Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ash and Political Clouds - Some thoughts

Well first of all its been a while, it has been a hectic couple of months and once you dont write for a week you get a bit of a fear factor about sitting down at a computer and downloading your thoughts onto a blank page. The ever problematical writers block. Never mind.

However, with all that is now going on in the world the great need to write overpowered my fears.

Political Clouds

So the UK made history on Thursday with the first live election debate. To be fair the chancellors debate was much better this one was just like the normal bickering that happens at prime minsters question time.

The production by ITV was fairly mediocre including the impressive gaff of turning the sound down on Gordon Brown for the first few seconds of his initial speech. Then you got the presenter barking at the candidates "Mr Clegg!, Mr Brown!" its almost begging for a rap remix. All you needed was Simon Cowell and the X factor judges to create a programme of typical itv trash. At any moment during the programme you were waiting for them to announce details of the phone / text vote.

The Liberal Democrats are the ones coming off best though, out of the two debates they have won both, in fact the chancellors debate was won even more convincingly that the prime minsters. Yet does this translate into a win for the liberal democrats. The situation is very complicated but it would appear not, one poll taken soon after the debate suggested they would get up to 40 more seats. In a hung parliment they would have a significant say but no overall majority. On a constituency basis the situation has many factors to consider one of which is whether the previous MP cheated their expenses. Obviously if they did their will be a vote swing away from the MP or the party but to who. This could be the party who does best in the tv debates rather than just the second place person. I believe all these factors make this particular election unlike any previous one. Elections are normally impossible to call and I would argue this is super impossible to call. We wont know who has won until they are standing outstide of Downing Street saying "I have won".

Another interesting thing is about what is the acceptable image for a UK Prime Minister. I would suggest that the UK population has now got it into its head that to be a succesful prime minster you have to be a Tony Blair clone, ie no more old men. Out of the three you have David Cameron and Nick Clegg who have the Tony Blair look and Gordon Brown who has the old man look. Hence we will elect one of the other two and not Gordon Brown. If Labour ditched Gordon Brown and got themselves a Tony Blair clone would there be a massive swing back to Labour.

Well the next debate is next week and we will see what that brings.

Note:For editorial reasons to allow the reader to determine potential bias I declare myself to be a Liberal Democrat supporter.

Ash Clouds

This is a great news story for TV because in reality there is no visible ash cloud over the UK. News editors are so used to having pictures that they are showing you the ash cloud coming out of the volcano which must have lead to some of the less intelligent members of society looking out of the window for this massive ash cloud. They will never see it because the ash cloud over the UK is invisible apart from a haze over the horizon or possibly the dust on cars etc.

So technically the pictures and the story are not quite matching up.

Anyway the ash cloud is coming down on a north west wind which at least until the wind changes means it is here to stay. In the UK we normally have south west or west winds which bring us warm damp weather on the gulf stream. The North wind predominating our weather system at the moment is also why we had the heavy snow fall earlier in the year.

So, we could have on and off international air travel for the entire summer. Based on that premise I was thinking that if I was a canny airplane operator as soon as there was a gap over Heathrow or the south east airports I would move all my planes to either Scottish, North West or South West airports which in my mind based on the last couple of days are likely to have more potential slots than the South East. If this happens, potentially over the long term could it affect the South East's status as the UK economic regional powerhouse.

As Nick Hewer off the Apprentice would say " I will leave it with you..."

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