Britain’s politics for the old, strangling its young

One in three of Britain’s houses has two or more spare bedrooms. Yet overcrowding (as measured by the number of people relative to the number of bedrooms) is rising. With grandparents hogging the bigger, better properties, their children struggle to move up the housing ladder.

The way council tax is levied also gives elderly folk less incentive to downsize. It was last updated in 1993 and the priciest homes are taxed lightly.

A little-noticed change in Britain’s housing market spells trouble for everybody, August 8, 2017 at 09:50AM

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Tobacco industry’s 4 step plan to eliminate inconvenient facts

First, the industry appeared to engage, promising high-quality research into the issue. The public were assured that the best people were on the case.

The second stage was to complicate the question and sow doubt: lung cancer might have any number of causes, after all. And wasn’t lung cancer, not cigarettes, what really mattered?

Stage three was to undermine serious research and expertise. Autopsy reports would be dismissed as anecdotal, epidemiological work as merely statistical, and animal studies as irrelevant.

Finally came normalisation: the industry would point out that the tobacco-cancer story was stale news. Couldn’t journalists find something new and interesting to say?

The Problem With Facts, April 24, 2017, at 10:13 AM

Product-market strategy & politics

“Dockless bike shares have found a niche where they don’t have powerful enemies,”

Uber for bikes: how ‘dockless’ cycles flooded China – and are heading overseas, April 24, 2017 at 10:13AM

The only people who seem to be upset by the new share bikes, however, are illegal motorbike taxi drivers – who are missing out on business from metro stations late at night – and security guards, who don’t like mess on the pavement outside their buildings. There is friction, but the groups that are upset aren’t powerful enough. So the government doesn’t care.

Target voter for all nativist/hativist political parties…

trusting retirees, with a bit of disposable income, and a natural inclination to hate modernity and change—an inclination that could be heightened, radicalized, and exploited.

The Long, Lucrative Right-wing Grift Is Blowing Up in the World’s Face, April 10, 2017, at 06:51 PM

The sentence may be written for the voters in the west – the ones who elected Trump, and voted for Brexit. However, from my conversations on visits back home, it’s the same voters who also support Modi & BJP in India – heightened, radicalised, and exploited.

Continue reading Target voter for all nativist/hativist political parties…

Anger lessons – from boxing & politics

My anger happens in bursts, but I do not exist only as an angry person. And maybe it’s because of the world I grew up in, where anger and strategy had to be balanced.

In South Africa, we had many struggle leaders who were angry, but you had to learn when to let that anger come out. These are the things that I’ve learned from some of the greatest leaders, just reading their autobiographies and their stories.

I also learned this when I used to box. I didn’t box professionally, but as a boxer you have to learn to calm down.

Trevor Noah Has a Lot to Say – Freakonomics, February 23, 2017 at 04:02 PM

Voting & Marriage – Social patterns in India

This pattern of voters expressing a liking for one leader but voting for another party was striking and consistent, and when I described it to a colleague in Delhi, he offered a uniquely Indian analogy: These people are saying they would ideally like to have a love marriage, but that they will probably settle for the spouse chosen by their parents.

Voters liking one leader but voting for another party seems to be a consistent pattern in UP, March 1, 2017 at 10:58AM

Anti-immigration <==> Don’t know many immigrants

The National Front has, in recent years, become more popular in many rural areas and small towns like Wizernes, places that are often relatively homogeneous and have few immigrants.

– Will France Sound the Death Knell for Social Democracy?, January 26, 2017 at 10:59AM

It’s the same here in the UK – many of the places that voted most heavily for Brexit, and are most anti-immigrant, are also the ones with very few immigrants.

I’m guessing it’s easier to whip up a fear of the unknown – immigrants people in, say villages of NE England, have never met – than of the known – immigrants people in London meet, work and play with every day.

Further down, in the same article… Lecoustre is anti-immigration, NF supporter, while Sailliot is anti-NF, leftist union leader.

I asked Lecoustre if immigration had changed his life in any direct way. He thought for a moment. “No,” he said.

Sailliot interjected. This was the absurdity of it all, he said. There were hardly any migrants in the area, and yet somehow, immigration was everybody’s biggest problem. How could that be?