merciantory

merciantory

121p

7,403 comments posted · 20 followers · following 0

3 days ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Whacking the BBC. Cha... · 0 replies · +1 points

Is the main problem the BBC’s empire building, its bias, its funding structure. Probably all three but you need to prioritise.

Most of what the BBC provides we seem to want, or like in principle. Even true of the website. Our beef is with the quality and bias, not the subject. Lots of people use BBC food recipes and/or the background pages supporting news headlines.

Bias. Not much to add. I believe it is largely unintentional and even unconscious. But if you are not a Guardian reader living inside the M25 it is blindingly obvious and is inappropriate in a national public service broadcaster. This is a point Clementi will never “get”, which makes him part of the problem

Funding. Actually not the real problem. If you sort out the reach and bias problems the funding complaints will subside. But a publicly funded national broadcaster needs proper disciplines imposed on it by a non-political regulator to ensure that it does not use taxpayers money to crush the competition. Ofcom and the BBC Board have not proved up to this.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Reshuffle Live Blog - ... · 0 replies · +1 points

Arguably you should have waited a bit before posting your verdict. Not exactly a dull reshuffle now.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Reshuffle Live Blog - ... · 0 replies · +1 points

There’s a useable bridge to Skye as well, provided the train on that section is funicular.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - A Mansion Tax. "What i... · 0 replies · +1 points

Sorry I should have been clearer. It’s not building the power stations I object to but the ridiculous contracts signed by May’s government under duress. The RR midi power stations idea looks worth further assessment.

Council tax structure rather depends on whether you believe it is a charge for services or a sort of wealth tax. If the former then a relatively small multiple between the smallest and largest properties (as at present) is justifiable. If the latter, the tax is arguably regressive at present and should be reformed.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - A Mansion Tax. "What i... · 6 replies · +1 points

There are strong arguments for council tax reform but raising more tax for its own sake is not one of them. If HMT is feeling a bit skint it could try cutting a few of the bigger vanity projects and dafter contracts. HS2 and power station construction contracts would have been a good start but I guess those boats have now sailed.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - We still do not unders... · 0 replies · +1 points

Well, if they hired Roland Rudd to do their PR...... we could vilify them even more.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - We still do not unders... · 6 replies · +1 points

I think most historians would agree that it was - the plague was spread in part by carriage of infected people (and rats) on merchant ships. There is a minority theory that the established story of transmission by black rats (above) is fundamentally incorrect, but probably not wildly relevant to this discussion.

The basic idea that improved and faster transport links are likely to accelerate the spread of a disease like coronavirus is, I would have thought, pretty self-evident, widely repeated by experts and hardly "utter nonsense"

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - We still do not unders... · 1 reply · +1 points

I would have thought even you might have refrained from making a cheap Brexit point out of this.

For what it is worth, Brexit is likely to have absolutely no impact one way or the other on coronavirus, because (1) the [supposedly] relevant parts of Brexit haven't taken effect yet [2] the UK is one of the better trained and equipped medical systems to deal with it.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Johnson's reshuffle. ... · 0 replies · +1 points

Some years ago, I had to chair twice-weekly project meetings of up to 40 or so (for about 21 months). With a very large (hollow centre) rectangular table layout, a pre-circulated agenda, the whole day cleared, and a chair prepared to be a bit of a sh*t when necessary, it just about worked. But I wouldn't recommend it to anybody. Nowadays, in a different context I chair a board with about 15 attending and the meetings are still too long (chair still prepared to be a bit of a sh*t to get through the agenda !).

The size and shape of the table is a necessary but not sufficient condition for an effective committee.

The basic problem is that if you have more than 15-18 people you can't let people have their proper say, without the meeting becoming too long for proper concentration. You can half solve it by doing all the real business beforehand and making the meeting itself a rubber stamping exercise. But that's not what Cabinet meetings should be. Every modern government seems to shy at the fence of reducing Cabinet to a manageable size and instead resorts sooner or later to government by cabal or sofa. It works more or less, but Cabinet becomes a charade (or a status badge for those attending).

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Johnson's reshuffle. ... · 0 replies · +1 points

Gove is the most competent minister on the list. Getting rid of him because of an old (though warranted) grudge would be an exercise in self harm.