44 thoughts on “WHAT DOES THIS REMIND YOU OF?”

      1. Remember Dr Johnson’s reply to the lady who complained, “You smell!”

        “No, madam. You smell. I stink.””

        Personal hygiene may not have been a strong point, but he made up for it with language skills.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember that one time I was out canvassing for the SNP and I met someone who I had tried to help into a job, with no success really, becasue he didn’t want a job.

      Awww man, he said, what you doing with them SNP folk. You should be working with Labour, the working man’s party.

      This was just before Labour introduced the drastic changes to the benefit system that would make his life MUCH harder.

      A few weeks later I saw him and asked him how he’d voted. Oh, he said, I didn’t bother…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. …on the subject of voting: if the opportunity presents itself, I tell people that if they don’t vote, they lose all right to complain about the result, and anything flowing from it, until they do – however many years it takes.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Without people abstaining to vote in Scotland there wouldn’t have been a referendum on Scottish independence. No one was voting for unionist parties in meaningful numbers.
          What if all parties were unionist, who would you vote for in that scenario. It would only keep the unionist bandwagon rolling.

          Like

          1. When there is no credible opposition, those who care enough have to organise and form one. When the Powers That Be try to suppress that opposition, or you have a one-party State, that’s when you need the kind of popular uprisings / movements we saw in the old Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries.

            History shows that peaceful movements are more successful than violent ones at effecting lasting social change.

            Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m always amazed by the fact that Americans are so placid in the face of governmental incompetence and corruption at the federal level (often worse at the State level,) as evidenced by the only slightly more than half of the voting age population (VAP) who vote in presidential elections, and even fewer who vote in the mid-term congressional elections. The all-time high voter turnount in the United States as a percent of VAP in a presidential election was in the Rutherford B. Hayes – Samuel J. Tilden race of 1876, in which 81.8% of the VAP voted. It was all downhill from there in voter participation.

    With the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the constitution in 1920, suffrage was extended to women at the federal level in all states, and it knocked voter participation in the head. In the last pre-Nineteenth Amendment presidential election in 1916, voter participation was 61.6%; compared with 1920, the first election when women could vote in all states, in which 49.2% of the total VAP voted. In this “modern” (post-19th Amendment) age, the all time maximum vote in a presidential election was 62.8% in the John F. Kennedy election of 1960. VAP has been less than 60% in every election since 1968, in which Richard Nixon was elected with 60.7% VAP. (Obama came closest after Nixon with 58.2% VAP in 2008.)

    For all the Democrats’ hand wringing about the evil and incompetent Donald Trump, they should remember that he was elected with a VAP of only 55.7% in 2016. In other words, for all that was already known about Donald Trump, and for all the sturm und drang of the 2016 presidential campaign, 44.3% of the voting age population of the United States just didn’t give a damn. Right after the election, huge crowds turned out in droves to PROTEST Trump’s victory, lots of them young people who LOVE to protest in the streets but (statistically speaking,) can’t be bothered to vote. Democrats lost their minds and erupted in rage at the electoral college outcome which was contrary to the popular vote. Personally, anger at the electoral college system would impress me a lot more if more than roughly HALF of American voters participated in the PRESENT system.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_turnout_in_the_United_States_presidential_election

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Danny.

      We have the same thing here. Even though elections are normally held in summer, when there is a greater likelihood of voter participation.

      Oh what’s the point, they say?

      Then they complain about everything the elected government does.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Aye Danny
    Here in the uk,the present government got 35% ish of the vote cast and got a westminster majority of 80 seats more than the rest who got 65% of the vote,strange democracy. Then we have more parties than the USA.
    The old divide and take control act.
    The turn out at the last election was around two thirds of the electorate,say 65%. So,a third didn’t vote for all sorts of reasons as far as we can tell, Dead, moved,in prison,in care,in hospital or not wanting to be caught or just not interested.
    The turn out at local elections are in the low 30% bracket.
    We in Scotland have a system for the Hollyrood Parliament that tries to match the votes cast for each party to give proportional representation, The LIST candidates,who are chosen by their party and NOT the people. A system designed by politicians to never give a majority BUTT did.
    Sp,in westmonster we get an elected DIctatorship, at present submerged in a countryhouse keeping out the way as he recovers from catching the virus,a virus he said we would take on the chin BUTT preferably not his.
    I understand the USA has two parties and you must be registered as one or the other to vote but youcan votefor the other party,comment?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Nearly 14 million voters are in seats that have not changed party hands since the Second World War, according to new research by the Electoral Reform Society.

      “Taking into account equivalent predecessor seats, some seats have not changed party hands since the 19th century, in-depth new ERS research shows.

