Thursday, August 27, 2015

In the red

A note for picture editors. This isn't showing what you think it is:

All that red is a good sign. This is what bad news looks like on the Chinese stock market:

Friday, August 21, 2015

Bad arguments for Corbyn

Look, I'm sympathetic to the idea that a coherent Government needs a functioning opposition. I'm also sympathetic to the fear (espoused principally by Matthew Parris) that without a credible Labour Party to act as a buffer, much of the glue that holds the Tory party together will disappear. But this argument, made by Anne Perkins in the Guardian today, is just bizarre:
The Conservative party once recognised the importance of allowing opponents the space to represent their supporters’ views – that’s why Stanley Baldwin let a minority Labour government take office for the first time in 1924. Now, according to some reports, the party is plotting the exact reverse: to squeeze Labour out of the debate entirely, with a baptism of fire for whoever emerges victorious in September.
What? Baldwin didn't "let" Labour take office in 1924 - he lost his majority in December 1923 and lost the King's Speech debate in January 1924. And all Governments try and frame their opponents - that's what Gordon Brown's famous "dividing lines" were all about.
This new Tory style of trying to freeze-frame opposition leaders into a position from which they can never successfully escape is a kind of political torture porn. It is undemocratic. It is, potentially, even dangerous.
This is just weird: how on earth can it be undemocratic to hold votes in the Commons on matters that divide the parties?
As Britain’s nation-building adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan should bitterly remind everyone, among the many preconditions for a stable democracy is a culture of mutual respect.
One of Britain's major parties has a history of dehumanising their opponents and one party identifies itself as the only true moral force in politics. It isn't the Tories.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Pitch perfect

Coach wants same seaming pitches used for India series 
Australia coach Darren Lehmann has challenged England to produce the same green, seaming pitches they used to beat India when Australia visit next year.“The wickets were quite sporting over there in the last couple of Test matches,” said Lehmann. “The Oval … I can’t remember that sort of wicket being produced for an Australian Test match in the last 50 or 60 years, so that’s interesting in itself. “From my point of view, I am looking for those sort of wickets next year.”

ENGLAND stands accused of jeopardising the spirit of international cricket, with the Australian team left seething over the extremity of the pitch the ECB has doctored for the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval.