John Bull Profile picture
Historian. Strategy streamer. Tech/Transport Journo. Editor of @lonrec. Orient fan. Made Neil Gaiman cry (in a good way). Business:
LittleGravitas 🇺🇦 🌻 🇪🇺 💙 #FBPE Profile picture otaria123 Profile picture Jay Jernigan Profile picture Nicholas/Aquarion Profile picture Peter Durbin Profile picture 20 added to My Authors
Aug 3 14 tweets 3 min read
This is one of those torn posters you see on the wall in a post-apocalyptic video game. Liz truss official poster that says "I love Britain. We Later, there's a mission called 'Little England' on your main mission path.

It takes you to a single town in the apocalyptic wasteland full of people in bowler hats and frilly dresses, policed by robot 'bobbies' and you need to work out what's going on.
Aug 2 5 tweets 2 min read
A reminder that we LITERALLY had a Space programme in the 60/70s, independently achieved space flight, launched our own rockets and Prospero (our first actual independently launched satellite) is still up there, trying to talk to us.

But we can't answer her cos we lost her codes I've written about this, multiple times.

The only reason we don't have a world-leading space programme now (we built for a budget based on V2 tech, not big flashy rockets) is the continual lack of long term thinking from politicians and the Treasury.
Jul 31 11 tweets 4 min read
Right you lot. Enjoyed that?

We have the ONLY independent Women's team in East London here in #Walthamstow. @LondonSeawardFC.

Football without barriers. Watch this. Sign up to our newsletter for fundraiser deets. Get involved. @LondonSeawardFC This moment isn't just about the Women's Prem. It's about the pipeline. And it's about proving women's football is MORE than just 'big name' clubs.

It's about removing barriers for women to play at ANY level.

It's about making it available to all.
Jul 29 35 tweets 9 min read
Oh man this judgement is somehow an even better read than Uber's massive employment law self-own.

On the phone in the sea: The reasons that Ms Vardy a... God I love it when Judgements have to talk emoji. “Getting desperate now [cry...
Jul 26 4 tweets 1 min read
washi kozo and fish gelatin ah of course. rabbit skin glue
Jul 22 4 tweets 1 min read
I'm always amazed at the cast iron certainty of some people that they KNOW they'd be amazing heroes in terrible situations.

One of the things being a historian teaches you is that the people who think life is simply good vs evil like that are normally conned into doing the evil. The real truth of the matter is such situations are horrible, messy and complicated. And the people who end up doing good in them are often those who have strong ethics, but are conscious of their own limits. The ones who don't think they're the hero in their own story.
Jul 22 31 tweets 8 min read
On 16th March, 1968 Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson Jnr was flying helicopter recon for an attack on an alleged Viet Cong-controlled village in Vietnam.

As the attack developed, Thompson realised he was witnessing something something else:

A massacre.

He decided to act. /1 🧵 a clean-cut Hugh Thompson Jnr, pictured in the sixties, in h At first Thompson and his crew, Lawrence Colburn and Glen Andreotta thought the wounded were the result of artillery fire.

They dropped a green flare near a wounded civilian, expecting the infantry to help. Cpt Medina of Charlie Company walked over and shot her in the head. captain medina, giving evidence later, wearing his dress uni
Jul 20 6 tweets 1 min read
Team Sunak putting Truss over the edge there. Classic Williamson/Shapps stitch up.

Labour will be happy. Basically Team Rishi see Truss as more bearable than Mordaunt as Truss carries a lot of the same baggage he does.

They need a single-front war to have any hope. They can now focus on Truss' flaws, without having to ALSO defend Rishi's service in Johnson's government.
Jul 19 13 tweets 3 min read
So this is probably my opportunity to tell you about the perfect political system I designed a while back called SKV.

Snuggling Kitty Vote


Under Snuggling Kitty Vote (SKV) humans vote under a D'Hondt/AV system to apportion a large percentage of the balance of seats in Parliament.

it remains THEORETICALLY possible for a majority to be achieved this way, but it is deliberately hard.
Jul 19 4 tweets 1 min read
Transferrable/Alternate vote type systems were so successful in London Mayoral Elections that this batshit Tory Government forced through changes to go back to FPTP.

Because it became impossible for them to win in London without fielding a sensible candidate with real policies. We can (and should) debate the merits of the various AV/STV systems.

But let's not pretend we didn't have a functional, demonstrably working one in London, which has more voters than Scotland and Wales COMBINED.

A system the Tories chose to kill rather than move to the centre.
Jul 19 5 tweets 1 min read
We elect MPs not PMs.

