So what does the name tee2i mean?

Well it's shorthand for the independence index. This blog takes independence seriously. There's no problem, in principle, with a country being part of a confederation or partnership, the UK is part of NATO. But the EU is a failing confederation and our independence was threatened by membership, so we voted to leave. There's also the independence of thought which must, obviously, lead to free speech. The popularity of cancel culture must be challenged. Also politics is more than about leaning left or rightward on any issue, it's far more subtle than that. It's all down to the quality of life so let's aim high. It's our right to do so.

Our Andy, making a difference?

Metro Mayor, the layer of government we could do without.

The Metro Mayor has a plan to spend your moneyThe Metro Mayor has a plan to spend your moneyYour chance to make a difference, or is it? Here come the delayed local elections and we look at the contest for the Metro Mayor(MM) for the West Midlands. The story goes back to the Labour government of Tony Blair. For it was they who began the process and legislation for directly elected mayors. However, the idea was not popular and of the regions offered this only around a third voted for it. Originally Birmingham voted against the proposal in 2012. But then with just a minor tweek to the original scheme the MM project was passed into law in 2017 without another referendum. It was possible for the government to get away with this as the minor tweek to the proposal made it seem they were paying attention to the public:’we hear what you say’. Yes, the situation, the detail, had been changed. Well they would say that! But the over-aching principle of an extra layer of government had been rejected by the previous ballot. So the public were ignored and the government went, so to speak, around the back to get this idea done. Is this important? Yes and could be the root of low voter turnout in the MM elections. To put this episode into perspective we should remember that the government had just ‘lost’ the 2016 Brexit referendum.

What to do in the event of fire?

Grenfell Tower and the history of high rise living

The Hindenburg on fire 1937 The Hindenburg on fire 1937 The Great Fire of London, 1666, destroyed about 80% of the city, some 13,000 buildings, but records show only 6 people were killed and we have no reason to dispute this number. This is remarkable as there was considerable panic. So what did the 'authorities' do about it? Well nothing, as a there was no concept of civic authority as we know it now. But King Charles 11 took charge and, directing the crowd, tried first to quell the fire then to create a fire break. This was done by demolition at one point using gunpowder to bring buildings down. All efforts failed but after four days the fire burnt itself out. So were lessons learned? Oh yes! The original buildings relied on timber construction while their replacements used more masonry. Also streets rather than having a haphazard layout were planned and became wider. Over a very long period the city was rebuilt with much of the credit for the architecture going to Sir Christopher Wren. This work gave rise to both architectural and technical standards which were either equalled or bettered along the way. The Victorians made a huge contribution to London which, despite the passing years, still contributes much to the aesthetic tone of the city. However, following the destruction caused by WW2, which was far greater than that of WW1,there was a rebuilding phase.

Post deal UK:

Have our problems 'come home'?

Reform?Reform?We are told a week is a long time in politics and it's well over a week since 'the deal'. So it's all over, the great Brexit saga has reached a conclusion? Sort of but we still wait for the EU to vote on this. On the other hand maybe just one of the 27 has a reason to refuse? That would be interesting! We start by taking a quick look at pre-deal UK, in 1961. For this was the year the UK made an attempt to join what was then the forerunner of the EU. The attempt failed, vetoed by the French, the French, fancy that! Thus for 60 years the UK has been wired in to a European political dimension and its European neighbours' desire for political federation. This has always had a profound effect on us and the UK has often been described by political commentators as, semi-detached from 'Europe'. To have finally faced up to this, held a referendum on the subject and created a new relationship is remarkable. It was always a jibe of the political elite, especially the metropolitan liberal end of the spectrum, that our semi-detached stance has, 'split the Tory party'. This was only ever partly true. A deeper look at the divisions brought about by our EU membership showed that the whole country and all political parties were divided. As it was the Tory party not only, 'got Brexit done' but rid themselves of the curse of the EU by doing so.

What ever happened to the Conservative party?

The pandemic and panic take their toll.

Tree of the year 2015, see footnote.Tree of the year 2015, see footnote.Here we go to lockdown, again. It's been tried before and does not work. Or it's been tried before and was so successful we repeat it. What do you think? One good question leads to another; what ever happened to the Conservative party? We have in a previous article, see below on the Home page, asked the same question about the budget. That article was posted on May 1st a few months after the party came to power. Yes hindsight is a wonderful thing but we should not be shy of taking advantage of the long view. As further on again the shape of things is even clearer. Prior to the December 12th 2019 General Election the whole of UK politics was in the doldrums. The combined efforts of Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn had damaged more than their own parties. The entire UK political mechanism was frozen. Then along came Boris Johnson. He was neither of them and, so it seemed, only semi-attached to the Conservative party. At the time this looked like an advantage. Thus you could vote for him because you had grown weary of May or Corbyn or both. You could also vote for him if you were weary of the Conservative party, so why not? He was the odd ball, not like the rest of them. Then again if you wanted Brexit, and 17.4 million people did, he was an obvious choice.

Perhaps it was Domophobia?

Will the Government help fight the culture wars?

Dom, coming up roses!Dom, coming up roses!
What is the UK press up to, what does it do? Not so long ago the press went into meltdown over Dominic Cummings and his trip to the farm in County Durham owned by his father. It was fun while it lasted, for them. They love a witch hunt and here was a great opportunity, it also meshed with the culture wars they are so keen for us to learn about. To the press Cummings is special as he is seen to be more powerful than they are; or that's what they think and these thoughts count for a lot of the aggro. Cummings went to Oxford, privileged eh? No not really Emily Maitlis went to Cambridge and she is, 'one of us'. Reports suggest that while at Oxford Cummings was next to invisible in that he did very few of the things students are noted for. So, no sport and not for him a position in the Oxford Union or nights out with the boys from the Bullingdon Club.He seemed only to study and was seen as a loner, there are even whispers that a senior academic with connections to MI6 was impressed by Cummings.

After graduation he worked in Russia for a few years and is fluent in the language. Back in the UK he began his ever upward journey in politics. Working for Business for Sterling then briefly for the Conservative party he eventually ran a think tank. Next he was involved in working against setting up the North-East Regional Assembly.

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