone that loses in FPTP?

    We certainly have more important things to worry about, on that I agree.

    Because your vote is not counted. Literally. You wanted to register a second preference, the system allowed you to do so, and yet it was not counted at all; your voice is missing from the result, not as a consequence of abstention but because of the vaguary and chance of the mechanism and combined vote.

    At least, when you vote for a losing candidate under FPTP, your choice for them (and implicitly, against the winner), is recorded and acts as political mandate for or against the winner, and helps frame actions within the politicians term and future elections.
    This is just silly. Your first choice is counted and recorded in exactly the same way as FPTP.
  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 16,136
    MattW said:

    2 on-topic questions:

    Why was this system used in London in the first place?
    (Was it like modified d'Hondt in Scotland an attempt to wire in a Lab majority?)

    Would any Mayoral results have been changed by this?

    For me, I think this is deckchair-rearrangement for all it's practical impact.

    My one reflection is whether this is groundwork for a review of all devolution systems - which would make sense democratically (?) because they are mainly ready for a review and rather broken, and perhaps politically because an overall thing might be cover for whatever will be done in Scotland. There is also the reality that perhaps it needs to be evened across parts of the country.

    God knows how they will do that latter, mind.

    As I mentioned in the leader, of the 165 elections that have been held under SV, fourteen have seen a candidate win from second place in the first round - although in nine of these, fewer than half first-preference votes were redistributed so whether the outcome was actually the electorate's forced-choice preference between the two left standing is anyone's guess. In two elections, fewer than 30% of first preference votes were redistributed, leading to them being elected with 31.5% and 29.9% of the total votes cast, respectively.
  • Big_G_NorthWalesBig_G_NorthWales Posts: 45,409
    Commentator on Sky saying the EU are skating on thin ice over a vaccine export ban which has also been called out by the WTO
  • TheuniondivvieTheuniondivvie Posts: 29,646
    edited March 22

    Leon said:

    eek said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    I would tend to agree on b. But just to say there are few more annoying words on PB than ‘holibobs’. It tends to be used by those who think holidays unimportant. Yet holidays are very important things, even though they may be domestic only for a while.
    The problem with holidays is that people want a complete change of scene and for a lot of people that means being outside the UK.

    Equally trying to find anywhere in the UK looks like it's going to be hard work - we are going away but that's mainly because of friends giving us very first dibs on cancellations.
    I do wonder about capacity in the UK - if we all want a nice cottage in Devon/Cornwall/the Lakes etc. Might be time to explore those lesser visited places.
    Everywhere in the West Country, Lakes, Hebrides, is booked out for the rest of the year. All gone.

    My advice: try eastern England. Rural Suffolk. Ely. Lincoln. Or far north Scotland.

    Explore....

    The run across from John O'Groats to Cape Wrath is spectacular. And deserted. (Well, it used to have quite a few Dutch and Germans, but not much else.)
    The NC500 has fcuked all that, can’t move for lardy Clarkson types (assuming their pent up desire to display their mediocre driving skills is allowed free rein once again).
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 89,323
    Perhaps a French style second ballot system would be better, with Bailey and Khan contesting a second round this year for example if Khan did not get over 50% in round one.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 41,516
    MattW said:

    malcolmg said:
    Contempt of court proceedings should be used when the actions of a person bring the standing of the judicial system into disrepute. Here, it is the actions of the use of contempt of court that is bringing the judicial system into disrepute. All to save the blushes of a lying politician.
    Jigsaw identification of complainants allegedly possible due to his blog-reports on the Salmond Trial.
    Why do I get the idea that the names of the complainants - or at least some of them - are already known to a large number of people in the Scottish chatterati?
  • eekeek Posts: 14,926

    eek said:

    eek said:

    TOPPING said:

    eek said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    I would tend to agree on b. But just to say there are few more annoying words on PB than ‘holibobs’. It tends to be used by those who think holidays unimportant. Yet holidays are very important things, even though they may be domestic only for a while.
    The problem with holidays is that people want a complete change of scene and for a lot of people that means being outside the UK.

    Equally trying to find anywhere in the UK looks like it's going to be hard work - we are going away but that's mainly because of friends giving us very first dibs on cancellations.
    I do wonder about capacity in the UK - if we all want a nice cottage in Devon/Cornwall/the Lakes etc. Might be time to explore those lesser visited places.
    H*rtl*p**l?
    Co. Durham certainly, especially parts of the coast, and in the west of the County Palatine.

    When I was a student lodging in Sunderland my landlady used to let our rooms in the summer to Scots who came South for their holidays.
    Whitley Bay used to be one of the biggest summer holiday destinations for Scots.

    Of course that was before they realised it was sh*t and that the Costa del Sol was much better.
    Um that was before the days the Costa del Sol was an option.

    And there is nowt wrong with a day at Cullercoats or South Shields if you have small children. Just remember that you need wind breaks protecting you in all directions...
    I know that. I was making a funny wasn't I
    You missed the fact - I said a day. What are you going to do for the rest of the week when its peeing down?

    Not on the East coast it won't be. Freezing, maybe.
    I live there - it rains more than you think especially if you are only there for x days.
  • TheuniondivvieTheuniondivvie Posts: 29,646

    malcolmg said:
    Yes, but I have a feeling she will ride the storm, regardless of Hamilton and the parliamentary inquiry. It's been turned into a Salmond vs Sturgeon choice in the public mind and most people, particularly women, shudder at the sight of Salmond. The fact that she was, for many years, his chief myrmidon, and knew everything there is to know about him, counts for nowt.
    All those blokes now loudly proclaiming that everyone including Sturgeon ‘knew’ about Salmond must feel terrifically proud that they bravely stood up and publicly revealed their concerns at the time.
    Right?
  • LeonLeon Posts: 11,578
    edited March 22
    DavidL said:

    Leon said:

    DavidL said:

    TOPPING said:

    TOPPING said:

    Blimey just noticed that the Army is likely to be reduced by 10,000 from the current 70,000. I note we're already between Ethiopia and Bangladesh in size of active forces.

    Now, more than ever, we need those on PB who have yearnings in that direction, indeed have displayed strategic aptitude in terms of likely campaigns, to sign up. We simply can't allow the country to be at such risk.

    You know who you are.

    I thought it was to 70,000?
    Ah yes. Soz. To 70,000. Still low.
    When I was a lad in Fallingbostel in the early 1970s we had over 50k troops in Germany alone and more than 20k in NI.

    As you will appreciate better than most our army is now too small to carry out any meaningful task for any extended period of time. We simply could not do what we did in Afghanistan for such an extended period for example. No doubt tech, specifically drones, will make absolute numbers less critical but there comes a point when what you have is a home defence force, not an army. I think that's where we are.
    Didn't the recent Armenian-Azeri war show that troops and tanks are virtually defenceless against well organised drones and missiles? That is the future. Large armies are finished. Analogue military in a world of digital wars.

