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 is threatened by continued membership. But there's more to politics than the EU. Neither is politics all 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.

Looking at Post-Brexit Ireland

A review of our relations with more of our neighbours

When Irish eyes are smiling....When Irish eyes are smiling.... Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has resigned so let's have a look at Irish politics; not just in Eire but the whole lot of it including Ulster. It was both the luck of the Irish and Leo Varadkar that Brexit came along when it did; the former could continue to play victim, they always do, while the latter hid behind it and went in for endless Brit-bashing. This hid the fact that Varadkar had little to offer in the way of policies but eventually there came an election and Varadkar and his party did badly. We should remember this was his first general election too as the previous Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, stood down while in office and there was a leadership election that Varadkar narrowly won and he set out to make his mark. Enda Kenny was a politician of substance in that he came from a political family and had many years of experience. The Brexit referendum was just a year before Kenny stood down and he had made a point about Brexit being awkward for Ireland in a rather cack-handed way. He had also dialled in the Peace Process, another handy tool that is used by many to lever an argument their way even if the logic is flawed and the context fatuous.

Kenny was denounced by the UK government for: "scaremongering of the worst possible kind". However, it was now time for Varadkar to get noticed.

Are we about to say goodbye?

A university: expensive, low value and bad business?

Linus Pauling - 1922Linus Pauling - 1922
There is much wrong with the UK education sector. So, is the National Union of Students an indicator of further trouble in the world of education? We are told that the NUS could be bankrupt and forced to close. So the pantomime begins, there have been 'anti-austerity' demonstrations by students and altogether it looks rather ridiculous. Recently a vote at Plymouth University showed around 52% of the students opted to leave the NUS, oddly there has been no accusation, 'they did not know what they were voting for', neither a demand for a 'student People's Vote to prevent an 'injustice'.

So what of the NUS and is it just part of a higher education problem? It was formed in 1922 from several groups with similar interests. The original purpose was to lobby for students and to give them, in modern parlance, a voice. Even in those far-off days politics was not far below the surface many students eyed the rise of radical politics in other parts of the world, pronounced this was good and so the love of communism took off in the student world. From the start this created tension within the movement. Individual universities have on occasions voted to leave the NUS on this score, only to rejoin later when another group of hopefuls took over the reins of student power within the university.

And so to UKIP.

A short history of UKIP and other things.

Dr Alan Sked 1993 Dr Alan Sked 1993
Nigel Farage is to start another party. In time we will see if this is to put one across the bows of Gerard Batten and 'old' UKIP, or if there is something else going on. The rivalry between these two could well be the force that causes both great damage. Also for long term Farage watchers there is a hark back to old times with the announcement that Annunziata Rees-Mogg, sister of leading Conservative Brexiteer MP Jacob Rees-Mogg will stand alongside Farage. In 2004 Farage announced that TV celebrity Robert Kilroy-Silk had joined UKIP. It was if Farage had played an ace in a game of cards as nobody in the party outside of the Farage inner circle knew this was coming up. However, in another nine months Kilroy-Silk had left UKIP, game over. But we live in strange times with the date for leaving the EU now put back and both the main parties in disarray Farage is not the only person to think change is needed. A small number of MPs have left their roots in Labour and the Conservatives to form an independent group which is in the throes of turning itself into a party. Although due to both circumstances and the people involved not much has happened yet. After an initial flourish of interest from the media there was the ritual period of ridicule.

A tale of two conferences and more, much more.

Divisions, deceit and betrayal, UK politics in action?

Forever divided? Forever divided?
It had to come, a push back against the bungling by the PM and her unelected advisors on how Brexit should be going. Also that this would happen right under the nose of the PM. While just weeks ago the official Conservative Party Conference was at the International Convention Centre, ICC, in Birmingham, the other conference, the alternative conference, was held a short walk away at the Birmingham and Midland Institute, BMI. The ICC has been used many times before by the Conservatives for their big bash. The BMI was chosen for similar reasons, one of the promoters of the alternative conference has been there before but not during the official conference week. But then push back is very much the game at the moment; you could say the 2016 Brexit referendum result was just that and brought the need not just for an alternative Conservative Party Conference but a new look at all of our UK political activities. Tradition has it that politics is based upon divisions but the Left and Right carve up is looking worn, not least because long ago the Labour party abandoned its roots to become a virtue signallers' club.

What's wrong with our public services?

The NHS and the police , is it a drama, a crisis or a mess?

A Doctor, with  a pipe? Seen in Emergency Ward 10A Doctor, with a pipe? Seen in Emergency Ward 10

Now here's a funny thing, it has changed so much over the years, traditionally public service was seen as just one of those things but now it has a life of it's own. The concept of service has been turned around no longer are we the public served but we serve the services. Consider the NHS which has gone from its roots in medicine to being the national religion and people who dare to question this move are apostates. How did this happen? Clearly there is no single reason but the quaint belief that public services are 'free' is there along with other perceptions. At one time people took a pride in their health but now visits to their GP or hospital A & E department are routine and often for trivial matters. It's as if they don't care and seek a form of entertainment as if it's a right.

In 1937 The Citadel by AJ Cronin was published, Cronin was both a Doctor and novelist and this book was a publishers' dream in that it was a record best seller. Although technically correct it was loathed by some sectors of the medical profession. But we may assume that most people bought it for its entertainment value. Cronin was on good terms with Aneurin Bevan and this relationship is generally thought of as the start of the NHS as an idea. Cronin also wrote scripts for the BBC 'soap', Dr Finlay's Casebook, from 1962 till 1971.

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