Right or fair?

The whining continues on Facebook:

The Tories won with 24% of the total electorate and yet have the power to govern with 100% – how can that possible be right or fair?

I was going to pass comment on there, but I actually can’t be bothered to get into an early morning political argument. And besides:


But then, it struck me that I’m actually in full agreement with our querying correspondent above. Because earlier this week, Sheffield United lost the play-off semi final ties at Swindon Town 7-6 on aggregate. (I may have mentioned it here.)

Essentially, we lost by 7.7% of the goals, yet Swindon end up going to 100% of the final at Wembley. How can that possible be right or fair?

But then, those were the rules set out before the match started. And I probably wouldn’t be complaining if United had won, now would I?

Maybe there’s a lesson in there for Ms Facebook.

Election faces

I think this sums things up.

ed-balls-2  _82854713_boz
On an unexpectedly good night for the Conservative party, it looks like the end for Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband and (possibly even, at the time of writing) Nigel Farage. After a tight election, during which campaigning was anything but exciting, widespread Facebook sharing of the political beliefs of various comedians, actors and musicians seemingly mattered not. What a shame.

The only downside is that now we have to put up with the pitiful calls of how unfair the FPTP system is (as if we didn’t all know that was the electoral methodology we were using) and the bias of the newspapers and the allegedly low turnout and and and… and how the NHS is dead and buried now (although that hasn’t happened in any of the previous 40 years that it’s been around under a Conservative government).
Just for the record, I worked in the NHS under a Conservative and a Labour government and both of them treated it with equal contempt. In fact, the only major difference that I could see was that we had a lot more infections in traumatic amputation wounds from the “45 minutes to WMD” Iraq war under the Labour government.

Anyway, it’s done. The winners will crow, the losers will whine.
At the end of the day – that’s how democracy works. And yes, it looks like a much better system when you’ve just won.

Tuesday Ephemera

Apparently, this is the third Tuesday ephemera post I’ve done, as you may have noticed from the URL above. Evidently, after the chaos and panic of Mondays (they always seem to surprise people, don’t they?), Tuesdays and Fridays are the days when I unbundle all of the links I’ve collected and collated in my Pocket. Today is no different, as thus, without further ado… Stuff, but with more additional comments than usual:

3 month YouGov polls show folly of campaigning:


At least, it shows the folly of competitive campaigning. I’m sure that if one party didn’t campaign while the others did, that would make a difference, but given that no-one’s percentages have really done anything very much since mid-January, think of the money, effort and tedium that could have been saved by everyone just not doing anything to woo voters.
Also, it shows the danger of having (really) crap policies – support for UKIP and the Greens having actually dropped as they revealed their plans should they score an unlikely victory.

Local beach clean up yields skull 

The skull is hundreds, perhaps even thousands of years old – the remains of a young adult probably part of a hunter-gatherer community.

Yes. The real surprise was that it wasn’t a more recent murder victim.

This Xilent remix of Ellie Goulding’s Figure 8 is very pretty:

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A nice piece on the memories recalled when your childhood home is sold. My parents still live in the same house that I grew up in, so I’ve never really experienced this. Also, it isn’t a massive seven bedroom Yorkshire farmhouse and we didn’t have our wedding reception there, so this is a bit foreign to me as well:

Thirty people slept in the house, with 20 more in tents in the field. Many never made it to a bed, and Mum and Dad reckon that’s the highest number of overnight visitors they have ever had.

How could there actually be any doubt? Were there other occasions when there were “ooh, maybe 49 or 51 – I can’t quite recall”? Or did they previously also own a hotel with 26 double rooms, which may once have been very nearly at full capacity?
But look, this rather bizarre statement shouldn’t detract from what is an otherwise lovely, heartfelt piece.

Finally: Sheffield now and then. Or then and now, depending on how you poke the pictures.

For me, this was interesting not just because I come from Sheffield, but also because firstly, it’s really well done and secondly, just the way that some photos showed massive differences between the old and the new, and some where there were still elements that had been preserved. Sadly, I can’t link to individual photos, but if you have the time and/or inclination the 1945 VE Day crowd outside the City Hall (about a third of the way down) is especially interesting, showing the shrapnel holes from German bombs in the columns, and the patching work still visible today.

On the downside, many of the older photos were taken in the heyday of the city’s industrial past. That’s because that was the thing that made Sheffield special then. That was what was happening, that was the interest. Essentially, that was why the photo was taken – to show that industry, not the green spaces and parks, which didn’t exist back then. The modern day equivalents of those industrial scenes are fairly depressing, in that much of that industry has gone and has been replaced by soulless office buildings or (only arguably worse), nothing at all. It doesn’t help that the present-day photographer seems to have successfully avoided getting any sunshine in any of the photos.

Historical interest 10/10.
Accurate portrayal of modern-day Sheffield: 2/10.

Still. At least it’s not Luton.