    The same will soon be true of large aircraft carriers. Ooops
    That's why I mentioned drones. We will need a different kind of armed forces. The days of massed divisions have clearly passed but how do you control an area without boots on the ground?
    A small well armed force - but with lots of drones. Drones really do change everything. As you noted

    I like to see Britain well defended but we don't need a large standing army, not any more. It's like having a large cavalry in about 1910
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 89,323
    Leon said:

    DavidL said:

    TOPPING said:

    TOPPING said:

    Blimey just noticed that the Army is likely to be reduced by 10,000 from the current 70,000. I note we're already between Ethiopia and Bangladesh in size of active forces.

    Now, more than ever, we need those on PB who have yearnings in that direction, indeed have displayed strategic aptitude in terms of likely campaigns, to sign up. We simply can't allow the country to be at such risk.

    You know who you are.

    I thought it was to 70,000?
    Ah yes. Soz. To 70,000. Still low.
    When I was a lad in Fallingbostel in the early 1970s we had over 50k troops in Germany alone and more than 20k in NI.

    As you will appreciate better than most our army is now too small to carry out any meaningful task for any extended period of time. We simply could not do what we did in Afghanistan for such an extended period for example. No doubt tech, specifically drones, will make absolute numbers less critical but there comes a point when what you have is a home defence force, not an army. I think that's where we are.
    Didn't the recent Armenian-Azeri war show that troops and tanks are virtually defenceless against well organised drones and missiles? That is the future. Large armies are finished. Analogue military in a world of digital wars.

    The same will soon be true of large aircraft carriers. Ooops
    We still need troops for UN peacekeeping and NATO operations and special forces in particular for counter terrorism operations.

    We need submarines to launch missiles and drones and aircraft carriers to launch airstrikes and also in the event, however unlikely, we needed to recapture the Falklands again. We also need to ensure we continue to have a larger army than Argentina on that basis too
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 31,363
    Dura_Ace said:



    The reduction in military numbers after May 2010 was one thing.

    It wasn't just the raw numbers in the 2010 SDSR. For reasons of political expedience the focus was very much on voluntary redundancies so it was those with transferable skills who took it up. The result was a vast exodus of the most experienced and technically proficient people. The RN in particular has never recovered from this so we have the situation where HMS QE can't put to sea without 2-300 civvie contractors onboard to operate and maintain anything more complicated than a toaster.

    On my first carrier cruise in the 90s we had exactly two non-RN personnel on board out of 1,000. A tailor from Hong Kong who lived in a compartment the size of a tea chest and an army major who was in charge of all the maps. We pushed his Land Rover off the stern as we crossed the equator.
    And the radio message? You rolled his rover over over?
  • GallowgateGallowgate Posts: 16,577
    eek said:

    eek said:

    eek said:

    TOPPING said:

    eek said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    I would tend to agree on b. But just to say there are few more annoying words on PB than ‘holibobs’. It tends to be used by those who think holidays unimportant. Yet holidays are very important things, even though they may be domestic only for a while.
    The problem with holidays is that people want a complete change of scene and for a lot of people that means being outside the UK.

    Equally trying to find anywhere in the UK looks like it's going to be hard work - we are going away but that's mainly because of friends giving us very first dibs on cancellations.
    I do wonder about capacity in the UK - if we all want a nice cottage in Devon/Cornwall/the Lakes etc. Might be time to explore those lesser visited places.
    H*rtl*p**l?
    Co. Durham certainly, especially parts of the coast, and in the west of the County Palatine.

    When I was a student lodging in Sunderland my landlady used to let our rooms in the summer to Scots who came South for their holidays.
    Whitley Bay used to be one of the biggest summer holiday destinations for Scots.

    Of course that was before they realised it was sh*t and that the Costa del Sol was much better.
    Um that was before the days the Costa del Sol was an option.

    And there is nowt wrong with a day at Cullercoats or South Shields if you have small children. Just remember that you need wind breaks protecting you in all directions...
    I know that. I was making a funny wasn't I
    You missed the fact - I said a day. What are you going to do for the rest of the week when its peeing down?

    Not on the East coast it won't be. Freezing, maybe.
    I live there - it rains more than you think especially if you are only there for x days.
    It doesn't rain anywhere near as much as I would like. I love rain.
  • eekeek Posts: 14,926
    edited March 22
    HYUFD said:

    Perhaps a French style second ballot system would be better, with Bailey and Khan contesting a second round this year for example if Khan did not get over 50% in round one.

    The voting system used should reflect the system the party in power uses to select their candidate.

    In which case it should be multiple rounds of voting with set rules to identify and remove the losing candidates form future rounds.

    The French approach doesn't match that but it's a better compromise than FPTP or SV.
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 7,731

    Commentator on Sky saying the EU are skating on thin ice over a vaccine export ban which has also been called out by the WTO

    You are more obsessed with the EU than when the UK was a member. You've left, relax.
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 31,363
    Leon said:

    DavidL said:

    Leon said:

    DavidL said:

    TOPPING said:

    TOPPING said:

    Blimey just noticed that the Army is likely to be reduced by 10,000 from the current 70,000. I note we're already between Ethiopia and Bangladesh in size of active forces.

    Now, more than ever, we need those on PB who have yearnings in that direction, indeed have displayed strategic aptitude in terms of likely campaigns, to sign up. We simply can't allow the country to be at such risk.

    You know who you are.

    I thought it was to 70,000?
    Ah yes. Soz. To 70,000. Still low.
    When I was a lad in Fallingbostel in the early 1970s we had over 50k troops in Germany alone and more than 20k in NI.

    As you will appreciate better than most our army is now too small to carry out any meaningful task for any extended period of time. We simply could not do what we did in Afghanistan for such an extended period for example. No doubt tech, specifically drones, will make absolute numbers less critical but there comes a point when what you have is a home defence force, not an army. I think that's where we are.
    Didn't the recent Armenian-Azeri war show that troops and tanks are virtually defenceless against well organised drones and missiles? That is the future. Large armies are finished. Analogue military in a world of digital wars.

    The same will soon be true of large aircraft carriers. Ooops
    That's why I mentioned drones. We will need a different kind of armed forces. The days of massed divisions have clearly passed but how do you control an area without boots on the ground?
    A small well armed force - but with lots of drones. Drones really do change everything. As you noted

    I like to see Britain well defended but we don't need a large standing army, not any more. It's like having a large cavalry in about 1910
    The key issue is "Britain well defended".

    That hasn't really been the focus of HMF for the past 80 yrs.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 43,790
    Seems the UK and US will have to continue the Enlightenment alone.

  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 41,516
    Leon said:

    DavidL said:

    Leon said:

    DavidL said:

    TOPPING said:

    TOPPING said:

    Blimey just noticed that the Army is likely to be reduced by 10,000 from the current 70,000. I note we're already between Ethiopia and Bangladesh in size of active forces.

    Now, more than ever, we need those on PB who have yearnings in that direction, indeed have displayed strategic aptitude in terms of likely campaigns, to sign up. We simply can't allow the country to be at such risk.

    You know who you are.

    I thought it was to 70,000?
    Ah yes. Soz. To 70,000. Still low.
    When I was a lad in Fallingbostel in the early 1970s we had over 50k troops in Germany alone and more than 20k in NI.