      “The average seat has not changed hands for 42 years, while 11 Labour and 54 Conservative seats haven’t changed party hands in over a century.”

      https://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/latest-news-and-research/media-centre/press-releases/revealed-nearly-200-seats-havent-changed-hands-since-world-war-ii/

      In December some seats did change hands becasue the election was about “get Brexit done”, I imagine.

      In England that helped the Tories in some traditional Labour seats.

      In Scotland, it worked against them. The will of the people was to stay in the EU.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tris…….That’s what I’ve read in comments to the effect that in Britain, political party affiliation is often a multi-generational thing within families.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh yes, and because, largely speaking, it would be a “class” thing, so in whole areas of the union it would be unthinking for the Conservatives to win and in others it would be unthinkable for Labour to win.

          But every so often something comes along to change that at least in small pockets.

          Brexit and “get it done” is one of these things.

          Working class areas of England that had voted Labour for living memory suddenly voted Tory to ‘get Brexit done’ and get rid of hate foreigners that tabloid newspapers had told them were causing all Britain’s many many problems.

          In Scotland, since the 1950s a fairly solid Labour fiefdom, the advent of the Scottish Parliament; the move to the right of the Labour Party under Blair (so welcomed in England) and the rise of a serious SNP with brilliant leadership and Scotland’s interests at heart, not to mention decent policies, changed that pattern.

          Who knows what the new Labour leadership will bring. It may well make them more electable again in the South East of England.

          Like

    2. Dave……a federal election is really 50 individual state elections plus the District of Columbia, and election law is a state matter. There is no such thing as political party “membership” in the states, and parties have no control over which candidates run in the general election under the party label. That is decided by voters in primary elections that are held before the general election.

      All states and DC, except for North Dakota, require people to register with the state before election day, which allows them to vote. In 31 states and DC, you can (or may be required to) declare a political party affiliation, or unaffiliated status, when you register to vote.

      Party affiliation doesn’t really matter in the general election, where you vote for whoever you want to.

      As for the primary elections, it’s done lots of different ways among the states. Party affiliation actually only matters in states that have “CLOSED” primaries. In closed primary states, you only receive a ballot with the candidates of your affiliated party on it. There is no way to vote for a candidate of another party. BTW, there are various rules about how candidates get on the party ballots……but the political parties themselves have no say in the matter.

      Other states have “OPEN” primaries, where you can ask for the ballot of whichever party you want to vote….regardless of your party affiliation (in a party affiliation state.) It’s not an issue at all in a non-party-affiliation state of course.

      Then there are weird states with primaries that are usually Open, but have different rules. California for example has a so-called “Jungle Primary” and a “Top-Two” rule. The primary ballot in California simply has all the candidates on it regardless of Party, and the top two candidates that are chosen appear on the General Election ballot, regardless of party. So two popular Democrats for example might be running against each other on General Election day.

      It’s simple in Missouri, where I am. Missouri has no party affiliation for registration, and open primaries. On primary election day, you just ask for whichever party ballot you’ve decided to vote that day. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Dave…..most Americans only try to remember how their particular state does it. 😉 It’s the primary elections that done so many different ways. The general election is pretty simple. You just vote for one candidate for each office, and the candidate who gets the most votes wins….usually even if it’s only a plurality. A few states though do require an absolute majority for election. In those states, if no candidate wins an absolute majority, this triggers a runoff election in which the top two candidates compete. Whether or not your state requires voter registration by party affiliation is irrelevant in the general election. You just vote for the candidate of your choice, whatever party label he’s running on.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes Tris
    When you make constituencies by a number and location system you get upmarket ghettoes as well as downmarket ones.
    Hence the ‘put a coloured rosette on a ……..’and get a MP.
    Some places the seat gets passed down through the family just like a piece of property.
    First past the post gives us a skewed parliament in westmonster,a majority of ONE over the next candidate is sufficient.
    See we are going to borrow next month £180 Billion to keep things going.
    Don’tworry that it will be from foreign countries,the treasury will sell Gilts to the BoE and the BoE will give the treasury the cash,to be paid back later,maybe 25 years later,at 3% interest a year and the capital paid back after 25 years when it will having the buying power of about £25 allowing for inflation.
    Some War Bonds are still to be paid out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In most cases, I’d think (although I haven’t done the research), the winning candidate has fewer than 50% of the votes.

      I see that Tory MPs are saying that Scotland is being given money (presumably by the English taxpayer) to help support it in these hard times.

      Given that it is all borrowed money, does that mean that Scotland won’t have to pay any of it back?

      Idiots.

      Like

  4. There is strong evidence that the “Fed” was starting it’s CV relief measures in October around the time of “Event 201”, which itself was a deeply suspicious event.

