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19 July 2016 @ 10:22 am
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London is funding the rest of the UK, and other things we just learned about the nation's taxes | CityMetric
Interesting, if depressing, summary of some of the numbers in a Centre for Cities report on economy taxes with some nice infographics.
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PHD Comics: Doing vs Writing
This isn't entirely accurate for Computer Science, but I do sometimes get frustrated that the "doing" of programming up case studies and examples yields comparatively little in terms of publishable results.
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Britain is changed utterly. Unless this summer is just a bad dream | Ian McEwan | Opinion | The Guardian
An extraordinarily cynical piece but one which sums up a lot of what I've been feeling the past couple of weeks, right up to the final paragraph which sounds a note of, I would say, unwarranted Remainer optimism.
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The Corbyn Dilemma — Dan Rebellato
I agree with about 75% of this. I got myself a £3 special for the last Labour leadership election but didn't use it to vote for Corbyn. I find it hard to get a good grip on his policies or leadership, in part because most commentators treat him as either a saintly martyr or the devil incarnate and he clearly is neither. He comes across to me as a political scrapper with steely determination and some distinctly dubious allies but nevertheless an idealistic one. Where he seems to have failed is raising his game from backbench "in the trenches" activism into a frontbench grand vision. I'm not, personally, very taken with him, but just at the moment the PLP and Labour NEC seem to me to be worse.
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Forget Brexit — Italy is poised to tear Europe apart | Europe | News | The Independent
There's another referendum coming up which may topple a government...
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Can Theresa May make it to the top? | Gaby Hinsliff | Politics | The Guardian
Recommended by my sister, an insightful profile of Theresa May from 18 months ago.
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How the BBC's obsession with balance took Labour off air ahead of Brexit
I have huge sympathy with the BBC's nigh on impossible task of being "balanced" so what particularly interested me here was not the general thrust of the argument but the stats comparing the number of media appearances by Corbyn in contrast to Johnson which rather undermines the suggestion he didn't campaign hard enough for Remain.
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Theresa May reshuffle: what is behind the PM's top appointments?
Interesting analysis of Teresa May's appointment of Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary which avoids the tempting (but probably incorrect) idea that she's merely giving him the rope with which to hang himself when Brexit fails (for some meaning of the word "fail").
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Doctor Who | Punishment - YouTube
I'm not much of a one for fanvids, but his Doctor Who one is excellent - very angsty mind.
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This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/199193.html.
a_cubeda_cubed on July 20th, 2016 01:14 am (UTC)
The bit about London paying for the rest of the UK? I thought everyone knew that. Of course the rub is the reason. For the last thirty five years UK treasury policy has been to maximise GDP in the City at the expense of everything else. So, it's no wonder that the knock-on effect is that the further you are from the City in economic and geographic terms, the less your share of the GDP is and the less tax you pay. As others have noted regarding the Brexit referendum demographics a significant part of the unexpected Leave vote came from places like the North East whose economy was mostly abandoned during the Thatcher Years and then propped up by lowish paid public sector jobs under Blair, which were then cut by Cameron. Unemployment may be relatively low still, compared to some historic highs, but the jobs available are mostly low paid and if you only earn GBP5000 above the tax threshold you're not paying very much tax.
bunnbunn on July 20th, 2016 07:28 am (UTC)
Elledge is a passionate Remainian, so I detect a whiff of 'these are things foolish Leave voters did not know' about that article.

I think there's a population and investment factor not really covered here though : I think a lot of Leave voters did know that London paid more tax, because they know that London is a hell of a lot more prosperous than they are and is always at the front of the queue. And that's what they didn't like (I am judging from a basis of a small sample of remote relatives here, so not exactly scientific. But I can 'reckon' stuff with the best of them! :-D
louisedennislouisedennis on July 20th, 2016 12:06 pm (UTC)
I don't think I'd realised the extent to which London outstripped everything else, and the trend over time is depressing as well...
bunnbunn on July 20th, 2016 07:35 am (UTC)
I am fascinated by the undiscussed differences in that 'London is funding' article.

For example, what on earth has gone wrong in Northampton? And Swindon? Neither of those fits the article's North/South divide narrative, yet both appear to be struggling. Whereas Gloucester appears an unlikely powerhouse of tax revenue! I wonder why?

Why is Swansea, with its small size and many geographical disadvantages doing OK, while the capital, Cardiff, with all its investment and good transport links going backwards?

Hurray for plucky little Ipswich and Peterborough! But can Luton and Milton Keynes really be considered now as outside of the area of Greater London...?
louisedennislouisedennis on July 20th, 2016 12:14 pm (UTC)
Playing with the underlying tool suggests that Cardiff and Swansea were both shedding jobs from 2004-2007 (Cardiff faster than Swansea). Swansea then too a big hit in 2008, but since 2009 Swansea has been booming (jobs-wise anyway) while Cardiff is still loosing jobs.

I'm not sure that actually explains anything, beyond suggesting that Swansea has turned around since the 2008 crash while Cardiff has carried on business as normal with a gradual decline, but it kept me occupied for 5 minutes.