I mean, fuck me, I think every single one of the Tory candidates for leader is a potential bin fire, but let's not do tired fake-outrage about it being a betrayal of democracy.

Acting like we have a presidential system is what keeps causing the bin fires. Should a new PM call a general election? Maybe. But let's not pretend they ever have straight away.

They don't. Of Labour OR Conservative persuasion.

Fake outrage and fake holier than thou behaviour might make a nice snappy tweet but it ignores the reality of our system.
Jul 19 4 tweets 1 min read
Yes. 'Stray' in which you are a lost stray kitty in a world of robots is out today.

Yes. It is VERY on brand and am quite happy to stream/tweet play it.

But I'm broke this month and don't have a PR key so my kofi link is below😆

Of course if you're doing PR for it, feel free to send me a key.

But tbh I'd much rather pay for it as it's the kind of game I'd like to see more of.
Jul 13 5 tweets 2 min read
I suspect, sadly, the Tory party is going to struggle to tack back to the centre. The truth is that if we didn't have FPTP we'd probably have had a fracture by now with a centre-right party and a hard right party emerging from the Tory Party based on who won the internal war. There are still lots of 'one nation' Tories both in the Commons and the party itself. Indeed it's absolutely fair to argue that a lot of those who consider themselves Tory voters are far more centre right than hard. Theres a REASON they're staying home now rather than voting Bojo
Jul 13 7 tweets 2 min read
To add:

Universities would LOVE to offer more places in things like nursing and midwifery. They are LITERALLY are most oversubscribed courses.


Which requires a functional NHS. You know, the thing the Tories are killing. EVERY TIME you see Kemi Badenoch or any other Tory politician on TV spouting fucking nonsense about university degrees, remember that.

They want to make it sound like it's a choice between arts degrees and professional qualifications. It's not.
Jul 12 8 tweets 2 min read
"WHAT IS THIS NEW FRIGID MAGIC?!" Kitty in his back on cooling matKitty chilling on cooling mat happily Yeah I'm gonna call the cold mat a success. Kitty sprawled out zombied on cold mat
Jul 12 5 tweets 1 min read
One thing Tory leadership battles always highlight is how false a lot of political commentary is in the run up.

S'always thought pieces about how "Grant Shapps has HUGE sleeper support as the sensible candidate" etc

Just because he told you that on Signal doesn't make it true "Kemi Badenoch is the sleeper candidate with a smart plan to win"

Meanwhile Kemi's over at her launch event venue furiously putting masking tape over the non-gendered toilet doors.
Jul 12 14 tweets 3 min read
<A break room at Westminster>

GOVE: aH. FreSH mICe
CAROLINE NOAKES <whispering>: Michael is that you?
GOVE: oH! HellO
GOVE: CaROLiNe wHY aRe yOu uNDer tHE TaBLe?
NOAKES: I'm hiding
NOAKES: Because there's 11 useless candidates out there trying to find me. NOAKES: Why did they have to set the minimum backers total at 20?!
GOVE: I pREsUMe tO thIN ouT ThE hERd
NOAKES: But they're ALL herd, Michael
NOAKES: Yes well you liking someone is a bit of a red flag to the rest of us Michael. No offence
Jul 12 4 tweets 1 min read
Many of the technical and management issues in the university sector are a result of a culture which excepts 'important' people from being responsible for the consequences of their actions. If I warned you multiple times a thing was going to happen if you acted a certain way, and it happened, you don't get to demand I make my team drop everything and make it stop happening again.

You fucked up. Learn from it. Deal with it.
Jul 11 16 tweets 4 min read
Literally nothing in this Uber info drop will be a surprise to you if you've read anything I've written about them on here or @lonrec over the years.

A corporate culture of "fuck the rules, swamp the market, weaponise drivers." was the cause of their rise AND downfall in London. @lonrec That hyper-aggressive, "fuck everyone" culture wasn't just tolerated or ignored by Travis Kalanick, it was both planned and cultivated.

To any observer of tech and transport, it was obvious from the beginning he was just an old-fashioned railway robber baron in a digital age.
Jul 7 6 tweets 1 min read
Do you want to build a snowman? (tonight's film choice)
Jul 7 4 tweets 1 min read
One thing I'd not anticipated was how much of a mental health boost adopting a cat could be.

It is INCREDIBLY hard to think you are rubbish. When a cat very clearly loves you. They just don't do performative affection. Image Basically whatever your mental state, and I fluctuate through many, you can never deny that cats see you for who you are.

And that's an anchor you can cling to. If a cat treats you as a decent human then you have to accept that's who you are. They're not dogs. They don't care.