    Go to corbettreport.com for further information.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tris.
    The money isn’t borrowed in the sense that you and I borrow say from the bank,building society or money lenders.
    It’s like taking money from your left pocket,which is empty,transferring it virtually to the right pocket as a loan,with the promise to pay it back later. Then you spend it on the weekly shopping, OH but you didn’t have any money in either pocket, problem for you BUTT not the government.
    Next best thing for you is the credit card, except YOU have to pay it back with real tokens.
    In FIAT money,the government creates a BOND,sells it to the Bank,the bank hands over credit, the money gets spent on the weekly shopping, after a year the government gives the Bank some as the INTEREST DUE and at the end of the BOND period pays back the Capital, most likely with a new BOND issue.
    It’s the old pea and 3 cups trick,possibly a Ponzi deal.
    There is no such thing as NoMoney left in government finance,internal money is created, spent in the economy,taxed in the economy, the excess is called INFLATION.
    Remember Adam and Eve didn’t have any pockets to put money in.
    Now we have Trillions in each country and another £180,000,000,000 in one month in the uk. Along with all the other stuff the chancer has created.
    Looking likely the deficit will be £3 Trillion by the years end.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The American stimulus packages are now nearing 3 TRILLION dollars, and as I recall next year’s budget deficit was already around $ 1 Trillion. I certainly hope there’s enough cash in China to buy the new US Treasury debt; there’s certainly no spare cash in Washington to cover it.

      And this is just the immediate “emergency” funding; no one has even estimated the future damage of falling tax revenues to the states. Mitch McConnell is saying that the feds may not even try to reimburse the states for their losses (states cannot run budget deficits,) and may have to consider allowing them to declare bankruptcy. This would presumably let the states default on public employee salary contracts, and pension plans for state workers for example.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. So the Republican fat cats who got a Republican tax cut a while back that totaled about $ 1 Trillion, will keep that money, while the middle class wage earners among the public employees in the states will get screwed.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Yep Tris…..and as mainstream Republican as you get. Blow a hole in the budget with a big tax cut for the wealthy, and then start complaining about the budget deficit and how it must be balanced by cuts in entitlement benefits to the poor and middle class. Now it’s just a traditional Republican solution to the pandemic crisis that the poor people will have to pay for. Republicans never change!

              Liked by 1 person

              1. It always amuses me how the rich complain bitterly, Danny, about welfare for the poor, but I see that Richard Bran$on, who lives on a Caribbean island isa looking for a hand out at the moment.

                And David and Victoria Beckham want money to furlough their staff.

                They’ll probably get it too, if they hint that a donation to the Conservatives is forthcoming.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Oh yes Tris…….Every time there is a big new tax package that primarily benefits the rich, or a bailout package passes congress for big businesses that are in financial distress, it becomes clear all over again that America has a system of socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the poor.

                  The Senate has passed another half TRILLION dollar aid package for pandemic relief. The previous 2.2 Trillion bill is already out of money in its small business assistance package, and had to be replenished with another 3oo Billion dollars for that purpose. There was a big flap over wording in the previous bill that apparently didn’t differentiate between small companies owning small restaurants, and big restaurant chains with small individual operations.

                  These bills involve humongous amounts of money. I sure hope the Chinese keep buying US Treasury bonds. 😉

                  And I’m sorry to hear that David and Victoria will be requiring public assistance for their business. 😉

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. LOL.

                    I think that whether Trump likes it or not, and he won’t, there will be several more of these bailouts at half a trillion dollars a time before this is over.

                    And I suspect that those states where people are forced back to work will need many more after that, as the virus takes over and kills thousands and thousands more people

                    Liked by 1 person

  6. On the subject of the impending presidential election, there is a widely held view that the fractious and feckless Democrats only narrowly averted electoral disaster by turning aside Bernie Sanders, the self-proclaimed democratic socialist, in favor of Joe Biden, a man who voted for Bush’s wars, and from important leadership positions on major US Senate committees, and as Vice President, presided over most of the American debacles (and a success or two) of the last 48 years.

    Since the Obama/Biden administration left the national Democratic party in shambles at both the State and Federal levels, it’s ironic that Biden has to figure out a path to victory from among the rubble. But at least we won’t have a self-proclaimed “socialist” in charge, in an election that would likely have made the 1972 Democratic disaster look like a walk in the park. (The last time the party veered far left was in 1972….in which the Democrats carried ONE……count them, ONE…….state (Massachusetts) and the District of Columbia…….for a grand total of SEVENTEEN…….count them, SEVENTEEN…….electoral votes, out of a total of 538.)

