1. Royal Assent can, I believe, be granted by Lords Commissioners acting under letters patent. You'd imagine such letters patent have always been issued just in case. If it's urgent, it can get through.

  2. With every cheap photographer in the land hovering around and pictures of your family on every screen and newspaper? Not surprised she'd want to be with her kids, whatever happens.

  3. This is all doing nothing to dispel my belief that 24 hour news is one of the worst things to have ever happened to our society

  4. If the situation were reversed and all of the news media were in serious ill health and Her Majesty had the job of communicating with the nation, I imagine there'd be a lot more dignity and stiff upper lip about the thing.

  5. I wouldn't take that bet, because I agree with you. But the BBC is less concerned about what the Queen thinks of it, and more about what "Outraged from Tunbridge Wells" says.

  6. Heh. As ever, you've hit the nail on the head with an eloquent sledgehammer.

  7. It was a dumb fucking hire, but at the end of the day, that doesn’t extinguish his employment rights and you can’t dismiss someone on the basis of a protected characteristic.

  8. To be fair, I think it's always worth disregarding the opinions of grieving parents on literally everything. Whether it's on a disease or the police or traffic, put it all in the bin. And certainly don't broadcast it on the news. We saw something similar with the poor brain-dead kid on life support where the parents kept going through the courts.

  9. I'm not one of the "abolish private schools! Abolish grammar schools! Quotas for everything!" types, but that's an absurd number.

  10. In the same vein in which Squadron Commander the Lord Flashheart said the thing he was exhausted by from the Great War was the endless poetry, the thing I'll miss about Johnson is the endless thing of "Boris is an idiot", "No, Boris is a highly intelligent person pretending to be an idiot", "No, he's a mediocre person pretending to a highly intelligent person pretending to be an idiot", "No, he's a lazy person pretending to be a mediocre person pretending to be a, &c". And so on for as many layers as you have patience for.

  11. Sure. At least that doesn't have much of a predictable pattern though. But I suppose there's the "winning the argument but losing the election", "treated badly by the mainstream media", "didn't help himself, no media savvy", etc cycle.

  12. Economists get ignored because laymen believe they know better and politicians are wedded to ideology and wheel out whoever backs them up with a certain level of pedigree, whether or not that individual has been discredited or now.

  13. Most actual practising economists won't be on TV talking about policy or saying whether things went right or wrong. They will just write journal articles about it and analyse it.

  14. I think you're over-generalising this one. Pinochet had the constitution changed to basically hobble any non-right-wing government and the propaganda he used still seems to be working on the populace – note the person quoted banging on about "communism".

  15. Sit outside the mouse hole holding a net and make a noise like a block of cheese.

  16. Sounds like there's a fundamental incompatibility there. You could try explaining how strongly you feel, but it doesn't exactly sound like this is a case of someone not realising it's important to you. It sounds more like she's just not interested in the sort of sex life you want. And it doesn't sound much fun arguing her into pretending to be into it. Even if she keeps up the act for a while, what's the long term plan? Wait until you lose your own libido?

  17. Well Scotland already hits the 40% crowd harder, this would make that disparity even greater and is edging towards a value that's probably worth the hassle for a lot of those who can up sticks, particularly in the remote working world covid brought us.

  18. Indeed. Right now the difference is essentially negligible. But if the threshold were to move that much, I could imagine it having a statistically noticeable effect.

  19. I'd assume so but it'll have a knock on effect in Scotland since the block grant will be cut along with the reduction in tax revenue.

  20. It could also affect Scotland in setting up something of a brain drain effect. Anyone broadly neutral on whether to be based in the Edinburgh office or the Manchester office, say, might well choose the English one on the basis of the tax rate.

  21. Quite a good article actually. I don't quite share Neil's enthusiasm for fracking at the end there, but the assessment of the markets and the options and the constraints on Truss I thought were spot on.

  22. If you think the Tory membership would ever appoint a non-white person if given the choice, I have a bridge to sell you.

