Strike action and Westminster weasels

Some numbers.

Quorum for votes in the House of Commons, 40.
Quorum for votes in the House of Lords, 30.
So respectively votes of 21 and 16 are needed for a motion to pass, this is for legislation which affects the UK.  This is the level at which our politicians think it is ok for them to make decisions on our behalf.

2015 general election, numbers (wikipedia); Overall turnout 66.1%; Conservatives 11.3M votes, 36.9% of the cast votes (~28% of electorate)

Now compare this with what they are proposing for the unions, double standards from our elected lords and masters, yeah.  Not surprised at all.

Election Fact Check

This graphic is doing the rounds, in the interests of getting rid of the bullshit (taking a lesson from the awesome Full Fact & The Last Leg) I detest infographics which do not provide their sources so I can check for bullshit or bias.

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Who From To Party Rebellions Attendance Teller
Clegg 6 May 2010 30 Mar 2015 LDem 1 vote out of 264, 0.4% 264 votes out of 1239, 21.3% 0 times
Cameron 6 May 2010 30 Mar 2015 Con 2 votes out of 202, 1.0% 202 votes out of 1239, 16.3% 0 times
Osborne 6 May 2010 30 Mar 2015 Con 8 votes out of 318, 2.5% 318 votes out of 1239, 25.7% 0 times
May 6 May 2010 30 Mar 2015 Con 6 votes out of 597, 1.0% 597 votes out of 1239, 48.2% 0 times

Based on the information from Public Whip the claim is pretty spot on based on the number of rebellions against votes attended.  Had Clegg found his courage (maybe that’s what the other parties bring to the LDs while they’re providing a heart or brain) and attended more of the votes the rebellion rate might have been higher.

Sources:
Clegg : http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?mpn=Nicholas_Clegg&mpc=Sheffield%2C_Hallam&house=commons
Cameron : http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?mpn=David_Cameron&mpc=Witney&house=commons
Osborne : http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?mpn=George_Osborne&mpc=Tatton&house=commons
May : http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?mpn=Theresa_May&mpc=Maidenhead&house=commons

 

Security, a thought for the day

If the ‘good guys’ have a backdoor then so do the criminals
If the ‘good guys’ can crack your encryption, so can the criminals

Having weak encryption would not have stopped the Paris attacks as the security services had already stopped monitoring them.

If you think “I don’t use encryption” then think again, when you bought something online you used encryption, when you made a mobile phone call encryption was needed to protect the setup of the call, your password is stored (or should be) in an encrypted format to prevent hackers from simply downloading a human readable list and so on. Encryption isn’t some dark evil used only by terrorists, it’s used by all of us for good reasons. The government needs to give better reasons for denying it to the public than “terrorists!!”.

Alternatively maybe they’ll be happy that all their governmental and private communications are no longer encrypted to make the job of the press easier in reporting on their deeds and misdeeds, for surely if they have “nothing to hide they have nothing to fear”

UK Local Elections: UKIP Nuttery

Now, I’m not going to claim this this guy is representative of the whole of UKIP, and there is going to be some bias coming from those who oppose them as a party in that they’re digging as hard as possible to find the extreme nutjobs.

However, this guy is a piece of work, exercise to be less gay, yeah right.

http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/physical-excercise-prevents-you-becoming-gay-claims-uk-councillor-candidate270413

MPs whining again about expenses

Well things are in full swing and MPs are bitching about having to claim expenses and justify what they’re claiming for, like the rest of us.  I particularly love this one.

“Labour’s Nick Brown asked for examples of other jobs where people had to “spend their own money up front to carry out their job. What’s the comparator?” he asked.”

Ok, let’s see.

  • I travel to a customer site in the UK, I pay for the fuel and have to claim it back at the government set rate for my size of car.
  • I travel internationally, I have to cover everything out of my pocket except the flight (unless I’m pressured into taking the likes of EasyJet which can’t be booked through the central system in which case that goes on the card as well), I then have to claim it all back, with receipts and in the case of meals within the limit set for each type of meal.

This is not atypical, it’s normal within industry.

If someone in my company had tried to do what MPs did with their expenses and got caught they would be facing gross misconduct and a sacking, no chance to pay back and let it lie there, no chance to announce retirement and pick up the resettlement payment many MPs have taken.  Out, no notice period, and possible legal action.

So before whining and bitching about how this is unfair remember what brought it about.

The discussion I had with a party worker in the run up the election summed things up when I asked about the horseshit he claimed on expenses for his garden.  Apparently the system was ripe for abuse and everyone was doing it, he didn’t have a comeback when I pointed out that surely this meant it was a test of character for MPs and his candidate had therefore failed.

BBC report