One of the worst debates is the climate change one.

It’s fought on risk/cost but regardless of how bad it turns out much of the cost of going carbon neutral is not really a cost drag but substituting out of resources that make people ill, deform environment & fund awful regimes.
In other words the idea that tackling climate change is a very high cost that’s either worth it or not (depending on your view) is not the whole story.

The benefits of a greener run world are huge even if current climate change projections turn out to be a bit alarmist.
Much of the fraught oil debate resembles people worried about what cutting down on smoking will do to the tobacco industry.

Both tobacco & oil are “deadweight industries” that add little in technological advances & money spent on them could be more productively spent elsewhere.
The idea that that everyone should own an expensive car that many use for an hour a day, fill it will oil extracted from a corrupt dictatorship, transported 1000s miles, then used to clog up roads belching out fumes to make people ill is just not sound economics.
An extensive & economic public transport system, working from home, extensive bike path systems & people being encouraged to move to leasing (both long & short term) green cars would unlikely cost the economy as a whole any additional cost.

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More from @nicktolhurst

15 Sep
Gavin Williamson has informed staff at the Dept for Education that he’s leaving the department.

As part of his demotion he was offered Northern Ireland by Boris Johnson.

The most sensitive job in the most sensitive part of UK at its most sensitive time in its last 2 decades.
I should add this has not been officially confirmed yet - depends if Williamson wants to accept it.

In parliamentary lore “going to Northern Ireland” is not something that usually precedes a stellar rise to the high offices of state. It usually signals the end of a career.
Now hearing that Gavin Williamson turned down Northern Ireland job, which makes Johnson’s reshuffle a bit more complicated.

This could drag on about…perhaps even into tomorrow..
Read 14 tweets
12 Sep
Question for those obsessing about "Northern redwall seats":

Which area has the highest number of those 32 most marginal Tory held seats, Labour need to win to get Johnson out:

1. North West
2. North East
3. Wales
4. Yorkshire/Humber
5. W. Midlands
6. E. Midlands
....and the answer for, I'm guessing many of you, will be quite surprising....
Here a handy hint.
In population size from highest to lowest:

N. West - 7,341 000
W. Midlands - 5,934 000
Yorkshire + Humber - 5,502 000
E. Midlands - 4,835 000
Wales - 3,113 000
N. East - 2,669 000
Read 5 tweets
12 Sep

Conservative internal polling as well as an Electoral Calculus survey has revealed the Tories stand to lose "in excess of 50 seats" to Labour under current polling.

This is an addition to a number of southern seats expected to drop to the LibDems at the next election.
This fits into what ive been saying for sometime:

LibDem top 20 target seats are virtually all Tory held with small margins
Labour focussing on the top 50 Tory held small marginal seats..

..can deliver quite efficiently a change in govt.
Again, as Ive said before,...the trick to using this is for Labour to concentrate on Tory held small margin seats...that Libdems cant win and..

...LibDems to focus on 20-40 Tory held small margin states where LibDems have the better chance than Labour.

Its not rocket science...
Read 6 tweets
8 Sep
If you spend your day attacking Starmer because he’s not moving fast enough on Single Market as you’d like, while Johnson is

1. Passing a vote suppression law
2. Axing post Brexit environmental standards
3. Raising taxes on poor to pay for Brexit

Then you really need to WTFU.
The Labour Party is a pro Europe party with pro Europe members, activists, MPs & with most pro EU leader in my lifetime operating in one of the most difficult political contexts post war.

In 480 of the 650 seats it’s the only plausible challenger to the Tories.

Your choice.
The electoral calculus is simple.

There’s circa 20 southern remainerish Tory seats ready to drop to LibDems, the DUP are fading fast.

Labour need only to win back 30-35 seats from Tories.
& many of which usually vote Labour & need a swing of just 1-2%.

It’s not rocket science.
Read 14 tweets
7 Sep
In my family theres a story about how my great grandfather’s brother wasn’t killed in WWI but “deserted & married a French girl” based on a single letter (now lost) from France.

Are such occurrences more common than we think…or more likely to just be gossipy old myths?
Growing up hearing these stories in late 1970s he was old enough to still be alive then.

I imagined hundreds of British soldiers living out there retirement in northern France still trying to hide their accent after 50 years.

Is there any proof that such things happened?
I was reminded of this again today by Dan Snow’s posting on deserting soldiers being shot.

If the choice is between trench war fire & being shot surely one would expect a number of soldiers to have evaded both - I’d love to know if there’s been any research done on this.
Read 4 tweets
6 Sep
Social care costs for elderly is going up because people live much longer than before.

The UK solved this problem by increasing working age population thru immigration.

If you restrict this, then to pay for it you need to:

1. Raise taxes
2. Get people to pay for it themselves
The only real way to get 95% of people to pay for their own social care is to use their housing wealth.

But UK owner occupation is actually declining (its lower than most other European countries) & with less rent controls too.

What does this mean?

This means that govts will have to

1. Tax more
2. Increase working age immigration

Reader, I know what they will do…and I can tell you…
Read 4 tweets

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