The Anonymous Widower

And Now Balls Dithers On English Votes For English Laws

After Miliband’s dithering yesterday on the English Votes for English Laws question, Ed Balls refused to answer the question directly on BBC Breakfast this morning.

In my view, it is essential that this simple measure is brought in as soon as possible. If we don’t bring it in, then I predict the next General Election will be handed on a plate to the ridiculous UKIP.

September 22, 2014 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Run Miliband Run

This little snippet is on the BBC web page that follows the Scottish Referendum.

Ed Miliband will be speaking on The Andrew Marr Show from the Labour party conference in Manchester. However, the BBC’s political editor in the South of England, Peter Henley, is reporting that the Labour leader has cancelled other BBC interviews.

Peter Henley: Ed Miliband has pulled out of planned BBC interviews tomorrow. They’ve cancelled BBC English Regions, Scotland, NI & Wales.

It looks like he’s running scared. Perhaps, a detailed analysis of who voted Yes and No in the Referendum, has revealed that after next year’s General Election, Labour’s core vote in Scotland, that so annoys the English (I can’t comment about the Welsh and Northern Irish!), will be very much reduced!

September 21, 2014 Posted by | News | , , | Leave a comment

We’re Back To The West Lothian Question

A good leader always picks the issue, place and time for their battles to ensure that he or she wins in the end. Planning should be meticulous and hopefully it all works out as they want it.

Compare Margaret Thatcher and her government and military’s response to the invasion of the Falklands by Argentina with other campaigns fought in Iraq and Afghanistan recently. The Falklands was a smaller conflict, but very little was left to chance, although it could be thought of as a close run thing.

Other British Prime Ministers and influential politicians have brought contentious legislation through to law, by making sure they plan and win every battle. Take Cameron’s law on same-sex marriage as a recent example. But then there are many others.

So when Alex Salmond proposed a vote on Scottish independence, I thought if he got it right, he could win.

His mistake was that he didn’t plan and get decent concessions on tax and spending, before he even called for the poll. That way, if Devo max had been successful and acceptable to all parties, after a few years, Scotland would probably have had an agreed separation, in much the same way Slovakia separated from the Czech Republic.

But he pig-headedly called the referendum as early as he could.

And he lost. So we’ve now been kicked back to the West Lothian Question, but with more variables than it ever had before. Tam Dalyell must be laughing from his grave.

It has been suggested this morning that large cities have more powers, something that I agree with.

But Scotland now has the Glasgow Problem, as surely what is good for London, Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle must be good enough for the one of the largest cities outside London in the UK.

Alex Salmond, who in a overly-passionate campaign led us to this mess, should resign!

September 19, 2014 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

Why Are Polling Stations Called Polling Places In Scotland?

As I watch the BBC News, I have noticed that polling stations, seem to be called polling places in Scotland.

It’s just like with what you call bus stands!

September 18, 2014 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

The Irish Boiler Problem

When I think of Scotland being independent, I’m always reminded of a problem, that was ongoing at a hotel we stayed in, in Dublin.

The boiler for the central heating had failed and the poor plumber was trying to get it going again. The boiler had been made in England a few years before and it wasn’t a cheap one. But it turned out that as it was rather a special, the spare that the plumber wanted wasn’t held in Ireland. And as it was about six on a Friday evening, the factory in I think Birmingham had closed for the night.

So the hotel had to wait a few days for heating. At least they had an immersion heater for hot water.

The plumber told me, how this was often happening as with expensive plumbing and its spares, was generally not kept in Ireland as it was only a small country and it was usually ordered overnight from England.

One of the things that might be a problem with Scottish independence, is that companies don’t keep stock north of the border and it becomes much more difficult to get something urgently. You might also have more paperwork and different currencies and VAT rates.

Prices in Scotland might rise! Or they might fall. Who knows?

September 15, 2014 Posted by | World | , | 6 Comments

An Advantage To The Rest Of The UK Of Scottish Independence

If Scotland becomes independent after Thursday, then we won’t have to suffer, when the weather forecasts give out the often more depressing forecast for north of the border.

The weather forecasts would be even better, if Northern Ireland were to become independent as well.