  23. I think you could make the same case against Boris Johnson. He was promoted well beyond his capabilities. He was a journalist, only because he wanted to eventually become PM. He also was from a wealthy background with little life experience, and had no interest in or loyalty or attachment to the country or his party.

  24. Heh. The thought did occur to me as I was writing that post. And that's exactly the charge I'd level at Johnson. But that's why I added:

  25. Can't we just hate Thatcher and Truss. Not every criticism of Truss needs to be a reason to uplift Thatcher.

  26. Sure. I don't object to that. But I guess my point would be that even if someone did hate Thatcher and hate Truss, it still might be instructive to ask (since Truss seems to be making a more or less conscious effort to be seen as a Thatcher-like figure) where that hate originates and how it differs, if at all, between the two.

  27. Didn't Thatcher love the political satire sitcom "Yes(, Prime) Minister" ?

  28. Indeed. She wrote her own little scene and read it with the actors when she visited the set, or something, didn't she?

  29. look forward to see how consistent that support is as soon as its no longer politically expedient

  30. To be fair, if Truss has any sense, she'll get herself to Ukraine before the week's out. Make a big show of continuing Johnson's policies on Ukraine.

  31. If I were in rishis shoes I would be in immense pain because I am a much larger person than he is

  32. Place your bets: What will be this governments first scandal

  33. A good old-fashioned sex scandal? Following the nominative determinism in Chris Pincher's case, it'll turn out that senior Tory and advisor Arnold Occasionally Rapes People has been accused of wrongdoing. Mr People will claim he's innocent, Truss will stand by him, more claims will emerge, he'll be fired, damage will be done. You all know the drill.

  34. Sort of. Ever since the 1600's, when a jury refused to convict two Quaker preachers of unlawful assembly, juries have had the ability to return whatever verdict they like, irrespective of the law. Americans call this jury nullification.

  35. You're absolutely right, of course, but it's interesting that the whole premise of jury nullification implies that someone who isn't on the jury knows the "correct" result and the jury failed to give that.

  36. You could argue that it's not technically a free market if all these independent businesses have "coordinated" to fix prices.

  37. I look forward to seeing the Tory fix by privatising the courts. So Supreme Court Inc. can bid against High Court Ltd and Crown Court Plc for barristers.

  38. Fine by me on all counts! Have a good night; enjoy what's left of Trussmas Eve.

  39. Oh, congratulations! A reward for an impressive understanding of the Tory membership. She was the obvious choice even then, but I certainly wouldn't have been confident enough to bet on her.

  40. The beautiful thing is that as far as I could see, his mockery basically consisted of outwardly agreeing with Liz Truss's positions. He didn't even twist them to any particularly great extent or invent humourous new policies for comedy value as comedians usually do in the world of politics.

  41. I'm not always a huge fan of his but I have to say that was excellent. Can't exactly argue with him when he's outwardly agreeing with Truss, just in a way that shows how ridiculous she is.

  42. It still falls quite a long way short of what could be described as "policy" though. It's just "If I were Prime Minister, I'd simply solve problems."

  43. You're not wrong that there are a lot of unanswered questions here. Of course, that's an advantage he has. Truss has to give specific policy. Starmer doesn't, yet. But he will be have to, so that advantage won't last forever.

  44. You already can opt out of the NHS pensions but then you lose your employer contributions so essentially take a pay cut.

  45. That's fair enough. If you're on a senior NHS doctor salary, you probably don't need the pension contributions as well.

  46. While I don't think the focus on a hypothetical future independence referendum is helpful - it's clearly just a way to stir up some anger and some headlines - I have to say I think there's merit to this one. The Brexit referendum and the aftermath was an absolute disgrace. The very least we can do is at least vaguely attempt to learn from it and not make the same mistakes in the future.

  47. Supermajorities should be required for these types of referendums, just like brexit should have had. Allowing crazy changes to be decided on a 50%+1 vote is nuts, as the fucking weather can be a deciding factor in such votes as some voters will be less likely to vote if its raining for instance.

  48. I've certainly found the quality of veg has nosedived.

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