    As you will appreciate better than most our army is now too small to carry out any meaningful task for any extended period of time. We simply could not do what we did in Afghanistan for such an extended period for example. No doubt tech, specifically drones, will make absolute numbers less critical but there comes a point when what you have is a home defence force, not an army. I think that's where we are.
    Didn't the recent Armenian-Azeri war show that troops and tanks are virtually defenceless against well organised drones and missiles? That is the future. Large armies are finished. Analogue military in a world of digital wars.

    The same will soon be true of large aircraft carriers. Ooops
    That's why I mentioned drones. We will need a different kind of armed forces. The days of massed divisions have clearly passed but how do you control an area without boots on the ground?
    A small well armed force - but with lots of drones. Drones really do change everything. As you noted

    I like to see Britain well defended but we don't need a large standing army, not any more. It's like having a large cavalry in about 1910
    Or indeed, the glorious but short lived Polish cavalry in 1939:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charge_at_Krojanty
  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 16,136
    kamski said:

    DavidL said:

    Really not sure I get this argument. Why is a vote "wasted" if I don't choose one of those who get through to the final round but not "wasted" when I vote for someone that loses in FPTP?

    We certainly have more important things to worry about, on that I agree.

    Because your vote is not counted. Literally. You wanted to register a second preference, the system allowed you to do so, and yet it was not counted at all; your voice is missing from the result, not as a consequence of abstention but because of the vaguary and chance of the mechanism and combined vote.

    At least, when you vote for a losing candidate under FPTP, your choice for them (and implicitly, against the winner), is recorded and acts as political mandate for or against the winner, and helps frame actions within the politicians term and future elections.
    This is just silly. Your first choice is counted and recorded in exactly the same way as FPTP.
    Yes. And if that's the decisive round, fine. But then, if that's the decisive round, we might as well have used FPTP.

    On the other hand, if it's not the decisive round, the vote may well not be counted - and whether it is or not is often a matter of chance. Voting systems should not depend on chance and should not throw out what are essentially valid votes. Either use FPTP or use AV but don't mix and match.
  • MattWMattW Posts: 10,220

    Leon said:

    eek said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    I would tend to agree on b. But just to say there are few more annoying words on PB than ‘holibobs’. It tends to be used by those who think holidays unimportant. Yet holidays are very important things, even though they may be domestic only for a while.
    The problem with holidays is that people want a complete change of scene and for a lot of people that means being outside the UK.

    Equally trying to find anywhere in the UK looks like it's going to be hard work - we are going away but that's mainly because of friends giving us very first dibs on cancellations.
    I do wonder about capacity in the UK - if we all want a nice cottage in Devon/Cornwall/the Lakes etc. Might be time to explore those lesser visited places.
    Everywhere in the West Country, Lakes, Hebrides, is booked out for the rest of the year. All gone.

    My advice: try eastern England. Rural Suffolk. Ely. Lincoln. Or far north Scotland.

    Explore....

    The run across from John O'Groats to Cape Wrath is spectacular. And deserted. (Well, it used to have quite a few Dutch and Germans, but not much else.)
    The NC500 has fcuked all that, can’t move for lardy Clarkson types (assuming their pent up desire to display their mediocre driving skills is allowed free rein once again).
    I'd go for something that is fun at low speed, and do it in the summer early mornings I think.

    Bet everyone already has that idea.
  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 16,136
    IanB2 said:

    DavidL said:

    Really not sure I get this argument. Why is a vote "wasted" if I don't choose one of those who get through to the final round but not "wasted" when I vote for someone that loses in FPTP?

    We certainly have more important things to worry about, on that I agree.

    Because your vote is not counted. Literally. You wanted to register a second preference, the system allowed you to do so, and yet it was not counted at all; your voice is missing from the result, not as a consequence of abstention but because of the vaguary and chance of the mechanism and combined vote.

    At least, when you vote for a losing candidate under FPTP, your choice for them (and implicitly, against the winner), is recorded and acts as political mandate for or against the winner, and helps frame actions within the politicians term and future elections.
    Your arguments are getting more and more pitiful.
    Yours are getting more and more evidence-free. You simply make an assertion, mix in some abuse and assume that the natural virtue will shine though.
  • GallowgateGallowgate Posts: 16,577

    kamski said:

    DavidL said:

    Really not sure I get this argument. Why is a vote "wasted" if I don't choose one of those who get through to the final round but not "wasted" when I vote for someone that loses in FPTP?

    We certainly have more important things to worry about, on that I agree.

    Because your vote is not counted. Literally. You wanted to register a second preference, the system allowed you to do so, and yet it was not counted at all; your voice is missing from the result, not as a consequence of abstention but because of the vaguary and chance of the mechanism and combined vote.

    At least, when you vote for a losing candidate under FPTP, your choice for them (and implicitly, against the winner), is recorded and acts as political mandate for or against the winner, and helps frame actions within the politicians term and future elections.
    This is just silly. Your first choice is counted and recorded in exactly the same way as FPTP.
    Yes. And if that's the decisive round, fine. But then, if that's the decisive round, we might as well have used FPTP.

    On the other hand, if it's not the decisive round, the vote may well not be counted - and whether it is or not is often a matter of chance. Voting systems should not depend on chance and should not throw out what are essentially valid votes. Either use FPTP or use AV but don't mix and match.
    Fair argument. I agree.
  • MattWMattW Posts: 10,220
    edited March 22

    MattW said:

    malcolmg said:
    Contempt of court proceedings should be used when the actions of a person bring the standing of the judicial system into disrepute. Here, it is the actions of the use of contempt of court that is bringing the judicial system into disrepute. All to save the blushes of a lying politician.
    Jigsaw identification of complainants allegedly possible due to his blog-reports on the Salmond Trial.
    Why do I get the idea that the names of the complainants - or at least some of them - are already known to a large number of people in the Scottish chatterati?
    Almost everyone in the political bubble knew about Salmond.

    Except for Guess-Who?

    ...back in 2012, a well connected Nat told me Alex Salmond was a groper. This was complete news to me. I had always thought of him as a man with a one track mind. But that was not the one track. I would have been as equally surprised if one of the Tories had confided that Ruth Davidson was a Satanist.

    Anyway, some months later I was in exclusively Labour company when I thought to pass this juicy tit bit on to someone who had been very close to Jack McConnell’s Administration. Her reply surprised me. “Everybody knows that”.


    http://ianssmart.blogspot.com/2021/03/the-most-ignorant-woman-in-scotland.html
  • LeonLeon Posts: 11,578
    HYUFD said:

    Leon said:

    DavidL said:

    TOPPING said:

    TOPPING said:

    Blimey just noticed that the Army is likely to be reduced by 10,000 from the current 70,000. I note we're already between Ethiopia and Bangladesh in size of active forces.

    Now, more than ever, we need those on PB who have yearnings in that direction, indeed have displayed strategic aptitude in terms of likely campaigns, to sign up. We simply can't allow the country to be at such risk.

    You know who you are.

    I thought it was to 70,000?
    Ah yes. Soz. To 70,000. Still low.
    When I was a lad in Fallingbostel in the early 1970s we had over 50k troops in Germany alone and more than 20k in NI.