    In researching the “democratic Socialist” thing, I ran onto a question about why it is that post-WWII trade union socialism is widely viewed as a failure (at least in the USA, except for the NHS which endures,) and which inevitably led to Thatcher and Tony Blair’s New Labour; whereas socialism is widely viewed (at least for many USA Democrats) as a success in the Nordic countries.

    From a (pre-Trump) conservative Republican viewpoint, an article about “Britain’s Socialist Seventies,” and from Wiki, Britain’s “Winter of Discontent,” in 1978-1979, when Britain shivered in the dark and cold, with electricity in short supply, while the coal miners were on strike, and James Callaghan basked in the Caribbean sun. (Or so it says here.)

    And then from Forbes, a business publication, an opinion about how Britain was a true socialist state, whereas the Nordic countries are simply capitalist countries with generous welfare-state benefits paid for by stratospherically high taxes (compared with the USA.) (Or so it says. 😉 )

    https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2019/06/03/britains-socialist-seventies/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_of_Discontent

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffreydorfman/2018/07/08/sorry-bernie-bros-but-nordic-countries-are-not-socialist/#13cd348574ad

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tris,

    May I have a minor disagreement with your op-ed?

    The bit in blue makes no sense whatsoever.

    If senators had sold off their stock 1.7 million weeks ago, it would, probably, have been in the middle of the last ice age.

    Just saying.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Danny, thanks for the links. It is barely comprehensible to me that countries – and, no, they are not all the same – with exceptional standards of living and health and education and personal wealth, and so on and so forth are attacked by a country that revels in keeping the rich. rich and the poor, poor.

    Lesley Riddoch, who is probably by now an honourary Scandanavian, did a series of videos about our Northern neighbours.

    What stuck with me wasn’t the socialism so much. What struck me was they all had a functioning society that seemed to care for each other, to the extent of supporting each other.

    This is a ‘way in’ to what she has to say:

    https://www.lesleyriddoch.com/2018/11/nation-norway-iceland-faroes-films-watch-them-here.html

    It is a tad ‘different’ from what Donald Trump offers to the US electorate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really don’t understand the (apparent) belief in America the socialism = evil. I know there was the insanity of McCarthyism and the hysterical hatred of communism, but what is it about the word that gets them waving their guns around? It’s like the notion of a fairer society is abhorrent to them – and maybe that’s why that’s leaked into the uk hive mind, what with so many saddos just desperately wanting to Americanise everything.

      Reminds me of when I was a young warthog and some div in my history seminar pronounced renaissance “Rena-sonce” nails down a blackboard time. Mind you, he was the one who once read his week’s findings and I realised that he had just printed out the Wikipedia page 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL. What would students do without Wikipedia?

        In my opinion there is nothing per se wrong with socialism. It’s all about society, isn’t it? That’s us. All of us, from Liz down to me!

        It seems to me that the right wing only think that there is no such thing as society, when they think that they might be obliged to spend money on poor people.

        At any other time, we (society) must “all pull together” to beat a virus, or” get Brexit done”, or wish Liz a merry birthday.

        Instinctively because we care about other human beings, there IS such a thing as society.

        Communism was another thing altogether. I’d never propose that. It will never work, because “to each according to his need, and from each according to his ability” goes against human nature to do the best you can for you and yours.

        But we do care about the rest of society. That’s why we are saddened when we witness some of the horrors that we see in our streets.

        I think that the (off the top of my head) nordic states, Japan, Switzerland, Costa Rica, and others understand this.

        But, like I’ve said before, once you have let greed become the norm… the “loadsamoney” culture… it’s hard to turn that around.

        Thank you Thatcher.

        Like

    2. These programmes she did were very good. I went to see her in Perth and she did a question and answer session on them. I also got the book. Fascinating.

      I don’t know whether it’s socialism or not, but I was impressed. I’ve been to a few of the countries she talked about and the standard of living, all in all, is vastly better than it is here.

      In small towns in Iceland we tried hard to find poor neighbourhoods like the ones we have in all cities here.

      We failed.

      As the Danish foreign minister said…we don’t really have poor people here, but we don’t really have rich ones either.

      And yet, despite my Tory friend’s claims, there isn’t a mass exodus of entrepreneurs from these countries for places where they can make far more money.

      Indeed they seem to have enough doctors, business owners, dentists, and other, in the UK highly paid, people .

      The thing is that their expectation is that they will be comfortable and want for little… Not that they will be incredibly unbelievably rich, and that a second a third ocean-going yacht will be a matter of necessity.

      I doubt we will ever change the English perception that you can only be a success if yuou can light your cigars with 100 pound notes.

      Like

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