Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

Bad Environmental Science

March 23, 2014
The Law of Unintended Consequences Strikes Again

Possibly not what Lewisham Council intended

Like many local authority housing blocks we have a recycling bin. We used to have three but two were taken away, with the result that the remaining one is permanently overflowing. I contacted Lewisham Council’s waste disposal team to point out the problem.

I was told that the other two bins were removed because wrong stuff, such as food scraps, was being put in them. I concede that this is a problem but still left me in the position that I have nowhere to put my recycling so it winds up in the general waste which I presume is not what they want. I therefore suggested that they issue me with my own recycling box, which I could put out on collection day.

I was told “we no longer issue those.”

Fucking marvelous.

Another Letter That Should Be Sent

January 26, 2013

Somebody over on the Bad Science forum posted this. I really hope he does send it.

Oxford University PPE Course Convenors

Dear Sirs,

There are many famous and successful alumni of the Politics, Philosophy and Economics degree – indeed, a truly disproportionate number of the higher echelons of government and parliament hold PPE degrees. This is a credit to the success of the first P – you have obviously taught them politics very well.

However, given the country’s performance, maybe the Economics syllabus could be improved. I realize that it is not a precise discipline, but it is possible that you could revise parts of the syllabus to correct the obvious errors in belief held by your former students.

But, and this is the biggest “but” of all – I think your teaching of Philosophy requires a major overhaul. The current crop of PPE graduates in parliament on all sides of the House clearly do not know how to think things through properly, how to make decisions and how to consider what probable outcomes of those decisions will be. They have not been taught to think critically and analytically at all. C-, must try harder.

Yours faithfully, etc.

Relative Forgetfulness

August 15, 2012

Now that the Olympics are out of the way, I thought I’d catch up on politics a bit. Our misrulers are doubtless hoping we have all forgotten about the Leveson Inquiry but I for one have not. (more…)

Strikers’ Demo, London 28 March 2012

March 30, 2012

There’s been a bit in the news about the teachers’ strike over pensions on Wednesday but remarkably little about the demonstration that took place in London that day. So here are some pictures taken by someone who was there: (more…)

Warsi on Secular Society

February 15, 2012

Baroness Warsi has been complaining about the ‘militant secularisation’ of society and the ‘marginilisation of religion’. If she means that the views of the religious are not deferred to in policy making, she is probably right but does she really want to change that? As a Muslim, she should perhaps be careful what she wishes for. (more…)

Scare Story Supported by Dodgy Reasoning

October 12, 2011

I took exception to some dodgy reasoning in the letters page of the 12 October Evening Standard. I emailed a rebuttal but I suspect it will be cut if it appears at all, so here is the full text:- (more…)

An Email From My MP

August 20, 2011

This is just a short post to say that I have received a response from Jim Dowd, my MP, regarding the email sent to David Cameron regarding his comments about the riots. (more…)

Calling The Prime Minister On His Riot Claims

August 15, 2011

I haven’t said much about the riots here, mainly because I thought I would just be commenting on other people’s comments and not really adding anything. However, David Cameron’s reported comments really got my goat so I emailed him the following: (more…)

Will 25% of 16 Year-olds Really Live to be 100?

April 20, 2011

Tuesday’s press was full of stories such as this suggesting that one in four current 16 year olds will live to be 100. I was a bit suspicious of this as it doesn’t seem that long since we were being told that current teenagers are an unhealthy bunch who only shift from their xboxes long enough to grab another portion of chips. Also the Government leapt onto the report as justification for hacking away at pension provision. (more…)

Fairer Pensions

March 13, 2011

Inevitably, the Hutton report into public sector pensions has reccomended changes – the most notable being basing pensions on career average salary rather than final salary. This change is being presented in some quarters as ‘fair’ because the final salary scheme disproportionately benefits high-fliers. Aye, right. (more…)