    As you will appreciate better than most our army is now too small to carry out any meaningful task for any extended period of time. We simply could not do what we did in Afghanistan for such an extended period for example. No doubt tech, specifically drones, will make absolute numbers less critical but there comes a point when what you have is a home defence force, not an army. I think that's where we are.
    Didn't the recent Armenian-Azeri war show that troops and tanks are virtually defenceless against well organised drones and missiles? That is the future. Large armies are finished. Analogue military in a world of digital wars.

    The same will soon be true of large aircraft carriers. Ooops
    We still need troops for UN peacekeeping and NATO operations and special forces in particular for counter terrorism operations.

    We need submarines to launch missiles and drones and aircraft carriers to launch airstrikes and also in the event, however unlikely, we needed to recapture the Falklands again. We also need to ensure we continue to have a larger army than Argentina on that basis too
    We're not far from the moment when all the fighting will be done by robots and drones, remotely operated or self drive tanks, everything. It makes obvious sense, why risk a human life when a computer in a robot can do the job, and do it better?

    Unless civilisation collapses and the technology disappears it is likely there will never again be a large army sent to conquer a foreign land, by a major power. Except maybe China retaking Taiwan, but even there I wonder if they would bother with troops and landing ships and all that antiquated malarkey. A few hypersonic missiles, jam Taiwan's internet, retake the place without a boot on the ground. Sorted
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 24,545
    eek said:

    eek said:

    eek said:

    TOPPING said:

    eek said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    I would tend to agree on b. But just to say there are few more annoying words on PB than ‘holibobs’. It tends to be used by those who think holidays unimportant. Yet holidays are very important things, even though they may be domestic only for a while.
    The problem with holidays is that people want a complete change of scene and for a lot of people that means being outside the UK.

    Equally trying to find anywhere in the UK looks like it's going to be hard work - we are going away but that's mainly because of friends giving us very first dibs on cancellations.
    I do wonder about capacity in the UK - if we all want a nice cottage in Devon/Cornwall/the Lakes etc. Might be time to explore those lesser visited places.
    H*rtl*p**l?
    Co. Durham certainly, especially parts of the coast, and in the west of the County Palatine.

    When I was a student lodging in Sunderland my landlady used to let our rooms in the summer to Scots who came South for their holidays.
    Whitley Bay used to be one of the biggest summer holiday destinations for Scots.

    Of course that was before they realised it was sh*t and that the Costa del Sol was much better.
    Um that was before the days the Costa del Sol was an option.

    And there is nowt wrong with a day at Cullercoats or South Shields if you have small children. Just remember that you need wind breaks protecting you in all directions...
    I know that. I was making a funny wasn't I
    You missed the fact - I said a day. What are you going to do for the rest of the week when its peeing down?

    Not on the East coast it won't be. Freezing, maybe.
    I live there - it rains more than you think especially if you are only there for x days.
    It's along time since I spent three years there; don't remember more rain than someone from Essex was used to. Maybe that's memory!

    Went I went to live in Manchester it was after visiting my girl-friend there several times, and never experiencing rain. When I went to work there it rained at least some part of every day for a month. And that was summer!
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 17,199
    kjh said:

    IanB2 said:

    An unusually silly lead from Herdson. Yes, the way SV limits second preferences is flawed, but having a second preference is better than none, and ensures both that fewer votes are wasted and that the winner has the support of at least half of the voters, which FPTnP doesn’t do. His suggestions that votes aren’t wasted under our current system is absurd. Indeed every flaw he seeks to call out under SV is worse when there is no second choice at all.

    It will not surprise you to know I disagree. I believe your characterisation of SV is wrong.

    SV does not give a second preference in the way you suggest. As I'd hoped I'd made clear in the leader, many second preferences are simply junked - and those which are junked are often a matter of chance. It is that inequality which is what is so wrong with SV: that some votes literally count when others don't - and that which ones do (or don't) is often quite random.

    SV *doesn't* at all ensure that the winner receives more than 50% of the votes; it ensures that they receive more than 50% of the votes not discarded. In fact, of the 38 elections where there were five candidates, for example, eight were elected on the first round. Of the other 30, only seven won more than half the total votes after redistributions - and in every one of those cases, the winning candidate had a lead of at least 14% in the first round. I've not done a similar analysis for the other SV elections but I'd be surprised if they result in a strikingly different outcome.

    What Ian doesn't seem to accept is the distinction between votes for a losing candidate and votes that, despite being valid in all other respects, are discarded just because of a feature of the system. A vote does not 'count' because it elects someone; it counts because someone cast it. But all too often, SV does not count it.

    As for his unevidenced comment that the claim that "votes aren’t wasted under our current system is absurd" is a good example of 'weak case: shout louder'.
    I don't think the criticism is your analysis which is spot on in my opinion, but to resolve the problem you revert to a worse system. Why not do the job properly and have multiple transfer votes as in STV (or AV for a single position). The issue with SV is it is half cocked. Just do it properly.

    I disagree with your statement that FPTP provides equality and while it is familiar and simple, they are not good reasons. After all if you want that a dictatorship wins hand down.
    Multiple transfers are familiar from various non-political contexts - I agree they're fairer than AV but more tedious if there are a lot of candidates, which presumably depresses turnout a bit. The idea of both is presumably to encourage centrists - if you imagine Trump vs Biden vs Romney, it would encourage dissident Republicans to vote and then (perhaps) give Biden a 2nd pref. While I can see the attraction, I'm uneasy about a system steering people to one kind of result.

    FWIW I still prefer open list PR. You vote for a party or an individual in that party's list, which still counts for the party. Seats are allocated according to party votes. But who gets the party's seats is determined by who got most individual votes on that list. That encourages parties to offer a range of choices (Starmer, Corbyn, Nandy, etc.) and allows the discerning voter to specify the precise variety of that party's big tent that they like. Voters who can't be bothered with that can simply vote for the party. Parties work with lists in each region so you end up with local(ish) MPs whatever you do.

    The Danish system is more or less like that, except that big parties who are keen to ensure their leaders get in operate a variant by which party votes are added to the people at the top of the list. While understandable (so your voters don't accidentally kick out a key cabinet minister), it spoils the charm of open lists by essentially rigging the system to the top picks.
  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 16,136
    HYUFD said:

    Perhaps a French style second ballot system would be better, with Bailey and Khan contesting a second round this year for example if Khan did not get over 50% in round one.

    Yes. That would be a valid alternative.

    It's still not a particularly good option because it still involves a load of first-round tactical considerations that are best kept out of it but at least everyone would have the knowledge on who they're voting for in the second round.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 24,545
    Leon said:

    HYUFD said:

    Leon said:

    DavidL said:

    TOPPING said:

    TOPPING said:

    Blimey just noticed that the Army is likely to be reduced by 10,000 from the current 70,000. I note we're already between Ethiopia and Bangladesh in size of active forces.

    Now, more than ever, we need those on PB who have yearnings in that direction, indeed have displayed strategic aptitude in terms of likely campaigns, to sign up. We simply can't allow the country to be at such risk.

