Darkest Hour

There was a time when I would repeatedly watch the repeat episodes of “World at War”, until I got fed up with the Allies’ failures.  Norway, France, Singapore, North Africa, Dieppe, Anzio.
The interview that stuck was from episode 2 by Jock Colville, a civil servant, who explained how Chamberlain, Halifax and Churchill met in the Cabinet Room and Chamberlain asked Churchill if he saw any reason why a Lord couldn’t be Prime Minister and Churchill just stared out of the window, cos he knew it was a trap.  Screenshot (816) ab0466h wiki Norway debate
In the same episode, Boothby explained the “Norway debate” and how in essence, many MPs had been frustrated with Chamberlain not wanting to take the war with the Nazis.  Labour played a key role in pushing the issue once the problems with the British operation in Norway had been grasped, despite Churchill putting up a big defence of his operation in the debate.  They pushed for a vote and too many Conservatives did not support Chamberlain.

darkest hour commons debatechurchill vchurchill with mps
So the dramatic start “Darkest Hour“, with Churchill not attending the “Norway debate” was annoying, and the film kept taking these kind of liberties.
Fighting over the leadership after Churchill had been made P.M., the military chiefs having no plan on the Dunkirk evacuation, the King giving Churchill the backbone to carry on refusing to make a deal with the Nazis, Churchill holding a focus group in a London Underground carriage, Churchill meeting with MPs in a large stairwell, Chamberlain wiping his forehead being taken for a signal..
Regarding the history, one example of the criticism – by The National Review.
I never doubted Gary Oldman as Churchill, or his interpretation of Churchill as a sparkier character than other clichéd portrayals of him as miserable.
But in this movie, politicians are quick to dispute, rather than talking things through.

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Changes since the referendum

Screenshot (808) Brexit impact ab0689hI accept the result of the second referendum on membership of the European Union.

I wanted us to Remain.

I’ve seen one reference to 55% of the public now wanting to Remain and I hope it’s right but thinking it needs to be consistently higher for the calls for a third referendum to be justified.
However, I have been **mightily encouraged** by Farage saying another referendum now looks likely.
I’m advised he wants an earlier third referendum whilst people still haven’t taken in the problems that are arising.
I just think the Remainers will now know how to run a better campaign next time; not least being able to draw on Tony Blair’s report on what we know now that wasn’t appreciated then –
https://institute.global/news/brexit-what-we-now-know

Not least, the promised money for the NHS is not being made available, and we look now to face NHS staff shortages cos we’ve been so unfriendly to those who were filling the gaps.

My point always wasn’t that the UK couldn’t make it outside the EU, just that it would be harder to, less desirable and distract our focus and capacity from the challenges we really need to face.

Meanwhile, Theresa May claimed credit for charges on credit card transactions being cancelled from Saturday when this was an EU initiative.

NHS Crisis

Time for people to reflect on what, with 3 General Elections, we have allowed to slip with regards to our health care and our NHS.


I received 2 tweets in quick succession from Theresa May boasting about a scheme that they claim will help a few thousand people onto the property ladder.
That evening, a BBC tv East Midlands political journalist lists the kind of conditions that warrant a visit to A&E (and I didn’t hear broken bones included).
Whatever was said, on top of the cancellation of non-urgent operations, this is a pretty shocking statement. And it’s the BBC announcing it! (Not someone from the NHS.)
Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, comes on national tele to say they’re trying to do it a different way this year – expressed in a way that makes it sound like he deserves some sympathy at least.
Another spokesperson has said that a range of factors have come together – including the cold weather. (Maybe it’s true that we didn’t have snow in Tony Blair’s era.)

Time to remember, the factors of growing demand (including more people, an older population, more cures (with greater expense) and more people surviving with challenging conditions) existed before 2010 when (after 13 years), New Labour more than trebled the spend on the NHS including the launch of the largest hospital building programme in our history. Targets for getting a GP appointment, being tended to in A&E and for operations, were set and were being met.

We deserve better. We used to get better.

Red Sky at midday …

… hurricane on the way.
20171016 red sky and sun sharon scoffings ab0682h 22449669_10155843145817915_6541484230024119353_n
Saw people lean out of office windows to witness this phenomena.
Ex-hurricane Ophelia had picked up sand from the Sahara and other material from Spain.
In the East Midlands, it was a bit windy.
Nothing like Ireland has suffered.
But hang on …
… a hurricane coming straight to the British Isles.
How many more “messages from the Lord” do we need?

The prophecy of an Abbott

I know I smiled when Dianne Abbott made the claim (less than) 12 months ago; it was kinda what happens if you get trapped into saying things are going well.
It looked ludicrous as late as May, but June 8th saw the Conservatives win by 2.5 points, and that lead was lost by July 8th.
Now a poll on October 8th says Labour has a lead of 5 points.  (An “exclusive survey for The Independent by BMG Research now has Labour five points ahead of the Tories, who are still reeling from a coup launched by ex-ministers to overthrow Ms May.”)
It’s not a projection of 4 years hence; it is to say this kind of deficit does not usually follow an election victory.
And now the Conservatives seem hooked on whether to get rid of May or Johnson.