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Snippets from the news

{02.09.23} “13 years of Tory underinvestment” The Guardian writers were quick to lambast the government’s problems with ‘aero’ (RAAC) concrete being down to the lack of investment required to fix the problems. But wait: Grumpy remembers the similar phrase “13 years of Tory misrule” uttered by Harold Wilson in his first reign as Prime Minister. One of the largest (and worst) examples of the use of the material was in the building of the Airedale Hospital in Yorkshire during the Wilson years, which is having to be rebuilt entirely. So it was in fact Labour which underinvested in the quality of building materials, and left a costly legacy of their myopia to the Conservatives. It always surprises Grumpy how poorly their editors check stories for obvious bear traps…

Starmer makes it up Mar 2023 : At a presentation about his 5 missions, Starmer stated that 300 women were raped every day. He didn’t believe the figures and got staff to check. Starmer should maybe check his staff instead. 300 per day is about 110,000 per year. Allegations of rape reported to the police to the year ending September 2022 were 70,633 – a long way from 110,000. He was right in commenting on the huge gap between allegations and charges – just 4049, according the Rape Crisis in a similar period.

Now it is thought that a great many rapes go unreported to the police, but the numbers are essentially conjecture by definition and open to varied interpretation. What may move the admittedly disgraceful situation forward is finding out why it is so many women pull the plug on investigations after reporting domestic violence or rape and provide more support in that area.

Truss update Dec 2022 :Grumpy commented here that Truss had succumbed to the current hysterical abandonment of due process as PM following an opaque allegation by a nameless third party about MP Connor Burns, who she suspended and withdrew the party whip. She even trumpeted he rush to sentence without investigation or trial as evidence of her capability for positive action. Well, after belated due process following here political demise, an investigation found there was no case to answer, and he has now been properly reinstated. If anything encapsulates what a lucky escape the country had from rule by this economically illiterate tyrant, this is it.

Laura Beers Oct 2022 : An American Professor, Laura Beers, penned an article published on CNN here arguing that there was a moral imperative for Rishi Sunak to call a general election. Setting aside the flaws and clear bias in the arguments she used, Grumpy is always irritated by US politicians (such as Pelosi on the Brexit Agreement) opining on UK domestic politics. Given the current febrile state of US politics it is simply breath taking in its hypocrisy; American politics is not only a poster child for Machiavellian self serving partisanship, it is a poor example of democracy. She states that “no one voted for” Sunak; However, in the US no one ever votes for the President. Hilary Clinton won the ‘popular’ vote in 2016, but the flawed Electoral College made Trump president. The Senate is even worse ; in the USA less than 600,000 Wyoming residents have the same representation as 39 million Californians – hardly democratic.

This as well from someone in a country that didn’t have racial equality in voting until after Grumpy graduated from University. The British need no lessons in political morality from a USA citizen.

Truss saga Oct 2022 : Liz Truss seems to have attracted almost universal vilification by the conservative party and its members. They seem to have collectively forgotten that she was put in place by a long accepted process of the party for democratic elections – they voted her in. The truth is that responsibility for all the events of this month largely rests with them, and their misjudgements. This is particularly true for the membership at large (whose votes took her to a majority), and where one might suspect there was a significant element of a ‘not Sunak’ motivation. Any whinges from the base about higher interest rates can go ignored.