    You know who you are.

    I thought it was to 70,000?
    Ah yes. Soz. To 70,000. Still low.
    When I was a lad in Fallingbostel in the early 1970s we had over 50k troops in Germany alone and more than 20k in NI.

    As you will appreciate better than most our army is now too small to carry out any meaningful task for any extended period of time. We simply could not do what we did in Afghanistan for such an extended period for example. No doubt tech, specifically drones, will make absolute numbers less critical but there comes a point when what you have is a home defence force, not an army. I think that's where we are.
    Didn't the recent Armenian-Azeri war show that troops and tanks are virtually defenceless against well organised drones and missiles? That is the future. Large armies are finished. Analogue military in a world of digital wars.

    The same will soon be true of large aircraft carriers. Ooops
    We still need troops for UN peacekeeping and NATO operations and special forces in particular for counter terrorism operations.

    We need submarines to launch missiles and drones and aircraft carriers to launch airstrikes and also in the event, however unlikely, we needed to recapture the Falklands again. We also need to ensure we continue to have a larger army than Argentina on that basis too
    We're not far from the moment when all the fighting will be done by robots and drones, remotely operated or self drive tanks, everything. It makes obvious sense, why risk a human life when a computer in a robot can do the job, and do it better?

    Unless civilisation collapses and the technology disappears it is likely there will never again be a large army sent to conquer a foreign land, by a major power. Except maybe China retaking Taiwan, but even there I wonder if they would bother with troops and landing ships and all that antiquated malarkey. A few hypersonic missiles, jam Taiwan's internet, retake the place without a boot on the ground. Sorted
    Massive CCTV installation/upgrade?
  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 16,136
    kjh said:

    IanB2 said:

    An unusually silly lead from Herdson. Yes, the way SV limits second preferences is flawed, but having a second preference is better than none, and ensures both that fewer votes are wasted and that the winner has the support of at least half of the voters, which FPTnP doesn’t do. His suggestions that votes aren’t wasted under our current system is absurd. Indeed every flaw he seeks to call out under SV is worse when there is no second choice at all.

    It will not surprise you to know I disagree. I believe your characterisation of SV is wrong.

    SV does not give a second preference in the way you suggest. As I'd hoped I'd made clear in the leader, many second preferences are simply junked - and those which are junked are often a matter of chance. It is that inequality which is what is so wrong with SV: that some votes literally count when others don't - and that which ones do (or don't) is often quite random.

    SV *doesn't* at all ensure that the winner receives more than 50% of the votes; it ensures that they receive more than 50% of the votes not discarded. In fact, of the 38 elections where there were five candidates, for example, eight were elected on the first round. Of the other 30, only seven won more than half the total votes after redistributions - and in every one of those cases, the winning candidate had a lead of at least 14% in the first round. I've not done a similar analysis for the other SV elections but I'd be surprised if they result in a strikingly different outcome.

    What Ian doesn't seem to accept is the distinction between votes for a losing candidate and votes that, despite being valid in all other respects, are discarded just because of a feature of the system. A vote does not 'count' because it elects someone; it counts because someone cast it. But all too often, SV does not count it.

    As for his unevidenced comment that the claim that "votes aren’t wasted under our current system is absurd" is a good example of 'weak case: shout louder'.
    I don't think the criticism is your analysis which is spot on in my opinion, but to resolve the problem you revert to a worse system. Why not do the job properly and have multiple transfer votes as in STV (or AV for a single position). The issue with SV is it is half cocked. Just do it properly.

    I disagree with your statement that FPTP provides equality and while it is familiar and simple, they are not good reasons. After all if you want that a dictatorship wins hand down.
    Familiarity and simplicity are virtues, all else being equal. My point of 'equality' was in the sense that everyone starts on zero, everyone's vote counts and all votes count equally.

    This is not to say that better systems are not available.
  • Nigel_ForemainNigel_Foremain Posts: 8,219

    malcolmg said:
    What on earth is happening to Scotland Malc
    It has had a very bad dose of nationalism, that at first seemed benign, but now showing the same symptoms that it always causes everywhere
  • TheuniondivvieTheuniondivvie Posts: 29,646
    MattW said:

    Leon said:

    eek said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    I would tend to agree on b. But just to say there are few more annoying words on PB than ‘holibobs’. It tends to be used by those who think holidays unimportant. Yet holidays are very important things, even though they may be domestic only for a while.
    The problem with holidays is that people want a complete change of scene and for a lot of people that means being outside the UK.

    Equally trying to find anywhere in the UK looks like it's going to be hard work - we are going away but that's mainly because of friends giving us very first dibs on cancellations.
    I do wonder about capacity in the UK - if we all want a nice cottage in Devon/Cornwall/the Lakes etc. Might be time to explore those lesser visited places.
    Everywhere in the West Country, Lakes, Hebrides, is booked out for the rest of the year. All gone.

    My advice: try eastern England. Rural Suffolk. Ely. Lincoln. Or far north Scotland.

    Explore....

    The run across from John O'Groats to Cape Wrath is spectacular. And deserted. (Well, it used to have quite a few Dutch and Germans, but not much else.)
    The NC500 has fcuked all that, can’t move for lardy Clarkson types (assuming their pent up desire to display their mediocre driving skills is allowed free rein once again).
    I'd go for something that is fun at low speed, and do it in the summer early mornings I think.

    Bet everyone already has that idea.
    Done it on a somewhat highly strung sports bike which wasn’t ideal but still great fun. That was before the NC500 was a thing so considerably less chance of getting taken out by a crazed Tifoso.
  • kingbongokingbongo Posts: 384
    Leon said:

    DavidL said:

    Leon said:

    DavidL said:

    TOPPING said:

    TOPPING said:

    Blimey just noticed that the Army is likely to be reduced by 10,000 from the current 70,000. I note we're already between Ethiopia and Bangladesh in size of active forces.

    Now, more than ever, we need those on PB who have yearnings in that direction, indeed have displayed strategic aptitude in terms of likely campaigns, to sign up. We simply can't allow the country to be at such risk.

    You know who you are.

    I thought it was to 70,000?
    Ah yes. Soz. To 70,000. Still low.
    When I was a lad in Fallingbostel in the early 1970s we had over 50k troops in Germany alone and more than 20k in NI.

    As you will appreciate better than most our army is now too small to carry out any meaningful task for any extended period of time. We simply could not do what we did in Afghanistan for such an extended period for example. No doubt tech, specifically drones, will make absolute numbers less critical but there comes a point when what you have is a home defence force, not an army. I think that's where we are.
    Didn't the recent Armenian-Azeri war show that troops and tanks are virtually defenceless against well organised drones and missiles? That is the future. Large armies are finished. Analogue military in a world of digital wars.