September 15, 2014 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

A Control Engineer’s View On The Result Of The Scottish Referendum

I trained as a Control Engineer in the 1960s and applying what I learned then to everyday systems is fun.

Avoid Discontinuities

One of the first things, you should do in designing a system is avoid discontinuities.

Take riding a bicycle. One of the things you try to avoid is steps, as even a single one like a kerb is a discontinuity to be got around. It is much easier to ride along a nice flat, smooth road.

I live in London and as I walk around, I see more and more instances, where steps have been removed or made easier. Even our Class 378 trains on the Overground, are in most instances step-across to get in or out.

So whether the Scots vote for independence or not, the trend in life is to remove discontinuities, so Edinburgh and Westminster must work to remove them. Here’s a few that we should have, as we share an island.

  1. An Interchangeable Currency
  2. A Public Transport System, that is continuous.
  3. A Legal System, where a crime in one country is a crime in the other.
  4. A Health System with similar access.
  5. Continuous Telephone and Internet

There are probably a few other things, but these don’t impact on the minutia of daily life.

We should be eliminating these, but politicians love creating a few more or are stopping the elimination of some. Take metrication and adjusting the clocks to European time, for two simple examples.

Avoid Large Control Movements

When you control a system, like our simple example of riding a bike, imagine you only had the options of turning the handlebars hard left or hard right. You’d soon fall off!

So in other words to make a system better, you do everything in a softly-softly mode. If you need to get from one state to another you do it in a smooth set of planned movements taking account of conditions over which you have no control.

Just think of the complicated process of landing an aircraft. It probably goes fine, until the aircraft gets struck by an unexpected lightning bolt. After that the experience and training of the pilot takes over.

Plan Ahead For Change

Changes can be difficult, if you don’t plan for them. That is why natural disasters like floods and earthquakes cause so many problems in the world.

But take some recent earthquakes in California and Japan. Some large cities like Tokyo avoided anything other than minor damage, because of good planning.

At present there are two mega projects in the UK; Crossrail and the Scottish Referendum.

I am surrounded in London by disruption caused by Crossrail, but everything has been planned minutely, to cause the smallest amount of pain. This planning was a long process taking many years.

Where is the planning in the separation of Scotland and the rest of the UK? Alex Salmond has decided to inflict all the pain afterwards.

In other words, he is like most politicians. Fuck you Jack, I’m alright and I’ve made my place in history!

The others are no better, as Devo Max should have been devolved to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the first place. After all, the Isles of Man, Jersey and Guernsey seem to get on well with us all and isn’t that what they’ve got.




September 10, 2014 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Don’t Panic

Corporal Jones was often right in Dad’s Army, when he used this phrase, whilst panicking like a good-un.

Obviously, the three main party leaders are too young to have watched the BBC’s iconic comedy show, as they have entered headless-chicken mode over the Scottish Referendum, as reported on the BBC.

I think we’re all doomed!

September 10, 2014 Posted by | News | , | Leave a comment

Could The News Of The Royal Baby Really Change The Referendum Result?

It’s only the Metro, but I did find their front page fascinating.

Could The News Of The Royal Baby Really Change The Referendum Result?

Could The News Of The Royal Baby Really Change The Referendum Result?

The baby could probably have more effect on next year’s General Election!

What would broadcasters do, if he or she turned up on Election Day?

If he or she turned up to be monarch, they would then probably be the only one for hundreds of years, who interfered personally with an election!

September 9, 2014 Posted by | News | , , | Leave a comment

Are English-Based Politicians Making Scots More Likely To Vote Yes?

Reports like this one on the BBC are saying that the Scottish Referendum is swinging towards independence.

There’s an old medical joke told by doctors. – “You can always tell a Barts man, but you can’t tell him anything!”

I suspect that in terms of politics this applies to Scots. After all the voting patterns for Scotland are very different to England in General Elections.

So as the No campaign seems to be based around those who found political fortune in Westminster, does the Yes Campaign have an advantage. Even Alistair Darling represents an Edinburgh constituency, so he must go down well in Glasgow.

So what is the No Campaign doing?

According to reports like this one, they’re sending in their secret weapon – John Prescott.

I have a feeling that this could give the Yes Campaign a winning push!

September 7, 2014 Posted by | World | , | 2 Comments