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.

The Road to Batley and Spen, (part two).

And thence to the wilderness?

Midshipman Johnson rules the wavesMidshipman Johnson rules the waves

George Orwell was a Socialist and prior to WW2 Socialism was the go-to cult of the more flamboyant section of the middle class. As we have seen the natural tendency of people like Orwell to preach on the subject was much of the reason his publisher did not like the second half of ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’. As Orwell had spent some time at Eton I think we can see the problem from the point of view of the publisher. History shows that on a general level Socialism fell out of favour with much of the population. However, the middle class are known for their determination to save others from themselves. And now the go-to cult for those intent on cutting a dash is ’wokeism’ which is very similar. It relies upon large amounts of money which the practitioners don’t have. Thus they are bound to spend other people’s money to get the desired result. Here we should remind ourselves of the thoughts of Margaret Thatcher, how Socialism eventually fails as you run out of: ‘other people’s money’. That sentiment is generally dated as coming from a TV interview she gave in 1976 and still applies today, though now we have:‘levelling up’. We part dealt with that slogan in the first section of this double post. The Conservative party cling to the notion that this slogan is a winner. What they fail to spot is that it is in the same league as:‘for the many not the few’.

The Road to Batley and Spen, (part one).

And thence to the wilderness?

Wigan pier before levelling upWigan pier before levelling up
Observations of the political scene in two parts, part one.
George Orwell’s ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’ came out in 1937. The publisher thought highly of the first part where Orwell had travelled North to observe what life was like whereas the latter part was all about himself and his publisher had reservations. For this post our observations are not related to a conventional journey, we are looking at a fault line in the Tory party. We are always told how popular the Government is and of its large majority. On the other hand the forces at work here might be not so much about the popularity of one side of a political divide at the last General Election but the unpopularity of the whole of the other side. Also our road to Batley and Spen goes via Chesham and Amersham. Both these recent by-elections represented not so much a win for an opposition party but a loss for the Government. We have written before two articles about the state of the Tories, here and here . In those articles we noted there is a huge difference between the politics of things and the politics of ideas.

In both by- elections it really does look like too much of one and not enough of the other damaged the Government's chances.

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-arching 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.

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