    The same will soon be true of large aircraft carriers. Ooops
    That's why I mentioned drones. We will need a different kind of armed forces. The days of massed divisions have clearly passed but how do you control an area without boots on the ground?
    A small well armed force - but with lots of drones. Drones really do change everything. As you noted

    I like to see Britain well defended but we don't need a large standing army, not any more. It's like having a large cavalry in about 1910
    the UK should focus on its navy - it's an area it can add value to western forces with and strategically for Britain it is an important foreign policy tool - helping to keep trade flows open etc etc - automation doesn't just affect frontline troops either - the manning of an aircraft carrier with 700 rather than 1500 + personnel is just a start. The real challenge for the defence establishment was brought home to me when at a cybersecurity conference and a senior advisor from 'a UK government agency' said the main problem was getting senior officers to understand the people they now relied on might "have pink hair and a nipple ring, be uncaring of somebody's rank and expect to be paid more than them" - there's the real defence challenge for the future - Tommy Atkins just isn't as necessary now conquering territory and holding it isn't seen as the key.
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 7,731
    MattW said:


    I'd go for something that is fun at low speed,

    2CV. Nothing better for a low speed laugh.

    Just don't stack it because the crumple zone is your femurs.
  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 16,136
    IanB2 said:

    IanB2 said:

    An unusually silly lead from Herdson. Yes, the way SV limits second preferences is flawed, but having a second preference is better than none, and ensures both that fewer votes are wasted and that the winner has the support of at least half of the voters, which FPTnP doesn’t do. His suggestions that votes aren’t wasted under our current system is absurd. Indeed every flaw he seeks to call out under SV is worse when there is no second choice at all.

    It will not surprise you to know I disagree. I believe your characterisation of SV is wrong.

    SV does not give a second preference in the way you suggest. As I'd hoped I'd made clear in the leader, many second preferences are simply junked - and those which are junked are often a matter of chance. It is that inequality which is what is so wrong with SV: that some votes literally count when others don't - and that which ones do (or don't) is often quite random.

    SV *doesn't* at all ensure that the winner receives more than 50% of the votes; it ensures that they receive more than 50% of the votes not discarded. In fact, of the 38 elections where there were five candidates, for example, eight were elected on the first round. Of the other 30, only seven won more than half the total votes after redistributions - and in every one of those cases, the winning candidate had a lead of at least 14% in the first round. I've not done a similar analysis for the other SV elections but I'd be surprised if they result in a strikingly different outcome.

    What Ian doesn't seem to accept is the distinction between votes for a losing candidate and votes that, despite being valid in all other respects, are discarded just because of a feature of the system. A vote does not 'count' because it elects someone; it counts because someone cast it. But all too often, SV does not count it.

    As for his unevidenced comment that the claim that "votes aren’t wasted under our current system is absurd" is a good example of 'weak case: shout louder'.
    You don't need to shout very loud to establish that our system wastes millions of votes. There are countless people with lived experienced of it.

    And Tories who - with characteristic self-interested hypocrisy - then exploit that fact by campaigning on slogans such as "A Liberal vote is a wasted vote" (exchange Green/UKIP etc.)
    You're the one claiming the votes are wasted, not me - though no party tries to exploit the 'wasted vote' argument in their favour like the Lib Dems, with their bar charts and two-horse-race literature.

    Anyway, I really must get on with some work. Regards.
  • GallowgateGallowgate Posts: 16,577

    kjh said:

    IanB2 said:

    An unusually silly lead from Herdson. Yes, the way SV limits second preferences is flawed, but having a second preference is better than none, and ensures both that fewer votes are wasted and that the winner has the support of at least half of the voters, which FPTnP doesn’t do. His suggestions that votes aren’t wasted under our current system is absurd. Indeed every flaw he seeks to call out under SV is worse when there is no second choice at all.

    It will not surprise you to know I disagree. I believe your characterisation of SV is wrong.

    SV does not give a second preference in the way you suggest. As I'd hoped I'd made clear in the leader, many second preferences are simply junked - and those which are junked are often a matter of chance. It is that inequality which is what is so wrong with SV: that some votes literally count when others don't - and that which ones do (or don't) is often quite random.

    SV *doesn't* at all ensure that the winner receives more than 50% of the votes; it ensures that they receive more than 50% of the votes not discarded. In fact, of the 38 elections where there were five candidates, for example, eight were elected on the first round. Of the other 30, only seven won more than half the total votes after redistributions - and in every one of those cases, the winning candidate had a lead of at least 14% in the first round. I've not done a similar analysis for the other SV elections but I'd be surprised if they result in a strikingly different outcome.

    What Ian doesn't seem to accept is the distinction between votes for a losing candidate and votes that, despite being valid in all other respects, are discarded just because of a feature of the system. A vote does not 'count' because it elects someone; it counts because someone cast it. But all too often, SV does not count it.

    As for his unevidenced comment that the claim that "votes aren’t wasted under our current system is absurd" is a good example of 'weak case: shout louder'.
    I don't think the criticism is your analysis which is spot on in my opinion, but to resolve the problem you revert to a worse system. Why not do the job properly and have multiple transfer votes as in STV (or AV for a single position). The issue with SV is it is half cocked. Just do it properly.

    I disagree with your statement that FPTP provides equality and while it is familiar and simple, they are not good reasons. After all if you want that a dictatorship wins hand down.
    Familiarity and simplicity are virtues, all else being equal. My point of 'equality' was in the sense that everyone starts on zero, everyone's vote counts and all votes count equally.

    This is not to say that better systems are not available.
    I like having the option of voting for a third-party rather than Labour or Conservative whilst also keeping my 2nd choice for my preference of those two.

    Otherwise I'd have to vote for my preference just in case, rather than the person I actually want to win.
  • LeonLeon Posts: 11,578
    HYUFD said:
    I wonder what the EU vax spaz-out will do to the SNP's version of indy, and, perhaps, to indy and the SNP.

    The whole package is based on quitting the UK and speedily joining a welcoming EU, because the EU loves Scotland.

    Yes, the EU loves Scotland so much it is prepared to kill old biddies in Bathgate, out of spite.

    Before EUvaxgate, support for rejoining was already on the wane, north of the wall - now it might be in freefall. What, then, is the SNPs post Scexit policy? It becomes evermore unclear. Maybe they will switch to EEA. Or EFTA. But then what will the currency be, and what of Free Movement and the English border? Already vexatious issues get thornier by the day

  • RochdalePioneersRochdalePioneers Posts: 13,151
    HYUFD said:
    Story in The Herald this morning deconstructing that poll. Points out that the SNP may "squeak" a majority which is a gain from their current position. It will be interesting to see how the perceived momentum away from the SNP proceeds - I suspect that the final independent report will provoke "is that it" responses and switch the focus back onto the integrity of the Tory leakers who tried to game it for electoral purposes.
  • MangoMango Posts: 953
    ClippP said:

    I thought I was not going to agree with David Herdson, because Conservatives are always wrong when they talk about voting systems. But then I read his piece, and I was persuaded.

    If this system was introduced in 2000, then it was under a Labour Government, and they are almost as corrupt and self-interested as the Tories.

    It's terrible. But of course FPTP is worse. An abomination, an offence against democracy. I understand why Tory trolls like it, but I really can't fathom how anybody rational can think it is in any way fit for purpose.

    And it is at the root of so much that is wrong with the UK.
  • TheValiantTheValiant Posts: 905

    Yes the UK has done very well. Given our health structure I suspect we'd have done just as well if we'd still been in the EU.

