Theresa´s weekend notepad

Theresa May

  1. At Question Time – – that David´s main achievements were making the´nasty´ party electable again, apologising for Bloody Sunday, managing Chilcot, dealing with the aftermath of the financial crash, reading the public mood on same-sex marriage, and continuing the (Blair´s) health, education and welfare reforms, plus funding commitments on international aid. Also showed that coalition governments can work!– maybe can´t say that!
  2. But new agenda can be more ambitious. Brexit is more than English nationalism, results shows divisions in country. BUT: How to be transformative?
  3. Can´t do anything about Trident today. Successor (who chooses these names?) sub is pointless, we all know this. Critics are right on everything… horrendous cost, legacy of the cold war, militarily obsolete, etc. Must ask about nuclear-powered sub replacement but with conventional cruise missile and drone launch (and capture) capability. Can we defend UNSC seat by arguing compliance through the nuclear non-proliferation treaty?
  4. Brexit. Ok we Boris et al can kick the can down the road for next 2 years. French and German elections will give Brussels food for thought (not least some migration controls from within and without EU). Shut up that unspeakable Juncker and dreadful Mario Draghi and rest of the EU / corporate ancien regime. Keep access to markets + get enough reforms in key EU institutions and keep Scotland in union. Draft of negotiated deal ready for next manifesto. QED.
  5. Hammond: Delete all austerity talk, tone down deficit-cutting. Drop Heathrow new runway pronto, drop ridiculous unwanted & over-priced HS2. New railway investment, especially in north. ++ new social housing nationwide (200k, 300k? ask numbers per year). Get local economies moving. Focus on inner city + brownfield sites first (so much for NIMBYs). And 1 for 1 with private sector to spread risk and costs. Good on local job creation & in long run will even out recovery making the future recovery everyone´s … who said that??); ?help on wealth equality.
  6. Short-term: income tax reform. Has to be popular. Let´s look again at the basic income idea! (sell it as helping people to help themselves) = eliminate all worries (red tape, costs) of unemployment benefits (!!) and pensions. And at once deals with globalization/unemployment fears. Get working group to set threshold. Above threshold = income taxes. New tax rates above 150k, 500k. I DID say prioritise not the wealthy, but you.
  7. Public sector. PM salary set as highest in public sector. That will shock my PS and Oxbridge+ crowd thinking private schooling as annuity for life.
  8. Climate change. Need to quickly set out new stance. Climate change cuts across whole economy. Got it out of one ineffective ministry. Next establish office for climate adaptation responsibility – like OBR –  keep everyone on their toes! Look again at Cameroon´s energy tax breaks, must ask (Merkel) about renewables and energy efficiency…Philip says our house will be flooded out too at present rate. Check flooding and R. Thames.
  9. Get Priti to fold DFID back into FCO. She´ll enjoy that! 

Lest we forget

We are pilgrims on a journey
we are trav’llers on the road;
we are here to help each other
walk the mile and bear the load…

I will weep when you are weeping;
when you laugh I’ll laugh with you.
I will share your joy and sorrow
till we’ve seen this journey through.


  • in the mid-1940s millions sought to rebuild their lives and communities across Europe
  • MSF criticises EU migrant plan
  • Pope Francis has spoken about Europe’s anaesthetised conscience
  • from the “The Servant Song” – hymn by Richard Gillard

Thatcher’s children: never the twain shall meet


It is unlikely that there will ever be much agreement on Mrs.Thatcher’s policies, record, or legacy. As luxurious students in the early-mid 80s we marched for CND (Greenham Common, Upper Heyford, London and Amsterdam), for the miners and unions (London), lamented (Leveller’s Day, Burford) and organised (Reading University, UEA). Chris Dillow makes the point (Successful failure) that much of her success was inadvertent. And he asks:

If the greatest political figure of the last 60 years was a success largely unintentionally, what does this tell us about the nature of politics?

Uhuru’s dream ticket

Uhuru Kenyatta’s trump card to decisively win in the first round the Presidential elections is set to be revealed in the coalition’s manifesto.

The election of a Jubilee government will crown Kenya’s Jubilee Year – the fiftieth year, the sabbath of sabbaths – by redressing the social inequities that have deepened since independence.

Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread, otherwise I may have too much and disown you and say: Who is the Lord? Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonour the name of my God. [Proverbs, 30:8]

According to the manifesto, all private land will be nationalized, and leased back to households allowing for a maximum holding based on need. No household shall hold more than one acre in urban areas. A minimum income will be upheld along with the provision of free public housing, education, health services and pensions. Public salaries – including those of the President and members of parliament – and private sector salaries shall not exceed the minimum income by more than a factor of 20, and all personal and company tax records shall be made public.

Kenyatta knows that this popular youth slate will lead to a landslide victory (and silence his critics like Maina Kiai and Makau Mutua, Kwendo Opanga and Philip Ochieng), and will honour the Mau Mau struggle for freedom and independence. He will also become overnight a pan-African leader, an advocate for just and sustainable development, the Man of the People.

Or not.

I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again
No, no!

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss

The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again