On this day a year ago
City of Chester by-election
I was going to publish a separate piece about the upcoming by-election, but have decided that that would not be merited.
Chester, as a settlement, has a history going back to 79 AD, when it was established as a Roman fortress: see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chester.
The City of Chester constituency also has a very old history, going back to the times of Henry VIII. In modern times, meaning 19th/20th centuries, it has mostly been a Conservative/Unionist seat, though electing Labour Party candidates in 1997, 2001, 2005, 2015, 2017, and 2019. Two Labour MPs in that time, with a Conservative in the years 2010-2015: see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_Chester_(UK_Parliament_constituency).
The by-election will be held on 1 December 2022, 8 days from today, and is the first by-election in the constituency since 1956.
The MP from 2015 to 2022 had to resign by reason of sexual scandal.
The candidates declared are: Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat; also, Reform UK, Green, Freedom Alliance, UKIP, Rejoin EU, and the inevitable Monster Raving Loony.
This is likely to be a straight fight between Lab and Con, looking at previous elections. The LibDems have in the past scored as high as 21.9% (in 2005); since 2010 they have always received less than 10% of the vote (6.8% in 2019), and have never managed better than 3rd place (even in 2005).
Labour, nationwide, is clearly on a roll at present, if only by default. The latest YouGov poll (on 17 November 2022) of (UK-wide) voting intention put Labour on 48%, Conservative 25%, LibDem 10%, and both Green and Reform UK on 5%.
Despite the scandal attaching to the former MP, I cannot see that affecting the result. As a matter of fact, both Con and Lab are putting up female candidates, though that may be co-incidental.
There seems little to prevent Labour winning this by-election, and winning it easily. Not only is the present Con government extremely unpopular, but Labour has, after all, won in this constituency the past three times, and held it for 20 out of the past 25 years.
I cannot see the LibDems getting far here, even as some kind of unfocussed protest vote. As for Reform UK, the only other contender of interest, they may or may not save their deposit. I could see them, just about, getting 5%; I cannot see them getting 10% or more, especially now that Brexit is not so popular, having been badly mishandled over the past 6 years.
The main interest in the contest will be in the percentage(s) of the vote received by the two main contenders.
The crowdfunder below seems to be a worthwhile appeal:
As people now say, “based“. Talk about sang-froid…
I have been to Moscow twice, in 1993 and 2007, and I have to say that the keyword that comes to my mind is “inconvenient“…
Looks as though the “Jack Monroe”/”Bootstrap Cook” star is rapidly waning.
The above tweet was about the “@GuardianLive” tweet featuring “Jack Monroe” as booked to appear on a podcast event in early 2023, which tweet has now been deleted. Now we hear that that podcast itself has been axed.
Seems that “Jack Monroe” is, as predicted, becoming “mad, bad, and dangerous to know“…
Even so, the 667 “mugs” on Patreon are, as of today, still giving her their monthly donations for doing absolutely nothing except maintaining her lifestyle, e.g. buying herself luxury goods. Somewhere between c.£2,300 a month and (at maximum) £40,000 a month. In reality, probably about £6,000, at an educated guess. In cash (minus Patreon fees), and every single month. All that and she still poses as a “champion of the poor“! Hard to believe that so many people are so very gullible; yet they have been told now for three or four months that they are just wasting their money.
As said previously on the blog, I myself have no objection to Scotland declaring faux-“independence”, but those voting for it must accept lower living standards, and an end to UK subsidy.
As the tweeter says, just look at them! Can they really bring Scotland a new dawn? I think not.
As for Nicola Sturgeon, she is a ghastly little would-be dictator with no interesting ideas (that I have seen).
The flotsam and jetsam of the world is assisted to come here, destroying our society, and is kept in comfort (most of them), while British people suffer. Not only mad, but also evil. [Coudenhove-Kalergi Plan].
Whatever the relevance of that, can anyone look at those uninspiring people and imagine that they will be able to usher in a new age of prosperity and enlightenment in Scotland?
In any case, it seems that Scotland is still split about 50-50 on “Independence”, with possibly more wanting to retain the Union.
However, even if there were a small majority for “Independence”, would that be valid, really? To drag the other, say 45%, into an unwanted break with England and the other regions or countries? After over 300 years?
Of course, the absurd playground taunts of the two sides in the present conflict (“you are the ‘Nazi'”; “no, you are the ‘Nazi’“) are just silly.
Actually, the German Army in WW2, despite the pitiless nature of that war in the East, behaved well, mostly, in Ukraine, certainly better than the Red Army. Most atrocities were committed either by the Red Army (or by the forces travelling alongside them— the NKVD and, latterly, Smersh), or by Ukrainian auxiliaries under overall German command, or by Ukrainian civilians who just wanted to eliminate Jews, and who acted without either order or permission.
I have blogged in the past a few times about how I met, in or about 1995, the then Ukrainian Ambassador to London, H.E. Ambassador Komissarenko [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serhiy_Komisarenko], a biochemist by training, who went with me and his Scientific Attache in the ambassadorial limousine to Porton Down, Wiltshire [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porton_Down], to meet a scientific team based there. He later headed a major such laboratory in Ukraine, I think not far from Kiev.
Late tweets seen
That Freya Vass person is a grade A loony. I have seen her tweets (in support of “Jack Monroe”/”Bootstrap Cook”) previously.
Exactly. On examining the evidence, I have gone from mildly-supportive to neutral to very critical.
Some of the fantasies or lies of the “Bootstrap Cook” have been worthy of Walter Mitty, Billy Liar, or Baron Munchausen. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baron_Munchausen; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Liar; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Mitty.
The “Covid” hysteria, “lockdowns”, “working from home” in the barely functioning NHS, maladministration, and then the huge and unwanted influx of non-white migrant-invaders and other immigrants over the past many years.