    I've been wanting to type this for a while. As a big fan of alternative history, it's very hard to say. Trying to peer through the barrier between the two realities! (Well, only one, as we've no real idea if other timelines really exist)

    I suspect, had the UK stayed in the EU, and Coronavirus happened much the same (but butterflies - who knows?) then the UK would've come under sever pressure to join the EU wide vaccination and PPE procurement schemes. And I suspect, contrary to what some posters on here believe (we'd still go our own way) I think we'd have joined.

    Which would mean that many of the problems the EU states face we would face too. However, I suspect the UK would be a help, rather than a hinderance at pushing things forward. So instead of the current mess some countries find themselves in, we'd hopefully resolve some problems. Additionally, I'm completely convinced the only reason the AZN vaccine is so widely disliked in the EU is entirely because its got the word 'Oxford' in it and its entirely political. The EU can't stand that we've left, so anything produced in the UK (however true or otherwise) must be shit and therefore must be advised against using. That wouldn't be true in a 'UK stays in the EU situation'.

    So, my belief is, in this other universe, we'd have probably pulled up the really underperforming countries like France and Italy, whilst at the same time we'd be being dragged down by the EU bureacracy. Maybe instead of 55% vaccinated now, we'd be only in the high 20s or low 30s. Better than France, better than Italy; but not as good as where we are now.
  • GallowgateGallowgate Posts: 16,577

    HYUFD said:
    Story in The Herald this morning deconstructing that poll. Points out that the SNP may "squeak" a majority which is a gain from their current position. It will be interesting to see how the perceived momentum away from the SNP proceeds - I suspect that the final independent report will provoke "is that it" responses and switch the focus back onto the integrity of the Tory leakers who tried to game it for electoral purposes.
    That would be a rather banterous outcome.
  • RochdalePioneersRochdalePioneers Posts: 13,151

    eek said:

    eek said:

    eek said:

    TOPPING said:

    eek said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    I would tend to agree on b. But just to say there are few more annoying words on PB than ‘holibobs’. It tends to be used by those who think holidays unimportant. Yet holidays are very important things, even though they may be domestic only for a while.
    The problem with holidays is that people want a complete change of scene and for a lot of people that means being outside the UK.

    Equally trying to find anywhere in the UK looks like it's going to be hard work - we are going away but that's mainly because of friends giving us very first dibs on cancellations.
    I do wonder about capacity in the UK - if we all want a nice cottage in Devon/Cornwall/the Lakes etc. Might be time to explore those lesser visited places.
    H*rtl*p**l?
    Co. Durham certainly, especially parts of the coast, and in the west of the County Palatine.

    When I was a student lodging in Sunderland my landlady used to let our rooms in the summer to Scots who came South for their holidays.
    Whitley Bay used to be one of the biggest summer holiday destinations for Scots.

    Of course that was before they realised it was sh*t and that the Costa del Sol was much better.
    Um that was before the days the Costa del Sol was an option.

    And there is nowt wrong with a day at Cullercoats or South Shields if you have small children. Just remember that you need wind breaks protecting you in all directions...
    I know that. I was making a funny wasn't I
    You missed the fact - I said a day. What are you going to do for the rest of the week when its peeing down?

    Not on the East coast it won't be. Freezing, maybe.
    I live there - it rains more than you think especially if you are only there for x days.
    It's along time since I spent three years there; don't remember more rain than someone from Essex was used to. Maybe that's memory!

    Went I went to live in Manchester it was after visiting my girl-friend there several times, and never experiencing rain. When I went to work there it rained at least some part of every day for a month. And that was summer!
    OK so I'm less than 2 months into living in North East Scotland, but it has been remarkably dry so far. Compared to the endless grey drizzle that Teesside used to suffer its wonderful.
  • kamskikamski Posts: 2,118

    kamski said:

    DavidL said:

    Really not sure I get this argument. Why is a vote "wasted" if I don't choose one of those who get through to the final round but not "wasted" when I vote for someone that loses in FPTP?

    We certainly have more important things to worry about, on that I agree.

    Because your vote is not counted. Literally. You wanted to register a second preference, the system allowed you to do so, and yet it was not counted at all; your voice is missing from the result, not as a consequence of abstention but because of the vaguary and chance of the mechanism and combined vote.

    At least, when you vote for a losing candidate under FPTP, your choice for them (and implicitly, against the winner), is recorded and acts as political mandate for or against the winner, and helps frame actions within the politicians term and future elections.
    This is just silly. Your first choice is counted and recorded in exactly the same way as FPTP.
    Yes. And if that's the decisive round, fine. But then, if that's the decisive round, we might as well have used FPTP.

    On the other hand, if it's not the decisive round, the vote may well not be counted - and whether it is or not is often a matter of chance. Voting systems should not depend on chance and should not throw out what are essentially valid votes. Either use FPTP or use AV but don't mix and match.
    Well AV is better than SV, but your arguments about FPTP losing votes being "recorded" and acting as a "mandate" (in a way that SV votes aren't) are totally unconvincing. Unless there are SV systems where the result of the first choice votes is being kept secret.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 39,788
    Leon said:

    HYUFD said:

    Leon said:

    DavidL said:

    TOPPING said:

    TOPPING said:

    Blimey just noticed that the Army is likely to be reduced by 10,000 from the current 70,000. I note we're already between Ethiopia and Bangladesh in size of active forces.

    Now, more than ever, we need those on PB who have yearnings in that direction, indeed have displayed strategic aptitude in terms of likely campaigns, to sign up. We simply can't allow the country to be at such risk.

    You know who you are.

    I thought it was to 70,000?
    Ah yes. Soz. To 70,000. Still low.
    When I was a lad in Fallingbostel in the early 1970s we had over 50k troops in Germany alone and more than 20k in NI.

    As you will appreciate better than most our army is now too small to carry out any meaningful task for any extended period of time. We simply could not do what we did in Afghanistan for such an extended period for example. No doubt tech, specifically drones, will make absolute numbers less critical but there comes a point when what you have is a home defence force, not an army. I think that's where we are.
    Didn't the recent Armenian-Azeri war show that troops and tanks are virtually defenceless against well organised drones and missiles? That is the future. Large armies are finished. Analogue military in a world of digital wars.

    The same will soon be true of large aircraft carriers. Ooops
    We still need troops for UN peacekeeping and NATO operations and special forces in particular for counter terrorism operations.

    We need submarines to launch missiles and drones and aircraft carriers to launch airstrikes and also in the event, however unlikely, we needed to recapture the Falklands again. We also need to ensure we continue to have a larger army than Argentina on that basis too
    We're not far from the moment when all the fighting will be done by robots and drones, remotely operated or self drive tanks, everything. It makes obvious sense, why risk a human life when a computer in a robot can do the job, and do it better?

    Unless civilisation collapses and the technology disappears it is likely there will never again be a large army sent to conquer a foreign land, by a major power. Except maybe China retaking Taiwan, but even there I wonder if they would bother with troops and landing ships and all that antiquated malarkey. A few hypersonic missiles, jam Taiwan's internet, retake the place without a boot on the ground. Sorted
    The problem with this, as your example shows, is that there is more to warfare than blowing things up. Drones are going to replace tanks, helicopters, artillery and a lot of offensive ground based capability but if you want to hold something or control it you need people there after the bangs have stopped. And you need to find a way to keep them alive, which is going to be another problem.
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 30,079
    Leon said:

    HYUFD said:

    Leon said:

    DavidL said:

    TOPPING said:

    TOPPING said:

    Blimey just noticed that the Army is likely to be reduced by 10,000 from the current 70,000. I note we're already between Ethiopia and Bangladesh in size of active forces.

    Now, more than ever, we need those on PB who have yearnings in that direction, indeed have displayed strategic aptitude in terms of likely campaigns, to sign up. We simply can't allow the country to be at such risk.

    You know who you are.

    I thought it was to 70,000?
    Ah yes. Soz. To 70,000. Still low.
    When I was a lad in Fallingbostel in the early 1970s we had over 50k troops in Germany alone and more than 20k in NI.

    As you will appreciate better than most our army is now too small to carry out any meaningful task for any extended period of time. We simply could not do what we did in Afghanistan for such an extended period for example. No doubt tech, specifically drones, will make absolute numbers less critical but there comes a point when what you have is a home defence force, not an army. I think that's where we are.
    Didn't the recent Armenian-Azeri war show that troops and tanks are virtually defenceless against well organised drones and missiles? That is the future. Large armies are finished. Analogue military in a world of digital wars.

    The same will soon be true of large aircraft carriers. Ooops
    We still need troops for UN peacekeeping and NATO operations and special forces in particular for counter terrorism operations.

    We need submarines to launch missiles and drones and aircraft carriers to launch airstrikes and also in the event, however unlikely, we needed to recapture the Falklands again. We also need to ensure we continue to have a larger army than Argentina on that basis too
    We're not far from the moment when all the fighting will be done by robots and drones, remotely operated or self drive tanks, everything. It makes obvious sense, why risk a human life when a computer in a robot can do the job, and do it better?

    Unless civilisation collapses and the technology disappears it is likely there will never again be a large army sent to conquer a foreign land, by a major power. Except maybe China retaking Taiwan, but even there I wonder if they would bother with troops and landing ships and all that antiquated malarkey. A few hypersonic missiles, jam Taiwan's internet, retake the place without a boot on the ground. Sorted
    Yet, I'm sceptical how effective any of that would be against insurgents who are willing to take any level of casualties in order to win. A belief that superior equipment can - on its own - win wars, has not proved well-founded.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 35,767

    IanB2 said:

    DavidL said:

    Really not sure I get this argument. Why is a vote "wasted" if I don't choose one of those who get through to the final round but not "wasted" when I vote for someone that loses in FPTP?

    We certainly have more important things to worry about, on that I agree.

    Because your vote is not counted. Literally. You wanted to register a second preference, the system allowed you to do so, and yet it was not counted at all; your voice is missing from the result, not as a consequence of abstention but because of the vaguary and chance of the mechanism and combined vote.

    At least, when you vote for a losing candidate under FPTP, your choice for them (and implicitly, against the winner), is recorded and acts as political mandate for or against the winner, and helps frame actions within the politicians term and future elections.
    Your arguments are getting more and more pitiful.
    Yours are getting more and more evidence-free. You simply make an assertion, mix in some abuse and assume that the natural virtue will shine though.
    To see a Tory try to claim there are no wasted votes when we know the Tories will be round telling voters not to waste their votes on third parties is a level of hypocrisy which I didn't expect from you.
  • MattWMattW Posts: 10,220

    eek said:

    eek said:

    eek said:

    TOPPING said:

    eek said:

    Fishing said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Just say no.

    Johnson's cabinet need to hold the line on this. No bloody foreign holidays this summer. Having such a holiday is very nice but it is a First World thing. People can live without it.
    This is a risk we should take. With tests at the airport and a few days later it is manageable. There will always be some danger of infection, but we can't put normal life on hold forever.
    Pop Quiz: do you prefer:

    a) UK life largely back to normal for 2021, very limited risk of more lockdowns, social life back to having no limitations, pubs, theatres, cinemas, restaurants all open, freedom to holiday anywhere in the UK - just not foreign holibobs until 2022;

    or

    b) foreign holibobs for Brits allowed from June 2021, but that comes with a material risk that a new variant comes into the UK to which our vaccines are far less effective. Consequent risk of lockdowns and closures.

    I know where I stand.
    I would tend to agree on b. But just to say there are few more annoying words on PB than ‘holibobs’. It tends to be used by those who think holidays unimportant. Yet holidays are very important things, even though they may be domestic only for a while.
    The problem with holidays is that people want a complete change of scene and for a lot of people that means being outside the UK.

    Equally trying to find anywhere in the UK looks like it's going to be hard work - we are going away but that's mainly because of friends giving us very first dibs on cancellations.
    I do wonder about capacity in the UK - if we all want a nice cottage in Devon/Cornwall/the Lakes etc. Might be time to explore those lesser visited places.
    H*rtl*p**l?
    Co. Durham certainly, especially parts of the coast, and in the west of the County Palatine.

    When I was a student lodging in Sunderland my landlady used to let our rooms in the summer to Scots who came South for their holidays.
    Whitley Bay used to be one of the biggest summer holiday destinations for Scots.

    Of course that was before they realised it was sh*t and that the Costa del Sol was much better.
    Um that was before the days the Costa del Sol was an option.

    And there is nowt wrong with a day at Cullercoats or South Shields if you have small children. Just remember that you need wind breaks protecting you in all directions...
    I know that. I was making a funny wasn't I
    You missed the fact - I said a day. What are you going to do for the rest of the week when its peeing down?

    Not on the East coast it won't be. Freezing, maybe.
    I live there - it rains more than you think especially if you are only there for x days.
    It's along time since I spent three years there; don't remember more rain than someone from Essex was used to. Maybe that's memory!

    Went I went to live in Manchester it was after visiting my girl-friend there several times, and never experiencing rain. When I went to work there it rained at least some part of every day for a month. And that was summer!
    OK so I'm less than 2 months into living in North East Scotland, but it has been remarkably dry so far. Compared to the endless grey drizzle that Teesside used to suffer its wonderful.
    That's your decade's quota gone, then.
  • TheValiantTheValiant Posts: 905
    Of course, the other thing to consider is how, in this other universe, we ended up staying in the EU.

    Is it because there was no vote (so its Prime Minister Ed Miliband); or because the vote was 52% Remain (So its likely Prime Minister George Osbourne); or the Leave vote happened but was overturned somehow (So its Prime Minister Ken Clarke/Jo Swinson/Harriet Harman).

    Each of those alternative governments may have been more, or less enthusastic to join the EU scheme, and each may have been more, or less competent at overcoming EU bureacracy. Additionally, a vote to Leave that was overturned may still leave the EU feeling bitter towards us, and announcing that whilst of course, a UK based vaccine was produced in the EU, it's still a bit shit and please don't use it.
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